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Matt asks for feedback on an abusive multi-account user
June 13, 2001 10:59 PM   Subscribe

So the FreeSpeech guy came back today. For those that have never heard of him, he's also PrivateParts, RightWinger, and PatMcGroin among other accounts.

In the past, I've deleted his most inflammatory posts and banned his IP range and accounts. His real name is Mike Allen, and he works as a temp, so he gets a new IP range with every new job. I know he lives in LA, and I've been told he's a 36 year old guy that lives to fuck with chat rooms and message boards.

He contends that I'm a "self-righteous left wing politically correct little prick who cant take a fucking joke on your precious site" and that I'm a censorship nazi that can't handle his right wing views. He calls Aaron a pussy and claims that aaron is a moderate (I pointed out that there are non-abrasive right wing members of MetaFilter that never get banned).

His email is michaelpatrickallen@hotmail.com and I don't know what the fuck to do about him. I just told him to stop, but he basically told me to fuck off and he'd keep it up forever and that the site deserves to be torn down by him.

He's the user I always feared existed. The freak with unlimited time and not a care in the world, someone that would do anything in their power to destory whatever you've built. Someone that won't listen to reason, and doesn't care to debate anything.

What the fuck am I supposed to do? I'm tired of following around and picking up his messes these past few months, and I don't want give up and let him win, but what else is there to do?
posted by mathowie to Etiquette/Policy at 10:59 PM (70 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Matt: He can't really destroy anything. You can shut him down, or we can work around him. The whole site is pretty mean these days, and he will get bored if we let him play. There is no game, and no rules that you don't make, so he really cannot win.

OR... A Metafilter administration group. Cherrypick some users who are active, give them minor admin power, and let them kill accounts if 3 of them agree to turn the key. I would think peer pressure would keep them from abusing their power. Everyone is so sensitive here, nobody will want to wear the censor mantle.

I am pretty sure Aaron is not going to be loving being mentioned in Metatalk again, and I am pretty sure he is not coming back. Is there anybody with his temperament these days?
posted by thirteen at 11:52 PM on June 13, 2001


IANAL, but there has to be some sort of legal recourse. Perhaps harassment of some sort, a stern call from law enforcement may be the cure for this twerp.

Also, I'm in LA - so I could pay a visit with a wrench or other such heavy item (j/k).
posted by owillis at 11:54 PM on June 13, 2001


/me makes a note not to piss off owillis... er... any more.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 12:09 AM on June 14, 2001


Matt, you have developed a "good thing" here. I can not see one or even more "bad apples" spoiling that. These kind of folk get bored after awhile and move on. Buckle your seat belt and wait him out.
posted by bjgeiger at 12:20 AM on June 14, 2001


Matt, I once recommended you block me from your site since I don't play well with others. I am admittedly thankful that you didn't. I am trying to improve how I play in your sandbox. But again I reiterate this is your sandbox, and for people who don't at least try to accomodate that, you have the inalienable right to defend your sandbox with everything at your disposal. You own this bar: when someone like this Michael Patrick Allen character gets drunk and disorderly, it's your responsibility and duty to kick him off your property.

Education is key. There's no doubt a busload of people on your side in this, and I wouldn't be surprised if they've already taken the information you provided about this weirdo and are as we speak hunting down his Net access information in order to bombard his real email addy with spammail and attacking his server with everything but the kitchen sink. An alternative would be to ignore him and let him rant and wail. Eventually even the most lifeless troll will give up and move on somewhere else when his hot air stops producing the attention he so desperately seeks. If you do give admin rights to others for policing purposes, just remember that you're the sheriff of this here virtual town in the cyber wild west. It's your ponderosa. Make sure those you deputize don't start shooting loaded guns without your permission.

You are by no means a censorship nazi. Otherwise I wouldn't still be here. You're a hard workin' guy with good intentions. Don't let this pobucker ruffle your feathers.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:21 AM on June 14, 2001


bjgeiger has the right idea.

I fear Matt, that if you let FreeSpeech's actions influence the free nature of this site, only then he has succeeded in destroying part of it's appeal. I think you'd regret that a great deal.

Speaking strictly for myself, I see something I don't like, I just scroll on.
posted by dong_resin at 2:09 AM on June 14, 2001


Free Republic had a problem like this with a user named Thomas Chappell Aldridge, Jr., and it gathered all the data it could on the guy's frequent abuses of the site and got a court to issue a permanent injunction against him ever visiting the site or having others visit the site on his behalf.

If I had someone who had devoted his life to ragging on my site, I think I would set up a weblog where he could complain to his heart's content, then make it a link on my main menu so everyone could find it. (Ideally, he should also have a message board where he must deal with obnoxious posters who show up to troll.)
posted by rcade at 6:43 AM on June 14, 2001


I know I'm coming to his conversation a little late, but I would like to point out this: If the decision is made not to restrict/babysit access for FreeSpeechPartsWingerMcGroin, or any like him, then it is very important for the rest of us to know who these fools are, as early as possible, in all of thier incarnations. Most discussion communities I have belonged to (even the WARZ type) were most capable of self policing by simple agreement to ignore trolls. WE just have to know who they are. Please note that of the three comments he has posted in this incarnation, none have been responded to, or even acknowledged by others in the discussion. When he (or his ilk) appear, just post an identity warning and that trend will continue. The Troll will get bored and go bye-bye. I certainly wouldn't make too much of his devotion to ruining MeFi.
posted by Wulfgar! at 7:00 AM on June 14, 2001


A court injunction would be nice. I don't know how easy it would be to enforce, though it could put the fear of God into him.

I was thinking of a techie solution to it... make it easier for Matt to clean up the messes, because I see that as the only viable solution. I personally don't like the group of moderators idea. Seems a little too elitist.

There's no way to educate the user base to ignore a troll. Trolls demand attention and they get it.
posted by crunchland at 7:11 AM on June 14, 2001


Wulfgar raises a good point, the users need to know to ignore him.

Those of us who read MetaTalk or have been around through this fool's various incarnations know to ignore him, to let him do his thing and get tired of it, but new users don't necessarily.

I'd suggest a great big huge glaring front page notification, not in the side-bar but right underneath the menu that identifies all of FreeSpeech's known aliases, and telling people to not respond to his posts, no matter what he says or not matter what he does.

As 13 said, he'll eventually wear himself out.

Another alternative would be to link his real name into his profile. If you Google me, my MeFi profile's the 7th result.

Put a little blurb in each of the profile pages, if potential employers Google him (searching the Internet about employees is likely to become common practice, if it isn't already) and find out what a complete and utter pissant and killjoy he is, they may be that much more reluctant to employ him.

He chooses to act like an ass in a public environment, let him learn that there are repercussions to all activities. You own this sandbox, we love to play in it, I don't like the idea of him shitting in the corner.
posted by cCranium at 7:16 AM on June 14, 2001


if potential employers Google him and find out what a complete and utter pissant and killjoy he is, they may be that much more reluctant to employ him.

I'd be willing to go even further. I'm not too saavy about IP-foo, but I'm guessing if you can detect his IP address, you can also figure out where he works.

I'm sure his current employers would appreciate a polite, tactful note letting them know what this little wanker is doing with their equipment on company time.
posted by ratbastard at 8:12 AM on June 14, 2001


Nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
posted by darukaru at 9:04 AM on June 14, 2001


Good God, Darukaru; perhaps you should specify which "site" you were reffering to. Someone might think you meant MeFi! :)
posted by pnevares at 9:08 AM on June 14, 2001


Yep, a short email to the personnel dept. of every place he logs in from should see him off.
You'd just need a short "I am the owner of www.metfileter.com and your employee Mike Allen is posting obscene comments here regularly from your computer, IP address xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx, please ask him to refrain...."
If he's a temp then he'll be out the door pretty quickly I would have thought. If every place he works hears about him then he'll have a choice:-
Piss on MeFi or work
posted by Markb at 9:11 AM on June 14, 2001


yeah, if he's doing this on company time and equipment, letting his employers know is the most effective way to make him stop.

and once you figure out that it's him again, is there any way to just make his comments invisible to others? so that he can see them, but no one else can?

alternately, just have his comments all go into a rubbish bin as they're posted? - rcb
posted by rebeccablood at 9:23 AM on June 14, 2001


As an occasional corner-shitter who got taken to task for it, my recommendation would be to ignore him, and make it widely known that others should ignore him as well. If there's no one in the theatre, the players go looking for new venues.

If that doesn't work, perhaps Owillis idea has merit...? I can't believe there's something we agree on :) but if a wrenching is not to your taste, I'm certain that there are a wide variety of technical people on MeFi who know this or that about digital retaliation. Employ them.

Jacking his boss might not work - what if he *is* the boss? It happens.
posted by UncleFes at 9:35 AM on June 14, 2001


I've got some programming to do on the site, and some reporting to do to some abuse addresses, but that's about all I can do at this point. I'm not going to waste any more energy on this crank.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:22 AM on June 14, 2001


Jacking his boss might not work - what if he *is* the boss? It happens.

It does, but it isn't the case with FreeSpeech according to the info Matt's dug up.

I like how everyone took the Google-bombing idea and made it that much more evil by going directly the employers. We really can be deliciously vengeful, can't we? :-)
posted by cCranium at 11:03 AM on June 14, 2001


We really can be deliciously vengeful, can't we?

Heh, which part of "ratbastard" didn't you understand: the rat, or the bastard? ;^)
posted by ratbastard at 11:39 AM on June 14, 2001


matt: i have no easy answer but please don't let him get you down. he's a loser of gargantuan proportions and not worth your time or energy, which you should be more properly devoted to instituting MetaFilter Ice Cream Day.
posted by Sapphireblue at 12:14 PM on June 14, 2001


... or maybe MetaFilter Grammar Check, sigh.
posted by Sapphireblue at 12:14 PM on June 14, 2001


I likes the way you think, ratbastard :)

I was thinking, in the event that tickling his bosses ear doesn't work, about something our ex-network guy did here at work. Our network guy, he was sort of a nut, and he kept a little zip disk archive of all the viruses he caught coming into our network. They were mostly macroviruses, but Melissa, I Love You, and a few other worms were in there, too, plus god knows what else. Well, he had a beef with someone he knew over some technical thingamabob, and what he did was rewrite the intros on the emails that carried the virus, and emailed them ALL to the guy over the course of a couple days using anonymizer. He knew the guy's virus scanner updates were catch-as-catch-can, and...?

I don't know what happened, but I can't imagine it was very pretty. Sometimes the best defense against a guy with a gun is a bigger gun.
posted by UncleFes at 7:51 PM on June 14, 2001


That's great advice, UncleFes -- it would really teach that guy a lesson if Matt was arrested for committing felony computer crime.
posted by rcade at 8:01 PM on June 14, 2001


I agree on letting people know what his latest incarnation is ASAP. Once we know, we can safely ignore everything from him and let others know to ignore him.

What I think would be really really really cool is to have his posts only show up to him and non-authenticated visitors. IOW, when he looks at the site, he sees his posts. When anyone else looks at the site (while logged in), his posts don't appear.

Mute-button banning I'll call it. Kills many birds with one bush if you think about it for a second.

Basically, in quasi-code:

banlist = (FreeSpeech, PrivateParts, RightWinger, PatMcGroin, etc)

while (displaying threads or comments) {
  if (Author is on banlist AND Author is not Current User) {
    skip to next thread/comment
  } else {
    display thread/comment
  }
}
posted by fooljay at 8:45 PM on June 14, 2001


Isn't it strange that he put his real name in the Pat Mcgroin account info? Also, looking at his posts (and I realize that really offensive ones were probably deleted) it looks like he actually did want to be part of "the community" but is just too crazy to play nice.
It's a really sad situation, if you think about it. What must this guy's life be like?
Of course, that doesn't excuse him from being a big asshole.
posted by Doug at 8:58 PM on June 14, 2001


I still like the "group of moderators" idea. If they're all people who almost everyone trusts, they'll do well. There have to be a few people around here like that... I can think of CuJoe as one of them, for instance.

As a side note, there's another board that CrazyUncleJoe and I both post to that has used that moderation idea to a great extent. It's not really an elite group, because the people who are chosen and voted in as mods by the other mods are such great people...

So basically, find a group of deputies that you trust, Matt. It's time to delegate the administration of MeFi.

I do like the idea of letting all of his current and former bosses know, but then he can just get an AOL or dialup account and keep playing. We can't really block all of AOL's proxy servers, as much as we'd probably like to.
posted by SpecialK at 9:04 PM on June 14, 2001


Well, as another pain in the ass here... I also agree that ignoring him is the way to go. He's obviously looking to get a rise out of everyone. Ignore him, and he'll go away.

Of course, if you can nail him to a company's IP address, I say let him lose a job or two, and figure out if it was all worth it.

I can't imagine, after being exposed like this, he would even have the balls to keep going on. Turn on the heat!
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 9:39 PM on June 14, 2001


I'll bet he's loving this thread right now. Ignore the nazi cluck.
posted by crasspastor at 9:44 PM on June 14, 2001


Ignoring him is impracticable. Are you going to put a paragraph about him and his antics in the FAQ? New people will continue to not know, and others will continue to rise to the bait.

Letting a single employer know, however, would certainly get his attention.
posted by anapestic at 9:54 PM on June 14, 2001


I guess I could be wrong about the Aaron thing.
posted by thirteen at 10:22 PM on June 14, 2001


[warning - self link]

Since Matt provided his email address I decided yesterday to try and draw this guy out and get him to explain to me why he was doing this. Why was this so important to him?

I know he's an idiot. But I wanted to be as annoying to him as he is to us. I was very polite.

I've compiled the emails at my site here. It's *long*. But it will give you a better idea of what's going on in this asswipe's brain. He thinks racist jokes are funny. He admits being petty. He thinks we just don't understand his humor.

Matt - if this is inappropriate, feel free to pull the comment. I've been very careful to be polite, not threaten, and not involve anyone else.

One odd thing is that the emails almost look like they are coming from more that one person. Sometimes he uses all caps, sometimes he's polite and reasonable, and he was using two different email clients. Very odd.

I intend to keep pressing him to justify his actions and defend the things he's said.
posted by y6y6y6 at 5:51 AM on June 15, 2001


y6y6y6, you're insane.

In a good way, of course, but I don't think I'd have been able to show the restraint you obviously did through that.

I think the differences in conversational tone were intentional. He's an ass, but he's awfully good at it.
posted by cCranium at 7:15 AM on June 15, 2001


I guess I could be wrong about the Aaron thing.

I think you have to conclude he likes the place. It would probably be nice for us to adopt a different person as MetaFilter's most put-upon conservative, if Aaron's willing to relinquish the title. Dreama? Mikewas?
posted by rcade at 7:27 AM on June 15, 2001


"He's an ass, but he's awfully good at it."

Where? I'm trying to get him to say anything more clever than "Nazi!" He's a parrot.

If he was good at being an ass he'd still be a member. I'm an ass. I'm good at it. Eric Brooks (luv ya man) is a total ass. He's good at it.

PParts is so bad at it that I'm dumb struck. That's my point, he's not even good at being a troll.

He hasn't responded yet this morning.

I'm going forward my page to the LA Weekly for their consideration.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:29 AM on June 15, 2001


y6, you're a better man than I; your correspondence was terribly insightful.

I just feel sorry for him.
posted by Avogadro at 7:43 AM on June 15, 2001


One odd thing is that the emails almost look like they are coming from more that one person. Sometimes he uses all caps, sometimes he's polite and reasonable, and he was using two different email clients. Very odd.

This reminds me of something that happened on LambdaMOO a few years ago, when I was an active luser there... For all I know, it's still happening.

I can't remember the userid, but I seem to recall it was something like "MrConservative."

The user would show up in some public areas, like the Living Room or the Hot Tub and just start spewing rhetoric, and getting people all riled up. The odd think is that the tone and style of the user seemed to change in a chaotic way, from session to session. At some point, it was determined that the userid was being used by more than one person. I recall that the story ultimately was that a group of sociology students were using the userid to study people's reactions -- that there were something like 10 people all controlling the character, with the sole purpose of provoking (trolling) and then studying the responses.

The whole thing is a bit fuzzy at this point, I admit, and only bubbled up as a brainfart when I read y6y6y6's message.
posted by crunchland at 7:44 AM on June 15, 2001


"a group of sociology students were using the userid to study people's reactions"

If this is the case, then we could get them all expelled. Isn't conducting studies by abusing random people without their consent considered unethical?

But it doesn't seem to jibe with the fact that PParts is mainly attacking Matt directly at this point.

Anybody here want to do an alumni search for Michael (Mike) Allen at schools around LA? Maybe the department head would be interested.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:26 AM on June 15, 2001


Just giving an example of something that happened, rcade. I would never, of course, advocate that Matt virusbomb this guy. Probably wouldn't even work. Just pointing out that computer-based nastiness can be a two-way street.

IF some hypothetical helpful persons who knew technical things hypothetically acted independantly, well, we're just all having a little conversation, right? Speculation and wishful thinking at best :)
posted by UncleFes at 8:37 AM on June 15, 2001


uncle fes, we all know you're joking, but even joking like that really is distasteful, and would bring the community under suspicion if an attack of this nature ever did occur. (and that's not unlikely, given this guy's proclivities.)

I think that notifying the computer admins at his various IP addresses is the best bet; let them know that he's violating the guidelines at metafilter, that he's been repeatedly warned and blocked from the system, that he continues to log on under new IP addresses, and ask for their assistance in preventing him from doing so.

it would be effective in so many ways. - rcb
posted by rebeccablood at 11:16 AM on June 15, 2001


"He's an ass, but he's awfully good at it."

Where? I'm trying to get him to say anything more clever than "Nazi!" He's a parrot.

Switching the conversational tones, dodging your actual questions and saying just enough to have you keep e-mailing him.

I don't consider you or Eric asses. Cranky old bastards perhaps, but not asses. Perhaps it's just a matter of perception.

Dismissing him as stupid is a big mistake. He's not only gotten a number of MeTa threads dedicated to him, he's gotten you to dedicate a day of conversation and only you know how much mental speculation to him.

He works temp jobs and claims to be a psychology major. If that is indeed his major, he's interested in how people think. He's playing the ultimate mind fuck with us and he's winning because we're a bunch of mostly nice people.

He won't stop until he suffers for his actions. Get him where it hurts - his paycheque. He's using corporate-owned equipment to fuck with us, which is undoubtedly a violation of every employment contract in North America.
posted by cCranium at 12:03 PM on June 15, 2001


cCranium, please don't attribute to effort what can adequately be explained by stupidity. Mr. McGroin isn't winning anything that isn't also being won by those featured on America's Dumbest Criminals, Darwin Award winners, and the bad-boys who get their heads busted on Cops. They get their 15 minutes and then fade away. I personally find him and his conversation w/y6 cubed to be amusing.

Witness this: He didn't dodge questions, he consistently tried to answer questions from the e-mail that was twice previous to what y6 currently asked. He blatantly contradicts himself and his professed beliefs and proudly dons the fool's hat for it. He accuses Matt of paranoid narcissistic megalomania (terms he doesn't even appear to know) and exhibits all of those qualities himself. In the dictionary, you'll find his picture next to the word "buffoon". Now he has been offered up as a laughing stock to any who wish to read it on y6's website. Yeah, he's cool.

Dismissing him as stupid in the forum that y6 put him in is entirely appropriate and makes for good black-comedy. He can hurt Metafilter, or any of our psyches only to the degree that we let him. I am a nice person, but sometimes I like the show, and FreeWingerMcGroin is only more grist for the mill, the same as Monty Python action figures, or trailer vision shorts.

As for nailing him in the paycheck, I'm all for that. That sorry dude has "issues". He puts himself out as a potential martyr to his cause, and then begs the protection of anonymity so that he need not be responsible for his actions. What BS! He's a hypocrite, plain and simple. So it would be only proper to show him that consequence is a very real part of online life, just as it is in his pathetic temp-job, got no life, too-disgusting-for-women-to-care-about, flunking-out-of-school, world.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:40 PM on June 15, 2001


uncle fes, we all know you're joking, but even joking like that really is distasteful, and would bring the community under suspicion if an attack of this nature ever did occur. (and that's not unlikely, given this guy's proclivities.)

Not only that, but threatening violence or computer attacks against someone makes MetaFilter look bad. Some of the things that were said in the Kaycee Nicole threads -- like the threat by one user to prank call her -- were circulated around other places on the Web as an example of how this community had run amok.
posted by rcade at 5:10 PM on June 15, 2001


Thanks for publishing all the emails Jon. I was cc'd on a couple after I told the troll I was no longer speaking to him. I love that you kept your head and backed up everything he said. I like how every direct question you posed that was directed at the subject of him or his behavior was ignored or casually responded to.

I have one major bone to pick though. He states in the "Matt needs to see a therapist" section that I'm paranoid because the troll has never been a threat. He was trying to say my reaction of possibly calling up the LA Weekly and saying "Do you have a temp worker there named Michael Allen? Yeah? Can I talk to his supervisor?" was way over the top

I'll post his best email right here:

----------------------------------------
X-Originating-IP: [209.79.245.4] <-- LA Weekly owns this IP
From: "Mike Allen"
To: matt@haughey.com
Bcc:
Subject: Re: Stop. now.
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001 16:12:46 -0000

Post anything you want cocksucker, is that the best you can do, get others to do your dirty work for you, coward? Ill drive up to San Francisco and kick your gutless ass myself, you can't stand free speech because it threatens you precious liberal ideals that dont have a pathetic leg to stand on. Youre a spineless liberal who has no guts, Ill meet you anywhere anytime and I will kick your hopeless ass out of the state. Youre a fake Matt and we both know it

X-Originating-IP: [209.79.245.4]
From: "Mike Allen"
To: matt@haughey.com
Bcc:
Subject: Re: Stop. now.
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001 16:34:35 -0000

Hey Matt report me all you want, as I have said before I will kick your pathetic ass in person if you ever have the guts to face me. Come down to Los Angeles or Ill come up there to San Francisco, Ill kick your ass. You dont have the guts.

X-Originating-IP: [209.79.245.4]
From: "Mike Allen"
To: matt@haughey.com
Bcc:
Subject: Re: Stop. now.
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001 16:50:40 -0000

Matt,

Youre a gutless liberal who can't take different opinions, so please dont even pretend that metafilter is any form of free expression of ideas.. When you say "there is no first amendment" on my site you are simply confirming your own fears of freedom of speech, thank God people like you do not run the country. Once again, if you have the guts to face me come on down to Los angeles, until then grow some balls and be a man.

----------------------------------------

Three emails saying he wants to kick my ass. I tried to ask him why a fight was in order. Why, if we have differing opinions on what is acceptable behavior on a website, that having a fist fight about it would prove anything at all to anyone. He responded to those by calling me a pussy liberal that needs to move to China.

Now, the question is, why *aren't* I phoning up the LA Weekly right now?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:12 PM on June 15, 2001


Thanks Matt. I really do appreciate that. I've been worried that I'm doing more harm than good. BTW - I live a bit closer to him. If he decided to threaten me I'll be inclined to press criminal charges. And if he attacks me I'll be more than happy to defend myself with extreme prejudice.

I don't condone it, but I do enjoy violence. I really do. It doesn't look like he'll go there however.

Those of us who are adults know that people who don't feel like settling petty squabbles with their fists are not "gutless pussies", they're responsible adults. I'm sure this BS carried a lot of weight in grade school, but we're in the real world now. Mr Allen is a pile of shit. All of his name calling will never, ever, change that.

I'll have today's emails up soon.
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:21 PM on June 15, 2001


Hmmm.... I want to rephrase that.

I enjoy mutually agreed upon violence. Fight club type stuff. "We're getting hurt, but we both choose to be here." Much fun.
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:26 PM on June 15, 2001


Heh heh... Five bucks says Mr. "Come down here and I'll kick your @$$" looks and acts like George Costanza. (snicker, chortle!)
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 6:47 PM on June 15, 2001


matt, why *aren't* calling the la weekly right now? - rcb
posted by rebeccablood at 7:05 PM on June 15, 2001


you. why aren't you.
posted by rebeccablood at 7:06 PM on June 15, 2001


[warning - self link]

I'm still working from the assumption that people are interested in reading this. Please tell me to stop if this is inappropriate. I'll understand.

Here are today's emails from PParts.

This days emails were a bit more constructive. He did less name calling and spent more time trying to build a logical defense of his actions. Not too impressive.

It's obvious he's making up a good deal of this just to bait me. Very clever. Baiting me when my obvious motivation is to bait him. My new pet name for Mr Allen is "Sparky."
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:11 PM on June 15, 2001


Interesting Jon. I see no mention of him in the writing credits of either series, and even if it's an alias, no name is repeated on both.

FWIW, I've contacted someone at the LA Weekly, sent them lots of information and material proving he's using their connection for it, and I can't wait to hear what becomes of it. Also - the person answering phones had never heard of a Mike Allen.

Mob. Go. Now. Find him.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:38 PM on June 15, 2001


Jesus, marimba, and candy coated ice cream. Please let him send ME a plane ticket and I'll travel to LA to give him what he seems to truly desire. JUVINILE or not this guy deserves the special attention that I can offer. My god in Cleveland, I do so enjoy the fact that people like this are existant just so I can drool about what I might "teach" them. That's entertainment!!!

posted by Wulfgar! at 8:43 PM on June 15, 2001


"I see no mention of him in the writing credits"

I was able to find a reference to a B&B show authored by a "Mike Allen", but that doesn't mean anything to me. Even if it is true it just means he couldn't cut it as a comedy writer.

"Please let him send ME a plane ticket"

Wulfgar! - Stand down dude. Pretend you have a philosophy degree or something. I think it's important that all of us avoid doing and saying things that are legally actionable. Just because we *are* a mob doesn't mean we have to act like one.

He's a loser. Why would he care if you get him fired? Last I heard, unemployment was pretty low in LA.

Also - I really need to say that I'm not doing this on behalf of Metafilter or Matt. It's my own little game. When Matt first found out about this (PParts cc'd him) he encouraged me to not get involved.

I'm a lone wolf here.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:17 PM on June 15, 2001


Fired? Heh, Heh Heh, So little time, so little flesh. Forget it y6, the call has gone forth. "Mob. Go now. Find him". I don't like him, nobody here likes him. This is a train wreck I like to see, and many join me in this. I only wish I had more a part to play in this.
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:52 PM on June 15, 2001


From what I understand of the guy, he doesn't want to be part of this community, and he revels in having a joke that no one else understands. He likes the attention, and has been noticed enough to make his appearance on MeFi a project of dissonance. I don't think he'll go away, or at least he won't anytime soon. The problem is that it would seem that he would not be affected by almost anything we say or do, so I have a bit crazy of an idea.

Accept him.

What I mean by this is, by means of reverse psychology, give him the attention he doesn't want...one of understanding and compassion (sounds corny eh?). Commend him on his brilliance, and tell him you love him and think that his statements should be published for the whole world to see. Analyze his poorly written sentences and tell him how insightful and meaningful they are.

I'm afraid he might not be intelligent enough to figure out that the jokes on him, but nonetheless, it would be fun.
posted by samsara at 7:45 AM on June 16, 2001


crunchland: as the arbitrator of a dispute involving the "Mr.Conservative" character on LambdaMOO -- and another one called "John_Birches_Friend", I think -- the idea that the group of people using those characters was made up of psychology students is new to me. Though not inconceivable. (I resolved it by resetting the Mr.Conservative password, since having multiple typists violated Lambda's terms & conditions, and that seemed to quieten things down.)

As for this guy, well, if he's in LA, he's probably moonlighting as a fluffer for animal porn.
posted by holgate at 7:34 PM on June 16, 2001


Hey!
As it happens, the Los Angeles Animal Porn Fluffers Guild (LAAPF #607) is a very strong union. We'd... er... they'd never let this guy in.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 9:38 PM on June 16, 2001


Ill drive up to San Francisco and kick your gutless ass myself

FWIW, the above is a threat of physical violence. Such threats are punishable by fine and/or imprisonment under California penal code 240-248. If he made the threat three times, that's three counts or $3,000/1.5 years.

His actions could also be though of as disturbing a lawful assembly, or stalking.

Rather than LA Weekly or a lawyer, you may wish to consider calling the LA or SF county sheriff.
posted by dchase at 9:17 AM on June 17, 2001 [1 favorite]


As it happens, I've already e-mailed the California State AG's office with a polite inquery as to exactly how many laws have been broken. Cases like this are rarely prosecuted because the priciples rarely live in the same state. Not the case this time. I expect to hear back from them tomorrow. I for one was perfectly happy to ignore the doofus, and or, allow his employers to make informed discisions about who exactly they were employing. But Winger McGroin went WAY too far with the threats. His sole defense in his conversations with y6y6y6 is that he merely offended the delicate sensibilities of MeFites and Matt. We'll see...
p.s. I firmly believe that only Matt can persue this in a legal sense. So I guess its up to him now.
p.p.s. I did not use any names or identify anyone (yet) so please don't climb case for having overstepped. Please remember it was Matt who said "Go. Now. Find him."
posted by Wulfgar! at 1:43 PM on June 17, 2001


He has been uncharacteristically silent over here also. My invitation to come over to his apartment has gone unanswered. I assume he went out for the weekend. I'll give him a call next week.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:59 PM on June 17, 2001


wow... 2 things:
1. I'm glad that my mommy taught me to play nice
2. MetaTalk is very organized and polite for a mob

seriously though y6, I really agree with your assessmnet that this may be different people after reading the transcripts. I see about 3 distinct personalities there. (going on the assumption that he's(they're) writing more or less in the same manner that they would speak.
posted by tj at 8:55 PM on June 17, 2001


I'm troubled that from the get-go of this thread Matt has 1. provided the mob with the guy's e-mail (which is a tacit way of saying, "go get him"), and 2. explicitly said "go get him", and then 3) UncleFes and others have expressed a willingness and an actual plan of how to go get him.

I used to participate in another forum where a single evil user kept popping up no matter how hard the moderators tried to quash him, and I ended up leaving that forum because it quickly spun into total paranoia -- users accusing other users of being the problem guy in disguise, "secret" offline moderator discussions, all sorts of bullshit all for this one guy, who, quite frankly, delighted in the fact that he was fucking with everyone. And the "evil user" wasn't some loose cannon, he was (is) a psychology professor at a major university.

If Matt feels that this guy is truly a personal threat to him, he should indeed pursue the legal recourses available to him.

The rest of us should stop wanting to play vigilante and just ignore the guy.
posted by briank at 8:15 AM on June 18, 2001


What Braink said.

Matt should press charges. Seriously. How will people ever learn that you can't just threaten to beat people up if we just stand by while PParts breaks the law?

Everyone else should ignore him. Seriously. This guy is a coward how likes to insult and bully people. And worse yet, he's a bully who hides behind email. If you ignore him you reinforce his inner fear that he's boring and inconsequential.

As I said before, we shouldn't be acting like a mob. And Matt shouldn't be encouraging us to. Just my opinion........
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:29 AM on June 18, 2001


"y6, I really agree with your assessmnet that this may be different people"

It's just one person. He lives to annoy people. He's learned over the years that there are several ways to do this. When one tact doesn't work, he tries another.

I'm finding it very interesting to dig into this guy's motives. It seems to be a 'mouse pressing the lever' sort of thing for him. He seems incapable of taking any responsibility for his actions. His racist comments are funny. His threats are funny. Why doesn't everyone else get the joke?
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:41 AM on June 18, 2001


I thought I posted something here a few days ago. Was it deleted or did I mess up on the submission?

posted by andrew cooke at 9:08 AM on June 18, 2001


Sorry. My stupid error. Please feel free to delete this + comment above.

posted by andrew cooke at 10:36 AM on June 18, 2001


UncleFes and others have expressed a willingness and an actual plan of how to go get him.

How is it that I'm always the bad guy around here? I said "ignore him" 75 posts ago! As I recall... my recommendation would be to ignore him, and make it widely known that others should ignore him as well. If there's no one in the theatre, the players go looking for new venues. (from my first post in this thread)

I don't mind being the right-wang whippin boy once in a while, but c'mon, this is just hair-pulling :)
posted by UncleFes at 2:57 PM on June 18, 2001


y6, I DO find them mildly amusing, and now that you mention it, the changing of style between different emails could be part of the joke. (especially since it seems to be on a cycle)

It seems to be a 'mouse pressing the lever' sort of thing for him
Then we REALLY need to find a different way to get this mouthbreather a food pellet.
posted by tj at 3:06 PM on June 18, 2001


MetaFilter Ice Cream Day.

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           './ /
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posted by iceberg273 at 10:43 AM on July 10, 2001 [3 favorites]


well, dont look at me..like someone said nuke'em from orbit. I ignored him and i strive to be ignored.(drusus gives Fes a daisy, no liquid center)
posted by clavdivs at 6:53 PM on July 13, 2001


Any update to this thread?
posted by davidmsc at 8:03 PM on July 13, 2001


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