NOTICE: Forum etiquette, deleting posts, etc.

mike_israel

Amphicar Forum Admin
Staff member
Hi All,

Recently there have been a number of posts on the forums that put me in a difficult position as moderator. Some were in the main forum which everyone sees, others were in the iaoc discussion forum.

Both of these posts turned ugly with lots of mud slinging. It was difficult to tell fact from fiction. The end result was that some of the participating parties then asked, in some cases almost demanded, that I remove the threads.

I am still not certain I did the right thing but, after confering with some former iaoc presidents and board members, I deleted one of the message threads in the iaoc area earlier today. I have since had some tell me I did the right thing for the sake of the Amphi community, others are peeved at me for doing so and feel I caved in to pressure from the existing iaoc board.

I am not going to beat myself up over it, I am not sure what the right answer is or was. I am however, going to lay out some very specific guidelines for future posts.

1) In the future I will NOT delete any threads or messages unless they are completely off topic, if they are spam, if they are filled with racist or other drivel, etc.

2) Message authors have the ability to delete their own individual messages. Likewise, if an author requests that I delete one of his/her messages I will do so. However, I will not delete other messages or replies that make up the thread unless those authors request it.

3) I may elect to close a thread to future posts if it is going way off topic or turning into personal attacks. I will not however delete the messages unless requested by the authors of those messages.

3) Keep in mind that messages to the main forum are received by many members via e-mail. They generally go out no more than 10 minutes after they are posted. They are also scanned by Google and other search engines constantly. Thus, if you put something out there, even if you later delete it, it may have grown legs and be out there forever. Think before you post. If you crap in your own bed, or your neighbors, expect others to see it. It is like a letter to the editor. Once published you can not make it go away nor can you demand the paper rescind it because you do not like what it says.

4) If individuals want to comment positively or negatively on the parts, services, practices, etc. of any vendor that is fine so long as it is kept to the facts or the individual's experience. A public forum is not the place to mediate a dispute. If that vendor in turn decides to sue you, stop doing business with you, etc. that is their right just as it is your right to post your experience.

What happened this week was my reaction to a situation I would not have anticipated. Moving forward, I have stated my policy on removing posts and so it shall be. This list does welcome contributions but will remain independent and is not beholden to, nor will it take direction from IAOC, contributors, advertisers, etc.

Best Regards,

Mike I.
 

CapnJohn

Amphi Guru & Former IAOC President
I Know you are in a tough place. There are no easy answers. Censorship can be a tough subject.

My thread was also deleted without my permission while your rules #2 and #3 state only authors can delete or request deletion. Why was mine deleted? No offense intended, just a valid question for clarificatin.
 

DrNoose

New Member
mike_israel wrote:

> Hi All,
>
> Recently there have been a number of posts on the forums that put me
> in a difficult position as moderator. Some were in the main forum
> which everyone sees, others were in the iaoc discussion forum.
>
> Both of these posts turned ugly with lots of mud slinging. It was
> difficult to tell fact from fiction. The end result was that some of
> the participating parties then asked, in some cases almost demanded,
> that I remove the threads.
>
> I am still not certain I did the right thing but, after confering with
> some former iaoc presidents and board members, I deleted one of the
> message threads in the iaoc area earlier today. I have since had some
> tell me I did the right thing for the sake of the Amphi community,
> others are peeved at me for doing so and feel I caved in to pressure
> from the existing iaoc board.
>
> I am not going to beat myself up over it, I am not sure what the right
> answer is or was. I am however, going to lay out some very specific
> guidelines for future posts.
>
> 1) In the future I will NOT delete any threads or messages unless they
> are completely off topic, if they are spam, if they are filled with
> racist or other drivel, etc.
>
> 2) Message authors have the ability to delete their own individual
> messages. Likewise, if an author requests that I delete one of his/her
> messages I will do so. However, I will not delete other messages or
> replies that make up the thread unless those authors request it.
>
> 3) I may elect to close a thread to future posts if it is going way
> off topic or turning into personal attacks. I will not however delete
> the messages unless requested by the authors of those messages.
>
> 3) Keep in mind that messages to the main forum are received by many
> members via e-mail. They generally go out no more than 10 minutes
> after they are posted. They are also scanned by Google and other
> search engines constantly. Thus, if you put something out there, even
> if you later delete it, it may have grown legs and be out there
> forever. Think before you post. If you crap in your own bed, or your
> neighbors, expect others to see it. It is like a letter to the editor.
> Once published you can not make it go away nor can you demand the
> paper rescind it because you do not like what it says.
>
> 4) If individuals want to comment positively or negatively on the
> parts, services, practices, etc. of any vendor that is fine so long as
> it is kept to the facts or the individual's experience. A public forum
> is not the place to mediate a dispute. If that vendor in turn decides
> to sue you, stop doing business with you, etc. that is their right
> just as it is your right to post your experience.
>
> What happened this week was my reaction to a situation I would not
> have anticipated. Moving forward, I have stated my policy on removing
> posts and so it shall be. This list does welcome contributions but
> will remain independent and is not beholden to, nor will it take
> direction from IAOC, contributors, advertisers, etc.
>
> Best Regards,
>
> Mike I.
Well spoken Mike. Keep up the good work.

Dan
'64 Das Boot
 

Ed Price

Member
_____

From: mike_israel [mailto:]
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2008 6:24 PM
To: edprice@cox.net
Subject: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20166] NOTICE: Forum etiquette,
deleting posts, etc.


Hi All,

Recently there have been a number of posts on the forums that put me in a
difficult position as moderator. Some were in the main forum which everyone
sees, others were in the iaoc discussion forum.

Both of these posts turned ugly with lots of mud slinging. It was difficult
to tell fact from fiction. The end result was that some of the participating
parties then asked, in some cases almost demanded, that I remove the
threads.

I am still not certain I did the right thing but, after confering with some
former iaoc presidents and board members, I deleted one of the message
threads in the iaoc area earlier today. I have since had some tell me I did
the right thing for the sake of the Amphi community, others are peeved at me
for doing so and feel I caved in to pressure from the existing iaoc board.

What happened this week was my reaction to a situation I would not have
anticipated. Moving forward, I have stated my policy on removing posts and
so it shall be. This list does welcome contributions but will remain
independent and is not beholden to, nor will it take direction from IAOC,
contributors, advertisers, etc.

Best Regards,

Mike I.



Mike:

As a member of the IAOC Board, it could be construed that the following is
somehow the "official position" of the Board. That would not be true; what I
am saying is totally my own personal view.

The IAOC Board has tried to function in the best interests of its members
and the broader community of Amphicar enthusiasts. IAOC Board members
volunteer time, efforts and resources, and feel that serving the Amphicar
community is its own reward. The recent "mudslinging" posts resulted from
one of the Board members believing that he had some kind of earned "perks"
for his service. This was completely counter to my ethical view, and it
became necessary to "clean house."

I know that some Board members urged you to delete the posts; however, other
Board members did not seek this. I suppose those who wanted deletion did so
out of the embarrassment of viewing rash accusations degenerate into bizarre
illogic. Personally, I love a good argument, especially when I can demolish
my opponent with his own words! Besides, as you pointed out, deletion of a
list post does not guarantee that the contents have not already escaped. (We
should always carefully consider our list posts, as the contents can be
spread far wider than we realize, and you can't really retract what you
say.)

Mike, regardless of which side you believe to be right, I would hope that
you do not feel that the IAOC Board is trying to improperly influence the
discussion on your lists. Part of the responsibility of serving as a board
member of a club is accepting the rare times when you are criticized for
trying to do the right thing. If a person can't stand the public review of
their actions, then they have no business being on any club board.

From my point of view, stifling any reasonable public discussion of IAOC
Board actions is completely unacceptable.


Ed Price
El Cajon, CA USA
61 Rust Guppy
 

mike_israel

Amphicar Forum Admin
Staff member
Ed,

Thanks for the feedback.* I had a whole slew of requests*including advice from both past and present board members.* In the end I deleted one thread and cleaned up the portions of another where it was more of a personal argument back and forth.* It was a classic catch-22 as no matter what course of action I chose, someone would be teed off.* Heck, I am teed off that I was put in the middle of all this nonsense.

Rather than spending hours in forum therapy deciding if I did the right thing or not, I decided to focus on what I will do moving forward.* I think I have made it pretty clear how I will handle such incidents moving forward and*will not*make any further comment on the past.* This is why this forum, the iaoc, the US Government, etc. need to have ploicies and proceedures in place ... so that when these sort of things arise we can turn to our policies, charter, constitution, etc.

I am not going to close this thread but I am probably not going to respond to*it any further.* I have*set policy moving forward and that is*all I have to say on the whole matter.*

Cheers,

Mike
 

sublimate

New Member
As a future board member (just kidding), I would suggest that the IAOC Discussion Area be made "private" so that any dirty laundry that is aired (and it does need to aired once in a while or else it festers) can be done in relative privacy.

I recognize there is not a 1-to-1 relationship between the IAOC members and the registered participants on this website. But surely any active IAOC member can put forth the effort to register if he or she would like to participate in the nitty-gritty of club discussions.

As I understand the current set-up, non-IAOC members who are registered members of this forum would still be able to read & post in the IAOC forum, but at least such discussions will be more private than they are now.

Mike could then just move any posts to the General forum that are sensitive in nature to this private forum and not feel the pressure of needing to judge on censorship.

-Victor (the other one)
 

azpaul50

Member
Mike - You are right in not over-reacting to anything on this board or for that matter, questioning your actions to the point of bad feelings. In the end, it really doesn't matter one way or the other with such things transient in the general scheme of things. Before I retired, one of my specialties was observing organization behavior (usually from a production standpoint), The fact is that there is great predictability in watching the emotional swings that even large businesses have generated by the predominant (and transient) personalities (not necessarily managers)and the role they play in that organization's "society." Here's an interesting observation about what is called the "ambivalent" personality within any group. (Ambivalent because at first look they seem to detract from everything but have a later impact that is usally positive or help to avoid a negative outcome). These folks seemingly comprise the "discontent" category of any organziation but are also the prime originators of change. Like with children, organizations hear them but you don't see any immediated change in behavior or attitude. That happens later as the seeds that were sown add to later experience to then cause change. I say "originators" as they seldom evoke anything perceived as positive at the time they are heard. The definition of "positive" is also a relative definition, now with greater importance in this "discomfort avoidance" society prevading U.S. sensibilities today. Yet equally predictable is their ultimate impact on "progress,"...something they are seldom still around to see when it actually happens. They usually move on, exasperated at being unable to change the status quo... patently as much a function of time as effort. This all may seem like nonsense until you consider one prime fact about evolution... That which does not evolve, dies out. That comes from mutation (human and organizational, those ambivalent folks) with the new strongest and fittest surviving in the end... hopefully, over and over again in ever-changing form. The above is actually a $20,000 professional consultation based on 1994 prices for free. Anyone want to pay me in parts?
:005:
 

Ed Price

Member
Victor (Sitzman?):

The IAOC would happily accept your presence and service on the Board. However, one of the conditions for Board membership is that you must be a current member of the IAOC. My records show that you have not been a member for over two years! Where have you been since 2006? Did you receive the renewal reminder letter that I sent to you about two weeks ago?
 
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