Blogger’s Reputation Intentionally Smeared?
I have never met Justin Horton, but I have been for years now a ‘fan’ of his chess blog, and in particular, of his essays on important issues that affect the chess community. Often controversial, Horton does not shy away from telling things as he sees them. As a result he has made many powerful enemies along the way, including Ray Keene and Nigel Short.
Recently, Justin has been accused of cheating by ChessCom. Justin denies this accusation but has been systematically thwarted in his efforts to find out what relevant information ChessCom is in possession of. What cheating? When? Against whom? How was the alleged cheating detected?
To make things worse, ChessCom is happily hiding behind a ‘policy’ of non-disclosure. As a private company, they do not NEED to justify any of their decisions nor reveal their anti-cheating detection methods.
Justin Horton is, quite naturally, very upset at the obstacles that ChessCom has set up to prevent him from clearing his name.
“I’ve been playing competitive chess for more than forty years, over the board, by correspondence and on the internet. This is, by a margin, the most disgusting thing – and the most upsetting thing – that has ever happened to me in all that time.” (From his blog)
Frustrated, Horton has gone public with this controversy. Hardly the reaction that a cheater would take, don’t you think? He has written on his blog , his twitter as well as the English Chess Forum.
I sympathize with Justin’s situation, as should everyone who has ever been falsely accused of doing something. The big loser here can only be ChessCom as they refuse to prove their case. On the English Chess Forum Justin has already won supporters.
I recommend the readers to take a closer look at this. This situation smells a lot like recent scandals on BIG social media platforms like FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube where tens of thousands of people–especially popular journalists and bloggers– have had their accounts suspended or closed for what are purely arbitrary political motives.