Message Board Policy

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Anonymous's picture

For those who have forgotten the purpose of this message board, allow me to provide the following guidelines. These instructions will be permanently posted when our website upgrade is complete:

Welcome to the New York Cycle Club Message Board.

The sole purpose of this board is to foster dialog among those who share a love for cycling whether they are NYCC members or not.

Visitors are invited to express their thoughts, opinions, information, questions or whatever else is on their mind AS LONG AS IT IS CYCLING RELATED. We do not welcome and will remove any post that contains profanity, direct personal attacks or is in any way deemed offensive by the NYCC powers that be. Commercial posts are not permitted however, individuals may post items for sale or offers of bike related services such as training or tours. Informal rides may be posted however, in order to be considered an official NYCC ride, a ride listing must be submitted to a ride coordinator prior to the ride date. Although pseudonyms and anonymous posts are permitted, everyone is encouraged to post under their own name.

The views and opinions expressed in this forum do not necessarily represent those of the New York Cycle Club.

Anonymous's picture
Modesta Kraemer (not verified)
message board policy

"I agreed with the president it should only be""Bike Related Posting"". Some of the posting in the last few months have been really scary, specially to a new comer. So let keep it stress free and BIKE RELATED TOPIC. Modesta Kraemer"

Anonymous's picture
Uli (not verified)
A woman of two faces?

You're both guilty of taking jabs at each other (really, Carol, if you're going to take jabs at the last editor, why hide behind the ""baka"" name?). Don, you're too blunt and at times, sometimes bordering on being condescending (""bench warmer"" is a low blow). Can you guys please take this offline so we can enjoy the forum without the personal attacks from either of you?

Anonymous's picture
Justin (not verified)

I actually enjoy the forum more when it gets abit lively like this - take it off line if you must but don't do it on this reader's behalf !

Anonymous's picture
Chris Taeger (not verified)
Good Policy, let's support it. (nm)
Anonymous's picture
Lynn (not verified)
mb policy

Is it worth considering a policy that disallows anonymous posts? The most objectionable ones tend to be anonymous. People behave better when their name is attached!

Just my $0.02

Anonymous's picture
Tom Laskey (not verified)
MB History

Lynn, please note the following post from earlier this year:

Date: Monday, March 31, 2003 12:48:09 PM
This message was last updated on Monday, March 31, 2003 1:25:52 PM
Author: Tom Laskey ([email protected])
Thread: The debate about anonymous postings rages on. Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.5; Windows NT 5.0)
Subject: Message Board Policy

Those who follow the NYCC Board of Directors meeting minutes noticed that we had agreed to initiate a system that would prevent anonymous posts. This was inspired by an earlier debate that took place on the message board itself that in turn was inspired by several anonymous posts. In discussing the technical and logistical requirements of instituting a system that would require identification, we discovered that such an implementation would likely result in additional problems, would very likely not be foolproof and therefore, would most likely create as many if not more problems than it would solve. With this in mind, the discussion was reopened at a subsequent board meeting. It was then decided that since the tone of the message board had greatly improved and that truly offensive posts are by and large rare, the current policy of allowing anonymous posts would continue.

Admittedly, I have gone back and forth on this issue myself, both in my head and on the message board itself. It has always seemed to me that one should stand behind their words and, if they are not willing to do so, should keep them to themselves. On the other hand, there are people who have valid comments to make but who have legitimate issues that keep them from stepping into the limelight. As some in the original debate stated, shouldn’t we be tolerant of these issues and judge the content of posts, not just the fact that they were posted anonymously? Further, it has been my experience in forums where identification is required that the discourse is monopolized by a handful of people. The majority of the members of the organization that such a forum is said to represent are silent for fear of intruding on the private province of the confident few.

In the end, it seems there is no clear evidence as to whether requiring identification would either improve or degrade the value of the message board. Many anonymous posts have been perfectly reasonable and helpful; many identified posts have been neither. Undoubtedly, offensive posts will appear from time to time, only to be removed by Peter, Tim or myself. To those who cry censorship at such actions, cry all you want. Since the new message board has been in place, the instances of deleted posts have been few and far between. If that is the price we have to pay for an open, honest and all-inclusive forum, I can handle it, I hope other message board visitors can as well.

Tom Laskey

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)


Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)

"...if you're writing the code for the message board, it can be a pain in the butt to implement a verified login (sign up, reply to confirmation email and you're in)...even harder if you want to allow anyone to browse and only those who sign up to post.

vbulletin has offered this functionality for quite some time.

scalable, customizable and inexpensive.

(and it allows you to delete your own posts if the server hiccups)


Anonymous's picture
Chaim Caron (not verified)
I Disagree

I disagree with the following:

>On the other hand, there are people who have valid
>comments to make but who have legitimate issues that
>keep them from stepping into the limelight. As some in
>the original debate stated, shouldn’t we be tolerant of
>these issues and judge the content of posts, not just
>the fact that they were posted anonymously?

I cannot imagine any circumstances that would justify an anonymous post. Free speech does not imply anonymity. When someone makes a statement, that person should stand up and be identified with his or her words.

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
meet 'em half way...

...this should be the year of the vote. time to show the club that the board is serious about bringing the issues to the table and letting the club make another pivotal vote.

why swing in either direction?

meet them halfway (alot of forums do this)...

1. require email confirmation to hold posters accountable to message board administrators

2. allow confirmed users to create their own usernames give people the ability to post ananomously while allowing the administrator(s) to track who's posting what.

(oh, and let give some volunteers 'moderator' status so they can red-flag posts for the admin to it getting easier? that's the key, you know...make it easier so we all can have time to ride our bikes and be less stressed out)



Anonymous's picture
Charlie Ward (not verified)
First Amendment Principles

For what it's worth, anonymity has always been a part of our country's understanding of the meaning of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constition. The founders and framers of the Constitution understood that anonymity was often essential to protect speech, especially dissenting speech.

Of course, since the NYCC is not an agent of the government, First Amendment rules do not apply to the NYCC's web site. But I wanted, solely for the sake of argument, to make it clear that anonymous speech has a long (and admittedly contentious) history.

Anonymous's picture
Peter Hochstein (not verified)
Law Of Unintended Consequences

"Forget freedom of speech. (I agree with the post that said there is no constitutional issue since we are not bound on a private website to support freedom of speech) But remember this: The Law of Unintended Consequences also comes into play.

The New York Cycle Club has a long tradition of encouraging anonynmous posts. In fact, they have been part of the most entertaining reading in the late paper bulletin and on the website. I include among those (only my personal opinion) anony-contributors such as ""Lew S. Pokes,"" ""Biker Babes,"" ""Dusty Rhodes"" and ""Et-whatever Shrdlu"" to name only those that come immediately to mind. You can probably think of others.

So here's one perhaps unintended consequence: If bicycle-related entertainment is anonymous, it, too, must be banned. And how can you allow some anonymous posts because they're entertaining, but not others? Who decides what's entertaining, or sufficiently entertaining? Who becomes the Lord High Censor of the NYCC? Would that person have to run for office? The very thought sounds pompous and ridiculous.

And what if someone wants to post something serious anonymously? For example, say a closet gay hears sexist remarks on a ride and wants to complain without outing him or herself?

Or a far-right or far-left cyclist wishes to bring up a cycling issue without rendering him or herself personna non grata on the next club ride?

In that case, would even serious issues have to be banned?

Be careful what you wish for. You might get it."

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Gender divide

"It's also curious that of the top 25 posters on this BB, only three, or 12%, are women. Even if Shymember, ""Chainwheel,"" and Etoian Shrdlu turn out to be posting in drag (and I don't think they are), that would give women six out of 25 top voices, or 24%. If the club approximates overall demographics (50 male/50 female), women on this BB are claiming only about one-quarter of our share of the public space.

What's the reason for this absence? As the top female poster (No. 3 in overall verbosity), I can't claim to speak for how the majority feel. But I wonder. Could it be that my sisters:

--Are put off by the sometimes combative or lawless tenor of this BB, or wish it were run differently?

--Believe that debates on a computer bulletin board are a waste of time?

--Do not feel a sense of ownership or leadership in the club? (A quick look at the board representation suggests otherwise, at least at that level. But where's the base?)

--Do not care about the club's social discourse and organization?

--Have forgotten (or never learned) how to type, thanks to the rise of feminism?

--Are too busy leading meaningful lives to post to a bulletin board?

--Don't have anything to say?

--Have something to say, but don't know how?

Note: These remarks are purely speculative, and do not reflect my own opinions.

Rather than proving or disproving them, I would simply be interested to hear what other women think would make participation in this forum worthwhile, if anything. Anyone too shy to post even anonymously can email me privately, though doing so will enlighten only me and not the public.

Personally, I am bothered by this gender divide on the bulletin board, in that it does not reflect the opportunities for growth, leadership, and self-expression that I think the club provides for us."

Anonymous's picture
huh? (not verified)

"errrr......didn't we just say ""keep it cycling related"" ?"

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
It's a club-related issue

Which I believe makes it pertinent.

Clearly, if no one responds on or off the board, then there is nothing to discuss.

At a minimum, though, I hope this query encourages more women to speak up on the board, on whatever subject.

Anonymous's picture
Ivy Pool (not verified)

"I think that you are raising an interesting issue Carol, but personally I think that the more significant divide isn't male/female but insider/outsider. It seems like the majority of the posts on this message board are made by the same select group of people. To some extent this is due to the fact that these are experienced cyclists with a lot of advice to offer. But at the same time there are so many posts that are completely nonsensical to those of us who are not ""in the know"" in terms of NYCC history and politics. C'est la vie on message boards, I suppose.

It also seems intuitive that newcomers or outsiders or whatever you want to call us would be more likely to post if they didn't see other people, like Carol, being personally attacked. It's not exactly inviting, you see."

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
By one count..., the number of people willing to contribute financially to the health and wellbeing of the website in 2002 was 125. Of that number, 8 were female.

Anonymous's picture
Linda (not verified)
Chicks & the message board & my 2 cents

I feel its pretty simple - I think there are fewer women posting, because there are fewer of us riding. I've posted several times when either I had a specific question or felt the yen to respond to a message.

I find this board very helpful and quite often, extremely amusing. I have read some rather snide and unpleasant posts, but really...who cares? If I'm tough enough to carry my bike up 5 flights of stairs after a really long ride, then I'm tough enough to withstand some verbal abuse if it were headed my way. Better for someone to vent their ill temper here than on the road. Sticks & stones...

I've only been a member of NYCC a short time and have not had the chance to participate in any of the rides. But I love that the NYCC exists and that it also gives both members and non-members a forum to express ideas and opinions. I post under my name but have no issue with anonymous messages. I also don't think that messages should be censored. I'm a bike riding, subway commuting, internet surfing, bar-going, garage music loving, West Side New Yorker...there's not a whole lot that I haven't already heard. And if I haven't...then bring it on.

Anonymous's picture
Lynn (not verified)
Gender Divide

"OK, great question, and...since you ask, here are some opinions, can't vouch for all my gender, though, as no man would vouch for his:
-If you look at the frequency of answers on the BB, you will find that a handful make up the majority of posts, so maybe it's a personality issue, not a gender issue.
-Otherwise, when the .... hits the fan, as it has recently, why bother joining in?
-The silly goofy Etoain Shrdlu (spelling?)was great; I imagined pedaling across the Atlantic and shuddered a bit at being cursed. So more of those, and we'll be paddling along.
-Do we feel a sense of ownership at NYCC? Of course we do. How can we not, when there are so many women in all positions-
-Do we know typing? That's funny too.It's called keyboarding now, and my kids learned to ""type"" 40 wpm in second/ third grade!



Anonymous's picture
shawna evans (not verified)

most women have better things to do than hear themselves type and read thier own posts. you know...dinner, movies, sex...stuff like that. :-)

cycling trips