opinion

Words, Consequences and Priorities: 'We Can and Should Expect Better'

Diane Duke

No really, I'm fine...but it's the industry I'm worried about

I have been getting a number of calls and emails of late asking me if I am okay. Friends, industry members and even some people I have never met have been showing up in force to provide kind words of support. Why do these people feel the need to reach out to me? Because lately I have been the target of a couple of bloggers rage-filled ramblings. It's fascinating really that these bloggers feel so compelled to try and bring me down. I don't read their blogs, I have trusted friends who will tell me if there is something there...so far, nada.  I am not the only one under attack and, to be honest, I feel honored to be amongst their list of distinguished targets who are some of the people I most respect in the industry.

I have been accused of meeting with terrorists, having connections with the mafia, leaking confidential medical information, fiscal impropriety and so much more. Anyone who has spent more than a minute with me understands the absurdity of these and other allegations. It would be funny were it not so tragic. Clearly, these bloggers are striking out in a desperate attempt to be relevant despite their impotent lives. I learned early on that hate and anger are wasted emotions, and I do feel compassion for their dismal circumstances. However, despite my personal viewpoint, my first priority is to protect the good people and companies that make up the adult entertainment and pleasure products industry.

These bloggers claim to represent the adult entertainment community — obviously, they do not.  Worse yet, their myths and misinformation have been used against us by industry enemies as "insider information and fact." AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which spent more than six million dollars to pass mandatory condom regulations in Los Angeles and is responsible for AIM's demise, links directly to one blogger's site. And, it is my understanding that another blogger went to Sacramento to lobby against the industry in favor of strict governmental regulation of the industry, including mandatory condoms, testing and barrier protection. These so-proclaimed "representatives" are now allies of the industry's most powerful opponents. More importantly, a blogger need never try to form a consensus among affected groups in this diverse and complex industry. A blogger need only shriek loudly and be controversial.

The First Amendment and free speech are near and dear to my heart, hell it's why I took this job in the first place. But words matter and there are consequences to what one says. Much of what is written on these blogs could reach the point of slander or libel and that will likely be settled between the bloggers and their targets. But the misinformation they spread could harm the people and businesses of our entire industry. If your company advertises on these bloggers' sites, you may want to consider the obvious negative return on investment. If you know or do business with any of the advertisers on these blogs, you may want to explain to them that these blogs are hurting the very industry on which they rely for their livelihood.

This article will no doubt bring on vicious attacks from the bloggers of which I write, the consequences of my words. But as an industry we can and should expect better than to allow these disenfranchised bloggers define who we are.

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