Thursday, May 15, 2014


The article on the conflict between the stall owners and Pedro had a link to the formal complaint logged by the stall owners, and curious to see what this looked like, Bjorn clicked on it to have it come up on his screen. The page with the complaint was set in a dark frame, with "The Blacklist" written in grey letters, as if set in stone, at the top. The subtitle stated, also in grey letters, that "all are innocent until proven guilty." And next to the title, there was a search field, and an option to go to an advanced search page.

The complaint itself was tidy and clean cut, with its title displayed at the top, followed by some basic information, such as status and location, a full list of the plaintiffs and the name of the defendant. Each person in the list was highlighted with a link, presumably to get to more details on each individual, and still curious to learn as much as he could about Pedro, Bjorn clicked on his name to see what more, if anything, the Blacklist had on him.

But instead of going directly to more personal information on Pedro, the link directed Bjorn to a short fact sheet containing only his name and contact details together with a list of accusations and another list of grievances in which he was presently involved. To get more personal details on Pedro, Bjorn had to click on Pedro's name again, but the page on Pedro was kept down to a bare minimum with no more than his full name and minimal contact details filled in.

So it was clear that Pedro's personal information page at the Blacklist did not tell Bjorn anything new. However, the short fact sheet on him did in fact tell Bjorn a little more, because it did not only list the dispute with the stall owners under open grievances against him, it also listed a dispute in which he was a plaintiff. Pedro was listed as having a grievance against Ane, and this surprised Bjorn so much that once he saw it he clicked the link to see what it was all about.

And sure enough, there it was. Pedro and Jan were complaining about Ane's fish factory. They were concerned about the pollution coming from it due to all the untreated fish waste that she was dumping into the fjord, and they wanted her to clean up her act. Their personal grievance against Ane was that her disregard for the environment would soon cause a stench, and thus negatively affect the value of the casino and the village square.

Bjorn looked at the date of the complaint, thinking it odd that it had been logged so soon after the factory had been opened. The factory was after all, only opened the day before, and it could not possibly be the case that the environment was already affected by this. And it looked like someone had had the exact same thought, because someone called Maria had made a comment on the complaint, very much to that effect. However, while Bjorn was reading Maria's short comment, another comment appeared, this one directed to Maria, and authored by Jan, saying that "we don't need to wait for the inevitable. There is no doubt that the untreated sewage will cause problems, and that this will damage our properties. Ane cannot simply ship her stench over to us without any kind of compensation. And it is not like the technology to treat her waste does not exist."

"Boy! These people don't kid around, do they?" Bjorn thought to himself. Then, curious to see what the Blacklist had on Ane, he clicked on her name to get up her short fact sheet, and then on her name again to go to her personal details. However, Ane's personal details page was not filled in. Instead the page asked him politely to fill in the page if he happened to be Ane. However, right below the polite invitation to fill in the details was a stern warning. "Do not fill in this page if you are not in fact Ane, or a person authorized by Ane," it said in bold red lettering. "Any abuse of the Blacklist is a crime and will be treated accordingly."

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