What has been my involvement?
I started being involved with the Freecycling movement about a year ago. Like many people I found by being referred to it by a friend. And, like many people I took to it like a veritable duck to water. Following on from exchanging gifts, around 3-6 months ago I became a moderator of the excellent Cherwell Valley Freecycle group, based in the UK. The reason I chose this group, and this group accepted me is that like so much of Freecycling I was local and could demonstrate solid commitment to a group that held the same values around Freecycling.
As part of this I wanted to raise my awareness and improve my skills as a moderator. So like many people I started looking at the moderator’s manual and as a result of this I joined various moderator’s groups. Initially I joined the UkModSquad, then OIDG and then PlanetFreecycle. These seemed to fit many of the bills of what I needed. The last was is just a general chit-chat area but has the advantage of being global. Oidg focuses on organisational issues and the UkModSqaud focuses on Uk related moderator issues.
In joining these groups there was however a couple of things missing. Firstly all these groups demonstrated moderation such that most elements of free speech was suppressed. The second is that there was no forum for International moderation. So my search for groups continued. Finally I came across a new and an old group – IFMS and FCNext. In joining these I found new territory. Firstly their were very strong viewpoints being expressed. Much of what was being said was and is overwhelming. If any sense of what was being said was true then heart of The Freecycle Network was in trouble, dire trouble. And again is some or possibly many of the statements were true then much of that problem was of its own making.
But how to make sense of this? How to form my own judgement? My answer was to do extensive research and ask questions. Unfortunately in doing that I found myself in the midst of lots of vitriol, from what seemed like both “sides”. And there seemed so much discontent and possible misinformation that is was easy to get lost in this sea.
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