Thursday, March 1, 2012

And Still More on the Z Budapest Comment Controversy

From an anonymous poster on The Wild Hunt:

Sorry, the blog you linked to doesn't show the alleged comment in its original context. I think the jury is still out on this. The blog you linked to seems somewhat dodgy in the first place. I think you will need more than this to convince the skeptical.
Here is the original post, with the comment from "Z Budapest"

Here is the post wherein Anya Kless, the owner of that blog, provides the information (IP address, website and e-mail address) connected with that comment from "Z Budapest".

Since the "Z Budapest" commenter does not appear to have logged in via Twitter, Wordpress or Facebook, s/he was presented with a form that required a name and an e-mail address and provided an optional space for a website. Forging that information is a trivial matter. One can comment as "Barack Obama" and provide a whitehouse.gov address if the spirit moves them: there are no verification mechanisms built in to handle that request.  Accordingly, we cannot assume anything from the "zbudapest.com" website or the "zbudapest -at- gmail.com" e-mail address.  

The IP address, on the other hand, is a far more reliable piece of information. It's possible to hide your originating IP address by using TOR or a standalone proxy like hidemyass.com. But spoofing your IP address to make it look like it originated from someone else's computer is considerably more complicated.  75.36.183.63, the IP address used by "Z Budapest," does not appear to be a TOR node or a proxy. It looks in fact to be a residential ADSL line in the SF Bay area, specifically in the Berkeley/Oakland area. 

It could be that this poster used that connection without permission if the owner had an open or an easily cracked wireless setup. But I'd be inclined to think that the message did in fact originate at that IP address, with or without the owner's authorization. So whatever the case it appears that if the poster is not Z Budapest, s/he at least lives in Z's general area. 

Assuming this is a forger, s/he has a strange modus operandi. S/he has obviously taken the time to read enough of Z's writings to capture her grammatical and spelling idiosyncracies: what's more, she's posted a rant which is in keeping with Z's well-known feelings about transwomen.  But s/he appears to have posted one inflammatory comment on one relatively obscure blog and then vanished. 

This isn't the sort of behavior one would expect from someone who has a major axe to grind - and identity-forgers invariably are seeking revenge for some real or perceived slight or spanking.  Given the loons, goons and loony maroons who used to do this kind of crap on Usenet, I'd expect a veritable flood of anti-trans rants spread across the Pagan blogosphere - especially given the explosive response from this one message.  Controversy is to a troll what blood is to a shark: take it from someone who was on alt.satanism back when most of the regulars on 4Chan and Something Awful were still swimming around in their fathers' balls.

But "Z Budapest" doesn't seem to have followed through and fanned the flames. Instead of acting like a troll, s/he is acting like someone who posted under hir own name and then realized sie had just taken an axe handle to a hornet's nest.  Given all this, and given the fact that Z took nearly a year to start talking about people making inflammatory statements in her name, I hope you can forgive me for seeing your skepticism and raising you with my outright disbelief.