In recent days, there have been several diaries bemoaning the level of discord on this site. There have been other diaries that started flame wars that lasted for days. The sad thing about these occurrences is that it is nothing new.
On June 28th, I wrote a diary about the same problem. Mine was titled "Petition to site moderators and owner". It proved fairly popular. It garnered almost 30 recs and generated 165 comments. That makes it obvious that this is an ongoing problem.
There have been several diaries like mine that try to get the site back on track. Most users come here because they believe it is a site dedicated to progressive values and to getting more progressives elected. What they have been finding since this election cycle started is something entirely different.
One valuable contributor to this site finally had enough and wrote a diary that was in some ways similar to mine. Grassrootsorganizer had already contributed several excellent diaries to the site. She was a much needed voice of sanity in the constant troll wars. Her diary was deleted and her account was blocked shortly after that diary was posted. This was quite a shock to most regular users who were familiar with her postings.
She sent me an email earlier today to explain what had happened. I had made a comment in a thread that made it obvious I hadn't known about her getting banned. She decided to fill me in about it. I wrote back asking permission to use quotes from her email in a diary and she gave me the go-ahead. Here is what she had to say about the event.
I'm writing you about your recent comment on MyDD about my diary on Saturday. So you know, not only was my diary deleted but I was completely banned -- can't post, rate, rec or comment...
The title of the diary was "MyDD: not safe for Democrats and other living things"
It did not slam the administrators or any other posters specifically. It only said I had gone through the sad process that morning of removing MyDD from my toolbar because I was finding the place destructive to my morale. I wrote I was tired of waking up every morning and spending most evenings defending the party's candidate from malicious lies and slurs. I wrote about coming there to engage in intelligent debate and the trade of informed comment and how I had grown tired of recommending substantive diaries only to see them shoved off the rec list by a never-ending supply of troll related diaries. I also wrote that you know a political forum has jumped the shark when the discussion shifts to personal issues entirely, for example, why my inner child doesn't trust Obama.
MY biggest point however was that the place was sucking the oxygen out of my resolve to see Obama elected -- it was turning me against my fellow Democrats and sapping energy from my support for Obama. I also made the point that if I wanted to stay in touch with the latest breaking garbage on Obama I didn't need to go over to Redstate, I could count on finding it there first.
My intent was to start a reasoned discussion on how the nature of the site was effecting folks. But within two minutes it was on the rec list and within ten minutes it was gone, and so was my account.
I find it completely bewildering why a site would ban someone like grassrootsorganizer and at the same time allow users like this one or this one to continue to post. Many other users wonder the same thing.
Speculating about the thought processes of the mods or owner on this site may be useless, but I do think one of the reasons is based purely on ad revenue. Issues diaries and ones that are positive about the candidates get little attention, and therefore few page views. The controversial diaries get lots of comments and draw visitors from noquarter and other anti-Obama sites.
If I was running the site I'd be very leery about trying to calm things down. Cutting ad revenue means cutting resources dedicated to the site. I can see why the discord has been allowed to run unchecked on the site, since all sites are supported by advertising.
What I don't understand is banning good progressives and letting trolls post whatever they want. It makes me wonder just how dedicated this site is to progessive values. It appears as if it might actually be part of the 2012 Clinton campaign.
Whatever the reason for the way the moderation on this site operates, I'm going to start devoting my time and writing skills to other sites. I came here to be a part of this exciting time in the progressive movement. It's pretty obvious that I'm wasting my time here and letting this historic moment pass me by. That's not something I want to happen.
It won't really matter if I get banned for this diary. I'm not going to waste any more time fighting trolls. The 'Net is a big place. This is only one site out of billions. There are dozens of good progressive sites out there.
Have fun, everyone. See you around the blogosphere. This isn't GBCW it is GBMYDD.