Random Thoughts and Musings by moi

Musings by a feisty, opinionated Deaf gal who wants nothing but the best for her community and her people

jeudi 17 juillet 2008

Call For Accountability For All

This is a comment I left on Joey Baer's blogsite in his follow-up post to leaving DeafRead.

Joey,

I have to concur with the premise that DeafRead is unsafe. I've all but stopped blogging publicly because the atmosphere is just too toxic.

So yes, in a way, I'm one of those bloggers who left DeafRead too, even though I haven't asked for my feed to be removed from their roster.

I've read Tayler's statement about how all of us need to take responsibility. I agree, and I try to do my part by remaining firm in the belief that people can say what they want - they can agree with me, they can disagree with me, whatever, but they need to remain respectful toward everyone if they want their thoughts to appear on my blog. I wish all bloggers took this responsibility seriously and insisted on respectful dialogue, even when there is a lot of dissent.

However, I do not feel that the DeafRead editorial team has lived up to its responsibility to create a safe environment. Their inconsistency and bending of their own guidelines has contributed to this situation, as well as certain bloggers, vloggers, and commenters. I still cannot believe they have let posts attacking individuals through.

I feel bad for Tayler and the team, though. No matter what they do, they get criticized. I can understand that. I admire Tayler and Jared for establishing DeafRead - that is just awesome. However, I seriously believe the team needs to re-evaluate everything, revamp their guidelines, and ensure that all editors are on the same page - no, the same LINE - when it comes to what is OK and isn't for the front page.

One thing that bugs me about Tayler's announcement is that it is almost impossible to respond to his post. You have to be logged in to comment. Log in to what, I still haven't figured out. This has the unfortunate effect of shutting down a lot of the dialogue that Tayler could be having with members of the online community he created. If he wants to disallow anonymous comments (which has pros and cons), he could use OpenID, which allows people to use their blog accounts from any platform, their AIM screen names, and other online identities. I would have commented there if not for that, and it's unfortunate that we can't talk directly to him on this forum. Tayler, if you're reading this, I hope you consider this. I know it must be so hard to deal with what is happening, but we need to be able to talk to you directly.

Kudos to you for standing up for your principles. We need to support each other, the DeafRead team, and people in our community - while demanding positive changes and accountability from the DeafRead team and from every one of us who blogs and/or comments in DeafBlogLand, while respecting diverse viewpoints - even if we disagree. I'm all for freedom of speech and freedom to have diverse opinions, but with that freedom comes responsibility.

*Comments will be moderated, as always, and all opinions that are respectful will be let through. Attacks against anyone or any entity, as always, will not be tolerated.

13 Comments:

  • At 04:36, Blogger Brian L. Mayes said…

    Moi --

    Another one? C'mon. When has DeafRead ever deem safe? Seriously! As far back as I know, it never has been.

    The way I see it is a learning process. We deaf people need to learn the morals cuz I seriously think we lack it and what better way to learn it but from people like you, Joey and/or Patti among many, many others? We are all here to learn and if someone needs to blog about ethics and morals, then so be it! But leaving is not the answer... It is running away from the problem, IMHO. That is what I feel like the deaf people are doing, is running away as soon as something "toxic" is brought up, instead of toughing it out and standing strong. Me included!

    But if you must go, then, ok fine... You'll be missed, but I'm respect your opinion and leave it at that.

     
  • At 04:53, Blogger moi said…

    Brian,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. :)

    As for DeafRead being safe - You're right. It hasn't been safe for a long time, and that's a big part of the problem.

    I'd like to clarify - I haven't actually left DeafRead by asking them to remove my RSS feed. I'm not announcing that I am. I'm just saying that there is such an appalling lack of respect from too many people toward each other, that I have lost a lot of interest in blogging to the DeafRead audience. Therefore, I've practically stopped blogging (which is a form of leaving DeafRead). But I haven't officially left DeafRead.

    I agree with you that this is a learning process. All of us have things to learn from each other, but we can't learn if we are constantly attacking each other or being attacked. We need to be safe to share our thoughts and to know that they will be received with respect, even when people disagree.

    I'm hopeful that all of us, you included, can work together to bring respect back to DeafBlogLand, even when we passionately discuss topics and disagree with each other, which is what this post is all about.

    Thanks again for letting me know what you think - I appreciate it.

     
  • At 07:07, Blogger Brian L. Mayes said…

    Moi -

    Thanks for clarifying, I should have read it more carefully. My bad! ;-)

    I totally agree with you that we need to respect each other and just keep cool and stop the name-calling/finger-pointing. I know I've goofed in that department and will try harder to watch what I'm writing. Forgive me?

    Thanks for writing back!

     
  • At 07:42, Blogger moi said…

    Hi again Brian,

    Anytime!

    I'm glad we agree on the need to respect others - that's so important. I'm impressed that you're willing to own up to the fact that you have not always done this. If over time, you show that you're watching what you're writing, of course I'll forgive you!! :)

    Thanks for writing back too.

     
  • At 09:19, Blogger tayler said…

    Moi, I love your well-thought through and insightful posts. The reason I require registration--and that wasn't turned on for the recent post, it was turned on some two months ago--is to disallow anonymous commenting. Anonymous commenting too easily invites people to say things they refuse to claim ownership for. This requirement is one of the steps I took to become responsible for my comments. I hope that others will follow this example. This is all I can hope for, because this cannot be dictated as a requirement upon other blogs.

    Registration is a breeze and takes less than 2 minutes, granted the registration e-mail travels quickly. I will look into adding OpenID to make it even easier.

    One point I'd like to bring up re: ensuring DeafRead as a "safe" place. I'm seeing widespread Double Standards. This is a serious issue. People from one side didn't say anything when the other side was being blasted negatively--but when they were being blasted (tables turned), they called it negative and unsafe. We are being manipulated.

    A friend made a good point yesterday. Folks need to take the bad with the good. Blogs are a great tool yet has downsides. Its value is determined by the humans who utilize them, more specifically how they are controlled--or worse, exploited.

    Finally, I ask that people think really hard about how DeafRead posts can be filtered based on negativism. A glaring example is, if we adopted a "safer" guideline, is we might not publish a post criticizing AGBell, because it is negative. Where is the line? This is a tremendous task on human judgment. I invite you and others to think of other example posts.

    This is why the responsibility lies more on the blogger. We believe in and support the ethos of blogging. We of course will still monitor for negative posts that reach extremism. We want the truth to be told, from all sides, and this can be accomplished with diplomacy and tact.

     
  • At 11:04, Blogger moi said…

    Tayler,

    Thank you for the flattering words. *blush* and *grin*

    I understand why you want to take steps to ensure that commenters are responsible. That's why I moderate my comments, yet allow anonymous comments. I also require word verification, which (I hope) helps people pause and think before clicking "Publish." I find requiring people to have a Blogger account too much of a obstacle for comments, but now with OpenID (openid.net), that may solve a lot of your, and perhaps others', concerns? Not that I'm telling you what to do - every blogger needs to think about how they can take responsibility for comments on their site. I'm just walking everyone through my thought process. :)

    My point? Yes, I understand why you did what you did, but I find it unfriendly. I still don't understand what I need to register for. A WordPress blog? A DeafRead blog? Me confused here. A possibility might be to add language at the end of every post that explains this, to lessen the confusion and to open up the lines of communication between you (the team) and the community.

    You brought up double standards. I think people have been objecting to name-calling from the very beginning - I've seen it. I know I have objected. I have taken Ridor to task more than once, for example. I've also talked to people in the Real World about online behavior. And more. Also, I think it's human nature to speak up more about attacks when you personally feel attacked than when you don't feel attacked.

    Tayler, it IS negative and unsafe, and has been for months. It doesn't matter what one believes or stands up for, DeafBlogLand is not a safe place to say anything now.

    As for your concern about the guidelines, forgive me, but I really don't see what's so hard about that. If the post is a critique that focuses on ideas, actions, concepts, and/or beliefs that does not name-call, then let it through no matter what it's about (AG Bell, SEE, ASL, Deafhood, CI, AVT, residential schools, whatever). If it has anything that is a personal attack (name-calling, for example) on individual(s) or group(s), no.

    Tayler, I respect you so much for setting this community up and for doing so much work operating it. However, I really am having difficulty understanding this, um, hand-wringing going on here. Yes, you're right. We don't want to censor anyone or any ideas. But noting and enforcing the distinction between discussing/critiquing ideas and flaming *is* DeafRead's responsibility, as I see it.

    In short, I think the responsibility lies with all of us. I'm doing my part. You, as an individual blogger, are doing yours. I hope more and more bloggers and commenters do too. I also hope DeafRead steps up to the plate and finds that happy balance where it allows people the freedom to say what they think and believe, yet does not tolerate attacks.

    Tayler, thank you so much for your thoughtful and genuine response here! I truly like and respect you, and that has grown every time we talk, both in person and online. I hope we, along with everyone else, can continue to work together to make DeafRead the amazing place that it should be.

     
  • At 11:24, OpenID browneyedgirl65 said…

    Hey you! Just wanted to let you know your comments are up on my spot. It automatically holds any comments from email addresses it hasn't seen before. You shouldn't have any problems from here on out until/unless you use a different email address :-)

    As for whether DeafRead is safe or not? I don't know. To me it's the same as it has always been, a resource to find other people in this community, to learn what others are thinking, whether in agreement with me or not, etc. I can choose which to read or not...

    I have been out of touch for a number of months, so I can't say as to whether DeafRead has been inconsistent or not (regarding the CI blogger who got kicked out, etc) so take my comment with grains of salt, etc.

     
  • At 11:36, Blogger moi said…

    Hey BEG,

    Thanks for letting me know! Your perspective of DeafRead as an online resource is a great one. I'd just like it to not be a resource full of dirty laundry, y'know... :) Thanks for stopping in and sharing your thoughts - always appreciate that from you!

     
  • At 12:28, Blogger drmzz said…

    Hello, I'm with you for good intentions, however, my impression from Tayler's statement is that it is nothing new. What he's suggesting (again) to us is to BEHAVE. Will certain individuals (bloggers and commenters) behave? I doubt it. There will be commenters with snotty attitudes to spite and bloggers will let them say such things. The cycle will continue with something new down the road, I've seen it all before. History repeats itself.

    It is one thing to v/blog about your stance on a certain issue but it's another thing to keep jumping into several v/blogs to push your influence onto others. That's kind of behaviors I have seen. It is devious, dividing, manipulative, and misleading. What upsets me more that certain individuals will go outside DeafRead to contact some people's employers. That goes over the line. I believe in keeping discourse within the blogs not outside of it to slander some people.

    From what I've seen in DR, people are more interested in drama than unrelated topics from some v/bloggers with good intentions that are not visited much. I don't know if I'm that interesting anymore. Heck, I received really cruel remarks from hearing people at youtube so it's not only deaf/hoh people that can be cruel. All I can do is block and delete. I'll do the same at my vlog if comments are offensive to me. DR only represent a small population of various Deaf people and there are far more people out there that are not subscribed to it any way. So, see see.

     
  • At 14:21, Blogger moi said…

    drmzzz,

    Hmm. I see it a little bit differently. I agree with a lot of what you're saying. However, yes, while the cycle will continue and certain people enjoy drama, it IS possible for DeafRead to take a stand and say, sorry, this trash isn't going on our front page.

    The people who choose to continue to treat others with disrespect can continue. They just won't appear on DeafRead... if DeafRead does this, like I believe they need to. That way their poison will have much more of a limited impact - even more so if more bloggers/vloggers take responsibility for not allowing slanderous comments.

    Speaking of manipulation, defamation of character, contacting employers... the whole thing scares me. I commend those of you who are brave enough to blog/vlog using your real names online. This whole thing has made me grateful I've chosen to remain anonymous in spite of people urging me to reveal myself. I agree with you - what has happened is wrong. I find the whole thing sickening, saddening, and discouraging. *sigh*

     
  • At 15:43, Anonymous Anonyme said…

    Good post!! I have to agree it got out of hand in a way as DR isn't the only site is like this. There's no safe place on the net, you are just taking your chances to let the public know as there's no privacy about the net. Either way they judge or misjudge that's their perspective cause you are the only that knows the truth. All I can say is "if you don't have anything good to say, then don't say it". Also "take it or leave it". One more "Let it be"

    Susan

     
  • At 14:06, Blogger brenster- said…

    Brian and everyone else: Yes, true that it not safe on the internet, anyway BUT we, the community of DeafRead which includes DeafRead team, vbloggers and commenters, can make it good place for us to share agreements and disagreements. We failed at it by allowing personal flaming.

    I disagree with Tayler when he said that the responsibility only lies with us, vbloggers and commenters. It is true that the DeafRead is not responsible for comments in all vblogs, but the DeafRead is responsible for following its own guideline. The DeafRead failed at following the guideline by allowing personal flaming to go on the front page.

    Tayler, the DeafRead put JFLMad's vlog message to Gary Brooks in Extra page. How is that different with Ben Vess' vlog attack on Ella? To be honest, JFLMad's vlog message was not that awful, yet this one went into Extra, but Ben's flaming vlog went to Main page. Inconsistence.

    You (Tayler) and the DeafRead are not willing to acknowledge your role in elevating the flaming within the DeafRead community by making that bad judgmental call. It is rather hypocrite for you to lecture us about our responsibilities, but you failed to be responsible yourselves.

    I'll allow several days for the DeafRead to issue a statement. Otherwise, I'll stop visit the DeafRead.

    It is not about giving up, quitting and such. It is about having principles.
    ---------
    Moi- thanks for allowing me place my comment here. I am not interested in signing up for a new username at Tayler's DR blog.

     
  • At 15:23, Blogger moi said…

    Susan, good quotes for all of us to consider. I believe so strongly in the freedom to be able to evaluate and consider whether something is good or bad, but personal attacks should never be tolerated. Thank you for stopping in!

    Brenster,
    Anytime. I, too, believe that while individual bloggers and commenters bear responsibility for what they say and what is allowed on individual sites, DeafRead needs to recognize and accept their role in this, as well as actually make the needed changes in how they filter and allow posts to appear on the front page.

     

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