You may recall a recent post wherein I discussed the fact that many of my blog posts, my picture, Bio, tagline, and logo had been republished blog style on another website. I was a bit mortified by this because I was never informed that this was being done and also because there was an open comment section, which itself is only problematic if I am unaware and thus unable to respond, defend, or censor in the case of vulgar language.
I contacted the editor of the website via email. When I didn’t receive a prompt response I decided to write a post. I mean, if my site was being watched and reproduced, surely the culprit would see the post about them and feel compelled to respond.
Within hours of said post I received an email from Publici.com. On the face of it, the letter was polite and apologetic. I was informed that my posts had been removed. The editor pointed out that my Creative Commons license allows for free use as long as said work is unchanged and attributed to me.
I responded in like fashion stating that had I been consulted I may have been more open to the idea. I thanked them for their prompt response and I was quite pleased with the eventual outcome.
Then oddly enough I received another note from the editor. The editor told me that she believed my voice unique, mature and gentle. She stated that I had followers among the staff of Publici.com. Then she said “… may I dare to suggest you’ll give us a second chance, this time by operating your account directly? This way it will much better reflect your needs and requirements. Also, we’ll be happy to any suggestions, opinions or comments you may have regarding our site and our vision.”
Well, after my head shrank back down to normal size, I actually considered the offer. Briefly. Very briefly. The thing is, I work full-time and I have a family. Free time for me is scarce. Committing myself to another writing gig, however small, is hardly something I can afford. But, during that brief period of consideration, I decided to check out this website.
What if they were doing something ground breaking and significant?
What if they were willing to compensate me?
What if this was something I simply could not pass up?
The first thing I noted is that the homepage is divided into sections: Media Watch, Social Movements, Arab Spring, Civil Activism. And on the face of it, many of the posts appear to cover topics about Muslims. I thought, Well I’m Muslim. Then I noted that the website operates from Israel. Now that really intrigued me. I had these immediate delusions of grandeur.
What if they’re dedicated to unifying Muslims and Jews worldwide for peace?
What if they are dedicated to dispelling myths and stereotypes about Muslims and Jews and other misunderstood groups?
What if they are dedicated to outing offenders of the rights of marginalized groups?
Yes. Delusions of grandeur.
What I found instead upon closer inspection is that Piblici.com actually curates posts from all over the web and that said posts, based on the few I could stomach, were not at all as grand as I hoped. I won’t go into detail but this was my response:
Hello (editor’s name withheld),
I hope this note meets you well.
This was a kind letter to receive as are you praise but I must decline.
I am very particular about where and how I use my writing and it is important to me that I not be or appear to be aligned with anything or anyone whose moral outlook I can not reconcile myself with.
I understand the Publici curates content from all over the web and from differing perspectives, which in and of itself is great. That said, I have seen multiple posts and opinions that have a distinctly bigoted outlook against Muslims (of which I am one) and people of color (of which I am one). While I certainly afford people the right to feel and think what they wish, I can certainly not imagine contributing on the same platform with people whose ideas I find inflammatory and offensive and who use untruth as a device to defame the group of people to which I belong.
Thank you again for the invitation.
My last correspondence with the editor was about four or five days ago and I haven’t heard back, which is fine. I guess I hoped she would respond. I hoped she would tell me that I am wrong about the site. I wanted her to tell me that they are dedicated to honest, balanced, inclusive writing that does not promote the continued marginalization of disparate groups.
I wanted to have that delusion of grandeur.