Chris Johnson’s great piece from a week or two ago, and a mystery cleared up.

I was re-reading Chris Johnson’s Globalite web piece again this evening, because I have been thinking about it for several days.

You know, I was quoted in it. I have had a few people come back to me and say, “yes, that is it, isn’t it”? That the foreigner community in Japan is sometimes really over the line when it comes to the internet. I think this is going to get more attention.

I had had an e-mail exchange with Johnson, back around mid-February. Then, he sent me an e-mail around the time of my last post, where (admittedly) I hadn’t read the whole story about the guy at NHK. I also didn’t understand the visa snafu, and that there was a reason why not a lot was being said about that. Further, a reader had pointed out that Chris had said that I said people were being “tortured” on the net, and my eyes just rolled, because I didn’t recall saying that. And I was thinking, “oy, try to fix the internet.”

Well, I have identified the quote, and it’s from my February 17 entry, concerning Arena v. Doe:

This had me curious. I often mention about the Wild West nature of the Japan-side expat blogging community, which I had been a part of for a couple years, and still am connected to in some ways. Particularly in certain groups, trolls of sorts, the worst just comes out. I am convinced that part of the reason–maybe the main part–is that these people feel that they are untouchable. Japan won’t go after them, Japan treats it as a “foreigner issue” (best handled by foreigners), and so they think they can just make up their own codes of behavior. Usually, for them, this means no code.

Now someone in Japan, an American, basically gets torted on the internet. The tortfeasor didn’t exactly put their own name on the website. So, “John Doe”.

So there it is! Gets “torted” on the internet. Now, it makes sense! I used tort as a verb, (which maybe few people have done since the 15th century, I really don’t know), and, yeah, it looks like tortured. (Tort is law lingo for personal injury, as in tortious interference with contract. Assault and Battery. Et cetera.)

If I’m in a piece, and I have some goofy use of English from casual writing, then uh, yeah, probably points for fixing it to something else. But it ain’t the exact quote.

But this isn’t what I want to get at. What I’m wondering is, who is this David Schaufele, and why did he feel the need to go at Chris Johnson on the internet so much this past winter? From Chris’ reporting, it sounds like Mr. Schaufele had some long simmering grievance, or a feud, and the Johnson story about being held out at Narita on a return flight just gave him the excuse to go to town.

I don’t really read a lot of F***ed Gaijin (FG) website, but if I read the Johnson story correctly, he says that David Schaufele is “Greji”, a high use poster (14,000 or so posts) on FG.

Contrary to what you might read on another particular blog, I don’t much care who is who in casual online chat about Japan-side expat things. As I know I’ve said before, I have always blogged under a pen name, but I have, by no means, been anonymous. I’m just really fascinated, though, about these people who do things that, yes, the law lingo would describe as “committing torts”—and even crimes—over the net. And they think that, if they have a screen name or some other handle, it doesn’t count. Worse, then, are those who install anonymizer software, to try and disguise their originated IP. I had a recent troll send me a comment last night. I see the pattern, and of course, the first thing is to check the IP. This time I used Robtex:

Well, it’s listed in Blacklist, for a whole bunch of reasons. So even though the person made one or two debate-worthy points, fuggedit. Plus, now here is another piece of evidence that points to someone in the Japan-side expat commenting world doing not-so-nice things.

I can’t help but think that there are some long-term people there, who write their own rules. As time passes, they write more. So they think the internet is this free zone. I then consider “Greji” on the FG site again. (That’s probably not who this is, but fits the pattern of a foreigner on the loose in Japan.) If this person were a Japanese doing it in Japan, the law enforcement would be monitoring his internet usage. There are people in Japanese government who monitor internet usage. I think some people there were just brought in on something concerning 2-chan (Ni Channeru or Channel Two, a popular set of webboards in Japan). New Jersey law enforcement looks at NJ dot com, has for years. Nobody in Japanese law enforcement looks at F***ed Gaijin.

Aside from the hypocrisy of these Japan-loving gaijins who do things that virtually no Japanese would be caught dead doing, what I wonder is when and how each one will hit their limit. Hit their wall. Because a lot of it gets really constant and really personal.

I read the Arena v. Doe docket, because I am familiar with the events that made the case. Right now, the plaintiffs are in the early stages of trying to identify their “John Doe”.

What I suspect happens, is that the e-mails turn out to be bogus, but there was some other information that went into creating those accounts. This other information is going to lead to yet more, (which the service providers will be more than happy to provide, because it’s a U.S. federal court). Inevitably, it will trace back to Japan. My hunch–you heard it here first. If not actual Japan, then someone within that small community who is hooked up to these boards where the people pick fights all damn day.