Archive for the ‘Old Media’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at December 18, 2008

Category: Old Media

Five Chinese Crackers – Smellyface Christmas, Everybody! (via)

Eric the Fish – More Fairy Tales

LeftieHippie – Richard Littlejohn and Google Maps

Even though he’s got it wrong, is lying, or is just making stuff up for most if not all of his ‘war on Christmas’ list, Richard Littlejohn enjoys a safely censorious comments environment where scrutiny is frowned upon or ignored (if it is published at all) and mindless applause and reinforcement is the order of the day, so he’s unlikely to be slowed by anything so banal as reality.

Still, if you can draw the BNP crowd and cash in on them without going so far as to sign up for a spiffy uniform yourself, where’s the harm, eh?

(Hm. For some reason, I’m reminded of another right-wing populist and confirmed liar.)








Posted by Tim Ireland at December 5, 2008

Category: Christ..., Old Media, The War on Stupid, UK Libel Law, Updates

I don’t think the good people at the Mirror really thought this one through:

Please see Septicisle for some thoughtful words on this topic.

– Also worth reading is Jean-Charles de Menezes summed up (via)

– While I remain deeply unimpressed with Alex Hilton, I will happily publicise this predicament and (*gasp*) maybe even pay attention to what is going on.

Encouraging news on the Nigerian witch hunt front.

You’ll want to read this article on torture, even though it contains few surprises.








Posted by Tim Ireland at November 26, 2008

Category: Old Media

Ailing StandardsAfter giving Andrew Gilligan puh-lenty of chances to either deny or defend the use of multiple false identities to praise/defend his own articles and/or undermine critics of Boris Johnson, I finally ran out of patience with the bloke and took the fight to his doorstep.

This morning I dropped by Northcliffe House, home of Associated Newspapers (publishers of the Evening Standard and the Daily Mail, as well as the freesheets Metro and London Lite) and handed out roughly 180 copies of my own A4 freesheet Ailing Standards… most of them to Mr Gilligan’s colleagues as they entered the building.

Thanks to D-Notice for handling the camera work, Matt Buck for this ‘gift to the world’, and to security at Associated Newspapers Ltd, who acted like true gentlemen (knowing, as they must have done, that I had every right to stand on the pavement and hand out free newspapers).

Until further notice, I urge all of my readers to:-

– Download their own copy of Ailing Standards, print out as many versions as they can afford, and distribute them via any legal means they regard to be fair and proper

– Link to this post, so I may hope to one day soon be a top search result for ‘andrew gilligan’

Text from the main article in Ailing Standards appears below, as does a video of my morning adventure. Apologies for the crudity of the cut and the traffic noise.

In separate instances months apart, bloggers have detected multiple visits to their sites originating from searches for ‘andrew gilligan’ and resulting in anonymous comments about Andrew Gilligan. It now appears that these comments may have come *from* Andrew Gilligan, but those seeking confirmation of their own suspicions should beware; Andrew bites!

When it emerged that suspicious comments had also appeared on the Guardian’s ‘Comment Is Free’ (some of them containing specific phrases & claims that later appeared in articles by Gilligan), the journalist responded to the accusations of using multiple false identities (or ‘sock-puppets’) to praise/defend his own work and undermine critics by launching an attack on his accusers in the Evening Standard… without mentioning the accusations! In fact, the only denials from Gilligan so far involve:

– A vague claim about a marketing arm of the newspaper conducting “automated” research. (The Evening Standard denies that any such arm of their operation exists.)

– An even hazier claim from Gilligan that one suspected account belongs to his ‘partner’. (Life partner? Business partner? Tennis partner? He won’t say.)

No-one appears to be safe from the attentions of the mystery commenter, whose visits have been reliably traced back to Associated Newspapers Ltd; so far bloggers, journalists and even a professor of journalism have enjoyed his (or her!) attention.

So here we are on your doorstep, print media people. We really don’t mind journalists leaving comments under articles by themselves, about themselves or involving themselves… we just really wish they wouldn’t do so while pretending to be somebody *other* than themselves.

Andrew Gilligan – Ailing Standards

(Psst! The latest thread on this subject, containing yet another attempt by Gilligan to pass off a distortion as a denial, can be found here.)

UPDATE – I took some pictures of Northcliffe House while I was there.








Posted by Tim Ireland at November 25, 2008

Category: Old Media

This afternoon, I used the almighty Wiki Scanner to have a quick browse through some old anonymous edits made from an Associated Newspapers IP address.

(Primarily 195.234.243.2 by the looks of things, and you can browse from the most recent edit backwards starting here if you feel like taking a slightly different path; I’m sure there’s plenty more to be found, especially among the more recent edits.)

I strayed upon someone who has read one of my favourite books.

I discovered that the personal life of Uma Thurman is fair game, but the personal life of Paul Dacre is not.

I saw some external link spamming of the borderline variety… oh, and the outright kind, too.

I spotted a dangerous leftist lurking in the bowels of their organisation.

I chanced upon distaste for “self-promoting articles in national newspapers”.

I encountered someone who disagreed with a claim relating to the evidence in the Livingstone/Finegold matter.

I met a kindred spirit who shares my love for Tony Blair (if not the ability to express it coherently).

But the highlight of my afternoon was seeing this edit in a discussion about a list of animals displaying homosexual behaviour.

Where is real proof in the tiger actually showing homosexual behaivour? Personally I believe tigers would only be prone to show anti-homosexual behaivour, is it because of this people believe they might actually be closet homosexuals? –195.234.243.2 14:47, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

I can get past the spelling, but:

– Note the immediate switch from a demand for proof to a reliance on belief.

– Note the fear that the very idea that a tiger could be homosexual might be enough to ‘turn’ people (or at least make them a little bit curious).

– Note above all the deep-set affection for tigers that has been sadly absent from our newspapers since the retirement of Bill Watterson.

Tigers are nimble, and light on their toes. My RE-spect for tigers continually grows!

UPDATE – Meanwhile… Hey, everyone! Andrew’s back!








Posted by Tim Ireland at November 25, 2008

Category: Old Media

Boris Watch has spotted it, and it slipped under the Guardian’s radar at the time, but I’d like to highlight this for regulars at Bloggerheads as a warm-up of sorts.

This is a comment left on the Guardian’s website using the ‘kennite’ account. In other words, it is a comment made by Andrew Gilligan or his mysterious life/business/tennis partner (background).

I invite you to watch ‘kennite’ and marvel at the sheer gall of it all as he belittles Ken Livingstone (author of the article) and Brian Paddick (‘BrianforMayor’):

kennite

Mar 23 08, 10:12pm

I’ve never seen this before: an incumbent Mayor, and two of the other candidates, posting on a talkboard. On a public holiday, too. Could they, perhaps, be desperate? Interesting to see that Boris doesn’t feel the need to post.

[ link to single comment | link to entire thread ]

(rolls eyes)

Because what ‘kennite’ was doing – even if he is a ‘partner’ of Gilligan’s and not an invention of Gilligan’s – wasn’t at all pathetic or desperate, was it?

Oh, I’m going to enjoy this…

(prepares stick)








Posted by Tim Ireland at November 24, 2008

Category: Old Media, The Political Weblog Movement

Iain Dale has introduced compulsory comment registration on his weblog.

It’s on a trial basis, he’s pledged to give it more of a chance than he did last time, he clearly recognises the way in which the all-comers system was open to abuse, and his stated aim is to make his comment threads “more welcoming and less intimidating.”

So hooray.

This measure will, at the very least, make it more difficult for users of sock-puppets (multiple/false identities) to switch between identities. It will also reduce the number of instances where regular users slip behind a new identity or anonymity in order to deliver a swift sucker punch here or there.

I am now much happier with Iain Dale positioning himself as an ambassador for political weblogs, as I can confidently state this issue to be 90% of my problem with that (and with him personally); I did not want MPs and Councillors watching the way Iain used to conduct himself and using that as a model. Take, for example, what Nadine Dorries regards to be acceptable on her not-a-blog.

Also, in a different but equally welcome step toward accountability, Iain Dale’s magazine Total Politics is now signed up to the PCC Code of Conduct.

That’s another ‘hooray’, right there.

I will continue to treat the issue of the use and abuse of anonymous comments and multiple/false identities as a priority, which will rate equally with developing print-watch projects.

Happily, these two issues will overlap from time to time, saving me a great deal of time.

And on that note:

Adam Bienkov – What’s wrong with Andrew Gilligan?

So far, the only defence of Gilligan has been in the form of a time-wasting troll, and the only person likely to defend the alleged actions (an unapologetic user of multiple/false identities) has turned up, but wasted their time attacking Gilligan’s accusers.

Tellingly, evasive comments and attacks on his accusers are all Gilligan himself has had to offer; there’s been no denial beyond his vague claim that one single identity suspected to be under his control is an account held by his ‘partner’.

There hasn’t been a single comment credibly calling the evidence into question or defending the alleged actions. Also, news has emerged of past evidence of sock-puppetry.

Speaking softly hasn’t produced any results; I think the time has finally come for me to start hitting Andrew Gilligan with a stick.

Related bloggage:
Tom Watson – Being Andrew Gilligan
Matt Buck – Being Andrew Gilligan – or not
Liberal Conspiracy – Andrew Gilligan is becoming a laughing stock
Justin McKeating – Andrew Gilligan: sockpuppet and sockpuppeting
Boris Watch – That’s Enough, Gilligan
Five Chinese Crackers – A lesson in how tabloid journalism works from Andrew Gilligan








Posted by Tim Ireland at November 21, 2008

Category: Old Media

1. Do you already have a CiF/Guardian account*?
2. Do you think the use of sock-puppetry is pathetic, dishonest and/or damaging?

Then please, if you have a moment, read this article and then check in under comments to let Andrew Gilligan know that it’s not just “anti-Boris forces” wanting an answer to this question:

Do you deny leaving comments underneath your own articles and articles about you, whilst pretending to be a third person?

You know I don’t do this kind of call-out often, so take the time and chip in if you can, please.

Ta.

(*I ask because newcomers arriving within a conversation like this run the risk of being dismissed as a sock-puppet by a total soft-cock who is trying to divert attention away from his own sock-puppetry.)

UPDATE – Oops… I swore! I am losing my patience. Please forgive the lapse, and try not to swear in the CiF thread; swear-words are a gift to people who wish to portray a serious allegation as mindless abuse.








Posted by Tim Ireland at November 21, 2008

Category: Old Media

Those keeping up with the Andrew Gilligan sock-puppet saga will want to keep tabs on the discussion thread under this article.








Posted by Tim Ireland at November 20, 2008

Category: Old Media, Teh Interwebs, The Political Weblog Movement

1. In-spired. Take a bow, Chris.

2. And to expand on the point raised in that picture, here’s Justin:

The crowning jewel of the story is that the BNP, who only this month called the Human Rights Act ‘surely one of the most pernicious pieces of legislation ever passed by the mother of Parliaments,’ and reiterated its promise to repeal it when the party – don’t laugh – becomes a ‘British Nationalist government’, have now asked the police to investigate breaches of the Human Rights Act.

3. I’ve highlighted this elsewhere; just a little something extra for those who don’t accept any of the main arguments for not sharing the BNP data. There are some people who will use any excuse to engage in a campaign of ‘data intimidation’:

“Redwatch justifies its content as a tit-for-tat reaction to leftist-oriented websites and magazines displaying similar content… However, Redwatch have been unable to provide details of any such websites or magazines. One of their few attempts to justify these claims has been to repeatedly cite a single press release published in August 2001… ” – (source)

4. A picture for you (also posted to b3ta). Adolf clicks ‘send’ instead of ‘save’:

5a. The above reminds me of the day Iain Dale accidentally CCed Phil Hendren on our private correspondence instead of BCCing him as he intended to. There’s no telling how often he does this or how long he’s been at it, but every time Iain has a question he’d rather avoid answering, Hendren will turn up to change the subject and/or have a go at me. Dale initially denied the whole BCC thing, BTW. Dale also (privately) denied providing Hendren with my unlisted home number, but he’s a shameless liar and Hendren keeps changing his vague story about where he got it, so I’m still not entirely sure if I’m buying Dale’s denial. And one day I’d like to see him deny it in public. Anyway, I mention all of this because Iain ‘ambulance chaser’ Dale has somehow managed to avoid blogging the biggest political story of the week, and I was looking forward to watching him denounce the use of personal data as a political weapon like he actually meant it.

5b. Top points to Phil Hendren for hiding this pathetic excuse in his post, though; “… if it was just a list of phone numbers (there) would be no means of identifying who the number belonged to from the number alone so it wouldn’t represent ‘personal data'”, apparently. Hendren says this because he likes to explain away his publication of my ex-directory number on his website as a scrap of harmless data blowing in the wind. That excuse may have worked on that P.O.S. ISP he manages servers and customer data for, but the fact is that Hendren threw my phone number in my face and published it on his site with the specific purpose of intimidating me into silence (just because he couldn’t admit that he was wr-wr-wr-wr-wr-wrong). Even if we accept his latest pathetic deceit, I doubt he’d be equally flexible if someone threatened him with a replica pistol.

5c. Paul Staines hasn’t mentioned the BNP data matter, either. Perhaps he’s worried about offending the far-right “window lickers” that populate his comments and eagerly eat up his anti-communist rants and casual racism. After all, one has to keep the traffic numbers up, and a visit is a visitor a visit is a visit. (MessageSpace can’t survive on affiliate links and similar performance-reliant ads alone, so from time to time they need to convince naive, weak-minded and/or desperate marketing bods that their two-bit advertising network can reach zillions of right wing window lickers discerning bloggers from across the political spectrum… mostly on blogs like Staines’ where until yesterday the whole design was held together by stealing bandwidth from Flickr.)

5d. Spy Blog notes how far behind the mainstream media are on this one. Could this perhaps have anything to do with their lazy reliance on the three self-publicising sell-outs listed above? (For example: Scotch noticed that Sky News yesterday heralded the response to PMQs from “all the blogs”, and then listed the reactions from… erm… Staines, Dale and Hendren.)

[/bunch of fives]

6. Alex Hilton, the left-leaning village gossip who happily chums it up with twats like Staines and Dale in return for scraps, turns out to be a bit of a twat himself. Who knew? Here he is attempting to goad MySociety folk into doing what he regards to be an obvious public service (via), and here is an admirably measured reply from a chap who has just essentially been called a coward because he won’t immediately rush to fill Hilton’s enormous skills gap:

“Alex – the moment you sacrifice the values and compromises that hold together liberal democracies (such as a presumption of innocence and a
right to privacy for people who’ve not actually been convicted of crimes) for the sake of humiliating your political opponents, you’re starting on a path far more likely to result in ruination for us all than a bunch of marginal wing nuts.” – Tom Steinberg

7. It’s just been brought up under comments on an earlier post that someone on the list who claims not to be a member has speculated that it is a marketing database and not a membership database which “might make it more problematic both for the BNP in terms of data protection and for those on the list,” but there’s also been some noise about names being added/removed from the list by those who released it. It’s a ‘wait and see’ on that one, I think.

8. I can mention this now that this version of the list has been removed from Google’s servers; Clive noticed that the Daily Fail blurred a name and address in their screen capture of the site that listed the BNP data, but left the URL of the site intact!!! Oh, *please* let the BNP sue the Daily Mail…..

UPDATE – Hahahahaha! The Daily Fail actually manage to be funny. Accidentally, of course.

UPDATE (21 Nov) – And now we have this inevitable yet precious jewel, also from Chris. The sequence starting 0:53 is bloody glorious, and I experienced a genuine ‘office LOL’ at the 3 minute mark. In fact, at times, it’s almost as if aaaalllll those ‘Downfall’ edits have been leading up to this moment. Enjoy:

(Oh, and when you’re done, do take the time to check out this little update from Bartholomew on the subject of right reverends.)








Posted by Tim Ireland at November 20, 2008

Category: Old Media

The Tory Troll brings us more on Andrew Gilligan the spontaneous outbreaks of text commonality that occur around him.

Here’s the question that Andrew Gilligan refuses to answer:

Do you deny leaving comments underneath your own articles and articles about you, whilst pretending to be a third person?

Instead, Gilligan appears to be operating from the Iain Dale playbook:

a) rubbish your accusers while neatly sidestepping the main accusation(s)

b) if there’s a minor accusation that you can refute, refute it *vehemently* (if you do this loudly enough, most people will mistake it for a response to the primary accusation and move on)

c) if they’re not satisfied with this response and pursue the matter further, scream “Stalker!”

It’s a c**t’s game and I grow thoroughly sick of it.








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