Monday, October 20, 2008

Being Censored: I was waiting for that

by Christine Mortesen 5 comments


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Well it's happened. For the first time I've been asked to remove a client name from a blog entry. I was wondering when that was going to happen. It really was only a matter time. This may in fact just be a right of passage of sorts! :) After all, it's been said that you're not really in advertising if you've never had an ad pulled. I'd imagine that this is something of the same ilk.

Either way, at the time of this writing I'm not sure how I feel about this minor censorship just yet. In once sense I have every right to publish what I want. At the same time I can of course see where there would be cases in which clients would not want their activities hinted at prior to launch. As a client steward, I certainly respect that. Which is why, at their request, I promptly removed any mention of their name.

Similarly, if I were mentioned in someone's post, blog, or the like and wasn't completely comfortable with the post, I'd expect that it'd be taken down upon request as well.

What are your thoughts on this? If you blog have you ever been asked to remove or alter a post? If so, for what?

For me, it just gave me another topic to post about :)

Comments 5 comments
Amy Mortensen said...

The only time I have blogged about other people or businesses I asked their permission first. My post was completely complimentary and intended to help promote their shops but I felt I should ask first.

In your case, I can see why they might not want their names out there. Not because of anything bad you might say but to keep their business confidential.

It's a tough call about future posts though. Maybe it's just me but I wouldn't want to piss off a client even if I said nice things. People can be wierd and you never know how they'll react. Some people might see it as free advertising.

If your cool with possible censorship then I say keep posting what you want.

P.S. I read the post you're refering to & now it's kinda hard to read. :)

Christine said...

Thanks for the comment Amy! You're right; that did read oddly. I've updated that post so that it reads more clearly now.

Agreed, the last thing I'd want to do is anger a client which is why I have no problem honoring the request. Like I mentioned, I'd hope for the same if the situation were reversed.

Thanks again! Hey while we're on the topic of permission...mind if I do a write-up on your jewelry shop?

Jackie said...

Hmm...well, I have more of a personal connection to this sort of thing, so I may be on the side of censorship (who knew?) unfortunately. The crazy sister of an ex (who was actually my friend at one point) used to always mention my name in her blog, and wrote all sorts of mean things that were untrue about me and my family. So finally I got fed up and sent a message to myspace to flag her. If I mention her at all, then I do it how I did a round about way without revealing her true identity. I know it's different with clients b/c it's something that involves making them money, but I think a similar tactic could apply. Hint, never mention... Just my two cents. Oh and this is Jackie by the in McClellan. And you don't have to take this blog down b/c my name is ;0)

Anonymous said...

I found it interesting that you were engaged to redesign the web site for the now-censored company as they sell their own web design skills to MANY of their client associations. Identifying them may have started associations wondering why "what is good enough for the goose is not good enough for the gander." Which is a question I have - why aren't they using their own staff?
If I mentioned their name in this comment section, would they ask you to delete my comment? They might ask you to anyway or you might be inclined - and that's ok. I just wanted you to know what else may have motivated them to keep your work for them confidential - which is their right.

Christine said...

Thanks for the comments Jackie and Anonymous!

Anonymous brings up a good question in asking why they wouldn't use their own staff. I think part of the answer lies in perspective. Sometimes you are just too close to the subject matter and can't see the broad strokes as clearly as an informed but unbiased outsider.

To use myself as an example I've been trying for years to get my own website up but have struggled to decide which areas of my work and life I'd want to highlight most. I'm too close and loose objectivity and want to talk about everything. Knowing that just won't work I've opted to write short blog posts to see what bubbles up most.

In the past I've contemplated relying on design friends to create a site and identity for me knowing they'd be able to see the bigger picture and not get hung up on details like I would. The only reason I haven't? I know that they feel just like me; after designing all day it's hard to do the same for yourself or others after hours, so I feel bad asking. I'll get to it sooner or later...hopefully sooner :)

But back to your comments! Jackie I think it's smart in your situation to talk about that person in a round about way. In the past I've self-censored in a similar manner and to avoid future removal requests will probably continue to do so.

I hope that I'm never asked by anyone to remove a comment. I feel it's one thing for me to remove or alter my own statements but I do not wish to skew the statements of others even if I may not agree with what they may have to say. I will however cross that bridge when/if I get to it. Hopefully that situation never presents itself.

Thank you again for the feedback! It's much appreciated. I hope you continue to participate in the future when I finally move this blog to

Christine Mortensen
Visual Designer, UX Advocate, Social Medial Maven, Interactive Media Strategist, Blogger, and in my spare time I'm a Runner, Volleyball Player, and Bloody Mary Fan

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