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multiple handles

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Wilfred Yeats
Member Elite
since 08-04-2000
Posts 2916
Wilmington, Delaware

0 posted 10-17-2000 10:40 AM       View Profile for Wilfred Yeats   Email Wilfred Yeats   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Wilfred Yeats's Home Page   View IP for Wilfred Yeats

What I'm 'suggesting' (concerned about) is the discovery on at least 3 occasions recently - that other poets are - or have posted under more than one 'handle' or name.

I came here from a public forum - where one could 'join' or not join, and post freely anything they chose anytime as often as they choose - etc.  IF one joined the 'handle' could be traced - but at best - only the isp otherwise.

Problems with this were minimal and the proprieters (sp?) did a fair job of policing. Clearly PIP is far more controlled and obviously the reason I am extremely happy here.

Still, the recent incident with 'athena, and m/Moonchild (Maureen) disturbed me greatly- If I understand correctly athena is not the junior member  her handle would have one assume. Moreover she took it upon herself to criticize maureen not by e-mail - but in responses. I am not going to try to defend Maureen's handling of this, altho I consider her a friend. I see her as a very sensitive individual who does not handle criticism  with the same thick skin I have.

If I had my 'druthers' the matter would have been handled with greater dispatch, and both parties had their responses removed quickly as they had NOTHING to do with poetry.

Underlying it all is the secondary name- I have 'druthers' there as well - I would not allow ANYONE to concurrently (go back and forth) post under more than one name. If one choses a new name - they must abandon the old and not return - also a record - available in the event of conflict should exist outlining the history of name(s) the perpetrator (sp?) has used.  

99% of us here are warm and friendly - AT LEAST 99% of the time, and when we're not, we're smart enough not to let it show - or at least we don't air our interpersonal conflicts in the forums.

Life is not always smooth and I certainly don't expect PIP to be paradise - although poetically I have found it so  - I don't know if Maureen will return or not - but I know she came here because she'd been 'attacked' elsewhere - and I saw athene's apologies misplaced and lacking total sincerity. she only poured gasoline on the fire. and I am saddened by maureen's leaving.

somebody shut me up - I suffer from oral diaherrea at times like this.
Senior Member
since 06-23-99
Posts 1896

1 posted 10-17-2000 03:47 PM       View Profile for Nicole   Email Nicole   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Nicole

No one wants to shut you up, you have a concern and you have every right to voice it.  The situation between Athena and Maureen was, sadly, a very unfortunate one.  Honestly though, I don't belive that multiple handles is the cause of the dissension.  In any public forum, where there are literally thousands of people posting their opinions and feelings, there will be those that just (for whatever reason) do not get along.  I think the problem stemmed from that, and how the individuals chose to handle the situation. Ron made a very good point about that in his post to Maureen's "Take Notice" post:

"The only "rule" I have ever asked anyone to observe in these forum is Respect & Tolerance. All of our guidelines, few though they are, are derivatives of that single rule.
Respect & Tolerance does not mean "when everyone is doing things the way I like them." It means all the time, even when disagreements arise. Because they WILL arise.

Athena made a simple suggestion, which was fine. When she felt the suggestion was being ignored, she crossed the line and turned her suggestion into a demand - which was not fine and Chris explained why it wasn't fine. That should have ended the exchange. Instead, Maureen, you apparently decided that since you felt you had been attacked that opened the door for a counter-attack. I'm sorry, but it just doesn't work that way in here. Respect and tolerance are easy when everyone is getting along. But they're only important when disagreements arise.

There are obviously undercurrents here that have little to do with what's been said. If there are problems within the forums - or because of the forums - I would like to hear about them. My email box is always open, and I and the Moderators will do anything possible and reasonable to resolve unfair issues. But we can't even approach a problem if people don't tell us about it. And when those undercurrents surface as personal attacks, warranted or otherwise, we're forced to instead deal with the symptoms. I would very much hate to treat the symptoms too harshly because I don't know the underlying causes.

I hope no one puts in the position where that becomes necessary."

Like you said, most all of us are warm and friendly, and for the most part, get along most of the time.  There are several people in these forums with multiple handles, that have been posting with them since Passions' forum beginnings.  Very rarely are there problems involving those handles, however when there are, rest assured that Ron can and continually does track the origins of those handles.  All IP addresses are logged, and too, held in the strictest confidence.

Thank you for taking the time to voice your concerns.    


[This message has been edited by Satiate (edited 10-17-2000).]
Member Elite
since 07-31-99
Posts 3167
United Kingdom

2 posted 10-17-2000 04:15 PM       View Profile for RainbowGirl   Email RainbowGirl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit RainbowGirl's Home Page   View IP for RainbowGirl

I read this thread first thing this morning and debated about replying...when I end up thinking about whether I should or not, it usually means I'm not sure..LOL

I did read the original poem before it sadly got deleted but didn't reply because I wasn't sure about how to respond but later went back to it because I had liked it and discovered that there were problems, that being the case I thought it would be wrong of me to say I liked it and bring the 'problem' up before anyone else...I don't know if that was right or wrong but was out of respect for the parties involved.

I agree with Nicole, I don't think how ever many names you may use has any bearing in the majority of cases, although I personally only use one, heck what else would I use..*g*...I would say though that to use another name simply to berate someone or to say soemthing that you honestly wouldn't want anyone to recognise you by, is something you shouldn't really say at all....and believe me, I've said plenty that I wish I hadn't....just my 2p worth..  )

ps: I missed Ron's post, where was it?  He always calms troubled waters so I'm sorry I missed it...


[This message has been edited by RainbowGirl (edited 10-17-2000).]
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US

3 posted 10-18-2000 06:17 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

It seems to me there are actually a few issues here. The first and most obvious, of course, is people using multiple names in the forums. And I pretty much agree it's not only harmless, but often serves a viable purpose. Maureen was using an alias because she felt the poetry flowing from her pen at the time wasn't really characteristic and she likely didn't want to worry her friends. I think that's a very valid reason to "be someone else" for a while. The truth is, I too have an alias I occasionally use to post poetry - because sometimes I want opinions not colored by "who" the author is. I think there are a lot of times when anonymity makes sense.

Of course, there are also times, as you alluded to, Bill, when a secret identity can do more harm than good. To the best of my knowledge, there's been exactly one instance where a Member registered an alias just so he could safely make a deriding remark to someone. He had, coincidentally enough, come from a board very similar to the one you describe. And while I didn't reveal his identity publicly, I made it very clear in a follow-up post that I knew who he was and found his behavior very unacceptable. I think the word I used was "gutless." I assure you, Bill, that anyone who thinks they can misuse the system to hurt others will very quickly discover otherwise.

There really aren't very many people who post with multiple identities (which is good, because the Membership database is our weak link - I can archive a big forum, but we're stuck with the Membership files no matter how large they get). I know there's not many because, every time someone registers a new name, the server emails me. Ceres and I are very close and keep few secrets from each other.  

There are two other issues which, while separate, nonetheless share commonalties: the removal of posts and private email discussions.

From a practical standpoint, it should be noted there are relatively few people with the ability to delete posts. The Admins can work in any forum, but the Moderators have authority only within their assigned forums. The alternative would be the equivalent of too many cooks in the kitchen and likely result in chaos. Even with these limitations, we've had instances of duplicate posts both being deleted by two Moderators simultaneously, each thinking they were deleting the "extra" one. Obviously, there are going to be times when an offensive post is present and no Moderators are immediately available. The "General Alert" link at the top of most pages will send an email to all the Moderators of that forum, plus one to me. If I'm not asleep I'm usually on-line, and had Maureen used the General Alert the other night I likely would have gotten involved earlier.

But practicalities aside, the question still arises, when should a post be deleted? If we deleted all responses that had nothing to do with poetry, we'd probably be zapping about half the posts made. Members are encouraged to interact at Passions, to get to know one another, on the assumption that an understanding of humanity is just as important as a knowledge of meter and imagery. There are a LOT of non-poetic discussions posted and I, for one, would hate to see that change.

Posts, very obviously, do get deleted from time to time, though really with surprising infrequency. Posts that are grossly offensive or encourage harm to a human being are blatant infringements of our guidelines and are usually removed as soon as a Moderator is made aware of them. And yes, attacks against a person are also removed; I personally deleted two posts by Maureen the other night because they crossed the line from disagreement into personal attack. All removals are necessarily judgement calls, and we simply try to do the best we can.

Athena's post, the one that sparked the debacle, was both rude and unjustly authoritative, but I wouldn't have classified it as a personal attack. Christopher's post made it clear her attitude was unacceptable and, in my opinion, was an excellent example of our principles in action. Deleting Athena's post would have meant either deleting Chris's or, at best, made his admonishment appear out of context - and no one would have learned anything! By leaving both posts, I think all of our Members, both old and new, have a clearer idea of what is inappropriate behavior today than they perhaps did last week.

I personally don't believe that disagreements between people should necessarily be deleted or moved into private email. I do think they should usually be moved out of a poetry forum and into the Alley, which sadly didn't happen the other night, but I see no reason they should ever be swept under the rug. That's the way of the politician, perhaps, but not of the poet. There is nothing inherently wrong with conflict and we learn as much from it (usually more) as from consensus. I certainly recognize that "some" things are better discussed in private, but I don't think a disagreement should always be one of them. That's especially true if the motivation for a private discussion is simply to escape the rules of civility demanded in the forums. If it can't be said in the Alley, it probably shouldn't be said in email either.

Indeed, I see the beginnings of what I consider a serious problem at Passions regarding email and ICQ. I hear hints of people emailing other Members because they don't want to "embarrass" them in public, and I find the practice wholly unacceptable. At best, it is presumptuous, and at worst, it can be hurtful. If someone wants help with their spelling or meter - either publicly OR privately - they will ask for the help. Everyone here posts for different reasons, and offering unsolicited advice comes from assigning your own motivations to someone else. Not everyone is at the same stage of learning. If someone asks for help, any Member should feel comfortable helping them in public. If we can't feel comfortable doing something in public, we should NOT assume private makes it any more acceptable. Those who feel the need to hide behind a veil of privacy are little different than those trying to hide behind anonymity.

The events and subsequent misunderstandings of the other night were very unfortunate. Like you, Bill, I'm very sad to see Maureen leave. And I am particularly distressed at the manner of her departure, and was very surprised by her behavior. I'm always willing to listen to suggestions and am open to finding better ways. But in retrospect, I honestly cannot think of a single thing I would have done differently.
Athena, Goddess of Wisdom
Junior Member
since 11-21-1999
Posts 43

4 posted 10-18-2000 09:38 AM       View Profile for Athena, Goddess of Wisdom   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Athena, Goddess of Wisdom

I just wanted to publicly apologize to all of Passions for my out-of-line comment to Maureen which initiated the problem to begin with. Originally, I thought I had presented a suggestion politely, then felt I was being ignored by her, which sparked an emotional reaction from me. Christopher handled this very well and from his response toward me, I realized how badly I had erred and attempted repeatedly to apologize to Maureen. My apology was sincere and the more she refused to accept it, the more upset I became until I finally apologized in a headline font, and almost decided not to post at Passions again myself. I am also a sensitive person and my when my sincerity is being questioned, it hurts deeply. Again, I am terribly sorry Maureen left and feel very badly that I was involved in this entire situation. I sent Ron an e-mail to apologize, but wanted to publicly apologize to all.

As far as using multiple handles, I have several and many of you know me very well from the name I usually use. Each name I use is for different purposes such as posting "fun" verse, or getting into philosophical debates (the original intention of registering the name Athena), as opposed to posting under my more widely known handle. Those who know me, know I am an honest, straight-forward, sincere, and caring person and I would never intentionally say anything to hurt or negatively effect anyone. In this instance, I made a mistake, I admitted to it, and I profusely apologized repeatedly and sincerely. I felt terrible that I had hurt someone's feelings and did everything I could  to make amends.

Again, my sincere apologies to Maureen and to all those who post here and call Passions their home. And my thanks to Ron for his patience, tolerance, and very fair and forgiving attitude.
Wilfred Yeats
Member Elite
since 08-04-2000
Posts 2916
Wilmington, Delaware

5 posted 10-18-2000 09:43 AM       View Profile for Wilfred Yeats   Email Wilfred Yeats   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Wilfred Yeats's Home Page   View IP for Wilfred Yeats

You have made a very lucid and acceptable statement on the position of the forum and your actions in this discussion - and I'm in complete agreement - I guess the only thing we might do to further it would be to encourage new members at acceptance - to use the Alley for their non-poetic exchanges.

You've pointed out uses for 'other' handles I hadn't considered - Thank you.
Wilfred Yeats
Member Elite
since 08-04-2000
Posts 2916
Wilmington, Delaware

6 posted 10-18-2000 01:47 PM       View Profile for Wilfred Yeats   Email Wilfred Yeats   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Wilfred Yeats's Home Page   View IP for Wilfred Yeats

I've not become familiar with people's multiple handles - I too write poems in different veins but always with the same handle - I do not have a problem with the benign use of them - but confess to having trouble with understanding the need - let alone the confusion it would cause me keeping track of them - I HAVE  changed my handle but  prior to my arrival here and that was to avoid the persecution I encountered at my previous forum.  I will make sure Maureen sees your response.
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US

7 posted 10-18-2000 03:07 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

The use of multiple usernames is not without a cost, as I mentioned in my earlier post. When I click on the submit button for this post, Ceres need not concern herself with the index files for the very active Open Poetry forum, or for any other forum besides Suggestions. She does, however, have to load the Membership index file to figure out who I am. Indeed, almost anything you do in the forum - from posting in ANY forum to changing your Profile to examining the Top 100 list - requires the server to first process the Membership files. In the private forums, even reading means the file must first be loaded into memory. The larger the Membership files becomes, the slower the whole forums will run.

I'm not suggesting we should eliminate multiple aliases or, heaven forbid, freeze Member Registration. I am suggesting secondary usernames should be used with discretion. I've sat and watched people register what was basically the same name, with only slight variations, five or six times. They decided they didn't quite like the first one, so they did another. And another. That's really not too bad, because I periodically clear the Membership files of any users that have never posted and obviously most of those slight deviations won't actually be used. But the second a username is used, if only for a single post, we are stuck with it for as long as exists.

All I ask is that people think carefully before deciding they need yet another username. Make sure your reason is a valid one. We all have to pay the price.
Member Elite
since 07-31-99
Posts 3167
United Kingdom

8 posted 10-18-2000 06:37 PM       View Profile for RainbowGirl   Email RainbowGirl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit RainbowGirl's Home Page   View IP for RainbowGirl

Wilfred...I find myself coming back to this thread because I read a comment you made on a different poem where someone had admitted using a different name....knowing the person involved I thought I'd try to explain and to a small degree why I have often pondered using another myself....sometimes we can hurt so very much and sometimes to hurt that much can be seen as weak or foolish..i.e. you should have seen it coming...who wants to be thought foolish?  I certainly don't and most people I know don't either but people who write their feelings out are vulnerable, just as I am now in trying to explain my point of view...and sometimes to get over our hurts we need to be strong but how can we be strong and yet heal the hurt if we can't express it...I'm all for communication, it's who I am, I believe if you can talk about something, you're on the road to fixing the problem but not everyone sees it that the same token we all need to laugh because laughter releases adrenalin and makes you feel better but how do we laugh in one post and yet cry our hearts out in another, some just don't understand how you can need to do both...hence now and then you have no idea that the two poems that first make you sad and then make you laugh are by the same poet..

Hope that makes sense or maybe I'm just one mixed up person ..    No need to answer that..*g*


[This message has been edited by RainbowGirl (edited 10-18-2000).]
Member Ascendant
since 06-22-99
Posts 5106
TEXAS (it's all big)

9 posted 10-19-2000 12:35 AM       View Profile for wayoutwalt   Email wayoutwalt   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for wayoutwalt

Hey Ron! I remember that post and i remember the poet o man you layed it to the responder ooooo i remember that well.. skeered me and that was like three houses ago (i've lived in three houses since i read that and yes i have moved around a bit in the last year but not far oops back to topic) ok yuh i am wayoutwalt that is true but my computer also posts under elisaseyes cuz that's my wife..same location two different poets...thaz just one reason for dual as to why i haven't ever had one: I have been invited to the hallowed halls of the stute b4 and i even sat there contemplaiting what kinda cool name i'd come up with but i thought no way i am wayoutwalt and i agree with Wilfred we if we feel should be able to write in all different kinda ways and never become typecast AMEN AMEN CAN I GET AN AMEN! okokok yuh.
Kit McCallum
Member Laureate
since 04-30-2000
Posts 16920
Ontario, Canada

10 posted 10-19-2000 07:06 AM       View Profile for Kit McCallum   Email Kit McCallum   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kit McCallum

Walt, I'm so glad you haven't used multiples. You're the perfect example of a poet I so enjoy reading for his moods. I see your name beside a new post, and I wonder before clicking that button, just what you've got in store for me today ... happy, sad, funny, serious. It's always a surprise, and I really enjoy that about your work.

In thinking about this whole topic, there are many others whom I enjoy for this very reason ... seeing the wonderful variety in their thoughts and moods of writing.  I do however,  understand why it could be important to some others to choose to post under another name as described in some of the situations above.

Personally, I have not used multiples names either. There's days I'm downright low, other days pensive, other days happy enough to shout it to the world.  Whatever the mood, I'm just "me" (though some days I do feel like I have a "multiple personality disorder") LOL  
Member Seraphic
since 05-20-99
Posts 24426
Cape Cod Massachusetts USA

11 posted 10-19-2000 07:09 AM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

Well... I personally have fun cavorting about with aliases - I do keep them on the "light" side though. Sometimes I just feel like Miss-Somebody or another....

I post poetry only as myself, though.  I'd have to be writing 24/7 if I did it any other way...
doreen peri
Member Rara Avis
since 05-25-99
Posts 8028

12 posted 10-19-2000 10:53 AM       View Profile for doreen peri   Email doreen peri   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for doreen peri

i confess.... i have multiple personality disorder.... i think i have 9... lol... but 5 of them used to reside in a mental institution... but they all escaped... 2 i never use any more... but mostly... i post as ME!!! doreen... yep, that's my name, don't wear it out! :P

and if you think i'm gonna tell you all my aliases, you're all nuts... because i ain't lettin' the cat out of the bag... rofl..

but y'know what? it's fun!!    

but i will add that i understand MUCH more about how heavy a strain it is on Ceres and i'm glad i escaped the mental institution because i was probably driving Ceres nuts when all that was going on... so THANK YOU, Ron, for that explanation and i'll do my best to take my lithium and keep those alternet egos in check so as not to tap the system out...    

tap tap tap tap... hey serenity....there's PEOPLE in there!!!

i just wanna say one more thing... i LOVE you guys!!! *smooch*.... and i love this place... so please don't hate me for being a little mentally ill, ok?

and nan... you're bein' good, aren'tcha? hope so!    

Lo que eres hable tan fuerte que no oigo lo que tu dices-

[This message has been edited by doreen peri (edited 10-19-2000).]
Member Elite
since 02-16-2000
Posts 2712

13 posted 10-20-2000 11:10 AM       View Profile for Cerenity   Email Cerenity   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Cerenity


Found this post to be intresting, I wanted you to know that I try to encourage everyone I know to write poetry and a few have but do not have a computer so I let them post from mine. Now I don't know if caress thinks it's me using another name so I want to assure you that I am Cerenity and post under this name only, except in the past when computer proublems made it nessary to go by Cerenity-1. I do understand the need to use more than one user name, but for me I have chosen mine and am happy with it, I hope all comes out OK and everyone is happy here.

Love, Cerenity

"God doesn't have to be reminded that we exist.
We have to be reminded that He exist!"

(Writer Unknown)

Member Rara Avis
since 08-02-99
Posts 9130
Purgatorial Incarceration

14 posted 10-20-2000 12:27 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

so please don't hate me for being a little mentally ill, ok?

Doreen - that's WHY we love you!  
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