AUSTRALIANS AT WAR

AUSTRALIANS AT WAR
THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY is a compelling factual history of neoconservatism and its influence on US Foreign Policy in the Middle East during the first decade of the twenty-first century. Click on image above for details.

Friday, October 12, 2007

WHAT WENT WRONG WITHIN WEBDIARY PART 1

The following article by ex-Webdiary Director Craig Rowley is published following a delay intended to provide Margo Kingston and David Roffey an opportunity to respond to Craig Rowley’s rebuttal of David Roffey’s claims that Craig Rowley had acted deceitfully at Webdiary. There has been no response from either Margo Kingston or David Roffey.

The following is Craig’s rebuttal and counter claim regarding David Roffey’s own deceit.



DNP Dz abuse (however justified) Webdiary Admin:
What Went Wrong Within Webdiary - Part 1

by Craig Rowley

My real name is the same as that which I have used online since I first had any content I'd created published to the World Wide Web. I do not hide my identity. I am Craig Rowley and I was a director of Webdiary Pty Ltd, a company formed by volunteers who believed that what Margo Kingston had made was good and well worth the extraordinary effort to maintain, develop, improve and grow it. These few people and I, we knew what Margo had suffered to see her dream become real and we saw the value in helping her keep that dream alive. Then some time this year something went wrong within Webdiary. This is the story of what has happened within the Webdiary management team in this past year as I have seen it unfold.

I tell this story in the hope that it prompts reflection by some members of that team, and by people who've been part of the Webdiary community, on what it means to be as the motto says: "Independent, Ethical, Accountable and Transparent". In essence, I hope that Webdiary can do what is necessary to once again return to focus on the noble aims Margo had set out in the Webdiary Charter and proudly claim that the motto she bestowed on her creation is truly reflective of its character. I hope the reputation of Webdiary can be restored by how it handles my own act of accountability and transparency in recounting this story.

Before turning to the chronological telling of what happened within Webdiary (that'll form the next part in what will be a short series of posts), it is useful from the outset to explain something of the way Webdiary has operated and how it has been managed.

An explanation of the title I have used for this post is a good place to start. The title I have used is what David Roffey, the Managing Director of Webdiary Pty, had added to a comment not published by Webdiary, a comment submitted by Paul Morrella on September 4, 2007 at 2:16pm. The standard operating procedure for those who've volunteered their time to moderate the comments submitted to Webdiary is to review each comment to ensure publication will be in accord with Webdiary's Editorial Policy. The acronym "DNP" means Do Not Publish, and it is added to those comments which go against the standard set out in the Editorial Policy. "Dz" signifies that the moderator in this instance was David Roffey. He decided that the comment submitted by "Paul Morrella" could reasonably be categorised as "abuse". However, for a reason that only he can properly attempt to justify, David Roffey also added those words within parentheses - (however justified). The "Webdiary Admin" part is the start of the title that the person using the name "Paul Morrella" included with the comment he had submitted.

For some reason, David Roffey determined that the comment by "Paul Morrella" was "abuse" and then indicated to the other Webdiary directors and volunteers working behind the scenes (for by logic they are the only people who David would have counted on being able to see his contemptible appendage) that he thought it was justified abuse. It is essential to make completely transparent what that comment contained in order to demonstrate what David Roffey's decisions represent. So, here it is, the comment in full with the element seen as abusive underlined (Ed note: 'blogspot' does not allow underline function or, if it does, I dont know how to activate it. Apologies):

‘DNP Dz abuse (however justified) Webdiary Admin’
Submitted by Paul Morrella on September 4, 2007 - 2:16pm.

I have read the Phill [sic] Kendall blog on occasion. This person is obviously unbalanced. The anger, and paranoia displayed by him on multiple occasions is palpable. For that reason I decided some time back not to enter into any further discourse with him. I have felt he is a person that not only looks for conflict; he feels an emotional need for it. The creation of imagined enemies all around would suggest this.

Unfortunately we never really know who we converse with over the net. Whilst most have a sense of proportion it is clear a minority do not. For this reason I will avoid any further comment here in the hope this person does find the help he obviously needs. I find the whole episode highly disturbing, and something I wish to refrain from entering into.

PS His claims (and there have been numbers of them) are completely, and disburbingly [sic] bizarre.
----------


Whilst the statement within that comment seen as abusive has been highlighted, it also contains several other errors.

First, the person using the name "Paul Morrella" misspells Phil Kendall’s name. Then, this person makes outrageous and ill-informed claims about Phil's state of mental health (as highlighted) and then claims to have "decided some time back not to enter into any further discourse" with Phil when in fact he had actually engaged in submitting comments about Phil Kendall, even after Phil had been banned from making any further comment on Webdiary.

Also, contrary to the opinion of "Paul Morrella", it is more likely to be true that we seldom really know who we converse with over the net. Perhaps it can be argued that one never really know one's self, let alone really knows anyone else through and through. However, pulling back from diving deep into questions of phenomenology, it is generally the case that whenever a community forms online there are instances where individuals seek and make in the real world a real connection with the people they interact with online. For example, I have had real world contact with Margo and each of the other directors. I do know them reasonably well (and I'll say more on this later).

One can also learn the patterns that repeat in a person's "online voice" and so in a sense can come to know a little about that person through their online ‘character. Based on what I know of the person presenting himself as "Paul Morrella", I am reasonably certain that he is not a member of any of the professions that qualify an individual to make informed comment on the mental health of another person. So, not only is his opinion an inexpert and in all probability very wrong one on the facts, it is indeed obviously abusive toward Phill Kendall and entirely unethical when judged by the criteria set out in Webdiary Ethics and the Editorial Policy.

Further, the person using the name "Paul Morrella" states that he will "avoid any further comment here in the hope this person …", etc. That proved to be a most hypocritical statement because later "Paul" submitted not just one but a number of comments that continued his cowardly attack on Phil Kendall.

Clearly, when judged against the criteria set out in Webdiary's Editorial Policy there was a lot wrong with the comment by "Paul Morrella" and the decision to mark it DNP was the correct one. Why then, did David Roffey decide to show to the others behind the scenes that he thought the abuse was justified? Why did Webdiary's Managing Director effectively join in the abuse?

The answers to those questions I do not know for sure. As indicated earlier, only David can properly account for his actions. However, I can offer what I know of David and the history leading up to this event in order to inform you sufficiently to help you test your own hypotheses about what the answer to the question may be. I'll do that fully in the next part by returning to the point where things started to go wrong within Webdiary and following the chronology through the time in which David Roffey and Margo Kingston started to routinely banish anybody who dares to question whether the decisions made by them accord with the Editorial Policy the published.

For now I'll just briefly explain why this example of unethical behaviour by the Managing Director of Webdiary is crucial to the telling of the whole story. I had by this time already resigned as a director of Webdiary and in part that was due to taking a stand against the non-consultative management style taken by David Roffey. The events described here then sadly mark the beginning of the end of my "membership" of what remains of what was once a much broader Webdiary community, for after I discovered David Roffey's unethical behaviour, I challenged him to be ethical, accountable and transparent. For doing that I was punished.

What I discovered was that David had published a comment submitted by "Paul Morrella" a short time after the one that was marked "DNP Dz abuse (however justified) …":

‘Angela Ryan’
Submitted by Paul Morrella on September 5, 2007 - 11:56am.

Angela Ryan

Anyway, perspective is always good. I think Phil has a good heart and that is always respected.

Well possibly, though, you have always agreed with him or at least never publicly voiced any difference of opinion. There are a few on this site it seems (including me apparently) that have unfortunately not had the same degree of foresight.

I personally find it sad, and disturbing, that a person would feel the need to find their enemies (imagined in my case) in cyberspace. Taking internet discourse regarding politics, and general issues so seriously is not something I would consider very healthy. Sometimes it is just helpful to walk away from the computer monitor, and find a true sense of proportion.
----------

Consequently, I submitted to Webdiary the following comment and, after waiting some time to see it published, I found David Roffey had appended his "editorial" comment to it:

'Ethics?'
Submitted by Craig Rowley on September 5, 2007 - 12:41pm.


Why is it that Paul Morrella can question Phil Kendall's motives, ethics, and mental health openly on Webdiary, but Phil Kendall could not (before being banned) openly ask the same questions on Webdiary about Paul Morrella's motives, ethics, and mental health?

David R: anyone can question anyone's motives and ethics. I'm not aware of Paul questioning Phil's mental health - his most recent comment on a sense of proportion applies to a fair few Webdiarists. And Phil wasn't banned for asking questions on those, he was banned for continually and persistently questioning identity when Margo had specifically said that she had checked, was satisfied, and would not publish any further comment on the subject, and for repeatedly accusing Margo and other editors of hypocrisy and other misdemeanours for sticking to that ruling. You can only insult Margo so many times before she's had enough.
----------

Given David Roffey's editorial statement, I then submitted the following comment marked NFP (Not For Publication):

‘Dz – publishing previous DNP: That’s a lie David. and I’v (the rest of the title: ... and I've the evidence)’
Submitted by Craig Rowley on September 5, 2007 - 3:42pm.


Dz: I was replying to your accusation that Paul had got away with a published comment, which he hasn't. If we banned everyone who was DNP'd, you'd have gone long ago.

Dz you say "I'm not aware of Paul questioning Phil's mental health...".

Yesterday, Paul Morrella submitted this comment:

‘DNP Dz abuse (however justified) Webdiary Admin
Submitted by Paul Morrella on September 4, 2007 - 2:16pm.


I have read the Phill Kendall blog on occasion. This person is obviously unbalanced. The anger, and paranoia displayed by him on multiple occasions is palpable. For that reason I decided some time back not to enter into any further discourse with him. I have felt he is a person that not only looks for conflict; he feels an emotional need for it. The creation of imagined enemies all around would suggest this.

Unfortunately we never really know who we converse with over the net. Whilst most have a sense of proportion it is clear a minority do not. For this reason I will avoid any further comment here in the hope this person does find the help he obviously needs. I find the whole episode highly disturbing, and something I wish to refrain from entering into.

PS His claims (and there have been numbers of them) are completely, and disburbingly [sic] bizarre.


And I note that you had a shot at Phil as well with the "(however justified)" addition to the title. You were aware, very aware.

I think you should set the record straight and apologise for lying.
----------

Note that David Roffey added his own editorial comment to my comment, which indicates that he intended to publish it. I was advised by a friend that it was published and remained briefly available to readers and then disappeared without explanation. So, in the end, David decided to not publish my comment and his editorial retort despite there being no 'rule' or guideline with Editorial Policy on which to base that decision.

There are a couple important things demonstrated by that comment David had added. First, it can be taken by any reasonable person as an admission that David Roffey had indeed been aware of the abusive comment and the line being taken by "Paul Morrella" and that he'd signalled to those inside Webdiary's backroom that he thought personal abuse of another person (one he and Margo had already banned from making any further comment on Webdiary) no matter how wrong was in his opinion ‘justified’. Second, it shows that David's way when challenged with reason and logic on my part is to turn to attack and try to threaten me for daring to offer a defence for a man who could not defend himself. Third, it shows how quickly transparency is thrown out by David when it becomes inconvenient to him.

What should be obvious by this point, but perhaps I need to bring it to prominence, is that I still had the ability to see both what was and was not published by Webdiary on the conversation threads associated with those posts I had authored. The comments I expose to all here were made on the conversation thread associated with 'What if...? Solving the Iran stand-off'. After I saw that David Roffey had decided to cover up his lie rather than be ethical, accountable and transparent about it, I tried to formulate a comment that could not under any circumstance be categorised as a DNP without that being in itself another example of departure from the published Editorial Policy. My first attempt was this:

'DNP: Dz same Also … why wasn’t this observed?'
Submitted by Craig Rowley on September 5, 2007 - 4:28pm.


In the DNP marked comment submitted by Paul Morrella he stated:

For this reason I will avoid any further comment here in the hope this person does find the help he obviously needs.

Yet he came back the very next day to make further comment here and it was comment on Phil Kendall. One of you published it.

Why didn't editors observe that and contact Paul to tell him it would be best if he stuck to his supposed intention to not comment here, particularly on the very thing that could injure Phil?
----------

As you can see it was marked DNP by David Roffey. Why? Those familiar with Webdiary's Editorial Policy will see that it clearly does not contravene any rule expressed in that policy.
I tried again, submitting this:

‘There he is talking about others health again’
Submitted by Craig Rowley on September 5, 2007 - 6:32pm.


How many times is Paul Morrella going to be published making comments about the health of someone else?
----------

That wasn't published either. I can't show the DNP marks in this instance because I'd only copied this and subsequent comments I tried to submit at this time before they were "processed" by a member of the Webdiary team. Suffice to say that you'll find neither that comment nor this next few published on Webdiary if you look back over the conversation thread today:

‘Look … there is a theme here’
Submitted by Craig Rowley on September 5, 2007 - 6:37pm.


David Roffey you say "I'm not aware of Paul questioning Phil's mental health...".

Yesterday, as you and I know, Paul Morrella submitted a comment yesterday which you did not publish. It contains a stark example of Paul questioning Phil's mental health.

You knew about it because you left your mark on the unpublished comment. So you lied when you said you were "not aware", didn't you?

I think you should set the record straight and apologise for lying.

I also think it is unethical for you to keep publishing comments by Paul Morrella that do so much as even hint at questions about the mental health of another person who comments (or commented in the case of the people you banned).


‘David you lied and need to set the record straight’
Submitted by Craig Rowley on September 5, 2007 - 6:41pm.


David Roffey you say "I'm not aware of Paul questioning Phil's mental health...".

Yesterday, as you and I and all know, Paul Morrella submitted a comment yesterday which you did not publish. It contains a stark example of Paul questioning Phil's mental health.

You knew about that unethical questioning by Paul of Phil's mental health because you left your mark on the unpublished comment.

So you lied when you said you were "not aware", didn't you?

I think you should set the record straight and apologise for lying.

I also think it is unethical for you to keep publishing comments by Paul Morrella that do so much as even hint at questions about the mental health of another person who comments (or commented in the case of the people you banned).
----------

The reason for submitting in a short time two comments trying to convey the same message on this occasion was that I realised after submitting the first that I should have mentioned that all the people working behind the scenes at Webdiary would have already or in time know he had just lied to the broader community involved in the conversation as well as regular and occasional readers of Webdiary.

Seeing that other comments were being published, but not mine, I then submitted this comment thinking David was "on duty":

‘anyone can question anyone’s motives and ethics’
Submitted by Craig Rowley on September 5, 2007 - 6:48pm.

David Roffey today you said:

anyone can question anyone's motives and ethics.

I am questioning yours now because you and I both know you were aware of Paul Morrella's inappropriate comments about the mental health of another 'diarist and yet you subsequently said:

I'm not aware of Paul questioning Phil's mental health...

You were aware he had submitted comment questioning Phil's mental health at the time you published that editorial comment. I think you should explain yourself.

Be accountable.
----------

When that was not published, and yet comment by others was being published, I submitted this comment:

‘NFP – Dz get this straight’
Submitted by Craig Rowley on September 5, 2007 - 7:06pm.

You can keep reacting to presentation of the fact that you've made mistakes by getting mad at me, but it does not alter the facts.

I understand that it is your natural reaction to get angry with me when I challenge you, but when you have acted in a way that warrants challenging then I will do it.

It would be good if we could start talking about a solution to this situation soon. As I see it, this could have been solved a long time ago.

It could have been solved by a simple and consistent editorial approach where every time C Parsons (now as Eliot Ramsey) tried the 'remorseless ridicule' thing his comment is DNP and then at the next acceptable comment he's told by the editor that the earlier comments were not appropriate for publication and why (it runs counter to the 'civil discourse' standard Margo desired for the space).

Same goes for Jay White when he baited Phil Kendall on his return to Webdiary as 'new user' Paul Morrella. You could have DNP'd the 'baiting' comments and on the next acceptable comment explained why targeting and baiting (acting like a troll) runs counter to the 'civil discourse' standard.

That way you probably wouldn't have had to ban anybody.
----------

Notice that last one was submitted marked NFP. I was suggesting to David Roffey and the other Webdiary insiders who could read this comment that I would not back down from defending another 'diarist to a bully even if he is the Managing Director of Webdiary Pty Ltd. David's way, you see, is to attack anyone who challenges his decision making. I was also suggesting a reasonable and sensible solution to an ongoing problem with David's decision-making. A problem I will bring into focus in the next post.

More in Part 2 ...

16 comments:

Craigw said...

Your new found morality is indeed touching Craig.
I trust it will extend to making sure that...ohh lets see, Aeronautical Engineers make no further remarks on the mental capacity of people as well?

Dont worry, I know this will be deleted as usual. Damo doesnt like dissent around here.

Damian Lataan said...

Dissent I don't have a problem with Warboy; however, mindless garbage from liars and delusional idiots like you are merely a waste of space.

I'll leave your gormless remarks here just so that other readers can get an idea of the purile childish crap that totally useless trolls like you occasionally feel the need to disrupt serious debate with.

Craig w said...

Serious debate?

So yelwor has a dummy spit at the fruit bats site. All over him objecting to Phil Kendal being called the raving loon that his on line correspondance strongly suggests he is.

Good one damo.

Still, you have a good balance here. 50% webdiary bitching and 50% world jewish domination conspiracy stuff.

Yes Sir, serious debate indeed

Craig Rowley said...

CraigW, you really do have a mental age somewhere between 8 and 12.

I knew "Paul's" pathetic attempt at insult would be laughed at by Phil. Just like yours will be. The nature of "Paul's" insult wasn't the key thing you moron.

The point I am making is actually the very same point your mate David Davis made over and over as "Harry Heidelberg".

To make it very plain to you widdle Warboy that point is:

Webdiary management claims to aspire to a certain high Ethical standard; it then fails to meet the standard it set, but under David Roffey it won't admit it and will, in fact, attack anyone who dares point out such a failing.

Stick to building your train set and dreaming about Nazi uniforms Warboy, you're otherwise proving again and again that you know nothing about anything much outside those fields.

Craig w said...

Interesting comments there Rowley, I presume you have some data to back up your medical opinion?

No of course not.

you are just everything you profess not be be

How sad, how pathetic

Oh and its plain to see you have absolutely no ethical standards, so you really have a hide to pass judgement on WD or any other person

I will go back to my trains and tanks, you just keep on being bitter and twisted, it appears to be all you have

geoff said...

WD has never sunk deeper from its stated aspirations than during that brief period when Craig Rowley was calling all the shots.

Harry Heidelberg said...

Are the other parts of this trash going to be as boring as the first part? If, so please advise me in advance Mr Identity Freak. It will save me from reading the rest of it.

Is this like a hostage crisis? At each point that you don't get what you want, you kill another hostage? At each point you don't get what you want, you write another piece to damage any chance you had of repairing the train wreck you left behind?

I'm waiting for the part when you bring in your low rent pop psychology. That's usually when you show all the intellectual rigour of a feature writer at girl teen magazine, Dolly.

Hello, Craig "Dolly" Rowley.

Kind regards,

David Davis

Harry Heidelberg said...

Shouldn't this series be more appopriately entitled "What Went Wrong with Craig Rowley"?

There is nothing wrong with Webdiary now. In fact your departure brought about a wonderful set of circumstances. Your departure was the best thing to happen to Webdiary in ages.

It brought back Margo and therefore lots of interesting people. Webdiary is going strong as we go into a federal election and as Still Not Happy John is launched.

It is a lot better place minus your pedantry.

This whole article proves the very thing people hate about you. Pathetic and pedantic. Mean spirited and small. A mean embittered little man.

Every time you try to show up Roffey he comes out looking quite sane and normal. You are your own worst enemy. Your attacks on Roffey actually enhance is reputation as being balanced and a steady hand on the goodship Webdiary. Despite having differences with him in the past, your depictions of him cause me to have a higher opinion of him.

He's normal. That is what comes out of all this garbage. He's normal.

You're not.

That is why you have now retreated to the blog of an extremist who believes in all sorts of bizarre conspiracy theories.

Birds of a feather, eh?

Craig Rowley said...

Look's like time for a Pahoff paste up job to demonstrate his hypocricy once again. Here's what he said about a year ago:

"Roffey is a gutless lying piece of empty space whose respect for the "rules" is limited to their ability to be manipulated by him to smear commenters who have some genuine heartfelt criticism of WD policy, or to the extent they are used to protect himself and the like-minded from head-on debate.


See: http://kramgasse.typepad.com/harry_heidelberg/2006/10/my_dirty_little.html#comment-23442330

Damian Lataan said...

The usual garbage from the lunatic bloggers at Schizoid Harry’s World.
Boring and totally predictable.

geoff said...

My opinion of David Roffey has gone up enormously since a low point about a year ago. He has you to thank for that, craig.

Craig Rowley said...

Pahoff, Roffey's opinion of you has not changed over the years. Interested to know what it is?

Harry Heidelberg said...

Go outside and smell the flowers or walk beside the water.

geoff said...

Not interested at all, Craig. I seriously couldn't give a toss.

Jacob said...

Even when he's not skulking behind a sockpuppet he's still a troll.

Harry Heidelberg said...

It's a "guy thing"