Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Why all the security?

Dawn asked for more information about why we are concerned about internet security all of the sudden. I'm just going to quote the infamous Fizzle's post about it. She is far more eloquent (and cool) than I!

Hypothetical situation.

Here's the set up-

You keep a blog. You write about the regular old adoption crap. The homestudy, nerves, paperwork, Ethiopia/China/Russia/Guatemala.

As you write more, you get in a blog groove and you're like, hey hey! I'm comfortable up in this mug. I've got blog homies. Let's turn the lights down, play some Marvin Gaye and get to know each other better.

So along with all the adoption stuff, you share. You tell the world how you can dance the Cha Cha Cha. You share about the cat's litterbox and how funny you think porn movies are. You give out your favorite cocktail recipe and tell the story about how you got totally tipsy the last time you made that very drink and plunked in to the closest lake with your clothes fully on.

Ah yes, we've arrived to the situation.

Should this admission (the lake plunking, the drinking) lead your placement agency to conclude you have a problem with alcohol? Are an unfit parent?

I totally agree, my situation sounds far-fetched....or is it? A situation came up where a homestudy was asked to be revised based on an adopters blog post. I'm not sure how frequent of a practice lurking is amongst agencies, but it's raising questions amongst many of we adopting bloggers who are both outraged and suddenly reading over our prior posts with a fine-tooth comb.

Does the agency have a right to include blog posts in its homestudy assessment?

I plunk in front of my computer, just like you, and tippity tap away on this here Mac. Sure, I'm private. Yeah, I'm censored. But still. Are my tongue-in-cheek responses going to be the next thing my social worker calls me about?

I don't want that call. I want the "huzzah! get your bambino and go!" call. Not someone tapping me on the shoulder over a questionable use of bad language in a post.

Now this is a hypothetical example. While I don't know the exact situation, I've been told that "... the offending info seemed absolutely and completely insignificant that you would be very surprised." I'm outraged that anyone could read a blog and think it is a factual and accurate representation of the writer. One of the great but scary things about the internet is how easy it is to change your identity.

Needless to say, since we haven't even picked our agency yet we are not too concerned about my random ramblings affecting our adoption at this point. We are concerned that we had enough identifying information posted that when we did pick an agency, they would have no trouble matching the small about of info we had here to the great amount of info we gave them. I'd rather post my ramblings anonymously and without the risk that something I inadvertently mention will jeopardize our adoption.


Fizzle said...

Honored to have been quoted. And referred to as "cool"!

There's been a lot of healthy debate about the issue of anonymity vs. openly blogging and risking inclusion in adoption homestudies.

We shouldn't have to justify our online personas. It's inconceivable that that lady Fizzle who babbles on could really reflect me or how I'd raise my kids...and yet, the reality is that we must protect what we value and consider private and we're learning that the world wide web isn't our small backyard, but sometimes a window in to our life for more than friends and family.

On the other hand, I'm totally for that person who wants to openly write and share and not fear some level of unfair use in a homestudy.

Whichever choice you make is the right one.

Today, I posted a picture of me on my site. (I figure it'll take agencies a while to connect the dots on that one). Just ready to come out of the shadows a bit and take the agencies on, if they're willing to call me on my writing style.

Margaret said...

My blog, while truthful, only really shows one main area of my life (adoption). There's more to me than that... though it is quite all-consuming. Additionally, I often write posts as an avenue for an emotion. Give me a day to process and I'll probably feel more even about whatever frustrated or upset me.

I think it's just plain smart. There is a ton of info that I don't divulge on my blog. Unfortunately my blog has already been outed to my new agency. :-(

Margaret said...

p.s. I really like the new background!

Dawn and Joe De Lorenzo said...

Thanks for the info! It just happened that I read you previous post about security the same day a friend was told by our agency that she shouldn't be so public about her I was starting to panic. Thanks again!

sarah said...

HI, I, too have become very censored in my posts. My venting has become more of a small whine... Anyways, it's nice to see your blog, I hope the process is going well for you!

Anonymous said...

I have noticed that you have added links to many other family blogs on your page. Given your concern over security I would hope that you would ask for permission before linking those blogs to yours. However given that my family's blog is one of those, I know permission was not seeked. Please contact all families before linking their blog to yours.