Saturday, November 6, 2010

False Identities

Portable Antiquity collectors love secrets. They love searching for hidden things. They love creating secrets and hiding things. They often hide on their forums and websites behind ridiculous pseudonyms (see for the example the member list of UKDFD). They do not want people finding out who they really are - as though they have something to hide. The PAS goes along with this 'don't ask don't tell' approach.

An effect of this is that one never knows to whom one is really talking in tekkiedom. "Candice Jarman" is a prime example. It turns out that the people commenting on "her" blog are not quite what they seem either. I have suggested earlier that the manner in which the comments of this individual echo the blog author's words could suggest that the latter may even be writing the "Legs" comments himself. It is also notable that the profile of another of this blog's commentators, "lmpoar" is actually the same address as that of "Legs". So "Legs" is pretending to be Candy's imaginary friend Impoar to make it look as if more people are supporting the anti-Barford blog. In one of the early posts this "Impoar" says:
"This looks like an excellent blog you've started here, Candice. Speaking as a metal detectorist in the Gwent Detecting Club, Paul Barford is well known to us along with his radical views and questionable credentials. I sincerely hope this blog will help serve to reveal the truth about this person and his agenda. I look forward to reading the next installments. (Leighton) "
Leighton (aka "Sexy Legs" - for a possible origin of the pseudonym see here and here) is well known on Welsh detecting forums. It is an interesting coincidence that when the guy hiding under the name "Buffy the Ham Pie Slayer" started a few years back the "Barfordisation" hate-blog which has very similar composition and content to that of "Candice", that author's profile originally said that he ("Bufet") lived in Monmouth (Gwent), which was then changed, and its author started dropping geographical "clues" which placed him further east (in fact pretty near where "Candy" now claims to be based) to mislead the reader.

But this phenomenon is more widespread in tekkiedom. Over on Heritage Journal there is a thread on the "depth advantage" which some new detectors provide. At the time of writing it has received 21 comments, but it turns out that:
on this thread alone, we have “Harrismatrix man” implying he’s an archaeologist but giving three different versions of his name and having the same email address as both “Jennifer Grey” and “Geoff”, and the same IP address as both “Bozwaldo” and “Maximus”.
So one metal detectorist impersonating five different people contributing to the same thread. What is the matter with these people?

My name is Paul Barford and I write what I think. I don't need to impersonate another four people to say "I agree with him" to make myself feel more secure - why would anyone? Why actually do people want to express their views but not as themselves? What are they hiding from whom?

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