Of Alter-Egos, Split-Personalities and Rotten Apples

A few days ago, DeKalb School Watch Editors made a significant change to the blog sign-in process in an effort to enforce DSW rules that most of you were already following.  Those who weren’t following the rules [see below] were creating problems.  They were monopolizing the blog and, for the most part, dishonestly making it appear that there was a cadre of commenters who agreed with them.

DSW editors reminded commenters of the rules and, when that didn’t work, suggested that these commenters start their own blog.  Unfortunately, that smacked of hard work and they preferred to take the easier road of continuing to disrupt an established blog.

Because all of the DSW editors are unpaid volunteers who have paid jobs, families and other life commitments, we have limited time to spend on the blog.  We found we were spending more time dealing with and responding to these selfish, argumentative people[1] than creating factual and well-documented blog posts.

This became unacceptable.  In an effort to wrest control away from the “entitled” few who felt like the rules were for everyone else, but not for them, DSW changed the WordPress options for signing in to comment.  In so doing, it inadvertently became more difficult for well-intentioned commenters to sign in and make a comment.  Therefore, we are now making adjustments which we hope will clear up the problem.  If you have had difficulties posting comments, please try again.  If you would like to post a documented article, please send it to dekalbschoolwatch(at)gmail(dot)com.

Below are the updated rules for DSW Blog.  Follow the rules or risk being deleted without warning or explanation.

1. Please choose a pseudonym (screen name) that is more individual and original than “Anonymous.”   Do NOT use “Anonymous.”

2-a. Please stick with the same pseudonym (screen name) and use it each time you comment.  Or, feel free to use your real name.  Believe it or not, your real name is powerful and carries more punch.

2-b.  Elected public officials must post under their real name and include their real e-mail address.  NO exceptions.

3. Please document all claims and include a link, if possible.  For example, if you say, “I heard” in a comment, please tell “where you heard” and/or “from whom you heard.”  Or, if you reference an article or a study, please be specific:  title of article or study and publication place/date and a URL.  A Google search will provide the necessary information to include.

4. Please make sure you know what you are talking about.  Several times lately we have had to correct gross inaccuracies.

5.  Do your own research.  Google makes it easy.  Do NOT write in and ask for the moderators and/or other blog participants to find documentation for you.

6. Especially if you are new to DSW:  please read through the blog so you know what topics are under discussion and what comments have already been made.

Are bloggers journalists?  According to Electronic Frontier Foundation, “what makes a journalist a journalist is whether news is being gathered for dissemination to the public, not the method or medium.”  DeKalb School Watch blog, like paid journalists, protects the public’s right to know. Many bloggers, like DeKalb School Watch, are picking up the slack left by the disappearance of investigative journalists who are vanishing from news media payrolls.

Please help us maintain an investigative, factual blog that will hold DeKalb County school officials accountable while getting rid of and bringing to justice those who are corrupt.

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”    – Albert Einstein

[1] Rotten Apple Award to:

Two regular posters stepped way over the line with the six or seven other screen names and 29 or so IP addresses:

Mad Dad

NellyNada

Dr. DeKalb

Dad of Two

Fed Up

Emory Council

Yankee Doodle

After looking at the dates and times of the posts and checking with some experts, we believe the IP addresses were generated – are you ready for this? – by these commenters moving around between locations such as their place of work, their home, Starbucks, the library, McDonalds and others who offer free access to the Internet.  Often several locations on the same day with comments made within an hour or so of each other.  One person attempting to look like a crowd.

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About dekalbschoolwatch

Hosting a dialogue among parents, educators and community members focused on improving our schools and providing a quality, equitable education for each of our nearly 100,000 students. ~ "ipsa scientia potestas est" ~ "Knowledge itself is power"
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13 Responses to Of Alter-Egos, Split-Personalities and Rotten Apples

  1. Thank you for protecting the integrity of DSWII. Since neither the AJC nor the television stations in Atlanta are willing to do more than fluff pieces about the Dekalb County School District it is up to citizen journalists to pick up the slack.

    You are doing a good job. Thank you for all your work.

  2. bettyandveronica1 says:

    Boo Hisssss!

  3. Multi-posting also plagues publications like the Patch and Reporter newspapers, the latter which turned off comments after two or three bloggers turned it into their personal bully pulpit. DunMoody (my usual screen name, but now appearing here as dunwoodyminute!)

  4. Atlanta Media Guy says:

    Could it be a DCSS Central Office staffer, driving around in a DCSS vehicle…. That would explain all the full tanks of gas on consecutive days charged to US!

  5. thedeal2 says:

    Thanks for the explanation. I was beginning to think the sign-in thing was my imagination. Keep up the good work. You can’t make everyone happy. I don’t come here to agree with everyone. I come here to learn information that isn’t being shared by anyone else.

  6. We understand from an insider who must remain nameless that there are actually two cars for the superintendent that everyone else is forbidden to use. Besides, look at some of the dates for gas fill-ups — Sunday … New Year’s Day … ???

  7. thedeal2 says:

    Can that insider get some photos of those cars?

  8. That’s a good question. We will check. One of the cars has already been “traded” for Atkinson’s brand new tricked-out SUV. We will ask about the other one.

  9. tenbsmith says:

    I’ve been away for a couple of weeks due to other demands. Nice to see things a bit cleaned up. In addition to the primary benefit of the new log-ins making the comments more accurately reflect the views of your reader ship, the new log-in procedures makes it easier to keep up with what is going on. Thank you.

  10. Thank you! We appreciate your comments. Please forward the URL for DSW blog to friends and neighbors — especially those who may have given up because of the trolls.

  11. thedeal2 says:

    DSW, have you ever thought of having a presence on Facebook and/or Twitter?

  12. Great idea! We do have a Twitter account, but not Facebook. Would you like to volunteer to maintain it? We could use the help!

  13. thedeal2 says:

    I would be happy to, but what I was really referring to was having a landing page in Facebook where your posts from here automatically post to a FB page. That plugin would need to be installed by whoever is posting to the blog (not me). http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/facebook/

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