If you never heard of the Bangladesh Studies Network, this is a FaceBook group with their agenda illustrated in the following description.
The “Bangladesh Studies Group” is an informal network of researchers and PhD students from a range of disciplines researching issues relating to Bangladesh and her diaspora. The aim of the network is to create a space to exchange ideas and findings.
The group is administered by the following four people:
One of these four persons banned me from the group on March 1, 2013 without giving any warning or explanation. I was curious to know the reason hence trying to recall my latest engagements in the group. On my last day in BSN, I asked a question to one of the admins, Benjamin Zeitlyn, whether there is any detailed guideline for banning any member from the group. Someone, in a thread, was talking about a member who was recently banned, so, I wanted to know the reason behind the administrative action. I assumed there should be minimum transparency in the administrative actions undertaken in a group which claims to accommodate scholarly interactions. Did my question somehow violate the undisclosed moderation policy of the group? I don't know!
The latest engagement with any member other than the admins that I could recall was a post by, so far I remember, Joseph Allchin, about an article which contained very sexist, shortsighted and objectionable comments about the two top political leaders of Bangladesh. I had no problem about the shortsightedness. When it is all about quality, the writer can always improve - but I had issues with any sexist view about Bangladeshi politics. That's the last thing I want any writer to do while discussing politics. My engagement was absolutely professional.
During my short stint at BSN I never made any personal, non-professional or abusive remark to anyone. I challenge my readers to prove me wrong.
Let's see what abusive remarks, pointed at me, have survived the moderation of all the four admins so far. I would like to advise caution to my readers that these might only be the tip of the iceberg about the story of the practice of moderation in BSN. I counted the remarks towards only me from February 18, 2014. If you find any of them modified, those were modified later by the author upon my objection and not at moderators' suggestion. If you fail to see any of them, those might be deleted upon my objection much later and not at moderators' suggestion. If any of those authors is missing she was banned from the group not because of that comment but due to the random banning spree by the moderators that took place on the very day I was banned.
Let's take a look at them.
Member: Shafiqur Rahman
Member: X-Ray X-Ray
Member: Ahmed Hasan
Member: Rage Ezekiel
Member: Shafquat Rabbee Anik
Member: জাহিদ ইকবাল
All the comments are artifacts of threat, hate or abuse but survived the oversight of all the four moderators of BSN. Once I argued in a thread in BSN that it is not pragmatic to expect immediate or precise moderation from only four people in such a large group. But it looks the moderators found time at least to ban me. This reminds me of a question I asked the other day to all the moderators. I wanted to know whether BSN has any scholarly publication or any scholarly publication has its root in any discussion thread developed at BSN. One of the moderators, Hannah Jennings, responded that there was none. Based on my short experience and Hannah's response I understand that I have lost nothing from being banned but I wanted to keep this on public record for future reference for future members. It is always good to have a realistic expectation from a FaceBook group which claims to be about scholarly activities.
PS. Thanks to my friends at BSN who survived the recent moderation spree for references.