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Author Topic: Banning and the loss of voices  (Read 24691 times)

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Offline Assurbanipal

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,173
  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Banning and the loss of voices
« on: September 12, 2008, 08:49:10 PM »
Today crystallized for me a lingering discomfort with the banning and time out policy.  The current policy appears to date back to December 2006 ( http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=6637.0 )  This post asks the moderators to reconsider whether banning should continue to be a part of the policy for people who have been active in the community (say 100 or more posts). or whether it should be (retroactively) replaced by a 6 or perhaps 12 month timeout,

It makes a lot of sense to ban trolls, denialists, etc.  They irritate but don't really contribute to the community.  My concern is with those who have actively posted and then are forever gone.  I'm still pretty new to the forums, but over the last year or so I read a lot of posts by banned members -- many of those were by turns  informed, kind, condescending, funny and almost always at the end angry.

But they were also passionate participants in the forums. 

It's clear the forums need some way to maintain civility -- people who were vulnerable have left when they felt they were treated poorly by someone who was subsequently banned.  But, is it feasible to apply discipline at the time of those events, rather than to permanently silence a passionate voice?  A six month or a 12 month timeout gives time for the community to heal the temporary wounds, and provides a significant penalty to people who are passionate about the forums, but does not permanently deprive us of their voices.

Perhaps this is a fundamentally selfish request, but, to me, HV is still a reminder of potential loss and death.  It's hard to reconcile the idea of an HIV support forum with procedures that permanently still voices that have been a major part of the community.

Respectfully

Assurbanipal

(Edit typos)
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 08:19:34 AM by Assurbanipal »
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline komnaes

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,893
Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2008, 10:03:41 PM »
I will just add this - when I first signed up and started to post I was really taken aback by a few comments that sounded caustic and "nasty". I could have been offended by them, except I chose to see through this layer of "mannerism" and came to realize that the advises were still very sound. Then I played along - perhaps it's the multi-cultural environment that I grew up in that allowed me to quickly see where the humors were and was able to respond to them instead of being "offended".

Also, for me anyways, there are big issues and there are small issues. When it comes to BIG issues, I have never encountered any "negativity" from these forums and if you'd ask me I have never seen anyone deliberately trying to be mean. But for small issues, why take them so seriously to the point that one should get offended by a few "bitchy" remarks?

It's sad that there's so much love and care in these forums that some of us were not able to feel it just because it wasn't sugarcoated.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2008, 10:06:11 PM by komnaes »
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline Mouse

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,463
  • Om nom nom.
Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2008, 10:48:57 PM »
Perhaps my definition of a bannable offense and simply an offense which should be discouraged  are skewed.

I think it's quite clear who trolls are when they come. They appear suddenly, cause a lot of chaos  and then quickly lose interest. They are certainly not people who have spent long periods of time interacting with other participating members and (I think this the MOST important part) developing strong relationships with them as well.

Internet forums are at their essence a quick and convenient way to communicate with large amounts of people very quickly. They are for meeting new people and perhaps in that process encountering viewpoints which are different from yours. Gasp! The horror.

Forums like THIS one I think need to keep that in mind more than others. This isn't here for fun and games. The focus of this particular forum is very, very serious. I think we forget this sometimes, somehow. This is here for education and for support. Some need these things more than others, but they are valuable to everyone.

I guess fundamentally what I'm saying is: I find the whole perma-ban thing a bit deplorable except in the case of those who really just Don't Give A Shit About Anyone Else or are entirely out of control and sociopathic.  I've only seen that a couple of times here, to be honest.

I definitely don't see a forum being successful while at the same time being a dictatorship. Forums are community based, especially ones with as many members as there are here. If you don't like someone, it's really easy to ignore them, and unless they are REALLY doing something TERRIBLE that's exactly what should be done.

Anyway, we aren't taking away someone's privilege to play Online Solitaire, you know?

Not to be an asshole, but there are a lot of people here that need to grow a pair and stop freaking the fuck out every time someone says something MEAN to them. Christ. It's unreal. I can't believe it's actually taken seriously as something that's bannable. I know we were all taught that 'if you don't have something nice to say don't say anything at all' shit in school, but honestly, just because someone says something snotty to someone doesn't mean the entire forum is going to erupt into a volcano of shit.

It's a sensitive subject and unless someone is giving someone advice that is harmful or doing something illegal or PARTICULARLY awful people should just suck it up.





Edit:

Shit. That was long. Sorry. tl;dr, srsly.

Offline aliveinla

  • Member
  • Posts: 247
Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2008, 11:25:00 PM »
Very well put Shaun.

It's sad that there's so much love and care in these forums that some of us were not able to feel it just because it wasn't sugarcoated.
4/24/07: Last tested Neg
1/22/08: First tested Poz
1/30/08: CD4 393; 28%; VL: 44k
3/18/08: CD4 218; 26%; VL: 222K
4/24/08: CD4 402; 26%; VL: lab forgot
7/22/08: CD4 405; 25%; VL: 6,780
10/15/08: CD4 340, 26%; VL: N/A
2/4/09: CD4 394, 26%; VL: N/A
Jun 09: CD4 300, 25%; VL: 4000
Oct 09: CD4 324, 23%, VL: 10K
11/22/09: started Atripla
11/20/11: CD4 405; VL: UD

Offline Lis

  • Member
  • Posts: 595
Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2008, 12:52:19 AM »
I miss so much the thoughts of those banned... If one has an issue, then one should block that party...

here is to.. TIM AKA MOFFIE... MATTY....TERRY...

I can at any time contact the 2 in the USA ... but I wonder... will I ever cross path with Matty again...??

I feel like this site has been taken in a way that is not so helpful.. Today I recieved a PM from a man only 100 miles away ... I loved that... But he still feel unwelcome and pushed aside..

Discuss......
poz 1986....

Offline Bucko

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  • You need a shine, missy!
    • The Spin Cycle
Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2008, 01:05:52 AM »

I recall when AIDSmeds was a tough and sardonic place. People's passions would erupt in very spirited debates that could (and did) flame on for days. There were cliques and gangs and various alliances both on the boards and behind the scenes. Certain topics were certain to bring all the usual suspects out of the woodwork and into the trenches. The reason why these topics were so incendiary is because they were about issues that defined who we were and how we lived. We got passionate because we were discussing passionate things, and not always with "indoor voices".

I remember a pair of guys who were lived in Tampa (in semi-retirement) but who were from NJ. They called themselves NortheastGuys, and always posted as a unit (a practice that today would probably strain the ToS here). They started out very cheery and upbeat, but never really understood humility or learning about a community before attempting to influence it.

After about two weeks of relentless cheerleading, rather soporific platitudes and much unnecessary bragging about their collection of material possessions, they posted a thread in the old Living Forum that called us out, railing on about the negativity and what they perceived as "the culture of disease" that they felt informed the majority of the topics and discussions. At first they avoided mentioning individual names, but as the thread grew more heated several veteran members with years of relationship here became the focus of their disdain.

It quickly escalated into NortheastGuys railing against "welfare queens" who'd pull up at the food pantry in late-model vehicles, or who lived on Disability but never missed a happy hour: hopeless generalizations and stereotypes were lobbed like grenades into our membership, most of whom were outraged at what was being said, and rightfully so.

But none of the mods stepped in. Without the challenge presented to us, many of us would never have discussed such things. But arguments were sharpened, clarified and crystallized and I learned a lot about how internalized stigma flavored how I'd seen myself as a guy living with AIDS. I grew and my opinions shifted in a very positive direction as a result of a very negative situation.   
 
And even after the flames had burned themselves out, no one suggested that NortheastGuys be banned from posting. They themselves decided that we were all hopeless causes and withdrew in a huff. But I took great strength from seeing how all of us hopeless causes rallied together. It strengthened the sense of community and support. People whom I'd felt indifferent toward became new allies.

It goes without saying that such an opportunity for bonding, learning and growth would never happen here today. The net effect is, in my opinion, a chill rather than one of safety or security. Sometimes nice-nice just doesn't get the point across, but it's obvious that such points are no longer appropriate here.
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

Blathering on AIDSmeds since 2005, provocative from birth

Offline atlq

  • Member
  • Posts: 518
Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2008, 01:13:43 AM »
It makes a lot of sense to ban trolls, denialists, etc.  They irritate but don't really contribute to the community.  My concern is with those who have actively posted and then are forever gone.  I'm still pretty new to the forums, but over the last year or so I read a lot of posts by banned members -- many of those were by turns  informed, kind, condescending, funny and almost always at the end angry.

But they were also passionate participants in the forums.  
-Assurbanipal


Agreed. The loss of these passionate, knowledgeable voices hurts us all. This community is now certainly a slightly less interesting place. :'(

Submitted with respect,

atlq
ďKeep up the good work....   And God bless you.Ē
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline Lis

  • Member
  • Posts: 595
Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2008, 01:31:37 AM »
Bucko... I miss you!!!

Give the damned one ALLLLLLL my love..
poz 1986....

Offline BlueMoon

  • Member
  • Posts: 665
  • Calling from the Fun House
Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2008, 01:52:55 AM »
I'm of two minds on the matter.  On the one hand, I've never cared for forum bans in general, and have never complained to a moderator about a member on any forum. 

On the other hand, this isn't a typical internet forum.  Some of us here are in desperate straits and rely on the forum for support.  Caustic remarks such as those that triggered this brouhaha are plain wrong, and I for one will not miss the recently banned member.

I guess I'd like to see more flexibility on the part of the forum management.  Permanent bans should be reserved for only the most extreme cases.  I say that not because the voices of the jerks should be heard, but out of compassion for everyone afflicted with this cursed virus.  A rigid "three strikes and out" rule seems like too much of a Republican concept.  We can do better than that.

And a little off-topic here, but I've noticed that most of the problem posts originate from a handful of irascible members with high post counts.  How about thinking twice before hitting that "post" button?

...................VL.....CD4.....%
-----------------------------------------
08/10-- ......<40.....290.....42
05/10-- ......<48.....290.....46
02/10-- ......<48.....481.....44
10/09-- ......<48.....277.....46
07/09-- ......<48.....300.....38
05/09-- ........51.....449.....39
03/09-- Added Isentress
02/09-- ........65.....299.....34
11/08-- ........62.....242.....40
08/08-- ........66.....212.....29
05/08-- ......202.....217.....27
03/08-- ....5210.....187.....21
02/08-- Began Truvada/Reyataz/Norvir
12/07-- 273,000.....157.....22
11/07-- 229,000.....209.....22
10/07-- Diagnosis

It's a complex world.

Offline joemutt

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,042
Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2008, 04:24:41 AM »
I think the moderation here is quite good. I dont know what this specific thread refers to
and i dont care. Some people seem to live on the internet. I come here now mostly to glean information
not to have my inner peace disturbed .  :P .
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 04:28:29 AM by joemutt »

Offline Dachshund

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,976
Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2008, 07:47:18 AM »
I'm of two minds on the matter.  On the one hand, I've never cared for forum bans in general, and have never complained to a moderator about a member on any forum. 

On the other hand, this isn't a typical internet forum.  Some of us here are in desperate straits and rely on the forum for support.  Caustic remarks such as those that triggered this brouhaha are plain wrong, and I for one will not miss the recently banned member.

I guess I'd like to see more flexibility on the part of the forum management.  Permanent bans should be reserved for only the most extreme cases.  I say that not because the voices of the jerks should be heard, but out of compassion for everyone afflicted with this cursed virus.  A rigid "three strikes and out" rule seems like too much of a Republican concept.  We can do better than that.

And a little off-topic here, but I've noticed that most of the problem posts originate from a handful of irascible members with high post counts.  How about thinking twice before hitting that "post" button?



Talk about sounding like a Republican, or maybe a compassionate conservative? "I don't like banning", except for the guy they banned. Freedom of speech I say, except for the people I determine are jerks. Censorship? No way, but that irascible lot with high post counts should be censured.

That's why I don't like threads like this, because they accomplish nothing. Well, other than to let some members get in their knocks protected by the topic. Believe me, I thought twice about it.

PS Here's the dealio, yo. AidsMeds is like a tasteful gay brunch. You're invited, but keep it light and breezy or your hosts might show you to the door.

typo
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 07:50:04 AM by Dachshund »

Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,353
Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2008, 08:59:51 AM »
The hosts of this info brunch, to which are invited gays, straights, transgendered, young, old, seasoned, stressed and scared beyond scared, have laid out their mission as follows.

Our Mission Statement

AIDSmeds.com is dedicated to providing people living with HIV the necessary information they need to make empowered treatment decisions. The founder and some of the writers of this web site are living with HIV, and we know first hand the challenges of learning how to fight this virus. By offering complete, but not complicated, up-to-date info, AIDSmeds.com seeks to help those that are both new and old to this challenge, and to remain a powerful resource for years to come.


They have an advisory board chockful of all sorts of knowledgeable folks who have an interest in seeing the site stick to its mission statement. That's why they were asked to be on the board.

And, they have a vision as to how the site will work best for the greatest number of people. While that may end up limiting some amount of speech for some posters, the site founder, president and moderators, even when they are wishing they didn't have to, must stick to their stated mission.

Anything you get from this site beyond information to make empowered treatment decisions, whether that be new friendships, new attitude, new destinations points for your upcoming travel plans, is a bonus of having become a member. A bonus.

But what no one should get as a result of asking about insights about bumps, bruises, boyfriends who didn't use condoms and didn't tell or any other variation on an inquiry is sarcasm that beats them down and renders them shaking their head when re-reading the mission statement. The incongruity of such longstanding circumstances cannot go unchecked nor unchallenged.

If ill-treatment, sarcasm, cynicism, bullying,  is what some members and former members require in order to survive with a disease whose hosts do better with less stress (medically proven for all disease states) then they should create their own site and write their own mission statement. And, if it's built, and has an address, those who require such banter will surely find it.

Most do not come to this site looking for light and breezy anything initially. They come in search of information. And when those intentions are thwarted before they've even had one simple taste of an appetizer at this info feast (labored over for accuracy and breadth), then the mission of the site is not being allowed to be fulfilled.

No one deserves the cruelty of unwarranted, uninvited sarcasm particularly if that is not a battlefield they know they are stumbling onto whether because English is not their first language, or whether they lack the prerequisite IQ, or lack the desire or familiarity with such practiced weaponry acquired through familial or societally-induced sparring. One doesn't have to understand the specific content, one can feel the discord of unfriendly fire, the absolute disdain seeping through the ethernet.

Sadly, some people have innocently arrived here and been bashed like a baby seal following its mother. Just because they popped their head up through the internet ice, they've been smacked before they even identified there was a blue sky to see or anything to nuzzle. And, because of such members who've been cut short and those among us who've hung in, curbed enthusiasm, omitted topics of interest or fear due to concern that forum bullies might be dismissive, or in a veiled fashion label one a dunce, the management is exercising its power to keep the mission intact.

This is a library first and foremost. A place for information. A location for calm and reason in the first stormy days after diagnosis or a place to be encouraged to get the test done and pick up the results--pronto. When it comes to assessing whether freedom of speech is being tampered with by banning a member, it should be of greater concern that those who come to this site because of the basic intention asserted within the mission statement be served what was promised--- information, and hopefully, inclusion. Again, any other wonderful thing a member gets beyond information, is a fantastic bonus.

If we are so thick-skinned that we have forgotten whatever time period we may have ever needed the straight scoop and to ask our fuzzily-formed questions bubbling out of ignorance, whether we were five or fifty-five, then read more Am I posts and those of the recently diagnosed. Anchor yourself to a sliver of your past, however distant, to be more empathetic with those who actually may need the very wisdom you hold within you.


and I end this, for its relevant bits, with Matt's (Newt's)  post of July 25, 2008 which, when I read it caused me to tune in to what bores me about HIV and what enthuses me still.



This is an interesting thread but in truth I am bored by the existential aspects of HIV.

I am bored by people obsessing about whether a lipstick is a risk factor, whether their lives are better for cleaning up, whether their lives will even be the same again.

I am bored by people wrapped up in their own angst they can't spot a really ill person (cos some of us are still).

I am bored by sympathy.

I am bored by ambivalence to meds, they work most times dammit.

I am bored by drugs with crap side effects that wouldn't get approval for any other condition.

I am bored by people who can swallow 8 inches but gag on a not so big Truvada.

I am bored by people with real issues getting the least time/voice and them with none/few (like and on the sly bj or a minor, short term rash) getting a hog load.

I am bored by crap pediatric dosing of ARVs.

I am bored at the cult of bareback. I am especially bored, and still angry at negative and untested gay men's stupidity, and preference not to discuss HIV status.

I am well and truly bored by UNGASS, but still angry at detention of HIV educators in Iran and torture of gay men in Egypt.

I am bored by myself. I am lucky but not unusual, I had to shape up, lay off the wine and acknowledge I ain't gonna die so easy and am not really all that sick. I went into spin when my CD4 jumped into normal range because somehow the status of being ill evaporated and it was kick up my my proverbial (arse).

It's just a virus, not a moral judgement, it's not some great karmic scythe.

In my experience straight folk are as sleazy and/or boring in bed a gay folk, the only thing that holds straight folk back is the downward pressure of kids/family, for whom i am thankful to say most show real love and responsibility. Gay folk with kids is no different, there's just less of us.

If HIV gets you a better life good, if it gets you a worse one, bad, if it screws your head, get over it, life is precious and you ain't gonna die easy, most likely. It's just a virus, not a moral judgement.

It's not divine justice, or evolutionary, it's just a fact.

I am also bored by Sartre, who I have deicded was a homophobe ... his big idea on authenticity in Nausea, he just didn't get the working queer class radicalism of camp.

Thank you creator for the world in its complexity.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 09:04:24 AM by emeraldize »

Offline Desertguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 183
Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2008, 09:08:36 AM »
Interesting thread!!!!!!

Offline Dachshund

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,976
Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2008, 09:17:07 AM »
Sadly, some people have innocently arrived here and been bashed like a baby seal following its mother. Just because they popped their head up through the internet ice, they've been smacked before they even identified there was a blue sky to see or anything to nuzzle. And, because of such members who've been cut short and those among us who've hung in, curbed enthusiasm, omitted topics of interest or fear due to concern that forum bullies might be dismissive, or in a veiled fashion label one a dunce, the management is exercising its power to keep the mission intact.

Boy, I know what you're talking about girlfriend. Especially when you've been on the receiving end of hypocritical PM's from forum members asking you to do exactly what you suggest others have done. 


Offline komnaes

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,893
Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2008, 09:59:14 AM »
Quote
Sadly, some people have innocently arrived here and been bashed like a baby seal following its mother.

It's an open forum, or perhaps someone has mistaken it as a wet nursing site dishing out only motherly advises for those who feel they should always be only treated as "victims"? I would never think that I was made of stronger stuff, but I do find it rather condescending if someone describes me as helpless as a baby seal.

What I see again is an outpouring of supports whenever I need them here, add the right amount of "caustic" humors to make the forums interesting and colorful. I would really like to see an example of this NeoGeo moment.. though it wouldn't make any difference now but it would be fun analyzing it..
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline Peter Staley

  • Member
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  • Founder & Advisory Editor, AIDSmeds.com
    • AIDSmeds.com
Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2008, 10:11:37 AM »
Yes, this is an interesting thread, and the mods are listening.

But one side of this goes unheard.  The mods hear it, but not always the members.  We get the PMs and emails from newbies who quit the forums early after feeling abused here.  We get these PMs and emails more often than you think.  Of course, they won't be posting in this thread.

So I ask you, what should we do about the loss of these members?  What should be more important to us -- the continued participation of a smart and often helpful long-term member, or the continued participation of possibly dozens of new members down the road that that long-term member might scare away?

Yes, I wish every new member who came here had a thicker skin.  I'd much rather we have less moderating here, trust me.  But I think our primary goal is to help the greatest number of people living with HIV, which means we have to tilt towards safety here, rather than a wild free-for-all.

Are the mods the only ones concerned about the frequent loss of new members?

As for even longer TOs instead of permanent bans, please realize that we have banned very, very few long-term members.  With each one, it was only after begging that person for months and/or years to modify their behaviour.  With each one, we came to the conclusion that it was like asking them to change their very nature -- it wasn't going to happen, no matter how long the TOs.  
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 10:13:38 AM by Peter Staley »

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2008, 10:53:55 AM »
This forum has been a blessing to me in many ways . When I first arrived here I was in a vulnerable state of mind . After reading a few threads I almost gave it up due to some of the things I read .

Some days I hesitate to post on some topics , not because I have thin skin but because of the tone of the discussion .     

Offline atlq

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2008, 10:59:50 AM »
So I ask you, what should we do about the loss of these members?  What should be more important to us -- the continued participation of a smart and often helpful long-term member, or the continued participation of possibly dozens of new members down the road that that long-term member might scare away? - Peter


There probably is no answer to that question that is going to satisfy every participant in these forums. I am relatively new here, yet as both an LTS and a person familiar with the atmosphere that naturally exists in forums such as these, perhaps I am not as sensitive as I should be to the reactions of those who are new, to both the virus and to nature of internet forums.

Speaking for myself, I came for advice and stayed because of the wit and wisdom of the individuals who post here. Certain of us are hand holders and others reveal their concern accompanied with a big dollop of sarcastic (and sometimes caustic) wit . Both, I think, are necessary.  

I understand the points the moderators have made on this issue....but it sucks all the same.

Just sayin'

 


  
ďKeep up the good work....   And God bless you.Ē
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline keyite

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2008, 11:02:16 AM »
If those 'voices' can't express themselves in a civil way, even after countless warnings and TOs, then no, I won't be missing them. There is a way to disagree and get your point fully across without stepping across that line - it's not all that hard either.

Expecting those that are newly diagnosed or otherwise in crisis to grow a thicker skin just so that minority of 'voices' can be accommodated is plainly wishful thinking.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2008, 11:05:43 AM »
Dear All,

I just want to say a few words in relation to Peter's comments. We discuss, consider and even agonize sometimes about whether to ban someone and whether it can in good conscience and responsibility to others be avoided. I'm not talking about when it's an obvious call because of denialism or some wildly out-of-control behavior, which has occured on occasion.

No, I'm talking about members who we really know and yes, care about. Because those who come here and allow themselves to become known are real people to us. We think about them. We worry about them sometimes when they're having problems, health or otherwise. We're happy when they get a good health report or something else good happens.

A decision to ban someone who's troublesome has never been taken lightly. Nor will it ever be.  

Andy Velez

Offline atlq

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2008, 11:17:36 AM »
If those 'voices' can't express themselves in a civil way, even after countless warnings and TOs, then no, I won't be missing them. There is a way to disagree and get your point fully across without stepping across that line - it's not all that hard either.

Expecting those that are newly diagnosed or otherwise in crisis to grow a thicker skin just so that minority of 'voices' can be accommodated is plainly wishful thinking.


Except that this voice was overwhelmingly civil and helpful to many people who were newly diagnosed or in crisis.

The proof of that is available for all to see.

Again, I say this not to berate those who had to make a painful decision. But, with all respect, this situation is not as black and white as your comments make it out to be.

ďKeep up the good work....   And God bless you.Ē
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline komnaes

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2008, 11:29:52 AM »
Expecting those that are newly diagnosed or otherwise in crisis to grow a thicker skin just so that minority of 'voices' can be accommodated is plainly wishful thinking.

Again, I have yet to see any such "caustic" remarks being made against anyone in real crisis. Just give us an example and we will muse over it.

And I really don't see thick/thin skin has anything to do it - some people are just more inclined to see hurtfulness when none exists.

I have a lot of respects for the mods here but I really hope that they have taken into consideration that some of those complaints might have been made with menace.
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline keyite

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2008, 11:51:46 AM »
The subject was the timeout and banning policy and I was referring to that, rather than any one individual. For the policy to make any sense I think it must be applied without too much favour or prejudice (as it happens it probably gets applied with quite a liberal amount of discretion and I have no problem with that).

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2008, 11:55:35 AM »
Did we not instigate an "ignore" feature for those with problems with specific members?

The baby seal comment hit me the wrongest possible way. It's terribly condescending. I have, on several occasions, been told to grow a thicker skin on these forums. And I believe I have.

But what I have seen since I came back has been a truly mixed bag.

Why do you think I turn to a select few people, or the LESSONS section for scientific or treatment information?

Because the forums in this site seem to have sacrificed scientific accuracy in favor of what is loosely labeled "support." We state with scientific certainty one thing in one forum, then hedge or ignore discrepancies in another. We  allow dangerous drug (or drugless) therapies to go unchallenged, or with only a token caution.

Frankly, I'd rather see a TO for someone who advocates dangerous or frivolous medical treatment than for someone who is acerbic or sarcastic.

And as for people who are run off, how in the world can we argue against a negative which cannot be proven? At any given time, dozens, sometimes hundreds of guests are viewing these forums.  Peter and Jan are two powerful voices when it comes to standing up for science (especially in the Research and Treatment threads). Andy and Ann do the same int he AM I INFECTED forum. But what about other members?  What about those of us who have learned the hardest possible way what works and what doesn't? Where are we?

Afraid, mostly. Because sticking ones neck out tends to get it struck.

We created a new forum, the "I Just Tested Poz" forum, specifically for the "baby seals" mentioned in the past. And I totally support that. No one who just found out s/he i positive needs to face all their demons and prejudices and denial all at once. It's really a careful, tenuous journey, that first year after diagnosis. Everything changes, everything is examined. And every doctor's visit, every lab result. And yes, every pimple and rash is cause for fear and concern.

And should be given the latitude and compassion it deserves.

I thought "Living With" was for those who had more or less "settled in" to their diagnosis, and could be more receptive to the harder facts, from transmission to symptoms to what the internet can and cannot do in terms of diagnosis and enabling. It was supposed to be (I thought) a place for people to "mature" into their lives with HIV, which, as Andy points out, is not going anywhere anytime soon.

sometimes part of that is being delivered the scientific facts without sugarcoating. And if it comes to a choice between numbers of vulnerable new members and maintaining the scientific integrity of the site, well, that's a choice made by those not participating in this discussion, I suspect. And if allowed to continue, it will create a dichotomy between the LESSONS section and the forums which will be more and more difficult to traverse.

I do not want to see this site go the way of another site. I do not want the members with the least to contribute dictate the policies so that those with the most to contribute migrate elsewhere (or are banned). Because those strong voices are NEEDED.

i wonder how long Larry Kramer would last in such an environment.

And I get it, I really do. You want to make this a safe place. But sadly, the world is not a safe place. HIV is not a safe disease. It is relentless, unyielding, and it cannot be stopped with hugs or sweet words.

It is dirty, and for many, shameful, and stigma-ridden, and painful. Many if not most of the people who post here have issues unrelated to HIV that either directly or indirectly facilitated their infection, and certainly exacerbate it.

From substance abuse to chemical imbalances to socioeconomic issues and cultural differences. Peter mentioned that those whose native language is not English are often at a distinct disadvantage, and there are as any people here with IQ under 100 as there are with IQ over 130. It is as diverse a community as any (with the possible exception of heterosexual males).  There is simply NO WAY to make everyone feel happy or safe.

So who do we cater to? Do we sacrifice the wise and experienced (who happen to be jerks sometimes) for sweet and well meaning people who have nothing substantive to offer? Do we offer a "safe" place in exchange for a legitimate one? Should we HAVE to? Wasn't the divvying up of the forums an attempt to allow each vastly different group an option that was most comfortable for them?

I honestly do not have any answers. All I see are some of the brightest lights in this site going out, one by one. And I see no new lights rising to replace them. And that saddens me.

I was a baby seal once. And I got the mess smacked out of me on several occasions. And it was exactly what I needed. This is not a disease that lets the baby seals live. It's a chronic, and if ignored, terminal illness. The meds remain toxic, the government remains largely apathetic. The population as a whole remains ignorant.

As I see it, it's still an "All Hands On Deck" situation. Throwing people overboard, who have done such good works, is a luxury I do not feel we can afford.

And for those who are glad Matty is gone: does that mean you will be taking up the slack in the AM I INFECTED forum? Does that mean you will be the one advocating for scientific accuracy and first-tiered peer reviewed proof in the Research forums? Does this mean you will be picking up where he left off in the fields of rick assessment, treatment options, or first-hand experiential assistance?

Because if not, this place will become the worst possible thing; banal. A place with an EXCELLENT LESSONS section that no one seems to actually read, with long term survivors who go largely dismissed as irrelevant, whose members consist of frightened people clutching at one another for support, with no one to help lead the way.

if quantity means more than quality, then this is the desired outcome, i suppose. I just think that the effort put into this site by the founders and moderators deserves more respect than that.

Sorry about the length of this post. I am just healthy enough to be cranky, and in just enough pain to be alert. Bad combination.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline BT65

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2008, 11:58:50 AM »
What I feel that I've encountered lately are newbies with almost "Aids-envy," who talk about all these certain medical, what they think are catastrophes, and want to think they're one foot in the grave.  Then, when they get advice, they act offended, like someone should justify their ramblings on and hand them a mental pacifier, so to speak.  

I feel that sometimes things are seen as one-sided, in favor of newer people who post.  It's like the advancement of membership takes priority over spot-on advice sometimes.  I don't know if I'm accurate, or even if I'm making sense.  It's just my opinion.

Submitted in respect.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2008, 12:02:36 PM »
I understand the moderators position, really I do.   But it just sucks, plain and simple.

I guess there is no way a long time member could be allowed to post in just one forum, like "Long Term Survivors"?  Newbies don't have any business posting there anyway, IMHO, although they continue to do so (and be permitted to).   I think most of us there have a thick enough skin to deal with the forum members in question.

I think Mouse summed up my feelings very well:

Not to be an asshole, but there are a lot of people here that need to grow a pair and stop freaking the fuck out every time someone says something MEAN to them. Christ. It's unreal. I can't believe it's actually taken seriously as something that's bannable. I know we were all taught that 'if you don't have something nice to say don't say anything at all' shit in school, but honestly, just because someone says something snotty to someone doesn't mean the entire forum is going to erupt into a volcano of shit.


Alan  :'(
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 12:05:10 PM by AlanBama »
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Offline Ann

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2008, 12:08:58 PM »
Again, I have yet to see any such "caustic" remarks being made against anyone in real crisis. Just give us an example and we will muse over it.

Caustic remarks don't necessarily have to be said directly to the person in crisis to make them wary of posting for fear of eventually being treated the same way. 

I have a lot of respects for the mods here but I really hope that they have taken into consideration that some of those complaints might have been made with menace.

We do take these things into consideration. However, when the person making the complaint is very new to the site, well, they're unlikely to have any sort of axe to grind.

Banning people is the one aspect of this job that I really hate. I think the other mods will agree with me on that. It sucks.

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

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Offline komnaes

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2008, 12:21:46 PM »
Quote
We do take these things into consideration. However, when the person making the complaint is very new to the site, well, they're unlikely to have any sort of axe to grind.

As I can only speculate so I won't say another word on this.

But as a stakeholder (I think I am) I can only continue to respectfully disagree.

This is a major lost to AM and I am saddened by it.
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline atlq

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2008, 12:27:53 PM »
The subject was the timeout and banning policy and I was referring to that, rather than any one individual. For the policy to make any sense I think it must be applied without too much favour or prejudice (as it happens it probably gets applied with quite a liberal amount of discretion and I have no problem with that).

Keyite,

I apologize if I misinterpreted your comment...
ďKeep up the good work....   And God bless you.Ē
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline Peter Staley

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2008, 12:29:08 PM »
I implore folks not to turn this thread into a venting about one specific ban, or we'll have to lock the thread.  Let's keep it about our banning policy in general, and how these forums are moderated.

Thanks,

Peter

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #30 on: September 13, 2008, 12:41:12 PM »
Except that this voice was overwhelmingly civil and helpful to many people who were newly diagnosed or in crisis.

The proof of that is available for all to see.

I trust all of the Ban Warriors in this thread plan on taking up the slack of The Banned One in Am I Infected, because frankly I don't have the patience.  I kind of doubt that will be happening though.

And yeah, that's an important point.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #31 on: September 13, 2008, 12:43:39 PM »
The subject was the timeout and banning policy and I was referring to that, rather than any one individual. For the policy to make any sense I think it must be applied without too much favour or prejudice (as it happens it probably gets applied with quite a liberal amount of discretion and I have no problem with that).

Yet the subject of the thread is that very policy, specifically the "perma" ban aspect -- the question basically is that instead of a "perma" ban that there be something still very strict, but still not permanent -- say 6 months.

Can't we keep this thread discussing this proposal by the OP?
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2008, 12:45:09 PM »

Frankly, I'd rather see a TO for someone who advocates dangerous or frivolous medical treatment than for someone who is acerbic or sarcastic.

Indeed.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline JeffInNYC

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #33 on: September 13, 2008, 12:56:54 PM »
I trust all of the Ban Warriors in this thread plan on taking up the slack of The Banned One in Am I Infected, because frankly I don't have the patience.  I kind of doubt that will be happening though.

And yeah, that's an important point.

Philly you bring up a great point.
When I came to the fears forum a couple of years ago, the banned one spent a considerable amount of time talking me off a ledge and reassuring me that everything was ok.  He pointed out to me that HIV was just a smokescreen I was using to avoid dealing with the true issues.  Not many people have that kind of patience and I am truly grateful that I was able to get that kind of support.

Offline Peter Staley

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #34 on: September 13, 2008, 12:58:53 PM »
Frankly, I'd rather see a TO for someone who advocates dangerous or frivolous medical treatment than for someone who is acerbic or sarcastic.

We have banned members that had become aggressive advocates for unproven treatments, of any kind.  If we started banning every member that mentions their use of alternative treatments, we'd empty this place out pretty quickly.  I'd rather they stay, and slowly learn from the rest of us that they're wasting their money.

Frankly, Jonathan, this criticism hurts.  I know we can do better at correcting misleading treatment info, and we're trying (we just added David Evans to the Research forum this week for that very reason).  But I challenge you to name another HIV-related forum on the web that does a better job of keeping the science discussion on an even keel.  I don't know of another forum that comes anywhere close to our efforts here in that regard.

Offline keyite

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #35 on: September 13, 2008, 01:12:36 PM »
Yet the subject of the thread is that very policy, specifically the "perma" ban aspect -- the question basically is that instead of a "perma" ban that there be something still very strict, but still not permanent -- say 6 months.

Can't we keep this thread discussing this proposal by the OP?

Very true. But if seven days and 30 days didn't make a difference then why would six months?

Offline penguin

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #36 on: September 13, 2008, 01:20:11 PM »
aids has never shown much respect for my comfort levels.

aids don't have an ignore option. or a report to moderator option. or a ban option.

ditto life, real world etc

i deal with it, regardless, as best i can.

kate (sad penguin)

« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 01:29:02 PM by penguin »

Offline komnaes

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #37 on: September 13, 2008, 01:31:58 PM »
Very true. But if seven days and 30 days didn't make a difference then why would six months?

The "But" should be if the ban shouldn't be applied in the first place.

Quote
I implore folks not to turn this thread into a venting about one specific ban, or we'll have to lock the thread.  Let's keep it about our banning policy in general, and how these forums are moderated.

I hope this get out before the thread is locked.

I understand the rule of not discussing any specific discussion to ban, but it's really kind of non-senscial to not do so because we're discussing how the perma-ban policy should be applied in a not of clear-cut situation. Let's not avoid it, we're not talking about some or a series of disorderly behaviors that are obviously out of line and distructive, the ban is being applied on a member that has made a lot of contribution (though it doesn't mean he should be treated differently or given more allowances).

This is one of those big "cases" that could change the course of where we're all going. Do we now have to censor the way we speak/write, meaning do only certain styles are allowed despite the substances and intention of the advises given?
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2008, 01:35:01 PM »
JK:The baby seal comment hit me the wrongest possible way. It's terribly condescending.
Condescending toward seals? The comment was born of the condescension observed in the way new members and other members were treated over a long period of time. To choose a defenseless animal that's known via the media because of being cold-cocked seemed a fitting equivalent to compare a new person, newly infected or otherwise, visiting this site for the first month or so who's handled with condescension and sarcasm.

JK:I thought "Living With" was for those who had more or less "settled in" to their diagnosis.
Is there such a distinction? Aren't we living with from the moment our diagnosis is made and/or confirmed?

JK:And as for people who are run off, how in the world can we argue against a negative which cannot be proven?
That the moderators have all attested as to having pondered their decision and cited the complaints of new members (and some of them now former members) is sufficient proof to me that a negative was recognized.

JK:There is simply NO WAY to make everyone feel happy or safe.
I agree with you. I view the mods as striving for balance and sticking with their goal to provide good information.

JK:Because sticking ones neck out tends to get it struck.
Totally agree with you.

JK: Do we sacrifice the wise and experienced (who happen to be jerks sometimes) for sweet and well meaning people who have nothing substantive to offer?
Here, not surprising, is where I disagree with you. How is it that you decide a sweet, well meaning person has nothing substantive to offer? Because the person has nothing to offer you specifically? That's not forum-building form. What if their post resonates with someone else--and that person finds it substantive. Because you say it isn't, it isn't? You have the Ignore button for what you don't like, right? We've all read posts we've rolled our eyes over, but in most cases what you would deem as lacking in substance was likely written by a person who thought of themselves as sweet and well meaning. If such thick epidermis exists then why would the non-substantive posts of the sweet and well meaning even matter one shreddy bit?

And, for those who are glad Matty is gone
I would find it hard to believe anyone is "glad" over Matty's ban. It's the loss of a member, of humor, of insight, of opinion, and more. He's bright, he knew what he was doing. It was always his choice to post as he did knowing the potential consequences.

PS:But I think our primary goal is to help the greatest number of people living with HIV, which means we have to tilt towards safety here, rather than a wild free-for-all.
Tilting will put a decidedly different tone to things, but the important words in Peter's comment are "to help" and while some people want input without coating, and are willing to be coached to grow thicker skin, others want theirs with coating and may be comfy with the skin they have.





Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #39 on: September 13, 2008, 01:44:34 PM »
Very true. But if seven days and 30 days didn't make a difference then why would six months?

Much longer period for self-reflection, etc. and gives all other members a long breathing period.  I suppose if the person still engages in questionable behavior when they return they'd get another 6 month time out, etc.  Basically the person would never be here if they got to that point, or barely here.

I'm trying to take the approach of how this might be handled in a real life support group.  Asking a member to take 6 months off might allow them to discuss the issue with a one-one-one counselor, etc.

And keyite, if we go by your logic then I guess we shouldn't have a 30 day timeout either (?)

The only time a permanent ban makes sense to me is for a person trolling, using a sock puppet technique, and/or trying to circumvent disciplinary action (like a T.O.) by registering a new user name via a proxy server.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #40 on: September 13, 2008, 01:47:12 PM »
Also, has anyone here that had particular issues with The Banned One actually stated that they employed the "ignore" feature or not?  I don't see why that's so difficult to do.  It's a common feature on ANY web forum, because this issue is not particular to AIDSmeds but would seem to be if the user here has never participated in any other internet forums, which I often assume is the case for probably half of the people here.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Tim Horn

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #41 on: September 13, 2008, 02:03:49 PM »
aids has never shown much respect for my comfort levels.

aids don't have an ignore option. or a report to moderator option. or a ban option.

ditto life, real world etc

And is it so wrong to maintain a space where people living with HIV do have the safety and support to move forward -- or backward -- at their own pace? Yes, living with HIV is a real bitch -- everything from the stigma to ever-dwindling time with our health care providers to ask questions, get answers and discuss options. The whole idea of the Forums is to provide as many people as possible with a respite from the lack of respect, time, information and support we get in the "real world." If the intent of these Forums is to mimic the cold, hard reality of HIV we all face in the real world, I'd rather shut them down completely.

Fact of the matter is, there are constructive ways to be witty... or acerbic... or sarcastic. I like to think that we see this in the Forums all the time. We're certainly not looking to strip the Forums of this, nor do we aspire to host a 24-hour "tasteful gay brunch," where everyone needs to keep it "light and breezy." Debate and tough love is welcome, all we ask is that people keep it respectful and understand that not everyone comes to the table with the same mindset or level of strength that many others have (of have, indeed, found in these Forums over time).

Many individuals who have been the subject of moderator reports have been extremely receptive to our suggestions of constructive dialogue, all the while keeping their incredibly bright, colorful and insightful voices intact -- a few, however, have not... and when we continue to receive dozens and dozens of moderator reports, over months and years, from both Forums newbies and veterans who no longer feel comfortable posting, we simply have no choice but to take act, as Ann says, for the greater good.

That said, every member of these Forums is a stakeholder and we (the moderators and administrators) are certainly not above having a discussion about the salient points that have been raised in this thread -- or even changing our policies. The one way these Forums ARE very much like HIV is that this whole process is one of trial and error and that change, when proven necessary, is definitely an option.

Tim Horn  
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 02:11:56 PM by Tim Horn »

Offline David_CA

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #42 on: September 13, 2008, 02:14:46 PM »
Very true. But if seven days and 30 days didn't make a difference then why would six months?

Because six months may give that member a chance to get their shit together, so to speak.  The loss of the forums for six months may be just the wake-up call they need.  There is a current member that messed up his dosing on antidepressants, and what he posted was so out of character that many of us recognized it as such.  Some of those who have been banned (not just the most recent ones) weren't always so contrary; it seemed to depend on what sort of legitimate crisis they were dealing with.

It's a balancing act, moderating these forums.  The closer we can get to the fulcrum (center point) the easier it will be to balance.  I'm hoping that along with 6 month 'temporary bans' and something like three strikes in a one year period instead of in total will bring us to that.

David
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline bocker3

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #43 on: September 13, 2008, 02:36:39 PM »
The thing that I see missing in the discussion is personal responsibility.  This idea comes up in many threads here -- i.e. everyone is responsible for their own safety, etc.  Whether you agree or disagree with the current TOS -- they are what they are.  Every member that I've seen banned since I joined has been given chances to change and abide by them -- both public and private.  The fact that they have not is why they have been banned.

Now, an open discussion of whether bans should exist is a great idea (I actually like the 6 mos TO as at least an addition, if not a replacement to bans) -- but everyone who has been banned to date has been given a choice and they have all chosen their own paths.  Does it make me sad? Have I missed some?  Yes to both -- but again, they have chosen their path with full knowledge.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline BlueMoon

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #44 on: September 13, 2008, 02:50:49 PM »
As I understand it, AIDSMeds is a business for profit.  As such it seeks to maintain a large and active forum membership in order to help maximize its paying customer base, the pharmaceutical companies that advertise here.

From that standpoint it seems to me that a more flexible ban policy would make good business sense.  The moderators might be less reluctant to drop the hammer if there was less finality to the act.  That would make it easier to curtail the abusive posting.

Although my forum stalker would disagree, I do consider myself to be compassionate (to a degree  ;) ) and hate to see anyone cut off from the support available here, even the curmudgeons.  After all, isn't that the American dream, another chance at redemption?          
...................VL.....CD4.....%
-----------------------------------------
08/10-- ......<40.....290.....42
05/10-- ......<48.....290.....46
02/10-- ......<48.....481.....44
10/09-- ......<48.....277.....46
07/09-- ......<48.....300.....38
05/09-- ........51.....449.....39
03/09-- Added Isentress
02/09-- ........65.....299.....34
11/08-- ........62.....242.....40
08/08-- ........66.....212.....29
05/08-- ......202.....217.....27
03/08-- ....5210.....187.....21
02/08-- Began Truvada/Reyataz/Norvir
12/07-- 273,000.....157.....22
11/07-- 229,000.....209.....22
10/07-- Diagnosis

It's a complex world.

Offline keyite

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #45 on: September 13, 2008, 02:53:23 PM »
Philly, David_NC - I take those points and can now see some merit to a lengthy TO - but I think if it's to work then there has to be zero tolerance after the six months, i.e. further transgressions result in another lengthy TO without further warnings.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #46 on: September 13, 2008, 03:03:21 PM »
The thing that I see missing in the discussion is personal responsibility.  This idea comes up in many threads here -- i.e. everyone is responsible for their own safety, etc.  Whether you agree or disagree with the current TOS -- they are what they are.  Every member that I've seen banned since I joined has been given chances to change and abide by them -- both public and private.  The fact that they have not is why they have been banned.

Now, an open discussion of whether bans should exist is a great idea (I actually like the 6 mos TO as at least an addition, if not a replacement to bans) -- but everyone who has been banned to date has been given a choice and they have all chosen their own paths.  Does it make me sad? Have I missed some?  Yes to both -- but again, they have chosen their path with full knowledge.

Mike

When studies show that something like 60% of HIV patients have mental health issues, I tend to err on the side of compassion.  Your argument would hold more water in a world absent of something like HIV though.  I'm trying to seek a middle ground with my stance on a 6-month option for the moderators.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #47 on: September 13, 2008, 03:14:11 PM »
Philly, David_NC - I take those points and can now see some merit to a lengthy TO - but I think if it's to work then there has to be zero tolerance after the six months, i.e. further transgressions result in another lengthy TO without further warnings.

Interesting! Successive and unlimited 6 month timeouts would spare the Moderators from "heavy heart syndrome" from trying to decide whether to perma-ban someone because a perma-ban would be reserved for sock-puppets, med-haters, money-solicitors, snake oil salesmen, unapologetic nasty people, aids denialists, and so on and so forth.

And the person getting the 6 month timeout would never feel dark & sad perma-ban feelings of "shit, they don't want me. they don't appreciate me. they don't like me. they see no redeeming qualities in me."

And it would spare the Moderators from having to type out warnings. Just push a button and voila. The Moderators would then have the option to email the person and elaborate. In this specific equation, warnings would defeat the purpose so yeah, no warnings in this specific proposition.

And if people wonder "Hey, where's so-and-so person? Are they perma-banned?" The Mods can just answer "Just be patient. He/she will be back in 6 months. Hopefully for longer than 10 minutes. We don't really perma-ban anymore, remember?"

 
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 05:13:35 PM by allopathicholistic »

Offline bocker3

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #48 on: September 13, 2008, 03:15:45 PM »
When studies show that something like 60% of HIV patients have mental health issues, I tend to err on the side of compassion.  Your argument would hold more water in a world absent of something like HIV though.  I'm trying to seek a middle ground with my stance on a 6-month option for the moderators.

And I did agree with you on the middle ground -- I was simply pointing out that "personal responsibility" is thrown around alot in these rooms, and, I think, has some applicability here too.  

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Banning and the loss of voices
« Reply #49 on: September 13, 2008, 03:19:29 PM »
And I did agree with you on the middle ground -- I was simply pointing out that "personal responsibility" is thrown around alot in these rooms, and, I think, has some applicability here too.  

Mike

I'm not big on the "personal responsibility" line because it always lacks context, which is why it's a shibboleth for right wingers.  If I were to really walk the walk with that mantra, then my HIV infection is my own fault and thus I have no right to any HIV meds via ADAP, nor does anyone else (excepting those infected by rape and/or blood transfusions) etc.

Hence why I tried to show how a mitigating factor is useful in this discussion.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

 


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