unpublished, redux

by Violet Blue on July 21, 2009

I’m speechless too — and now BoingBoing has banned him as a commenter which is ridiculous — but the last line in Orwellian, Indeed is epic:

I don’t even know what to say about this.

Remember the whole violet blue thing at BoingBoing last year? The bit where Xeni Jardin disappeared a bunch of posts by, about, or tangentially related to Violet Blue, and then there was a shitstorm in the blogosphere about whether, given Cory Doctorow’s views on the reputation economy and such, that was something BoingBoing ought to be doing? And then BoingBoing’s site policies were silently updated to make that sort of thing ok, and everyone involved patted themselves on the back and learned some lessons about how to run a large site with comments? Or something? Yeah…

It was inevitable that when Amazon reached into its customers Kindles and removed copies of 1984 and Animal Farm, Cory would have something to say about it. DRM! Amazon! Orwell! Inevitable. Here’s his post. The second comment there points out the parallels between what Amazon did and what BoingBoing did during last year’s unpleasantness. And, also inevitably, that commenter is shouted down by fans (some of whom are moderators) who insist that there is no equivalence whatsoever. (Seriously, the commenting culture there is kind of fucked up and fannish.)

I made a comment defending the point of view that there was some similarity between the two situations:

AFAIC, if Amazon wants to unpublish some e-books they sold, it’s jake with me.

*cough* (…read the rest, and the comments, elsewhere.org)

It’s beyond ironic. Especially after I just tweeted about how to get Orwell’s 1984 onto your Kindle regardless. And if you’re not sure what this is all about, here’s my handy video where I explain That BoingBoing Thing in the words of MetaFilter commenters:

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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Google Plus - Flickr - YouTube - Reddit


1 Jimmy August 13, 2009 at 4:02 pm

AFAIC Boing Boing has been on crack for the past four years, it has become an irrelevant dinosaur Cory’s constantly self publisizing nonsense and lack of content pushed me away years ago.

Violet is made of internets go go faster faster!

2 waraw August 2, 2009 at 7:25 am

I get a little tingle when I hear you say my name.

3 violet July 26, 2009 at 11:52 pm

@ Eugene – did you read my comment above? 2nd to last graf applies directly to your personal salvo, in case you missed it.

4 Eugene Wrayburn July 25, 2009 at 2:36 pm

My God, you’re still crying about being unpublished at BoingBoing.

5 Jerry July 24, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Absent a reason- like that your words will subliminally program people to get tattoos and wear glasses against their will – this remains one of the most puzzling things I’ve seen. I’d even settle for a bad reason, it’s the silent deletion that’s creepy. They still feel free to chastise others doing silent deletions, of course.

6 violet July 23, 2009 at 10:09 pm

it’s even more surreal when you’re a blogger like me, whose worked professionally in blogging for over 5 years on a variety of platforms… to suddenly step back, look at whatever build of MT Gawker or Metblogs or whoever is running that I work for… or WP custom on Laughing Squid, or even my own blog…

and realize that “unpublished” isn’t a button. it’s a *status*. it is the status of your post. your post is either “published”, “unpublished” or “scheduled”. a post is “unpublished” because it is *not yet published*.

think about that concept. I do. you can’t publish something and then make it not yet published. the point is, restyling a noun to create a new definition in order to sway perception is the craft of those who spin rhetoric to distract from the truth.

sound familiar?

and you know, I’d actually forgotten that it was the anniversary of the whole bizarre (I mean insane) episode until I saw the elsewhere.org post. it was dead, and BB — likely unwittingly — slapped the paddles on it again, shouting “clear!”

I’m so glad I have nothing to do with them anymore, and that everyone knows it.

7 casualencounters.com/blog July 23, 2009 at 2:42 pm

“Unpublish” is such a wonderfully Orwellian term in itself.

8 Michaelk42 July 22, 2009 at 2:43 am

Hypocrisy at BoingBoing?


I really like Doctorow’s books and agree with a lot of the things he’s written about DRM and copyright and such.

But I still dislike other things about BoingBoing enough that I don’t want to hang out there anymore.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: