Blacklisting = bad idea!

Posted: March 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

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Rick-K6VVA and I have something in common. We both aspire to conduct a Dxpedition from the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea (DPRK)

North Korea is the most sought after contact for Ham Radio Dxers world-wide. I’ve been to the DPRK twice in 2013 and I have a pretty good idea of the challenges involved in achieving this goal. I’ve also participated in some major DXpeditions and I have experienced the jamming and bad behavior on the bands first-hand. It drives me nuts when several famous Dxers from years past write that the behavior of a pileup is the direct reflection on the abilities of the Dxpedition operator. Did they happen to listen to FT5ZM?  These were the best operators in the world and the display of bad behavior on their frequencies was in full force during the FT5ZM operation.

Rick-K6VVA is trying to solve the problem of bad behavior on the bands. Many of us feel that behavior on the ham radio bands has become significantly worse in recent years. I applaud Rick for making an effort to identify the problem however I am concerned that his defined methods will not only fail but lead to further problems. Rick has announced that he will listen to various pileups and identify bad behavior or “Bully Lids”. He will then add them to a list that he is maintaining which will become a “black list” for his hoped for P5 operations. This is a pretty new & drastic approach.

Here is Rick’s announcement: http://www.k6vva.com/p5/p5infoupdate3.pdf

One of the reasons why this method is not sound is that sometimes bad characters will “pirate” or use someone else’s call sign in a pileup in an effort to harm or embarrass the owner of the call sign. How can Rick or anyone else know who is really sending out the call sign. Perhaps Rick will re-think this approach when one of these bad characters pirate’s Rick’s own call sign?

My EU friends are upset that an American is behind these proposed drastic measures. They tell me that Americans are always being the “world’s police” and that we are always pushing our beliefs and values on others. While Rick certainly has courage in taking the position that he has, my EU friends are right. This is the kind of problem that is best addressed by a panel or committee with International representation.

It should not be up to Rick or any other individual to play Judge & Jury and condemn someone for bad behavior. If I was blowing it in a pileup, I would respect and appreciate a call or email from a friend or peer. That approach is more likely to make most guys be more careful with how they conduct themselves in a pileup.

I don’t think anything short of a straight jacket will stop some of the truly anti-social guys on the bands.

I’m glad that guys like Rick-K6VVA care about the problem and are thinking of ways to address what is going on these days. I don’t think that public shaming or blacklisting is going to prevent the bad behavior or deter the bad guys from doing what they do.

I’m hoping that Rick will continue to study the problem and that he will re-consider his methods for addressing them. Any redress to bad behavior on the bands needs to be done in a fair and consistent way.

What do you think?

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Comments
  1. Robert WD8NVN says:

    Blacklisting to me , seems like a solution that will not work; the world is populated with hundreds of DXing Lids. Blacklisting will not stop other types of unidentified bad behavior, in my opinion. I applaud Rick’s concept of only one QSO with P5. Let the second, third Dxpedition to North Korea “P5” deal with ClubLog green checkmark competitors..

  2. Frank N6OI says:

    Well put, Paul. While I understand Rick-K6VVA’s frustration, you have eloquently outlined why a blacklist could not be maintained accurately, and therefore could not be enforced fairly.

  3. Roger Monroe says:

    Perhaps the time is ripe for trying a different approach. What if the dx-pedition announced they were moving their transmit frequency and dropped down a few kHz. One night on 75M phone VK9NS was being QRM’ed. What I didn’t hear was VK9NS so I reasoned he’d moved. I dropped my receiver down 3 or 4 kHz and there he was and I had my QSO using my humble low dipole. I for one would welcome a creative solution or two. If the QRM’er had to find his target he’d have to listen and if he was listening he sure would not be transmitting.

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