As some of you know, the Math Forum hosts this list, having offered to keep it going many years ago when its original hosting arrangement ended. We don't have the resources to provide staff to actively facilitate and moderate the list. We don't really have the resources to keep doing the administrative work it involves, but for now we do it anyway.
Occasionally there are exchanges on this list that contain personal attacks and offensive language that keep many people from reading, participating, and recommending it and, unfortunately, often reflect poorly on the Math Forum as well. We have received requests over the years to remove posts and users and more closely supervise the list. We apologize for not being able to play a more effective role in supporting the list.
We are revisiting the question of what to do with this list. There are a small number of participants providing most of the discussion. The subscriber list is about one-fourth the size it was at one time. There are other similar discussion groups that are moderated.
Would anyone like to speak to the value of continuing this list? We don?t mean to imply that there aren?t valuable discussions or contributions. The question may be more whether it is important to continue it here, in an unmoderated or very loosely moderated context.
In order for us to continue to host it, the discussions should be focused on mathematics education and not contain personal attacks, abusive and offensive language clearly inappropriate for the K-12 community of students, teachers, and parents. Ideally, folks would refrain from the barbs and insults that provoke others to sink to various depths.
How could the list be supervised in a way that does not place much additional burden on Math Forum staff? Some possibilities include:
- Communicate the above expectations to list subscribers and remove subscribers who make a posting that clearly violates the standards. We?d try to keep our eyes on the postings but we?d reply on list members to bring items to our attention.
- Have some person(s) volunteer to moderate the group who can demonstrate that they have the time and good judgment needed to support participation from multiple viewpoints.