Worldcon Expels Truesdale
For anyone claiming the recording Truesdale made without anyone’s knowledge or consent somehow vindicates him, or that he only hijacked the first few minutes of the panel, here’s what I heard from Truesdale’s own recording:
- It begins with introductions
- Then Dave starts reading his “Special Snowflakes” treatise
- After five minutes of this, Sheila Williams cut in and began shooting him down
- Dave pipes in a minute later to try to ask, “But what about conservative SF?” Williams keeps going.
- About nine minutes in, Neil Clarke points out that they’re still off-topic, and gets yelled at by random loud dude in the audience.
- Eleven minutes in, Truesdale says he wasn’t finished. Gordon Van Gelder points out they’re off topic.
- Truesdale tries yet again to get back to the evils of political correctness. Sheila Williams shoots him down again.
- Fifteen minutes in, Truesdale goes off about “a certain group” of bullies who can’t stand disagreement and will crucify you for having other opinions.
- After another minute and a half of this, Williams and others once again try to respond and get back on focus.
- Twenty minutes in, Truesdale starts talking about this one anthology editor who produced a mostly/all-male anthology and got crucified, and why it wasn’t his fault, and–
- Several people try to respond and refocus.
- About twenty-two minutes in, Wiscon is mentioned. Predictably, Truesdale takes a jab at Wiscon.
- Jonathan Strahan defends Wiscon and talks about the goal of listening to *more* people, not fewer.
- Twenty-five minutes in, Truesdale continues to talk about how there’s too much intimidation “from the left.”
- Gordon Van Gelder points out, again, that the panel continues to be off-topic.
I stopped listening at this point, because I’d heard more than enough. Listening to his own recording, the man hijacked at least half the panel for his own personal crusade.
Follow-up blog post at http://www.jimchines.com/2016/08/more-worldcon-thoughts/ (You knew I’d end up doing a follow-up on this one, right?)
Updates since I posted this:
- A commenter at File770 gives another account, suggesting that this was a deliberate and preplanned hijacking on Truesdale’s part.
- Truesdale has announced that he recorded the panel (without permission), and will be posting it at Tangent Online, along with an article about his full remarks.
- This seems to confirm, if there was still any doubt, how much pre-planning Truesdale put into hijacking the panel.
- MidAmeriConII posted a brief statement about Truesdale’s expulsion, noting that he was kicked out for violating the con’s code of conduct. Specifically, he caused “significant interference with event operations and caused excessive discomfort to others.”
Just catching up on today’s Worldcon drama. It began when Worldcon selected Dave Truesdale to moderate a panel on the State of Short Fiction. Instead, it’s been reported that Truesdale used the first 10 minutes of the panel for “a 10 minute monologue on how ‘special snowflakes’ who are easily offended are destoying SF.” (Source) He was literally clutching bead necklaces that he called “pearls.” Some people walked out of the audience. Other panelists shot Truesdale’s assertions down and tried to get the panel back on topic. Basically, it sounds like a mess.
This morning, over on Facebook, Truesdale shared an email he says he received from the convention, revoking his membership for his “unacceptable behavior” during that panel.
To be clear, I’m not at Worldcon. I didn’t see first-hand what happened on this panel. (I have read multiple reports from folks in the audience and others on the panel.) It does sound like Truesdale acted like an ass, derailed the panel, and pissed off a lot of people who wanted to, you know, talk about the state of short fiction.
As you might have guessed, I have thoughts about all this…
- Who the hell thought it was a good idea to put Dave Truesdale in charge of this panel? He’s been doing these rants for years, if not decades. How can the convention turn around and pretend to be shocked by his pearl-clutching derail when that’s pretty much who he is and what he’s known for?
- I’ve seen panel derails and blow-ups before. People have gotten into shouting matches, walked off of panels, and so on. I’ve never heard of someone being kicked out of the con for it. (Not invited back as a panelist, sure. Kicked out? Maybe it’s happened, but it’s not a practice I’m aware of.)
- Right now, we have only Truesdale’s post about him being kicked out. It’s possible there’s more to this than just his ridiculous behavior on that panel.
- As Truesdale has gone public with this, I hope Worldcon will issue a statement clarifying why he was expelled from the convention, and whether he violated convention policies either on the panel or elsewhere.
- ETA: From the Worldcon Code of Conduct: “MidAmeriCon II reserves the right to revoke membership from and eject anyone at any time from a MidAmeriCon II event without a refund. Any action or behavior that … adversely affects MidAmeriCon II’s relationship with its guests, its venue, or the public is strictly forbidden and may result in revocation of membership privileges.“
I think we’ve all seen people derail panels for their own personal agendas. Truesdale’s moderation might have been an epic shitshow, but is it grounds for expulsion?
Like I said, we don’t have all the facts on this. Just people’s comments on the panel, and Truesdale’s own account of why he was kicked out. But it sounds like a mess.
August 20, 2016 @ 12:35 pm
Thanks for the Update, Mr Hines!
August 20, 2016 @ 1:39 pm
I suspect there’s more to this than meets there eye.
Derailing a panel isn’t that unusual; and while I could see Programming quietly telling a disruptive panelist that they’re not required on any subsequent panels, that’s as far as I’d *expect* it to go. (And that would be a real pain in the neck for Programming because then they’d potentially have to find a bunch of substitutes at very short notice.)
Kicking him out of the convention completely is much more serious and I suspect there must have been some sort of face-to-face harassment incident. But as various folks have noted on twitter, MidAmeriCon say they can’t comment further, so unless the target of such an incident feels like speaking out we’re not going to find out any more.
(Truesdale has been an “anti-PC” gadfly and general nuisance presence on the net for a long time — I remember crossing swords with him on the Asimov’s reader fora back in the late 90s/early 00s before they turned into an utter cesspit no sane human would go near — and my impression is that he’s been getting more outspoken over the years.)
Jim C. Hines
August 20, 2016 @ 2:09 pm
I believe you’re right about there being more to it, but I’m waiting for public confirmation before saying anything more.
August 20, 2016 @ 2:14 pm
Oh, it was absolutely planned – he told me he was going to try to get the editors to agree with him. (If I’d had any idea of the magnitude of disruption he was planning, I’d have said something to Programming, it sounded like he was just going to ask a lot of leading question-statements, which a lot of moderators do.)
Dara Korra'ti (solarbird)
August 20, 2016 @ 2:31 pm
On Facebook, Dave says, “I recorded the entire panel on a little 8GB thumb drive which doubles as an audio recorder. I got it all and will posting it at Tangent Online in the near future. Didn’t have a chance to complete my remarks so will be expanding them into proper form for an article and will be posting both original article and audio so there can be no mistake what was said and not said.”
Dara Korra'ti (solarbird)
August 20, 2016 @ 2:34 pm
(Since it’s Facebook, link behaviour is kind of random, but here is the source for the quote.)
August 20, 2016 @ 3:20 pm
I know what my policy would be about persons like this.
August 20, 2016 @ 3:46 pm
I’ve never been to a world con, but I had through that recording and posting panels without the permission of everyone on the panel was ALSO not a done thing.
August 20, 2016 @ 5:41 pm
With the “probably more to it” caveat in place…
It does kinda seem like banning this fool – at least based on this rant on this particular panel – would, ya know… prove his point.
We’ve unfortunately been offered a couple of (rare) questionable claims of harassment in the past year: a WorldCon organizer claiming Lou Antonelli’s letter to Spokane police was an act of harassment against anyone attending WorldCon, rather than against Gerrold himself; a journalist calling for harassment protections be invoked to bar puppy block voters based solely on their votes.
In this climate, it’s not unthinkable that someone could have filed a harassment complaint over these statements above. Given the justified sensitivity regarding harassment these days, I’m not sure how I’d expect an institution like WorldCon to respond in such a case. Again, probably more to it, but an explanation is needed.
It seems to me, Truesdale is right that there’s a lot of over sensitivity and manufactured outrage out there these days. But that pales in comparison to the genuine hate, and discrimination, and insensitivity that a lot of people still have to put up with.
If you think a particular claim of offense or oppression is unreasonable, make your case – politely and reasonably and with awareness of whatever advantages in life you might have that others don’t. But if you think “outrage culture” is a bigger issue than, ya know, the actual exclusion and insensitivity that still exist, then you’re part of the problem, not the solution.
August 20, 2016 @ 5:47 pm
According to the Facebook link above, Truesdale seems to have post the email he received revoking his membership. As posted, it gives his behaviour on the panel as the reason for banning him.
August 20, 2016 @ 6:51 pm
You people are everything that is wrong with the world.
Isn’t it ironic that someone gets up to complain about you special snowflakes being unable to deal with any thought that differs from your own … so you kick him out and call him names?
Interesting that he has audio and SJWs are actively fighting against having it released, citing ‘lack of permission’. Why are you so afraid of truth?
The world sees you for the jokes you are.
August 20, 2016 @ 6:54 pm
One of the other panelists (who Dave said had been “destroyed” by PC, who said he wasn’t), has already asked him not to.
It’s definitely Not Done and incredibly rude.
In California, you can’t record a conversation (phone or IRL) without the express consent of everyone in the conversation. It’s illegal wiretapping, and a crime.
Missouri, however, allows this with one person’s consent, so Dave didn’t break any laws — he was only “adversely affecting the relationship with the guests”, which means he’s out.
Now, whoever let him be the moderator needs to apologize for doing such a dumb thing in the first place.
Jordan S. Bassior
August 20, 2016 @ 6:59 pm
I think this is the beginning of the end for Worldcon. This explicitly shows that the administrators can’t handle even moderate dissent, to the point of kicking out someone important in the science fiction community. From now on, Worldcon — and the Hugos — will be a shrinking little clique, each year winnowed by death, resisting the larger trends in the field. A few frogs sitting in a drying-up pond, croaking loudly about how they are the “Rulers of the Seven Seas” … while the life of the world goes on past and without them.
August 20, 2016 @ 7:12 pm
Well, still better than the Sherlock Holmes one last year where several people in the audience badgered a panel member about being a sexual assault survivor until she started crying, then posted the video of her crying to youtube. They were also banned, but damage done.
I see the puppies have found this post. I think I’m to tired to deal with them.
August 20, 2016 @ 7:55 pm
Then count me as part of the problem. I’m for unfettered debate. You know, like what the Founding Fathers said about the First Amendment (if invoking the Founders isn’t a dreaded “microaggression” to some pearl-clutchers here).
August 20, 2016 @ 7:56 pm
P J Evans
August 20, 2016 @ 8:20 pm
“kicking out someone important in the science fiction community”
I’ve been in the science fiction community for years, and Truesdale isn’t even close to important.
Your concern is noted. And. Logged.
Jim C. Hines
August 20, 2016 @ 9:07 pm
Jim C. Hines
August 20, 2016 @ 9:08 pm
Jordan – please take your pearl-clutching drama elsewhere.
Jim C. Hines
August 20, 2016 @ 9:10 pm
Interesting that you don’t have the slightest understanding of either the legal or ethical issues involved in recording people without their permission. (My understanding is that it was legal in this case, which doesn’t change it being an ethically shitty thing to do.)
Interesting that you come here to hurl insults without the courage of using your name.
And by interesting, of course I mean boring and predictable. Go away.
Jim C. Hines
August 20, 2016 @ 9:12 pm
Yes, I’m sure the Founding Fathers were very concerned about whether or not an asshole could derail a panel at the World Science Fiction convention, which apparently involved premeditated planning, lying to the con, and very possibly violating one or more items in the convention code of conduct.
Zombie Jefferson just showed up at my door to complain. I had to stab him with my special +5 Sword of Social Justice. It’s a nightmare, I tell you. A nightmare!!!
Anna Feruglio Dal Dan
August 20, 2016 @ 9:16 pm
Yes, people have not been expelled from WorldCons for being hateful jackasses before. That was because Fandom has been trying to do better lately, and part of doing better is that when somebody uses their position as a moderator to read a prepared statement which effectively says that women and minorities are ruining science fiction, WITH PROPS, you kick him out. If fandom didn’t have a diversity problem then it could be possible to tolerate the antics of this weeks’ Crazy Uncle Dave. But it has, and the way to correct that is no tolerance for this kind of shit.
Anna Feruglio Dal Dan
August 20, 2016 @ 9:18 pm
Also, this is exactly why there has been a push to having clear code of conducts, and to enforce them.
Rupert P. Fillywick
August 20, 2016 @ 9:33 pm
Seeing as the American Enlightenment was centered in the traditional individualistic liberalism to which your PC (nee “Social Justice”) post-modernism is so opposed … I’d say that yes, they *were* very concerned about “whether or not an asshole could derail a panel at the World Science Fiction convention”.
Rupert P. Fillywick
August 20, 2016 @ 9:37 pm
There is neither a legal (as you noted) nor an ethical argument against recording a public speaking engagement.
From the outside, it merely seems like another example of the privilege of perpetual victimhood to deflect any and all criticism.
Jim C. Hines
August 20, 2016 @ 9:41 pm
Wait, I’m somehow the owner of PC/Social Justice post-modernism. Cool!
You hear that everyone? ALL YOUR SOCIAL JUSTICE ARE BELONG TO ME!
Jim C. Hines
August 20, 2016 @ 9:45 pm
I suppose if one has no ethics, then there wouldn’t be an ethical argument.
For those of us whose ethics include things like “Don’t be a flaming asshole,” I’m afraid you’re completely wrong about there being no ethical argument against recording others without their consent.
Rupert P. Fillywick
August 20, 2016 @ 9:46 pm
When projection fails, disingenuously deflect?
Jim C. Hines
August 20, 2016 @ 9:53 pm
When idiots show up talking about “your PC/Social Justice post-modernism,” I figure they’ve made it clear they’re not hear to discuss, but to spread puppy crap all over the place. Which means I can either mock or block. I chose mock.
But I’m sure you’re right about the founding fathers. I’m pretty sure the 29th amendment says something about panel behavior at SF cons. It’s right before the 30th amendment about what’s appropriate cosplay.
Jim C. Hines
August 20, 2016 @ 9:57 pm
Also, since mockery seems lost on you, I went ahead and put you into the moderation queue. Nothing personal. I just have a lot of comments to catch up on, and I don’t have time for your silliness.
August 20, 2016 @ 10:20 pm
As a Canadian, I’m always amazed/disturbed by the number of Americans who seem to think that:
a) the 1st Amendment applies to private organizations and/or is valid internationally;
b) “traditional individualistic liberalism” shields you from *being criticized for the stupid things you say.*
Both a) and b) are, in fact, false.
(Seriously, though, it is shocking how often people raise “free speech” in these debates to argue ‘those gd sjw have to stop criticizing us for saying offensive things!’)
August 21, 2016 @ 12:02 am
The code of conduct is pretty damn clear, and published in several easily found places, including the con book, the schedule app, the website – oh, and it’s posted at registration. He violated it, he deserves to be punished in the manner stated in the code – and he was. Pretty damn simple really.
August 21, 2016 @ 12:31 am
Except the section of the code of conduct in this case is entirely subjective – dependent on the administrators definition of “significant interference with event operation” and “caus[ing] excessive discomfort to others.”
I’m not suggesting he shouldn’t have been kick out. There are accusations that he lied to organizers, etc., that certainly could easily fall under that definition. The administrators have the discretionary power to act. But I think it’s important to *acknowledge* these kinds of decisions are often discretionary.
If we imply it’s a black-and-white, prescriptive process – he violated the code, period, end of sentence – one risks creating a situation where anyone can claim they feel an event was disrupted, or that they were caused “excessive discomfort”, and the administrators ability to dismiss that claim as vexatious could be undermined. Imagine what “fun” some people could have with that.
August 21, 2016 @ 12:45 am
Yeah, I’ve been in fandom for 30+ years and never heard of him till he took up with the puppy cause. But then I’m only a girl.
Eleanor C Ray
August 21, 2016 @ 1:51 am
Sigh. I have been an SF/F reader since childhood, and have been going to cons since 1979, and my views on things have changed a lot. When I was in high school and college, I was fully into my local SF club’s culture of sexual innuendo/activity. I was blonde, long-haired, thin.
I say this in interest of full disclosure, I was also an idiot. In other words, I have been the recipient of some nice attention from men, and some not so nice, and now that I am *not* young and thin any more, I think much of both was about my body being conventionally attractive at the time. The idiocy was in having my head turned by people who did not pay attention to me for anything else.
So, to those who think women should stay out of fandom, or who should only be there when and where men want them, I say go to hell. I have been here since I was a good little fangirl sex kitten, and it did nothing for me. I have been here when I thought the sexual attention from a famous male writer was about me as a person, when it was not. I have been here when I would have argued that women, and people of color, and gays were just “taking things too seriously”, when they were living lives with more open eyes than I was.
And I have watched people drag my beloved fandom through the mud because they have not grown up at all in the last thirty-seven years. To them I say, please leave my social group, and form your own, if you must. But my group grows up as it goes along, and you are only as welcome as you are willing to try to keep up with it, as I have tried to do.
And it can be done. I needed a bit of remedial education in growing up, too.
August 21, 2016 @ 2:28 am
Missouri’s wiretapping law is a “one-party consent” law. Missouri makes it a crime to intercept or record any “wire, oral, or electronic communication” unless one party to the conversation consents. See
August 21, 2016 @ 2:41 am
I didn’t say it was illegal. I said it wasn’t done. I’ve never heard of a non-flaming asshole posting con panels without permission of the panel. Flaming assholes, yes, sure, see above, but that doesn’t make it good con behaviour.
August 21, 2016 @ 2:49 am
Good point there is no expectation of privacy in a public forum. They must have an objection to a definitive accurate and true account of what happened.
August 21, 2016 @ 5:31 am
“this weeks’ Crazy Uncle Dave”
You’re a class act.
August 21, 2016 @ 5:33 am
Because you do-gooders can’t tolerate anyone having different views.
“Oh, you don’t agree with me? IMPOSSIBLE!”
August 21, 2016 @ 5:38 am
He wrote about his plans to make a scene and make enough waves to be noticed before the convention started. At the panel he did that. And sure enough, people noticed. One of the fannish community’s strengths has historically been that we are generally welcoming and forgiving to the eccentric and/or clueless; that does not mean we have to put up with assholes. He announced he was going to dig a hole and brought a shovel to the convention, and then he dug the hole, and now he’s looking for sympathy because he’s in a hole and covered in dirt.
August 21, 2016 @ 7:05 am
But Worldcon is not a public forum; unless you are an attending member, you are not in a position to attend a Worldcon program item.
Some program items are streamed live, but that is a decision of the convention. For others, recording or broadcast needs the consent of those who would be featured in any such recording or broadcast.
Anna Feruglio Dal Dan
August 21, 2016 @ 7:08 am
Sing it, sister!
Anna Feruglio Dal Dan
August 21, 2016 @ 7:13 am
I don’t feel there is any doubt that he violated the code of conduct and did it with malice aforethought. His was an attack on the spirit itself of the code of conduct, his co-panelists, any and all women and/or non-whites, non-het, non-cis, disabled at the con. Whom he accused en mass of ruining short fiction for ideological reasons. He brought props with the stated and precise intention of mocking all of the above.
I don’t know how you can violate the code of conduct more blatantly. And this is before the whole covert recording stuff.
Anna Feruglio Dal Dan
August 21, 2016 @ 7:14 am
Yes, I am, am I not? Thank you, dear.
August 21, 2016 @ 7:35 am
I would just like to note that your call for “unfettered debate” implicitly grants you a privileged bully pulpit. When you’re demanding equal airtime with those whose voices have been excluded and minimized and disregarded over previous years, you’re reducing their ability to express themselves.
Speaking as a middle-aged white male SF author (subtype: multiple Hugo winner in years gone by), I don’t need any extra leverage to get my voice heard — and I don’t think you do, either. Let’s hear from some new voices for a change, shall we?
August 21, 2016 @ 8:20 am
people paid real money to see a discussion on, lets say, a panel about:
how to bake a nice cake with crunchy crust and less soggy bottom while still getting a soft and fruity filling…
Instead the person supposed to facilitate the cake-discussion suddenly started to extensively talk about his diarrhea for 5 or 10 minutes, describing it in all explicit smell and shape(and the burning sensation after too much chilly) and
to make matters even more unappealing, he also starts to talk about how fruity cakes are at fault for his inability to hold his shit and talk without making a stink everywhere..(and therefore implying the attendees are at fault for the stink he makes)
people are understandably a bit annoyed, not only is their time(and money) wasted with something unappealing they had no interest in, but by someone who broke etiquette and more example, someone who planned to use all the time of the discussion about “cake and how to make it” to stand in front of all and talk about how shit all is and how they are implied at fault because they emit salmonella or something and then to call people who booing him out for the hijacking are assholes n such.
(someone said he planned to not talk like 5 minutes, but had a speech prepared for half an hour maybe..)
but .. like.. why didn’t he just organize/start his own discussion about his rectal problems instead of basically throwing his job *while he’s supposed to job* and make problem for attendees and participants who assumed he would be able to at least simulate a small bit of professionalism..
But why not ask for space and time or organize a panel himself, calling maybe a club or other rentable space when no official venue is free and advertising on his site so that other people who also suffer from cake-related rectal pain and problems can talk about that and leave the people who just want to talk about nice, fruity, crunchy cake alone?
that was the same stupid shit the honey badgers did, instead of being honest and upfront about their topic and if they don’t get a space(because nobody has to give them a platform to talk on) they may need to organize one themselves instead of depending on other people’s work and whining when those people decide what they want to feature with the thing they built up for themselves.
August 21, 2016 @ 8:44 am
Don’t hold your breath, Charlie…
August 21, 2016 @ 8:49 am
I had to look up who Truesdale was this morning and most of what I found suggests he’s a garden variety asshole. It seems Worldcon went out if their way to accommodate you anti-SJW or whatever it you call yourselves by bringing this guy into the fold, which was clearly a bad idea. In general, I’m against giving stupid assholes a microphone.
August 21, 2016 @ 8:52 am
August 21, 2016 @ 8:56 am
I think this is quite sad. Truesdale’s done some decent work in the past, but this sort of behavior would get *anyone* kicked out, regardless of their pet topic.
“I know I’m listed as the moderator for Panel About X, and I know that you’ve all shown up to watch these people discuss X, but here’s my lengthy pre-written diatribe about Q. I will also shout down the panel participants. Notice that I’ve brought props!”
this is basically what happened, yes?
August 21, 2016 @ 9:53 am
August 21, 2016 @ 9:59 am
WorldCon is a private organisation which sets the rules for who’s welcome to this private meeting. So yes, they can indeed ban anyone they wish to. And I’m throughly dick of people like you invoking the founding fathers to bolster your arguments as none of them very obviously could even conceive modern social media driven society
August 21, 2016 @ 10:05 am
File 770 has been discussing and that’s the gist of what happened.
For a good take on what happens when you allow a small clique voting multiple times via email, go check the DragonCon Award where the still wetting the floor puppies essentially hijacked a badly designed process.
Jim C. Hines
August 21, 2016 @ 10:09 am
Scott – Do you have a link to where he wrote about his plans?
Eleanor C Ray
August 21, 2016 @ 12:19 pm
I am sorry, I was not aware that “doing good” had become an insult. Our Founding Fathers would likely be appalled to think that their (or anyone’s) “doing good” was being criticized by the same people who profess a support of those founders.
I, too, have studied John Jay, Jefferson, Adams. They did good as they saw it all their lives. Why is “do-gooder” now a bad thing to be?
AMAZING NEWS: HUGO WEEKEND 8/21/2016 - Amazing Stories
August 21, 2016 @ 12:33 pm
[…] Dave Truesdale of TangentOnline Expelled From Worldcon […]
August 21, 2016 @ 1:00 pm
The Founders weren’t concerned about this, which is why they didn’t write a First Amendment that is even applicable to it. They were concerned about government restrictions on speech, not those by private parties.
August 21, 2016 @ 1:18 pm
You are totally right. All of you should just totally leave WorldCon alone, never go, never talk about it, leave it to all those horribly diverse thousands of people to have actual croaking discussions about SFFH without interference while you ride off into the world on your adventures. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.
August 21, 2016 @ 1:32 pm
Thanks for the link.
More Worldcon Thoughts
August 21, 2016 @ 2:24 pm
[…] We all knew I’d end up posting a follow-up to yesterday’s piece about Worldcon’s expulsion of Dave Truesdale, right? […]
August 21, 2016 @ 2:32 pm
August 21, 2016 @ 2:53 pm
I can’t tell if you are pro- or anti- kicking him out, but yes, i think that anyone who did that would be at risk of being kicked out. Given that the rant he had prepared was also directly insulting to some of the audience and panelists, I am 100% okay with the expulsion. If he had been a panelist, it’s a little less clear-cut, but as a moderator, he had accepted a job from worldcon, which had built in assumptions of proper behavior, more so than simply being a panelist. I have known people who have turned down the position of moderator because they didn’t think they could do the job justice. So yes. He used a position of power at the con (albeit like 12v battery power) to actively and intentionally make the space uncomfortable for some people, and that is unacceptable.
August 21, 2016 @ 2:54 pm
Based on what I’ve seen, which may well NOT be the full extent of Trusdale’s remarks, I disagree. Again, based strictly on the descriptions I’ve read, which may be incomplete, he complained about ‘outrage culture’ and people being too quick to take offense. Extrapolating that to be an attack on all members of all the groups above might make sense given other opinions this guy has stated in the past, but they aren’t one and the same.
Plenty of people who would not share Truesdale’s views – people who support and fight for equality and inclusion, and who get that discrimination and exclusion are much bigger problems – have also complained about manufactured outrage, particularly in this age social media. That complaint is not synonymous everything else listed above.
Again, if Truesdale had gone further in his remarks, I’d feel differently. And, certainly, the lying to organizers is different entirely. But many, including Jim above and NK Jemisin on Twitter, have said that his remarks alone, as described, while certainly objectionable, wouldn’t justify kicking someone out of an event. I agree with them.
August 21, 2016 @ 2:54 pm
(This may not have shown up in the right place–i was replying to Danny Sichel
)AUG 21, 2016 @ 08:56:19))
August 21, 2016 @ 3:07 pm
August 21, 2016 @ 4:27 pm
Since when is Truesdale “someone important in the science fiction community.”?
WorldCon 2016: Badass Ladies & Bros Who Want Blood from a Stone | Alarmhat
August 21, 2016 @ 4:41 pm
[…] a small part of WorldCon controversial history happening. I was in the now-infamous panel where the Pearl-Clutching Incident occurred. Neil Clarke was so angry he turned ashen and physically moved his chair so he would not […]
August 21, 2016 @ 5:46 pm
I also unfondly recall Dave’s work lowering the discussion level through passive-aggressive comments at the Asimov’s forum. I’m surprised he was asked to moderate, given how . . . immoderate he is.
August 21, 2016 @ 7:04 pm
I’m surprised nobody had pointed out the dishonesty of the “free speech” talking point being recycled by all the visiting Puppy propagandists. Truesdale was not penalized for dissent, he was penalized for hijacking a panel and not allowing the other panelists to speak – i.e. if anyone was offending against free speech, it was Truesdale , not Worldcon.
August 21, 2016 @ 7:22 pm
What had what, exactly, to do with the subject of the panel, which was the new growth in the short fiction market? If he wanted to rant on the party floor, or at lunch, or stand on a soapbox in a concourse, go for it. But people showed up for a specific discussion and were instead treated to a preplanned hijacking by one jerk.
August 21, 2016 @ 8:04 pm
Charles Stross: You “suspect” there may have been some “face-to-face physical harassment”? Are your middle names Joseph McCarthy? If you have no evidence, you really should have the decency not to start and spread innuendo.
Robert V.S. Redick
August 21, 2016 @ 8:28 pm
Need I point out that Stross didn’t say “physical harrassment”?
August 21, 2016 @ 8:41 pm
Fair point. By physical, I meant in the real, physical environment, i.e., face-to-face, which is what Stross said. In communication theory, face-to-face = physical, in contrast to communication via mediated information. But there is a difference between face-to-face verbal, and face-to-face physical, harassment, and I should have made that more clear. In any case, my point about Stross’s McCarthy-ite tacts still stands.
August 21, 2016 @ 10:03 pm
There is at MidAmericon, whose code of conduct says:
Please be polite and ask before taking photographs or recordings of attendees and members whenever possible. Remember that just because someone is in costume does not mean that they are automatically granting permission to be photographed. Video and audio recording and photography for personal archival use only is generally acceptable unless individuals make it clear that they do not want to be photographed or recorded. In that case, any photographing or recording them is expressly forbidden.
FWIW, I wanted to record a certain panel at Arisia earlier this year. I asked about it and/or looked it up in the Code of Conduct (I don’t remember which), and found that it wasn’t allowed. I neither recorded the panel nor clutched any pearls.
August 21, 2016 @ 10:10 pm
I posted this above; I’ll cite it one more time and then shut up about it.
The MidAmericon II Code of Conduct has a section about recording, which states:
Personal Photography / Recordings:
Please be polite and ask before taking photographs or recordings of attendees and members whenever possible…. Video and audio recording and photography for personal archival use only is generally acceptable unless individuals make it clear that they do not want to be photographed or recorded. In that case, any photographing or recording them is expressly forbidden.
This doesn’t suggest that recording a panel and posting it on the Internet would fall into the acceptable category. Quite the opposite.
Brian K. Lowe
August 21, 2016 @ 10:24 pm
Yes, I was there, and that is essentially how it went down, except that the other panelists were not shouted down.
August 21, 2016 @ 11:59 pm
Well said. I keep wanting a like button, because that’s all I can add. My story is not the same (I tended to be considered too outspoken for the crowd who wanted the girls who looked pretty but wanted nothing else from them) but I recognize this fandom, and I recognize how my perception of it has changed as I have matured.
August 22, 2016 @ 2:08 am
Erm. Jefferson was not a good person and made little effort to be.
August 22, 2016 @ 9:27 am
I was at the session and I was part of the group that walked out. If it had been a reasonable debate I might have stayed but it was obvious that Mr. Truesdale had an agenda and was hijacking the session.
In my opinion, he failed, on many levels on what a moderator is supposed to do for a panel. He could have still raised all the same issues to get opinions, asked pointed questions, etc, but instead went on an extended rant that was hard to understand (partially because he wasn’t using the microphone). It was meant to be inflammatory and piss people off.
As a budding author who really wanted to learn about the state of short fiction I was terribly disappointed and more than a little angry. I spent good money to attend WorldCon and expected everyone to behave themselves. I did go to another session, though, where everyone was acting like adults.
August 22, 2016 @ 9:29 am
YAY, OPEN DEBATE LIKE THE FOUNDERS INTENDED! Too bad some jerk had to go and slip that freedom of association in the first amendment. Now we’re stuck with people being able to do things like freely associate to organize a convention and schedule a panel of speakers to speak on a particular topic for a particular purpose, and freely refuse association with someone who upsets the apple cart to give himself a private soapbox.
August 22, 2016 @ 9:49 am
Sure, people doing panels have gone off on tangents and added politically motivated asides before. Sure, people have soapboxed and maybe even filibustered a bit.
But what is the logical conclusion between those facts and the conclusion that therefore, the con must tolerate it when someone who 1) is specifically entrusted with running the panel 2) spends a good 20% of its running time delivering not just a speech but an honest-to-goodness skit that 3) disparages a good portion of the people present and 4) puts words in the mouth of people who have been asked there to speak for themselves 5) while giving clear indications that he planned this all out well and advance and 6) recording it, in a manner that is against the spirit of the Code of Conduct’s advice on such recordings?
The refrain to these cases is always something like, “Well, we have to be fair, don’t we?” Sure. But who is it fair to? Jeffrey took a piece of candy from the dish before the party started so to be fair, we have to let Joffrey eat a fifth of a cake that all the guests were looking forward to enjoying and smash his fists into the rest of it? Who is that fair to? The guests? Is it fair to the one who worked to make the cake and bring it to the party? Is it fair to Jeffrey?
This wasn’t a “blow up”. It was planned. It wasn’t even a derail. It was the engineer decoupling the engine from the other cars and directing it down a different track before it had left the station.
The logic seems to be that if people who did less got nothing in the past… well, more times nothing equals nothing, so the convention’s hands should be tied. But we are all adults. We all know it doesn’t work like that. We know that if you’re lucky enough to work in a place where no one cares if you clock in or log onto your desk a few minutes past the hour, the person who shows up an hour and thirty-seven minutes late without so much as a phone call and a dang good excuse is going to get hauled into the boss office, if not kicked to the curb. And that for that matter, we know that the person who is always testing limits of what they can get away with in terms of arrival and departure times and bathroom breaks and smoke breaks and lunch breaks will probably be watched like a hawk for something more actionable even if they aren’t technically breaking a rule with their goldbricking.
And as adults, we roll our eyes when a coworker who engages in these antics protests, “It’s not fair! Other people show up after their shifts start all the time! What’s the big deal?”… and then curse when upper management decides as a result that they have to start cracking down and make sure that every single person on the office floor is clocked in to the minute at the start of their scheduled shift.
I really hope this doesn’t result in any draconian rules designed to keep panels on track. I myself favor free-ranging conversations that don’t always color inside the line, using the formal topic of a panel more as a springboard in many cases (though not in others, where the panel is convened to address something that rarely finds a space to be discussed).
But I’m not worried about a slippery slope a la “They cracked down on David Truesdale, who’s next?” so much as I’m worried about people greasing up the slope and pushing future con committees down it by insisting that there is no difference between David Truesdale’s stunt (likely engineered specifically to be too big to be reasonably ignored) and the kerfluffles and derails and tangents and soapboxes that happen normally.
The past through tomorrow | Alec Nevala-Lee
August 22, 2016 @ 9:52 am
[…] this turned out to be a prophetic remark. The next day, the very same participant was expelled from the convention for hijacking another panel that he was moderating, using his position to indulge in a ten-minute […]
Eleanor C Ray
August 22, 2016 @ 10:05 am
Fair enough. I did say “as they saw it”, and I was trying to make a point to people who think of our founders as holy, blameless creatures, but it is true that I was sloppy to include a slaveowner among those who tried to do good all their lives. I apologize. It was an unconsidered post.
August 22, 2016 @ 11:30 am
“A public speaking engagement” is exactly where David Truesdale wasn’t, no matter how much he obviously wished to believe he was. If David Truesdale had been engaged as a public speaker, nobody would care had he had recorded his own public speech and nobody would care if he released it.
But he was not engaged to deliver a public speech; he was engaged to moderate a discussion among multiple participants (panelists and audience) at a private event.
August 22, 2016 @ 12:10 pm
If I may, I’d like to add 2 additional points:
7) The rant was not on the advertised topic of the panel
8) The 10 minutes of rant was delivered BEFORE allowing any other panelist to speak, and was read from a multi-page paper document whose size indicated that, at that 10-minute mark, only a fraction of the diatribe was complete. In other words, had he not been interrupted, it appears that DT’s intention was to hijack most or all of the panel’s allotted time for himself, before ever allowing the other participants to speak.
August 22, 2016 @ 12:24 pm
And I’m going to stress that all WorldCons are *private* Paryies run by a different group of volunteers every year. Each group sets the rules for that gathering.
If folks like Truesdale don’t like that, they’re free to not attend. Hell they’re free to bid on hosting a future WorldCon though I doubt that’d go anywhere.
P. Aaron Potter
August 22, 2016 @ 12:38 pm
Who uses “do-gooders” as an insult?
Is this an episode of Scooby Doo?
August 22, 2016 @ 1:15 pm
For the record, Dave did not need to ask permission for the recording. The panelists and the audience consented by having the convention in a state where only the consent of one panelist is needed. As a matter of courtesy should he have told them he was recording it? Yes, but he did not have ask for permission to record it under state law. And he only announced that he had recorded when people who thought they were not recorded, started making false claims about what happened at the panel.
You can hear the panel at this link
Jim C. Hines
August 22, 2016 @ 1:24 pm
Brad – I’ve seen arguments on both sides re: the legalities, and I’m not a lawyer, so I’m not in a position to say. On the other hand, the convention code of conduct is pretty clear about asking permission. So he violated that, regardless of whether or not it was legal.
August 22, 2016 @ 1:26 pm
None of this has anything to do with the First Amendment. Not freedom of speech. Not freedom of association.
August 22, 2016 @ 1:32 pm
You are presuming motive her and being prejudicial. Is it possible that Dave was making this recording, legally under Missouri law so that he had the tape for future reference if he needed it? As an editor do would he not want to have notes he can refer to about the panel he moderated if he wrote an article? He did not release the tape until after he had been falsely accused by people of misconduct. He originally had a 2 minute intro and in response to a challenge by someone else to what he meant he read a statement that was public domain that explained what he was saying. His total opening statement even with the expounding quote around 4 minutes. And this has been quoted elsewhere on this blog as “10 minute hijacking”.
To expose the people who have exaggerated and misrepresented the facts he has since released that entire of the audio so people can listen and determine the truth as they see it.
August 22, 2016 @ 1:40 pm
Actually no. This is not what happened. The Panel title was “The Golden Age of Sci Fi”. Dave as the Moederator took the route of Challenging that this is the the “Golden Age of Sci Fi” and letting the panelists defend that it was the Golden Age. Dave took the point early that Sci Fi was more welcoming earlier then it is now and the some of the panelists even found themselves agreeing. He mentioned the case of a male editor who was chastised for having a disparity of male and female authors because the female authors were not professional, or suffered writers block and could not get their works submitted by the publishing deadline. And for this reason the Editor was attacked voraciously by certain people. One of the other panelists had also had this happen to them and he defended David at this point and walked a middle route between David and Shiela.
Jim C. Hines
August 22, 2016 @ 1:43 pm
The panel is listed as The State of Short Fiction on the website.
August 22, 2016 @ 1:46 pm
Actually that is true if you presume motive. The rules state as they were quoted above and I responded to that post….
“Video and audio recording and photography for personal archival use only is generally acceptable”
So under that part of the rules what he did is acceptable. The release of the tape was necessitated by false accusations such as were repeated by Alexandra Erin.
August 22, 2016 @ 1:51 pm
Is anyone, literally anyone, questioning his legal right to record? Not that I’ve seen. At least not in this forum. It seems to have been against the con’s rules though because he did not get permission to do so. So what he did was legal and indicative of what a complete asshole he is. Bravo for him?
Jim C. Hines
August 22, 2016 @ 1:53 pm
Brad – if you look at the rules and don’t cut out the part where they talk about asking permission, sure. But that requires some selective cherry-picking of the rules.
Jim C. Hines
August 22, 2016 @ 1:55 pm
You’re right. I’m listening now, and Dave has managed to derail and hijack the panel to his own personal agenda for *15* minutes so far, between his own speech, responses to his BS, and his questions dragging the discussion back to his off-topic agenda.
August 22, 2016 @ 2:24 pm
I’m not at all familiar with Missouri law on taping but the law here in Maine is that if the venue is a public space, all parties must agree to any re or ding of what’s going. Here that includes city council meetings and other governmental meeting.
I doubt that Missouri law on this includes private events as that’d open a real can of worms. H’m… Ok a Google search says that at least one party must consent to the recording if not in a public space. So if no one have him per,is soon to do so, it’s not allowed.
I suspect that future WorldCons might want to make these consents, a written process.
August 22, 2016 @ 2:46 pm
Under Missouri law, it may have been legal for him to record the panel (although a violation of the CoC). But was it legal for him to publish the recording?