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SixApart Apologizes For Censorship

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What’s the best way to assuage censorship concerns? Throw a temp under the bus. SixApart’s apologies to Tribe.net founder Mark Pincus came swiftly after Pincus made a proper stink about attempted censorship.

SixApart Apologizes For Censorship Mistake
SixApart Issues Uncensored Apology

The trouble began after Pincus detailed a personal experience with a Harvard Business School rival and confessed school election cheat Murry Gunty. Soon after Pincus’ tale, he received a note from TypePad claiming that use of Murry Gunty’s full name in his personal story was a violation of Gunty’s privacy as well as the company’s terms of service. The mandate gave Pincus 48 hours to edit out Gunty’s surname.

Pincus posted the notice in a subsequent entry, raising concerns and questions about censorship. A short time later, SixApart CEO Barak Berkowitz made his apologies.

From Berkowitz’ email:

To put this situation mildly, this request is ridiculousYou should have every right to post whatever you want, even if it happens to be libelous – which I personally don’t think it is in this casethe namby-pamby recommendation for “fixing” the issue seems childish and ineffective to the point that it shouldn’t be suggested at all.


Berkowitz’ remarks are followed in the comments section by SixApart customer service and business operations veep Doug Bryan. Bryan relates that the only time the company would interfere with blog content is if a court order demanded it or if there was a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Even then, bloggers are given the opportunity to remedy the problem before action is taken.

“In this particular situation,” Bryan responds, “the Six Apart employee who initiated the request to you was filling in for our normal TOS person who is out on maturity [sic] leave. They simply made a mistake and completely misread the situation. Your post is not in violation with TypePad terms of service.”

I was put on maturity leave once, when I tried to hit on my babysitter. “Come back when you’re older,” she said.

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SixApart Apologizes For Censorship
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