#1 2010-11-01 17:41:11

Breaking Wareham's logjam has to start somewhere.

Over coming weeks, all new registrants to this site will have to provide their real names and a day time phone number for verification.

Existing user names will have to conform to this requirement as well.

Abandoning the site's name and starting from scratch is the easiest option but I haven't yet decided.

Your feedback is welcome.

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#2 2010-11-01 17:48:27

What prompts this, Bill?

Whatever you decide is cool with me.

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#3 2010-11-01 17:50:08

The first quote that comes to mind is: "One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

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#4 2010-11-01 23:10:03

Many reasons I will not conform to that one.  If it is truly going to be a requirement, I will have to bow out of this one.

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#5 2010-11-01 23:43:46

Bill, you certainly have every right to modify access to this site. In all due respect you've maintained the integrity of this site while it has become bigger than any single person. Today, it is an important part of the conscience and expression of our community at both its highest and its lowest. On account of this it has become a tremendous success.
IMHO this site developed and grew because it is a haven shielding many from the tyranny of those who perceive themselves to be the majority and wielded that illusion upon the weakest (especially those they perceived least able to fight back). As we all know, life in its truest sense is so fragile. Secure anonymity helped protect many in expressing their opinions here. Perhaps you have other venues to help us continue to afford this.
Please consider those who have utilized such a shield of anonymity as expressed by the Electronic Freedom Foundation: http://www.eff.org/issues/anonymity . In our history many have relied on this shield for positive purposes including Ben Franklin: http://www.pbs.org/benfranklin/l3_wit_name.html and Publius, the writers of the Federalist Papers forming the underlayment for our US Constitution: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalist_Papers .
In any event, thank you Bill for providing the basis so that a democratic dialogue could begin taking place in our community again.

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#6 2010-11-02 00:41:42

wag the dog wrote:

Bill, you certainly have every right to modify access to this site. In all due respect you've maintained the integrity of this site while it has become bigger than any single person. Today, it is an important part of the conscience and expression of our community at both its highest and its lowest. On account of this it has become a tremendous success.

Really? By what measure?  I'll come back to that. A few other thoughts first.

Nothing's carved in stone. This is your decision as much as mine, so tell me what you think.

This site may look local but it's hosted offshore, outside US jurisdiction. Daily backups are copied to multiple locations. Their passwords and encryption keys are between my ears, written down nowhere.

All right then, the "tremendous success" you mentioned?

Somehow, that's not how I'd describe watching the three candidates this site put in office betray every word they posted here the moment they assumed office. Want specifics? Start re-reading.

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#7 2010-11-02 00:58:33

This is going to be a healthy,on-going, conversation.

Cindy was right to say what she did, and Bill W. showed both wisdom and humility in his response.

I've used this Robert Burns rhyme before, but I'll try it once more:

     If only our lord
     The gift would give us ,   
     To see ourselves
     As others see us.

Like it or not, we are perceived as "The Hate Site"....and we keep doing things that lend credulity to that charge.

I would also have to add that although I have always quoted the comedian who said,"God's greatest gift is a dirty mind", that there has been stuff said on this site that has made this raunchy octogenarian cringe. 

Do we want to "grow" this site?  I hope I heard a loud, "Yes!"

But we won't grow in ways that can lead us to a better place until we "clean up our act."

Anonymity makes it too easy for us to go "over the top",  and if you are trying to drive women away from this site, there's probably no better way than to say the word whose initials are d.b.. Hell, that was a no-no 30 years ago!

Think of this ,too.  Anonymity makes it too easy for a (d.b.) mole to come onto the site  to make us look bad.
Maybe there's a way Bill can be assured that you are not a Paul or Paula Shooter and still use a "cover". I,for one, would approve of a policy that assured Bill W that you were a known  entity, but because you are a cop/whatever, you've got to be "Annie Mouse".

What it comes down to is, is this a bar room brawl, or are we trying to get Wareham to a better place?

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#8 2010-11-02 01:19:50

There is a lot to be said.  It should be said with integrity and honesty and that requires ownership of own's opinion with their identification.  This might notch the dialouge up and increase particiption in getting things solved as a cummunity

Last edited by Davidmeister (2010-11-02 02:11:26)

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#9 2010-11-02 11:04:13

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Last edited by Hamatron5000 (2010-11-02 11:21:50)

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#10 2010-11-02 12:24:25

I agree with Dick.

Anonymity is very important for some people, mostly employees of the Town, especially cops.

If Bill knows who they are, he can hold them responsible, as the rest of us, of cleaning up and policing this site.

The people who use the language on this site don't do it in public or in social settings. Let's all welcome back women who have been offended, and keep our remarks somewhat polite. If a word needs to be expressed that is totally offensive, but necessary to prove your point, use the ##****signs and we'll all chuckle and know what you mean.

I don't think Bill wants to be the "word" police on this site. Let's help him out by doing what we always do...watching each others' backs and policing ourselves.

In the meantime, how about getting a couple of good candidates together for Selectman...

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#11 2010-11-02 13:04:18

Is this new change being imposed by others ?


Regardless, where does one need to identify one's self ?
At registration or in the forum for all to see ?

Lastly, as long as registrants identify themselves with daytime numbers for confirmation, can anyone still remain anonymous to fellow bloggers, if desired ?

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#12 2010-11-02 13:16:33

GREAT story about Dick Wheeler on the Wareham Week site.

Now he saves endangered birds!!

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#13 2010-11-02 13:35:03

I would like this site to continue. It may be offensive at times, and if that could be changed that would be great, but the info it give me is very important to me.

I will do as Bill asks if it is absolutely needed but ask that those in danger be allowed concealment.

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#14 2010-11-02 19:36:22

Whatever you decide Bill.  I lost my job because of posting here, but with each word I wrote, I knew that could be a consequence.  I survived.  However, I know town employees that blog on this site and could suffer if their names were made public.  Also, their blogs have been very informative.  It's in your hands, Bill.  Just tell us what to do.

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#15 2010-11-03 15:12:25

I spoke with Bill yesterday.

I know...impossible...he doesn't speak to anyone.

His concerns are mine and many others on this site. This site, meaning the people who visit and post here, has become a very powerful force, politically, and has propelled candidates into office.

It has become apparent that the candidates for office post here often while they are seeking support of the electorate, as themselves or under assumed names, but then disappear after they have been accepted, are being supported, or have been elected.

It's like the site is OK to get your name and information out, but then it becomes the plague after you are done using it.

Bill feels, as do I and many others, that if you are a candidate for office of any kind in Wareham, post under your real name.

If you disappear later, or forget who "took you to the dance", so be it.

I pointed out yesterday that we need to police ourselves and be careful of your postings in order not to drive good people from this site. It won't be hard. If you want to talk about someone, just simply say that you think that person is a ***&&&%%, and a %%%###@@@.

We'll get it.

I can't speak for Bill,  but I do know that he is taking everyone's opinions into consideration and he is being very deliberate with his decisions.

I can state emphatically, that NO Police Officer will EVER be outed on this site. No matter what they call themselves. NO member of the military will EVER be outed, and no Town employees, that make themselves known to Bill and express their concerns of losing their jobs, will EVER be outed on this site.

However, as administrators, we are going to be careful of posts, and if it gets out of control, there is nothing saying someone can't be banned from here.

Bottom line....let's make each other proud.

If Bill is p%%%** about me writing this, I am sure I will hear about it!

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#16 2010-11-03 16:10:03

Dick Wheeler – You had a great post there @ 00:58.33. You said: “ Like it or not, we are perceived as "The Hate Site"....and we keep doing things that lend credulity to that charge.” 
When you have screen names like BoBo The Brainless, ihatebrenda, ihateliz, IHATESLAGER and I’m sure a lot more, it’s lends itself to a “Hate Site.” Not to mention some of the language used here and the tearing apart of some people.  I love visiting this site for a number of reasons.  There are many very intelligent people here with good ideas and I love to listen to both sides.  And there are others that really have nothing to add but crap.  (Who knows, I may be one of them.)
You also had a couple of other good quotes: “But we won't grow in ways that can lead us to a better place until we "clean up our act."
“Anonymity makes it too easy for us to go "over the top."

I really believe by using your true name that it would add legitimacy to this site.

I also like what Davidmeister said that “It should be said with integrity and honesty and that requires ownership of own's opinion with their identification.  This might notch the dialouge up and increase particiption in getting things solved as a community.”

On one of my many trips to the beach this summer I was talking to another couple who mentioned this site.  They told me that they have “parental control” software on their home computer so their children can’t access this site.  They felt there was more bulling here than what goes on at school.

Bill, I’m in favor of the change.  We can all have an opinion without fear of loosing our jobs if we a civil.  There is such a thing a constructive criticism.  And if this site starts off fresh, no one will know what other people previously posted under an alias.

Just my 2 cents. Take it for what it’s worth as that is the way I was brought up.  If you can’t say it to someone’s face, then don’t say it at all.

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#17 2010-11-03 16:38:56

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Last edited by Hamatron5000 (2010-11-03 16:40:02)

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#18 2010-11-03 17:10:06

Sticks and stones may break my bones but language is not the issue.

Calling Jane Donahue a lying, thieving, flaming asshole, for instance, is perfectly acceptable, accurate even, as long as you back it up. There are no bad words; some are simply better suited to the description at hand.

If you are easily offended, you do not belong on this site. We are, after all, discussing lying, thieving, flaming assholes. And yes, I am available for children's parties.

Far more troubling is the relentless, pointless and insufferable distraction methodically orchestrated by our public servants, swallowed whole and excreted here day in and day out. That will stop.

Last edited by billw (2010-11-03 17:23:11)

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#19 2010-11-03 17:47:31

billw wrote:

Sticks and stones may break my bones but language is not the issue.

If you are easily offended, you do not belong on this site..

Thanks Bill..because "popular" or not..that's how I feel about it. Maybe growing up listening to George Carlin, Cheech & Chong and Richard Pryor had something to do with that. To quote Carlin.."there are no bad words. There are bad people...bad intentions...and (then there are) words."

..on the "requirement" of having to give your name and number now. Hey, whatever...it's your call. I know you know my name and number, so I guess I'm covered. I would think that having someones IP address might be "identification" enough..so that if anything "illegal" was to be posted..and possibly cause "problems" for the site administrator(s)..then the "offending" computer could be identified. But again..your site, your call.


GO TO TOWN MEETING


TBW
P-SPAN

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#20 2010-11-03 21:57:41

One thing I find admirable about this site is that you can leave your opinion without retribution.  Accusations are backed up with proof.  The sarcasm and witty comments are taken at face value.  I do not have to fear that if I give my opinion that I will be vilified.  I find it quite ironic that Andrea Smith is up in arms about her picture being taken at a  public forum, but does not find anything wrong with being associated with a website that continually bashes anyone who may publicly disagree with their viewpoint.

With that said, I would fear for any town employee, police officer, military member who can be harrased/vilified/degraded/put in danger, that would have to identify themselves.  Keeping a check and balances, giving your name and a number to verify does not seem too much to ask to be a part of this website as long as they are allowed to remain anonymous to the readers.  It appears that the real issue here is not so much the language or identity as much as it is that public officials will use this website as a platform/spring board to launch their political careers and then abandon the same people they used to get into office.

Two scenarios could rectify this problem:

1.  Everyone signing up has to provide a name and number to verify identity to the adminstrators of this website and still be allowed to use a non-identifying screen name.

2.  If an elected official is participating on this website they have to use their "real" name. 

Either way I'm sure everyone can come to an agreement that is beneficial for everyone.

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#21 2010-11-03 22:19:17

Well said, Bosoxx :)

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#22 2010-11-03 22:37:13

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Last edited by Hamatron5000 (2010-11-03 22:43:15)

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#23 2010-11-04 17:37:22

Me again,weighing in on the issue of "language."

Bill says it ("language") is not "the issue" and  I take a somewhat different view, and that is that it is "an issue." And the difference is more than shading or nuance.

I can't prove this with statistics, but I know for a fact that many  people will not visit the site because of what they consider to be rude and actually beyond rude behavior.  Now having been around for a few (OK more than a few) years, I am certainly aware that beauty is in the eye of  the beholder but if one purpose is to persuade people to accept a particular view-and I do believe that is the case sometimes-then why not modify the approach to attract more readership?   What one person writes and feels strongly about may be very troubling to someone else and therein lies a if not the problem.

As I see it, most of the people who come here already  have a view, and that is fine, I have no problem with that.  But if delivered in a reasonable and civil way and backed with facts, then people, particularity those who currently won't come near the site, will listen, well OK hopefully listen.

There is a lot of good stuff on this site, thoughtful and often delivered with enough humor and panache to make one pause and think.  Why not try to double the audience? And if it takes a different approach, well then it takes a different approach.

Look, my last Sunday afternoon ice-cream social was more years  ago then I care to either remember or care to comment on.  In preaching to the choir, most of us are already "there," try to get others to come to at least listen.  That is when political influence either comes or increases, more people at the table, and to me that is both good-Sunday afternoon revisited-and necessary like in "throw-the-rascals-out (if that is the intent).

As I said of this to-long message, language and its use, particularly in a political arena, is "an" issue.

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#24 2010-11-04 20:23:41

Dick Paulsen wrote:

As I said of this to-long message, language and its use, particularly in a political arena, is "an" issue.

I agree.

Coarse Language

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#25 2010-11-05 08:49:56

Well, I tried to stay away from this topic but my heart has overcome my brain.
I see Bill's point on "site usage". I may be totally wrong, but this site was made to bring the truth out as it relates to town activities and politics. Over a period of time, it has become a tit for tat with a person who shall not be named. Before I continue, I am just as guilty of arguing with the moron as anyone else.

It gives Bobo life and it suppresses the main purpose of this site, which is information you cannot find anywhere else.

Whether you use foul language (sentence enhancers according to sponge bob) isn't really the point. Being a southerner, it isn't part of our daily language, but I am warming up to it. I never knew f*ck could be a noun and a verb, but moving to Mass has taught me otherwise.

In the end, it' about the information.

Now, on to a special note for Dick Paulsen. Some time ago, I was told that one of the reasons I was not a good fit for a certain committee was that I was guilty by association. I also sat through several questions about blogging and how it was not viewed in a positive light. You can't have it both ways....

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