Internet Abuse

I made the unfortunate choice to comment on a blog, www.wernerpatels.com, run by Werner Patels regarding the Ezra Levant lawsuit. Instead of posting my comment he instead made claims about the comment that were untrue, and posted those instead.

I did not keep the original text of the comment because I assumed he played by the same rules as everyone else. I do remember the character of the comment and it did not include any dirty words, defamation, racism, or any of the other claims made by Patels. In fact, several of my arguments are substantiated by news articles, and the contents of the Qur'an. I think Soharwardy an extremist for some of his actions known at the time, and further news articles point in this direction.

I posted two follow-up comments on this same article in order to point out this action of his was dishonest and that my claims are substantial and not in any way defamatory, racist, etc. These were not long comments, and only three in total. He did pretty much the same thing with those additional comments but now painting it like I was a stalker for my three comments.   Maybe that's a record on his site?

I later found that several articles on this issue, of Soharwardy and how Patels thinks he's a nice guy, were removed from his site. It looked to me like he was whitewashing his record on this. The news reports had changed in nature and the person he was praising as a moderate was being accused in news articles of using physical violence against other Muslims. I thought whitewashing his past positions on his blog was also dishonest of him.

Seeing that he had a track record of changing comments on his blog I decided to talk with him via email. His response was to post my email on an entirely different blog, set up a special category just for me, and make additional false charges against me. I only noticed this later when trying to search for the original post.

Today I started to write a short post in reply to this attack piece which claimed I didn't have a job because I had a window open to his site open for five hours on Monday, Presidents day. Well I have one open right now on his site in the background and I am not reading anything. I was foolishly planning posting a reply, and had written it. I decided against that. In fact, my current policy is to never comment there but instead somewhere else and then provide a link, so he doesn't have the power to delete the comment, and also will not have an excuse for deleting the link. After all, anything he might be afraid of a lawsuit about will not be on his site so there is no reason to delete the link. His lies will then transparently be lies.

Below is my response to his current attack article that I was planning to post on his site. He also had sent me a bunch of offensive emails I will share in another article. For someone who is afraid of lawsuits he sure likes to slather on the defamation. Not surprisingly he threatened to sue me for harassment over my emails. As you will see he has poor judgment when it comes to what's legal and what's not.

Not surprisingly this guy is notorious for dishing out internet abuse. In the past I had another more famous run in with Dean Esmay, another internet abuser that got carried on several heavily trafficked blogs. Esmay called me a traitor because I disrespected Islam. I know it sounds ridiculous but that was what it was about. His wife even disagreed with him on that and invited me to be a co-blogger on her blog. I think in the future it behooves me to look up the name of any site owner for abuse before I post on their site.

Here's some of what Patels had to say about me which is prefectly ridiculous:

"Poor fool. Too bad Brian Macker can't read or open his eyes. My
stuff (previous and current articles) are all out there; nothing has
been whitewashed or hidden.

Macker is also a bit mad because I previously edited one of his comments on my site: it contained serious libellous [sic] allegations, as well as hate-filled language, which could have exposed this site to litigation.

But Macker is a disturbed and backward individual: at this point,
he's already spent five hours on this site today, and counting. He must
be unemployed -- then again, who would hire a nutter like that?

Proof again that those without much brain and/or a good education
always fall off the deep end (on the far right or the far left)."

Here's my response to his article:

Feb 18 was Presidents Day. I use Windows often with multiple windows open in the background, and my computer on for long periods. Apparently one was left open for five hours. Believe me I know little about you.

All my posts here have been reasonable. You did delete the article on you other blog (that was critical of Ezra Levant and praised Soharwardy as a moderate) or at least you provided no explanation for why it has disappeared.

Here's the URL: http://www.wernerpatels.com/canuck_columnist/2007/12/the-trap-so-eas.html

Another dishonest thing you've done here is to do a character assassination of one of you commenters, me, on on a different site than the one on which I commented. I commented on the www.wernerpatels.com blog and not over here on this different blog I was not aware of at the time.

It's dishonest because there is a likelihood I wouldn't see it and even if I should find it then any defense is not only buried in the comments (not a problem here) but buried in time. The damage is done with no chance for defense. Of course, it's clear that you aren't interested in my defense.

You understand that there is a power differential between a blogger and his commenters. This is obvious because you feel free to not only delete comments but also to substantially misrepresent their contents.

I will also be sharing your side of our little email exchange with other bloggers. The one in which you made profanities about my national origins and said nasty things about all Americans. You also had some derogatory comments about being gay to share.

I looked up internet abuse and your name. Seems like you are notorious for doing this kind of thing. You have been very unfair with me and fail to recognize that I have reasonable concerns about this ideology called Islam. Those concerns do not automatically imply any kind of bigoted beliefs or behavior towards Muslims. That I think chopping hands off is not a reasonable punishment for stealing a loaf of bread, or the death penalty is not a reasonable response to apostasy does not mean I hate Muslims.

I realize you'll probably just delete this comment and claim it was hateful. Therefore I am posting it on a remote site and including a link to it. In fact all my posts from now on will be done in the way.

I suggest in the future you reconsider your blogging ethics and not mischaracterize other people's posts on your blog. The correct ethics is to send a private email to the commenter with an explanation as to why you think the post exposes you to a lawsuit if that's the case. You have a right not to post comments that you are concerned about even if they are not truly defamatory. However, publicly claiming they are defamatory, racist, or smut as fact when that is merely your opinion and not fact is in itself a form of defamation.

Clearly you believe your claims about me should affect my employment
prospects when you say the following:

But Macker is a disturbed and backward individual: at this point, he's
already spent five hours on this site today, and counting. He must be
unemployed -- then again, who would hire a nutter like that?

You believe the false charges you make against me are grounds for not employing me. If this is true and I should be fired based on these false accusations, and I might be without my knowledge, then it is you who will be facing a lawsuit.

In fact I suggest strongly that you take down your article, and if you persist in your behavior you might find that your fears of having a lawsuit for defamation are both misplaced and realized at the same time.

Were the comments available then people could judge for themselves if your opinion is substantiated and then it might be ethical for you to comment on them. As it stands people only have your word on the issue. Your powers of deduction are obviously faulty as is clear from your belief that I don't have a job based on your evidence, or the crazy idea I'm a "right winger". I'm both employed and not a right-winger. Your hateful smutty email that you sent to me where you claim that I am "harassing" you will further show people you are not to be trusted on legal issues such as what constitutes defamation, smut, etc.

Now I can certainly see where a Muslim might find my comments offensive, and sue you, but that doesn't mean they are defamatory. You certainly have a right to even ban me on that issue if you like. I really wouldn't care. In fact, in a way I am self banning myself. I will only comment on articles related directly to me, and only via comment links to responses on blogs where content will not be deleted.

I will post a link to this article in the comments there. I won't be surprised if he deletes it.

Patels: "... nothing has been whitewashed or hidden."

Yeah, right. I guess, in Patels mind, removing comments and articles doesn't count as hiding just so long as you misinform people of the actual content.

Share this

Brian - The link under

Brian -

The link under "attack article" is dead.

Looks open and shut

I think you've made your case. To directly address his smear of your character: I think pretty highly of you, so if you are a disturbed and backward individual, then probably so am I. My advice would be to let this matter drop at the earliest opportunity, because as a friend of mine has occasionally reminded me, don't wrestle with pigs. You get muddy and the pigs love it.

I agree

Yes, Constant, I had those same thoughs.   Knowing more about the guy it's probable that his blog has no readership.  Plus it's all over the internet that he's got problems.  So I'm not as concerned someone will mistakely think what he's saying is actually true.

I'm not going to bother posting his emails.  I'm really not interested in doing him harm.   Nor am I particularly mad.  I kind of feel sorry for him.   Unfortunately I have to defend myself even from people who may not be competent.

I'll certainly pull this entire post if he drops his claims.    If he could turn a new leaf he certainly deserves a second chance.  

That's the correct link

That's the correct link. He just tends to change his blog around. It's still in the google cache here.

I think he assumed I'd be a pushover and now he's retracting anything that might cause people to search for my name in connection with his attack article. He emailed me again today with some more untrue claims.

He's got another post claiming that I wanted to force him to post my comments, which frankly I don't care. I really just wanted him to remove any posts about me that untrue. If you aren't going to post a comment then don't do it but don't replace it with untrue claims.

I emailed back to him and I pointed out to him that some of the stuff he said about me was more clearly defamatory than the stuff I every posted. It appears that he's realized this and pulled down the post. I think more out of fear because my mere mentioning that what he was doing was defamatory lead him to call me a blackmailer, that he will debate me anywhere else I choose, and that he was blocking all email from me.   That seems strange as why does he assume I want to debate him on anything and furthermore how does he expect me to contact him to arrange it?

The article he still has up is still a bunch of nonsense. I'll be pulling this post down if he yanks the other post about me which is also defamatory. I really want nothing to do with him.

I think he has some problems. I'm not sure what his problems are. But take a look at this post and you will see what I mean. If you do a Google search on Werner Patel you will see that almost every other listing is of some person rblogging his abuse of them or someone else, and his long history of doing this kind of thing.

I posted a comment on his blog but he blocked it

I posted a comment on his blog earlier today with a link to this post and not much else. That was to not only inform his readers but to notify him. He blocked me as spam. I think that is fair notice. Since he has claimed to have blocked my email I'm not going to bother contacting him that way. BTW, at this point I think his readership is imaginary.

Instead, instead, instead

LOL, I really have to proofread my posts before I put them up. I restarted that sentence a couple times without going back to check what I'd said. I managed to insert three insteads. I guess I'll leave it up as a reminder.

I've decided against posting the entire set of emails

I've decided against posting the entire set of emails because it's just too much effort to format them in these comments sections.   I will however post part to give you an idea.

"Go back to school and learn how to read and think. You are a fucking moron. Now go fuck your gay father, you moron.  Americans are stupid morons who were conceived and born through their mothers' asshole."

 

Hmmmmm

This thread is the reason why I don't blog. I comment occasionally, but I am very selective about where I leave comments.

The "blogosphere", as it's known, is dominated by mostly childish characters still trapped in their diapers.

Whatever Brian's problem may be with the character he describes here at length, I don't agree that flaming him here is such a good idea.

Moreover, disclosing the content of private e-mail correspondence is against the law in most jurisdictions, and for what it's worth, Brian could have spoofed those. There is absolutely no proof that he actually received those e-mails.

Please don't flame me. I am only trying to bring some perspective into this, and I don't take sides.

Use your common sense to make the decision

Why would I flame you?   What I did is perfectly ethical.  He exposed my email so I exposed his.    He made it public first.  I very much doubt it's illegal to make public your own correspondence.  Especially when it involves threats and is hate mail.  

Otherwise there's an awful lot of people forwarding me stuff like joke emails who need to serve some prison time, and they don't even have the excuse of needing to exposed hate mail. 

Sure it's illegal to intercept other peoples email and expose it.   That's wiretapping.    

Anyone can make up anything.   That's the purpose of a reputation.  I could forward you the email chains if you'd like to inspect them.   Of course that could be spoofed too but with a hell of a lot of effort. 

I think the fact that you can go out on the internet and find that many other people have received abusive emails from this guy, claim he's called their jobs, threatened to sue, and done all sorts of other stuff should tend to make you think he's capable of this.   All these sources are verifiable without using me as the source.  

Just Google "Werner Patels" 

 

 

btw

Please keep in mind what I just said: I am not taking sides.

I took a look at the Google search suggested by Brian in his post, which he supplies as proof of his opponent's "problems".

All I see is sites or blogs written by others who don't like him because of their political differences.

To me, as a neutral bystander, this Google search doesn't prove anything, except that Warner has made a fair number of enemies by expressing his political views. But that's not a crime and it is not indicative of any mental disorder either, as is suggested in this post.

If this were me, and people had written similar things about me, I would have contacted my lawyer a long time ago and sued each and every one of those people. Maybe that's why Warner is a bit "cranky" and got angry at Brian: I would be overly sensitive to any form of criticism or perceived attack as well if people had written all those nasty things about me that this Google search reveals.

Here's my advice:

To Brian: Move on and forget about what happened. You're only working yourself up into a state that's unhealthy.

To Warner: Make peace with Brian and see if you two can get along somehow. Life's too short.

btw part 2

Brian added "sic" to the word "libellous" in one of his quotes, as if it were somehow spelled incorrectly. "Libellous" with two l's is the proper spelling in British English (and in Canada, too, as far as I know).

I am an anglophile, so I just had to comment on that so as to prevent people from thinking that British English is incorrect English. Sorry, just one of my personal hangups.

W. Patels and B. Macker

I know Mr Patels and I have had some experience with Mr Macker and more experience than I would like to admit to have had with trolls, sockpuppets, hacks, stooges, self-righteous wannabes and the lot. I also pride myself with being a bit more--shall we agree on a term--discerning about posting and what I post.

While Mr Patels has a bit of baggage from the past that comes back to haunt him, I have had my moments in the past and with Mr Patels but recent experience has made the impression that he is a different person today.

I corresponded briefly with Mr Macker and offered some non-partisan, what I considered reasonably sensible advice and some observations. Regrettably, Mr Macker remained obstinate and even made a mild attack on me. I then asked Mr Macker to avoid contacting me again.

I have read Mr Macker's rather lengthy postings and must say that he really should follow my FIDO--"forget it and drive on"--advice. I read too much pent up anger, frustration and emotion in those postings and that detracts from credibility. I'm not saying this mean-spiritedly, but if Mr Macker is sincere, credible, and sensitive he owes it to himself to be less volatile and less hyperbolic.

I'm commenting here and I don't want to give the impression I am commenting idly. I have my experience and am very willing to share it with the readers here.

I'll first direct you to two blogs that are wholly abusive and inane but representative and illustrative of what real Internet abuse and trolling is all about: http://stop-vadneys-lies.blogspot.com/2007/12/harold-w-vadney-iii-is-professional.html and http://vadney-bible-quotes.blogspot.com/. Guess what! They're both about me by persons who know nothing about me ;) Does that surprise you all? Do I take offense? Maybe. But my response should be representative of what I hope is a controlled, reasonable, and credible approach to Internet abuse and Internet scoundrels. My response is at: http://bg-internet-abuse.blogspot.com/ and it won't take a nuclear physicist to discern the difference in approaches.

My message is this: blogs are personal as are many moderated discussion fora. The blog owner or the moderator has a certain discretinary power: to say what s/he pleases and to allow others to post what s/he feels is appropriate. I, as a moderator of my site, insist that anyone can comment as long as the comment is not anonymous, civil, not abusive and on topic. Some moderators are not that liberal but I feel that if you have a point and are willing to identify yourself and can make that point without being abusive you should have the right to be heard--regardless of whether I like you or your views. I have no intention of attacking ad hominem and I don't tolerate it from others--flame wars are totally non-illuminating regardless of the luminance of the flame.

I hope I have made a reasonable point here.

Thanks for your patience.

Harold Vadney

Here's why

"Regrettably, Mr Macker remained obstinate and even made a mild attack on me."

He runs a site about Internet abuse and had prior incident with this guy in the past so I forwarded Patels abusive email chain. I was expecting him to post something on the site about yet another case of internet abuse by Patels.

Instead he circled the wagons around his fellow Canadian because it seems he shares Patels low opinion of the U.S. and sent me a long message on why America sucks, full of moral equivalence and half truths.

Furthermore he got many things wrong about the dispute. Somehow he got the idea that I thought I had a right to post at Patels site. Nothing could be further from the truth. That's Patels ridiculous assumption.

What was abusive about Patels action is the removal of the comment and then replacement with a lie. It would be the same as if I had replaced Harold's comment above with "Harold is a very abusive person and we do not allow that kind of foul language, smut, and racist argumentation on this site"
In short, he responded very inappropriately given the circumstances."

So I wrote back in an short email (It didn't explain why I found his email less the useful.)  It ended:

"Spare me your political diatribe. You are incredibly misinformed and you don't even realize it."

He didn't like this and didn't seem to fathom why I should be so curt. After getting that email I realized he was clueless to what he had done.   So I wrote him a more lengthy one explaining exactly why his post was inappropriate and corrected some of his misunderstandings.  I have no idea if he read this because he said he wasn't taking any more of my emails.

Harold,

I wrote you about a guy who was and still is abusing the internet. You run a site about abusing the internet. The Werner, the guy in question, is well known as an abuser, is in fact practicing all sorts of shady tactics like removing articles and replacing the contents of visitors comments with substantially different contents. When he gets an email complaining about these abuses, he claims they didn't happen, but Google doesn't lie so it's obvious he is.

Plus he sends this:

"Now go fuck your gay father, you moron. Americans are stupid morons who were conceived and born through their mothers' asshole"

Your response is:

"And what are your national origins? Do you think anyone really cares? And what about gays? Are you gay? Everyone has an opinion about race, nationality, culture, color."

You seem to have no problem with assuming that all Americans are stupid morons nurtured not in the womb but the bowels. It's an incredibly bigoted statement. You have no idea if I'm gay or not but think it's just fine to make such remarks to people just so long as their not gay.

This is an incredible response. You have no problem with this kind of gross over-generalization about Americans but when it comes to Islam you want make valid criticism of limits because you think it is very nuanced. In fact, so nuanced that only a few select people should be able to open their mouths.

Where you should be scolding Patels for bigotry against Americans you instead spin off into your own list of ignorant stereotypes about America, Israel, etc. They are ignorant but apparently your circle is not wide enough for you to ever have come across information that would have enlightened you to this fact.

This too is incredible, because who would respond to a statement like "Blacks are morons who are born from asses like shit" by pointing out both true and untrue information about blacks that is unflattering. Do you think a black person after hearing a defamatory statement like that is going to want to hear sweet questions like "And what color are you? Do you think anyone really cares?"

Do you think a white person is going to think highly of you if he was concerned about such a statement and you ask him "Are you Black?"

You seem perfectly fine with the gross over-generalization and not only that you then proceed as it if were true, as if I were a moron American, that didn't know what the hell was going on, and as if every American was not only of the same "right wing" opinion but was culpable for every mistake or offense committed by any other American. You assume that I hold certain beliefs merely on the fact that I'm an American.

I do not hold the beliefs you think I do. I'm anti-death penalty for one. You see there is no ideological grounds uniting America that calls for the death penalty. It's not written into the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, it's not in the Constitution, we are a secular state so we don't even turn to religious dogma on this question, and all other laws are a matter of individual opinions coming to a majority (not unanimous) consensus. Actually, it's more subtle than that even as majority does not always get it's way. In the end the result is never considered the immutable decision of some infallible being.

This is very different than Islam where it is a religious ideology that is based on infallible scripture. If you open up the Qur'an an look it does call for extremely harsh punishment. Not merely the death penalty (with an attempt at humane killing by injection) but instead one of the most brutal forms of capital punishment known, stoning. This Qur'an doesn't have a new testament where the son of god speaks of casting the first stone either. So when capital punishment by stoning occurs in and Islamic country then the fault lies not with some grossly-overgeneralized group "the Muslims" but instead squarely at the feet of Islam as a philosophical system. Individual "Muslims" may in fact be atheists, social Muslims, non-literalists and the like. To assume I think like you do and group them all in a bunch and place the sin of one on all is an mistake.

You are also making committing the mistake of "moral equivalence" in your ethical thinking. There are principles upon which ethics are built and one of those principles is proportionality. The death penalty for murder is at least a proportional punishment, whereas, chopping a hand off for stealing a loaf of bread is not. Even if you disagree with the death penalty for other reasons it is quite clear that those same reasons apply to hand-chopping. All the reasons you would give against capital punishment can also apply. There is a possibility of mistake, the punishment is to final, there is no remedy should we discover our mistake, it costs society too much, etc. all apply to hand chopping.

The only reason Islam is only a sensitive subject because Muslims are sensitive and killing people over valid criticism of their religion.

You are also totally ignorant of the situation in Israel. That's not surprising as I have found that not only many Canadians but many British and Europeans have no idea how the situation arose, what actions are being taken, etc. You like to claim that our media is biased but fail to recognize that your own is even more biased. I looked into the situation there deeply and it isn't the Israelis that are the main problem. I think otherwise in part also rests on the fallacy of moral equivalence.
I'd educate you a little on Israel but I don't have the time right now.

It's something you really need to hear even if in the end you disagree. It's one thing to know the situation and decide on the facts, and quite another to arrive at your decision in ignorance. If you think old South Africa and Israel are alike in any meaningful way then you just are that, ignorant. If you weren't then quite a few facts would have popped into your mind first before you made such a ridiculous, and it is ridiculous, claim.

Also, I had already considered and acted upon whatever reasonable advice you had given. So your diatribe was quite necessary. I hope you can see why I brushed you off in my letter. To me, you appear to be a bigot and potentially beyond my ability to reform.

The fact that you are totally blind to your own bigotry gave me little hope you'd see reason, and thus made any effort on my part a waste. So my curt reply. I'd thought I'd give you one last chance because perhaps I was misjudging you. Your ignorance may not be willful.

I see you and Werner have made up so I'm thinking that you are some kind of ideological bed fellows. It's not surprising that you would side with him from the beginning.

Regards,

Brian

Stop giving people openings

Good grief, Brian. Now you have a second person saying nasty things about you, forcing you to defend yourself again! This can't be fun for you. Figure out what you did to grab the attention of these individuals and stop doing it. By the way, I wouldn't call it "internet abuse". That's a weird phrase. The medium isn't really of interest. It's not like we're living in 1995, when everyone is still gee-whiz about the information superhighway. "Internet abuse" is just an odd way of saying "unethical and it occurred on the Internet". And who cares that it occurred on the Internet? If somebody pees on your leg in the airport, do you call that "airport abuse"? Was the airport actually abused? I would say, rather, that your leg was abused. The airport was merely the locale. What matters is that he peed on your leg; it hardly matters where you both were standing when he did it. Just say, "he peed on my leg". Just say, "he's making false statements about me."

 

Excellent blog insight !

Excellent blog insight !

Heh

Oh, yes, I'm full of blog insights. And Internet wisdom.

Oh I don't find it particularly troublesome

I actually find it kind of funny that a "progressive" who was complaining about language is such a foul mouth, and this other guy is hilarious in calling me "obstinate" like he has some kind of authority over me and I'm somehow being insubordinate or something.

Haven't you ever noticed I enjoy getting into a scrape over things I believe in. One thing I believe in is that people should be intellectually honest and this guy certainly isn't.

With my low opinion of Islam and so very many people entralled with it or totally ignorant about it I am bound to get into these kinds of arguments. Often failing the argument they turn to ad homenim. That's usually apparent if the verbiage is visible. In this case the person took it to a new low by removing the text. I of course am not visiting his web site again.