3 Nov 2017
A queer thing
I run a Facebook page for this blog, as part of my social media strategy, and it got its second review recently. Strange, I could only see one of them, five stars from my fellow travel enthusiast Rod, whom I have known for over ten years. The other was a one-star comment, but I could only see the rating, not the review itself.
Rod began a chat with me and sent some screen captures, which showed the review and some discussion on it.
The review contained no criticism of my blog or my travel writing, just an irrelevant and false personal attack.
The writer’s motivation was unclear. He seems to accuse me of removing pages and comments as a response to a backlash on the “disgusting stuff” I supposedly posted. My memory is sketchy on the exact details of what might have sparked this, but no, I have not removed any material, nor have I received any (other) backlash or criticism.
Let me go on the record here. I support marriage equality wholeheartedly. It is about inclusion, fairness, equality, and love. The fact that in Australia, two people of the same gender are unable to marry and enjoy all the rights, legal and social, of that formal partnership is a source of shame in my own nation.
I support honest and open debate on this issue – currently a matter under public consideration here in Australia – and I have been a supporter of LGBT folk and their rights for many years. In 2013 I had a lot of fun chalking rainbows in places around the world as part of the “DIY Rainbow Crossing” campaign. The time I coloured the Strawberry Fields mural in Central Park all the colours of the rainbow makes a great story, and I’ll tell it soon.
Ethics are optional
“In a world of fake news and alternative facts, the media is under daily
attack. I pledge to be part of the solution, not the problem. I pledge to
adhere to the MEAA Journalistic Code of Ethics at all times.”
At all times.
Number One on this code of ethics is the statement:
- Report and interpret honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness and disclosure of all essential facts. Do not suppress relevant available facts, or give distorting emphasis. Do your utmost to give a fair opportunity for reply.
Richards was dishonest, inaccurate, and unfair in his review. He did not give me a fair opportunity to comment. His review was hidden from me because (as he later revealed to Rod) he had blocked me on Facebook, including my personal page and the page of A Thousand Flights.
In fairness, I must report that after some discussion with Rod, who did his best to set him straight, Richards removed his review.
Fair suck of the saveloy
Gender preference and gender politics is largely but not quite irrelevant to travel, at least as I practice it. But ethics and integrity are important, and I’ll give Chris Richards – or anybody else – the opportunity to discuss the matter here. I reserve the right to remove hateful or hurtful statements.
On that note, have any of my fellow travel bloggers received unfair treatment at the hands of a reader?