There must be some misunderstanding

The Trib’s internet critic, Steve Johnson, doesn’t always have a firm grasp of the issues he’s writing about, but this non-tech-y post really takes the cake:

Jennifer Love Hewitt is protesting unhealthy women’s body expectations after allegedly unflattering bikini photos of her were published on the Web. We’re with you in principle, Jennifer, but isn’t insisting on your blog that you are still a “size 2” part of the same problem?

Sorry, fella, but the reason why a woman like Jennifer Love Hewitt needs to point out that she’s a “size 2” is because someone ought to recognize the stupidity of criticizing a woman for being “fat” even when she is, in fact, a size 2. In doing so, she draws attention to the hypocrisy of expecting a woman – any woman – to keep her body looking the same at 28 as it did at 18.*

I know it’s supposed to be OK to mock someone because they’re pretty and famous, but that doesn’t always make it right.

Speaking of not understanding the Internet, there’s this story from Michael Booth at the Denver Post:

The dirty little secret about the wildly popular Craigslist is that one click away from its home page are some raunchy and often deeply offensive forums inviting blatant racism, rants and sexual kinks.

That’s a secret?

While Craigslist guidelines threaten to cut off users who post offensive or abusive material, in daily practice the site’s handful of full-time employees can’t keep pace flagging and removing rogue entries.

True enough. In fact, that was the exact reason why Craiglist objected to a lawsuit filed against it last year.

This lawsuit ignores the essential nature of craigslist, demanding that we cease treating our users with trust and respect, and instead impose inappropriate, mistake-prone, and generally counter-productive centralized controls…controls which would actually be less effective in catching discriminatory ads than what we have in place currently, and which would vastly reduce the number of legitimate non-discriminatory ads that the site could process.

In fact, it’s up to USERS of Craiglist to flag those posts, not the employees. As Booth acknowledges at the end of the piece:

Buckmaster said user flags result in millions of postings wiped out each month, from about 30 million monthly entries.

Not that it stops him from engaging in a little fear-mongering, including raising the possibility that “your kids” are probably exposed to every manner of filth.

‘Course maybe they’re the ones flagging it all as inappropriate, which ought to make you pat yourself on the back for some good parenting skills.

* This graf originally appeared on the TOC blog, but I was still irked at the end of the day and needed to further vent.

5 comments for “There must be some misunderstanding

  1. Rach=)
    December 6, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    Thanks for the Jennifer Love Hewitt item Scott! I can see her on Tyra’s couch now! :-p

  2. December 6, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    Seems Mr. Johnson needs to distinguish when he’s being serious & when he’s being flip. I’m sure he’ll discover the emoticon any moment.

  3. December 6, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Steve Johnson needs to get bent. Also, and I’m just repeating this because it bears repeating, I’m so glad I’m dating you.

  4. December 8, 2007 at 4:35 am

    I think it is truly sad that ANYONE has to defend their weight in this day and age. Celebrity or not.And yes, her comeback was lame. Who cares if she thinks she is still a size two?! The average American woman wears a size 14 last I heard. Size whatever and proud of it.

  5. December 8, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    Good point, Amy. No one should have to defend choices that they make regarding their weight. I still think it’s good of her to point out that people are mocking someone who’s far below the average size for an American woman. Reminded me of the hazing Britney got during the MTV awards for not looking the same way she did when she was 16.

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