Admin Update (maryrenaultfics community, 3 February 2014)

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Event
Event: MRF taken to moderated posting status
Participants:
Date(s): 3 February 2014
Type: admin post to LJ community
Fandom: Mary Renault
URL: "Admin Update" posted to MRF by my_cnnr
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Contents

On 3 February 2014, the moderators of the maryrenaultfics (MRF) LiveJournal community posted that they were immediately taking the comm to moderated posting status.[1]

The post is marked by a tone of rather forced humour:

Hi Members . Friends. Just an update on the status of MRF...

We have just changed the default posting at MRF to moderated.

We know - yuck.

But we seem to have run into a bit of heavy weather, and we're uncomfortable with the, erm..... current climate.

/weather analogy

We expect the change to be temporary, but ....

Well - things change.

Given events off the comm at the time, the allusion to "heavy weather" would have been obvious to some members. On 30 January, Naraht had made a post to her Dreamwidth journal ("maryrenaultfics and me")[1] in which she had described her concerns about her experiences as a member of MRF. The post had immediately sparked a lengthy (and at times acrimonious) discussion. This had taken place on her journal; and it is significant that there had been no mention of it on MRF itself.

As a result, those who had read Naraht's post and the subsequent discussion well understood why the moderators (trueriver and my_cnnr) referred to "heavy weather". Although MRF itself presented an unruffled surface to the world, behind the scenes a considerable kerfuffle was hotly in progress.

It should be noted, though, that MRF had many members who were not particularly active in fandom per se, but came to the comm more as a club for fans of Renault's books. There were therefore numerous lurkers and people who posted only occasionally. Rather than explain to these members in detail what was going on, the moderators merely added:

If you're not involved in the ruckus, then be assured we will elaborate very soon. If you are involved , then we'll just say that we would rather draw an end now than host a drama of personal and inappropriate acrimony, debating half truths and interpretations of fact. It's simply not what we do here. This isn't a knee jerk reaction - we've taken some time to reflect, and are going to take a little more. Since neither of us has the ability to monitor the page 24/7, it seems the least undesirable of nothing but undesirable options.

So - moderated. It doesn't mean no fic or no discussion....to most of you, it doesn't mean any change at all, really. Other than that posts will take a little longer to be visible. We won't filter anything more than we ever have.

See you soon.

TR and MC

From the perspective of those who disliked the way MRF was currently being run (and, in particular, the fact that it had been run as a closed community since 2010), the moderators' response to their off-site criticism simply confirmed their negative opinion.

It should be added that, although the moderators said in their post that they would "elaborate very soon", in fact no further explanation was made on the comm. Comments were blocked; and members were therefore not able to ask questions about the decision.

References

  1. The announcement was actually posted by my_cnnr, but signed with the initials of both moderators.