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Reply #8: Skinner's statement on banning Bev Harris from DU (over her threats and continued disruption of DU) [View All]

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-13-09 01:13 PM
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8. Skinner's statement on banning Bev Harris from DU (over her threats and continued disruption of DU)
This is just one part of the disruption, this is even before she crapped all over Andy.

Statement on the Bev Harris situationFri Dec-03-04 02:31 PM

Over the past two years Bev Harris has received a great deal of support from the members of Democratic Underground, in her research, publicity efforts, and fundraising. In return we have played host to an 18 month-long squabble between Ms. Harris and other verified voting activists, and have even been threatened with lawuits by Ms. Harris herself. Despite this, we have publicly remained mostly silent on the verified voting squabbles.

We believe verified voting is a topic of crucial importance, and have been uncomfortable taking sides on an issue which, frankly, we should all be on the same side of anyway. Therefore we have kept most of our correspondence with the various factions private and attempted to cool things down behind the scenes. Like all issues discussed at DU, we have tried to focus the discussion of verified voting on the topic at hand, and not on the personalities of the participants. However, in light of the recent troubles, we feel compelled to make a statement.

In 2003 Bev Harris, along with a few other verified voting activists, were banned from DU for engaging in personal squabbles on the message board after they were repeatedly instructed to stop. Around that time, Ms. Harris threatened us with a libel lawsuit, claiming that we could be held responsible for comments made by other message board members who doubted the credibility of her project. She never followed through on this threat and we never heard from her lawyers.

Ms. Harris was reinstated shortly afterwards, after agreeing to put an end to the problems that got her banned in the first place. Nonetheless, those problems periodically recurred after her reinstatement. A few weeks ago, Ms. Harris again used our website to threaten DU with lawsuits, in her postings, in private messages to other members, and in rude alerts she sent to the moderators.

We sent a message to Ms. Harris telling her to stop hassling our moderators and members, and informing her that if she had a legal concern, she needed to contact us directly. We also let her know that her continued participation on this message board was dependent upon her behavior. The legal threats stopped, but we received no response from either Ms. Harris or her lawyers.

This is our personal experience with Ms. Harris. We cannot confirm or deny the veracity of claims made by others, including many former colleagues, her former publisher, and Keith Olbermann. But we can confirm that the claims made by others about Ms. Harris are not inconsistent with our own experiences.

We have remained as patient as possible in our dealings with Ms. Harris because we believe that the topic of verified voting is a crucial one. We were prepared to sacrifice a certain amount of tranquility on the message board if verified voting was being discussed in a generally positive manner.

Ms. Harris's recent spat with Keith Olbermann has made positive discussion of verified voting increasingly difficult on DU. For over a year and a half, our members have been split into pro- and anti-Bev factions, and recent events have only exacerbated that division. Yet this morning Ms. Harris returned to DU and started posting as if nothing had happened, while making liberal use of the alert button to complain to the moderators about our enforcement of the message board rules. At this point our patience finally ran out.

The fact that the disruptions have continued, despite repeated warnings from the administrators, leaves us with no other option but to bar Bev Harris from posting on this website. We no longer believe that it is productive to allow her to use DU as a platform to promote herself while simultaneously trashing us, our moderators, and others who have been previously supportive of her cause.

We still remain firmly committed to promoting discussion of verified voting, and we wish Ms. Harris well in her efforts to shed light on this important issue. From now on, we encourage all of our members to focus on discussing the verified voting issue itself, rather than the personalities involved.

-----------------

This thread will remain open until further notice. Again, we would like to remind everyone to take care to avoid personal attacks. Thank you for your continued cooperation.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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