Moderation and Censorship

Life gets lonely in the studio, or sitting here at the glowing screen of my computer. This website has become a place where like-minded people can hang out, learn some new skills, make some new friends, pick up some tips and make plans for the future. There is a constant inflow of new people and information. But I've got a problem today and am asking for your input.

It has repeatedly been brought to my attention that some members' remarks make others uncomfortable, so uncomfortable that they leave the site and/or won't participate in the discussions any more. We have banned some members from the site and others have not been banned even though they appear to be breaking our "code of conduct." Most of the time, in the middle of some of the "rants", there are some excellent ideas and things to think about. Not always. In order to have an interesting community it is necessary to talk about things besides what kind of tent to buy and should I take credit cards. Right?

I do not read everything that appears on the site and often don't know if something is happening unless I see lots of comments on a topic. I do not want to moderate other adults' conversations. I want to keep this site alive and full of helpful information and entertaining discussion and I want you here.

The question is about censorship and moderation. 

What is true censorship?

  1. Moderation that expects everyone to "be nice" and is enforced, or
  2. a site where members can say what they want and effectively silence others.

And, just in case you think this is something new here, visit this link from a year ago:

I am interested in your comments. Comment on the site or here.

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  • Hi Munks,

    I sent a friend request a year ago and can not send another.

    I would like a private word.


  • Ann Marie, thank you for complying.  We are not done going through our membership lists yet.  We are still contacting people and asking them to comply.

    We do this mostly to keep out spammers.

    Jacki B

  • I am definitely enjoying some of the new to me "slang" I am observing on this particular thread such as testicular .....   or butthurt. LOVE THEM....I will definitely substitute for my more normal response of F.... this when not on the sales floor or anywhere else for that matter as I believe the new slang will bring about great peals of laughter from those observing my verbal comments....LOL
  • Love Rick Woods' definition of the difference between craft and art.  Sensible, straightforward and useful.  Thank you for your post.

    For me, clay is the perfect expressive canvas... from the expressive way glaze breaks over texture to the manner the end shape speaks.  That the work my husband and I do is functional -- even if some pieces serve only to hold the screen door open or as curiousities in our garden -- is an added bonus. 

  • Ms Rose, I have no problems with personal attacks.  Just don't take them personally.  Munks provided a service in that he said things that I wanted to say so I didn't have to.
  • No offense taken whatsoever. I completely agree with you that everyone has to do their homework. We started out as clay artists 34 years ago and had to learn, sometimes the hard way, which shows were the best fit for us.

    Back to the thrust of this thread- spirited discussion, disagreement, intense viewpoints are all appreciated and respected but they should not become personal attacks. I believe the post Barry made a bit back on this thread referenced the Talmudic discussions - as far as my studies went a long time ago, they were spirited, intellectual, philosophical but never personal.
  • Yeah DGilbert- this was the message that I got last September (2010).
    I just figured that the people that used screen names had been grandfathered in, and, that I joined to late to be allowed to have an alternate name. In fact, the alternate name I had, was just my first name 'Ann Marie'. I use that as my identifer because everyone misspells my last name.
    This is what Connie wrote: "I am going through the list of members and need to tell you that first and last names are a requirement for being a member of this site. Failure to post this within 24 hours of receiving this message will mean a suspension from the site. We know you will understand the importance of identifying oneself in a social situation such as ArtFairInsiders. Thanks so much."
    I complied because I treasure this site. I have learned so much and, really value the advise and friendships that I have made.
  • Dear Janet-I meant absolutely no offense to your shows at all (in fact, as soon as I am pleased with my next batch of photos, I'll be applying to your shows). But, that aside, I was trying, probably too covertly, to encourage everyone to do their homework; walk the shows (if possible), read reviews, email/call your friends, (and, in some cases) talk to the promoter, to find out if your work is a possible good fit for a show.  ;-)  
  • Illustration to my post a minute ago:

    Right here in my town there was this guy, "Joe Artist", about ten years ago. He didn't have a license, a permit, he was not part of an organized, licensed, permitted show. Just him and his tent, and his art on his display panels, that he set up one day in the city park. Cops said, "you can't do that, you don't have a license, take it all away."

    Joe Artist said, "nope, I'm a citizen, I have a right to show my work, I'm expressing myself."

    Cops hauled him away. The city attorney thought, hey, slam dunk case here, but the whole thing eventually ended up in US District Court, where the judge ruled in favor of Joe Artist, and his first amendment right to express himself, on public property, without restriction of any kind. He was awarded $250,000.

  • As an FYI - Jackie reacted as she did because in a recent thread a very snide post was made putting her down because she is not a fine artist. The poster did his very best to make fun of what type of shows he thinks she does.

    In fact, she is on her way to our show which is called a fine art and craft show here in the east. NO plastic flowers, etc. Our gallery of fine artists and craft artisans makes that clear on our website. The word craft does appear in the title to our shows so an exhibitor shouldn't exclude a show based on that word alone. As any of the professionals on this site will tell you, you need to do your research to seek out the best shows for what you create.
    Janet Rose
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