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Page last updated:
2003 Jan 30 19:23

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

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



It's really too bad about you leaving--I thought you had a lot of
thoughtful and insightful posts.

I'm sorry you took the admonitions personally--however, I would say I
think that giving you such a stern warning and issuing threats may be
going a little overboard, considering how active in the OS comminity you
are--it's not like you never used a mailing list before.

On the flip side, as I understand it, vox-tech was created because of
complaints from folken who only want to receive posts strictly about
technical questions regarding Linux. We can carry on about "off-topic"
posts all we want on vox, but keep the technical questions on vox-tech
and only the technical questions.

The thread in question, since it drifted off of being techincal, should
have been moved to vox. Having said that, I would say that a *better*
way to have handled it would have been to contact you off list, point
out the rules we have, and then ask you to *next time* move an off-topic
thread post to vox.

The administrators should not have threatend you, I agree, but I must
also point out that your language is also threatening. This sort of
bantering will never get anyone to change anything; it will only
accomplish hurting feelings, which is bad.

I would propose that you not quit the lists, that we find a way to work
this out. You are a valuable addition and have good advice to offer.

Any thoughts?

Doug

On Thu, Jan 30, 2003 at 06:48:06AM +0000, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> As much as this group has to offer, I'm signing off vox & vox-tech
> effective immediately due to the behavior of the list admin.
> 
> First a few points about myself.
> 
>   - I've been a Unix user for over 15 years.  GNU/Linux for the past
>     five.
> 
>   - I've used, run, FAQ'd, caballed, and designed discussion forums,
>     lists, message boards, and the like, also for over 15 years.
>     Methods of group communication, discussion, and documentation are a
>     topic of both practical and intellectual interest to me.  I've even
>     known a few people at LUGoD via these means over the entire
>     duration.
> 
>   - I've been active in the GNU/Linux and free software community for
>     the past five years, and had the pleasure to meet and know many
>     people throughout the community at all levels.
> 
>   - In meetings, presentations, and activities, LUGoD is the best
>     organized and run user groups I've seen.  Bar none.
> 
> 
> 
> 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]
> 
>   - Sending non-technical content to vox-tech, which is a big no-no.
>     [Ed: See above.  Topic drift happens.]
> 
>   - Brought up reply-to munging, which is a violation of khendon's rule,
>     which is also a huge no-no.[1]
> 
> 
> 
> 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.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 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 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.  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 remain an active participant in other area LUGs, including SVLUG,
> BALUG, and NBLUG.   You'll also find me participating in discussions
> elsewhere on the Web, particularly at http://z.iwethey.org/ and other
> channels associated with IWeThey, a group of technical professionals
> I've known for years.
> 
> 
> Peace.
> 
> --------------------
> Notes:
> 
> 1.  Khendon's rule is a heuristic for determining that a topic thread
>     has exhausted  usefulness.  The leap in logic of applying this to
>     any discussion of a particular topic on a mailing list escapes me.
> 
> 
> --
> Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
>  What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
>    Reading is a right, not a feature
>      -- Kathryn Myronuk                           http://www.freesklyarov.org
> _______________________________________________
> vox mailing list
> vox@lists.lugod.org
> http://lists.lugod.org/mailman/listinfo/vox

-- 
R. Douglas Barbieri
doug@dooglio.net
http://www.dooglio.net

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