Retired at 48 recently announced at the Vanguard Diehards board that he has entered negotiations with Morningstar.com to deal with the abusive posting problems that have plagued the board in recent years. Set forth below is an e-mail that I sent to Retired at 48 offering to help out in this effort. I have received a response from Retired at 48. We have not made a decision as to whether to go public with any future correspondence.
Retired at 48:
This is Rob Bennett. I posted as “hocus” at the Vanguard Diehards forum from July 2005 through February 2007.
I saw your note at the board concerning your talks with Morningstar to open the forum up to honest posting by community members coming at things from various points of view. That’s good and important work.
I don’t know how much you know about my background. It was my honest posting on the safe-withdrawal-rate topic (and other valuation-related topics) that caused formation of the Bogleheads.org forum in the first place (the board was formed to provide the dogmatics an escape from Morningstar, which was not willing at the time to go along with a ban on honest posting). Here’s a link to an article at my site that provides some background re the thoughts of other community members on the tactics used to enforce the ban:
Here’s a link to an article that sets forth the text of an e-mail that I sent to my congressman on this matter:
Here’s a link to a blog post setting forth the text of an e-mail that I sent to my local police department and that I discussed in telephone conversations with a Virginia state police official who deals with internet crimes (Mel often invited contributors to the Greaney board to the Vanguard Diehards board to help intimidate those seeking to post honestly and two long-time contributors to the Greaney board were named “moderators” for the Bogleheads board on the day it was formed):
I wish you luck with your endeavors. I believe that the internet discussion board is an important communications medium of the future but that to achieve its potential the right of contributors to post their sincere views must be respected; that is, site owners must honor the promises they make to those who build their boards to protect them from intimidation tactics. If there is ever anything that I can do to help move things in a positive direction, please let me know.