Yes, ldsblogs.org (Mormon Archipelago) de-listed me from their portal

I keep getting inquiries, so I thought I’d answer them once and for all from a single place.

  • Is it true that ldsblogs.org removed you from their portal? Yes.
  • Did they at least contact you before they de-listed you? No. I heard about it from someone randomly.
  • Why did they do it? They said it was because I referenced/provided links to the View From the Foyer web site, which they said is not the type of web site they want promoted from their portal.
  • Didn’t Dave’s Mormon Inquiry also post links to the Foyer? Yes, but they said he provided the appropriate context to make it appropriate for their taste.
  • Why did you reference “View from the Foyer”? Why not? I thought it was interesting that their site was being shut down with minimal notice by the owner (less than 24 hours notice). For many LDS folks on the Internet, this site (which I believe pre-dates the bloggernacle) has been a very important part of Internet Mormonism. I thought, at a minimum, that it was a newsworthy event for those who track Mormonism on the web. In addition, I have many close friends who post there, whom I admire and respect.
  • Are you angry at ldsblogs.org? No. I’m not angry. Philosophically, I totally believe that moderation is necessary and important on the Internet. But I am sad. I’m sad that I considered many of these guys friends, and none of them felt it important enough to contact me before they did this. I had to find out from someone randomly on the Internet. I’m also sad because I honestly believe that I am trying to do good on the Internet (reactivating many, etc.), and it feels unfortunate to me that people can’t be more comfortable with different approaches, and have more trust in the average LDS person to make decisions for themselves as to what sites they should visit, and what sites they shouldn’t. I guess I do respectfully disagree with their rationalization.
  • Who are the guys behind ldsblogs.org? I don’t know all of them for sure, but the ones I know about are: Geoff J, J. Stapley, Roasted Tomatoes, Rusty Clifton, Ronan, and John Fowles.
  • Who is responsible for de-listing your site? Apparently Geoff J was uncomfortable with my post and complained, and J. Stapley pulled the trigger.
  • Aren’t they just jealous that your blog is bigger than all of their original blogs? I have no idea if this is even true–let alone if it is a motivating factor. I find it hard to believe that they would be motivated by something as petty as jealousy. I have publicly criticized them 2 or 3 times, and I know that probably doesn’t help things. I also know that my approach is quite different than a few of them–I guess I tend to moderate a bit less than they do. I’m also less of a literalist than some (not all) of them in terms of my testimony. A few of them I consider to be friends–so who really knows for sure.
  • Do you think they’ll let you back in? Part of me hopes so, because frankly, it hurts my feelings to be excluded–especially in the way, and for the reasons they did it. Another part of me doesn’t like having an axe hanging over my head–waiting to fall if I post the wrong thing, or offend their sensitivities. I will say that stuff like this really does discourage me, and makes me reconsider my involvement on the LDS Internet at times. Sometimes it really does seem like high school all over again. Popularity contests. In crowds and out crowds. Cruelty. Egos. Etc.
  • Should we boycott ldsblogs.org? That’s your call, but personally, I think that’s a silly question. This isn’t the U.S. civil rights movement circa 1960, or India circa 1940. The bloggernacle isn’t CLOSE to being that important. Though if you want to let them know how you feel about it, feel free to do so. They claim that their actions were performed to protect you–so if you happen to agree or disagree with the decision, you ought to let them know so they can better know and serve their audience.
  • Is there anything we can do to help? At a minimum, if some of you who post on a blog included in ldsblogs.org would be kind enough to do a post about this post–that would at least let my readers (who look there to see my posts) know that until MA decides to re-list me, they won’t be able to find my posts there.
  • Do you see an alternative to ldsblogs.org? My hope is that those involved will learn to show a bit more professionalism and compassion when dealing with these types of situations. They could do some really cool things if they wanted to–and I have great hope for the possibilities. If not, there is always ldselect.org. Personally, my ultimate preference would be for someone to create a Mormon version of http://www.digg.com or http://www.slashdot.org, where people can democratically vote/rate their favorite Internet items–and not have it decided by a correlation committee. I also own http://www.mormonblogs.org if anyone decides that they want to provide yet another alternative to what’s out there. Please feel free to contact me if you have time to build up a complimentary blog aggregator. While the founders of the bloggernacle are historically significant, I don’t believe it would be hard to quickly grow a new site–that attempts to be more democratic, and inclusive (i.e. let people decide more for themselves what they want to view). If you have web development skills, and are interested, please do contact me.
  • Anyway, hopefully this post will make it so I won’t have to answer any more emails about this whole deal. Frankly, it’s just kinda depressing for me.

    Thanks to all of you who have expressed your care and concern. It really is moving to see how much support there is out there for what we’ve been trying to do. I still have hopes that we can mature as a community and move beyond such things. I believe we can.

    John Dehlin

Comments

comments

58 comments for “Yes, ldsblogs.org (Mormon Archipelago) de-listed me from their portal

  1. DKL
    August 27, 2006 at 9:42 pm

    I’m a little surprised that you didn’t put LDSelect higher up on your list. I disagree with you that moderation is needed–people can self moderate.

    This highlights the problem that I have with the MA group and their politics of exclusion.

    BTW, I’ll be releasing LDSelect 2.0 some time soon, so keep an eye out.

  2. August 27, 2006 at 10:51 pm

    John,

    A few thoughts regarding your recent censure from the Ministry of Truth (aka MA):

    1. Don’t ask to be reinstated or apologize. You did nothing wrong and you should have to do nothing to submit yourself before the authority of the bloggernacles unelected, unappointed, uncalled Correlation Committee. You do your thing, which obviously is needed. Don’t become frustrated because of a few myopic and insecure individuals. What you are doing is so incredibly important here John. The current strength of my faith and my testimony over the past year has grown largely from the open discussions on this site and at Sunstone. I don’t agree with much of what is posted here, but that’s not the point- it’s a place to learn and understand.

    2. Mormon Stories doesn’t need MA. It’s big enough on it’s own. I found it through iTunes, not the bloggernacle, and others will too. I will continue to keep it on the blogroll of both of my blogs and mention it on my radio show whenever something of interest pops up on it. It is INEXCUSABLE to suppress ideas you don’t agree with . SHAME, SHAME, SHAME, on MA. I can make these statements as I have dealt with true moderation on a daily basis on the radio and my two blogs. I have on numerous occassions invited on guests whose views I disagree with and even find UNCOMFORTABLE because it is my DUTY and RESPONSIBILITY to facilitate a responsible and open public discourse. When callers became hostile with these guests I PROTECTED THEM and allowed them to fully articulate their arguments. Why has this type of discourse all but disappeared in America!? I am on a personal mission to promote and protect pluralism in all its forms.

    3. Let’s frame the issue correctly. This is not about moderation. Moderation is blind to ideaology and sees only decorum. This is intellectual suppression in the same vein as George Orwell’s 1984. J. Stapley should be ashamed of assuming mantle of the internet’s Ministry of Truth. Respect others own judgement. More importantly, I would hope that those who disagree would respectfully engage each other and learn from one another. Instead, we have the unelected, unappointed, unanointed internet Correlation Committee deciding what they want you to see! What MA did was NOT moderation, it was the bastard child unrighteous dominion- censorship and control.

  3. J. Stapley
    August 27, 2006 at 11:02 pm

    1) I currently do the add and drops at the MA. I do alot of other things in life.

    2) Several people pointed out your ad for the new foyer.

    3) I dropped it, most of the rest of the crew didn’t know.

    4) I am sorry that I gave you the impression that I didn’t know, I did.

    5) I didn’t contact you right away because I was slammed at work, and that trumps nacle admin as a priority.

    6) My interaction with you has always been great. You’ve done a bang up job with your podcast.

    7) I don’t want to censor blogs or ask them to change their content. Publish what you want, when and how you want. The MA will aggregate what it what it believes is the best for it to publish.

    8) If you want to do something else in the aggregator area, knock yourself out.

    7) Crucify me.

  4. August 27, 2006 at 11:18 pm

    J. Stapley,

    With all due respect you owe John and the entire community an exhaustive explanation of your actions and reasoning.

    No one is here to crucify you.

  5. Rusty
    August 28, 2006 at 12:39 am

    Tom,
    Stapley doesn’t owe anyone anything. Your cry (more of a whine really) for censorship is laughable. Blogging was invented so people could speak their mind and the MA hasn’t done a thing to keep you from doing so. All we are at the MA are curators. We don’t have the moral obligation that you think we need of protecting and harboring the antis. There are a million ways they make their voices heard, we don’t need to be one of them.

    I’m just glad we have DKL as the clique-busting sherriff in town to clean up this place. Bloggers have rights, dammit, and they should be promoted anywhere they damn well feel like it! Thanks DKL, you’ve saved us again!

    To John,
    I’m sorry it happened this way. But I regret that you continue to think it’s some kind of big conspiracy and that you lost friends over this. It’s just a matter of taste, man. You sometimes like things a little fringier than what falls under the MA mission statement, that’s all.

    I also regret that any time we make a move over there everyone pulls out their George Orwell. I do, however, prefer your guys’ interpretations better than Cliff’s Notes, it’s probably truer to what Orwell was really thinking…less than a dozen guys making a list of which books to read is the Big Brother he had invisioned. Brilliant.

  6. Geoff J
    August 28, 2006 at 1:04 am

    Oh good grief. Alright — I’m officially annoyed.

    John – I was the one who suggested we pull the plug on your feed to Stapley. So if your feelings are hurt you can direct any bad vibes in my general direction I guess.

    DKL: I disagree with you that moderation is needed–people can self moderate.

    Oh please. Get off your high horse DKL. Until you start listing “DAMU” blogs don’t start preaching about “no moderation needed”. It just makes you look like a ridiculous hypocrite. LDSelect moderates just like the MA portal — you just have a slightly larger list of blogs.

    Tom Grover: With all due respect you owe John and the entire community an exhaustive explanation of your actions and reasoning.

    Dude… Who are you? I’ve never heard of you or your blog. What makes you think anyone owes you any kind of explanation? No one makes you use the MA portal. Feel free to boycott it until doomsday bro. There are other options for you.

    Let me let you in on a little secret: The MA portal is nothing more than a suped up “favorites” list that a group of Mormon bloggers put together. We include the Mormon blogs that we think are the best out there. I think John seems like a wonderful guy but I personally am not at all interested in creating a bridge between the faithful Mormon blogging community and the anti-Mormon internet community out there. If anti-Mormons decide to boycott the MA portal, I’ll survive.

    This is not a censorship issue or a free speech issue. People can post whatever they want at their blogs. We are free to include whoever we want on our suped up favorites list too. If we dump a blog you like, go check LDSelect.com — maybe DKL includes it too. Heck, maybe you can talk him into adding the entire DAMU blogging community in the name of free speech while you’re at it.

  7. DKL
    August 28, 2006 at 6:37 am

    Geoff J, you’ve said this over and over. You claim to think that the fact that you have a trigger and I have a trigger makes the actions that we take when we pull that trigger somehow equivalent. You’re grasping at straws here.

    The fact is that that I have yet to even turned down a request for listing a single blog on LDSelect. And still, there’s no DAMU themed blog listed. I think this shows how presumptuous your exclusions are. DAMU blogs don’t consider themselves a part of the bloggernacle “community,” nor do they want to. Our “community” may seem neat and valuable to us, but it’s just a curiosity to many of them. By your actions, one could be led to think that it’s a fortress that you feel the need to defend. And hearing you discuss your (self-aggrandizing) explanation of your role in several bloggernacle snafu’s, I think that it’s fair to say that there is a self-congradulatory aspect to your enterprise. I object to all of that.

    So I’ll tell you what: When I start excluding blogs, then you can criticize my exclusion of blogs. Until then, the hypothetical equivalence that you want to posit between you’re heavy-handed approach to content-control in your aggregator and my approach to making sure that a Mormon-themed aggregator contains Mormon-themed blogs is sheer nonsense.

    I agree that it’s not a censorship issue, because you guys aren’t government.

  8. Rusty
    August 28, 2006 at 6:56 am

    Damn Oprah, I can’t believe she didn’t put my book on her list…I asked her nicely!!

    DKL,
    Why do you even care what we do? You’ve expressed your opinion about us a hundred times as if your daughter’s life depended on it. Grasping at straws? Dude, we’ve never suggested we would accept everyone who asks and we never felt it was our mission to be the aggregator of tolerance, why do you think we should have the same mission as your aggregator?

  9. August 28, 2006 at 8:17 am

    Hey all,

    A couple of things.

    I corrected the inaccuracy about J. Stapley not knowing about the de-listing. It was John Fowles, not Stapley, who said he wasn’t sure, and would find out. My bad.

    And to be clear…I only posted this because…

    –I wanted to let my readers know that they my posts were not showing up on ldsblogs.org

    –I got tired of having to answer the questions separately.

    –The way you handled this made me sad. It takes 30 seconds to write and send a quick email, or 5 minutes to pick up the phone.

    Anyway, I know you are all good people. I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories, and I don’t think of you guys as Orwellian.

    I do feel a bit picked on, and misunderstood (insert violin solo here)…but I’ll work through it.

    I wish you all the best.

  10. DKL
    August 28, 2006 at 8:29 am

    Rusty, first of all, let’s leave Oprah out of this.

    Some people care what I do, because they think that my attempts to be clever and shake things up and have a little fun are mean. I care what you guys do, because in your self-appointed role of keepers of bloggernacle propriety, I think that you guys are frequently mean–mean in ways that are personal, mean in ways matter, and mean in ways that are (sadly) typical of ways that Mormons are mean to each other and to non-Mormons in real life.

    I can’t help but see corruption and thirst-for-power in your attempts to reward and punish bloggers for everything from their willingness to promote your aggregator to the propriety of the links in their posts.

    Plus, glib self-righteousness like yours is one of my pet-peeves.

  11. DKL
    August 28, 2006 at 8:30 am

    John, I think that LDSelect fits the bill for all the criteria that you outline in your post above.

  12. August 28, 2006 at 9:02 am

    DKL,

    Are Digg-like ratings on your feature roadmap?

    If so, I think that will be HUGE.

  13. Rusty
    August 28, 2006 at 9:22 am

    DKL,
    Oh, you were looking out for others. I see.

    I know you’d like to leave Oprah out of this but you missed my point. Oprah has no obligation to list everyone that asks her, why should she?

    And your quip about corruption and thirst-for-power is hilarious. It’s hard to even comment on that and keep a straight face.

  14. Kurt
    August 28, 2006 at 9:31 am

    David,

    Your accusations against Geoff, Rusty, the Mormon Archipelago, and Mormons in general are a textbook case of projection. I know you like to write off the NT whenever it doesnt fit your personal politics, but you are a screaming mad case of why Jesus condemns picking at motes in other’s eyes.

  15. August 28, 2006 at 9:42 am

    Geoff: Dude… Who are you? I’ve never heard of you or your blog.

    That was awesome. Take that Tom Grover!!! He hasn’t even heard of your blog! You know what that means? It means you are a LOSER and your opinion and thoughts have no bearing in the Mormon Bloggosphere. Only well known bloggers (who appear on MA) are entitled to voice their opinions.

    In other words, shut your trap!

  16. August 28, 2006 at 10:16 am

    Please spare us the red herring references to personal autonomy and the first amendment. That, my friends, is not what this issue is about. The actions of MA in removing MS was indefensible, which is why the defense has had nothing to do with the actual issues at hand.

    I have not argued that you violated the law or the first amendment. Please do not hide behind that. What is legal and what is ethical are two totally different animals, and what is legal leaves a tremendous amount of lattitude for the unethical. This is a matter of a completely legal and unethical action.

    It is not a matter of ordinary content discretion at MA. John was listed on your site and you censured him (the legal, but unethical part) for including information, or “content”, you found objectionable. You punished someone because they said something you disagreed with. This is what none of you have had the balls to defend. The ultimate result of this action being repeated again and again within any community is a stifling of thought, dialouge and open expression. This is the harm in what you did, and I want to see you actually defend censureship and cesnorship.

    This is also not a question of John placing an “ad” for “antis” on his site. As he has correctly pointed out, this was a newsworthy item in the realm of the Mormon internet. News about General Motors by the Associated Press is not an “ad”, nor is news about any political party. Indeed, it is just news. The Foyer going down was news. Of course in our tragically tribally partitioned world, acknowlegdement of those outside the myopic community is apparently a heresy.

    Also, your characterization of the post as aiding “antis” is a revealing look into your simplistic binary paradigm of Mormon belief. Did it ever occur to you that someone from the Foyer might be sitting next to you in Sacrament Meeting? That they might be struggling with their faith and suffering inner turmoil?

    I would love to see the Bloggernacle’s Correlation Committee and Ministry of Truth defend what they actually did- censure another member of the community for a statement they found objectionable.

    DEFEND IT. STAND BY IT.

  17. Geoff J
    August 28, 2006 at 10:16 am

    I have heard of you Lloyd (we’ve met). Please don’t put your words in my mouth. I didn’t say those things, you did.

    I said that to Tom Grover because I see no reason why I or anyone else should have to explain why I remove a blog from my blogroll. (As I said, ldsblogs.org is just a suped-up blogroll a group of us put together).

    I don’t see my blog on your blog roll. Do you have to explain yourself to me and the community about that? Here, let me try it on you using Tom Grover’s words:

    “[Lloyd, I don’t see my blog on your blogroll.] It is INEXCUSABLE to suppress ideas you don’t agree with. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME, on Lloyd… With all due respect you owe me and the entire community an exhaustive explanation of your actions and reasoning.”

    What would you think if I made those claims out of the blue to you?

  18. Geoff J
    August 28, 2006 at 10:24 am

    DKL: When I start excluding blogs, then you can criticize my exclusion of blogs.

    Well since gobs and gobs of disaffected Mormons read this blog I suspect you’ll have a chance to display your open arms to DAMU bloggers starting to day. Everybody likes the chance at some free traffic after all. (If I had a DAMU blog I’d be writing you this morning to get into LDSelect.) I can’t imagine why you would turn any of them down. As you said, moderation is not needed — people can self moderate.

  19. August 28, 2006 at 10:27 am

    Tom,

    I’m just curious. What type of things would you be in favor of the MA delisting a blog for?

    I know you probably have some limits to your argument (profanity, porn, hate speach, maybe). I’m just curious what those limits would be.

    Personally, I used to be against all forms of editing and censorship, but realized once my blog got kinda more heavily trafficked that you often have to moderate if you want to target what you do to a specific audience. Otherwise you can lose the people you are trying to speak to by extremists on either side (or both sides).

    That’s why I tried to show support for the right and even the morality of the action, while not supporting the way it was handled, or the logic behind it.

    Just curious. As you know, I really do appreciate the support….so please don’t take it wrong(ly).

  20. August 28, 2006 at 10:27 am

    Geoff,

    Are you ever in Utah or Logan? I’d love to have lunch sometime, just to get to know you better.

    I’d even settle for a phone call.  Please email me if you’re interested.

    John

  21. Kurt
    August 28, 2006 at 10:28 am

    Dear Tom Grover and “the narrator”, go ask DKL to list your blogs on LDSelect.org.

  22. August 28, 2006 at 10:32 am

    Geoff,

    Your quote was inaccurate. I never demanded a personal explanation.

    Your comparison is also inaccurate. Inclusion on a blogroll is discretionary with a finite amount of space. Not every blog can be listed. Quality of posts, design popularity and other considerations go into it.

    That’s different than what you did. You censured a blog after you had already listed it. You punished an idea you disagreed with.

    That’s what you need to defend. THis is not an issue of ordinary blogroll discretion, it is an issue of punishment and censure of ideas you disagree with.

  23. Paul
    August 28, 2006 at 10:34 am

    MA can clearly do whatever it wants although it would have been nice for someone to have talked with John before doing this. Oh well, life goes on.

    I looked for the MA mission statement on ldsblogs.org. I couldn’t find anything that would put John’s blog out of bounds. Maybe I missed something. The only page I could find with something akin to a mission statement was this: http://www.ldsblogs.org/about.php.

    The real question here is whether church members should be sheltered from criticism against the church?

    I’m surprised that church members seem so anxious to answer ‘yes’ to this question.

  24. August 28, 2006 at 10:41 am

    John,

    Moderation is a difficult beast, that’s for sure. I think there is no definitive line to draw, though some behavior is clearly out of bounds.

    As a general rule, I would return to my argument about decorum versus philosophy as the motivation for limiting a voice. Decorum should be the guiding principle of moderation, not philosophy. The temptation with moderation is to use it as the cloak to disguise efforts to limit ideas and arguments. This, in my opinion, is what MA did to you.

    Punishing thoughts and ideas ultimately leads to a very bad place. Yes, this is just the internet, and yes it’s just a relatively tiny community, but the stifling of free thought and expression will ultimately lead the community toward missing out on some potentially productive and engaging discussions. These actions tend to create a stifling climate. So in a broader sense, this is bigger than this one action. Regardless of how these fellows got their power, they have a moral responsibility as stewards of discourse to protect it, not saddle it or cage it.

    Kurt,

    USUAggies.com is almost 2 years old and discusses Mormonism frequently. I have never asked to be included in the Bloggernacle. Maybe someday I will, but for now I have little interest.

  25. Geoff J
    August 28, 2006 at 10:44 am

    John,

    I’ll email over my phone number. I’d be happy to chat with you.

    Tom Grover – This is getting old. I keep saying that ldsblogs.org is just a suped-up blogroll. Why is that so hard to understand or believe? If you think removing a blog from your blogroll is a form of censorship or censuring, well… ummm… you are free to believe that I guess.

  26. Rusty
    August 28, 2006 at 10:51 am

    Paul, Tom,
    The intent was never to delist MS forever. It was made clear to him in an email that the MA would wait for that one post to cycle through and he’d be relisted. The objection was to the Foyer, not to MS. And yes, the Foyer has major decorum problems (regardless of philosophy).

    This happend once before (when I was the instigator) with vivanedflanders. We worked it out, the post cycled through, they’re back on the list and we’re all happy (though I think both me and him were bruised by it, but still good friends). It’s when a site consistently goes against what we believe to fall under the mission statement (pretty much summed up in the Eugene Englund quote, but the whole about page is our position).

  27. August 28, 2006 at 11:14 am

    MA Folks,

    Would you guys consider a section on your blog where you specify: who sits on the MA board, and how decisions get made (like to list or de-list)? I think that would clear up lots of issues–and allow your readers to know exactly what they are getting.

    You guys keep saying that really, MA is just a private, small-town, “no-big-deal” blogroll on the bloggernacle. But since you own the domain ldsblogs…to me that seems to bring about a slightly higher ethical position for you, since most of your readers likely don’t know any of you, or any of the history, or the inside baseball that goes on behind the scenes. I am guessing that most come to your web site thinking that this is a semi-official listing, and I believe that full disclosure on who is making the calls, and how the calls get made, would be the most ethical/honest/open/straightforward thing to do.

    Obviously, you can ignore my request. I just feel like it would (in the end) be very productive/helpful to many/most.

  28. Mahuph
    August 28, 2006 at 11:20 am

    Geoff, you write “This is getting old. I keep saying that ldsblogs.org is just a suped-up blogroll.”

    Which explains the first sentence on your About page, and mirrored on the title:

    “LDSblogs.org – Mormon Archipelago is the Gateway to the Bloggernacle.”

    Blogroll. Yep.

    Rusty – The email that made the terms of the delisting clear to John D. – was that sent to him before or after this went public?

  29. August 28, 2006 at 11:32 am

    geoff. yes we have met.

    my point was that you were appealing to some sort of blogging popularity status for tom to voice his opinion. you defend yourself (which you have every right to) by claiming that MA is a “nothing more than a suped up ‘favorites’ list that a group of Mormon bloggers put together.” that’s fine, but how does the popularity of one’s blog fit into your defense? what if tom was a more popular blogger but not a part of your select “group of Mormon bloggers”?

    i’m just pointing out the silliness of thinking somebody must be a popular blogger to critique what goes on in the bloggosphere.

    if you spouted off some nonsense about not being on my blog’s blog list, i’d just think you were weird. i list blogs that i tend to read and comment occasionally, your blog isn’t one of those. the parallel doesn’t exist for mormon stories.

  30. Geoff J
    August 28, 2006 at 11:40 am

    Mahuph,

    We’ve been planning to change the subhead to something about the “best of” the bloggernacle for some time in order to be more accurate. But like most bloggers and their blogrolls, most of us don’t like to spend any time working on that site so the subheader change has been procrastinated. But squeaky wheels get oil and this wheel suddenly has developed a loud irritating whine so it will surely get some oil now.

  31. Rusty
    August 28, 2006 at 11:45 am

    Mahuph,
    Dude, of course we’re going to say it’s the Gateway to the Bloggernacle. You don’t have to believe it, that statement isn’t a legal document, it’s just a slogan.

    Regarding the email, I don’t know exactly but I’m pretty sure that it went down this way: MA delists MS. Stapley doesn’t have time to mention it to JD. MS readers inform JD he’s been delisted. JD becomes confused and hurt. JD contacts Stapley and queries why he’s been de-listed. Stapley responds with an explanation and says it’s only temporary until it cycles through. Many MS readers continue to ask JD why he’s been delisted. JD posts an explanation. Many hilarious comments are made on said post. You ask me about timeline. This comment is born.

  32. DKL
    August 28, 2006 at 11:46 am

    Geoff, I have a clearly articulated policy on which blogs that I allow based on the overall content of the blog. Any exclusions I might make are not based on nitpicking specific post items due to an implied policy that boils down to personal preference. I would no more let a blog like dailykos or instapundit on my aggregator than I would a DAMU blog, because I paying out of pocket for a certain amount of bandwidth, a certain amount of space, and root access to the entire setup. Limiting the scope is a way of keeping costs down.

    Rusty, I was joking about Oprah. You can run her name through the mud all you like. If maligning a thoughtful, caring, intelligent, and harmless billionaire talk show host and entertainment magnate is what floats your boat, then it’s no skin off my back.

    Kurt, you’ve totally lost me. I just don’t see what the New Testament has to do with LDSelect. I’ve kept your blog (Snarkernackle) up in spite of the fact that it regular spat vitriol at me and my family and published personal information about me. Whatever distaste I have for you or your blog, it was not reflected in any way in the treatment that your blog received on LDSelect–to the contrary, I moved it up one spot in accordance with the preference of registered users.

    I find it odd that someone who has been the beneficiary of my ability to disregard my personal judgments out of regard for fairness is now accusing me of being unable to separate my personal judgments out of regard for fairness.

    John, I do plan to do ratings. I haven’t checked out Digg, but I’ll take a look.

  33. August 28, 2006 at 12:04 pm

    DKL,

    You are a man after my own heart. Keep up the good work.

  34. Justin
    August 28, 2006 at 12:13 pm

    If we’re going to frame the issue here, we should do so with a modicum of accuracy: There hasn’t been any stifling of free thought or expression here. Nor is this a case of intellectual suppression. There hasn’t been any unrighteous dominion, censorship or control. Nothing done here was unethical, dishonest, underhanded or immoral.

    Tom’s wildly inappropriate use of allusions to 1984 to denigrate the actions and motivations of others here is a rather curious way to promote pluralism.

  35. Geoff J
    August 28, 2006 at 12:21 pm

    DKL: Limiting the scope is a way of keeping costs down.

    In other words: “Yes I was hypocritically riding my high horse earlier because I do indeed moderate who I list or not in my suped-up blogroll based on my personal judgment of their content just like y’all do.”

    Ok, I can buy that answer.

  36. Mahuph
    August 28, 2006 at 12:29 pm

    Rusty,

    “Dude”, relax. Read Geoff’s response just prior to yours. It’s quite direct. It is reasonable. And he doesn’t come off, as you do, saying “hey, we write whatever we d*@# well please, accurate or not.”

  37. Kurt
    August 28, 2006 at 12:53 pm

    DKL,

    Now I realize you dont bother to actually read your NT all that often, but the reference to the picking at motes in eyes thing is a rather well-known admonition by Jesus which appears in…wait for it…the NT. OK, got it? No? OK, you are accusing people of what you are guilty of and are therefore picking at motes in their eyes when there is a beam in your own. Can you follow that?

    As for the alleged magnanimity of your graciously listing SnarkerNacle, you yourself did not associate me with it at the time of the spat you had with them, so you can save your alleged graciousness for my person, because its a crock. Sure, you left it up, and even bumped it up, congratulations. But you didnt do it out of any sense of fairness for me, you did it because if you failed to you knew someone at SN would ram it down your throat, publish it for all to see and you would never live it down. This isnt about your sense of fair play, its about you fear of being called out. Just like you got called out for acting like a troll.

    As for publishing personal information, give it a rest, its what you yourself left laying around on the internet. Anyone who knows anything about DNS can do a lookup and turn up exactly what you left there for them to see. If you didnt want people to see it was you doing it, you would have hid it before you went public. You didnt, and its a matter of public record. Nobody published anything that wasnt what you wanted people to know and what you left there for people to see.

    How have I personally benefited? I am dying to hear this one, especially since the default position or appearance of any blog is pretty much meaningless when users can move them all around however they see fit, as you have pointed out ad nauseum. Yeah, I guess that I have benefitted greatly by that…somehow. Or, youre desperately trying to make it look like you arent the self-promoting hypocrite you are, who threadjacks posts heralding the exciting new LDSelect 2.0 version, which isnt like those other awful meanies. Poo poo on them, yay for me!

  38. August 28, 2006 at 2:04 pm

    Wow. How ironic that a kerfuffle in the corner of the DAMU has now spilled over to generate a mini-kerfuffle in the midst of the Bloggernacle.

    I actually agree with Geoff J. and his fellow travellers that this is not a censorship/free speech issue. They can decide which blogs they want to list on their aggregator. And if they want to set up as a requirement for being listed at ldsblogs.net that a blog make no mention of a site in the DAMU then that is their prerogative.

    However, they knew what this site was about when they first listed it; they knew it allowed a fairly free exchange among faithful saints, disaffected members, and ex-Mormons. So, it does seem a bit disingenuous for them to suddenly banish it to the Borderlands in a similar fashion to the ouster of NedFlanders by DMI a few weeks ago. Tom Grover is right about this: listing the site but then pulling it because of a single post just doesn’t seem right. If they want to not have any sites that allow the posting of non-traditional (from an LDS perspective) points of view, that’s fine, but they should not list the site and then pull it because of content that does not square with their own personal spiritual perspective.

    John, I can only say that I am sorry you have been tainted by even the tangential association you have had with us leprous apostate Foyerites. I regret that the mere mention of a forum in which members and former members of the church express their thoughts and feelings about the LDS church freely would have such deleterious consequences for you.

  39. August 28, 2006 at 3:26 pm

    Interesting.

    John, I’m sorry that you felt excluded by being temporarily de-listed from the MA, and I’m sorry that you heard about it third-hand. That doesn’t sound very fun. (And as bloggernacle folk probably know, I’ve had a past run-in or two with MA management as well relating to listing issues.)

    That said, the MA _is_ really just a big blogroll. This is a good thing. It puts a lot of useful information in one place. It means that I don’t have to spend lots of time keeping the T&S blogroll updated; Geoff and J. do that task. (Prior to the MA, there was the T&S sidebar and the BCC sidebar, both of which were perenially six months out of date.) It even inspired a spin-off of sorts, headed by some fellow name Toscanini. I appreciate the work that goes into the MA. And I often like Mormon Stories, but I appreciate the fact that it’s not always everyone’s cup of tea.

    Rusty’s comment sums it up pretty well, I think. I like and respect most of the players involved, and I hate to see good people at odds with each other, but that happens. I think that John’s disappointment is understandable, and that Geoff is well-meaning, and that it’s a shame that this has turned out as it has. (The only benefit, really, has been the free tickets to Kurt-vs-DKL round 17 — “This time it’s even more personal . . .”)

    And finally, J. Stapley rocks and is one of the true gems of the bloggernacle. I don’t agree with all of the things that MA or BCC do all of the time, but I have absolutely no doubts that J. makes his decisions out of genuine desire to create and foster a supportive and intelligent online LDS community — and he’s got a batting average of good decision-making that rivals anyone else in the nacle.

  40. DKL
    August 28, 2006 at 4:15 pm

    Kurt: you did it because if you failed to you knew someone at SN would ram it down your throat, publish it for all to see and you would never live it down. This isn’t about your sense of fair play, its about you fear of being called out. Just like you got called out for acting like a troll.

    See, now I’m disappointed that it didn’t occur to me to paint a picture of me shaking in my boots before the awesome power that is Kurt. It’s really very funny.

    Anyway, this notion that you might “call me out” or never let me “live it down” is curious. It’s not like you can expose me for my public acts–they’re already public. Are you trying to pretend that it’s news to anyone that I’m the most reviled participant in the bloggernacle?

    Moreover, the question of whether I knew you were the snarker is beside the point. I don’t have any personal animus against you. In fact, finding out that the Snarker was you actually improved my opinion of the entire endeavor.

    Seriously, dude. Post whatever you want about me on the Snarker. I don’t read it. Plus, it’s not like you can say anything about me that’s worse than anything that’s already been said. Knock yourself out, buddy.

  41. DKL
    August 28, 2006 at 4:18 pm

    Goeff: In other words: “Yes I was hypocritically riding my high horse earlier because I do indeed moderate who I list or not in my suped-up blogroll based on my personal judgment of their content just like y’all do.”

    In other words, “I’m mindlessly distorting your statement into something that supports my position in order to avoid actually addressing the issue at hand.”

    OK, I can buy that answer.

  42. Kurt
    August 28, 2006 at 4:52 pm

    David, as much as you would like Kurt=Snarkernacle, I am not. As has been stated flatly all along, its a group effort. Yup, I have and still do participate, and make no apologies at all for it. But if you think I am 100% responsable and Kurt=Snarkernacle, you are just plain old stupid.

    One of the things I do love about you is how predictably you change the subject away from things you dont want to talk about, like your blatant hypocrisy, and insult others with irrelevant nonsense instead.

    You were so eager to rehabilitate your image after you trolled on SN and got banned for it that you desperately defended your and SKL’s behavior over on Stephen’s Ethesis blog. It was truly absurd, but you did it. For someone who doesnt care about public perception of himself, you sure do all you possibly can to shape it. Even engaging in private smear campaigns. But, hey, everyone has to do their thing, eh, David?

    We at SN will continue to target you, and every other rube on ze BlokkerNakkle. You get targeted because of the way you act. And your behavior in this thread is a perfect example of that.

    See you in the funny papers.

  43. DKL
    August 28, 2006 at 5:02 pm

    ROTFLMAO. I’ll let your comment speak for itself. It’s perfect, and I have nothing to add.

  44. August 28, 2006 at 10:39 pm

    kaimi: J. Stapley rocks and is one of the true gems of the bloggernacle. I don’t agree with all of the things that MA or BCC do all of the time, but I have absolutely no doubts that J. makes his decisions out of genuine desire to create and foster a supportive and intelligent online LDS community — and he’s got a batting average of good decision-making that rivals anyone else in the nacle.

    I think that’s fair enough. I don’t know J. Stapley personally or any of his crew, so it’s only fair to assume that this action is an aberration from better judgement. They’re probably good guys. Moderation is a beast, and each of us that dabble in it will likely make mistakes or at least controversial decisions. Lattitude for that fallibility should certainly be given.

    I apologize for the sharp nature of my comments, but do stand by the concepts and arguments made. I could have certainly been a bit more respectful.

    Even so, I would hope that MA recognizes it is not just a souped up blogroll, and that they do have a tremendous responsibility to be good stewards of the public discourse. Use decorum and not philosophy as your guide in moderation and you will make few mistakes.

    All the best,

    Tom

  45. Paul
    August 28, 2006 at 10:48 pm

    Rusty,

    Thanks for clarifying that John has only been temporarily removed from MA. I didn’t realize that.

    I’m sincerely asking the following question because I really don’t know and want to understand…

    Why does John’s referencing the Foyer warrant this kind of reaction?

    Is it fear that MA will lose subscribers?

    Is it fear of introducing an unsuspecting member to information that could have a damaging effect on his/her life?

    Is it fear of offending subscribers?

    Something else?

    Has MA had bad experiences in the past in terms of referencing members to sites critical of the church?

  46. August 28, 2006 at 11:58 pm

    I don’t want to get into the details, but basically there was an issue that involved some pictures that most would consider pornographic at VFTF involving Joseph Smith an angel and a woman. There were a few other issues related to what some felt was organized trolling of blog posts. I think a lot of people tend to find VFTF as deeply problematic to link to.

    I’m not involved in the current controversy and have no really strong opinions about it. It sounds like there was some misunderstandings that have largely been resolved. However I think some people do take what they link to very seriously and find ethical problems with some links. Everyone has their own views and standards.

  47. Mayan Elephant
    August 29, 2006 at 1:17 am

    Clark, gimme a break.

    that was long ago resolved. you are selectively describing what happened. lighten up.

    we all know the tone is not orthodox mormon over there. but for you to blame this on “an” issue is ridiculous.

    at least you could get the facts straight. the image involved an angel with a FLAMING SWORD (are you familiar with that story.)

    perhaps you could qualify and quantify your use of “Most” while you are at it.

    apparently, tvftf are fine enough folks to have removed the image and the link to m*. and, the posters went to your site, apologized and left the site. what more do you want clark, a penalty? sheesh.

    john dehlin did not create, post, or comment on the image.

    lets imagine, just for fun, that RfM went down tomorrow. and only moments before turning out the lights, tal bachman announced on there that he was the dahli lama. (i used tal because he speaks for ALL evildamnapostates, per midgley) so anyways, imagine that happening. would you immediately delete every bloggernaccler that had the story, with its accompanying link and pictures? NO. would you delete john dehlins MS if he did? yes, because you just want an excuse for getting his stuff off your little linkschtick, which is your right. but, it doesnt make you cool, just right, under the laws of hotel balderdash, captain kangaroo, zoom and the internaccle.

    hey john. be switzerland. just bank and harbor terrorists, claim neutrality and tell the blogroll to shove it. really, you do not need it. you will be much better off without a link and without an apology. everyone loves switzerland.

  48. Kurt
    August 29, 2006 at 4:45 am

    DKL,

    Whenever someone presents something against you that you cannot refute, you try to change the subject and then laugh it off and mock them with ad hominems. You always do this, as its your way of dealing with being wrong. Rather than face the facts, you resort to deception and denial. The more vehemently you insist you are laughing and having fun with it all, the more plain it is you arent. Everyone knows this, David. Its obvious.

  49. August 29, 2006 at 6:23 am

    Well, Clark, you are leaving out some kety details. It is true that a drawing of Joseph Smith in a compromising position was posted by an individual at the Foyer and some folks from M* saw it and were shocked by an artistic rendering of a bare buttock. Whether the drawing was pornographic or artistic, I think, is debatable. That a majority would find the drawing pornographic is dubious. The moderators at the View from the Foyer took the offending drawing down almost immediately and reprimanded the person who posted it. That person apologized to the board and the posters from the Foyer who were participating in a discussion on Bushman’s book at M* (I suppose having an opinion different from Geoff B.’s or yours might be considered “trolling” in an infinitely elastic lexicon) apologized for linking back to the Foyer and the offending drawing. So, if that is your justification for dropping John’s blog for commenting on a row at the Foyer, it seems pretty lame to me.

    That said, it appears that the actions of the MA mods may be having a chilling effect on John after all. My friend, who has posted here many times in the past, tried to post a comment last night and was not able to get it through. I’ll try to post it myself in a moment to see what happens.

  50. August 29, 2006 at 6:44 am

    Equality,

    There’s no chilling effect. I’ve just been getting a lot of spam lately, so I’m requiring registration for comments now. Once someone’s first registered comment is approved, their posts are automatically approved thereafter. Look above your first post. ME’s got through earlier this morning. No need to resubmit.

  51. August 29, 2006 at 6:48 am

    Thanks, John. Good to know.

Comments are closed.