An End to the Usurpation by Daffy

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OneBadRat
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An End to the Usurpation by Daffy

Postby OneBadRat » Tue May 21, 2013 2:24 am

Hello Daffy, yes you, haughty Sick-Parent Daffy,

By what right did you take ownership of the information from the WATD messageboard, the contents of which were submitted to Mike Gormez, an independent person with transparency of identity?

By what right have you taken possession of the names and email-addresses' of the users?

Even leaving aside these fundamental disqualifications, you have failed to simply answer basic enquiries from the users here, have quite clearly failed to prevent a proliferation of frivolous or mind-numbing threads cluttering and obscuring the essential discourse, - a basic failure in regulation and organisation, and -as any native-speaker of English can see, -have discriminated against certain previous users of this forum, with a barely clothed bias.

If you can be bothered to reply -like a genuine moderator, - don't ask me to identify these last examples of your unsuitability, (for example), identify them yourself, and then explain your rather inexplicable action.

I'm getting rather bored of your failure to answer public or private communications, and this as much as anything within your repertoire of administritave failures is merely a cherry on the peak of your blatant contempt for your fellow ex-pupils defined by your usurpation of this messageboard -without any right and without even any consultation of the users -who, I remind you again, gave their information, names and email addresses to Mike Gormez's WATD forum, NOT TO YOU, who has stolen all of this data, and will not even offer your own identity in return.

OneBadRat
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Re: An End to the Usurpation by Daffy

Postby OneBadRat » Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:22 am

Answer the questions.

Daffy
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Re: An End to the Usurpation by Daffy

Postby Daffy » Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:25 pm

In the interests of transparency I have had to delete another rant by OneBadRat and ban him from the forum. He has contributed little since he joined but spiteful abuse of other users including me, both in public threads like this and by private message.

The background to my taking on responsibility for this board is well documented, including in the 'Welcome' sticky thread:

Why has the board moved?

Mike Gormez, owner of the old site, has retired from campaigning against cults so the SES discussion forums needed a new home. Mike has supported this move by providing a database backup that enables the forum to be moved with all existing posts intact.

For what it's worth no-one else has ever complained about any so-called usurpation. I had already been a moderator of the site for several years. The general consensus as shown in that thread was that users were grateful the board was up and running again after a long period of inactivity because Mike Gormez was no longer able to spend any time running it.

As far as privacy is concerned, as it happens I have worked in the privacy field for almost a decade and I manage the privacy obligations of an organisation with several million customers. All private information provided during registration or otherwise remains private and confidential.

The prevailing moderation policy here is freedom of speech - no-one is stopped from expressing their views, pro- or anti- SES, unless their way of expressing their views harms the freedom of speech of other users. On the rare occasions I have to make a moderation decision like this I explain it publicly.

bluegreen
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Re: An End to the Usurpation by Daffy

Postby bluegreen » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:43 pm

Hi Daffy
Although I have no issue with the privacy stuff, I think he had a point about you not addressing queries that are put to you and not intervening sometimes when it would be helpful if you did. The feeling is that you are too busy to keep an eye on the forum and so your moderations are sporadic and rare.
Freedom of speech is good, but people have put suggestions to you about working out a way that this board could still appeal to ex pupils whilst providing support to SES leavers and members. Currently, the overwhelming presence of SES leavers and believers is putting off people who were harmed by the organisation as children. Some of them have psychiatric illnesses caused partly by their treatment by adult members of SES in the past and find it traumatic to share their healing process with reformed members of the same organisation. Over recent months we have had opening posts by ex pupils who have just found the forum and I think they have been freaked out by the SESesque and hindu religious speak that is used by the main users of the forum an have not returned.
I am not personally as injured by the school as some of my peers and I enjoy the virtual company and conversation of many of the forum users, but I still wonder if it would be possible to revive a separate 'General discussion on the children's schools' forum which could make room for both disparate groups.
I hope I have not offended anyone by voicing this, as most of the ex SES members are very caring and supportive to the children of the schools. But some of the hostile exchanges with current members and passionate advaita (and other SES-like spiritual pathways) followers, are frightening for ex-pupils and it needs to be said.
St James Girls School 1977-1981

Tootsie
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Re: An End to the Usurpation by Daffy

Postby Tootsie » Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:17 am

Daffy keep up the good work it is much appreciated. I know how hard it is to please everyone, but considering you do not get one cent for doing the job personal criticism is unnecessary. I deal with the public myself and have to put up with the mentally unstable people who ring me up at 2.00 a.m. in the morning and are abusive. Not to mention the trolls etc. I send lots of love and all my best wishes to you.

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Re: An End to the Usurpation by Daffy

Postby Daffy » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:12 pm

Thanks Tootsie and bluegreen.

bluegreen, you make some excellent points and I am interested in what other people think too.

Yes, you are right, I am very busy - I have young children and don't always have the time to check everything that is posted here. I do try to keep an eye on the forum and respond to questions and suggestions addressed to me, but I may not notice everything.

Another reason I don’t read every word that is posted on the board is because I don’t really have any personal interest in many of the discussion topics: I know nothing about Advaita, the Mavros, Maharishis in India etc, and frankly I heard a lifetime's worth of philosophical crap at St James.

So for my part a combination of (1) being busy (2) disinterest in philosophical discussion (3) refraining from moderation without good reason and (4) it being more than a quarter of a century since I left St James all mean you don't see me around here much.

That definitely doesn't mean I don't care about this board. I am very interested in suggestions to refresh it and make it what users want it to be.

Like you, I have wondered whether all this SES talk puts off ex-students of the children's schools from joining and contributing. However, as moderator I feel it's not my place to discourage people from discussing whatever they want as long as it has a connection with the SES and its satellite schools.

Your suggestion of a separate ‘General discussion on the children’s schools’ forum interests me. I assume you mean we should have SES/adult philosophy type discussions in one forum and St James/Vedast/other children’s schools discussions in another forum. How do other people feel about this? Do people have any other suggestions on how to organise things to promote more engagement?

ManOnTheStreet
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Re: An End to the Usurpation by Daffy

Postby ManOnTheStreet » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:21 pm

Do you mean two separate sub-forums within ses-forums.org? If yes, then I'm all for it. It might help to organise the threads a bit as well - at the moment everything is mixed in together and might look confusing to some people.

What will be done with all the existing threads?

MOTS

Daffy
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Re: An End to the Usurpation by Daffy

Postby Daffy » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:41 pm

The moderator tools include being able to move threads between forums. That would involve a bit of work, but it could be done over time.

Middle Way
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Re: An End to the Usurpation by Daffy

Postby Middle Way » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:45 am

Hello Daffy

Daffy wrote:In the interests of transparency I have had to delete another rant by OneBadRant

Daffy wrote:Another reason I don’t read every word that is posted on the board is because I don’t really have any personal interest in many of the discussion topics:

Daffy wrote:I am very busy - I have young children and don't always have the time to check everything that is posted here

Since the recent spate of abuse directed at you and various contributors I have wondered whether one of the roles of any forum moderator is to come down hard on abuse such as the following recent examples:

“haughty Sick-Parent Daffy”; “incredibly bitter and naïve”; “you sanctimonious whingers”; “WHY DONT YOU CRAWL BACK INTO YOUR CAVE AND HAVE A DUMP.”; “you anally retentive people”; “You are an angry, angry soul”; “you appear to be having delusional neurotic psychotic episode”; “you are not only egotistical and arrogant, you are also an a---hole”.

Occasionally, and understandably, people have reacted to these comments, and most seem to be quite remorseful about allowing themselves to be provoked.

Daffy wrote:However, as moderator I feel it's not my place to discourage people from discussing whatever they want as long as it has a connection with the SES and its satellite schools.

I wonder whether the "freedom of speech” to post abuse is also coming into play in making it "unsafe" to post here? It seems to me that people can post personal abuse here almost with impunity. Quite rightly you have deleted the latest rant from OBR which on past history I assume was because of anger/hatred directed at you. I have wondered why the abuse has been allowed to stay posted, but you may have answered this. It could be because you haven’t had the time or inclination to read posts about SFSK, (which I fully understand!) and therefore you may have been unaware of the extent of the recent abusive comments in those threads.

If all posts containing the same sort of abuse directed at you were immediately deleted surely this would discourage people from writing abusive posts, and also encourage people to come back on to express their thoughts without fear of a nasty personal attack?

Given the perfectly valid reasons you have for not being able to read every word, might it be best if you were contacted by contributors every time they felt abused and allow you to moderate whether that example is abusive, and if so delete it immediately?

Re: the suggestion of a separate ‘General discussion on the children’s schools’ forum. There is already a thread which permanently stays at the top of the list and appears to be devoted to this support. Is this not enough separation from all the other threads? Or am I missing something?

I too add my appreciation that you are prepared to take on the moderator post when so many of us would rather not for any number of reasons.

MW

Daffy
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Re: An End to the Usurpation by Daffy

Postby Daffy » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:02 am

Thanks Middle Way for your comments.

Striking a balance between allowing vigorous discussion and moderating abuse is difficult. The subject of this board attracts strongly held and strongly expressed views, and I have no problem with that in itself.

As with other decisions I've explained recently, I try to get involved only when the way a user expresses him/herself discourages other users from being involved in the board generally. There's obviously no simple test to apply - it's based on general impressions.

There are different ways of dealing with abusive posts and deleting them generally isn't the best way: it provokes an outcry from people who didn't read the original post and who weren't able to judge for themselves whether the post justified intervention.

The exchanges Middle Way quotes admittedly look quite abusive. I had a read of the last few pages of the SFSK thread and these kinds of personal attack aren't justifiable as 'vigorous discussion'. I'll try and keep an eye open for this in future.

Sometimes users will PM or email me to bring my attention to something that has been posted. I like to think I reply where possible, but I admit I've not always actually found the time to do so. I had a few unsuccessful attempts to recruit another moderator a couple of years ago. I can see why no-one wants the job. And anyone who wants the job probably shouldn't have it!

Any more views anyone on making the board more accessible to new and existing users?

And I've just realised I referred in my first post above to 'OneBadRant' instead of 'OneBadRat' - I assure you this was a unintentional Freudian slip! (now corrected)

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ET
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Re: An End to the Usurpation by Daffy

Postby ET » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:24 am

Hi Daffy,

I would also be very much in favour of a separate board for childhood survivors. If I were coming to this board for the first time now, a great deal of what is active on here would scare the living daylights out of me!

The pinned thread at the top is now so long and complicated, and many of the posts so old, that it must be intimidating for childhood survivors. Plus, one thread is really not enough to deal with everything a new childhood survivor needs to deal with.

I also agree that abusive language etc should be immediately reported to Daffy via PM (remember, Daffy doesn't know you need help if you simply post something on the thread about feeling abused on here) and hopefully Daffy will deal with it as soon as humanly possible. It is, however, worth us all remembering that Daffy works entirely alone and should be given credit for managing a busy life and still managing to moderate on here.
Pupil at St James Girl's School from 1979-1989, from age 4-14. Parents ex-members of SES.

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bonsai
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Re: An End to the Usurpation by Daffy

Postby bonsai » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:53 pm

Deleted as I seem to have posted the same thing twice
Last edited by bonsai on Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bonsai
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Re: An End to the Usurpation by Daffy

Postby bonsai » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:57 pm

Hi Daffy,

Contributing my 2 cents worth. On the whole I am content with the moderation of the board and the fact that most of it is allowed to run freely. I do however feel that there has been poor respect shown towards plenty of participants on both sides of arguments, as highlighted by Middle Way, and whilst these do get picked up on eventually, the could do with being picked up earlier and the flames doused. It is certainly clear that contributors to the forum have been frightened away by some of the personal attacks along with their often valid posts being edited out of the record.

I wonder whether the ad-hominim attack or argument should be specifically banned and highlighted as such in a moderation policy. Where those who are the victims of such unreasoned argument should be able to present a complaint to you and expect that you take it down, if the contributor does not do so themselves.

I do believe that the contributors on all sides of the arguments should be able to express their feelings and emotions about arguments made, including anger, but this should not be directed at other contributors personally however tempting it may be to do so. I believe that people should be free to express their experiences and viewpoints without being ridiculed or intimidated. This should not mean that people's actions, views and beliefs cannot be criticised. It is, is of course, entirely possible that the discussion and debate may cause offence, but a certain amount of this should be tolerated.

It is also a frustration that many threads do not seem to take diverge from their initial topic and these should often be split into new topics, but I realise that this would require far more active moderation than perhaps many people have time for.

Regarding splitting the forum into sub forums - I personally remain agnostic if not slightly against the idea. As a former St James pupil, I am pleased to see and welcome the supporters and leavers of the SES and its derivative organisations (whether affiliated or not) and I do not believe there is a significant impediment. Splitting the forum may cause multiple discussion within the sub forums on the same or similar topics that would benefit from people from both groups participating. Judging by the way discussions do not stay on topic, I doubt that the sub forums would remain so either; not without more active moderation at least.

Please may I finish by simply saying that I am enormously grateful to this forum and to work done by Mike Gormez and Daffy in facilitating it. It has helped me hugely to come to terms with my past in St James and the SES.

HTH
Bonsai

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ET
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Re: An End to the Usurpation by Daffy

Postby ET » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:07 pm

bonsai wrote:Please may I finish by simply saying that I am enormously grateful to this forum and to work done by Mike Gormez and Daffy in facilitating it. It has helped me hugely to come to terms with my past in St James and the SES.


Well said, Bonsai, I second that.
Pupil at St James Girl's School from 1979-1989, from age 4-14. Parents ex-members of SES.

Daffy
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Re: An End to the Usurpation by Daffy

Postby Daffy » Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:22 pm

Thanks Bonsai and ET.

Regarding threads going off topic, my personal view (as a user rather than moderator, if it's possible to separate the two) is that I don't mind it very much. In real life conversations morph over time from topic A to topic B to topic C and so on, and it's much the same on a forum. This thread itself has gone off topic, in a good way.

As a moderator, shutting down conversation that's off topic is also a big responsibility. Although the moderator tools allow topics to be split, it only works if there's a clean break between them. I really don't want to have to decide all the time whether B is sufficiently related to A to be treated as still on topic. People are of course free to point out the original topic and invite the off topic user to start their own thread (politely please!)

Often the real issue taken with threads going off topic is that they have descended into abuse, more than that they have drifted from the original discussion.

People attacking other users rather than the views they express: this is a hard one. When I participate in online conversation I like to apply a simple test: 'Would I say this to someone if they were actually in front of me?' That would cut out a lot of the rudeness and the unnecessary bluntness. Personal attacks do give me a reason to intervene though, because they discourage conversation.

My own view on splitting the board into SES and children's schools forums: I'm personally in favour of keeping things as they are unless there's a solid body of users who believe otherwise. This is because having everything in one place is easy to follow: I can see threads that have been newly created or added to on the screen at the same time. From a practical point of view there are many external links to this board that point straight to the 'General discussion on SES' screen, and if we split it then people following those external links here wouldn't necessarily see the new forum at all.

I'm still interested in any views about how to develop the board, even if you disagree with me on anything.


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