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Jun 06 2013

I support your right to post anonymously

There are very good reasons to use a pseudonym on a blog. Perhaps you have opinions that are contrary to the majority in your region, and you face serious consequences if your identity gets out; Lord knows, many atheists have that particular problem. Or perhaps you just want to use the internet to have a conversation, and would rather it not lead to greater and more intrusive involvement; I know women who’d rather not see an escalation of an interaction from people who don’t know how to graciously accept a “no.” Sometimes people sensibly try to limit their commitment to the internet and the often too agressive efforts by the internet to commit to them. All things in moderation and all that.

shithead

But there are also bad reasons to use a pseudonym on a blog. The very worst? Some people use anonymity to empower their ability to be a shithead. They snipe and sneer, they hide behind fake names, they use multiple sock puppets to generate the illusion that more people support their hatred, and also to prevent people from blocking them — they want to force you to read their venom.

I do not support shitheads.

I ban them. I am announcing now that if you persist in being a shithead on my blog, I won’t hesitate to expose your IP address and email. There have just been too many of you lately, and I’m spending too much time cleaning up the smears of shit you leave everywhere you go. I am aware that you’ll spend more effort now trying to cover your tracks, because that’s what you do: you’re a shithead and a coward. But I don’t care, and if I find you are using an anonymizer, or a fake email address, or are using multiple identities, that will be sufficient grounds to ban you.

On a related note, I’ve noticed that prominent shitheads tend to have absolutist opinions about their “rights”. They have a right to free speech, they declare; they can say any damn thing they want, and it is their privilege. They also shriek in outrage about “dropping dox” — how dare anyone reveal their identities to the world? I have seen enough of this black and white nonsense about an unqualified support for free speech and an unqualified opposition to “dropping dox”, and I’m here to tell you…you don’t get to hold both positions. They’re incompatible. If you want to be free to say anything, I expect you to have the courage of your convictions and be willing to stand up for what you believe.

I have absolutely no respect for someone who insists on the privilege of simultaneously being a shithead and being free of any responsibility for what they say.

So post anonymously if you want, but realize that I expect responsible and reasonable behavior if you do so.

235 comments

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  1. 1
    rwgate

    Hear, hear. Too long before anyone said it. Totally agree with you.

  2. 2
    Zeno

    Oh, no! PZ knows who I really am. I am totally at his mercy!

  3. 3
    WithinThisMind

    I wish to purchase one of those hats for the upcoming birthday of a particular family member. Amazon.com, do not fail me.

  4. 4
    Marcus Ranum

    Another way of looking at it is if someone supports the absolute right of free speech, then publishing whatever can be learned about them is just exercising free speech as well.

  5. 5
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    I sense another wave of outraged, barely-coherent, spittle-flecked letters being sent to conference organisers about how much of a monster you are, PZ.

  6. 6
    A. R

    WithinThisMind: Is this acceptable?

  7. 7
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith is a Spocktopus cuddler

    Poop. Marcus beat me to it. :p

    I can still say “poop”, right?

  8. 8
    dogfightwithdogma

    Definitely agree with your main thesis. Shithead’s don’t deserve to hide behind the mask of anonymity.

    I’ve noticed that prominent shitheads tend to have absolutist opinions about their “rights”. They have a right to free speech, they declare; they can say any damn thing they want, and it is their privilege.

    Shitheads, and everyone else as well, do in fact have an absolute right to say whatever they want. In this respect their right is absolute. But what they don’t have a right to is any venue or forum they demand for spewing their shit, nor a right to be free of criticism, including being called out as the shithead they are.

  9. 9
    cubist

    The absolutist positions Free Speech über alles! and Doxxing people is always bad aren’t just incompatible; they’re flatly, utterly, unavoidably, black-against-white contradictory. Once you’ve decided that Free Speech cannot be compromised, no way nohow, not for any reason whatsoever… once you’ve accepted that position, you don’t get to say “Oh, uh, except that. Your precious, absolute Right to Free Speech doesn’t cover saying that.”

  10. 10
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    About the only downside to this is that those few posters who do go to the Slymepit to challenge the scumbags there will face the equivalent outing.

  11. 11
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    PZ hit the nail on the head. There is huge tendency of freeze peach absolutists not to take responsibility for what they say, and how they say it. You can be a shit, but don’t expect folks to treat you and what you say like they aren’t shit. That is hypocrisy that they usually decry—in someone else, usually those they disagree with.

  12. 12
    triamacleod

    It is the internet, no one is truly anonymous, not without a LOT of work and forethought. It still shocks me that the MRAtheists seem to think that being bullies is somehow a protected right. If you are afraid that your RL identity will become known, or that your on-line antics will tarnish your IRL reputation and cost you prestige, reputation or business, perhaps you should rethink your behavior.

    If you honestly think there is nothing wrong with posting death threats and/or threats of physical violence, nothing wrong with sending raging loons out to abuse the families of those who disagree with you, etc, etc, etc. Why should you be upset if someone decides to shine a light on your behavior? You claim over and over again that you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve done nothing to be ashamed of. That your actions and tactics are just and legal…..so why all the whining and crying when tables get turned?

  13. 13
    Alverant

    I like to post anonymously pretty much for the reasons listed in the first paragraph. Also for tradition (OK that’s a bad reason but there have been anonymous postings on the internet pretty much since there WAS an internet). If someone where to do some investigating, they could find out my real name. I just happen to think I’m not worth the time.

  14. 14
    Shplane, Spess Alium

    I’m assuming that anonymizers and fake email addresses are ok if the person doesn’t use them to be a shithead, right? I use a shitty disposable hotmail here, personally, and also pretty much everywhere else that requires a login. I don’t want my important email full of spam and alerts from every website I’ve ever signed up for but didn’t bother to go through the process of making them understand that I don’t want any goddamn emails from them.

    I also occasionally use Stealthy for various things, and might forget I have it on when coming here. Hopefully that won’t be banworthy?

  15. 15
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    I don’t believe the Freeze Peachers for a second. I’ve never been there, but I doubt that the Slymepit is full of spam. If all Peach MUST Be Freeze, why don’t they allow every spammer and huckster and pornographer free rein on their forum? That speech is undesirable, unwanted, derailing, annoying, detracting? So, yeah. They do have [gasp] “censorship” and even approve of it when it suits them.

  16. 16
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    In order to claim the absolute right to free speech, one must support your opponent’s absolute right to post all information about you. That is absolute.

    Complaining about being doxxed shows that you do not actually believe in the absolute right to free speech.

  17. 17
    mykroft

    Your royal squidliness,
    Given the RL consequences for this, may I suggest setting up some rules to avoid the impression of arbitrariness in execution? Give the fecal-encephalist a warning before unmasking them? The warning should have a shelf life beyond the thread it is given in, so that they don’t just come, squat, and then turd up in a different thread.

    Also, be careful setting red lines you can’t enforce. As someone in the business of computer security, I can think of a few ways to get into this forum while completely hiding my identity. A little more effort, but now much. Doing so repeatedly would be enough of a pain that it might eventually convince a person to stop, but sustaining the effort is doable.

    Note: Having multiple on-line ‘nyms is natural for someone concerned about network security (at least for me). I don’t use them for abusing others though, just to maintain a lower on-line profile.

  18. 18
    Inaji

    Long ago, on a faraway internet, I would have hesitated before signing onto this. Not anymore. I’m fully on board. I see no reason at all to enable, in any way, craven asses who bray at their ability to harass and threaten. Don’t want your slimy behaviour highlighted? Don’t want to be outed? Try behaving like a human being.

    Mycroft:

    Having multiple on-line ‘nyms is natural for someone concerned about network security

    That’s not what PZ is talking about. He means using multiple nyms here, as a way to bypass banning (morphing), or to get people to pay attention to you again, after having burnt everyone out on the previous nym. Regulars here generally stick to one nym, and if they plan on changing it, it’s announced or noted within the nym itself.

  19. 19
    Dhorvath, OM

    My nym is as much me as my birth name, it’s not something I hide behind, but something that I build upon and as such the reputation it encompasses has value to me. That people will just pull on nyms and cast them off when convenient is incredibly alien to me; to do so to circumvent social responsibility makes me churn with distrust for new people. I like new people and hate that little sideways glance that suspects they may not be, so I have some interest in persistence of nym. As such, I am in favour of knowing when someone is hiding who they are to avoid the repercussions of reputation.

  20. 20
    omnicrom

    I agree with mykroft’s suggestion of a warning. Persistent assholes should get read the riot act before they are threatened with public castigation.

  21. 21
    leftwingfox

    I was thinking about that with the recent talk of psudonymity here. Frankly, I think Richard Carrier’s approach is perfect:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/3727/comment-page-1#comment-40362

  22. 22
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    PZ,

    So post anonymously if you want, but realize that I expect responsible and reasonable behavior if you do so.

    Sounds reasonable to me.
    mykroft,

    Given the RL consequences for this, may I suggest setting up some rules to avoid the impression of arbitrariness in execution? Give the fecal-encephalist a warning before unmasking them? The warning should have a shelf life beyond the thread it is given in, so that they don’t just come, squat, and then turd up in a different thread.

    There is a “Commenting Rules” link on the left-hand side of the screen. Also, PZ often warns people before banning them.
    Dhorvath, OM

    My nym is as much me as my birth name, it’s not something I hide behind, but something that I build upon and as such the reputation it encompasses has value to me.

    That was beautifully said, but now I am in a quandary. I like the idea of owning a nym and building it up, but at the same time, I want to change my nym to something more serious and personal to me so that I can identify with it more.

  23. 23
    peter2vill

    The title says:
    “I support your right to post anonymously”
    but the article declare seeming an opposite idea and the change of policy:
    “I won’t hesitate to expose [persistent shithead's] IP address and email”

    And like Wowbagger, Designated Snarker above mentioned I can see this blog and other blogs starting to declare people arbitrarily as “persistent shithead” just because commenters repeatedly disagrees with the blog owner or most commenters.

    I wonder if rude repeat name callers who supporter the blogger will ever get exposed?

    Let the Doxxy Wars begin…

  24. 24
    Inaji

    Dhorvath:

    My nym is as much me as my birth name, it’s not something I hide behind, but something that I build upon and as such the reputation it encompasses has value to me.

    It’s much that way with me as well. I’ve been Caine on the ‘net for over 20 years now.

  25. 25
    spandrel

    It’s becoming clear to me that pseudonymity is possible only in the context of a community with a certain baseline level of trust.

  26. 26
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I can see this blog and other blogs starting to declare people arbitrarily as “persistent shithead” just because commenters repeatedly disagrees with the blog owner or most commenters.

    It’s not disagreeing per se that will get folks banhammered or doxed. If you can’t understand the persistent shithead who does nothing but troll and spew hatred, you don’t get it. People have to work at getting banhammered. Those who refuse to let themselves be banhammered could be doxed. That’s what PZ is saying. It isn’t the black/white inane analysis you gave peter2vill. But the attitude you showed is the start of the process.

  27. 27
    Anthony K

    Let the Doxxy Wars begin…

    Begin? Where’ve you been?

  28. 28
    rorschach

    Slymer-types are anonymous to be able to harass and bully without repercussions for their real life personae, while I and many others aim to remain anonymous on the net to prevent slymer-types from harassing and bullying us and our families. These things are not the same, as PZ says.

    And I don’t know if a warning or “reading of the riot act” is really needed. It would be a good thing if it became part of internet nettiquette and protocol that shitheads have to know that their anonymity may be removed if they use it to engage in harassment, threats, bullying or abusive behaviour.

  29. 29
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    peter2vill,

    The title says:
    “I support your right to post anonymously”
    but the article declare seeming an opposite idea and the change of policy:
    “I won’t hesitate to expose [persistent shithead's] IP address and email”

    So if you are not a “persistent shithead”, then PZ supports your right to post anonymously. Are you a persistent shithead? If you are not, then what is your problem with the title of the post again?

  30. 30
    Inaji

    peter2vill:

    I can see this blog and other blogs starting to declare people arbitrarily as “persistent shithead” just because commenters repeatedly disagrees with the blog owner or most commenters.

    Then you don’t see much. It’s not about disagreement at all. Disagreements happen here every 5 fucking seconds. It’s about people who have shown up here with no intent other than to troll and leave slime trails all over, and when they manage to get themselves banned (which is quite difficult to do), they start sockpuppeting and morphing. Some people who have done this have 10, 20, 30 different identities, showing back up under different nyms to start posting the same old shit they have posted before. They get warned, they are told to stop, they are told to go away, all that. Guess what? They aren’t too bright and don’t listen well.

    It’s a fucktonne of work for PZ to deal with these people, and it’s not as though they have anything new to say, it’s always rehashing the same ground, over and over and over and over. It’s tiring as hell for us regulars, too. They derail, disrupt and troll. Nothing more. It’s not as though they didn’t have plenty of chances to begin with, you know. They had the same as everyone else.

  31. 31
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    rorschach,

    And I don’t know if a warning or “reading of the riot act” is really needed. It would be a good thing if it became part of internet nettiquette and protocol that shitheads have to know that their anonymity may be removed if they use it to engage in harassment, threats, bullying or abusive behaviour.

    I agree with this. Hey shitheads, this,

    I am announcing now that if you persist in being a shithead on my blog, I won’t hesitate to expose your IP address and email.

    is your fucking warning.

  32. 32
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    I suspect more people could identify me in real life by my ‘nym than by my real name, anyway.

  33. 33
    left0ver1under

    Those who least need anonymity end up being the ones who seek it out the most and misuse it. And those who need it the most end up being unable to get it.

    It’s almost as if the trolls want to make privacy impossible for whistleblowers and those who have reason to protect themselves. But it’s not, because without it, the trolls wouldn’t get it either. Clearly, it’s just an example of their stupidity.

  34. 34
    changerofbits

    peter2vill, that’s the risk you take when you post anything online where you’re not in control of the data. Just because some sites let people get away with some very nasty shit without revealing your identity (save when compelled via court order), doesn’t mean you get that protection of anonymity everywhere. It’s also sort of the point in using validated email, so in theory they can trace stuff back to the source should some “RL” shit go down. It’s a good mental filter to set up when posting online: “What would people I respect, and of whom I care what they think, think about this?”

  35. 35
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    I can practically hear the boos and hisses from the Slymey Ones. The bullshit Ophelia is going through is unbelievable. All because she mentioned the name of a NON anonymous pitter who is a shithead!

  36. 36
    Krishan Bhattacharya

    A lot of this might be improved with comment threading and comment voting and flagging. Does WordPress allow those?

  37. 37
    Rey Fox

    Aw, but they just want to disagweee!

  38. 38
    Cyranothe2nd, there's no such thing as a moderate ally

    I want to change my nym to something more serious and personal to me so that I can identify with it more.

    Woo Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts–this seriously cracked me up, given your username. WHO WILL SNIFF THE STARFARTS IF NOT YOU????

  39. 39
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Hexag1:
    Oh god no to threaded comments (you do mean nested comments right ?). They are a pain to follow online and incomprehensible if you follow a blog post by email. Not to mention, getting people to comment reasonably and responsibly is aided by threaded comments…how, exactly?

    As for comment voting, that tells you nothing other than “X number of people clicked this button”. It says nothing about why. I much prefer the system in place now. You comment. If you are reasonable and responsible, you continue to enjoy the privilege of commenting here. If you’re a shithead, the subsequent criticism IS the downvote. And if you’re an extra special type of shithead (Caine’s comment earlier about morphing commenters trying dozens of times reminds me of the perfect example of this: REAP PADEN), you risk PZs ire.

  40. 40
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    A lot of this might be improved with comment threading and comment voting and flagging. Does WordPress allow those?

    threading – How would that improve avoidance of shitheads? Also, NO.
    voting – meh. If I like someone’s comment, I can say it in a sentence. I dislike popularity contests.
    flagging – NO. Now that would give PZ more work, I can just imagine some asshole flagging everything.

  41. 41
    peter2vill

    @Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls
    I did not mean this to be black/white. I tried to highlight that this doxxing threshold might become a sliding grayscale other blogger start using. And who is the real winner in any infighting in atheist/skeptic/feminist communities?

    You already think the attitude I showed is the start of the process to get banned or doxxed. Interesting to see how disagreeing comment get perceived.

    @Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts
    You said: “Are you a persistent shithead? If you are not, then what is your problem with the title of the post again?”

    I not gay, but I fight for gay rights. It is *my* problem even when I’m not gay.

    @changerofbits
    I get there is an anonymity threshold in the Internet. I worked for a ISP’s legal interception couple of years ago. The threshold just got lowered on this blog, which is of course the right of the blog owner and he did give a warning. BTW many Christian blogs required commenters to post on their real names, and some guarantee never to publish personal details. My issues is more supporting a “right”. “Right” is more for everybody or nobody issue.

  42. 42
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    @38:
    Before your question is answered, I’d love to know what a starfart smells like…

  43. 43
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    @41:
    I am really hoping I read that wrong.
    Did you just equate being a shithead (specifically the type that bullies, harassed and engages in the hateful, sexist rhetoric the Pit is famous for)
    With gay rights advocates?

  44. 44
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Yeah, see, that’s the thing. One’s freedom to swing a hammer doesn’t mean a freedom to break my arm with it and not face consequences.

  45. 45
    Eristae
    You said: “Are you a persistent shithead? If you are not, then what is your problem with the title of the post again?”

    I not gay, but I fight for gay rights. It is *my* problem even when I’m not gay.

    I am really hoping I read that wrong.
    Did you just equate being a shithead (specifically the type that bullies, harassed and engages in the hateful, sexist rhetoric the Pit is famous for)
    With gay rights advocates?

    Ooooh, awkward . . . nothing like comparing an oppressed group that has done nothing more than have the audacity to exist with a group of people who go out of their way to hurt others . . .

  46. 46
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    More to the point, what “right” do you think is being violated?

    If it is an individuals free speech…stop. Not only does no one have the right to post anywhere they want to, being banned from one blog for being a sheer asshole does not stop anyone from posting elsewhere.

    If you’re talking about a right to privacy, youre on slightly better ground, until you look at the activities of certain anonymous commenters who are using their anonymity to issue rape/death threats, as well as harass and bully others. Those people being harassed and bullied have the right to live without the threats and intimidation that they face. So we have two conflicting rights. How do you resolve this? Well I’m going to start with who is being harmed and who is doing the harming. If you are an individual who has continuously bullied and harassed someone you are doing the harm. You should face the consequences. In meatspace if you harm someone, you face possible legal consequences. Since these people are anonymous, that will not work.
    BUT IF THEY ARE ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN HARMING OTHERS, AT THE VERY LEAST THEY SHOULD LOSE THEIR ANONYMITY.
    I wonder if half the pissants bullying Rebecca, Ophelia, Stephanie, Jen, PZ, Amanda, Greta, et al who still be doing so using their real names…

  47. 47
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Eristae:
    I thought surely no one would make such an offensive comparison. I thought maybe I misread something or heck, even allowing for ‘intent’, but I see you took it the same way. I’m walking the teetering edge of raw anger right now.

  48. 48
    anchor

    It is fairly well known in astronomical circles that a “star fart” smells just like anything that isn’t hydrogen or helium: we’re all the effluent. I first heard it from Sagan himself during a discussion amongst friends in a rare and delightfully hilarious exhibition of informal raunchiness many eons ago.

  49. 49
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Tony,

    As Eristae noted, it’s really awkward, because it reads to me like being a shitehead was compared to being gay and being a shitehead rights advocate to being a gay rights advocate.

  50. 50
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    Maybe it’s because I’m not an American and therefore don’t couch these issues in the language of rights, but I see anonymity, particularly on a private blog, as a privilege rather than a right. Privileges can be withdrawn. That they have not been taken away, for reasons of history and tradition, does not mean they can’t be.

  51. 51
    lochaber

    peter2vill> srsly, this isn’t a difficult concept to grasp. If you’ve read most of the posts on this network in the past few months, or actually hung around the comment threads for a bit, you should have some grasp of the issue.

    This blog in particular has a fairly rough-and-tumble comments section. There are disagreements, and some harsh words can get thrown around. Calling someone willfully ignorant, or a fuckwit, or whatever is a far cry from bullying and threatening. If you are genuinely confused about the atmosphere or general environment, do the old ’90s thing and lurk and read for a while before you post.

    People on this network (and especially this blog) are pretty quick to call out various forms of bigotry, whether it’s intentional or not, but at the same time, most seem willing to grant a second chance if the offender genuinely realizes their mistake, apologizes, and avoids it in the future.

    On the other hand, we’ve got sockpuppetry, morphing, various threats, all kinds of slurs, JAQing off, etc.

    it’s really pretty simple: don’t be an asshole.

  52. 52
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Beatrice:
    Yeah, its looking like my eyes and brain didn’t deceive me.
    Gut reaction confirmation #2.

  53. 53
    peter2vill

    @Tony! The Virtual Queer Shoop
    You asked: “Did you just equate being a shithead… With gay rights advocates?

    No I did not. I was asked about “…problem with the title of the post”

    The title was about right of anonymity and I talked about gay rights. The point was I am ready to fight for the right of others even when I don’t need those.

    There is not right of “being a shithead”. However sometimes fighting for rights of privacy, anonymity, free speech, religion, due process, right to remain silent are seen as helping “shitheads”.

    So please read my comment again.

  54. 54
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Come to think of it, aside from the odious comparison, why would one want to defend the privacy rights of these specific kinds of shitheads? I not that we have had assholes many times in the past. People have been called shitheads. PZ is talking specifically about certain kinds of shitty people. Given what we know of their behavior-as it is well documented-why would anyone defend the anonymity of people who are doing very real harm?
    Pick an anonymous Pitter, one Ophelia has screencapped, to document the ongoing harassment why should that asshat’s anonymity be defended when they perpetually harass her?

    So theres a two-fold problem with #41.

  55. 55
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    The point was I am ready to fight for the right of others even when I don’t need those.

    That’s a good position to have, generally.

    However, you are plain wrong in determining what are somebody’s rights in this case.

    Acting like a shithead is nothing a person has a right to do anywhere they wish. They can do it at home, they can do it with friends (for as long as friends or family are willing to tolerate them), but they don’t have a right to act like shitheads on somebody’s blog, harassing other commentators in the process.

  56. 56
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    The word privilege has it’s origin in the concept of ‘private law’, and in a private space such as a blog it’s the privileged word of the owner that is law.

    A blog owner should apply themselves to the business of moderation without let or hindrance. A stern, unwavering hand is key to a civil forum. Let folks know where the boundaries lie and be brutal with your enforcement. Those who don’t like it will leave (hurrah!). Those who don’t transgress will feel safe and get on with their chatter.

    Again, this is why I am uncomfortable with employing the language of rights in discussion of forum anonymity. You may have a right to free speech in public spaces, but you don’t have a right to free speech *here*. And in neither space do you have a right to free speech completely without consequences.

  57. 57
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    @53:
    That’s not the clarification I was hoping for. In fact, that doesn’t clear up much.
    Are you not seeing PZs point?
    He supports the right to anonymity…but.
    There’s a qualification there. He’s not coming at this from an absolutist position of 100% privacy all the time.
    There are people abusing their anonymity.
    When asked-repeatedly-to stop, they refuse.
    There is no recourse for their targets.
    They fucking drove Jen McCreight away from blogging.
    Greta Christina gets some of the most vile, misogynistic emails and Twitter messages.
    Rebecca Watson has gotten a lot of rape threats.
    There is no legal recourse-at least none that would work with any speed (“just endure 2 more years of daily take threats and then you might see some resolution to your case Ms Watson”).

    These fuckers are not listening.
    They don’t care the harm they are doing.

    And YOU think it is reasonable to defend their right to privacy in the face of that??!!

    Is your moral compass pointed straight to hell?

  58. 58
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    ::sigh::
    The parenthetical should read: (“just endure two more years of RAPE threats…)

  59. 59
    Kagato

    I’d say everyone has a right to privacy.

    Anonymity is a privilege, and one that is dependent on venue.

    You have the right to not have personal information revealed about you that you wouldn’t reveal yourself.

    You don’t have an automatic right to not have remarks made in public tied back to your real identity.

    At best, you can have a reasonable expectation to anonymity, if a venue has given you that option, provided you follow the rules that govern its use. If you don’t trust the host to respect your anonymity given the things you intend to say, you’d better say them somewhere else.

  60. 60
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    And it’s not just shitheads, but persistent shitheads that are being threatened here. Considering how much it takes for something to be straight out banned, instead of just contained in the thunderdome, I’m not worried about PZ’s abuse of doxxing.

    And I’m one of those people who rely on anonymity. If I had to be here under my real self, I wouldn’t be here at all. But I’m not a persistent shithead who does harassing, threatening, or spews bigoted crap.

    Indeed, I’m all for this new policy. Greta was recently attacked by way of a fake doxxing incident where she used the first name of a poster. Apparently, that poster didn’t want their online scumbag activities to effect their real life, all while doing harm to other’s life. Fuck that shit. Fuck that noise.

    Name n’ Shame.

    Of course, this community being what it is I feel very safe and comfortable here and I want it continue to be that way. I don’t want the slyme to envelop and overwhelm us. I don’t want them to win. They should be ashamed of what they are doing.

  61. 61
    Ray, rude-ass yankee

    JAL @ 60,
    Unfortunately, the slymers seen to have no shame.

  62. 62
    Ray, rude-ass yankee

    Damn, “seem” not “seen”. I previewed and still missed it!

  63. 63
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    First, correction to my last post: the incident I was talking about specifically was on Ophelia Benson’s blog, not Greta’s. That’s what I get for trying to read ALL the blogs at once.

    61 Ray, rude-ass yankee
    —–
    —-

    JAL @ 60,
    Unfortunately, the slymers seen to have no shame.

    Well, not now when they are free to pollute at will and run home safely. Start doxxing the fuckers and arming people with the knowledge of just who they are and what they act like, shit starts to get real. Anyone outed as a slymer, I will gladly cut off in contact with and it may be very revealing on just who as been doing this shit.

    Like the woman on Ophelia’s was on a board for an atheist organization FFS. She should be fucking doxxed so this bullshit of hiding her OUT real life name while being a shithead online. I’d sure as fuck want to know which organization she’s in, so I can protest and if need be, leave the fucking organization. Clearly, she knew it was wrong otherwise she’d spew that shit under her real fucking name. I want the deepest fucking rift between us and them since I can’t actually move to another planet.

  64. 64
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    JAL:
    I agree with everything you’ve said.
    The person Ophelia ‘doxxed’ had already used her real name online and, IIRC, the link in her nym is to her blog where A LOT of personal info is readily available. Much more than her first fucking name.

  65. 65
    Nick Gotts

    Shitheads, and everyone else as well, do in fact have an absolute right to say whatever they want. – dogfightwithdogma

    No, they do not. To take an obvious example, death threats are illegal in all jurisdictions I know anything of – so there is no legal right to make them – and there is no moral right to do so either.

  66. 66
    =8)-DX

    I agree fully with

    I have absolutely no respect for someone who insists on the privilege of simultaneously being a shithead and being free of any responsibility for what they say.

    and understand your no-tolerance policy for shitheads and sock puppet accounts, but I’m scratching my head to understand:

    I won’t hesitate to expose your IP address and email.

    It’s not as if you have a Privacy Policy or anything.

    The privacy of our visitors to freethoughtblogs.com is important to us.
    [..]
    Freethoughtblogs.com will never sell or transfer any personal information, including your email address, that you may have to leave on our side in order to comment.

    I guess you’ll have to add “except if PZ thinks you are a shithead.”

  67. 67
    =8)-DX

    @30 Caine

    Disagreements happen here every 5 fucking seconds.

    No they do not! =P (I’m always explaining this to clueless anti A+/FTB/PZ dudes on YT and elsewhere).

  68. 68
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    66
    =8)-DX

    It’s not as if you have a Privacy Policy or anything.

    Selling or transferring is not the same as exposing. And there is that button on the side about

    I reserve the right to publicly post, with full identifying information about the source, any email sent to me that contains threats of violence.

    It’s just now being expanded to include those who persistently act like shitheads to other commenters as well.

  69. 69
    Inaji

    A lot of this might be improved with comment threading and comment voting and flagging.

    NO.

  70. 70
    oolon

    About the only downside to this is that those few posters who do go to the Slymepit to challenge the scumbags there will face the equivalent outing.

    Nah they’ll take the high ground publicly at least and decry doxy Myers … Then when someone annoys Reap sufficiently docs will be dropped ;-)

  71. 71
    John Morales

    =8)-DX @66, what?

    The IP address is not personal information (unlike an email address).

  72. 72
    Nick Gotts

    Caine@69,

    Another in agreement with you. Threading is a contrivance of Beelzebub for the torment of blog commenters.

  73. 73
    John Morales

    [meta + OT]

    Caine, Nick: Ally Fogg just removed all threading from his blog.

  74. 74
    Inaji

    Nick:

    Threading is a contrivance of Beelzebub for the torment of blog commenters.

    Yes. Absolutely nightmarish, and destroy any attempt at discussion. Anyone who wants the ability to flag comments can run right back to PharyngulaSciborg – NatGeo does that nonsense.

  75. 75
    lpetrich

    About our host’s threat to expose the e-mail addresses of known jerks, the slymers are now howling that it’s contrary to a stated FTB policy of never selling or transferring e-mail addresses.

    But there is a big difference between (1) attempting to finance FTB by giving some marketers the ability to spam its commenters and (2) threatening to expose the identities of troublemakers.

  76. 76
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    As # 65. Nick Gotts noted, there have always been a few exceptions to free speech rights – shouting fire in a crowded theatre, revealing state secrets that aid the enemy in times of war and statements that are libel /slander / otherwise legally actionable.

    I generally see & agree with PZ Myer’s points here. This is, of course his blog and I and others will and have to abide by his rules just as if we were guests in his house. That’s fine and I’ve always respected the rules here and tried to contribute positively. Yeah, whether I’ve succeeded or not others in this is something individuals here can and will decide for themselves but I do try and enjoy much of what’s posted here.

    I also personally detest the disgraceful harassment and bullying directed at some outspoken FTB bloggers like Ophelia Benson, Stephanie Zvan and Jen McCreight. I think those three bloggers are good people who deserve to be treated with respect and nobody ever deserves death threats leats of all for expressing their opinions reasonably as they do. The slymepitters are hateful, horrible scum.

    I do, however, have some reservations on this idea. The case for the “nayes” here as I see it :

    Firstly “being a shithead” is a vague and subjective term – I’d prefer that better more objectively defined and based on people doing specific things, eg. morphing, trying to post under sockpuppets after banning and making harassment or actual threats against others.

    Secondly, I do fear that this could mark an escalation, that if we do this the slymepitters will get even nastier in “outing” people here and spark an “arms race” of taking “virtual world” nastiness more “real world.” It will give the ‘pitters – at least in their own minds – greater “legitimate cause” to fear, hate and attack and they will almost certainly use this against FTB with extreme prejudice and out of proportion playing it for much more than its worth in their ongoing testerical flamewar against FTB.

    Thirdly, this is irreversible step that one done cannot be undone even if it becomes something regretted later. When crossing any metaphorical Rubicon river, I think we need to think long and well first. Yes, I know you’ve probably done this but still.

    I don’t think this move is to be done lightly – & I am NOT accusing you of that – just urging further caution first and giving my view for whatever little it may be worth.

    (Yes I could be wrong. All of us are fallible human beings aren’t we?)

  77. 77
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    PS. from #75. I’m also not saying PZ should or should not take this step – that’s entirely up to PZ and Chris Clarke. Their blog, their rules. Just my dimes worth of thoughts about this. And sunshine /daylight does kill the mythical trolls – I can see the case in favour too. I’m not sure what the right decision is myself & glad I’m not the one who has to make it.

    For clarity – sentences fixed :

    Yeah, whether I’ve succeeded or not in this is something individuals here can and will decide for themselves but I do try and enjoy or /& agree with much of what’s posted here. // Yes, I know you’ve probably done this (Put much thought into this idea) already but still think it bears noting emphasising.

    Oh in addition I missed a comma :

    This is, of course, PZ’s blog and I and others will and have to abide by PZ’s rules just as if we were guests in his house.

  78. 78
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Firstly “being a shithead” is a vague and subjective term – I’d prefer that better more objectively defined and based on people doing specific things, eg. morphing, trying to post under sockpuppets after banning and making harassment or actual threats against others.

    As JAL already noted, it takes a lot for PZ to ban people. Morphing is already stated in the rules as something that gets one banned.
    This implies that you have to be even worse to get “outed”.

    But fine, maybe it would be advisable for PZ to add a little something to his comment policy. But the rest…:

    Secondly, I do fear that this could mark an escalation, that if we do this the slymepitters will get even nastier in “outing” people here and spark an “arms race” of taking “virtual world” nastiness more “real world.” It will give the ‘pitters – at least in their own minds – greater “legitimate cause” to fear, hate and attack and they will almost certainly use this against FTB with extreme prejudice and out of proportion playing it for much more than its worth in their ongoing testerical flamewar against FTB.

    NO, just no. I don’t give a fuck about “pitters”, this is not just about “pitters”, this is about every abuser and troll who wants to make people’s lives miserable (including PZ’s) via PZ’s comment threads.
    As far as abusers go, they can turn anything they want into a legitimate cause. PZ protecting his readers and his own peace is not an escalation.
    Just think how that would sound if we were in “real” world and talking about someone asking for a restraining order against an abuser. Would you still advise against it because it could make an abuser angry? (If yes,fuck you)
    Virtual world “real” world…. people can be very very nasty in this “unreal” world too.

    Thirdly, this is irreversible step that one done cannot be undone even if it becomes something regretted later. When crossing any metaphorical Rubicon river, I think we need to think long and well first. Yes, I know you’ve probably done this but still.

    Of course it can be undone. What the hell you are talking about?

    And we don’t need to think about anything for long, concerning this. PZ has to deal with all the background shit that we don’t have to. He has to delete spam from haters. And after all, it’s his blog, you know.

    All of us are fallible human beings aren’t we?

    *eyeroll*

  79. 79
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @ the whole discussion over threaded /nested comments, ability to flag, comment voting, etc ..

    The one thing I would love to see added here is the ability to edit comments here to do things like fix typos even if just for a limited window of time. Its something you can do on Phil Plait’ts blog both in past incarnation and the present Slate site one among other places. Because you (well, *I*) always spot one or more typo ju-ust after its too late even with preview. Sigh.

    Threaded / nested comments – I’m against those.

    Flagging & voting – maybe. Could help remove spam / trolls from sight esp. if enough downvotes leads to comments being hidden and give people a “like” option to indicate support which may be helpful but not overly bothered about either.

    Current system works fine in my view so why change it without need?

  80. 80
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @ 77. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) :

    Of course it can be undone. What the hell you are talking about?

    Revealing somebodies real life identity behind their nym of course! What else?

    Just think how that would sound if we were in “real” world and talking about someone asking for a restraining order against an abuser. Would you still advise against it because it could make an abuser angry? (If yes,fuck you)

    No. Of course not.

  81. 81
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    You already think the attitude I showed is the start of the process to get banned or doxxed. Interesting to see how disagreeing comment get perceived.

    Again, its how you disagree. I detected SlymePit attitude. Not rational and thinking attitude.

  82. 82
    =8)-DX

    the slymers are now howling that it’s contrary to a stated FTB policy of never selling or transferring e-mail addresses.

    So do you go to the slymepit regularly and read what they write? I personally don’t read the slympeit (I have never seen anything there of much value) but if your comment was directed at me you’re completely off base (also: where did I “howl” in my comment?)

    But there is a big difference between (1) attempting to finance FTB by giving some marketers the ability to spam its commenters and (2) threatening to expose the identities of troublemakers.

    Yes, of course, I never said there wasn’t. I just pointed out how the FTB Privacy Policy says FTB won’t divulge a person’s e-mail address. So that should obviously be ammended. My complaint about divulging personal information (such as one’s e-mail, potentially also an IP address – it can be used to track location) would be that “is a shithead” is not really a good definition of official policy.

  83. 83
    latsot

    Privacy is, in part, about not standing out in a crowd if you don’t want to. Outing people with a particular sexuality, political position or religious view is generally not cool for that reason: it makes them stand out and they might not want to.

    People who make a habit of expressing stupid, bigoted or hateful views have already decided to stand out. They are saying those things and want other people to know their views. They usually want society to change so that the people they’re talking about will be harmed. I don’t see that they should have an expectation to be allowed to hide from the consequences. I can see no reason why they should be protected by the same expectations accorded to people who aren’t horrible shits. We all want to avoid consequences, but think of the difference between – say – someone being outed as gay without their permission and someone – say – being outed as spewing racism. In the first case, you’re being inflicted with consequences because someone else decided to do that to you because they don’t like what you are. In the second, you’re inviting consequences but trying to avoid them. And more importantly, YOU’RE TRYING TO MAKE OTHER PEOPLE FEEL BAD. Or you’re TRYING TO REMOVE RIGHTS FROM OTHER PEOPLE.

    These two things seem different.

  84. 84
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    My complaint about divulging personal information (such as one’s e-mail, potentially also an IP address – it can be used to track location) would be that “is a shithead” is not really a good definition of official policy.

    Actually, PZ has had a policy of exposing personal information of those who threaten him ever since crackergate. Read the sidebar.

  85. 85
    =8)-DX

    =8)-DX @66, what?
    The IP address is not personal information (unlike an email address).

    Well if you don’t consider a person’s country, region, city, ISP and/or hostname to be personal information. Check out whatismyipaddress to see what information can be discovered from just your IP. Some IP addresses only provide broad regional information, but others may be associated with an smaller institution such as a school, a local ISP.

    My IP address for instance, gives my country, city, ISP and the hostname contains my actual account name on that network. Since I use a local ISP and am one of its members, this can be used to get my full name (I tried it).

    Scammers have been doing this for ages, an IP address isn’t just a number, it can be the digital equivalent of one’s home address (or postcode).

  86. 86
    =8)-DX

    Actually, PZ has had a policy of exposing personal information of those who threaten him ever since crackergate. Read the sidebar.

    I initially forgot, and its been pointed out previously, but “threats of violence” aren’t the same as “They snipe and sneer, they hide behind fake names, they use multiple sock puppets to generate the illusion that more people support their hatred, and also to prevent people from blocking them — they want to force you to read their venom.”

    I’d make sure its in the rules. A “continue with this harassing/disgusting behaviour and ban you and publish your info” warning and specific rules as to what makes a person “a shithead” should be properly included.

  87. 87
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I initially forgot, and its been pointed out previously, but “threats of violence” aren’t the same as “They snipe and sneer, they hide behind fake names, they use multiple sock puppets to generate the illusion that more people support their hatred, and also to prevent people from blocking them — they want to force you to read their venom.”

    Just as you ignore the difference of selling information compared to exposing those who do threaten you with persistent shitheadness, making you continually do extra work. It is a form of bullying, like death threats. I don’t see any problem with exposing shitheads. I do see no logical argument for absolute privacy, as it doesn’t exist, and shouldn’t be expected. I do expect reasonable privacy, subject to my behavior.

  88. 88
    PZ Myers

    If you’re citing slymer’s reactions, rethink what you’re doing. Guess how many fucks I give for what a slymer thinks? They’re ALL shitheads over there. It’s a forum by and for shitheads.

  89. 89
    Maureen Brian

    StevoR and +8)-DX at various points supra,

    You both seem to be to be ignorant of or deliberately ignoring a key aspect of how we human beings work.

    Plead innocence and confusion all you want but it is a factor which the bullies and harassers know well and exploit to the full. Bullying and harassment work by the cumulative effects of abuse, lies, threats over time. We may appear to brush off an individual incident but that does not mean we are unaffected or that we recover instantly from the hurt. Bullies know and exploit this, keeping up the pressure and even working as a team so that their target never, ever recovers and can then be “teased” by which I mean abused for being over-sensitive / making it up / having no evidence. (Sock-puppeting is just a pretend version of working as a team in the hope you won’t be spotted quite so quickly.)

    This is why it is so hard to get, say, the police to take matters seriously – they look at a series of discrete acts no one of which is absolutely outrageous and fail to spot the cumulative effect.

    This is the psychological equivalent of the old death by a thousand cuts and it’s time that all the “yes, but” brigade recognised that and stopped pretending not to understand.

    ——

    BTW – while thinking of this comment I came upon this excellent account of that style of execution. Youse guys might care to read it. http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/401789.article

  90. 90
    oxygentialdread

    Concerning secrecy and stuff I MUCH favor Brin over Schneier.Yes, there ARE things we humans want to hide from one another which are absolutely innocent. nevertheless, please EARNESTLY consider the damage that is done by secrecy and EARNESTLY weigh in the ENORMOUS amount of damage done by it.

  91. 91
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Revealing somebodies real life identity behind their nym of course! What else?

    It looked like this step was referring to the decision of a rule change.

  92. 92
    John Morales

    =8)-DX,

    Well if you don’t consider a person’s country, region, city, ISP and/or hostname to be personal information.

    I’m not expressing an opinion — I’m telling you how it is.

    (Feel free to Google it if you don’t believe me)

  93. 93
    latsot

    @oxygentialdread

    I’m not sure secrecy can do harm. Secrets can, sometimes. Different.

  94. 94
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    downvotes leads to comments being hidden

    NO

    If something is so bad that it shouldn’t even be here, then we can ask PZ to remove the comment, or Chris can bunnify it. (I vote for bunnies, personally)

    If it’s something vile, but not vile in a way that requires bunnies, I want it to be visible along with all the responses tearing the vile shit apart.

    Similarly as with likes, I can point out the vileness with actual words well enough. It is indeed preferable to shine a light on it instead of hiding it away.

  95. 95
    latsot

    @John Morales

    All those things can assist in someone being identified. I think that’s what people mean when they describe it as personal information. It’s hardly unreasonable. My name is very common but if you also know where I live and work you can narrow it down to about one. Revealing information like that can be harmful.

  96. 96
    =8)-DX

    #89 Maureen Brian
    I don’t see where in my comments I rejected or expressed ignorance of the ideas of bullying and harassment in your comment – I agree completely that harassment often takes the form of a large number of discrete acts and can be have a cumulative (rather than individual, traumatic effect). I don’t advocate being all sensitive and worried about about the bullies, I think PZ does well with his banning policy, I just don’t think that when extending a policy of revealing personal information about people contributing to a website their should be a more specific wording of what is and isn’t “over the line”. Other commenters have suggested

    >>Death by a Thousand Cuts
    Ow.. sounds like an interesting read, but a bit to pricey for my budget..

    #87 Nerd
    ignore the difference of selling information compared to exposing those who do threaten you with persistent shitheadness

    I was pointing to the “transfer” part of the clause and to general idea that website privacy policies should be officially written out (I don’t know about the US, but in my country there are laws against divulging such information and laws regulating the collection of personal information).

    Since the issue boils down to PZ defending himself against bullies, I guess I have to fold and say if divulging their information (in reaction to specific behaviours) is PZ’s only defence, it’s probably necessary.

  97. 97
    whoever

    You never bother to properly define “shithead” in your post, though, which should have been your main concern.

    “Sniping and sneering” and “hiding behind fake names” (for certain definitions) are both commonly accepted in this blog’s comments section after all (sockpuppeting isn’t but a couple of posters have gone through name changes after they were called out on certain actions and they still regularly post here).

    I see discussion of the issue in the comments section but you should have focused on that in your OP more, in the first place. Shithead is a humorous word, sure, fine.

  98. 98
    =8)-DX

    *Aargh unfinished sentences adn errors:

    I just don’t think that when extending a policy..

    and

    Other commenters have suggested.. a ban/outing warning system, which makes sense to me.

  99. 99
    =8)-DX

    I’m not expressing an opinion — I’m telling you how it is.

    Yes, you’re expressing an opinion. And you’re wrong (Feel free to Google it if you don’t believe me).

  100. 100
    John Morales

    =8)-DX: For the last time: you are confusing personally identifiable information with personal information.

  101. 101
    lpetrich

    I think that it’s legitimate to take a hard line against the nastier troublemakers. I know what happens when admins fail to do so.

    For a while, I was at a messageboard that I’ll call B1. It was founded by some refugees from some other boards whose management was sometimes autocratic. Its founders had high ideals, but as time went on, certain of its admins became suspiciously tolerant of the misbehavior of certain trolls and all-around jerks. The antics of that gang of trolls drove off many members, and some of them founded a board that I’ll call B2.

    The trolls at B1 are still there, and they moan and groan about how authoritarian the management of B2 is, how B2′s admins won’t let in certain people. Some members of B1 continue to troll the place, however, and some of them have posted nasty pictures and revealed personal information in their desperation to get responses.

  102. 102
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    but a couple of posters have gone through name changes after they were called out on certain actions and they still regularly post here

    Another response oblivious to what really happens. Yes, people have changed their ‘nyms, but did so PUBLICLY, and did not use other ‘nyms than the one they changed to. Consistency is the key. Changes in epithets are minor if the name is the same.
    That is different than folks who create multiple ‘nyms, kept secret from PZ and the horde, to push an agenda or troll. This isn’t rocket science. It is looking at facts and what is considered good behavior by most people. The policy should only effect a handful of shitheads. The thousands of readers and hundreds of commenters need not worry.

  103. 103
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @ =8)-DX, 86

    I initially forgot, and its been pointed out previously, but “threats of violence” aren’t the same as “They snipe and sneer, they hide behind fake names, they use multiple sock puppets to generate the illusion that more people support their hatred, and also to prevent people from blocking them — they want to force you to read their venom.”

    Wait, these are different? Why, that almost makes it sound like the previous policy covering threats of violence would be insufficient to address this other problem of persistent harassment that does not explicitly threaten violence! In such a case, you’d need a proactive step to explain that one is adding a new category of actions to those behaviors that could get one outed.

    Why didn’t PZ do anything like that? What could possibly possess people to assume that these two things were exactly the same and enforce the earlier stated consequence against people for unlisted offenses, without any specific moment in time where the policy was explicitly changed?

    That’s just wrong!

    I really, really wish that people had understood from the get go that these are two different offenses!

  104. 104
    whoever

    John Morales:

    For the last time: you are confusing personally identifiable information with personal information.

    The best thing to do would be to offer your definitions and your source, then.

    Nerd of Redhead:

    Yes, people have changed their ‘nyms, but did so PUBLICLY

    I have a certain case in mind that wasn’t that “public” but I suppose ymmv. The OP is still incomplete, however.

    “Kept secret from PZ and the horde,” Jesus Christ. *shakes head*

  105. 105
    whoever

    Emphasis should have been on “the horde,” rather than “and the horde.”

    Adopting that kind of collective for a number of regular posters is too damn weird to me. :-)

  106. 106
    =8)-DX

    John Morales: oh, ok if you want to quibble semantics: but by what legal definition then? What you are also implying is that FTBs privacy policy is admitting they have no problem publishing or selling lists of IP addresses of people accessing their content – I don’t think that’s the case.

  107. 107
    John Morales

    whoever:

    The best thing to do would be to offer your definitions and your source, then.

    Personal information is information about a person, personally identifiable information is information that can be used to identify a person.

    Revealing a poster’s IP is akin to revealing the telephone number from a caller made a call; it may or may not lead to identifying the caller — but it’s not personal information.

  108. 108
    dogfightwithdogma

    @65 I should have given a little more thought to my comment. Thanks for the correction.

  109. 109
    John Morales

    =8)-DX:

    What you are also implying is that FTBs privacy policy is admitting they have no problem publishing or selling lists of IP addresses of people accessing their content – I don’t think that’s the case.

    They say they do it in that very privacy policy you cited.

    Here (my emphasis): “We also use third party advertisements on freethoughtblogs.com to support our site. Some of these advertisers may use technology such as cookies and web beacons when they advertise on our site, which will also send these advertisers (such as Google through the Google AdSense program) information including your IP address, your ISP , the browser you used to visit our site, and in some cases, whether you have Flash installed.”

    So, the bit that exercises you is this: “We never sell your personal information to third parties.
    [...]
    Freethoughtblogs.com will never sell or transfer any personal information, including your email address, that you may have to leave on our side in order to comment.”

    You obviously think that PZ revealing email addresses and IPs contravenes that policy.

  110. 110
    PZ Myers

    Whoever is practicing that fine art of hyperskepticism, while hiding behind a disposable email address. Keep it up — you’re almost at that state of shitheadedness, and then you’ll know it.

  111. 111
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I have a certain case in mind that wasn’t that “public” but I suppose ymmv.

    Without a citation, you aren’t right. Your opinion itself is irrelevant to rational people. Welcome to science.

  112. 112
    David Marjanović

    Hell hath no fury like an overworked blogging university professor.

    I wonder if rude repeat name callers who supporter the blogger will ever get exposed?

    Being called names isn’t dangerous, shithead.

    They fucking drove Jen McCreight away from blogging.

    And Natalie Reed, too!

    It’s not as if you have a Privacy Policy or anything.

    …I can’t find the quote there.

    Anyone who wants the ability to flag comments can run right back to PharyngulaSciborg – NatGeo does that nonsense.

    …No. Check it out, it’s not there.

  113. 113
    Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach

    Haven’t read the whole thread (yet, I will, I swear), so I hope I’m not being repetitive.

    Anonymity is not a right. This is private space, PZ’s space. If these pitters were walking onto his front lawn (or Greta’s or Jen’s) in a mask spewing hatred and rape threats, they would be arrested, unmasked and most likely show up on the evening news, prominently labelled with their real name. The fact that the shitheads get protection because they are doing it from behind a computer is bullshit.

    You have the right to say your piece, you don’t have the right to be free of the consequences. I support PZ 100% here. I am David Wise, and I approve this message.

    See, by hitting this submit button here, I am voluntarily giving PZ Myers my IP and email. I’ve been here long enough to know I can trust him with it, but that’s beside the point. If I wanted to keep it out of his hands, well then I just wouldn’t give it away freely like this.

  114. 114
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    If I wanted to keep it out of his hands, well then I just wouldn’t give it away freely like this.

    Exactly.

    Just like, even though, the Slymepit doesn’t (or hasn’t to my knowledge) dox PZ supporters or whatever, I don’t trust them. I don’t like them so I simply don’t give them my information. Simple really. Just because everyone can read PZ’s posts doesn’t mean they get to comment on them here no matter what. Comment on it somewhere else.

  115. 115
    whoever

    @ John Morales: thanks for the explanation.

    PZ Myers:

    Whoever is practicing that fine art of hyperskepticism, while hiding behind a disposable email address. Keep it up — you’re almost at that state of shitheadedness, and then you’ll know it.

    I was hiding behind that email address when I agreed with your points, as well. Your OP in this case wasn’t good at elaborating *its main point* (at least to a non-frequent reader/commentator like me) so I criticized it on that count. No “hyperskepticism.”

    Nerd of Redhead:

    Without a citation, you aren’t right. Your opinion itself is irrelevant to rational people. Welcome to science.

    You’re welcome to your cliched responses and to disbelieve me, more generally, but I’m not gonna mention the person I have in mind in this case, obviously.

  116. 116
    Ingdigo Jump

    I get the impression whoever is trying to negg away as gradually till they trigger policy so they then can point at how unfair it is cause he only disagreed

  117. 117
    evilDoug

    Anyone who wants a reasonable idea of the degree of shitheadedness required for action can don their Wellie boots, press a scented hankie under their nose and take a stroll through the dungeon.

    The only person I can recall PZ ever actually outing was the astoundingly coprocephalic Victor Ivanoff.

  118. 118
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I did not mean this to be black/white. I tried to highlight that this doxxing threshold might become a sliding grayscale other blogger start using.

    What.

    And who is the real winner in any infighting in atheist/skeptic/feminist communities?

    Take this to the people doing the actual infighting, not the people reasonably defending themselves while trying to get some actual productive work done.

    You already think the attitude I showed is the start of the process to get banned or doxxed. Interesting to see how disagreeing comment get perceived.

    It’s not the disagreement, stupid, it’s the bad faith.

  119. 119
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    , but I’m not gonna mention the person I have in mind in this case, obviously.

    Then the incident didn’t happen. Welcome to science, where unsupported assertions are considered bullshit. And you presented bullshit.

  120. 120
    PZ Myers

    If you are aware that the person has changed their pseudonym, and if I’m aware that they’ve done so, and if it’s an openly known fact to just about everyone, then they’re not trying to fool anyone, now are they? And if they aren’t banned, then their revised name is not a subterfuge to get around filters, now is it?

    This is about accountability and responsibility. That I call myself “PZ” while the name on my birth certificate is “Paul Zachary” is not an act of perfidy — variants don’t obscure identity.

  121. 121
  122. 122
    Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach

    So is it still the same line? I know I got in the ghey secks with Brownian line, is there a new line? Do I have to file different paperwork?

    Seriously tho, incredibly shitty of him to do that, and not anywhere close to what PZ is suggesting to do in this post.

  123. 123
    PZ Myers

    Right. The ‘pitters are sleazy that way.

    And if they don’t “dox” (jeez, but I hate that stupid word), it’s only because the people they hate most — Rebecca, Ophelia, Stephanie, me — are open about our identities, so they harass and lie and fling shit instead. If a pseudonymous FtBer annoyed them, they’d be all over it with blatant efforts to expose their names. Haven’t you noticed that almost all our bloggers are working openly under their own names? There wouldn’t be much point to me ever having gone under a pseudonym, would there? All anyone would have to do is divert 1/10th of the effort they put into photoshops and slander to dig up the real names of any bloggers.

  124. 124
    Anthony K

    Seriously tho, incredibly shitty of him to do that, and not anywhere close to what PZ is suggesting to do in this post.

    Eh, shitty is as shitty does.

    It’s extremely dishonest of them to to play “Benghazi! Benghazi!! BENGHAZI!!” over Skep Tickle’s identity.

    But shitty is as shitty does.

  125. 125
    Marcus Ranum

    Reap Paden doxxed me there

    Forgive me for not studying my slime, but is Reap Paden his real name? Or is he anonymous?

  126. 126
    MrFancyPants

    IP addresses are not very useful things to make public. A moment ago I was reading from an IP address in Washington state. I’m now posting from what appears to be Switzerland. Next it might be Romania. Who knows?

  127. 127
    Funny Diva

    Hey, Anthony K! That’s DOCTOR SkepTickle to you! (and here we all are, still using her ‘nym without linking it to her RL identity. We’re _such_ bullies!)

    (You’ve been awesome over at Ophelia’s, btw. Just like you are everywhere. Can I be in the queue now?)

  128. 128
    Eristae

    @peter2vill

    I don’t know if you’re still reading (haven’t scanned far enough to see), but if you are . . .

    You asked: “Did you just equate being a shithead… With gay rights advocates?

    No I did not. I was asked about “…problem with the title of the post”

    The title was about right of anonymity and I talked about gay rights. The point was I am ready to fight for the right of others even when I don’t need those.

    There is not right of “being a shithead”. However sometimes fighting for rights of privacy, anonymity, free speech, religion, due process, right to remain silent are seen as helping “shitheads”.

    So please read my comment again.

    In your comparison, you put being gay on the same level as being a shithead. I don’t know if you mean to do this and I understand your point, but I think that your choice of example fails miserably. If you’re fighting for gay rights, you are fighting for a group that is defined by what the people in it are. If you are fighting for shithead rights, you are fighting for a group that is defined by what they do. This is not an immaterial difference. There isn’t a situation where a person can reach a certain level of gayness after which they should be defined their rights. There is a certain stage at which a person’s conduct can and must be curtailed If you want an example, shouting “fire” in a crowded building is a common example of speech that is not considered to be protected under free speech. It is speech that is considered too far gone for rights to apply. There is no equivalent in regards to homosexuals.

    The question that is being here is at what point someone’s behavior becomes so egregious that it is acceptable to release someone’s identity. We know that there is a point at which people generally think it is acceptable (example: threats of violence). If we equate the right of someone to act badly to a person’s right to be gay, we can’t even have the discussion.

    Hence, awkward.

  129. 129
    Eristae

    Typo: The above should read “after which they should be denied their rights” , not “they should be defined their rights”

  130. 130
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Slymies complain that PZ is a BIG HIPPOKRIT because commenters like me change their ‘nyms and append silly suffixes. We’re sockpuppeting right out in the open, they say. Yes, they’re that stupid.

  131. 131
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    I’m another one who takes my online persona very seriously. I use the same nym across many platforms, and respond to it exactly as I do my ‘real’ name. I like who Rawnaeris is, and in many ways the growth shes had here has unequivocally crossed into who I ‘really’ am. I am happy with that.

    I use nyms because I have to worry about repercussions were I currently outed as an atheist at my workplace.

  132. 132
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    The only person I can recall PZ ever actually outing was

    Irrelevant. There’s a change of policy! It’s right there in the OP.

    if I find you are using an anonymizer, or a fake email address, or are using multiple identities, that will be sufficient grounds to ban you

    Is this just for shitheads? Or for anyone? Because:

    using an anonymizer

    As pointed out upthread, most IPv4 addresses are going to be anonymous (my ISP NATs me) and/or variable (open wifi networks, mobile devices, etc.). And there are people who use Tor to get through national firewalls.

    a fake email address

    You don’t mean ‘fake’: responding to an email is part of the signup process, so it has to be ‘real’. You mean ‘insufficiently revealing of meatspace identity’, which think is a problem. Are you going to do a proactive purge and make people change them? How do you deal with common names and possible splash damage? What if you get it wrong? (It happens.)

    [Incidentally, changing them seems to be broken: “You attempted to access the “Freethought Blogs” dashboard, but you do not currently have privileges on this site.”

    And, as noted, what use is publishing a meaningless IP and insufficiently-revealing email anyway, other than making you feel better, and contributing to internet entropy?

  133. 133
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    We’re sockpuppeting right out in the open, they say. Yes, they’re that stupid.

    From the Wiki article on internet sockpuppets (my emphasis):

    A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception. The term—a reference to the manipulation of a simple hand puppet made from a sock—originally referred to a false identity assumed by a member of an internet community who spoke to, or about, himself while pretending to be another person.[1] The term now includes other misleading uses of online identities, such as those created to praise, defend or support a third party or organization,[2] or to circumvent a suspension or ban from a website. A significant difference between the use of a pseudonym[3] and the creation of a sockpuppet is that the sockpuppet poses as an independent third-party unaffiliated with the puppeteer. Many online communities have a policy of blocking sockpuppets.

    Yes, the consistent pseudonym’s used here with changes in epithets isn’t sockpuppeting. They are that stupid. Basic definitions are ignored for the idiotology.

  134. 134
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    I previewed! Honest I did …

    ‘insufficiently revealing of meatspace identity’, which I think is a problem

    … and a close bracket on the penultimate paragraph, please Bob.

  135. 135
    sisu

    Josh @130 (and Nerd @133):

    Slymies complain that PZ is a BIG HIPPOKRIT because commenters like me change their ‘nyms and append silly suffixes.

    Is that what’s being complained about? My guess (which is only a guess, seeing as how whoever hasn’t seen fit to explain what they’re talking about) was that this:

    a couple of posters have gone through name changes after they were called out on certain actions and they still regularly post here

    I have a certain case in mind that wasn’t that “public” but I suppose ymmv.

    was referring to the commenter f/k/a ‘Tis Himself.

  136. 136
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    was referring to the commenter f/k/a ‘Tis Himself.

    And this is significant how? If that person is still commenting here, they are using a steady ‘nym, which is the thrust of the OP. PZ would be aware of the IP address in any case. So, what’s the problem? It doesn’t fit the definition of sockpuppeting in #133.

  137. 137
    sisu

    I was just saying that that’s what I believe whoever was referring to in their posts – not posters changing the tagline on the back of their ‘nyms. I’m not saying that I find it to be a problem.

  138. 138
    hyperdeath

    Anthony K:

    It does. Reap Paden doxxed me there.

    To be honest, your doxxing was borderline, as you had used your real name on occasion. Then again, so had Eliza Sutton. I wonder if they called her a “lying retard” for complaining?

  139. 139
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    121 Anthony K

    Just like, even though, the Slymepit doesn’t (or hasn’t to my knowledge) dox PZ supporters or whatever, I don’t trust them.

    It does. Reap Paden doxxed me there.

    Holy fuck, I totally forgot about that! Shiiiiiiit.
    —————–
    —————–
    I really don’t see why people are fighing over this. There’s a clear difference between what they do with outing people they just don’t like/agree with and PZ’s future outing of bullies, harassers, and shitheads. The difference is night and day to me. I’m puzzled how people are worried. Don’t be a shithead. It’s really not that hard. The wanting of strict rules of outing seems like people want a guideline so they can work around it and still be shitheads. I don’t trust it. It’s like when people want strict harassment policies and rail against the vagueness of micro-aggressions. Shit like that happens, it’s minor, it builds up and people often do it on purpose to be a fucking shithead. Because it’s hard to make a hard and clear law on it, hence a lot of the problems with getting justice against these shitheads.

  140. 140
    Inaji

    JAL:

    The wanting of strict rules of outing seems like people want a guideline so they can work around it and still be shitheads.

    In a nutshell. Persistent shithead is enough, we all know what PZ means, including the persistent shitheads.

  141. 141
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    In the ‘Tis affair, it was other commenters chasing him off. PZ wasn’t involved in any fashion. Typical of ‘pitters deliberately not understanding such nuances.

    But the Brownian case was Brownian pissing off a ‘pitter, not the blog owner. Clear cut case of temper tantrum on their side.

  142. 142
    Anthony K

    You’re absolutely right, hyperdeath.

    But Reap’s own words make clear the fact that he thought he was doxxing me in an attempt to intimidate me.

    It cannot both be a non-secret and a secret with which he could ‘out’ me.

  143. 143
    carlie

    I went looking for the origninal starfart. Sadly, it has been lost to National Geographic’s inexcusable mishandling of comment archives. But
    it was a person using “starfart” as their nym, who ended up on a huge rant about something (was it light bulbs?).

    ‘Tis wasn’t chased off. He decided to stop posting under that name rather than explain his posts, even though some of us expressed a strong desire to hear from him.

  144. 144
    unnullifier

    132. cm’s changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming):

    [...]

    You don’t mean ‘fake’: responding to an email is part of the signup process, so it has to be ‘real’. You mean ‘insufficiently revealing of meatspace identity’, which think is a problem. Are you going to do a proactive purge and make people change them? How do you deal with common names and possible splash damage? What if you get it wrong? [...]

    I took “fake email” to mean “using a temporary email service”; something I’ve used from time to time, e.g.: signing up for a service that you want to look at, but don’t intend to use long-term and don’t want to give out your real email address to. They’re not completely obvious, but doing a Google search on the domain name will generally show you if it’s from a disposable email service. E.g.: 2nd result for Google search “armyspy.com” is “fakemailgenerator.com”, advertising disposable email accounts using the “@armyspy.com” domain name.

    While I personally don’t think using a disposable email is a universal indicator of bad intent, it’s also something that should raise alertness about how someone is behaving in a discussion.

  145. 145
    Stacy

    You don’t mean ‘fake’: responding to an email is part of the signup process, so it has to be ‘real’. You mean ‘insufficiently revealing of meatspace identity’

    I think disposable email addresses like those found at Mailinator can fairly be referred to as “fake” email addresses.

  146. 146
    Stacy

    @unnullifier, jinx. I hadn’t refreshed when I posted my comment.

  147. 147
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    carlie:

    I went looking for the origninal starfart. Sadly, it has been lost to National Geographic’s inexcusable mishandling of comment archives

    It’s just that the new Sb has day-of-month in the URLs.

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/01/21/looking-for-grant-money-for-yo/#comment-717788

  148. 148
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    (Which I found out while researching DH#666′s “WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF BESTIALITY”.)

    For what it’s worth.

  149. 149
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    While I personally don’t think using a disposable email is a universal indicator of bad intent, it’s also something that should raise alertness about how someone is behaving in a discussion.

    True, but my point wasn’t about disposable emails.

    I mean, I could register with [email protected], but that doesn’t make that my identity.

  150. 150
  151. 151
    consciousness razor

    Oh, that’s a cover. Doh!

    Errr, that’s the Mingus Big Band, but not Mingus. He died in 1979.

    Also, “Moanin’” was a tune by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers first, so Mingus’ versions were covers to begin with. They’re quite different and both improvisational, so of course in that sense it’s sort of original.

  152. 152
    carlie

    Ah, there it is. Thanks, cm!

  153. 153
    Dhorvath, OM

    cm,
    I have a love. Starfart is back.

  154. 154
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    My ‘nym is as much mine as my given name. It’s a little weird, yes… but it’s me.

    I occasionally think about changing it, but it would be such a pain in the ass to change all my logins…

    And I find I’m oddly… attached to this ‘nym. It’s me.

  155. 155
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I’m another one who has completely changed my ‘nym. So I guess I’m another example for the Slymepit of the Phamed Pharyngula Double Standard?

  156. 156
    Inaji

    Ogvorbis:

    I’m another one who has completely changed my ‘nym. So I guess I’m another example for the Slymepit of the Phamed Pharyngula Double Standard?

    I imagine so. I remember your nym change, as I was the one who was utterly delighted with Ogvorbis.

  157. 157
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    So I guess I’m another example for the Slymepit of the Phamed Pharyngula Double Standard?

    No, you are a prima facie example of somebody who publicly declared what they were doing, and your ‘nym has remained stable since. Funny how the fuckwitted slymepit can’t understand the concept that publicly changing your ‘nym is no big deal if you are consistent. The last word is their demise, as the concept of a consistent ‘nym is an anathema to some…

  158. 158
    Dhorvath, OM

    It’s me.

    That’s it, right there.

  159. 159
    Eristae

    I’m another one who has completely changed my ‘nym. So I guess I’m another example for the Slymepit of the Phamed Pharyngula Double Standard?

    I think people are making too much of this changed nym stuff. The whole point is that PZ isn’t going to put up with people constantly changing their names here so that their actions/behavior can’t be connected from one day to the next.

    Since I’ve been on the internet, I’ve had a bunch of serious handles which I changed at one point or another, largely because I stopped liking the name and stopped being involved in whatever community that I’d used the name in. Furthermore, I currently have another handle that I use when I’m doing things that need to be connected to things like my credit card number. Like, if I’m buying something off of eBay, my handle will be something that I can tolerate being attached to information like my credit card number. On the other hand, when dealing with atheist/skeptic issues, I post as Eristae, something that my real name never touches. But whatever and wherever I’m posting, I always post as either one or the other, never both.

    I feel absolutely confident that PZ isn’t going to swoop down with the ban hammer and beat on me for having a different nym on eBay than I do on FtB.

  160. 160
    Inaji

    Eristae:

    I think people are making too much of this changed nym stuff.

    I think perhaps you misread Ogvorbis. He was making a…wry observation, he’s not worried that PZ is going to swoop down with avenging menace.

  161. 161
    John Morales

    To note the obvious, a nym can look like a name.

  162. 162
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I think people are making too much of this changed nym stuff.

    Which is my point. PZed makes a policy change specifically to deal with one of the tactics used by The Silencing Brigade. And, as we saw upthread, almost immediately, someone shows up pointing to a regular who changed ‘nyms and claiming double standard. ‘Nyms change frequently (I have blogged/commented as Billy, Billy (Liberal Disabled Veteran), Billy (LDV), Billy the Atheist, and Ogvorbis (with many different modifiers depending on mood and fancy). By the standard PZed gave in the OP, though, this does not mean that I am morphing (heh. Mighty Morphin’ ArkRanger OF DOOM!) or sockpuppeting — merely evolving. Hell, Audley just changed her ‘nym. Done by many of us — but it is not being done to either hide or get away with assholish behaviour. So yeah, some people are making too much of the changed ‘nym stuff — and it is the same people who would make too much of anything that PZed (or other strong voices for equal rights) writes.

  163. 163
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Damn. Knew I’d screw it up. It was Billy (A Liberal Disabled Vet) and, as I got lazy, Billy (ALDV). Sorry.

  164. 164
    Dhorvath, OM

    And I should say, having seen some of Ogvorbis’ reasoning behind the nym change, choosing who you identify with is something that I can well understand. I guess I was just lucky in finding that before the ‘net wrapped me up.

  165. 165
    ChasCPeterson

    Audley just changed her ‘nym.

    ? to what?

  166. 166
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Hi Chas.

    Member of the Phamed Pharyngula Double Standard reporting for duty.

  167. 167
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Audley just changed her ‘nym.

    ? to what?

    Unless I have completely lost it (which is possible), I think she is now blogging and commenting as Alexandra (ia?).

  168. 168
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I just love serendipity.

  169. 169
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Jinx, Oggie!

  170. 170
    Eristae

    I think perhaps you misread Ogvorbis. He was making a…wry observation, he’s not worried that PZ is going to swoop down with avenging menace.

    Ah, my mistake. Sorry. ^_^

  171. 171
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Gee, several posts on honest ‘nym changing the lack of effect on knowing who is posting.
    Alexandra (nee Audley), blog well and prosper.

  172. 172
    tigtog

    I generally find this sort of rules-lawyering to be an attempt to derail a thread by bogging it down in misrepresented minutiae.

    Of course, the nuances of just exactly what constitutes shitheaded-enough behaviour for not-just-banning but also public exposure is exactly on-topic for this thread, so they can’t really derail it as such by these misrepresentations.

    It does fall under the don’t-be-tedious guideline in PZ’s comments policy though, so I anticipate some new confinements to Thunderdome if there isn’t some more creativity shown by the malfeasants.

  173. 173
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    tigtog:

    Trying to explain the difference between pseudonym evolution and pseudonym morphing IS part of the conversation based on the OP.

  174. 174
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    I went looking for the origninal starfart. Sadly, it has been lost to National Geographic’s inexcusable mishandling of comment archives. But
    it was a person using “starfart” as their nym, who ended up on a huge rant about something (was it light bulbs?).

    Ah, another starfart fan. I started reading Pharyngula regularly in late 2010, I don’t recall ever seeing “starfart”, though at the time I don’t think I commented at all, and I didn’t have “Sniffer of Starfarts” as a part of my nym. The first I really started commenting was during 3d4k*; it was the malicious sexist shitbags who angered me enough to actually type something out. That whole experience seems a bit hazy now, but it was a good first teeth-sharpening.

    *besides a couple of random comments perhaps

  175. 175
    John Morales

    tigtog:

    I generally find this sort of rules-lawyering to be an attempt to derail a thread by bogging it down in misrepresented minutiae.

    It is the thread! :)

    Of course, this comment is a waste (I would normally put the [meta] tag on it) other than to note that your comment is a waste.

    (“I generally find this sort of [blah]” is nice weaselling, BTW)

  176. 176
    ednaz

    Caine beat me to it. Still gonna do it.
    -

    JAL @ 139

    The wanting of strict rules of outing seems like people want a guideline so they can work around it and still be shitheads.

    Nailed It.

  177. 177
    ednaz

    By the standard PZed gave in the OP, though, this does not mean that I am morphing (heh. Mighty Morphin’ ArkRanger OF DOOM!) or sockpuppeting — merely evolving.

    Hee hee! Go Ogvorbis, GO!

    : D

  178. 178
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @159. Eristae :

    Since I’ve been on the internet, I’ve had a bunch of serious handles which I changed at one point or another, largely because I stopped liking the name and stopped being involved in whatever community that I’d used the name in. Furthermore, I currently have another handle that I use when I’m doing things that need to be connected to things like my credit card number.

    This seconded and same for me. Except I don’t have a credit card and only pay cash for stuff!

    When I started going online I wasn’t quite sure how it worked and it took me a while – at least a few years actually – to a) figure out, b) settle on a nym or three for different blogs and communities* and c) evolve as a person and commenter.

    None of this is secret and I don’t and won’t use sockpuppets – although I did go through a stage many years ago on a whole other blog of using a nym as a means of expressing opinion on subjects and making jokes much like you might see “Disgusted of Pollies-get-paid-too-much” as a “nym” in a news story incl. sometimes published in print.

    But here I’ve been StevoR consistently since I started and if I do change my nym (what’s the procedure for that btw? Think I’ve asked before but permission required?) I will make sure its done openly and that people know I’m still me.

    On the internet famously “no one knows you’re a dog” but if people really cared and dug hard enough they could probably find out.

    If people really wanted to discover my identity I know they could. Online privacy is already dubious and potentially already compromised in a whole lot of ways and there’s not a lot that can be done to fix that.I was threatened with that once directly as an attempt to stop me commenting here by someone still unknown – although I have my suspicions. I’ve also had people here attack me for comments I made on another blog under another name ages ago and I think doing that sort of thing is pretty nasty and unacceptable especially if someone has made it clear that they’ve changed their minds on key issues.

    Personally, I was once a climate change denier and argued that online – I got better – and having researched and learnt during that stage I now argue against the Deniers very strongly. I know I’m not alone in now taking positions that are pretty much the reverse of what they used to be too. Past is past, people change and grow, facts and understandings change. I can’t change who I was, can’t fix the past but I can do and say other better things now.

    I don’t think (almost?) anyone is irredeemable because, yes, we are all human with all the potential for good and bad and change that entails.

    To quote Qui-Gon-Jinn : “Lets keep our minds on the here and now.”

    As for the slimepitters, no I’m not worried about what they think – I do however worry a bit about what they might *do* and how that might harm this blog and those on it. But I trust PZ’s judgement and hope it all works out. (Like others I don’t comment on the slymepit , won’t give them my info and

    +++++++

    * One name I use on the Bad Astronomy blog and some other astronomy blogs occassionally is Messier Tidy Upper – an astronomical pun on the Messier deep sky objects. Others are shorter versions of my real name and initials and a very old one combined my former cats name with my FWIW. Those were along time agao and people do change

  179. 179
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    (Like others I don’t comment on the slymepit , won’t give them my info and have only visited a couple of times via links form here -the only place I know them from.)

  180. 180
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    (Like others I don’t comment on the slymepit , won’t give them my info and have only visited a couple of times via links form here – the only place I know them from.)

  181. 181
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Fix for clarity :

    * The nym I use on the Bad Astronomy blog (sometimes other astronomy blogs too) is Messier Tidy Upper – an astronomical pun on the Messier deep sky objects. I only ever use that nym there just as I only ever use StevoR here and plenty of people know that MTU there is me here as well.

  182. 182
    maddog1129

    It seems to me that the point of peter2vill’s comment #23

    The title says:
    “I support your right to post anonymously”
    but the article declare seeming an opposite idea and the change of policy:
    “I won’t hesitate to expose [persistent shithead's] IP address and email”

    And like Wowbagger, Designated Snarker above mentioned I can see this blog and other blogs starting to declare people arbitrarily as “persistent shithead” just because commenters repeatedly disagrees with the blog owner or most commenters.

    I wonder if rude repeat name callers who supporter the blogger will ever get exposed?

    Let the Doxxy Wars begin…

    … is the last bit, i.e., the threat that if “persistent shitheads” are “doxxed” on Pharyngula, the same persistent shitheads will retaliate by doxxing others.

    peter2ville at comment #41 seems to bear this out:

    @Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls
    I did not mean this to be black/white. I tried to highlight that this doxxing threshold might become a sliding grayscale other blogger start using. And who is the real winner in any infighting in atheist/skeptic/feminist communities?

    To me, this also reads like a threat.

  183. 183
    tigtog

    re: pseudonyms – I’ve been tigtog online since I started blogging in 2005 (earlier USENet handles essentially irrelevant now), and enough people know me by that name that I answer to it reflexively in meet-up meatspaces. Anyone who follows the link back to my blog can find my wallet name and general metropolitan location on my author bio page, so it’s not like anybody could dox/out me in any meaningful way.

    Someone did try to build up to an ostentatious outing of me many years ago when I was more comprehensively pseudonymous but had made a (retrospectively chagrin-making) newbie privacy error; I realised what was happening and preempted them by including my wallet name as part of my bio page, just to deny them the satisfaction. Still, what xe did was shitheaded, and to this day xe is permamodded an any of the blogs I moderate (btw tis interesting how many permamodded commentors rapidly desist in the worst of their shitheading once they know that their comments will not go live ‘in the moment’).

    Anyway, tl;dr – I fully support PZ holding shitheads to account whenever they stray beyond the bounds of reasonable/responsible commenting behaviour, and am contemplating updating some comments policies myself.

  184. 184
    vole

    Numbers of comments posted on some recent threads, at the time of writing:
    Fewer crimes, not better coverups: 48
    Only rapists get privacy: 50
    Getting away with murder in Texas: 48
    Right to post anonymously: 183 – comfortably more than the other three put together.
    Very strange.

  185. 185
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    184
    vole

    There’s also the Abortion rights are human rights, which has just recently ballooned to two pages.

    The main difference is amount of people coming in to disagree with the post. There’s no disagreement on the first three you listed but there is on this one. Just like there’s a troll or two on the abortion thread that popped up within the last several days.

    There’s also the fact the first three can be very triggering for people. That’s why I haven’t gone into them. I just can’t deal with the rapists right now. Just reading the short post on the front page left me triggered so I’m avoiding the comments and the front page until that shit is past or until I can handle it, which I just don’t think is going to happen.

    And I’m curious why you left out the latest post about the creation museum, which is at 47 comments. Doesn’t fit into your gotcha question?
    I think that one is due to people joking around in the comments, which is nice after so much depressing shit.

  186. 186
    Inaji

    Vole:

    Very strange.

    No it isn’t. It’s everything JAL noted, and it’s the weekend – things are always slow on the weekend.

  187. 187
    vole

    Creation “museum” thread wasn’t relevant to the point I was making. Your point about lack of disagreement on the other three is a fair one, but I still think it’s sad that so much time and energy is spent on arguing about lesser issues.

  188. 188
    Lofty

    vole:

    lesser issues.

    Only to you, sunny jim.

  189. 189
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    186
    Caine, Fleur du mal

    No it isn’t. It’s everything JAL noted, and it’s the weekend – things are always slow on the weekend.

    Oh, yep, I totally forgot the weekend thing.

    (and also waves and hugs (if you want them) I totally spaced on the other thread when I saw you but I’m ridiculously happy to see you)

    187 vole

    Creation “museum” thread wasn’t relevant to the point I was making.

    Right, because you wanted a stupid gotcha like question because “OMG the threads about rape are being ignored. That’s some messed up priorities.” Hence, my comment.
    Come back every other week where there’s an invasion of MRA’s. And the recent abortion thread was posted on the 1st but has many recent comments because of an annoying stupid ass “I’m pro-choice but..” asshole.

    Your point about lack of disagreement on the other three is a fair one,

    Good…(and triggering, don’t forget triggering. I sure as hell can’t)

    but I still think it’s sad that so much time and energy is spent on arguing about lesser issues.

    Quite frankly, I’m glad to see that it wasn’t swelled up because of assholes. Rape shouldn’t be this huge debatable topic. It’s goddamn tiring to have to combat MRA’s all the fucking time and having it be a big thread would just make me feel terrible since I couldn’t help fight back against the asshole commenters. So the MRA’s took a break for a week (so far), so what? That says nothing against us or our priorities or anything.

    You want to fight trolls about these topics? There’s other feminist sites. I’m sure we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled MRA troll slaying soon enough.

  190. 190
    Maureen Brian

    vole,

    You’re forgetting that this is an international commentariat. There are posts on Pharyngula which I don’t even go to because I don’t know the background or because they seem from across the Atlantic to be very parochial.

    Also people with a 6 or 12 hour time difference may arrive at an interesting post only to discover that what they would have said has been said already by someone else. Does a whole slew of posts saying “I agree with Fred” or “No, I agree with Jim” add anything at all?

    Besides, freedom of speech includes the freedom not to speak and the subjects you think are not getting enough attention now have had OPs in the hundreds and comments in the thousands on previous iterations. If you use the search function you’ll find them easily.

    I am tempted to say, “Do keep up” but I won’t because that would be rude.

  191. 191
    consciousness razor

    I still think it’s sad that so much time and energy is spent on arguing about lesser issues.

    You should be sad that your methodology sucks. My post about Mingus was counted, but I wasn’t “arguing” about any lesser (or greater) issues, nor was it even about the issue raised by the OP, nor did it take “much time and energy.” That generally applies to quite a few of the comments in any given thread, which you’ll notice if you bother to read them rather than simply counting them.

  192. 192
    Charly

    Jerry Coyne thinks posting under “real name” leads to more “civil” debates than what is on pharyngula. I had to disagree with him. This post is more or less only informational and some minor musings – I read the whole debate and I feel no further ado is needed.

    I was reminded of the value of pseudonymity previous year, when I registered myself under my full name on a site for finding job opportunities, because the situation in my work took considerable downturn. Within days our new HR manager contacted me via that site. I later learned he tried to “befriend” several of my colleagues on Facebook. He evidently spends considerable proportion of his time on the internet spying on people.

    This makes me very uncomfortable. It might be partly justified, but it is also very creepy. What I do in my spare time is none of his bussiness – looking for new job no more so than my preferred tooth paste. I am very glad that PZ respects and continues to respect the right to post under pseudonyms.

    I use pseudonym Charly whenever possible since I am on the internet because that is a nym by which all my close personal friends in meatspace call me, also they can recognize my online presence. I never write anything I would not dare to say under my real name, or even face to face (to a reasonable person, I might better shut up when confronted with dumb bully ready to use violence instead of arguments), but context matters. What I say on the internet is irelevant to my employers and and I do not wish them to read it and on some personal whim of theirs to decide that my opinions on religion, or politics, or anything, make me unfit for my job. Furthermore – creeps, voyeurs and bullies might be a minority, but their existence can be neither denied nor ignored and I like my peace of mind.

  193. 193
    Inaji

    vole:

    but I still think it’s sad that so much time and energy is spent on arguing about lesser issues.

    Lesser issues? Where have you been, Cupcake, when we’ve been fighting the good fight for years on end, day after day? I haven’t seen you with the rest of us, having to make the same damn arguments over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, in regard to feminism, racism, sexism, privilege, bigotry of all kinds, rape, abortion, crime, politics and so on.

    The amount of persistent shitheads who are primarily composed of known piss cakes who are vested in a campaign of harassment, trolling and derailing discussions is not a lesser issue. It may be to you, but it certainly isn’t for those of us who actually participate here.

  194. 194
    Inaji

    JAL:

    (and also waves and hugs (if you want them) I totally spaced on the other thread when I saw you but I’m ridiculously happy to see you)

    :D No worries, I’m a bit of a space case myself right now. Besides, I had no particular wish to go back and read more of ‘Carlos Saint Mommy’ – dude got on my nerves.

  195. 195
    peter2vill

    @Tony! The Virtual Queer Shoop
    you asked: “why would one want to defend the privacy rights of these specific kinds of shitheads”
    Because if they don’t break the law they should not be outed. Aggressive banning, IP/IP range blocking, proxy blocking etc should be enough. If they break the law (threats, harassment, “doing very real harm”, etc) then outing is probably not the safest option. Contacting law enforcement might be better.

    So, I’m not coming at this from an absolutist position of 100% privacy all the time. Break the law and you waved your rights.

    For example I’m a long time regular poster on a large Muslim forum and have never broken the forum rules. Many members there probably think I’m a “persistent shithead”. I hope they don’t change their forum policy. No matter how one writes someone like maddog1129 above might misinterpret my words a threat.

    @Beatrice (looking for a happy thought)
    There is no right of “being a shithead”. This PZ’s blog, so he and FTB make and enforce the rules. He thinks the right to post anonymously should not extend to all, I disagree.

    @Eristae
    I did not put being gay on the same level as being a shithead. I put human, gay and shithead rights on a same level. Understand the difference. You might feel awkward about it. I don’t.

  196. 196
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Because if they don’t break the law they should not be outed.

    What a non-sequitur. Blog owners, like bar owners, have the legal right to boot people out who misbehave. How it is done is up to them, not you, nor the law. Why you even mentioned this is beyond reason. It is just handwaving.

    Break the law and you waved your rights.

    There are no rights here. Just what PZ gives us, this being a PRIVATE blog. Your thinking is irrational.

  197. 197
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    but I still think it’s sad that so much time and energy is spent on arguing about lesser issues.

    What others said.

    And remember that, without an antagonist, without a MRA spouting bullshit, without some privileged asshat dumping privilege on a thread, without a rape apologist telling me that it is my fault, there is no need for us to go 200 comments. The reason this thread has 200+ comments, and others, such as the rape thread, have significantly less is because here there are people claiming that PZed is stomping on their right to Freeze Peaches! So far, no rape apologist on the rape thread. Do you understand now?

  198. 198
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    I’ve been “UnknownEric” all over the interwebs for about… wow, 17 years now. I’m really more Known Eric at this point, actually. :)

    Before that, during my MUD/Ew-too talker phase, I was known as Digsy because I was obsessed with that first Oasis album at the time (I still like everything they did with Tony McCarroll, it was after they fired him that they went all mediocre).

    And yeah, this is really kind of a pointless comment, innit? Back to the conversation then…

  199. 199
    Anri

    vole:

    Numbers of comments posted on some recent threads, at the time of writing:
    Fewer crimes, not better coverups: 48
    Only rapists get privacy: 50
    Getting away with murder in Texas: 48
    Right to post anonymously: 183 – comfortably more than the other three put together.
    Very strange.

    Can I assume you’ve been far more active on those threads than this one?
    Or should I actually go back and count?

    I ask because if you had only posted on this thread, rather than all of those others, that would be a truly epic-level own-goal, wouldn’t you say?

  200. 200
    carlie

    I’m at a bit of a stalemate with certain aspects of my pseudonymity. When the internet was young and fresh, I created three of them for entirely different spheres. No big deal; I was consistent within those spheres, so all was ok. But then two of them grew towards each other and eventually intermingled a lot, which makes it really weird. But I can’t just say “ha ha, I’m both this person and that person!” and get it over with, because I have said things under one nym that I definitely don’t want associated with the other nym. Bit of a conundr…ym. (heh)

  201. 201
    carlie

    And whoa, but that last sentence sounds exactly like the main reason given against nyms. I mean that I’ve said things that are more personally revealing under one nym than I have under the nym that is less able to be associated with my real-life info than on the one that is easier to link up.

  202. 202
    PZ Myers

    Aggressive banning, IP/IP range blocking, proxy blocking etc should be enough.

    Have you ever had to manage a popular blog? I didn’t think so. IP range blocking is only a last resort; everyone who posts from my house or my university are in the same IP block. I do some proxy blocking, but these things change so often (by intent) that it takes a lot of work to keep up. Aggressive banning….right. The trolls take so well to that. I ban only occasionally, when absolutely necessary, and I still have howling mad loonies screaming that I’m a dictatorial censor.

    It’s so easy for outsiders to suggest more “aggressive banning”. Shall I start with you?

    And then of course, you have to deal with the obsessed kooks. Reap Paden, for instance, is currently banned under 30+ pseudonyms. Mabus, even more. The latest crap-puker, andywatson/treestump/louisemar/towliejoint/etc is banned under at least 10.

    If they break the law (threats, harassment, “doing very real harm”, etc) then outing is probably not the safest option. Contacting law enforcement might be better.

    Man, it’s a black and white world to you simpletons, isn’t it? Either it’s harmless, or you call the cops. Did you know there are a lot of grey areas where actions do harm, but not enough in a single instance to justify calling the police? It’s true. We have a range of appropriate responses: I can let social pressure do its work (the most common strategy here), I can disemvowel offensive posts, I can delete bad comments, I can ban individuals, I can publicize criminal behavior (like the individuals who threaten physical harm), I can out persistently vile individuals, I can report people to the police. That last takes really extreme behavior: specific, plausible, and imminent threats of direct physical harm. I’ve only had to do that 3 times in over ten years of blogging, and in all 3 cases, it was completely ineffective — the police shrug, file it, tell me that they can’t do a thing unless the guy shows up with a weapon.

    And you want me to do more of that?

    You really don’t have the slightest clue. Maybe I should start “aggressively banning” pompous idiots who dispense worthless advice on subjects in which they are totally ignorant.

  203. 203
    Inaji

    UnknownEric:

    And yeah, this is really kind of a pointless comment, innit?

    No, I don’t think so. I noted, supra, that I’ve been Caine on the ‘net for over 20 years now. Time flies, eh? I am Caine. I’m Sinister at RnR and Talk Rational, but those are the only other places I’m not Caine, and that info is fairly well known too. My for realz name isn’t hard to find and a whole buncha people here know it, so it’s not massive thing if someone reveals it, although I’d prefer they didn’t.

    It’s interesting, hearing how people deal with their nym management.

  204. 204
    tigtog

    Maybe I should start “aggressively banning” pompous idiots who dispense worthless advice on subjects in which they are totally ignorant.

    I recommend it. Highly efficacious for one’s blood pressure, amongst the many more collateral gratifications.

  205. 205
    PZ Myers

    Dear god, another comment counter.

    Look, twit, there’s a simple way to predict whether a post will gather lots of comments.

    Is it non-controversial, does everyone share a consensus view about it? Then the comment count will be relatively low. This is what happens to most of my science posts.

    Is it something that the regular readership has divergent views upon? Then there will be lots of discussion. For example, when I posted on Game of Thrones, a series I find unpleasant and unsatisfying, a lot of people who enjoyed it chimed in.

    Is there an idiot in the comment thread? This is the number one most common cause of prolonged discussion. Some of my science posts have had very long comment threads because some creationist kook barges in and starts flailing persistently.

    Once you understand these very simple principles, the patterns emerge naturally.

  206. 206
    Rey Fox

    Very strange.

    Not remotely. We have a topic of debate here. Two of the other threads you mentioned are news stories that any sane person would agree are horrible, and it’s hard to find words to say on them other than incoherent screaming. The other one just doesn’t hit as close to home as this one does for most people. Of course, if you want to help the comment count, you could always comment in those threads rather than condescendingly wagging your finger here.

  207. 207
    Inaji

    You really don’t have the slightest clue. Maybe I should start “aggressively banning” pompous idiots who dispense worthless advice on subjects in which they are totally ignorant.

    I’ll note, for vole’s sake*, that this thread wouldn’t be half as long if it weren’t for the pompous idiot dispensing worthless advice on subjects in which they are totally ignorant (and spewing nastiness about gay people as well).
     
    *As vole found it worthwhile to add to this thread by whining over how many comments it had.

  208. 208
    Inaji

    PZ:

    Some of my science posts have had very long comment threads because some creationist kook barges in and starts flailing persistently.

    Oh yes. Algiskuliukas is still “arguing” in the Aquatic Ape thread.

  209. 209
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Oh yes. Algiskuliukas is still “flailing” “arguing” in the Aquatic Ape thread.

    I think this ^ would be a more accurate description? Maybe?

  210. 210
    Amphiox
    Oh yes. Algiskuliukas is still “flailing” “arguing” in the Aquatic Ape thread.

    I think this ^ would be a more accurate description? Maybe?

    Drowning.

  211. 211
    ChasCPeterson

    Drowning.

    Ha! If only he could figure out the very, very difficult solution of wading bipedally!

    My post about Mingus

    your…what? *Ctrl-F*

    “Moanin’” was a tune by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers first, so Mingus’ versions were covers to begin with. They’re quite different and both improvisational, so of course in that sense it’s sort of original.

    No, that’s incorrect. The Mingus tune is a completely different composition from the Bobby Timmons tune of the same title.
    Of the latter, here’s my favorite version.

  212. 212
    ChasCPeterson

    (that’s Harry “Sweets” Edison at 1:07)

  213. 213
    Amphiox

    Ha! If only he could figure out the very, very difficult solution of wading bipedally!

    He keeps jumping into the deep end thinking he can wade, and that a lead belt is a flotation device.

  214. 214
    David Marjanović

    What if you get it wrong? (It happens.)

    Link doesn’t work.

    I have a love. Starfart is back.

    + 1

    Others are shorter versions of my real name

    Your meatspace name. :-) The Internet isn’t somehow unreal.

  215. 215
  216. 216
    vaiyt

    I got this ‘nym about 10 years ago, and it suits me well – it’s simple, surprisingly unique and doesn’t point to my gender, origin or culture. I’ve used it mostly everywhere since then.

    My meatspace name is extremely uncommon, so I take some care to not plaster it around the intertubes too much.

  217. 217
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    OK, the original: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R36dxzbsU4g

    (Last time I argue jazz with consciousness razor and/or ChasCP.)

    Next time, I’ll go with Cerys Matthews. ;-)

    So, seriously, is this the new rule now? Can someone fix the change-email-address thing? Can someone change the privacy policy?

  218. 218
    John Morales

    [OT]

    cm, the link to the dashboard has been broken for lo these many months.

    The current link is http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/wp-admin/
    It should be http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/wp-admin/user/

  219. 219
    consciousness razor

    No, that’s incorrect. The Mingus tune is a completely different composition from the Bobby Timmons tune of the same title.

    Hmm. I remember hearing, from a teacher a long time ago, that Mingus’ was based on Timmons’. They’re obviously very different, but I figured Mingus’ patented bizarro-harmonies/textures/rhythms/etc. obscure things so that it’s hard to tell how the derivation came about. I’ve never sat down to analyze them, so I don’t know if that’s the case. (And it could be the case: being superficially “different” doesn’t really settle anything. Being the same/different tune is like a Ship of Theseus problem; it isn’t always clear where to draw the line.) Maybe the idea was just that Mingus’ was a reaction to Timmons’ or influenced by it one way or another: something like, “you think that’s Moanin; I’ll show you Moanin,” but not so much that they share some of the same materials. Again, I haven’t studied the historical background of the tune(s) in enough detail to know what was probably going on there. So I may have misinterpreted what my teacher meant, and my correction of cm may have been wrong. More data is needed, but I’m not going to bother collecting it.

  220. 220
    Ichthyic

    Jerry Coyne thinks posting under “real name” leads to more “civil” debates than what is on pharyngula. I had to disagree with him.

    careful, Jerry actually DOES boot people who disagree with him, under the guise of his attention to “civility”.

    you can see how he applies that in almost any long discussion thread there.

    example:

    it’s the ONLY site in 25 years I’ve ever been banned from!

  221. 221
    Ichthyic

    *As vole found it worthwhile to add to this thread by whining over how many comments it had.

    you don’t say?

  222. 222
    Ichthyic

    really?

  223. 223
    Ichthyic

    seems a short comment thread to me.

  224. 224
    Inaji

    Ichthyic:

    seems a short comment thread to me.

    Me too. We’re too used to those threads which run into the thousands anymore. Of course, they probably aren’t important threads.

  225. 225
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Importance like art is in the eye of the beholder – and number of comments doesn’t necessarily equate precisely to level of importance. In fact, there’s no real connection necessary between comment length and importance for a number of reasons some of which have already been explained.

    Plus others for example, if PZ heard and posted immediately that a very rapidly moving singularity was about to hit Earth destroying our planet – but it had been discovered just five minutes ago and will impact in just two minutes then it would be a very short comment thread about something you’d have to consider the utmost importance!

    @202. PZ Myers :

    I can report people to the police. That last takes really extreme behavior: specific, plausible, and imminent threats of direct physical harm. I’ve only had to do that 3 times in over ten years of blogging, and in all 3 cases, it was completely ineffective — the police shrug, file it, tell me that they can’t do a thing unless the guy shows up with a weapon.

    At a guess Mabus, Mabus and Mabus? Or are we talking three separate individuals here?

    I fully support your idea of outing publicly and with all info available those who send threats of death, rape and violence to you and even other commenters or people here. That stuff I think should go the police if serious enough and surprised they don’t act more on it. I don’t know what you go through with running this blog but I can – no doubt insufficiently imagine. And I do try hard not to be a shithead and to behave well here.

    PS. Apologies for my double post 179-180 yesterday.

  226. 226
    ChasCPeterson

    I remember hearing, from a teacher a long time ago, that

    May I quote Miles Davis?
    *hoarse whispery Miles Davis voice* “listen.”

  227. 227
    Amphiox

    seems a short comment thread to me.

    I’m afraid that to turn this thread into a Pharyngula-style long thread, you’re going to need to do more than break your posts into phrases, nor even words.

    You’ll have to do individual letters.

  228. 228
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Argh. Blockquote fail, sorry. That’s :

    @202. PZ Myers :

    I can report people to the police. That last takes really extreme behavior: specific, plausible, and imminent threats of direct physical harm. I’ve only had to do that 3 times in over ten years of blogging, and in all 3 cases, it was completely ineffective — the police shrug, file it, tell me that they can’t do a thing unless the guy shows up with a weapon.

    At a guess : Mabus, Mabus and Mabus? Or are we talking three separate individuals here?

    I fully support PZ’s outing publicly and with all info available those who send threats of death, rape and violence to him and even other commenters or people here. That stuff I think should go the police if serious enough and surprised they don’t act more on it. PZ, I don’t know what you go through with running this blog but I can – no doubt insufficiently imagine. And I do try hard not to be a shithead and to behave well here despite what some folks here think of me.

    PS. Apologies for my double post 179-180 yesterday.

    @190. Maureen Brian

    vole, You’re forgetting that this is an international commentariat. There are posts on Pharyngula which I don’t even go to because I don’t know the background or because they seem from across the Atlantic to be very parochial. Also people with a 6 or 12 hour time difference may arrive at an interesting post only to discover that what they would have said has been said already by someone else. Does a whole slew of posts saying “I agree with Fred” or “No, I agree with Jim” add anything at all?..

    Well those sort of comments do add an acknowledgement that people have seen and appreciated what’s been said and add a sense of how commonly held and in what regard some opinions, lines, jokes, points etc .. are considered by others.

    I think that’s at least something and have been “guilty” (?) of sometimes making such “quoted for truth” / “seconded” / LOL -good joke / point” type comments myself. I don’t think that’s a bad thing is it?

    Surely I’m not the only one who likes to comment positively saying what I like and agree with and enjoy instead of always only arguing and commenting about the negatives and what I disagree with eh? Think comments sections are like conversations really – another form of them and similar “laws” both legal and social norms generally apply?

  229. 229
    mildlymagnificent

    My meatspace name is extremely uncommon, so I take some care to not plaster it around the intertubes too much.

    There’s also a problem with names that might be shared with others. My own meatspace name is exactly the same as a journalist who writes for international science magazines and sites. I’d forever be guilt or shame ridden if something I wrote made her professional life difficult, lost her a contract or affected her income in some other way.

  230. 230
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @227. Amphiox : Does it help if each comment is riddled with typos, blockquote fails, and so on that can’t be edited in the actual comment itself and thus need a string of correcting / clarifying comments afterwards? Am I helping here?

    (Cue conspiracy theory music.) Is that why PZ doesn’t enable editing!??!eleventy! Itzz all for teh commentzzz lengths!

  231. 231
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @ ^ No, not really, I’m sure. Almost positive.

  232. 232
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @229. mildlymagnificent : Yes indeed. My metaspace name is shared with someone else too. A profesor of hydrology (?) who once appeared on TV discussing the Great Artesian water basin issue for Murray Darling river system woes or something like that a year or two ago to my surprise! Ditto.

    Of course its possible for nyms to be identical or close to as well esp. when they include a common first name as, frex, when a ‘Stever’ turned up on FTB who has no connection with me at all – and I felt I had to make a point of noting that fact to avoid any confusion. That’s one reason I’d like to change my current nym now if I can – not sure what precise procedure /permission I need to get /use. (&, as stated earlier, will be clear and public about this if it happens.)

    But that’s less likely and good reason for choosing more distinctive, unusual nyms I guess.

  233. 233
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    StevoR

    @190. Maureen Brian

    vole, You’re forgetting that this is an international commentariat. There are posts on Pharyngula which I don’t even go to because I don’t know the background or because they seem from across the Atlantic to be very parochial. Also people with a 6 or 12 hour time difference may arrive at an interesting post only to discover that what they would have said has been said already by someone else. Does a whole slew of posts saying “I agree with Fred” or “No, I agree with Jim” add anything at all?..

    Well those sort of comments do add an acknowledgement that people have seen and appreciated what’s been said and add a sense of how commonly held and in what regard some opinions, lines, jokes, points etc .. are considered by others.

    I think that’s at least something and have been “guilty” (?) of sometimes making such “quoted for truth” / “seconded” / LOL -good joke / point” type comments myself. I don’t think that’s a bad thing is it?

    Surely I’m not the only one who likes to comment positively saying what I like and agree with and enjoy instead of always only arguing and commenting about the negatives and what I disagree with eh?

    I agree — the little side comments add a lot of flavor to the threads. Between that, and the fact that The Horde is full of wonderful caring people… yeah, ‘s why I stick around. Anything I learn while here is just a bonus to my day.

  234. 234
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    All Hail Borkquotia! That last paragraph in it’s own blockquote? I was trying to close the blockquote, there, not nest another one in!

    Can someone with editing powers please fix that for me?

  235. 235
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Peter2vill:
    So the demarcation for you is breaking the law. Why did you choose “outing people is ok if done in retaliation for an illegal act”?

    From your comments, you’re swimming in privilege.

    Are you aware of just a fraction of the shit women deal with from men in a day? A month? Their lifetimes?
    Do you know that women are treated as objects with little value beyond their apperance?

    Are you aware of the vile, misogynistic comments frequently made towards women?
    Do you know how often sexual harassment occurs in the workplace?
    Are you aware of the efforts to roll back women’s reproductive rights?
    Are you aware of rape culture and the horrifyingly low number of convictions?
    What about the glass ceiling?

    Everything I wrote above-and so much more-are the horrifying realities that women live in every day. No, not every woman faces the exact same sexism each day, but they all face it. They dontbget to just ignore this stuff if it gets too much. Because of their gender, and the pervasive sexism in society they lack the privileges that men possess.

    Now take all of that and add in continuou microaggressions that women face. Some might be a minor irritation. To others-the dismissal of their concerns because of their gender is maddening.
    Hearing degrading talk about women from coworkers.
    The entitlement so many men feel to speak to women in any way they desire.
    Being made to feel invisible in a room full of men.
    Having any expression of anger, whether calm or reasoned ignored or they’re called a bitch.
    Not being able to see themselves well represented in the political landscape.
    Being treated as if they are fragile delicate creatures.
    Seeing assertive women called cunts.
    Knowing that so many men want them back home instead of workinglearning thst many men are threatened by them making more household in come.
    Going to buy a car and being directed to vehicles for women.
    Being expected to stay home and raise children.
    Constantly being inundated with the message that if they get raped, its their fault.
    Being told their god given role is human incubator.
    Hearing friends or allies say that certain actions are “just a guy thing”.
    Learning they hate men because some woman online said something mean to a man.
    Hearing a comedian talk about how funny it would be if “she were raped by these 5 guys”
    Seeing social media sites remain silent on misogynistic content.

    All examples of our sexist society.
    There are so many more.
    Some women are more concerned about some occurences of sexism than others. For some, microaggressions, the comments on their hair by their boss while their male coworker is complimented on his work ethic.
    These examples, big and small are in many cases not illegal. Yet, they clearly cause harm. Some of them are illegal, sure. If course some people get away with murdering a prostitute and facing no consequences. Clearly, being illegal is insufficient protection for women.
    What about those actions that are not illegal? How do you cope with living with all the bullshit above EVERY SINGLE DAY, but now because you told men “guys don’t do that”, you get frequent threats of rape in your Twitter feed. You check your email snd find death fantasies created about you. You venture to your favorite bligs and find lies being told about you. Imagine being inundated on your blog with messages about hoe ugly you are or how someone is going to kick you in the ‘c**t’. Imagine being stalked physically or online by people who want you to herbal life or learn how to write a blog. Imagine having people offer to help raise money for you because you’re having an operation only to hear some people revoke their aid because someone online said something mean about them.

    Think of all that.
    Think of the cumulative effects.
    Now think of how you want one thing:
    For these people to leave you alone. Yet they won’t.
    You go on to learn many of them do not support anti harassment policies at conventions. Now just think how bad you had it before, and consider getting such harassment for 6 months. A year. Two years.
    Now think on this: you have little recourse. They will not take responsibility and leave you alone.
    What do you do?
    If thats not enough, here’s a twist: many of these people use pseudonyms when engaged in these tactics.

    They can’t be held accountable if you don’t know who they are. They feel the freedom to say horribly sexist, hateful things. You cannot take them to court and that would take too long anyway.

    But then something happened. Amidst another lie being spread ate accasations of doxxing someone. You know it isn’t true. You can point to the commenters own blog to show how she lists more information than het first name.

    Then it occurs to you and your allies: these people are abusing theirvfree speech rights to bully and harass you. Asking nicely doesn’t make it stop. Trying to build your nne new clubhouse OVER THERE doesn’t work. But they’re afraid of something. They’re afraid of having their bullying activities known to the world, especially their families.

    The question you ponder now “I have private information about many of them. I have long held that releasing private info is unethical. But dammit it is bad enough dealing with everyday sexism and misogyny. To also fight the pernicious lies being told about you is difficult. If they aren’t going to let up, they need to face the consequences of their actions. The only way that I can do so is out them if they won’t leave
    So yeah if they talk shit about me they get outed.

    These assclowns aren’t doing anything illegal. They are however, engaged in an immoral, unethical campaign against me and several others. Outing them is in direct response to their lies and hateful rhetoric

    I wholly support this choice.
    W

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