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Guest James H. Fetzer

OPEN LETTER TO JOHN SIMKIN

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Guest James H. Fetzer

John,

I was recently sent some exchanges between moderators and members that

I find disturbing. One member complained and the moderator disappeared

several of my posts. I had no idea it was going on. I think there are

some real issues of intellectual property involved here. Consider, for

example, an Evan Burton action memo based on a complaint from Bill Kelly:

Moderator actions and guide for mods

A primer for the moderators. First, if it doesn't already exist, you have to

create the new thread you want to move the posts into. Once you have done

that, you need to copy the URL (Universal Resource Locator - the web address).

Do that by highlighting...

Started by Evan Burton on Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Evan, Will you please merge the two threads Robert and I started. Thanks,

BK

I have made a couple Dr Fetzer's posts invisible for attacking members

when hewas previously cautioned about the behaviour. He has accused a

forum member of plagiariz

Evan Burton reports that he has "made a couple Dr Fetzer's posts

invisible for attacking members when he was previously cautioned

about the behaviour. He has accused a forum member of plagiariz"

Now I have no idea what posts he has "made invisible", but I had content

that belongs to me in those posts. It has driven me up the wall looking

for posts that are not longer there. While you may own the cyber space,

the contents of my posts belong to me. When I have no idea what posts

have been "made invisible" or why that has happened, something is wrong.

I am writing to point this out with these suggestions: (1) that when a

post is "made invisible", a copy of that post (giving the moderator's

reasons for having "made it invisible", (2) where the author of that

post has the opportunity to challenge the action by the moderator, or

(3) the right to repost with the objectionable content corrected. (4)

If the repost commits the same offense, suitable action may be taken.

I also believe that statistics should be publicized on a weekly or a

monthly basis of how many posts have been "made invisible" with the

identity of those whose posts were "made invisible", the name of the

moderator who "made the invisible", and the moderator's justification.

The situation as it stands is ripe for abuse. I have no doubt now

that Evan Burton has "made invisible" many of my posts, where I have

lost their content, which belongs to me. This is an objectionable

form of intellectual theft which needs to be corrected. By sending

those posts to their authors with explanations, the author would be

enables to challenge the decision as a form of due process or else

revised the post to satisfy the complaint. At the least, authors

would have copies of the intellectual content they had contributed,

which, unlike message space on the forum, properly belongs to them.

I have heard some appalling stories of members being given the boot

and having as many as 1,500 of their posts deleted. I find this to

be intellectually, morally, and even legally extremely offensive.

I therefore urge you to reform the manner in which these actions

are taken to introduce a modicum of due process to make the matter

just the least bit more ethical and professionally responsible.

With appreciation for your consideration,

Jim

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