August 08, 2007

Our old friend Lucy Caldwell is so famous right now

Lucy Caldwell, controversial Crimson columnist, recently got herself in the spotlight when she used her facebook.com credentials to reveal to the world that Rudy Giuliani's 17 year old daughter used to be part of a Barack Obama facebook group. She's since been kicked off facebook, aparently, for violating the ToS.

I've been reading blogs today, and man are people pissed. Here's a write-up of the whole thing that's gotten popular on digg.

The slime merchant at Slate, which started this scandalous behaviour, Lucy Morrow Caldwell, has the headline “Daddy Dearest: Rudy Giuliani’s Daughter is Supporting Barack Obama.” This pathetic excuse for a journalist even pasted a picture from the girl’s web site with her “story”. Here is what she left out. The girl didn’t want publicity and has not expressed any position publicly. She is a minor. She even used a different last name to avoid publicity. You wouldn’t know this since caustic Caldwell never mentioned that the girl was trying to keep her life private. She referred only to the girl using a slight variation of her name. How slight? You decide if the difference between Giuliani and .... Rose G is only slight. That is a big variation not a slight one. Ms. Caldwell is as honest as she is ethical. Slate took the page and blurred the last name making it hard to see that she intentionally used a different last name to avoid publicity and covering up the fact that the variation was not slight, as claimed by Caldwell.
I hate that internet assholes everywhere are calling Caldwell names like bimbo and whore, and I think exposing her personal information was... well, actually, I'm having trouble on that one. It was bad. But it's a little bit funny. But it was bad.

Anyway - what do people think about this? Did Caldwell have a right to expose information visible to 40,000 people to 400 million people? Did the FreeStudents blog have a right to highlight information that was already publicly accessible on the internet in retaliation?

5 comments:

mk said...

Beyond privacy rights, was this story even newsworthy? I'm gonna go ahead and put in a resounding No. The poor kid found out her father was splitting with her mother during a press conference. That's low. And differing political opinions between parents and children are pretty common. Just because Romney's sons are on the campaign trail with him doesn't mean that offspring automatically support their parents' political aspirations, or necessarily think they would be the best candidate.

I still just think Caldwell is a really poor journalist. Which unfortunately means she probably has a bright career ahead of her. Oh, and I really don't buy that she just "stumbled upon" Rose's profile. Not for a second.

icarus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
emily2 said...

giuliani's daughter willingly posted the information on a website where anyone can sign up to be a member, i.e. anyone in the public. when you release information to the public, you've waived the right of privacy for that information.

however, if the journalist violated the terms of service of facebook, which is a contract between a member and facebook, facebook may terminate the account.

tea cozy said...

I don't think Lucy did anything so terribly wrong --- but I do think Slate did something terribly wrong in publishing it, and that AP, CNN, and MSNBC did something terribly wrong in picking up the story. Um, is there nothing actually going on in this country? Does anybody know what happened in Congress yesterday? I don't, and I resent the fact that Slate felt it was worthwhile to let me know about this instead.

Kameron said...

Wait, let's be fair --

Sure, when you sign up for facebook, yu're putting your info on the web.

But you're also restricting that info to people in your network, which to me would imply that unless you give people outside of that network permission to view said info, they cannot see it. And that is NOT in someone else's hands to decide for you.