BackingBlair.co.uk is clearly suffering from too many conspiracy theorists. Today saw them ever so excited by an alleged denial-of-service attack that brought the site down for eighteen hours. Some of the bloggers behind the site did their best to hype the alleged attack on their freedom of speech; Bloggerheads, UK Today; and others were taken in; Davblog, musing/struggling/dreaming. Yet when challenged they got ever so defensive and the story quickly unravelled.
It turns out the reason given for taking down the site was ‘Excessive traffic to a potential copyright violating item – london_underground.swf’, a satirical film. Backing Blair claimed, ‘it flies in the face of reason when you consider that our service is supposed to include unlimited bandwidth’. Yet when I checked their host’s terms and conditions, this wasn’t the case (although the definition of excessive is left open) and Backing Blair’s link page includes the request, ‘help to keep our bandwidth costs down by saving your chosen button or banner to your own server’.
Films weigh heavy on bandwidth and Backing Blair later revealed the film, which has been very successful and drew a wide audience, used up more than 1440GB. Now my host (chosen because they’re cheap) charges out bandwidth at £25 per GB: that’s £36,000. Given that Backing Blair’s host charges just £3.99 per month, I’m not surprised they invoked the excessive traffic get out clause. Admittedly, Backing Blair took the reference to copyright to mean a third party had complained. But there’s no evidence this was so and the keyword here is ‘potential’: the ownership issue was not pursued by the host.
Now it could be that self-styled defenders of democracy simply don’t understand how these things work. But that hardly stacks up when Backing Blair founder, Tim Ireland, is a successful viral marketing expert (hence the film’s success) who’s helped MPs establish blogs. It seems Backing Blair’s priority is spreading nonsensical conspiracy theories and that their approach to truth is not dissimilar to Stalin’s.
Protecting Animals in Democracy