Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Call for Opinions

I've had a minor blogging issue arise, and I was wondering what people thought. The upshot: if you've blogged on something and you later find out there's a personal context you were not aware of at the time you blogged, should you modify or delete the post to spare the feelings of the people involved, or keep it up out of intellectual honesty?

My example: I posited yesterday that Iowa now has it's own candidate for the Darwin awards. From an email this morning, I discover I went to school with the guy, and he was a nice guy. I still think he's a Darwin Award candidate. Being nice has nothing to do with that. But that's a rather hurtful comment if my high school friends should run across it, and it adds little to the great conversation. So do I modify the post to delete that reference (and then modify this post to delete this example)? Given the minute value of the comment and the fact it could be quite hurtful, I think I'm balancing in favor of deleting. But then it brought up other issues in my brain - what if it were a major post on a major issue, and then the conflict arose?

Example: You write a scathing analysis of a piece of bad legislation, heavily implying the person who sponsored it must be out of his or her mind, then find out the sponsor was a close friend. You still disagree with the law, and you still think it's idiotic, but now you know the thing was a brain blip from an otherwise intelligent person. Do you rewrite, or leave it stand? If you rewrite, do you say why?

Example: You write an entry about some random drunk driver who crashed their car and killed their own child. Understandably outraged, you rail a little. You then discover the driver is your sibling or close friend. Of course, they're devastated by what they've done, but then, so is anyone who is in that situation. It doesn't excuse or detract from the horrendousness of the behavior, and you still agree with everything you wrote. But now you're excoriating your loved one in public, and adding your voice to the hundreds of others calling for his or her blood isn't really going to help foster justice as it's rather duplicative. Again, delete, modify, or leave it alone? Do you say why?

Just wondering what the general attitude on the netiquette.

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