Amy Alexander on 18 Mar 2001 11:06:00 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> slashdot chooses its battle and complies to scientologyclaims

Drazen Pantic wrote:

> category. But, the entities that were subject of those posts were not as
> scary as Scientology is, so Slashdot has decided many times to go along
> with smaller or bigger violations. Now, that they faced the strong
> response from an entity they do not understand and are afraid of, CmdrTaco
> and friends decided that it would be most opportune for them to remove the
> post and try to forget about it...

I think it's not quite so cut and dry. They replaced the comment with
"information and links about Scientology." That info and links covers
topics like a woman who died "at the hands of Scientology," Scientology
forcing items off of E-bay over a questionable copyright allegation, etc.
The story wrapped up by suggesting that Slashdot readers petition members
of Congress regarding the DMCA issues that put Slashdot in this presumably
losing legal position. The story and various posters linked to sites with
variously annotated versions of the copyrighted text which was removed. 

If CmdrTaco et al really wanted to forget about it, they would have just
removed the post from the page and not mentioned it. Instead, they posted
a story about it, replacing the probably-not-attention-grabbing original
post with a highly public story depicting Scientology in a negative light.
They also provided links to the same cited copyrighted material which was
pulled from Slashdot.  I think this is a more productive tactic in the
long run. Bullying organizations can often win such legal battles 
(sounds like /.'s lawyer's told them their chances were not good here.). 
This would leave /. with the legal fees and the material still offline.  By
responding with negative publicity, this fights fire with flames, and
hopefully enough of this sort of thing gives all the Bullies with Lawyers
out there reason to think twice before taking legal action as a knee jerk
reaction to everything.

Many of the reader comments are positive about CmdrTaco's generating
negative publicity for Scientology. Other posts add to the collection of
links to negative info on Scientology, which presumably was also part of
Taco's plan. So, I don't see this as the end of Slashdot; the precedent it
sets is that having a post pulled from /. through legal means doesn't mean
it actually goes away.


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