What brilliant readers you are! Thank you all so much for your supportive comments on yesterday’s post. I can’t tell you how much it means to me. I sometimes feel like we are living in a vacuum, coping with ill-health, no work, no money, and little support. I haven’t felt like that today.
I want to address a few issues that arose from the comments.
I don’t read the Mail; I linked to the article from a Google alert I have set up for all CFS items that appear online. This particular article was written for their Science & Tech page. The Telegraph also covered the Skiver app story, but the tone was not so low.
Making a formal complaint: I have to admit, it never occurred to me. I have strong feelings about the right to free speech and a free press: Ms Rees is entitled to her opinion, however misguided I might think her, or how inconvenient that may be to me. I had no compunction in availing myself of the right to upbraid her: freedom of speech works both ways.
The reporter may have been insensitive – it was her ‘Poor you’ after the mention of CFS that so enraged me – but I’m not convinced she broke any guidelines, so I don’t feel I have the right to complain. I do very much appreciate your indignation, however; and I hope you don’t think I’m letting you down.
What I did do immediately after posting last night was send the link to the MailOnline editor, with a request that s/he forward it to Ms Rees. I had to laugh; the automated reply came back with this information:
Our Email Support Service is able to provide you with :
Information on CFS/M.E.
Details of local NHS services for CFS/M.E.
Support to help you cope with the illness
Support for carers
I also sent the Mail link to Action for M.E., a charity campaigning for better recognition of the condition. They had this to say:
Like you, we took serious issue with the reports in yesterday’s media that make light of the ‘Skiver’ app encouraging people to use CFS/M.E. as an excuse to take days off sick.
We wrote to the Daily Mail and the Telegraph expressing our concern. We also wrote to the makers of the app itself, who have been in touch to apologise. You can read about this here:
I was pleased to note that they had acted so quickly. You can read the whole article at the above link but here’s the important bit:
A senior Gospelware representative has replied, saying:
“Please accept my sincere apologies if we upset or offended you or your members in any way. The app was meant to be a bit of fun, and from feedback I now realise that we got it totally wrong in using CFS in this case.
It hadn’t occurred to me to complain to the app maker for trivialising CFS, so I’m glad to know the people at AfME are on the ball.
I haven’t had a response yet from Gwyneth Rees; if I do hear anything, I will let you know.
Once again I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone for your support; it means much more than you will ever know.