Home » Blogging » Dreaming of a new online normal

Dreaming of a new online normal

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In the seven years that I have been playing the blogging game I have seen some big changes, well the fact that broadband has become the ubiquitous norm rather than the exception has been a biggie. Now we bloggers can put up a far more attractive page with graphics and many photos without concern that it will be too slow to load or despised by readers because it uses too much of their download allowance. I have seen the rise of twitter and the migration to that platform of many of the snark artists that used to haunt the bloggosphere. This has also seen the decline in a vast number of blogs which existed only to accommodate the eternally mean and vicious, well good riddance to bad rubbish, such loses are not mourned in this part of cyber space. Now we are finally beginning to see an end to the online free for all that is just so beloved of the trolls and scum bags. The law is beginning to hold online miscreants responsible for what they say and do which is a trend that I am pretty certain will continue and which will help to create a new normal where one will have to be as decent online as we are expected to be in the real world.

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It may well take a while for the lawmakers to fully address these sorts of issues, heck it may even take the suicide of a few more victims of cyber-bullies (although I hope not) but there is no doubt in my mind that the tide has turned against a totally unregulated online environment and we can only hope that the right balance can be struck between adequate disincentives for despicable behaviour and the maintenance of our rights to free expression online.
Cheers Comrades

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43 Comments

  1. deknarf says:

    I’m uncomfortable with the regulation of the online environment basically from the perspective that provides the opportunity for everyone to freely express themselves and for the freedom of speech without control and gatekeepers given that the MSM is clearly demonstrating is bias and poor quality news delivery.
    Unfortunately there are those who think (well they don’t think really), or have such nasty little minds, that that freedom gives them the right to behave like criminals, thugs and bullies. So I agree with you that such behaviour on the internet needs to be restricted/controlled in some way.
    Just how that might be, without governments’ (or other policeman) controlling the online environment, is difficult to conceptualise. Perhaps the laws that currently apply to society generally could also apply to the online world more fully. Just how you identify the culprits so that they can be penalised for their behaviour seems to be the dilemma to me. Not being an IT guru I don’t have a ready solution to that one!

  2. Iain Hall says:

    That sounds like we are at least on the same chapter if not the same page here Deknarf because I too think that applying the existing laws will be the way that this trend goes. I am likewise no IT Guru but I think that ways will be found to trace and hold responsible those who currently think themselves above the law.

  3. deknarf says:

    Let’s hope it does, whilst not interfering with the intrinsic freedom of the internet and the freedom of speech

  4. Iain Hall says:

    One way that miscreants can be identified is from their habits of prose and the quirks of their typing and punctuation because while it is easy to change a screen name its far harder to change the way that one writes or argues. This simple fact has helped me recognise quite a few individuals who came here flying a false flag (one only the other day :roll: ) after I had previously banned them. The technology exists to do the “style matching” and although it is at present used to check for plagiarism and is not generally available I expect that it won’t be too long before it will be available as an “app” and unless a troll has absolutely no other online presence it will enable the necessary connections to be made.

  5. Ray Dixon says:

    Look at this way, deknarf: Do you own a car? If so, do you object to having to obtain a drivers license and to register your car before you can drive it on our roads? Of course not – there’s simply no downside to that type of regulation if you’re obeying the laws. Now transpose that set of regulations (or similar) into owning a blog. What’s the problem with having to register a blog before it can go to air and with the author required to provide proof of identity in order to gain such registration? It doesn’t mean the author’s name is freely available to anyone except the registrar.

  6. Brian says:

    I am opposed to any law or regulation that forces people to identify themselves online, simply because I think it puts some people at risk, simply to penalise a small minority of idiots who populate the internet. And I think an ‘Internet license’ is unworkable in this day and age, where you can walk into any cafe or McDonald’s and use free wifi.

    What about the idea of an ‘online ombudsman’? The government could fund an independent investigator who receives complaints about malicious online behaviour and assesses their merits. If there’s a case to answer, they could ask or order Facebook, Twitter or whoever to close down the relevant site(s). Or refer the matter to police, if it’s that serious.

  7. Iain Hall says:

    Brian
    I hope you will appreciate that neither Ray no I are insisting that everyone has to announce themselves by name every time that they say something online rather we both think that owners of the social media platforms should make more of an effort to have their users verify their identity to them, without the platform owners knowing who is using their medium how could your mooted ombudsman work?
    It’s very much like the way that eBay works you have a username that is displayed but Ebay knows who you are,but the public doesn’t, privacy and accountability.

  8. Brian says:

    Well as I’ve said, I don’t agree with having to supply that information to big companies (though I’m not violently opposed to it, I just object on principle).

    Do you not think that the same kind of people willing to abuse their anonymity wouldn’t just supply false details? Or must they provide proof of ID or a credit card?

    There are enormous difficulties in trying to police the internet and I can see several problems and loopholes in trying to ‘register’ users.

  9. Iain Hall says:

    Brian
    There are a lot of people out there who are what I would call “casual” abusers insofar as their aberrant behaviour is not fully entrenched. There individuals are not likely to continue being an online nuisance if they have too may hurdles to overcome or if they face having to own their online deeds.

    If we assume that the casual abusers are say half of the cyber-scum-bags then deterring them will halve the problem won’t it?

  10. Brian says:

    It’s not that I disagree with any of that Iain, or with the positive intent of what you’re suggesting. It’s just that forcing people to register before using blogs or social media may (a) be unpoliceable (b) be easily bypassed, and (c) have unintended consequences. Law-makers have to try to foresee all the issues and problems that might arise out of changes like this, and I can see quite a few. There will always be spiteful people and you can’t legislate for stupidity or malice.

    Another problem I can foresee is that Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and most other big online providers are all located in the US. That means you’d have to change Australian law AND US law, which I would suggest is next to impossible. They’re not even willing to ban guns to save their own kids, so a few online trolls is not likely to move them to action.

  11. Ray Dixon says:

    forcing people to register before using blogs or social media may (a) be unpoliceable (b) be easily bypassed, and (c) have unintended consequences

    Brian, we’ve tried to make this clear to you on several occasions – we are only advocating that the forum owner be registered, not the other users of that forum. Eg – Iain would have to be registered as the owner of this blog, whereas you and others could still comment here (and anonymously) without registering. That way the forum owner can be held legally liable for any abuse on his/her web site.

    It wouldn’t be hard to police because there’d be a registration number of sorts, I imagine. If the blog owner uses false id then that’s a trigger to have it taken down. What on earth would be the “unintended consequences”?

  12. Simon says:

    Definitely a few connected issues raised here. I don’t have anything of substance to add but Iain’s talk of “how the internet used to be” got me thinking about an even earlier time.

    Back in the day (1994) my experience was aliases were never used for anonymity. It was because we were all nerds playing on computers and coming up with a “cool” nickname was just how things were done.

    There were flame wars over email, irc or forums and they could be particularly personal – if both sides knew who they were talking to. As pointed out now there are many more options through social media platforms and much easier to be completely anonymous to other users if you want to (for whatever reason).

    The best defense against trolling remains to starve them of the attention they crave. Some do it for jollies, others still fighting the never ending flame war. I think current laws concerning the use of a telephone and publishing covers vile comments made over facebook or twitter, but it will only ever be the high profile (Charlotte Dawson) or tragic cases that ever get any attention.

  13. Brian says:

    Brian, we’ve tried to make this clear to you on several occasions – we are only advocating that the forum owner be registered, not the other users of that forum.

    I’m quite aware of what you are suggesting.

    That way the forum owner can be held legally liable for any abuse on his/her web site.

    That’s utterly unworkable from a legal standpoint. Blog/forum owners could not possibly be held liable for abusive comments. For a start, abuse is not illegal, it is just objectionable. Even if the comments were defamatory, the site owner could only be liable if he/she endorsed them or personally let them through moderation.

    Theoretically, Iain could wake up the morning or come back from a few days holiday and find that one of his ‘trusted’ commenters has called John Smith a pedophile. Do you really think that Iain should be held liable for that? I certainly don’t.

    And what happens when anonymous trolls can’t use Facebook or WordPress? If they’re still keen then they’ll use free web hosting to set up their own sites. You’ll need to regulate those too. And every company that offers free access to the cloud. And every rogue country (Romania, Nigeria, etc.) that might offer ‘free’ use of the web. It’s a big internet and sticking traffic cops all over it just to stop people being nasty is not going to work. Stopping hackers, phishers and child porn are much bigger priorities in my opinion.

  14. Richard Ryan says:

    Anonymous bloggers who screen names are cowards, who have not the back-bone, to back up their views. I liken them to a tin of baked beans, asking which bean caused the fart. Shalom,Richard Ryan.

  15. Richard Ryan says:

    And they shit themselves too, like the time I said I was going to picket this imposters house, he complained, and the comment was removed—-a lot of these cretins, blog under multi screen names, Even replying to themselves, I shut a few of them down also, by exposing them—-and they get quite nasty about it.

  16. Iain Hall says:

    I may take the piss out of you for your politics Richard but I agree with your last couple of comments!
    What is the world coming to when that happens eh?

  17. Iain Hall says:

    Thanks for the very thoughtful comment Simon your insight into the proto-online culture is most revealing and totally relevant as its clearly the foundation stone for the Geek love of anonymity.

    The one thing that I want to add to your comments about flame wars is the simple fact that they are more addictive than heroin or grog and that once you get involved in them its hard to walk away, especially when you have other addicts wanting to share their needles with you all of the time!

  18. Ray Dixon says:

    Brian, I did not say that mere abusive comments are illegal (although continued and prolonged online abuse certainly is – it’s called harassment). As for your example of the paedophile comment, if Iain acted in reasonable time to remove it (ie as soon as he became aware of it) then he wouldn’t be liable, in my opinion. Btw, going on a holiday is not really an excuse – there are such things as laptops, iPads, iPhones and even Internet cafes an owner can use to keep control of his/her blog from anywhere in the world. There’s also the option of stopping comments if the owner knows he’ll be unable to monitor it for a prolonged period. Quite frankly, Brian, your objections to tighter controls over blogs, etc are so weak I have to think you’re being deliberately and stubbornly obtuse about it for some reason.

    As for your last paragraph about how some people could get around it regardless of any laws, well yeah – some people break the law, what’s new? Are you suggesting, for instance, that because some people work out how to illegally import hand weapons we should just give up and not have those laws too? Like I said, Brian, you seem very much in favour of keeping the freewheeling abuse of others going.

  19. Brian says:

    As for your example of the paedophile comment, if Iain acted in reasonable time to remove it (ie as soon as he became aware of it) then he wouldn’t be liable, in my opinion.

    That’s not how defamation works. Something published only has to be seen by one other person to potentially cause damage. And third-party publishers (like blog owners) can and have been held liable under the law. Although in my view they shouldn’t be, provided they did not encourage it.

    Quite frankly, Brian, your objections to tighter controls over blogs, etc are so weak I have to think you’re being deliberately and stubbornly obtuse about it for some reason.

    No Ray, I disagree with you. It’s an entitlement of mine to hold different opinions to yours. You can conjure up conspiracy theories and bleat about it as much as you like. But it’s all just hypothesis anyway because the idea of “licensing” people to blog, just to stop a few trolls, is utterly unworkable and will never happen.

  20. Ray Dixon says:

    Well then that’s a risk Iain (and other ‘real name’ bloggers like me) already takes without being registered, Brian.

    As I said, your objections to bringing in any regulations whatsoever are so piss weak they suggest you want it to remain ‘anything goes’. That’s my opinion.

    And if, as you have said before, you don’t know enough technical info to know how to do it, how can you make the claim that requiring blog owners to be registered “is utterly unworkable”?

    I agree it’d be difficult and I also agree some arseholes will find a way around it, but surely it’s better to have some regulation than none, or don’t you agree? Obviously not.

  21. Brian says:

    As I said, your objections to bringing in any regulations whatsoever are so piss weak they suggest you want it to remain ‘anything goes’. That’s my opinion.

    My objections to regulation are that they wouldn’t work. There is nothing “piss weak” about that, it is simply common sense. There is no point legislating for something that can’t be policed or enforced.

    And if, as you have said before, you don’t know enough technical info to know how to do it, how can you make the claim that requiring blog owners to be registered “is utterly unworkable”?

    I run an online business and I can assure that you I understand the technical issues involved. It’s for that reason that I know it’s unworkable.

    I agree it’d be difficult and I also agree some arseholes will find a way around it, but surely it’s better to have some regulation than none, or don’t you agree? Obviously not.

    We already have laws against defamation, racial vilification and harassment. If you were suggesting improvements to those laws, so that they could apply for easily or efficiently for online behaviour, then yes, I’d agree.

    However as I have said before, abusing people is not illegal and nor should it be. You cannot expect governments and police and what-not to waste resources on chasing idiots who abuse people online, any more than they should be spent on arresting people who abuse umpires at the footy. As Simon said above, it’s much better ignore trolls, and they will go away once starved of attention. Either that or teach for a year or two in a high school, so you develop a thicker hide.

  22. Ray Dixon says:

    My objections to regulation are that they wouldn’t work …. I run an online business and I can assure that you I understand the technical issues involved. It’s for that reason that I know it’s unworkable.

    So your objection to having any kind of new controls over blog owners – no matter how shitful their behaviour may be – is that, according to you, it’s “unworkable”? And you’d know because, wow, you run an “online business”. Seriously? You and about 5 million other Australians run “online businesses”, including me. What makes you so special?

    abusing people is not illegal and nor should it be.

    It certainly is illegal if it’s done constantly via an anonymous blog over a prolonged period. It’s called harassment, stalking, misuse of a carriage service, etc. Such people are not trolls, as such, because they’re not “trolling” someone else’s blog and, as much as you are right that it’s best to ignore them, the fact is other people do stumble across it.

    Then again what’s the point of explaining this to you? Unless you’ve been on the receiving end, you just wouldn’t know. And, likewise, unless you participate in it, or condone those who do the anonymous abusing, you wouldn’t be defending their right to continue it (*).

    (* opinion)

  23. Brian says:

    And you’d know because, wow, you run an “online business”. Seriously? You and about 5 million other Australians run “online businesses”, including me.

    I’ve looked at your site. Unless there’s some aspect to your business that I’m missing, you run holiday apartments that have a website. That scarcely qualifies as an “online business”. I run two websites and numerous mobile applications. Again, unless there’s something I’m missing, I expect that I know more about the internet than you do. I’m happy to be enlightened if that’s not the case.

    It certainly is illegal if it’s done constantly via an anonymous blog over a prolonged period. It’s called harassment, stalking, misuse of a carriage service, etc.

    Yes, that would be illegal. What I am suggesting is that if someone is determined enough to do that, then they’re going to be quite comfortable circumventing a fairly unenforceable requirement such as submitting a name/address. A better solution would be for these companies like Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, etc. to toughen up and get more proactive about deleting accounts that run single purpose hate sites like that.

    Then again what’s the point of explaining this to you? Unless you’ve been on the receiving end, you just wouldn’t know. And, likewise, unless you participate in it, or condone those who do the anonymous abusing, you wouldn’t be defending their right to continue it

    I do not participate in it and I do not condone it. But the proposal put forward here is nonsense and would stop few of the hardcore abuse merchants you are talking about. If you think me disagreeing with this fairly poor suggestion equates to a defence of trolls, then you’re living in la-la land.

  24. Ray Dixon says:

    Running two websites and “numerous mobile applications” hardly makes you qualified to state (categorically, as you have) that a registration for blog owners is unworkable. In fact it’s got nothing to do with how the Internet works, it’s about how the law works.

    If the law requires all blogs to be registered then what you will find (eventually) is that hosts like WordPress will abide by that law if requested to do so. Your suggestion that they just “toughen up” and delete accounts voluntarily is what’s “unworkable”. In fact it’s laughable. WP used to be more proactive, or at least receptive to complaints, but try getting them to do anything now – they’ve washed their hands of anything other than a death threat and, even then, all they’ll do is ask the blog owner to remove that particular comment. There is no way they’ll toughen up their terms of service while governments sit on their hands and ignore the problem.

    It’s not nonsense and it could work – but of course, you run 2 websites so you’d know better!

  25. Brian says:

    Running two websites and “numerous mobile applications” hardly makes you qualified to state (categorically, as you have) that a registration for blog owners is unworkable.

    It means I’m experienced enough and know the internet well enough to make an informed assessment.

    In fact it’s got nothing to do with how the Internet works, it’s about how the law works.

    In this case, it has everything to do with both. There’s no point legislating for something that can’t or won’t be done, or that can be easily circumvented or evaded. You’ll just shift the problem sideways and little, if anything will change.

    If the law requires all blogs to be registered then what you will find (eventually) is that hosts like WordPress will abide by that law if requested to do so.

    If US law is changed, yes. But it won’t be. Even if it were proposed, I’m sure WordPress, Twitter and co. would lobby to ensure it failed. The harder it is for people to use their services, the less users they’re going to have, so it’s a revenue issue for them.

    I will agree with you that those big US companies are very slack in doing anything about hate sites/pages/feeds. They should be doing more. But it’s going to take a tough government or something big to cause a change in their policies and/or the law.

    It’s not nonsense and it could work – but of course, you run 2 websites so you’d know better!

    That’s just childish Ray. Were you pulling a face at me when you typed it?

    Look, as I’ve seen umpteen times before, I don’t condone or defend anyone using the internet to target or disparage others. If we could find a way to stop that, it’d be fantastic. But in my opinion, what has been floated here would not work.

  26. Ray Dixon says:

    If we could find a way to stop that, it’d be fantastic. But in my opinion, what has been floated here would not work.

    That sentence (and most of your entire argument) contradicts itself. If you agree with the premise that anonymous hate blogs should be stopped it is totally contradictory to oppose the idea of registering blog owners. I don’t care if YOU say it won’t work – you are not the one who would be asked to make it work.

    It’s not a ‘sit on the fence’ matter, Brian, it’s an either/or proposition I.E: You either suport the continuance of anonymous hate blogs or you support a system that requires blog owners to identify themselves before starting up – and there’s no middle ground. So which is it?

  27. Brian says:

    That sentence (and most of your entire argument) contradicts itself. If you agree with the premise that anonymous hate blogs should be stopped it is totally contradictory to oppose the idea of registering blog owners.

    I’ve made my position quite clear. I agree with the premise that anonymous hate blogs should be stopped. However I disagree that registering blog owners is the way to do it.

    I don’t care if YOU say it won’t work – you are not the one who would be asked to make it work.

    And I don’t care that YOU say it would work, because frankly I don’t think you understand the enormous difficulties it would take to get it up and running and the plethora of reasons why it would fail. To me, it sounds like “This is a great idea because it’s mine”. Is there some expert in a relevant field who has suggested something similar? Not that I’m aware of.

    It’s not a ‘sit on the fence’ matter, Brian, it’s an either/or proposition I.E: You either suport the continuance of anonymous hate blogs or you support a system that requires blog owners to identify themselves before starting up – and there’s no middle ground.

    Ray, that sounds suspiciously like George Bush “You’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists”. In that case, as in this one, I’m with neither.

  28. Ray Dixon says:

    It’s not just “my idea” – there are many advocates for greater control over the misuse of anonymity on the Internet. The problem is that the governments, as always, are lagging behind. But they will eventually do something and, when they do, it’s just plain logical that identification/registration will be part of the process.

    I agree with the premise that anonymous hate blogs should be stopped. However I disagree that registering blog owners is the way to do it.

    There’s no other way to do it. There’s your contradiction again – and you couldn’t even find the middle ground (because there isn’t any).

    And I certainly do understand that it would be difficult to implement & police, not foolproof and open to those who try to evade it but so what? We have road laws that are broken every day. Probably (most likely) more people exceed the speed limit than those who are caught because, you know, some people will try to get away with it. But does that mean we shouldn’t have road laws? According to your logic it does.

    -

  29. Brian says:

    Apples and oranges. Speeding and drink-driving kill hundreds people so to my mind they are 10, 20 or 50 times more important than nasty blogs.

    I’m not going to delve into this any more Ray. We will have to agree to disagree. I think we agree on the problem and the principle, just not the method by which it should be done.

  30. Ray Dixon says:

    I think we agree on the problem and the principle, just not the method by which it should be done.

    No Brian, we only seem to agree that online anonymous abuse, stalking, harassment etc is a problem and, even then, you don’t see it as a serious enough problem to introduce tougher laws in order to identify more of the abusers. We certainly don’t agree on “the principle” of identifying online abusers, as you said earlier:

    http://iainhall.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/dreaming-of-a-new-online-normal/#comment-77973

    I am opposed to any law or regulation that forces people to identify themselves online

    And you also said this:

    http://iainhall.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/dreaming-of-a-new-online-normal/#comment-77985

    I don’t agree with having to supply that information to big companies (though I’m not violently opposed to it, I just object on principle).

    See what I mean when I said your entire argument contradicts itself?

    As for disagreeing on “the method”, your disagreement amounts to simply saying “its unworkable” – based on your ‘expert’ (but unsubstantiated) Internet knowledge.

    Let’s summarise: You are opposed to any method that can lead to anonymous online abusers being identified. I think that’s pretty clear.

  31. Brian says:

    No it is not and I have spent more time than I should explaining why. And I’ll thank you not to tell me what I think.

  32. Iain Hall says:

    Ray I think that you are getting a little too emotional about this issue and that you should accept what Brian says at face value,Clearly he does appreciate our argument but can’t see how it could be made to happen, I understand that view of the issue as laying out some detailed plan of how it might be possible is actually another debate all together.

  33. Brian says:

    Thanks Iain, that’s about the size of it.

  34. Ray Dixon says:

    Emotional, Iain? – hardly. I just think that people who argue so strongly against any regulation whatsoever , as Brian has, are in effect supporting the continuation of anonymous internet abuse.

    Brian, I’m not telling you what you think, I’m just saying that your vigorous defence is contradictory of someone who claims to be ambivalent towards the whole issue. But okay, let’s leave it that.

  35. Iain Hall says:

    Ray

    Emotional, Iain? – hardly. I just think that people who argue so strongly against any regulation whatsoever , as Brian has, are in effect supporting the continuation of anonymous internet abuse.

    I don’t think Brian is doing that at all Ray.
    The point of this post was to show that there is a change in the expectations of the people who use the online medium and my argument is that the more ordinary people who use it the more that they will demand that our lawmakers make it a more civil space for social intercourse, it’s an aspirational piece and as such I value the input of those like Brian who has a business presence in this medium( I have seen his websites and I know that he is genuine BTW) It is one thing to argue as we do about how the online environment should be but it’s entirely reasonable for Brian to argue what we suggest may not be possible or how it may be extremely difficult to achieve.
    Finally I suspect that Brian is like a lot of boomers rather less that keen on “the man” knowing any more about ordinary citizens than is strictly necessary, I blame George Orwell’s pessimistic novels for that :)

  36. Brian says:

    Brian, I’m not telling you what you think, I’m just saying that your vigorous defence is contradictory

    You’re ascribing views to me that I do not hold. I’ve already said that something should be done about anonymous blogs of a criminal nature. When you keep writing that I “support” or “defend” them, you’re effectively calling me a liar. I’ve been quite frank with my views and I don’t think they’re contradictory in the slightest.

    Time to step back from the screen and go have a nice counter lunch. Good afternoon gents.

  37. [...] my post the other day I was postulating  a new normal where every internet user was at least known to the service provider that they used so that they could be held accountable for the things that they said and did online. [...]

  38. Damian says:

    “You’re ascribing views to me that I do not hold.”

    Welcome to the sandpit, Brian, where that sort of behaviour is par for the course. A counter meal is a much better idea.

  39. Iain Hall says:

    Oh Damian whats wrong?
    Are you upset that I did not cite you in my piece about Mali?

  40. Damian says:

    Copy, paste, ignorant comment. Iain, that’s not a “piece on Mali”. So long as you insist on trolling and remarking on topics noyou know nothing about, you’ll continue to be the object of ridicule. Why not stick to what you know and stop trying to pick fights? You seem to be a nice enough bloke when you’re offline. Maybe it’s time to be yourself online, too.

  41. Iain Hall says:

    Damian
    My comment was not in any way “ignorant”, after all what sort of study or understanding does it take to be disgusted by the abject cruelty evident under the more extreme examples of Islam?
    How long do you think a beer loving westerner like yourself would be tolerated in Mali? I reckon you would be a head shorter in less than a day.
    Look I have read your Yemeni blog and I can see that you are very much in love with Arabic culture but it saddens me too because its clear that your love has blinded you to the realities of Islam and the brutality done in its name.

    As for picking fights, well I consider that it was you that started the animus between us which I find so ironic considering that your education is in “peace studies”, that said I am a “nice enough bloke” online as well as off but experience has taught me that nice guys finish last online so I have had to “toughen up” which means I give better than I get when attacked personally, simple really and entirely logical.

  42. Damian says:

    Iain, you know nothing about Islam and even less about Mali. Your “piece about Mali” was a copy-and-paste job. Are you denying that?

    As for our “animus”, let’s look at the facts. How many online posts have I written about you and your personal life? And in contrast how many have you written about me? For that matter, how many hours have you spent indulging your petty little online wars? You should do the maths one day.

  43. Iain Hall says:

    Damian

    Iain, you know nothing about Islam and even less about Mali. Your “piece about Mali” was a copy-and-paste job. Are you denying that?

    I know a great deal about Islam Damian and I don’t know why you think otherwise, unless its because you think that to know about Islam I have to have read the Koran in Arabic. As for Mali I am willing to admit that I know only a little, once again though what do I need to know? Its a destitute third world country in the thoroughly degraded environment of poverty stricken sub-Saharan Africa and its on the Jihadi front line. And of course I admit cutting and pasting the quote from the Observer I always acknowledge my quotes. Its just a starting point for discussion so what don’t you share what you know about the topic rather than just screaming that I know nothing?

    As for our “animus”, let’s look at the facts. How many online posts have I written about you and your personal life? And in contrast how many have you written about me? For that matter, how many hours have you spent indulging your petty little online wars? You should do the maths one day.

    Damian I was there when you joined in the “fun and games” at Grods I saw you add “stalkwatch” to your blog roll and endorse that site and its attacks on Ray and I by commenting there.
    I have seen your continuing attacks on me on twitter and elsewhere. Yet you think that I should just ignore such sustained provocation?
    Of course you do :roll:

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