Nasty Cluster comments…….

Posted: October 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

DX Clusters serve up useful information. We use them to know where the DX is and they give an indication of what bands are open. The downside to the clusters is the many negative and abusive comments that are posted with complete anonymity. I was very bothered by the comments made about the C82DX Dxpedition. Many of the team members are my friends. The abuse was uncalled for and a gross misuse of the DX Clusters.

It is time for all DX Clusters to utilize two factor authentication before a post and comments can be made. Two factor authentication is a username and password. Some clusters list the posters IP address but those can be masked and is insufficient protection.  Amateur Radio is a cross section of our society and unfortunately, many of these clusters are a playground for the bullies in our hobby.

  1. Gary Schwartz K9GS says:

    I blame the cluster sysops. As mentioned, there needs to be some kind of secure authentication. More importantly, clusters should be shut out of the network unless they support authentication.

    Most importantly, cluster sysops need to then lock out offenders.

    But this will never happen. Just this week some idiot was using the cluster with the callsign of a well known East coast contester and posting maiicious postings with vile comments in the comments field. Why did the sysop allow this to go on for hours?

  2. n6pse says:

    Gary, yes I agree with you on all points. The DX Clusters have become X-Rated because the sysops are not monitoring and controlling close enough. This is a real shame and attention needs to be drawn to this issue. Thank you for your reply.

  3. In 2007-2008 I tried to establish password protected clusters as the norm, but was met with indifference and eventually understood that the cluster is too deeply embedded now to change. However, I did take some action. CDXC (the UK DX Foundation) provides a members-only, authenticated cluster. Other DX’ing groups could try this. Closed communities with some kind of geographic association were at the heart of the DX Cluster concept before the internet.

    Enjoyable DXing begins when you switch the cluster off, of course!

  4. Larry, NU4B says:

    I’m sorry your friends were victimized by the cluster. I get embarrassed just reading some of the comments.
    For quite a while there appeared many nasty comments about stations that supposedly didn’t QSL. That was my first clue not to take the cluster too seriously. Because just about all the stations these comments were directed to, I had a QSL card from. Other than follow directions, I did nothing special.
    After noting all the missed calls and the continual repetition of the missed calls and other bad information on the cluster, personally I think of it as a joke. And a bad joke at that. (I have since concluded the reason many of these people don’t receive QSLs is they have no idea who they worked. 🙂 )
    But seriously, it appears we have developed several things in the DXing world without any consideration for the consequences.

    So I hope your friends don’t take what they read on the cluster too seriously. I mean really, these are people that can’t copy a call sign correctly or follow directions to get a QSL card! I’m guessing mounting a successful expedition is something else they can’t do.

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