Tuesday, January 3, 2012

OccupyCopenhagen.dk: The hidden history + comments

I have been corresponding with one of the Occupy Copenhagen people on Facebook about the events described below. He doesn't wish to make comments on the original site, OccupyCopenhagen.dk, so I have copied both the original article and comments to this page.

What appears to have happened is that the person who took responsibility for Occupy Copenhagen's online presence retained dictatorial control over the site OccupyCPH.dk and related email services. He defended this dictatorship by 0) making it difficult for new persons to join the Team, 1) failing to hold meetings of the Cyberspace Team, 2) evading the three Team meetings called for by the General Assembly (GA), 3) disregarding the Decision by the GA that he should transfer the Domain to me for safe keeping, and 4) launching of a hate campaign against the new Site and me with a bad-faith statement in the Facebook Group #OccupyCPH.

While it appeared on the OccupyCPH.dk Website that a Team of about a half-dozen people were responsible for its operation, it was under his personal control and resided in his Web Hotel. The Site was very poorly maintained and was never finished. For example, even though a volunteer for Contact Person was available, the Press Team Contact Person information field was never filled.


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At the October 15th Occupy Copenhagen demonstration, I was very pleased to see that half a dozen working groups were forming. I was very busy with my own research work and was satisfied to just hand out copies of my abstract, "Computernetværk-baseret demokrati: Videnskabelig kommunikation som grundlag for den demokratiske beslutningsproces." (English version: Computer-network based democracy: Scientific communication as a basis for governance. )



On October 22, 2011, 15:00 hours, I arrived at the Camp ready to attend the General Assembly only to discover that the Meeting had been moved to Wed. 17:00 hours. I took this to be a breakdown in communication and after discussion with others announced that I would be forming a Press Team that could communicate this type of information to those interested. I was then informed that a Press Team already existed. I went to the OccupyCPH.dk site and found that the Page for the Press Team was not finished. In particular, the Contact Person field had not been filled in. I added a comment to that Page stating that I would serve as temporary Contact Person.

Nothing had changed by October 30th, so I asked on Facebook why the Page wasn't being updated. I also sent a mail to the Site (see attached image) and to occupycph@gmail.com stating my email address could be entered as the "Kontact." In another mail to the Site, I noted that, "Registration mail from the site is either too slow or doesn't work."

On Nov. 5th, I send another mail to the Site, "Why hasn’t the Press Teams page been updated?" as well as posting again to Facebook. I received no response to inquiries whatsoever.

At the General Assembly of Nov. 16th, I volunteered to be on the Cyber Team. I figured I would just have to update the Press Team's Page myself. After several days, I received the information needed. However, I discovered it was impossible to make the changes on the Press Team Page. I discussed this problem with Steen (the owner of the Site), but no action was taken to resolve the issue.

It became clear to me that neither the Cyber Team nor the site OccupyCPH.dk were functioning and that I would have to bring the matter before the General Assembly. At the Nov. 30, 2011 General Assembly, I announced that I had created the "OccupyCPH.dk upgrade" group on Facebook and sent the following message to the Press Team and others registered on the OccupyCPH.dk Site:

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The OccupyCPH.dk site is being updated. Discussion is taking place in the Facebook group: OccupyCPH.dk upgrade

The purpose of this Group is communication among the Cyber Team for OccupyCPH.dk during the Site upgrade. Any others that wish to help or comment are welcome. This includes organizers/coordinators as well as technical people.

http://www.facebook.com/groups/317523011608341/

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In response to questions from an aspiring journalist resulting from the mail about creation of the Facebook Group, I mailed the following 4 December 2011 1:43:03 PM:

--------------------------------- { Rant Alert } ---------------------------------

So, the story is that the Site is down and if you don't happen to know how to read DNS records, then you will never know who the owner of the Site is. And the Owner might not be reachable and might not even know who is the Root/Superuser on the Site. So, the Site is dead and there is no emergency number to call :-(

Now, back to the Story: How a lust for power and religious fanaticism led to the crib death of Occupy Copenhagen.

At the Wed. GA, I was complaining that mail to occupycph.dk was not being answered. Steen claimed it was and pointed out that he had sent me a Mail. However, that took talking to him twice and 5 days. He sent me the Administrator Password for the Site, that he could have given me immediately. In the attached image, you can see that I had sent half a dozen mails to the Site by that time. So, somebody is playing fast and lose with the truth. (I fail to see the point of email, if you have to find someone and talk to them to get any response.)

In fact, having the Password still didn't permit me to update the Contact Person for the Press Team. That page had been locked by someone that Steen claims had become unreachable. However, he could not be bothered to fix the page, so it could be updated. He is the only person that can do that, as far as I know.

The fundamental principles of the Movement are transparency, democracy, and direct action. With respect to emails, there is no transparency, clearly.

I have been on the Cyber Team for almost a month now and have never been to a meeting or asked to do anything. I have brought up the problems three times at the GAs. Two of those times the Cyber Team was going to meet after the GA, however, those meetings never happened. So, I then insisted that we had to meet immediately. Steen collected everyone's emails and phone numbers and said he would sent it out to everyone. That info never came. The argument is that my email address was incorrect. Since I have entered my email on the Site, both as an Administrator and on the Press page, have half a dozen email addresses clearly visible on the Net, have Steen as a Friend on Facebook, and have been handing out documents including my email, since the first day of the Occupation, we can conclude he really didn't try too hard to get me that info. And I guess actually ringing my phone or sending an SMS was just too much to expect from such a busy Man. One also has to wonder, what is the Site Owner doing collecting emails from Members of the Cyber Team months after that Team was formed? Why didn't he send notice of the Meeting to all Administrators on the Site. And why wasn't notice of the Meeting - which I assume occurred without me - posted to the FB Upgrade page?

As you can conclude by now, the direct action on that Website is limited to that by Steen. Neither the Cyber Team nor any other Team depending on occupyCPH.dk for coordination is functioning. None of the principles of the Movement are being observed. Occupy Copenhagen has allowed a dictatorship to develop and the result is an abomination of a Site. It is actually better that it is down. It had become overrun with spams with links, no doubt, to sites that would inject viruses into your computer, if you were stupid enough to click on them.

If you want to do a story on this, it would be good to get in contact with someone that is attending the GAs. I presume you have all the email addresses for the Press Team.

--------------------------------- { Rant Off } ---------------------------------



The GA decided on Dec. 7th that Steen must transfer the ownership of the Domain no later than Dec. 10th. I spoke against filing a lawsuit to get the Domain. The Decision included no sanctions whatsoever. Steen mailed me on Dec. 9th that I would have the Domain within 24 hours:

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DK Hostmaster (yes, that's the peeps who administer all DK hosting) told me that it would take 12-24 hours before the transfer is complete... They told me this dec. 9th at 13.30.

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However, as you can see on the Form below, both old and new owners of a domain must sign before DK Hostmaster will take action. I had not signed any forms. In fact, I didn't even know the procedure for transfers on that date.

I still don't have that Domain. I acquired the domain occupycopenhagen.dk Dec. 9th, after I was told that Steen was stalling the Transfer.

The old Site isn't functioning as result of Steen moving it and I can't redirect mails, etc. to the new Site until I get the Domain. Emails to postmaster@occupyCPH.dk are now bouncing, because the mailbox is full. I can't do anything about this, since I don't have the mail username or password.

================ Comment ====================

Transfer Agreement signed


Steen was presented with the Domain Transfer (Delegation of Ownership) document at the General Assembly today. However, he wouldn't sign the agreement until I began to ensure that it was going to be on the Agenda.

================ Comment ====================

Removing this blog Post



Some people have complained that my Post is too inflammatory and should be removed, particularly the rant of Dec. 4th.

I have agreed to remove it, if a new post containing all the facts in this Post is prepared. Steen Rasmus Deth has reviewed this Post and did not reject any of the facts presented.


================ Comment ====================

Why I posted "OccupyCopenhagen.dk: The hidden history"



In response to this Dec. 20th post by me on the new Site (email details censored):
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Steen's account request | Occupy Copenhagen (Beta)

www.occupycopenhagen.dk

Steen Rasmus de Siles Deth (xxx (at) lxxx.com) applied for an account today. I urge Administrators to take no action on this request until Steen transfers the ownership of the domain occupyCPH.dk, as decided by the General Assembly December 7, 2011.

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Steen launched a disinformation campaign on Facebook:

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Steen Rasmus Deth Message @ David, Cyberteam - For everyone to judge.

This has gone too far.
http://www.occupycopenhagen.dk/content/steens-account-request
[A blog message that has appeard on our website within 24 hours of my request to have a user account onsite.]

First of all I would like you (David!) to remove my personal email address from public (domain) access.

You write "I urge Administrators to take no action on this request until Steen transfers the ownership of the domain occupyCPH.dk"
Who do you think you are?

What have I done for you not to trust me? Then I'd like to ask; what was decided @ GA dec. 7th that my actions are in coflict with?

Have I not (done as you requested - although prematurely) - transfered the old site OccupyCPH.dk to a new webhotel?

Have I not sent you all login info to the new host?

Have I not let you change anything you want - including domain ownership details?

Have I not been cooperative?

What is it you want from me?

What is your major malfunktion!?

What the BLEEP is up with posting this condemning message on the official website!?

What? What have I done that should preclude me from having a mere user account on OccupyCopenhagen.dk?

Who do you think you are?

You've told me again and again that if I don't do as you wish, you'll bring it up at the GA... I've been doing exactly as you wished all along! Therefore I have no problem what so ever to tell you the following:
I'll be bringing this bullshit up at the next GA - and I am sorry to waste everybody's time, but that's on your head. I am not asking for anything other than what I've shown you - trust!

@ Everyone but David:
This is a waste of time... I did not choose to make this discussion between David and I a public issue... But I feel compelled to continue this discussion in public because David apparently has no problem with this going public (see http://www.occupycopenhagen.dk/content/steens-account-request) and I'd like everyone to know that I am not hiding anything. Those of you that actually know me, know.

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This was published not only to the OccupyCPH.dk Upgrade FB group, where it could be considered appropriate, if it was not disinformation, but also to #OccupyCPH a group with over 800 subscribers. For someone concerned about having his email details exposed, this would not have been a wise move. However, I had previously posted his email details on FB and no objection was raised, so this complaint is not likely to be the real reason for his action. More likely it was a final attempt at retaining the occupyCPH.dk domain. So, it was the old tactic of going after the Man, not the Ball. He could hardly argue he had a right to the Domain after the General Assembly Decision and his own claim that I would have the Domain on the 10th. He falsely states that he has followed the Decision. This Disinformation triggered a hate campaign against me and the new Site OccupyCopenhagen.dk. A total of 97 comments were made in response to his Post. One by Carsten Jensen was outright libelous:

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Anders Jensen Det er en hysterisk joke, og symptomatisk på problematikken i Occupy CPH.....
David Stodolsky har udvist manglende situations fornemmelse, og forsøgt i snart en mdr. at starte en lynch stemning, mhb. at udstøde en ildsjæl som har knoklet for denne sag.
Han har gentagende gange nægtet at gå direkte til kilden (læs; steen rasmus deth) og istedet forsøgt at starte intriger og drama, via GF på Rådhuspladsen...

Udover dette, har de i 14 dage arbejdet på det "nye" site, som ikke tilnærmelsesvis er ligeså brugervenligt og oplysende som det gamle.
De har altså i praksis taget noget ned der ikke virkede optimalt og erstattet det med noget der slet ikke virker.
Kan slet ikke se logikken i dette... (Og stiller mig undrende over hvad hans agenda måtte være)

Til sidst vil jeg bare give dig Steen Rasmus Deth min uforbeholdende opbakning, og sige her i åbent forum, at jeg har 110% tillid til dig...

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In addition to that thread, yet another one was posted criticizing the new Site. This was after it was pointed out that the new Site was being tested and anyone could register and add content, using the language of their choice.

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Elias Billum I forhold til at den "nye" hjemmeside er på engelsk, kunne jeg egentligt godt tænke mig at rejse en debat her på Facebook. Hvorfor bruger vi egentligt engelsk i bevægelse, hvis formål er at samle netop den danske del af verdenssamfundet til Occupy-protesterne?

Jeg mener generelt 3 ting om dette:

1. Det er bestemt ikke alle danskere som formår, at skrive og tale på andet end et grundlæggende engelsk niveau. Eftersom at vi beskæftiger os med store begreber som demokrati, idealisme, økonomi osv., synes jeg at det engelske sprog som mange ynder at bruge her på siden - og som hjemmesiden nu også er på, bidrager til at distancere os yderligere fra vores sympatisører og målgruppe.

2. I mange danskeres øjne bliver det, at benytte sig af engelsk i bevægelser og foreninger nemt tolket som værende "intellektuelt" og "hævet" - det er en negativ ting og bidrager ikke konstruktivt til bevægelsen.

3. Informationer på engelsk er tilgængelige. Medmindre I føler I kan gøre det bedre eller at det i højere grad er engelsktalene personer som har interesse i den danske del af bevægelsen, så synes jeg ærlig talt man bør droppe engelsk. Bevægelserne i andre lande verden over kommunikere også indbyrdes på deres modersprog tyder det på og jeg kan ikke forstå hvorfor vi ikke skulle gøre ligeså.

Blow me away med jeres argumenter, for jeg kan simpelthen ikke se fornuften i det. :)

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The disinformation campaign convinced one of the Site Administrators not only to activate Steen's account, but also to delete my Post. As a result I sent the following email to Administrators (and posted the info to the Site):

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Let's set a date for this meeting as soon as possible. I am free most days, but only an afternoon or evening time is good.

Roles that can modify the Site have been suspended.



dss

2 comments:

  1. Wrong facts.
    1. When you failed to locate any Pressgroupmembers you proclaimed to be the initiator of the pressgroup.
    2. After this PUBLIC megafone rant, you DID talk to members of the pressgroup (ME). We had NO power over the email, we were equally frustrated about this but patient, but you chose to be alot more agressive.

    ReplyDelete
  2. When I failed to locate any Press Group members, that was an indication that that Group was not functioning effectively, if at all (This turned out to be the case).

    Yes: I was the initiator of a new "Press Group" for about one minute. This was a direct action. Once I was told that a Press Group did, in fact, already exist, I told the other two members of my newly initiated "Press Group" to join the existing Group, which was to be found on a Page of the website OccupyCPH.dk. Unfortunately, as we now know, that Site was under dictatorial control and was not functioning as an instrument of the General Assembly.

    When I went to the Press Group's page, I noticed that there was no Contact Person listed. I did not see how a Group could function effectively without a Contact Person. Nor did I see how a movement could succeed without a Press Contact. In my efforts to rectify this situation, I uncovered the Dictatorship.

    Was I too aggressive in my attempts at correcting this situation? It seems that I was not aggressive enough, because my actions did not rectify the situation in time to provide online support to the Camp when it was evicted.

    The comment offered here is an example of the confusion that continues to exist within the Occupy Copenhagen Movement. A very minor "sin," actually, not one at all, is seized upon, to demonstrate that I was too "aggressive" and this caused the problems. It avoids mention of the criminal misconduct of certain participants and it fails to consider the disruption of the Movement caused by the above described attempt to hijack the Movement's online presence.

    The author of this above Comment, was himself taken in by the Dictator and was responsible for false accusations against me at the last General Assembly. His comments demonstrate a wish to dismiss the crimes that have been committed, instead of learning from those mistakes. I await his recommitment to transparency and an apology that will show he is willing to maintain that commitment, even when it is unpleasant to do so.

    ReplyDelete