SuttaCentral

Formal complaint against Suttacentral for unfair treatment and discrimination

I’m just wondering what the “serious disrespect” was?

I’m assuming you’re referring to this thread:

I’ve been away for a little while and have only just had a chance to catch up on it. The title says “thought experiment”. It seems to me that Ayya was having a chat with all her friends here. @vimalanyani must have thought that this forum was a safe place for her to share her thoughts and feelings. I would hope that it is.

I can’t help wondering if you’re accusing her of attacking the Vinaya because she was openly sharing her thoughts and feelings.

I’m hoping therefore that you are very active in attending to the hundreds of monks out there attacking the Vinaya by actually engaging (not just sharing their thoughts), deceitfully, in all manner of harmful and corrupt activity - as opposed to just openly talking about their concerns.

By all means, discuss your specific concerns, politely, reasonably, backed up by evidence and example. Defend your perceptions; others who seem to share your views have certainly done so with beautiful courtesy and kind civility. But attacking anyone, monk, nun, lay person, moderator won’t be backed up by any reasonable person here.

This is the problem with typing when we’re upset. We react unfortunately. If you’re having a negative reaction due to community moderation or any other type of moderation, my advice would be, walk away from the keyboard until you calm down. You don’t defend the Buddha, his Teaching or any part of the Patimokkha by the speech displayed in your opening comments; by aligning yourself with the Buddha and these pure symbols and then displaying such contempt for the sharing done by another human being, such actions are what drag the Buddha-Dhamma down.

While others could argue that you previous posts were okay; I would find it reprehensible if anyone thought the out and out attack upon an individual in the opening of this topic was okay. It is not.

This is why both monks and nuns are afraid to share their experiences openly. Because we attack first and listen - if at all - much, much later. She was just talking. Anyone that has read anything written by this nun on this forum will see that she seems to care about the Vinaya and about the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha. Perhaps it’s best not to focus on one/few thing(s) about her views/speech that you may perceive as negative - especially when we can’t really know her well at all. Certainly not over the internet.

I’ve seen beautiful communites where someone’s gender is not a cause for shutting them down (though it’s rarely admitted that this is what is happening - and mostly because we aren’t aware of it). Such a culture, where a woman challenging the status quo is seen as a threat to be attacked, does not have to be.

Please actively support your nuns. Please listen to them when they speak. Sometimes all they want is to be heard; their issues and concerns are often so hidden; because they’ve often had a difficult time of even being allowed to ordain, let alone find the support they need to sustain their ordination. Sometimes, their speech may lead to the most beautiful, gradual changes. Let peace and compassion and wisdom be your guides in any such changes.

Support them if you can see they’re true in their love for the Triple Gem. You don’t have to agree with everything they say, but if you think there is something in what they say that is moving the Sasana towards more wisdom and peace and compassion; then support that.

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SADHU SADHU SADHU @kay
Well said!!!

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I second that! :heart::pray:

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Thank you so much Kay for saying what needed to be said and saying it so well.

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It appears to be this whole issue is about the free speech.
It appears Santas argument is that he also openly sharing his thoughts and feelings but he was punished for that.
Then the question comes what is the limitation of the free speech and what constitutes the violation of the terms of service.

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You are quite incorrect here. The issue for me is essentially based in the following words from the OP:

To me, this is slanderous speech.

As I said, others shared similiar views to Santa100 but did so with courtesy and kindness. You’ll notice the community did not hide their comments.

Further to this:

Things may have changed since I last checked this, but I don’t think this is accurate.

As I understand it - and I’m happy to be corrected on this @Vimala or @sujato - what actually happens is that the post becomes hidden and a statement appears saying something like: the community has chosen to hide this or something like that…I can’t remember the exact words. But, you can still click on a link or something to see what the comment was. So it’s not completely gone. Just disapproved of and hidden away.

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When a post has been flagged enough, the post is replaced by:

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

View hidden content.

“View hidden content” is a link that one can click to view the post.

Whether this feature is desirable by the community deserves a topic of its own. It’s unlikely the Discourse creators wouldn’t give a forum’s management an option to toggle this on/off or adjust its parameters. Personally, I don’t think it’s helpful because it gives flagged posts notoriety and attention. I always click them when I see them because they’re rare and I’m curious to see what exactly was said that was so bad that multiple people flagged it. So yeah, deserves its own topic IMO.

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@Kay and friends ,

My suggestion is before anyone flags anyone , why not talk to him or her nicely , that their languages could be offensives , see whether they can agree with you or not .Or politely says your point is one thing but don’t use words others don’t agrees !

Don’t forget those who flags others were also on the verge of angers !
Even the moderators also
get heated up !

They can team up each other with like minded people !

Therefore , why not ,
Take one step at a time . Give others a chance , this means give yourself a chance !

The button is under your fingers .
Don’t pull the trigger first , I know the moderators has the Power on their fingers tips !

After all we are all Buddhists , not mob or gangster and IS members , don’t we practise kindness anymore ?!

Ps .
Me and my moderators and volunteers ?!
Me and mines !? Not going to solve problems with this approach .
Is this not delusional ?!
Please review your statements !
No offense !

Regards .

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I also thought that Ven. Vimlanyani’s ideas about Vinaya were very unfortunate and detrimental to the future of the Buddhasasana, should they be implemented, but I don’t agree with and criticize her ideas, not her personality.

I read your comments on that thread, and while there are a few interesting ideas here and there, the general tone of your later comments seemed to be extremely inappropriate, especially when directed against a monastic person. I don’t think these comments needed to be flagged, I would generally flag only comments inciting violence or containing swearwords or overly offensive language; I also think that the sensibilities of quite many people in the West are tender to the point of ridiculousness, so flagging ends up to be somewhat overused on Western forums. However, I think it is both extremely impolite and unwholesome to talk to a monk or nun the way you did, whether you think they are good in their practice or not - again, not a criticism of your personality, but rather of your particular words.

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Supposedly that @vimalanyani , @sujato , @brahmali and some others succeed in reforming the whole of the Vinaya and the Sangha at large , what do you think will happens to Buddhism ?! Everyone else will follows this example and soon all over the world would have their own Version of Vinaya ! I really can’t imagine the outcome of it !

Regards .

Is this your imagination?

No , I said suppose , but the way they talked seems really meant it .
Otherwise , why not just focus on their trainings instead ?
Let’s forget about it , reforming or not , not in my hand , I just point out the cons of the reforming affairs and whole thing !

Isn’t this amount to a schism?

You have to discuss with all the Buddhists members , not I alone say then it is schism ! I am incapable of defining , there were many wise and intelligent people out there you can ask !
If you hold the authority ,
maybe you can say something .

Dear friends,

This thread is about forum feedback not the issue of reforming the Vinaya, schisms or anything else. Please note that any subsequent off topic posts to this thread will be deleted.

Warm regards.

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I tend to avoid these non-dhamma posts here these days, but I think I will chime in here because I do have some care for the discourse platform and I was reading the post up until it turned into a disputation fest.

I think one of the Biggest issues here has been a lack of diversity of thought. It is quite obvious and has been for a long time that the admin and mod team and many if not most of the regular posters are in general of one type of social ideology. this does tend to show in the “ganging up” that was mentioned above.

I did not follow the whole conversation, but quite frankly the few posts that I did see which were flagged, I could not see something so major and horrible to the point they needed to be hidden. I’ve been a mod on public forums many times before, I know it’s not an easy job and you will always catch flak, and santa is in general a pretty disagreeable person for sure, I’ve seen him on multiple buddhist venues, but I don’t see him as malicious, he is no doubt a very conservative Buddhist person, and this is a very liberal, progressive place, I personally think both are needed for skillful change and long lasting survival.

I think this quote from Vstakan sums it up quite nicely. Honestly It’s like in reddit where the downvote is not supposed to be a dislike button(although people use it like that anyways), a flagging should be something very serious, and not because of dislike or disagreement, or even some disrespect. That is of course if you actually want a place where people of all types feel comfortable to come and learn about the suttas. It’s not easy to find a good balance between wild west and totalitarian government, but that sweet spot is where the best forums thrive.

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Many thanks for your post Ven. Jayasara. I’ve a lot of time for the basic point you advance.

All the same I do find it a bit difficult (not to say one way or another how fair I estimate it to be, I leave it as an open question to myself) to read:

In my time as a mod, I’ve taken a number of critical comments from folk who seem to feel pretty happy assuming my ‘social ideology’, but no-one has ever actually asked.

In fairness though, if they did ask in connection to moderation, I’d reply it is irrelevant as I simply do my best to uphold the guidelines and in all but a tiny number of cases (where it was felt there was genuine potential for harm - which I feel I have to carry some responsibility for in a way that perhaps regular user doesn’t) in my moderation I have solely been concern with mode of expression not ideological content. I don’t want to speak for the other mods as it is not my place to, but speaking about them I will at least say that in my experience of working with them they likewise take great care to try and split the issues of style/content apart.

I quite agree with you that diversity in thought is a hugely valuable thing; that benefits everyone! It unfortunately appears to be so that typically where views differ unpleasantness in style increases and as you in some way recognise, our job is to try and keep this an environment in which everyone is comfortable, not just forthright, shouty types who aren’t phased by the punches of ‘vigorous’ discussion and just take that as a normal part of rough and tumble. If diversity is really the primary concern, one useful thought experiment might be to consider whose voices get drowned out by allowing the forum to be dominated by abrasive, harsh back-and-forths. My impression there are a lot of ‘absent voices’ here, and not just from the ‘conservative’ end of the spectrum.

Funnily enough, my feelings are actually aligned to a user who left the community because of his distaste for the way in which the forum was moderated; by my preference, everyone would just moderate themselves, and we’d have no need of moderators. Quite frankly I don’t see why it’s so hard for folk (not to mention mostly Buddhist folk) to take suitable care in offering divergent opinions in a reasonably kind manner.

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@brahmali, @sujato
This exactly is the only sensible way to moderate comments in any forum of decent size. With the growing number of active users, I believe it will have to go in the direction that slashdot.org has gone, the best moderation system that I have seen so far, described here:
https://slashdot.org/moderation.shtml

If it stays the way it is, there will be more and more inappropriate posts and more anger towards moderators.

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Dear ven. @Bhikkhu_Jayasara, I agree with you that moderation is quite a difficult task, and I had done it too since the ancient times of Internet. But I will have to respectfully disagree with you; I think this forum is exemplary in patience and leniency with problematic behaviour compared to any other. It is fair to such an annoying degree! And people here are so nice to the extent that many of those trusted members hardly ever use their flagging powers, let alone “gang up” on any body.

The principle is fairly simple. Discuss the “content” of what others are saying, and be friendly and respectful when you disagree. And when human nature overpowers you and aversion takes hold, apologise or at least make nice. And certainly expect some measure of moderation when you go about evaluating the quality of the posts of others and passing harsh judgements on the morality and intentions of others. You see something you don’t like simply ignore it, or if you can’t, then privately contact a moderator about it. And why?
well simply because it takes few moments to be able to imagine how judgmental behaviour such as that we saw recently in the “thought experiment” post can only discourage people from participating with a sense of safety and comfort in the future if it was to be tolerated and accepted by the community (which you seem to suggest!). And I only hope that all this conflict that was obviously motivated by the unrestrained emotional compulsions of those who think themselves to be jealous for Dhammavinaya while we’re not, will not bear negative effects on Ayya @vimalanyani and others who are watching.

This is an example of such harm that could have been avoided simply by ignoring what one doesn’t like instead of proving it inadmissible and immoral. I would wish this point to be stressed further in the guidelines. And I would generally like it if our very nice moderators can become even more quick and resolute in confronting behaviours like that on our behalf. Because in the end, a person lacking humility and full of ego will not recognise, let alone appreciate their patient and soft admonition. He will react in just this vengeful angry way that matches exactly the original moderated behaviour. There’s an irreversible consistency and momentum for self-unconscious behaviours like that and I would wish we could be spared from it through a more bold moderation.

And yes you may consider all these standards to be a cultural age-of-enlightenment renaissancian Western prejudice if you must (though they’re not necessarily that) - but fine, let it be so if the alternative is to have a forum (so-called henceforth) where participants are free to discredit each other each time they happen to disagree. Aside from the fact of course that we owe it to Western civilisation that we have an internet in the first place!
:anjal:

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There are plenty of places online to speak in harsh and violent language, so I am sure those who can’t/don’t want to govern their words carefully will have no problem finding other homes for that. I do appreciate that SC moderates this sort of thing. If I was in charge of moderating I don’t think I would have the patience the moderators here have, on what is their forum, after all.

I don’t view this specific thread as being about politics (rather about right speech), but I do agree with Bhante Jayasara’s statement very much. I think a major blindspot among Western Buddhists particularly is a filter of liberal/progressive political orientation through which we see the dhamma. I believe this is putting the cart before the horse.

If we had a forum largely composed of conservative, reactionary, militant Buddhists on here, it would be a issue too, but we don’t see that here.

To paraphrase Ajahn Fuang, “Even if your opinions are right, they are wrong if you cling to them.” I think that may have relevance for several aspects of this discussion and other volatile discussions on the board recently.

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