June 26, 2005

I feel so special.

It isn't every day I'm informed that I'm being de-linked, so I must really consider this the high point of my brand new week. All of my heroes have endured de-linkings, massive exercises of indignant HTML manipulation frought with angry words and dire proclaimations of moral superiority. Misha, Rob, countless others, you name them, they've endured these exercises and emerged stronger because of them. Not that I would ever presume to be a blogger of even a near stature to either of them.

Today, in my email, I received a comment notification from MT with the text of a comment left on my post about Yahoo and the death of the chatrooms. Let me share this with you:

"Sorry, I think you're all missing the point...and I'm delinking pretty quickly. The international scene involving the trafficking of children has operated with relative impunity, including in our own country. If yahoo is making an overly "sweeping" move to try and curb the sexual predation of those under 18 I support it. I'm shocked that as a mother you don't have a shred more patience and tolerance."

Now, most of the time when I receive a comment like this I respond in email. I prefer to keep it private, since that seems only civil. So true to form, I formulated my response, entered it, and sent it, only to have it returned promptly by the great and mystical Mailer Daemon of Yahoo in a matter of seconds.

So I've been delinked by someone who did not have the decency to engage in debate, chosing instead to dash in, make their announcement of indignation, and then zip away unscathed and unmuddied by any response.

Well, that's not the way things work around here. You bring up something which merits a response, I will respond. If your email doesn't work, it will happen publicly. So now, in the interest of responding to someone I have to presume is a fellow blogger and perhaps even a fellow Munuvian, the following is my response to the comment posted above:

Point 1: One incident which precipitated the closure of the chat rooms occured not in chat but in a Yahoo Group. Chats which occur between members of a group within a password protected group chatroom are not accessible by the general public.

Point 2: The second incident involved a small child receiving sexually explicit emails for the purpose of enticing this child into sex. This incident would never have happened if this parent had engaged the parental controls available to Yahoo users, or had monitored her child's internet access. The idea that any child under the age of 10 is responsible enough to cruise about the internet unfettered is absurd and and irresponsible. My daughter knows that she is not to login unless either my husband or I are there. She also knows not to respond to any IM's that may pop onto the screen if my husband or I are away from the keyboard.

Point 3: What Yahoo did had absolutely nothing to do with responsibility and everything to do with the almighty dollar. If Yahoo had wanted to operate their chatrooms in a responsible manner, they would have shut down the "bots" or automated entities which would pop from room to room sending IM's to every person on the room list, generally messages of an explicitly sexual nature or containing links to pornographic websites. Over the course of an hour in chat, it was not unusual to receive as many as 50 and often more of these unwelcomed IMs from the Bots. Yahoo did absolutely nothing to deny access to their system to these advertisers, and it is the concensus of many who use the rooms that these pornograpers were paying Yahoo for the access.

Moose, if you read regularly, you know that crimes against children are a hot button with me. But unlike some, I do not toss the baby with the bathwater. If you have one bad teacher in an elementary school, you do not close down the entire school. If you have one groping fool in a Tigger suit at Disney World, you don't shut down the entire park. That is like saying that because Alice in Wonderland is the product of a drug addicted, Victorian era pedophile, no more childrens books from that era can be kept in public libraries.

It is also like delinking because you disagree with one post out of many. Now, had I extolled the pleasures of child pornography, incited rebellion for the purpose of bringing Yahoo to their knees (pun not intended), posted overt erotic stories, or published skin pix, perhaps it would be understandable and even applaudible. This, however? Mature, please.

Ah, that felt good. And so, anonymoose, whomever you are, and wherever you truly do blog, here is my response to both your rhetoric and your promise of delinking. Be well, prosper, and enjoy your life.

Posted by Mamamontezz at June 26, 2005 09:10 PM

wow. congrats dear.

Posted by: jane at June 26, 2005 09:47 PM

*smiles and blushes* Thanks, Jane.

Posted by: Mamamontezz at June 26, 2005 09:48 PM

Well said. This panicked scurrying around behind hot-button issues with nary a neuron kicked into gear has got to stop. Before *I* start screaming about my limited freedoms!

Claire; who thinks you betta off without the anonymous de-linker

Posted by: Claire at June 26, 2005 10:44 PM

I wouldn't have sweated the stupid email in the first place.

If someone links me ... great. If they want to de-link me, that's their affair as well. No skin off my back if they want to send me an email about it.

Of course, none of the above would stop me from trying to put my opinions out there and make my blog worth reading.

Mama, you have gone above and beyond the call of duty in this matter. I wouldn't have even bothered.


Posted by: RightWingRocker at June 27, 2005 02:42 AM

I just love a good fisking! ;)

Posted by: pam at June 27, 2005 03:42 AM

By this asshole's rationale, since some children are exploited on the internet because of their parent's neglect in supervising them, we should ban internet access altogether "for the chiiiiiiiildren..."


Posted by: Graumagus at June 27, 2005 01:11 PM

Welcome to the de-linked club! Just be sure to submit your dues by the 1st of the month;-)

Posted by: Sadie at June 27, 2005 03:28 PM

Graumagus sums up my sentiments. Some parents would rather give in to the Nanny State, neglecting parenthood for more window shopping time in Amsterdam.

Posted by: Jack at June 29, 2005 10:58 AM
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