A Short-sighted Perspective...
I've had this written for a while, but was inspired to update it and post it as a result of a thread on a board that talks about missing the old JPC - the one I was co-mod for on the TWBB that doesn't exist anymore. Funny though, at least one person in the thread who misses the way things were was very vocal at the end about not going to be missing the way things were and was making noises about leaving forums with moderation.
I guess it's everyone's right to change their minds.
...a long time ago, it seems like, I blogged about being anonymous online and the fact that you could be whatever you want to be.
For a lot of people, it's an ego boost - something to help their self-esteem I suspect.
For some it's an escape.
For others it's playtime.
Then there's that select few that use it to harass. Yes, harassment. I know of this firsthand because I've been the target of such harassment for the last couple of months. It's all anonymous too, which is probably what sends the evil little gremlin who is behind it all into spasms of paradoxial glee. Or maybe it's multiple gremlins who are behind it.
You see, what's happening is this: I get at least two to three anonymous ezboard inbox messages a day from various usernames that are deleted almost as soon as they're created. This has been going on for just over 2 months now. They may mention things from my board The Wagon
or things from this very blog. Or they key into the fact that I've posted on the JPC board
and are completely pissed off about that.
Of course, I don't know if they're truly pissed off, but that's the way it comes across - that or I'm supposed to think that about them. Some of them have been rather interesting. And they always increase in number and frequency after I make a rare post at JPC, although they're always there.
They've been reported to Ezboard, but there's nothing that can be done - the usernames are created with fake information, temporary email addresses, really nothing of note that could help trace this individual.
One told me that they'll report me to Child Protective Services the first mention I make of spanking my child in my blog. Hey! Look! I just mentioned it! Got that phone number ready to dial? Go for it.
I've gotten a few that have stated that the admins of the JPC board were going to close it and move it to a quiet place that I won't be able to find for the sole purpose of me never posting there again. Early on they said I had no right whatsoever to post at JPC, but that doesn't seem to be a train of thought right now. Somehow I doubt that to be true, especially considering I've traded emails with the owner of that board in the early days discussing me showing up over there.
A couple have said that they were going to hack my email address and The Wagon, and either shut it down or find some way to make sure that everyone there went away for good because they would find a way to make it look like I insulted everyone there. Good luck getting through the firewalls that I have on that email address. Yes, I know, they could spoof but I don't think that they're that smart. And you can't shut down The Wagon unless there's verified email from my address. I can always get it restored.
A few have said they'll create a new username that is very close to mine and use that for the sole purpose of posting as if they were me. I know that 'whizgidget2' has already been created but never used. The username 'wg' has existed since 1999 (else I would have nabbed it already for myself), but I don't think they're related to this in any way. I'm sure there will be more, if there aren't already - just sitting and waiting. As someone else once said, there's only one WhizGidget and they'd know if it were me posting or not.
The vast majority of them taunt me about how guilty I must feel for the shutdown of the social forums of the TWBB, and that it's all my fault that people are feeling lost, or that other people went away. Oh yeah, I have all that control over people and what they do. All bow before the great and powerful WhizGidget. Riiiiiight.
A great many tell me that there are so many people that absolutely hate me and that some of them are my closest friends, but no specific names are ever mentioned. Even if they started naming names I wouldn't believe them. But I'm sure there are some misguided people who do hate me and blame me for things that I've had nothing to do with. Everyone can't love everyone else all the time. If they did, then there would probably be a lot less strife in the world than there currently is.
After posting a few times yesterday in a single thread on JPC, I'm getting one constant message that is just one simple sentence from usernames that have run the gamut of 'ihatewhiz' to 'whizblows' to 'goawaynow', and I've gotten it 16 times now: "Stop posting at JPC, we don't want you."
There are many, many more and some have offensive language, some have vast misspellings, some have international spelling (using 's' in place of 'z' and the 'ou' combination for some words). Some are well-written, some have no capitalization, some are in all caps, some in standard mixed case (as normal letters would be). I think they're trying to throw me off as to who they might be. Honestly, I have no idea. I know other people who've theorized as to who this person (or persons) might be, but I honestly don't care. At least I don't think I do. People, get a life. Of course, I'm assuming that there is more than one, since the word 'we' has been used, but perhaps they are the self-appointed spokesperson for the stitching community now. Do you need a nickel to buy a clue?
I just think about all the time folks like this waste creating identities just to send a mail and then delete them again and what amazing things they could be doing with that time.
They could be stitching.
They could be figuring out who to vote for in the next election and doing the necessary research to figure out what the real truth is to each candidate. It's there if you look for it.
They could be donating their time to charity.
They could be working (assuming they are employed) or job hunting (unless they're independently wealthy).
They could be helping out at a school, or a retirement home, a homeless shelter.
So many good things could be done with the time that's wasted harassing me (or harassing anyone for that matter). But I guess people with petty issues wouldn't ever think of the big picture of things that are out there, because they're so well ensconced in their own little worlds. Perhaps it's a world that they feel has been shattered to pieces with the different boards that have cropped up, and they just felt the need to target one individual, and I happened to be in the cross-hairs.
How convenient for me, especially since I was in a lot of people's crosshairs when I moderated the most active social forum on the TWBB for over 2 years. Many many things were blamed on me that I wasn't even remotely involved in.
The fact that I don't know who it is, or that I care could potentially change if I ever found out who it is who is doing this - I would probably post a few of the truly choice ezmails with their username in this blog. Considering I know they read it, and I know my blog's syndicate feed is picked up on a few services out there, they would have their name in big bright lights. Of course, that would give them the attention that they are probably craving beyond words, so maybe I wouldn't do that. Why give them the satisfaction, right? I probably shouldn't even be discussing this here, but it's been on my mind for awhile, and I've wanted to say something publicly about it. If my readership numbers were small, then I probably would have figured out who it is by now by simply researching IP addresses, but you try doing that with about 300-500 individual IPs hitting your blog daily, not to mention the RSS feeds (syndication) that I wouldn't have the information for. Then again, it could be someone else passing the information to the person via email. Who knows, who really cares?
Not me. All I can say is this: get a life people. If you've not scared me away by now, do you really think I'm going to disappear? That you could get me to stop writing my blog, keeping up The Wagon, and posting anywhere I have the desire to post?
Think again. You're welcome to keep trying to harass me, but honestly, you're really not getting anywhere. In fact, a few people want to help find you some therapy and a new hobby.
Think about your goal - is it to keep me off of JPC? Well, I've posted there a few times, so that can't be it. Is the goal to get me to go away from the online world? Not gonna happen. I'm still here.
Is the goal to try and make my life miserable? I can think of all sorts of other ways to do that, and in reality the best way to truly do that is to become my boss here at work and try and trample my career into nothingness. I wish you luck attempting to displace the gentleman that is currently the COO.
Honestly, I think you need a better re-evaluation of your endgame goal and some serious self-introspection as to why you have this need to attempt to pound someone into the ground. I bet it's that your own self-esteem ain't so great, or that you've got some empty spots in your life that need filling. That or you're so incredibly incompetent at rational discussion that you have to hide behind an anonymous facade to be able to talk to anyone. To paraphrase Buzz Lightyear: "You are a sad strange little person" but you don't have my pity. Or my disgust...
...when you can discuss things like a rational human being without hiding in the shadows, you know where to find me.