John Holbo links to the dispute between Scott Kaufman and a commenter at Jesus’ General. Long story short, a disagreement in comments at JG escalated into a full broadside denunciation of Scott as a white supremacist to his employers at UCI. Not satisfied with a single attack, the commenter in question has sent several e-mails to various levels of the UCI hierarchy, as well as to the office of Scott’s US Congresswoman.
As an academic, I may be oversensitive to these kinds of attacks on one’s employment. Nevertheless, while I can understand the reluctance to give out the IP address of the attacker, I can’t sympathize with it. From here on out at LGM, I think it’s fair to say that if you engage, as a commenter, in a series of attacks designed to get another commenter fired, you’ve relieved me of any obligation to keep whatever data I have private.
UPDATE BY SL: I concur, especially with the premise that this kind of tattling is reprehensible. It’s especially bad when the tattling is libelous, as in this case, but it’s always bad, and since I’m a fan of JG I’m dismayed that he’s
enabling this kind of behavior. [On reflection, I think this charge against patriotboy is too strong. He’s not responsible in any way; I wish he called out the individual commenter more forcefully, and didn’t ban SEK for no obvious reason, but it’s not enabling. Fundamentally, this is about his commenter, not him.]