In 2005, Cambodia related blogs were starting to coalesce. I began compiling a directory of them, which eventually ended up on the Global Voices listing.

One of them was ‘Cambochica’ (Angie Manzano) a writer for ‘Off Our Backs‘ magazine, who was preparing to work as a Voluntary Service Overseas volunteer in Cambodia. She had some strong lefty politics and I was curious to see how they would be adapted to life in Srok Kmai.Cambochica attracted the interest of then-VSO volunteer Darren Conquest – which led to some comments/flames since deleted.
“You stop posting on my sites, I will stop posting on your.” [sic]Darren’s blog posts are tagged ‘Lord Playboy’, the name of a forum moderator at www.Khmer440.

Cambochica’s blog grew smaller and smaller and was finally deleted.
(An unrelated blogger, ‘Cool Mikey’ has taken the URL )

Angie Manzano reappeared on MySpace and I linked to her via my own MySpace account. Darren Conquest/‘Lord Playboy’ also signed on to MySpace, and currently features a ‘Kill Cambochica’ posting on his MySpace blog.

On the Khmer440 forum, a new spate of postings by ‘Litotes’ began appearing in April 2006; first plagiarizing popular internet sites, then moving to reposting topics from Ms. Manzano’s old and current blog. Some posts and responses are rather explicit, and feature pictures that can only be accessed by a member of MySpace.

Despite Khmer440′s stated interest in reducing forum ‘trolls’ (obnoxious posters), forum moderator Darren/Lord Playboy has been surprisingly tolerant with this one, who has no email contact listed. Most recently, this ‘troll’ has signed posts as Angie Manzano/Cambochica.

Email from Ms. Manzano states that she is not the originator of these posts, and also that she has received a threat about ‘reprisals’ via the ‘Lord Playboy’ MySpace account. Last week she locked her MySpace Account into ‘friends only’ mode.

The internet is a great tool for opening discussions, which are sometimes quite heated. I can’t say I approve of using the internet as a tool to shut someone up. It’s misleading for an Administrator to pose as a troll on a forum they manage. And I’m a little surprised that Khmer440 hasn’t learned anything from their previous attacks on Ray Zepp, Friends Economic Development Association, and Emma Leslie.

I don’t agree with everything Cambochica says, but she has the right to say it. If plagiarists feel comfortable to pose as her and steal her words and name, this sets a bad precedent. Who will be the next target for identity theft? Who will feel safe to set up a weblog in this contentious environment?

It looks like a lot of wasted office broadband time went into this ruse. It could have been used for something more productive.

Related links: (added Sept. 30)

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