… not exactly trustworthy

Backing Blair: Not as trustworthy as they 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

12 thoughts on “… not exactly trustworthy

  1. I think you rather misrepresented my position on (I’m John of / musing / struggling / dreaming /) – indeed, mine was the first comment on their report of a “DoS” attack and I gently suggested they lay off the conspiracy theories; the problem sounds far more like a bandwidth problem than anything else, even from their own descriptions. And their subsequent comments are getting rather…strange!

    I do think it’s a shame they over-reacted to this service outage, because it’s rather tarnished my initially positive view of the site :-(
    Reply: Apologies for suggesting you were taken in. It’s good to see that Backing Blair’s conspiracy theorising has rightly tarnished your view of them.

  2. Not sure exactly what you’re accusing me of being taken in by. I simply reported that the site was missing and then provided a link to Tim’s discussion of what had happened. Not exactly a major conspiracy theory is it?

    And the other blog you link to doesn’t seem to mention the outage at all. It just provides a brief introduction to what the Backing Blair site is about.

    I think you’re seeing a good deal that isn’t actually there :)

  3. I don’t think the story unravelled at all Stephen, I think it was made clear enough. Perhaps you’re reading into things just a litte too much.

    Comparing these people to Stalin is a bit OTT, anyway Tim has a better mustache than Stalin ever had!
    Reply: When BB claimed to have unlimited bandwidth, they weren’t telling the truth, were they? Their bandwidth usage was clearly excessive and they must have known this was the reason for the outage. They lied recklessly to promote a nonsensical conspiracy theory.

  4. I think I’ll begin by pointing and laughing at you…


    OK, I’m done. I wrote the ‘help to keep our bandwidth costs down by saving your chosen button or banner to your own server’ bit and wrote this when – I must admit – I had no clear idea of what our bandwidth costs/terms would be. Pardon my precautions.

    I now look forward to your new assertion that Backing Blair can’t be trusted because the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.


    OK, I lied. I wasn’t done laughing at all.
    Reply: Thanks for that Tim. So now the right hand has caught up with the left, can we expect the conspiracy theory to be disowned?

  5. Nice angle, but the right and left hand activity I refer to relates to activity from weeks past, not days past. But at least I know what your right hand is up to at this very point in time.

    Robert suggests that you get a grip. I’d dare to suggest that you already have a firm one.

  6. OK, I’m getting a good idea of the sort of person Tim is by now. And it’s not a good one.

    Stephen overreacted somewhat both here in his blog and in his comments on your site, but you are acting like a child, Tim. Try addressing the issues involved – the service outage and its reasons. Making stupid and immature ad hominem attacks don’t help your case at all.

    Fortunately, the other BackingBlair members seem rather more adult, from the comments on the original “DoS” article. Let’s hope that cooler heads prevail.

  7. Not a film. Not owned by BB. Real good at facts ain’tcha?
    Reply: It was a .swf file: a Macromedia Flash Movie. I’m sure the guys at the Flashforward Conference & Flash Film Festival would argue the point with you. Either way BB had the owner’s permission to use it (I’ve corrected for you) and lied over the ‘DoS’ attack.

  8. To be fair its backingblairs own fault for using a notoriously shit hosting provider.

    ‘unlimited bandwidth’… yeah. You wont believe old Tony but you believe that crock of shit.

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