Objectionable Content!

7 replies
Among other goings on, I have a decently popular article directory. It grows and grows. Occasionally, however, I get email feedback like this one from this morning:

Subject line: Objectionable content

"Article XXXXXXXXX is written by XXXXXXXX, an obese woman who has no business handing out dieting advice, let alone charging people for it. She has never weighed less than 250 since becoming an adult. The problem is that people don't know that until after they pay her $79.95 to join her website. She built her business on fraud, claiming to be a 118 pound woman who had devised a diet plan which was a low fat version of Atkins. She claimed to have lost 200 pounds using this plan. To give credibility to her claim, she posted pictures of other people without their permission, claiming it was a photo of her. Her claim of weight loss was all a lie and has been admitted to under oath in a deposition. XXXXX was deposed because she has been sued for fraud. Please take this article off your website. You are giving her opportunity to bilk more money out of more people if you do not remove it. Thank you. "
Now, I like to make it a habit of not getting into other people's matters (business or personal). To me, an email like this reflects more on the person who sent it (a little too much time on their hands) than it does the marketer/author/publisher who submitted it...

...or me for wanting to grin and delete the email.

What would you do?

Delete the article? Leave the article? Would you respond?

Maybe another side of this is how it appears to be a case study- the way people might respond to us when we are marketing or publishing incongruently with our choices, actions, and beliefs? I'm just trying to gain something beyond mild amusement, that's all.
#content #objectionable
  • Profile picture of the author joefission
    I would feel morally compelled to investigate, but I wouldn't respond or take action until I had all of the facts from an objective source.


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    • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
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      • Profile picture of the author jensrsa
        As a directory you provide an advertising medium for business/people to promote their businesses without endorsing them, the same way a newspaper (or google) takes ads and as long as it's not illegal and the person pays they will run the ad.

        You cannot take responsibility for the article content or the author's honesty unless you are prepared to check every article for its validity.

        And then you are really looking for trouble. Consider someone following investment advice from an article and losing everything and blaming you.

        Might be a good idea to have a disclaimer, if you haven't got one already.

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        • Profile picture of the author peteinoz
          Yep... exactly what Jens said..

          Unless of course you want to provide the same scrutiny to each and every one of the articles on your site

          forget about it mate..

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        • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
          The person sending the email may also not be telling the truth. Perhaps its a competitor with a grudge.

          Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. -Winston Churchill

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          • Profile picture of the author Jelasco
            I agree with the others here- unless the article is low quality, or you have evidence of plagiarism, I would leave it in your directory.

            You aren't endorsing the author or her writing, just providing space for her to post it, much like the owner of a forum.

            Imagine how much time it would take to investigate everyone who submits an article.

            By the way, if she is overweight, that doesn't mean she can't write a good article on the topic.
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            • Profile picture of the author jensrsa
              Originally Posted by Jelasco View Post

              By the way, if she is overweight, that doesn't mean she can't write a good article on the topic.
              True. It's never stopped Oprah

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            • Profile picture of the author Andrew Wilson
              I get these form emails about a particular article from time to time. As with all similar emails I ignore them but am glad to get them, they usually mean that I am getting fresh backlinks.

              In this case it seems that there are some disgruntled folk who beleived too much about a weight loss program. The vendor of the program is, allegedly, not quite as she purported to be.

              There is, in my opinion, no good reason to remove this article. For stuff like this I kinda wish my directory had a commenting facility, it'd draw out the deluded chubsters in no time flat - web 2.0 at its best.

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