Interesting piece on sock puppets

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jjoyce
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Interesting piece on sock puppets

Postby jjoyce » Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:29 am


Nick Berigan
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Postby Nick Berigan » Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:04 am

"....the same right to anonymity in public online discussion forums as any other participant?"

Huh? I can see that it might be a "policy" of the service and maybe even a "good thing" (in someone else's analysis that is not mine) but a "right?" That seems like a leap.

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Postby pulsewidth modulation » Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:11 am

The interesting thing about the DPF is it serves as a left wing information aggregation forum. I suspect 15 or so anonymous politically connected individuals post here on a regular basis supporting the RTA, city mandated sick leave, trolleys, the Overture Center, TIF condo development welfare, posting anti Zach Brandon rhetoric, and regularly attacking the Wisconsin State Journal's critical reporting about Progressive Dane's activities... all of which is popular with the left and property holders on the isthmus.

All this being said; going on web forums anonymously and attacking the people who own the isthmus and the city government from behind the monitor is perfectly acceptable. Idiots like Stewart Levitan and Vikki Selkow who regularly call for the outing of political activists whom they disagree with is a weak and pathetic act of cowardice. If you can't compete, go home you Fin babies. The politically powerful will pull out some dirty tricks in order to get their way (even lie, like Stewart Levitan did about the Todd Drive redevelopment); so I wouldn't give them the ability to stay anonymous while they use their tax/government provided privileges to threaten the rest of us from behind their computers (which are provided to them by the Madison tax payer).

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Postby jjoyce » Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:38 am

PM: Are you jealous because nobody wants to unmask you?

Incidentally, calling out public servants as "idiots" behind an anonymous screen name is the definition of cowardice. The conclusion here is that either you have a record to be ashamed of, or no record at all.

That's not my conclusion about everyone who posts anonymously, but definitely for a small group of keyboard heroes who talk tough and back it up with nothing.

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Postby chance » Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:36 am

You’re right, it is an interesting piece, and not just for what it says about sock puppets, but also for what it says about anonymous posting. Anonymity and sock puppetry are of course related but they present some different issues.

I think it’s a good thing that posters can remain anonymous. It contributes to the breadth and depth of the discourse by bringing in voices which might otherwise not be heard. At the same time, I think that it is also a good thing when forum users try to figure out the identity of anonymous posters, including outing them. It provides some degree of deterrence to irresponsible uses (like gratuitous asshole-itude, and sock puppetry) of the ability to post anonymously. No matter how slight that deterrent might be, it’s better than nothing.

I think sock puppetry is a bad thing. It degrades the quality of the discourse by adding what amounts to little more than noise. It also seems to me to be an unfair tactic by those who choose to take advantage of anonymity.

Of course, the ability of posters to remain anonymous is precisely what allows sock puppetry to occur. I know that it’s not possible technically to prevent it entirely, but why can’t a forum do what it is able to do? That would include flagging posts that come from accounts that used the same e-mail address to register (I’m sure some dimwits have done that), and flagging posts originating from the same IP address (I know it’s not a sure tip-off, but it’s a potential clue).

Why do I post anonymously? It’s not because I have some public role that I’m trying to avoid having disclosed. I’m a nobody, believe me. It’s mainly because my e-mail address would be findable to anyone who knew my name, and the unfortunate fact is that there are cranks and nutballs out there who just don’t find posting a forum response to be adequately cathartic when they read a post that rubs them the wrong way. I just don’t want to have to worry about getting e-mail from such folks about my posts here.

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Postby pulsewidth modulation » Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:54 am

jjoyce wrote:That's not my conclusion about everyone who posts anonymously, but definitely for a small group of keyboard heroes who talk tough and back it up with nothing.


Like nevermore, lucpak, Dulez and their sock puppets?

You're a political pussy jjoyce. Like I've said before; demand anonymous "equality" and call your friends out. Then I'll take you seriously. Some of us have real jobs, real lives, and REAL businesses that PD would love to see shut down or marched out of town. We can't hide behind the protection of our government supplied jobs like Selkow and Konkel can. Must be nice...

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Postby lordofthecockrings » Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:58 am

pulsewidth modulation wrote:Some of us have real jobs, real lives, and REAL businesses ...

You'd never know it from the frequency you post here and how often you bitch about the yuppie ruling class or whatever the fuck you call it.

p.s. Could you please tell me what business you own so I can be sure never to give you a goddamn dime?

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Postby pulsewidth modulation » Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:05 pm

lordofthecockrings wrote:p.s. Could you please tell me what business you own so I can be sure never to give you a goddamn dime?


i own club 5.

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Postby Marvell » Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:07 pm

pulsewidth modulation wrote:
lordofthecockrings wrote:p.s. Could you please tell me what business you own so I can be sure never to give you a goddamn dime?


i own club 5.


More like club 5 owns you.

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Postby TheBookPolice » Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:14 pm

And shockingly, he's back on the gays. You continue to demonstrate a significant fascination/obsession with things your purport to dislike (this forum, gayness to name two). I know sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but...

I've personally uncovered the identities of two Forons: one, because it turned out I knew the person in real life, and the other because it seemed like a fun thing to do for a challenge.

But I would never presume to broadcast those findings for the rest of the DPF. Anonymity is important. If that comes at the expense of username integrity, so be it. Sockpuppetry is usually pretty transparent, and the Forum had a good way of determining when a user is worth listening to, or a waste of bits.

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Postby Nick Berigan » Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:44 pm

But I still have to wonder; Is "pulseless's..." anonymity here a "right?"

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Postby pulsewidth modulation » Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:55 pm

Image

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re: interesting piece of sock puppets

Postby gozer » Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:00 pm

looking at it from another angle, sockpuppetspotting and most of its alleged motivations of trollophobia, latent or overt desire to censor, drivel projection, and certainly present an interesting commentary on the security and self-esteem levels of those on both sides. i'm sure most people here feel that they don't need two or more of themselves to get the job done. then of course there are some who so insecure, intolerant, and dim-witted that they need to have their own views parroted back to them 24/7, especially by themselves. damn.

the more common cause of multiple i.d.p.f.login ownership -- logins which no longer work for whatever reason -- would seem to usually be some chronological expiry function; it sounds like there is a certain number of days with no activity that the account goes into the bin but keeps the name stored and theefore unable to be used. in actuality this may be that way for a reason.

for that and vsrious other reasons, i am pretty sure that any newspaper or in some cases online content provider's liability carrier would at least have a non-commital grumbly negative response to one of their policy-holders mandating disclosure of biographical and geographical information that would abet such a response to discussions on the board as pounding on someone's door at 3 in the morning, dumping solvents on the boot of some person or people's car/s, shooting out porch lights with a rifle, walking up to a fellow foron in a demonstration and pointing a can of mace right at their eyeballs, all of which and much much more are the reaction that some forons, including some still posting here.

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Re: re: interesting piece of sock puppets

Postby TheBookPolice » Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:11 pm

gozer wrote:looking at it from another angle, sockpuppetspotting and most of its alleged motivations of trollophobia, latent or overt desire to censor, drivel projection, and certainly present an interesting commentary on the security and self-esteem levels of those on both sides. i'm sure most people here feel that they don't need two or more of themselves to get the job done. then of course there are some who so insecure, intolerant, and dim-witted that they need to have their own views parroted back to them 24/7, especially by themselves. damn.

the more common cause of multiple i.d.p.f.login ownership -- logins which no longer work for whatever reason -- would seem to usually be some chronological expiry function; it sounds like there is a certain number of days with no activity that the account goes into the bin but keeps the name stored and theefore unable to be used. in actuality this may be that way for a reason.

for that and vsrious other reasons, i am pretty sure that any newspaper or in some cases online content provider's liability carrier would at least have a non-commital grumbly negative response to one of their policy-holders mandating disclosure of biographical and geographical information that would abet such a response to discussions on the board as pounding on someone's door at 3 in the morning, dumping solvents on the boot of some person or people's car/s, shooting out porch lights with a rifle, walking up to a fellow foron in a demonstration and pointing a can of mace right at their eyeballs, all of which and much much more are the reaction that some forons, including some still posting here.

You are one hard-to-read son of a gun. I recognize almost all of the words, and yet the ultimate meaning is totally lost on me. And that last bit...that's a 119-word sentence! My MAN, you have got to break that shit up!

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Postby Ned Flanders » Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:28 pm

Interesting topic. PM is correct that TDPF is an echo-chamber for the extreme left, but that's what makes it fun.

Anonymous writing and opinion has a pretty long history in American literary and political circles (see Stephen King writing as Richard Bachman and Thomas Paine writing in Common Sense).

Anonymity is tenuous at best here. Remember the scandal a few years back? I can't really remember the details but didn't Isthmus turn over names and email addresses to the cops.


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