E2 is people. Take care of the people
and the content will take care of itself.
For some time now we have been in the planning stages of a new editorial group on everything2 we are calling e2contact. The focus of this group will be on the people who contribute to this site. The individuals from the administration and editorial staff who have agreed to work in this group will turn their focus to the people of the site. They will be helping newbies find their way and deciding whether or not this site is where they want to be. They will be dealing with the issues of personality clashes and user interaction that becomes an issue for the site. They will be dealing with users whose behavior on the site becomes an issue for the site and for other users.
As an example of the broad statements given there, much of what I speak of relates to the chatterbox. Users insulting, attacking and baiting each other will be silenced and have their ability to use the chatterbox stopped for a period of time through what is commonly known around here as a borging. Users who use the chatterbox as a stage on which to exhibit self-destructive or suicidal intent will be contacted by a member of our team and asked to cease and desist in the chatterbox. They will be given telephone numbers and other contact information for organizations that are set up to help them in their time of crisis. If they continue to publicly demonstrate self-destructive or suicidal intent in the chatterbox they will be silenced while we privately direct them to where they can receive the kind of help they indicate a need for.
This might sound severe, but everything2 is not set up to counsel or deal with many of the expressions of suicidal intent and self-destructive behavior that has all too often been openly played out in the public chatterbox. We cannot risk the remote possibility that we would be held accountable for someone's "advice" encouraging a individual to take their own life.
I have, or will, ask all members of e2contact to consider themselves to be mandated reporters of any publicly or privately expression of suicidal intent or self-destructive behaviors. This will mean that once a member of e2contact privately messages an individual who expresses suicidal intent or self-destructive behavior with information on who to contact regarding what they are dealing with and they do not respond, and continue in the chatterbox, any and all efforts will be made to alert authorities as to the nature of what has been publicly expressed here.
That is mostly it for the harsh part of our program. A bigger part of our operation will be to foster relationships with users, to help new and established users feel like they are part of a community effort and that their contribution here is appreciated.
We will be taking the lead on welcoming new users. We will be changing the approach that has been used in the past by no longer inundating new users with links to FAQs and instructional pages. We will simply welcome them and let them know that if they need anything we are there for them. Over the years I have found that many new users are overwhelmed and intimidated by being asked to read pages and pages of instruction on the site. Most just want to kind of feel their way around and know there is help available when they need it and that they shouldn't feel stupid for asking questions.
e2contact will also be the group responsible for redirection your questions or concerns regarding any area of the website. If we cannot answer your question, we will either refer you to someone who can or pass your question or concern along to them.
E2Contact is still coming together. The members of the group are currently grundoon, Wiccanpiper, Augustine, Dimview, The Debutante, and karma debt with myself in the lead. I expect to be naming several new members to the group in the coming weeks. Interested applicants should contact me directly.
Some users have asked about parts of this editor log being a contradiction of Jack's statements on July 16, 2008. They are not contradictory. There is no official policy on E2 for dealing with suicidal exposition and intent. We cannot set up a system for dealing with emergencies relating to individuals who participate in the site. We cannot counsel or be liable for any official advice regarding someone's intent to cause harm to themselves or others. There is no internal policy. This policy is to direct the individual away from playing out such dramas here on the site and to direct them to seeking real, professional help. We cannot continue to have such dramas played out in the chatterbox with other users either egging the individual on or offering myriad forms of advice. Because we have no policy, we cannot be consistent and therefore must direct individuals expressing a desire to hurt themselves or others to places where they can receive consistent, professional guidance.
If you got a flat tire on the highway and came to E2 asking us to help you change it, we'd tell you to call the auto service. We're not able to counsel people in emergency situations, whether it is a flat tire on the highway or a desire to jump off a ledge.