No more Mr Nice Guy

Pharyngula 2013-06-10

This is a flagrant lie, and I won’t hesitate to call the jerk saying it a liar.

PZ Myers, an atheist blogger who writes on the Freethought Blogs network, recently announced that he will publicly reveal the identity of anyone who leaves comments he does not like on his blog using a pseudonym.

This nonsense is being spread by the usual mythologizing twits on their blogs and forums and twitter. It’s a dishonest distortion of what I actually said in this blog post.

But there are also bad reasons to use a pseudonym on a blog. The very worst? Some people use anonymity to empower their ability to be a shithead. They snipe and sneer, they hide behind fake names, they use multiple sock puppets to generate the illusion that more people support their hatred, and also to prevent people from blocking them — they want to force you to read their venom.

Notice that nowhere do I even mention “comments I don’t like”. What I’m dealing with is a collection of nasty, obsessed characters who have been banned for egregiously bad behavior who insist on coming back under an array of pseudonyms — people who are indistinguishable from Dennis Markuze in their persistence, pointlessness, and repeatedly expressed hatred of me, commenters here, the entirety of the freethoughtblogs network, and often, of those damned feminists.

I’m up every morning between 5:30 and 6, and what’s the first thing I have to do? Comment cleanup. Cleaning out the spam trap. Adding new terms to the filter list to automate catching these twits. It’s people like Mabus (hundreds of pseudonyms, over a decade of harassment), Reap Paden (over 30 pseudonyms used to dump ungrammatical tirades), Piltdown Man (yes, he still trolls by now and then), the latest idiots like Martin Wiesner and “AndyWatson”, and the expected loons who come by with ‘clever’ pseudonyms like “FuckPZ” and pornified versions of my kids’ names.

It has gotten ridiculous, especially now that there’s a whole site full of slymers dedicated to inciting more haters. They don’t dirty their own hands anymore; it’s enough that they can work up foul-mouthed twelve year olds to do their mudflinging for them.

So yes, I’m fed up and I’ll be taking stronger action against these trolls and other assholes. But that does not in any way imply that I’m silencing disagreement…but that’s the message the trolls and assholes want to send out, to foment more harassment.

And here’s what’s incredibly annoying about it, too: I don’t ban that many people, and those that I do kick out, I try to be open about it, listing their names on the Dungeon page. Which leads to the other lie: that I’m unusually censorious. It turns out that being transparent about necessary banning actions, while just about every other goddamn blog out there just invisibly disappears objectionable junk, leads these phonies to make up more lies about policies here.

So I’m also changing something else. The Dungeon is gone. From now on, if you’re a jerk, you just get zapped and disappear forever, with no documentation, just like it’s done on the blogs of the assholes who accuse me of banning people for disagreeing with me.

It’ll save me a little work, too.