Last night I was tired and fractious. I had spotted a very unpleasant ad hominem involving myself and my daughter. I blog because it’s my therapy, I like to let off steam and if others are entertained or interested by it, that’s an added benefit.
I was extremely hacked off about what appeared to me to be a relentless stream of anti-Catholic rhetoric. Same old “homophobia”, describing the NT as fables, telling me that I had no idea as to Christ’s sexuality yadda yadda.
So I blogged about it, I vented in order to share a touch of frustration, with others who I thought would share my exasperation.
No-one was named, no aspersions were cast on any individual characters, the site, which is publicly accessible by a google search was not named, I simply copied some of the comments that had got to me. I checked the T&Cs of the site and no such prohibitions were listed.
Now, had I said “look Joe Bloggs of 13 Acacia Avenue is a right old so and so, look what he said, I can’t believe it”, now I can understand why folk might get upset. Had I used the comments to attack individuals then I can see people would object. However I did none of these things. I didn’t use the comments to identify anybody individually, I didn’t use them to hold individuals up to ridicule or attack their personal character or professional judgement, I simply highlighted the comments as they were and said “sheesh, take a look at this lot, it’s no wonder I have the ache”.
Had I linked to said thread, complete with user names and photos of people and their children, then yes I can see why people would have been irritated, although not in breach of the site’s T&Cs. I have not even named the site itself.
There are comments that I have not approved, whereby the site and individuals are named. I have not approved them, precisely to keep within the T&Cs of the site and to preserve anonymity. I have defamed no-one.
I have someone quoting the Digital Management Copyright Act at me in a comment and asking all affected to contact him in order that he can assist in filing a DMCA notice to wordpress. He also mentions the site itself and says if someone from their legal department wishes to contact him to get in touch, they may do so and instructing me to remove infringing content immediately.
Interestingly no-one from the site itself has contacted me to tell me that I am in breach of any of their T&Cs, because I have not actually breached any of their guidelines or policies.
Other people are threatening to publicly libel and defame me simply because I have taken some comments that they made about me, including a desperately hurtful one about my daughter and her “illegitimacy” and made them public.
I am not unhinged, I was annoyed and having a rant to an audience who would be sympathetic to some of my frustration and hurt. It seems that the vitriol here is a little misplaced. There are those who are irritated that I took their comments from a parenting debate forum and posted them here which they didn’t expect. Alright I understand that, but admittedly no-one was named and shamed. Then there are those who simply wish to go on a personal attack and are threatening to make even more personal allegations about me and my family for no other reason than just to show that we are not perfect. Here’s the rub, we don’t claim to be. You show me one person who is without fault, without sin, without stain and I shall fall down on my knees and pray. In the public square, there is room for debate about what are the right, ideal ways to live, what is best for individuals and society as a whole, what are the principles we try to live our lives by and why these are. Very often we fall short. All anyone can do is try their best, but no-one in my family, not me, my husband, my children, our siblings, our parents, none of us claim to be perfect, without fault or flaw, all we do, is try to live our lives in the way we think best and explain why when challenged on issues such as NFP.
I can’t quite see what the point in that would be, other than to cause enormous personal hurt and distress to a family with 2 young children and a baby on the way, just to be spiteful.
I reiterate. I was upset, I vented my spleen, job done. I didn’t link to the site which had names and photos, I published a series of personal comments and ad hominem attacks which understandably enough had hurt me. I used my space to exercise my right of reply.
I suspect the anger is not only that people did not expect their comments to be published on here, but also that I wrote this post and showed up some of the comments for what they are. Why is it alright for people to say these things to me in the context of a publicly available website, with commercial sponsors which may be found on google, but I am not allowed to anonymously reference them on my personal blogsite. Should I have linked to the thread in its entirety complete with identifiable user-names and photos? Or should I have emailed various people anonymously and said “coo, look at her, what a nasty piece of work she is”. That would have been infinitely more underhand.
I think the answer given by those frothing at the mouth is that I should not have written said post. Probably not. It probably should have been one of my private crosses. I am not perfect and I don’t claim to be. But I haven’t gone out of my way to cause personal hurt and anguish to anyone. To the one person whose comment I misinterpreted, I apologise profusely, I have explained how easy it was for that to be misunderstood, coming as it did in the middle of a tirade about the perils of the Catechism.
When you accuse somebody of selfishly making their child illegitimate in order to save moral face, when you accuse them of being an extremist and make all kinds of outrageous allegations about their God and Saviour, without being even being prepared to listen to any counter-argument, then it incurs my wrath. I am not a saint, I never claim to be one, but if you don’t like seeing your words which you posted on a commercial website with thousands of visitors, held up to scrutiny on a much smaller scale and indeed anonymously, then perhaps you ought to choose them more carefully.
I have defamed and slandered no-one. That needs to be remembered.
I think we all need to calm down and move on.