Friday, June 01, 2012

Leaks and spoilers

I've just had a polite phone call from the Cabinet Office asking me to help cover up their mistake and remove information about the leaked honours list. For the sake of all those decent, honest honours recipients, of course, who weren't expecting it to be released yet. Poor Prince Phillip. He'll have people calling him up to congratulate him on being one of the "greatest living New Zealanders" (despite having set foot here all of, what, ten times?) two days early.

The answer is "no". While I will respect an embargo when information is offered to me under such conditions, I see no reason to politely ignore interesting material which is publicly available. If the Cabinet Office didn't want people to read the list yet, they shouldn't have posted it on the internet for anyone to see. Once its up, it doesn't go away. As for possible spoilers, the internet expectation is that if you don't want them, don't read it.

That said, I'd ask people to be respectful of the privacy of those decent, honest honours recipients, and not bug them about it (assuming you even know any of them) until the official announcement. Prince Philip and Rod Deane, OTOH, are another matter.