Wednesday, August 23, 2006

You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube

And these days, if you attempt to, a thousand bloggers will mob you, smear the toothpaste all over their bodies, and run naked through the streets whilst shouting your name.

There's a nifty story unfolding in the blogophere that goes something like this:

  • Forbes posts a bone-headed story by a certain Michael Noer, called "Don't Marry Career Women", which as the title would imply, had serious sexist tone to it.
  • Xeni over at boing boing blogs about it here.
  • A few thousand boingers and boingettes get their collective breifs and panties, as we would say in Quebec, dans un noeud.
  • Forbes removes the article. No explanation/apology provided.
  • Boingers and Boingettes add another twist to their undergarments and invite their conspiracy theorist friends over. Much blogging ensues. There is posting of cached versions of the article, retorts and commentary.
  • Enter the creative types (a subset of the boingers/ettes, distinguished by their stylish choice of eyewear - the comprise about 80% of BB readership), and as BB puts it - let the remixes begin.

IF there's a lesson to be (re)learned here, it's that (a) you can't 'undo' things in this day and age - the damage on the web is instant, and it's cached, (b) trying to undo it only adds fuel to the fire, and possibly (c) that igniting a fire around a bozo like Noer only serves to draw more attention to him as other bozos come to see what's on fire.

[Update: Forbes continues to poor reaction by re-posting the article and including a counterpoint article. Both are found here. If this was an article deemed racist (rather than sexist), would they have kept it up and offered someone the chance to counter with an anti-honky article? I doubt it]

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