A Conversation for Discussions Relating to the Lifetime Ban of Arpeggio

Lifetime suspension

Post 121


"...it must be said that a lot of recent posts have been generated by this recent furore and by several peoples' lengthy explanations of their reasons for leaving."

Still not a very large impact compared with the full community. As I write this, the top 5 conversations are "The Button," "How ya doin?," "Campaign to rename Thursday 'Thing'," "Warning: this title does not reflect content," and Peer Review.

Are all the Thingites posting lengthy explanations of their reasons for leaving, boosting their page into the top 5? smiley - erm

Come on, people. I used to be the one predicting gloom and doom for h2g2 if they didn't change their restrictive ways. >180 people signed to agree with me, and the lot of us haven't been able to bring h2g2 to its knees yet, or cause much of a hiccup in the grand scheme of things.

You're talking about maybe 5 or 6 people who are leaving h2g2 temporarily in protest? (Surely Fragilis will post an accurate count in her next column in the Post?) I defend their right to protest this matter if they feel it's necessary. It urks me that some people advise them not to protest, as if stifling discussion will help bad feelings dissipate. I see a lot of parallels with the Zaphodistas here. People have routinely told us to shut up and "get over it" too. You can tell protesters to be civil about it, if you feel they're not being civil, but you can't just tell them to "get over it."

But as for any disruption of the whole community, there won't be more than a few dozen active researchers taking any interest in this event. Everybody else (at least hundreds of other highly active researchers?) will be acting out their medieval fantasies as usual, trading curry recipes, working on guide entries for their hometowns, and wondering why their personal space got hidden for no apparent reason when they updated (probably because of a broken link).

A better strategy for complaining about this event would be to avoid gloomy prophecies for the future of h2g2, and instead focus on why you thought this case was wrong.

I have mixed feelings, because I believe Arpeggio has a history of aggressive, antagonistic behavior on this site, from what I've read of her postings. But on the other hand, I can't get over the fact that it was just an XXX'ed out message. It's like she knew enough to censor herself, thought she was turning the whole thing into an "inside joke," but didn't quite do a good enough job. It is odd that the same message (deemed so offensive that it merits permanent suspension for the author) is STILL VISIBLE for everyone to read!

still ambivalent

Lifetime suspension

Post 122


Aaron, I appreciate your sentiments very much, and I fully understand why you feel the way you feel. But there is more to this matter, there is much more that still needs to be said. It is not over. There is still a human out there, a person with feelings, a mind and a soul, who needs help. And there are people here who need help too. I am honestly not against anybody. I don't want to hand out blame. I simply refuse to believe that this problem cannot still be solved. We cannot go back in time, but the effects of what has happened in the past can still be reversed. Wounds can still heal. But there is only a limited time in which they can do that. We need to be serious right now - lives and souls are at stake, people's prospects of future happiness. We must search in ourselves to determine how much that is worth, how much we are willing to give for the sake of that.

For me this is not a nice community any more and my name change is fully meant to be a reminder to people that everything in the world is not just fun and games and laughter and joy. If you read Douglas Adams' books carefully you'll find much tragedy in them. And in Douglas' life there must have been much tragedy as well. He wouldn't have been human if that wasn't so. Somebody has to talk about the tragedy.

This place will not just magically turn nice if we all start pretending that it is nice. We will need to work to make it nice and we will need to work to keep it nice.

Lifetime suspension

Post 123


"lives and souls are at stake"

If anyone's life is seriously at stake, they should not be wasting their time on h2g2. They should immediatly get to a hospital or ask for help from family, friends, priest, shaman, police, somebody. If a life is at stake, there's nothing so special at h2g2 that will save that person. And if a person is capable of such deep depression, are the italics any more to blame than the depressed person's boss or overbearing mother or anyone who could set off the depression?

If anyone is so sensitive or damaged that suspension from h2g2 could destroy their soul or life, then that person is probably too sensitive or damaged to function in society anyway, let alone in the confusing and anarchic emotional world of an online community. Getting a speeding ticket in real life or a bad grade on a class might throw them into despair just the same. Should h2g2 make a new set of rules -- if you give us a note from your doctor saying you're extra sensitive or that you've had a bad time in real life, then a different set of rules will apply to you?

I'm not sure what happened to Arpeggio early in her life. If it was bad, then I'm sorry for her. But if you really look around at people, you'll find that all of us have had heavy crap in our lives. Diseases, family members disabled or killed, mental illness, survivors of abuse and assault and war. The people you know who seem unaffected by these kinds of things are probably just hiding it better than everybody else.

If it's important that you stay in contact with Arpeggio, then get to her web page, ask somebody else on h2g2 what her email address is or what her URL is. h2g2 doesn't have a monopoly on communication.

I hope you can keep in touch with her and feel better. Sorry if this comes off sounding mean, but "grief" and "despair" and "lives and souls at stake"??? Getting booted from a website is not the worst thing that can happen to a person.

Lifetime suspension

Post 124

Dorothy Outta Kansas

I'm not going to post much about my opinions on the root of this thread, as those who matter to me know my feelings, and those who don't, don't have to. This is a direct response to Subcom, to thank you for your suggestions above.

Lives *may* be at stake, and health certainly is. The people who are at risk are asking for help from family and friends, and have been in hospital; and there is obviously something special at h2g2, or so many people wouldn't keep returning. A dynamic site, with so many intelligent sources of new perspectives, is a very addictive pleasure; unfortunately, occasionally a large group of users can create a mob capable of turning laughter into slaughter. Blame in this instant is largely irrelevant, as the damage has been done.

If the person is so sensitive or damaged that suspension could put them at risk, then, yes: speeding ticketss could throw them into despair. There are court-cases where "diminished responsibility" is a legal plea, but that counts for nothing on h2g2. The house-rules require no flaming, which is to say "mean spirited postings". They also require no objectionable material. I find most of this thread objectionable, because no one is giving thought to the idea that someone who claims to have 20,000 voices shouting inside her head has any right to be different.

Sure, lots of people have "heavy c**p" in our lives. Those people deserve a sympathetic ear. I consider that true for everyone, and I'm not afraid to tell people.

x x Fenny

Lifetime suspension

Post 125

Emily 'Twa Bui' Ultramarine

Subcom.: I wrote that yesterday, when Barton and Lucinda's posts et. al. were still registered in the longest posts. I'm glad to see that things are getting back to some semblance of normality.

I think what was said (by Aaron O'Keefe, I think) was most insightful, in that dwelling on these two opposing points does make the site look unwelcoming to newcomers. There are literally thousands of researchers who have never heard of LeKZ. True, if she had stayed she might have had a lot to offer, but surely in her absence we don't want to alienate yet more people. smiley - erm

Lifetime suspension

Post 126


Does my new name freak people out?

Lifetime suspension

Post 127


...maybe a little, UMP! smiley - winkeye

Lifetime suspension

Post 128

Tube - the being being back for the time being

Freak out? Nah, but sure'll make 'em wonder (either about you or about what's going on here, but that was the purpose, not?). smiley - winkeye


Lifetime suspension

Post 129


Aaron what do you mean time travel is only posible in sci-fi????

However the rest of what you have said is well put i wish i could write like that.
We should try to remember that this site is what we make it.
The life time ban of anyone from this site is the last step i do not think that it would have been taken lightly but the site is part of the BBC and that comes with a price The BBC site is the most used site in britain many schools will use it and as such we must try to stick to posting thing that we would not mind children seeing.
I have joined the Zaphodsta's yes not because i have been moderated but because in the first few weeks back so many people were upset and i hoped that we could try to change it by force of numbers i am not the type of person that trys to upset people just for the fun of it.
The moderators may well remove messages because someone as hit the button at the end of the message(the grey smiley) so it has to be removed untill it can be checked yes this takes weeks,but short of sending in money to hire more staff there is not much that we can do.
We should remember that we do not have to pay to be here yet both Mark and Peta need to be payed wages,this is there job and much more it is not 5 days a week 8 hours a day and then home the amount of time they spend on here shows how commited they are(or in Marks case should be*)without them this site would not be here.
as for the people that leave over this well If they want to cut of there nose just to spite there face there is not that much we can do about it.

*Sorry mark it needed a little humour.

Lifetime suspension

Post 130


Just a little obsevation of this whole furore.

'If you live by the sword thou shalt die by the sword'

Don't know if this is exactly a correct quote or who said it but it sums up for me some of this situation.

The most vocal people in this whole situation have most certainly been those in support of LeKZ. Whether it will be admitted I doubt but I've followed this situation since the inception and I have generally found most aggression on the part of the supporters of th now banned/left.
If you post aggressive posting then what do you expect other than an agressive response? If I said some of the things I've seen posted in this whole debacle to people in real life (I include some stuff on both sides of the debate)I reckon I'd have had my lights punched out a few times.
The worst character assassination I have seen in this whole saga was that done on Playboy Reporter.
Just because you shout louder than others does not make you correct.

My first contribution to this whole debate was on the intelligence thread to say that I thought it was deplorable the way Playboy Reporter was treated. Throughout all the debate I stand by that - I said I was sorry to see him go.

I'm not sorry to see Arpeggio gone. None of this would have happened if she hadn't registered and gone around shouting at people - and I'm sorry but I saw it as such and everyone I talked to at the meet last week thought so too. Did anyone see the postings she made to Towelmaster and Crescent? Far more aggressive than anything they posted to her. The majority I believe are quite fine with h2g2 as is and will forget about this incident except as a passing incident that will be remembered with a laugh in a few months time.

Whether the XXXXed posting was translated correctly or not it was an almightily stupid posting to make considering the situation she was in. Less than a week after a weeks ban? Apreggio is undoubtedly intelligent - common sense - not so sure. smiley - erm

Some of us made quite hefty attempts to integrate her into the community without prejudice and were pleasant to her - even to the extent of reading around some very aggressive postings. She couldn't help herself.

So be it.

Now I'm off to have some fun here.

Happy ranting smiley - smiley

Lifetime suspension

Post 131


It is with trepidation that I post to this thread, but...
Am I the only one who has read back some of the more recent posts on this topic, and found some of the participants to sound quite astonishingly self-important? (rhetorical question)
Threatening to leave unless the italics buck their ideas up? Picture this community as a bucket of water. Stick your hand in - the water level rises slightly. Swirl it around - that's how much difference you can make here if you choose to. Take your hand out of the bucket and look again. That's how much of a hole you'll leave behind if you leave.
The BBC is a public-service organisation, and I pay for it (along with many others in the UK, of course). It is not the responsibility of the BBC, or the PTB, to provide a safe environment for people with unusual personal issues. If this community appears, on initial inspection, to be such an environment, that is as may be. If it proves not to be, so be it. The Internet is a big place, and H2G2 is a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot. Unless you are Trin Tragula and your mind is fried by the Total Perspective, go play somewhere else. I don't pay my licence fee to provide a therapy service.
Like it or not (and for some people it is clearly "not") this place is a playground owned by the BBC. You can play here by their rules, or you can play somewhere else. They are at liberty to change the rules, to be inconsistent, to be perverse, or if they want, to completely shut down the site without any warning or explanation. They OWN it, it BELONGS to them, they can do that stuff and there is NOTHING, not a damn thing any of us can do about it if they choose to simply stop. So far they have proved themselves, in the main, to be reasonable, open-minded and fair. My opinion, and I say "in the main" because I have absolutely no evidence to the contrary, but I dislike absolute statements (certain absolute statements in this post notwithstanding).
But understand this, anyone with an axe to grind - we don't pay to come here. Even more than this, we are not assaulted by advertising at every turn while we are here. An organisation which many of the participants do not fund provides staff and resources to maintain it. It is their show. We are ALL here under their sufferance. If anyone doesn't like that - tough. Start your own site, employ editors, etc. etc. On that site, you may choose to gift your contributors with "rights". Here, let us be clear, you have none. I know this place *feels* like a happy clappy, huggy nice community, and it does a good impression of being that. But ultimately - it's not. Pretend it is if you like.

The above may sound harsh, but having read through some of the previous posts, quite a few otherwise apparently intelligent contributors have come across as quite precious about issues of identity, freedom of speech and their relative importance to the community as a whole. Be clear - each of us is a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot. Implying that removing your dot constitutes a threat? Wake up and eat the fairy cake, please. smiley - cake

Lifetime suspension

Post 132


smiley - ok Hoovooloo

Couldn't agree more.

Lifetime suspension

Post 133


I just feel I should point out, as a psychologist, that if this person does in deed have a personality disorder, she may not be able to control what she is saying.
I don't want to get involved in any arguements but if her illness is genuine, she deserves our sympathy. I know H2 G2 isn't a social service or a hospital, but it allows people to express themselves in a way they may not be able to elsewhere. For me it allows me to forget sometimes that I carry a lot of resposibility and I can push Phreakos buttons and be silly if I want to. It may be this person used the board as a therapy, a tool to display their anger because they couldn't express it elsewhere. I don't know...perhaps someone who knows her well does. I just feel very sad for all those involved smiley - hug to you all including the banned .

Lifetime suspension

Post 134


I have a serious question. I have seen a very few of the posts coming from what LekZ claimed as a "four-year old child" personality. What struck me about them was that although these posts used phonetic English (and hence the spelling was "childish") the spelling of the phonetic words was incredibly consistent. It appeared to me (ignorant engineer that I am) to be a literate adult trying to appear in the persona of a child, rather than a true child personality (who one would expect to be much more inconsistent in spellings). Please correct me if this is wrong, but in such disorders, is the child personality somehow filtered through a literate adult intelligence, and if so, how can the afflicted claim diminished responsibility? If not, how come the apparent consistency in spelling?

Lifetime suspension

Post 135


There are those who claim multi personality order does not exist.....however I have seen at least one genuine case of someone who was abused as a child and developed different personas in order to survive. Each person is seperate but can communicate with the others but isn't always aware/ able to control the actions of the other personas. I would suspect in a genuine case a child persona would act and think as a child and therefore not be able to use adult language. Without seeing and spending a great deal of time with the person I can't say for definite what their problem is. However if someone pretended to have a multi personality disorder then they obviously have a personality disorder of a different kind and are therefore "ill" in the sense that they have a problem. In either case that person needs sympathy...pretending to be ill is actually a worse form of disorder and harder to treat/ alleviate than a "genuine" disoder.
I hope that makes sense...can I go back to being silly now?

Lifetime suspension

Post 136


Hoovooloo, I know you said it was a rhetorical question when you implied that some of the people threatening to leave seem self-important, but as I'm not one of them (in the sense that I'm not leaving rather than that I'm not self-important smiley - winkeye), I'll give you a rhetorical answer. I don't think it's necessarily self-importance, it's just a result of the limited options available to register a protest in an environment such as this. If people feel their strongly held opinions aren't being taken notice of, what other recourse do they have? On the other side of the fence, italics have exactly the same problem: if they feel someone is flagrantly disregarding the house rules then suspension is about the only effective sanction they can impose.

Lifetime suspension

Post 137

Chris Tonks

Lifetime suspension

Post 138


Mycroft - I see what you mean. Suspending contributions is, as you say, pretty much the only avenue of protest we have, and as such is valid and not at all self-important. Making out in posts or on personal spaces that an individual's volutary suspension of their contributions is going to make a huge, or for that matter even noticeable, difference to the community - *that* is self-important.
Glad you're still here!

Lifetime suspension

Post 139

Chris Tonks

Oops, sorry. Did I post a blank message before this? Soz, didn't mean to...

*Points and laughs at all the people changing their user names in protest of LekZ's banning.*

I'm joking. Sea would understand...

I have to say, I love that new user name Xyroth! You want an explanation, eh? Why, did you miss it the past twenty times?

> LeKZ misbehaved.
> In accordance with the House Rules they were banned for a week.
> LeKZ misbehaved again.
> In accordance with the House Rules they were banned indefinitely.

There were no exceptions granted to them because they weren't exceptional! Whether LeKZ has a personality disorder or not, the Italics can't be held responsible for one in a million! That may sound unfair, but it's true, very very true.

Plus, may I ask why this thread has degraded to a row over moderation? I thought that had all been dealt with ages ago. I believe once aagin that a number of people missed what I said earlier: the Moderators make mistakes. The Italics make mistakes (sorry Mark, but I'm saying this in your defence smiley - winkeye). They're human.

And please, would people stop getting so depressed about that state of h2g2! Just listening to you squabbling about it has me in fits of laughter! You obviously have no idea of what goes on around you, outside this thread and all the other places LeKZ went. I frequent or lurk in many community forums, and none of LeKZ's incarnations ever appeared there, so I would be right in saying that they and their 'supporters' only see one side of the argument, i.e. the 'badf' side of h2g2. Please take note that this slowly degenerating part of h2g2 you speak of is such a tiny fraction of this site. Why not take a brisk walk around all the lovely places around h2g2, eh?

Right, I've made my points, again, and if anyone manages to miss them again and still demand answers to questions already answered, God help them in their neverending search.

Lifetime suspension

Post 140


Hoovooloo, the problem is more that if people leave without making a fuss first then others won't notice anything at all for a while, so you have to show a degree of self-importance to make even a transient impression. In cyberspace you can't sulk until people ask you what's wrong if you're not there to be asked. I don't mean to imply that the people in question are sulking, merely that it's an approximate analogy and the best I could come up with on the spur of the moment.

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