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No single person can ever be able to respond to every single incident. People's intentions and motives in one incident should not be criticised on the basis that they were absent from responding to previous incidents.
However, sometimes this selective responsiveness will be brought up in an underhanded attempt to discredit the person or to speculate about the intentions and motives of a response.
- In December 2008, Sam Varghese, a writer for ITWire, posted a followup to a previous post about the SmellyWerewolf Incident which in part attacked Pia Waugh (who had responded to a misguided post by Russell Coker) for her absence from the debate:
- "A number of people gave Russell a roasting about his post. Self-styled open source advocate Pia Waugh made a number of patronising comments about the post which took as its starting point an entry in a Lenovo salesman's blog. Of course, when real women are offended and say so, people like Waugh go missing."
- In July 2009, Varghese used the absence from the SmellyWerewolf Incident to concoct conspiracy theories about the motives of the of Lefty Schlesinger, Matt Zimmerman, and to take a parallel jab at Matthew Garrett (with whom he has had several disagreements):
- "[...] when the Debian project was surrounded by allegations of sexist remarks - and one female developer came out strongly against them - neither Schlesinger nor Zimmermann[sic], a former Debian developer, was around to take up cudgels and beat the drums against sexism.
Both these courageous fighters for equal rights were missing in action.
Matthew Garrett, a former Debian developer and exceptionally gifted programmer, who has in the past criticised people over what he construed as sexism - to the extent that the person who wrote the alleged sexist post had to take it down - was nowhere to be seen. Garret has thrown his hat in the ring this time, though. [...]"
- In July 2009, Matt Zimmerman posted a blog entry about some abhorrent spam he received that left him "feeling hollow". He later explained that his horror was due to it being "people attempting to create a market based on it". One commenter responded thus:
- "Can you point to your post(s) complaining about the movie, television and game markets that creates a market based upon maiming, torture, murder, genocide and other aberrations against the general niceties of our lives that much of what passes as entertainment today employs?"