Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 2, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT....If you are tempted to create a fake screen name and use it to comment favorably on stuff you yourself have written on the internet the kids call this "sock puppetry" don't.

That is all.

Kevin Drum 5:25 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (79)

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Comments

Good post.

Posted by: Kevin D. on September 2, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Yes. Brilliant!

Posted by: K. Drum on September 2, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

Couldn't have said it better myself !

Posted by: Kevin on September 2, 2006 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

Sure, Mr. Drum, but how ethical is your "Al"?

Posted by: Boronx on September 2, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

Yay!

Posted by: Kevin "The Hammer" Drum on September 2, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

Totally agree.

Posted by: KD on September 2, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

Was it a childish thing to do, when simply writing a comment under his own name would have done the job? Absolutely. Was it a breach of journalistic ethics worth being fired for? Only in this modern hothouse of a blogosphere where no one seems to be able to tell the difference between real fraud and stupidity. Especially hypocritical at a time when even so-called real newspeople don't seem to understand what journalistic ethics mean.

Posted by: Riggsveda on September 2, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

Well done, my boy.

Posted by: Eli Drum on September 2, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Exactly right. There is a great article that describes this phenomenon quite well. Well worth a read.

Posted by: gq on September 2, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Was it a breach of journalistic ethics worth being fired for? Only in this modern hothouse of a blogosphere where no one seems to be able to tell the difference between real fraud and stupidity.

I don't believe the blogosphere fired him. I don't believe the blogosphere was even aware of the offense until after he was fired.

Posted by: Boronx on September 2, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Bloggers, what are these bloggers that you speak of?

Posted by: Ned Lamont on September 2, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Siegal's suspension or whatever he got put a huge smile on my face. Back when I was mysteriously subscribed to TNR (I never paid but got access for a year), I was part of a few of his threads where he was a sock puppet, especially the Jon Stewart ones. Outside of frothing wingnuts, I always thought he was the most insane person you could find in a blog. It is nice to confirm one's instinct and to find out that most of the posts that defended him were written by him. I love it!

Posted by: kj on September 2, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Why not, Kevin? although i agree with you, our currentl popular American culture wouild venture to suggest that marketing yourself, often under an assumed name, is THE way to get noticed (be it favorably or not is up to debate). Bushies did it with the department of education, the war in iraq, and it certainly backfired, but did it really? Marketing and consumerism go hand in hand, are are THE currentl cultural contribution to the world that Americans possess. Democray, not so much. Freedom, not so much. But marketing..you bet!

Posted by: Chris on September 2, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Boronx, he wrote a blog for TNR. He patted himself on the back in the ether. The explanation for his disappearance is found on what used to be his TNR blogpage. TNR ousted him based on the context of how he was seen in the internet world, by a magazine that was also concerned about how it was being seen in the internet world. It has nothing to do with them bowing to pressure from bloggers. The pressure is already there, a priori.

Posted by: Riggsveda on September 2, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Drum condemns readers pretending to be what they're not. Ironic, as the Democrat party has been pretending to care about America for years now.

Posted by: Al on September 2, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, it is ok to post counter arguments under a pseudonym to generate chatter on your site.

Enjoy.


;)

Posted by: Al Drum on September 2, 2006 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

"Ironic, as the Democrat party has been pretending to care about America for years now."

"al"

there is no Democrat Party. There is only the Democratic Party. Must have been posted by a republic party member. Too bad they are destorying the republic.

Posted by: Chris on September 2, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

That Al is a brilliant commenter.

Posted by: Albert on September 2, 2006 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

in regards to that: the Democratic Party is at least true to its name. Whether you like Democracy or not, the Democratic Party represen ts a wide host of peoples, and as such, can be thought of as the voice of the people. It is a party that wishes to flatten the hierarchies of social and economic life. (until it gets power, and the it serves to further its own power, much the liek republican party). The Republican Party, on the other hand, under the leadership of the current president, is anything but true to its name. republicanism means strong individual states, with a decentralized but not pwoerless center. Bush is continuing the increasingly non republican policies of destroying the individualism of the states, while forcing upon americans the centralized power structure so often seen in "other" countries. So as they cast dispersion on the "democrat" party, let's rememebr that being Democratic is not a 4 letter word. Being Bush is.

Posted by: Chris on September 2, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever Washington Monthly's paying you, it's not enough.

Posted by: unbiasedobserver on September 2, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Brilliant analysis. This is your best post yet, and they're all great. Can't wait for the next one.

Posted by: "Not Kevins Mom" on September 2, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

You have changed my life. Before reading Political Animal, I dreamed of ripping Bush's heart out and eating it. Now I love all of humanity, and am devoting my life to constructive change within the system and Sudoku. I can never thank you enough.

Posted by: Orange County Liberal on September 2, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

Nice post!

Kevin's got it all: smarts, writing chops, good looks and a great blog.

Posted by: Drum Major on September 2, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

You da man.

Posted by: dbroder@washingtonpost.com on September 2, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

Drum for President!

Posted by: Evinkay Umdray on September 2, 2006 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Don't forget to wear clean underwear in case you're in an automobile accident.

Posted by: Mama Drum on September 2, 2006 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

"sprezzatura." A name that will go down in the annals of self-promotion.


Its what happens when you permit noms de blog.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 2, 2006 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Al, you are without a doubt the worst public masturbator ever seen on this site.
Could you at least vary your positions every once in a while?

Posted by: Kenji on September 2, 2006 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

If only Kevin was as clever as Glenn Greenwald, then he would really be the man! That Glenn Greenwald is so brilliant! Did you know he is smart?

You can't see my IP address on this site, can you?

Posted by: Glenn Greenwald's Secret Admirer on September 2, 2006 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

Al "nails" it !!

Posted by: Tim on September 2, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

I hope everyone realizes my posts are all in fun. Like so many of you, I worship Kevin Drum. (If not for him, Jesus Christ would be my favorite philosopher.) But if all the comments were from people singing his praise, that might get dull, and let down the standard of a blog that is fast becoming the cornerstone of Western civilization. I worked up my little Colbertish routine just to add some variety. So feel free to ignore me and get into the wisdom of K.D.

Posted by: Al on September 2, 2006 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

I hope Al "nails" me!

Posted by: kenji on September 2, 2006 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

This thread is better than "Eyes Wide Shut"!

Posted by: Really, Really Not Sprezzatura on September 2, 2006 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

"Fast becoming" the cornerstone of Western civilization?

From whence comes such faint praise?

Posted by: Murd Nivek on September 2, 2006 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

Why are liberals so keen on pretending they're well supported that they must resort to sockpuppetry?

It. Is. To. Laugh.

Posted by: Birkel on September 2, 2006 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

My new set from the Anal Intruder(tm) fine family of graduated butt plugs is too damn tight, even the smallest "starter" one.

I think I'm hemhorraging, as there's a big red stain on my chair.

Posted by: Birkel on September 2, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

I had better do something about this quickly, else I may wind up with permanent brain damage.

Posted by: Birkel on September 2, 2006 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

Alexander Hamilton did it when defending the Jay treaty in the 1790s. He wrote a series of essays under one psuedonym, then wrote another shorter series of essays praising the first series under another psuedonym.

The kicker is, in both he said what a great and brilliant guy that Alexander Hamilton was! :-)

If it's good enough for Hamilton, it's good enough for ...

Posted by: Nathan on September 2, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

Look, sometimes I post a comment and nobody seems to read it. They says nothing, all because they are all caught up in their own brilliance and don't acknowledge mine.

So.. I comment on my own previous brilliance to get a rise out of others. I try to start an arguement with myself as another person, to light the fire. Alotta times it works, and I'm laughing all so full of myself how clever I is, just watching others fight over a fight I started with myself. I love it, and will continue to vehemently disagree with myself on these blogs to get some action.

Posted by: vaughanweisse on September 2, 2006 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

THIS IS THE BEST FRICKING POST EVER! KEVIN DRUM IS A GENIUS! HOW COULD ANYONE WRITE SUCH SALIENT AND ENTICING PROSE? AMAZING!

Posted by: kevindrum on September 2, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

That vaughanweisse is such a wanker.

Posted by: weissevaughan on September 2, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

What a ridiculous idea, Kevin! If you were as brilliant as John R. Lott, you wouldn't come up with such absurd suggestions.

Posted by: Mary Rosh on September 2, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

I've never seen something so stupid as what vaughanweisse posted. Who would start an argument just to get attention? The bastards.

Posted by: vaughanweisse on September 2, 2006 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, piss. forgot to change my user name. :-(

Posted by: vaughanweisse on September 2, 2006 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

Political Animal is by far the clearest and finest example of the birth pangs of the new blogosphere.

Posted by: sprezzacondoturaleezza@whitehouse.gov on September 2, 2006 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

funniest thread in a long time. That Drum - he's so smart, he's even got an internet law named after him.

Posted by: craigie on September 2, 2006 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

My solution is to have every blog comment be authenticated so that everyone knows exactly who wrote it. Or, if that is not feasible, have every entry and comment be anonymous so that ideas get judged on their merit, not on who wrote them.

Since knowing who wrote a comment is really only useful if one wants to condemn it via ad hominem argument or promote it through appeal to authority, the second option might actually be better.

Posted by: George Dorn on September 2, 2006 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

You're a fraud, and a liar. And a wincingly pretentious writer. You couldn't tie Drum's shoelaces.

Posted by: tamburo on September 2, 2006 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

Great Post! Wish I could write like that!

Posted by: KD on September 2, 2006 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

That's not true at all. You are far too good a blogger to need childish praise from a sockpuppet. All the other bloggers are jealous of your success and envious of your intelligence. Your writing style is simply way ahead of the crowd and make other , so called "liberal" pundits read like our silly, inarticulate President.

Posted by: Sprezzatura on September 2, 2006 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

vaughanweisse So.. I comment on my own previous brilliance to get a rise out of others
weissevaughan That vaughanweisse is such a wanker.

Ah, weisse-versa

Posted by: the (really, really) bad punster on September 2, 2006 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

So how many pseudonyms does Rove post under? Always wondered how the trolls can stand themselves, as sock-puppetry smells bad and stings the eyes and psyche. No doubt about it--the GOP has made an art-form of self promotion through spam and vanity press publishing disaguised as legitimate. Who reads any of the Scaife crap? How many Hannity and Coulter books make the Top 10 without anyone actually really buying or reading them?

Posted by: Sparko on September 2, 2006 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

I confess little affection for Lee Siegel, and not just because of the Ramsey thing. He is a mostly tedious, middlebrow critic who believes that there are things more important than culture. Ordinarily this is a virute, but if you're going to have the audacity to think that you should get paid for doing that sort of thing, and that trees should be cut down so you can, you'd best have something really interesting to say. That stuff had better be your entire life. (And Lee Siegel attacking Camille Paglia for narcissism? Are you serious?)

Still, why can't it be Nancy Grace or - hell - Donald Rumsfeld. I mean one of these days we're going to find out that George Bush is a child murderer (oh wait: I guess, technically, he *is*) and he still won't be impeached.

Posted by: Linus on September 2, 2006 at 11:47 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and did anyone notice that there is no comments thread for Mr. Foer's apology. Also, did anyone notice he is the most appallingly illiberal as well as just kind of bad editor the New Republic has had in quite a long time. You know things are awful when Andrew Sullivan's gushing enthusiasm for some latter day phrenology is less frightful than the prospect of opening up the next New Republic to find out that support for implanting a radio transponder in the asshole of every American man, woman, and child (think of the children!) is actually a liberal position.

Posted by: Linus on September 2, 2006 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

Linus:

Well, I guess you one thing you *can* say for Franklin Foer is that at least he's not Marty Peretz :(

I registered at TNR (like I'm registered at a lot of places) in order to read linked articles. It is the only publication that uses my email address to send promo spam about this or that groundbreaking article that I have to pay only $9.95 a month for to read.

You know, not promos for any of the stuff in the online TNR that I might be interested reading for free.

TNR: taking shameless prostitution to ever new heights. No *wonder* they endorsed Lieberman.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 3, 2006 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

Does this really mean that after being caught out so many times that you will stop commenting as AL?

Posted by: R.L. on September 3, 2006 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

What?

Posted by: Hostile on September 3, 2006 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

Excellent question Hostile.

Posted by: Hidalgo on September 3, 2006 at 12:49 AM | PERMALINK

Best. Post. Ever.

Posted by: Drum. For. President. on September 3, 2006 at 1:28 AM | PERMALINK

Whats amazing about this sockpuppet game is that many of the sockpuppets forget that their IP addresses are static and that they forgot to delete their cookies and rename their computer, they will also change the name on the post but not thw email address.

Now, a real sockpuppet knows how to ingratiate himself at other blogs by supplying a link to his blog, and then commenting, with a different name, about the blog he linked too previously. Alas the really good sockpuppets know that many sites keep statistical web logs and often look thru them to see where the blogger came from and what he may have serched for. A clever Sockpuppet will also use this knowledge of http and tracking cookies =)

What do I know??

Posted by: |{evin |)rum on September 3, 2006 at 1:36 AM | PERMALINK

But really Kevin that Public Service post thing about sockpuppets was way too long and technical for me to comprehend much less read in it's entirety.

I am impressed however with what they teach in Journalism today, sockpuppets,who would have ever guessed this would be a field of study and also a possible book?

BTW technically this is not a |{ and this is not a |)
so I did not name steal, HAH! =)

Posted by: |{evin |)rum on September 3, 2006 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

Really, Really Not Sprezzatura: "This thread is better than 'Eyes Wide Shut'!"

Talk about your backhanded compliments. My God, what a lousy film ...

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 3, 2006 at 1:49 AM | PERMALINK

What about multiple personalities? Shouldn't we all be entitled to our own views, even if they happen to coincide?

Posted by: CapitalistImperialistPig on September 3, 2006 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know, any film that starts with Nicole Kidman naked and ends on the word "fuck" can't be all bad.

Posted by: bad Jim on September 3, 2006 at 2:08 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah. The pig nailed it.

Posted by: CIP on September 3, 2006 at 2:09 AM | PERMALINK

Attaboy, Kevin. Now you're coming around. Let's do what the Republicans have shown to be effective. The thing is, our version actually tells the truth!

Sample:

Global warming will have the ocean lapping your toes in Atlanta and Austin! Fierce storms will carry away your children! Be afraid, very afraid! Your soybean and cotton fields will become deserts! Why are the Republicans soft on Global warming? They must hate America!

Every area of life has a fear in it that can be found and used by liberals. But now I'm sarting to rethink. Do we really want to sink to their level? We could win the war and lose our souls.

Posted by: James of DC on September 3, 2006 at 5:02 AM | PERMALINK

>vaughanweisse So.. I comment on my own previous
>brilliance to get a rise out of others
>weissevaughan That vaughanweisse is such a wanker.

>Ah, weisse-versa

What? You think you're some kind of weisse guy? Making puns with my name, You better weisse up.

Posted by: the (really, really) bad punster sucks on September 3, 2006 at 6:19 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: 联通铃声下载 on September 3, 2006 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

I think that Matt Drudge is just the most dreamy homosexual ever. Ooohh....

Posted by: Sock Puppet on September 3, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin's posting has been so awesome of late, I think we all ought to start sending him money. Kevin, where's the tip jar? In its absence, I think I'll just start sending checks made payable to you to the Washington Monthly's offices.

Posted by: Nivek Murd on September 3, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

"If you are tempted to create a fake screen name and use it to comment favorably on stuff you yourself have written on the internet the kids call this "sock puppetry" don't."

Hmm, or else?
Not to endorse socket peppeteerring, far from it, but the sad reality is, Kevin, that you totally ignored any problems with fake screen names so far. And now the Siegel scandal makes you recognize that there may be a problem, while you didn't care that your commenters suffered from 'stolen' screen names a long time?

Sry, Kevin, publishing a warning isn't good enough. if you want to do something against comment exploitation, implement the right tools for that first.

Posted by: Gray on September 3, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Riggsveda wrote:

TNR ousted him based on the context of how he was seen in the internet world, by a magazine that was also concerned about how it was being seen in the internet world.

Now you're just guessing. Another possiblity is that a magazine badly burned by fakery has developed a zero tolerance for it.

Posted by: Boronx on September 3, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

"Well, I guess you one thing you *can* say for Franklin Foer is that at least he's not Marty Peretz :("

I can't argue with that.

Posted by: Linus on September 3, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK
I don't know, any film that starts with Nicole Kidman naked and ends on the word "fuck" can't be all bad.

Sure, but everything between those two points was bad enough that the film is on balance one of the suckiest piles of sucktitude ever to have sucked.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 3, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

So brilliant I can't even begin to say how much!

Posted by: Sprezzadruma on September 3, 2006 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

Are you talking about my good friend W. Kiernan? I guess you don't have the testicular fortitude to come right out and take him on, so you descend to low innuendo. I deeply resent these allegations. W. Kiernan would never do a filthy sneaking thing like that. W. Kiernan is a genius and a saint; conversely, you are nothing but a bum. Drum, you aren't fit to tie W. Kiernan's shoelaces.

Posted by: K. Nierwan on September 4, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know, any film that starts with Nicole Kidman naked

BTW I'm reliably informed that if you bring earplugs, an overcoat, and a tube of K-Y to a screening of Eyes Wide Shut you can have a pretty darn good time.

Posted by: K. Nierwan on September 4, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

It's a little comic: people who use pseudonyms mocking someone who posted under a pseudonuym. I know that the issue isn't simply that, but -- gosh all fish hooks, people -- if you don't believe what you say enough to put your name to it, who is going to put any faith in what you say?


It isn't simply the Als and GOPs and Republicrats and spezzaturas who are comic. (And you can ditch the Federalist Papers wheeze. There's no George III, yet, who's going to hang you for complaining about taxes and Iraq.)

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on September 5, 2006 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

ROTFLMAO. This is the funniest comment thread I've ever read. Thanks to all.

Posted by: Edo on September 5, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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