Melin has been banned

Well like others have said, it’s a shame to see her go so abruptly when all the anonymous flamers and lamers are allowed to wear out their welcome many times over.

But like them, I expect her to sneak back in quietly and anonymously and who knows? Maybe after a time she can operate in the open. It’s not like banning has ever been permanent before. Look at C#3, that idiot’s come back half a dozen times, and he talked more shit about the moderators than Melin ever dreamed of.

But, whatever. (shrug) (moving along)

I’m a loner, Dottie … a rebel.

I have no idea what went on behind the scenes to get Melin banned. However, I think this is Ed’s most important point:

As a lawyer, I know how expensive it can be to defend against a lawsuit, even a totally baseless one.

I also realize that this website is provided to us totally free to us, but at some expense to the Chicago Reader. The Reader gets nothing out of it except its banner ad, which is largely a useless message for those of us who live outside of Chicago. With all of the time, trouble and expense that must have been caused by the recent board hack, I’m sure that the Reader management realize that the costs of this board include not just bandwidth, but putting time and money into resolving some serious issues.

What we do not want is for the Reader to close down the board because its costs exceed the benefit it provides in free publicity and goodwill (or as a possible advertising carrier in the future).

It all sounds a little bit like 1984, doesn’t it? Making someone a “non-person” because they disagree with you?

The manner in which Melin was banned reminds me of the police in today’s society, hauling people away in the middle of the night.

I met Melin once and she seemed all right to me. I know nothing of the “nuisance lawsuits”. But being banned would seem like a good way to piss someone off enough to file one.

Melin must have been voted Best Moderator for a reason. Yet she is banned and inane numbskulls continue to post. What’s up with that?

“I must leave this planet, if only for an hour.” – Antoine de St. Exupéry

Are you a turtle?

AntiPro wrote:

I’m sorry to see Melin banned. I like her. I have been dragged to the Pit a couple of times myself by a couple of clique members from GD, and so I always wondered whether I myself would be banned “just because”.

But Ed is an authorized representative of the owner of SDMB. As such, he has the ethical right to ban anyone he pleases so long as he conducts his affairs peacefully and honestly; that is, so long as he did not force Melin to post here in the first place, and so long as he did not misrepresent SDMB policies to Melin.

We may register our protest, but even that is subject to SDMB’s permission. Our only ethical recourse, completely under our control, is to leave here. Now, you could gripe about this site at some other site, so long as the owner of that site allowed you to gripe.

But there it is. Rights exist only in the context of property. Ed has rights here. You and I don’t.

It begins again. You know, the reason everyone always makes the same points about “Their ball, their rules” is because it is ACCURATE.

It doesn’t stop being true the fifth time, the thirtieth or the fiftieth. If you don’t like how the board is run, you can shove it, because you aren’t in charge here.

1984? Yeah, because every morning the thought police turn on my computer and type “” in my browser window. You chose to come here.

Melin * did * continuously bitch about getting fired and you all know it. She injected it into any discussion at every opportunity. And if she threatened to sue (and damnit, that does sound like her) then to hell with her.

You compare her banning to the trolls? Let’s see, the trolls are given 1 week and then are booted silently. Melin was given a year of bitching and will be given roughly 15 threads by the end of this week.

Stop whining. The admins aren’t going to bring her back. Stirring up bad feeling against the administration will only drive away more people.


I’m all for saving the SDMB from frivolous lawsuits putting it out of business, but censorship sucks. Melin had trouble backing off, always had to have the last word. That probably makes her a great lawyer, but this is a message board, an entertainment venue, not a court of law. Melin gave a lot to us. I hope she comes back under another name.

Silly question I know, but what exactly was she going to sue for?

Then we can all argue about the validity of her legal argument.

There’s no question that this is the SDMB’s party, and they have the right to disinvite whomever they choose. Still, if IRL, your host kicks a good friend of yours out of a party for making inappropriate remarks to his 14 year old daughter, it’s important to you to know whether he said, ‘you look really gorgeous tonight’, or ‘hey, baby, , let’s make the sign of the two-backed beast.’ If your host isn’t giving any more details, and nobody else witnessed the incident, how do you feel about staying at the party?

What we know about the lawsuit threat is: Melin made such a threat, then backed off. That’s it. It sure sounds, at this point, like it had more to do with the ‘various two-bit irritants’ than anything else.

See above. I don’t think anyone’s arguing over rights here.

I’d read tons of her posts, and was only recently aware that she’d ever been a mod. Can anyone point me to these threads where she did all her bitching? (I’m not being facetious. If Melin’s Dark Side has shown up on the board, point me that way.)

Ed is perfectly within his right to ban her, no-one is disputing that, least of all me.
I’ve had time to cool off now, and some of the comments have sank in. johnny, Billdo, Lib, you all raise valid points.

Judy, no matter what we say, what we threaten, the only people that can bring melin back are the Admins and herself.

Lynn, I’ve told you before that I thought the Admins were doing a great job. you have to put up with the trolls and the Multi posts
with no real perks. Its just that people will be sad to see melin go, and having no one else to blame, they will blame you.

Melin, If you are reading this, drop me a mail with your side of the story, and if the Admins permit, I’ll post it.

Please people, After all the shit over the last few months, can we have some rational, sanity for a change?

My only problem with the “It’s my board, I make the rules argument” is this – the stated purpose of the board is to fight ignorance. We read the columns because the debunk myths and nonsense. They promote good honest rational thought.

Melin may well deserve to be banned. You may have been perfectly justified to do so. You haven’t demonstrated that yet.

Re: sentence # 5. OK, the board operates at a loss. Then why does the Reader continue it? Philanthropy? If the Reader didn’t have some business purpose to run this board, it wouldn’t be here – loss or no loss. Also, it’s been said before, but, banning someone from a message board does not provide immunity from legal action.

I think you’d have retained more credibility if you’d simply said, “Melin has been pestering us for weeks and we don’t like it. She’s being a jerk and she’s banned.” Isn’t that the honest reason she’s no longer welcome here? Why not just say so.

One additional little tangent. Attorney’s can lose their license for filing baseless suits. Would Melin risk her livliehood over a baseless claim against SDMB?

Would that the Administrators of this board had the intellectual capacity of its Moderators (and many of its posters.)

Plunging like stones from a slingshot on Mars.

Frank: I’d personally give them the benefit of the doubt on this one - they might really be doing it simply because they believe it’s a Good Thing. And while they’re surely aware that anything without an Internet presence is doomed to go the way of the passenger pigeon, that presence doesn’t necessarily require message boards.

I know essentially nothing about the Chicago Reader, but I expect it’s a small enough organization that the bottom line isn’t the be-all and end-all of its existence.

Good point. And she’s got a husband and kids who would probably sit on her and make her say ‘uncle’ if she tried to engage in such foolishness.

But I can also understand that the Chicago Reader might not want to stake the existence of this forum on the belief that people will always act in a manner consistent with their rational self-interest. People may always do that in the Econ texts, but RL is another story.

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

{sarcasm ON} Why can’t we all just… get along… {sarcasm OFF}

I guess we don’t really know a person inside out and backwards. I really enjoyed Melin, reading her posts as a lurker for the year I’ve been here (and the few months as an active participant)… and in a way I’m sad to see her go.

What happened here doesn’t make her a bad poster - let’s recognize that. She was a good member of the SDMB community, at least from the parts of her behavior that we, as posters, were exposed to. Nothing can really change the fact that most of us liked Melin, and that she was a fun, active, and interesting participant… and I don’t think moderators would disagree.

This being said, there is a possibility she has done things behind the curtains - things that we, as posters, know nothing about.

I guess we have to trust the moderators in their decisions and action over this ban. (Christ on a cracker, I’m conforming! Shit!) It doesn’t make it fun, for those of us who knew Melin in another light.

Fuck, I should stop preaching… Just shoot me now. :rolleyes: Going back into Lurk Mode…


“Semper Ubi Sub Ubi.” =-)

Gee, I know the Chicago Reader is already shoveling all its philanthropic resourses into the SDMB, but do you think they might have a few dollars left over for Ed to take a class in Public Relations. Every time Ed gets “fed up” we lose some really good posters.

Maybe I’ve heard more to this story than others have, but all I have to say is this: it’s about time. I don’t know who this “sweet and charming Melin” everyone is talking about - I can’t even fathom how/why the admins put up with her insults and threats for so long.

I remember disagreeing with something Melin said once - next time I swore I’d just put my hand in a wood chipper. If she was that brutal to me over something trivial (I can’t even remember what it was), I don’t even want to hear the threats she made against the SDMB.

Besides that personal rant, I trust the people in charge made the right decision for the board and its members. Thank you.

RTFirefly writes:

I assure you she was serious. Long scary letter. Don’t ask me to post it - I’m not about to open THAT box again.

Anyone can sue you for anything at any time. By eliminating further contact, however, you reduce the plausible basis for a suit.

As for those demanding further explanation … I’m sorry, but if you don’t think having a guest on your site threaten to sue you is sufficient grounds for banning her, I can’t think what else I could tell you.

Thanks for the elaboration, Ed. I’m willing to take your word on the nature of the letter. Sorry - I’m sure you didn’t relish having to do this.

Ed, please accept my apologies. In anther thread I implied that you were not credible. I had no right to say that.

I simply couldn’t imagine that Melin would do anything to harm this board. In fact, I still can’t.

At the same time, I can’t turn a blind eye to the letter that you mention. If you say it exists, then it does, and no amount of wishful thinking will make it go away.

I think I’ll go and lie down.

If you are at my party, and you threaten to sue me, you are not welcome to remain at my party. If you are a lawyer, and have the skills, and resources to make good that threat, however casual, you are not only not welcome at my party, you are specifically, and formally notified that I decline to have any relationships with you at all, of any sort, at any time.
Being a jerk is one thing, being a litigious jerk is another. Melin should not be surprised that people are reluctant to continue any sort of relationship which includes threats. Someone threatens you, you make the changes necessary to let them know you will not be their victim. Failure to do so is the called abusive codependence. Saying it’s impolite to refuse to be bullied is cheering on the thugs, however much you might dislike the victim.

My feeling is that Melin made a threat, Ed refused to become her victim. It’s Ed’s duty to protect the board. Melin threatened the board. See ya.


Imagine my signature begins five spaces to the right of center.

I am saddened by this action. I disagreed with Melin a number of times, and I certainly agree that her continued focus on moderator actions after her didmissal bordered on teh obsessive. That said, she is intelligent, interesting, intellectually vibrant and I felt her voice added value ot the SDMB intellectual community.

I agree with you, Ed. My only point of confusion comes from your initial post. It seems to me that the Chicago Reader or its representatives did not agree with you on that point.

You then modified the rules, but did not ban Melin immediately. This seems ethically correct, to me, since to do otherwise would have been to punish her for actions taken before the new rules went into effect.

And thus you banned her, but not for the threat of lawsuit (at least not directly). It appears that it is these “two-bit irritants” that resulted in Melin’s banning. If that is the case, then your position seems less reasonable (or at least less easy for those of us not privy to the irritants to understand).

I am not condemning your action, nor am I demanding further explanations. As I said initially, I support the banning of any user who threatens to sue the forum in which we all enjoy a voice. I regret the necessity, but I understand the need.

Truthfully, I wish your actions had been so clear cut. Instead, I am left to wonder whether Melin’s actions after the new rules went into effect would have warranted banning absent her prior behavior. I do not know. I don’t have the information to make that decision.

The best lack all conviction
The worst are full of passionate intensity.

And then, oddly enough, you invoke MY name.

Dude, I don’t matter here. Never did. And as such, I can’t say that this is of any matter to me. Frankly, I just don’t care anymore.

None of us matter, after all. What makes this board work is not “popular posters,” but the mass of people we have here.

I will make the analogy to a huge music festival, where the appeal is 100 bands, not one headlining artist or attraction.

No one person - myself, Melin, you - is going to make this board work. Conversely, not a single unpopular troll will make it stop working.

To prove a point that I don’t matter, how much posting have you seen from me outside of my engagement thread (which I felt obligated to do) lately?

Not a hell of a lot, if any.

After all, how many of us REALLY miss the other posters who have vanished, some with long self-posted eulogies (Quadel) and some without a trace (TennHippie) and some exiled beyond their control (Melin, now)?

But in the past couple of weeks, I was not missed. And after this post, I will not be missed.

I only came to this thread because Sanibalman told me about it. I only replied to clear up the misconception you have that my opinion matters.

It doesn’t. It never did. It never will.

And if enough other people do as well, the board itself will finally not matter.

But that won’t happen. It didn’t happen before, it won’t happen now, and it won’t happen in the future.

Yer pal,