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Home » Blogging » Grog’s Greg outed … so what?

Grog’s Greg outed … so what?

The Internet is all a buzz over The Oz newspaper’s outing of political blogger Grog’s Gamut as one Greg Jericho, a public servant.

None more so than those keepers of ‘intellectual honesty’ from Crikey’s Pure Petulance where boring little Tubby Zigler (an anonymous author himself) has got his university academic balls all in a knot and is truly outraged:

The Australian has deemed his identity to be news, and they also seem to have decided that public servants aren’t entitled to hold political opinions. I’d suggest they’re wrong on both counts….

Yes that’s Tubby being “outraged” – belting the Oz with a limp lettuce leaf.

But what’s he on about? Grog’s blog was certainly news when his critical post about journalists was picked up by most of the media during the election campaign – making major headlines – so why wouldn’t his identity also be news? 

Of course it is.

And even Tubby agrees that no one has a “right” to anonymity on the net:

… pseudonymous bloggers who are publishing only their opinions and analysis aren’t the same as sources and whistleblowers. Do they deserve the active protection of their identity? No.

Tubby is one confused little puppy. First he crys “foul”, then he says bloggers can’t remain anonymous. Go figure. Maybe he’s just worried about his own identity? He shouldn’t be -only significant bloggers get named.

This Grog’s stuff is really just a storm in a beer glass. What harm has it done? 

And what the hell is Tubby’s point?

The Oz might be trying to make it look like Jericho has broken his obligations as a public servant but, from what I can see, he’s got nothing to worry about. Naming Grog might be malicious and vindictive but it should also be entirely expected. And does it really matter? 

If Jericho feels he needs to close his blog because his cover is blown then that’s his decision. He made his own bed so …

Besides, he can always start a new blog under a different alias. He probably will.

Greg Jericho has done nothing wrong in my opinion but he really can’t complain that someone went after him. No one made him enter the world of politics and the media did they? That was his choice.

Welcome to the real world Grog – the virtual world is a myth after all. It doesn’t exist. But good on Jericho for keeping his nose clean and staying out of the gutter. He certainly earns respect.

I mean, it’s not like he used his anonymity to stalk anyone. Or harass them. Or defame them.

It’s not like he’s been involved in hacking someone’s computer either.

And it’s not like he has hounded some people over the Internet for years on end and, in so doing, might have broken the law.

In short, it’s not like he’s ‘Bridgit Gread’, ‘John Surname’ or ‘Fang’, is it?

Now those people really would be worried about being outed.

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74 Comments

  1. Iain Hall says:

    Well put Socky, the one thing I disagree with is that Greg Jericho is likely to try to reclaim anonymity under a new identity. That rarely works (ask Jeremy Sear about it) and the price is to lose all of your hard won readership and public profile and believe me it is hard won.

    I found your conclusion very amusing though and I heartily agree with you about those particular characters!

  2. SockPuppet says:

    Jeremy outed himself but he still doesn’t get it. If you push the envelope someone will out you. It’s a given.

    The only difference is when an outing is accompanied by a lot of nasty shit and character assassination … like Gread, Surname & Fang write.

    And what’s even worse is when anonymous stalking shits (like Gread, Surname & Fang) think they have a right to out others just for having a different opinion.

  3. Dr Jason Wilson says:

    I always advise my anonymous blogging friends like Gread to be “careful” … in case someone connects her real name to her online stalking.

  4. Sax says:

    Without getting into the moral twos and fros here, I find it ironic that Toby Ziegler has the balls to judge on people’s right to claim privacy in blog postings.
    Considering his nom de plume, “Tobias Ziegler”, is taken from a character, the communications director, from the show “The West Wing”, I find the moral stance a bit teary eyed ?

    I find it disturbing, that some people go to extreme lengths to attempt to “out” those who don’t agree with them, or support them. A childish response, and instead of attempting to fix the problem that caused the criticism, they attempt to attack the messenger ?

    The the old adage that best fits this maybe that some people need to get a life , and perhaps another for the future may be what goes around, comes around ? and maybe to finish off this little cliche love fest let he who is without sin cast the first stone ?

  5. SockPuppet says:

    Ken is pretty much saying what I am saying Iain:

    anyone can blog anonymously if they choose but they cannot thereby impose a unilateral obligation on anyone else to respect their anonymity.

    So, in other words, people like Greg Grogs & Jeremummy – who have only expressed opinion – need to get over it. No harm has been done to them by being named and no one is saying anything malicious other than “hey, now we at least know who the f*ck you are” (unlike Gread Surname & Fang who attach sanctimonious, degrading and malicious crap to their commentary).

    And people like Gread have done a lot worse than Jezza Belle and Grogger the blogger and may well fear the consequences of an outing. I mean, hey, Gread is a criminal stalker and is connected to illegal hacking.

  6. Paul C. says:

    I dunno who any of these people are, and I don’t really want to find out. I have never seen their names here before. But it’s a bit ironic that someone posting under the alias “Sock Puppet” is flinging dung on other people… because he/she reckons they have been using an alias to fling dung on other people.

    Just saying.

  7. Paul C. says:

    Well I just wrote a comment on this but it seems to have been swallowed by the internet. Not that it matters, since its a load of crap really. One anonymous blogger (Sock puppet) complaining about other anonymous bloggers, accusing them of crimes, hacking, etc. Stones and glass houses, gents.

  8. SockPuppet says:

    “One anonymous blogger (Sock puppet) complaining about other anonymous bloggers, accusing them of crimes, hacking, etc. Stones and glass houses, gents.”

    You win the award Paulsy .. for dumbest comment of the year. What crimes or hacking have I committed? Don’t accuse me of double standards mate – I do not abuse my anonymity, unlike the 3 I mention.

  9. Ray Dixon says:

    The Age article on the outing is pretty good:

    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/tweets-get-messy-as-mainstream-media-takes-on-the-blogosphere-20100928-15udf.html

    Well, the part that’s “pretty good” is this:

    More abuse followed from others in the Twitterverse much along the same lines. One of the top tweets of the day was from Jeremys Ear who said “@JamesMassola is quite right; only journalists may discuss politics. Everyone else needs to have their job threatened.” And from another tweep “@JamesMassola You must be so proud of yourself, you petty and insecure little man”.

    Woah… harsh. So much for kinder, gentler.

    Jeremys Ear!! Two tweets quoted in The Age and they get his name wrong. LOL.

  10. JM says:

    > What harm has it done?

    It has violated his employment contract. He is not permitted to engage in public debate in an identifiable way that may allow his personal views to be confused with those of his employer.

    This sort of condition is common in employment contracts, so he complies with it by using a pseudonym.

  11. SockPuppet says:

    But JIM what if he had used his own name from the start but not mentioned his employment? I think that would have been a way around it.

  12. Paul C. says:

    Don’t accuse me of double standards mate – I do not abuse my anonymity, unlike the 3 I mention.

    Look mate, if you want to waste your days pretending to be anonymous and slinging off at other people who are pretending to be anonymous, and starting or waging petty blog wars with them, that’s your look out. Just don’t accuse me of the “dumbest comment ever”, after all you know what they say about arguing on the Internet being like the Special Olympics.

  13. SockPuppet says:

    I found your comment in “spam” Paulsy. Maybe I shoulda left it there ’cause you sure have a pretty sour and wrongheaded opinion on this. Let me explain why I labelled your comment(s) about me as “dumbest comment of the year”. I will put it in your favourite format of “quote & response” so even you can understand it:

    I dunno who any of these people are, and I don’t really want to find out. I have never seen their names here before. But it’s a bit ironic that someone posting under the alias “Sock Puppet” is flinging dung on other people… because he/she reckons they have been using an alias to fling dung on other people.

    The difference is that Gread, Surname & Fang are all aliases who “fling dung” on real identities. Got it? Oh that’s right, you “dunno” who they are. Well why did you try to draw a parallel between what I do and what they do? That’s pretty dumb.

    One anonymous blogger (Sock puppet) complaining about other anonymous bloggers, accusing them of crimes, hacking, etc. Stones and glass houses, gents.

    They (the 3 aliases) are known cyberstalkers who were also involved in the hacking of Iain’s blog & hotmail accounts (they admit that). How is it hypocritical for me to say so regardless of whether I say it under my real name or as an alias? Look Paulsy, your attempt at moral equivalence here takes the cake and is what got you over the line for “dumbest comment of the year”.

    if you want to waste your days pretending to be anonymous and slinging off at other people who are pretending to be anonymous, and starting or waging petty blog wars with them, that’s your look out.

    It was relevant to the topic to mention how there are far worse anonymous bloggers than Grog, whose only “crime” was to have a political opinion.

    don’t accuse me of the “dumbest comment ever”

    It’s not an accusation. You earnt it.

  14. Paul C. says:

    My care factor still stands at zero, buddy.
    Anonymous blokes arguing on the Internet and the Special Olympics, the assessment still stands.

  15. SockPuppet says:

    You are the alias doing the arguing “Buddy” (hmm, now who uses that term?). Self pwn much?

  16. Paul C. says:

    “Buddy” (hmm, now who uses that term?). Self pwn much?

    “Pwn”? How old are you, 15? And what are you alledging here?
    Anonymous blokes arguing on the Internet and the Special Olympics, the assessment still stands.

  17. SockPuppet says:

    Pwn is not a juvenile term Paulsy. And I am alleging that your stupid and invalid comparisons strongly suggest you certainly do know who Bridgit Gread is (and Surname & Fang). Okay?

  18. Paul C. says:

    I work on the Internet, I know exactly what ‘pwn’ means and who invented it (a load of teenagers on 4chan.) And Im not interested in your silly blog wars or the other silly people you blog war with.
    Anonymous blokes arguing on the Internet and the Special Olympics, the assessment still stands.

  19. SockPuppet says:

    What blog wars? I have already told you how the mention of the three cybershits was relevant to THIS POST. And I have already pointed out that the “anonymous bloke” doing most of the arguing around here is you. Ever heard of admitting you were wrong Paulsy?

  20. Paul C. says:

    What blog wars? I have already told you how the mention of the three cybershits was relevant to THIS POST. And I have already pointed out that the “anonymous bloke” doing most of the arguing around here is you.

    Like I said, I work in IT and I know the Internet inside-out, and I can smell a blog war a mile off. The crap in this post stinks of a blog war and you are obviously up to your neck in it. And I’m not anonymous here because Iain knows my name.
    Anonymous blokes arguing on the Internet and the Special Olympics, the assessment still stands.

  21. SockPuppet says:

    Iain knows my name too Paulsy so you are posting here anonymously as much as I am.

    And the only “crap” in this post has come from you when you wrongly challenged my valid & relevant mention of 3 anonymous cyberstalkers.

    Demonstrating that there are far worse anonymous bloggers out there than the outed Grogs is not a continuation of any blog wars, which I reckon YOU have been up to your neck in.

    You can back down and admit you were wrong any time you like. I realise an apology is beyond you.

  22. Iain Hall says:

    JM
    You are most amusing sometimes:

    It has violated his employment contract. He is not permitted to engage in public debate in an identifiable way that may allow his personal views to be confused with those of his employer.

    Are you honestly trying to tell us that an employment contract would say this?
    That an employment contract would suggest that making public comment under a pseudonym would be OK as long as he was not exposed??? this is the sort of can of worms that no one would draft into a contract. My guess it that the prohibition against comenatary would be more broad than that. would

    This sort of condition is common in employment contracts, so he complies with it by using a pseudonym.

    I don’t think that he was “complying ” with his employment contract it sounds to me more like he was breaking the terms of it by violating the prohibition.

  23. Paul C. says:

    Iain knows my name too Paulsy so you are posting here anonymously as much as I am.

    Sock Puppet, I don’t post under my (full) name because I don’t like the idea of my work colleagues or my employer snooping around looking at what I do. The same reason I post here using a proxy. To most people that would be a fair enough reason.

    What’s your excuse for using a fake name? Seems to me like you’re trying to be funny and also have some pretty sharp digs at other people. And now you’re complaining about others doing exactly that. Hence my reply to this post, which seems to me (and still does) to be like the pot calling the kettle black.

    As to your friends and their alledged ‘crimes’, like I said, I am not interested in what you say they have done, or what they say you have done. I take people on the internet as they behave, not as others say they behave. Which as it happens is a good approach for the real world too.

    Demonstrating that there are far worse anonymous bloggers out there than the outed Grogs is not a continuation of any blog wars, which I reckon YOU have been up to your neck in.

    Well you reckon wrong. Personally I think the people who participate in blog wars, slagging off others, outing other peoples identities, etc. are small minded little piss-ants with no life. And frankly matey, I’m starting to think you might be in that category yourself.

  24. SockPuppet says:

    Okay Paulsy I’ve had about enough of you.

    You have come on here to defend the 3 shitheads I refer to and for no other reason. But if you “dunno” who they are (as you claim) then why the hell would you bother?

    Don’t equate my anonymous parodies and harmless posts with what they have done. For all we know you might be one of them – why else would you use a proxy?

    Look Paulsy I am NOT into outing anyone on the Internet and this post is about someone who was outed who probably didn’t deserve to be. Unlike the 3 people I mention.

    So last warning Paulsy – don’t derail my posts. You are a guest here, so behave yourself.

  25. SockPuppet says:

    Iain I think JIM is wrong too but I think you might also have it arse about. I reckon Grogs should have blogged under his own name up front and made no mention of his occupation or employer. That is separation enough isn’t it? By going about it the other way (by using an alias BUT dropping hints as to what he did and letting some people know) he has caused his own outing and violation (if any).

  26. Paul C. says:

    (Deleted. Stay on topic Paulsy. Don’t make it about me – Sock)

  27. SockPuppet says:

    Paulsy as you can see I have deleted your last two comments (the last one permanently). In response though:

    This is my post. You are welcome to make comments on my posts but not if they are nothing more than an attack on the author. Which is all you have done today.

    I don’t believe that you “dunno” who those 3 people I validly referred to are and I reckon you were just here to defend them.

    But my post was about how Grogs was outed for doing far less than they had. So maybe that should be a reminder to them (and you?) to keep your nose clean.

  28. SockPuppet says:

    Iain now that Paulsy has gone off for a sook we can get back on topic. I was wondering how you might respond to this comment at Jeremys Ear blog on the same topic:

    http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/grog-gate-outing-as-bullying/#comment-20308

    I’m conflicted.

    On the one hand I think that, as a consumer of newsmedia, I have a right to investigate who is presenting that news to me so that I can evaluate the potential for dishonesty, bias or relevant experience. To my mind the increasing granting of anonymity to participants in the national debate has become a cancer on western democracy.

    But on the other hand I blog under a pseudonym because I’ve seen people like Iain Hall and his rotten little sidekicks try to damage others professionally for their political views.

    Obviously the potential for that sort of vindictive behaviour is concerning, but I’m starting to wonder whether my decision to remain anonymous is based more on fear than it is on reason. Is there really a potential for professional harm here, and even if there is isn’t that a fight that I should be willing to have?

    Hiding behind a pseudonym in case my professional career is impacted by my poitical views hardly seems like a particularly effective way to demonstrate a commitment to the principle of free political expression.

    Sounds like a mea culpa … with barbs.

  29. JM says:

    Iain: Are you honestly trying to tell us that an employment contract would say this?

    Yes Iain. Many of them say exactly that.

    And in order not to violate democratic rights, they also explicitly tighten the restriction to identifiable comment. In both private and public spheres. (It’s a quite common condition with large corporates.)

    As an example, the Public Service employment conditions have done this for over 100 years. This is directly relevant to Grog’s circumstances.

    What else do you think “independence of the Public Service” means? That it’s populated by robots?

  30. Iain Hall says:

    JM
    can you get me a citation for that claim ?

  31. Iain Hall says:

    Socky
    I saw that comment and I wanted to respond to it but Jeremy is not allowing my comments there at present despite alluding to our conflicts in his post and this Mondo Rock has commented here many times and he has been rather one eyed at times.We have disagreed about politics but he has never once give me or anyone else any reason to make it personal he has never given anyone (least of all me) any reason to “out him”. So I really think that his comment is rather hyperbolic nonsense.

  32. JM says:

    Just to make the point clear Iain, rather than the twisted way in which you express it:-

    1. the Public Service and nearly every company I’ve ever been employed by has insisted that if I wish to express some opinion on a topic that may be contrary to their views, that I disclaim their involvement in some way – ie. I clearly refuse to invoke their involvement, or clearly state that my views are not theirs. These contractual obligations usually persist after the engagement.

    2. one way of doing this is to place a disclaimer on every statement you make, identifying everyone you’ve ever worked for or consulted with. This kinda gets tedious as if you ever slip up and don’t include the disclaimer you can potentially be screwed over by all of them

    3. another way of doing it is to refuse to identify yourself and use a pseudonym*

    Grog’s obviously chose #3 due to his ongoing obligation to his employer – the Australian public

    Given the cries of panic and the packs of pitchfork and torch wielding activists now looking to lynch the guy, I think he made the right choice.

    * which doesn’t mean I support “sock puppeting” which is plainly dishonest behaviour – pick a pseudonym and stick to it, I say.

  33. JM says:

    Sorry Iain, didn’t see this:

    can you get me a citation for that claim ?

    Which claim?

  34. Iain Hall says:

    About the employment terms
    JM

    I just find it hard to believe that it would be a condition of employment that someone would be encouraged to act in a deceitful manner in the way that they may comment in public forums.

    It just makes no sense and it would be impossible to enforce in law.
    Either you would require no restriction on public commentary or you would expect that there would be a total prohibition, to say in a contract that you may comment as long as you don’t get caught sounds bonkers.

  35. SockPuppet says:

    JIM what is wrong with the disclaimer again? All Grog would have had to do was stick that to his blog. Where’s the problem with that JIM? I think (and I mean no disrespect to him because Grog seems like a decent bloke, unlike Paulsy) that Grog chose anonymity to hide his activities don’t you?

  36. SockPuppet says:

    “Jeremy is not allowing my comments there at present”

    He is a sad little man Iain if he cannot handle dissent on his blog. Even I put up with Paulsy .. to a point. But I did not ban him. Well I can’t ban him because it’s your blog but I wouldn’t even if I could. Hasn’t Jeremy heard about the edit button?

  37. JM says:

    Iain

    I don’t want to be cruel about this, and I’m not intending to be, but I’m going to have to be.

    Section 13 of the Australian Public Service Act (1999):


    (6) An APS employee must maintain appropriate confidentiality about
    dealings that the employee has with any Minister or Minister’s
    member of staff. [Note this means anypublic servant]

    (7) An APS employee must disclose, and take reasonable steps to
    avoid, any conflict of interest (real or apparent) in connection with
    APS employment..

    ….

    (11) An APS employee must at all times behave in a way that upholds
    the APS Values and the integrity and good reputation of the APS.

    Read ’em all together (particularly subsection 11) and you can see why Grog’s made the choice he did.

    Those of us with jobs are actually quite familiar with these sorts of restrictions in employment contracts. They are very common.

  38. Iain Hall says:

    JM

    None of your citations suggest that public servants are encouraged to use pseudonyms if they wish to partake in public forums, blog or tweet. I would argue that by inventing “secret identities” to use such forums a public servant is in contravention of his or her obligations much more than if they openly do so. Quite simply because there should be no guarantee or expectation that their writing will remain unassociated with their real identity, just as it has here.

    What you are claiming is that public servants are given permission for internet ratbaggery as long as they are able to create plausible denability by using an assumed name but your citation does not support your claim.

  39. Iain Hall says:

    Socky
    The sad thing about Jeremy is that all of his woes about being outed don’t stem from him being named but from his stubborn refusal to accept that his name was very well known and that his prevarications about his identity being outed just made him look stupid.
    Add to that the fact that he then got “into bed” with the crew that sort to get revenge upon those who outed him and its clear that he made every possible wrong move when he was named.

  40. Ray Dixon says:

    (7) An APS employee must disclose, and take reasonable steps to
    avoid, any conflict of interest (real or apparent) in connection with
    APS employment.

    So if Grogs had “disclosed” his identity on his blog and stated that the opinions expressed were his own, he’d have had nothing to worry about? That’s how it reads to me.

  41. SockPuppet says:

    JM, any chance you can answer the post author’s questions re “what is wrong with the disclaimer” etc?

  42. This Grogs thing has got me worried. I have taken my own advice to be “careful” and deleted all my tweets.

    Bio: Lecturing in journalism and communications at University of Canberra. Also dispensing opinion in various organs. Views expressed here are my own.

  43. Craigy says:

    Iain, you can’t re-write history. I was around when you outed Jeremy Sears and no one knew his name until you went out of your way to tell the world, all because you didn’t like his political position as a lefty.

    Your main excuse, if I remember, was that he once published his own name on his first blog and you claimed that this made it public so you could go around revealing his name and it was all his own fault.

    What you fail to mention today is that you did this out of spite, as Jeremy repeatedly asked you not to call him by name. Whenever he asked you directly to stop, you would respond by using his name at every opportunity.

    Be truthful Iain, you were not behaving in a gentlemanly way back then, you had no reason to out Jeremy other than a very nasty side that you showed to the world at that time. You can’t re-write your past behaviour no matter how much you and Ray want to make out it was all Gread and Sears. I’m not saying that Gread was all sweetness and light, but to make out that Jeremy behaved in anyway as bad as you did is just a straight out lie. And anyway, Jeremy’s behaviour doesn’t excuse your nasty side.

    Your continued obsession with Jeremy (not just what he writes) seems to have infected Ray as well.

    Answer me this, how many times have you attacked Jeremy at you blog over the last few years and how many times has he written about you? If you answer this truthfully and have a look in the mirror you would see that it is you and Ray that have an issue, and that you need to get over it.

  44. JM says:

    Ray, Iain

    I can’t see how there is any obligation to disclose your identity – only to take steps to avoid any apparent or real conflicts of interest.

    But if you’re a public servant (and especially if you’re the employee of a private company) you can find yourself being disciplined or fired pretty quickly if your employer disagrees with you.

    This is the reality of the situation. You’re both trying to read it in a way convenient to your point of view and ignoring the fact that anonymity and/or pseudoanonymity is a long established practice. Many professions also do this. I’m sure you’re both old enough to remember a doctor who regularly appeared as a guest on the Mike Walsh show back in the day under the name “Doctor Wright”. That was a pseudonym as he wasn’t allowed to use his real name.

  45. Ray Dixon says:

    I have no issues with Jeremy whatsoever, Craigy. I just find him a source of amusement (because of his opinionated, polemic style). That’s all. Otherwise he seems like a decent chap. I won’t speak to the issue you mention about Iain all those years ago because I wasn’t into blogs back then. But I reckon Iain has moved on from that a long time ago. Although try telling Gread that. She’s the one who needs to move on … and STFU.

  46. Ray Dixon says:

    No JM, I’m just saying that it seems to me Greg would not have had an issue if he’d followed item (7) that you reproduced above. Unless he breached confidentiality or criticised his own department, which it doesn’t seem he did.

    BUT, if he’d done as I suggest, then Massola would not have had a story and Greg’s 15 minutes of fame over the journo post would have been exactly that – 15 minutes.

    As it is now, it could be argued he allowed a ‘perception’ of conflict of interest to prevail.

    It’s a tough one, I agree, but there does come a point when an amateur, low-profile blogger can no longer remain anonymous. There’s a fair bit of consensus on that point too.

  47. Sax says:

    There are many sides to this debate. This opinion comes from an outside person, not long into blogging. Here’s my take.

    The use of anonymity comes from a few perspectives.
    1. Ones lack of a strong factual basis, just swooping in to sh*tstir.
    2. Ones lack of balls to use their real name to do likewise.
    3. A person that doesn’t want work, or other outside interests to be informed of their activities, on these pages. Nothing wrong with that, unless of course those activities were seen as being unsavory, or a direct conflict of interest to those “other outside interests” ?
    4. People who work, for example the public service, who are concerned about their outward appearance to the point of paranoia, rather than delivering a good competent service. They hate the chance of being thrust into a spotlight, whether blogging or any other public medium. Theres is a life of relative secrecy, a need to know, and us mere underlings don’t have that right, so how dare some employee shine a light into what could be considered sacred dark places. (sic)

    There is nothing wrong with anonymity. Hell, there are that many whackos in this medium, that if I didn’t live in obvious obscurity, I would consider the same.

    What urks me is the sanctimonious judgments coming from people, (some in these very pages), as to their right, to out these people, who may very well have a reason to wish anonymity. It is a classic failure of people that use these very pages. They are opinion pages, not for those, who, after losing an argument fair and square, think it is their God given right, to then attempt to shoot the messenger, rather than improve a flawed or failed argument. This goes to both sides here.

    FFS people. Stick to the argument. Forget attempting to belittle the messengers on both sides. After all, isn’t that what we are here for ? Argument and Debate ?
    If you feel that it is your divine right to fight personalities, then your argument is lost, if in fact you had one to start off with.

  48. Ray Dixon says:

    I was sorta with you there Sax until you said this:

    …the sanctimonious judgments coming from people, (some in these very pages), as to their right, to out these people, who may very well have a reason to wish anonymity

    Who are you talking about? I don’t see anyone in “these pages” who claims a right to out anyone. Are you talking about me? When I have outed anyone? When I have even suggested I’d like to do that? Or did you mean Iain? Explain yourself please. Otherwise it’s you who is sounding sanctimonious.

  49. Sax says:

    It’s implied by tone rather than words.
    I’m not the one being sanctimonious here Ray.
    The outing of Jeremy, (or anyone else for that matter), whether here, or elsewhere. I don’t bother with other pages, so that argument raging here, seemed to me, was coming from people thinking that attacking his persona rather than his argument was warranted. The only exception that I can see, is that if under that persona, that person is being such a d/h, that the shining of that light, is warranted.

    My explanation was pretty clear Ray. The same as anyone else that comments fairly here. We don’t owe explanations or justifications to people who are twisted to the point, or “tunnel visioned” to the point, where they can’t even see the reverse side of the argument, or are arrogant to the point, where they don’t feel that reverse side deserves merit, or warrants an airing ?

  50. Ray Dixon says:

    That’s not clear at all Sax. And if you make inferences that people “on these pages” are less than honourable then you do indeed owe an explanation. A much better one.

  51. Sax says:

    Ray, speaking of unclear, WTF ?

  52. Ray Dixon says:

    Sax, this is what you said: “What urks me is the sanctimonious judgments coming from people, (some in these very pages), as to their right, to out these people ..”

    Who are you talking about? Is that clear enough?

  53. JM says:

    You guys are being ridiculous.

    You’re telling me that a public servant – I’m using that example because the rules are tightly defined and well understood, private corporations are much more ferocious in their response to these things – who stands up and says:

    The Government are a bunch of corrupt, incompetent crooks who don’t deserve your vote – but that’s just a personal opinion

    can do that just A-OK and remain completely within the impartiality rules governing his/her employment? *

    Really?

    Don’t kid me. You’re normally amusing enough already, but pixie-land is a step too far for me.

    * Actually, on this you could probably look at the record of John Stone’s statements while he was Secretary to the Treasury. He was fond of making “personal” statements contrary to Government policy while he held that office, and the press would give them great play – he managed to skate the boundaries of his employment agreement however and stayed there.

    However, after he retired – and gave up the position that gave him the kudos and play in the press – he lost everyone’s interest after a couple of years, and despite a shot at the Senate, his personal opinion fairly rapidly became about as valuable as mine.

    The employment position and the employer provides the “oomph” to the opinion. Anyone who uses it to advance their own agenda is being dishonest. People like Grog’s who disclaim the use of spurious authority are being honest.

  54. Ray Dixon says:

    You’re telling me that a public servant … who stands up and says: “The Government are a bunch of corrupt, incompetent crooks who don’t deserve your vote – but that’s just a personal opinion”, can do that just A-OK and remain completely within the impartiality rules governing his/her employment?

    No, I’m not telling you that. Did Grogs say that? What are you on JM?

  55. Sax says:

    JM
    My first response would be, more like ‘why are they corrupt’, rather than who was asking the question ?

    Sounds like a guilty conscience there Ray ? 😉
    No one specific, but the chat on these pages, was on the fact on who the person was, rather than the argument being portrayed, or in fact whether or not that argument has merit or not. I know that this sort of behavior occurs elsewhere, but that was one of the reasons why I hung around these pages. Here, it appears, that the argument is a little emotionally mature in that its standards seem to be above the gutter most of the time.

  56. Ray Dixon says:

    Sax – a simple retraction would have sufficed. Even a “oops, I didn’t mean to say that – sorry.” But all you’ve done now is made it even more convoluted. Forget it

  57. Sax says:

    A retraction from you? Or me ?
    My statements are valid, with questions that are also valid.
    As from where you are coming from, who knows.
    Speaking of convoluted, what the hell are you talking about now ?

  58. Iain Hall says:

    Craigy
    Sorry that I have not replied sooner but its school holidays and I do have things to do but here are my answers to your points:

    Iain, you can’t re-write history. I was around when you outed Jeremy Sears and no one knew his name until you went out of your way to tell the world, all because you didn’t like his political position as a lefty.
    Your main excuse, if I remember, was that he once published his own name on his first blog and you claimed that this made it public so you could go around revealing his name and it was all his own fault

    The simple history is that Jeremy wrote his first blog “a Melbourne Lefty” quite openly and it was only when his employer asked him to take it down he decided to “go anonymous” but he then went around asking all and sundry to play the game and pretend that he was. This all happened before I even discovered his blog. and It was not a question of fault but the sheer hypocrisy of and chutzpah of his rancour about me exposing him when he had never really been anonymous at all.
    Go back to my first postings on this blog and look at what I actually said rather than your vague memories of what happened.

    What you fail to mention today is that you did this out of spite, as Jeremy repeatedly asked you not to call him by name. Whenever he asked you directly to stop, you would respond by using his name at every opportunity.

    It was five years ago and I have lost count of the number of times that I tried to make a real and lasting peace but the one thing that you get wrong is the “asking” bit he has always made “demands” rather than requests in that arrogant and condescending way that is so common among the children of the wealthy.

    Be truthful Iain, you were not behaving in a gentlemanly way back then, you had no reason to out Jeremy other than a very nasty side that you showed to the world at that time. You can’t re-write your past behaviour no matter how much you and Ray want to make out it was all Gread and Sears. I’m not saying that Gread was all sweetness and light, but to make out that Jeremy behaved in anyway as bad as you did is just a straight out lie. And anyway, Jeremy’s behaviour doesn’t excuse your nasty side.

    The mention of Gread points to the reason that the conflict has gone on for so long. I would have lost all interest in Jeremy has she not decided to “punish ” me for outing him, Because it is the efforts of her and her cronies that have kept the conflict going , who have upped the ante by pretending to be me all over the shop, and write piece after piece after piece disparaging me personally and in the case of Gread has repeatedly invented sock-puppets to comment here when I have told her to go away .

    Your continued obsession with Jeremy (not just what he writes) seems to have infected Ray as well.

    Answer me this, how many times have you attacked Jeremy at you blog over the last few years and how many times has he written about you? If you answer this truthfully and have a look in the mirror you would see that it is you and Ray that have an issue, and that you need to get over it.

    Lets face one important fact, with his writing on the net (some of it apparently for money) he has made himself a public figure and as such I enjoy criticising his opinions mainly because he is so prone making rather ridiculous hyperbolic outpourings and rants. But when It comes to mentioning me at his blog he did so just the other day, not by name surely but clearly he is alluding to yours truly in this post.

    Journalists, whose public opinions are directly associated with their livelihood such that there’s no conflict, or those who are their own employers, or those who are unemployed or unemployable, are free to talk sanctimoniously about “owning your words” and “the right to know” and so forth – but that’s because they are personally immune from damage. It’s all very well for James Massola to have his name attached to his words – because they’re what his employer pays him to write. (Although if I were Massola I wouldn’t be so confident that having my name attached to today’s effort will be without consequence in the long run.) It might be different if James wanted to express an opinion incompatible with his employers’ interests, something that could get him sacked – then he would have to choose between participation in the public arena or not going hungry, a choice he shouldn’t have to make. Maybe James doesn’t care about that because he intends to always be a good boy and do his master’s bidding, but that’s not the case for all of us, and nor should it be.
    source

    The phrase “owning your words” is a quote from yours truly. and clearly he refers to me in the circumstances he describes as well. While I concede that he rarely mentions me by name he is more than happy to cheer on those that do if they do so in a derisory manner. But I suggest that you go back to the archives of this.
    As for Ray’s interest well he can defend himself (and he has ) but I suspect that most of it boils down To Jeremy being a public figure prone to sillyness.

  59. Craigy says:

    Iain, your reply does two things,

    1. ‘Gilding the Lilly’ with regards your behaviour in the past.

    Back then (and now) you invited all the attention and in those days were a constant troll at anon. lefty. If Jeremy did attempt to punish you for outing him, why did you continue to engage and jump into the sewer yourself by creating hate blogs? It’s good to see you admit you did it out of spite and the chip you have on your shoulder about people from ‘wealthy families’.

    2. ‘Stretch the truth’ about Jeremy’s (supposed) attacks on you.

    Quoting Jeremy’s point above does not show that he is attacking you in any way. The term ‘owning your words’ may be something you have said to him in the past, but it is certainly not a phrase that is indicative of Iain Hall, it is in common usage and has been said by many people even during the current debate.

    So it comes down to a situation that you created because you didn’t like Jeremy’s tone or family background.

    You trolled his site with a friend of yours, with a nasty tone and a strong line in abuse of anyone who you didn’t agree with him or with you, then, out of spite and with total disregard for Jeremy, who may or may not have been a decent person, you exposed his name possibly putting his job in danger.

    No wonder some of Jeremy’s friend went feral on you, you begged for it.

    You could have walked away and stopped this but it was your choice to keep it going. Now you have had to spend some reasonable amount of time and energy over the last few years trying to repair your reputation and trying to be taken as a regular blogger and not just a nasty troll. You haven’t done too badly, but you can’t re-write your history.

    To use a common phrase with regards to your past, you need to continue to ‘own your words’.

  60. Iain Hall says:

    Craigy

    1. ‘Gilding the Lilly’ with regards your behaviour in the past.

    Oh please 🙄 how many mea culpas do I have to chant?

    Back then (and now) you invited all the attention and in those days were a constant troll at anon. lefty. If Jeremy did attempt to punish you for outing him, why did you continue to engage and jump into the sewer yourself by creating hate blogs? It’s good to see you admit you did it out of spite and the chip you have on your shoulder about people from ‘wealthy families’.

    That is a total exaggeration Craigy after I was banned from Boltwatch I very quickly shifted focus to critiquing his posts You do remember Boltwatch watch don’t you?

    2. ‘Stretch the truth’ about Jeremy’s (supposed) attacks on you.

    No I don’t

    Quoting Jeremy’s point above does not show that he is attacking you in any way. The term ‘owning your words’ may be something you have said to him in the past, but it is certainly not a phrase that is indicative of Iain Hall, it is in common usage and has been said by many people even during the current debate.

    You missed the reference in the part of the quote that I emboldened or those who are their own employers, or those who are unemployed or unemployable, are free to talk sanctimoniously about “owning your words” and “the right to know” and so forth – but that’s because they are personally immune from damage. combine that with my oft repeated “owning your own words” phrase and there is no doubt that he is referring to me

    So it comes down to a situation that you created because you didn’t like Jeremy’s tone or family background.

    NO NO NO!
    Go back and read this post which is the absolute beginning of the argument I pointed out that it would be possible to easily work out who he was and frankly I would have been happy to leave it at that , an entirely theoretical point and had he not demanded that I delete the post at my blog. With the benefit of hindsight I probably should have played it differently but it was a heated argument and in such things neither side is entirely blameless.

    You trolled his site with a friend of yours, with a nasty tone and a strong line in abuse of anyone who you didn’t agree with him or with you, then, out of spite and with total disregard for Jeremy, who may or may not have been a decent person, you exposed his name possibly putting his job in danger.

    Rubbish once the stoush was on he quickly stopped me commenting and as events have proved is job was never “in any danger” and as I pointed out in that post I just linked to Andrew bolt had already worked out who he was and let him know that he knew who the author of Boltwatch was

    No wonder some of Jeremy’s friend went feral on you, you begged for it.

    The problem for your argument is that Jeremy’s “friends” went feral right from the start and had they not been so keen to add petrol to the argument the fire would have very quickly gone out, Gread in particular has bent over backwards to keep things going

    You could have walked away and stopped this but it was your choice to keep it going. Now you have had to spend some reasonable amount of time and energy over the last few years trying to repair your reputation and trying to be taken as a regular blogger and not just a nasty troll. You haven’t done too badly, but you can’t re-write your history.

    The thing I dispute was that it was “my choice ” to keep it going I sued for peace many times, had my blogs hacked, had numerable hate pages and articles created about me, and the only way that I ” could have “stopped it” would have required total surrender on my part and if that remains the price of peace I will fight on.

    To use a common phrase with regards to your past, you need to continue to ‘own your words’.

    Oh I own my words Craigy and I accept and acknowledge my past mistakes as well but when even you can see that the other side has not been blameless you have to realise that it takes only one side to make war but it takes two to make peace. I have tried for peace too many times and be rebuked or just given empty promises too often .

  61. Ray Dixon says:

    Craigy, without wanting to say one person or the other was in the right, the simple fact is this:

    If you blog without identifying yourself and express strong opinion, someone is going to out you. Case in point, Grog’s Gamut. Every blogger needs to understand that anonymity is fine provided you don’t push your opinions too far (or in Gread’s case provided you don’t act maliciously). If you want to seriously enter into public debate as Jeremy does (and good on him for that) do it under your real name. It’s really that simple.

    I reckon that Iain’s so-called outing of Jeremy was a storm in a tea cup. You should get over it.

  62. Ray Dixon says:

    PS: Before you respond with the usual, “oh but there are some people whose employment puts limits on them” then I say this: It is up to those people to act within those limits.

  63. Craigy says:

    “I reckon that Iain’s so-called outing of Jeremy was a storm in a tea cup. You should get over it.”

    Oh I’m way over it Ray, I just find it interesting that Iain and now you, feel the need to keep it going… And it seems to me that the ‘outing’ of anonymous bloggers isn’t done for any reason other than spite. All the ‘oh he asked for it/identified himself/are critical of others’ arguments, just seem like a poor excuses for doing something unnecessary to someone else just to piss them off.

    It’s all just nasty. Personally I don’t care if someone is a sockpuppet or anonymous on a blog and I don’t see any real justifiable reason why Iain did what he did, especially if he didn’t like it being done to him. Or is this some kind of ‘eye for an eye’ justice that people think is fine on the interwebs?

    I once played that game with Iain, every time he called people names I would call him one, every time he attacked climate change scientists or called hypocrisy from Al Gore I would return serve by playing the man. In the end it just gets nasty and I don’t think any of the players in this game are really bad people. Petulance, self promotion and arrogance can come out in all of us at times.

    I agree Ray, get over it and enjoy the ride.

  64. Ray Dixon says:

    Craigy, do you mind not lumping me in with this constant defence of Jeremy thing you keep banging on about? I haven’t been involved in any outings or ‘nasty stuff’ on the Internet. So please, stop tarring me with the same obsessive brush you keep tarring Iain with, just because I occasionally comment on Jeremy’s weird & wonderful (and plentiful) blog postings – which are up for review & criticism by anyone, you included.

  65. Craigy says:

    Ray, no offence intended here, but if it is okay for you to mention Jeremy in a personal way in your posts or Sockys posts, then it should not be a problem if I point that out.

    You need to get over people being critical of your writings as you are now a regular blogger and someone who writes critically about other people and their blogs. You can’t have it both ways.

    I am more than happy to point out that you have not been involved in the worst of this over the years but you do defend Iain and criticise his detractors. Why? I have seen you claim to not like Jeremy or those at PP. I suspect something happened between you, but I can only guess as you seem to lean more to the kind of views expressed at PP than you do here with Iain.

    One of life’s mysteries I suppose.

  66. Ray Dixon says:

    I have never made personal remarks about Jeremy or anyone @ PP. What the hell are you talking about? As for the SockPuppet posts, well you are guessing that he is my character, so why you are engaging in an ‘outing’ by inference? Good one! In any case, I don’t recall SP making personal attacks either.

  67. Craigy says:

    So when the fake funny but mainly serious Sockpuppet (who isn’t Ray Dixon) calls Sears “Jeremummy” or a “sad little man…” it’s not at all personal…yeah right.

    https://iainhall.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/grogs-greg-outed-so-what/

    These kinds of comments are peppered through ‘sandpit’ posts.

    As Paul C, whose posts Sock deleted in the above thread, points out that this stinks of a blog war, he was right on. The irony being that just after deleting Paul C for dissenting, Sock makes the comment about Jeremy ” He is a sad little man Iain if he cannot handle dissent on his blog.”

    The passive, aggressive Sockpuppet is an interesting tool, which has nothing to do with Ray.

  68. Ray Dixon says:

    Craigy, an insult here and there is not indicative of any ongoing campaign. If it is then you, Craigy, are also guilty of engaging in an ongoing war with Iain over many years of insults. Everyone insults people now & then. As I said before you need to get over it. Frankly I find your constant nitpicking and sticking up for Jeremy to be the real obsession here.

    And that’s twice you’ve now engaged in an attempted public outing of me by inference. Well in you last comment it’s more than an inference; it’s a blatant and completely unnecessary accusation.

    As for Paul C, give me a break. Go back and read the way he went off topic and attacked the author from the outset.

    You really are looking at this from the wrong perspective. There is no harm being done to anyone on this blog from what I can see. I suggest you stop living in Iain’s past and dragging it up. Move on.

    Oh yeah, and I’ll thank you to cease your attempts to discredit me. I don’t want get offside with you Craigy, but for Christ’s sake you’re going too far here in my opinion.

  69. Ray Dixon says:

    PS Craigy: I’ll be going off line soon for a couple of days so, in the meantime, would you mind (as I first asked you) to stop dragging my name into this mud you keep slinging about?

    Cheers. Go Saints.

  70. Craigy says:

    Okay Ray, I have no wish to upset you but in my view it is clearly you that is being precious about this issue. I really don’t give a toss. See – I’m not upset and my comments about the attacks on Jeremy are just my observations. If it upsets you, I apologise. It isn’t me that makes PP and Jeremy an issue here.

    BTW. I don’t care if you are or aren’t sockpuppet but you are defending his behaviour and commenting as if he is very close to you. Socky writes a lot of shit sometimes under the pretence of comedy. Passive aggressive is not my favourite style of communication. Still I’m sure whoever he or she is, they can stick up for themselves, just like Jeremy can, so no need for you to defend the Sock anymore and I won’t defend the attacks on Jeremy and PP that come from this blog.

    If we both leave it at that I’m sure we will get along fine.

    I do wish the Saints and their supports the best of luck tomorrow, I think you can do it!

  71. Craigy says:

    btw. I don’t think I have dragged your name through the mud. Just calm down.

  72. Ray Dixon says:

    Craigy, “SockPuppet” is a pseudonym. “Craigy” is essentially one too, your real identity only being known to a handful of people, including me!

    However, you have projected that “Sock Puppet” is Ray Dixon – a real identity, with a link back to his blog wherein a lot of personal, private and family information is given.

    I have done nothing like that to you, nor to anyone else. “Upset”? No, disappointed would better describe my feelings over this little exchange.

    Says it all really.

    Anyway, if you leave it at that then so can I. Cheers.

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