Vote today to moderate rec.skiing.alpine
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PhysicsMan
November 14, 2002
Member since 11/20/2001
218 posts
As many of you probably know, the Usenet newsgroup, rec.skiing.alpine (RSA) is one of the oldest forums for skiing on the Internet. It predates the http protocol and the worldwide web and essentially is the "father" of all the other skiing forums now in existence. It historically has been the entry point to on-line skiing discussion for many newbies to skiing, and would continue to serve this function if it were not for the problem described below.

Unfortunately, RSA has been essentially rendered useless as a global forum for skiing discussion because of a several year battle between 1 kook (plus 1 or 2 supporters, and many sockpuppets (ie, aliases)) and a group of skiers who have dug in their heels and won't be intimidated by his repeated slander, threats of phyical violence, stalking, attempts to get them fired, etc.

The main kook is the prototype of internet terrorists and is the only person in the history of the world to have been placed under a 1 year court order not to post to this group. Unfortunately, he continued to post his venomous messages under various aliases until the court order expired, and now is back with a vengance.

To attempt to reclaim RSA, a group of skiers are attempting to form a moderated version of RSA (RSAM) in which only skiing-related messages will be posted and all off-topic submissions will be rejected. Since RSA itself will still be there and will remain unmoderated, the main kook and anyone who can't resist participating in this flame war will be able to continue to do so, but people who only want to talk skiing will have a place to go.

The process of forming any new group on Usenet is extremely formal and requires a vote from the relevant community (ie, skiers who participate in on-line discussion and hence, who might use the proposed new forum, RSAM).

I urge everyone to vote whether your interest is specifically skiing or in attempting to stop the rising wave of internet terrorism (especially stalking).

A description of the way to vote can be found at:

http://www.uvv.org/cgi-bin/getmsg/1680

More background info, more links, and a sample ballot can be found in a thread on the Powder Magazine discussion forum:

http://forum.powdermag.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/012375.html

There was another thread on EpicSki about this, but the moderator, AC, deleted it, presumably because of the risk that it would attract the main kook of RSA to Epic and he would disrupt Epic as he did RSA.

Most everyone is aware of that people should not give out real world identifying information on the Internet. Because of this, you are allowed to use an alias to vote, and you can go one step further and vote from a disposable Yahoo or Hotmail acct. The only requirement is that the voting administrator must be able to do a search on the alias to see that it has been used in the past and was not simply generated to stuff the ballot box. Your DCski ID's should work fine.

While it may not have directly effected you yet, drawing a line in the sand against Internet terrorism is an extremely serious and important matter, and I urge you all to vote today. The process is trivial and takes only a few seconds. The vote closes at the end of the month.

Tom / PM

twin58
November 15, 2002
Member since 04/1/2000
198 posts
"The main kook" at RSA has turned that board into a living hell. Note that if you vote, you can use either your real name or an established Usenet handle. The results of the vote will be made public, including your name and email address. Thus, spammers can scrape your name and address. Accordingly, a throwaway address and a handle are pretty much mandatory, unless you want make money fast, get a mortgage, help get money out of Nigeria, and so forth. I especially do not want to be flamed by "the main kook." I used to look at RSA fairly frequently, but I gave up.
PhysicsMan
November 21, 2002
Member since 11/20/2001
218 posts
twin58 - Good comment about using a throwaway email adr for anti-spam and anti-kook reasons. However, do use a "handle" or alias that you have used before the call for votes (ie, a couple of weeks ago) so that the vote-taker can verify that the alias wasn't made up just for the purpose of stuffing the ballot box.

Tom / PM

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