Thursday, May 3, 2012

Anonymous Comments

I've got a couple of stories I'm working on at the moment...they're in various stages of completion...but I thought I would bring to our reader's attention, an "Anonymous Comment" that was left on one of the entries late Tuesday night.

The comment was posted on the April 3rd, 2012 entry Going To Court: Department 30: "Arraignment Court" on May 1st, at 11:30 PM PDT.  Below is the comment exactly as it appeared "in the moderating queue:

I honestly don't appreciate anything you said about any of the cases, I also dislike how you put people full name on here. NO RESPECT!!!

ps: i wish i knew you so i . . .


"No respect"??  Just because I mentioned the full name of several defendant's, attorney's and Judge Shelly Torrealba?

Currently, T&T supports anonymous comments.  Over the years, we've found that often readers feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts if they don't have to provide an E-mail or sign up for a Blogger ID, and for the most part, people usually don't have a problem following our commenting guidelines about being respectful to the writers and other commenters.  But every once in a while you do get someone who just doesn't like what our contributors write, or is uninformed about the access the media and the general public have to our judicial system.

One of the reasons so many people want to live in the United States is because of our wonderful Bill of Rights and the personal freedoms each one of us enjoys.  And that includes our criminal justice system.  Not all countries are like the US in that regard.  Every courtroom in the United States is open to the public. Anything said in the well of the court during a criminal proceeding is public record and anything that is observed inside a courtroom is viewable by the public.  That means, the information is available to anyone and everyone, and that information can be redistributed to the public through the mainstream media or through alternative media sources like T&T.  That same Bill of Rights protects my right to enter a courtroom, attend a criminal trial and write about it on the web.

Readers, what do you think the commenter meant when they wrote,  

"ps: i wish i knew you so i . . ."?

Do you think they meant to cause me bodily harm because I've followed my dream of attending trials in person and reporting on them?

This is not my first rodeo with comment harassment and veiled threats.  This is actually pretty tame from what I dealt with during two Spector trials and beyond.  But rest assured readers, I'll be notifying my local law enforcement agency (those great cowboys I told you I was quite honored to meet) and giving them all the behind the scenes technical data.  All "Anonymous" really means is, T&T doesn't require a name, or ID or an E-mail address to comment.  It doesn't mean that you really are "Anonymous" in the data collection scheme of things.


TigressPen said...

I understand the heavy sigh with some anonymous commenter's personal attacks. Been there with my blog and with media trial articles and twitter. About as much fun watching worms. I too, wonder what the closing line of the comment meant. Guess anonymous means you can do that too. Leave it to imagination. I think it'd be wise to do as you said and allow local LE in on the information just in case this commentor attempts to find you.

Makes me wonder if he/she is a friend of an accused and concerned because your blog is honest and forthright with details.

Kathy said...

I've been reading your blog for over a year and find this strange comment directed to you completely without merit.

The impression I get is it was written by someone with English as a second language, i.e., "put people full name." Also, probably young by usage of small caps, female by the words "honestly" and "ps" being very feminine expressions. The words "NO RESPECT!!! sounds like it comes from a culture that values a strict social order and privacy.

I feel this is not directed to you as a physical threat, but someone trying to get back to you for some perceived slight.

Please keep us informed on any more strange comments.


Utah Chris said...

I wish I had the technical know how to help you investigate this low life Sprocket. Clearly this person doesn't have a clue.

I'm more than happy to provide my name any time you need it.

Chris Lilley (Utah Chris)

Anonymous said...

I think that is so cool that weird comments are not anonymous to you. I don't like to put my name out on the Internet so i use anonymous but of course have no problem with you knowing who I am. Well, today would have been Stephanie Lazarus' sentencing but with the change she still has a week to go. I find myself wondering what her frame of mind is at this point. Was wondering, do you have any idea of the timeline for publication of Matthew's book?

Sprocket said...

Everyone, thank you for your concerns. StatCounters are wonderful. They are designed to give a web site owner demographics on who they reach and how.

Regarding Matthew's book, I know when the first draft is due to his publisher, but I don't know if I can report on that yet or not. I'll have to ask him.

I do know that he is currently writing on a related topic and will be deep into the book soon.

Although the sentence (one week away today) is set by law and there will not be any surprises in that regard by Judge Perry, what I think most in the gallery are waiting to hear are the victim impact statements. Who will speak and what will they say.

debbiescalisi said...

Sprocket, my feeling is that the inappropriate Anonymous comment you received was from a loved one associated with one of the many convicted people you write about. Sad that is the only way for them to reach out with their voice as they could "defend" them in a much more acceptable manner. In this day & age of high-end Internet Technology, don't people realize that emails are traceable when need be?

I am not so much anxious to hear what Stephanie Lazarus' sentencing will be (she will get the maximum) as I am to hear about the Victim Impact Statements. I think they will be very sad, particularly when her parents did not testify during the actual trial? I am very curious to see if John Ruetten also gives a statement to the court/Stephanie?

Anonymous said...

I to wonder what Stephanie Lazaru must be thinking is her 52nd birthday. The first of many more birthday's to be spent in jail and I don't feel sorry for her. I do believe the sentencing date was changed because it was her birthday and she didn't want to hear her sentence on this day.

Anonymous said...

IT SCARE ME TO READ "i wish i knew you so i . . .. THANKS, YOU REPORT THIS TO POLICE.

NancyB said...

Part 1

During the last 6 yrs the headlines have been filled with news of Google’s court-ordered exposures of bloggers identities after these bloggers allegedly wrote defamatory remarks on website and citizen journalists blogs. For some reason these bloggers thought they were entitled to write anything without consequences because of the First Amendment right to free speech and anonymity.

They were wrong.

These incidents have been referred to as cyberbullying, cyberstalking, internet defamation, online harassment, and cyberterrorism by bloggers who either don’t know the difference between the terms or don’t care.

Because internet law is defining itself before our eyes, it’s easy to get confused. Some recent court cases, though are making the differences between these online offenses clear.

On September 19, 2006, Sue Scheff was awarded $11.3 million after a person repeatedly posted statements about Scheff on public forums and internet sites which attacked her personal character and business practices. This was a case of internet defamation or internet libel because the defendant’s statements were published, because they accused Scheff of illegal, immoral or unethical conduct, and because they caused damage to Scheff’s personal and professional reputation.

At the time, this was a landmark decision and the largest settlement ever awarded for internet defamation.

On August 21, 2009 Keeley Houghton pleaded guilty and was sentenced to spend three months in a young offender institution after verbally attacking another teen on Facebook for four years, and posting a death threat. This was a cyberbullying case because it involved threats, harassment, humiliation, and embarrassment, and because both people involved were minors.

Cyberstalking is a term that is used liberally.

On August 6, 2009, a “distributed denial of service” attack (DDos), was launched against Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LiveJournal, and Blogger, which overloaded their servers, crashing their websites for hours and days. The same type of DDoS attack had been launched against several U.S. government websites. In July, 2009, including the Treasury Department, FTC, Pentagon, and Homeland Security Department. These incidents have been labeled as cyberterrorism, although that term is generally reserved for incidents that cause physical harm, extreme financial harm, or death.

While boundaries of behavior on the internet are in the process of being defined, the legal rulings so far (and there are many more recent ones) are basically sending the message that the behaviors that are against the law in the real world are equally criminal in cyberspace.

For some reason there seems to be an assumption among many web users that the only rule on the internet is that there are no rules. But freedom of speech has always had legal limits, with defamation legal proceedings dating back to the 1700’s.

Anonymous said...

Wow! This person is criticizing you for showing "no respect", but has the audacity to show "no respect" in return. Go figure!

Sprocket, you are very respectful and always have been. I'm wondering if this person is related to someone you have blogged about. Perhaps that could be a reason why they have a their underwear in such a tight bunch?

Hope you are doing well, my friend! And keep up the wonderful blogging! I really enjoyed your coverage of the Lazarus case.

Kitty M. from Pcola!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Sprocket!!

First, there are people on the internet who are classified as trolls. They will intentionally post a comment in order to get other readers/posters stirred up into a frenzy. This very much sounds like a troll's comment. However, for peace of mind, I would definitely mention it to your local law enforcement agency. Remember, in addition to a country where we're blessed to have all types of rights, we also live in a country full of all types of FOOLS. So, please keep that in mind when reading some of the negative/more outlandish posts. And don't listen to the naysayers/ are a GEM!!

P.S. I followed your coverage of the Stephanie Lazarus case and was very impressed by the attention you gave to each posting; you were AWESOME!!!! Also, don't worry about what people say as even JESUS CHRIST, HIMSELF, had critics. So you know that we - and that means everybody - are going to have them as well. Stay STRONG and POSITIVE!!! : )

Sprocket said...

Nanacy B,

As the owner of T&T, I'm not "Anonymous". My real name has been available to readers from the beginning. Other writers on the blog who contribute stories use monikers for their entries, however, they are not "Anonymous" to me.

I don't think that situation equates to this issue.

Anonymous said...

Sprocket, I came open your site when looking for info on the Lazarus case and what a gold mine I found with your coverage. I want to thank you for all you do and all you provide. You are a truly gifted voice in the court world. And let me just say, that cat in your photo is darling! I am a cat owner and lover and that photo always makes me smile.

Maddie said...

In short, I think the vile "anonymous" poster is a coward. That said, I look forward to their being found via internet tracking devices. In this day and age, I'm amazed at the stupidity of people who think their information can't be traced. (Case in point -- Christopher Coleman in nearby Columbia, IL. 48 Hours just did a recap of this very sad story this past Saturday night.)

All the best, Sprocket -- you're wonderful!