Anthony Damato wrote:
> When I joined X-talk I had no reason to suspect that the moderator would
> delete messages that he didn't agree with.
Nor do you now. Please see below.
> �I have found that this is a
> censored forum.� Mr. Jeffrey Gibson, a graduate student with an initial
> burst of inspired entrepreneurship, established this forum.
Actually I have not been a graduate student for some time.� As� is plain from
my signature, I hold a D. Phil from the University of Oxford.
> Alas, the
> power of moderation seems to have morphed into the lure of petty
> tyranny.� He has cut off my RESPONSES to on-going debates, making it appear
> that I am something of a fool in not being able to figure out an answer to
> a legitimate challenge.� Furthermore, and perhaps as low as a moderator can
> sink, he deletes posts that question his own in-forum or off-forum
> writings.� Thus if you try to raise a doubt about the logic, coherence,
> persuasiveness, completeness, or soundness of any writing by Mr. Gibson,
> prepare to have your work consigned to the trash heap of cyberspace.
Well, as the very people to whom you've written know, the criteria that govern
whether posts by moderated members get passed through have nothing to do with
their containing a critique of my logic , etc.
They have to do with whether the posts are themselves logical, are on topic,
are in accord with our protocols, and, when containing claims about what a text
means� or with what was and what was not the case in antiquity,� show that
their author(s) has(have) some grounding in the tools and techniques of
exegesis and actually possess(es) some knowledge of the period about which
he/she/they are making assertions.
When, then,� I -- or the other moderators -- are confronted by a poster who
openly admits, as Professor Damato has in one of the messages that was not
approved, that he is� "insufficiently versed in the first and second
centuries", but who nevertheless claims, as Professor Damato has done,� that
what he says about the first and second centuries should be taken seriously
and/or as an informed "contribution" to a given debate,� I (and� other
moderators) have absolutely no obligation to grant his wish.
> A moderated forum can be exciting if the moderator has a basic academic
> sensibility, a love of free discourse and the play of ideas, and a light
> touch.� When there is no moderator, a forums can descend into name-calling.�
> On the other hand, a moderator who censors content is committing a fraud upon
> the membership.
Not if what is posted is in violation of protocols and is woefully uninformed,
> Mr. Gibson responded to my queries by saying that he owns the forum and can
> do as he pleases.� He does not seem to recognize that the contributors
> bring value to the forum.
Actually, what I said was:
> I am the owner of XTalk, and as moderator I have the "right" to prune and
> refuse to post messages that I deem off topic or unsuitable for posting.
And this was in direct response to **a** message� from Prof. DAmato (not to
several "queries", as he implies), to wit:
> Dear Mr. Gibson, Unless you are the sole owner of X-Talk, I
> request that you ask the owner or proprietor to write to me
> explaining that you have the editorial right to prune
> various contributions of mine to an on-going debate that I
> started, and whether you have the editorial right to refuse
> to pass on messages that are critical of your own positions.
that I wrote the above..
I will not make a reply to the rest of Professor Damato's "points" since they
are not grounded in any real sense of how an academic list is run and display
the same grasp of facts as his thinking me a "graduate student" does.
Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)
1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
Chicago, IL 60626
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