Re: OT: Internet smearing

Discussion in 'Java' started by Andreas Leitgeb, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. Kenneth P. Turvey <> wrote:
    > I did a search tonight and some of my messages came up under searches on
    > the web under topics completely different than they were posted.
    > Something with my name was listed under some topic on Google that was a
    > site I certainly wouldn't want to be associated with.


    It isn't necessarily an attack against you personally.

    Spammers strive for entropy. They've learned that their rambling
    about their products becomes ever easier to detect automatically
    (and thus to remove it from the eyes of potential spam-victims)

    So they harvest natural texts to add to their messages. Maybe
    they also do something like that for their webpages.

    Many spams I get these days contain a large portion of pseudo-
    random word-collections from all sorts of topics, plus their
    own payload. (Maybe I see that only, because I see the plain-
    text parts first, and have to type a key to see html/rtf/...
    parts.)
    Andreas Leitgeb, Jun 25, 2010
    #1
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  2. Andreas Leitgeb

    markspace Guest

    Kenneth P. Turvey wrote:
    > On Fri, 25 Jun 2010 09:57:49 +0000, Captain Nemo wrote:
    >
    >> Google is a blessing and a curse I guess.

    >
    > I'll have to start consistently using an alias online, but this one's no
    > good.
    >
    >



    For this and other reasons, that's certainly why I use a pseudonym. I
    also don't use linkedin or have a personal Facebook page, for exactly
    the same reason. Too much info online, too easy to use in some sort of
    identity scam. Either a "random" one like you seemed to have found or a
    targeted one.
    markspace, Jun 25, 2010
    #2
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  3. markspace wrote:

    > Kenneth P. Turvey wrote:
    >> On Fri, 25 Jun 2010 09:57:49 +0000, Captain Nemo wrote:
    >>
    >>> Google is a blessing and a curse I guess.

    >>
    >> I'll have to start consistently using an alias online, but this one's no
    >> good.
    >>

    >
    > For this and other reasons, that's certainly why I use a pseudonym. I
    > also don't use linkedin or have a personal Facebook page, for exactly
    > the same reason. Too much info online, too easy to use in some sort of
    > identity scam. Either a "random" one like you seemed to have found or a
    > targeted one.


    I use pen-names fairly frequently, but for Usenet I use my real name. I
    have a couple of reasons for this, but the main one is that it keeps me
    honest. When I've got the feeling of security and safety brought
    on by use of a pseudonym, I find it all too easy to exaggerate, and
    quite tempting (at times) to flat-out lie. It's also quite easy to be
    curt, aggressive, and generally unpleasant when using a pseudonym, as
    one is somewhat disconnected from his words.

    There's also the secondary reason that using one's real name (or a
    realistic pen-name) gives a discussion a bit more formality than is
    afforded by screennames. Correspondence with replies from "Bill",
    "Ted", and "Joe" seems a lot more like a chat amongst distant friends
    or colleagues than does a similar discussion between "system4dead",
    "deTTed", and "jotti", even if the names in the former are no more
    "real" than those in the latter.

    Using my real name makes me think twice about what I post. For the most
    part I've found that if it's not something that I'm willing to post under
    my real name, I probably shouldn't be publishing it in the first place.

    I can't say I'm always as courteous or straightforward as I could be when
    posting under my real name (both on Usenet and elsewhere), but I think I do
    a far better job than when I post under a pen-name.

    That said, I don't have a Facebook, LinkedIn, or any other sort of
    "social network" page or profile. When I publish information about
    myself I want it to be on my terms. Publishing something to Usenet is
    a conscious decision on my part to broadcast something to the rest of
    the world. Putting something semi-private into a Facebook profile,
    only to have it show up on some "friend feed" or be sent to some third
    party simply because a "friend" decided they wanted to play
    SuperFarmMafia or something... well that's not a scenario I want to
    deal with. I view the publication of personal information on the
    Internet as a binary thing: either I publish a piece of personal data
    via WWW/IRC/Usenet with the knowledge and/or intent that it will be
    visible to and searchable by all, or I don't transmit it to *anybody*
    I don't know from the real world.

    --
    Robert Tomsick -
    Free text-only Usenet access: http://www.eternal-september.org/
    Robert Tomsick, Jun 25, 2010
    #3
  4. On Fri, 25 Jun 2010 21:13:05 +0000, Robert Tomsick wrote:

    > Using my real name makes me think twice about what I post. For the most
    > part I've found that if it's not something that I'm willing to post
    > under my real name, I probably shouldn't be publishing it in the first
    > place.
    >

    ...../....
    > That said, I don't have a Facebook, LinkedIn, or any other sort of
    > "social network" page or profile. When I publish information about
    > myself I want it to be on my terms.
    >

    Good reasoning in both cases.

    I use my real name on USENET for much the same reasons and have also
    noticed that the worst pests tent to use pseudonyms. Similarly, I see no
    reason to use social networks, particularly given the way the Facebook
    tends to ride roughshod over everybody's privacy settings every time it
    upgrades its data protection.


    --
    martin@ | Martin Gregorie
    gregorie. | Essex, UK
    org |
    Martin Gregorie, Jun 26, 2010
    #4
  5. On Fri, 25 Jun 2010 09:41:18 +0000, Andreas Leitgeb wrote:

    > Kenneth P. Turvey <> wrote:
    >> I did a search tonight and some of my messages came up under searches
    >> on the web under topics completely different than they were posted.
    >> Something with my name was listed under some topic on Google that was a
    >> site I certainly wouldn't want to be associated with.

    >
    > It isn't necessarily an attack against you personally.
    >
    > Spammers strive for entropy. They've learned that their rambling about
    > their products becomes ever easier to detect automatically (and thus to
    > remove it from the eyes of potential spam-victims)


    There are vast tracts of spammy sites on the web that consist of huge
    amounts of scraped text from blogs and forums, accompanied by
    advertising. Often particular sites target particular subject matter,
    like programming, and thus rank fairly highly for related searches. So
    people visit and see the ads. They may also have lots of links to a
    particular site being promoted, which raises that site's Google pagerank.
    Google's algorithms have gotten ever more sophisticated at detecting such
    "link farms", so link farms have gotten ever more sophisticated at
    disguising themselves, generally by mixing the links in with random other
    links and large volumes of non-link natural-language text, which has to
    come from somewhere.

    This newsgroup is mirrored in web forums in a few places, such as JavaKB.
    Web forums in turn are common targets for scrapers that acquire "content"
    to put on such spammy link farm sites. This is probably how Mr. Turvey's
    posts got into odd places on the web.

    If someone on Usenet wanted to deliberately smear Mr. Turvey, he'd
    probably have smoking-gun proof of it by now, such as every post of his
    anywhere being followed up to fairly promptly with a post with "Kenneth
    Turvey is a slumgumptulous frasselsnicken bratwurst eater!" in the
    Subject line, modulo the use of much more severe language, or a libel-
    lawsuit-inviting "Kenneth Turvey FAQ" being 1) on the web and 2)
    regularly reposted to any group he used much, or something along those
    lines. Subtlety is a concept that's generally lost on the perpetrators of
    Usenet smear campaigns.
    ClassCastException, Jun 26, 2010
    #5
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