Author Topic: Moderation (Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) - split fr. Self-Driving Cars  (Read 1633 times)

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Offline phooey

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DG,

So let me make sure I have this straight first.  You are perfectly fine with the tone of content of the posts here so far, is that right?  I mean, we can only assume so, because you have come here, presumably read and understood the posts, and done noting but nod.  So I am glad to see I have something to go on, to know what is acceptable here.

So it won't be a problem in the future for me to call people lying out of their asshole trolls, or to say, "Oh, teethering is sooooo cute when he tries to pretend to be an intelligent agent!"

Because previously, I just politely ignored the vacuous non sequiturs or ad hominem bullshit posts.  I see now, that I can reply to them in kind though, with your blessing.   Thanks for that.

You are doing one hell of a great job as a moderator by the way.  Do I have permission to share your private messages to me to show just how great a moderator you are?   Because you are sooooo cute when you try to pretend to be an intelligent agent. 
« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 09:44:41 AM by TheIrreverend »

Offline Louie

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Re: Re: Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2016, 08:31:31 PM »
You are doing one hell of a great job as a moderator by the way.  Do I have permission to share your private messages to me to show just how great a moderator you are?   Because you are sooooo cute when you try to pretend to be an intelligent agent.

That particular exchange of private messages was with me. Although I fail to see what bearing it has (as DG will explain to you shortly), you can share whatever you like. I'm intrigued by strange threats. If you decide to do so, I think that'd be something for the Forum Admin and Rules subforum, so if you could keep that in mind, great. Thanks.
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Offline DG

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Re: Re: Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2016, 08:42:41 PM »
DG,

So let me make sure I have this straight first.  You are perfectly fine with the tone of content of the posts here so far, is that right?  I mean, we can only assume so, because you have come here, presumably read and understood the posts, and done noting but nod.  So I am glad to see I have something to go on, to know what is acceptable here.

So it won't be a problem in the future for me to call people lying out of their asshole trolls, or to say, "Oh, teethering is sooooo cute when he tries to pretend to be an intelligent agent!"

Because previously, I just politely ignored the vacuous non sequiturs or ad hominem bullshit posts.  I see now, that I can reply to them in kind though, with your blessing.   Thanks for that.

You are doing one hell of a great job as a moderator by the way.  Do I have permission to share your private messages to me to show just how great a moderator you are?   Because you are sooooo cute when you try to pretend to be an intelligent agent.

Dear Phooey,

There are two things that I would like to raise in this regard.

Firstly, I am both a contributor and a moderator here in these forums. Sometimes I post in my position as a contributor, other times I post as a moderator. When I post as a moderator I do with a banner that clearly demonstrates that I am DG in my moderator capacity. I am not some bot that magically gives up my capacity to participate in the social elements of this place in order to try to maintain the peace and order herein. 

I'm sure you'd appreciate that it would be most disappointing if I had to give if I had to give up my capacity to comment on terrible puns  so that I could help out by issuing warnings, keeping an eye on behaviour, discussing policy and potential issues with other moderators and so on in relation to the rules of the forum.

The Second is that, as you may or may not be aware, the moderation team to not publicly post information about "warnings" that are given to individual members when their conduct falls afoul of the rules. Accordingly, I would advise against any desire to make decisions about acceptable conduct where you perceive an "acceptance" of conduct when, as mentioned above, you would not know whether or not the conduct of one or more persons resulted in a private warning. The safest course of action is to ensure that every time you post you do so in such a way as to comply with the rules. This advice is offered to all contributors here. 

An example on topic - Just because you don't see the police officer handing out speeding tickets doesn't mean that you should assume  that there is some kind of amnesty in place. Those tickets could well be sent in due course and you'd never know. It would be risky indeed to assume that because you didn't see them get a ticket that it's OK to speed.

Further, warnings may be issued whether or not any person has "reported" the relevant post or conduct. If you think that the conduct of a person is in breach of the rules, please use the report function and (where possible) indicate the rule that you believe has been infringed. A moderator, or the members of the moderation team in consultation, will determine the appropriate course of action.

If you have any questions regarding the rules, I would draw your attention to the rules.

Finally, I personally have not ever sent you a private message. I even went back to check my sent messages - it's a pretty comprehensive list of night actions to moderators in mafia games and not a whole lot else. 
"If you don't like the theory of evolution you should probably skip the practical".


Offline phooey

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Re: Re: Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2016, 05:45:14 AM »
DG,

Thanks for the reply.  Ok, it wasn't you, it was Louie who sent me the strange messages.  Ok

Still, as he explained it to me, and you are not reiterating here, there is some kind of veil of secrecy that you all feel you need, when you issue warnings about posts apparently.  I don't see the pupose of this at all. 

In this thread alone there are all manner of posts which should realistically be considered to break the rules about civility.  And yet, no one can know if these responses are considered appropriate I guess, because nothing is mentioned, and they aren't removed. 


If the posts are wrong, they are wrong.  Why the secrecy?  Are the moderators part of the Illuminati?

Seems a pretty strange way to let others know what is to be tolerated.   
« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 07:15:04 AM by phooey »

Online SkeptiQueer

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Re: Re: Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2016, 06:22:12 AM »
Tell us more about the Illuminati.
HIISSSSSSSS

Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: Re: Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2016, 07:21:16 AM »
The moderators are part of it. This I always knew. Some of them are known Europeans.
If we don't discover the mistakes of the future we are doomed to repeat them for the first time. - Ken M

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Re: Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2016, 09:01:04 AM »
Phooey: Perhaps you are not aware of this, but all internet chat boards are private endeavors with an owner or owners who make their forums available to the public based on whatever criteria they choose. As such, the owner has the right to impose such rules as she or he chooses, and to enforce those rules as he or she chooses. It's common for the owner(s) to empower moderators and/or admins to act in the owner's name.

We users of the forum use it at the discretion of the owner. In the case of this forum (and many others) use of the forum is absolutely free. If you have access to an internet connection you can sign up for an account, and you can post until the owner, or the mods acting for the owner, decide to kick you off. Generally they will issue warnings before kicking someone off. The warnings are to let you know that your behavior is approaching unacceptable, and while my morbid curiosity would love to see such warnings posted publicly, I have never encountered a chat board where they are. Private warnings seem to be the universal practice.

But it's rather thick to use a free service and then complain about how it's administered. Use the forum, or don't use it. If you don't like the way it's administered, and your posts above suggest that you don't, then start your own. Anybody can create a chat board. Start your own, and then you can invite us to participate or ban us from participating for whatever reasons you like, or none at all if you like. Just don't forget that somebody is paying to keep this board running and you are using it for free.

It's their board, and it's their rules.
Daniel
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Offline Pusher Robot

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I don't dispute anyone's right to administer their board as they see fit, but I do agree that secret dispensation of justice is...weird.  We do not look highly on secret courts and gag orders.
A novice was trying to fix a broken Lisp machine by turning the power off and on.
Knight, seeing what the student was doing, spoke sternly: “You cannot fix a machine by just power-cycling it with no understanding of what is going wrong.”
Knight turned the machine off and on.
The machine worked.

Offline The Latinist

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I do not think public reprimands are at all conducive to the kind of atmosphere we want around here. The point of warnings is corrective, not punitive, and in that spirit I would not at all be in favor of publicizing such warnings any more than I would want my state to publish a list of people who received warnings or tickets for parking or traffic violations.  If someone commits a more serious offense and receives a suspension, that is public information just as, say, DUI arrests are.

I get this kind of complaint all the time from my students, who seem to feel that it is their right to know every disciplinary action I take against another student (or to assume that unless they know it I haven't taken any action).  It is, in my opinion, a very childish position.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline daniel1948

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I don't dispute anyone's right to administer their board as they see fit, but I do agree that secret dispensation of justice is...weird.  We do not look highly on secret courts and gag orders.

And yet I am unaware of any other chat board that publishes warnings. A warning is just the mod telling someone, "Reign yourself in a bit. You're getting close to the line." Does that really need to be published? The person who's been warned can post about it if they like.
Daniel
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-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline Pusher Robot

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I don't dispute anyone's right to administer their board as they see fit, but I do agree that secret dispensation of justice is...weird.  We do not look highly on secret courts and gag orders.

And yet I am unaware of any other chat board that publishes warnings. A warning is just the mod telling someone, "Reign yourself in a bit. You're getting close to the line." Does that really need to be published? The person who's been warned can post about it if they like.

That does not match my understanding of how warnings are used here, which is more like, "You have actually crossed the line.  Do so too often again too quickly and you will be suspended."  And then when people are suspended, we aren't given any particulars as to what lines were crossed and how.  The net effect, in my opinion, is great (intentional?) ambiguity as to what the real lines are, and suspicion that it isn't the same for everybody.

I'm not trying to cast aspersions here, to be sure - my experience has been that great efforts are made to be evenhanded - but secrecy and ambiguity still seems counterproductive to me in fostering trust.
A novice was trying to fix a broken Lisp machine by turning the power off and on.
Knight, seeing what the student was doing, spoke sternly: “You cannot fix a machine by just power-cycling it with no understanding of what is going wrong.”
Knight turned the machine off and on.
The machine worked.

Offline Fast Eddie B

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I do not think public reprimands are at all conducive to the kind of atmosphere we want around here.

The maxim I recall is, "Praise in public; criticize in private".

The best moderation is that seen and felt the least, working behind the scenes to keep things from spinning out of control.

One of the reasons I gave up on the old JREF forum was the endless bitching and moaning and navel gazing about moderation. Not the main reason, but Lord it got tiresome!
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Offline daniel1948

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I once was on a forum that was completely unmoderated. The owner believed in absolute, unfettered free speech. The "feel" of the forum was not really all that different from the other forum I was on at the same time, which was conventionally moderated. The politics forum on the latter was, if anything, more rancorous and hurtful than on the former, even though the former had no restrictions of any kind.

In the natural course of events, the communities on both gradually shifted as more people joined and old people drifted away, and I ended up leaving both as I lost interest in them.

IMO, this forum is very comfortable to participate in, which suggests that the moderators are doing a good job and most of the members are well-behaved. Of course it helps that the focus of this forum is scientific skepticism. I probably would not enjoy an Evangelical Christian chat board even if everyone was polite and respectful.

There's a saying, "If it ain't broke don't fix it." I think that applies here. Whatever the moderators are doing, works fine.
Daniel
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-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline Pusher Robot

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Quote
IMO, this forum is very comfortable to participate in

I agree - so long as you don't offend the moral sensibilities of the predominant viewpoint here.  I refrain from participating in many threads where I know a minority viewpoint is likely to invite personal attack and ridicule.  It just isn't worth it.
A novice was trying to fix a broken Lisp machine by turning the power off and on.
Knight, seeing what the student was doing, spoke sternly: “You cannot fix a machine by just power-cycling it with no understanding of what is going wrong.”
Knight turned the machine off and on.
The machine worked.

Offline Louie

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To my not inconsiderable chagrin, I find myself starting another post by pointing out that a warning isn't a sanction. While receiving a warning may cause one to feel all fluttery and panicked inside, the distinction is an important one. I would also like to stress that if the relevant forum rules are unclear, we're more than willing to discuss a warning with the person who received it - or with anyone else, if the recipient chooses to go public.

Because no one is paying us to moderate this forum, we do base our sanctions on the warning system. If you get three of them within a short time - which we won't specify, because we know from experience that some will abuse that knowledge by flagrantly violating the rules twice and then stepping back from the brink - you get suspended from posting for seven days.

Pusher Robot, when people are suspended, the reason for their suspension is the three warnings they have received. Each warning shows the post it pertains to and describes the infraction.

And it's extremely hard to warn people off for an offence they haven't committed yet, so yes, warnings are there to tell you: "You have actually crossed the line." The "Do so too often again too quickly and you will be suspended", not so much. That may be how it works out in practice, what with us having absolutely no inclination to turn policing this forum into assembling court cases, but the spirit of the thing is that we'd prefer it if you didn't offend again. At all. Ever.

If you continue to offend within a short time of your suspension, the moderators start discussing a ban vote. We are demonstrably slow on the draw with those, and extra attempts to reason with the offending member are often made. And even when someone does end up getting banned, that is not necessarily permanent. After an appropriate cooling period and a profession of genuine willingness to play by the forum rules, even those can get overturned.

Yes, we have chosen not to make warnings public. There's a list of reasons for that, but the most prominent are a) that we're not fans of public shaming and b) that it's none of anyone else's business, but a matter between us and the member in question. Now, before anyone goes and mistakes a mod box in a thread for a warning: don't mistake a mod box in a thread for a warning. Again, if the recipient wishes to make the warning public, perhaps in an attempt to harness the awesome power of public opinion, that's their right. We'll gladly play along. Well, okay, not gladly, but we'll play.



« Last Edit: April 11, 2016, 07:37:23 PM by God »
"It can't end like this. Tell them I said something." - Pancho Villa's last words (1923).

 

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