Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Quick Update on Moni v Transparency International

A quick Moni update, and then on to a new subject for today. As I mentioned last night, an office manager named Dagmar Schroder (thanks for the info Ingmar) said yesterday that the company would not be pursuing a lawsuit against Moni. However, today the company refused to provide notice in writing to Moni’s lawyer that a suit would not be pursued, leaving ambiguity in the Moni camp. What’s more, TI went back on the offensive, as a member of their board took interviews with two online magazines, claiming that Moni was 100% wrong in her depiction of the events.

Ever feel like the board member is missing the point? TI was legally allowed to fire Moni’s friend, I don’t think anyone questions that. Some might say it’s not nice, and I would agree; others might even think it’s immoral, and I would think that’s going too far; But no one disputes that TI had the right to fire the original worker. What TI did not have the right to do, what TI never had the right to do, was to intimidate Moni to take down the posts. And that is what the world is objecting so strongly to. And frankly, the letters from TI to Moni, which have been published, are proof that Moni was correct, at the very least, on that part of the story.

How factual the initial story isn’t as important as the intimidation, which is substantiated. People are fired without just cause all the time, and often the reasons given move from not fair to immoral. As free societies, we have the right to let our opinions be heard on these subjects, just as TI has the right for their opinion to be heard. But the intimidation is the real problem, and TI has not come to grips with this yet. As a result, Moni’s lawyer has filed a countersuit against Transparency International. I am not sure of the specifics of the suit, but I would guess it is simply a suit to require written confirmation that no suit will be filed against Moni. Time will tell.

One final note is that Moni has been receiving a great deal of hate male, and part of it is a result of my posting a picture of her with her child yesterday. I would like to offer my deepest apologies for causing any additional harm to Moni, as my intention was never to try to raise additional sympathy for Moni or her situation, but rather to show what I think is a brave and charming family. Moni did not suggest I post that picture, but rather gave me access to her Flickr account, at my request, to find a picture I liked, and that was what I chose.

As such, if you have any problems, you should bring them to me instead of to her, she did not post the photo, and she is not trying to garner international support. I don’t know Moni at all, but I see this as a case that goes to the heart of free speech, and I further believe that questioning it provides strong access to some fundamental questions about our society and our motivations. I have requested the information, from Moni, from Larko, from officials at Transparency, and from other people blogging about the incident.

So instead of being a coward and sending hate mail to a person who is already defending herself from a huge company with infinite resources, how about sending that hate male to me, where it really belongs. I may not be as nice about it as Moni will be, but then, if you really feel the problem is the photo or the international coverage, you’re at least going after the right source. Or alternatively, you can get a grip, and realize that this is a case of some big company trying to bully an individual, and getting caught with their hand in the cookie jar. And the only reason you don’t want the photo or don’t want the international coverage is because you’re embarrassed to be defending actions like these.

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Posted by Scottage at 2:09 PM / | |