Submitted by sandpiper on Wed, 07/29/2009 - 10:28pm
3-15-09 Community Conference Call Notes
people beeping in, saying hello.
Inel: explains wonkovator guidelines. say name before speaking. space between thought so don't talk over each other. call goes for an hour. hot topic in community, anyone else have other safe space rules they want to suggest?
Storey: does this call address safe space on the website or in local meetings too?
Inel: as we check in, the things we bring up usually become topics. this meeting has proposed topic of talking about safe space and rants and rages policy. it's up to the people who come to the call to decide.
malonedies : lets talk about that first some time isn't eaten up.
inel: lets check in, pose some questions
inel: lots of awkward silence on wonkovator. try to be patient with that. is anyone NOT okay with doing check ins?
inel- Asheville, NC. web host liaison, supports local groups, support network working group. in funky headspace. trouble shifting gears, trouble focusing. butterflies about the intense week. feeling confused around how to be supportive to each other and respect wherever we are coming from. feeling odd and off balance, was not expecting to facilitate.
smiles- first call. butterflies too. mental health plays a big part on the site. recently having frame shifting about new definitions- gifted. icarus advances the idea that it's not all sickness. nervous about call.
steven smiles- Vermont. been on a couple calls before. the stuff going on on the forums relates to stuff going on in physical space. ethics and guidelines. looking for ideas personally. curious about collective and where it's going.
strangedoll-from Asheville. came to answer mod questions. can't speak for everyone though. can't write and speak at the same time so may be kind of quiet. personally feeling hormonal and kind of fucked up.
storey- Michigan. joined icarus in November, relatively new. takes me awhile to be comfortable someplace. have DID. none of them will speak today, they are shy and in background. feel strongly about safe space. making me think about what i put on the internet and if that is safe space. had rough morning, feeling stable this afternoon.
(inel thanks each person after they speak)
SilverElf: in St.Louis. haven't been on call for a few months. spring is bringing large transitions in my life. local collective facing foreclosure on building. therapist office burnt down. research work up in the air. icarus has been intense lately. trying to be centered and be open to changes.
malonedies - feeling scattered. have little one on lap. really want to be on the call. have a lot to say about this topic. want to be connected with the real people behind the website.
MRG joins call. calling from NYC. gloomy Sunday. feeling "eh." lot going on. Michael is education/outreach working group coordinator. works out of fountain house. helps with campus initiative.
inel: lets talk about how to better hold safe space on the website? would like to ask your support in facilitating this conversation? not sure how to proceed. silverelf you brought up some great questions, would you be willing to pose to the group?
silverelf: twofold concerns. 1) how we talk about safe space when it's complex with no simple answers. how to hold safe space for people struggling with things in different ways when they way they express makes space feel unsafe for someone else? 2) time and time again something has come up. thinking about concept of uncensored area of website and what that means? how to we hold accountability in that structure? people feel like they can talk about what they need to without feeling judged, condemned or critiqued
MRG: internet access has been limited. haven't read the posts but heard about them. there still should be some guidelines- nothing extreme, no talk of killing someone. thought it goes without saying, but it doesn't. should still have some basic guidelines even for that space.
Inel: hard to draw the line on certain things. what is offensive? what is too offensive? what is too extreme? clear to me to immediate remove/interrupt if personal attacks are being made. in our group we say "it's okay to say this Fuck this and fuck that, but it's not okay to say Fuck you"
Mrg: I agree with that
Smiles: when I joined Icarus, rants and rages is one of the parts that i liked. part of being mentally ill or having breakdowns hard dark times-- the guidelines say "don't come here." if your in a bad space, you might go there to make things worse for yourself. would be disappointed if rants and rages left. have thoughts i cannot say to other people. but i don't go there. free and radical community- throughout history, things get regulated. the internet isn't a safe space.
strangedoll- lots of jokes go on in rants and rages. Creative insults, LOL cats, funny pictures and sarcastic stuff. Sometimes I go there looking to laugh. think forums should be separated. joke space and rage space should be separate.
malonedies - really enjoy the funny stuff too. but the other use for rants and rages has failed. maybe have another space for jokes then rants. think rants is a good idea in theory but in practice has failed. restructure or redefine it. icarus can suspend guidelines if they want to, but when someone breaks the law and makes a threat, icarus doesn't have the power to suspend that. don't want to give people the idea there will be no consequences to what they say there.
MRG: that's what i was thinking about with the basic guidelines that go without saying. rants and rages are different. rants can be comical, just ranting out ideas or thoughts on a topic. not associated with attacking someone or saying nasty things. but rages are different.
steven smiles: difference between personal direct attacks and generalized just raging. some people won't see any restrictions. icarus is a community- that entails a commitment to each other. saying someone can't control attacking someone because of mental illness-- oh poor them, that sounds harsh. but we can ask people to have responsibility. the mad community is taking back ownership. in a compassionate way we can say we have standards and ethics on how we treat each other. we cannot tolerate passing that line. community= communal= connection. building and creating things, not ripping things apart.
storey: space for everybody? is this a space i can feel comfortable if other people have rage spilling out in a graphic way? whether it's about personal attacks or race or sexual orientation... attacks against groups are offensive and hurtful. i don't know if there is room for that and for people like myself who have abuse and disassociation- i want to keep a safe space for myself. i try to be careful to stay away from things like that. can we be something for both of those extreme mes? not sure that is possible. if it's open for anyone to anything, it's going to exclude other people. good to have a space where people can let go, but not to have a space where no rules apply. some other websites deal with people when they cross the line. not seeing that here. on other websites those people would be banned. we could be more tolerant of the person, but remove the messages immediately. talk about how it's not okay and hurtful. middle ground- some restrictions, still able to release anger and rage. sit and talk to the person. wasn't handled as quickly as it should have. should have let community know someone will talk to that person about behavior. doesn't need to be about banning them, but about talking to them about it.
Inel: that is what we've done. and it was not quick. all of us as a community need to step up and notice- we saw that person struggling a week before. our individual capacities vary. but we can all step up and send a note.
strangedoll- explaining time issue. written guidelines that we agreed to as mods say that anything goes here. so I could not just say "hey that's fucked up" and hit delete. had to wait for moderators to discuss it together and decide that it surpassed what our written policy is. mods all have work and lives and stresses and internet connection issues, so it took a couple of days for everyone to weigh in. I hope that policy will be changed and be more clear so we can act faster in the future. I'm also committed with communicating to the community what is going on. to you it looked like we were ignoring it or not doing anything, so in the future will try to let you know that discussion is happening.
smiles- bothered me that we are going to ban this person right away. if they haven't broken the rules outside of R&R, were they breaking rules? a lot came from people who were upset trying to help and they weren't in the space or capable of helping
Inel: sometimes the best way to handle conflict is to stop everything, take a break, and talk to someone individually and not necessarily offer support on the forums. public realm leads to people taking side and all the people involved need support and likely still do. how can we better at pulling someone aside and saying thats intense and what's going on? instead of making a public declaration that that is fucked up.
steven smiles: frustrating to see the response to someone attacking is for others to attack back. sounds like it was handled but the timing of it, need to be done quicker
yaya: appreciate everyone's input. my issue is with tolerance. our tolerance seems to be at a bare minimum. don't agree with the things that were said or threats were made, but don't fuel the fire. take responsibility for our actions and reactions. if you see me going off the edge, someone can steer the public away and someone can offer support. sounds good to split it and have a joke section. want to keep a space for when i don't feel smiley. space to scream as loud as i want, and hope i have the presence of mind to not attack someone. pull to the side and sit with me. thoughts going fast.
Inel: close to 4:00- can we keep going ten minutes?
malonedies : hearing things that are great. definition of rants and rages, somewhere along the lines it has become a place where people get heckled and if you don't like it you shouldn't post that here. this is rants and rages, i can say whatever i want. define clearer what its for. if you see someone raging, don't heckle them. moderators are doing a good job and handled it well, it was slow to be handled but those are the circumstances.
smiles: think mods did a good job. could have been more transparent and more communicative. A worse thing would have been to react without thinking. glad they are there. only a limited amount we can expect from people already giving their time for this.
Inel: in time left, lets gets real tangible suggestions for a list? create a humor and satire section in main forums so they aren't in rants.
Smiles: if people are going there to make humor comments that aren't appropriate for young people
storey: humor section could be rated also not for people underage. a space where anything goes is not something that I'm comfortable with.
MRG: like the idea of splitting up rants and rages. rants can be therapeutic. in both cases, guidelines should be more clear. mods did a great job, but it took time because it was unclear how to handle it cuse guidelines are vague. like the “fuck this, fuck that but not fuck you” thing Inel said earlier
smiles: add a disclaimer that legal action can be taken regardless. if you are breaking laws, nothing icarus can do to stop that. should be made clear. if a person is hurt or attacked by what you are doing, there is recourse.
steven smiles: a suggestion i saw online is to have a separate login to go into rages section. like splitting the sections. and then literally another step to have to login- that would reinforce to people that they are making a conscious decision to go in there. important to hold people accountable.
malonedies : thinks the login in a good idea. you would have to be signed in to see the rants forum at all. would like it if you had to be signed in to see any of the forums for privacy
silver elf: aware that we are running out of time. Don't want to to login to see any forums because people lurk for months and not post before they get login. supports being signed in to see rants and rages. rants&rages didn't always exist. came into purpose at another difficult time and has grown a new subculture since then. some parts of that have been good, some have been problematic. as a community, we are always changing and figuring out best way to move forward. mods could err on safety and hide a thread while discussing. err on caution when banning someone on posting. individual mods could be empowered to yank the thread while the discussion takes place so its not hanging out there. but if it goes further toward banishing someone from community, that should be conscious and consensus based.
Inel: anyone else have final thoughts?
Storey: even if I don't go there, I still feel that being part of the community means I'm supporting that. and it's not okay with me, against the mission and vision of icarus. I'm not okay with people ripping on race or sexual orientation. i can't be a part of community where that is okay, even if I'm not witnessing it.
Inel: certain this conversation will continue. hopefully keep people better informed of where we are at. evolve. reform rants and rages. folks want to quick check out?
yaya: thanks to icarus for being there and accepting me no matter how I come. even though I don't post much anymore, I'm with you always. I lurk through my phone, and if you do the login, I won't be able to lurk. login for rants and rages, great. but don't want login for the rest of the site. would be good idea as far as privacy, but selfishly, would not be able to lurk.
Steven Smiles: thanks for the conversation. great ideas. maybe run a thread and set a day so people can vote on things. people can put input on future policy. only 9 of us on this call and lots of people who want to have a say in it.
MRG: good to hear people's input. not on call often, so good to hear Icarista's all over the place. thinking about ways that web community can be involved in decisions, like the idea of voting so everyone has a voice.
Storey: one thing I love about Icarus is that I can go on there and be myself. favorite word is fuck. I don't want to go to a website where everyone has to have a smiley face. appreciate the site and the mods and the community. hope good policy comes out of this so we can work better together and feel safe but also not feel controlled.
smiles: glad i called, good to hear from people.
strangedoll: was nervous about this call but everyone is so respectful and compassionate, thank you.
malonedies : been good to talk and connect with real people. people might think icarus is a service and think of themselves as a consumer, but icarus has a cause and we all contribute to that. not just subscribe to a service.
SilverElf: inspired to be part of a group of people who speak with clarity and gentleness even in intense situations. this won't be the only conflict. good to talk to people who have intention to weigh out complicated issues.
Inel: feeling much better exiting the call then entering it. everyone has been so thoughtful and seeing all sides. hope conversation continues. like the idea of utilizing polls on site to have community input in decisions. get involved with what you're inspired to. call happens every 3rd Sunday. will hall planning on being on next call and sharing about media and publications team.