Censorship or Open Dialog with ACA Members – ACA Connect Rules?

The following letter went up on ACA Connect Open Forum last night – its a discussion that needs participation.  We are posting it in case it gets removed.

Several people have had their posts removed recently.  One reason frequently cited is that the posts “attack” or are “threatening”.  Many such posts have done nothing more than strongly state an opinion.  Some people have been advised not to name anyone in their posts on the theory that named persons will then be ganged-up on even though the posting was non-threatening and factual.  Its hard to describe a political situation without naming the players.

We have also been told that expressing opinions is fine (ex. – we don’t like CACREP-Only) but that anything suggesting taking action (ex. – go to this website for more information on fighting CACREP-Only restrictions) is not.  Gods forbid that any ACA members try to actively change the positions of their elected officials or actively engage in their futures.

We request that anyone having a post removed on ACA Open Forum repost with a simple factual statement that their post was removed, the supposed offense, and the briefest restatement of the general thrust of the post if such would not get the post removed yet again.

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Recently, I heard about a disturbing situation. Some fellow counselors have had their posts rejected from ACA Connect. I am confused about the rules for our member forum. If we are members of the ACA, and pay our dues to the ACA, why can’t we comment about CACREP or other Governing Council decisions on ACA Connect?

 I understand that posts attacking specific people could be rejected. And I know that without some sort of posting policies, the forum could become less civil and less useful. A good moderator in any forum is essential. But it sounds as though some posts are being rejected simply because they are critical of the ACA Governing Council rulings regarding CACREP or of CACREP activities in general. This can be perceived as censorship.

 It would be helpful for the ACA to please explain in this forum what we, as dues paying members, are allowed and what we are not allowed to discuss on ACA Connect regarding CACREP, regarding Governing Council actions, and regarding ACA’s lobbing activities and positions on issues concerning all counselors in general.

 It would also be helpful to clarify if it is against the ACA Connect rules to mention someone’s name in regard to that person petitioning to state legislature, to mention people’s names in regard to their asking for ACA members to write letters in support of any action, including CACREP promotion or to state factual information in regard to a person’s actions. There seems to be confusion about how and when posts are rejected by naming someone’s name.

 Lastly, it is my understanding that the ACA Governing Council is made up of representatives elected by ACA members. What oversight does ACA provide for general membership in regard to Governing Council actions? Don’t our dues that allow us to voice our concerns about any action ACA Governing Council takes on our behalf on our own member forum?

I hope the rules regarding commenting on ACA Connect can be made more clear. I welcome open dialog, but I’d like to make my own decisions about who I want to read, rather than have someone else decide what content is relevant to ACA Members.
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Sue Shekut, MA, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor
Chicago IL
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