Rants may be Welcome, but Beware

A new site has popped up overnight (seems they’re coming fast these days) that is catering to a certain niche in our community:

The complainers.

Well, not really complainers, but those who need to vent.

I consider myself an expert on blog therapy and see this new site going one of two ways.

It will either be a tremendous hit or a disastrous flop, taking down the site owners, administrators and contributors.

It seems like a perfect idea.  Send in your EMS rant, they clean it up and post it anonymously.  Seems perfect.  Get it off your chest and move on.  They have all comments disabled, and with good reason, the troll factor would be incredible.

But, if a certain agency tries hard enough because they see something hitting a little too close to home, the entire house of rant could fall bringing every single poster into the light.

Be warned my friends, if you use this site you could walking into a delayed disaster.  But on the other hand, if you’re careful enough and can find some relief from getting your negative feelings out in a controlled environment (not at work or with a patient) who am I to stop you.

I’ll be visiting the site regularly, for the same reason I visit Fail blog, to watch the silly words and grab a smile.

 

EMSRants.com

 

Hey Motorcop, do you LEOs have anything like this?

Seems like the right time to say this too: I am not the owner or operator of that site.

Agree? Disagree? Have something to add? Why not leave a comment or subscribe to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader?

5 thoughts on “Rants may be Welcome, but Beware”

  1. I was thinking the same thing, but you beat me to it. Internet anonymity is not as strong as some people like to think. I’ll be watching as well.

  2. First, I’d like to thank Happy for plugging my website on his blog.

    I’m going to chime in here and just say that the current system used to submit articles does not track or submit IP address, names, email addresses, browser version, or anything else that could be used to identify the provider of material.

    Every article that gets submitted is done via email, from the webserver to the site admin (me).  The only thing included in the email is the plain text of the submission.  The header information of the email contains the information of the webserver, which has nothing to do whatsoever to the provider of the submission.

    Could I be forced to disclose the IP address of everyone who viewed the site? Of course.  But, again, an IP address can’t be used to identify an individual.  I’m no expert on the legal system, but you can read about that ruling here (http://www.geekosystem.com/ip-address-insufficient-id/) and here (http://www.dailytech.com/Another+Judge+Rules+IP+Addresses+Cant+be+Used+to+Identify+People/article24614.htm)

    As far as the content goes, keeping in mind that submissions are completely voluntary, before anyting is published, it’s scrutinized to ensure no names, agencies, geographics, or any other information is contained that could potentially identify the provider of the content, their employer, the state/country he/she resides or is employed in, or any patient information (or information that could be used to identify a patient.)  If an article can’t be edited to make sure all of those conditions are met, it gets deleted.

    I’ve spent a great deal of time designing the system so nobody can be identified, to include encrypting the submission page (and all contents) just in case, in the rare event, that someone is sniffing the traffic between my server and the individual’s computer.

    In answer to the idea that “every single poster” could be identified, I say “Good luck with that.”  If my identity is compromised, who cares? I still have no idea who provided any content, so I can’t be forced to name anyone.  And in order for ANYTHING to happen that would jeapordize MY identity, law enforcement would have to have reason to belive that I’ve broken some law, and issue subpoenas to the domain proxy owner confirming such.  Everything else is a moot point.

    On the other hand, if anyone feels they can breach my security, they’re more than welcome to try.  If they can make it past the intrusion detection systems on the hosting provider, or exploit the webserver and dump my database, they’ll get my username and the site content.  I’m not too worried at this point about that happening, but I’m not so dumb as to say it WON’T happen.  I’m prepared for it TO happen.

    All of what I just said will be on the website soon, along with privacy policies, legal disclaimers, submission rules, etc. etc.  I’m even providing a way to contact me (aside from using Twitter) if you want to complain, or are bold enough to subpoena me for something you didn’t like or agree with.

    In the meantime, I hope you stop by and enjoy reading the content.  You can even vote for your favorites now.   If you let me know you’re stopping by, I’ll even put a pot of coffee on.

    Thanks for allowing me to contribute to YOUR site :)

  3. Zero change, zero satisfaction.

    What do people think they will achieve with this? I mean, really? “But, but…at least I can vent my spleen in a ‘controlled’ environment!” And how much real satisfaction will this give you? Think about it. You go back next day and nothing has changed. You haven’t changed. You have achieved nothing. Your relief (if you actually can name that way) will only be temporary, even worse it will only stir you up even more. To top it all off, it’s posted anonymously (yes, I know that’s the purpose of it) with no references or facts. Value zero. It’s quite obvious: this site is for the naysayers, the just-survivors with no aim, task or passion. I’m glad that I’m not one of them.
    And Justin, while I agree with you that this only makes us smile, I think there are better sites out there to waste some time ;-).  Keep up the good work, buddy! Love your site!

    Real change. real satisfaction.

  4. As I’ve said many times, if the IRS knew how much we like to complain about work, they’d tax it as a fringe benefit.

    It’s a safe (as safe as anything on the Internet can be) way for people to vent about the weird, frustrating, and infuriating things we encounter in EMS. Does it accomplish anything? If you count venting as a way to burn off frustration, then yes it accomplishes a lot.

     

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