Re: Someone's Impersonating jm

 Posted on 6/4/1995 by to

Only because it's late, and I'm kinda pissed off anyway (see the note
which Vinay will be reposting any time now), let me dive into this with one
or two comments which, I hope, will end this discussion.

(And I won't even mention my sense that those who seem least to
understand the need to protect one's name are the ones who don't have much
of a name TO protect.)

Lemme bring you up to speed on something a few of you know about, but
the majority probably don't. There have been a couple of other cases of
people impersonating me. One of the most serious was someone who, saying
he was me, using my address, began logging onto certain sex-oriented
alt and rec groups and began leaving messages that were...disturbing, to
couch it delicately. Suffice to say they involved minors and let it go
at that. I found out about this when messages in response to this began
showing up in my mailbox. Other equally disturbing messages were brought
to my attention by a few others here who log onto some of the other parts
of the internet. (They can step forward if they so choose.)

One of these individuals is now facing criminal charges.

Lawyers brought into this made it *absolutely clear* to me, in NO
uncertain terms, how this should be dealt with. At the first hint, I must
send the person a message asking to cease and desist. This will help to
root out which are impersonators with fake addresses, and which are real
people with the same name. I note someone here (in a reply quoting it)
bitched, "Well, why didn't Joe try to contact this person here?" I did,
you idiot. And the message bounced back. At that point, Orders From
Lawyers #2 kicked in. You must hit them as hard as you can, as fast as
you can, as publicly as you can. Don't wait. If it turns out to be
benign, you can always apologize later. If you DON'T, any time that you
don't respond but know what's going on can be taken as permission or

Two great ironies strike me here: 1) that one or two of the people
who have most implied that maybe this isn't really me (one of the ten
zillion nutty conspiracy notes they flash around) seemed to find no
problem with a system -- automated or manned by a person -- which might
further fuzzy up what's me and what's not. 2) Citing the person who got
accidentally bombarded with notes, a situation which BEGAN with a threat
of a harrassment lawsuit aimed against me (something which the person
here conveniently forgot).

I don't care if it's automated. I don't care if it's a person. I
have a name, and a reputation to protect. Naming a bot is not
the same thing as because jms is a real person and morden is not.
It has the same end result of blurring the lines.

In any event, there has to be a forceful, hard response at ANY time
an impersonator emerges or seems to emerge, as fast as possible, because
of several other rather ugly incidents that have taken place. And if
ANYbody has a problem with that, I really don't care, because it's my name
and reputation that's at stake here, not yours.