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The Outernet

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The Internet, amongst its many advantages, also has the disadvantage of ever-increasing numbers of trolls. Trolling is perhaps subjective and the term is overly-used as a one- size-fits-all label for comparatively minor comments up to fullblown viciousness that makes me wonder about the mental health of the poster. RIP site abuse, for example. The laws on cyber abuse are toothless and barely understood by the police, whose generic advice is to stop using the Internet altogether.

Any complaint against troll posts seems to result in the 'freedom of speech' counterargument but there has to be a line drawn somewhere.

So I suggest the Outernet as the solution; once posts determine that the poster is intentionally seeking to troll, the IP address is rerouted to what looks and behaves just like the Internet but is a clone solely for containment of trolls. It's possible that some trolls can outgrow trolling in which case they should have the right to return but the rest can continue to troll in an environment where no one can be damaged by them. They retain freedom of speech and everyone else can go online without the possibility of becoming a target.

Phrontistery, May 26 2012

The curse of the internet trolls http://www.telegrap...nternet-trolls.html
[Phrontistery, May 26 2012]

A sample of prosecutions http://www.theywork...009-04-20g.268583.h
[Phrontistery, May 26 2012]

Sean Duffy http://www.guardian...d-mocking-teenagers
[Phrontistery, May 26 2012]

Troll motivation http://trollpolice....nt-feed-the-trolls/
[Phrontistery, May 26 2012]

Jay & Silent Bob's method of troll control http://youtube.com/...watch?v=vuBWbpTJRqk
2m 5s of ass-kicking family fun. NSFW profanity [Alterother, May 26 2012]

[link]






       As an alternative, we can just buy Jay & Silent Bob some more plane tickets. [+]
Alterother, May 26 2012
  

       // the IP address is rerouted to what looks and behaves just like the Internet but is a clone solely for containment of trolls.//   

       An, abridged version perhaps...   

       Perhaps I have never been trolled seriously, or perhaps I misunderhend the meaning of "troll".   

       But isn't this a sledgehammer to crack a molehill? If trolls are sufficiently trollish, they can be barred or ignored, no? Or do I miss something?
MaxwellBuchanan, May 26 2012
  

       Not always, Maxwell, it depends on the troll. Since December I've had one 'intervene' in my real life to the point that it goes to court next month and I'm currently househunting. A persistent and deranged troll has no limits, in my experience. And no, I don't know the troll offline, it all started with a disagreement over politics on a news forum.
Phrontistery, May 26 2012
  

       Ah - well, point taken. Sorry you've had such grief.   

       The problem in that case seems to be the point at which trolling crosses from the Internet to the tangible world, though, no?
MaxwellBuchanan, May 26 2012
  

       In a way, that's true but had the Outernet existed off this page, the matter would never have escalated. Or so I'd like to think and I only mentioned the court thing to show how some abuse the Internet. I was advised to stay offline altogether but then I lose a valuable resource and link to my hobbies. With the Outernet, no troll would have that level of power.
Phrontistery, May 26 2012
  

       //the IP address is rerouted to what looks and behaves just like the Internet but is a clone solely for containment of trolls.//   

       I don't see how this can work, alas. If the Outernet behaves just like the Internet, then it is going to have to mirror the whole Internet. It is also going to have to mirror (or simulate) responses on whatever fora the troll is trolling on, no?   

       I think the only thing that might work in the way you want would be a site- by-site system, such that the troll's posts were visible to the troll, but not visible to other users. Then the troll would think that she was simply being ignored by the rest of the community.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 26 2012
  

       Also, since the concentration of trolls would be much higher on the outernet, the chance that a troll might realise how annoying trolls are is higher. this would reduce the time required to //outgrow trolling//.
erenjay, May 27 2012
  

       This idea is completely impossible. For one thing, IP addresses and users don't share a 1:1 correlation. There may be hundreds of users behind a single IP address, or a single user may use several IP addresses.   

       And even if you could implement it somehow, how would you prevent the troll from knowing, and finding some way to route around it (see problem one)? Trolling only works because you get a response. I obviously don't know the details of your situation, [Phrontistery], but from your description it doesn't sound like the person you're having trouble with is what I'd call a "troll". "Deranged" is not a term used to describe a troll. Trolling is a deliberate attempt at provoking a reaction to a statement (generally not specifically targeted at any one person in particular), not a concentrated effort to deliberately ruin somebody's life. What you're undergoing sounds like straight-up harassment by somebody who's made it his mission to get you.   

       But more relevantly, what does it mean to "clone" the Internet? Would you have a perfect duplicate of every computer on the Internet, running the exact same software and with the same content? How would you go about accomplishing such a task? You could no more "clone" the Internet than you could "clone" a river. Without some clarification on this concept, I'm inclined to MFD this idea as bad science/magic.
ytk, May 27 2012
  

       [ytk] Although I am not [Phrontistery], If it was my idea, I would say that cloning the internet would mean that every server that hosts a website, host a clone of the website that blacklisted ip's (I am using the IP theory because I dont know enough to discount it) are redirected to. If whoever coordinating this ammassed a relatively large blacklist of IPs BEFORE the redirection went live, there would be sufficcient trolls on certain websites to fool the other trolls into believing they are on the normal internet. The trolls would then go about building their own internet, from the point where they split up, like a parallel universe.   

       Alternatively, it could be set up so that it is obvious to the troll that they have been "outernetted", and that they are in a sort of prison for trolls. Although escaping would be possible, they would either get caught again, or be so afraid of going back to prison that they would stop trolling people (this would only work with minor trolling the way you described it).
erenjay, May 27 2012
  

       How would you ensure that non-trolls know which net they're on? I don't like the idea that I might inadvertently spend hours of my life contributing to some site only to find out later that it's on the Outernet which is why I'm being drowned out by rants and pointless ad hominem arguments about nudes, prudes and Brian Sewell...
oscil8, Jun 01 2012
  

       Don't worry; the HB is way too Out There to be mirrored on the Outernet.
Alterother, Jun 01 2012
  
      
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