Tags:
create new tag
, view all tags
I was googling for some old work of mine when I came across something rather surprising, there are far more sites out there that refer to me than I expected. There are roughly 2,680 web sites that respond to the wiki word JohnAltstadt when doing a web search. This is roughly 2,679 more sites than I actually have anything to do with.

This happened because our personal pages are (or were) being bundled up into the TWiki install package, only to be installed on random web sites throughout the world.

I have no idea what most of these sites represent to the world. For all I know, some of them could be home sites of spam lords, quilters, anti-spam extremists, and light bulb manufacturers. Many sites are in languages I do not understand, so I can't reasonably audit them.

<humor=overreaction>
I don't want to have to worry about waking some morning to see guys with black suits standing on my door step, asking questions about my dealings on some web site I know nothing about.
</humor>

This is NOT a GPL issue. I have no problems with someone putting my name in an AUTHORS or README file, or even in every second line of the source code, as long as these files are not exposed to the web (with the exception of the twiki.org site itself). I just do not want to have my name show up on google as a part of the sites that have installed TWiki for their own purposes.

I don't know how other people feel about this, but I consider this verging on identity theft. It was done innocently enough, but now I would like it to stop and the damage undone as soon as possible.

Comments please? Am I just being too paranoid in a paranoid age?

-- JohnAltstadt - 28 Nov 2003

Just my $.02.

Too paranoid? — Yes.

Identity theft? — No.

wink

On all those sites that your name appears, it appears associated with text you did write, and (usually) with a change record that shows how you (possibly) modified someone else's text, and how someone else might have modified your text.

I'm going to say this and then find some wood to pound on (i.e., knock really hard) — if the MIB do come knocking on your door, you should be able to explain how your name came to be on somebody else's site unintentionally. And, although it is different than having authored some code, it is analogous.

Where does your name appear on those sites? Is it on pages that would reasonably be considered TWiki documentation? If so, I think that's entirely reasonable and understandable. Maybe PeterThoeny should add a note that if you contribute to certain webs (or certain pages on certain webs, and lists them), then your contribution will be published as part of the documentation for TWiki.

Having your name on all those sites may be an unfortunate mistake, but there is (IMHO) no reasonable for PeterThoeny or the TWiki developer's to remove your name. If you feel strongly enough about it, I'd suggest:

  • start a page on this wiki that amounts to your disclaimer / disavowal of those contributions on other wikis
  • delete your name from the pages that get distributed so they won't get distributed with the next release (PeterThoeny and others should chime in here — I don't think it would be appropriate to remove your contribution, only the attribution)

-- RandyKramer - 28 Nov 2003

Hmm. Interesting comments.

On all those sites that your name appears, it appears associated with text you did write, and (usually) with a change record that shows how you (possibly) modified someone else's text, and how someone else might have modified your text.

Nope. I have never edited anything on the web sites in question. I did not even know of their existence until yesterday. Many times the twiki.org background information has been removed. However, I am still listed as one of the first contributors to those sites.

Well, I should probably just let this lie, and let PeterThoeny handle the issue (as he has (at least attempted) below) but actually, in response to your "Nope": yes, reread what I said, and perhaps I need to add this to clarify — you wrote the text on twiki.org, it appears on those other sites without your knowledge, permission, or any action on your part, but you did write the text. (I won't comment on anything else, maybe I shouldn't have responded to this — sorry! wink ) -- RandyKramer - 01 Dec 2003

How would you feel if your name was listed on an Al-Qaeda TWiki web site as a contributor? Do you hear the MIB knocking now? I don't know what sites have been created with my name on them, and I certainly don't expect Peter to do a two week background check on people that request TWiki code either.

Where does your name appear on those sites?

As a user and contributor to those sites. Even though I did not know of their existence.

start a page on this wiki that amounts to your disclaimer / disavowal of those contributions on other wikis

Unfortunately, some of those sites have removed almost everything but identification information from my "home page". There is no link back to twiki.org to indicate that my name might have been included on their web site as an oversight.

delete your name from the pages that get distributed so they won't get distributed with the next release

I tried to. I was denied access to rename or delete my home page on twiki.org.

you should be able to explain how your name came to be on somebody else's site unintentionally

I shouldn't have to.

Too paranoid? — Yes.

See this if you think I am too paranoid. Granted, my name does not sound middle eastern, but it's not Smith either. I don't wish to make this a political issue.

We live in interesting times. Removing our names as contributors from random web sites in the world makes it a little less interesting.

-- JohnAltstadt - 29 Nov 2003

A clarification: The users pages do not get distributed, it would not make sense to distribute 7500+ user pages to thousands of sites. The TWiki web used to have a topic for each contributor. This is now consolidated into one TWikiContributor topic, which will be made available with the next release.

John contacted me by e-mail requesting to remove his name from the distribution. I did that in the TWikiContributor topic.

Now reading this topic I understand the motivation for the request. Therefore I added the following disclaimer to the contributor topic: TWiki gets installed on thousands of public web sites. The contributors are not affiliated in any way with those sites.

-- PeterThoeny - 01 Dec 2003

I had a script I hacked up to install twiki on bsd's in the configuration I like. One of the main things it did was:

find -name "John" -exec rm -f \{} \;

and etc.

-- JonathanCline - 06 Dec 2003

Edit | Attach | Watch | Print version | History: r6 < r5 < r4 < r3 < r2 | Backlinks | Raw View | Raw edit | More topic actions
Topic revision: r6 - 2003-12-07 - JonathanCline
 
  • Learn about TWiki  
  • Download TWiki
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform Powered by Perl Hosted by OICcam.com Ideas, requests, problems regarding TWiki? Send feedback. Ask community in the support forum.
Copyright © 1999-2017 by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.