For Programmers

This one is about trolls. My traditional approach is to kill messages that go boldly were no men has gone before, but leave other replies untouched. I consider myself rather tolerant. But sooner or later I have to face the obnoxious troll.

This is the one that uses scripts to spoil your forum, replies over and over again with the same sentence (like Jack Nicholson in The Shining) or does other things that even the mildest moderator considers to be rude.

Why is the obnoxious troll trying to disrupt your forum? My conclusion, not based on rocket science, is that the ‘berzerk troll’ is driven by a fundamental human need. He wants attention. So I thought: what would happen if we give the obnoxious troll just what he wants? He can post whatever he wants.

But no one will see his responses. Only the troll sees them. So he thinks: wow, they publish my words. In a happy scenario he doesn’t feel the urge to repost his message over and over again. Joost de Valk, a programmer from the Netherlands, wrote a plug-in for WordPress that did just that. He liked my ideas which I have put on this little site. My hope is to have Cave Your Trolls-mods for every major forumsoftware and blogsoftware. The idea is not totally new, but the commitment of some bright programmers is.

Here is where you come in. I need your help for a plug-in for other boards and (hosted) blogsofware. Till now, only a few days after this site is up, this is what happened:

List of projects

WordPress                                In development. Download beta.
SMF                                        Posted request in SMF Forum
Escenic                                    Specs in exchange
vBulletin                                   Built in as Global Ignore, but with flaws
GX                                          Idea pitched

Basically the mod should work like this:

1. Obnoxious troll posts !*(&!#&!
2. Moderator checks ‘Cave This Reply’
3. Troll sees that his !*(&!#&! is accepted
4. Other users don’t see a thing
5.  Intelligent trolls  (they do exist) wonder why there is no response. Moderator should be allowed to play with the troll in the sandbox, by replying
5. When troll is logged out, there should be an additional IP check so he doesn’t get suspicious that his posting is suddenly gone.

Is this worth all the trouble? IMHO yes – the first tests resulted in total annihilation of the craziest trolls. Feel free to read more about the ideas behind it on or download the WP plug in.

Please mail me at if you want to join or know more, thanks.

Henk van Ess