Welcome To The Bitchery
Welcome To The Bitchery
Illustration for article titled The Ethics of Mainpaging

As pretty much everyone is aware at this point, I was apparently quoted in the DC Express. This isn't about that — two things have already been posted on GT about this, which is about 17 more posts than I ever thought would be made regarding me being quoted by a local paper (I'm still trying to process it because WTF?).

On that article, Etienne Charles and several other commenters expressed various levels of dismay about the fact that Jez occasionally mainpages us without our permission, or that stuff we write here appears somewhere else. It's not the first time I've seen that sentiment expressed, and I've been thinking about this for a while. Since this time it actually concerns me directly, I feel like I can address it.

This might be just me — I haven't seen ANYONE else forward this viewpoint — but I don't have any problem with this. Not even one little bit. As far as I see it, anything posted on Groupthink is public anyway. This isn't a personal journal, guys, as much as sometimes the posts might resemble one. There's no gated forum that only other users can see. If people can see your words, they'll do with them whatever they want to do with them — and that's OK. Gated forums are fine and dandy, but that's not what we signed up for on Groupthink, nor is it what I personally ever wanted. For better or worse, this website gives all of us a voice, and if I don't like how people react when I use that voice, that's kind of on me. If I post something on GT, I'm expressly giving not just Jezebel, but the world, permission to quote me.

I LOVE being mainpaged. There's nothing I have ever posted or will ever post that would freak me out if it got mainpaged. I love the idea that there are people who will read what I wrote. I especially love the frankly goddamned INSANE idea that a local circular I used to read on the way to work is quoting me now, because WTF?! There are friends of mine reading that thing right now who I'm sure have no idea it's me being quoted (until they check my Facebook or Twitter, because of COURSE I linked that shit).

This is how the internet works, guys. If you put something out there, especially in a place as obviously public as Groupthink, where ANYONE can just go to the website and look, expect it as a possibility that your stuff might wind up being seen. I realize that I'm more outspoken than most people, and that I always want my voice to be heard, but...look, this is how the internet is, guys. There's nothing to be done about it — and honestly, I don't think anything SHOULD be done about it.

If you're concerned about an influx of trollish comments, you can dismiss them! It's Groupthink, you have the power to do that, and you should use it liberally (lord knows I do). If you're concerned about random strangers judging you or knowing about your personal issues...well, I hate to break it to you, but we're all strangers to each other. This is not to say I don't consider you all the bestest of internet friends (because I do! You guys are great!), or that I would recoil at the thought of actually hanging out with a lot of you in person (of course I wouldn't! You guys are great!), but if you're willing to share personal stuff with people who you don't REALLY know, sharing it with the world doesn't really seem like a much bigger deal to me.

I know people have a lot of THE FEELS on this, and that's fine — that's what the comments are for, after all. I know there's going to be a lot of people who disagree with me. Please express the ways in which you think I'm an idiot in the comments — I'm happy to talk to anyone about this. Just know that when you do comment in a public place on the internet, you never really know who's going to read it.


Share This Story

Get our newsletter