Monday, November 17, 2003

Let's Play a Game...

... we'll call it "Spear the Hypocrite".

First let's imagine that someone, an active member of the ACLU in the US, decides to set up a blog called healing_iraq (note the underscore). healing_iraq is designed to look exactly like the blog of popular Iraqi blogger Zeyad, copying the format, and claiming to have been written by an Iraq-based dentist. But the healing_iraq fake blogger despises Zeyad (says he's "a **** of a ****") and every article in healing_iraq is stolen from al-jazeera, the Guardian, Counterpunch and selectively combined paints a grim picture of the US occupation as illegal and immoral, as a quagmire, and praises the bravery of the Iraqi "freedom fighters". The healing_iraq faker even posts phony archives back to July to make it appear as his blog was there first.

The healing_iraq blogger takes to seeking out internet forums where people are discussing the genuine Zeyad in favourable terms, and posting under an assumed name things like "Looks like he may have found himself a Fedayeen girlfriend. His attitude seems to have gone 180 degrees lately." And adds a link to the faked healing_iraq blog. Often the healing_iraq blogger actually alters the quoted part of the original post to make it seem as if the original mentioned the fake blog. Any time anyone happens to notice there are two different blogs the healing_iraq faker points out that since those archives appear to predate Zeyad's blog then Zeyad must be the faker.

Then someone, maybe someone who's also pretty favourable to the US occupation, spots what the healing_iraq faker is up to. He starts a blog called Healing Truth shining a light on the dishonesty, the deception, the impersonation, he contacts people who's graphics are being misused by the faker. Every one of those people recognises low political chicanery when they see it and offer their support. Soon across the web everyone knows about the faker, his first name, his political affiliations, his antipathy towards Zeyad. Feeling the icy grip of the law on his collar, the faker rolls back some of his more obvious similarities to the original blog, but he remains sending out the same message from the cybersquatting domain.

The faker still persists in trying to get his exposed site linked by approaching those ignorant of his nefarious character and history. But the Healing Truth blogger keeps an open eye and let's anyone temporarily hoodwinked in on the truth about the fake blog.

What happens then...

Who will speak up for the healing_iraq faker to smear, lie, deceive and slander? It sounds like a dirty, filthy job and one that no sane person would be willing to take on. Well think again folks because here they are.

Or rather if they aren't, if they're willing to speak up for Troy's right to smear, lie, deceive and slander, but they would not be willing to do the same for my hypothetical healing_iraq blogger, simply on the basis that they sympathise with Troy's political alliances, then that is it, game over. We have Speared the Hypocrites :)