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

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[vox] Censorship => signoff
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[vox] Censorship => signoff



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
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