An editors not on editing

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Posted by seahunt on August 29, 2001 at 11:00:06:

This is long. Live with it. I want to clear up some complaints.
You didn't like the short answer in the FAQ, so you get this one.
In the FAQ is a short statement
i.You must be reasonably courteous. Criticism should be supported by
rational arguments. Profane and baseless personal attacks will be
This is a short statement of intent and very open to interpretation.
The editors of this board try to interpret it and apply it the best we can,
but much of it's meaning is by implication and community standard. Don't
complain about that. The Supreme Court deals with the same problem and
they have a lot more time than we do.
I will try to clarify a few things about some of the recent questions
and events related to the editing of the board. This is my statement, not
Chris' and it has not been passed by him, so he may have some differences
of opinion, but I think he will agree with the gist of what I say here.
This board is listed as a free and open forum.... Just like we are in a
free country and we all have free speach. There are lots of caveates to
this. You can't slander, yell "Fire" or try to manipulate buisnesses with
lies. We have an open country, but you had better be careful about going
on private property, government reservations and a lot of other
This board is about diving and even more specifically, largely about
California diving, but we like stories about other far away places that
members of the board community have been lucky enough to visit. No one
complains about humor, but this isn't like the RDS board that has humor
competitions. Hey, we'll read just about anything interesting... or we'll
just skip over it.
Clearly, advertisements are not welcome, but they are quite tolerated if
they are a board member that happens to want to sell some of their gear
and they do not constantly repost. Posts to fill a boat trip are welcome,
because by its nature there is a built in time limit. Ads for inflatable
repairs or time shares in Belize from non-board community commercial
establishments are generally not welcome and will be removed.
This goes on and on. It's like life. It's not clean, simple, clear cut,
easy and it doesn't fit in some little box. Learn to live with it. Use
your judgement. You'll usually figure it out unless you let your personal
agenda skew your view.
Now on to editing. It's the same way. It's not perfectly clear. It's
not about rules. It's about a goal, making a nice pleasent environment.
No rules or laws are perfect. We wish they were and so people keep making
them. Still, no law is perfect, so we have judges to try to make sure
that the laws fulfill their intent. Then when we get angry, we stand on
a law and scream and we try to take the law out of the judges hand and
demand strict adherence to the law with no discretion or variation (like
the three strikes law or zero tolerance laws). But it is still never
perfect. Don't snivel about it. Think.
So here are some thoughts, part of which I wrote for Mr. Kane. My
main objective as an editor is to keep the board a friendly place, so I
resist personal and baseless attacks... like it says in the FAQ. Here is
some of what I wrote to Michael...
You can trash on PADI all you want, within some standard of taste, but
when you trash on some particular person for being a PADI instructor, you are
making a personal attack. Your buddy GLinSD can trash on DIR as a marketing arm
of DIR if he wants. He cannot say MHK promotes the sale of Halcyon trash.
That's personal. Also calling DIR - Doing It Retarded - (a post I removed) is
over the line....
Heck, we aren't perfect or that interested even. We're, I at least, am just
trying to keep this board civil. GLinSD is an a**, but he's figuring out what
the rules are and using them........
..... Quit mentioning Chris and you should drop me too (if you want to
fight, say so up front. I almost never spar with anyone I don't know well.
People get hurt that way.) You have no reason to mention us and it annoys
people on the board when we bicker (That could be modified as well if you give
warning. Scheduled, consensual fights are accepted as great
...... Do not make personal attacks. It's not necessary and you can still
attack dive practices (you don't approve of).
That is what I wrote to him. I will expand on that some because some people
seem confused.
When I find a gear post between MHK and AADIVER (where there are no posts
in the thread by Chris or myself) and there is a comment (repeated in more
than one post) about Chris and seahunt being too stubborn to embrace DIR,
I take that as both a personal attack and a baseless attack. He could just
as well say we're too cheap, too stupid, too drunk or too commy. If he
wants to post, with a title to me or post in response to a post of mine
(or at least a thread I am involved in), that he thinks I am too stubborn
to embrace DIR, that is OK, because I am given the opportunity to defend
myself and he must SUPPORT his view. Do not ever blindside me. Do not
start a fight (that means even critisizing me) when we are supposed to
have a truce. People objected when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor without
announcing the fight and I object on the same principles.
Something else (edited) I sent to MHK :
Now finally, as I have said before and will post again soon. If you
don't like a post, email me or post to get my attention.
I have my own standard of what I remove, but that standard adjusts when a
person claims offense. If it is vaguely offensive and a person complains, it
will be removed.
I think this is true for the other editors as well.
Realize, editing this board demansds a lot of judgement. We are not perfect.
We do not have perfect judgement. Don't expect it. Also, we are all strapped
for time. Still, I think the editing has been pretty good. Of the critiques
we have received, I judge most of them to be invalid. There have been
complaints about GLinSD's posts, and I think I have made my negative opinion
of him well known, but looking at his posts, they generally do not constitute
personal attacks. Crude, nasty, useless, yes. Personal, No. Baseless, well
that's another point and more complicated. If people don't like them, show
that they are baseless. I don't think it would be hard, but there is a burden
of proof. Whether anyone believes it or not, the editors of this board
generally interpret very conservatively what gets deleted.
Recently, I have responded on 5 occasions to what I consider baseless attacks
on myself. Since there was no response to my defensive posts, I interpret
those attacks as UNSUPPORTED. As such I emailed the poster and told them that
they were going to get deleted if they kept up the attacks without supporting
themself. They could also get deleted just for using my name and not
supporting themself. That is a personal attack
This doesn't even mention the third parties that try to provoke fights.
Profanity is pretty much defined by a third party. Don't let a word search
find your profaniity. If you must, use (modified) profanity for communication
or color. Don't curse at anyone.
Attacking me is one thing. Ripping on some unsuspectiong new comer to
the board for an innocent question is another.
I could go on, but I'll spare you and I expect you all to use your own
good judgement. I hope this gives you all a better idea of how I try to
handle these issues. All of this is based on principles of our society
that have been hard learned over many centuries of humans trying to
figure out how to get along. They are not perfect, but flout these
principles at your peril.
Enjoy the reading, seahunt
PS. Not all the spin in the world is going to fool me.

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