The Lemures Files
  Guest Article: August 1st, 1998

The Merry-Go-Round World of Tracing and Sabotage

By: Ruk

In response to Mara's article entitled Mara's Flame Survival Guide, version 1.0, I would like to make an addition...

I had the same theory that it must be summer vacation in the US that has been causing people to create so much trouble over the internet. However, I would like to add that I believe that the trouble these people are causing bounces back tenfold especially if the receiving party lives on the other side of the world and is not on summer vacation and is being bugged down by stressful work. It wouldn't take long before overstressed and harassed party would begin to make a big deal out of the situation. Thus all this war over sites that are supposed to be made for the sake of fun result.

Mara has suggested a lot of tips for surviving a flame and the one that should be underlined ten times and memorized by heart is this:

    "Before you accuse anyone of anything, especially plagiarism or cheating, make sure you have solid proof. Statistics from a counter like Extreme Tracking, which tells you everything but what size underwear your pages' visitors wear, is pretty good proof for a suspected web page ranking cheater, but it's not always enough. Compare IP addresses, times, dates, names, etc. Be a good investigator and make sure that you can answer who, what, when, where, why, and how, and ALWAYS give a person the benefit of the doubt at first. Ask questions and write email; what else do you have it for?"
Good investigative methods would help in keeping peace within the BSSM community. There are some cases wherein those who had been victims of ranking systems cheating do not even use effective methods in tracing down their cheaters, thus randomly sabotaging the rankings of other people or randonly flaming suspected cheaters for want of "turning the tables on cheaters." Does this solve the problem? No. It only worsens the situation because those who had been innocent but has been affected by this "turning the tables on cheaters" will be outraged. And they will fight back--especially if they're under a lot of stress and pressure.

The best way to handle situations like these is to silently watch and observe before doing anything impulsive like pulling a revenge stunt, for example. Giving every person--be it a flamer or a cheater or a plagiarist--the benefit of the doubt should always be first and foremost in one's list of steps in nailing down a culprit. No one should be branded guilty unless proven otherwise. Not even the best of intentions could excuse an act that would hurt anybody who has never been involved in any kind of malicious activity.

Now, while remembering this first step, always be smart and keep all records of your flames' or cheaters' mails. Originating IPs and message IDs can never be faked. Keep track. It may seem like a merry-go-round ride, but when you have gathered enough evidence against a person you suspect, every record you have kept will all fall into place. This is the only time when one should act. You can either submit this person to his or her ISP or forward your records of his or her activities to the head of the ranking system or the owner of the page he or she plagiarized. Let them take the action for you. Don't go around ranking other people a 1 in ranking systems or e-mail bomb or even send something as dangerous as a virus. I still believe in the law of karma and everything will go back to you threefold--one way or another.

Having said all this, I would like to impart a message that I have been telling the people who know me: BSSM is an anime, a make-believe world. Yes it is a hobby, but more than that it should be an inspiration to work for a peaceful community. Wasn't that one of the reasons that Usagi had been created for?

Comments on this article can be sent to: Ruk.

Comments made on this page are opinions of the author. They are not necessarily shared by Tripod and the Amazoness Quartet.

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