Sun, 29 Aug 2021 21:39:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Anonymous blogger turned political hacker “detained and tortured” in Shanghai – Radio Free Asia Tue, 15 Jun 2021 07:00:00 +0000

Chinese authorities have detained the anonymous author of the political blog Program-Think, who escaped government scrutiny for about 12 years, subjecting him to brutal interrogations in an attempt to obtain a “confession,” RFA has learned.

“The Program-Think family is asking for help,” a May 24 blog comment said.

“Last week, he went on a business trip to a large city in eastern China and lost contact with us the next day,” the commentary said. “There were no unusual messages before he lost contact.”

“It’s been almost a week now. At first I wasn’t sure if anything had happened, or if there had been an accident, I didn’t call the police,” the comment said.

“Yesterday evening the police gave us an official response [to our missing persons report], saying that they were treating his case, but (…) without giving any information on the progress of their investigation, “he said.

Twitter account @GFWfrog quoted a source within the state security police on June 14 as saying that Program-Think was arrested by Shanghai police in early May, and that his last post on May 9 was scheduled. .

“He is currently undergoing brutal interrogation to secure a conviction,” the account tweeted, adding that the case would be “a gift to the CCP on its centenary.”

A person familiar with the matter who only gave his last name, Xu, told RFA that the anonymous blogger is now in custody.

“Recently, through my own credible sources, I learned that they have detained Program-Think and are subjecting him to severe interrogation,” Xu said.

“I cannot accept the persecution of a person of such awareness and such exceptional ability (…) so I must make this information public despite the risks,” he said.

Exposing hidden wealth

Xu said Program-Think was probably detained for exposing the hidden wealth of high-ranking members of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and its political theories and anti-brainwashing campaigns, carried out via his blog. on, based abroad. Platform.

Xu said that he himself had been transformed from a non-critical CCP supporter to a person with doubts, then to someone who longs for freedom and democracy, after reading Program’s blog. Think.

The blogger had pursued an in-depth analysis of the wealth of CCP leaders after the publication of the Panama Papers in 2016, Xu said.

“I think Program-Think has had a bigger impact than anyone else on the Chinese Internet,” Xu said. “In particular his messages presenting very complete evidence to refute [government] Propaganda.”

“He would convert Little Pinks [CCP supporters]. He’s a hero and totally irreplaceable, ”Xu said.

A legendary figure

Zhou Fengsuo, from the US-based NGO Humanitarian China, agreed.

“Program-Think is a legendary figure, an anonymous Chinese rebel,” Zhou told RFA. “He had advanced anti-censorship technology.”

“A lot of people have learned to bypass the great firewall [of government censorship] through his blog, ”he said. “He posed a huge threat to the totalitarian CCP regime.

“I am very worried about him because we haven’t heard from him for a very long time, and it is very likely that he has been detained,” Zhou said.

Repeated attempts to contact members of the Program-Think family have failed.

Program-Think was nominated for Best Chinese Blog at the 2013 Deutsche Welle International Best of Blogs, or BOB awards.

The author told the station at the time that he had never started writing political content, but just wanted to share his years of programming experience.

But the blog gradually became popular with people looking for ways to circumvent government censorship, and then spread to information security advice and political analysis, the station reported at the time of the report. blog appointment.

Reported by Yitong Wu and Poon Ka Ching for the Cantonese service of RFA. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

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Political blogger Craig Murray sentenced to eight months in jail for contempt of court Tue, 11 May 2021 07:00:00 +0000

A political blogger and former diplomat has been sentenced to eight months in prison for contempt of court.

Craig Murray watched two days of Alex Salmond’s trial in March 2020 from the Edinburgh High Court Public Gallery and wrote about it on his website.

Judges later ruled Murray, 62, was in contempt of court over material capable of identifying four of the women accusing the former SNP chief of sexual abuse.

He has since appealed the conviction.

Condemning the former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Lady Dorrian said Murray knew there were court orders giving women anonymity and that he “relished” the potential disclosure of their identity.

During the virtual conviction, Lord Justice Clerk Lady Dorrian explained that Murray had deliberately risked a puzzle identification and that revealing the identity of the plaintiffs was “heinous”.

She said this was “particularly the case, given the enormous publicity the case in question has generated and continues to generate.”

Murray’s offending blog posts and tweets were written over a period of one month and remained in effect, unredacted, although the blogger was told they could potentially lead to the identification of women who had filed complaints against Mr Salmond, who was ultimately acquitted of all 13 charges. .

Lady Dorrian said: “From the messages and articles it appears that he actually relished the task he set for himself, which was essentially to discern the identity of the complainants – what he believed to be in the process. ‘public interest – in a way that did not attract the sanction.

She added: “These actions create a real risk that complainants will be reluctant to come forward in future cases, especially when the case may be high profile or likely to attract significant publicity.

“Actions strike at the heart of the equitable administration of justice.

“Notwithstanding the Respondent’s prior character and his health issues, we do not believe we can resolve this matter other than with a jail term. “

Murray initially had 48 hours to get to a police station, but after a challenge from his lawyer Roddy Dunlop QC, this was extended to three weeks so Murray could appeal the sentence, although he must surrender his passport .

In his previous mitigation submission, Mr Dunlop said Murray was a man of “impeccable character” and “untarnished reputation”, and said it was no exaggeration to say that the diplomat at the retirement was already undergoing “significant punishment” because of the impact of the case.

Mr Dunlop said sending Murray to jail would be “disproportionately hard”, and urged judges to settle the case with a fine.

He said: “Assuming that the verdict of contempt was found to be justified by this court, the question is whether, in all the circumstances, this justification still extends to the acceptance of imprisonment, the estrangement of a retired diplomat with an exemplary track record. his wife, 11 year old son and baby.

“For what purpose? The answer may well be to discourage others. If that is the purpose, job done. Mr. Murray’s blog is inevitably crippled by the decision itself, the decision is and has been widely publicized.

“If anyone thinks that playing with fire in the area of ​​puzzle identification is a zero-sum game, their point of view has been disillusioned by the ruling this court has already made.”

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Alaska governor and political blogger agree to settle lawsuit Wed, 03 Mar 2021 08:00:00 +0000

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – The office of Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy and a political blogger have agreed to settle a lawsuit over access to Dunleavy’s press conferences.

Under the terms of the agreement, the governor’s office agreed to pay $ 65,000 in attorney fees and costs. Jeff Landfield, owner of The Alaska Landmine website, said his attorneys will receive the full amount.

Landfield sued in December, alleging he was wrongly excluded from Dunleavy media events. Terms of the settlement were disclosed on Tuesday along with a file from state prosecutors seeking to close the case, The Anchorage Daily News reported.

The dismissal request was also signed by a lawyer for Landfield.

Under the deal, Landfield would be granted “the same access” to governors’ press conferences as other members of the media.

There has been no admission of liability or wrongdoing, and Dunleavy’s office and Landfield will endeavor to “issue a joint public statement regarding the amicable nature of this settlement.”

U.S. District Court Judge Joshua Kindred granted an injunction in January requiring Dunleavy to invite Landfield to press conferences. The state appealed, but the regulations would render that moot. The parties asked Kindred to sign the termination request.

Dunleavy’s press service in a tweet said the matter had been “settled to the mutual satisfaction of both parties. We are happy to say that this amicable settlement will put this dispute behind us. “

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From political blogger to state representative Mon, 19 Nov 2018 08:00:00 +0000

PRIOR to becoming a politician, Balakong congressman Wong Siew Ki was a blogger writing about politics and current issues.

The graduate of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), who is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Chinese language studies, then decided to put her words into pictures when she made her first documentary.

His first documentary dealt with the death of Teoh Beng Hock.

She went on to make other documentaries highlighting the legacy of Jalan Sultan, the struggle for the preservation of Kampung Pantai Dalam and the Kampung Railway Village, the Anti-Lynas problem and the fourth titled Akta Hasutan.

Wong has big shoes to fill, but is determined to do it her way with the help of a strong team.

In 2013, she was invited by current Seri Kembangan MP Ean Yong Hian Wah to be his political secretary.

She also produced a short documentary series for DAP.

Wong was sworn in as a councilor in Subang Jaya City Council in 2016.

This year, she was nominated as a candidate for Balakong constituency following the death of MP Eddie Ng.

Taking over from the late Ng, well known to residents of Balakong, was not easy for new Assembly member Wong.

The 32-year-old, however, picks up where Ng left off and is making plans for Balakong’s future.

His first major project is to change the perception people of the township have.

Wong jogging with Vice Minister of International Trade and Industry Ong Kian Ming in Lake Valley, Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, during the election campaign for the by-election. – filepic

“People think Balakong is just a former industrial zone, but the area is much more than that. I want to make Balakong a young and energetic constituency, ”she said.

Wong plans to form a youth team, with the goal of lowering the voting age to 18.

She said this particular pilot project would require the participation of schools.

“The project will allow young people, especially those aged 13 to 18, to have more connections and be more aware of current issues,” she said, adding that she would contact schools after having finalized his plan.

The youth team will be exposed to social work, have an understanding of democracy and provide a space to learn how they can contribute to society and the country.

Wong, however, said she plans to do things differently in Balakong.

“Some people are used to Ng’s ways. It was visible everywhere, no matter how big the problem was, ”Wong said.

“Small problems will be dealt with by regional advisers. People want to see me there but it’s not that I don’t want to manage the file but I will trust the advisers.

Wong said she had a lot to catch up with and was grateful to have Ng’s great team and friends who were ready to lend a helping hand.

In addition to developing Balakong’s image, Wong said there were outstanding issues such as traffic and flooding that needed to be addressed.

She said flood hot spots, drain upgrades had started, especially in areas like Bandar Damai Perdana.

Regarding Taman Megah at 11th Mile Cheras, Wong said she would need to contact residents to practice proper waste disposal as the drainage system there is old and clogged with waste.

There are also places where the drains are covered.

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“We need someone here,” Guelph political blogger Adam Donaldson said of the council’s coverage. Tue, 09 Oct 2018 07:00:00 +0000

Adam Donaldson is happy to tweet sometimes trivial details of Guelph City Council meetings.

In fact, he would like to do more.

But running your own political blog isn’t lucrative, so it has to work some other job to be able to continue doing its Guelph Politico Passion Project.

It receives donations from community members through Patreon, a crowdfunding website where artists and writers get paid for the work they do. But that’s not enough to make it his full-time job.

It’s an interesting place Donaldson finds himself: he became a staple for political coverage for many in Guelph after the Guelph Mercury daily closed in January 2016. It is the first municipal election since that time. closing and Donaldson says he can see a difference.

There are media options in the city of over 130,000 people. But Donaldson says with the emergence of independent outlets and groups that look to social media to advance agendas, the baseline for neutral news sources that existed with a daily is now becoming blurry.

“I think we’ve seen a few different groups appear that are selling a narrative about takeovers and leftist lists and all that. And that stuff gets away from the issues themselves. This is partisan politics. which is supposed to be non-existent at the city level, ”he said.

Invest in local media

About a week ago Donaldson attended an all-candidate debate at Guelph City Hall. The Guelph Mercury-Tribune reporter at the event broadcast the event live, but received criticism as the quality was sometimes not great.

Donaldson pointed out that council chambers have cameras installed, but they are owned by Rogers, who did not broadcast the debate.

On Twitter, Donaldson called both Rogers and Torstar, owner of the Guelph Mercury-Tribune. He said the two media companies do not invest in local media.

He also noted that people cannot expect to get the news for free.

“The people of Guelph seem to be very reluctant to invest in media themselves, so why should traditional media companies do it? he wrote. “Shouldn’t anyone who does the job of covering up the board and holding them be paid?”

In the same thread, he also admitted that he had recently debated whether to shut down his blog due to the costs.

“At the moment, I can’t even afford my time,” he tweeted.

“You can be more engaged”

He says people can complain on social media, but if they want local media coverage, they have to demand it.

“I think what people have to overcome is that you can be more engaged. You don’t have to sit passively,” he said in an interview with the host of The Morning. Edition Craig Norris while sitting on the benches outside. city ​​Hall.

Local issues are so important to him, Donaldson said, because what happens at the city level has a direct impact on people.

Not all topics are sexy, he said. Sometimes it is a new manual for building form standards. People might find it boring, but he notes that if a 14-story building goes up in your neighborhood, then people care.

“Like, nine of the 10 things that will affect you every day: how you get to work, if your garbage is picked up, where you play, where you do your shopping, a myriad of problems, where you park downtown It’s decided just inside these doors by the 13 people around the horseshoe and we need someone here, ”Donaldson said.

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]]> 0 Conservative political blogger confirmed for Federal Court of Appeal seat: NPR Thu, 20 Jul 2017 07:00:00 +0000

In a party line vote, the US Senate voted Thursday to confirm President Trump’s most controversial judicial candidate to date.

Judicial candidate John Bush was challenged by senators over his conservative views in a committee hearing, but was finally confirmed by the Senate on Thursday.

Bingham Greenebaum LLP Doll

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Bingham Greenebaum LLP Doll

This is John Bush, a lawyer and political blogger from Kentucky whose articles denigrated gay rights and compared the Supreme Court decision on abortion in Roe deer v. Wade to his pro-slavers 1857 Dred Scott decision.

And he’s now a U.S. Court of Appeals Judge for the 6th Circuit.

Blogging under a false name, Bush has published more than 400 articles, often citing right-wing media reports containing conspiracy theories and false information, such as the claim that former President Barack Obama was not born in the USA.

During his confirmation hearing last week, Bush called his blog “political activity” and promised that he would not put his politics on the bench.

When Bush said he would follow Supreme Court rulings upholding a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy, Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Reminded Bush he was under oath. And Senator John Kennedy, R-La., Added caustically that after reviewing Bush’s blogs, he was “not impressed.”

Shortly after the hearing, a clearly disgusted Kennedy said he was unsure how he would vote on the nomination, but on Thursday he joined other Republican members of the Senate to vote to confirm the candidate.

Few observers believed that Kennedy would ultimately vote against Bush’s confirmation given that Bush is from Kentucky and his nomination was made not only by Trump but behind the scenes by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. . Crossing your own party leader is not something senators like to do, and Kennedy did not.

The final vote was 51-47, with Senator John McCain the Republican absent.

Bush is Trump’s fourth judicial candidate to obtain confirmation. Twenty-two applications are pending. Including these 22, there are 135 federal judicial positions to be filled. It is much more than usual. When President George W. Bush left office, there were 54 vacancies. But in the last few years of the Obama administration, when Republicans controlled the Senate, they blocked dozens of Obama’s presidential candidates, which explains the large number of vacancies now.

Trump has actively sought to appoint judges who are not only conservative but also young and capable of long-sitting, erasing and quickly surpassing the gains Obama has made in his judicial appointments over two terms.

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Fine Gael Minister confirms complaint filed with Gardaí against political blogger Mon, 03 Jul 2017 07:00:00 +0000

Regina Doherty

Source: Sam Boal /

FINE GAEL Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty confirmed this evening that a complaint has been filed with Gardaí about a political scholar and blogger who recently wrote an article on Doherty’s financial history.

Writing on Jude Collins’ blog, Tyrone-born scholar Catherine Kelly said she was recently approached by gardaí from Pearse Street Garda station who, after confirming her identity and username on Twitter, warned her against her social media posts and online articles referring to Regina Doherty.

An article that allegedly caused the complaint was published online earlier this year and dealt with the liquidation of a business run by Doherty and her husband in 2013.

Contacted about this this evening, a spokesperson for Doherty confirmed that a complaint had been filed with gardaí.

“A complaint has been lodged with Garda, but it would be inappropriate to comment as Garda investigations (are ongoing) and a Garda investigation is ongoing,” the spokesperson said.

Anyone has the right to lodge a complaint with the gardaí if they believe they are being subjected to illegal activity.

A Garda spokesperson said that “An Garda Síochána does not comment on outstanding cases involving appointees,” when asked specifically if a complaint had been filed against Kelly by Minister Doherty.

The liquidation of his company, which bought and sold surplus computer components, in January 2013 saw the company close its doors with an outstanding amount of € 280,000.

The company went out of business at the height of the recession in 2009.

In May 2016, Doherty described the circumstances surrounding the liquidation in an interview with RTÉ, and reiterated that she had not “broken the law”.

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She said that she and her husband took out a loan to pay off AIB which “will probably take me the rest of my life to pay off and that’s cool because I’m lucky to be able to do it and to pay it back. ‘other debts were written off during the liquidation’.

“I didn’t hide anything, I’m neither happy nor proud of what happened,” she said.

I’m not a bad person, I’ve had tough times in business and learned more than anything else.

Doherty, 46, was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 2011 and became Chief Government Whip following her re-election in the February 2016 general election.

She succeeded Leo Varadkar as Minister of Social Protection when the first rose to Taoiseach last month.

Comments are closed for legal reasons

Read: “What’s wrong with someone who wants to live in Irish?” “- Sinn Féin responds to DUP

Read: Why is Leo Varadkar so keen to roll out the red carpet for Justin Trudeau?

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SC political blogger charged with contempt of court could go to jail Thu, 29 Jun 2017 07:00:00 +0000

State Judge William Keesley on Wednesday declined to render an immediate ruling on whether to hold Columbia political blogger Will Folks in contempt of court.

Johnny Parker, lawyer for former State Representative Kenny Bingham, R-Lexington, had asked Keesley to punish Folks for not disclosing the identities of several confidential sources in articles written by Folks in the spring of 2015 on his opinion website, Fits. New.

In the articles, these confidential sources predicted a criminal indictment of Bingham. No indictment has been filed. Bingham then sued Folks for libel and, as part of the pre-trial legal discovery, demanded to know who Folks’ sources are.

“The court should invoke a fine or jail time or a combination of the two to force it to comply,” said Parker, of Hampton, who is known statewide for the multi-million dollar verdicts that ‘he won for years for plaintiffs in civil cases.

During the hearing, Parker called Folks to the witness stand and toasted him for over 20 minutes.

“You claim you’re a journalist, don’t you?” Parker asked.

“I report and editorialize, yes sir,” Folks replied.

Parker: “As a journalist, do you realize the importance of being specific? “

People: “Yes, sir. “

When asked, Folks, 42, described his news site as “an online media publication,” told Parker his sources did not want their identities revealed and added: “I think I have to not to break my alliance with these sources “.

People said he would not divulge his sources, even though “I don’t want to go to jail and I miss my wife and children.” He also refused to admit that his writings on Bingham were wrong and indicated that Bingham could still be caught in misconduct.

“I think the investigation (a state grand jury investigation into public corruption) into these matters is ongoing,” Folks told Parker.

In the articles, based on confidential sources, Folks wrote that a source told him that Bingham, then chairman of the House Ethics Committee, had ignored allegations of legislative misconduct, and other sources had told him said “serious ethical allegations” had been made against Bingham. .

Bingham’s trial also alleges that a story falsely implied that he “engaged in conduct for which he could be criminally charged.”

The case embodies a conflict between the rights of First Amendment journalists to publish controversial articles against the right of plaintiffs to seek prosecution-related information upon discovery, a pre-trial process in which plaintiffs have the right to require the production of undisclosed evidence.

Under US Supreme Court rulings, journalists can be held liable for unknowingly publishing false information about public figures such as Bingham, but only if reporters have no legitimate reason to do so. do and act with what is called “a reckless disregard for the truth.” “Proving ‘a reckless disregard for the truth’ is a high standard for encouraging healthy and robust debate on public issues, the courts have said.

Another wrinkle in the matter is that Folks is no ordinary journalist. His topical articles are a mix of scoops about money and speculation from anonymous sources – sometimes right, sometimes half-right and sometimes not – which may lack dimensions of context and representation of other sides of a story that traditional journalists usually provide. . Its website,, boasts of its motto “Unjust, unbalanced”.

At the booth, Folks told Parker his website was “a hybrid that delivers news in some cases and editorial commentary in others, and sometimes mixes it up.”

Representative Bruce Bannister, R-Greenville, was also in court on Wednesday, a lawyer who said he represented one of Folks’ confidential sources. This person doesn’t want their identity revealed, Bannister said. Bannister’s statements were the first time that a third party publicly confirmed the existence of an actual confidential source.

People have testified that if he breached confidentiality he would break his contract with his sources and irreparably damage his reputation as a journalist who makes a living by collecting and disseminating information.

Folks were represented by former US Attorney Pete Strom and Senator Tom Davis, R-Beaufort.

At the end of the hearing, Keesley told lawyers for both sides that they had to submit proposed orders for him to review by July 7.

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]]> 0 OG Philly political blogger Atrios braces for Trump vs. Clinton Wed, 28 Sep 2016 07:00:00 +0000

Clarification in appendix

He buys his pasta from Talluto. He loves pho at Café Diem. He tweeted about the soda tax. He makes cheesesteak jokes on local sports teams. He even dropped a comment on a article once or twice.

Basically Duncan Black is a guy from Philly.

He is also one of America’s most influential political bloggers.

In 2002, his writings triggered Trent Lott’s resignation as Senate Majority Leader. In 2006, an episode of NBC’s hit drama “The West Wing” featured a character based on him. (When the character was introduced to the presidential candidate, he was described as “having almost as many readers as the Philadelphia Investigator. ”)

And yet, if you’ve never heard of Black before, it’s no surprise.

For one thing, he does all of his work online, rarely letting him come across his personal life outside of his Bella Vista townhouse. Second, even junkies who follow national policy discussions as closely as Beliebers pay attention to Justin’s fashion choices might not recognize Black’s name. At least not right away.

Because on the Internet – to the blogosphere, to his 27.8k followers on Twitter and the multitudes who visit his personal site enough to steadily increase his daily pageviews to over 100,000 – Black is known only as “Atrios”.

Atrios came into being in 2002, when Black, Brown’s Ph.D. economics professor, decided to use him as a pseudonym and start a blog called Eschaton. (Eschaton is generally a reference to end-time theology, but Black specifically derived it from the title of a complex ‘War Games’ type tennis drill in David Foster Wallace’s dystopian novel. Infinite joke.)

The blog, which still looks pretty much the same as it did 14 years ago, running on a classic “Blogger” platform, is now Black’s main source of income. As in, blogging is the full time job of this 44 year old man.

This was not always the case. The blog started out as a side project, a hobby, a way to riff on politics.

“I saw this new thing called ‘blogging’,” he says. “It was almost – I don’t mean ‘revolutionary’, but it was actually seen as a big deal that people could just self-publish on the internet and get an audience.”

“I remember I was at a conference once,” he continues, “where a man raised his hand and said, ‘You mean on the internet, anyone can say whatever they want? As if it bothered.

Social media as we know it did not exist; blogs were the way to express oneself online. But the idea that the things people wrote about them – without editors, outside traditional journalistic channels – could actually change? This had not yet been established.

Until Atrios and a few of his peers prove it by shoot down Trent Lott.

The kerfluffle began when Black wrote an article highlighting a comment Lott made about his pride that the state he represented, Mississippi, had voted for his centennial colleague Strom Thurmond in the 1948 presidential election.

The main platform of candidate Thurmond in this race? Maintain and strengthen racial segregation. Although this information was glossed over by the mainstream media, Black hammered it hard, with Josh Marshall of Discussion Notes. The New York Times got wind of detailed blogger posts and posted a story about the gaff. Lott resigned.

All of a sudden, Black – or Atrios, rather, since he was anonymous at the time – became part of the national conversation.

“When I heard John Podhoretz talk about me on NPR, it was very strange,” says Black.

Eschaton’s readership skyrocketed. In 2004, Black decided to drop anonymity.

“I never felt that someone was seriously threatening my anonymity, except maybe once,” he says, “but the blog was popular enough. I knew it wasn’t sustainable. (I knew) that it would eventually come out, so I figured I would on my terms.

The revelation of the identity was also linked to the fact that he had decided to quit his job as an economics teacher at Bryn Mawr. Somehow he lost interest; teaching economics to young people in their twenties can hardly compete with the pleasure of being a provocateur on the world political stage.

To support him as he made the transition, he asked his audience for voluntary donations – “just enough to get me through the 2004 election” – and they answered a shovel. Plus, that’s when online advertising started to take off, and the AdWords and affiliate links on his blog began to channel real income.

Other than a few freelance consulting and occasional writing assignments (he’s a member of the progressive think tank Media Matters), he hasn’t taken another job since. For the foreseeable future, blogging is the plan.

“What else was I going to do with my life?” He said with a shrug.

Plus, Black feels indebted to his audience.

“In a way, it’s hard to let go,” he admits, “because I have a loyal community and I feel responsible to each of them. Then just one day say, ‘Okay, whatever, I’m going to get a job. I no longer have the time to do that ”, that would be to abandon that. I would feel bad.

What loyalty? Eschaton receives approximately 1,500 comments per day. Everyday. And Black’s posts are often no longer than a sentence offering a perspective on a premium article citation and a link to its source. Or sometimes, no more than a few words. The community he built fills in the rest.

Take Monday night, the night of the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

At around 5:45 p.m., Black kicked off the night with a joke. “Official Eschaton Drinking GameHad two lines of content:

“1) Open a bottle of alcohol.

2) Drink it.

It collected 122 comments.

Then the debate itself began. Under the headline “Debate Thread The First,” Black wrote, “I’m too old to blog this shit. You do it! ”And 287 comments followed. There was also a Discussion Thread II (361 comments) and a third, set up at 10pm, with one word:“ Ouch. ”Comments? 771.

Although he sometimes writes longer comments (“I do occasional journalistic acts”), most of the time, Black intentionally keeps his posts short.

“I write for the people who read my blog every day,” he says. “I don’t need to rephrase my argument for the 50th time. They know where I’m from.

Who makes up this audience?

Black himself does not know the exact demographics. “I guess I could find out if I could figure out how to get it from Google Analytics,” he says. However, he has conducted reader surveys and is confident that the commentators come from “all over the country.”

Eschaton’s sequel includes plenty of heavy hitters as well, although they don’t call attention to themselves in the (mostly pseudonymous) comments section.

In 2012, the New York Times‘Paul Krugman issued a cry to Atrios as he celebrated the blog’s 10th anniversary, and later that year a Chronicle of San Francisco columnist began her article on “Mitt Romney’s mysterious tax returns”Citing something Black had blogged. Cos of the day, a liberal-leaning site that Alexa ranks 426th most popular in the United States, has pages and pages from posts tagged “Atrios”.

Then there’s Twitter, which suits Black’s terse writing style perfectly. He tweets regularly with influential voices, such as Glenn Greenwald (the reporter who revealed Edward Snowden’s story, 740,000 followers) and MSNBC host Chris Hayes (688,000 followers).

He also uses Twitter to keep up to date with what’s going on locally, from restaurant openings (that’s Philly in 2016, after all) to politics.

When his participation in broad national policy discussions is very public, such as the trio of columns he wrote in 2012 for United States today why it is imperative to extend social security, who have been credited by making the idea acceptable – above all, he remains silent on the local problems of the house he has chosen. This does not mean that there is a lack of opinions on them.

“Philadelphia grapples with this idea of ​​how much it wants to embrace being a city and how much it doesn’t, especially residential neighborhoods,” Black said.

The recent renaissance, he believes, is the positive result of a concerted effort to attract tourists and visitors after decades of population decline – but that’s not what we should be focusing on anymore.

“I think the city has kind of lost sight of the fact that a lot of people still live here and their lives matter too,” he says. “With the population starting to slowly grow, the city really needs to think, ‘Everything we do shouldn’t be visitor-oriented. »We must indeed think about the quality of life of the inhabitants. This is something they should have done from the start.

Specificities he mentions: No more garbage cans. Parking policies that favor residents over tourists. A more relevant transport system for getting around the city than for entering and leaving it.

Paying more attention to “neighborhoods” is the campaign platform that Mayor Jim Kenney has taken on. Is Black a fan?

“I don’t think (Kenney) was in office long enough to really pass judgment, but he at least said, ‘Yeah, these issues should matter more. “”

On the soda tax, the doctorate in economics is split, but ends up being favorable – as long as “the money is spent for what it is supposed to be spent on.”

“Sin taxes fall disproportionately on the poor,” says Black, but “the city is very limited in the range of taxes it can implement, due to state law. If the city wants to raise more money, what can it do? Better to tax soda than fresh fruit, for example.

“If city managers implement a quality pre-K program for our residents, I think it’s worth it. “

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]]> 0 Why we arrested popular political blogger Abubakar Sidiq Usman – EFCC Tue, 09 Aug 2016 07:00:00 +0000

Abubakar Sidiq Usman

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Monday stopped Abubakar Sidiq Usman, a blogger, for crimes close to cyberstalking.

According to the EFCC, Sidiq, an online editor, was arrested at his home in Kubwa, Abuja, in the early hours of Monday August 8, 2016 by his officials and is currently being questioned about the alleged offense which contravenes articles of the law. on cybercrime.

He has already been offered an administrative bond and would be returned to his elected sureties.

Reports say Sidiq’s arrest was the result of a blog post, titled: “EFCC Boss Magu Starts All-Out War With EFCC Core Staff”. The message was published on August 2, 2016.

Part of the post reads:

Regular staff of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, complain of being intimidated by the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.

Magu, who fired a few police officers on secondment to their parent organization, became panicked following a series of revelations about his activities at the commission.

According to a source, Magu “was panicking because his confirmation had been delayed and was starting to suspect everyone on the commission for his problem.”

Abubakar Sidiq Usman2

Sidiq and President Buhari

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