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They’ve resorted to playing dirty: do they feel proud?

I normally try not to give link love to those who completely don’t deserve it, but in this instance I have to in order to defend myself against spurious charges.   In this case, the charge is recorded on this page here:

http://www.blackfez.com/2008/03/02/st-spammys-dot-com/

Now, there are numerous ways to refute the charge.  In the first place, I was out of town and away from internet access during the time in question so could not have posted the comment, in the second place, it cannot be documented that I have a pattern of such behavior, and in the third place, even if I had, it would have been pointless to delete the comment out of principle and then link to it as often as he did in the first place.

You see, the charge was just a cover for the real agenda, which is to associate my name and ministry with various search terms in an attempt to manipulate google results.  I assume that this is in retaliation for the blistering take down of Richard Carrier’s series of assertions about Antony Flew and his book.  I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.  I don’t personally believe that Richard Carrier would stoop this low, but I certainly understand and expect it to be standard operating procedure for certain folks who believe themselves so utterly in the position of being right that the rival person or position does not even get the dignity of a reasoned response.

In this case, the problem is complicated I think by the fact that a reasoned response is difficult to generate in the first place.

I expect that the cats will continue to play while I’m out on the road and that some ingenious manipulation of google shall be accomplished.  I wonder, though:  will Richard Carrier- once he becomes aware of the steps being taken in his ‘defense’- denounce and distance himself from such methods?

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    • Anthony on March 12, 2008 at 9:09 am
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    When confronted with outright Immature spamming and slander one is never quite sure what the best approach is- respond, ignore, take more serious steps- etc. Since the man reiterates his charge I have opted for responding.

    To me the most interesting thing about this event is that it was initially cloaked as being a fair response to disreputable internet practices, ie, comment spam. Now, Blackfez knows I did no such thing. He knows it, I know it, and anyone who compares our two sites will know it. What is interesting is that BlackFez felt it important to take the moral high ground… it was important to him to have others think he was behaving appropriately. In his latest response (linked above and in the trackback) he repeats the assertion. His agenda of google-bombing was clearly stated in his original post but it is oh-so-important to him that people think I deserve it.

    Now, any experienced blogger knows that on any given day there are dozens if not hundreds of comment spam that a blog has to deal with. Even if we conceded that he did get something with the sntjohnny name on it, his response is completely out of proportion to the ‘crime.’ As I noted, it also defeats the purpose of deleting the comment. If it were really indignation about a piece of comment spam we’d have in hand here a case study in the value of restraining orders and the second amendment. But we all know, don’t we, that comment spam has nothing to do with this.

    Now, just in case anyone should like more information as to why no reasonable person will believe that he received a piece of comment spam from me, I will submit a few points. I trust that most will agree that even if his charge was justified, his response… elementary school twists on my name, etc… is way out of proportion.

    So, in response to my quick rebuttal, he offers the following pieces of argument for his charge:

    “A man who is so busy traveling as to not have net access enough to drop comment spam on this wayward [and heretofore little noticed] blog but yet clears enough time and magically finds an internet connection during his travels long enough to engage in a limp effort at a punch up.”

    Yes, it is outrageous to believe that a person traveling would find access to the Internet at some point. “Magically.” His comment gives something away though… another potential motive for his behavior: his is a little noticed blog and he wishes to be noticed. Mine is a well trafficked blog, his is not. By launching charges against me, he gets the link to his site. Very clever. Perhaps he isn’t a Richard Carrier hit man after all. Ironically, he may be doing precisely what he is accusing me of doing, although in a more sophisticated manner.

    Let’s look at some of the technical details:

    “By his reckoning there is no way I received a comment on this blog linking to his site from the same IP subnet that serves his site because he was “out of town” and “away from internet access during the time in question.”” [bold is mine]

    Here we begin to see clearly how fraudulent his claim is. In his original post he indicated that he deleted my comment. Comments do come associated with the posting IP address however prior to my response, he would not have any reason to have actually looked at the IP address. That he did not is implied by his original assertion:

    “So, assuming that they’re not being swift boated by some vigilante 733t h4X0rz, these “Christians” feel justified in using comment spam to spread the word of Christ.”

    If he had looked at the IP address he would know if I was being ‘swift boated.’ Furthermore, he states that he did not approve of the comment. That means that he either deleted it or called it spam, and in either case WordPress (which his original post indicates he is using) deletes the entry- and the IP address with it.

    So, he provides an unverifiable assertion in his defense of his accusation but he has already given us reason to believe that he does not have the data and strongly suggests he never did. Moving on.

    His comment gives something else away as well. The whole spiel seeks to show how it is absurd to believe that I posted the comment spam because if I ‘magically’ found internet access while on the road (because Starbucks are located only in Seattle, you know) but still managed to ‘find him’ in the first place. Forgetting, of course, that WordPress automatically notifies you of incoming links. However, he says that my comment comes from the same IP subnet as my web page.

    Ah, but if he is under the impression that I am finding him and posting spam, then it wouldn’t be posted using the same IP as my web page, would it? It would actually be posted using my computer’s IP address on the local network that I happened to be on.

    This simple statement proves a number of things, none of them complimentary to the Fez, and additionally that I did not post any spam on his site. If I had, it would NOT have been from my server’s IP ‘sub-net.’ It would be from some other IP address.

    Now, the Fez is an utterly predictable person. Knowing full well that I have utterly just scorched his accusation to the ground, but still desiring to have people think he’s the one who has been wronged, he will attempt to erect another theory.

    The only theory that could account for a comment being generated by the server my site is hosted on (which would be really stupid of me to do, as the result would be the eventual banning of my server’s IP), is that I have spambots active on my server. This would be a pretty serious charge, if he were to make it.

    However, we must seriously question how it is that the Fez’s blog is the only blog out there to have been targeted by my spambot. After all, if we are now not talking about a process where I am manually “finding sites” to post comment spam on but rather something automated, it is surely odd that the only site targeted (allegedly, because recall he said he did not approve this comment so we can’t even look at it) was his own.

    Google lets you see who is linking to who: Here: http://www.google.com/search?q=link:www.sntjohnny.com/front&hl=en&start=0&sa=N

    Anyone see any sites with comment spam linking back to me? Nope. We will have to believe then that this spambot only had one target in mind, which is absurd. If the Fez would like to provide sites with such spam, dating before today’s date and corroborated on the Internet Archive, we might reconsider the charge.

    In the original accusation, the Fez offered it as a possibility that perhaps I had been hacked. But that shows the stupidity of his charge as well. The type of comment he mentioned is pretty common… a short excerpt quoting a person’s post and then linking back to a particular article on his site. In fact, it is actually the format of a trackback. That means several things:

    1. If I had been hacked, then someone out there has installed a spambot on my server and instead of promoting their site, they have stupidly put my site on instead. In brief, the stupidest hacker on the face of the planet has taken control of my machine and is sending out spam (from my server’s IP) to only one blog (BlackFez’s) and linking to me rather than his own site.
    2. The comment spam is, as I mentioned, in the format of a trackback. That means that in fact the ‘comment’ is not a comment, but rather WordPress being informed that someone has just linked to you. It shows as a comment in WP and pulls some of the context of posting article but in most cases (as you can see on this page, below, which shows the trackback to his site) all that shows or is allowed to show on the main page is the link to the site that mentioned it.

    For an example of how this works, look at this splogger’s site: http://bryanblog.oxyhostsfree.com/fishsmuggling.html

    About halfway down you will see one of my Antony Flew posts quoted and then linked back to me. When this was posted on that man’s site, my site was informed and I was given a quote of his post (which was, of course, my own writing) and since my site is set to delete such comments automatically, his post was put in a cache for eventual, automatic deletion.

    In other words, if in fact he received comment spam from me or my server quoting his post, then one of his posts should be quoted somewhere on my site and there should be a link to his site that predates our correspondence.

    Well, Fez, where is it? Where on my blog is the offending post that quotes your post and generates the trackback? It can’t be a manual submission because you have said it is a server generated comment, and your alleged access to that information ought to give you the location of the original posting of your material. Google Cache or the InternetArchive will have the original posting, so don’t now try to change the scenario as to say I’ve deleted it.

    The conclusion of this affair is that there is no way that I could have done the thing accused. If I had posted it manually, the server IP would not be what showed, but rather my home IP. If it is server generated, then the original article exists on my server. Furthermore, if this is a way I operate, then there should be blogs across the net with such links back- not only one: the Fez’s.

    It wouldn’t be the blog visited by the imaginary Sue, because Alexa makes it pretty clear that no one is likely to find his blog, not just me. He admits as much:

    check in on the comments queue and, lo, there’s a comment!

    Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick. We just don’t get a lot of those around here. Heck, we don’t really even get readers around these parts.

    heh nope. Clearly he wants to change that. But Fez, at least be man enough to admit it, ok? Don’t couch it in righteous indignation.

    I wonder if he’s the same guy as this one: http://atheismsucks.blogspot.com/2008/03/atheist-apologists-post-porn-and.html (see the comment section)

  1. […] righteous Anthony [deleted]. A man who would not normally deign to address little old me, but who has decided to make an exception. A man who is so busy traveling as to not have net access enough to drop comment spam on this […]

    edited to delete obscenities.

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