Update: I really love embarrassing Typepad this way after what they've done to me. Let me clue them in to a pertinent fact about truly anonymous bloggers: they don't voluntarily reveal anything about themselves. Cats R Flyfishn did so openly on several blogs. Here are two:
In the first one she is identified via the link as "carol" from Pennsylvania For Change and then as Cats R Flyfishn from Pennsylvania For Change. So she freely told the readers of this blog, along with everyone in Berks For Obama, that Pennsylvania For Change was her blog and she was Cats R Flyfishn. In the second link she also identifies herself as Carol in a comment posted by Cats R Flyfishn. Does any idiot out there still believe this woman was blogging anonymously as Typepad maintains? How many bloggers want to trust their blogs and all their work to these morons?
One final article for this blog. It is a follow up and update on my appeal through legal counsel to Typepad. I have details and documentation at the original location of The Pennsylvania Progressive here.
The defining question, for me, after this presidential primary, is why does Barack Obama incite such intense hatred among his supporters. I expected to see this among those opposed to him, not those for him. I am not the only media person driven off the air by conduct even Tavis Smiley condemned when he said "I can't stand the hate." Larry Johnson's blog was also a target.
The hatred which has been directed towards me based on lies and smears has resulted in my car being vandalized and my blogs silenced. Family members are fearful for our safety. All this from people supporting a candidate whose message is one of unity, tolerance and coming together.
The level and intensity of the hatred is terrifying. The Obama campaign has done nothing to stem this tide of abuse. I inquired to my press contact and one other person associated with the campaign to determine if anyone with the Obama For President campaign had anything to do with the action taken against this blog. I know this woman and she isn't smart enough to do this on her own. Seventy two hours later the Obama campaign has not responded to my inquiry. I believe their silence speaks volumes.
Here is the quote from Typepad informing me that they upheld the complaint filed against me for using the name of an elected public official:
Dear Mr. Morgan,
If Ms. Wentz did not give you permission to post her name on your blog, then it is still an invasion of her privacy to do so. I have consulted with Six Apart counsel and he does say that the full name must be removed. This is a valid complaint under our Terms of Service and is not criminal. Please comply with the request. Otherwise, we will need to edit the post and comments ourselves to remove the disputed content.
Six Apart, Ltd.
They have now upheld that decision. They are claiming they did so now, because I published the name of an anonymous blogger. This is at variance with their email Saturday.
I believe one has to actually blog anonymously to qualify as an anonymous blogger. Typepad disagrees. This woman openly revealed her blogging identity to hundreds of people as is documented in my other article linked to above. She chose a blogging name which anyone with even a passing familiarity with her or her husband would instantly recognize. She wrote openly about herself and revealed her real identity on her blog. She has since cleansed her blog of all those references in order to claim anonymity. This is akin to a woman trying to regain her virginity. Once its lost its lost dear.
I have had truly anonymous writers contribute on both my blogs. These include Raven, Great Auk, and Ian Smythe. I have zealously guarded their real identities. I know and respect numerous anonymous bloggers. This woman was never an anonymous blogger. Typepad is contesting the fact she is an elected public official though every Democrat in her Township is her constituent. She ran and won public office. She is the Chair of the F Region of the Berks County (PA) Democratic Committee. I and others have been told by legal counsel we cannot sue for defamation because we hold the same office. Why is Typepad defending this woman? Can they be trusted by any blogger to support your use of legitimate sources and to write critically about elected public officials?
As a test my co writer Kirk Wentzel had a series of emails with Typepad yesterday. They show a policy which goes against their policy towards me as represented by their legal counsel to mine. Here is the exchange, published with Kirk's express permission:
I was thinking about starting a blog that would cater to local politics but I had a question about your terms of service. Is it permitted to publish the names, public office addresses and office phone numbers for elected or appointed local (city, couty and state) public political officials.
For example, can I write an opinion article about our Mayor and say "Call Mayor X at his office xxx-xxx-xxxx and express your opinion). Keep in mind please that this is a publically avaialbe phone number published in the phone book and on the City's website.
Your privacy terms are somewhat less specific that other blog hosting companies terms are and so we though it might be good to check before we start this venture.
Thanks in advance!
K Ashton Wentzel
You can read our Terms of Service online. Because of the size of our user base, we are not able to police or pre-approve content before it goes up. Instead, we only remove content if we receive information that the content is illegal. This would include if it is in violation of copyright or if a court has found it to be illegal for any of the reasons listed in our Terms of Service.
Please note, however, that we are very strict regarding any type of child pornography and we fully investigate all reports of this.
TypePad Technical Services
Six Apart, Ltd.
I have read your terms of service and your privacy section is not very clear which is why I asked the question. Do you have objection to bloggers publishing the names of public officials (elected and appointed) along with theiir official office addresses and phone numbers...NOT their home numbers or addresses.
If you cannot answer that specific question, please just say the you refuse to answer the questions. Your terms of service does not address that question. If it did, I wouldn't be asking.
I am glad that you investigate child pronography...it's disgusting, why you chose to address that specific item in regard to my question is, however, somewhat of a mystery.
Thanks for the note. It should be fine to post their official addresses and phone numbers on your TypePad weblog.
Please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you.
That’s helpful. We already assume there is never a problem publishing a public official’s name even if the official would file a complaint, public official’s names are, by definition are ‘public’. If Typepad holds a different view then please let me know otherwise we will assume the federal court ruling on that subject is the standard you adhere to.
Sorry for all the questions but we want to be sure we don’t do anything wrong by accident and create a problem. I’m sure you understand.
Thanks for the note. As I mentioned, you should be fine with mentioning only official information, but please let us know if you need anything else.