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Deleteville and censorship

Posted by WC (gen coord) on August 30, 2003 at 07:13:57

In Reply to: Re: It's a judgement call posted by Joseph on August 30, 2003 at 06:03:20:

Wow. Thanks for explaining that. I understand more now about why you'd feel that way.

Joseph, I am leaving for a few days, and won't be online for a while, but I will take the time to answer your points. I will not be able to answer followup posts to this one.

I don't have the time now to look into the "part and parcel" issue, and why exactly it was you were deleted. Until I do I can't comment usefully about it. I am however 100% sure there were other reasons than we are "treating you differently from other posters." Reading your post however, I understand why you do not feel that assured.

We try to make general guidelines that cover everything, and not to make exceptions all over the place, but still we have to look at each situation carefully.

If certain messages are allowed to stay up, sometimes it is because the person involved has done a good job of speaking up for him/herself. That is my guess why posts inflammatory in nature towards you if not too totally off the wall, might end up staying.

Case in point, I had such a good laugh at your response to the poster "Getting tired" that I didn't consider deleting anything. He/she made a jab at you, voicing whatever legitimate or uncalled for complaints, and you bounced it back like Superman using a mirror to deflect a laser beam back at the bad guys.

Sometimes, it is better to let a situation ride itself out. We have no way of predicting where the discussion will turn. Often, even when a post causes us to go on orange alert, you can't predict how a thread is going to turn out. There are situatioons where people posting offensive content or what we know to be false information, should be allowed to show their true colors. I'm sure you've made decisions like that before on your site. Sometimes it's good to be able to say like you, "I just stood there and pointed my finger at it and said, 'Look what this guy did!'"

Case in point, the "French" comment by Sam. Whatever it was that Sam was saying, it probably wasn't racial, but if it was, it would become obvious. There was no need to delete or warn Sam about it, because although cryptic, it was perhaps an attempt at a "pardon my French" "parable." Maybe he thinks he was sworn at. Whatever it was, it would become clear, and some people pointed it out that they didn't appreciate his putting the French language down. If Sam did any damage, it was probably to himself most of all.

If there are specific posts you feel you be removed, because they cite you as pro-abuse, you are welcome to point them out, send me an email, and I will remove them. I remember how you said that sometimes people say all kinds of things, and if you don't come and challenge them, they get accepted as truth. IMO, that is the horrible, most unfriendly part of this whole business. It's horrible once you get a high enough cyber or real life profile, that people just say whatever they want about you freely, and then put you in the awful cycle of defending yourself over and over. In the process, however, you my have brought up so many great points and important things that didn't go unnoticed, that the posts would serve better staying up as a matter of record.

About, the copyright issue, there were sound reasons why we couldn't allow that discussion. I'm now in that frustrating position I mentioned earlier, where I know things, really want to talk about it, but can't, simply because there are names, people and situations which must be kept confidential. Nothing is as simple as it may seem, and your actions were going to hurt someone or something. I wish I could say more. I couldn't talk about it then, I still can't talk about it now.

About letting Sam's post stay up, Sam may have brought up your name and a couple of others, but he was vague and cryptic about whatever he was talking about - he basically said nothing more than his vague personal reasons for having a sense of urgency about something, but he doesn't mention what. There was no reason to take down his post. However, to you, it may have been very inflammatory and specific since you were involved, and you think he said way too much, but it really probably wasn't that clear at all. Your reply got a whole lot more specific than he did. It didn't need to enter Deleteville, but it was getting close. I'm sorry you were offended by that delete comment, but rereading everything you wrote I still see this point.

Perhaps there will be many things we will never agree on, but still, although you have your reasons for feeling unwelcome here as you've explained so well, I personally feel a lot of it may be based on misunderstandings.