Bob Wall, a veteran of popular Australian current affairs blog ‘Webdiary’, has been banned from posting and commenting at ‘Webdiary’ after years of being one of Margo Kingston’s strongest supporters because he has asked moderators and editors to hold true to their claims of being ‘Independent, Ethical, Accountable and Transparent’, all values, it seems, that Webdiary dispensed with ages ago when it allowed right-wing liars and fraudsters with false identities and propagandising agendas to comment freely while stifling argument from the left.
Since Webdiary has seen fit not to allow Bob Wall to publicise his side of the story at 'Webdiary' after 'Webdiary' had published theirs, this blog gladly provides Bob Wall with a platform from which he can tell Webdiarists his side of the story and the truth about what is going on there.
WD Ban – some explanations.
I will endeavour to clarify the circumstances of my 3 months ban from Webdiary. As you will see I was denied the opportunity of making my case to WD management and to answer the charges made against me. The latest version is in David Roffey’s Management Update where he has described a “series of acrimonious and threatening exchanges”. No evidence has been presented. The following is the situation from my side.
To quote David Roffey when he announced I had been banned from Webdiary:
“There have been a number of interactions with Bob over this thread, where he has made what the moderators feel to be unreasonable requests for the moderators to, essentially, weigh in on his side, with increasingly strident demands in emails etc.”
The request I was making was for fairness from the moderators in. There were posts published I considered to contain abuse, false accusations, baiting and such. I ignored most of this, particularly from Paul Morrella. When I did respond there was a marked double standard from the moderators. An example is that Ian MacDougall made the following comment:
"Otherwise one finishes up like friend Bob: unable to tell the difference between a neocon and a cow cocky."
When I used the term "cow cocky" to Ian, my post was not published.
Others who might have had posts that were not published might have been wondering why they were not considering some that were. In my case I believe I was not given equal rights as to responses which might be related to an email I received from Fiona Reynolds shortly after the thread was published and which included the following:
"Now, publication is conditional. As you are no doubt aware, this thread will generate a great deal of heat. You will not like some of the comments that will be posted. Neither will the moderators. However, there are other interpretations possible, and views that are genuinely held, even though you and others may regard them as distortions of the truth. Engage with the debate - but NOT by accusing other people of wilfully misreading, refusing to read, etc etc as you are inclined to do. And please don't bombard the moderators with NFPs complaining about liars and trolls. Otherwise the management (that means all of us) will seriously consider making the thread read-only."
Interpret that in light of what was published and, for those who had posts that did not appear, what was not. I also think that, if conditions were to be applied, they should been made known to me before the thread was opened, thus allowing me to consider the implications and to decide whether I wished to proceed under those conditions.
On Friday night I received an email from Fiona Reynolds which included:
You may remember that, with the agreement of all directors and moderators, publication of your Kandahar to Guantanamo thread was conditional – specifically, that if you "accus[ed] other people of wilfully misreading, refusing to read, etc., etc., as you are inclined to do" and/or if you "bombard[ed] the moderators with NFPs complaining about liars and trolls" that the thread would be made read-only.
Note my above point that I was not given the opportunity to agree to any conditions before publication. On Saturday morning I asked for evidence to support the charges:
"Please provide the evidence to support these accusations, i.e., examples on my thread where I accused people of wilfully misreading, refusing to read, etc., etc ...".
“Please provide copies of the NFPs where I complained about ‘liars and trolls’”.
I also asked:
“Are you prepared to make your charges and the evidence to support them and to allow me to challenge that evidence, online on WD?”
I received no answers. As I had received no answers to any NFPs or emails seeking clarification. As I recall there were two NFPs - and neither mentioned liars and trolls. No wonder Roffey on his aforementioned post referred to "emails, etc".
So what does this all mean? I sensed an attempt to either nobble me or to provoke me to an extent that I would give management a reason to ban me. Why? Perhaps there is an answer to be found in asking another question. One which I suggest other 'Diarists ask of management, which is;
Have representations been made to management from people who could be termed from the right, or more specifically, pro-Zionist? Have those representations been responded to?