Zeroing in on Zero Hedge

Joe Hagan profiles the financial blog Zero Hedge in New York Magazine. In the past, I’ve defended Zero Hedge from attacks on its decision to use a pseudonym. And that defense, incredibly led to me being attacked on CNBC!
Well, now we know that Dan Ivandjiiski is the man behind Tyler Durden:

(A) 30-year-old Bulgarian immigrant banned from working in the brokerage business for insider trading. A former hedge-fund analyst, he’s also a zealous believer in a sweeping conspiracy that casts the alumni of Goldman Sachs as a powerful cabal at the helm of U.S. policy, with the Treasury and the Federal Reserve colluding to preserve the status quo. His antidote? A purifying market crash that leads to the elimination of the big banks altogether and the reinstatement of genuine free-market capitalism.

While many of the posts are excellent, more than a few are—as the passage above suggests—completely off the fringe. They’re poorly reasoned, paranoid and highly conspiratorial.
I wondered why could there be such a difference in the quality of the posts. Apparently, Ivandjiiski is merely the leader but there are up to 40 different people who write under the name Tyler Durden.
I have to agree with Felix, the Durden cell should be broken up. Again, I have no problem with the use of pseudonyms, but we should know which pseudonym wrote what so readers can skip over the Grassy Knoll stuff.
I think ZH’s success underscores the fact that the blogosphere is biased toward sites that express moral outrage. Criticizing people is, apparently, far too tame. No, you need to explain why your opponents are evil. In fact, they’re doubly evil because they know they’re evil yet they do nothing about it. Now that’s evil!
I guess a lot of folks aren’t happy unless they’re upset. And with that we go to today’s poll question: Should we increase welfare payments to illegal immigrants?

Posted by on September 28th, 2009 at 2:13 pm

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