Posting anonymously on the web—is one of the Web’s great contributions to pro-freedom subversive activity around the world. “Can’t stop the signal, Mal”—from Joss Whedon’s movie Serenity is one of the glorious mottos of our day-and-age.
I have recently been getting a nasty lesson in the downside of this subversive activity however: On the Web, “anything goes.” Any lie, no matter how outrageous, will not only go totally censored, it will be copied and sent then thousand times around the world, getting stranger and less real with every traverse.
Rumor Volat, as Vergil wrote in the story of Dido and Aeneas (rumors fly!), it starts off as a small child harmlessly wandering in a meadow, and grows as it moves into giant with a club smashing houses and buildings and tearing up trees.
Since August of 2012 I have been complaining about some vicious lies and publications by people claiming to be clients who never me, much less worked with me or paid me. A few of these first appeared on the “Ripoff Report”—supposedly a consumer watchdog website. But I am beginning to realize that this “Ripoff Report” is just a free haven for GENUINE scammers and liars seeking to charge fees to erase the defamation left by others with the immunity and impunity that anonymity provides. MySpace is getting to be that way also. Probably Facebook next.
How many of you have seen this add or received this e-mail: “We can remove the derogatory information about you from the web” for a fee, more-or-less substantial?
A variant of this is “Your Privacy and Reputation are at Stake!”
OH MY GOD! The Ripoff Report itself specializes in providing a “safe haven” for anonymous slanderers…. I can’t quite figure out how “MySpace” is going to operate, but I doubt it will be good…
I have heard of copying news stories and embellishing them, but I have recently been the victim of a particularly HILARIOUS embellishment, which shows just how disconnected from reality ANY information on the web can be: I now stand not merely of scamming people, but (apparently) of doing so in England (or Ireland, it’s not exactly clear—possibly Israel, I guess, right?) because my assistant Peyton “Freeman” is now accused of putting liens on people’s property FOR SUMS OF MONEY STATED IN POUNDS STERLING—this would be just hilarious, if it hadn’t been pointed out to me by people in BRENTWOOD I had never met and were concerned about it:
As of Sunday October 7, 2012:
on http://www.alivenotdead.com/leesherrill615, the two screenshot show exactly what some lamebrain idiot said (twice, with very telling variations):