Thursday, November 17, 2016

Lame Explanations, Useless "Solutions"...

Here's part of an e-mail conversation with a European site that advertised for writers at Problogger:

[The site manager wrote]:
Okay I will remove your account from the platform then. We have no
official purpose for documents, we just have to do this to prevent
banned users from coming back, and that's quite a few I can tell you.
Thanks for understanding.

On 17-11-2016 4:08, Priscilla King wrote:
> All personal information, such as real-world names and images, is sensitive to abuse. "Priscilla King" is a U.S.-based, IRS-registered business owned by a native American citizen. The easiest way to verify that this business has existed since 2006 is to read things posted at and elsewhere. Information about the owner of the business/brand "Priscilla King" can be transmitted by real-world mail upon receipt of a confirmed contract to work with your organization. It would not be cost-effective to mail out the information without such a contract, especially as copies of such information sent outside the U.S. would need to be filed with the U.S. government. In fact, due to the confirmed market value of the identity of the writer known as Priscilla King, you need to send an international SASE with the legal name of the owner of your business to the mailing address displayed at

Now, how stupid can this line of thinking get? Identity documents, whether transmitted by real mail or e-mail, don't prevent banned users from coming back. Duh. You banned these users because they were unethical, so you know they're going to steal some documents. Are you going out to their workspace to confirm that their face looks like the face on the driver's license they copied for you? No, you're going to sit there and accept the plagiarism or slander or whatever, for which you banned some 19-year-old writer, now being done by some 50-year-old "writer" who, upon investigation, turns out to be the 19-year-old's computer-illiterate uncle.

Here's what you do if you want to find legitimate writers online: investigate the quality of the work done under the brands we've taken some time and trouble to build. Priscilla King (this one, anyway) is a brand who "lives" in cyberspace, but from the day one I've been as careful of "her" standards as I am of my own in real life. Every word I've posted has been either my own, or a legitimate and properly credited quote. Every picture I've posted has been either my own, a friend's, a free photo site's, or a properly credited link. Every idea I've uttered or endorsed has been one I sincerely believed to be true at the time; if I've been convinced that I was in error, I've fixed the error; if it went beyond a simple error of fact, I've posted at length about how and why my opinion changed. You can't confirm that by looking at a picture of my face. You can confirm it by reading my web site, and only by reading my web site. One reason why I'm such the total "paranoid" privacy fanatic is that I've invested a lot in my brand.

I'm well prepared to believe that this web site manager is trying to keep out some of the plagiarists and scammers who pulled down some other minimally edited writing sites, in the past, notoriously including Bubblews. I know it's very bad for a writing site when people just copy and paste a computer-translated article from Forbes in such haste they don't even check how much of a table pasted into "their" post, which is something I personally saw a would-be e-friend do at Bubblews. But peeking at copies of drivers' licenses is so not the way to keep those people from coming back to ruin your reputation. It's a way to help those people ruin the honest writers' reputations.

And if you're not intelligent enough to see that coming, frankly, you're probably not qualified to be an editor or publisher of mine. I am sorry about this, but #BlueLivesMatter and you really ought to make a few friends in the law enforcement community, or at least read the occasional detective novel.