pic: venicemaskedball.co.uk - click

pic: venicemaskedball.co.uk – click

No masks

I noticed a comments policy at the foot of a fascinating, sad article on Frontline about Nancy Lanza: Raising Adam Lanza (worth a read).

As we’ve discussed recently, there’s a ‘cabal’ or two of impostors pretending to be other people for whatever various disclosed and undisclosed reasons (see Spoofing David Fisher and The dissatisfying hollowness of @BarnsleyBill, Russell Beaumont’s internet impostor and Let a little air in, @BarnsleyBill.)

So these ‘guidelines’ kinda-sorta jumped out at me.

In order to foster a civil and literate discussion that respects all participants, FRONTLINE has the following guidelines for commentary. By submitting comments here, you are consenting to these rules:

Readers’ comments that include profanity, obscenity, personal attacks, harassment, or are defamatory, sexist, racist, violate a third party’s right to privacy, or are otherwise inappropriate, will be removed. Entries that are unsigned or are “signed” by someone other than the actual author will be removed. We reserve the right to not post comments that are more than 400 words. We will take steps to block users who repeatedly violate our commenting rules, terms of use, or privacy policies. You are fully responsible for your comments.

I recall last year there was a spate of commenters at interest.co.nz using other people’s well-established user names from the PropertyTalk forum to maliciously sew confusion, it seemed to me. The use of the @BarnsleyBill sock puppet/profile on Twitter by ‘three or four other people’ (besides long-time user ‘Russell Beaumont’) as discussed (link above) also seems to somewhat fit into that category: murky.

We’ll never see the end of the use of noms de plume, it seems to me, but is it possibly a good start to introduce policies like Frontline’s?


– P