The NOS reported today that a "war" has broken out between GeenStijl and GeenCommentaar.
That's the Netherlands' BBC equivalent, reporting on the blogs NoStyle and NoComment.
GeenStijl is the most popular Dutch blog, and it got that way by being smart and well, tasteless. Love 'em or hate 'em (I love 'em), they can't be ignored.
GeenCommentaar is a lesser known site designed as a response to GeenStijl (which is populist and perceived as right-leaning).
Recently GeenCommentaar put up a fake petition, guessing (correctly) that GeenStijl would invite its readers to deface it. But GeenCommentaar simply gathered the IP addresses of users coming in on the GeenStijl link to create a database of the site's readers.
Then they began offering the database as a "GeenStijl Checker" so that other leftist websites could use it as a filter to prevent GeenStijl readers from commenting again in the future.
So in retaliation, GeenStijl launched a denial-of-service attack on the site where the database was housed. Which is technically illegal under Dutch law.
(by chance I happened to see this interview taking place near Artis this morning _ I wondered what it was all about; if I had known I would have stopped to take my own photo and ask a few questions).
The NOS played an interesting role in all this. They've been wrong-footed by GeenStijl frequently in the past, but this time it seems to me they did a nice job of ruffling the feathers of the infant terrible, without getting their own hands dirty.
GeenStijl put out a lengthy response to the NOS piece, photoshopping a frame grab from the program and crying "boo hoo" (one of their favorite phrases for mocking complainers) about the database, claiming it violates privacy laws. Doubtful, dudes.
I forget who it was who first said this, but in U.S. politics and in life, once you have to start explaining yourself, you've already lost.
Monday, September 22, 2008