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LinuxToday Editor Apologizes For Astroturfing 226

Posted by Hemos
from the have-to-come-clean dept.
Thanks to Dean Pannell (and Paul Ferris for the initial head's up) for pointing out the apology and statement of fact from Kevin Reichard, the Executive Editor of LinuxToday. I think the argument that people would know that "George Tirebiter" was merely a contrivance is weak, but whatever. You can read the previous stories in the astroturf [?] ing saga.
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LinuxToday Editor Apologizes For Astroturfing

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  • At the top of all the messages in Linux Toady's talkback, it ironically claims:

    Linux Today is not responsible for the content of the message below.

    Maybe they should clearly label the astroturf articles written by their own editors differently:

    Linux Toady is responsible for the content of the message below.

    -Don

    Linux Toady

    Main Entry: 1 toady
    Pronunciation: 'tO-dE
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): plural toadies
    Etymology: by shortening & alteration from toadeater
    Date: 1826
    : one who flatters in the hope of gaining favors : SYCOPHANT
    synonym see PARASITE

    ====

  • Is it 'astroturfing' due to the artificiality of the material in question, or 'astroturfing' due to the effect of the material, as in 'slamming the opposition to the astroturf'?

    If it's the latter, /. is the single longest field of astroturf in existence, and I'm no MicroSlave: just calling it as I see it.

  • Hmmm, this doesn't really sound like an apology, more a forced statement. And isn't he missing out the other alias's he used! Why no mention of "Tom Dooley, Clark Addison and Will Smith". Also people use fake names on websites all the time, so why should we assume that Tirebiter is the papers editor rather than someone else with a weak sense of humour.

    How about mentioning the fact that he's been doing this for years, or that he caused others to be fired when they complained. Maybe he could talk about this being common practice in the industry. Links to every single false post would have really shown some remorse.

    Seems to me that this is an attempt to wind down the negative spin, without really understanding what has been done wrong, or really wanting to/feeling the need to apologise. As my mum always said, if your not really sorry then apologising is worse than saying nothing.

    If he had posted this on /. and I had mod then I'd be modding him down for facuous statements and insincere apologies.

  • by aussersterne (212916) on Thursday August 09, 2001 @05:03AM (#2116680) Homepage
    Having worked for a major (i.e. Media Metrix top 10) news and links portal, I can honestly say that this practice of "astroturfing" (as I understand the word) is not limited to small sites like LinuxToday.

    Part of my job description as the maintainer of a chunk of the site hierarchy was to use a whole stack of pseudonyms and basically wander around doing just this in the interest of generating page views, responses, and "positive" discussion for advertisers and reviewed products in a number of areas. This was not optional, it was expected.

    I'd be surprised if this is a rare practice.
  • I will never accept an apology from someone on this subject. I mean, real grass vs Astroturf? Football hasn't been the same since. I rue the day! Heh.
  • My goodness aren't people getting upset here.

    Sure, It wasn't honest but this sort of thing happens everywhere, all the time.
    Yes, people will dishonestly post messages. Yes, about their competitors. Yes, even in journalism. But do you think the collectively honest people of the world can flush out every journalist lacking integrity? Where would we get our news from?

    Open your eyes, use that massive brain of yours to scrutinize what you read and hear.

    -
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I mean, editors want to post too! Sometimes I like to jump into a discussion, and post some thoughts without everyone knowing who I am!

    CmdrTa^H^H^H^H^H^H"Fred" Tirebiter
  • Anyone notice how he shifted part of the blame on the reader for not seeing the joke in the name? He still isn't completely accepting responsibility for his actions. It is still partially the reader's fault for not seeing through his deception. It is still the reader's fault for being offended by the content of his posts.

    He is trying to blow this off as a misunderstanding between a well-intentioned editor trying to liven up the site and a few stodgy killjoys who didn't get the joke immediantly. He seems to think this is like some practical joke that went awry and that a smirking apology will fix the situation.

    He still does not understand that deception has no place in responsible journalism.

  • well it seems like it'd be a real big tremptation to watch a forum all day and not interject something randomly to stir the coals... how about it, has it ever happend here?

    • With all the people posting under names like "Commander Taco" (see user 85921 right near here) one needs to look pretty close to be sure that the editors are posting themselves. So why would anyone need to astroturf. Just create a new account with your handle as the name, and post as someone pretending to be yourself.
    • tremptation

      A-ha! I've caught Taco astroturfing slashdot!

    • Dateline, Silicon Valley, Friday August 10th, 2001

      The technology world was shocked this morning by the startling admission that Slashdot has been astroturfing itself for years .. and that, in fact, almost all of the nearly half-million "members" of Slashdot are nothing more than the imaginings of Slashdot's staff.

      Bizarre stories have emerged in the last twenty four hours about the editors' antics, including Jon Katz's apparent habit of providing all the commentary for his own stories.

      "This is really an incredible situation," said Alan Stark, a reporter for National Public Radio. "Just last month we did a report on how Slashdot had changed the face of news in the last half of the 90's, and now it looks like the whole thing is one gigantic hoax."

      Originally created as a news site for the nerd culture, Slashdot grew to national prominence along with the Linux operating system, as a social voice behind the technological phenomenon of Open Source. But now it appears that the entire thing has been staged. An analysis of traffic to and from the Slashdot site, by an independent consulting agency, shows that most of the one million or so "hits" that Slashdot was once thought to have received in a day are actually generated through a combination of cyber-slight-of-hand and old-fashioned fraud.

      In particular, there is the so-called Slashdot Effect, by which a web site experiences a flood in traffic and often suffers technical problems. This is now believed to be a mere cover-up for Internet flooding, or Denial-of-Service attacks, carried out by Commander Taco and Hemos, the site's so-called editors. The FBI is currently investigating.

  • "I thought you all _knew_ I was a liar!"
  • This is an editor? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jpellino (202698)
    Forget the fact that at any traditional news outfit you'd be the new copy boy for pulling a stunt like this - where I come from, editors know how to write. To wit:

    > "I participated in Linux Today talkbacks anonymously in the past using a pseudonym."

    > "It is too important you can trust what you read here."

    Judging from the reaction at Slashdot, you went from simply evil to under-qualified and evil.

  • by fobbman (131816) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @03:23PM (#2123815) Homepage

    I sincerely apologize to those of you who were offended by my actions.

    Mom: Now Kevin, apologize to Suzie for what you did!

    Kevin: I'm sorry that you don't like your pigtails dipped in permanent ink, Suzie.

    He's apologizing that we were offended by his actions, not for his actions themselves. Big difference there.

    • Well, I'm having a hard time thinking of to whom else he should be apologizing...the people that weren't offended?
    • Now Kevin, apologize ..

      Apropos Kevin, does anyone remember the best apology scene ever in "A Fish Called Wanda", with John Cleese giving this long speech, end then the camera rotates and zooms out , and we see Cleese being held out a window by Kevin Kline.

      That's probably the position Kevin was in when giving this apology to the LT readers, and explains the grammar errors.

      • does anyone remember the best apology scene ever in "A Fish Called Wanda"
        Yes.

        That's probably the position Kevin was in
        A real shame there was no webcam pointed at Kevin (Reichard, not Kline :) ) while he wrote this apology. :-)

  • by xonker (29382) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @02:59PM (#2124437) Homepage Journal
    He doesn't even mention the other points, like trying to avoid linking to competing sites.

    LinuxToday used to have value because they posted *everything* and you could go there to quickly find anything going on in the Linux world. Now that's no longer the case.

    Not surprisingly Internet.com has ruined them, and just about every other Linux property they touched. Reichard should be promptly fired, but instead he'll probably stay there until Internet.com folds or does away with the Linux channel. I hope this indiscretion travels with him so no one else is foolish enough to hire him.

    Interestingly, the apology is under "normal news" so they don't even seem to consider it important enough to put at the top of the site.
    • He doesn't even mention the other points, like trying to avoid linking to competing sites.

      I'm not surprised. I don't think internet.com wants you outside "their channels". If that's their thought process, he really has nothing to apologize about...from their perspective. The anonymous LT stuff is another issue, and smells worse for them, but everyone wants to keep you inside channels.

      Hell, at the new media company where I was Chief Editor [totk.com], I got pressure from our Publisher not to link to stories that I commented on. That fact frustrated me greatly.

      I recognized this one fact: we [in the corporate sense] were never going to be a single source for everyone. Point to good [or bad, to suit your purposes] content and amplify [or refute, TSYP] the points made there. If you amplify it, people will go, "Gee, I want to see what Geof has to say about this ESPN.com piece. He's written on this before..." If you refute it, people will also want to see what you have to say.

      Come on, you know that you [in the /. Cabal sense] wait to see who responds first to M$FT FUD, and then you read the followers-on [notably RMS, if he didn't get FP on the FUD] to see what they amplify and what they don't. It's human nature to want to find someone to agree or disagree with. If new media companies will recognize that people will want to spend more time online reading content and might--GASP--pay for it.

  • Considering (Score:4, Interesting)

    by geomcbay (263540) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @02:54PM (#2128990)
    Considering how tame most of the LinuxToday talkbacks to his apology are, I think its safe to say they plan to continue censoring posts that oppose the views of the editors...

    Considering THIS post, to the LT talkback:

    Thank you for the apology. Here is one reader who appreciates it and will continue to recommend Linux Today as _the_ premier news site for all things Linux.

    Cheers,

    Caleb

    How much do you want to bet Kevin Reichard is still posting under assumed names? I mean c'mon, at least be more subtle!

    • Re:Considering (Score:2, Interesting)

      by qslack (239825)
      That post could also be from someone who wanted to make you think he was still astroturfing...just a thought.
      • Ahh...

        Maybe it was him trying to make you think that it was someone else trying to make you think that it was him.

        I'll stop now.

  • Uh-uh, sure. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sharkey (16670) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @04:40PM (#2136168)
    like George Tirebiter which I believed readers would understand was a contrivance.

    Well, since I went to high school with a guy named Mike Hunt, a name would have to be extremely obvious, much more so than "Tirebiter," to make me suspect a fake-that's-obviously-fake name. (His full name was Michael Steven Hunt, and he went by Steven.) There was also a family at a different school with the surname Homo. There are many, many interesting and different names out there, and as always: Ass-U-Me.
  • George Tirebiter (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JWhitlock (201845) <John-Whitlock@nOspAm.ieee.org> on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @04:46PM (#2148220)
    For those out of the loop, here's a link to the entry for Tirebiter [earthlink.net] in the Firesign Theater lexicon.

    In RealSpace, he was "the doughty unofficial mascot of USC (Univ. South. Calif.) athletic teams in earlier times, renowned for his devotion to attacking the spinning wheels of large American automobiles...."

    In the Firesign Theater world, he's the Everyman protaganist of the comedy album "Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers" (which appears to be out of print, although I found a cassette in a local record store). It's high comedy from Firesign Theater, a team that was known for a counter-cultural radio program in the sixties. It's very funny, but requires FULL attention, a strong liberal arts background, and occassionaly several listens, to get a large percentage of the jokes.

    Check out the entry for DWARF [earthlink.net] to get a feel for the humor.

    That said, even though I got the reference, I don't think seeing a post under the name George Tirebiter would make me think "Oh - It's the editor!" or "He's just joking!". I would instead think "This guy is a pretty poor satirist - it's like posting under 'Chaucer'".

  • Can't Stand the Heat (Score:2, Informative)

    by Seanasy (21730)

    Apparently Kevin didn't want ot stick around to see how his apology goes over.

    I will be on vacation through August 13. If this is an urgent matter, please contact Gus Venditto (gvenditto@internet.com) at internet.com.

    --
    Kevin Reichard
    Executive Editor
    internet.com
    http://www.internet.com
    -----
  • I guess its okay for the /. editors to mod a post pointing out their flaws down into the nine realm of hell - but its bad that this LT guy astroturfed?

    Im sorry - thats just BS. You people ought to check up on what happened with the string of articles last time /. went down (the OSDN router outage thing). /. editors were modding down anti slashdot posts LEFT AND FUCKING RIGHT to -1 within seconds of their posting.

    A good example would be what will happen to this post within around 45 seconds from the time it hits the article. It'll be down to -1 and my karma will keep on sliding down down down.... (Im already at -5, can it get any lower?)

    Gam
    "Flame at Will"
    • >I guess its okay for the /. editors to mod a
      >post pointing out their flaws down into the nine
      >realm of hell - but its bad that this LT guy
      >astroturfed?

      The really sad thing is of course that this is completely true, as has already been demonstrated. (you're at 0, Troll at the time of this posting).

      The Somethingawful debacle is another nice example. Everything that remotely indicated slashdot could have done something wrong was -1 within seconds.

      'We are slashdot. We are hypocrites'

      --
      GCP (come on, mod me down, see if I care)
      • by FreeUser (11483) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @03:22PM (#2149394)
        The really sad thing is of course that this is completely true, as has already been demonstrated.

        ahem. Basic logic please.

        It does not follow that, because moderators have moderated the parent to your post down to zero, that those moderators were slashdot editors. Far more likely that slashdot readers with moderator priveleges modded the post down as the flaimbait it certainly appeared to be (to me at least, although I do not have moderator priveleges right now).

        The slashdot editors are the ones who decide which stories get posted (decisions I disagree with as often as not BTW), not those readers who happen to have moderator priveleges at a given moment.
        • That's not entirely the case. See my explanation in another thread [slashdot.org] in this story.
          • thank you (Score:3, Insightful)

            by FreeUser (11483)
            Thanks. That was very interesting (and the slashdot editors deserve to be called on the carpet for that sort of thing). My critique of your logic in your previous statement stands, but my personal opinions as to the veracity of your accusations against the slashdot editors has been modified from "yeah, right" to "hmm...there may be something to what you say."

            Hopefully the /. editors will take this sort of criticism for what it is and modify their behavior in the future, rather than "bitchslapping" (is that your term, or theirs?) posts like these down. People do fuck up, and it is through being called on it, and changing one's behavior, that not only goods and services such as slashdot are improved, but so are we as people.
    • modding down? haha. I remember times when posts and even whole _threads_ were removed completely. ("technical difficulties" I believe was an excuse)
    • Making assertions doesn't qualify as evidence in my book. OTOH, I notice that some disagree. Currently your rank is 2, when I would have marked it troll, or possibly flamebait.

      Still, you might recall that for the first years, before the moderator system, the editors had total control. Then the original moderators were a close group of friends. It was only later that this was widened, and then widened again, into the current relatively large group of people.

  • Contrivance? Sure. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TOTKChief (210168) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @03:03PM (#2149377) Homepage

    Yeah, I could see "George Tirebiter" being a contrivance. It's about as blaringly screaming "ignore me, I'm a mo-ron" as "Anonymous Coward". But for someone in charge to be doing it...guh.

    A few years back when I worked for TOTK.com Sports, I had a fellow staff member fake some email [or so he thought] from the current President of the United States. It sounded just a bit too much like this one guy...and when I traced it out, it was him. I "fired" [in the sense that I never let him write again] him on the spot. Though we were "new media", I wasn't going to put up with pointless bullshit. Scary to think that a college sophomore [at the time] had more balls than a "major new media company" like internet.com does at present.

    Oh well, I never read LT much anyway. This just assures that I never will.

    • Why couldn't George Tirebiter be the name of the poster's dog, or something like that, though? Whether or not the name is contrived, surely the content of the messages are more important, yes?
    • Yeah, I could see "George Tirebiter" being a contrivance. It's about as blaringly screaming "ignore me, I'm a mo-ron" as "Anonymous Coward". But for someone in charge to be doing it...guh.

      The only place I know the name "George Tirebiter" from is from the Firesign Theater album "Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers" [earthlink.net]. Do you know of it being used in some other context? Or were you giving a cold impression of the name? Or, are you being sarcastic, and neglecting to use the &ltSARCASM&gt tags?

      I'm not being facetious - I really want to know.

      • I don't know it from anywhere. But the name "George Tirebiter" is so outrageous sounding as to be ludicrous. It's obviously contrived...heck, if you want to all our nicks are. But I'm happy to post my real email address and URL here on /. Hell, I'll even inquire as to whether cafepress does dartboards and start selling dartboards with my smiling mug on 'em on IJSM if you like...=P
        • But the name "George Tirebiter" is so outrageous sounding as to be ludicrous. It's obviously contrived...

          I can think of a couple of ways that that name could happen, imagining that a family with the German term "Arbeiter" in their name came through the Ellis Island Name Scrambling Office. (And yes, I know about the Firesign Theatre reference.)

          But if you have a name like mine, you *never* assume that others' names are faked.

          Joe Zitt
  • so (Score:3, Funny)

    by British (51765) <british1500@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @02:29PM (#2149400) Homepage Journal
    So will all the names being used be apologzing?
    • Re:so (Score:2, Funny)

      by Black Parrot (19622)
      > So will all the names being used be apologzing?

      [LMAO]

      No, a simple "I and all my socks" will suffice.

  • by bricriu (184334) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @02:31PM (#2150010) Homepage
    I personally think that these fine gentlemen have, by virtue of their effusive apology, proved themselves to be well and truly sorry, and that we should all forgive them their minor trespasses. Who's with me?

    -Kevin Richard... I mean, uh Ben. That's it. Ben.
  • that forced sound (Score:4, Insightful)

    by benedict (9959) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @02:34PM (#2150123)
    The apology has that forced sound of someone who doesn't understand or doesn't want to understand why their actions were wrong.

    Plus it contains grammatical mistakes, which looks kind of bad when your job title includes "editor".
    • by Black Parrot (19622) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @04:19PM (#2109796)
      > Plus it contains grammatical mistakes, which looks kind of bad when your job title includes "editor".

      Nod a nissue, far Linux-friendly geek cites.
      • by Miles (79172)
        Maybe not under other circumstances, but certainly in this case. What kind of editor issues an apology that is not checked for errors, or at least flow? Hell, even intent?

        "It is too important you can trust what you read here."

        I guess in English you can omit the 'that' between 'important' and 'you', but that sentence doesn't roll off the tongue very easily. It might also be more convincing if it were to say,
        It is important *to me* that you can trust what you read here.

        As it stands, I'm not convinced that it is important to him--just that it was important in a vague sort of way.
  • Serious matter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by doomy (7461) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @02:34PM (#2150129) Homepage Journal
    An editor of a respected news portal should never have commited something like this. In paper media it would have been much better to resign and safe face afterwards. This person using psudonames trolled LinuxToday's talkback forums and flamed Linux, Linus, SlashDot etc. Often he used anti-linux and sentiments and questioned the existance of an opensource/linux community. He should resign IMHO. If LinuxToday is to be respected, this is the only way out for this publication.
    • I have to say - SO WHAT. Every one is entitled to their opinion whether others agree with it or not. If he wants to vent at the opposition then let him. I bet half the people on Slashdot have done the same at one time or another. I know I have.
      • > I have to say - SO WHAT. Every one is entitled to their opinion whether others agree with it or not. If he wants to vent at the
        > opposition then let him. I bet half the people on Slashdot have done the same at one time or another. I know I have.

        The difference in atmosphere between /. & LT was the fact that the editors posted under their own names. And Reichard knew this -- I remember reading several posts he made in the talk-backs under his own name.

        (And why is it there are 124 posts in the LT talk-back forum, most of which are critical of Reichard, & a few promising to boycott LT, but Reichard has not responded to a single one of them under his own name?)

        But was even more pernicious was the fact that LT appeared to have a number of trolls with a pro-Microsoft bent, a la Steve Bartko on the Compuserve forums from years past. A large number of LT readers honestly thought that this was part of a FUD attack encouraged either by Microsoft or people outside of MS who felt their livelihood depended on that company. And now it is clear that a hack journalist eager for more clicks was stirring up trouble . . . & the folks at MS have been watching this & smiling at the confusion on the other side.

        Reichard has proven he is no friend of Linux. If Internet.com were wise, they'd let him go.

        Geoff
    • by Maldivian (264175) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @03:51PM (#2150398)
      I agree with the orginal poster, Kevin Reichard, should be removed from Internet.com, that is the only way the respect of this community would ever return to an otherwise good site.

      Also, I noticed Kevin Reichard seemed to be having some really weird friends posting under his Talkback [linuxtoday.com].

      A certain Mike Moore posted this under the subject of "Excellent [linuxtoday.com]",
      It takes a lot to admit this. I still dont believe astroturfing is anything to ruffle your feathers about, we all do it dont we? But I salute Kevin Reichard for taking this stance and explaining matters. This shows the maturity of Linux Today and the opensource nature of all their undertakings. Cheers
      A couple of posts below that, Eric Kiersky writes with subject "Kevin shouldnt apologize [linuxtoday.com]",
      I dont believe Kevin should have been preassured into apologizing about this. As I understand this pressure came from an individual who was fired from LinuxToday. I felt that individual's articles were more revenge based than anything to expose ethics on astroturfing. Kevin is an excellent individual and his work on Linux Today is second to non. I hope everyone takes a deep breath and just think before posting anymore slashdot induced flames on Mr. Kevin Reichard
      At first look this all seem to be optimistic well wishers giving their support to Richard. But if you ever visted the Borg [microsoft.com], you might wonder why those names seem so familiar.

      Well, it just so happens that Kevin has some very good friends working backstage [microsoft.com] at one of the best authorites on Austroturfing [tuxedo.org].

      With friends like that who needs enemies? Now, I wonder how far deep the fangs of corporate monopoly sinks in our community....
  • by fetta (141344) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @02:34PM (#2150146)
    It doesn't sound like the editor is acknowledging that he did anything wrong, just saying "I won't do it again because other people misunderstood."

    There are good reasons to post anonymously under some circumstances, but I don't think he gives any here. How would the debate have been any less "lively" if he had acknowledged the source of his comments all along?
    • Well, people might have said things like "What's an editor of Linux Today doing criticizing /.?". Not that there aren't sometimes decent reasons to criticise it, but it's usually out of place of a rival (sort of) to do so. Does the Times criticise the Inquirer? (I'm assuming not, without sufficient evidence.)

      • > "What's an editor of Linux Today doing criticizing /.?"

        So, what's Hemos doing here? Well, at least he signed his article.

        • > "What's an editor of Linux Today doing criticizing /.?"
          So, what's Hemos doing here? Well, at least he signed his article.
          That's the point. Because we know who's making the critique, we can take the biases into account in evaluating the criticism.

          I accept that if I read the NY Times or Wall Street Journal editorial pages (or listen to Rush Limbaugh or Dan Rather), that these news sources have biases. I can take those biases into account. In the case of the comments we're talking about here, the writer was deliberately trying to mislead his audience about his biases.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @02:35PM (#2150189)
    My name is Billy Evans. I am a very sick little boy. My mother is typing this for me, because I can't. She is crying. The reason she is so sad is because I'm so sick. I was born without a body. It doesn't hurt, except when I try to breathe. The doctors gave me an artificial body. It is a burlap bag filled with leaves. The doctors said that was the best they could do on account of us having no money or insurance. I would like to have a body transplant, but we need more money. Mommy doesn't work because she said nobody hires crying people. I said, "Don't cry, Mommy," and she hugged my burlap bag. Mommy always gives me hugs, even though she's allergic to burlap and it makes her sneeze and chafes her real bad. I hope you will help me. You can help me if you forward this email to everyone you know. Forward it to people you don't know, too. Dr. Johansen said that for every person you forward this email to, Bill Gates will team up with AOL and send a nickel to NASA. With that funding, NASA will collect prayers from school children all over America and have the astronauts take them up into space so that the angels can hear them better. Then they will come back to earth and go to the Pope, and he will take up a collection in church and send all the money to the doctors. The doctors could help me get better then. Maybe one day I will be able to play baseball. Right now I can only be third base. Every time you forward this letter, the astronauts can take more prayers to the angels and my dream will be closer to coming true. Please help me. Mommy is so sad, and I want a body. I don't want my leaves to rot before I turn 10. If you don' tforward this email, that's okay. Mommy says you're a mean and heartless bastard who doesn't care about a poor little boy with only a head. She says that if you don't stew in the raw pit of your own guilt-ridden stomach, she hopes you die a long slow horrible death and then burn forever in hell. What kind of cruel person are you that you can't take five freakin' minutes to forward this to all your friends so that they can feel guilt and shame about ignoring a poor, bodiless nine-year-old boy? Please help me. I try to be happy, but it's hard. I wish I had a kitty. I wish I could hold a kitty. I wish I could hold a kitty that wouldn't chew on me and try to bury its turds in the leaves of my burlap body. I wish that very much. Thank You, Billy "Smiley" Evans
  • Excuse me? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crowchild (326687) <melissa-post.dreamingcrow@com> on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @02:35PM (#2150223) Homepage
    On reflection, I have to admit that anonymous posting by an editor at a news site was wrong. I stopped months ago and vow to LT readers that I will never engage in the practice again. It is too important you can trust what you read here.

    As if we should believe him? I'm well aware of the current state of today's media. Journalistic integrity is a word that most media reporters and editors seem to have forgotten.

    However, this is totally out of line, even by today's standards. Someone looking at his apology would think that he had just committed minor infractions. No, he was busily posting nastygrams about competitors and rivals [linuxjournal.com].

    He should just resign and get the heck out.

    'crow

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @02:37PM (#2150305)
    I stopped months ago and vow to LT readers that I will never engage in the practice again.

    Heh.

    I've said something similar to my wife more than once. I wonder if LT readers are sharper than she is...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    There's a *lot* of acusations of sensorship on the talkbacks. Until now, there's no apologies or explanations. And I think it stinks.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @02:40PM (#2150399)

    A Slashdot editor would be easy to identify from the spelling and gramatical errors.

  • Thats a pretty poor excuse for an apology. He didn't mention all of the pseudonyms he used and I don't think he came clean as to why he did it. "fostering lively debate" my ass. He was trying to influence the debate and in a dishonest manner. Anonymous postings are fine for readers, but an editor should be held to a higher standard, at least where his own paper/website are concerned.

    A lot of the talkbacks left on the page so far really astound me, how can these people be so quick to forgive something like this. Personnaly, I would find it hard to trust anything this guy, or Linux Today publishes.

  • by maynard (3337) <j@maynard@gelinas.gmail@com> on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @02:46PM (#2150618) Journal
    Here is the talback I sent to LinuxToday.
    I'm not just offended by your anonymous postings, Mr. Reichard, I'm personally offended by your regular censorship of content in talkback posts which refuted your editorial positions. You personally censored some of my talkbacks on an editorial that you wrote, so I speak from experience. I note that many others have claimed the same, so I am not alone. I've worked as a journalist for a local small time paper and I *never* saw that kind of behavior by our editorial board. Both censorship where you have an obvious conflict of interest and anonymous postings in your own forum show you lack the ethics required for the position of Sr. Editor. Personally, I think you should be fired for breach of trust to the Linux community, and for breach of journalistic ethics overall. Until this happens I will not consider LinuxToday a reputable source for news.

    J. Maynard Gelinas
    This speaks for itself. I have no respect for this man, or how he has behaved on their forums. Internet.com should fire the man posthaste.

    --Maynard
  • Why not... (Score:2, Funny)

    by ackthpt (218170)
    Why not hire this guy [isuzu.com] to do the astroturfing? At least it would appear more authentic than "George Tirebiter".

    Notorious slimey pitchman for Isuzu, in case you didn't know.

  • OK, how many of the so-called Users on this site are actually pseudonyms for Malda and his cronies? Perhaps I am one myself.
  • What a nice blend of moral outrage, incompetence, and vitriole! Let's see ...

    1. He got caught
    2. People get upset
    3. He gave a semi-apology
    4. We all continue on with life as if nothing had happened.

    Will all those who really give a crap please step forward. Not so fast Mr. Tirebiter.

  • Liars and trust (Score:2, Interesting)

    Call me a cynic, but I find it hard to believe a liar when they apologize.

    It's a shame that people give any credit at all to people who are caught in a lie. After all, the apology isn't for the lie. The apology is for getting caught. If the apology was for the lie, it would have been issued long before it was common knowledge that a falsehood existed.

    Feh...

  • Okay, Linux Today is primarily a press-release site, right? It doesn't exactly claim to be a real news site, does it? As such, the expectations of partiality and journalistic integrity that you'd normally want of an editor don't really apply here, do they?

    Maybe it sounds like I'm oversimplifying a bit, I don't know. But I've never really gone to Linux Today hoping to find straight news, and it seemed like the editor was less an editor than a page maintainer. I guess what I'm saying is, in theory, I don't think there's anything wrong with the guy faking an alias and posting stuff to get a reaction. It's not like I give a damn who any of the other aliases are because they're all unverifiable anyway (or, I guess, considering this case, mostly unverifiable ;) -- if they post something debate-worthy, I'll fight it or support it on merit.

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