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The Sad Case of Aussie Dave

UPDATE: Sometime after Aussie Dave/David Lange published a post bragging about the fake identity he’d created and the hoax he’d perpetrated on me, an ace researcher uncovered Lange’s real identity which I posted about here.

Yesterday, I reported in a post that I believed I had exposed the real identity of Aussie Dave, author of the Israellycool blog.  It appears that he invented a fake identity in order to perpetrate a hoax on me.  It boggles the mind that he went to the immense amount of trouble he did to perpetrate this hoax.  It tells you how much free time he has on his hands to engage in all the subterfuge that was necessary to fool me.  It tells you precious little about me, but quite a lot about him.

Dave thinks he’s a genius because I fooled me.  What he doesn’t realize is that in his blog post, he proudly admits that he created a hoax Facebook account for a non-existent person using the photo of a real person, a clear violation of Facebook rules.  Here’s how he bragged about it:

David Loeb is a fake name. The photo in the Facebook profile I set up is of basketballer Jordan Farmar…I used his photo deliberately…

I included in the profile my supposed address (Beit Shemesh)…as well as the URL of this blog to connect David Loeb to it.

I’ve reported him to Facebook for doing this.  I hope there will be repercussions and that he doesn’t have a real Facebook account.  If he does, perhaps Facebook will express its displeasure with idiots like him exploiting company for his own tomfoolish purposes.

Dave moans in his post that I not only violated his privacy by posting what he wanted me to believe was his home address, but that I potentially endangered him.  Which is funny because he doesn’t mention that he not only published my home address and phone number, but my wife’s employer and her work phone.  UPDATE: He’s now claiming that commenters at his site published links to my private information, which is also a lie since the actual information (not links) is still there as clear as day.  I have a screenshot and know the link as well but prefer not allowing others to access it freely.  He also lied when he claimed that he hadn’t pubished the information.  Blogger have the ability to publish or not publish comments.  We all make those choices.  When someone writes a comment and you publish it, you’ve taken responsibility for doing so.  Except if you’re Aussie Dave, then you haven’t taken responsibility for anything.

He and his allies are trying to embarrass Jillian York, a staffer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who correctly warned me that his Facebook account appeared to be fake.  They’re claiming that I exposed the private details of an individual in violation of EFF guidelines and that York is somehow guilty of violating her employer’s mission statement calling for protection of the privacy of bloggers.  This is yet more nonsense since Aussie Dave created a publicly accessible Facebook account to which anyone had access and which displayed his alleged address for anyone to see.  Not only that, but the account is fake as is virtually all the information in it.

Dave of course doesn’t mention the recent incident when he hoaxed himself, seeking to believe that my brother had been arrested for being a welfare cheat.  The only truth to his fantasy was that someone with my extremely common last name had been arrested for such a crime.  He created an entire post in which he gleefully, hopefully speculated that the perpetrator might be my brother.  He even searched through my online photo galleries, finding a photo of my brother-in-law and speculating that because he had the same first name as the welfare cheat that they might be the same person.  They weren’t.  Not a word from Dave about this violation of the privacy of my brother-in-law, a totally innocent party in his charade.

There’s a larger point here as far as I’m concerned.  It’s that doing what I do is complicated because I have to trust my sources and go with my gut about their credibility.  Yes, I can do some elementary research to determine their credibility.  But in the end, you have to decide whether or not to take a jump.  Usually, the times when I’ve been hoaxed are when I decide to trust people I’ve never dealt with before and whose bona fides aren’t clear.  That’s what happened in this case.

I’ve said before that I’ve made mistakes in trusting a few hoaxsters (luckily only two as far as I know).  Luckily those mistakes have been few.  Now we can add this one to the previous ones.  When you report stories that I do, there is always the chance that you will make mistakes.  Some will involve discrete points in an overall story.  Others will be larger and more serious errors.  I’ve never claimed to be perfect.  In fact, I think conceding mistakes shows readers that you are human and have nothing to hide.

Dave wrote in his post that he believed I would take down my earlier post exposing him because I would be embarrassed.  Not at all and I certainly won’t.  Both because I want readers to know that I’m transparent; and because I want people to see what he has done and judge him for it.  I want people to understand the pains that the pro-Israel Islamophobic blog world takes to smear its opponents.  And the nastiness of their methods and outcomes.  Aussie Dave now has the distinction of being the James O’Keefe of the pro-Israel Islamophobic blog world.  He and all his supporters may be proud of his methods of lying and deception.

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Maria December 29, 2011, 3:19 PM

    Is this guy sixteen? He sure acts like it.

  • Chayma December 29, 2011, 3:49 PM

    Thank you for the retraction, Richard.

    The prank does nothing but enhance your credibility. After all, it takes time and effort. Anybody can make a mistake. As I said before to err is human.

  • Sane guy December 29, 2011, 4:14 PM

    You’re a loser, Richard.

    • Richard Silverstein December 30, 2011, 1:49 AM

      Rather than my being a loser, I think it’s you, “Sane” guy, who lost his sanity some time ago. You’ve also lost something else, the right to comment here again.

  • Shoded Yam December 29, 2011, 6:12 PM

    You know what I noticed? That people that go around calling themselves “sane guy”, rarely live up to the hype. Hence the need for advertising.

    • mary December 30, 2011, 12:45 AM

      People who advertise themselves as sane generally aren’t.

      As for who is the loser, well, I think it goes without saying. As always, Richard, your journalism is admirable and I’m proud to know you. Keep up the good work, and happy new year!

      • Richard Silverstein December 30, 2011, 1:53 AM

        The same to you, Mary. And thanks for your support!

  • Medawar December 30, 2011, 1:56 AM

    Don’t flinch.

    But bear in mind that those trying to expose the “true identities” of both Medawar and Shacwatch have managed to finger persons with no connection whatsoever.

  • Elisabeth December 30, 2011, 2:26 AM

    It must be disconcerting to know that there is someone so obsessed with you that he not only creates a false identity but even publishes addresses and phone numbers of yourself and your wife and slanders your family. Good for you to try to out this coward. There is no apology needed for the mistake. Better luck next time!

    • Raanan December 30, 2011, 4:01 AM

      Actually they both seem obsessed with each other. It can be expected from Israellycool, not from Tikun Olam.

  • Quebecer December 30, 2011, 2:40 AM

    But why did you decide to so hastily expose him, without verifying first?
    What is the goal in exposing a rival blogger?
    Do you have your first communication with him in the archives?

    • Richard Silverstein December 30, 2011, 1:02 PM

      Do a Google search for his name on this site & you’ll find the history.

  • Quebecer December 30, 2011, 4:12 AM

    Aussie Dave claims the following on his website:

    “I reiterate that I have never myself posted his contact details. Commenters have linked to places on the web where he has, and at least one commenter (like in the previous post) has posted the details…”

    Can you provide a link to where he posted your personal information?

    • Richard Silverstein December 30, 2011, 1:01 PM

      He’s lying. Commenters have published the details of my private information explicitly on his site. He approved the comments. He refused to take them down. I have the screenshot and link to the page in question. If you think I’m going to offer the link publicly to anyone so they can access the information more readily, you’re mistaken. If you wish to find it you can. I’m not going to help you find out how since you clearly don’t have my interests at heart.

      • Grey Fox December 30, 2011, 3:46 PM

        Then black out the offending information before publishing the screenshot. I, for one, see no particular reason to trust you unless you start providing evidence.

        • Richard Silverstein December 30, 2011, 5:13 PM

          I’ll post it here if afterward you promise to urge him to remove it. Deal?

          • Grey Fox December 31, 2011, 4:44 PM

            If he indeed do so, I will be happy to call him out on it. Since you have now indeed outed him, I think that you had better prove that you are justified in doing so.

      • Quebecer December 31, 2011, 3:37 PM

        Just tried to figure out why you have to pay so much attention to him. Obviously that’s all he wants.
        I do support your cause, I’m just sorry to see that you immerse yourself in this feud with a far less competent opponent.
        Love your work.

  • sass December 30, 2011, 4:08 PM

    Aussie Dave makes bloggers like you more appreciated. His blog lacks credibility and is all about keeping the myths alive.
    Why bother even acknowledging this fool. Giving him your attention is just what he wants. Anyone ,other than purblind orthodoxy, wouldn’t take this guy seriously and its quite obvious he is just another bigot. Forget about this fool and leave him in his sewer.

    • Richard Silverstein December 30, 2011, 5:12 PM

      Thanks for posting your comment in his thread about me. I appreciate that sort of brave going into the lion’s den on behalf of the decency he lacks.

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