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January 12, 2005



Con'grats on being nominated a "Fellow" !! With the likes of your Lessing, Dave, J.Moore within the CIS School of thought, would certainly bring about a very very rich tapestry of ideas for the future generations.

Once again Con'grats and the best to you !!


"Media Bloggers Association...launching a Legal Defense Fund for bloggers..."

Its own bloggers, that is.

OK, let me get this straight.

From the MBA "about" page ( ) - MBA is "a non-partisan organization ***dedicated to promoting MBA members*** and their blogs.... is ***not*** concerned with issues of editorial integrity, journalistic fairness or objectivity of members"

From the MBA "Join" page ( ), there's a big section on "Benefits of joining"; now there's legal assistance.

The only constraints on members:
blog regularly about media, show the MBA logo, be nice to ***other members***.

What's missing from this picture?

Dan, any chance you could establish a "Media Bloggers With Ethics Association", which would be dedicated to
a) promoting ethical blogging
b) making the ethical standards adhered to by the various blogs more visible to their readers?

Jozef Imrich

May you be a jolly good fellow Dan. Congratulations ...

As Moyers of this academic world say: the history of the press came not when journalists made common cause with the state, but when they stood fearlessly independent of it!

You go to spin alley, the place called spin alley. Now, don't you think that, for people watching at home, that's kind of a drag, that you're literally walking to a place called deception lane?
- Comedian Jon Stewart on CNN's Crossfire with hosts Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala, Oct. 15, 2004.

Lisa Stone traces the origins of spin and the history of how journalists have dealt with it. Lisa describes how are changing the fabric of journalism Not a stone goes unturned: History of Spinmeisters


"But bloggers and other grassroots journalists typically have far fewer resources to fight back when unfairly treated"

Yes. The need for legal representation/advice/info for libel/freedom-of-speech issues needs to be addressed, but I'm just wondering if the MBA (given its explicit "we don't need no stinkin' code of ethics" culture) is the best venue for introducing it.

Questions -
Is there a way to "steer" the legal system?
When it's lumbering toward the future, and we can see this "libel in the blogging age" rock in the middle of the road up ahead, given that the legal system is(?) steered by precedent, is it possible to 'engineer'(deliberately bring to court) legal cases that are likely to result in decisions that would set wise precedents?
(whatever they may be...)



Let me had congrats for both you and Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society. The issues you're going to be dealing with are vital to the maturing of new media, blogs, citizen journalism and all the other forces that are shaking up journalism. I've written a couple of posts lately about one of the issues (how content creators can maintain some control over their work while setting it loose in the commons). One of the conclusions that I have come to is that the online world needs to do all it can to reach the stage mainstream media is at where those involved have clearly developed and commonly shared notions of right and wrong (even if those notions aren't always followed). As online journalists, commentators and audience, we have to get a lot smarter about legal issues.

Felicia Krippet

I take it this was a done deal before you resigned from the Mercury News? Do you care to clarify?

Really, Dan, you inflated expectations out there, leading many of your readers to anticipate you had a serious, funded for-profit venture to announce.

Instead, the truth is that you're flirting with academia?

Dan Gillmor

"Felicia" (or is that "Morden"), the Stanford affiliation is an unpaid, non-residential fellowship. My chief benefit is a library card.

As I've said, I have seed funding to work on a project to help spur more grassroots journalism. I expect it to be for-profit.

One thing I will have in the eventual product is a robust comment systems where trolls can't hide behind pseudonyms, taking potshots at people whose views they don't like.

Howard Sands

Felicia, just a heads up.

Dan Gillmor has detractors. We've all seen them on his blogs. However, he rolls them all into one psychiatric construct he calls "Morden", a single individual he assigns blame for the universe not lining up alongside him and hanging to his every word as gospel.

You're the second woman of late branded his ephemeral "troll" out of the box for asking tough questions.

Are you a woman of color? It was a well known female black conservative blogger Dan went after here recently, deleting her posts and refusing to let her participate unless she provided personally identifying information. (Dan disclaimed any knowledge of her).

Dan Gillmor

Howard, I asked this person, who posted gratituitious insults using remarkably similar language to my chief troll -- and whose IP address came from the same block of addresses he'd been using lately -- to send me an email that would help me confirm his/her existence. (The alleged "well known" blogger's weblog didn't show up in a Google search on her name plus the word "blog".) I also said I'd reinstate his/her IP address if I could verify identity. I got no such email.

"Felicia" also visited here from the same IP neighborhood, and there is no hit on her name in Google whatsoever.

Maybe this is all a coincidence. But I'd like some evidence.

This is my forum, and I welcome people's disagreements with what I say. But I will not allow the gratituitous personal insults to take root here, period.

Howard Sands

You are demanding Personally Identifying Information from Fran Wilson because you do not like her conservative views, or her challenging questioning about your professional choices and performance. That is an outrage. You do not require Personally Identifying Information from all the participants on this website. I have certainly never seen you demand it from anyone left of center.

I notice that you continue to make accusations about gratuitous personal insults by Fran, whom you refuse to name or acknowledge, while you have conveniently erased the allegedly offending postings.

I take umbrage at any accusation leveled at a black conservative blogger, and find it particularly insulting when a woman of color is haphazardly stereotyped or branded. What has it been, over a week, and you still haven't restored the postings or apologized to Fran?

And now your code language rears its ugly head again. By branding Felicia as your ephemeral "troll", she is now on notice that further right-of-center comments put her at risk of the same censorship.

Considering that 72% of the Felicia's in the United States are women of color, I'm detecting a pattern here that is extraordinarily distasteful.


oh, god...

Felicia Krippet

Nice bit of prodding, Howard, which evoked Dan's statement that Fran and I hail from the wrong "IP block", which I suppose means we live in a neighborhood disqualified from expressing right-of-center points of view.

Among the mainstream media left (current or, I suppose, former), the wrong neighborhood ... IP or ghetto ... disqualifies you from holding certain opinions.

Dan Gillmor

Howard, show me "Fran's" blog, please. You claimed that this person is a well-known conservative blogger, but provided no evidence.

By the way, don't play that spurious race card again.

"Felicia," you're close to the line, too.

Felicia Krippet

Dan, it appears that you're threatening to ban a second AND third black conservative from your web site, less than seven days after you banned your first(?). And you think we're playing the race card?

-blogging from the "IP neighborhood" Dan has banned from expressing conservative opinions.

P.S. Howard, I'm out of here. Best you walk away too.

Dan Gillmor

Note to the other readers: You have just witnessed an absolute classic in the trolling genre.

Stan Krute

One of the more important legal areas, IMO, to
address is this: what is the right of someone
to maintain, and serve, information that another
party has posted to the net, but no longer provides ?

The big ongoing example of this is the Google
cache. I'm semi-surprised that folks haven't
gone after them in a big way for that one.

My own thought is that, once an entity posts information
to the web, that information belongs to the web. If
the original posting entity removes the info, anyone
who has cached the information should be able to
re-serve it.

Anyways ... it's an area that deserves some focus.

-- stan

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