Monday, January 14, 2013

Remembering the Disappeared

We're talking about remembering those disappeared from the Blue Board of course. And of course the current policy there makes remembering them rather hard to do.

There has been yet another disappearance from the Blue Board: prolific poster Pam Cooke seems to be the latest disappearee, with her last post occuring sometime in late December. What happened? Who knows? Because there's not a single word about it on the Blue Board, and that's the way it goes:  somebody disappears and you never hear their name mentioned again. 

1/15/13 Editor's Note: Ms. Cooke came roaring back today, perhaps in response to this post. However, it still illustrates a point: nobody dared mention her name during her absence, as any mention of  the banned is verboten. This moderator runs a tight ship with a tight grip.    

For once I actually find myself agreeing with Chris Albertson when he protests this policy, although I certainly don't approve of his motivation which is purely selfish hypocrisy.  Albertson only got ticked off after one of his posts got removed. He has watched the rest of us getting our posts deleted and even getting banned from the message board altogether, without so much as a single righteous peep of protest against the violations of our free speech.

But now that one of his own precious posts was removed, he expresses the following outraged indignation:

The following brief exchange took place on the BlueBoard January 9:
Someone—anonymous, of course—posted:
Can't help noticing that now that Pamela seems absent from the blueboard, Chris has turned his considerable ire on Frank. It's always gotta be someone, huh?

To which my response was:
Knight's shill would still be trolling were it not for her being banned by the moderator, and I would have continued to show her for what she is. LeFever is someone for whom I lost respect a long time ago, when I realized that he was in it for himself rather than WBAI, and when I saw how off the mark his various ideas are. I suppose I could just sit back and watch as he turns the LSB into an even greater mess. In the meantime, check out his posts and tell me if you think this is someone who should be on a governing board. The real culprit in the present imbroglio is, of course, LeFever's current "friend", Berthold Reimers, the only person on the local level who could make a positive difference, if he were so inclined.

If you search around on the BlueBoard, you will find the original, anonymous, post, but not my response, It has been removed by the moderator because we are not allowed to mention people who are denied access to the BB, reason given is that they thus cannot defend themselves. Noble as that rule sounds,it becomes a downright nuisance (bordering on censorship) when applied. A major flaw in that procedure is that we who post there are not informed of anyone's banishment, so you mention a name, however casually, in a post that might have taken up much of your valuable time, and you click on the "post" option. The software detects the dreaded name and you are informed that your message will be posted upon the moderator's approval. Chances are that it remains in limbo until you receive an e-mail from R. Paul Martin and are given an opportunity to remove the unwanted name and re-post. In some cases, that means that your amended message is delayed up to a couple of days and the immediacy of your response is lost.

In the above case, the offending name, Pamela (i.e. Somers) did not warrant moderator intrusion, but my message (note that I deliberately avoided using the banished name) was removed. The explanation came in an e-mail from R. Paul advising me to "just leave the aspects of moderation alone." So now, a worse sin than naming a banished poster is to mention the fact that he/she has been banished!

I am adamantly against censorship, but I realize that some rules must be applied to a public forum. Here's a link to the BlueBoard's don'ts —there are 14 of them and many are routinely ignored, but one sticks out—it is No. 12:

Criticisms that the moderators are censoring too much or too little
What do you think?

When it comes to WBAI, I consider R. Paul Martin to be one of the good guys, but frivolous infringement on my right to speak freely puts a dent in that appraisal.

Note: Of course all of the above was expressed on Albertson's own blog,  because were it posted on the Blue Board, he would surely have joined the ranks of the disappeared by now and let's face it, that wouldn't do at all. 

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