Bizarro World in Civil War Cyberspace
Dimitri Rotov’s called renewed attention to a series of websites that have done their best to connect themselves to the Civil War blogosphere: The American History Club and The American Civil War Forum.
There’s something wonderfully fradulent about the discussion groups on both sites: each site recycles old usenet threads from five years ago, distributes those threads among fictional members, and then pretends the result constitutes a current set of conversations. This means, in part, that the original author of a long-forgotten thread may see his or her comments redistributed among a number of fictional discussants: since the texts themselves retain the names of the original participants, the result is funny, curious, bizarre … and ultimately an outright effort at fraud.
At various moments the people who run the site and who are using it to construct blogs that are extended commentaries on other blogs contact the usual suspects, who, given their usual friendliness, can find themselves drawn into this mess unawares. I learned about this early enough to alert some fellow bloggers to what was going on, but I can see that at least one’s been ensnared.
You’ve been warned.