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Friday, August 31, 2007

Richmond Democrat Sets the Record Straight Again

JC Wilmore, over at Richmond Democrat, answered a comment that David Mastio posted on my blog earlier today.

While I respect David and think he had some good points about both sides of the blogosphere calling out our own for examples of harassment and intimidation, I also answered that it’s not realistic to expect each and every blogger to attempt to act as an ombudsman for the entire blogosphere. It would be impossible for anybody to keep track of everything out there on a daily basis. But there’s something to be said for removing the beam from our own eyes before looking for the speck in our neighbor’s.

But one of the examples that David Mastio gave was the incident a while ago where JC Wilmore indeed originally unmasked somebody named Alex Davis. But, as Wilmore points out, it was hardly an act of harassment or intimidation.

Alex had misrepresented himself, even to the ODBA, who kicked him out because, as Kat from Cathouse Chat said at the time, he had embarrassed them by his deception and his actions. Apparently Alex tried to pass himself off as a lawyer and threatened somebody else with lawsuits among other shenanigans.

The blogger in question, Alex Davis, was "unmasked" because he himself was hiding behind a false identity, pretended to be a licensed attorney, and was anonymously harassing another blogger, Waldo Jaquith. As part of his masquerade as an attorney, Mr. Davis falsely accused Waldo Jaquith of multiple violations of the law--then the truth was revealed: Davis was a fake.
You can read the rest of the account over at Richmond Democrat. The only thing I want to add is that context is everything. While I would be the first to condemn exposing anonymous bloggers or commenters in most situation, people should not be allowed to use the cover of anonymity, which the Net seems to provide, to threaten or harrass others. In this instance, the ODBA themselves reacted by expelling the culprit.

I’d say that was an example of cleaning up after their own. But without JC’s help, they couldn’t have done it.

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