An Op-ed? Not Really. It’s MY publication. So I can write what I like. And I am. Here.
So, I did not want to do this. Resisted it for almost FOUR years now. And was content to leave it, completely. Ignore and they go away? They’re not that important. Right? Well yes. But also, no. WRONG. ‘Sometimes, they come back’. Now who do I mean by ‘they’. Fear not: I do NOT mean constructive critics who perhaps dislike a format or a review or who genuinely strive to compete and produce better content. Heck, even make an offer to buy the site: fine! I don’t even mean ‘trolls’: the random people who get their kicks by anonymously following a Twitter account, then leaving abusive comments at random.
I am talking here about a concerted campaign to sabotage this site. Quite WHY anyone would want to do that is frankly, beyond me. But it is there and quite specifically about us. Picture EVERY single twitter post from this site (to the extent that we simply stopped using the twitter page officially) being hounded and hijacked with abuse. Then they go after your personal social media: that.
The ring leader in the campaign appears to be THIS account: https://twitter.com/WEGOTHISCOVERED. I note there is also a fake twitter page claiming to be https://twitter.com/RealMovieviral. I’m not saying there is a connection; but at first sight? You have similar aim/method, it seems. And a LOT of time, obviously to nurture/indulge those.
I don’t know what your grievance is. And I did not wish to give it any attention. I am however, making THIS piece public, because naturally, you follow our every move. And I genuinely think you need the help. By tracking us on social media and trying to prevent our interviewing figures in film or from building new networks of collaboration? You have crossed a line from the mere ‘troll’; you are attempting, prima facie, to cause ‘damage’ to a BUSINESS interest.
Then there is the small yet not insignificant matter of STALKING. Because that’s what this is. You are FOLLOWING someone, online, it seems? Someone (ie me/the publication) that made CLEAR we want NOTHING to do with you and that your attentions are an unwelcome nuisance. It’s no laughing matter. It is, potentially, a criminal offence. Once again, you may argue jurisdiction here or lack of actual ‘threat’. But this is a UK based publication now, under UK centred ownership and we bought it from an owner, on open auction and they were from the USA. So one could make a case, either way.
It’s not just one writer you are going after here; your tweets involve and potentially cause distress to each account holder you involve, many of whom know me already and are influential in the business. Once again; our legal teams are on alert and if necessary? I will involve the Police.
Your attempts at harassing or frightening the team here have little if any logic. What is your end-game, motivation? I just don’t get it. Whoever you are, I advise you to stop.
Now: that is ENTIRELY separate from an ongoing challenge to buy back the site, it seems? It’s an important distinction. .
See below: a WORLD of difference from the anonymous attacks. Still a challenge. But out in the open.
In fact, I’d encourage you to desist from 1) valuing clicks over quality, 2) fighting previous owners and contributors, and 3) thinking there’s any recourse for us discussing a website we built. Hint. (2/2)
— Nick Butler (@nickbutler) December 6, 2018
Look: will say again. Constructive critics: fine. Everything from ‘I disagree with this review’ to ‘your site sucks’: fine! But citing us, online, in open comms that, read in certain lights, potentially question our probity / integrity, as writers? Not so good. Dan/Nick: Feel free to remove your tweets; but I have replied openly. Your comments are nothing like the ‘wegothiscovered’ variety; but they do not harm that account’s cause, either or deter their vendetta.
Nick: very disappointing that you have become involved in commenting at all? You hope to buy the site back? Good for you! Interesting. You never mentioned before in e-mail correspondence throughout the past 4 years? You could simply have, in a civil and businesslike fashion, written to me and expressed a view that you missed the site, disagreed with the direction it had taken and that you’d love to buy it back.
I’m a reasonable man. I’d listen. I might not agree, but I would calmly and politely and professionally assess your ideas, albeit with a nod in direction of my legal/commercial team, before finalising a view. And I might even consider the offer. I might. It’s Business! A civil pitch, within a free and competitive, international, media market.
I have said before; will reiterate. Site was bought, in good faith. 2014/15? Offers to collaborate were made to previous contributors that were accessible (NONE of whom count as ‘staff’ because they are NOT ’employees’: hence the nonsense of ‘resigning’ being..nonsense). YOU all chose to abandon ship. And fine: I got other writers and of course, I enjoy the site, as a hobby, that happens to make me..money. But I basically bought something I had to rebuild, from scratch (inc format) and largely, alone.
Naturally, there must be incentives for maintaining an operation like that. So yes: there are advertorials. And there are ‘bloggers’ or pod-casters who CHOOSE to share content on the platform. And there are occasionally satirical headlines /click bait because many outlets now use that method and the discerning reader understands.
The majority of my writing is founded in a passion for film and a love of its transcendent beauty as an art-form of invaluable importance to society. And a number of respected readers and media power brokers see the merits in the formula I have adopted. I won’t name names here but let’s just say I was happy to hear they enjoyed my work and I would therefore be honoured to provide more of the same.
If you cherished the site so much then it should not have been sold? Attempts to win it back are NOT helped in ANY way by fomenting dissent. Quite the opposite. As it happens? The sale price is surely higher now, because the hits, revenue and standing have all gone up of late. Thereby making it all the more attractive to other potential buyers; whilst also justifying the work I have invested and making it that bit more attractive to keep the status quo.
The site is not for sale at time of writing. But if you want to make me an offer? Well you obviously know how to find me on Twitter!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I mean that. Because it’s just a film blog. Not worth the stress, honestly. Except of course..it is?I have every confidence that you will do the right thing. Over to you.