Photo: Wong's Bar, Bangkok.

Idle banter forum

Censorship!!!

Posted by BruceMoon on 1/9/2009 at 18:28

Over recent months, we have been left in no doubt that some subjects are taboo.

Like the phantom, one can't even put a name to the taboo subjects for fear...

But, it appears censorship is even more pervasive?

Earlier today, under a post to Idle Banter I commented on the new pic under the 'author' of somtam2000.

Not knowing the background, I asked whether the pic reflected a place Stuart recently visited, or somewhere Stuart would like to visit, or some other connotation.

The retort?

It was all because of me.

In my challenge to the Sunday stand-in, a decision had been made that with the new pic, in future all those contributing to somtam2000 would be anonymous.

Deary me, when I questioned whether Stuart could ever be anonymous, the post was removed.

I have no problem with Stuart having a day off. To suggest otherwise would be folly

I also have no problem with another occupying the (vacated) chair.

But surely, if Stuart appoints another to assist traveller questions, why use the somtam2000 moniker?

To my way of thinking, Stuart's stand-in only need to use another moniker as an 'admin' contributor and the matter would appear to be solved.

Stuart's stand-in is entitled to offer advice, just like Stuart, and everyone/anyone else.

An important proviso is that because Stuart selected the stand-in, Stuart has faith in the capacity of the stand-in to make a positive, informed contribution. Given this, there should be no need to 'hide' behind the b]somtam2000 moniker. Instead, the stand-in ought have his/her own moniker. That way - and especially with the 'admin' underpinning - the stand-in would have a similar authority to Stuart.

Additionally, to the more regular contributors, the different moniker would signal that there be a different 'authority' offering advice.

But, to remove the post suggests to me to be an unnecessary censorship.

Maybe my error was to use 'Idle Banter', and not 'Culture & Politics'.

Cheers

#1 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by smash on 1/9/2009 at 18:32

*grabs popcorn*

#2 smash has been a member since 21/6/2009. Posts: 162


Posted by mattocmd on 1/9/2009 at 18:39

*grabs a beer*

Somtam2000, I am sure there is some reasonable explanation to some other guy using your handle. Maybe you share the computer and he/she forgot to log out and in to change users. Or maybe the guy must use yours in order to have the admin features that he/she needs to run the site for the day.

Bruce has always been laid back (relatively...) and this is the most worked up I have ever seen him!

How bout a lil explaning??

#3 mattocmd has been a member since 13/6/2007. Location: United States. Posts: 365
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Posted by somtam2000 on 1/9/2009 at 19:12 admin

Just addressing smash and mattocmd here:

smash -- enjoy the popcorn

mattocmd -- what Bruce is ranting about was more or less covered here. Various people do me a favour by looking after and monitoring the site when I (shock horror) decide to have a day away from the laptop.

Hardly earth shattering stuff -- it's been happening for ages.

Anyway, Bruce had a drama and said the person should reveal more about himself, calling them an imposter and what not -- that Is Not Going To Happen.

However, in response to BM, we decided to make the profile of "me" less specifically "me" -- so we changed the pic and a lot of the text. BM then started a new thread asking about the pic change, and I responded saying it was more or less because of him, I then second-thought it and just deleted the thread.

I think it's all a storm in a tea cup -- if someone is writing a comment on this site with the somtam2000 handle, then rest assured I back them up 100% that handle speaks for the site - that's it.

Hope that clear it up.

#4 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,706
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Posted by BruceMoon on 1/9/2009 at 19:34

Stuart

I suggest it's not a storm in a teacup.

The Sunday stand-in approached his/her views quite differently to you: as might be expected.

As a suggestion, why don't you:

1/ select a moniker for each person, ie. one for you, another for (say) Samantha, another for the Sunday stand-in, etc. I really don't see why having different monikers lessens the admin function. Personally, I think it would enhance it.

2/. drop the posts:xxx part for any of the admin contributors. That way, there would not be any implied discrimination between long standing and more recent contributors.

Also, by having different monikers, it could be that one day, several admin people were contributing at the same time.

In any event, by having different monikers, other contributors would know that it is/is not Stuart 'on the line'.

I really fail to see why anonymity at admin is so important. I would have thought each admin contributor would be proud to have their own moniker.

Cheers

#5 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by somsai on 1/9/2009 at 19:46

Yawn.

Is it ok to comment on the pic here? I'd think a koke and saht more appropriate, I mean somtam is associated with that pucka pucka pucka sound of the saht crushing the papaya. Even better switch the whole name for the more musical Tom mak kune, rolls right of the tongue, falling tone at the end, same food, better language.

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Posted by mattocmd on 1/9/2009 at 20:39

Gotcha.

Bruce I don't see what the big deal is really. So what even if views are approached differently. You always have the opportunity to respond, agree, disagree or agree to disagree.

The job of the Somtam2000 is to answer questions and help travelers. Don't see any harm when the intention is good.

****, it could be a ladyboy for all I care.

BTW Anymore filthy toilet stories?

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Posted by somtam2000 on 1/9/2009 at 21:05 admin

Not up for debate.

somsai on the pic -- the new one is calming. We stood on that very beach and a complete stranger floated up on a boat and handed us a seven foot long fish and told us to take it home and cook -- we tried, it was kinda ok, a bit too dried out as it was three or four hours by boat back to the closest kitchen, but the great memory was the meeting and handing over. Funny day.

#8 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,706
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Posted by MADMAC on 1/9/2009 at 22:13

Where are the girls on the beach?

#9 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
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Posted by SBE on 1/9/2009 at 22:29

"However, in response to BM, we decided to make the profile of "me" less specifically "me" -- so we changed the pic"

I think it was a big mistake to pay any attention whatsoever to Bruce.

Please can we have the green monster back and carry on as before. No one else cares who's sitting in the moderator's seat and I liked things just fine the way they were.

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Posted by exacto on 2/9/2009 at 00:51

i wish i could agree with matt's comment that bruce has always been relatively laid back, but that is absolutely not the case. bruce has consistently been the most aggressive person on this site. this thread is just another example.

i'm sorry to see this happening again. i thought bruce had calmed down and was going to focus on actually trying to help out the people asking questions. i guess not.

this has nothing to do with censorship. it is all about bruce's ego and his repeated attempts to be top dog here. i salute somtam's continued patience, because were this my website i would have tossed bruce long ago for his rude behavior.

i really do wish bruce would start his own website. then he could run it however he saw fit. wouldn't that be great? i think bruce would be happier. i know i would be happier. :-)

for what it is worth, i agree with SBE. i don't think bruce should have a vote in how Travelfish is run either. best wishes somtam and keep up the good work.

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Posted by tails101 on 2/9/2009 at 02:08

Got to say I agree with exacto and SBE...

I frequently look at a response from Bruce and think wow, that's abrupt/rude... maybe he should consider the old saying my mum drummed into me of "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything".

For what it's worth, I've no problem with people sharing the somtam name and I've got to say a big thanks to whoever is in the somtam chair for all their help and advice... thanks and keep it up, it's much appreciated! Cheers!

As an aside, this site is the best resource I've found for SE Asia and it helps make planning trips a doddle! Thanks everyone! This years trip to Cambodia has been made so much easier to plan thanks to TravelFish!

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Posted by MADMAC on 2/9/2009 at 12:17

OK, I have to take up Bruces side on this one. Not on this particular issue, but on the issue of his contributions. Sure he can be pretty direct, but Bruce contributes a huge amount of useful information to people preparing to travel and he brings a lot of experience to the table. I would rather have a guy who is somewhat abrupt offering information than a moron who likes to sing Kumbaya.

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Posted by smash on 2/9/2009 at 12:32

Hello people... We're getting our knickers into a twist over an internet forum. Is it really that serious...

Stuart could be a two headed bipolar hermaphradite for all we really know.

#14 smash has been a member since 21/6/2009. Posts: 162

Posted by SBE on 2/9/2009 at 14:45

"Stuart could be a two headed bipolar hermaphradite for all we really know."


Busylizzy and I will be able to verify that he isn't a two headed bipolar hermaphradite at the pissup in November but I know a couple of people who've met him already and I think they would have mentioned it.

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Posted by tails101 on 2/9/2009 at 15:25

"OK, I have to take up Bruces side on this one. Not on this particular issue, but on the issue of his contributions. Sure he can be pretty direct, but Bruce contributes a huge amount of useful information to people preparing to travel and he brings a lot of experience to the table."

I've no issues with Bruce being pretty direct, I do have issues when he is nothing short of plain rude. A particular post that comes to mind was when someone asked about spending a day at Angkor, the responses from Bruce were not required and really quite rude. They didn't add anything to what the poster asked, just made the poster feel bad.

On the flip side, I would agree that Bruce has an awful lot to offer and doing so directly is valued, putting the person down or being rude, is not.

All IMHO.

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Posted by KazAussie on 2/9/2009 at 15:53

Hello all,

Interesting thread.

I appreciate all the contributors here. After skulking around the site for some months it doesn't take that much to work out who is who and what their views are. What I appreciate about this site is that it is less likely that it has been hijacked by people with vested interests (eg guest house owners and travel agents).

Bruce is a strong supporter of the Sinh Cafe and Columbus cruises and I trust that this comes from personal experience (and this is backed up by some other posts).

Somtam2000 always offers a balanced view and personally I don't care if Sontam is one person or 50. The stuff is reliable and the site itself retains its integrity, for which I thank Stuart and co.

Just my two cents anyway.

#17 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221

Posted by exacto on 2/9/2009 at 22:51

Hi MADMAC,

I agree with you that the substance of Bruce's posts are generally solid. He certainly has a great deal of experience to share, and I almost always agree with the advice he offers.

But that's not the point.

The problem isn't the quality of Bruce's posts. It's the tone. And the idea that you can have either an aggressive grump with a solid knowledge base or a moron who likes to sing is a false choice. There are plenty of posters on this site who bring a lot of experience to the table as well and who still manage to be polite, supportive, and friendly, and who aren't constantly taking petty swipes at the people who run Travelfish.

Here's how I see it. Show patience to those who may know less than you. They are here to learn. In fact, that's the entire purpose of the forum. Feel free to disagree with others if need be, but do so respectfully. Most of all, adhere to the terms of use agreement we all signed. It's easy. Really.

#18 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,685
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Posted by Sparts on 3/9/2009 at 02:52

Since when was this a thread about Bruce?

He is not rude, as Madmac says, just direct. His advice, experiences and alternative views are of great benefit to this site.

Dunno what the fuss is here.

#19 Sparts has been a member since 5/6/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 169
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Posted by chrispyrolls on 3/9/2009 at 03:54

a piss up in november? ... where's that then SBE?

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Posted by busylizzy on 3/9/2009 at 05:51

A pissup in Bali! SBE and I will both be there around the same time so are aiming to catch up (probably around 18-20 November). We're assuming Somtam (all 3 of them!) will be game to catch up as well, even though there is a cunning plan to ply him/them with copious quantities of alcohol and get this edit function button underway.

Anyone else who will be in Bali at the same time will be welcome, of course. We'll make a post closer to the time once we pin down a specific day, time and location.

#21 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,153
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Posted by BruceMoon on 3/9/2009 at 06:01

Hey, Lisa

Do you reckon it'd be worth a special trip to Bali just for the occasion?

Cheers

#22 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by SBE on 3/9/2009 at 06:12

I'm glad there's another cunning plan involving copious amounts of alcohol because I'm not sure how long I can keep THREE Somtans totally enthralled with my dance of the 7 beach sarongs...

How long do you reckon you'll need to fix the edit button Lizzy?

#23 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,037
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Posted by SBE on 3/9/2009 at 06:13

Bruce are you any good at hula hooping?

#24 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,037
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Posted by BruceMoon on 3/9/2009 at 06:29

SBE

depends on how much grog's been consumed. If enough, I venture I'd be the hoop!!!

Cheers

#25 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by busylizzy on 3/9/2009 at 07:50

"Do you reckon it'd be worth a special trip to Bali just for the occasion?"

Sure, why not? The more the merrier, and I'm sure the 7 beach sarong dance alone will be worth it! ;-)

Besides, if you made the special trip, that would give us the chance to answer the fabled question "Who is Bruce Moon?"

#26 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,153
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Posted by neosho on 3/9/2009 at 08:45

Why do you call it a "piss up"?

#27 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386

Posted by BruceMoon on 3/9/2009 at 08:53

neosho

It's slang.

Think a bit like someone from down under...

You drink some grog alcohol, its enjoyable, you drink more, its even more enjoyable ...

But what goes in eventually has to come out...

If you are male you p*** it all up against the wall...

So, if one wants to talk about having a meeting at a place that serves grog alcoholic drinks, and one is going to enjoy the grog, then one is going to a piss up.

Oh, what we do to educate the world, deary me...

Cheers

#28 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by BruceMoon on 3/9/2009 at 08:59

Lisa

"The more the merrier, and I'm sure the 7 beach sarong dance alone will be worth it! ;-)"

Oh, I thought you wouldn't to be there for that. It was to occupy the 3 somtam's while you be fiddled with the dials or whatever...

"Besides, if you made the special trip, that would give us the chance to answer the fabled question "Who is Bruce Moon?"

Seems to me that others have answered that. Anyway, I was thinking of joining for the grog and frivolity, not the attention.

Cheers

#29 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by MADMAC on 3/9/2009 at 11:23

"You drink some grog alcohol, its enjoyable, you drink more, its even more enjoyable ...

But what goes in eventually has to come out...

If you are male you p*** it all up against the wall..."

I like the Aussies... but sometimes they're not quite right in the way California valley girls aren't quite right.

#30 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
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Posted by fondo on 3/9/2009 at 12:04

To return to the original question.

Bruce, now that you've worked out how to do colours and vary fonts, it is time to move onto something more engaging.

I know you love a bit of googling. Why not plug in "cyberspace and fluid identities" and see what pops up.

Might provide an answer about why somtam2000 doesn't coincide with one particular corporeal identity.

#31 fondo has been a member since 23/6/2006. Posts: 172
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Posted by BruceMoon on 3/9/2009 at 12:35

Nup

"cyberspace and fluid identities"

Nuthin'

Cheers

#32 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by BDV on 13/9/2009 at 12:20

I know this is a bit late but don't really see the issue with site admins just using the one identity to moderate the forums....and know this happens on many sites.


color=red]2/. drop the posts:xxx part for any of the admin contributors. That way, there would not be any implied discrimination between long standing and more recent contributors.

Does it really matter unless there is some form of personal goal to have to most number of posts?

#33 BDV has been a member since 27/9/2008. Posts: 20

Posted by jamesspignesi on 1/10/2009 at 10:58

SOMETIMES THE TRUTH HURTS. LIKE MENTIONING HOW MANY LOW LIFE TRAVELERS THAT COME TO SOUTHEAST ASIA, THAT HAVE NO MANNERS. AKA. EURO-TRASH

#34 jamesspignesi has been a member since 18/8/2008. Posts: 29

Posted by boxee on 1/10/2009 at 20:27

WOW james where did that rant come from , do u not like people from europe.

where are u from ???

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Posted by boxee on 1/10/2009 at 20:40

WOW james where did that rant come from , do u not like people from europe.

where are u from ???

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Posted by Sparts on 1/10/2009 at 23:52

WTF James? Quite a sweeping statement to make.

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Posted by mattocmd on 2/10/2009 at 09:34

Well I wouldn't get too offended. He writes with all CAPS and uses extremely poor grammar.

Either a 14yo kid or a redneck.

#38 mattocmd has been a member since 13/6/2007. Location: United States. Posts: 365
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