Saturday, 12 April 2014

Responsible Detecting a Taboo Subject on a Metal Detecting Forum Near You?


Andy Baines on the Andy's UK metal daitecting blog (' More censorship and post removal on the metal detecting forum' Saturday, 12 April 2014) discusses another egregious example of censorship of online metal detecting discussions, reported to me earlier by another reader. Apparently on the UK and European metal detecting forum there was a thread started by a newish member in the 'general chat' section (visible without registering) about "stolen sovereigns and bad detecting"
At the start of the thread was a link to no other than Nigel Swift's Heritage Action blog [...] the forum member then went on to say he thought it was wise as a forum to discuss how they can all become more responsible and ethical metal detectorists. That's right, some one on the metal detecting forum wanted an open discussion about cleaning up the hobby so in essence the hobby will be around for longer. A few other forum members commented on the thread saying it was a great idea and they were also up for the challenge.
Very soon after that, the thread, like many others on that forum was terminated by the moderator (like the one covering up members' initially solid support of "Nazi War Diggers") and was deleted/hidden. Mr Baines on his blog asks "who is the real danger to metal detecting?" Is it "Nigel Swift who raises concerns but in doing so gives us education to help us be more responsible?" Or is it the people like the UK and European metal detecting forum moderator who prevents its members from speaking "openly about their concerns and thoughts and denies and chance of people in this hobby from bettering themselves and becoming more responsible"?

Obviously, I think the greatest enemy of artefact hunting is precisely the lack of open discussion in and around it about what constitutes responsible, conservation- conscious and sustainable use of the archaeological heritage as well as a failure to recognize the changing context within which it functions.

Bournemouth is turning out to be a real hotspot of anti-responsibility in detecting, John Howland, Candice Jarman, Michael Rixon... who else? So, what's the FLO doing about this?

Vignette: "Out, out, vile responsibility!!!"
 

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually, I didn't get the sense the thread was saying how can they become more responsible (Oh that it would have!) but how can they counter the perceived misinformation.

Well of course, they can't. A large number of detectorists ARE antisocial dolts, the evidence is beyond denial yet the reaction is to try to think of ways to pretend otherwise. And to trot out the utterly boring reactions that

a. "A lot of us aren't" - SO RUDDY WHAT?

b. They're trying to get us banned - YET WHERE HAVE WE EVER SAID THAT?

Anyway, I think the thread has been taken into a secret cellar to plan tactics on how to counter what we say. Good luck with that. Even Roger Bland in all his glory can't do that so I doubt that lot will be able to!

Paul Barford said...

"how can they counter the [...] evidence [...] beyond denial [...] to try to think of ways to pretend otherwise".

That follows, not to deal with the root cause of the problem, but try and cover up the most visible symptoms. Like a Hogarthian harlot's makeup.

Andy Baines said...

Nigel I think it is pretty irrelevant if they were talking about how to be more responsible or if
It was just they were trying to counter the perceived misinformation as you say. At the end of the day there was a glimmer of hope that responsible detecting was about to be discussed in the mainstream. I only reach out to a hundred or so readers on my blog, there was a golden chance for the 6000 odd members of the forum to get involved there. Unfortunately that chance was taken away and now the questions asked to why are falling on deaf ears yet again. I have invited mrix and the moderators to comment on my latest blog post and answer the questions. I wont hold my breathe whilst I wait for a response

Paul Barford said...

" I think it is pretty irrelevant if they were talking about how to be more responsible or if It was just they were trying to counter the perceived misinformation as you say. "

Eh?

On the contrary, it is entirely relevant whether people are admitting a problem and trying to face it, or dismissing it simply as "misinformation by our enemies - ignore them" as you, Mr Baines, did on your own blog not so long ago.

The aim of detectorists seem to be to put up a façade which suggests widespread god practice lies underneath, without anything actually changing in the core of the hobby. THAT is why they habitually do not discuss what is said by the preservationinists on their forum, because in any such discussion, no matter how it is edited by the moderators, the pretence would become clear.

It's the same reason why archaeologists (like that fluffy pot guy Jervis) don't discuss it either. The pretence would be revealed.

Anonymous said...

"Nigel I think it is pretty irrelevant if they were talking about how to be more responsible or if it was just they were trying to counter the perceived misinformation as you say."

I think the Pistorius trial shows the difference is crucial.

IMO, "not admitting the problem and trying to face it" as Paul says, is THE problem with portable antiquities and why inadequate progress has been made in rectifying it. PAS does it for quango survival purposes, detectorists do it for what they imagine are hobby survival purposes. Both are doing the rest of us a disservice because they enable the problem to continue and indeed thrive.

I think it's up to "responsible detectorists" to say loudly how widespread the problem is. If they don't then the very claim that THEY are responsible aids the majority in pretending responsibility is typical.

Can you find any defects in that analysis? Are you going to act upon the implications, despite the crude abuse you will get?

 
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