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Thread: PETITION to encourage message board identification

  1. #1
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    Default PETITION to encourage message board identification

    Below are some excerpts from the Wayland Town Crier "Terms of Use" relating to their message boards hosted by wickedlocal.com

    If you support the Town Crier enforcing these terms and requiring message board posters to login and post using their real name, please consider adding your endorsement to this thread.

    - Jeff Dieffenbach


    Content Submission Rules and Restrictions
    By submitting any content, you represent and warrant that: (i) you either own the content or have all necessary rights to use and submit it; (ii) all information you provide is true, accurate and complete, and does not violate these Terms of Use or the terms of any third party license; and, (iii) the content will not cause injury, embarrassment or harm to any person or entity.

    You agree not to submit any content in any forums, chats, emails or otherwise that:

    • is libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, or otherwise illegal;
    • is threatening, abusive or disruptive to other users (including without limitation repetitive, meaningless messages, personal attacks, content constituting spam, etc.)
    • abuses or discriminates on the basis of race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, age, region, disability, etc.
    • infringes any party’s intellectual property rights, including without limitation copyrights and trademarks;
    • impersonates another person or misquotes another person
    • violates any applicable law, or violates any party’s rights; or
    • offers or advertises any goods, or services or solicits any funds or consideration.

    ...

    Identity and Privacy
    You must use a consistent handle or account name for any submissions you make, and you may not submit content under another person’s name. If you are an elected official, you must submit content identifying yourself as such when posting about a political issue. “Sock puppets” are not permitted (i.e., using a fake or alternate identity to post content for a deceptive purpose, such as without limitation, praising a person or company without disclosing an underlying affiliation with that person or company).

    We reserve the right to include your real name on your internet postings if required through registration or otherwise provided to us, or when republishing your material in a printed edition of one of our publications.

  2. #2
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    Nov 2005
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    726

    Default Add my name: Kim Reichelt

    I think that much of the nastiness on the Town Crier boards could be avoided if only people were required to put their names to what they were writing. The Crier policy stops short of requiring a name, but even a consistent "handle" would be helpful, as it would prevent a single individual from posting many times in order to appear as though they are multiple people.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2005
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    84

    Default I'd like to sign-

    I found out that someone attributed a post to me on that blog by saying my initials. Thankfully someone else told me that this person did it so I could respond that it was not from me, but more importantly, I requested that people not try to assign a post to someone. It was a very creepy feeling seeing my initials and knowing I did not post!! I think everyone should have to give their names as we do here so that kind of thing doesn't happen.

  4. #4
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    Default Anonymity

    I am certainly in favor of eliminating all anonymous forums. They provde a means for cowards to fire pot shots at people who are running for office without fear of reprisal. I have stated that I will not respond to anonymous posts anywhere, yet the spiteful posts I read on the Crier's website are sometimes so hard to ignore.

    As for Tracy, I would say this. If you're signing this petition, please do so with an understanding that it goes beyond the Crier. I personally found your anonymous question during the call-in show to be offensive in its tone. I had stated at the beginning of that show that I was NOT running a campaign of anger, nor one based on a single issue, and I gave several reasons why. I had also just finished talking about my credentials and admitting that everyone on stage was well-educated and had a right to serve on the Committee. Your question attacked me on both points in a particularly mean-spirited way. You certainly have the right to disagree with me and/or my stand on issues, but the methodology used is not befitting of civil discourse. I and everyone deserve a simple modicum of respect and decency.

    I wonder if you would have felt so free to ask the only attacking question of the night if you had to identify yourself?

    In the end, I guess what I'm saying is that I was just as opposed to anonymity in that forum as I am on The Crier boards or anywhere else. The only difference on the show is that voices can potentially be identified, as is the case here.

    I can't figure out, BTW, how to fix the misspelling in my post's title. I recognize that the word is spelled wrong. [Ed note: fixed it for you! -Kim]
    Last edited by Administrator; 03-29-2008 at 08:38 PM. Reason: Misspelling

  5. #5
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    Dec 2005
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    Default

    Mr. Baron- First of all I disagree, this absolutely does not go beyond the Crier. It is specific to the Crier as written by Mr. Dieffenbach. Any of us may have a differing opinion under any variety of different circumstances.

    That said, I offered my name when I called. I did not realize that it was anonymous. I even wondered whether I was supposed to give my street name as you do at Town Mtg! Now as to my question. You must not know my voice very well, because I asked two questions and don't know which question you are referring to! Please clarify which so I can understand how it is that you felt "attacked". I feel quite free to ask questions--name or no name, if you knew me, you'd know that.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Well, we'll agree to disagree. Anonymous posts, questions etc. are for cowards. I just can't be convinced otherwise. If you can say it, you should own up to it.

    As to the phone standards, we in the studio were not privvy to what they were asking you on the phone. Good that you were willing to identify yourself, shame on WayCam for not insisting upon it for all callers.

    As to your question, I can't recall the specifics words, but if you watch the tape, I had just finished explaining my credentials after the moderator had asked his question in regards to this subject. You were the next caller and you said something like "Mr. Baron, isn't it true you are just running a campaign based on anger? You haven't gone to any school committee meetings and you're not really qualified to serve on the board." The tone of your question was nasty and accusatory. It belittles the reality that any person in this town is entitled to and should be encouraged to serve the town on a volunteer basis. It shows you weren't listening to anything I said as I had started the night by addressing this "anger" accusation up front, and I had just gotten through with the deep set of qualifications I believe I have both educationally and professionally to serve. If you asked another question, it wasn't as inflammatory and I don't remember it. Your rude question is the one I remember most.

    In the end, Tracy, your tone and demeanor lacks the civility I would hope for when addressing a neighbor and someone who, with good intentions, would like to serve the town. If you don't want me to serve, don't vote for me. Don't attack me either. It serves no purpose.

    One last note, you mention that you feel free to ask questions, name or not, and I'd know that if I knew you. Never once have you called me, e-mailed me or sought me out to express your concerns or ask questions about my candidacy. You have, however, invested a fair amount of time insulting me and demeaning my camapaign at frequent intervals. I generally take the time to get to know people whose energy is focused in a more positive fashion. I also believe that it's never too late to make amends. I'm freely available to contact at home in many different ways. If you'd like to do that, go ahead. If not, I'm done addressing the issue. I've said my peace on this issue and it is my hope you understand the effect of what negative tone has. If not, there is nothing more I'll say that will convince you.
    Last edited by Jeff Baron; 03-30-2008 at 07:46 AM. Reason: Misspelling

  7. #7
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    Wayland MA 463 Old Conn Path
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    Default Agree with petition to use real names that are consistent

    By using real names we not only add credibility and accountability we also add an important element of truth. Anything can be said anonymously and things said without identity can be misleading, off topic and just plain rude or hurtful.

    One other observation I have made is that anonymous posts tend to contain inaccurate information and sometimes link two or more issues that have nothing to do with each other to draw some sort of a proof or conclusion.

    Accountable postings never seem to do this.

    Because of this election season, I have chosen to publish a number of articles and posts in my name and in all cases, when responses came back with accountability, those responses were worth considering and perhaps worth a reply.

    It is my hope that the Crier will enforce a true log in system not unlike what we have on WaylandeNews. So I'm all for it.

  8. #8
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    Dec 2005
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    Default

    Mr. Baron,
    Thank you for clarifying the question.
    I believe what I said was "I am very concerned about your motives and qualifications. In your opinion would you be running were it not for the school closure occurring? And how many school committee meetings had you attended previously?". I can understand your sensitivity since what you heard: "Mr. Baron, isn't it true you are just running a campaign based on anger? You haven't gone to any school committee meetings and you're not really qualified to serve on the board." is quite different. Concern #1.

    My concern here is that if you were truly running for what I think to be comprehensive reasons (my opinion here for my one vote!) that you may have taken a year to get up to speed on ALL the sc process, issues, and challenges and then run on the ballot. Your choice to run as a write-in seemed hasty to me and I would have felt better served if you had been involved previously or took some time before running as a write-in. Concern #2.

    That said, you are right that everyone is new at some point, so all the more reason you may be questioned. I heard your opening statement, and though you are highly credentialed, I was not convinced of your motives and qualifications for SC. I understand your comment that "any person in this town is entitled to and should be encouraged to serve the town on a volunteer basis"--but I don't think that means people will not question you. That you felt "attacked" is alarming. I have to think that if you asked other candidates, you are not the only one who has had to back up statements made, even more than twice! Concern #3.

    Your statement, "Well, we'll agree to disagree. Anonymous posts, questions etc. are for cowards. I just can't be convinced otherwise. If you can say it, you should own up to it." also confuses me. I believe we agreed on this point and I'm not sure where you find that we must agree to disagree! In fact I responded to this post with my support of this point for the Crier. Again, I don't know about every medium, but in this case, I was 2nd to reply "on board"! Concern #3-1/2.

    You say,"If you asked another question, it wasn't as inflammatory and I don't remember it". I did ask another question I'm sorry you don't remember it because I don't feel that you answered the second part. My question was regarding your statement that you "would be willing to consider many possibilities in the future like vaired funding modalities, other town educational models and even pyramid or menu type overrides". The second part of my question asked how you think this could benefit the Wayland Schools? I'll respectfully ask here, since I know that others are interested, even though I know you said you were "done". Either way is fine.

    I know we differ on issues, but I do respect your efforts in getting involved.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Everyone and anyone who knows me calls me Jeff. I don't need the formality. Not a criticism, just a suggestion that I am not that formal.

    Closing the book on your question, putting the wording aside, the tone of the question was accusatory and nasty. Everyone in the studio appeared to recognize this. That is what I'm referring to. That is what I was offended by. That is what made it an "attack" vs. a question. A feeling of attack is not alarming. It is a feeling. I question those that make people feel under attack, whomever they might be, and am concerned as to what their motives might be for creating a hostile environment.

    If I had been planning this for a year, I would not have had to run as a write-in. I would have been on the ballot. Again, the very nature of a write-in candidate is one who is moved to act after the deadline. The hasty and damaging decision process in regards to the elementary school decision moved me to act, plain and simple. My overall concern for the schools, my understanding of the issues at an intelligble level, and my desire to serve is what defined my action as a campaign and not less.

    My commentary on anonymity is clear -- we should eliminate it from all forums in regards to town politics. It is cowardly, it allows for too much freedom to attack and not respect, and it is not befitting of a community trying to work together. It sounded like you were limiting your support of this concept to the Crier boards. I am being much more comprehensive in my support of naming names, so to speak.

    I had very little time to respond to telephone questions on the show (not my decision, that of the show's producer and moderator). The answer is that I think all funding options that are currently not being used could benefit our schools in the sense that overrides (as currently constructed) are clearly not a palatable answer to many of our residents. They are polarizing, they outprice many people in the town, and they force people to make decisions at the risk of alienating themselves from friends and neighbors. Our tax base is already very high, and this can and is a burden for more people in our town. My end goal is probably the same as yours -- the best schools we can have run in a fiscally responsible fashion. Any new idea that allows us to achieve this goal is, at a minimum, worth full and complete investigation.

    Thanks you for your final comment. That type of sentiment is what I would hope for and expect in a community like Wayland. I never said people have to agree with each other, simply conduct their discourse with an air of respect and civility. Let's try to keep it that was going forward.

    I might suggest we take this conversation offline at this point, as we're hogging up a blog that was supposed to be about anonymity. I am easily reachable offline.

  10. #10
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    Default

    I found a number of the questions of a similar nature to Tracy's. I really think the incumbents got the worse end of any hostilities. The obvious example that comes immediately to mind is the one asking whether Barb had been to Happy Hollow to look at the windows (kind of similar to asking whether Jeff Baron had attended meetings prior to the Loker issue, although I suspect the caller was surprised to learn that Barb had made several visits there)

    I was surprised that the moderator did not ask people to identify themselves, though I think for the most part the questions, even if intended to be a little hostile, were actually reasonable questions to ask.

    The one I did not think was reasonable was the one where the caller tried to put the incumbents on the spot by asking about Chapter 71 Section 68. Whether or not it was, it really looked like a setup. Jeff, it might have been sporting to have told the other candidates about that one!

    However, I found that whole question particularly amusing because you mentioned how attended private school because you lived in Natick because you weren't as lucky to have as good schools as we do here in Wayland! And so the caller might opt to send their child to a school in Natick because the bus ride might be a little shorter?! That was pretty silly, and I sincerely hope no one will be tempted to do that... mostly because we are a community here, whether at Loker or at Happy Hollow or at Claypit, and it benefits us to work (and play and learn) together.
    Last edited by Administrator; 03-30-2008 at 03:31 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default

    The interpretation of the questions, I guess, is in the eye of the beholder. I can't and won't tell you how to feel about them. I will say that none of the other questions, for me or, as it seemed, for others, was nearly as hostile as the one I mentioned. That is my opinion. I guess I agree that they all seemed reasonable, even Tracy's if asked without such a negative tone.

    Kim, Section 71-68 is something I didn't know about either until a resident e-mailed me and asked me about it. I took the time to look it up and even went to the trouble of asking a lawyer friend of mine to be sure I was interpreting it correctly. How was I to know if anyone on the current SC knew or didn't know about it, was asked the same question already or not, etc? I brought the answer with me so I would be able to address it if it came up. I also have several other sheets with me with other information. Being prepared is part of the deal, and I don't think it is my job to make sure my opponents were prepared as well. In theory, it could have just as easily been me on the receiving end of a stumper.

    As to Natick schools, I attended elementary school in town and then went off to Nobles in 7th grade. The elementary schools in Natick have always had a reasonably good reputation. I can definitely see a world where parents on the ends of town might choose this option (really no different than choosing a private school option in the sense that you are choosing not to send your child to a Wayland school) over long bus rides or needs to drive their children. The busier the parent, the more plausible. Imagine two working parents who are now being asked to bus their kids across town to CH from Damon Farms at the height of traffic. Their option is to accept that, drive their children (which may be an impossibility since these parents must be at work too), or choose the transport/tuition-free model in 71-68.

    In the end, it is an example of data that was not taken into account in the decision. Too little time, too few facts. There is a host of additional data like this. No transportation costs figured in, no trafffic studies other than one commisioned by a parent, no utility studies, etc. The analytical methodology was non-existent.

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