Is Cato moderated or censored?


Sunday, just another day at the SL forum…well, that was what I thought. The new forums and their new moderation-techniques may have sounded promising, but after a week one may conclude it is heading towards a fail. An epic one.

Now I, for one, am all for fair and honest moderation of forums (of any kind).  There is no joy in  threads full of swearing, name-calling and false accusations and other childish forms of abuse (if you like that, then take a look in the SLO, they let Miss Piggy run around like an elephant in a china-shop – only to dismiss her targets and now she has done her job – she is nowhere to be seen over there). Anyway, moderation. Is good. In moderation.

The new SL forums have moderators. With first names like Genn and Mike. In all their wisdom, or maybe with some help from an official Linden they have decided that Cato Badger has to be dismissed for a week, due to Harassment. If that truly was the case, I would be all in favour of that. But it is not, in my opinion.

Cato has sent the full conversation to a mutual friend and gave me permission to publish the full story, including screenshots. I say: it is censorship…and at this point I am not sure if I want to be a part of that ‘forum-community’ anymore.

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Cato’s original post:

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The mail from Linden Lab that followed:

On Sat, Mar 12, 2011 at 9:16 PM, Linden Lab Moderators <lindenlabcommunitymoderator@gmail.com> wrote:

Dear Cato Badger,
Thank you for participating in the Second Life community.  However, your account has reached the maximum violations allowed and is now banned for one week. Any account created to avoid this ban will also be banned.
Copy of last violation: (harassment)
Thank you,
Linden Lab Moderation Team
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Cato’s response:
Dear Amanda 

Might I enquire exactly WHO it was I was supposed to be “harassing”? The post referred to is extremely civilised towards DQ, the person to whose post it is a response, and I shall be contacting her inworld to confirm that she did not feel harassed by my words.

If you are suggesting that I am guilty of “harassing” LL, then you are in the position of prosecuting someone for murder when they have been caught in possession of a stolen vehicle, ie, I may (or may not) have done something wrong, but it is certainly not that which I have been accused of and sentenced for.

My opinions in this post are fair comment on the state of the forums, relating to their recent history regarding the provision of an Off Topic subforum, the high-handed attitude of the institution of a “no appeal” culture and its likely effects, and the charge made in public by a valued contributor to the KnowledgeBase of experience of inappropriate favoritism towards someone who has apparently behaved extremely badly.

If, as seems obviously apparent, your disciplinary action is actually not associated with this particular post, which is actually relatively positive in attempting to work towards a civilised forums, but – as I suspect – a consequence of my public highlighting of your professional inadequacies regarding ludicrous statements made in respect of Facebook, and suggesting that nothing you say can be relied upon, then why aren’t you brave enough to come out and say so, rather than hiding behind an anonymously imposed and unsubstantiated ban that will merely serve to embarrass you further when it becomes public knowledge?

I don’t expect a response to this email, since that would make a liar out of your “no appeal” stance, but please be aware that I shall be taking the opportunity, when the ban expires, to express my opinions regarding the management of the forums, and that in the meantime I shall be communicating widely, both inworld and via external channels, the censorial attitude you have demonstrated and the vindictive and unsubstantiated disciplinary action you have taken.

Yours VERY sincerely

Cato

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