Shooting the messenger, not the message
Continuing yesterday's response to accusations like “Conspiracy Theorists”, “Paranoid”, “Zealots” and so forth, here is a nice little writeup from Hans, who combats FUD and addresses similar issues as well.
It is quite commonplace to talk about “the” FOSS community, but like I’ve stated so many times, there is no such thing as “the” FOSS community. As a matter of fact, there are many communities.
If we choose to research our blogs, you do not have the right to call us “obsessive”. If we are concerned about the FUD that destroys our work, you do not have the right to accuse us of “extreme paranoia”. If we are attacked and we react, we do not suffer from a “lack of civility and a quickness to give and take offense”. If we feel that “there can be no truce with [insert object of obsession here]” we have every right to vent that opinion. Or was the First Amendment repealed while I was sleeping? “Many of the sort of people I’m talking about know that ‘conspiracy theory’ can be negative term, and are insulted if you apply it to them”. Well, doesn’t everyone?
The same type of tactics are used extensively in politics. When you do not like someone who tells too much or if you fear a foreign leader, then start a smear campaign. Less than a month ago the following was published, which probably demonstrates US military-coordinated smear campaigns.
The activities uncovered by Wikileaks include deleting Guantanamo detainees’ ID numbers from Wikipedia, posting of self-praising comments on news websites in response to negative articles, promoting pro-Guantanamo stories on the Internet news focus website Digg, and even altering Wikipedia’s entry on Cuban President Fidel Castro to describe him as “an admitted transexual” [sic].
The proof Wikeleaks assembled includes the IP address and whois ownership record for public.jtfgtmo.southcom.mil, which is Guantanamo’s Internet gateway server, google hits on that IP address, a traceroute through a satellite downlink, the whois ownership record for that downlink, links to the defaced Wikipedia entries, links to comments posted at news websites, records of approximately 140 promotions of news articles at Digg, links and quotes about three alleged US military propagandists who are stationed at Guantanamo, and fourteen links to other Wikileaks articles about Guantanamo.
This is actually similar to what Microsoft has been caught doing a quite lot last year (astroturfing). About Digg, that’s another large story which is worth a separate post that will come one day. In short, Digg has become a chaotic mess filled with shills. You are encouraged to take everything you see there with a barrel of salt. █