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Anonymity thread for orchestral double bassists

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by Chris Fitzgerald, Mar 19, 2006.

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  1. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Now that this forum is starting to see more action, it's also beginning to experience what I call "growing pains" - heated exchanges between members, many of whom have nearly empty profiles. Quite honestly, I've never been able to understand what possible satisfaction an adult could possibly get out of this kind of argument, but I know not everyone agrees on this.

    Just recently, Francois has had to close one audition thread because an anonymous member created an uproar by posting negative rumors about a person whom he named by name. This person was temporarily banned from the forum because of this. Now we are starting to get some requests to open that thread back up, and I'm torn. On one hand, I would love to see the forum serve the purpose for which it is intended: to spread information about what's going on on the audition scene. On the other, I don't want it to become a negative rumor mill, and especially not one where the rumors come from anonymous sources...we will not let that happen.

    A couple of things that should be made clear right from the start:

    * People who log on in an obvious attempt to hound either another member or another musician taking auditions - i.e., users with titles like "John X is an ***hole", or "Jane Doe can't play in tune" - will be permabanned immediately, and their IP addresses will be kept for records. Before anybody asks, yes, this has happened more than once.

    * People who post under screen names only who post in a controversial or combative manner will be kept on a very short leash. If you're not willing to stand behind what you're saying, I'm not willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, and I believe I speak for Francois as well when I say this, seeing as he's the "profile Nazi" on the board. :)

    Beyond that, I'd like to hear from the folks who frequent this particular forum about the subject of anonymity here at TB. If you insist on remaining anonymous, why? If not, why? Do you look at posts by anonymous members differently than posts by those who stand behind what they say by signing their name to it? Paul has informed me that I cannot require people to identify themselves here, and I respect his wishes. At the same time, I saw a lot of angry people in the closed (Milwaukee) audition thread when an anonymous member spread an anonymous rumor. How can we best resolve situations like that? My take on it has always been that if a person isn't willing to identify themselves, I'm not willing to concern myself with giving any weight to their words beyond whether they make any sense or not, but you all may have other ideas.

    What say, orchestral TBers?
  2. I think it was right that there was punishment involved in this last case. I just think that when negative rumors are coming up, whether anonymous or not, they ought to be dealt with.

    It wouldn't have mattered to me if a source had been named or not. The comment itself was completely unnecessary.
  3. Anonymous2


    Feb 27, 2006
    I think it wouldn't hurt to close most of these audition forums for awhile. I only made up a name out of disgust with what Masterbass stated about Detroit. I have long been astounded about the fallacies that surface on this webpage. Most of the people who talk about this stuff are people who are not closely involved in these auditions. Most of it is mindless rubbish that most players would rather it not be circulated. I only made up the name Anonymous2 because I didn't want to look biased or to have anyone know who I am. Generally speaking, many posts on these audition blogs can be insulting, embarassing, and incorrect. I also have been bothered in the past with people "laying down the law" about auditions when many of these people never have even participated in an audition!
  4. That is the thing about anonymity... it empowers the weak minded. And once a weak minded person feels that power, they feel compelled to use and abuse it. For some strange reason, it offers them a sense of satisfaction to see other people get upset about what they say. Further, when they see they are having an impact, it fuels the fire and can ruin a good forum.

    That is why forums have to be moderated. It is a very challenging job. But if it is stated clearly up front that, no matter what folks think about free speech and how it applies to these forums, this is NOT a free speach zone. It is an 'open and scrutinized' speach zone where some thoughts and comments will be blown away without remorse. Especially if they are deemed by the owners/moderators of this forum, to be inappropriate, offensive or otherwise uselss. That evaluation is really not up to debate. If you (the ubiquitous 'you') want to speak freely, put up your own forum and speak away! If you are easily upset about the fact that your controversial thread got removed, find another forum in which to post it. If you want to interact productively, intelligently, amusingly with other bass-interested people, enjoy!

    --Tony Zerbolio (tZer/tz)
  5. bassbuz


    Jun 21, 2005
    I agree with this. However, the anonymity may also allow the whistleblower to get things (true things) out there without reprisal. It's a fine balance..

    (Edit: fixed quote)
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Okay, I just cleaned up the thread, and I feel the mess was my fault. I meant for this thread to be used by our orchestral TB members to get their feeling on anonymity in the "Orchestral Auditions" forums - I should have been clear that I meant for the thread to involve primarily our orchestral players who either are or may in the future be auditioning for orchestra positions. Mea culpa, and apologies for any deletions I have made because i didn't state the scope of the original post well enough. :help:

    Before there is too much protest about this, my reasoning is not that our orchestral members are somehow "special" or should be "segregated" from the rest of TB, but that those people who are auditioning for a gig in an orchestra will likely have a very specific set of specialized needs and concerns, and this would be the place for those folks to speak up. And of course, orchestral players are free to post anywhere else on TB that they like. Not being an orchestral player myself, I try to leave this forum alone except when called in to clean up the occasional mess...like this one I accidentally created by not being clear. Sorry! Not trying to "Orwellian" here, I promise.

    P.S. - the thread on anonymity for the general TBDB population will be much more heavily trod upon, can be found Here.
  7. Anon2962


    Aug 4, 2004
    FWIW, I missed this whole fiasco, because i was away last week. Being a recently graduated soon-to-begin-auditioning player it would be a shame to see this forum closed down. However I can see how it is maybe a more 'dangerous' forum, as people will have put months of work in for a particular audition. The bitter disappointment for usually all-but-one player has lead to emotional outbursts of nasty comments in the past.

    Would it be possible that there be some kind of time-delay for people who post for the first time in this forum? especially for people who don't bother to fill in the profile? (for me, unless i know something about someone's background i take little notice of what they say). a time-delay for new users would give the moderators (who do a great job as far as i have seen) a chance to filter out negative comments like the ones that seemed to have happened recently.

    But for information about audition techniques, who are the latest winners etc etc this seems to be the only place to go on the web. Long may it continue!:bassist:
  8. Hey, I usually don't post very often, but I figured I'd give my two cents on this issue, since I'm 17, have an anonymous user name, and will be taking auditions in the future.

    It seems to me that anonymity is not the real issue. If John Doe uses his real name for a user ID, he can still gossip all he wants, and it will still have the same damaging effect as any other rumor. Anybody rumor milling behind an anonymous user name is just cowardly, but the gossip itself has the same harm.

    To me, the rumors themselves are the problem. If anyone posts a rumor about another person that doesn't have a named source in this forum, it should be ignored or even deleted. This would kill all possibilities of another person's reputation being destroyed.

    People should be free to keep anonymous in this forum. It's that's person's business if they don't feel comfortable handing out their real name, and I don't think there needs to be any concern about these people.

    Oh, and just because I don't care anymore, My name's Scott Dickinson and I live in Arlington Heights, Il. I'll still keep my location the same because most people don't know where Arlington Heights is, but I will add my name to my signature.
  9. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
  10. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Maybe Paul's name isn't really Paul?

  11. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I KNEW IT!:ninja:
  12. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    I made the mistake of signing up here originally under my own name, but was attacked very personally by someone here.

    I have learned an important lesson, and will NEVER again post as my professional name ANYWERE on the Internet, as I have an important family stage name and career to protect.

    Sometimes my posts can be controversial. I enjoy discussion...and this is, after all, a discussion group. Unfortunately, some people do not enjoy such a free exchange of ideas and language, and I don't wish to be the victim of another personal attack.

    Perhaps one day soon a VIEWING filter will be available on this and other discussion groups, so that those who are easily offended can set their viewing preferences, without stifling the free expression of others, and the often fruitful, lively and productive discussion it can provide.

    I hope that those who operate and moderate this forum understand that as the Internet's most popular bass forum, there is a very real responsibility to allow reasonably free expression, or else the danger of an underlying agenda emerging is also quite real.

    Kind of like how Blockbuster doesn't carry any NC-17 movies, yet when they move into a community, all other video stores go out of business. What this causes is the dissapearance of the ability of adults to see movies of an adult nature by default. Since such movies can sometimes even affect political agenda, this is a very real and scary thing.

    A discussion forum is also a similarly very powerful political tool, and needs to be treated with some consideration as such.

    I personally appreciate my anonymity here and elsewhere on the Internet, and don't feel that I use it to hide behind. I used to post my feelings just as freely under my real name, until I was attacked for it.

    I fear I am one of the ones currently on a short leash for having spoken frankly recently in a few instances. I did not and do not mean to offend anyone, I am just a master debater...which shouldn't be confused with...

    Ah, nevermind.

    >Insert witty albeit adult pun here<

  13. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Case in point. Here we appear to have an anonymous bass guitarist with free reign to pontificate on a topic about which, as far as we can tell, he knows nothing whatsoever -- the politics of orchestral auditions -- because, after all, it's THE INTERNET and everyone's opinion is of course equally meritorious. Y'know, like Basshole, me and Kurt Muroki know just as much about orchestral playing because we all can type.

    Heaven forbid that someone should actually say, "Jim, you have no clue what you're talking about." Somebody who did that would be showing Our Pal to be a real chump personally, not just an anonymous chump. Why, if his name were attached to his words he would be personally responsible for what he says. His family might be embarrassed, or -- dare I say it -- he might have to re-examine the validity of his own statements.

    What are we here for? We are here because we are foolish enough to think that something we might read here will make us better musicians or more successful bassists. And get this: Every once in a while, IT REALLY WORKS. You hear something from someone you trust and you think, "Damn, I KNOW that player. That player KNOWS the situation. I should check that out!" And you do, and it helps. Anonymous blather undercuts our ability to sift through the chaff to find the wheat so it tends to defeat the entire point of why we're here.

    I continue to believe that anonymous blather is responsiblity-free and attracts the irresponsible. My name is all I've got. Anybody who has heard me play knows that it ain't much but it's not any secret.
  14. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
  15. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    I don't fully understand, and I apologize. First, I did not realize this was a question relating just to this sub-forum, but to Talkbass in general, and the ability of people to remain anonymous.

    Second, I saw this thread in the "new posts" search, and didn't notice that it was on the DB forum at all.

    I was just speaking of anonymity in general...I didn't know how and still don't understand why it has particular meaning in this sub-forum, but I nonetheless apologize for wasting time and bandwidth here. I only wanted to defend anonymity on Talkbass in general.

    Mods feel free to delete this and my previous post. I really meant to offend no one.

    Please forgive the intrusion.
  16. bassbuz


    Jun 21, 2005
    I actually appreciated the way you said things today. Whether you're eb or ub, sometimes anonymity is usefull. Seems that certain guys just don't want to think about the ramifications of speaking even though you expressed very clearly what they can be.
  17. I don't understand. If you believe in what you're saying, why do you need to hide your identity? I can respect that you want to keep your family out of it or whatever; however, if you're saying something that is so outrageous that it would actually slander your family name, then don't you think you shouldn't be saying it in the first place?

    If you want to be a blunt person, fine. But stand by that bluntness. I don't see the point in having a completely different personality online than off.
  18. Anon2962


    Aug 4, 2004
    Hear hear!
  19. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    i think the forum is fine the way it is.... and the mods do a good job at what they do... there will always be work for a mod to do, and some monitoring and deleting, no matter what kind of rules are in place on the anonymous issue. i wouldnt let this incident upset the whole structure of talk bass. the boards work well for the most part. there will always be a jerk who spoils it somewhere. just keep up the good job the way you're doing things.
    (just my opinion)
  20. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I have seen in my own presence some young players and some veterans that play and have played in Orchestras. If their name has come up from being a possible winner or even in the finals believe me, THEY CAN PLAY!!

    If they are not that good and just paid the audition fee then you won't hear much about the 90% of first only rounders.

    Respect is very important. Remember this you Orchestra position seekers, one day you will look at the stand next to you and see the guy you dissed on line!

    Now, how will that feel then, huh?

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