A debate on how to manage a virtual network
Posted by worriedlebanese on 29/03/2010
I tried to access Palestinian Mothers a couple of minutes ago but couldn’t do it. The site’s introductory page announced that “this Ning network has ben taken offline by its owner”. It was a bit surprised by this announcement even though things haven’t been going very smoothly on that network. Its owner and main animator Iqbal Tamimi had informed all members that she will be terminating a certain number of accounts. And soon later she started implementing her new policy. I voiced my objection to such proceedings and a rather animated debated was launched surrounding Iqbal Tamimi’s policy and my complaint.
Oddly enough, Iqbal Tamimi had problems publishing some articles two weeks ago (on her own network) and today the network was shut down, for reasons I don’t know. I though the debate that my comment launched was rather interesting, so I will publish it here (the discussion is found in the first comment).
Blogging under Damocles’ sword
Posted by JC|WorriedLebanese on March 16, 2010 at 10:40pm
As I write this entry, I cannot help but think of the sword of Damocles that hangs over my head. Like all members of this network, I’ve received of late two emails from the creator and animator of Palestinian Mothers threatening the following categories of members of expulsion:
- Anonymous members (people who do not share a “real name” and “personal picture”);
- Old members with false identities (because they cause the creator and animator of Palestinian Mothers a great distress);
- Passive members who do not participate (because they do not take the Palestinian cause seriously) ;
- Peepers (a sub-category of passive members who are busy with other stuff but who indulge in their voyeuristic urges from time to time);
- Spies (people who are here to eavesdrop on other members’ activities).
I have a problem with this type of “spring cleaning” or screening, and not only because I’m very likely to fall victim to it. I believe the logic behind it is flawed. Doesn’t everyone find this compartmentalisation impoverishing? What is great about the internet is that if offers us the opportunity to hear voices that we are not likely to hear in our every day life. It allows us to interact, argue, learn, teach, inform, question our certainties. I’m not sure all this is possible in a network of totally “like-minded” people. The reason I came to Palestinian Mothers in the first place was precisely because it offered a different voice that was no longer heard on MEpeace after several members were either excluded or driven out because their views were different. And I followed them here so as not to loose their voice.