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Re: theos-talk I've retired and Ramadoss is doing the work

Aug 08, 2010 06:47 PM
by Govert Schuller

Dear Eldon,

Thank you for the overview of the history and policies of this group. 

>From it I understand that you were co-administrator with Ramdoss till last month. 

Can you then give us here an explanation for the disappearance of the July 16, 2008 posts ## 43528-43531?


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: eldon_tucker 
  Sent: Sunday, August 08, 2010 12:44 PM
  Subject: theos-talk I've retired and Ramadoss is doing the work

  Hi Everyone,

  Last year, I enlisted Ramadoss to help with the administrative functions of theos-talk, since I had less time to devote to it. We've seen him around since November 1995 on the predecessor list theos-l and then on theos-talk when it was started.

  In July, I fully turned over the list to his management. Currently, he is the only list owner, and I am a regular subscriber to the list. Over the past year, he has been on a learning curve, so there's always the change an occasional mistake made be made, but I'm confident that he has the best of intentions and is a dedicated advocate of free speech.

  I'll comment on the current policy of the list, which should still be in effect until differing circumstances arise and Ramadoss decides in his best judgment that it's time for change.

  New subscribers start off as moderated, but they get an initial email that tells them the moderation will be in effect only for a short while, during which they can read and observe the operation of the list. If they make an initial inappropriate message or turn out to be a spammer, they can be filtered out at that point. They're still free to post to the list, but their postings will be reviewed and they may possibly get feedback on them before the postings go out. Previous subscribers would be exempt from this; their subscription requests would be recognized and they would be unmoderated right away.

  When a new subscriber is ready to fully participate, they're asked to post to the list a description of who they are and what their background is. This is because the only cause for removal, apart from troll-like behavior where the list is flooded with messages and many people are offended and driven off, is to pretend to be someone else on the list. The only exception would be if someone lived in a country where if they fully identified themselves, they might be subject to persecution, in which case they could use a pseudonym if they just explained that to the list owner.

  Any subject relevant to theosophical inquiry is open for discussion, but spamming, flooding the list with unrelated content, or otherwise trying to take over the list for some other purpose would be unacceptable. If a thread is repetitive, inflammatory, and only serving to anger people, and complaints are being received, it's up to the best judgment of the person managing the list to change the subject or end the stuck discussion. Personal emails to the participants may be appropriate, but if some individuals won't respond, temporarily putting them on moderated status may be appropriate until they stop posting on the tread. This is not to say that the same issues may not arise again in the future in some other discussion, but sometimes it's necessary to say, "Enough, let's move on." The persons wanting to get in the last word on the subject may be unhappy if they're the ones told to move on, but there's no point in any discussion where everyone equally gets the last word.

  If there is something going on and someone wants to know what's really happening, the most accurate approach is to get information from the source. With Skype, it's possible to call anyone in the world for free (if they have Skype) or inexpensively if they don't. There's no excuse for someone not to simply clarify things by getting in touch with Ramadoss directly. I'm confident that he's operating with the best of intentions. The only thing he may be guilty of is having too strong an opinion on issues regarding theosophical politics, but I don't think that a participant should think that he or she isn't given a fair chance to share their differencing views because of that. 

  Which the exception of what I've mentioned - newbie moderation until they're identified themselves and temporary moderation of a participant if he or she won't stop on a thread that has been closed for further discussion by the list owner - I don't believe there are any existing controls, and these two controls are necessary on any functional list that wants to preserve free inquiry.

  Any questions about the operation of the list should be directed to Ramadoss. I wish him success in his role as list owner, and hope that everyone will help him as he completes his learning curve and comes to do an excellent job at keeping the list free and fully functional.



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