The Death of Civility

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Thu May 21 06:41:14 EDT 1998

From: tskirvin at (Tim Skirvin)
Date: 20 May 1998 16:58:14 -0600
Lines: 40

jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5) writes:

>Let's say that somebody logging on under a pseudonym posts a message,
>identifying you by your true and complete name, and says that you have a
>criminal record for child molestation.  Since you have killfiled that person,
>that information zips on out there, unchallenged, until it gains common
>currency...and begins to come back at you from other sources.

>So by your lights, that's okay?  It wouldn't bother you in the least?  That's a
>good thing?

	FWIW, such stuff happens to me fairly regularly, and I still think
that ignoring the perpetrators is the best thing for it.  They want the 
attention, as you say, and they'll keep on doing it as long as you acknowledge 
their existance.  Some scenarios do demand some kind of response, of course - 
but the response is probably best left to private email.  Public renouncements
don't do an ounce of good, and you know it.  

	Besides, what do you really think is going to happen if such
accusations go unchallenged?  Are you worried about your livelihood?
Dude, your future is secure, and if you're really worried that somebody's
not going to hire you because of some rumor on the 'net, you didn't really
want to work for them anyway.  Are you worried about criminal repercussions?
You didn't do it, it's extremely clear-cut, all you'll have to say is "I
didn't do it".  Civil?  Who's going to sue you *except* the kooks, and how
is ignoring them going to encourage them to do so?  Your reputation?  You've 
got one of the best in the business, for anyone that cares to look.
Overall, the worst you're going to have to do is say to somebody "no,
that's not true" - and that's not that big a burden.

	I'm a kookhunter from way back - I've made a hobby out of seeking
out and laughing at the biggest morons on the 'net (amongst other forums;
my favorite are still Quad Preachers).  To see somebody of your stature
give in and be chased off would quite possibly be their greatest victory
in years.  Don't give it to them.  One man *can* make a difference...

				- Tim Skirvin (tskirvin at
<URL:>	Skirv's Homepage <*>
<URL:>		The Killfile Dungeon

From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 20 May 1998 17:21:10 -0600
Lines: 26

Tim: sure, you can just choose to ignore it when someone does you a disservice,
when they malign you or smear you...that's an option.

Only problem with it, is that it doesn't work.

For instance: over on the other group, a particular net-kook posted a message
citing a supposed contract between me and AOL in which I would be paid to be
exclusively on AOL and thus would not be contributing anything to any usenet
group, and that THAT was the reason that I left the unmoderated group.

It was, of course, an unvarnished lie, of the kind I've come to expect from
such individuals.

The problem is that this isn't a big, obvious's a subtle one.  And as
a result, it got propagated and picked up around the nets, and I had to answer
a couple dozen angry email messages from users saying that I'd sold out to AOL.
 So tell me, how does ignoring that kind of thing solve anything?  

You say ignore 'em.  I say you can't just ignore this kind of crap, or you end
up condoning it by silence.  Difference in philosophy, that's all.


(jmsatb5 at
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