Retraction Regarding Dragon*Con

May 5, 2008 · 23 comments

I received the following via comment and email from the director of communications for NetWinner, Steve Goldberg. In this message, he requested that I issue a retraction regarding my incorrect characterization of the Dragon*Con conference. Here, in part, is Mr. Goldberg’s statement:
With more than 25 years experience as an investigative reporter/writer, and now under contract to NetWinner, I do my fact checking with great diligence. If you had done your research properly, you would have let your readers know that the annual Dragon*Con in Atlanta with more than 30,000 attendees does not have anything to do with “porn” but is actually, according to their site, “the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the U.S.” It’s a family friendly event with fans dressing as Klingons, Superman, Harry Potter, and other characters. More information can be found at
And here is my response:
I’m not a journalist; I’m a stay-at-home mom. Although I do try to think like a journalist when I do the research for my posts, I did make a mistake on this one: I posted earlier that Dragon*Con was a porn convention. I was wrong. It’s a “science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film” convention. My deepest apologies to Dragon*Con and its many fans and attendees.

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namelessone May 5, 2008 at 7:16 pm

there are a few more mistakes in your articles that you have posted recently also. anyone can do a search and dig up articles about things and post them but seeing part of an article/ email/ video/etc doesn’t give the whole story behind them. some of the links to the videos you placed were for contests that were run, so yes they would act differently in the video than they perhaps would in the normal everday office setting. Things like that only create more hostility as you can from the comments after each of your articles. but you also made your own personal comments about things and hope you realize when you handed out all those links for bbb and attorney generals etc that you yourself could also be involved in a suit if someone decided to go that route.

Kelly Clark May 5, 2008 at 11:00 pm

I think that one should never be afraid to post consumer advocate links as a public service. I think that the comment from “namelessone” is self-serving at best and may have an ulterior motive at worst. I appreciate review blogs like the one that Becky runs that allow a fair and balanced open exchange of commentary. I shudder to think how the internet would be as a source of information if people were afriad to contribute their opinions for fear of legal reprisals.
Thank you Becky for your valuable services rendered to the public by hosting a review & opinion venue. You are a true champion of individual rights and freedom of expression.

game_on May 6, 2008 at 12:26 am

You’re not a stay-at-home mom when you present yourself and your site as presenting the truth. One has nothing to do with the other, sort of like, I don’t know… Dragoncon and porn. The “fair and balanced open exchange of commentary” suggested by Kelly Clark ceased to exist when you openly lied about what Dragoncon is and what Netwinners connection was there. You’re about as fair and balanced as Fox News. I’ve been reading your posts for a while and have found them useful but all of a sudden you’re acting like Netwinner kicked your cat. If they have problems with payouts, have at them. But the other stuff, the personal attacks and the outright lies, are just out of line with what you’ve been doing. Now I’m wondering how truthful your other posts have been. Did Netwinner not give you a kickback or something. Even with your supposed retraction, you only chose to see what you wanted instead of the truth. Your credibility is shot with me just like the media trying make stories out of nothing in regards to McCain, Clinton and Obama. Like Namelessone said, if you don’t served with a lawsuit by Dragoncon or Netwinner, I’d be surprised.

MplsVala May 6, 2008 at 12:53 am

Ooof. Sorry about being so far behind on stuff. I should have caught this one for you. While I got a big laugh out of the screenshot of the adult industry site which described “the bulk” of Dragoncon attendees as being “webmasters, photographers or fetish enthusiasts,” it isn’t a very reasonable way to present those fans. That source is deeply misleading.
Actually, while I can’t speak to the wisdom of NetWinner spending money on sponsoring SF/F panels on adult issues rather than using the money to pay folks, it is not out of the normal range of panels for an SF/F convention. Panel topics can cover a pretty amazing range of ideas and viewpoints even within a single event. (And Dragoncon is an annual, not a one-shot.) Steve Hickman, who did the cover for “Dragon” was a Guest of Honor at one of them. I tend to think that the services that NW offers would be a hard sell at most cons (although fans do a great deal of on-line gaming). I doubt that it was a great use of advertising money, even if you grant that drumming up new business is more important. But there is nothing odd about some marketing guy thinking that the SF/F crowd could provide a hot new market.

Edna May 6, 2008 at 3:16 am

If NW gave a crap, weren’t lying, didn’t have anything to hide why have “they” not paid, not given answers, not done ANYTHING to show good faith?
No, Becky you owe no one an apology and if you gave it that still won’t fix what is wrong with NW. Only they can do that and there is no amount of retractions, corrections or apologies you could make that would help them. They can only help themselves at this point.
You cared about us and how we were treated when NW did not.

justagrandma May 6, 2008 at 6:01 am

Amen, Edna! I agree with you wholeheartedly.

A May 6, 2008 at 8:06 am

Actually Edna, lots of people did finally get paid yesterday, so they’re finally making good on promises again.
I’m not saying they won’t still be way behind and that I’m happy about how long it’s taking, but at least they’ve not totally thrown in the towel yet.

Should've Been A Griper May 6, 2008 at 8:46 am

Interesting to note that some of those who are receiving their redemptions are those who were making their unhappiness known. Some didn’t cashout til 2008 and have apparently received phone calls or emails saying at least one of their cashouts is on its way. What happened to being fulfilled by redemption date? Squeaky wheel gets the grease, I guess.

shellkate May 6, 2008 at 8:55 am

I think if people will wait a week they will see the truth behind the recent payouts! I too think Becky did not need to retractor apoligize for giving us info to make our own adult decisions with!

Elizabth May 6, 2008 at 9:10 am

I have sat back and laughed at the inaccuracy of your posts. When you went so far as to associate Dragoncon and NetWinner with porn, I almost fell out of my chair in shock at your temerity.
Your retraction was done in such a childish manner that you only retracted a portion of what was obviously false; you intentionally inflicted harm to Dragoncon and NetWinner. Its my belief NetWinner was who you intended to damage.
Your stay-at-home mom status is not protected by an LLC or an Incorporation, your temerity is going to get you into trouble you had no idea existed. I can only hope that Dragoncon and NetWinner take full legal action against you, freedom of speech does not mean you have the freedom to damage others for your vengeful and petty purposes.
There is no truth and justice in your writing, its petty and meant to hurt an industry for your own selfish reason.

Becky May 6, 2008 at 10:04 am

In response to these comments:
“One has nothing to do with the other, sort of like, I don’t know… Dragoncon and porn.”
“…the inaccuracy of your posts. When you went so far as to associate Dragoncon and NetWinner with porn…”
I suggest you read the article, entitled “Porn Lords Invade DragonCon – R U READY???” located here:
My only correction needed was in inaccurately describing the entire convention as being related to porn, and for this I’ve apologized to DragonCon publicly in multiple places and privately.

SomeoneWithARealJob May 6, 2008 at 10:46 am

Becky, I don’t think you need to apologize. As you stated “you are not a journalist” you are just a stay at home mom. Your readers simply need to understand that when listening to you they are taking the advice of someone with their own special interest at heart.
Its not a surprise that you spin the facts so that they represent your personal opinions instead of the truth. You are not bound by those pesky things that real reporters and journalistic integrity and remaining objective.
Instead of being constructive with your time you choose to attack people that dare to try and do new cool things. NetWinner has some problems and we all know this but they have also done some really cool things. I have never redeemed and do play a couple of times a week.
I would like to thank NetWinner for doing something new and cool that other sites are not doing.

tlnblue May 6, 2008 at 12:38 pm

They expect you to take the toothpick out of your eye while ignoring the rafter in their own.
I’m so tired of this conflict it isn’t even funny. No other so-called professional rewards site has this much hassle paying people and managing their company proficiently.

Alex May 6, 2008 at 3:42 pm

“Your stay-at-home mom status is not protected by an LLC or an Incorporation, your temerity is going to get you into trouble you had no idea existed. I can only hope that Dragoncon and NetWinner take full legal action against you, freedom of speech does not mean you have the freedom to damage others for your vengeful and petty purposes.
There is no truth and justice in your writing, its petty and meant to hurt an industry for your own selfish reason.”
Freedom of speech is exactly that…freedom of speech. You cannot sue somebody for saying something unless that information was gotten illegally. Have you noticed in politics..politicians always say negative things about each other, yet you do not see them sue each other. The grand jury would dismiss it before it even gets to court.
If she were a business like you said then such claims can be made. But as an individual with rights to express herself, she could put a giant sign bigger then her house saying “Netwinner Sucks” as long it fits into city building regulations.
I think what caused this all to go out of hand is once enough bad things begin to add up, it ends up in a boulder effect. Lets use real life examples. Example: If i were to say, terrorist organization A blew up a bomb in place X. even if it wasn’t the case, since we as people are already so used to hearing some much bad things about this organization A that even with lesser evidence it becomes believable.
If the news said to jump of a bridge, would you do it? everyone must learn to take the news and if its important enough to them, research it themselves.
Whether you agree with what happened or not. I do not think you will find a better resource on the internet for rewards programs. Every person has their views here and there and I am sure a lot of NW members were showing dissatisfaction with the events that even a site that is fair cant help but take a stance. Mistakes happen, we are only human, no?

unknown May 6, 2008 at 3:54 pm

Let me get this straight. The mods from netwinner can come to this site and blast the owner of the site. But if we go to netwinnercentral and say we are unhappy because we haven’t gotten paid, we get banned from the site and our messages are deleted

Curt May 6, 2008 at 5:52 pm

Oh please. There are tons of people who have complained on the forum stating they haven’t been paid and are not banned.

tlnblue May 6, 2008 at 6:28 pm

Becky, I’m truly sorry you’re getting blasted from all sides but as I said to you before, even our governments cannot and will not protect people from their own stupidity. You’d be absolutely amazed at the courtroom dramas that take place even after people are made fully aware of the illegality of their actions. The outraegous defenses, the denial, the screaming and the threats. Sometimes good people get slapped in the face by that side of human nature.
The information you presented could’ve been obtained by any one of us had we done the legwork. It’s all there for anyone to uncover. No one would be hassling and threatening you if NW had of been practicing philanthropy by making donations to well-deserved organizations and you happened to publicize it. News is news, period. They shot the messenger. Don’t let a rubber bullet cripple you, girl.

Elizabeth May 6, 2008 at 11:15 pm

Have fun with that tooth brush – its sharpens into a shive.
YOU’RE NOT EXEMPT from your own ineptitude and a claim of homemaker. The legal system you love so much will love you back.
HA — HA — You will get no visit from me while your in jail!
How much your family suffers will be your own doing and not a game that did not give you a gift card…
So glad you have your priorities in order!

Becky May 6, 2008 at 11:42 pm

What, Elizabeth, no further comment on how there’s no connection between Dragon*con and porn? Oh, yeah…I was right about that. What else was I right about?
Readers, if anyone out there can PROVE that anything that I said about NetWinner was incorrect, here’s my email address:
Do your research. Quote me, show me where I said the quote, and provide the links that show I’m wrong. And if I was, I will immediately correct it, issue a retraction, and apologize privately as well as publicly…the same way I did with my mischaracterization of Dragon*Con.
I’m not perfect. Maybe there is something else I was wrong about. People DO make mistakes. I believe I had documentation for every assertion I made. But hey, I could be wrong. SHOW ME where I’m wrong, give me links, document your side, and if I’m wrong, I will apologize and make it right.
Do the research…thoroughly. And see if you don’t find exactly what I found.

Alex May 7, 2008 at 1:03 am

Elizabeth, netwinner has the same rights to sue becky as she has to sue anyone who responds to her posts in a negative way. If you google, you won’t find any article about a blogger going to jail (at least in the USA). We aren’t in china where there is censorship everywhere.
Plus, if you know anything..over 85% of the members of rewards programs are at home moms. A suite against becky and her freedom of speach would be like digging their own grave into bankruptcy.

tlnblue May 7, 2008 at 3:27 am

Well, I could be wrong but I believe the law is on the side of those who educate the public about misrepresentation, false advertising, contract law and breaches of contracts, online fraud, pyramid and ponzi schemes and variations of them, mlms, hyips, due diligence, recourse and a slew of other information needed for safe commerce.
I also believe most judges would welcome counter-claims against those who threaten those who expose truths that enable citizens to make wiser financial decisions since public education is in the best interest of local, state, federal and global economies.
But, as I said, I could be wrong. If anyone can find out if I’m wrong then I’ll be happy to retract my statement. Otherwise, stop infringing on our freedom of speech.

michele May 7, 2008 at 5:10 am

I think this is outrageous that Becky is being made the escape goat for NW problems, the blog was merely letting people know who nw has dealt with and I for one and grateful to have someone like Becky on our side, she’s not afraid to speak her mind and dig for the truth. As stated on the forum, this didnt hinder NW, they did that themselves by not paying their players and constantly changing their rules. Too bad they didnt spend half the time on their members as they did on the letter lashing out at Becky. I think all you Becky haters need to take a step back and realize how foolish you are making yourselves look by coming here and bashing her.
Mike had no business posting that on the forum since the topic wasnt even allowed to be discussed, I find it appalling how its one sided.
Keep doing what you do best Becky!!!

Jack May 7, 2008 at 11:31 am

I find this whole episode comical. Talk about a red herring . NetWinner is having a problem because they are 6 months behind on payments to members . The natives were restless , and the old hang in there , be patient , NetWinner always pays was not working any longer . So what did NetWinner do ? Nothing . They totally stopped communication with the members . Negative threads were removed under the guise of re-organizing the forum . On April 14 , 2008 , Mike ( mp65 ) stated he was awaiting word from higher ups regarding fulfillment . It is now May 7 , 2008 , and nothing has been passed down to members .
Higher ups at NetWinner did find time to comment about posts at this site . Now , there are people posting here , attacking the owner of this site . Yet none of them have any comments about the fact that NetWinner is not paying members . No one at NetWinner is explaining the non-payments to members . Doesn’t all of this strike the adamant defenders of NetWinner as odd ? You are concerned about a posting here regarding an event in 2006 , yet are not concerned about non payments of earnings to NetWinner members ? I think you need to get your priorities in order .

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