Melin has been banned

Melin has been banned from the Straight Dope Message Board because I’m fed up with her nonsense. As regular users of this board know, Melin has been engaged in a long-running series of disputes with the Straight Dope moderators and administrators, mostly over trivial matters. Several weeks ago, however, she threatened to involve this board in a lawsuit over an allegedly defamatory remark posted by someone not associated with us on a Usenet newsgroup. Her rationale for dragging us into this dispute was without factual basis and she later backed off. However, I felt it was only a matter of time before she made good on such a threat and put the SDMB out of business. The Straight Dope website operates at a loss and the expense of defending against a nuisance lawsuit would make it impossible to continue. I felt continued contact with Melin was asking for trouble and wanted to ban her immediately. However, it was decided that the SDMB rules did not make it sufficiently clear that we had the right to exclude users for any or no reason. Having modified the rules, we warned Melin not to continue making life difficult for us. She persisted in provoking us with various two-bit irritants I won’t bother to describe and seems determined to get herself kicked off the board. Having put up with this crap for six months I am happy to oblige.

Well, I can’t wait to read the myriad of threads complaining about the tyrannical SDMB staff. This should keep this place occupied for quite sometime.

I’m so thrilled.

[sarcasm off]

Let the Shitstorm Begin!

Ed, don’t you read this board?

If you’re going to make allegations, you need to back them with facts. Melin is very popular around here, banning her won’t be. Your post is a mighty thin indictment, considering some of the far more egregious bullshit other posters get away with on the board.

Maybe you’re right, maybe you’re wrong. I don’t know the facts – and that’s the point. You make your case a little suspect when you ban someone and then refuse to give any of the relevant facts for such extreme measures. Plus, long-timers know about the history between Melin and the admins. I can’t help but think we’re getting only one side of the story – and a spun side at that.

I’ve always found it highly ironic that the fourth estate will fight to the death for the public’s right to know about everyone else’s affairs, yet is extremely private in its own dealings. Information and knowledge are meant to be shared. You may be right. We can’t decide based upon the little nuggets you’ve provided.

Please explain in detail how Melin’s postings endangered the Reader or exposed it to liability. How will banning her prevent her from bringing suit against you? Is this just vengence?

I hate to prejudge a situation when I don’t have all the facts. However, you’ve brought the question to the floor and prevented the other side from presenting its case. That makes you look cowardly. Show me that you aren’t. Let Melin respond.

Posting this blockbuster news at midnight Sunday is a tad suspect as well. Why in the middle of Sunday night? Slow news day? Little traffic about now? Marshall McLuhan sez the Medium is the Message. Pretty dubious medium you’ve chose to convey this message. Doesn’t add to your credibility.

This is why I don’t believe the folks that say Ed = Cecil. Cecil’s columns make him appear to be more astute.

Don’t get me wrong – Melin’s actions may merit the SDMB death penalty. You just haven’t proven it yet. You’d better pony up, at the risk of all your credibility and any First Amendment moral high ground you ever possessed.

I fully expect this broadside to be regally ignored.

Plunging like stones from a slingshot on Mars.

When did the SDMB devolve into a soap opera?


Teaching: The ultimate birth control method.

Laura’s Stuff and Things

Frankd6, looks like you forgot to read this part…

Long story short, she didn’t stop harassing when she was told to stop.

I like to see how fast the board is acting in cleaning up this awful matter

I mean, sure it took you most of a week to let us know about passwords that might have been stolen. Then one someone comments that maybe just maybe next time things should be done differently, they are chiding for not having enough “faith” in the administrators.

Sure, there are annoying boobs that come into the board everyday with their common trollings, They MUST be protected from Melin’s evil scourge.

So all in all, keep up the good work Ed, we all appreciate it.


This is truly unfortunate.

I must say that I’m not particularly swayed by Ed’s purported rationale either. And it seems even worse when I consider the peculiar attitude that Melin seems to have engendered with the administration.

Yes, agreed, she takes swipes at you. Yes, agreed, she doesn’t seem to want to let the past drop.

What of it?

Frankly, if the thought of baseless litigation scares you so much, Ed, you’ve just handed a powerful tool to the Cyberian54s of the world.

We suffered through a week of Michael Masterson postings before you took action - and you already had the rules change in place. We similarly suffered through Sandycane.

For you to come along and announce the banning of a poster that contributes content is sad.

For you to decline to provide details with
the off-handed “…various two-bit irritants I won’t bother to describe…” is unacceptable to me. Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof, one might say.

It irks me like hell to do this, especially since the board has become a large part of my life in a short time – and because I am so close to 1,000 posts - this one, I think, is 994.

But there won’t be a 995. I am not going to continue to participate here, because it’s the only effective protest I can mount. I won’t play in your backyard if you won’t play fair.

So deal fairly, Ed, and lay out your case. Details. Equity. Reasonable reasons. I’m not being stubbornly partisan. I can be convinced that Melin needed to be banned. But you’ve got to provide more than conclusory allegations. Of course… it is your perogative not to, as well.

But it’s mine to leave… so, as Dennis Miller used to say on SNL… I am outta here.


  • Rick

I don’t get it. Not a bit of it. Melin definitely added intelligent content to this board. So banning her seems drastic, indeed.

Like the rest of the posts on this thread have stated, I am not unwilling to believe that she deserved banning. It very might well be so. But information is sketchy at this point. And when we lose one of our brightest members, it’s natural to wish to have clearer answers as to why it had to be.

I’m delurking again, just for a minute.

Do you suppose Ed was unhappy that Melin got voted “Best Moderator?” And was using it in her sig line? She said something about it in another thread over in MPSIMS, i’m sorry I don’t know how to make a link over to there.


Gentlemen certainly DO prefer blondes –
and with good reason!

I don’t know the background, but when I’m a guest in someone’s house I don’t spit on the carpet.

And when I’m a third party, I don’t demand that a host explain his ejecting someone from his house.

Billiehunt - all good points you bring up. I am not trying to make a big stink, or “demand” anything from the administration. We all are lucky to have such a nice forum to visit, and I for one am not ungrateful.

However, if I were at a party, and saw people being kicked out for vague or mysterious reasons, I’d get a little nervous, and wonder if I were going to be next. I think it’s only natural to get a little rattled when you see someone suddenly booted, when they seemed to be quite popular. (Or “suddenly” it seems to us, since we are “out of the loop” of the pertinent details.) So - we are rattled by all this.

Or at least I am. I don’t get it, not a bit of it.

Oh great! Our first ‘it’s Cecil’s house, Cecil’s rules analogy.’ Could future pundits of this astute defense just post a ‘#1’ to refer to the analogy. Same for #2, ‘their ball, their rules’ and #3, ‘if you don’t like it, leave’.

These are all worn out, trite arguments than will add nothing to what I hope to be ruthless and bitter dispute in the pit. We have really been through it all before, so get drunk and post something you might regret in the morning. Make some threats! But, please don’t bore us.

Or, move this to MPSIMS.

All good points, no I wouldn’t ‘spit on the carpet of the host’s home that I had been invited to’, but I’m with yosemite in saying, I think turning your back when a disturbance is being made because ‘it makes me uncomfortable to get involved’ doesn’t cut it either.

Melin has been a long time member here, and as I’ve already posted in mips, and don’t want to repeat myself, I don’t think you curse at darkness and then take out another bright light, which is what Melin has been around here.

I am not Bricker (Rick) either. I have great faith if this is really about ‘fighting ignorance’, that calmer heads will prevail and that the action that has been started can still be rescinded. I don’t want to NOT see that happen.

Folks, we don’t want to close the door on the intelligent people here, it’s the goofs that ought to be shown the door the millisecond they show us, that is who they are. I am NOT among the real intelligence here either, I can only claim to recognize it when I read it. And Melin is the real deal, and it isn’t a good thing to throw out anything that makes a place BETTER. You just don’t. :frowning:


I do like your thinking Pooch, but since I don’t drink, raising a coke, and flipping back on the computer at four o’clock is the best that I can do. I only wish I had the ability to wake up everyone that this would matter to here on the Message Board.


I want everyone to go back and reread Ed’s fifth sentence and think about it. Think REALLY hard about it. Then read and think about the rest of the sentences.


I read it, Lynn, and it still doesn’t make a lick of sense.

As hard as it is for me to believe, I accept that Melin might’ve seriously threatened to sue the Chicago Reader.

It seems more likely to me (admittedly, in my ignorance) that she wasn’t serious. Even people who complain loudly about the way our society has been overrun by litigation vocally threaten to sue the moment their toes are stepped on.

But let’s assume she made a threat of litigation that the folks running this board took seriously. Exactly how is this supposed to defuse that threat? Seems more likely that it would bring the matter to a head. And, of course, Melin’s Dark Side would have, what, three years in which to file suit? I just don’t see how this relieves the SDMB, the Chicago Reader, or whatever, of any worries.

Then, of course, there’s Ed’s first sentence. :frowning:

Admins, I beg you: heed Cecil’s advice below.

The mark of a truly great mind isn’t whether you’re right or wrong. It’s how well you can weasel out of a jam. - Unca Cecil

I do not wish to comment until I have heard from both sides.

Please explain this. Did YOU ban her, or did the Administration? I do not wish to stir the pot or anything, but this line upsets me a great deal.

Can the SDMB not allow critisism of itself?
I understand if she was wrong to threaten you, and if she was in violitation of the rules, then that is grounds for expulsion also.

But PLEASE explain this better than "I’m sick of her nonsense.

I think the chip on her shoulder “Voted Best Moderator” was more than evident and reflected poorly on her as a poster. Plus she attempted litigation against, and therefore threatened the very existence of the board we all post on.

Just because you liked her posting persona doesn’t mean it’s impossible for her to have been litigious. It’s easy to think “I know Melin wouldn’t be like that!” But the point is that for overwhelimg majority of us, none of us really have any idea what she is like. But I’m sure people will feel better believeing in a massive Melin Conspiracy than in the possibility that she may have been a jerk.

Oh well, it’s been a while since we had some lame posturing on the “censorship of the SDMB”. :roll eyes:

Gypsy: Tom, I don’t get you.
Tom Servo: Nobody does. I’m the wind, baby.


I think people are more upset with the manner with which she has been banned than with the fact that she is banned.

This is not my battle. As much as I think the sun shines out of melins ass, I dont know the facts, so I’m not going to start.

I agree John. This seems to have been going on for some time now, behind the scenes. I like Melin, but I also have not been the one receiving emails from her. The only Melin I know is the one posting to the board, not the one sending emails to admin and mods. We have to believe as posters on this board that the Admins and Mods make wise decisions. If we don’t have that trust then we don’t need to be here. I would hate to see this board disbanded. Banning someone is a serious deal and I don’t think it’s done just on the spur of the moment because someone rubs the admin in the wrong direction. A few days to contemplate before making decisions would be wise. I hate to see Bricker leave and I hope he will reconsider and give this a few days before he makes a final decision, or anyone whose first reaction is to leave for that matter.

I’ve learned that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it.