Ethical blogging – updated AGAIN

 Posted by on 2010-05-13 at 8:46 pm
May 132010
 
Seth Kalichman, someone named Lisa and J Todd Deshong huddle at "The Harvard Symposium", an anti-AIDS dissident forum hastily organized last October in an attempt to counter the RethinkingAIDS 2009 Conference.
Seth Kalichman, someone named Lisa and J Todd Deshong huddle at “The Harvard Symposium”, an anti-AIDS dissident forum hastily organized last October in an attempt to counter the RethinkingAIDS 2009 Conference.
(photo from dissidents4dumbees.blogspot.com)

Is it ethical to withhold comments from rude and obnoxious haters?

Yes, I’m talking about my most active critic, Baylor Health Care System’s online AIDS diagnostician, and recently revealed Internet sleuth, J Todd Deshong.

In the comment thread for an article at a another website, Todd recently accused me of—among other things—not posting comments he has made to my blog.  I replied that I have not seen any comments from him for months.

It turns out that we are both right, and I need to provide some background to explain.

A couple of months ago, Todd posted content from my blog on his anti-AIDS dissident blog, dissidents4dumbees.  Problem is, he failed to properly attribute the source of that content by providing a link to it, despite my request that he do so.  In fact, he has never posted a link to resistanceisfruitful, though he has mentioned me fairly frequently lately.

It should be obvious to anyone who has followed my blog that there is no love lost between Todd and me.  Todd has posted numerous nasty unflattering and dishonest comments and posts about me and other AIDS dissidents on his blog.  It would be fair to say I am one of a handful of AIDS dissidents that he is fixated on, and I am guilty of having taken him to task here a couple of times too.

As if having his own blog is not enough, Todd has also abused the comments feature of my blog by trying to make off-topic and inflammatory remarks—a trademark of his blog.  Unlike Todd, I have had some journalism and editorial experience and I understand why it is acceptable to have standards for publication.

His failure to be a good netizen by properly attributing source material on his blog (another source on that subject here), particularly when requested to do so, irked me so much that I marked one of Todd’s off-topic comments here as spam, rather than just deleting it.  My automated spam service then took the initiative to send all subsequent comments from him to the spam folder, which I rarely look at.

From my perspective there is a certain poetic justice in this.  There are consequences to our conduct, and Todd has found that out.  I did not realize what happened until Todd brought the matter to my attention today, and in hindsight I should have known better than to think Todd just “went away”.  That is definitely not his style.

Unlike Todd, I have always provided links to his blog when writing about him.  It’s the right thing to do and there’s no reason to deny my readers that information.  They are smart enough to decide what to think for themselves.

Personally, I think he does the cause of AIDS dissidence more good than harm.  He is so bombastic that it almost hurts to read his posts.  The catty, dishy queen in him may or may not be a learned stereotype, but it does remind me of some other bitter gay men I have known.

I also get a bit of a kick out of seeing his website ranking (more on that below) jump whenever I blog about him, though it doesn’t always last.

I have been thinking about whether or not to approve Todd’s “comments” but my own bitchy side feels more like tit for tat right now.  Hey, I’m only human too.  Showing some good faith would go a long way with me, but I’m not holding my breath, especially since Todd just posted yet another fabricated tale about me working for the IRS and threatening him with an audit!

Search engines love links and sites that use them.  Search engines and the people who use them seek out sites with content, integrity and credibility… words that Todd also likes to throw around, but doesn’t really understand very well.  Failing to link sources speaks volumes about his own insecurity, and how little he trusts his readers to read the source material he is pontificating about for themselves.

Posting links is not only the right thing to do, it might just be good for his blog.

For example, global Internet reach the past 3 months for our two blogs, per the web information company Alexa as of today (in this case, smaller numbers are better):

dissidents4dumbees – 4,312,123 (more than 4 million websites get more hits than d4d)

resistanceisfruitful –      421,018 (less than 1/2 million websites get more hits than rif)

I’m a geek and I track stuff like this, so I just happen to know that I am one of the best things to happen to Todd, whether he knows it or not.  His rank improves every time I write about him.  You would think he would be more grateful for all I’ve done to promote his provocative, if not intellectually dishonest blog.

Speaking of numbers, during the same three month period, my readers viewed nearly 8 pages per visit, compared to Todd’s 2.2.  Visitors to resistanceisfruitful spent an average of 17.9 minutes on my site, compared to 4.9 minutes at Todd’s.

Just sayin’.

UPDATE May 14, 2010

After a good night’s sleep, I’ve decided to post most of Todd’s comments, though I reserve the right to moderate my own personal space in the future.  I don’t mind criticism, but if Todd cannot make his point in two or three comments, it’s time for him to utilize his own blog, which I have provided generous and abundant links to.

I did have to delete two of Todd’s comments because they were completely off-topic and/or libelous.  I have a responsibility as a publisher to exercise some judgment.

UPDATE II May 31, 2010

While I was out of town visiting my mum this past week, Todd spammed my blog with seven new comments in three days, and he has written a new defamatory post dedicated to me on his own blog.

True to form, most of his comments were off-topic, or personal attacks and name-calling, along with a good measure of flat-out untruthfulness.  For example, Todd asserts that I work for the IRS and am stalking him from government computers there.  This outrageous and unfounded statement reeks of clinical paranoia (not that I’m qualified to make that diagnosis, but according to wikipedia….).

Since Todd has his own blog space which I have generously linked to above, there is no good reason to post his bile and venom here on my blog.

However, in an effort to be as fair as possible, I am posting many of those comments, despite the fact that they violate my personal sense of propriety and good taste.  The name-calling is particularly unnecessary and onerous.

Some blogs thrive on lengthy back-and-forth arguments in the comments sections.  This is not one of them.  Most people lose interest pretty quickly and the debate ultimately devolves to personalities, rather than substance.  I do expect that I will ultimately ban J Todd Deshong, but I will publish enough of his comments to help the average reader understand why I eventually lose patience with him.

  10 Responses to “Ethical blogging – updated AGAIN”

  1.  

    Oh, poor Jonathan. Do you know what a hypocrite is? It seems that the only things you can write about me have nothing to do with actual content and facts.

    Why have you not addressed actual issues I have brought to your attention?

    1) You have shown others how to defraud the US Govt by collecting disability insurance for a “disease” you do not believe in and for a disease that has not diabled you or others so that you can be gainfully employed. Why not address that? Are you proud of that?
    2) Now that you are working for the IRS, you have accessed my blog from IRS Computers and made, let’s say, “unflattering comments” from there. So, you can try to get me fired for an offense you yourself commit. That is blatant hypocrisy.
    3) What about your dead friends? These friends you “claim” died due to HIV Med toxicity. Yet you do not provide one bit of proof of that. But what is worse, you bastardize the likeness of said “friends’ in an attempt to promote YOUR agenda. An agenda they obviously did not ascribe to nor support, or they would not have been taking HIV meds that “supposedly” killed them!
    4) Your past post on a stuy on Peroxisomes. I posted proof that you completely misunderstood and misrepresented that study. You do not attempt to discuss your woeful lack of science knowledge, yet you go on proudly as if you know what you are talking about, and it is painfully obvious that you do not.

    Why not address actual content instead of style? Because I will win every time.

    Also, as you point out, your blog gets more traffic than mine. Yet, again, you point out that you are a “geek” in this area. You tag every little thing on your blog to garner traffic. I do not. My blog is a hobby and a very specific one. I merely correct the lies of you and others and I specifically document the lies and hypocrisy of you and others. I do not attempt to flood the internet with “tags” to gain traffic.
    Again, my blog is a hobby and yours seems to define you as a person. I am proud of the work I do.

    When you are ready to go toe to toe over facts and content and not style, bring it on. I have proven time and again that I wipe the floor with you every time. Why? Because I am a scientist and a real, decent human being. I am not your enemy nor your nemisis as you like to pretend. That is your hang up and your baggage. Try to not project your negativity on me. Accept your limitations and do not try to deflect those limitations onto me or others.

    Lastly, anytime I have written about you at my blog I have written your full name, Jonathan Barnett and your moniker AND your blog title, resistanceisfruitful. You implying that I do not provide information on who you are or where to find you is just one more lie. You are a liar. I am not. Deal with it. Grow up.
    JTD

    •  

      Ah, Todd. Thanks for the bullets. They make it easier to respond:

      1) Talk about making accusations without proof. The US Government is quite capable of detecting fraud in disability claims. Indeed, SS routinely denies disability claims as a rule of thumb, requiring sick and tired people to appeal. Entire businesses exist to help people with their SSDI claims. Most people have no idea how best to present the evidence of their disability claim in a way that reviewers can recognize the legitimacy of those claims. As for my own status, you acknowledge in other posts that I have serious health issues, and you have even diagnosed me with KS. Which is it, Todd? Am I healthy and able, or sickly and diseased (disabled)?
      2) Working for the IRS?! Where do you get your silly ideas? You just said I’m disabled and not gainfully employed. Now I am working for the IRS and stalking you.
      3) You don’t know my friends, Todd. And you don’t know me.
      4) You haven’t provided any credentials or evidence that makes me think you are any more qualified to discuss “science” than I am. How about posting your CV and transcripts? I am not competing with you, so there is nothing to “win”.

      Internet tags: You clearly do not understand how the Internet works. Tags have little or nothing to do with site traffic. At best they are useful for regular readers looking for similar articles. What drives traffic is quality content that interests a wide range of readers. A search for “SEO” (search engine optimization) will provide a lot of helpful information about what drives traffic on the ‘net. Personal “hobby” blogs will draw the traffic of your mom and a handful of friends. As you admit, that’s what you have now, and if you are proud of it, that’s really all that matters, isn’t it?

      I am not interested in going “toe-to-toe” with you over anything, Todd. You started our little feud months ago, and you continue to post inciting and inflammatory material on your blog while professing here that you don’t consider me an adversary. Your contradictions are glaring, yet you call me the hypocrite. I’ve gotten used to that though.

      You don’t hesitate to take every opportunity to post your blog link on comment pages, as well as here, so please don’t try to weasel out of the fact that you are a poor example of a netizen by making your readers do the work of looking up the source of your anger. I cannot compare to your efforts to seed the Web with your own blog’s URL. There are more important measurements of a website/blog. Time spent there. Number of pages viewed. Repeat traffic. There will always be an audience for the kind of dishy hype and tripe you provide your readers. Then again, there will always be an audience for the Wednesday night drag show, too, where the trashier and dishier the queen, the better. Still, you can compare that show to a night at the theater.

      Liar? Just more name-calling, and reason enough to ban your posts, imo. As you would say: Deal with it. Grow up.

      Now, you asked me to leave you alone, and I’m willing to do that. In return I am asking the same of you. You have yet to contribute anything positive to this blog. I don’t require everyone to agree with me, but please just make your point and move on. Excessive commenting (five posts in one day?!) isn’t productive or helpful. It may surprise you to learn that I do not exist to debate you or to humor your need for attention. Your objections are not about “science”, they are evidence of the personality conflict between us.

  2.  

    Where is my most recent comment? You are such a hypocrite and a liar!
    You might be interested to read my blog.
    I originally thought it was Clark Baker who tried to make trouble in my life, but it was YOU AGAIN!!
    You are CRAZY and you need HELP!!!
    YOU REALLY NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    GET A GRIP ON REALITY AND YOUR LIFE!!!!

    •  

      Hey Todd. I’ve been out of town visiting my mum. Sorry that my life does not revolve around you and your needs.

      Can you post a comment without calling me names?

      And there you go again… pimping your blog here. How many links do I have to provide to it to satisfy you? Isn’t it kinda’ “hypocritical” to ask for links here, but refuse to post links to the original sources (not just my blog, but all of your targets) on your own blog?

      I can’t make anyone read your blog, sweetie. Sorry.

  3.  

    Oh, come on, Jonathan. You mean someone who is so mired in his blog and how that reflects on him as a person and as a self appointed “geek” as you call yourself, and you want us to believe when you are “out of town” you do not still keep up with your blog? Does your mom live where there is not internet service? Oh, like the moon, perhaps? You can do better than that.

    As for you NOT working for the IRS, all I do know is that someone from Kansas CIty, MO went to my site via an IRS computer with an IRS IP address. Coinicidence? Maybe, but doubtful. You are a hypocrite, Jonathan.

    And how is it that I started this feud with you? Please, oh please, explain that one, you liar! Come on, Barney, you are the one who as tried to get me frired TWICE now. You have infringed on my personal life and all for what? I started nothing. And just because we have different opinions about HIV, is that really a reason for you to infiltrate my life? You seriously need mental help! You really, really do. Stop and think about your actions. Be a man. Grow up.

    You are a sad, angry, bitter and lonely person! Please get help.

    •  

      I have been more than patient with you Todd, and it is clear that you do not have anything meaningful to contribute here. Apparently the best you can come up with is innuendo, giant illogical leaps, and name calling.

      I hope you enjoyed making this last comment, because that is what it is: the last comment you will be allowed here, at least until you learn how to properly attribute others on your own blog, or unless I feel like changing my mind, of course. It’s a big Internet; surely you can find someplace else to play.

  4.  

    It’s all about Todd… been Googling and he doesn’t have any research papers to speak of does he?

    “Where is my most recent comment? You are such a hypocrite and a liar!
    You might be interested to read my blog.
    I originally thought it was Clark Baker who tried to make trouble in my life, but it was YOU AGAIN!!
    You are CRAZY and you need HELP!!!
    YOU REALLY NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    GET A GRIP ON REALITY AND YOUR LIFE!!!!”

    That sounds like a madman to me (:

  5.  

    I gave Cal the heads up about Nelly Olson!

    •  

      You are treading on thin ice with my blog’s comment policy, Tomás, but I’ve decided “Nelly Olson” isn’t really a derogatory name. 😉

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