Virginia Beach blogger Vivian Paige has come under fire from Norfolk City Attorney Martha McGann.
While Vivian and I rarely see eye to eye on things political, I must say that I am totally behind her on this one.
See, City Attorney McGann is attempting to hold Vivian responsible for a comment left by a reader.
And I can say from experience, Vivian does not moderate her reader comments. She has a Comment Policy posted on her blog, and from time to time reminds people of that policy, but comments are visible immediately after you leave them.
Ms. McGann faxed a letter to Vivian demanding she remove a comment from one of her posts (here).
Vivian did remove a City worker’s name from the comment, but left the comment. Since the attorney was (ostensibly) concerned with the named individual’s privacy, and this was removed, I believe Vivian Paige has done the correct and decent thing. But had Vivian decided to leave the comment intact, she would still be within her rights and legal obligations.
But the main point of Vivian’s post was, pick up the phone or send an email. You don’t need to send an official letter threatening “damages” and throwing around the weight of a City Attorney’s office right out of the gate. Especially when said Attorney is most likely in the wrong.
I know a number of Virginia bloggers and can say with conviction almost all are passionate in their beliefs, but reasonable people, especially when it comes to something like this.
And, as I said, I question many of Vivian’s posts and totally disagree with most of her beliefs, but Vivian Paige is one of the bloggers I most respect in the state and her integrity is above reproach.
This City Attorney used an unnecessary and heavy handed approach and it puts her judgment as a City Attorney into question. I don’t know or care about the politics in the Norfolk City Attorney’s office, but feel Ms. McGann owes an apology to Vivian Page.