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A blog intended to cover things I have no intention whatsoever of rehashing at any time at Rerum Novarum
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[:::....Any correspondence will be presumed eligible for blogging unless the sender otherwise specifies (cf. Welborn Protocol. (Though name and email information will not be posted without explicit request to do so by the sender.) All copyrights for the material at the Miscellaneous weblog are identical to those as listed at Rerum Novarum.

:: Friday, January 27, 2006 ::

Clarifying My Policy Viz. Private Correspondence:

Strangely enough, Rerum Novarum is fast approaching its 1800th posting and the subject about to be touched on here has never been discussed in the manner it is about to be. While normally that is not a problem, in this case it pertains to a subject which involves a principle of action which has been in force for a long time. (However, until recently your host saw no reason to delve into the matter.) Nonetheless, in light of a recent breach of the private forum conversation-wise, it seems appropriate to finally clarify for the readers the extent of how The Welborn Protocol applies to Rerum Novarum and how it is generally exercised there and on all other weblogs to which your host is a contributor to. Thus, without further ado, here is the passage in question:

Any correspondence will be presumed eligible for blogging unless the sender otherwise specifies. This is referred to as the Welborn Protocol and is a policy that will be followed at Rerum Novarum. (Though name and email information will as a rule not be posted without explicit request to do so by the sender.)

What is noted above can be characterized as what I call "general norms" in how these matters are dealt with. I cannot recall offhand blogging stuff that senders have asked not to except in the case of certain venomous sorts who have requested confidentiality in order to insult me in private while acting another way in public. It has been a long time since I have blogged some of that stuff to fisk but on occasion I will do that as a way of keeping those sorts apprised that what is kept confidential is only kept so because of my good graces if you will.

There is another principle I have always followed and essentially it is this: if someone sends me a note requesting confidentiality on a particular subject matter, I almost always consider all subsequent emails sent on that subject matter from that emailer to have the same promise of confidentiality that I make when responding to the first note in the series. The reason for this should be obvious: they had already requested the thread to be private so by logical extension subsequent installments are also covered by that cloak unless or until the sender consents at some point for that material to be posted. As a result of this, I get emails from time to time from people who would be considered (by the casual reader) "public enemies" of mine where they do not specify confidentiality and their stuff does not get posted. The reason for this is spelled out in the principle as noted above.{1} However, there is an exception to the above principle which in light of recent events bears noting; ergo I will do so in this clarification thread and at this time:

When a thread of discussion is started and someone requests privacy, confidentiality, etc. to the thread and then takes the thread itself or the conversation subjects contained in that thread public.

Once one of those things happens, the person in question has violated the private forum. For that reason, on those subjects they have revoked any previous promise I may have made to them for confidentiality. Furthermore, such revocations are retroactive to the beginning of that particular thread so anyone who tries to trap me in a promise of confidentiality with the mind to make public what has agreed to be kept in the private forum would be wise to not even try such schemes because it will backfire on them.

I take the private forum and its confidentiality very seriously. And while it is true that I sometimes post emails I receive on subjects; nonetheless, when I do this, I as a rule note at the beginning of the response that the material so sent may well be blogged at some point with the parties involved in the thread having their identities kept confidential. Furthermore, once a rapport has been established with someone in private, they need not worry about future threads on subjects where confidentiality has been promised as they retain the same promise as originally made to the first correspondence on the matter. An exception to this rule is what is noted in the paragraph preceding this one. With regards to the latter, it bears noting (once again) that when that kind of violation happens, all bets are off viz. any promises I have made (overtly or covertly) to keep the material exchanged on the subjects involved confidential.

In summary, I have always held that those who do not respect the private forum do not deserve to benefit from confidentiality protocols to the extent that they do not adhere to those protocols themselves. Hopefully what is noted here clarifies once again and in significantly greater detail the manner whereby your host has dealt with these matters not only from day one of Rerum Novarum's existence but even prior to its existence by not a few years.


{1} Another reason for this is my inherent sense of fair play.

:: Shawn 11:00 AM [+] ::


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