Wednesday, June 23, 2004

I finally got around to taking down the link to Plain Layne. She took her site down weeks ago, spurring a tempest in a teapot, the result of which was a bunch of people deciding that she was a fake and her blog a fiction. As I've said, I think she's probably real, though her name might not be Layne Johnson, and she probably fictionalized at least part of her life (who doesn't). Why? Mostly it's a gut thing, but really it comes down to a lack of convincing evidence either way.

Here's my problem: Some of the folks who read her blog are completely convinced that it was fiction, and they've hit the various archives available to the Internet community and created a nearly complete archive of the site. Now, one of two things is possible here; either she's real, or she's not.

If they're right, and the site's fiction, then they're appropriating the work of a living author and republishing it without her permission and more than likely against her will. That's a bad thing to do.

If they're wrong (which they don't seem to be considering even as a possibility), then she took her blog down for a reason, and they may well do serious harm by reposting it. Just to pull some possible examples, her last few entries talked about romantic relationships on the verge, professional opportunities, and her parents moving to town and becoming more a part of her day to day life. Any or all of these could motivate her to want to be a little less visible on Google. And then there are the psychological issues that can come from living too public a life. Her every decision was weighed and commented on daily by a raucous peanut gallery. It's easy to see why somebody would want to escape that, but I can't see how it'd be helped by having strangers write bad "fanfic" about her life.

As for the good that comes from reposting the site, I can only think of one: entertainment.

So how selfish do you have to be to think that your own entertainment is worth possibly screwing up somebody's life?

No comments: