Join us on Facebook
What's Happening
Book sale at the library
Food & Wine
more >>
Caponata di Maria
Columnist, Blogs & Reports
more >>
Fred Allebach
Connecting the Dots
Fred Allebach


When online commenting started to become popular, it wasn’t long before people took up aliases. All you need is a fake e-mail account. This ease of anonymity and low bar of e-mail account admissions shows a lack of social responsibility from social media companies, particularly the Big Five, Google, Twitter Facebook, etc. Since you take their service for free and signoff any rights, they are unaccountable, unreachable, and do whatever they want. You are freed to do the same. That’s the message to the public. All is permitted, no accountability, no normal social standards. They do it, you do it; the Russians do it.  It’s a brave new world… A door has been opened wide for normally more-controlled human deviousness. Many folks use aliases in local social media. If you have an alias habit, why stop at one? I know a few people who have multiple aliases, at least one of which has been used to stalk me on Facebook. This same person also has an alias used to amplify his HOSPITAL OPINIONS. Sometimes one coyote can sound like six, and I’d advise the hospital board and staff, and anyone else in power and civil society for that matter, to completely ignore alias comments. Anyone who can’t be honest enough to use their real name when expressing opinions doesn’t deserve to be engaged. One tactic I’ve seen with my Facebook stalker is to target my Friends list, to see if an in can be gotten to engage me that way. I’ve seen “friend” associates fall for sexy girl trolling. Associates “friend” my stalker, then I get a friend request from the “girl.” Should I be flattered someone wants to engage me that bad? No, this is beyond that; it’s pitiful and creepy. The alias loophole allows online harassment to take place. In normal civil society, this is restraining order stuff. As someone who enjoys words and language, I can see the patterns of people’s speech and writing. Peculiar signatures stand out, the turn of a phrase, use of caps or quotes, point of view, habitual subject matter, type of innuendo, style, tone, level of sarcasm etc. You can see who people are even though they try to hide it. From the Russian example, social media Trojan Horses can be used for more nefarious purposes. Lack of transparency in the whole social media scene is troubling. Sonoma now has a very nasty Word Press anonymous political smear piece going, and as with aliases, it is not that hard to figure out who’s behind it, just look at the track record of previous behavior. Who has the motive? Guess. These people have no class or integrity. They may be members of your nice social circle pretending to be regular Joes. One aspect of the alias phenomena: people who have a lot to say, or who want to engage for whatever reasons, may be embarrassed to be showing up everywhere, and saying nasty stuff. They can’t moderate tone or quantity, so they find ways to disguise themselves. It is probably a good bet that people who make tons of comments and posts, or who have compulsive axes to grind have aliases as well. Two coyotes can sound like 15. Seasoned civil society actors should realize, as with real coyotes, it is just noise, there’s no real danger. Some local aliases have become so normalized that actual people carry on with them: Dee Test, Fishnfnatic, runndz, johndip, e pluribus unum, Sonoma Guy and Conservative Bob, are some that come to mind. After I busted Clyde Lamar on Facebook, that alias disappeared instantly; 500+ Facebook friends, wow! These local aliases are accountable to none, and feel free to drop as many rude bombs as they want. Unfortunately for them, people have gotten tired of it and more and more, these aliases remain alone in the comment section; no one wants to play. Unfortunately for comment and other social media platforms, “likes”, “looks”, and “hits” are the new currency that validates status and popularity. These hits also make tons of money for Internet companies who have discovered formulae for how to exploit socially adapted people at their most vulnerable level of natural behavior. Paid fake comments, or vendettas to like or dislike businesses are good cases in point. You can’t trust anything that uses unverifiable aliases as the principle source of info. Wikipedia is a constant game of reframing what people see as true. With lack of transparency, accountability goes out the window. The Big Five have played us out; we’re captive audience dupes in their video game; souls sold for free convenience and free access. There is no recourse, no one can break the barrier to even get through on the phone, no one to watch or even question the watchers. If competition and every dog for himself was our default behavior, we wouldn’t fall so easily for these social media, peer pressure traps. Modern people are glued to their smartphones 24/7, desperate for relationship approval; they go for tech validation like flies on shit while the Big Five make money all the way to the bank. We’ve got no one to blame but ourselves for buying into this like sheep to the slaughter. The swamp of aliases is just one affect of the whole thing. A letter to the editor used to require validation with name, address and phone. Now we are on a slippery slope to George Orwell’s 1984, surveilled by Big Brother and trolled by our own fellows who exploit our ingrained social tendencies along the channels of the anonymous “tech ecosystem.” Aliases should not be read, replied to, nor given any credence. Lets’ not forget who we were before all this social media started. When identify itself is fungible, we lose the only real touchstone with social reality we have. With aliases pretended as real, agency and purpose becomes suspect, motives are hidden, accountability is lost and obscured, new forms of harassment enabled. Let these tech sprites go on in their own fantasy zones, and leave real life for real people.
Continue Story...
Ringing in the grapes Ringing in the grapes

The first grape pick of the season — about 20 tons of Pinot Noir from Sangiacomo Family Vineyards ... Continue

Meeting topic: Springs Specific Plan Meeting topic: Springs Specific Plan

What’s the future of the Springs? Much will be determined by the Springs Sonoma Plan, a document... Continue

• The visual arts scene
• Moose meets pig
• Dan Gustafson reflects on 12 years as school board trustee
• … and fun all over
• Planning for the next generation
• Alive and kickin’
• Gone Thrifting
• After 34 years, David Goodison plans a new life
• A mystic ‘Noche’ for La Luz
• Seven candidates (so far) for Sonoma Council
Letters & Opinion
more >>
Local Movie Trailers and Videos of Interest - more >>
SUN Columnist & Blogs
more >>
Public Citizen - Larry Barnett
Before It's Too Late - Eric Gullotta
Progressive Majority Coalition - Ben Boyce
Snark Infested Waters - Bob Edwards
Board Walk - Susan Gorin
Nonprofit Matters - Dr. B.J. Bischoff
What's Up With That? - Katy Byrne
Connecting the Dots - Fred Allebach
Voices of the New Majority - Loretta Carpio Carr
Creative Arts - Deb Carlen, Editor
Sun In-Depth Report - Sonoma Valley Sun
Under the Sun: Interviews -
Rude Awakenings - Catherine Sevenau
Taxpertise - Bonnie Lee
Conversations on Aging - Kelsey Maddox
Find What You're looking For


Events & Entertainment
The visual arts scene
Sign up for our free daily email with the latest news, events and opinion.
What We're Following
Stories of interest from around the Web
Updated state cannabis law would allow delivery — no matter what any city or county says
> Mercury News - August 15th, 2018
Will the CA fires affect homeowners insurance ?
> Napa Valley Register - August 14th, 2018
Violence and mayhem at Santa Rosa pot farm
> Sonoma Sheriff Office - August 13th, 2018
Follow the money – when it is found – to know the future of SDC
> Kenwood Press - August 13th, 2018
Unlucky 13th for SMART train collision victim
> Marin Independent Journal - August 13th, 2018
Want to serve on the school board for Flowery or El Verano district ? You have till 5PM August 15 to apply
> Sonoma Valley Unified - August 13th, 2018
Do the Russians have a booth? The annual hackers convention returns to Las Vegas
> Mashable - August 12th, 2018
L.A.’s street war against rental scooters
> L.A. Times - August 12th, 2018
Firefighting problem isn’t water, says CA lawmaker, it’s too many trees
> Sacramento Bee - August 11th, 2018
The bitcoin scam plaguing D.C. bachelors 
> - August 11th, 2018
Interactive map shows just how big recent wildfires are
> Sacramento Bee - August 10th, 2018
Supervisors unanimously approve 1/8¢ ballot measure to fund regional and local parks
> County of Sonoma - August 10th, 2018
Remember the old days, when the family used to share one computer?
> The Verge - August 10th, 2018
NASA wants to save us from the sun
> - August 9th, 2018
Amazon fined for lying about its ‘biodegradable’ products 
> Sonoma County District Attorney - August 9th, 2018
Why do those ‘Nigerian Prince’ email scams still work?
> The Conversation - August 8th, 2018
The Army’s newest weapon system: anti-drone cannon
> The Verge - August 8th, 2018
Did Roundup cause this man’s cancer? The trial is underway in San Francisco
> - August 7th, 2018
Guess who builds all the U.S. space rockets? Russia
> Arstechnica - August 7th, 2018
You’re right – it was the hottest July on record in much of California
> Los Angeles Times - August 7th, 2018
More Following Stories...
Live Traffic
Link to Live Crime Map