Recently another member emailed that Larry Carter Center has been banned suspended from A|N. Last week I learned that Sydni Moser was as well.o other conversations.

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I agree, Sydni is my friend and I never saw eye to eye with Larry CC, but they seemed to have disappeared without explaination, leaving only rumors behind. If we can be transparent about this it will set precedents that can be used to police the rest of the population. There seems to be a lot of rumor that many rules are being overlooked until the opportunity to eliminate a troublesome member comes around. This is the sort of rumor that could have a bad long term affect and transparency is the only way to fight rumors.
Please don't leave. I've never known any site to be perfect, and we don't really know why they were banned. It might be useful if we were told, but I don't really know if we have the right (ethically or legally) to know those things.

But yeah, please stick around. This goes to EVERYONE here (even the people I disagree with a LOT). If evidence of actual abuse of power is found, then we can try to deal with it through talking to people. But first we have to know if something we would truly disagreed with happened.
um... I disagree on that harrassment level thing... I think you're blowing the issue up too much. People leave because they have vehement opinions and they can't accept opposite vehement opinions.

Call it darwinism, but the one that gets out of the kitchen, so to speak, leaves the other to dominate the conversation and I think it is much more mature to stay and have both sides take a time out for awhile to cool off.

Larry has harrassed me a few times before. He has said some rather nasty things that I didn't appreciate that didn't relate to the conversation. He's not always like that but I can see it as a good reason why he might have been given a time out.

By in large, I haven't seen any hazing problems here. Just strong opposite opinions. Usually the people who make it nasty and personal are the ones who leave.
I also support Adriana's initial email (and followups by others) regarding this and Daniel's thoughts above. In particular, I think the reasons for banishment need to be communicated and some kind of multi-stage warning system in place. (The only reason I'm assuming there might not be is that I have only seen one instance of a warning but several banishments. I could be wrong so more transparency would be good for us all.)

In several cases, passions have become overheated and everybody including bystanders could benefit from taking a time-out. I don't know how that could be implemented. It shouldn't need to be as we are all supposedly adults here but obviously we all occasionally slip.

I would hope that we can all be big enough to keep A|N the place we want it to be. It will sometimes take some work on our part. If we're not willing to do it, somebody else might have to. We all need to be aware of the applicable TOSs and behave accordingly. But, beyond that, we need to behave with the civility that befits our having chosen to participate in a community.
Deleting someone that is a conspiracy buff is NEVER a good idea. Heck, it is probably legitimately bad for the person, because it will feed his/her paranoia.

That being said, sometimes it is necessary to delete him/her. But I think we need clear warnings and reasons for deletions for members. As we are all atheists/agnostics and most of us are free-thinking, I think we need to be more informed than the average social networking site.
Conspiracy loons need to be taken down with maximum force and ridicule. I agree - banning them feeds the conspiracy, for the same reason hate speech laws feed holocaust deniers. They must be right, because people want to silence them.
Conspiracy loons need to be taken down with maximum force and ridicule.

I only agree with the ridicule part of that statement. I think they should be free to have their conspiracy theories and talk about them all they want. We have the right to not listen to them, kick them out of our discussion groups, or just openly mock them for being illogical.

As a skeptic though, I have a very strong distaste for silencing anyone. How else are we supposed to test our ideas except against the ideas of others (or the physical world, of course)?
Exactly. We disagree, sometimes passionately, with each other. But I'd never move to silence you, and would fight against those that try to silence you for your outlooks.

The only way for either of us to figure out which is right and wrong is for us to talk, discuss and argue about it. That's what skeptics do.
Hmm. Wandering off-topic, but I think the world would be a much better place if Faux News had it's FCC license pulled. When free speech crosses the line into disinformation, propaganda, fraud, and/or false advertising, it's no longer worthy of protection. Many of the loonballs fall into this category: psychics, mediums, homeopaths, 9/11 truthers, birthers, televangelists, etc. It's not at all clear to me that society is well served to allow continued flogging of known bullshit ideas. Disinformation and propaganda lower the signal-to-noise ratio and make it that much harder for people to maintain a firm grasp on reality.
Yes, it is off topic...however.

Fox News is legally entertainment, not news, as far as I know. Pulling Fox News would thus be the same as pulling The Onion. The problem is that people believe the entertainment as the truth.

I agree that Fox News does little if anything to help constructive dialog, but I still wouldn't try to silence them. If they claimed to be news in the courtroom, I'd say there is a reason to do something...but they are just charlatans like TV psychics.

Perhaps we should put a "for entertainment only" warning at the beginning of each of their shows though.
Er, my point is that TV psychics should be banned as well. Jailed for fraud, actually. And truth-in-advertising laws should damn well apply to political ads. Lying to get elected should be just as illegal as lying in order to sell a product. It is baffling that defenders of free speech prefer a public discourse polluted with dishonesty.
I have seen a little more self-discipline on the part of members to try to keep discussions more on track and appropriately sprouting new discussions when called for.

But I have also removed myself from 4-5 discussions in the few months I've been here because of what I've perceived as single-minded promotion of a viewpoint with little tolerance for disagreement. Sometimes, I've felt pushed out because my discussion was not just cheer-leading for whatever the supposed topic was.

I have seen one case of really egregious, over-the-top behavior and notified a moderator of it as it was happening. The behavior continued after a very clear warning. The misbehavior resulted in a very swift banishment. I thought it was entirely appropriate in that case. [I was only a bystander and not involved with the parties.]

But I haven't seen anything similar so the recent banishments are still somewhat of a mystery.




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