Is “blog land” in the cactus?

I have what I think is a serious warning to anyone commenting here, and on other blogs because this applies across the New Zealand blogosphere. I’ve thought carefully about whether to go public with this but I feel I have a responsibility to warn you.

Last night THE TYRANT commented:

Is “blog land” in the cactus?

It could be under serious threat. Any of you could potentially be under serious threat. I’ve just been chugging away here providing a forum for discussion and sharing information and I’m not only under serious threat, action is being taken against me.

Most people who read or comment here do so because they want to, they are people with an interest. I’m very appreciative of the range of input.

A small number of participants stand out because they seem to have specific interests and motives.

One of those motives appears to me to be to provoke comments. That in itself isn’t unusual. But they are prepared to take it much further than arguing and disagreeing on a blog.

They appear to be trying to entrap, and they are then prepared to prosecute. Very heavy handed threats. And I’m aware of threats not just to bloggers like me here, but also to blog commenters elsewhere.

Now there may be legitimate cause in some cases for legal actions, but when those involved are amongst the worst offenders when it comes to abuse and potentially malicious accusations, then it appears their aim is to “fuck over” (a term used by one of them) anyone they take aim at.

This, alongside the hacking of bloggers, gagging orders and the current rash of claims and counter claims of defamation means that while ‘blog land’ may not be in the cactus – yet – there are certainly some pricks around.

If they succeed with some of their apparent aims then I think free speech on blogs will be under serious threat.

Thinking that being honest and reasonable will protect you from this threat could be mistaken.

And there’s been a specific threat here.

I have good reason to believe that someone who has been commenting here under a pseudonym has at the same time been gathering ‘evidence’ – and they or someone closely linked to them (I believe it’s the same person) have also been handing out court papers.

THE TYRANT may be aptly named. He appears to want free reign while attempting to crush any plebs seen as a threat.

I don’t want to put the many good people off participating here and elsewhere, but I feel I have a responsibility to warn you about what is going on around us and amongst us.

I don’t have any problem with people taking appropriate action to defend themselves against abuse, false accusations, defamation or whatever – but when they themselves take questionable actions themselves then their motives must be questionable.

What’s happening here and elsewhere should send a shiver up the spine of the New Zealand blogosphere. What you are plied or prompted or provoked into saying could be anonymously taken down in evidence.

If we don’t stand up to the tyrants then ‘blog land’ and free speech could be seriously under threat.

NOTE: Please take care in comments. No naming. But feel free to comment on and discuss the general issues here and how they might affect speech on New Zealand forums.

And as usual THE TYRANT has a right of reply here – they may even choose to be open about who they are and what their motives are.

Leave a comment

56 Comments

  1. There may be some carelessness and I’m also aware that there may be attempts to put me in legal jeopardy through anonymous comments. I won’t block comments here but I may edit comments, and this may mean holding them out of sight until I have had time to edit them appropriately. So if any comments disappear they will reappear when dealt with.

    Reply
  2. Grumpy

     /  6th August 2015

    Very interesting Pete, and I feel for you. You operate probably the most moderate and balanced blog there is yet you seem to have upset someone.
    This kind of attempt to silence is usually only seen coming from the Left but I infer that may not be the case here.
    You certainly deserve our support, don’t be afraid to ask.

    Reply
  3. Simple solution: don’t allow comments from anonymous posters on your blog.

    I comment under my own name, as I am prepared to both stand by everything I say / write, and to be identified in doing so.

    Take care also with the dysfunctional psychological practice known as “triangulation” (or “splitting”), whereby your opponent tries to get to you, via the overt or covert pressure of a (usually trusted, but at times utterly blinded or vulnerable) third party / agency.

    Power is only ever as power is perceived.

    Reply
    • Maureen Wii

       /  6th August 2015

      Steve, I agree it’s a very good idea to not accept comments from anonymous posters. This should sort a lot of the rubbish out and ensure accountability from anyone wishing to comment.

      Reply
      • Richard Cranium

         /  6th August 2015

        It would also ensure that you and Steve are the only two who ever post comments here 🙂

        Reply
        • and if you had to use your real name you would have to post as Dick Head lol – sorry couldn’t help myself

          Reply
        • Maureen Wii

           /  6th August 2015

          Keep up with the play Richard, anonymous trolling has run it’s race on blogs. It’s called Twitter now, you should get yourself an account:)

          Reply
          • Richard Cranium

             /  6th August 2015

            I am on Tinder if you’re interested?
            🙂

            Reply
            • Maureen Wii

               /  6th August 2015

              Oh, I am. But Tinder? I don’t care for balcony-flying, not without my broomstick anyway.

            • @ Richard Cranium you strike me as more of a Grinder App user. lol

  4. Anonymous Coward

     /  6th August 2015

    It seems to me that some people just never know when to S.T.F.U.

    Reply
  5. FarmerPete

     /  6th August 2015

    Pete. My comments are about blogs in general, and not Your NZ as I think you are generally very circumspect. A friend and colleague once said that you are born with integrity and spend your life enhancing it, only for it to be lost in a moment, and once it is lost there is now way back. He was the son of one of Auckland’s leading families and I respected him greatly.
    The point here is that some blogs (especially The Standard and WhaleOil) and many commenters, are too disposed to slag people with insufficient evidence. My view is that many of them (not you) too readily deviate from fair comment to character assassination.
    Free speech is important but so is balance and fairness. With political figures the courts allow more latitude, but with others such as business people etc the rules are more clear cut.
    I know nothing about the events you refer to or the comments in question, but I do think this type of action was bound to happen at some point. I’m not referring here to provocation but to unfettered and unfiltered comments that have no basis in reality.
    I didn’t like the Clark government particularly but it was easy to respect Clark for her competence. I found the description of her as the ‘bilious bitch’ by one blog very distasteful. Similarly Key has equally been depicted distastefully. These aspects are more matters of decency rather than libel, but many blog commenters go beyond this to invent characterisations of people that are unfounded.
    To be candid one of the reasons I dislike Slater and Prentice is that I find they are to prone to fire of over hyped invective that is in some cases very inflammatory.
    Some guidelines would be a good thing. All the best with your travails.

    Reply
  6. S.T.F.U: Seek Trusted Feedback Universally?

    Reply
  7. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  6th August 2015

    Pete, I don’t believe you are plied, prompted or provoked into writing things down.
    You know that everything you write here is open to the public and can be archived by anybody for any length of time. So you must operate under the same rules as you would with any written/publishable material.

    If you are not 100% sure of your facts, then you must somehow structure your written material to cover the possibility that you’ve got the wrong end of the stick.

    If you can bear to accept some advice from a little old lady, you need to locate a lawyer experienced in dealing with print material issues.

    Reply
  8. Alan Wilkinson

     /  6th August 2015

    Did a comment I wrote just disappear into limbo? Maybe because my browser filled in a different work email than my usual default?

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  6th August 2015

      Once upon a time in a far away land long before blogs existed, a newspaper decided to only publish letters to the editor over real names except in extreme circumstances. The result was an immediate huge improvement in the quality of those letters. Ever since then I have always written over my real name. I always consider how what I write would stand up in court. This is a useful discipline which makes me research before I comment. In those old days the newspaper enforced the rule by requesting senders’ addresses and checking the phonebook or electoral roll. That is less authoritative now I suspect.

      I’m not sure what facilities your WordPress gives you, Pete, but you could have identified users logon, perhaps via Facebook.

      Reply
  9. Demoritus753

     /  6th August 2015

    Good Morning Pete, have read the tyrants posts in this thread but can’t identify anything objectionable in them, upon which you found your accusations against him. Well in this thread. Is their another thread wherein he says something objectionable? I agree the blogasphere is under threat, but not from who you have alleged but from seriously corrupt police and individuals who hide behind the harassment act. Your latest blog probably doesn’t help you in the present situation. I think you should look seriously at the conduct of others who on the face of it you support. I was reading whale oils recent articles great stuff. The postings on here by some of your sycophantic supporters is typical of small town New Zealand frankly. Don’t think you have a bad bone in your body Pete. But you don’t need to. Justice is about the law Pete. The new act is a disaster for the people of New Zealand and might spell the end of free speech both in blogs and online in the MSM. If you saw the conduct of TV3 in harassing the drummer Phil Judd for nothing but sport trying to force him to assault them, or the conduct of the TVNZ fair go over the years, it looks like any freedom of expression is seriously out the door. You may have contributed to that in a substantial way. Just my view. Appreciate if you could identify the posts and quote them for us followers. Would hate to think there was no evidence to support the allegations you have made. And frankly don’t have the time or inclination to read your whole blog to try and find where this tyrant has stepped over the mark.With regards to TV the favourite door step confrontation which was historically great TV is out the door.

    Cheers Pete, be happy

    Reply
    • Mike C

       /  6th August 2015

      @Demoritus

      LOL. I pronounce you the King or Queen of “Passive-Aggressive Insults” 🙂

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  6th August 2015

      “but from seriously corrupt police and individuals who hide behind the harassment act.”

      This from someone who wants Pete to justify his statements?!

      Reply
  10. my comment PG – is hardly deserving of such a post. “is blog land in the cactus” a simple statement when you look at events like at WOBH yesterday being constantly placed under hacker attack. The banning of individuals over at the likes of The Standard & WOBH. In general yes i would say that what i have seen sees you “in the cactus”

    It is however your online lectern from which to speak.

    The abuse in particular by the likes of Prentice and Presland at any one they deem needs it.

    You introduced your predicament to us as your readers, and asked for comments to help you out. At the time i did wonder what your motive was as usually discussing Court action in public prior to trail is not ideal – and i pointed out that exact fact RE: Colin Craig and his silly little flyer drop. Given by what you have said, you are clearly the subject to some major Court action that has you losing sleep. And fair enough to that you are worried – anyone who gets summoned to Court should be nervous. BUT only if you have done something wrong, as of course if you are squeaky clean then you have no problem, and will be able to hand on heart plead “Not Guilty your Honour”

    What intrigues me though Pete is what almost looks to me to be a “conspiracy theory” you seem to have decided to run with your accusations of who is connected to what. Feels like desperation to single out a reader / poster and create a link

    Since when has having a particular interest in certain stories or events ever been a crime? I comment on lots of stories here, in fact on all the blogs on an almost daily basis. But i am most militant on some parts of NZ, and what i see happening. Everyone is. Just as you are to.

    Do i think some blogs have a total disregard for the law ? Yes i do.

    Do i think some blogs / bloggers have simply turned to vendetta writing? Yes i do.

    Perhaps you should do a detailed post on all the comments you claim to be somehow connected. I am sure several of your posters will be under your microscope. I have read multiple other comments placed here and often think “shit how do they know that” or “hope they open up with more info”

    Good luck Pete with your Court issues – obviously we as readers don’t know the extent of your issues, so maybe do a post on the actual issues and then we will know exactly what is what.

    Your other alternative Pete, is just name the person you have written about here and see what comes to the surface.

    Reply
    • I don’t think you’re being straight. I’m not going to name anyone (at this stage). If you want to be open and honest it’s up to you.

      Reply
  11. Karen

     /  6th August 2015

    Sad and sorry to hear you’re under fire Pete, can’t really see what you could have done to attract such attention.

    Some people need to get a life. This little corner of the Internet is so tiny and insignificant that it’s not too much of a stretch to say not to many people care about what’s said on blogs. Honestly, I literally know no one else who does what I do and gets the pleasure I do from political blogs. Let’s be honest guys there’s a pretty small pool of us chatting and challenging in this space but are we really causing anyone harm? I don’t think so.

    Reply
    • I agree. Nothing bores my wife more than my discussing political blogs. No one else I know is interested. I find it fascinating.

      Reply
  12. Demoritus753

     /  6th August 2015

    The comments or should I say personalised attack by Mike C and Alan Wilkinson…..sycophants of yours Pete. And please identify the postings of the Tyrant that are objectionable. These guys prove the point I was making. Karen is right who really cares about this site or it’s comments and commentators. Trouble is enough of this inane dribble is enough…..A stab in the dark, probably what got you in trouble Pete, I interpolate to say I actually didn’t read the whole thread yesterday and its you who has the issues Pete…..if so get a good lawyer or three was my advice yesterday. I wouldn’t rely on your posters myself included Pete.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  6th August 2015

      If you think mine was a personalised attack you are more of an idiot than I thought. My criticism was directly at your content, not your person. However, it now seems that content does reflect your person.

      That said, I agree Pete needs a good lawyer.

      Reply
    • Mike C

       /  6th August 2015

      @Democritus

      You clearly have no idea what the content of your comments come across sounding like to readers, which shows that you have a one track mind that is intent on driving toward the end result you want from your own personal point of view, and not an enquiring mind that is trying to view the situation from a larger picture perspective.

      Reply
  13. Demoritus753

     /  6th August 2015

    Waffle Pete, a bit like the advice you got from these gentlemen and the other posters yesterday. Its all about content Peter…..Key board cowboys most of them. Mike C….. I’m guessing just 4 letters in your last name Mike…..Have a great day gentlemen.

    Reply
    • Mike C

       /  6th August 2015

      @Demo

      LOL. You are absolutely correct about my surname. It’s one I am proud of and try to live up to when circumstances call for it 🙂

      Reply
  14. Pete Kane

     /  6th August 2015

    it’s an interesting question as to whether commenting on public debate sights such as this is a right or a privilege. With newspapers in most democracies letters to the editor are generally seen as a right but with rules. The most obvious is the papers right to know the identity (even though often withheld) of who is writing. I can understand people choosing anonymity here. A teacher may not wish to disclose their political leanings to students (or their union) etc. I choose my own name but am genuinely confident that even if I chose anonymity it would not alter my comments.
    So back to the question of right or privilege. The editor of this site offers a place for discourse as a non profit service. So with the right of democratic reply still important, I’m closer to the privilege call than the right. I certainly think the editor has the right to clearly know the identity of all who comment. If people don’t have faith in the editor then they have options. So to put money where mouth is if PG furbishes an email address or number I will happily send verifiable details of my identity (obviously in confidence).

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  6th August 2015

      I think you confuse right of reply with right to comment. If criticised personally you should have a right of reply. Otherwise you comment solely at the discretion of the owner of the publication or blog.

      Reply
    • “So to put money where mouth is if PG furbishes an email address or number I will happily send verifiable details of my identity (obviously in confidence).”

      Thanks but that’s not necessary Peter, I value your contributions here and have not problem at all about you.

      THE TYRANT could however follow your suggestion, that would be a simple way to clear things up. The current email address provided by them gets no response.

      Reply
  15. GregM

     /  6th August 2015

    Very disappointing Pete. But as usual the very people who waffle on about transparency and open debate are also the people that want to silence or ban all opinions and discussion that doesn’t fit in with their world view. Thanks for providing this forum.

    Reply
  16. Mike C

     /  6th August 2015

    I still think that Pete should look at shutting down the Private Prosecution before it gets inside the actual Court Room.

    That way, he won’t have to spend any of his work time or his hard earned money on the Grimms or Lawyers.

    Why go to Court and employ Lawyers if you don’t actually need to ???

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  6th August 2015

      Most often the reason to employ a lawyer is to ensure you don’t have to go to court.

      Reply
      • Mike C

         /  6th August 2015

        @AlanW

        What I meant, was that if Pete puts quality time into investigating the legitimacy of the Private Prosecution right now, with minimal money spent on Legal advice, then that strategy may end up saving him heaps of time and money in the longer term.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  6th August 2015

          I agree now is the time to put some effort into beating off the seagulls. I would find a very good lawyer to consult though.

          Reply
          • But if charging docs have been approved by a Judge and served, then he has a Court date looming – plain and simple. I made the comment yesterday about mitigating issues and doing a deal. In my experience that works well. But as yet none of us know what exactly PG is facing so it is hard to see how dire the situation is for him.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  6th August 2015

              Pete commented he is a small fry add-on defendant to a charge against big guys. Another strategy leg is to get on-side with the big guys’ legal eagles.

            • “But if charging docs have been approved by a Judge and served, then he has a Court date looming – plain and simple.”

              IMO the service is defective because the language used relating to legal status is ambiguous and can be interpreted as libel.

              This is a separate issue to any matters of fact alleged by the complainant. Loss of legal status is a matter of law and as such cannot be contested by cross-examination of the witness.

              The language in question is the title typically used to identify the defendant in the District Court proceedings. These titles are used to refer to legal persons, and as such can be interpreted to mean that the respondent only has the status of a legal person and no the legal status of a man.

              I know from experience that Districts Courts may recognize the argument relating to ambiguity of title and that they are aware of the significance of the difference in meaning between the terms man and person.

              Since the District Court only has personal jurisdiction (aka jurisdiction in personam) and does not have universal jurisdiction, what follows after notifying the District Court of defective service is either that the matter is referred back to the complainant for proof of jurisdiction or the District Court proceeds by fraud.

            • “I made the comment yesterday about mitigating issues and doing a deal.”

              You seem to have already decided on a verdict. I don’t know any details at all.

  17. Alan Wilkinson

     /  6th August 2015

    Pete, free expression is a civil liberties issue.

    “About NZCCL
    The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties is a watchdog for rights and freedoms in New Zealand. The Council works through education and advocacy to promote a rights-based society and prevent the erosion of civil liberties by government or any other parties. It is a voluntary not-for-profit organisation.” – http://nzccl.org.nz/content/about-nzccl

    These folk are mostly lawyers. They may well be quite helpful with free advice for you, particularly as the suppression or oppression of free speech on blogs via legal action is clearly an adverse impact on our civil liberties.

    Reply
  18. Stick to your guns, Pete. I may not agree with many of your conservative views, but as we say on the left, an injury to one is an injury to all. Your readers might want to know that the same people harassing you have also been sniffing around the Standard and presumably other blogs. It’s all rather sad and pathetic, but it also is meant to intimidate and to close down debate. That’s not the Kiwi way, IMHO.

    Reply
  19. Thanks to those who have expressed support in the above comments. Very much appreciated.

    Also thanks for advice on seeking good legal counsel. That is being done. However certain people have chosen to pre-empt legal process and conduct what looks a bit like trial by blog, email and Twitter. I’ve chosen to deal with some of that.

    Reply
  20. I’d like to address a couple of things from the above discussion.

    “Would hate to think there was no evidence to support the allegations you have made.”

    I think a couple of commenters may have added to the evidence here via recognisable terminology, an interest in certain legal proceedings and suggestions they know details that only someone with non-public knowledge (I presume very few people have that, there’s a lot of details I don’t even know).

    There is other evidence.

    “obviously we as readers don’t know the extent of your issues”

    That comment appears to have been contradicted.

    “Your other alternative Pete, is just name the person you have written about here and see what comes to the surface.”

    Not while there are ongoing attempts to legally protect identities, as I think this person should be well aware of. That may or may not change in court today (Friday) I believe.

    “At the time i did wonder what your motive was as usually discussing Court action in public prior to trail is not ideal ”

    I agree. Others have discussed it here and elsewhere (for example on Twitter) more than I have. I question their motives, and their openness and honesty here.

    In a normal legal situation public silence may well be prudent. But this is far from a normal situation. The online world changes many things, especially when it becomes intertwined with legal actions and vice versa.

    Reply
  21. Demoritus753

     /  8th August 2015

    pete, pots kettles black. As a mouth piece and man of the people you should welcome the exercising of a function of a democracy, rather than orchestrated sniping from the sidelines. . There is always a cost for conduct. You now have an opportunity to justify any conduct in which you have been involved. i’m sure you wouldn’t have been a naughty boy. I have taken the time to compare this blog with bigger better and more relevant ones, enough said. I don’t think you are the right calibre of representative for Dunedin’s future Peter. Carping on and bleating on line, some basic personalty flaws quite evident here Peter.Take Karens advice.

    Reply
  22. “You now have an opportunity to justify any conduct in which you have been involved”

    If you’re acting in good faith please pop me an email to verify your identification. The email address you supply is invalid.

    Reply
  1. More on misuse of pseudonyms | Your NZ

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s