First blog take down notice. Reprinted in full below. We are currently mulling our appropriate response – DS
Sent to Link Number: 29ca0
Sender Name: Director, Office of Professional Responsibility in Participatory Media
Sender Email Address: prpmoffice@*****.***
TO: Domani Spero
Office of Professional Responsibility in
Participatory Media (PR/PM)
DATE: 1 April 2011
SUBJECT: Diplopundit Blog
Greetings, Domani. I hope all is well with you in … actually, I’m not exactly sure where you are, but I hope all is well with you nonetheless.
It has come to my attention that you may be running a blog entitled Diplopundit located at http://diplopundit.blogspot.com/. If you are, this notice is to inform you that the blog and most of its contents are highly inappropriate and may violate official regulations and policies. Although your blog carries a disclaimer, it still gives the appearance of being officially sanctioned by the organization. Your use of a globe implies a formal association with international affairs; your occasional use of official photos, acronyms, the seal, the flag, and symbols such as arrows and eagles also can mislead the reading public. Ads on your blog may violate ethics rules on the use of public office for personal gain.
More to the point, your discussions of events in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and other nations may be perceived as conduct unbecoming to diplomatic discourse. Your Monday-morning-quarterbacking of the Raymond Davis affair at U.S. Mission Pakistan was particularly not appreciated. Your blog post on U.S. Mission Mexico had people hunting for your email address in the GAL. And by the way, not applauding the Secretary’s principled push for Internet Freedom and posting about it in your blog was bad form and frowned upon.
According to 3 FAM 4170, these topics are “of official concern,” and your discussion of them in a public forum could be in violation of clear, well stated, understandable Internet and social media regulations and policies unless previously cleared by relevant offices. Your links to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other blogs also gives the appearance of endorsement and official sanction and is very inappropriate given your identification as somebody who does not work for the organization (nobody in my office actually believes that, by the way).
Please do not take this personally; I’m just doing my job. As a matter of fact, I enjoy reading your blog occasionally, even if you seem to be rather fond of run-on sentences and take a lot of liberties with proper tenses and punctuation. Your convoluted sentences sometimes make me wonder if you learned to write at the George W. Bush School of English Languages. If you take the Foreign Service Exam, you may have difficulty passing the written portion. If you did pass it, I can say only that sometimes people do get lucky.
I have been told by reliable sources that you have threatened to quit blogging a few times previously. But since it does not now appear that you will say goodbye anytime soon, I feel compelled to write you this email to strongly urge you to go.
Again, if you are the author of this blog, please take all immediate and necessary steps to remove this blog and all its inappropriate contents from the Internet as soon as possible. I cannot impress the utmost importance of this request strongly enough.
If you are an FSO suffering from discontent in your current assignment, please contact me immediately. I should be able to put your talents to good use as team leader at PRT Tora-Bora. The job is yours if you want it.
If you are an eligible family member who is suffering from depression or other serious issues, please contact me immediately. I should be able to help direct your energies to something more appropriate. Options may include volunteer work or perhaps even a stress-free embassy job to keep you busy.
If you are a consultant, contractor, intern or unemployed writer, contact me ASAP. I have an opportunity for you that you will find hard to refuse.
If you think you have received this memo in error and you are not the author of aforementioned blog, please call 1-800-808-8000 now. Charges apply if you are calling from overseas.
Oh, and Happy April Fool’s Day!