15 Jan 2010

Uh Oh On Glenn Greenwald

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[UPDATE below.]

Oh come on, don’t tell me another of my budding heroes has let me down! No doubt acting on orders from Cass Sunstein, commenter Blackadder recently brought to my attention this post which apparently wields damning evidence that Glenn Greenwald posts as other people to defend himself on blogs.

I don’t know enough about the intertubes to evaluate the charge, but I have to say Greenwald’s own response leaves me feeling queasy:

A new accusation is that I’ve been engaging in so-called “sock puppetry” by leaving comments in response to posts that attack me under other names., i.e., that I use multiple names to comment and the same comment was left at several blogs by the same IP address under different names.

Not frequently, I leave comments at blogs which criticize or respond to something I have written. I always, in every single instance, use my own name when doing so. I have never left a single comment at any other blog using any name other than my own, at least not since I began blogging. IP addresses signify the Internet account one uses, not any one individual. Those in the same household have the same IP address. In response to the personal attacks that have been oozing forth these last couple of weeks, others have left comments responding to them and correcting the factual inaccuracies, as have I. In each case when I did, I have used my own name.

Soooo, if I’m interpreting him correctly, Greenwald is saying that somebody else who lives at his house could have left all the comments coming from the same IP address and yet being signed by names other than “Glenn Greenwald.” So that raises some questions:

(1) Just how many people live in GG’s house? Is he in a co ed dorm?

(2) Instead of being abstract about it, couldn’t GG have asked the other people in his house, “Hey, Ella, were you the Ella who posted from this IP, or was that somebody else like at a party we threw, named Ella, who snuck in here to use the computer to defend me on the internet?”

(3) Why would people in Greenwald’s house have needed to email him about matters, and then post his email response in blogs defending his honor? Couldn’t Greenwald’s housemates have asked him during the commercial breaks of Must-See TV whether those scurrilous internet charges were true, and then typed up his verbal response on the blogs to defend his honor?

This really ruins my night.

UPDATE: Read the comments to learn why this isn’t nearly as bad as I first thought. My faith in GG is restored, though I am now wiser.

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