Upon reading an eyebrow-raising online article about a local kid named Ochs, I was suspicious of the veracity of some of the article’s wild claims.
The article, posted at calcoastnews.com, states: “Ochs is arguably the most frequent online commenter about politics in San Luis Obispo County.” Apparently this small town parks official likes to virtually jibber-jabber to “multiple social media pages” about “any community activist who questions the actions of San Luis Obispo County Supervisors Bruce Gibson or Adam Hill” in addition to his ongoing mission (via his facebook “news” page and eponymous website) to convince the public that (in his words): “CalCoastNews is a facade made out of cheap journalism, and behind that facade is an unforgiving force of retaliation against people who they personally don’t like.”
CCN reports: “Ochs’ online habits have now led to a rare scenario in which an organized push had arisen to oust a member of a volunteer parks commission.”
Wow. What could he possibly have written to have his government-appointed parks position be called into question?
Well, for starters: “Following a recent string of profanity-laden personal attacks on South Bay citizens, a robo-call made its way around Morro Bay this weekend suggesting residents ask their local representatives why a city official’s public Facebook page, calls a woman a ‘vindictive bitch.'”
I shall assume that the “profanity-laden personal attacks” came from this Ochs feller, since he’s the city official with a public Facebook page that purports to be a page dedicated to “news.” I decided I would check out his page next, and determine for myself whether or not his “news” page was informative or merely incendiary.
The CCN article further claims: “Ochs, through Facebook and several websites, has made numerous false claims alleging specific people are felons, or diagnosed mentally ill. He has impersonated reporters. He also has frequently manipulated photos of journalists and activists on his website in order to demean them.”
According to CCN: “Ochs admitted that he has used Photoshop to forge in the past.”
If this is true, he really ought to change his “news” page to an entertainment page. That would be more honest of him. Because real journalists don’t resort to faux news.
So is Ochs a mere net troll, after all, or just a guy who’s overzealous about public policy and dearly needs an editor, as well as to successfully complete several courses in the art of Communications before we can truly take him seriously as a public official?
CCN has this to say regarding their assessment of Ochs as a net troll: “In recent years, some governments have turned to the use of Internet trolls to deflect criticism, antagonize investigative media and steer political discourse off topic. CalCoastNews has obtained no concrete evidence that Ochs posts online on behalf of certain government officials, but many county residents allege that his actions resemble those of government trolls.”
Thanks for the warning, CCN. I found the whole story about Ochs to be so outlandish; I didn’t want to believe that this guy, a publicly appointed official, could behave like an unaccountable ass. So I went to his page, and my post from yesterday details how trollish the kid can be when confronted with the fact that he maintains his “news” page like a child who never learned anything about reputable journalism.
I very consciously chose to start with an ad hominem when I dubbed him a hypocrite. He violates his own rules of conduct when he allows defamatory remarks about people he doesn’t like to go unchecked, and yet he still thinks I should just read the article (because that’s where the meat is, right?). I thought for sure he would catch that name calling, call me out for starting off so blue, which would have given me the impression that he was somewhat professional (even if he did allow a lewd comment about a woman greet me on his “news” page, which was then followed by an equally crass comment of his own). But no, as I had hoped would not happen, he took the bait. He defended the body trashing commentary, even dismissed it as: “if anything, a little levity brought on by Ms. Awbry’s harrassment.”
After refusing to understand that I was basically giving the guy free advice on the fact that he can’t be taken seriously as either a journalist or public official if he can’t follow his own rules of conduct on his “news” page, he misinterpreted my meaning throughout the conversation, deleted me from the conversation, then continued to mock me along with his trolly cohorts.
He whines: “I don’t understand the need to pick a fight. All she needed to do was to let me know that comments we made were inappropriate, and leave it at that. Going on and on and on doesn’t help.”
There’s your key problem, Aaron. What makes you think that when a person (man or woman) starts a conversation with you regarding the fact that you’re a public hypocrite that they’re fighting with you? I wanted to enlighten you, but you might as well have written back to me: “Neener, neener, I can’t hear you!” The only reason I continued on was because you weren’t truly reading what I wrote to you. You didn’t get it. I was trying to get a point across, to make you think thoughts, not feel hate, but you misread my words. (I highly suspect you may need a tutor to help you with any and all of your future close readings to prevent that from happening again.)
In response to your equally thought-challenged friend, “why won’t they ever shut up?” Well, sorry to burst your bubble, trolls, but most intelligent people have conversations to progress knowledge, to be open to others, to share points of view, not merely to make the kinds of emphatic declarations: “Here’s the thing: You’re full of shit” that flit so easily from the Ochs troll’s fingers when he starts to have icky feelings (rather than open thoughts) regarding the conversation.
I maintain that the boy is a genuine troll, sadly (he had no idea that I truly wanted to disprove that), but not on the government dime. I think that if county officials really wanted a paid troll they could easily find someone who writes with panache and comments with decorum.