September 20, 2003

Slashdot Prefect

For my own protection, I suppose I should write about the following thank-you note I sent today:

Date: Sat, 20 Sep 2003 09:54:09 EDT
To: [Rob Malda (head of Slashdot)]
From: Seth Finkelstein
Subject: Thanks for the posting, and a question

Thanks for posting the article on Wednesday about my "Verisign Typosquatter Explorer" program. I was pleasantly surprised (at the fact of the posting itself).

Should I infer any deeper significance from that action? Frankly, I'm about to throw in the towel on censorware investigations. It's simply too much, to risk a lawsuit from a censorware company, yet have to worry about Michael Sims helping them attack me, up to and including possible abusive front-page Slashdot articles trashing me if I'm sued. Note one difference between him and me - I did not hijack the "Verisign Typosquatter Explorer" page into a "Smeared By Sims " page.

[The HTML links are not in the original mail - they're here for annotation]

Realistically, I don't expect a reply. I just had my hopes up for an unfortunate moment, symptomatic of my delusions of support. Note, contrary to accusations, this is perhaps the third time in my entire life for mailing Rob Malda (the first was to protest Michael's abusing his Slashdot editor comment-moderation powers, the second was the ill-fated code proposal at the time of the CIPA, Federal censorware law, trial, and somewhere he may have been on a cc line from someone else where I replied)

It's not that everyone at Slashdot loves Michael Sims (not what I hear at all). But as long as he doesn't go past being merely an embarrassment to them, he'll remain _de facto_ supported in terms of pay and reputation to - literally - lie, cheat, and steal, against anyone else.

I get much preaching about a "feud" and such, and that's just wrong. "Feud" implies some sort of rough equality of forces, apart from the moral aspects.

It deeply bothers me, that despite Michael Sims holding hostage, destroying and domain-hijacking the Censorware Project website, he's not a pariah. That was very public and on-going. He doesn't walk around thinking "Why did I ever betray the trust which was placed in me? Nobody who sees that will ever work with me.". By contrast, I do walk around thinking "Why did I ever do so much free-speech work? It wasn't valued. And I have to defend myself against all the attacks."

That's not a "feud". The outcome here doesn't seem to me to be that I should blithely get myself sued. Rather, again, I'm way overmatched for what I'm trying to do, and anything further will just bring me more grief.

This is a prelude for some other material I plan to write in a few days, more then.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in activism | on September 20, 2003 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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