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Note: banning

Started by Parasaurolophus, November 18, 2022, 03:28:18 PM

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Let's not romanticize this.

Someone who consistently flaunts boundaries is (in my experiences with abusive individuals) are actually seeking well-defined boundaries within which to abide--and which they can't set for and abide by themselves (I think Durkheim's discussion of 《anomie》might come into this.)

I hold with Langue'doc: those who baited were unkind, those who might have mistakenly thought they could enlighten or engage the individual would have to get past all their defenses, and without training and time, in this setting, one can't.

Prayers, yes, good wishes for the future, yes, but we weren't doing them any good, nor they us.

Some marriages just don't work.

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.


Thanks you, Para — I appreciate the decision.
"How fleeting are all human passions compared with the massive continuity of ducks...."


As Ruralguy mentioned, that last comment went beyond trying to smile politely while silently eyeballing. It was a comment that most of us recoil at, and we'd actively try to ditch the person if hearing the comment in person.

While the poster mentioned some things about being contingent faculty, I can't help to think a lot that person's issues were self inflicted. Very few in academia want a colleague who would make such a comment.


What happened to all the rest of the moderators?

I also note that someone above noted that there are questions wrt the future of this website-- is this true?  Are the fora on the endangered species list?


I can't say I have an opinion of mahoganny.  Perhaps it's because I'm not frequently reading the politically hot topics.  Either way, in doing a search on mahoganny's posts, it looks like a number of them had sections redacted and it seems that person liked to use sarcasm in their posts, but sarcasm is very difficult to convey via written word and more often just comes across as offensive.  Much of what I did read was not unlike what I might hear from some of the professors I know who mean well but can be socially inept / insensitive.  That being said, I do not have a moderator's perspective and there may have been much more to this case than what is seen at face value on the posts remaining by this person.  I appreciate that Parasaurolophus has made this decision known and that it was done in good faith.  But nothing is there to prevent this person from creating a new moniker and continuing to make posts in the same way.

It is clear that over the past few years that the forum has dwindled.  Although there is still a good number of people coming here for conversation and the value of the forum remains high, we tend to be a smaller and smaller group of people interacting.  I'm not sure if the substance of mohaganny's posts would have been banned on the old forum, with so many more people and interactions.  With a smaller group, the forum seems more "tame" and, in some ways, more collegial too.  But our tameness might not be due to a change in our patters of behavior, but a result of fewer newbies stumbling in here. Anyhow, I trust Parasaurolophus made this decision for the right reasons and that it was not an easy decision to make. 


Quote from: kaysixteen on November 19, 2022, 09:00:22 PM
I also note that someone above noted that there are questions wrt the future of this website-- is this true?  Are the fora on the endangered species list?

Better not to derail this thread. Future of the forum discussion should go on that thread.
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."—Sinclair Lewis


I engaged with them a few times here and on CHE in response to their views on tenure and adjunct faculty.  I also engaged with them under their previous moniker on CHE on at least one occasion. I even told them that in my opinion they would be welcome to make the move over to the new Fora, yet that was before they became obsessed with the topics and type of discourse we have witnessed in recent years.  Having watched their persona develop over a period of more than a decade, I know that it changed significantly and don't doubt that it was shaped by their reception here and their life circumstances.  Nonetheless, I have no problem with Para having exercised his judgment within the boundaries of his authority and banning them.

Quote from: Cheerful on November 19, 2022, 12:46:15 PM

Plus, frequent nasty commentary in the usually mean-spirited "asides" thread.  Seems hypocritical.

While the "asides" thread does have mean-spirited posts, to say that it is usually mean-spirited is an overstatement.



Quote from: kaysixteen on November 19, 2022, 09:00:22 PM
What happened to all the rest of the moderators?

There were two others, one of whom stirred up her fair share of trouble. One resigned early on, the other left without saying anything (but remains on the books).
I know it's a genus.


Quote from: Parasaurolophus on November 20, 2022, 08:07:49 AM
Quote from: kaysixteen on November 19, 2022, 09:00:22 PM
What happened to all the rest of the moderators?

There were two others, one of whom stirred up her fair share of trouble. One resigned early on, the other left without saying anything (but remains on the books).

Oh, dear. The AWOL sounds quite unprofessional. Perhaps you could ask for some of the forumites to volunteer as moderators?


Quote from: dismalist on November 19, 2022, 02:40:04 PM

Somebody has to decide which polluters are to be warned, or punished by temporary or permanent bans. I believe there is no way that many of us can agree on a contract specifying what behavior is ban worthy. Therefore, a democratic solution is infeasible. [My preference would be to charge for posting, but that's infeasible as well.]

We need a dictator.

An honest dictatorship is certainly preferable to a pretense of consensus on "community standards" where it's not clear that it exists.

As you note, in a private organization, those in charge are perfectly entitled to impose whatever rules they want. Just ask Elon. :)
It takes so little to be above average.


Quote from: mamselle on November 19, 2022, 01:10:32 PM
Quote from: Cheerful on November 19, 2022, 12:56:48 PM
Quote from: Ruralguy on November 19, 2022, 12:52:02 PM
"They" had me at "queering up your kids."

I can't defend that sort of talk.

So that is ban-worthy?

I'm not defending the poster.  I don't know the person and did not see the post.  I am standing against haphazard censorship based on politics.  I oppose censorship based on politics.

We had four people declare they were leaving that I know of/saw, and I know I wasn't the only one to make multiple reports on Mahagonny....and I had them on "ignore" and only saw objectionable posts when they were reflected in replies, which I agree, were too frequent: few seem to have the "DNFTT" discipline needed to shut down what used to be called "flaming" the posts anymore.

Don't see how you see Para. as a source of hate, though.

I don't...but, de gustibus...


I have no complaints against Para's moderation.  Para has occasionally expressed heated views.  Many of us here have.  Mahagonny had become a relentless, disruptive source of such views.  The damage this was doing was fairly obvious.  It's the same difference between peaceful but sometimes noisy activists carrying signs, and rioters throwing rocks and breaking windows.  It's not censorship to arrest the latter and tell them to get out of town.
Few would die for the sake of another.  Perhaps some would die for the sake of a good man.  But God demonstrated his love for us in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died to save us.  If we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, how much more will we be saved by his life?



I'd just like to note that I'm grateful for the attempt to reclaim the fora as a community of discourse. I made the mistake once or twice of trying to engage in good faith, and while I learned there was no point, it was frustrating to find so many threads in which I was interested derailed. And it wasn't just about ignoring. Instead of being able to talk about and post about the topics at hand, the thread either shut down or diverted. There were also more than a few non-sequiter posts on various threads in which I or others had posted something that had nothing to do with mahog and didn't even hit on their pet topics, but somehow they popped up and did their thing.

I'm willing to give it another try now that Para made this tough decision, I wonder how many posters who have left would be willing to try again if they knew that they could engage in conversation without the derailing. And I'm not talking about disagreements or arguments. There are other on the fora with whom I disagree pedagogically or politically, but they are not unkind and I feel like they are willing to engage in a good faith argument of back and forth. I also haven't seen outbursts of hate speech from them.

So, thanks Para. I hope that we are able to reset and re-engage as a Higher Education Community.


Maybe not entirely my fault?  Back when the CHE forum closed, I posted to "M" that maybe he/she (was it GCF then?) should come over to the new forum for commentary.  Well, we know where that went.
Cranky septuagenarian


Personally, I skipped most posts by our former member.  I didnt spend much time in that person's primary domain, but I supported the suspension and posted even then that a suspension may not have been sufficient.

Therefore, I am glad to lend my support for the decision that was a long time coming.  I dont see that the ban was because of the banned poster's politics, but lack of civility.  From what I have seen, anyone is free to post extreme political views (nicely), so I  fail to see that this is about politics.

I am sorry to hear that the burden of running the boards has become more and more concentrated.  Hopefully, one moderator is enough for us as long as we are indeed civil!

"The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am"  Darth Vader