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No. of Recommendations: 21
I don't really have a dog in this fight.

Hey it's good to have some input from a real Mann.

I like AJ, and the interactions I had with the guy was extremely pleasant. But he's fighting the wrong fight. And a bunch of you are throwing tantrums because you fail to want to recognize the fact that when all of you log in, you agree to a set of rules for what would be appropriate and what would not be for these boards.

It would be more accurate to say that when we log in we agree to be governed by a set of poorly-defined and ambiguous rules for which TMF reserves the right to interpret in any subjective manner they please. What is "appropriate" on Tuesday may be deemed inappropriate on Wednesday.

Neither these rules nor the application of them have really changed in a decade. You can challenge me on this, but know that I have access to every post ever pulled, posting histories, etc.

O.K. I challenge you. Please review every single pulled post ever and formulate or derive a set of objective criteria concerning posting behavior. That is the point that you [i.e. TMF] are dancing around.

AJ's popular. He's a wonderful presence on this board. He also did not think that the rules should apply to him.

Did he actually ever say that the rules should not apply to him? Or is that merely a convenient spin to put on the dispute? By the way what specific rules are you talking about?

This isn't a free speech issue.

No, it's a "rationality" issue. It's hardly fair for TMF to decide that posts which are acceptable on Tuesday are suddenly unacceptable on Wednesday.

The Fool is not the government,
and it's a complete misapplication of the term to use it in this case. Joe didn't like the rules that HE AGREED TO PLAY BY when he signed up, so he pushed the envelope.

Again what objective rule(s) did he actually violate, and how can we tell?

He, unfortunately, was wrong. He's not the first person who thought that lots of favorites and recommendations made him untouchable.

This is so tautological. The only way we know that he is "wrong" is because he was banned. The reason that he was banned is because he was "wrong." No one here knows that they are "wrong" until they receive the e-mail saying they have been banned. Surely you would agree that most people don't set out to intentionally violate rules so as to get themselves banned.

You might consider the broader consequences of what you're demanding of the Fool. Should someone else popular whom you loathe be given the same special treatment? And truth be told, if Joe showed up Day 1 and began linking to some of the things he posted, I doubt he'd have gotten as much leeway. Because he was popular, Joe got tons of second chances. It was never enough.

More TMF spin. AJ's posting were considered within the rules and appropriate. Then TMF changed whatever its subjective standards were. This is called "sandbagging" in any other context.

And if you think for a split second that this is somehow a pleasurable outcome for anyone at TMF, you're very much mistaken. It would be nice -- really nice -- if we did not have to allocate a nickel to managing the conversations on these boards. But I know of no broadly available unmoderated discussion board system where that doesn't devolve into least common denominator worthlessness. One of the things that the Fool holds near and dear is that financial education should be taught in schools. Not only do we assume that there are minors on these boards -- we invite them and want them to be here. Before breaking out the "we're all adults" argument, recognize that you actually have no idea whether it's true. And by the way: it's not true.

You entirely miss the point of the discussion and the issue, which is AJ posted according to a standard of behavior which heretofore was deemed entirely acceptable by TMF, then suddenly became unacceptable. Obviously something happened and you are not being truthful or candid about why TMF suddenly decided that AJ needed to be banned. Obviously "something" must have been a catalysis for ousting AJ and you continue to dissimulate by denying that reality. The rules obviously have not "been the same for 10 years" because if that were true AJ would not have been banned.

These boards are largely self-policing (which, by the way, you might think about before you respond with "uniformly apply the rules. Our board admins can't react to a post they don't see. Hmmmm?) Some boards seem perfectly willing to wallow in their own idiocy, with no one lifting a finger to notify the admins of obectively objectional posts.

Obviously one would expect that a humor board would have lots of wallowing in idiocy.

So go, enjoy your new place if you must. I hope you'll stick around, and personally I'd love it if Joe chose to come back. But I'd hope that you will recognize the fact that Joe isn't currently posting is due to his own actions, and his own inability and unwillingess to follow the posting guidelines to which he agreed before he was ever let onto the boards in the first place. That's not a free speech issue. That's a contract.

A contract? A so-called contract whose terms are so vague that no one can tell what is expected from day to day is not really valid.

Let us all know when you have reviewed every single one of those pulled posts through history as you promised above and what set of objective posting rules you have been able to derive when you are finished. Please try to get finished with this assignment by New Year's Eve 2012.
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