Monday, December 3, 2012

Anonymous comments are not proof

One of the things that I have been thinking about lately is how much weight one should place on blog and forum comments made by anonymous people. And by "anonymous," I mean people who either openly post as an anonymous (and perhaps unregistered) user, as well as those who use a handle such as "the Golden Dawn avenger"--a handle that actually tells you only that the person behind the handle has a big ego.

There are two reasons why I have been thinking about this.

One, I am in the process of setting up a blog to collect all the book reviews that I have done in various places. I have needed to do this for awhile. It has become more urgent, due to the fact that I am starting to recieve books from some GoodReads drawings that I recently entered (I have recieved the first two books today).

Do I allow comments on the Book Review blog? Or do I just refuse to allow comments through? And does it matter either way? (Please note that my book reviews were called into question earlier this anonymous and faceless people.)

The other reason I have been thinking about anonymous comments is watching the comments being made on one of my blog posts on this very blog. There has been one person who has been pointing out dirt about Robert Zink--provided that you place any stock in comments that direct you to other comments made on another blog by anonymous people.

Personally, I do not need to hear anonymous comments about Zink to have an opinion of the man. After all, I had internet dealings with the man (we are not favorite people of each other); plus, I have done some "exit counseling" with some of his former membership--enourgh to know that I am definitely not suited to be one of his students.

The same holds true of several other people in the Golden Dawn community. Between the grapevine and my own interactions with people, I have a really good idea of who is what type of lunatic without having to read anonymous comments about them. And I am sure that they feel the same way about me--we all know that I am a lunatic with a soapbox.

And honestly, I find that the way that anonymous comments are presented as "proof" painful to watch because of the double standard that is applied to them. Simply put, an anonymous comment is considered to be proof when it supports your stated conclusion, but is considered a falsehood when it does not support your argument. If it is undermining your competition, an anonymous comment is proof and perfectly acceptable because people need to be able to present evidence without fear. But the same comment is it attacks your position must be coming from the political sock puppet of your enemy and is a complete lie, therefore anonymous comments should never be considered proof that you too are special type of lunatic.

Of course, most proof in the occult community tends to be treated the same way. Scholars have a double standard applied to them (if they support your argument, they are a good scholar; if not, they are a fraud who should be kicked out of the academy). Business practices and recruiting techniques are ok when you use them, but fraud when other people use them. A simple statement of a claim of ancient knowledge is accepted point blank by one group's membership while the same type of claims are considered lies when made by another group.

It is enourgh to make one want to declare that everyone is a liar and a fraud. And far more simple too. Of course, I have gotten to the stage where I am just starting to ignore any comment that is made by someone that I do not personally know. But let's be honest, being called a neo-nazi and told outright that it is ok for others to destory one's reputation because you do not belong to the one real Golden Dawn makes one dislike anyone who stands behind "anonymous" or "enemy of all false GD Orders" and calls you names.

So do not expect me to accept blog and forum comments presented by anonymous posters of proof of anything. After all, I know enourgh people who are posting using their real names that I do not need to see evidence that is untraceable. You would not accept my statements as proof if I hid my identity, so why should I trust you when you do the same?

No comments: