From: "Carolyn Shannon" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To: "Steve Aldrich" (email@example.com), (et al.)
Subject: user standards on SB/C
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2006 11:27:52 -0500
In the past few months there have been a number of false accusations posted on SB/C, and a number of unsubstantiated rumors. Unfortunately for SB/C, these accusations and rumors have been allowed to stand. That needs to change.
- Jennifer Cifuentes falsely said John Laesch was fired from the Gill campaign. She was never sanctioned for this.
- Ms. Cifuentes suggested Laesch was dishonorably discharged from the military. No action was taken on this.
- Mrs.Kanhai-Zamora accused the Laesch campaign of racism without giving any specifics. No action was taken on this.
- HRC has been posting the anonymous, unsubstantiated "beat up a stripper" accusation since April
- HRC has 'cast aspersions' towards local and State level Dem Party officials and cast them in a negative light, alleging
(quotes are mine: ~H)
"This should have been taken care of by the party months ago in their vetting process of candidates. Problem is, the tasteless dislike of Ruben (which I feel in my Birkenstocks is race-related), helped carry these ninnies into their frenzy for a nice white boy with blonde hair."
We currently do not have any policy regarding banning users. That has to change.
A pretty large number of people have repeatedly asked SB/C to police itself. Why is this not happening?
You have invited us to be a administrators, and we take that responsibility seriously. Specifically HRC's behavior has been, and is disruptive to Soapblox/Chicago and affects our ability to engage in discussion. This adversely affects our ability to attract people to our site. We know several people, for example, who refuse to link to Soapblox/Chicago because SB/C will not police itself. This is not about disagreement, as has been repeatedly noted by many at SB/C. This is about honesty and smearing people intentionally because you do not agree with them. As for myself, I have indeed posted here less often than I would because there are no standards or policies regarding trolls who pass themselves off as progressives, or people who post untruths and are not removed.
This is not the Wild West anymore. If SB/C is to grow then policies concerning trolling, rumors and falsehoods must be put in place, and now.
Steve and I think HRC should be banned, and we are asking for a formal decision on this.
On SB/C, if you make a criminal or personal accusation you have to be able to prove it *at the time you make the accusation*. If you don't, that should be grounds for account suspension. One of the primary purposes of this blog is to be a source of news, to "influence the media narrative." But an unsubstantiated rumor isn't the source of news, it's political manipulation. An anonymous, unsubstantiated accusation of criminal activity by a national candidate must be taken very seriously – it would not meet even the loosest journalistic standard. And frankly, why in the world would the Democratic party or its candidates want to participate in a blog, or link to it, when such activity regarding an elected candidate is allowed to stand? Why would even a Democratic candidate for County Clerk, for example, want to post here when unsubstantiated rumors and even outright lies are allowed? We know at least one State Senate candidate has stated he refuses to be associated with SB-Chicago because of this lack of policing by the administrators. SB/C is hurting itself by doing nothing. And that's the danger of these type of trolls. They masquerade as people like us, and then they use that trust to manipulate us.
Because of this and previously unpoliced comments, this blog is gaining a reputation as a site where people can make false or unsubstantiated claims and they get play. Is that going to be allowed to stand? Is that the image you want for SB/C?
When bloggers blog on a site, they are supporting that site. If that site allows people to post unsubstantiated attacks on candidates, they may come to attack candidates that these bloggers support. This could force the blogger to support unsubstantiated attacks on their own candidate through their support of the blog. Serious bloggers are going to avoid sites that do this. If a blogger posts a news or information diary on a blog and that blog also supports undocumented and unsubstantiated slander, those slanders discount the veracity of the actual news pieces.
Would the Sunlight Foundation, which has high standards of truth and verification, continue to link to a blog that has no such standards itself? Doing so would negatively affect their credibility.
We don't care what bloggers do on their own sites, but on this site, which is a community site with specific goals, there absolutely must be some standards, and some consequences.
Thanks for your consideration.
Carolyn Shannon (CarolynS)*
Steve Aldrich (SAldrich)**
This is (was) a confidential email to the administrators of SoapBlox Chicago by two publicly elected precinct committeemen who have no stake whatsoever in the SoapBlox Chicago blog, save for that fact that they are also "admins" of the site.
... and the fact that they both are working for the Laesch campaign. Golly! I almost forgot that part.
* (D) St. Charles 9th Precinct.
** (D) Aurora Ward 5, 6th Precinct.
I guess that would be the little detail that keeps getting left out of things.
Shocking. Just shocking revelations by two more little pishers who "admin" a website that is now actively discussing an "elect and impeach" strategy, and alternately, a "Dump Blagojevich" campaign.
What the fuck is next with these "Progressives," anyway?
I love when this happens: Proof, once again that stupidity, gall, and tyranny know no political boundaries.