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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Flame warrior loses job

That commercial realtor who thought he'd mess anonymously with Allan Classen at Northwest Examiner now finds himself looking for new work. Well deserved.

Comments (13)

Satisfying. Still, news print, as a medium, makes good litter. And remains more valuable than discarded electrons.

Weeding out personal attacks is just an unpleasant chore. (I'm glad I don't have to do it.)

ORS 696.301 Grounds for discipline. * * * Real Estate Commissioner may suspend or revoke the real estate license of any real estate licensee, reprimand any licensee or deny the issuance or renewal of a license to an applicant who has done any of the following:
(14) Committed an act of fraud or engaged in dishonest conduct substantially related to the fitness of the applicant or licensee to conduct professional real estate activity, without regard to whether the act or conduct occurred in the course of professional real estate activity.

Does being a jerk qualify? If anonymous poster gets fired for posting personal attacks anonymously (and denying the same), then the broker-boss conclusively thinks it is enough, for their own professional interests.

Blame yourself first, not last.

It's a curiosity to observe how we struggle with personal responsibility in the digital era -- a new-age parable (as old as time, really) of what we will try to get away with when we think we won't be held accountable. It is a seductive world and, if one is the least bit self-indulgent, a breeding ground for hostility. What a wake up call.

Professional people with clients shouldn't be doing much on the internet -- or maybe anything at all. Too much potential for conflict of interest.

The other lesson: Unless you are extremely careful and smart (and this guy was neither), you will be identified when you tick people off.

Sounds like Mr. Classen has a very thin skin and lots of time on his hands to search out his enemies..

It's incredible to me what people will post under the guise of anonymity. The vitriol in the comment section of any online newspaper is striking. I'm sure someone is studying the psychology of this new-fangled internet stuff. Personally, when reading comments on oregonlive, my faith in my fellow citizen is shaken because I think anonymous comments reflect real thoughts more accurately than a public persona does.

Still, this guy has clearly been punished enough. To lose his job over internet postings -- however harsh -- is a severe punishment.

"Unless you are extremely careful and smart (and this guy was neither"

I don't know - He seems to be a pretty accurate appraiser of skill levels with someone like Sam.

However, you're right, not very bright considering his station in life. If he would've played his cards right, he could've been the next Scott Andrews.

Interesting that there was an article in the Oregonian yesterday about a fired employee at an ambulance company that won a National Labor Relations Board suit over her Facebook posting critical of her employers. Different set of facts since her postings were considered protected communications about terms and conditions of employment. Still, as duplicitous as this guy's not so anonymous postings appear, they raise intriguing free speech issues. He was outed by the media, instead of his employer. Nonetheless he seems to have been given the heave ho by his employer for stating not so popular opinions on public web sites, while making no direct reference to his employer. This issue has come up before on this blog. When does someone have a right to be anonymous in exercising free speech on the internet, and when is it not permissible to use such speech to fire someone. Whatever protection there should be, it can't only apply to characters and opinions we like or share.

I think those are excellent questions Drew, particularly to what degree we understand anonymity to be a right and how exposure weighs against abuse.

I'm not going to offer to pay Mr. Owendoff's bills or anything, but the public humiliation, being fired, the eternal record of the whole affair is indeed a steep price to pay. Not to mention apologizing to Sam Adams, a horror I truly cannot imagine. And I wonder if his wife and kids wish he had been caught with drugs or driving drunk instead. He definitely shouldn't have done what he did, but yikes.

"Anonymity" on the internet has a default meaning: you're hiding in plain sight. That is, you're among a number of other people taking the same risk. Like everybody going down the freeway 20 mph over the speed limit, it is up to the discretion of the traffic cop who's going to get pulled over and when. Somebody making particularly knowledgeable, particularly insulting or particularly unpopular comments could attract attention and could have their anonymity betrayed. After that, it's hard to know what constitutes proportional consequences since it's out of everybody's hands. Whatever happens, happens.

As somebody who has for years widely participated in and enjoyed online discussions I've definitely said things I regret as well as things I've changed my mind about since. In watching the internet v.2 grow and mesh with social media, and seeing the corresponding growth of my digital trail and how much easier that makes it for somebody else to really satisfy an interest they may take in me, I'm pretty much done participating now. I was the only one who benefited anyway, and with the multiplying risks and complications, I'm returning my conversational impulses to the physical world.

well put, ep, if that's your real name


And apparently CBRE didn't have a quick backfill available. A "Managing Director" position showed up in my Monster.com filter this morning.

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