I would like to address the one interesting and worthwhile point made by the toy army deployed to attack this effort and those people presumed to be part of it.
It came in the form of a question posted to Yahoo’s Overstock.com message board by topangan90065, which reads as follows:
Take a good look at antisocialmedia.net
Go ahead. Take a good look at antisocialmedia.net. Read every word. Help me figure it out.
Just who is the target audience supposed to be? I don’t think anyone not already immersed in the Arcana of Baloney could make heads nor tails of it. You would have at least to have heard of Gary Weiss, and to have given him some credit to be discredited.
And for those of us who ARE immersed, pro or con, what is the goal here? What would it take to make someone STOP thinking Bob is full O’Baloney, and STOP thinking Patty is Wacky?
And suppose, against all odds, they should finally succeed in completely discrediting Gary Weiss?
SO EFFING WHAT? Does that wash out even one KILO of CRUD from the Overstock Warehouse?
Wacky Patty, this whole thing is so DEEPLY WEIRD, it is all past the point of no return.
The question of whom we’re targeting as our audience and what they should learn here is one that this team has been slightly divided over from the beginning.
But here’s what we’ve settled upon:
Just as the existence of a watch requires the existence of a watchmaker, the existence of an organized and well-financed effort to discredit and attack opponents of something requires the existence of proponents of that thing.
In this case, the “thing” is an illegal form of stock market manipulation called strategic failure to deliver. Victims of this form of fraud are many, and include Overstock.com, Novastar Financial and Circle Group Holdings, to name a few (and you’ll understand why those three are mentioned in a moment).
Our goal, from the beginning, has been to demonstrate, with real examples and in real time, the active existence of a “watchmaker” whose job it is to marginalize those who’ve spoken out against the practice of strategic failure to deliver. The past 48 hours have done more than any other period in this blog’s history to demonstrate this and we sincerely thank topangan90065, scippioafricanus, wilburonefor4, azteca_ace, garyweissisright, and the rest of the crew for putting in such long hours for the cause.
That said, let us address a specific point in topangan90065’s comment, but doing so in the context of who topangan90065 really is: Darl J. Dumont of Los Angeles, CA.
Darl, seen here, is a software developer most recently employed by Dolphin Imaging. He at one time lived in Topanga, but now lives nearby, in the 90065 zip code, where the streets are quiet but the incomes don’t generally support heavy duty investing, especially for an old school programmer who at times finds himself freelancing between gigs.
Yet, in the past year, Darl made over 2,540 posts – as many as 55 in one day – to Yahoo message boards. Of those, all but six posts attack three companies: Overstock.com, Novastar Financial, and Z-Trim Holdings (formerly Circle Group Holdings). Of those, the lion’s share of posts are dedicated to attacking the people who run them, especially if they have spoken out against the illegal practice of strategic failure to deliver (following the lead of Gary Weiss, he calls this practice “baloney”).
So when Darl asks:
Just who is the target audience supposed to be? I don’t think anyone not already immersed in the Arcana of Baloney could make heads nor tails of it… And for those of us who ARE immersed, pro or con, what is the goal here? What would it take to make someone STOP thinking Bob [O’Brien] is full O’Baloney, and STOP thinking [Patrick Byrne] is Wacky?
…we hope he appreciates the irony of providing the answer to his own question, and additional weight to our claim.
Post script: In the year since this post was first published, Darl has, very much to his credit, dropped the pseudonym and now posts (at a much lower level) under his real name. Furthermore, his contributions now often border upon objective. The difference, I posit, is anonymity, which I believe will prove to be the Achilles Heel of the Internet.