This is a long, but fun post about how the wicked get away with anything, and no good deed goes unpunished. This contains a series of saved bulletin board posts as well as emails laid out in chronological order to tell the story that went on behind the scenes.
Mike Puchol blogs about his experience using the POI (hotspot coordinates in offline .csv) export feature on the relaunched maps.fon.com resource to confirm fon’s official statistics:
The creature known on boards.fon.com as “mosbach” starts a whole new thread complaining about how Mike Puchol posted as “mother” on boards.fon.com without revealing his real-life identity. The thread started by “mosbach” was eventually deleted by “moderfon” of boards.fon.com. It was allowed to remain up longer than *anything* else!
http://fon.fondoo.net/~fone/h/motherouted.htm (this page looks like a link to boards.fon.com, but is actually just an html-save.)
This “mosbach” uses his own fon-themed fonblog.de to suggest death threats to Mike Puchol. Here are two blogger’s responses to that:
I run with this information, and create a new thread in boards.fon.com entitled “mosbach is outed” as a parody. I don’t narrate the post, or slander “mosbach” in any way. I just mirror Mike’s information, provide links to some text files that archive earlier expamples of mosbach’s threatening and slanderous temper-tantrums… as well as the remarkable reluctance of boards.fon.com moderators to do anything about him, and whatever I could google up about mosbach in 5 mins or so. I didn’t html-save my own thread, but it essentially looked like the section below:
Subject: “Dr. Gerhard Mosbach” has been outed now!!
FROM GOOGLE AND MOSBACH’S
VARIOUS ONLINE PROFILE PAGES:
D-95138 Bad Steben
privat : http://www.gerhardmosbach.de/
email : email@example.com
fax : 09288.925.9083
skype : gerhardmosbach
sipgate : 8708240
Descr: Gerhard Mosbach
Descr: Frankenwald 27
Descr: 95138 Bad Steben
Within minutes, my thread had dissapeared from boards.fon.com. I left the page open and occasionally pressed “Refresh” to monitor the situation. I had copied the text from the message posting window, so I reposted it again… gone again in under a minute! I reposted it once more with the following preface:
“Listen up, people. fon deleted my original thread by this name without any warning and didn’t even see fit to delete the mosbach thread it’s name was inspired by. All of this information is public and is easily found with google. There is nothing slanderous said here (unlike mosbach’s post) or untrue. Just a simple posting of public facts. let us ask ourselves what schiszm causes fon to encourage and support his behaviour, and to continue to succor him when the entire fon boards community screams for his banishment?”
Deleted moments later.
Moderfon private-messages this ambigous question to me about my new thread. I don’t see it until after he’s allready deleted it, but I take the opportunity to bring mosbach’s infinitely more offensive material, which survives his critique, directly to his attention:
Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 16:49
Subject: what is this ?
what is this ?
could you explain it ?
Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 14:39
Subject: Re: what is this ?
I don’t know what you’re referring to. There is nothing at that URL.
[Edit: moderfon feels that I am “lying” about this PM unless I include the following line which I had not quoted in my reply to him]Perhaps you have been drinking too much?
Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 14:53
Subject: Re: what is this ?
what is this ?
could you explain it ?
SO suprising to see it is still there!
[Edit: moderfon feels that I am “lying” about this PM unless I include the following line which I had not quoted in my reply to him]Is he your boyfriend?
In the meantime, the controversy is exploding in other blogs, and Martin Varsavsky himself, is backpedaling and posting excuses about the statistical anomalies. The boards moderators apparently decide to pursue an information blackout, and so they delete mosbach’s thread. The POI export tab is removed from maps.fon.com. Moderfon needs to tie off my loose string, so he sends me the following warning:
Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 14:58
Subject: Re: what is this ?
I dont know this persond, and I dont know you too.
This is the your last chance. We dont like post like this.
[Edit: moderfon insists that I am “lying” about this PM unless I include the following line which I had not quoted from him earlier]I send you a PM asking about this post, you didnt say anything.
One post more and you will be banned.
Its clear ?
You or anybody, ok ?
Mosbach removes his threatening blog post, and later posts a nonapology in his blog, which appears to now be deleted, too. Everything swept out of sight and forgotten, right? Well, *almost* everything…
I move my “mosbach is outed!” post to my private blog. I suppose it probably belonged there to begin with. You might think this is the end of the story, but NO.
A week after mosbach’s thread was finally purged from boards.fon.com, my fon.cjb.net address and email stopped working. After some personal investigation, I email cjb.net:
It appears my cjb url redirect has been disabled. using the address “fon.cjb.net” goes to your main page now, and I cannot fetch email. I cannot access the account settings page – “incorrect password” – but I have no doubt about what the password is. I tried re-applying for it and the message I got was that the address “can not be used”, which is different from the message “allready in use” for other url redirects. I initiated a “forgotten password” request, but am not 100% sure of what email address I used when I applied. I have not recieved any complaints or other comments about this url redirect whatsoever. Can you please bring me up to date and help me re-establish my redirect? This redirect is important to me because it is very short and handy, and also relates to an hotspot-sharing outfit which I participate in as a hobby. Thanks.
Their terse reply:
That account was removed and banned due to its use for harassment which is a violation of the agreed to Terms of Service.
So “someone” apparently convinced a cjb.net representative that my simple and unnarrated mirroring of public information constituted “harassment”, and so my url-redirect was disabled, and locked. My follow-up:
I have to say I am extremely shocked to hear this. I have never recieved complaint ONE about my website. Isn’t there, at a minimum, some kind of remediation process? I recieved no warning whatsoever. There is nothing even remotely harassing about my website, which describes my experiences with fon.com and lists related resources and contacts. I deserve to know the identitiy of my accuser. I have been an enthusiastic user of cjb.net for more than two years and have reccomended it many times. Please help me to remedy this to everyone’s satisfaction.
Their icy response:
Complainning about a bad experience is one thing, just having a page devoted to handing out someone’s personal info which was resulting in harassment is another. I’m sure you can figure out whom was complainning about the page.
*Devoted* to harassing poor, heartbroken and water-soaked mosbach? Hardly! My extensive and sincere plea goes unanswered:
This is the This is the kind of email i’m sure you hate to recieve. People who work in IT generally like to see matters closed and have better things to do than get involved in personal squabbles. I myself work as a NOC technician and have also been a call-center tech for a number of years. I have been responsible for similar admin email. Please believe me when I say I am sincere about my cause to be reinstated. As you can see, I am not ranting, threatening you with lawyers, or employing the usual histrionics. I am taking the time to write you at length to make my case clear and to demonstrate my respect for you in these regards. I hope to demonstrate to you how you have been manipulated and I hope your response will be to restore matters to their rightful places.
To begin with, I would have to agree with your last email. A page which is designed and devoted to handing out someone’s personal information and which others are directed to visit mainly in order to distress another person might be construed as harassment. However, this is not an accurate description of my webpage which you have disabled.
My web page is firstly, an demo of what I would like to see appear when someone first opens their web browser when connected to my fon.com hotspot before logging on to recieve full internet access. This demo was set up as part of a contest which took place in fon’s boards. Secondly, it contains a blog as an example of content provided by the host of this hotspot. Sixteen entries in that blog were copies of emails that chronicle my experience in joining fon.com and ordering their equipment. Thirdly, there are at entries which are provided so that I can provide a url to helpful technical instructions so that I don’t have to retype them each time. Having the instructions in one place and referring to them by url allows me to improve and update them in a single place instead of tracking down every place I have posted, and editing individually. These urls are still posted throughout https://web.archive.org/web/20080515210639/http://boards.fon.com/ and are to be credited for driving traffic to your ad-supported website.
Fourthly, and lastly, the blog was, presumably, a safe and personal place for me to place unofficial opinions and other material which would be innapropriate for fon’s official boards, for fear they may result in deletion or banishment from the official forum. This is clearly acceptable to the fon.com moderators, as my http://fon.cjb.net url is prominently placed in each of my posts, and I have NEVER been spoken to about it. If you had looked at my website before banning it, you would see that I had listed many private, unofficial blogs relating to fon, and these authors all post in the official fon board and list personal urls there. By utilizing my http://fon.cjb.net url, I am earnestly attempting to “do the right thing” by keeping official -vs- unofficial matters separate. I also use my subdomain email to recieve communications about board activity, private messages and blog comments into separate inboxes. There is a great deal of organization in place which is dependant on cjb.net’s services. I am grateful for cjb’s services, and I emphasize again that I create legitemate traffic to your advertisers.
Addressing the “personal info” contained in the final blog entry at the top; every iota of this is public information! Most of the material displayed is simply copied from another blogger’s post at http://tech.am/2006/10/11/my-first-death-threat-by-mosbach-the-chief-fon-forum-troll/ . The rest of the information was found within minutes by simply typing this person’s name into Google, with no tricks or hacks involved. The subject is highly visible to the public, and has made his full identity and contact information available dozens of times over a signifigant period of time. I am doing nothing but summarizing what he himself has made available to his audience.
He posts as “mosbach” on https://web.archive.org/web/20080515210639/http://boards.fon.com/, and does, or has, advertised the url to his german-language fon.com blog “fonblog.de”, where he posts as “gerhard”. WHOIS on that domain shows it is operated by a “Gerhard Mosbach” and lists the rest of his contact information. Googling that name in that locale shows dozens of verifyably authentic instances where he has posted to boards or advertised his other websites. http://maps.fon.com shows an active fon-branded hotspot at that exact address. Again, nothing found here is nonpublic, nor has any of it even been retracted from the Internic record or Google as of this date. I have never even recieved comments about the information on my website, which has simply served as a minor mirror of information others are still displaying. How can one take the position that I myself am creating a problem, and that it is fair to censor me without any notification or recourse?
It is a painful irony that I am described as “harassing” anyone since this is what that individual is chiefly infamous for himself. Please briefly examine the content of his posts at https://web.archive.org/web/20080515210639/http://boards.fon.com//search.php?search_author=mosbach . He has been a serious matter of contention with all of the board participants familiar with him. Read some of the disturbing things he has said to me in private email here: http://fon.fondoo.net/t/mosbach.txt. If this individual feels less secure about shooting off his mouth in public, now that it is demonstrated how easy he is to identify, then this is a good thing. My website makes no threats to him in any way. You will observe that I do not make any comments or characterizations about him in the post. It’s simply a list of public information. I argue that it fails the Turing Test to define it as “harassment”.
In closing, I assure you that I have nothing to prove to that individual, and my only goal is to restore the services I supply to the fon.com community. I would be *extremely* grateful if you would restore control to me of my fon.cjb.net account settings with the password of “**********” so that I can continue to supply them. As of this date, I have made 1,696(!) posts to boards.fon.com, and the task of manually updating what I have written with new urls and email addresses would be overwhelming. If you insist, I will remove refrences to the presumed complaintant, and only ask that you notify me in the future if I have recieved further complaints.
Way to go, fon and cjb! Cross your arms while a bully runs around the playground like a mad bull, and give a good slap on the face to anyone who pushes the bully back. Protect that insensible twat but bring down the Hammer of Thor on anyone who annoys you by asking you to do your job and bring peace to the community.
And thus, was born http://fon.fondoo.net/ and this post is awkwardly hosted separately. Stay tuned for further developments.
Moderfon comments in my blog that I am *lying* about what I have said. Then, in PM at boards.fon.com, (in the capacity as board moderator, you understand), cites three trivial omissions which I made from this blog entry. I put them back. You tell me if it blows my case.