With all due respect it was a private message not a public one. He violated the confidentiality of the message by making it public in an attemot to run me off the site (as he has done to others). I go out of my way not to directly engage him yet he makes direct attacks on me at will. Sounds kind of like a bully (hmmmm there are laws for that). His behavior is no better than the woman from MO being tried in CA for attacking someone verbally online (granted I am not suicidal though).
Point is there needs to be a precedant here. This type of behavior is unacceptable and needs to be dealt with. Matt has been allowed to run this site rupshod for way to long. He has crossed the line and a punishment should follow. Or is he above the law or any stanndard of basic courtesy or dignity? Or has this site really gotten that bad?[/QUOTE]
I’ve taken my time and thought this over in detail, but I really can’t see myself intervening. I’ll address the reasons why:
[list=1][*]Running you off the site: There are a lot of people on N-B that don’t get along with one another. I can think of many examples since 03 (though I don’t want to name names), several of which include people who no longer post. People’s decisions for leaving NB are their own. If you don’t enjoy communicating with Matt, there are a lot of other posters you can communicate with. I believe we used to have an ignore feature before the switch to the new board. Maybe we could reinstate that, we’d have to talk to Pat.
[*]Bullying: This is a really arbitrary line to draw. Suffice to say if bullying was the factor, TheJuiceBox (Kymball) would rank higher than Stannard. Honestly, I credit both you and Matt with being strong enough to not be bullied by one another, just enormously annoyed. And to be fair, you hit back at Matt also. I don’t want to get into a “which insult was come-back to what other insult” discussion, just to point out that you’re both men capable of standing up for yourselves. (If we were to start banning people for “bullying” or obscenity, suffice to say a good 1/3 of the board could be banned overnight.)
[*]Confidentiality of the Message: I’ve thought about this in detail, and its really the only scenario where I can imagine a mod intervention (such as posting the contents of a private communication without the parties’ consent).
Simply, a Private Message is nothing more than you entrusting information to another person. It does not legally or implicitly bind them to never mention it again. The only private portion of the PM is that only you two are privy to the information, unless one chooses to publicize it (no one else can publicize or access it).
I can think of many examples where communications that occurred privately via Net-Benefits (and even AIM or FaceBook) where discussed in person with people who were not intended recipients of the message. Should those people be suspended/banned? The line is arbitrary to draw here.
To me, a PM is no different than a telephone call. If you phoned Matt, only you, Matt, and the Department of Homeland Security would be allowed to access it, but either of you could discuss the contents afterwards.
There are many cases of people who have publicized voicemails left on their answering machines, showcased letters / notes delivered to them to others, or posted messages delivered via online media for all to see. Sending someone a message is granting them a right of ownership to that message. It is not copyrighted, nor is it protected by privacy law.
A PM is no different than any of those examples. It is simply a forum’s equivalent of those communication functionalities. The fact that it is called a Private Message doesn’t change its role.[/list]
For us to intervene would set a really bad precedent here. Honestly, Ken, you should just stop communicating with Matt if it upsets you.