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:
|“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
|“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;
|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,
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?