I am sure that some people read this blog and want it to become a much more impartial player in the freecycling world. It is sometimes asserted (in comments on this blog) that the numbers I produce are incorrect and possibly inflated, and possibly on one side of the debate.
Well, I make no apologies that I am interested in promoting “free” freecycling, and that is at complete odds with everything TFN stands for and has done ever since Deron started down his trademarking route.
As for the numbers, providing good statistics is a big effort. Let me take one example. If you search on Yahoo Groups for groups that have been taken away from Yahoo and migrated onto MyFreecycle a good search term might include the words “freeyccle” and “moved”, and right now that returns 369 groups. So you might decide that 369 groups have moved.
In truth however only a proportion of those groups have been moved. There are some groups that are hardly anything to do with freecycling on that list. There are also freecycling groups that simply have those words in their text. And finally there are also stub groups created by TFN, by Freegle and other networks in a kind of group name gold rush.
Now if you were able to analyse all all these pluses and minuses you would come up with a truer answer, that is correct. However I doubt if you went to Deron and asked for his number that you would ever get the same answer. Statistics just don’t work out so tidily.
And so to my numbers? I worry not so much about absolute numbers, providing I can back up each number, publicly with the method by which it was achieved such that others can replicate it. Not only that each can criticize it for its strengths and weaknesses, they can also offer alternative and better strategies for unearthing the “truth”. then that is fine by me.
And that is what this blog is about – stimulating debate about a very important subject.
Richard Wallman, the architect behind MyFreecycle complained on his blog about Neil Morris, one of the ex-Directors of Freecyle UK. He said that he did nothing, not even write a job description. Not very complimentary, I guess.
Whilst on the Telegraph, Neil is reported as saying, “We were not allowed to make our own local decisions and the incredible amount of energy that was around for developing the UK was being blocked.”
Being blocked, hmm. That says to me that Neil was attempting to do things but was being stopped in his tracks. Was it in fact the same Richard Wallman, as a stooge for Deron that was stopping Neil from doing things? I think we should be told.
Whichever way you cut it more and more UK groups are leaving freecycle in their droves. This organisation that was only launched 4 days ago has grown by 50% in the last 24 hours. My last post reported 194 groups, whereas my latest search comes out at a staggering 347 groups.
Please tell me if I am wrong, but my crude maths says that between a third and a half of all UK freecycling groups have now converted over to Freegle.
Right now many moderators must be feeling very scared. When The Freecycle Network first started it was a nice cosy place where we could all do some good. Then nasty things started happening, and in my opinion they have all been initiated, albeit unintentionally. This was done by one person who created an organisation full of secrets, more fit for the Klu Klux Clan than recycling unwanted items.
Everyone, and I mean everyone gets swallowed up by the touch-feely niceness of freecycling first. Then of moderating their own group and perhaps even running their own group. From their they get elevated into the increasingly closed and private hierarchy referred on this site as TPTB – the powers that be.
Epitomised by strong control on free thought using tools such as moderation, banning and black-balling the centre of this organisation has only talked of relinquishing control. Never in all the six years of TFN’s history has Deron Beal ceded one ounce of actual control – to anyone.
The result is an ever-increasing global fraternity of so-called darksiders or nexters. And now at this very moment possibly 100s of new groups and their moderators will also share that same label.
At they back of their minds, your minds, must be the ultimate question. “How do I justify this to my members and to myself?” Following this are a range of related questions such as, “What the F*** have I been doing with my life? Should I just give up?”
The answer, the only answer is to go back to roots. Look at your group closely. Talk to your members. They love you. They trust you. You love them – and you should trust them.
Then ring the changes on your group, oh, and feel the fresh air.
All UK Freecycling group owners should immediately check who their co-owners are. The obvious one to get rid of is ErsatzFriend. However I would say if there are any old owner or moderator IDs that you are unsure about – DELETE THEM.
Do it now. Do not hesitate.
Only allow moderators and owners you trust. Verify each one of them knows what is happening.
Do it now – or tomorrow you may not have a group.
If I may quote one who was at the centre of things, and is now herself purely a member, “TFN now own the UKMS”. They are in total control.
No matter which way you cut it Deron Beal is treading all over the Uk Moderator Squad. He is blatantly ignoring the express wishes of its membership and not even entertaining wanting Neil Morris back as director. He has now demoted Neil from owner status on relevant groups.
Everything he says and does implies that he is moving on with new people, new pawns. He continues to ignore any and all comments from Uk Mods asking for clarification on whether he will discuss the UK gripes.
To quote Deron, “Today, all TFN addys required as co-owner of national modsquads were demoted from co-owner status of this group. After contacting the owner address of this group, these privileges were reinstated. I have now accepted Neil and Jacqui’s resignations and demoted them from their co-owner status of this group. We will be contacting the remaining group mods to see as to their wishes to remain as moderators of this group or not. This was a very unsettling situation. Thank you all for your patience and understanding.”
Patience and understanding, nice one Deron.
In the call to have me removed from UkModSquad, it was insinuated that “The blogs that he writes… show a clear difference between free speech and open discussion in the organisation and someone inciting people to undermine Freecycle.”
Let me state clearly nothing I have ever done undermins freecycling, absolutely nothing. My total goal in life is to promote free recycling. I repeat what I said on the group, that The Freecycle Network is a complete straightjacket around free-recycling as a concept. It has divided with the intent of conquering.
Yes I do have issues with TFN which is tightly controlled centrally from Arizona with absolutely no room for free speech. The UkModSquad should have known this when they invited me to join, so why there is now a U-Turn can only be put down to that central control from Arizona kicking in.
Also, I openly stated in the group that I would cease my blog to give the group chance to consider its position, so raising that as an issue seems to me to miss the point entirely. I did cease and would have held to that position. But mistreatment is the hallmark of TFN operations.
How much mistreatment must one suffer before one speaks out?
“This is just to inform you all that I have resigned my position as Lead NGA and
as Membership Moderator of the UK MS.
The reasons I have cited relate to the forcing of new groups onto My
Freecycle, the increasingly autocratic behaviour of TFN management and
their disregard for the wishes of local groups operating in local
communities, the use of confidentiality clauses which are not binding as they
need the agreement of people to respect them rather than trying to impose them
as an afterthought, and their increased use of moderation on UK MS prior to
anyone doing anything wrong.
Having been fighting behind the scenes on many of these issues for some time,
I’ve now lost the will to continue. Freecycle now is not the organisation I
joined and there are no signs that it is going to change anytime soon. If
anything, things are getting worse.
If Freecycle ever returns to what it started out as, that is a grass
roots movement under an umbrella name with the sole aim of saving the
planet’s resources through the delaying of items ending up in landfill, then I
will be more than happy to step forward again and help with the aims.
Until then, I shall concentrate on moderating my own group for my own
Ex Lead New Group Approver
Ex Membership Moderator UK MS
. . . feel free to forward wherever if you want to. Nothing secret here.