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Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Response to Elad (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 04:37 PM

29. Elitism is UNDEMOCRATIC

Every feature should be available to every member, period. Creating an "us vs them" hierarchy among members is always destructive to the morale of the community. The Huffington Post learned this the hard way when their community nearly imploded due to the backbiting and agendas of their member-based community moderation team- a program they have wisely scrapped.

Current TV's community is circling the drain as we speak, due to rampant abuse of their flagging system by a clique of conservative regulars, supported by conservative moderators. The result being that progressives have been marginalized on a site that is still being advertised as "progressive".

Having avatar options depend on the "star" system is also unfair to those of us who may not be able to contribute as much as we'd like due to health problems. It's frustrating to think that even if I earn the right to upload my own av, I'll just lose it the next time my illness takes a downturn, which is several times a year. Many of your members have busy work and school schedules, young children to care for, or are just hella busy being politically active, which is what we all appreciate, right?

You should also consider the fact that a great many older old-school liberals like me have vision problems. I find avatars to be very helpful in confirming that I'm replying to the person I'm intending to speak with. Many of us have accounts on several sites, and sometimes our usual screen name is already taken. The ability to have a unique avatar helps us recognize our friends without playing 20 questions.

I understand your intention is to reward top contributors, and provide an incentive for others to be more active on your site, which is a great idea, but why not give them a discount on a subscription or a T-shirt? A reward should reflect a member's achievement, not set the person aside as superior to others.

The biggest problem we face as a society is the continual effort of the 1% to monopolize power, resources and privileges for themselves, while denying them to those they deem "less worthy". One of the first steps in setting up a new account is usually uploading an avatar. Running headfirst into your caste system before I've even posted a comment is discouraging, to say the least. Since when is self-expression of my own identity a privilege that must be earned?

Despite your best intentions, your message to me and all new members is crystal clear:
"You are less than. But stick around, we many eventually acknowledge you as an equal."
I respectfully suggest that you reconsider your avatar policy.

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Elad Jan 2012 OP
tridim Jan 2012 #1
tridim Jan 2012 #2
NMDemDist2 Jan 2012 #4
Make7 Jan 2012 #8
tridim Jan 2012 #9
Make7 Jan 2012 #10
tridim Jan 2012 #11
Make7 Jan 2012 #12
CrispyQ Jan 2012 #3
jody Jan 2012 #5
Ms. Toad Jan 2012 #6
flying rabbit Jan 2012 #18
Tx4obama Jan 2012 #7
NYC_SKP Jan 2012 #13
Trajan Jan 2012 #14
Make7 Jan 2012 #15
Trajan Jan 2012 #16
City Lights Jan 2012 #17
Kali Jan 2012 #19
pacalo Jan 2012 #20
surrealAmerican Jan 2012 #21
CaliforniaPeggy Jan 2012 #23
Renew Deal Jan 2012 #22
ohiosmith Jan 2012 #24
Make7 Jan 2012 #25
ohiosmith Jan 2012 #26
Make7 Jan 2012 #27
olblueyez Jan 2012 #28
LineNew Reply Elitism is UNDEMOCRATIC
Skeptikat Apr 2012 #29
William769 Apr 2012 #30
Skeptikat Apr 2012 #31
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