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"Think of these three things: whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account"--Benjamin Franklin

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Monday, September 25, 2006

A Cautionary Tale of When Blogging Becomes Perilous

So there I was simultaneously working and clearing my computer --don't ask me how, goddamit, I was doing it!;-)) -- when I came across old links that I had stored for viewing later. It came from a site I would classify as this side of "adult". The blog is --or at least was-- called "Creative Spanked Wife", which you can read here.

It re-counts the rather harrowing story of the blogger who came home to this:

Creative spanked wife closed due to blackmail. When I came home from Houston a few weeks ago I found a priority mail in my mail box outside along with the regular stuff that comes in. It came from Cleveland Ohio and right away felt wrong. It had a computer printed label but ordinary, ‘buy at the counter stamps,’ I opened it and discovered not just a recent photo of my home, but a blackmail letter. The letter was typical of the obsessed vitriol that has been the content of handful of truly hateful comments and e-mail.

"You are a blight – a toxic human being being filled with lies, cruelty, and deceit. And on July 21, this will end. Period.

Here is what you are going to do: On July 21 you are going to disappear from the internet. Completely. You will close your blog completely without comment and take it down completely. You will not discuss it with friends on the newsgroups or anyone else. You will not start another blog or visit another newsgroup, or publish a story. It will be as if you never existed.

I cover this area very completely everyday. If I get any indication in any way that you have continued as a presence on the internet, I will mail two packets."

"In those packets will be a complete printed out version of your blog. With explicit details about your alcoholism – how you faked a child’s death" … "collected money for it" …

This was what the blackmailer--stalker, if you ask me!--was threatening:
  • These blackmail mailings according to the blackmailer will ostensibly go to the CEO where I work, and also to the President and Chairman of the board of the corporation. In addition an ethics complaint will be called in, and I will be reported to IC3 – the internet crimes watchdog site.

  • This got me thinking about the necessity to connect to debates out there about the blogosphere and privacy: in one's attempt to be "real" and unique, you might just run up to people who have way TOO much time on their hands to scrutinize your life in detail, and seek to disturb your blogging life.

    The need for privacy is a given, but considering how cathartic blogging can be, how, then, do you consider experiencing a catharsis, without fearing that someone out there might be noting it down to use against you?

    I'd like to think that something like this only happens in the "West", where socities are always connected, but something tells me that, well, the danger cuts across cultures. In so many ways, also, it's interesting I should come across this some five weeks before a UN-sponsored discussion on Internet governance is taking place in Greece--home to one of my regular readers--Sissoula--who, whilst pregnant, has managed to effectuate a very decisive house-move:-) KUDOS!!!

    Hey, that's a Greek word innit?:-))

    tags: ; ;;;;;;

    PS If you have ever wondered what accounts for those long absences, it is a combination of rather heavy work-periods; coupled with time out for qualitative ideas for the blogs I maitain;-) Whilst you wonder, you might want to enjoy some pictures of my capital city here:

    Wednesday, September 06, 2006

    Happy Birthday Samuel D Bensah (6/9/1973-8/5/1991)

    There's my late brother in the blue shorts, being silly in Ostende--the popular Belgian beach destination--way back around 1986, when he was around 12years.

    I'm the one in white shorts--and God, I wish I were that slim today!;-) Whilst we are at it, you might want to check out my new site: Angry Enough to Change, which is a site dedicated to helping me document how I change things about myself. Part I is losing weight. It's not easy, but I'm on it.

    For sure, Sam would have been proud of me;-)

    Wherever you are, Samuel, here's to you--from your little shrimp, Emmanuel. Happy Birthday...

    Monday, September 04, 2006

    I Called my Ex- This Afternoon...

    Originally uploaded by ekbensah.
    ...only to wish her a happy birthday in advance (it's on the 7th September). She sounded quite surprised and apparently happy to hear from me. She asked how my parents were; I asked how her daughter is.

    The conversation was very brief. Even though I had vowed not to contact her (ever) again, her birthday falling a day after my brothers...was difficult to ignore, so I told myself I would eff it, as it were, and call her anyway.

    I had butterflies, OMG!! Was it that smile she had over the phone? Even if she didn't have a boyfriend, I wouldn't have initiated anything else. That relationship (if that's what it was!!) was too energy-intensive in the sense that I put in too much, and I am not about to entertain any reconciliation.

    Being the platitudionous "friends", where I can call here once in a while is fine by me!! I enjoy and relish my relationship with Sandra--and nothing is gonna change that, thankyou!

    BTW, I no longer have a crush on my work colleague;-) She is still cute, but like I said, writing about that most assinine of sentiments was not just cathartic, but it helped me erase any vestige of infantile attitudes associated with my feelings for her, which are comprehensively platonic!;-))

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