Monday, May 11, 2009 at 9:27 PM - Response #3
I had a classmate who I knew fairly well in high school, but did not run with, who put up a questionable picture of kids having fun in high school. The people in the picture are now lawyers, veternarians, and one is a high ranking appointee for Obama. I went in and deleted the picture and the "egg on" comments.
She is not an internet socializer and may not realize that something done in jest can escalate. To her question as to who asked that it be removed, this is what I said:
"No, no one had it removed or asked that it be removed. I made the decision alone. I hope you will understand my thinking. The only person I owe an explanation to is you. I have no intention of making this a big deal, would just as soon it be put behind us, and hope the whole discussion stops here.
Subjectively, it was a hard decision. I know when you put it up, you meant no harm. It was all in fun, and the responses indicated that it was being taken that way.
Objectively, the decision was easier. I have to have respect for all the people who will be joining the site. There were numerous people in the picture, and we have no guarantee that they would all see the humor in the misadventures of their youth being pictured in a semi-public forum. Although the site is private, a 'right click/save as' on the computer, and anyone can own a picture, sharing it wherever they want. In addition, as we collect more classmates, there might be some who would take offense. We cannot allow obscenities on the site. Let's face it: Raymond was being obscene. Granted it was minor, but that leads me to the most important reason: boundaries. We are trying very hard to make this a positive experience for everyone. People will be joining who we did not know well, and they may not be as nice as those of us who arrived first. The thought could easily be, "Well, if she put that up, then I will put this up." Every picture getting progressively worse until the site has taken on a new personality where many are uncomfortable, some are angry, and a great number leave. We don't want that to happen.
As I said, this was not really a big deal, but I had to look at the bigger picture, and my experiences on other social sites has lead me to be very cautious about public postings."
Within 15 minutes, I had an apology as did several of the classmates who had messaged her about it.
If she had continued or argued beyond a reaasonable amount, I would have sadly deleted her from the site after warning her.
You can post a disclamer. Will they read it or heed it? There are always those who want to see how far they can push the rules while most of the people on our sites are adults and professionals who know the rules of safe social interaction.
Actions speak louder than words.
Weslaco High School 67-68-69