Rainbow Ethics

Rainbow ethics

Rainbow ethics

3 Nov 2017

A queer thing

Two reviews on A Thousand Flights

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.

Very puzzling, because I am an outspoken and persistent supporter of marriage equality, and to be labelled as a homophobe writing “hateful sh*it” was misguided at best.

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.

Standing proud

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.

Rainbow ethicsI believe that all people are entitled to respect and equality of treatment. What two consenting adults do in private is none of my business, regardless of the genders of the participants.

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

On investigation, I found that the author of the review, Chris Richards, is a journalist, a member of the Media Entertainment Arts Alliance, and he says,

“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:

  1. 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?

Rainbow Ethics


  1. (In response to a comment I’ve chosen not to display for now. See my comments in the post about reserving the right etc.)

    Thanks, Chris!

    You may wish to check your comments and I’ll give you some time to revise them. Happy to work with you if there’s anything you wish to change. My Facebook page, far from having been deleted, is visible to anybody following the link you just posted, so you might want to check that and get back to me.


  2. https://www.facebook.com/Skyring

    Sorry, this content isn’t available at the moment
    The link you followed may have expired, or the Page may only be visible to an audience that you aren’t in.

    No, it is not. Either you deleted it, or you blocked me after I called you out on your homophobia. Either way I stand by my comments 1000%.

    1. I haven’t blocked you, Chris! I don’t know how FB privacy works, but it’s probably because you’ve set it that way. I wasn’t able to see your review, although others were, and until yesterday I’d never heard of you.

      Why not have a friend check my page? There’s a lot of material going back years demonstrating my support of marriage equality and LGBT folk.

  3. Wow. Chris blocks you on Twitter if you speak the truth. It would appear he practices to deceive his followers into only believing what he wants you to believe and not let the facts get in the way of a good story. Sad but true.
    Seems like ‘striving for accuracy’ & ‘honest reporting’ are merely suggestions and not something to strive towards.

    1. “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.”

      I guess that when a cub reporter is off duty, anything goes.

  4. So no surprise you remove my comment from display. You have no interest in a discussion on this, you just want to attack me, despite your claims otherwise. This is why I copied that comment and posted it on my post on my FB Page and Twitter instead, as I knew you would shortly remove it from here.

    On the advice of my lawyer, I won’t be commenting on this further publicly now, any further correspondence will be via the lawyer and you can communicate with them now on this. I am sure you noticed, one of the things that come with my MEAA Freelance Pro membership is legal representation for circumstances such as this. If you remove this page from your site I will instruct my lawyer to halt proceedings, otherwise I will proceed via legal avenues for your libellous & false statements.

    1. Thanks, Chris!
      As I noted in my post, I’d remove hateful and hurtful comments. I offered you the chance to edit your comment, and that offer remains open.

      I’m not sure that I’ve attacked you at all. Pointing out that your review was untrue, irrelevant to this travel blog, and contrary to your own stated pledge on ethics is hardly a personal attack. You obviously don’t know me well – or at all, really – because calling me homophobic is so way off beam that it’s laughable. LGBT folk have my full support. Let there be more love in the world, not less.

      If you have any evidence to back up your views, please present it and we can discuss it. I can’t begin to imagine what that could be, but you must have been moved by something, so if you have anything at all, put it forward and we can clear the air.

      I’ll give your promise of legal action the respect and attention it deserves.

      1. A week, my post remains up, the threatened legal action has not eventuated. Nor has an apology. Given that Mr Richards has seen fit to involve his professional body in this, I shall be making a complaint to them about his conduct. I imagine they stand behind what they say.

      2. [In response to a comment which I’ve removed from view, as per above.]

        Chris, there’s a reason why you are unable to find any homophobic material with my name on it. It’s not because I’ve deleted or hidden it. It’s because it never existed.

        Be reasonable. You are calling me names that have no basis. They are untrue. You say in public that you respect and abide by the MEAA journalistic code of ethics, and you again demonstrate that this is not so.

        If you can’t make a public apology to me, you ought to at least acknowledge your error to yourself.

        My statement stands. Cheers.

  5. I saw this review the other day and just put it down to spam and figured you would delete it. It was so clearly incorrect. I didn’t realise you couldn’t see it! Good on you for following up.

    1. It’s puzzled me more than anything. I think Chris has gotten the wrong end of the stick somewhere and it would be good to sort that out. Given his pledged commitment to truth and fairness, I’m sure he will find a way forward.

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