Sheldon: Biologically speaking, Howard is perfectly justified in seeking out the optimum mate for the propagation of his genetic line.
Howard: Thank you, Sheldon.
Sheldon: Now, whether that propagation is in the interest of humanity is, of course, an entirely different question.
The Big Bang Theory The Vengeance Formulation 2010
Looking at Twitter Friday Morning I see that it’s necessary to repeat some basic facts of the internet for the benefit of young people who may not know them. Consider this a public service to any person who uses the net.
1. If you choose to enter the public debate, people will debate you.
It never ceases to amaze me is the expectation that one can enter public debate on the net and expect to not have to defend one’s positions against people who disagree with you. If you are going to make a public debate on a subject being discussed be prepared to have folks intelligent or not, disagree.
2. Whatever you say on the internet is inherently public.
Even if you aren’t debating the rule applies. No matter what you do or say or chat. If it is on the net on a blog, in a comment, on a forum or in a chat it is public. Even a “private” post is only as private as the least discreet person you are dealing with.
3. Whatever you say on the internet is forever.
It takes less than a second to screen capture something on the net. Once you’ve said something or done something on the net one must assume that it will be there forever.
4. The default setting of the net is “traceable”
It takes an effort to be truly anonymous, you have to not only mask your IP but if you are having conversations etc you have to mask your speech patterns, for example I use the word “Yet” a lot in writing so if I wanted to comment on something under a different name a person looking to find me could use a program to search that pattern.
5. The only requirement for finding something “hidden” on the net, is patience.
If a person has the desire to find some information that was placed on the net and is willing to spend weeks or months doing so, they will invariably find what they are looking for if it exists.
6. Reporters search for information for a living.
If you want to hide information the person you would fear the most is a reporter. The job of a reporter is to find information that people want to hide and unless a reporter deliberately avoids looking for said info (read MSM concerning Liberals) they will find it.
7. Nothing is more dangerous than a pre-internet reporter with net knowledge
There are four types of reporters two of which are dying out:
1. Hard working reporters
2. Lazy reporters
3. Old pre-internet reporters who are not net savvy
4. Old pre-internet era reporters who have become net savvy.
Of the four the most dangerous to a person hiding information is the pre-internet era reporter who is net savvy. Such a reporter is used to doing research in the old-fashioned way, going to locations, questioning people, locating hard to find articles and books physically and then reading through them, looking for stray documents that only exist on paper.
To that person used to the physical effort of the former, hours or days of web searches is a walk in the park.
8. Beware of obsessive enemies online:
There have always been crazy obsessive people out there, but in the old pre-net days their ability to cause trouble was limited to their driving range, with the net such a person is able, if they want, to make trouble to literally watch your every move for a mistake and pounce when you make one.
Now while all these rules are widely applicable to anyone they all lead to a rather specific conclusion:
9. Don’t try to mess with or out Crazy Robert Stacy McCain.
What you have here is an obsessive, web savvy old school reporter of 30 years experience, intimately acquainted with libel law, with a large following who knows how to search the web, recognize patterns and find things. Furthermore because of his large following among other web savvy people if you choose to mess with him there are literally hundreds of people who will happily supply him with said info if they know it exists or point him in the right direction.
And if that wasn’t bad enough he has the patience to hold said info and release it in a snappy entertaining style that increases the likelihood that people will read it maximizing its effect.
The first amendment gives you the right to free speech, but it doesn’t protect you from the consequences of speech nor does your first amendment said right of another.
So if, for example you are Nicholas Edwin “Sarah” Nyberg and choose you make a public argument concerning say #gamergate which is a topic of current discussion and you react to biting critique from Robert Stacy McCain by say, aiding in his temporary suspension from twitter (a forum he uses to augment his readership and thus his income) it is perfectly reasonable to expect that if one said something in a chat room 10 years earlier that might be at best highly embarrassing or at worst legally actionable that Mr. McCain would not only discover it but tweet it out to his nearly 90,000 followers with screen shots and snark.
One might further expect that if you are someone on twitter like say @ who chooses to defend Nyberg or believe his assertions that one might face creative embarrassment that will be retweeted to Mr. McCain’s followers or cause the promotion of slightly odd but devastating Youtube videos that might gather 43,000 views or more be followed up by a larger piece that says something like this:
A shocking new video released this week has brought new attention to claims of pedophilia made against a longtime critic of the #GamerGate movement. The video quotes Internet chat logs attributed to Sarah Nyberg expressing sexual interest in preteen girls
and perhaps get the attention of nationally known reporters with an international platform and
The story is currently working its way through Breitbart’s legal process. I hope to be able to share it with you all soon.
Bottom Line: Going after Robert Stacy McCain is like poking a wolverine with a stick, you have a right to do it, but it’s unlikely to end well for you.
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