Following up on my cognitive dissonance rant, I’ve been really disappointed lately with the disturbing trend we have toward ignoring facts. It seems that once again we are following in the foot-steps of the crazies by now also ignoring facts in favor of bias.

I use the most recent episode of Fitness SF’s1 domain scandal. One of the web contractors for the gym took their domain down and posted a rather long diatribe about “freelance developers” and “independent businesses” not being respected or paid. The contractor went on to accuse the franchise2 of failing to pay past due bills.

First, I agree a business should pay its bills. That was never in dispute. However, reading the posted story, it didn’t take much to recognize there was more to it. First, the contractor focused too hard on trying to play the victim and FSF was the big bad guy. Second, it reeked of revenge. The contractor requested everyone reading his rant cancel their memberships in protest. And here’s the kicker, some people did! With no more information than that given by a disgruntled party in a civil dispute, people not only canceled memberships but went on personal tirades about freelancers, the gym, uppity gays, blah, blah, blah.

FSF released a statement a couple days later detailing more of what was going on. And as suspected, it was much more than them just refusing to pay a bill. The contractor missed not only content but also deadline delivery. It goes one step further. His contract had been canceled and he no longer had legal access to the domain! So not only did the contractor act unethically, he also broke the law. And yet FSF was the bad guy. I don’t know who is ultimately “right” in this whole ordeal, but what is clear is it was a civil dispute between two parties that should never have been made public in this manner. I will add, having seen the mess that was their website during their grand-opening, it certainly adds up.

Here is where my rant really comes in today. Even after more of the real story came out, many still bashed FSF and went on to claim “support for freelance developers.3  Truth no longer mattered, only the person’s personal bias. On a tangent, having done freelance web-design for many years, I can speak from experience. If I didn’t deliver a product as promised, I didn’t expect to get paid. And if I did get paid, it wasn’t the original price. I certainly would never stoop to taking down a companies’ domain over a dispute. One, said practice is a very grey area legally and two, it certainly doesn’t encourage more business knowing you resort to such tactics. Two wrongs don’t make a right. The moment the contractor stooped this low, he lost any moral high-ground, if he ever had it to begin with.

Facts matter people and so should the truth. This is but one example of many I could cite lately. We all have personal biases, no secret there. But we also have reason. When you allow your personal bias to trump reason and then go on to compound the issue thru denial, you marginalize yourself (and your argument). Life rarely deals in absolutes and trying to have an absolute ideal is often a recipe for failure. Don’t get caught up in the sensationalism and/or mob mentality. And just because a “friend” shared it with you on Facebook, take the time to understand an issue before going all holier-than-thou.

We are better than this. We do not need to stoop to such tactics to be taken seriously. You can support a cause, group, or ideal w/o blindly ignoring facts, reason, or simple logic.

  1. Formerly Gold’s Gym []
  2. Which is not a big business by any means, they run 4 gyms []
  3. Completely forgetting how far the local franchise has gone out of their way to support our community lately. []