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.

Passionate members of A|N are... well, passionate. I'm unaware of whether these members were banished due to their posts, A|N terms of service violations, or Ning violations.

I, and others, would appreciate if we can learn why these banishments suspensions happened, and if they can be reconsidered. If there were violations of terms of service, can they be stated clearly, and if possible, an "improvement plan" put into place.

Virtual disappearances are just plain ominous. I miss Syndi's enthusiasm and passion, and I am troubled by Larry's banishment.

Im a strong beleiver in transparency. Less than that, and do we have a virtual Atheist Kremlin, where people just get virtually disappeared?

(title changed, and edits, due to correction - these members were suspended, not banned)


In conclusion....

The comments on this thread have broadened my own understanding of what happens when someone crosses a line, of website rules or etiquette. I hope this topic has been useful for others as well.

Unfortunately, there will be times when someone crosses a line, is persistently antagonistic, makes the site a less useful or welcome place for nontheists to visit. In some cases, people abuse or threaten others, and use their welcome to the website to abuse the very site that they are using. Sometimes that will mean action needs to be taken. Sometimes, also, people will have "issues" and can't let go. In that case, also, difficult decisions need to be made. That difficult decision may be a warning, suspension, or ban.

For additional words of wisdom, I encourage anyone who happens on this thread to read Kristy's comments.

Thanks for the thought and comments on this topic. Now it's time to move on to other conversations.

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I doubt that there are more than 5 bible scholars on this site, if that many. Depends on what you consider to be a bible scholar. Certainly, no one needs to be that, to participate.

I hope that you'll become more comfortable and secure. It's true that there are some people who behave like jerks. They should not.

Anyone can get sucked into situations from time to time, that make them wish they hadn't stuck their neck out. I am an example of that too. I also stay out of some discussions due to concern for wanting to stay out of line of fire. Sometimes I type a paragraph then delete it. I do keep trying, I hope that you do too.
We had several bible scholars and at least one Hebrew scholar with in inexhaustible supply of priceless knowledge. They got driven away by inanity. That's the price you pay for popularity - same as anywhere - the collective IQ falls through the floor.
I keep wishing they would come back. I would much, much rather read about how our religions came to be what they are today, and the social history of religions, than some of the lengthy "you said/I said" discussions. That was a very significant loss. It still makes me shake my head in sad wonderment. My last hope is that we can carve out some niches in special interest groups, where these discussions will be treated thoughtfully.
I agree. :)

hey, how about a group hug? :D

I've just managed to read this whole thing today (whew--I'm a slow reader so it took some time). I think it's fairly obvious that the moderators have the right and, in some sense, duty, to enforce the site's guidelines. I cannot judge whether or not they have been fair in doing so, but I have no choice but to give them the benefit of the doubt in practice. I value freedom of expression and I value transparency. We members cannot demand anything, but we *can* respectfully request or suggest. I think there have been several suggestions related to posting the guidelines prominently and some about making available (although not too publicly) the story behind particular banishments/suspensions. This says to me that people are somewhat unsure of what the guidelines mean practically, so they want some examples in order to avoid falling foul of them. For example, harrassment is bad--we all know that--but what *contstitutes* harrassment is somewhat subjective. Rather than the story behind various individuals' banishments, maybe we could just have, in addition to the principles behind banning or suspension, an explicit list of offenses that would get one banned or suspended. I've found in contentious areas such as regulating the behavior of a group, it is most helpful to have theoretical principles at one end and a set of examples at the other to make sure everyone's behavior is in sync. I don't think anyone wants group-think here, nor do I think anyone wants sociopathic behavior tolerated. We all just want an interesting, pleasant place to spend intellectual virtual time. This is my respectfully submitted suggestion. And a hearty thanks to the moderators for their hard work.



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