Amended Vanguard Policy on Commenters

In August 2014, the Vanguard Editorial Board adopted Guidelines to Govern Commenters. (see http://www.davisvanguard.org/about-us/comment-policy/). All the provisions of that Guidelines policy continue in effect, as amended by the December 2016 action by the Vanguard Editorial Board updating the comment policy to limit anonymous posters.

The default policy of the Vanguard is that posters must log in and post using their own name through a Facebook login.  Posters who do not wish to use Facebook can petition the Vanguard (through info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org) to login using their real life first and last names through a Facebook alternative provided by the Vanguard’s WordPress system.

The Vanguard recognizes that some posters have legitimate reasons to request anonymity in their postings, because of the potential for direct financial and/or employment reprisals; therefore the Vanguard has retained a system by which posters can mitigate the chances of such reprisals. Posters who believe they have a compelling reason to expect direct financial and/or employment reprisals, as a result of their comments on the Vanguard, can petition for the use of an alternative screen name other than their real life first and last names.  All requests for an alternative screen name should be submitted in writing and provide the following:

  1. Full Name (First Name, any Middle Names, Last Name, Suffix)
  2. A valid email address
  3. A valid phone number
  4. A description of the direct financial and/or employment reprisals they believe will result from posting using their real name

When the Vanguard approves an alternative screen name request, it will assign the alternative screen name in the format of First Name, Last Initial or the format of First Initial, Last Name. If those two standard combinations are too obvious (for example B Obama and Barack O), the Vanguard will add the submitted Middle Name and Suffix to the screen name assignment process.   The Vanguard will not allow self-assigned screen names.  All alternative screen name requests that were approved between December 23 and February 19 will be honored/grandfathered.  To achieve a 100% consistent handling of all Vanguard posters, the Vanguard asks all grandfathered posters to voluntarily adjust their screen name to comply with above-described alternative screen name format.

Don Shor, the site moderator will remove all posted comments from non-approved screen names immediately and contact the poster at their registered email address to notify them of the screen name violation.

In addition to all the Guidelines to Govern Commenters, which apply to all posters, anyone posting under an alternative screen name will have a higher standard for their posts.

Posts that meet this higher standard for removal are:

  • Personal attacks of other posters from behind the protection of anonymity
  • Use of condescending or derogatory language
  • Utilizing anonymity to question the integrity of other posters without providing a linked authority source for the standard they are using to question the integrity of the other poster.

REPEATED VIOLATION OF THE REMOVAL STANDARDS MAY AND WILL RESULT IN TERMINATION OF ALTERNATIVE SCREEN NAME PRIVILEGES.  If privileges of an alternative screen name are terminated, the poster may reapply to the Vanguard.  In the case of such a reapplication, all grandfathering will cease, and the Vanguard screen name assignment process described herein will apply to any subsequent alternative screen name assignment.

The primary intent of these guidelines is to ensure an inclusive, civil tone that will encourage greater participation in the community dialogue fostered by The Vanguard. The Editorial Board seeks to ensure that all readers of the Vanguard are respected and comfortable sharing their views. The Editorial Board recognizes that some limitations on comments may help to limit the extent to which anyone is discouraged from engaging in dialogue based on the comments of others.

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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77 thoughts on “Amended Vanguard Policy on Commenters”

  1. Alan Miller

    Posts that meet this higher standard for removal are:

    Personal attacks of other posters from behind the protection of anonymity
    Use of condescending or derogatory language
    Utilizing anonymity to question the integrity of other posters without providing a linked authority source for the standard they are using to question the integrity of the other poster.

    The rest of us are free to be total a**holes!  Yipee!

    Don’t miss Joe Craven tonight at the Odd Fellows Hall downtown!  It’s free!  7:30pm

    1. Howard P

      Although David knows you’re kidding, and cited the old policy, still in effect, there is a kernel of truth, where ‘full-name posters’ go into the “darkly gray area” with those of us who aren’t, then go whining to the moderator when it’s returned, in kind.

      I’m comfortable with the clarification, knowing the ‘process’ will certainly evolve, as needs dictate, but I suggest David, Don, and the VG Board keep an eye on the “full namers” who may assert themselves as a ‘superior class’… seen a bunch of that already…

       

      1. David Greenwald Post author

        Don should post removed by moderator rather than remove the posts, but sometimes he puts them into pending (especially long and complex ones) to sort them out later. It’s difficult because sometimes leaving up a moderated message leads to people wondering what was pulled. So we can think about the best way to do that. And sometimes, the system randomly puts messages into spam and they appear to disappear.

        1. Howard P

          But my experience there is always a ‘trail’ that the poster can follow (for both pending and removal)… Don has done a damn good, job in my opinion, but because the filter might react to “damn” ,  this comment may well go into the ‘pending’ queue…

        2. Keith O

          Recently I’ve emailed you with three of my comments that were deleted and asked you why?   You couldn’t come up with an answer and said you would ask the moderator and look into it.  So far you haven’t given me an explanation.   Yesterday you restored my  comment but no explanantion as to why it was deleted in the first place.  These are just recent examples, it’s been going on for a long time.  You really need to look into this as people aren’t going to bother commenting if they feel that their comments get deleted for no objective reason.

        3. Keith O

          Then why did you tell me you would look into it?

          [moderator] two of them were off topic, in my opinion, for the thread they were on. I restored the other one when I realized where you had posted it. David did forward your question to me.

  2. Ron

    Alan:  “The rest of us are free to be total a**holes!  Yipee!”

    That is hilarious.  (Statement not intended to be a personal attack, condescending, derogatory, or to question your integrity.)  Sorry that I couldn’t find a “linked authority source” to support my statement.  🙂

    The policy seems unnecessarily complicated. Suggest allowing anonymity, or not. Then, moderate all comments using the same standard.

     

    1. Richard McCann

      If the Vanguard goes back to anonymity, then it will lose me. Internet trolls hide behind anonymity, and many websites have found that moderating simply can’t cover all of the posts. When trolls’ comments are deleted, they claim censorship not matter the reason, so why would moderating actually work? And what about the willingness to speak by those of us who identify ourselves? Why should we have to subject ourselves to the abuse by trolls?  The real choice is over the civility of the discussion.

        1. Howard P

          Mis-used the word “converse” apparently… my intended point was that not all who post semi-anonymously should be assumed to be “trolls”… I do not see myself that way (a troll) but if you feel I am, let David know, and I will respect his judgement…

          At least two posters (one using full name, the other pretty much anonymous) have accused me of that [repeatedly].  Weigh in with David, or in this space… I care not…

          I know you well enough in real life to trust that you can make a fair assessment in that regard.

        1. Keith O

          Funny thing is the Vanguard isn’t going back to anonymity, it never left.

          About half the posters comment under an alias or just their first name and last initial.

          David knows who these people are but has guaranteed us he will never tell anyone else, not even his editorial board.

          So in essence only David knows who is who.

           

        2. Howard P

          No… I do not recommend full anonymity… yet I think there is a place for ‘tweeners’… if they behave civilly most of the time… and, don’t be so piously “sure” of where I’m coming from… you’d be wrong.  Sorry, you might consider that a personal attack!

          I believe (perhaps foolishly and or egotistically) that my behavior differs from others you cited.

          If you consider me a troll, please let David know.

        3. Keith O

          I don’t consider people who post under a First name, Last initial to be Anonymous

          I do, for instance I have no idea who James R is.  How about “realchangz”?

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Would you know who three-quarters of the people are if they did post under their full first and last name?

        4. Alan Miller

          I don’t consider people who post under a First name, Last initial to be Anonymous

          I don’t consider that “David Greenwald” is a real person.

        5. Keith O

          Would you know who three-quarters of the people are if they did post under their full first and last name?

          No, but I would be able to find out.

        6. Matt Williams

          Keith O said . . . “I do, for instance I have no idea who James R is.  How about “realchangz”?”

          Or, for instance, who is Keith O?

        7. Matt Williams

          While I understand your point Keith, the reality is that there is a difference.  For the most part people have been more responsible in what they say.  There is one notable exception, but you never know, responsibility may come to that remote province as well with time.

          My sense in observing the transition from Rusty49 to Carlos Danger to Growth Issue to Barack Palin to Keith O, is that you have always been a responsible poster with a legitimate reason for anonymity.  As a result you don’t see the change, because you are looking at anonymity from the inside out.  On the other hand I’ve always looked at anonymity from the outside in.  It looks very different.

          David’s new policy is another step in the right direction in my opinion.  People like you meet the standard of “direct financial and/or employment reprisals they believe will result from posting using their real name.”  You have always been up front about the employment reason that is the underpinning of your anonymity.  You don’t throw spaghetti against the wall.  Your posting behavior sets an example that I hope all the posters will live up to.  Principle, not propaganda and/or innuendo.

        8. Dave Hart

          David, you may not consider people who post under an actual first name and last initial to be anonymous, but that is not how it feels to many of us who do post with our real name.  This issue depends mostly on the topic.  Who really cares about my post on a real estate development issue?  It may be relevant or not, but the danger to my life and property is minimal.  If I work for the city or I am a developer, I understand the need for anonymity when discussing the General Plan or the Mace Ranch deal.  I think the policy should be topic-dependent.

          When issues like race, civil rights, immigration, gun control (local MRAPs), law enforcement, war, organized labor, income inequality, to name a few, are raised the vitriol also increases.  These issues are larger and deeper and extend beyond local government.  There are a great many out here who do not post at all because we are wondering who among the anonymous posters are capable of acting in concert with our new minority federal administration police-state on issues that go far beyond the local.

          Strong language?  Well, that’s the point.  Progressives in the United States can point to many more examples of physical repression from the right than conservatives and those further to the right can identify as coming from “the left”.  We question how many of our right wing friends will come to our aid in a dystopian right wing future that seems to be moving closer at increasing speed.  What small thing did we say that gets us fingered by anonymous conservatives, “good Germans” or “good Americans”, while we were being forthright and out there about who we are?  The chill is in the air.  Anonymous posting just adds to the wind chill.

        9. Keith O

          “Progressives in the United States can point to many more examples of physical repression from the right than conservatives and those further to the right can identify as coming from “the left”.

          That’s funny, I don’t think it was right wingers who shut down free speech at UCDavis and at Cal where over $100,000 worth of damage occurred to the campus.

        10. Ron

          Dave:  “There are a great many out here who do not post at all because we are wondering who among the anonymous posters are capable of acting in concert with our new minority federal administration police-state on issues that go far beyond the local.”

          I’ve never responded to one of your postings previously, but this sounds a tad paranoid, to me.  (For what that’s worth.)  No offense, but it seems unlikely.

          Theoretically, a “named” poster could do the same thing. (Also seems unlikely.)

        11. Keith O

          We keep hearing about all these supposed people who said they didn’t comment because of the anonymous posters and the vitriol.  So since a new policy has been instituted where are all of these new posters?

        12. Ron

          Dave:  “When issues like race, civil rights, immigration, gun control (local MRAPs), law enforcement, war, organized labor, income inequality, to name a few, are raised the vitriol also increases.”

          Notwithstanding the reaction to the recent election (which I suspect will die down one way or another, over time), take a look at the number of comments and vitriol that local growth/development issues generate, compared to the concerns you brought up.

        13. Ron

          Keith:  “We keep hearing about all these supposed people who said they didn’t comment because of the anonymous posters and the vitriol.  So since a new policy has been instituted where are all of these new posters?”

          Good question.  (Actually, it mostly seems to be us, still – the “regulars”.)  However, I guess we must acknowledge that some like the new policy.  (Some “linked authoritative sources” to support that statement can probably be found on this page.)

          With “Frankly” gone, it’s kind of up to you to “hold the fort” (somewhat alone), regarding a comparatively conservative point of view.  And, I hope that you continue to do so.  (Even though I still think of myself as having a more “liberal” point of view – whatever that means.)  I can sometimes see that you’re making a valid point, which isn’t always acknowledged in a (relatively) liberal “sea of liberalism”.

          Truth be told, there’s hypocrisy everywhere, especially regarding political issues.  (It’s sometimes easier to see, when one doesn’t feel that strongly regarding an issue.)

        14. Keith O

          Truth be told, there’s hypocrisy everywhere, especially regarding political issues.  (It’s sometimes easier to see, when one doesn’t feel that strongly regarding an issue.)

          I agree with that, both sides are hypocrites.  I choose to point out the hypocrisy from the left because I doubt anyone else on this blog will do so.

  3. Ron

    Also wondering what the policy is, when two “anonymous” posters “attack” each other, or an identified poster “attacks” an anonymous poster.

    Deleting (only) the responses from an anonymous poster (who is engaging in a dispute with an identified poster) will lead to some pretty misleading and one-sided arguments.  (I believe that this may have already occurred, regarding a conversation that I was engaged in.)

    I agree with Keith – the Vanguard doesn’t have this figured out, yet.  Suggest my more simple solution, stated above.

    Also suggest that the Vanguard is not moderating “personal attacks” very well, in general.

    1. Howard P

      Methinks you are missing the point, Ron…

      It’s not about who can be rude to who.

      Saying that, I hope there is still room for the “bon mot”, and pointing out that someone ‘doesn’t have their facts straight’, that they’re ‘being silly’, and some room to operate in the “gray area” without some over-sensitive twit yelling “rape” (personal attack).

      1. Ron

        Howard:

        My point is two-fold:

        1)  Allowing some to post “anonymously”, and then holding them to a different, subjective standard, leads to one-sided conversations and statements (e.g., from “namies”) which can’t be challenged. It does not facilitate honest debate (presumably, the purpose of these types of blogs).

        2)  Personal attacks are not moderated consistently.  (I stand by that statement, but cannot provide a “linked authority source” to support it.)  However, I’d suggest that this point is less important than the first.  I also tend to agree with John’s statement regarding this, below. (I’m actually not too concerned about “rudeness”, and feel that I can handle it, if interested in responding.)

        1. Ron

          (Actually, some of my previous “linked authority sources” may have been deleted.)

          Perhaps the bottom line is that if you choose to post anonymously, the Vanguard will allow it, to some degree.  However, you won’t be a “full citizen”, nor will you be allowed to fully participate in a debate, or to defend your position. And, some of your responses will be deleted.

          And, we can choose whether or not we want to participate, given those rules.

    2. David Greenwald Post author

      That’s not what we’re proposing here. What I don’t want is for an anonymous poster to attack people who post under their own names from a position of advantage. For example, you know who Matt Williams with, criticize him, while hiding behind your own mask.

      1. Howard P

        What I don’t want is for an anonymous poster to attack people who post under their own names from a position of advantage.

        Please also look out for the converse… a poster using their own names to attack an anonymous poster from a position of advantage.  Sword cuts both ways, and have seen abuses both ways…

        1. Alan Miller

          Please also look out for the converse… a poster using their own names to attack an anonymous poster from a position of advantage.  Sword cuts both ways, and have seen abuses both ways…

          Not buying the equivalency argument, HO.  Who cares if someone that no one knows is attacked?  It only reflects on a persona, not a person.  Unless you are really f—ing sensitive.

      2. Ron

        David:  “For example, you know who Matt Williams with, criticize him, while hiding behind your own mask.”

        Are you kidding me?  He knows who I am, apparently started “researching me” (before he even met me), and “coyly” provided information on the Vanguard that he believes he found (for no apparent reason, other than to perhaps discredit me).  I’ve reported this to you, repeatedly.  And, it’s part of the reason that I requested continued anonymity.

        Have you even read his personal attacks regarding me, in which he seemed to imply that I was engaging in libel/slander, etc.?  Simply by bringing up concerns about an issue in which the actual/factual situation was already publicly-known and shared on the Vanguard? He also makes factually untrue statements regarding me (to which my responses have “disappeared”). I’ve reported this to you, as well. (Not to mention other “insults”, which I don’t bother to respond to.)

        I’m glad to be abandoning this thing, soon.  You guys aren’t playing fairly.

         

         

         

        1. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “Have you even read his personal attacks regarding me, in which he seemed to imply that I was engaging in libel/slander, etc.?”

          Ron, I am not implying that you have libeled Robb Davis (slander is verbal, libel is in print).  I am directly and clearly and openly stating you have libeled Robb by accusing him of exploiting conflict of interest.  Howard P has provided you (on multiple occasions) with the legal material to show you how your accusations against Robb are not supported by either the law or the rules of the California Fair Political Practices Commission.  You have repeatedly cited your beliefs about a different non-legal conflict of interest standard based on your experience as an auditor, and have been repeatedly asked by multiple Vanguard posters to provide links to the source standards of the Auditing profession.  To date I personally have not seen any such links or source references from you, and many other Vanguard posters have not seen links or sources either.  You have said on multiple occasions that you have posted the links/sources in the past, and also asserted that Don Shor has deleted them as “off topic.”  However, Don has never corroborated or disputed your assertions that deletion(s) happened.  It is my understanding that Don has a historical file of every deletion he has made, so it should be easy for him to either corroborate your claim about the deletions or not corroborate your claim.

          Fortunately, this thread is absolutely “on topic” with respect to the libel I have alleged you have perpetrated.  So you now have an opportunity to provide clear, unequivocal support for your Auditor’s standard for conflict position.  The choice of whether to do so is yours and yours alone.

          Ron said . . . “He knows who I am, apparently started “researching me” (before he even met me), and “coyly” provided information on the Vanguard that he believes he found (for no apparent reason, other than to perhaps discredit me).  I’ve reported this to you, repeatedly.  And, it’s part of the reason that I requested continued anonymity.”

          I know who you are because you waited for me after a Sterling public meeting conducted by the City at the Families First site, and after approaching me, answered my question when I asked you if you were Ron.  I have neither researched you nor provided any information to the Vanguard about you.  Don Shor, erroneously, accused you four times of assassinating Robb Davis’ character from behind the veil of anonymity, and each time Don did that I corrected him, stating that you were not anonymous, but rather you were a real person who was posting using your real name Ron.

          Even though your public comments have been consistently reported as part of the City of Davis public record from 2003 to present, the first three times I corrected Don’s erroneous accusation against your character, I never disclosed to anyone anything beyond repeating your first name “Ron” and asserting that you did not deserve to be accused of cowardly posting character assassination from behind the veil of anonymity.  For reasons that only Don Shor can answer, Don chose to not only ignore my defense of you, but to re-accuse you multiple times.  When he accused you the fourth time, I corrected him once again and reinforced my strong objection to his mis-characterization of your integrity by stating that your Vanguard registration e-mail was corroborating evidence that you were a real person, not an anonymous person.

          The good news from that fourth exchange is that Don has seen the light, and no longer is accusing you of malfeasance from behind the veil of anonymity.  The bad news is that my fourth defense of you has triggered a reaction on your part that can only be remedied by the person who gazes back at you when you stand in front of a mirror.

          As Andy Reid often has said: “Time’s yours.”

  4. Ron

    Howard:  “full namers” who may assert themselves as a ‘superior class’… seen a bunch of that already…”  🙂

    Trying to think of a better name for them.  Maybe “normies”?  “namies”?  Sorry for those suggestions, in advance.  🙂

    1. Howard P

      Don’t think we need to go to that level, Ron… I actually think the tendency to do so is part of the problem…

      John… I go by two of my names (actually, for one name, just first initial), just not first or last… many know who am, so Matt, Jim, David and Don … if had to use full name, would have to post “nevermore”.  It is what it is.

  5. John Hobbs

    The policy is BS. Either we have open expression or we are censored, there is no in-between. I was censored for using the word traitor to describe our phony president. Look up traitor and research his too close ties to Putin and company. I was censored for saying David resembles Mandy Patikin. The policy is bs. David and Don are manipulating comments and protecting trolls and sockpuppets.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Again this is tiresome. If you think the rules aren’t applied evenly, let me know. No one is being protected. The reality is that we want this to be a place where people can discuss the issues of the day without the nastiness that came with anonymity.

      1. Howard P

        Still, keep in mind that ‘nastiness’ also comes absent anonymity.

        I have no problem with the changes, and support the purpose.

        Usually, (as referees well know the concept) I get warned for the “payback foul”… in futbol (soccer), the referee is supposed to keep the game safe and fair, but also to let play progress as much as possible. The good referees know not to call ‘trifling fouls’, but often they aren’t sure of the original foul, don’t call it, but then they see the “payback foul”. And call it.

    2. Alan Miller

      I was censored for using the word traitor to describe our phony president.

      I was censored for saying David resembles Mandy Patikin.

      Not this time you weren’t.

  6. Richard McCann

    I very much appreciate the new policy. You say that the number of posts are down, but I think that just reflects a reduction in the inane one line zingers that previously polluted the discussions. Now I can find my way through a discussion thread, and I am much more willing to post because I won’t see the childish responses that were posted under the previous policy. Congrats on constructing a much better approach.

    1. Alan Miller

      I think that just reflects a reduction in the inane one line zingers that previously polluted the discussions.

      I resemble that remark.  #zing!#

  7. James R

    Asking as a point of clarification, if one currently uses their first name and last initial and has their FB linked, does this amendment now require us to use our full name (beyond just the initial) without requesting partial anonymity from the Moderator? Or if we would like to maintain the first name last initial format (as I do right now) do we have to petition for the semi-anonymous format?

  8. Ron

    The clarification regarding the Vanguard policy might be a good thing for me, personally.  I find commenting “addictive”, but not a particularly pleasant or productive activity.  I’m also not sure that it truly influences anyone (or perhaps does so in an unintended manner).  So, maybe I can use this to drop out, again.  I did for awhile, after the Vanguard implemented its new policy.

    Although I understand the reasons for the Vanguard’s new policy, I still think that is loses something when commenters drop out.  Note the number of people who still refer to “Frankly”, even though he’s been gone for awhile.  Including those who engaged in lengthy disputes with him.  Tia (one of his frequent targets) acknowledged that she misses those engagements.  (So do I, as an observer.)

    I didn’t agree with much of what Frankly said, and he engaged in a significant amount of name-calling (which “frankly”, kind of amused me most of the time).  However, it is the Vanguard’s loss that he no longer participates, apparently as a result of the change.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Over the years, a few core commenters have stayed on. But Don Shor may now be the only original regular left. I can’t remember when HP started. People come, people go. The core readership has steadily increased. We spent a few months doing outreach and quasi-focus groups and determined that anonymous posting and the perception of nastiness was detrimental. And no, Frankly didn’t drop out because the change, he used the change as a reason to stop posting for awhile.

      1. Ron

        “. . . and determined that anonymous posting and the perception of nastiness was detrimental.”

        Two separate issues.  I’ve never considered myself any “nastier” than some who fully identify themselves, even now.  How is that using a name increases “accountability”, for those who apparently have no concerns regarding that?

        “And no, Frankly didn’t drop out because of the change, he used the change as a reason to stop posting for awhile.”.”

        A distinction without a difference?

        After today, I’m going to give it a try, as well.  (At least, not as much.)

        “The core readership has steadily increased.”

        That’s good, but the changes might ultimately result in less balanced coverage.  Your articles often present a “point of view”, which might be challenged less often.  Ultimately, it could cause the Vanguard to become out-of-touch with the community (as perhaps more “mainstream publications” such as the Enterprise has become, to some degree).

        A definition of “vanguard”:  “a group of people (or position) at the forefront of new developments or ideas”.  (Perhaps at the forefront of “developments” is an appropriate description?)

         

      2. David Greenwald

        We allow commenters and we have an open submission policy, I’ve only turned down one locally submitted piece in ten years regardless of my views.

    2. Tia Will

      Hi Ron,

      I see an important difference between posting to change someone’s mind ( probably not going to happen often) vs to present a point of view that may not have been considered previously, which I have been told often. Of course, I think that may happen with me because I am an outlier and well aware of it.

      1. Matt Williams

        Tia, I too see that important difference.  I personally do not come on the Vanguard, or join a dialogue in the community, in order to change anyone’s mind.

        I’m with you, presenting ideas and concepts that have not been considered is far preferable.

        I prefer a dialogue to a debate.  For example, the Measure A vote was (in my opinion) a community dialogue, not a community debate.  It was a snippet in a long community conversation, preceded by prior snippets and followed by snippets to come.

        Based on the vociferousness of the rejection of that concept by some of the posters here in the Vanguard, I suspect I, like you, am an outlier.

        Some of the posters here in the Vanguard are consistently and constantly trying to change someone’s mind.

        1. Howard P

          And some actually want to bring facts and/or professional experience into the discussion as well as opinions.

          Some call us “trolls”, with nothing useful to contribute and whose posting should be dismissed, out of hand.  Whether we try to educate or express our opinions, and some try to be clear to separate the two.  But because we “hide behind” a certain measure of anonymity, we are clearly trolls.

  9. Ron

    David:  “Would you know who three-quarters of the people are if they did post under their full first and last name?

    You might if you started “researching” them. But of course, no one would do that.

  10. Ron

    Tia:  “I see an important difference between posting to change someone’s mind ( probably not going to happen often) vs to present a point of view that may not have been considered previously, which I have been told often.”

    Important point to remember.  Also, presenting a different point of view could encourage a different or broader examination of challenges, vs. a strictly myopic/limited analysis.

    By the way, I admire the consistently respectful and logical manner in which you present your arguments.  Not many are able to achieve that, on the Vanguard.  Your arguments were an excellent counterpoint to “Frankly”, who also presented arguments in a logical manner (perhaps not as politely as you, but still entertaining and informative).  Although I can’t speak for Frankly, I suspect that he had a great deal of underlying respect for you, as well.  (Otherwise, he probably wouldn’t have responded.)

    Perhaps it’s no coincidence that “Frankly” once mentioned the same type of thought that you expressed, as well. Thank you, and I will keep it in mind.

  11. David Greenwald

    On another note – I have figured out how to unignore people.  The bad news is that the user can’t do it, but I can do it for you by logging into your account – which means I need an email from you with your password (you can always change it later) and I can do it fairly easily.

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