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Firstly, Thank you to each of you who have written to personally support me, or PMed me, particularly HailChina! I appreciate those very much.|
Secondly, the main issue here is not about me being intimidated. I could be a millionaire who can afford personal security, have the support of law enforcement and be able to take care of myself reasonably well and continue to post my views as usual.
But what about an other immigrant like me, who is not so well off, one who shares many of my views, but is poor, more isolated and does not have the time and resources to deal with threats? They will simply either not venture in or quickly leave for good. Ultimately, CD will never see much of them, their views or ideas. Those that remain here and flourish here will be whoever dares to hang around or can hang around being comfortable.
It comes down to what CD management really values, what its goals are and how committed it is to its goals - if they include creating a safe environment. This is truly at the core of running a 'free media'.
This is understood very well in many Western media forums, where even if some views are censored or edited, they are very, very effective in dealing with threatening or intimidating beheviour. They are dealt with very decisively - either immediately if minor or in cooperation with law enforcement in way that deters any future threatening behaviour. This aspect of media has really grown in the recent days for fear of terrorism.
We all know CD cannot guarantee anyone's personal safety. We all know forums like CD will attract trolls, cyber-bullies and cyber-terrorists. They will seek to suppress views and posts disagreeable to them and use such tactics. It is to be expected. But what about how CD deals with this expected reality?
CD appears sadly lacking in a coherent policy or enforcement in this area - it is neither proactive or properly reactive. The resulting atmosphere, particularly in the BBS is one where the offending members are more at ease than the law-abiding ones. We even have some moderators encouraging those that indulging in threatening or offensive behaviour.
The MAIN issue here is what kind of forum and atmosphere CD is really serious about providing for all -
1) One in which law-abiding and decent posters feel more comfortable in expressing their views freely, knowing that at the first sign of threats or intimidation CD will deal with it decisively and in a manner that deters further abuse.
2) One in which trolls, cyber-bullies and cyber-terrorists feel more comfortable in intimidating and threatening others, getting away with it repeatedly and thus effectively controlling whose views are heard or NOT heard on CD.
1) and 2) are MUTUALLY-EXCLUSIVE
If CD is serious about achieving 1), there is no other choice but to make things more uncomfortable for trolls, bullies and terrorists who might venture on to this forum. If they experience greater discomfort when plying their wares than the decent posters, they will leave or atleast behave better while here.
CD does provide the some of the most freedom anywhere in the world, to everyone, to express their views, however disagreeable. They do very well on that count.
However, when it comes to dealing with polite, quiet and repeated reports of threats or intimidation, if it is a bit more subtle, CD is sadly lacking.
I hope things improve and again, thank you all for your support and kind words.