"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." ~ Douglas Adams
Guerilla Posting 101
Sometimes you just have to get your message out. The cause of liberty, especially in these trying times, is at its core a battle against the State for the hearts and minds of the masses. The easiest way to participate in this battle is to become active on Internet message boards. Post facts, post opinions, challenge the views of others; get them to think. There are untold thousands, if not millions of people participating in online discussion forums each and every day; it's an open market for ideas. Problems arise, however, when people seek to curtail your educational endeavors. It turns out that some people like to create the illusion of a free exchange of ideas, only to pull the proverbial plug on those that offer a viewpoint they don't approve of. When such is the case, one will often find that not only has his or her post(s) been deleted, their account on the message board has been banned in an effort to prevent further 'offenses.' Not only is this hypocrisy morally repugnant (especially on so-called 'pro-American' sites like Free Republic and Democratic Underground, where free speech should be sacred), it hampers our efforts to reach people. This simply will not do. Having been excommunicated for thought crimes, are you going to simply give up on the message board(s) in question and confine yourself to less hostile venues? NO! More often than not, the sites guilty of such censorship have the largest audiences, and are also the ones most in need of a little intellectual diversity. What do you do? Become a guerilla poster!
Guerilla posting is the act of 'sneaking back in' to message boards that you've been banned from for the purpose of reposting deleted columns, posting new columns, or publicly chastising the draconian moderator(s). Sure, the next post you generate that's deemed 'politically incorrect' will get deleted and earn you another ban, but so what? Your post will be up long enough for some people to read, and besides, as a veteran guerilla poster you'll be able to get right back in under a new name and do it all again. Some moderators might even get tired of dealing with it and end their Nazi tactics.
(Note: This is all perfectly legal.)
The first thing you'll need to do is set up some additional email accounts for yourself. This is necessary because your email address is often used as an identifier, so attempting to create a new login name with the same old email address won't work. Additionally, a lot of message boards now require you to answer an email before activating your new account, so you have to have a valid address before you can get back on. In addition to Hotmail and Yahoo, there are literally thousands of websites that provide free email accounts. A simple Altavista or All-the-web search for 'free email' or 'free webmail' will keep you in business for the rest of your life.
Getting Back In
Although easily defeated by the guerilla poster, the most effective means of preventing an excommunicated individual from posting on a message board is to ban his or her IP address. Think of your IP address as your 'serial number' on the Internet. All you need to do in order to create a new login on any system from which you've been banned is to either change or hide this serial number. If you're on a dialup Internet connection, your IP address should change every time you dial back in. The only way to IP ban dialup users is to ban entire domains within their ISP, which is not likely to happen. If this does happen, fear not, you can still hide where you're coming from with a proxy server (see below.)
If you connect to the Internet through a cable or DSL connection, your IP address is always the same. Proxy servers will more than likely be your only recourse, although sometimes you can manually change your IP (depending upon how your ISP is set up) by turning off and physically disconnecting your cable/DSL modem from the outside line for a while (I've seen it take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.) Make sure you find out what your IP address is first, so you know if it has indeed changed afterwards. If this doesn't work, or if you don't feel like waiting for a new IP, the proxy server method is absolutely guaranteed to accomplish our goal.
Using Anonymous Proxies
Without getting into the how's and why's, a proxy server is basically another machine on the Internet that allows you to 'pass through' it to access other computers (websites in this case.) In so doing, the site you connect to sees you as coming from the proxy's IP address instead of your own, banned address. Using proxies over the web is incredibly simple, and it really requires no know-how at all. Don't worry about how or why it works, just know that it does. The only 'effort' required is in finding an active proxy. While there are some well-known proxies such as Anonymizer, it's been my experience that those don't always work reliably. There are, however, a multitude of websites out there that post proxies on a daily basis. Two of my favorites are:
Each of these also has links to other proxy lists, so there's really no trouble in finding one that'll work for you. Stick to servers on ports 80 or 8080, and never use proxies labeled 'transparent,' as they don't hide your IP. Once you've picked a proxy (try to stick to ones with a 'fast' speed rating), all you need to do is tell your browser to use it, and you're ready to go:
In Internet Explorer, click the 'Tools' menu
Choose 'Internet options'
Click the 'Connections' tab
Go to 'LAN settings' or 'Dialup setting' (whichever applies) and check 'Use proxy.' Simply enter the address and port of the proxy you've chosen from the list, and you're done. (For older versions of IE and Netscape click here.) Make sure you use the 'test' links on the proxy lists to ensure your IP is indeed hidden.
Chances are you'll need to change proxies every day or so, and sometimes the listed ones are so swamped they'll not work fast enough, but don't give up. After a few tries you're bound to get a good one. If you find that all the proxies are running slow, hang in there long enough to post your messages, then simply go back into your browser's connection options and uncheck the proxy box. It's that simple. You are now ready to begin guerilla posting. Go back to the lands from whence you were banished and cry freedom!