Author Topic: Rules Discussion & Refinement  (Read 4796 times)

eigen

  • A function of something...
  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 346
  • CHE Posts: 1477
Re: Rules Discussion & Refinement
« Reply #45 on: July 31, 2019, 09:39:41 AM »

Moreover, I feel like you keep bringing baggage from years ago into current threads where it has no bearing. Maybe it’s time to let it go?

What you're calling baggage and implying has no place in the discussion is already here. You're making a specific rule that says the presence of trolls is guaranteed. But honestly that's not a shocker to me. I've been to forums where the phrase 'right wing troll' is considered common usage and others where it's 'left-wing troll' It's how people with similar politics and agenda find each other and consolidate.
But you may be right, time to let it go, one reason being the poster I referred to may have learned by now that what they were doing on those threads wasn't winning them new fans.

Eh? I’m one of the people that runs the forums, and I don’t remember doing any of that... perhaps you don’t understand how these forums are being run?


You don't remember egging on or enabling a troll? Me neither.

This is an online forum that anyone can register for and post on. The presence of trolls is, at some point, guaranteed. Sometimes it's a bored undergrad, sometimes it's someone with an ax to grind against academics, sometimes it's someone who wants to spin tales of illicit affairs with a professor.

Perhaps you're reading something more personal into the rule that isn't there?

mahagonny

  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1061
Re: Rules Discussion & Refinement
« Reply #46 on: July 31, 2019, 06:40:02 PM »

This is an online forum that anyone can register for and post on. The presence of trolls is, at some point, guaranteed. Sometimes it's a bored undergrad, sometimes it's someone with an ax to grind against academics, sometimes it's someone who wants to spin tales of illicit affairs with a professor.

Perhaps you're reading something more personal into the rule that isn't there?

Oh, well...academics as a group couldn't possibly be guilty of anything.

Just about all pseudonymous forums have a mob that identifies trolls who turn out to have similar beliefs and also dignifies their own bullies. This one should do it too. You're right, let it go. We have no obligation to be better than the rest.

But we can agree that when someone is obviously nothing but disruptive they are a troll.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2019, 07:35:26 PM by mahagonny »
I love working with young people. Their minds are wide open and you can get to them before they have a chance to follow the herd.

namazu

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 214
Re: Rules Discussion & Refinement
« Reply #47 on: July 31, 2019, 10:25:31 PM »

This is an online forum that anyone can register for and post on. The presence of trolls is, at some point, guaranteed. Sometimes it's a bored undergrad, sometimes it's someone with an ax to grind against academics, sometimes it's someone who wants to spin tales of illicit affairs with a professor.

Perhaps you're reading something more personal into the rule that isn't there?

Oh, well...academics as a group couldn't possibly be guilty of anything.

Just about all pseudonymous forums have a mob that identifies trolls who turn out to have similar beliefs and also dignifies their own bullies. This one should do it too. You're right, let it go. We have no obligation to be better than the rest.

But we can agree that when someone is obviously nothing but disruptive they are a troll.
Do you have a constructive suggestion as to how we could address this problem more effectively, mahagonny? 

(It seems to me that the current "Do not feed the trolls" rule expressly advocates against mobbing or otherwise calling attention to perceived trolls. This should prevent anyone who may be unfairly identified by any given member as a troll from suffering as a result of this misidentification.)

Or do you just want to continue doing what you've ostensibly been railing against for the past umpteen posts (i.e. passive-aggressively, and without naming names -- but still very conspicuously -- singling out a forum member whose presence/arguments you find odious and whom you wish to see marginalized)?

I have not noticed mob behavior here (yet), though I agree that it sometimes got out of hand at the old forum.  The one-offs thread did bring out ugly behavior in people at times; of course, sometimes people were independently, but simultaneously, venting understandable frustration in the least-disruptive way they could muster. 

Perhaps you might consider these fora a chance for a fresh start -- not only for yourself, but also for others. 

mahagonny

  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1061
Re: Rules Discussion & Refinement
« Reply #48 on: August 01, 2019, 04:31:11 PM »

Do you have a constructive suggestion as to how we could address this problem more effectively, mahagonny? 


Yes, I made it already: 

If we don't tell each other who the trolls are, and let each reader decide for himself, I think it will be a better forum.

And I'll add, most of the time accusations of trolling end up being instances of mobbing while academia is nothing if not self-infatuated with its sense of diversity appreciation. So it would be a little weird to go around saying 'who are the trolls?' Though as you say, it doesn't seem to be happening yet. I think the rules are OK. I was just making an observation. It's an inexact art, as has been noted.

Quote
Or do you just want to continue doing what you've ostensibly been railing against for the past umpteen posts (i.e. passive-aggressively, and without naming names -- but still very conspicuously -- singling out a forum member whose presence/arguments you find odious and whom you wish to see marginalized)?

I don't know what should be done about it. Probably not more repetition.  But if you have the same cosseted person or people accepting tenure track unions but simultaneously working overtime to snuff out adjunct unions, you don't have a pro faculty forum; you have something else. I can't change facts like these.
But as you say also, it's a new era, and maybe give it a chance to develop.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2019, 04:50:51 PM by mahagonny »
I love working with young people. Their minds are wide open and you can get to them before they have a chance to follow the herd.

eigen

  • A function of something...
  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 346
  • CHE Posts: 1477
Re: Rules Discussion & Refinement
« Reply #49 on: August 01, 2019, 04:39:38 PM »
One person does not a forum make. You seem to keep conflating the opinions of one poster with a position of the forum, which is made up of many posters.

I would hope people are free to have and express opinions that any of us dislike here.

mahagonny

  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1061
Re: Rules Discussion & Refinement
« Reply #50 on: September 08, 2019, 10:15:33 AM »
Instead of an 'ignore user' feature a 'block user' feature would be useful if it could enable you to identify a poster and seal off your posts so they are not visible to that person. Like FB does. Otherwise, in order to choose to be in the company of the forum, you have to invite all off them or none. You wouldn't run your social life that way.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2019, 10:23:21 AM by mahagonny »
I love working with young people. Their minds are wide open and you can get to them before they have a chance to follow the herd.

Scout

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 98
  • CHE Posts: 949
Re: Rules Discussion & Refinement
« Reply #51 on: September 08, 2019, 11:41:39 AM »
No, but if you walked into bar and someone you didn’t like was there you wouldn’t yell “don’t look at me!” either. You’d ignore them and keep your conversations separate as best you can. You can’t control who sees you in a basically public space.

Facebook is not set up as a public space unless you choose to go to public groups. Facebook is designed as invitation only (friending) space, so it makes sense you could defriend/block someone.

polly_mer

  • The Voice of Doom
  • Senior Moderator
  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2553
  • Have you hugged your family today?
  • CHE Posts: lots!
Re: Rules Discussion & Refinement
« Reply #52 on: September 08, 2019, 12:33:54 PM »
Instead of an 'ignore user' feature a 'block user' feature would be useful if it could enable you to identify a poster and seal off your posts so they are not visible to that person.

How would that work in a public venue where posts are visible to the world?  You aren't obligated to respond to any posts.  We have an ignore user feature so that you don't have to see everyone's posts and thus cannot read what people write in response to your posts.  You are welcome to make use of the PM feature and only converse with people with whom you want to converse out of public view.  You are also free to read posts and choose not to respond.

The question remains: do you want to participate in extended discussions on topics of interest with multiple views being presented or do you really only want to interact with people who agree with you or at least have to pretend that only some views are of enough value to discuss?  One way could change the world; the other way practically guarantees that whomever has power or will soon have power probably doesn't have all the views.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2019, 12:41:45 PM by polly_mer »
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

ciao_yall

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 707
Re: Rules Discussion & Refinement
« Reply #53 on: September 08, 2019, 02:11:08 PM »
Instead of an 'ignore user' feature a 'block user' feature would be useful if it could enable you to identify a poster and seal off your posts so they are not visible to that person.

How would that work in a public venue where posts are visible to the world?  You aren't obligated to respond to any posts.  We have an ignore user feature so that you don't have to see everyone's posts and thus cannot read what people write in response to your posts.  You are welcome to make use of the PM feature and only converse with people with whom you want to converse out of public view.  You are also free to read posts and choose not to respond.

The question remains: do you want to participate in extended discussions on topics of interest with multiple views being presented or do you really only want to interact with people who agree with you or at least have to pretend that only some views are of enough value to discuss?  One way could change the world; the other way practically guarantees that whomever has power or will soon have power probably doesn't have all the views.

"Ignore user" works if you are in a thread, but not if you are looking at "All Recent Posts."

Caracal

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 965
Re: Rules Discussion & Refinement
« Reply #54 on: May 17, 2020, 06:05:44 AM »
Starting this off with the list I proposed on the previous boards. Suggest and refine!

This will eventually also be part of what is displayed to new users on registration, along with any other purpose and message we want to craft.

1. Don't personally attack or harass other users. You know what crosses this line, don't do it.
3. Don't carry baggage from one thread to another. Sure, you may have a disagreement with another user in a different thread, but carrying that on into each new thread either of you start is not productive.


Is it worth rethinking some of the discussion on this? Most of the discussion here is perfectly civil, but some users rather consistently violate these rules, or go right up to the line and stick a foot over. I understand why the preference of the moderators has been to take a light hand, but that only really works if there's a commitment to the spirit of the rules. I'm not convinced the block function is really effective. I find it pretty hard to not click and see what someone has said in response to a post of mine, even if I've blocked them.

polly_mer

  • The Voice of Doom
  • Senior Moderator
  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2553
  • Have you hugged your family today?
  • CHE Posts: lots!
Re: Rules Discussion & Refinement
« Reply #55 on: May 17, 2020, 07:18:51 AM »
What's your suggestion for dealing with the human experience of knowing people through ongoing interactions?

I'm not going to pretend that every thread starts from scratch with everyone a stranger.

Shared history is how most humans decide how much weight to accord opinions and stated facts.  You can't erase the memories because it's inconvenient.

You can stop reading any time you like including all responses that you don't want to know.  It's not a moderator's responsibility to ensure you have a completely safe bubble.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2020, 07:21:28 AM by polly_mer »
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

marshwiggle

  • Finally, a
  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1137
  • Old Narnian
  • CHE Posts: 3299
Re: Rules Discussion & Refinement
« Reply #56 on: May 17, 2020, 08:45:20 AM »
I find it pretty hard to not click and see what someone has said in response to a post of mine, even if I've blocked them.

To me this illustrates precisely the difficulty around moderation. It's a human tendency to have these kind of conflicted feelings about other people and our interactions with them. When we ourselves aren't consistent in our choice to avoid someone or not, we can't really expect anyone else to do it for us.
It takes so little to be above average.

Caracal

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 965
Re: Rules Discussion & Refinement
« Reply #57 on: May 17, 2020, 09:13:36 AM »
What's your suggestion for dealing with the human experience of knowing people through ongoing interactions?

I'm not going to pretend that every thread starts from scratch with everyone a stranger.

Shared history is how most humans decide how much weight to accord opinions and stated facts.  You can't erase the memories because it's inconvenient.

You can stop reading any time you like including all responses that you don't want to know.  It's not a moderator's responsibility to ensure you have a completely safe bubble.

The original suggestion to not carry baggage is a good way to put it. I'm not suggesting you're supposed to never mention a previous conversation. However, pursuing grudges and vendettas across multiple threads doesn't lead to productive and civil conversations. It also tends to go along with the first point. It shouldn't be difficult to discuss the post, not make lots of claims about the person who made it based on feelings you might have about them.

mamselle

  • Use your wit and intelligence to figure out how to be kinder
  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2549
  • Wondering, Wandering Sr. Member
  • CHE Posts: 4,618
Re: Rules Discussion & Refinement
« Reply #58 on: May 17, 2020, 09:23:38 AM »
Somewhere, maybe in our high school hall's poster series, was an admonition that went something like this:

Children play with/talk about THINGS

Gossips talk about PEOPLE.

Mature adults talk about IDEAS.


I do believe a blended conversation might be the sign of a more integrated personality, but certainly the emphasis could be weighted in the direction of ideas rather than personal comments.

M.
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Reprove not a scorner, lest they hate thee: rebuke the wise, and they will love thee.

Give instruction to the wise, and they will be yet wiser: teach the just, and they will increase in learning.

Parasaurolophus

  • near crested lizard
  • Senior Moderator
  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1211
  • CHE Posts: 1640
Re: Rules Discussion & Refinement
« Reply #59 on: May 17, 2020, 09:53:49 AM »

Is it worth rethinking some of the discussion on this? Most of the discussion here is perfectly civil, but some users rather consistently violate these rules, or go right up to the line and stick a foot over. I understand why the preference of the moderators has been to take a light hand, but that only really works if there's a commitment to the spirit of the rules. I'm not convinced the block function is really effective. I find it pretty hard to not click and see what someone has said in response to a post of mine, even if I've blocked them.

Now that we've had some time to see where some of the flashpoints are, I do think it's worth reassessing a little. The tools at our disposal (e.g. locking threads, deleting/changing posts) are a little clunky and heavy-handed, but I do think it may be worthwhile to wade in more often with a public verbal warning. I did this recently, and I'm pleased with the result. (N=1 and all that, of course.)
I know it's a genus.