Dear posters,esteemed readers
I still feel like I have not read the whole discussion enough, in this group and in the EVVV one , and I take any constructive criticism seriously, so feel free to point out anything you might consider worth discussing. My final goal of this post is to set an end to all of the pandemonium that in fact I am responsible of, and thereby exonerate Bruno who has become a target of many let us call them “reactions”. This is going take a while you might want to get a cup of tea.
@chris, an anecdote I found apt:
"Here we are all gathered in what seems to be the centre of the storm
Neighbours once friendly now stand each side of the line that has been drawn
They’ve been fighting here for years, but now there’s killing on the streets
While small coffins are lined up sadly, now united in defeat
We always need to hear both sides of the story"
Both sides of the story - Phil Collins
so now without any further a due lets get to the point:
1. what happened on that ominous night:
I opened my mail account to find a lot of messages from a group that I have never heard nor read before. I was not very pleased with what I had to read, since from my point of view it had no significance for me. That is my point of view. Those were especially posts from this particular thread:
I looked into the group setting and realized that it could have been anyone who invited me into the group because every single member holds the status of a moderator and apparently did not have the decency of setting my communication settings properly. Don’t get me wrong, I love Vienna and its surfers, been there more than once and met many wonderful people, but in this very instant I was just in a bad mood (happens to everyone once in a while) and I took the decision to take care of the situation, my goal was to contain the damage and not have anyone else being invited to this group, may it be silly/funny/annoying/offensive, opinions DO differ, and we all must acknowledge that.
As stated above, someone in the group started demoting moderators to members, that would have been me, I take full responsibility for it. Secondly I invited Bruno to the group and installed him as the only moderator just before demoting myself to a member and leaving the group. The only person who noticed the changes and contacted me was SPYRO (hi). When he contacted me, at this point I was the only person with the status of a moderator.
After installing Bruno as the only moderator, he took the decision to have the group removed, out of the concern that it might be offensive to some people in CS. Note, this was his decision and it is his personal opinion to do so. In order to fully understand what happened we both decided to disclose the emails he sent and received within the following hours.
The first mail went to a CS MIKKY MOUTH (his answer is listed first, Bruno’s question is posted below:
FROM CS AMBASSADOR: MIKKY MOUTH
thank you very much for your enquiry!
while we understand that this group is offending you we need to tell you that CS do not Censor groups.
We are a bunch of drastically different people, all
learning how to cooperate, get along and understand
each other. Every time we don't communicate
effectively, we are one step farthur from the CS
mission.. every time we find a way to understand each
other, we are one step closer. CS is a mini-world...
That´s why i would recommend to contact the moderator of this group and maybe you would understand the purpose of this group then.
If the moderator do want to delete the group but don´t know how to do it, he should contact us.
So far i know, a couple of this groupmembers are vegetarians or vegans by themself and make fun of it.
please do not hesitate to contact us again if there any other question occures!
TO REPLY: www.couchsurfing.com/contact.html?reply=30055&email=brunoest...
I feel offended by this group: www.couchsurfing.com/group.html?gid=8471
and talked to the administrator for him to delete it but he doesn't know how, and i don't know how either, is it possible for you to do it?
YOUR PROFILE: www.couchsurfing.com/people/ranma
Please note that at this point I was the administrator of the group, and when Bruno says he talked to the administrator he actually was talking to me.
After I installed him as moderator he contacted another CS volunteer, here is the message:
FROM CS AMBASSADOR: ...Mandy Live
Hello Bruno -
Couchsurfing policy is to not delete any group that still has other members in it. Of course you are free to change the description of the group, or the name if you are concerned with how it comes across.
Your other option is to have all 37 members of the group agree to leave it; if you are the only member left, we would be able to delete the group at your request.
We hope this information helps, and let us know if you have any further questions.
TO REPLY: www.couchsurfing.com/contact.html?reply=30057&email=brunoest...
I'm the moderator of the group www.couchsurfing.com/group.html?gid=8471
and decided that it may be offensive for some people, please delete it :)
YOUR PROFILE: www.couchsurfing.com/people/ranma
After this did not work, we left the situation as it was overnight, to find the following mail in his inbox the next day, this time from Marcus Eder from Vienna:
>Marcus Eder Wrote:
>>I am a bit annoyed!
>>I think you don't get the joke and sarcasm in the
>>"Eaters of Vegan and Vegetarian" group. I am for live
>>and let live. If you have a problem than leave this
>>group and go. More than 50% of the people in this
>>group are vegetarians themselves. I look forward to
>>see the group having their old moderators back and you
>>unmarked as moderator tonight.
>>I see it as a big misuse
>>of the trust people have in moderators and ambassadors
>>to keep CS as open community for everybody. I do not
>>want to be friendlinked if you keep on behaving like
>>I look forward to your post where you excuse for that
♥ Bruno Maiorana ♥ Wrote:
>I've promote everyone to moderators and left the group
>Nevertheless i still don't get the joke and still find
>it offensive and aggressive, too bad you don't
>understand my point of view.
>Anyway i assure you that i will not bother you guys
And Marcus one more time:
some people are vegans and others are eating meat. Some
people are homosexual others aren't than there are
nudists and people that find it offensive. If a person
finds it offensive if people are at a nudist beach well
than I would recommend them just to not go there....
Most people in the group did joke about themselves as
a vegan would never eat humans right? If there is a
group that is against some law than please send a CUQ [EDIT: CUQ = Contact us Questions].
If it is offensive outside the group than this could or
should be discussed as well. But within groups the
people should be able to talk about what they want as
long as it does not violate a law.
Thanks for that step.
I wish you merry christmas and a happy new year.
So this is how far the communication between us and the officials go.
I hope this answers some questions asked in your post, Chris. I appreciate you did your homework and got so involved, so did we. We took your advice to read some of the “fun” going on in the EVVV group, like this for example posted by SPYRO:
By Chris: http://www.couchsurfing.com/group_read.html?gid=8471&post=611395
“This individual is so kind, and considerate in assuming things, and making judgments of individuals he does not know, never has talked to, and has never met”.
Isn’t this exactly what you are doing in the further post? Note, I am trying to be as objective as possible. Furthermore we found another post of yours, Chris, please open http://www.couchsurfing.com/group_read.html?gid=8471&post=604114#post604847
“My Mother always said if you can’t say anything nice, don't say anything at all, and since I'm not one to keep my mouth shut, here are a few positive words for this individual”.
What follows is offensive and inappropriate and should not be posted in a CS group. Especially the part where you say: “I would love to invite him to a party sometime with some of my military buddies. We would have such good times with him getting to know all about us, and what we think about such wonderful people!”
By saying this you are disrespecting Bruno’s integrity as a person, and his inviolability, and THAT certainly does not contribute to the goals this network has set itself. Call it over-interpretation, but in between the lines you are threatening to harm another human being just because he thinks different than you do and expresses his opinion.
And now, finishing, I would like to speak off the record.
Probably I am not a good mediator in this very situation, of course I would take side with Bruno, after all we were partners in this “crime”. I know that in this post I said that it is vital to respect the opinion and the freedom of others, and it is and always will be an eternal discussion to decide where personal freedoms begin and where they end. Do they end the moment they meet another person’s personal freedoms, contradict those or even violate them? I say: It depends. I must say, dealing with this whole situation made me think about my own actions. When I reset the moderator status of the group I did not expect such a great uproar within this group. I still wonder how some of us can get agitated about things that happen in a little virtual world like this. I don’t mean to preach but there are bigger problems on our planet. In the process of creating this post I realized that both parties don’t live up to what they preach. We are all part of this wonderful network and we are here to make an effort together. Let us all learn from our mistakes, in my eyes this is a win-win situation because we all have the opportunity to learn and grow. The discussion discloses that there are conflicts within the community; some conflicts will not be resolved, not even in the lifetime of a human being. However, it is important we discuss our conflicts in a civilized manner. I appreciate everyone’s input on trying to reach a consensus that all parties can be happy with.
Thus I appeal to each and everyone involved to take this as a valuable lesson and in the future to double-check what we are saying/writing, whom to and in what possible way this might affect this individual and possibly other uninvolved individuals. I for myself certainly learned that impulsive reactions can be dangerous. Sometimes it is hard to hold back, but this ability – to control your emotions - is what separates a civilized species from wild animalist behaviour.
“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is why so few engage in it.”
~ Henry Ford
Thank you Henry for that thoughtful contribution, I am sure we will all keep it in mind and realize that we all have grown a little bit.
Thank you all for reading, and be sure to leave thoughtful comments. Happy new year to all of you and may you have many beautiful moments with CS in 2008.
Patryk and Bruno