Charles Giacommetti sent me the following email:
So one of your sycophants ... didn't like what I was saying, so he Googled my name and posted the name, address, and phone number of a different Charles Giacometti.
Nice commenters you have there. All class.
To which I responded, "I'll delete it, but given that you've been harassing people to use their real names, you could hardly complain if it had been your actual information."
Charles fired back:
I am not harassing. I am addressing people directly, and challenging them to not be cowardly. Do you really not understand that the real harassment here would be if your little brown shirts started calling this poor stranger? I would not be surprised if they already have.
If it had been my real information, and I had been harassed, I would most certainly hold you and The Atlantic culpable.
Please direct me to your superiors at the Atlantic so that I can let them know you endorse this kind of harassment. I would like both email addresses and direct phone numbers please.
You may consider them notified.
Indeed, I hope that none of you called this fellow, or in any other way bothered him. I do not encourage offline harassing of web commenters, whatever the provocation. This is one of the reasons that I welcome commenters who use handles; on this blog, it's the content of the comments that is important. The proper punishment for trolls is the silent derision of anyone who reads them, and of course, the fact that they are the kind of people who become internet trolls. If you did call this fellow before I took down his name and number, I would appreciate an anonymous tip off on this thread so that I can contact him and apologize for the inconvenience.
Please do not stalk the trolls. Also, do not talk to them. This seems like as good a time as any to remind readers that your attention--no matter how richly provoked you feel--merely encourages them to further heights. Your tears of just rage are sweet, sweet nectar to comment trolls. Presumably, they engage in this behavior because they feel that no one listens to them. Only you can help make this a self-fulfilling prophecy.