Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Obama MySpace followup

It appears that my post about Obama's MySpace page being a front of a t-shirt business got someone's attention. The owner of the page (though there's really no way for me to confirm this, just that who else would spend the time dealing with this) wrote to me. Here's his email:

Hi Ken,

I am the moderator of myspace.com/barackobama, which is (as you know) the largest Obama fan site on Myspace.

After nearly 3 years, and 40,000 unsolicited friend request, I decided to Google around and see what the press and others are saying about the profile I've created. This is how I came across your blog.

I just want to make clear that I do not use this profile as a front to sell t-shirts. I do not own a t-shirt company, nor do I endorse anyone who sells t-shirts or other political apparel.

"Maya", in the top friends, is a personal friend and a strong advocate of Senator Obama and the Democratic Party. She does make her own t-shirts and other items, and if being in the top friends helps her out, I'm glad. I admire her creativity and support her, but I do not benefit from the sale of her products in any way.

I change the top friends often, and at random. Occasionally people ask to be in the top 8 and I put them in indefinitely.

To maintain the dignity of the profile, I am no longer going to include those who are obviously vendors of any products.

I'd appreciate if you could remove or amend your blog, as it may constitute slander and libel of me personally, and this profile I have created.

I am a sincere supporter of Senator Obama, and have invested a tremendous amount of time into this profile as a service to others, and to the service of Senator Obama and his presidential campaign.

I hope that you will understand. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for your consideration.


Here's my reply:
Congratulations on the success of your MySpace page. Unfortunately, when I visited, there was indeed a political t-shirt business on your top 8 friends. That business in turn linked prominently to your own page. I do think that removing any endorsement does add to the credibility of your page. As a matter of practice, I don’t change or amend what I’ve already posted. However, I will post our conversation and my reply.

Also, to consider my post libelous or slanderous is overstatement towards the comical. Just wanted to let you know, it’s not the reason I’m following up. You could have gotten a response without trying to go for the heavy hand. For someone so supportive of a leading Democrat, your sensitivity to criticism and free speech is reminiscent of a conservative. That, my friend, is more damaging to your credibility than my post will ever be.

Good luck with the MySpace page and kudos to you for the effort! Let’s both wish for a Dem in 08.



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