The ethics of depublishing
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005
"Depublishing is the practice of posting something to the web, often an inflammatory post to a weblog, then removing the inflammatory parts or deleting the content altogether. "... " People would frequently discover entries they linked to or commented on had suddenly disappeared, or been substantially edited, making their own blog entries nonsensical...
Depublishing is alleged to be unethical, as it allows people to squirm their way out of the consequences of their actions. "If you frequently find yourself wanting to depublish content, you should spend more time reflecting on what you've written before putting it online."
Good advice, but don't be too quick to discourage depublishing...for it is the greatest aspect of publishing to the web.
Nothing sucks more than opening up a box of newly printed books that just arrived at your house, only to find that you missed a mistake. Now it's cemented in time, for everyone to see. Forever.
With the web, if someone discovers a typo... If you are unhappy with the way you drew a panel... If you discover you did not make your point succinctly enough...no problem. Your document is a living thing on the net and you can fix it. Now when people discover it, things are more as you originally intended them to be.
Should I not correct a spelling error for fear of the unethical practice of depublishing? Should I not be allowed to come to my senses after a night of binge drinking and realize that the post I made in a drunken stupor entitled "Ducks...why people who own them are retarded." probably wasn't the best idea?
Think about when a mistake or inaccuracy is made in print. The newspaper prints a small retraction that people never see. At least on the web, you can correct your mistakes.
One other thing to consider. The web is different from print in that things you put into it never die. They are never limited by a print run. They are forever out there, waiting for someone to google cache them and throw back into your face.
The web is a living entity and it needs to be updated and edited. Should I never depublish my website and redesign it? And take a look at sites like Wikipedia and the Internet Movie Database: sites created and built by internet users. Those sites could not exist without fact checking, editing and depublishing.
I thought that print was dead and that the net was the new living breathing future. Using depublishing actively to be a jerk is a really bad idea...but the idea itself isn't flawed or unethical.
P.S. If I get a lot of email about this post, I'll probably just delete it. So be sure to copy and paste it into an email or message board quickly.
This having to do with the fact that he ran his mouth off.. again and pretty much pissed everone off, then quickly retracted via editing the hell out of his old blog. (to the point that I don't even recognize his new post as the old post i recall reading)
the revised edition, not that it matters much since none of anything this man says seems to be very intelligent at all is:
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005
Okay, I’ve recollected my thoughts and this is what I was trying to say: Thanks to Kris and Jason for helping me gather my thoughts.
Why is there so much drama in the webcomics community? I’ve been pondering that question and discussing it with Eric Burns over at Websnark. He reminded that Henry Kissinger once said “University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.”
Webcomics have not become an industry yet, or a market. Right now it’s more of an experiment with varied results. And it’s populated by creative people who, by nature, have their feelings and egos wrapped up in everything. So it’s easy for those egos and feelings to get bruised.
In light of there being a real industry or market place for webcomics, all we truly have to fight over is STATUS. That is our currency of choice. When the rest of the world comes to peek in and look at our experiment, there is a frenzied race for validation.
Now let me get introspective. Considering that I’ve received a lion’s share of status and success, why do I still find myself victim to this behavior? Why do I still feel spiteful towards those I feel are unjustly receiving a higher status than myself (or they deserve). I know that those feelings are petty and wrong. But my first reaction is to have them and remind myself that it’s better not to.
I think it’s because in webcomics, much like university politics, the stakes are so small. Ultimately, I’m an insecure person who has placed my heart and soul on the web to be judged.
But the history of webcomics is important because, well, its history. History should be recorded accurately. And soon, I may just be that guy who did PvP for ten years before all the hoopla died down and went back to having a day job. Shouldn’t I want the recognition I’ve earned? Or is that a product of ego as well?
Whenever drama rears up in webcomics, I think we all need to remember that we’re all fighting over scraps. In the big scheme of things, webcomics are about five minutes of time in the life of the American comic strip or comic book. We all might need to step back and look at the bigger picture. If we did, we may all find that even the guy with the most status, is pretty hard to notice.
Of course, remembering that is easier said than done, when you’re nursing a bruised ego.
I hope I was able to make my point better this time around. Thanks for allowing me a second crack at it.
for the record, i didn't give a fuck about his original posts. it was inflamatory garbage that tries to make him look like some sort of webcomic socrates/jesus figure, the only one of his peers with any sense of wisdom or something, just kurtz being his idiot self. as well as a few posts about how CTRL ALT DELETE is a complete ripoff of PA which are now completely deleted.
I justlove how he mouths off like that an then retracts every single time that ever gets negative email. and now this beauty of a post lamely trying to excuse this sort of thing! why do people even listen to him anymore!