Date: Fri, Apr 25, 2014 at 1:24 PM
Subject: Some History, Some Additional Information, and Some Philosophy
To: Lexington List <email@example.com>
I created the Lexington and lex-polrel email discussion lists about 14 years ago and I work every week to maintain a place for civil dialogs among the residents of Lexington. The recent controversy about my banning Luanna Devenis from the Lexington and Lexington Politics-Religion lists has prompted me to share the background and my rationale on this issue.
There is a published set of rules for discourse on the two lists. The rules have evolved over time and I admit they are in need of some revision and consolidation.
There are also de facto rules of common courtesy that members are expected to understand. For example, it is highly inappropriate to send contentious or browbeating messages offline as a result of discussions on lex-polrel. The phrase "What gets said on lex-polrel, stays on lex-polrel" has been repeated often over the years. Many of us have reinforced both the formal rules and the de facto rules ad nauseum in messages sent to the lists.
I want lex-polrel to be a safe place where we can say what we want and explore our differences -- as long as after the discussion we would still want to be friends.
Luanna was banned for repeatedly sending multiple browbeating messages directly to people about issues arising from what they said on the lex-polrel list. She was warned and suspended twice before due to her personal attacks on members of the list. After the second time, she was informed that a third violation of the rules would result in her permanent banning.
Recently, I received private messages from multiple members of the lex-polrel list complaining that Luanna had been harassing and threatening them in multiple private emails about their posts to the lex-polrel list. I do not think anybody should have to put up with this kind of attack from a lex-polrel list member.
Until now, I chose not to reveal these details because it would have been quite obvious to Luanna who those people were, and I was worried about her initiating another barrage against her previous targets. As a courtesy, before sending this message I obtained permission from the people who wrote to me about Luanna's actions. There are possibly others who received this treatment and did not feel comfortable complaining about this issue.
This is also why I was intentionally ambiguous in my message to Luanna when I suspended her. In retrospect, that lack of clarity, both towards Luanna and the members of the mailing list, only created confusion while failing to achieve the desired result. Luanna has publicly accused me of all sorts of things now in several different public and private venues [see below], so I feel that quoting in public my private communication to her is now acceptable. This is the message I sent to Luanna:
From: Harry Forsdick <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, Apr 20, 2014 at 7:07 PM
Subject: I have just banned you from the Lexington and Lex-PolRel Lists
To: "Luanna E. Devenis" <email@example.com>
I have just banned you from the Lexington and Lex-PolRel lists. I have warned you at least
three times before about your behavior relating to these lists.
In response, I have now personally suffered Luanna's full fury, and the concerns I noted above were validated. This experience has convinced me that I made the right decision in this case.
Thank you for reading this far about what, for me, is the least interesting aspect of a volunteer job I normally have enjoyed. I have no great desire to spend more time on this subject and look forward to new and interesting discussions about the issues we all face.
P.S. So that she hears this directly from me, I will forward a copy of this message to Luanna. -- HF
(781) 861-6149 (h) (781) 799-6002 (c)
http://forsdick.weebly.com | http://lexphotoscan.com| http://lexdig.com | http://lexcc.weebly.com
- Lexington Patch letter: http://goo.gl/kuxXlY
- Colonial Times Facebook Page: Unfortunately I can't find a way to get to this statement using a URL, so here is an image of the statement: