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My comments deleted from an AW article

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I'd like to highlight that my perfectly reasonable, unoffensive comments that did not breach the AW terms of use have been removed from the following article https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/practice/people/accounting-for-diversity...

I thought it would be in the members interests to point this out

Replies (56)

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RLI
By lionofludesch
04th Dec 2021 10:33

Ach, well, these things happen.

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By Roland195
04th Dec 2021 11:01

I thought better of posting my thoughts that I'm not sure I have the time to be hanging around schools trying to convince kids to take up accountancy and fairly certain they have procedures in place to stop it.

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By David Ex
04th Dec 2021 11:20

Skim read the article. Buzzword bingo.

With a little bit of racism thrown in:

“I’m sick and tired of getting an email that someone has been promoted or they’re moving onto a bigger and better role, and it’s a white person …”.

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Replying to David Ex:
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By Hugo Fair
04th Dec 2021 11:30

Steady there ... that very same extracted quote was referenced in one of the now cancelled posts (possibly because it continued "Wow, that's discrimination in a nutshell. I would be happy for the promoted person myself")?

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By David Ex
04th Dec 2021 11:44

Hugo Fair wrote:

Steady there ... that very same extracted quote was referenced in one of the now cancelled posts (possibly because it continued "Wow, that's discrimination in a nutshell. I would be happy for the promoted person myself")?

Really? How completely depressing. I don’t live by the rules of woke world; I just try to be a decent sort who treats people as I would like to be treated.

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Replying to David Ex:
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By Hugo Fair
04th Dec 2021 12:00

Indeed.
I try not to use the w*** word (as it comes loaded with too many preconceptions - many in direct contradiction of each other), but I have noticed one thing:
* Too much exposure to the attitude pushed by its adherents disperses any sense of joy I was feeling (to those around me or the world in general) - and I wonder if it does the same to those who espouse the mantra (a bit like addicts feeding a habit)?

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By Paul Crowley
04th Dec 2021 16:15

Even worse
Able bodied

Visibly able bodied would appear to cover a very high proportion of the working population
I quote "able bodied"
Person quoted would have zero cabability of identifying numerous disibilities
Only care about what them can see
Outrageous discriminatory remark concerning disibility thet them cannot see

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
RLI
By lionofludesch
04th Dec 2021 16:24

Paul Crowley wrote:

Even worse
Able bodied

Visibly able bodied would appear to cover a very high proportion of the working population
I quote "able bodied"
Person quoted would have zero cabability of identifying numerous disibilities
Only care about what them can see
Outrageous discriminatory remark concerning disibility thet them cannot see

Or type.

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By Paul Crowley
04th Dec 2021 16:50

Now you mention it I do remember reading it
Still history gets rewritten every day now

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Replying to David Ex:
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By gillybean04
04th Dec 2021 12:53

I've never seen "in colour". I look at a person, I think of them as a person. I don't think of them as a white person or black person or disabled person etc.

Statistically England and Wales (assuming it would be similar for UK given E+W are the majority of the population) are 85% white. Which means applicants for most jobs are going to be white and therefore, statistically, the job is more likely to go to a white person - because skin colour is not indicative of intelligence or ability.

It's like rolling dice where 5 sides all have the number 6. Each side individually has the same chance but if you roll it, most likely it will be a 6. If it comes up the other number disproportionately, it's possible the die is weighted.

But if the two numbers were equally represented (3 sides to each number) then the results should be approx 50/50. If it was still coming up one number 80% of the time then it's possible the die is weighted.

Either way though, there's only one "winner" and everybody else is losing out (regardless of their number).

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Replying to gillybean04:
RLI
By lionofludesch
04th Dec 2021 13:01

gillybean04 wrote:

I've never seen "in colour". I look at a person, I think of them as a person. I don't think of them as a white person or black person or disabled person etc.

Statistically England and Wales (assuming it would be similar for UK given E+W are the majority of the population) are 85% white. Which means applicants for most jobs are going to be white and therefore, statistically, the job is more likely to go to a white person - because skin colour is not indicative of intelligence or ability.

It's like rolling dice where 5 sides all have the number 6. Each side individually has the same chance but if you roll it, most likely it will be a 6. If it comes up the other number disproportionately, it's possible the die is weighted.

You can prove anything with statistics.

You can prove that you're four times more likely to lose out if you're a 6 than if you're the other number.

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Replying to gillybean04:
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By WhichTyler
07th Dec 2021 07:11

[quote=gillybean04]

I've never seen "in colour". I look at a person, I think of them as a person. I don't think of them as a white person or black person or disabled person etc.

/quote]

Does that mean you also don't think about the routine, pernicious, daily barriers and discrimination that they have to deal with as a result of their colour/body? Realising that while we all have our own problems, we are lucky not to have to deal with impediments that others do, for reasons outside their control

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Replying to WhichTyler:
RLI
By lionofludesch
07th Dec 2021 11:10

WhichTyler wrote:

gillybean04 wrote:

I've never seen "in colour". I look at a person, I think of them as a person. I don't think of them as a white person or black person or disabled person etc.

Does that mean you also don't think about the routine, pernicious, daily barriers and discrimination that they have to deal with as a result of their colour/body? Realising that while we all have our own problems, we are lucky not to have to deal with impediments that others do, for reasons outside their control

Thanks for saying this.

I recall a story told to me by a mixed race friend of mine who tripped at work. One of his exclusively white colleagues made a joke about "can't stop you fellas breakdancing" which my friend thought was quite funny but, nevertheless, it was another pinprick that he was different.

It's not about "not seeing the world in colour" and treating everyone the same. It's rather about the opposite - recognising that everyone is different and seeing the world from their point of view.

Don't ask the fella in the wheelchair to run upstairs to fetch something for you.

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Replying to WhichTyler:
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By gillybean04
08th Dec 2021 09:31

No.

While you may be lucky enough not to have to deal with impediments that others do, I don't share your good luck.

I'm just not a [***] who would let one characteristic of someone define their perception of them.

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By Leywood
04th Dec 2021 12:48

I thought they at least emailed you if they were putting you in the naughty corner. Although seems these days like they cannot be bothered.

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Replying to Leywood:
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By Tax Dragon
04th Dec 2021 13:55

OP is still here. Not on naughty step (I've been there, done that - you can't post while sin binned).

I didn't follow the discussion in real time. I hadn't realised Hugo had responded to the now-final post and had that response deleted.

Re that now-final post... does it make me a hypocrite that I am offended by it when I'm not part of the minority being attacked? Probably not. But does it make me a hypocrite if I say that post should be deleted?

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Replying to Leywood:
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By Paul Crowley
04th Dec 2021 16:58

There used to be an email and a demand that.................... even with a simple moderation
The word was not moderated, the entire post replaced with "moderated"
Last moderation was deliberately secretive
It just disappeared
I queried by PM, but that message was just ignored
"Odd

Yesterday I made a comment

Yet today it is gone. Video and soundbites

I know it was there, as the article showed just the one comment"

On a prior moderation
As an Aspie I was told that the word was "offensive" by a non Aspie
What the hell would a non Aspie know about living with Asbergers? What would a non Aspie know about whether Aspie is offensive to Aspies?
Was this moderators fault for ex partie deletion? (yes)
Or was it fault of complainant that was looking to be a total git? (yes also)

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Replying to Leywood:
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By Mr_awol
07th Dec 2021 12:36

Leywood wrote:

I thought they at least emailed you if they were putting you in the naughty corner. Although seems these days like they cannot be bothered.

Ive only been banned once. I didn't notice for several hours, until i read my emails and saw i had a PM from our EIC. When i tried to log in to read my PM i was unable to because my account had been locked.

Fortunately for me another poster happened to register around that time, with views similar to my own (except he was actually a bit more outspoken on issues than i typically am) and rather than posting myself i rather enjoyed reading his comments. He's gone now, although his posts (and in particular one IMHO great thread) remain.

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Replying to Mr_awol:
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By Tax Dragon
07th Dec 2021 12:55

Mr_awol wrote:

I didn't notice for several hours, until i read my emails and saw i had a PM from our EIC. When i tried to log in to read my PM i was unable to because my account had been locked.

I love this - when I was banned, I had to wait until I was unbanned to find out what was going on. Turns out I'd been banned. (Temporarily, anyway. I guess I'd never have found out had the ban been permanent!)

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By Mr_awol
08th Dec 2021 02:18

‘apparently’ my ban was meant to be temporary and it was made permanent by ‘accident’

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Replying to Mr_awol:
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By Tax Dragon
08th Dec 2021 07:03

You were absent without leaving.

(Or at least your pseudonym was. Or maybe wasn't.)

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By Paul Crowley
04th Dec 2021 13:34

I concur with the fact that all 4 missing posts were inoffensive and not as descibed
"personal attacks"

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Paul Crowley
04th Dec 2021 16:04

Whoops 5 deletions

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By David Ex
04th Dec 2021 14:24

The final comment, which also has racist overtones (“excruciatingly white”), survives.

I feel blessed to be a normal person.

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By paul.benny
04th Dec 2021 14:52

Freedom of speech is important and should be defended, even when people say things I dislike or disagree with. The trouble with online conversations is that they can swiftly become vile and vituperative. And here, distant from the primary focus of the site.

So on this occasion, I support the editing of responses.

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Replying to paul.benny:
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By Hugo Fair
04th Dec 2021 15:11

Totally agree with your first sentence ... but have you actually followed the link in question (as per OP at top)?

The focus was entirely of Aweb's making (the topic was selected by them and the article written by a mod) ... so whilst I also agree that it was 'far from the primary focus of the site', that is not a fault to be laid at the feet of responders.

And there was (certainly by comparison with many other threads on here) no sign of 'vile and vituperative' input until the final post which has been left in place. It is fairly mild, but made snide (and as it happens wholly inaccurate) assumptions about me and a couple of other members.

So I disagree with the editing of responses (well I would wouldn't I as I've become a victim of it unnecessarily) ... but agree wholeheartedly with your unspoken but indicated disapproval of having politicised topics promoted on an Accounting forum.

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By Paul Crowley
04th Dec 2021 16:45

Did you get a message from the Mod?
I did not so I assume the message is in a bottle that I have to go and collect from the beach

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Hugo Fair
04th Dec 2021 17:15

No - nothing - nada.
Previously I've stumbled across a Message from them (in My Account - which is not somewhere I usually bother to visit), but never an email.
Frankly a bottle would be more fun as I could return it whence it came (the sea) even though it would be unlikely to reach the original sender ... but then my responses to Mod messages are always ignored anyway.

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By Paul Crowley
04th Dec 2021 17:30

That is what I thought
Never yet had a message in the member bit without an email as well, but tend to get a lot of Aweb emails telling me about MTD by their paymasters so very easy to miss the real messages

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By paul.benny
04th Dec 2021 19:59

Hugo Fair wrote:
Totally agree with your first sentence ... but have you actually followed the link in question (as per OP at top)?>

I did. I saw the thread when there were just three responses (iirc, two of which were by the OP here), wrote and re-wrote a post several time and in the end decided to step away.

Hugo Fair wrote:
... agree wholeheartedly with your unspoken but indicated disapproval of having politicised topics promoted on an Accounting forum.

Thank you. I'm happy to debate diversity and inclusion but there's a time and a place and I think an accounting forum is neither.

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Replying to paul.benny:
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By Tax Dragon
04th Dec 2021 20:11

paul.benny wrote:

I'm happy to debate diversity and inclusion but there's a time and a place and I think an accounting forum is neither.

You'll be aware of who initiated the discussion here about diversity in accounting. However it seems they agree with you that it is not a topic to debate.

One wonders why they raised it.

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Replying to paul.benny:
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By Paul Crowley
05th Dec 2021 14:17

"I did. I saw the thread when there were just three responses (iirc, two of which were by the OP here), wrote and re-wrote a post several time and in the end decided to step away."

Probably a wise decision given the repeated site attempts to force the subject onto the site with a deliberate chosen view of the replies they want, but seem difficult to get.

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Replying to paul.benny:
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By David Ex
04th Dec 2021 15:15

paul.benny wrote:

So on this occasion, I support the editing of responses.

Apparently the removed responses weren’t offensive but the offensive remark about “white” people in the original article, and in the latest comments not removed, remain.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
04th Dec 2021 17:48

Rather than [***] about it on here I have always found a polite email to the moderation team and an enquiry as to what bit was wrong most informative, and often the rest of your post will be put back.

But clearly not that one.

The note I had back on Friday said something along the lines about them be very understaffed due to both staff illness and the expo, so I would suggest you cut them some slack, being a moderator is a thankless task and you certainly cant please everyone.

I am mildly miffed that the best bit of my post on the Giles thread (the teethbrushing bit) was removed, but hey, I got over it in about 30 seconds.

its Aweb's ball and they can take it home with them if they like.

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Richard Hattersley
By Richard Hattersley
06th Dec 2021 13:17

Thank you for your post. We have now reviewed and moderated posts in the comment section of the article you've highlighted, and we can now confirm that it has re-opened for comments. As a moderation team, we are regularly reviewing all comments across AccountingWEB and Any Answers.

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Replying to Richard Hattersley:
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By Tax Dragon
06th Dec 2021 14:42

Credit where it's due.

And well done for reinstating the opening reply and deleting the formerly fixed final reply (even though by doing so you've made most of my comments in this and the related threads look a tad deranged! :-))

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By Paul Crowley
06th Dec 2021 15:05

Agree sorting it out was best
This really should not be a political forum, and Any Anwers usually keeps well clear
But if Articles are posted people will comment
Odd really as when it is just UK left and right all comments remain and nobody really cares who says what

Personally I would have left all postings intact, as you have pointed out everything gets disjointed when the sensitive want cancellation
The missing post was pretty much the same as that person's first ever posting (Comment) back in May 2020 when Aweb put BLM on the site

Nobody goes that direction without an Aweb article to trigger the comments

If Aweb choose to add such articles then they should accept that comments will show diversity.

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Hugo Fair
06th Dec 2021 17:37

A reasonable repair job but one that shouldn't have been necessary in the first place without rash decisions by Aweb ... and, as TD says, leaving various other threads looking nonsensical.

But it leaves 3 Whys hovering in the breeze:
* Why publish political/social (non-accounting) articles if discussion isn't wanted?
* Why appear to take sides if (debatably IMHO) any form of censorship is required?
* Why give immediate priority to anyone claiming to be offended (even when they are happy to stir the pot and to offend others quite openly) - especially when they have no history of positive contributions to the site?

Edit: I'm happy to see my final response on that thread not re-appear ... not because I regret a single word of my forceful but accurate response, but because the offensive post to which I was replying has now joined it in oblivion.
Maybe in future I should report-not-respond - but that's not really my style!

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Tax Dragon
06th Dec 2021 22:59

I agree much of that.

In fact I think I've pre-agreed... made many of the same points in this and the linked threads.

Paul Crowley wrote:

If Aweb choose to add such articles then they should accept that comments will show diversity.

Diversity of opinion, you mean - the one diversity that isn't encouraged.

I'm with you, btw, on the former-final-now-deleted post. Bigotry should be exposed, not deleted; mocked, not hidden. (The difficulty is when it's espoused by someone in authority, say a President of the US. There is a hard discussion to be had. But this ain't the place for it.)

(Oh and for clarity, I didn't seriously call for it to be removed. I was trying to make a point - for example I asked whether it would be hypocritical if I called for it to be removed. What I did seriously call for was reinstatement of the other posts, which I'm glad to see has happened.)

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By Paul Crowley
06th Dec 2021 23:58

Much appreciated
Cancel culture really is just a cancer
There was a time when comedians could go to challenging areas, but few would risk it now

On the final deleted comment
It really did appear to be in the direction of the ascribed comments included in the article.
Hence the request for context
Cold quotes are a politician's enemy without context

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My photo
By Matrix
06th Dec 2021 17:54

The post about the demographics of this site was an unfounded assumption anyway. I note that many of the tax experts are female.

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Replying to Matrix:
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By Paul Crowley
06th Dec 2021 21:26

There are numerous
But that often is only identified by comments made by the user
There is no need on this type of platform to categorise by any characteristic.
Pseudomyns are not pronown sensitive.

Having said that, specialist knowledge being identifiable is always helpful

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Replying to Matrix:
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By Mr_awol
07th Dec 2021 12:43

Matrix wrote:

The post about the demographics of this site was an unfounded assumption anyway. I note that many of the tax experts are female.

I've never really thought about it but there does seem to be a slight lean towards the feminine side in the tax experts I've encountered (and indeed amongst our current staff).

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By Tax Dragon
07th Dec 2021 12:51

Society is changing. So do individuals. We learn. We challenge our own preconceptions, our prejudices - and we develop and grow. Live example: IMHO it's right that YCCC gets hauled over the coals for failing to deal with abuse, I think it is totally unjust that (last I heard) the BBC has dropped Michael Vaughan for ignorance he (allegedly) displayed many years ago. He’s learned a lot since then.

Me? I've seen racism - fortunately not actual violence, but hideous, random, highly aggressive, intimidating threats and verbal abuse - first hand. I'm scarred by it - especially since I didn't intervene. (Took more courage than I had, because obviously the abusers would then have turned on me.)

I've been a victim of random verbal racism - prompted by the colour of the skin of the person whose hand I was holding at the time.

Lion's example… the YCCC example… these may be much 'lower level', but… is that the sort of behaviour we really want in our communities?

How to change a community? Start at home. In my case, the person I can most improve goes by the pseudonym of Tax Dragon in a certain niche discussion forum. The person behind Tax Dragon sometimes has very unpleasant thoughts. Yes, upsetting thoughts towards me but also towards others. There are still prejudices and preconceptions within. (And I disagree with the Expo speaker – many of these are unconscious/subconscious.) But it's a work in progress - if Sift did a Michael Vaughan on (the person behind) Tax Dragon, Tax Dragon would probably be no more. But the person that was is no more. I have changed. So why ban the person that former person has become, and the one the current person is yet trying to become? (Incidentally, anyone who thinks they are 'pure', devoid of prejudice deludes themselves, IMHO.)

It's hard enough as an individual. The woke 'agenda', for me, is about challenging organisational, institutional and societal preconceptions and prejudices and changing attitudes the better. It's hard, but it's important, because an organisation, institution, or society that doesn't grow and develop shrinks and wanes.

Live example 2: when Aweb sported the rainbow flag, someone made an (unfounded) accusation of insincerity and I retorted that, even were that accusation true, doing the right thing for the wrong reason was still doing the right thing. It's an organisation that's trying to change. And one day, it might do the right thing for the right reason. (And so might I.)

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By Hugo Fair
07th Dec 2021 13:27

OK ... I withdraw my comment (elsewhere) that there's no room for non-accounting articles within Aweb. I still think that there are better arenas in which to discuss socially-oriented issues, but ...

* If only this post had been published instead of the trite article that generated such robust feedback.
There can surely be no honest argument with any of the views expressed by TD - especially the twin prongs of the need for individual growth, and the recognition that perfection can be sought but never achieved.

We all have plenty of opportunities to challenge preconceptions (actually often no more than unthought through but accepted hand-me-down concepts), both within ourselves and in people we encounter. And I use the word 'opportunities' advisedly, as these not only provide experiential awareness but the chance to provide others with the tidbits that may launch them down different channels.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By WhichTyler
07th Dec 2021 19:59

Thank you for saying this

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By Dib
07th Dec 2021 13:32

I don't often comment on here mainly because, as has been discussed previously, although I have over 30 years' experience in tax and passed my CTA 30 years' ago, i am not an accountant so am therefore an unprincipled scourge of AW. However, I am sure I am not the only person who has been dismayed that the past few days have seen Mr Orwell's Ministry of Truth materialising in AW.

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Replying to Dib:
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By Tax Dragon
07th Dec 2021 14:24

If you are the only one then the respondents on the three threads I've noticed discussing the issue have done a pretty good job hiding their true views, as I can't think of a single post that welcomed the censorship, or the (presumed) thinking behind it.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By Paul Crowley
07th Dec 2021 21:52

The deliberate effort and posting of 3 new threads on the subjects confirmed the dissatisfaction of regular users at the closedown of 2 articles purportedly for the same "offensive and personal attacks" reason.
Aweb was disingenuous
If GYLES cannot take a bit of stick then he should just keep his head down. Xero sympathy for that Sage person
The other thread has had the most subsequent commentary for good reason.
The claimed reason for shutdown was inappropriate and knowingly misleading
For those who had not read the comments to date of shutdown on that thread, it was an attempt to tarnish all users with inappropriate behaviour.
New and casual readers would assume that there were myriad "offensive and personal attacks" type postings. There were none (none deleted)
Shame on the person who took that action
It deliberately implied the Aweb membership that did not fawn were "offensive"
There was a clear reason why the now deleted posting was left in place.

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Tax Dragon
08th Dec 2021 07:17

I read through the MTD discussion last night. Obviously I don't know what's been taken out, but I'd say the moderation has ended up being pretty good. I'd guess all the points of substance remain.

Same with the other thread.

I mean, I agree with you about the initial panicked reaction, but let's balance that by acknowledging the final position.

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