For Whom The Bell Trolls

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A new troll (above) recently joined the debate about the fallout from the redaction of Kate Fitzgerald’s article by the Irish Times and subsequent apology to The Communications Clinic.

Called ‘You’re Kidding Me’ he/she has ridiculed those seeking answers from the Irish Times and The Communications Clinic.

So far so whatever.

But this troll also seemed to be privy to some inside information about the case. And in the middle of all the sneering came this veiled threat:

Also – out of curiosity, and Broadsheet, have your defamation lawyers at the ready…

 

Which we felt was a little, oh what’s the word? Familiar.

So we checked the troll’s IP address.

The registered owner is Matheson Ormsby Prentice, 70 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2. The country’s best-known defamation lawyers. A leader in their field, you might say.
And whose clients include…the Irish Times.

Ain’t life grand?

Previously: IT Online Editor: Why We Removed Kate’s Fitzgerald’s Article From The Irish Times Digital Archive

Let Kate Have The Final Word

459 thoughts on “For Whom The Bell Trolls

        1. Carlos Aguas

          Well Mani, if you were to drop your mob mentality for one second and move away from the pack of sheep you might see that there are a few parties here with alternative agendas, and right about now – Broadsheet are at the front of that pack.

          Therein lies the irony.

        2. BBrian

          Cubicle! Ha! Is it ironic that I don’t work in a cubicle? I suppose you do. (see what I did there?!)

          Stop being such a negative nancy. I’m just kidding around.

  1. Pat

    that is hilarious. this is meant to be one of the country’s leading legal firms and they resort to trolling on the net. absolutely pathetic.

    (watch your backs, all the same. we don’t wanna lose Broadsheet)

      1. Kolmo

        That wasn’t funny anymore, but I think it has rolled around to the funny end of the spectrum again, so I laughed..

          1. John 'Preposterous' Ryan

            I took it down after I was told the address itself could link to just a few desks at the place.

  2. Sopwith

    Wonder how much they billed the IT for trolling and what they described it as in the invoice? “Research” is my guess.

  3. timbermerchant

    What I particularly was how smart they were about hiding their true intent.

    Can anyone hear sackings ahead?

  4. Dave, Dublin

    So the country’s paper of record, largest legal firm, most influential PR firm and the state broadcaster are all being slowly dragged into this mess.

    Broadsheet, ya’ll are box-office!

    1. cluster

      It is a little bit depressing how incompetent and clumsy our ‘elite’ is – The IT, solicitors, TCC,…
      Even our banks got caught out in a standard property bubble rather than by complicated derivative trading.

      C’mon people, if you’re sit up there pulling the strings with evil intent, at least do it with some smarts and nous. Is that so much to ask?!

        1. ZipAhDeeDooDah

          I was referring to the reply above yours, Carlos.

          But yes, I read all of YKM’s previous missives…

    1. General Waste

      Ah here, arguments well made? Won’t be hiring MOP myself anytime soon if that’s their level of logic and argument.

      YKM’s comments were transparently partisan and yet YKM kept denying it. Obvious troll is obvious.

      BTW How do you know YKM is a she?

  5. ZipAhDeeDooDah

    Having cleaned the coffee and Quality Street spray off my screen, again I must say:

    Nice work, Broadsheet!

  6. dave

    have broadsheet now brought this to the attention of MOP’s and their senior personnel that members of staff are wasting hours on the super information highways instead of looking in dusty old books

      1. Bumps

        I’d imagine that only senior staff would be dim enough to be aware that their IP address would show up.

        1. Pedanto, the Hilarity Man

          My aghastitude was at Dave’s geeful encouragement to get someone fired.

          As a specialist in dimness, however, I think you’re overestimating people’s web savvy.

          1. Pedanto, the Hilarity Man

            I’m also aghast at accidentally coining “geeful” when I meant “gleeful”.

            Now I hope this high-shool comedy-drama box set isn’t going to be too disappointing.

    1. Jack

      “Person with knowledge of defamation law posts on comment thread discussing defamation law” and “National newspaper is client of large law firm” are not great leads. Officially.

  7. Cloud Strife

    This is going to be the biggest media trial since their lawsuit against the makers of The Never Ending Story.

  8. The Goat

    I’m in straight away for €50 to the legal fund should any troll coming knocking at the big broad door.

    Despite austerity (god I hate that word) – I would also be up for a monthly direct debit of the same to kick these pond life back to the bottom of the oxygen deprived pond that they belong in.

    Shame on them – shame on all of them.

    God bless all those involved in the very serious subject matter that is behind this whole ongoing debate. Let us never forget it and the root cause of why Broadsheet are doing the right thing.

    1. Jessica

      Seconded on the monthly Direct Debit, esp if people like boards.ie who have experience in this get on board.

  9. PuntPrinter

    Mein Got ( practising )
    I cant believe any kind of Lawyer worth their salt would knowingly say such ridiculous things without being Instructed to? or they are just some complete amadan in MOP that is indeed trolling and is actually technogically niave ( and quite probably legally braindead ) and has quite probably ordered themselves a p45 for the year ended 31 Dec 2011.
    Are MOP even advisers to communications clinic?

    1. Niall

      Has occurred to me – could just have been someone killing time like the rest of us.

      None of which detracts from the fact that Terry Prone & Co . are a bunch of copper-bottomed c**ts.

      1. Paul

        I know a lot of lawyers. not one is worth their salt. theyre not there because theyre smart.

        Does UCD Law still pass everyone whether they take the exams or not in first year? they used to have 100% pass rate in 90s despite obvious fails.

  10. PuntPrinter

    By the way – and just a thought.

    A business is very often registered by Solicitors and the reg’d address is provided as the Address of the solictors firm. If a business has a reg address in this manner – could it be possible the IP address reg is also defaulted to same….

    Just saying……..

    1. Mloc

      No. Any IP that has contacts details linked to it will be a leased line from an ISP, not your standard broadband connection. So the address tied to it will be that of the company that setup the account.

    2. Alan

      Yes, it’s possible. Does anyone have a recent email from someone in MOPs? I’m sure the email headers will have internal routing IPs that could be checked for the same 217.173.101.x subnet…

      1. PuntPrinter

        @Alan – you seem to be more tech savvy than the average troll hunter on the thread. I have tried to search this but to no avail that I can understand…..Nearly all legal and accounting firms offer a whole host of “brass plate” reg office services to many companies…..as part of this a company can outsource the setting up or securing of web domain names etc. Is the IP addy not attached to the domain registration and ergo could belong to a client of MOP.

    3. Dave, Dublin

      Fair point, but if you take a look at the RIPE database, you get a very specific reference to an MOP employee. Not saying that’s definitive, but it doesn’t look good!

      1. Daz

        Also … If you Google the IP it appears to have visited several sites over a period of time including juristech.com, irishjurist.com, lawport.org, fair-murtagh.ie (solicitor firm), not really sites that would be of interest to a tech company! On a side note the user enjoys running – runireland.com, supports Fine Gael- alanshatter.ie, is planning renovations both in – gilroy-tiling.ie and out – garden shed.ie and finally for today will have lobster – offshorelobster.org, followed by chocolate -skelligschocolate.com, the list goes on …

        1. PuntPrinter

          Christ – you can get all that info from the IP addy and in public?! And is that IP addy an individual IP address or ” a company” IP address? Sorry for all the ignorant Q’s but its interesting stuff.

          1. Daz

            The address is assigned by an ISP to a Company.

            There is no way (that I know of) to check from the web if it is a private computer or an internal network.

            The info on the sites visited is not coming from the computer that searches the sites, it is information that has been published on the web by the company that controls the website … be it intentional, or accidental.

            The following address contains a more detailed explanation.

            http://awstats.sourceforge.net/

      1. Hm?

        Also, all this is important to keep a view of the bigger picture in terms of media honesty and accountability.

        Attempts being made to silent alternative information providers like broadsheet or similar show that entities like the IT & TCC are trying to shout down independent media.

    1. Jessica

      True, but Kate would not have let this corruption be ignored. It is no insult to her life or memory for people to continue to reveal what’s behind the recent actions on her article and the connections that lead to them happening.

  11. landsleaving

    Hang on now, I’ve had a brainwave. If this firm’s top social media marketing consultant/legal internetz analyst is using an absurdly convoluted advertising pitch to broadsheet in advance of the coming rabid, litigious wolves at the door… that means broadsheet have a case they can win, right?

    Well done so.

    1. Xiao Liu

      Them was my thoughts too – if You’re Kidding Me thinks Broadsheet should get some defamation lawyers, and You’re Kidding Me works for defamation lawyers, perhaps You’re Kidding Me wants to work for Broadsheet. Broadsheet should throw bones to You’re Kidding Me – see what else she knows…

  12. ben

    Haha – deadly!

    This is all getting very interesting.

    Why would a MOP post such a comment though??

    Surely they’re smarter than that…

    1. Caroline

      You would be mildly surprised at how many quite extraordinarily stupid people are qualified to, and do, practise law.

  13. George Michael

    i think you should set up a blog for this cause and stop playing out your Nancy Drew fantasies on Broadsheet

    1. Ryan's Daughter

      Err why? They’re defamation lawyers/ambulance chasers. I’d be surprised if these people COULD construct proper sentences.

      1. PuntPrinter

        Seriously – I actually think that MOP are being misbranded completely here…..they specialise in M&A, Corporate, Banking / Insurance and lots of film work. Im sure they have a defamation crew but as for ambulance chasers – TBH that couldnt be further from reality.

        1. Brownasaurus Rex

          +1

          The legal profession has moral grey areas, but this seems more like a foolhardy opinion than anything. Probably best not to tar all with the same brush.

      2. Padstermac

        No, the profession that gave us Franz Kafka, Charles Dickens, Czeslaw Milosz, Goethe, Walter Scott, JFK, Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi does not contain people that can construct a sentence. You are an idiot.

  14. PunksatonyPhil

    Why don’t they all just come out and say “Sorry lads, we all fecked up and well, we’re sorry” All this shit going on just makes them all look bad.

    And quite frankly, would anyone in their right mind hire a defamation lawyer based on this great piece of trolling?

    Muppet.

  15. fred rolfe

    has sue, grabbit and runne changed its name to MOP? whatever happened to carter fuck?
    Happy new year to broadsheet. keep going!!!!!!!!!

    1. Einka

      No, it is more than that. It is a country of 4.5 million people, some of whom are clever as hell.

      … and clever enough to catch them by the short and curlies when dey be doin’ the naughties….

  16. TalentCoop

    Well done!!

    What an unholy mess!

    Let’s not forget at the centre of it, the suicide of a beautiful talented young girl, sick with depression. Her reputation besmirched and more hurt heaped on her family.

    Do lawyers not have children, families, any scruples or sensitivity… or is their raison d’etre really just about making fast bucks ?

    So sad and lacking all integrity!

    1. Carlos Aguas

      ‘Let’s not forget at the centre of it, the suicide of a beautiful talented young girl, sick with depression’

      Too right.

      That’s been long forgotten by everyone. Including people that comment here. All this talk of ‘winning the internet’, ‘making christmas’ ‘hahaha’, ‘pwning’.

      Have a look at yourselves. You’re just about at the level at the people you protest about so much. Grow up.

      1. Mani

        No. They aren’t. It is possible to seperate one act from another. Or one issue from another. You got a pretty good view from your high horse there, mate.

        And, to paraphrase Sideshow Bob, you are aware of the irony of using the very medium you’re decrying?

        1. Carlos Aguas

          So it’s pretty to separate ‘winning the internet’ and ‘pawnage’ etc…with the issue of suicide and depression, is it?

          Lol. you guys are seriously smart.

    2. Trapper

      Well said TalentCoop and Mani. She isn’t forgotten, and neither are her family and friends. Nor are the issues of mental health, depression, suicide, and bullying. Nor are the connections between PR companies, solicitors, and media outlets.

      It’s Kate life I think of when I comment on any aspect of this, and, if she wouldn’t mind me saying, the insight and education on all of the above that I’ve gotten from it, I thank her for.

  17. Ryan's Daughter

    Excellent work gentlemen. Makes Chrimbo that much sweeter knowing we have you guys protecting us from the pondscum. Bully for you boys…bully…

  18. caimin

    This whole story confuses the hell out of me. So, the girl was depressed and got treatment. She made allegations about how she was treated in work, including allegations that their actions (unspecified as far as I can see) were illegal. TCC then say “we didn’t know anything about this, and we didn’t do anything illegal”. I think it’s fair enough that their side of the story should be made public, and I don’t understand why the IT didn’t just publish a statement from them. I’m guessing that the implication here is that *someone* put pressure on the IT to just pull the whole thing, and if thats the case then I understand the indignation for sure. But then Broadsheet pretty much did the same thing, right? They pretty much joined the dots, applause, and implied (that was my reading anyway) that TCC were working behind the scenes to bury the story – but then that whole line got buried on broadsheet as well. So is it fair to say that broadsheet went a little bit further than the IT, but ultimately did the same thing as the IT, for the same reasons? And if that’s the case, can they not just say “we can’t say any more because we’ll get sued?” And if THAT’s the case (sorry this is so long) is it true now that broadsheet are reduced to hints and arch posts to try to and hint at what’s going on?

    put simply – is there information that broadsheet would bring to light if they had an unlimited legal damages fund, or have they run out of hard facts and are trying to “punish” TCC by implication? Do we know for sure that TCC behaved improperly, or are we just assuming they did because of the nature of the business they are in?

    1. hya

      Re: “But then Broadsheet pretty much did the same thing, right? They pretty much joined the dots, applause, and implied (that was my reading anyway) that TCC were working behind the scenes to bury the story – but then that whole line got buried on broadsheet as well. So is it fair to say that broadsheet went a little bit further than the IT, but ultimately did the same thing as the IT, for the same reasons?”

      It’s not (only) about this. Burying your own material under legal threats, real or implied is one thing, a journalism/influence issue and should be debated as such.
      Therefore had IT edited Peter Murtaugh’s piece in which they outed Ms Fitzgerald and by connection, TCC, there would be no outrage. Perhaps a debate on standards and politics alone.
      What they did is they mauled the original (anonymous, hence intentionally unthreatening to anyone) piece, branded late Ms Fitzgerald a liar and apologised to her (anonymous again!) employer on her behalf, against the wishes of her family. TCC must have been at work here to brand her letter as not factual, IT themselves had no way of knowing anything and must have taken TCC’s word against Ms Fiztgerald’s word (confirmed by her family).
      This more than a journalism/cronyism issue, this is decency issue and that is why it has such an impact.

      1. caimin

        “TCC must have been at work here to brand her letter as not factual” – But if it wasn’t factual (either in reality or in their opinion) – isn’t that what you’d expect them to do?

        1. hya

          This is just to prove their involvement if anyone doubts it. If they wanted to challenge anything (which is impossible really since it’s word against word) they could have chosen the usual route and sent a clarifying letter to be published.

          1. caimin

            totally agree – and is the fact that they didn’t because TCC made them pull the story, or that the ITs legal team got spooked and made the wrong call? (As the IT seem to claim they made the call internally(

          2. hya

            caimin – I find it hard to believe that they made the call entirely internally. Without a formal legal threat, yes. But the conversation about allegations not being factual must have been forceful enough to squeeze an apology on behalf of a dead person, in a situation when it not possible to disprove or prove her account and when it was never her intention to name or hurt anyone.

            They should have removed all real names from the second piece and/or publish employer’s statement to present their side. They scapegoated Ms Fitzgerald instead.

        2. cluster

          Why didn’t they check if it was factual before publishing the original story?

          Once published, if they had an issue with the facts they could have removed it and explained why, rather than altering it in such a way as to change the meaning of the article, i.e. they kept the positive comments about her employers but not the negative?

    2. Hm?

      There are fundamental differences between the 2 examples which you gave and you are omitting too many elements of information.

      “TCC then say “we didn’t know anything about this, and we didn’t do anything illegal”.” This is important – they have been entirely silent on the issue. They have given no press release, nor made any statement. The IT article was edited & then an apology was offered to TCC by the IT: http://bit.ly/tPnO4s
      I agree that they should have their side of the story – I’m always wary of bandwagons & how easily people hop on them. But TCC have offered no information or opinion whatsoever – which lends credence to the theory that – given what they do – they are operating behind the scenes of all this trying to silence it, instead of acknowledging it & making a statement on it.

      Also – according to you, Broadsheet: “implied (that was my reading anyway) that TCC were working behind the scenes to bury the story – but then that whole line got buried on broadsheet as well”. They didn’t imply it, they stated clearly here: http://www.broadsheet.ie/2011/11/30/kate-fitzgerald/ that “We now understand and it is our honestly held view that the journalist was told to issue the message to us and that it had originally come from a senior member of the Communications Clinic.”. I don’t think you get more explicit than that. So, very different from the IT.

      The issue is that there are 2 separate ‘crimes’ (sorry to be so dramatic- I can’t think of another term at the moment) by 2 separate parties. The IT edited the final words of a dead girl who tried to draw attention to a very important issue & who could not defend herself. That much is proven. There’s strong circumstantial evidence that TCC pressured the IT into doing this & that they have subsequently attempted to silence the story elsewhere (broadsheet included). But there’s no proof for this.

      1. caimin

        thank you for your very detailed and well-reasoned reply. I stress, I’m not on anyone’s “side” here, I just have a hard time figuring out what’s going on.

        Just to clarify two things: I accept your point on tcc being silent, I misremembered that. What I was thinking of was the bit in the post you linked that said “Later that evening we were warned by a journalist that a “libel landmine” was about to “blow up in our faces”, that Kate had been “mentally ill” and that she had never complained to her colleagues or management about their attitude towards her illness.”

        Second, yes broadsheet explicitly stated that they had been warned off, but that was far from their last post on the matter, and if they could say they were threatened with legal action, how come they can’t say they were served with legal action? (superinjunction maybe? I don’t know how it works)

        To my mind, there are two possibilities. One is that B/S *know* that TCC made the IT pulled the story, but can’t say anything about it.
        SEcond is that they “think* that TCC pulled the story and are outraged and are trying to flush out the facts.
        I am inclined to believe the former, but then you read other things, like for example Hugh Linehans comments below and it makes you wonder.

        thats all.

    3. Hm?

      One other thing about TCC – there’s very strong circumstantial evidence that they are guilty of being a pack of absolute c**s.

      To quote poor Kate Fitzgerald “Much of what my employer has done and said since my absence has been illegal”.
      Then there’s this: http://www.independent.ie/national-news/courts/former-employee-claims-she-was-bullied-at-prones-pr-firm-2821072.html?start=3
      Then there’s their treatment, or lack thereof, of this whole Kate Fitzgerald story.

      Unfortunately, you can’t lock them up for this.

  19. Bobby K

    Are MOP actually Ireland’s best-known defamation lawyers? Really? I’m pretty sure they specialise in financial law, like mergers and acquisitions etc. I’m prepared to be corrected though!

    1. PuntPrinter

      Indeed you are correct. In my opinion. Humble as it may be. Id use at least two others for defamation pit bulling before I rang 1800 MOP.

  20. praetorian

    Im….im afraid to post…..im afraid to post on (looks over shoulder)…….Broadsh…….fcuk……there’s a knock at the door……..

  21. Ladyemmo

    As someone who was accused of trolling due to the IP address, I don’t know how I feel about this. I was accused but wasn’t guilty and it turned into a big old mess, simply based on the IP address.

    1. Alan

      Yes, but you are probably connected to the Internet using DSL, which explains why your IP can change (you’re assigned an IP address at random from the owner’s allocation of addresses).
      Large companies tend to pay for fixed, leased lines where the IP address(es) are also fixed. That is how they can host email servers, proxies, etc themselves.

      1. Blah

        “Random” IP addresses aren’t that Random. Your ISP tracks who has what IP address so if law enforcement got involved they can track you back to your home.

    2. Xiao Liu

      +1
      Yes. IP addresses aren’t black and white. I could work for the very Communications Clinic themselves, but proffer contrarian opinions on Broadsheet via a foreign proxy or VPN, and my secret would probably be pretty safe…

  22. Oy

    Attention angry mob! Grab those pitchforks left outside Irish Times office and head to MOPs…there is some one there with a different opinion !!!Lets stop them!!

    (Does everyone who leaves a comment have to declare where they work now in case it is revealed as part of a cabal of people with jobs in nefarious industry like a law firm?)

    1. Paul

      uh…they threatened broadsheet would be subject to legal action…they are the legal reps of the Irish Times..uh what don’t you get here?

  23. I really should be working

    I seen a certain owner of a large PR firm and her lap dog sorry husband and son down near 70 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay this very A.M.

    Coincidence?

    1. PuntPrinter

      well their office isnt exactly miles from there is it? Maybe they were swimming in grand canal basin?

        1. Xiao Liu

          Whoah. Giving physical locations on anonymous threads is extremely threatening and not at all a suitable contribution to any debate where real issues of legality are at stake.

  24. Chrisco

    Personally, I am more appalled at the poor spelling, punctuation and grammar coming from a leading firm of solicitors…

  25. General Waste

    Check out Ivy Bridge on yesterday’s post for more sneery trolling from someone obviously with a vested interest.

    The handling of this by the IT and the CC will go down in infamy as a classic case of legacy media/PR not taking new media seriously and getting seriously burned by their arrogance.

    Kate’s story and the appalling handling of it are not going away thanks to Broadsheet, bloggers and social media. Wise up IT and CC or say goodbye to your ancient business models.

    I’m cringing for Hugh Linehan ‘online editor’ who came out yesteday at his old media bosses’ behest and admitted that the IT online archive was actually no such thing and could be redacted at anytime. All the while refusing to engage with the substantive issue. Craven.

      1. General Waste

        Quelle bleedin’ surprise? Ivy Bridge, while obviously vested and trolling, did have better grammar than YKM.

        1. General Waste

          There’s a veritable army of them on this post now, all using the same language – about mobs, anonymity and journalistic standards.

          All of them missing the point about what Broadsheet does and ironically not holding the IT to these same standards.

          1. Listrade

            A veritable army may just be people who are of the same opinion that this particular post may be a bit too much.

            It could just be that is all people have in common; an opinion that some standards/control should have been applied in this case.

  26. Hugh Linehan

    Matheson Ormsby Prentice do not and have never provided any legal services to The Irish Times in relation to defamation. They do provide some services on pension matters.

    It’s up to your readers to decide whether your insinuation of some sort of trolling conspiracy has a shred of credibility. In my view it’s a pathetic attempt to squeeze some more juice for Broadsheet out of a story that deserves to be treated with seriousness and respect.

    Wherever your anonymous commenter was posting from, he/she actually had some valid points to make. The fact that you chose to set a mob on him/her because of so-called trolling (in this case, happening to have a different opinion from the majority) says a lot about the way you run your site.

    1. Tommy

      Broadsheet have been open about everything they are doing in this case. It’s the lack of openness from the other parties that are causing the rabble to get angry.

      1. cabogue

        So who exactly writes these Broadsheet pieces and where do they work normally? Seems a bit unfair to be digging up other people’s information when not coming clean about your own background. There’s quite a few contributors here campaigning against the Irish Times about standards when, I’m pretty sure, they probably do a bit of work for rival newspapers themselves. In the interest of fairness and all that.

    2. hya

      Hugh, are you really trying to pull someone up on how they run their site? Hilarious :) How about ignoring pages and pages of comments on yours?…

    3. mellon collie

      So Hugh one response which doesn’t even deal with the issues at hand and you think you can wring your hands of everything? And then anything that the other side does is pathetic. You and your paper are pathetic. There was no mob set and there were NO valid points to make. The only points we want to be made would be those made by your paper and the Irish Times have failed big time to do so. So suck it up.

        1. hollyilex

          This is public opinion you nutter. Don’t try to sully these peoples light hearted or more serious responses to this. Its their right. And don’t condense this argument by throwing it back at the general public and laying blame on the readers. Fkn bottomfeeder you are.

    4. AP

      Hugh,

      Can you answer a simple question?

      What representations did The Communications Clinic make to the Irish Times following the publication of Peter Murtagh’s article on November 9th, and Broadsheet’s subsequent ‘joining of the dots’ piece in the following week?

      If The Communications Clinic was able to convince the IT that chunks of the original article were incorrect, then how come the IT could not provide information to Tom and Sally Fitzgerald to satisfy them about this issue?

      1. caimin

        +1. Why was the article edited, instead of publishing a ror piece from TCC? this is the heart of the matter to my mind.

      2. General Waste

        Jaysus Hugh, still ignoring the actual issues and responding only to small inaccuracies.

        All your responses on Facebook and Twitter have been similar – picking small holes while ignoring the elephant in the room.

        In any PR crisis you should apologise and explain early, then be transparent and consistent. The IT’s response has been a car crash and HL’s engangement is just making things worse.

        Man up for crissakes and stop doing other’s bidding.

    5. ConSki

      well done Hugh. Shame you had to pepper that with some digs. Would have been excellent without.

      lolz about ‘way you run your site’ comment

    6. mellon collie

      And the fact that you believe the story should be treated with seriousness and respect is CLEARLY not a belief held by your colleagues in the paper.

      1. Oh ffs

        Proper order Hugh. Well said.

        Broadsheet just scared off one of the few commenters who knew what they was talking about.

        Shur who cares about debate when the merry band of BROADSHEET FTWers!!! are there to smother it.

    7. Mani

      Now, taking this at face value, that you are indeed who you purport to be:
      Are you completely clueless? The fact that someone who could be seen to have a vested interest in this matter would anonymously post on this site and take what could only be described as a completely trenchant oppostie view on this matter and you think that, once this was uncovered there would be no outcry or at least some schadenfreude?
      Welcome to the internets my friend. It’s on computers now.
      Again, and I should stress this really only counts if you are who you are, how the hell do you think you are going to improve the whole situation by commenting here, and on this issue alone rather than the bigger issue regarding the editing of the initial article and subsequent apology? Learn to pick your battles and actually know the right time to shut your mouth and when you should open it.

      1. paul m

        steady on Mani!

        he’s entitled to his opinion and to comment as an individual, he’s on topic and isnt engaging in personal attacks. telling a person when they should know to shut their mouth is a bit “pot calling the kettle black” when you’re questioning whether someone is going to improve matters by commenting on here.

        just remember he isnt the IT he works for the IT.

        1. Brownasaurus Rex

          +1

          Well said, Paul. Arguments are never won by he who shouts the loudest. Hugh Linehan acts as editor of IT online, and before this issue seemed very capable.

          I sense Hugh may be frustrated that BS can get away with being so righteous, while BS are frustrated that IT aren’t being as transparent as BS.

          Hugh does highlight the different obstacles print media faces when compared to online media. He also makes the very valid claim that BS has run its site in a less than objective manner, when objectivity would have been the best approach. “Bully” and “troll” may be BS vernacular, but you would never see it written in IT.

    8. PollyC

      It’s unbelievable that you have the neck to talk about how Broadsheet runs it’s site, and to call for treating this story with respect considering how this has been treated by the IT. The blog post which purported to explain said treatment was a joke and addressed none of the concerns people have in relation to this story.

        1. hollyilex

          Well said! whats worse? BS Trying to uncover the truth with less legitimate language, or the IT just blatantly covering up the truth?

    9. Dgirl

      I found Broadsheet’s articles on the whole debacle interesting until this one.

      I think it was a low act to publish the IP address of commentator who went against the grain with what he said.

      It makes me wonder how many IP addresses broadsheet, whose contributors can remain anonymous, have been checking up in order to get a sensational story.

      It reduces the credit of the site to run such a weak and schoolboyish trick.

      Also it could jeopardise the job of the commentator and scare others from giving their opinion.

      Dirt tactics and nothing else.

      1. John 'Preposterous' Ryan

        Printing the IP address was my mistake. I did not wish to identify a particular person or persons and thought the IP address served the entire firm. I am sorry it happened.

        1. Slypig

          Stick to reposts from reddit and huffpost. Its what youre good at. Your ego took ovrr here and you lost a good story. Also, get the hell over this IT fixation. If i read one more spell check post i’ll likely puke

    10. Xiao Liu

      Hugh Linehan is right to call a halt to the too-fast dot-connecting and gotcha-ing going on here. I also agree with him that the commenter made some valid points.

      His/her tone and spelling didn’t impress me, but I don’t think he/she deserves the “troll” epithet.

      I think Broadsheet is starting to err on the immature side in this fiasco.

      I think the Irish Times are in a very difficult situation, and have been since the start of this. Their bad calls have been unfortunate, but not inexcusable, given what we now know (or think we know) about the Irish media/PR climate. Continuing to frame the IT as a pariah like this goes against the interests of the Irish public, in my view, Broadsheet. You can do and say things they can’t; does that make them bad? No, it makes you a potential missing link towards better quality and transparency in Irish media in general, especially now that you have this braying mob listening to you (no offence, lads). Please don’t blow the chance with pettiness.

      Hard-hitting, fine, petty and insinuating, no.

    11. SDaedalus

      MOPS own website specifically names the Irish Times as someone they have acted for (in relation to the Metro-Herald merger I think not pensions).

      http://www.mop.ie/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/7822/EU,-Competition-and-Regulatory-4-Page-Brochure.pdf

      Whatever about the merits of publishing someone’s ip address, to characterise this as a case of ganging up on someone on the basis of a difference of opinion is misleading.

      This was a comment, posted from the IP address of a leading law firm, which hinted at defamation proceedings being on the way. There’s a clear distinction between such a commenter and someone who just has a different opinion from the rest of the commentariat.

      I completely agree that Kate’s story needs to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, for better or worse, Broadsheet seems to be the only media outlet actually doing so. I think you’re wrong about the squeezing juice thing. Not everyone is motivated by self-interest.

    12. ted

      The only story I see being squeezed hereabouts is the one about the national newspaper that edited a dead girls last words in a thoroughly vile and craven fashion, for the flimsiest and most base of reasons, and wants to ignore its way through the consequences.

      Squeeze on, and be damned. Her legacy demands it.

  27. aondev

    It is also quite reasonable to assume that this person is in a fact, just a troll who happens to work for MOPS…

    1. onlyonasunday

      Thank God for that, someone with sense.

      Side note: you don’t need to have legal training to know that Broadsheet, regardless of the Terry Prone comments, is going to get the arse sued off it eventually. It might not be this case, but it may very well be another case.

      There is nothing wrong with “picketing” the Irish Times Facebook, or bombarding the editor with letters, but the mob like attitude of commentators on this site and these weak evidentiary inferences are as idiotic as the sh*t you see in tabloid newspapers.

      You’re so blinded by your own self importance you think your infallible. As my mother would say, you’re overdue a kick up the arse

      1. John Gallen

        Here look, enuff of this mob shi*e. Some of us on here have experienced suicide in our families and if we get f*cking pissed off we GET F*CKING PISSED OFF!

        I’m part of NO F*CKING MOB, RIGHT!

        1. onlyonasunday

          You don’t know me, or whether I’ve ever had a family member commit suicide, yet you presume because I make a reasonable point, that I couldn’t have possibly been affected by suicide. You’re wrong.

          If you want to help Kate, then stop blindly running about, and remember that there are plenty of other “Kates” out there right now who need our help. One to one help. Squabbling over IP addresses isn’t going to save lives….

          So what if we get our pound of flesh? Does it bring Kate back, no. Will it stop further people from committing suicide, no. It won’t bring your family member back either. Doing justice to their memory can be easily achieved by getting involved with charities like Aware and Samaritans.

      2. hollyilex

        ”Side note: you don’t need to have legal training to know that Broadsheet, regardless of the Terry Prone comments, is going to get the arse sued off it eventually. It might not be this case, but it may very well be another case.

        There is nothing wrong with “picketing” the Irish Times Facebook, or bombarding the editor with letters, but the mob like attitude of commentators on this site and these weak evidentiary inferences are as idiotic as the sh*t you see in tabloid newspapers.

        You’re so blinded by your own self importance you think your infallible. As my mother would say, you’re overdue a kick up the arse”

        how dare you condense this story to what language was used, and how the general public responded on this site. how dare you take the issue of a womens death and belittle it by breaking up the argument and blaming regular joe soaps. your the fkn arse here.

        1. onlyonasunday

          I never condemned anyone for attempting to pull an apology out of IT. In fact I clearly support it in my comment.

          All I was attempting to do was introduce a little “order”, so people can calm down and work on this issue in a proactive manner.

          Going about guns blazing doesn’t get you anywhere, if you took the time to take a deep breath you would see that.

          Finally I never blamed regular Joe soaps, I blame Broadsheet for creating this mess. Continue by all means to push for an apology, but stop this point scoring. Point scoring does nothing. It’s an ineffective as the bullshit the politicians pull.

          1. hollyilex

            ”Who is point scoring? What kind of nonsense are you talking about… Jesus, give me patience…..”

            yeah john, throw some my way while your at it.

            onlyonasundays way of making people focus on the unimportant parts of this story reminds me of the way foxnews reports work. Get the masses to infight and the real issue will be forgotten. Sorry dude/ette, That shit aint gonna fly here. who gives a toss about the words used either in the article or by the general public while responding to it. Its the sentiment that counts, and Broadsheet knows this better then the IT for sure.

  28. I really should be working

    Would be intresting to see MOP’S contract for its staff in relation to internet and PC usage.

  29. Jade

    Can a person working in an organisation not have a personal opinion? Broadsheet if this is the way you operate there isn’t much of a future for this site. It may have the same fate as your ‘Dog Magazine;.

    1. AP

      There’s a difference between having an opinion and making thinly veiled threats with regard to Broadsheet contacting their solicitors with regards to defamation; particularly when the source of those comments is a person who works for a law firm which has represented the Irish Times.

          1. Pedanto, the Hilarity Man

            I may be naive, but I took it as a joke. He or she asked what people were accusing TCC of, and pointed out quite reasonably that some of our answers might be defamatory.

            But even if it was a threat, this wasn’t an admirable response from Broadsheet.

        1. Listrade

          I’d say “have your defamation lawyers at the ready…” could be seen as a threat. In the same way that a editing TP’s article to present a hiding meaning could be seen as defamation.

          However, I do agree with the sentiment that as far as this issue goes this may well just be an individual voicing their opinion while at work.

          Most employers (like many of us on here) have an internet useage and electronic communications policy. Most of us have probably said things via computer and on “work time” that our employer may disagree with and/or could be in breach of that policy.

          In the spirit of establishing whether or not there is anything nefarious behind this issue, I think BS may have just got an employee in a lot of trouble for no reward.

          I applaud your stance on this issue. I understand that you have much more your wish to say but that can’t be made public for whatever reason (that’s as good as hinted at). However, if you are to continue with this story, it may be time to apply some of the journalistic integrity and standards you’re holding the IT too.

    2. PuntPrinter

      Fair comment. Perhaps BS should look at putting some kind of disclaimer for first time posters / “commentors” akin to the Twitter sphere spin” tweets are my own” to at least allow people make personal comment without attracting the ire of their pay checkers….. It is unfortuate that in this case the person in question appears to be employed by a firm that has a relationship, albeit indirect, to the original case etc….I actually feel sorry for he/ she.

    3. cluster

      If it’s an Irish law firm and you are posting from within the law firm (particularly if your firm has some connection with any of the interested parties), then no, you probably can’t give a personal opinion without first declaring the conflict of interest.

      It doesn’t matter whether this conflict of interest is real or perceived.

      So we are left with two options: 1) mindless incompetence or 2) incompetence with intent.

  30. Pedanto, the Hilarity Man

    I’m with Jade on this one. I think it’s wrong to reveal details about your posters, regardless of how you feel about their opinions or what suspicions you have about their motives.

    People sometimes agree/disagree with their employers, and sometimes attack/defend their work online. Getting them fired isn’t a great response.

    Other than that, though, Happy Christmas.

      1. johnjoe

        +1 A personal opinion does not equate to the opinion of an employer and it’s unfair to feed the fire of conspiracy by encouraging that link. An IP address proves very little motivation but revealing the location of an IP address sort of reveals the motivation of Broadsheet in relation to this story.

      1. John 'Preposterous' Ryan

        I am very sorry that it happened. It was a bad mistake based on my technical ignorance. It will not happen again.

  31. Jade

    Well with the way Broadsheet is conducting itself at the moment I don’t think the comment of ‘having defamation lawyers on standby’ is completely outlandish or even a threat. I think it’s actually pretty sage advice.

      1. Mark

        IP Addresses, while not normally personally identifiable pieces of information, as they are not published, become so when they are published.

    1. Daz

      I don’t think the Commissioner has any standing here (please correct me if I am wrong). The Office enforces the rights of individuals. An individual may have made the posting but the information held, the IP address, belongs to an organisation.

          1. Mark

            I can’t reply to your other one. Certain companies have an external IP on each device, others NAT. If external, it can be used to personally identify the individual, and thus becomes a matter for the DPC when published.

          2. Daz

            Thanks for replying Mark. You are giving me a run for my money. See my thoughts below.

            I see your point, and I agree, it may be possible to identify the author of the post.

            However, my argument is that the IP is actually ‘personal’ information pertaining to MOP not the individual that posted the comment.

            So, the individual cannot complain because it is not their personal information.

            MOP cannot complain because they are a company, not an individual for the purposes of the Act.

            However, and I would love to hear your take on this point, if MOP can trace the individual by the external means that you talk about are MOP not the holders of the personal information pertaining to the individual.

            Would the individual’s case for breach of privacy not rest against MOP?

  32. Zigfield Benzene

    Yip, amusing foot shootery but in furness it’s impossible to tell if it’s a deliberate corporate troll attempt or a solo run. Either way even if it’s funny to expose said troll’s IP as a company with a vested interest it holds no water. Upshot is that it keeps Kate’s story going and has an indirect pop at Terry New Face who has no influence in RTE bar withholding *******.

    1. Daz

      Thanks Zigfield. We should never forget Kate or that it was her story, and how it was treated, that raised the veil and showed us how tangled a web was woven all around.

  33. ProvingGround

    Anyone else thing the trolling was to provoke a reaction thereby padding out a book of ‘evidence’ to be presented before the courts, m’lord?

  34. Hm?

    I didn’t think that YKM was a troll, but I do think they were a petty contrarian (which, when I think about it, is pretty much the same thing).

    Maybe it’s just a difference of opinion, but I thought YKM’s posts on the issues were overly-defensive, lacking in any informed opinion, devoid of facts and generally took a line of “oh I’m getting attacked because my opinion is different to the majority’s”.

    If I were YKM & I gave a shit about the argument I was making, the first thing I would have done to add credence to my argument would be to tell people that I was a lawyer. Plus they never offered relevant legal facts (or even a well-informed opinion). This supports the whole troll theory.

    1. Pedanto, the Hilarity Man

      YKM might have been all kinds of awful. I didn’t follow him or her closely. But this still leaves a bad taste.

    2. caimin

      YKM was guilty of coming to this story with their minds firmly made up on one side – but I think the same could be said of the vast majority of posters. It’s just a question of which side.

    3. Listrade

      Troll or just normal over zealous internet commentator? I’ve seen a lot worse in terms of ill-informed comments on here and all across the internet. I just don’t see sites posting details of their employer up in a public blog post.

      Sometimes BS actions, honourable though they are, muddy the waters too much. They may well have hit upon a very significant story here, but there needs to be some quality control and some journalistic control over what they publish if they want it to be taken seriously.

  35. johnjoe

    Good detective work broadsheet but you should note that Matheson Ormsby Prentice is massive. It has 500 employees. It’s media department is miniscule (one or two people). My guess is that it is someone who is not looking after the Irish Times account but rather someone low-down in there who has engaged with the story and has a legal opinion to bear. It may feel like a unlikely coincidence but I reckon it’s just a coincidence.

    1. IP Freely

      agree, maybe Broadsheet jumped the gun a bit. would have been interesting to sit a while and see if more trolling came from the same IP, built up a case.
      The story was much jucier if MOP represented IT re defamation, bit deflated now.

  36. Liam h

    If broadsheets own contributors are allowed to remain anonymous then so should those making comments… Double standards here.

      1. Paul

        ignoring the fact that the commenter was hideously trolling, threatened defamation action and turns out to be one of two repetitive commenters from the legal firm that represents Irish Times. ‘post of the day’?? sweet jesus.

    1. Dgirl

      Very good point. Also I would like to say that I have serious issue with calling this person a troll simply because they are going against the general opinion,

      1. skbac

        I’d have serious issue with that too, if that was what happened. It isn’t though.

        Broadsheet.ie accused them of being a troll because they issued a direct threat, not because they expressed an opinion.

  37. jerkface

    I work for the Irish Times and I can categorically say that everyone who commented on this is a bellend and I hope they get HitlerAIDS.

    1. Pedanto, the Hilarity Man

      Fintan, I’ve warned you about this. I’m still recovering from that dose of Stalinorrhea you gave me for supporting Labour.

  38. CJAMcMahon

    It’s been great craic, and while I won’t be buying the IT for a while, neither will I be going anywhere near a website that starts publishing IP addresses of commenters it doesn’t like and starts tracking them down.

    1. Pedanto, the Hilarity Man

      I can understand their glee at the discovery. I might have got carried away and done the same thing.

      But, Broadsheet, is there any chance you would swear off doing it in future? You can’t really want us all to avoid commenting on the areas that we work in, and I’d rather not preface every throwaway remark with whatever chunk of my CV might be deemed relevant if you suddenly take the hump.

    2. Daz

      There is a massive difference between ‘not liking’ and ‘being threatened by’ …

      The poster asked a question, but rather than allow for an answer to be given, stated that should a reply be made then a case for defamation would be prepared. All the more worrisome when the poster appears to be from a large law firm. (In layman’s terms- if you don’t shut up from here on in we will come after you).

      1. Daz

        BTW, this case is NOT defamation, it is not even close;

        An actionable defamatory statement has three ingredients:
        1. it must be published,
        2. it must refer to the complainant and
        3. it must be false.

        1. Ben Archibald

          Doesn’t have to be false. It’s possible at a stretch to establish defamation if the objective and outcome was to do serious reputational damage to the victim.

          1. Daz

            Actually, in Ireland a defamatory statement must be false. Only a false statement will be found defamatory by the Court.

            Truth, being the Common Law defence of Justification, is an absolute defence to a charge of defamation.

            Else, every politician in the State would be running cases against the Media.

    3. Gav D

      ….. he posts, on a site that starts publishing IP addresses of commenters it doesn’t like and starts tracking them down.

  39. Joe

    I say this as someone who admires broadsheet for putting its neck on the line to cover this story as it originated.

    Do broadsheet IP-trace everyone who contributes to the comments or just those going contrary to general opinion?

    Example – have they IP-ed everyone who has bashed the IT on this site over the last few weeks to make sure that they too do not have a conflict of interest in this matter? I.e working for a rival media?

    Just a thought.

    1. spucks

      i also admire & support broadsheet for their continued coverage of this story but don’t think this was a smart thing to publish.

    2. JB

      When you visit broadsheet.ie they also connect you to these others who log your activity:

      facebookconnect
      facebook social plugins
      Google+
      Google analytic
      Linkedin
      Twitter
      Wordpress Stats

      So judging them by their actions they do not respect anonymity and therefore freedom of speech and they are selling you as a product.

      (via reddit)

    3. John 'Preposterous' Ryan

      Joe, no. We don’t care where people write from.
      The IP address from MOP was used by a number of different names and much of the comments were goading people into committing libel (hence the “advice” about defamation lawyers). Publishing the address was a bad mistake made by me.

      1. Pedanto, the Hilarity Man

        Libel-farming! That’s pretty damned entrepreneurial.

        Well done on your response to this. It’s an obvious point to make, but if Kevin O’Sulllivan had been as willing to admit he was wrong I think everyone would feel a lot more forgiving.

        I suspect (with no private knowledge here whatever) that many people who work for the Times are incredibly frustrated by this whole thing. If you lean close to Hugh Linehan’s blog you can hear the sound of a fair-minded man biting his tongue.

  40. Rod

    I think it was naive to publicize that IP address. Where do you draw the line with that? People will be nervous now, thinking that their IP will be outed if they post something you don’t like.

    1. Steve

      I am on Broadsheet’s side with this Kate story 100%, but Rod makes a fair point about usage of the IP address.

      1. John 'Preposterous' Ryan

        We will never publish anyone’s IP address. But trolls who are in fact lawyers (working for firms connected to one or more of the main players in this saga) suggesting Broadsheet.ie commenters and Broadsheet.ie have “defamation lawyers at the ready” can expect to be treated in an ungentlemanly fashion.

        1. Carlos Aguas

          Really naive and petty. You can’t even see it, but you’re turning this site into the very thing you’re protesting against. You must be embarrassed at the reader comments too.

          ‘BROADSHEET IZ WON INTERNETZ. PAWNAGE’.

          Jesus wept.

        2. Pedanto, the Hilarity Man

          Come on, John, did you really read that as a threat? And do you have no qualms at all about your piece?

          1. John 'Preposterous' Ryan

            I did see it as a threat (consistent with the many we have got since this began) and yes I had qualms. The comment was one of a number under different names from the same IP address, registered to MOP. Full ironic disclosure: I once went on a libel training course at that firm.

          2. Pedanto, the Hilarity Man

            Fair enough, John. You presumably have to be pretty sensitive to that stuff.

            Am I nuts, or did you actually publish the IP address and then redact it? “We will never publish anyone’s IP address” doesn’t quite cover it if you did, and might look in these torrid pitchfork-strewn times like Orwellising the record.

            Sorry if I’m misremembering this.

          3. John 'Preposterous' Ryan

            The link to the IP registration was up and I took it down. It was mistake and I am sorry for doing it..

        3. PuntPrinter

          Just to clarify – and apols for my tech ignorance but at the risk of annoying BS ( I am not clever enough to be a lawyer so I think the risk of you publishing my IP addy is low ….) did you not in fact publish the IP Addy?? It was clearly at the end of the link on the IP search engine. and then if one was to follow the instruction gives by some posters earlier I understand it would have been possible to get a name of someone, somewhere who may or may not have been the person in question. As it were….

      2. IrelandGuy

        That is the nature of the internet. Anonymity is an illusion.

        You should already operate on the internet with the view that your IP address is always on “show”.

        Best hope is to try a proxy service or a specialized VPN provider….

        1. PuntPrinter

          In the bourne series of films I recall this was a major thorn in the side of the NSA types who frequently would come accropper because the IP Addys were bounced around the globe. Akin I suppose to sending a valentines day card back in the day without a name.

  41. F-man

    I once commented on Jim Carroll’s blog on the Irish Times, under the same user name as it happens, and he retorted with a comment about my workplace (I worked in a magazine at the time), which leads me to assume he traced or had my IP traced, figured out who I was or where I worked and used this information to take a dig at me on his blog. I found it a bit creepy at the time.. but it’s clearly easily done and the IT have no problem letting you know they can do it. Gas stuff altogether.

    1. Pedanto, the Hilarity Man

      Ew. That is creepy.

      Given that it’s the internet and Christmas, simply responding to every critical post with “F**k off, fatty” would have a pretty high hit rate.

    2. Spaghetti Hoop

      Happened me – a very well known Irish blogger / Social Media guru made one hellova sneering remark about where I worked when I commented on his site once. It was pretty childish stuff – think he was trying on that old ‘knowledge is power’ trickery.

      1. ZipAhDeeDooDah

        If it’s Mullet (think French pronunciation) to whom you refer, he’s a petty, pitiful prick who never tires of abusing what little power he thinks he has…

        1. Jockstrap

          I’ve always had the same impression of that man were are not referring to.

          There is a lot of complete bullshitters in the social media game.

      2. timbermerchant

        Knowledge IS power, John.

        Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahaha.

        No, no, I cant back this up, I have no idea what your name truly is…

    3. 257

      Creepily enough, I assumed Jim Carroll’s sarky comment at the time was directed at me, as I worked then for, and posted a comment on his blog from, a competing media empire. I was impressed that Jim’s working day was sufficiently leisurely to allow him to look up IP addresses, much as my own was sufficiently leisurely to read his dyspeptic musings.

  42. Pedanto, the Hilarity Man

    Well, Broadsheet seem to have removed the IP address from the article. A good move.

    Any chance of a comment, lads? Is this something you’re going to keep doing? Do you agree with any of the disquiet here?

      1. Pedanto, the Hilarity Man

        I won’t keep responding to your every post, but I do appreciate your engaging with reader criticism. It makes Broadsheet feel more like something we’re all part of and less like a magisterial scroll handed down from the mountain.

        Enough of the Things That Are Longer Than They Are Wide, however. They don’t look one bit like Stephen Ireland.

        1. Xiao Liu

          I, too, appreciate the Broadsheet humility. Fair play.

          Speaking of which, Pedanto, I respectfully disagree on that second point: I think we can’t have enough of the Things. As a reluctant young ex-pat(te) I welcome anything that reminds me of Ireland – not excluding your very visage, in fact!

  43. ginger

    it’s a shame this debate about media influence is using the tragedy of suicide as its medium. there are lots of other examples of the media being influenced by outsiders, why drag out the pain for the family and friends? broadsheet you are equally guilty in this regard. stop talking about this tragic symptom of the influence and focus on the cause: the dodgy media and those who influence it.

    1. Einka

      The issues that the unfortunate death of poor Kate has thrown up are:

      The problem of suicide in Ireland
      The stigma of depression in Ireland
      The manipulation of the press by unprincipled PR companies
      The ignorance of some companies about how to deal with employees with depression
      The cronyism that goes on at certain levels in the media which results in the Irish public being lied to
      The attempts by a corrupt law firm to derail an open debate on the subjects

      A question for you “Ginger” – Who are you to say what should and should not be the catalyst for the debate on any issue? Especially if one of the consequences of that issue not being talked about is the death of Irish people!

      Another q. for you G – Would you ever go and boil your head?

      I said it before and I will say it again, Kate did the ultimate PR job for suicide and depression with this newspaper piece . I am just so genuinely sorry for her friends and family that this turned out to be the way that she did it.

      1. ginger

        ok Enika, to the same extent that you believe you’re entitled to use this case as the spearhead for your argument, i am also entitled to say that you are using it irresponsibly and overdoing it. it has become like a Heat magazine bust up. Just focus on the issues you have outlined above and start looking for solutions rather than sparking a big bitch fight on the web.

        1. Einka

          Quantify your comment “i am also entitled to say that you are using it irresponsibly and overdoing it”

          Where does that entitlement come from?
          Using it irresponsibility in what way?
          Overdoing it compared to what?

          Every change in society has a starting point, it does not matter if that start is good or bad. All that matters is that people realise that a change is needed.

          Trying to muddy a clear issue by moaning “oh you should not use that as a platform for your debate” is a real politicians trick. Instead of people engaging in the debate, they debate about how the debate should be carried out.

          On this forum, the issues at the heart of the matter are mentioned and referenced often. This is how a lot of people found out there were issues to be very concerned about. This is how people are finding out that there are more issues at play here that it first appeared. (Like scumbag lawyers doing a troll dance)

          PS. Don’t use my name as if trying to promote a level of intimacy between us “Ginger”.

          PSS Go boil your bread x 2

      1. Einka

        ++100 – that’s for me – I am too lazy to pretend to write these comments as someone else…..

        i am not a scumbag lawyer hijacking threads where people have reached a decent level of consensus about issues that needed debating

        i am not a PR prick trying to twist the knife into the back of a dead girl whose life I contributed towards making miserable and who I cannot let lie in peace in death

        You can take your +1 and your sockpuppet and shove it up your arse. If it has not dropped off you with shame of being associated with such a dick.

        1. Carlos

          Funny how few of you can articulate your arguments – you rely on Broadsheet to put spin on it then you regurgitate.

          1. Fruitloop

            Actually I can research, evaluate and articulate my concluding arguments with excellence.

            You, on the other hand, just seem to be pulling shite from your shinola in order to detract from the issues at hand here.

            Thank you for trying to change the issues at the centre of the debate by harping on about how you disapprove of the nature of the debate.

            Just to remind people again:

            The issues that the unfortunate death of poor Kate has thrown up are:

            The problem of suicide in Ireland
            The stigma of depression in Ireland
            The manipulation of the press by unprincipled PR companies
            The ignorance of some companies about how to deal with employees with depression
            The cronyism that goes on at certain levels in the media which results in the Irish public being lied to
            The attempts by a corrupt law firm to derail an open debate on the subjects

  44. ginger

    Am signing off now, i do hope you stop this thread and start something fresh and some way helpful. due to the mud slinging, everybody loses focus. thus, the IP address is now the issue. kind regards. [ps no i won’t ‘boil my head’, grow up a little if you want to talk responsibly about something.]

    1. Einka

      Again, trying to change the debate to be about how the debate is carried out.

      “I’ll just ignore all your points and say I don’t like the way you said them”

      The IP address is not the issue, once again <>

      The problem of suicide in Ireland
      The stigma of depression in Ireland
      The manipulation of the press by unprincipled PR companies
      The ignorance of some companies about how to deal with employees with depression
      The cronyism that goes on at certain levels in the media which results in the Irish public being lied to
      The attempts by a corrupt law firm to derail an open debate on the subjects

      Oh and what Heat magazine bust up? I have never read the publication myself but understand it to be a lurid magazine of the tabloid persuasion. All I saw here was one or more trolls operating under various ‘nom de guerres’ trying to derail the general consensus.

      You’re trying to change the debate again by saying it is wrong you naughty naughty biscuit …. brain.

  45. Fred

    You guys are a disgrace. The Kate story was good work but going after the IP address of people who disagree with you is shocking behaviour.

    1. Niall

      I think you’ll find that the disgrace here is the behaviour of The Communications Clinic primarily, and the Irish times’ lack of back-bone.

      Granted, this isn’t exactly Broadsheet’s finest hour, unless a substantive connection can be shown between MOPs and TCC or IT regarding this case. But I think that Einka nailed the strategy here:

      “Again, trying to change the debate to be about how the debate is carried out.”

      http://communicationsclinic.ie/crisis.html

      1. Einka

        Nope, revealing who threatened you is perfectly ok behavior.

        If someone threatened your mate in a pub, you would have no problem with them reporting the threat to the police.

        If someone threatens you with taking you to court on a trumped up charge, you are of course entitled to rip the proverbial out of them.

        This is Broadsheets site, they did not ask fookkem, grabbit and ruinem to come here. They came of their own free will presuming they could hide behind a anon wall and threaten away ….

        Except what people forget (and what I am paid occasionally to remind people is:)

        1) What you put on the internet is not yours anymore, it is everybodys to see and judge.
        2) When you add content to a site, it is up to the site owner what to do with that content
        3) Anon is not anon. You leave a traceable mark everywhere you visit on the internet. Comments are fingerprints and visits are distinctive footsteps. Downloads are pictures of your face!
        4) Even behind a proxy you can be found.
        5) Anything you put on the internet is written there forever in permanent black marker

        1. Really disappointed and a little worried

          Sorry, Einka but I and I’m sure alot of other posters always believed we did so with anonymity to allow us freely express our opinion.
          This is bad.

        2. Fred

          There was no threat in the post by the idiot from MOP who will shortly be fired and disowned.

          Plenty of people have commented that Broadsheet better get their lawyers ready.

          Revealing the IP Address of a commentator on what is supposed to be an place where people can comment anonymously is bully boy tactics of the worst kind.

      1. Trapper

        John at least you’re decent enough to apologise when you know you’ve gotten it wrong. Personally, I don’t think you have, given, as you say, there were several names appearing here using that IP address to incite libel – one can only wonder at their reasons… I read all of “You’re kidding me’s” posts from yesterday and this morning, and I really don’t think your instincts are wrong on this one.

        Please don’t let this dissuade you from continuing highlighting *every* aspect of this story. At least you care enough to engage with the 100s/1000s of people who care about what happened to Kate, the treatment of her article, and the aftermath of her loss (to her family & friends).

        Thank you Broadsheet.

          1. Fred

            Sound. Btw – it’s also wrong to publish the workplace of a poster. I suspect that the large majority of people who post here do so illicitly while in work.
            Either the original post was a result of a high-level strategy meeting at which some genius like the Irish Internet’s version of Terry Prone advised them on their Trolling and Internet Intimidation Strategy (he has his own money), or it was just some poor sap posting from work. Ditto re Chompky’s post about the MOP poster from yesterday.
            Two people will probably be fired for mouthing off on here.

  46. Dom

    Really shitty thing to do Broadsheet.
    So if anyone disagrees strongly with Broadsheet they leave themselves open to having their place of work posted for all to see.
    Presumably if anyone on the other side of the argument made similar comments they are fair game too. And there were lots of strong words shall we say made by several people.

    1. John 'Preposterous' Ryan

      Dom, In this case it was systematic trolling under different names from inside a law firm that represents the Irish Times urging people to libel others including the Irish Times. It was an error to publish the address and I am sorry.

      1. Fred

        John, how do you know it wasn’t just people disagreeing with you? Publishing the IP address and naming MOP is the same crime.

        1. John 'Preposterous' Ryan

          Fred, we are trolled all the time. What made this different and more serious was that the many comments – under different names and different writing styles – were not only very specific about aspects of this story and seemed to have inside knowledge but they were also inviting people to commit libel on our site. That these comments came from an IP address registered to a law firm whose clients include the Irish Times convinced me that this was more than just people disagreeing with other commenters.

        2. Fruitloop

          There are a number of characteristics that all trolls on every internet site display making it very easy to identify them.

          The most prominent characteristic of which is stupidity. Thank goodness. Cos it makes them hysterically easy to identify…..

          There is even money in it if it is done properly: In 2011, a Californian company, Ntrepid, was awarded a $2.76 million contract under the auspices of US Central Command for “online persona management” operations with the aim of creating “fake online personas to influence net conversations and spread US propaganda” in Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and Pashto.
          (From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sockpuppet_%28Internet%29)

          Wonder is there any money in it for the personas who visited here? That is question.

          If I worked at the IT and interacted with these MOP idiots, I would check the expenses I was being charged with a finecomb. Cos paying them for it would make me complicit in their actions….

          In the UK, it is not illegal to post anyones IP anywhere and that is why you should use your time on the internet as if you were addressing a room with your boss, spouse, kids and parents and NOT BE STOOPID…..

          1. Paul

            sure the Israelis spend millions (of america’s money) on it. they are quite proud of it and have had lots of tv crews in to show them the setup.

      2. Crested Ted

        The MOP guy/girl was being deliberately aggresive and controversial against all comers.

        Had a few unimimportant interactions myself.

        Stick with it Broadsheet, from a recently new poster, the main topic is still front and centre which is most important.

        Stop the people who think they are big and powerful, stomping on the small people, Ireland needs more of this, don’t be distracted.

  47. Fruitloop

    ….except it is not a crime…..to publish information that someone effectively brought TO YOU by visiting YOUR website …..

    sigh ….

    1) What you put on the internet is not yours anymore, it is everybodys to see and judge.
    2) When you add content to a site, it is up to the site owner what to do with that content
    3) Anon is not anon. You leave a traceable mark everywhere you visit on the internet. Comments are fingerprints and visits are distinctive footsteps. Downloads are pictures of your face!
    4) Even behind a proxy you can be found.
    5) Anything you put on the internet is written there forever in permanent black marker (see comment one to appreciate the full circle effect)

    1. Fred

      Sigh³, fine, not a crime (would like to hear the Data Commissioner’s opinion on that though). But it was wrong.

      1. Fruitloop

        Go for it: http://www.dataprotection.ie/viewdoc.asp?m=l&fn=/documents/LEGAL/SI336of2011.pdf

        Everytime you sign a cheque, you tell people what your signature, sort code and account number is, every time you write a letter and put your name and address on the back, you tell people who you are and where you live, every time you send your credit card details across the internet, it is interceptable from at least 4 points. You are not in charge of the information about yourself publicly available unless you never communicate with anyone, don’t own a bank account or go online.

        1. Fred

          Great; however this is not about cheques and so on.
          There are two possibilities here:
          1) A law firm that may be hired by ‘someone’ has decided to engage in a strategy of disinformation/intimidation by creating false personas to post on Broadsheet to muddy the waters, sow dissent, encourage people to commit libel etc.
          2) People who work for this law firm have a different opinion to Broadsheet and decided to share it from their workplace (like most of the opinions shared on Broadsheet).
          I think the latter is by far the most likely and if there was any possibility it was the former I would certainly not out them, I would let them post away and ensure that I had those posts and their confirmed IP if I ever ended up in court.

          I would also not out them because of the collateral damage that results from all posters knowing that if you post from a IP address that has any relevance to any story that Broadsheet is featuring that you could be outed. This bit is the most important bit.

          1. Fruitloop

            Well there I beg (respectively to differ)

            You cannot have privacy on the internet. Now, you may expect it. You may even take steps to protect yourself online with firewalls, proxys, not posting questionable content from work etc. However, you cannot have it.

            If you do something on someone’s site which they object to, your information is theirs to do with what they will.

            They can even share it with other people if they think that you are trying to discredit an open discussion because you have your own agenda.

            They are well within their rights to take a statement as a threat and decide to find out who was making those perceived threats.

            They are well within their rights to discredit that “commentator” they perceived as threatening.

  48. Slypig

    To be honest this is a bit OTT Broadsheet. I dont agree with your actions here. People should be allowed to have a different opinion then yours. I guess i am now also going to have my IP address traced. Starting to feel like N.Korea around here.

    1. Paul

      north korea? youve basically invoked godwin’s law there.

      I posted this before and it either didn’t go through or was removed. I have no problem with them posting the IP address. In fact, as journalists, I would be disappointed, very disappointed if they hadn’t brought us this story and theyve backed themselves up with the IP Address.

    2. Fruitloop

      What actions specifically do you not agree with? Why do you not agree with it?
      Why is it ott?
      Why is it like North Korea? Is it because of all the pics of Kim Jung IL?

      There are plenty of people on this site with differing opinions who go on commentating anonymously.

      These comments came from an IP address registered to a law firm whose clients currently include the Irish Times

      They came here and left their comments. No one went and laid out a red carpet to herald their appearance.

      I’d say they Broadsheet released knowledge which should have been in the public domain as it is in the public interest.

      BTW, the real issues here are:
      The problem of suicide in Ireland
      The stigma of depression in Ireland
      The manipulation of the press by unprincipled PR companies
      The ignorance of some companies about how to deal with employees with depression
      The cronyism that goes on at certain levels in the media which results in the Irish public being lied to
      The attempts by a corrupt law firm to derail an open debate on the subjects

      1. Slypig

        Why do u ask so many questions?

        It is OTT to post a contibuters ip adress and identity. If you cant see that and accept it (even as MrRyan has) then theres no point continuing the discussion.

        Didnt think i needed to spell that out to you but there you have it. Now, jog on.

        PS. I didnt see the pics of kim jong il. Maybe they were deleted along with the ip address and the seperate post of hugh lenihans comments (was up for about 10 mins) obviously designed to retarget mob hatred at him.

        1. Miriam Cotton

          Sorry, but that’s a transparently deliberate non-reply to the specific, relevant questions put by Einka. Anyone who really cared about Kate Kitzgerald would not avoid them as you have.

        2. Daz

          I think that in this instance, the identity of the source was something that should have been disclosed by the poster. In particular, when the wording of the ‘advice’ tendered is as it was.

        3. Fruitloop

          Why do you not answer questions?

          Why is it ott to publish an IP to back up a relevation that someone trying to derail a conversation about the shocking immoral behavior of TCC, IT did so from inside the offices of MOP?

          No-one elses IP has been published by Broadsheet except that of a computer user within the law firm that represents the Irish Times.

          So, yes please do explain your stance that it is ott to me. I have detailed exactly why it is NOT ott to me.

          With such a gift for hyperbole, you should really go into journalism or PR…. oh, and that’s not a compliment.

  49. Smoothie

    Keep up the good work Broadsheet. It was obvious there were trolls at work, and you were right to ‘out’ them. They were indundating the forum with inane comments designed to provoke other posters and derail the discussion.

    1. Daz

      My question would be – ‘where did the idea to flood the forum with diversionary posts come from?’

      Sounds like a PR tactic to me…

  50. Scanner

    Sterling stuff Broadsheet! Publishing the IP address may not have been the wisest, but understandable when there are such important issues at stake. Impressed at your readiness to apologise unlike some.

    Another blog post from Our Man in Stockholm that’s worth a look:

    http://ourmaninstockholm.wordpress.com/

    Not only have they sullied the name of a dead woman, they have singularly failed to follow up the story and ask the questions people would like to see answered by Terry Prone and Kate’s ex-colleagues at the Communications Clinic about Kate and her demise.

  51. Ned

    Good job Broadsheet. Have no problem with posting of the info…not that my opinion matters cos its your site and can do what you guys please. Broadsheet never claimed to have some moral compass so why suddenly should we expect one! However Broadsheet’s actions on this matter makes me feel like my voice is being heard. This to me is a nice shot across the bow of those that operate behind litigious practices behind closed doors who hold the ears of those that are too cowardly to stand up and be counted. I think it says you may have the money and power but we have smarts and sharp teeth. In a country that has little pride left I feel a bit of pride by the actions of Broadsheet. Keep up the good work and thank you!

  52. BB.roadshit

    i was going to make a post but now i am too scared to. suddenly the tumbleweed has rolled through the innocuous invitation of ‘LEAVE A REPLY your email will not be published’ instead it should read: ‘Broadsheet will reveal your workplace, without even checking out if you’re a troll or not, if we have an unproven hunch, dem do be the social media laws if you didn’t get that from our above invitation then suck on a lemon and hope they don’t fire yeh’. a debate about ideas to stop media influence has turned into making an example of somebody. trial by media, executed by social media.

  53. Fruitloop

    But dude … like uhhhh … you did make a post. Well done on feeling the fear and pushing right through.

    You’re like toad-ally a modern day hero. You should so go and get a job in jornalism or PR or just MOP it up in DeformedNation law. With your cavalier attitude for the truth, you would be a great success at whatever you turned your claws to.

    Broadsheet released knowledge which should have been in the public domain as it is in the public interest.

    Since you are so brave and forthright, what’s your opinions on these issues effecting modern little old Ireland today?

    The problem of suicide in Ireland – what do we do about it?
    The stigma of depression in Ireland – how can we make it better?
    The manipulation of the press by unprincipled PR companies – is it right?
    The ignorance of some companies about how to deal with employees with depression – what can be done about it?
    The cronyism that goes on at certain levels in the media which results in the Irish public being lied to – is it right?
    The attempts by a corrupt law firm to derail an open debate on all the above issues – is it right?

  54. woesinger

    I have no problem outing sockpuppets via IP address. If you stoop to using multiple pseudonyms to try to bolster your case, you deserve to have your dishonesty revealed.

    I also don’t think that quashing dissent is a realistic accusation. There are plenty of dissenting voices on these threads. Trying to dress this up as some sort of digital lynching doesn’t stack up and probably speaks more to people’s animus against Broadsheet than to the facts of the matter.

    I’ve read all these threads and I’ve had some exchanges with people of differing opinions, but I’ve never considered them trolls. YKM (and variants), on the other hand, showed classic troll behaviour – sockpuppeting, spamming threads related to Kate Fitzgerald with a very large number of posts, avoiding substantive responses to focus on point scoring and personal goading – all in all the kind of asshole behaviour that has little to do with genuinely arguing a case and more to do with derailing comment threads with flaming and name-calling.

    That said – YKM did make one or two cogent posts (I didn’t agree with them, but they were, by their standards, well argued), and really, if they’d debated in that vein throughout, they wouldn’t be in the position they’re now in.

      1. fatty

        “I have no problem outing sockpuppets via IP address. If you stoop to using multiple pseudonyms to try to bolster your case, you deserve to have your dishonesty revealed. ”

        +1

        Its a difficult thing to address if you don’t out them.

  55. Carlos

    Even your Dear Leader John Ryan admitted it was wrong to publish the IP address and apologised, yet most of you seem to insist it was the right thing to do!

      1. Daz

        The Public Interest in publishing the IP, I mean. I think it was the right thing to do, to publish. Doing so outweighed any other consideration.

Comments are closed.