In the matter of Ed's thread take down

Your board, your call.

Me? I am very disappointed - I think we saw his true colors originally. When it might serve his purposes, his tack changed.

As I say, your board, your call.

(I ask that anyone who chooses to respond to this post not name the individual in question or link in any way that might identify him - I respect Ed’s right to call the shots, albeit not his call in this case).

I’m honestly torn…in that, by all accounts, this is a “minor, isolated” issue that I can’t really get worked up about, true; but at the same time politely agreeing with KarlGauss that it’s one that shouldn’t have even gotten the call it did, and I’m uneasy about a precedent this might be setting. And you know me, I’m hardly the slippery slope-fearing, “…and next thing you know, there’ll be Nazis riding dinosaurs!” type.

It was a legal issue. The precedent is that if you are persistent in attempting to sue for slander, you can get threads removed. I don’t think we’re going to see that too often… Plus, the thread was 7 years old.

Ah, so that’s what we’re talking about.

And that precedent is a bad one. Maybe it won’t affect much, but it’s still a bad one.

…but thats the fundamental problem with message boards, isn’t it?

There are threads like this one, where the OP wondered out loud if obstetric workers should be held responsible for bad parental choices in names: and used a murdered young girl as an example. For a while that thread was on the front page of google when her name was searched. If they had complained I would have supported scrubbing that thread.

To a degree these boards will always cross over into real life. Its one thing to curse out a poster called “Foxrabbit12345”, its another to call him out by his real name, and its another to hurl abuse at a guy who doesn’t even know a thread exists. This is only a messageboard. When it starts to affect real people in the real world I don’t see a problem with taking some sort of action. If you want freedom to say what you like, then you can start your own blog.

Apparently, there was a personal apology made shortly after the incident. Should someone who says something stupid and unthinking while taking random questions be shadowed by it for a decade or longer?

I’m not thrilled with the decision, but it’s not exactly a grand coverup either.

Are you kidding me with this?

What kind of callous person do you have to be to expect this person to be subjected to continued embarrassment after seven years?

I applaud ED’s decision.

If what is said is stupid and unthinking enough that it persists in the publics’ memory? Hell yeah.


Ed basically gave a “Gore v Bush” type of argument that you can’t use his reasoning or decision in this case to extrapolate to the future. It doesn’t set a precedent for that reason. This was a one off thing.

That being said, it was poor decision.

I’d just like to link to the Wikipedia article on the Streisand effect.

ISTM that we take this message board a little too seriously sometimes. It’s just an internet forum, not the Supreme Court.

Does it persist in the public’s memory, or just the memory of computer systems that logged it 7 years ago?

For me, the most important fact is that the thread was in no way slanderous or libelous. It was a bunch of people offering opinions about a widely reported incident involving a public figure. This public figure then threatened to sue to remove this information from the web.

To knuckle under to such an absurd legal threat not only shows poor judgment; it betrays a fundamental weenieness. Not to mention a lack of comprehension of relevant defamation laws.

What’s next? Dan Quayle suing because people laughed at his spelling of “potatoe”? A South Carolina beauty pageant contestant suing us because people here posted mean things about her answer to a question? It’s an absurd precedent.

I agree completely agree. The thing it actually makes me think of is how highly intelligent people, people with advanced degrees, high SAT scores, good test takers often complain about their lack of power, the stupidity of leaders, the stupidity of those they work under, and how the world would be be a better place if they were in charge blah blah blah. Well, no, it won’t be a better place if you don’t have the character to stand up for basic principles; if you don’t have that ability, all your intelligence has little value.

Why not?

It probably has more to do with corporate lawyers and executive types who are the spineless weenies.

That’s the kind of response I would expect out of a 10yo when they don’t have a good argument to make.
How about you show conviction for your statement and explain why showing this man a modicum of empathy offends your sensibilities?

The things he said were beyond the pale. Sorry, but to me it’s a straight up “fuck him” kinda thing. My “Why not?” Was not meant to be a cogent argument, but really . . .why not?

WHAT??!! My second will call upon you shortly! Pistols at dawn!!