In yesterday's post I said I didn't know the identity of the person or persons behind the anonymously published website that quotes from and links to my blog. That is no longer true.
Yesterday I got a phone call from a man identifying himself as the owner of the web address of the site that calls St. Albans a meth-making "badlands" and publishes photos and news stories that are unflattering to St. Albans and its elected leaders. The man apologized for using my blog without my permission and offered to remove the quotes and the links. I told him he could continue to quote and link to my blog if he would simply put a disclaimer on his site explaining that Joseph Higginbotham and HIgginbotham At Large are not affiliated with his site.
The anonymous website owner told me he is not alone in posting stories and photos to the site.
When I urged him to publish under his own name instead of anonymously he told me that a lot of people in St. Albans already know his identity and then he explained why he prefers not to publish his name on the site he owns.
If ever there was a town that needs to have a citywide conversation about its drug problem, it's tiny business tax base, its geriatricity, its declining population, its citizen apathy and its utter failure to engage the people with a stake in St. Albans' future (young people) this is the town so I really hope St. Albans' "badlands" website owner will publicly identify himself and make his site the place where this citywide conversation might start. In my opinion, people are more likely to read and trust a site whose ownership and management are known. I, for example, don't trust any business that doesn't publish the names of owners and management on their website.
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