Recently another member emailed that Larry Carter Center has been banned suspended from A|N. Last week I learned that Sydni Moser was as well.

Passionate members of A|N are... well, passionate. I'm unaware of whether these members were banished due to their posts, A|N terms of service violations, or Ning violations.

I, and others, would appreciate if we can learn why these banishments suspensions happened, and if they can be reconsidered. If there were violations of terms of service, can they be stated clearly, and if possible, an "improvement plan" put into place.

Virtual disappearances are just plain ominous. I miss Syndi's enthusiasm and passion, and I am troubled by Larry's banishment.

Im a strong beleiver in transparency. Less than that, and do we have a virtual Atheist Kremlin, where people just get virtually disappeared?

(title changed, and edits, due to correction - these members were suspended, not banned)


================================================================

In conclusion....

The comments on this thread have broadened my own understanding of what happens when someone crosses a line, of website rules or etiquette. I hope this topic has been useful for others as well.

Unfortunately, there will be times when someone crosses a line, is persistently antagonistic, makes the site a less useful or welcome place for nontheists to visit. In some cases, people abuse or threaten others, and use their welcome to the website to abuse the very site that they are using. Sometimes that will mean action needs to be taken. Sometimes, also, people will have "issues" and can't let go. In that case, also, difficult decisions need to be made. That difficult decision may be a warning, suspension, or ban.

For additional words of wisdom, I encourage anyone who happens on this thread to read Kristy's comments.

Thanks for the thought and comments on this topic. Now it's time to move on to other conversations.

Tags: ban, banishment, etiquette, suspension, terms of service

Views: 135

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Replies to This Discussion

There seems to be a clique of moderators in collusion with non-moderators that are controlling the direction of discussions through a group think that I find unsettling.

Seriously?
Jeff, I assure you this isn't true. Unfortunately, I think it is improper to reveal everything going on behind the scenes. This would be wrong to do to members. If needed at a later date, I will.
I think some are just reading this and jumping the band wagon. I think it cuases fear when you read these messages and suddenly worry that you might get banished with out warning or notice. Most of us dont exsactly stop to read term of service or know we are crossinglines untill we have done so. so the idea that people are getting bannished with out warning is a scary point that is easy to rally behind before any of you have had a chance to respond. People will naturally tie in the other fears they have of exclusion with in the idea of the Powers to be cuasing it when they think the powers to be are over stepping their power.
Dawn created the group. It is within her rights to add rules to keep the group functioning within the parameters of the group.

I have never seen John D. harass your mother. If you are going to make allegations, you should back them up with proof.
Wow. You do not seem like the same woman I spoke to on the phone. You were told on two specific occasions that you were in violation of the rules. Maybe we should have said, "stop or you would be banned." Or maybe you could have taken the clue.
I was suggesting an idea that the chatroom seem to like. Instead of banning people why not make a read only feature. Then the trouble makers can read about the benefits of abandoning religion & the abuses religious people experienced but cannot make trouble since they cannot post, enter chat etc. A prson who is borderline could be put on read only temporarily. The block could be made to ip addresses. Thats how they do it on yahoo groups. or just block the account mailing them that the account will be returned to them under certain conditions.
A more simple alternative is if there is a rule 3 strikes & your out? Make all 3 strikes account freezes where you have to email & discuss to get unfrozen.
The main issue is that with trolls around & the sometimes slick techinques of reselling people religon which can be deceptive & subtle there can be a lot of paranoia that someone has hidden agendas, with this type of topic anyway. So its difficult for a relaxed atmosphere to develop. After all if you relax your guard someone might try to be all nicey nicey then have some religious agenda up their sleeve.
religion is sometimes about taking advantage of peoples good nature. Its about affairs of the heart & peoples hearst get broken & its judgemental. These are delicate areas of the mind that are thrown around & toyed with by people who have no knowledge of basic psychology. So people are bound to feel under attack & become angry & aggressive. Because religion is threatening them & toying with them. I think this is why the community of a forum can get quite raw & unsettled when its these topics
All one has to do is look at the ridiculous amount of stuff we allow on the site and it should be clear that if someone is banned it must be due to something extreme. That being said, though it is not required, I can assure everyone that no one has been banned without warning.

I do not think ti is proper to discuss member's personal info in the forum. I can say that I have sent emails to both Sydni and Larry. As far as I was concerned, they were both suspended but not banned.
How about putting these in an obvious and unmissable place to begin with -

Rules | FAQ | Ning ToS

Instead of buried at the bottom of the page where even old timers don't notice them. Making them a mandatory click through for new members is also a good idea. Remove ignorance as an excuse for a start.
as good as a suggestion as it is people are so used to clicking right past these any more. When was the last time you read the licensesing agreement on a Movie or read the legal jargan attached to software. SInce they are already sending out warning that is as good as it gets if you cant take a notice sent to you seriously then you dont respect A/N or it ability to rule over itself and shouldn't be here. that was generalised statement non directed at any one just the over all idea.
Note Felch's Remove ignorance as an excuse for a start.

You don't have to listen when you are read your rights - you just have to say 'yes' when asked if you understood them. Nevertheless, unless there's a community process with testimony, appeals, etc. in place - this is someone else's house. End of story.

Anarchist's Unite! - ironic, huhn? Human's love their ideologies. It's tough to really democratize anything. There' s always the risk of mob rule or clique rule.

But, it's always worth a shot. I enjoy this place - while I enjoy it.
While the 1984 vaporizing-esque effect of Ning's "Poof, and you no longer ever did exist..." effect in removing accounts is spooky as hell when one considers the potential abuses of power that it enables, I also feel, based on my experiences on this site, that, though there are more active members here than people in my town, the localized pockets that form possess what I suppose might be called a "small-town charm". Maybe it's just people being friendlier than I expect them to be but without the slight awkwardness that every Farmer John stranger in this town seems to have upon seeing me or my hair; I don't know.

Anyway, nicely accompanying this small-towny-ness is the ability to make decisions based on historical precedent using nothing but the significance of intuition and impact from memory. Though this is not inherently superior to the addictingly rigid, nigh-legalese-ian ("legalitarian"?) technique of keeping careful track of precedents and adhering to them and carefully maintaining records of transgressions, this is a nice-feeling break from that whenever this gets done. I think there's an advantage to the absence of a List of the Banned, in that without one, trolls who were banned for trollery will not be honored with remembrance, and knowledge of the issues because of which a person was banned will flow with knowledge of that person's having existed, only coming up when pertinent, rather than forever having a great jag jutting forth for all who love knowledge of social exploits to come read that will induce a few to ask awkward questions and bring up the topic of some person's ban artificially, rather than in the appropriate manner: "Oh, [name]'s gonna get banned if he keeps this shit up, just like [other name].", e.g., in the chat.
As the original post-guy for this thread, I made a couple of corrections. Br. Richard states these are suspensions, not bans. They are not the same thing. I apologize for the error.

I've been debating whether this discussion was a good idea. I spent a week thinking about what to say. I think that an open discussion can be useful, and so far it is just that. It's true that there is a "behind-th-scenes", and also true that I think the A|N moderators and board work very hard, for a reward about as ephemeral as pennies in heaven, and deserve thanks, kudos, and our support. Br. Richard knows that I support his leadership on A|N, and am grateful for this community for "being".

I suspect that most members are here for the same reasons that I am, for online friendships and community. If we were getting enough of that in our local communities, many of us wouldn't be here. So, no one wants to be harassed at every turn, or virtually "stalked" by someone who we have somehow pissed off. Or by someone who has too-much of a single-minded agenda.

In addition, the copyright issue is a big concern - we are basically self policing. Arguments that "someone else does it too" are not adult and not appropriate. Rather, we should think about what will support the site, and if there does appear to be a danger to the site due to copyright infringement, that should be addressed.

I hope that this discussion, if it continues, does so in a constructive manner. So far, I think it has.

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