My identity was recently used, and abused, by someone who left in my name a hate message (and an ugly one) on Gervase Markham's blog. Gerv had the courage to mail me about it yesterday night. I would have probably never noticed the problem without his email...
A few details about the blog comment itself : it contains a word I had never seen/used in my whole life in english. The author is apparently someone quite impulsive and stupid, and forgot I'm just a frog... I'm sure Gerv's blog system keeps track of IP addresses and a few other data that will easily show I am not the author of that comment. I just never have this kind of thoughts. As I told Gerv, I am fighting the religions and the clerics, not the people.
A few things about the real author of that comment : that's someone who reads my blog, reads Gerv's. In other words, that's a mozillian, or at least someone interested enough in our technologies to read two Mozilla-related blogs. I know only two persons able to do that because they hate me, and I am really not sure about the first one. That leaves one name, or the possibility of a new asshole who's never really been in touch with me and wants to soil my reputation just for fun, or because he/she hates me after my posts about religion in general and Catholicism in particular. To that person, I have nothing to say, he/she would need a neurone to understand my words and his/her brain cavity is visibly empty.
To the people who read that hate message and became mad about me, I'm just saying it was not me, so please forget about your madness.
To Gerv, I say that unfortunately, this is the kind of shitproblems you get these days on the Internet. The time we were just a bunch of trusted people is so far away in time that a vast majority of Internauts had never heard of the Internet or the Web at that time. Even if I am not responsible at all for what happened, let me tell you Gerv how sorry I am for that; and how mad I am at the person who did it. We'll sort it out. In the meantime, can I ask you to put offline that disgusting comment, and the related responses : I don't want to see my name attached to such a hate message. Thanks a lot.
To blog owners and blog system developers, I say we need to "secure" a bit open comments like Gerv's or mine. I think a textfield allowing to enter a passphrase, communicated to blog's owner when he/she receives a comment but never displayed on the blog itself, would probably be a good and cheap system. It could make sure the poster is really who he/she pretends to be. Anyway, spam comments were already a big problem, but THAT is scary. I just don't want my identity to be abused again that way. Ah, a last thing : if in the future you see a comment apparently from me on your blog and that comment seems strange, don't explode immediately; double-check with me first, thanks a lot.
I am really shocked by what happened. If I ever find who's behind, his/her name will be made public. Because it deserves to be.