In the past we had written about censorship and moderation on online groups.
Today we are going to write about one organization specifically, and in a few days we will write about another one that might surprise some people.
Today’s article is about the PMI Lebanon Chapter.
- I am a member of PMI and has been for more than 15 years.
- When I moved back to Lebanon last year, I joined the PMI Lebanon Chapter
As some of you might know, I am personally quite active online, have this personal blog, write most of the articles for the SUKAD blog, with significant readership from more than 150 countries. I am not writing this to brag but to stress that I write often and many find values in what I write.
I am direct in my writing – no hidden agendas – and not afraid to share my opinion even when my opinion might be controversial or challenge the conventional wisdom. Since I believe in open communication and people are entitled to their opinions, I do not like but can tolerate moderation on online groups to block OFFENSIVE language but cannot tolerate censorship to block opinions that might be different than the author or the moderator. My blogs are not moderated and people can say anything they want – as long as they do not use derogatory remarks (racial, sexist, discriminatory, etc.).
Since I am active online and I like to write, I also participate in many online discussions regularly. One of those groups is a PMI Chapter that I belong to … It is unfortunate that most posts on the chapter LinkedIn page only get 4 or 5 people commenting and I am one of them. On more than one occasion – I had views that are different or opposite from the moderator on more than one topic. At a point, I noticed that the moderator is not moderating my comments but he was blocking – censoring some. I raised the issue but no sensible response so I decided to stop posting my blog on the chapter site and also stopped commenting on other posts – so I do not get annoyed every time the moderator censor my views.
I have been away for many weeks – but i made the mistake of commenting on a Facebook post on the chapter page … I did not like the blog that was being shared (title and content) so I commented on the blog site and on the PMI chapter Facebook page.
However, my initial comment on the PMI Chapter Facebook page was also published but received a response … I wrote a blog countering the argument in presented in that post … and posted a link on the chapter page – it was deleted.
I posted another message critiquing the chapter for blocking the message – so they delete all my comments. If you notice in the next image – the first comment was in response to me – by my post is not there. Another comment starts with “Again” also was in response to my other comment which was also deleted.
Now since you did not see what we posted – some could think this is really offensive. As we said earlier – we write in a direct style, which may or may not include critique.
The point we are raising here is the concept of censorship. This is silly situation and example that we are sharing here … it is silly to the point of being ridiculous. What could be so bad here to block my opinion (or others) if we did not like a post and stated our opinion professionally? As a professional network on social media – you have to accept praise, critique, and other comments. No officer on the chapter or the page moderator has the write to block professional messages just because they did not like what to say.
Avoiding this Blog
In order not to write this blog – I wrote the chapter president and the chapter founder (who is not an officer on the chapter). I shared with them the situation and this was not acceptable. I ask the president to re-instate the comments. In the last few days since I wrote them – I had exchanged a few emails with the founder – but not a single response from the president or the chapter. The comments were not re-instated either.
I wrote again to the president – clearly saying that I will blog about this – no response – hence this blog!
I am not writing to fight the chapter or anyone else – what i am writing is to raise an issue – common online which is censorship. We are not discussing politics nor religion – which could be sensitive topic. These are professional discussions on topic important to a field of study such as project management which is highly valuable for individuals and organizations. People like me write to share knowledge – obviously like in anything in life there are differences of opinion. How can we grow as individuals, professionals, societies, organizations, and nations if we cannot dialogue and where one person (or more) because they have moderator power, feel they are smarter or more capable or more caring or more whatever else to BLOCK and SILENCE another member?
A professional organization, like PMI and a PMI Chapter, PRIMARY mission is to grow the “profession” so how can it allow individuals – with or without hidden agendas decides on who can speak or cannot speak?
Next article – ??