An Open Letter To Charles Carreon
Dear Mr. Carreon,
I've written some harsh things about you here in the course of covering the dispute that erupted when you sent a cease-and-desist letter to Matt Inman of The Oatmeal. You, in turn, have had some strong language about me at various locations including your site "Rapeutation.com." You accuse me of a "reign of terror" on this blog against people I criticize. You also assert that there should be a tort of "Distributed Internet Reputational Attack" allowing plaintiffs to sue when they experience a sustained online attack on their reputation.
I propose an online public debate on these topics.
May I suggest the following:
1. We will each pick one nominee, and those two nominees will agree on a moderator.
2. The moderator will choose where online to post our respective input in the debate.
3. Once a week, for six weeks, one of us will pose a question to the other, or make an assertion. The other will then have a set time to respond — shall we say four days? — and then the initiator of that cycle may reply within two days.
4. We will trade off on initiating questions or assertions. You may go first if you want.
5. We will email our input to the moderator, who will post it and have sole control over it, so that neither of us might fear a biased forum.
6. We can allow comments, or not, at your option.
7. The moderator can be empowered to delete personal attacks, or not, at your option.
8. We will agree not to pose questions that would require the other to breach attorney-client confidences or otherwise interfere with professional duties. So, for instance, I would not ask you to reveal communications between you and your client, FunnyJunk, nor would I seek your evaluation of a ruling against you in a pending case.
9. We will agree that the topics will relate to the intersection of free speech, reputation, online culture, and the role and duties of an attorney. If you agree, the permitted subjects may also include the statements we have made about this public dispute.
10. I will offer two examples. The first is this: "Submitted: the tort of Distributed Internet Reputational Attack, as proposed by Mr. Carreon, cannot be reconciled with the First Amendment as interpreted by modern courts, nor with the value of freedom of expression." The second is this: "Mr. Carreon: on your web site Rapeutation.com, you list 'David Blade,' Craig Brittain, and Chance Trahan as 'victims' of my 'reign of terror.' Can you explain in what sense they are 'victims,' and in what sense my writing about them is a 'reign of terror?'
Mr. Carreon, I would be happy to entertain proposals from you for amendments to this debate procedure.
Very truly yours,
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