I agree: moderation

L.S.Cousins mhcrxlc at dir.mcc.ac.uk
Mon Feb 13 15:10:53 EST 1995

 Lesl~aw Borowski writes:
>To Richard P. Hayes: Thank you for confirmation that acts (of a
>a few persons) of preventing people from expressing their views in
>public (I call it censorship) are included in the process of
>moderating a list. Thanks for your work too.

A list to which one subscribes is not 'in public'. It is a private group of
individuals who subscribe on a specific set of terms. Usenet exists for the
purpose of the kind of open discussion you are suggesting.

> I'm happy to hear
>voices saying simply: "I agree.". They support my ideas (signalled in
>my previous letter) about the need for voting on important matters. I
>must stress once more that I think INDOLOGY is great, moderators are
>working really hard (THANK YOU) but I think we should allow people to
>say things we think are wrong or stupid.

I have to pay a telephone charge (out of my own pocket) for every message
posted on Indology. Naturally I would not be pleased to receive large
numbers of postings which are on entirely different subjects which do not
interest me. Or, worse, long postings from those with much learning but
little scholarship.

>I know I'm raising very general question and one pertaining rather to
>the future of the network but from an "enlightened absolutism" to an
>absolutism with a darker shade the way may not be very long. That's
>why I think electronic communication should start forming democratic

Fine, that's your opinion. Personally I would like there to be moderated
lists to which I can subscribe for strictly academic discussion. Indeed I
would favour a rather stricter form of moderation. Otherwise one is
endlessly explaining elementary points to those who do not have the tools
of scholarship to understand.

>PS I got a citation from a publication: "a cyberspace full of
>gatekeepers and fiefdoms, where those who would disagree must learn
>the oblique expression of the dissident under autocracy moderated
>list". So the problems already exist somewhere.

Anyone can start a new list. To say that other people should not have
private listgroups restricted in whatever way they choose would be about as
undemocratic as you can get. Are you really saying this?

Lance Cousins

Telephone (UK): 0161 434 3646


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