March 16, 2014 at 3:21 pm #299790
Please enter ideas regarding how ZCom functions and its policies…March 21, 2014 at 1:53 pm #300110
Does no one have ideas for policies or features for ZCom that might be broached here – and explored, refined, so as to be taken on board when the possibility of doing so arises?March 29, 2014 at 12:59 am #437498
Michael, maybe it’s the newness of the redesigned site. Hasn’t hit critical mass yet, perhaps.May 5, 2014 at 3:50 am #722446
It is easy enough to navigate for me, and signing up, etc., was easy. The only thing about online forums, and I know this may not be a popular view, but I think it is sometimes important to not be too quick to say someone is “harassing,” unless one is really sure. There is a fine line between freedom of speech, and just having your voice shut out, when you did not really mean any harm. I wouldn’t be too overly stringent in other words, in blocking people or shutting down comments, unless it was a true viciousness, etc. The site really looks good!May 8, 2014 at 11:04 am #722616
[First off, apoloigies for posting a similar message in two places, I just realised that starting a new thread would not necessarily get the attention of admin.]
The “recent Znet” column on May 6th featured an article “There will be tweets” by Elliot Murphy, about medialens. Some time earlier, one of the Znet Admin (Michael) roughly defined some rules for acceptable content on Znet, replying to Medialens themselves on the subject of their criticism of Monbiot: “We have no interest, whatever the intent of authors, of blasting people,
particularly someone like George, with innuendo or overt false attacks,” the problem being a suggestion that Monbiot was protecting corporate interests. You went on to say that “it is for the same reason if someone wrote a piece, even with good other content, saying either David was a police agent, or a sectarian, or whatever else, we wouldn’t run it.”
For this reason, I’m puzzled and disturbed to find the above-mentioned article on Znet’s main column. The article does exactly what you said you ruled out. In a comment below, Murphy does call medialens sectarian, and the article says the same although not in some many words. A large part of Murphy’s article is a puerile character assassination of David Edwards based on some out-of-context quotes from a blog post. In my comment below the article I have pointed out as many of the problems with the article as I could before I lost patience (it is 6000 words long, and somehow the author could see no place to cut it despite it containing numerous tenuously connected quotes and references, along with some comments on Daniel Day-Lewis’ acting)
What is going on here? Has the standard changed, did this slip through by mistake due to the length or do you think that this case is substantially different from the ones you outlines in your forum post above?
May 8, 2014 at 12:35 pm #722622
- This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by Joe H.
Hi. Our policies have not changed. But I think you are right that the piece is far from optimal, so to speak. Then again, I think that about a good many things we run. And, yes, even beyond that, it was even a close call to post this piece at all. I suspect in one mood I would, as I did, in another I wouldn’t.
I agree that it delves into personal assessments too much. But it also has a lot that is serious and may deserve assessment. It doesn’t do anything remotely like saying that someone is running interference for the state – but it does suggest that despite doing incredibly good work in various ways, something is wrong about the approach of Media Lens and more generally, for that matter. I thought that that was worth displaying and of course we would run any reply. I also thought the essay would appear in other places, and so having it on ZNet, with the possibility of reply, would be constructive. Finally, Media Lens criticizes at its core, and so I would think receiving criticism, even some that goes over lines, would be no big problem. Did we make a mistake? Perhaps.May 8, 2014 at 4:02 pm #722629
Thanks for the explanation. My first reaction was simply to be affronted by the personal material, which I thought was (a) wrong and (b) beyond the pale as far as helpful intra-movement debate goes. But I can understand the intention in posting it and debating it, and my initial feeling that something had gone totally wrong with the editorial line was too severe.
For me, because the potentially valid points being made are so thoroughly diluted with unnecessary gibes and personality-based assaults, not to mention largely irrelevant rambles about films, books, historical personages and so on, I find it difficult to use this piece as the basis for a decent respectful debate, at the very least without having to do some major ground-clearing first. But then, to be honest I probably wouldn’t have felt moved to respond anyway had the article not gone beyond what I consider basic standards (hopefully that won’t encourage anyone to use this tactic!). Which makes me think that next week I should consider what I want to spend my time on a bit more carefully and perhaps write something useful about something else…
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