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"You’re Not Artistic, And You Have No Integrity."

[ 1 ] May 30, 2006 |

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Wow, what a surprise that an “Online Integrity” campaign spearheaded by Josh Trevino would turn out to be a complete farce. [Details of Goldstein's scumbaggery here.)

And, of course, this is even less surprising if you just look at how the thing was written:


Persons seeking anonymity or pseudonymity online should have their wishes in this regard respected as much as is reasonable. Exceptions include cases of criminal, misleading, or intentionally disruptive behavior. [emphasis retained from original.]

To state the obvious, the “as much as is reasonable” provides a gaping loophole that can be used to justify outing someone in virtually any context (and of course the de facto definition of “misleading, or intentionally disruptive behavior” among most OI signatories will be “being a liberal that says something mean about me.”)

People who (like me) don’t believe in outing those who are pseudonymous don’t need to sign a meaningless pledge to just not do it, and signing it places no meaningful constraint on those who do. As we can now see…

(Picture via Matt Weiner.)

…From Lindsay in comments:

The Online Integrity Pledge is a little power trip Tacitus, a blogger on the downhill slide. Here’s how it works:

1. Draft set of resolutions that are so reasonable that only a total dickhead would disagree with them. Malicious “outing” bad. Democracy good.
2. Build in so many caveats and exceptions that any signatory can excuse any bad behavior whatsoever.
3. Invite your corrupt buddies to sign.
4. Browbeat anyone who refuses to join you. Claim that refusal to join your club implies disregard for principles at stake.
5. If anyone from the other side signs on, you now have a license to browbeat them as traitors and hypocrites. You made up the rules. You and your friends interpret them. You know who’s going to get the benefit of the doubt, and it’s not the fair-minded suckers who signed on because they agreed with the nominal principles at stake.

A similar dynamic is at play with the whole Euston Manifesto “controversy.”

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  1. [...] Online Integrity — the blogosphere’s short-lived and even more risible companion to the Euston Manifesto. It was important for one reason: as the parody site almost immediately got more attention than the [...]

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