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All comments to posts have to await approval. Please be aware that, depending on when I'm logged onto the internet, it may take me hours, even longer, to moderate comments, so if they don't turn up in a speedy fashion, they are still in the queue. Comments that cross a line I'm not comfortable with will not get approved. Please note: Posts that overdo their passion and veer into name-calling or that make serious accusations without proof are going to have a hard time getting through.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

TA Facebook Page Unravels

Well, two updates of older posts in one day! It now appears that the moderators of the TA Facebook page have banned me, too! This is getting very childish and irritatingly provocative.  I'm really at a loss as to how to explain the mods' behavior or their intent, but the result is to divide people who should be on the same side regarding tenant rights and landlord contrivances.  But I'm continuing on, even if it's just in this little corner of cyberspace.  So, sorry to disappoint your perplexing attempt at stifling my voice, TA.  
__________________________________________

Older post from 6/28:


It's unfortunate that the Tenants Association Facebook page, the only consistently active voice that tenants have with their association, has speedily unraveled due to heavy-handed moderation which has forced out two supposed "Sock Puppets"--Brian O'Shanahan and Jill Saunders.

I (and I suspect other members of that Facebook page) don't care if Brian and Jill are aliases who use phoney avatars.  As long as they are respectful members, that should be the only requirement for being a member in good standing.  It seems that the bounce of Brian was compelled by some link he (or she) gave to the Conversion Blog, a blog that is anti-condo/pro co-op, and thereby at odds with the push of the TA/Brookfield for ownership as condos.  If so, this banning on the part of the moderators is rather surly and childish.  Surely, ALL matters related to PCV/ST tenants have a right to be discussed openly and without recrimination.

Worse, according to the posting by "Peter Stuyvesant"--an alias "group handle" for the TA--there's this threat:

"Furthermore, those who perpetuate Sock Puppets by Friend-Spamming with Sock Puppets, will also be de-friended, be banned from the TA Facebook page, and have their posts will be deleted." [sic]

I don't have a clear idea what's meant by "Friend-Spamming with Sock Puppets" (I believe someone posted a response from the then-banned Brian), but the threat is obviously directed at other members in good standing.

Frankly, all this heavy-handedness is bullshit and deeply disappointing coming from a couple of people who represent the TA, the organization that is suppose to represent ALL OF US.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

It strikes me that "Peter Stuyvesant" would also qualify as a "Sock Puppet." Not quite sure what that is but I'm guessing it is some kind of not real person. Probably wearing socks. On their hands. Or whatever.

Good to know that the TA is being run by a man dead 400 years with socks on his hands.

Actually, that sounds about right to me.

Anonymous said...

Many members of TA Board brook no dissent-a bunch of Stalinistas

Anonymous said...

From facebook's community standards page:

Identity and Privacy

On Facebook people connect and share using their real identities. This culture creates accountability and builds trust and safety for everyone. Claiming to be another person, creating multiple accounts, or falsely representing an organization undermines community and violates Facebook’s. Finally, you may not publish other people's personal information.

I don't know about you but I didn't notice a carveout for people who call themselves peterstuyvesant. Who's the sock puppet now, Pete?

Anonymous said...

There's no reason why all tenants can't post their comments, like on this blog. The TA's kind of control is insane. Is "Peter Stuyvesant" John Marsh? Who is it? And how'd he get on Facebook? It's dumb. He's doing exactly what he won't tolerate. "Brian O'Shanahan" seemed to be a valuable contributor.
Thank you, STR, for posting this. Where else could this be brought out?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Where else could this be brought out?<<

Since Lux left, only here, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

And we thought you were tough, STR!
Seriously, where there is no dissent and people are booted because their opinions don't meet the criteria of the Supreme Rulers, then what do we have? Bloomberg Lite! I will not renew my subscription to the TA, which I feel sad about because I have been a member for almost 40 years, but it has been taken over by some special agenda folks who do not necessarily represent the majority of the members and are in no way relevant to the majority of tenants in STPCVd. The TA used to be relevant, but because the property was sold at a ridiculous price to an entity that couldn't afford it and didn't know how to run it and this opened the floodgates to students, transients, et al, the TA doesn't really represent too many people now. Having said that, you would think they would try to hang on to and cultivate their existing members and court new ones. They won't achieve that with their "You are with us or you are the ENEMY" mentality.

Anonymous said...

How is any of this surprising ? From the same organization that shut down their own comment board because it was "too much work for a volunteer", and then eventually started a Facebook group where from DAY ONE, people were posting using fake FB accounts. Why were they using aliases (which btw is not the same as Sock puppetry) ? Because dissenting voices have NEVER been welcome in the ST/PCV community, either out of fear of retribution by the Landlord, or because the TA sought to control their work as closely as possible.

We're simply back to square one with the TA..... can't wait until they hold power on a condo association. Good luck with that.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I well remember the Facebook message board!

MBaaar said...

Kudos. Right on, brother. You got there before I did.

I posted the following on my blog:
I feel that the problem with the TAFB page is that they should allow anonymity & if that means 'sock puppets' so be it. There is an element of fear embedded in the TA's approach that should surfaced. The fear is that if you speak against Garodnick & the TA and you are identified and the TA has all the influence that it pretends to have, there may be repercussions. Like what? Like maybe you won't be allowed to buy. Or maybe...something else. Who knows? People express themselves here anonymously. There's nothing wrong with that. If the TA has a good case to make, then why fear or deny sock puppets? Why not show you have answers to tough questions? The whole point is to facilitate communication & answer questions. Not to manipulate & control. Unless & until the TA stops all the censorship & one-way communication, it will continue to undermine its own case & give every tenant in this complex reason to doubt its value.

John Marsh said...

As we have clearly articulated before, Peter Stuyvesant is a group moderator handle for the sole purpose of administering the TA Facebook Page. It is a handle used by a group of volunteers because managing the page is a full time job and can't be done by more one person alone.

To requote the Facebook policy: "On Facebook people connect and share using their real identities.

This culture creates accountability and builds trust and safety for everyone. Claiming to be another person, creating multiple accounts, or falsely representing an organization undermines community and violates Facebook’s policy.

Finally, you may not publish other people's personal information."

I invite you to go back and read my response to Steve Kaufman and see the evidence which has been presented for yourselves. People are stealing images from real people and using them to try to drive the conversation one way or another. They are using other people's identities in a deceitful manner. We are simply ensuring the validity of the voices on our page.

The handle Peter Stuyvesant does not attempt to drive the conversation one way or another, is is simply an administrative tool.

Facebook operates differently from this blog.

I hope the Anonymous author of this blog understands that there is a role for Facebook, just as we respect there is a role for this blog.

Anonymous said...

MBaaar uses a "heavy hand" in moderating his own blog. If you don't agree with his position on conversion, you are not published. As a result, not only have I stopped posting on his blog, I have stopped visiting it. I do not want to be one of the "unique visitors" he reports to his sponsor.

Anonymous said...

John Marsh,

I'm not sure that it matters what you "have clearly articulated before." It seems clear that you are violating Facebook's policies while simultaneously applying a different standard to your own followers.

I have to assume that you are "Mr. Stuyvesant." I didn't know that before but you can bet that I will let Facebook know that so that they can fairly apply their policy to you in the same manner in which you apply it to others.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I don't think there is any Facebook violation. A moderator can remove a member for whatever reason.

I also have concerns about this current problem having any impact, even a minor one, on tenants sticking together on tenant issues. Though I dislike the removal of Facebook members and posts, I still believe the TA has crucial importance to us, as we face clear challenges from monied real estate concerns that would love to see affordable housing a thing of the past in Stuy Town/Peter Cooper Village.

Anonymous said...

The violation is not in removing the "sock puppets" but in Mr. Marsh using a sock puppet to represent himself!

Anyway, it seems pretty clear to me that the TA only pays lip service to affordability as an issue while putting their (our) resources fully behind a conversion effort.

One could argue that conversions have protections for tenants but those protections are built into the law. The TA's actions in no way enhance those protections. The cry that they have pushed for a "no eviction plan" is a weak defense as few, if any, eviction plans succeed--so they really had no other choice on that issue.

At least on the surface, it certainly seems as though they are pushing for a deal if for no other reason than to entrench themselves in a place of power on a potential condo board.

MBaaar said...

Just one remark about censorship. I think I'm familiar with the person who blogs here who thankfully no longer comes to my site. I dropped about 3-4 comments from this person early on that were nothing more than ad hominem attacks & name-calling. Those people who do come to my site know if their comments were posted. That is the solid proof they have that they are being heard.

Anonymous said...

"Jill Saunders" and "Brian O'Shashanshahsa" were both LOUD MOUTHED sock puppets who drew attention to themselves and were combative with the TA on the page.

The TA has EVERY right to set a few basic rules for their page and enforce them.

Anonymous said...

"MBaaar said...

I feel that the problem with the TAFB page is that they should allow anonymity & if that means 'sock puppets' so be it."

Can TA set rules for your website then?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
MBaaar uses a "heavy hand" in moderating his own blog. If you don't agree with his position on conversion, you are not published. As a result, not only have I stopped posting on his blog, I have stopped visiting it. I do not want to be one of the "unique visitors" he reports to his sponsor.

Right on. Just the other day MBarr deleted a post where the poster was just asking simple questions looking for basic information, because he said he suspected them of "trolling". So let me get this straight --- he can do whatever he likes, but when someone is actually trolling with a proven fraudulent profile designed to look like an acutal tenant and the TA doesn't allow it, that's censorship?

But I guess if you have an agenda to anonymously push, logical consistency is not your #1 priority.

The Bat said...

Sorry MBAAR, AKA Jill Saunders, but your persona was a distraction on the TA page and you fought with most of the people who responded to your bulldozing way of communicating. You're not missed.

MBaaar said...

Perfect. This wasn't a post. Here's what I was asked via email from ejjj3:
"Supply a simplified summary of where things stand, i.e. parties involved and their current position, timelines (best guess), pricing options and process, anticipated options for rent stabilized vs. market tenants, litigation conclusions, etc."

"What are out prospects of buying an apt in the complex? What is likely to be the pricing formula? Will residents be given options in other apt in the complex? In PC? Is there an effective way to get involved and become more knowledgable outside the TA?"
A full answer would be like writing War & Peace. I responded with general answers but noted that the questions were so broad & many answers already so well publicized, that I suspected this was possibly a put-on. And I posted "If we don't hear from ejjj3 by 1pm, I'll retire this post."

I never heard from ejjj3.

Actually, I don't care if the TA doesn't want to allow anonymity. We'll keep doing our thing. But the TA just posted the possibility of having an open dialogue at its site about questions & doubts. It's just contradictory to say you want an open dialogue and then at the same time not allow any anonymity.

Anonymous said...

mbaar is only trying to stir up controversy and attention in an attempt to drive traffic to that tumble weed of a site he's got going.

Anonymous said...

Do you understand the difference between a sock puppet and using an official log-in identity that can be shared by multiple administrators???? Peter Stuyvesant is the administrators profile name, and multiple TA officials use it.

Anonymous said...

Sockpuppet (Internet)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception. The term—a reference to the manipulation of a simple hand puppet made from a sock—originally referred to a false identity assumed by a member of an internet community who spoke to, or about himself while pretending to be another person.[1] The term now includes other uses of misleading online identities, such as those created to praise, defend or support a third party or organization.[2] A significant difference between the use of a pseudonym[3] and the creation of a sockpuppet is that the sockpuppet poses as an independent third-party unaffiliated with the puppeteer.

Anonymous said...

"Peter Stuyvesant is the administrators profile name, and multiple TA officials use it."

Well, now he seems to be as dead as his namesake. IMO, the TA version didn't do any favors to the original man's reputation or memory.

Anonymous said...

MBaar says... "We'll keep doing our thing."

Yeah. The same thing the TA site was doing. Keeping the dialogue on track with what you hope to accomplish and filtering out all of the dissenting views.

And by the way, why are you posting here, anyway? With the staggering traffic on your site and the robust dialogue you must be called upon to moderate, how could you possibly have time to visit your wisdom on us mere mortals here? We are truly blessed...

Anonymous said...

All this acrimony between the TA and the Guterman proponents, as well as the TA's rigid rules and secrecy, really puts me off the idea of wanting to buy my apartment. I don't think I'd want any of those people having a say in how this place is run if it ever were to go co-op or condo.

Chris said...

Regarding MBaaar-I've given up as well. He or she is very pro-coop, anti-TA, and the site is edited to reflect that. Plus some of the info posted by MB is just plain wrong, but why bother trying to correct an anonymous blogger with unknown credentials?

Anonymous said...

"All this acrimony between the TA and the Guterman proponents, as well as the TA's rigid rules and secrecy, really puts me off the idea of wanting to buy my apartment."

You could be put off by that or the fact that, regardless of structure, the place is going to be a money pit and an financial fiasco.

Either way, I agree with your sentiment.

Anonymous said...

Now I know for sure that I want nothing whatsoever to do with any conversion endeavor spearheaded by the TA. I do not like them or trust them. Their obsessive secrecy, control-freakishness and just plain nastiness does not portend well for anyone who would seek to purchase their apartment and have any kind of opinion, question or party-line difference from the TA. I would rather continue to have a bloodsucking landlord than get involved in anything to do with the TA. It seems to be the lesser of two evils.

Anonymous said...

Sad that they would ban you, STR. I've given up on the TA in a lot of ways and this makes me give up on them even more.

Anonymous said...

Did you get any warning or reason for the banning?

Anonymous said...

They didn't ban STR, they banned a sock puppet who happened to be STR. Did the account say it was STR? If so, they might have left it.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

No, there was no warning or reason given. At least I'm saved future donations to the TA, as it would be absurd to donate to an organization that bans me from their own Facebook! As a tit-for-tat, I've removed the TA's contact info from the main blog page, and the contact info of its Facebook page. Not a big deal for the TA, of course, as its primary objective is securing a condo deal, in which wealthier members of our community stand to become "landowners" (ie, own their apartments). This is the sparkle in the eyes of the potentially "nouveau riche." Screw everyone else.

BTW, I wish I could pass a comment about "Sock Puppets," but that comment outs some who posted as "Jill" on the TA Facebook page, and I can't rightly out this person here. I think it's been plain for a while that the Guterman blog has a strong advocate who is associated with Guterman and who used to come on the TA Facebook blog, and who also posts here. But, for me, this is not a problem.

Anonymous said...

"BTW, I wish I could pass a comment about "Sock Puppets," but that comment outs some who posted as "Jill" on the TA Facebook page, and I can't rightly out this person here. I think it's been plain for a while that the Guterman blog has a strong advocate who is associated with Guterman and who used to come on the TA Facebook blog"

Which is why the TA's actions are justified IMHO.

Anonymous said...

STR, I am assuming that you were posting on the TA Facebook page as a "sock puppet" and that's why they banned you, correct? If so, why not just post under your real name? Does the TA know who you really are? Is that why you don't want to use your real name?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>STR, I am assuming that you were posting on the TA Facebook page as a "sock puppet" and that's why they banned you, correct? If so, why not just post under your real name? Does the TA know who you really are? Is that why you don't want to use your real name?<<

I was intentionally using, for the longest time, "Lamont Cranston." And that's not a "sock puppet" but an obvious alias, aka, The Shadow, with an avatar graphic of The Shadow to underline the point. If the TA mods have all of sudden figured out that The Shadow is just an alias--well, then they are pretty slow on the uptake, remarkably so! And, yes, I don't want my real name known everywhere for obvious reasons; otherwise, I wouldn't use STR here. But I never posted as a duplicitous "sock puppet," presenting viewpoints for another entity, and only used to make brief comments on the TA Facebook page that were never unfavorable to the TA.

As to whether the mods knew that STR was "Cranston," I believe I did out that relationship a while back, and there are other ways of them knowing.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

The bottom line is that the TA has made an enemy out of me. Whereas before I was critical on occasion of the TA, and almost exclusively with its rabid focus on condo conversion which is NOT affordable housing, and whereas I supported the TA with donations/dues, now I will look upon this organization in a very different light. I felt something was very wrong with the banning of Guterman "sock puppets," because it's a slippery slope (another one in Stuy Town!) to banning others.

Again, I will continue on here, but whatever support I had for the TA is gone now. It's a small organization that is, unfortunately, getting smaller and by their regrettable own design. If the TA accomplishes something that benefits this community and "affordability," I will report it and sing hosannas. Otherwise....

BTW, there is one person who is consistently trying to get irritating and quite stupid comments accepted here. It won't happen. So don't waste your time. Your time would be better spent heading over to the Oval Cafe and buying some chicken fingers.

Anonymous said...

Don’t forget that the TA and Dan Garodnick are joined at the hip, and the commentary on this blog has not been that favorable to Dan.

Anonymous said...

There are political reasons why the TA bans anonymity or sock puppets from its FB page. First, they know perfectly well that with anonymity will come very challenging questions for which they probably have no answers. (If they truly wanted an open dialogue, they could filter out the crazies.) Second, with anonymity a dialogue will occur & when the TA positions don't hold, they risk losing some support. Third, the TA feels that it's in the catbird seat because of Garodnick, T&V and other pols. They can only lose by enabling dialogue; they have nothing to gain. The simple fact is they don't want an open dialogue, have not wanted one from the beginning. And the moral superiority they like to tout about non-anonymity is enough to make most of us gag.

Anonymous said...

ANON @ July 4, 2012 5:24 PM,

You really said it all. These people have an agenda and are not to be trusted. Period.

And, if you scratch at the surface of the Board members, you will find things that are less than encouraging.