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A different view of safety

Posted by mair on January 15, 2004, at 22:02:24

In reply to Re: people not wanting to post with me.. Dr Bob!! Dinah, posted by gabbix2 on January 15, 2004, at 17:31:46

I haven't been around to follow this thread much, but Scott hit on something that's been nagging me for the last several days. I started posting here under a different name in 2000; I don't ever remember Babble being the free for all judy and nikki do. Bob's been issuing PBCs going back at least that far, but to me the atmosphere here has gotten more suffocating as his enforcement has gotten more rigid. There's an awful lot of "safe" ground between a free for all and what we have here.

It's tough always couching this in terms of safety. No one can argue with safety. But I challenge the apparent supposition that more rigid interpretation and more stringent enforcement makes this place safer. My own experience is frankly just the opposite.

What's telling to me is the number of PBCs and blocks which emanate from the admin board. The worst firestorms here don't really arise because of blatant incivility - most of the emotional upheaval seems to arise from the margins - a questionable PBC leads to escalating discussions which invariably polarize the board. Ultimately some people get frustrated over not being heard or not being answered and ultimately say something that makes Bob target them. So the good guys can turn into bad guys pretty easily.

Sometimes I long for the days when there was no admin board to provide us with a forum to hash and rehash ad nauseum every one of Bob's decisions. That being said, I realize that having so many more posters has necessitated more vigilance. What I'm not as clear on is how we got to this stage where it sometimes seems almost impossible to say something that someone might construe as being unsupportive. There is little question in my mind that alot of what now gets sanctioned would at one time (when civility rules were also being enforeced) have been considered to be perfectly acceptable dialogue by everyone on the Board. And the stricter it gets, the more people seem to want Bob to get involved.

In my earliest days here I probably did get stung a little by something someone might have said, but whatever upset I felt from that pales in comparison to the agony of following the sometimes exhaustive arguments about civility and the anguish I feel when posters fall by the wayside (either temporarily or permanently and by choice or by block) who were otherwise nurturing sources of emotional support and who were once unabashed champions of this site.





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