Violet Blue and others have been noting over the weekend that every mention of her name has recently disappeared from the archived posts at Boing Boing, for reasons unknown. Violet herself quite charitably maintains the notion that we may yet hear news of “termites in the servers”, and I hope that turns out to be so.
ErosBlog never having been deemed Boingable, I can’t use myself to test my first wild theory: that creeping Federated Media corporatism has forced an archive cleanup to remove all the smutty stuff (not a result one would expect from FM or the Boingers in any case). However, Google still shows me 593 results for Boing Boing mentions of the once and future Reverse Cowgirl, Susannah Breslin, so there seems not to have been a general push to excise sex from the Boing Boing archives.
I am on record against the capricious deletion of blog archives, and my reasons are ones I’d expect to be shared by the sort of folks who Boing at Boing Boing. That’s the last blog on the internet that I’d expect would start purging archives, of anything. So, like Violet, I continue to hope that the coming week brings word of hungry termites.
7/1/08 Update: It’s official, Boing Boing vandalized its own archives for reasons that will remain private:
A blogger named Violet Blue noticed that we unpublished some posts related to her. Some people wanted to know why.
Bottom line is that those posts … were removed from public view a year ago. Violet behaved in a way that made us reconsider whether we wanted to lend her any credibility or associate with her. It’s our blog and so we made an editorial decision, like we do every single day.
We hope you’ll respect our choice to keep the reasons behind this private. We do understand the confusion this caused for some, especially since we fight hard for openness and transparency. We were trying to do the right thing quietly and respectfully, without embarrassing the parties involved.
Violet, meanwhile, says she doesn’t have the first clue what brought this on:
“I’ve been wracking my brain thinking of what issues I might’ve come down on the wrong side of. There’s been no argument, there’s been no disagreement, no flame war, none of the usual things. I haven’t blogged positively about anyone they hate. I haven’t decided that DRM is awesome. I’m not totally pro-AT&T wiretapping. I’m just trying to figure it out. If there’s an issue they have with me, they haven’t told me.”
As somebody who’s been linking to both parties for more than half a decade, I find the whole thing very distressing. I thought better of Boing Boing, I really did.
Another update: I’m starting to get really heartsick about what’s going on at Boing Boing — even though I know none of these people personally, it’s like I’m losing respected friends. First Xeni comes this close to calling Violet Blue a pile of shit:
The “unpublishing” versus “deleting” issue is this: the posts were removed from public view while an evaluation of what to do took place. We didn’t want to pay to host them on our blog anymore. This is also why we remove hateful, ad hominem attack comments from public view, too: this is our home, we are proud of the home we built and the guests who visit here with us, and we like spending time here ourselves — so we don’t like to leave piles of shit lying around on the floor.
But don’t look for it now, because the tackiness has been edited away. The same comment now reads:
The “unpublishing” versus “deleting” issue is this: the posts were removed from public view while an evaluation of what to do took place. We didn’t want to pay to host them on our blog anymore. This is also why we remove hateful, ad hominem attack comments from public view, too: this is our home, we are proud of the home we built and the guests who visit here with us, and we like spending time here ourselves.