Thursday, August 12, 2010

He who controls the past, controls the future

I was an active participant on Alternet until they changed their page layout and comment format. They purposely crippled the comment section for over a month under the guise of:
"We're doing software development on-the-fly on this live & popular website and can't seem to get it right."
I think it was to drive away the regulars, because the 9/11 Truthers were certainly beginning to out numbering the 9/11 Coincidence Theorists and just about any political topic could legitimately be steered there. Those defending the government version had to dig deep into their bag of dirty tricks by often and fragrantly violating the posting policies about person attacks. After all, when you are losing the debate against the message, attack the messenger.

Be that as it may, slowly over the course of 3 months or so, I observed them deliberately crippling their own comment archives to articles. First, it was that the new comment format couldn't display them correctly to all nested levels, but if you had a deep link, you could get to them all. This proved that it wasn't the database, but how that information was parsed and re-formatted. Then it was those levels getting truncated. Then it was nothing displayed at all. Now in many cases those lengthy, wonderful, insightful comments -- even when the trolls attempted detours into flame wars -- are replaced in many cases with Digg & Twitter feeds that weren't even supported at the time of the original article.

The 9/11 disinformation warriors from NSA's Q-group lost many battles and finally had to do triage and clean-up by destroying those records. Google isn't up to speed, and specific searches can still get you hints at the debates but no longer directly to them.

I've participate in at least two other forums that underwent upgrades in their technology, which also served to boot off the regulars (and 9/11 Truthers). Those upgrades eventually made those database archives, where all aspects of 9/11 were publicly debated, inaccessible slowly over time. On the one hand, I can understand issues with cutting over from one database to another. On the other hand, they deliberately threw away the zeitgeist of our time and the public record that proved (then and for any future database archaeologist) that not everyone in the years after 9/11 was a complete, gullible idiot.

I've recently learned of a 9/11 Truther in another forum who is experiencing the disappearance of whole discussion threads on 9/11 the very next day. It came to my attention, because he suspected that his opponent under a new alias was also mine.

My opponent certainly had either in-roads with AlterNet or hacking skills to get into their database, based on what I observed. Blatant personal attacks [starting on the subject line] from him would remain despite numerous requests for their moderation, while suddenly out of the blue rather benign but possibly too personal (or not in agreement with the persona) postings of his would be removed from the system. It was suspected that he requested or effected their removal. Therefore, when a series of his personal attacks went way over the line, he was asked early on a Sunday morning to request their removal. Sunday before noon, 5 of them were gone and by Wednesday, they all were.

George Orwell wrote in 1984 as the party slogan:
"He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future."

Is this what we're observing in the message boards of our day?