Vote no to review Power (not too long)

Tom Freeland thf4@WATERVALLEY.NET
Sat Feb 22 17:39:37 EST 1997

Blues-L has been from the beginning an entirely unmoderated list,
with each poster deciding on their own what was appropriate to post.
Eric's proposal, which will all listowners *individually* to decide
that a post is inflammatory and exclude further posts by the REVIEW
command, departs fundamentally from that founding tradition of

The rule is clearly a content-based restriction on speech-- the
listowners propose that they be able to decide *based on language in
the post* to impose this punishment.

There is no meaningful check or control on the listowner power.
Examples from the last two weeks of posts that might or might not
"cross the line" have made clear that the *very* subjective
decisionmaking about REVIEW will produce inconsistent results,
in favor of posters the listowners may view tolerantly and disfavor
of newcomers or other outsiders.  Views about what is "out of line"
are so in the eye of the beholder that there have been heated
arguments about *that* this week.

This reform also will not remotely address the problem it purports to
address. As often as not, posts that start disruptions are not
entirely predictable, and usually the problem is the endless
follow-up or dissention after *one initial bit of flamebait.*  In
other words, stopping the poster of the flamebait won't help because
those follow-ups will come from other posters.  This was true of the
problems over Bonnie Raitt.  While the REVIEW power might have
stopped the gun control thread, the listowners have made clear that
they would have not used REVIEW in that instance.  Finally, the
central argument for this power-- folks leave blues-L during
flamewars-- is (as Eric has admitted in other contexts) fallacious,
because it assumes we know why people leave the list.

Please send NO votes on the listowner review power to:

Tom Freeland

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