Thu 9 May 2019 11:30AM

Managing Anti-social Behaviour Online

S Siren Public Seen by 98

I feel it is important that the team who facilitate comms and social media enable positive discourse, without enforcing a set of rules or censoring. Both Nest Tone of Voice and Social Media guidelines were drafted in 2017 and approved by the Core Team to encourage positivity and compassion in all our interactions, both from the Core Team and across the wider community.

As we are continuing to improve our governance and organisation, i think this is a good time to capture some thoughts and a way forward that the majority of the Community agree with and endorse. These guidelines should fit into our Code of Conduct (which has also been recently refreshed) and will underpin all platforms.

The ToV and Social Media guidelines are aligned to our 11 Principles and encourage respect, basic human decency, civility, consideration and compassion.

I would like to invite a discussion about what the Community would like to see in formalising a set of guidelines devised and sanctioned by the Community to address anti-social behaviour online, in particular language and behaviour relating to racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia and ableism, to look at not only whether this behaviour should be minimised; and if so how it should be minimised, addressing the impacts and consequences of such behaviour (for example, discouraging under privileged folks from attending and collaborating) and the wider consequences of complicity to such behaviour or opposition to such behaviour.

Everyone is welcome to join in the discussion and i'll add the documents i've referenced above this evening when i have access to my personal laptop.


Lexy Thu 9 May 2019 1:22PM

You can read the (revised) Code of Conduct on website here:

The intention is that the code of conduct applies not only to event time, but to online spaces and to volunteers planning the event etc.

Very much open to feedback on this document, and in general on how we can best manage anti social or problematic behaviour. We want to keep Nest a SAFE and INCLUSIVE space.

Thank You Nestlings! :heart:


Tom Allen Fri 10 May 2019 12:56PM

Can I ask what a accountability the people carrying out this soft moderation are subject too? What happens if the group admin breaks the guidelines? Can I also ask how criticism and difficult questions we are devided on can be discussed if an admin can arbitrarily shut it down for being negative?


xavier dubruille Fri 10 May 2019 1:25PM

I suppose if we realize Siren burns out and do a really bad job easing the shitstorm on some post on fb (withotu the filter of body language/intonation/...) by being rude to people or basically not following the guideline put in place, she will be encouraged to step down because of that.... so far, she is doing a good job even if this jobs consist of keeping an eye on loose post, managing the comms this near to the event, answering the question (even if the answer becomes now in substance and without her tact "it s already in the infos provided, self reliance, look yourself" ) all this while preparing herself for the event and living a normal life.
After like said previously, this is an interesting question but at one week from the event, rethinking all the comms process is not a task that should be done. If with the rush of the event itself, we forget this question in June, I suppose you ll be encouraged to ask them again after leaving a required amount of time for the team to decompress and get back to a more calm style of life.
And else you are welcome to bring the subject in situ face to face to siren (cf next remark on this point) or anybody deeply involved during meeting or chance encounter at Nest if the person are willing to speak about it (because this can be a wrong time, after all we are all there to enjoy the event, speaking about difficult subject while enabriated or during yoga or rushing to deal with another situationor ...)
Or maybe leave this post here until after Nest, people will be less pressured and more focused to bring a proper answer.

PS : Thanks siren to have taken ths role with the shitty aspect of moderator involved, keep the good energy and the smile if we want to recruit a new one next year, don t show how much it can be a burden.


Charlotte Davis Fri 10 May 2019 1:56PM

Siren is not the only person moderating the FB group, but she does seem to receive all the flak. You're free to argue over here, but the FB group needs to be kept clear for actual information, for the rest of the people attending the event to see.


Siren Fri 10 May 2019 2:08PM

@tomallen4 all valid points and thank you for sharing and you've captured exactly what I'm trying to get to... the SM guidelines aren't perfect, they were drafted based on my professional experience as a communications manager trying to match with my personal experience as a burner and living in burn communities. At Nest we are different from other communities because we insist on encouraging kindness and compassion and keeping people safe. We have a very strong consent culture. You'll see from the new code of conduct, that there are consequences of shitty behaviour across all platforms but of course shitty behaviour is subjective I guess.

I think this is a discussion for how to do everything better next year, rather than fix anything this year, considering that we have only a week to go really (to your point @xavierdubruille).

What's essential for me is for everyone to be bought into keeping people SAFE online and offline, and that includes the language that we use online. Messages and opinions are easier to misinterpret online as there's no tone, there's greater distance and people tend to not sugar coat thoughts as they would in face to face situations. Rather than shutting threads down, I have to weigh up a lot of consequence for and against value on discussions which become aggressive and potentially damaging. That is a judgement call and it does come from years of experience. believe me, it's not arbitrary. Other Mods approach me about shutting threads down a lot sooner than I actually do for lots of raesons... mainly because I don't like censorship. But sometimes we have to accept that conversations have run their course and are now just being damaging to the community (especially right before the event).

The issue always is that everyone thinks their personal opinion is the most important one. And no one considers that A. it might not be and B. their behaviour actually real time impacts and effects real people who do actually care (i.e., me and Charlotte, namely).

so I started this conversation with a view to getting a holistic approach to dealing with people being shitty on line to protect everyone and for the community to tell the comms team what you want to see, so that we can execute it, rather than the comms team being autocratic. See... I really really do care.

I think for me we should probably start to create a framework which differentiates what channel is used for what and make that clear to everyone. If you or anyone has beef or wants to effect change it should go in Loomio. Facebook is for sharing information relating to the event.

If we use that as the basis for our social media and comms guidelines, we'll probably make a really good start to continue keeping people safe.


xavier dubruille Fri 10 May 2019 2:50PM

Sorry charlotte, consider all the things i said about siren are for you too because they are (and it s true siren is more vocal on fb :D)


Tom Allen Fri 10 May 2019 4:15PM

That's great you care so much and want to keep a positive atmosphere. Thanks for that. So what consequences are coming from all the shitty things said about people with dreads earlier today by the Comms person and others. They weren't just opinions, they were attacks


Graeme McGregor Sat 11 May 2019 10:46AM

What do you think should happen? This is a community discussion.


Siren Sun 12 May 2019 2:33AM

I'm fascinated by what you think were 'negative' comments about dreads expressed by 'comms people', @tomallen4 ... perhaps you could screenshot and share with us what you think were negative comments about dreads that 'comms people' shared... i believe, personally, i just expressed a common misconception in the very specific inherent difference between celtic and viking dreads and african dreads... i'm sorry if you feel that i said something else. i was not in any way criticising dreads but suggesting that perhaps the person who was making the argument that 'celtic people have dreads too' was misplaced with their argument. No one was suggesting in the entire post or thread that celtic or viking dreads were any part of the problem... yet this person felt so triggered they had to protect their own interests... and i wasn't the only person who highlighted this disparity. there is nothing wrong with celtic or viking or european hair expressions... i use pagan hair styles myself in my personal expression a lot.. so...

What you and others are forgetting or possibly not considered - i don't know? - i am my own person in my own right and as much of a member of the community as you and anyone else, and i'm entitled to make my own personal points. If you cannot separate me from my role as comms person, then i would challenge that maybe you need to have a think about the community as a whole and how Nest is run: we are all just volunteers with our own thoughts and feelings which occur entirely outside of our volunteership... and that's ok. Please don't conflate my personal extensive knowledge of cultural anthropology and the politics of identity with my role as 'comms person'... i'm very clear when i post as 'comms person'.. you'll know it because i either post under the guise of Burning Nest, or if i'm posting the link to Nest news, or i'm encouraging people to not behave like racist/ableist/homophobic/transphobic/sexist shit bags (when i will start my post with 'ok, mod here, can you please read the social media guidelines and think about what you're saying (or similar)'... the rest is JUST ME. Not Nest 'comms person'... i actually encourage decentralisation of comms and encourage all leads to post about their own activity, and all camps to post their own announcements to circumnavigate this perception of 'comms person'... there is no one on social media more nor less important than anyone else.

And that gives us other food for thought. We all think our opinions are the most important... so.. you know... PERSONALLY not as comms person: someone might feel like theirs is the most important opinion, but also maybe no one else does..? we are all so good at centreing ourselves in everything, its human nature.. but largely lots of other peoples shit is not all about us... so to that end, i'd love everyone to be a lot more thoughtful, mindful, expansive, compassionate and kind altogether... <3


Tom Allen Sun 12 May 2019 4:56AM

Here? Calling us 'bullshit white fragile'..... You then shutdown my follow up questions under your own name and never once differentiated between your personal and admin roles. You are so quick to tell us how professional you are but you seem to forget what you posted. You have still not answered my main question here. To whom and how are FB admins accountable?


Siren Sun 12 May 2019 9:40AM

But that comment isn't dissing dreads is it?? It's dissing white fragility and dissing the assertion that Celtic hait is similar to African hair (you'll notice there are a lot of people agreeing with it.)

And everyone is allowed an opinion apart from me is that what you're suggesting? Again you need to separate me as a person from me as a comms lead.

Your post was closed because it wasn't relevant to the actual event organisation. As I explained on the post and explained in the announcement to everyone else about all posts on Facebook for this week. Charlotte actually closed it not me so maybe you need to think about where your biases are.

This loomio conversion is for positive change, not to continue the same argument.


Graeme McGregor Sun 12 May 2019 10:22AM

Genuinely, while Siren's response was forceful - I think perhaps too much so, though I understand her feelings of frustration - she is clearly saying that the "Celts had dreads too" line of response is a bullshit response based in white fragility. I don't necessarily agree with her, but she's not saying anything about the people who express that response; she's talking about the action, not the actor, IMO.


Siren Sun 12 May 2019 10:29AM

Thanks Graeme for nailing it as ever.


Tom Allen Sun 12 May 2019 11:21AM

so you don't think suggesting the group i am part of is fragile is offensive? i guess we have to agree to disagree on that one.


Siren Sun 12 May 2019 11:24AM

Oh sorry are you also called Sam?! Because that is who I was addressing.


Giggletits Sun 12 May 2019 11:35AM

You are focusing on one comment by one person. This should be a discussion about how things work in general and come to decisions as a community, but you're too butthurt by what one person said to move on and provide any real solutions.


Paul Mon 13 May 2019 3:44PM

Might be an idea if moderators wrote [MOD] and [/MOD] in between moderator comments so we can tell which is moderator Siren and which is social poster Siren (or whever the moderator may be)


Siren Wed 15 May 2019 12:40AM

Yeah I do. Whenever im stepping in as mod i start with ‘mod here’. it’s happened all of three times. ;)


Paul Wed 15 May 2019 10:26AM

Fair enough :)
I think the issue with the dreds is a good example. Poster Siren can say whatever Siren wants, obviously! Moderator Siren has to be a bit more objective, and that is not an easy job, I know.

IF I can give two further peices of advise:
1 - I think a sticky with the names of the moderators/admins at the top of the facebook group would help so people know who's who
2 - Don't delete anything - leave a message saying it's locked and unacceptable and why it's unacceptable. That way you have transparency, and new posters get a better idea of what NOT to post!

Also - thanks for all the work you do :) - I've moderated before myself and I know it's not easy!

Illegitimi non carborundum, as they used to say in Rome.


Siren Wed 15 May 2019 11:33AM

Thank you @paulbradshaw I really appreciate the support. And i'm not saying for one second i always get it right... one of the things i was trying to achieve by not having Formal 'Burning Nest' post Nest things was to decentralise comms and have them for and from the community, if that makes sense but yes invariably there will then be grey areas. (PS absolutely wasn't dissing dreads, was dissing conflation).

These are also great suggestions!!! Gosh, everyone is being so bloody lovely and constructive - this is the Nest i know and love.

PS Nice Handmaid's tale ref!! hahaha! :)


Paul Wed 15 May 2019 1:19PM

You're welcome :)
Just to clarify: I'm accept your point about dreads - I don't have any knowledge about the specific subject to comment one way or the other!


Nick Staines Sat 11 May 2019 11:28AM

I think when moderating discussion it's important to come down on abusive behaviour whether or not someone is making a valid point. The post that kicked off everything yesterday may have had a valid point however it was completely inappropriately communicated. It was vitriolic and publicly shamed someone who, at most, made an innocent mistake (in the course of performing a massive service to the community). Even if a private email had been sent as well, this person had no opportunity to reply and make amends before they were publicly castigated.

Just because the person in question, showing more grace and dignity than nearly anyone else in all sides of the discussion, apologised that doesn't make it ok. This is not a “fragile white person” thing. It's about treating people with basic respect and not assuming bad faith, regardless of how just you believe your righteous anger to be.

As a community I think we need to get better at not simply siding with who we agree with but calling out the way people communicate their arguments even if we agree with the point being made. We need a lot more of “I agree this is a valid point but your response is disproportionate and possibly breaches our code of conduct”.


Tom Allen Sat 11 May 2019 11:32AM

I couldn't agree more. volunteer shaming and exclusionary statements have no place in this community. For the admins to support it so strongly too is a worrying trend. But burner culture totally lacks accountability so far it seems...


Amandasm Sat 11 May 2019 12:20PM

Agree with you Nick. Educate your fellow Burners on issues you care about or that you perceive to be a problem in the community, share your personal opinions, but give people the benefit of the doubt that their intentions are good. Don't attack everyone who has a different opinion on it.. or in this case, everyone who wasn't even aware of the issue were treated like they were consciously being total jerks for not knowing. Besides being disrespectful, that's not the best technique for convincing people to open up to considering your view. It's easy to give a pass to people you agree with but abusive behaviour is abusive regardless. If we're going to draw a line then it needs to be enforced in a fair and understandable manner.


Amandasm Sat 11 May 2019 12:21PM

But Tom, let's not assume bad faith on behalf of the entire 'burner culture' either, because of a discussion on FB.


Tom Allen Sat 11 May 2019 12:46PM

Oh if only it was one discussion on FB. I've seen these patterns many times in many burn groups around the world, this ain't my first rodeo as they say :)


Case Sat 11 May 2019 9:39PM

(not serious post right now because now is not the time to discuss it) fancy seeing if we can break away from the whole burning man thing? (from limited recent exposure) it feels like BM is used purely for shouting about radical inclusion and self-reliance to allow people to not be called out for being offensive. Remove burn from the group names, the problems all go away right? :P (Seriously I would like to have this once the event is well and truly over, because I want to know what benefits being associated have but recognise now is really not the time)


Amandasm Sun 12 May 2019 8:49AM

Case, that's an interesting idea for a new thread (after Nest). I do see a bit of tension sometimes between members of regionals who are committed to there being a clear underlying, unchanging link with BM and those who want to see them evolve beyond that and possibly break ties.


Yon Sun 12 May 2019 5:23PM

Nick I agree with what you're saying, the tone of much of the discussion was disrespectful. I think it boils down to people not understanding what sort of conversations are good ones for a public forum. If people have disagreements with what someone writes in a form or have feedback then they should give that feedback directly to the person, with compassion and good faith. It's up to that person whether they then accept the feedback or not. Posting anything about one individual in a public forum is not conducive to creating change or discussion and can easily feel like an attack even when put forward suitably (which yesterdays post was not). Online text is wholly the wrong way to communicate around anything that might have emotional content.


Siren Wed 15 May 2019 1:36PM

Completely agree with this @nickstaines1. The way it was delivered was awful and i was quite quick to correct Ivy in her misconceptions about it being part of Nest org. And becuase it wasn't part of nest org that's why i left the thread going, because otherwise it's censorship.

So, as a question to everyone in this example, what would the community prefer comms team to do? Close the discussion down straight away or let it ride as we did? Because this is a rock and a hard place censorship thing.
In fact @charlottedavis and i were discussing off line at the time, and she said 'let's close it down' and i said 'no we had this discussion at Nest Team meeting and agreed we shouldn't be moderating or censoring online conversations'... so then it got really involved and it was when Adele apologised that became the obvious and most beautiful point of conclusion to close it down.

So going forward perhaps we need to build into the guidelines 'if you have an issue, please try to rectify privately before broadcasting to the community'...? And then to Dave's point with a list of contact s in the About section so that people know who to reach out to.

But it would still be really great to get a sense of 'what would the community like us to do' should this ever happen again. (which incidentally is what i then asked everyone on facebook and had majority support from people interacting)


Hilda Breakspear Sat 11 May 2019 4:02PM

I'm impressed how respectful the conversation is here. Thanks everyone. Comms is a really tough job and thanks to the comms team for all the hard work. I tried to say this on Facebook, but put it badly, but I do think that shutting down comments on a thread can make people more insistent on getting their point across - as has just happened. I do understand why it was done, as it's a lot harder to continually say 'You may have a valid point, but please consider the way in which you say it' over and over again. But the aim is to put out a fire and unfortunately stopping comments just kindles it. Not saying I could do any better and thank you for putting up with all of this, comms team.


Siren Sun 12 May 2019 2:38AM

this is completely valid and thank you for lovely words. I hate turning off comments i think it's a shit thing to do, but i am also desperately worried about various newbies who have approached me and other folks who are really alarmed about coming to Nest as a result of what theyve seen over the last few days...

sometimes everyone just needs a break from themselves, time to calm down, take a step back, reassess.. and that's what turning off comments can achieve; although i appreciate it feels autocratic... in actual fact it's not done lightly. When the conversation becomes abusive i feel like it's not benefiting anyone... so... i don't know... if you have any suggestions for managing these dynamics i'd love to hear them!


Adrian Godwin Sun 12 May 2019 5:24PM

I'm pretty confused by this thread, as I have no idea what conflict on facebook kicked it off. Some context would be useful.

However, if you have a posting from someone that expresses their opinion but does it in an inflammatory or hostile way,. wouldn't it be better to block that specific post (which might also have the advantage of slowing down the conflagration) but invite the poster to rewrite it in a more considerate way ? They still get to make their point, but without hurting anyone or fueling the fire.


Siren Sun 12 May 2019 9:12PM

Hi Adrian thanks for this. This discussion was opened before the conflicts which kicked off on Friday Saturday. Seems it was premonitive. I've been known to be clairvoyant! 😉

Contrary to some people's opinion I don't
actually believe in censorship or (unlike some) telling people how that should write or communicate and nor will I tone police. (A number of Nestlings have tried to tone police me thought despite their insistence on supporting self expression and free speech. It seems speech is only free if it fits their criteria, but I digress).

I asked Ivy to change some of the inaccuracies in her post which she did. Sadly or was her misunderstanding of the structure of Nest which then made the post feel so out of order. She had previously had a discussion with Nest about the usage of the phrase which we corrected. She was irate that it was used again but Welfare is a non Nest organisation who manage themselves so they will not have been privvy to to the feedback some months ago.

However perhaps to your point and too expand the suggestion further, i do think having some pre post guidelines such as 'if you have beef with someone give them personal right to reply before posting on Facebook' might help keep everyone happy...


Simon Sat 11 May 2019 4:12PM

This is a super important conversation to be had. I would love to continue it after Nest. I want to stop getting involved in these conversations until after Nest, but things keep on happening that I feel are not OK to let slide until after Nest.

I can understand the last few days are likely to have been quite stressful for the moderators, and I do not mean this as a personal attack. I know you guys are doing the best you can with the best intentions.

Please can the Admins unmute Neh Mila. They may have posted in contrast to group guidelines, but their conversation was civil. To mute them seems like massive overkill. Most the people who have posted in the last few days have also broken these guidelines, including admins.

All commentary on the Facebook page about this has been deleted. And that is only feeding the frustration all around. Continuing this situation is only going to cause more stress all around.

In terms of both community values and diffusing the situation as quickly as possible, it would be much better if they were unmuted.


Giggletits Sat 11 May 2019 5:31PM

But that would make it seem like it was the wrong call. And it wasnt. The volume to which Neh has yelled their issue with Comms should not be rewarded.


Simon Sat 11 May 2019 5:58PM

I'm confused how they yelled their issues? They posted a reasoned argument. And people were agreeing with it (and of course some disagreeing)

Their post was civil. It challenged behaviour that they felt was fundamentally contrary to their view of the principles. They disagreed because they care about this community (as we all do, which is why we are having this conversation). Other people on the Nest page have done worse (on both sides of this argument), and their posts are still up and they are unmuted (as it should be).

I can't understand why this person has been made an example of. That is causing more uproar than their posts. Any mention of this issue on the Nest facebook page has been deleted, and it's frustrating many people to no end. I've been calming down people on the phone today who wanted to do what really would be yelling at comms over this issue.


Giggletits Sat 11 May 2019 10:07PM

The point is they posted on multiple forums accusing Comms of something false and making Nest look like an illuminati run shit show.
You don't have to use bad language to put a negative and antagonistic point across.


Siren Sun 12 May 2019 3:18AM

@simon216 i'm sorry you've been calming people down and i can't tell you how much i appreciate your mediation.

So i'm going to be brutally honest. I was in a meeting all day so i didn't see the whole situation before one of the other admins decided to mute Neh. As far as i am aware, Neh repeatedly posted content that wasn't Event related and as per the current SM guidelines, we actively discourage that. This close to the event, the facebook group is a super super super important information channel, and secondarily a PR channel for newbies who have never been, who in many respects need more care and consideration and nurturing... so if Neh was repeatedly posting content that was not event related and she refrained from abiding by the code of conduct and the guidelines, then muting is absolutely the appropriate response in the moment for an admin to take. I'm going to be super objective here: i didn't see the detail of what happened, but i trust the rest of the admin team to act appropriately and i am not going to contradict them.

Neh's subsequent behaviour evidences to me that the moderation of her posts and muting her was the right thing to do. Neh spammed multiple burner groups after being muted, saying she had been banned from the Nest group (she had not) and started calling out all kinds of unfair behaviour (it doesn't strike me as being unfair).

The thing about freedom of speech that people tend to forget is that freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequence.

The Nest facebook group currently is focused for Nest Event content and nothing else. Last year i got in trouble with the London burner crowd as a couple of weeks before Nest (amidst theme camps posting their fundraisers) someone joined the group to expressly post a crowd fund campaign for the main burn Temple. My response to that was to say 'thank you for posting, i'm gonna leave this here even though it's not aligned to the SM guidelines, and turn off comments so that it falls down the page so that we can focus on Nest thing' and OMAFG the bloody backlash, the emails the PMs the whole nine yards...

Nest is so co-created in the most magical way by the most hands on people... we didn't have a facebook group before i became comms lead and i saw the value of having a channel and a forum where we as NEST could garner support, co-create virtually, build relationships, break down barriers, open doors and bloody Decentralise comms FOR NEST where we can all speak and be heard as individuals (which is why we core team never post as Burning Nest, btw - not sure if you've noticed. that's something i have asked the core team to do)... The social media guidelines i wrote when i started the group reflect that it's for everyone (not just one or two or three people) to share and to be free to post to support whatever event activity they are undertaking... It's not that comms take a hard line, but everyone is subject to the same ethos: this is a group to promote co creation of the event itself. And if it's not, then it doesn't belong there...

Neh wasn't, from what i understand, contributing to that - repeatedly so... (the SM guidelines say 'please don't spam the group' for example)... she wasn't banned, she was invited first to be considerate to the ethos of the group, she chose not to.... .. ... .. so the natural evolution of that dynamic is for the admins to use the bare minimum tools they have at their disposal to encourage event based positive discourse. And consider EVERYONE. All 1900 of you. Not just one person and their particular issue.

Again, what would you have us do? would you suggest we ignore repeated seemingly dysfunctional posting because someone feels they want to - just because- and to no end... which then invariably prevents other people's posts with genuine requests being engaged with (like you know, other 450 members who need things from the community a week before the event for example) ....? when one person's 'free speech' becomes an obstacle to other peoples 'free speech' there is a problem. it's an impossible dynamic and i would welcome your constructive suggestions tbh.


Thomas O'Duffy Mon 13 May 2019 2:27PM

Ruthie / Siren, I'm shocked by how Neh has been treated.

I'm incredibly surprised by the ways of thinking about her demonstrated on this thread too.

Siren, you seem to be acting with an implicit assumption that newbies need to be nurtured and can't just untangle various signals. Atop of this, you're essentially "mandating kindness" as you judge it, when kindess isn't something you can order a person to do - its a character quality that emerges under certain conditions.

Ruthie, if you imagine Neh's posts are "making things seem" like a "illuminati run shit show" you're literally thinking like a PR strategist, attempting to control perceptions, instead of allowing people to make up their own minds and for the truth to shine through.

So the thing that stands out to me is - why this need for control? Why need to write rules to insist on kindness. Why allege to be about inclusion, but demonstrate a very exclusive way of thinking, unaccomodating of some peoples reasonable politely expressed opinions? That is NOT TRUE INCLUSIVITY. True inclusivity is CO EXISTING with people with WILDLY DIFFERENT perspectives and still treating them with respect. What you're doing is trying to conform people to your versions of the truth, and imagining, that by moderating a group, you can control what conclusions newbies reach, under the banner of them needing nurture. There is no assumption of radical self reliance here. This is the opposite space a great therapist would hold for their clients to allow them to find their own resources or power - you're assuming newbies need to be coddled? And contrarian opinions risk that?

Lots of people have reacted to this because it seems anti-burner culture in ethos. E.g. if you had it your way, would any kind of SNARK would be banned?

This seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding, as far as I can tell. For example, at various Burns, I've had people walk up to me, and angrily say, "FUCK YOUR BURN" and then give me a hug and smile. It's theatrically playing on these edges that helps people deprogram themselves from the confines of society and their own minds.


Camp Dad - Dead Insides Mon 13 May 2019 11:50PM

I think that you may have missed the issue a little here (from the overall event perspective).

As we get close to build (there are people on site as I write this) the nest event page becomes a vital resource for communicating to attendees. As previously mentioned, the comms team had communicated that posting should be restricted to info relevant to the operational running of the event.
Neh's posts were not of that nature and persisted even after this was pointed out.
It is understandable that an already pressured comms team would therefore mute her to prevent further posts of a similar nature.
Her response to this was to cry foul on multiple burner forums across Facebook and multiple burner email lists as well. When invited to take the discussion to loomio to continue it she declined and offered the reason that she didn't have the time/capacity for another form of social media.
It seems to me that she was offered an inclusive forum but declined to use it.

There have been some heated discussions in the run up to nest this year, some more relevant to the event than others. As many newbies have not encountered burner culture before and have expressed concern based on the online behaviour they have witnessed, it is again unsurprising that the comms team would do their best to try to manage the online presence of the event. We do after all want our community to grow, right?
Not all newcomers will have the burner principles etched on their souls/hearts/shrivelled lumps of black ichor pulsating in their chests yet, so may need a little more guidance or fostering than the rest of us. It is down to the comms team to create and moderate that space.

If someone posts about disagreeing with the nest code of conduct and debating cultural appropriation then I'm a little surprised the post wasn't flatly removed. That may seem Orwellian to you but in order to keep the right kind of information available and easily visible to those who need it most the team need to curate the event page as best they can. They do this on top of their personal and professional lives, so even if we don't agree with how they do it we should at least appreciate that they give their free time to our community.

I have seen the comms team cop a lot of flack this year. If anyone feels like they could do a better job I would encourage them to volunteer ahead of nest 2020!


Nick Staines Sat 11 May 2019 4:19PM

Just want to echo Hilda's appreciation of the comms team. Don't agree completely with how things have been handled the last few days but, seeing some of the inner workings of the core team and having professional comms experience myself, I know they do a difficult job extremely well.


Case Sat 11 May 2019 9:45PM

Much agree here. As someone who got into one of the recent arguments, I was incredibly relieved to have Siren turn up in the thread. I didn't expect it to descend into what it did and it hurt a lot taking part. Having the arguments remain visible does make it easier to know who to avoid (I am sure I am not alone in having a little list, and I'm sure people on both sides of some of the "debates" do too!)


Siren Sun 12 May 2019 3:38AM

Yeah i'm wary of feeling like me and Char are the final word on things... we absolutely shouldn't be and you all were fucking amazing at the education piece. i don't want me and Char to be the authority; we ALL need to be the authority, but invariably in social media dynamics, everyone is looking for a buck stopping person to step in and go yes/no.

In this particular situation the people who responded being offended by my comments on the thread had no idea that i was actually having offline conversations with the person who was using ableist slurs... And their not appreciating that is a big part of the problem for me. I do a lot of stuff under the radar. A lot of people think that what they see is the only thing that's happening and that's 90% not the case..there are always other conversations going on, additional support, kindnesses, guidance, suggestions for to come back into the conversation if people have been too vicious .. SERIOUSLY i do a lot of offline counselling.

In this case, the person in question said to me: 'after our chats and having slept on it i want to post this, what do you think?'... and of course i support continued dialogue and encouraged them to do so (btw, absolutely regardless of what i personally thought or felt about the situation, the challenges, his post, his comeback or anything else).

So i'm personally an ally and i think that's an important quality in a comms lead actually. words are important. however, i am wary of any kind of moderation which says you can say this and you can't say that... because i also don't believe in that and i don't think it's helpful to anyone in the long run. (my original mod suggestion to the person in question was to read the SM guidelines which request people to not use ableist language.. also i reinforced our consent culture...these are REALLY important distinctions)

This is exactly why i wanted to have this conversation: let's co-create something that we are all happy to hold ourselves to. If that magical unicorn set of guidelines could ever exist!!


Giggletits Sat 11 May 2019 4:49PM

When the few plebs causing all the effing commotion finally get here, please tell them The Dead Insides will be hosting a workshop on how to properly be an arse on social media


Dean Sat 11 May 2019 5:42PM

Just want to add that everyone is obviously coming to this conversation with lots of prior grievances, which may be more or less related to what's actually happening and to the people they're actually addressing. Speaking for myself, I have a lot of frustration about the way issues around cultural appropriation are (not) addressed in the community. That's my own personal feeling and reactions to incidents, but also the frustration other people have expressed to me. I can see that people on the 'other side' of the issue are probably feeling the same way. Either way, I think there's a tendency for those bottled-up frustrations to emerge at a small incident, in a way that can seem disproportionate to the actual event but maybe is proportionate to the general feeling!

I think there's also something in there about being 'fun' community that emphasises 'positive' interaction. There actually are fundamental political and personal disagreements though, and if they are never aired, they will emerge unexpectedly. We do need opportunities to talk about the stuff that's actually bothering us. Maybe the Dead Insides can help :)


Camp Dad - Dead Insides Mon 13 May 2019 11:55PM

We're not fucking therapists! Go to Desanka for your hippy bullshit!


Siren Sun 12 May 2019 2:01AM

After a really busy day of work today i'm catching up ridiculously late tonight.

i'm delighted and really touched by everyone's respectful and constructive contributions here and i think this is the right place to have the discussion about how communication is facilitated for Nest.

So, if i can speak as me, rather than 'comms lead', there have been lots of things that i personally have agreed with and disagreed with over the last few days, and i think it might surprise everyone because i do really really REALLY try to stay balanced and objective on the facebook group.

For example, personally, i was really unhappy with the public calling out of the welfare email and the cultural misappropriation accusation. I feel that if things can be resolved offline they absolutely should be, in line with our Education principle. The thing that i see here (and experience myself as comms lead) people who aren't in the org teams don't appreciate we aren't at our inboxes all the time... only giving someone less than an hour to respond to an email before calling out their political issues is never going to be ok for me. We all have lives and jobs and other shit going on. For me, everyone in the community really needs to understand and respect that a bit more. Whether it's about yesterday or any other incident or whatever... we are volunteers. we have lives, we fuck up..

for the welfare lead volunteer to come and engage and apologise was amazing. And while i agree with the dissent for cultural appropriation, i didn't personally agree with the way it was done.

And herein lies the paradox of being comms lead for me. On the one hand, lots of people were screaming about cultural appropriation, lots of other people were screaming about free speech, lots of other people were suggesting 'actually you should have handled this better' and the minute we closed comments precisely because the person who had offended actually apologised, we were then accused of censorship... and i personally didn't agree with the post in the first place...but in the spirit of not moderating and non censorship left it run.. arrghhh... we then had a shit fight. And i've not seen that in our community before... what would any of the rest of you done in that situation?! genuine question: PLEASE HELP ME with suggestions!!!

i can't tell you what i've received in terms of abuse this year; and that's because i'm comms lead and i have integrity and i don't wash my laundry in public. i'm very thick skinned, but i gotta tell you it's been pretty horrendous... from several people. i dont think abusive behaviour is ever warranted - it doesn't matter how much of a shit job i've done.

it's a very different year this year for me. Last year was magic... other than the inclusion politics a couple of months before the event, where i had to support a community meeting (completely outside of my remit btw) because the then community ambassador was attacked for trying to be inclusive - again, as an ally - personally i'm not sure i agree with the method they tried to achieve inclusiveness but it happened, and i fucking CARE about the community and pulling people through challenge is what i love doing..

But also, i always have my team's back, whether i agree with them or not! which is incidentally what happened today. i personally have copped a lot of flack across ALL burner groups for the 'banning' of a member. A. she wasn't banned, B. it wasn;t me who took the decision to mute her, but i have my team's back and i'm going to deal with whatever criticism... because of my integrity.

there is a lot i don't say on Nest, even though i'm a member of the community in my own right. i don't say it because i have a very privileged position. The only time i do or have stepped in is where someone is being deliberately attacking (most recently i had to pull up a very good friend of mine for this on the group - and i took it offline, as i do most issues... i always try to resolve things not publicly and none of you see the work i do under the radar... and there is, of course, assumption there isn't any additional because you don't see... again, because of my integrity. i assure you it does. the only other time i step in is where i see racist, sexist, gender based, transphobic, homophobic and ableist content or language. I think these are very good measures to uphold and they are aligned to our Inclusion and Civic Responsibility principles. i appreciate and agree with free speech, but i cannot be complicit with bigotry because it is inherently exclusive behaviour.

Where i sit in the last few days is that i am damned if i do and damned if i don't. There will always be a subset of the community who don't like my or other admins formal intervention... or just are unhappy generally..? IDK?!!!! no one has offered to have a direct conversation with me, so....... .... at the moment it just seems like lashing out rather than wanting to effect change.

Another thing that concerns me most recently, is that many people can't separate me from Nest comms. I am a member of the community like anyone else... also btw, it's not just me 'modding' it's Charlotte too and there are approx 8 group admins altogether. We are all volunteers doing the best we can with what we have. We don't always agree with what the community want but we must be advised by you... which is why i opened this conversation.

so what i would like to create is an advised set of SM and other guidelines that everyone is bought into... a way forward for comms across the many maaannnyyy channels we have now and to engender a culture of respect which is something i feel we have lost as a community in the last 4 months.

As an additional piece of context, i have also received significantly more messages of support in the two weeks than i have messages of derision. So overwhelmingly the community is largely happy with the way we have been moderating so far. I'm sorry if that makes people uncomfortable, but i'm happy to anonymise and post the messages i've received for proof if you would like... there have been SO MANY.... if we exist in this democracy we should go with the majority....... HOWEVER, like brexit, it's important that we listen to everyone to create unity.. And for those who are challenging how things have been panning out so far this week, i accept you're not happy, i absolutely invite your suggestions for resolution, your thoughts, your recommendations, your constructive contributions. But (personally, again, personally my opinion, and to quote my business partner): complaining without offering solutions is just whining.

So GIVE THEM TO ME. I pass it over to you for active suggestions: what would you do? what would you have done differently that we didn't do? what would you suggest for the future? POST AWAY!!


Tom Allen Sun 12 May 2019 5:23AM

You seem to forget that you did weigh in with your opinion, where offensive to a whole section of the community then prevented anyone else from having any further input to it. My suggestion is to keep your personal feelings and moderation seperated. You claim you don't do heavy censorship but closed my posts without even explaining why ( and promised to put your email so we could take it offline but I never saw it?) My post was not rude and was directly event related. You censored me. You then allowed other posts not event related to remain unchallenged and even posted support of them. To me this looks like taking your personal bias into administration decisions and needs to be dealt with. I am more than happy to discuss this further you can get me on [email protected] or ask for a call


Siren Sun 12 May 2019 9:48AM

Why am I - as a member of this community - NOT allowed an opinion @tomallen4 ??? You're making up rules as you go along here. Have a little think about what you're saying and suggesting. That basically I'm not allowed to be my own person. I was very clear when I closed the thread is was because the person targeted had apologised. That is the appropriate thing to do

I won't be having a side conversation with you. The discussion is here.


Tom Allen Sun 12 May 2019 11:16AM

that is not what i said at all. i said expression your opinion then closing the thread is an abuse of power, as it puts your opinion above all else. can you respond to my other points please, why was i censored for asking a question about the event when you supported other people posting 'funnies' which where not event related. that is against the SM guidelines. you can't pick and choose who they apply to, that is also an abuse of power


Siren Sun 12 May 2019 2:05PM

I'm sorry but you are just plain wrong that no one else expressed their opinion. There were hundreds of comments on Ivy's post. Everyone had commented. Adele came on apologise for her email and that was the appropriate time to close the thread. So I closed it.

Please remember I did not close your threads. You keep conflating or getting confused. The only threads I closed yesterday was Ivy's and my own.


Giggletits Sun 12 May 2019 10:11AM

I have a few proposals to help discourage divisive arguments & antisocial media behaviour.

  1. Going forward any heated topics get immediately redirected to a Loomio thread

  2. Any issues with the soc.med. admins or Nest organisers are taken up directly with them first. I am sick of seeing public shaming posts, it's unhelpful, unnecessary and very damaging to more than just the target.

  3. This is where it gets as little trickier, separate moderator specific accounts so that the mods can have opinions and not be hounded after the fact for supposed abuses of power.

  4. Regular digital town halls where oversight of said admins can be discussed. This one's for you @tomallen4 as you seem very focused (somewhat unproductively so) on one admins governance in particular. I feel you've made your point, the oppressive regime of admins had been taken into account. Either let it go or take it elsewhere.

Please do let me know your thoughts on these.


Tom Allen Sun 12 May 2019 11:12AM

i am not sure why you think my bringing up legitimate criticism is unproductive, as it seems to have prompted you to make this post it seems productive? I did try to take it offline but got no response offline, instead got one online, so it was the other party who chose to do this all in public, they also said they would share an email and never did. I totally agree with all your suggestions and they are exactly the ones i made elsewhere on this thread. with the additional suggestion of splitting the community and announcement functions of the group to two groups as most other burns do. I was focused on one admin in particular as they repeatedly blocked my expression whilst allowing others that where even less event related than mine


Siren Sun 12 May 2019 11:18AM

Except you are targeting the wrong admin. It wasn't me who closed your threads. Maybe you should have a think about that.


Tom Allen Sun 12 May 2019 11:18AM

it's not clear what you real / facebook name is. I am sorry if i got that wrong


Siren Sun 12 May 2019 11:21AM

Well actually it feels like you're just being biased because of your misconceptions on the dreads comment. I love how you're attacking me (Lou-Lou) but it was Charlotte who closed your thread and told you to stop being attention seeking and aggressive. Soooo....


Giggletits Sun 12 May 2019 11:25AM

@tomallen4 your criticism had been heard, my point is there is no need to keep labouring your point as that is unproductive. And please don't take credit for my input by saying your whining 'prompted' them. After looking at all the recent arguments, issues and complaints I put forward some suggestions. I have yet to see you do anything but stir the pot & complain.


Tom Allen Sun 12 May 2019 11:30AM

well it was you who posted not Charlotte , i don't see that name anywhere on my thread, just your comments, so how on earth am i even supposed to know another admin exists?. oh so now you are calling me "attention seeking and aggressive" too thanks for that. it's so nice to know how much you value the memberships input, this is exaclty why i haven't taken any role at nest, because the evironment is too toxic. i want to help fix that, which i am told i must wait for the onsite meeting to adress and i will be, with solutions, not critcism.. i am mostly here because of censorship not dreads btw, that is WAY more important. how can we even talk about dreads if we are censored. it's not fair to put up your opinion then block anyone else putting up theres. muting the threads is a terrible response. if it was decided it was not the right place, then ALL of it should be removed or NONE, preventing some opinions and allowing others is the worse way to admin any group in my opinion


Giggletits Sun 12 May 2019 11:50AM

So you won't join in and help but instead complain from the sidelines? And I do feel you are the one spreading the toxic energy at the moment


Tom Allen Sun 12 May 2019 11:56AM

i am already helping build nest and have offered a few times to try and help with this toxic attitudes problems if you look back on loomio, but i was told to wait for the onsite meeting rather than take any action or roll now


Giggletits Sun 12 May 2019 12:00PM

Your'e rolling out your own toxicity, you realise this?


xavier dubruille Sun 12 May 2019 1:06PM

i was one to tell you that now is not the time so near to the event but you seems to have understand this wrongly, when i said that, i was thinking keep every thing in bottle or on paper and discuss it after with solution in a better environment and vibe, not continue insisting on telling what s wrong here and keep your solution for after.
You re just kicking the hornest nest, for example when lou lou ask you about the fb post, did you consider the choice to contact her here personally(by clicking her thumbnails and using the loomio option)? did you pause a moment to consider what the action of going on fb, find the thread,, screen shot it, crop it on your computer and posting it here would restart the shit engine again here? especially after the long post of lou lou where she recognize she s not perfect (nobody really is) and ask not to wash the dirty laundry in public.
I remember you said you have 20 years of outdoor festival experience, that s really a good asset but coming here as the messiah, pointing all the "dust on the shelf" and sneakily insulting all the hard work trhoughout the year of the team (maybe you don t feel like this but it becomes a repetition in your post and it can be felt this way) by putting yourself on your high horse is not helping.
for fuck sake, do you really think people need that now? all this division, this name calling just before one of out highlight of the year (especially after working this hard), people were expzecting going there with a light heart and joy to see old friend and new, but now there will always be this dark side in mind that "shit i m gonna meet this asshole there" which is crude and exagerrated but nonetheless true.
I ll be there at the build too actually leaving tomorrow (so less internet presence) I m more than happy to have a talk with you drinking a beer (and working i m way too much busy to take break during the build) about growth,experience and social media life. but please, i beg you, stop stirring shit asking to punish all the bad lead one week before the event, you take it personally, i m sorry for you but deal with it personally and stop including ioverstretched lead to this fight NOW!
I m sure you re a nice guy, i can t wait to see you and work with you but right now on loomio, you are the annoying step mother criticing everything and getting on the nerve of the people who host you and try to make it as good as possible.


Siren Sun 12 May 2019 1:59PM

@tomallen4 with respect can you please take a step back and gather yourself a little bit. Read my last comment to you again. I didn't call you that. I explained that Charlotte closed your thread because she considered your behavior inappropriate. You're really not doing a very good job of proving her wrong right now. Please please please take a step back.

You can see who does what on the org structure and both mine and Charlotte's contact details are on the Nest news every week. So the info about the comms team is there is you want it. I can't make you read it but we are super transparent.

I'm not going to engage with you any further on what has previously happened. Please can we look at solutions to MOVE FORWARD.

I agree it's too much of a delay to wait to the community meeting at Nest which is exactly why I opened this discussion here so that we don't lose momentum.

You'll also notice that I opened this discussion on loomio a few days before the massive arguments Friday and yesterday. Because I've already been thinking about this and how we need to engage as a community a bit better. So I think we are probably on the same side, hey?! Can we draw a line under the last couple of days and work something out together for the good of everyone please? 🙂🙏


Tom Allen Mon 13 May 2019 10:54AM

@siren thank you for finally agreeing to work with me. I am sorry I got so frustrated but that's what happens when someone silences people in any community which claims to be open in my experience. and I guess this time it was me ( I administer a few different forums of discussion myself too ) there have been some great suggestions here already which cover most of the things I wanted to suggest but for me the main point is that the only thing which should not be tolerated is intolerance (Karl poppers paradox) as an addition to that, the correct response to anything you don't think is going well is to suggest a different place/format for the discussion never to stop it or remove it whilever it remains free of intolerance . I thought these principles where pretty well understood which is why I was so furious. As we have all seen many times , censor anything and you eventually get anger. There is no way to make ugly topics that divide people go away, if you hide them they just come back worse. Maybe even a section on loomio for 'controversial topics' where anything that is controversial is moved there might be best, as others scan stay well clear if they don't like it , and if a consensus is formed the thread could be moved to which ever group it's relevent too if that makes sense.


Amandasm Mon 13 May 2019 2:42PM

Ruthie made a good point above about how it can be hard for group members to separate the admins-being-moderators vs admins-being-community members. I understand why Lou-Lou wants leads to present with their own names online, to connect with the community and show that they are community members like everyone else. The alternative of posting as "Burning Nest" is impersonal and doesn't allow for people knowing who actually posted. But as we can see it also means that when admins try to simply share a personal opinion (like anyone can on FB) it can seem like they are stating something on behalf of Burning Nest and/or on behalf of the admin team when they're not. It can also lead to the case here where one admin who is particularly vocal and active online comes to be seen as THE admin rather than AN admin, because they are more visible. It might be good to find a way to have more separation between these type of posts, a clear signal when a post is an Admin one and when it's not. Not sure how that's technically doable on FB though?
And if an admin takes an action such as muting, removing comments, etc. that they should always message the person with an explanation of what part of the group rules were broached, and what, if any process to take if they want to contest it.


Amandasm Mon 13 May 2019 2:45PM

Tom I like your idea of having a space for discussion of controversial topics, could be its own sub-group, allowing for those who don't want to be involved to stay away and those who want to dig in can do so without fear of obstructing other discussions and creating tension? Then if any useful solutions should come out of it, they could be relayed to the greater community to consider?


Tom Allen Mon 13 May 2019 5:22PM

@amandasm there is also another point that when an admin posts their opinion then mutes a thread they unfairly get the final word on a subject which looks even worse. Even if the muting was for another reason that is the impression an onlooker gets. But this will be solved by switching to moving debates instead of muting them which hopefully is the outcome of this process.
@amandasm that's exactly what I mean yeah, it's done in other communities I'm part of and works really well. I'd be happy to admin the controversial debates sub-group.


Thomas O'Duffy Mon 13 May 2019 9:54PM

Ruthie, I'm very surprised by your use of language regarding Tom - who I don't know at all.

Ruthie to Tom:

"Please don't take credit for my input by saying your whining 'prompted' them"
" I have yet to see you do anything but stir the pot & complain."
"I do feel you are the one spreading the toxic energy at the moment"
"Your'e rolling out your own toxicity, you realise this?"

I could describe what I think of these statements - but - they speak for themselves.


Giggletits Mon 13 May 2019 9:58PM

Nice editing work there, will be very useful when I write my memoirs


Thomas O'Duffy Mon 13 May 2019 10:13PM

Ruthie, this is a dismissive response to me - signalling no true intention to engage with the potential wisdom of what I'm pointing out to you. Do you assume any wisdom or value in my comment, or even my person?

What compels you to choose to interpret my comment like this?

It seems you're replying with frame-shifting and a kind of false acknowledgement, an attempt to divert the awareness loop my comment opens. The subtext of your reply is "you're trying to get to me, and I'll dismiss you".

Herein, you also seem to assume I'm playing a power game - I'm absolutely not. I'm making a genuine comment as an observer.


Camp Dad - Dead Insides Tue 14 May 2019 12:24AM

Thomas, I'm sure Ruthie is more than capable of answering for herself (and may well do so), but please consider that you may be restarting something that appears to have been resolved.
You have cherry picked elements of a conversation and placed them together without context. Perhaps your observations could be preserved for another occasion or situation.
You are after all, sticking your oar in 2 days after any of the comments you have cited!


Siren Tue 14 May 2019 12:25PM

Love the idea for Controversial Topics - what a GREAT concept @tomallen4... Let's definitely add that to the proposal!!

Btw, i'm not sure what you mean by 'finally' agreeing to work with you...? without wanting to reactivate any animosity it's a tad condescending, all told... maybe we can both commit to being nice to each other? i was never not going to not work with you and have been actively working with you in this discussion... it is just not in my nature to not work with people. it's precisely because i want to work with everyone on this that i started the discussion here in first place. :) Anyway, moving on...

So, its great you have experience too re forums... as i've explained already, the decisions taken by both myself and Charlotte were absolutely last straw ones. It's not what we would normally do at all. Yes, whenever there is censorship (which i actually don't agree with at all) there is anger... But there was absolutely NO consideration or thought given to the organising team nor the newbies by the established members of the community being very aggressive to each other online. We've had newbies contact us and say 'i don't want to come, can i return my ticket?' Which makes me SO very sad. We are all of us responsible for that. So i have felt very much stuck between a Censorship Rock and Newbies being Terrified Hard Place.

In the spirit of moving forward - i think if we can reach a set of guidelines about Community interactions altogether, including:

  • Nest official facebook (with parameters and community platform facilitators)
  • Nest anything goes facebook (zero moderation)
    • Loomio space for Controversial Topics

... then we will be on our way.

@thomasoduffy i'm gonna second @olicarlislebrown here. We've largely drawn a line under the arguments and are now agreeing a way forward in a beautifully constructive way. Can i suggest that you read the whole thread and the actions i've taken away at the bottom and add your suggestions to what you would like to see for next year so that we can move forward?

Incidentally, Thomas, Neh was communicated to several times, had numerous people explain to her (both in and out of the comms team) what the issues were with her posting, and she has declined to respond and declined to join this discussion and planning, so i'm not sure what else we can do? Your suggestions on this are also welcome. :)


[deactivated account] Wed 15 May 2019 9:13AM

Unfortunately the way social media works is humans can't differentiate in their head between the human (and member of community) versus the role they do at burns.

That is both on and off social media. Once the association is made in someone's head, it's there to live.

When a core member speaks, no matter what you will attempt to do, people will see that as Nest speaking.

It sucks, but it is how humans work.

In some of the BM volunteer guides, that unfortunate side effect of volunteering is discussed. No one has come up with a solution, apart from as a lead your voice and actions carry more weight on, or off duty.


Siren Wed 15 May 2019 10:12AM

Thanks so much for this insight @bradjayakody I will have a look on BMOrg pages for some info. I think this will help everyone on all teams.


Dave Wed 15 May 2019 11:30AM

The issue Brad highlights is I think more an issue with vol orgs given the passion and blurring of usual structures involved. At work we are more used to the personal/business split but vol orgs require lots of unpaid work. This means staff are usually passionate about topics and it can be hard to shift out 'official' opinions from personal ones, especially when their is a split within the staff team itself as to the correct way forward and their hasn't been agreement.

I helped run a personal development charity for five years in China and the solution we had was to have core staff not give personal opinions online but instead act as the org had agreed. We had very heated debates behind the scenes most weeks but agreeing to have a consistent line on things helped massively. Confusion is easy to have when people post as both themselves and officially, especially when the personal view contradicts the official one. We took regular surveys and feedback from the staff and vols we were working with to ensure accountability and also that we were doing what the community generally wanted and attempted to clearly explain when popular measures were not feasible.

I realise burns are rather more complicated than normal charities with the co-creating anarchic atmosphere. Some may feel core team not being able to personally comment limits their freedom of expression or that they should not be separate with 'official' views. All I can say is what worked for us as it limited personal attacks and confusion.


Siren Wed 15 May 2019 11:36AM

This is really interesting. i think if we were to adopt that for Nest, it would then mean the Core Team weren't part of the community, which isn't fair either... Hmmm... i don't know what the answer is.


Amandasm Wed 15 May 2019 11:45AM

I wish there was a way to have it so that admins could pick from multiple titles when they are about to post something. So for example, when Lou-Lou is posting as an admin, she posts as "Siren" but when she's just commenting as another community member she posts as "Lou-Lou". It wouldn't hide who the admins are but would at least create a symbolic visual aid to separate the two.


Dave Wed 15 May 2019 12:07PM

Siren personally I think in vol orgs core members have to give up certain things to make the damn things work easier for all. For me I have no trust at all that alternative viewpoints will be reasonably listened to both due to online and personal experiences at Nest. I realise I am definitely an outlier at burns as a free speech extremist/lexiteer. I would feel happier with clear restrictions being made though if they had come through offline anonymous community surveys that all people could participate in and I had felt my view had been equally weighted among others.

At the moment it seems to me that personal opinions get involved to much in decision making, with the loudest shouting getting their way even if they are not representative of the general view. This may not actually be the case but perceptions in a community do indeed matter.

I do understand your doing your best and I appreciate all your work but wanted to throw my thoughts in as this seems the most productive place to have this conversations.


[deactivated account] Wed 15 May 2019 12:39PM

I'll dig up the info from the Rangers manual when I get a chance. It did create a big debate, that we're always seen as the role we do instead of participants when we're not working. It's just how humans brains work, we tend to pigeon hole people into an area in our heads. And with social media, it tends to reinforce people's views of the role we may do.


Siren Wed 15 May 2019 12:51PM

Thank you so much Brad, can't tell you how helpful this is :)


Siren Wed 15 May 2019 12:52PM

@amandasm Siren is just my Playa name, so regardless of whether i sign Siren or Lou-Lou it's still 'me' if that makes sense... i was Siren long before i became part of Nest org.


Adrian Godwin Wed 15 May 2019 2:21PM

If you want to split identities, I don't think you can do it with real names - you have to use labels. So you post as yourself using Siren or Lou-Lou but you post ex-cathedra as Comms Lead or better still, Comms Team.


Adrian Godwin Wed 15 May 2019 2:24PM

And of course if you do that, then everyone can and should assume that what you post is what everyone in Comms Team can also put their name too - which may or may not also apply to the whole of the org (perhaps that uses a different label, if it's necessary to differentiate).

But from what I've read, that's exactly what you do much of the time.


Siren Wed 15 May 2019 2:26PM

yep that's fair. We wanted comms team to be about sharing rather than 'management of comms' if that makes sense... so anyone can post anything on facebook or contribute to website in an effort to decentralise - Char and i actually write very little of the copy that's shared, we tailor to ToV or to make messages fit together, but that's it... that's why there are v few 'official' BN posts on the facebook group or actually from Nest news - it's personal so people know who they can contact and are talking to.

So i guess this is another question we can ask for part of the proposal:

What would the community rather:
- Transparent, decentralised comms from everyone/people?
- Formal impersonalised comms from a faceless Comms Team?

I'm personally in favour of option A, because then it means that Comms isn't 'controlled' as such; the comms team are facilitators instead of being managers of information flow. At the moment, anyone can email me or Char and have anything put into the comms schedule, (the only dependency is release dates, according to what else is going out so to avoid saturation of message and conflicts).


Siren Wed 15 May 2019 4:43PM

In the spirit of making changes straight away and listening to the group here, i've started topping and tailing my posts and comments that share formal information as follows:

Official response/position:


Not sure if it will help/work, but as an experiment to trial i thought that could be a good start point? If it doesn't have that parsing, then it's not me speaking officially.


Graeme McGregor Sun 12 May 2019 10:15AM

As a potential step to avoiding some of these unproductive, emotionally-charged Facebook threads in future, perhaps we could establish together and make clear to everyone what the purpose of the Burning Nest Facebook group is.

At a basic level, it's for sharing official information about Nest the event and Nest the community. Personally, I think that "official" doesn't have to mean only information from Nest Org or core volunteers, but information that people believe would be of value to the community and event participants, like other events, projects, fundraisers, community decisions, and so on.

I think that Loomio is better suited as a platform to host discussions, disagreements, proposals and so on, and to decide on them as a community. It's better suited to use on a computer rather than a phone, which I believe means people post less hastily and reactively, and are not so likely to post while doing other things. The pace is slower than FB, making it more conducive to thoughtful, considerate discussion.

Lastly, I think it's useful to note that while we all like to cite the principles to back up our points of view, they are not inseparable and balancing them is very, very difficult, particularly as they are phrased in quite absolutist terms. I've worked in human rights campaigning for 15 years and the same is true of those principles too. I imagine Christians and others faiths have similar challenges with their principles of behaviour. Balancing consent, inclusion and self-expression will always be a challenge and, inevitably, a compromise for the vast majority of us. And there won't ever be any clear, objectively "right" ways to do it. Solutions will just have to be broadly acceptable to the majority and internally consistent, as well as largely understood by everyone. The hopeful bit is that as time goes on and we become used to any changes in our community, we'll come to accept them more and see them as normal.


xavier dubruille Sun 12 May 2019 12:40PM

oh even more drastic fuck facebook, just keep loomio for Nest discussion and everything sideline like camp and rideshare if they decide it, can continue using fb if they want but no more burning nest group, I will be sad true but if it solve all THIS, i wont mind .... actually is there a way to have a group working only June to March and deactivae everything else in it during the rest of the year (Mute everyone on the group maybe)


Yon Sun 12 May 2019 5:54PM

Agreed that everyone views the principles differently and loves to trot them out. There is no objective right. The good thing is they are just PRINCIPLES, not rules or commandments. Unlike many other groups burners are more diverse because of this, which brings it's own challenges. Maybe it's also worth everyone taking them with a pinch of salt and remembering that we're all just here to build an awesome playground.


Graeme McGregor Mon 13 May 2019 2:45PM

I've started a new thread about interpreting the principles.


Adrian Godwin Sun 12 May 2019 5:39PM

+100 for fucking facebook. If you don't understand how it's directly opposed to the principles of Nest, ask me. I'll try not to rant.


Yon Sun 12 May 2019 5:50PM

Completely agree.


Yon Sun 12 May 2019 5:50PM

Lots of interesting points here for sure and certainly far more eloquently put with much more respect and care than much of the discussion happening on FB.

A few of my thoughts.
- I love the variety and multiplicity of views that happen in a burn. The mixture of inclusion and expression means you get people who come from very differnt world views - from people who believe they are fluffy chakra unicorns, to hard line scientists who think that's a whole lot of rubbish (and much else besides). These beautiful differences allow us to grow as individuals and a community and should be celebrated.

  • I've had a few thoughts about potential sources of what's been occuring - 1 - People thinking their view is objectively right, not understanding that we can co-exist with differing views as long as we treat each other with respect. It might not always be comfortable, but that's the reality of living in a diverse community.

2 - Not understanding how online forums should be used in community. They are wholly inappropriate for any conversation that has emotional weight. Sure loomio is better for these discussions, but even it doesn't express tone of voice, body language or any of those subtle cues needed for communication around charged subjects. If people have specific feedback they should talk to individuals about their challenges/issues, not air them in public.

3 - The facebook page is a public forum for everyone and is the face of Nest to new people, these types of discussions are a terrible way for people to interact with our community. It is the vocal minority which is seen, not the silent majority who really don't care about what is being discussed. I seems that much of this charge has been building for some people, but most people don't care, they just want to have a fun time with friends in a field. If people want to have these dicussions then maybe they should organise an inperson forum for it - somewhere where people who care about this can talk in person, rather than inflicting this one the community at large.

So what to do moving forward for next year.
- If people post about what other individuals have done it should be explained that FB is not the place for such things.
- FB should be used for creating positive buzz
- Loomio to be used for debates and ideas
- In person discussions to be used for anything with emotional charge
- We must ensure that respect and care is the tone that we encourage. With the awareness that this is a diverse community and that disagreement can be great and constructive, as long as it is done with respect and care.


Siren Sun 12 May 2019 9:14PM

Thank you Yon. So wonderfully articulated. 💖


Amandasm Mon 13 May 2019 9:34AM

Well put Yon.


Siren Mon 13 May 2019 9:33AM

I'm so thrilled with everyone's respectful contributions on here. I'm going to allow more people to come on and discuss and contribute and add suggestions.

And then i'm going to draw up on of those proposal type add on lah-lahs and then people on here can edit and add etc...

Then, what do you think about all of us here as a consultation group taking it to the community meeting at Nest for discussion?


Tom Allen Mon 13 May 2019 11:05AM

@siren sounds ideal! Thank you. I guess how animated I and others get about this topics of censorship and power informs us how important it is to the whole communities stability. My other suggestions are above in reply to you ( loomio 'controversial topics' section etc)


Siren Mon 13 May 2019 11:29AM

thank you so much for your contributions and support, it does mean a great deal to me. And i agree, that we are all so passionate and animated is because we all really really care. And that is a wonderful thing

Clearly it appears to some like we're an autocractic group making everyone dance to our tune, but i promise it isn't the case - i really want to find a way to demonstrate that and show everyone that we're actually very hands off! I'll put some suggestions for that in proposal too. I am a massive utopian and i'd love everyone to just get along and for there be no need to have any kind of moderation ... I'l try and add some thoughts into the recommendations piece to ask questions to the community about we need to do that too.

Will definitely capture all your suggestions too @tomallen4 . :slight_smile:


Simon Wed 15 May 2019 6:55AM

I will have a proper think about this after Nest but here are a couple of quick and easy wins that could reduce tension all round:

  1. I 100% want people on the comms team/moderators to be able to voice their opinions. There should also be a clearly identified separation as to when they are speaking as a mod and when they are speaking as an individual.

The majority (all?) of the email comms are signed by Siren, rather than the Comms Team. That can give the impression that Siren is the official voice of Nest. A lot of other burns sign it off as the team rather than an individual. That way, when a comms lead speaks on Facebook, there is a clear separation between the individual, and the voice of the organisation. I suggest we move towards that model and I think it will give the comms lead more freedom to speak freely.

  1. If you are involved in a conversation, you cannot moderate it.

This comes from the Borderland social media guidelines. And it makes a lot of sense. It removes the perception of there being bias in the moderation. It is also incredibly difficult (despite our best wishes), to remain completely unbiased in a conversation we are involved in.


Amandasm Wed 15 May 2019 9:38AM

Great suggestions!


Siren Wed 15 May 2019 10:11AM

Agree with Amanda, great suggestions!

@simon216 one thing we would need to accomplish these suggestions is MORE VOLUNTEERS. #BrokenRecord hahahaha! I've been trying to get comms volunteers on the team who have specific experience all year...

To augment these suggestions: I think if we have super clear guidelines for an 'Official' Facebook group that would mean that largely there would be no posts or discussions posted in the first place which might need moderating (and in fact we would encourage all discussion diverted to Loomio for org change; and the Unofficial Nest for bants and arguing).


Siren Wed 15 May 2019 10:15AM

As a funny/weird point of order: i'd just like to flag to newcomers to this conversation that i actually posted this before anything kicked off on facebook over the weekend. Quite spooky! but i think it's important context - this is something that's been on my mind for a while. <3