This is not censorship, and no powerful interest has ever asked us to suppress any topic, or any point of view on this list. However, using the list for political purposes is prohibited by policy of our host institution. It is not an ASM policy, nor is it Susan’s and my policy, though it is up to Susan and I to decide what is political use and what is not. I believe our interpretation of this policy to be fair and as permissive as possible. But since folks are crying censorship and bias, we must not be making it very clear. I’ll try again.


Most of the discussion has been fine and appropriate. Our University-approved mission is to discuss wild-bird-related issues, and a wind farm near a wildlife refuge could certainly effect wild birds. So even though it intersects with public policy, we may discuss the bird-related aspects of it here. It is okay to report fact about the issue, to discuss its potential effect on wild birds, to express our opinions on it (for or against), and to provide links to relevant resources for people who are interested in learning more or getting involved.


But what we can’t do is to is to ask people to take political action on an issue. That is clearly political use, so we can’t allow it on our list. “Political action” includes asking people to vote a certain way, to contribute to a campaign, to contact their representatives, or to march on Jeff City. It also includes using the list to plan, organize, or carry out a campaign of political action.


This is hardly a ban on discussion, and I am confident that interested parties can communicate their messages here just as effectively without including a call to action. Just present your facts and state your conclusions, and trust that the strength of your argument will compel your audience to act appropriately.


I hope that’s clear enough.


Dave Scheu

MOBirds-L list co-owner

St. Louis, MO



From: Missouri Wild Bird Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Hazelwood, Susan
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2014 9:34 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: ADMIN: Educational vs. Lobbying


The University of Missouri is a public (partially tax payer funded) institution.  We, i.e. the MOBirds-L community, have to adhere to guidelines that MU issues, but doesn’t very clearly define. It is a challenge to all of us. I will take blame for trying to interpret those guidelines.


Yes, the Audubon Society of Missouri Board has explored other hosting options for MOBirds-L. Costs range from several thousand/year to much more. MU’s generosity offers a financial deal (free) that we cannot obtain anywhere else.




Susan Hazelwood

MOBirds-L Co-owner

Columbia, MO

[log in to unmask]


From: Chris Hobbs [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2014 9:20 AM
To: Hazelwood, Susan
Cc: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: ADMIN: Educational vs. Lobbying


Over the years, it seems 90% of ADMIN's admonishments over subject matter are because the host is a state government entity. Hopefully, birders will never have a disagreement with The State, as our only option will be to shut up and obey.


As we march toward that inevitable day, has anyone at ASM explored a better hosting option that allows freedom of speech and thought?


Chris Hobbs

Lenexa KS

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