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Old November 3rd 05, 01:51 AM
Ray Gordon
 
Posts: n/a
Default Anonymous Internet Haters Not So "Objective" (see article)

This is for those who put any stock in what anonymous freaks say. Usually
they are paid for by those who would otherwise have no credibility.

http://mediachannel.org/blog/node/1629

Attack of the Blogs
By Daniel Lyons
Source: Forbes

Web logs are the prized platform of an online lynch mob spouting liberty but
spewing lies, libel and invective. Their potent allies in this pursuit
include Google and Yahoo.

Gregory Halpern knows how to hype. Shares of his publicly held company,
Circle Group Holdings, quadrupled in price early last year amid reports that
its new fat substitute, Z-Trim, was being tested by Nestlé. As the stock
spurted from $2 to $8.50, Halpern's 35% stake in the company he founded rose
to $90 million. He put out 56 press releases last year.

Then the bloggers attacked. A supposed crusading journalist launched an
online campaign long on invective and wobbly on facts, posting articles on
his Web log (blog) calling Halpern "deceitful,""unethical,""incredibly
stupid" and "a pathological liar" who had misled investors. The author
claimed to be Nick Tracy, a London writer who started his one-man "watchdog"
Web site, our-street.com, to expose corporate fraud.He put out press
releases saying he had filed complaints against Circle with the Securities &
Exchange Commission.

Halpern was an easy target. He is a cocky former judo champion who posts
photos of himself online with the famous (including Steve Forbes,
editor-in-chief of this magazine). His company is a weird amalgam of fat
substitute, anthrax detectors and online mattress sales. Soon he was
fielding calls from alarmed investors and assuring them he hadn't been
questioned by the SEC. Eerily similar allegations began popping up in
anonymous posts on Yahoo, but Yahoo refused Halpern's demand to identify the
attackers. "The lawyer for Yahoo basically told me, ‘Ha-ha-ha, you're
screwed,'" Halpern says. Meanwhile, his tormentor sent letters about Halpern
to Nestlé, the American Stock Exchange, the Food & Drug Administration, the
Federal Trade Commission and the Brookhaven National Laboratory (involved in
Circle's anthrax deal).

But it turns out that scribe Nick Tracy of London was, in fact, a former
stockbroker in Oregon named Timothy Miles--and Miles himself faces SEC
charges that he took part in a pump-and-dumpstock scheme in 2000. He was
tried in June and awaits a verdict. No matter:Circle Group stock fell below
a dollar in a year of combat with Miles and the anonymous bashers on Yahoo
(and after Nestlé dropped Z-Trim). Halpern's stake is down $75 million, and
he blames Miles and his acolytes; he has sued for defamation. "Some of these
bloggers have just one goal, and that is to do damage. It's evil," he says.

Blogs started a few years ago as a simple way for people to keep online
diaries. Suddenly they are the ultimate vehicle for brand-bashing, personal
attacks, political extremism and smear campaigns. It's not easy to fight
back: Often a bashing victim can't even figure out who his attacker is. No
target is too mighty, or too obscure, for this new and virulent strain of
oratory. Microsoft has been hammered by bloggers; so have CBS, CNN and ABC
News, two research boutiques that criticized IBM's Notes software, the maker
of Kryptonite bike locks, a Virginia congressman outed as a homosexual and
dozens of other victims--even a right-wing blogger who dared defend a
blog-mob scapegoat.

"Bloggers are more of a threat than people realize, and they are only going
to get more toxic. This is the new reality," says Peter Blackshaw, chief
marketing officer at Intelliseek, a Cincinnati firm that sifts through
millions of blogs to provide watch-your-back service to 75 clients,
including Procter & Gamble and Ford. "The potential for brand damage is
really high,"says Frank Shaw, executive vice president at Microsoft's main
public relations firm, Waggener Edstrom. "There is bad information out there
in the blog space, and you have only hours to get ahead of it and cut it
off, especially if it's juicy."

Some companies now use blogs as a weapon, unleashing swarms of critics on
their rivals. "I'd say 50% to 60% of attacks are sponsored by competitors,"
says Bruce Fischman, a lawyer in Miami for targets of online abuse. He says
he represents a high-tech firm thrashed by blogs that were secretly funded
by a rival; the parties are in talks to settle out of court. One blog,
Groklaw, exists primarily to bash software maker SCOGroup in its Linux
patent lawsuit against IBM, producing laughably biased, pro-IBMcoverage; its
origins are a mystery (see box, p. 136).

The online haters have formidable allies amplifying their tirades to a
potential worldwide audience of 900 million: Google, Yahoo and Microsoft,
plus a raft of other blog hosts. Google is the largest player; its
Blogger.com site attracts 15 million visitors a month, more than each of the
Web sites of the New York Times, USAToday and the Washington Post. An
upstart, Six Apart in SanFrancisco, owns three blogging services--TypePad,
LiveJournal and Movable Type--that together run a strong second to Google.

Google and other services operate with government-sanctioned impunity,
protected from any liability for anything posted on the blogs they host.
Thus they serve up vitriolic "content" without bearing any legal
responsibility for ensuring it is fair or accurate; at times they even sell
ads alongside the diatribes. "We don't get involved in adjudicating whether
something is libel or slander," says Jason Goldman, a manager at Google's
blogging division. In squabbles between anonymous bloggers and victims
Google sides with the attackers, refusing to turn over any information
unless a judge orders it to open up. "We'll do it if we believe we are
required to by law," he says.

Attack blogs are but a sliver of the rapidly expanding blogosphere. A
hundred thousand new blogs are created every day, more than one new blog per
second, says Technorati, a firm in San Francisco that tracks the content of
20 million active blogs. Some big blogs attract millions of readers. Weblogs
Inc., a Santa Monica, Calif. outfit that just got bought by America Online
for a reported $25 million, publishes 90 blogs and could bring in $2 million
in ad sales this year, says cofounder Jason McCabe Calacanis.

Bash-the-company Web sites emerged in the 1990s; Untied, founded in 1997 to
carp at United Airlines, was one of the first. But blogs are more virulent;
they spread farther and build on one another's allegations. The first blog
is said to have gone up on Dec. 17, 1997 from a techie who wanted to log
cool sites on the Web. By 1998 there were 23 known blogs. In 1999 the first
tools to automate a site's design came out, making blogging easy for anyone.
In 2003 the word "blog" made it into the Oxford English Dictionary.

The combination of massive reach and legal invulnerability makes corporate
character assassination easy to carry out. Dry treatises on patent law and
trade policy don't drive traffic (or ad sales) for bloggers and hosts; blood
sport does. Last year consultant Sara Radicati published a negative report
about IBM's Notes e-mail product. That led to organized outrage from
bloggers who, it turns out, are consultants who make money installing Notes.
She says her firm, the Radicati Group in Palo Alto, Calif., was deluged with
obscene phone calls and e-mails, a common element when blogs go negative.
"They were trying to disable my business," she says. "It was obscene, vile,
abusive, offensive stuff. These are a bunch of sickos."

The anti-Radicati bloggers got an endorsement of sorts from an executive at
IBM. Ed Brill, an IBMer who works on Notes marketing and publishes his own
blog (edbrill.com), responded on July 23 last year to Radicati's bearish
Notes report. He questioned whether she had ties to Microsoft and referred
readers to two other blogs with far blunter assertions.

Within days bloggers had posted "investigative" articles "exposing" her as
corrupt and unethical, claiming she was a "shill"who took bribes from
Microsoft.One blogger said she was doing something shady by operating a
group that helps small companies find venture funding. Bloggers linked to
one another's sites and posted on Brill's blog and elsewhere, creating an
echo chamber in which, through repetition, the scandal began to seem
genuine. Six days after the attacks began, a Notes consultant in the U.K.
gloated on Brill's blog:"The Radicati Group?Their analysis is now
meaningless …. Their name has been blackened, their reputation in tatters."

Radicati fought back by responding on her own Web site, but the smear job
hovers online, appearing when you Google her name or start with Brill's
mostly diplomatic site and then work your way through its links. One step
away is IBM itself, which has a Notes site that once linked into Brill's.
That link has since been taken down. Radicati says IBMignored her pleas to
stop Brill from linking to the hate sites. IBM says it has nothing to do
with Brill's blog.

A week after that flap IBMer Brill fired up the swarm again, issuing a call
to arms against research firm Meta Group for similar sins. "Y'all did such a
good job on the last report … " his blog entry began. Sure enough, soon Meta
was being "investigated" by bloggers and "exposed" as Radicati was. Gartner,
which now owns Meta, declined to comment.

No wonder companies now live in fear of blogs. "A blogger can go out and
make any statement about anybody, and you can't control it. That's a
difficult thing,"says Steven Down, general manager of bike lock maker
Kryptonite, owned by Ingersoll-Rand and based in Canton,Mass.

Last year bloggers posted videos showing how to break open a Kryptonite lock
using a ballpoint pen.That much was true. But they also spread bogus
information--that all Kryptonite models could be cracked with a pen; that it
is the only brand with this vulnerability; and that Kryptonite knew about
the problem and covered it up.None of these claims is true, but a year later
Kryptonite still struggles to set the record straight, while spending
millions to replace locks.

Even mighty Microsoft, for all its billions, dares not defy the blogosphere.
In April gay bloggers attacked Microsoft over its failure to support a
gay-rights bill in Washington State (the company is based near Seattle).
"Dear Microsoft, You messed with the wrong faggots,"wrote John Aravosis,
publisher of AmericaBlog, which threatened to oppose Microsoft's plans for a
big campus expansion unless the company caved in. Microsoft reversed itself
two weeks later, saying it supports gay-rights legislation after all. It
says pressure from its own employees, not from bloggers, caused the change
of heart.

Microsoft's p.r. people have added blog-monitoring to their list of duties.
The company also fields its own blog posse. Some 2,000 Microsofties publish
individual blogs, adding a Microsoft voice to the town square. The company
also treats some bloggers like bona fide journalists, giving Gizmodo.com and
Engadget.com interviews with BillGates.

But if blogging is journalism, then some of its practitioners seem to have
learned the trade from Jayson Blair. Many repeat things without bothering to
check on whether they are true, a penchant political operatives have been
quick to exploit. "Campaigns understand that there are some stories that
regular reporters won't print. So they'll give those stories to the blogs,"
says Christian Grantham, a Democratic consultant in Washington who also
blogs. He cites the phony John Kerry/secret girlfriend story spread by
bloggers in the 2004 primaries. The story was bogus, but no blogger got
fired for printing the lie. "It's not like journalism, where your reputation
is ruined if you get something wrong. In the blogosphere people just move
on. It's scurrilous," Grantham says.

And though they have First Amendment protection and posture as patriotic
muckrakers in the solemn pursuit of truth, the blog mob isn't democratic at
all. They are inclined to crush dissent with the "delete" key. When
consultant Nick Wreden criticized credit card banking giant MBNA on his
blog, a reader responded in support of MBNA. Wreden zapped the comment. "I
just thought: ‘This has to be a plant,'" he says.

"It almost takes on the feeling of a crusade," says Jeffrey Schneider, a
vice president at Walt Disney Co.'s ABCnetwork. "They put out a call to
arms:‘We're going to take these guys down, and we won't stop blogging until
someone loses their head.'" ABC News correspondent Linda Douglass came under
attack from rampaging bloggers last March in covering the Terri Schiavo
right-to-die case. She had cited a controversial memo written by a
Republican staffer. Right-wing bloggers using such pen names as Right Pundit
and Mr. Right (the latter hosted by Google) claimed she had fallen for a
fake; the memo was real.

In that case the bloggers slinked away. In the case of a CNN executive they
didn't stop until they had claimed a casualty. Eason Jordan, chief news
executive at CNN, noted at an off-the-record conference in January that
journalists had been killed by U.S. troops. He used a touchy
word:"targeted." A blogger present, Rony Abovitz, ignored the off-the-record
ground rule and posted an account. Other bloggers soon piled on. One created
a site solely devoted to the topic, easongate.com.

Jordan instantly and repeatedly denied the assertions, but the blog hordes
kept wailing away. Jordan resigned in February, engulfed by a concocted
controversy. Blogger Michelle Malkin crowed online, praising nine other
bloggers and "legions of smaller" ones in the hunt. She wrote that the
mainstream media "calls it a lynch mob. I call it a truth squad" and
included a warning:"Cue the Carpenters music: ‘We've OnlyJust Begun.'"

Even some bloggers see the harm they can pose. "Some people in the
blogosphere are too smug about free speech. They'll say it's okay if people
get slandered or if people make up fake stuff because in the end the truth
wins out," says John Hinderaker, a lawyer in Minneapolis, Minn. who helps
run a right-wing blog, Power Line, which hounded CNN's Jordan and CBS anchor
Dan Rather. "But I don't think that excuses it."

When Hinderaker published an item saying left-wing bloggers should stop
assaulting a White House reporter alleged to have worked as a gay
prostitute, his blog brethren went on the assault, publishing his phone
number at work and prompting a deluge of harassing phone calls and e-mails.
"My secretary was crying" because callers kept swearing at her, he says.
"Then we started getting calls at the house. My wife wanted to hire a
bodyguard."

Google and other carriers shut down purveyors of child porn, spam and
viruses, and they help police track down offenders.So why don't they delete
material that defames individuals? Why don't they help victims identify
their attackers? Because they are protected by the Communications Decency
Act of 1996, which frees a neutral carrier of Internet content from any
liability for anything said online.

"Blogging is still in its infancy. Imposing regulations would create a
chilling effect," says Annalee Newitz, until recently a policy analyst at
the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit that defends anonymous
attackers. The anonymous assault has a long tradition in American political
discourse, recognized by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McIntyre v. Ohio
Elections Commission in 1995 and in a recent decision by the Delaware
Supreme Court refusing to force an Internet service provider to disclose who
called a small-town politician inept.

But even the Constitution doesn't give a citizen the right to unjustly call
his neighbor a child molester. Google and the like argue they bear no more
responsibility for content than a phone company does for slander over its
wires. But Google's blog business looks less like a phone company and more
like a mix of reality TV and an online magazine. Bloggers provide the fare,
and Google maintains it for them free of charge, sometimes selling ads.

Google says ad revenue isn't the point. The real aim is "to let users
embrace the Web as a medium of self-expression," a spokesman says. Google
lets them run wild. Yet Google edits and censors blog content all the
time--to protect its own interests. The company, whose portentous corporate
ethos includes the mantra "Don't be evil," snuffs out blogs that engage in
"phishing" (tricking people into revealing confidential information) and
"spam blogs" that skew Google's search results. Bloggers who sign up for its
ad program (Google passes along 79% of sales, on average) must follow firm
Google guidelines that limit references to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gambling
and even "excessive profanity."

Once blogger attacks begin, victims can resort to libel and defamation
lawsuits, but "filing a libel lawsuit, the way you would against a
newspaper, is like using 18th-century battlefield tactics to counter
guerrilla warfare," says David Potts, a Toronto lawyer who is writing a book
on cyberlibel. "You'll accomplish nothing and just get more ridicule." He
tells clients to find a third party to bash the bloggers.

Gregory Halpern at Circle Group, in Mundelein, Ill., used this approach
against his nemesis, Nick Tracy, a.k.a. Timothy Miles. After the first
attack Halpern contacted the blogger's lawyer but got nowhere. He demanded a
correction, only to get mocked:Miles posted on his blog an audio file of a
perturbed message Halpern had left on his voice mail.

Halpern had better luck, however, when he allied with Gayle Essary, who runs
the FinancialWire online news service and had tangled with Miles, too.
Halpern dug up details on Miles (his photo and Oregon driver's license; his
links to a litany of questionable companies; his claim to be an ordained
minister; his Web site that describes a mysterious crystal that contains a
message from God) and fed them to Essary. Essary did 15 articles on Miles
without citing Halpern as a source, and when Halpern heard from people
asking about Miles' allegations against Circle Group, he referred them to
FinancialWire, saying it had "exposed this guy a long time ago."

Halpern also used a new law, the Digital MillenniumCopyright Act, which
requires hosts to take down copyrighted material used without permission. He
confronted Miles' service provider and threatened to sue for copyright
infringement and libel; the ISP pulled the plug. But our-street.com emerged
days later at a second service. In three months Halpern pursued Miles
through nine ISPs, finally giving up and filing a libel suit in state
circuit court in Cook County, Ill. in June 2004. He accuses the blogger of
orchestrating a short-seller scheme to send Circle stock plunging. Miles
insists he never sold short or acted on behalf of short-sellers.

Miles, who says he misrepresented himself as Nick Tracy because "I wanted to
be discreet," has abandoned our-street.com and moved from Oregon to
Slovenia. He claims he is outside the Illinois court's jurisdiction. The
judge disagrees. Miles says he plans to appeal. He has set up a new site,
scamspotting.com, and insists he is a bona fide investigative journalist: "I
tell the truth, and it's never pretty." This drives Halpern nuts:"It's
amazing that an anonymous guy can put out a report full of lies and then be
so self-righteous."

After anonymous attacks spread to Yahoo, Halpern moved in court to force
Yahoo to reveal who was behind the sniping. In September a state judge in
Illinois ordered Yahoo to reveal the names. A lawyer for the secret posters
is trying to settle without turning over their names, Halpern says. Yahoo
declines to comment on the case, but Halpern argues that Yahoo and other
carriers should step up: "They make money selling ads on these message
boards, and the controversial material generates the most traffic. So
they're benefiting from this garbage. I think they should take
responsibility for it."

Halpern has had less luck getting anyone inCongress to listen to his plaint.
He says that may change if a few politicians get a taste of what he has gone
through. "Wait until the next election rolls around and these bloggers start
smearing people who are up for reelection,"Halpern says. "Maybe then things
will start to happen."

*****************

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  #2   Report Post  
Old November 3rd 05, 02:09 AM
Matt Nemmers
 
Posts: n/a
Default Anonymous Internet Haters Not So "Objective" (see article)

"Ray Gordon" wrote in message
...
SNIP

*****************

This article is copyrighted material, the use of which has not been
specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such
material available in our efforts to advance understanding of
environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific,
and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use'
of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US
Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the
material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for
research and educational purposes. For more information go to:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use
copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go
beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


We wonder if the copyright owner would consider Gordo's posting this on
Usenet as "fair use."

We must insist that Gordon Roy Parker obtain permission from his sources in
the future before posting them all over the world. We are certain that the
copyright owners will be very interested to see someone who wields lawsuit
threats like a samurai warrior taking such cavalier liberties with others'
work himself. Expect to see the paperwork shortly, Mr. Parker.


  #3   Report Post  
Old November 3rd 05, 02:28 AM
Ray Gordon
 
Posts: n/a
Default Anonymous Internet Haters Not So "Objective" (see article)

Making threats like that when one does not have standing to (only the
copyright holder does) is not a wise idea.

If Forbes wants to start some **** with me over this, they are more than
free to; no one else, however, is.



  #4   Report Post  
Old November 3rd 05, 02:50 AM
 
Posts: n/a
Default Anonymous Internet Haters Not So "Objective" (see article)

Matt Nemmers wrote:

Expect to see the paperwork shortly, Mr. Parker.


what an ironic reply

  #5   Report Post  
Old November 3rd 05, 03:21 AM
Darkwing
 
Posts: n/a
Default Anonymous Internet Haters Not So "Objective" (see article)


"Ray Gordon" wrote in message
...
This is for those who put any stock in what anonymous freaks say. Usually
they are paid for by those who would otherwise have no credibility.

http://mediachannel.org/blog/node/1629

Attack of the Blogs
By Daniel Lyons
Source: Forbes



I am a privateer. Third party hater.

----------------------------------------
DW




  #6   Report Post  
Old November 3rd 05, 03:34 AM
 
Posts: n/a
Default Anonymous Internet Haters Not So "Objective" (see article)

Amazing.

This jackass STILL has no life.

Just go away, Ratboy. Nobody cares anymore.

  #8   Report Post  
Old November 3rd 05, 11:09 AM
jjt.j
 
Posts: n/a
Default Anonymous Internet Haters Not So "Objective" (see article)


This is for those who put any stock in what anonymous freaks say. Usually
they are paid for by those who would otherwise have no credibility.



I don't want to bitch, but my last 2 checks have
not only been late, but lite. IF I am to be PAID
to call grp-ie a child molesting herpes infested
hate monging traitor to his country, then let's
see a raise. I've been claiming the above for over
4+ years. WHERE IS A RAISE..??

JJT













------------Sung to the N.Y. Dolls song "Personality Crisis" ----


YEEEAAHHHHH!!! YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH..

WAIT NO NO NO NO ..NO NO NO.. N0! N0!

Well we can't take him this week
And his dolls don't need another S-P-E-A-CCCCC-HHH !!!
Hoping for a better day when this newsloon just goes away..

all' about that "..inexcusable failure.."
....if he likes it &/or no-t..
But now um, 'hellen' and herpes, 'dats whot he got..

(Judge hadd'a rule about that "..inexcusable..") yeah...yeah yeah yeah...

But now he needs to be a man, now he got to be 'da man'..
AND he KNOWS he gots to do it all, NOW NOW WOWS !!!
But he thinks about the times he failed, on every account..
when it sure got to be a 'drag' when he wanted 2 kill his'self..
he has to deal with "..AOL.." chat rooms where he molested about
(He molest' 'bout..)

All 'bout his "..inexcusable failure.."
...a Judge told him that.....that's what he got..
But now his mommie, and dollies, 'dats all he got..

GOTTA SHOUT ABOUT HIS "..inexcusable.."

YEAH YEAH YEAH...YEAH...

break for crowd to think the song is over..

And he's a... coward hate monger on that 9/11 afternoon..
HA HA HA..AH ..HAA, HAAAAAAAA !
change on into da sock-puppet, fooling no 1 2 soon..

WETS his UNDER-ROOOOOSSSSSS!!!!!!

......."..inexcusable failure.."
if he likes it &/or no-t....It's always "..NOT.."
But now um, 'hellen' and herpes ' dats whot he got..

That "..INEXCUSABLE FAILURE !!!!.."

YEAH YEAH..YEAH YEAH..

Now, with all da perks and free rides that his mommie pays
His dollies become his 'private friends' nite n day..
That "..inexcusable.." 's (failing to do it againnnnn)
(ah ah..no longer fun..)
"..inexcusable.." will his pain ever end..?
not 2 B so much like a..
"..inexcusable.." impression of a mask,
...n 2 pretend 2 pretend 2 pretend too pretend,
"..inexcusable ..".." dreams of celebrities he'll never meet
(he lives their life off television)

Talkin' about that "..inexcusable failure.."
if he likes it &/or no-t....It's always "..NOT.."
But now um, 'hellen' and herpes ' dats whot he got..

don't you worry

"..inexcusable failure.." please don't cry
he's just a "..inexcusable failure.." and cannot stop

Because he walks a "..inexcusable.."
Talks a "..inexcusable failure.."
  #9   Report Post  
Old November 3rd 05, 01:33 PM
Ben Shiller
 
Posts: n/a
Default Anonymous Internet Haters Not So "Objective" (see article)

"Ray Gordon" wrote in message
...
Making threats like that when one does not have standing to (only the
copyright holder does) is not a wise idea.

If Forbes wants to start some **** with me over this, they are more than
free to; no one else, however, is.


So what's your point to posting this article anyway?

Has someone started a blog to defame you?


  #10   Report Post  
Old November 3rd 05, 02:33 PM
M
 
Posts: n/a
Default Anonymous Internet Haters Not So "Objective" (see article)

Ben Shiller wrote:
"Ray Gordon" wrote in message
...
Making threats like that when one does not have standing to (only the
copyright holder does) is not a wise idea.

If Forbes wants to start some **** with me over this, they are more than
free to; no one else, however, is.


So what's your point to posting this article anyway?

Has someone started a blog to defame you?


Maybe someone thinks there's too much seduction discussion
going on in ASF just now, and we needed to be reminded of
the *real* purpose of the group...

:-)

--
M

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