April 01, 2009

Andrew McCann Deleted My Post

This refers to yesterday's conversation on the excellent multi-author site A Tangled Web and will make sense to those who are regular readers there.

I made a post there and another author ( not the owner ) took it upon himself to delete mt post. That is unacceptable behavior.

ATW readers are welcome to comment, but not to trash Andrew McCann. No point would be served by such commentary.


( Below, a posting I made late yesterday, after a prior posting had been deleted. )

Each good blog has clear rules of engagement, and this one is no different.

This site has one proprietor, David Vance, who runs the place. His rules, which are few, are shown on the left sidebar. The rules are basically to be civil. If you follow the rules, you basically can say what you want.

There are a number of contributors to the site besides David. We adhere to the rules set by David, and by certain very basic, unwritten,. minimal rules of decency. One of these would be not to tamper with posts written by someone else. You can add or delete a post written by yourself, you can delete an offensive response to something you yourself wrote - but you can't mess with someone else's work.

You see, it's easy to do it. Registered users have the ability to edit - or to delete - anything here. This is probably a power that only David should have. But it's a power that Patty, mahons, PeteMoore, Alison, Mike Cunningham, Troll, Monica, and all of us have.We, and Andrew McCann have this power. A power which none of us to myknowledge none of us have ever used. Until today.

Some hours ago, when the owner of these pages was away on vacation, it is clear that Andrew McCann deleted my " April Fools " post. This is an act of great disrespect to David and to all those who write here, as authors or commentators. It is an absolute violation of the " free speech " premise that governs these pages.

It is all the more strange, as I have actually defended Andrew McCann more than once, on these pages and on the pages of Balrog. This is how I am repaid. With an act of sneakiness and treachery when the owner is on holidays.

We've crossed a Rubicon here. I have no quarrel with Mr. Vance, but here must invite him to a conversation as to how we ensure that such things will be prevented from ever happening again. If that can't happen, this is my final post here.

To prevent Andrew McCann from ever abusing the trust placed in him again, I am creating a replica of this post. If, and only if it is deleted, I will immediately post it on my site Bay Ridge Blog

I hope that the conversation continues, with my many friends here, who may be allies or adversaries on any individual issue. The one thing that all of us, or all but one agree, is that freedom of speech is paramount

No one is going to take it away.The conversation will move elsewhere if it must, but no one is going to stop the conversation from happening.

David, I am sorry that this happened on your vacation.

Good night, all.

57 comments:

The Phantom said...

( reprinted here. It won't be deleted )


Phantom

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to respond on your own site. If you choose to subsequently delete it, fair enough.

We have had numerous disagreements in the past (and continue to do so). However, I had always observed the principle that colleagues on ATW would not deliberately invite others to intentionally attack fellow bloggers. It's a simple thing called 'loyalty'.

I agree with your opinions on certain matters; I think your attitude to Northern Ireland stinks, and I have said so. However, what I would never do is to encourage those who act like pacts of rabid wolves (and probably have about the same degree of courage) to blacken your character, using a thread of mine as a launch pad.

You stated in your latest thumb-sucking exercise that a Rubicon had been crossed. Too right!! You've made it crystal clear that, notwithstanding your status as a contributor - and therefore a colleague - on ATW, you hold absolutely no standards in relation to myself. If you are prepared to sink as low as to invite and then spectate in the character assassination of someone who has been part of ATW far longer than you, then I'm prepared to (admittedly) sink even lower by deleting your posts.

There is no way David would have tolerated your attempts to blacken his name in this fashion, and I don't see why I should act any differently.

I hope this clarifies my position.

Andrew McCann

The Phantom said...

This makes it fairly clear that the first post ( and the following one ) was deleted by Andrew.

Frank O'Dwyer said...

Jeepers. What was the reasoning behind deleting the April Fool's post?

The Phantom said...

Frank

Jimmy Sands was making some pointed, but not over the line, comments on one of Andrew's threads.

Andrew deleted all of Jimmy's comments on that thread, and was ( correctly in my opinion ) being criticized for that action and for generally deleting comments and shutting off comments.

I joined in, saying that it was not proper form, that while Andrew had the right to say and do what he likes on his posts, that Jimmy Sands had an invitation to recreate his comments on my April 1 thread.

Andrew, who is not the owner of ATW, then took it upon himself to delete not just Jimmy Sands' comments again ( which would have been improper ) but to delete my entire April 1 comment ( an even more improper breach of ettiqutte )

There will be no such deletions here.

I can't refer you to the evidence, since Andrew has deleted it all ( other than my post of last night, recreated here )

The Phantom said...

Some reference to the contretemps
here

( unless and until they're deleted! Hi guys! )

Noel said...

>> as to invite and then spectate in the character assassination of <<

Andrew, how did Phantom invite character assassination of (I presume) you?

And how did he – allegedly – blacken David’s name, as you claim?

I agree with very little of what Phantom writes on ATW, but he has always shown nothing but respect for the site and for David. While he does betimes distort what people write, he never stoops to “character assassination” or even personal attacks against other contributors.

Nice post, Phantom (and nice site). Why was your original April 1st post deleted, have you any idea?

The Phantom said...

Noel

See my 845 above. I may have to waive the " charge " in your case!!

Jimmy, others who were there- please add your own perspective if I have any detail wrong.

It's hard to prove when the evidence has been tampered with.

Noel said...

OK, points answered. Thanks, Phantom.

It's easy to see how offering someone asylum from the Great Censor amounts to collaboration in "character assassination" in the eyes of someone so paranoid.

I generally like Andrew and enjoy his posts on ATW, but he is hysteriacal, and after this David has really no option but to boot him out.

The Phantom said...

I don't even care if he's booted or not, but I simply won't have my words tampered with.

As any " poster " can tell, writing a post for a busy person takes time and effort - even a silly April 1 post. You can't spend an hour getting it just right only to have someone take it away.

It is funny that I have now been criticized more than once by Andrew for blackening his name, and by others for being unduly protective of Andrew, and others.

I like that, actually.

Jimmy said...

"Jimmy, others who were there- please add your own perspective if I have any detail wrong."

Sounds about right. I made a crack about McCann on one of his racist screeds but what appears to have infuriated him is the fact that the post was complimented by others. He decided to remove all my posts from the thread and when others complained he closed the thread (and appears to have deleted some others. You merely offered on of your threads as a venue for the conversation to continue (McCann's suggestion that you invited people to attack him is entirely fabricated, but of course the advantage of deleting threads is you can pretend they said anything you like). When the invitation was taken up he deleted your thread. You then posted another thread to highlight his rather eccentric behaviour which he has now also deleted. It's wrong of me I know but I'm enjoying this immensely. The remarkable thing is he genuinely seems to believe that this will lead to people taking him more seriously. The boy is plainly one sandwich short of a picnic.

The Phantom said...

The funny thing is - you can't stop dialogue even when you want to. It's like water, it will find it's own way.

Talk away, lads, and comments opposed to my own or Jimmy's or anyone else's are expressly invited here.

Frank O'Dwyer said...

Phantom,

Well I saw some of that and commented on it last night.

See here.

Unless there was yet more on some other thread.

Anyway, that has happened to me before (not by Andrew) - I wouldn't call it censorship but it is heavy handed moderation at best. What I really hate is when words are deleted and then the one who deletes them proceeds to justify it by portraying the deleted words as beyond the pale. Too easy to misrepresent, even if done with the best will in the world (which it almost never is). It is a form of character assassination. If the words are really that bad, let them be and people can figure that out themselves.

Anyway you look at it, deleting that April Fool's post was just ridiculous - there was even a comment from David on that one IIRC!

The Phantom said...

Frank

Yep

Also unacceptable would be to retroactively edit your comment to improve your position in the commentary vs another person.

Yes, David has been censored by Andrew on David's own site

Noel said...

>>It's wrong of me I know but I'm enjoying this immensely.<<

LOL, we believe you, Jimmy!

Seriously though, I think it's clear that David absolutely hates this kind of carry-on and Andrews censorious rage could well tip him over.

>>to retroactively edit your comment to improve your position in the commentary vs another person.<<

This goes on all the time.

The Phantom said...

--This goes on all the time--

That's unfortunate. I had not noticed.

I edit often ( since when you type fast you can make errors ) but always stop as respects significant content if someone has made critical or other content.

Otherwise, its really easy to cheaply make yourself look like the genius, and there's no point in that.

Anonymous (Not Chuffer) said...

Can I show solidarity? I greatly fear that ATW is being destroyed from within.

I know I am guilty of bear baiting but some postings I just have to respond to. I have pointed out to Andrew more than once that if he is provocative, he will be critisised. He can give it but he can't take it.

crabby lady said...

Jimmy: I'll be borrowing the "one sandwich short of a picnic" line, if you don't mind.

Anonymous said...

Best thing to do is ring Yorkshire Health Trusts and get this A. McCann dismissed from his work and put behind bars, for racist comments and mocking the disabled.

Just Quote his ATW posts=
Instant dismissal.

percy

Frank O'Dwyer said...

Percy, don't be ridiculous

The Phantom said...

Percy

That's not necessary.

I wish him no ill on his job or anywhere else.

Gonna compartmentalize this thing!

Anonymous said...

Frank
I think they'd be very interested to find out what he's gets up to after hours, and it what way it effects the employment contract he signed.

Don't defend a man who posts on using whips on slaves backs.

percy

Daithi said...

McCann is beneath contempt, I don't know why he's been tolerated by DV for so long, his arguments are badly written and littered with bigotry.

Now he's the self appointed arbiter of what's acceptable, laughable!

Jimmy said...

I draw the line at telling tales out of school, but I'm bound to say that posting stuff like this under his own name (if it is his own name) in his line of work could well be a career killer. there's definitely something not wired right with that boy.

Anonymous said...

Phantom I don't really know what in under God is going on but I did like your April Fool Post and will admit to beleiving it for a few seconds :o)

aileen

The Phantom said...

A tempest in a teapot, love.

The trick to these April Fools things is that there has to be just the slightest bit of credibility to them.

You'll have to help me with one for next year! Cheers!

aileen said...

The best one I saw and it pulled me in up until the very end was a BBC documenrty with Ludivic Kennedy (who is often doing docs). It was about secret footage of a little known visit of Hitler to England. It started off so credibly and got skowly more ridiculous as time went on but you only had to stretch credulity a wee bit at a time.

At one point LK is saying "and this may be the only footage of the Furher picking his nose" and I remeber thinking that we could n't be sure as it looked like he might just have been scratching it and that that was a sloppy comment in such an interesting programme.

The worst bit was when they claimed that they could now make more sence of chamberlain's attitude to Hitler and Appeasment and started talkign about his money worries and "with the recent advances in technology we can now get a cloes up on what was actually on that peice of paper that he is waving about". Then we zoomed in and saw "I O U £100,000, signed N Chamberlain" and a counter signature by Hitler . I was gobsmacked and rembember thinking "OMG how awful for the Chamberlain family!".

The think is that if they had shopwn that at the beginning of the programme, I would have cottoned on, but it was the slow gradual decent into absurdith that held me.

As the credits rolled on the screen I was pleasuably anticipating the book that would be published on it and wondering why I hadn't heard about it before. Then as the last credits came up they refered to ome on e as lso being credited with a programme about Stalins Butlins holiday in ????!! Then and only then did the penny drop!!!

flittertijibbet said...

I'm gonna comment here though I really shouldn't because I don't like getting involved in handbag fights that I've read but not stuck my oar in.

First up, I was very very glad to see jimmy sands commenting on ATW. Jimmy is at this game a long long time, since way back in the days of DC (debate central) for some of you new comers.... I like the way he comments but have always found him humourous even if he is an orange git...! (only joking jimmy we know you are adams in disguise).BTW for a sample of jimmy's genius read his review of adams book on amazon.... its cracker.

What has happened I think is that jimmy and his big gob has fallen foul of andrew who basically suffers from blogging burn out.

As for Andrew. Posting under your own name takes guts, saying how you really feel under your own name takes guts especially when most others think yer mental. I like to read andrews posts but don't comment on them as I'd fall foul of me big gob as jimmy has done.

BUT DV will not back you phantom. Firstly he knows Andrew personally, and I think he said he knew him from before his blogging days. There is a personal relationship there. They've backed each other before and I believe they'll do it again now.

Either you two sort this out, (and I don't think Andrew will) because if DV is faced with an ultimatum you lose phantom. Especially since your only in the door.

Can I also say that what percy said is disgraceful. To go to someones employer over their political views is a shameful suggestion, a shameful thought, and anyone who ever did it should be ostracised by every decent thinking person. Though percy I'm sure is a great guy, he needs to reconsider what he said there imv.

In truth phantom your thread on april fool should not have included andrew mc cann, because he was not the topic nor should any person blogger or not be the topic, unless they are the public figure being discussed. To invite comment on him, especially a fellow blogger broke the rules of the game. If people moved there to talk about andrew and you saw their comments then it was up to you to delete them, as you allowed your thread to be derailed, your topic usurped, and the subject of your thread became andrew, and in truth andrew is right for 75% of this. Where it went wrong phantom was your invite.

I joined in, saying that it was not proper form, that while Andrew had the right to say and do what he likes on his posts, that Jimmy Sands had an invitation to recreate his comments on my April 1 thread.

Like it or not phantom this is where you went wrong. The invite started it between you and a fellow blogger. First up it looks like and Andrew will say to dv, phantom is only in the door and already open war fare while you are away between your bloggers...

My advice, don't give out any ultimatums to dv.

Also don't think you have free speech on your side. With that comes responsibility etc etc. Discussing him like that, or indeed anyone else could be seen by dv as gossip rther than free political speech.

Anyway good luck in your pistols at dawn, I've your obit written out already. (only kiddin)

First I've seen your blog btw. Its a good one.

Mahons said...

Outrageous infancy from Mr. McCann.

flittertijibbet said...

I can't refer you to the evidence, since Andrew has deleted it all ( other than my post of last night, recreated here )

The evidence is still there. The thread is deleted, but it'll be in the trash. A bit like an emial when you delete it - it goes in the trash. So dv will see the evidence if he thinks about it, but truthfully the guy is on holiday and he certainly doesn't need this between his bloggers when he isn't around to keep posting.

It's still up to you guys to keep the show running until he returns. So if andrew reads this i hope he will keep posting and you too phantom until the guvnor gets back and sort it out then.

Henry94 said...

Andrew is Andrew and nobody should be surprised. When he is focussed on debating he is as good as anyone but he often undermines his own case by these outbursts of control-freakishness.

But I would appeal for restraint because ATW would be less fun without him and on the NI question he has an interesting and well thought through position albeit drowning in a sea of bluster.

Phantom

You are so much in the right on the actual issue here that it's hardly worth talking about. So your opportunity for magnanimity is much greater.

percy

Nobody comes out of this as badly as you.

Anonymous (Not Chuffer) said...

"In truth phantom your thread on april fool should not have included andrew mc cann, because he was not the topic nor should any person blogger or not be the topic, unless they are the public figure being discussed. To invite comment on him, especially a fellow blogger broke the rules of the game."

No it didn't. Andrew posts his shite and then denies others their responses to it. How is that right? Look at the individual postings and specify which one went over the line. Oh, sorry, you can't as they have been deleted.

Phantom tried to provide bloggers an area where thay could express their disquiet. Andrew spat out his dummy!

Pathetic!

The Phantom said...

flitter

I don't know that I've given any ultimatums to someone who I say I have no quarrel with. But everyone's gotta know what the rules are, both ways. I have no tears any way that this goes.

Tell you the truth, I'm not angry with anyone, even Andrew. I don't encourage bashing him, and if anyone rats him out to his employer, that person will never be my friend again.

If I allow my own to be " derailed " , then that's my right to do so. The only other person who really has a controlling say is the person who owns the place.

Anyway, I'm overdue to meet some fine folk from a major company whose name begins with an " A " and ends with a "G"

See you all later.

flittertijibbet said...

No it didn't. Andrew posts his shite and then denies others their responses to it. How is that right?

No it isn't right. I didn't say AMcC was totally right, I said 75%. That is because if he denies others responses it ought to have been taken up with dv in one of his threads but he wasn't there.

Thing is what AMcC does on his threads is up to him and dv. Phantom got involved and fell foul of it.

I know I didn't get to see everything, but some facts are agreed between them.

1) that Andrew deleted comments

2) many didn't agree and Phantom intervened and invited the conversation on to his thread. Basically to discuss a fellow blogger. Mc cann is right about loyalty.

It's the invite that started it off on the wrong foot about and between the bloggers, then pulling the threads blah blah.

It would have been better to have sorted it out between them behind the scenes. But things got out of hand.
Depends on what way the guvnor sees it.

Soloution. Be adult enough to shake hands and move on.

flittertijibbet said...

If I allow my own to be " derailed " , then that's my right to do so.

Phantom you can't have your cake and eat it. You got involved when andrew pulled comments on his thread. That is a contradictory stand to take. Don't you think?

Anonymous (Not Chuffer) said...

"Soloution. Be adult enough to shake hands and move on."

Agreed!

Anonymous said...

I know Henry94
That rush of blood of mine to the head
D'oh

apologies everyone.

percy

The Phantom said...

flittertijibbet

Nay

The owner of the site has complete control

And
The writer of a post has control of what he writes, subject only to the control of the owner of the site

And
Those who make comments live at the sufferance of either the writer of a post or the owner of the site

But those who read and those who comment will migrate to where there comments won't be messed with.

One hundred percent consistent!

Cheers

The Phantom said...

"their"

Anonymous said...

People. people, get a freakin life!

flibertijibbet said...

But those who read and those who comment will migrate to where there comments won't be messed with.

That would have been ok if you'd waited for it, I'm sure it would have happened, as it stands you invited them to move. The invitation to all must have included Andrew McCann, he went too, and deleted comments he felt were demonising him.

That too is completely consistent.

Phantom when was the last time you - your job - and everything about you was up for public comment on the internet because of your views? Even suggestions (or threats) to go to your employer?

It looks like you guys are trying to tell mc cann what to think. It looks like group think is in control.

I wouldn't call it censorship but it is heavy handed moderation at best.

Not if mc cann felt it was man playing.

Was it man playing (real or imagined) and does anyone think that is the reason for mc cann's behaviour.

flibbertijibbet said...

The writer of a post has control of what he writes, subject only to the control of the owner of the site

No. A writer got the position because of his views, therefore the owner of the site already knows the views of his team members. Therefore he cannot control what another person writes, what someone writes is down to them especially if like McCann you put your name to it and stand over it. He's not hiding behind an identity on the internet, therefore mc cann is in control of what he writes. It's different if a writer is behind an identity, and the site owner is left with all the responsibility.

McCann is asking no one to do that. Thats how I see it.

flibbertijibbet said...

Those who make comments live at the sufferance of either the writer of a post or the owner of the site

No. The writer of the post writes the post and has got his say, then its up to the commentators to have their say, so the writer of the post doesn't have control over what his commentators say, except if it is libel etc. Then due to the rules of the site, the comment can be removed. But if the rules of the site say that a comment is man playing, libellous, against decency etc then by virtue of the rules of the site the writer is within his rights to remove it. Mc Cann must have felt the comments were manplaying, and with the guvnor absent he had no appeal to any higher authority, so he must have felt the need to act. He's been there since the beginning and hasn't acted like that before so he must have felt it was very bad man playing.

If a site were to remove comments willy nilly then commentators wouldn't go there.

Open warfare between bloggers creates a bad atmosphere, gives entertainment to those who wish the site ill, and basically is in no ones interest.

It kicked off when you invited the man playing on to one of your threads. You broke the rules first and he followed.

Jimmy said...

For heaven's sake Andrew, give it up.

The Phantom said...

If a site were to remove comments willy nilly then commentators wouldn't go there.

Open warfare between bloggers creates a bad atmosphere, gives entertainment to those who wish the site ill, and basically is in no ones interest.


Agree with the first paragraph

As far as the second, honest conflict is not always a bad thing

My opponents should not be silenced and I will not be silenced

Daphne said...

Phantom, I was sorry to see that your initial assumptions about Andrew were correct. He should have never deleted your posts (two of them now), if he had issues, he should have taken them up through a private conversation with you.

I think his latest post is appalling (just like Patty's was about me), but I doubt David will do anything about his bad behavior. He tends to stay out of the pissing matches between his writers.

For what it's worth, I think you are in the right on this one.

The Phantom said...

Thanks Daphne

I'm fine either way. Everything will be marvelous!

Daphne said...

That's an admirable attitude, Phantom.

I'd be pissed as hell.

The Phantom said...

I tend to compartmentalize...and this matter is simply not important...and in the case of the one individual , I know what I'm dealing with.

Most of my time for the past half day has been sent figuring out and setting up my replacement Blackberry ( Curve model now ). I love this thing - great toy.

Daphne said...

I just got a new phone yesterday with all the bells and whistles. I've managed to get it activated but that's about it...the three hundred page instruction booklet is intimidating.

Anonymous said...

'I wish him no ill on his job or anywhere else.'

Phant

If you're gonna be a shitheel and plunge the knife into McCann, you might as well go up to the hilt.

Frank O'Dwyer said...

Phantom,

"setting up my replacement Blackberry ( Curve model now )"

Eh? Are you collecting antiques? All the cool kids have iphones now.

The Phantom said...

anon

Honey, if I was to plunge the knife into McCann, you'd know it. Trust me. When I plunge it in, which I do at times, I do it with gusto

In the case of McCann, I have only acted to provide an outlet for debate ( which he had stifled ), and for what I feel to be the unauthorized and unfair deletion of not just one, but two, posts which he had no part in creating.

As has been pointed out, I've defended him repeatedly against what I've felt were unfair and personal attack on the pages of ATW and on Balrog.

I am not from the school that says you must show a fake solidarity with those who agree with you and use every fair and foul means to attack those you disagree with. I will always feel free to attack some of the things McCann says while not wanting to treat him unfairly on a personal basis.

I'm Andrew McCann's best buddy!

The Phantom said...

Frank

Actually, the iPhone was not an option for me.

My employer pays for the BlackBerry. (They do not support the iPhone, even if you pay for the device out of your own money.)

The BlackBerry is an astonishing productivity tool, for guys like me who travel, and do business all the time with people in different time zones.

I wouldn't buy a personal email device, as I just don't see the need. Those who know me can call me, and I do look at a computer often enough, to see the google e-mails.

But also

- I like having physical keyboards, and am not sure that I'd like a touch screen keyboard.

-In the US, the iPhone can only be used by the AT&T network, which, while rapidly improving, is not up the standard of other countries.

Maybe someday!

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