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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Thursday, February 28, 2002

Name Impersonation

I have deleted the offending posts and I want to take the opportunity to remind those that are a little on the slow side that impersonating others will not be tolerated.  When it’s just harmless joking around as “Clint Hurdle’s Mom” it’s one thing, but there’s a line that’s crossed when you impersonate another participant to this forum.

I consider this to be a very serious issue and this is the only warning that will ever be given.  In the future, depending on the severity of the infraction, IP addresses will be banned from the site, ISPs will be contacted by phone and in extreme cases, I know exactly who to contact for a formal investigation into identity theft.

It’s not pleasant to have to play the heavy, but sometimes, circumstances call for it.

Dan Szymborski Posted: February 28, 2002 at 05:58 AM | 40 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Aaron Gleeman Posted: February 28, 2002 at 06:41 AM (#555140)
What did I miss here?
   2. Geoff Young Posted: February 28, 2002 at 06:45 AM (#555141)
I think I've impersonated Carl Everett and Kevin Towers. It was meant in fun. On a more serious note, if you're going to adopt the measures you suggest, it might be a good idea to put it in writing somewhere more permanent than an entry in the Transaction Oracle so that anyone visiting the site understands the policy and the consequences that may arise if it is violated.
   3. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 28, 2002 at 06:53 AM (#555142)
Mercy buckets.

I've "impersonated" Syd Thrift and such, but I don't think that counts, since there's little danger of him actually posting here. Plus, I spelled all the words correctly, and Syd hasn't exactly demonstrated the intellectual ability to manage that feat.
   4. Dan 'The Boy' Werr Posted: February 28, 2002 at 07:08 AM (#555143)
I wondered about those posts.

Over on Clutch Hits, there's another thread, White injures rib cage Posada improving, which also has someone posting under the name "David Nieporent" (without the e-mail address) and talking about clutch hitting. I noticed both and thought they were connected.

Is that the same impostor, or are those legitimate?
   5. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 28, 2002 at 07:12 AM (#555144)
There will be a more permanent statement of policy up in the near future, but I wanted to make sure that my opinion was given out immediately and in no uncertain terms. At this time, regarding people using celebrities as handles, there has not yet been a single instance of a deleted post because I have not felt it's has been warranted.

Obviously, some of you guys cannot see the posts that I'm referring to since I did, after all, delete them, but trust me, there was no question that they were blatantly inappropriate.
   6. McCoy Posted: February 28, 2002 at 07:25 AM (#555145)
Well if you want to look on the bright side. Getting trolls on your sight means you guys are getting more and more mainstream everyday.
   7. Robert Dudek Posted: February 28, 2002 at 07:50 AM (#555146)
I recall someone else posting under my name a few months ago, and I also recall that it happened to Rich Rifkin.

I think it is a serious issue. I caught it once and immediately posted that the above post was not "me", but who knows whether my name was used in other threads that I hadn't checked.
   8. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 28, 2002 at 07:52 AM (#555147)
Dan, yes, those posts are forged also. Thanks for pointing them out to me, so at least when I'm accused of saying something later, I'll know where it came from. Funny, but junk mailers can't spell my name correctly, and yet this twit manages.
   9. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 28, 2002 at 08:05 AM (#555148)
I can honestly say I've never used anybody's name on any of the threads here (except for Rickey Henderson, Roy Hobbs, Joe Hardy, Fernando Valenzuela etc.)
   10. RJ in TO Posted: February 28, 2002 at 08:10 AM (#555150)
Have you considered converting to a board which requires people to set up an individual account? While it might limit the potential for comedy (no more people posting as Syd Thrift) it would help stop the name thievery. Of course, I have no idea how complex this would be to implement, and it would also reduce the number of casual posters. The one used over at seems to be a reasonably good system.
   11. Sean Forman Posted: February 28, 2002 at 12:14 PM (#555152)
I've been thinking about a move over to slashcode, which has an anonymous coward setting and might work as well. I'll need to start considering alternative methods a little more aggressively if this persists as a problem.
   12. Cris E Posted: February 28, 2002 at 02:27 PM (#555156)
Rede -
   13. Justin Binek Posted: February 28, 2002 at 03:29 PM (#555162)
Dan, I do appreciate the steps you're taking to try and combat the idiots. I do have to agree with Brian C. that some of the anonymous posts are pretty hilarious (anyone remember the Jeffrey Loria thread that wound up involving The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Jim Ross?).

I tend to look on the bright side of human nature, so I think most of these problems could easily be solved by posting a disclaimer directly under the "Transaction Oracle" headline at the top of the page. Something short, to the point, and that gets the message across loud and clear.
   14. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 28, 2002 at 04:08 PM (#555163)
<FONT SIZE=5>Transaction Oracle </FONT> by Dan Szymborski --
   15. Walt Davis Posted: February 28, 2002 at 04:16 PM (#555164)
Someone did that to me at least once. There's also someone using Walt as a handle, who I assume is a Walt, but isn't me in case anyone was wondering.

I think it's safe to say that anything you read under my name that you found interesting, thoughtful, or humorous was written by me; stuff that was stupid and annoying was written by someone else. Even if they were in the same post.
   16. David Jones Posted: February 28, 2002 at 04:47 PM (#555166)
Someone posted under my name once.

I wish I could say the identity theft post was the dumbest thing ever said under my name, but sadly, that is not the case. I am more than capable of embarrasing myself without anyone stealing my name and doing it for me.
   17. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 28, 2002 at 05:00 PM (#555167)
I, for one, don't use my real name or include personal information like an e-mail address, because I don't think it makes good sense. There are too many incontrovertably crazy people in the world for the risk/reward payoff to be worth it to me (nothing personal intended about present company, of course).

In related news, would someone mind catching me up on what was happening? My BP 2K1 came in the mail yesterday, and I've been pretty much absorbed.
   18. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 28, 2002 at 05:01 PM (#555168)
Er, make that 2K2.
   19. Colin Posted: February 28, 2002 at 05:42 PM (#555170)
My preference would be to not switch over to an authentication system. I check in on Slashdot daily, and I never post. I never post because I lost my login info long ago and didn't care enough to re-register or get it back.

I'm not saying I'd do that here - Primer is much more insteresting to me than /. However, I think the registration thing might deter some very occasional posters or lurkers who might otherwise chime in now and then.
   20. Michael Posted: February 28, 2002 at 05:44 PM (#555171)
On ESPN, one can pick a unique user name and register (for free) so that others cannot use that name. That solution here would allow those of us who prefer not to post with their full names or who enjoy celebrity posting to be able to do so but no poster could "steal" another's identity. I don't know that it's worth the bother though -- it's not been that big a deal.
   21. Ken Arneson Posted: February 28, 2002 at 06:25 PM (#555172)
You could create a "reserved name" list, so that if you want to post under one of these names, you'd have to log in as that user, or face an error message.

That way, people who are worried about identity theft can protect themselves, and those who want to post as Clint Hurdle's mom can still do so.

On the other hand, while slashcode at this point is probably overkill, if the volume increases, you may have to go there one day so you can filter out the boring posts like mine.
   22. Repoz Posted: February 28, 2002 at 08:30 PM (#555182)
F.E.D. ....Clint Hurdle was a first round draft pick of the K.C. Royals in the mid-70's and was to be an absolute hitting machine but alas injuries (bad back,if I recall)did him in.He proceded to float around the bigs(K.C.-Cinn-N.Y.Mets-St.Louis-Mets again)becoming the all important V.C.P.and playing a number of positions,including 3rd string/emergency catcher to stay in the bigs.

It was all over by 1987....ending up with a career .744 OPS about .200 off of what he was supposed to be.

He looked like a great ballplayer,had a great ballplayers name.....just don't flip his baseball card over.
   23. Repoz Posted: February 28, 2002 at 08:46 PM (#555183)
...And furthermore since we are in the holy Primer Confessional box seat....I own up to having been Al Goldstein to Jack Kralick....but I never copped another's handle....that's too easy.
   24. Kurt Posted: February 28, 2002 at 09:20 PM (#555186)
Hey! I have 1980 Clint Hurdle in a strat league at the moment. He wasn't too bad that year - .294/.349/.458, though the 3e15 in RF is no treat.

And I don't like the celebrity impersonations. It just strikes me as a slight improvement over the "sincerely, Orenthal" type emails that Jim Rome reads on his show. In particular I agree with Drew, the Rickey thing is completely played out. That's just my opinion - if everyone else loves 'em, I'll live.
   25. Kurt Posted: February 28, 2002 at 09:25 PM (#555187)
Hey, speaking of impersonating somebody else, is anyone else beginning to wonder if that was some other little girl Doris Kearns Goodwin was talking about in the Ken Burns miniseries?
   26. Kurt Posted: February 28, 2002 at 10:20 PM (#555190)
"Dan Szymborski" is not an identity. It's a little bit of text on a computer screen.

Great. Now Dan won't be able to sleep for days.
   27. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 01, 2002 at 12:43 AM (#555193)
Drew Allen

But what if I reserve the name "David Nieporent" before David does?

While I strongly oppose impersonation, I'm willing to sell naming rights to me for a modest fee. Say $100,000,000 over 20 years. Once you buy those, you can use my name as you see fit.
   28. Dunn Deal Posted: March 01, 2002 at 09:51 AM (#555196)
Speaking of the "Sincerely, Orenthal" e-mails that Jim Rome gets...

I thought the best one was in reference to the Philly Flyers "fan" throwing a full beer at the opposing coach.

Rome received an e-mail saying:
   29. Benji Posted: March 01, 2002 at 12:00 PM (#555197)
No one will impersonate me, they'll be tainted by me being a Jay Payton fan !
   30. Big Ed Posted: March 01, 2002 at 01:48 PM (#555198)
Clint Hurdle was my utility man in my first strat-o-matic league. If you go to some form of registration, and someone gets 'Big Ed' first, they're welcome to it. I'll just post as Louisa May Alcott or something.
   31. Shredder Posted: March 01, 2002 at 03:16 PM (#555199)
Damn, I was going to start posting as Louisa May Alcott.
   32. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: March 01, 2002 at 06:47 PM (#555202)
I'd just like to point out that Nieporent always brings out the best in people. Don't you, David?

   33. David Jones Posted: March 01, 2002 at 07:37 PM (#555204)
I'll sell my naming rights for $5. The low, low price is a direct result of the current market glut of "David Joneses" and the fact that the name has already been tainted by David Bowie Jones and the Monkees.
   34. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 01, 2002 at 08:20 PM (#555205)
( I'll sell my naming rights for $5. The low, low price is a direct result of the current market glut of "David Joneses" and the fact that the name has already been tainted by David Bowie Jones and the Monkees. )

Not to mention Davey Jones's Locker! :-)
   35. Roger Moore Posted: March 01, 2002 at 09:43 PM (#555206)
Hmm.. Do you think I could get anything for my naming rights, or should I have been trying to sell 20 years ago? I had never thought that sharing a name with a celebrity might actually be valuable instead of just a source of innumerable lame jokes.
   36. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 01, 2002 at 09:52 PM (#555207)
They're worth nothing, Raj; you should've unloaded them before A View to a Kill.
   37. Repoz Posted: March 01, 2002 at 10:05 PM (#555208)
Roger Moore was an old fan of the Halos.
   38. fables of the deconstruction Posted: March 04, 2002 at 03:38 AM (#555213)
If this thread is "confession central" for use of fake identities, I'll readily admit to using Syd Thrift a few times, and Luis Gonzalez once. (remember Mariano Rivera's "Why would anyone need more than one pitch?") I really couldn't resist that time... ;-) ... But another poster that has established an identity here, having that identity stolen by another. That's an entirely different matter. And a serious one at that. If the "Powers That Be" here decide that it's in everyone's best interest to have some kind of registration or identity verification, I think we should support them in such an effort. I know some people aren't fond of such processes, myself moreso than most. (This is why I hate New York Times links.) To me, this is too great a site to allow it to be ruined by idiots. Although "trevise" is not my real name, and I use it for the same reason Vlad uses his, I do have 5 years invested in it as an "online" identity and would not appreciate someone else using it for nefarious purposes.

   39. Dan 'The Boy' Werr Posted: March 04, 2002 at 05:12 AM (#555215)

The problem is that it wasn't obviously a joke (if you look at the discussion following the comments, you'll see a lot of people didn't think it was). I wasn't sure whether it was David Nieporent or not (I suspected it wasn't), but I imagine that it was someone trying to give him a bad name (obviously someone has some problem with him, as evidenced both by those posts and the comment on the Jeff Kent injury thread).

The difference is that when you read a Syd Thrift post, you don't think it's Syd Thrift, and the person who posts it obviously doesn't intend for you to think so. Furthermore, the joke in those posts has to do with Syd Thrift. There was no reason to post under the name David Nieporent except what I believe was a calculated (though unbelievably stupid) attempt to make him look bad.

I don't think posting as Rob Neyer is kosher; he has posted here, and I'm pretty sure the Open Letter responses were authentic (obviously I don't know for certain). I've never posted as anyone else (not even a joke post), but I don't have a problem with the joke posts, but I sure wouldn't want anyone posting under my name no matter what they said.
   40. Dan 'The Boy' Werr Posted: March 04, 2002 at 06:14 AM (#555217)

Not to repeat the post that was just deleted (I hate to give this all this attention; it's like the guy who runs out onto the field?you don't want to show him on camera), but whoever it was basically called David a know-it-all and employed an obscene elementary school-level insult.

I kind of wish they'd left wouldn't have lowered your opinion of anyone except the author.

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