>I'm a bit perplexed about the ethical boundaries of circulating rumors
>about anyone's sexual preference in Screen-l. It may be that my
>sensibilities are insufficiently developed to appreciate the social or
>aesthetic value of "outing," but it would seem reasonable to allow
>people...even people who work in film... to lead their private lives
>however they wish, unless there is an overriding reason to do otherwise.
>We can disagree on what would be an "overriding reason", but surely,
>rumor-mongering would hardly qualify.
Yes, Henry, I agree. I don't think that SCREEN-L should be used for
outing anyone. I discussed the issue, privately, with the person who
originally posted the message.
Apparently, in this case the outing was committed by THE ADVOCATE (I
think, I'm going on memory here) and was reported/discussed in THE
VOICE. So, it had gone beyond the stage of rumor-mongering and had
entered the semi-mainstream press. (Though it certainly hadn't reached
Tuscaloosa, where I am.)
I know that GEnie (a commercial information service) has a
quasi-official policy against users outing in their postings. I think
we'd be wise to follow suit.