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Transparent Discussion on Dappered Threads' Moderation

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  • LesserBlackDog
    replied
    Forum rules, sort of like criminal law, express basically the lowest common denominator for socially acceptable public behavior.

    We respect the intelligence, maturity, and discretion of our members. We expect that they are capable of figuring out what is and isn't socially appropriate behavior without us needing to modsplain it to them like children at a playground. When the occasional misstep occurs, we let the person know that their conduct has fallen beneath the standard of what we consider to be appropriate behavior and that further missteps may have consequences for the person's membership. A warning is not a punishment in and of itself, nor is it an indication that the person being warned is a bad person or a bad forum member. It is simply notice to them that they have done something which we, as both moderators and long-time members ourselves, consider beneath what we expect of them and what they should expect of themselves and everyone else here. In the vast majority of cases, a simple warning resolves the issue and everyone moves on. Only a handful of members have ever escalated a conflict to the point where a temporary or permanent ban was enacted.

    You are absolutely right that the moderators are given wide latitude to apply standards regarding members' conduct. This is a privately-owned forum. The forum owner has entrusted us to use our judgment and discretion to maintain an atmosphere that encourages people to participate, share knowledge, and learn. Until the forum owner directs us otherwise, that is what we will continue to do.

    I don't know what part of that policy is so unjust or tyrannical.

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  • teerockness
    replied
    Originally posted by LesserBlackDog View Post
    With the exception of Fred G. Unn and blatant spammers/advertisers, I don't know of anyone who's been banned who did not receive at least one warning first. Depending on the nature or the context of the incident, the warning/reprimand will typically be issued via PM, but may be issued in the form of a comment if, like Bruschetta's comment to LCDR, it is also aimed at the forum generally.
    Again - what is being requested is a documented policy surrounding what is 'in bounds' and what is 'out of bounds' - in advance, not after a member has transgressed.

    This is what "fair and open" means... to the people raising this concern.

    This is hardly unreasonable. Even reddit forums (!!) state (in the right hand column) clear definitions of what is fair game and what is not, for this very purpose.

    What is being raised to you is a concern that it seems moderators are given fairly wide latitude in applying subjective standards surrounding conduct...

    Rich
    Last edited by teerockness; December 22, 2014, 03:05 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • schigleymischke
    replied
    Originally posted by bruschetta View Post
    I'm not sure how I could have further softened my language, but I will keep this feedback in mind for the future.
    You don't respond with the words, "this is a warning," or "I almost deleted."

    Leave a comment:


  • LesserBlackDog
    replied
    Originally posted by teerockness View Post
    I think at least a few people have asked for a clear explanation - in advance - of what constitutes acceptable behavior.

    If this is lurking somewhere and I've missed it, then that's on me and I apologize.

    Banning people and then explaining why after the fact is the exact problem we're trying to raise.

    Rich
    With the exception of Fred G. Unn and blatant spammers/advertisers, I don't know of anyone who's been banned who did not receive at least one warning first. Depending on the nature or the context of the incident, the warning/reprimand will typically be issued via PM, but may be issued in the form of a comment if, like Bruschetta's comment to LCDR, it is also aimed at the forum generally.

    Fred G. Unn didn't get a warning primarily because he had disabled his private message and email accessibility before engaging in the particular conduct that earned him the ban.

    In any case, if you do something that the moderators consider unacceptable, we will let you know about it and give you the chance to change your behavior before we resort to something as drastic as a permanent ban. Only if someone engaged in particularly egregious conduct (threats, harassment, racist/sexist/homophobic attacks, posting offensive content, etc) would we be likely to ban a member without giving them notice and an opportunity to correct the problematic behavior first.

    Leave a comment:


  • Shomas
    replied
    Originally posted by teerockness View Post
    I think at least a few people have asked for a clear explanation - in advance - of what constitutes acceptable behavior.

    If this is lurking somewhere and I've missed it, then that's on me and I apologize.

    Banning people and then explaining why after the fact is the exact problem we're trying to raise.

    Rich
    I think "don't be a dick" is the operative principal. Beyond that, what constitutes dickishness is kind of an "I know it when I see it" situation. It's a hard thing (ha!) to be more specific about, but generally abusiveness, gratuitous off-topic criticism, ad hominems, and/or unfounded impugning of others' motives are the kinds of things that would trigger me to issue a warning. If I see a thread veering into trading in cultural, ethnic, racial, gender, or sexual-orientation stereotypes, I might pipe up with a generalized "keep it together fellas" kind of warning.

    More importantly, though, people aren't banned for being dicks once or twice. We simply don't swing the banhammer willy-nilly. People get banned for doing stupid, abusive, trolling shit on a repeated basis despite multiple (usually private) warnings. Or for spamming, but that's a different category and one I don't think anyone's complaining about.

    Leave a comment:


  • teerockness
    replied
    Originally posted by bjmcgeever View Post
    Who do you have in mind? I believe that due to complaints of various members, public explanations for bans have been given.
    I think at least a few people have asked for a clear explanation - in advance - of what constitutes acceptable behavior.

    If this is lurking somewhere and I've missed it, then that's on me and I apologize.

    Banning people and then explaining why after the fact is the exact problem we're trying to raise.

    Rich

    Leave a comment:


  • diversification
    replied
    Originally posted by LesserBlackDog View Post

    Do you also tell physically fit people that they don't need to exercise because they look like they're in pretty good shape already?
    I think instead of making a New Years resolution to workout more, I may just do this. Lowering the bar seems a lot easier than trying to jump higher. Another Dappered life-hack is in the books.

    Leave a comment:


  • bjmcgeever
    replied
    Originally posted by Sudonihm View Post
    Then others disappear or are banned without public explanation.
    Who do you have in mind? I believe that due to complaints of various members, public explanations for bans have been given.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sudonihm
    replied
    Originally posted by bjmcgeever View Post
    What are we close about? What do you want to know?
    Very fair question I am not trying to personally attack the mods. I appreciate the time and energy you put into maintaining the forum. I believe you take action or respond with the best of intentions. For that, you deserve a more complete explanation - I should have given a more complete, better explanation.

    It is probably a matter of thinking more is happening behind the scenes than actually is, but without more information it is difficult to understand the ground rules or even what has happened (or not happened, as the case may be). There is a pattern by some of the participants on this forum (a small percentage) on a regular basis to respond in an impolite or snarky manner. I don't enjoy it, but it happens. My impression is that these actions don't cross "the line." Fine, I can chose to ignore, respond or act accordingly. Then others disappear or are banned without public explanation. That's a decision process by the mods that I accept.

    But, it is easy for those with information to say it is not important to those without the information. I personally disagree with not sharing information in most circumstances because it usually is associate with power or impedes good decision making. It rarely works as a long term strategy and, I believe, it is fundamentally wrong.

    That is the sentiment I was trying to get across.

    Leave a comment:


  • bjmcgeever
    replied
    Originally posted by teerockness View Post
    Also, who wants to participate in a forum where people are 'reprimanded' for lacking 'politeness'?

    Jeez.
    Apparently you do.

    Leave a comment:


  • teerockness
    replied
    My point is: "politeness" is the most subjective standard on which to base a pretty harshly worded reprimand.

    I choose not to conflate "civil treatment" with "polite treatment". They are very different things.

    The former is fairly well understood: "Don't be a jerk." LCDR was not being a jerk.

    The latter is extremely subjective: "Doff your cap sir!"

    Cheers,
    Rich

    Leave a comment:


  • LesserBlackDog
    replied
    Originally posted by teerockness View Post
    .... The tone of your response is totally over the top - we're all adults here, and as far as I can tell people generally behave themselves.

    Based on a variety of issues similar to this, I'd strongly suggest the moderators develop a one-page handbook standardizing what, exactly, is off limits behavior as well as response protocols. It seems like it is needed.
    Originally posted by teerockness View Post
    Also, who wants to participate in a forum where people are 'reprimanded' for lacking 'politeness'?

    Jeez.
    So you recognize, on the one hand, that people here "generally behave themselves" (in contrast with, say, most of the rest of the Internet) and then assume, on the other, that that is in spite of, and not because of, the emphasis that we (both moderators and regular posters alike) place on treating one another politely and civilly.

    Interesting....

    Do you also tell physically fit people that they don't need to exercise because they look like they're in pretty good shape already?

    Leave a comment:


  • teerockness
    replied
    Also, who wants to participate in a forum where people are 'reprimanded' for lacking 'politeness'?

    Jeez.

    Leave a comment:


  • teerockness
    replied
    Yeah, pretty much what others have said. To be blunt, as somebody who has been involved in a few business transactions of this sort, once a business is sold, all bets are off.

    The tone of your response is totally over the top - we're all adults here, and as far as I can tell people generally behave themselves.

    Based on a variety of issues similar to this, I'd strongly suggest the moderators develop a one-page handbook standardizing what, exactly, is off limits behavior as well as response protocols. It seems like it is needed.

    Rich

    Leave a comment:


  • bjmcgeever
    replied
    Originally posted by greg_s View Post
    Insert confused face at all of this. What is there to be open about? Day-to-day we (the mods) don't actually even do much.
    Seriously. 99% of my time as a mod is spent deleting spam.

    Leave a comment:

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