back to article Rob Scoble's lawyer told him to STFU about sex pest claims. He didn't

If you have cause to hire a lawyer, it is usually worthwhile listening to what they have to say. Not so Robert Scoble who, having been thoroughly buried in the tech industry's avalanche of sexual harassment claims this week, decided that the best course of action was to write a blog post all about it. Against his lawyer's …

Facepalm

"As part of the "open and honest dialogue" that Scoble said he wanted to encourage, he then confessed to writing down his sexual fantasies and sending them to her."

This is the point in the article when I actually did clutch my head. It may be a sign of numbness on my part that I didn't do that earlier.

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This article = manginism, at its best

So, your argument is, that if he admits to have done something he's accused of, he's guilty; and if he denies an allegation, he's guilty - because you know he did it anyway, right?

And don't even get me started how a proposition can't be a harassment per se, and if it ever will be, the human race will just die out.

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Re: This article = manginism, at its best

I agree, this article drips with bias in every syllable. It appears the author takes this story very personally, somehow.

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Re: This article = manginism, at its best

I would summarise the article as "man convicted in trial by media attempts to defend himself, what a cad".

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Re: This article = manginism, at its best

Yep. Downvote all you want, but all this article does is imply that you do NOT have a right to defend yourself, and that you're a bigger asshole if you even try. The 'shame them into silence' tactic that is so popular these days.

Then I went to see who wrote the article and... guess what? It's 'Social Justice Warrrior' Kieren McCarthy *again*! This guy is totally biased! Same 'journalist' who tried to crucify James Damore (Google Engineer who got fired for writing that 'inconvenient' memo) here not that long ago. Kieren got a good beating in the El Reg comments that time, so not all hope is lost.

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Re: This article = manginism, at its best

@JcRabbit

Everyone has a right to defend themselves.

Unfortunately in doing so he's just shown his true colours.

To suggest he can't sexually harass someone if he's not in a position of power over them is fucking insane, and just illustrates the fact he doesn't think there's anything wrong with such behavior.

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Re: This article = manginism, at its best

"To suggest he can't sexually harass someone if he's not in a position of power over them is fucking insane, and just illustrates the fact he doesn't think there's anything wrong with such behavior."

Doesn't follow at all. I couldn't possibly shoot someone because I don't have a gun, doesn't mean that I think shooting is OK.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This article = manginism, at its best

"And don't even get me started how a proposition can't be a harassment per se,"

Aw, FF22 is from the age where men are so pathetic they need to feel that they are in control of the seduction. How sweet. Do you ask her father for permission to take their daughter a-courting?

Since it's apparently sexual harassment education day, lets start with a few suggestions.

1. Don't proposition people when you or they are at work. Yeah, that includes the cute barista/server/courier. The ability to walk away or tell someone to back off is harder in these situations, so don't put the person in a pressured situation.

2. Assume people are being polite, friendly, but are NOT interested in you sexually unless they are explicit about it. If they are interested, you'll find out. You don't need to cup their ass to establish that.

3. It's only flirting if you're not planning on doing anything with it. As soon as you add in some intent, then it's a proposition.

I'd also suggest that if you're only friends with someone because you want to bone them, you're not their friend. You're just a better class of sexual predator, waiting around until they become vulnerable enough for you to take advantage.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This article = manginism, at its best

"I'd also suggest that if you're only friends with someone because you want to bone them, you're not their friend."

I have had plenty of friends who were only friends because we wanted to fuck. A few remain friends when the sex stops. One I married.

I hate to break it to you, but there are millions of people out for casual sex every Friday and Saturday night. Not El Reg readers of course, they're masturbating at home over the latest kernel release notes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This article = manginism, at its best

"I have had plenty of friends who were only friends because we wanted to fuck. A few remain friends when the sex stops. One I married."

AC here again :)

Nowt wrong with taking on lovers. But it was pretty clear I was talking about a situation where only one of the two are keen on fucking.

Did you have any friends that wanted to fuck you, that you didn't fuck (or want to fuck), and are still your friends after you got married?

My experiences are that as soon as you're not potentially fuckable, the majority of "guy friends" suddenly don't want to hang out, help out, or generally have anything to do with you. And you're suddenly a bitch tease queen for not fucking every dude who ever helped you move house.

Seems to be a very common experience too, enough that even gruiniard lady lifestyle writers write articles on it, wondering if their coterie of male friends might reduce once they settle down with one of them, and missing the point by a country mile. I'm expecting another in that series along the lines of "he's going to leave his wife any day/week/month/year now, I'm totally a different case to everyone else"

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Re: This article = manginism, at its best

Yep. Downvote all you want, but all this article does is imply that you do NOT have a right to defend yourself, and that you're a bigger asshole if you even try.

There's nothing wrong with denying stuff and saying you're not guilty. Everyone has a perfect right to do that - and if falsely accused should probably do so.

You're on very dodgy ground if you then go and badmouth your accusors. Though obviously that's going to be very tempting if you have been falsely accused. But tactically almost certainly very stupid.

However whatever you do needs to be carefully thought through, and carefully worded. It's going to get heavily scrutinised, and if you're at the end of a media witch-hunt, that scrutiny is going to be very hostile.

If you're actually guilty (or at least somewhat so) then, of course, you're going to need to word things even more carefully. And as you now can't issue a blanket denial without risking destroying your credibility, which may prove important at say an upcoming trial, you'd best shut up. Given that if you only deny some things, you're looking like you're admitting to others.

If you want to do a partial denial publically, and try to salvage some of your reputation, then you're going to have to try total honesty of what did and didn't happen, and apologise and explain what you're going to do about turning your life around and making amends. A lot to ask of a blog post.

So wording is vitally important, for example not making a basic error in your first bit of self-defence would be a really good start! Yes you can sexually harrass anybody. As an example by repeatedly asking them out / making sexual comments when they've made it clear that they weren't interested. Obviously groping people is sexual assault. Maybe he meant workplace sexual harrassment, which is a bit different - but then even there he's got it wrong. At least in the UK an employer can be done for workplace sexual harrassment if a customer harrasses one of our staff, if we don't do anything to prevent it happening again - or haven't taken reasonable steps to deal with it.

So now he just looks like he's wriggling around defining terms to suit him, and has destroyed any point his blog post had by paragraph 5. Ooops!

I can't be arsed to read the whole of his post, life's too short and he appears to be too much of an arsehole for me to want to give him the benefit of the doubt. I had no particular opinions about him until I read his own words - but after 6 or 7 paragraphs of it he'd made an awful first impression.

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Listen to your lawyer

What IAS said :)

There's a good reason in certain situations you hire a professional to do a job for you. Lawyers ain't cheap, so if you are in a situation where you have hired one, you really should follow their advice. They are bound to give you the best advice they can, so you should probably heed it.

If you want to fight it out in the court of public opinion, again you should hire a professional. Who will undoubtedly work in conjunction *with* your lawyer to get you the best result. Either one would have advised against this sort of public statement. It's going to count against you in to many ways.

Even if you want to be completely honest, are entirely contrite and willing to accept your punishment, you should probably follow your lawyers advice.

Unless you want to be a martyr for your cause.

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Re: This article = manginism, at its best

Trying to justify what can't be excused and digging deeper while you are in a hole isn't defending yourself! It's stupidity. Sometimes the advice to say nothing is best.

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@Adam 52

You aren't seriously comparing sexual harassment to shooting someone, are you?

If you have to be in a position of power over someone to sexually harass them, I guess you'd be OK with it if I stopped by your house and groped your wife and daughter? I don't have any power over them, so it is OK so long as I stop when they tell me to stop, right?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This article = manginism, at its best

Welcome to 2017. Where we all must take sides. Where everything is black and white. Where you are either with us or against us. Where dissent can not and will not be tolerated. Throw open the doors to the court of public opinion. Bring on the twitterati. Hail the faceless facebookers. Light those torches. Rattle those pitchforks. Arrange your ropes. Let battle begin.

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Re: @Adam 52

Ye gads, way to miss the point entirely. You'd think a site of IT types would understand basic logic.

The point is that saying "I couldn't possibly do X" is not the same as saying "if I could do X it would be right".

Yet the baying mob is quite happy the interpret it that way if it satisfies their need for blood.

What's wrong with waiting for the evidence to come out in court or even for a formal complaint to be filed before forming the lynch mob. Is innocent unless proven guilty something we discard whenever it makes good click-bait?

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Re: This article = manginism, at its best

Doesn't follow at all. I couldn't possibly shoot someone because I don't have a gun, doesn't mean that I think shooting is OK.

It's more like suggesting that it would not be possible to shoot someone with a gun you don't own. Try explaining this one to all the folks that get shot by toddlers in America each year.

To claim that sexually harassing people isn't sexual harassment because you are not "in a position of power" is disingenuous at best. To admit to sending (presumably unsolicited) explicit descriptions of sexual acts to a recipient and claim that this is not sexual harassment is just plain wrong.

We still live in a world where equality of the sexes is far from accomplished. As a white middle class male, I can state categorically that I have seen many instances of other men harassing women, and can fully believe women when they tell me that it happens on a regular basis. However, I have never personally experienced this sort of behaviour from a member of the opposite sex (or from another man). This alone should tell you that sexual harassment of women by men is a widespread and serious problem, as is sexual assault, and rape. Being an apologist for this sort of thing is inexcusable.

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Re: This article = manginism, at its best

I am genuinely sorry that you were upset by my article about a man who sexually harassed women and then claimed he was the real victim. But not in the way you imagine.

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Re: This article = manginism, at its best

I hate to break it to you, but there are millions of people out for casual sex every Friday and Saturday night.

I hate to break it to you, but there are more people out every Friday or Saturday night who don't want your sexual advances, and who don't want to be groped in that night-club, or assaulted in that alleyway. If you can't work out which are the consenting ones, then maybe you should stop trying to have sex at all, because otherwise you are going to end up committing a crime.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This article = manginism, at its best

This is another great example of the female entitlement complex. Men perform free services for a woman without any expectation of getting reward and are both assholes for the naive thought that this may lead to sex/romance and also for not providing free services once that possibility is off the table. Grow up and hire a moving company...

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Re: This article = manginism, at its best

The first and third sentences aren't contradictory. No-one said there was anything wrong with casual sex, just that if sex is the only reason to know someone, you aren't their friend. Difficult to argue with that really.

Personally I think some level of friendship is better, if only so you can have a bit of a chat after sex rather than one of you being shoved out the door. Still, if it works for other people good luck to them.

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Re: This article = manginism, at its best

@Adam 52 - 'I couldn't possibly shoot murder someone because I don't have a gun, doesn't mean that I think shooting is OK' - FTFY

He made the mistake of mis-understanding the crime as something over-specific (or was that deliberate on his part?), you appear to have joined him in the error.

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Devil

Fantastic

What will make this article even better is when The Usual Suspects show up to lament the explosion of Political Correctness, accuse Kieren McCarthy of being an "SJW" (whatever that is), and stand up for Rob Scoble's right to assert himself as the manliest of manly men instead of being shamed for his self-expression.

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Re: Fantastic

Got it in one, TW. What was your first clue?

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Re: Fantastic

Damn. What I just left in a comment, down to a 'T'! :)

Maybe, just maybe, it's because we DO have a point? And because Kieren also keeps writing the same biased articles over and over again?

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Re: Fantastic

"SJW" (whatever that is)

Technically, it's a shibboleth.

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Re: Fantastic

Technically, it's a shibboleth.

My brain internally conflated that with shoggoth, which is probably a sign that I need more sleep, but is probably also a good description of some of the posters on here, who I am going to go ahead and label as Social Injustice warriors, as they seem to be hell-bent on campaigning for a return to the times where women were considered chattels.

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Anonymous Coward

" Sexual harassment requires that I have such power."

Which is, of course, absolute nonsense."

Except, in the feminists dialectic that Scoble is so obviously employing to make his case, that's exactly how it works. According to this school of thought, harassment and the like require a power imbalance, one traditionally supplied by the dominance of males over females in society, which is why it is often argued that women can't harass men, or can't rape, or can't do a whole bunch of other things.

It's a patently absurd thought process, but it's one that Scoble has inculcated and is now regurgitating in an attempt to shield himself from these claims.

Regardless of his guilt (or otherwise), it was a mistake for him to adopt this stance. The philosophy he's attempting to exploit - the particular brand of feminism that hates men for being men - cannot acknowledge that men are ever in a position of powerlessness. As a man in a patriarchal society, he *always* has "power", and thus will always be guilty of abusing that power, regardless of his individual circumstances.

Or so the dialectic goes.

This is why you always shut up and listen to the lawyer.

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...except that's not actually feminism, it's misandry, which is the complement to misogyny, and qualitatively indistinguishable. In other words, hating men for being men is just as wrong as hating women for being women.

Hating specific men, for things they do to women, on the other hand, is a different thing altogether.

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Mushroom

Never liked Scoble

Even in the realm of Microsoft evangelists, which is already a cesspool, Scoble is exceptionally slimy. Now we're seeing his true colours quite unambiguously.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm torn.

I want to laugh f*cking loads at the prick but then there are victims in this so I can't.

I hope he gets what he deserves.

My chi is balanced.

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Anonymous Coward

Who...

...is Rob Scoble?

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Facepalm

Re: Who...

Hard to say. Unanswerable, even.

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Predictable

It follows the accepted template for what now passes as an apology: "I'm sorry everone else is such an arsehole"

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Oh good. Here’s some more rope scobilizer. You know what to do.

You delusional oaf.

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It says something that one of his victims advised him to "delete this now."

A while ago on a different article I mentioned the Brain Eater. It looks like the Brain Eater has taken more than one bite from Scoble's brain.

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Anonymous Coward

I do have to agree with him: sexual harassment, in legal terms, requires that he have some power over the harassed. A direct supervisor clearly falls into that category. A manager not in the direct management chain may not. Someone not even at the company generally does not.

He might be a womanizing boor. His sexual advances might be unwelcome. But it's not actionable sexual harassment.

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FAIL

Nope. What you're describing is workplace sexual harassment, which is different from run-of-the-mill sexual harassment.

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@Anonymous coward

You're 100% wrong and need to have a serious look at yourself.

I can't approach a random stranger and grope,kiss, touch or have sex with him/her against their will.

Position of power and employment etc are totally irrelevant. TOTALLY.

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Anonymous Coward

@rmason

you can,

but you shouldn't

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Re: @rmason

@AC

Point conceded. for a very strong value of "shouldn't".

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Note, any of those things would be sexual assault, not sexual harassment. The terms are not interchangeable.

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Anonymous Coward

What he is accused of is sexual assault in many jurisdictions, not merely harassment.

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Facepalm

Jesus

This post will get shown in court (undoubtedly) and it will almost certainly cause him to get a conviction.

Nice job Rob! You've literally just confessed to being guilty and written it down for all to see.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Jesus

Such a well written confession though.

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Re: Jesus

Fairly sure there aren't criminal charges anywhere, so little chance of a conviction.

In fact there doesn't actually seem to be any court action at all.

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Read this article. Did not want to.

We all enjoy title-tattle and automatically suspend disbelief when hearing it but I would prefer not to see this kind of stuff on El Reg.

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Re: Read this article. Did not want to.

Then don't read it? Did anyone force you to?

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Re: Read this article. Did not want to.

Don't be silly.

The reason why I as well I guess as plenty of others come here is the attractive mix of informative articles which engenders pithy comments from a broad range of smart, experienced and knowledgeable people. Alongside interesting items on everything from aerodynamics to naval materiel and naturally the IT world there is the occasional Bootnote intended to be entertaining but relevant.

I am not going to blame the proprietors of El Reg for (what seems to be gathering pace) going down market and broadening its readership if they want to sell the site for an humongous amount to an internet aggregator but God forbid we have articles which read like the Daily Mail. A fortiori articles which ride on the back of the latest crusading nag of bitterness associated with H. Weinstein C.B.E.

And even more so in the case of journalists who (echoing one or more of the above remarks) seem to have an axe to grind.

The heading for the article did indeed encourage reading it and it could have been a much better written piece having relevance to blogging, IT management and so forth. Instead, having been drawn to reading it, I then just wanted to clear my throat and spit.

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Coat

So...

"This is a Quinn Norton production"

But in general.

You hire specialists because they know more about a subject than you. If you don't like what they are telling you and they explain why what you're suggesting is very f**king stupid you can a)Not do it or b)Find another specialist who will not disagree with you.

b) Does not mean that what you're proposing is not in fact very f**king stupid, just that they won't say so.

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