User:GreenReaper/Thoughts on privacy

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A quote by someone regarding someone else, and my reply:

I'm sorry, but when you list who is banned from what Muck, you have already made the leap into Encyclopedia Dramatica's (ED) territory. Yeah, his behavior is not acceptable anywhere. That does not mean that it needs to be documented and "remembered". IMHO that sort of "documentation" is hurting fandom, not helping it.

ED has the objective of parody and satire - "poking fun at everything and everyone on the internet". We're trying to record the truth as it relates to furry fandom. We're not trying to promote a sensational viewpoint, though we may well describe those of others. Instead, we something that might be written by the "average fur" who's knowledgeable in that particular topic, and who can accurately represent the opinions or views of those involved. For some (very few) people, that view is generally negative, and it is reflected when you read the articles about them, because a lot of the things they've done are considered bad by others.

If the actions of people are not documented, then they may be forgotten without being forgiven. After a certain point, I don't consider this to be a good thing. I think it is right to have something there for others to go to and say "hey, there's a pattern here," - at least it helps them know they're probably not the ones at fault. The fandom is very trusting and compassionate, always willing to give people a second and third chance - and there are those who take advantage of that.

Bear in mind that our ultimate goal is to serve our community, the furry fandom, and not that individual. If someone had been banned from Tapestries once, that might be something to overlook. But if they'd been banned several times, and then gone to other MUCKs to do the same thing, then that's worth noting for the time they come to your MUCK. If they have subsequently changed their actions, that's worth noting, too. This mirrors real life, where people are usually given several warnings off the record before they do something worth noting, and are then treated increasingly harshly based on that record, but can redeem themselves over time.

I am not convinced that removing records of such undesired actions helps the person concerned from doing them again, because I've not seen this actually happen in practice. Instead, they look on such removals as either a vindication of their actions or as proof that they can get away with anything. It is up to the person concerned to change the record - by doing better things. And perhaps knowing their actions are "on the record" will help with that. This might not be a universal rule, but I know at least one example of it working, and it makes more sense to me than the opposite - that people who can mostly escape a bad reputation by just walking a little way away will instead choose to fix the root cause: their own actions.

Of course, if you accept this, then once such situations are "solved" there is a good argument is less need to remember all the minute details. Usually that means the person concerned has at least tacitly accepted the things that they've done, so it doesn't need strict proof and referencing (long lists of references usually come about because people claim that we're lying, and so create a demand for absolute proof). In the example I have in mind, this also happened, and it is the sort of solution that I would hope to see in the future for this case. But I don't see that happening unless change comes from his side.

Until that happens, I think the fandom should be aware of the problem, especially where it impinges on RL. After all, if you were running next year's FC - or another convention which he wanted to attend that didn't have the benefit of past experience - wouldn't you want to know his history, and maybe check to see if there'd been any improvement before letting him in?