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PW Parcel Tax Limitation Policy: Results to Date

Original post made by frank on Apr 5, 2009

I took a snapshot of the PW parcel tax posting policy which selectively limits who can post on any thread that involves this subject. These results are observations made at about 5:00 PM, April 5. The goal was to understand the effect this type of limiting of who can post is having on the public discussion. Some call it a form of censorship, while the PW views it as their justifiable right to enforce civility.

One web page worth of posts at this particular time consisted of 26 subjects, of which the astounding number of 11 posts (nearly 44%) were parcel tax subjects that subsequently became limited to registered users. In the 11 posts there were 67 comments total. This averages very closely to 6 comments per posted subject. This number is incredibly low given the subject is "hot" in Pleasanton. Can one assume that the policy is essentially throttling down discussion on any one subject within the broader issue of the parcel tax?

The fact that posters are starting an unusual number of new subjects is a direct result of the policy, which tends to shut down discussion on the former subjects, as evidenced by the very low number of comments. I did not enumerate it, but it struck me that most of the new threads are initiated by NO PARCEL TAX advocates who have bothered to register. These advocates of NO tend to be the same vocal ones. In each thread a few YES PARCEL TAX supporters weigh in, again those who have bothered to register. It appeared to me that none of the newly initiated subjects were initiated by YES PARCEL TAX supporters. Furthermore, the vast number of us unregistered readers are SHUT OUT!

So, it seems the PW is waging a war against mostly those who are against the parcel tax, and implicitly saying they are uncivil.

The PW has two more months to go with this policy, and it will only get worse for them, not better. They can't win on this. Either everyone registers, or no one does!

Comments (8)

Posted by Standards, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 5, 2009 at 6:16 pm

I for one am glad to see that the Pleasanton Weekly is finally starting to establish standards and expectations with their blogs. For far too long this thing has just been a faceless, factless, careless free-for-all. PW - you must stand for something or you stand alone. Keep monitoring and holding posters accountable.


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Apr 5, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Therefore, Standards will now rush to register so he/she is not accused of being a hypocrite after writing "its" post as an anonymous entity. After all, "it", Standards that is, is standing for something.


Posted by Standards, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 5, 2009 at 6:28 pm

Thank you Frank - it only took you seven minutes to prove my point. I will, however, unlike you, refrain from name calling. If restricted, I have no objection.


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Apr 5, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Oh, so sensitive. Where's the name-calling in my post? Are you a hypocrite? And are you going to register? Don't like being caught in the hypocrisy, do you!


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of Birdland
on Apr 5, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Um, I believe accusing someone of being a hypocrite could be considered my many people as name-calling Frank.

If you have something to say that's worthwhile, why not put your real name to it.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 5, 2009 at 7:45 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Getting accused of name-calling when not really calling anyone a name is very normal for this site. It reminds me of someone believing Jennifer Cohn called another poster a "drunk troll" when, in fact, she didn't. No amount of registration is going to solve poor reading comprehension.


Posted by Kathleen, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 5, 2009 at 7:49 pm

Kathleen is a registered user.

The other hypocrisy is if you register, you can give a fake name and address and an alias email. I prefer it being open to all, use the objectionable content button, call each other out on bad behavior.


Posted by LCG, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 6, 2009 at 4:07 pm

LCG is a registered user.

In no way are you or any other community member (for or against the parcel tax) "SHUT OUT" of these boards. You have the same ability as anyone to register. It is a choice, pure and simple. I believe that
pro-parcel tax postings have decreased because many of the pro-parcel tax crowd have found a new outlet for their opinions. The Yes on Measure G campaign is in full swing and many in the community are rallying behind it as a positive and constructive way to get the information out to a much broader audience than these boards. In the early months of this year, when this community was just beginning to learn of the budget issues and its implications for our children's education, the PW boards were one of the only public forums to discuss it. There were a lot of questions and concerns to be addressed. But frankly, so many community members have found these blogs to be full of name calling, comments meant primarily to "stir the pot" and plenty of incorrect information from both sides of the issue that they gave up in frustration. Many of the people I know don't even read these boards anymore because it was just too frustrating. And realistically, we need to get accurate information out to community members who do not know the issue. Posting on this board does more to satisfy our inner need to be heard and right than it does to truly get information out there, because my guess is that most of the PW board readers have already made their decision, our postings have little influence.


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