Despite his generally cavalier attitude towards such
journalistic conventions as imagined objectivity and exhaustive fact-checking,
and a growing readership has made the Dowbrigade aware the mere fact
of publishing in a public place carries with it certain inescapable risks
On a number of occasions readers have written in with sidelights to
stories of which we were previously unaware. In addition, the Law of
Unintended Consequences dictates that words written with ironic, humorous
or even loving intent can cause incredible hurt, damage lives, and even
kill people. Just because the consequences are unintended does not abjure
the author of responsibility, as they can often be anticipated and avoided.
Two stories related to blogging in this morning’s Boston Globe illustrate
some of the horrific possibilities inherent in the Law of Unintended Consequences,
a corollary of the ubiquitous Murphy’s Law. The first concerns a blogger
at Microsoft who was fired after blogging a photo of maintenance workers
unloading a shipment of Macintosh computers at Microsoft headquarters.
The focus of the article is the danger of blogging about your job, workplace
or co-workers. This is a danger the Dowbrigade is familiar with, as our
postings concerning the recent Presidential Search Snafu at Boston University
were somewhat critical, to say the least. But we are personally less
concerned with our current employer reading our blog than with its influence
on our future employment prospects.
In this day and age, the first thing any competent personnel manager will
do with a potential employees resume is to Google the individual involved. Thanks
to the qualified success of the Dowbrigade News and Google’s blog-friendly
logarithm, four of the top ten search results for our name lead directly
to our Blog. Thanks to the unparalleled efficiency of the Blog format
as an on-line information storage and access system, this means virtually
everything we have written since founding our Blog (can it only have been
six months ago?) is there for a prospective employers leisurely perusal.
In our case this is a more than theoretical concern as the Dowbrigade
is in the initial phases of a job hunt himself. Whether the Dowbrigade
News will be a help or a hindrance in that search remains to be seen.
The second article is even scarier. The Globe, in an article called
"Rumors of Rape" tells the story a California sex therapist who wrote and
posted an article called "The Rape of Iraq". Obviously a metaphor. But
whole sectors of the Muslim press picked up the story and presented it as
holding that a prestigeous American academic had revealed that a massive wave of rapes had begun with the American invasion
and was ongoing.
In the most alarming manifestation of possible deadly Unintended Consequences,
Turkish suicide bomber Ilyas Kuncak was reportedly driven to kill himself
and 12 other innocents as revenge for these rapes which never took place.
It’s an increasingly and deceptively dangerous world in which we blog,