Author Topic: Important announcement  (Read 4390 times)

James S. Rustad

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Re: Important announcement
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2020, 11:09:22 AM »
I mourn for the possible loss of those pseudonymous posters who made positive contributions to our conversations.  Even at the height of the election discussions there were those using "real" names who behaved just as badly as the worst pseudonymous posters.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Important announcement
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2020, 11:16:42 AM »
I mourn for the possible loss of those pseudonymous posters who made positive contributions to our conversations.  Even at the height of the election discussions there were those using "real" names who behaved just as badly as the worst pseudonymous posters.
True, but I don't think we necessarily will lose all the anonymous posters. They can share their name or go into lurk mode. And yes, many of the people whose names are known have been just as guilty. But this is a comprehensive effort to save the forum from becoming a toxic place while still representing the full spectrum and not becoming an echo chamber like nearly all other theological forums. The anonymity thing is only part of it. Posters using their real names and posting lambast and rants (especially on politics) will also no longer be tolerated. 

Rob Morris

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Re: Important announcement
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2020, 11:40:43 AM »
I can't help but wonder - in these times of Twitter mobs and twitchy HR departments - whether there might be a third way in regards to anonymous posting.

I have shared multiple times - every time I have interacted with an anonymous/psuedonymous poster at any length, I have sent a private message asking if they would be willing to tell me anything about themselves so I could better know how to interact. Not once was that request denied, and in many cases they shared legitimate reasons for desiring to remain anonymous. The doxxing tendencies of at least one poster were mentioned more than once.

I know the decision is probably already sealed, and I know that maintaining a database of "legitimate" anonymous posters might be too taxing, but given how much boorish behavior has centered on named posters, well... it seems like a toothier enforcement policy would achieve the same effect without the collateral loss. And it seems reasonable to say: identify yourself reliably to the moderators or take your comments elsewhere.

Take a look at my user name and you know my personal decision on anonymity. But then, I am blessed with a position where trying to articulate and work through a confessional Lutheran worldview doesn't also bring a high risk of unemployment.

All that said, as the board became mostly fights about politics, I pretty much bowed out. I am heartened that there is a desire to at last curb that.

BTW - Dead horse and all that, but there is still an anonymous poster ("gan ainm") who was falsely accused in the pages and on the website of the ALPB of coordinating illegal mobbing activity and who, despite the allegation being quietly retracted, has yet to receive an apology from the author, editor, or board. I get that this person was anonymous in his/her postings here, but even anonymously, that poster was/is a person. If ALPB is pivoting on anonymous posting, isn't this a (long overdue) opportunity to make amends to that anonymous poster? ALPB allowed this person to post anonymously, allowed him/her to be falsely accused in print, and (as of last time I interacted with the individual) has made zero effort to apologize. Surely no one is okey-dokey with that, right?

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Important announcement
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2020, 12:23:57 PM »
I can't help but wonder - in these times of Twitter mobs and twitchy HR departments - whether there might be a third way in regards to anonymous posting.

I have shared multiple times - every time I have interacted with an anonymous/psuedonymous poster at any length, I have sent a private message asking if they would be willing to tell me anything about themselves so I could better know how to interact. Not once was that request denied, and in many cases they shared legitimate reasons for desiring to remain anonymous. The doxxing tendencies of at least one poster were mentioned more than once.

I know the decision is probably already sealed, and I know that maintaining a database of "legitimate" anonymous posters might be too taxing, but given how much boorish behavior has centered on named posters, well... it seems like a toothier enforcement policy would achieve the same effect without the collateral loss. And it seems reasonable to say: identify yourself reliably to the moderators or take your comments elsewhere.

Take a look at my user name and you know my personal decision on anonymity. But then, I am blessed with a position where trying to articulate and work through a confessional Lutheran worldview doesn't also bring a high risk of unemployment.

All that said, as the board became mostly fights about politics, I pretty much bowed out. I am heartened that there is a desire to at last curb that.

BTW - Dead horse and all that, but there is still an anonymous poster ("gan ainm") who was falsely accused in the pages and on the website of the ALPB of coordinating illegal mobbing activity and who, despite the allegation being quietly retracted, has yet to receive an apology from the author, editor, or board. I get that this person was anonymous in his/her postings here, but even anonymously, that poster was/is a person. If ALPB is pivoting on anonymous posting, isn't this a (long overdue) opportunity to make amends to that anonymous poster? ALPB allowed this person to post anonymously, allowed him/her to be falsely accused in print, and (as of last time I interacted with the individual) has made zero effort to apologize. Surely no one is okey-dokey with that, right?

I basically have checked out of this forum.  But I want to echo Rev. Morris' last paragraph.  That anonymous poster who was falsely accused and driven off this board contacted me several weeks ago privately (only such contact I have had with the individual) and informed me that, as of that date, he has received NO apologies.  From the author of the slur.  From the organization that published and printed it.  From those here who defended and amplified and repeated it.  That is very sad.  And kind of puts the lie to the high-sounding claims of the post that started this thread.

Charles Austin

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Re: Important announcement
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2020, 12:52:13 PM »
With apologies, as with forgiveness, repentance and absolution, there must be full, honest and open admissions on all sides.
I think we let the past go and take the "new design" of the forum into the future.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Norman Teigen

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Re: Important announcement
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2020, 01:17:08 PM »
It is hard for me to understand what has been said about the value of the anonymous posters.   We are dealing with angry minds here.  In any public forum there is the need to balance personal privacy, freedom of speech, and defamation.  There are legal means to deal with defamation  beyond  the ALPB Forum.  I think that the anonymous posters are angry people who are too embarrassed to identify themselves.   Exaggeration and suspiciousness are the marks of these persons.  Reasonable Christian people will be willing to acknowledge their sin, admit that it. was wrong, ask for forgiveness, and resolve not to do it again. 
Norman Teigen

D. Engebretson

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Re: Important announcement
« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2020, 01:24:41 PM »
It is hard for me to understand what has been said about the value of the anonymous posters.   We are dealing with angry minds here.  In any public forum there is the need to balance personal privacy, freedom of speech, and defamation.  There are legal means to deal with defamation  beyond  the ALPB Forum.  I think that the anonymous posters are angry people who are too embarrassed to identify themselves.   Exaggeration and suspiciousness are the marks of these persons.  Reasonable Christian people will be willing to acknowledge their sin, admit that it. was wrong, ask for forgiveness, and resolve not to do it again.

There was one anonymous poster, in particular, who did not fit the above description.  He was courteous and respectful and engaged in productive and thoughtful discussion, even with those with whom he was obviously not of the same mind.  I think we should be careful not to label all anonymous posters with the same characteristics, even thought some may have displayed the things you describe.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

David Garner

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Re: Important announcement
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2020, 01:24:58 PM »
It is hard for me to understand what has been said about the value of the anonymous posters.   We are dealing with angry minds here.  In any public forum there is the need to balance personal privacy, freedom of speech, and defamation.  There are legal means to deal with defamation  beyond  the ALPB Forum.  I think that the anonymous posters are angry people who are too embarrassed to identify themselves.   Exaggeration and suspiciousness are the marks of these persons.  Reasonable Christian people will be willing to acknowledge their sin, admit that it. was wrong, ask for forgiveness, and resolve not to do it again.

You said James was Paul McCain. James has posted since Pastor McCain died.

Maybe you should sit this one out.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

peter_speckhard

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Re: Important announcement
« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2020, 01:30:36 PM »
It is hard for me to understand what has been said about the value of the anonymous posters.   We are dealing with angry minds here.  In any public forum there is the need to balance personal privacy, freedom of speech, and defamation.  There are legal means to deal with defamation  beyond  the ALPB Forum.  I think that the anonymous posters are angry people who are too embarrassed to identify themselves.   Exaggeration and suspiciousness are the marks of these persons.  Reasonable Christian people will be willing to acknowledge their sin, admit that it. was wrong, ask for forgiveness, and resolve not to do it again.
This isn't really the place to rehash the whole discussion. For many years we welcomed anonymous posters. When we discovered the forum discussion degenerating we looked at several possible changes, among them that we try a new policy of insisting on knowing who is posting. Neither policy is likely foolproof. Yes, we might lose the valuable insights of someone like SomeoneWrites, who went to seminary in the LCMS but who is now an atheist and might have perfectly valid reasons for not wanting his spiritual explorations publicly known. But we'll hopefully gain a sense of accountability for what we post, which, admittedly, has not always kept the named posters from spouting off political vitriol. But that is another thing we're going to tighten up the policing of. Richard's opening post on this thread was vetted and endorsed by several members of the alpb board who had formed a committee to look at possible changes. Hopefully everyone makes the best of it rather than bemoaning any downsides of the old way or the new way. 

James S. Rustad

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Re: Important announcement
« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2020, 06:35:17 PM »
Enforcing firm limits is more likely to help.  'Course, that will take more time on the part of our moderators, who have already been overloaded for many months.  I hope that they are successful in addressing the problem.

Keith Falk

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Re: Important announcement
« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2020, 07:21:55 PM »
I am sorry that we will miss the postings of people like SomeoneWrites.


I look forward to more rigorous moderating; perhaps the Board should enlist another person or two to help with the task.


And something for us to keep in mind (a point Pastor Butler has raised) - it isn't our sandbox. We don't set the rules. While I know I disagree with the change on anonymous posters (the last... 15? 16? 17? years of lurking then posting on ALPB has shown me that long-term, named/known posters have consistently behaved worse than anonymous ones), it isn't my call to make. These aren't my rules to enforce. I'm just along for the ride, and will adjust as needed.
Rev. Keith Falk, STS

Dan Fienen

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Re: Important announcement
« Reply #26 on: December 24, 2020, 07:59:08 PM »
The moderators will continue to be the umpires of this sandlot. Disagreeing with the ump's call is an honored American tradition but rarely does that change the call. We will need to respect the actions of our moderators.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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Re: Important announcement
« Reply #27 on: December 25, 2020, 12:21:11 PM »
This irenic spirit gives praise and thanksgiving for this change.  The toxicity is very challenging to read and digest.  One positive result of the toxicity:  my prayer life has improved as I intercede on their behalf with prayers that we would live the Gospel reality, and suppress the sinful interactions.  I will gladly continue to offer such intercessions when reading The Epoch Times.
The Old Padre Dave Poedel, now retired, coming back to catch up with friends, old and new

FrPeters

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Re: Important announcement
« Reply #28 on: December 25, 2020, 06:10:37 PM »
I really do not have a horse in this game.  If people think that the elimination of anonymous posting will turn the tide on manners and ease the edge, I don't think that it is the case.  My face is on my posts.  But I do think it is ironic that anonymity protected the names of those who were charged with serious fault on the pages of the print journal a while ago and now on the online side of things everyone must identify themselves.  I think this forum would have been healthier if the same prejudice against anonymity applied here had first been applied to the print journal in its charge of mobbing.  Fair game is fair game.
Fr Larry Peters
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J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Important announcement
« Reply #29 on: December 26, 2020, 11:20:48 PM »
From, ironically, an anonymous poster on another forum:

May all our threads be merry and bright;
 and may all our posts be polite.


When it comes to "piggyback" lyrics I am a stickler for preserving the original's metre and phrasing.

So my version:

May our threads be merry and bright;
and may all our postings be polite.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2020, 05:27:31 PM by J. Thomas Shelley »
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