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Thursday, 19 April 2007

Out of Isolation but Silenced nonetheless

Over the last week and a half, I have been subjected to what can only be classed as bullying by at least two members of the Australian Flexible Learning Framework. This occurred within the forum itself, for which Alex has provided the links. From being publicly discredited and bullied, I then received emails to my personal email from each of the parties involved. In one I got the following making me feel quite useless within the forum, did everyone feel this way? Well no in fact I have been surrounded by supporters publicly and privately. Why then did this person need to send me an email, that was attacking my work, when they had already seen the attacks in public???? . you need to tone down your enthusiasm .... and reduce your posts .... many people I have spaken to now just direct your comments to the junk or deleted without even opening them ... at least I opened all of them, but honestly many of them ended up in the trash file ...... If I went back to them I am certain I would gain something from them, but like many I just don't have the time ....... there would be many in the same boat as myself .... You are very skillful Jacinta in piecing words together .... but many don't read them as well as they should .... compliments to you on having the skill to do it and I wish I had even a small proportion of your skills ...... From the main attacker in the forum, I received mail and three times I responded advising that I did not wish to communicate with them. Their final response to me was: Ah, excuse me, no you didn't ... but you have now ... go away somewhere and have a little cry now ... So at this point I am sitting at home wondering what is going on, how does a post of the top 10000 web 2.0 sites in a thread I began specifically as links and resources, turn into some weird nightmare, where not only am I being attacked professionally but personally as well, perplexing to say the least. Next I find this in my inbox: From: John Glen Date: Apr 12, 2007 10:54 PM Subject: inappropriate behaviour To: jacinta.gascoigne@gmail.com A complaint has been received by our Department in relation to your miss handling of recent events on the EDNA forum for the Flexible Learning Framework. You will be contacted in the next 24 hours to discuss the resulting legal action taken by the plaintif. Regards John Glen Wow, grand so at 10.54pm, I find out that DEST, is advising me that the plaintiff is seeking legal action against me. My world seemed to spiral out of control. Straight on the phone to a friend, looking up lawyers who may assist me, even though I was not sure what I had done. Then this: From: John Glen Date: Apr 13, 2007 1:44 AM Subject: interum measure To: jacinta.gascoigne@gmail.com I would suggest that in the interum, you make a formal apology in the forum and Invite the plaintif to rejoin before it becomes public knowledge. The other administrators of which you speek are also under investigation and should be kept from the loop at this stage. Regards John Glen .......... Please note that the two emails above came with Australian Government letterhead, so on initial inspection of each and the DEST email address, I was convinced they are real. Whilst staring at the second email in disbelief and ready to throw my laptop across the room as all of a sudden a tool I used for work and research in the e-learning arena had morphed into something sinister and something I wanted to flee from, I noticed my mouse hovering over the email address. Interesting - the DEST email was a cover and under it was an email made up of numbers from sharpemail.co.uk. I decided to google and found that sharpemail in fact a site where you go an register and for free you can create fake emails - for all my years in e-learning I was totally ignorant when it came to such sites. It never entered my mind that such a business could exist. So the emails were not from the Government, so who were they from????. At this stage DEST investigations is looking into the matter and trying to trace the sender as it is interesting that the sender has referred to happenings in the AFLF Forum. DEST of course are very interested as someone has fraudulently represented themselves as being from the government. Are sharp email concerned, well read their reply for yourself: Posted by : neoderanged Date : Fri, 13 April 2007 I apologize, but this doesn't appear to be any truly illegal activity, rather a prank that appears to be legal, you seem to have been pranked. No governing body will contact you via email about pending legal action, they would call you if this was legit. If you are asking for information about who sent this email, I must respect the privacy of our users and by our policy no information is released to the public without proper legal subpoena, in the case of such an event, Dannix Ltd will be more than happy to provide the information. I apologize if this is not the answer you wanted to hear. Sincerely, ~NeoDeranged~ Admin, Sharpmail........... So they have written it off as a Prank. The next challenge for me was to watch the appearance of a new member in the AFLF community, one who would not clearly identify themselves and continued to put myself and others down in the community. His final posts are interesting and intimidating to say the least, even quoting bible scriptures all with evil intent. Interesting to that their original icon was an eye and when you checked the profile it said, pay attention your playing with fire. This person has now been removed from the forum but before they were posted a new icon - one a little scarier maybe than the first - someone playing serious mind games. ............ Whilst I do not claim that my case is a serious as that of Kathy Sierra as I have not had death threats, I have been threatened with the demise of my activity and business ventures online. Years of work and research vanishing before my eyes. As Kathy has stated it is the threat, that in itself is an act and a criminal one - in that sense Kathy and I are one, both threatened and placed in object fear. ................ What I find most interesting in my case, is that the management of the AFLF forum have now asked that I not post 'for the time being' - Why? Why have I been silenced, when I am the victim? I have been advised it is because they a looking into the issues and that is it..................... So I guess in someways evil has won - I have been pushed from a professional environment that I was invited into due to my expertise. ...................... For now I must sit and wait until I am invited back into the forum, however I feel that it is important for all to know that there are many dangers out there in cyberspace as there are in our physical worlds. They are just as dangerous and must be treated as such. ................ My thoughts are of course with Kathy with who I empathise with, no one deserves to have their world turned upside down, to have their trust eroded and their work destroyed.............. I hope that all in cyberspace will work together in a positive manner to protect each other, care for each other and protect themselves as much as possible, just as one would do in any community........... Jacinta Australian Flexible Learning Framework

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