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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Daily Whackjob Whacked by AIAW

Sorry, I was channeling my inner Tony Soprano. No doubt given the litigious nature of the blogosphere, somebody will be threatening to sue me for bad puns or poor word usage. I especially enjoy when it’s rethuglicans who normally hate lawyers and support tort reform, except when it affects them personally. (Another first, by the way, I’ve never referred to a Republican as a rethuglican before, and I don’t think most of them are. But with this small group of ODBAers, it fits)

Anyway, I’m damn mad because this was the week I wasn’t going to write. I said I was on vacation. Ok, so I’m an addict and I had to read. My mistake there. Because I was surfing the blogs, hoping to just scan so I wouldn’t fall completely behind. My bad because I was horrified to find this.

Now my first reaction was that it was just a spoof of Ben Tribbett’s provocative writing style on NLS. But when I actually clicked on the link I was shocked to discover that DWJ had published not just Ben’s home address but also that of my friend Terry Hartnett. God damned it, man, don’t you know about redacting and privacy laws!

The first thing you should know is that Terry has never been a blogger. Nor was she within a few hundred miles of this whole recent ODBA-Joe Stanley controversy. She’s currently a private citizen who no longer even lives in Virginia. However, somebody lives in the house she sold. Which means, in an age of stalkers and crazies, somebody now has an address they might think is Terry’s. Terry used to be the president of the Million Mom March as well as a Democratic activist. So, oh, I don’t know what crackpots out there might want to harm her or her family now that they think they have her address. And no, I’m not talking about the many sane people I know in gun rights groups. I mean the people that we don’t even know who are reading blogs and don’t belong to organizations but who are simply crackpot loners who hate activists of all stripes. And now they have an address of a totally innocent family in Burke they think is Terry Hartnett’s address. Way to go Greg!

This was truly the most irresponsible behavior I’ve seen yet. I now believe the DWJ crew is simply reckless. I was more than willing to give Whackette the benefit of the doubt when she first linked to the NAMBLA site. Of course, she had to know what the organization was. And she admitted she thought it was “ironic.” She showed incredibly poor judgment, especially in not also putting up a disclaimer. But she corrected that. She also apologized to readers who clicked on the NAMBLA site. Then, DWJ jumped in to expose the person who originally bought the ODBA domain and linked it to NAMBLA. At the time I thought Greg did it as an act of genuine remorse for his site’s role in this. I even praised all of them for their responsible behavior in correcting an error in judgment. After all, we’ve all made them.

But as the Richmond Democrat pointed out, the so-called remorse for this came only after the comments started rolling in and the DWJ crew realized they were in some deep shit with other bloggers and readers alike. It’s now looking more like they were not sorry they did it, but sorry they got caught. And so they gave up Joe Stanley and even tried to push the blame for their own irresponsibility entirely onto Ben to make themselves look like the good guys and fellow victims of the ODBA in this. Richmond Democrat is right. They saw the damned site and thought it was funny. Victims my ass!

You know how I know their tears of regret are crocodile tears? Here's how:

Because immediately after you do something so stupid and harmful, if you genuinely are remorseful, you also become more careful and consider the consequences more thoroughly before you make another error in judgment that could hurt innocent people.

The folks at DWJ did not do that. In fact, they did just the opposite. It didn’t even take them a week before they did something even more stupid and harmful. They printed two addresses of people who had family, one of whom is not a blogger and is no way connected with any of this. And when Cory Chandler pointed it out to Greg that he had put up an address, Greg's response was a flippant, I'll correct it when I get home."

Well it's 8:40 pm. I can't imagine he's not home from class yet.

This is not baseball. You only get two strikes in this case. So, they’re off my blogroll. And that’s quite a dubious distinction. In the entire two years I’ve been blogging, I’ve never removed somebody from my blogroll before unless they’ve quit blogging.

Oh, and I respectfully request that you remove me from your site too. Mission accomplished Greg!

17 comments:

LindaBudz said...

AIAW, if you are so mortified, why are you posting a link to the offending document? That is compounding the problem, much like Whackette's link the other day compounded that problem.

I think this is an error in judgment on your part. You could have waited until after WJ deleted the addresses to post this.

Glass houses and all that.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

YOu may be right. But the problem was that without posting the link nobody would know what I was talking about and it is fairly obvious that DWJ is not taking down the link. I waited all day and if it had been down by 8:30, I wouldn't have even removed him from my blog let alone posted this.

Also, more people probably have already seen it on his site than will ever read my blog. I'm not that well read; he is.

LindaBudz said...

"I'm not that well read; he is."

Ah, yeah. I know that feeling. (Sigh).

Greg said...

If I may: When Cory alerted me to my error (yes error), I was at school until 10pm that night. However, I made error number 2 by forgetting to do it that night, and until I saw your comment when I was getting home from school tonight at 10:00, it had slipped my mind.

Now folks, lets realize that I get about 250 visitors a day. I personally know about 55 of them, and the rest are present in the comments. Yes, I should have been more careful, but lets look at the harm done. Does anyone really think the slippery slope that some madman is going to stumble across DWJ and say, you know what, I'm going to go hack up that family.

BTW, its the crazy people who sent this to me anyway (over and over for months).

That's it in a nutshell, nothing more.

LindaBudz said...

250?

I put all this work into creating what I hope is a quality site, with just the right tone of approachability, offering intellingent posts of interest to a wide variety of folks, and I end up with about a fifth of the visitors of the guys with the fart jokes.

Jeez. Go figure.

:)

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Actually, Greg, it's more likely that a crazy person would see this and try to stalk or harrass somebody they thought was Terry or Ben than would believe any member of the ODBA was really part of NAMBLA. I don't think anybody seriously believes anybody in the ODBA was ever a part of NAMBLA.

Back to the address thing. No, I don't think an ax murderer is going to hack Ben or Terry in the middle of the night, but graffiti and defacement of their homes is a real possibility.

I'll put you back on my blogroll when I get home (not at 10, at 7:00). But please, please be more careful. I wouldn't even want to see OBDAers have their addresses exposed that way. Nobody deserves that vulnerability.

And thank you for explaining.

Anonymous said...

I think you should have left them off. I dumped them in my recycle bin.

You never know what people are going to do with information like that. I had a woman stalk me 10 years after I had a case with her, and she wasn't particularly hostile, just a bit crazy.

You need only look at some of the comments of the SWAC bloggers and weirdos threatening to "meet" other bloggers "outside" to see that this is a very real risk with some of these nutcases. They just don't have a firm grasp of reality.

Bwana said...

Preach, sister!

Guess Who said...

What. A. Hypocrite.

Did you scold Ben for publishing an address on his blog recently? I DON'T THINK SO!!!

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Actually, they are still off the blogroll. I was out late last night and didn't get to it. And after re-reading and reconsidering their response, they are still off as of now.

I'll probably put them back eventually but somehow I had a gut feeling that not yet. I'm usually pretty logical, but sometimes I go with my intuition. And this time my sense is to wait.

Anyway, something says wait, and I will because I think publishing the address of anybody, let alone somebody not even involved in this and not even living here anymore is dangerous and harmful.

Somebody who doesn't know Terry that is no longer here could well show up at the home of some totally innocent, non political person who doesn't even read blogs and doesn't know their address is out there, and spray paint graffiti, set bushes on fire or worse. We don't know.

I actually do like Greg's blog and think it's genuinely funny most of the time. But he or others who write for it showed stunningly bad judgment twice and this time, I'm not convinced any of them actually realize how harmful this is.

Their attitude seems to be "oh well, I took it down, no harm no foul." And one of them even got indignant at me for getting offended. Hardly enough to actually restore my faith in their judgment.

And guess who, I could care less who you are. If I didn't scold Ben it's because I didn't see the post where he did that. I actually miss posts sometimes. Sometimes I'm away from home and I don't have a laptop to carry around. If he published somebody's address, he's wrong. I condemn it.

But if I don't see it myself and don't know the context, I can't comment further. However, publishing private addresses is always wrong.

In fact, the next time I see him, I'll smack him upside the head.

Not Larry Sabato said...

As usual the ODBA people mislead. I published no ones address. I did take an anonymous commenter who was harassing people and said his name and street (NO ADDRESS) and told him to get lost (in saltier language).

Guess Who said...

Ben,

If a person is "anonymous," then you can't publish his name and street. Doh!

You did publish a name and a street knowing full well that the person has two small children at home. This was done for the purposes of intimidation. Did this person threaten you (or your family) physically in any way? In fact, you objected on another blog to the mere mention of the street on which you used to live yourself. You also published Joe Stanley's whining missive in which he also objects to his address being published (even though he had made said information public already).

The issue is whether or not AIAW should de-link anyone who publishes an address. Is she being consistent in her vent at DWJ? Does AIAW care that you are willing to put at risk the safety of two young children?

Typical of certain Democrat thugs, anyway. I didn't know how easily manipulated you could be until you fell under Joe Stanley's sphere of influence. You better be careful -- one day he too will dump you for a younger model!

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Guess who, once again I don't care who you are. And I do allow anonymous comments. However, one more statement from you like your last sentence and I will turn on comment moderation and ban you.

Ad hominem attacks on other commenters will not be allowed, whether they are Democrats or Republicans. They are my guests.

You can attack me all you want. You can disagree with people and challenge their ideas. But I will not allow personal insults of my geusts.

Guess Who said...

AIAW,

Fine, I'll tone it down.

But the fact remains: Ben admitted guilt (Thanks!) to doing something you strongly disapprove, so you don't have to look it up anymore. You also don't have to wait around to tell him the next time you see him.

And Ben's claims to the contrary, obviously giving a name and a street is about as good as giving a full address. Are you going to tell him not to obfuscate like that? Ben clearly does not want anyone doing it to him!

Now this is not meant as an attack, but the question remains: Do you "Whack" him the same way you whacked DWJ? What standard do you have in these cases, particularly when there are children involved?

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Guess who,

I'm not sure Ben admitted guilt. And since I honestly don't know the incident, I can't comment on it. I'm not trying to wriggle out of it or avoid answering, but it would be a fool's errand to attempt an answer about an incident where I know none of the facts.

If you would like, please email me with more information, including where I can look this incident up, and I will be happy to answer you further.

If you click on "View my complete profile," on the right, you will come to a screen with "Contact" on the left. Click on "Contact" to send an email with particulars. (or just email me at karenfernand@verizon.net)

Please DO NOT post any information, especially the person's name, in my comments section. If indeed somebody's privacy was violated, I don't want to compound the problem by you or I doing it again here. That's why I am asking you to take this off line. It's to protect the privacy of any individuals.

Before I know all the details and can verify for myself, I can't say more. It would be unfair for you to expect it.

And with all due respect, I don't know who you are so I can't just trust your judgment either. Not a personal attack on your integrity, because I don't even know your identity so I can't judge that.

If you are anonymous, I have no way of knowing how accurate your assessment is, regardless of how well intentioned you think you are.

Not Larry Sabato said...

Karen- you already saw it- you commented in that thread as the "incident" was happening. The commenter is a troll.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

That may well be. I honestly don't remember it. Let's talk off line about it. Again, I don't want to revive controversies from the past or rename a person who might have been outted.

Without remembering the details, I won't comment further on a particular incident.

The main point with DWJ was that a totally innocent person who wasn't even on line had her name and address dragged into this through carelessness. And even though that person is gone from NoVA, somebody else living in that house could be subject to harrassment and vandalism in a case of mistaken identity.

That's very different from exposing somebody who is using the cover of anonymity to harrass or bully others on line, which is what happened, for example, when JC Wilmore exposed Alex Davis.

That might be what you did too. But without remembering the incident, I can't say for sure. But it is significant that the person who wrote these accusations has not, to date, gotten back to me off-line with any details to back up his or her accusations, as I had asked.

Whenever challenged to provide sources and proof, trolls go away.