Winking at the Internet

Should SFWA actually keep its proceedings internal, or only pretend to keep its proceedings internal?

I’d like to think the organization had a little more self-respect than to grandstand for nonmembers with an entry on its blog like “Letter To Members on Board Activity”

Many of you have contacted us recently about your concerns regarding the actions of a SFWA member, including the recent misuse of the sfwaauthors Twitter feed. The Board has been engaged in a discussion of the various responses the organization may offer. Any action we take must conform to our bylaws and procedures, and will take time. Be assured that the Board is not idle on this matter, but must be deliberative to assure that any action is fairly reached and correctly implemented.

English translation: Hey, world, we want you to know we’re not doing nothing about that guy who’s got the internet all riled up but aren’t willing to name in a post although since you already know who we’re talking about it amounts to the same thing except we can plausibly deny that we mentioned him.

If SFWA officers think they shouldn’t be telling outsiders about this piece of business, the way to do that is by not telling us about it.

Or as Chick Gandil told Moonlight Graham after the brushback, “Don’t wink, kid.”

7 thoughts on “Winking at the Internet

  1. Look, we can all accept that The Guy Who Cannot be Named is a colossal trolling narcissistic psychopath. But it’s wrong to dump someone who’s otherwise qualified merely for being a jerk with creepy political positions.

    OTOH I think this latest stunt may provide the pretext the SFWA needs to eject the guy from membership. Not for his political opinions, simply for breaking SFWA rules. And that will be the end of that.

  2. I agree that if he’s to be ejected, it has to be for a legitimate cause (SFWA rules that no cause is required) and not because he’s a creep. Deliberate and malicious mis-use of SFWA resources is IMO a very legitimate reason for expulsion.

  3. @Andrew: And my thought is this example of SFWA’s PR was all pandering and no substance. I don’t really expect SFWA say anything substantive at this point to nonmembers like me reading the public side of their site. So saying nothing officially would have served them better.

    SFWA might have sent this as an e-mail to the members who submitted official complaints with the complete assurance that most of them would have rushed to post it on their blogs. The announcement would have hit the internet, leveraged by the credibility of the writers who repeated it (assuming they were satisfied with the update).

  4. @Kevin: Did I comprehend your parenthetical statement — no cause (like a rules violation) is required to terminate his SFWA membership? He claims to have paid a lifetime membership, so I suppose just refusing to let him renew is not an option. But the situation seems ripe for a lawsuit, so making sure they have a legitmate cause would be a good idea.

  5. Mike: While I’m not a SFWA member, I think I read elsewhere that the SFWA Board of Directors may terminate any member without cause, but that it takes a unanimous vote of the Board of Directors to do so. The member can be then reinstated if 2/3 of the members sign a petition calling for it, but SFWA is not required to take any official action to circulate such a petition.

  6. SFWA Bylaws state:

    “Section 10. Expulsion of Member. The officers of the Corporation may, by unanimous vote, expel any member for good and sufficient cause. In the event of such expulsion, the said member’s dues, if paid, shall be refunded on a pro rata basis. If a member so expelled is a life member, the refund shall be the life membership fee paid by the member minus $50 per year elapsed since the life membership was purchased. A member so expelled shall be reinstated upon petition of two-thirds of the active membership. The Corporation shall have no responsibility to circulate the petition.”

Comments are closed.