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Off Topic: Don’t Bully the Bloggers

April 11, 2007

I try not to do too many non-health-related posts on this blog, but your little librarian is incredibly riled up about how a fellow blogger is being treated by JL Kirk & Associates. Kat, the blogger at Just Another Pretty Farce is being threatened with legal action and a demand that she take down commentary that was critical of her experience with JL Kirk, a “placement firm” that purports to help people find jobs (for a sizeable fee).

Brittney at Nashville is Talking has a great roundup, but here’s a summary, where the party with the most money thinks they should be able to control the other party’s speech.

-Kat writes a lengthy blog post describing the experience she and her husband (the job-seeker) had when they visited the JL Kirk offices. Among the oddities, Kat reports, “They wanted to schedule a second interview which required my presence as a Support Person/Spouse/Significant Other.” In order to get help being placed in a position, they were instructed to “put $4,420 on a credit card today.”

-An individual claiming to be the JL Kirk representative Kat and her husband met with left a lengthy comment on the original post, including details that should have never been shared by a professional of any stripe (some of which were fabricated), such as “Mr. Coble was unemployed because he quit his former position…in excess of 6 weeks before he was interviewed by JLK-A. The circumstances of this unemployment would indicate that direction is an issue. Also, his former salary was $20,000 less than his career high, so it would indicate as a job seeker Mr. Coble has had difficulty with sustained upward mobility.” I think most of us would be appalled to find that someone we did business with would share this type of information on the internet, even if it is not accurate.

-Kat posted the comment along with her response (she has recently moved from Blogger to WordPress), including notes as to which of the Kirk representative’s statements were false.

-Kat then received a certifed letter from Alan E. Korpady of the law firm King & Ballow, which she posted, accusing her of defamation for posting her comments. The letter demands that “you take down the blog entry regarding JL Kirk Associates together with the entire thread of comments. We further demand that you cease and desist from any further attempts to injure and interfere with the business of JL Kirk Associates. It is regrettable that you decided not to engage the services of JL Kirk Associates. That, however, does not entitle you to publish defamatory statements in an attempt to interfere with its business. If you do not comply with these demands on or before April 13, 2007, JL Kirk Associates intends to sue you for damages.

Bloggers come out of the woodwork to support Kat against the bullies.

If JL Kirk & Associates wanted to avoid negative PR and damaged public perception of their business, serving a blogger with a bogus threat is not the way to do it. If we bloggers are good at anything, it’s outraged, lightning-fast communication – check the comment threads at any of the links above. Kat is one of the kindest, most honest people I have had the pleasure of meeting through “the blogosphere.” There will be no shortage of people willing to stand up for her. Make no mistake – Kat’s freedom of speech is being threatened because she had the temerity to voice her opinion. We don’t roll that way in libraryland.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. April 11, 2007 3:37 pm

    “We don’t roll that way in libraryland.”

    God, I love you librarians.

  2. April 11, 2007 3:41 pm

    I’ve got a big crush too.
    Go Librarians.
    Rachel, I see you as a librarian who kick some major butt!

  3. April 11, 2007 3:44 pm

    Awww. Thanks.

  4. April 11, 2007 3:45 pm

    Wow. Great post. I did my own pro-Kat screed over on my blog, but I should have just pointed people here instead.

    “We don’t roll that way in libraryland.”

    I want that on a bumpersticker.

  5. April 11, 2007 4:27 pm

    If we bloggers are good at anything, it’s outraged, lightning-fast communication.

    You got that right. Watching it from here start to zoom through the engines and blog feeds and all over the ‘Net already. I think it was going to be all over everywhere by morning anyway but the Instapundit link this afternoon gave it one heck of a kickstart thru the global Innertubes.

  6. April 11, 2007 4:29 pm

    beautiful, Rachel..great finish!

  7. May 7, 2007 7:19 am

    WE all have to take better care of our selfs….this will reflect on us a little but on our kids it will have a deeper impact


  1. The Right To Say What We Want To Say « Newscoma
  2. Nashville is Talking » A Play-By-Play: The JL Kirk & Associates Saga
  3. Home Ec 101 » Blog Archive » The curious case of JL Kirk and Associates
  4. KC, you have my support! « GingerSnaps
  5. When You Try to Control Free Speech « This is La Vergne, TN

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