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Topic: Ground Rules Being Determined
Replies: 1   Last Post: Apr 1, 1998 12:11 PM

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Ronald A Ward

Posts: 298
Registered: 12/4/04
Ground Rules Being Determined
Posted: Apr 1, 1998 10:53 AM
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The AMTE Board has received many complaints about some posters. As a
result, the Board is meeting this week in DC to decide how to respond.
The Board wishes to be responsive to its membership but does not wish to
act precipitously.

In the meantime, there are a few ways that you can deal with the
irritations of life on the Internet. :)

1. You should continue to post the kinds of messages you think are
appropriate and respond to those that you consider appropriate and which
interest you. If you fail to do this, you are abandoning your listserve
and helping to increase the percentage of negative and inflamatory posts.
2. It is easy to identify the posters who bother you. I'd recommend
that you just delete their posts without ever reading them. There is a
small possibility that you will miss something worthwhile, but the risk
is, I think, minimal.
3. You might consider deleting the posts of those who respond to the
posters who bother you. No doubt many of them are well intentioned and
have things of value to say, but you can at least avoid the constant
reminders of the behavior that upsets you. The risk of missing something
valuable is higher, of course.
4. It is also relatively easy to identify the subjects or topics which are
most likely to contain constant references to the posts which bother
you. You can delete them without reading as well. But, again, the risk
of missing something continues to rise.
5. Alternatively, I know that some subscribers will read anything posted
by certain individuals, regardless of topic, whether they are responding
to bothersome posters or not. Clearly, each of us has our own way of
dealing with bothersome posters or posts. But all contain some risks.
6. Now, I know from experience on some other listserves that there are
some individuals who join a listserve from time to time for the express
purpose of disrupting or destroying that listserve. They have no genuine
interest in any of the discussions. You couldn't convince them of
anything, even if you argued all semester. But you can't let even those
kind of people deprive you of your right to converse with others in your
profession who have similar interests as yourself.
7. I think this listserve is worth saving, so I am going to continue to
read it when I can, post when I think I have something worthwhile to
say. I personally am opposed to censorship. So, I am unlikely to ever
vote for monitoring posts or throwing anyone off a list. But, I will
certainly listen carefully to any proposals that are made that will
improve the quality of the listserve. And, I can assure you that some
members of the Board disagree with my view! So, I suspect that the Board
will definitely take some action this week but cannot predict what it
will be. [It also helps if you can be a little more "thick-skinned" and
not so sensitive to criticism. You have to realize that some posters are
deliberately "baiting" the membership, just hoping for someone to take
umbrage and respond. I'd advocate resisting the urge. But, if you
can't and feel you must respond, do it. As far as I'm concerned that's
what freedom of speech is all about. :)

Ron Ward/Western Washington U/Bellingham, WA 98225

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