Tuesday, November 17, 2009

They Don't Call it 'Jonestown' For Nothing

Privacy? Never heard of it.

The Internet nickname for the Investor Village message board is "Investors Jonestown" because of its singleminded fealty to corporate management--enforced by kicking off corporate critics, as they did with Sam Antar, whose investigation of Overstock.com's accounting was vindicated by reopening of an SEC investigation.

With most critics of the company kicked off, it's little wonder that the IV board has had a grand total of one post on Overstock.com's recent firing of its auditors and late filing of its 10-Q. Hell, even in the real Jonestown there were more than one who wouldn't drink the kool-aid.

IV may be even kookier than I thought. One IV member claims that IV's owner, in violation of every privacy precept in creation, actually knew his account password, chastising him for it because it was critical of Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne. ("Blue" in the message duplicated above is Ralph "Blue" Kidd, the "CEO" of this message board, which he runs out of his house in a working-class suburb of New Orleans.)

I find this account a bit hard to believe because (as the person who replied to him pointed out) ordinarily passwords are not available to board managers.

True, but this is a message board whose business model is based on censorship and kowtowing to corporate managers. I wouldn't put anything past those guys.

© 2009 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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