Comments: Boing Boing Silently Ununpublishes A Few Violet Blue Posts

I don't think BB realise that the issue isn't their editorial policy. They can do what they like there - though unfair discrimination would still be reprehensible (if ever anyone found out about it).

The reason what they've done is despicable is because they've infringed the public's moral right to integrity of published works of art. BB can modify their published pages sure, but they have to make such modifications clear rather than misrepresent history, or now, to compound their first falsehood with another by attempting to pretend it never occurred.

BB made a statement: "X commented thus, Y commented thus, Z commented thus, etc."

It then evidently falsified this by modifying their statement as "X commented thus, Z commented thus, etc."

When people said "You removed Y from your statement without making it clear, precisely to mislead people into believing it had never occurred, you lying blighters".

This was then reverted back to: "X commented thus, Y commented thus, Z commented thus, etc."

The primary insult was not the slight caused to Y for being removed, but to the public for committing a falsehood - surreptitiously and significantly modifying a published work (to misrepresent it as the original).

Whilst reverting the page may slightly ameliorate the slight to Y (without entirely remedying it), this doesn't undo the falsehood, but doubles it.

Bye bye Boing Boing.

Why doesn't WikiPedia get into such hot water, given their pages change all the time? Because they have a historical record that makes changes clear. Pages are explicitly changeable. All BB would need is a footnote or shadow page that said something like "Y's comments removed due to being subsequently recognised as spam", or "Y's comments removed due to being found to create a trademark liability - available via the Archive".

Anyone can change their web pages, but no-one can change their public statements once they've made them, well, not without serious damage to their reputation.

You can say you like the colour blue today and change your mind tomorrow and then say you prefer violet, but you can't then deny you ever said you liked the colour blue.

Posted by Crosbie Fitch at July 13, 2008 08:19 AM

boing-boing -
censoring ourselves for integrity.

No wait, let's unpublish that.

boing-boing -
openly unpublishing since we got caught.

Wait, wait.

boing-boing -
deletion is freedom.

Double plus good, thanks BB.

Posted by not_scottbot at July 14, 2008 08:02 AM

Xeni phobia.

Posted by Thomas Armagost at July 14, 2008 09:14 PM