The perils of investigative journalism within the lesbian community.

A while ago I reported about criminal campaigning within the lesbian scene in the Netherlands and beyond. I wrote about how a group of anonymous – but with some effort traceable – people with a business interest tried with some degree of success to slander against some businesses in the Netherlands and Greece. In that article I unveiled the dark truth about some corners of the lesbian community where criminal practices prevail over healthy competition and a free market.

I wrote about a slanderous press statement made by that specific anonymous group and the all to obvious and documented link with a specific company in Germany. If anyone doubts this, here’s a quote, an excerpt from that press statement which literally names that company and the name of their CEO as the contentwise responsible party for that press statement. Mind you, the email with this statement was send from that companies email address according to the metadata from the extended email header which in numerous legal cases is rendered as solid evidence concerning the identification of the sending party. Also, there is written statement by third parties that the press statement was handed over to people from the lesbian community on Lesbos and beyond. Here’s the excerpt:

“The decision to publish in Germany was made in order to be subject to the jurisdiction and liberal German press (media) law. Every day, many Europeans are informed by the media and the liberal press about abuse of authority and corruption of Greeks. Among other things, we were threatened twice by Sappho Travel and exactly this case was brought to our attention: “We know how to defend ourselves (being Greeks) in our own country and you are just a foreigner.” For the purposes of German press (media) law, editorial responsibility is held by Skytravel24 GmbH (registered in accordance with German law under HRB 17896 in Wiesbaden), represented by CEO Natascha Hassel.” 

As a journalist I acknowledge freedom of press but the press statement I am referring to and from which the above closing quote comes is a flatout slandering statement accusing companies and individuals of deception, threats and much more without presenting any proof. It is also a blunt statement of German hatred and prejudice against Greece and the Greeks, their own target market. How curious and how inappropriate, especially in this year. But even more important is that this very quote proves the intent to harm others by the press statement. As if they were hiding behind press freedom. All of  this makes the happenings of today all the more ludicrous as it is that same press freedom they now seem to be attacking. Now how will that look in court?

Because thing is, today I received a threatening email from a Dutch based lawyer summoning me to ‘correct my statements’ concerning this company and even withdraw my articles about the slandering campaign. This was done in the name of that company in an all to obvious attempt to silence me as a writer / journalist who reports about this specific case.

Well, hell no!  Interesting enough, it seems that this lawyer has not taken my claim of the availability of solid proof of this criminal behavior seriously or has been poorly informed by their own client. Well, they are of course in for a surprise as currently I am working on another article meant for the national press unveiling the manipulations and slandering and the way they try to silence people reporting on that. The evidence that I have available is rock solid, double checked and confirmed by third parties. Also, I have been following the events in this case for the past year and with the evidence in hand it is very easy for me to link the aforementioned German company, a travel agency, to the slandering case. I only had to verify the source of their own press statement! More specifically, that press statement has been dropped into the lesbian community by email from that companies email address on June 28 of this year. And in fact, they pointed their finger to themselves in that very press statement as per the text in the above quote. A blunt and naive case of self accusation. As a journalist I merely mirrored their own press statement, second sourcing it. So they are actually asking me to withdraw a story based on their own press statement. How crazy can it be?

At this stage I will not reveal all information neither will I reveal the whole press statement where this affair seems to be originating from. Yet. Simply because I don’t want the victims of that slandering campaign to be hurt again by reposting that garbage. But also because it’s simply too early to my judgement. What some people do not seem to realize is that press freedom and freedom of opinion (although I am just stating and analyzing proven facts in my articles with the consequence that these (f)acts are criminal which is an observation and not so much an opinion) are rights that cannot be shoved aside that easy. They are well linked to the very foundation of our constitution and international rights. They also do not seem to realize that slandering in press statements is something that will in the end work against themselves.

Another thing is that obviously some people do not seem to realize that putting pressure on a journalist not to publish or even withdraw usually has the exact opposite effect of what the aim of that pressure is. In this case, the very act of pressurizing me merely underlines the importance of unveiling the truth of this type of dealings in a community that is in some areas not as tolerant, open and liberal at all. It also makes me more eager to dig deeper and push for publication of the other results of my findings.

As to be expected I am not at all impressed by this type of pressure. So, dear readers, stay tuned and within a few weeks I will produce another article about the current legal case in Greece and the upcoming legal case in the Netherlands concerning the slandering campaign that I presented in my previous articles. If necessary all related evidence in the form of documents and third party acknowledgements and statements will be published on this website as background information for the whole gay community to be read and judged.

As always I stand for a free and independent press. Even if that is not liked by other lesbians within the community. Even when I’m threatened by whatever means. The truth has to prevail, always! So to quote Johnny Cash in one of his last but greatest songs written by the infamous Tom Petty:

Well I won’t back down
No I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down

Alice © 2011

Germany likes nobody.

Germany has a problem. A reputation problem. Thing is, Germans are not likable. In fact in Germany it nowadays is prohibited to like someone or a group. Really, ‘es its verboten’. On FaceBook that is. According to their ‘Datenschutz’ organization in Schleswig-Holstein.’ The suckers.

Being Dutch means that it is socially almost unacceptable to like Germans and for once I’m afraid I fit in the general, albeit strongly biased, opinion about these humorless, shouting, hole in the beach digging, bratwurst eating and beer drinking Bavarians. I don’t like Germany. If there was an ‘unlike’ button on FaceBook I would probably try to perform a mass unlike on al Germans, their companies and their BMW’s, Mercedesses and Opels.

But FaceBook doesn’t have an ‘unlike’ button. Honestly I think it would be the most wanted new feature of FaceBook for as far as I am concerned. FaceBook does however have a ‘like’ button. But it’s not allowed to have that. Or at least German organizations and companies are not allowed to be present on FaceBook with the possibility of being liked. As if that would be possible at all.

Anyhow, In Germany some crazy people in an independent organization working on privacy issues decided that the ‘like’ button on FaceBook is against privacy laws. Because when you press ‘like’ Zuckie (Zuckerberg) and his friends profile you. They store info about the fact that it was you, yes you! that has pressed ‘like’ on that page about the latest trent in pornography and they will notify everyone that you did so. Actually they will call Beate Uhse (if you don’t know who that is, tough luck) and tell her that there is this deviant person that pressed ‘like’ on that porno fan page. So that Beate will be on your very doorstop within days, all hot and willing. With a camera team to make some homemade porn of you. And they will write articles in Bild and the Frankfurter Allgemeine that you, yes you, are working in the porno industry.

To prevent that from happening, the silly Bavarians wants Zuckie to dismantle the like button. Because Germans are not supposed to be able to like anything. Except Dutch beaches in the summer, bratwurst and beer that is. So Germans will, if these silly paranoid people get what they want, never be able to like anything. And to me that is the greatest form of justice. Because why should people who nobody likes be allowed to be able to like others? No let Germany stay this boring country filled with humorless people. They deserve that.

Dr. Thilo Weichert,
Datenschutzbeauftragter des Landes Schleswig-Holstein

This what these people write about it:

Das Unabhängige Landeszentrum für Datenschutz (ULD) fordert alle Stellen in Schleswig-Holstein auf, ihre Fanpages bei Facebook und Social-Plugins wie den „Gefällt mir“-Button auf ihren Webseiten zu entfernen. Nach eingehender technischer und rechtlicher Analyse kommt das ULD zu dem Ergebnis, dass derartige Angebote gegen das Telemediengesetz (TMG) und gegen das Bundesdatenschutzgesetz (BDSG) bzw. das Landesdatenschutzgesetz Schleswig-Holstein (LDSG SH) verstoßen. Bei Nutzung der Facebook-Dienste erfolgt eine Datenweitergabe von Verkehrs- und Inhaltsdaten in die USA und eine qualifizierte Rückmeldung an den Betreiber hinsichtlich der Nutzung des Angebots, die sog. Reichweitenanalyse. Wer einmal bei Facebook war oder ein Plugin genutzt hat, der muss davon ausgehen, dass er von dem Unternehmen zwei Jahre lang getrackt wird. Bei Facebook wird eine umfassende persönliche, bei Mitgliedern sogar eine personifizierte Profilbildung vorgenommen. Diese Abläufe verstoßen gegen deutsches und europäisches Datenschutzrecht. Es erfolgt keine hinreichende Information der betroffenen Nutzerinnen und Nutzer; diesen wird kein Wahlrecht zugestanden; die Formulierungen in den Nutzungsbedingungen und Datenschutzrichtlinien von Facebook genügen nicht annähernd den rechtlichen Anforderungen an gesetzeskonforme Hinweise, an wirksame Datenschutzeinwilligungen und an allgemeine Geschäftsbedingungen.

Of course I really do like Germany and I do value privacy. Of course there is something to say for the ideas of these silly Germans about the privacy aspects of FaceBook’s features. But honestly, isn’t government interference with the possibilities and technology behind social media not getting a little bit out of hand? Is it not safe to say that even some profiling (something every organization or company has been doing for decades to get hold of an audience or group of customers) a perfectly normal thing in this capitalistic and commercialized world? Are there not stronger privacy issues to be taken care of. Shouldn’t German’s not be worried much more about the privacy problems the German government is creating itself?  Like storing phone call and email details and storing location information because that same government just like the Dutch and other European governments doesn’t trust its own citizens anymore? Shouldn’t they worry much more about the fact that Germany is just like other European countries hopping on the bandwagon of big brother style control of its own citizens because someone might be terrorist or criminal?

Of course they should do that but instead of taking on the real privacy issues of a government profiling its own citizens they want to limit technological development in social media. What a joke.

And about that ‘like’ button. I will continue to use it as I personally don’t give a damn that Zuckie’s computers know that I am a transgender lesbian who loves female porn, writes, films, drinks beer sometimes, loves her kids and friends, hate stupid Germans, makes art and writes silly little articles on a website. And yes, if people research on me they will find out all kind of nice (and dirty) little details about me. So what?
By the way, that website of those people… my God, 1984!

Oh, and before I forget: don’t press the like button on this post because I will profile you, really, I will!

Alice © 2011