Troll alert

This is a rather unusual blog entry, one I was not thinking we'd ever have to write, but after a long debate, we've decided to go public about certain events that have happened to the Ceylon community.

We are being aggressively harassed by a Troll for a month now, which is taking the following forms:

  • Logging on our Gitter channels, insulting and threatening users, then renaming his GitHub account so we cannot find/ban him.
  • Using fake identities to ask us for help on Gitter for hours on end, only to reveal later he was the troll and resume insults/threats.
  • Impersonating Gitter users to make them look bad.
  • Spreading lies about Ceylon on other JVM languages discussion channels.
  • Using sock puppet accounts on reddit to turn many threads into Ceylon bashing or ad-hominem attacks on Ceylon team members.
  • Defacing the Ceylon Wikipedia page [Edit: it's not clear yet, it could be a honest mistake on both parts].
  • And other things I cannot reveal here.

Since I have no doubt at all our troll is reading this, you will understand I am not revealing all the information that we have on what he's done and who he is. In fact it's a pretty difficult exercise.

I also don't want to explicitly name his identities here because I don't believe in mob justice, I hope you will understand that.

Naturally we've tried many things to make sure he stops poisoning our community, and are still working on measures behind the scenes, but his impact cannot be ignored.

Although we've always tried to follow the usual Troll-avoidance strategy of ignoring him, we have many people in the Ceylon community who see these events and wonder what's going on. They don't understand why every new user is suspect (our troll uses about two new fake accounts per day), or why suddenly a seemingly sane person will start throwing insults at everyone. The more we talk to him, and the more we talk about him, the more persisting he becomes, so we don't want to make it worse.

But there has to be an explanation we can point to when people ask what the hell is happening, so this is it.

We have a toxic person in our community, we haven't been able to get rid of him no matter how many times we asked him, and we don't have the tools to prevent him from harassing us, and he knows it. What goes on in his mind is beyond our ability to understand, but the fact is he exists, and seems driven by some motive to spend hours every day annoying us.

We are, again, withholding information about him and about the various things we are doing behind the scenes to deal with him, but rest assured we are not sitting idle.

That's pretty much as I can say at this point. If you see someone throwing insults at people on our Gitter channel, this is not something we condone at all, and we keep banning his new accounts for that, so don't let our apparent lack of reaction (besides the banning) fool you into thinking that we're silently condoning his attitude. We're not.

Thanks for your understanding.