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A CA reader passes along this link—an online search engine , hosted by SF Gate and the San Francisco Chronicle , which enables readers, at the click of a mouse, to find donors for and against CA’s gay-marriage ban. It’s a tidy piece of technology in many ways, compiling information which is, in some sense, public domain, and allowing armchair investigators to search for donors by name or location. The donation amount, along with the donor’s full name, occupation, and employer are all provided, and the link is now included along with each of the paper’s frequent articles on the issue.

One has to wonder: What is the motivation here, but to enable investigation of one’s neighbors, employees, small business owners? Little surprise that the cases of threatening and harassment have started trickling in. As our reader notes, “Of course, the tool also allows readers to search for individuals who donated to the No on Prop 8 campaign, but among this newspaper’s readership they are a vast and safe majority.” Discrimination isn’t necessarily a dirty word, but this search engine makes me decidedly uneasy.



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