Sad Truth: The Story of Little One April

9 years ago

This month, the BlogHer team learned about a blog that violated our editorial guidelines by publishing content the writer knew was false: http://littleoneapril.blogspot.com.

As such, this blog is no longer a member of our publishing network. The author, Rebeccah Beushausen, has never received payment from BlogHer, and won't.

BlogHer doesn't disclose the details of our publishing relationships with bloggers. In this case we don't have to tell you the story, The Associated Press already has: Ill[inois] blogger admits tale of ill child was hoax.

How do Elisa, Jory and I feel about it?

Sad. On so many levels.

Two thoughts. First, I'll speak from my heart. I'm horrified for the author, Rebecca Beushausen, who is clearly troubled. I'm just as horrified that she would cast doubt on blogs by women who have lost children by using her blog to lie to and mislead readers -- even going so far as to attempt to raise money by doing so.

Angie, Jennifer and Raechel articulate her violation of the community beautifully on Angie's blog, Bring The Rain:

"There are incidences like this that occur in the blog world, and each of us has dealt with them. This should serve as a reminder that not everyone is to be trusted; there are people who can use this as a platform for emotional attention, or any number of things.

"After much discussion, many phone calls to others involved, and much prayer, we feel like this is the best approach. The three of us care about our readers more than we can express, and have become friends outside of the blog world. We all believed it too and we are mourning it the same way you are."

At BlogHer, we believe our editorial standards have never been more important -- and the untrue case of Little One April proves it. No, these guidelines didn't prevent this blogger from lying to her readers -- no media outlet's rules for content creators can prevent that behavior.

But we can work to raise the bar. Since 2005, we have been using these guidelines to promote respect and credibility for women who blog. By rejecting, as a community, this writer's knowingly false blog as unacceptable we will continue to do so. With your help, the actions of one troubled individual will not be able to taint the important contributions of so many women.

I welcome your thoughts.

Best,
Lisa

for Elisa, Jory and Lisa
BlogHer Co-founders

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