This entry was posted on
Tuesday, January 16th, 2007
10:59 am and is filed
under The Political Weblog Movement.

‘No Comment’ on any single point raised, just an easily-digestible bit of spin (accompanied by a fair degree of personal abuse, mostly from anonymous users). Guido is acting a LOT like the politicians he claims to despise.

UPDATE (11:30): Hmm. The homophobia took longer to kick in than I expected. There are quite a few ‘Why is he wasting his time on this?’ comments popping up around the place, too. Don’t look too closely, boys and girls… you might see the strings.

UPDATE (12:00) – This is all very familiar. When I busted Anne Milton for her use of (print-version) sock-puppets, she replied with a haughty ‘no comment’ apart from a suggestion that I was an angry young man with a personal vendetta… then the virtual sock-puppets came out of the woodwork (and were eventually traced back to her activists as their shenanigans escalated).

Now, it doesn’t really matter if this current state of affairs over at Guido’s blog is the result of him inventing people, encouraging genuine people to fight his fights for him via Instant Messenger, or if this has just grown naturally out of Guido’s selfish and slack attitude to blogging principles… but it’s here and it’s being heralded by some people as the acme of blogging.

This is a gift to astro-turfers everywhere.

An online community of any type that is unregulated by any sense of community leaves itself open to abuse… and when this publishing system is abused it can just as easily be used to restrict free speech as enable it; think about all those government departments and interest groups that send their sock-puppets in to taint or direct online debates, just as an example of this at work.

UPDATE (12:26) – Guido has been popping up making comments on other blogs addressing this (which he knows doesn’t leave me much room to manoeuvre, as I’m unlikely to start hijacking other people’s websites to engage in an carefully-skewed version of an open debate that should be happening at his website or mine… this all goes back to the community aspect of blogging and the self-regulation conversation that some people would rather we didn’t have).

But, there it is, and people who know a thing or two will recognise it for what it is. Speaking of which…

BSSC: Guido can do what he likes of course but his responses to Tim’s post have been informative in their own way.

Back to the skewing; all of the ‘Guido deletes my comments’ spin is total bulldust, as Guido should have worked out by now that – over the past few weeks – I haven’t been needling… but probing (insert homo joke by ‘Peter Hitchens’ here). At the time, the exercise must have seemed awfully futile, as Guido has his blog, comments and comments policy configured in a way that makes any kind of meaningful challenge/input impossible. The funny thing is, he got so frustrated with my identifying and pushing his buttons that he pretty much invited me to do what I planned on doing all along. He also seemed quite happy to allow a variety of anonymongrels to helpfully explain the activity away as ‘New Labour attacks’ when he knew very well that it was me all along.

About Tim Ireland

Tim is the sole author of Bloggerheads.
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