Message Number: YG1208 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-03-13 10:40:00 UTC
Subject: What is Inappropriate on this List (the Final Word)

To the Ferret Health List:

Over the last several days, the four moderators of this list have
spent an inordinate amount of time rejecting posts, editing posts,
and conducting discussions with a few individuals concerning the
propriety of non-health-related material contained in posts. To
date, except for one of my late-night slip-ups, this material has not
been posted to the list, due to the watchfulness of the four
moderators (Chris Bennett, Sukie Crandall, Mike Janke, and myself.)

The subject of this discussion group is Ferret Health - this is why
the vast majority of you signed on - to exchange information about

This is not eBay, nor is this alt.pets.ferrets. This is not a place
to solicit donations for your shelter, or hawk your wares, no matter
how groundbreaking they are. There are other lists and other
discussion groups to do that, and you are in the wrong place.

Recently, there has been a great discussion offline on tax-exempt
status of shelters. A wide number of shelters have them, and some
don't, and that is all fine. But it is not fodder for the FHL, and
the moderators will no longer discuss it, on or off line.

The following are items that will no longer be tolerated on the FHL:

1. Advertising items that you sell - whether in the body of your
message, or in your signature. Get those adds off. If you want
people to go to your web site and you have a generic address in your
signature block, that is acceptable. But no more shilling on the
list, period. It you are offering advice in order to promote a
product, you have no objectivity, and your lack or credibility bleeds
over onto the rest of us.

2. Soliciting donations of any type.

3. Any comments regarding tax-exempt status, or inclusion of that
information in signature lines. It is a subtle appeal for donations,
and IS noticed.

The overwhelming majority of the list members understand the point of
this list, and that it is a civil exchange of health information. We
are careful to try to keep it on-topic, and occasionally, we bounce
posts that we know are not on-topic, or that may engender unwanted
controversy on the list. But lately the time that we are expending
on a small number of invdividuals who persist in arguing fine
political points has detracted from our ability to do the real work.

There was also a complaint about my closing of a thread, that it did
not allow rebuttal. Threads are closed on all lists when they are
not fruitful - when opposing sides simply voice the same old tired
arguments that we have heard before, and offer nothing new. They are

This is the bottom line - while the list is public, no one has the
RIGHT to publish whatever they want on it. If you cannot abide by
the same rules that everyone else does, we will unsubscribe you. We
no longer have time to mess around - there is much more important
work to be done. If you can't abide by the rules, or think they are
unfair, you can post elsewhere. We do not enjoy banning individuals,
but we have already done it once, and will not hesitate in the future.

(Good guy mode turned back on...)

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams, DVM, DACVP
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