UPDATE: I’ve Been Cloned

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Wrong Way ... Way Wrong

Robert For­nal via Comp­fight

 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.

Touché.

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.
Be well.

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.