Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Nanaimo City Hall Blog or Frank Murphy

Moderator's Agenda Questionable?

The local blogosphere had a new entrant a few months back with the appearance of Nanaimo City Hall Blog, moderated by local Frank Murphy. It is not so much new, as a remake of Frank's old blog titled Frank Murphy.

The blog, offers those interested in local civic affairs a soap box from which to express their opinion which some feel is stifled by the local press. Being very interested in local civic matters and interested in the concept that the alternative media could fill a worthwhile communications void in the local arena, I signed on as a contributor to the site. During the past few months I contributed a few articles, which I had published on Nanaimo Info Blog and they seemed to generate some discussion.

Recently I added a comment under one of my articles that the moderator, Frank Murphy seemed to take exception to resulting in the removal of my comment with the following explanation:

"Jim Talyor's comment has been removed as it didn't meet the standard of this blog's guideline: be nice, be civil; if you can't be nice, if you can't be civil at least be thoughtful."
I was a little surprised by the removal, but could not remember exactly what I had said, although the implication was that this article was going to result in the same pontificating as most others on the blog, by basically the same two or three posters and that it would go nowhere.
I was also a little surprised by the removal as in a previous exchange with Mr. Murphy on the subject of moderation he said he did not act as a moderator, as he felt it was akin to shouting down someone whose opinion you did not agree with. However, I do realize that I can be hot headed sometimes and that I engage my keyboard without fully engaging my brain, so wondered if I had said something really insensitive and offensive. To that end I asked Mr. Murphy to explain my error, to which he commented:

"Jim -- my interest is in broad and lively discussion. I'm doing this more to learn than teach. I'll be clipping off comments that try to limit the conversation. Preemptively discrediting points yet to be made by associating them with the person's address for instance will be unacceptable.


I am reasonably familiar with the Queen's English and am usually able to understand the written word, however this bit of baffle gab quite simply just baffled. I had hoped Mr. Murphy would have quoted my uncivil, un-nice or un-thoughtful comment so that I could learn from my mistake and hopefully not repeat it.

Several other requests for a clarification from Mr. Murphy went unanswered. The only rational conclusion I can come to is that Mr. Murphy will moderate comments based on his personal agenda. From personal observation he seems to be opposed to any type of tax cuts which could affect the 'arts' community.

It is almost nearly impossible to know what really motivates people and why they try to shape public opinion to fall in line with that agenda.


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