Friday, August 21, 2009

The coming-out stories of anonymous bloggers

The coming-out stories of anonymous bloggers

Story Highlights
Formerly anonymous bloggers share their coming-out stories with CNN
(Maybe CNN would like to hear Buffy's story?)
The writers can be forced to give up their identities by courts or technology
Earlier this week, a judge ordered Google to give over the identity of a blogger
Another outed blogger says she was fired for her online opinions

Some anonymous bloggers […] worry their veils of anonymity will be pulled back against their will, and plenty of news events validate their fears. […]

Some bloggers who post under their real names say that those who write under pseudonyms have something to hide or don't want to be held accountable to their audiences. Heather B. Armstrong, who was fired from her job after her employer discovered her blog, Dooce, where she posted under her real name, said there are few valid reasons a blogger should veil his or her identity. "I think if you're doing something anonymously you've got some issues going on," she said. "There's a reason that you're hiding."

Probably actually that he has no real properly considered "response" to the issues I was writing about, so all he could do was spit out puerile personal attacks and attempted defamation.

Szukany blog nie istnieje.

I thought I’d darken an already dreary day writing about “nighthawking” by seeing what else my anonymous rodentine critic who calls himself “Buffet the Ham Pie Slayer” had written on his "Paul Barford response" blog now. Last time he was impudently posing questions about my apparel, sex life and aspirations apparently anticipating that I would answer. What next? I wondered.

Imagine my puzzlement when logging on to find a white screen appeared with „Nie znaleziono bloga” on it. It probably does not take much knowledge of Polish to work out is a negative, a verb (to find) and a noun which is the object of the verb. Can’t find the blog, eh? More interesting, his other pretentiously worded blog “The Mighty Buffet” (sic) also at the moment “cannot be found”.

So, has the metal detectorist tired of his silly game? Has he realized he’s not up to finding examples of the other eleven cut-and-paste categories of alleged falsehood in what I write about the dodgy dealings of the antiquities trade? Or has he realized that one way or another, the game would be up and his identity would be revealed and he’d actually be accountable for his vendetta of defamatory remarks?

Or has he at last realised (duh) that in attacking my blog for criticising what is bad in portable antiquities, he is aligning himself and to some extent fellow metal detectorists with the groups criticised in the blog, dodgy dealers, careless collectors, looters and all the rest? That his was the worst possible "response" a supposedly responsible hobby could muster against a blog pointing out the bits of the hobby that have gone so badly wrong.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

One for Buffet: Ruling could let victim find, sue online heckler

Here's a cheering bit of news - Story Highlights:
- Judge orders Google to hand over blogger's identifying information
- Blogger had anonymously criticised individual
- Judge: Anonymous online taunters can be held accountable
- Victim's legal team intends to sue the blogger

A model who was slammed with derogatory terms by an anonymous blogger has the right to learn the identity of her online heckler, a judge ruled. In August 2008, a user of, Google's blogging service, created "Skanks in NYC," a site that assailed Liskula Cohen, 37, a Canadian-born onetime cover girl who has appeared in Vogue and other fashion magazines. The blog featured photos of Cohen captioned with terms including "psychotic," "ho," and "skank." On Monday, New York Supreme Court Judge Joan Madden ruled that Google must hand over to Cohen any identifying information it possesses about the blog's creator.
Steven Wagner, Cohen's attorney, said Google complied with the ruling Tuesday evening, submitting to his legal team the creator's IP address and e-mail address. Only a valid e-mail address is required to register for a blog on Wagner said that once his legal team tracks the e-mail address to a name, the next step will be to sue Cohen's detractor for defamation. He said he suspected the creator of the blog is an acquaintance of Cohen. The blog has not been operational for months. The unidentified creator of the blog was represented in court by an attorney, Anne Salisbury, who said her client voluntarily took the blog down when Cohen initiated legal action against it [...].
But even so, if they have their way, he's going to jail. You will not be able to hide forever. Buffy take note. Now, Buffy claims to be in the "legal profession", so he'd put up a good fight if it came to that no doubt.

The whole story is here, in the CRIME section.

The Buffy Tapes

The anonymous author of the Barford-response Blog now kids himself I am going to give him an interview and answer personal questions about myself and my work and aspirations which he no doubt hopes will reveal answers he can then use against me. What a jerk. They are not even interesting questions.
If Mr Buffy wants to conduct an interview with anyone, he must first introduce himself properly. There may be other archaeologists perfectly willing to give an interview to a nameless sniper who has not done his research, but personally, I really am not interested in playing his games.