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#4305: Welcome to the Haiti list : revised version of today
Welcome to Bob Corbett's mailing list. This is an active place for
news, discussion and items of interest about Haiti. I urge you to
participate with us as you will.
To post to the list, please send your message to:
You may not post directly to the list. It is a moderated list and I am
the moderator. I will send on *most* messages that you want posted to
the group that deal with Haiti. But I do NOT guarantee that every post
will be posted to the entire list. Below I try to give some guidelines
for what will and won't be posted, but I can't give a clear legalistic
set of guidelines. I just do my best to be open and fair, but sensitive
to limits at the same time. I make no guarantees. This is a private
list I established for such interchange, and it is not governed by the
democratic will of the membership. I solicit and respect peoples' views
about how to run the list, but the decisions of what gets posted and what
not, are my own to make.
All messages posted to the list are archived but the archive is not
currently publically available. I hope it will be some day.
First the easy stuff. The following will not be posted:
1. Messages which are not directly and centrally about HAITI.
This is not a list about the Caribbean or any other issues
of vital importance, no matter how vital. It's about
2. Messages which are not in English. I established this list
as an English speaker and writer to serve those who wished
to talk about Haiti in that language alone.
3. I will not post items which are solicitations of funds for
projects in Haiti no matter how important the projects
are. Most of us on this list have our own awareness of
charitable and development opportunities for funds
we wish to donate and the list would be a string of
4. This is not a commercial site. There are no ads and I will
not take ads, nor will I allow the list to be used
to support and particular businesses. It's just not
a commercial site in any form whatsoever.
5. I will not publish general notes about web sites. Again,
there would be too many. We are nearly 1000 subscribers.
Most have their own web sites with a significant Haiti
presence. I will post the url for a web-based item that
is a direct reply to some item on the list.
6. In the same vein, this is an E-MAIL list, not a web site
announcer. If you have something to post, please do
not just sent a web address; post the item itself.
7. As moderator of the list I will select when and when not to
post an item if it is "iffy" in relation to the above
criteria. I am not always consistent in following the
above guidelines, but do the best I can.
8. I will try to limit posts that duplicate each other, and
generally do not post "me too" posts, where the person
is merely agreeing with (or even disagreeing with) a
previous note, but adds nothing new of significance.
9. I generally do not "edit" posts. I will either post them
or delete them. Only in the rarest occasion will I
edit a post, but I do reserve the right to do so.
10. Often a "thread" a line of discussion, will begin specifically
about "Haiti," and soon the discussion moves to a higher
level of abstraction. When it does so I will cease to
post the items. I stick with posts that are specifically
and explicitly about Haiti, not about general principles.
So, to use a common example, a post may begin by discussing
economic development in HAITI, and very quickly shift to
general theories of development. At that point I quit posting
the items to the Haiti list. Again, this list is about
Haiti, not about generally interesting (or even RELEVANT)
general principles. It is specifically about Haiti alone.
11. I will NOT post items that are in all capital letters, or
nearly so. In internet etiquette that is taken to be
the equivalent of shouting.
Some notes about FORM of posts.
1. This is a moderated list. Only I may post to the list, so all
posts are sent to me at: email@example.com Please be careful,
if you send me a private note, indicate that in the SUBJECT LINE.
If I don't see that I will assume it is a list post and it may
well go out to everyone.
2. Please do not write over the top of another note. If you want
a couple of sentences of a post to which you are replying, fine. But,
we all got the original post. We don't need it again. I may well
just delete your whole post if you write it over the top of an old post.
3. Please write your own subject line. This should include a brief
topic description and your name. This way people have the freedom to
choose which topics they will read and whose posts they will read or
4. You are welcome to post anonymously if you wish. Just
be sure to let me know, otherwise your e-mail address will go out
with the post.
5. Many posts I receive are actually directed rather personally to
some other person who has posted. The person's e-mail address is
on their post. Please write directly to them and not to me.
If you write to me I may delete it, I may post it to the whole group,
or I may send it on to the individual. My discretion.
6. **Important note on privacy**: This is an e-mail list and a private one.
I will not give out the list itself to anyone. I do not keep a personal
record of who is on the list and the majordomo at Webster University
where the list is maintained, does not record names, but ONLY e-mail
addresses. In my private mail list I have the names and e-mail addresses
of only about 20-25 list members, so I don't even have people's e-mail
addresses to share.
Note that since what you post on the list goes to well over 1000 people
once you choose to post something it is "out there" in cyber-space
and is no longer private. I can't take any responsibility for the
privacy of what you post to the list.
Certainly the most controversial part of my moderating the list is
my seemingly unusual policy on censorship. I am a firm believer
in freedom of expression and rarely censor anything as unacceptable.
Occasionally yes, but very rarely. In that regard I have nothing
but some vague and undefinable notion of what is acceptable and not
acceptable. In posting well over 20,000 items in the past 5 years
I have not used this general notion of "being unacceptable in some
general sense" more than a dozen times.
However, there is ONE area where I do have a policy that generates
a great deal of frustration and anger on the part of would-be-posters.
I will NOT post personal attacks on list members in response to things
they have posted ON THIS LIST. I want people to feel free to say
whatever is on their mind about Haiti, or about public figures connected
with Haiti. However, when a person says such things on the list and others
want to disagree with them FINE. This is ideal. But I only accept
attacks on their ideas, not on their persons.
Thus a post that reads something like this: "Smith wrote in and
said x, y, and z, and I think Smith is completely wrong for these
reasons....." this is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged to
enrich our discussion and perspectives.
But, one that says "Smith wrote in and said x, y, and z, and we
can see what kind of person Smith is....." will NOT be posted.
Just leave the person 100% out of it and address the issues and
the arguments made, but not the person him or herself in any form.
This rule ONLY applies to posts that individuals ON THIS LIST write
to THIS LIST. If list members publish elsewhere, in books, magazines,
or in cyberspace; or if list members are also public figures, then
what they write in other places, or they themselves as public figures,
are fair game for criticism, just as we might criticize any other
public figure. But, I will not accept personal attacks on list members
for what they say on the list itself. That is protected space.
To underscore this: I do not protect people IN GENERAL from personal
attacks. I only protect list members from being personally attected when
people are resonding to what the other wrote ON this list.
On the other hand, I am often criticized for not protecting "groups."
I don't. Groups, including even the "Haiti people" (whatever that means)
may be attacked on list and have been. I only protect list members when
posting on the list itself.
While this protection of the civility of interchange on the LIST is
frequently criticized by people who fall prey to my censorship, in
most other ways I hold among the most open positions of non-censorship
and seem willing to go beyond the limits many other approve in general
openness to thoughts and ideas, often of ones I personally utterly
abhor and am shocked by. But, I let them be. Just not this area of
personal attacks of list members alone for what they say on the list
This is a private, moderated list. I welcome your comments and criticisms,
but list policy is not set by the will of the list. I am the moderator
and am solely responsible for setting and carrying out list policy.
A FEW RELATED MATTERS:
1. I also maintain a web page with a wide-variety of Haiti-ralated
materials. I encourage you to visit this site:
2. In case you are interested in books on Haiti for your own library,
I do buy and sell books on Haiti and maintain probably the largest
list of books on Haiti (in English) for sale. Just drop me an
e-mail note asking for the list and I'll mail it out to you, or
you will find my list on my web page at the Haiti library site.
The url address is:
It is a delight to have you on the list, please enjoy and join us as you
Best, Bob Corbett