On Tue, 3 Mar 1998, Chuq Von Rospach wrote:
> I've seen too many lists ruined by the one or two bullies and a list
> admin who, in the name of "free speech" or simple absenteeism or
> whatever, let those couple of people drive everyone else away
> through harrassment, abuse or simple boorish nastiness. I know my
> admin style bothers some folks, but I do reader surveys, and most of
> my users appreciate it. I don't believe that freedom of speech
> belongs only to the loudest and most aggressive, and *someone's*
> gotta stand up for the people on the list that get intimidated by
> the loud and noisy's -- and if that's not the list admin, who?
You have said a number of things in this thread that I strongly
disagree with. In particular, you have a habit of putting words into
other people's mouths, drawing conclusions not supported by facts
posted to the list. If you were a subscriber on one of my lists, I
would probably have sent you a warning about your abrasive rhetoric.
On the other hand, I agree wholeheartedly with the paragraph quoted
above. Freedom of speech has never been an absolute freedom. I have
always reserved the right to maintain civility on my mailing lists. I
enforce civility and I insist that my lists stay reasonably on topic.
Freedom of speech does not include the right to hijack the forum of
your choice. If someone finds my modest restrictions on their
freedoms unacceptable, they are at liberty to seek another forum which
better suits them.
As this thread had developed, some folks have finally posted examples
of off-list disputes which in fact needed the attention of the list
admin. In my experience, substantive off-list disputes, which have
been brought to my attention, are extremely rare. I have already sent
in a post or two regarding real world examples which are currently
stuck in the Internet plumbing somewhere.
The lists I run are of modest size, ~600 subscribers. The topics I
host are not particularly controversial. I diligently enforce
civility on my lists. I suspect that list size, list topic, and the
quality of list management all have an effect on the nature and
quantity of off-list disputes. Blind luck is also a factor. Any of
us could have their list attacked by a determined idiot or suffer a
real world personal dispute spilling over into cyberspace.
Regarding excessive posts by Leben: I suspect that part of the
problem is that Leben, and many others on this list, have been both
posting to the list and sending multiple carbon copying their replies.
I have received many posts in duplicate. IMHO, Leben's posts have
been on topic and were not excessive.
- murr -