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The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox-tech mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox-tech] Censorship => signoff
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Re: [vox-tech] Censorship => signoff



> That said, there is a very serious, and as I've heard from several
> sources, long standing issue with mailing list administration.  This
> problem needs fixing badly and soon.
> 
> 
> 
> For the single action of posting a followup comment to the group from
> which a discussion had started, I was accused by the list administrator
> of:
> 
>   - Cross posted to both lists, which is a big no-no.  [Ed: The followup
>     was forwarded to the list it had begun on, which the list admin had
>     moved it in the first place]

First off: that's not cross-posting. Cross-posting, done properly, has
always been considered a *good* thing (unfortunately, it rarely *is*
done properly); but is not possible to perform over email, since it
means the posting of a *single* message which is visible over more
than one group. What they must have meant to accuse you of must have
been multiple-message-posting.

But: I agree 100% that the action you took was appropriate for the
thread in question. Especially since it had been your post originally,
whose destination was altered.

>   - Sending non-technical content to vox-tech, which is a big no-no.
>     [Ed: See above.  Topic drift happens.]

100% agreed, especially given that since part of the topic was the
vox-tech list itself (or messages on it), and thus was still very topical.

>   - Brought up reply-to munging, which is a violation of khendon's rule,
>     which is also a huge no-no.[1]

(Thought it was Kendrick's rule? And I thought it was Bill Kendrick
who pointed this out, very gently?)

> This was followed with the threat:
> 
>     on the next violation of mailing list rules, i'm going to start
>     approving your posts.   you're very fond of quoting rules which
>     frankly don't apply here, or which i feel ambivalent to.

Is this really true? If it is in fact, than I agree completely that
this is a very heavy-handed reaction to a small, debatable offense

> Being told with a heavy hand that actions whose status vis-a-vis list
> rules is highly debatable at best will result in moderation on next
> instance is far more than simply undiplomatic.
> 
> It's a stifling of free discussion and actively discourages
> participation.  It's a violation of norms of respect, trust,
> intellectual honesty, and the fostering of free speech and technical
> debate which are among the foundations of free software.  It's simply
> unacceptable.
> 
> We're living in times at which openness of our institutions --
> government, business, technology, education, and religion --
> particularly for the purposes of internal criticism and review, has been
> badly compromised.  It's beyond pitiful that a group of like-minded
> technical folks with shared interests, mostly neighbors, can't evaluate,
> or comment on, their own group, rules, and tools.  
> 
> The minute someone starts saying "you can't talk about this or that" the
> alarm bells go off in my head.  It's the sign of a sick society.

I disagree with almost everything you said above: in particular, it
doesn't apply here. Your right to speak is in no danger, only your
choice of where you may say it. As I have already said, I disagree
with the decision but respect it. As Pete is fond of saying, Vox is
not a democracy, nor do I feel it should be. A list is under the
jurisdiction of the list moderator. End of story. If a truly
dictatorial list admin runs a list, people won't stick around on
it. Since there are still a very significant number of people on this
list, that would not seem to be the case.

Your choice of subject line is rather melodramatic, I should think;
since no one is telling you what you may talk about. Though to
politely ask someone who keeps beating on a perceived flaw in the
handling of the list is certainly not out of the question.

I happen to know for a fact that Pete is very seriously thinking about
(in fact, last I heard, positive planning to) address the Reply-To
situation. He (and others) just doesn't want to keep hearing about it
all the time.

> I requested an apology for the moderation threat, a withdrawal of the
> threat, and several changes in list policy, including considering
> removal of the current list administrator.

I believe it is your right to ask for the apology, and I believe it is
merited. I also believe you have the right to ask for, but don't for
even a moment believe you have the right to expect, changes in list
policy, and especially even the consideration the removal of the
current list admin. At least not on the basis of this single, very
minor matter.

> Having had not received same
> after 24 hours, I'm unsubscribing from LUGoD lists and ceasing
> participation in an organization I can no longer trust or respect, 
> much as it pains me to say this.

I cannot think of an appropriate response to this, and it really
doesn't deserve one.

-Micah
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