For more than a year the Johns Creek Post has been criticized not only for some of the content and conclusions in their posts submitted by volunteers from throughout the Community but also for some of the comments left by readers. Our articles were on issues that were affecting all of us: Traffic, 400-foot tower, Billboards & more. All of our posts are still there, to read at your leisure.
Multiple times we had messages from Council Members who did not like a comment someone left. They were the opinions of the commenter. They were not the position of the Johns Creek Post. Vulgar comments were not allowed.
Should we hide those comments for those with delicate feelings? Or should we as a community know how people are feeling, even if we disagree with them? Frankly, we are all adults, and living in one of the most educated communities in Georgia, we can generally separate fact from fiction on the web.
Last fall, as political races headed into the home stretch and criticism, reached a crescendo, we were surprised. We worked hard to ensure that our questions for candidates treated all candidates equally. The deadlines were the same for all. There were no exceptions. If you cannot do your homework during the election, how will you do as a Council Member every two weeks with 4-day deadlines?
The critics were lined up at the Public Comment section of the meetings to attack the Johns Creek Post. Reviewing the comments we noticed that there were comments submitted with different monikers and coming from the same IP address.
Every machine on a network has a unique identifier. Just as you would address a letter to send in the mail, computers use the unique identifier to send data to specific computers on a network. Most networks today, including all computers on the Internet, use the TCP/IP protocol as the standard for how to communicate on the network. In the TCP/IP protocol, the unique identifier for a computer is called its IP address.
A troll is a member of an Internet community who posts offensive, divisive & controversial comments - Wiki
We discovered that two of the loudest voices in our community also happened to be posting under several aliases.
At that time, we asked ourselves should we reveal this information and decided No.
We did not want to possibly affect the outcome of the 2017 election in this manner. And frankly, we did not care that they used the variety of names they used. Some are actually quite funny.
Fast forward to yesterday where a topic on Cyber Bullying was added to the agenda in a very hasty fashion, and we had to make a choice.
Mayor Bodker even called on the public to unmask the trolls.
After thirty minutes of verbal attacks blaming the Johns Creek Post for what ails this City, we decided we needed to share the information we have.
Below are screenshots of the information we presented last evening and how we connected Councilman Lenny Zaprowski to a specific IP address.
Back on June 9th, 2017, the JCP owner received a text message from Councilman Lenny Zaprowski, regarding a comment he submitted on the HUD funding post.
With that IP Address, we were able to find other comments with different monikers.
Most of the comments would cast Councilman Lenny Zaprowski in a Positive light, in addition to topics or candidates he favored.Clues in these comments suggested additional IP addresses were being used. Many comments were submitted with [email protected] in the contact info.
It is a fictitious email address according to an email verifier. Another IP used by "Paul Francis" led to a long string of comments with different monikers, found in our archive. Overall, 3 IP addresses were used since 2015.
A spoofing attack is when a malicious party impersonates another device or user on a network in order to launch attacks against network hosts, steal data, spread malware or bypass access controls.
After watching, do you think this was done to Lenny over a period of 3 years?
Our website has from inception uses Cryptographic Network Protocols. This includes Transport Layer Security (TLS), Secure Shell (SSH) & HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) as well as other secure protocols.
1) We wanted to share the data we have and point out the hypocrisy.
2) We show that it's NOT just people that they have deemed "haters" that post anonymously. We allow comments that hate on the JCP too.
3) We demonstrate integrity by not having revealed it during the 2017 election cycle, when Lenny Zaprowski was up for re-election.
4) People will be allowed to continue to post anonymously. Many in the community fear of being bullied by Elected Officials for expressing opinions about the Government.
What it is that Councilman Lenny Zaprowski & Mayor Bodker are seeking? An end to criticism? Only criticism they feel they deserve and approve of? Or just a general end to any discussions at all?
Finally, we must state 99% of the comments they are referencing as being derogatory are being posted on their own Facebook pages. So why haven't they done what they can to eliminate the issues for themselves? Why haven't they blocked them? Why are trolls on their Facebook pages, Johns Creek Posts problem to solve?
Mayor Bodker stated he and the City cannot control Facebook, why does he expect the JCP to do so?
Why did the Mayor include in his budget passed Monday night, tax dollars which allocated a whopping $465k for Four Communications Staff that maintain Social Media, and $12,500 for ads on Facebook and Twitter?
Talk about Hypocrisy...