January 7, 2007

Imposters.

Someone is commenting on other blogs using my name. What action should I take?

ADDED: I have contacted the blogger asking that the comments be removed. So far, I've received no response, and it is perhaps too soon to accuse the individual blogger of unethical behavior. I would appreciate some support from other bloggers, of all political stripes, making it absolutely clear that this is unethical.

UPDATE: The blogger in question, instead of answering my email or being at all decent about it, has indicated strong support for the imposter commenter and thinks the whole thing is just funny, including my objection. On the positive side, he's now used my name so much that it makes the fakeness obvious, and his behavior shows that he thinks of me as the sort of huge celebrity who gets imitated all the time and everyone knows is fake. As one of the commenters herein notes, I have said -- maybe just in a podcast -- that I have a strategy playing the blog game and, as he observes, this incident can be read as a sign of its success. Or, in saying that, am I trying to use reverse psychology on the blogger in question? If he thinks he's playing my game, maybe he'll stop. Or did I put up that last thing so he wouldn't stop?

81 comments:

Kirby Olson said...

Ann, if this is done by leftists you won't get any support. They are out to ruin you for having left their circle jerk.

I was on Michael Berube's blog for a while and commented and made fun of some of his comments, but did so under my own name. He then had a number of people writing completely idiotic comments on his blog pretending to be me and using my name. He was completely aware of this, and encouraged it.

I asked him to make this stop, but he is an authoritarian leftist and can't handle anybody questioning his reality so he actually claimed that I have never existed. It was something like looking into a Soviet encyclopedia and seeing your face has disappeared thanks to a directive from Equal Blogger Numero Uno.

And yet the fake posts under my name continued.

I think this is just one more reason where you are right to leave the authoritarian left, but also, a good person. Every good person must leave the left.

The left just stinks right now. Partially it's that it's too popular to be a leftist, especially in academia, so it's a form of opportunism. Leftists are about sixty percent real stinkers right now. Just plain real stinkers and pigs. They can't think very far ahead about how to create a community. It's like the left in Stalin's time. To get ahead you have to scapegoat and be an irresponsible monster with no concern for the truth.

I meanwhile think you're about the best person going and I am sorry this is happening to you. If it's "leftists" doing it, though, just thank heavens that they haven't turned the country into Pol Pot's Cambodia yet, and keep voting against them, or else they will do it. And then you won't have any name at all. Just a number on a list of the disappeared.

There was once a liberal left. It no longer exists. It's been driven underground by stinky oinkers. People should use their own names and take responsibility for what they are saying, but if these are lefists doing this to you, there's no hope. I'm nowhere near as famous as you, but it's being done to me constantly.

Mark the Pundit said...

Does this mean Glenn Greenwald has taken up sock puppetry again?

HAHA

Anonymous said...

I have seen countless GWBs, John Kerrys, Glenn Reynolds, Saddam Hussein's commenting at blogs. Since you seek out fame via links from NPR interviews, op-eds, TV interviews, other bloggers and wiki entries, I would say you might fit "public persona" stature.

The difference between you and Glenn is that he is in fact a rightwing conservatard of national proportion, and you are still just a minor league screwball. Why should you be more protected than Glenn?

Ethical/shmethical, how are we to know if the behavior is unethical or just fair use parody unless you link?

In the meantime, what you can do is add a digital signature to your comments at other blogs, and make it known here, what your public key is and how to verify your comments, and perhaps list blogs you are known to frequent and those you are not.

In other words, you have a choice of having a sense of humor and personal responsibility about the whole thing, or of trying to fix the problem by going all legal on them.

Personally, I always figured you were a sock puppet of Andrew Sullivan, and wiki entry aside, I don't have any real evidence that you exist.

ShadyCharacter said...

to invert a tired cliche reality check, you lost me at conservatard...

of course, your rhetoric is not intended to persuade, is it? Maybe the persuasion of the brick bat. I think kirby is on to something about the utter moral black hole at the center of some of these people.

Maxine Weiss said...

Well, you'll need to come up with some injuries, other than just being annoyed.

Are they signing checks in your name yet?

I'm afraid cries of unethical behavior is a little like running down the street crying "rape"....and we know how much sympathy that gets.

Peace, Maxine

Anonymous said...

Reality Check:

Well, one pretty obvious difference between you and the real Ann Althouse (TRAA) is that she has the basic integrity not to attack people while hiding behind a pseudonym.

I've been on the receiving end of a 'spoof comment' - back in the day when I was blogging and presumably a 'public figure' by your standard - that was not only obscene and flat out racist, but grossly defamatory. Thankfully, I knew both the blogger and the target, so it was promptly removed and I wasn't put to considerable trouble and expense defending a libel suit.

And in the fine tradition of 'don't feed the trolls', why the heck would TRAA reward offensive behaviour with the oxygen of linkage?

Maxine Weiss said...

Althouse is a rather common name.

In the German phone book, it's like Smith or Jones.

Peace, Maxine

Anonymous said...

Where's the impersonation?

Anonymous said...

Kirby

That's 6 "leftists" crammed into that post.

Let me guess.

1. Powerline
2. LGF
3. Clayton Cramer

This is how you start your day, isn't it?! If not, where do you get this kind of crap?

vbspurs said...

Ann, I don't want this to sound uncaring, but if you're the lawyer, and therefore much more versed than many of us on your blogs who are legal pedestrians, how could we possibly give you sound advice about this HORRIFIC treatment?

This is more a comment on our limitations, than on your situation, though.

Two things come to mind:

1) You've done well to make it clear to the blog owner in question, that what is being done is unethical -- necessitating immediate action on his/her part if he is to be taken as a serious blogger.

The very next move on anyone's part depends on how the blogger reacts.

2) Really? You thought I reconfigured (is that the word you used?) as Maxine Weiss.

Well, sheeeeat. I'm insulted, having read a few comments by now.

Even the sign-off is a waystation of inanity compared to my bumptious...

Cheers,
Victoria

jaed said...

Ann, the correct response to this depends on some details you haven't given. What is the nature of the comments? Does the imposter seem to be trying to make people think you've made the comments, or is he/she/it making fun of you by signing your name to things you obviously wouldn't write? How many such comments have appeared? Is the imposter only doing this on the one blog? (Is this a blog you comment at?)

Do you have reason to think the blogger is in cahoots with (or is) the imposter? How much time has the blogger had to respond to your email - is it possible they haven't seen it yet? Does this blogger maintain a tight rein on the comments section or is it anything-goes? Does the blogger's software allow selective comment deletion? How tech-savvy is the blogger?

All these questions are relevant to figuring out how seriously you should take this, and whether the blogger should be held responsible.

(A note to "reality check": fair use is a concept that applies to copyright. There's no such thing as a fair-use exemption for defamation or false light. Please try not to burble half-remembered legal terminology in an attempt to look "with-it" and knowledgeable. I know it's hard. But try.)

Anonymous said...

And in the fine tradition of 'don't feed the trolls', why the heck would TRAA reward offensive behaviour with the oxygen of linkage?

God forbid your readers should be allowed to determine the extent of the crime before you try to line them up on your side.

The Drill SGT said...

LOL, Victoria=Maxine?

Not likely. Even an unperceptive middle aged male can tell the difference.

I Love you Victoria ;)

vbspurs said...

God forbid your readers should be allowed to determine the extent of the crime before you try to line them up on your side.

Wassamatter? Your sleuthing skillz are wanting?

In a matter of seconds (the length of time it took to click on Site Metre and follow the most active links), I was able to find the blog in question.

You think Ann should give them free linkbacks? Hell, no.

Let them grovel via email like the rest of us.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Not likely. Even an unperceptive middle aged male can tell the difference.

Nothing gets past that George W. Bush.

Mwah! Drill Sgt,
Victoria

hdhouse said...

kirby - "leftists" are too busy to partake and moreover, we just really don't care enough to do it...

i think you need to see if karl rove had anything to do with this.

love to help ann...just say the word

Anonymous said...

Wassamatter? Your sleuthing skillz are wanting?

In fact they were. I'd disabled some javascript elements so there was no Site Meter, you potential Canadian. Site Metre indeed.

Meade said...

The Drill SGT said...
...LOL...
...an unperceptive middle aged male...
...I Love you Victoria ;)


Ooo... I'm beginning to get a funny feeling in my tummy that the internets isn't really quite a perfectly safe place.

ASX said...

Personally, Ann, I don't think you should be too worried about it. (Easy for me to say, I admit.)

I simply don't think people are that easily tricked. If I saw your name or any other famous bloggers name in comments, there is no way I would believe it was really the blogger.

Be reassured that everyone knows that people can sign posts using any name they wish.

Yours truly,
Tiger Woods

ASX said...

I would just add one thought, Ann.

The bigger deal you make out of this, the more it will happen.

If word of this gets onto a high-traffic liberal blog, "Ann Althouse" will be leaving comments all over blogworld.


On the other hand, after listening to one of your older Audible Althouses, I got the impression that you actually sought out publicity-generating feuds. You said it was what defined Coulter and Malkin. I got the impression that you were hoping to emulate those flame throwers as your path to fame.

PLEASE NOTE: This is my own wild interpretation and speculation, and may be wrong. Readers should judge for themselves.

In any event, my point is, if you want to reach Malkin- and Coulter-like levels of infamy, blow this imposter "scandal" up as big as possible. It will all work to your advantage in the end.

AJ Lynch said...

Have a drink and maybe some cheese (you are in Wisconsin right) and relax a bit. Be comforted that your best defense (if it comes to that) is you are both well known and very well respected. This too shall pass.

Gerry said...

I wish I had good advice.

But you will probably figure out what 'side' the person is on. When you do, you might want to start asking if you really want to help that side gain political power. Regardless of if they are closer to your own political views or not.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you ask the Democrats in Congress for help. Wasn't Speaker Pelosi spewing some nonsense about ethics reform? Of course you'll have to wait until all the Pelosi-palooza festivities are over. I hear she's pretty booked until then.

Mark Daniels said...

Is my memory serving me in thinking that providing false information like this to a recognized media outlet like a newspaper is illegal? Wouldn't such a law apply also to a blog?

I guess the surprise to me is that this sort of stuff hasn't already happened a lot more.

In any case, I hope that you can get to the bottom of things soon.

Any blogger who would allow such comments to remain on site after you've indicated that you aren't their author is being irresponsible and completely unethical.

Mark

Bleepless said...

People, policies, ideals -- all of them are routinely jettisoned by the Left. I am reminded of the line about Reinhard Heydrich in "The Face of the Third Reich": "At the center of his being was a vacuum into which human beings and ideologies disappeared without a trace." Hi, Democrats!

jaed said...

Hmm. Would you believe I have never clicked on a Sitemeter icon and had no idea there was all that info underneath it? No, probably you wouldn't.

Having taken a look, this is closer to annoying than unethical. It's a nasty little tweak, is all. The imposter didn't even change its blog link to this blog. The blog owners ought to delete it at your request, yes, but given the character of the blog and the dynamics of the situation, it's unlikely that they will; it's far more likely that further requests will bring about a feud, it will become fashionable to impersonate you in comments, and an influx of many trolls. Granted you have comments moderated, but you don't need the extra workload of troll-combing.

There are times when ignoring someone's minor nastiness is the best policy, and boy, does this look like one of those times.

Shoelimpyâ„¢ said...

I have had a major problem with namestealers on a number of sites, including Sadly, No, but mostly Atrios. In my experience the hosts of these blogs don't care one whit about your name being stolen. In fact at Sadly, No I think it was Brad R. himself who stole my name. He is in love with my girlfriend.

We all know it wasn't you Ann.

Anonymous said...

John Malkovich: This portal is mine and must be sealed up forever. For the love of God.
Craig Schwartz: With all respect, sir, I discovered that portal. Its my livelihood.
John Malkovich: It's my head, Schwartz, and I'll see you in court!
[Malkovich trudges off along the shoulder of the turnpike]
Craig Schwartz: [calling after him] And who's to say I won't be seeing what you're seeing... in court?

(Before heading to court Ann, try googling instapundit parody)

PatCA said...

I would first ask the blogger the ISP of the commenter. If it's someone, some troll, that you know, that's significent. O/w, chalk it up...

Shoelimpyâ„¢ said...

Be glad that they are not doing it to you on Atrios, Ann. They steal my name there all the time. In fact there are probably Shoelimpy™ imposters there right now even as I type these words. If you do not take action it will not stop, take it from one who knows.

Michael Bérubé said...

In comment 1, Kirby Olson said:

I was on Michael Berube's blog for a while and commented and made fun of some of his comments, but did so under my own name. He then had a number of people writing completely idiotic comments on his blog pretending to be me and using my name. He was completely aware of this, and encouraged it.

I asked him to make this stop, but he is an authoritarian leftist and can't handle anybody questioning his reality so he actually claimed that I have never existed.


For the record, hese are lies. I never encouraged people to use Kirby Olson's name, and I never claimed that Kirby does not exist. Kirby was banned from my blog on October 23 of this year after he tried to make sport of the fact that someone had threatened Chris Clarke's blog.

And Kirby, if you continue saying such things, you will be hearing from my attorney. You have been warned. I don't suffer psychopaths gladly.

Michael Bérubé said...

Ah, that would be Olson making sport of the fact that someone had threatening Chris Clarke's dog on Chris's blog.

I let Olson and his nutty-professor comments stick around for quite some time on my own blog, because I found him amusing and clueless in a cute kinda way. But his vile comment about Clarke was anything but amusing. Hence the ban.

Anonymous said...

That is also one of the risks of blogging under your own name-- I even had that happen, as did several other people about two years ago on the DNC blog (Kicking Ass). Luckily they deleted all the fake posts and redid their login to prevent someone from expropriating a name that wasn't theirs (although the troll subsequently used the numeral one in place of the letter l, registered as my name with two spaces, and similar kinds of tomfoolery.)

It creates a great deal of heartburn, but unfortunately in the wide open field of the internet I'm not sure there is much that you can do. Even if you figured out who it was, it would be very difficult to sue them for slander or something like that.

It goes along the lines of dirty tricksterism, sort of like the election robocalls which misidentified their source this year and kept calling people back after they had hung up-- in the long run if someone wants to be malicious, they will.

I've always tried to suscribe to Lincoln's adage on stuff like that:

The way for a young man to rise is to improve himself in any way that he can, never suspecting that anyone wishes to hinder him.

People know that the only authoritative source for your views is here, and if necessary send them here.

vbspurs said...

What Jaed said.

Anyway, it seems the Newest Koz Kids On The Block are ceasing and desisting, officially.

Or as officially as 3rd graders can make it (with crayons and cardboard).

Cheers,
Victoria

Daryl Herbert said...

As long as people can get attention and accolades by attacking you unfairly (TMV, this, etc.) they will.

The question is: how can you work this to your advantage. The only way is if anyone with credibility is operating that blog or linking to it approvingly. Then you can point out now or at some future time how slimy they are.

I don't see much other use--and if they don't care about their own credibility, there's nothing you can do. Atrios liked to brag about being a Rush Limbaugh for the left, and that means acting in line with his own perceptions of just how bad Limbaugh is.

Breaking moral rules means transgressing boundaries, or something. (well, of course it does--but they think that's a good thing)

The other thing you can do is hope Glenn picks up on your troubles and gives you an Instalanche (but you get enough of those already on your own merit, without the self-pity angle)

Jim Hu said...

I would appreciate some support from other bloggers, of all political stripes, making it absolutely clear that this is unethical.

Here's some support

dmbeaster said...

The use of her name is an obvious parody. No one is misled. There is no grounds for complaint here.

Funny how Ann deletes any link in these comments to the web site so that someone can confirm that her complaint is groundless.

Finn Kristiansen said...

The best method to fight something like this, is to not fight it. People provoke in order engender a response.

Stay on your own message and what you are trying to do. People will be able to separate the truth from the lies.

Maybe keep a separate linked page that lists the sites you would comment at, and with dates showing when you have commented.

It might read:

Monday January 8th: Comments on LGF (1@3:15pm), Atrios (1@2pm), Cranberry Blog (3@5,545, 615am).

And so on.

But the best thing, and the most cost efficient, is to just ignore imposters, focus on your own blog, and take joy in the fact that your message if affecting others.

The Exalted said...

i recall there being legislation aimed at prohibiting false representation as to your identity on the internet. don't remember if it was passed or not.

that being said, unless you prove otherwise, i assume this was satire (and obvious satire or the blog hoster would remove it). being satired comes with the territory of being in the public eye, which ann has done her utmost to put herself in (vote for me! me! me!).

kirby -- i can always count on at least one true nutter in every thread. thanks for the laughs.

vbspurs said...

UPDATE: The blogger in question, instead of answering my email or being at all decent about it, has indicated strong support for the imposter commenter and thinks the whole thing is just funny, including my objection. On the positive side, he's now used my name so much that it makes the fakeness obvious, and his behavior shows that he thinks of me as the sort of huge celebrity who gets imitated all the time and everyone knows is fake. As one of the commenters herein notes, I have said -- maybe just in a podcast -- that I have a strategy playing the blog game and, as he observes, this incident can be read as a sign of its success. Or, in saying that, am I trying to use reverse psychology on the blogger in question? If he thinks he's playing my game, maybe he'll stop. Or did I put up that last thing so he wouldn't stop?

Wait, what?

Cheers,
Victoria

Ann Althouse said...

"Funny how Ann deletes any link in these comments to the web site so that someone can confirm that her complaint is groundless."

Damn right! I'm not rewarding them with traffic. Talk about incentives! Let them increase my traffic. I'm not helping them with theirs. They are obviously fascinated by me. I find nothing of interest in them. They don't deserve to be more prominent bloggers by using me. That's their pathetic strategy for blogging: obsessing over a blogger they don't like (without anything interesting even to say about that). I'd rather follow actual political news and cultural happenings.

hdhouse said...

Ahhhhhhh hey. It's all about me right?

R2K said...

There is nothing you can do about things like that. I mean what is a blogger name really? Like in computer games, people are free to steal your name at any time. The best you can do is ignore it. Blogger simply cant afford to deal with all these problems, it is free after all.

MadisonMan said...

Ignore trolls and they go away, generally. I imagine it's annoying, but it's also a kind of flattery, isn't it (I say this without reading what they've written using your name of course).

If I get spam with Ann Althouse in the title, then I'll know you've really arrived.

dmbeaster said...

Damn right! I'm not rewarding them with traffic.

I note that you ignore the central point, which is that there is nothing wrong with comment to which you object -- it was parody. There was no misuse of your name, period.

And by making a big deal out of it, you have guaranteed that you generate traffic for them.

he's now used my name so much that it makes the fakeness obvious,...

It was obvious from the very first moment since the comment in question included the URL of the poster. But I note that you steadfastly avoid a discussion of these basic facts that would allow someone to judge the merits of your complaint.

Chuckles said...

Get a sense of humor.

Kirby Olson said...

The central thing about the far left is that they don't want any other voices to compete with theirs. If it happens they first try ridicule, then they coopt your voice and try to make you sound ridiculous, then they ban you, and then there are lawsuits. The whole idea of the left is to destroy the Bill of Rights -- starting with the first two amendments -- but ultimately all rights will be suspended while the Ceausescus of academia take over, and ultimately remake the universities into reeducation centers and psychiatric asylums such as they provided for Sakharov, claiming he was a psychopath for having a different viewpoint from the party line.

Perhaps the young can still be fooled by such people. It's their only hope. Ultimately the rest of us know the score: a single loudspeaker.

Freedom of speech is the greatest problem for people like Michael Berube. Not only are there more talented writers, but people with sounder ideas.

They crushed the anarchists at Cronstadt, smashed the anarchists in Spain, turned off Breton's microphone in 1933 at the Stalinist congress of Paris, but somehow, darn it, the idea that the authoritarian leftists aren't going to make a better world still gets through. So sue me.

El Presidente said...

Outrageous!

Garble said...

It's a left wing parody site that focuses on blogs. (I won't list it since I don't want the comment deleted) It's a small time version of being made fun of by the onion or daily show.

It's not a news site. It's not even an opinion site. It's a humor page.

Ann Althouse said...

Garble: My objection is to imposter commenters who use my name. You're talking about the actual posts. I don't think commenters should be allowed to impersonate real people like that. Note that I am able to go over there and post under my name, so the potential for confusion is very different. A blogger who leaves comments like that up, especially after a request for deletion, is behaving unethically. I stand by that.

Elizabeth said...

It's funny that none of us has noticed there's a rightwing parody poster in this thread, kirby olson. Kirby, you're a laugh riot!

Pinko Punko said...

I don't like kirby olson.

Anonymous said...

This happened to me but by complaining to them I just made myself look like a fool. They laughed and they were right.

Take it as a compliment, accept the increased traffic and move on.

Kirby Olson said...

Berube did allow other people to post using my name!!

I think your criterion, Anne, is right. People should not do this, but blog owners should take down clear offenders.

Michael had a system where he could check pin numbers and stuff, but he still didn't take down the people or person who posted using my name on his very well-known blog. I think he knew about it because he referred to it on occasion. Appealing to Michael B for Justice would be similar to doing the same in Pol Pot's reign in Cambodia. Justice only for the inner circle of absolute believers is the byword, and even then...

At any rate Berube ended his evil blog today, apparently. To focus on the last five years of meanginful hockey he appears to think he has in him. As if anything is more meaningless than a hockey game!

Geez, imagine the high-sticking and tripping and elbows the other hockey players are going to have to put up with now that this duffer is turning his full attention to the rinky dink. Better them than than me.

At least there will put you in the penalty box rather than the comment box. Dasve danye, comrade!

;)

;

stoqboy said...

After going to the site and viewing a few of their entries I'm surprised you posted anything. You are getting exactly the response you should have anticipated, and also providing them increased attention, and exposure, exactly what they hope for.

vbspurs said...

If I get spam with Ann Althouse in the title, then I'll know you've really arrived.

Two words: Bobble-head.

P.S.: I think it all depends on what the troll-tastics do. When Ann first complained about people posting in her name, it wasn't a joke. It was a straight commentary, to a normal post.

When she complained and asked for redress, that's when the goofiness started.

So the wankers in that blog do not have recourse to say, "it was all in all, get a sense of humour".

It only became a parody, when they got caught. Before, it was fraud.

Ann may have overreacted (I would have done the same thing, because my name is my reputation), but not because it wasn't a serious matter until that point.

Cheers,
Victoria

ASX said...

I found the "offending" blog, and read the "offending" comments therein. As others have said, it is screamingly obvious satire. I would call it a light jab at Ann; nothing more.

I strongly suspect Ann won't share a link to the blog with her loyal commenters because they could not sustain their outrage if they saw the actual context of the "abuse," and how obvious it was from the very first fake "Ann Althouse" comment that the comment wasn't really Ann.

I feel like the outraged commenters here on this blog are being played for fools, frankly. This blogs commenters are not allowed to judge the "offense" for themselves, and Ann does nothing to prevent them from inflating this into something much graver and more serious than it is.

It is quite clear that the commenters here on this blog believe that someone was genuinely trying to pose as Ann.

It is quite clear to anyone who sees the actual comedy that the comments were obviously and clearly satire.

This is what Fox News, does, too: they count on their audience to believe whatever they say. Bill O'Reilly knows he's distorting and lying half the stuff that comes out of his mouth; but he knows his loyal fans will believe every word.

In this respect, the truth is far less useful than a lie. Because the outrage of the commenters on this blog would evaporate if they could see the actual "offense."

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I was had by Kirby Olson. LOL.

No wonder he didn't respond...

Anonymous said...

Just as a question, didn't someone pitch a fit recently about Sullivan not linking as part of a blogspat? I'm sure that's relevant here somehow.

In seriousness, you're a big girl, having been on TV and everything. Someone is making fun of you, and the more you complain the funnier it becomes, because you emphasize just the personality traits which are being mocked.

Sanjay said...

Yeah, I love Professor A, but I can't give you a whit of support on this without understanding the situation better. And, moreover, shame on you, Professor: you have, after all, linked to (for example) fake blogs impersonating Harriet Miers.

And there's nothing wrong with those, of course. You can imitate and parodize public figures. And Professor Althouse is a public figure! LOTS of people love this blog and the good prof gets airtime and editorials other ways. Indeed she has such a distinctive style and manner that while I could never parodize it, I imagine the right person doing so would be hilarious.

Now, there's caveats. It might be nice of the imitator under some circumstances to cut it out when asked. And there's ways to imitate Professor A (say, applying for a credit card!) that are clearly way over the line. But all I have is what she put in the post, and from just that all I can say is, shame on you, Professor, you know better!

Anonymous said...

Here is the entire comment by the impostor, before Ann came along and said it wasn't her:

Please, please! We must not let this discussion of pharmaceuticals descend into partisanship!

It was on a post about small talk, followed by a thread for meaningless discussion, in this case about an imaginary drug called Partisol that suppressed the need for partisan politics!

Ironically, the very first comment on this post blames 'the authoritarian left' for attempting the internet version of Soviet oppression.

Anonymous said...

By the way, how did you manage to catch a comment under your name on another blog in under an hour? Considering the post didn't link to you it can only be one of two things. Do you read the blog or do you Google your name every so often?

Anonymous said...

Argh, I should've said 'less than two hours'. Basic maths has left me now that I study structural engineering.

pseudonymous in NC said...

In other news, Saturday Night Live features comic actors pretending to be other people and saying funny things related to the character they impersonate for humorous effect. Only a partisan would think this is ethical.

Maxine Weiss said...

Lots of unethical things in the world.

Pick your battles.

Peace, Maxine

les said...

Lemme see here--your concern is that Someone Who Matters will read a parody post, be unable to tell that commenters are playing names with names, and somehow think less of you? Your sense of proportion may be slightly skewed. Glory in all the hits you're getting from people who can't believe anyone would actually worry about something like this, and let it go.

Anonymous said...

I think you should critique "your" posts and tear em up. Then post the rebuttal with your name spelled backwards.

Trey

Ann Althouse said...

M. Sphinx said..."By the way, how did you manage to catch a comment under your name on another blog in under an hour? Considering the post didn't link to you it can only be one of two things. Do you read the blog or do you Google your name every so often?"

I have a Google alert for my own name, set up to email me as soon as it happens. I monitor the use of my name for occasions just like this.

Someone compared my reaction here to what I said about Andrew Sullivan not linking. Andrew Sullivan used my name and quoted me as he made negative comments about me. By contrast, I have not named or quoted any other blog. I am writing about a practice and trying to establish that it is unethical. That's completely different. But in fact, if I did name it and chose not to link to it, it would be an act of hostility on my part and I would accept it being interpreted that way, which is exactly the way I saw Sullivan's behavior. It's a specifically hostile thing to do. I really would defend an act of hostility toward this blog.

vbspurs said...


I feel like the outraged commenters here on this blog are being played for fools, frankly. This blogs commenters are not allowed to judge the "offense" for themselves, and Ann does nothing to prevent them from inflating this into something much graver and more serious than it is.


Hello. *taps monitor*

We've already covered this.

Ann doesn't want to give these wankers the publicity, and no one is 'keeping' us, her bleating of a following from looking at the offending posts.

God, please, that sounds like Ann is
Savonarola
locking up the keys to the library, for fear the peons will study Aristotle and find out about atoms, dialectic and thereto, gasp! freedom.

In fact, snort.

Ann with a monk's cowl is a great visual.

Cheers,
Victoria

The Jerk said...

I am writing about a practice and trying to establish that it is unethical.

I don't think you're trying very hard, because as far as I can tell you haven't made any actual argument that it is unethical. You've simply stated that it is. Anyone who looks at the thread can rapidly surmise that it's not you, and I therefore don't see any real possibility of deception. So what's the ethical problem here?

salvage said...

AHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

oH Myyyyy gawd you are so silly.

Garble said...

I thought the commentors at the site in question. (still not naming it) were allowed to try and be funny also. isn't their stuff parody also?

Robert Green said...

by all reasonable standards, what went on (in espanol) over at lamentable !no¡ was clearly a parody, aimed at other people who are meta enough to know parody when they see it, e.g. readers of said blog. and it was a pretty damn funny parody at that, one that probably cut close enough to the bone over here that the proprietor shot off a post before thinking about it.

as i deal with such issues every day, let me say with all due clarity that no, this is not actionable IN ANY WAY NOW OR EVER.

maybe in myanmar, i don't know. they are pretty crazy over there but i think the authoritarian thing might go over big with our genial althost.

i've said it before, i'll say it again. "save to draft". use it. if you aren't deleting half your posts without publishing them, you are just a mouthy idiot.

oh. right.

ASX said...

vpspurs said:

Hello. *taps monitor*

We've already covered this.

Ann doesn't want to give these wankers the publicity, and no one is 'keeping' us, her bleating of a following from looking at the offending posts.

God, please, that sounds like Ann is
Savonarola locking up the keys to the library, for fear the peons will study Aristotle and find out about atoms, dialectic and thereto, gasp! freedom.

In fact, snort.

Ann with a monk's cowl is a great visual.


Well, this gets my vote for most amusing retort of the week. LOL. I liked the "taps monitor" part, but also the "peons will study Aristotle and find out about atoms, dialectic and thereto, gasp! freedom."

Quite funny.

Maybe you're right; maybe I'm wrong about Ann's motives for concealing the identity of the offending blogger.

But you must admit (and probably won't) that there is a massive incongruity between the actual "offense" and how it was portrayed by Ann and understood by her following here in the comments. The most incongruous response was from those who had not seen the actual "imposter" posts, and only had Ann's descriptions to judge them by.

When Ann said "Someone is commenting on other blogs using my name," she gave no indication that it was obvious parody. When she said, "what action should I take?" she implied that action should be taken. And when she accused the satirist of being unethical, she (wittingly or not) led her readers to believe that something unethical had occurred.

Satire is not unethical.

I don't believe for a moment that Ann thinks satire is unethical.

I think Ann is simply picking a fight for traffic, and counting on the outrage of her followers to fuel the feud.

I could be wrong. In any event, it's fun to watch.

vbspurs said...

I suppose Ann has moved on, ASX, so I'll take that as a cue to do so, as well.

Seems that all's well, that ends all, and all that.

But merely to note, this time in a serious tone (glad I brought an amused wrickle to your brow earlier), that Ann posted that when she caught someone posting under her name, en clair.

Only after she posted here, worriedly, did they start to genuinely take the mickey.

Until that moment, she had no idea just what the poster was playing at.

Should she have waited? Who knows, I wouldn't have.

But blaming the person who was the target is usually seen in a very poor light, in real life.

Anyway, pax Althousiana.

Cheers,
Victoria

Andrew Shimmin said...

Do you comment on other blogs? I can't remember ever finding one of yours, or one that I recognized as such. It's shabby behavior, in any event, but if you don't comment on other blogs, and say that you don't, there won't be any confusion. Among people who already read you, though, so this doesn't solve much.

It's too bad this is the way things work. And it's too bad that anybody can look at this and not immediately see what's wrong with it. But it's much worse for the people who think it's funny, than for you--think about what that must be like, living one's whole life without any better idea of what's funny, than that. Bad taste is its own reward.

Kirby Olson said...

I still think that Anne is right about this topic. Some can see the satire, some can't, and the possibility for confusion is rife.

If we're to be held personally responsible for the things that we say and do, then -- we want to be able to control our own actions. Chevy Chase impersonating Gerald Ford on what is clearly a comedy program is very different than someone pretending to be Gerald Ford and sending potential legislation to the House under that name.

Communists don't believe in personal identity. They only believe in the horde, in whose name they pretend to speak. Althouse is an individual (remember, she had wished first to be an ARTIST). Communists don't like artists.

They want everyone to be exactly the same.

This problem of the individual subject is something that Legal Studies has attempted to abolish in favor of Group Identities. But the American legal system has continued to hold people personally responsible and not set up kangaroo kourts for show trials as Legal Studies or Cultural Studies groups have done.

I'm with Anne Althouse. One person, one identity.

For anyone interested in my history with Michael Berube and his Cultural Studies crowd, I intend to post the history of that debacle on my blague in about an hour. This notion of the individual identity seems like a tiny problem. It isn't. It goes to the heart of the whole problem between the left and the middle and the center.

As a disappointed leftist moved toward the center, I have much to say on this matter: because it is at the very heart of my disappointment with the left, and is the reason why I left the left. It ain't right!

Anonymous said...

Why not quote Althouse as the capper?

One of the main things that draws me to writing about something is the desire to make fun of people who are taking themselves too seriously, like those bloggers who were so dorkily proud to be lunching with Clinton.

Anonymous said...

Ann,
There is a website/service called CoComment that keeps track of all the comments you make on other people's blogs and sites. You can post a block in your sidebar that lets your readers here see the latest few comments.
I am not associated with CoComment, by the way, except as a user. I just thought I would offer the idea to you as a way for you to offer to your readers an easy way to confirm whether or not you made certain comments.

Guest said...

This is the most amazing Althouse parody site, ever. It captures her narcissism *perfectly*. If I didn't know better, I'd swear these posts were written by Althouse herself. Viva Althouse!

Lamb Cannon said...

Frankly you should feel good that anyone, at all, is paying attention to your narcissistic, dreary, white booty.