Friday, October 31, 2003

Follow Up On Mr C - the other faked identity

I promised to get back here with the story of another instance of Diego's identity fakery, so for a refresher course go to this link and scroll to the bottom. Basically what happened was I noted (having done a "riverbend + riversbend" google search) that on the Nielsen-Hayden blog there had been some recent confusion over the two blogs, though I should say no one really seemed fooled by riverSbend.

As can be seen I posted a small resume of the situation and, as is my wont, I shamelessly plugged this blog. There was not a great deal of response to my post, in fact only one person responded directly. Their response was as following

"Why are you wasting so much time on if it is a 70 year old man posting? What skullduggery is going on here?
I take it you disagree and are trying to discredit someone that has a different view than you.
I would suggest you contact him (or her) and settle your differences.
Hay, what can a 70 year old man do to you! :-)"

And claimed to have been written by someone called "James Chamblee". After I wept for a few hours in remorse having been forced to confront, so it seemed, the voice of my own thundering conscience, it suddenly dawned on me that the name James Chamblee was not one with which I was entirely unfamiliar. A quick google check indeed confirmed that very recently "Diego" the riverSbend faker had exchanged harsh words with a Mr James Chamblee on Usenet.

It did not seem likely I reasoned that Mr Chamblee would weigh in with these words of defence of his enemy, even had he stumbled upon them - perhaps an even greater unlikelihood. With all due respect to Nielsen Hayden there is probably not an enormous daily tread of random traffic through their month old comment archives.

So I responded on NH at that point that I would be happy to address these comments once I had confirmed by a mail from the addresss there given, that these were indeed the sentiments of Mr James Chamblee. Unsurprisingly these never came. I did also email Mr Chamblee at that point informing him that I believed someone was impersonating him on NH. I didn't get a response to that either, though as it turned out this was because his mail filter has been a little hyperactive of late.

After a couple of days delay I, playing fast-and-loose I'll admit with Usenet netiquette, but in view of the belief that an individual had a right to know about their online identity theft, I posted OT to soc.retirement where Mr Chamblee had recently left his own messages.

Long story short he got in touch yesterday. I told him my reasons for believing he'd been impersonated and he sent the following:

I read the piece attributed to me, and it's a fake. It completely baffles me why some people have so little regard for themselves and so little personal honor that they would impersonate someone else.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention, and I have exposed [Diego] to the readers of soc.retirement in two posts a few minutes ago.

Well said I think. Anyway we probably have Mr Chamblee to thank as much as anyone else for the riverSbend's major capitulation yesterday morning. Soc.retirement has been Diego's most regular haunt in his years online so Mr Chamblee's expressed ire in this location was "taking the battle to the enemy" in a very real sense. If Diego didn't feel the pressure before that occurred, he certainly felt it at that point.

(PS Eagle-eyed readers may have noted I had posted this yesterday for just a few minutes. I had to take it down because it had lots of ugly characters in it since I'd cut-and-pasted from Word, and I didn't have even the spare to minutes to take them out)