For the first time since I started this site in May 2003, I have exercised self-censorship and removed some content. I have deleted the articles Opportunity Of A Lifetime? and Opportunity Knocks and all comments associated with them. What started as a name and shame exercise in response to just another piece of unsolicited e-mail, has turned into something rather unpleasant. I have been contacted by lawyers—both imaginary and real—and asked to remove all the content about the individual mentioned in the original articles.
I believe in free speech and have researched my online rights in this matter. The fact is that I am guilty of no more than expressing my opinion and creating a means for others to do the same. I have no doubt in my mind that this matter wouldn’t get anywhere near a court of law, at least not in my country. In spite of this, and after a great deal of thinking, I have decided to concede to the demands made and pull the content.
Although the part of me that has been greatly angered by what has happened would like to turn this into a crusade against these sort of reprehensible bullying tactics and those who hide their dodgy dealings behind the anonymity of the Internet, there are numerous such sites already—including some which also mention this individual. The important thing is that I did not start this website as a crusade against such people. I did so to give myself an online voice and to write about matters that interest me and to perhaps even stimulate some debate around them.
Entering into personal wars with people around the globe whom I’ve never met (and have no desire to), or spending time and money dealing with lawyers does not interest me. I’d rather do something positive with my time. If the individual concerned wants to give their money to the legal profession then that’s their business. Let me be clear that I wish to draw a line under this matter and will be ignoring any further correspondence regarding it, for I have done as requested. To avoid further legal wranglings, any comments posted in response to this article that contain the name of the person or their company will be edited or deleted by me.