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We Are Not Amused

In Rick's piece mocking the appearance of Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan, commenter "bobdog" thought it would be funny to impersonate longtime Wizbang community member (and personal friend of mine) "James H."

Olaf The Troll God's Hammer came off the wall.

Commenters' use of multiple identities is frowned upon, but not officially banned. (I tend to follow the "Roger Rabbit" rule -- I put up with it only when it's funny. There are a couple of other rather esoteric exceptions, but generally "don't do it."

Using another commenter's identity, though -- sorry, that shit don't fly.

No, it's not explicitly spelled out in the rules. It shouldn't have to be. It should be one of those self-evident things, and I'm not going to bother with warnings.

If you're wondering how strongly I feel about this, consider this: I'd be very inclined to bring out the hammer even if someone used the name "Lee Ward." Yes, I'd even act in his defense. (Granted, in that case anyone would be hard-pressed to make him look worse than he does himself, so it's more of a case of keeping him looking as bad as possible, but the principle is there.)

"Bobdog" is history. If anyone would like to make an argument in his defense, go ahead. I will read and consider what anyone has to say.

Update: I just lifted the ban on Bobdog's IP. My intention is to give him the opportunity to discuss the action. Unless I am persuaded otherwise, I'll reinstate the ban around noon Eastern on Sunday.

Unless, of course, he pulls a BarneyG2000 and answers sooner with a rhetorical bird-flipping. Then it could happen sooner.

Finally, I added the "not" to the "James H" signature on bobdog's impersonation. My first reaction was to simply undo the faking. My second reaction was to reveal the real commenter behind the faking, and posting his IP. My third reaction was to change the publishing of the IP to the banning of it.

Update 2: Thanks, bob. Case closed.

I was wrong earlier; what bobdog did IS a violation of the published rules. I'm embarrassed; I really oughta pay better attention to them. From the Terms Of Service: "(c) impersonate any person or entity, including, but not limited to, a Wizbang, LLC official, forum leader, guide or host, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity."

As far as I'm concerned, this was a "learning experience" and a "teachable moment" for everyone, including me. The threatened banning is hereby withdrawn, and Olaf's Hammer is back on the wall -- to the great relief of my back.


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Comments (17)

Unless you changed it, bobd... (Below threshold)
zaugg:

Unless you changed it, bobdog signed that "not James H. That would seem to be a parody and not impersonation.

Jay, it's your blog (kinda)... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Jay, it's your blog (kinda) - your rules. I think impersonation's a pretty bad thing, and having seen (and been subject to it myself) on other blogs have little to no patience with it.

But those other blogs/forums WERE unmoderated, with no one to tell the miscreants to cut that shit out or they'll find themselves banned.

I'd suggest a hard and fast one-strike rule, myself. Bobdog's been pretty good about being honorable in the past - maybe an immediate ban wasn't the best course of action? Could you see giving him a second chance?

Or maybe - just maybe - two... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

Or maybe - just maybe - two Wizbang commenters found one another and were blissfully nestled in each other's arms, sharing an IP address along with their bodily fluids?

Way to go Jay, you took a beautiful, taboo-shattering moment and spoiled it for everyone.

My take: Impersona... (Below threshold)
Arizona CJ:

My take:

Impersonation is uncalled for, and serves no purpose other than trolling. I view it like I would someone uploading a virus on purpose. IMHO, if someone does that, they should be banned.

Thanks for the clarificatio... (Below threshold)
zaugg:

Thanks for the clarification on the "Not". I suspected as much.

When I just couldn't stand ... (Below threshold)
epador:

When I just couldn't stand it anymore I've used a mocking pseudonym a few times to prod a particularly obnoxious commentor - but would never
impersonate someone other than myself. That's just evil in my book.

Now I might have to get a life if I got banned here, so...

...I'll have to think about that one a bit.

I thought it was a parody. ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

I thought it was a parody. I guess I was wrong?

Sure seems to be a lot of drama involved here. Maybe I'm wrong about that too.

Respectfully disagree on th... (Below threshold)
Shawn:

Respectfully disagree on this one.

"bobdog" has been a long time reader of this blog, as well.

And he isn't a "personal friend" with the people who could decide his fate if he makes a mistake.

It was bad judgment on his part, and, he would probably, in hindsight, be the first to agree.

We let trolls have more latitude with their comments, even though the goal of many of them is to completely derail thread discussions to force the discourse to become about them.

Perhaps we should extend the same courtesy to a reader who has an actual history of debating and contributing to the discussions at hand, and who has not exhibited any purposeful disrespect toward this site, its writers, or its readers.

It was a poor decision on his part, but, there doesn't seem to be much malice behind it.

A public warning would suffice. After that, his reaction would dictate his welcome.

-Shawn

Seriously? You've been fair... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Seriously? You've been fairly longsuffering with others for what seemed to be worse. The punishment seems pretty stiff to me. The guys record doesn't really warrant this action, does it? I'd give the guy another chance. I'll bet he doesn't do it again.

The Death Penalty for viola... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

The Death Penalty for violating an unwritten and unannounced rule just once does seem harsh.

And entirely arbitrary, to boot. Granted it was wrong, should be against the rules, and is a stupid thing to do. It is unclear, however, why one particular single instance of stupidity is so much more egregious than serial and continuing stupidity of a different type (say, "Lee").

The disparity creates a dysfunctional family here. We poor innocent children never know whether Daddy got a raise and went to his meeting today, in which case all our sins are forgiven, or if he went out after work and got drunk on Valu-Rite Vodka, killed a hobo on the way home, kicked the dog, and is looking to be mean and cruel to his little cherubs (that would be us).

Ooops.Guilty as ch... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Ooops.

Guilty as charged. I was in a hurry, and it was improperly intended to be amusing. It was not intended to be a personal attack on James H.

Ever tell a joke that didn't come out as you intended? I guess that's what happened here. There was nothing vicious intended.

While I appreciate the supportive comments, wrong is wrong, and I was wrong to do it. Won't happen again.
My apologies to James H, Jay Tea, and anybody else that was offended by my lame-assed attempt at humor.

"What was most insidious... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"What was most insidious about bobdog's rattish-rattus sock puppetry of James H is..."

Yeah. This from a guy who was banned but continues to come back in through deceitful means, despite Jay's wishes, and and then actually criticize another? That's rich.

I personally enjoyed bobdog's comments. It just doesn't seem like his style at all to impersonate someone with ill intent. Perhaps just a temporary lapse in judgment?

It's Jay's house, but for the life of me, I can't understand why there are certain other people here commenting freely who toss invective around like confetti and are banned and then actually allowed back to do more of the same.

Hmm...I didn't see bobdog's... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Hmm...I didn't see bobdog's comment when I was typing mine.

I blame it on Internet lag.

I didn't think he was as purposefully injurious as some we all know.

Thanks, Bob. One person he... (Below threshold)
James H:

Thanks, Bob. One person here has already attempted to do the sock-puppetry thing of me, and on those occasions I've had my own blog, I don't stand for those kind of shenanigans. So I'm a little aggressive about such things.

For the record, James merel... (Below threshold)

For the record, James merely informed me of this latest impersonation of him. He made no requests or suggestions as to what I should do, nor did I consult with him before acting.

It's kind of like the criminal justice system. Once the authorities are involved, the victim has very little say in what happens next. They can offer opinions on what charges and penalties might be imposed, but no actual control.

Oyster, the invective is one thing. I have a very, very high tolerance for that. When it goes beyond that -- legally actionable charges, for one -- then I act.

What's-his-face is another example. I gave him the same kind of warning as I gave bobdog, and he told me to do my worst. So I do.

Bobdog, I'm glad we resolved this. I've appreciated your presence for some time, and had a hunch it was fun carried too far, and not an attempt to wreck the community. I am relieved that I was right.

J.

<a href="http://www.brutall... (Below threshold)
Rick:

Morgan Freeberg has left an answer for the critics of my earlier post worth pondering.

Morgan Freeberg has a valid... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Morgan Freeberg has a valid point - BUT I will stop mocking Hillary Clinton's thighs when you pry them from my cold dead fin- wait a minute, maybe I need to rethink this . . .




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