Current mess and addition of new forum under current events

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Sean in Ottawa wrote:
.... after being baited for days with false accusations of a personal attack justifies that response

Sean, without going back into the details, I felt deeply insulted by the post in question. I think we interpret "personal attack" differently. The reason I felt so insulted is because I have had so much respect for you as do many others here. You can't possibly have missed all the praise you get. The same words coming from someone else would not have been nearly so upsetting to me.

I don't think I am wrong concerning the political topic underlying our argument, but I do apologize for having offended you so deeply. It was not my intent.

You are wrong about the things you are saying about me. Last word is yours if you want it because it is not my intent to restart the debate.



Sean in Ottawa

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Another reason why I think this whole idea of questioning people - their motives and understanding - rather than talking about the issues, is so absurd it would be laughable, if it weren't so damaging.

This is an extremely important idea. People should be held to account for what they say and do. But ascribing motivations is very offensive and serves to avoid accountability while deepening misunderstanding. It also sets up a dynamic where by no reconciliation can occur while the listener keeps static what they imagine the person is thinking rather than hearing what they are saying.


I don't get the amnesty thing. I think that is is fair to understand that banning is often permanent becuase once that has happned the person won't be interested in returning -- ever.

That said there are times when banning makes sense and there have been people who were genuiniely abusive over a long time. It is up to moderators to use good judgment with consideration and progressive responses before going there. But I would not want to second guess all of those decisions nor do I know the complete history of all of them. There may have been background harassment through messaging -- at least that has been alleged. I can say just for for myself I have no history of using private messages for this purpose so what you see is what I have said. I gather it is not always like that.

I am not a fan of bandwagons and don't want to either start or jump on one. My responses are limited only to the first hand experiences I am speaking to. The trend I speak to is what I observed. I will not suggest that it is universal. I do think it is worth more consideration than the outright dismisal as sexism that it is getting simply becuase the person I tried to hold to account happens to be female. If I have ever said anything sexist I welcome correction. Engaging with someone of the opposite gender who came into a thread as a bully is not sexism.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Sean, you are a one-man comedy show. Don't ever change.


swallow wrote:

Slumberjack wrote:
 I've never been totally convinced by the argument that on a discussion board someone is being prevented from commenting because of someone else.

Again with respect, and I thjink this has been said before in other words -- that argument ignores the very real existence of power and the society in which we all happen to live.

Yes it has been said before, like a lot of things.  The argument does no such thing as to ignore power structures, which is quite difficult to do anyway, but I try to engage with the idea that a particular form of weakness exists that prevents people from speaking because their power to do so is sapped, and transferred to the ones preventing speech.  This is actually what occurs when people say one side is disempowered and the other empowered.  Merely saying so from a position of authority lends to the authenticity of statements like that, making it into more of a reality than it otherwise should be on a discussion board, by re-chaulking the well worn delineations that have already been laid down by the power structure and trying to make everyone fit within their alloted zones.  'You, over there where you belong, and you, stay right where you are, we need you on our side.'

No, women are not prevented physically from commenting in some threads. And yet, many women and many marginalized groups don't often comment in them. (Malaysia plane crash, many of the political team sports threads, etc.) It's worth asking why, rather than simply putting the onus on those who don't comment to do so.

Why put the onus on anyone.  Much depends on a person's interest level and g.a.f.f.  I know there are plenty of conversations I like to avoid.  As for geopolitics and western 'democracy,' it all traces back to the choice of the solitary voter doesn't it?  All of the interaction around Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, etc is also influenced or supported by the thumbs up/thumbs down decisions undertaken in Ottawa.  It is certainly no hobby to discuss war and violence.  As political subjects we're implicated in it whether we choose to ignore it or not.  Who again is disparaging what people talk about?

Saying that everyone should dare to be more confrontational, I think, is not the most feminist response possible. It's just possible that more can be done. (On the other hand, I may have misunderstood your point; if so, apologies and please do elaborate!)

I try to elaborate, thats all.  The point is not to say that I don't think we're rowdy enough, but in a way, to suggest that if the precondition toward dialogue is that everyone be hosed down in order to rinse away whatever deeply ingrained influences of power that may be sticking to them, by and large we'd be speaking to ourselves.  If we're all carrying societal baggage and personal effects in certain measures, its probably wise to eventually begin discussing why we need to continue doing that.


6079_Smith_W wrote:
I have to say I'm also scratching my head at this "general amnesty" idea.  In the first place, what does it have to do the topic at hand? Secondly, who do we imagine are the sad exiles pining to be let back in the gates, and prevented from doing so by evil moderators?

Non-sequitur.  No one commented on the status of the emotional condition of previously banned posters.  They could be happy for all I know, and an invitation to return might cause a sudden re-lapse.

The last big incident I know of was by mutual agreement, and the door is open, as far as I know. And thirdly, do you realize such an amnesty would  include not just political allies, but a number of genuine trolls and people that some blame for the alleged sad state of affairs here?

We have actually had a few threads on the specific topic of banning, time outs and moderator powers.

Also, I had to smile at the mention of one specific name. I think it was over in the other place, but just a few months ago I was accused of being that very poster, come back from the dead to troll under an alias.

Another reason why I think this whole idea of questioning people - their motives and understanding - rather than talking about the issues, is so absurd it would be laughable, if it weren't so damaging.

I don't think I'll venture into the rest of this labyrinth of the non-sequitur for now.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Slumberjack wrote:
They could be happy for all I know, and an invitation to return might cause a sudden re-lapse.

Hahaha. It's true. Perhaps we should start to consider banning an act of public good? *bans himself*

Anyway, I really don't know what this thread is supposed to accomplish. And we have another much more positively titled thread elsewhere. So I'ma close this. Maybe ygbtk would like to repost his helpful Cole's notes post there? I'd even absorb the "asymmetrical moderation" dig as payment.

So unless there's anything further (just kidding, I know there is but I don't care), I'm closing.


Topic locked