Monday, January 26, 2009

In Defense of Anonymous Cowards....

After The Following Comment,and several others On Previous articles, I had several people ask me to Ban Anonymous posters:
Anonymous said...
This story is a partial hoax from 1997. You only posted half the story and made strong comments without knowing all the facts.A simple search of this reveals the story in length.Read the whole thing here:

It would be VERY easy for me to Ban Anonymous users from posting comments. A simple Click is all it would take.It is almost as simple as it would be for the lady who wrote this to come talk to me in person as I see her almost every day. I do not know what I did to make her "flame" on my site every day, I am really not a bad person, kinda fun in fact.

Anyway, I could ban Anonymous posters. But I will Not. You see for SOME of us "Free Speech" is not just words that can be legislated away under a new "Fairness Doctrine". Some of us actually believe in those words written Down 200+ years ago. And so, for that anonymous coward out there, this next post is for you!! (I am Highlighting the really relevant portions just for you!)

In Defense of Anonymous Cowards
Posted by JonKatz on Tue Jan 26, 1999 04:20 AMfrom the Learning-to-Love-Abuse dept.

Increasingly, on this and other websites, people ask for the banning of Anonymous Cowards and others who flame behind pseuds. This would be a mistake. AC's are a unique sub-species of the Net and the Web, like hackers or cypherpunks. They are part of what makes the Net free, especially in comparison to other media. And they keep information moving, especially from corporations and government agencies, whose employees might not be so free to post messages. AC's the price we pay, the tradeoff. They may mostly be testosterone-crazed adolescent dirtballs, but they're our dirtballs.
First-time visitors and many e-mailers, largely friendly, intelligent and generous people, are appalled by this name-calling - lamenting and even apologizing for the flamers. "We really should stop anonymous posting," wrote Greg. "It's just a vehicle for teenagers to jerk off."
But, singed though I sometimes am, I disagree. Anonymous postings are one of the things that makes the Net and the Web so distinct from TV, magazines and newspapers.
Anonymous flamers, like cypherpunks students of mnemetics or crypto-geeks, are one of the many fascinating sub-species on the Web. People wonder at their almost indefatigable hostility. No other medium permits their equivalent, and a whole language and sensibility has formed around them. There's even a term - "flamebait" the producers and editors of Slashdot use for writings and writers (not just me by any means) likely to draw the small but angry hordes.
Flamers are so familiar to me they're almost comforting. I've written for a number of websites, from Hotwired to Newstolls to The Freedom Forum and Slashdot, and in almost every writing, I've been flamed in public postings, whether I'm writing about the Web, politics, media, geeks, movies, Buffy or OSS.
Anyone willing to venture a strong idea or opinion online should expect to be flamed; he will be. It's as intrinsic to Web writing as a keyboard. I've come to value it, in an odd way; maybe out of self-delusion, I equate flaming with being interesting. Every writer knows, whether or not he admits it, that there's rarely such a thing as bad controversy.
Besides that, anonymous postings do valuable things:
They permit people in corporations, government agencies and other risky environments to post news, messages and opinions we would not otherwise see. Living in the age of the megacorporation - Disney, Microsoft - and the era of impulses like the "Halloween document," that's crucial.
They give shy or phobic lurkers the chance to post messages they might not post under their own names and ID's.
They're a curb on the pomposity, authority and arrogance of people at the top of media chains, from newspaper owners to software companies to columnists. The hallmark of mainstream journalism - on display all year in the Monica Lewinsky trial - is the notion that truth and conventional wisdom is the province of journalism, to be passed down to the ill-informed. Thus journalists have felt free to ignore public opinion all year, since the public has no way to express itself beyond polls and surveys, and since the public is presumed to be too ignorant, greedy and immoral to make rational decisions. Anonymous posters make that kind of top-down manipulation impossible online.
Anonymous posters correct mistakes and challenge opinions. Before the Net, people unhappy with the facts, writing style and opinions expressed in the press had - have - few effective ways to reach opinion-givers and information distributors. That's no longer so. When people like me make mistakes, from factual errors to poor grammar to faulty logic, they are corrected instantly and continuously. The writer is not abused by the process, but improved. He or she can become smarter, better informed.
Even though people often reassure the flamee that the flamers aren't representative, or are simply sensitive about certain subjects, the truth is that flaming is almost never personal. That's what e-mail is for. The open display of hostility is attitudinal, a posture, always having more to do with the fact that's it's public than personal.
That's why I almost never get flamed via e-mail.
And Anonymous Cowards keep sites from getting boring or complacent.
The most difficult issue raised by anonymous posting is the personal abuse by flamers, most of whom are young males acting out one or another form of adolescent hostility. But seen in context, they cause little real harm. Besides, anonymous posting may be a healthy outlet compared to slugging peers or running cars into trees.
Like airport noise or graffiti, they are part of life. People who call other people names anonymously have little real influence. Since they offer no rational criticism, they don't have to be taken seriously and have no influence. The kid who says "You're a jerk, go away" almost can't, by definition be someone who must be listened to. Intelligent and thoughtful criticisms are much more disturbing, because they are harder to ignore or dismiss.
The real damage anonymous posters do is drive away people who have important or interesting things to say but don't want to participate in the digital equivalent of dodgem.
Many women, older posters, people with demanding work and newbies in particular are disinterested in or frightened off by tostosterone-charged flamers. This is a real loss, judging from their e-mail, since many intelligent, thoughtful and useful observations are never seen. Some Websites suspend the posting privileges of people who engage in repeated personal attacks, while others provide moderators to steer conversations in more rational, civil directions.
But the understandable impulse to chase these people off ought to be resisted. The right of Anonymous Cowards to sound off under a pseudonym is important, part of the online chemical mix. Their existence, like many things online, represents a tradeoff. They're a symbol of the freedom available online, but increasingly rare off-line. More than the mastery of software, they are a much better test for any writer of whether or not he belongs online. And whether or not he ultimately has anything to say.



mamawas said...

A real first amendment and Constitutional discussion here.

I am a teacher and post under my nickname and maiden name because careers have roasted faster than you can say "perp" for teachers whose images and words are lifted by testerone filled teens angry with schooland placed onflithy,foul web pages.

Teachers are guilty until found innocent of "perp" crimes,removed from positions, and careers are ruined even if vindication is eventually won.
This policy protects kids (very positive..never want to see a child hurt).

I am careful because of these circumstances.
Thanks for letting my voice be heard CB


Pitbrat8e said...

I've only been reading your blog for about 3 weeks. I guess I don't usually read the comments so posts like this during the past few days confuse me. Your right about the freedom of speech but this is your blog and you have the right to decide what content gets posted and what doesn't as it sets the tone for the readers. There are plenty of places on the internet for someone to find their niche if their view aren't the same as yours. Thanks for sharing your adventures in Dutch, I've gotten the impression that your enjoying the adventure. Don't let negative people cast a dark shadow on your day or your blog.

Elizabeth Douglas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth Douglas said...

"...go to another blog, there are like a billion others..."


I personally, come to your blog because I find it on most every occasions, a highly entertaining and enjoyable insight into the lives of people and places I've come to care about a lot. I see no issue with you posting in YOUR blog, YOUR views. As far as the views of others...while for some, anonymity provides a comfortable and necessary security, for others, it becomes nothing more than an electronic poison pen. Shame. Freedom of speech is of course a dependable cause, but so should be the character behind our words...and if there is none...what then?

In any case, you keep on keepin' on CB!

mbg2001z2 said...

CB, I have been following your posts for a while now, I check daily to see what you have come up with for the day or what new adventure you got yourself into. I would love to go to Dutch, but I have a 6 year old daughter to take care of. I love to see the DC info, and my daughter loves to see the boat pictures, she is a fan of the show also. Please don't let the haters change what you do or say. Thank you again for the great pictures, info and the fun stuff.

purrduedvm said...

Some very good and interesting points there in the article CB. I respect your value of our freedom of speech since it so often seems only certain people can say certain things in this world anymore.

valerie said...

What a great post CB, nice to see a man that rises above, one wouldn't want to start blocking people someone interesting might come along with something great to say!

Your right thou, everyone is entitled to free speech, but I don't think it gives them the right to be insulting, if I'm not mistaken an older law then the first amendment is to treat others as you would be treated

ahh well, you have 109 fans that love what you have to say..and check in just to see your images and read what you have to say, so keep it coming, those of us with names love ya! :D

Janice said...

This is crazy, we were having fun and some flamer had to butt in. Ignore him or her and get back to more important topics ie... Willie

Anonymous said...

Is it really the fact that the post was anonymous?

On two occasions I posted in this manner, I have yet to see the error in the posts. You craftily ignored the first post and the second you had to post an unoriginal response clearly showing your in all this for the attention instead of for the benefit and understanding of life and the lives around Unalaska.

I posted earlier about the header statement of this blog. Which was supposed to be about all aspects of Dutch Harbor and Unalaska. But as soon as the film crew hit the ground almost ALL of your posts were DC stuff. BFD! - it's old news here unless your from the lower 48 with no real clue about the industry and have nothing better to do than drool over 15 guys on TV that 128 guys do just like them every season!

I posted about the DAM story because you made a solid dedicated point of irrelevance on a story over 10 years old that turned out to be BS. Yet without any investigation or real interest you posted - again for the attention.

Was this because most of the DC boats are out fishing and you having nothing better to do with your time than scavenge attention from people who know nothing about Unalaska and all it has except for what they see on TV? Really, this is what makes you happy?

What kind of job do you have that you can spend all day posting about the deadliest catch instead of doing it? Does your company know who much time you spend here during the day? Don't you work foe Unisea Inc.? Maybe I should send them a link to your blog and see what they think about it.
Or maybe this was part of your contract to follow the deadliest catch people? Or is your job really that easy?

Is life really about attention? Post about something makes you happy, that conveys a genuine interest. Not things that are fads or generate immediate fame from a bunch of people have nothing better to do than to spend all day reading your blog!

Delete this post or not - who cares. At least you read it and that was the goal.

Carlisleboy said...

Actually I went home from work today at 1:30 and this was postd at 3:30 so no company time was used.
Feel Free to think what you like, and say what you like, I am not going to stop you. Likewise perhaps you should give others the same consideration.
I enjoy the show Deadliest Catch. And if by posting a few things about the show I can get people interested in this amazing place we live, What is the harm? I bring a little joy to a few people every day. Who am I hurting?
Maybe you just need to ask yourself why what I do matters to you?
Have a Great Night
Peace, Love and Mountain Dew

TX Bandita Jamie said...

CB... you are the best! Hopefully the residents of Dutch (who will remain Anonymous)will learn to appreciate how you promote the fair town... even if some of it is to us humble fans of DC who wandered onto your blog in search of a glimpse into the life. I suspect that life around Dutch will forever be different because of that one little show on Discovery that will lead to somewhat of a boom for your fair town, not everyone likes fame. Why all this drama people?
Words to live by...
"Let love be genuine, hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good, love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor."

Frieda said...

Well well, the truth starts to ooze out. CB I admire your values, and your defense of the first amendment. Anon, it seems to me that if CB were blogging about Dutch life and the TV show Mythbusters we would never see you comment. It seems that you have a bit of a problem with Deadliest Catch and Original Productions. This is a blog, not an assignment given for Jabba the Hut's journalism class. If you do not like the subject don't read it, but do not try to disuade those that are fans of the show and of CB from reading what they choose. As to his use of his time, unless you are signing the checks what is it to you? As to reporting him to his superiors, feel free but it would be a bit redundant as they read this blog daily. To quote my 12 year old niece, you need to get a life.

Reading said...

There have been a number of good comments here and good points made. 99.9% of us read CB's blog because he entertains us - no matter what he chooses to share with us. But the past couple have blogs have done nothing but prove that no matter where you live or what you do there is always that one person who wants nothing more than to bring you down. We all have one, we work with them or we have to encounter them in a way we can't avoid them...CB keep doing what you are doing because if nothing else your unindentified poster has proven is that we all love what you do and whatever you choose to share with us...

purrduedvm said...

Again, this person fails to realize that most of us have a little more on the ball...we KNOW that Unalaska and DH is not just a few DC crews and in fact, BECAUSE of the show have now found ourselves LEARNING and WANTING to learn MORE about not only the industry as a whole, but the place, how people live there, the history of it, etc. They don't seem to see the big picture. I taste sour grapes somewhere here.

Kim said...

It definitely sounds like Anon has an issue with DC and Op in general. We enjoy the show and like to hear the little behind the scenes commentary that CB provides. In between all the DC stuff he gives us wonderful little glimpses into his life and his world. BTW...its a BLOG! not a newspaper or book. I found the beaver dam story quite humorous and gave us something to laugh at. Which was the point of the post. When CB wants to post about Unalaska and his life outside the hotel he will. Its his choice and his blog! Simple as that. If he wants to share something absurd and get us laughing...its his choice and his blog! Deal with it anon. dont like it...go elsewhere or learn to cope!

ErieLady said...

Purr, sour grapes is right. To quote Anonymous - "But as soon as the film crew hit the ground almost ALL of your posts were DC stuff. BFD! - it's old news here unless your from the lower 48 with no real clue about the industry and have nothing better to do than drool over 15 guys on TV that 128 guys do just like them every season!"

I am highly insulted by this statement. I started following CB's blog before the boats hit town, and have learned more from him about Dutch and Unalaska than I have learned in watching DC for 4 years.

I, like a lot of CBs followers, do not drool over the fisherman. I have the deepest respect for everyone in that industry, not just the men that fish, but those that process also. Maybe you should remember that you are not only calling out CB with your statements, but those that follow his blog.

rpascale said...

Good for you CB. Sounds to me like anonymous is looking for attention and negative attention is better than none. Lets just skip past reading any further anonymous remarks and everyone will be happy. They will think we're reading it, and we won't have to waste our time with the negativity. I, for one, really enjoy your posts. I live in the south and get to see through your eyes the way people in the north live, something I otherwise would not get to see. Keep moving forward and ignore the haters as much as you can.

Elizabeth Douglas said...

Ok, given CB doesn't want the haterade to be spread around, I'll keep this short. Firstly, anon, thanks for completely insulting all of us. I've been reading about Unalaska for a good while now, not just the Deadliest Catch aspects of Dutch Harbor. I've frequented the city website, other blogs that offer little in the way of DC, and have spoken to some of the locals over the years and enjoyed them for their own stories. I've also been fortunate enough to come to know some of the fishermen, those on the show, those not, and some from decades past. So while I love the show, for more reasons than to "drool over 15 guys" I have also come to appreciate the people and places that aren't in the limelight.

Instead of debasing CB's blog or fanbase, start your own...I'm sure you have plenty of stories yourself, why not share them? You obviously enjoy putting your opinion out there.

Lori said...

I have "followed" CB even before he started his blog and would now be very depressed if I didn't get to read my daily dose of "Dutch Harbor Dirt", whatever is being posted. I believe some people like Anon, post to get us all going and then we thrive on posting replies, which leads us off track sometimes of the initial post. I think rpascale said it best to just "skip pass" the negetivity and my opinion as already stated in another post - get your own blog or get off!

Maskerade said...

I realize Dutch Harbor is very far away, but if you get a quiet moment listen very carefully and just maybe you will be able to hear me clapping.

Well done CB!


OK SERIOUSLY, WHO IS THE FREAK THAT KEEPS POSTING THAT JUNK? If you are looking for a blog to follow, you just might want to look at what the blog is about, which clearly in this case is posted at the top tof the BLOG!!

A Look at Dutch Harbor through a newcomers eyes with a focus on the PEOPLE and PLACES that make this community Unique and WONDERFUL! Plenty of Deadliest Catch Photos and News And of course my ongoing love affair with Mountain Dew.

Airam said...

I really don't understand why someone who claims to not like your blog keeps coming back to read it. And not only that but comment on it as well. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense does it? I don't know what this person is thinking.

EMTSrescue said...

Well said CB! I am from Alaska, have been up here 34 years. I love it, but just liek everywhere else, seems like all areas of the world have at least one, and seems that we have found the "one" from Unalaska.

Keep up the good work CB!! I sign onto your blog daily for a smile, giggle and at some points an ALL OUT LAUGH!!! I like to read about the DC guys (not to drool over them, but at least they are easy on the eyes), to hear about Unalaska, Lost books (glad it found a great home btw) and just your day to day on that Island!!

Hugs, lubs and PEPSI!! ;o)

EMTSrescue said...

OH!! Almost forgot the most important SUNDAY BRUNCH!!!Can't wait till Next Sunday!!

MsGiantsFan said...

Thank you CB for dealing with such an obtuse poster in a most gentlemanly way.

sunshiner said...

Bless you CB for being so kind, so patient, so understanding. For seeing beyond the obvious and being so tolerant. You don't just entertain, you educate. I know I am not as tolerant or as patient as you. I just want to send a cyber bit-- slap to that ignorant cowardly flamer. Maybe I'll win a trip to Dutch and get to meet anon in person. That could prove interesting. I was raised in NYC and I am not a coward.


Ang said...

I have to finally chime in. Thank you CB for your posts and your pictures. With your help I have been able to let people see that Alaska isn't total darkness in the winter and show them sunrise pictures (thank you). I was born in Anchorage and have a desire to move back to Alaska so I follow many blogs that are written by people in Alaska. They all have their different take and I love it. So what if a story has circulated for 10 years or so I for one got a laugh out of it and having had a bad day it cheered me up. As for the DC boats/crew - I love and respect what they do as I do all the fisherman no matter where they fish and whether or not they are on a TV show. I've been able to learn about the fihing industry. And thru the blogs I get to see different peoples opinions, thoughts and pictures and I'm grateful to them for sharing. Like someone else said if you don't like what's being written don't come back to visit. Put your energy elsewhere (maybe your own blog). Just because you don't like that CB is writing about DC doesn't mean the rest of us don't. I've been following CB's blog not too long after he started it and he has always had something interesting to say or look at. Anon - you have a right to your opinion but let the rest of us enjoy CB's blog.

helen said...

My goodness... Logged in to read a few words and smile and was greeted by an entirely different tone. It's a shame...

My choice is to read what CB and other pleasant people have to say and skip over the rest. You can't please all the people all the time. Hopefully the DARK CLOUD will finish raining and go away.

Keep writing CB; you're wonderful!


cher in Cal said...

CB, I live a simple life here in Steinbeck Country (Monterey Peninsula), and your blog brings not only a smile to my face but sunshine to my day. It is true that DC brought me to you, but your sense of humor and beautiful pictures keep me coming back. If being a DC diehard fan makes me a freak, then I wear the title proudly, Anon, bite me! CB, once again, you Rock!

Kath said...

First, I would like to thank CB for allowing us to visit DH and Unalaska through HIS eyes. I've been following this blog since its inception and this is my first comment.

I'd just like to let Anonymous know how much I enjoy reading and learning about your little slice of heaven. If you have, or ever start a blog, I'd love to read your take on things there too!

It is true that if it weren't for DC, I would have no idea it even existed, but is it such a bad thing when something like that allows those of us in the lower 48 to learn about it? I know you're proud about where you live. I am proud of my hometown too, and would hope that if the world was given the opportunity to learn more about it, I'd be right out there touting it--good and bad.

I would also like you to know that because of Deadliest Catch, I not only pray for the fishermen I know from the show, but I pray for ALL those who have to brave the Bering Sea (and other waters) so that we can enjoy their bounty.

I hope you are not insulted by any of my comments, because I meant none. And thanks CB for bringing us not only the scoop, but those amazing pictures of Unalaska and Dutch Harbor.

Copperpossum said...

Methinks 'Anon'has issues that go beyond CB and what he chooses as subject matter. Somewhat curious as to why 'Anon' hasn't filed a complaint to police about the person holding a gun to her head,forcing her to read this blog....

fatal@injury said...

CB You doing a great job keep up the good work , that anonymous is just jealous and need attention and if he/she asking your time while you are on the clock and company time , what about him/her time to check your blog and answer it. All i can say to him /her is look in the mirror first before you comment and say something bad to other people, anonymous is a losser, need more attention and probably old guy who is really bored on his/her life . Make love , peace and be happy . Ignore the anonymous losser and keep up the great job CB we love you !! More picture of the Kitchen chefs and restaurant pls.. Ciao CB

fatal@injury said...

CB You doing a great job keep up the good work , that anonymous is just jealous and need attention and if he/she asking your time while you are on the clock and company time , what about him/her time to check your blog and answer it. All i can say to him /her is look in the mirror first before you comment and say something bad to other people, anonymous is a losser, need more attention and probably old guy who is really bored on his/her life . Make love , peace and be happy . Ignore the anonymous losser and keep up the great job CB we love you !! More picture of the Kitchen chefs and restaurant pls.. Ciao CB

texas_girl said...

I just started reading the blogs recently, as my mom is always telling me how fantastic they are... she was right!! I love the blogs, I love the information! Some days you make me laugh, others I get to see things going on in Alaska that I have never had the opportunity to see. I wish I had the money to take a trip to Alaska but since I don't, I get to see this beautiful place through CB's eyes and I think he does a great job of it! Like others, I do enjoy DC but it isn't because I like looking at the men, I love to see this amazing, deadly job they perform! They are all amazing, not just the ones shown on DC!! This Anon person just makes people think badly of the locals... if I ever get that chance to visit the area, I hope I don't run into rude people like Anon!! Love you CB, keep doin what you're doing!!

Storm said...

CB, love your blog for the photos, the humor, the commentary and yes, DC. I personaly only drool over about 4 or 5 of the DC crew members. (I have shoes in my closet older than most of the crew members.) I have no desire to move to Alaska, but I do dearly love to see the photographs. I hope to visit by cruise ship someday, where I will be pampered, waited on, warm and still see great scenery. Anyway, please, please ignore Anon crankypants and keep posting.