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Huckleberries Online

Mailbag: Dealing With Online Imposters

Cynsmw: Last night someone impersonated me on this blog. I believe imposters can do more damage to a blog or chatroom than even trolls. Trolls can be ignored but imposters erode trust in an already fragile semi-anonymous forum. My policy toward imposters on my blog is zero tolerance. An imposter is banned. Period. DFO’s policy is to send the imposter a warning; essentially a free pass. How would you feel if someone used your name and posted goodness knows what? What do you think the policy should be toward an imposter?

DFO: Cymsmw makes a good point here. Someone posted an item using her pseudonym a coupla nights ago that I’ve since killed. She was upset last night that I didn’t slap a permanent ban on the individual via his/her IP address. Mebbe I should have. Then, I have embraced, as a default position, a policy the eschews permanent bans. Also, I’ve had only one other problem with an imposter, during the heated Mitchell-Amaro days. A Tinfoiler went over the top. I’ve dealt with this problem via private e-mail. However, anyone who tries to pull this stunt in the future might find that I’m not as understanding as I’ve been to this point.

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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