25 November, 2006

New policy

For the foreseeable future, we would like UAE community members to avoid posting topics likely to generate heated debate here at UAE community blog. The reason for this is the current shitstorm taking place at 7Days, which is putting news and community sites in general in the spotlight.

We unfortunately don't have time to moderate all your comments, and even if we could, it creates a very patchy and incoherent experience when some have to be deleted and others approved.

So as of now, if people could keep more controversial topics to their own blogs, it would be highly appreciated. What we will allow (a reversal of our normal policy) is for people to post a link to such an entry here, and turn the comments off here. It's then your responsibility who then visits your blog and what they comment here.

As many of you know, I loathe and despise censorship in all its forms. I believe it stifles debate and progress, and is one of the greatest evils of our time. But I also feel a duty towards the safety of moderators, members and anonymous commenters here, and that is why - for now - this decision has been taken.

Thank you all in advance for your observance.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm anonymous at 5:12,6:23,7:45,8:41,9:53...

secretdubai said...

If we were able to fully disclose why we have done this, I think your reaction would be very different.

Fahad Al Mahmood said...

I can understand this sensitive situation ... let's just sit back and watch how things will turn to be ....

Anonymous said...

then u should disclose it cuz ur loosing us and our trusts

samuraisam said...

anonymous: How about I write something and you go to jail for it? Sound fair?

localexpat said...

tsk tsk tsk... As much as i hate it, if we don't watch our tongues a little bit this blog will eventually get blocked by our good old friends working in the telecommunication industry( i am expecting the same with mine heheheh).
I would rather have a slight moderation on this site then a complete block being imposed from 'high above'...

what to do ey?

click_310 said...

Thanks, SD, samuraisam. Hopefully certain people will go back to goofing off on their jobs in a few weeks and we can go back to flinging poo at each other. :)

PS: Thanks for the links Samuraisam.

blogrosh said...

Personally, I think we have had several decent and some intense debates on the community blog site.

I am thankful to SD for bringing together this community of willing bloggers - to debate and get to know more of the positives & negatives in the UAE today.

I also think most of us are mature individuals and for the most part, should try and keep it civil going forward. There will always be two sides of the coin, and we should learn to get to know & respect each other's views, without being condescending.

Borders, boundaries and cultures shall always change, and even though, we are people, from different cultures & homes, we exist only for a period of time, hence should continue to get to talk to one another, to better identify & co-exist - debate is the better way to do that.

Eric said...

As a fellow blogger outside of your community, this is a very difficult yet brave thing to ask your community. It must be difficult, but probably necessary. Good luck!

I enjoy looking around all of your blogs (even if I can't always comment), so please know that there are many people around the world watching...some good...some bad.

Lirun said...

classic dilemma..

but i think there is sound logic in balancing the preservation of this blog with the ideals of its founders..

little point to a blog that is offline..

:)

secretdubai said...

Thank you for those that support this decision. We hope it will be temporary.

alisha said...

good on u...after all everyone should be accountable for what they say and do...it's all easy peesy to put up anonymous comments that hurt sentiments and provoke rage, but the people who suffer are those who provide the platform....

at a tangent, the 7days letter was a little whiny...maybe a dignified silence might have done them better?

Proud Emirati said...

Guys I was wondering.

I cannot see 7days anymore on EPPCO petrol stations, why is that?

fellow atheist said...

Umm.. we get it everyday. If EPPCO is in Deira, then it might be because they have a really crappy distribution system on the other side of the creek.

truedebbie menon said...

I've been visitng this blog just recently and I must admit, I got 'cold feet' the last time
i read some of the posts.

I understand. Right On! SD.

With power comes responsibility!

Good Luck and blog on...

Anonymous said...

WHY have u stuck the policy in our face ok we get it we'll be chicken shit here but get it outtttt

Doubleletter said...

You know what ? I really _hate_ to admit it but 7days is wrong in this case.

If you quote someone who says something offensive, without explicitly distancing yourself from the speaker, then you're implicitly endorsing the quote.

Take, for example, the case of the Pope, who recently angered Muslims worldwide, by _quoting_ an ancient Christian king who called Islam a violent religion. Later, the Pope emphasized he was only quoting the king.

When the people of a nation are so sensitive to criticism, newspapers should be extra careful.

J. Edward Tremlett said...

"If you quote someone who says something offensive, without explicitly distancing yourself from the speaker, then you're implicitly endorsing the quote."

Not necessarily. If a newspaper quotes someone who says something offensive in the course of reporting on what was said, or the reaction to what was said, they're hardly taking a stance one way or the other just by reporting it.

The question is whether the article it was featured in was itself slanted. Did they talk to anyone on the other side of things to get balance? Did they provide any fact-checking or the like? If not, then it comes across as cheerleading. If so, then it's at least somewhat balanced.

If the Pope quotes someone in a speech while trying to make a point, and doesn't immediately repudiate that quote, then one can assume it's part of the overall point of the speech rather than an opposing viewpoint the Pope wants to rubbish or challenge. With news media, trying to report news while leaving the "point" on the op-ed page, or for the readers to decide, it's not advocacy, but reporting.

As for keeping contentious topics off the blogroll, here... come on, folks - if they want to bust you, they will find a way to bust you, and if they want to shut you down, it's just a line of code away. Don't be afraid of what comes from making noise - be afraid of the silence.

J

black belt 1st dan,shotokan! said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

black belt 1st dan,shotokan; yep, it's quite eay to call someone a chicken, when you are not at the receiving end, especially in this part of the world. At times, it's wise to lay low and let the storm pass.

SD has done a tremendous job for the community of bloggers in the UAE. The least you can do is appreciate her efforts.

HLH said...

"SD has done a tremendous job for the community of bloggers in the UAE. "
errr right. speak for your self.

BD said...

Although many participate in this blog it is the responsibility of its creators first and the co-moderators, secondly, to determine its parameters. I see nothing wrong with establishing guidelines and parameters. The fact is SD has left open the option of any poster to direct traffic to his or her own blog, which is fair enough. As a co-moderator I support this idea and encourage those with strong opinions to set up and moderate their own blogs. The UAE Community is still open to provide links to all, whose topics are relavant to the UAE.

HLH said...

bd...nice, so the moderators and the co moderators are all non-locals. I'm sure the moderation will be extremely fair and unbiased.

BD said...

The co-moderators include all who has been given administrative control--that is they are able to edit the template, delete posts, etc. There is no reason to assume that there are no locals among this group. SD or someone else could clarify this, but my assumption is that the co-moderator list is large and probably includes locals. It also seems that most of the co-moderators defer to SD, recognizing that she is the founder of this blog. In other words, it is very much a gentleman's club.

samuraisam said...

hl&h: please stop trying to instigate shit fights.

Lirun said...

its gone pretty quite on the main road hey..

happy tuesday to all ;)

fellow atheist said...

hlh,

let's face it, you are a minority in the UAE -- regardless of whether it's yours or not. Be helpful, be active and ask for moderation rights and I am sure you shall receive it. There isn't any hidden agenda where no one wants to see locals moderating.

But if you think that because you are a local you should be a moderator, you may want to head over to the next bank or government agency to give you that job. Not here. This is a meritocracy not something you get because of your origin.

I know of a couple of locals who would be very worthy of taking a more active role in moderation. Are they up for it? Do they even want it? If you have not done any community type of work before, you will be in for a big surprise. This stuff is very time consuming and requires a lot of hard work. It's not just a title, you know.

Anonymous said...

Me fail engrish, but that's unpossible!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
HL&H said...

"ALL BLOGGERS WHO COMMENT HERE ARE REQUESTED TO REFRAIN FROM REPLYING TO THE UBER TROLL - HLH."
thats comment= instigating shit fight.

sam : what r u talking about. its a valid point i'm making.

HLH said...

fa: "But if you think that because you are a local you should be a moderator," where did i say that? I'm making an observatoin.
So don't be sensitive about it. Nobody is picking a fight.
I just have some concerns moderation of what is not acceptable is coming from culturaly insensitive people.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
secretdubai said...

SD or someone else could clarify this

I actually don't know. Emirati may be - I'll have to check. I would note that not one person has asked for moderation status or volunteered to help out at any stage. People are very welcome to apply. If they are fairly well known and established as having a respected, solid blog, then they are welcome. We don't need to know them personally/offline, as long as they have a reasonable online reputation in the blogging community.

Anonymous said...

‘I just have some concerns moderation of what is not acceptable is coming from culturaly insensitive people’.

HL&H: I agree with you about (me) being ‘culturally insensitive’. At the same time at some point, we’re all culturally insensitive but this can be overcome by getting along with each other irrespective of origin, and without bias or prejudice.

So, how about getting along with each other to start with?

Post a Comment

NOTE: By making a post/comment on this blog you agree that you are solely responsible for its content and that you are up to date on the laws of the country you are posting from and that your post/comment abides by them.

To read the rules click here

If you would like to post content on this blog click here