‘Groundviews’ calling people idiots on Facebook. Classy
Sanjana Hattotuwa has got a personal beef with me, but he’s hiding behind Groundviews and the CPA. Sanjana, if you have something to say, why don’t you say it to my face? I’m here, I’m under my name and I try to be as honest and transparent as I can. You don’t need to hide behind Groundviews or your NGO, just be yourself. If you’re going to make personal attacks, the least you can do is be a person.
I am faced with the odd situation of getting tweets from a website like this:
Groundviews: 7: We apologise to @knightfdn & @ashokanews. They would do well to reconsider @indica’s current & future applications. We rescind support.
This is odd because I never asked Groundviews for anything, and because it comes of as remarkably douchey for a non-human. When one of his readers objected, ‘Groundviews’ just doubled down.
lohang: @groundviews just saying what I feel as one of your readers. that’s all. This is bad, immature and arrogant :)
Groundviews: @lohang On the contrary given strong letter of recommendation to @knightfdn, content now @indica deeply embarrassing. Needed to distance.
As mentioned, however, I never asked Groundviews for anything. I picked up the phone and called Sanjana Hattotuwa. I thought we both understood the tech despite disagreeing on politics. So why is that private conversation coming up on Groundviews? Why is he using that account to try and blacklist me instead of his own name? Why is he trying to blacklist me at all? Simply for disagreeing with him?
He’s done this twice now, though the second time I wasn’t surprised. When I previously asked him why he was publishing my emails, he said emails were effectively public domain. I said I’d prefer my emails to be private and he gave me his word. He of course broke his word and used private emails and phone calls again. At this point I’m used to it, but what does that say about his character? I also found out that I’m not the only one. Any conversation you have with Sanjana can end up on Groundviews if he wants to slag you off.
Sanjana And The CPA
In the same way, Sanjana is using the Center For Policy Alternative, his NGO employer, to spread rumor and outright lies, in this case about me and my family. And the CPA is backing him up. When I tried to join the newsgroup, he denied my request. When I asked his boss, Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu for a right of reply, Sara said that the group was ‘restricted’. Newsletters can be private, fine. But it’s generally considered decent to allow someone to defend themselves where they have been attacked. For Sara, however, that right of reply does not apply to his own organization.
Is this really the character of the CPA and Groundviews? To slander people you disagree with and hide? The Groundviews persona on Twitter and Facebook comes off as a total asshole at times, which is odd because it’s not a person. You get stuff on Facebook like:
You idiot, we post content here not because we agree in toto but because we think it is content worthy engaging with. Geddit? Kapish? Comprende?
When people are like, whoa, Sanjana (or is it Nigel his co-editor?) again doubles down.
Thilina Rajapakse: ?@Groundviews please attack the points and not the person.
Groundviews: What points? A troll who claims we get ‘dollars’ from the ICG to post a link to its report on our Facebook page? That’s a point? Oh my.
I mean, seriously, how mature is that? Does any institutional Twitter go around calling people idiots? You also get comments on Groundviews like
Feel free to defend, interpret, follow heck even venerate him, but there’s that adage that springs to mind with a loose parallel here – when you sleep with dogs, you get up with fleas.
Referring to me of course. So Sanjana thinks I’m (loosely) a dog, fine. Does Groundviews? Are Groundviews and Sanjana the same thing? I don’t think so. So why doesn’t Sanjana just come out and say what he thinks instead of speaking in the royal we all the time?
I Am Just Me
I’m not paid for this and everything I do is under my own name. I never speak as Kottu (a blog community I support) because I am not Kottu. I am just me. I moderate comments on this blog (like Lefroy) but let them write whatever they want about me on Kottu because that space is not me. I’ve tolerated, hosted and promoted slander against myself through Kottu because I respect the community and won’t use its weight for my personal agenda. I won’t even use it to defend myself, beyond writing a post like everybody else. I think that’s the decent and ethical thing to do.
So, Sanjana, if you’ve got issues you don’t need to hide behind Groundviews or the CPA. Just say it. Just come out and say it, and take personal responsibility for your words. I do.
Your Twitter is private and the Groundviews account follows zero people, but I’m sure you can find a way to honestly and ethically debate. At the least, you don’t have to cower behind institutions. If you’re attacking my name, use yours. Don’t besmirch that of Groundviews or the CPA. If you want to take shots at me and my family, if you want to publish private emails and conversations, if you want to blacklist dissent, at least have the decency to do it under your own name. If you’re going to get personal, it’s only polite to be a person.