This is a short, but amusing section. The SFWA Board is falsely charging me with publicizing confidential SFWA material while openly violating the SFWA discussion forum confidentiality rules itself.
2. Publication of confidential SFWA material
Mr. Beale has violated this policy on at least one occasion in the past (see Fig A.7) and been reprimanded for it (see Fig A.8). More recently, he has quoted on his blog of June 5, 2013, “Seriously Fascist Women’s Association”, from a warning received from Forum moderator Cat Rambo: “It’s also intriguing to see how these liberal fascists claim labeling two old men ‘sexist bigots’ and openly calling for an end to their column is acceptable, but identifying them as ‘censorious’ is, and here I quote the SFWA moderator, ‘abusive behavior’.” (See Fig A.9) The phrase “abusive behavior” is, in fact, an automatically-generated heading for the message sent to Mr. Beale, but Mr. Beale seems to have believed that he was publishing Ms. Rambo’s own words and intended to do so. A post made to the SFWA online forums on June 1, 2013 provides more evidence that he believed he was posting Ms. Rambo’s own words: “And speaking of those differences, the fact that my expression of my opinion about MsTobler’s laudable example, which is entirely sincere, was declared by Cat Rambo to be “abusive behavior” and somehow merits a schoolmarmish ‘warning’ only underlines how intellectually feeble and fascistic the organization has become over time.” (See Fig A.10) While the content he was reproducing was innocuous, this example suggests that despite an earlier warning and sanction he has shown little respect for the confidentiality of SFWA material.
In light of this charge, it is indeed ironic that in the Appendix to the report, the Board member and Board-appointed investigator Matthew Johnson violates the discussion forum confidentiality rules no less than nine times by re-posting screencaps taken from the SFWA Forum without my permission. The SFWA Forums clearly state: “The SFWA discussion forums are for SFWA members only, and all posts made
here are confidential. Material may not be re-posted outside these
forums without the explicit permission of their authors.”
Just to provide one of the nine examples of his violation of the confidentiality rules, as can be seen in the image to the right, the Canadian Regional Director clearly re-posted the Forum message I posted on 01 June, 2013 – 08:28 PM on Page 11 of SFWA Discussion Forums→ SFWA Publications→ SFWA Bulletin→ Issue 202. I did not grant permission for any such reposting. The text is as follows:
It’s not hard at all. Whining about sexism and racism bores me too. Sweet Saint Sanger, how it bores me! But do you not understand that there are a number of SFWA members who, judging by their blogs and their books, truly aren’t interested in doing anything else? If it’s not complaining about the Dialogues, or complaining about me, or complaining about someone else insufficiently kowtowing to their views, they’ll complain about the number of books published by women, or the number of books reviewed by women, or the number of books published by women but not reviewed, etc.
I’m not going to pretend that the two gentlemen concerned hold me spellbound with their meanderings in every issue, but the institutional memory they represent, and the occasional golden tidbit they produce amidst the dross, is well worth putting up with their idiosyncracies. Perhaps you disagree. That’s fine; I imagine one or the other will be dead soon enough and all the offended parties can dance on their graves. But in the meantime, it doesn’t materially harm anyone to let them remind us of what science fiction used to be, regardless of whether one regrets or celebrates the fact that it is different now. If one can’t respect the men or their opinions, one should at least be able to respect their past service to the organization.
And speaking of those differences, the fact that my expression of my opinion about Ms Tobler’s laudable example, which is entirely sincere, was declared by Cat Rambo to be “abusive behavior” and somehow merits a schoolmarmish “warning” only underlines how intellectually feeble and fascistic the organization has become over time.
Furthermore, there is evidence that the Canadian Regional Director knowingly and willfully violated the SFWA discussion forum confidentiality rules based on whose permission he sought to obtain in the process of writing his report, and whose permission he did not seek. And in its endorsement of his report by vote, the entire Board now bears responsibility for that publication of confidential SFWA material from the discussion forums.
More importantly, the charge itself not only contains an indictment of the Board, but the information that exonerates me concerning the same charge. Johnson correctly points out “The phrase “abusive behavior” is, in fact, an automatically-generated heading for the message sent to Mr. Beale.”
That is true. The phrase was contained in an email sent to me, and while I did incorrectly believe they were Ms Rambo’s own words, I also knew it could not possibly be covered by SFWA discussion forum confidentiality rules because the phrase was contained in an email delivered to my inbox. Johnson’s logic is incorrect and “this example” cannot possibly suggest “that despite an earlier warning and sanction he
has shown little respect for the confidentiality of SFWA material” for the obvious reason that the automatically-generated heading was not covered by any SFWA confidentiality rules.
It is, in fact, entirely clear that I have considerably more respect for the confidentiality rules than he does, as there are more than 20 violations of discussion forum confidentiality in his report alone.
UPDATE: SFWA President Steven Gould repeats his appeal to nonexistent “confidentiality”. Only this time it is nonexistent “professional confidentiality” as opposed to nonexistent “SFWA confidentiality rules”:
The SFWA Board would like to thank members for their strong support and patience as we continue the investigation of recent complaints against one of our members. Because our mandate and desire is to respect all parties by maintaining confidentiality, details of the investigation will continue to be private. However, as the member under investigation has not respected professional confidentiality, we have been asked about the possibility of information becoming public that would inappropriately identify individuals. Please be assured that, per our standard procedures, no members who wrote to the Board to express their opinions were identified in this report, and any portions of emails which were included were reproduced with their authors’ permissions.
Steven Gould, President
For the Board
What is this “professional confidentiality” of which he speaks? Attorney-Client? Doctor-Patient? Notice too that Gould admits the Board obtained permission from some members, while we know it did not do so for others, thus proving that the Board was aware it was repeatedly violating the discussion forum confidentiality rules by re-posting forum posts.
UPDATE II: Despite the fact that it is he and Matthew Johnson who have been violating the SFWA discussion forum confidentiality rules, Mr. Gould has removed my access to them. Which was sort of redundant, as they had already banned everyone from discussing my case and blocked me from posting there since July 4th.
Dear Mr. Beale,
Effective immediately, I have directed our webmaster to remove your access to the SFWA discussion boards for repeated violations of of the SFWA Discussion Forum Guidelines, specifically:
Reading privileges will not ordinarily be curtailed. However, posting forum messages outside the forums without permission can lead to losing reading privileges.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
Now, I knew he would be an inept president, but his performance here is truly remarkable.
§ 107 . Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use
the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted
work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by
any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as
criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies
for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of