The Decline of BA

To: Jenny Spry <>
Subject: The Decline of BA
From: Paul Dodd <>
Date: Fri, 8 Jan 2016 07:38:57 +0000
I too have received email responses offline that, whilst not threatening are 
certainly unwelcome:

Criticising my trip reports as a waste of time and that I should just have 
written "Went to <insert place here> and saw birds."

Suggesting that my posts were pointless and irrelevant.

Suggesting that because the particular member wasn't interested in what I had 
to say, I should not have bothered posting.

Incessant correction of spelling, punctuation, grammar and capitalisation.

Suggesting that any sort of distance birding was wasteful, pointless and 
unnecessarily increased my carbon footprint.

Suggesting that keeping lists was irrelevant and did not contribute to the 
"science" of birding.

Suggesting that organising or participating in Twitchathons was wasteful, 
non-contributing and unnecessary use of resources.

Competitively participating in a Big Year was wasteful, unnecessary and did not 
contribute to the "science" of birding.

Being told that my particular forms of birding were wrong or non-contributing 
because they didn't align with the respondent's form of birding.

Being told that my posts on camera gear were useless and not related to birding 
in any way so should not be posted.

Being told that bird photography was not real birding.

Being told that bird photographers (including me) were scum and responsible for 
all sorts of ills.

I'm sure I could find other examples, as the list is quite extensive.

So, to those of you that have proffered "surprise" at Jenny, these things 
really happen.

It's somewhat wearing, to be honest. And I've never had similar responses or 
backlash to any of my posts on Facebook.

Paul Dodd
Docklands, Victoria

Sent from my iPhone

> On 5 Jan 2016, at 11:43 AM, Jenny Spry <> wrote:
> Hi  John and B-A,
> In the context of this discussion I think the phrase "robust responses"
> could have something to do with the problem. Maybe it is all in the
> interpretation, and how the receiver feels about getting "robust
> responses". Oh, and please don't read any of the following as a general
> comment on the 99% of wonderful and very interesting B-A contributors, the
> people currently in this thread - this is for the 1% who do act as trolls,
> and so far they have not joined in.
> If I am sent a "robust response" in public I am unlikely to make another
> post so as to avoid a second such response. When it is sent to me in
> private I feel especially threatened; I had one case where I replied to the
> sender requesting that he never contact me again and his reply was that
> that was not possible because he sent so many emails he would never be able
> to remember who had asked him not to send emails; and that was when I
> dropped out of B-A. Sigh.
> In general it is interesting to me that "sledging" and "robust
> communication" are now seen as being acceptable forms of communication. And
> I do think that there is a gender difference (not "sexist") in how
> communications are sent and received. Male to male "sledging" and "robust
> communication" seems, to me anyway, to be a form of verbal jousting, a
> challenge to be met and engaged with. When it is male to female, for me
> anyway, it is an attack. When it is female to male it seems, to me anyway
> that, by the "trolls", the woman will be branded as a "F***king Witch".
> Maybe you are right, maybe trolls do only attack women, or perhaps when the
> trolls attack men it is read as just "robust communication" or "sledging".
> Who knows. So much in communication styles have changed and possibly
> (probably) over the decades I have not changed with them.
> I will try putting up a few trip reports again but should I get a
> "sledging" or "robust communication" in private I will post the offending
> email on B-A and drop out again.
> I am going to drop out of the thread now before I attract a troll (smile).
> cheers
> Jenny
>> On 5 January 2016 at 10:44, John Leonard <> wrote:
>> Hi Jenny
>> I am astonished and saddened to hear of your BA experiences.
>> I have been a reader and contributor to BA for 20 years, and in that time
>> have made my views known on a number of topics,  but during all that time I
>> have not received a single email of an abusive nature. (There have been a
>> few robust responses to my contributions, but only sent to the group as a
>> whole).
>> Is it that trolls only target women?
>> Anyway, I'm sorry we do not now have your contributions because of his
>> harassment.
>> John Leonard
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