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16966Re: [GreenLeft_discussion] Re: `Left-wing' Laurie Ferguson's betrayal of Nauru detainees

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  • Andy Robinson
    Apr 24, 2005
      I don't understand why Margaret is trying to keep discussions of moderation issues offlist.  This is clearly undemocratic.  At the very least, the question of what counts as a justified reason to boot someone should be established democratically within DSP, if not among list members in general.  Otherwise, decisions are simply a matter of individual whim.
      It is obviously damaging to any political organisation to be seen as acting arbitrarily, even if the appearance is misleading.  It's therefore important that issues be discussed openly and not hidden away in private correspondence.  I'm sure most people would agree if the issue was, for instance, the dismissal of a Labour Party MP, and the party leadership was refusing to publicly disclose reasons for dismissal or to discuss accusations or proposals of what valid grounds might or might not be.  I'm sure DSP would accuse Labour of acting undemocratically and arbitrarily in such a situation, and would call for openness and accountability.  For all anyone knows, Pham might be a troll who is deliberately treading the borderline of getting booted so he can then condemn this list, and maybe the DSP, as undemocratic, arbitrary, etc.
      It should also be noted that certain DSP members have protested furiously at attempts to ban them on other lists (i.e. the whole Smygo situation), and that they would no doubt have been very aggrieved had they been told to take their concerns offlist.
      While the potential of the Internet for productive debate is great, at present it is being hamstrung by a combination of the prevalence of trolling and the arbitrariness of list moderation.  It is important to take a stance in favour of openness and the insistance that any limits in particular forums be clearly defined and discussed among users, and against the petty-bourgeois myth than discussion spaces are personal possessions of particular individuals.
      PS I know I'm not very active here, but in addition to having strong views on this issue, I've also had a lot of experiences from both sides of the fence, both as a victim of purges and purge attempts, and as a moderator on groups with troll infestations.
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