Baby Dust Diaries

A Life Less Ordinary

An Open Letter to MotheringDotCommunity

Blog readers!  This letter is probably NOT going to be interesting to you but because I knew it would be deleted on the boards in question I posted it here.  


Dear Fellow MDC Mamas,

I am deeply concerned about recent events on this board. Namely the fact that the thread where we community members were voicing concern over the new signature guidelines was removed.

I have had my posts deleted and moved or threads closed in my time on Mothering. I didn’t always agree with this but I know from experience that moderating a board of this size is very difficult and time consuming. Some rules need to be made and I’m ok with those rules not always being what I would agree with.

This includes the new signature guidelines. I, personally, find them overly restrictive and motivated by money. However, this too I can just sigh at and continue to enjoy the wonderful mamas I meet here.

This is different.

Removing the entire thread because it showed dissent is abominable. I understand that some posts were removed by abimommy because they were rude and insulting. That I understand. But, Georgia removing the entire thread is draconian and fascist.

I don’t say that as a mere insult. It is in fact fascism of a sort. The Italian Doctrine of Fascism states:

Quote:
“The Fascist conception of the State is all-embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist State—a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values—interprets, develops, and potentiates the whole life of a people.”

And Christopher Hitchens said

Quote:
“the urge to ban and censor books, silence dissenters, condemn outsiders, invade the private sphere, and invoke an exclusive salvation is the very essence of the totalitarian.”

This is, in my opinion, diametricly opposed to the values Mothering states;

Quote:
Our discussions concern the real world of mothering and are first and foremost, for support, information, and community. Mothering invites you to read and participate in the discussions. In doing so we ask that you agree to respect and uphold the integrity of this community.

Squashing of even respectful dissent from members of the community does not display respect or integrity and severely erodes the term community.

I have been in great conflict with how I should proceed. I keep thinking of the wonderful people I’ve met here and the wonderful advice we all share. This amazing period of my life when I’ve brought a baby into the world will always be framed in the context of my relationships here. When I think of MotheringDotCommunity I think of YOU, my fellow members, and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy. We ARE THE COMMUNITY! Part of me wants to forget this over-arching dictatorship and enjoy our limited freedoms together. The other part of me though, believes that the only way for evil to prevail is for good mamas to stand by and do nothing. We have nothing if not our voice to stand up for what is right.

Censorship is not right. Intolerance of opposing views is not right. Social engineering through tight control of discussion is not only not right but has inspired many dystopian works of fiction (e.g. 1984 – shall we use newspeak to rewrite reality?). These are things that form the foundation of my values. The same values that make me a gentle, AP mother – freedom, respect for all life and our planet, and weighing each choice we make based on the impact it has on others. I thought MDC espoused these views but they do not.

In my contemplation of this letter I googled “mothering.com community and censorship” and was stunned by what I found.

This previous user’s blog post still gets multiple hits/comments 2 and a 1/2 years later!

This blogger states; “I’ve seen MDC drift from a “fairness to all; tolerance to all; love to all” group to a “fairness, tolerance, and love to you as long as you believe exactly the way we’ve decided is the correct way to believe.”

I was also shocked to see her say “the admin team watches what you do online. It’s very likely I will be permanently banned from the site for expressing myself like this in my own journal. Which is fine with me…….but just a warning. Big Sister is watching.” If this is true then it is even more disturbing in the parallels to fascists regimes.

Even bloggers that I don’t agree with on issues points out the sad fact that Mothering is squelching open discussion. And here and here. It isn’t that I agree with these sites on the topics but I agree that MDC’s reputation for restricting information is something I can’t be a part of. This site normally makes me sooo mad with their attacks on non-vaxers but read this posts’ comments. It is sad.

I know that I must make my life meet my convictions, else what is the point of convictions, even if it means missing friends here. I can no longer associate with an organization that actively works against my fundamental values. I can only spread the word and hope Mothering leadership rethinks their values.

I know that this post will be deleted, so I am making a screen shot and posting it on my website (I wish I had done that on the Signature discussion the other day) along with this letter: http://www.babydustdiaries.com. I also realize, obviously, that I will be banned from the boards. I’m thankful that my DDC is on Facebook so I can keep in touch with them and I’m also glad that the boards are open so I can still find good advice in the archives. I will however miss the camaraderie and interaction.

Please know that I don’t blame anyone who stays on these boards. Each of us have to weigh the benefits of remaining and I respect each person’s decision. Mine is to vote with my fingers…and post elsewhere.

Thanks for reading mamas and peace and happiness to all of you,
PaigeC.


Originally posted on MDC 6/24/09 at 8:51PM.  Deleted with the following email at 8:56PM the same day.

Paige, I am truly sorry–I see you have some very real concerns–but I couldn’t leave this up on the boards, as it violates MDC’s User Agreement. Please, contact an admin with your concerns and don’t post them on the boards.

They are always this nice.  Such nice people but as a group they’ve lost their minds.  How does this happen to good people?

(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)

22 Comments

  1. I applaud your letter. Every bit of it is the truth but the powers that be at MDC don’t care anymore, they haven’t in years. It was fun when I first joined in 2002. I finally let myself just drift away from it last year when I couldn’t take all the rule I couldn’t keep track of anymore. When I heard about the new sig rule I wasn’t surprised in the least.

    And your daughter is beautiful, congratulations!

  2. Great post at MDC. I’ve left for the same reasons.
    Clementine

  3. Hi there mama – I too was away during a lot of the recent craziness at MDC and am upset by it. I came upon your post and site when trying to figure out why no one had said anything on the boards about the rcent changes. I should have known that people DID say things but that there comments were just removed. It’s the last straw for me, ugh. And I have loved so much of what I have learned at times from them…

    Can anyone point me in the direction of some of the other boards out there that you may have mentioned and recommend.

    Thanks

  4. This is the main reason that I left MDC over 2 years ago. I occasionally pop over when a friend asks me to read something, but I don’t bother commenting… there’s a 9 in 10 chance that it will be deleted anyway.

    Oh, and MDC mods… I’m gen_here over there. Feel free to ban me, too. “The Ban” is such a joke there these days, it’s just assumed you’ll be kicked as soon as you post something.

  5. Great letter!! I wasn’t as bold as you. I sent one directly to Georgia.. but of course, they don’t care. 🙁

    aniT

  6. I totally agree. It’s been awhile since I’ve been there regularly, for a variety of reasons. It gets wackier and wackier.

  7. Loved the post! You are being rewarded with bacon over at trollswithwoodenspoons.com. 🙂

  8. By the way, a bunch of MDC dissenters are here- which is how I found your post. Someone copy pasted your mdc letter there. Feel free to join us. We’d love to have you.
    http://www.trollswithwoodenspoons.com/index.php

  9. You could always try KellyMom.com… there are some great Forums, there, too. Now I’m curious about what’s going on MDC!! Will have to go over there and check!

  10. Are you not accepting pm’s at mdc? Or did they ban you?

    We saw your instantly-deleted post about the sad state of mdc over at http://www.trollswithwoodenspoons.com

    There are a LOT of old mdc members there. I bet you would enjoy it there. Please come register and join us.

    You don’t have to live like this.

    paphia

  11. “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a time of moral crisis, remain neutral.” — Dante Alighieri

    Way to reserve a cooler spot for yourself! This is just another in a long string of reasons why I haven’t been visiting MDC. WELCOME!!
    -MonqiqueWS

  12. They are not always that nice. =:O But I’m sure glad they were nice to you!

  13. Yeah, I’m also concerned about the new signature guidelines. I’ve found incredible links to blogs at the bottom of profound, informative posts where I continue to find out new things and feel part of a great community of caring moms.

    I don’t know what I’ll do. I have no plans to leave MDC, I still feel I can glean good things there, but it does feel a bit stifling to have such limits on communication.

    I think I found your blog at MDC–glad I did.

    It’s a shame.

  14. I hope you sent this letter to Peggy O. Not that she’ll do anything about it, but she should read this.

    Great letter. MDC will miss your voice.

  15. I’m not part of this group (not being a mama) but have had similar experiences with some of the natural health blogs. (Mercola in particular.) It was difficult to lose the contacts, but eventually i found more. Ultimately a group got together & created a better forum where folks had more freedom to interact without the restrictive rules that limited dialogue.

    Hope it soon works out for you.

  16. I know what you mean about gleaning good things there. I’m going to be crying the next time I have a question and I can’t go to MDC!

    The blogs I’ve found through MDC, like yours, are the best part!

  17. Thanks for linking to my blog. Yep, I still get a ton of hits to that. People look up “MDC censorship” all the time. There were more blogs up when I posted that and when I posted, two years ago, it was after a couple of years of horrible censorship and abuse by the moderation team. They discriminated against single moms pretty badly back then.

    And we got the same thing……….it was like big brother……….if anyone dared posted ANYTHING dicenting, it was pulled within seconds.

    It’s not right. They have such a huge volume of women they’ve alienated and offended and abused, and they just keep it under wraps. Polite questions are ok, appropriate, and essential for a healthy board.

    What MDC has turned into is phoney. It’s totally fake. Everyone agrees simply because those that don’t are silenced.

    I wrote Peggy for YEARS and she responded 1 time, to one of my first letters saying “I have no idea what you’re talking about” and never replied again. She’s friends with Cynthia Mosher who, from what I understand, still keeps MDC under her thumb even though she’s technically gone.

    The sad reality is that those women have way too much false power and abuse it. They hurt hundreds of women and they don’t care. They are evil dictators, no matter how nice they phrase their tyrany.

    Anyways………..I’m not surprised it’s still going on. Peggy is a thoughtless wench, Cynthia is a power hungry bitch, and they rule the roost. Everyone else is fuct.

  18. I was upset with the change as well, and have noticed so many changes since I started posting there that I very rarely post anymore. It just doesn’t feel the same.
    I was also in your DDC.:) (Kimmiepie) I requested to be in the FB group but haven’t been accepted yet. 🙁

  19. Hi there,

    This has happened at a time where I was in mourning, so I missed all the drama. But I too am concerned by the atmosphere that has been created there. MDC was an essential tool for me as an isolated new mother, but I find that it no longer meets my needs. Thankfully it is not the only discussion board for mamas who are genltly parenting/mothering their families.

    I remember a study being posted in the vaccination forum on a subgroup of non-vaxing mums, the subgroup being Mothering subscribers. I never got a reply to just how people doing the study got the contact details for Mothering subscribers. It has been a nagging issue for me.

    I’ll see what I decide is best for me. I really support your letter and your decision.

    Your daughter is just gorgeous. 🙂

    Ema-Adama

  20. Samantha @ Mama Notes

    September 28, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    I totally agree with you Paige. I think they are so strict over there it is ridiculous. I stopped going there as often because I am so sick of their rules and deleting everything!!

    I hope the mods come over here and read all these comments so they can see that you’re not the only one who thinks this way!!

  21. Samantha @ Mama Note

    September 28, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    I totally agree with you Paige. I think they are so strict over there it is ridiculous. I stopped going there as often because I am so sick of their rules and deleting everything!! I hope the mods come over here and read all these comments so they can see that you're not the only one who thinks this way!!

  22. MDC has really become a “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” type of mentality. I still lurk the boards for information, but I was seriously disappointed at the lack of compassion, understanding and empathy when more than a few of us mamas who were physically unable to breastfeed were denied when we wanted to create a support forum. I personally didn’t see the harm of it or how it went against their values. As far as I was concerned the inability to breastfeed is part of the “real world of mothering”

    There are mamas who were feeling deep seated guilt and sorrow over the inability to breastfeed. We were pretty much given the “well it sucks for you that your boobs don’t work, but you still can’t discuss how to feed your baby in other ways than breastmilk.”

    Many times I’ve felt punished as a formula feeding mama and I know more than a few of us have felt it on MDC.

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