There’s an old line from the newspaper era: Don’t pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel. If you do, tomorrow you will see 10,000 printed copies of the next step of the argument.
The internet equivalent is:
Don’t pick a fight with someone who buys pixels by the terabyte.
Today’s addendum is: especially when said person routinely prints 13,700 copies of tweets.
(Cross post from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)
Francine McKenna got a threatening email from a guy who had a role in a failed company. You can read all about it: Benjamin Wey Sent Me A Threatening Email About AgFeed.
The company, AgFeed, is the recipient of litigation, a target of SEC investigation, and the subject of many news reports. Mr. Wey didn’t like Ms. McKenna’s coverage and threatened her with some sort of harm. I can’t quite tell what the harm will be (opinion), but there will be something.
Ms. McKenna decided to publish the full email and quoted court documents to provide several hundred words of background on the allegations. She also quoted a judge who admonished Mr. Wey about his previous claims against people. Said judge explained the basics of US law: opinions are not actionable and the truth is an absolute defense.
So now there is over 2,100 words in print describing Mr. Wey and his email. A twitter link to the article went to 13,700 people. I’m sure Going Concern will pick it up. And anyone on the planet can read the full text of his incoherent (opinion) email that goes against the advice he received (statement of fact) from a federal judge.
Today’s lesson for those who wish to pay attention:
Don’t pick a fight with someone who buys pixels by the terabyte, especially when said person routinely prints 13,700 copies of her tweets.
Previous posts on buying pixels by terabyte:
Don’t pick a fight with someone who buys pixels by the terabyte – ethics version (Ms. McKenna happens to be the ‘someone’ in this article.)
Today’s illustration of why it’s such a bad idea to pick a fight with someone who buys pixels by the terabyte (Current editor of Going Concern is the ‘someone’ in this example.)
Update: As expected, Going Concern is enjoying the scene: Man Associated with AgFeed Fraud Adds Threatening Big 4 Watchdog to List of Bad Decisions
The opening paragraph, which is too good not to quote:
Everyone in the know knows that coming at Francine McKenna is generally not a good idea. Not only will she reduce you to a sniveling pile of human waste, she’ll use your carcass to mop up your tears and then tell the Internet all about how she made you cry and send you a dry cleaning bill for her tear-stained outfit.
Um, yeah. That’s about the size of it.
Just in case anyone didn’t know, that would also be a reasonably good description of Adrienne Gonzalez, editor at Going Concern.