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Ban Lifted, Peers & Comments (Read 4697 times)
Bruce Moen
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Ban Lifted, Peers & Comments
Jul 31st, 2006 at 10:20am
 
To All,

Having to impose a temporary suspension of posting privileges was not easy for me do, nor was it done without an appreciation for the hard feelings it would cause.  But memory of the direction these forums had taken in the past due to lax enforcement of the rules made it necessary.  I want these forums to serve all visitors as a safe, pleasant place share experiences, ideas, wonderings and thoughts about our existence beyond this reality we call physical.

I've lifted the temporary ban early as I feel it has served its purposes.  I've intentionally stayed out of the discussion on this issue up to this point and now I'd like to make a few comments.

These forums are a community of folks with curiosity, interest and experience in topics that often have few other venues in which to share and discuss them.  Many who come here have few if any other safe places to talk about what they believe or have experienced, or to discover that they are not alone in their experiences, beliefs, ideas and wonderings.  For many, at first, willingness to talk about these issues is a delicate balance between their drive to Know and their fear of ridicule, or of being thought crazy or in league with the devil.

I wonder if those of you who have traveled your path long enough to feel confident sharing your inner most selves, thoughts and experiences have any idea of the incredibly powerful effect you have by merely posting about your travels along your path?  When this community is operating at its best it is rare resource to so many, and I thank every one of you for being here and being that rare resource.

The temporary suspension has brought up some questions about the Peer Moderator system that I'd like to comment on too.  The level of posting traffic on these forums makes it impossible for one person, like me, to read every post, find the ones that run counter to the purposes these forums serve, and take any necessary steps regarding them.  In the past, when these forums had become, as one person described them, 'shark infested waters,' a way had to be found to send the sharks off to other feeding grounds.  

Most forums that have faced this problem opt for using a specific group of moderators who take on the responsibility for detection of problems and the power of enforcement of the rules.  As I pondered problem I didn't want to use that approach.  I felt that, acting alone, my own arbitrarily biased judgment calls were bad enough, and that to add a group of others who would enforce their own arbitrarily biased judgment calls would be worse.  This approach, I felt, too easily became a system of Lords and Ladies enforcing the power of the Queen or King.  My feeling was that I wanted something different.  

I wanted a way to begin to turn the evolution of these forums back toward the direction Rosalie (this website's Original Creator) and I intended as we created the first Conversation Board.  It was my feeling that many of you shared the vision of that intention, and that as members of this community you, all of you, were the best choice to serve as moderators for what has become your own community.  So the Peer Moderator system was given birth, and it is still a growing child.  

With each of you reading what others post here our community has awareness of what is being said.  Sometimes threads or posts dance along the line of violating the vision of the forum's purpose, sometimes they cross too far over the line.  Who should decide which is which?  My answer so far is, you should, all of you, as it is your community.  So, I want to thank those of you who participate as Peer Moderators and invite every one to become more active members of the community.

Speaking of being more active members brings up a point I'd like to make regarding Peer Moderators.  Much has been said and suggested about how this temporary banning incident was handled, and how it could have been handled better.  I completely agree with some of what has been said.  Specifically, some suggested that it might have been better if I had sent emails out warning that banning could occur, or asking that the posts be removed, or something along those lines.  As Peer Moderators any member of this community could have taken that action and sent such emails with warnings or suggestions to those involved.  If done, those involved might have realized that what they posted in a moment of being upset was inappropriate.  Those involved might have made the choice to remove the posts on their own before they came to my attention, and the temporary banning might not have ever happened.  

Maybe in the future when someone crosses too far over the line members of the community will take a more active role.   I sure hope so.  I don't like to have to suspend posting priviledges, especial those of valued members of this community who in a weak moment make a mistake.  Maybe in the future their friends in this community will take it upon themselves to be a friend?  I sure hope so.

Well, I've rattled on long enough,

Thanks for listening,

Thanks for being members of this community,

Love you All,

Bruce


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