Thursday, March 16, 2006

Moderated Forums, Arcuri, and Abortion

Part of Michael Arcuri's campaign web site is a discussion forum, which I encourage everyone out there to visit and participate in. You should know, however, that it's a moderated forum, which means that the administrator of the web site takes the prerogative of deleting messages or discussions that the campaign deems to be inappropriate.

I've been popping over the the Arcuri for Congress discussion board every now and then, and I've seen two messages being moderated over there. One message was just a snarky kind of attack question, which I can't remember specifically, but it was something on the order of "Can a big loser like Mike Arcuri hope to win?" The other deleted comment was more substantial, and significant to the Democratic primary contest.

The second deleted question was: Where does Arcuri stand on abortion? I'd like to know why the Arcuri campaign deleted that question from Michael Arcuri's discussion board.

Right now, the abortion issue is of great importance. South Dakota has banned abortion, setting up an attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade that will probably succeed, given the new makeup of the Supreme Court. That will turn the matter over to Congress, which will have to decide whether to pass a law ensuring that abortion remains legal across America. Given this context, we Democrats really ought to know where Michael Arcuri stands on the issue.

I'm not against a campaign moderating a discussion board. Frankly, it would be stupid not to. I moderate the comments on this blog, looking at each one before approving it. That allows me to screen out off-topic comments and spam messages from people just looking for a place to sell their particular forms of snake oil. However, I don't delete comments just because I disagree with them, or because they criticize my blog writing. I'm sure there's lots to criticize when it comes to what I write.

It is commendable that Arcuri's campaign has a discussion board at all. A discussion board gives voters the chance to have a prolonged open forum with a candidate's campaign. The Les Roberts campaign web site does not have such a forum, and it needs to add one soon if it wants visitors to keep coming back.

When it comes to a candidate's discussion board, however, we can learn a great deal by watching what that candidate's campaign allows to be said, and what they don't allow to be said. There may be something about the abortion issue that Arcuri doesn't want to touch. Is Arcuri Pro-Choice or Pro-Life?

On the other hand, it may just be that the particular message someone left about abortion had inappropriate content for a public campaign web site. There's one way to find out. I'm going to leave a new message on the Arcuri campaign discussion board, asking the question in plain, decent language: Where does Michael Arcuri stand on abortion?


Anonymous said...

Yes and now the Kansas State Board of Education has decided that parents need to opt in for sex ed for their kids.

The more they push this religious morality, the less important religion becomes to the young.

It's like trying to get a President to eat broccoli because it's good for you. Sometimes the harder you try the more stubborn and opposed they become.

The religious zealots don't understand the harder they try, the more they fail.

The Utican said...

I checked out the Arcuri board. The comment you referred to is still posted there.
It wasn't deleted at all.
Don't you hate when you spout off about something and it's just plain wrong?
Oh Well. We've all been there.

24 Independent said...

Oh, Utican.

I WOULD hate spouting off about something that I'm just plain wrong about, except that, in this case, I'm not.

That entry you see on the Arcuri discussion board? It's the one that I put there right after writing this article - as I explained in the article I would do.

Think about it now. Go back and check the date and time that message was posted. It's exactly the same time and date that I posted this article: Thursday Mar 16, 2006 7:35 am

Now, it's pretty telling that, the day after I wrote my article about the moderation on the Arcuri discussion board, the link to the board was removed from the lefthand sidebar of the Arcuri for Congress campaign web site.

Never fear. For now, you can still access the forum by typing in www.arcuriforcongress/forum into your web browser.

Utican, or should I say Bob Hyde, you've represented yourself in your profile as affiliate with the Utica County Democratic Committee. I suggest that the next time you try to represent the Utica Democrats, you think a little bit longer before you speak.

Anonymous said...

You ask "Is Arcuri Pro-Choice or Pro-Life?" Please don't fall into the trap of using those terms as mutually exclusive.

The Utican said...

That's right ...I'm post a comment on a message board on the Arcuri website, (that's still there), and complain that it's not there when it is?!?
And oooohhhh! You've discovered my secret identity!!!
Protect yourself Lois!

24 Independent said...

Bob [Utican] -

You're not reading carefully. Read the article again, slowly this time.

The article talks about a commment left by somebody on the Arcuri campaign's forum. That comment asked Arcuri about his position on abortion.

That comment was deleted.

In the article you commented on, I explained that I would be going over to the Arcuri forum and putting up another question about Arcuri's positon on the abortion issue. That's the one you see there now.

Those are two different comments. One is gone, and one is still there. Get it?

Now, I have noticed this morning, thanks to your comment that took me over to the Arcuri web site, that the Arcuri campaign has taken down the link to the discussion forum. I don't know why they've done that, today of all days. Maybe there's a good explanation, and I've written another article asking for one.

The issue of the missing link to the forum is, once again, separate from the issue of the missing comment on that forum.

I never said I was against the moderation of a discussion board by a campaign. I'm only interested in seeing if the Arcuri campaign will address the question of Arcuri's position on the legality of abortion.

I do think, however, that having a discussion board is a very good idea for a campaign web site. I'm disappointed that the Les Roberts site doesn't have one, and have pointed that out. I'm also disappointed that the Mike Arcuri web site has removed links to theirs.

Now you're coming over here and leaving really confused messages that suggest to me that you're not even bothering to read most of what I write before you think of a criticism for it.

Please calm down and think things through, before you make another foolish comment here for your Utica colleagues to read.