Anarkismo Down

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William Everard
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Jul 12 2017 17:12
Anarkismo Down

Anarkismo.net is down and it looks like a web admin broke the site while deleting user comments critical of Michael Schmidt as well as an open letter from a ZACF member.

Not broken with SSL - https://anarkismo.net/article/30351
Broken without it - http://anarkismo.net/article/30351

It's showing the WSM site so they probably have the same web host.

Here's the web archive version with the now deleted comments - https://web.archive.org/web/20170712005405/https://anarkismo.net/article/30351

I don't know how Anarkismo is going to pretend the "commission" on Schmidt won't be biased in his favor, especially since some of the recent comments on that thread suggest some of Schmidt's sites and posts were taken down to protect a recent writing grant he received. Are they really thinking they can limit Schmidt's exposure, with all that evidence about his white nationalism online? Then again, he got the grant in the first place.

Or, more sinister, Schmidt could have the keys to all these websites, since he was/is a high ranking administrator in each group.

radicalgraffiti
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Jul 12 2017 17:43

its broken not down, i'm not sure where you got the idea they broke it deleting comments from? that shouldn't involve anything that could brake the site

William Everard
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Jul 12 2017 19:03
radicalgraffiti wrote:
its broken not down, i'm not sure where you got the idea they broke it deleting comments from? that shouldn't involve anything that could brake the site

That might be true except for the timing. The site was down only hours after removal of the open letter from a ZACF member and one of the comments replying to that letter.

You are flatout wrong that it couldn't break the site. If the comments are being removed manually from the database (the correct method to make them disappear completely and not leave traces of the deleting in any logs) then an error like this could very well occur. There are a number of misconfiguration scenarios that could happen, especially if the admin had a crappy understanding of the tools he/she was using.

Talk to your local webmaster/mistress or system administrator, as I have, and they'll have a number of scenarios for you that could create the outcome that we're seeing.

And if we're arguing semantics, it's correct to call it down even if the domain name is still up. It's pointing to *the wrong site on the same server*. Only HTTPS connections are working, and not even loading all content.

William Everard
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Joined: 26-01-16
Jul 12 2017 19:21

Clarification on the timeline, because I did muddy it in my comments above. Here's the order of events, which you can see on archive.org yourself.

1. posted July 11: ZACF member original interview for commission

2. posted July 11: Reply to ZACF

3. removed July 11: Reply to ZACF

4. posted July 12: Anarkismo censorship (calling out the removal of Reply to ZACF)

5. site is broken/down except over HTTPS

6. removed: ZACF member original interview for commission *and* Anarkismo censorship

When those last comments were removed, the site was also coincidentally broken. As you might guess, I watched that thread closely.

Compare these:

https://web.archive.org/web/20170712042120/https://web.archive.org/web/20170712005405/https://anarkismo.net/article/30351

https://web.archive.org/web/20170712042120/https://anarkismo.net/article/30351

https://anarkismo.net/article/30351

Here's the point: why the censorship? On an article trying to, supposedly, engender goodwill and form an unbiased "commission" on this sordid episode?

I hint at my suspicion MS has his hands on the gears, but that is just conjecture.

radicalgraffiti
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Jul 12 2017 22:08
William Everard wrote:
radicalgraffiti wrote:
its broken not down, i'm not sure where you got the idea they broke it deleting comments from? that shouldn't involve anything that could brake the site

That might be true except for the timing. The site was down only hours after removal of the open letter from a ZACF member and one of the comments replying to that letter.

You are flatout wrong that it couldn't break the site. If the comments are being removed manually from the database (the correct method to make them disappear completely and not leave traces of the deleting in any logs) then an error like this could very well occur. There are a number of misconfiguration scenarios that could happen, especially if the admin had a crappy understanding of the tools he/she was using.

Talk to your local webmaster/mistress or system administrator, as I have, and they'll have a number of scenarios for you that could create the outcome that we're seeing.

And if we're arguing semantics, it's correct to call it down even if the domain name is still up. It's pointing to *the wrong site on the same server*. Only HTTPS connections are working, and not even loading all content.

if they broke the date base then it shouldn't work at all, over https either,if the https is working but the http is not then it seems like they did a change to where the site was hosted but the old link is still cached, if i'm right the changes should filter though soon, unless they need to do something manually to force it, in which case it will be corrected when they notice.

S. Artesian
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Joined: 5-02-09
Jul 12 2017 22:45

Me? I'd like to know why works by Schmidt are still available on the Libcom site

radicalgraffiti
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Jul 12 2017 23:03

looks like they probably broke or deleted there vhosts, like this but in reverse https://stackoverflow.com/questions/21316089/ssl-redirects-user-to-wrong-website-on-apache

William Everard
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Joined: 26-01-16
Jul 12 2017 23:10

I'm not an expert but I have put together websites before that use SQL databases. There are a number of things that can go wrong, and I've checked with a few others actually doing that kind of work who have backed me up on that. Back end changes to content management systems, like whatever custom code Anarkismo uses, can have unexpected results. A SQL query to a wordpress database, for example, could accidentally switch references from the string http to https in some places but not in others. Also, an old version of a database could have been partially restored, which did not properly copy over the server configuration variables the content management system needs.

or they just screwed up a .htaccess file. etc.

It's not a simple guessing game, but you'll notice there are a slew of SQL errors when you go to anarkismo.net, so there is an incorrect query being made.

At any rate, it should be fixed right now, and it's not, and neither are the ProJourn or IAJ websites. Something is going on, IMO.

edit - They must have noticed by now. but if they didn't and they end up restoring the DB, let's pay attention to how selective it is... bets on how many comments will be purged (especially the ones embarrassing to Lucien, Jonathan, and ZACF)?

William Everard
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Jul 12 2017 23:05
S. Artesian wrote:
Me? I'd like to know why works by Schmidt are still available on the Libcom site

Been asking this for a while. +1

William Everard
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Joined: 26-01-16
Jul 13 2017 16:15

To the naysayers above:

EVERY COMMENT in the past 2.5 days is gone. The last comment is one about Schmidt's racist group being featured in an article worried about their violence in the Namibian Sun:

IT HAS ALSO NOW BEEN LOCKED:

"We are currently not accepting any more comments on this article."

https://anarkismo.net/article/30351
https://archive.fo/2aC4G

5 - 7 comments deleted total, if you count the reposts of comments because they were deleted.

Unbiased commission, indeed. There was an open letter from a ZACF member in one of the comments FFS.

radicalgraffiti
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Jul 13 2017 16:55
William Everard wrote:
To the naysayers above:

EVERY COMMENT in the past 2.5 days is gone. The last comment is one about Schmidt's racist group being featured in an article worried about their violence in the Namibian Sun:

IT HAS ALSO NOW BEEN LOCKED:

"We are currently not accepting any more comments on this article."

https://anarkismo.net/article/30351
https://archive.fo/2aC4G

5 - 7 comments deleted total, if you count the reposts of comments because they were deleted.

Unbiased commission, indeed. There was an open letter from a ZACF member in one of the comments FFS.

i'm not seeing how this supports the claim they broke it deleting comments?

William Everard
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Joined: 26-01-16
Jul 13 2017 17:53
radicalgraffiti wrote:
i'm not seeing how this supports the claim they broke it deleting comments?

You know what? You're right. The fact that the site has been down/broken since the 12th and just now up, with only comments remaining from midday on the 11th, is unrelated. It's also not weird that the comments were removed one-by-one over time, and not in order. I mean, if the database were restored to an earlier point, say a snapshot from the 11th, that's nothing like what we'd expect, but what do I know.

Let's say it's coincidence and there's no connection. No comment on the unbiased Anarkismo "commission organizers" deleting evidence in the comments and discussion as/more civil than this thread, locking the article, and removing it from the front page?

William Everard
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Jul 14 2017 04:02

Wellll.... now the commission page/article is gone completely. Just like that. The commission as well?

https://anarkismo.net/article/30351

Totally unrelated to all the site "maintenance". Yup.

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AndrewF
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Jul 14 2017 12:21

Hey Libcom editors - the statement 2 above was never intended for public circulation. It's got peoples full names in it and its full of location details. Swaziland is an absolute monarchy where suppression of mainstream oppositions parties is routine. In other words there are very real reasons to say publication is a real threat to the people named either living there or who have travelled there to do anarchist work.

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Fall Back
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Jul 14 2017 12:30

For the purpose of disclosure / avoiding accusations of collusion - I'm no longer an admin but still have unpublishing rights - erring on the side of safety given Andrew's post above I have unpublished the post, and passed on to a current admin to deal with. I've only skimmed it and not taking a position on it other than better to be safe than sorry.

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Joseph Kay
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Jul 14 2017 12:31

Unpublished pending admin discussion. Andrew: would redaction of names and places suffice?

William Everard
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Jul 14 2017 12:58

Better safe than sorry I guess, whatever the intention of the ZACF writer.

I didn't intend to cause any issues here; the letter is freely circulating on pastebins etc and also in the Anarkismo.net archived pages.... To me, it didn't seem like a commission leak but an actual open letter:

Quote:
Last but not least I would like to thank all ZACF and fellow comrades who honestly challenged and are honestly challenging the status quo which is ruthlessly prejudiced to the poor and oppressed.

That does not sound like a document meant to stay private, but one which the author knows will circulate. Though, they may not quite understand the risk and possibility of widespread publication.

Of note: this can't be the reason (or at least the only reason) for all the Anarkismo.net problems, the censoring of all the other comments, and the takedown of the article. They could have just removed that comment, given a justification, and locked the comments.

edit - Anyone know if this means there's no longer the delayed-and-loudly-announced commission on Schmidt's activities?

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AndrewF
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Jul 14 2017 14:05

I'm not in a position to say whether removing names and locations might be enough - that said Swaziland is a pretty small place so I'd be concerned that seemingly trivial details might identify people Also the piece itself is pretty hard / self-critical on the author and talks about his life problems, my understanding is that it was written on the understanding it was only going to be seen by a small number of people so even apart from the security considerations broadcasting it seems a little unethical.

BTW there is weird shit going on with the Anarkismo server at the moment that we think might be something to do with an update to the the WSM site even though AFAIK Anarkismo is no longer on our account. What you can currently see seems to be the version from the point we think it was moved, around June 9th but hopefully everything after that date is somewhere (we think it might simply be a pointing issue).

William Everard
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Jul 14 2017 14:44
AndrewF wrote:
BTW there is weird shit going on with the Anarkismo server at the moment that we think might be something to do with an update to the the WSM site even though AFAIK Anarkismo is no longer on our account. What you can currently see seems to be the version from the point we think it was moved, around June 9th but hopefully everything after that date is somewhere (we think it might simply be a pointing issue).

I can't do an in-depth analysis or ask my more technical buddies to help me navigate through the issues without actual data and access to server logs etc, but I can tell you that this is some kind of server misconfiguration which looks to me to be deliberate.

Either it's a cover for removing the Schmidt "commission" content, or it's a byproduct of a sloppy job doing so, perhaps by an inexperienced person deleting server files by accident, using bad SQL queries, etc.

See the above, where critical comments on the Schmidt "commission is a go, we'll have the report in one month" article were removed out of chronological order (although now that we've discussed it, it was probably okay to remove the ZACF letter as long as it's available as evidence for any so-called commission).

There were some comments in the middle of removed comments that were left published for a day, and then removed later, some comments removed which were critical of censorship on Anarkismo.net for removing comments! We're talking many polite, serious, and a few angry posts but still on topic. Many comments have been removed from Anarkismo.net over the past two years relating to Schmidt... almost all of them have been critical of him, and I have documentation.

A simple file/ database restore can't explain the piecemeal removal of comments documented above in archive.org (and my screenshots). The Schmidt article was then *locked* (again I have a screenshot) and is now *removed*, even from all RSS feeds etc.

That's not coincidence. Before the removal of the Schmidt article completely, the comments section just happened to be culled back to July 11, right when the website problems started. Even though during the problems on Jul 12-13, there were one-by-one comment removals and then comment locking. There's some panic going on behind the scenes, and it started before the ZACF letter posting.