You make a post. It’s a legitimate post that makes up nothing, does not libel or defame any more than a mainstream publication, it does not violate any TOS and is legally unactionable.. You are asked by either the person you name, the company you name or people close to those to remove the post.
Under what circumstances would you do so ? And why ?
Edit: here’s why I’m asking.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about a failed rape prosecution and I commented on what happened. I used the name of the man involved as the post title and as of right now, it’s #1 on google if you search for his name (12 of the first 20 are concerned with the same event). I suppose ‘blogging responsibility’ comes into this, but I see that entry as being a legitimate commentary on an event I read in the news. We all read things in the news and we all take viewpoints from that information. I made my viewpoint crystal clear. However, that post has – naturally I suppose – attracted a few comments from friends of the person concerned. They – naturally – protest his innocence. In one case one of his stupider friends named the girl. One commenter even says the girl must be lying because she is a drama student! I’m fairly sure they would like that post to be deleted (which would mean that The Guardian would take top spot – not a completely different view and hardly one for the CV). I have also had 2 emails asking that I reword or change that post. So should I ?
A very very small part of me says I should. It says that he messed up, has paid with upset, worry, trauma, has to rebuild his reputation etc and that a post like mine isn’t going to help him. I should let bygones be bygones. But that’s a small part. Most of me thinks it should stay – it was a legitimate post, the events that lead up to the alleged event did occur, that certain facts I mentioned were just that – facts, that I find his actions as reported horrendous, that I do think he should pay a price (but what price says the small voice ? When is enough enough ? Who am I to judge ?). There is also the fact that the girl has not commented and if someone did how would I know it was indeed her ? Why should she have to revoke her right to anonymity to say that she wants those facts to be widely publicised ?
I find it strange that I am questioning my own post, and especially a post that I still think is valid. It’s a post that can be easily attacked to go away – I cannot see these same people having a go at the national newspapers and asking they redress the balance. I have only – as far I can remember – deleted 1 post from this site deliberately, and that post will most certainly return at a later date. Should I let these few people get under my skin ? Was I too forthright in my views on that day ? I know that I do write as I think / feel at times but I’m not about to start apologising for how I blog and I sure as hell don’t want to change. The larger opinion in me says if he had not done anything then he would not have been in the news so neither I nor others would never have heard of him.
And given the comments that are hitting that post right now …..
For the record – I did not say he was guilty.