As many have commented, we've seen an uptick in the number of trolls showing up on the forum and FUDposting. Generally it goes like this:
1) Brand-new account, created same-day, creates a topic spreading FUD, often with a few strawman arguments thrown in for good measure. Often this is posed in faux innocence, "Guys, I'm hearing a lot of [FUD] and I'm worried about [Strawman] so I thought I'd see what the community thought??"
2) Someone on the forum knocks down the strawman -- it's invariably one that has been addressed myriad times on these forums.
3) Troll replies that he's a "long-time" holder of XRP, and he's "just asking questions" because he's getting worried.
4) someone points out that the troll just created their account that same day. Closer inspection reveals several comments, all negative in tone, with no likes from the community.
5) Some other brand new account will then, at this point, some times jump in to defend the first troll. Some comment about "shooting the messenger" or gripe about treatment of newcomers often follows.
A predictable format is developing.
I have a a couple of ideas on how this might be countered, and would like to start a discussion to see about other ideas to counter this problem:
1) make a mandatory cool-down time after creation of a new account, during which the new account can lurk, but cannot post in the forums. Perhaps the cool-down time could be as short as a day, or perhaps as long as 3-5 days. In any event, this would essentially prevent trolls from setting up brand new accounts and immediately start FUD-posting, and would encourage new members to "lurk moar" to see the answers to issues and topics that have already been addressed.
Could trolls simply wait out the cool-down time? Of course. But if they're gonna troll us, let's force them to think ahead.
2) make it such that new accounts can comment in forums, but not start new topics right away. This is an alternate form of the idea above. Perhaps the new accounts have to wait a certain amount of additional time (beyond the cool-down time listed above) before they create new threads/topics. Or perhaps they have to wait until their account gets bumped up from "Newbie" to "Member". In either event, it would allow them to participate in the chatbox and comment on topics, without creating FUDpost topics themselves.
These two ideas are not mutually exclusive. You could, for instance, make new accounts wait for a cool-down time of 12 hours before they can post at all in the forums, and then make them wait 7 days before they can create new topics. Or perhaps you could make a cool-down time before they can post comments in the forum, but tie the restriction on topic creation to their overall community reputation (until they make "Member" status, for instance).
Before this gets raised, let me go ahead and acknowledge: this will be interpreted by some as hostility to dissenting opinions. However, there is a world of difference between a dissenting opinion presented by an established member of the community whom we've come to know and trust, on one hand, and FUDposting by some rando who showed up 3 hours ago from nowhere. It's like the difference between having a family friend offer constructive criticism and having some random hobo show up at your barbeque and start critiquing the food.
Thoughts? Other suggestions?