This page is for discussing the contents of Strelitzia Flower Co.

I believe accusations of racism should be deleted. —DonShor

Don, I'll second your suggestion. —JasonAller

Thirded. Not in every case, of course, but there's zero specifics here and so it comes off as foul play on the part of the hit-and-run commenter. —PhilipNeustrom

  • I think Philip nailed it on the head here. "You're a racist" by itself has no value whatsoever. "You're a racist because..." with some explanation may be a fair comment to leave on a page. As Jason and Daubert noted somewhere below, the commenter has remained silent on the issue. If (s)he wishes to defend the comment and explain it, great, we can leave it there or reinstate it. If it's a hit and run without enough detail for other readers to evaluate the statement, it should be deleted. —TomGarberson
    • I wholeheartedly agree with your general rule but don't see it being applied here. She did relate the events that form her accusation and explained the basis for her beliefs. They are as specific as most complaints in reviews, giving the events from the person's perspective and referring to the people involved by general description (gender and race, in this case). Now, if we want to delete hit and run comments, that's a different story entirely. I can think of more than one editor who would be happy to revert and remove half the comments made on the wiki. But that's discussing a different criteria. -jw
      • Again, I agree w/jw. She did give details, probably about as much as can be said about cases like that (although I left the question on the page, in case there was more). So, assuming we believe the details about Julia was treated vs how another person was treated (and really, I don't see a reason not to), the question is, how do we know it was her race that was the basis of different treatments? Well, we don't, and maybe Julia doesn't know for sure either. But these sorts of things form a pattern. If you are of a minority race, and you are consistently treated differently, it becomes noticeable (though of course you can be mistaken in any given instance). And when studies have been done of these sorts of things, patterns of differential treatment for people of different races consistently emerge. So, I am inclined to give the benefit of the doubt, at least for now. I find it interesting that some of us read the comment and think, "could be true — these things do happen" and others of us think "pissed off person, just out to slander the business." Really, none of us have enough evidence to judge one way or another. We are all (myself included) projecting based on our past experiences, and also, reflecting other things we are concerned about (protecting businesses, protecting consumers). So, I do see why others are coming down the way they are. But to dismiss this one because there is no detail I think is a mistake. I do agree that if all she had said was "this store is run by racists," I would say "delete immediately." But this has enough detail that it could be genuine and, as I have already said, is worth keeping to see what other comments come by. To repeat myself further, I don't think that she needs to be a repeat contributor to contribute. —cp
        • "The staff was a bunch of white racist ladies" is part of what I am reacting to here. -DonShor
          • Are you saying that you think that the person didn't think that the staff was a bunch of white racist ladies? (Serious question, I'm trying to understand your position here). -jw
            • I am saying that it is a slur to make an insulting blanket generalization about the staff at Strelitzia. I don't really care whether she really thinks that. I think it has no place on the Davis Wiki. That is why I started this page. —DS
              • So you object to any honest criticism, even if it is based on specific, first-hand events? You feel there can be no serious accusations leveled on the wiki? (Again, serious question, I'm trying to figure out where you stand). -jw
                • "Strelitzia was not a friendly florist shop" — honest opinion, not abusive.

                  "The customer service is horrible." — honest opinion, not abusive.

                  "Drove all the way there to be treated badly. Waste of time." — honest opinion, not abusive.

                  "The staff was a bunch of white racist ladies who only cater to white people." — may be her honest opinion, but it is an abusive slur.

                  Do you seriously not have a problem with that statement? If it were applied to my staff, I would remove it from the Wiki immediately. Is nothing unacceptable here? —DonShor

                  • What gives it credibility for me is that she explains the statement: "When I went in, I asked for some help because I don't normally buy flowers and asked for some suggestions for a birthday bouquet and all she said was everyone chooses by themselves. When a white lady came in, all of them rushed to her and helped her out." —cp
                  • As there is such a thing as racism and there are racists, I don't think that either word is inherently a slur, nor is it inherently abusive. It can be used abusively, but as CP mentions, there is some sort of detail behind it. It may or may not adequately justify the accusation, but in my opinion it certainly creates a distinction from simply being an 'abusive slur.' -ES
                    • Just because something is distasteful or ugly doesn't necessarily mean it's not true. I mentioned this elsewhere, but if I recall, someone had alleged inappropriate contact at a massage parlor in town. Very controversial. After a while, a few other people came forward and said something akin to "I thought it was just me" or "I wasn't going to say anything until I saw this." I think there's a bit of a rash "this is a serious or ugly accusation" response to this comment, which isn't not understandable, but completely removing or censoring it could prevent something fruitful from occurring down the line, as CP had outlined below a few days ago. -ES
        • Mea culpa. It had been a few days since I read the comment and was thinking it was far sparser. After looking back over it, I agree with CP and JW that there is a decent amount of information there. I do find the comment suspicious, but I think that there's enough information there to provide some basis for concluding that racism occurred. —TomGarberson

I'll repeat the relevant portions of what I already said to Jason on my page: She said something pretty harsh, but I think most people know that whether someone was acting in a racist manner can be somewhat of a matter of perception and will read the comment in that light. If that turns out to be the only comment that says that or if other people dispute the comment, then that will mean something. If other people corroborate the comment, then that will mean something, too. In short I think the comment is potentially informative. It is my belief that the person was probably ignored, as she said. Whether it was because of her race, her age, her clothing, her demeanor, or something else, I have no idea. She perceived it as due to her race; it may not have been. But I do think that it is not unheard of for people to act on biases that they themselves might not even be fully aware of. —CovertProfessor

It is akin to the infamous "when did you stop beating your wife?" question. It is not rebuttable or provable, and trying to reply to it just makes it worse. So it just hangs there as an unsubstantiated accusation by an anonymous poster. I happen to feel the same way about comments about food poisoning in restaurants. All the owner can do is say "no, it isn't true." I also feel that implementing some kind of system where people can't just leave drive-by comments the first time they post at the Wiki would help weed out these sorts of comments. But it seems that idea didn't fly..... —DS

Here are the sorts of things that a business owner can say: "I am sorry that you felt that way. We strive to treat all of our customers equally. We would love for you to come back to our store and give us another try. We will give you x% off of your purchase" Or: "I am very concerned about your comment. We strive to make sure all of our staff treat our customers fairly. Would you call me at XXX-XXXX so that I can hear more details about what occurred?" These are the sorts of responses that can turn a negative into a positive for the business. Everyone can see that the business is trying their best to be fair. On the other hand, if the business responds in an obnoxious way — denying the possibility that the person had a bad experience — then that is informative too. —cp

    • Personally, I'd love an interstitial or some popup when you first add a comment that loads a given entry where the community has a shot at explaining things and pointing out common mistakes or issues. Some mechanism tied into community editable content. Wishes were fishes... -jw
  • Why should the business have to respond to this sort of thing? I totally agree that they can display good customer service skills on the wiki and take complaints as an opportunity to come out looking better. In this case I don't think they should even have to respond. Julia (or who ever she really is) has no identity, probably will never establish any and is the sort of person who introduces themselves into a new community by making their first exposure one where they accuse someone else (a named establishment) of racism. Why do we empower Julia so much when she engages in some pretty piss poor behavior? Why should we value anything she has to say? What has she contributed to the wiki? What will she contribute? Will she accuse you of grading her down because of her race? —JasonAller
  • There are certain types of complaints that raise a red flag for me, because they can harm the reputation merely by the accusation:


    professional incompetence;

    food poisoning;

    unhygienic conditions;

    illegal activities;


    IMO an editor needs to have an established reputation, and a real identity or established pseudonym, to level these types of charges. Anybody can claim racism. Anybody can say they got food poisoning. There is nothing the business owner can do to fully undo the damage to his or her reputation at that point. If someone says I don't know what I'm talking about regarding plants and gardening, I can present my credentials. If they say I treat people differently based on their race, there is nothing I can say or do to prove otherwise. So I do hold these types of accusations to a higher standard of credible proof than I do something which is provable or falsifiable. — DS

    • Don't forget about pedophilia... one editor managed to accuse a dozen people of it within a week! (Including me! Gah!) -jw

Has anyone talked to this drive by person? not even a welcome to the wiki? Why not follow up that way and then if nothing productive occurs go about removing race based comments Daubert

  • Leaving Welcome to the Wiki's has a very low response rate. If someone appears in their edits to be worth the effort I'll try, but I'm no longer actively welcoming other editors as part of the tasks that I voluntarily handle. I used to feel that if a person's comment or edit (particularly their first few) was altered or reverted then that person deserved an explanation of why. The increasing depersonalization of this once community building wiki has sharply reduced that urge for me. It is a little like the old saw about broken windows in a neighborhood leading to more broken windows and eventually worse decay. If people see broken windows going unfixed it sends a message about the level of upkeep and encourages further decay. —JasonAller
    • If/when we have a tool that lets us leave messages that people are more likely to see, it might make more sense to go back to the practice of welcoming those who might need guidance. —cp

I suggested an allerbot and also doing some sort of huge follow me explaining that user pages are pages as well, and it was roundly criticized —Daubert

  • I've deleted plenty of comments in the past that I thought were just prime examples of trolling. It's hard to set a subjective goal of what bar to set and keep. I know Don hates anything that comes down on the business negatively, and Jason's prime concern can come across as trying to keep the wiki positive. But really, if there's any level of detail or commentary, without resorting to vulgar or intentionally offensive posting, than I think it'd be worth keeping for some of what CP said below. Seriously though, I do think it's an insult to the intelligence of the average reader, and especially the average internet user, to think they can't come to the same conclusions as yourselves regarding the content of some comments. Again, remember there's quite a few other review-based websites out there. -ES

I don't think it is right to place requirements on who can post what — that you have to have established identity (to whose satisfaction?) or otherwise shown your worthiness in order to report a negative experience with a business. We seem to be assuming that the charge of racism is false. But it may be true, or based on truth. There was a Chinese restaurant in another town I used to live in that consistently received comments (on another forum, of course) that said that it gave Asians poorer service. These things do happen; not to bring in politics, but look at Arizona or some of the recent incidents in the UC and you will see that racism is alive and well. Again, that doesn't mean that what Julia says is true, only that it might be true. Perhaps another way of addressing the concerns here would be to try to ask Julia — on the Strelitzia Flower Co page — to give evidence for why she thinks the treatment she received was due to her race, as opposed to one of the many other possible reasons. That would serve to call the comment into question for other people reading the comment (again, I think you guys are overstating the potential impact of the comment) and give Julia an opportunity to clarify, if that is indeed possible. —cp

  • I agree with CP. -ES
  • In general, with CP. Especially with accusations that could form a pattern. Yes, it's a opening for abuse, and the greetings aren't doing much, but somebody created an account to add their voice to the soup, and that voice should be respected. Even when it is a shrill, neurotic voice or a semi-lunatic voice1. It's still a community voice, nitwits, paranoiacs and people we philosophically disagree with included. That comment macro does cause serious issues: it has rendered most of the actual content of the wiki uneditable by the community. That's a serious problem, and there needs to be a social re-evaluation of how sacrosanct signed comments are, or if we just accept that every entry will now be a tri-part format: "edits by the elite", "macro", "complaints by the unwashed masses". The content should be kept, the accusation has been made. But in one calendar year, we sweep everything en masse under the rug to make room, never to (really) be seen again. I'm not sure that leaving it as is is actually the best thing for the person who made the accusation, and it certainly isn't good for the readability of the wiki or the editability of the wiki as a whole. I will say that what we do now is a bad pattern, but I do think it is better than deleting it. -jw
  • It is a slur to call someone a racist. Are slurs acceptable here? Is it ok to call someone a stupid bitch? a fascist? Is it ok if I say that CovertProfessor is a racist? —DS
    • There is still a comment left by a practicing attorney in Sacramento asking/suggesting that I'm a crack whore. —JasonAller
    • I suppose your crack-whoreness is provable or falsifiable (are you one? just curious...). But I also learned from that exchange that it is apparently ok, and will be supported by editors here, if we call someone a "huge bitch." Cool! I shall start applying the epithet willy-nilly! —DS
      • You know darn well that calling somebody a name versus asserting a serious accusation are two different things. I know you're just emotional about this, but you can dern well see the difference between an honest and serious accusation versus simple name calling and personal attack. Nobody is defending the latter — at least not here. -jw
    • If you think that CP is a racist and explain why, sure. I'm sure that you, CP, Jason and myself do or say things that other people think are racist. Heck, if you're for affirmative action, people who advocate for color blind laws think you're racist, and if you are against affirmative action, people who want to equalize historical and institutional racism will think you're racist. If you have any beliefs on race, you are — by somebody's metric — a racist. Sure, it can be used as a baseless slur. It can also be a legitimate statement of belief, or in the case of other sometimes-used-as-slur words (like communist, fat, or gay), a simple statement of fact happily agreed to by the subject. -jw
      • What JW said. You may recall a couple of previous recent cases where I advocated for deleting comments that were pure name calling. —cp

Does anyone notice that the one person who should have chimed in hasn't? The author of the comment has been silent. They hit and run and left us with a pile of crap to deal with. —JasonAller

You have the view that someone must be a regular editor in order to contribute. I do not have that view. —cp

Please don't put words in my mouth or claim that any particular view is the one I hold. —JasonAller

Fair enough. Many of your recent statements give the appearance that you hold that view. If you hold another one, I am interested to hear it. —cp

Well I was the one wondering why commenter hasn't struck up the a dialogue, it's an accusation that could use some affirming/clarification. Remove it if they won't stand by it and be done with it. The wiki can be edited in better ways than discussing this. Daubert

  • I certainly agree with the last sentence. If it is zotted, it should be replaced with a note that points to their user entry with an explanation. That gives them a chance to stand behind it rather than just assume there is some kind of unappealable pro-business censorship in effect. It is highly unlikely they will ever see any of this discussion. (And does this mean there is a sea change in progress regarding comments?) -jw
    • If we are going to discuss the sea change about comments then it is only fair to do so on a new Wiki Community page for that purpose so that we make the discussion open to all. —JasonAller
      • That would be the difference between a discussed change and a sea change. A sea change is where the threshold gradually shifts over time and everybody simply edits differently more and more over a long period. It continues until there are fundamental differences, but at no single point was there ever an actual switch. The classic example is petrification versus carving a statute. Both are rock, but one gradually shifts over time from flesh to rock with no specific point at which the switch has occurred, while the other is struck out of rock by a determined chisel. -jw
        • Could you agree that it would be beneficial for the community to have a page to point to for people who question the change? A milestone if you will, when the prior pattern of restoring removed comments changed to allowing comments without value to be removed? Otherwise I see a need to constantly explain that while there are plenty of comments throughout the wiki about the important of respecting other editors contributions, that in Spring of 2010 there was a change that occurred and now there is a new way of doing things. Given my luck with starting Wiki Community pages I'd rather that someone else start the page. —JasonAller
          • The whole point is that it would be a change that could not be discussed or actually decided upon. Some editors would lower their threshold for deleting comments, and nobody would really stop them, until it slowly rose to a new standard. It's not something you really decide upon, any more than a group of people in an office who used to go to lunch together and get pizza start going to get sandwiches instead. Half a year later, you realize you're getting sandwiches for lunch, but there was no real discussion, intent or declaration. Or, with the wiki: point to the discussion where we decided to italicize For more hairdressers in Davis... links. Or where we decided to put them at the bottom. Somebody did it, and other people just kind of felt that it made sense. Not everything works like that, but some things do. -jw
            • I think the sea change of deleting comments that have no value has already occurred. I think what we are wrestling with here is whether this particular comment has value or not. —cp

It clearly has zero value, I would love to hear more but I doubt the poster is going to do any more editing to the wiki... Unless that changes remove it, and lets edit the wiki in better ways than this... Daubert

Wow. Ok, never mind folks. There is nothing too outrageous to say on the Davis Wiki, apparently. Delete this page when you're done with it. —DonShor

That's neither fair nor true. What about this or this?

Don, I think the point is that an outrageous statement may be justified if there's enough information to evaluate whether it might actually be true. If there is a business that's being racist, that's extremely significant to members of the community. It's a balancing act: the positive value of information to the community versus the harm to a business. If there's little or no positive value, obviously an outrageous statement should be removed, and has been on many occasions (like the two CP pointed out). But when a statement like that contains an explanation of how the conclusion was reached (e.g. "I'm a minority and was told that they don't help people pick out flowers, then they promptly helped a white lady pick out flowers"—paraphrasing, obviously), that's pretty damn significant. If there's some indication that's it's entirely made up, then the harmful impact may still outweigh the informational value. Tell me, do you have any reason to believe that what this person said happened never happened? Or do you just think it shouldn't be allowed because it may hurt a business? —TomGarberson

After re-reading the comment I tend to agree with you - she did provide a bit of explanation. I also still think the comment is in poor form and I agree that keeping stuff like that on the wiki is kind of trashy. Trashy because it's from a single-purpose account and doesn't provide detail. Furthermore, some of the comments on the page do note that the flower shop does operate in a self-service manner for bouquet arrangements. Ultimately, I agree with removing the comment: charges of racism are serious and the manner in which she left her comment her was not serious. As a community, I don't think we have a responsibility to keep her comment around because, while there's a chance its provides valuable information, without much more context it comes off as a slur. —PhilipNeustrom

I don't necessarily disagree. I'm not sure which way I think this one tips. But I don't think it's cut-and-dry, and my hope was that Don would address that point. -tg

As content, I'll defend it to support a viewpoint from the community. As a first edit, I'll defend it as an issue of not discounting new editors. However, hit and run negative comments I have issue with (as they lower the tone of the wiki and contribute little to the community voice), and if she had used "StrelitziaSucks" as an account name, I would probably see no problem in removing it — and given the serious nature of this particular accusation, I'd support removing it. Part of that is probably my dislike of antagonistic anonymity (as opposed to friendly anonymity) and single purpose accounts (as opposed to editors with a single interest). That's why I commented that the hit and run aspect is a different issue (at least for me) at some point in the above discussion. My problem is, there have been anonymous and serious accusations that were followed up by established accounts piping up with "me too!", which is basically the community coming together on the wiki to voice what many people thought but had no forum. Splitting the hit and runs from the start of a community rally... I'm honestly not sure how to do that, as they are indistinguishable at the first step. Personally, my ideal would be that it gets plowed under a couple months from now when somebody refactors and integrates the comments... which doesn't happen, so it's an unrealistic ideal (until it starts being acceptable again). I do think this whole discussion has been a good thing, in that the most active editors (the people most likely to deal with abusive comments) have had an opportunity to hear each other's perspectives circa mid-2010. -jw

We seem more or less equally split here, with strong feelings on both sides. We've all expressed our views and are starting to repeat ourselves. Suggestions for compromise? The comment has now been marked as controversial. —cp

I can see both sides of the coin here. If the staff at the shop are racists then that is important and needs to be there. The tone of this comment makes me feel like the person who left it was a little quick to jump to conclusions. Just because they showed more attention to one customer over another does not mean it was racially motivated. There are so many factors that go into social situations, to conclude that they are racists is, in my opinion, not a sound conclusion. But, I was not there, so I can not say. If you want my opinion, it should be deleted, or better yet edited to remove accusations of racism. I think comments should be able to be edited to remove the B.S. —DagonJones

I just have to say, that I've been friends with the Labadies for MANY years. I've traveled with Janice. I know what kind of people they are. They would NEVER condone racism in their establishment, period. Sloppy customer service, possibly, racism, never. My opinion is that this borders on slander. As a business owner, I have a hard time finding this type of thing acceptable. If the Labadies knew, or now know, of this situation, it will be dealt with immediately. I propose we remove the comment, and if the author feels that it is important, they can re-post it.- Davidlm

  • David, why not put your comments about the Labadies on the main page? —cp
  • Because having your friends defend you from "so when did you stop beating your wife" types of comments doesn't really take care of the issue.-dm

If there is no reply by June 11 (2 weeks), I'm going to pull the comment. —DonShor

  • I still don't see why someone has to come back to the wiki at all, or by someone else's deadline, in order to contribute their experiences. —cp
  • I'm sorry you disagree with me. Nevertheless, I plan to pull the comment. DS
    • For my part, I still remain pretty ambivalent toward this comment. If there were no details, I would support removing it. I strongly disagree with the idea that accusations of racism are per se inappropriate on the wiki and should be always be removed. But this one falls somewhere in the middle. I still think a better approach would be a response from the management, and perhaps a comment from Davidlm in support of them so that readers can get both sides and decide for themselves. But it is enough of a gray area that I won't actively oppose removing it, unless the commenter pops back in and defends it. —tg
    • DS, I think I feel about as strongly about keeping the comment as you feel about removing it. Saying you are going to remove it regardless isn't exactly cooperative editing — more like the start of an edit war, something that none of us need. Surely there is some other approach. If you feel so strongly about it, why not contact Strelitzia so that they can respond? They have edited the wiki before. —cp
  • I started this page in the hope of gaining consensus that charges of racism are serious enough that they have to have substance in order to remain on the Wiki. IMO, a once-posting editor does not have standing to make a charge that can seriously damage the reputation of a local business. Leaving it to Strelitzia to "respond" validates the slur, implying that the charge and the defense are of equal weight. When editors here replied to the charge, asking for more substance, you got nothing. The problem with the concept of cooperative editing is that the default position is to leave the slur on Strelitzia's page. Some agree with me, others agree with you. In the absence of consensus, I am going to do what I originally planned to do — remove the slur from the page. Then if the originator notices it is gone, he/she can post about that and defend his or her original accusation. I'm guessing we'll never see him or her again. If you have another approach that includes removal of the slur from the business page, I'm open to the idea. But anything that leaves it there, in my opinion, unfairly harms the business reputation. Unlike others here, I give no credence whatever to the originator's charge. Racism is easy to prove and impossible to disprove. —DonShor
    • And if you delete the comment, I'll put it back. This goes nowhere. I have made many suggestions for what to do. Let me enumerate them: 1) query person for further details (which we have done; person still might come back). 2) Have DavidIm speak to his positive impressions of the Strelitzia owners. 3) Wait and see what develops. If no one else confirms, and others deny, then we can delete (but this takes time). 4) Link to the new page we've created that discusses the controversy of such comments. 5) Contact Strelitzia and ask them to respond; with a good response, this does not put them on equal footing, as I have argued above — they can turn a negative into a positive easily. But none of these is acceptable to you. And what have you proposed? Nothing. It's delete or nothing. That's hardly cooperative editing; that's my way or the highway. And it seems to me that the bottom line for you is this: "I give no credence whatever to the originator's charge." Well, you know, a lot of people think that racism is dead and that stuff like this doesn't happen in a "progressive" town like Davis. And I think that is a mistake. Racism is alive and well. We were all raised with the same prejudices and we often act on them whether we realize it or not (most often, without realizing). It seems to me that you immediately jump to the assumption that this was just a pissed off person trying to harm a business without even considering the possibility that the accusation can be true, or that the person genuinely thought it was true. —cp
      • When you sign your name to your opinions, cp, i will give them more credence. Otherwise, you have just informed me that we will be participating in an edit war. You can call me at 530-758-2276. You can email me at redbarn at You can walk into my business 362 days a year and discuss this with me. I am fully public with my participation here. Business owners CAN BE HARMED by slurs that are allowed to stand. You can't be harmed by anything that is said or done on the Davis Wiki. Again: I will delete the comment, and any associated comments, on June 11.—DonShor
        • We (as a wiki) have been over the anonymity issue before, and I will not rehash it here. I do respect you for not being anonymous, but I have my reasons for being anonymous, which I have stated elsewhere. But don't make this about me. Others who are not anonymous have also said the comment should remain. I agree that businesses can be harmed but (AGAIN) I think you overstate the harm and I think the business can take actions to mitigate that harm. And I think customers can be also be harmed. What about them? Do they get any consideration? I am trying my best not to make this into an edit war, but you seem to be determined — as though something will come of that other than frustration. I may be anonymous, but I am trying to work with you. On the other hand, I've yet to hear you respond to any of the concerns I have raised. —cp
  • This is a really touchy subject here. I think this comment should be removed, it is fishy. It feels to me like the customer was upset with the lack of customer service and pulled the race card. I don't support a blanket ban on accusations of racism but Don brings up a VERY good point. Racism is easy to prove and almost impossible to disprove. Strong accusations should be handled on an individual basis.- DagonJones

There has been too much talk, explicit or not, about policy and process. Perhaps it's good to have this discussion, but that doesn't mean we need to get bogged down with all that to make a good decision here.

We have a comment that could cause major problems for the subject and isn't backed up with much of anything. It's an accusation of racism that has the classic signs of invoking the race card because of a victim mentality. We don't have to write massive chunks of text about this and invoke all sorts of pet ideologies about identity, deference to commerce, or the wiki as a watchdog. Let's just look at the comment for what it is. I see a comment that lacks value. Let's just stop this nonsense and have this general debate another day. The comment needs to go. —WilliamLewis

  • But some of us do think the comment has value and that it is backed up. Some of us see plausible/possible story, not race card. It's just not as black and white (if you'll excuse me) as you are making it. —cp
  • And some of us are in the criminal defense field and eat, breathe, and sleep policy and process. Some of us shouldn't be blamed when we can't freaking help it! —tg (I hope you'll excuse me)

I'm going to reiterate my previous point: Delete the comment, if the poster cares enough he/she can come back and explain in more detail, in the meantime lets devote our energy to editing the wiki in productive ways, as opposed to walls of text over this Daubert

William has stated it very well, lets not worry about precedent or policy, lets look at this as a single entry that most people seem to agree it should be deleted. —DagonJones

I'm starting to get more and more upset about this issue. (Yes, this one, not just the general policy). It is starting to feel like a collective "We don't think racism happens in this town. We don't think what you described could possibly have happened. We don't believe you. We think that you're just angry and trying to hurt the business." I'd like to ask — please — that everyone take step back and think about what that is saying, and how that might feel from Julia's point of view. In other words, try supposing for just a moment that what she said is true (that she was treated differently because of her race), and then think about the proposed action of deleting the comment and the message it is sending. Please. I'm basically begging at this point. —cp

  • I'm with CP here, I've just been commenting less because I tend to ramble and CP writes very well. I wanted to also put up a reminder that several otger people either think it should stay, or at least has enough backing to keep it (CP, me, JW, TG, even Philip commented that it did indeed provide some context). CP just said it excellently, and I've been saying that it may be an ugly statement but I do agree that as the comment did elaborate a little on the why and it's not simply a baseless "their racists - ['StrelitzaSucks']" comment it should stay. I've also thought it's an insult to assume other people can't make up their own minds on whether such a thing is valid or not. Ultimately, my concern over this comment is exactly what CP is bringing up. Ugly stuff DOES happen, and it shouldn't be preemptively disregarded because it's ugly. -ES
  • ...everyone take step back and think about what that is saying, and how that might feel from the point of view of the people you know who own Strelitzia. In other words, try supposing for just a moment that you have been accused of racism, a charge from which it is impossible to defend yourself, and then think about the proposed action of leaving the comment and the message it is sending. Why do you think I somehow translate this to "racism doesn't happen in this town?" Look, if you want to take a vote, I'll abide by the outcome. But I will repeat what I started this page with: accusations of racism should be deleted.DonShor
    • Perhaps you're not aware that the university solicits anonymous reviews of my teaching for every class that I teach. Those reviews are used in hiring, in tenure decisions, and in promotions. There is also which contain anonymous, public reviews of pretty much every professor in the country, including me. So yes, I know exactly how it feels. When I get accused of something, step 1 is to consider whether I am guilty of it. Step 2 is to respond and tell my side of the story. Step 3 is to make sure that nothing I do in the future could be misconstrued. If I were Strelizia, I would want to know of this accusation, want to tell my side, want to think about what I could do better. Deleting this (brushing it under the rug) doesn't help anyone. —cp
    • I think I've asked you several times: but what if it's true? I'm going to go dig up that massage parlor page where it took just one person coming forward to allege inappropriate touching/conduct and that brought a few other people out from the sidelines who said something akin to "I thought it was just me" or "I wouldn't have said anything until I saw..." I think it's how you say " accusations of racism should be deleted." following that after 'it's impossible to defend yourself' which is what seems to translate to 'racism doesn't happen in this town.' Because is every accusation of racism merely an accusation? I'm a bit confused as to where you think the line should be drawn, or if there is one. -ES
      • It was Clarity Massage, I think. The first comment was deleted because it was "irresponsible to keep this here". Subsequently there were two more comments along the same vein. See also UnsatisfiedWithClarityMassage—tg
        • I don't think it was Clarity, because I thought I remembered a talk page where someone was like "whoa, these were popping out of the woodwork - can they be real or delete" and one of the people posted that " I only came forward because" thing. Actually, there were several comments and at least one person went back to edit or delete portions of it. Shucks, I'll figure it out when I have free time.
          • I recall an issue with one of the yoga places — a number of people all reporting inappropriate touching by the yoga instructor, with some saying that that is a normal part of yoga, some saying no, it went too far. I also recall that the infamous Woodland dentist ended up here on the wiki. —cp
            • Ahh, here we go. Barefoot Yoga Studio got one comment in December 2007 saying that the instructor touched people inappropriately. There were three more in the next two and a half months. There were a couple more in 2009. There's a sizeable Barefoot Yoga Studio/Talk page for it, including some of the original (anonymous, single-post) commenters who came back and defended their comments. Have a look at that talk page for why it can be so important to have these "whistleblower" comments. —tg
    • "but what if it's true?" How would you prove it is true? And how do you prove you are not a racist? It is pretty easy to prove sexual activity. —DS
      • I don't really know how to respond, DS. So because you feel you can't prove or disprove racism, every allegation is automatically a slur of an accusation, and should be deleted? That seems a rather difficult way to address racism in context to society itself. I've said this many times: ugly things can happen, might happen, and have happened throughout history. Davis isn't a magical bubble with which we're immune. Ignoring them offhand or disregarding them automatically is a great, great injustice to the topic, be it racism or something else. -ES
        • Maybe we can get together with Keep Davis Boring and work to unname Fred T. Korematsu Elementary School because it's based on highly questionable and unprovable charges that rounding up United States citizens solely because of their race and tossing them into camps was somehow, mystifyingly connected to (clearly unfoundable) charges of racism. —SatiricalWokky To be clear: My issue at this point is with the assertion that all claims of racism are unfounded and have no place on the wiki. I've marched as an activist with robed KKK members protesting our simple assertion that people can get along. I think there are often unfounded claims of racism, usually genuine misunderstandings, a philosophical difference (see my comment above about affirmative action), and yes, sometimes it can be claiming to be a victim to make yourself look good and the other person look bad — and it's horrible. But in the real world, there is racism of many stripes, some of which we disagree with. I know I disagree with some claims. But to deny that accusations and actual racism exists is silly. And if it exists in Davis, it should be on the wiki. OKAY, NOW READ THIS: That does not mean I support keeping this accusation because I think all charges should be kept. If it were simply a two word comment, "racist bicthes" or similar — especially by a one shot account — i would happily delete it. In this particular case, I think there are enough particulars that it was a real event related by the person who was there and that has her honest perspective. Several things, like lamenting an out of business competitor rather than pushing another competitor, stating the specific actions that led to her conclusion (which I don't agree with), and pointing to specific people by description, are the reasons I support keeping this particular accusation. And hopefully surround it with other people's comments that that person's view is laughably crazy. Rather than go back and forth about "wiki policy" (whatever that is) on a Talk page, just have the real Davis community — their customers, their friends and the people themselves — answer the accusation directly.
          • On a somewhat distantly related note, what is the current wiki position about a business rearranging the order of comments so that the most recent comments occur first? Although this doesn't necessarily apply to this particular case, the idea of a fossilized, but possibly false and malicious accusation, is one thing that I find pretty disturbing about the current wiki system. Because ultimately it's just so easy to take advantage of it. If I had some vendetta against a business owner, I could easily write a fake review when it first opened from a sock puppet account from a different IP. As long as I had enough details, however fake they may be, it would likely be crystalized there for months or even years simply if many people found it convincing enough. A horrible enough comment could possibly cost a business thousands a dollars in this way. I think this is true because I have avoided going to a professional simply because he had one review that insinuated sexual harassment even though almost every other review was glowing. I wouldn't have gone to him even if there were multiple comments ridiculing the original comment, just because, at that point, I had already developed a strong bias (possibly wrongly) simply based on one person's persuasive comment. This is the main reason for why I think we should be extra-skeptical about these kind of reviews on business pages in particular. I would vote for option 3 if comments can be rearranged by a business at some point to make most recent first, but I would vote for 2 if it has to stay fixed in position for good. (archiving isn't good enough because many places never generate enough comments to warrant archiving). —SM

I think a lot of this belongs over on the Wiki Community/Accusations of Racism or Sexism page. We're getting off-topic again. Is it time to call a vote? —tg

Proposed voting options:

  1. The comment should be removed two weeks from the time it was made (June 11, I believe) if no further information is forthcoming.

  2. The comment should be removed at a later date (maybe 2 months?) if no further information is forthcoming. 2 weeks isn't enough time.

  3. The comment should not be removed.

Votes for the two removal options would be added up and compared to votes against removal. If removal wins and neither option has a plurality of the votes, we can have a separate vote-off to determine time-frame.

I have agreed to abide by the results of a vote, but it seems that those most opposed to removal of the comment refuse to vote. I have attempted to be collaborative and have discussed this issue very thoroughly. Unfortunately, the default position is that the accusation of racism stays. Davis Wiki has no "system" for resolving this. So just to reiterate: on June 11 I am going to remove the comment. —DonShor

'"your response for deletion sums up to be pretty black and white: it's bad, delete. -ES Ditto cp"' In view of the disrespectful attitude of these editors, I no longer am interested in this vote or any further discussion with them. If other editors wish to discuss this issue, fine. But it will take a great deal to get me to retain the comment on 6/11 at this point. —DonShor

  • DS, I have asked you to clarify your position a number of times, but you always dodge the questions without answering them. So, what ES summarized (the whole comment, not just the part you took out of context) is the best I can understand your position without you elaborating further (yes, at points you have said you would accept the comment if the person used their real name). Again, I'll just point out that you're proposing to start an edit war. —cp
    • I have "clarified" my position many, many times. Really, what don't you understand now? I said I was done with this, but your comment here implies that I have not been forthcoming. —ds
      • In my opinion, yes, you have not been fully forthcoming. You have not answered direct questions that I have asked and that jw has asked. —cp
      • "...if it is provable or falsifiable, it can remain. If it is in the public domain (Buzayan case), it can remain just on that basis alone (it’s a story) even if not yet proven or falsified. If someone is willing to stake their reputation on the accusation, it can remain; this means establishing identity. If you wish to come up with some way of allowing anonymous accusations to remain long enough to be validated by others, please propose it. That is why I left the whole Strelitzia issue alone for a few days after an editor replied asking for clarification. But understand that as long as the accusation stands, it is doing harm. Businesses should be treated with the same respect you would expect yourself and that you would apply to individuals. An anonymous, vague accusation that can’t be proven or falsified really should not be allowed." To answer the question that I think you have asked: yes, sometimes that may result in the removal of comments that reflect honest 'perceptions' of individuals (I have, in fact, addressed this several times). If that upsets them, they can repost and each case would be considered by the nebulous ad hoc committee that makes up the editorship of the Davis Wiki. Requiring them to repost or respond in some way could help weed out the malicious accusations; again, we have no way to judge valid, honest, malicious, or any other characterization of these posts. —DonShor
      • Note: it appears that two months is the standard being applied by some for how long is long enough for corroboration. I have nothing against arbitrary standards, and this is probably as good as any. —DS
        • Thank you for the clarification — that does help. Perhaps a two month (or other similar period of time) wait for corroboration is the compromise that people can live with even if there are some on either "side" (you, me — others?) who are not entirely happy with it. —cp
        • It should be flagged clearly in the edit history to be found again if needed. That's not just a gnoming/organizational issue for the possibility that a deleted voice becomes relevant again, but it also shows good faith in not just causing the person's voice to softly and suddenly vanish away, but rather that the deletion is a thoughtful and weighed act. Outside of blatant spam or similar deletions, that should probably always be the case until or unless comments are treated differently on the wiki. -jw
          • My thought behind #2 was both to allow more time for the commenter to elaborate or for others to come forward and to provide a compromise option. The idea wasn't that 2 months is the magic number... just that it would be a decent middle ground between giving the commenter a chance and getting rid of the comment if it isn't supported and doesn't garner community support. I think it's the option that makes the most sense to me right now, especially since DS seems to think it's fair. —TomGarberson

4 - I'm voting for option 4. Julia' comment is ok except for the sentence that claims that the staff only caters to white people. Julia can't know this. She can suspect it, but she can't know it. It is too bad she didn't use the phrase, "I suspect that..." to open that sentence. I'm not in favor of altering her comment to remove a portion of it, so that leaves the option of removing the whole comment. She hasn't responded to two welcomes, or to any of the followup. Strelitzia can't contact her and I'm not willing to ask that the e-mail she used when she signed up be sent a heads up, mainly because there is no notice that wiki spot would ever use e-mail in that way. So... I'm left with the conclusion that the comment should be removed. If any one of a number of thing were different I'd be voting to keep it, but the facts of this particular case are such that "Julia" is incommunicado and leveled a charge against a real world identity that she couldn't have evidence to support based on her description of events. I'm willing to change my position if she comes back. —JasonAller

  • So, why not propose an option 4? At one point, JW indicated a preference for editing the comment. —cp

1 - Remove 6/11 —DonShor 2 - remove comment after 2 months if nobody backs it up. because it's too easy to sabotage a business in this way. —ScottMeehleib 2 - in light of the last couple days of discussion, I think a 2-month time period for development/corroboration is a fair compromise. #2 gets my vote. I also like Jason's idea for #4, so I'd get behind that if there was sufficient support.—TomGarberson 2 (really, 3) - I won't say I am voting for #2, because it's not what I think we ought to do. But I am willing to accept #2 as a compromise, with JW's proviso. I'm not sure what #4 is — delete the comment (now? later?) unless Julia comes back to clarify?? so I can't vote for it. 2 I think it will probably be deleted after a few years, if not sooner (probably longer than months though, at least i'm not eager to delete it). Insubstantial comments like this seem to me like things on a beach (sandcastles? drug needles? i'm not sure whats the most comparable thing) eventually they go away by "natural" forces like comment archiving that aren't especially focused on this particular thing. -NickSchmalenberger

2010-06-30 11:20:15   Strelitzia Flower Company is not a Racist Company. By maintaining this posting you are allowing an unsubstantiated comment from an annoymous person who never contacted the owner or manager. We have security cameras that could have and would have reviewed any allegations of this kind. I suspect that the customer may have felt that she did not get waited on in a timely manner, but because sales vary widely, there may be times that we are very busy and there may be a wait period, that does not constitute Racism. We allow customers to browse our refrigerator and there is a certain amount of self service regarding our wholesale sales. But to accuse us of being racist over one issue without having contacted management is inappropriate and unsubstantiated. Those who know us would never believe an allegation of this kind. —Strelitzia

2010-06-30 11:22:39   As an addition, I will include my contact info and will respond to any issues regarding my store. Dean Labadie 530-902-2070

Don deleted, then reverted, but I'll second the delete opinion. Old and inactive. Users can go through page history!


1. I'm not saying that this particular one is either of these, but there are some out there