In the matter of Ed's thread take down

Whoever was ultimately responsible for the decision, Ed or higher-ups, it was both timorous and wrong-headed. There would not have been a ghost of a chance of successful legal action over this and in fact any legal action at all would have been unlikely in the extreme.

Run scared of lawyers in this fashion and you’ll end up with no debate on controversial individuals or their actions at all.

I think it’s a tad dramatic to say he’s been shadowed by it.

If anything, the behavior from 2012 and as reported by Ed make me think even less of said person than his original remarks, which, I might add, I would never have known about had the thread not returned to the top of the forum.

Meh, it’s the bare minimum we could do. It’s not like it’s been removed from the internet anyways. In fact, I just went out and read the thread I hadn’t in the first place. Frankly, this could turn into the Streisand Effect. The best thing [name redacted] could have done was to hire a publicity firm to bury it deep in the search engines.

Can we do later this later in the morning? Rising at dawn really messes up my regularity.

Quick question about the background. Without getting into specifics, Ed said that when Googling [the asshole’s] name the thread in question came up in the top results. Did this account for Google’s habit of tracking users’ browsing habits (whether or not they’re logged in, I believe) and using frequently visited sites to generate more relevant/personal results? Does anyone have access to a public computer to see if it’s that high in general (because what, lots of people shared the opinion and linked back to the Dope?) or just an illusion?

Does this mean that [name redacted] has been added to the restricted list along side the word “cunt”? Because if so, that feels kind of appropriate. And if not, who’s gonna be the first to pit the guy again?

NM quoted wrong post.

I don’t think that really applies here. With the thread gone, there’s nothing to look at and it’s not like the lawsuit is going to be on TMZ and even if it was, again, there’s nothing to look at.

Question: Was it on the front page of google for everyone or just for you?

Whenever I see someone say “I googled it and the top result is from this thread” or “I checked and the 3 of the first ten hits are from the SDMB” I always wonder if that would happen to someone that’s never visited this site as well. Does Google skew your results bases on it knowing how often you visit this site and assumes you would appreciate results from here first.

For example, I’ve never gone to reddit and reddit never shows up in my Google searches. If you go to reddit 50 times a day does Google give skew it’s results to give move results from reddit closer to the top on the basis that you might prefer to go there first?

I suppose I could check this out myself, I have two other computers in my office that have never visited the dope.

I’m not quite understanding the logic behind the decision. Anyone looking up Mr Redacted will most likely find themselves on Wikipedia. And taking up several paragraphs including the original quotes is a write up of the controversy. Nothing was said in the original thread that isn’t out there already and still. There was nothing false or libelous. Are his lawyers threatening to sue wikipedia for correctly stating the facts?

The asshole in question, MM, was threatening legal action within the past year or so (according to Ed.) Then it seems that he got some advice (possibly from a law firm) telling him that maybe contrition would work better than being a big swinging dick.

I don’t like it. A guy who is a consistent asshole for years and years gets his way by playing nice for 10 minutes. Maybe, as Ed claims, it’s a completely isolated case that sets no precedent and isn’t a case of being legally intimidated. If that’s the case it’s a rotten call. I’d almost prefer it to be a pragmatic case of a cash poor website choosing its battles wisely.

I guess all we need to do to get an old embarrassing thread removed is to win an Oscar, and then ask nicely.

Three Oscars. Marisa Tomei can go pound sand.

Marisa Tomei once murdered my grandmother. Just once.

I don’t see why, since the thread announcing this mentions the individual’s name explicitly.

As for deleting the thread, obviously it is too bad that the Chicago Reader lets itself be intimidated like this, but I doubt that the decision was up to Ed Zotti. The part about how they weren’t intimidated by the threats but only did it because he asked nicely is not, IMO, likely to be true. Especially seven years after the fact.

Meh. Their boards, their rules, however inconsistent.


Yeah, it’s pretty clear that it was taken down not because of his asking nicely but because a law firm contacted the Dope. I think it’s funny that someone so concerned about his or her public image would send the kind of bullying messages he sent Equipoise. He likely only worded his most recent message politely because of a lawyer’s suggestion.

I can certainly sympathize with a fear of lawsuits, but damn, might as well just close the pit down and say we can’t insult anybody anywhere on the board from now on.

First off, it was a minor incident from seven years ago.

Second off, anyone who wants to get all huffy about hiding information or knuckling under or other types of weenieness can damn well come out from behind their usernames and post under their real names.

If it was so minor, why was the exception made?

I don’t see the connection.


This appears to be closely related to the case that caused the European Court of Justice to uphold what is being called the right to be forgotten.

I think that ruling was a bad decision and Ed’s move here was a bad decision. I don’t want to debate the larger subject here - I’m sure there are sufficient threads on it. Michael Minker said his words publicly and was criticized appropriately. The SDMB should not responsible for either. Public matters get public airing.

Ed, this is a horrible precedent. How can any comments on public figures stand? Threat of lawsuit is one thing - they may always be bogus wordplay from lawyers, but the cost is high regardless. Doing it for politeness? The Pit’s the antithesis of polite. Your words are now public; they will be spread and that means there will be a next time. You dug yourself a pit with unshored walls.

Also the incident that started the thread is still up on youtube and it was the first hit, for me, searching his name on youtube.

I wonder why he would care so much, and threaten legal action, about a message board of this size but yet not youtube.

Agree with every word here. This decision is an embarrassment to the board, and should be a source of shame for those who made it.