Tim Ireland runs a website called Bloggerheads. He is a self-styled maverick. He and I once appeared together in a Guardian feature on blogging. Bloggerheads has a cult following, but I have never really warmed to it. I find the posts difficult to follow. However, when we met, he struck me as a likeable fellow.
I am not sure quite what to make of this post on Iain Dale’s website:
I am sorry that I have been forced to reintroduce comment moderation. Those of you who read any of the threads last night will know why. During the course of yesterday evening, I received more than 40 – yes, 40 – phonecalls on my mobile phone, as well as emails and a bombarding of this blog from a single person. Various threats were made in those phonecalls. I just received another one threatening to launch a war in the comments of this blog – and worse. I have therefore no choice but to reintroduce comment moderation. I will try to approve comments as soon as possible, but it will inevitably disrupt the live nature of debate today.
UPDATE: I wasn’t going to name the person involved, but I am afraid having received this email, I have no choice.
So he’s now going to launch a spamming initiative against me or try to instigate a DNS attack. If this blog disappears today, you’ll know why.
This just seems surreal to me. I have no idea of the background to all this, and I don’t really care to know.
Because – if this is true – I can’t think of any circumstances in which conduct like this is excusable.
OK, I’ve now looked at what Tim is saying.
As far as I can tell, a lunatic forger called Glen Jenvey called Tim a paedophile in a comments thread, possibly more than once. Other commenters have been extremely rude to him. Tim is very upset that Iain Dale hasn’t taken this as seriously as he thinks he should have.
There may be more to it that this, but unfortunately Bloggerheads seems to have gone down.
Here’s my advice. Speaking as a man who has several webpages produced by assorted nutters and extremists that are devoted to defaming me:
Grow a thicker skin, or retire from engaging in public commentary.
Bloggers voluntarily put themselves “out there”. That means that, unfortunately, you will attract the attention of some pretty ghastly people. They are likely to say rude things about you. They’ll lie about you too. In doing so, they discredit themselves. Big deal.