Publishing blacklists

Subject: Publishing blacklists
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Mon, 5 May 1997 22:21:28 -0500

Mitch Berg proposed that we discuss the idea of creating a
"blacklist" of sorts for unreliable or outright unpleasant
employers or clients. I'd advise strongly against it, for
reasons both ethical and practical. Practical first: if you
slam someone publicly, without having an awfully good body
of evidence to support your claims, you're likely to be
sued for libel or slander, not to mention defamation of
character, and you really don't want to get into this even
if there's a chance you'll win. Ethical last (to leave you
with something to ponder): I'll guarantee you that in any
group of 100 people with gripes against former employers or
clients, at least 1 of these people will be equally guilty,
if not more so. How are you going to screen out the cases
in which someone blames their own problems on someone else?

This isn't a flame, Mitch, because your basic idea is
excellent... I'm just not sure how you could do this safely
and effectively. The grapevine already works reasonably
well for those who are plugged in, and as you note, the
Better Business Bureau exists to serve a similar need.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.

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