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Life Ban Deserved?

Recent events have made it clear social media is fundamentally important in life and in bridge. A lot of Bridge Winners regulars and quite a few newcomers have posted their strong opinions about things that are obviously very important to them. It has caused some friction, but that is the nature of an open and honest debate in an open society. Diversity of opinion is to be respected and admired. This diversity of opinion is what I find most fascinating and enjoyable about Bridge Winners where I can read totally opposite views on a wide range of topics.

It has been more than one year since one of Bridge Winners regulars – in fact, one of its most frequent and hardworking contributors – was suspended for arousing the ire of some in the community by posting sometimes blunt opinions. I am referring to Dean Pokorny.

Dean is serving a lifetime ban for having violated Bridge Winners community guidelines in how he expressed himself. Although the written guidelines haven't changed, our defacto guidelines for what is acceptable are dramatically different today from what they were a year ago. Our Bridge Winners community as a whole is showing more tolerance when someone voices a passionate opinion, even when they disagree with that opinion.

One year is a long time to silence someone, particularly when that person was as frequent and as valuable a contributor as Dean. He wasn't one of those lurkers who only waded in on sensitive issues. He posted bridge articles, polls and comments – and you can still view those by clicking on his profile. His critics, or those he might have offended, ought to appreciate that he wasn't trolling for the sake of disturbing the peace.

I would ask many of those who, at the time, supported the ban to consider whether some current user has recently posted anything that caused someone else to take offense. I would ask all of those who supported the ban originally to reflect on the content of our most popular threads and compare that content to what they perceived unacceptable about Dean's posts.

I miss Dean's insights and I would like to see him back. I believe one year suspension is long enough.

Is it time to lift the ban and allow Dean to post on Bridge Winners?

Yes, after an apology
Yes, with some restrictions
No, at least not yet

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