The bugging of #upb

This concerns, in the main, the irc channel #bodyart-uk.
If you are not involved in upb, it may make little sense.

So it’s been nearly 24 hours since I asked on the newsgroup if Smeg had set the channel bot to log all activity – and he has chosen not to respond. He may claim that he was not aware of the post, but if so, why did Diosa join the channel late last night ?
In fact, he now claims to have un-subbed from upb.

When I did the admin for upb, I had SSH access to the bot. I know nothing about SSH, but there were instructions on how to kill and restart the bot process, and this was occasionally necessary. Nothing odd in that. A few weeks ago, while Smeg was over here on holiday, something happened to the bot – I know not what – and it left and rejoined the channels erratically, then quit altogether. I had an email from someone on channel about this, so, even though I was no longer an admin, I thought I’d see if I could restart it. I SSH’d in, and did just that. Nothing else – I couldn’t have done anything else anyway, my knowledge of the command line is worse than crap. Anyway, since then, bot worked. I debated emailing Smeg to tell him that I had done this, but then figured that on the scale of things, it was totally unimportant, so I did not.

Some time before this, Smeg and I had had disagreements (stemming from my posting of a possible mirc bug to the newsgroup, and his subsequent “xchat is full of shit too” post). At this time, I noticed that he had stopped linking to me from his blog (like that’s going to bring my world crumbling down eh ?). I even had a particularly delightful email from Diosa with lines like this in it – “Now you have your head so far up your own ass you can’t see anything except your own misery.” I responded to that email, and all seemed to be, if not better, then at least less hostile.

In a conversation with someone at this time, I mentioned this lack of a link in passing, and this person said “No, your link is back”. Okay … I had computer problems at the time, and his site not being exactly my first port of call when I got back online, by the time I did get there, my link was gone again.

I think he has been logging the channel since at least the time of the disagreement, if not before.

People were asking me in #irc about my decision to quit the admin side of upb, and my responses were pretty much what I posted here some time ago – Link. They also asked me what Smeg did on the site, and I responded truthfully – he did sod all. Sure, I could have continued to do the bits I did, but why should I when he – the guy who promotes himself in places as the ‘webmaster’ of upb – did nothing. Surely if I continued when I did not want to, all I would be doing is make myself feel crap for doing something I wanted out of, while he lapped up the kudos with his ‘webmaster’ status. (By the way – you have noticed that on his blog, he has an “about me” link, yet if you read that, there is not a single mention of upb in it anywhere. Does that not strike you as just being ever so slightly odd ?).
So, I’m writing what I think in the upb channel. Not a busy channel is it ? In the day there may be up to 3 people there, and at night, it may – just may – rise to 4. I’ve met most of the people there, and I trust those that I talk to. So when someone asks me what I think, I’ll say it.

Anyway …. hopping forward in time …. I stated on my blog that I was stopping the RSS feeds. About 10 days or so ago, Smeg announced that he was stopping his RSS1.0 feed (actually, your geekness, RSS1.0 does not exist – you stopped your RSS.92 feed.) In the comments for that, Diosa said that “Why not stop all of them 😉 ” which was clearly a piss-take of either my decision, Steve’s decision (he had also posted that his feeds were removed), or both. Either way, she – and he – were taking the piss. Now that’s fine – so long as it goes both ways is it not ?

A few days ago – it was the evening of the 12th, I was again chatting in #irc, and the subject of Smeg again rose up – albeit briefly. Again, I said what I thought, as did the other person. Less than 24 hours later, Smeg posted to the group about giving away the upb domain. Okay, coincidence ? Then, he removes 2 more links from his blog – those of the person I was talking to being one. Now that is NOT a coincidence by any stretch of the imagination – he has never, to my knowledge, fallen out with either of those two people, so why else would he remove those links ?

Before I noticed the dropped links, I read a rather cryptic post on Diosa’s blog. It had me pondering until I realised that it could be what was said in #irc. I tried to log in to get access to the bot, but the password had been changed.

Now before I get back to the bot, do not forget that Smeg is someone who places a huge amount on trust and privacy. If he were to find that details of his life were being passed to another person, he would be livid. He has a standard that he expects of others………

IRC is a public network. Access to it, and activity on it, is a priviledge. Running a bot on an irc server is also a priviledge, not a right. There may, or may not, be some level of logging going on, but given the size of each of the main networks, that is highly doubtful. Bodmodbot was introduced to keep the channel open, to prevent channel flooding, to give ops etc. Bot was never set up to log all activity. Indeed, like I said on group, the auto-kick was brought in – in part – to stop that too.

And now we have a guy who values his own privacy setting the bot to spy on anyone else.


Did you honestly expect to read that people were singing your praises ?
Did you really think that you would be discussed in reverent tones ?
Are you under some sort of illusion that you are highly regarded for something ?

Have you bugged your workplace ?
Have you set up listening devices in the staff canteen ?
Do you record all the goings on in the bosses office ?

People talk about other people all the time – it’s human nature. And when people talk, it’s not always complimentary about another person. Have you not learned that yet ?
Do you not think that some of the staff in your place of work think you are a tosser ? (because they do, you know, they really do)

What Smeg did – and did to people who he had called friends – is unforgivable.
Being in charge of anything – be it on the net or in real life – that involves the participation of others, means asking that those others place their trust in you. That they then do so is an expression of the level of trust that they place in you. Smeg betrayed that trust. Remember, he was spying on the whole channel, not just certain participants.
He was spying, and doing so from the position of being able to program the bot.
Diosa now defending him is equally pathetic.

The bot, as of now, still exists on the same server. Steps are being taken to move the bot – or indeed scrap it and have a new bot – to a new server to which Smeg has no access to. It will NOT be set to log.

If you want to read what I said on channel – yes, I have logs for that day but I was there talking – then please let me know. You can read my side of the conversation if you want. I also purge the xchat logs regularly.

I could waste my energy further on this, but right now I won’t.

6 thoughts on “The bugging of #upb

  1. To clarify things from my end (and I will post similar to the ng)
    By the end of this evening, the bot WILL NOT have any logging on it, and also, Smeg will have no access to the bot. I’m impartial to any grievances between anyone, so will not comment on that part, only on what I know for sure, and that is that I’ll have sole control of bodmotbot, and there will be no logging on it.

  2. I obviously didn’t have a clue what had been going on, I’m so bad at keeping up with upb and irc.

    The whole things sucks the big one and is a bit pathetic. I’m sorry it got to that stage. 🙁

  3. Claire, I read every post on upb (sad aint I);- I also have NO idea what’s been going on so don’t blame yourself !

    FWIW I think it’s a terrible shame when such a small community as ours has such a falling out. (this is not a blame statement, just a general statement (my other forum most read forum recently split into 2 distinct factions and 50% people left and are no longer talking to the other 50% !))

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