General Discussion of Forum Banning

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Bob Kuczewski
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General Discussion of Forum Banning

Post by Bob Kuczewski » Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:19 pm

The discussion of banning people from the Sylmar Forum has come up, so I'm opening this topic in the "Politics of flying" forum to have a hopefully objective and constructive discussion. Let me start with a quote of a quote of a quote on the topic:
OP wrote:
mrobin604 wrote:
Greg Kendall wrote:I don't approve of most of what he says, but I will defend with 5 minutes of my spare time his right to say it.
:D
Funny how Bob will ban any kook he doesn't agree with on his own forum.
This nested quote pretty much covers both ends of the spectrum: reverence for free speech on one end (Greg's post), and silencing of accused "kooks" on the other end (OP's post). Since the reference to "kooks" was made with regard to the US Hawks Forum, let me open the discussion by describing our policy.

First of all, the US Hawks has a main forum (which is overseen by myself and our currently advisory Board of Directors). The US Hawks also has a number of club forums (Torrey Hawks, Southwest Texas Hang Gliders, Rio Grande Soaring Association, South Central New York Hang Gliders, etc). The club forums are completely overseen by their own Boards of Directors, and the US Hawks honors and enforces whatever decisions are made by the leaders of those clubs. So, for example, we have some US Hawks members who are able to post in some sections of our forum, but are banned from particular club forums. While the US Hawks may work to intercede on behalf of banned members from club forums, the final decisions rest 100% with the clubs.

Outside of our club forums we've had a policy that we may ban people who may represent an actual threat to our members. There has been one such case, and the details are mostly available for anyone willing to do the searching. This ban was found to be consistent with our "Terms of Use" which were recently reviewed by our advisory Board of Directors.

We also have a policy on personal attacks. We don't outlaw personal attacks, but we do not allow them to be made by people who are posting with anonymous or unverified user names. We have felt that criticism is important in our sport, but so is accountability for one's statements. The use of anonymous names decouples criticism from accountability, and that's why we don't allow it. People who make personal attacks, but are unwilling to be positively identified are limited to what we call the "Free Speech Zone" which is similar to the "Basement" in hanggliding.org.

All of this involves a fair amount of work on my part (as forum administrator) to create the proper subforum masks for the different people who might be banned from one club or another. In that regard, I am very sympathetic to Chip's job, and his recent implementation of the "Ignore" feature is a credit to his creativity in solving a similar problem. Fortunately, the US Hawks clubs and members have abided by our guidelines pretty well, and that's made the forum administration job much easier on me.

There's no doubt that free speech is an easier concept to say in a one-liner than to implement in real life. Free speech has been an ongoing struggle throughout the history of humanity, and that includes the present time. I do believe that the anonymity of electronic communication exposes a whole new dimension of that problem and it removes some of the feedback constraints that had worked prior to widespread anonymity.

I opened this topic as a hopefully non-confrontational and objective discussion of the topic any I welcome all constructive thoughts.
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Bob Kuczewski
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Post by Bob Kuczewski » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:43 pm

I was recently disappointed to find that I had been banned from the Sylmar Forum for 30 days. This was communicated to me by way of Ken Andrews well after the ban had been implemented.

I am disappointed for a number of reasons, but most notable was the fact that it was done without citing any actual rule that was broken and without giving me a chance to confront the people calling for my ban. Those are both guarantees that the founding fathers felt important enough to enshrine in our US Constitution.

I know, I know. I can already hear the nay-sayers "This is a club forum and not a bleeping country". They're right (of course) on the technicality of that statement, but they're wrong on the principle. The founders of these United States had given careful consideration to the notion of justice, and they carefully crafted a system to deliver it. That system of justice is based on fundamental principles of written laws, impartial juries, and a right to face one's accusers.

I am sad that a majority of the Sylmar Board was recently willing to disregard those thoughtful principles of justice in a rush to silence me.
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dhmartens
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Post by dhmartens » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:51 pm

You rained on their parade.
Image

The mood ring was created in 1975 by two New York inventors, Josh Reynolds and Maris Ambats, who bonded liquid crystals with quartz stones set into rings.
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Also in 1975
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scp64TOZtik[/youtube]

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mrobin604
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Post by mrobin604 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:38 pm

Bob Kuczewski wrote:I am disappointed for a number of reasons, but most notable was the fact that it was done without citing any actual rule that was broken and without giving me a chance to confront the people calling for my ban
"You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed)."

This statement is displayed to every user when they sign up for an account. You presumably clicked the link that said you agreed to the terms, else you would not have an account here.

The letter sent to you clearly references that statement, as well as our opinion that your posts qualified as abusive and slanderous. The particular posts you made that met the bar for those determinations were also referenced.

So be disappointed all you want, but the rules WERE cited. Read them again and I hope you take them to heart in the future.

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Bob Kuczewski
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Post by Bob Kuczewski » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:27 pm

mrobin604 wrote:"You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed)."
Can you cite the post and my actual words that you feel violated any part of that rule? I'm asking so that it's clear what can and cannot be said on this forum.

Thanks in advance.
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mrobin604
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Post by mrobin604 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:03 pm

Bob Kuczewski wrote:
mrobin604 wrote:"You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed)."
Can you cite the post and my actual words that you feel violated any part of that rule? I'm asking so that it's clear what can and cannot be said on this forum.

Thanks in advance.
This information was already sent to you in the letter regarding your suspension.

I know you are capable of being civil. Please do that.

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Bob Kuczewski
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Post by Bob Kuczewski » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:57 pm

mrobin604 wrote:
Bob Kuczewski wrote:
mrobin604 wrote:"You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed)."
Can you cite the post and my actual words that you feel violated any part of that rule? I'm asking so that it's clear what can and cannot be said on this forum.

Thanks in advance.
This information was already sent to you in the letter regarding your suspension.

I know you are capable of being civil. Please do that.
Let me ask again. Can you cite the post and my actual words that you feel violated any part of that rule? I'm again asking so that it's clear what can and cannot be said on this forum.

It's a simple question. Thanks in advance.
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mrobin604
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Post by mrobin604 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:33 am

Bob Kuczewski wrote:
mrobin604 wrote:
Bob Kuczewski wrote:
mrobin604 wrote:"You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed)."
Can you cite the post and my actual words that you feel violated any part of that rule? I'm asking so that it's clear what can and cannot be said on this forum.

Thanks in advance.
This information was already sent to you in the letter regarding your suspension.

I know you are capable of being civil. Please do that.
Let me ask again. Can you cite the post and my actual words that you feel violated any part of that rule? I'm again asking so that it's clear what can and cannot be said on this forum.

It's a simple question. Thanks in advance.
I’m telling you again. Go read the mail outlining your suspension. It’s all right there. If you don’t have it, we can provide you with another copy.

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