Is it fair to criticize individuals in support-only forums? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 144 Old 03-24-2014, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I appreciate the value of support-only forums.

 

I do wonder if it's fair to criticize individuals (Megan Griffith, Dorit Reiss, etc.) in areas where they couldn't defend themselves if they wanted to.  I'm not talking about critical analysis of written work, but comments about personality and parenting skills.


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#2 of 144 Old 03-24-2014, 11:34 AM
 
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No. It's not fair. I brought it up in a discussion on Dorit Reiss. I don't give a crap about her parenting skills, real or imagined, or even if she's "paid to post."

As you're aware, there are entire forums online where women make catty comments about other online women. And there' plenty there to go around about personality and parenting skills. winky.gif That these forums may be private doesn't make this behavior any less bitchy, back-stabbing, and low-brow. After all, the gossip-ees aren't around to defend themselves there, either, are they?

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#3 of 144 Old 03-24-2014, 11:35 AM
 
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I appreciate the value of support-only forums.

 

I do wonder if it's fair to criticize individuals (Megan Griffith, Dorit Reiss, etc.) in areas where they couldn't defend themselves if they wanted to.  I'm not talking about critical analysis of written work, but comments about personality and parenting skills.


Do you also wonder if it's fair to shred and even lie about Andrew Wakefield in the "Vaccination on Schedule" forum where he can't defend himself?

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#4 of 144 Old 03-24-2014, 11:44 AM
 
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Are nonvaxers able to defend themselves on V4V where her blog was posted?

 

C'mon, I have had a lifetime of these insults. Is that fair? What are you saying?

 

It was a decision made for me by my parents based on their life experience.

 

When I had the opportunity, I did my own research and looked at my experience, and made my own decision. 

And guess what, I can dish it out and I can take it. And I have for a very long time.

 

Your turn to defend your stand because I have defended mine.

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#5 of 144 Old 03-24-2014, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it's fair to "shred" Andrew Wakefield's published work.  I think it's fair to "shred" the veracity whatever Dorit Reiss writes.  I don't think it's fair to attack people personally and then say "well, you vax, so you can't post here even though we're talking about you". 

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#6 of 144 Old 03-24-2014, 11:45 AM
 
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Then she can post in the debate forum like everyone else and defend her stand like everyone else.

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#7 of 144 Old 03-24-2014, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Are nonvaxers able to defend themselves on V4V where her blog was posted?

 

I don't post on V4V.  Are you saying posts would be deleted or moderated?


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#8 of 144 Old 03-24-2014, 11:47 AM
 
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I asked you.

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#9 of 144 Old 03-24-2014, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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And I told you I don't post there.  You're the one who brought it up.

 

I'm talking about mothering.com, where we both post.  If you have issues with V4V, take them there.


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#10 of 144 Old 03-24-2014, 12:03 PM
 
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chickabiddy, I do not post, look, or go there. I have a life. I live my life the way I want and do not waste time on websites that enjoy taunting others.

 

I have had quite enough of being called names for my very well researched and experienced stand on health in general and vaccines in particular. Sorry if you do not agree, but that is the way it is.

 

My question was rhetorical. You know that. Anything more is baiting.

 

Meanwhile, I all ready know that it is open season on non-vaccinators. 

 

I responded to this thread because I told megangriffin that she was in the wrong place; others invited and directed her to the debate forum where her subject matter belongs. But she has a life too, caring for her child.

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#11 of 144 Old 03-24-2014, 12:18 PM
 
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No, not in an open community like mothering. If people want to gossip privately it can be done through PM or some private forum created elsewhere.

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#12 of 144 Old 03-24-2014, 12:29 PM
 
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I am not sure pro-vaxxers have a leg to stand on when so many posts on certain sites rip non-vax posts and posters to shreds.

 

I have rarely heard any condemnation out of pro-vaxxers on MDC for such behaviour, and I regularly see links to skeptical sites where viscious mocking is a sport. 

 

If you don't want to see it done to a pro-vaxxer, then you need to stand up against it being done to non-vaxxers, which is much more the norm.    

 

That being said, Melanie was hardly ripped to shreds.  She has the opportunity to respond on the debate forum and in a reasonably safe environment as there are both vaxxers and non-vaxxers here.  The overall tone on MDC is quite acceptable compared to other sites.  

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#13 of 144 Old 03-24-2014, 12:33 PM
 
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I think everyone should be fair game.

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#14 of 144 Old 03-24-2014, 12:36 PM
 
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If you don't want to see it done to a pro-vaxxer, then you need to stand up against it being done to non-vaxxers, which is much more the norm.    

 

 

 

:yeah

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#15 of 144 Old 03-24-2014, 12:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
 

I am not sure pro-vaxxers have a leg to stand on when so many posts on certain sites rip non-vax posts and posters to shreds.

 

I have rarely heard any condemnation out of pro-vaxxers on MDC for such behaviour, and I regularly see links to skeptical sites where viscious mocking is a sport. 

 

If you don't want to see it done to a pro-vaxxer, then you need to stand up against it being done to non-vaxxers, which is much more the norm.    

 

That being said, Melanie was hardly ripped to shreds.  She has the opportunity to respond on the debate forum and in a reasonably safe environment as there are both vaxxers and non-vaxxers here.  The overall tone on MDC is quite acceptable compared to other sites.  

 

I agree with everything you said. I don't think it's acceptable to publicly humiliate anyone, anywhere. I am really disturbed when I see people in pro-vax communities post things from mothering or somewhere else on the web and make personal remarks about the MDC posters. It's ridiculous and immature. I've left (and tend not to join) groups over things like that and I'm sure it turns plenty of people off entirely, on either side. I've stood up for non-vaxxers and see other people do so. It just tends to be the most vocal and offensive pro-vaxxers who probably get your attention. That doesn't mean everyone who vaccinates is sitting by idly while others use nasty language against people who don't.

 

With that said, the last point you make is important. MDC has different standards, and has a different atmosphere. So a question like this is perfectly valid regarding how to preserve the uniqueness of MDC and not disintegrate into the kind of petty, insulated attacks that we see elsewhere (not saying anyone has made petty attacks so far, but I'm taking this as a general discussion and not specific to any particular existing thread.)

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#16 of 144 Old 03-24-2014, 12:47 PM
 
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The questioning of all healthcare decisions as a parent and routine childhood vaccinations in particular was unique to Mothering Magazine from 1976 forward.

 

I support the support only forum because of its uniqueness. 

 

If someone happens to start posting cluelessly there - that should not be allowed or tolerated. Megan was re-directed to the right place to discuss her concern. Her move.

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#17 of 144 Old 03-24-2014, 12:48 PM
 
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I am not sure pro-vaxxers have a leg to stand on when so many posts on certain sites rip non-vax posts and posters to shreds.

 

I have rarely heard any condemnation out of pro-vaxxers on MDC for such behaviour, and I regularly see links to skeptical sites where viscious mocking is a sport. 

 

If you don't want to see it done to a pro-vaxxer, then you need to stand up against it being done to non-vaxxers, which is much more the norm.    

 

That being said, Melanie was hardly ripped to shreds.  She has the opportunity to respond on the debate forum and in a reasonably safe environment as there are both vaxxers and non-vaxxers here.  The overall tone on MDC is quite acceptable compared to other sites.  

 

To be fair, we can't control what other bloggers/sites choose to do/post.  NVers post links to sites like ageofautism which "attack" vaccines/parents that choose to vaccinate pretty frequently.   I don't think anyone is trying to blame the members here for that content. 

 

Additionally, sciencebasedmedicine, skepticalraptor, respectful insolence etc generally do not moderate their comment section.  I've seen Dr. Gordon post in the comments section plenty of times.  Just look at any blog post about vaccines and read the comments.  There is no censoring except in extreme cases, so a person can at least respond to the criticism and defend themselves there. 

 

V4V does not allow comments on their site, but their facebook page does allow them, and there is always a post made on their facebook page any time they write something on their blog. 

 

@ Taximom Also, I did a search on the VOS forum an only found one thread that discussed Wakefield, and there was no "shredding" of him personally that I saw.  I may have missed something, so please point me to the specific post you are talking about. 

 

I do think that if a person puts themselves out there publicly on a high traffic site/blog about a very heated topic they should expect backlash/criticism.  Now calling them a bad mother (not that anyone did) or a nut job on a forum where they can't respond is pretty cowardly in my opinion.   Discussing/being critical of their work is different.  


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#18 of 144 Old 03-24-2014, 12:49 PM
 
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there was no "shredding" of him personally that I saw. 

Thank you for your unbiased opinion.

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 Now calling them bad mothers or a nut job on a forum where they then can't respond is pretty cowardly in my opinion.  

Yes, and the member who said that was quickly rebuked by other nonvaxing members. In her own words, it was her friends IRL who called her names behind her back and began to avoid her. Apparently nonvaxers are good at moderating each other.

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#19 of 144 Old 03-24-2014, 12:52 PM
 
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Thank you for your unbiased opinion.

 Like I said, please link to the specific post that is shredding him personally on the VOS forum?  I may have missed it. 


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#20 of 144 Old 03-24-2014, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think everyone should be fair game.

 

I actually think everyone should be fair game as well, but not in forums where they are not permitted to post to defend themselves.


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#21 of 144 Old 03-25-2014, 05:53 AM
 
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Well, then, let's get specific:

 

On the subforums, who can be discussed in terms of how they come across, their decisions, etc:

 

Professionals with relevent letters after their names who make money from vaccines or non-vaxxing (Dr. Sears, Dr.  Offitt)

 

People who earn money off vaccines or not vacinating, but may not be professionals in health care  (Jenny McCarthy, Seth Mnookin)

 

People who write articles/blog - paid

 

People who write articles/blogs  - unpaid

 

Facebook posts

 

other forums

 

MDC

 

Did I miss any?

 

Personally, I tend to think we should be able to discuss the top four, and should be hands off on Facebook posts, other forums and MDC.  

 

What do you think? Mods?


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#22 of 144 Old 03-25-2014, 08:36 AM
 
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From what Cynthia is saying, I'm getting the impression that she doesn't think *any* of those individuals should be allowed to get personally attacked on the sub forums, since they can't defend themselves if they wanted to. 

 

Discussing or critiquing their work is fine, but attacking them on a personal level isn't.   

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, Cynthia, but that seems to be where she was going. 


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#23 of 144 Old 03-25-2014, 12:56 PM
 
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The thread in question could have very easily been moderated by removing or asking for an edit on 2 comments that were personal attacks on her character - everything else was general discussion and a few responses to the 2 offenders.  I know there was controversy over age - so are we not allowed to discuss general characteristics either?  Age doesn't have to imply talking about a specific person, and the thread (myself included) offered up many suggestions about how age affects decision making and critical thinking skills - but none of that was aimed to criticize one person.  It was an overall discussion of how different factors play a role in how one might come to a decision - all of which directly related to the OP of the thread which was a breakdown of a blog post on v4v.  I hardly see the majority of what went on as any sort of personal attack and quite frankly I've seen much worse.  Just so happens she came across the thread and felt the need to defend her position - which wouldn't have been necessary if the 2 posts attacking her had been removed from the start.

 

So long story short, no, we don't need to be criticizing others, but that's hardly what happened in this case it was blown out of proportion.

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Huh. I have no idea what happened and since for some mysterious reason I am not even allowed to *see* INV, I would have to log out to find out and I don't feel like bothering. But my general take on the general subject is that personally attacking someone, distinct from criticizing their positions, is never okay. "I don't agree with what s/he is saying because ____" or "S/he is wrong about ____ because of ____" but not "S/he is clearly a terrible parent/scientist/human being/smells of elderberries because of ____". 


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/smells of elderberries because of ____".

that would be delicious!

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#26 of 144 Old 03-26-2014, 12:44 AM
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Generally speaking, you should discuss topics, not individuals. Discuss their studies, their evidence, what they report, what they claim - without attacking, namecalling, insulting, or even implying something against their character.  That would be the ideal and we'd probably have far fewer issues here in the forums if everyone abided by that when they posted. 


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#27 of 144 Old 03-26-2014, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I see Dorit Reiss is now a member.


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#28 of 144 Old 03-26-2014, 04:12 PM
 
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She has been a member since January, she posted on the INV forum and had her post removed.

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#29 of 144 Old 03-26-2014, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So all the posts criticizing her career and her parenting shouldn't have been posted, since we aren't allowed to discuss other members?


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#30 of 144 Old 03-26-2014, 05:29 PM
 
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So all the posts criticizing her career and her parenting shouldn't have been posted, since we aren't allowed to discuss other members?

 

Same with all the posts insulting Andrew Wakefield, Lucjia Tomljienovic, Chris Shaw, and Tatiana Obukhanych.  One could also make a strong case for eliminating entire threads like "My kid got a shot today with no serious reaction celebration thread," as that is hurtful to parents whose children were damaged by vaccines, particularly as it was started by a member who repeatedly maintains that such injuries hardly ever happen.

 

There are many hurtful threads and posts on both sides of the issue.  How much should we address?

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