Great Schism

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Caissa
Great Schism

It was great to see thoughtful posts this week from moderators from Bread and Roses (Skdadl) and EnMasse (Tehanu). Isn't it time to end the great schism and unite the three boards? Just imagine the lively discussions we would have. I think together they could be greater than the sum of their parts.

Jacob Richter

Links?

remind remind's picture

Huh?

Caissa

Links to the other Boards? Links to a  thread posted in by Tehanu and Skdadl? Golf Links? Cuff Links?

Slumberjack

Quote:
I think together they could be greater than the sum of their parts

The shivers that run up and down would certainly be greater, in considering how seamlessly they'd all fit in with the joyous peace and harmony we've established here in their absence.

al-Qa'bong

Yeah, babble was once one great forum.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I don't personally have any desire to see the three unite under one banner - I like BnR and babble separately, by themselves.

jas

I have enjoyed seeing former Babblers names on the TAT lately. Warms me heart.

ennir

As someone who was here when the rift began, and it was only the beginning because it did not stop with enmasse, it continued on and that is how breadnroses began (I am thinking).   I remember wondering who was served by our inability to respect eachother's right to express their views and at the inevitable conclusion to this lack of respect but boards of like minded people where no one's views are challenged.

The question for me is how do we challenge eachother respectfully?  I know I have changed my mind because of conversations here and I am grateful for the ways in which I am enlightened by the experience of others and with no disrespect to either enmasse or breadnroses babble still has the most diversity and I hope to see that supported.

 

 

Bubbles

ennir wrote:

As someone who was here when the rift began, and it was only the beginning because it did not stop with enmasse, it continued on and that is how breadnroses began (I am thinking).   I remember wondering who was served by our inability to respect eachother's right to express their views and at the inevitable conclusion to this lack of respect but boards of like minded people where no one's views are challenged.

The question for me is how do we challenge eachother respectfully?  I know I have changed my mind because of conversations here and I am grateful for the ways in which I am enlightened by the experience of others and with no disrespect to either enmasse or breadnroses babble still has the most diversity and I hope to see that supported.

 

 

 

Diversity is the key to a succesfull babble I believe. Too many of us are trying to to reduce that diversity to a common 'progressive' view, that gets us into problems. People will make up their own minds as to what works for them, not something one can or should force. See what I mean, find myself doing it now too.

genstrike

Is there a "babble schism for dummies" somewhere for the benefit of us (relative) newbies?

Infosaturated

ennir wrote:
As someone who was here when the rift began, and it was only the beginning because it did not stop with enmasse, it continued on and that is how breadnroses began (I am thinking).   I remember wondering who was served by our inability to respect eachother's right to express their views and at the inevitable conclusion to this lack of respect but boards of like minded people where no one's views are challenged.

The question for me is how do we challenge eachother respectfully?  I know I have changed my mind because of conversations here and I am grateful for the ways in which I am enlightened by the experience of others and with no disrespect to either enmasse or breadnroses babble still has the most diversity and I hope to see that supported.

I think people know how to be respectful of others. They just choose not to be when they don't like someone else's views. The challenge lies in creating "buy-in".  I think some posters think it would get too boring, too serious. I don't think it has to be. Poking fun at each other doesn't have to be mean-spirited.

 

ennir

Once upon a time there was a moderator named Audra that was fired by email, many of us felt that if that was indicative of how those who ran babble treated a valued member of the community then it was not a community that we wanted to be part of, perhaps that is too simple and others may have entirely different takes on it but that is how I recall it.

 

Slumberjack

I recall following the interaction at that time, at least as much as I could stomach.  Under normal circumstances, a lack of insight regarding any given issue hasn't been much of a deterrent when it comes to providing commentary, however in that situation I did not participate in any of the discussions or protests that were underway, choosing not to add to the hell that it had become for those still working here under very difficult conditions.  Very few babblers at the time had knowledge of the reality of what had occurred, yet all sorts of nefarious deeds were ascribed to the decision makers and mods alike, all manner of conspiracy scenarios were openly explored on the board, and reactionary spamming strikes put in place against every thread.  I left the board for about a year, partly due to occupational requirements, and returned to find that the people involved in perpetuating the worst of it had moved on, delighted that the people who were vilified had stuck it out and remained committed to the board, and that more or less the place had once again become what it was meant to be.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

ennir/rinne,

I think that's a near-perfect encapsulation.

Two small complications: the fact that Audra was the original moderator here, and set the tone for the board that still echos here today. And that the schism was as much between rabble.ca (seen as unresponsive 'management') and babble the community as it was between the members and their varied responses to the event.

remind remind's picture

Yes, I concur slumberjack, with what you say, and I too stayed out of it, for a variety of reasons. And seriously, I feel like I have drifted into the mythical world of the 50's where everything was perceived to be well and good and proper, where the sun shone all the time. The Wonder Years, if you will.

There had been a lot of degeneration going on here, prior to the firing that has been purported to have been the straw that broke the camel's back. As we know now, it wasn't, as even after the exodus of some here to create en masse, the schisming continued at en masse, and thus the birth of BnR occured, and then it happened again at BnR, too. And now the place is almost dead these days.

There is a pattern apparent, if people choose to see.

Prior to all of that, here, people were not allowed to discuss some things, as it might hurt another's feeling. That not allowing was both an activity carried out by some babblers, who got together and created a online shunning, or by moderator warning, suspensions and bannings. Much discussion about this and outting of cliques, and cliques actions occured back then.

As such, we had spontaneous recipes breaking out in threads, in order to deflect, control and manipulate dialogue, to the dominant norm that was here. Other views than theirs were not allowed to go beyond a certain point, passive aggressiveness was the norm. These days many many more views are being expressed than back then.

For sure, some still try and passive aggressively block/skew the dialogue,  but now when they do, people challenge what they are doing, whereas prior, people were just silenced in the face of the cliques actions.

Hell, the unwritten rule of no grammer and spelling flames, had to be implimented, as they were being used, as a form of silencing and marginalizing. Today, that does not happen here, for the most part.

And I think it is because  for the most part, those who chose to  stay, do not get together behind the scenes, as much as they did back then and even though it still does occur today, on the parts of some, to manipulate the public dialogue happening here, and thus the larger public optics. One can tell when the emails have gone out.

A good deal of closed shop operations were going on back then, that do not go on today, here at babble, after the big flounce.

And that is a very positive thing and one would hate to see it occuring here again.

DaveW

ennir wrote:
Once upon a time there was a moderator named Audra that was fired by email, many of us felt that if that was indicative of how those who ran babble treated a valued member of the community then it was not a community that we wanted to be part of, perhaps that is too simple and others may have entirely different takes on it but that is how I recall it.

whatever the politics, immediately after the Great Schism and its exodus of prolific posters and for quite some time --maybe a year or two-- the pace and variety of posts here slowed down quite  a bit ....

I think there was also a change in tone at babble, and there seemed to be more incidents of people getting drummed out and/or denounced or criticized; an overall less welcoming and small-c catholic tone to the place, I thought

maybe the returns signal a lasting rebound

martin dufresne

Back-channel pressures and corporate strategizing  always spells bad news for a free forum. I realize that there are political stakes involved, but dialogue is also a precious value. And no one should be entitled to silence people,  bury issues, or move goalposts around in mid-discussion to ensure her or his comfort.

 

Caissa

From B nR:

Founding members started Bread and Roses in 2006. A great number had ended their connection to babble [rabble.ca] in support of a moderator unfairly dealt with in a labour dispute. Subsequently many left the resulting board EnMasse [enmasse.ca] after a great number of discussions were derailed when basic feminist principles were disregarded by some participants.

http://www.breadnroses.ca/frontpage/about-us/

skdadl

Slumberjack wrote:

and reactionary spamming strikes put in place against every thread.

 

I'm not going to write about the schisms, but Slumberjack is quite right in remembering those ugly incidents, and for some time I've felt that I should come back and apologize for taking part in them.

 

I only had one teensy attack of spam enthusiasm, but I gave in to it and I was wrong. I was ashamed of it pretty soon afterwards and remain ashamed to this day. I am very sorry I did that, spammed my own board, even once. There was no excuse for it; it was execrable cyber-behaviour; and I regret very much contributing to the awful stress people here were under during those first days. I'm sorry and I hope that those who were hurt can forgive me.

 

I feel I should say a brief word about BnR. I appreciate the good intentions of people who think there is still a schism to get over, but I don't. Like Boom Boom, I think the three boards now are what they are, and that is a good thing. Some people like to move among them, and no one is stopping that (although the boards do have slightly different rules).

 

I can't really speak for anyone but myself, but I know we have a number of members at BnR who would only ever post there. That's not a criticism of other boards -- it's just one of the things that make us what we are. We are small; a lot of our members are bloggers for whom BnR is more of a hub than a primary focus for discussion; and some of our members need privacy. Me, I like the place; I'm very committed to it, and it's one of my two home bases online, the other being POGGE. We may be small and slow but we're cute and creative, and we're definitely not dead.

 

I don't think there's a need to worry about schisms any longer. I'm very grateful to people here who've been welcoming to my recent visits, and thanks for the kind words.

 

(Edited for grammar.)

 

 

Stargazer

This is exactly why we miss skdadl so much. Thanks for that great post skdadl.

Slumberjack

skdadl wrote:
I don't think there's a need to worry about schisms any longer. 

I doubt that one exists any longer.  People become accustomed with the environment they are in, and with time everything else recedes, with the exception of regret as it becomes available.  Nice to see you again skdadl.

ennir

I was quite new to babble at the time and although I was aware that there were those cliques you refer to Remind I had no real sense of how they shaped the board, I understand it better now. Thank you for your post.

 

 

remind remind's picture

Thanks for putting those up scott and caissa,  as one can see, a lot of defending of actions and optics posturing is going on, when nothing needed to have been said at all. They need only have moved on, without trying to cause harm to the other.

You did not see rabble, slapping up a disparaging commentary on allies, who decided to flounce, making more pain between people. And this was not because they were closing ranks and hunkering down, it was because they took the consensus and conciliation road, which are IMV, 2 true feminist principles.

Hell, no disparaging commentary or inter board rivalry posts has been allowed.  They, the management, were being, and are being, so scrupulous about not fostering further bad feelings.

That is truly "progressive" in my view, and hopefully someday I will obtain that  level of solidarity in comon cause, that rabble management has achieved, no matter the water under the bridge. I still have to think upon it, they did, and do, do it reflexively.

And for the most part, that is why I stayed and did not go.

It was not sweetness and light prior to the flounce, and it was not after, nor is it now, such is the world of political discussions in a public manner.

Too many people trying to control the messaging and optics.

Sorry, but I am not going to be sold a classist distopia romance novel, about babble's past, and supposedly possible future. It is what it is, a place that fosters dialogue spaces for those who believe, or are supposed to, in social justice.

The dialogue may be bumpy, but so is life.

Pretending and wanting otherwise, opens up worlds of hurt, for those who do not have the class position to have their voices heard. And that is why michelle opened a new forum today, as amatter of fact.

Within marginalized voices, are more marginalized voices,  and so on down line

For example,  within the sex wox industry there are the privileged and non-privileged,  too, and one voice cannot drown out the others. And if it was, a new forum could be started for the voices of exploited sex workers, if willing sex workers over powered their voices.

oldgoat

I agree enthusiasically with the opening sentence of the first post.  However, where once was a schism now is three seperate progressive boards, each with it's own characteristics and traditions, and each with new members who may know or care little of the beginnings, and each being of itself a good thing. As far as uniting three boards, it won't happen and I see nothing to be gained from trying.  In fact if this is what boards are going to look like, let boards abound! 

What I would like to see, and I have faith that it will happen/is happening, is free movement among the boards, and a sense of collegiality and solidarity uniting us more than any differences of opinion, even when spirited, would divide us. 

Oh yeah, and old friends talking again is good too.

 

 

Michelle

I feel much the same way, skdadl, and I really appreciate you posting this.  It's also been really nice to see you here, and I hope you'll continue to hang out here when you feel like it.  I should also apologize to you - I could have found better ways of talking to you about our differences since the split between the boards than I did.  During the past week or so of seeing you posting here, it's really hit home to me (again) not only how much good stuff you contribute when you're here, but just what a fine person you are in general.  My apologies for any hurt I've caused you as well.

I think all three places are excellent internet destinations in their own right and I read all three - obviously babble much more than the other two, but I'm an occasional lurker on the other two as well.  And yes, the latter two started because of schisms, but this is also a somewhat "natural" progression of human relationships, no matter what the catalyst - people grow, change, have conflicts and disagreements with each other, and move on to different interests and different groups of people.  Not surprising that this happens online too.

I think that the three boards have different "feels" that have become comfortable for the people posting in them.  And each of the three boards goes through the occasional growing pains and introspective meta stuff - that's what communities of people are like. :)

I don't see any reason why people can't feel free to visit back and forth between boards, and I don't see any need to try and somehow combine them.  Why do that when people are free to move between them and post wherever they like?  We're all doing good online stuff, and I feel we've all moved forward nicely for the most part.

Unionist

What oldgoat said. And what is more, I - who lurk and very occasionally post on the other boards - have seen zero tolerance there for any rude comments about babble. All three boards have their little pleasures and treasures. Long may they thrive!

remind remind's picture

Your welcome, ennir, it was one of the more unpleasant things about babble at the time, and it made everyone else have a short fuse. And it was not something that was missed after the flounce. Some still think it is occuring when they come back, after being driven off  by it years back, but come to realize there is very little of it going on anymore.

That behind the scenes lobbying  has been making a resurrgence here recently, leading to very tense threads, is a troublingly familar pattern. Struggling to have dominant cliques controlling the conceptual framework, is never pleasant.

Dominant cliques form here, exactly around dominant societal cliques, in the outter world.  And then what is sustained here is class solidarity, and not progressive solidarity actions for an equitable and socially just world.

There are less regional divides than there were before, which is another good thing that has developed. Way, way more new regional voices here speaking regularily than there was before.

 

 

scott scott's picture

genstrike wrote:
Is there a "babble schism for dummies" somewhere for the benefit of us (relative) newbies?

from the enMasse FAQ

Quote:
Q: How did enMasse come to be?
A: Well... you'd better take a seat... Where to begin?

EnMasse came into being after Audra Williams, the moderator of the babble discussion forums at rabble.ca was fired by the Management Committee by e-mail during a series of life crises. Audra was an extremely well-liked moderator and was largely responsible for the creation of babble at the time of the Quebec City protests in 2001 and for its success until April of 2006, when she was summarily fired.

After firing Audra, the Management Committee proceded to adopt an extremely hardnosed attitude towards her and towards outraged members of the community, of which there were many. The Management Committee refused to negotiate and some members of the community began actively spamming the discussion forum in an effort to secure Audra's re-instatement. At the same time as the spamming of the discussion forums, a movement for a "strike" against babble developed, largely led by the babbler with the handle Kevin Laddle. The strikers refused to post to babble until Audra was re-instated.

The "Babble Strike" movement grew and on April 10, 2006, a new discussion forum was created on a server paid for by The JF. This forum was initially known as the Babble Strike Forum (BSF). In the first two days over 150 babblers left to join the BSF. At first the BSF was used as a forum to debate the response to the actions of the rabble.ca Management Committee and to debate the possible future of the BSF as an independent progressive discussion forum.

As it became increasingly clear that the rabble.ca Management Committee would never agree to the re-instatement of Audra or any of the accountability and democracy reforms demanded by the babble strikers, a consensus developed to forge ahead with the creation of a new progressive space on the internet. At that time, the site was re-named "Temporary Left Wing Board" while a decision was made regarding the naming of the site.

On April 28th of 2006, only eighteen days after the site's founding, the name "enMasse," often shortened to EM, was chosen by a significant margin in a vote of the membership.

EM has suffered through growing pains and several unfortunate and painful divisions among the membership leading to the departure of a significant number of members. However, as of September 2006 seems to be on a steady footing and is a thriving and vital community.

last edit by TS. 1145 days ago

enMasse forum home

__________________________________

One struggle, many fronts.

remind remind's picture

Quote:
what is more, I - who lurk and very occasionally post on the other boards - have seen zero tolerance there for any rude comments about babble.

No...they only have it in the FAQ's. ;)

But that is not quite accurate, anyway, as I too go back and forth to read and sometimes post. Though admittedly it is much better now than what it was.

There is no romance novels here, there is only life, and as we can see by old goat's and michelle's commentary, they are all about consensus and conciliation, while recognizing  the right to have freedom of conscience, and to express it too.

Unionist

Anyone want to update? How are the three boards doing? Are there others? Or is this linear discussion model obsolete?

 

lagatta

Sad to lose Boom Boom, skdadl and pogge...

Croghan and pencil-skirt as well, though they weren't mentioned in this thread. Hope I'm not forgetting anyone.

Caissa

May they all RIP. BNR is no more. EnMasse has limited postings. Babble chugs along.

mark_alfred

Despite a few hangers on, I think Facebook and Twitter have taken over.  Frankly, I now think any online discussion should probably be minimized in favour of meetings at rallies, pubs, coffee-houses, work, community centres, riding associations, churches, union halls, shopping malls, or whatever (IE, meeting people face to face), to truly promote change.  So kudos to those who no longer hang out here.

lagatta

I do those things too. I post here when I'm working at home, as there is nobody to chat with in person.

Slumberjack

People can walk the walk, talk the talk, and talk the walk can't they?

mark_alfred

Yes.  Of course.  I'm making more a note to myself, actually.  I tend to be singularly focused sometimes, and can spend way too much time online.

Aristotleded24

lagatta wrote:
Sad to lose Boom Boom, skdadl and pogge...

Croghan and pencil-skirt as well, though they weren't mentioned in this thread. Hope I'm not forgetting anyone.

How can anyone forget Hephaestion?

Caissa

Has EnMasse crashed?

Unionist

Caissa wrote:

Has EnMasse crashed?

This one says it's just down for me:

http://www.isitdownrightnow.com/enmasse.ca.html

This one says it's not just me, it's down for everyone:

http://www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com/enmasse.ca

So who knows.

ETA: Whoops, the first one just changed its mind, now says it's down for everyone.

I wonder if Tehanu gets notified about her PMs here?

Caissa

Well, it's down and out for me as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WboggjN_G-4

Tehanu

Ack! Unexpected. Looking into it ...

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

:-(

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Any updates on how it's going with EnMasse?

mark_alfred

The only place that's left -- still offline, it seems.

6079_Smith_W

Yes, I have been trying daily. No luck.

Haven't tried the fix that worked before, as I can't remember it. I know Unionist also managed to get in through that backdoor.

 

 

 

mark_alfred

Seems to be a problem with the actual webserver rather than an issue with the bulletin board software (YABB or phpBB or whatever was being used).  ETA:  I'm wrong.  The server is working.  A whois shows the domain name was renewed very recently on May 1, 2016.  I think its IP address is 66.196.39.101, at least that's what I get from http://whois.domaintools.com/enmasse.ca  ETA2:  The IP address is also for two other websites, those being startpage.ca and startpageca.com, both of which have been suspended.  Likely not relevant, I figure.

lagatta

Aristotle, I knew I was forgetting someone. And I had a lot of PM conversations with Heph, in particular about the history of the LGBT movement in Québec and friends who played important and difficult roles in its early days.

Caissa

EnMasse is still down.

Tehanu

Hi all -- I've tried contacting our techno-god but no success. The server is still active, content is still there, just can't seem to get it to connect with the domain name. Googling doesn't seem to come up with anything. Anyone got any ideas?

Caissa

It just might be time to remerge those who post at the respective sites.

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