I’ve moved all the Glossika threads into the Living in Taiwan forum. There are now only four threads – this new one, plus three that were stored in the Controversial Threads forum. I’ve locked those three threads, so if anyone has anything material to comment about concerning The Controversy, please post only in this thread, do not create another one.
Two of the three locked [Glossika] threads are left in their original states. I believe the larger one started this process, reporting the harrassment that many believe are associated with Glossika. The smaller one was started by Ironlady, and is her attempt to begin closing the mess that grew from the Glossika Controversy.
The third thread is a combination of various posts somehow related to that mess. All these messages were stored in the Controversial Threads forum. Included here are all the posts from the “Question about Moderators” thread. I call this third thread, the glommed up reference thread. You will notice that there are “last edited by” comments in those posts – I went inside each one to mark the subject lines in case they will have to be reconstucted in the future.
SO WHAT HAPPENED?
Well, as far as I can tell… nothing… yet.
On several occassions, I spoke with people who apparently represent Glossika. They complained about the treatment they received on this website. I agreed that it is unfortunate what’s happened here.
I offered to make clear on these forums that any accusations against their company were spurious if they would present to Segue documentation showing that they are actually a legally registered company. I feel this is a reasonable request since the legal documentation for a company in Taiwan is a matter of public record anyway.
First, they were supposed to fax it, then they insisted on sending this to me by registered mail. Nothing has arrived. Nothing. Indeed, two weeks after our original conversations, the Glossika discussions turned to showing how Glossika is NOT apparently properly registered in Taiwan and how one can go about checking this at Taiwan government websites.
In addition to allusions to litigation against this website, I received implied threats of negative media attention (the ol’ “I have connections with the press” tactic). Indeed, I actually received a phone call from someone claiming to be a TV reporter – although nothing came of that twist. Well, so far.
WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN TO SEGUE?
From one perspective, Segue Taiwan is serving a meaningful purpose. It is a place where problems encountered by those who live in Taiwan can be aired, solutions proposed, and support marshalled.
From a different perspective, it reminds us of the weakness and dangers in online discussions. Rumors and misinformation can be easily spread. And the credibility of Segue moderators (and ahem its founder) was also called to question. Not pretty stuff. Three people (including one lawyer and one with a legal background) actually contacted me and advised that I should only accept communications from Glossika that are (1) offline, and (2) stamped registered. In this way, everything remains official.
These are all worthwhile reminders: good and bad alike. For the team at Segue, we are reminded that even though we are “only” volunteers, we must act responsibly and transparently.
SO WHAT’S NEXT?
This Glossika Controversy has reminded us of the pitfalls in unregistered anonymous guest postings. WIth great effort, such posters may be tracked down – and that’s a big IF, IMO. What’s easier is to require those who wish to comment to go thru the effort of registering, and – hopefully – think twice before posting something that isn’t really worthwhile.
Expect some of the moderators and administrators at Segue to act more proactively to defuse situations. There are more tools in place this time around to help us monitor what’s going on.
Most important, there are tools that allow for more involvement from the community at large – I call this the Blue Snitches forum. If you see a post you do not care for, and believe should be reviewed critically by the moderators, hit the Blue Button on that post. This generates an e-mail message that notifies that forum’s moderators. You are then given the option to post a message EXPLAINING WHY you have a problem with that post. Giving us your perspective at that point helps us and guides us.
If you’ve read this far, I hope you will agree that this Glossika Controversy is serious stuff. Save the clever asides and let those who are directly involved in this have their peace. I fear this isn’t over for them yet.
If you do start up a Glossika thread instead of posting here, expect me or one of the team to throw it in the Glommed up Reference thread I created.
If you want to comment on our moderating, or share your view on how the forum may act on this – post this in the Feedback forum.