Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(March 1995)
 

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Subject: Re: List Moderation and Profanity
From: alan @ znyx . com (Alan Deikman)
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 95 11:14:43 -0800
To: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM

Sharon Wrote:
>Linda Wrote:
>> I was
>> wondering how people decide what to let through when confronted
>> w/something that contains vulgar language? Of course, defining what is
>> vulgar or not varies from person to person, but does anyone have any
>> guidelines or can share w/me what they do/have done? 

I really don't think you need guidelines.  If you have to get down to
that level you have already lost the war.  A subscriber who is so out
of touch, lacking of perspective, or just plain too stoopid to understand
basic good manners over e-mail doesn't need to be on your list.

  "I don't know what obscenity is, but I sure know it when I see it."

If that's good enough for the Supreme Court justice who said it (I think
it was Reinquist?) I should be good enough for an Internet mailing list
manager.

>I found that vulgar language did a lot of damage to my 'unmoderated' list.
>I asked politely, then deleted the offender. I let any comment on any 
>issue go by - except personal attacks and vulgar language. I explained that
>it was like inviting people to a party at my house - I sure hoped they 
>had a good time, but being genuinely offensive was out of order. 

Good call, sharon, that's exactly the way I think of my list.  Let them
go to USENET if they think peeing in the house plants is funny.  Point 
out to them (if you care to) that at least 50% of the reason that you
have a private mailing list instead of a USENET news group is to avoid
such antics.

>I stuck with this and I'm glad I did. I got some 'fascist pig' and 
>'freedom of speech' comments, but I didn't buy it.

You toltarian despot, you.  Just out of curiosity (and if you happen to
know) did the name caller(s) ever generate a posting that you thought was
a worthwhile contribution?  Or did anything that caused you to respect
them?

Another question for both Sharon and Linda:  what are the mailing lists
you run?  My list (the pci-sig) so far has posted over 400 messages without
anything remotely objectionable.  Is there some category of list that is
more prone to this kind of problem than another?

Reagrds,

   

--------------------------------
  Alan Deikman, ZNYX Corporation
  alan @
 znyx .
 com


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