07.18.09

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Commenting Policy to Change Due to Abuse and Intimidation from Trolls

Posted in Site News at 4:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Change is needed as attempts to harass this Web site and people behind it reach new heights (including libel against me)

GreyGeek, who is known to many as a popular participant from Linux Today, has just left the following comment, which led us to deciding to alter the commenting policy (it used to be strictly “no intervention”).

After reading all these comments one thing seems very apparent: Microsoft has INCREASED the number of TE’s assigned to you and this site. They are flooding each article with hostile comments linked with other comments on other articles by themselves and other TEs. Twisting, spinning, dodging, ducking, weaving, lying, and with plenty of ad hominem attacks to flavor their mutual love fest.

Yet, they never explain James Plamondon’s mea culpa, or his belief that Microsoft has continued to employ the very same techniques first noticed, posthumously, on the Compuserv Canopus forum, initially occupied mostly by OS/2 users. Joe Barr described the TE’s behavior and tactics (although he and the rest of the world did not know about James Plamondon’s digital terrorists at the time) in an appropriately titled article, “SLIME” (Spin, Lies and Insults by Microsoft Employees), and included this comment:

Online thugs, dimly lit cyberjerks who use the foulest imaginable language on anyone who disagrees with them, male or female, roam free. I recently reported the foul-mouthed William Beem to both CIS and the police for making threats. Other vermin contribute nothing but content-free ad hominem, including one pathetic munchkin who openly wishes me a horrible death. Me? I’m following Payne out the door. The stench on Canopus is more than I can bear

The original site is gone, but here is an archived copy of the SLIME article: http://web.archive.org/web/20070912130345/www.pjprimer.com/slime.html
better make a copy before “something” happens to it.

Wong’s mistake was to brag about his new position as an MS TE on line when he was first hired, thus exposing himself for what he is, one of James Plamondon’s creatures, a hired gun working for Microsoft. You can describe his posts as “gunning”, for that is what they are and what they do. If you are on the receiving end of one of their ad hominem campaigns they could be considered Digital Terrorists. Wong probably considers himself a digital samurai. One who would employ the Slog or the set up the Stacked Panel with no moral whims what so ever about astroturfing a site which is not Pro-Microsoft. “Bidness is bidness”. A paycheck is a paycheck.

Following in the footsteps of former Microsoft TE’s like Segal (“Barkto”), Diamond and Shupak, Wong and the other TEs infesting the comments section here are trying to do what their cohorts did to the Canopus OS/2 forum — hijack it or shut it down. Here is Joe Barr’s account of the “Barkto” event and evidence of Microsoft’s collusion:
http://lists.essential.org/1998/am-info/msg01529.html

They succeeded by sheer volume of posts and relentless ad hominem attacks against any not in the Microsoft camp, in order to hijack Canopus and drive out Joe Barr and other civil people. They can’t hijack this site because they don’t own it and they can’t turn you. That only leaves the last tactic — volumes of self-reverential negative postings, making all sorts of claims about “defeating” or “exposing” you or what ever. I often wonder how they can read about the graft and corruption revealed the internal MS emails revealed in the DOJ or Combs trials and not resign, or at least vomit. Anyone who can read Comes 3096.pdf and still want to be a TE has the kind of morals that Plamondon was looking for.

I have a suggestion. Allowing these MS shills to share the same threads as civil folks gives them too much front page space. That is precisely how they hijacked Canopus. Just like DELL and the other PC OEMs were/are forced to keep hardware featuring Linux to back pages or face get their “air supply cut off” by Microsoft not funding ad revenues, you should move obvious TE posts to another page, referenced by a single link which marked as such and is surrounded by all sorts of disclaimers and warnings about the content contained therein.

[...]

As I said, move the obvious AstroTurfs to a second page, accessible via a single link, surrounded by warnings of the hostile nature of the content, just the way MS has forced PC OEMs to hide Linux offerings.

It’s as fair a treatment as these egotists deserve. It is obvious that they are using the Canopus Attack method to swamp your website with the most outrageous postings possible, devoid or content, arguing over words, …. all the hallmarks of the Canopus Attack. They’ve got it down to an art form, like obnoxious WFW tag team members. Now you have “Lefty” threatening to sue you… classic MS tactic. That’s how MS muzzled the security people into forcing them to release news of security holes ONLY to Microsoft.

While “Lefty” is not related Microsoft (contrary to the insinuated claim from GreyGeek), his professional activity does suggest that it is in his financial interests to silence this Web site (along with other groups like the FSF*, which seek to forbid what his employer depends on**). This includes software patents. So he came here with false accusations against me, then flooded the Web site (and the Web at large) with the same defamatory false accusation, and then he aggravated everything and everyone who is in this Web sites (cursing beyond people’s imagination with about 100 lengthy comments per day), which leads to the suspicion that it was deliberate provocation of everyone, intended to find a reason for further harassment.

“I can see the IP addresses of those who are mod-bombing and fueling verbal attacks on this site, including libel against me.”To be clear here, the victim is me. I was accused of something I did not do in the first place and the rest was more of the same. The whole campaign was backed by many other trolls who promoted the same lies using quantity — sheer quantity — of comments and mod-bombing. I can see the IP addresses of those who are mod-bombing and fueling verbal attacks on this site, including libel against me.

The reference to lawyers as silencers is familiar. Actually, our server administrator*** received a similar type of treatment. Microsoft threatened to sue him for writing a factually correct blog post about security problems that their software had. That was a few years ago.

If comments are made harder to leave, then the trolls get their way, so we are still trying to work out how to clean up future feedback on posts.

Those who do not honour freedom of expression resort to intimidation and libel, which sometimes comprises or includes dishonest smear campaigns.

Lastly, adds GreyGeek:

http://www.longtail.com/the_long_tail/2007/03/the_microsoft_m.html

It amazed the journalist at Wired, in retrospec, how easily he was spun by Microsoft.

And, I have NO DOUBT that you have read the emails which describe “handling” the journalist O’gara, who wrote and writes much like you.

Assign TE’s to this site? When you say “we” I know you aren’t referring to other Penquins or even rocks in your pocket.

We have already exposed (and reported to the FTC) at least one Microsoft TE who endlessly trolled this Web site in recent days.
_______
* He has already attacked Richard Stallman by taking satire out of context.
** He is not here on his own behalf. The employer is not dissociated from this because the topic discussed here is not politics, for example. If a person promotes his employer’s agenda or vilifies his employer’s competitors outside work (addressing the very same subject as in work), then he or she does this for financial gain. Period.
*** The man who kindly donated server space after of this Web site came under persistent and repeated DDOS attacks, which led to problems with the old Web host.

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