Thursday, February 20, 2014

P.S. Aja Romano, this may be more evidence that the expectation of privacy is relevant

Dear Aja,

I read John Scalzi's Join the Insect Army! and wondered who said the bit he didn't credit. So I googled it and didn't see the answer right away. I tried an advanced search and still had no luck. Then I wondered if the original message had been deleted or if something else was going on, so I tried fodera site:webnews.sff.net - Google Search, and got this:
A description for this result is not available because of this site's robots.txt
Then I wondered if all of sff.net was not available to search engines, tried fodera site:sff.net - Google Search, and found that some parts of sff.net are easily searched.

But the part you linked to? Not searchable, because robots.

Clearly, the people talking there were not expecting anything they said to come up in a search. Someone had to do the extreme form of cyberstalking by going to an obscure web site and clicking through messages in the hope of finding something that could be twisted into news.

If I were a lawyer, I might think that was pertinent. Remember that the first question the law asks is whether there was "a subjective expectation of privacy". Clearly, there was.

yrs.,

Will

Relevant: Dear Aja Romano, regarding Sean Fodera, Journalism 101, and the Expectation of Privacy

ETA: The question of privacy is stranger than I thought. You can't google the site, so I decided to read some of the thread you called attention to, and found that when talking about whether former SFWAns should be criticizing SFWA there, Sean Fodera said, "many of us are paying members of sff.net, which means that this open, public forum is as much ours for discussion of SFWA as it is anyone else's"

So the question is whether he meant it was an open, public forum for everyone, or an open, public forum for paying SFWAn and non-SFWAn members of sff.net.

My current thinking is it would be simpler to focus on your misrepresentation of what was said.

ETA 2: I am very slow. It only now occurred to me that your original title, "Sexist, Racist Sci-Fi Writers Forget Their Horrible Rants are Public" implies that you thought they had "a subjective expectation of privacy".

ETA 3: I read (most of) the Fodera and Feist and Co. thread on sff.net so you don't have to.