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Re: [ga] Message from the Chair - List Rules

On Thu, 10 Feb 2000, Roberto Gaetano wrote:

> Hi, Ellen.
> Sorry to reply this late, but your message has been buried in hundreds 
> of private messages by Joe Baptista, and I did not read it until some 
> cleanup has been done.

I object to you using my name for damage control.

Joe Baptista

> Please see my comments in the text. 
> >Hi, Roberto:
> >
> >Thank you for copying me on your note to Karl.  It is clear that you 
> feel
> >some anguish at the recent events with the GA mailing list rules and 
> our
> >subsequent unsubscriptions.
> >
> Valuable people, whatever their opinion on the issues, is a scarce 
> resource these days.
> I hate to see you (Ellen), Karl, and Dan go due to the application of 
> monitoring rules, as much as I hated to see other people fleeing the 
> list in the past due to the lack of monitoring rules.
> My only hope is that we can bring this matter to a vote, and that either
>  group will accept the result, and live with the situation.
> >> Because I believe, and here comes the
> >>disagreement, that at a certain point you have to draw the line 
> between
> >>the expression of alternative positions on issues at hand, and
> >>expression of nothing
> >
> >Taken to its extremes, a proposal that holds at its core a prohibition
> >against posting an "expression of nothing" might disallow the posting 
> of a
> >joke, of ISOC minutes, of a new book on the market that is only
> >tangentially related to the subject at hand, of illness in the family 
> that
> >prevents timely response, or a rant of an opposing point of view.  I
> >believe you can make rules as to behavior (no crossposting, no email
> >spoofing) but rules as to expression are a slippery slope that can 
> slide
> >subtly into censorship.  Here's a clue:  if it is difficult to define 
> the
> >criteria of what constitutes an "expression of nothing", then you 
> cannot
> >make such rules.
> >
> What I was trying to say is that nothing that could have some influence 
> on the scope of the list has been "censored". But, of course, if you 
> look at things from the strict "question of principle", you are right.
> >Two lists just provide a cludgely workaround. It's difficult to see 
> what
> >that accomplishes, except to rebut complaints of censorship, never mind
> >that the full list is rea-only.
> >
> >You fail to address why individual filters aren't sufficient to manage 
> the
> >concern about "expression of nothing".   You could, for example, impose
>  a
> >five message per day rule.  That would raise hackles from some, but it
> >wouldn't be enough reason to unsubscribe from a list because it would 
> apply
> >to all of us equally and objectively.
> >
> >You could also impose rules that bounce any crossposted messages and 
> that
> >unsubscribe people who have spoofed mailbox addresses.  That is a
> >legitimate approach to a clear breaches of netiquette.  Multiple 
> identities
> >is more difficult to identify and thus, to work into your mailing list
> >rules.  I know of a lady who uses pseudo names on the Internet because 
> she
> >wants to keep her identity secret from a known harasser.  Another who 
> is
> >working on litigation for a client and doesn't want the defendant to 
> pursue
> >her.
> >
> >>Do you *really* think that the best way to increase the power of the 
> GA
> >>is to quit the boat now?
> >
> >Do you really think that the best way to increase the power of the GA 
> is to
> >muzzle free expression? That is, in essence, what your rules have
> >accomplished.
> If "free expression" is the proposal of different ideas and different 
> POV on the issues at hand, the answer is "no".
> If "free expression" is libel and slander, than, "yes", I believe that 
> the reduction thereof will greatly increase the power of the GA.
> >
> >If the GA group remained on task, people would ignore the banter of 
> those
> >who do not contribute to informative discussion.  Listmembers are free 
> to
> >ignore those who contribute nothing and to start new threads at any 
> time.
> >I believe you will find that your new mailing list rules will not 
> resolve
> >the very concerns that inspired them.  I hope that I am wrong, but I 
> have
> >been on lists where disruptors and empty contributions are ignored or
> >shunned, and the substantive debate proceeds without any 
> acknowledgement of
> >their existence,
> >
> True, but again only in theory, unfortunately.
> I am purposedly using a free-service E-Mail account for the messages 
> associated to this list. This is not uncommon, from what I see from the 
> addresses of the subscribers.
> I access this E-Mail account strictly via Internet. This is less common 
> in the industrialized world, but is the standard in the reality of the 
> less developed (telecom-wise) areas, where people browse their E-Mail 
> from Internet-Cafes.
> Under these circumstances (I am talking about the Internet Cafe), 
> private filtering is difficult, if not impossible, while the choice of 
> subscribing to a monitored rather than an unmonitored list is possible.
> Under these circumstances, the simple visualization of the inbox list 
> takes minutes, not to speak about action on a single message.
> I owe the people that are operating under these conditions priority in 
> my considerations over the matter of principle of the subscription to 
> one or the other list.
> I am only asking three months time before issuing the final judgement, 
> that I will accept whatever it is.
> Regards, and thanks.
> Roberto

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