just a quick word from the pile of shit on the floor

by Violet Blue on August 18, 2008

Of course, in an era where links to people you love(d) secretly become piles of shit that require disappearing backed up by a Mr. Burns moment of “release the hounds”, and any word I write about being unpublished deleted from Boing Boing is tantamount to typing text made entirely of gasoline… Interesting to see that those of us who take the integrity of links and the fabric of the Internet seriously are still thinking about the after effects of That Boing Boing Thing. Today, Bacchus couldn’t resist giving the pile ‘o shit a little stir himself in Cory Doctorow On The Value Of Links. After you read that, in case you missed it, this was Cory’s response to the mass link deletions on his site.

And no, I still don’t know why it happened. I have a pretty good conspiracy theory, but that’s about it. The quote that goes with my conspiracy theory goes thusly, “the way the internet makes it easy for people of good will to organize nifty stuff *also* makes it easy for crazed goons to organize malevolent weirdness, which then surfaces unexpectedly, chewing with foam-flecked maw on the legs of the most unlikely targets.”

Violet Blue

The London Times named Violet Blue "One of the 40 bloggers who really count" and Self Magazine named TinyNibbles one of the “Best Sex Resources for Women.” Blue is an autodidact and pundit on sex and technology, hacking and security, porn for women, privacy and bleeding-edge tech culture. She is a journalist for ZDNet, CBS News, CNET; she's an educator, speaker, crisis counselor, volunteer NGO trainer, and the author and editor of over 40 award-winning books.

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{ 9 comments }

1 Friend Robotic August 19, 2008 at 10:20 pm

I want to chime in and throw my lot in with you, and the folks that think what is happening to you is shitty. I came to your blog via BB, and had a lot of respect for them prior to this incident, especially Cory. I think once you came out and said that you just wanted to know what was up, it was completely disingenuous of the BBers to continue to withhold the information with the excuse that they don’t want to embarrass you. Cory probably comes out the worst in this whole affair, given that he wants to claim moral high ground all the time, but he doesn’t have the courage to call out his friends when they do something shitty like this.

I think that I, and many other people, feel the feelings you expressed in comment four. We thought they were wonderful, and they were shitty. They think that “we would have done things differently, had we known that people would call us our shittiness” counts as an apology. How incredibly hollow.

I wish I could articulate this better, but I was compelled jump in and express a bit of my own frustration in hopes that each comment reassures you a little bit that they are the ones who are being bullies here, and no one deserves the negative insinuations they have aimed your way.

2 TimmyP August 19, 2008 at 10:01 am

I’m so sorry this scary situation came to be. I don’t know what to say other than “You have so much more class and integrity.” I’ve been a long-time reader of both BB and your blog, but I suppose BB will have to go. I’ve given them enough time. My spousal unit and I so enjoy things geeky nerdy and dorky and we both admire your work.

3 Christopher August 19, 2008 at 8:56 am

I miss BB, but sadly BB is in the past now, and I must move on with life.

The thing that really killed them wasn’t Violet… it was the sudden change of ethos. Something she said in #4 above triggered a good simile for me: let’s for a moment look at the Web, or at least the BB corner of it, as… well, a web. A spider web is a remarkable feat of natural engineering. The mass of the web is distributed evenly over the whole surface of it by it’s links to every other part, and as such it can withstand a lot of punishment from wind and rain. But if you punch a hole in it, or break some of those links, it can lose a lot of structural integrity. If it’s a huge web–like the WWW as a whole–it can take quite a few hits and survive. But really, the Big W Web is a collection of lots of smaller webs. BB is one such web. They broke a bunch of links (and continue to) and have left a big gaping flap waving in the wind. It’s damaged their structural integrity (and moral integrity) and if they can’t repair the damage they’ve done (which I glean from other comments that they have no desire or inclination to do) then it’s going to lead to a total collapse.

Anyway, just 2 more cents from me to add to the pile. LYL Vi!

4 Qozmiq August 19, 2008 at 6:58 am

Violet, we love you. Keep doing exactly what you are doing. Cream rises to the top.

P.s. Thanks also for your wonderful work. You have single-handedly impact the relationship of me and my partner. Just when we thought it could not get any better…you showed us a gazillion ways it could. Thanks.

5 Drunken Economist August 19, 2008 at 1:28 am

[This'll be my last post on this topic, at least in this entry. Back to Gawker I go. FWIW, I agree with Violet, in that this isn't going to 'go away'.. things like this never DO unless they are SETTLED. And judging by the commenters over in BB's 'Moderation Rules' page this is far from the case. Since I had to 'grovel' to Teresa to get 'reinstated', after reading 866 comments, TL, kinda skimmed, this was my comment to her, #867]:

***

Hello Teresa [of whom I'm supposed to 'ask' 'grovel' whatever],

Since this’ll [probably] be my last post with BB, I’ll make it sweet, and mostly unpretentious. Not so short. My bad-

* Violet Blue *killed* you guys. And *continues* to kill your ‘cred’ about ‘free discourse’. The fact that my on-topic post got 100% ‘taped’ -merely- for the combination of ‘Violet’ and ‘Blue’ in one sentence is a testimony to that.

Or is it a good number of the 866 posts that call your policies into question in this page? 866! Over two little words that can get a user in the doghouse.

Just my 2 yen, but you need to deal with this. In a different way.

* I regard my opinion concerning the China ‘taping’ situation != copyfight but instead as ‘ad-busting for profit as valid. The Chinese have their own way of doing things, and the IOC didn’t make a flap. What does this tell you?

* My last point, that your ‘mod’ made apropo is that by ‘disemvoweling’ you are no better than those Middle Kingdom folks that you pooh-pooh. You both ‘tape’ for profit. Just own up to it already.

Delete(vowel) is BB’s ‘digital tape’.

That’s it. Abayo.

-D.E. [back to hitting the saké]

***

Why go to all this fuss? Because I *used* to enjoy BB, but like so many other things in this world, it’s headed in a direction it shouldn’t be going. And ignoring the problem makes it WORSE. Yeah, I know, how arrogant of me to make that observation.

6 admin August 18, 2008 at 8:57 pm

“Friendship turned relationship that obviously no longer exists.” then why did they — she — not just come out and say it? then, done. why allude to a darker evil and go beyond the pale to tear apart my character (call me a liar, etc.) as a business, a group blog? I’d like to get over it, very much. but look what happened today with Drunken Economist’s comments and account. is the sacrifice of an intelligent contributor to your community a signal that someone’s gotten over it?

but it still bothers me, for both the larger issues and the personal ones — especially in light of what I saw in the restraining order documents: the woman who has been harassing me online and off for a year an a half had some very odd responses in her (public) court docs. I applied for a restraining order because the police *advised* me to. and what she submitted to the court was — weird in its allusions to ties to the BB deletions. she specifically mentioned Xeni and Pesco in her ‘defense’ (while submitting to the court printouts of confidential SRL email conversations — a private issue, eh?) it, and other things were *weird* and surprised me, especially combined with the timing of the whole mass deletion; the disemwonderfuling was at the same time she was making sockpuppets on Wikipedia to vandalize my page (which she admitted to online in various places, like the BB comments). I didn’t get the restraining order, and I’m living with that outcome. but thanks to the judge I can re-file at any time and that gives me comfort.

but the bigger issue — and you can tell me to ‘get over it’ all you want is that BB is easily replaced with Neatorama and Engadget. but what can’t be replaced about BB was the net culture commentary and topical issue championing of information flow, fair use and the individual. and the indy journalism, like covering Katrina up to the minute better than MSM did. that’s irreplaceable, and now it feels like it’s gone and just gets more gone every day. in taking down links, they broke the web, and that it still keeps happening with (now former) community members like Drunken Economist is like, just stop it already. it’s only making it worse. no surprise that Bacchus took note of what Cory said. it’s the white elephant.

yeah, maybe we’re naive that we don’t fucking know why it happened because *it’s still happening*. why? why not ignore it? it’s a bigger issue than a friendship turned non-relationship when my name can’t *even be mentioned* and they sacrificed the reputation of their blog to defend it — especially with some very low personal attacks, gang-up-style. something like that is a much bigger issue than me, no matter how insanely curious I am to *simply know* what they think I did to make me the most untouchable name on the internets that they go against their own core fundamental beliefs and alienate readers weeks after they “handled it and moved on” to tape over dissension. what are they afraid of? I mean, that they aren’t already doing to themselves.

god, do you know how long Pesco and I were friends? I have a Tibetan prayer scarf Xeni smuggled back from Tibet for me on my shelf. I have a galley copy of Little Brother, pre-edits, that Cory printed out just for me.

I’ll get over it when I’m good and ready. or when I find out who and why someone made personal issues ruin what I thought was the best blog on the internet. (besides Fleshbot, of course ;)

7 Donnie August 18, 2008 at 7:39 pm

Are we all really that naive at this point to not know why it happened? Friendship turned relationship that obviously no longer exists. One would prefer to forget about it. One likes to turn the screws.

Get over it already.

8 Drunken Economist August 18, 2008 at 7:05 pm

My reply to #50, evidently one of the mods, was:

You got one thing right. You can apply to Teresa to be reinstated.

If I got it right, then disemvowel what offends you and not what is on topic.

If you keep the post in question disemvoweled, then consider it my gift to BoingBoing. You’re not far off from the Chinese who you call ‘stupid’ for ‘taping over’ dissenting comments.

To be frank, BB suprises me. There’s *no* ‘copyfight’ issue here. Whatsoever. This is Ad-Busting for profit. To bring it into Copyfight *dilutes* what Copyfight is about, which [primarily] is about fair use and the little guy.

Suffice to say, I don’t ‘need’ to be ‘reinstated. Do as thou wilt.

If you don’t like how the Chinese folks run their country, or the IOC regards brand, then don’t attend the Olympics. QED.

9 Drunken Economist August 18, 2008 at 7:03 pm

Hm, what we do know is that if you take the name ‘Violet Blue’ in vain then you *immediately* get ‘disemvoweled’ and ‘de-instated’:

http://www.boingboing.net/2008/08/18/olympic-logo-cops-en.html

Posts #27 & #50… I didn’t know the ‘happy mutants’ had such thin skin?

So much for ‘information wants to be free’ and all that. Tape me over, big boy! [or is it girl?]

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