Sockpuppets on t'other forum

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michael
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Re: Sockpuppets on t'other forum

Post by michael » 16 Jul 2019 12:21

Nicola's tweets are making interesting reading (for those of us who can view this private account).
https://twitter.com/NicDeLaMitch

More sockpuppets than a branch of M&S!

RJM
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Re: Sockpuppets on t'other forum

Post by RJM » 16 Jul 2019 12:51

michael wrote:
16 Jul 2019 12:21
Nicola's tweets are making interesting reading (for those of us who can view this private account).
https://twitter.com/NicDeLaMitch

More sockpuppets than a branch of M&S!
This must all have been very time-consuming - how does he have the energy?! I maintain more than one Twitter account (two for organisations, one for me) and it takes some time to do it properly. Setting up fake ones must have taken ages, that level of effort is a bit concerning.

starman
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Re: Sockpuppets on t'other forum

Post by starman » 16 Jul 2019 12:58

JGD wrote:
16 Jul 2019 12:01
Solid technical response starman - and those of us who once were regulars - and I had attained Trust Level 4 plus a range of awards - know that.

There is silence on the issue of why there is a rush to delete the thread.
You know that. But those following the growing number of links to this thread probably don't. In these matters accuracy is important. I also think a fair few have chimed in on the issue of moving it to local politics AND possible deletion.

Homecroft
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Re: Sockpuppets on t'other forum

Post by Homecroft » 16 Jul 2019 14:03

Just had to chime in on this and say what a relief it is that the sicking grin has finally broken. Turning, I am sure, to more of a pained grimace for the time being.
I have to say, given the language being used by moderators of the other forum, I get the impression this is being treated as a "let the smoke blow over" matter, rather than lets never let this happen again. I understand this to a degree, as with him still being the forum owner, he can just walk, and shut the whole forum down, and I have no doubt that he would do that in a heartbeat, if it meant protecting his reputation.

However it has become a useful forum over the years, and it would be a shame to see it go down the pan because of him finally being held to account for his ongoing actions. I am pretty darn sure this is NOT an isolated incident, and would dare to say that there are probably more people who have fallen foul of his behaviour, than anyone actually knows.

I see it going one of two ways.
1/ Smug reinstatement of his position in no time at all. No remorse, never actually admitting to the magnitude of his wrong doings.
2/ Forum closes or is run into the ground, with all ill worded mentions of him being erased.

With two of the main admins of the site no longer being in the area, I get the impression this is nothing more than an exercise in ego stroking. With nothing more to be gained from maintaining a presence on the site other than to flex and demonstrate self importance. It certainly isn't for the love of the area.

I really do hope that at some point, more of the truth comes out. I would like to see a joint effort of collating everyones stories in one place, for anyone who cares to see some more of the truth. Without chance of retribution. A controlled environment to speak freely, and I should say fairly too.
There is a fine line between a witch hunt, and a reveal of truths. If being constructive, and not just wanting to cause damage, I see no harm in doing such a thing. Will the truths be damaging, of course they will. But they will also be out there once and for all too.

I should also say that, I totally understand there are two sides to this story, and that this has all come from some murky waters. Some will say the cause of this event was OTT and scary. I agree, that under normal circumstances, to receive such content, from someone you actually don't know, would be very disturbing. Others will realise it was information, found on social media sites, collated and sent to someone, knowing who they were, simply to provoke a reaction. A reaction which in turn has led to all these revelations.

What I would say is, if I received such contact, and was honestly in a cold sweat, and worried for my family. I would not share the exact same information, un-redacted on every social media platform. The reaction to receiving this information speaks volumes about the man, and his intentions and desires. Publicity, notoriety, and laughably, respect.

For the sake of the local community, I really hope that the status quo remains, and that he does not return to an admin/mod role on the forum. I would guess that quite a few people would eventually return to using the forum. However, knowing his controlling ways, I have no doubt that he would simply just use the "admin" account to continue editing peoples posts, moving threads to untouchable areas, and maintaining full control over the place. Or maybe even share (with permission) of course, the mod account of another active user, and do it that way.
But without the fame, I fear it would all just get closed down if he is not able to return in his previous capacity. Nothing in it for him otherwise.

I shall keep my fingers crossed.

For now, fair play to those who have spoken out.

Best wishes all.

Rachael
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Re: Sockpuppets on t'other forum

Post by Rachael » 16 Jul 2019 14:15

Although I am disappointed that the SE23 mods (or at least the one that has responded so far) do not want to see my evidence, I can see their dilemma. If they follow this to its logical conclusion, it can only lead to the destruction of the forum itself.

I dislike, however, the suggestion that we are 'overcomplicating' things by pursuing this discussion. It is of course true that we are only talking about a local forum. But people have been hounded off, you could almost say persecuted, by CB. And he has pursued them over other social media. Sometimes it is true that he does not start the argument, but by god he takes it on, and too far. Ground zero for that behaviour is the forum. IMO moderators are there to protect and serve the best interests of the members. How can they guarantee to protect vulnerable individuals in the future? I'm not sure they can, especially if they adopt the policy of cauterising the current wound without investigating the gangrene that opened it in the first place.

There are a few other points I've been ruminating over (and then I really must go and do some work!). CB's defence has always been that he is the victim of persecution. In some cases he may have a point. There ARE some people who went on the attack first because of his politics. But surely not ALL the people who have fallen out with CB fall into that category? There are too many of them. If it consistently happens over time that good people withdraw from dealing with him, close their social media accounts to him, and avoid his sites, is it likely that they are all in cahoots against him, that they are all wrong and he is entirely misunderstood?

His other oft repeated defence is that he had no choice but to use underhand methods to protect himself. I would say he always has a choice. There is always the choice not to engage. Having gained access to closed accounts, what does he do with the information he gleans there? Nicola's accusation that he 'groomed' someone to attack her sounds fantastical, but there is some quite compelling evidence that he did. And today it is claimed he is DMing her friends on Twitter from his SE23LifeChris twitter account. So much for him stepping away.

I have a lot of sympathy with people who want to save the forum. It has fantastic reach and is modern and attractive, a great shop window for SE23. And yet I remain of the opinion that nothing will really change as a result of this crisis and the firefighting against CB's worst tendencies will continue on many fronts.

RJM
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Re: Sockpuppets on t'other forum

Post by RJM » 16 Jul 2019 14:23

Homecroft wrote:
16 Jul 2019 14:03
What I would say is, if I received such contact, and was honestly in a cold sweat, and worried for my family. I would not share the exact same information, un-redacted on every social media platform. The reaction to receiving this information speaks volumes about the man, and his intentions and desires. Publicity, notoriety, and laughably, respect.
I agree with this - he received that email but didn't redact the names (easy to do). I note that whilst he has confessed on SE23.life, the shares to other.life sites remain, as do all the other social media posts. I don't think he thinks there is any problem with his actions, beyond that he got caught out.
Rachael wrote:
16 Jul 2019 14:15

His other oft repeated defence is that he had no choice but to use underhand methods to protect himself. I would say he always has a choice. There is always the choice not to engage.
Absolutely. There are plenty people who have to deal with trolls, the advice is always not to feed them. If these attacks were really pointless trolling then why not just ignore? Nicola blocked him and he created an elaborate fake to get around that - that was definitely a choice.

Like Rachael, I really need to get back to work now...

michael
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Re: Sockpuppets on t'other forum

Post by michael » 16 Jul 2019 14:31

Does anybody else see the parallels with the bigger world?

Over in the US we have an American president who was upset by a few women and had to respond with racist tweets and blaming them for saying nasty things.
Back in the UK we have lots of people appalled at the conspiracy against Corbyn which has been perpetrated by a Jewish Tory conspiracy from within the ranks for Labour. They tend to have far less concern about the actual cases of anti-semitism all around them.
And we have the people who fought for British sovereignty leading the campaign against our parliamentary democracy and British judicial system.

Opposing narratives are nothing new, and all this talk of 'echo chambers' disguises the fact that we are now able to hear the opposing views more than ever before - and there are some very loud and very nasty views around and some really horrible behaviour and people who are bullies seeing themselves as the victim.

Bluesman
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Re: Sockpuppets on t'other forum

Post by Bluesman » 16 Jul 2019 16:28

Rachael wrote:
16 Jul 2019 14:15
Although I am disappointed that the SE23 mods (or at least the one that has responded so far) do not want to see my evidence, I can see their dilemma. If they follow this to its logical conclusion, it can only lead to the destruction of the forum itself.
You could well be right Rachael. However, I do wonder about this as it would mean that the admin of SE23.com, i.e. the forum that banned CB and triggered the creation of the .life one, would have the last laugh?

stuart
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Re: Sockpuppets on t'other forum

Post by stuart » 16 Jul 2019 18:09

Bluesman wrote:
16 Jul 2019 16:28
I do wonder about this as it would mean that the admin of SE23.com, i.e. the forum that banned CB and triggered the creation of the .life one, would have the last laugh?
Folks, especially the SE23.life mods might read the old se23.com - an exile from the north speaks out.

That, I believe, led to the the genesis of SE23.life. Ironically I am having to post this here because I am banned from posting on t'other thread. When you start banning friends and (ex-)community leaders for no discenable reason you are only adding to a credibility problem for yourselves.

Back to the thread. Ironically (how many times can I use this word?) you have to ask - how many reasons to ditch SE23.COM can now be applied to its successor?

The problem with SE23.COM - and I've repeated this to many people - was the Admin didn't try and fix the issues highlighted - otherwise he may have seen off the new boy from his established base. He thought he could just sit it out.

The SE23.life mods may ask themselves if they are likely to fall into the same trap. Like it or not your owner is toast for a good number of former good posters. I presume you would want people like Michael & Rachael to return to your Forum. If you don't want them then I think that sends a very worrying message. I certainly hope you do. So your bottom line is "what do we need to do to get them back".

I think I can guess their red lines. Shouldn't be difficult for you too but you can always simply ask them. I also understand that crossing the red lines may be difficult for you no matter how much you want to do. But it can be done - with the co-operation of the owner - or even without.

As an old ex-Admin I would advise take your time. Stop reacting to the latest post, lock the thread for a week if you wish and think it through. Talk to people in real life - both friend and foe. I think you will be surprised that some 'foes' are not that at all. And decide what you feel is best for restoring trust in the forum and how you can convince the owner of that.

To Chris I can say from personal experience being a retired Admin sure beats being an active one. I still keep my hand in here on the technical side as the Forum's ISP. There are surely similar ways Chris can contribute in the areas everyone has to admit he does outstandingly - and avoid the the areas that have caused trouble.

There is an upside for Chris in this. I did predict to the Admin here a couple of years ago - don't worry about Chris - he will crash and burn. That has happened. Crawling back into the cockpit can only lead to another. The alternative is to get your name fixed to the header as creative founder and sit back and enjoy the heritage without the hassle.

Stuart

brazil nut
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Re: Sockpuppets on t'other forum

Post by brazil nut » 16 Jul 2019 21:24

stuart wrote:
11 Jul 2019 13:38
or things are getting really seriously weird in SE23!
Well that did all get seriously weird! SE23 all out of popcorn? (And virtual valium!)

Rachael
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Re: Sockpuppets on t'other forum

Post by Rachael » 17 Jul 2019 10:18

One of the biggest ironies is that the SE23COM admin was considered beyond the pale because a) he used spam bots and sock puppets to try to destroy other forums and b) he doesn’t even live in London, let alone SE23.

The slow morphing of CB into his nemesis has been obvious for some time. I think it comes under the auspices of: power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

I’ve seen comments here about the original SE23life team enabling him. I became a mod there shortly after it started. I thought long and hard about it and decided it would be a noble experiment to see if I could work with someone I fundamentally disagree with. I was aware all along that I was on the team partly as a token Leftie Liberal and there could be other agendas at work that I was not privy to, but I was THERE and when there was balance in the team, it worked well. I still think I made the right decision.

Tim Lund
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Re: Sockpuppets on t'other forum

Post by Tim Lund » 17 Jul 2019 10:30

michael wrote:
16 Jul 2019 14:31
Does anybody else see the parallels with the bigger world?

Over in the US we have an American president who was upset by a few women and had to respond with racist tweets and blaming them for saying nasty things.
Back in the UK we have lots of people appalled at the conspiracy against Corbyn which has been perpetrated by a Jewish Tory conspiracy from within the ranks for Labour. They tend to have far less concern about the actual cases of anti-semitism all around them.
And we have the people who fought for British sovereignty leading the campaign against our parliamentary democracy and British judicial system.

Opposing narratives are nothing new, and all this talk of 'echo chambers' disguises the fact that we are now able to hear the opposing views more than ever before - and there are some very loud and very nasty views around and some really horrible behaviour and people who are bullies seeing themselves as the victim.
You are not alone.

If anyone would like some IRL discussion on this, join me on the Overground Saturday morning on the way to this:

Image

https://www.marchforchange.uk/

JGD
Posts: 616
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Re: Sockpuppets on t'other forum

Post by JGD » 17 Jul 2019 11:01

Tim Lund wrote:
17 Jul 2019 10:30
You are not alone.

If anyone would like some IRL discussion on this, join me on the Overground Saturday morning on the way to this:

Image

https://www.marchforchange.uk/
Tim - I'm pressing the "Like" button.

To paraphrase Michael - in part at least - we have those people who fought for British sovereignty leading the campaign against our parliamentary democracy and British judicial system and proposing that we now accept that to suborn these principles of democracy and judicial system is acceptable to enable them to enforce their narrow and blind dogma led proposals.

It is essential that we do see the parallels of the big issues and maintain an appropriate perspective.

And that appropriate perspective sometimes has its grounding in the small issues.

brazil nut
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Re: Sockpuppets on t'other forum

Post by brazil nut » 17 Jul 2019 11:16

Rachael wrote:
17 Jul 2019 10:18
I’ve seen comments here about the original SE23life team enabling him. I became a mod there shortly after it started. I thought long and hard about it and decided it would be a noble experiment to see if I could work with someone I fundamentally disagree with. I was aware all along that I was on the team partly as a token Leftie Liberal and there could be other agendas at work that I was not privy to, but I was THERE and when there was balance in the team, it worked well. I still think I made the right decision.
stuart wrote:
16 Jul 2019 18:09
I did predict to the Admin here a couple of years ago - don't worry about Chris - he will crash and burn. That has happened.
I have a lot of respect for you Rachael, from your pre SE23life days, through your time as moderator there, the principled position you took when you left the moderation team and the forum and your measured, insightful comments on this thread. You mentioned cowardice earlier, but that is not a word to describe you. You've been dignified yet taken a principled stance, walked away, stuck to your word, and vocalised your balanced support for victims, when you considered a situation required it. All that takes great courage.

A noble experiment perhaps, but I believe Stuart predicted it better and many of us saw that from the outset. We saw it from the moment that upstart with an overblown ego and sense of entitlement blazed onto the SE23.COM scene. It was never going to work beyond the short term, no matter how noble your intentions. It couldn't, it had a walking car crash at the helm. The question for us bystanders was always When?, not If.

Rachael
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Re: Sockpuppets on t'other forum

Post by Rachael » 17 Jul 2019 11:42

Thanks for the kind words, brazil nut. I wasn’t fishing for compliments, but I’ll happily take them when offered. 😉

Although ultimately I think we failed with SE23life, we also achieved, IMO, quite a lot. As moderators we developed a model based on transparency and consistency and we posted all our working documents and a sort of manifesto on the site. If that material is still there, I’d say it’s a useful resource for mods and admins everywhere. It’s far from perfect, but I do think in large part it attracted people to the forum in the first place and built trust. I was also adamant that our system would never work properly with CB as owner and non-anonymised admin and to his credit there were periods when he did follow that advice. We wouldn’t be where we are now if he had made that a permanent position.

I learned a lot in my time at SE23life. If nothing else I have a plethora of material for my next novel...

michael
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Re: Sockpuppets on t'other forum

Post by michael » 17 Jul 2019 11:55

Rachael wrote:
17 Jul 2019 11:42
I learned a lot in my time at SE23life. If nothing else I have a plethora of material for my next novel...
I look forward to reading it!

brazil nut
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Joined: 22 Jan 2018 12:38
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Re: Sockpuppets on t'other forum

Post by brazil nut » 17 Jul 2019 11:59

Rachael wrote:
17 Jul 2019 11:42

I learned a lot in my time at SE23life. If nothing else I have a plethora of material for my next novel...
It must surely be a fascinating insight into human behaviour. Great work experience for psychology students.
Rachael wrote:
17 Jul 2019 10:18
I think it comes under the auspices of: power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
This really is interesting to me. It did feel that Chris saw himself as an authoritarian, power wielding unelected official. But in reality, what power did he actually have? He was a mere website owner, with no mandate from the community at large. The power was all self-perceived. My suggestion would be that what caused his downfall was the gulf between his self-perceived notions of power and the actual power he in fact commanded, and his constant scrambling to bridge the gap between the two to appease the discomfort of his cognitive dissonance. I almost feel sorry for him. But then I think to myself, had Michael not put the question to him, had he not been forced into a corner where he had to make a choice between a public admission of guilt or a false declaration of innocence that might backfire, where would we be now? Would he still be milking this situation for his own ends, riding roughshod over the other party with gleeful disregard a week on? We'll never know of course, but I know where my money would be.

Rachael
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Re: Sockpuppets on t'other forum

Post by Rachael » 17 Jul 2019 15:30

While it’s tempting to see patterns in people’s behaviour that suggest certain pathologies, I’m not sure it’s appropriate to draw conclusions here.

When I talked about power, I meant in the limited sense of controlling the forum. I was talking to my son (a keen student of politics) about how revolutions against dictatorship often lead paradoxically to the revolutionary leaders become dictators in turn. I see strong parallels to that in this saga.

Homecroft
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Re: Sockpuppets on t'other forum

Post by Homecroft » 17 Jul 2019 16:12

Interesting development.
*** Moderator update ***

Please note that whilst this update will show as from Chris, it is from the moderator team editing the original message.

We’ve been informed this matter is now being formerly investigated by the police and as such, all information in this thread has been moved (not deleted) to a hidden area so as not to prejudice any investigation. The thread is now closed to further replies.

brazil nut
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Re: Sockpuppets on t'other forum

Post by brazil nut » 17 Jul 2019 16:33

Homecroft wrote:
17 Jul 2019 16:12
Interesting development.
*** Moderator update ***

Please note that whilst this update will show as from Chris, it is from the moderator team editing the original message.

We’ve been informed this matter is now being formerly investigated by the police and as such, all information in this thread has been moved (not deleted) to a hidden area so as not to prejudice any investigation. The thread is now closed to further replies.
Interesting indeed. Does that mean this thread will be closed down too "so as not to prejudice the police investigation"? @Admin?

Looks like more bucketfuls of popcorn and virtual valium will be required in SE23...

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