Once you hit send, privacy is gone
By Joseph P. Kahn Globe Staff / November 15, 2010
The e-mail was clearly misguided in its interpretation of intellectual-property rights and the Internet. It was also dismissive, unapologetic, and, if made public, potentially far more embarrassing to sender than recipient.
If? Try when.
A recent testy e-mail from Cooks Source managing editor Judith Griggs to freelance writer and blogger Monica Gaudio read, in part, "you should be happy we didn't just 'lift' your whole article and put someone else's name on it!'' Gaudio posted the e-mail online, and it went viral. When it did, one question about Griggs's judgment eclipsed all others: How could anyone assume a communication like that would remain private?
With minor variations, the same could be asked of others making news recently with their private-made-public communications, ones that quickly spread to social-media websites like Facebook and Twitter, to gossip sites like Gawker and Deadspin, and to mainstream media sites like Poynter Online - to the chagrin of those who composed them.
Tucker Carlson, who edits The Daily Caller, a political-journalism website, posed as suspended MSNBC host Keith Olbermann in e-mails to a Philadelphia columnist last week, then claimed he did not expect that his prank e-mails would be published.
Campaign staffers for gubernatorial candidate Tim Cahill, the state treasurer, e-mailed state Lottery officials last summer urging them to launch a taxpayer-funded ad campaign likely to benefit him.
Harvard Law School student Stephanie Grace's e-mail to friends about affirmative action and race touched off a furor on the Harvard campus this year.
The NFL is investigating accusations that pro football star Brett Favre sent explicit photos and messages to several women, most notably a New York Jets sideline reporter who worked for the team when he played there. Dozens of golfer Tiger Woods's text messages to one of his mistresses, Joslyn James, were posted on her website in March, tarnishing Woods's image and contributing to his divorce.
What part of "Forward With Attachments'' do these people not seem to understand?