I have recently had my trust abused by a commentator calling himself “The Watcher”.
As you may know, when a new commentator leaves a comment on Sentire Cum Ecclesia, it first comes into my email box to be moderated. This email contains a lot of information: who sent the email, what the email address is, what server is used, etc. So from the start I have a few clues as to who the commentator is. But in addition, I always ask three questions of potential commentators before approving them. I keep this information to myself, but it is for my own protection so that I know the bona fides of the commentator.
1) Your real name (where a pseudonym is used)
2) Your approximate geographic location (eg. Melbourne or Timbuktoo)
3) Your religious background
As I said, I show trust in my commentators by agreeing to keep this information private.
“The Watcher” recently left a comment to be moderated on my blog. Some of you may have seen it. I wrote to “The Watcher” and asked him the usual three questions. He replied, answering all questions, and I approved him and his comment.
But I noticed that the name that he gave did not match the name on the email attached to the moderating notification, and enquired further.
I discovered that in fact he was not only using someone else’s email, but further (from speaking to that someone else, whose identity I will keep to myself), that the identity he gave me was not only not his but was actually (except for the Christian name) that of a known and respected scholar.
I do not take kindly to having my trust abused like this. I wrote asking him to give me an apology within 24 hours, otherwise I would post this warning. That was 48 hours ago, and as have not heard from him, let me warn you against this commentator, in case you find him posting on your blog or discusion board.
I judge such behaviour to be “not nice” and abusive of my trust. This is not the kind of behaviour that we want on SCE, or on Catholic internet discussion boards in general.