Petition: Bring Back Speakeasy

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Skynet
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Petition: Bring Back Speakeasy

Postby Skynet » Sat Mar 06, 2021 10:05 am

It has just come to my attention that Speakeasy, an extremely important member of this forum, was banned. Honestly, I don't really care what it was all about because I was not there and it happened in 2020, which was an extremely difficult time for everyone on the planet. Given his innumerable past contributions to this forum and HTLAL, I would like to formally petition that he be returned to the forum.

I did not always agree with what he said but this place needs some semblance of an element that goes against the grain. Simply put, echo chambers SUCK.

I am not sure who was offended, but it's been X months and it's time for you to forgive and move on with your life so that this forum can get back to having a wider variety of opinions. I'm not sure about you, but I miss his reviews of language courses. Who else has got the OCD, time and money to do that?

@Mods, I am sure that you are well aware that I have had incidences with some you and have been extremely candid in stating that I don't believe in Plantagenet Star Chamber moderation and that we should have free discussions as that's the entire point of learning languages. We may not always say what makes others happy, but that's a part of living in a human world in which people discuss freely.
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Re: Petition: Bring Back Speakeasy

Postby Cavesa » Sat Mar 06, 2021 11:22 am

I don't think a petition should be made to affect the mods' decision. If Speakeasy has worked on themselves and changed, they can contact them on their own, can't they?

Speakeasy must have done repeated offenses, to earn this ban. And as one of their targets (harassment on a public thread and over private messages, defamation, verbal agressivity, etc), I hope they'll be let in only if they've learnt to behave. Those were the worst moments I've ever experienced in an online community. It made me consider leaving, and it made me really worried about connections of this forum account to other platforms or my offline life, as they were really getting out of hand.

Yes, they had brought a lot of good stuff to the forum, I agree, but that doesn't make up for treating people the way they had treated me. I only suppose I was not the only one, because we all know our mods to be really far from making hasty and harsh decisions.
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Re: Petition: Bring Back Speakeasy

Postby tommus » Sat Mar 06, 2021 11:40 am

I was not involved with anything connected with Speakeasy being banned from the Forum. But I am very aware of his very extensive contributions. He was very passionate about language learning. In his own life, he achieved what many of us wish we could achieve; excellent fluency in a target language. It appears that the moderators were completely justified in their decision, and I support that decision. But maybe now it is time that we offer Speakeasy a second chance. If he were to accept, I'm sure he would again be a very popular and prolific contributor to our Forum. We can help make this place a kinder and gentler place where we can all benefit from our community spirit. But whatever the moderators do with this suggested petition, I will accept and support their decision.
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Cavesa
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Re: Petition: Bring Back Speakeasy

Postby Cavesa » Sat Mar 06, 2021 11:55 am

tommus wrote:But maybe now it is time that we offer Speakeasy a second chance. If he were to accept, I'm sure he would again be a very popular and prolific contributor to our Forum. We can help make this place a kinder and gentler place where we can all benefit from our community spirit.


I do not join the petition, because I was unfortunately involved in what got from a normal discussion with various opinions into an extremely stressful situation. I was really afraid of the barely veiled threats of bringing invented accussations out of this forum, and I was hurt by all the verbal harassment.

I have no doubts about their success and qualities, but I have huge doubts about this place being "kinder and gentler" with them, unless they have really changed their behaviour.

They can ask for a second chance, if they want it. I have no doubts the mods would in such a case decide right, whatever they'd choose to answer. I'd just accept it, like everybody. But I don't think an agressor should be just offered a new welcome.
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Skynet
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Re: Petition: Bring Back Speakeasy

Postby Skynet » Sat Mar 06, 2021 12:20 pm

Cavesa wrote:I don't think a petition should be made to affect the mods' decision. If Speakeasy has worked on themselves and changed, they can contact them on their own, can't they?

Speakeasy must have done repeated offenses, to earn this ban. And as one of their targets (harassment on a public thread and over private messages, defamation, verbal agressivity, etc), I hope they'll be let in only if they've learnt to behave. Those were the worst moments I've ever experienced in an online community. It made me consider leaving, and it made me really worried about connections of this forum account to other platforms or my offline life, as they were really getting out of hand.

Yes, they had brought a lot of good stuff to the forum, I agree, but that doesn't make up for treating people the way they had treated me. I only suppose I was not the only one, because we all know our mods to be really far from making hasty and harsh decisions.


I don't know the specifics of what happened and don't want to diminish the validity of your experience(s) with him. Doesn't the 'foe' feature prevent you from ever seeing a 'foe's' content?

Cavesa, you're an extremely intelligent person and I have always envied you and held the highest respect for you ... but do you honestly think that an anonymous octogenarian in Canada would somehow affect your online life and/or other platforms?

I struggle to believe that the same forum that pilloried a certain member (who shall remain nameless) for having the audacity to question the 2020 C19 narrative and response because he was risking 'killing grandma' would turn around and tell an octogenarian with failing eyesight and had woken up on the wrong side of the bed (Cavesa, I am not justifying what he did/say and am acknowledging that he may have gone out of control) "Ok, boomer" before jettisoning him into cyber Tartarus. Whatever happened to making sacrifices to save our moody senior citizens for the collective good, or does that not apply when we actually have to make the tough sacrifices?

tommus wrote: But maybe now it is time that we offer Speakeasy a second chance. If he were to accept, I'm sure he would again be a very popular and prolific contributor to our Forum. We can help make this place a kinder and gentler place where we can all benefit from our community spirit. But whatever the moderators do with this suggested petition, I will accept and support their decision.


Sir Tommus, I wasn't there when this debacle occurred and won't comment on the moderation during that period but I agree with you that we must extend the olive branch to Speakeasy and let bygones be bygones.
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Re: Petition: Bring Back Speakeasy

Postby chove » Sat Mar 06, 2021 12:47 pm

Have they asked for an olive branch?
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Cavesa
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Re: Petition: Bring Back Speakeasy

Postby Cavesa » Sat Mar 06, 2021 12:55 pm

Skynet wrote:I don't know the specifics of what happened and don't want to diminish the validity of your experience(s) with him. Doesn't the 'foe' feature prevent you from ever seeing a 'foe's' content?

Yes, but that is not the problem. It was a normal situation (so with somebody previously not "foe") suddenly degenerating. And even if you cannot see the hidden threads, the person can for example talk about you, which is a huge problem in case of defamation.

Cavesa, you're an extremely intelligent person and I have always envied you and held the highest respect for you ... but do you honestly think that an anonymous octogenarian in Canada would somehow affect your online life and/or other platforms?


Thank you, but your compliment doesn't change the answer: Yes. Based on my experience, a motivated person anywhere can cause you a lot of damage, if they connect the dots from one platform to another, and if they use a strong enough accusation that is extremely hard to disprove. It is always harder to prove you haven't done something, than the opposite (I am living something similar right now).

It was a moment, in which I was considering erasing all my presence here, and on several other places, and I was desperate because I didn't have money for a lawyer, should it go even further. We are by far not as anonymous, as we tend to think. And an intelligent octogenarian with access to internet and plenty of free time could have lots of ill meaned fun. They'd have nothing to lose, unlike me.

tell an octogenarian with failing eyesight and had woken up on the wrong side of the bed (Cavesa, I am not justifying what he did/say and am acknowledging that he may have gone out of control) "Ok, boomer" before jettisoning him into cyber Tartarus. Whatever happened to making sacrifices to save our moody senior citizens for the collective good, or does that not apply when we actually have to make the tough sacrifices?


The sacrifice of being falsely accused of something that is even a crime in many countries, that's too much. The sacrifice of verbal harassment and feeling very unsafe, that is not acceptable. Age should never be a reason for discrimination, but neither it should be a right to treat others badly.

Sir Tommus, I wasn't there when this debacle occurred and won't comment on the moderation during that period but I agree with you that we must extend the olive branch to Speakeasy and let bygones be bygones.


Must we? If the initiative comes from the forum, and not from Speakeasy, it will be seen as agreement with their actions, and as encouragement. You must never encourage bullies, no matter their age.
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Re: Petition: Bring Back Speakeasy

Postby iguanamon » Sat Mar 06, 2021 3:49 pm

We have had members who were once banned, return and become good members of the forum. It would be up to speakeasy himself, to ask to come back. He would have to behave as far as decorum goes here. We all talk about free speech here, but this is a private, non-profit, forum. We talk about languages and language-learning. Politics has no place here. Neither does religious advocacy. There is no need for ad-hominem attacks. There are ways to discuss one's disagreement with opinions expressed here without attacking the person who has expressed them.

Nobody here has the answer to language-learning for everyone... no matter how accomplished they may be. We can advocate for our positions, even passionately, but we must all agree that "while a horse can be led to water, the horse cannot be forced to drink it". Tolerance is a quality we must all incorporate. We need to think twice, then think again before posting a response to someone with whom we disagree- "Can I say this in a less condescending way?" Better yet, "Can I say this without being condescending at all?".

If someone comes on the forum and declares they can learn a language by memorizing 25,000 words of vocabulary and 10,000 sentences all on anki, we may think that the method is not realistic or practical and we can express that, but there's no reason to attack the person for that statement. We can "disagree, without being disagreable".

The moderators have a thankless job. For the most part, they keep the forum humming. They keep us away from spam, bots, trolls and other unpleasantness. Every time someone suggests "we are adults here, we should be able to discuss all topics in an intelligent and adult way", we forget that the very reason this forum is a pleasant place to be is because there are rules in place that are enforced to keep it that way.

That being said, I, for one (despite the fact that I, myself, have been a target of his wrath on one occasion) would like to see speakeasy return... provided that he can abide by the rules and "play nice with others". He has made many valuable contributions to the community. Granted, he took some of those away (resource threads) in a fit of vengeance just before he was banned. It doesn't really matter. The resource threads while valuable... are/were not critical. What makes them truly valuable is when there is description and elaboration beyond just a link Speakeasy has been out of the forum for around a year. Perhaps he has learned his lesson by now. It's up to speakeasy himself to ask to return and the moderators to decide whether or not they would find his return acceptable. People can change and, if they don't, then they shouldn't return.
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Re: Petition: Bring Back Speakeasy

Postby Ug_Caveman » Sat Mar 06, 2021 3:58 pm

tommus wrote:I was not involved with anything connected with Speakeasy being banned from the Forum. But I am very aware of his very extensive contributions.


I was not active on the forum at the time these events occurred so am obviously lacking a lot of context here.

I'm curious as to why some of his significant resource posts had their content deleted while the rest of his posts are allowed to remain? Or was that nothing to do with his ban?
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Re: Petition: Bring Back Speakeasy

Postby iguanamon » Sat Mar 06, 2021 4:11 pm

Ug_Caveman wrote:I was not active on the forum at the time these events occurred so am obviously lacking a lot of context here. I'm curious as to why some of his significant resource posts had their content deleted while the rest of his posts are allowed to remain? Or was that nothing to do with his ban?

He deleted them in what appears to be retaliation, replacing them with the comment "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction".

I have created and contributed to resource threads as well. To me, what makes a resource thread valuable is going beyond just posting links. They need to be descriptive, and preferably vetted beforehand by the poster. Over time, without going over the links, they become less valuable as links migrate or die. I go over my links in the Haitian Creole study group from tome to time to check whether or not they are still good. Ultimately, the resource threads are not as valuable as we may think. We can survive without them.

Speakeasy deleting these posts became a bone of contention and controversy on the forum with some members and moderators finding this to be unacceptable and others feeling that members should have the inalienable right to delete their own posts. At the end of the day, the forum is us. It is our contributions that make it valuable. Deleting one's own posts is another kettle of fish.
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