Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dead Blog Walking

Reluctantly, I have reached the decision to delete the blog Delaware Politics from my blogroll.

As one could certainly tell my decision to retain sites like Libertarian Republican, which is pretty far ideologically removed from me and run by someone who disdains my own political positions, this is not an issue of disagreeing with the politics of David Anderson's blog.

However, over the past few weeks (maybe months) as the number of commenters has declined, so has the level of comment, until we are now at the point where commenters are being told that nothing in the blog's rules prevents the administrators from choosing to "out" commenters with whom they disagree.  Not trolls, just people who disagree with them.

This may be the way to run a police state, but it is certainly not a way to run a blog.

So while it will certainly be small loss to them, this Libertarian will no longer be allowing traffic to be directed from here to Delaware Politics.

29 comments:

pandora said...

For months I've been waiting for David Anderson to step in and put a stop to the threats, and I've reached the conclusion that he's perfectly fine with what's been going on under his name. And make no mistake, Delaware Politics is David Anderson.

You'd have to be crazy to comment over there... and given the almost complete loss of commenters people obviously agree.

I knew the addition of a "moderator" was ridiculous and unnecessary, but when the "moderator" wandered over to DL and started threatening to out our commenters... WTF?

Good call, Steve.

Hube said...

I haven't been over there in a while and it seems to have been a good decision.

Outing is the biggest no-no in blogging. Even the DLers hold that rule as sacrosanct to their credit.

kavips said...

I was trying to backtrack and find the comment so I could see it in context, but couldn't or didn't go back far enough to find it.

Can you remember the name or the topic of the post it was written upon?

I still comment there and thoroughly enjoy it. It is probably my best writing. Alas. But then I'm probably the only person left in Delaware, since Jon M is in Virginia, who still likes Christine O'Donnell.

pandora said...

The latest DP outing threat heats up here. Read all the way to the end. Pretty amazing.

Delaware Watch said...

I might go over there and make a comment just so they can out me as Dana Garrett posing as "Dana Garrett."

Doug said...

Guilty as charged (Almost) Steve,

I am Doug Beatty and I made the post you're speaking of.

However to be accurate, I promised to the person who was trolling and casting another in a false light that I would find out who they were and make appropriate complaints if they were doing something they shouldn't. In fact I specifically told the person I wasn't concerned with 'outing' them on the blog.

For your ease of review here is my comment to this person you insist isn't trolling http://www.delawarepolitics.net/our-bill-of-rights-and-the-curious-case-of-dr-jahi-issa/comment-page-2/#comment-122744

Free Speech doesn't mean we don't have any responsibility for what we say. Had the subject of this troll's attacks not been a public figure the posts would have been actionable.

As it stands, we are getting very close to that high bar of knowingly false malicious statements.

Personally I have no use for cowards who hide behind screen names to attack others, your mileage may vary.

Apparently some folks think it's okay to post unsubstantiated accusations and outright lies under an alias that they would never say publicly with their own name. I disagree.

I would counter that there is no right to libel, slander, or cast others in a false light.

But to be clear, I promised to let the people who owned the network this person was using know what was being done with their resources.

Also my knowledge of who this person is has nothing to do with the moderator at DP. My own domain is linked to my comments and my logs go back over a decade. When a new IP shows up out of the blue that raises a flag.

If the person suspected is then stupid enough to identify themselves from the same IP in other communications that's on them.

At the end of the day, I do know who the anonymous poster is. The lack of understanding of internet forensics is rather stunning hereabouts.

I never threatened to make their identity public on the blog, and have decided not to report them to the owner of the network they are using.

Said owner having policies in place arguably prohibiting what this person is doing.

Upon discovering who this was, decided not to pursue them because they have done enough damage to themselves over the years.

That and if the owner of that network is going to continue to be that negligent with outgoing traffic they will earn the fruits of such labor sooner or later.

Karma cares not for 'sacrosanct' rules of blogging or idiots who stress it's delicate network.

But get one thing straight Steve, I never threatened to out this individual. In fact I made that clear.

Peace

Steve Newton said...

Doug

You didn't. I never said you did. You are not an administrator.

Don Ayotte, on the other hand, did say that there was no blog policy forbidding them from outing anybody they pleased.

And, the DP moderator recently visited DL and made the same threats.

To be equally clear, you can have any policy you personally want regarding outing--but if you engage in it--and frankly you are mincing words about your intent (notifying a network controller in an attempt to get someone in trouble for political speech is outing)--I'm not going to link to you.

Call me "delicate" if you like (although I think you would be the first person in history to do so), but I think that the internet needs the provision of free anonymous speech, and I say that as somebody who always posts over my real name.

pandora said...

Okay, I'll admit to not being tech savvy, but... how could Doug determine who someone is, someone who only comments on Delaware Politics, without access to DP's internal info?

Basically, if a person is only commenting on Delaware Politics, how would Doug track them down?

Doug said...

Hi Pandora,

I fondly remember you from Delaware liberal where I was blocked from commenting by 'MJ' while he and the rest of the crew were attacking my wholesale. I'll be happy to post a screenshot.

How do I know your real name? Yet I do and you know I don't have access to DL's internal info.

In your case Meyer posted your email address and first name on my blog in anger when he left DL and outed most of the Dl crew in a comment. He didn't know your last name.

From there a simple google told me who you are and I even found a picture of you.

Usually it's not that easy.

In this case the particular person in question has been commenting on DP for well over a year, and their support of another blogger was the first clue.

I do have access to the internal logs from my own domain. That's another hint.

Also, when you send an email the originating address is in the header information that we used to see in the old days of the non-graphical interface.

Can't say I'm the most tech savvy person on the planet. but I've been online since it was dialing up a bulletin board system with a tandy color computer.

I was also a LAMP engineer for years and have strong industry contacts ( Linux Apache MySql Perl)


I'm not that big of a deal myself, but I know folks who are on a first name basis with some heavy hitters.

@Steve

That's fine, I don't presume to tell you what to think or do. I find it ironic that you link to DL. Like I said I have the screenshots from wordpress in my browser to prove that they censored me.

Hell I wasn't even posting anonymously that crew just doesn't like people who stand up for themselves.

At the end of the day it turned out to be a costly decision for my persecutor. I make no apologies for defending myself or taking on cyberbullies.

I'm not about to start now.

We disagree on anonymous speech. I don't believe it's an inherent right especially when you are engaged in wholesale character assassination.

But that's okay, who would want to live in a world full of only Dougs? Not Doug that's for sure. Be well.

pandora said...

Who I am is hardly a secret. I have hosted many DL events and anyone who attended would know exactly who I am - I don't wear a mask and introduce myself as pandora. LOL! Hube knows who I am!

I post under "pandora" to keep my google lives separate. I have children and a husband who support me, but I am conscious of keeping my every day identity separate from online identity. And if you'd met me in person, I'd say exactly the same things I say while blogging. It's a respect for my family issue. I really wouldn't want my children put in a position of having to defend their Mom. It really is that simple.

This:

In your case Meyer posted your email address and first name on my blog in anger when he left DL and outed most of the Dl crew in a comment. He didn't know your last name.

... is typical Meyer behavior, and why he no longer is with DL. Talk about a loose cannon, and I lost track of the number of times I called him out for randomly banning commenters. He even moderated a commenter for disagreeing with him over a restaurant choice. The fact that he would "out" people while having a temper tantrum is hardly surprising. Pathetic.

But... that still doesn't explain how you would know who a person who only comments on DP is. Come on. Admit it. You have access to DP's IPs.



Steve Newton said...

Doug, for reasons I do not know (I am using my phone not my computer right now) your last comment does not seem to have posted. I can't retrieve it from whatever form of cyber purgatory it has entered for several hours, so I am pasting it in from my email notification:

Doug's comment follows:


Pandora,

Here's a question for you, how do you know that I even know who this person is? Ever play poker? ;)

Here's a hint, if you don't want me to know who you are don't come on my website or my blog.


If you don't want to be identified don't use the same computer or network for your 'anonymous' activity that you use for email.

Here's a good one, if you are trying to hide your identity guard your writing style jealously and vary it often.

Avoid anything that suggests a pattern as well. Locations, likes, dislikes.

In any case, I don't know how a DL writer can point fingers at another site for stifling comments or harassing/threatening commenters.

Delaware Dem printed an accusation from an 'anonymous source' that I had actually written the infamous Vance Phillips letter.

In fact, somebody had to tell me the Vance Phillips story after that came up as I was pretty new in politics hereabouts.

DD then went on to say that the author(s) of said letter were guilty of crimes.

I couldn't even post a comment to defend myself.

El Som took another swipe at me not long ago and of course I'm not allowed to respond.


But I don't have access to internals at DP. Sorry.

Steve you make a good point about me telling this person that if they were doing something wrong I would make the appropriate communications and complaints.

You can make any inference you want or try to tell me what I meant but that's what I said. Nothing more and nothing less.

How do you know I wasn't intending to further that information to legal counsel for review to determine if it was actionable? You're doing some assuming here my friend.

I never threatened this person's job, they told on themselves by crying about me doing so.

I also said "if you're doing wrong".



English is an ambiguous language, and that can be useful or counterproductive.

I don't apologize for that either and will accept any consequences coming my way. I am not duty bound to protect the ability of anyone to slander, libel or cast myself or my colleagues in a false light.

The irony is thick. It's fine for people to accuse me and my colleagues of crimes and wrongdoing but promising them that if they are doing wrong you'll find out who they are and make the appropriate complaints or communications is out of bounds.


I respect your right to have and express that opinion but I disagree.

Commenting anonymously to provide information is one thing. Doing it to engage in character assassination is quite another.

I have no problem with you 'banning' DP from your blogroll. The fact that you keep Dl on with their history could be telling indeed, but it's your world. I'm just passing through.

Steve Newton said...

Now that I've recovered your comment, Doug, here's the reply:

You are posting on a blog that has engaged in every single activity that you have criticized DL for. DP has censored comments, banned commenters, allowed "friendly" commenters to edit their comments after the fact to make it look like they didn't say something they did, and has engaged both anonymously and by name in what you call character assassination.

And, like DL for me, it's where you choose to stay. I don't generally worry about all that crap because blogs are private property, and as far as I'm concerned the owners can set any rules (no matter how self-serving or contradictory) they want. And blogging is generally a rough and tumble world. DelDem once wrote an entire post called "Steve Newton thinks I'm an asshole." jason has called me more names than I can remember, and I've returned the favor.

But they don't out bloggers. That's one of my personal no-nos, and I don't care how many times Anonone or Delacrat criticizes me, they are safe in their anonymity as part of my community. I may insult them; I may get pissed off enough not to respond, but I have never attempted to "out" them.

Anonymity is most often a protection used by the weak or threatened, and the people who piously spout the line "you have nothing to fear from me if you are not doing anything wrong" are the same zealots who tell me that when they put up surveillance cameras and intercept my emails.

And get over it, Doug: my specific complaint was with Don Ayotte, who not only threatened outing, but who took at least one shot at implying somebody's identity in a comment. Don Ayotte who routinely censors those who disagree with him. So if he's got cause for complaint with me he can stop hiding behind you and put on his own big boy pants.

As for you, Doug: if you or anybody you write about doesn't expect to be attacked (either fairly or unfairly) or held up to ridicule by those who disagree with your perspective, or yes even lied about ... then the best suggestion would be to find some other theater rather than political blogs, where people play nicer.

Don Ayotte said...

Pandora
Mr. Beatty does not have access to the IP numbers of people who comment on DP. I am an administrator of the site.

Doug said...

Steve and Hube,

also just so you know:

Comment by cassandra_m on 23 April 2013 at 2:03 pm:
Just jumping in here to point out that Crusty Old Fart, People Who Know and Don Ayotte have been posting to DL from the same IP address. Just so people an make their own judgments re intelligence.


http://www.delawareliberal.net/2013/04/21/sussex-county-council-says-no-to-sheriff-holding-posse-training-at-county-building/#comment-342594

Hube what was that about outing?
Outing is the biggest no-no in blogging. Even the DLers hold that rule as sacrosanct to their credit.

Steve:

Call me "delicate" if you like (although I think you would be the first person in history to do so), but I think that the internet needs the provision of free anonymous speech, and I say that as somebody who always posts over my real name.

Well yeah, that appears to be the case. On which planet I'm not quite sure but given the premise of an infinite universe....

pandora said...

And if that were true, Don, you'd have cleared that up when Doug said...

"I will find out who you are, and if you are doing anything that you shouldn’t be doing I will make the appropriate complaints and communications. Outing you isn’t my concern. You have nothing to fear from me unless you are doing something you shouldn’t be."

Your next comment on that thread was: "
DonAyotte on May 8, 2013 at 12:59 said:

Anon/A2
“I feel bad for what Dr. Issa is going through,”

Do you expect anyone to believe that statement. Oh, that’s right, we’ve all recently fallen off of turnip trucks and are genuinely naive."


Which tells me that you are a-okay with outing. Which also might explain why DP is a dead blog.

You might also want to explain why your "moderator" came over to DL to threaten commenters? What a loser.

Personally, I believe that you are granting Doug access to your commenters IP addresses. That's my belief.

DP is totally dead. I'm gone. Steve's gone. Geezer's gone. Dave's gone. Your site stats are non-existent. Good job!

Doug said...

As for you, Doug: if you or anybody you write about doesn't expect to be attacked (either fairly or unfairly) or held up to ridicule by those who disagree with your perspective, or yes even lied about ... then the best suggestion would be to find some other theater rather than political blogs, where people play nicer.

Yet another false assumption Steve. I've been online since getting a Tandy Color Computer and a 300 baud modem when that was state of the art. In the old days we had to wear asbestos underwear.

I wasn't complaining, just pointing out the hypocrisy when somebody goes into full bore attack mode then cries like a female mutt when they get bit.

My apologies if I failed to get that point across.

You are posting on a blog that has engaged in every single activity that you have criticized DL for. DP has censored comments, banned commenters, allowed "friendly" commenters to edit their comments after the fact to make it look like they didn't say something they did, and has engaged both anonymously and by name in what you call character assassination.


you think? My point exactly. So why is it only offensive to you from one but not from the other?

We all have biases Steve. Pretending to claim some high ground when you're just following your prejudices is something you'll get called on. A blogger once told me:

if you or anybody you write about doesn't expect to be attacked (either fairly or unfairly) or held up to ridicule by those who disagree with your perspective, or yes even lied about ... then the best suggestion would be to find some other theater rather than political blogs, where people play nicer.

Know what I mean, Steve?

I don't claim not to have bias or an agenda. If people want to play nice I prefer it that way. If not I'm okay with that too.

You can claim some kind of duty to preserving anonymous comments for your "Dead Blog Walking" post.

But when you support another blog that outs commenters, it's pretty weak.

How about we just be honest and you say something that makes sense?

For example:

I'm deleting DP from my link list because I don't like them.


Is that so hard?

pandora said...

Doug says:

"Comment by cassandra_m on 23 April 2013 at 2:03 pm:
Just jumping in here to point out that Crusty Old Fart, People Who Know and Don Ayotte have been posting to DL from the same IP address. Just so people an make their own judgments re intelligence."


Sock puppetry is a no-no. Don can't post as himself and then post comments under a different name to support his claims, Especially since Don is a big "caller out" of aliases. Guess that's another rule that only applies to Don A..

Hube and I don't agree on much, but we agree on outing. Then again, Hube and I have a life outside of blogging. So sad that others don't.

Don Ayotte said...

Pandora
"Personally, I believe that you are granting Doug access to your commenters IP addresses. That's my belief.

DP is totally dead. I'm gone. Steve's gone. Geezer's gone. Dave's gone. Your site stats are non-existent. Good job!"

You are delusional but you aren't going to believe that for a minute. I've read DL and they don't have writers that can write a decent post even if it is propaganda. I've read it mostly for amusement. The people that comment on DL are into "gang-attacks" because they feel insecure in what they write or believe.
I haven't been to this blogsite before and probably won't have time to comment again but good luck to you in all of your endeavors.

Doug said...

Pandora,

Outing is against the site rules at DL as well.

If using two different aliases on the same thread warrants outing then by that reasoning I could post the real name of the commenter I had the run in with, as that person used two different aliases with the same name.

I don't want to put words in your mouth so tell me where I'm missing the boat here.

Doug said...

To be clear, Don Ayotte warned anon/A2 about sock puppetry. I am assuming that Don wasn't making that up.

Steve Newton said...

Doug

As pandora noted, Don Ayotte did not get "outed" at DL. He posted under his own name and then attempted to appear in the same thread as other people. Precisely what you guys got so upset about a commenter doing at DP.

sockpuppetry is not anonymous blogging.

Doug said...

Nope,

That's not true Steve.

Don did not post as Don Ayotte in that thread. He posted as People Who Know and Crusty Old Fart.

The commenter I had the run in with posted as anon and A2 according to Don who is an admin.

So if posting under two aliases in the same thread isn't anonymous blogging it's okay to out this other person anon/A2?

So why are you okay with DL doing it but not with DP doing it?

Do you actually believe your own feces of masculine bovine origin?

Seriously?



Doug said...

Too, also, as well here is the posted Dl policy on outing:

http://www.delawareliberal.net/about/

I don't see anything about sock puppetry here:

2. Outting

This is self explanatory. If you post a comment that reveals personal, private and identifying information concerning any Delaware Liberal contributor or commentator that uses an anonymous or pseudonymous user name or handle, you will be banned instantly with no recourse.

The second tier has two categories of comments as well. However, instead of instant banning, the commentator of such below comments will be given a warning and will lose posting privileges for 24 hours. The warning will be sent to the email you provide when posting your comment. If you provide a fake email, then we will embarrass you by posting the warning publicly in the comment thread. The offending comment itself will be deleted. Repeated violations of the below rules after the warning will eventually result in banning, but that will be at the discretion of the editorial board of Delaware Liberal.


Please explain how this make it up as you go stuff you and Pandora are putting out reconciles with the posted policy?

pandora said...

Don Ayotte posted under three different names. He changed his email on each one, but IPs don't lie. What a moron.

He was called out for sock puppetry - because he didn't understand how IPs worked. How embarrassing. This is your new white knight for IPOD? Again... how embarrassing.

Doug said...

Thank you for your honesty Pandora.

The question was how did Don's using two different aliases in one thread justify his outing under DL's stated outing policy.

You are entirely correct. Don is a 65 year old who did not grow up attached to an internet connection.

Is that why it's okay to out him?

I couldn't find the DL policy on sockpuppetry, could you post a link?

Here is the DP policy - 7. You are only allowed two identities on a thread. More are subject to deletion.
http://www.delawarepolitics.net/you-may-contact-us/

To be clear Steve, nobody 'got so upset' about this anonymous person getting busted for telling lies then using another alias.

When Don posted a warning I busted up laughing. If that's upset I wish I was upset more often.

You're doing an awful lot of assuming? Projection?

Doug said...

Pandora,

You said - "Sock puppetry is a no-no. Don can't post as himself and then post comments under a different name to support his claims, Especially since Don is a big "caller out" of aliases. Guess that's another rule that only applies to Don A..

In fact Don didn't post under his name in that thread. So again why was it okay to out him?

The policy on outing seems clear cut, I must be missing something here.

pandora said...

You focus on one thread, but if you go back a few days you'll see Don posting as himself and as "People who Know".

On the thread you cite he adds another identity - crusty old fart. He also refers to himself in the third person when writing as People Who Know thus creating the impression that People Who Know is not Don Ayotte.

DL's rules may be vague. I'll be sure to fix that - altho, an internet savvy person gets the sock puppetry thing. Meanwhile, you and Don should stop calling out (threatening, demeaning) people who post under an alias - since Don Ayotte seems to be only able to post under his own name on a blog (DP) where he gets to delete anyone who disagrees with him. What a big, strong guy.

Still... you have threatened to out a DP commenter. I have looked at your blog, and... well... you don't have... well... any commenters, so how could you know who A2 is? Either you're full of sh*t (very probable) or you have access to DP's internals. There's no other option.

I also reviewed all your blog postings, and I didn't see where Meyer outed DL contributors. Link please.

**To anyone reading: Do NOT comment on DelawarePolitcs.net. It's not safe.

Doug said...

Pandora,

You are apparently more internet savvy than Don Ayotte but you shouldn't be calling others internet morons.

Right now there are people literally teh lulzing out Loud over your presumption that I can't tell who's been on my blog unless somebody comments.


In order:

A person who looks at my blog doesn't have to leave a comment. Their I.P. address is recorded and if they enter through my domain I have instant access to it.

For example an IP from Philadelphia on the Verizon network hit my domain today.

Here's an entry from the access.log file -

74.109.59.149 - - [10/May/2013:12:01:18 -0700] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 511 "http://www.delawarepolitics.net/our-bill-of-rights-and-the-curious-case-of-dr-jahi-issa/comment-page-2/" "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.8; rv:20.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/20.0" "doublebad.net"


That tells me that today somebody using a mac and running firefox went to my blog through the link in my comment on DelawarePolitics.net on the post under discussion.

If you take that I.P. address - 74.109.59.149, copy it to your clipboard.

and go to this site - http://www.liveipmap.com/home it will automatically give you some information on the IP you are using and there's a text entry box where you can enter other IP addresses and get information on them.

So I entered that IP address and it gave me some information on what network approximate location, etc.


Now if I managed to get an email from somebody and it has this IP on it that's a clue, one that can be checked out with other online utilities or by a savvy *nix geek with simply a terminal open.

I used to be a programmer and I'm not anywhere near an expert on internet forensics, I know people who can write books on what I don't know though.

number two, I have more than one blog, here's a link to the comment by Meyer where he outed some of the DL team - http://sheriffrights.blogspot.com/2012/06/sussex-county-council-den-of.html#comment-form

But thank you for explaining the unwritten Dl policy on sock puppetry.

Pretty sure I didn't do that when I got banned.

I appreciate the warning on commenting on DP, but since I don't try to hide I'm okay.

I would love to be able to comment on DL, but apparently that crew likes to beat folks up and keep them from defending themselves. So I'm not sure where the standing to deride Don for allegedly doing the same arises.

Doug said...

For the sake of clarity, the home page on http://doublebad.net doesn't do anything but redirect traffic to the blog, which is a blogspot page.