Friday, November 05, 2004

Dodged a bullet

I just witnessed in microcosm what might have happened had Kerry won. For several years I've been a member of One of the features of that site was a free-wheeling discussion board called "Misc." The language there was often pretty rough, as you might expect fromm anonymous adolescent rock-n-roll fans. But I considered it my mission field, as it were. One thread on Christianity grew to over a thousand posts and lasted more than a year, with a rolling conversation between myself, a couple of other believers, and a handful of atheists (not to mention the trolls). The board was moderated, so if anyone got too far out of line they could be banned (forcing them to come up with a new user ID) and their posts deleted. Well, this evening someone guessed an admin's password. The hacker gave every user the power to be a moderator. It was an electronic version of the Fall of Rome. People were being banned left and right, posts deleted, truly offensive content being posted - pandemonium. The site owner just took all the discussion boards offline. ALL the boards, including sedate forums devoted to beginners tips, the technical minutia of recording techniques and signal processing. The children got put in charge, and all hell broke loose. Had Kerry won on Tuesday, the foreign and domestic policy of this nation would have been dictated by the likes of Michael Moore and MoveOn. Thank you, God.

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