Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

Today’s illustration of why it’s such a bad idea to pick a fight with someone who buys pixels by the terabyte

Some people haven’t caught on to the idea that it’s not smart to be nasty and threatening to a blogger.

Jr Deputy Accountant, a popular blogger on accounting & finance in general and bad policy moves by the Federal Reserve in particular, got some letters from an attorney complaining about a three-year old post.

Instead of making a polite take-down request, the attorney got nasty, with harsh threats of expensive litigation.

Don’t pick a fight with someone who buys pixels by the terabyte. 

I joked about that idea in an earlier post.

It’s an even worse idea to pick a fight with someone who gets volume discounts from WordPress.

Background

JDA, who points out she is neither junior, nor a deputy to anyone, nor an accountant, discussed a funds manager for whom a number of negative articles were in print challenging his honesty. So the article sits out there for three years.

Then a month ago she starting getting some very nasty letters from an attorney.

So she takes down the article, does some research, and fights back.

Yesterday she printed a 2,500 word post. She says she took down the old post, quotes extensively from the attorney’s nasty letters, quotes from and links to several news articles that support her initial post about this person and then points out she cannot verify the person who claimed to be an attorney is actually licensed.

That’s gotta’ hurt.

You see the point? Instead of just getting a three-year old post removed that no one has probably read in the last year, the attorney picks a fight.

The original post comes down, followed by a post showing her initial points had validity and showing the alleged attorney is making worse problems for his client instead of solving the initial one.

So today, there’s a new post.  Another 1,700 words.

The alleged attorney backs down and says there won’t be any lawsuit. Doesn’t provide a bar number to prove he’s licensed, just backs down.

Does JDA back down?

Not a chance.

She’s been in contact with the California Bar and SEC. She intends to file an FOIA request with the SEC for all documents regarding this person’s business.

Where do things stand today? The offensive post is gone, replaced by two posts with over 4,000 words calling down big attention on the person who was trying to remove negative publicity. One of those posts plus another post by JDA are on the first page of search results on this person’s name. 

There is a ‘net-searchable discussion that the person claiming to be an attorney can’t be verified as licensed. 

The California Bar, who presumably can’t find this person on their list of licensed attorneys, has gotten a copy of the email correspondence.

Most seriously for the person under discussion, and most entertaining for the rest of us, JDA is ticked off and will be doing some investigative research.

Lessons learned

Be nice in email. The whole world may read your comments some day.

Have people who can be verified as licensed attorneys send correspondence on your behalf.

Politely request a take down of articles that you think are a problem.

Don’t pick a fight with someone who gets volume discounts on frequent reorders of another terabyte of pixels.

When in a hole, stop digging.

Links and warning

Before I link to the two posts, please know that JDA sometimes uses bad language and off-color illustrations.

Well, make that lots of bad language.

Okay, okay. Using naughty words is her third favorite pastime, right after blogging in general and bashing the Fed.

Just to give you a sense of her writing style, here’s part of the disclaimer on her website that I edited a bit:

If you are averse to the F-word, references to porn, “*****” in a financial capacity and/or semi-nude photos of Fed chairmen with dollar bills coming out of their $$$$$, please leave this website and go back to the WSJ immediately.

Now that you’ve been forewarned, here are the first two of what I hope will be a series of posts:

Other thoughts

This is a serious first amendment issue. Since I’ve started blogging, I’ve come to appreciate my rights under the constitution even more that I did before.

If you ever have a concern with anything I write, please let me know politely. I’m quite reasonable. 

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6 thoughts on “Today’s illustration of why it’s such a bad idea to pick a fight with someone who buys pixels by the terabyte

  1. What a fantastic write-up. Great job!

  2. In one of your other blogs, Nonprofit Update, you have written about the tragedy of fraud – primarily from the angle of financial fraud such as embezzlement. Perhaps you could explore another type of fraud – the fraud of misrepresentation. Jones represented himself as an attorney. I’m sure that there are people who have falsely represented themselves as CPAs. While my particular occupation is not regulated (I do not need a California state license to work as a proposal writer), I could misrepresent myself also and speak of a fictitious doctoral degree from Harvard.

    As various experiences indicate, the tragedy of fraud also impacts those who misrepresent themselves.

    • Thanks for the comment, John. If the person claiming to be an attorney isn’t, he might get away with it. The regulators and DAs enforcing such laws are swamped.

      On the other hand, if someone generates some publicity, the regulators might pay attention. The DA or state AG might get interested. If they do, there could be a world of hurt heading his way.

      If there is some criminal enforcement, the consequences get real bad real fast.

  3. Pingback: Before you think about suing a blogger… | Outrun Change

  4. Pingback: Don’t pick a fight with someone who buys pixels by the terabyte – ethics version | Outrun Change

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