Cribbed from another Newsgroup with a similar problem:
Trolling is a strange phenomena, well you might think so but in fact it is quite a common behaviour pattern which takes place every day in the real world. In the work place, social gatherings and on occasion when 'acquaintances' rather than friends gather. Those types of personality that behave like this IRL transfer their habit onto Usenet.
Think about it for a minute. I am sure you all know at least one person in real life who derives great satisfaction from deliberately baiting others. Some might say that it is a mild form of psychological bullying indicating some degree of mistreatment in earlier years causing a need to 'reverse the tables' on others - to gain satisfaction and a feeling of self worth.
In real life you only have two viable options available to deal with this kind of thing.  You confront the individual and be prepared to demean yourself by punching his/her lights out if they do not back off. Or  just simply have nothing to do with them at all. The later option is of course by far the preferred option and it has been proved to be very effective. Have any of you been in this situation in real life? I am sure that many if not all of you have.
Usenet and today's electronic communication nets try to mimic real life. Its how we make sense of it in the design process. So to deal with problems that you get and which are similar to real life problems, the obvious solution is to respond as closely to real life as you can. So option  above would equate to having the offenders accounts pulled and access terminated. To do that you have to have clear and decisive evidence that the offender has in fact done something illegal or has contravened his service providers user policy. Alternatively option  which incidentally has been proved all over usenet to work, is the one to go for.
Troll methods - well they are all slightly different and many will have a detailed knowledge of the subject matter relevant to the group they are focussed on. They use it to deliberately start arguments then sit back and read with glee.
Another good wheeze is to blatantly defy the groups protocols - whatever they may be chartered or 'group ethos'.
One favourite is to pick out a few individuals or groups of individuals on opposite sides of the fence. Curry favour with one side and then the other.
Then we have the technical troll who gets kicks out of playing upon others ignorance and anger. What this troll likes to do is behave absolutely correctly within the letter of the law as it were and do so to the complete exasperation of the group. Eventually someone will take them on and that is precisely what he is waiting for. Usually its the grouper that comes off the worst out of the exchange.
'Career trolls' [as i call them] are very technically adept at hiding their ISP's and the news servers that they post from. Typically they use anonymous providers who hide their dial up access. Post headers are usually forged cleverly and the average grouper will have a very hard job to track them down.
Most trolls grow bored if they are having no luck in their endeavours and will eventually go away. It is insufficient to just ignore them, if the group continues to discuss the subjects that the troll instigated or if the groupers continue bickering amongst themselves over something the troll started. You might think they have gone but they are sitting back and watching with delight.
Ther are bands of trolls who view usenet as a wolf does the chicken run. To them it is a big game and they keep score all jostling for a place on the league ladder of troll prowess.
You might, if bored find some value out of lurking in a few troll groups. A picture is worth a thousand words. Which reminds me that this post is getting a bit too long.
There once was a famous troll who was the plague of both US and UK newsgroups. He managed to disrupt for nigh on three years and caused all sorts of mayhem both in the states and UK. In the search for his real identity many people [innocents] were accused and for some the trauma virtually scared them off usenet for good. This particular troll was indeed very very clever and his true identity was never really discovered but he never changed his usenet name or his signature. Many people spend hours researching, chasing shadows and came very close to nailing the sod but never quite managing it. Success in having his account pulled was negligible. One aspiring anti troll warrior managed it once. But it did not deter the troll at all, he was back within the hour.
Rumour has it that one of the troll hunters actually managed to find the troll in real life and that they became good friends after which the troll was never ever seen again. So far that is. But that is no doubt just a rumour, usenet folklore perhaps? Who knows.
The point of all this waffle? Well so far we have had the like of Phildo and now we have this Bob character. Is Bob really Phildo? Well the point is moot. There are similarities in behaviour and consistencies in particular focus but that is not conclusive. However, to the best of my knowledge, there has not been a 'real troll' playing in this group since I have been here. Now that's not to say there is not a troll amongst us. Some trolls like to have a group to call their own. They will behave in that group and play away from home as it were. However, some get a bit forgetful and are probably not very adept at alter ego shifting so their behaviour patter tends to spill over where they would prefer it not to.
There are quite a number of people in here who do display troll like tendencies. [Age dependant trollism onset] or it could be that some are just plain argumentative. I prefer to think the latter.
Some show little or no restraint at all. Even when the good and benefit of the group is in question. We all want this group to thrive and to fulfill the purpose for which it was set up. I am a newcomer here but I choose to be here rather than in other places and i do have genuine concern for the group and that is my motive for this post. I hope that a few of you might be persuaded to - shall we say - behave with a little more consideration. Where appropriate.
Well that's my $10 worth I have no intent that this should start an argument, I thought I'd say that before anything gets out of hand.
DON'T FEED A TROLL