It's interesting when an allegedly left-winger forum (not DKos, another one) punishes a user for wanting his fellow users to engage in polite, but firm left-wing activism. Rule of thumb: don't post about outrages unless readers can do something about them, and don't punish users who advertise potential legal and polite solutions.
You are probably already familiar with the Lindsey Stone and Jamie Schuh case. They were involved in posting a private photo they took at Arlington National Cemetery to their Facebook page. In a silly gesture, one of the people posed in front of the "silence and respect" sign and pretended to do the exact opposite for the sake of irony by flipping the bird and pretending to shout. It could have been a sign at an airport, a school, or a hospital and the gesture would have meant the same thing. "This sign is telling us to do something, and we're having a laugh by pretending to do the exact opposite." Some people might consider this a dumb move, and that's fine. It was an act of silliness, after all.
But of course, the photo escaped from their private control, went viral, and these individuals became subject to actual real-life harassment from the sort of people who post on FreeRepublic, because they instinctively think (without reflecting) that this was some sort of "we hate the troops" gesture. The two are now on administrative leave from their employment at Life, Inc. of Hiyannis, MA because they bent to pressure from the wingnut harassers calling for them to be fired.
I heard about this incident on another Internet forum that is also largely populated with those of a left and center-left viewpoint. The forum itself is a "big board" style that includes literally dozes of sub-forms grouped by interest. I heard about it on a forum specifically devoted to politics. This forum had threads to get President Obama elected (and re-elected) in the past, sanctioned by the moderators, so it was no stranger to hosting activist efforts. I went to the Life, Inc. page, took a screenshot of its contact information, and posted it to this forum with this message:
"Yeah, well two can play at this game. I don't think Lindsey Stone and Jamie Schuh should have been fired for what was a private photo joke. Here's there contact info: tell them as much. I can pick up a phone too and register my opposition. Whaddya think about that, righties?"
Hours later, I'm put on a week of "probation", meaning that I cannot post on their forum for that amount of time. My username is also put on a public shaming sub-forum (called "The Leper's Colony"), which my offense listed as:
"It's not OK to post someone's business information and ask us to call and harass them. User loses posting privileges for 1 week."
Tell me on what planet encouraging others to call up an employer to demand that two people to be reinstated constitutes "ask[ing] us to call and harass"? One that's either uber-sensitive or is populated by moderators with serious CYA proclivities, apparently. "Oh goodness, these Life, Inc. people might think we at this Internet forum encouraged people to call them to demand that they give two people their jobs back."
I love this other forum and have been a participant for years. The participants there are witty, intelligent, and compassionate on the whole. It's participants do things in the offline world (or so I've believed) to realize their values. To be called a harasser by its administrators is, at my most charitable description, seriously misplaced. Calls from wingnuts to Life, Inc. got these people fired. If I cannot encourage like-minded lefties to call Life, Inc. to right a wrong and get these people reinstated, then what good is this political forum if encouraging a simple, polite, straightforward action like that is punished with probation and derided as encouraging "harassment"? The point of politics is not to sit on one's arse, gripe, and spread outrage for the sake of seeking company for one's misery. It is to make what one considers positive changes to the world.
I am all about outrage - with a point. Outrage at life's injustices, and the inability of people to accept that it is their responsibility to take reasonable (read: not too much time/money/effort here) steps to address those injustices when they are made aware of them are core reasons why I'm an activist for broadly left-wing causes. But to spread outrage with no expectation that anyone actually address that outrage - and encourage such a standard of communication through one's management policies - is irresponsible and pointless. When the FReepers can lord their capacity for action over you, it is time to pause and reflect.
And to practice what I preach, here's something you can do about this. Not to be too self-referential, but ask yourself if it's worth your time to inform others of outrages without suggesting some sort of action to address it. Otherwise, it's worthless, I don't want to be angry alongside you, and if you're angry about it, you're better off using that anger to donate money and/or time to a cause, or failing that, go for a jog or hit a punching bag, assuming you're physically capable to do so.
Oh, and please call and/or email Life, Inc. at Cape Cod (I won't post the info since that would be "harassment" according to some people) and ask them to restore Stone and Schuh to their full-time positions, because no one should be fired because wingnuts can't tell the difference between joking irony and actual troop-hate.