piranha: red origami crane (Default)
[personal profile] piranha
this was set off by a comment to the post i made a few days ago regarding pseudonymity.

somebody said: I don't think friending a person to comment on what is said elsewhere (meatspace, elseNet, whathaveyou) is polite, nor is it ethical. Changing venues is just wrong, in my opinion.

considering how many friends i have made because i changed venues (going from usenet to email), i can't possibly agree with the last sentence. i generally think changing (electronic) venues is a good thing, if what one wants to talk about isn't entirely appropriate for the original venue. that could be any number of things -- pointing out an error without the public humiliation factor, expressing vociferous agreement, weighing in on zir side of an argument without wanting to extend a flamewar, telling zir that the argument rocks if one has nothing else to say, adding something more personal to a general case, etc. i think it's a crying shame that so many people munge their email addresses now on usenet, because it hinders easy switching.

i do this a lot less on LJ, because LJ seems appropriate for a lot more personal things than usenet, and because it's more of a pain to find the email address and copy relevant text across. all this makes the change of venue seem more weighty. this also means that it will probably take a lot longer for me to make an LJ friend (i mean an actual friend).

i've friended several people here because of things said elsewhere -- in a third person's LJ, in an LJ community, on usenet, in a wiki, and in books. i've done it because i thought the things people said interesting, and wanted to read more from/about them. i've followed people into other usenet groups too, though not in a particularly stalky manner (as in, not to comment on zir posts, but to see whether the group was interesting in and of itself).

i am not sure i'd friend somebody on LJ to comment on something specific raised elsewhere, because how am i gonna do that if there is no base post off which to hang the comment. but i can see ... and, wait, i have done something like it! the person took the discussion from one journal to zir own, and misrepresented something others (amongst them i) had said. i didn't actually friend zir, i could comment without doing so. i am not sure whether i would have commented if i had had to friend zir first; that seems to me to introduce an extra level of "please make sure you belong here", but on the other hand, zie was talking about something i allegedly said... i might've.

changing venues from electronic means to in-person ones feels like a much larger hurdle. there are people i've known for years on usenet, but have never called on the phone, for example.

so, i am curious. when do y'all think it's ok to carry something from one venue to another, and when does it feel wrong, or even unethical?

on 2005-06-28 04:55 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] kightp.livejournal.com
See, now, in the Usenet cultures I "grew up" in (Internet-wise), taking an argument to e-mail was considered civil and proper behavior in order to spare the newsgroup-at-large. Different groups, of course, have different cultures.

on 2005-06-28 13:58 (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] snippy
But if I wanted a private conversation I wouldn't have started the argument on a Usenet group. Or participated in it.

Perhaps I've been unclear. I'm not referring to the situation where you realize that it's just you and Sockpuppet arguing back and forth for the last week, and it would be a service to the community to take it private and you both agree to do so. What bugs me is when somebody out of the blue, without prior agreement, emails me with something nasty and out of character, that looks like they're hiding it from the rest of the community so they can be abusive in private, or even just take a different position than the one they've been advocating publicly. Or when Sockpuppet tires of failing to bug me enough to blow me up on the Usenet group and so comes to my LJ to attack me personally on posts of mine that are unrelated to the subject matter of the discussion in the Usenet group.

on 2005-06-28 14:38 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] kightp.livejournal.com
Um, yeah, that would piss me off, too. To the point where I might just consider quoting the offending communication in the original venue, netiquette be damned.

Re: change of venue etiquette

on 2005-06-28 18:29 (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] pir-anha.livejournal.com
But if I wanted a private conversation I wouldn't have started the argument on a Usenet group. Or participated in it.

however, you're not the only person in the conversation, and surely the others have some rights too? what if i want to add something that i don't particularly want to plaster all over the universe, but that is pertinent to the conversation? calling an email like that unethical seems to me pretty strong language.

i think i draw the lines in different places. unasked-for nastiness is inappropriate, period, whether it stays in the venue or not, and i don't appreciate it either way. i don't get more upset about finding it in my email; in fact generally i think nastiness in public is more annoying because now third parties might jump into it and escalate the situation, but in email i can possibly clear up misunderstandings a whole lot better.

carrying on a conversation after somebody has said "ok, i've had enough" is rude in my eyes no matter how it's carried on. i want no more usenet posts egging me on after that, nor do i want email, nor comments on my LJ. that is, if there was really just a statement to stop it, not a big post pontificating and then saying "i want to hear no more about this", *wry grin*.

changing the venue in a spirit of goodwill doesn't, to me, seem unethical (unless we're talking about somebody who's deluded about their goodwill, which is a fringe case). if we were talking about yarn on usenet, and i had come across a yarn i think you might like, but i don't have your email address handy, and the post has expired, i'd not normally think it wrong to leave a comment on your LJ. (if i am certain you read my LJ, i'd make an entry for it, but that's just because i hate leaving unrelated comments in LJs.)

changing venues between electronic and meatspace seems to me an escalation that requires permission even when one has only the best intentions -- that has to do with my notions of asynchronous communication and privacy. but switching between electronic venues is very fluid for me, and i see more of a distinction between private and public than between one public venue and another. eg. going from private to public is a Big Deal, but going from one usenet group to another, or from an LJ community to a personal, non-f-locked LJ isn't. it's not like all public venues are the same; i definitely view a personal LJ as less public than a usenet group, but it doesn't scream "private property, do not enter" to me unless it is entirely f-locked. i know i am also very concerned about preserving context when changing venues, but as long as that is done, or alternatively, the serial numbers are filed off, i'm fine with it.

if you and i had started this conversation on usenet, i'd see nothing wrong with taking that comment above and moving it here to reach another group of people. i'd probably remove the originator's identification as i did here, because it doesn't really matter who said it; i'm not interested in having people think about that you said that, i want them to think about the statements themselves. would you consider that unethical?

Re: change of venue etiquette

on 2005-06-28 23:05 (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] snippy
My issue is control and permission. Want to send me an email instead of continuing the conversation in public? Ask me. Let me give my consent. Don't just impose it on me. And I'm recognizing that I've been limited in my imagination of these conversations, because my experience is only with bitter arguments and unwanted email from men who carry on attacking me personally rather than arguing against my thesis.

I don't get unsolicited fan mail, I get unsolicited hate mail.

Moving a conversation elsewhere, and generalizing it, because there are other things you want to discuss, and other audiences you want to communicate with, is fine with me. Taking a conversation you and I are having to another venue and expecting me to participate in the conversation *there* instead of where we were having it, without my prior consent -- that is unethical, to me. And that's what taking it to email is, or coming uninvited to my LJ (even though it's not friends-only) and placing comments about our conversation on unrelated posts; they both violate the boundaries I set for my participation in different venues, in different types of conversations.

The only exception I make is to allow "asking permission to ask," that is, posting a comment on an unrelated post to ask me if it's okay to discuss a subject, or to send me email. That preserves my choice and shows respect.

As for me, I'd rather keep my arguments public: I want other people to see what I'm saying, and what the other person is saying. I want witnesses; I don't want conspiracies in email, backstabbing backchat, lurkers' support, misunderstandings and misrepresentations that I can't even defend myself against because I'm not aware of them, or having my emails forwarded to third parties (again without my consent), all of which have happened to me. If somebody agrees with me, let them be brave enough to say so in public; if they disagree with me, ditto, and maybe I'll learn something.


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
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