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Author Topic: Compassionate Thread Kills?  (Read 10881 times)
tuxedo_cat
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« on: March 24, 2011, 5:17:43 PM »

I would like to know if there is any policy here for expunging an entire thread because it reveals very personal, possibly damaging information about a single individual -- even if that person's specific identity is likely to be known by only a few people, perhaps only by the OP.

Yes, I am referring to this trainwreck (and I will cop to contributing to the wreck).

I find it deeply disturbing that so much about this one job candidate has been revealed by the OP.  Yes, there is nothing there that would allow general readers of the fora to guess who it is.  But certainly other members of the OP's search committee would recognize her immediately.  And god forbid the candidate herself might be reading that whole discussion.  If I were her and discovered that hundreds of people had been gossiping about me, diagnosing all my supposed mental disorders and my grotesque lack of professionalism, I would be completely traumatized.  The thread would also tell me how I managed not to get a promising job offer, and that my future attempts to get a job were probably going to be sunk.

It is also clear from several comments on that thread by other job seekers that the discussion is only heightening their deep anxiety about what actually happens when they go on the job market.

I realize that the OP was genuinely asking for advice at the outset and that he wishes to do the right thing.  And I know that we often talk about specific job searches here in the interests of trying to do the right thing.  But the amount of information that has been revealed about this woman, and the discussions -- specifically about her character and history -- that have emerged about her have really crossed a line.

I, for one, would be relieved to see the whole business disappear.
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yellowtractor
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2011, 5:24:49 PM »

I don't know if there's a policy, but there's certainly precedent.  It's happened more than a few times, most recently about a month ago.  (On that occasion there was grumbling on the One-offs thread from some, including Polly_mer, who had put considerable time into trying to craft constructive responses to the OP's questions and who were unhappy that the entire thread disappeared without warning.)

My understanding is that in this last instance, the OP requested the thread be removed--precisely because, as you say above, so much personal information (in that case, by and about the OP) had been revealed.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong about this?
« Last Edit: March 24, 2011, 5:25:56 PM by yellowtractor » Logged

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crowie
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2011, 5:26:08 PM »

Why don't you PM losemygrip about it.  I think it's up to the OP if s/he thinks that the thread reveals too much or not.  

In my opinion, whatever one thinks of the individual views shared in the thread, it's actually a good representation of the range of views on the matter, and could be helpful to candidates and SC members in the future.
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tuxedo_cat
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2011, 5:31:09 PM »

Why don't you PM losemygrip about it.  I think it's up to the OP if s/he thinks that the thread reveals too much or not.  

In my opinion, whatever one thinks of the individual views shared in the thread, it's actually a good representation of the range of views on the matter, and could be helpful to candidates and SC members in the future.

Well, I said something rather obnoxious about LMG.  And I assume if he's continuing to post updates, that he sees nothing wrong with the premise of doing what he's doing.

I agree that there have been some incredibly interesting exchanges, valuable ones for both members of search committees and job candidates who have something potentially troublesome in their job background and aren't sure how to handle it.  

But I do think the basic welfare of the woman in question far outranks the value of a helpful discussion on the fora.

@YT:  ah, helpful to know.  I haven't been around long enough (or consistently enough) to have witnessed such an event.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2011, 5:32:17 PM by tuxedo_cat » Logged

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chaosbydesign
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2011, 5:34:31 PM »

I'd suggest that you PM the CHE moderator about this and let them deal with it if they think that the threads need to go. It's not something the member-mods can make a decision on, I don't think.
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yellowtractor
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2011, 5:36:33 PM »

I'd suggest that you PM the CHE moderator about this and let them deal with it if they think that the threads need to go.

I just did this, actually--and asked if they wanted to reply to this thread, also.
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larryc
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2011, 5:55:36 PM »

I can understand why some would want the thread deleted and you might be correct. At the same time it is quite illuminating and ventures into territory that we do not talk enough about. Certainly anyone with a checkered employment records who is on the market should read it.
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lyndonparker
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2011, 6:23:08 PM »

While there was a great deal of speculation on the other thread, the OP actually said very little that would disclose the identity of the candidate. I feel that this discussion is valuable, as questions frequently arise regarding whether or not to leave certain jobs off one's CV. Based upon this discussion, one should not do so.
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voxprincipalis
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2011, 6:43:22 PM »

As others have said, it's a decision for the M-mods.

If I have a vote, though, I vote it stays. If there is a need to edit out any particular details, the M-mods can do that, but the discussion is a valuable one and it should indeed stand as an object lesson for those who might face similar conundrums (on either side of the hiring table).

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infopri
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2011, 7:43:07 PM »

I actually didn't see LMG's thread as that much of a trainwreck, frankly.  While any other SC member would undoubtedly recognize the situation--as would the candidate him-/herself (although many folks referred to the candidate as male, I don't think LMG ever said so, unless I missed the reference)--none of the rest of us are likely to be able to figure out the candidate's identity.  Presumably, should that applicant ever apply to where we work, he or she will have found a better way by then to deal with the problematical job, and thus we won't recognize him or her.

As for the unkind things people said about the candidate, LMG, and/or the SC, none of these comments were any worse than some I see every day here on the fora.  Any of us can find at least half a dozen threads where someone has suggested (on little or no real evidence) that someone else (usually a non-forumite, as far as we know) is psychotic, bipolar, abusive, a drunk or a drug abuser, or something else.  No one has ever suggested expunging any of those threads.  I agree with those who say that LMG's thread provides an interesting and perhaps valuable discussion about a situation that is probably not unique, at least in its broad outline.  I vote for keeping it.
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mountainguy
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2011, 7:51:52 PM »

Quite frankly, I've found the varying points of view on that thread thought-provoking. And unless I'm missing something, I don't see any posts from Losemygrip that would make the candidate easily identifiable. If there is, perhaps a compromise could be for the staff mods to scrub the overly detailed information.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2011, 7:53:15 PM by mountainguy » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2011, 7:53:43 AM »

Folks,

I don't see any reason to remove the thread entirely. I could, however, edit out a few words here and there if the OP feels there are details that might give the candidate away (I didn't see any though).

Best wishes,

moderator
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