BLOG BIZ: Warning to Debito.org Commenters about being cyber-stalked; don’t use your real name as moniker anymore

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Hi Blog.  Let me devote today’s blog entry to a fear being expressed by Debito.org Readers.  Got this comment a few days ago:

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May 18, 2011
Hi Debito,

I just wanted to let you know that last week on ‘tepido naruhodos’ page, I saw a thread that included a large amount of communication between some posters about the posters on debito.org. They were discussing that of that date they had collectively identified 63 debito posters through e-mail addresses and social media sites.

I don’t know if you were aware of this, or if it was brought to your attention.
The posts on that subject disappeared at some point around the weekend.
Quite frankly, I think that they are a strange bunch. I think tepido naruhodo/Ken YN/LB lives in my area, but I can’t identify and confront him on this issue.

I don’t know if you might want to warn your readers that they might be stalked, or if you have ideas for other action? — Anonymous

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COMMENT:  Thanks for letting me know.  I don’t read sites that are only out there to trash me personally.  I would not have heard about this unless others had taken the time to stick their head in Internet garbage.  Sorry and thanks for doing so.

Yes, I have been cyberstalked by these creeps (and others; there is even a site out there devoted to the possibility of my being Jewish merely because I’m an activist) for many years now.  And I am sorry that these creeps are now trying to use the same tactics towards other posters on this site.  How vicious.

And hypocritical.  These creeps decry their lack of freedom of speech on this blog (I no longer approve their posts here; one look at the tone and commentary on the Tepido et.al sites will give you an indication why).  Yet they are taking action not only against me, but also against others who express themselves here, just because they don’t agree with Debito.org Readers or with me personally.

I’m no certified mental health specialist, but I would say that these anonymous creeps (who remain mostly anonymous, of course, to evade any semblance of responsibility or maturity) have an unhealthy obsession with me personally and the issues on this site.  Makes one wonder if they devote any time to having a real life away from the keyboard.

As for those primary anti-Debito.org people we can actually identify (in the same spirit of exposure that they decided to employ), the organizer of the Tepido site is run by blogger (see photo here from a Japan Times profile and you’ll get a decent impression of what kind of boy we’re dealing with:)

and Panasonic computer nerd Mr Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson (aka Ken Y-N, see his Linkedin Profile here, since he checks mine obsessively).

There is also toy store employee Mr Lance Braman, who coyly goes by “LB” wherever he leaves his droppings; you might want to keep an eye on him if you enjoy foamy self-mutilating performance art.  (UPDATE: Since Braman has deleted his LinkedIn Profile from LinkedIn.com and apparently from the Wayback Machine too, here’s GM Lance Braman’s position of department head at a hobby products distributor (courtesy public documents at www.hlj.com, namely http://www.hlj.com/documents/hljwholesale.pdf):

Try tracking their obsessive one-note postings on other perfectly legitimate discussion sites, such as Japan Probe, Japan Today, Mutantfrog, Hoofin, etc..  These two are the only ones with the balls to show themselves; now just imagine what kind of creeps, the slime that stalk other people, still keep themselves underground…

(As an aside:  I have also heard that the new Google Chrome browser software doesn’t allow access to Debito.org.   I know somebody who works at Google, maybe I should ask him what’s with that.  Freedom of speech and all that, right, Google in China?)

As for dealing with these cyberstalkers:  I suggest that Debito.org Readers, when you post, from now on avoid using your real name.  Choose a unique moniker and stick with it (I generally remember them).  Your comments are welcome.  Just protect yourself from the shit I have to deal with on a daily basis.  Goes with the territory, some might say, but I disagree; it wasn’t always like this.  But the Internet has become a haven for bullying and few people are doing much about it.  So protect yourself and keep your privacy intact.

Thanks.  Arudou Debito

69 comments on “BLOG BIZ: Warning to Debito.org Commenters about being cyber-stalked; don’t use your real name as moniker anymore

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  • tokyospring says:

    Who on earth would be so sad as to make an anti-debito.org website?!!

    That is absolutely the most loser-ish and pathetic thing I have ever heard.

    This Ken Yasamoto-Nicolson should be 100% ashamed of himself for this sad nonsense.

    Everybody he ever meets who knows about this will be sniggering up their sleeves at his silliness.

  • The article on Japan probe also says Debito has had no successes in the past, again, even if that were true it could have been said of someone like Mandela for decades until the day of his release as is often the case in civil rights movements (not to compare Debito to Mandela, though by the sound of it there are some who would prefer Debito and his views to be put behind bars), but regardless that’s simply factually incorrect. I won’t list everything here, because Debito’s past achievements are well documented for anyone who can be bothered to look, but I think Debito and debito.org probably had quite a large part to play over the last 10 years or so in getting Japan to the point of signing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, I know Debito would be the first to say that this does not mean they will be actually observing the spirit of it anytime soon, but I still see it as a step in the right direction, and one that has been a long time coming, just because Debito wasn’t there lending his fountain pen to the Japanese official as he signed it doesn’t mean he did not have a significant part in getting things to this point. It is certain that all Debito’s writing and publicising of others writing on the subject and particularly publicising other’s plights over the years has made a significant contribution, if not spearheaded the drive to move things forward in this area. He has also ensured there is some solid information to help in such matters before and after the event, on his website and in his guide to living in Japan (which should be seen as pretty darn serious achievement in its own right.)

  • This is the first time I’ve heard of this tepido site and I have to say, how pathetic can you get? Debito has been doing a great job for years and I, for one, have great respect for him. Just ignore it Debito, there’s always going to be morons on this planet.

    — Thanks. Have been ignoring it for quite some time. Couldn’t this time, for reasons I stated above.

  • Steve V

    “I posted a rather long comment responding to the criticism of Debito’s blog on the Japan Probe thread. Japan Probe did not see fit to allow my comment to be published.”

    I wouldn’t worry too much. I was banned for pointing out their consistent errors and bias, especially against their hypocritical “editors” and perennial “lovies”. (Those from the UK shall understand the ‘lovies’, ref).

    As well as the extreme lefty Ampontan. Doesn’t like facts that dispute his thread of the day to say how wonderful life is through his myopic eyes and dishing scorn at those he dislikes.

  • I know the feeling on this thread is that the people over at tepido have been more than a little inquisitive when it comes to investigating the people who comment here, and perhaps people are right to have their feelings hurt. However, I think that a few google searches, or even apparent data mining of the sort that James Grey insinuates but has not yet proven, pales in comparison to this comment to Ken Y-N on tepido by M. Grey himself:

    “james grey May 24, 2011 at 12:35 am

    7.50pm, Sannomiya Daiei, 2F. You and your son walk to door. You go into store. Son outside struggling to fold umbrella. You come back and help him fold it. Then you enter together.
    Still laughing?”

    http://tepido.org/flyjin-or-strawjin/419/comment-page-1#comment-6052

    Grey appears to understand how unpalatable, and frankly, downright creepy this sounds, because he left it out of the synopsis of his exchange with tepido at comment no. 37 on this thread.

    Good for you debito, for reprimanding Grey above. I don’t really want to tell you how to run your blog, but shouldn’t what sounds like a personal threat stemming from what has been described as a flame war between debito.org and tepido be an offense worthy of seeing Mr. Grey banned from both sites? Even more so because it was he who started this whole thing, we might surmise after that threatening comment, out of a sense of personal animus, trolling you in the process?

    — I obviously don’t approve of stalking, as I’ve taken a stand against it being done to our commenters by the slimeballs at Tepido.

    How sad that it’s happened to them too. Maybe they’ll learn from having the shoe on the other foot and discontinue doing it themselves.

    Maybe.

    Report any stalking to the authorities.

  • I have to commend Debito for keeping his composure through all of this. I dont have such character, would be tough for me.

  • I dont know which is worse, experiencing snide comments from Japanese behind my back weekly, blatant discrimination, superiority complexes, or the fact that there are NJ out there that actually defend it.

  • If I may, I should like to come back from comments on my last post here. Firstly, let me state that I have no particular affiliation to either site. I have been a fan of debito.org for a number of years and more recently I have also found tepido.org to be a great source of debate and insight into matters that affect residents of Japan of non-Japanese origin and/or appearance. It isn’t a matter of “liking” one website or the other, it is important to consider all avenues of information and discussion whether or not I agree with them, so taking on board new knowledge and challenging my own opinions with any differences.

    I think it is clear to all now that the specific accusations that started this were a work of fiction and no such discussion took place. Equally, the same poster was trolling on the tepido.org site and managed to lead people up the garden path there too.

    However, this thread has brought the two sites into focus and has fanned the flames of some unnecessary antagonism on both “sides”.

    There are those that will claim that despite the mendacity of the original accusation, it is not without merits, that tepido.org posters have been accumulating personal data of debito.org supporters. It is clear that they have indeed been doing this, although in some cases perhaps for acceptable reasons. For example, there is a paranoid desire there claim certain posters are the same person. Their defence would be that this knowledge is important where parties are not independent, or where one person is making the same view point multiple times. In the case of Osakagurl, they do indeed dig into her identity and by linking that name with a real life person and disputing some of her bone fides she claims. It is difficult decide if this is fair or not, as claims of misrepresentations are difficult when the user is anonymous and Debito has also employed similar tactics over the years. Personally, I can understand the concerns people have about their privacy, but it’s not like this information they have put together was obtained in any sort of dodgy manner. I guess the test will be what they do with such information – if they publish it clearly on the internet or use it follow them in person, or even confront them with their internet claims as they go about their daily unrelated business. In my academic world, as I’m sure it is in politics, contributors to debate identify themselves and indeed ownership of view points is an important process. It is right that activists such as Debito are publicly known as their background is relevant to the discussion as others will take their opinions on boards, so their qualifications to present these matter with authority should be available.

    One of the big issues with Tepido.org for me and it seems other posters here, is its mandate of merely attacking what is said here. This has led to a lot of bar room banter unnecessarily denigrating Debito, rather than dealing with the matter in hand. A number of commenters on tepido.org have also agreed with this, even some of the core people and there have been recent promises to try to reduce this – although their editorial policy makes this difficult. Hopefully, some sort of apology for the childish behaviour will make its way to Debito. However, that still leaves the question of what the point of this “bashing” website is – their main reason is exactly that editorial policy. They claim that the need for tepido.org stems from the moderation at debito.org, where points contrary to moderator’s view here are unceremoniously edited or entirely deleted. When much time and effort goes into posting, I can see why this would annoy people; although from my own experience I have not suffered such ruthless and unfair moderation from Debito. Obviously the flip side of this is in the unmoderated world of Tepido, numerous personal insults and unhelpful remarks get posted – so its debatable what is the better approach. I just think it is a shame to ignore the long experience of living in Japan many poster have on that site, along with their insight into discussing some of the issues that affect us all. I’m not a sheeple and can form my own thoughts even when reading things I disagree with.

    Regarding my criticism of debito.org recently going “downhill”. I am sorry if this was unfair without specific reasoning for my concerns. Partly this has been due to discussion of the nuclear situation, which I have ranted about at length elsewhere, but I feel the lack of rigor in Debito’s examination of the facts and readiness to accept the opinions of unqualified viewpoints does his abilities as presenter of information no credit and in fact mars his credibility. Further, recently there has been an increase in his use of profanity and unpleasant handling of those whose opinions differ from his own – I find this unnecessary and, as this blog is used an important source for official channels (such as the UN), such unprofessional behavior may dilute your message and reduce respect. Finally, there have been a number of good news stories about NJ treatment in Japan, which have been reported as bad news. The biggest example of this is the signing of the Hague Treaty – which has been campaigned for here and I’m sure Debito has played a role in driving Japan to adopt this – however, this was reported negatively as it may not be taken seriously; surely it is a step in the right direction?

    I hope things will calm down between the two groups and both will reflect on their actions and how that affected the other parties. I’m not sure of the format, but surely there is some way for people to come together to help support NJ (and Japanese of non-Japanese descent – don’t know what the best term for this is) in this country with the very real problems they face and also help move Japan’s social agenda forward.

    — A few questions/points:

    1) You say, “claims of misrepresentations are difficult when the user is anonymous and Debito has also employed similar tactics over the years”. What tactics are you referring to? Hiding behind a cloak of anonymity and sock puppeting? Willfully misquoting? Outright lying? Stalking? Leave me out.

    2) You say, “There have been a number of good news stories about NJ treatment in Japan, which have been reported [at Debito.org] as bad news. The biggest example of this is the signing of the Hague Treaty, […] surely it is a step in the right direction.” Yes, it is a step in the right direction, as I have argued in the past. Sorry I didn’t make that clear again in the post you’re referring to. I have just done so.

    3) You say, “points contrary to moderator’s view here are unceremoniously edited or entirely deleted”. Have you read the Debito.org Posting Guidelines? It is not a matter of it running contrary to my personal view. It’s a matter of it being trolling and ad hominem, not to mention being unconstructive. Definitions of each up at the Guidelines. Even Tepido ally site Japan Probe has in their guidelines:

    “Breaking any of these rules could result in your IP address being banned or, in extreme cases, the e-mail address you entered and your IP address could be made public. This policy applies to both e-mails and comments.”
    http://www.japanprobe.com/commentsdiscussion-policy/

    That’s in a sense even more explicitly severe than Debito.org. So therefore you’re saying that Japan Probe is also encouraging stalking? I might as well adopt these guidelines since Tepido has never to my knowledge stalked their moderator for this rule.

    Anyway, don’t like moderation policies of Debito.org? Don’t post here. That’s how Debito.org has been run for years now, and long may it continue.

    Your assessment of how and why Tepido began is historically inaccurate; don’t make martyrs out of stalkers and trollers for sport.

  • Debito rocks. Ken will taste Gaijin Power until he squeals his craven weasel squeal.

  • Tepido isnt a source of/for anything except B.S. There is nothing on his blog except hate and a counter to anything Debito post. He waits for Debito to post, then finds, manipulates or disqualifies the whole story. What is baffling to me is why anybody would follow that, says allot about their character. Every post in his blog is something about Debito, its down right creepy. The guy devotes way too much time to following one person.

  • “BTW Mr Arudou, Notrace Mike and Rodney (he was Rodney King here) posted comments from the same IP address with a very similar writing style and posting times to Notrace Mike/Rodney on your site (and Hank, and Smacky above). Are you going to do anything about that sock puppet?”

    But I thought he said had better things to do with his time than trace IP address.

  • None of us are tools for Debito. Debito had rejected many of my postings under different names, his choice, his blog. Most of the followers of Tepido are his tools, which I find weird. Im nobodys tool, and I disagree with both blogs on many issues. I find Debitos blog unbiased towards any one indvidual, so most of the time its a good read. Cant say the same about Ken.

  • I hope you are being sarcastic smacky. That’s really out of line IMO. Oh well.

  • I visited the Tepido site, and couldn’t agree more. It is just one man’s obsession with bashing Debito and what he does.

    By the way, I lost interest after a couple of pointless and repetative blogs over there. Is there anything worthwhile on that website apart from hate and negativity?

    No, thought not….

  • This thread is is epic. Glad to know that others feel the same concerning those scum. I’ve been their victim myself. I have commented on Japan Probe and offered a viewpoint contary to the one being promoted which resulted in obnoxious retorts from some of the ilk mentioned above. Their boldness belies their cowardice as they hide behind the skirts of internet anonymity. They seem to be of a kin to adolescent girls bullying someone on Facebook.

  • Its interesting my comments have shaken them. They try to prove foreigners are treated equally to Japanese by equating their own special job privileges they get for having Masters Degrees, and their better than other foreigners because they speak the lingo, to say – the minorities who complain about rights in Japan are a bunch of losers with no real job skills. Obviously, they’ve never been asked three times within a week to show their Gaijin Card on the very same street they live on. They’ve never been approached on the way to work and asked by undercover cops to show some ID. And I doubt very seriously they’ve been arrested and had this man looking up their ass-holes. I doubt very seriously they’ve ever been on a job where you do the same work as Japanese and they pay you half the wages. I doubt very seriously they’ve been on jobs where you’ve had to train your Japanese Co-worker to do the job and be your boss. I doubt they’ve worked on a commission basis only to not receive it after you’ve closed the deal. I doubt very seriously they’ve considered how Japanese companies will train young Japanese but begrudgingly pass the skill to foreigners. I can go on and on, but I’ll stop. Just want to let these High Class ……. know, they ain’t dealing with no college sophomore or twenty year old young man trying to blow off steam and lead a fantasy rebellion. They want us to be complacent and accept our place in this society and be gracious to our Japanese host and not demand fair treatment and equal rights, not in words but in deed. What country do you know of where minorities have no political organization that speaks directly with the central government on their behalf? Instead of shooting behind my back why don’t you shoot in my face. Let’s debate the issue right here right now!!! Take a look, 2% of 128 million is roughly 2 million people, roughly half of all the prefectures in Japan have a total population of less than the total number of foreigners in the country (http://www.e-stat.go.jp/SG1/estat/ListE.do?bid=000001029548&cycode=0). Know are you telling me there is no political power in uniting. Maybe your High Class education only taught you to bow.

  • As requested, I shall respond to the moderator’s comments on my last post on this thread now. Sorry, for the delay, I must have missed the direct questions previously.

    1) To give that quote in context “In the case of Osakagurl, they do indeed dig into her identity and by linking that name with a real life person and disputing some of her bone fides she claims. It is difficult decide if this is fair or not, as claims of misrepresentations are difficult when the user is anonymous and Debito has also employed similar tactics over the years”. I don’t think you can deny linking statements people make online their real identities and so highlight how online entities misrepresent themselves. As an example, you publicly questioned claimed that Mike Guest misrepresented his qualifications online. “Interestingly enough, after misrepresenting in print both my opinions (there are no quotes, only apparent paraphrases) and the people who contribute to this blog, we gave him the same scrutiny”. As Osakagurl claimed her case was stalking, so tepido.org claim that the Mr Guest incident was stalking. Me: as I said previously, slightly uncomfortably from my perch atop some fencing, “It is difficult decide if this is fair or not”, but I’m sure there are times knowing who someone else is, their qualifications to talk about something, and their previous view points, allows you to better asses the value of what they say.

    2) Glad you have you agree here. I think it is important to support progress that you have called for, despite the fact it probably won’t go far enough. I also think it is unfair to judge the effectiveness of these changes at this premature stage and criticize what you expect the outcomes are likely to be in reality. Let’s hope it turns out better than this, but I agree that it probably isn’t going to be a perfect solution for the current cruel situation. At the very least, I think it shows what pressure from other countries can do and it is better to praise progress and work with it to keep it moving forward.

    3) I was trying to say that was the claim of tepido.org for the need for that website, rather than just a place on the web to insult you. If indeed, as some of the commenters here think, the website was just established to attack you personally, then that is pretty freaky and I would worry about the sort of people who would want to do that. However, their claim is that it gives them a voice to share their comments on topics discussed here with the world, which is otherwise (rightly or wrongly) denied by their alleged censorship here. In terms of moderation policy, I think all are fair and all are stated and I have never had a comment blocked by you. Posters on tepido.org claim they have, and those comments that they show evidence of don’t seem too bad; but of course, I don’t fully know what they have previously tried to say. As the website owner, it is totally understandable that you should control what is here to protect yourself from litigation and certainly IP addresses can be asked for in the case of law breaking. And holding this information allows you to avoid some sock puppets.

    4) “your assessment of how and why Tepido began is historically inaccurate; don’t make martyrs out of stalkers and trollers for sport.” Sure – I don’t have any idea of the real reasons behind what happened here. All I reported is what they were currently claiming in discussions about the james grey accusations. The claimed reason seems reasonable to me, but I daresay there are other personality issues at stake. This isn’t really important to me as that site is not just the founders, but also a number of other participants who discuss the points you raise here (including occasional factual issues) in a different style to here. I’m sure some troll there for fun, but other do make valid arguments; on the internet it’s up to the reader to sift the truth from the noise. I never said I disagreed with you moderation policy, I think is fair to protect yourself in this manner, but I am happy to read around to find counter arguments and decide on their merit myself.

    I hope that I covered the main points/questions/criticisms and I will read more carefully next time my post are approved with moderators comments.

  • Had a look at the infantile “Tepido” website, appears the Uncle Tomas and Japologists have finally gone into full attack mode. Not surprising as you are one of the only voices interfering with their idealized view of Japan, summed up as “gaijin are only guests.”

    If I were you I would just ignore these clowns.

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