For the last two years, MHN has been campaigning for the closure of Kiwi Farms, a website that stalks the disabled, tricks them or hacks their accounts for intimate revelations. The abuse is recounted in Margaret Pless’ detailed and well sourced article for New York Magazine as well as many articles here.
So it is unsurprising that when previously respectable publisher Harper Collins released a book by author Judith Newman, “To Siri With Love” behaving in a similarly intrusive way towards her own son, that there would be widespread condemnation and a campaign to #BoycottToSiri. The book is a horrific invasion of privacy in which Newman shares private sexual and medical information and announces her intent to have her son sterilised. It is obviously capable of great harm to her child. On this occasion Harper Collins CEO Brian Murray and Publisher Michael Morrison took their eyes of the ball. They need to lose their jobs for it. Contact details for writing to them to ask them to withdraw the book are below.
We all remember our teenage years. The little ways our parents would embarrass us. The need for privacy to explore developing sexual feelings and to make mistakes without the world looking after our shoulders. These things are difficult enough for those of us without serious disabilities. Of course, for those suffering from emotional problems or serious conditions like autism the quest for dignity and autonomy can be far more complex and difficult.
Now, imagine your vile and emotionally abusive mother decides to –
- disclose to the world that you have a stigmatised disability – autism
- discuss your potty training (chapter 1)
- admit her favourite 20th century novel is the world’s most infamous paedophile novel (chapter 3)
- mock your sexuality – claiming she envisages it with a “Benny Hill” soundtrack (chapter 8)
- discusses your crushes and intimate relationships in detail (throughout)
- discussed your porn browsing habits and indeed your sibling’s (chapter 13)
- publicly states she intends to obtain power of attorney over you and have you sterilised (chapter 13)
For extra horror points, imagine a multinational corporation decides to help your mother distribute this worldwide in a book. That is the situation faced by Gus Newman at the hands of his mother Judith Newman, Harper Collins CEO Brian Murray and President Michael Morrison.