... and then David Lloyd-Jones says:
} Perfectly reasonable answer for a society where there is a Proper Authority
} for everyone and everything and nobody gives a shit about their neighbours.
Actually, this nothing to do with "giving a shit". It has to do with
taking proper actions. The post-office example posted in another article
is a good one. Take it from a hypothetical private postal service and
substitute the USPS. What do you suppose they do if someone walks
in and complains about being harrassed?
"Are they using the USPS to harrass you?"
"Then we can't do anything about it. You should talk to the police."
"You should stop delivering mail to them."
"Uh ... no. You should talk to the police."
How about the local newspaper? Perhaps the agrieved should turn there.
"I don't understand. Did he attack you with a paper?"
"No, I just think you should cancel his subscription."
"Sorry we can't do that. You should talk to the police."
So what about electronic mailing lists? Why should a list owner be
expected to penalize one person because another has accused that person?
If the harassment took place via the mailing list, then the list owner
has to do something. If nothing has happened involving the list, there
isn't anything the list owner should be expected to do. There's no
sense to it.
Don't complain to the fire department when your mail is late. Don't
call the library if your house is on fire. Don't expect sanitation
department to forgive your overdue book fines. Don't call 911 if your
trash didn't get picked up. Don't call the county assessors office if
you've been in a serious accident. Don't call the post office if you
disagree about your property assessment.
If someone is being harrassed via e-mail, tell the police. Tell the
postmaster at the harrasser's site.
Don't complain to the USPS. Or the fire department.
If the list owner wants to take sides, that's the list owner's
prerogative. Insisting that that list owner take the side of the
accuser is nonsense.
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