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Sick and tired of trolls

paolo bevilacqua
Hall of Fame Master Hall of Fame Master
Hall of Fame Master

The scenario is always the same:

A no-previous-posts someone comes in with an opinionated believing about something. Often it is in the form of a question, to which only some answer will be accepted.

When the plain truth is exposed to the person, even with plenty of supporting motivation, some insisting reply is received, and then low ratings of 1 or 2 when generous. Typically the person will never shop up on the forum again.

One example for all:

I routinely respond to these people, and very interestingly I never get a factual reply to say where I was wrong. Only sometime, I get apologies, of the type "I was new and not sure".

Now, I understand that it maye be difficult, that we should just put up with these, that there can be one hundred reasons against, but I am afraid that unless we can have protection from unmotivated low ratings, I will have no desire anymore to post answers.

54 Replies 54


Read through the post and you are correct. I would ask thought you consider those as someone not worth dealing with in the future as they are ungrateful. I would ask that you continue posting as you along with many others in this community have a great wealth of knowledge and I along with many others depend on your knowledge and your giving of your free time. I myself have read and learned much from your posts and if you left it would be a big loss to this community. There will always be people out there that just don't get it but that should not stop anyone from doing good. I personally thank you for your time and the knowledge you have shared and I hope to learn much more from people like you.



Leo Laohoo
VIP Community Legend VIP Community Legend
VIP Community Legend

Hey Paolo,

I think, in my humble opinion, everyone of us who are regular solution contributors are "victims" of some new form of human behaviour:  the lack of understanding.

Some believe that you, for example, (or anyone with a "badge") work(s) for Cisco and, therefore, is obligated/obliged to give a response of their choosing and/or liking.  (Emphasis on the phrase "response of their choosing and/or liking".) Even if the solution they are trying to verify is wrong, if they don't like your answer, don't expect them to give you a high score (or a score even).     And some have little or no understanding about the ratings systems.   Some posts, and in their excitement about the correct solution to their issues, seem to forget about their posts and leaving it un-"Answered".

I have seen and read a significant number of your posts (Ricks, Jon, Rob and even Edison and Joe) and 90% to 95% deserve a high rating but didn't all all because of the observations mentioned above.

As a result of this observation, I've taken a leaf from your book and ask posters to not forget to "rate our useful posts" or if they say that the solution has been rectified, I'd also follow-up by asking them to mark the thread as "Answered".  I check my score regularly, I make it an effort to "thank" the people who gives me some form of rating.  In my opinion, if you took the effort of giving me a rating, then it's polite to reciprocate and give thanks.   Very lame reason frankly, but I believe it's justified.

There is no easy reason to this.  CSC has tried various ideas but each one doesn't seem to be the right "fit" for the job.

Leo Laohoo
VIP Community Legend VIP Community Legend
VIP Community Legend

Hey Paolo,

Don't be disappointed.  Take this post, for example.  We gave the right answer, provided the right links BUT look at the score!

Leo, you exposed the issue perfectly.

Maybe, what has not been discussed before, would be if some "super-partes" people could the remove unfair ratings, and block further ratings on any given thread.

I do not care much If I give a great answer and I am not rated. What bothers me, is that any anonymous, with near to zero understanding in networking can come and vent his frustration with the fact he has to buy a different router (just an example), taming my reputation here.

BTW, I chimed in and re-balanced on the link tread above. At the cost of seeming contentious,. I'm not giving up yet.


Thanks for sticking it out. Like I said before I rely on people like you for not only resolving problems but in your sharing of knowledge so myself and others can learn. I went to the post you referenced and read it and I rated it as it should have been rated, I know it is not much but it boosted the ratings so other may look at it for correct solutions. I have read not only your posts but others and have learned much and when I go to those posts in the past I have just gone there and left with out rating because it was not my question so I did not rate. Well what I am going to try and do going forward is when I read a post that is not mine and it helped me in anyway or if I see that it resolved the posters answer I am going to rate them myself going forward.

Thank you Paolo and everyone for all you contributions, what I have learned from you is tremendous and I thank you.


Burleyman, thank you very much for your appreciation. Words like yours certainly help seeing things in balance. You see that my knowledge is primarly of a practical nature, and I have no problems sharing it with people that can appreciate it.

CSC moderators: please understand how the continued provocation led me to the the closing statements in the thread referenced.

If you judge that it has to be removed, I will certainly understand your actions.

No problem. Remember there are far more people out there that apprecite what you and all the others contribute than there are the type you ran into.


Rob Huffman
Hall of Fame Community Legend Hall of Fame Community Legend
Hall of Fame Community Legend

Hey Paolo, Mike & Leo,

Excellent thread indeed and coming from three experts like you guys

it carries alot of weight.

Sadly, this is just "human nature" and cannot always be avoided. We have all felt

the pinch of unfair ratings that really suck, but what can you do?? The only reason

we really come here is to try and help each other out with solutions. Some people like our

ideas and others don't, but we keep on trying! It's not in our nature to give up because someone

doesn't know how to participate fairly. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!!  Don't let the B@3!3rds get you

down Paolo, you're too good for that my friend!

This does highlight something that I (and others) have been pushing for some time now......the

need to eliminate the 1&2 point Ratings altogether! They are of no value and only cause situations

like this. Let's all work together to convince Dan and Tim to scratch these Ratings off CSC.

Just for a little added levity and info here let's look at this thread from a great "Ask the Experts" from

not too long ago It might make us all feel a bit better;

Hi Janelle and Jimmy,

First off, thanks for taking the time out of your schedules to participate in this event!

My question is this, most of us in the service industry have taken some type of customer service training, but how do you deal with the 1 out of 100 clients that you just can't seem to win over?
You try to provide great service,timely, friendly and with great follow up etc. And they still seem to have some level of distrust? Are there just some no win situations?

Thanks again,

Here is the nice response from Janelle;

From Dr. Barlow;

Hi Rob:

Thanks for your question. Indeed, there are those people who are very difficult to win over -- for a variety of reasons. And the number may be higher than 1 out of a hundred.

? There are some no win situations. Bottom line. You won't please everyone. Don't set it as a target.

? You don't always know what is going on in the customer's mind. The key question is whether they come back, not whether they look like they distrust you. There may be reasons for that distrust that have nothing to do with you.

? Talk with them. Tell them you are working very hard to meet their needs, but your sense is that they don't seem to respond in a way to indicate this is happening. Ask them if you are misreading them. Engage them in a dialogue. You may actually learn something very important from them, or at least open up a dialogue where they become more conscious of how they respond to you.

? If yours is the type of business where the customer deals with one person, perhaps they just don't get along with that person. Consider asking someone else in your organization to interact with this person.

? Finally, don't blame yourself if all your customers don't like your offering. Attempting to please everyone is not the best strategy in the world when it comes to building a brand.

Good luck,

Janelle Barlow, Ph.D.

Cheers Guys!


Great post as usaual Huff.....+5

Now putting me in the area of "three experts like you guys" is a big streach indeed but thanks for that and it made me chukle...

I do agree the 1 and 2 ratings should be removed they serve no use here, just don't rate if you think they are not helpful.

What are your guys thoughts on someone like me who goes to a thread and reads it and finds it knowledgable but did not post, should I rate it if it helped me in learning something new.

Also, what are your thoughts on listing the people who rated a hover over the ratings and it will show a list of who rated and what they rated?



Leo Laohoo
VIP Community Legend VIP Community Legend
VIP Community Legend

Hey "Smooth" Rob,

Guy, you sure know how to butter people up ... or you can't count!  He he he ...

I sure ain't categorize as an "expert".  I will be happy to fall in the ranks of "someone who knows some stuffs" but one thing though, I am a person who likes to learn.  I learn from people like you, Paolo and more.  I also learn when THE experts correct my mistakes and set the records straight.

So to all the "experts" (too many to name and I don't want to start name-dropping), y'all see that badge beside my name?  Well you guys/gals are responsible for giving `em all to me.

Anyway ... let me bring some humour here ...

Question:  What's the difference between a politician and a snail?

Answwer:  A snail always leaves the slime BEHIND.

NOTE:  Dan, I don't believe I have yet to see a network guy who also happens to be a politician.  So I hope I am still following the rules. 

PS:  If some of you reading any of my posts think that I've "crossed the line", please let me know.  I try to police myself but sometimes ... things happen.  Remember:  Don't drink and post! 

Daniel Bruhn

Ratings my favorite CSC topic.  It always seems to bring out the best in us :-)  I'll try and respond to all your questions here:

1.  Poor Ratings---  Do not assume the person who posted the question is the one who rated you poorly.  You need to remember ANYONE can rate responses.  This was intentional so others could rate content they find useful.  We can remove this and only allow the author to rate content, but I assure you overall ratings will drop.  If someone rates you a 1 or 2 I would suggest not calling it out and just let it go.  If you do, it will only encourage them to rate all your other responses a 1 or 2.


2.  Correct answers go unrated---  This is an issue in all communities on the web.  Not everyone takes the time to rate content.  I encourage all of you to rate content whether it's your post or not.  When other users come to a community and see rated content they are more likely to also rate.  We are looking at migrating to a new version of software that would allow Cisco to mark questions as resolved.  It would show on the site as "resolved by moderator".  Thoughts on this?

3.  Eliminate 1&2 ratings---  If we removed the first 2 stars then 3 would technically become 1.  I'm not opposed to the concept but trying to understand how it would work.  The only thing I can think of is remove stars 1&2 from the front end but in the computation keep them intact.

4.  Allow users to see who rated---  To be honest, I don't think we want to go down that path.  That won't do much except cause wars between users.

Our goal is to have the most fair and useful rating system as possible.  That said, it will never be perfect.  Ratings are a key discussion at all community conferences and no one seems to have found a perfect solution.  I encourage everyone to continue giving us feedback.  Ratings are a significant part of CSC and we will do our best to make them as useful as possible.



Cheers, Dan

Thanks all for the great discussion.

Dan, I like the idea .2. above, as I mentioned before my only change proposal would be some kind of "right of appeal" to unfair low rating. Possibly followed by a rating ban on the appealed threads only. This to prevent further siding on controversial matters.

Be reassured it is very clear to understand who low rated on certain threads, because they all follow the simple dynamics I have exposed above, so please give my proposal a thought.

On the other hand so far I have not seen anybody vindicative enough to pervasively misuse the system, beside than the occasional frustration-driven low rating, so overall I am happy with the system as it is now.

I have not seen anybody vindicative enough to pervasively misuse the system

Don't encourage them.

If someone rates you a 1 or 2 I would suggest not calling it out and just let it go.  If you do, it will only encourage them to rate all your other responses a 1 or 2.

You got a point here particularly the "retaliation" side.

We are looking at migrating to a new version of software that would allow Cisco to mark questions as resolved.

I like the bit where if a post is marked "Answered" an automatic "5" ratings is registered.

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