On Fri, Apr 10, 2009 at 8:49 PM, Larry Sanger <email@example.com> wrote:
> I can recognize when I am no longer welcome. I didn't really believe I ever
> was welcome to begin with, but I was willing to try. I've always been
> I assume that, since the self-appointed silencers among you are apparently
> operating with impunity, I could not possibly continue to press my case here
> without continuing to cause an uproar among them. So I will stop. Those
> who wanted to silence me have done so successfully, just as your fearless
> leader did on [[User talk:Jimmy Wales]].
> On the issue of whether I am entitled to speak out here, I did want to make
> two points.
> First, whether or not it really is, Wikipedia (like Citizendium and other
> similar projects) ought to be democratic, open, and devoted to free speech
> in a certain sense. The sense is that, as long as a person is generally
> abiding by the rules of the community, he has a right to speak out in public
> forums, even if others find it "annoying." If a mob of others are outraged
> at what he says, they have the right to try to refute him (under the same
> reasonable rules); but they do not have the right to demand that he be
> silenced. As soon as they gain such authority, the mob is de facto making
> the rules, which is fine for people who love mobs, but absolutely terrible
> for most of humanity and for anybody who cares about justice and other
> things that cannot be made into silly acronyms.
> Second, virtually all of the arguments of those claiming that I lack the
> right to air my concerns on this list work as arguments that I should not
> have been allowed to post in the first place. Surely the moderators were
> right to allow me to post, and I was grateful to them for letting me do so.
> Nevertheless, since first posting, all I have been doing is defending the
> relevance, or significance, of my open letter to Jimmy Wales, or my right to
> make it--not really discussing its content at all. That's a pretty sad
> state of affairs, I think. I actually think that a large majority of
> Wikipedians probably sympathize with my letter, but that they are
> intimidated by those on this list who have the ability to make up arguments
> justifying censorship of someone with a serious, well-justified complaint
> about one of the most important leaders of the project.
> As to the attacks on Citizendium, I'm not going to bother replying. Those
> who are inclined to be sympathetic toward us will find out about us from
> more reliable sources, or from their own observation. Suffice it to say
> that the people who are lobbing the most vicious attacks either know nothing
> about the project, or are deeply philosophically opposed to it, and in
> either case, their opinion is not worth very much, as far as I'm concerned.
> As to those who might be inclined to sympathize with us, but who are
> intimidated into silence here on this list, and by mobs in general, let's
> just say that you're very welcome to join us.
> I do want to say one last thing to the more reasonable people in the
> community, who I know have been following this, and who stick things out in
> the face of what looks like a brainless mob: while I long ago decided I
> couldn't join you, I do admire and sympathize with your situation.
> Wikipedia is great--it's hard to abandon. There are a lot of very smart and
> decent people on Wikipedia, and if I have harsh words about the Wikipedia
> community from time to time, I hope you'll understand I'm not talking about
> --Larry (I'll be unsubscribing right after sending this)
> P.S. Apropos of nothing but a throwaway remark by someone on the list: I
> have never, ever, not even once, used any account on Wikipedia (or
> Citizendium) other than User:Larry Sanger.
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