Thursday 27 March 2014

"Death Wishes from Archaeologists"?

Addicted to bleeps » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:55 am
Nat Geo have created a mini site for the show.
They've releases videos, pictures, etc etc.
Here's the first video for it. Arrgggggg! Scary!
One of the "Nazi War Diggers' metal detectorists is feeling depressed. Metal detectorist Kris Rogers writes ('Addicted to bleeps' Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:20 pm ) that since he announced his participation in the programme, he has discovered what people can be capable of on the internet. Welcome to the club.
I've never received so much venom, hatred and spite. It's been constant. I'm just a presenter (sic). But it's got really personal now. Had threats and all sorts. It's just not stopping. Because I do many things on the internet, I'm getting it from everywhere. My detecting youtube, Facebook and Twitter. My bass lessons youtube, Facebook and Twitter. My personal blog youtube and twitter and Facebook. Apparently I should kill myself. That's nice. Thanks for that. I used to hold archeologists in high esteem. [...] But after all this relentless hate. These are educated people. Look at the comments. 
Well, Mr Rodgers has my sympathy, I and my family have been through this for a large part of the time I've been discussing artefact hunting and I agree, people can be animals on the internet, something akin to road rage I guess. My impression is that what I have been getting is not from particularly "educated" people, so if Mr Rodgers really has been getting this sort of treatment from heritage professionals too, it's a serious development. I am having a hard time, however, working out where these death-wish comments from 'archaeologists' are, There are absolutely none for example under the blog post on the Nazi War Diggers where you might expect them. Certainly if you go through the 140+ comments under the NatGeo video there are quite a few comments from people who explicitly identify themselves as (or you can guess are) archaeologists and every single one of them is written in a temperate language, but is entirely condemnatory of what we see in that film. And quite right, what we see in that film is an utter scandal.

I note that in his first post about it Addicted to Bleeps did not write anything along the lines of "I know what this looks like, but believe me that actual excavations we did were not like this". He just presented it as a straightforward chunk of the programme. It seems it never for once crossed his mind, until he started hearing other people's reactions, that there is anything wrong with what we see in the video used to promote the programme.

I'd be interested to see what Kris Rodgers has in fact been receiving from archaeological colleagues. It would be helpful if he'd post some links and some names of the people allegedly sending him threats and even death wishes.  If people, archaeologists in particular, really have been doing this, then let's name and shame them together. If archaeologists have been sending such things from work computers, then disciplinary action is in order.

UPDATE 27th March 2014
That's interesting, both threads about Nazi War Diggers have been deleted from the UK and European Metal Detecting Forum. "As you were chaps, nothing to see here" they say. there was no discussion of this programme at all in metal detecting circles. Shhhhhhh....

UPDATE 28th March 2014
Odder still, when sincerely offered help in dealing with the rogue archaeologists who have allegedly been threatening and sending death wishes, Mr Rodgers goes strangely quiet. He says its a police matter  " I'm not allowed to say. You know this". No, there is no reason why Mr Rodgers cannot bring himself to say "Joe Bloggs of Barsettshire County Council Archaeology unit posted this yesterday on my blog [link]: "Mr Rogers, You are [***]. I am disgusted, I think you [***] and I want you to [***]" . Let the world know what an intemperate blackguard Joe Bloggs is.

It's pretty obvious to all of us that one reason why he cannot report what Joe Bloggs the archaeologist said is of course if Joe Bloggs said no such thing. Perhaps Joe Bloggs, or somebody else, exasperated by slippery tekkie talk and hiding behind enforced confidentiality (from the TV company) said "oh for goodness sake, it's pointless trying to talk with you, go take a long walk off a short pier" or something like that. That could be interpreted as a death wish by the over-sensitive (and as we have seen such a description can be applied to many metal detectorists). Alternatively it could be seen as a  black-humour colloquialism fairly commonly used in UK English with no intention that the recipient actually does harm themselves.

More telling is how if you follow back Mr Rodgers' tweets to check out what threats have been sent to him there. The first mention of such a death wish comes at about eleven in the morning on Thursday,  (addressing Tanya Peres who'd stressed that although she disapproved of what the video showed, she had never said such a thing "Please don't put words in my tweets. I would never say something like that. Dude?"). Rodgers replied without supplying any further details: "One of you did. The authorities are dealing with. Now, please stop harassing me". Professionals expressing an opinion on a video involving disturbing scenes involving human remains is not harassment. So rather than being threats "everywhere" in the various sources listed in the (now deleted) post from the metal detecting forum, it now seems that (whatever was said) it was one person in one place and that person was of course not Tanya Peres.

Now we see " 59 min.
"Right, I'm off this account now. Hope I get lot of apologies from you when the show is out. (yea right!) Enjoy, and take care x"
If apologies are due to the programme's creators I am sure they will be forthcoming. I'd still like to know about the background to the allegations that "archaeologists" (plural) were sending threats and death wishes to just one of the people featured in the programme. Is it true, or another of those little get-outs, like deleting threads on discussion forums, and twitter accounts, that detectorists use to avoid discussing uncomfortable subjects?


Detectorbloke said...

if by circles you mean that forum then yes, but the posts discussing the programme are still up on andy's, steve's and my blog.

Unknown said...

I think it is important that this IS discussed and am disappointed that the threads have been removed from the forum... Why can metal detectorists not hold an adult conversation about issues without abuse or censorship... this is a massive own goal for us...

Paul Barford said...

Mr Baines,
You have a blog of your own where you can express your views.

You have sent some platitudinous comments here which I have not published for two reasons.

The first is they add nothing to the discussion. (This is like the "I agree with Bazza, your right M8" one-liners space-fillers of detecting forums; so what?)

The second is that I am no longer inclined to allow you to post as a guest on my blog. You have been free to up till now, but have made quite clear on your own blog your position about the message and concerns expressed in my blog as well as your personal antipathy towards these past two months. You have filled your own eponymous blog with hate-filled ad hominem posts. I have in mind texts of the type: "Now i will call you a liar Paul", "Someone is still trying to twist things", "Paul Barford needs to search for the truth" (sic), "Why so bitter?", "Yet more lies and bullshit from Barford and friends", "Interenet (sic) trolls" and so on. That is not to mention the insulting and sometimes libellous comments you have allowed others to post there (for which you are responsible, as publisher).

Discussion of issues is one thing, reasoned criticism of a point of view is what we need in the debate on responsible collecting, but the stuff you have been churning out for the consumption and entertainment of your readers is neither and goes well beyond the pale.

Such a barrage of utter nastiness and personal attack aimed at a single person seems to be what attracts readers in certain parts of the metal detecting world. Joining those people is your choice. But while your blog continues to evidence that you have had no change of mind or behaviour, then I will maintain the position that I am under no obligation to give you a forum for your views here too, still less to allow you to use my blog as publicity for your own.

Is that really such a surprise to you? Really?

You have a blog, use it how you see best to advance the public debate and the public image of metal detecting. In order to achieve these aims, I will use mine in the way I see fit too.

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