Jimmy Wales is trying to stir up the Internet again, this time to try to get a meeting with the UK’s Home Secretary to try to get her to block the extradition of one Richard O’Dwyer, proprietor of TV Shack who is about to get extradited from the UK to stand trial for thievery in New York. That is, he’s about to change his residence from his mum’s couch to The Tombs. (Is it just me, or is that family home a little pricier than one might anticipate in the current decline?)
Jimmy Wales did what all good Internet hucksters do–he started an online petition on Change.org. (Why that would matter to a UK elected official I don’t quite know, but maybe something to do with the attrition of the nation state or some hive minderism.)
So assume that the Home Secretary gets past that issue, try this one. I signed the petition. Yep.
Well, I didn’t actually sign it myself. It was signed by Diddley Squat of 123 Any Street, Your Town, NY 10022.
Then Diddley clicked over to the EFF’s petition against the Trans Pacific Partnership and “signed” that petition, too! Very democratic! Especially if you live in Chicago.
Now, Mr. Wales, you may remember Diddley’s cousin, Jean-Claude Squat. He signed the White House petition on SOPA from his cozy bedroom in Montreal, Canada. And his uncle, Ian Diddley-Squat from London. He signed the White House petition, too, from his office in Silicon Roundabout.
You’ll be relieved to know that both voted against SOPA and were themselves both relieved to know that the White House petition was open to non-residents of the United States unlike that evil epetition site in the UK (that allows petitioners to get a topic debated in Parliament) that censors non-UK residents. Diddley’s Canadian and British relatives were so happy to know that the White House didn’t censor world citizens from voting in a petition calling the US President to action. Because allowing anyone in the world to sign a petition with fake accounts from any location is really what the Internet is all about, right? Actually–let’s not censor the machines, I should have said allowing anyone or anything to sign a petition with fake accounts, sorry! I didn’t go to Harvard, forgive me!
That was the plan at the White House, right? Let anyone and anything sign a petition to put the President of the United States in motion? Surely the White House technology czar Danny Weitzner intended to leave that back door open to non-residents? He is, after all, formerly of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Center for Democracy and Technology–too smart to have left that back door open unintentionally, right? Not that you would have actually had a FOIA-able conversation with him about it or anything. And it’s not like Cass Sunstein didn’t issue a memo to Executive Branch agencies rejecting casual polling for policy making purposes.
Fake, gamed and BS, signifying nothing.
But thankfully we have the press corps to put the story straight about gaming in the White House, like the Washington Post…no, it wasn’t them…the New York Times? No….must have been the LA Times…not them, no, can’t find it. Russia Today perhaps? Nope, not them either.
Well…I’m sure it’s here somewhere, let me get back to you with that. You know that story about how the crusading reporters got to the truth about online petitions.
See, they get all sanctimonious and up on their hind legs about how the dead can vote in Chicago–ignoring the machines and sock puppets completely. What kind of censorship is it that keeps machines from being fully franchised? Obvious McCarthyism. Or Factiness.