Update: LA Times Autism Story Comment Fracas Continues

A few interesting developments in the Basko-Ditz LA Times autism story comment fracas (for those unfamiliar with the episode, you may want to see this post for a primer).

In the comments section of Harpocrates Speaks, the blog which responded to the Liz-Basko affair with a post entitled How Not to Make a Fool of Yourself on the Internet: A PSA, a commenter posted the following (alleged Twitter direct message transcript):

Here's a transcript of my bizarro conversation with Ms. Basko on Twitter. Notice how she never answers my question. I'm not sure if she simply does not understand my repeated question or is just dodging it. And for the record, I do have a son with autism and he receives SSI. I work three jobs so my wife can stay at home. That's why I found her comments so offensive and insisted that she answer my question (even though she didn't).

SB (Sue Basko): I am being stalked/harassed by a nut named @LizDitz who actually wrote the words being tweeted. Have reported to FBI.

ME: Since you have an account at LA Times blogs, FBI or LA Times should be able to determine if or who posted alleged comments.

SB: In the meantime, Liz Ditz and her "gravy train" words roll on. I have not been interviewed by her, never even heard of her!

ME: Not defending anybody but I only know about this because of you, not LD. Had to use Google to figure out what you were talking abt

SB: LD wrote words and tweeted them as mine - I have not had any interaction with her ever. She is cyberbully.

SB: It is on Google, but because she wrote it and put it there.

ME: Are you referring to her blog post or the quotes she attributed to you from the LA Times comments section of the Autism article?

SB: I do NOT have a blog at LA Times. I have a blog about protest marches! Not on LA Times!

ME: I'm referring to the fact that you have a registered account to add comments.

ME: latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/10/… You're a "Top Commenter," though maybe you connected via Facebook...

ME: I'm selective about who I follow, that's why I'm asking.

ME: Liz has updated her blog and provides a screen shot of your comments to the LA Times blog article.

ME: My question still stands, did you write those words or not? (I'm referring to the comments attribute to you in the screenshot)

SB: Check sources before you repeat words of malicious stalker. Please.

ME: I haven't repeated them. I'm just asking you if you made the comments she said you did. Yes or no?

SB: I do not even know what you are talking about - I have never had any interaction whatsoever with this woman!

ME: No one said you did. I'm doing what you asked, checking sources. DID YOU WRITE THOSE COMMENTS OR NOT? YES OR NO?

SB: THIS IS MY BLOG: occupypeace.blogspot.com CHECK YOUR SOURCES.

ME: I'm not talking about YOUR blog. I'm talking about the comments you allegedly left on a LA Times piece on autism.

ME: Did you write this or not? lizditz.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451b…


ME: Did you make the comments or not? Yes or no? Why can't you answer the question?

ME: I am checking sources, I'm asking you.

SB: I publish a blog by autistic man: paulmodrowski.blogspot.com I do not write LD's blog!

ME: OK, I give up. I've been asking specifically about comments you alledgely made on the LA TIMES blog. Is my question not clear?

ME: So did you write the comments (now deleted) that were allegedly (notice I use this word) on the LA Times blog? Yes or no?

ME: Look up definitions of cyber bullying, cyber stalking, as I don't think you know what they mean. Look up Streisand Effect too.

ME: You may also want to read up on how social media works. Good luck...

I cannot confirm or deny that the above Twitter conversation actually occurred, but it doesn't seem to be terribly unbelievable, based on the way Ms. Basko has reacted to the critique of her original LA Times comments. Again, she appears to avoid making any concessions regarding the original post on the LA Times piece, instead pointing elsewhere, saying, 'Hey, look over there!' when asked very direct questions about the comments.

In addition, Ms. Basko left the following comment on the def shepherd Facebook page:

The link points to a blog post entitled Liz Ditz Came Out of Hiding on Doug Copp's Blog. The post is from October of 2010, and makes plenty of painfully vague accusations against Ditz unrelated to the whole LA Times autism fracas. The post at Doug Copp's Blog is devoid of any supporting materials, links, or references -- simply a lot of angry remarks with no substance. It references ARTI, an organization which calls itself 'The World's most experienced rescue team and disaster management-mitigation organization.'

A Google search turned up some posts on Liz Ditz's blog about Doug Copp's disaster rescue and mitigation business. Her posts are well-documented, pointing to a number of credible sources which outline the sketchiness of Copp's business. Plenty of other sources had also reported on the dubious nature of Copp's enterprise, including CBS News, Snopes, the Jamaica Observer, and the Albuquerque Journal. Clearly, this is not a case of Ms. Ditz fabricating accusations out of thin air.

It appears Ms. Basko may have simply scoured the internet looking for any negative comments to support her declarations that Ditz is a 'cyberstalker' who attacks others on the internet.

Shortly after Basko left her comment on the def shepherd Facebook page, she left similar comments on the Harpocrates Speaks blog post, in which she quotes much of the post from Doug Copp's Blog:

I'm sure we haven't heard the end of Ms. Basko. It's clear that she touched a nerve with the comments on the LA Times (which, it appears, she may be suggesting she never made). It's unclear if there actually is an investigation underway. Unless she knows something we don't know, there's very little likelihood that any law enforcement agency would get very far in an investigation before dismissing the whole incident as simply a case of someone with thin skin resorting to threats rather than answering her critics in the same venue that launched this whole incident to begin with.

Although I don't know much about Ms. Basko outside of her various internet posts related to this story, her Occupy blog, and the fact that she is an entertainment lawyer in LA, I do know that Liz Ditz is greatly admired for her autism work, and is the co-founder and editor of The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism, which has just been named 'Book of the Year' by Steve Silberman, senior writer for Wired and autism/neurodiversity blogger for the Public Library of Science.

Many would be quite surprised if Ditz were guilty of anything more than speaking up.


  1. delusion of persecution a delusion that one is being attacked, harassed, persecuted, cheated, or conspired against.

    I am not a doctor, but my hunch is this woman suffers from the above & probably Borderline Personality Disorder.


  2. This woman is in dire need of a HitchSlap. Alas...

  3. Another skeptic, Calladus, has written a blog post on Basko's legal claims that one cannot link to her blog without prior written permission: Internet Insanity.

    And Sullivan at LeftBrain/RightBrain is keeping track of posts From a comment on an LA Times article to a tiny Streisand Effect

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  5. im glad i saw this with the recent killings in the school a website appeared called adam lanza is a hero funny this website named her as an attorney then pops up remove adam lanza page she was saying she wasnt the lawyer and that they were stalking her threatening her life and calling her also claimed one came to her house but has wrong address funny thing is i called her out and said i believed she was making this up both times my comments were removed from both pages then i actually wrote it on the adam lanza is a hero page just to test my theory i mean if he doesn't like her and is stalking her id figure hed like the comment well like i thought 5 mins after proof she has done this to someone else was posted waalaa page was removed.. almost like the boy who cried wolf i might be totally wrong but going into this i think she might of made the page herself so it would get big and her name would be out there and to hear adam lanza had autism and then this is to much of a coincidence.. and she is posting exact same thing report page to fbi my question to her is if she had names and schools where the kids went to why wouldn't she report it why have the other supporters do it no response.

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