I think we're in danger of having 'the censors' delete this thread, which would be a great shame! Shall we be a bit more careful what we say in future? We have already 'lost' one useful and perceptive contributor, and others may well be deterred from making thoughtful and insightful comments because of the way this thread is going.
We do not censor but we do have rules of behaviour in order to maintain civilised dialogue. There have been some exaggerated claims of censorship recently but in fact it was a case of some highly offensive personal attacks on other board members that initiated the actions that were taken. No-one has been banned as a result and anyone is able to post if they choose too. In the entire history of this board we have had only two temporary bans imposed on members who would not keep to our guidelines. One of these is now one of our most frequent and valued contributors. The moderators are the public face of a committee composed of a previously unrelated group of members. The moderators make some decisions on their own but major decisions are carried out by a democratic process. On occasion a thread is moved to the committee forun for further discussion and might be edited before returning it to the foru,m or it may be returned intact.
This thread is raising strong feelings but that does not mean we have to resort to attacking a viewpoint we may disagree with. Nor does it mean we have to swallow it. It is possible for any itelligent person to discuss different points of view and express their own feelings with out resorting to playground tactics, shouting and name-calling.
Fundamental conflict theory has a good maxim that makes civilised dialogue possible between the most opposite points of view: Always make a criticism with a recommendation
. In this way no-one is left dangling, they are given the information that you do not like what they say but it also gives them the means to reconsider their viewpoint. This can lead to change but importantly it allows a conversation to be continued. Once name calling started it becomes difficult to manage and firm action will generally follow. Many forums may have less controls but i personally give up on them them when you get swearing matches in every other thread.
We have tried to maintain a free and open community by designing our guidelines and keeping a check when things get close to the edge or go over the top. Serious attacks on any member by another will lead to almost immediate reaction. All society's have laws to maintain civilised behaviour and police to act when excesses are carried out outside those laws. In our micro-community the same theory is applied, many people can be easily intimidated and many glass researchers are quiet people with a serious reason for sharing their knowledge here. We have lost many of our contributors, mostly temporary, following personal attacks. Do we really want a forum where only the street-wise take part. I think not Leni and I am sure that if you review your concerns about censorship you might appreciate our efforts.
This thread has not produced any such extremes, yet it is certainly raising very strong passions. Passion is a part of collecting and inevitably a part of any serious subject here.
David has made some contentious remarks and I have asked him to review those. Perhaps David, you could use the word I instead of we for some of your generalisations as the views you express are clearly not taken on board by everyone and I have given examples of why even artists can choose not to sign.