January 04, 2008

making a list, checking it twice.

This is interesting. Here is an insipid website ("Pet-abuse.com: our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" ) that lists the names of people arrested for allegedly cockfighting and creates an individual file on each guy arrested with personal information lifted from the press. The whole event has been assigned a case ID number (12876) with its own "classification" and even an interactive map leading you right to the spot of the arrest.

I was surprised that they don't issue their own little Pet-abuse.com merit badges, but maybe I couldn't find the right place. They do have a store, of course.

Pet-Abuse.Com - Animal Abuse Case Details: Cockfighting - 35-40 birds seized - Orosi, CA (US)

Should I point out that these chickens are not pets, but rather fighting cocks? That is why animal rights protectors always kill them when they liberate them, because they aren't pets, dig?

The whole endeavor is extremely self-righteous and would be more than a little comical if it wasn't so strange.

The site was started when the cat of the person who started it was killed and the killer escaped to Brazil (??) where she or he is now probably killing cats...

It is a bit frightening, all of the implications of making a list and hyperlinked files of people's names, ages, genders, locations.

When rightwingers make enemy lists, people generally worry, shouldn't this raise a couple of eyebrows?

The inclusion of the other information is certainly invasive even if it isn't strictly speaking illegal. Doesn't it seem that Pet-Abuse.com is deliberately besmirching these people? isn't getting thrown in the hoosegow and probably fined bad enough?

They have an amazingly detailed disclaimer page which mentions that "All information available through Pet-Abuse.Com is public information pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act," but an obvious and unavoidable conclusion is that by tracking people and creating this elaborate apparatus they are attempting to do something other than simply be an information source. Why else have so many disclaimers, as well as the claim that accessing the site means you accede to the longwinded disclaimer? Can you really say whatever you want if you disclaim it?*

And the racial implications here are hard to avoid: 100% of the names on the list are male and Hispanic. Would a right wing enemies list built upon a sharp political agenda and sense of rectitude that had a similar demographic make up be shrugged off as just a happenstance?
A chicken is a chicken is a chicken.

And the slickness of this site shows that they simply have too much time on their hands.

Geez, they should start a blog or something.

{*in that case, Undismayed disclaims everything ever written here, expressed or implied.}

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