06 June 2010 8:17 am
After noticing that a Whirlpool forum update had been hidden by a moderator, I sent the following to the one responsible, who goes by the handle “Dead Parrot”:

I'm confused about your reason for hiding my post. The intent was just to update on the original problem.

Please clarify.

8:31 am Dead Parrot responded:
I understand that you were trying to clarify, but your document includes quotes from private correspondence, which we don't allow here for two reasons - see http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/?tag=WP_PersonalDetails

11:48 am I replied:
The post reads:
While the modem does evidently crash at times, sometimes it's just glacially slow. Subsequent experience is documented at http://david.boxall.id.au/bluemaxx/timeline.html#20100518.

The linked log file http://david.boxall.id.au/ipstar/log/2010051721.csv shows the modem coming back after failing to respond for several minutes at a time.

Which details do you interpret as "quotes from private correspondence"?

3:03 pm Dead Parrot responded:
Doesn't the log file have details of conversations in it?

If I'm mistaken, I apologise..

[A]Here, the emphasis shifts from the contents of the post to those of a link within the post. From this, I deduce that:
- the mere presence of the word “log” in a post is sufficient to have Dead Parrot interfere;
- Dead Parrot believes all log files record the contents of human-to-human correspondence and;
- Dead Parrot didn't check before acting.
None of which explains why Dead Parrot misrepresented my post (“includes quotes from private correspondence”) when I first queried its censoring.

4:39 pm I replied:
You are mistaken.

7:29 pm Dead Parrot responded:
I don't think I am mistaken - that link includes various correspondence made to you from Bluemaxx and the TIO, which would be removed if posted on Whirlpool as posts - and linking to a site that has them is no better.

[B]The emphasis shifts again, this time from the log file to my web site. This, I interpret as Dead Parrot attempting to obfuscate an error.

To characterise the content of an open web site as in any way private or personal is perverse. If indeed, similar content would be “removed if posted on Whirlpool”, then it's at best unwise[2]. The policy does not support Dead Parrot's assertion that “linking to a site that has them is no better”.

9:43 pm I replied:
Nothing on that site is private.

On reflection, that's not entirely accurate. The content could be considered private to me. By publishing on the Web, however, I've made it public.

7:31 pm another missive from Dead Parrot:
[C]Please remove the link from your other posts too, especially the OP (opening post)

In case the opening post disappears, it is reproduced below:
After failing to download email, then to update virus signatures, I noticed that my satellite modem was not responding. The modem's lights indicated a connection to the satellite, but attempts to access its user interface with Internet Explorer failed.

My experimental data logger – http://david.boxall.id.au/ipstar/ – had crashed hours earlier. The remnant log file – http://david.boxall.id.au/ipstar/log/2010031702.ods – indicates that the modem began to fail at 02:18:20 UTC and did not respond at all after 02:20:15 (lines 219 and 232 of the file). Adding ten hours, to adjust UTC to the EST used by Bluemaxx in the usage record – http://david.boxall.id.au/bluemaxx/Usage201003.pdf -, it seems the problem coincides roughly with the time that my service was shaped.

Did Bluemaxx's shaping crash the modem?

I cannot imagine any twist of interpretation that could lead to the conclusion Dead Parrot asserts.

9:47 pm I replied:
Have you actually looked at those links? You're making a fool of yourself.

10:24pm Dead Parrot responded:
I refer you to the link I sent you earlier - http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/?tag=WP_PersonalDetails - which explains our rule about quoting private correspondence.

If you wish to discuss the matter further please start a thread in Talk With A Mod: /forum/134

On 7 June 2010, the relevant part of the policy read:
The posting of private correspondence[1] (Whims, emails, etc) or transcripts[2] of private conversations (phone calls, face-to-face discussions) are not permitted, for two reasons:

1. There is no way to verify the validity of the text[3]; and
2. There may be copyright implications
[4] arising from the publication of such private communication, in a public forum, without permission of both parties (see http://www.dcita.gov.au/ip/digital_rights_management,_and_digital_and_online_ip/copyright_reform_and_the_digital_agenda/digital_agenda_copyright_reforms_-_frequently_asked_questions)[5].

Public announcements (such as ISP mass mail outs, etc) are considered already in public view, and are thus considered fair game for re-posting. In cases where such an announcement is made on a website, posting the URL is preferred to posting the complete text.

The posting of IRC / ICQ / MSN / Yahoo / etc logs is not permitted, because there is no way to verify the validity of the logs[3], they may breach copyright[4], and they often contain content unsuitable for Whirlpool (swearing, discussion of warez, etc).

[1] The terms “posting” and “private” are not defined. Assuming what is legally termed the “ordinary” meanings, they would not normally relate to links or business.
[2] In my experience of the legal system, quotation is more credible than interpretation (e.g. He said “[something]” is preferred over He said that [something]). The policy seems to reverse that. Whirlpool is no court of law, but this is peculiar.
[3] I've heard it said that our assessment of others reveals something of what we know about ourselves. Here, the policy twice assumes of others: dishonesty.
[4] Where content remains on a web site, consent is inferred*. In any event, this is a question for the courts to decide (if necessary).
[5] The link is dead.

* In my case, as perusal of the site will confirm, Bluemaxx has been referred to the web site more than once when their own records failed them. It was, for example, instrumental in resolving my TIO complaint. Bluemaxx therefore incontestably know of the publication. They have not sought its removal. The inference is thereby confirmed.

On the evidence, it seems that a key word or phrase in my post triggered an automatic response by Dead Parrot. When challenged, the moderator was unwilling or unable to genuinely reconsider.

With repeated changes of tack ([A] & [B]) and egregious misrepresentations ([A] & [C]), Dead Parrot's reactions look intriguingly like a study in cognitive dissonance as the moderator apparently struggled to believe that the behaviour does not need correction.

Dead Parrot's behaviour exposes a lack of training and supervision. Fatigue probably also played a part (more than 12 hours separate the moderator's first and last messages). Both indicate significant problems within Whirlpool's management. Inadequacies of the policy involved reinforce that conclusion.

10 June 2010 4:04 pm
Under the heading Reconsideration request, I posted the following to http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum/134

I have a problem with the hiding of two posts:
http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1417205&p=1#r5 and

The sequence of events, my analysis and conclusion are at http://david.boxall.id.au/deadparrot.html. At the time, only one post had been hidden.

Please note that your reaction will not be private.

The additional hidden post is not the opening post, to which Dead Parrot objected[C], but another which I think contained a link to my Bluemaxx Timeline (as it's now inaccessible, I can't confirm that). This, I interpret as tacit acknowledgement that the objection to the opening post was ill-conceived.

10 June 2010 4:11 pm
CoreyBot responded:
Please see Non-Commercial Advertising and Personal Details and Private Conversations.

12 June 2010 2:54 pm
I replied:
Linking to relevant information on a web site is advertising?

Interesting twist.

10 June 2010 4:48 pm
Dead Parrot responded (to my request for reconsideration):
I asked you to consider hiding the other post/s which contained the same link. This was meant to be seen as a act of generosity – I could have just hidden them too[D]. Due to the fact that you have made no such change, I've now deleted the thread[E].

Now I find that you are making all sorts of accusations[F] about what I did, why I did it and various negative conclusions – not just here but on a public[G] website.

Read the rules quoted above: they tell the story[H]. You need to abide by these rules if you wish to participate in these forums.

[D] Before posting the Reconsideration request, I found that the single additional post that actually contained a link was hidden. I presume that's what Dead Parrot means by “just hidden”.
[E] It seems Dead Parrot spat the dummy. Oh, dear!
[F] Is that what I did? My aim is to accurately render the issues
[G] Here may lie the nub of the problem. Dead Parrot, it seems, is accustomed to working in secrecy. If Dead Parrot is the student of history indicated at http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/?tag=wp_mods, then s/he should be well aware of the hazards inherent in the secretive exercise of power.
[H] The rules may tell a story, but does that story support Dead Parrot's behaviour?

12 June 2010 2:58 pm
I replied:
I call it as I see it. It's a pity that you've taken the action you have.

The evidence is in the public domain. Which of the facts listed do you consider inaccurate?

I'm now “In the penalty box” and apparently unable to post to Whirlpool fora. That's sad.

14 July 2010
More than a month later, Dead Parrot's silence tacitly acknowledges the accuracy of my account.

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