This is Part 4 of a monograph about a blog named Little Green Footballs and its founder Charles Foster Johnson. Click the links below for related posts. They will be updated as the series continues.
Part 1 – Overview
Part 2 – The Ascendance of Charles Johnson and LGF
Part 3 – The Bannings
Part 4 – The Flounces
Part 5 – The Turnaround
Part 6 – Current Events & The Future Of LGF
Bonus track: Revisiting Rathergate
PART 4 – THE FLOUNCES
In contrast to The Bannings, there were many who saw the writing on the wall at Little Green Footballs. Rather than wait for Charles Johnson’s own sock puppet “Stinky Beaumont” to fetch the banning stick, they decided to leave voluntarily. Most just walked away quietly, but there were many who wanted to have one last word before they left. These comments were referred to as “flounces.”
The record of “flounces” is sparse, as once a member of Little Green Footballs announced that he/she was leaving, Johnson would delete the comment, often within seconds, depriving other lizards and the public from reading the complaint. Once a lizard “flounced” he/she was no longer welcome, and was mocked by the remaining hive of LGF supporters. No matter how popular or prolific the “flouncer” had been at LGF, he/she was instantly demonized and smeared as someone who shouldn’t have been allowed to post in the first place.
We should probably preface this with a little background, so…remember this?
Oooohhh! It was SOOPER SEKRIT! But what happened? Although 000G had been blocked before, this netizen did have over 8K comments to his account, so we think that the rest of the cult probably deserved an explanation (heh).
Well yesterday, we get this rather interesting email that came to us right out of the blue, and we’re going to post it here in its entirety (save the name of the author). For our readers, as well as those lurking LGFers who aren’t in Johnson’s ‘DM’ inner circle, we can now close the case on this mystery:
Message: A link to your site came to my attention:
An explanation to comments #24 – #27 (in regards to 000G’s banning):
000G voluntarily asked for the account to be banned. He also voluntarily deleted the comment about his “Native American ladyfriend”. The reason this happened was because his ladyfriend/the mother of his child – that would be yours truly – saw the comment and promptly ended our relationship for dragging my personal life and my heritage up on that sh*thole of a blog after I repeatedly warned him that I despised that place and wanted nothing to do with it.
Furthermore, he made up that entire last sentence about “…shame about the convergence of heritage, poverty, and crime.” I have no idea where that came from, other to win political brownie points. It’s completely fictitious.
If you ever discover 000G’s other accounts on that blog (he keeps them secret from me, probably because he discusses my private life with them, too), please feel free to point them out to me so that I can rip them to shreds and hold him accountable for his asshattery. They, too, will suddenly disappear.
As for 000G’s “other accounts”, we aren’t going to hold our breath, as they were likely victims of the Great Lizard Genocide anyway. But for the comment in question, here it is (as it appeared prior to deletion):
574 000G May 19, 2012 10:41:02 1
My ladyfriend has Native American ancestry, from her maternal side, but none of the records were kept by the family. I think in that specific circumstance it had to do with shame about the convergence of heritage, poverty, and crime.
Daedalus Note: I snapped at Beed, so I am publicly apologizing to him.
I know it goes without saying around here, but in case we get some visitors who are unfamiliar, we should note that, for quite some time, Charles Johnson has had a growing reputation of cold indifference and (oftentimes) bizarre reactions towards the commenters who frequent his Little Green Footballs website. In fact, a couple of years ago, even the NYT took notice, as author Jonathan Dee states (emphasis mine):
THE QUESTIONING OF Johnson’s tactics started to come not just from without L.G.F. but also from within. Readers both casual and loyal spoke up in the comment threads to ask, sometimes diplomatically and sometimes not, whether all this casual flinging of epithets like “fascist” wasn’t maybe an overreaction. Johnson’s response, in thousands of cases, was to block their accounts and ban some of them from viewing the blog. “Get off my Web site” was a common farewell. (Johnson insists that this is not true — that no one has ever been banned from L.G.F. merely for disagreeing with him — but the anecdotal evidence to the contrary is voluminous, and the fact that the offending comments were instantly and permanently deleted makes it impossible to check others’ records against his.)
The total number and identities of banned members aren’t statistics that are compiled for viewing on Charles’ site, but in recent years the subject has generated a substantial amount of curiosity. There were certainly enough lizards outcast to sustain several spin-off websites, but it was pretty difficult to get a hard estimate on just how many. Back in 2009, ex-LGFer Kirly used her blog to start a list of exiled members called “The Book of the Banned“. The list grew as netizens stopped by to report the tales of their banishment, and their handles were added accordingly. Over time, she compiled well over a thousand usernames, but eventually, Kirly grew tired of continuously updating the page, and at about the same time that our DoD website got up and running, the updates had ceased.
The end of Kirly’s updates didn’t mark the end of the bannings (of course), so a year ago, we decided to take the torch and compile a list of our own. We were impressed with Kirly’s work, but we figured that there could be a more efficient and independently verifiable method of compiling a list. Engineer No. 2 took it upon himself to use the information we’d gathered about the LGF archives and known usernames, grabbed a sockpuppet account, and started checking account statuses. In the end, he compiled a list of 4,252 names that he confirmed as blocked, and put them into a spreadsheet along with their stats gleaned from their profile pages (we’ve kept it under the “Get off my Website” page in the banner; last updated 3/15/11). It’s been a year, and since we’ve been receiving hints that it was deserving an update, and since we still have that open question to Johnson sitting out there unanswered, we thought it might be a good time to dive back in and see what we can find…
In order to do this, one basically needs a healthy LGF account (to view statuses on user profile pages), and a comprehensive list of known usernames. The former has been relatively easy to get these days, and the latter can be gleaned from user comments (and mentions) in the archives. The info for each account is there for the grabbing. The real trick is figuring out a way to gather it efficiently and put it all together while remaining under Johnson’s radar.
Now, when we previously sifted through it, the archives gave Engineer no. 2 a little over 20K individual usernames to check. This time around, we turned to Engineer no. 5. He was able to find a few more, and then sent our sockpuppet account (henceforth affectionately referred to as “Patches”) into the Lizard Kingdom to confirm the status on a total of 22,422 known LGF usernames (we should remind everyone that the total registered accounts on the site was ~35,600 as of a month or so ago, which means there are ~13,000 unknown usernames out there. These accounts either haven’t ever commented, or we’ve missed their mention by another lizard).
Yesterday I had a post about Chuck banning NJDhockeyfan. Well Charles being the most beneficial and merciful cult leader has in the goodness of his heart restored NJD’s account.
Charles, the only one who failed was you. You banned him in a fit of rage. NJDhockey then begged to be restored and just to show you have power over people. This episode shows you are think skinned and act like you are some dictator. Then you act like you bestowed mercy, just like a cult leader acts. You’re ego is bigger than your actual influence.
Your blog is a failure Chuck. That’s why you have play around with your stats and exaggerate your real traffic. Charles, you’re the joke of the blogosphere.
(Hat Tip: sacred ham)
Chuck once again shows his tolerance of dissenting opinions again.
What was NJD’s offence, he linked to a Jim Hoft article. Rather than refute it, the Jazz Man deletes it.
Dark Falcon chimes at first in defense of his friend.
Rather than stick to his guns, he throws his friend under the bus. Do you have any courage Dark Falcon? You really are a coward. Do you have any convictions worth fighting over? This is just a blog, if you get banned, there are others.
This comment by Chuck is ironic.
No, but you will use LGF to out people who mock you online. You have proven yourself to be an hypocrite, thin skinned and an intellectually dishonest loser. You should stick to Jazz Guitars Charles, debating ideas are not your strong suit.
(Hat Tip: livefreeor die)