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Old November 3rd 08, 02:06 PM posted to,,alt.chess,,
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: May 2006
Posts: 14,870
Default USCF Forum Moderators Defy Orders of both ED and President

Both of the two active moderators of the USCF Issues Forum, Tim
Sawmiller and Herbert Rodney Vaughn, were appointed after posting
statements that Sam Sloan should be banned from posting there.

Both were also supporters of Polgar.

Thus, it was no surprise when Sam Sloan was put on moderated status,
meaning that he and anybody who agreed with him was often not allowed
to post.

However, now the worm has turned. Polgar is no longer in favor. Now,
the USCF and Sam Sloan are on the same side of Polgar's lawsuit.

Sam Sloan has been trying to post links to legal documents filed in
federal court in Polgar vs. USCF. In general, Sloan is the only USCF
member who has those documents at least initially, because he is the
only USCF member on the service list.

This has led to a confrontation. Both Bill Goichberg and Bill Hall
have informed Tim Sawmiller and Rodney Vaughn that there is nothing in
the AUG that prohibits links to legal documents, especially those
filed by the USCF. Randy Bauer has expressed agreement with the two

Sawmiller and Vaughn continue to insist that these links not be
allowed primarily because the legal documents contain phone numbers,
even though the only telephone number on these documents is the number
of the lawyer filing the pleading.

So, the situation is that Sawmiller and Vaughn are contumaciously
refusing to obey the directives of the Executive Director and the

Here are some quotes from yesterday and today under the subject header
"Ten Replies Filed today by USCF in Polgar vs USCF" concerning this

Originally Posted by tsawmiller
Originally Posted by nolan
Here is a copy of a note Bill Hall
had me post to the forum staff on 10/23:

I have talked to Bill Hall on this, here are his instructions
regarding posts that provide a link to legal filings in lawsuits to
which the USCF is a party:

These posts are allowed if all of the following apply:

1. The subject heading does not violate the AUG.

2. The contents of the post other than the link do not violate the

3. When displayed, the contents of the legal filing in the link appear
to be complete and unmodified. This means, for example, that addresses
and other personal information, if part of the legal filing, do not
need to be redacted. (The point here is that the legal filing is a
public document.)

4. Bringing up the link does not bring up anything other than the
legal filing content which violates the AUG.

Please note that any subsequent discussion of the legal filing still
needs to remain within the AUG.

Bill Hall
My interpretation of point #3 is that if the link is to the court's
official files, that point would clearly be met. However, if the link
is a purported copy of a legal filing on someone's personal web page,
then #3 may not be met.

Mike Nolan
With all due respect to Mr. Hall, he is not the author of the AUG, the
Executive Board is.

Tim Sawmiller
Originally Posted by chessoffice
The instructions posted by Bill Hall do not
appear to be in conflict with the AUG.

The AUG state, "Do not post phone numbers, email addresses or other
personal information of others." Whether links to documents that
include phone numbers or email addresses may be posted is not

The purpose of prohibiting the posting of phone numbers is to protect
the privacy of those who may not want their number known, or may not
want posters encouraged to call it. If a link to a document including
phone numbers is posted, moderators should use their judgment
regarding whether or not that link violates someone's privacy. If the
link is to a publicly available legal document related to a lawsuit
involving USCF, it seems obvious that there is no violation of privacy
if the document includes the business phone numbers of the lawyers
involved. Other links to documents involving phone numbers may also
be acceptable, for example a link to a TLA that includes the
organizer's phone number would almost certainly be OK, as the
organizer has chosen to publicize this phone number.

Regarding email addresses, these should not be posted because they
might be harvested and used to send spam. However, posting a link to
a document that includes an email address does not have the same
effect and may be acceptable, as such a document is likely to generate
spam whether linked to or not.

Bill Goichberg
Originally Posted by tanstaafl
I see no problem with linking to a document that
contains the lawyers business phone numbers.

That wasn't the subject we were being given guidance on.

I've posted the opinion that directly linking to a document that would
itself violate the AUG if posted here, shouldn't be allowed. My
reasoning is that allowing such a direct link would make the
provisions in the AUG meaningless. We've applied this reasoning in
the past to disallow some pages to be linked in.

Is the consensus opinion that this approach is incorrect? Are we
being instructed to abandon it? If so, I expect we'll see a rush to
post some VERY offensive links.

Is the approach only incorrect if the linked document is a legal
document that's already public? That doesn't provide much assurance
that we won't STILL see some links to some very offensive material.
Some people don't seem to exercise much restraint in what the say in
legal documents that are public.

Herbert Vaughn
Originally Posted by tsawmiller
Originally Posted by nolan
Does that mean that the moderators
do not intend to follow Bill Hall's instructions on this?

Mike Nolan
It means that THIS moderator will be using his "judgment regarding
whether or not that link violates someone's privacy", as Mr. Goichberg
has stated. I suspect that the other moderators will use their
judgement as well. I have no issue with anything else in Mr. Hall's
instructions. In fact, aside from this "private information in links"
issue, the moderators have been acting in the manner of those
instructions all along.

Tim Sawmiller
Originally Posted by nolan
When the moderators choose to ignore the SPECIFIC
INSTRUCTIONS of the USCF Executive Director, the same person who
appointed them as moderators, so that it will apparently require the
Executive Board to pass those instructions as a formal motion to get
their compliance, is it any wonder that the USCF can't get stuff done?

Mike Nolan
Originally Posted by Brian Mottershead
You are making too little of it. Not only
are they choosing to ignore a ruling of the ED, they are doing that in
order to enforce a provision that cannot be found in the AUG, but only
their "interpretation" of the AUG, one which, moreover, defies
common sense. The interpretation on which they are insisting
requires that court documents filed by the USCF itself cannot be
linked to in the USCF's own issues forum. How long do you have to
think about that in order to conclude that it is absurd, and that
therefore the "interpretation" must be wrong?

Brian Mottershead
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Old November 3rd 08, 03:45 PM posted to,,alt.chess,,
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: May 2006
Posts: 14,870
Default USCF Forum Moderators Defy Orders of both ED and President

Terry Vibbert, the remaining moderator, also supports disobeying the
directive of the Executive Director Bill Hall.

This trouble has been brewing for months. Looks like it will be a
shoot-out at the OK Corral. Will the moderators resign or be
dismissed, or will the board and the Executive Director back down?

Originally Posted by Terry_Vibbert
Yes, Mike it is not fair to compare apples and
oranges. Brian actually signed a document to be commonly known as a
Non-disclosure agreement. None of the moderators, to the best of my
knowledge, have ever signed such an agreement. We are asked to uphold
an AUG, key word here is "Guidelines." That means they get to be
INTERPRETTED. Per his own admission there is very little "wiggle
room" in the document he signed. But this is getting off topic.
Let's get back to the topic of the AUG vs. the opinion, not dictate,
of the ED and the EB president, but not an official change in the AUG
that some moderators are waiting for if an opinion is self-
contradictory or in direct conflict with said AUG.

Terry Vibbert
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