I hereby present a potted history and update of sock-puppet-related events.
- 11 February, 15:55 – I write a message to bdsmireland-personals. For the umpteenth time, my post is moderated.
- 11 February, 22:16 – fig367 moderates my message citing a reason I can’t understand.
- 11 February, 23:35 – As explicitly permitted in the group rules, I write to fig367 and the group owners querying the moderation.
- 12 February, 13:31 – I publish a blog post with what has happened thus far with my moderated post.
- 12 February, 20:26 – fig367 responds with an encrypted message which makes no more sense to me than the first one did. I didn’t know it then, but that would be my last contact to date from fig367 using his own name.
- 12 February, 20:47 – I write back to fig367 and the group owners querying the connection between my post and the given reason for moderation.
- 13 February, 21:53 – I receive a lengthy and abusive comment on my blog from fig367 signing himself as dunravin2002.
- 16 February, 15:38 – I update my blog post with those events.
- 17 February, 19:10 – I receive a slightly less lengthy but equally abusive message from fig367/dunravin2002, sent to my blog email address.
- 22 February, 18:51 – I publish another blog post, this time with the comment and the email, both of which include permission to publish.
- 1 March, 19:50 – Miss Clippin submits a post to bdsmireland which is published by a moderator about my upcoming workshopness.
- 1 March, 23:02 – I receive a message from rebelred32 informing me of the prohibition of blog links in posts, and I notice that Miss Clippin’s post about my workshops has been deleted.
- 2 March, 03:23 – I send a message to the moderators, formally protesting the deletion of Miss Clippin’s post, which transgressed none of the published rules of the group.
- 2 March, 09:23 – rebelred32 posts a notice to bdsmireland announcing their rule prohibiting blog links which they somehow forgot to add to the published rules.
- 2 March, 12:29 – I post on bdsmireland querying the reason for the prohibition on blog links, and a heated discussion ensues, with many people objecting to the prohibition, and at least one person choosing to leave the group as a result.
- 2 March, 13:38 – As part of that thread, dublinswitch posts that he himself doesn’t mind about blog links, includes a link to my blog, and initiates the IP address debate.
- 5 March, 21:58 – I publish a bloggy commentary, including a mention of the direction the debate has taken in the group regarding the sidetrack onto of IP addresses.
- 6 March, 12:27 – valpone_a announces the closure of the thread, claiming a moderator review of the decision prohibiting blog links.
- 6 March, 21:35 – I post about some recent moderator strangeness.
- 7 March, 12:31 – valpone_a posts an announcement omitting any mention at all of the decision to prohibit links to personal blogs, but including (amongst other things – this is my summary interpretation of the message) notifying members that:
- any members dissatisfied with moderator decisions may leave the group
- moderators (whom he does not identify), have conducted an investigation (using procedures he does not describe), into allegations (which he does not specify)
- he reports that the moderators say that the (unspecified) allegations are not true (the basis for that conclusion was omitted)
- any member who feels that the moderators’ decision overlooked some specific evidence (he omits all details of which evidence was considered), may feel free to send all of their evidence privately to the moderators
- 7 March, 12:31 – Simultaneous to the above message, I receive an email from valpone_a, including amongst other things:
- Introducing himself to me
- Noting my dissatisfaction with moderator behaviour as expressed on my blog
- Expressing disinterest in my blog
- Informing me that bdsmireland and bdsmireland-personals will not include me in future
- Inviting me to leave bdsmireland and bdsmireland-personals
- Informing me that no other moderator will respond to me in any way, so I must correspond with him or nobody
- Wishing me luck in future
- I query a group moderator about his decision to moderate my post, and both the post and the query are explicitly permitted in the group guidelines
- that moderator uses a sock puppet to send me abusive messages outside that group via my personal blog
- I document the sock puppeting abuse outside the group on my personal blog
- the moderators claim in the group that there was an investigation but did not say what was investigated, how, who by, what was done, or what evidence supported their findings of “not true”
- my contact with the group moderators is restricted to one who is a stranger to me
- I am informed that the groups will go on without me, and I am then asked to leave the group
Right now, I’m wondering
- When were the group rules modified to prohibit expressing dissatisfaction, and is every individual who expresses anything other than kittens and butterflies asked to leave the group, or was it just me?
- When were the group rules modified to prohibit personal blogging outside bdsmireland and bdsmireland-personals, and has any other member with a personal blog been asked to leave the group, or was it just me?
- When were the group rules modified to regulate what members do outside bdsmireland and bdsmireland-personals, and have any other members had had sanctions in bdsmireland or bdsmireland personals as a result of their activities outside those groups, or was it just me?
- When were the group rules modified to prohibit querying moderators, and has every individual who has queried a moderator been asked to leave the group, or was it just me?
- When did restricting member contact to one moderator alone become standard procedure in bdsmireland, and have any other group members had that restriction imposed on them, or was it just me?
- Why did two moderators who were inactive for years and who are unrelated to recent events suddenly appear out of nowhere?
- Why has one of the suddenly reactivated moderators been mysteriously delegated to ask me to leave, and to bravely protect the other bdsmireland moderators from any ooooh, scary contact with me, and has any other member been asked to leave with a similar contact restriction, or was it just me?
- What rules am I supposed to have transgressed, why weren’t they specified to me, and have any other members been asked to leave without having any transgressions specified to them, or was that just me?
I’ve also got a side order of wondering why not one single person expressing disagreement with the content of my recent blog posts has mentioned knowing dunravin2002, nor asked who he is, nor asked where he popped out from.
And for dessert I’ve got a wonderment of why no member calling themselves dunravin2002 has popped up to identify and speak for himself, and wondering who deleted that post of his from 2004 and why.
But that’s by the by.
The list guidelines specify very clearly that the bdsmireland and bdsmireland-personals groups were founded on principles such as negotiation, consent, SSC and RACK. Where is the negotiation here? Where is the consent?
Does anybody else find that even the slightest bit interesting?
- If group moderators wish to impose restrictions on member conduct outside their groups, then spell out those restrictions explicitly and add them to the group rules.
Until then, what I do outside bdsmireland and bdsmireland-personals is my own fucking business.
I used to think this was just the teensiest smidge disproportionate. Now I look back nostalgically at when this situation was merely disproportionate. At this point, words more like “pathological” are running through my mind.
If the moderators behave this way to everybody, I’m wondering why nobody has mentioned this before. I would imagine that a lot of people would feel this was worth mentioning. So why haven’t they?
Unless significant numbers of bdsmireland members can report having similar experiences of bdsmireland moderators (and I sure hope they haven’t), I am going to take every moderator claim of working hard to be impartial, unbiased and fair, and file it under bullshit.
Currently I am still a member of bdsmireland and bdsmireland-personals. And right now I am wondering what will happen if I choose to leave my membership status the way it is.