Friday, August 25, 2006

Forum Wars in Australian Chess

Australia's biggest chess bulletin board, Chess Chat, moderated by Australian Chess Federation officials, has found itself a serious challenger and the gloves are off.

Chess Chat has always been a tough part of town, but, now Matthew Sweeney's new board, Australian Chess Club Forum, is proving to be a serious challenge.

Alarmed by that challenge, Chess Chat moderator and ACF official Dr Kevin Bonham tonight made the following ruling:

...material posted on the small forum being run by Matthew [Sweeney] again cannot be quoted here, nor can any posts or unsolicited [private messages] promoting the forum or having the effect of linking to it (including indirectly) be made. Discussion of it beyond that is OK for the time being.

Mr Sweeney made this statement to TCG: "The ACF must be scared to death that Australian Chess Club Forum is destroying the monopoly on debate it has held for three years at Chess Chat. In fact, Chess Chat has gone so far as to delete any reference or thread related to the new board."

Chess Chat will likely continue to remain popular but most of its inhabitants can see that it has slowly evolved into something other than a chess bulletin board. Most of the recent popular topics have nothing to do with chess whatsoever. And any topic that is remotely to do with chess are basically chess fans complaining against chess officials! Some of these threads are just plain embarassing. I count at least 4 threads dedicated to a certain Queensland chess official (including one about his car collection). And yet another accuses a NSWCA big wig of being a serial abuser.

For some serious chess discussion, I'd say, go to Matt Sweeney's bulletin board. They might seem like a bunch of preened Sunday schoolers with cheesy boy scout pledges to boot - but at least they're trying.

40 comments:

Kevin Bonham said...

AR, your claim I was alarmed by Matthew Sweeney's "challenge" is sensationalist twaddle. You quote me severely out of context by failing to mention that my comments were part of a post explaining that Matthew Sweeney had been permanently banned from chesschat after yet again posting crude abuse on the board. One might say Matt is an SCVA! The reason for laying down the law regarding linking to Matt's forum was that some posters had been genuinely confused as to what the rules were during Matt's very brief reappearance on the board prior to his banning, so I wanted to make the situation absolutely clear for their benefit. Exactly the same situation as mentioned in my post applied while Matthew was serving his previous ban.

A forum which has only attracted 20 posters in more than a month can hardly be considered a serious challenge - even Matt's previous flop Uber Chess Jehad (a far worse forum than ACCF) attracted more than that. It is especially not a challenge when the site admin himself is responsible for about one-third of all posts to the site. Had Matthew managed to avoid getting banned on Chesschat I was quite happy to allow him to publicise his site, within certain constraints. I *previously mentioned* this in posts to this blog, which goes to show just how much nonsense this idea that I am "alarmed" is. Seriously - lift yer game!

Matthew's claim that all mentions of the new board have been deleted is false - the board has been mentioned several times on the forum and most of those are still up. However his thread advertising it was deleted, as advertising a forum run by a banned member isn't allowed. Furthermore the ACF has nothing to do with Matt's banning from Chesschat and no control over Chesschat policies.

The threads started by Arrogant-One re Howard's cars, and PhilD707 spectacularly failing to convince the members of his nonsense re Bill/SVA, are indeed embarrassments to those who started them. But within reason, Chesschat is a place where people are allowed to embarrass themselves in public if they must. There is plenty of embarrassing material on ACCF too, but since anyone likely to point this out is not permitted to join, it won't get called for what it is.

Talk about chess? Currently on Chesschat most of the active threads are people not merely talking about chess, but playing it! On ACCF, the two biggest threads are one bitching about chesschat and another one bitching about (and promoting the effective disbanding of) the ACF. There is some serious chess discussion there, some of which is well-intentioned, but a lot of it is pointless because those posting are too misinformed to address issues effectively, and won't admit to their board those who could correct their many errors.

It's true that if you exclude the correspondence tournament then non-chess posts make up a lot of Chesschat at the moment, including about half the threads posted on in the last week. To a degree this reflects that chesschat has been going a long time, to the point where many posters have covered a lot of chess topics of interest to them before and are now making their chess comments mainly about new events as they happen. It also reflects that chesschat is not just about chess but a place for people who happen to be chessplayers to talk about a wide range of topics. Like the "What's Up Your Nose?" thread started by a certain Mr Rosario for instance. All the same, if you care to check the recent chess-related threads carefully forum by forum , you'll find that relatively few of them match the stereotype of "chess fans complaining against chess officials!" Those threads do tend to draw a lot of posts though, so it may look like they cover more of the forum than they do.

The ratio of chess to non-chess content on chesschat comes and goes; doubtless it will increase during the upcoming Kramnik-Topalov match.

Libby said...

So Kevin - in your perusal of ACCF you haven't noticed anyone posting contradictory points of view? Especially to the odd "embarressing" bit of material or "misinformation."

I have, it just takes a different tone. And some more "over-the-top" assertions just get ignored by the majority of the (small) membership. Effectively stopping progress in that direction rather than inflaming a lot of crap that does no-one any credit. Of course I wonder how long it will last but at least people are having a go.

You may have little time for my "hippy" assertions and I obviously know far to little about chess administration to make meaningful contributions to debate, but I don't happen to like the atmosphere on Chess Chat and I (personally) haven't formed a good opinion of some administrators as a direct consequence of their conduct there (note the use of some, not all, it isn't one of my lapses into generalisation I hope). Now, that doesn't mean that I have a higher opinion of some of their critics, or that people may not have formed similar opinions of me. It also doesn't mean that I anticipate a high rate of contribution myself to ACCF - just the occasional contribution when I need my forum fix :0)

Matthew Sweeney said...

Kevin Bonham tells the following baldfaced lie:

"There is plenty of embarrassing material on ACCF too, but since anyone likely to point this out is not permitted to join, it won't get called for what it is."

Total ACCF Posts = 683. Of these posts: not one is vulgar; not one is a gratuitous unsubstantiated attack; not one is kiddy unfriendly; not one would be an embarrassing to see printed in a news paper.

Total applicants to join = 21
Total applicants accepted = 20
Total aplicants rejected = 1 Reason for rejection: would not supply his real name.

Any person may join as long as we know who they are. Some people like Bill Gletsos and Kevin Bonham do not wish to join because they are incapable of maintaining a high degree of civility for longer than one disagreement.

Kevin, you are welcome to apply - in fact I will nominate you. In the same way I accept the consequences of my behaviour on Chess Chat, you can accept the consequences of your behaviour on Australian Chess Club Forum.

Kevin Bonham said...

Yes, Libby, I have noticed cases where garbage gets contradicted on ACCF, though in several cases even those refuting it treat it with far more respect than it deserves rather than talking straight about just how bad an idea it is (which need not involve any abuse at all). However I've noticed other threads ("Under-rating is a fixable problem" most prominently) that are absolutely awash with obviously false statements of fact that nobody has corrected but that would have been corrected in an instant on Chesschat.

It's not that hard to maintain a degree of civility for a little while (and let's see how long it lasts) when you create an artificial enclosure in which everyone who you have serious issues with is excluded. This is what Matt has done and it is what chesschat has not done. Chesschat has permitted some posters to continue posting although they are continually abusive without provocation and always picking fights with the site. We're certainly not going to stop people from criticising those posters if they want to - so should we be forcing those posters to behave better in the first place, in your view?

Forums with a relatively high degree of freedom of speech simply aren't for everyone, because the cost of that freedom is some people abusing it, and some people (typically the types who just don't like conflict in general) don't deal well with that. One of the amusing paradoxes of ACCF is that it appears to consist both of members who think Chesschat moderates too much and those who think Chesschat moderates too little, including some members who hold both views alternately depending on what suits them.

Matt's approach, for all his whinging about excessive moderation on Chesschat, is far more extreme than ours - he bans or obstructs posters before they have even signed up on the grounds of how he suspects they will behave.

The reality is that those who Matt finds uncivil are completely capable of responding respectfully to those who do likewise (bearing in mind that vexatious trolling and persistently making false statements that have already been debunked are not respectful no matter how polite the language). Matt needs to exclude them because he cannot control himself and will respond uncivilly to them, as he does here and has done on chesschat, even when they are being totally civil.

Finally, if you've formed a negative personal view of some chess administrators on the basis of the way they behave on a bulletin board where they are acting in a personal capacity, then I think that's a little bit silly (although in my own case I accept the risk of people responding in that way). Those of us who know better do not take a person's online conduct into account in forming a view of that person either as a person or an official, except in very extreme cases of unacceptable behaviour. So many people come across far worse online than in person.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Libby - I left chesschat because the atmosphere has degenerated considerably.

Amiel will you please post the link to Matt's BB?

Matthew Sweeney said...

Kevin Bonham tells yet another baldfaced lie:

"Matt's approach, ... is far more extreme than ours - he bans or obstructs posters before they have even signed up on the grounds of how he suspects they will behave."

There has been not one ACCForum poster banned. Nor has any (non-anonymous) potential poster been obstructed or put off by me in any way at all.

**************************************************

I have known Kevin Bonham through bulletin boards for several years and have met him once. I have always concidered him to be an inteligent man with a talent for debate. I have never thought him to be deliberately dishonest. However, his most recent posts have left me both perplexed and disappointed. His statements about who my policies and actions toward potential and current posters are complete fabrications. I sincerely hope that I am quasi-wrong about his intentions, and that he can show how his statement were nothing more than extraordinarily poor expositions of what he intended to communicate..

Kevin Bonham said...

Naaah, this is just another case of Matt's extraordinarily weak comprehension abilities (and do be careful of accusing people of lying, Matt - it's defamatory.)

Obviously I was not talking about Matt banning people who had already been members, since how could I have been talking about that if I was talking about him banning people before they had even attempted to sign up?

I base my comments on how Matt has said he will treat applications for membership, and especially how he has said he would process any membership request from me in a different way to the way he has processed other membership requests. That Matt has not in fact blocked anyone while knowing who they are (to my knowledge) is irrelevant because I am talking here about what Matt says he will do.

More fool me, I guess, for assuming that that reflects how he will actually behave! Or has that policy about putting any application I might make to an approval process involving feedback from ACCF members changed?

Matt, you can rest easy. I will not apply for membership to any forum run by you until you demonstrate competence as a forum administrator by apologising for at least some aspects of your conduct on UCJ and your failure to remove same. Exactly what I'm not too fussed about so long as there is some genuine admission that the way you ran UCJ was no way for a forum administrator or indeed any figure in the public sphere to behave.

As for Matt's claim that there are no gratuitous unsubstantiated attacks on ACCF, I guess Matt would defend unsubstantiated attacks (of which there have been many, chiefly on those who do not post there) by claiming they were not "gratuitous". So what?

Matt, you must read some very bad newspapers.

Anonymous said...

i see the nswca website is suspended ... computer glitch here account non payment ... or matt's revengE? :)

Anonymous said...

How do you know when chesschat is paranoid?

When they prevent people who have had multiple pms between each other fron sending a pm that has a link to Matt's site!

Pm's[private messages] are meant to be just that...not censored by the board because they are worried about a little competition.

Anonymous said...

Give it a rest Kevin,calling people liars is not defamatory.

John Howard is called a liar by numerous comedians in this country on nearly a daily basis.

They are not sued for defamation. lol

Matthew Sweeney said...

Cry-baby Kevvie wimpers:

"Matt, you can rest easy. I will not apply for membership to any forum run by you until you [appologise for UCJ.]"

Boo-hoo. There isn't a dry eye left in the house. No soul could rest knowing that someone had the temerity to rubbish you on a board where you had no moderator powers.

Nobody is fooled by your ruse of putting yourself in such an "oh so very convenient" postion. Nevertheless, the ACCF door remains open and CC's is closed. Game, set and match. Thanks for coming.

Libby said...

At the risk of continuing to be a "little bit silly" (ie by responding at all), my comments about developing an opinion of someone because on their conduct on "a" bulletin board are in fact more to do with it being "the" bulletin board. An unofficial, privately-owned board but nonetheless the main Bulletin Board for Australian Chess on which significant number of Australian chess "officials" post - even if in an "unofficial" capacity. It is the only BB to enjoy a link from the ACF website.

Many ACT parents have visited the site and a number have discussed with me the same negative impression they develop of some posters. They have also discussed a "temptation" to join & post but decided against it based on the quality of the content already on the site.

I'm pretty familiar with the idea that we communicate & behave differently online to the way we may converse face-to-face. I understand this may even be true of Matt :0) But if you sign up for a job, some of what you sign up for is public relations. Just ask the naughty footballers lol.

I'm also interested in the impression your statements have left with me. I was very uncomfortable with the idea that you had applied for membership of ACCF and had it denied. That's certainly what I had read into your posts. Whatever Matt may have blathered on with, I am interested in what impression you sought to create?

Anonymous said...

Why do you do it Kevin?
Why do you spend so much time in this BLOG re the ACCF chat-board if it “can hardly be considered a serious challenge”?
Why was the ‘attack dog’ bergil allowed to provoke Sweeney. Why don’t you moderate the ‘attack dog’?
When the ACF directed the newsletter editor to not carry the ACCF link he resigned. Why have you not added this to your posts on this blog?
Why would you distort Sweeney’s use of the word ‘embarrassment’ to apply to ‘questionably mathematically inaccurate’ discussion on UNDER-RATING. Clearly he was talking about the ‘embarrassment’ of the language and aggression of Bill Gletsos, Howard Duggan, and a host of others. Not an honest debating point by you Kevin.
Why would you spend the time to research all the thread statistics to refute Mr Rosario’s considered comment if ACCF was not a serious competitor?
Why would you pretend that ACCF is any different in having a registration procedure from chesschat? They both have a procedure for registration. Hundreds of lurkers are excluded from chesschat by something; what is it?
ACCF simply asks that people declare their real-life name. Do you have a problem with that?

Why do you say “everyone who you have serious issues with is excluded” when in fact only 1 person has failed ACCF registration and that for not declaring his name? Why do you distort so?
You try to make this competition a ‘freedom of speech’ issue. Both forums have near identical registration apart from the declaration of name on ACCF. However, the huge number of lurkers on chesschat seems to show they feel no freedom there? Given that you are charged by Karthick Rajendran to moderate to best effect for the use of his facility, and given that your moderator standards are letting people abuse freedom of speech to such an extent that there are a huge numbers of lurkers fearful of getting a spray if they participate, is it not a consequence of this evidence that you have failed as a moderator?
Why would you say “he bans or obstructs posters before they have even signed up on the grounds of how he suspects they will behave” without any evidence?
Name 5 so excluded.
Name 1 so excluded.
Don’t give us hypothetical maybes either.

Why all this Kevin?

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be nice if all this energy was spent on improving chess?

Nah silly me - this is Australia.

Jenni

Kevin Bonham said...

anonymous - we have no problem with posters who are in regular PM contact with each other sending PMs promoting Matt's site, and we could not police it anyway even if we did. What we are preventing is posters sending PMs to random others who they are *not* in regular contact with to essentially spam for the site as Matt did for UCJ.

another anonymous - calling politicians and certain other public figures liars is different because of a High Court judgement concerning freedom of political speech. In general it *is* defamatory to call a person a liar: "Statements which defame by alleging a fault or defect in a person's character are a long-established form of defamation. Thus it is defamatory to say a person is dishonest, a hypocrite, a liar ..." (Media Law in Australia). The text from which I quote is nine years old but nothing has happened since that changes it.

Matthew - you cannot consistently call me a cry-baby when UCJ was one big hissy fit and your response to your latest ban from chesschat was to start a thread on your own forum sooking about it. You even placed said thread in the "Administrators" section of this forum so you could whine about Karthick, while forgetting that you were in the "Well Done" category of your forum! Now that's embarrassing ...

So Matt: are you now saying that if I applied for membership you would approve my membership without putting it to any kind of special consultation process with the members? If so does this apply only to me - how would you deal with a membership application from Bill Gletsos, Rincewind, Karthick, bergil or Boris (to give some examples from chesschat)? Furthermore, chesschat's door is *not* closed to you forever - if you are willing to agree to abide by the site rules it can be reopened after you have served a sufficient suspension.

Libby - Chesschat is "the" bulletin board because it is the only one that has so far been accepted for linking by the ACF, but that does not mean there can never be others. For instance if this blog was to apply for a similar link I would support such an application. Although this site sometimes runs material that is scandalous/sensationalist and also stuff that is a little bit risque, Amiel has kept the blog moderated and has allowed views to be put. Matthew's problem is that he violated the ACF's trust with the nature of material he posted and allowed on UCJ. Until he gives the ACF very good reason to believe that trust in him is again warranted, I don't believe the ACF should link to any forum he runs.

Libby writes "when you sign up for a job part of what you sign up for is public relations". That may or may not be true depending upon the job, but chess admin is not a job (unless you are on an honorarium) - it is a voluntary activity, and one I wouldn't do if I had to have some namby-pamby code of public hippiness looking over my shoulder every time I went online. I don't believe the conduct of ACF officials in a private capacity on chesschat does reflect badly in the eyes of a rational disinterested observer, and I ask anyone who does believe it does, to give concrete examples instead of waffling and generalising in an unsubstantiated fashion that may harm the reputations of innocent parties.

I have never applied for membership of ACCF. I have however asked theoretical questions about what would happen if I did. In response to one of these, Matthew wrote on ACCF that he had "the ability and inclination to block Kevin Bonham's application." and that "If/when Mr(sic) Bonham makes application to me, I will PM his supporting letter to all members. If an off-board concenus(sic) agrees to accept his application, it will be processed." Thus Matthew had publicly stated he would place obstacles in front of my prospective membership that he would not impose on at least some others.

Another anonymous - the post by bergil that Matthew Sweeney got banned when responding to was in fact moderated. I have not added the bit you mention about the newsletter editor because it is false; Paul's resignation was for other and clearly stated reasons and your claim about the timing is wrong anyway. I used the word "embarrassment" as I did because it is a subjective word and can be used in a wide range of contexts - in my view few things are more embarrassing than talking absolute rubbish in a public place.

I don't claim to have ready-made explanations for all the things I do (and others who do claim to have such are generally obviously wrong) but (i) debating on bulletin boards is something that interests me in general (ii) the nature of bulletin boards themselves - the thrashing out of rules of engagement and so on - interests me especially (iii) I have a general aesthetic view that a false statement and its issuer shouldn't be permitted to persist unchallenged by reality. Regarding declaration of real name being the only requirement for joining ACCF, I have already shown that this is false. On chesschat membership is approved automatically; on ACCF it is vetted by Matthew using criteria that remain up in the air. He initially said "The new board will only approve contributers
(sic) who are interested in growing chess in Australia. Incumbent
administrators advocating a status quo may find themselves at odds with the ethos of the new site." (by "advocating a status quo" he of course means "failing to salivate like Pavlov's Dog at the sight of any idea that is impractical, misinformed, biased and crudely expressed.")

The huge number of lurkers you refer to on chesschat are mostly automated search engine bots, although some posters read the board without logging in, then do so when they want to post, and also there are bound to be a few genuine lurkers who have no account.

I have given all the hypothetical maybes because of Matthew's own statements (quoted above) about how he will deal with posters. He has stated he will exclude posters who he does not believe are interested in growing chess in Australia, therefore it is his policy to exclude posters whether he has excluded any or not. He has stated he will block my membership (should I apply) if there is not a consensus supporting it, therefore it is his policy to obstruct posters whether he has obstructed any or not.

Lastly (phew) - a request to all the anons on this board - *get names*, even if they are fake ones and you change them from post to post. It is tedious having to refer to you all as "anonymous", "another anonymous", "yet another anonymous" etc (without even being able to clearly indicate a marked post number), and I'm starting to think Matt's habit of just calling you all gutless anons #1 to n has a lot to be said for it. :)

Libby said...

Amiel, I think you need to change the heading from "post a comment" to "post a dissertation" ;0)

Kevin Bonham said...

Libby, I was responding to six different posts in the same post, and one of those six posts did make a very large number of incorrect claims. Hence the length of my reply.

The Closet Grandmaster said...

Yes, it would be nice if posters could have names. Just in case, you didn't know how - all you have to do is click on "Other" under "Choose an identity". Then indicate a name. You don't need to register or anything like that.

Doing this just makes it more convenient when responding to posts, that's all.

Still, it is really OK for people to remain anon.

But do remember folks: less cheapo sniping; more debating. Well thought out dissertations are always welcome.

Thanks.

- TCG

Libby said...

Deep breaths - I did include my own sad version of a winking "smiley" Kevin. I really can't throw too much mud when I'm known for a little lengthy (let's say verbose)posting myself. Attempts another smile =0)

Matthew Sweeney said...

4 quotes from Kevin Bonham:

1. … how would you deal with a membership application from Bill Gletsos, Rincewind, Karthick, bergil or Boris (to give some examples from chesschat)

MS: Boris is already a member. So, you connect the dots.

2. Furthermore, chesschat's door is *not* closed to you forever - if you are willing to agree to abide by the site rules it can be reopened after you have served a sufficient suspension.

MS: I will not consider agreeing to anything that you want unless CC’s Nazi “zero tolerance” policy never ever applied to ANYONE, ever.

3. Thus Matthew had publicly stated he would place obstacles in front of my prospective membership that he would not impose on at least some others.

MS: You are stuck in the past, dining out on old information. Perhaps you should reread the replies here, and maybe would you stop making deliberately misleading statements (lies!?!?) based on superceded statements.

4. He has stated he will exclude posters who he does not believe are interested in growing chess in Australia, therefore it is his policy to exclude posters whether he has excluded any or not.

MS:I have yet to meet a person who would be excluded this by rhetorically inspired hoop.

Anonymous said...

20 comments here in 30 hours...

Anonymous said...

MS:I have yet to meet a person who would be excluded this by rhetorically inspired hoop.

Both Correct and Incorrect!! I'm excluded even though you've yet to meet me.

The closest I've got to meeting you are via a few PM's and also "in spirit" as the co - hot topic of a ChessChat dinner some years back.

I think your "loop" and your "inner circle" are more inspired by the Monty Python Upper Class Twit sketch.

Oh yes I do hover around your dark star black hole forum with a status similar to what the now ex planet Pluto has with regard to the solar system.

Greetings from Comet Eclectic (now thinking seriously about altering his abberrant orbit and returning to the ChessChat fold).

Kevin Bonham said...

Matt: I'm having some trouble connecting the dots when you only gave me one (I don't assume your treatment of all those I listed would necessarily be the same).

Matt's Nazi reference shows him as a pitiful failure as a debater; I'd remind him of Godwin's Law if I was not so bored with doing so. The reality is that Chesschat was extremely lenient to Matthew over a long time, only applying bans when it became clear he would break the rules over and over again. Even then we gave him numerous chances before finally placing him on zero tolerance ages after many other forums would have banned him for good with no chance of reinstatement.

The "old information" Matthew refers to is actually less than two months old, and I will continue to rely on it until Matthew explicitly states it has been revoked *and* what the exact new policy is, rather than pretending that vague statements amount to significantly superceding what was previously said. The only thing that has clearly changed is that he has said he would nominate me if I applied (does that mean I would automatically be accepted or not?) However, since I believe Matthew will never apologise for UCJ and therefore believe I will never apply for his forum, I'm more concerned with how he will treat other applicants. If his policies have changed he should post a new and clearcut admission policy on his site rather than making vague statements suggesting that the old policy has been abandoned while failing to clarify what the new one is. I do suspect that Matthew has actually realised his initial position was too restrictive and unclear (especially after the flak it received from some ACCF members, but a new policy posted formally on his site (rather than in the comments section here) would confirm that.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Bonham is NOT telling the truth when he says that chesschat pms are not censoring a link to Matt's site amongst people who pm each other regularly.

There are a number of people I send pm's to on a regular basis,when I tried to send the url to them in a pm the url was blanked out with stars.

It is obvious to me that the site admimistrators have used some sort of filter to block the url of Matt's site.

I have referred those people to come to this site to get the url.
While I am happy to refer people to Amiel's blog to find the url,it is a sad situation that chesschat has chosen to be so petty and paranoid.

442 said...

Eclectic is returning to chesschat?

Hmm...reminds me of the recent Superman movie.

Its Earth,Eclectic...but not the same as you last left it.

The Closet Grandmaster said...

I just tested it. Chesschat is auto-censoring the URL to Matt's forum in the Private messages. The URLs are replaced with stars.

- TCG

Kevin Bonham said...

anonymous and TCG - this has already been discussed on Chesschat. The automatic block on part of the name of Matthew Sweeney's site is an old one imposed by the site owner in the days when Matt spammed for UCJ, which was also an ezboard. It affects Matt's new site because it is also an ezboard. As there is no certainty that no such spamming will occur again, I have not recommended that the block be lifted. However there is nothing in the current rules to prevent members from advising each other how to fill in the blanks by PM, provided that they do not send PMs to this effect to those who may not welcome them. My previous comment on the matter is entirely factual - it is rather amusing to be accused of making an untrue statement when the statement I am accused of making does not in fact exist! :)

Anonymous said...

Kevin Bonham said...
anonymous - we have no problem with posters who are in regular PM contact with each other sending PMs promoting Matt's site, and we could not police it anyway even if we did.

The blank stars in the url contradict this statement Kevin.
Chesschat is policing it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1 Post 1

I have found the new board http://p067.ezboard.com/baustralianchessclub to be refreshing compared to the high proportion of dribbly non-chess stuff on chess chat.

Kevin claims that the new board is no good but he doesn't allow links even in private messages for ppl to find out differently. It is almost as if he doesn't want ppl to see the new board - why, if he thinks it worse then surely others will agree!

Kevin goes on and on about hyperthetically applying to join the new board - how about getting off the pot (either apply if you want to join or stop all the crap).

Matthew Sweeney said...

KB: Matt's Nazi reference shows him as a pitiful failure as a debater; I'd remind him of Godwin's Law if I was not so bored with doing so.

MS: Not half as bored as we all are with your reference to Goodwin’s (Quotable) Law for Nazis to use in their defense.

KB: …until Matthew explicitly states it has been revoked *and* what the exact new policy is, rather than pretending that vague statements amount to significantly superceding what was previously said. The only thing that has clearly changed is that he has said he would nominate me if I applied (does that mean I would automatically be accepted or not?) …I'm more concerned with how he will treat other applicants. If his policies have changed he should post a new and clearcut admission policy on his site …

MS: 1. You are not an ACCForum member. 2. You do not intend becoming a member even when invited. So why do you think you have any right to tell me what I should or should not do regarding my site’s policy. If ACCForum is not good enough to be linked to by CC, ACF site or ACF newsletter, just leave ACCForum alone.

KB: I do suspect that Matthew has actually realised his initial position was too restrictive and unclear (especially after the flak it received from some ACCForum members, but a new policy posted formally on his site (rather than in the comments section here) would confirm that.

MS: I am so sorry that I listen to my fellow ACCForum posters. I am sorry that I modify policy in an effort to get the mix right. I am sorry that I have drawn so much “flak” (actually it was civil discussion, but I am sorry for that too.) I am sorry for starting an alternative Australian chess bulletin board. I am Sorry for taking away the ACF monopoly control of public discourse. I am sorry for needing to be sorry. Most of all, I am (genuinely) sorry that Chess Chat is run by obnoxious power freaks who’s policies have done untold damage to the image of Australian chess administrators.

Kevin Bonham said...

First anon is still missing the point. The purpose of the block on part of Matt's URL is not to police conversations between users already in regular contact, but to discourage unsolicited spamming. It happens that this makes it a little more difficult for users in regular contact to promote Matt's site to each other, but they can still do it with relatively little effort, and if they have a problem with this effort they should address their concerns to the person responsible - Matthew Sweeney for sending unsolicited PMs for UCJ in the first place.

Second anon - nobody is forcing you to read the non-chess threads. Maybe you're the one who needs to reconsider your chemical intakes since I have in fact never used pot. Show me where I have claimed Matt's board is no good. It remains a fact that links to Matt's board from the open board at chesschat, or posts having the effect of links, are prohibited irrespective of how good or bad his board is, because Matt is banned from chesschat and we will not allow others to link to his comments on ACCF thereby permitting him to circumvent his ban. Had Matt kept himself unbanned on chesschat our attitude would be different

As for the hypotheticals, after years of putting up with Matt's silly tirades about how chesschat should be run, it is rather amusing to reverse the roles! I offer no particular defence of such actions but I nonetheless suspect Matthew is learning that the business of running a forum and dealing with criticism is not as straightforward as he may at first have thought, at least if that forum isn't flat-out gutter material.

Anonymous said...

30 comments in 2 days and 6.5 hours; is this a record for this blog?

Anonymous said...

Bonham wrote "but I nonetheless suspect Matthew is learning that the business of running a forum and dealing with criticism is not as straightforward as he may at first have thought",

Please quote evidence that Matt is having problems with the material on his site.
Your entrenched carping is nothing but a conflict of interest.


Bonham wrote "at least if that forum isn't flat-out gutter material".
Please explain.

Kevin Bonham said...

anonymous #2 - again you're trying to pretend I've said far more than I have - my comments re Matt have related thus far mainly to admissions policy. Though I am curious to see what Matt will do about the very uncivil "freedom of speech" thread recently posted, especially given that the text the author claims we deleted from chesschat was for the most part never there in the first place!

What conflict of interest do you refer to? What two or more interests do I have in this debate that conflict with each other?

"flat out gutter material" = UCJ or anything resembling it. Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1 Message 2

I get the impression from Kevin’s lengthy posts that he is very keen for the new board to self-destruct (me thinks he does protest too much).

So far he has only made 9 references to the UCJ board, trying to give the impression they are alike - it is not like he isn’t giving the new board a fair go.

How about Kevin lets it be and allows the people to judge for themselves without trying to talk it down.

Kevin Bonham said...

Matt: what I think gives me the right to comment on ACCF is that it is a matter of public discussion and I am, thus far, permitted to express a hopefully reasoned view on it. :)

I commend Matt for listening to feedback from his members - however policy clarity is still something that prospective members (especially those who might have found the initial pitch of the board somewhat discouraging) might find helpful.

I sent Matt an email concerning the "freedom of speech and thought" thread and his response was very well considered and reasonable. He even offered me (a nonmember) a right of reply to PhilD707's multiply false claims about chesschat moderation. I appreciated this offer.

anonymous - it depends on the course it takes. So far I don't think ACCF is a bad board, although a few reckless posters on it (including at times Matt himself) are creating some issues for its attempts to promote itself as something other than a smaller and more low-tech Chesschat. If Matt is able to provide what he seeks to there is potential for the boards to complement each other with Matt's board providing a shelter for those (including Matt! :) ) who cannot always cope with the sometimes feisty environment of a heavily-used and relatively open board. However, the biggest obstacle to this is Matt's unwillingness to earn the trust of others by addressing the issues he has created in the past.

My comments on this thread are not aimed at talking ACCF down or trolling it to a premature death but at refuting incorrect claims by others: that Chesschat's approach is motivated by fear of competition, that ACCF is serious competition, that ACCF is really all *that* different, and so on. There is a small degree of Sweeney-stirring going on here too, but look at all the junk I get from him; I'm entitled to it! Nothing I am saying is preventing people from experiencing the reality and judging for themselves.

Kevin Bonham said...

Matt: what I think gives me the right to comment on ACCF is that it is a matter of public discussion and I am, thus far, permitted to express a hopefully reasoned view on it. :)

I commend Matt for listening to feedback from his members - however policy clarity is still something that prospective members (especially those who might have found the initial pitch of the board somewhat discouraging) might find helpful.

I sent Matt an email concerning the "freedom of speech and thought" thread and his response was very well considered and reasonable. He even offered me (a nonmember) a right of reply to PhilD707's multiply false claims about chesschat moderation. I appreciated this offer.

anonymous - it depends on the course it takes. So far I don't think ACCF is a bad board, although a few reckless posters on it (including at times Matt himself) are creating some issues for its attempts to promote itself as something other than a smaller and more low-tech Chesschat. If Matt is able to provide what he seeks to there is potential for the boards to complement each other with Matt's board providing a shelter for those (including Matt! :) ) who cannot always cope with the sometimes feisty environment of a heavily-used and relatively open board. However, the biggest obstacle to this is Matt's unwillingness to earn the trust of others by addressing the issues he has created in the past.

My comments on this thread are not aimed at talking ACCF down or trolling it to a premature death but at refuting incorrect claims by others: that Chesschat's approach is motivated by fear of competition, that ACCF is serious competition, that ACCF is really all *that* different, and so on. There is a small degree of Sweeney-stirring going on here too, but look at all the junk I get from him; I'm entitled to it! Nothing I am saying is preventing people from experiencing the reality and judging for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Lets see...Matt's bb has Frosty,Starter,Libby.

Chesschat has Howard Duggan,Gletsos,Antichrist,Bergil.

No difference there ,eh Kevin? lol

Kevin Bonham said...

anonymous - you have a point about antichrist; perhaps we could give him to Matthew as a present?

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