Definition of Harassment

Wednesday, 14 December 2005 at 5:00 am Pacific USA Time.

I’ve had some issues lately with people who don’t understand the word harassment. Let’s see what has to say.

n 1: a feeling of intense annoyance caused by being tormented; "so great was his harassment that he wanted to destroy his tormentors" 2: the act of tormenting by continued persistent attacks and criticism

[French harasser, possibly from Old French harer, to set a dog on, from hare, interj. used to set a dog on, of Germanic origin.]

I like the idea of harassment being comparable to someone setting a dog on you. It’s attacks from someone and you can’t seem to stop them just like you are unlikely to be able to suddenly stop an ongoing dog attack.

That means that if you continually email me attacks or criticism, and I tell you to stop because it’s harassment, I’m right. When I tell you that my spam filter will block you by email address, that doesn’t mean please change your email address so you can keep writing to me. I’ve blocked that one too now.

I think the most interesting tormentor is somebody who read a web page I put up in 1996 about a town I briefly visited on the other side of the world. I took a non-serious look at the town since many people I knew had blown this town way out of proportion in their minds. They figured that since their favorite musicians were born there, it must be some sprawling shrine to them. The town’s nothing like that.

So some random chick has been emailing me trying to get me to take this page down as she feels it insults the town.

  1. She’s 10 years too late. I’d think that if I’m ruining the town, someone might have mentioned it to me by now.
  2. Prove that I personally have hurt the town or its reputation. I’m telling people to go visit, but I’m telling my target audience that it’s not the shrine that they may have thought it was.
  3. I have the right to post a web page about a town I visited and give my opinions of what I saw.
  4. I linked to the town’s local museum on my page. They wanted me to date the page so people would know that their museum had changed since I saw it many years ago, which I did. Other than that, they had no complaints or requests.
  5. The people who were on the trip with me never asked me to change the page because I wrote something inaccurate or unfair. They must have experienced the same thing or felt the same way.
  6. My page is on a semi-official website for the musicians who were born there. Neither the musicians nor the fan club, who are my main contacts, has asked me to change or take down the page.
  7. I enjoyed the town. I didn’t think my page put the town down. It was meant to demonstrate that it’s not a shrine to the people who thought it was, and people did think that.

When this chick got my spam filter’s message that she’d been blocked and I considered her emails harassment, she started writing from another address. She told me that I can’t stop her Freedom of Speech, which allows her to respond to published material. Evidently, her Freedom of Speech is fully in effect even if it harasses me, but I’m not allowed Freedom of Speech to describe my opinion of a town and the experiences of my visit.

Not very compelling! Stop harassing me. I’m allowed to think a town’s court looked like someone’s house. I’m allowed to think the museum was small, and what I saw at the time had everything in one room. The rest was a library. I’m allowed to be oddly impressed at a sizeable statue outside the McDonalds. So stop harassing me.

Careers and lives are ruined every day because of what people publish on websites and in blogs. If this woman is so concerned about how people will think of things after they read them, then perhaps she could turn her attention to what our government is secretly doing, what big US corporations are secretly doing, or the problem of people being completely libelled and their lives ruined. This woman seems to have time and interest, and I’d rather see her solve these problems than harass me because we see a small town differently.

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Categories: That's Bad Marketing

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