Get her

GenderAnalyzer (no giggling at the back there) uses A.I. to determine if a blog is written by a man or a woman.

Here are the results of my own painstaking research:

Test #1: “We think is written by a man (68%).”
Test #2: “We think is written by a man (74%).”
Test #3: “We think is written by a man (69%).”
Test #4: “We think is written by a man (71%).”
Test #5: “We think is written by a woman (67%).”

Hm. Must be all that standing on stools and screaming at mice that goes on over there.

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 16 Comments

One for the mob

I hereby dedicate the following post to all of the people who are (presumably for the sake of variety) screaming “Hang ’em all!” in defence of children this week:

Barnardo’s children in trouble campaign – hunting film

Barnardo’s: About our campaign… help us break the cycle

Posted in Humanity | Comments Off on One for the mob

Baby P: angry mobs and tabloid scum


Independent – Facebook vigilantes identify mother of Baby P: The identity of the 27-year-old mother of Baby P was last night being circulated on the internet with the names of her boyfriend and the third man convicted of causing the child’s death, after online vigilantes began a campaign calling for violent retribution against them. An order issued by the judge who oversaw the trial of the woman and her boyfriend forbids details about them, including their names, photographs and addresses, from being made public. But yesterday the information was listed on unofficial news websites and social networking sites… Another social networking site, Bebo, removed the mother’s profile page after abusive messages were posted, while her Friends Reunited profile was also being circulated. The difficulties of policing the internet were highlighted when the mother’s name briefly appeared in a discussion thread about Baby P hosted by The Sun. The information was removed.

Some slack reporting from the Independent here; they’re not to blame for accepting Bebo’s version of events (it was an outside complaint that prompted the removal of this profile, not an internal decision based on detection of abusive comments, as this paragraph suggests) but someone somewhere really should have pointed out that this information was initially spoon-fed to the public by the Times and the Sun, who carried near-to-identical paragraphs that mikkimoose fairly describes here as “the information that screams ‘google me'”.

(I can’t show you that information yet without doing the same thing, sorry.)

That Bebo profile was the first step on the easiest path to all names, and both of these Murdoch-owned newspapers pointed the way in flashing neon letters.

Someone should be called to account for that act, be it an accident or defiance of the law…. and both newspapers will want to be especially careful not to give the impression that it was the latter:

“We are still barred from identifying the defenceless tot further – or naming the mother and her sadistic lover who killed him.” – The Sun


Speaking of possible defiance of the law, the frequently-refreshed ‘libertarian’ Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’) claims to stick to the letter of the law (when sober, at least), and also has a well-earned reputation for switching on Blogger’s comment-vetting function whenever he finds himself in personal difficulty… but in this case, he refused to switch it on until very recently, despite his keyword-rich emotionally-charged posts being a prime target for anonymous dickheads wishing to name names in clear violation of a court order.

When confronted about this last week, Staines claimed that he was too busy to check every link/comment – (so switch on registration or switch off comments if you can’t handle the volume, you dipstick!) – and actually had the temerity to blame the BBC at one stage for an article they had not been ordered to remove from their archives, that really only serves to do damage when someone links the present state of affairs to that archived article (i.e. the kind of crap that Staines has allowed under his comments many times in the past few days).

Quick-changing to ‘law-abiding citizen’ mode just long enough to hit the BBC with a stick, Staines then claimed that he had been in touch with the BBC, and that they refused to remove the article. He then invited me to pursue the matter myself, as if I wouldn’t do this. Just for laughs, I asked Staines to pass on the details of the person he had spoken to so I could, as he put it, take it from where he had left off. This request was ignored, most probably because Staines was making shit up again and didn’t have a damn thing to offer me.

When alerted to the repeated use of this archived article by online vigilantes, the BBC did finally remove it late on Friday.

By contrast, the thread under this post by Staines hosted at least three ‘outings’, and the most overt of these was live on Staines’ site for 16+ hours yesterday… but comment moderation was not switched on until late yesterday or early this morning.

[Staines also inadvertently revealed during our exchange that he does indeed make comments defending himself while pretending to be somebody else, but now is not the time.]


Paul Staines often doublespeaks himself out of difficulty and distances himself from material on his own website by claiming that ‘Guido Fawkes’ is a character, and his blog tabloid is written in the voice of that character.

Therefore, one must wonder if the outrage expressed here, here and here is based on genuine human emotion, or is instead of a bit of colour thrown in to enrich the character and land a few blows on Labour/Brown.


While touching (briefly) on the issue of people possibly playing party-politics (a charge that notorious ambulance-chaser Iain Dale denies), dare I ask if it’s entirely in keeping with a Conservative view to suggest that the state should decide who does and does not deserve to have children?

(And, while we’re here, how would such a ruling be enforced? Photo-ID cards? Bedside scanners? Genital cuffs? Sterilisation?)

Ellee Seymour hangs her half-baked case on a quote from this article from Jon Gaunt, where that stopped clock actually opens his article by saying; “…it must never happen again that we allow an elected and unelected metropolitan elite impose their warped views and social engineering on our country.”

Tim Montgomerie read that article and branded it as; “Another reason why more needs to be done to promote the two parent family and the marriage bond.”

Ellee read that article and Montgomerie’s post and concluded that perhaps it was time for us to allow an elected and unelected metropolitan elite to impose warped sensible views and social engineering.

May Dog preserve us from lightweight ‘bloggers’ with heavyweight demands.


For ‘bloggers’ and newspaper wage-slaves who may not be aware of what the word ‘moderation’ means, here is a definition:

Moderation (noun) – Avoidance of extremes of opinion, feeling, or personal conduct

Comment moderation most commonly involves the avoidance of extremes via deletion of extreme content and/or a quiet word off the record, or publication with a quiet word within the public conversation (that also serves as a warning to others). Very little of that is going on in newspaper websites, and none of it happened here, on the website of ‘leading blogger’ Paul Staines:

John Trenchard said…

bring back hanging… for the council fuckers who allowed this to happen.

as for the scumbags who actually did it – drawing, quartering and heads stuck on spikes would suffice for me.

of course , our political class will do none of this – and thus these baby murderers will get out , on good behaviour in about 7 years. (14 years “life” divided by the parole system)

November 11, 2008 11:01 PM

Of course, this particular ‘blogger’ is going to be blind to some extremes if he himself is expressing a desire for vigilante justice in the hands of “ordinary decent criminals”, but not even the left-loathing Staines would go so far as to suggest that this case justifies the death penalty for council/social workers… or would he?

(Sadly, there’s no telling; any action taken over this comment at this late stage could be a simple act of self-preservation, and there’s little that Staines says that can be trusted.)


The Sun, meanwhile, is hosting a petition that demands “ALL the social workers involved in the case of Baby P” be sacked and “never allowed to work with vulnerable children again”.

a) This may look a tad extreme on the face of things, until you consider that Wade is probably calling for a high body count in order to avoid a further calls for a genuine body count. Think of it as a form of methadone for the mob.

b) Not that this gets Wade off the hook for her ongoing failure to recognise how stupid some people can be, especially when crazed with child-preserving blood-thirst; 1, 2

c) A quick look at the petition shows that it’s not of the credible variety, in that it only asks for a name and location. Testing this morning showed that the petition accepted two submissions from ‘Mr Made-Up Name’ from the same IP address, even after it was closed.

[MINI-UPDATE – The Sun’s web petition is now back online. There is no indication/notice why or when it was taken offline and later returned to service (without visible changes).]

d) George Pascoe-Watson (political editor of the Sun newspaper), was interviewed on Radio 4 late yesterday, and was asked by the host if their coverage was as helpful as it could be. You might want to put that coffee down before you read his response:

“Now, let’s not get carried away with an anti-tabloid campaign!” – George Pascoe-Watson

e) The Sun claims that “over 225,000 caring Sun readers have signed our petition to bring the people responsible for the tragic death of Baby P to justice”. Far be it from me to repeat myself, but this does not take into account the Sun’s readership (3 million or so), which puts apparent support for their (easily diddled) petition at around 6% among their readers.

f) And for those who doubt that some Sun readers may have other views/concerns, I offer this….


After listening to George Pascoe-Watson enthuse on the subject of Sun readers, what they want, and how very important it is that they get it (now!), I popped by their website and noticed something under their ‘petition’ article.

Perhaps you can spot it, too…

Yep, according to the Sun’s own ‘most read stories’ data, this is what Sun-readers care most about, in order of reader-determined priority:

1. X Factor
2. Tits
3. Baby P
4. Sport
5. Tits

And today’s ‘most read stories’ table tells a similar story:

1. Funny pictures
2. Tits
3. Baby P
4. Sport
5. Tits

Oh dear… a consistent third place?

Somebody’s not thinking of the children.

Related bloggage:
Septicisle> – War on personal freedom, Baby P and weekend links
Liberal Conspiracy – Right wing confusion & bile over Baby P

Posted in Humanity, Old Media, The Political Weblog Movement, Tories! Tories! Tories! | 6 Comments

Andrew Gilligan comes out scratching

Boris Watch – Mr Gilligan, I Presume?

Details! Evidence! Forensic analysis!

My goodness, we are spoiled.

And what does Mr Gilligan have to offer us?

Andrew Gilligan – King Ken or Baron Boris – all mayors need a challenge: The new media could be another answer, but isn’t yet. Several anti-Boris blogs now purport to “enhance the accountability of the mayoralty”. Alas, most read more like Private Eye parodies, daily finding new evidence of sinister neo-con evil in Johnson’s choice of breakfast cereal. Even the more measured ones simply copy stories from other media outlets (they all have a particular, and flattering, obsession with the Standard). Boris’s enemies in Nerdistan won’t do much damage until they learn the difference between investigative journalism and a Google search.

Ah. I see.

Did we all get that, then? Andrew Gilligan is superior to his accusers, in that he is a better writer and detective. Therefore, he must be innocent of anything they detect and above answering any questions they write.

That’s logic, that is. I know, because I once read a book about debating and stuff.

You may also note that he doesn’t link to or even name the site(s) he is criticising.

Oh, and the ‘obsessive’ tag, now standard with this kit.

Here’s what I submitted as a comment a few hours ago… it has yet to see the light of day:

Do you deny submitting comments to some of these blogs while pretending to be someone else? Because that’s the issue that’s prompted your outburst about them, I’m sure.

(Just in case your memory is going: the issue you fail to mention in this article is the same one that you got a jolly good ribbing about from your contemporaries this past week.)

The Tory Troll has more.

(Pfft! ‘Nerdistan’. Andrew Gilligan is now officially a wanker.)

UPDATE – Boris Watch is keeping track of comments not published by moderators under Mr Gilligan’s playground taunts. Submit your own failed submissions here.

Posted in Old Media | Comments Off on Andrew Gilligan comes out scratching

Saving Africa’s Witch Children

Is anyone else watching Saving Africa’s Witch Children?

What little we saw of Uma Eke had me in tears.

How can people do this to each other? How can people profit from this, knowing the misery they cause?

Posted in Christ... | 4 Comments

Flu Trends

Via Gary Andrews:

RWW – Google Flu Trends: A Glimpse into the Future of Google Health: It stands to reason that people who are “starting to come down with something” often take the opportunity to search for information on what ails them, even before they discuss their symptoms with a healthcare professional. Who gets more of those searches than anyone? Google, of course. When Google started looking more closely at anonymous aggregate searches for “flu symptoms” and the like, they discovered that – after cross-referencing that data against information from the Center for Disease Control – they had the ability to predict flu outbreaks by monitoring search patterns. And now, they’ve published their findings as Google Flu Trends.


When will the UK version be ready?

How soon before we’re tracking specific outbreaks of STIs and the like?

(Seeing as you’re probably already giggling, I’ll ask you to imagine an STI report just after the weather; “… and visitors to Kent should be aware that there’s a higher-than-normal likelihood of herpes this afternoon, with chances of scattered syphilis.”)

UPDATE – When will the UK version be ready? Tom has an update on that.

(I asked Tom about the flying cars thing while I was there, but he wasn’t having any of it. Still, we have this, which I’m dying to [pun] road test [/pun] myself.)

Posted in Geekage | 3 Comments


Excuse me while I carefully talk around something; I need to warn you about a small problem without using certain keywords for reasons that will be obvious in a few moments…

A tragic death is in the news, a political football is in play, a mob is gathering, and several people cannot be named for legal reasons; it is not clear what those reasons are specifically, but the names weren’t a big secret until very recently, so it probably has something to do with further court proceedings (that anyone with genuine interest in justice wouldn’t want to compromise).

But now, thanks to the good work of the wage-slaves of Rupert Murdoch, widely-distributed articles exist that give anyone with basic knowledge of search engines the means to discover the name of every individual involved within seconds.

At least one ‘blogger’ you should be familiar with (and who should know better) today published information from some cretin that helpfully highlighted the Murdoch-published data and specified on which site the first name could be found; that site just happens to offer kindergarten-level 2.0 tools, so anybody who found the relevant page could leave a comment (yes, these had already started to appear) and look up details of people who had earlier signed up as ‘friends’ of this unnamed person.

I’ve sent an email to the relevant provider, and that profile has now been removed.

Fingers crossed that it ends there, and not with a brick through some innocent person’s window.

UPDATE – The data published by a ‘blogger’ who should know better has now been removed.

Posted in Old Media | 16 Comments

I should crack 10,000 views by this afternoon…

Just five quick notes about reactions to ‘Bob’ and the bonfire mission:

1. I’m in the Telegraph, me. (Yes, they asked before rehosting the video.)

2. I always get a kick out of breaking the language barrier.

3. I even entered the psychic zone at one stage.

4. Some nice comments over at Neatorama.

5. More at the relevant B3ta/links post, for those who missed it.

Posted in Guy Fawkes Night | 3 Comments

Little person gets big reaction

From the video description:

“(Before the World Series Parade) we snuck out into the middle of Broad Street to snap a pic in front of City Hall and all the crowds. When Will raised his hands for the picture, cheers erupted. So he continued to repeat the gesture…”

Getting fired up at the World Series Parade (via)

Posted in Video | Comments Off on Little person gets big reaction

Tabloid scum

“Put another way, if mass-circulation newspapers, which also devote considerable space to reporting and analysis of public affairs, don’t have the freedom to write about scandal, I doubt whether they will retain their mass circulations with the obvious worrying implications for the democratic process.” – Paul Dacre (source)

David Osler – Paul Dacre on the morality of shag & tell journalism: Paul Dacre’s insistence that newspapers run with shag ‘n’ tell stories principally as a means to promote family values and uphold marital fidelity somehow – how can I put this? – fails completely to convince. Such limited moral rectitude on the matter as he may possess runs little deeper than the desire to sell tabloids by the truckload. Accordingly, the speech delivered by the editor of the Daily Mail to the Society of Editors on Sunday night, in which he actually does push this proposition, has to be dismissed as cant of the most breathtaking proportions.

Max Mosley – My sex life is of interest to no one but this squalid industry: So why this thoroughly disingenuous attack on a high court judge? During his speech, Dacre let the real reason slip. Without scandal, tabloid sales will decline. To keep this squalid industry afloat, an unrestricted right to publicise the sex lives of others is necessary, so the judiciary must be silenced.

Septicisle – The Daily Mail in the flesh: This is nothing more than blackmail covered with eye-watering cynicism. The same person who goes on to lionise the press and how wonderful it is is here suggesting that the gutter press needs scandal to survive. Nice little free press you’ve got here, be a shame if something was to happen to it. The proles need scandal, whilst we provide them with the finest news coverage in the world at the same time. What isn’t there to like?!

5cc – Dacre’s speech to the Society of Editors: Of course, what is being missed here is that every story is driven by scandal in tabloids. Dacre makes it sound as though there’s a little bit of scandal necessary to sell the real, scandal-free news coverage. But this kind of news is virtually non-existent. Almost everything the tabloids report – especially the Mail – is driven by faux outrage, and exaggerated to the point of being unrecognisable from the truth.

In case you haven’t already noticed, this is the game played by pseudo-blogger Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’), who deliberately pushes the more salacious nonsense in pursuit of a larger mob in the name of transparency and accountability. For some. On the left. And maybe any Tories he doesn’t personally care for. Certainly not for himself. That would be silly.

Skip forward to about 1:03:30 on this video to hear Paul Staines admit that he knowingly peddles the more crude/salacious material – and targets hate figures – on his ‘blog’ in order to boost his audience.

Do pause briefly on his use of hate figures, as it’s a startling admission; some charges in his ‘crusade’ are in no way earnest and exist only to rile the mob.

There’s nothing new or 2.0 about what Staines is doing with his ‘Guido Fawkes’ site; it’s primarily a tabloid with even less accountability, and even this he copied off Matt Drudge. His badgering of the ‘dead tree press’ is a nifty bit of web-friendly populism that handily disguises the fact that Staines is himself tabloid scum, right down to the ‘drunk most afternoons’ bit.

Of course, he’s (mostly) free to pursue this course, just as I’m (mostly) free to call him on it and point out that once you step onto that slippery slop*… whoops, too late; Paul’s already making his first none-too-subtle call for mob justice:

“You know in all truth, if ordinary decent criminals used these two as punch bags and they were to be found dead in a blood spattered cell, Guido would cheer. You can’t take the law into your own hands, but when the law fails to protect innocent children, many people including Guido, will say: justice can be a long time coming.” – Paul Staines

Wait, what? “You can’t take the law into your own hands”…? Hm. There’s a ‘nudge nudge, wink wink’ missing here. Oh, wait; here it comes…

“Is it really right that he faces a maximum sentence of only 14 years?” – Paul Staines

Much better.

All we have to do now is wait for someone in Paul’s mob to do the dirty work for him. As usual.

[Seriously, good on you for finally getting back to that Broon link, Paul. And do keep up with the ‘white supremacy’ angle; if you’re bold enough about it, your readers may forget about the alliance you tried to forge with the BNP all those years ago. Oh, sorry… did I just misrepresent what you assure us was a bold mission to infiltrate and discredit that group? My bad. How’s that mission coming along, BTW? Have you finished started it yet, or are you too busy making flaming torches right now? If so, I can understand that. Do take your time. Having some bloke beaten to death in a prison cell is the best way to preserve our democracy and ensure that no more children are exposed to abuse with “wounds of the intensity of a car crash”. Speaking which, I’m sure you’d never allow that sort of thing to happen on your patch; you even take the precaution of only drink driving in the wee small hours of the morning, when all the ickle babies are in bed. Hero!]

UPDATE – Phil Hendren, only one word short of “Hanging’s too good for ’em!”

Posted in Old Media | Comments Off on Tabloid scum