First, an update: At present, the whereabouts of Eric Snowden are unknown, though likely that he’s still in Russia. Word on him has been minimal since his widely publicized request for asylum, but what was interesting is that the email service he’d been using- Lavabit- has suspended activity due to concerns over “being complicit in crimes against the American People.” This article helps puts things in more perspective. Going to the Lavabit site only gives an official statement released by Lavabit owner, Ladar Levison. Note the last line.
Something interesting, but sadly becoming more and more commonplace happened on Goodreads last week. You may have heard of it: an intrepid young woman named Lauren Howard (pictured above) on the verge of releasing her self-published novel was attacked, demeaned and threatened on Goodreads by bullies and trolls. Sites like Salon.com, DailyDot and an endless slough of bloggers picked up on her story and ran with it, championing her cause and holding it up as another example of the cesspool that Goodreads has become.
|The current image of Goodreads.|
Except for one small detail: none of it ever happened.
Over the course of last week, Lauren went from accusing people of threatening her to blaming it all on a misunderstanding due to a bout of PMS (and who hasn’t been there?) to finally admitting she’d lied about the whole thing. What’s also becoming all too common is the lack of accountability from these sites and bloggers who when faced with the fact that they ran the story without doing even a minimum of fact checking, none of them were willing to own up to it. Few of them ever bothered to offer up either an apology or even an addendum regarding this. I suppose they’re all following the example of their princess, who deleted all her apologies hours after she’d posted them, so for all you’d know she’d really been threatened. Because that’s what someone who wants to set the record straight does- destroys all contradictory/incriminating evidence. Particularly when it’s all in their own words.
But there are screenshots and twitter feeds that show what happened. You can see it all at my blog here and here. The reason I’m sharing this here is because it’s something that really needs to be disseminated and shown as widely as possible. This woman lied, often and repeatedly, and with no thought to anything than her own aggrandizement. She exposed innocent people to a certain level of danger, slandered and libeled both individuals and a reputable website and then refused to accept any responsibility for it along with refuting the websites who’d been supporting her. And despite her protests to the contrary, she will ultimately try to cash in on it all (Lauren has just launched her own site on Tumblr for book reviews, etc). Sociopath? Or typical internet behavior? You decide.