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by J. Michael Straczynski (JMS).

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 Message
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: Sorry! (jms in hospital)
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 11/2/1996 2:06:00 PM  

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James: let me explain why what you did was a Bad Thing. And let me now
proceed to bust your chops over this.

A rumor like that is started for only one reason: to hurt. By passing it
along, you compound the problem. You become the instrument of their
assault. Too many people have a tendency to take what they see on the
nets as either true, or worth investigating, and they then pass it on to
the next net, and the next net...it becomes a kind of interactive virus,
spreading further.

The result: the small staff at Babylonian were harried with endless
numbers of phone calls. People got annoyed. Time was wasted. I got
pulled out of editing to deal with this. I spent several *hours* last
night tracking this down and posting messages to other systems putting
people's minds to rest. Hours that could (and should) have been spent
writing. Very close friends of mine overseas and elsewhere saw this and
panicked, some were deeply emotionally upset, and would like to get your
throat someplace near their fingers for posting this in the first place.

Make no mistake: though it was not your intent, *you did harm*. As does
anyone who takes what some jerk says in IRC or elsewhere like this and
reposts it without doing the least amount of checking. And don't take the
"I wanted more information" line with me, James. You want information,
all you have to do is send email to the moderators of this forum, who can
call the stage, and find out. Then you have your answer, real easy.
Instead what you did was the effect of lobbing a hand grenade into a herd
of horses.

So don't blame the other person. You posted the original message, and
added two more "clarifications" to it that were equally bogus. You
started the stampede.

"Sorry" doesn't cut it. "Sorry" doesn't restore the lost hours of work,
the annoyed employees, or placate the friends of mine who you deeply
distressed.

Never, ever, ever do this to me again.

Or I will be most upset.

You wouldn't like me when I'm upset, James.


jms

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