Benign Neglect vs. Strict Control

A little Context

There has been a lot of talk on Political Fleshfeast (PFF) about bannings and the rules/enforcement here at Docudharma. Buhdy, joined in this diary and was besieged. As you can imagine, the comments got pretty harsh. If you can’t handle harsh criticism of this site, I suggest you don’t follow the link.

Personally, I have fond feelings for this site, as many of you are people whose DKos writings I appreciated. I have also come to enjoy the … er … free-for-all at Political Fleshfeast. The depth of difference in administrative approach of these two sites is immense, to say the least.

I do not write this from malice, but from the viewpoint of a well-intended outsider. Some of the Docudharma disciplinary warnings quoted at PFF sounded … almost theocratic. Control of expression by contributors must allow a wide breadth of dissent, else full discourse is impossible.

At PFF, the startup was horrendous in that the posing, name-calling and general crap-spewing between lefties and righties was uncontrolled. Since, the level of discourse has improved (you only have to duck now and then) and a few very unlikely truces have been declared. That has come about without a single banning that anyone knows of.

I do not wish to get into a finger-pointing contest, nor will I. Your comments are invited, though I may or may not participate. Honestly, I write this only because I feel it needs to be said, not for any other purpose.

So, I wrote a comment to Buhdy. I’d like you to read it.

I said in an earlier comment that, you are building your own cage. That is not meant as a put-down, just as an observation. I’ve been around the block (a few times too many) and know the signs. Please, take some deep breaths and read what I’m saying with an open mind and take it as heart-felt, sincere advice.

The cage you are building is too small for the breed of animal you wish to preserve.

I was happy to see your site come up. It was gratifying to see a site with a purpose that went beyond raising more lucre to elect the next not-as-bad-as-the-other-guy politician. As a bonus, it sounded as if there would be a more open exchange of views.

Having started up a few web sites myself, I know how frustrating and draining it can be. In fact, the hardest part is remaining focused on the original intent. Giving in to the press of details and extinguishing brush-fires and losing sight of that overarching intent guarantees failure.

You are fighting alligators, here in this comment thread, and there on your site. Stop that. Step back. Take a walk. Talk to yourself. Picture your actions from others’ viewpoints.

You’ve written much that I have liked and agreed with. You have also written much that I have liked and disagreed with.

You are now beset by attacks from all sides. What is your reaction? The reaction I am seeing is that you are injuring and banishing your attackers to go back to their villages and inflame their friends and family. You have multiplied your attackers.

What is the harm your attackers inflict on you to begin with? In my view? No harm. They attack and draw no real, only virtual blood.

Your village, your supporters, will react as they will and your attackers will be marginalized, not as quickly as you might like, but ultimately marginalized. Your supporters need to understand that approach also, lest they become overzealous in their defensive tactics. This way you avoid creating additional enemies, and you avoid a reputation as a village to be avoided.

228 comments

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    • Nate1787 on September 21, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    and DKos; that’s it. No other blog experience. So, from my perspective this seems like so much 9th-grade clique warfare.

    I fall back on the idea of “BE HERE NOW”. If you are caught up in the petty bitching of another site, you cannot tend to the growth of this site.

    If the folks at pff choose to plant the seeds of derision, devisivness and hate, let them see what grows there. Let this place be fertile ground for open discourse, civil disagreement and respect.

  1. Sure, I absolutely agree that the disciplinary rules as they have been put forth thus far appear absolutely ludicrous.  Again, that is my individual opinion.

    I have no fear that this community will work that out in our own way.  And I think it’s going to take it’s own sweet time to happen.  If we suffer for it, that’s our problem, not yours — unless you have plans of joining this community.

    PFF is its own site.  I have no opinions to put forth on it — I wish it the best and hope that folks there are happy with it.

    The rest of your post is just silly.  If Buhdy wants to go on other blogs and have a free for all, that’s his right.  Yes, this is his blog, but he is also an individual and can say or do whatever he feels like.  I have found through my association with him that he has his own rather rambunctious style in fighting and thus ends up getting bashed all the time.  I have also found it doesn’t faze him all too much.  But again, that’s his choice.  And whatever comment you make about him on another site is irrelevant to this one.

    As for your concern, it is noted.  I don’t value it all that much.  Maybe some other folks here will.

  2. But what he is doing is easy.

    And even he is having to learn and grow and make adjustments.

    Building a community….even pff, is complex and hard. We will do the best we can to build this best community we can.

    One pertinent question.

    WHY are people attacking?

  3. the name alone Fleshfeast  tells it all. I only have one question. why have you come here all you flesh eaters? Your blog seems to be nothing but simple hate of other blogs which have something to offer other then venom. btw: Buhdy did great and you are not scary in the least just repulsive.  Excuse me I need a shower.

  4. and I truly enjoyed reading the above referenced diary and all the fireworks in the comments.  I thought Buhdy held his own.  It was all pretty entertaining.  I was not aware that there was such a village of the damned out there. There is something optimistic, though a bit sad and twisted, about all these people who have been banned by kos coming together on a website to bitch about it.  My favorite line:  Clear the room everybody, there’s going to be a CHANT-OFF!  That was hilarious.

    • Armando on September 22, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    You wrote:

    “At PFF, the startup was horrendous in that the posing, name-calling and general crap-spewing between lefties and righties was uncontrolled. Since, the level of discourse has improved (you only have to duck now and then) and a few very unlikely truces have been declared. That has come about without a single banning that anyone knows of.”

    I think the reason for that is clear. pff is ignored by the folks it attacks, ‘cept for Buhdy of course.

    You also write:

    “You are now beset by attacks from all sides. What is your reaction? The reaction I am seeing is that you are injuring and banishing your attackers to go back to their villages and inflame their friends and family. You have multiplied your attackers.”

    This is naive in my view. The attackers will attack. They seek only opportunity.

    I hope Buhdy rejects your advice because in my view it is disastrous advice.

    There was an experiment in wehat you suggest – My Left Wing. The result of the experiment you propose was disastrous for MLW and disastrous for MSOC.

    I think the folks you want welcomed will never “adapt.” Buhdy has struck just the right balance here.

    He only judges on behavior exhibited at this site.

    I think you like pff. I think you should enjoy that site and allow others to enjoy this site. There is no need for another pff. One is enough. Indeed, it should be enough for its fans who really have no need to come here to poison the well.

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