Saturday, September 28, 2019

In Search of.... Encyclopaedia Dramatica

To be read in the reader's head in the voice of Leonard Nimoy.

Encyclopaedia Dramatica has vanished from its home in the Serbian Republic. It has been missing for more than a month. The site may return tomorrow, or never - it's in the same position as You're The Man Now Dog! in that the pages are available (if you know how to look), but the main site is no more. The chances are high that we will see ED get hosting in Zimbabwe, or Nagorno-Karabakh, or North Korea, because nobody in "normal" Internet hosting countries wants anything to do with the website. Which is a shame, because underneath the gore and ancient rips on defunct Livejournal accounts was the truth about what was going on at Wikipedia - until Sherrod DeGrippo decided to junk ED and turn it into the failed Oh, Internet project, there was a lot of backroom information about Jimbo's Jungle. All of that was ripped to shreds when the site was copied and sent to Spanish servers by ED dissidents who wanted the site to remain as it was. And after they ran out of time in Spain, they moved on to Serbia. while DeGrippo and Oh, Internet have gone on to nothing.

There is a thread on this over at the Wikipedia Sucks messageboard on how the whole thing fell apart, but you have to be a member to see it. Here are the highlights:

Well.....their server crashed late Thurs or early Fri and has been shit-the-bed for almost 4 days now. Not a word about when they will fix it. Quite possible they had their hosting or DNS yanked yet AGAIN, either by hackers or by another pissed-off victim.

Also, I checked Zaiger's Facebook. He's BAAAAACK.
(not that it matters, he has at least four FB accounts that I could find)
- Eric Barbour, Aug. 25, 2019 6:03pm ... own_again/

There is a Zaiger with a reddit account going back to 2010 who is top mod on the subreddit. So, no, unlikely Zaiger is in prison, unless he gave his password to someone or it was hacked, also very unlikely. Apparently lives in Massachusetts. End of interest.
- Abd, Aug. 27, 2019 8:04am

Well,'s been down a month. Still no "action".

If you really MUST look at ED articles, it seems that Wayback saved some of the more popular items (but not all, the wiki was a mess of ancient and forgotten pages and chaotic crap anyway). I has assumed they had NOFOLLOWed everything but it appears that someone allowed to take snapshots starting in 2016 or 2017. This is the only way to look back at ED right now, unless somebody restores from proper backups. Last capture of the front page was August 17. ... /Main_Page

You can fiddle your way to articles although it is easier to remove the "m." from the front-page URL.

If you like stupidity, there are some forum captures ending at August 22nd. Good luck getting to the individual threads. ...

- Eric Barbour, Sept. 20, 2019 8:13pm

Check out @eddotse on Twitter. This Rockenhaus guy keeps saying that he's "almost got it fixed." It's been down now for about five weeks.

Here's a post by @RockRockenhaus on October 2 on the @eddotse Twitter account:

"Alright, here’s the deal. Sibin’s RAID failed. All data was lost. He didn’t have any backups. What we’ve been doing is recovering DB backups we can find, building a new backend, and then building the frontends. So basically we’re rebuilding ED."

The images posted by Robert Crawford on October 3 on @eddotse have to do with the court martial of Rockenhaus from the U.S. Navy in 2014, where Rockenhaus was a technician. He was court martialed for seven counts of making false official statements and four counts of wearing an unauthorized ribbon or device.

Sounds like Rockenhaus will be a good replacement for Ryan Cleary. I think Cleary by now has lost his appetite for ED. I read that he got a 34-month sentence for DDoS activities (he was arrested in mid-2012), but that was just a comment by someone so don't quote me on that.
- Daniel Brandt, Oct. 4, 2019 2:16pm

An End Without an End

There is no way they are not coming back, it's just a question of when and where the servers will be located. The thing that counts is that if some of that backroom Wikipedia information was saved somewhere, it would be nice to see it. There is something that demands Encyclopaedia Dramatica to exist, if only to mock the pretensions of Wikipedia, which like Jimmy Wales (who recently became a British citizen) seems to think it has risen above normal Iinternet affairs. The reality is that Wales has run away to a country where he can more easily defend himself in libel suits, and Wikipedia is still a grimy hole hiding behind a massive PR effort. Oh and Zaiger, if you are reading this...."homeless, drugged out, and stupid is no way to go through life, son." (Apologies to John Vernon.)

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Short Reddit Post: Steve Huffman's getting par-a-noid....

For four words I am being blocked from using Reddit for the rest of the week beginning on Sunday the 22nd to Saturday the 28th. The four words were "Spez is goin' down." in this thread. The comment was upvoted thirteen times in a day, then my account was ganked and I got this announcement:

Important notification about your account
from reddit[A] sent 
Your account has been suspended from Reddit for posting violent content. The suspension will last a week.
Be sure to read up on the Reddit content policy to make sure you understand the rules for participating on Reddit.
This is an automated message; responses will not be received by Reddit admins.

I sent a rebuttal petition stating that this was a joke. The robots sent back this:

We Have Reviewed Your Report
from reddit[A] sent 
Thanks for writing in. We have reviewed your request and unfortunately, your appeal will not be granted and your suspension will remain in place.
For future reference, we recommend you to familiarize yourself with Reddit's Content Policy.
-Your Reddit Anti-Evil Operations Team
This is an automated message; responses will not be received by Reddit admins.

So I am trapped, not being able to make snarky comments on Donald Trump's corruption and lazy stupidity, Joe Biden's collapsing mental faculties, and why "Zyklon Ben" Garrison is the best-worst political cartoonist in America.

What can we learn from this?

That Reddit is in collapse as a bastion of free speech, or at least how conservatives and libertarians see free speech (a mystical absolute not tied to material relations, so that Klansmen marching in the street is "free speech", but a union demanding family dental care from a corporation is not.) That spez (Huffman) is paranoid about his security even though he allowed a pro-Donald Trump sub-forum (r/The_Donald) to flourish, knowing full-well that when Trump dies in office, or is forced to resign, or is voted out, that the gigantic blob of users from The_Donald will go utterly apeshit and rampage throughout the entirety of Reddit and that he will probably suffer through an email inbox stuffed with incoherent screeds and real death threats. That they hate the Chapo Trap House subreddit (sub-forum) because the podcast it's allegedly a fan site for mocks the sort of right-wing nuts spez thinks are so Goddamned important, and that the CTH subreddit is somehow offensive enough to be "quarantined", a fate it shares with The_Donald. That Reddit is untrustworthy, but then we knew that in 2012 when Michael Brutsch was revealed to be Violentacrez by Gawker. In 2019 you have two choices, hang around on a website whose headquarters drove co-founder Aaron Swartz to tears of frustration and boredom, or watch from the outside, but either way you will possibly get to experience the implosion of Reddit because it isn't a stable space.