I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"Riiight! We'll defend any reputation, any character for $29.95! Riiiiiight!"

The title of this post is a variation of the old advertising slogan of the Earl Scheib car-painting shops: "Riiight! I'll paint any car, any color for $29.95! Riiiiiight!" An outfit called ReputationDefender.com charges a one-time fee of $29.95 to attempt to remove an unwanted item from an Internet website -- unfortunately, this service is now available only to members who pay a monthly fee of $10-16 for searches for unfavorable material.

As I noted in a previous article, there are a number of enterprising dot.com startups that are dedicated to having unfavorable material about their clients removed from the Internet. I think that these outfits would have better luck if instead of -- or in addition to -- trying to get material removed, they requested opportunities for posting rebuttals on the websites that display the unfavorable material. IMO refusing a request for allowing a rebuttal is much harder than refusing a request for removal. And truth may be a defense against a libel claim but is not a defense for denying opportunities for rebuttal. In fact, these reputation defending outfits could fight any kind of censorship on the Internet.

As these outfits become better known and better connected, I think that their jawboning and blackmailing capabilities will become increasingly greater than those of their clients acting individually. These outfits have far better access to the media than their individual clients have and can also accumulate complaints against particular websites, a particularly great advantage in the case of big websites like Wikipedia. These outfits should be able to handle the most egregious cases of defamation and censorship on the Internet.

I am going to ask ReputationDefender.com to lobby for a "fairness doctrine" law that would prohibit arbitrary censorship of visitors' comments on blogs. Helping to enforce such a law would be a great opportunity for the company. There is not much excuse for not having such a fairness doctrine if a blog can be exempted from the doctrine by posting a prominent notice stating that arbitrary censorship is practiced on that blog.
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1 Comments:

Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> I think that these outfits would have better luck if instead of -- or in addition to -- trying to get material removed, they requested opportunities for posting rebuttals on the websites that display the unfavorable material. <

They would be wasting their time.

> IMO refusing a request for allowing a rebuttal is much harder than refusing a request for removal. <

It is obviously easier. Anyone can easily remove material if they want but they may not be set up to take outside material.

> And truth may be a defense against a libel claim but is not a defense for denying opportunities for rebuttal. <

Of course it is. One reason that people have tired of your crap is that it is often lies.

> There is not much excuse for not having such a fairness doctrine if a blog can be exempted from the doctrine by posting a prominent notice stating that arbitrary censorship is practiced on that blog. <

There is plenty of excuse and you have as of yet failed to post such a notice nor have you convincingly shown another blog where arbitrary censorship occurs.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007 8:49:00 AM  

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