Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

A Matter of Public Record

You aren't as private you think. You are not invisible. And yes, you do have and should take responsibility for the things that you write. Period. If you are going to toss out some comments, be prepared to take responsibilty for your choices.

And no, I am not a hypocrite: Sierra Wyndsong has been my writing name online for over 15 years, I have been published under it and even answer to it. It isn't difficult to find me. And Sierra Wyndsong is considered a secondary real identity for me. However, this journal is not linked to anything that is considered public record with my real name attached to it.  So, therefore, this journal and my birth identity are separated and should not be divulged. That said, I don't have a problem backing my writing or anything I put down. An editor once told me never to write anything that I did not want read, and always be able to defend what I wrote. Because how can you ascribe to Voltaire philosophy and defend someone else's 'right' to say something if you can't own your words, too? It all comes down to respecting what is considered private, what is semi-private and what is public.

And, there is a certain amount of respect that should be given to those who blog and it is obvious that they do not wish to be linked to their journal in real life despite the Internet being a very public venue. However, that invisibility goes away when you are considered a public and published figure, particularly when you speak in an authoritative manner on an issue that is published in an interview given by you, and the article is published and your journal is linked to your name in that interview.

That interview and all information linked to the interview is a MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD as of the date it was published.


That does not change unless you did not grant permission for all of the information to be published. Once it is out there, once permission has been given, then the interview and the information will stand as public record. If you do not EVER want something known as public record, DO NOT PUT IT OUT THERE. It's that simple. Otherwise, it is fair game and useable by journalists.

An example: if you attend a Pro-Choice/Pro-Life rally, in a public park, and your photo is taken, the photo can be published with or without your consent because you are in a public place and participating in a public event that is being documented. If you speak at that rally, you can be quoted, whether you agree to it or not. You have become part of the rally. Now, if you want to hold a private rally in your backyard, that's great.. No one can go there without your consent or publish anything from it without your consent. If you don't wish to be linked to the issue, don't go to the public forum.

Also, when I worked for a small town newspaper with an 'if it bleeds, it leads" philosophy, I had the occasion to respond to an accident at 3 a.m. on a weekday. The driver of the vehicle was uninjured, his vehicle not so much. His alcohol level was quite high and he was coming back from a casino and had gotten lost trying to get home. (He missed it by 20 miles in the opposite direction.) I snapped a photo of the man taking the sobriety test. Great shot of him as he was falling over onto the pavement. He had been drinking and speeding. Typical story, no? Anyone else, people and MADD would have been livid and demanded that he be raked over the coals. However, one of the local supporters of MADD had an issue with me publishing a photo of the very drunk but beloved principal of one of the local elementary schools. As per her letter to me, I should have been ashamed that I put him out in public like that. I should have been more sensitive because he was going through a divorce. And he was a good prinicipal and I was going to ruin him for life. Really? No seriously?

His choices put him out in the public, required public services to be sent out to him for his assistance - taxpayers' dollars are what fund that whole 'protect and serve' deal with the police and fire & rescue - and he should not have made those choices if he was not prepared to deal with the consequences. He should have mourned his marriage with a bottle at his house. IN Private. Now, did his poor choice make him a bad, evil person? No. He could have handled things differently, but if the choice was a one-time deal, then I doubt that it would have mattered. Now, if this was an indicator that he was spiraling into alcoholism, depression and making lots of really bad decisions - then he should have resigned his post as a public school principal. My article was appropriate and correct. He absolutely needed to answer for his actions and his decisions, even more so BECAUSE of his position.

I say all that because I want you to understand why I feel so passionately about people not taking responsibility for their words and actions online as well. I feel the same way here as I do in real life. You are responsible for your choices. Period.

Now there is currently a huge bruhaha brewing between two authors online. One would like to remain anonymous but claims to have been 'outed' by another author. A flame war of massive proportions has ensued, slandering both authors, appearing in numerous blogs and blurring the lines of libel and defamation. Brilliant. Neither author is invisible online, both are published authors, both blog often and have been very vocal in a long drawn out race issue concerning SciFi writers and their writings and blogs have been linked to their real names in published and public forums. Read that again. BOTH. Of them. Period. 

By the time anyone bothers to read this, I am sure the name will no longer be linked to the LJ account. However, in December 2007: The article titled Fantasy Roundtable: People of Color in Fantasy Literature, written by K. Tempest Bradford and published by Dark Fantasy, links an author's name to their LJ account. (It is my opinion that if the article published the identity and link without the author's permission, then Dark Fantasy and Bradford owe the author an apology and a retraction.) This same article has been used very often in numerous blogs concerning race issues in SciFi genre and has always contained the link. So, not just there, but in many, many posts, this article has made it very public who that author is in real life. Therefore, it is a MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD. Get it? Got it? Good. 

The subsequent mob mentality flame war across numerous blogs that have slandered BOTH authors' names blurs the line of libel and defamation on several fronts because they are done based on the idea that the author's identity was revealed on another blog. While said author's real name was written in that blog (and later removed at their request), the accusation that it was a danger because it broke the veil of invisibilty is in error by virtue of the LJ account being linked to an article published very publicly and quite often and containing that link. So, while the other blogger is responsible for listing the author's name without permission in that particular blog entry, they did not 'out' the author, per se. Because, well, they weren't invisible to begin with.

Quite frankly I could care less about the mudslinging. (It gets in your eyes and you can't see clearly!) I have no attachments to either person except that I was curious about something someone wrote on another journal. No I am not going to link here. (I sent that person a private message.) Honestly, the only reason that I was moved to write this was because it smacks of something I wrote a few years ago in a newspaper column that I had. It had to do with the responsibility of what people write online wherein they are slinging someone's name around while remaining anonymous. There was a huge argument that arose on the backend of that column. I still stand by that argument.

If you choose to be a public figure, you are in the public BUT only to the degree that certain things are considered for public consumption with regards to the reason you are considered a public entity AND if you make that information known. Example: A mayor having an extramarital affair is really none of our business. A mayor having sex with his mistress in the mayor's office on the desk purchased by taxpayer money? THAT is public consumption. Any actor walking down the street doing whatever or appearing at a function in the capacity of their job to a specific studio? Semi-Private and Public. The actor's family not appearing in public with them? Private.

There is an exception. A minor child who is a victim of a crime. There is a fine line there in regards to identifying a victim in any way. It isn't necessarily protected by law, or wasn't in years past. It was a courtesy to refrain from printing that information. Even so much as refraining from other identifying markers, such as citing them as the niece or son of their attacker. It is referred to as victim's rights.

However, anyone who chooses to put themselves out in the public has limited rights in that regard. And that is the entire point. The author, as a blogger and a published writer, blogs often and comments often on various web sites regarding race issues in the SciFi genre. And has done so in the capacity of an "expert" representative by participating in the roundtable discussion at Dark Fantasy. Therefore, they have inherently opened themselves up for public criticism and consumption. No different from any other author, actor, politician, etc. who makes a public statement in a public venue.

I am sure anyone who reads this and is familiar with the situation is going to assume I am on one side or the other. I am not. I only have an issue with the blogging community in general not understanding the difference between what is public and what is private. And taking responsibility for their words and actions. And in this instance, I think Dark Fantasy and Bradford are just as culpable as the other blogger who listed the person's name without permission. However, I have my doubts as to whether the LJ community at large will have the balls to hold all three accountable. Sadly, one will likely be vilified and lynched in true mob mentaility fashion and the other two will get a pass. But all are responsible to some degree. So, far, as of this printing, only one has apologized and made a retraction.

Remember: there is a huge difference between what is a right that is protected under the First Amendment and what is a privilege in the spirit of the law. 


( 39 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2009 01:01 pm (UTC)
For the record: the fact that the author's name was linked to her LJ account on the Fantasy roundtable was entirely my fault. I don't remember if, at the time, I was asked to de-link the name and that's why it's not on parts 1 and 3 or if I just had a brain fart. I do know that when I first published the roundtable I was unaware that the author wanted to keep her legal name from being linked to her LJ and fan activities. (I hadn't known her very long then.) Had I been aware I wouldn't have linked in the first place. By the time I became aware I'd forgotten that I did it. The author pointed this out to me yesterday and I corrected the mistake, with apologies. (Luckily, she's a friend of mine, and thus we were able to accomplish all of this without drama and/or flaming. It was an exciting time.)
Mar. 5th, 2009 02:27 pm (UTC)
I am really glad to hear the matter was resolved. Although, up until last night, there were two pages that linked it. Personally, I have seen that article linked numerous times throughout the race discussion, and have never seen the 'outing' issue arise before now. So, I don't know that I am willing to lay the responsibility totally at your doorstep. I will point out that part of my post also involved the different way in which you were handled for your misstep versus the other blogger. It is that hypocrisy and vilification that makes the entire racism issue such a minefield to navigate, on both sides. Here on LJ, it seems that if you are friends, then the misstep is treated lightly and people move on. If you are considered 'bad' or make a habit of giving a dissenting opinion then you are lynched, whether the action was intentional or not.

It's sad that we can't all have a reasonable discussion about the topic at hand, instead of it being reduced to mudslinging.
Mar. 5th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I just saw the third page and removed the link there, too.

I think the difference in reactions comes down to more than just friendship. Yes, coffeeanink can make that request of me and I'm happy to comply because we're friends, but even if we'd not been friends and she wrote me a note asking me to remove it and stating the reason why, the outcome wouldn't have been different. From what I'm able to glean, this is what she asked of Will, and he made a huge stink about doing it, thus generating a whole new ball of wank.

Also, many of us involved in discussions of race have had multiple dealings with Will, which plays in to how we react to anything he says or does. I can't say for sure that if this issue surrounded some different person people would still not be as angry, but a lot of the anger comes from the outing AND Will being involved.

I also don't think that the people who linked to that roundtable noticed that coffeeandink's name was linked. I was one of the first people to link to it and I didn't notice because I was looking for the stuff about territory. I scrolled right past the list of names. I think lots of other people did the same. Or, if they noticed the name was linked, they didn't click or hover to see what it was linked TO.

And, of course, there may have been people who did notice and either didn't realize it was a big deal or did and just didn't mention it to me for whatever reason.
Mar. 5th, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC)
Let me pose this to you. Would you place credence or even bother to read a newspaper article that had no byline and where no quotes were attributed within the article? Would you watch a newscast that just had a voice-over with nothing but a black screen? I highly doubt anyone would. people want validation.

I absolutely think outing a private class citizen without their permission is in bad judgment. I can see why no one might have given it a second thought when they saw your article. Personally, I thought linking the authors in your roundtable discussion gave the article more weight and bearing and credence.
However, BOTH authors regularly speak with authority on their craft and allude to their profession as being published writers in order to give merit to their arguments. This puts them in a different level of the argument because the entire RaceFail argument focuses on published writers and the characters they create and the way the characters are designed to evolve. They are both in a semi-private situation there. I think in that instance, in this particular scenario concerning the entire race debate, then ALL published authors who are speaking in the capacity of being published, should identify themselves. If they are unwilling to do that, then they need to remove ALL allusions to themselves as published writers and merely comment from the standpoint as a private citizen. Otherwise, both should be treated in a semi-private way.

You, as a journalist for a magazine, are a pretty much considered a completely public figure.

Now, I am not dismissing hurt feelings. I am not dismissing missteps on either side. My main issue is that all of this argument has made the case for why Libel and Defamation of Character need to be considered before making statements. Whether you think you are invisible or not. It could also make a side case in the race issue where people argue intent versus context versus knowing what is right. Libel and Defamation of Character are against the law, unacceptable in every single state, and hinge on the basis of a statement being true and factual and where the determination is made that someone is tangibly hurt by the situation. If you participate in it, then you should be held accountable. Period. That goes for everyone involved and there are many on both sides that are embroiled in this. I find it quite distasteful.

At the end of the day, I think the assumed privacy of the Internet has given people the impression that they should not or don't have to take responsibility for their words or actions. And that is appalling.

We should strive to be better than that.
Mar. 6th, 2009 02:04 am (UTC)
You, as a journalist for a magazine, are a pretty much considered a completely public figure.

Journalists most certainly are not "completely public figures."
Mar. 6th, 2009 02:22 am (UTC)
Yes. In regards to their writing, yes they are. They are separate in so much as where they are 'outside' of society as the "Fourth Estate" or in the capacity as watchdogs. It is a separate but equal deal. But being a published journalist means being in the public eye and your writing is open game and it is incumbent upon the journalist to defend and back their writing. otherwise, newspaper writers could just make stuff up, not attach a byline or reference quotes and sources.
Mar. 6th, 2009 02:44 am (UTC)
In regards to defending and backing their writing, sure.

But for example, just because you were a crime reporter, that doesn't mean that I can publish pictures of your 2 1/2 year old daughter or whatever.

The term "public figure" has pretty specific meaning in the middle of a conversation about libel (public figures have to show "actual malice" in addition to showing something to be untrue and damaging), and so a broad statement that a journalist is a "completely" public figure during a discussion of libel is highly misleading.

Mar. 6th, 2009 03:10 am (UTC)
That is actually a point I made in the initial entry. No, my daughter is not a public figure. I am no longer considered a public figure.

And yes, it does matter. As a journalist, you are a physical representation of the entity you write for by way of the face-to-face interviews you conduct and the phone interviews you conduct and your name is attached to your writing. Also, your email and phone are also included in most standard newspaper bylines, these days. So, in a writing capacity, yes, journalists are public figures and EVERYTHING they they publish is up for review and can cause Defamation of Character and/or Libel. Newspapers and magazines are constantly accused and sometimes sued for that. So, yes, indeed, it is absolutely appropriate to link that to journalists who have access to the most sensitive information. It is incumbent upon a journalist to protect themselves and be bulletproof from Libel accusations. In other words, they have to be able to defend their choices and stand by what is published.
Mar. 6th, 2009 03:25 am (UTC)
The determination of "public figure" has nothing at all to do with whether someone can be held liable FOR libel. Someone's status as a public figure only affects THEIR ability to successfully sue someone who has libeled THEM.

Newspapers and magazines are accused of libel and sued, but it is completely unrelated to whether or not the journalist who wrote the story is a public figure, even a public figure within a specific context.

Example: Kynn writes a story about Tempest that gets picked up by the Associated Press. Kynn lies about Tempest and says she eats babies; the truth is that Tempest only eats toddlers. Tempest sues Kynn and the AP.

If Tempest is considered a public figure -- e.g., if I can prove that she's just that famous enough thanks to her wildly popular blog -- then she has a higher bar to prove I libeled her. Not only does she have to prove that she doesn't eat babies and that it harmed her career and public image for me to say she eats babies, but she has to prove I have actual malice and deliberately tried to harm her.

But maybe I just was told something wrong, checked it out, and it seemed legit.

If she's NOT a public figure, that's enough to still qualify for me libel, if she can prove she doesn't actually eat babies. But if she is, then she's got an extra burden of proof.

Now, my status as a public figure or not is irrelevant. If I published under a pen name -- say, Kiva O. Snow -- or whatever, it still doesn't matter. "Public figure" status, in libel, only matters regarding the victim of the libel, not the perpetrator. I am treated the same if I'm a widely read newspaper columnist or if I'm someone with a blog with 5 readers. (The size of my audience may mitigate the damages, of course, but that's got nothing to do with my "public figure" status.)

The necessity of journalists to defend their choices has nothing to do with the journalists being "public figures" or not.
Mar. 6th, 2009 04:28 am (UTC)
Since I did not use quotes with public figure, neither should you. because it changes the context of the point. As a journalist, you are a public figure, wherein public is an adjective, and not part of a descriptive noun. He is a public figure is different than he is a "public figure". ANYONE can make a case against someone else concerning Libel or Defamation of Character. The end proof that a judge will look at is whether the situation is some way adversely affected that person to the point of mental cruelty, loss of wages, loss of job, etc. A journalist is a public entity because of the nature of their job and can be held accountable in instances of Defamation or Libel, particularly where their writing and how their writing affects their employer and the people they write about.
Mar. 6th, 2009 02:06 am (UTC)

Libel and Defamation of Character are against the law, unacceptable in every single state, and hinge on the basis of a statement being true and factual and where the determination is made that someone is tangibly hurt by the situation. If you participate in it, then you should be held accountable. Period.

I'm not sure where you're bringing libel into this conversation from. I don't think anyone has accused anyone else of libel -- and if they have, they should settle that through the courts, right?

Mar. 6th, 2009 02:30 am (UTC)
Libel is written slander, and speaks to the malicious statements made by people on both sides that call into question someone's character, class, personal choices, etc. (and there have been several instances of this.) Libel does not have to exist in a court proceeding. You can libel someone, damage their name by printing unreasonable comments about their character and person, without ever seeing a pleading, summons or court docket. Most people handle things outside the courts through reasonable discussion. The entire point of that is simply that some people have crossed over into making unreasonable, unacceptable and damaging comments. And those statements are beginning to blur the lines of libel whereas before it was simply acceptable arguments.
Mar. 6th, 2009 02:47 am (UTC)
I think, though, that it's important to note that opinions about someone, no matter how negative, are not libel. A statement about me that"calls into question" my character or personal choices is not libelous unless it presents, as a fact, something which is untrue.

...damage their name by printing unreasonable comments about their character and person...

Libel doesn't mean saying something "unreasonable," it means saying something false and damaging (and with actual malice, for public figures).
Mar. 6th, 2009 02:58 am (UTC)
Apparently, yes I really have to do this.

Review this. Then come back and discuss. We will then discuss False Light laws and where something does not have to be false in order to offend a reasonable person. Yet it is still considered Libel AND/OR Defamation of Character. I notice you left out the Defamation part in order to make the argument.

Mar. 6th, 2009 03:15 am (UTC)
I notice you left out the Defamation part in order to make the argument.

I'm sorry, but in this entire subthread I've only been talking about libel.

You told me to go read Wikipedia; I'm familiar with the definition of libel. I'm saying that merely saying something "unreasonable" isn't libel. And Wikipedia's entry specifically backs that up.

This is the first time you're talking about "false light," though -- before, throughout the rest of the subthread, the focus has been on libel. Libel demands a falsehood. "False light," however, does not.

You've said that "Libel...speaks to the malicious statements...that call into question someone's character, class, personal choices, etc." But malicious statements which do that aren't libel. You can argue that they may be false light cases, but false light cases, pretty much by definition, aren't libel cases.
Mar. 6th, 2009 04:41 am (UTC)
But it all falls under Defamation of Character and I included Libel because it is the printed version of slander. And it is something that would offend a reasonable person - not something that is unreasonable. Be clear. The two things are not the same. The barometer of something that would offend a reasonable person is what they are using. Similar to the Miller Test for the Supreme Court per Miller v. California in regards to obscene material and whether it is prohibited or protected by the First Amendment. They have tests to gauge what would be accepted into the court system as a case.

Now, I find it interesting that since you can't really nail the blog entry, you are now nitpicking on word usage. You are entirely missing the point of the article as whole. How sad. And you keep taking things out of context and twisting them. Fascinating.
Mar. 6th, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)
1. There are all kinds of validation. But the blank screen analogy doesn't fit these circumstances.

2. Actually, had I linked the author's LJ handle instead of her real name, her contributions to the roundtable would have been just as acceptable. We chose together for her to be listed under her proper name, but I mistakenly assumed she wanted that linked to her LJ. If she'd participated as coffeeandink, most people reading would have known exactly who she was.

3. No one in this instance has ever not taken responsibility for their words. As has been pointed out, as you have pointed out, if you're known under a handle and post your opinions under that handle, then people can still identify you. They don't need to know your legal name in order to know where you stand. And C&I has never, as far as I have seen, NOT stood by her words, she has merely asked that her real name be kept out of it and, instead, people refer to her by the name most people in this community know her by.

Show me one instance of someone not being willing to stand by their words.

4. As far as I know, C&I did not take part in the discussion at large as a published author, but as a reader, fan, and friend or acquaintance of a lot of the people involved in said discussion. In the roundtable, she talked about reader reactions.

5. I am NOT considered a completely public person because I'm a journalist. that's crazytalk.
Mar. 6th, 2009 05:07 am (UTC)
You represent yourself and your employer in a public capacity. Your writing is public with a byline. You are a public figure wherein public is used as an adjective, and not public figure as a descriptive noun.

And as far as responsibility, the two authors are acheduled to be published together and should treat one another with more dignity and respect as colleagues. And I think they should be better examples to the writing community where they continue to publish blogs on matters of conduct and allude to their professions as writers. So yes, they have not take total responsibility for their words.

And also, both kept saying they were going to stop and both did not. It has deteriorated into a war between their supporters at this point.
Apr. 5th, 2009 12:37 pm (UTC)
Would you watch a newscast that just had a voice-over with nothing but a black screen?

You mean like... a radio broadcast?
Apr. 5th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
No, I meant television specifically for the following reasons - although I have included a comment on radio below for you :) Context is important in this situation.

For Bradford, I was speaking to a specific example in that comment. Don't make it something it isn't.
Tempest is a visual media person who handles numerous web sites and works for online magazines. And so, the example I presented to her was specifically geared toward HER personally in the comment. For all intents and purposes, she is a visual media person.

The point is:
Would you sit in front of a television and watch a TV with nothing but a black screen with a voice-over. No. You expect to "see" something on the screen, no? Even an EBS has writing or a scroll bar. The keyword there in the comment you referenced being "watch". Here I was speaking to visual expectancy and using a specific example, and NOT addressing all forms of media. Because people typically want visual validation. The point being, where you have a certain expectation, you will demand that expectation. A television newscast is expected to have a real person speaking with photos or video. That was the point of the example. If I had meant to speak to radio, then I would have discussed it.

The thing is, the majority of people will Not take a radio broadcast as rote - unless it is a traffic report. Even then, they will seek out visual representation of what happened by looking out the car window or looking for followup information on the Internet, newspaper or a tv news broadcast.

Now, radio media is far different. There is no expectancy of "seeing" something to go along with the information you are receiving. However, the majority of people will not simply trust the DJ of a radio show they have never listened to before. They will either question it and turn the station to a more familiar venue or they will verify the information on the Internet once they arrive at their destination or they will check the tv newscasts in order to validate what was said.

Most people do NOT rely on radio alone for their news source unless it is referenced from a specific source such as NPR and then more often, people will "listen" to a trusted source rather than just any radio station. Radio is more fluid and relies more often on people calling in with information which may or may not be accurate as well as the DJ's opinion or interpretation of the story they got out of a NEWSPAPER or off of a TV newscast. Radio in the media world is often considered slightly less accurate because of the rampant "opinion presented as fact" that often occurs. Also, people are less likely to trust say a "shock jock" versus just a regular DJ that regularly does the voice for several things on the radio. But that brings us to the main point of radio. In a visual aspect, you are more likely to trust the news on the radio from a station you regularly listen to rather than just one you stumbled upon, and the opinion of a DJ you are more accustomed to and have a "relationship" with (you listen to them everyday on the way to work) rather than a new DJ you have never heard before.

Radio media is more subjective to our scoff factor because we are a "seeing is believing" kind of society. Therefore, I did not address radio media at all in this situation. Because we are also dealing with visual media in this space. On the Internet. With the printed words and pictures.

(Although I don't have a lot of pictures on my blog.)

Apr. 5th, 2009 04:10 pm (UTC)
However, the majority of people will not simply trust the DJ of a radio show they have never listened to before. They will either question it and turn the station to a more familiar venue or they will verify the information on the Internet once they arrive at their destination or they will check the tv newscasts in order to validate what was said.

You're either inferring a whole lot about people's relationship to radio broadcasts, or American radio stations are vastly different from what I'm used to.

In any case, thanks for elaborating.
Apr. 5th, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
Ah, yes... sorry. This is specifically for purposes of American media. Clearly, other countries rely heavily on radio, but there are also different guidelines, restrictions, expectations attached to the dissemination of information that way in other countries. And, for some societies in other parts of the world, they don't have access to visual media. But that also speaks back to the real point of the example: the expectation that will match the actual information being doled out.

Not really so much an inference as more of a reality check here where in the U.S. the access to news sources is vast and abundant and radio is generally not the main source. Unless there is a case of a national emergency disaster such as Hurricane Katrina where people had only access to AM radio and text messaging. Or for 9-11. No one relied on ONLY radio media during or following the terrorist attacks. At all. And I don't need to see stats for that. Our society is just not wired like that.

But I was also speaking in general and not relying on statistics. I didn't factor in that most people listen to pre-ripped CD mixes in lieu of radio, the XM listeners who live in New Orleans but listen to broadcasts geared for Los Angeles, or that some people never change their radio station. There are a lot of variables in regards to radio media here in the states.

Radio is a tough nut to crack here in the states.

And journalism is handled a little differently overseas than it is here. Format is handled based on the expectations of the public in a balance with advertising demands. A predominately private press, such as say Playboy, is likely to produce more heavy hitting, in your face stories, than say a medium market newspaper or radio station in Texas where you don't want your readership to spew their coffee on their dashboard or on their shirt.

But, once again, I think that speaks more toward what we are expecting to see or hear.
Mar. 6th, 2009 03:08 am (UTC)
And in this instance, I think Dark Fantasy and Bradford are just as culpable as the other blogger who listed the person's name without permission. However, I have my doubts as to whether the LJ community at large will have the balls to hold all three accountable.

Isn't it up to coffeeandink to decide what proper accountability consists of here, though?

I'm pretty sure that the "mob mentality" didn't arise because of the mistake made, but because of the justifications after the mistake that made it worse.

PS: Is it possible that you could refrain from terms such as "lynched in true mob mentality" when talking about matters of race? Since I'm pretty sure nobody's been strung up on a tree.
Mar. 6th, 2009 05:01 am (UTC)
No, Dark Fantasy and Bradford have a responsibility to the people they interview and would be held accountable for even something done by accident. As a reader, I can expect the magazine to act appropriately.

Just a reminder, this is my journal. Not yours. Don't tell me how to speak or act. If you don't want to read it, go elsewhere.

And, for the record, lynch-mob mentality is used appropriately in context. No trees involved, but still used as an appropriate description considering the Flame War over many blogs that have had writers on both sides slinging defaming insults. And I wasn't referencing race. I was referencing the lynch mob mentality wherein people are jumping out and trying to paint each side badly. Are they killing people? No. But the phrase is accurate in context and will stand. Shetterly has been hung out to dry on several blogs, one of which likens him to a date rapist. I get that people like painting him as all kinds of horror. But just because C&I is justified in her anger doesn't give everyone else license for distasteful behavior. Everyone is going to take their friend's side. My entire point is that the two authors, who are scheduled to be published together, should show a little more respect for one another and set a better example to the writing community at large.

Again, this is MY journal, not yours. I am not going to allow someone to hold the language hostage simply because it doesn't suit them. And so far, you have missed on every single nitpick you have tried. This entry is about Matters of Public Record, not race.
Mar. 6th, 2009 05:13 am (UTC)
This entry is about Matters of Public Record, not race.

Carry on, then! It's your blog!
Mar. 6th, 2009 05:15 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading, though!!

Mar. 6th, 2009 05:19 am (UTC)
You're welcome! Have a :) day!
(Screened comment)
Mar. 6th, 2009 06:34 am (UTC)
Re: Micole put her last name in a public post on her LiveJournal in 2006...
Thanks for the update!

I think it would make it difficult for the writing and blogging community to treat her consistently when her requests and actions are inconsistent. I can only assume that she is hoping her current request overrides any other thing in the past? I am concerned for both of you and how all this will play out with the Anthology you are both participating in. Will this entire situation have an effect?

Mar. 6th, 2009 07:38 am (UTC)
Re: Micole put her last name in a public post on her LiveJournal in 2006...
The anthology was ages ago. Her publishing career seems to have been brief.

How this'll play out is hard to say. I hate all the hurt she's causing, but it'll settle eventually.
Mar. 6th, 2009 07:39 am (UTC)
Re: Micole put her last name in a public post on her LiveJournal in 2006...
Uh, that's Will there!
Mar. 6th, 2009 07:51 am (UTC)
Re: Micole put her last name in a public post on her LiveJournal in 2006...
Ah, OK I wasn't sure if that was a recent deal or not.

Thanks for the update!

Often, situations like this just take time, I think. But hopefully it doesn't have too much fallout than it already does.
Mar. 6th, 2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Micole put her last name in a public post on her LiveJournal in 2006...
Sierra, I realize this is an odd request, but it's meant as a gesture to the other side: Would you mind deleting the link in that post to one of the public entries in Micole's journal where she used her last name? If she truly hopes to make her LJ identity private and plans to remove the public mentions of her last name from her own site, she'll need to have many links deleted elsewhere. So I'm tracking down the few that I provided.

Obviously, the decision is entirely yours, and I'll think you're cool either way. But no one can say I did not ask. The whole business is crazy from where I am; I hope you're seeing the humor in humanity.

--Will Shetterly
Mar. 6th, 2009 08:10 pm (UTC)
In the interest of being consistent and fair myself, I have screened the comment.

However, Coffeeandink needs to go through her journal and either friends lock those entries where she has identified herself or delete her full name.

I have no patience or tolerance for people who would identify themselves in various public places and then pitch a tantrum and mount a smear campaign when it shows up in a place and manner that doesn't suit her. Because quite frankly, that's what this is really about. If she is truly interested in being safe and protecting her identity then she would take precautions to protect herself and not expect other people to babysit her and watch over her while she refuses to take care of herself.

I haven't decided if I will leave it screened though; with all due respect, she needs to do some housekeeping of her own.
She needs to take responsibility for herself.

Fair enough?
Mar. 6th, 2009 10:33 pm (UTC)
So far as I'm concerned, more than fair enough. Thank you! If she makes that link private, it should no longer compromise her in any way. Which perhaps means you needn't have screened it, but I appreciate that.

Mar. 6th, 2009 11:24 pm (UTC)
is she aware of that link?

i was going to send her a message but i don't know how and i really don't want to just post it on her comment thread
Mar. 7th, 2009 08:31 am (UTC)
If she's not aware of that link, someone should let her know. It compromises her privacy horribly. Sending her a message would be kind, I would think.
Mar. 7th, 2009 03:57 pm (UTC)
I have sent her an email with the link. That is all I am willing to do to babysit someone.
Mar. 7th, 2009 08:37 am (UTC)
She has an email address in her sidebar.
Mar. 6th, 2009 11:29 pm (UTC)
To be fair, and anyone who is interested...
I actually knew about her long before this. I stumbled upon her blog through the link to the dark fantasy article months ago during the original issue over the Bear article. I believe it was a link left by tempest at truepenny's site. i read the article and then went and visited the blogs linked tp the authors. (i did the traceback through google a few days ago because i wanted to make sure it was just that easy to find her again - and it was) So, Ii have always worked under the idea that she was one of the authors who had a public blog. Later someone recced a few blog lonks concerning WinCon and i had gotten the same one you put here earlier. It's why I didn't completely toss it out. It isn't the first time I have read that entry. And she identifies herself completely.

So, I remain confused by her concern. Now, it is possible that something has recently happened in her life that has made her concerned and considering the size of her blog, she may have forgotten she has outed herself. Still, she needs to take care of business in true Elvis fashion then.
( 39 comments — Leave a comment )