Worldcon Open Comments

I’m still on the sidelines but improving. Meantime I thought it a good idea to create a space to leave comments on MidAmameriCon this week for those who are checking here.

480 thoughts on “Worldcon Open Comments

  1. I went to John Scalzi’s reading today. Given that he filled an entire auditorium last year at Sasquan, the fact that they scheduled him in a very small programming room seemed incredibly thoughtless and shortsighted. There were people packing the aisles by sitting on the floor, and many people standing outside the door trying to hear.

    Someone who had their own ASL person showed up to the reading (of a story with a lot of tongue-twisting, nonsensical alien words in it) — and as funny as Scalzi was (and he was pretty funny), the ASL signer was absolutely hysterical. I quit watching Scalzi and ended up spending the entire time watching the signer, whose performance was an absolute ROFL-fest.

  2. Chad Saxelid: Damn. The moment I saw Patel’s tweets, I regretted not going to the State of Short Fiction panel.

    Avid train-wreck watcher, are ye, then? 😉

  3. @Hampus:

    After the Hugo Award Ceremony, in the hospitality area, near the tivoli area.

    Suddenly, you’re Danish? ;->

    (Tack för brännvin.)

  4. JJ – can you say what your “special search” is on Twitter? Or link to it? I’m missing some of these tweets and I’m very curious. 😀 (Also a trainwreck-watcher, although sadly not at Worldcon myself. And a lurker here, not a usual poster.)

  5. Camestros Felapton on August 19, 2016 at 1:33 pm said:
    Jim Henley on August 19, 2016 at 6:52 am said:

    Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius didn’t win

    It won in our hearts.

    It also won according to this encyclopaedia I have here.

  6. I’m surprised no one called/texted someone on the ConCom to come have a talk with DT. I’m thinking back to how Mark Oshiro handled issues of a fellow panelists “removing their pants”. I’d put DTs monologue and continuing behavior during the panel under racist and sexist behavior making people uncomfortable and unwelcome and appropriate to report to the the incident team.

    ETA: Do we need to train panelists on what to do when a moderator or fellow panelists goes off the rails?

  7. Tasha Turner, Scalzi reports that Truesdale reports that Truesdale has been expelled from worldcon. Scalzi is not there, and is going by what Truesdale has written on his Facebook page.

  8. @Cassy B.
    Good that he’s been expelled but it still would have been good if he’d been removed during the panel by someone using the in-place reporting process.

  9. He shouldn’t have been expelled from the con. Granted, I wasn’t there, so I’m going based on various third-hand reports.

  10. I don’t have any verified information; I’m not there and even if I were, I’m not on the concom. But the evidence suggests that this was not a spontaneous outburst, but instead a planned hijacking of the panel; he came prepared with “pearl necklaces” and, apparently, a written statement that he was photographed reading, to the apparent dismay of the actual panelists (judging by that same photograph).

    The moderator’s job is to make sure that everyone else is talking. Most of the time, in my personal experience, a good moderator is the one doing the LEAST talking. Ironically, most of their job (as I’ve seen it done) is to keep one person from taking over at the expense of everyone else…

    I’m not sure whether Truesdale’s reported behavior rises to expel-from-Worldcon levels, but I’d say it certainly rises to remove-from-any-other-panels-he-may-be-scheduled-for levels.

  11. Expelling him gives the culture war in SF/F another full tank of gas. On Lou Antonelli’s Facebook wall, Brad Torgersen has begun the rending of garments, airing of grievances and naming of enemies — beginning with Patrick Nielsen-Hayden, curiously, who has absolutely nothing to do with this as far as I can determine.

    I’m developing a taste for Brad’s salty tears and welcome his insertion into any controversy that triggers his conservative persecution complex. So bitter! So random! So Brad!

  12. A statement from MidAmericon II, released on Twitter:

    “Dave Truesdale’s membership was revoked because he violated MidAmeriCon II’s Code of Conduct. Specifically, he caused ‘significant interference with event operation and caused excessive discomfort to others.'”

    twitter.com

  13. @Cassy B.: I agree that his first degree (pre-planned intent) behavior should’ve meant removal from programming, though I don’t know whether he was scheduled for any other programming.

  14. @rcade: Thanks for that info & link! I still feel that’s a big hammer to use, but the “significant interference with event operation” part of the reason is interesting and a better reason IMHO (though I still feel, a mistake).

  15. rcade, I just looked at the panelist list for that panel. According to the website, it’s David Truesdale | Sheila Williams | Mr Jonathan Strahan (Coode Street Productions) | Neil Clarke (Clarkesworld Magazine) | Gordon Van Gelder.

    Patrick Nielsen Hayden (no hyphen, by the way) was not on the panel in question. In fact, Teresa Nielsen Hayden was scheduled on a different panel at the same time, and it seems not-unlikely to me that PNH would be attending the panel that his wife was on….

    So how PNH could have sabotaged Truesdale is beyond my comprehension. LSD in the water (that, after all, Tor provided)? Mind-control rays? (He should have worn a tinfoil hat, I guess….

  16. From what I read of what he was saying he violated the CoC as well as his position of moderator with intent. Violating the CoC may result in expulsion. Intending and following through with misusing your position of power as moderator bodes ill for your behavior the rest of the con. From tweets I was reading on #MAC2 he was scheduled for at least one other panel.

    I think MACII is making it clear they won’t tolerate this kind of behavior.

  17. I applaud the actions of MAC 2. Dudebros need to get the message that behaving like a jackass in public is not tolerable.

  18. I’m surprised anyone takes David Truesdale seriously. I started reading Tangent when he started it in the early 1990s, because I love short fiction and the idea of a magazine which reviews short fiction appeals to me. Almost immediately, it became obvious to me that DT is a fool. The magazine is useful, but a very little of DT himself goes a long way.

    That he did what he did on that panel isn’t at all surprising. I’ve seen tall children derail panels before. But it was never the moderator.

  19. From what I read of what he was saying he violated the CoC as well as his position of moderator with intent.

    I’m puzzled about the convention’s logic to ban him, absent specifics.

    If a moderator plans remarks ahead of time that are provocative, that doesn’t always mean there was an intent to upset and anger people. Couldn’t he just be clueless about how his actions would be received and too bad at reading the room to know when to change his planned intro and shut up?

  20. @rcade

    If he didn’t realise that some of the people he was planning to insult (with props) were going to be in the room, then he hasn’t even looked at the names of the rest of the panelists.

  21. We might not get a chance to hear the audio of the panel. Panelist Jonathan Strahan posted this on Facebook to Dave Truesdale: “Dave, while I felt we had cordial communications on the panel yesterday, and while I tried at every point to treat you with respect and civility, I would point out that I was unaware that you were recording the panel, and that I do not consent to it being distributed publicly. I hope you will respect my request and not do so. Best, Jonathan.”

    I don’t think it’s fair for a panelist to ask this. The default assumption for con panels should be that they are public events which might be shared in video or audio form, whether by the convention itself or another entity.

    Many years ago the comics artist Howard Chaykin was furious that I reported in the Comics Buyer’s Guide things he had said at the Dallas Fantasy Fair while speaking at a panel. He acted as if I’d broken a taboo by not treating panels as private discussions to be kept in the room.

  22. If he didn’t realise that some of the people he was planning to insult (with props) were going to be in the room, then he hasn’t even looked at the names of the rest of the panelists.

    Are you saying he insulted specific people directly?

  23. Re: train-wreck watchers. Staged train wrecks used to be popular spectacles. One of the most famous was the one staged by the Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad in Crush, Texas. Scott Joplin even wrote a song about it. Sure there were fatalities, but what’s a spectacle without the occasional fatality?

  24. Truesdale apparently has a beef with Neil Clarke, per his Facebook comment on Stephanie Souders’ wall:

    Stephanie Souders Trouble? Me? Trying to explain how PC and snowflakes are ruining SF. Twasn’t 4 minutes before the boos and hollerin’ started. Had to ask the audience (while looking at one asshole in particular) to not shout out from the audience, that there would be plenty of time for questions afterward. Amazingly, that worked. Was like walking into a snake pit. Word on the street has it that it didn’t take long for the twitterverse to light up. I’m not on twitter but know from past experience where I’ve poked the SJWs big time what they’re saying. Gordon Van Gelder was the only one who agreed with me on one of the few points I was able to make, and we had drinks in the Marriott bar for about an hour afterward. Much laughter ensued. He hates this PC BS more than anyone. Neil Clarke, editor of Clarkesworld was a total asshole.

    He posted that last night. Maybe it factored in to the con’s decision to boot him.

  25. @rcade
    Intent isn’t magic. The CoC is pretty specific.

    From the CoC:
    Privacy, Photographs, and Recording Electronic Information

    Personal Photography / Recordings:
    Please be polite and ask before taking photographs or recordings of attendees and members whenever possible. Remember that just because someone is in costume does not mean that they are automatically granting permission to be photographed. Video and audio recording and photography for personal archival use only is generally acceptable unless individuals make it clear that they do not want to be photographed or recorded. In that case, any photographing or recording them is expressly forbidden.

  26. Panelist Jonathan Strahan posted this on Antonelli’s Facebook wall:

    I do not know if this is correct, but I was told he was not ejected because of the panel. He was ejected because of a later incident (which I do not know the details of). I would not have supported his being ejected over the panel.

  27. The CoC is pretty specific.

    I don’t think that rule covers panels very well. A panel is a group event created by panelists and audience members (who speak) collectively. Should one participant be able to say after the fact “I don’t consent to sharing this” and no one be able to share it? Or the opposite, where one participant consents and it’s OK to share?

  28. If van Gelder agrees with Truesdale he sure has a funny way of showing it given that he selected Finlay to succeed him at F&SF.

  29. I suspect getting ejected from the con was his ultimate goal … thus providing a martyr for the cause.

  30. Intending to post a recording DT made without getting permission from the participants (fellow panelists and audience) is a direct violation of MACII CoC. Obviously I don’t know what else went on.

    He states his intent to do so in the thread you link to above @rcade.

  31. Leaving aside this particular panel, there are many past Worldcon panels on YouTube and more will be shared in the future. Would you really like to see them disappear on the principle that every single participant must grant permission — a practical impossibility?

    Tonight’s Hugo Awards will be broadcast and I don’t recall that ever being an issue involving permission of the participants. Everyone assumes it is a public event. Why are convention panels any different?

  32. I should have posted Strahan’s second comment too: “Allegedly there was some kind of physical altercation, but to be clear I do not know this to be true. It is simply what I heard second hand.”

  33. That Van Gelder ‘agreed with him on one of the few points he was able to make’ is a very limited statement, whose wider implications are far from clear. I mean, I agree with some things that John C. Wright has said….

  34. MACII’s tweet was a bit vague:

    “significant interference with event operations and caused excessive discomfort to others”

    If the ‘excessive discomfort’ bit refers to a later incident and not the panel, they should make that more clear.

  35. @rcade
    In other news the convention records stuff especially major events and it notes that. Mentions it in several places even. You might try reading the CoC and other rules of the convention.

    According to Jonathan Strahan, again in the link you posted, there is more to the expulsion than just the panel.

  36. Andrew M: Truesdale also said of Van Gelder, “we had drinks in the Marriott bar for about an hour afterward. Much laughter ensued. He hates this PC BS more than anyone.”

  37. @rcade

    No, I’m not saying that he looked directly at e.g. Neil Clarke and deliberately insulted him by name, I’m saying he planned and delivered an insult that was clearly directed at a group of people that included e.g. Neil Clarke in the knowledge that he would be in the panel. I don’t think the passive-aggressiveness of his chosen method really improve matters.

  38. You might try reading the CoC and other rules of the convention.

    OK. From the Code of Conduct:

    Photography and video and/or audio recordings are frequently made by MidAmeriCon II during events. The likenesses of event attendees and members may appear in those recordings. Attendees and members agree to assign without compensation the use of their likeness in promotional material.

    Truesdale was serving as a representative of the con at the time he made the recording. The code of conduct tells attendees that such recording might take place and they consent to its use.

    The con could tell him now not to release it, of course. But if the con records and shares a panel, no participant’s permission is required.

  39. I’m saying he planned and delivered an insult that was clearly directed at a group of people that included e.g. Neil Clarke in the knowledge that he would be in the panel.

    Without the specific insult, I can’t really judge whether he was behaving badly enough to merit explusion from the con. What you describe is a gray area. If he’s talking about a group he considers a problem in SF/F without calling out specific people in that group, he might not have an intent to insult.

    If we were on a panel and talked about the Puppies movement in a derisive manner, should individuals who identify with the Puppies be able to take direct insult and ask that we be punished under the Code of Conduct?

    This discussion is why I’d prefer to hear the panel rather than judge him too harshly based on interpretations of what happened.

  40. @rcade, permission to record people is not an “assume” situation. There are legal requirements about consent that need to be met. When something is recorded for broadcast or online streaming, it’s publicly posted that you’re entering an area being filmed and entering constitutes consent. The alternative would be consent via individual release forms, which, as you say, is not feasible in a large space. If Worldcons don’t post a filming notice outside the events they record and put online, they’re not doing what they’re required to do. If they do, I think it’s pretty clear why the panelists had an expectation that they weren’t being recorded. And Truesdale would have had to post his own notice, because he’s not Worldcon, and their releases are only an agreement between the attendees and Worldcon, not the attendees and Truesdale.

    (There are some exceptions for news reporting, but if Truesdale recorded on the grounds that he was secretly documenting subjects as a reporter, there are some much bigger issues in how he was presenting himself and what his role and intentions were. The fact that he did record it secretly definitely raises some questions on that front.)

    ETA: Truesdale was serving as a representative of the con at the time he made the recording.

    No. Posting it on his own website makes him a representative of his own site, not of the con. It’s not Worldcon broadcasting, but Tangent, and no one had notice that Tangent was recording for broadcast.

  41. … permission to record people is not an “assume” situation. There are legal requirements about consent that need to be met.

    There are, but Missouri is a one-party consent state, so the rights of an individual to record are broad. Truesdale was a participant and he consented to the recording he was making.

    Posting it on his own website makes him a representative of his own site, not of the con.

    I already acknowledged that the con could tell him not to share it. The issue was whether consent was needed from all attendees for him to record it at all, and what the Code of Conduct says about such an action.

  42. Here’s what Truesdale believes his rights are, in response to Strahan asking him not to share the panel audio:

    However, Missouri Recording Law does give me the legal right to do what I did, and in defense of myself and the lies and smears that I have already read about the panel today, I think it is in the best interest of myself and all those who desire to know — word for word — what took place at the panel. I therefore most respectfully decline your request.

    Gotta run. I’ll check back for replies later.

    Personally, I think Worldcon should share every panel every year and keep the archive up forever. I say that as someone who is deeply bitter I had to cancel my plans to attend this year.

  43. Amoxtli on August 20, 2016 at 2:14 pm said:

    @rcade, permission to record people is not an “assume” situation.

    Public comments in a public place – that is an “assume” situation (if both apply – I think based on what I know of UK and Australia law, may be wrong obviously*).

    Quasi-public comments in a quasi-public forum in a privately owned space but with admission to fee-paying public. Don’t know. I think intellectual property issues would be the problem rather than privacy ones. (and not-being-a-jerk issues obviously)

    *[not a lawyer]

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