So do we even have any form of moderation here?

Background Reading

So do we even have any form of moderation here?
Posted by notoriousDUG on August 28, 2014 at 3:53pm

Head Up Ass The 'ChainLink Prayer Position'

Head Up Ass
The ‘ChainLink Prayer Position’

So after the amazing shit show that was Gabe and Michelle crapping all over the message board here I think it is a good time to ask this question.

What happened here is ridiculous, two people were allowed to run wild like a couple of monkeys flinging shit everywhere.  Regardless of who you want to see as wrong or right there the fact remains that they were allowed to carry on completely unchecked.

Why?  Light moderation is one thing but why should two defective people be allowed to run wild like that?  Especially when others have been kicked off for doing the same?

Didn’t we kick off Beezodog for hijacking threads and not letting an argument die?

Of course that leads to another thing; we have some loose rules but they never seem to be enforced, why?

So what is it, do we have an enforce rules or can people just do whatever they like?  Because it mostly looks like people can just act however they want…


The ChainLink is Broken.

Chicago ChainLink Forum Is Broken!

Chicago ChainLink Forum Is Broken!

It has been for a very long time. Some of the participants weigh in:

Reply by Anne Alt 32 minutes ago
It would be good to have some moderation here again. Too many shit shows lately.

Reply by Andronymous 16 minutes ago
Thanx for restarting this discussion Doug. Never EVER IMAGINED I’D SAY THIS, but compared to some of the monsters here Beezodog seems positively civilized.

I’ve had this same discussion time and time again for years with Julie. There are of course the rules, but they’re clearly ignored. Simply actually following them would be a huge step forward. Instead, the only instances of moderation ever that I’m aware of struck me as capricious abuses of power.

Somethings got to change. Personally, I’d say it needs a woman’s touch.

Reply by David Barish 5 minutes ago
After deleting over 200 e-mails because I was foolhardy enough to post to that thread I certainly understand Doug’s concern. However, I thought that the bullies etc thread was the perfect repository for this kind of nonsense. Leave the threads about cycling etc and use the bullies thread for the launching of excrement. I was about to stop following the thread and let it fly with no concern to me. Of course, it was sort of a shame the thread went that direction as Nikul had good intentions when he opened the thread. I hope this well intentioned thread does not devolve in the same way.

Without inviting ANY of yesterday’s discourse, this may be a good place for us to toss around the balance between unfettered free speech and moderation. If moderation are we looking to take a bucket and mop when things like the bullies thread happen or are we looking, as argued by one of the slingers, to regulate what is said? What would the purpose of moderation be?

I’ll start- short of yelling fire in a crowded theater or direct ugly personal attacks such as, “That David Barish is a Jew asshole who killed Christ, has a tail, raped his mother and dates [insert racial cultural or sexual slur here]” I would not do anything. This would mean many of the alleged sins that made my inbox look like a litterbox would still occur. However, once a thread turns seriously off course, I would consider taking all the posts about the diverted route to a new thread specifically for the posting of numero dos. This pretty much happened when Nikul started the alt thread that allowed the missed connection thread to return to its original purpose.

Although I would not moderate or enforce courtesy I would openly preach it.

My $.02

Reply by Julie Hochstadter 4 minutes ago
Hey guys,
We are working on adding additional moderators to make sure the content on the site is consistent with the community we seek to continue fostering and growing. In the meantime let’s respect each other and post information that is relevant to our bike community.


I almost hesitate to say anything here but silence is not in my nature. Michelle did something that few others have tried to do in the recent past. She stood up to another individual on the site who was using offensive language. Now that sort of thing comes off as “hijacking threads and not letting an argument die” but that is what is needed. If the folks who objected to African Slavery or the Incarceration of Jews had not been willing to do so where would any of us be?

People in this very country who went against the status quo on the education of women were persecuted. I was appalled to learn that even in this country a school house was torched because the women in it were teaching girls how to read and write. Sound familiar?

Activism, true activism is not about photo-ops during the unveiling of bike lanes. Rather it is about taking difficult stands that others find uncomfortable. The irony is that this ‘hot mess‘ took place between two individuals whose backgrounds should have militated against such a confrontation simple because their backgrounds should have informed their sensibilities about using ‘slurs‘.

Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King, Jr. could have sat on the sidelines. They did not. And to my mind the gun violence in Chicago is an affront to their memories. I am glad beyond measure at the notion that a team of young black men won a baseball game and a place in history. But as Greg Hinz puts it:

All over America there are black youths who are far more concerned that a white cop shot down an unarmed black man than they are that an unarmed girl asleep in a bed during a pajama party died from a gun shot no doubt inflicted by a black man.

The day when either of these deaths are mourned with equal vigor is the day that the ChainLink Forum will find some solace. But until that time, things will continue as they have since I joined the forum. There will be folks who delight in smearing feces on the bathroom wall and daring you to tell them to stop.

Right now the ChainLink Forum is hesitant to tell the feces smearer, NO! Like blacks in the inner cities of America it seems disloyal to your community to snitch on the gangbanger who just shot down a young girl. This is especially and painfully true if the officer taking your statement is white. This is madness! It must stop!

There is never a doubt in my mind that smearing feces in the name of one’s first Amendment Rights is ludicrous. There is nothing honorable about that sort of thing. And the folks on the ChainLink Forum who decided to defend the smearing of feces against someone questioning that action should be ashamed of themselves. But the real truth is they do not have to be. This sort of circling of the wagons has become so commonplace on the forum that it takes really hostile ‘meltdowns‘ to even bother to react. Most of the ‘adults‘ on this forum are far more concerned about saving their place at the next beer drinking gathering than they are about taking a stand for decency.

Of course they equate that sort of thing with NIMBY-ism. And it is certainly difficult to know where to draw the line on things when we have activities like the World Naked Bike Ride and Chicago Critical Mass which have questionable motives (at least in my mind). But I am going to set aside those two things for a more important task, clearing the way for those who have any courage left after years of knuckling under.

Tyranny is not dead. The Asad Regime in Syria is alive and well in many locations across the planet. If people of conscience will not speak out then society is doomed to a virtual tyranny. That too is the likely fate of the ChainLink Forum.

‘Hall Monitors’ Are Not Enough

If you hold a ride where Jews and Muslims are supposed to mingle and one of your participants shouts out that the local alehouse is a house of worship you are looking at the problem with the ChainLink Forum.

We need more than ‘hall monitors‘ we need an honest and frank discussion about the inability to receive a permanent inoculation from bad behavior just because you are a member of a group that has suffered persecution or injustice in the past. The fact is there are people all over the world who behave badly regardless of who they are or where they come from. The very worst thing about the ChainLink Forum is the assumption that cyclists are victims. This is the very same lie told to young black men on the streets of our city. They believe it because it releases them from a sense of responsibility for the things they have done or will do. That is madness!

Because you are Jewish does not mean that you get a ‘get out of jail free card‘ when in comes to the utterance of slurs. That is a point beyond debate. And in fact if you are willing to debate it then the problems of the ChainLink Forum can never have resolution. The forum has taken on the very characteristics of behavior of America in the 1920s when the KKK thought it meaningful to run rich Jews out of Atlanta. I do not subscribe to the Hollywood version of Nazis. Neither do I subscribe to the Hollywood version of Klansmen. And of course if want to see a scourge on Black America far greater than the one which led to the formation of the NAACP look no further than Chicago or Detroit or Gary in past decades.

Now there is a temptation to try and rank atrocious behavior. You know the kind of thing that runs like this, ‘gangbangers are not as bad as the men who killed Emitt Till‘. That is madness!

That is of course a bit like the notion that when a pedestrian is struck and killed by a cyclist and someone complains about the death, we cyclists are likely to retort that only three people in recent memory have died that way. But that there are hundreds of pedestrians killed each year by automobiles.

Really!? That is our defense? That is madness!

We Need A Zero Tolerance Policy

A religious awakening which does not awaken the sleeper to love has roused him in vain.
Jessamyn West

A broken bone can heal, but the wound a word opens can fester forever.
Jessamyn West

There are two barriers that often prevent communication between the young and their elders. The first is middle-aged forgetfulness of the fact that they themselves are no longer young. The second is youthful ignorance of the fact that the middle aged are still alive.
Jessamyn West

I’ve done more harm by the falseness of trying to please than by the honesty of trying to hurt.
Jessamyn West

I know that Mayor de Blasio is serious about ‘Vision Zero‘ policy goal. I also know that it ain’t gonna happen. But that is no reason to fail to make an effort.

We all know when behavior is hurtful to others. We get that tiny gnawing in the pit of our stomach and we have the urge to look over at the one person in the room who probably feels uncomfortable with it all. When we turn our heads often enough we then become ‘inured to it all‘ and that should be a signal certain that we are on a very slippery slope.

If we cannot do this then why all the blather about ‘safety‘ and the other lies we tell ourselves. Would it not be better to simply sit quietly and watch the world spiral out of control rather than to add one iota of hypocrisy to it?