Missing Threads Explained

In response to Saturday’s post, “The Case of the Missing Threads” and in the comments section of the post “Hurricane Katrina: Open Post,” comes a resolution of the mystery from the missing posts’ author, Barnie Day:

Will, and others: I deleted the two Katrina posts I had authored, disgusted no end by the tone and temper of the discussion that ensued, but little thinking, or realizing, that in so doing I was also removing the comment work of others. I believe I have every right of ownership to delete my own work. I wanted to be no part, in name or participation, to what was developing. And, please, it is not thin-skinnedness on my part. I have rhino hide. It was an inner sense of dismay.

That my work was inextricably, and fatally, linked to that of others is regrettable. I regret the collateral damage. I would have made this response in a separate post, but I am in a hotel in Williamsburg and something about the “cookies” arrangement here will not permit it. BKD

The comments section of this post is declared a “free speech zone” with the hope that commenters will avoid personal attacks, disagree without being disagreeable, and attempt to be constructive.

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  1. Will Vehrs Avatar

    Barnie’s “cookies arrangement” comment is real. Blogspot, which has actually been very dependable recently, now frequently gives a “cookies not enabled” message when you try to post. Hitting the back button and trying again, sometimes more than once, usually allows posting. A blogger in a hotel does not have time for that distraction.

    Barnie’s feelings are understandable, as was his action in deleting his posts. It is also understandable that he wouldn’t have immediately considered the comments being deleted also–the “collateral damage” he rightly acknowledges. It’s always easy to second guess a decision or think of something different after the fact, but an alternative for Barnie might have been to go into the edit function, remove the post content, and replace it with a short sentence explaining why it had been deleted. The comments would remain.

    Not to beat a dead horse, but one reason I advocate a code of conduct is to give some semblance of guidance when the shelter of free speech becomes consumed by a rising tide.

  2. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    You done the right thing, Barnie. It was getting out of hand. I stand by my previous comment that the administrator role should be played by Jim (or the Alexander Haig of his choice) but I amend it to say that the original author should be able the take the whole string off. People who are deeply offended by that, because of the brilliance or wit or importance of their sacred thoughts, need a real life.

  3. I wanted to be no part, in name or participation, to what was developing. And, please, it is not thin-skinnedness on my part. I have rhino hide. It was an inner sense of dismay.” –BKD

    I too was dismayed by the blatant exploitation of tragedy for partisan profit. I’d suggest that the Katrina articles spun out of control, opening a jar of pathological hatred from one side of the political spectrum.

    Rhino hide? Irrelevant. The erasure was pure damage control; party protection by hiding its ugly, bitter zealots from public view.

    I believe I have every right of ownership to delete my own work.” One might as well claim that: “I have every right of ownership to unsay what I just said.” It’s revisionism of the basest sort, and nothing short of insolence when it followed two recent articles on blog ethics. Others are more blunt:

    Do not self censor by removing posts or comments once they are published” – COBE, Martin Kuhn

    Write each entry as if it could not be changed; add to, but do not rewrite or delete, any entry. Post deliberately. If you invest each entry with intent, you will ensure your personal and professional integrity.” — The Weblog Handbook, Rebecca Blood

    Reputation is the principal currency of cyberspace. Maintain your independence and integrity – lost trust is difficult to regain” — Netlawblog

    I will preserve the original post, using notations to show where I have made changes so as to maintain the integrity of my publishing.” — Forrester Best Practice report, Charlene Li

    The removal was dishonest. Nothing in this blog’s standards (published right column) excuses the erasure of what was written.

    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
    Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
    Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it
    ” — Omar Khayyam

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