There are only 2 issues here. Establishing that some users praise themselves by leaving comments for themselves under different names. Secondly, deciding whether JJ should out them or not.
On the first matter, we have only JJ’s word. If the information he has is accurate then there’s nothing to discuss. Since no contrary evidence has been presented, JJ’s right. And these people exist.
If new evidence is presented, I reserve the right to change my mind. For example, what if 2 people use the same computer? Highly unlikely, I know. Like a husband and a wife? And one is aware of the other one’s submission and decides to go and leave an encouraging remark, fearing that if he doesn’t, this year’s Christmas tree will be decorated with blue balls? LOL Just kidding about the last part but you get the scenario I’m presenting. In this case, unless there’s forensic or video taped proof, JJ has no way of knowing who left the remarks and no amount of C code or IP investigation can change that. Personally, I’m not giving up my right to privacy so that the site can finger print my keyboard. Those who are very comfortable should encourage JJ by posting their own IP addresses and at least 2 pictures! If they don’t want to do this, I suggest they zip it.
The question then becomes “who cares”?
If this is an isolated incident, why is JJ annoyed? He’s in Mexico and he even NOTICES this stuff? Come on. He says he doesn’t have time to moderate or enforce his own rules but he notices and gets annoyed by this isolated case? Sorry babe but I don’t buy it. Zireh sareh ingilisast. Something is up.
If this is not an isolated incident, why is JJ annoyed? If this behavior is an inherent part of the culture of the site, then he should be indifferent to it. Or make a commitment to change it by disrupting the current free flow atmosphere (e.g. allowing only registered users to comment, exposing the criminals – as if they’ve committed murder).
As for the second matter of what JJ should do with this problem. If the ideas presented above are not satisfactory, perhaps JJ should first explain how this type of behavior affects us? Freedom of speech is preserved because we can make comments and submit. Democracy is defended because nothing is sacred. Material is flowing in and out of the site, so traffic is high. So what does it matter if someone left a pat on the back for themselves? Heck, maybe if we all did that, we wouldn’t be so uptight.
Now that I’ve commented on JJ’s blog, I’ll get to what actually DOES matter.
Am I the only who noticed that Darius Kadivar questioned JJ? Or that JJ quietly mentioned moderators are volunteers who need not reveal themselves? Shouldn’t someone thank Samsam for the code?
Can I be rude enough to remind everyone to come back to planet earth for a second? This is a site that allows people to register under the name of jeesh daram. It’s not up tight. It’s not boring (although JJ’s policies have gotten rid of a lot of the fun), it’s not for your dad’s generation or your grand child’s and it’s not about pushing people into identifying themselves or being forced to stick to specific avatars (why such blood thirstiness I wonder).
Fact is that this site is going to do nothing for democracy or Iran. Face it people. Why does it bother you if someone posts a blog under Khoshgel55 or Sepideh Zargarian? WHO CARES? Neither is going to make a difference. Stop taking it so freaking seriously.
This site has only one avenue to potentially change the Iranian pop culture and indirectly its democracy. It has to be like Seinfeld where little insignificant issues or behavior will fall into our collective consciousness. JJ should give as much freedom as possible to participants. Maybe we’ll learn a thing or two and learn to tolerate each other, if not love one another. The old Iranian.com was a great Seinfeld. The new one, not so much. The constant identity crisis is turning it to Family Ties on reruns.
NB: This note is inserted as a protest. I want my edit link please.