Happy 18th E2 birthday to me!

I'd like to mark reaching the age of majority to write down a personal reckoning as well as E2 drama. The aim here is to ensure the facts are clear, and the hope that I mean it seriously.

First, I'm not a very nice person on-line and even in person. I do passive-aggressive shit and struggle against authority, and there have been times here on E2 when I've taken it too far without taking responsibility for it.

I sincerely apologise for a write-up recently which offended several people, and forced the administration to remove it.

The second thing I'd like to say is that I was raised in a bigoted atmosphere. It took me a long time to extricate myself from all that entailed. Essentially the only action I can take is to keep myself as far away from that environment, and to speak up and confront it in as civil a way as possible. So my personal rule is: stay away from the crazy, but speak up when you believe what someone is saying and doing is wrong. Unfortunately, I cannot consistently live up to this rule because sometimes the easy path is to be sarcastic, bombastic or just be rude.

Writing that about me is done to provide some context of the baggage I bring with me to this site, not to excuse my action last week. What follows I hope also provides some context as well.

The typist behind the user who I used derogative words about in my write-up is someone I recognise as having the characteristics and behaviour of a bigot. This is quite clear to me, as someone who has grown up in that environment. Some bigots use manipulation and deceit to insinuate themselves among those who they think are like-minded people. Often they do this-- although they know it is wrong-- to avoid responsibility and to deflect confrontation on people they surround themselves with. They also do this to express or incite more extreme and harmful views.

This person reinvented their presence here on E2 after being 'locked out' of E2 by a now departed member of administration. They were locked out due to repeated personal attacks on other people here on E2. This person, in these other incarnations has persistently harassed people here. They have several times 'left E2 forever' when confronted about their actions and have threatened at least one person who referred to their current incarnation by the name of a previous incarnation. These are the lengths they will go through to avoid responsibility for their actions and behaviour.

This person is perfectly capable of stringing coherent thoughts together to write factuals, memoir, opinion pieces and having perfectly civil conversations. There are some topics (often to do with gender, racial or religious identity) in which this capability is severely reduced. There are many conversations where they attempt to instigate uncivil responses. People who have used the tool of '/ignore' or The Pit of Abomination to avoid this person find these tools inadequate when their abuser spams their ideology in posts and purposely incites inflammatory reaction in E2's chatterbox.

To reiterate:
They attempt to incite other users.
They often have attacked other users.
On being challenged or requested by authority to desist their most common action is to 'Leave E2 forever', by wiping their contributions, replacing their contributions with rants, and/or begging to be 'locked out'.
They repeatedly return to E2 either in a form of pretending nothing has happened, that they've moved on, or in the most recent and long-running form as someone else.
They, in some cases quite quickly, return to previous inciting and abusive behaviour.
They are a serial abuser of this site and other users, both casually and intentionally.
They have assumed other identities and interacted with people they have offended, harassed and abused.
Including myself, who had taken action to 'stay away' from this person.

My action last week shows I'm unable to maturely approach the issue of someone who keeps returning to the locale they have taken advantage of. It is something that has made me deeply uncomfortable and stains the good things I've experienced here. I also recognise that it is something that is difficult for some people here to discuss or find a solution for.

I believe tolerating and enabling this person has only led to encouraging more harm by them. Tolerating this person and enabling this person has caused harm to other users here. This person will continue to escalate the harm he has done. There are mechanisms and channels in place to tackle this on E2, however, and instead of using this person's own tactics such as a personal attack, I should have used and relied on them.

The only final thing I can do-- and perhaps this is the only mature thing to do-- is to tell you I believe what this person is doing and has done is wrong. You know their pattern. You know their history. Stay away from them if you are able.

There have been requests to have an Editor Log to comment on the TA situation. There are a number of reasons that I am not doing that, not the least of which is that a full treatment of the situation is boring, confusing, and pointless. I very nearly decided not to do this post, simply because it is a comment on an ongoing conflict among multiple sides, and the person it most concerns, TA, is not here to ask questions or defend himself.

So to start with, the first question TA might have is simply: "why was I blocked?"

This is one of the complex parts, but in short, TA was blocked because he consistently showed a lack of common sense, self-awareness, and self-control. If you are reading this because you want to know under what conditions we block users, you are out of luck. TA was blocked because there was a mostly-consensus that he was not willing to make and stick to a commitment to get along with people most of the time.

Which brings us to TA's next likely question: "So why weren't others blocked?"

TA has made the argument in the past that others are behaving worse than him. There have been at least two cases where other users have posted strongly worded, clearly inappropriate writeups attacking him. In these cases, whether it was needed or not, the initial change came from an editor stepping in and directly censoring the attacks in question (both editors were me). There have been numerous other cases in which direct and indirect insults have been sniped in the chatbox, and reportedly many more in private messages.

The difference has generally been that when it comes down to the line, other users are willing to back off and let TA have enough rope to hang himself, and TA has been happy to snatch up that rope and start tying. However, TA would have a point: he picks at groups, others pick at him; in blocking him we are making the statement that some groups are more protected than some individuals. I can go into a long and complex justification of this, but the long and short of it is that TA worked himself into a corner where it was no longer apparent to me that it was worth my time to protect him from himself.

From my view, the most important lesson to come from this is that a good benchmark for blocking a user is when they agree to make changes, and then come back and make the same 'mistake' again and again. Unfortunately, this shouldn't be a rule applied immediately, so you will see people behaving badly.

There is a lot of worry about TA making multiple accounts to get around blocks. This is another whole long post, but I can confirm that yes, if you request your account locked and then come back under another name, you are often given a pass. There is a list of users that have requested their accounts locked, and which I hope will come back when they are ready. TA is not on that list, and does not have a pass.

May 6th, Addendum: TheAnglican's and RoadScholar's writeups have been removed, at his request.

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