Huffing-and-puffing Post

There’s been rather another dustup over at HuffingtonPost. The Guardian tells the tale: Apparently, HuffPost blogger Dr. Peter Rost alleges that he unmasked a troll attacking him as none other than the HuffPost’s own technology manager. He says he discovered this because a comment attacking the good doctor became exalted as a top comment before a server could count to zero. He says he was then banned from HuffPost. So he told his tale on his own blog. But now he’s back up on HuffPost and kissing and hugging:

…I think HuffPo just made a brave move. After all, what makes this site so great is that it is open to all kinds of opinions, in a way most newsmedia would never dare to operate.

The internet age brings the quantum scandal, over in no time.

: LATER: Rost says in the comments that he’s not back; he’s still blocked. Where’s my scorecard?

: LATER AND LATER STILL: Here’s a message from Arianna:

Here’s the bottom line on the issues raised by Peter Rost: We disabled his password for one reason and one reason only — his refusal to act as part of our online community.

A little background: Peter Rost was initially invited to post about issues related to the pharmaceutical industry, his area of expertise — but his posts increasingly became about his personal grudges and beefs or long, self-referential, diary-like entries about finding an injured bird in his front yard (complete with photos) or a blog post about his friend having an extramarital affair.

We suggested that this type of material might be better suited for a personal, individual blog — a suggestion that Dr. Rost followed, creating this site.

However, his penchant for airing personal grudges on HuffPost continued, becoming problematic when he devoted another long post to a personal attack on one of the commenters to his posts (one who happened to work for the Huffington Post), claiming that there was a vendetta against him, and that this employee was somehow gaming the system to give his comments greater prominence — something that did not happen. (By the way, the employee, Andy Yaco-Mink, HuffPost’s technology manager, wasn’t an “anonymous heckler” as Rost claims — he signed his comments “yacomink.”)

Why did I go down this road? Where’s the exit ramp?