The Problem with Accusations
Accusations are a very serious matter here on the DavisWiki. Some have caused people to leave the Wiki altogether, deleting their accounts and therefore ostracizing individuals for expressing their thoughts and beliefs. Some have destroyed the integrity of businesses and led to them being closed down, unable to overcome the stigma associated with them. Others have led to irreparable damage to the core beliefs of the Wiki community at large, that the Wiki is to be shared by all to inform, educate, and entertain as well as to grow closer together as a community. Still others are tossed aside without merit of any kind. It truly depends on the situation, the people involved, and the way it is all handled by the community as a whole.
Accusations are described as charges of wrongdoing, imputation or guilt. Right off the bat, it is a situation that, by it's very definition, causes people to become upset, lash out, question and debate the validity of the claims. And this is also an issue here on the Wiki. It has been a problem with various individuals, various businesses and organizations and, if not debated, not discussed, would make the Wiki about as useful as a piece if wet toilet paper, allowing anyone at any time to say anything they chose to about anyone and, in doing so, discredit everything that so many have worked so hard to do here on the Wiki. This is not something the majority of people wish to have occur. We work hard putting our time, and often our hearts and souls, into making this one of the most useful tools for our community. If left unchecked, it makes all of that time and effort a waste.
All people have different ways of handling these situations as they arise. Some immediately attack, trying to defend the Wiki and their own beliefs. Others sit back and watch the entire drama unfold before placing their input into words, often too late. Other editors try to jump in right away to try to help find some sense of neutral ground, a positive outcome for all or just to balance out the field for everyone concerned. It is the same as in real life, with no perfect solution. The only thing we have here on the wiki is our ability to work together, knowing each type of editor, and attempting to get to the bottom of the situation.
Types of Accusations
- Fraud - Deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage. Whether claimed by an individual or a business against another business, fraud does one thing- the accusation of fraud mars the reputation of the business or individual, perhaps indefinitely. It is an extremely serious type of accusation that has potential long-term harm for those involved.
- Business Fraud
- An insinuation of business fraud appeared in The Davis Enterprise letters section: here is the insinuation, here is one response, and here is another. This illustrates that the wiki isn't the only medium which has to deal with accusations and insinuations.
- Dental Fraud
- Racism/Sexism- a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race or gender is superior and has the right to rule others. This is another hot topic form of accusation and has both personal and cultural ramifications. In this day and age the fact that either of these still exists appalls a great many people and is usually a very heated topic due to the very serious nature of the accusation.
- Rape - the unlawful compelling of an individual through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse. Not only immoral, not only illegal, it is absolutely reprehensible. This type of accusation is the worst, in many people's minds because it forever damages the victim. This type of accusation is extremely serious and will most assuredly lead to very heated discussion amongst the editors here on the Wiki.
- Vandalism - Deliberately mischievous or malicious destruction or damage of property, public or private. This is deemed as a minor nuisance by some, and a major issue by others. It can be an accusation based on misunderstandings or based entirely upon actions of gross misconduct by individuals both in real life, on the Wiki or in other areas. This can also be a very serious accusation here on the wiki.
In regards to Accusations, we each have the personal responsibility to be as accurate and truthful as possible. We have a responsibility, due the very serious nature of most of the types of accusations, to not only know the facts, but to handle them cautiously. There is a lot of personal responsibility involved in every potential accusation. We have to understand that every time an accusation is made, someone is potentially injured (financially, emotionally, physically, etc). It's a very serious situation, and here on the Wiki, we editors take it very seriously as well.
- Communicate your concerns with parties involved?
- Contact the business owner, if it involved a business?
- Fully understand all the details of what you witnessed?
- Contact the police if it was serious enough to be deemed illegal?
- attempt to discuss the matter with other editors on the wiki to find the best way to present your claim here?
It seems like a lot to do, we understand this, but when it comes to accusations and their common denominator of being based upon a wrongdoing of some type all caution should be taken to ensure the facts are true as stated.
The Community's Responsibility
Once an accusation hits the site, it is time for all members of the community who wish to weigh in to hit the grindstone and determine whether it should stay or go. We an obligation to do this in the most fair and neutral way possible to ensure that all parties are treated with respect and with the belief that all are innocent until proven guilty. We have a responsibility to reach out, when able, to all parties involved and see if we can determine the facts and attempt to get as close to the truth as possible. We also have the responsibility to maintain the site's integrity and welcoming atmosphere for all, with no regard to personal bias or feeling.
It's not easy to be an active member of the community, or to be human in general in times or situations like these. We have to try to step up to the plate and be better than we normally are and to let go of our personal opinions or at least to share them in a way as no to ostracize or ridicule based upon the unknown. We have to keep in mind that, no matter what is brought up, this site is for the betterment of the community as a whole and we to respect every participant equally and without prejudice to ensure it's continuation.