14.0621 e-bouncer vs e-dictator

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: Fri Jan 26 2001 - 06:57:28 EST

  • Next message: by way of Willard McCarty: "14.0622 tangential teleprompto, with query"

                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 621.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

       [1] From: Adrian Miles <adrian.miles@bowerbird.rmit.edu.au> (42)
             Subject: Re: 14.0618 e-bouncer vs e-dictator?

       [2] From: Christian Nelson <cnelson@comm.umass.edu> (10)
             Subject: Re: 14.0618 e-bouncer vs e-dictator?

       [3] From: "Dr. Donald J. Weinshank" <weinshan@cse.msu.edu> (26)
             Subject: RE: 14.0618 e-bouncer vs e-dictator?

       [4] From: "Mary Dee Harris" <mdharris@acm.org> (14)
             Subject: Re: 14.0618 e-bouncer vs e-dictator?

             Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2001 11:34:49 +0000
             From: Adrian Miles <adrian.miles@bowerbird.rmit.edu.au>
             Subject: Re: 14.0618 e-bouncer vs e-dictator?

    From: Adrian Miles <adrian.miles@bowerbird.rmit.edu.au>

    At 7:06 AM +0000 25/1/01, Humanist Discussion Group wrote:
    >Recently my advice on running discussion groups was sought by two
    >list-owners who have been overwhelmed by the volume of ill-mannered
    >contributions to their unmoderated lists. As a result of these
    >vomitings-forth, ad hominem attacks etc, some of the learned people who
    >actually wanted to discuss the ideas subsumed by the fields in question
    >have left. So I was asked, what does one do? I could find no other answer
    >than to moderate these lists. Is there any other answer short of suffering
    >abusive messages then removing the individuals in question? (Note that
    >having been ejected some of these characters appear simply to find other
    >ISPs and resubscribe under different names. They are *very* determined.)

    Hi all

    depends on the software you use for hosting etc. I run a server that looks
    after 60 or so lists, most simple academic administration lists, and some
    public body announcement lists. Most of the external organisations that I
    help have moderated lists, I suspect largely because they're used for
    announcements only rather than dialog.

    But to answer the question, my server software allows me to have a list of
    filter words where I can prevent email being distributed if those filter
    words are met. This is a very top heavy approach (apart from expletives
    most other words can't really be filtered out) but can work.

    the only other advice i give to people who want an open list is that open
    means open. on every list i've been on when the rabble is a rabble then
    they bore quickly if no one listens (ie responds). in addition you tell
    people to use an email filter so that they don't even realise that person x
    the dimwit has been making their dimwit pronouncements again.

    when i introduce students to academic email lists i have simple rules:
    edit replies
    realise that you will send something intended for an individual to the list
    and embarrass yourself or insult someone else
    if this happens then apologise publicly (to the list) and accept it as a
    fact of life in a forum where privacy and intimacy overlap and collide.

    not much help i'm afraid.

    adrian miles

    lecturer in new media

    rmit university | university of bergen school of applied communication | instittut for medievitenskap http://bowerbird.rmit.edu.au | http://www.media.uib.no adrian.miles@rmit.edu.au | adrian.miles@media.uib.no

    --[2]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2001 11:35:31 +0000 From: Christian Nelson <cnelson@comm.umass.edu> Subject: Re: 14.0618 e-bouncer vs e-dictator?

    Dear Willard (and others): I don't mean to be flip, but one could always advise list participants to hit their delete button rather than unsubscribing. Once it becomes clear that someone on a list is incredibly rude, and that doesn't take long, I generally delete their messages and all responses to their messages since they are bound to be attempts to reason with an unreasonable person. If everyone on a list did this, these rude folks would go away. This has happened on at least one of this lists I'm on. Why do people go to the trouble of unsubscribing when the could simply hit the delete key? Best, Christian Nelson

    --[3]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2001 11:36:26 +0000 From: "Dr. Donald J. Weinshank" <weinshan@cse.msu.edu> Subject: RE: 14.0618 e-bouncer vs e-dictator?

    We put in an obscenity filter. Of course, it was great fun thinking of all of the obscene words our students might use. However, a student who sends a message containing one of our excluded words receives a sharply worded reply. We do put the message into our database for future reference but decline to take any action unless and until the student writes to us in a civil manner.

    My response does not, however, address the larger issue of the sorts of intemperate, ad hominem attacks one see frequently on certain discussion groups. I have dropped out of those which contain an unacceptable percentage of "flame wars," even though I miss some of the discussions by the more civilized participants.

    Have not the slightest reservation at declining to post such unacceptable material.


    Let me share one further thought. Last year, the SIGCSE list was "spammed." By that afternoon, the moderator had restricted the list to members of SIGCSE. His actions were applauded. The comparable situation here would be to close HUMANIST to all except those who register with you and to de-authorize any people whose communications are unacceptable. I support such action.

    Time is the most inelastic commodity. I will not waste time reading discussion groups in which the postings are not "on point."

    --------------------------------------------------------- Dr. Don Weinshank weinshan@cse.msu.edu http://www.cse.msu.edu/~weinshan Phone (517) 353-0831 FAX (517) 432-1061 Computer Science & Engineering Michigan State University

    --[4]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2001 11:37:09 +0000 From: "Mary Dee Harris" <mdharris@acm.org> Subject: Re: 14.0618 e-bouncer vs e-dictator?


    I moderated a live chat on a regular basis a while back, when I was sick as part of the Chronic Fatigue Support group on AOL. We occasionally had ill-mannered people show up and disrupt the sessions. Normally I could communicate with them behind the scenes and convince them that we were a quieter group and didn't appreciate the intensity they brought. In some cases we simply left them to the chat room, so they had little or no audience.

    Live chat is quite different from a list, though, so I'm not sure exactly how to proceed. I would suggest that a leader or some group even, write these disruptive folks and explain that it is a scholarly group and not really interested in that level of emotion. I'm sure there is some way to be diplomatic enough not to rile them further, and perhaps get the point across that they are not welcome in their present mode.

    Mary Dee

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Jan 26 2001 - 07:02:42 EST