Harassment on the Mailbase

Fri, 29 Mar 1996 15:24:08 -0600 (CST)

A recent message directed at Suzanne Huffman and posted to this mailbase
included the following statement to her:

>You are one of us now doctor,put your statistics and experiemental designs
where >your conference smile and dress has been before. Grow up.
>Little Old Doctor Chambers"

I am sorry, but this kind of vicious, personal attack is offensive to me. I
realize that there are issues of free speech involved here, but there is a
point at which free speech crosses the line into harassment and abuse. To be
honest, I am tired of the daily litany of Dr. Chambers' hostile messages to
this mailbase. I am also somewhat disappointed that there has not been a
stronger degree of anger with his rudeness and personal attacks. Does free
speech mean that we should all sit by while Bill Chambers personally and
publically attacks every person who posts a message that is inconsistent with
his views on pcp or the constructivist community? How many individuals have to
be abused by Dr. Chambers in this way before people stand up to this kind of

I am seriously considering leaving the mailbase if this kind of monopolization
of it by one angry man continues. I realize that the next message I receive on
the mailbase is likely to be an insulting and angry attack on me by Bill
Chmabers that will likely make broad generalizations and unsubstantiated
accusations impugning my integrity. I expect this from him by this point, and
I am disturbed by the prospect of having to endure his venom. However, I have
to take a stand on this issue, since I feel that there are ethical issues
involved here. Principle E of the APA Ethics Code states that "Psychologists
seek to contribute to the welfare of those with whom they interact
professionally." I realize Dr. Chambers feels others have not abided by this
principle in regard to him. Fine. But I can speak to the fact that Dr.
Chambers' behavior on this mailbase seem to involve utter disregard for the
welfare of others. Further, the longer other members of the mailbase ignore
Dr. Chambers' behavior, the more complicit we all are in allowing him to abuse

I don't know if others are as unwilling to post on the mailbase these days as
I am. All I can say is that if personal attacks like the one I cite above are
what this mailbase is all about, then I want no part of it. If the wonders of
the internet mean that anyone with access to a computer can bully and abuse
colleagues, then perhaps we were better off back in the dark ages of snail mail.

In sum, I've had about enough. I don't know what to do about it, however. Is
anyone else feeling as I am?


Jonathan D. Raskin, Ph.D.
Dept. of Psychology
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. Merritt Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37209-1561
tel (615) 963-5158
fax (615) 963-5140
e-mail: raskinj@HARPO.TNSTATE.EDU