The Foundation grew, slowly, like a tree, spreading all over the net, making a nice, amiable and yet intellectually challenging space for atheists and others all over the world. Josh Timonen & co (excluding RD, since my sources have nothing on the matter), have forcibly, disrespectfully and shamefully disposed of this space.. The Forums are essentially gone, and so is the community.
I repudiate the actions taken by Josh Timonen and Co. and retract my support of the Foundation until further notice.
The above is me. I remain resolved on it. The RDF boasted of a large user base and a large group of talented and dedicated people, who oversaw the running of the fora, and contributed immensely to them. As with any other forum, especially a large one, it will obviously have the bad apples. But Professor Dawkins dismissal of all this as frivolous gossip is nothing short of contemptible. This is what he wanted! A site where science, reason, scepticism and atheism could be discussed freely and intelligently. A site where atheists could come together (need I remind you of the OUT campaign?). This is not frivolous by even the most ridiculous stretch of the word.
Second, about his “rebuttal” to the straw man about vitriolic responses(I can’t call it anything but a straw man); not all the responses to the incident consisted of vitriolic insults, those that did were on other boards (the moderating staff was extremely diligent when it came to personal abuse and such things, adding insult to injury) and, anyway, Timonen & Co. deleted the original criticism thread! How could Dawkins know what it contained? Plus, all insults quoted happened after the event, so how could it cause it? Besides all this. did he even he read Peter Harrison’s post on the matter? Darkchilde’s? It seems that no, he did not, because then he’d surely have mentioned the way the mods were treated, which brings me to the next point: the message delivered by Timonen & Co. to the moderating staff (did I mention the hours of unpaid work that were spent by these users?), which I will reproduce promptly, with highlights by me: