Why Kelly McBride Owes Me An Apology

Kelly McBride (@kellymcb) wrote an article on Poynter that included information about me. She failed to do any research about me before writing this article. The end result was that I had people harassing me online because they were misinformed as a result of reading a piece written by a person who is a self-proclaimed “ethicist”. According to Poynter, she’s "one of the countries leading voices when it comes to media ethics." If you can’t trust an ethics expert to cover a story accurately then who can you trust? If not for the harassment that I received via Twitter, I wouldn’t have even known the article existed.

In her post, she stated that I don’t identify as a rape survivor. She also said that I reached out to BuzzFeed writer Jessica Testa & “challenged” her and was “mad.” So mad in fact that she titled her piece “BuzzFeed reporter gets permission to use rape survivors tweets but people still got mad.” People = ME. Because I’m the only “mad” person that she referenced in the entire post & she used 1 screencapped tweet from my Twitter TL which was easily misinterpreted by readers because there was no context other than that which she created to spin her story. That being said, here are the things that Kelly McBride owes me an apology for: 

1.) Her general laziness: Had she researched before writing her piece she wouldn’t have:

  • Silenced my voice by saying I didn’t identify as a survivor when I clearly did. It took me a long time to get that voice & it was a disservice to me to have it silenced in an online publication.
  • Referred to me as being “mad”, using my tweet out of context, and saying that I “challenged” Jessica Testa for not asking me for permission to use the stories of the men & women on my Twitter timeline when my issue was that Testa did not ask ME permission to use a huge PHOTO OF MY FACE as well as my tweets. Testa asserted that she got everyone’s permission to use their tweets & images & would blur the names/faces of those who requested it. She did not give ME these options & took liberty of using my Twitter profile picture not only throughout the post but as the thumbnail that shows up on BuzzFeed’s home page & on Twitter and Facebook feeds. THIS was the permission that I was upset I didn’t have the option to grant. Posting a photo of a rape survivor online without their permission has to violate some law. If nothing else, it’s just downright unethical. McBride spun her story & I was not represented properly and for that, she owes me an apology. 

2.) She took 36 hours to post corrections. She had time to reply to the people in the comments section under the article that she “reached out to me” which is a half truth. She sent me a tweet but I never saw it because my Twitter feed was moving too quickly. 

3.) Not treating me with the respect that someone who has "researched how the media documents rape for more than 10 years" would by copying someone on the email that I sent her with my entire personal assault story on it that I told her I had NEVER shared with anyone before. Instead of starting a new email thread or deleting the content, she once again opted for the LAZY & CARELESS route and cc’ed a male reporter on the email thread. Unbelievable. 

4.) Not giving enough of a shit but to call me “Christina” after all of the above. 

I’d also like to point out that after I revealed to her that I am a survivor, she said that what she meant in her post was that I didn’t identify myself as a survivor as it related to the topic of “what people were wearing when they were assaulted”, to which I responded with a photo of my tweet where I DID “identify” myself as a survivor as it pertained to the question. No matter how she tries to rephrase it, she’s wrong. If that’s what she really meant, she was wrong twice. 

In a nutshell, Kelly McBride owes me an apology for the unnecessary mental duress, tears, stress & frustration that she caused me to endure. She needs to apologize for being wrong. She had countless opportunities to do the right thing but after I sent her a long email at 1am on 03/14/14 detailing my assault, clarifying the issues with Testa’s BuzzFeed post, and outlining all of the areas where HER post was wrong, she replied that she’d like to talk to me about doing a “follow up.” Follow up? She needed to do a retraction. I told her everything she needed to know in the email that took me over an hour to draft and I told her these things via Twitter. I identified the problem & told her to fix it. And from that moment on, I had to wait SIXTEEN HOURS for her to add corrections to the bottom of the original post. 

Here I am at 11:00 pm on Saturday 03/15/14 and I STILL haven’t gotten a simple apology. I’ve asked her via email and via Twitter multiple times. She has ignored my emails but had time to tweet a link to a Guardian post about SXSW that she was quoted in at 6:53 pm. 

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