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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Selective moderation

In Guido's post where he delivers a pissweak excuse for poor design, a sock-puppeteer turned up in comments with a cack-handed impersonation of blogger Chris Paul.

This sock-puppeteer used the loophole Blogger provides when users opt for unrestricted comments on their system.

Using an open system is acceptable for smaller weblogs, and/or weblogs run by responsible users, but 'bloggers' like Paul Staines and Iain Dale allow readers to abuse the system (and/or abuse the system themselves) when it suits their purpose.

Also, by making it easy for readers (or themselves) to post under multiple pseudonyms, they give the impression of a larger interactive audience than actually exists. (You can see this issue being discussed here, after Iain Dale called a halt to his 'week-long comment registration experiment' after a few short days without the sock-puppets he has come to rely on.)

Meanwhile, Iain's sock-puppeteers bitch and moan about Manic's antics, when it should be clear to any reader that Manic uses a single online identity when dealing with Dale and Staines, and makes no secret of his true identity.

Anyway, let's get back to Chris Paul, his habit of calling Paul 'Guido' Staines on his bullshit, and Staines' rather petty patronage of anonymous bullies who impersonate that blogger...

Below is a screen capture of two comments from an impersonator that - at the time of writing - are still live in this thread (here and here).

Not only are the comments allowed to remain in clear contravention of Blogger's Terms of Service (which clearly state that you are not permitted to use the service to "impersonate any person or entity") but another anonymous comment, probably from the same person, reinforces the impersonation and the aspect of it that is clearly designed to undermine the target.

Staines has not deleted the offending comments or even made an effort to correct the 'error' in the reinforcing comment:

You may also note that, in this exchange, there is a genuine response from Iain Dale. Not long after this comment appeared, someone arrived to impersonate Dale and play drunk... i.e. someone did to Iain Dale exactly what had been done to Chris Paul.

Manic is sure that it will come as no surprise to you that Staines deleted the single impersonation of Iain Dale... but not the repeated impersonations of Chris Paul:

The message is clear; Staines doesn't mind you violating Blogger's Terms of Service and/or breaching blog etiquette on his website... just so long as you don't do it to his mates.

Manic has spoken. End communication.

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Anonymous said...

fuck off tosser

10:58 AM, March 28, 2007  
dizzy said...

I wish to apply some patented "manic logic" here.

1: You were the Chris Paul impersonator after speaking to him and agreeing to do it.
2: You created the above "screenshot" yourself in photoshop.
3: You manufactured this story yourself.

11:33 AM, March 28, 2007  
Guido 2.0 said...

Hello Dizzy.

Manic will respond by applying actual logic:

1. Even if this were the case, it would not undo what Staines did and would do little to undermine* the point made. But it is NOT the case... and if it were, Staines would find this very easy to prove.

2. I have the relevant files saved to disk. If Staines wishes to claim that the evidence has been fabricated in any way, Manic is ready to prove him to be a liar.

3. See #1 and #2

[*Sadly, your case is partially undermined by Manic's proof (and your admission) that you are a user and abuser of sock-puppets.]

11:50 AM, March 28, 2007  
dizzy said...

hahaha I love the way you keep putting that pointless link in. Keep it up. Prove it is not the case by doing a post.

Post the original screenshot and let me run it through strings and see the binary data headers.

As for Guido being able to prove it, that's bollocks and you know it. Blogger is exceptionally limited in terms of tracking, especially in accessing server logs for Comments. The comments servers is separtely hosted on a completely different cluster and users are unable to insert tracking code to the pages.

The best he could hope to do woulde be to maybe pinpoint an IP browsing at the right time, which would obviously be yours as your were browsing the site when you manfactured your post and created the above screenshot.

Post the original screenshot.

12:02 PM, March 28, 2007  
Guido 2.0 said...

Dizzy, Manic has the actual *HTML* files (and related files) saved to disk. This method is quicker and easier, as screenshots can then be sourced from the saved files as and when they are needed, and the same files can be produced should the accused demand further proof.

Manic will happily produce the relevant file(s) if and when Staines himself refutes the claims made in this post.

As for Staines proving the source of any given comment, he uses StatCounter. True, a free account only shows you the last 100 views, and on a busy blog it can be difficult to single out individual comment sources... but Guido's blog was not busy enough to make this impossible last night, and Manic made several entries under his own ID at the time (all of which were deleted, natch).

Had Manic made the CP entries, it would be a simple matter for Staines to match the IP used for my entries and that used for the CP entries.

Guido was aware of my presence and had the tracking tools at his disposal.

Oh, and there are other ways to track individuals leaving comments in Blogger... even if they are 'hiding' in the comments frame, thereby avoiding any tracking code in the main template. You're a smart chap. I'm sure that - given ample time - you'll work out how this can be done.

Regardless, it must be repeated that even if Manic had posted the CP comments, it would not undo what Staines did and would do little to undermine the point made. You are barking up an empty tree. No doubt you will later claim that you meant to do so as part of a delightfully breezy wheeze.

12:41 PM, March 28, 2007  
dizzy said...

html? Even easier to fake.

2:10 PM, March 28, 2007  
Guido 2.0 said...

Well, let's just see if Guido denies it.


2:19 PM, March 28, 2007  
Anonymous said...

Having just looked at Chris Paul's blog, it appears to be full of abuse of Staines. Given that this is so, why do you expect Staines to spend his time deleting comments abusing Chris Paul?

Doesn't make sense to me.

11:31 PM, March 28, 2007  

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