On the banning of commenters.

I’ve recently been forced to implement the first ever ban of a commenter on this blog. Now, I’ve been forced to remove spam and the like for years. I’ve also been forced to remove or redact a vulgarity or two from a comment, as well as removing one comment that contained a rumor with false and defaming information. I have also removed a comment or two at the request of the commenter. But none of those incidents were outright bans and the persons involved retained their commenting abilities.

The recipient of this first ever ban is “Jason Soiman”. Why the quotes, you might be asking? Well, that’s a long story. It all started back on June 6, 2009, when “Jason Soiman” posted a comment saying that Catherine Crabill had just received a $1,000,000 inheritance from her mother’s estate which would fund her election campaign. Now, “Soiman” was mum on details even after I asked “him” how this was possible when Crabill currently has her $875,000 home on the market. She also has five or six siblings, so if Crabill managed to get a $1,000,000 inheritance, that must have been on big frakin’ pot to begin with. After I asked those questions to “Soiman”, “he” stated: “I really don’t know that much about Catherine Crabill’s finances”. Yeah, obviously.

And since then, “Soiman” has been a somewhat regular commenter on this space, with comments ranging from regularly taking up for Representative Rob Wittman (R-1st) to attacking Delegate Chris Peace (R-97th) for posting a comment on this blog.

“Soiman”‘s commenting reached its end yesterday, however, when “he” posted two comments claiming that Sheriff Tony Lippa had a been a big  supporter of now-Supervisor Jeff Sili’s election campaign in 2007. “He” claimed, inter alia, that Lippa was at Sili’s campaign kickoff event in July 2007, yet Lippa’s presence isn’t noted in a press release from Sili’s own campaign (which also appeared in The Caroline Progress), despite naming every local politician that had attended the event. Mix in some more lies from “Soiman” which totally clash with the personality types of the people involved and you have a couple of comments from “him”.

I eventually decided to ban “Soiman” from posting anymore comments on this blog. I despise liars to begin with but when someone lies and the person’s claims can be easily refuted by a simple Google Search it annoys me even more. And, for crying out loud, if you’re going to lie about someone, at least make sure that the actions that you claim someone did are consistent with the person’s personality.

After I implemented the ban, I decided to do a little research. First, I Googled “Soiman”‘s name and found several comments on other blogs attacking John Brownlee and even a profile on RPV Network.

Then I Googled “his” e-mail address: nothing.

But then I Googled “his” IP address. Guess what came up? Fredtalk. And not just Fredtalk, but posts on FredTalk from one “oharascarlett”. Who is “oharascarlett”, you might be asking? Why, that would be Susan Sili’s username on Fredtalk of course. Susan Sili is, of course, the wife of Caroline County Republican Committee Chairman and Caroline County Board of Supervisors member Jeff Sili. And who did Jeff Sili endorse for the Republican nomination for Attorney General? Why, Ken Cuccinelli. And who was one of Cuccinelli’s opponents? John Brownlee. It all comes together doesn’t it?

That obviously pathological liar has been posting on this blog for over a month and I just figured it out. Grr…

After this whole experience, I feel that I need to lay out some ground rules for commenting in the future:

1.) Don’t lie.

2.) If you’re going to lie (see Rule #1), at least make sure your lies can’t be refuted by a simple Google Search.

3.) If you’re going to lie (see Rule #1), make sure that the nonexistent actions that you attribute to someone don’t completely clash with the person’s personality.

If you’re found to be in violation of these rules, with me being the sole arbitrator of that, you will be banned.

Besides that, comment away.

But before we go, I want to share a couple of lines from Atlas Shrugged:

“But don’t I have any freedom of speech?”

“In your own house. Not in mine.”

“Don’t I have a right to my own ideas?

“At your own expense. Not at mine.”

“Don’t you tolerate any differences of opinion?”

“Not when I’m paying the bills.”

5 thoughts on “On the banning of commenters.”

  1. When blogging first became popular, most of the blog posts were signed using the real name of the author. Then came a disturbing trend towards paid blogging, where PACs or campaigns paid people to create blogs to shill for their particular candidate or issue, often under fake names.

    Perhaps the most ironic development is how, fiercely partisan blogs, some of which claim to be on the side of our Constitution and “free speech” are the most rigorous practitioners of censoring any views that do not coincide with their party talking points. (Do you hear me, SWAC?)

    This has not been the case with this blog, however, and I support your decision to ditch that person who has been posting outright fabrications on your blog.

    The blogs of today could be a place where citizens exchange real information and share their personal insights and experiences, but increasingly the blogs are nothing but a bunch of propaganda mills filled with ever more shrill and slanderous posts by people hiding behind fake names.

    What I would like to see happen in the blogosphere is the end of posting under fake names. If you have an opinion or an observation of fact, then have the courage to stand by what you say.

    Our lessons of history show us that even the founders hid behind pseudonyms, but it is arguable whether the practice is needed in a relatively free society, without the King’s military ready to chop off the heads of dissidents.

    As we move forward into the Twenty-first Century, let’s elevate the quality and tone of the debate. Let’s discuss real solutions to issues and openly share ideas regarding the possible solutions that are brought to the table from all sides of the political spectrum. Ask political candidates and elected officials to enunciate what laws they will create or repeal that will help restore our core infrastructure and promote the revitalization of our strategic manufacturing base, as well as just what they are willing to do to enhance our LIBERTY.

    To this elevated discussion, bring forth some well researched ideas of your own; post them and be honorable enough to sign your name, your real name, to those ideas, and be prepared to have those ideas stand on their own merit in the bright light of the public square.

  2. We Republicans in the county had big hopes for Jeff Sili’s political career until his wife ruined it by alienating so many people. She needs to follow Rudy Giuliani’s advice to President Obama, “Shut up.”

  3. Just to add a factoid to what the cowardly Anonymous posted:

    While it may appear incriminating, there is no guarantee of certainty that someone posting from a particular IP address, is ALWAYS the same person whose name appears on the account.

    So, while the original post here says the facts point to Mrs. Sili, there is no assurance that the account was not being used by another person who shares, or has access to, the same computer account.

    All the more reason to insist that posts be accompanied by the originator’s actual name.

  4. One important fact that Tim has left out of his commentary about Mrs. Sili is the fact that has posted as a shill for her husband under several user names on FredTalk. She was banned last spring for threatening one of Mr. Sili’s critics. She then was caught posting as Willow2.

    This infraction is supposed to be a lifetime ban on FredTalk. Of course, since she is politically connected, they want to be able to keep her as a source for inside stories. The drama also does keep the readers coming.

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