Slippery Slope

Like PooterGeek, I’ve become bored of the internet persona who goes by the name of David Duff, who has posted forty or fifty comments here over the last four weeks. Some of his comments have been fun to have around; the majority have been annoying, trollish, provocative without being interesting, offensive, or on behalf of points of view it isn’t worth anyone’s time to be discussing here (creationists, General Pinochet, Adam Yoshida, et cetera). On this and various other blogs his comments have evinced sexism, racism and homophobia, and attempts to engage him in some kind of dialogue have provoked his distinctive cocktail of irrelevant and false claims and his characteristic double-standards. I know “David Duff” is probably a joke of some kind. It’s just not a very good joke, and it’s now wasting more of my time than I should like.

So he’s earned the distinction of being the first entity not-obviously-a-spambot to be banned from the Virtual Stoa, eighteen months after installing the enetation comments system we use here. I’m banning the various IP addresses he’s been using from the site; if anything does get through signed “David Duff”, can other readers please refrain from responding while I get round to deleting it; and if someone does take to posting the same kind of stuff under a different name, I’ll probably wipe that, too.

UPDATE [11.40am]: What a surprise… The tedious work of banning DD’s IP address strongly suggests that that the person who does “David Duff” has been using multiple names when commenting at the Stoa, including “mikey” (the chap who makes jokes about Stephen Pollard being fat), “fatty” (oddly enough) and “G”. None of these “people” ever had much of interest to say, and I don’t think we’ll be missing their contributions to discussion here.

UPDATE [11.50am]: Matthew Turner writes: “Nearly three years of David Duff free blogging, and the day you ban him he starts commenting on my site…!”

UPDATE [11.55am]: Ah, clicking “block IP address” on Duff comments also has the effect of suppressing them from appearing in the comments boxes themselves, which will make following a few recent threads a bit difficult. (I thought you had to click “delete” to do that.) Still, it’s no great loss. I hope none of you mind too much.

UPDATE [4pm]: First, “mikey” notes in the Comments that he’s not “David Duff”, provides a technological explanation of why I might have thought otherwise which I’m not competent to assess, and seems to have a blog here, which, at a glance, doesn’t have many Duff-like qualities. So I’ll happily admit that that guess of mine was probably wrong, and apologise to Mikey “Fatboy” Delgado for the error. I know I wouldn’t like to be mistaken for David Duff.

Second, I’ve just seen that David Duff has posted this at Matthew Turner’s blog:

I wonder if you would be kind enough to pass on to Chris Brookes that he has no need to put up an electronic bar, I would have left him in socialist tranquility if he had said so directly.More important (to me, at any rate), is my polite request to him that he make clear publicly in his next post my absolute assurance that I never, repeat, never write anything under any name other than my own. (My writing style, ‘a poor thing, but ’tis mine own!’)

I apologise to you for prevailing on your ‘postal’ services in this matter, but obviously, I cannot contact him directly.

Only two errors in this short piece, a trivial misspelling of my name, and a false claim that “obviously, I cannot contact him directly” (when my email address appears on every comment I post at the Stoa and elsewhere). But David wanted this posted, and I’m happy to oblige. And now, with luck, we will never have anything to do with one another ever again ever.

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