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*Presidential Update -- Week 15.5*

bladerunner060
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9/29/2014 9:54:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Hello DDO. This is the Presidential Update 15.5, Special "Trainwrecks, Trolls, and Free Speech" edition. And hold on you your hats, as it's not a short one. I have few talents, and brevity is not counted among them.

Given the controversial nature of recent events, I felt it incumbent upon me to make a somewhat official statement regarding them. I probably should have said something sooner--last update almost certainly should have addressed it, and instead was an off-the-cuff (and, it bears repeating, misnumbered) acknowledgement of my own personal difficulties. For that, I can only cry your pardon once more. We could spend all day on things I should apologize for. Instead, though, we'll get back on topic.

So here goes:

I will start with a reminder: I am not a mod. I have been elected as President of the site, and I hope that I've done a good job representing you all as much as I can. The focus of my presidency has been my voting initiative, but the only limitations on my willingness to work on other issues as well are the ideas and people willing to implement them. Also, I'm well aware that not everyone objecting to the debate, or to elements spun of off it, are also asking for its deletion. I've read a good deal (but probably not all) of the various threads on the subject.

To start this little conversation a bit around the mountain, it's worth noting that DDO, if it's to be truly inclusive of as many viewpoints and people as possible, has a problem with gender. We are overwhelmingly male-dominated. Cis-male, in point of fact (a term which will not necessarily have meaning for everyone, but, son cosa la vida). It's easy to point to specific instances of things which might conceivably be the cause of this problem, but I don't think it's fair or true to do so. We have a problem, and I, for one, would love to find and implement a solution. When looking for solutions, however, we must bear in mind the purpose of this site.

To crib from the personal attacks policy: "This is a website of heated exchanges. Yet it should also be a place where all users can feel comfortable--a space where they can be free of personal attack. The goal is to foster debate, and allow for even heated debate and exchange of ideas, without allowing abuse and unwarranted attack." Any solution to any general problem that doesn't bear this in mind is not really a solution.

To look at the debate that has been so controversial:

First, to go over what is well-trodden and well-known ground, free speech applies to the government under the US's First Amendment. It does not apply to a private entity such as Juggle. The protections against the government curtailing free speech are the strongest we have--and even they have time, place, and manner restrictions. There is no such thing as truly unlimited free speech. The boundaries may be so far out as to make it unlikely you'll ever bump against them, but there are limits. DDO strives to be a place of free speech, but there are limits on that freedom. Even the spam-bots are started by humans wanting to spread their "speech", but I doubt anyone actually objects when they're moderated.

Make no mistake, it is my personal opinion that it would be better if that debate didn't exist. It violates, in at least an arguable fashion, multiple elements of the TOS. It, in itself, wasn't a real debate at all. It was a troll debate, listing victims of terrible acts for laugh value. With humor, of course, the maxim holds true "De gustibus non est disputandum"; There's no accounting for taste. Gilbert Gottfried got in hot water for making tsunami jokes after the Japan tsunami, and others defended it as black humor. There were at least some actual jokes with punchlines in his stuff, though. The most popular forum game on this site prominently uses "lynching" as a mechanism--a good mechanism, in the context of the game. But forum posts are not debates--time, place, and manner matter. In this debate, there was no conflicting viewpoints, no contrast of ideas, in the intention for the debate as posted. The Contender certainly ran a case not intended by the Instigator, of course. It belongs to the "[X] battle" class or group of debates, which are hardly "debates" at all, in the traditional sense.

There are obvious and justifiable grounds for it to be deleted. This is just a fact. I would argue that a debate with a resolution that rape was morally good would have less grounds for deletion than a debate like this, because that would actually be a debate on the topic. But, then, you may ask, why has it not been deleted?

The reason is because not everything which CAN be deleted, WILL, or SHOULD be deleted. TOSs are broad, because they must be. They shouldn't be changed lightly, and they are there to give the official latitude of the owners of a site to act as the owners of the site. That said, the mods interpret the rules and enforce them. It is the general goal of the mods to delete as little as they can. That is a philosophical choice. The only broad exception to this is personal attacks--specifically because personal attacks directly harm the goal of the site, that fostering and exchange of ideas within the site.

That it's better for something not to exist in the first place does not mean that it being sent to the memory hole is an inherently good thing. Trends happen, and ideas, even repugnant ones, can take hold. The only real way to combat those trends is with more speech combatting it. Whatever your opinion on the debate, there has certainly been a lot of discussion about it, about what its existence, and the responses to it, mean for the site's culture. Whatever your opinion as to how that discussion has gone, there have been heated exchanges, and debate has been fostered. I have, of course, my own opinion on the matter but, in the context of a presidential update, the focus here is on the exchange more so than the content.

No one here or, really, anywhere, has a right to not be offended. No one has a right not to be criticized. On DDO, there is a protection against personal attack--but ideas and concepts are not so protected, and neither (generally) are people who aren't users. If the debate in question had attacked a user on the site, it would have been deleted. Anything brought to the attention of the mods is considered--and sometimes even things that aren't brought specifically to their attention. But again, the goal of the site needs to be kept in mind, and that the mods's goal is to delete as little as possible, because censorship, even of the non-governmental variety, is serious business. In this case, the decision has been made, and it was neither an easy one (they almost never are), nor one that focused merely on this specific debate, but rather what it would mean in terms of consistency and the values of the site to make the decision.

You can fight back against ideas you don't like by explaining why they're bad. If you want to make changes to the culture, or solve a problem, I'm always happy to listen to any ideas. There is a focus, sometimes, on the nuts and bolts of the site as a panacea to all problems, but I don't think that's correct--and we all know that updates don't happen by themselves.

So that's my official response to this kerfluffle. Though this drama will, like all DDO drama does, fade at least to some extent merely with the passage of time (DDO weeks are like dog years), there's nothing wrong with continuing the discussion. The site tolerates all ideas and comers inasmuch as it lets them express them--that many ideas get demolished in the marketplace is a feature, not a bug. And if an idea is not getting demolished to your satisfaction, there's nothing wrong with expressing that--bearing in mind that the feature is universal.
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bladerunner060
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9/29/2014 9:54:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
On a side note, this blog is run by a free speech advocate who often discusses the notion of the marketplace of ideas. Since I paraphrased a few of his sayings, I figure it's only fair to give some example blog posts (caution: Thar be saucy language):

http://www.popehat.com...
http://www.popehat.com...

You don't have to agree with him, or like him. I thought it was worth throwing in, in this discussion of speech...if you don't think it was, I'm sorry.

PS: Normal updates resume next week (or end of this week, however you want to phrase it). I apologize again for effing up the last one as badly as I did.
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kbub
Posts: 1,377
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9/29/2014 10:01:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/29/2014 9:54:10 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:

Given the controversial nature of recent events, I felt it incumbent upon me to make a somewhat official statement regarding them. I probably should have said something sooner--last update almost certainly should have addressed it, and instead was an off-the-cuff (and, it bears repeating, misnumbered) acknowledgement of my own personal difficulties. For that, I can only cry your pardon once more. We could spend all day on things I should apologize for. Instead, though, we'll get back on topic.

So here goes:

I will start with a reminder: I am not a mod. I have been elected as President of the site, and I hope that I've done a good job representing you all as much as I can. The focus of my presidency has been my voting initiative, but the only limitations on my willingness to work on other issues as well are the ideas and people willing to implement them. Also, I'm well aware that not everyone objecting to the debate, or to elements spun of off it, are also asking for its deletion. I've read a good deal (but probably not all) of the various threads on the subject.

To start this little conversation a bit around the mountain, it's worth noting that DDO, if it's to be truly inclusive of as many viewpoints and people as possible, has a problem with gender. We are overwhelmingly male-dominated. Cis-male, in point of fact (a term which will not necessarily have meaning for everyone, but, son cosa la vida). It's easy to point to specific instances of things which might conceivably be the cause of this problem, but I don't think it's fair or true to do so. We have a problem, and I, for one, would love to find and implement a solution. When looking for solutions, however, we must bear in mind the purpose of this site.

To crib from the personal attacks policy: "This is a website of heated exchanges. Yet it should also be a place where all users can feel comfortable--a space where they can be free of personal attack. The goal is to foster debate, and allow for even heated debate and exchange of ideas, without allowing abuse and unwarranted attack." Any solution to any general problem that doesn't bear this in mind is not really a solution.

To look at the debate that has been so controversial:

First, to go over what is well-trodden and well-known ground, free speech applies to the government under the US's First Amendment. It does not apply to a private entity such as Juggle. The protections against the government curtailing free speech are the strongest we have--and even they have time, place, and manner restrictions. There is no such thing as truly unlimited free speech. The boundaries may be so far out as to make it unlikely you'll ever bump against them, but there are limits. DDO strives to be a place of free speech, but there are limits on that freedom. Even the spam-bots are started by humans wanting to spread their "speech", but I doubt anyone actually objects when they're moderated.

Make no mistake, it is my personal opinion that it would be better if that debate didn't exist. It violates, in at least an arguable fashion, multiple elements of the TOS. It, in itself, wasn't a real debate at all. It was a troll debate, listing victims of terrible acts for laugh value. With humor, of course, the maxim holds true "De gustibus non est disputandum"; There's no accounting for taste. Gilbert Gottfried got in hot water for making tsunami jokes after the Japan tsunami, and others defended it as black humor. There were at least some actual jokes with punchlines in his stuff, though. The most popular forum game on this site prominently uses "lynching" as a mechanism--a good mechanism, in the context of the game. But forum posts are not debates--time, place, and manner matter. In this debate, there was no conflicting viewpoints, no contrast of ideas, in the intention for the debate as posted. The Contender certainly ran a case not intended by the Instigator, of course. It belongs to the "[X] battle" class or group of debates, which are hardly "debates" at all, in the traditional sense.

There are obvious and justifiable grounds for it to be deleted. This is just a fact. I would argue that a debate with a resolution that rape was morally good would have less grounds for deletion than a debate like this, because that would actually be a debate on the topic. But, then, you may ask, why has it not been deleted?

The reason is because not everything which CAN be deleted, WILL, or SHOULD be deleted. TOSs are broad, because they must be. They shouldn't be changed lightly, and they are there to give the official latitude of the owners of a site to act as the owners of the site. That said, the mods interpret the rules and enforce them. It is the general goal of the mods to delete as little as they can. That is a philosophical choice. The only broad exception to this is personal attacks--specifically because personal attacks directly harm the goal of the site, that fostering and exchange of ideas within the site.

That it's better for something not to exist in the first place does not mean that it being sent to the memory hole is an inherently good thing. Trends happen, and ideas, even repugnant ones, can take hold. The only real way to combat those trends is with more speech combatting it. Whatever your opinion on the debate, there has certainly been a lot of discussion about it, about what its existence, and the responses to it, mean for the site's culture. Whatever your opinion as to how that discussion has gone, there have been heated exchanges, and debate has been fostered. I have, of course, my own opinion on the matter but, in the context of a presidential update, the focus here is on the exchange more so than the content.

No one here or, really, anywhere, has a right to not be offended. No one has a right not to be criticized. On DDO, there is a protection against personal attack--but ideas and concepts are not so protected, and neither (generally) are people who aren't users. If the debate in question had attacked a user on the site, it would have been deleted. Anything brought to the attention of the mods is considered--and sometimes even things that aren't brought specifically to their attention. But again, the goal of the site needs to be kept in mind, and that the mods's goal is to delete as little as possible, because censorship, even of the non-governmental variety, is serious business. In this case, the decision has been made, and it was neither an easy one (they almost never are), nor one that focused merely on this specific debate, but rather what it would mean in terms of consistency and the values of the site to make the decision.

You can fight back against ideas you don't like by explaining why they're bad. If you want to make changes to the culture, or solve a problem, I'm always happy to listen to any ideas. There is a focus, sometimes, on the nuts and bolts of the site as a panacea to all problems, but I don't think that's correct--and we all know that updates don't happen by themselves.

So that's my official response to this kerfluffle. Though this drama will, like all DDO drama does, fade at least to some extent merely with the passage of time (DDO weeks are like dog years), there's nothing wrong with continuing the discussion. The site tolerates all ideas and comers inasmuch as it lets them express them--that many ideas get demolished in the marketplace is a feature, not a bug. And if an idea is not getting demolished to your satisfaction, there's nothing wrong with expressing that--bearing in mind that the feature is universal.

Excellent post. +1.
bsh1
Posts: 27,503
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9/29/2014 10:19:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
+2 nac
Live Long and Prosper

I'm a Bish.


"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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ESocialBookworm
Posts: 14,361
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9/29/2014 10:21:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/29/2014 10:19:13 PM, bsh1 wrote:
+200 nac
Solonkr~
I don't care about whether an ideology is "necessary" or not,
I care about how to solve problems,
which is what everyone else should also care about.

Ken~
In essence, the world is fucked up and you can either ignore it, become cynical or bitter about it.

Me~
"BAILEY + SOLON = SAILEY
MY SHIP SAILEY MUST SAIL"

SCREW THAT SHIZ #BANNIE = BAILEY & ANNIE

P.S. Shipped Sailey before it was cannon bitches.
Ajabi
Posts: 1,504
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9/29/2014 10:43:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/29/2014 10:21:59 PM, ESocialBookworm wrote:
At 9/29/2014 10:19:13 PM, bsh1 wrote:
+20000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 nac
Garbanza
Posts: 1,997
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9/29/2014 11:34:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/29/2014 9:54:10 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:

To start this little conversation a bit around the mountain, it's worth noting that DDO, if it's to be truly inclusive of as many viewpoints and people as possible, has a problem with gender. We are overwhelmingly male-dominated. Cis-male, in point of fact (a term which will not necessarily have meaning for everyone, but, son cosa la vida). It's easy to point to specific instances of things which might conceivably be the cause of this problem, but I don't think it's fair or true to do so. We have a problem, and I, for one, would love to find and implement a solution. When looking for solutions, however, we must bear in mind the purpose of this site.

This was a great post, it's true, and so much better than bsh1's claim that there's no problem with gender because one of his best friends on the site is a woman and he's only had two complaints about sexism recently. On the other hand, I don't think anyone has claimed that specific instances have been the cause of the problem. I thought it was the specific instances were mentioned as being symptomatic of the problem and possibly as making the problem worse.

I don't think anyone has mentioned ANY solutions, let alone solutions that go against the purpose of the site. And actually, you and kbub are the only two people who have shown any desire at all to change the current culture as far as I know.

I really regret being critical, because this is one of the best posts about this issue so far, but I really am inspired by what you said about continuing the discussion, so I hope you don't mind. I mean that genuinely and not passive-aggressively.
bsh1
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9/29/2014 11:39:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/29/2014 11:34:15 PM, Garbanza wrote:
At 9/29/2014 9:54:10 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:

To start this little conversation a bit around the mountain, it's worth noting that DDO, if it's to be truly inclusive of as many viewpoints and people as possible, has a problem with gender. We are overwhelmingly male-dominated. Cis-male, in point of fact (a term which will not necessarily have meaning for everyone, but, son cosa la vida). It's easy to point to specific instances of things which might conceivably be the cause of this problem, but I don't think it's fair or true to do so. We have a problem, and I, for one, would love to find and implement a solution. When looking for solutions, however, we must bear in mind the purpose of this site.

This was a great post, it's true, and so much better than bsh1's claim that there's no problem with gender because one of his best friends on the site is a woman and he's only had two complaints about sexism recently.

I feel this misrepresents my stance. I said I didn't think the site was actively promoting or had an "anti-woman" culture. I never denied we couldn't use more female members and we could make the site more friendly to people of all genders, but that does make DDO "anti" woman. Regarding those complaints, they were months apart, the last one ring more than a month ago, and in both cases the offenders were excoriated in the forums for their inappropriate comments.
Live Long and Prosper

I'm a Bish.


"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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: http://www.debate.org...

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bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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9/30/2014 5:20:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/29/2014 11:34:15 PM, Garbanza wrote:
At 9/29/2014 9:54:10 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:

To start this little conversation a bit around the mountain, it's worth noting that DDO, if it's to be truly inclusive of as many viewpoints and people as possible, has a problem with gender. We are overwhelmingly male-dominated. Cis-male, in point of fact (a term which will not necessarily have meaning for everyone, but, son cosa la vida). It's easy to point to specific instances of things which might conceivably be the cause of this problem, but I don't think it's fair or true to do so. We have a problem, and I, for one, would love to find and implement a solution. When looking for solutions, however, we must bear in mind the purpose of this site.

This was a great post, it's true, and so much better than bsh1's claim that there's no problem with gender because one of his best friends on the site is a woman and he's only had two complaints about sexism recently. On the other hand, I don't think anyone has claimed that specific instances have been the cause of the problem. I thought it was the specific instances were mentioned as being symptomatic of the problem and possibly as making the problem worse.

I kind of think that's the same things as what I was saying--specific instances of things that might be the cause of the problem--the things being a broader category than the specific instances. But that's neither here nor there, we can phrase it how you'd like.

I don't think anyone has mentioned ANY solutions, let alone solutions that go against the purpose of the site. And actually, you and kbub are the only two people who have shown any desire at all to change the current culture as far as I know.

Well, my post was not intended to be addressing anyone specifically. That said, some folks do think that there need to be more deletions and bans and, while I can empathize with the intention, I think it's worth noting what the implications of that are.

I really regret being critical, because this is one of the best posts about this issue so far, but I really am inspired by what you said about continuing the discussion, so I hope you don't mind. I mean that genuinely and not passive-aggressively.

I certainly don't mind!

What are your thoughts as to possible solutions to the broader problems?
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Garbanza
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9/30/2014 5:30:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/30/2014 5:20:13 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
What are your thoughts as to possible solutions to the broader problems?

Haha good answer. I don't know. I've noticed with web sites that people form in these homogenous groups and I'm beginning to wonder if it's possible to have a truly diverse site where all kinds of people are discussing things. Maybe it's like news sources and you have to sample different ones if you want a diverse perspective, and maybe DDO will be youngish US males and that's not a bad thing.

To be completely honest, though, I think it IS a bad thing. I think the whole point of debate is to confront people who are different and think differently, and the discussion is skewed horribly by the narrowness of the demographic. On the other hand, nobody else seems to mind and maybe it's unrealistic to want that.
bladerunner060
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9/30/2014 5:40:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/30/2014 5:30:49 PM, Garbanza wrote:
At 9/30/2014 5:20:13 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
What are your thoughts as to possible solutions to the broader problems?

Haha good answer. I don't know. I've noticed with web sites that people form in these homogenous groups and I'm beginning to wonder if it's possible to have a truly diverse site where all kinds of people are discussing things. Maybe it's like news sources and you have to sample different ones if you want a diverse perspective, and maybe DDO will be youngish US males and that's not a bad thing.

To be completely honest, though, I think it IS a bad thing. I think the whole point of debate is to confront people who are different and think differently, and the discussion is skewed horribly by the narrowness of the demographic. On the other hand, nobody else seems to mind and maybe it's unrealistic to want that.

I don't think it's that no one else minds, per se. I think there's a pretty wide contrarian streak in the membership, and often a sense of defensiveness. That's relatively understandable, if not always desirable. So when there's a feeling of being "attacked", there's a tendency towards perhaps exaggerrated response--such is the nature of defensiveness.

There are women and minorities on here, to be sure. It's just unfortunate that there aren't more, and more who stay. But achieving that goal is great and all....but it again requires the circling back to how.
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TheGreatAndPowerful
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9/30/2014 5:52:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/29/2014 9:54:10 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:

The reason is because not everything which CAN be deleted, WILL, or SHOULD be deleted. TOSs are broad, because they must be.

Ah, so debate making light of rape and offending a lot of users = not deleted
Posts on a thread that, if deleted, would allow a mod to win a forum game = deleted

It's good to make these distinctions, otherwise people might think the whole thing was pointlessly arbitrary!
bladerunner060
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9/30/2014 6:01:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/30/2014 5:52:01 PM, TheGreatAndPowerful wrote:
At 9/29/2014 9:54:10 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:

The reason is because not everything which CAN be deleted, WILL, or SHOULD be deleted. TOSs are broad, because they must be.

Ah, so debate making light of rape and offending a lot of users = not deleted
Posts on a thread that, if deleted, would allow a mod to win a forum game = deleted

It's good to make these distinctions, otherwise people might think the whole thing was pointlessly arbitrary!

IIRC, that was recognized as an error and apologized for. As I already have said a few times, I'm not a mod. Still, is there some productive reason you feel the need to bring it up so often--especially given it's been what, at least 4 months?
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TheGreatAndPowerful
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9/30/2014 6:18:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/30/2014 6:01:28 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 9/30/2014 5:52:01 PM, TheGreatAndPowerful wrote:
At 9/29/2014 9:54:10 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:

The reason is because not everything which CAN be deleted, WILL, or SHOULD be deleted. TOSs are broad, because they must be.

Ah, so debate making light of rape and offending a lot of users = not deleted
Posts on a thread that, if deleted, would allow a mod to win a forum game = deleted

It's good to make these distinctions, otherwise people might think the whole thing was pointlessly arbitrary!

IIRC, that was recognized as an error and apologized for.

IIRC correctly, it wasn't, and the mod in question hasn't seem rather apologetic for the events, so if an apology was made, it was insincere.

As I already have said a few times, I'm not a mod.

Irrelevant. You opened the discussion about moderation. If you don't want to discuss moderation, don't bring it up.

Still, is there some productive reason you feel the need to bring it up so often--especially given it's been what, at least 4 months?

Because I'm not an ADD riddled 14-year that comprises the statistical average of the membership here?

Yes, a moderator abused his power.
The issue was never addressed by the mods, the moderator made up acknowledgement or punishment that I'm aware of and the thread in question (as well as a legitimately angry thread by the victim) were just swept under the rug.

I'm sorry you don't like me bringing up the failings of the mods here. Tough sh1t. I'm going to point out those failings and hypocricies when and where I see fit.

A mod abused his power. He makes fun of the incident as if he sees nothing wrong with it. Most of the time I mention it, I'm mostly brushed off.

I know nothing is going to happen about it. I know that most people will forget about it (if they haven't already). But you can be damned sure I'm not going to forget about it and you can be damned sure it's just one among several things that colors my impression of the moderation and administration of this site, as well as the people that shill it.

Who do you represent? The site or its members?
bladerunner060
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9/30/2014 6:30:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/30/2014 6:18:59 PM, TheGreatAndPowerful wrote:
At 9/30/2014 6:01:28 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 9/30/2014 5:52:01 PM, TheGreatAndPowerful wrote:
At 9/29/2014 9:54:10 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:

The reason is because not everything which CAN be deleted, WILL, or SHOULD be deleted. TOSs are broad, because they must be.

Ah, so debate making light of rape and offending a lot of users = not deleted
Posts on a thread that, if deleted, would allow a mod to win a forum game = deleted

It's good to make these distinctions, otherwise people might think the whole thing was pointlessly arbitrary!

IIRC, that was recognized as an error and apologized for.

IIRC correctly, it wasn't, and the mod in question hasn't seem rather apologetic for the events, so if an apology was made, it was insincere.

As I already have said a few times, I'm not a mod.

Irrelevant. You opened the discussion about moderation. If you don't want to discuss moderation, don't bring it up.

I said that only to clarify that I cannot speak FOR the mods, particularly in specific instances.

Still, is there some productive reason you feel the need to bring it up so often--especially given it's been what, at least 4 months?

Because I'm not an ADD riddled 14-year that comprises the statistical average of the membership here?

So, no then?

Yes, a moderator abused his power.
The issue was never addressed by the mods, the moderator made up acknowledgement or punishment that I'm aware of and the thread in question (as well as a legitimately angry thread by the victim) were just swept under the rug.

I'm assuming you have contacted airmax about this. What did he say?

I'm sorry you don't like me bringing up the failings of the mods here. Tough sh1t. I'm going to point out those failings and hypocricies when and where I see fit.

You're bringing up something off-topic, from multiple months ago that I really do believe airmax already addressed.

A mod abused his power. He makes fun of the incident as if he sees nothing wrong with it. Most of the time I mention it, I'm mostly brushed off.

I have no seen him do so, but then, you have not seen where it had been previously addressed.

I know nothing is going to happen about it. I know that most people will forget about it (if they haven't already). But you can be damned sure I'm not going to forget about it and you can be damned sure it's just one among several things that colors my impression of the moderation and administration of this site, as well as the people that shill it.



Who do you represent? The site or its members?

I represent the members--as a whole, drafter. I understand you're still upset. But that doesn't necessarily justify frequent attempts to derail. I know for a fact you've brought this up before in another thread I posted about a different topic. I ignored it at that time because there seemed no benefit to addressing it within the context of the discussion. When you attempt to derail, being ignored doesn't mean necessarily anything is being "swept under the rug"--it means that your attempt to derail the conversation on to your own preferred hobbyhorse has failed. Start a new topic on the subject, if you'd like to reopen this to public discussion, and you can get a better idea how much the membership, as a whole, agrees, disagrees, or cares about the incident.

For what it's worth, I believe that an apology was owed--and it was my recollection that it was given. After that, I'm unsure what else you could want that would solve your anger. If I am mistaken in my recollection, I'm sorry. The incident happened before my presidency, and you've never personally addressed it with me, so if you would like I am happy to pursue your apology and discuss solutions to your anger.
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TheGreatAndPowerful
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10/1/2014 6:02:42 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/30/2014 6:30:36 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:

As I already have said a few times, I'm not a mod.

Irrelevant. You opened the discussion about moderation. If you don't want to discuss moderation, don't bring it up.

I said that only to clarify that I cannot speak FOR the mods, particularly in specific instances.

Except that is what you are doing here. You're explaining the reason behind not deleting this. Did you get that reasoning from the mods themselves? Are you acting as their mouthpiece here?

Still, is there some productive reason you feel the need to bring it up so often--especially given it's been what, at least 4 months?

Because I'm not an ADD riddled 14-year that comprises the statistical average of the membership here?

So, no then?

How presidential.

Yes, a moderator abused his power.
The issue was never addressed by the mods, the moderator made up acknowledgement or punishment that I'm aware of and the thread in question (as well as a legitimately angry thread by the victim) were just swept under the rug.

I'm assuming you have contacted airmax about this. What did he say?

Why would you assume that? He acts differently in private communications than in public ones and this is something that should be handled publicly.

I'm sorry you don't like me bringing up the failings of the mods here. Tough sh1t. I'm going to point out those failings and hypocricies when and where I see fit.

You're bringing up something off-topic, from multiple months ago that I really do believe airmax already addressed.

Ok. Show me and I'll shut up.

A mod abused his power. He makes fun of the incident as if he sees nothing wrong with it. Most of the time I mention it, I'm mostly brushed off.

I have no seen him do so, but then, you have not seen where it had been previously addressed.

You have? Where? Show me and I'll shut up.

I know nothing is going to happen about it. I know that most people will forget about it (if they haven't already). But you can be damned sure I'm not going to forget about it and you can be damned sure it's just one among several things that colors my impression of the moderation and administration of this site, as well as the people that shill it.




Who do you represent? The site or its members?

I represent the members--as a whole, drafter. I understand you're still upset. But that doesn't necessarily justify frequent attempts to derail.

You're right, me being upset doesn't justify frequently bringing this situation up. The fact that a moderator abused his powers and nothing happened does justify it, however.

I know for a fact you've brought this up before in another thread I posted about a different topic. I ignored it at that time because there seemed no benefit to addressing it within the context of the discussion. When you attempt to derail, being ignored doesn't mean necessarily anything is being "swept under the rug"--it means that your attempt to derail the conversation on to your own preferred hobbyhorse has failed. Start a new topic on the subject, if you'd like to reopen this to public discussion, and you can get a better idea how much the membership, as a whole, agrees, disagrees, or cares about the incident.

"Reopen?" It was closed? When? Where?

For what it's worth, I believe that an apology was owed--and it was my recollection that it was given. After that, I'm unsure what else you could want that would solve your anger. If I am mistaken in my recollection, I'm sorry. The incident happened before my presidency, and you've never personally addressed it with me, so if you would like I am happy to pursue your apology and discuss solutions to your anger.

Really? This is you being happy with a person to discuss something? I'd hate to see it when you aren't happy. Regardless your choice of words leaves much to be desired. "My anger" is not the issue here. The unchecked and unresolved abuse of moderator power is. You believe it was resolved, but can you show me where? I don't recall it. Show me and I'll slink off, never to speak of it again.
bladerunner060
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10/3/2014 3:33:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I didn't respond line-by-line to all of your response TheGreatAndPowerful, but rather am going to respond more broadly in a way that, I think, addresses the substance of those parts, as well as frames it for those unaware:

I'll start with some overview, for other people who might be reading this exchange. If you find it in some way inaccurate as to the details, feel free to correct, but from a community standpoint, I feel it's better and more productive to be clear about what's being discussed. I am going to post my recollections, and TGAP can correct where he thinks it's inaccurate.

I am NOT speaking from a jointly-official standpoint here. Though I have recently spoken to airmax about this, and this is "official" from the perspective of my administration.

Approximately 7 months ago (as far as I can tell, in mid-March of this year), there was a thread game in what I believe was the Miscellaneous section that had an "end". It was something along the lines of "1337th Post Wins", IIRC (and I'm sure TheGreatAndPowerful can correct me as to the specific substance of the thread).

I do not know who started that thread, and I do not know who "should have" won that thread. What I do recall is that Ore_Ele deleted the last few posts on the thread--that of the "winner", and I believe some congratulations after that--in order to make a new post of his own be the "1337th" (assuming my recollection as to the wincon is correct). He cracked, to my recollection, some joke in this post to the effect of his ability to override the normal course of the game.

This is the "The unchecked and unresolved abuse of moderator power" which TheGreatAndPowerful is referring to.

This was during TUF's presidency. I wasn't involved in the thread, and only became aware of it after things became contentious. When TheGreatAndPowerful says "the thread in question (as well as a legitimately angry thread by the victim) were just swept under the rug", I assume what he means is that they were deleted--because, as I'm now aware after digging through rather a lot of post histories, they were. A member who I won't name out of courtesy lashed out in ways far beyond acceptable conduct--and in more than 1 thread--which, to the best of my knowledge, was the reasoning behind the thread deletions. (I'm unsure if he was the victim in the sense of having "lost" where he should have won, or in the sense of it having been his game in the first place that was messed with by the intervention; TGAP can clarify, but I'd ask that he please not name the member specifically--not to hide anything, but because I don't want to be rebashing that member's conduct).

All of the threads relating to that issue in any meaningful sense wound up being deleted. Since then, the issue has largely been forgotten, as TGAP points out. That deletion is why neither I, nor TheGreatAndPowerful, can link to anything directly related to this issue, and are stuck in a "competing recollections" situation. It's also why I have to say it was "sometime Mid-March", instead of giving a real time, because I can't find a specific real time. I dug through rather a lot of forum posts history but, since most or all of the threads got deleted, what references remained were either short, or oblique. The earliest references I can find were mid-March, which means it was at least that far back.

TheGreatAndPowerful claims "The issue was never addressed by the mods". I believe this to be untrue. That said, it is possible he didn't see it, and certainly now that the threads are gone, it's impossible to verify.

The issue has not been repeated and, to the best of my knowledge, it was the first time that it had happened, though I do know that there used to occasionally be "April Fools"-type things and such. Certainly I'm not aware of anything like this in terms of how it was taken.

To the best of my knowledge, Ore admitted it was a juvenile joke and he hadn't meant harm by it, though he conceded it was not an appropriate use of his abilities. But, again, it's easy to say I remember that.

When you say "the moderator [received no] punishment that I'm aware of...", TGAP, I feel you're being a bit unfair. Airmax has made clear that he generally does NOT want to air all aspects of member moderation--in general, he tries to keep it as private as possible. That he extends this to the mods is his decision.

That said, it should have been addressed publicly at least as far as admitting that it shouldn't have happened, was addressed, and wouldn't happen again. As I said, I believe it was--but, given that most of the threads related to the issue are gone, it is NOT presently on record as having been addressed.

The incident, as it occurred, happened over 3 months before my presidency started, and no issues have come up since then to the best of my knowledge. As such, the matter rather seemed closed. That said, since TheGreatAndPowerful claims it was never addressed, and I can't prove him wrong (Though, it should be noted, neither can he prove himself right, or even link to the thread in question, given the deletions), I will take a position in terms of my own presidency:

That shouldn't have happened. If something like it happened during my presidency, I would address it in the strongest terms. I think the intent should be borne in mind, which I don't think even TheGreatAndPowerful contests was that of humor. But just as that's not a catch-all in terms of the conduct policy, that's not a catch-all in terms of moderation.

I can't apologize on my own behalf for something I wasn't involved in, and had no input in at the time. I can't apologize on the behalf of the mods, since I'm not one (plus, even if I could, there's enough of a demarcation between the two positions that I don't think it would have much by way of weight, so not only am I not particularly COMFORTABLE doing so, I don't particularly WANT to, either). But, as I said, if this were to be an issue in my tenure, I would ensure that, one way or another, it got addressed.

To TheGreatAndPowerful, for whom this issue is still an issue, I'd ask (and I would have asked this via PM, but given your statements, that seemed not to be your preference):

What do you want in terms of resolution? What will resolve this in your mind?

Do you want a public apology and acknowledgement from moderation that such behavior is inappropriate, and won't happen again? As I said, I think this was done, but it's gone, so if that is what you want, I can agitate for you to get it--with the standard caveats that I don't like truly "promising" things I can't be certain I can deliver.
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