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Thread: Only Two People Speak For OpenCarry.org

  1. #1
    Administrator John Pierce's Avatar
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    OpenCarry.org has been an act of love and dedication for Mike and myself and we are proud of the work that we have done and even prouder of the work that has been done by the men and women who post here and then go forth into their communities to protect and enhance our rights.

    As we have grown, we have experienced growing pains. We have seen spammers and bots and trolls as well as posters who did not exemplify the goals and attitudes we wanted the world to associate with OpenCarry.org. In response to these incidents, we added member-moderators who could help us to keep the forum on track and family-friendly.

    However, this itself has lead to any number of issues over the last year. And now, we find ourselves at a point where we are experiencing another bout of incredible growth and the number of new users and visitors is skyrocketing. In the midst of this, we are facing yet another internal battle that has blossomed into a firestorm and has seen the reputation and good name of one of America's most respected gun rights organization and its president questioned by an OpenCarry.org moderator.

    While we support his right to speak freely and defend his beliefs, his position as moderator made it seem as if we were somehow advocating or allowing this attack. Let me make this perfectly clear ... WE WERE NOT!

    Quite frankly, neither Mike nor I have time to keep fielding these types of issues. We both work real jobs, attend law school, care for our families and still try to find the time to work on the single issue that we feel is most important to the future of liberty in this great nation. We do NOT have time to put out fires that we did not start!!! And I might add that these types of issues are not conducive to making us look professional in the eyes of all of the new visitors we are attracting.

    Therefore, we have made the decision that AS OF THIS MOMENT, the ONLY people who will have ANY moderation or administration powers on OpenCarry.org will be Mike and me. We regret that it has come to this but we look forward to a future where we will not be continually inundated by issues not of our making and can focus on doing our best to simply serve the cause of open carry and of gun-rights in general.

    PS. The next time we need to email a legislator, I expect every single person who emailed me about this issue to display the same passion in their support of our cause.



  2. #2
    Lone Star Veteran DrMark's Avatar
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    Thanks jpierce.



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    Just saw this...

    My sympathies/congratulations. I'm curious as to what the issue was that caused this, but I'm sure I'll figure it out as I finish catching up with new posts from the past week or so (yes, I have that much spare time...)

  4. #4
    Campaign Veteran roscoe13's Avatar
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    Thanks jpierce. And yes, you can count on my continued passionate agitation of our elected representatives...
    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." - George Washington

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    John &Mike,

    Thank you both very muchfor the opportunity to be the first Member Moderator of OCDO.I hope I served the forum well. Admittedly I sometimes let my passion get the best of me defending the board, butI always tried to be fair. Then again if you have no passion in life what are you living for, right? We sure have had some winners here in the past, huh?

    I'll continue topost my heart and my passion and will just as readily defend my rightsnow as much as ever. Thanks especially to the members of OCDO who really made the job easy!

    BobCav

    (P.S. - So how much did HankT pay you? )



  6. #6
    Regular Member ChinChin's Avatar
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    Correct decision, and one which will result in many who left (myself included) returning.
    The problem with the internet is nobody can really tell when youre serious and when youre being sarcastic. Abraham Lincoln

  7. #7
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    I'll be writing legislators until my fingers bleed.
    We will have a thread to discuss the outcome and FACTS of the NC CCer's incident, right?

  8. #8
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    I haven't been a member long, but I have had decades of moderating public digital forums. In those many years, I have learned that pulling mods from the member pool is like a random sample in some cases. You get a cross section of the members. Some are vocal, some are lurkers. Some are excellent, some need some support and guidance. Some are thick skinned, some thin, etc.

    I well know that as owners, you and Mike have seen a labor of love blossom and grow beyond your capacity to directly oversee its growth and development. In my short time here, I have had some issues that left me wanting more moderation, and some that wanted far less. Overall, I think that the mods were good.

    I would ask you to reconsider your decision, and reinstate the moderator pool as it was. This will allow you both to focus on your lives, and direct what energies you must to guiding the moderation team on how you expect the board to be run. You have to set the tone of this forum. You don't have to directly involve yourself in the everyday issues. I'm sure that you wouldn't consider following your family around all day to monitor their actions. You wouldn't form a company and put everyone in a room with you to make sure that your employees were putting the right face on the company. It is the same here, except you don't have the luxury of an interview. Anyone can join.

    I encourage you to again delegate the "herding of cats" back to the mods, and focus your efforts on helping them to grow your vision of OCDO.

    My 2 cents.

    Dan

  9. #9
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    I do hope that some moderation is reassigned to members, just purely for the reason of handling the large volume of moderation work needing to be done. With the influx of new members over the last few weeks, the forums have been getting messier, in terms of multiple threads on the same topic, excessive OT discussion, and similar issues... though I don't know if that was by choice, or by insufficient moderation.

    Then again, I can understand how moderators who engage in the activity they are supposed to discourage are disadvantageous to the organization as a whole. So it's a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation, really.

  10. #10
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Sad that it came to this. Very sad. I spent several years as mod and admin of a few forums and there are times that, when you are in such a position, you have to simply **** because the very nature of that position requires a different level of self-censorship. I wish that had happened in this case. I think that member moderators are very important to the forum and regret this outcome for the forum, however, I am not surprised by it.

    I have no issues with the mod in question, however, his appointment immediately polarized the forum and there were numerous indications that any opportunity to attack by whining to the ownership would be fully exploited. And that is what happened. It has been obvious the last few weeks that the parties were not going to act in such a way as to calm the fervor. Now a decision that appeared perhaps wrong headed at the start, not on a personal basis but rather on a forum wide furor basis, has been exacerbated by a unilateral elimination of all member mods.

    I really enjoy this forum as my post count clearly indicates. I hope that this reaction to the vocal minority, and the choice to eliminate all the member mod positions rather than reconsidering the one appointment that was the basis for the rumbling, does not lead to further issues. My experience is that while a forum is in an extraordinary growth cycle is the worst time to make unilateral staff changes. The pressure now for quick moderating, and snap decisions to eliminate problematic postings en masse rather than surgically is going to lead to a new outcry from some people. There is no way possible for only two people to effectively moderate a forum of this scope and activity surgically unless they do nothing else with their day. Hopefully self-moderation will for the most part be sufficient.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

  11. #11
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    Seems like throwing out the baby with the bath water, but the problem to be dealt with was a significant one. Hopefully once the dust settles it will be possible to select some new moderators if for no other reason than general cleanup of spam, grossly off-topic or inappropriate posts, etc.

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    Sheriff wrote:
    caltain wrote:
    I would ask you to reconsider your decision, and reinstate the moderator pool as it was.** My 2 cents.** /Dan
    OK, if we are going down this road, and God help us....* I flat out disagree with you.* When you have a moderator attack and belittle*the VCDL president after all the fine work he has done over the last several years -- operating under the guise that the OC forum owners and operators approved of and*supported this attack --*this was way over the line.* Just as John stated above.* And just as a deputy sheriff's actions speak for the sheriff, moderators speak for the OC forum and it's owners and operators.

    Furthermore, to have a moderator repeatedly tell an OC*member that he must be off his medications is pure downright libel.** I know firsthand how libel works, I just won judgements (plus interest) against 2 people who posted libel about me in Internet forums.* The 2 people thought they had the right to free speech.

    BobCav - moderator:* I never saw a problem with him.

    Longwach - moderator:* I think he was being led astray by another moderator.* He has probably learned a valuable lesson and will be a better moderator because of it.

    So my 2 cents is that BobCav and Longwatch can be salvaged.* It was sad to see one moderator ruin it for all.* That's as far as I will go with this.** / Sheriff
    Sheriff-
    I'm sorry you disagree. I really don't think that we're on opposite sides of these issues. I took the info from the terminal thread at face value because I trust the source. I don't think that a public forum is the place to question someones integrity. I think that one should research the facts and present the findings. If that means someone else was incorrect or even niave in obtaining their earlier info, then the facts will say so. It doesn't need to be stated. By definition, the members can read, or at least have access to someone that can. Name calling is juvenile.

    As for libel, don't go there. I was libeled within two weeks of joining in the infamous "only negative experience in 10+ years" thread. Libel is an issue between the two parties involved, and the civil court system. If you think that libel is occuring, PM the victim and cc a moderator with a heads-up. After that, it's up to the victim to seek restitution and the mods to evaluate the actions of the member that posted the libelous statements, and take action if they feel it is warranted. If you want to support the victim, say simply that in your experience the situation is otherwise. Libel is a civil matter. It isn't libel until the victim says it is. No one else can bring a suit, so no one else should be making that call.

    The biggest problem on the board is that people treat it like a chat room. I'd bet that more than half of the posts would have been better off as PMs. It would clean up the board and leave behind posts that are clearly appropriate to discossion in any given thread.

    The reason I suggested bringing back the full moderator team is because I don't know who all of them are, and which are problematic in the eyes of the owners. The owners can address discepline among the mods off line. The mods can address discipline among the members off line. All the tools are there.

    I agree that moderators should be held to the highest standards in how they convey their opinions, not what those opinions are. Wording, context and environment are critical. Mods can think someone has "gone off their meds", but if they choose to say so, it should be done privately. Personally, I'd enjoy the challenge of moderating this board. I haven't been honored with the offer, so I'm offering what advise I can here.

    Dan

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    One more thought:

    Praise another openly, criticize privately. That doesn't mean you can't disagree, just stick to correcting the facts with facts, or offering your differing opinion.

    Dan

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    My thoughts on this matter are:

    1. The attack on VCDL and it's president was ill advised. The moderator appeared to be defending his profession and unaware of the integrity that VCDL has earned for itself.

    2. Others in the thread overreacted. A simple statement that VCDL does not deal in rumor or innuendo should have been sufficient to tone down the discussion.

    3. The moderator should be cautioned to use restraint. Removing a moderator for a single incident is unnecessary. We all get carried away sometimes. Repeated incidents are another matter.

    4. Removal of all moderators for the sins of one seems to be overkill.

    5. This board is monitored by LEOS and antis. This board reflects on us and the firearms culture. We should try to remain as professional and restrained as possible. Think before you type.



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    After being a member of this board for the past 16 months I have observed a great many things. The most evident is the “us versus them” position that some members preserve. A small number of members have had a bad experience with law enforcement and they have associated all law enforcement to be very bad.

    It is apparent that many members do not desire having a person here that does not fully share their views. If you convey a different opinion you will be jumped on and beat down until you ultimately submit or you disappear. You are not permitted to have your own opinion or belief unless the bulk of board agrees with you.

    Simply being a member who works as law enforcement instantaneously places you into a particular grouping. You are the “fox in the hen house” and some members feel duty-bound to do everything they can to purge you from the board. They refuse to notice that you are on their sideand just see some things differently. You are a double “them”.

    It is very tough to be a moderator and not post your thoughts and opinions on the variety of threads you are watching. A moderator is someone the administrator ought to be able to trust to do general maintenance on the board while they are absent. To expect a moderator to have all the same views that the administrator is impractical.

    A moderator does not symbolize the board alone. The owners and all the members of the board make that depiction as one. If someone can believe a single member can actually represent this board why do we sanction some members and allow them stay when they are without a doubt donning tin foil hats or spouting hate towards law enforcement?

    Having no idea who the author was… I questioned a VCDL alert. I exercised my right to free speech and posted my opinion to raise some questions howeverthis was not received well. It was later learned that the VCDL President was responsible for the alert and this caused several members to complain about my posts.

    The removal of the moderators was done as a knee jerk response to satisfy those members. John promotes members to speak freely and allows them to generally say what is on their mind. Regrettably, written text does not always express the message that was truly intended.

    My opposition to the alert was how it was titled and the limited information that it provided. As with many posts here members will often demand a “cite” to establish the information is accurate. This was done by me personally and no powers as a moderator were used. However, this was fuel for those that opposed my being here in the first place.



    At this time, I respectfully request the moderator program be reinstated asneither John nor Mike will ever find the time to clean the board. We all have a bad day and there is no reason to throw away something that is not broke.

  16. #16
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    It is a very rare person who can objectively moderate posts when they concern strongly held beliefs of the moderator. Its especially tough when the ground rules for moderation are not well understood, by either the posters or the moderators.

    Maybe the answer is to import people who do not have strong views one way or the other to do the moderating IAW some well understood ground rules.

  17. #17
    Regular Member ChinChin's Avatar
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    LEO 229 wrote:
    (snip) The most evident is the “us versus them” position that some members preserve. A small number of members have had a bad experience with law enforcement and they have associated all law enforcement to be very bad.

    (snip)
    It is very tough to be a moderator and not post your thoughts and opinions on the variety of threads you are watching. A moderator is someone the administrator ought to be able to trust to do general maintenance on the board while they are absent. To expect a moderator to have all the same views that the administrator is impractical.

    A moderator does not symbolize the board alone. The owners and all the members of the board make that depiction as one. If someone can believe a single member can actually represent this board why do we sanction some members and allow them stay when they are without a doubt donning tin foil hats or spouting hate towards law enforcement?
    (snip)
    229,



    I have no objection to you being a moderator. I do have an objection to you moderating threads where you "have a dog in the fight" so to speak. Vis a vie your occupation, you cannot be considered unbiased (or "moderate") towards threads where law enforcement tactics, operations or actions is questioned. This holds even more true when your own department is the topic of debate. To be fair, I myself would not be applicable to fill such a role (nor would I want to) and there are a vast many people on the board who I equally would not trust to do the job effectively (moderate Law Enforcement specific threads.) Your ability to moderate such (to use an analogy) was assigning the rooster to guard the hen house.



    Now BobCav on the other hand. . .I would trust to moderate such threads. He’s been a nice balance in the past and while he will be the first to condemn, he also is fair in his actions and won’t allow directionless bile to be thrown around towards LEO threads, or other threads for that matter.



    I have nothing against you personally 229. Heck, I’ve never even met you and as a rule. . .I have to meet somebody, carry on a few conversations before I can start using words like “hate.” We don’t hold many of the same views, our opinions of public servants and their roles do not mesh, but I have never once said, or even thought your participation on OCDO should be in question. I purposely didn’t “make a stink” about my leaving over your appointment as first and foremost it would have been crass, but moreso I wanted TPTB to come to that conclusion on their own and without my interference.



    I honestly think you should re-evaluate your request to be a moderator. I would make that same request of any active law enforcement official. While you have a legitimate point of there being a “us vs. them” mentality on the boards, it is one you yourself have helped to foster, regardless if such was your intent or otherwise. You have much to contribute to the boards, but not if such is to the detriment of the overall stability.
    The problem with the internet is nobody can really tell when youre serious and when youre being sarcastic. Abraham Lincoln

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    I don't know how a board could ever be kept clean without any mods. Especially with the recent explosion in membership as a result of the LA Times and Nightline publicity.

    However, to maintain the integrity and make sure that nothing except that which comes form Mike and John is seen as the view of OpenCarry.org, what about having mods with aliases. The mods can continue to post their opinions under their usernames, and be given an additional account with which they use exclusively for deleting spam, closing threads, or giving short reminders to get back on topic. The rule would be that the mod account is never to be used to express any opinions, simply to moderate with.

    The information of which members are mods could remain entirely confidential.

    I know this may seem a bit shady, but after seeing how much discussion was had over LEO being a mod that did nothing to help the OC movement, I think keeping these things secret may be the only way to keep the board focused and helpful to the cause of OC.

  19. #19
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    LEO 229 wrote:
    [Good and accurate stuff]
    I agree with just about everything you said.

    Note that I haven't used the term "neutral" in my suggestions for what moderators should be. Member mods are expected to have their own opinions, yet they must be extra cautious in presenting these opinions in a fair and useful manner. I have yet to see you stray from this, LEO.

    Hell, I'd sooner the members who attack you constantly (and mostly while off-topic) be banned than you be sanctioned. Those who will attack your character on the basis of stereotypes and generalizations, invoked by irrational emotional responses, are no better than the whiney gun-grabbing nanny-statists who paint all of us gun owners as serial killers.

    I also don't really see the conflict of interest here. In playing along with the "cops v. gun owners" mentality, having a cop as a mod is just as much of a conflict of interest as having gun owners as mods. Surely, to have the most unbiased moderating possible, we need to find non-gun-owners to join. Even if LEO229 were strongly opposed to open carry and other expressions of freedom (which he isn't), there's no reason he shouldn't be able to be a mod, and even break up the groupthink once in a while. As long as one mod isn't fighting with other mods through editing and thread/post deletion, I don't see how this is an issue.

    As I've said before, there are only two criticisms I have of the most recent batch of mods. First, is getting involved in OT discussion, when mods should be the ones discouraging it. Plus it provides a "the mod went OT, so I can too!" attitude for the more immature among us. Second, is not enough moderation to keep this board focused on open carry and freedom. I see LEO had been more proactive in this area, shutting down political spam threads and merging repetitive threads... but that still seems insufficient.

    :?

  20. #20
    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    I think this is a good idea. John and Mike will have a much larger workload trying to maintain the site, but I think that this will have a positive effect on the forums.

  21. #21
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    Gents,please let's not turn this thread into yet another flame war. I think it's best that we let a dead dog lie for the betterment of OCDO. We all know what happened and rehashing it is only opening the wound again.

    John did what he thought was best for the forum. His and Mike's forum. We should respect their wishes and move on like gentlemen. I've spoken to Johnon the phone many timesfrom that first "I want you to be our first moderator" call to just yesterday and I can assure you his first responsibility is to this forum. I understand exactly why he made LEO 229 a moderator and why he removed all moderators. OCDO is his passion, his baby - his child. What started as a "cool idea" has now grown into a nationally recognized forum and movement and he will protect it as any parent would. And rightly so!

    We've got a wonderful thing hereand I'm proud to be a member, moderator or not!

    Now let's get up off the ground, dust ourselves off, shake hands and apologize and get back to work!

  22. #22
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    I agree BobCav. Rehashing the details does no good for any member or the forum as a whole.

    Commenting briefly about the decision generally I think is appropriate. If Mike and John had wished to just make an announcement without feedback, they could have locked the thread from comments. The fact that they did not tells me that they were welcoming comments on the OP, that all member mods have been removed. The details of what happened regarding a certain mod and opinions on the specific matter or the specific thread are irrelevant.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

  23. #23
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    This goes back towhen John & Mike were asking about whether mods should have access to personal info (ISP's) and I stated then I was against it and now everyone shouldsee why

    sorry that thread had to be locked, I still can't stop laughing at the Miss Cleo line thats a classic.

    As a former contributor from Packing.org and having witnessed its demise I believe this is a great site

    and to all we have made great strides lately, keep up the good work

    :celebratesprat

  24. #24
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    Sheriff wrote:
    sprat wrote:
    This goes back to*when John & Mike were asking about whether mods should have access to personal info (ISP's) and I stated then I was against it and now everyone should*see why.
    Excellent point.* I can certainly see why.* :shock:

    *
    Personal info...well, I can't see any reasonable case for the mods having access to any information not provided by the members on their profile page as the member sees it. No one except the owners should be accessing IPs or tracing them, and then, only when required by the courts or pursuant to a suit they plan to bring or to block bots, spiders, spammers or blocking banned members. Any other use is an invasion of privacy, and could even be considered stalking in some jurisdictions.

  25. #25
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    caltain, please cite the actual laws or cases where having someone's an IP address is an "invasion of privacy"? I've been on the internet since before there was a WWW and it just isn't so.

    For the fourteenth quadrillionth time, Mods never had access to ANY personal info and could only see IP addresses and edit/delete posts/threads. Ithelped to identify people with multiple accounts, but that was it. The info was useless beyond that.

    And IP addresses are not "private" any more than your street address is private.Itcan all be had from public tax records and realtors do that every single day. And besides, with dynamic IP addresses, it's impossible to tell anything except general location. Anyone that cries that an IP address is "private" has no idea about the true nature of the internet. One post, IM or e-mail and your location is known. Accessing server trace records does require a court order, but not IP addresses.

    Knowing your IP is not stalking, but using it for wrong is illegal. Just as knowing your street address itself isn't a crime, but breaking into your house is. Believe it or not, your Social Security is public info and can be legally requested by nearly anyone, just not used for nefarious purposes.

    http://www.displayip.net/


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