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OPEN LETTER TO JOHN SIMKIN


Guest James H. Fetzer
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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

Even 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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This definitely does not belong in the JFK section.

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For the most part I agree with Fetzer. Moderators should inform the involved parties and make a notations in the "Moderator Actions" thread when they make posts invisible or edit them.

That said if Fetzer's posts were so important it odd that he can't figure out which ones were made invisible and as noted elsewhere if members feel the contents of their posts are important they should keep copies on their own computers.

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Guest Gary Loughran

Hi Jim,

I have just spent several hours on the JFK forum searching for posts belonging to you which have been made invisible. I have found 3 to date in the last 18 months or so.

If you can PM me a mail address I will send you copies of the posts. I have agreed with John Simkin, that I can make these visible if you agree with and amend any offending passages. I would appreciate your permission to also send you any posts I might come across from the PC forum (on edit: I can't find a single post of yours, invisible on the PC forum.)

Please be assured that except for one unfortunate, regrettable incident which still resonates, the Education Forum moderators and Admins do not delete posts by members. With that one exception aside,all posts are visible to moderators and admins and can be made visible to all members easily. To reiterate - these posts are not deleted anyone intimating otherwise is simply wrong.

I hope this helps,

Gary

More generally - it is worth pointing out the relatively few posters with invisible posts; around 8-10 posters account for nearly all the 227 total invisible posts since the creation of the JFK forum. 2 members, no longer or rarely using the forum, account for, at a guess 75-80%, of that total.

Those posts represent .169% of all posts. A remarkably low number given the erroneous perceptions of some - but still too high for a forum of adults and intelligent folks.

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

Even 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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For the most part I agree with Fetzer. Moderators should inform the involved parties and make a notations in the "Moderator Actions" thread when they make posts invisible or edit them.

That said if Fetzer's posts were so important it odd that he can't figure out which ones were made invisible and as noted elsewhere if members feel the contents of their posts are important they should keep copies on their own computers.

Len,

That's some irony..I hope you're not serious.

The foremost abuser of Edu rules is looking for the admins, the house, to support his request for obediance of rules that Mr. Fetzer himself has abused, a capella for years.

Yes, live up to those rules. And make sure you put Mr. Fetzer first in line.

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Guest Robert Morrow

I am not for deleting posts and I am not for closing threads either. Especially the Deep Politics Forum thread or the Judyth Vary Baker thread.

A warning to anyone who posts on the internet. ALWAYS save your best and longest posts on your computer at home. Because forums go away, you can get kicked off places, Facebook can kick you off, moderators can delete you posts.

ALWAYS keep your best material on your home PC... and back that up, too.

Edited by Robert Morrow
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Robert,

That is always good advice. Because members here sometimes create lengthy posts that involve considerable effort, a recommended method is to create the text in an application like Word, then cut and past the text into the post. You can then save the Word file, and you can spell check / syntax check the text before posting.

You can also save the forum web page to your puter, or use the 'download' icon on this and similar boards.

If you are unaware of the icon, when you are looking at a thread, down the bottom of the page will be a row of icons marked SHARE THIS TOPIC. It allows you to Digg the topic, Twitter it, etc. The last three icons on the right are e-mail the topic, print the topic (remember the environment!) and download the topic.

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For the most part I agree with Fetzer. Moderators should inform the involved parties and make a notations in the "Moderator Actions" thread when they make posts invisible or edit them.

That said if Fetzer's posts were so important it odd that he can't figure out which ones were made invisible and as noted elsewhere if members feel the contents of their posts are important they should keep copies on their own computers.

Len,

That's some irony..I hope you're not serious.

The foremost abuser of Edu rules is looking for the admins, the house, to support his request for obediance of rules that Mr. Fetzer himself has abused, a capella for years.

Yes, live up to those rules. And make sure you put Mr. Fetzer first in line.

No irony Glenn, read what I wrote carefully. The only part of Fetzer's post that I agreed with was his complaint that mods delete posts and threads (or make them invisible) without notice.

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