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Rick Barry

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I have been a subscriber/member of numerous orchid-related forums on the internet since the days of the OLD and progressing to my recent memberships in the SOF, Slippertalk and The Orchid Board. It seems that whenever a thread becomes sufficiently heated there are those whose first inclination is to stifle the discussion. I suppose such an impulse is based upon the belief that it is best not to air one’s dirty laundry in public. I find this reaction disturbing on several levels.

Like most of us, I have followed the PK controversy from its discovery to the current revelations regarding the misidentified flasks sold by a Peruvian lab. It seems to me that the whole process has been tainted with greed, hypocrisy, egotism and perhaps even fraud. This is a story that truly needs to get out, since all orchid growers are (at least indirectly) implicated, and I think it demands a little soul searching on our part. It is unlikely that we will hear about it in the mainstream media. How can any orchid grower in good conscience attempt to silence those who wish to speak out on such an issue?

The concept of a truly free and open forum being moderated by anyone seems to be a contradiction in terms. The only way around such an obstacle is by being completely transparent in the operation of the forum. That means never leaving even the impression that something is going on behind the scenes. It is only through complete transparency that an open, impartial forum can remove the lingering doubts about truly free speech on any moderated forum. Sow the seeds of doubt and you lose the credibility that is essential to an open forum. You can’t close a thread and then after the fact claim it was really intended as only a temporary ‘time out’. Without the objections of the members it is hard to believe that it would have been anything but permanent. Such actions on the part of a moderator naturally lead one to speculate whether other posts or threads have previously been closed or even edited.

The claim might be made that moderators exist not just to guard against profanity and the intrusion of the pornsters, but also against the perpetuation of lies, half-truths and other deceptions. I think that is taking one’s responsibilities too far. The mainstream media, as well as the internet, is full of such drivel, and it remains the responsibility of the public to separate fact from fiction. Most of us accept such a responsibility in the name of free speech and in the belief that censorship is sister to repression.

There seems to be some lingering antagonism between the moderators of Slippertalk and those of the Slipper Orchid Forum. I don’t know the nature of this antagonism, but I suspect it is related to censorship or the lack of transparency on the part of one or the other. Perhaps it is because persons un-named have applied pressure upon the operators of the forums. I would like to know the details, because I don’t wish to associate myself with the backroom machinations of the insincere.

Regards,
Rick
 

kentuckiense

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I think this is being blown entirely out of proportion. I'm quite sure Blake acted out of his own agency and closed that thread because he thought it was approaching "mud slinging." He explained his reasoning and hey, I disagreed with him too. However, we(moderators) are not closing threads because someone in the orchid illuminati or whatever is telling us to. I'd challenge anyone to tell Blake what to do and still get their way. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's the first thread I've seen a moderator close. Maybe he was frustrated at the back-and-forth insinuations and got fed up, I don't know. What I DO know is that Blake has nothing to hide. In the end, our Admin Heather said that Blake shouldn't have closed the thread and then reopened it herself. Also, Heather didn't claim that is was intended to be a time out. She said to think of it as that in the hopes of calming a few people down. What's the big deal? No one is telling us or requesting that we need to close certain threads and that's the bottom line (and if they did, they'd be told to buzz off). Additionally, no member of the moderation or administration staff is trying to "stifle discussion" by closing threads. Also, moderators do not edit the content of posts (unless it is to fix a link or an image). Look at the bottom of posts and see if any say "Edited by [moderator]" or whatever. Unless there's an image that needed fixing, you won't find any. I challenge anyone to find a more open and transparent orchid forum than Slippertalk.

Edit: If there were "backroom machinations of the insincere," I wouldn't want to post here either.
 

Heather

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I will add that this forum began when several of us who were part of the moderating team at SOF became fed up with the over-controlling nature of the owner and administrator of that forum. Over-editing and deletion of posts without notifying the member who posted them, viewing people's private messages, banning people for no logical reason, and removing messaging priveledges of vendors who were not sponsors of the forum were just a few of the reasons we left and started Slippertalk.

We simply don't believe in those things here, we choose not to stifle our member's discussions.
 

bwester

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Look, in SOF I had my posts deleted and even re-written at times by the admin. I understand completely how wrong that is. I did nothing even remotely similar to that. I merely paused that thread until an admin could evaluate it. I deleted or modified NOTHING!!!!!! It was all still there, just paused because no admins were around at the time. We are not the secret orchid police from east germany or part of any sort of orchid conspiracy. GET OVER IT AND MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIVES!!!!!
 

Ron-NY

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I was disappointed, disillusioned and angered when I discovered that the thread was closed but I am pleased how it was eventually handled. Blake made a decision whether it was right or wrong I am not hear to judge that. I am just glad that the final outcome was a decision to reopen it. I, like many, have followed the "PK saga" since the beginning and the thread gave me some more insight into the saga.

This is an exciting time for Phrag growers. We will see a whole new line of breeding arise over the next few years. I am as excited to see the Arias crosses as I am to see the Manrique et al crosses.
 
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PHRAG

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Let me tell you all that I have deleted a thread. It was called "FREE advice" and it was started by me. Before you all start screaming censorship, let me tell you that I deleted it because I feel that it was being misinterpreted. I am calling a do-over. I think we have had enough talk of censorship around here. We get it. You don't want your threads locked. If you still have a problem with the situation, email me privately about it. administrator@slippertalk.com

Otherwise, DO NOT start another thread about this stuff. Three threads discussing it is enough, don't you think?

We try to do the best job we can keeping this forum user friendly, uncluttered with ads, troll-free and we do all of this for free because we believe that this forum is unique. If you truly believe that there is a threat of censorship on this board, I feel sorry for you. You don't realize just how good you have it here. Try going to the SOF and talking about a vendor who doesn't sponsor that board and see what happens. Try selling a plant at Orchid Source and see what happens. Ask Heather what being "Disneyed" means. :)

One of you questioned why a forum that supports free speech even needs a moderator. The reason we need moderators is because every day, EVERY DAY, there are spammers who attempt to join this forum and tell you how you can refinance your mortgage and make your penis harder, longer. Now, if you want this information, I can give you the email address of a hacker who would love to talk to you. :) But most of you will never have to worry about this nonsense because we take care of it before it even affects you.

Just promise me that you will think before you type. I am probably the last person who should be saying this, as sometimes my temper overtakes my common sense. But really, be careful how much you throw around terms like fraud and call something illegal. Unless you have proof, you have no right to accuse someone of wrongdoing and doing so could be considered libel. Lawyers are expensive.

So can we all agree that the drama is over? Can we continue talking about plants, and not about censorship which doesn’t exist here? I assure you, nobody is working “behind the scenes” to silence anyone. Don’t you think if we wanted to silence someone, you would notice that they are no longer registered? This is all nonsense, and it is starting to get old already. Let’s get back to the information, and leave the soap opera to daytime T.V.
 

ohio-guy

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PHRAG said:
........ tell you how you can refinance your mortgage and make your penis harder, longer......

Wow....a refinance that can make a guy harder longer....I bet the interest rate is over 10%!


Just trying to inject a bit of levity.....but seriously, I think the moderators here do a great job, and I for one want to thank you all for giving your time and expertise to make this forum a fun and informative place to visit.
 

Heather

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ohio-guy said:
Wow....a refinance that can make a guy harder longer....I bet the interest rate is over 10%!
Oh, um, I think you misunderstood. Those are two different offers. :)

ohio-guy said:
Just trying to inject a bit of levity.....but seriously, I think the moderators here do a great job, and I for one want to thank you all for giving your time and expertise to make this forum a fun and informative place to visit.
Thank you!
 
E

Eric Muehlbauer

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I agree....thank you to everyone who is making this list available to us. I for one thought the original exchange was actually very civil, compared to what I am used to on other forums, and I think that the open discussion of how the issue was handled was not only informative, but genuinely useful in allowing the rest of us to see what is really involved in running a forum like this. Believe me...on the other slipper forum, none of this would have seen the light of day, and it would be awhile before anyone noticed that some regular posters had "gone missing". This place is a breath of fresh air to me....and I think that, overall, despite having the freedom here to say what we want, when we want, without having to have our messages witheld for inspection before posting or our ability to make PM's limited, we have possibly the most polite and well mannered Orchid Forum (or any other forum, for that matter) that I have seen on the 'net. Again, thanks to the admins and moderators for a fantastic job, and to all the other members for making this such a great place to be! Take care, Eric
 

Rick

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Also Mercury has been in retrograde the last few weeks and doesn't return to normal until the first part of March.

Communications can get really screwed up during these times.

This one really seems to be bringing out the aggressiveness in folks.:evil:
 

Heather

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Rick said:
Also Mercury has been in retrograde the last few weeks and doesn't return to normal until the first part of March.

Communications can get really screwed up during these times.

This one really seems to be bringing out the aggressiveness in folks.:evil:
That would explain a lot in my life right now!

Anyway, thanks to all of you - we would not have this forum without all of our members. Eric, thank you for your nice comments. :)
 
J

johnndc

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Yes, well, be thankful you're moderating an orchid forum. Imagine what it's like moderating a large US politics discussion open to anyone :) It can be thankless, at times, moderating this open forums. It's not as easy at it looks, and free speech isn't as easy a thing to guarantee if you simply let the trolls, as we affectionately call them on political forums, ruin every discussion. Not sure that compares to running an orchid forum, but still, sometimes people don't fully appreciate that unbridled free speech in online forums can often degenerate into a never-ending war.
 
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PHRAG

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johnndc said:
Not sure that compares to running an orchid forum, but still, sometimes people don't fully appreciate that unbridled free speech in online forums can often degenerate into a never-ending war.

I don't agree with this at all. I mean, where do you get the facts to support this idea?





:evil: Just kidding.
 

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