Thursday, February 13, 2014

My patience is wearing thin

A few points for commenters here to note:

1. If you do not like my moderation, it is not compulsory to read this blog.

2. I welcome comments from all perspectives and I welcome robust comments.

3. If you wish your comment to be published, be positive, comment on the substance of a post or other comment, refrain from commenting on the style of others' writing, and do not comment on other commenters.

4. Do not speculate. If Fred says X by all means disagree with X but do not speculate that Fred also believes Y.

5. Try to keep on topic.

6. I am considering a cessation of all comments here if the general situation does not soon improve.

7. You are welcome to blame me for the general situation but that will not change 6.


13 comments:

mike greenslade said...

Medication time?

Peter Carrell said...

Yes, Mike
I might need to add some crystals to my cup of tea http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damianthompson/100258745/yesterday-i-bought-some-white-crystals-from-my-dealer/

tachesterton said...

Peter, you are doing fine. The vast majority of us are entirely happy with your moderation. As you know, my own view is that you moderate too much, and allow Shawn and Ron to make you responsible for their own issues with each other. If you think we're all acting like six year olds who refuse to play nice, by all means shut the party down for a while. It's your blog, brother, and you have every right to set the rules.

Tim C.

Peter Carrell said...

Thanks Tim
Mostly most comments are fine.
But more than two here are capable of a good comment which tips over into a dig at 'the other' of 'the other side.'

Shawn Herles said...

Hi Tim.

I agree that there is a lot of personal heat between myself and Ron, and I accept my responsibility for at least part of that. I disagree however that that is the only issue and that I'm making Peter responsible for that. This goes past just personal issues.

To give two examples, with no names, I have been accused of potentially being involved in criminal behavior and it was suggested I seek psychiatric help. On another occasion, from a different person note, I was called stupid and a liar for what was a very civil challenge. When I attempted to defend myself, again in a civil manner, I was shut down by Peter, but the post I was responding too was allowed to remain in public view.

These are not isolated incidents.

The first incident was legally actionable. I could have sued over it, but out of respect for Peter kept the peace, and merely asked that such rhetoric not be published again. On any other Christian blog, especially one hosted by a member of the clergy, that incident would have gotten the person responsible banned. In fact no action of any sort was taken. Yet despite being shocked by that, and feeling betrayed, I kept the peace.

I point these incidents out to show that, in my opinion at least, this goes well beyond mere personal animus between myself and another person.

Rhetoric of this sort did not stop, so I banged my head on a brick wall for months to try and have it stopped. Peter did increase his moderation and culling of the very worst posts, but much that is not acceptable still gets through, as the last few weeks have shown. Moderating individual posts is not working, not in my opinion.

Shawn Herles said...

Continued...

I think guests on a blog, even a blog where a fair amount of heated, even fierce rhetoric is likely, nevertheless have a right to expect that they will not be subjected to this kind of extreme rhetoric and legally actionable accusations. That is not an unreasonable expectation. Ordained clergy in particular, (and in both incidents above ordained clergy were making the attacks, which to me is appalling) have a particular responsibility to take care how they speak to laity.

The fact is that such incidents should never have occurred in the first place, especially as I considered Peter a friend and had some right to expect that such things would not occur.

I might have just left it at that, but things did not change, and really, have not changed. Increased moderation has not worked, so I cannot agree that Peter is doing a good job. I have been on numerous other Christian blogs. On none of them have members of the clergy made attacks like that, only on this blog, by clergy in my own diocese. In fact, on none of them have I been subjected to attacks like the ones above, by anyone.

That's just not ok, not by any stretch of the imagination.

I accept that Peter has chosen not to do anything serious about it, and by serious I mean actually stopping it permanently, rather than just the very worst, and and I now accept that it will not stop, and thus that it is not safe for me to post here. That is a problem of moderation, not a problem of me just blaming Peter, especially when assurances were given repeatedly that something serious would be done.

The whole thing just makes me sad. I have been largely housebound for nearly a year with a very serious injury, for which I have just had surgery, and the idea of a local Anglican blog where I could speak and communicate with others, engage in discussion and debate, and generally alleviate the boredom and loneliness of the past year, was something that excited me, being a theology geek, and especially as it was run by a friend, I thought it would be reasonably safe. I understood it would be heated and fierce at times, given the issues and debates in our church, but I did not expect anything like what I described above. I accept that I should have just left long ago, but as I said, sheer boredom and loneliness kept drawing me back. That's my fault. But as I said, repeated assurances that things would change in part kept me hanging in.

I now know that nothing is going to change, that it is not safe for me to post here, especially given that my wife works in the diocese, and I feel as though, true or not, that my concerns were never really taken seriously, that the impact on me and my wife, (she has read some of these posts including the ones above and was also shocked and appalled) of the incidents I described above, and other like them, was not given serious consideration. If they had been, the primary, though not only, person responsible, would not still be allowed to post here.

So that's that. You and others will have your own understandings and views about the situation, but I stand by my claim that my protests, concerns and expectations were not unreasonable.

Anyway, thanks for the conversations and debates we have had, differences aside I have always enjoyed them, and I think, even when I disagree, that your own contributions are always worthwhile and challenging.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn
Thank you for commenting freely and robustly about the moderation situation here at ADU. I acknowledge that you feel let down by how I have moderated over the past year or so. Should you reconsider, you are always welcome to return here.

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Commenters,
Shawn above has made a personal statement about moderation here. As far as I am concerned it is a statement which speaks for itself, from the heart. It is not up for discussion (and the attendant risks that discussing it would only lead to more 'heat' rather than 'light') and thus I won't accept comments which attempt to discuss the statement.

tachesterton said...

Hi Peter, since Shawn's statement was addressed to me, I would like to respond and say that until now I was unaware of his illness and would like to assure him of my prayers and best wishes.

Peter Carrell said...

That's fine Tim, to say that, as it is not discussing the statement!

Shawn Herles said...

Update.

I have decided to leave the Anglican Church. I will continue to support my wife's ministry in the AC in whatever way is needed, but the Anglican Church was never a natural fit for me, and the ongoing civil war that is tearing the Church apart is tiring and spiritually toxic for me. I'm returning permanently to Grace Vineyard. This means that I have no investment in the current debates,and thus no need to post here at ADU.

God bless to everyone here, and thanks for putting up with me.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn
My very best wishes.
You are always welcome here.
Regards
Peter

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn
My initial comment at 7.22 am is a strong response to your comment which I am choosing not to publish.

Let this suffice: you and I do not agree on my moderation policy and its application.

Part of our disagreement is over the material fact of whether I have 'done something' about one commenter. I believe I have (e.g. no other commenter has been so stringently moderated here); you disagree.

Perhaps it would be better to talk about this over a cup of coffee than via comments here.