Sunday, August 03, 2003
I am changing this post so that it comes up first. The post below this one was actually made earlier. There are things that I need to say because there is so much misinformation being put out by Nonny and Shay. I'm sorry to do this. Don't feel obliged to read it, unless you want to see a different side of their complaint.
Emotions can run pretty high during an incident like this. And people are going to have different versions of what went on. So, since Nonny has posted hers, and conveniently forgotten parts that don't suit her, I'll fill in at least some of the rest. The truth, of course, will always be somewhere between. I will not say what other people in the moderator boards said during this entire incident. What I'm going to tell you is just what went on between Shay, Nonny, Holly and me. What the other moderators said, did or thought during this time is not going to be brought out, because... well, it's bad enough that Shay broke his trust to post some of it, and Nonny followed. Having gone that far, I'm not going to let their side be the only one that is told.
When I say 'children' in this post, it is not always meant as a sign of age. Quite often it is meant as a designation for actions. I've known a lot of younger members at the site who were mature and adults who were not. Nonny fell somewhere between. She could lie convincingly about her age, but she doesn't have the adult capacity for reasoning in some other cases.
Nonny was underage when she became a moderator. Yes, when Holly found out it bothered her -- not so much for the age, but for the fact that Nonny lied. Moderators have a place of trust, and Nonny betrayed that trust, and Nonny knew it. Never mind how she acted -- adult or not. Sometimes she did and sometimes she didn't, but then we are all that way. But...
She was not removed from the post nor was she banned because of her age. In fact, that part was not brought out in relation to her at the time it was learned. Even Shay points out that it didn't happen. We know if Holly is pissed about something, she acts right then. Always keep that in mind when you read this stuff from the two of them. Holly doesn't play the 'hold something over you for months and then react to it' game. If she thinks there is a reason, she will ban someone on the spot. You've all seen it happen.
Nonny's secret was kept. We continued on for some time that way...
...until Nonny told Holly -- posted it right on the moderator's board for all of us to read -- that she would lie again to Holly if she thought she had a reason to.
At that point, having given her trust and hoping it would work out, Nonny proved that she was... well a child. Hell, for all we knew at that point she had lied about being 18 and was much younger. Who could tell? How could she expect any trust at that point?
And that was when she was removed from her post and banned for awhile. It had been a heated discussion. She is not the only person who has ever gone through that process, nor the only person who was let back in when things calmed. Banning from the site allows tempers to calm and people to look at what has happened without further flames. Nonny got back in a few hours later. She was no longer a moderator.
Having had it so graphically shown to us that children can convincingly lie about their age, and having read Nonny's blog for a while and seeing that she thought her parents would go ballistic over things she had done at the site, we decided that something had to be done. One of the first things was to remove the Erotica section.
Oh, yes, I know. Freedom! Free Speech! But Erotica had not been a part of the site for very long and people managed without it before. They seem to be doing fine without it now.
We removed it because Nonny had shown the fallacy of trusting children to tell the truth. We trusted Nonny. We believed Nonny. We liked Nonny... but she had betrayed that trust. Erotica went off to a new site that we endorsed; we suggested people go to that site, and we thought was a very good plan and idea. The people who volunteered to start it were thanked for doing so.
It seems that recently they decided to expand out. Good plan, really. Nothing wrong with it and there was no reason for the secrecy. The 'steal' members line that Holly posted was a reaction to their way of dealing with this, not to what the members would do if they found out about the other site. People have told me that their approach, even though they like Nonny, Robert and Shay, made them uneasy with the secrecy and scheming and the backstabbing comments.
You want to know the real, blunt truth? Both Holly and I were more than happy to find that some of them had found another place to hang out where they could do whatever they wanted, and not feel hampered by any of Forward Motion's rules. It looks like a good alternate site, and like the Adult Writing site, if they had been open about setting it up instead of all the secrecy and theatrics, things would have gone far better. Instead, they wanted to make sure that everyone knew they were going because of Holly, and likely me. Because we would do something horrible if we found out. It's just not true. Having that other site looks like a perfect solution to what some people have found to be a troublesome at the site -- that they could not rant and rage about anything at all at any time they wanted. Some people like those kinds of sites. But that is not what Forward Motion is about, nor will it ever be about it.
Now why did we feel we had to protect the site?
Because Nonny lied about her age.
Doesn't quite follow? She didn't belong to the Erotica board when she was underage, right? Right (if you can believe anything about how old she really is, of course). However, she did do things that could have brought trouble to the site if her parents had decided that their 17 year old should not be having an on-line affair with someone older (and planning to join him) at a site that said they welcomed younger writers. She also wrote and sold erotica while she was underage, and with most of the people at the site telling her how great it was that she did so.
If the site had been Nonny's Forward Motion, then Nonny would get to decide how much trust she put into people who openly lied to her and did things that put the site in potential danger. It would be her name (well, if she used her real name) that was up there drawing the fire when things go wrong.
The site is Holly Lisle's Forward Motion. That means if an irate parent finds that their 17 year old daughter is hanging out in chat and discussing sex with an older member, it is Holly Lisle's name that will suddenly be on the top of the complaint. How long do you think Holly would bother to keep the site open if it came under those kinds of charges? You could count it in minutes, people. And who would that help?
(And Shay, once more... Age of Consent does not mean the child has the rights of an adult. It means that if there is sex, the older person will not be charged with statutory rape. Age of Consent varies in different states and sometimes even by gender. When a person is considered a true adult varies as well. A teen at the Age of Consent can still be under parental rule... and those parents can initiate actions for the safety of their child.)
Nonny could not be trusted. She lied about her age and then she used that lie to get into a situation that, if we had known she was younger, we would have discouraged -- at least on the site. What people do off the site is beyond our control... but at Forward Motion we expect at least the moderators to behave in a way that would not bring the site into trouble.
Wow. Too much to ask for, right?
The rest of this about the new site might not have come out until they were ready to go live if Shay hadn't been so horribly offended by Holly's reaction to Nonny's lies. He had planned to leave anyway. I believe that now, knowing about the new site and all. He says that he wanted Holly to know how he felt and why he was leaving, and that he didn't post the notice to hurt the community.
And it is all lies, of course. If he had really felt that way, he would have emailed her the notice, and not posted it on the main board and then everywhere he could on different boards. That part is obvious. He has, quite plainly, planned to make as much disruption in the site as he could.
If people want to belong to both sites, it is not going to bother us. If they want to play their 'poor, persecuted us' games over there... well, go for it. Enjoy it. If you don't feel that Forward Motion, with the policy to try and keep flame wars on non-writing related subjects down suits you, then you might want to go over there. It's bound to be a lively site in that respect. But you are welcome at Forward Motion as well.
Forward Motion is about writing. What you write is not important, and we have always welcomed diversity in that respect. We don't care about your political status or your religion or anything else about you, nor do we want to know your views on it in regards to others. If you want to learn more about writing, and spend time in the company of other writers, this is a good site for it. Not perfect, but no site ever will be. Like most of the moderators, I have not purposely put the site in danger. Not because it is MY site, but because I, at least, have thought about the others at Forward Motion and how my actions might affect the site.
Yes, I am a flaming liberal as Holly pointed out in that chat transcript. I have also disagreed with Holly on site policy, right there on the moderator's board, and disagreed with her on other things on the main board.
I have, however, never lied to her.