get out of jail free August 5, 2007 12:14 PM   Subscribe

Why are people attempting to help this person's girlfriend?
posted by apple scruff to Etiquette/Policy at 12:14 PM (103 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

She commits a serious felony and manages to hide it from her employer (among other people). She's managed to subvert the background checks process for a decade, and now that some disgruntled person from her past (victim, partner in crime, ex-boyfriend) is seeking revenge, she's afraid her years of deception will come around and bite her in the ass, and is trying to weasel her way out of it with a "misinformation campaign," as someone helpfully suggested.

Plus, the premise of the question is silly: how can I erase publicly available information someone posted the internets, etc.
posted by apple scruff at 12:14 PM on August 5, 2007


Because if she's managed to hide the information for a decade whilst not committing whatever felony it was again in the meantime, chances are she's not going to relapse any time soon?

That, and male answer syndrome.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:21 PM on August 5, 2007


Why are people attempting to help this person's girlfriend?

Because it's AskMe, and that's what it's there for.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 12:22 PM on August 5, 2007 [10 favorites]


Why not?
America is built on the belief in second chance, starting over, new life, against all odds, new beginnings, etc.
posted by bru at 12:22 PM on August 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


I assume she was punished for her crime and has put the episode behind her. One could argue that she needn't be burdened with a Scarlet Letter for the remainder of her life. It is in that spirit that I think people are offering advice. I, personally, have no problem with it.
posted by ericb at 12:23 PM on August 5, 2007


Because we believe in forgiveness and second chances?
posted by LarryC at 12:26 PM on August 5, 2007


What Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese said.
posted by grouse at 12:26 PM on August 5, 2007


Why are people attempting to help this person's girlfriend?

Because the person asked for help on behalf of his girlfriend.

Why do you ask a question bordering on tautology in MetaTalk? Shall we rename it MetaTaut?
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:27 PM on August 5, 2007 [11 favorites]


Thanks for your contribution to Stupid Metatalk Callout Month.
posted by ottereroticist at 12:33 PM on August 5, 2007 [5 favorites]


It's a totally reasonable question. People who want to help can help. If you don't want to help, you don't have to help. People have definitely chimed in that the g'friend may be in a pack of trouble which seems appropriate but the question is answerable and people are answering it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:34 PM on August 5, 2007


Forgiveness and rehabilitation are not the issue. Perhaps if she had disclosed it she would have gotten hired. But from my point of view, I work in the hiring process for a company that has a high number of factory jobs, and quite a few of the people who apply for those jobs have criminal records. Sometimes it stops them from getting the job, and sometimes it does not. But I can only imagine if we hire on someone with a violent past who manages to slip through our process; someone could get hurt, and we'd get in serious trouble, the background check company would get in trouble, and there would be enormous liability issues.
posted by apple scruff at 12:36 PM on August 5, 2007


It just wouldn't be a Sunday a day on MetaTalk without SERIOUS MORAL OUTRAGE.
posted by cmonkey at 12:41 PM on August 5, 2007 [4 favorites]


Just look at what happened to Jean Valjean.
posted by ludwig_van at 12:42 PM on August 5, 2007 [8 favorites]


posted by apple scruff I work in the hiring process for a company that has a high number of factory jobs, and quite a few of the people who apply for those jobs have criminal records. Sometimes it stops them from getting the job, and sometimes it does not. But I can only imagine if we hire on someone with a violent past who manages to slip through our process; someone could get hurt, and we'd get in serious trouble, the background check company would get in trouble, and there would be enormous liability issues.

If your job is carefully reviewing and screening job applicants, perhaps you should spend less time reading MetaFilter and more time doing your damn job.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:43 PM on August 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


the question is answerable and people are answering it.

Thank you for clearing that up!!

My point wasn't literally "why was the question asked" or "why would people answer questions on a board where questions are asked" but rather just my surprise that so many people were willing to contribute to something that seems to ethically dubious. Commenters get bent out of shape over questions about downloading music so I thought this would fall under the umbrella as well.
posted by apple scruff at 12:44 PM on August 5, 2007


Won't somebody PLEASE think of the liability issues?????
posted by grouse at 12:44 PM on August 5, 2007 [7 favorites]


Some people, dare I say, might disagree with the extent that felons are legally discriminated against in this country.

Lame callout.
posted by Matt Oneiros at 12:46 PM on August 5, 2007


But I can only imagine if we hire on someone with a violent past who manages to slip through our process; someone could get hurt, and we'd get in serious trouble, the background check company would get in trouble, and there would be enormous liability issues.

your liability issues and the problems they'd cause for you (or, for her employer) have nothing to do with answering the poster's specific question.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 12:47 PM on August 5, 2007


Commenters get bent out of shape about damn near everything. Must you be one of them?

How about you let us make our own decisions about whether a given AskMe is ethically dubious?
posted by ottereroticist at 12:49 PM on August 5, 2007


That, and male answer syndrome.

it should be noted that, at this comment's posting time, 7/15 comments are by persons of the female persuasion.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 12:50 PM on August 5, 2007 [6 favorites]


Thank you for clearing that up!!

Thank you for your sarcasm!! I thought an admin perspective might be helpful for you but I may have been mistaken.

As I just said in another thread our concern about illegal issues is "what is going to bring the heat down on the site?" which is why the RIAA and the MPAA have our attention and OSHA does not, necessarily.

This person has a question about public information on the internet and how to deal with a situation they have [trying to find a way to unlink that information from his girlfriend's name] which is actually not a "help me break the law" question. I'm sorry if it pushes your personal buttons but as I said it seems that people are responding to the ethical issue [paulsc in specific, others more generally] in ways that address your concerns. That seems to be a better opportunity to actually do something useful instead of just deleting the question.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:51 PM on August 5, 2007


But I can only imagine if we hire on someone with a violent past who manages to slip through our process; someone could get hurt, and we'd get in serious trouble, the background check company would get in trouble, and there would be enormous liability issues.

Think of this as opening a path to a new business opportunity, apple scruff; your new screening company, by offering to continuously monitor the internet for new information about the people it has already screened, for a dollar per month per person, say, simultaneously makes every person it is hired to look at a potential source of continuing income, and insulates itself from liability for anything it failed to find in the first place.
posted by jamjam at 1:02 PM on August 5, 2007


Perhaps if she had disclosed it she would have gotten hired...But I can only imagine if we hire on someone with a violent past who manages to slip through our process; someone could get hurt, and we'd get in serious trouble, the background check company would get in trouble, and there would be enormous liability issues.


Well, why don't you ask askme how you can do a better job of screening applicants?

The questioner says her conviction doesn't come up on background searches, and that's not her problem. People need to have jobs and if I had a conviction that didn't appear on a background search I'd think twice about disclosing it. Honesty vs paying rent; rent is gonna win.
posted by Salmonberry at 1:03 PM on August 5, 2007


If your job is carefully reviewing and screening job applicants, perhaps you should spend less time reading MetaFilter and more time doing your damn job.

That is one silly and gratuitous reproof, fandango_matt. How do you know how much time and effort apple scruff does or doesn't put into his or her work?
posted by orange swan at 1:03 PM on August 5, 2007


By the way, potential parents, this shows why you had better think twice before giving your child a unique name to carry with him or her wherever he or she goes in the 21st century.
posted by jamjam at 1:09 PM on August 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


oh, i agree with fandango_matt. this callout could only have been made by an hr drone. once in awhile i have been excessively judgmental on askme questions, but i had no problem with this one; the right answer (already provided) is to sow as much chaff on the web as they can to obscure the malicious postings.
posted by bruce at 1:12 PM on August 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


If your job is carefully reviewing and screening job applicants, perhaps you should spend less time reading MetaFilter and more time doing your damn job.

Good idea, I should get off Metafilter (I've already made 9 comments this year, 10 counting this one!), and spend this beautiful Sunday working overtime screening job applicants, which has absolutely nothing to do with my job.

Anyway, I think paulsc put it quite well.
posted by apple scruff at 1:13 PM on August 5, 2007


it should be noted that, at this comment's posting time, 7/15 comments are by persons of the female persuasion.

Thanks for clearing that up, I was seriously worried on my own behalf for about 18 comments.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:14 PM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


By the way, potential parents, this shows why you had better think twice before giving your child a unique name to carry with him or her wherever he or she goes in the 21st century.

Hmmm, so much for Coffeetable, Lawnchair and Spoon Superhero.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:16 PM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


We likez helpin'.
posted by SassHat at 1:17 PM on August 5, 2007


Just answer the question, unless you want to wake up with a huge grin about three inches too low, compliments of Miz Anonymous!
posted by hermitosis at 1:24 PM on August 5, 2007


Wow. I hope you never find yourself needing people's help you self-righteous asshole.
posted by delmoi at 1:25 PM on August 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


I think it's a valid call-out and I think Paulsc gave the only good answer in the thread.
posted by empath at 1:28 PM on August 5, 2007


Apple scruff - dick of the week!
posted by xmutex at 1:35 PM on August 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


We wanted to do her a favor, and someday — and that day may never come — We’ll call on her for a service for us. But, uh, until that day, she'll accept this justice as a gift on our websites’s wedding day...
posted by jonmc at 1:36 PM on August 5, 2007


(see, your dealing with MeFiosi. Don Matteo, his consiglieri Jessamina, Cortexio & of course Quonsigliere, and his caporegimes Amberglosa and Giovanni Mc. We are currently embroiled in a war with the Farkaglia family.)
posted by jonmc at 1:41 PM on August 5, 2007 [9 favorites]


Fark is long dead to us. The real enemy is Diggo family. Also, don't mention Fredo
posted by delmoi at 1:44 PM on August 5, 2007


Grazie, Delmoi Brasi.
posted by jonmc at 1:45 PM on August 5, 2007


We need the death penalty for every crime.
posted by davy at 1:46 PM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


By the way, potential parents, this shows why you had better think twice before giving your child a unique name to carry with him or her wherever he or she goes in the 21st century.

It may be an uncommon last name and a very common first name (like I have), which isn't so much chosen as inherited.
posted by oaf at 1:52 PM on August 5, 2007


Me too, oaf.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:55 PM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow, there've been a lot of tone-deaf, stupid callouts of AskMe threads lately, but this one takes the cake. Here, write this on your forehead backwards:

AskMe questions often make some of us uncomfortable. That is not an excuse to question their existence on AskMe.
posted by mediareport at 1:56 PM on August 5, 2007


I'm not questioning the existence of the question, but the thought behind the answers.
posted by apple scruff at 1:58 PM on August 5, 2007


And you titled your question "Get out of jail free." Do you know anyone who's tried to put their life together after being in prison? Because you're being really insulting about the whole thing.
posted by mediareport at 2:04 PM on August 5, 2007 [5 favorites]


I'm not questioning the existence of the question, but the thought behind the answers.

Righteousness. Gets you into all sorts of trouble.
posted by carsonb at 2:04 PM on August 5, 2007


apple_scruff, the thought behind most of the answers on AskMe is that people deserved to be helped when they're in need of something, be it big or small. The premise of a Western/American/UK criminal system is that once you've served your time, you're entitled to go on and live your life. That's why people are answering. Not everyone is as judgemental and heartless as yourself. Jesus.
posted by saturnine at 2:09 PM on August 5, 2007


I love all things apple, apple pie, turnovers, nowlaters, apple scented stuff, regular apples (gala and pink ladys!), macintosh computers, apple trees & pictures of naked women with apples.

However, I do not like apple scruff. Bitter stuff, that scruff.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:13 PM on August 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


I think apple scruff is what you get when you spend too much time in front of your Mac and forget to shave. I say this from experience.
posted by oaf at 2:17 PM on August 5, 2007 [4 favorites]


Do you know anyone who's tried to put their life together after being in prison?

Yes, in fact I work with them all the time, if you read my above comment. I believe in second chances and starting over, and I help people with it all the time. But it's a challenge for lots of people, because most of them are honest and upfront about the stupid things they did earlier in life, and not everyone is willing to forgive them. So they have to work hard to get their life back on track. So I get annoyed when I see that some people are able to do all that stupid stuff, but then bypass the consequences.
posted by apple scruff at 2:17 PM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I agree that a major problem is the with-holding from the employer. She's just in for a world of trouble with that one. However, I see nothing wrong with the question itself, and in fact, I think one of the items you are calling out is dead wrong: The premise of the question is silly: how can I erase publicly available information someone posted the internets, etc.

That question is actually a GREAT question. And I mean that with all sincerity. A lot of stuff gets attributed to your name on the internet and you don't always want to to be the case.

As an anecdote, the old old AOL homepage of one of my friends from high school still exists. It includes a "friends list," which was all the rage back then, complete with names and descriptions, including one for me. Some porn site stole the info from her site verbatim (my name and description, which includes obviously apparent identifying details) and used it in the metadata promoting the site's "girls." Anyway, it came up in Google - thus giving me an illustrious porn career that I do not possess - and I flipped out. This question, though not asked on my behalf, becomes quite useful to me as an AskMe user. (And as it turns out, I actually took one of the paths suggested, though the other ideas are useful too.)

If the question offends your sensibilities, that's fine, there's a bunch of stuff on here that's just as bad or worse. But don't get mad because people are answering the question.
posted by ml98tu at 2:20 PM on August 5, 2007


So I get annoyed when I see that some people are able to do all that stupid stuff, but then bypass the consequences.

Well, that's a bigger problem then we could solve here in Metatalk, now isn't it? You might want to take it up with (deity of your choice).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:22 PM on August 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


So I get annoyed when I see that some people are able to do all that stupid stuff, but then bypass the consequences.

Yeah, that's the part you should have sat on. Your annoyance. The question is being answered, in multiple ways, perfectly well, including answers that express concerns about the gf's lack of honesty. This snarky MeTa callout is far more disgusting than anything in the AskMe thread.
posted by mediareport at 2:23 PM on August 5, 2007


i'm not questioning the existence of the question, but the thought behind the answers.

okay, let me try to explain it from my perspective. some of us see social issues as labor versus capital, workers versus bosses (and this isn't limited to socialists, there's some libertarians here too). we on the side of the people see you as a corporate tool, a low-level house servant in the invisible scullery of capital. your indignation and bruised sensibility that this woman could evade your background checks is palpable. i can only hope that my satisfaction that an individual can still turn around in 2007 and start a better life free of your judgmental oversight is equally palpable.
posted by bruce at 2:23 PM on August 5, 2007 [11 favorites]


in fact I work with them all the time,

I was talking about friends.
posted by mediareport at 2:23 PM on August 5, 2007


So I get annoyed when I see that some people are able to do all that stupid stuff, but then bypass the consequences.

Historically, coming up on Google searches has not been considered part of the "consequences." You seem to equate this with helping someone break out of prison.

If this person doesnt show up on background checks, then it doesnt show up on background checks. You're not asking not to break the current reach of the system, you are asking to extend it to where it has never extended before.

This is the part that I, and I think others, find completely unreasonable.
posted by vacapinta at 2:27 PM on August 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


This callout is a perfect example of the totalitarian mind in action.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:30 PM on August 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


apple scruff's profile describes her as a "mary kay saleslady". am i correctly given to understand here that the ranks of mary kay salesladies are rife with ex-cons?
posted by bruce at 2:39 PM on August 5, 2007


So they have to work hard to get their life back on track. So I get annoyed when I see that some people are able to do all that stupid stuff, but then bypass the consequences.

Huh? The consequence is whatever is handed down by the Judge. Anything else is just self-righteous wankery by people like you who enjoy making other people suffer, while hiding behind the guise of "liability"
posted by delmoi at 2:43 PM on August 5, 2007


apple scruff's profile describes her as a "mary kay saleslady". am i correctly given to understand here that the ranks of mary kay salesladies are rife with ex-cons?

I'll bet they like hiring people furloughed from Joe Arpaio's open-air gulag, since they're already used to wearing pink.
posted by felix betachat at 2:48 PM on August 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


This callout is a perfect example of the totalitarian mind in action.

There is no escape from the panopticon!
posted by ludwig_van at 2:50 PM on August 5, 2007


apple scruff -- I suspect you're still wondering if that fight you had with Cindy Loo-Hoo in the "Girls" washroom in 3rd Grade is still on your "permanent record."

Pssst. I don't think the folks at Mary Kay Cosmetics give a "flying-fuck" about it. Chill. Chill.
posted by ericb at 3:07 PM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


o hai. i can haz bakgrownd chek?
posted by The Deej at 3:10 PM on August 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


But I can only imagine if we hire on someone with a violent past who manages to slip through our process; someone could get hurt, and we'd get in serious trouble, the background check company would get in trouble, and there would be enormous liability issues.

Moot point in this situation, since anonymous never indicated the felony. It could easily be "check fraud" and not "assault-and-battery." Since it doesn't show-up in standard background checks, it's likely of a "less-than-violent" nature.
posted by ericb at 3:21 PM on August 5, 2007


[chaff] My name is Thomas Edward Topham, and I am not interested in purchasing marijuana. [/chaff]
posted by Meatbomb at 3:26 PM on August 5, 2007


WWMRD?
posted by delmoi at 3:27 PM on August 5, 2007


So I get annoyed when I see that some people are able to do all that stupid stuff, but then bypass the consequences.

What do you care if your brother ditches school?

Everybody else has to go

You could ditch.

I'd get caught.

You're pissed off because he ditches and doesn't get caught, is that it?

Basically.

Your problem is you.

Excuse me?

Worry about yourself, not about what your brother does. That's just an opinion.

What are you, a psychiatrist? Keep your opinions to yourself.

There's somebody you should talk to.

If you say Ferris Bueller, you lose a testicle.

Oh, you know him?

posted by kisch mokusch at 3:57 PM on August 5, 2007 [9 favorites]


apple scruff, anyone who has been on the bad side of an HR department likes anonymous's girlfriend a lot better than you, even if her felony was RPG'ing a hybrid-fueled bus full of orphans.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:00 PM on August 5, 2007 [13 favorites]


I've worked with some ex-offenders; the barriers to re-entering society are already brutal without someone with a petty beef making things difficult ten years down the road. I have a client who was on the streets for almost two years after being released; she did five years for an armed robbery she committed during her crack addiction. Nobody would rent to her (in the ghetto landlords do criminal checks) and nobody would hire her.

In those two years on the streets she did not reoffend and she did not relapse. Yet she still hasn't found her way back into the labor market because an armed robbery is one of the worst things you could possibly have on your record from an employment stand point.

This woman has a substantial record of positive involvement in her community, with her church, her family, social service programs. She did her time and has evidence to support the assertion that she is rehabilitated. But she still can't get a job. She's barely maintained her rent this past year through grey-market employment opportunities provided by caring community members.

She feels that the institutional barriers to basic necessities like housing and employment for felons returning from prison constitutes oppresion and I agree with her. She feels that these barriers have been erected to force offenders to re-offend and essentially spend their lives behind bars. I kind of agree with her on that one, too.

Ten years without reoffending is a long time. When do we let ex-offenders become average citizens again? How much more penance do they need to pay beyond the time they did behind bars?
posted by The Straightener at 4:13 PM on August 5, 2007 [28 favorites]


am i correctly given to understand here that the ranks of mary kay salesladies are rife with ex-cons?

of course ... haven't you ever heard of the rouge gallery?
posted by pyramid termite at 4:15 PM on August 5, 2007 [4 favorites]


apple scruff, your biggest concern is that (OMG) she might have lied to her employer? World's tinyest fucking violin is getting a work-out over here...
posted by Jimbob at 4:20 PM on August 5, 2007


termite, i hear there's a new tv drama series in pre-production, prison blush.
posted by bruce at 4:30 PM on August 5, 2007


i had a friend who tried to leave mary kay and found the head of a my little pony in her bed covers
posted by pyramid termite at 4:39 PM on August 5, 2007 [9 favorites]


I know someone who had a felony drug possession conviction back during the '70s, which doesn't show up on background checks. He's a great guy, and now a university professor. I would hate to think of some pusillanimous douchebag going out of his way to make this guy suffer for some mistake he made, even if it's arguably fraud to not disclose his conviction when he's hunting for teaching gigs.

That's why I'd be glad to help, had I anything to add, anonymous's girlfriend. And why I'd think anyone trying to stand in front of a normal life for an ex-con is likely a tin-pot authoritarian asshole.
posted by klangklangston at 4:43 PM on August 5, 2007


apple scruff, anyone who has been on the bad side of an HR department likes anonymous's girlfriend a lot better than you

Personally, I don't much care about convicted felons. They've served their time.

However, I'd like to see all perps involved in Multi-Level Marketing activities put on a register so that we give them the shunning they so richly deserves
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:12 PM on August 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


Oooh, shunnings! You know, we here at MeFi do spankings and bannings, but shunnings are a whole new world!
posted by orange swan at 5:19 PM on August 5, 2007


I get annoyed when I see that some people are able to do all that stupid stuff, but then bypass the consequences.
Yeah, because your justice system requires that, not only do people have to serve the penalty imposed under the law, but they must continue to be punished for the rest of their life by being denied gainful employment with no relationship between their crime and the job role. So much for the concept of being considered as forgiven once having paid the penalty required by society.
posted by dg at 5:24 PM on August 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'm a big fan of shunning!. We need to figure out a way to work more shunning into the MetaVerse.

That would be awesome.
posted by oddman at 5:56 PM on August 5, 2007


apple scruff: I believe in second chances and starting over, and I help people with it all the time. But it's a challenge for lots of people, because most of them are honest and upfront about the stupid things they did earlier in life, and not everyone is willing to forgive them. So they have to work hard to get their life back on track. So I get annoyed when I see that some people are able to do all that stupid stuff, but then bypass the consequences.

As much as I like a good pile-on, I think you have a point. I too believe in accountability; I believe that one should be held accountable for his/her actions and face the consequences. Where we part ways is that you seem to feel that you get to decide what those consequences are.

That's what the justice system is for. From what I've read justice has been meted out and why it is anyone else's business is beyond me. Human resources can do the HR thing and if she should be caught in a lie she will once again face the consequences for something she did ten years ago. Or, she will continue to fulfill her job requirements, pay her taxes and carry on as she has been for ten fucking years.

BTW, AskMeFi helped keep me sane during a brief incarceration last year. You would have loved that thread, all sorts of people helping a convicted (kinda) criminal enjoy jail.
posted by cedar at 6:54 PM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


*shuns oddman*
posted by cgc373 at 6:55 PM on August 5, 2007


Dude, cedar, you are supposed to follow up on those threads! I've wondered how that all worked out for you.

You can tell us. We'll keep it on the downlow.
posted by cgc373 at 6:57 PM on August 5, 2007


cgc373,

It didn't go badly at all.

Unfortunately, by the time I got around to following up the original thread was closed and I've given up on MeTa posts.

Ninety-days turned into sixty despite a crazy judge who have kept me ten years given half a chance. I read, I masturbated, I wrote lots of letters and got fat. That's about it.
posted by cedar at 7:01 PM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


cedar!

I too read that AskMe with interest and followed your (former?) blog for a spell. Glad to see you back.
posted by yeti at 7:19 PM on August 5, 2007


I read, I masturbated, I wrote lots of letters and got fat. That's about it.

I half want to cross-post this into the next thread and ask that it be my MetaFilter obituary.
posted by danb at 7:21 PM on August 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: I read, I masturbated, I wrote lots of letters and got fat.
posted by fandango_matt at 8:04 PM on August 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


I remember that thread, too. Read anything good?
posted by salvia at 8:15 PM on August 5, 2007




Aw, shucks.

My first tagline©.
posted by cedar at 8:28 PM on August 5, 2007


I read, I masturbated, I wrote lots of letters and got fat.

OK, there appears to be a decent chance I may be in prison right now.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:31 PM on August 5, 2007 [8 favorites]


oddman writes "I'm a big fan of shunning!. We need to figure out a way to work more shunning into the MetaVerse."

It's been done.
posted by Mitheral at 8:46 PM on August 5, 2007


BTW, AskMeFi helped keep me sane during a brief incarceration last year. You would have loved that thread, all sorts of people helping a convicted (kinda) criminal enjoy jail.

The thread is closed, but you should post an update somewhere. How was it?
posted by delmoi at 9:12 PM on August 5, 2007


Oops, I should have read the whole thread.
posted by delmoi at 9:16 PM on August 5, 2007


There's no relationship between an ideal of honesty and sensible control of information.

I have a criminal record (no felonies, just an OCD penchant for shoplifting and grandeur some years ago), have been victimized by a felon (21 year old driving drunk 105 mph in a rental car rolled me into a ditch, no restitution yet received whatsoever), and have a friend who's recently out of jail for felony drug charges (100% reformed and an inspiration to me). I think the fact that as a crook, but moreso, a felon, you've served a sentence, paid fines, and will never henceforth be able to vote or collect federal financial aid for your education but continue to contribute taxes for same is, on balance, reason enough to evade having your secrets revealed to anyone you don't decide to inform.

Fucking around with internet content is mere shades off of protecting your privacy via conventional means. Sure, in the worst case scenario, wherein she's employed in violation of the law, say as a child-molesting day care provider, the horror, the horror, this girl might get in trouble as a consequence of hiding this information, but unless she commits another crime, there's no guarantee of the activity discussed in the AskMe question constituting harm to anyone, and is therefore not necessarily unethical. If she commits another crime, well that's the bigger problem.

Damn the man, strive for benevolent pragmatism, and CYA.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:25 PM on August 5, 2007


"This callout is a perfect example of the totalitarian mind in action."

BINGO.
posted by davy at 9:35 PM on August 5, 2007


Ambrosia Voyeur, I agree, damn near entirely, with everything you have said.

I did want to touch on this: ...and will never henceforth be able to vote or collect federal financial aid for your education but continue to contribute taxes..."

This isn't necessarily true. In many states you never lose your right to vote. In a few you can vote from prison. Hell, in a very few, you can have a gun.

In almost all states you can petition for relief. I know convicted felons who are lawyers, doctors, and yes, even teachers. I know it's a rocky road but I'm not pessimistic enough to see it as unnavigable.
posted by cedar at 10:04 PM on August 5, 2007


cedar: Thanks for the information. Gives me more incentive to go after that 21 year old for my losses.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:33 PM on August 5, 2007


so many people were willing to contribute to something that seems to ethically dubious.

ethically holding something over someone's head for the rest of their life seems more wrong to me. If they are not in jail; the society is saying that they can be free. (nor should you be liable for not checking, or not being able to check). ....certain jobs may require a full clean record, most do not.
posted by jeblis at 5:00 AM on August 6, 2007


the irony here is that, had anybody tried to ask MeFi how they can lie about their resume and scam their employers or prospective employers, they would have been buried under an avalanche of insults, and maybe the thread would have been deleted.

but if the person asking a question about how to better lie about their resume is a convicted felon, then all of MeFi is happy to help, and the question stays, and the insults fly against the unlucky user who dared bring the issue to MetaTalk.

the lesson here: when in doubt about a possibly improper question on AskMeFi, just say that you're a convicted felon, even if it's untrue. you'll be better off that way.
posted by matteo at 8:55 AM on August 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


(and I say this as somebody who's generally appalled by much of the American criminal justice / prison system, and by how little protection American workers usually have when compared to their European counterparts. but still I think it's funny)
posted by matteo at 8:57 AM on August 6, 2007


There have been lots of positive AskMes from people wanting to hide stuff on their resume ranging from negative jobs, to gaps in employment, to lack of experience.
posted by Mitheral at 9:34 AM on August 6, 2007


I think, too, a lot of the 'negative' answers to 'hide something on an application' questions are along the lines of 'It's not worth it, if you get caught, they can and will fire you then and there for lying on your app, even if they don't find out until years later.' It's not that people don't think that's kinda stupid (if the degree was actually required for the job, they wouldn't have been doing the job without one for the last 5 years, or whatever), it's just that they think it's not worth the risk.

The girlfriend's already been working at this place for years, and presumably whatever lying she did on her application is already done--if she comes clean now, she's most likely as screwed as if they discover her record themselves. She can't go back in time and fix her application, and the risk that she'll get fired if she comes clean is way too high to go that route.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:48 AM on August 6, 2007


The girlfriend's already been working at this place for years

Where did the poster say that?
posted by item at 2:59 PM on August 6, 2007


I may have interpolated that based on how long ago her felony was. But it's not really a key point in what I was saying--which was 'convincing people not to risk a lie before they do it is quite a lot different from telling them to come clean once they've already lied'.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:03 PM on August 6, 2007


Trōō thət.
posted by item at 4:39 PM on August 6, 2007


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