I wrote here yesterday about the emails I’d received from Foxwordy CEO Monica Zent in which she wrote that “we are not currently including press as members of the Foxwordy community” and that “we have placed those members who have used Foxwordy for the purpose of blogging about the Foxwordy product on hold based on the requests of users.”
Now Zent has issued a statement to the ABA Journal saying that the site does not ban all legal bloggers, but only “a very small sector of the legal tech blogging community whose sole purpose for joining Foxwordy is to blog about Foxwordy and its members’ activities.”
By that she may mean just me. After all, the “legal tech blogging community” isn’t all that big to begin with, and “a very small sector” of an already small sector would indicate that I may be the sole recipient of Foxwordy’s banishment.
Zent’s statement contains a few points that warrant a response.
Foxwordy Invited Me Because I Was A Blogger
Zent’s statement makes it sound as if I joined the site under false pretenses — for the “sole purpose … to blog about Foxwordy and its members’ activities.”
In fact, when I first joined Foxwordy on Feb. 27, 2014, it was at the invitation of the site’s publicist, the CEO of a New York public relations firm named Mark Pasetsky. He reached out to me to announce Foxwordy’s launch knowing full well that I am a blogger — indeed, because I am a blogger — and he provided me with an invitation to join the site.
So, contrary to Zent’s characterization, she — or at least her PR guy — knew full well that I was “joining Foxwordy … to blog about Foxwordy.”
Where Are All These Blog Posts and Screen Grabs?
Zent’s statement said something else interesting about her decision to ban certain bloggers:
This decision was based on a number of legal tech bloggers who have posted screen grabs of the community and its activities which is a violation of our Terms of Service.
I’m wondering who those “number of legal tech bloggers” were who posted screen grabs. I’ll admit, I posted one screen grab in my review, but it was only of my personal welcome page. It did not show members’ activities.
I’ve searched Google and Twitter for other legal tech bloggers who posted reviews of Foxwordy and I can’t find any. I also searched Google images for screen grabs and could not find any. Carolyn Elefant mentioned Foxwordy in a post, but had no screen grabs. I found several news stories about Foxwordy and about Zent, but I have not found other blog posts. If you wrote or know of one, let me know.
I Was Never Warned
According to the ABA Journal, a Foxwordy representative “said the website warned the banned bloggers that its terms of service were being violated.”
In my case, that is simply not true. I never heard a peep from Foxwordy about violating any terms of service. In fact, last February at LegalTech New York, well after I wrote my review of Foxwordy, I met the PR guy who had initially invited me. He reminded me that he represented Foxwordy and was completely cordial. He said nothing that would suggest anything had been out of order.
Read Her Full Statement
Here is Zent’s full statement as it appeared in the ABA Journal:
The following statement is in reference to recent reports which have incorrectly described the Foxwordy policy. To be clear, the legal blogging community has not and is not banned from the Foxwordy community. Many of our members do have their own blogs that they publish to regularly that pertain to their own practice and expertise. Our policy based on user feedback is to not include a very small sector of the legal tech blogging community whose sole purpose for joining Foxwordy is to blog about Foxwordy and its members’ activities. This decision was based on a number of legal tech bloggers who have posted screen grabs of the community and its activities which is a violation of our Terms of Service. We have a duty to our members to maintain the integrity of our private social network.