Well, it finally happened. I know that many at Global Affairs have been waiting, watching, anticipating, hoping for me to give them some excuse to ban me, and today they found it. I don’t find their reasons to be fair (of course), and they certainly don’t fit the rules in the site FAQ, but enough is enough. If I’m unwelcome enough there that they have to ban me, they win. I’m gone.
Global Affairs was never really a perfect place for me. The overall political lean of the place was far too right-wing (although they constantly congratulated themselves on how “centrist” they were). People on the right were allowed far more freedom in vitriol and personal attacks than anyone on the left. And worst of all, a small group of moderators and administrators (not all of them) carried out some of the ugliest personal attacks of all, and the rules were enforced inconsistently.
But there were some very strong advantages. Many of the people there (the majority, I think) are reasonable, intelligent, and interesting. They have a range of knowledge and experience in many different areas, and they were willing to open themselves enough to make it seem like a real community, with real caring.
I enjoyed being a part of that very much, and I will miss it, I’m sure. It’s a shame that this small group is so intolerant, ugly, and afraid, that they don’t see what makes the site work so well (I’m torn, here, because I don’t think it would be right to name them–but I don’t want any of the others who might read this to think I’m including them). I’m not the first they’ve banned or driven out of the forum. I don’t know if I’ll be the last.
So I’m in the market for a new, fairer, online, adult discussion community. It has to be small enough that posts come in at a manageable rate, but big enough that they don’t languish unremarked forever. It should have room for technical, political, social, and cultural discussion.
I’ll keep looking.