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  • New Rules Discussion Thread

    We were able to recover the most recent version of the rules that were posted on 29 May 2021. I'll post them here, and we'll open the floor again to discussion as to whether or not we want to keep these or change them. I went ahead and added Rule 0: Don’t be a dick (or if we want to put a positive spin on it, be excellent to each other - I think we can still discuss how we want to phrase this one), but everything else is the same as was posted on 29 May. All input on the guidelines, rules, and way forward is welcome.


    Guidelines:

    1. Make an effort to facilitate good discussion and avoid stifling discussion as much as possible.

    2. Make an effort to put a reasonable amount of critical thought into your posts, and approach disagreements in good faith.

    3. Have patience with each other. Give each other the benefit of the doubt. We are communicating over the internet in a forum via text. Forum posts can easily be misconstrued. Don't immediately assume the worst possible interpretation of another member's post. Make an effort to be gracious and ask for clarification before making accusations.

    4. Avoid “dog piling.” Before posting, consider if another user has already addressed your point. Does your point add value to the topic? If you want to show support for an opinion in a manner that doesn’t meaningfully contribute to the thread as a whole, consider clicking the like button or commenting on the post.



    Rules:

    0. Don't be a dick / Be excellent to each other.

    1. Avoid personal insults and avoid using terms, phrases, or expressions that are disparaging to groups of people. For example, referring to a major political party as "republiscums" or "demoncrats" doesn't do anything to facilitate good discussion and creates a potential barrier to anyone who might identify with the group you are insulting. It is possible to bring up legitimate criticism without being insulting or disparaging.

    2. Stay reasonably on topic. Many topics have a variety of tangents that could take place. If it makes sense to bring it up in the thread, that's fine. If you think it would be worthy of its own thread, make a new thread.

    3. Don't post links, pictures or videos without any explanation or commentary. That doesn't mean memes are off limits if they are clearly within the appropriate context, but avoid "drive-by" posts.

    4. Don't incite violence or threaten others with violence. That doesn't mean you can't discuss violence, but don't call for violence or encourage others to inflict violence.

    5. All actions taken on the message board, including posts, private messages, and selection of avatars are subject to both the rules and guidelines.

    6. The rules are not comprehensive. The administrators have the final say on what does or does not violate the spirit (not just the letter) of the rules or guidelines. The rules are meant to be more direct and the guidelines are more general, but egregious or systemic violations of the guidelines may result in moderator or administrator action as well.

    7. The rules and guidelines are subject to addition, removal, or change if it is determined to be in the best interest of the community.

  • #2
    "0. Don't be a dick / Be excellent to each other."

    Ha! When in doubt, why not both XD

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Lord0fHats View Post
      "0. Don't be a dick / Be excellent to each other."

      Ha! When in doubt, why not both XD
      Honestly, if everyone is able to fall somewhere between those two limits, we'll be doing alright.

      Comment


      • #4
        Good stuff, frankly wasn't looking forward to writing out my old post again. Do you have the ability to make this a mandatory read for new users? Have them directed to it first, maybe a click to acknowledge before proceeding?

        I would have them have to click on each rule one at a time, with a 5 second delay on each one, that would weed out the impatient at least.

        Comment


        • #5
          Something I've been mulling over, and thatQueen_annes_revenge brought up in another thread, is whether it would be useful to ban requesting mod actions/user bans in the open forum and instead asking for all such requests to be made via the report function or in PMs to mods.

          A considerable amount of back and forth on the previous iteration of this forum was spent accusing users of trying to ban everyone they didn't like and it would immediately remove that. On the other hand, we'd have to think about how users can express their dissatisfaction if they feel there been a lack of mod action, which they should be able to.

          Any thoughts?

          Comment


          • Bunnies
            Bunnies commented
            Editing a comment
            I think dissatisfaction can be expressed well within normal discourse without it needing to be "ban this prick". That's definitely more suited to a PM to a mod. and if the mods are proactive with raising it with the other mods (of it's at that level) or explaining clearly to the user why it isn't at that point yet (and point to why not in the rules, not just a "yeanah") while making an effort to keep an eye on the thread in question if it's currently going off/flagging it for the rest to keep an eye on, it should work

            I know I'd feel a lot better if I was filthy at someone for arguing in bad faith (in my eyes) and the person in power I complained to made it clear they understood where I was coming from and would monitor it than either just yelling at the guy in a thread or getting just a "cool we'll see/no rule was broken, return to posting' back

          • Skyth
            Skyth commented
            Editing a comment
            Well you are right that it is likely not productive...It is a sign of something wrong in the forum if a large portion of posters think someone should be banned but they are not. And it could be self-feeding...The Mods aren't getting any PM's (or maybe just 1) asking for someone to be banned so they think it's not a problem. People see the mods not doing anything to curtail the person so they think that the Mods think it's okay so what's the purpose of asking them to be banned?

            A public thread might be a good bellwether of 'something is wrong here' and allow others to realize it's being discussed and offer support.

          • Herzlos2
            Herzlos2 commented
            Editing a comment
            I think most of the comments about banning people were a direct result of the lack of rules/moderation. Most of them I can remember were along the lines of "Why hasn't user/post been removed yet? How is this acceptable?"

        • #6
          I suppose that people who believe a given user should be booted are likely to have raised reports which they'll have had responses to, so should at least be aware mods have considered it. At that point, I guess the pressing issue going forward would be with the mods rather than the poster (albeit there would still be outstanding problems with the poster, too). We do hope to have a clear position on how users can recall mods in the next 48 hours that can serve at least as an interim system until we can liaise with the community on exactly how we think that should work in the long term.

          I don't think there'd be a problem with starting threads specifically about mod inactivity on a given issue, though I suppose it might be hard to have that thread without saying it's because they haven't banned user X, so that's something to think about how to allow for, too.

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by nfe View Post
            I don't think there'd be a problem with starting threads specifically about mod inactivity on a given issue, though I suppose it might be hard to have that thread without saying it's because they haven't banned user X, so that's something to think about how to allow for, too.
            I think there is an important distinction.

            It's really hard to actually discuss board problems like we have been without names and talk of bans coming up. A thread in which we're talking about the health of the board will inevitably end up broaching the topics of bans, especially when user behavior is front and center. It's not like I enjoy saying 'Zardoz should have been banned and that should have been the end of it.' But talking around that is pointless. It obfuscates the issues we're dealing with rather than addresses them. Especially because I think the administration is sometimes too timid on websites, not wanting to call people out, but also as a result failing to adequately explain itself.

            A thread about 'what went wrong here' that ends up talking about bans is probably inevitable when something goes wrong, especially if we're trying to talk about how it could have not gone wrong. Someone is going to say bans. That's just going to happen.

            A thread about 'user X sucks and should be banned' is more likely than not just going to be a bitter stew of bitterness.

            One thread is about the board and its possible problems and solutions. The other is just standing on a soap box shopping for help bashing someone. The former is a discussion, even if heated. The later is hoping to peer pressure the administration into doing something. One I think needs to be allowed, or we're just endorsing sticking our heads in the sand in the name of being nice. The other is the internet equivalent of trying to stir up a mob.

            Comment


            • #8
              Agreed. The flag/report function should be the only thing used, and then mods take action based on those, and that's it. I'm happy putting my trust in that system, that way incessant calls for banning can themselves by actioned against.

              Comment


              • #9
                Do we think an open forum listing infractions is a good idea? If a mod dings someone, then it gets written up in an open forum so that moderation is transparent that way?

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by newtfarming View Post
                  Do we think an open forum listing infractions is a good idea? If a mod dings someone, then it gets written up in an open forum so that moderation is transparent that way?
                  I think not.

                  On the open part.

                  A list of infractions for the moderators may help them gauge behavior and if someone is improving or not. I highly suspect an open one though will simply end up a tool of forum vigilantism, with people trying to wield it like a bludgeon in discussion threads and bashing threads coming out that amount to "User X has been dinged 57 times, how many more times are we going to ding them?"

                  I think the big thing that upsets many users with moderation up to this point is that it feels like the mods don't care/are ignorant or naive about board use. The former is silly. I doubt someone is a mod/admin if they don't care. The former though can be very difficult to grapple though. Straight up, Dread Winter talking about how the board could generate 20 reports in an hour was enlightening. That's too many reports. We don't generate enough content for that. That's people trying to wield the report tool as a weapon. It's not good. And it's the kind of comment that we never got on DakkaDakka because the moderators there never really talk to us in a way that doesn't feel like 'just trust us' and 'why can't you just ignore them.'

                  A lot of people here, and you've probably noticed, are fed up and burned out on those responses. We don't believe them. It's not that I think the mods don't care, but I think more talk about the back end when an issue comes up and the experience there would solve a lot of problems. Abusing the report feature should be grounds for a talking to. I don't know if reports identify who hit it or not. If not, then a moderation notice saying "stop reporting this there's nothing to report" would be useful in the relevant thread rather than something that only comes up weeks or months after the fact, when no one is really sure of what we're talking about anymore.
                  Last edited by Lord0fHats; 06-06-2021, 11:20 PM.

                  Comment


                  • Lord0fHats
                    Lord0fHats commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I mean, 20 in a week? There's like, a dozen of us that are active. That's still a lot. But yeah, less insane. I've gone through the whole thread and have no idea how I got that in my head. I must have misread the first post and just kept running.

                  • Dreadwinter
                    Dreadwinter commented
                    Editing a comment
                    We had 18 one day. If certain threads were hot it could generate 10+ in an hour easy. It really depended on who was active that day and wanting to argue.

                  • Herzlos2
                    Herzlos2 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    How many of the reports were the same reporter/content? Is it a case of someone reporting every single post by a user they don't like, or lots of users reporting stuff that should have been actioned?

                • #11
                  Well, we do have bars under our names that show how many likes we have.

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    It would be nice if people could see the mods taking action. That sets the tone of the forum and show that the rules are being enforced.

                    I also was just thinking about Rule 0. A lot of 'conservative' positions fall afoul of it. Just look at the argument over mask mandates. The conservative position boiled down to masks protecting other people (Or since they don't protect the wearer all that much, 'they don't do anything') so I shouldn't be forced to wear one as other people aren't important. That is grade A dick material in my mind.

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      An idea to go along with the rules could be a template/expectation for how to report. If someone had to say more than "what the fuck is this", it could limit the report spammers while giving the mods more specific stuff to look at. If someone had to report it as "breaking rule 1: they said "quote from the post", this is a reference to "whatever racist thing it is", it'll give the mod who grabs it a lot to go off immediately rather than having to read a potential essay post immediately after work, things like that. Improves the data the mods get, helps force the reporter to think "is this really worth the report", and if they're not sure the can always message the mod instead, "hey mate this thread and his post has me concerned, it seems like bad faith because they said this on the previous page and this before and etc etc", which is way more likely to be acted on than a report of "bad faith" with no more context?

                      But it's far from foolproof and has its own issues, so I dunno

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Originally posted by R_Squared View Post
                        Well, we do have bars under our names that show how many likes we have.
                        I'd be wary of taking that to mean anything more than it is.

                        I'm probably one of the most fringe users here from a moderation perspective. I can be completely civil if I chose to be. If I chose not to be, I can be a brutal asshole. I have a lot of likes. Those don't mean I am great user. It just means people liked what I said, and that in itself isn't necessarily a good thing cause I know what a dick I can be and there are things I've done that any good forum moderation probably shouldn't let me get away with.
                        Last edited by Lord0fHats; 06-06-2021, 11:22 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Originally posted by Lord0fHats View Post

                          I think not.

                          On the open part.

                          A list of infractions for the moderators may help them gauge behavior and if someone is improving or not. I highly suspect an open one though will simply end up a tool of forum vigilantism, with people trying to wield it like a bludgeon in discussion threads and bashing threads coming out that amount to "User X has been dinged 57 times, how many more times are we going to ding them?"
                          I think something that would be great is if users could request their own record though. So not open, but someone can check what they are getting flagged for and how many times.

                          Comment

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