Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Westboro Baptist Syndrome

So a guy puts up a picture of Breda and labels it with something inappropriate--using an anagram of pron, if you get my meaning.  She objects to the label as well as to her copywritten picture being used without her permission.  Dude takes down the picture and replaces it with a link to HER blogpost that has the same picture, thus avoiding legal action for copywrite infringement BUT he leaves the header as-is.  Now maybe the guy used that phrase the way that other people use the phrase 'Gun Pron'--nothing personal, no ill-intent or insult meant and Breda chose to take it badly--I dunno.  If so, he should have explained how he meant it, changed it, and been done with it.  Instead, the situation has escalated, and folks are rushing to the aid of their insulted comrade (just an aside, would a guy take it amiss if I put up a picture and label it 'Pron' and would the blogosphere rush to his aid if he objected to the label?--maybe a double-standard post is in the offing for later).

But here's the thing folks and it's called the First Amendment-- and before you all come down on me like a ton of bricks, hear me out.  Just as the Westboro Baptist Church folks have a clear right under the First Amendment to be complete and total wastes of air (and if there is Cosmic Justice will end up rotting in a Hell made especially for them), so does this guy have a right to act like a buttwad and to pretty much say or label anything anyway he wants on his blog, just like the rest of us do, as long as he's not breaking any laws (which he WAS but has now corrected).

The thing that he might not realize though, is that the chivalrous men and women of the Gunny blogosphere have long memories (what happens if you mention Lon Horiuchi's name in a crowd of gun bloggers?) and the Internet is, in many ways, eternal.  What he has done by being recalcitrant on this issue is lose a boatload of credibility amongst his blogging peers, and we don't forget.  You see, under the First Amendment, you have every right to say whatever you want and I stand by that right.

But I don't have to associate with you, link to you, or in any way acknowledge you--that is my right.

It's the Internet equivalent of dueling (or maybe it's actually more Amish).  You've been challenged on something, you've made your answer, and then, rather than pistols at dawn, a silence--no comments, no links, no nothing.  If you want to be part of a group, there are norms to which you should adhere.  If you chose not to, you lose your place.  There is nothing in a reasonable society (case laws notwithstanding) that says that any group has to accept you as a member, unofficial group or not.  We all trip over our keyboards every now and then--we're human.  And we have our First Amendment right to 'show our asses' in public.  But free speech doesn't mean free from consequences and that's something to remember.


North said...

My rule 0 "Be good" includes "be a gentleman". I take that into account before I lean on the 1st or 2nd amendments.

I'm sure like this twit I'd get a big hit in visitors by posting the Breda O'NPR title on my web site. I would rather have my few hits than resort to those shenanigans.

Scott McCray said...

Sadly, there was a (by now long-past-its-prime) solution - apply proper attribution to the image and change the post title. How gorram difficult would that have been? (A mea culpa by way of apology wouldn't have hurt, either).

Sad that the anonymity of the internet makes some folks believe their own hype.

Matt said...

With the comment he left on her blog, he basically exposed him self for the person that he is.

What goes around comes around.

DirtCrashr said...

Who cares how many visitors you get, it's the quality not the quantity that counts. A stupid blog can't possibly be worth any actual money, can it? Mine's sure not worth anything but what I put into it.

tanksoldier said...

He is immune under the 1st Amendment from prosecution or persecution by the government.

It doesn't make him immune from _US_ telling him what a twit he is or reacting/ retaliating in other ways.

Midwest Chick said...

North--I have a very small readership, but don't use dirty tricks to up it. If I have a good insightful post, then it goes up. Works for me too.

Scott--that's what I thought. If he was misunderstood, explain, fix it per Breda's request, and forget about it.

Matt--I have a feeling it's coming around....

DC--Agreed and ditto.

tanksoldier--That was my point. He's got the right, but the community to which he wishes to belong will virtually stooge slap him into next week in no uncertain terms. There are consequences within that community if someone goes outside of the unwritten rules of conduct.

Southern Belle said...

Very well said, Midwest Chick.

Southern Belle said...

Just another thought.

I tend to make catchy titles to my posts that will draw attention to my blog, especially if I am blogrolled somewhere and they list the title of my latest post as well.

The difference is that I would never ever do something like what that guy did to anyone.

I have a pretty small readership as well, but it's increased lately for some strange reason that I can't figure out.

Now that I have more readers, I'm even more conscious about the content of my blog.

I absolutely love what you say about consequences. I keep thinking of the Dixie Chicks when Natalie Mains ran off at the mouth over in the UK about Bush.

I would fight to the death for anyone's right to speak their mind; however, that doesn't mean that I have to listen to what they say every again though.... :)

Midwest Chick said...

Thanks SB! Our little part of the internet is its own community with rules and codes of conduct. The guy chose to not only not abide by those but decided to draw a very stupid line in the sand. He can say whatever he wants but after this, no one will be listening.

FrankC said...

Looks like his peers have declared him nithing as the Anglo-Saxons would have said.

Midwest Chick said...

Frank--Yeah, doesn't pay to torque people off by being a recalcitrant butthead.