Remember the other week when I blogged about two guys jumping off of Key Bridge? I figured it was just a fun little post about a rather remarkable video that would be up a day and pretty much go away — traffic analysis supported that theory by the way.
It turns out the story has not just gone away.
I received an email containing this:
Please remove your September 22nd regarding the YouTube video “Descending from Heights” from your blog ASAP!
These students are under threat of expulsion because of this post and the Casual Hoya blog post. I’m sure they appreciate the notoriety, but an administrator who follows Casual Hoya saw this and brought it to the attention of Student Conduct. The YouTube video is no longer accessible, and the Casual Hoya post and other blog posts have also been removed. It would greatly help if the post from your site was removed, as a Google search for the appropriate terms brings up your blog. Please remove this so these students don’t get expelled.
That was an interesting email and obviously, I disagree that my blog or any other could be responsible for any expulsions; those unnamed jumpers knew what they were doing and put a bit of planning and production into their jump and video. However, having taken media ethics in college, I figured I would go beyond my initial instinct and think it through. I also presented the question to several other bloggers, friends, journalists, lawyers etc. — people who have had formal ethics training. Most of them had similar sentiments to mine, though the other blogs did take their posts down.
After sending out that email, I did a little more research and discovered a fascinating fact. The sender of the email had the same name of someone who was famous in the 1800s for claiming to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge. What an amazing coincidence!
I will advise others though that trying to cover up something tends to have unintended consequences. We Love DC blogged about this as well.
Ultimately, I have gone with my gut instinct and left that post up. I feel I would be compromising myself if I removed it. It certainly has been a fun little exercise for a media studies major though.
UPDATE 03.21.2012: The video went back up