The Oatmeal’s Matthew Inman wrote an open letter to the lawyer who has been harassing him for most of two weeks, Charles Carreon. Carreon just sued Inman as well as the National Wildlife Fund and the American Cancer Society. You can see some background here but this is all as crazy as it sounds.
I’ll avoid giving much context (you can read previous posts here) because Inman deserves a break and Carreon seems so oddly earnest and naive that it is worthless judging either party.
This dispute was originally between myself and FunnyJunk. After the fundraiser was a success, I figured you and FunnyJunk would stop there. This would have been an ideal exit for you. It wouldn’t have been a particularly graceful exit, but an exit nonetheless.
So when did this transform from Oatmeal VS FunnyJunk to Carreon VS the internet? I’m going to take a wild shot in the dark here and guess that it’s when you announced to a journalist at MSNBC that you were trying to shut down a charity fundraiser which would benefit cancer victims and endangered wildlife. THAT was the moment when the tide of public opinion focused on you instead of FunnyJunk. I never encouraged anyone to attack, harass, or otherwise contact you. In fact in myoriginal letter I blurred out your contact information and I linked to your Wikipedia page instead of your website. If I’ve directed energy anywhere it’s been to the fundraiser page.
And to anyone else who is reading this: it goes without saying, but stop harassing Carreon. Be lawful and civil in your interactions with him.
If you want to help, go donate.
Ideally this will end this whole sordid tale and Carreon will take the advice. The Streisand Effect is strong and unceasing and those who raise the ire of the Internet mob rarely win anywhere, let alone court. If the Internet is good at anything it’s understanding when petty injustices have passed from the realm of wrong to outrageous.