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Do the Forum’s Apply to the Moderator’s As Well or Just Us Mortals?


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Many forums were controversial subjects are debated are completely unmoderated, threads on them tend to be exchanges of insults more than worthwhile discussions, others are heavily moderated which tends stifle the free exchange of ideas, normally views which go against the ‘party line’ tend to be repressed. Good forum’s, like this one, strive for an ideal balance, it doesn’t matter what you say but how you say it. We are lucky to have a good group of moderators and administrators (herein after ‘moderators’ or ‘mods.’) who normally rise above their own biases and fairly apply the rules. However one moderator does not always follow the rules and his colleagues have yet to do anything about it.

RULE 6:

Forum rule vii states: “When you start a thread please make sure it is relevant to the events surrounding the assassination of JFK. We have other areas of the forum where you can post about Politics, History, Mass Media, Sociology, etc.”

But moderator Tom Scully on more than one occasion has started threads here that have little if any connection to JFK or his assassination. For example he objected to the drone execution of Al Qaeda member, and US citizen, Samir Khan and started the “Obama First Day as Tyrant…” thread. I had my doubts the legality and morality of that but it had nothing to do the topic of this forum. The obvious reason for posting it here is that this is by far the highest traffic section of the EF and he wanted maximum readership for his editorial. His fig leaf for posting here was a single sentence (quoting a blogger) in his 1000 word opening post:

“That is true, but on such a solemn occasion, why not say what we also know is true: if they powers that be deem it important enough, they will assassinate an American citizen on U.S. soil, too, be it someone with little power, like a Fred Hampton, a disgruntled insider, like Frank Olson, or someone with seemingly a great deal of power, like a John Kennedy.

As Bill put it “It's a real stretch to say that the same political machine that killed JFK was responsible for the assassination of Samir Kahn and Anwar Al-Awlaki in Yemen. I guess its enough to get it placed here rather than under the less read political conspiracy section.” It was an incredible stretch in one case a sitting President was killed by people and for reasons unknown in the other a sitting president ordered the killing of a suspected terrorist. By such logic any incident which a member here suspects was caused by groups they suspect of involvement in Kennedy assassination is relevant. Why not post stuff about the deaths of MLK, RFK, Malcolm X, Marilyn, Lennon, Wellstone etc. etc. or even 9/11 here? Someone who believes the moon landings were faked by the same forces that killed JFK would be justified in posting threads here. I reported the thread – I would not have done so if it had been started by an ordinary member - but no action was taken and I got no replies from any of the moderators. Obviously if an ordinary member had posted that here the mods would have moved it to ‘Political Discussions’ or ‘Political Conspiracies’ where it should have been posted in the first place, but since it was one of their own no action was taken.

RULE 4

Forum rule (iv) states (emphasis added): “Members should not make personal attacks on other members. Nor should references be made to their abilities as researchers. MOST IMPORTANTLY, THE MOTIVATIONS OF THE POSTER SHOULD NOT BE QUESTIONED. At all times members should concentrate on what is being said, rather than who is saying it.”

However on the “George Patton assassinated by the OSS?” thread (PC Forum) Tom did just that on May 28 when he wrote the following (emphasis his) “Without backtracking too far from my commitment to observing and enforcing the forum rule not to question the motives of other members, I risk asking, what are you doing?Is it a confirming sign of the progress I am making that you are taking such an interest?”

Despite his disclaimer he clearly was blatantly and knowingly violating rule iv. His disclaimer actually made his comment more not less offensive, as it demonstrated he remembered the rule but decided to flaunt it anyway. I reported the post but once again no action was taken and I got no replies from any of the moderators.

As with the Obama thread I would not have objected if an ordinary member had directed such a comment at me, in fact when mods edit, delete or invisiblize posts attacking me I normally ask that they be restored. In fact few hours before Tom’s post I asked him to restore such a post from David Healy that he had made invisible and reposted in edited form. Tom told David “You are not supposed to question motives and agendas. It tends to be inflammatory” yet hypocritically did exactly that less than 24 hours later.

What led to Tom yet again flaunt the very rules he enforces against others? He made one of his characteristic unduly long hard to follow posts I replied “Wow Tom that clocked in at over 5000 words, can you be a little more succinct[?] Ironically he made two posts totaling over 5800 words that he obviously had spent quite a bit of time researching and writing yet felt that my single quickly written 16 word question indicated I was “taking such an interest”. ‘Tommy’ Graves expressed a similar sentiment on the thread yet Tom did not accuse him of trying to retard his progress.

CONCLUSION

I realize I’m hardly the most popular member of this forum, many object to the positions I take and the ways I express them, that is not relevant in the case. The relevant questions are:

  • Did Tom violate rule vi when he started the Obama the tyrant thread on the JFK assassination? –

He clearly did, it had nothing to do with the events of Nov. 20 1963.

  • Would the moderators have failed to act if Tom was an ordinary member?

It’s hard to believe that is the case because they routinely threads deemed off topic started by ordinary members.

  • Did Tom violate rule iv when he questioned my motives? –

He clearly did, this is expressly forbidden.

  • Would the moderators have failed to act if Tom was an ordinary member?

It’s hard to believe that is the case because they routinely delete, invisiblize or edit such comments by ordinary members.

I think the moderators here normally do a very good job carrying out a thankless task. In most situations they face angry condemnation no matter what they do yet rise above their biases. I believe Tom’s behavior put them in a near impossible situation; if one mod. takes action against another they could fear he or she would retaliate against them and worse this would call into question the moderated moderator’s fitness to continue in their position. Tom put them put them in a difficult situation but the other mods. need to step up to the plate, if they don’t want to act they should at least explain why not. They may feel tempted to delete, invisiblize or lock this thread but they should realize it was brought on by their own failure to act and if one does so he or she should address my concerns. I hope that Tom himself refrains from taking any action; in a dust up with another member, Lee Farley IIRC, Tom threatened to edit any mention of him by Lee (or whoever it was), which was pretty inappropriate.

Once again I think the mods. normally carry out their damned if you do, damned if you don’t thankless task fairly but they should not be ‘above the law’ nor allow the other mods. to be so.

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1 no

2 negated by 1

3 ? ask Tom

4 ?

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Len, as a longtime forum member I can say that the questions regarding the Obama thread have also crossed my mind. Since there is no proof that there is a connection between the JFK assassination and the Obama administration [evidence, yes; but evidence subject to interpretation, IMHO], I also believe that the Obama thread needs to be on a different forum, perhaps one concerned with larger conspiracies.

As far as the questioning of the motives of others....if members were banned for doing that, Dr. Fetzer would no longer be allowed to post here. That rule, IMHO, is wallpaper: made for the purpose of looking pretty, but offering protection to no one when projectiles start flying about.

So while I have a large amount of personal dislike for you, Mr. Colby, I find we are in basic agreement on this topic.

Edited by Mark Knight
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Guest Tom Scully

Many forums were controversial subjects are debated are completely unmoderated, threads on them tend to be exchanges of insults more than worthwhile discussions, others are heavily moderated which tends stifle the free exchange of ideas, normally views which go against the ‘party line’ tend to be repressed. Good forum’s, like this one, strive for an ideal balance, it doesn’t matter what you say but how you say it. We are lucky to have a good group of moderators and administrators (herein after ‘moderators’ or ‘mods.’) who normally rise above their own biases and fairly apply the rules. However one moderator does not always follow the rules and his colleagues have yet to do anything about it.

RULE 6:

Forum rule vii states: “When you start a thread please make sure it is relevant to the events surrounding the assassination of JFK. We have other areas of the forum where you can post about Politics, History, Mass Media, Sociology, etc.”

But moderator Tom Scully on more than one occasion has started threads here that have little if any connection to JFK or his assassination. For example he objected to the drone execution of Al Qaeda member, and US citizen, Samir Khan and started the “Obama First Day as Tyrant…” thread. I had my doubts the legality and morality of that but it had nothing to do the topic of this forum. The obvious reason for posting it here is that this is by far the highest traffic section of the EF and he wanted maximum readership for his editorial. His fig leaf for posting here was a single sentence (quoting a blogger) in his 1000 word opening post:

“That is true, but on such a solemn occasion, why not say what we also know is true: if they powers that be deem it important enough, they will assassinate an American citizen on U.S. soil, too, be it someone with little power, like a Fred Hampton, a disgruntled insider, like Frank Olson, or someone with seemingly a great deal of power, like a John Kennedy.

As Bill put it “It's a real stretch to say that the same political machine that killed JFK was responsible for the assassination of Samir Kahn and Anwar Al-Awlaki in Yemen. I guess its enough to get it placed here rather than under the less read political conspiracy section.” It was an incredible stretch in one case a sitting President was killed by people and for reasons unknown in the other a sitting president ordered the killing of a suspected terrorist.........

Len, this is what actually was in the first half of the opening post you seem never to cease protesting about....In your latest protest rant, why did you leave out tjhe actual premise for the thread?

I couldn't put this into more clear and readable form so I defer to these comments to support my points of sadness, outrage, and frustration. The "terrorists" won, there is no longer even a pretense of the rule of law and a uniquely American "Bill of Rights" protecting any of us from government abuses and consolidation of its power over us. Scratch off the guarantee of "life," formerly protected by due process, and "liberty" and "happiness" don't seem all that enticing or certain, do they?

http://www.emptywhee...#comment-323061

Jeff Kaye on September 30, 2011 at 6:01 pm said:

@William Ockham:

This is the official confirmation of what we here have known, but so many people claimed

wasn't true. Our entire political establishment has accepted the idea that if an

American citizen steps foot outside of the United States, the government can kill

him or her on the President's orders and nothing else. Whether or not he can kill

us on a whim inside the borders of the U.S. is an open question.

That is true, but on such a solemn occasion, why not say what we also know is true: if they powers that be deem it important enough, they will assassinate an American citizen on U.S. soil, too, be it someone with little power, like a Fred Hampton, a disgruntled insider, like Frank Olson, or someone with seemingly a great deal of power, like a John Kennedy. Perhaps it is time to dust off the faux-conspiracy phobia and just say what is. The U.S. government murders. They have a taste for murder. And the only thing that keeps them from going the whole hog is that they mostly find it, for the time being, an inefficient and socially provocative way to enlarge their political supremacy. (Also, there is that pesky tradition from the Enlightenment and much of U.S. history about fighting for rule of law, and distrusting the power of government, particularly the Executive… ah! how quaint)

But the message of these killings is… seems they don't find it so inexpedient anymore.

Len, you reported the Obama - Tyrant thread and I spent much time defending its placement, and here,

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=18219entry235894

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=18219entry235900

I also posted examples to justify its relevance, excerpted from my posts in the Obama - Tyrant thread, in a discussion among moderators who took the time to address your reported objections, Len.

I guess I was successful , because the thread is still here. Each time you make a report related to me, or a public protest, I take the time to defend myself in response to any moderator who looks into one of your grievances.

You are given a great deal of slack here, Len. The continued presence of this thread, for instance, is an example of that. You post threads that are clearly in violation of the rules, Len, for the purpose of protests you've made which have not resulted in the outcomes you desire.

Len, I volunteer as a moderator here and I contribute as much to the body of knowledge and discussion as I am able to, have you read my latest, about this interesting fellow?

.............

HAROLD L. KORDA, FINANCIER, DIES; Was Little-Known Adviser...

New York Times - May 3, 1967

Harold L. Korda, a financier who had been an assistant and adviser to political figures, died of cancer ... His age was 46. ... His anonymity was by design. ...

The Forum rules have been revised; please read them.

......People will attack your arguments with glee and fervor here. If you cannot handle that sort of attack, then maybe you need to rethink your theory, too. Those that are strong will survive, and be stronger for the process.

Disruptive Behavior

The moderators and administrators reserve the right to take action against a poster who is disrupting the normal flow of the board. This includes violations listed in the other rules (trolling, use of ad hominems, etc.), but may also include behavior we have not yet foreseen. Since this rule is perforce general, we will attempt to correct the problem by warning the violator (via PM, email, or posting in the thread) and giving him/her a chance to explain his/her behavior, and we will take further action only if proven necessary.

Reporting Bad Posts

If you feel a post breaks one of these rules, please report it by clicking the 'report' button. Do not talk about bad posts, start threads complaining about posts or anything else you consider to be inappropriate user behavior in the forum itself nor suggest, speculate on, or threaten what the moderator response should be. All reported posts are reviewed by moderators or administrators, and are treated very seriously (so do not report frivolously). If you have concerns, please PM a moderator or administrator.

Moderator Actions

If there is a rule violation, then a moderator will take action they believe is required. This may include: the deletion of a word or phrase (if it breaks the rules), the removal of an entire post (if it is beyond redemption, or if it's a spam, etc.), the merging of a new thread with an existing one on the same topic, the closing of a thread if it wanders too far off-topic or gets too heated, a gentle warning to a user or users, a not-so-gentle-warning, placing a member on moderation and as a last resort, the banning of a user. This banning may be temporary or permanent, as outlined above. Banning of a member will only be taken by collective collaboration of moderators and at least one administrator. If a moderator gives you advice, we recommend you to heed it.

If you disagree with a moderator action, then PM or email the moderator, a different moderator, or an administrator. If it's a post by a moderator that you disagree with, you can report the post using the usual mechanism. We will review the case and take action as needed. Complaints can be made in the relevant complaints thread (if one exists) if required but do not start thread complaining about the actions taken about a moderator. Such threads will be deleted without warning.

...........

(quote name='Len Colby' timestamp='1337369931' post='252635')

Why continue this waste of time?

Started by Len Colby, May 18 2012 08:38 PM

I’m referring of course to the “Doorway man” ‘debate’

What’s the point?

Do you think Fetque and Cinzer will ever change their minds?

Do you think any fence sittiers will benefit from furthur argument?

Why not ignore them?

(/quote)

Edited by Tom Scully
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Len, as a longtime forum member I can say that the questions regarding the Obama thread have also crossed my mind. Since there is no proof that there is a connection between the JFK assassination and the Obama administration [evidence, yes; but evidence subject to interpretation, IMHO], I also believe that the Obama thread needs to be on a different forum, perhaps one concerned with larger conspiracies.

Yes that seems rather obvious.

As far as the questioning of the motives of others....if members were banned for doing that, Dr. Fetzer would no longer be allowed to post here. That rule, IMHO, is wallpaper: made for the purpose of looking pretty, but offering protection to no one when projectiles start flying about.

I agree about the rule, the subject matter debated here naturally suggests such speculation but it was one of the rules laid down by John Simkin and it is regularly enforced here. In fact Tom edited one of David’s posts because he (Healy) had questioned my motives, this didn’t stop Tom from doing the exact same thing a few hours later. I don’t think Tom should be banned but his post should be edited because it is unacceptable that a moderator breaks rules that he himself enforces and worse that the others refuse to do anything about it. As for Fetzer I think he should have been placed under moderation long ago.

So while I have a large amount of personal dislike for you, Mr. Colby, I find we are in basic agreement on this topic.

This is actually the response I hoped for, that even members who don’t like me recognize that I’m right about this. The mods. volunteer their time to provide an invaluable but thankless task. They, including Tom, normally do so as well as they can under the circumstances. But he doesn’t always follow the rules which is a problem, why should you or I or anyone else do so if he doesn’t and the other mods. do nothing about it?

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1 no

2 negated by 1

OK then, explain how Tom’s disapproval of Obama’s order to kill AQ operatives in Yemen in 2011 is any more relevant to the JFK assassination than the various other controversial topics I cited.

3 ? ask Tom

4 ?

Why “ask Tom” you are obviously capable of thinking for yourself. In your opinion did he question my motives? Can’t you answer that on your own?

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Len, this is what actually was in the first half of the opening post you seem never to cease protesting about....In your latest protest rant, why did you leave out tjhe actual premise for the thread?

The thread was on the first page of this forum so members could easily read your OP, I did include the only sentence from your 1000+ word post that was in any way relevant to the assassination. I fail to see how the rest bolsters your case that it belongs here.

Len, you reported the Obama - Tyrant thread and I spent much time defending its placement, and here,

http://educationforu...19

http://educationforu...19

I also posted examples to justify its relevance, excerpted from my posts in the Obama - Tyrant thread, in a discussion among moderators who took the time to address your reported objections, Len.

… Each time you make a report related to me, or a public protest, I take the time to defend myself in response to any moderator who looks into one of your grievances.

Fetzer and Cinque have spent far more time defending their theory about the Altgen’s photo, this in no way indicates they have convinced anyone or are correct. And my objection was never publicly addressed here (except by you) or in private communication to me.

I guess I was successful , because the thread is still here.

Or perhaps the other mods. didn’t want to deal with the politically complicated task of disciplining a fellow moderator. Unless I’m mistaken the last that happened was to Peter Lemkin and that did not end well.

You are given a great deal of slack here, Len.

You’ve told me that before, I’d take such claims more seriously if they didn’t come from the very moderator I’m very critical of.

The continued presence of this thread, for instance, is an example of that.You post threads that are clearly in violation of the rules, Len, for the purpose of protests you've made which have not resulted in the outcomes you desire.

That’s rich since you don’t follow the rules here.

Len, I volunteer as a moderator here and I contribute as much to the body of knowledge and discussion as I am able to,

So do you think this justifies you violating the rules you are supposed to enforce and in fact enforce against others?

have you read my latest, about this interesting fellow?

Since you are shameless self-promoter I’ll be frank. You obviously put a lot of effort into your research but IMHO your posts are essentially data dumps that provide little bang for the buck.

I have no idea what the point was of including the complete text of those posts by Evan and me.

And I doubt anyone failed to notice you completely dodged the issue of your questioning my motives, once again in clear violation of a rule you had enforced against David hours earlier.

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Explain something to me Tom. Last Monday at 01:34 AM (GMT) David wrote the following (as edited by you):

The day you, Len, personally (__________________), for the record, discussing/opining any issue/topic discussed on this board, I'll THEN consider what you have say. Till then, you and your (_________) are simply making noise (the same noise a few of us have heard for 45+ years) along with a few, 'expected' others in this thread.

Have a reflective Memorial Day 2012

At 04:30 AM you made his post invisible but reposted it, with the edits above and the following message:

David, I don't often edit posts of other members. This is the best I can do. You are not supposed to question motives and agendas. It tends to be inflammatory.

Maybe another moderator will be willing to work with you to edit your post and make it visible again.

At 08:05 PM I asked you to restore his post but as of now that has not happened. At 11:46 PM a little over 19 hours after you had edited David’s post and told him “You are not supposed to question motives” you wrote the following:

Without backtracking too far from my commitment to observing and enforcing the forum rule not to question the motives of other members, I risk asking, what are you doing? Is it a confirming sign of the progress I am making that you are taking such an interest?

So explain what line or lines did David’s post cross that yours didn’t? Consider especially that: i) David’s breech of the rules must have been especially egregious because his post was not restored despite a specific request from its ‘victim’ (me) that it be so, ii) moderators should be held to a higher standard especially regarding rules they have just enforced against the same target. Please limit your reply to 5000 words or less.

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  • 9 months later...
Guest Tom Scully

IIRC when I bitched about what some folks at the DPF were doing Moderator Scully called me to task for bring up my complaints against another forum. Ironic that after having abandonded ship for months he returns with this. Not surprised to see he's still obsessed with "Six Degrees of Seperation" regarding the assassination.

Hey Len. I thought it would be better to respond to your concerns here in your thread. I put a lot of effort into the details in the post you are taking exception to and you did not indicate you intended to discuss any of them.

My reference to DPF was simply an effort to engage Dawn because I am curious about her high opinion of a public figure, the author, journalist, litigator, web site administrator and spokesperson for

"The Community," Jeff Morley.

I have missed you, too Len. I hope you understand the difference, in that I am not complaining about DPF or about Dawn. I thought I was voicing concerns and criticisms about a public figure, a journalist,

just as was done in the recent thread discussing comments made by CNBC's Rachel Maddow seemingly at odds with the body of knowledge presented by JFK Assassination researchers.

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