New version of Toledo Talk


    February 25, 2007

Some thoughts on Miller's 'Blog This' TFP column - In the latest issue of the Toledo Free Press, Editor in Chief Michael Miller said: "When I have something to say, on this page or while posting on a blog site, I use my name. That's accountability." That's true. He does use his full name here. Before I share my thoughts on anonymous Web postings, I have to wonder how last fall's sparky incident at Toledo Talk plays into this? If you have forgotten the incident or are unaware of it, read this and this and especially this comment by me. A local "journalist" makes, in my opinion, fraudulent postings here. Yet, this person writes a weekly column for the Toledo Free Press.

Maybe sparky came clean in one of his TFP columns. I don't know. If so, fine, but I wonder why Miller didn't mention the incident in his column.

But if sparky has not fessed up to what he did here, then maybe some internal cleaning, accountability, or leading-by-example is needed first at the TFP before attacking the Pajamahadeen.

If sparky had given full disclosure at Toledo Talk, the way Miller does, I would not have cared about the postings sparky made here, except for his last comment.

I wonder what a journalist thinks about the sparky incident? Were journalism ethics violated?

Whatever.

Miller also said in his column:

"Too many anonymous posters are electronic piss ants, crawling through the virtual dregs of more honorable people's thoughts and efforts."

How much is "too many?" That would depend upon the reader or the site owner, I guess. "Too many" for one user is hardly any to someone else. The definition of "too many" to me means something different today than it did a year or two ago. Are we talking about 75% of Web postings being made by electronic piss ants? 50%? 25%? 10%?

Miller said:

"On many local sites, people with no purpose other than to spit and spew at others dart in with their anonymous toxins, then hide behind their no-name shields like the impotent toilet scrubbers they are."

Sort of like the editorial page of most newspapers. When you read an op-ed with no name attached, what's up with that? How do you know which person wrote what op-ed?

Let's see, from Miller's posting, we have the following descriptions for anonymous posters:

- electronic piss ants
- impotent toilet scrubbers
- attack-eunuchs
- simpering bandits
- malignant vultures

Reminds me of the January 2006 TFP interview with WSPD's Brian Wilson where Wilson said:

"[E]very town has a blog, and they are generally populated by Kool-Aid drinkers, mouth-breathers, has-beens, never-will-be people and so on. It's a game that means nothing. It's generally a hobby for someone to masturbate their ego anonymously. I've been in this business 40 years. They're listeners. They have no clue how this business works."


About anonymous postings, I think it's simple. It's a matter of choice and freedom, and the responsibility belongs to the reader and not the poster. I said last September in that sparky "incident" thread:

"If [user A] wants to post his or her real name, place of employment, job title, shoe size, etc., that's user A's business."

If you don't like anonymous postings, then you have the freedom of choice to ignore such postings. You have the freedom to move on.

If you manage a Web site, and you don't like anonymous postings, then, obviously, it's your responsibility to correct the problem. Implement strict guidelines. Erect tough barriers to posting. Make use of the anti-anonymous-posting features in the software. If no such features exist, get a different software application.

In my opinion, anonymous posting encourages more posting. I've seen that happen here. Back in early 2003 a couple of months after Toledo Talk began, I enabled the "Guest" account. A user could post a comment without creating an account here. The Guest account lasted for two years until too many posters were using it. I made a software and posting guidelines change, but it was my decision not someone else's.

I have handled a few incidents of abuse here, but I don't care if users post under their real name or an alias. Again, if you don't like it, move on. I'll manage my sites the way I want.

I generally ignore the type of poster that I think Miller is talking about, although I'm pretty sure I can dig through the 5000 postings that I've made at Toledo Talk over the past four years and find "some" that fit the electronic piss ant and mouth-breather category that Miller and Wilson describes.

And so what? I know I've gone off the deep end with my rhetoric here at times, and it's frigging fun as a hell. That's the freedom I have here that I wouldn't have at a newspaper.

Verbal Fight Club.

I just try not to do it all the time. You know, too much of a good thing. Moderation.

If Toledo Talk was only a year old, then I wouldn't care about the impotent toilet scrubbers firing flaming arrows because I know I would be one them, baby. But after four years, it's time to change Toledo Talk a bit, and that's not because of the simpering bandits. It's because I got bored with the political topics, and because other topics aren't covered enough. We'll check with Chris Myers in January 2011 to see how he feels about Swamp Bubbles.

2011, my stepdaughter will be or should be a sophomore in college by then. Damn.

The thing with sparky was that he worked and works for for-profit media orgs. In my opinion as it relates to Toledo Talk the site I pay for, he should have given full disclosure here. But if another site owner sees no problem with what sparky did, then that's the site owner's choice. I'm not going to demand another site owner manage his or her site the way I do.

I would guess that most of us who post on blog and message boards:
- don't work for a media company
- are not a public official
- are not planning to run for office.

For most of us, this is a hobby. Posting on blog and message board sites is like striking up a conversation with a stranger in a cafe or the park or the checkout line. I don't ask for ID of every new person I meet and chat with even if I see that person again and again.

Let's face it, media orgs have connections inside government, right? These connections feed the media info.

It's probably safe to say that local political operatives or people working inside local government have made postings here and at other local sites under an alias. Should they give full disclosure? If they want to, fine. That's up to them. But if they don't, well, that's the way it is. How are you ever going to enforce full disclosure?

Maybe by posting anonymously, we get additional info that otherwise we would not have gotten. It's up to the reader to decide what to do with that info. Do you trust every thing you read in a newspaper or see on TV or hear on the radio?


Speaking of politics, here's a solution to ending anonymous posting on the Web: Elect Republicans.

Over the past couple years, Republicans have been the leaders in limiting and trying to limit Internet freedoms.

Those of you who don't like anonymous Web postings may want to find a local Republican in the Ohio state legislature and encourage that person to promote the "Internet Civility Bill" for the Buckeye state.

Since information consumers may not be able to take responsibility for what they read and process on the Web, let's get Government to solve the problem.

March 15, 2006 Toledo Talk posting Internet civility bill stalled.

"Assemblyman Peter Biondi and his staff said they were trying to curb malicious exchanges on some local discussion boards when they introduced a bill requiring people to provide their real names and addresses before posting on public Web sites."

posted by jr to media at 1:50 P.M. EST     (89 Comments)


Comments ...


Anyone pushing an Internet civility bill is just stupid. I bet the people that push it don't have a clue about technology and don't use it themselves.

Also, I was surprised that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution seeks equal time for their major editorials and posts who pens the newspaper's take. I thought that was refreshing.

posted by chrismyers at 04:45 P.M. EST on Sun Feb 25, 2007     #



"On many local sites, people with no purpose other than to spit and spew at others dart in with their anonymous toxins, then hide behind their no-name shields like the impotent toilet scrubbers they are."

I would think that someone may have irritated him very much, for him to zero in, (no pun intended) on any anonymous posters.

I seem to remember another person who wrote under an anonymous handle, and also wrote for the Toledo Free Press. This person may have used multiple handles and usernames. It seems to me that it all backfired on him in a somewhat embarrassing manner!

Exchanges get a little heated here and everywhere else. I was just on Amazon.com and people got into a flame war over whether this Mr. Heater propane space heater had to have a 10 dollar filter on it or not! Talk about ridiculous! It happens everywhere! The one guy called the other mentally deranged!

And so what? I know I've gone off the deep end with my rhetoric here at times, and it's frigging fun as a hell. That's the freedom I have here that I wouldn't have at a newspaper.

Me too!

Verbal Fight Club.

I actually enjoy this to a certain extent!


If you don't like anonymous postings, then you have the freedom of choice to ignore such postings. You have the freedom to move on.

Well said.

This is the best posting I have read in a long time. I still have a copy of Aussie Park Boys for you jr! Unless you already watched that ridiculous movie! It's fun as hell though! Kicking a-**** and eating big steaks on the barbie! Plus a great soundtrack!

P.S. My username is actually the initials of my real name. Except the Bb is to throw the gullible off track!

posted by Bbcmjeep43 at 04:53 P.M. EST on Sun Feb 25, 2007     #



It's fine for traditional print-media outlets to incorporate blogs into their content.

But Mr. Miller appears to want bloggers to follow the same accepted guidelines as traditional 'journalists.'

They are not one and the same.

Bloggers may indeed 'cover' and 'report' on events in their area and that's fine, but they really have only to answer to themselves and others in the blogging community to whom they wish to earn and/or maintain their respect. They don't have a chain of command of editors or superiors or publishers to whom they are accountable to. Bloggers won't get fired if they screw something up or erroneously report on what they 'covered.' They work for themselves and are in reality responsible only to themselves.

Traditional dailies and weeklies are adding blogs to their content in order to be hip and on the cutting edge of what some might consider to be 'new' journalism.

But it's not journalism; it's blogging.

Mr. Miller's rules apply to the more traditional print media of which he is indeed a part, not matter how different and distinctive his publication and others like it believe they might be.

posted by McCaskey at 05:12 P.M. EST on Sun Feb 25, 2007     #



I completely missed the discussion about sparky a few months back, so I had no idea Kevin Milliken did all that. I don't know if I can listen to him anymore. If he's bending journalistic ethics promoting himself in a deceiving manner then where else will he bend journalistic ethics?
posted by HeyHey at 05:53 P.M. EST on Sun Feb 25, 2007     #



Yep, I missed "Sparkygate" too. Bad judgment by "sparky," I have to say.

If you want to stay anonymous, that's fine, but anonymous posters ought to respect the anonymity of others maintaining their cover.

While there are drawbacks to being public on the Internet (like Nazis with axes to grind), I actually prefer being public. The thought that my name is being tied to things I write keeps me from writing things I might regret.

In addition, being upfront with who I am means that anything stupid I write can be fixed with a mea culpa. No one is going to assume that my stupidity is anything more than a momentary lapse of common sense, as opposed to the suspicions being voiced about the individual in question.

posted by historymike at 07:35 P.M. EST on Sun Feb 25, 2007     #



"anonymous posters ought to respect the anonymity of others maintaining their cover"

Then the question becomes should bloggers who identify themselves extend equal respect to the anonymous?

posted by holland at 08:02 P.M. EST on Sun Feb 25, 2007     #



As someone who has posted here under his own name, and has condemned anonymous name-callers, Mr. Miller has a point.

What I have experienced are, indeed "piss ants."

"My username is actually the initials of my real name. Except the Bb is to throw the gullible off track!"

What was the point, there, blahblahjeep-whatever? Is it someone attempting to claim that he is really courageously identifying himself, almost? Bullsh1t!

It is one thing to disagree with someone, anonymously. You are, in fact, a "piss ant" to engage in name-call using a nick.

posted by paulhem at 09:00 P.M. EST on Sun Feb 25, 2007     #



Hem, you are a piss- ant whiner. I will meet you anywhere you like at any time. You say you are a warrior. I say you are a whiner. I'm up right now. Let me know. You don't like unions, union people, and cannot resist taking cheap pot shots, while you brag about how great you are. I expose your pathetic agenda. Let me know where you would like to meet me Hem. I'll be happy to tell you my real name in person, face to face. 419-340-4381, my cell phone number for you. I won't give you my home phone number because I have a family to protect.
posted by Bbcmjeep43 at 09:22 P.M. EST on Sun Feb 25, 2007     #



Anyone have further questions about the coward jeep-whatever?

Once I know your name, I will out you.

Why are you so afraid to reveal your identity, here?

I do know. You are the only whiner, here. A cell number?!! You ARE a bullshit coward! My landline is listed, coward. So is my address. If you really wanted to talk, then you would have, by now. But you are a weak, pathetic coward, so I wouldn't expect any more from you.

posted by paulhem at 10:02 P.M. EST on Sun Feb 25, 2007     #



You now have all the information you need to make direct contact with me. I personally believe you are insane. Who in their right mind would continuously verbally attack people they don't even know? Outed for what? I am not a criminal, and have no criminal record. I am a Jeep worker who works on the line in Chassis 3. I'm sick of anti-union whiners like you dogging unions and union people. I have attended some of the toledotalk gatherings, and gave my real name. I have freely chosen to use a username on this website. You cannot force me or anyone else to bend to your will. I believe you are the one here with serious mental problems. I come here for fun and discussion. I have a right to answer your anti-union rhetoric with true information. I must do this well, because you are going off your rocker here. Even personally believing that you do have serious problems, I would still meet you anywhere, because I fear no-one. If it's that important to you, then do it! You have come upon this website like a total jackass and you do not frighten me. It's your call, whiner.
posted by Bbcmjeep43 at 10:20 P.M. EST on Sun Feb 25, 2007     #



okaaaaay....anyhoo.....

If you want to stay anonymous, that's fine, but anonymous posters ought to respect the anonymity of others maintaining their cover.

Leave it to the always reasoned and well thought-out HistoryMike to nail it.

Hey, doesn't Sparky, er....Kevin Milliken...contribute a weekly column to the Toledo Free Press?

posted by McCaskey at 01:21 A.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Hey, doesn't Sparky, er....Kevin Milliken...contribute a weekly column to the Toledo Free Press?

Strike this...already covered by jr above.

posted by McCaskey at 01:26 A.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



I posed these questions on Swamp bubbles too -

What do we tell our children about divulging personal info on the internet?

What do we tell them about people on line who try to goad or cajole you into divulging such info?

posted by billy at 07:07 A.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



"I would still meet you anywhere, because I fear no-one."

If that is true, then why do you hide behind a nickname to launch personal attacks? Obviously, you fear everyone here.



billy:

"What do we tell our children about divulging personal info on the internet?"

billy, you're a big boy, now. Aren't you? Do you teach your children to cower behind a nickname on the Internet and make personal attacks? I hope not.

I work in network security. I advocate privacy and anonymity.

However, I will not advocate using nicknames to launch personal attacks.

I am not condemning someone with a degree of anonymity who takes up an unpopular cause online or makes fun of an organization. What I AM describing is someone who uses their nickname to make personal attacks, anonymously.

If wah-wah-jeep-crybaby, whatever, wants to attack me personally - something he (or she) has doen here frequently, then have the guts to do so under your own name.

Again, it is fun and useful to have some anonymity while blogging. However, to use that to personally attack others. That's my point.
Perhaps it differs from Mr. Millers?

posted by paulhem at 07:39 A.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



paulhem wrote:
Once I know your name, I will out you.

I was under the impression that outing anyone on this forum other then yourself was against the TOS here.

posted by OhioKat at 08:31 A.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



A cell number?!! You ARE a bullshit coward!

I would think that posting one's personal cell phone number on the forum is much farther than most people would want to go. (Whether they were a "controversial" poster or not.) I certainly wouldn't call anyone cowardly for posting a cell instead of putting up a landline number. Heck, I'm more likely to give my cell number in real life to anyone who needs to reach me anyhow. :)

P.S. I know you're probably all disappointed (sarcasm), but I'm not putting my cell or home phone numbers up here. Not b/c I have anything to hide, but b/c I prefer to have some modicum of control over who has my personal information. :)

posted by mom2 at 09:35 A.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Good points JR. I wonder how Mr Miller feels about Milliken's actions?
posted by pink_slip at 09:44 A.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



There are no official listings for cell phone numbers. Remember the news regarding all the "disposable cell phones" that people were buying? That's because they can be used and discarded. They are a favorite of bad guys.

I'm not saying that they aren't useful. But posting a cell number isn't revealing and is quite MISleading.

posted by paulhem at 10:00 A.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



I also posted this response on swampbubbles

http://swampbubbles.com/blog_this_michael_miller_takes_on_anonymous_posters_yes_you#comment-1900

I thought I'd post it here as well, since it incorporates some of examples that JR posted. I think there are some important questions that Mr Miller needs to address.

posted by pink_slip at 10:11 A.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Also, I am specifically pointing out ad hominum attacks, here - nothing else.

If you're going to attack someone in public, then identify yourself TO ALL involved. Otherwise, you ARE a coward.

Not only is ???jeeep83 showing cowardice, he admits it by posting what he claims is a cell number and "has a family to protect." Fine, first protect your family by acting in a responsible manner. The protection that you offer your family should be to shield them from a law suit. I would never act outside of the law, like you seem to infer from your comments. I will defend myself through the courts, if I need to do so. You need to consult an attorney.

posted by paulhem at 10:56 A.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Sometimes it is best to remain anonymous when posting things that are not PC. The Mental Block was a great example of this. If the writer of that blog had used his real name, he definately would have been removed from whatever government office he worked in.
posted by slickone at 11:20 A.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Those of you opposed to anonymous posters need to get over it. It's not going to change, unless the Republicans get their way. If you want to reveal your real name, goody gumdrops for you. But quit forcing your beliefs on the rest of us.

Maybe over time as people get more comfortable with posting on the Web, users will share their real identities. But let that happen naturally. Don't force the issue.

And you can't be selective with your viewpoint on anonymous posters. You can't say, "Well, it's fine for that person to remain anonymous because she's nice, but that mean person needs to reveal his real name."

What's the definition of "nice or "mean" or "offensive?" What's offensive to one person may be hilarious to me. Why is it that the person who is offended gets his or her way over the person who finds the rhetoric funny?

McCaskey said: "But Mr. Miller appears to want bloggers to follow the same accepted guidelines as traditional 'journalists."

The traditional journalists have to be careful of people's feelings. Political correctness.

I like the rawness of the Web message boards, warts and all. I would prefer to tolerate a few rouge posters than be shackled with anti-freedom regulations, requiring users to give personal information, which would deter people from sharing their opinions.

If a site owner wants to require a user to give a Social Security number and a credit card number before posting, that's the site owner's choice. I require a valid e-mail address in order to create an account to post here. Some don't like giving their e-mail address, so they won't sign up. Fine. I require a valid e-mail address for sending a confirmation e-mail to the user in order to activate the account. This is done to reduce spammers and drive-by posters.

Currently, a new user cannot post a new thread to the front page of Toledo Talk, until the user has been a member for at least two weeks and has posted at least five comments. Again, this is done to reduce spammers and trolls.

Currently, a new thread appears immediately on the front page. No moderation. But at times, I have moderated new threads. In fact, all of these practices I use have varied greatly over Toledo Talk's existence. For a long while in the early days, I didn't use a confirmation e-mail, so a valid e-mail address wasn't required.

For most of Toledo Talk's existence, a new user could post a new thread immediately to the front page without having to be a member for at least a week or two and without being required to post comments in other threads.

A few times over the past year, I have disabled new user sign-ups for a while.

These are my barriers to entry, and they have been lowered and raised multiple of times, depending on what was happening at the site. Some sites have no barriers, and it's a free for all. I got my barrier ideas from MetaFilter.com. The barriers are my attempt at making the site more civil. These are design options I chose for Toledo Talk.

I will not require the user to give a personal name when posting.

Multiple of times here, I've recommended reading the following, concerning digital communities:

- the book Design for Community. From an interview with the book's author:

"You say that providing a “barrier to entry” can help strengthen a community. Why would explicitly excluding some users strengthen a community?"

"The thing to remember is, the Internet is a big place, and there is indeed a community out there for everyone. But your community doesn’t have to include everyone. The idea is to find the people who care about your product, service, or niche, and make a place just for them."



- read the Web essay Building Communities with Software

- and most importantly, if you have any interest at all in digital communities, read this 1997 Wired article The Epic Saga of The Well

"The Well, this communal dwelling, had begun in the spring of 1985 as a VAX computer and a rack of modems in a ramshackle set of offices in Sausalito, California."

"On The Well, there were no filters - how could there be when PicoSpan's assumption was that everyone should be heard? The parallel assumption was that Well users would be level-headed modem owners - a rather loose parameter, to be sure, but one that was meant to promote a certain level of reasonable discourse. And for about a year, it did."

"But in 1986, with membership at around 500, the first disruptive element arrived: a new user named Mark Ethan Smith, whose login was (grandma). Initially, Smith seemed another articulate, thoughtful poster, whose contributions to Jokes and Pub and to Rheingold's Mind conference were written with an edge and wry wit. The newcomer also proved to be an unusually prolific poster: Smith's Commodore 64 could generate 10,000 words a day with no apparent effort. But before long, some unsettling patterns started to emerge. Smith, convinced that the male sex lay at the root of civilization's woes, thrummed on the themes of dead-beat dads, bigamists, exploitive male bosses, pimps, and rapists - and advocated the establishment of a women's free state. Rheingold recalls Smith's obsession with Lise Meitner, the Austrian nuclear physicist who had, Smith maintained, actually discovered nuclear fission while her contemporary Otto Hahn got the Nobel Prize for it. And Smith did not take kindly to anyone who disputed these matters."

"As it turned out, Mark Ethan Smith was a woman - a middle-aged Berkeley resident who lived in near poverty and resented what she saw as her exploitation by rich male hippies. She was open with others on The Well about the fact that she was a woman, but apparently she was taken with the identity-shifting, role-playing possibilities the medium allowed; she preferred to be referred to as a man and lashed out at those who did not comply with the request."

"Dhawk, who had encountered Mark Ethan Smith before, on other bulletin board systems around the Bay area, told McClure that she was trouble and should be thrown off. McClure's response fixed in place The Well's threshold of tolerance for years to come: he told Dhawk he believed Smith should be allowed to stay; he could work with her."

"Beyond that, McClure believed Mark Ethan Smith was an interesting problem to observe within The Well's grand experiment. Smith was masterful at reading the system and manipulating it. McClure called her a vibes magician. "We were building a little culture here, and somebody came in and saw how it worked and just played it like an instrument," he recalls. "Just because she was obnoxious and had strange ideas didn't mean that she shouldn't get to play." "

"There was another consideration as well: Smith was a huge provider of food for thought and was completely, if predictably, outrageous. The more lively the discussion, the more people stayed logged on. Her outbursts were, in short, good for business."



I don't know if the woman's name was really Mark Smith, but shenanigans in digital communities have been occurring for a long time.

A site owner considers the design practices of multiple sites and then creates his or her own strategy.

posted by jr at 11:53 A.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Frankly, I would think the guidelines on when to/not to be anonymous are common sense:

If you are posting/commenting as a citizen, feel free to be anonymous or use an ID, preferably without personal attacks, name-calling, etc.

If you are posting/commenting as part of your job (whether in PR, journalism, whatever), you need to allow people to learn who you are and who/what you represent.

As for me, my profile lists what I do (but not my employer), my e-mail and a link to my blog (where you can find out more about me). Often, I'll comment here as just a citizen with an opinion.

When I've posted for work, I note the reason for the sake of transparency.

Though the 'net gives us a barrier to be uncivil and to hide behind, if we'd practice more civility and common sense, we'd all be better off.
Mike

posted by miked918 at 12:31 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



I am not against anonymous postings, or those who want to be anonymous.

However, I will continue to bring attention to those who attack me personaly and do so with what they think is anonymity. I may not know now who is defaming me. However, i can find out. Not by calling a phone number someone writes on the Internet.

Everyone is INDIVIDUALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR COMMENTS and whatever damage that they do.

Here's an example.

A Florida woman has been awarded $11.3 million in a defamation lawsuit against a Louisiana woman who posted messages on the Internet accusing her of being a "crook," a "con artist" and a "fraud."

Legal analysts say the Sept. 19 award by a jury in Broward County, Fla. — first reported Friday by the Daily Business Review — represents the largest such judgment over postings on an Internet blog or message board.


Now, jeep-whatever called me a large number of names. If I can demonstrate that he caused me any damages, then he'll wish he kept his trap shut.

posted by paulhem at 01:12 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Here's some more for those of you who think that they can trash anyone that they feel like trashing:

Robert Cox, founder and president of the Media Bloggers Association, which has 1,000 members, says the recent wave of lawsuits means that bloggers should bone up on libel law. "It hasn't happened yet, but soon, there will be a blogger who is successfully sued and who loses his home," he says. "That will be the shot heard round the blogosphere."

Looks serious to me...

posted by paulhem at 01:18 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Per Paul's posts, blogging and comments should be no different than how you would act if you met others face to face. See also slander and libel.
posted by miked918 at 01:44 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



"I am not against anonymous postings, or those who want to be anonymous".

I have never attacked you (or any other poster) personally. So why then the diatribe against my anonymmous critical opinion of The Blade's general reporting style and methods?

These are your own words Mr. Hem "Or is your opinion what it seems to be on the surface? Some anonymous, jealous little twit who spews crap out of his pie hole because he (or she) can do so without taking responsibility for his or her statements?"

Your criticism of my posting was based in part on the premis that it was anonymous and therefor in your opinion invalid. So will you sue me if I voice an opinion that you are an idiot if I say so anonymously or if I identify my self and voice an opinion that you are an idiot? Perhaps both?

posted by holland at 01:46 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Dude, what's your problem? It's not libel to think that someone is acting like a doucebag.
posted by pink_slip at 01:46 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Funny that Michael -- who's always seems to back up his statements with a good argument (facts, conviction, etc.) -- has yet to comment here.

Though, one could argue that his view in the column are his comments and he doesn't need to say anything else (as one argument could go). Or, he could be waiting to see what all is being said and respond accordingly.

Or, he could be doing none of what I've blabbed here.

Mike

posted by miked918 at 01:48 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Councilwoman Visco, AKA Holland

I called you out and you identified yourself.

An elected public servant who uses anonymous postings to vent their spleen at the media...

I have no second thoughts about calling you on your little mascarade.

Mike918 - Do you believe the arrogance of this politician?

posted by paulhem at 02:08 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Councilwoman Visco, AKA Holland

I called you out and you identified yourself.


When? Where?

posted by tm at 02:21 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Miller also said in his column about anonymous posters:

"I'm not aware of any recent great whistle-blowing conversations that merited a false name."

I'm going to bring up Jeep for a second. Or a minute. This example may not qualify as a great whistle-blowing incident, but I think it's a valid example of why Web-based message boards need to allow anonymous postings.

At the top of or bottom of this page, click "search" and enter the word "Jeep." When viewing the search results, note the threads from 2005.

Check the members page for the number of users with the word "jeep" in their name.

Isn't it true that back in 2005, several Jeep employees posted here, and other Jeep employees at least read the postings?

Isn't it true that a Jeep-related Toledo Talk thread was printed and posted or distributed inside Jeep?

Some Jeep posters here revealed their names, but some didn't, right? Why were some Jeep employees anonymous? Did they fear punishment for speaking out? Weren't some Jeep employees even afraid to create an account here with an anonymous name?

I thought someone opined here that the local media is afraid to cover Jeep thoroughly or the local media doesn't investigate Jeep deep enough. I have no idea if that's true or not, but what if it is? Wouldn't message boards then be the only option left for a Jeep worker to go to and to vent about the company? And possibly fearing the loss of their job, wouldn't an employee want to remain anonymous?

During the Jeep discussions of 2005, it seems to me we got more than one side to an issue. If person A felt person B was not being factually correct on some issue, then person A chimed in with a different version or with more info. I think this was an example of the Wisdom of the Crowds process, and it didn't matter if the posters were anonymous or not.

Toledo Talk user MARIELORA, a Jeep employee who, I think, users her real name here, said in Sep 2005:

"...the Union monitors "Toledo Talk"..."

And MARIELORA said in Nov 2005:

"It's difficult to attend Friday Nite Union Meetings for many of us...there is only a 15 minute question and answer session, with the Chairman chosing who will speak... That's where "Toledo Talk" helps...the union has monitored this site...they are reading our feelings and thoughts..."

In August 2005, MARIELORA said:

"Many of our co-workers have signed on "Toledo Talk" they are unable to enable their account...so they read...they are reading everything we write and they are speaking out...someone actually, printed out "Toledo Talk" and passed it through the Plant...I have had many comments made to me from our co-workers...all are POSITIVE comments..."

(The account enabling problem was my fault, due to me not formatting or sending the confirmation e-mail properly or something like that. It's been fixed. Allegedly.)

In that same August 2005 thread, user DEEPTHROAT said:

"Some have been threaten, some have been ridiculed, but all of us realize if not for this message board we would [not] have an outlet to discuss happenings throughout the plants."

I think Deepthroat meant to have a "not" between "would" and "have."

I have no idea if anything positive came about from all the Jeep discussions at Toledo Talk back in 2005 and early 2006. But what if something positive did happen as a result? That's why anonymity must be available as an option to the site owner or a blog hosting company. If the site owner doesn't want to support anonymity, that's the owner's choice.

Note the barrier to entry option chosen by junta330 for his site Progressive Toledo.

The Toledo Blade has online forums. To post, you must create an account. Note the requirements on the Blade's registration page: E-mail address, Choose password, Repeat password, First name, Last name, Phone.

Every site owner manages his or her site a little differently. There's no right or wrong way of doing it.

posted by jr at 02:30 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Councilwoman Visco, AKA Holland

I called you out and you identified yourself.


When? Where?

About a week or so ago in another topic (can't recall which one off the top of my head) - there was discussion on reporting accuracy of the Blade and whether what appeared in the paper regarding political meetings matched the recollection of people who actually attended the meetings. Holland identified herself as a councilwoman in Springfield Twp.

posted by mom2 at 02:37 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



I also prefer to stay anonymous. If no one likes it. They can just Embrasse mon-derier. 8-)
posted by tm at 02:40 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Mom2, thanks i must have missed that one.

An elected public servant who uses anonymous postings to vent their spleen at the media...

Well i guess she isn't anonymous anymore then is she?

And no one is allowed to vent? Just because someone perfers not to say who they are for whatever reason means that they aren't allowed to vent?

posted by tm at 02:45 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6395622,00.html

Here is the topic about which I expressed an anonymous opinion, or in Mr. Hem's words "vented my spleen". I think you can deduce from this exchange just how flawed his logic is. It is also where I voluntarily chose to identify myself. I will continue to use the name "holland" on this site.

posted by holland at 03:07 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Whatever. I'm never gonna use my real name.
posted by mattsussman at 03:24 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Whatever. I'm never gonna use my real name.
Ouch!!! posted by mattsussman at 03:24 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007


bwah ha ha HA,,,that is funny...I like that.

jeep - careful. I've been letting two posters get under my skin and decided to just give it up. Some people were born assholes. The nurses in the nursery at the hospital can pick 'em out shortly after birth.

If I were in Congress I'd push a bill requiring all such assholes to carry a card and warn new people.

This guy is basically challenging you to a fight. You are responding and THEN he says he is listed in the phone book. A 'come and get me' type of thing.

I already said that I have my questions over whether this is Paul H. or not.

So, let's take a hypothetical walk, shall we?

Let's suppose this is not Paul Hem. Let's suppose Paul Hem is a dashing fellow who's had a torrid affair with this other fellows' wife. This other fellow finds out about the affair and is devastated.

So, he sets about plotting his revenge.

He begins to destroy Paul by posting, using his name, and positioning himself to the blogosphere as an imbecilic bully.

He figures, after a sufficient amount of time he'll find someone he can inflame with his flaming rhetoric and incite them to SHOW UP at Paul's house and beat the hell out of him. Thereby exacting his revenge while he can have an air tight alibi.

:-) Just a thought.....have a nice day.

posted by katie82640 at 05:15 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



and Holland, a little side note - if I am wrong and it turns out that Paul Hem IS actually the poster here (which defies logic - why would he be trying to get his own ass kicked? Sigh...) and he has a problem with you, you're damn sure skippy on the right track :-)

Keep it up. I'm cheering ya' on

posted by katie82640 at 05:19 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Hem wrote: Now, jeep-whatever called me a large number of names. If I can demonstrate that he caused me any damages, then he'll wish he kept his trap shut.

What I wrote is not a threat. I'll be happy to tell you my real name in person, face to face

You came on this website calling names yourself. You came after me on this thread, and was first to call names. You have repeatedly called people cowards and other names. Your claims have no legal basis, except for the pot that calls the kettle black! Then you whine about personal attacks, after you have personally attacked the one you are whining about. You do not scare me, and that's what you need to know. You don't know me, yet you call me a coward? Go ahead and sue me clown. The countersuit I will file will completely devastate your sorry cyber-punk ass! You are not the regulator and administrator of free speech in America. I'll meet you face to face anytime if you'd like to call me a coward. I asked you to call me a coward to my face. That's not a threat. That's reality administering truth to stupidity. You try to scare and browbeat people into giving their personal information to you. A look back through your comments reveals this to be true. You are a cyber- troll and a whining cyber- punk! You now have my personal information whiner. Whatcha gonna do? I haven't received your phone call yet. I'm still waiting for your cyber-punk phone call! It's your call Hem.

There are no official listings for cell phone numbers. Remember the news regarding all the "disposable cell phones" that people were buying? That's because they can be used and discarded. They are a favorite of bad guys.

Are you attempting to infer that I am a bad guy? Along with calling me a coward? I seem to remember your calling me a union thug earlier as well! All of this without even knowing me? I call that insanity! File your stupid lawsuit, and we'll see whose money get's taken!


P.S. It's people like you that are exactly the reason to remain anonymous. Remember, it's never too late to get help.

jeep - careful. I've been letting two posters get under my skin and decided to just give it up. Some people were born assholes. The nurses in the nursery at the hospital can pick 'em out shortly after birth.

Thanks. I know he's trying to goad me and others to respond to his stupid postings. I never would start a fight, and wasn't planning on it. I thought he'd back away from any real challenge, at the same time he continues to call people names himself! I haven't gotten any phone call yet! That guy is already doing one hell of a job damaging himself and his own credibility. I believe he dislikes me because I support the locked out Blade workers. I also don't believe any of what he says here.

posted by Bbcmjeep43 at 06:09 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Katie. The only imbecile around here is the person who was turned down for a job as a writer at The Blade and is now engaged in ad hominum attacks against me. Oh, yes that would be Katie Boyd, wouldn't it?

Ms. Visco. A person in a position of public trust, should address alleged errors/omissions of fact by sending a letter to the newspaper. Instead, you engaged in anonymous sniping on a blog. Is that the example that you wish to provide to the young people in your community? Need any more "logic?"

posted by paulhem at 07:43 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



jeep - whatever.

I won't call some number posted on a discussion board by some anonymous twerp like you. That would be stupid - just as stupid as you trying to claim that I don't like you because you
claim you "support the locked out Blade workers." You don't support anyone except newspaper union bosses who have caused the problem themselves. I started name calling? Obviously, truth is something alien to you.

posted by paulhem at 07:58 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Again, if you know an attorney, it would be a great idea for you to talk to him/her. If you think that there is such a thing as defamation or libel against a person who calls himself Bbcmjeep43 then you`re just as ignorant as I thought. So, there won`t be counter-claims in court because no one named Bbcmjeep43 exists, or has your sickness caused you to now believe yourself to be a person named Bbcmjeep43? Look who`s calling who insane!

Get a little education or consult with someone who has the credentials to offer you some professional advice - both psychological and legal. You`re the one who needs help.

posted by paulhem at 08:57 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



And I have him. Paul Hem - you are a liar.

IF I WAS STARVING - I would not have applied to a publication that I was told was a 'rag' prior to landing in Toledo from Columbus.

I have NEVER APPLIED as a 'writer' anywhere. Never, ever in my life. I have been in sales, ad sales, IT sales - but I have never hawked my writing. I have been hired many times to consult for businesses. Always at their request

I am a published author, this much is true. I have never sought out a position in any place, at any time.

This is one of the few things I do well. I publish predominantly to a private list of readers and Christian publications.

And, happily, finally THIS proves this poster out to be a definitive liar. I most certainly did not apply to his paper as a 'writer'.

posted by katie82640 at 09:18 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



That's alright Paul, not only had you had information about me wrong, you chose to embarass yourself by involving yourself in something you know nothing about.
Based on personal experence dealing with your stupidity, I can clearly state as fact you are an idiot.

posted by BrianInFlorida at 09:19 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



I actually think, after having reread this post - that I have been damaged by the post that says I was turned down as a writer.

I think Paul Hem - that YOU need an attorney.

I shall be consulting mine in the morning.

Ta ta.

posted by katie82640 at 09:20 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



ta to you Katie.

At least you have enough intelligence to take my advice.

However, don't cry when you hear the bad news.

posted by paulhem at 09:37 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



BrianInFlorida:

Great to see you're still around!

I see you're still deluding yourself.

posted by paulhem at 09:44 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Let's see what I have here.

1) A union hack - jeep-moron-whatever.

2) A wanna-be writer.

3) A politician with an axe to grind.

4) Some loser who had to flee to Florida.

I'm feeling very good about this.

posted by paulhem at 09:52 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



What was the subject of this thread? Oh, yeah:

- electronic piss ants
- impotent toilet scrubbers
- attack-eunuchs
- simpering bandits
- malignant vultures


Who do the above phrases describe?

[ ] A) Anonymous posters
[ ] B) People who post under their real name
[X] C) All of the above

I would say anonymous posters don't hold the patent on being mouth-breathing ego-masturbaters.

posted by jr at 10:08 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Paul, settle the fuck down.

First off, what is it that Bbcmjeep posted that's slanderous? After scanning through the recent postings that the two of you had commented on, I don't see a single thing that could be construed as slanderous.

Your threatening of a lawsuit based on the personal opinions of Bbcmjeep is without precedent. The case you cited was ruled upon without the defendent's knowledge. In fact, the threat of a lawsuit based on such flimsy pretexts as you're claiming here can only be considered a chilling action aimed at someone you disagree with. Your comment history, especially in this thread, only back that up. If I ran this website, I'd have disabled your account following the posting at 10:56 AM today, and with good legal standing. McIntyre v. Ohio Election Commission stated the following:

"[A]n author is generally free to decide whether or not to disclose his or her true identity. The decision in favor of anonymity may be motivated by fear of economic or official retaliation, by concern about social ostracism, or merely by a desire to preserve as much of one’s privacy as possible. Whatever the motivation may be, . . . the interest in having anonymous works enter the marketplace of ideas unquestionably outweighs any public interest in requiring disclosure as a condition of entry. Accordingly, an author’s decision to remain anonymous, like other decisions concerning omissions or additions to the content Amendment."

To even get your case going, you'd first need to subpoena jr to obtain Bbcmjeep's email address. After that, you'd have to subpoena the email provider if Bbcmjeep used a Yahoo or Hotmail account. Then you'd need to subpoena the ISP for Bbcmjeep's billing address. At this point, you're already $1200 deep in lawyer fees if no one has contested the subpoenas, assuming you can even find a lawyer to accept this case. If any of these parties contests, you're probably looking at over $5k just to learn the name of Bbcmjeep. You realize that this would be incredibly expencive and even the slips, trips, and falls lawyers wouldn't pick the case up unless you had the cash on hand, right? Would have been a hell of a lot cheaper if you would have just called him.

Now, Katie's lawsuit would be much easier to prove and has the potential to really hurt you. Either it is slanderous because she never did apply for a job at the Blade, or there's a breach of privacy agreements if she did apply and you found out. It would be hard to explain why a systems analyst would have the need to disclose HR information outside of his job function. Dave Wardners, director of HR at the Blade, might be pretty interested in that explanation. On top of that, Katie already has your name and can easily file suit against you for defamation or potentially against you and/or the Blade for breach of NDAs that are standard practice in corporate America.

posted by thenick at 10:28 P.M. EST on Mon Feb 26, 2007     #



Paul, you've traumatized me.

I weep not because you just can't quite get any fact straight you sling against the wall, but because of the hostile, yet pathetic, display you exhibit, then you'll play the you "being a veteran" card to garner sympathy for your cause.

Then you expose your stupidity again.

Can I get a tissue here?

posted by BrianInFlorida at 04:50 A.M. EST on Tue Feb 27, 2007     #



Oh my goodness. WOW!
Now I know why I remain anonymous.

posted by RolandHansen at 08:07 A.M. EST on Tue Feb 27, 2007     #



Roland. That's good.

thenick:

Here's where the anonymity thing gets interesting. If you, in fact, had something that you actually believed and wanted to intervene on the behalf of everyone's good, then you would have ahd the courage and the strength of character to to identify yourself by name with your credentials. You did not.

The point that I am making here is simple.

If a person is honestly attempting to either inform, warn, or otherwise educate others, then they make their comments by identifying themselves. Otherwise, how does the public know what to believe? So, thenick, if you have some legal advice that you would like to share, then either identify yourself here, or call me and have a civil conversation 1 on 1. However, to order me to "settle the fuck down," without any credentials, then you are just either feeding your own ego to see your words in the forum, or you are engaged in intellectual masterbation. Either way, your "advice" seems to be more directed at adding fuel to the fire.

What I have discovered is that the majority of people who post here and condemn me, are those with axes to grind. And that's quite OK. But to the casual reader, here, at Toledo talk, it might seem that objective observers are making some observations of an unbiased nature.

I have been able to demonstrate that, in fact, some of those people smearing my name and my employer's are those interested in striking out by anonymously sniping on a public forum.

The question might be, why do I post here? I am here, under my own name to tell what I perceive as the truth of the labor unrest at The Blade. In order for people reading this to make an informed judgement, they need to know who I am, and some of my background. I have shared that with people here. Part of that background is my military experience. I am a paratrooper (my jump qualifications have long since expired), but I have my wings. I am not afraid, and actually relish jumping into some action. Therefore, those of you reading this and thinking, "I would NEVER do what Paul Hem is doing!," are right. You would probably not hurl yourself out of a perfectly good airplane in the enemy's AO. Is this s bragging? You be the judge. I consider it to be attempting to provide some backgroud to my activities here.

And, thenick, that's why you know full well that I wouldn't have access to HR files. Katie has conducted frequent verbal assaults. In my honest attempts to discern why she has made her verbal assaults on both me and my employer, I haved asked her if she was turned down for a job at The Blade. Instead of answering, she engaged in a tirade about me checking "archives." I thought that she meant news archives. The point is that her answer seemed to verify to me that indeed she had been turned down by The Blade.

So, make of it, as you will. I'm sure jr is relatively unhappy with me. However, I have attempted to explain my position in the best way that I can.

All that said, yes, be anonymous, great, have fun. You can inform others without assaulting someone on this board or others. Just MHO.

posted by paulhem at 10:36 A.M. EST on Tue Feb 27, 2007     #



Oh, I almost forgot...

...what is it that Bbcmjeep posted that's slanderous?

The answer is he couldn't have posted anything "slanderous." He could very well have posted something defamatory and/or libelous.

Slanderous is the spoken word while the later refers to the written word. Geesh! And the computer guy has to explain that!

posted by paulhem at 10:59 A.M. EST on Tue Feb 27, 2007     #



I'm proud to say that I was in the first group of 500 cancellations for the Blade. I have the letter from TCNU. You can read (Hem's opinions and information), or you can freely choose to read the other sides information. After reading both sides, you are free to make your own rational choice which one you believe the most. It's your call here.

http://www.stoptheblade.com/index.htm

posted by Bbcmjeep43 at 04:03 P.M. EST on Tue Feb 27, 2007     #



I never followed the "sparky incident" at all. That one slipped by me, and so did water under the bridge you might say. I have read plenty of anonymous posters and seriously listened to their ideas. Just because someone is anonymous has very little bearing on whether they have good ideas, or something intelligent to say. There are some very good reasons for remaining anonymous in this type of environment.
posted by Bbcmjeep43 at 04:17 P.M. EST on Tue Feb 27, 2007     #



So there it is.



Bbcmjeep43 has been following me around this forum since I have begun commenting here. He posts defamatory comments about me and seems to attempt to bully me through his rantings. Why? Because he is a union hack who doesn't have the guts to stand up in public and make his declarations.

He listed a union web site.

If you want my opinion, then do a serach for scabbardfortheblade.

I didn't give a link because jr seemed to indicate that we shouldn't, and I value being able to post and comment here.

posted by paulhem at 04:27 P.M. EST on Tue Feb 27, 2007     #



I'm proud to say that I was in the first group of 500 cancellations for the Blade. I have the letter from TCNU. You can read (Hem's opinions and information), or you can freely choose to read the other sides information. After reading both sides, you are free to make your own rational choice which one you believe the most. It's your call here.

Not to turn this into a discussion of the Blade (which has been hashed out plenty in other threads on this site), but I find the stoptheblade website to be just as full of propaganda and half-truths as anything that the Blade has put out in its defense. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, I'm sure.

posted by mom2 at 04:28 P.M. EST on Tue Feb 27, 2007     #



"If a person is honestly attempting to either inform, warn, or otherwise educate others, then they make their comments by identifying themselves. Otherwise, how does the public know what to believe?"

As I've said before, the responsibility belongs to the reader. The reader can decide whether or not to trust information from an anonymous poster.

Why are op-eds published without names?

Users can start out writing anonymously and then open up later if the user chooses. What's wrong with that? Why force the issue on someone?

From a Stanford computer science project titled The Ethics of Anonymous Computing, which does not display properly in Firefox.

Historical Examples:

"The Federalist Papers were written to convince the states to ratify the Constitution. These papers have been labeled one of the most important documents in US history, because of the insight it gave into the Constitution. It was written by Hamilton and Madison, but they chose to publish it anonymously."

"Other writers in this time period also wrote anonymous or traceable pamphlets. Some of Thomas Paine's pamphlets were signed with pseudonyms. Some of the greatest patriots published ideas anonymously with the hope of bettering the early government of the United States."

"We also see examples of authors publishing under pseudonyms to avoid discrimination."

"We see that writers in China were afraid to speak out against the government for fear of ruining the honor of their family name. So they did so under pseudonyms."


I've got a question for any historians here. How important has writing anonymously been through the ages?

Supreme Court Cases on Anonymity

"The 1960 case Talley v California, was the first major win for anonymous speech advocates. Mr.Talley was arrested for distributing a handbill that was calling for a boycott of certain businesses in the area because the businesses did not hire minorities. Talley was found guilty of violating the Los Angeles county ordinance."

"He was fined $10 for the offense. In response, he petitioned to the federal Supreme Court under the 14th amendment, the amendment that allows state laws to be judged by the federal Supreme Court. In the end, the Los Angeles law that did not allow anonymous distribution of handbills was repealed. In California, the people are allowed to write and publish whatever speech they want to and there are no repercussions if the speech is anonymous."

"Justice Black argues that there is a history of anonymous pamphlets which contribute to the well-being of mankind. The ordinance was also repealed because the arguments of the judge fall back on the basis of our legal system, that one is presumed innocent until proven guilty. One can not argue that if we allow someone to write an anonymous pamphlet that they will necessarily commit fraud, false advertising or libel."


"In a more recent case McIntire v Ohio Election Board, Mrs. McIntyre was fined $100 dollars for distributing anonymous election materials against a levy tax. In the case the Ohio Election commission vs McIntyre, the federal supreme court overturned the fine because:"

* The decision in favor of anonymity may be motivated by fear of economic or official retaliation, by concern about social ostracism, or merely by a desire to preserve as much of one's privacy as possible.

* More-over, in the case of a handbill written by a private citizen who is not known to the recipient, the name and address of the author adds little, if anything, to the reader's ability to evaluate the document's message.

* Thus, Ohio's informational interest is plainly insufficient to support the constitutionality of its disclosure requirement.

* Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority.



Opposing anonymous writing is opposing freedom.

Interesting.

paulhem and Fuselighter work for newspapers. Freedom of the press, right? Yet, both are adamantly opposed to anonymous writers of whatever kind.

Do paulhem and Fuselighter endorse the idea of selective freedoms? In other words, the idea of freedom is allowed to be applied to for-profit newspapers but not to citizens on a not-for-profit message board.

posted by jr at 05:00 P.M. EST on Tue Feb 27, 2007     #



"Users can start out writing anonymously and then open up later if the user chooses. What's wrong with that? Why force the issue on someone?"

jr, I think that we are talking past each other. You are defending anonymity. I do as well. I will post some advice for people here to follow in order to make their degree of anonymity on the Web better. eff.org has some great ideas.

I certainly don't agree with everything Mr. Miller said in his editorial. However, being on the receiving end of seemingly endless personal attacks here, I think that he brings up some issues that strike a chord with me that should be debated. And you started the topic for that reason. As you could see from the reaction to my first comment on this thread, I agree with Mr. Miller ONLY on the basis of the attacks that I have received. Here's what I said: I ""...condemned anonymous name-callers..." I condemn anonymous name-callers - not anonymous commenters or posters in general.

When holland made her comments, initially, they seemed way off topic which seemed to me to be newspaper technology. The person who began the topic told me to "go away." Somewhere in the middle of the attacks that followed the "go away," holland (Ms. Visco) made a comment regarding my employer. I took that personally - maybe I shouldn't have, but it seemed directed at me - I'm sure she will deny that. But why make the comment? In the middle of billy launching his extended personal attack she throws in, "In short the Blade has no cred's. While occaisionally it has shined and won awards, it mostly has been an agenda driven publication." So, I reacted. And guess what? We all found out that she is a politician. When was the last politician who relished what a newspaper has to report about them? So, who has an agenda?

I may change my nick to something I picked up in this exchange, because I think it would be entertaining. And the new nick ain't my name, but I will put my name on my profile.

I don't like being lumped in with Mr. Miller. However, it would be dishonorable for me to say that I don't feel sympathetic to some of his assertations in his editorial.

Perhaps PERHAPS, I used this thread - WITHOUT REALIZING IT - to make a point that is not on topic. My point is that individuals are responsible for their postings and that there are methods to determine their identity, in the event a lawsuit is filed.

I do not support ANY government interference with blogging and I would actively work against such a law.

So, if anyone here wants to start a petition, opposing a bill that would adversely impact blogging, then I want to sign it.

As a matter of fact, jr, if you would like to start one here, then I would like to be of service.

Once I get some time, I will post some info that I have tested that will enhance T2 people's anonymity.

That said, I will still react negatively to anonymous name-calling directed against me.

posted by paulhem at 06:04 P.M. EST on Tue Feb 27, 2007     #



That means that if someone using a nick calls me a name then I will tend to react in a like, negative manner. So, hence the exchanges.
posted by paulhem at 06:08 P.M. EST on Tue Feb 27, 2007     #



Bbcmjeep43 has been following me around this forum since I have begun commenting here.
Good grief! A cyber-stalker? Say it ain't so Joe! I didn't know that posting comments here was illegal? Would you please tell me where and when I am allowed to post comments?

He posts defamatory comments about me and seems to attempt to bully me through his rantings.
O.K. I'm holding up the mirror now!

Because he is a union hack who doesn't have the guts to stand up in public and make his declarations.
Am I really just a one- dimensional character such as you see in those anti-union advertisements? No guts either? I really must be a sorry mess then!

He listed a union web site.
High crimes and misdemeanors? Not me! I actually thought that was legal!

That said, I will still react negatively to anonymous name-calling directed against me.

This mirror I hold is getting heavy! Me being "gutless" and "beneath contempt" adds to the psychological burden as well!

My point is that individuals are responsible for their postings and that there are methods to determine their identity, in the event a lawsuit is filed.
A look back through your comments reveals that you have continuously threatened lawsuits since you have been posting on here, against myself, and other members of this web site! It does seem like you are trying to curtail and eliminate free speech, and establish yourself as the top dog.(no pun intended).

If I were to actually count the number of implied or threatened lawsuits you have made, it might be as high as fifteen or twenty! I do not believe I have ever threatened anyone with such action, although some people have said some nasty things about me, I just move on, and keep truckin'!


That means that if someone using a nick calls me a name then I will tend to react in a like, negative manner. So, hence the exchanges.
I may have an excuse for my third grade behavior, by being far below your educational level Mr. Hem. What's your excuse for calling names? Ever since you have posted on here you have called people lot's of names!That's a fact. Didn't you know that when you roll in the mud with the pigs, you get dirty?

I'm going to list my "supposed crimes" right now.

1. I had the audacity to attempt to actually disagree with you.

2. I "supposedly" followed you, and put the links to the (stop the blade web site) on pages you were at or discoursing upon.

3. I supposedly called names! Have I also done this on the line at Jeep? Did I do that in grade school too? This could show a pattern of mis- behavior!

4. I have an opinion which is diametrically opposed to yours!

5. I refused to be frightened and intimidated by you.


I'm going to list what I believe your "problem" is. These are my personal beliefs only, and please do not infer aggression on my part from these astute and substantially correct observations!

1. When someone has an opposing opinion to yours, you accuse them of personal attacks, and even start talking about lawsuits. This has happened several times, and is a recurring pattern.

2. You yourself call other posters plenty of names!

3. You have repeatedly implied that people are cowards, and called people cowards on this web site.

4. You have attempted to rally support for your "piling on" to others, after you have said others would be piling on to you!

5. You repeatedly boast about how tough you are, and then whine about being attacked!

6. You have repeatedly attempted to find out anonymous poster's identities by shaming them, calling them cowards, and also called them names for not revealing themselves to you.

7. You have repeatedly attempted to embarrass other people on this web site by needling them and making fun of them like a third grade bully. Whenever anyone says anything in return, you play the lawsuit card, or the "helpless victim" card.

8. I see a continuing pattern of attempted and cyber- bullying of honest citizens.

Is the Blade's sword in your scabbard? Or are you holding it by yourself?

posted by Bbcmjeep43 at 10:12 P.M. EST on Tue Feb 27, 2007     #



Bbcmjeep43,

When decide to behave like an adult, like your comment above, then you seem more credible.

However, I see a different history when I look back on our exchanges. I see you initiating name-calling attacks. One of your attacks were after I requested that guestzero be shunned at The Distillery for saying that he thought it is an Iraqi's duty to shoot my Infantryman son in the head. You chose to claim that I was insane, etc., instead of standing with me. And you once again attacked me about my opinions regarding labor issues at The Blade. Guestzero agreed with me about the labor issues. There ARE issues that trancend disagreements regarding business. What were you thinking a father's response would be? It just makes me think that you use anonymity to attempt to do as much damage as possible. That was your choice.

My response then is what it is now. You would not behave in such a manner if you were identified by your real name.

Again, my point is that you are not as anonynous as you may believe. You can be sued and lose, as I posted above.

posted by paulhem at 07:35 A.M. EST on Wed Feb 28, 2007     #



To Paul Hem.
That's a cute little letter there. You yourself have said lot's of stupid things. A quick look back through your comments reveals someone who likes to needle and agitate others. Your purpose here may also be to quash any support of the locked- out Blade workers. I personally have listened to your alternate whining, and then verbally attacking others, soon followed by extended bragging sessions, where you boast of your many accomplishments! It appears you may have a split personality, and or, alternating identities, of which you yourself may be unaware of them all. You came upon this board threatening to sue others, if I remember correctly. Calling names and whining about being attacked at the same time. I myself am nobody. Just a factory worker at Jeep. I do recognize a person in need of mental health intervention, when I see the symptoms of delusional behavior. You do not frighten me, and you are not the Lord and Master of ToledoTalk. You seem to be in desperate need of a big slice of humble pie. Who made it your place to act as a renegade sheriff, and round up all who do not agree with you, using the tactics of group psychology to attempt to ostracize another member, or other members, of this board?
I would go to the distillery myself, if it were not for the fact that January 12th is my wife's and my mother's birthdays. I believe you are trying to get people to help you gang up on Guest Zero.
posted by Bbcmjeep43 at 06:10 P.M. EST on Thu Jan 11, 2007 #


You chose to claim that I was insane, etc., instead of standing with me.
A person doesn't have to be insane to benefit from counseling. I have gone to counseling and do not feel that I am any less of a person because of it. There were times in my life where I needed help. I asked for it, and I got help for myself. Mental health counseling.

And you once again attacked me about my opinions regarding labor issues at The Blade.
I wouldn't characterize this sentence: Your purpose here may also be to quash any support of the locked- out Blade workers. as any kind of an attack. Let's get real here. This is my opinion only.

It just makes me think that you use anonymity to attempt to do as much damage as possible.

I am not trying to damage you. I am giving my personal opinions. Who attacked who on this thread first? Do you remember?

My response then is what it is now. You would not behave in such a manner if you were identified by your real name.

Yes I would. These are my opinions. A look back at your comments reveal someone who tried to ostracize another member of this board based upon your personal dislike of his opinions.You apparently have also gone so far as to try to bring in outside support to possibly intimidate people into silence. This goes far beyond the bounds of free and open discussion, which includes the right to disagree, and enters a new territory called cyber-bullying.

It seems that the only concern you have is who is for or against your union activities. You are undeserving of anything other than contempt, and you have mine.

Whatever.

The only coward here is you Zero. I present myself with my real identity. What are You afraid of? Are you afraid that you would be held accountable by name? You're a pathetic coward.

Allow me to borrow the words of Ronald Reagan here. "There you go again!"

I thought that you and others would want to know the character of this individual before he is served in your establishment. In my discussions with veterans groups and my son’s friends whose parents are from the Toledo area, I have informed them what this character, GuestZero, has had to say.

It's not fair play to take people's remarks out of context and show them to outsiders to this board who may not have a full grasp of the big picture here. Did you also inform these people of your own negative remarks? I would guess not.


However, I see a different history when I look back on our exchanges. I see you initiating name-calling attacks.

You initiated the attack on this thread. You also initiated the attack on the distillery thread. Do you even remember the facts here?

posted by Bbcmjeep43 at 08:37 A.M. EST on Wed Feb 28, 2007     #



Zzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Anybody see an issue here that an 'ignore' button wouldnt cure?

posted by billy at 08:50 A.M. EST on Wed Feb 28, 2007     #



Definitely agree with billy. Can't paulhem and Bbcmjeep43 and anyone else involved in that "discussion" take it off board? Geez, get a private chat room or something. Or, maybe a thick skin.
Mike

posted by miked918 at 09:02 A.M. EST on Wed Feb 28, 2007     #



I'll put a stop to it. He thinks I'm a horse's ass and I think the same of him.

The End

posted by paulhem at 12:15 P.M. EST on Wed Feb 28, 2007     #



I agree with Mike. I, for one, need a much thicker skin.
posted by katie82640 at 02:35 P.M. EST on Wed Feb 28, 2007     #



No problem here, I've been called worse by better. Goes with the territory.
posted by holland at 03:26 P.M. EST on Wed Feb 28, 2007     #



Here's a somewhat interesting take on the whole anonymous posting debate:


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/limbaugh-hannity-and-th_b_42333.html

posted by McCaskey at 01:14 A.M. EST on Thu Mar 01, 2007     #



Arianna said:

"Trying to balance the freedom and openness of the Internet with the desire to be responsible and avoid these kinds of outrageous comments can sometimes be challenging. As soon as these offensive comments came to our attention, they were deleted from the site. They were made by anonymous visitors to the site -- visitors that make up a very, very small unrepresentative portion of our readers."

The site owners took responsibility. The site owners chose how to manage their site and meet the challenges.

The easiest way for a Web site owner to deter trolls is to never start a Web site in the first place or kill the Web site if it already exists. It's your simple mathematics. Some things simply come with the territory when managing a Web site. Expecting trolls to never find their way onto a site is living in a dream world.

posted by jr at 09:00 A.M. EST on Thu Mar 01, 2007     #



jr,

I will try to be more supportive. I didn't believe that I was making comments that would cause you concern.

I still plan on leveraging that fact that I am posting here as myself, when I am faced with snarky, disrespectful and trollish behavior - without feeding the trolls - Doing the best that I can do.

You do a better job with this site than I could ever imagine me or anyone else accomplishing. I have participated in many other discussion boards, anonymously, and the quality here at T2, along with the FUN is incomparable.

McCaskey: I have to admit that it was the first time I have visited Ms. Huffington's blog. Of course, considering my obvious political leanings, that was a feat. :)

posted by paulhem at 11:40 A.M. EST on Thu Mar 01, 2007     #



LOL, I understand, Paul.

And, like you and many others, I really enjoy Toledo Talk and what is has to offer to all posters of all political persuasions.

posted by McCaskey at 05:22 P.M. EST on Thu Mar 01, 2007     #



Via Slashdot, a March 10, 2007 story titled Can outing an anonymous blogger be justified?
posted by jr at 12:33 P.M. EST on Sat Mar 10, 2007     #



That was really sad, jr., and appears the blogger in question removed almost all of the material from his blog.
posted by psyche777 at 03:40 A.M. EST on Sun Mar 11, 2007     #



Blogger's Code of Conduct - Created after a cyber-bulling incident in March.

5. We do not allow anonymous comments.

"We require commenters to supply a valid email address before they can post, though we allow commenters to identify themselves with an alias, rather than their real name."

posted by jr at 12:10 A.M. EST on Mon Apr 09, 2007     #



Interesting parallel thread on swampbubbles.com.

Where 'outing' has come up...

posted by katie82640 at 10:32 A.M. EST on Mon Apr 09, 2007     #



Jarvis at BuzzMachine said:

"I was doing my best to ignore Tim O’Reilly’s misguided effort to play hall monitor to the blogosphere, wishing it would just go away. But unfortunately the New York Times did not ignore it. How could it pass up a juicy opportunity to make us all look like the louts they all too often think we are?"

Other discussions.

"We've drafted a code of conduct that will eventually be posted on bloggingcode.org, and created a badge that sites can display if they want to link to that code of conduct."


Cute.

posted by jr at 07:58 P.M. EST on Mon Apr 09, 2007     #



"6. We ignore the trolls.

We prefer not to respond to nasty comments about us or our blog, as long as they don't veer into abuse or libel. We believe that feeding the trolls only encourages them--"Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, but the pig likes it." Ignoring public attacks is often the best way to contain them."

I like number 6 the best. I'm going to tape it on my desk right above where I bang my forehead...

posted by katie82640 at 11:11 A.M. EST on Tue Apr 10, 2007     #



April 10, 2007 BBC story titled Weblogs 'need content warnings'.

"Readers should be warned when they are reading blogs that may contain "crude language", a draft blogging code of conduct has suggested."

Since Toledo Talk began in January 2003, the top of every Web page has contained the following meta tag :

<meta name="rating" content="14 Years" />

Which is approximately PG-13. I don't know if anything makes use of this tag.

posted by jr at 05:29 P.M. EST on Tue Apr 10, 2007     #



Now everyone has to be careful because "idiot" will upset Paulie?

I don't think so.

Irrational
Submitted by Pete on Fri, 2007-04-06 20:54.
Paul, anyone who has followed your career on the web would find a lot of your stuff to be not only irrational but completely crazy. No offense intended.


And this was the request Paul made on that thread: And you must be 12.
Submitted by paulhem on Fri, 2007-04-06 22:32.
Look, kid, if you want to pass judgement on me, then have the guts to identify yourself.

Otherwise, you're demonstrating yourself to be a coward, who takes his many failures in his brief experience in life out on others through anonymous sniping on blogs.


And so I did: Yo Paul?
Submitted by BrianInVeroFL on Sat, 2007-04-07 04:23.
B-R-I-A-N M-A-X-S-O-N.

You're an idiot.


Then Paul becomes precious:Brian Maxon -- You're a loser!
Submitted by paulhem on Sat, 2007-04-07 07:45.
Wanna tell that story about how you wound up thrown out of town?

It's common knowledge that the prosecutors here will offer a lighter sentence if you agree to leave.


Is that what happened Maxon? If that's your real name.


So not only have I provided my real name to appease Paul's own request, he's decided to take the thread over and change the topic to make it about me. lol

This is how Paul works. This is the perfect example of why people post using aliases. Because then people won't have to endure attacks on their personal lives.

Now, after Paul has decided to post false incidents he's conjured up in his demeted mind to make it look like I was charged with something, I afforded Paul an opportunity to rectify his mistake and apologize for being wrong. Instead he decides to attack me more after clarifying how I decided to leave the community: The idiot here is bragging about his conquest at Henry J's
Submitted by paulhem on Sun, 2007-04-08 08:56.
Is she your wife, now, Brian?

...all because I made a factual statement.

Yeah. You basically admitted to the world that you are an ignorant little twit. And THAT'S a factual statement - one bolstered by your own words.

So you're the idiot, and loser Brian MAXSON.

You piss off.


Which inspired this entry by the board administrator: Thread warning
Submitted by Admin on Sun, 2007-04-08 11:13.
If threads become a shouting match as this one is becoming, I may be forced to put it in read only state. Let's try not to get too personal folks.


So I let it go.

But not Paulie.

He had to get two more digs in before finally pissing the administrator off: Made your points
Submitted by Admin on Sun, 2007-04-08 17:54.
OK, everyone has made their points. Let's move on. I hate to do this, but I am putting this thread into read only status.


So now, as I enjoy having to share my personal life with all you readers, I offer myself as proof as to why people don't use their real names.

posted by BrianInFlorida at 05:12 A.M. EST on Thu Apr 12, 2007     #



And you know I like that Pete too Brian.

I don't like that people are responding to being taunted by revealing their identity. In one case it is somebody who holds a public office.

If I held a public office (betcha that would not last long), I think I'd relish the opportunity to have some anonymous dialogue. Where nobody wanted anything and was not just telling me what I wanted to hear etc

posted by katie82640 at 05:48 P.M. EST on Thu Apr 12, 2007     #



I think Pete is fantastic.

There are a bunch of posters throughout the Toledo Blogosphere I enjoy reading.

The problem I have is the baiting via snide remarks. I saw that Paul was baiting you into a fight and I wasn't going to post anything until he started popping off. Pete picked up the ball, and when Paul (pathetically) called Pete to task, well, I'm not one to pass up an opportunity.

Besides, I'd have used my real name before, but I wanted to protect a certain individual from undue attention. But now that's she's eighteen, I can take the gloves off.

It would be different if Paul was passionate about his cause, but he is not. The problem is Paul expects everyone to fall into line with his train of thought, and if you can't see life through his eyes, then you're open to insult. There's no banter with him, ever. Which is why I chose to make my factual statement and take him to task.

What I didn't expect was his deranged mind would take my being fed up with being pulled over because of Marti Felker's grandkid or being arrested for some condom stunt I pulled when I was 20 for the Toledo Judicial System offering me a deal to leave Toledo, or my "being forced" from my community.

That was a blatent lie, and was placed there to make it look like he knew what he was talking about, or "adding to his credibility".

I'm just appreciative to be able to share with the community the juvenile mentality and the depths of the ignorance Paul carrys with him to prevent any further altercations within certain blog sites dealing with his garbage.

posted by BrianInFlorida at 02:51 A.M. EST on Fri Apr 13, 2007     #



Phew - miss a few days and you miss a lot at TT.

PaulHem:

Actually, I'm a "wannabe historian," not a "wannabe writer." I have not finished my PhD in history yet.

I have several hundred articles published, two book-length manuscripts, and my work has been featured on MSNBC, CBS, USAToday, and the Washington Post, among other places. Reuters has picked up quite a few of my book reviews, and I have a chapter in a book coming out in 2008 on the history of the Potawatomi in Northwest Ohio.

Oh - heh - I have never had an article in the TOLEDO BLADE, so I guess I'm not a "real" writer yet.

:-}

Or was your "wannabe writer" comment directed at some other TT poster above?

posted by historymike at 06:36 A.M. EST on Fri Apr 13, 2007     #



Bri - I actually thought maybe the guy had an ex named Kate, hates redheads or something. But when I saw it was an across the board deal with this guy, I knew the commonality in the situation wasn't me.

I get along with ALmost everybody. It ain't me :-) So it's not personal.

posted by katie82640 at 12:46 P.M. EST on Sun Apr 15, 2007     #



April 11, 2007 kos posting:

"Calls for a "blogger code of conduct" are stupid ..."

posted by jr at 10:48 P.M. EST on Sun Apr 15, 2007     #



I know Kate, and altho I don't interfere with personal disagreements, when it comes to this guy, it's awful difficult not to call him out after reading the drivel he creates.

It would be one thing if he was capable of discussion, but he's not. He wants to drive his point down your throat and through your bowels and if you don't agree with him, then you're against him and his true colors come out.

Besides, I have more a more interesting person trying to label me now and it's pretty pathetic. Especially knowing the person and her agenda, it truly bothers me that people will just believe something without finding facts to re-inforce their belief. They just throw stuff against the wall and thinking that it will stick and people will buy it.

Besides, after the lunch date I had today, I found out I am who I am in person as I am when I post. Intense.

Beware! :)

posted by BrianInFlorida at 03:38 P.M. EST on Mon Apr 16, 2007     #



Okey dokey. I'll consider myself warned :-)

I kind of came out of the box at the guy when his very first post on this site was to threaten jr with slander. I didn't like it, and I did respect the site and the commitment it represents. Particularly when jr doesn't sell any ads and I'm pretty sure that he could do so. So there isn't really anything in it for him except that he wanted a discussion forum - but then I have a hard case against bullies in general.

I was an ugly kid so I got to see the front row version of how both kids and adults treat people they don't like.

Then I married a bully. Don't get me wrong, he didn't have a bullies' date face, it just kinda' came out over time. I suffered better than a decade before I made the great escape.

Anyway it escalated to the point that he posted some untrue comments about my being turned down for a job at the Blade. I guess it's true - if you give some people enough rope they'll hang themselves.

posted by katie82640 at 10:15 P.M. EST on Mon Apr 16, 2007     #



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