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When I was a young girl, my mother always told me, "Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it."  Once again, I see that she is right.

Since launching Fabulously40.com two years ago, we have worked hard to build membership and get women talking to each other on the site. Now, it appears I may have gotten more than I bargained for.

As you probably know, my recent blog about Sarah Palin generated a lot of responses.  It seems like everyone has an opinion about the controversial republican nominee for vice president.  Many of you were not shy about voicing your opinions, which is a good thing. After all, Fabulously40.com was designed as a place for you to discuss and debate the issues that are important and relevant to your lives.

Unfortunately, some of the responses to the blog went beyond the issue at hand and ventured into hostile and personal attacks on other members. As a result, some of the responses were removed and one member had her account closed.  Since then, some members have accused us of censoring the site and favoring one viewpoint over another.  Others have expressed their support for the member and asked that she be allowed to return.  

As the founder of Fabulously40.com, I feel it is important to explain why we took the action we did.  

It is not our policy to censor responses. But when we get enough complaints from other members, we review the posts and remove any that violate the terms of use (TOU). This is no different from most other web sites or forums that ask their members to abide by certain rules of conduct. In this case, we read all the responses and the complaints about those responses, and based on our TOU, we made the decision to close one member's account.

soldier gun

The vision for Fabulously40 is to have a friendly, supportive community where women can nurture and support each other through life's challenges. So it's very important that the site remains a place where we can discuss issues with courtesy and respect for each other and without fear of being attacked or ridiculed.

There are plenty of web sites and forums where people can engage in disrespectful behavior. However, Fabulously40 will not be one of those places. So while we understand that some of you are not happy with our closing of the member's account, we stand by that decision.

Please understand this decision was not about Sarah Palin or anyone's personal politics.  Instead, it was about crossing the line into an interaction that is not acceptable on this site. When we disagree on Fabulously40.com, we must do so in a polite and respectful manner. Otherwise, we are no different than all the other sites where just about anything goes.

So what have I learned from all this?

First, you have reminded me that Fabulously40 women are very passionate about what we believe in.  Second, that you can't please all of the people all of the time.  And third, that religion and politics are topics probably better suited for other web sites and forums.  

Seems to me that my dear mother said something along those lines as well.  Maybe I wasn't listening hard enough.

All the best,

All the best,



  •  

Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Gina Medina wrote Sep 10, 2008
    • Yana, I agree.  This should be a place where we can express our feelings and opinions without having to worry about being harrassed. We all have different opinions and we‘re not always going to agree with eachother but we should respect eachother.  That’s what separates us from the boys Ladies.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cheryl Phillips wrote Sep 10, 2008
    • Well said, Yana. I think we all have enough stress in our lives...we don’t need to come to a place that I’m quickly believing is my “safe haven” and then find that we‘re afraid to speak for fear of attack. I’m as opinionated as the next person but I try to have tact. It’s especially important to be careful with your words when you type. There is no laughter, no tone of voice, no facial expression. What one person deems to be light-hearted banter could be perceived as anger by another.

      Keep up the great work on this site. It’s such a  nice place to come to...and already I’ve made some really wonderful connections!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Patricia11 wrote Sep 10, 2008
    • Yana, my grandpa would alwaYS ALWAYS say that!!!Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.Amazing.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Moneygirl wrote Sep 10, 2008
    • Absolutely! I mean, how good can it be to have people not agreeing with us???



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Patricia11 wrote Sep 10, 2008
    • But Yana and Girls, one thing always puzzles me: why religion and politics bring out the best and the worst in people? Why not just be civilized and accept the differences?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Sep 10, 2008
    • Yana, you are a class act! Truly “the fab”

      Thank you so very much!

      Respectfully
      Cynthia



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Amy L. Harden wrote Sep 10, 2008
    • Yana:

      You are the best of the best...I know you didn’t take this issue lightly and it probably was very difficult to come to the decision that you did.  I commend you for protecting the overall membership and maintaining the tone and the feel of the web site.  Fabulously40 and Beyond IS a safe place for women to express their opinions, encourage and empower one another.  I agree with dailyblonde’s comments also...

      Thank you for all you do us!

      Shepherdess



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sweetpea wrote Sep 11, 2008
    • Yana—

      I just recently discovered your site and am a total newbie here.  I love the idea of this as a safe place for women to connect and communicate and have been looking forward to making some new friends here.  You are to be commended for all your effort and hard work!  Well done!

      I have not posted before, but have been quietly lurking in the background for a week or so, enjoying the discussions and witty banter while trying to get the feel of your site (and build up my confidence) before posting.  

      I am not an antagonistic or confrontational person at all.  I am all about respecting others and live-and-let-live.  Having said that, I still have very strong opinions, just like the next person.  When expressing those opinions, I often lean towards sarcasm though, so now, because of this issue, I find myself more concerned about not annoying anybody with how I word a post than I am with what I might actually have to say on a subject and find myself thinking that it would be safer for me not to post at all lest I offend someone.    

      I understand where you are coming from completely and while I may or may not agree, I respect your right to ban people whom you see to be going against the general tone of your site.  I really don't mean any disrespect with this post, but as someone who was more offended by the posts from members telling others how they should and should not speak, I can't help but wonder where this will all end up?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Moneygirl wrote Sep 11, 2008
    • This is a private site and she has the right to shut down comments from anyone she wants. You know that of course. Any one who wants to say something negative can just get there own site! It’s not acceptable to disagree with other people unless you tell them what a fabulous wonderful awesome great lady they are at the same time. We women have to stick together! That’s the only way we can advance in society, by sticking together and not disagreeing with each other no matter how stupid we are!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Moneygirl wrote Sep 11, 2008
    • Well yeah, and as we all know, having a different opinion is bashing! We should just trade cookie recipes and compare our kids first day of kindergarten, anything else is mean!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dana Hall wrote Sep 11, 2008
    • As a member who has been on Fab40 practically since the beginning, I support Yana 100%. Fabulously40 has ALWAYS been a safe, supportive environment for women to share, sometimes personal issues. If members have to fear attack, the site would take on a whole different tone and discourage many members from sharing and possibly scare them away. I saw this happening in the political forums. I know how hard this was for Yana. The membership is FREE and members are required to adhere to the Term of Service. Period.

      As Yana said, there are plenty of sites where people can bash each other, this is NOT that place.

      I really look forward to getting past this issue and getting back to the friendly atmosphere of Fabulously40 prior to this incident.

      Big Hugs, Yana!

      Dana



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Moneygirl wrote Sep 11, 2008
    • So why is Marnique still a member?
      Oh wait, she gets the god pass.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Sep 11, 2008
    • Dear Sweetpea,

      I appreciate your post and commend you for voicing your concern.  

      At Fabulously40.com we welcome opinions, appreciate heated discussions and realize that sarcasm, humor and wit are just some of the ways to get our point across.  

      Being fabulously40 and beyond we are passionate about many things.  ☺

      Fabulously40 was born out of the need for "Fab40+ gals" to connect, share and support each other. It is a place for us to debate and discuss various issues, however, this is not a place where anyone of us has the right to be hostile and berate others for their views. Who said that Internet has no rules of conduct? Just as we need to treat everyone with respect and integrity in our lives (off line), the same should apply on line.

      It is not our policy to censor responses. But when we get enough complains from other members, the posts are reviewed and action is taken if our term of use police has been violated.  Our website was launched in 2006, in the last two years we have provided a platform for women to connect, share and grow.  With thousands of members on board this is the first time that we had such an incident and I hope that this will be the last.

      I trust that we can all be civil while discussing even the most controversial issues at hand, and hope that we can all get passed this and continue to enjoy each other on our space.

      Yana



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Sep 11, 2008
    • Someone here said something that makes absolute sense. I think it may have been Sheperdess, She pointed out that online we can’t see someone’s face, we can’t hear their tone of voice and while we may be joking around or lauging while typing, the actual words on the screen may come across in a different way than intended. Gosh I hope I explained this as well as she pointed out, I wish I could find her post because it really rang true with me. But when putting words on a screen a bit more discretion may be necessary than if a group of friends are sitting together in person.

      This really is a lovely site to be a part of.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Moneygirl wrote Sep 11, 2008
    • Oh absolutely Sheperdess, it was DANGEROUS when that nutcase was in here! No one was safe. And since you are all forced to log in here, it made it all the worse.

      Thank heavens for the wise decision by Yana to eliminate the Axis of Evil and keep us all safe, without even having to buy duct tape and Saran wrap.

      I for one will sleep tighter tonight.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Talkytina wrote Sep 12, 2008
    • You should run your website as you see fit.  We are all adults and when we participate on this type of forum as you mentioned we agree to the terms therefore we must abide by them.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Successat48 wrote Sep 13, 2008
    • Also, new to this site.. I find its so nice  having fabulous women at 40+ to comment or get advise on different topics online.  Yeah

      I like to encourage people not put them down. Because we all have are own opinion and feelings about different topics. That’s what makes us so Unique.

      So hats off to you Yana.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cookofdeath wrote Sep 13, 2008
    • i’m having the very same problem on my group!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cheryl Phillips wrote Sep 13, 2008
    • It takes strength and tact to express opinions. ESPECIALLY with subjects as sensitive as politics or religion. I typically stay out of these topics but if I do feel the need to comment, I’m not afraid to speak my mind—-it’s just important to voice your personal opinions. However, it seems as if that leads to people losing track of the original post in so many instances. RESPECT is something I instill in my children....it should be second nature for grown-ups. So what if you don’t agree with someone’s view? Just take their voice into consideration...that’s what makes life interesting. BASHING is NOT a form of discussion or debate.  

      Yana has created a place to come and learn from others....even if we don’t all agree! That’s what makes us human. DEBATE but don’t degrade!


      Cheryl



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Marco-Poy wrote Sep 13, 2008
    • Here, here...**Debate _“don’t” **degrade!!!
      This is a **FANTABULOUS site



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cookofdeath wrote Sep 14, 2008
    • can i post that on my site?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mara wrote Sep 15, 2008
    • Nicely said Yana.

      Mara
      [Link Removed]


      Mara, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Feathermaye wrote Sep 18, 2008
    • I’ve been away for several days and am just getting to this, but I’d like to chime in.

      Although I steered pretty clear of the topic discussed (I’m not much for political or religious debates—mostly because I’m unprepared to offer anything of value on these topics), I can imagine how heated it became.

      I find it disappointing that, even into our forties, some people just don’t know how to respect others, or themselves.

      I was recently banned from a site that has gotten very heavy into censorship of their members blogs; oddly enough, I was banned for announcing I didn’t like typos. I didn’t agree with that decision, but I’m better off because of it.

      I’m still a relative newbie to the socially-generated networking sites and blogging as a whole, but I’m a fast learner and I appreciate mentors such as you, Yana, willing to throw it all out there for what you believe in.

      Also, I recognize the difference between disagreeing and bashing. I rarely find myself confusing the two...



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mayra Braselton wrote Sep 18, 2008
    • Well, I just got to this issue today, and just wanted to chime in.

      Having worked for a Women’s Network for several year I found I was removing posts many times a week.  Politics and Religion will always be hot topics, but we can rise above the bashing and actually learn from them. Yana, good job on redirecting the group.  

      Mayra



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Trudy S wrote Sep 18, 2008
    • OK - so I know the background on this topic ( I read the posts) and am wondering if the banned party was ever ‘talked to’ in private about the offending language before they were cut off from the group?  Some people get more defensive and aggressive when they are reprimanded in public.

      If this was happening in a live social or work situation you wouldn’t ostracize someone from your group without giving them the chance to make a ‘course correction‘.  

      Trudy
      [Link Removed] 


      Isagenixbeliever, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Timetravelers wrote Sep 22, 2008
    • I too am a Newbie here.  I appreciate how difficult it is to have a lively yet civil discussion about topics that women feel so passionately about.  I’ve seen other discussion forums that are either so loosely run that personal attacks are de rigeur - and whatever original message an author might have intended to send is completely lost; I’ve also seen sites where communication is so stifled by civility policy that true discussion is just about impossible.  

      I respect the owner of this site’s TOU and am glad that they take an active hand in running the place the way they want it to be run.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dframe wrote Sep 22, 2008
    • Your letter is graciously-put. I hope more of us can learn to disagree respectfully How else will we learn?  

      Thanks for your site, and for being Fabulous.  

      Denise



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