This thread will serve as an addendum to our previous (and rather shocking) revelation that Johnson has at least 15,780 blocked accounts in the LGF database, and that at least 10,454 of those were blocked within the last 12 months. The unanswered question (per the title here) was…WHY? Well, the Engineers here in the BRC believe we can now provide some insight into this, but first, we should issue an update…
As it turns out, our heroic sockpuppet account “Patches” was able to deliver some additional data for us before she met her end, finding 51 more blocked accounts from last year (a number that, on any other blog, would be considered pretty significant alone, as it represents about a ban per week. In Johnson’s case, however, this accounts for less than half a percent of the total). So, relatively minor change as it may be, I present the newest and most updated official LGF Banned List (now 15,831 strong):
OK, back to the original topic…
The open question was out there, but we really didn’t expect (a 2012) Johnson to divulge any current stats or rationale pertaining to the subject of banned LGF accounts. Before we can get to “why”, though, we really wanted to know if our suspicions were correct, and we hoped to find some evidence that the bulk of the 10K blocked accounts fell to one mass extinction event (rather than a scenario where Johnson went through them all individually, which we felt was unlikely due to the sheer numbers involved). We figured that the answer could be found somewhere in the data that Patches had collected, together with the information in the archive files that Engineer No. 3 had grabbed some time ago…
Sure enough, the razor-sharp Engineer No. 5 was able to take this heap of data and employ some stat-fu to find a pattern in the chaos. He reports:
…I think I’ve pinned down approximately when the 2011 mass extinction event occurred. I grouped all commenters into “classes” based of the month of their first comment (I’m class of Aug’07) and looked at the blocked percentage of each class (see attached chart). It looks to me like CJ snapped around the end of June last year. He couldn’t ban you if you weren’t there yet, so the subsequent classes have had a much higher survival rate.OK, here’s another view of the data.This time it’s a count of known blocked accounts that were last heard from in a given month. It seems to me that if CJ did his blocking some time other than the end of June, the numbers would gradually trail off, and not crater in July.
In the graphs, we can see what is akin to the KT boundary, and determine that the ELE occurred in that late June, 2011 timeframe. It appears that we’ve found the mass extinction evidence we were after.
So…on to the “WHY”. What in the world could have prompted Johnson to suddenly and mercilessly execute the nuclear option on his own lizard army? Was he hacked? Had bots taken control of dormant accounts and started to leave spam all over the place? Surely there must be a logical explanation as to why so many accounts were involved, right? Or, what would cause a cool customer like CJ to “snap”?
Well…we think it might be our fault. I took a look at the DoD archives for that period, and I stumbled upon a rather interesting coincidence. To elaborate, let’s set the scene:
It’s June 26, 2011, and CJ, so proud and egotistical, is still feeling the sting of the “tweet counter” bunker-buster delivered by the BRC, along with the irritation of having to endure a full week of subsequent teases from his opponents in the twitterverse. He’d tried blowing it off, but it clearly wasn’t working. To cope, he cravenly composes a desperate private thread on LGF’s front page, in an attempt to assure the remaining sycophants that he hadn’t been completely pwned, and offer up an explanation in that much less scrutinous environment. Then, within hours, he realized that his beloved “Overlord Correlator Tool” for detecting sockpuppet accounts completely failed him, discovering that our socks had effortlessly peeked in and used the contents of the private thread to pwn him once again…
Are you picturing what I’m picturing? Yep…Snap, Crackle…
So…Ladies and Gentlemen, Stalkers and Loozards, we can say with relative certainty that (at least) 10,000 accounts wound up in the blocked column not because of rampant hate speech, trolling, calls for violence, unwise updinging, insults, racism, searching for taboo archive material, or commenting on unapproved websites. Nope. Ten thousand LGF accounts were apparently blocked because of Johnson’s inability to deal with his anger, frustration and sock-o-phobia once he saw…this:
As a postscript, I just want to humbly say that I think this should go down as a legendary moment in the history of blog warfare. After all, in response to what was little more than a post with our sleuthing, fact-checking and logic (on a subject as benign as website tweet counters), it now appears that we managed to induce a reaction so bizarre and extreme that it clearly goes into uncharted territory. I mean, Breitbart, Loesch or RSM could engage in daily tweet-slaps with Johnson for a decade and not produce such a grand portrait of epic butthurt. Even the six-figure karma queen Sharmuta was not safe from Johnson’s lizard holocaust.
Then take into consideration that, despite the fact that the huge blockages were performed without announcement or explanation, we were nevertheless able to expose the magnitude with a completely independent exercise in logic, research, fact-checking and general web skills, producing spreadsheets, screencaps and graphs to offer up as proof (does that double the WIN?).
And now, with additional skills we present this post, and tie the two (that he did it, and why) together (does this triple it?).
Another thing worth pointing out is what this reveals from a “Sun Tzu” perspective. It has grown increasingly apparent over the course of these battles with CJ that the real weaknesses over there aren’t exposed with jabs of “jazzy ponytails”, jokes about “Cheetos”, or even so much throwing the ghosts of wingnuts past back at him (although that provides countless hours of fun). Rather, it would appear that @lizardoid is most sensitive when it comes to subjects related to his prowess as a programmer. For example, take the rather nitpicky thread I posted last December, where I pointed out that the gape on the LGF “show all entries” page revealed the size of the memory hole. Well, it was obvious that Johnson dropped what he was doing to address it, and had it all fixed in a matter of hours. Other examples would be the technical problems we pointed out regarding the “views” counter, and how quickly CJ closed the door to the memory hole through the comment urls. He’ll let the countless examples of hypocrisy sit out there forever, but if there’s a problem with the software, well that’s personal.
Above all though, it seems that if there is a technical aspect of LGF that Johnson really takes pride in, it is his perceived ability to detect those sockpuppets. My goodness. Get one of those past the correlator tool and use it to embarrass him, and he might just freak out and post up the picture of you he has saved on his hard drive. Or, he might decide to ban 10,000 perfectly innocent accounts. Something completely rational like that.