Don’t Leave, AussiePB

One of my reader AussiePB was very offended on this blog today. AssiePB has been here for a almost two months, if I count from his first comment on August 9, 2007. He left a comment and said good bye to this community.

Hi Jian Shuo – it is with great regret that after a very long time following your blogs and enjoying open and friendly discussion, I will no longer be visiting your site… unfortunately, it has attracted a person with very low intellect and even lesser moral fibre. Good luck to you and your family, I will keep in touch via email. Keep up the good work and positive attitude going – I hope that the racism desists here in the future!! Kindest regards, AussiePB…

Posted by: AussiePB on September 23, 2007 7:21 PM

Unfortunately, this is not surprising for me, since I have seen this happens before, when a passionate reader put their heart into discussion and only found out this is not the right place to discuss the issue. I feel bad about it.

So let me write something about it. For AussiePB, but not only him.

First, I don’t Want AussiePB to Leave

During the first interact with AussiePB, when he commented on the coins, I start to know him, and so do all my other readers. I share the happiness of AussiePB’s new arrival baby, as he enjoys my happiness of having Yifan. We even exchanged photos of his son. From his comments, we know he is from Australia, and he has a nice Chinese wife, and enjoy their lives in Shanghai.

This is a typical story of one of thousands of readers of this blog – a real person who is passionate about life, and happen to gather around this little blog.

I don’t want AussiePB leave us. If he feels he needs to leave, so does many other readers.

Secondly, Tolerance is the Survival Tool on this Blog

I have to say, there is no other suggestion than tolerance to my readers when there is a conflict.

For my readers who have been to this blog long enough, we have witness so many cases that people throw all kinds of negative things to this blog. I don’t want to name it, but remember that someone from California came to the site and write a comment on every new blog article, and claiming I am a government agent and try to fool this world? I remember I have about two months or so time to see this kind of comment as the first thing in the morning. Beside that, there are many controversial discussion on this blog, that discuss get heated up. So, I am not surprised.

In this situation, I believe ignore the comments you don’t like is the only way, or the right way.

Thirdly, I don’t Delete Any Comment

Even in these situations, my readers have guided me and helped me to ensure myself that no-delete-comment policy is the right way to go. I have a strict policy on this blog that I do NOT delete any comment as long as it is readable, and it is not a spam.

Sometimes to delete a comment is the most convenient thing for me to do, or even ban some IPs, or keyword. MovableType has that cool function. However, no matter how convenient this action is, it is against the spirit of free speech, and free flow of information. I am not 100% confident about my own judgment of what is right or what is wrong. That is the value I get from comment section.

Lastly, I do NOT Allow Personal Attack

I also have the guideline that you can say whatever you believe is right, but it is definitely not allowed to make personal attack to anyone. That leads the discussion to nowhere.

So My Wishes…

In short, this blog is a place for people from different countries, from different angles to gather and discuss the same topic that people happen to like to discuss: Events (in Shanghai or China) that affect our lives. I value this place so much since I could not find any place that people can discuss so openly and honestly.

It was amazing for me to see a comment system even without registration or email confirmation works so well in the last 5 years, that it is seldom (in percentage) abused. That is the beauty I love to put 30 minutes or 1 hour to this blog every day. It helps to change the world (for a little bit).

So, I’d like people (like AssiePB) to stay, and I will feel frustrated if people just get offended by any of the discussion. It happens, so as I suggested, ignore it, and go on. Do not repeatedly post on the same topic for more than twice if you feel there is some person who don’t understand you.

Anyway, we are adults, and it is not possible to change anyone, especially using comments. It is not only waste of efforts, and also dangers (we see enough time in all kinds of BBS that any effort to change another poster often lead to flaming threads).

This blog is prepared for people who like to express, and more importantly, people who like to listen. Let me use my favorite story The Blind Men and The Elephant again. We are just blind men in this world. No matter how ridiculous or naive, or no-brainer, or making-no-sense the other person is saying, it may be one angle for the same thing. I said MAYBE, but who knows…

Let me add my final comment. If I look back to my entries in 2002, 2003, and 2004, I cannot believe I wrote that, since my point of view was changed so much by intensive traveling, by reading comments on this blog, and by talking with people from different countries. Who knows how my thoughts or your comment-fighting-partner’s thoughts may change in the future.

So, if you enjoy it, keep on commenting, and if you don’t enjoy a comment or two, ignore it and go on the another topic. That is just my 2 cents on this issue.

P.S. By asking AssiePB to stay, I didn’t imply wonton is wrong. Wonton, I read your comments, and got many of your points. People in China, like me, share the same frustration as you have. We are trying to building a better country while someone is holding us back, or ban it. This is reality. As a 3rd party in this case, I feel that you and AssiePB are holding different part of the same elephant – China.

15 Comments

  1. AussiePB, may i know what has triggered your emotional box and stop reading this blog? Lately I was not updated with the subscribe blogs because Yahoo Group not working fine.

  2. Hello Jian Shuo

    I am sorry my comments was seen as offensive and insulting to your reader.

    This has never been my intention and I have tried my best to explain them.

    I have even asked my wife to check if they sounded offensive and she too was rather perplexed.

    I am in total agreement with your comments regarding this blog.

    This is a great forum for everyone. And like any forum, opinions may differ.

    I don’t think this place was set up exclusively for people with the same opinions. We don’t need another place like that (if you know what I mean).

    I don’t think there were any personal attacks on my part.

    I could apologise if it changes anything but it would be quite empty here as I don’t understand the source of his frustration.

    If this Country means anything at all to us, we should continue to engage one another.

    I am sorry he is choosing to leave. I have seen many of his comments and knows he meant well.

    Just a side point, my wife did comment on my negativity regarding the Olympics. She asked why can’t I see it as an event for China to thank the world for helping it’s progress ? It hit me a little and I can see her point. But I still think it’s rather extravagant expense.

  3. @Aussiepb

    I am sorry if my comments regarding aborigines in Australia upset you.

    I have no idea of your race when I made that remark.

    The comment regarding the drinking problem of aborinines were not meant as an insult.

    I agree that I may not have true understanding of the problem but this information is learnt from many sources.

    It was featured on the BBC, and many other available reports.

    You just need to Goggle “aborigine” + “alcohol”

    I have Australian friends who said so, and I have seen a few of them drunk on the streets of Brisbane.

    I am NOT making any other inferences here.

    Seems like the more I write the more you are offended.

    I will just end here for now and hope you understand.

  4. @wonton, thank you for your comments and the friendly gesture you have made. As you said, it is very common for people with different views – even our own point-of-view changes over time, not to mention different persons’ views. Your openness is exactly the spirit of this forum. There are countless forums for people in China to gather and share the same thought toward people outside China, and enough forums just setup for foreigners to exchange ideas about their experience or what they heard about China. That are few places like this where people in China and outside China directly talk. It is understandable how the conflict of the initial talk is.

  5. My goodness — if only the politicians of the world could follow this good example of people-to-people diplomacy and consideration for other people’s feelings, just think how much better off we all would be. Jian Shuo, I really think you should offer your services as “Chief Executive of the World” someday. Not too soon though — you probably still have a few more years of learning and opinion-forming/changing to do. But I believe you are well on the way to having just the kind of world view that would be needed for that position :-)

  6. @wonton – thankyou very kindly for these recent posts. I accept your apology and look forward to continued and friendly open discussion with you.

    @Jian Shuo – I am touched by your post and agree completely with Carroll – perhaps you have a higher calling in diplomacy and tactfulness management. You have handled this with tue professionalism and consideration for everyone’s feelings. My apologies for any frustrations I may have caused.

    I’m back :D

  7. AussiePB, welcome back. *:)

    Jian Shuo is really a patient, perceptive, and diplomatic person. I was also thinking that this person could be a politician. Hahaha. Just make sure you never get caught up in the pursuit of fame and/or fortune, like some people do… and then forget the original purpose of your activities.

    wonton, so nice of you to apologise. Ya, I can sort of “feel” that you’re the kind who may be cutting with your words but really nice and warm in your heart, heehee. Otherwise, you wouldn’t feel so much for your country, too, right? You write with the angst of an artist. Sometimes I wish I can write as openly about my country as you do yours. your honesty and courage is very much admired by me.

    I think in every situation, we need people of different personalities and strengths (even weaknesses) to sit together and discuss through. some people like to focus on the achievements and positive attributes, but others have a more critical eye, and see what is lacking and still needs improvement. I think both sides of the coin are just as important. the different perspectives we can get regarding a matter, helps everybody involved to see a little more, just like what Jian Shuo says about the blind men and the elephant.

  8. Oh and Jian Shuo – just to clarify – I’ve been following your blogs and commenting since April this year :)

  9. @Ling

    Writing is the last sanctuary for the person no one wants to hear.

    I am sure there are things you feel passionately about but powerless do.

    I just hope I make an impact on someone with greater ability to change the world.

    The written word is useless without a speaker of influence.

    Words are often REALLY that cheap.

  10. Thanks for showing me there is civilized people in the world and we (no matter the race or nationality) can socialize and communicate. Maybe this example could give hope to others and they could follow it, starting by every one of us and the people at our reach…

    Love is all we need! =)

  11. It’s a pity for me missing this hot discussion. Although I don’t know what it is about yet. I’ll dig it out.

  12. @all,

    Wonderful. I cannot think of a better ending for this. This discussion helped us to do more in-depth discussion around the multi-culture issue in the future.

  13. Thanks so much for sharing all of your notes, they are very inspiring to read, and I hope you don’t mind me sharing these with some friends,

    Interesting post!

  14. I think you should call him Aussie not Assie :)

  15. @brandon, I am embarrassed. I have changed the typo on title and content.

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