Mailvox: an automated response

I just received this in my inbox in response to the 15-page document I sent them this morning:

This is an automated acknowledgment.

Thank you for making your complaint to the Press Complaints Commission about the article published in the The Guardian on the 30/08/2013.

Please note that we require you to supply a copy of the article or articles under complaint; this can take the form of a link or links to the publication’s website. If you have already provided a copy, or if you are aware that the PCC has already received a large number of complaints about the article or articles, please disregard the following.

If you have not already provided a copy of the article and we do not receive a copy within seven days we will assume you do not wish to pursue the matter further.  You can email a copy  of the article or link to, or send a hard copy in the post to Press Complaints Commission, Halton House, 20/23 Holborn, London EC1N 2JD.

If you require any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact us by email at or by telephone 0845 600 2757.

However, it isn’t the only response my complaint has already triggered.  You may recall that back in February, the author of the article, Tor Books’s David Barnett, exchanged tweets with SFWA member Damien Walter.

@davidmbarnett Well done for doing that piece without linking to the bigot. *applauds*

@damiengwalter Well, I figured anyone who wanted to could trawl back through @Scalzi’s site, and if I’d named him I’d have to get a quote…

Within minutes of my retweeting his tweet and mentioning that I’d fired off a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission, I noticed that Mr. Barnett had belatedly decided to delete his tweet.  I tend to doubt his action is going to help his cause in the slightest; in fact, at this point, it may even be seen as an implicit admission of his malicious intent.  Especially since his action was far from unpredictable and I would have been remiss had I failed to capture the screen.

This is just the first stage.  How I proceed from here will depend, to a certain extent, upon what the Commission determines concerning the two Guardian articles.  The second article is potentially quite useful as the Guardian can’t even try to plead ignorance this time. This is because, in addition to the articles, the comments, the list of Mr. Scalzi’s public attacks on me dating back to 2005, and the aforementioned tweets, I also sent the Commission copies of several emails that were exchanged between me and the Guardian editor.

It’s possible that the PCC will be just as fair and balanced as the SFWA Board, but if nothing else, I don’t think they’ll be as likely to make their determination on the basis of Mr. Scalzi’s threats.  And I find it rather telling how eager people like the SFWA Board and Mr. Barnett are to try to hide their actions from public view.