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day permlink Tuesday, 15 June 2004

permlink "Blog Murder"

" if hundreds of weblogs suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced."

So on Monday, Dave Winer wiped out a couple thousand weblogs, took down all their archives, gave no option to the authors for establishing a forwarding address, and ordered the authors to request in public that they be allowed to retrieve their personal copyrighted writings - but that won't happen for weeks, and only if they ask nicely in front of everyone else.

And that's not all, either: some people's weblogs survived the purge (though Winer acts like none did). As of 2:30 today, the following are still alive: There may well be more, but these are the ones I've found so far. What might these sites have in common that spared them from Dave's scythe?

The first two, at least, are quite popular. The rest, not so much.

Some of them are regularly updated, but so was Booknotes. Some that survived have been dormant for years. So that's not it.

I honestly can't see much of a connection between them, other than the fact that they were all in Doc Searls' blogroll (which is where I found them). Then again, not everything in his blogroll did. Maybe it was Dave's personal blogroll that determined it. Who can know the mind of Dave?

[[UPDATE: On a third look, I see that other than Doc's site, the others are sites which (at least initially) people did pay money for. Which means (I am speculating), that they're still hosted at Userland and exempt from Dave's whim. For today, anyway.]]

Jeneane Sessum provides a transcript of Winer's audio message giving his attempt at an explanation (which is sorely lacking and full of logic holes).

Of course Dave, getting in tune with his inner George W. Bush, declares anyone who might object to this radical, unannounced halting of service as just people who like to "find fault" with things and "jump up and down" about the slightest thing. (Gee, by that logic no one should ever listen to you about anything again, Dave. You're just a guy who likes to complain yourself, no?) But this is not such a little thing.

Mr. Winer also engages in his favorite Conversational Terrorism tactic - that if you disagree with him, or say that he behaved poorly, you're clearly trying to kill him because his health is fragile. How dare you disagree with a sick man? What sick men do is always right by definition, you see - there are no ethical issues for Dave any more; all Dave action is right action. Disagree and you're an attempted murderer!

He also makes the strange observation that "most of the people who are actually affected by this, who actually have sites that are hosted on, have been perfect ladies and gentlemen about it" - well, I expect they would be since you're holding all their content hostage. Wouldn't you? Let's see what they say after they get their data back from you.

More on this to come. Found out about this via Medley. For further reading, try: permlink     3 comment(s) works, too.
      ...posted by Dori on June 15, 2004 7:12 PM
Deep breath, man. Yeah, it's bit of a dick move, but nobody with any experience with the guy expected anything different.
      ...posted by genehack on June 15, 2004 8:44 PM
I don't have one handy, but I've seen scripts that crawl Google's cache and extract entire sites. I understand that the HTML may be a bit different from the blogs' source data, but it's probably good enough if Winer continues to be a dick.
      ...posted by Seth on June 16, 2004 11:39 PM
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