This is a formal call for Board action on a violation of the Communications Policy perpetrated by Tom Stevens in his capacity as moderator of an LPPA communication medium. On 3/27/13, I posted a question to the LPPA group on Facebook, which exists to allow members to communicate about the organization, asking for the latest membership totals in light of the potential impact of recruitment efforts advertised in LPPA channels for a parallel group called the “Pennsylvania Libertarian Alliance.” The post requesting this information was deleted without explanation by the moderator, Tom Stevens. I then posted a request for an explanation about which tenet of the Communication Policy was violated by my question. That post was also deleted and I have been banned from the group. We have seen a history of selective use of moderation power in which criticism and concerns about Tom’s actions are met with deletion and or banning, while Tom’s supporters are not banned after similar infractions. As a Life Member of the LPPA, I am neither a supporter nor an opponent of Tom Stevens, instead finding all of the current factions distasteful and embarrassing.
The LPPA Policy Manual states “The Chair and Vice-Chairs of the Executive Committee shall have ownership of The LPPA website forum and every LPPA email list, and shall exercise moderation in accordance with this Policy at their discretion. In the event of disagreements over a particular moderation activity, the full Executive Committee shall decide the issue by majority vote.” This policy does not mention the LPPA Facebook group, but as it was adopted before the Facebook group existed, the spirit of the policy is clear that any LPPA communication avenues moderated by an LPPA officer would fall under the policy. I would be satisfied with the two vice-chairs overriding the action of Tom Stevens, with my immediate reinstatement to the online group. If Betsy and Jim are unable to agree to send Tom an e-mail advising that his decision was overruled with the result of immediate reinstatement to the Facebook group, I will require a vote of the Executive Committee on this matter as provided for in the policy manual.
Your prompt attention to this important matter of integrity may help the LPPA avoid another unpleasant and highly public spectacle.
Chair, Libertarian Party of Snyder County