A Note Regarding Privacy On The Refuge

We named this forum “The Refuge” for a reason. It can be a respite from your job, current events, whatever. It’s turned into a pretty versatile board and people use it for a lot of different things. It’s turned into a true community. As in any community there are some who are more involved than others, and there are also bound to be disagreements, which is healthy. Generally we’ve taken a pretty Laissez-faire with the community and tried to stay out of the weeds and encourage self-policing. Anything otherwise runs the risk of subjectivity and bias, or at least the appearance of such. There are powrful tools at user’s disposal to manage unwanted interactions, topics/words you’d like to stay away from, etc. It’s a (mostly) mature, free-flowing conversation and everyone has the tools to be her/his own boss. Within the Refuge guidelines there is a section that boils down to four main tenets: be civil, keep in clean, respect each other, respect the forum. In general, just use common sense and respect others.

This week a member of the forum had his privacy violated. This violates both the “respect each other” and “respect the forum” tenets. While there have been debates on here about the virtues of anonymity, there are plenty of valid reasons (both professional and personal) as to why someone would feel the need to be anonymous (aside: if someone is using their anonymity specifically to be a dick then that’s a different story, and is pretty cut and dry.) When that is violated it hinders someone else’s choice of how they enjoy the forum and poisons the ethos of what we’re trying to build here. Not everyone is going to like each other - that’s understandable. Letting a personal squabble spill over like this into public view demonstrates a distinct lack of respect for everyone on the board.

That the violator used participation in an upcoming NLU trip to justify his actions makes this even more egregious. One of the remarkable things about this forum is that it’s facilitated a shocking number of in-person meet-ups and real friendships, which makes some of these petty feuds on here that much more laughable. We want to quash any seeds of doubt that this episode may have planted in that participation beyond the refuge somehow implicitly opens them up to a violation of their privacy on the refuge. When you sign up for one of our events you’ll meet people, hopefully become friends/bury hatchets/have a great time, and then carry that forward on the refuge under the same auspices as before. Just because someone knows your name from an event list or meeting in person doesn’t give them license to change your preferences on this forum.

The post in question has been deleted, the poster did not reply to a request for an explanation, and the poster has been suspended for two months. As always, should anyone have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us.

Tron, Randy, Soly, DJ & Neil

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