1993-11-29 - Re: Let’s Talk About Solutions

Header Data

From: “Perry E. Metzger” <pmetzger@lehman.com>
To: Mike Godwin <mnemonic@eff.org>
Message Hash: efd4349da50b2654406fe8599b4acf85bafe2f1eb3d6d7cb9b1e7d4d29912925
Message ID: <9311291759.AA00573@snark.lehman.com>
Reply To: <199311291601.LAA15061@eff.org>
UTC Datetime: 1993-11-29 18:02:01 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 29 Nov 93 10:02:01 PST

Raw message

From: "Perry E. Metzger" <pmetzger@lehman.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 93 10:02:01 PST
To: Mike Godwin <mnemonic@eff.org>
Subject: Re: Let's Talk About Solutions
In-Reply-To: <199311291601.LAA15061@eff.org>
Message-ID: <9311291759.AA00573@snark.lehman.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Mike Godwin says:
> It's worth noting that the perceived problem with Lance Detweiler is a
> problem that sooner or later surfaces in all forums, whether they're
> mailing lists or newsgroups--namely, the problem of a certain person or
> subject matter driving people away from the forum.
> Fleeing the problem doesn't fix it. It recurs wherever you go.
> Solving the problem in a top-down way (e.g., by banning a person from a
> forum) doesn't fix it, and that kind of centralized-censorship solution
> runs counter to the dynamic of the Net,

It works in places like the Extropians mailing list -- the S/N
periodically has crises, but they are short and the troublemakers get
booted for good.

It isn't counter to the dynamic of the net, either. A mailing list is
like someone's living room. If your houseguests start pissing on the
sofas, it isn't unreasonable to kick them out. 

"Banned" persons are free to start their own mailing lists, post to
newsgroups, etc. They've just been denied access to the computing
resources of the list maintainer for purposes of spreading their inane
rants. It doesn't even stop the persons in question from communicating
individually to all the people who were on the mailing list. Too many
people think "Freedom of Speech" means "freedom to speak in anyone's
living room if they feel like it", which it does NOT mean.

As a practice, removing people is simple, cheap, and astonishingly