I’m still mulling that reddit thread I mentioned over in my mind. I didn’t bookmark it and I wish I had; I’d like to be able to read it again.
One of the posters on the thread basically compared what I do to both stalking and doxxing. He/she said it was as if I selected some random unsuspecting member of the public and took a bunch of pictures of them and posted the pictures and info about their workplace and where they live on the internet. If I remember right, this was the same poster who made that erroneous statement about being able to tell whether a kid is missing or not by whether or not they’re viewable on the NCMEC site.
What my critics don’t seem to get is that the information is already out there for the whole world to see; all I do is make it slightly easier to find by putting it all in one place. All of it is a matter of public record. And I don’t dig very deep to find it. About 90% everything on Charley can be found by any person, simply by Googling the MP’s name, or looking them up in the relevant state missing persons database, or searching for their name in a newspaper archive site, or some combination thereof. I’m hardly hacking into private computer databases or breaking into people’s homes to read their secret diaries.
Furthermore, if a relative of an MP asks me to take something down, usually I do it. Not too long ago, I had a case where the MP was HIV-positive. I had gotten that information in the usual way, so it was floating around on the internet and not just on the Charley Project either. It was accurate information, but the MP’s sister asked me to take it off the casefile. And so I did. But if you decided to wade through the information that’s online about that particular person, you would discover her HIV status on your own.
If, for example, the police or the MP’s family talk to the press about, say, their medical information, I’m not breaking any legal or moral rules by adding that to the casefile. The HIPAA act only prohibits health care workers from sharing an individual’s medical information; it doesn’t prohibit other people from sharing it. It is not a violation of privacy to republish information that has already been shared in the press.
There’s a certain person who has accused me of violating her privacy by writing about her case. The thing is, though, she and others in her family have approached the media to talk about it. They’ve been on TV, they’ve been in print media, possibly radio too, I don’t know. Apparently, in her mind, writing about her is only violating her privacy if you don’t write what she wants you to write. But if you write what she says happened, without questioning her story, or criticizing her or her family, that’s okay.
I’ve written about my own mental illness and other problems in my life on this blog. Some people have had things to say about it that I don’t like, but they aren’t violating my privacy. I chose to make the information public and I have to take the consequences. I’m okay with that.
I don’t know. I suppose I can’t please everyone. I know I have more supporters than otherwise.
I’ve been pretty happy lately, zipping along with the updates in a way I haven’t done in a long time. Life is good.