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While the world sleeps ...

Furston Lake, Milton Keynes I was due to get up at 05:00 yesterday morning; an 06:00 departure from home, for an 08:30 arrival in Milton Keynes, setting up for a course starting at 09:30. "Why didn't you go a day earlier" you may ask. But with a whole load of equipment to cart around, it's a lot of hassle to have to get a trolley (or wheelchair) accessible room and move the kit in there in the evening, and out in the morning. Besides, the roads are a lot quieter at dawn on Monday that at dusk on a Sunday which I am told by my contacts who know a bit aboout travel has now become the busiest time of the week for long distance journeys.

I was due to get up at 05:00 ... but I ended up undersleeping and getting up at 03:30, when a brief online check alerted me to the fact that perhaps I should stay up and sort out a "spam poster" on the FGW Coffee Shop Forum where I'm one of the admins. It never ceases to amaze me how the occasional poster to a forum can sometimes go a bit "odd" - and in this case it was actually a poster who's put up nearly 300 posts in the past and who (I understand) is an employee of the FGW train company that the forum's about. A ripe selection of personal insults against three members, a selection of other links including some that were broken and at least one others that lead to sites of a sexual nature ... and a clear case of an account that had to be suspended with immediate effect, and a cleanup instigated.


What causes people to go "off the rails" like this? An emailed message from another member suggested that our friend might have been under the influence of some sort of substance, but I've nothing but the character of the posts to confirm that. I do prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt, and I have invited the member to get in touch if he would care to offer an explanation, but I haven't heard (yet) and I suspect I might not do so.

Oddly enough, although I had not planned to be spending 2 hours at this task, I came out of it with a feeling of some satisfaction. Some of the posts, though perhaps blurred by the influence of alcohol were also uninhibited by by the lack of restraint that alcohol can induce, and it gave me a chance both to see the real views and personality of the guy, and also to answer some very good questions which were worth answering again, and has lead - over the following 36 hours - to some excellent clarifications of the TransWilts case, and to support shown from a far wider audience than a single sad lone Cornishman.
(written 2008-08-19, updated 2008-08-21)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G903 - Well House Consultants - Running and moderating forums and social media sites
  [4492] Almost so wrong, but perhaps it's right for some? - (2015-05-11)
  [4403] The unbalanced relationship between customer and provider - (2015-01-21)
  [4315] Welcoming genuine forum posters quickly - but turning away off topic advertisers - (2014-11-16)
  [4307] Identifying and clearing denial of service attacks on your Apache server - (2014-09-27)
  [4283] Can a legitimate forum post become illegal a year later? - (2014-07-11)
  [4239] Facebook marketing - early experiences - (2014-01-19)
  [4234] Change to Libel and Defamation laws from 1st January 2014 - (2013-12-31)
  [4065] Handling requests to a forum - the background process - (2013-04-17)
  [4025] Backups, Codebase, Strategy and more - dealing with forum incidents - (2013-03-03)
  [4017] Acceptable User Policy / vexatious interacter - (2013-02-24)
  [3910] Identifying your real customers and keeping them well informed fast - (2012-11-02)
  [3479] Practical Extraction and Reporting - using Python and Extreme Programming - (2011-10-14)
  [2820] Netiquette for forum newcomers - (2010-06-20)
  [2781] The 500 pound question to get you started - (2010-05-26)
  [2569] How to run a successful online poll / petition / survey / consultation - (2010-01-10)
  [2527] Flying tonight - (2009-12-05)
  [2526] A reluctance to move from old shoes to new - (2009-12-05)
  [2386] Computing under the influence of alcohol - (2009-08-29)
  [2254] Forum membership - a privilege not a right - (2009-06-22)
  [2177] Preventing forum spam - checks at sign up - (2009-05-12)
  [2162] Admins thoughts on banning a member from a forum - (2009-05-09)
  [2156] Stopping forum spam - control of the signup process - (2009-05-04)
  [2116] Why do we delay new forum members through authorisation? - (2009-04-03)
  [2103] Ask the Tutor - Open Source forum - (2009-03-25)
  [1972] Pettifog and forum boards away from public view - (2009-01-03)
  [1923] Making it all worthwhile - (2008-12-04)
  [1678] Software - changes and delays. But courses must run on time! - (2008-06-15)
  [1595] First Great Western Weekend - (2008-03-30)
  [1578] Please don't shout at me! - (2008-03-16)
  [1569] I dont care - goodbye - (2008-03-09)
  [1563] Guidlines for posting on a forum - (2008-03-04)
  [1539] A forum is not always the best vehicle - (2008-02-14)
  [1532] Comment spam blocked. Please comment via Forums - (2008-02-05)
  [1523] Ive just received an email from myself. Should I be worried? - (2008-01-29)
  [1485] Copyright and theft of images, bandwidth and members. - (2007-12-26)
  [1472] The Horse goes on and on - (2007-12-15)
  [1362] No Thank You - (2007-09-23)
  [1190] Save the Forum - A regular clean sweep - (2007-05-17)
  [1088] Why use BBC code not HTML? - (2007-02-21)
  [948] Running an on line campaign - (2006-11-27)
  [923] Why shouldn't I spam? - (2006-11-13)
  [919] Freedom for X is denial of privacy for Y - (2006-11-09)
  [841] Forum help - a push in the right direction - (2006-08-21)
  [828] Freedom of speech and freedom to post - (2006-08-10)
  [806] Check your user is human. Have him retype a word in a graphic - (2006-07-17)
  [651] Please Register with Opentalk - but just once! - (2006-03-19)
  [516] Open source questions? Anyone can ask. - (2005-12-03)
  [424] How not to run a forum - (2005-08-24)
  [248] Use me, but use me effectively - (2005-03-16)
  [231] Feedback as lifeblood - (2005-02-28)
  [204] The confidence to allow public comments - (2005-02-06)
  [130] Spelling and grammar - (2004-11-25)
  [115] Expiration dates or times on web pages - (2004-11-12)
  [29] Silence is Golden - (2004-08-26)
  [22] Falling out over the silliest things - (2004-08-21)


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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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