[LINK] Moderator Censorship

Tom Koltai tomk at unwired.com.au
Sun Mar 27 12:32:32 AEDT 2011

> -----Original Message-----
> From: link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au 
> [mailto:link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au] On Behalf Of Ivan Trundle
> Sent: Sunday, 27 March 2011 8:02 AM
> To: Link list
> Subject: Re: [LINK] Moderation note: Attempting to suppress 
> discussion oropinions (Match Koltai - Was Fukushima 
> scaremongers becomingincreasingly desperate)
> On 27/03/2011, at 12:29 AM, Robin Whittle wrote:
> > As one of the Amigos, its my view that if you want to use a mailing 
> > list to discourage other people from expressing their 
> opinions - or to 
> > characterise what other people write in such negative terms 
> > ("claptrap") without sufficiently detailed supporting 
> arguments - then 
> > you should not use the Link list for this purpose
> Thankfully, it's unusual to see dismissive, extreme or 
> antipathetic comments on Link. Most of us have thick-enough 
> skins and keen grey matter to deal with it, especially when 
> we see elements of trolling, ad hominem arguments or 
> patronising views.
> I see Link as a self-normalising entity, and if there is 
> sufficient interest and passion to continue a thread, it will happen.
> I concur with the other Amigos: can we leave the personal 
> denigration and mockery to off-list conversations?

Would that apply to Moderator Warnings as well ?

I believe the first moderator warning was issued in reference to:

> Now could we stop discussing it, please. Or could we move this rather moribund discussion to alt.rec.henny.penny

Followed by:

> Postscript: An open mind has been proven to prevent the sky from falling.

The above was obviously an attempt at polite, witty sarcasm - I said please - a word that is hardly conducive to the alleged heavy handed attempt to: 

> Please don't write to the list trying to discourage other
> list members from discussing any particular subject, or 
> expressing any particular opinion.]. 

Now as for the escalation component of our minor contretemps, 

I have a habit of replying to all. Had the moderator flamed me offlist my comments in reply would have been read by him only.

Unfortunately, the moderator seeing my list of references in comparing deaths from nuclear versus alternative causes realised that he didn’t have much of a leg to stand on so like any person in a corner he lashed out with what little power he had left, that of judge jury and executioner.
Being the Judge and Jury and also either plaintiff or defendant is frowned on in almost every culture I know. It certainly isn’t permitted in any of the Berne Convention Countries, particularly those practising the Westminster justice system. However when I consider Guantanamo Bay, I could be wrong on that. 

The second moderator warning was in reference to the term claptrap. I said:

> I would never ever attempt to censor anyone opinion under any circumstances. 
> Robin, you lost serious points with the above claptrap and should probably 
> dismiss yourself from further comment on the basis of a conflict of interest. 
> Damn, I did it again but this time, I wasn't joking.

The Moderator jumped on that and responded:

>  characterise what other people write in such negative terms 
>  ("claptrap") without sufficiently detailed supporting 
>  arguments - then 

Huh ? "Without sufficiently detailed supporting arguments" ????

OK - Here goes:
I think the following attempt is commonly referred to as the China syndrome; but it's Sunday... So ... Digging on...

Quote/: [http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/
 noun \ˈdik-ˌtā-tər, dik-ˈ\
Definition of DICTATOR
a : a person granted absolute emergency power; especially : one appointed by the senate of ancient Rome 
b : one holding complete autocratic control 
c : one ruling absolutely and often oppressively 

Examples of DICTATOR
1.	The country was ruled by a military dictator.
2.	<the dictator had a fierce stranglehold on the country, keeping its people in poverty and ignorance>

Origin of DICTATOR
Latin, from dictare
First Known Use: 14th century
Related to DICTATOR
Synonyms: caesar, despot, führer (or fuehrer), oppressor, pharaoh, strongman, tyrannizer, tyrant	

noun \ˈmä-də-ˌrā-tər\
Definition of MODERATOR
1: one who arbitrates : mediator
2: one who presides over an assembly, meeting, or discussion: as a : the presiding officer of a Presbyterian governing body b : the nonpartisan presiding officer of a town meeting c : the chairman of a discussion group
3: a substance (as graphite) used for slowing neutrons in a nuclear reactor 

 adj \(ˌ)im-ˈpär-shəl\
Definition of IMPARTIAL
: not partial or biased : treating or affecting all equally 
— im·par·tial·i·ty \-ˌpär-shē-ˈa-lə-tē, -ˌpär-ˈsha-\ noun 
— im·par·tial·ly \-ˈpär-sh(ə-)lē\ adverb 
Examples of IMPARTIAL
1.	an impartial analysis of the case
2.	<an impartial evaluation of the job applicant's qualifications that does not consider age, gender, or race>
First Known Use of IMPARTIAL 1587

Related to IMPARTIAL
Synonyms: candid, disinterested, dispassionate, equal, equitable, evenhanded, fair, indifferent, just, nonpartisan, objective, square, unbiased, unprejudiced
Antonyms: biased, ex parte, inequitable, nonobjective, one-sided, partial, parti pris, partisan, prejudiced, unjust
Related Words: frank, forthright, open, straight, straightforward; balanced, rational, reasonable
Near Antonyms: deceitful, deceptive, dishonest; arbitrary, unconscionable, unreasonable; jaundiced, unfriendly, unsympathetic; colored, distorted, warped
See Synonym Discussion at fair
Rhymes with IMPARTIAL court-martial,

adj \ˈnän-ˈpär-tə-zən, -sən\
Definition of NONPARTISAN
: not partisan; especially : free from party affiliation, bias, or designation <nonpartisan ballot> <a nonpartisan board>
— non·par·ti·san·ship \-ˌship\ noun
See nonpartisan defined for English-language learners »

   1. It's a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to preserving our national parks.
   2. <made a nonpartisan decision that satisfied all concerned>

First Known Use of NONPARTISAN
Synonyms: candid, disinterested, dispassionate, equal, equitable, evenhanded, impartial, indifferent, just, fair, objective, square, unbiased, unprejudiced
Antonyms: biased, ex parte, inequitable, nonobjective, one-sided, partial, parti pris, partisan, prejudiced, unjust

noun \ˈklap-ˌtrap\
Definition of CLAPTRAP
: pretentious nonsense : trash
See claptrap defined for English-language learners »
Examples of CLAPTRAP

   1. His entire speech was nothing but claptrap.
   2. I'm tired of hearing all that claptrap about how hard her life is.

Origin of CLAPTRAP
2clap; from its attempt to win applause
First Known Use: 1799


Quote/: [http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-cla1.htm ]
A writer in the The New-England Magazine in 1835, fulminating against the star system that was contributing to the decline of the modern drama, complained that in order to feed the performance of the lead actor, “The piece must abound in clap-traps”. Nor was the technique confined to the theatre itself: an article in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine in 1855 about a new play said that “All the clap-traps of the press were employed to draw an audience to the first representation.” And in 1867, back across the Atlantic in London, Thomas Wright wrote in Some Habits and Customs of the Working Classes that: “The Waggoner’s entertainment, of course, embraced the usual unauthenticated statistics, stock anecdotes, and pieces of clap-trap oratory of the professional teetotal lecturers.”

The word developed from a figurative theatrical device to encourage applause into a more general term for showy or insincere platitudes or mawkish sentimentality directed at the lowest common denominator of one’s audience. From there it was only a short step to the sense of talking nonsense or rubbish, though the older ideas are often still present.

I think that covers the reference requirement of Mr. Whittles comments.
Further, my opinion is that should the moderators feel the need to comment on an individuals posting then it should be done OFFLIST.

Gentlemen, I ran a BBS for nearly eleven years. Not once in those eleven years did I ever feel the need to prove my manhood by dressing down a user in public.
Jolly poor show I would say...

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