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November 29, 2005

Please Don't Out Personal/Private Information About Anyone, Even Trolls

I missed the whole controversy.

A poster kinda-sorta erred by posting a picture of a troll and his family. I say "kinda-sorta," because the guy had it up on a website (assuming it was him at all). Still, he didn't offer that connection to his personal life himself, and it's not cool to post stuff like that.

I was just on a site -- I don't think I'll bother to say which one, because I don't want to give them traffic* -- where the proprietors or someone involved began researching the IP's of conservative interlopers and outing the place of work they were posting from.

It's not really such horribly damaging information, but it's creepy and threatening. I don't know what someone could do with such information to really harm you, but the implied statement is "I can get to you personally. I can do things to screw up your life."

Empty threat? I don't know. I know it's possible to find the exact location someone's posting from with the right software. And with that-- who knows?

Monty and others were wise to caution against this, the guy who posted it manned up and confessed error and asked to have the information edited out of the post, and Laura did the right thing by honoring the request. Thanks, all.

And to the poster whose picture may (or may not) have been linked-- I apologize for that. You're annoying as hell, and you evade any point you don't have a glib answer for, but we deal in arguments (and insults) here, not in the public revelation of private information with the nasty insinuation that more might be coming.

As Monty (I think) said, "That's the way we don't roll."

Again, sorry I missed this controversy, and good on Laura for fixing it. And yes, Laura, I trust your judgement on these things and I don't think it's likely you're ever going to do something that makes me recoil in horror.

* I also wouldn't want you going there because they'd just start posting your IP address and getting your place of employment. And, who knows, making phone calls to your bosses. They also hack posts they don't like by taking all the vowels out of them -- a cute practice they call "disenvowelment" which they maintain, quite straight-facedly, has nothing at all to do with the censoring of points of view they don't like -- so you wouldn't have any fun there anyhow.

Edited: I took out the name of the poster who put the link up, because people thought I was picking on him, which wasn't my intention at all. It wasn't the worst thing ever done, he decided it was wrong, he asked for it to be edited out.

I'm just noting all this not to call attention to what was specifically done, which wasn't all that terrible, but to make it clear that it's just not a cool area to get into.

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posted by Ace at 08:33 PM

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