[Fwd: Re: [EM] Completed comments on Abd's posting]
Abd ulRahman Lomax
abd at lomaxdesign.com
Sun Jun 26 20:08:23 PDT 2005
At 10:54 AM 6/26/2005, Bill Clark wrote:
>Agreed. Mail filters work great for excluding posts by particular
>individuals, but the problem is that other people then reply to such
>posts (even though there seems to be an epidemic of "I'm not going to
>reply to so-and-so anymore" and then replying anyway).
Hmmm.... I hadn't noticed that, but then again I don't read everything. I
did write something myself which could easily have been remembered that
way, but it isn't what I actually intended nor what I wrote. I just
checked, and this was true, for I wrote:
>I intend to set a filter for [name deleted], I'd rather not expose myself
>routinely to the temptation to comment again on his writing, I don't
>really have the time to spare. But not immediately. I'll read whatever he
>writes in response, if anything. Maybe I'll be surprised.
As it happened, I *was* surprised. I'm still abstaining from comment in
general, but I *did* respond to one surprising piece of substance. At the
moment, I see no need to set the filter, but if I find myself tempted to
respond to off-topic material, I'll probably set the filter.
This, right here, is not entirely off-topic. Most lists do consider "list
business" to be on-topic. Some don't. My experience with lists that don't
has not been good, for when an active list moderator is oppressive in one
way, the moderator is often likewise oppressive in other ways. My own
opinion is that a process should be established whereby list rules or
judgements as to violations of the rules can become a matter of general
agreement. The ultimate "penalty" for rule violation shouldn't be banning,
it should be being put on moderation. And, if it is at all possible, the
moderator should be chosen by the "offender."
This, of course, is how FA/DP might work.
As with the chair of any meeting under Robert's Rules, an active moderator
can and should make decisions for the welfare of the list; if the list is
owned by the moderator, both legally and equitably, that's that. If,
however, the list is owned by the moderator, or the moderator is or
moderators are appointed by the owner, but the owner is a trustee for the
association (informal in this case), then moderator decisions should be
subject to appeal.
I do have many ideas as to how this could function right here, but I'll
stop now with a simple question. I could find the legal owner of the list
with a whois search: it's Rob Lanphier. But the equitable owner, I don't
see anywhere, it looks like it has not been made explicit. That is not at
all surprising, it happens all the time. It is common for someone to
establish a list or wiki to serve a relatively diffuse community, and they
just do it, and they don't rule it with a heavy hand. Who is the equitable
owner? To put it another way, how does the legal list owner see his role?
Mr. Clark continued:
>For example, a few of the more outlandish political claims made in
>some recent posts have finally convinced me to put some filters of my
>own in place. If others did the same -- in particular those folks who
>have claimed they don't want to reply to certain people -- then I
>suspect the amount of off-topic traffic would die down considerably.
Perhaps. However, that isn't clear. It might or it might not. All it takes
is two stubborn people, and no external restraints. Sometimes even just one
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