DU Boothill

A fellowship of unjustly "tombstoned" DemocraticUnderground members. We use this space to talk about our feelings in reaction to the experience of first joining in the wonderful DU community and then expelled with no warning, no reason given and no response to our pleas for reinstatement. We feel this constitutes Anti-Democracy by DU Admin.

JBIE &/or another TombStoned Friend on

Saturday, December 18, 2004

DU Dumping: The Silent Purge

This article was originally posted on jamboi.mydd.com on Saturday 18, Dec. 2004

JamBoi-in-exile, Day 2

From the DU Admin forum:


3. We generally do not discuss why people are banned(...) And we do not intend to in this situation.But I will say that members do not have access to all the facts, and any effort by members to discuss why jamboi or anyone else was banned would just be speculation, and would most likely not be correct."

You know I would have absolute respect for Skinner's position and be in full agreement with it except for one little thing.  As a matter of fact I would not want peple to be able to ask for the reason someone was kicked off and have it shared with the world and I think Skinner's point is absolutely right on this.  Except for one eensy teensy little thing...

JamBoi-in-exile, Day 2

From the DU Admin forum:


3. We generally do not discuss why people are banned(...) And we do not intend to in this situation.But I will say that members do not have access to all the facts, and any effort by members to discuss why jamboi or anyone else was banned would just be speculation, and would most likely not be correct."

You know I would have absolute respect for Skinner's position and be in full agreement with it except for one little thing.  As a matter of fact I would not want peple to be able to ask for the reason someone was kicked off and have it shared with the world and I think Skinner's point is absolutely right on this.  Except for one eensy teensy little thing...

If you were enjoying an online forum, were a $$ donating memeber , and you were suddenly banned with no forewarning or explanation, would you be upset? Here are some actual answers I've gotten:
·0% Eh... I'm not into participating that much anyway. No skin off my nose.
·8% No, why should I be? They own it and are not accountable to anyone besides themselves.
·0%I wouldn't care if I got thrown off a board. Its not that big of a deal. There are plenty out there and I'd just find another one.
·0% I find this annoying but I'll get over it. Maybe I needed to check out other boards anyway.
·91% I think it is a poor business practice to to treat their most caring members so shabbily. If this practice is common they will end up alienating a lot of folks.
·0% Absolutely, these are for-profit enterprises and "the customer is always right."
·0% I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore! Where's my lawyers number?
Votes: 12

I've run a number of on-line communities myself and had to take difficult stances some of which turned out to be mistakes some even colosal errors.  So I have tons o' sympathy for Skinner and his position.  

Except for one thing: he has never explained to me what I did that was "disruptive" to get me booted, or to let me correct my behavior.  If my prolific posting is a problem I'm more than happy to limit myself, even severely.  I'm even willing to take the Madsen stuff elsewhere.  I'm willing to limit my criticisms of the DNC (contrary to the implication in one of Skinner's posts I never have, nor do I now advocate leaving the Democratic party -- I just asked for people to tell the DNC to get involved in the recount/VoteScam04 investigations -- big difference between saying "give them feedback" and saying "leave the party").  But how can I fix something when Skinner won't even tell me what is wrong? My take on this is that in the tense atmosphere we're in right now there's so much distrust floating around that no one knows who to trust and that Skinner jumped to false conclusions about me and anyone else who expressed support for me.

I'm not as fiery as Not_Without_A_Fight who left a comment on one of my other threads complaining about her getting tombstoned with no warning or explanation, and I have more sympathy for Skinner's position than she does, but I do have to agree that to be fair and to set a good community standard it only makes sense to provide people with warnings and explanations of what rules they have violated and the change in behavior that the Admins are looking for.

I personally know of now four individuals who've been summarily tombstoned with no explanation all appearently because they spoke up for me.  Not_Without_A_Fight, pipes and geo. This is really a crazy thing and I hope that we can dialog with Skinner and straighten this out.  Here's hoping.

The following is a tale of woe from geo who has had a similar tombstoning experience.  Of all people, geo.  Really I have to say that's crazy.  Geo has always been ultra polite and well mannered on DU and can in no way be called "disruptive".  The only thing he ever did "wrong" was to post some positive, reconciling things about me after I got tombstoned.  Here's his sad story below.


  From:     geo

  Date:     Sat Dec 18 2004, 8:18 AM PST  show

  Subject:     Re: Tombstoning  

Hi (others)

I have hesitated telling anyone yet, because the administrators have yet to get back to me, but I have been tombstoned as well. Nobody has told me why, and I have never received a moderator warning. I really don't get it, and after seeing your question for the moderators about Jamboi I felt I should get in touch since I had your e-mail address still in my box. It's been over 24 hours since I have noticed my posting privileges gone, and I still have yet to receive even the first communication from DU staff. I am very upset. As many know I am smack-dab in the middle of a project with other DU members to give California's election results an audit, and with the very last of my homework being done this weekend (yay!!), I was very much looking forward to seeing that project advance at a full-time pace. (If anyone has wondered why I have been posting yet, three words: finals, senior thesis.)

Something is wonky here. I've spoken with Jamboi personally (we're both CA based) and when I was made aware of the drama (after 1 phone message from Bozos from Bush and four from Jamboi) I checked into DU. I received a PM from Jamboi and tried to reply and he had been zapped. I poked around the site enough to figure out what was up, and judged it to be an apparant misunderstanding between these guys, who have both been nothing but nice with me personally, on and off DU. I wrote Skinner a PM just to say that I had recent conversations with both now former members and shared my positive experience. I was very respectful, polite, appreciative and was just trying to be helpful. I also tried to calm down the drama on the thread by posting 2 comments, equally polite, respectful and appreciative. In between these two comments I sent an alert to the moderators to let them know the drama is unfolding in the thread and suggest it be reviewed for locking. Then I get zapped too the next morning.

I've made very limited posts the last few days, and am reasonably certain the loss of priviliges has something to do with this incident.

This is wrong. DU is funded by its members because it is an open and inviting community where ideas can be exchanged without such swift penalty.
I understand why Bozos for Bush was zapped, and there seems no repair to that relationship. Jamboi was apparently zapped (as far as I can tell)
because Skinner 1) Did not like the fact that Jamboi criticized the Democratic Party, and 2) had instances of two logins from his IP address.
The criticism of the party is one that several have shared (though personally I see Skinner's point about splitting forces), and should be safe discussion in the forum. Perhaps putting some well deserved pressure on party leadership to "get with it" wouldn't hurt. As far as having two different users login from the same IP, he has a friend who is on DU as well and has logged in from the same LAN and/or PC at times. It's my understanding that said friend has a very obviously different writing style and posting habits, posting very rarely as compared to the more prolific Jamboi. On the phone with him, I could hear his friend in the background occasionally making comments about how unfair she thought this whole situation was; she was zapped too.

Below I will post the letters I sent to Skinner (who I don't know but still have major respect for, despite my intense feeling I have been wronged) and the other admin. At this point, I too am concerned that important dissenting voices are being zapped without substantial consideration or other efforts to mitigate.

Ironically, I had just applied to be a moderator. I am very supportive of the site, its values, and the leadership, but I too am baffled over my banning and the serious lack of communication that followed it. I would have preferred to receive and would have followed any warning a moderator or administrator would have sent, but even to date, no such communication has arrived.

I feel strongly at this point that we should continue to support the site, even financially, but I agree with the right of members to question excessive tombstoning. What members pay for is a "big tent" environment where members like Jamboi can offer reasonable dissent on party actions. And I hate to sound at all self-centered, but my banning has left me even more baffled. Me???

DU is a wonderful community of people who don't take democracy as some spectator sport, only to be absorbed through the proverbial box courtesy MSM. It is, and hopefully will continue to be a bastion for idea exchange within this movement, but I fear it will not continue to be when people get cast out of the community without any warning, for very little apparent reason, and for simple misunderstandings. This is not what its members are paying for.

Please feel free to repost any of this communication you feel is appropriate. If you do I would like to ask that an administrator call me or write me so we can resolve this. I feel strongly that I have been wronged.



p.s. I must note that I am no longer advocating any attempt at reconciliation between Skinner/DU and Bozos for Bush at this point in time,
largely because I believe it to be truly unattainable at this point.

p.p.s. Hi (Xxxxxx). I am cc'ing you on this since you asked if everything was o.k. :) I have some more records requests to get out, but things are moving along. The records request did work with Yolo county, and I'm sure others will follow suit shortly. (Sorry, but had to update.)


First, the e-mails I sent after losing posting privileges:


Hi Earlg, Elad and Skinner,

I am writing with regards to my loss of posting privileges, and must express my deep concern for what has just happened. The more the reality of this sets in, the more upset I am that this action has been taken. I am very eager to discuss this decision with an administrator as soon as possible, as I believe I am a productive member of the community you all so graciously host, and feel greatly wronged by losing my posting privileges in this manner. The short list of rules are as follows:

  1. This is a message board for Democrats and other progressives.

  2. Treat people with respect. Don't be rude or bigoted. Discuss the message, not the messenger.

  3. Don't post entire articles. Instead, post short excerpts (not exceeding 4 paragraphs) with links.

  4. Respect the wishes of the moderators and administrators.

I feel that my behavior on this board has been nothing if not the epitome of these values. The message rules also state, "Follow the 'Short Version' of the rules listed above and you will never have any trouble on this message board." I do acknowledge the right to ban anyone at anytime for any reason, but I do suggest that these reasons are subject to the other claims made throughout the site with regards to the operation of the DU forums. The "reasons" for banning someone should be consistent with the sale-point that this is a "big tent" message board. After all, this is why people fund this site. Even I was eagerly awaiting my next college financial aid check to come in January so that I may afford to contribute financial support to such a worthy and inviting effort. I also, in case it had been overlooked, offered to volunteer my time to help moderate the boards in an effort to help support this "big tent" environment.

Just prior to this loss of privilege, I had spent several days only checking in because I have been under major weight of homework obligations; finals and a senior thesis. The only posts I made immediately prior to the loss of

privilege action was to:

a) inform Skinner via PM of my personal knowledge of both  (former members Bozos for Bush and Jamboi) offering any information I could that would help clear up a potential misunderstanding. I had recent phone conversations with both of these guys, and feel strongly that had I received their messages earlier this misunderstanding may not have erupted. I felt that I should say something.

b) posting minor comments in a thread that was primarily asking about how to keep in touch with Wayne Madsen, and was subsequently an arena for personal attacks and speculation on the character of others. These comments were aimed at:

  1. Answer the only germane question posed in the thread: how to reach Wayne Madsen, and or his recent conduit to DU, Jamboi.

  2. Defusing the source of the personal conflict and misunderstanding.

  3. Placing the pleasant and humane aspects of said individuals into the conversation. This included praise and appreciation for moderators, their functions, and for the humans behind the screen names being speculated upon.

  4. Discourage openly the continued posting in this thread for reasons of speculating or assassinating the characters of others.

  5. Remind members that our moderators and administrators make consistently decisions that are rational, thoughtful and consistent with generosity to the human element in us all.

c) posted an alert to the moderators recommending the thread be locked for obvious reasons.

These actions are 100% consistent with the values advanced in the "short list" of rules, and if I may say so, are very representative of these ideals. My efforts served to reorient the discussion on the topical subject matter and less so on the human beings involved. My comments regarding others were very uplifting and supportive, respectful and considerate. They were brief, supportive, and the only ones present prior to Skinners that made any serious attempt to reorient conversation back to something more positive. From my perspective, I was helping.

The rules, and comments I have seen in related threads regarding Bev Harris' being banned (which I understand more and more each day) that people are not banned for one incident, but are banned on the basis of willful, repeated behavior. Here I will note that I have never once received a warning from a moderator or administrator, nor have I committed any "willful" violation of the rules. I am very consistent in my attempt to leave and receive thoughtful commentary on the issues most dear to the democratic party, and those who share interest in similar outcomes and efforts. I believe strongly that had I offended the consciousness of any of the moderating or administrative staff, that they should have at least made an effort to contact me to resolve the issue prior to any loss of privileges.

I have asked the one person who has already learned of my loss of privilege not to comment on it at all on the web at this point. I am wondering if perhaps the person or people who made this decision were just angry with the Jamboi and Bozos issue and accidentally took it out on me, or overlooked the fact my actions, if in fact in violation, were completely unintentional and could be resolved with the most minor of communicative efforts.

I have thoroughly benefited from my involvement in this community, and it is with mixed feeling I question this decision. I have great appreciation for what I have found in this site, and will continue to benefit from being able to read the posts of others, but will sorely miss the ability to engage other like-minded folk in active discussion and coordinated actions. I have been a part of DU for roughly a month now. It has become a significant part of my life, and even post election 2004, I would anticipate it still being as much so. This site serves to keep people actively engaged in the issues that effect them most, and for that, this for profit site is doing an incredible public service. Please restore my privileges so I do not have to participate from the sidelines. I do not believe I deserved such swift, harsh and removed action by your staff, and more importantly, I do not believe the action is consistent with the purposes for which Democratic Underground is funded by its members; DU gains member support under the guise that his is a "big tent" discussion environment, not one in which members are exiled from the community so quickly and heartlessly.

I feel I am a valuable contributor to the site. My background includes a few years editing and writing news for KFWB news in Los Angeles, during which time I occasionally filed reports with CNN, AP and other CBS/Infinity affiliated stations. My major focus of study is Public Administration, and I am currently in the process of applying to law school. I have received eight separate government commendations for work I have done with a local community college, where I have exposed (using our State's sunshine laws) non-compliant practices that total damages in the millions of dollars. I have spent time in Sacramento lobbying on behalf of higher education concerns. Needless to say, my background is one that is very consistent with a focus on qualified political discourse from a leftist perspective.

I look forward to your response.

Very truly yours,


----- Original Message -----

From: (geo)

To: mail@democraticunderground.com

Cc: skinner@democraticunderground.com

Sent: Friday, December 17, 2004 10:41 AM

Subject: Posting Privileges

Hi all,

I just realized my posting privileges have been revoked. What happened? I have read the message board rules, and know that you guys only ban people for patterns of behavior that are disruptive. I feel my posts are very kind and thoughtful. I should also note that prior to finding myself unable to login, I have never been warned or told of any behavior that I displayed

that would lead to this.

My login is Geo. I even recently applied to be a moderator. I love the DU community, and do not wish to be cast out.

My posts have been very light over the last few days. I have checked back frequently for breaking news and analysis, but have tried to keep posting to a minimum so I can focus on finals/senior thesis. The only thing I have done differently in the last 24 hours is send one PM to Skinner regarding the Jamboi/Bozos drama, and post an alert about a thread I thought was getting out of hand (to which Skinner seemed to agree... he locked it down).

Obviously he is upset with Jamboi and Bozos, and I feel ban may be because I was caught in the crossfire. Just because I have spoken to them over the phone does not make me a bad apple among the DU barrel.

I am in the middle of a project with other DU members to audit California's election returns, and literally less than three days away from being able to make that my full time committment. My inbox has messages that need to be returned, and folks (including myself) have invested time in this. I would really like to continue the effort, and the DU forum has been a great help in bringing people together for such purposes.

If I have in fact done anything at all to violate a DU rule, I deeply apologize and can assure you that no rule violation would be repeated if I were at all cognicent of it happening. I have a lot of respect and appreciation for the work DU administrators and moderators have done to keep up this growing community, and would not want to convey any message to the contrary, be it expressed or implied.




Next, what was written to Skinner via PM just before I was tombstoned:


Hi Skinner,

I came home today with four phone calls from Jamboi and a missed call from Bozos for Bush, both now former members. As possibly one of the few DU members that have spoken with both of these members via telephone, I just wanted to make available to the moderating team the background I have in case it helps settle any disputes or could help influence a decision to re-assimilate these folks back into the DU community.

I am still a relatively new member to DU, so please accept my apology if I am at all out of line for butting in. I like both these guys, absolutely love DU, and really have a deep appreciation for what it must be like to keep the peace in such an environment. I hope anything I say here is representative as such. :)


Short version: Both nice guys. Spoke with both over the phone prior to all this; at length. All Californians. Very well intentioned folks. John may need coaching on being tactful. (JamBoi) may post alot, but is a hella nice. Miss them both. Hope personal statement will help clear up potential misunderstandings. :)


Long version: I met (Bozos) through DU. (Bozos) is a nice guy, but has a short fuse when it come to folks playing games. I posted at BBV before finding DU (bless you all) and being still relatively new to even BBV, I was very patient and understanding with a poster named Auditors, who was not very good at working and playing well with others. As a matter of fact, his/her posts eventually appeared to be brazen and deliberate attempts to mess with folks. I came to DU more often to get away from it, and then noticed the trend here, with the same wording, illogical fact finding missions, and inconsiderate responses. I met (Bozos) when addressing the pattern, and in learning he is down the freeway from me, we have kept in touch somewhat.

There is a tactful way to handle disruptive situations. I'm not sure (Bozos) exercised this level of patience and tact. This may be why a nice and well intentioned guy like (Bozos) isn't able to use the service at this point in time. Over the phone, we laughed as he accused me of being too patient and nice with these folks. I have a feeling he gets it now, and may take more seriously the rules related to personal attacks and "calling people out."

As for (JamBoi) I have read and was very appreciative of his many posts. While some venture a little further into the land of tin-foil headware than I would have, I found many to be quite useful. (JamBoi) and I spoke at length regarding DU related issues, especially Mr. Madsen's articles, my personal concern for journalistic accuracy, and the somewhat related project of giving at least a surface audit to California's election results. I too had exchanged a couple of e-mails with Mr. Madsen, and had some reservations about starting a large audit project based on inaccurate or unfounded statements. We naturally came to the conclusion that an audit could never really hurt as long as we kept people from over-investing (and burning out). We also spoke about (JamBoi's) involvement with MoveOn.org, which is what brought him to be more active in these sorts of issues. We both recognized the near insomnia the election had caused in us.

Both these guys are dedicated souls based on my experience with them, on DU and off. (Bozos) may be in need of some friendly coaching on being tactful to even the most "obvious" disruptor, and perhaps (JamBoi) just posts too much. I will say this though: they are genuine, faults and all. Even if they ended up causing some headache, I know it is not at all because they are not respectful of the issues our community cares most deeply about; if anything they are too passionate. :)

I have seen amazing consistency in the reasoning and thoughtfulness behind DU moderator decisions and have only the utmost appreciation for the balance maintained on this site. Personally, I would love to see both of these very nice, well intentioned fellas make it back to this little community we have here. It would be nice to see their passion for discussion shaped and molded
in a manner consistent with DU rules. I hope my sharing of the personal contact I have had with these members makes it easier to see that they are
on our side, even when slightly misdirected. :) :)

If you've made it this far, thanks very much for reading. :) At least I mentioned it was the long version!! lol




Anonymous said...

(This set of comments was originall posted at jamboi.mydd.com)

AFS wrote:
DU is David (Skinner) Allen's website. That's all. (3.00 / 1)

Democratic Underground is no more important than any other website or blog on the net. There's lots of progressive websites, blogs, and net communities on the net. People have a right to run their website the way they choose to. Their name is on the invoices.

With that in mind, a couple of points I should point out.

-David (Skinner) Allen is a former organizer for the DLC. David Allen is also writes code for the official DLC website. I do not know whether he is a webmaster or just codes some pages for the site on contract.


The portfolio page shows NDOL as one of their customers (2nd row of graphics, right hand side; that's the New Democrats Online page).

-There is a David Allen deeply involved the whole Bev Harris war/banning mess at DU. I do not know if there are one or two people named David Allen participating in threads at DU.

-I have personally seen David (Skinner) Allen on several occasions exhibit a very bad temper with language with a lot of profanity used at people, and then seen him go back and delete the threads he blew up on. Kinda left an ash and cider strewn forum behind with no evidence of a fire. I voluntary walked away from the DU boards with that being one of the reasons (Honesty also forces me to admit I know I have a pretty good temper, too, though.) I think what bothered me was that he went back and deleted his flames after the fact, and often it was only his flame posts he deleted.

Having said all that, it's his site. He's got the right to make the decsions that affect his site. I'd just chalk what happened to you to experience, and move on. There's plenty of progressive web sites to participate in.
by afs on Sat Dec 18th, 2004 at 12:40:48 PM PST
[ Reply to This | ]

JamBoi responded:
Re: DU is David (Skinner) Allen's website. That's (none / 0)

I agree with much of what you've said. I agree that to some extent he can do what he wants with his web site. The policy of silent termination may not be kind, liberal, democratic or virtuous but he certainly can do what he wants. Of course he's running it with money that other people give him, so I think its fine for those people who are footing the bill to know what is happening. As Randi Rhodes likes to say "Sunshine is the best disinfectant." As I said above and keep repeating, I have a lot of sympathy for the position he is in and I know how difficult it can be. I just think that providing warnings first and upon repeated violation a written termination with the genuine and justifiable justification is the right way to go. The other people who are getting the boot for doing nothing more than speaking in my favor are less sanguine than I am, and I think its only fair to put out what they have to say also.

It seems silly to me to say that DU is no more or less important than any other site, btw. Of course, as you say there are other opportunities.

My understanding is that there are two unrelated David Allens and the one that runs BlackBoxVoting.com and had a falling out with Bev Harris is not Skinner.

I'm thankful I've not gotten involved in a direct flame war w/ Skinner. I hate flame wars. Although I too lose my temper and let one fly now and again I hate flames, and I'm okay with and prefer the posts get deleted, though as you say I think both sides should be deleted.

by JamBoi on Sat Dec 18th, 2004 at 02:44:25 PM PST
[ Parent | Reply to This ]

AFS responded:
One thing: DU importance? (3.00 / 1)

There's many, many web sites and blogs that have accomplished far more with far less bandwidth used.

There's a significant portion of the membership at DU that somehow think posting at DU is activism. It's not.
by afs on Sat Dec 18th, 2004 at 03:04:14 PM PST

1:39 PM  
Anonymous said...

(Comment moved from jamboi.mydd.com)

Re: this is silly (none / 0)

Dear A,

Sorry, but I have to disgree. I was also summarily ejected from DU without explanation. So, I understand JamBoi's concerns about this organization, and I think the information he presents is useful to other people who may join Democratic Underground. With this information, they can make informed choices, about whether to find another community or to try to figure out what DU's censorship rules are (good luck) and hope that they are able to follow them.

I think this discussion is also important for another reason which has to do with inspiration/energy/passion and inclusiveness of the Dem community. JamBoi became involved at DU after his horror at the turn of events on 11/3. Afterwards, he realized that it was likely there was voter fraud at work and clearly voter suppression and tampering. He wanted to do something about it a started participating with MoveOn and DU.

After the DU ejection, his passion for electoral process has become redirected to trying to understand what his indiscretions at DU were. He had been using DU as a support system and collective think-tank for his votergate investigation work.

I think DU's heavy-handedness created the misdirection of JamBoi's energy to questioning of DU instead of the original problem -- voter fraud and suppression.

At least DU should have fired a warning shot. I, personally, would have appreciated it. Now, we have been labeled disruptors -- but the rules don't define clearly what constitutes disruption.

Their behavior is divisive. This is not good for the Democratic Party or the left in general.

Best regards,
by NWAF on Mon Dec 20th, 2004 at 11:08:42 AM PST

1:42 PM  
Anonymous said...

(Moved from jamboi.mydd.com)

Intelle writes:
I wouldn't obsess too much about being tombstoned (3.00 / 1)

It's quite possible that you are trying to dig up facts that are so broadly incriminating that few in established politics want to consider the possibility that they may be true. Or if they do consider the possibility, it is done behind closed doors with people they only completely trust. A truly "underground" forum might be more productive until you reach the point where solid evidence and chain of logic can be presented.
by AntiFascist on Sat Dec 18th, 2004 at 04:08:06 PM PST
[ Reply to This | ]

Re: I wouldn't obsess too much about being tombsto (none / 0)

Yes, I've thought about exactly what you say re: truly underground skunkworks forum. Hmmm....

by JamBoi on Sat Dec 18th, 2004 at 05:16:39 PM PST
[ Parent | Reply to This ]

There is something going on (none / 0)

I can't post at DU, AF, but I wish I could tell them that, all of a sudden, I am receiving John Kerry emails in my home email. I donated to JK after the election, and never received a confirmation, but now it seems that the confirmation is now coming through.

What I think is that they literally shut down the site (except to receive donations), and, now the site has been reactivated.

I really do think that John Kerry is "back in the race".

by intelle on Thu Dec 23rd, 2004 at 03:46:30 PM PST

1:44 PM  
Anonymous said...

(moved from jamboi.mydd.com)
Intelle writes:
Banning may not be such a negative thing (3.00 / 1)

Hi Jamboi,

I am a fellow former Du'er who has recently experienced the same treatment...banishment without explanation.

Instead of waiting for a response to your questions about why you were banished, and/or if you can be reinstated, why not look at DU for what it is?

DU is so strictly moderated (newbie-wise) that I found myself concerned about every post I made if I was in disagreement with another member. In fact, the "moderation" is so extreme that posts are deleted without any explanation, and entire threads magically disappear as if they never existed.

So, the fact that members can be banished without explanation is very much in keeping with this repressive atmosphere.

And, I noticed that older members consistently get away with disrespecting and openly challenging the integrity and motivation of newer members, despite a post by Elad to the contrary. A newer thread that was started after Elad posted that famous "calling out newby" post indicates to me that DU is not really interested in enforcing it's rules. Except when it comes to newbies. As indicated above, the newbies are the ones who are most subjected to post and thread deletions.

In regard to newbies: Maybe there is a purge going on. Maybe the admins decided to take a look at how crazy the boards are. But, what they appear to neglect to see is that it is the older members who are the ones who post about how suspicious they are of the newbies. It is a very paranoid environment, and one I have never seen anywhere else. From a distance, it is a very sick community.

Add to this the fact that banned members may have contributed to the DU "fund". So, what happens to this money if the member is banned shortly after the contribution? The search feature, for instance, is limited to those who have "donated". Well, unless DU is willing to refund the donated money, then I don't see how they can deny this feature to a donor -- member or not.

So, Jamboi, why would you want to be part of such an environment?
by intelle on Sun Dec 19th, 2004 at 03:14:50 PM PST
[ Reply to This | ]

JamBoi responds:
Re: Banning may not be such a negative thing (none / 0)

Yes, I've thought about that too. Its certainly not enjoyable to be banned, but of course there are some advantages as you say. Truly I'd prefer to be with DU again and have this what I see as misunderstanding straightened out, but I have no say in it and have gotten no e-mail reply from them. You have a strong point about the healthiness aspect, but I would not plan on being as involved on a ongoing basis. I have just been focusing so much energy on it now because we have a short window in time to contest the election.

by JamBoi on Mon Dec 20th, 2004 at 04:15:26 PM PST

1:45 PM  
Anonymous said...

(comment thread Moved from jamboi.mydd.com)

AFS wrote:
I had this happen to me this afternoon.... (3.00 / 1)

I created a post on GD Politics entitled "What effect is the DLC having on DU???" I then cited the possibility that oldtimers were perhaps members of the DLC who had given large donations to DU and then had the political power to ban newbies who they considered disruptors. I then presented an argument for how this could be considered a microcosm of what is happening in larger society. The post lastest all of about 3 minutes. I guess the truth hurts?

Anyway, I watered it down and entitled the post "What effect is the DLC having on the Democratic Party?" They let this one stay. I joined DU around July, 2003.
by AntiFascist on Sun Dec 19th, 2004 at 08:07:39 PM PST
[ Reply to This | ]

intelle responded:
Re: I had this happen to me this afternoon.... (3.00 / 1)

I gather they deleted your thread, huh? Not surprising.

I ran this group by some people whose opinion I value earlier this evening, and none of them had any regard for this group. Several said that I should congratulate myself that I have been banned. None of them are republican-leaning.

Guess I learned the hard way in a short time. Just glad I learned.
by intelle on Sun Dec 19th, 2004 at 08:51:48 PM PST
[ Parent | Reply to This | ]

AFS replied:
Re: I had this happen to me this afternoon.... (3.00 / 1)

I don't have a problem with the people who post there regularly, and I find that it is a great site for motivating activist type movements going quickly. They may not all be intensely intellectual and critical, but they are not shy about their activism.
by AntiFascist on Sun Dec 19th, 2004 at 10:23:45 PM PST
[ Parent | Reply to This | ]

JamBoi replied:
Re: I had this happen to me this afternoon.... (none / 0)

AntiFascist, did you see that PaulaGem blow up today? Did she get it in the head too?

by JamBoi on Sun Dec 19th, 2004 at 10:32:24 PM PST
[ Parent | Reply to This ]

AFS replied:
Re: I had this happen to me this afternoon.... (3.00 / 1)


Imagine a coalition of independant parties drawing in more and more members over the election fraud issue. All that might be left in the two "big" parties would be corruption.
by AntiFascist on Mon Dec 20th, 2004 at 06:42:20 AM PST
[ Parent | Reply to This | ]

JamBoi replied:
Re: I had this happen to me this afternoon.... (none / 0)

I think you might be right. We might have entered stage three where they're actively fighting and suppressing us. Sad. How can people fight on behalf of cheating and undermining American democracy??? I don't get it.

Well cheers for the Greens, Libertarians and Alliance for Democracy/ArnebeckCo.

by JamBoi on Mon Dec 20th, 2004 at 11:27:33 AM PST

1:49 PM  
Anonymous said...

(comment thread moved from jamboi.mydd.com)

Anyone have any stats on DU purging? (none / 0)

Anyone have any stats on the numbers of people purged by democraticunderground.com, say in the last month, or last year?

I mean how many disenfranchised Dems are we talking about here? This could be a lot of discouraged people. Discouraged liberal people.

This is exactly what this party DOES NOT NEED RIGHT NOW. Somebody needs to point this out to Skinner and his admins. The last comment assumes that DU cares about the morale of whats left of the Democratic party.

Also, I noticed that he recently welcomed a whole new batch of admins (and retired some old ones). He must train these new admins with some written guidelines which would supposedly include a fairly clear definition of what constitutes 'disruption'. [BTW, I would assume that getting into flame wars would be included in this definition. Notably, I, one of the (sarcasm)humiliated ejected(/sarcasm), never once got into a flame with anyone.]

Why doesn't Skinner, et al. just post the disruptor definition for the rest of us? Then, we could decide, upfront, whether we are willing to play the DU game -- or conclude the game smells -- and walk away without wasting DU's or our own time?


by NWAF on Mon Dec 20th, 2004 at 08:23:13 PM PST
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Re: Anyone have any stats on DU purging? (none / 0)

Not sure these stats are available anywhere? I do know that I recently saw threads disappear that mentioned that a member was suddenly gone. I don't think they would want this info publicly available.

Also, since they reserve the right to terminate the membership of any member at any time, I don't think it would be in their own best interests to be more specific about what constitutes disruption.

The ball is in their court, and members who choose to enroll do so at their own risk. This includes donating, apparently.

But, you are right. They are, from what I saw, alienating a lot of people. Who knows what effect this might have on future membership in the democratic party? I would prefer to think, however, that DU is not that powerful, although it appears they would like to think they are.
by intelle on Tue Dec 21st, 2004 at 11:25:07 AM PST

1:51 PM  
Anonymous said...

(comment thread moved from jamboi.mydd.com)

I too was summarily banned from DU (none / 0)

Hi jamboi. I won't tell my story in detail here, since it is identical to yours and the others on this thread. Ironically, the closest I ever had to a run in with anyone at DU was with you. :)

We are calling it "Saturday Night Massacre" because several strong and active people were banned over the weekend, including SomethinsGottaGive and Sangh0, two of the most important posters at DU IMHO. None of us have been given any explanation.

I appreciate that others here don't want to hear about our DU expereinces, so many of us were dumped in such a short time, and they were all such active and imprtant people that I would like to hook up with them and do a post-mortem somewhere. Ideas? I have a board that I would make available to the group if that would work.

In particular I am anxious to compare notes with you and George.

by mberst on Wed Dec 22nd, 2004 at 12:41:26 AM PST
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Re: I too was summarily banned from DU (none / 0)


You were a strong poster also. I enjoyed your posts.

I saw the thread where your girlfriend indicated that you were banned. It's gone now, I believe.

IAMREALITY was also banned over the weekend.

I would like to participate in the post mortem, if possible.

by intelle on Wed Dec 22nd, 2004 at 07:48:31 AM PST
[ Parent | Reply to This | ]

Re: I too was summarily banned from DU (none / 0)

Hay carumba! Doh! You've got to be kidding! sigh This is very discouraging ... Well everyone please try to reach me at jamboi at go dot com. I'm starting up a new Blog devoted to this topic over at JBEI.blogspot.com, but haven't written there yet. I'm going to transfer all this stuff over there so as not to annoy the other fine folks here at MyDD with our dirty democratic underwear. :-)

JamBoi .
by JamBoi on Wed Dec 22nd, 2004 at 02:21:35 PM PST

1:52 PM  
Anonymous said...

(comment thread moved from jamboi.mydd.com)

Just noticed that anindepenttexan is also gone (none / 0)

So, everyone mentioned by BFB are gone from DU. This is not sounding like a coincidence.
by helpisonthe way on Wed Dec 22nd, 2004 at 11:37:13 AM PST
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Re: Just noticed that anindepenttexan is also gone (none / 0)

Egads! I hope he connects w/ us too.

by JamBoi on Wed Dec 22nd, 2004 at 02:22:51 PM PST
[ Parent | Reply to This ]

Re: Just noticed that anindepenttexan is also gone (none / 0)

helpisontheway - a few of us were on the "other side" in the debates around BFB - myself and SomethinsGotaGive, for instance. We were more or less on BFB's side, if anything, although we didn't make any accusations and were never sure what was going on. We both tried to take a middle course on the Bev fiasco, as well.

Were we all intentionally and artificially being split into two warring camps? SomethinsGotaGive and I were trying to thread the needle and not take either side, but were suspicious of the whole thing. I know that I personally did not alert on anyone, or spread any gossip or rumors, and I tried to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. BFB always struck me as impetuous and impulsive, but not devious or covert. As many of us did, he sensed that something wasn't right at DU on a profound level, and he may have swung wildly and made accusations and inferences that he shouldn't have.

Again, apologies to MYDD members. If this wasn't something a little bigger than merely people griping about being banned on a board, I wouldn't dump it here. This is the only place I could find other members from DU since a bunch of us were mysteriously banned, and we are just trying to reconnect with old friends and comrades here and sort out what happened.
by mberst on Wed Dec 22nd, 2004 at 02:52:54 PM PST
[ Parent | Reply to This | ]

Re: Just noticed that anindepenttexan is also gone (none / 0)

mberst, I was wondering if some of it was "guilt by association".

Bannings were often obvious -- someone who came in for the sole purpose of disruption, for instance, was easy to spot.

But these latest bannings have me stumped.

If Jamboi gets his blog going, I think it would be a very big help for us to sort this out.

Are you in touch with somthingsgotagive? I loved his posts also, and hope he can find us.
by helpisonthe way on Wed Dec 22nd, 2004 at 06:17:50 PM PST
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Re: Just noticed that anindepenttexan is also gone (none / 0)

I haven't been able to connect with SGTG and AIT. We have had friends post at DU to be a connection for banned members, but those posts get deleted. I was composing a pm to AIT when I was banned.
by mberst on Wed Dec 22nd, 2004 at 06:36:01 PM PST
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Re: Just noticed that anindepenttexan is also gone (none / 0)

Darn. The more I hear about DU, the more I hate it.

In Election2004 just now, though, Will Pitt just posted that Kerry is getting into the fray tomorrow. He couldn't be specific.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=203&topic_id=187 683&mesg_id=187683
by intelle on Wed Dec 22nd, 2004 at 06:52:32 PM PST

1:54 PM  
Anonymous said...

(Comment thread moved from jamboi.mydd.com)

Important topic (none / 0)

I'm still "over there," at least the last time I looked about a half-hour agao, but I had no idea so many of my "faves" had been tombstoned until just now.

The reason why this thread is important is that there is a whole lotta curiousity on DU about JB, and, I'm sure once they realize like I now do, they will be about the the other intriguing and iconoclastic posters who had been banned. But they're keeping real mum. Not even much scuttlebutt (have a feeling scuttlebutt is clamped down PDQ).

Another reason: DU is over 60K strong. That's big. Damn big. And if you can harness all that emailing/faxing/phonecalling power, you've got something.

I'm still going over there because there are a lot of posters I enjoy, but at least now I'll have a more complete picture of the DU culture.

PS: If IndependentTexan checks in, take care of yourself, guy! I heard you baring your soul over there a few times, and I'm concerned.

PPS: All'a'ya'll take care! And happy holidays, whichever you choose to celebrate!
by globochem on Thu Dec 23rd, 2004 at 03:43:44 PM PST
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Re: Important topic (none / 0)

Hi globochem,

Happy to hear that you are still alive 'over there'. From the looks of it -- its a miracle.

I think the whole thing stinks and I really don't understand it. JamBoi and I were chatting tonight with intelle2000 who also got banned.

JamBoi has started a Yahoo group for the DU entombed (tombstoned).


by NWAF on Fri Dec 24th, 2004 at 09:54:49 PM PST

1:56 PM  
Anonymous said...

(Comment thread moved from jamboi.mydd.com)

The DU Brand of Censorship is Unacceptable (none / 0)

I too was recently ejected from DU -- without benefit of explanation. I find this DU practice ('tombstoning') exceptionally arbitrary with a tendency toward the paranoid.
One would assume that DU would support investigation of voter fraud. However, it would seem that only certain avenues of investigation are allowed in their forum. I can assure you, my dear readers, that in the normal course of an investigator's work, many blind alleys are traveled in order to piece together the truth.

While on DU, I never once posted on the issue of Madsen. Far from being a disrupter, my last post titled 'Are we pivoting away from 'our cause' in trying to figure out Bev Harris?' wherein I simply wanted to encourage people to refocus on the issue at hand -- the voter fraud issue and the ongoing fight in Ohio -- rather than spending so many cycles trashing or guessing at Bev's motives was to my mind an uniting effort. Frankly, it is inconceivable to me that this would be unacceptable to the DU PTB (Powers That Be).

If there is a certain flavor of Democrat or certain caliber of thought that must be maintained by DU participants -- then that should be spelled out in the rules. I read the rules on 'disruptors', and while I do not see how any of my posts qualified, the description of a disruptor is far too vague to offer adequate guidance for one to self-censor well enough to avoid DU rejection.

This simply means that DU maintains the right to be arbitrary, unfair and censor-at-will. Funny, I would have predicted that the last stand, on freedom of speech rights, would be made by the liberals.

The fact that DU seems to want to play the 'Man Behind The Curtain' Game -- guiding discussions in certain directions and shutting down other discussions -- is well scary. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I might draw some conclusions from this behavior. However, the mere the fact that DU does this as a practice should be quite clear to everyone.

For me, the DU brand of censorship and manipulation is unacceptable.

I have been a registered Democrat for more than 30 years. However, my short but educational experience with Democratic Underground, has made me very seriously consider re-registering as a Green.

by NWAF on Fri Dec 24th, 2004 at 09:40:00 PM PST
[ Reply to This | ]

Re: The DU Brand of Censorship is Unacceptable (none / 0)

Ok. This may be an half-assed plug, but I'm also a DU bannee since the day after Election Day. I was a former mod there as well. Given my time and dedication only to be tossed out in the trash in totally unacceptable. Thus, we have another board called People for Change, and most of us DU bannees are using that as a refuge.

Just for your info...

Website: http://www.peopleforchange.net

by HawkeyeX on Sat Dec 25th, 2004 at 12:53:11 AM PST
[ Parent | Reply to This | ]

Re: The DU Brand of Censorship is Unacceptable (none / 0)

I just heard about that last night and will check it out. Please also come by to http://jbei.blogspot.com to check in with others wishing to talk about the whole entombment thing. Also please write to me at jamboi at yahoo dot com and if you're interested we have a yahoo group going too.

Hope to ttys,

by JamBoi on Sat Dec 25th, 2004 at 06:38:00 AM PST
[ Parent | Reply to This ]

Re: The DU Brand of Censorship is Unacceptable (none / 0)

Thanks Hawkeye,

I am on PFC as Not_Without_A_Fight again.

See you there!!!
by NWAT on Mon Dec 27th, 2004 at 07:11:27 PM PST

2:00 PM  

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