Thursday, January 25, 2007

I’ve read the Norfolk comment - my thoughts

1] Personal stress. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the thing, the issue is that Blogpower is a FUN thing, done in spare time and for pleasure. We are already stressed out enough in the workplace at this time of year and the last thing we need is ugly disputes in cyberspace. In the end, one’s mental health is paramount.

2] As for the issue itself, I can’t reprint the comment because it was a private e-mail but the comment was:

a] provocative, about paedophiles and so on and clearly designed to stir NB up;
b] backlinked to ydkm’s own site*, not directly to the BNP, [as he commented on the last post]. I’ll send copies to the other four to see what they think.
*UPDATE: I was wrong, He did leave a BNP url on NB's site. I didn't see it earlier. He comments in the previous post.

Tom made a very good point that, in politics, we have to take the rough with the smooth and ditto in the blogosphere. If we can’t stand the heat, then use comment moderation and simply delete. Or don’t use moderation and delete, as ydkm himself indicated. I do it with the spam which sometimes arrives. We’re not in this to mollycoddle any blogger’s heightened sensitivities. We’re here to blog and combine in a loose confederation. Full stop. Period.

On the other hand, NB himself commented that one of the reasons he left was not only ydkm’s actions but the way a large proportion of other Blogpower members seemed to condone his actions.

3] Not one blogger so far [other than himself] has disagreed that ydkm is taking the p—s out of Blogpower. He’s 19 and having a ball, at our expense. We all do the same: take the p—s out of someone [mine is ‘Them’] but here’s the thing – none of us take the p--s out of fellow Blogpowerers. That’s the point.

Seems to me that if one enters Blogpower, it’s a sort of haven of protection and members go easier on each other than they would on their selected targets outside. To run down the Blogpower list [from within the group] and select a victim to provoke with allegations of paedophilia is an abuse of Blogpower. It looks remarkably like boosting one’s flagging stats in a cheap way.

Chicken Yoghurt hit the nail on the head when he wrote of ‘common decency’. Could we add to the manifesto:

Membership of Blogpower goes with the tacit understanding that we act with common decency towards other Blogpowerers, toning down our usual predatory instincts and remaining either silent or calm in the face of things we clearly are opposed to. Anyone not in Blogpower though is fair game.

As we have no disciplinary mechanism, let’s put this:

If an absolute majority of the current, full blogroll e-mail me to the effect and the other administrators agree, then we post that we’ve removed someone from the roll and await member reaction. I can’t see how that constitutes a political statement, as two thirds represents differing political persuasions. In other words, the libertarians do not currently make up two thirds of the roll. Yet it is crystal clear. It requires two thirds of the roll to take any major action.

4] Finally, to ydkm himself – it’s not personal, man but if you can’t abide by the manifesto addition above, then I’ll vote with my feet and withdraw from Blogpower, on grounds of mental health and heavy commitments. I’m sorry but I can’t be doing with this sort of rubbish any longer, particularly as the full brunt of my work begins in February and it will be hard enough keeping my own blog running.

23 comments:

youdontknowme said...

I will go by that rule but you are not getting the whole story.

I wrote something saying something along the lines of:

I don't believe any of the three political parties are tough on crime.


An unregistered poster then suddenly came out with something about the BNP being filled with violent people eventhough at that point I had not discussed the BNP. I then countered and gave them a link showing lib dems (as well as councillors from other parties) who were arrested for paedophilia, corruption and other crimes.


Believe me I am not trying to take the mick and will abide by any new rules.

The Tin Drummer said...

YDKM - we do not wish to become involved in detailed arguments on the supposed rights and wrongs of this. We want one, simple, undertaking on your part. Namely this:

Believe me I am not trying to take the mick and will abide by any new rules.

If you are unable to undertake this, or unwilling to, then the time will have come for you to go.

Steve said...

I'm sorry, I've tried but I just can't get excited about all this.

Don't people leave URLs to articles in comments all the time? They certainly do on my blog.

If the link is to something relevant to the argument, what is the problem if it is on the BNP site? If you object to a link to the BNP on your blog, you just delete the thing.

james higham said...

Ydkm. There is a unique situation here. All three blog administrators are not only unanimous that it's time for you to go, you should understand just why you've managed to get three politically diverse people's backs up at the same time.

It's because you go out 'raiding' other people's blogs, then come back here acting the innocent. What have I done? What have I done? Who else could I link to? Baloney.

None of us are idiots. It's supreme arrogance to think we'd be in the least taken in by the protestations of innocence. You are not innocent in any shape or form.

The BNP views are anathema to most people, including me. If you want to continue spreading them, then choose non-Blogpowerers to do them on please.

If you choose to stay, then as you yourself have posted today, please abide by the spirit of the group. When have you last met with as forgiving a group [until now]?

And remember please that some of this group is international and many definitely not political in any way. Just under half the roll couldn't give a toss about a steady diet of politics in fine detail.

And the second last thing is that if any little stunt gets pulled, we three are going to pull our own little stunt and to hell with it.

Have a lovely Rabbie Burns night and enjoy the beers.

youdontknowme said...

I have not raided anyones blog. All I am doing is leaving comments on peoples blogs. whats the big deal about that? The only time I ever post anything on other peoples blogs about the BNP is when someone else mentions the BNP first.

I will abide by any rules you make HOWEVER if the BNP is mentioned I reserve the right to say something about them in the same blog-posting too and I promise I will not drag that conversation out to other blog entries. This is exactly what I am doing now anyway.

ThunderDragon said...

A usual I concur completely with james and the other admin.

Not Saussure said...

I, too, am with James and The Tin Drummer on this. Whatever the rights and wrongs of it, we're losing good people over this and it's causing the admins far too much hassle. It's a poor reward for all the hard work they've put in.

The Tin Drummer said...

I will abide by any rules you make HOWEVER if the BNP is
mentioned I reserve the right to say something about them in the
same blog-posting too and I promise I will not drag that
conversation out to other blog entries.


No, YDKM, that is not enough. You will not link anything on
another's blog to a BNP site unless the host of the site explicitly
allows you to: you reserve no rights on other people's blogs other
than the ones they allow you. And we do not supply a blogroll for you to crusade, or to provoke others. From what we're hearing you're not
respecting those hostly rights.

I have to tell you now that as a
voluntary collective the opinion of BP members is that BNP opinions
may not be promoted on BP blogs, nor forwarded through whinging or
otherwise comments on dtb. You are coming close to costing us the project many of us have worked for.

The choice is yours, YDKM: cease using others' blogs and comments
to promote views that those of us who started and have built this
whole thing - and there are many: people like Tom Paine, who have put hours and hours into our core purpose of promoting good, low key blogs - find abhorrent, or start your own collective. For all
we care, you may start
http://blogpowerareabunchoftossers.blogspot.com, or you may call us
all c**** on your own site, but do not use a resource we have
developed at our own cost for your benefit, where that benefit is
offensive to the majority of BP members - and do not be under any
illusion: many members have contacted us- left, right, middle,
stupid.

You may post and comment on whatever issue concerns you, and giving
whatever opinion you like: but do not use BP to promote or
advertise the BNP on others' sites without their permission.

We have an adaptable blogroll for those who wish to delete sites they do not like, but we will not keep on the roll members who are, as YDKM has been widely reported as being, using others' justified dislike of the BNP to create rows.


I am an admin: I am not interested in rows, or the debates of 10
year olds. I get that rubbish all day. If you wish to abide by our
rules, stay. If you do not: go.

The Tin Drummer said...

My above post has come out poorly. Never mind. The message stands.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I totally agree with James, tin drummer, ns and thunderdragon. They have all said it so well that there is nothing for me to add, except that I object to the wilful sabotage of an excellent project such as this, administered by people who do have day jobs and other concerns too, by someone to whom I was, at first, prepared to allow the benefit of the doubt. It's gone on too long.

youdontknowme said...

No, YDKM, that is not enough. You will not link anything on
another's blog to a BNP site unless the host of the site explicitly
allows you to: you reserve no rights on other people's blogs other
than the ones they allow you.


Fine no BNP sites unless they ask or say its ok. I will mention the BNP if it has already been mentioned though


And we do not supply a blogroll for you to crusade, or to provoke others.

I think you will find that I am the one who is being provoked. What would you call saying something about the BNP on a none BNP related post after I say something?


From what we're hearing you're not
respecting those hostly rights.


So because I responded showing other parties in a bad light I am not respecting other peoples rights?



I have to tell you now that as a
voluntary collective the opinion of BP members is that BNP opinions
may not be promoted on BP blogs, nor forwarded through whinging or
otherwise comments on dtb. You are coming close to costing us the project many of us have worked for.


Look at the comments that I make on blogs on Blogpower. I hardly ever mention the BNP and when I do the BNP have already been mentioned. If you don’t like having the BNP mentioned then don’t start any conversations off with the BNP.

It is awfully hypocritical of Norwich Blogger. He has a moderated site and allowed an anti BNP comment and when I responded with a pro-BNP comment I am suddenly vilified. How is that fair? If he didn’t want the BNP mentioned why would he allow a pro BNP comment to pass through?


The choice is yours, YDKM: cease using others' blogs and comments
to promote views that those of us who started and have built this
whole thing - and there are many: people like Tom Paine, who have put hours and hours into our core purpose of promoting good, low key blogs - find abhorrent, or start your own collective.


All I am doing is commenting. If you don’t want the BNP to be mentioned I suggest you don’t have a blogpost relating to the BNP or have other commenters mentioning the BNP because if I am ‘punished’ for it so should they.


but we will not keep on the roll members who are, as YDKM has been widely reported as being, using others' justified dislike of the BNP to create rows

I don’t do that. I only mention the BNP when they have already been mentioned.


If you wish to abide by our
rules, stay. If you do not: go


I will stay but I think its incredibly unfair that the admin of this initiative are biased beyond reason and unwilling to treat me fairly.

Gracchi said...

YDKM I don't think that the administration are biased against you beyond reason at all- I think there is a problem here and I think they are being sensitive in handling it.

Lets put it another way. A couple of weeks ago we as a group adopted a policy that the administrators would refer controversial blogs to the group for admission and we adopted a policy that we would allow you as a BNP blog to stay within the group. That second policy was adopted in a vote which was effectively according to James a tie- 10 all with 2 neutral suggestions. The administrators interpreted the tie as a vote in favour of the status quo. Which is fair enough.

Ok but what you have to see is that there is a substantial number of members of blogpower for whom your party affiliation is deeply upsetting- its not an affiliation to a normal party but an affiliation to one that they consider outside the bounds of civilised political discourse- lets not get into an argument about that- but as a voluntary collective people are allowed to take the views they want to. Despite that those voices were overruled by the plurality and you were allowed to stay.

But you must have seen from that that there are many people who are very upset by the presence of your blog in this initiative- and it is incumbent therefore upon you to be more sensitive than anyone else to their feelings on this particular issue. Linking back to the BNP from a website whose maker considers the BNP to be a horrible organisation is bound to get you into trouble- its like me going onto your website and linking to a website for Islamic Jihad.

Considering the fact that this organisation was already split down the middle about having a BNP blog linked to- and considering the fact that you made much of the fact that you didn't link to the BNP on your site- don't you think that linking to the actual site from someone else's blog was a little insensitive.

The administrators are now faced with a problem- because lots of us would delete your comment because of the BNP link- because many of us consider the BNP to be racist. But equally how can you delete someone's comments with whom you have voluntarily associated. In a sense it violates the whole spirit of Blogpower.

I think more than that though its the idea that you could have linked to something else- to another site- but chose to link to the BNP and thus created the fuss. I'm sure the information was somewhere else as well and it just strikes me that part of what you were doing was provoking an obviously liberal commentator. Provocation is not in the blogpower spirit.

Anyway I've said enough, am tired but I want to convey to you how it looks to many members of this collective.

Tom Paine said...

I entirely agree with the manifesto addition. This is a club for mutual creative support, not a political group and there is a wide range of opinion represented. Being a member of Blogpower does not imply support for the political, religious or other views of the other members whether or not we trouble to put disclaimers to that effect on our blogs. If YDKM can abide by the spirit of the Blogpower manifesto, then fine. Let him have his say on his own blog and comment supportively on others. But if he can't refrain from the kind of provocation that has just lost us another good member, he should go.

This is a voluntary club and we can accept or reject members on whatever criteria we damn well choose. There's no libertarian issue about that.

james higham said...

So, ydkm, it's next morning and you have your answer. These people above who have written are not 'unfair' or 'prejudiced' people. Heaven knows - Tom Paine prejudiced? Give me a break!

What you have here, ydkm, is a near unified voice - that is, we all believe the same thing on this issue, with the possible exception of Steve.

In the paraphrased words of Cromwell: 'Do you think it not possible you might be mistaken?'

As for the administrators biased against you, stop and think for one moment. No, seriously - please stop and think.

It seems to me that on the contrary, they have been overly patient with you but more significantly than that, the two libertarian admins who were supporting your right to stay, you pushed them over the edge.

Let me repeat that - two libertarians who defend free speech to the death - they turned against you.

NB is not to blame, not Tony Blair - you, by your actions. And your response is that they are unfair. So anyone with half a mind sees what we have to deal with here.

You have to understand that the BNP statements are on a par with Jihadism and Paedophilia in the eyes of most people and are most distasteful to be associated with.

Personally, I'm with Pub Philosopher and it doesn't worry me in the least what you do [on the personal front] but I'm representing a membership here and they think otherwise. Ans you are costing us, not just membership but 'class' membership, the type we need to go forward.

I'm dismayed that you don't see yourself as part of us. You're forever referring to us in the third person and as an ex-Head, that is immediately suspicious to me. I admire your spirit for staying on - I'd do the same but you have to see that when EVERYONE says the same thing, then you have to be out of order.

I see your idealism shining through. You clearly believe that because you've been to their meetings, which were conducted in an orderly manner and because in your eyes they're patriots for Britain, that we, who have never been to those meetings, are talking out of our a--ses and can't know that they're a regular bunch of good guys. And you want to show us the true nature of the BNP.

That's admirable on your site but that's the only place for it because the BNP is anathema to most. You can woo us from your site and maybe even change our prejudices with good writing.

However, dropping provocative comments on member sites is right out, I'm afraid.

So, let's wind this up because I have to go off to work. You do understand, don't you, that the problem is not you as a person but the party whose views you put unasked for on other's sites.

At this moment, unless you can convince us on your own site, Blogpower will have no bar of that party. Full stop.

youdontknowme said...

Linking back to the BNP from a website whose maker considers the BNP to be a horrible organisation is bound to get you into trouble

Seeing as Norfolk Blogger is a new member I would have never known that he hates the BNP but he allowed a BNP comment before mine so I thought he would allow me to respond.


don't you think that linking to the actual site from someone else's blog was a little insensitive.

It was an article that I linked to. There is no other website that I know of that has that same article.


I'm sure the information was somewhere else as well and it just strikes me that part of what you were doing was provoking an obviously liberal commentator.

I think you will find that unless you look for hours there isn’t a website that has that information that is regularly updated. There could be one with old information but the BNP regularly update that article.


In the paraphrased words of Cromwell: 'Do you think it not possible you might be mistaken?

I may be mistaken about some of the admin. The normal guys I am ok with but like I said why would Norfolk Blogger allow an anti-BNP comment before mine if he wasn’t trying to get me to respond? He moderates all comments and if he didn’t want the BNP mentioned on his site why would he allow that comment?

Matt M said...

I'm with Steve as well on this.

Norfolk Blogger's reaction has been completely over-the-top. Why not just delete (or, if comment moderation is on, refuse to publish) the offending comment and then ask YDKM not to link to the BNP in future? It's a matter of minutes (if that) to set out a comments policy. If someone then refuses to abide by the new rules, you have a case for complaint, but otherwise it's quite an over-reaction.

I think it might be the case that he suddenly realised there was a BNP-supporting blog involved, didn't want to be associated and so then looked for an excuse to pull out.

The best way forward might be to advise people thinking of joining BP to have a good look at the blogs involved first and point out that they might not agree with all of them.

The Tin Drummer said...

The best way forward might be to advise people thinking of joining BP to have a good look at the blogs involved first and point out that they might not agree with all of them


Agreed - good idea. Common sense.


YDKM - I see you've fisked my comment in your defence. Whatever. Stay, and be sensitive - that is all you need to do. If that is too hard, you know what to do.

Fabian Tassano said...

Sorry everyone but I’m starting to find this whole issue tedious. Without the underlying data it’s impossible to assess the NB-YDKM dispute, but this is starting to smack a little of bullying.

I think Out From Under would probably have agreed with me on this, along with (it appears) Steve and Matt M, but sadly it appears he’s decided to chuck in the towel.

I’d been thinking in any case that it was difficult for me to stick to the BP manifesto, I simply don’t have time at the moment to visit many other blogs and leave comments and so forth.

Sadly therefore I am resigning from BP herewith. It's a good idea in principle, and I’m grateful to James for all the work of getting it going and trying to keep it together.

I shall be blogrolling a couple of my favourite blogs from the BP list in due course, and I hope the people concerned will consider linking back.

Cheers
Fabian

james higham said...

Oh dear. Well, it was getting a bit heavy, I suppose. Hope you reconsider because you've a great blog.

Fabian Tassano said...

Sorry James but my decision stands. As I mentioned, it’s partly based on current lack of time to adhere to the BP manifesto. However, I may well apply for re-entry down the line. Blogpower has a great collection of blogs, and is a good idea.

One final thought. If only people in this country got as worked up about the progressive (and probably irreversible) abolition of our civil liberties as they seem to get about the BNP, we might have some chance of stopping the rot. Seeing racism as the number one enemy, rather than creeping authoritarianism (e.g. children removed from parents on the say-so of ‘experts’) probably suits our il-liberal rulers down to the ground. Apart from anything else, it makes them feel their junking of free speech is morally justified.

Bag said...

Jeez, this sounds like it blowing out of all proportion.

I'm a bit confused though.

If CN leaves then how are you going to stop him posting comments on the blogs of others and linking to BNP? Think of the answer. Why can't you just do that now?

If you can't post links to BNP sites then why can you post links to Labour sites and Labour supporting sites, MoT, BBC etc. Substitute Tory, UKIP etc.

Maybe it time for new rules. Ones that can be clearly defined, unlike our current government, and people can ignore the intent and just follow the rules. State them plain and simple. One to consider is that there is no more than five spelling mistakes in a post or that more that five complaints and you are out.

Although I respect the group’s intent and have no doubt that your motives are good from where I am sitting I find it difficult to separate this from the row over the ballerina. It seems to me that people are focused on the belief that the BNP is a racist organization and don’t want anything to do with it. I don’t see the blame being fully CNs. Although his hands are clearly dirty.

Although I’m not a fan of the BNP I think that they do have some good points. Points many people are turning to. And everybody needs to put their input into the pot.

Bottom line though is this is your baby and done from the goodness of your heart. It is a good idea and was done for the right reasons. Why don’t you and your key players just make a decision based on what you think is right? Ask around, you don’t have to justify the decision just do what is best for you and what you think is best for the group. Let the members get involved if you want then make a decision and go on from there.

james higham said...

Bag, how can it sound like it's blowing out of all proportion when it's been resolved. You're a little late, man. Wayne's still there. Read the next post.

Bag said...

James, My apologies but I clearly missed the top two posts first time round. I have no idea what happened. Must be old age.

I'm glad it's been resolved. It was a pimple in an otherwise good picture. Hope when the dust settles it is finished with and it works out OK.

Good luck.