Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Turning Point

We jointly encountered a turning point on the blog today. We had one too many venomous, mean-spirited anonymous comments appear (see preceeding posts for details). As a result, we have a new policy regarding anonymous comments in effect:

Anonymity is a privilege, not a right. When it is abused, there should be consequences. Unfortunately, to date there have been no consequences when an anonymous poster abused his privilege by using that mechanism simply to spew poison.

The new policy is: if you step over the line, your anonymous privileges are at risk.

No more free ride.

Responsibility is now a requirement, not a request.

Those who choose to attempt to use the ammenity of anonymous posting that is offered on this blog to spew venom, to irresponsibly defame others, or in a like fashion choose to be non-productive members of this particular blog community run the risk of having their true identities exposed.

I not sure I can say it any simpler than that, but I'll try: don't say anything anonymously on this blog that you would not say as yourself, were you not, for what ever reasons, too afraid to use your own identity.

Anonymous postings were offered on this blog to prevent LANL staff from being retaliated against for having pointed out problems at LANL. It was not a free ticket to post malicious, mean-spirited, slander about people who work (or worked, in the case of Todd Kaupilla) at LANL.


And will you also pledge your new policy to prevent defamation of character, i.e., slander, against good managers and employees at the Laboratory, whose names frequently appear in this forum without edit ...... and without substantiation against any allegations ..... simply because somebody wishes to spew venom at them, or they simply dislike these named individuals? Will you, Doug, pledge to carry your policy to that level as well?
-- Ann
If it can be clearly shown that an anonymous comment unfairly defamed a LANL employee then that is proof of abuse of anonymous posting privileges.

Interesting how you are using google's blogger(free to the public) to make such threats of anonymous access. You cannot make such a judgement to people for any reason. I too run blogs from googles blogger and I have no way of controlling anonymous access unless I turn it off and only allow accounts to be used and even then users can create false accounts and use false email accounts. It is clear that you have become what you set out to stop and this is called censorship.

It is not up to you to punish a person that is done in a court room by a jury of peers. Who the hell made you judge jury and executioner. Are you declaring yourself King of America?

I have seen this coming on this blog for a while Doug. You created the monster so now you deal with it. This is not a LANL paid web site! Therefore not job related.

Just for everyones info I do not agree with what was said by either the poster or the retalitation posted. I really do not agree with the A-hole who threatened someones wife, life at LANL and career at LANL. This too is work violence for your information. I can tell you one other thing and that is if anything ever happens to the blog posters wife, family or life we all know who to blame. You have just incriminated yourself by intending to threaten or do damage to someone.
“If it can be clearly shown that an anonymous comment unfairly defamed a LANL employee then that is proof of abuse of anonymous posting privileges.” Doug
Perhaps a policy of: "The defamed is guilty until proven innocent" is not a noble as it initially sounds.
How about a policy of: "Sign your name and be accountable for your statement or your post does not stay on the blog."?

I note that 90+% of the negative anonymous comments here could not be remotely construed as crucial revelations about management wrongdoing, for which someone might need protection. They are cowardly mudslinging, plain and gritty.

If someone thinks they need protection of anonymity to prevent retaliation for revealing some great wrong, they should get someone, who is willing to stand up be accountable for them, make the post. That someone could be you, Brad Lee, Larry, Scott, Eric, etc. If you find the complaint credible and are willing stand up and say it with knowledge of the source it would have some standing.

I would prefer that such a forum with such rules were in place within the yellow network to ensure that our dirty laundry, true or not, were not aired to our enemies on the outside.
8/10/2005 09:36:55 PM, you clearly do not know what the hell you are talking about. Number 1, Doug did not threaten anyone. Number 2, there _does_ need to be accountability with respect to postings made on this blog. Number 3, it is incredibly easy to install logging software on a blog that can track each and every access. I'm surprised Doug has not done this yet.

How about if you go run your own blogs and quit bothering us. If you can drag yourself away from the LANL blog long enough, maybe you could go tell Todd Kaupilla's widow that the anonymous poster today was perfectly within his rights to slander Todd.

You sound like a creep.
Who ever Ann is - she hit it on the nose paraphrase Inspector Kemp in Young Frankenstein ....a mob is an ugly thing.

I started to read this blog because some of the people who have been a central focus in here appeared to me (in other lives and other places) to be completely different than your blog posters characterized them.

When the mob (blomb?) went after them - I heard no stern words then from the Blog master about responsibility or balance or fairness. There was no recourse for them, why should there be for anyone else?

When I posted here in the past, people called me names for daring to disagree (or heavens! Laughing at the pomposity often displayed here), now it has apparently devolved down to threats of violence against people in the lab. 9:36:55 has it right too Doug, you have created a monster.

---- An outsider looking in over the last 2 months
A landmark day: I find myself in agreement with Gary.

While I personally would prefer to hunt down and expose the negative, counter-productive poison-pen anonymous posters for the cowards they clearly are, I'm not sure there is sufficient justification remaining to continue to support anonymous comments on this blog.

I could, for example, install logging software that would track each access to the blog. Then, I could assess each poisonous anonymous comment as they appear for validity. Then, after having determined that a particular anonymous "missive" was, in fact, totally without merit, I could then cross-correlate the submission with the the logs and determine what the ip address of the submitter.

You know what? The questionable value added by such a process is not worth the effort.

I do believe that it would serve everybody better if I just turned off the *privilege* of commenting anonymously to existing posts. I suppose there is still plenty of justification to allow people to mail in their submissions with a request that the submission be posted anonymously.

It is sad, yet somehow befitting that a tool which was created to identify problems at LANL, and likewise the solutions to those problems has been sufficiently perverted by a few truly malicious individuals that this change will be forced.

Soemtime tomorrow, perhaps, I will institute the changes.


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