Virginia Tech: “The Gunman’s Victims”

April 17, 2007 at 9:50 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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The Sun (UK) has published a list of the victims of yesterday’s shooting. I’ve always had a problem with coming to terms with the UK practice of giving away victims’ names in news reports – this is not a common practice in German news reports, although there has been a certain tendency toward individualization of victims in the past (terms like “die kleine Jessica” and “Kevin im Kühlschrank”, all referring to cases of ‘homicide by neglect’, are media names that everybody will remember). Still, that’s first names, not full names.

On the Sun’s site, they prsented full names along with a victim’s major subject or position within the faculty. 15 victims were depicted with photographs. And what I find even more disturbing is that they also included links to the personal websites, blogs or myspace pages that some of them had.

I resisted the urge of clicking those links. I kind of find it indecent, like a forced resurrection.* I feel like the victims, in their death, would deserve not to be exposed a big last time to the gawkers worldwide.

I suppose there are people who have different views on that.

*) I’ve always wondered what would happen to all those email accounts and blogs and web services of people who died.

What to do if you’re blacklisted?

April 17, 2007 at 5:04 pm | Posted in Blogging, Spam | 3 Comments
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It seems as if my blog is now rated as ‘spam’, because anywhere I comment my comments go immediately into the moderation queue. And while I don’t consider this an outwardly political intervention, I am beginning to wonder whether this might have to do with my “End Guantanamo” banner – at least temporally, there seems to be a connection:

StatsApril.jpg

Traffic had leveled off at about 200 a day (the left most value was an aberration), and now it’s gone back to an average of 60, which I had in my very first month of blogging – in spite of taking to the heart some of Lenina’s advice on increasing blog traffic (actually, only the last one, the one that I care for the most: post regularly).

I mailed the WP team about being blacklisted, and they referred my to akismet.com/contact, but they never responded nor did anything about it. So do you think that it’s possible that there is a connection to the Guantanamo banner? There’s just a handful of blogs where I post regularly, and even on Jetsam’s blog I suddenly found myself blacklisted (it’s o.k. to comment on a blog once one of your comments has been approved).

That’d be really sad for the blogosphere if it responded that sensitively to political intervention of the most modest kind:-(

Yesterday also proved that the opposite of one of Lenina’s pieces of advice may work: She recommended to refer to current news stories – the slow food approach would be to write pieces of eccentric interest and wait for the stray reader to come.

And yay! Yesterday somebody found his or her way to my blog using the following search term:

butterschiff means

And here’s the answer to that question;-)

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