The curious case of the Singing Pig, the Troll, and identity theft. #property

Transparency. The word is used a lot and with justification. After all the web does not lie. It remembers everything. It rewards and favours, and it can sack and destroy.

People can lie and plagarise/steal but the web will always reveal them. It is hard to hide.

A lesson from the web.

I have some property, quite a few but by no means a massive amount. I also co-founded a property forum. Not a massive one but gaining in traction and conversation. The interesting thing is I have nothing to sell in the property world and I only started the site to learn more about property and transactions etc. (I write this for the sake of transparency and to give structure to the story).

Question: As the “moderator” of the forum that I started, do I have the right to moderate and control what people are saying – or to put it another way, manipulate conversation to suit me?

“No” – I think is the answer.

And no for a couple of reasons.

1. How can you learn if you control content?

2. The web will always find you out as you leave an ever-growing footprint of everything you publish and try and control or manipulate.

I was on another site the other day, it’s a property forum. It’s been there for a number of years and although it may have good content in there somewhere, the code is a little old and “creaking at the knees”.

However, one thing that came out of the visit is a clear understanding of how NOT to run a forum or conduct yourself on the web.

Firstly manipulating content: (bear in mind this is not about the content, just having it manipulated)….

As you can see from the screenshots below, content has been removed that conflicts with what the owner wants people to believe. (One shows the thread before and one shows the thread after the content has been removed). Also note the identity of “Chantalle” has changed.

So we have a troll changing identities and a moderator selecting content – in the bottom picture you’ll note that “Chantalle”, the troll, has changed identity, and the post under has had a “chunk” of content removed. An attempt at control.

1. Before.

Click on the pics to see larger sizes.

2. After.

And from this one you can see that one of the members of this site caught out two of the posters for using a fake identity. (The second poster is below)

1.  This one was removed.

Click on the pics to see larger sizes.

And below you can see more identities that have been plagarised/stolen/cloned. (The  identity cloned in the first picture happens to be a US Senator called Joe Biden – of all peoples identities to steal, I would suggest that a US Senator is not a good one! – click here - (thanks to TV ONE Blogs))

1. Before.

Click on the pics to see larger sizes.

2. After.

So what does this all mean?

Well firstly as a forum owner/moderator, you cannot control content. On one hand you are leaving a footprint on the web that shows you as someone who is untrustworthy, unethical and a control freak. And on the other, the more you try and control the content and the web, the more you lose control. Metaphorically speaking: You can “stamp out” a forest fire in your own forest, but the sparks cannot be controlled and will re-ignite somewhere else where you have no control. People do not like being controlled …. period.

The web never lies and it will always leave a footprint of any mis-dealings or inconsistencies or agendas. Transparency is a word that marketeers have been using for years to gain trust and confidence. Now the web will test that method and it will not stop for anyone.

In this illustration I have no idea why this “moderator” was trying to control content. Maybe they felt threatened or emotionally distraught? We all make mistakes, but constantly flaunting what the web dictates will not only damage reputations but also cause hurt.

None of us can escape that one.

Footnotes: Google not only can help you identify people by words but by pictures. In this instance the web-software was

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  1. Posted November 23, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Great post!

    For daring to speak out against personal attacks on two ladies whom I consider to be good friends and also for actually telephoning BTL lenders and posting the content on my blog and Property Tribes I have had my Singing Pig account ‘banned’ Not suspended, BANNED! On the same day I have also had a comment censored (removed) from YouTube by the same person. My comment? It merely offered an alternative view in line with the above.

  2. Posted November 27, 2010 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Very entertaining

  3. betty
    Posted November 27, 2010 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    PM really has gone mental …. talk about paranolia

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