Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

~~~

~~~

It's not a problem when GOP presidents continue their vacations when Americans are killed.

It's not a problem when GOP presidents continue their vacations when Americans are killed.
Reagan continued to ride at his ranch when 62 Americans were killed by USSR. No one trashed Reagan at the time. Because IOKIYAR! (Click on image.)

Friday, September 17, 2010

YOU'RE NOTHING BUT A PACK OF CARDS!






W A R N I N G!!!  See the end of this post!

Pamela D. Hart and I have been investigating dozens more of what we've come to believe are astroturf blogs-- phoney sites that have been set up and most of which are abandoned soon after their appearance in the blogsphere.  What is curious is that many of these blogs crop up like crabgrass and immediately have dozens of  followers.  I remember when I started blogging how I waited months before anyone commented on my blog, and I believe that is the normal experience.  It is awfully suspicious to see these new blogs get an immediate following, especially by the same group of people we have found on other astroturf blogs.  One blogger who shows up consistently as a follower on almost all of these blogs is someone who calls himself "Nickie Goomba,"  who, according to his blog has over 1100 followers.  [Notice the title of NG's blog, then look at the title of this one--and its followers--does this make sense?] NG is a follower on the majority of these astroturf blogs but seldom if ever leaves a comment on them. When I follow a blog, I actually visit it, read its posts, and comment.  Not NG.  But that phenomenon is for another post.

Why these blogs have been established and then abandoned is anyone's guess.  I think that the people who set them up are paid hacks and have been instructed to make their particular political-leaning area of the blogsphere appear to be larger than it actually is.

Last winter I began to track many of these astroturf blogs and found dozens of them with URLs that contain 101 and 113 in their addresses.  It doesn't take a Miss Marple to realize that THAT is very strange, and would suggest that perhaps these blogs are not being randomly generated, but are set up by one or two paid hacks who keep track of them through a numbering system.

The other phenomenon Pam and others have observed is that the style, voice, and tone of the author of the posts are the same on many of these blogs. "Style, voice, and tone in writing express the attitude of a writer at that moment and in relation to a particular subject and audience...style is a technical term for the effect a writer can create through attitude and language.  Voice and tone reflect your attitude about your subject and your readers."* 

We've also noticed a certain consistency in work that is plagiarized on many of these blogs.  Text is often lifted from news sites on the web and/or comment sections of those news sites and passed off as the blogger's own.  A perfect example that Pam found is here.  This blog was set up in February of this year with only one post--which was plagiarized--and with material on its sidebar plagiarized as well.   


The worst of these astroturf blogs are the ones that steal people's photo identity, make-up lies about the person in the photo and allow the blog to be associated with that image, without the person who belongs to the image having any knowledge of his/her photo identity theft.  This is rampant on these astroturf blogs.  I've found photos of famous and near famous people from this country and abroad used as the astroturf bloggers' photo IDs.  As I stated previously, no one really believes the celebrity is actually the owner of that blog.  But some of these blogs attach private citizens' photos they found on the internet to the profile section of the fake blogs.  

The most egregious example of this was the photo Pam and I found on the blog "The Thin Blue Line."  The hack who set that blog up stole a photo of a police officer from Oakland, California, who was killed in the line of duty.  The officer's photo was placed on the blog in the profile section, stating that the blogger was from New York, and that he had a son who was serving in Iraq. (The deceased officer's oldest child, a son, was 15 years old at the time of his tragic death.)  Unlike many of the blogs Pam and I have discovered, this shameful blog is still up and running as of 9:00 AM, Sept. 17, and, curiously, this blog has a 113 in its URL address.

As Pam and I expose these astroturf blogs, many of them have started to collapse and fold, like a house of cards.  Pam is doing a terrific job of tracking this activity.  Please go here and read her comments in the post below this one to learn more.  Also I appreciate the help from another blogger, The JMopper, whose suggestions have been quite useful.

So what does this all mean?  Setting up astroturf blogs is not illegal, and pretending to be someone on a blog isn't either.  But in the case of the fallen police officer, it certainly is unethical, dishonorable, and heartless.  Why did the hacks who set up these blogs do it? Only those who have engaged in this chicanery and deceitful practice know the real reason.

What we've learned is that the astroturf blogs we've uncovered are, for the most part, all trumpery, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing.  What is written on them is either plagiarized or so full of mindless, repetitive invective and vitriol--stuff and nonsense--that it is a waste of one's time to read them.  Therefore they're useless as a means of spreading any sort of message--if that was the original purpose in the first place.

And who would give any credence to any operation that uses deceit and stolen material to make a point? 

In the end, I thought of what Alice said as she was being pursued by the Red Queen's minions:  

"Who cares for you?' said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) `You're nothing but a pack of cards!'

NOTE TO READERS:  The hack who set up the "Just Sue" astroturf blog shut it down to "invited readers only" just after I posted about the fraud.  The blog has, as of today, been completely deleted. 



*SOURCE

A few liberal bloggers have noticed a new follower on their blog "fearthedragon."  This persona showed up last week when I began research on astroturf blogs.  TheJMopper is being followed by this persona as well and discovered this:

"The J Mopper said...



Fearthedragon is following me too and I haven't posted anything in months.

I clicked on the blank photo and was warned by FireFox's NoScript that this was a potential hijacking!!!

DO NOT click on this photo!!!

75 comments:

Dave Miller said...

I'm shocked, shocked I tell ya!

But seriously, this tuff does not happen in a vacuum. It would seem to me to equally possible that there should be the same behavior happening on the left.

Two questions.

1. Are you saying nickie Goomba is also a fraud and...

2. And maybe this for the folks who are followers of these exposed blogs, why do they remain followers in light of these findings?

Silverfiddle, Mal, Odie, anyone care to answer that??

Shaw Kenawe said...

No. I don't believe Nickie Goomba is a fraud. But it is curious that he appears on almost every one of the astroturf blogs, even those with less than a half dozen followers. How does he find out about these brand new blogs that are set up and then abandoned?

As for your second question, no one likes to admit they've been taken in by a fraud.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Here's another curiosity. Sue of "Hellooooo Mr. President" has discovered a new follower "fearthedragon" on her follower list. When I looked at this new follower of hers, I discovered "fearthedragon" also follows every single blog that is on my bloglist. Even very obscure blogs that I rarely read.

This occurred just recently on Sue's blog--while I was blogging the photo ID thefts on these blogs.

I don't use the gadget for followers on my blog, but in my profile, anyone can see the names of the blogs I follow.

Curious, eh?

Shaw Kenawe said...

Dave,

As an example of the Nickie Goomba phenomenon, here is another photo ID stolen blog with 4 followers.

Notice who one of them is.

In order to "follow" a blog, you have specifically to go to it and sign up on the "follow this blog" button.

How did NG find this obscure astroturf blog?

I find it quite curious.

TAO said...

Hey, fearthedragon is following me too!

Shaw Kenawe said...

TAO,

link to "fearthedragon's" blank image and look at the blogs ftd follows.

They are exactly the same as mine.

The J Mopper said...

Fearthedragon is following me too and I haven't posted anything in months.

I clicked on the blank photo and was warned by FireFox's NoScript that this was a potential hijacking!!!

DO NOT click on this photo!!!!

Shaw Kenawe said...

"fearthedragon" is following tnlib as well.

Shaw Kenawe said...

And TRUTH.

The J Mopper said...

Someone is starting a cyber war here...I think we know who the perpetrator is.

This is actually a form of "click-jacking" and I've reported this to NoScript via the supplied interface, though not sure what will become of this.

Anonymous said...

From what you've said here, I can only assume then that the Right is Right lady, whose blog url includes the number 113 and who also steals the photos of other people, mainly celebrities, is also a fraud. No surprise there!!

tnlib said...

He/she/it is? Didn't even notice. Maybe I'll just take the Follower thingy off. Kind of colorful, though.

Seriously, there's no doubt in my mind - and never has been - that people like this and Lisa the Loon are paid hacks. Probably can't get legitimate jobs due to the Bush economy - and maybe a little stupidity.

I admire what you and Pam are doing. I think the two of you should co-author an article and submit it to a larger outlet. You would be doing people a favor.

tnlib said...

I just went thru my Followers for unknowns. About seven of them, including "fear" (telling), do not have links to their blogs. You are invited to send a message. Is this indicative of anything?

Dave Miller said...

Shaw, here's another twist.

Following the news here, I checked out all 7 of my followers.

Yeah, I know I am a little short in that department and constantly live with blog follower envy. But that's another story.

This is what I found.

Apparently I too am being followed by birdbrain, oops feather bird, or whatever, but it gets better.

I am also being followed by "Just a Conservative Girl"...

Here is her address:

912member.blogspot.com

When I went to her site, I am listed as a follower!

You can be sure I didn't do that, so there must be some hijacking going on, and of course, nickie Goomba is at the top of her list.

Thoughts people?

We have all seen certain bloggers say they have not yet begun to fight... is this the opening salvo?

Sue said...

what do you mean by highjacking?? I'm not computer saavy! Mal said to one of his friends today or yesterday, "I have not even begun to fight!"

I went thru my followers list a few days ago and deleted a conservative guy, I don't know why those conservatives were following me anyway! I gotta go thru it again, I forget if I deleted FTD....

Sue said...

Dave you are too cute...

The J Mopper said...

My guess is that if you click on anything in that fearthedragon user webpage there will be something "lurking" in the foreground...i.e. you could be clicking on something that you did not know like, say, allowing this person permission (somehow) to access something on your PC...or perhaps it could be something innocuous like clicking on the person's "follow" as may have happened with Dave.

Who knows but whatever is going on it's deceitful, unkosher, and now illegal (if actual click-jacking is being done).

This has gotten out of control.

The J Mopper said...

Sue - this is all new to me too but if you google "click-jacking" you'll find some articles about it (Wikipedia, of course, also has information about it).

The premise of click-jacking is fooling an unsuspecting person into clicking something on a webpage that actually does something entirely different. You may see a "close" button on a webpage but there could be another webpage in front of it (hidden to you) that is active and will perform another task (like buy an MP3, allow the perpetrator access to your PC, or simply "follow" them in blogger).

Again, this is what I've learned over the last couple of hours.

Dave Miller said...

Thanks Sue, that's what my wife says too...

Sue said...

I want to take FTD off my followers list but how can I if I can't click on it?? This is some sick shit. I even deleted my other blog cuz it had family pictures on it...

Dave, when I got my 50th follower a month or so ago I did a happy dance! Then a rude blogger came by and made fun of my little following and my excitement!LOL

tnlib said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Infidel753 said...

I've got FTD on my followers list too -- thanks for the warning.

Has anyone reported this to Blogger? It (and the sock-puppet blogs, for that matter) seems like a serious abuse of their system.

Sue said...

Infidel I didn't know you had a list?? I must add myself, or did I already?? BTW you need to add yourself to mine too!

The J Mopper said...

tnlib: "Suggestions?": Not sure what browser you use but see if you can install plug-ins that protect you against this type of malicious behavior.

I use FireFox and have NoScript installed as a plug-in, which detected the FTD click-jacking.

Other than that it doesn't appear that you can selectively delete a follower from Blogger.



Is it any coincidence that this FTD user showed up after the fake blogger accusations went "public"?

TAO said...

I have decided that THE MALCONTENT and his little web of aliases is actually a department of HOMELAND SECURITY and he got the job via the Patriot Act...

Thus, he works for Dick Cheney....

Whoops, now that would be Barack Obama...

Sue said...

J Mopper I deleted a person from my followers list. click on options at the top of the list and when all your followers come up click on the picture and go from there. It also says they will be banned too after you delete them.

Sue said...

I did it, I took FTD off my list. It will say 'block this user' and his name disappeared.

Dave Miller said...

After I commented on the conservative girl blog, asking her to remove me from her list, she did.

She then visited my site and left a note saying it must have been my wife who did it when she was on a mothers of kids site.

SInce our son is grown, I doubt that is happened, but I am off her list.

I also blocked FTD, the blogger, not the florist...

tnlib said...

This is what I posted on my blog. There are a couple of other things I mention.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: DAMN THOSE GOONS AND THUGS

PLEASE SHARE

FYI: The owners of Progressive Eruptions and The Oracular Opinion have been following some cruel and unethical behavior on the part of right-wing extremists. One of them is "fearthedragon," which may be following you. He uses a generic photo and fans out to people on your blogroll. But there are others.


As you will see, these goons aren't just paid whores for the GOP or some right-wing nut-group, they can be dangerous and cause innocent people serious harm. One of the cruelest is stealing a photo of a policeman killed in the line of duty and using it for a fake blog.

This is the latest on Progressive Eruptions:

http://progressiveerupts.blogspot.com/2010/09/youre-nothing-but-pack-of-cards.html

Oracular Opinion:

http://progressiveerupts.blogspot.com/2010/09/youre-nothing-but-pack-of-cards.html

I want to caution about emails with viruses as well. I have been getting one from a "dinahj65" or something like that. They went to my email spam folder and my virus protecter caught them as well. Do be suspicious and use extra caution with your emails.

Also, I posted an article and video of Tea Partier Victoria Jackson's appearance on Hannity back in March. But this strange thing kept happening. On April 1, everytime I went to my blog the damn thing would start playing and I'd have to listen to that stupid voice of hers - it was like having a ghost. So, I just took it down. I read a couple of days later that this was apparently Fox's idea of an April Fool's joke.

Commendably, there are several conservative bloggers denouncing this kind of fraud, unethical and cruel behavior.

---

I took down my Followers.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Could our little ftd follower have gotten the idea from this?

Dave Miller said...

Shaw, you're assuming an ability to read...

Silverfiddle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jerry Critter said...

I've got FTD also along with a couple others I don't know -- Catherine Flusche and vicky peter.

Octopus said...

One more word of warning: Some RSS feeds started showing up in my email box today (never got them before). If the person is unknown to you, this could an imbedded virus or some other form of MALware. In any case, do not open.

AYATOLLAH TRUTHMENI 101 said...

Anyone remember a character who called himself "Rude Arrogant Ass."?

T&hat was my friend Ed from the car business. He had maybe one post and left a comment or two then left town for St. Louis to take care of his mother. But in the one day Ed blogged anothe "Rude Arrogant Ass" showed up as a follower on Pam's site. He left a couple comments and I got on him for being a copycat. He denied it. Of course he followed all the other Long Beach NY blogs within days.

We're not dealing with someone of any honor or decency at all. This person is a flaty out sleazeball.

FTD wasn't following me when I turned on the computor this afternoon.

tnlib said...

I put up a post linking to here and to TOO. Of course I had to correct it because I put in the wrong URL for Pam!!!

I also warned about email viruses. Have received several from dinahj65. Fortunitely they went to spam and my virus protector has picked them up. They are malware.

I just took my followers off. It's not really a big deal but I don't have time to deal with these creeps. I had about 7. Maybe I can go back to it later.

tnlib said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jadedj said...

This is good info...and thank you tnlib for the initial tip on my blog. I am now going to go through my followers with a microscope.

Pamela D. Hart said...

Truth: I remember that Rude Guy (he was actually nice to me) but the “fake one’s” URL was therudeandarrogantone, and his blog name changed a few times but ended up “Things That Piss Me Off" before it was shut down.

Three more are gone: An American Who Cares, Inquiring Minds Want to Know, and Joe’s America. That takes our total up to 26!

I just want to let everyone know that I believe Nickie Goomba is innocent. He runs a pretty successful blog, from what I can see, and has quite a few followers. These fake bloggers followed him first and he followed them in return. That’s what happened to me. It’s called Blogger Protocol. I read up on blogging before I started my blog (yes I’m that anal). Also, these fake bloggers will leave comments on blogs so that they will get comments on their “fake” blogs—another Blog Protocol or etiquette, if you will. Nickie Goomba thought they were real just like we did.

Okay, I’m going to do some more sleuthing. Yeah, I’ll be honest, I'm getting some satisfaction from it. I guess I feel as if I’m finally getting justice for what those jerks put me through all those months.

Teeluck said...

Oh Shit! I just noticed that Fearthedragon is now a follower on my blog! WTF!

Teeluck said...

These are the sites that Fearthedragon has joined...

"The Rant" by Tom Degan
... and now for something completely different.
A plain blog about politics
alicublog
American Nihilist
Banquet of Consequences Too
Blue Gal
Boomer's Words Of Poor Insight
Brain Rage
cab drollery
Citizen K.
Conservatives Are Traitors
Corrupting Conservatives
cravens world
Culture of Truth
d r i f t g l a s s
DemWit
DISSENTING JUSTICE
ECHIDNE of the snakes
FREE RADICAL

Shaw Kenawe said...

Teeluck,

Every one of those blogs are the same as the blogs that are on my blog list on my blog's sidebar--except for alicublog, Conservatives Are Traitors, and Cravens World.

It appears that "fearthedragon" copied MY blog list [which included you] and joined as a follower.

BTW: "fearthedragon" had used a non-photo profile, but I noticed it changed to a GOP logo with the letters CK over it.

I also went into my blogger controls and found several people following my blog who I hadn't noticed previously--one was "Impreach Barack Obama."

You can go to your blog controls and block these unwanted pests.

I did.

Beekeepers Apprentice said...

I'm so glad I'm small fry - all I get are russians who join as "subscribers" then spam me to death with viagra ads in cyrillic. They must have at thing for beekeepers.

BigLeagues said...

A simple Google search for "BuzzFlash" shows that as recently as today Google scanned and discovered malware on several pages on Buzzflash.com

This wasn't picked up by NoScript because other security features that I have in place screamed a warning before I ever got to the page I was attempting to access.

I went over to Chrome (which is the only major browser to be written as a 'sandbox' program - a feature that makes it very difficult -but not impossible- for malicious websites to access your computer) and sent an email to BuzzFlash's Technical support email alerting them of this.

Sue said...

I installed NOSCRIPT and had to delete my whole followers list because a popup said clickjacking when I clicked on the list. I had deleted FTD before I installed the plug-in so I don't know what's happening now to my blog. Can someone email me and tell me what the hell this clickjacking is and if I have the plug-in does that make my blog safe??

Silverfiddle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pamela D. Hart said...

GOOD NEWS!

Helga has changed to an invite only blog!

SF: What do you mean back-up your blogs weekly? How do you back-up your blog? Oh gosh, if I'm not doing something and I lose info, I'll just cry!

Silverfiddle said...

I use Blogger in Draft:

http://draft.blogger.com/

Click on the Settings tab, then below it click on 'Basic'

Right at the top next to the Blog Tools heading there are links to 'Import Blog' 'Export Blog' 'Delete Blog'

Click 'Export Blog'

A reassuring message will pop up telling you that downloading your blog does not delete it.

Click 'Download Blog' then click 'OK'

Depending on how big your blog is it could take awhile.

It is save in XML format, which is useful for doing word searches. I often use it to find stuff I blogged about because the Google search function for blogs sucks.

I backup especially before I make any major changes at Western Hero.

I have totally jacked stuff up at the old blog site, so I have had to restore more than once. I works great.

The only caveat is I lost comments upon a redesign and import from an old blog with a different url. Other than that, backup and restore works great

Silverfiddle said...

The most important piece of advice is DO NOT CLICK any untrusted links!

Clickjacking can't work if you don't click the malicious link.

Shaw Kenawe said...

SF, Thanks for the info.

Pam,

I'm shocked. RiR shut comments to invited only?

How many is that to date?

And why are they shutting down?

There's got to be a reason. I wonder why our investigation caused so many of these fradualent blogs to fold.

Silverfiddle said...

To Back Up Your Blog:

Use Blogger in Draft

http://draft.blogger.com

Click on 'Settings'

Below that, 'Basic'

Next to the Blog Tools heading are three links:

Import Blog
Export Blog
Delete Blog

Select 'Export Blog'

A pop up will reassure you that you are not deleting your blog.

Click the Download Blog Button
and then OK.

Depending on how big your blog is, it could take awhile. It saves in XML format, which not very efficient, but it is human readable, which makes it useful if you're searching for something specific you or someone else wrote. The Blogger search tool is damn near useless.

I do this frequently, and I have used the Import feature as well.

I wrecked my site a few times trying new upgrades, and the Import worked perfectly to restore it back.

The only caveat is if you are moving URLs. My user comments didn't make it, but I was doing some funky stuff that probably caused it to happen.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Perhaps they're afraid that what they've been doing is illegal?

Why would they shut down just as we are exposing them??

Anyone?

Pamela D. Hart said...

Shaw: That's 27 to date.

They are shutting down because... ah... plagiarism is ILLEGAL.

jadedj said...

Shaw - "Why would they shut down just as we are exposing them??"

They were Raptured?

Sue said...

JJ! ROFLMAO!!!!

Hey guys, I got my followes list back, I thought it was gone forever but NO!! Thanks SF...

Pam I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't know what back-up your blog means!!:-))))

Pamela D. Hart said...

Sue: My expertise is SLEUTHING, not geeking!

And yes, thanks for the heads up, SF. Malware destroyed the hard-drive on my laptop a few months ago--it was a nightmare; I don't want THAT to happen again!

Teeluck said...

I only use Google Chrome, and as BigLeagues said, I also have no problems so far with Chrome, it is a better program, and maybe it helps to block the attacks, you all should try it if you have not as yet.

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Octopus said...

Speaking of PLAGIARISM, how conveniently Silverfiddle forgets about this, which was plagiarized from this.

And then there is this matter: VIOLATING PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL EMAIL by posting it on the web WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF THE SENDER.

Add SILVERFIDDLE to the list of UNETHICAL BLOGGERS.

Shaw Kenawe said...

SF: "In return, the bloggers threw every weapon at me: Attack the messenger, smear by implication, call me uneducated, insult my writing, put my sources out of bounds because they don't meet the lefty litmus test, control the dialog by mischaracterizing what I say, go off on any tangent to avoid discussing the issue..."

Speaking of attacking the messenger:

the malcontent: "Just a word or two about that Certified Hag Shaw Kenawe, The Mother Hen of Leftist Bloggers, who has all of the charm and charisma of a pig in pile of mud slop.Who is trying her Damndest in her Dumbest way to discredit me and my blog because of the fact that I wont let up on her hatred and, discrediting and flaming the politicians that I respect and my continuing to call her on her out on her reliance to the Ass-Wipes that we now have in Washington."

To which our ever enthusiastic friend on the right wrote in the comments:

"These people are ate up with Obama worship and they have no foundational philosophy to guide them. They storm out each day, whipped up in a frothy anger about whatever Rachel Madcow, Keith Boobleman, or the leg tingler tell them they should be outraged about.

What I found funniest at that blog that accused Just Sue of using a fake picture: One of the commenters leveling the charge is using a picture of a sea creature!

Left Blogistan is such a delightfully wacky place!

September 14, 2010 10:51 PM"


As I've said before, SF is not a serious person. Nothing more than a liberal basher who apparently admires and supports the ravingly mad person quoted in bold.

I especially love his "whipped up in a frothy anger" comment.

Irony is certainly dead on the right blogsphere.

Octopus said...

In the blogosphere where words are our only medium of exchange, words should never be taken for granted. Either bloggers say what they mean and mean what they say, or else they are being disingenuous at best … or verbal assassins at worst.

I have often asked: Why do some liberal bloggers continue to take crap from trolls even after being insulted and offended?

When a right wing hack demonizes and devalues you, their goal is to engage you in a game of one-upmanship and thereby bully and demean you. When you play their game, it means you have accepted their terms and conditions, thereby putting yourself at an immediate disadvantage. When goaded into a hissy contest, the best strategy is to delete the comment, refuse all off-topic taunts, and waste no more time with them.

Cognitive linguistics teaches us something about the meaning of words. When a political hack calls you “An ass-wipe, a hag, retarded, godless, a mental disease, a pig, vermin” or the usual litany of abuse and sarcasm, it means they regard you as subhuman … as undeserving of civility and mutual respect, and therefore unworthy full citizenship. DERISION CONNOTES INEQUALITY.

In case the point is lost on right wing readers of this blog, consider this phrase:

All liberals are morons.

What happens when you substitute the word ‘liberal’ for ‘Black,’ ‘Catholic,’ ‘Hispanic,’ ‘Jew,’ or ‘Women?’ Then the same sentence turns into a bigoted, anti-Semitic, racist, or sexist rant. There may be some right wing readers who think ‘political correctness’ is a liberal conspiracy and a false equivalency. It is not. There are many Blacks, Catholics, Hispanics, Jews and Women who vote liberal … and resent being called morons. All forms of gratuitous stereotyping are the wellspring of hate, prejudice, and incitement. There is no excuse for verbal abuse or partisan taunts under any circumstances.

What flyby trolls and cyber-scammers seek to accomplish is to the negation of a free and open democratic exchange. Their aim is to hijack comment threads, shut down debate, and suppress other viewpoints. That is why I have a zero tolerance for trolls.

Pamela D. Hart said...

Octo: I have pity for people who have such low self-esteem and self-respect that they have to resort to attacking and demeaning others to try and make themselves feel better. What they don’t seem to realize is this method makes THEM look the villain. It’s quite sad really.

Trust me, I don’t wish to engage these people, because one can’t have an intelligent debate; I just wish these individuals would do some self-reflection because it would do them, and their families a world of good.

Shaw Kenawe said...

I'd like to answer Joe's silly question about my use of the phrase "full of sound and fury and signifying nothing," and not putting quotation marks around it.

He obviously knows nothing about common/popular usage, that is, in writing, the assumption that literate people know where a world famous phrase/quote is from, therefore, it needs no quotation marks around it, since it is so well known, and any literate person would know that it is not being plagiarized.

Now that Joe has been enlightened he won't make that error again.

PS. Joe, I called you out on your putting quotes around something you made up and that President Obama never said. That is dishonest and a misuse of the quotation marks.

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Octopus said...

Shaw - I'd like to answer Joe's silly question about my use of the phrase "full of sound and fury and signifying nothing," and not putting quotation marks around it"

Joe is not just a silly fellow but also an annoying one. It he were more literate, he would know, for instance, that William Faulkner wrote a book called The Sound and the Fury. The title is NOT surrounded in quotes. Faulkner wrote another book called Absalom, Absalom!. The title is NOT surrounded in quotes.

Unbeknownst to Joe, there are brands of beer having literary names, such as Mephistopheles (Goethe), Oscar Wilde Mild, Old Fezziwig (Charles Dickens), The Grapes of Cask (John Steinbeck), and Catcher in the Rye (JD Salinger), as examples. NONE of these beer brands are surrounded in quotes.

When a non-astute person such as Joe insists on turning himself into a pest, he also succeeds in turning himself into a fool. BTW, Shaw was NOT the one who deleted Joe’s comments. I deleted them.

Nameless Cynic said...

Octo:

Thanks. Hadn't noticed FTD had come crawling over to my site as well.

Noticed a couple of comments here indicating lack of geek-knowledge. I only know enough to get myself in trouble, but Blogger does most of this for you.

To back up your blog, from the dashboad, click Settings from the line:
NEW POST – Edit Posts – Comments – Settings...(etc)

Right there at the top of the "basics" tab, you should see
Import blog - Export blog - Delete blog

Choose "Export" and follow the instructions.

To boot followers (like, for example, FTD), back at the Dashboard, there should be an entry next to your blog title for "## Followers" - click that. It takes you to your list of followers (duh). Click the picture of the unwanted person, it brings up very minimal info on him, but there next to his icon should be three choices, with the bottom one being "Block User."

Shaw Kenawe said...

This comment from Susannah was posted in the September 12 blog post, but it should be in the more recent comments regarding photo ID thefts on fraudulent blogs:

Susannah said...

Hi SK~ Haven't been by for a while. Saw a reference to yours/Pam's 'investigation' over @ BPB. Followed links here.

What's all this fuss about? -- I asked myself...I hadn't noticed 'fake' blogs, just that lots of 'em pop up & are active only briefly. Since most of you here are Left-ish, you may be interested in a Right-ish point of view on all this (?) I don't know, call me crazy...

Personally, I'm not interested in bloggers whose only aim is to 'rant,' even if it's a sentiment w/ which I agree. It's silly, sophomoric, doesn't advance 'the cause' & just isn't interesting. I appreciate good writing, see?

I don't care if someone wants to keep 2,3,4,5 blogs all w/ different profiles & "alter egos" (who has this kind of time? they surely don't live in my world!). And I couldn't give a rip if some actor/actress' photo is 'stolen.' I DO take exception (as I said @ Pam's blog) when a person's pic is swiped for the purpose of bullying, intimidating, to get that individual off the boards...Incidentally, I have personally only witnessed this from the Left (not that Right doesn't do it -- people are people).

One last thought...Shaw, you asked this question:
"Why do they do such things?"

I asked the same question over @ Pam's & BPB, & was really puzzled...who has this kind of time??

Then I see all the strings of comments, multiple posts, the extensive 'investigating' & the loads & loads of energy going into 'exposing' the person/people.

And it hits me: somebody somewhere is ROFLMAO -- all day long. I say this with the very best of intentions, really, SK. I think -- maybe -- you guys have quite possibly 'been had.'

Take it or leave it. Just an observation...
*

September 20, 2010 9:37 PM


*My emphasis, SK.

Shaw Kenawe said...

My answer to Susannah:

Shaw Kenawe said...
"And it hits me: somebody somewhere is ROFLMAO -- all day long. I say this with the very best of intentions, really, SK. I think -- maybe -- you guys have quite possibly 'been had.'"--Susannah

The point of our investigation was to stop the unethical use of people's photos on these blogs.

I wonder, Susannah, if you would like to see your image on a made-up blog that was entirely contrary to your religious and political beliefs, with a profile full of lies about your image. You may not so blithely dismiss this as nothing more than pranksterism if your face were placed on a blog without your knowledge or permission.


You completely ignored that point of our exposing these blogs.

One of the blogs has a photo of a fallen police officer from Oakland, Calif., with lies in the profile of that photo.

Others have taken individual images from facebook and social networking sites, stolen those photos, and used them for profile picutres.

I've been in touch with the people in those stolen photos and they are very upset and angry that this has happened to them. They are real people who've had their images placed on blogs they do not agree with.


One of the blogs "Just Sue" that engaged in this sort of theft has shut down, as have dozens more.

That you see this situation as someone having a good laugh on Pam and me is a reflection of your values, not ours.

Decent people find these blogs reprehensible and dishonorable and do not think Pam and I have "been had."

Apparently, you're not one of them.

I say this with the very best of intentions, really.

September 21, 2010 8:22 AM

Anonymous said...

someone says shaw's been had when her and pam got all those fake blogs to shut down? lol.

there some effed up "right" thinking for ya!

Pamela D. Hart said...

I can guarantee that 'tis I who is laughing every time a blog is shut down! (I do a little jig, too.)

When those bloggers attacked and TRIED to intimidate me I knew the day of reckoning would come, and I told them that I would be here long after they were gone...hmmm 27/70 shut down...and I'm STILL here...

squatlo said...

Unbelievable that these people would bother to do this. Idiots who want to trump up their own daily affirmations? Pretty sad...

Shaw Kenawe said...

It is weird, but these fake blogs may be part of an effort to make it look as though the blogsphere is loaded with conservative blogs, when in fact it may be one deranged guy in New York doing all the work!

Silverfiddle said...

Actually Shaw, that's my theory on the entire internet!

Shaw Kenawe said...

SF, Your theory of the internet is that its run by one deranged guy in New York? LOL!

Some people would argue that that's a description of who's in charge of the entire universe!

Jerry Critter said...

I thought the internet was run by Al Gore. Oh wait! He invented it. Well, maybe he runs it too.