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Old Jan 3, 2013, 02:52 PM   #51
GoCubsGo
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Originally Posted by WildCowboy View Post

And as for this issue in particular, we certainly can add an explicit rule about it, as long as we all recognize that it contributes to further bloating of the rules. We have a goal of streamlining the rules to make them less overwhelming, but I'm not sure that's going to be possible if every single potential issue requires an explicit mention.
So you're saying you're dammed if you do, dammed if you don't?
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 02:55 PM   #52
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so you're saying you're dammed if you do, dammed if you don't?
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 02:56 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by WildCowboy View Post
Our moderators delete dozens of posts per day. Most clearly fall afoul of a stated rule, but some don't. We already have complaints that our rules are too long, so some of the extremely minor issues that we encounter infrequently just aren't mentioned in there.

It's a very specific thing that should be fairly common sense: It's not nice to discuss ad-blocking as it specifically relates to dealing with ads on MacRumors. Ads are what puts bread on the tables of half a dozen people here, and most of us like to eat.

General discussion of ad-blocking is fine almost anywhere in the forums, but please don't suggest it in the feedback forum as a way around ads here.

The issue comes up infrequently, and when it does our mods usually just delete the posts and move on. So here we had a situation where a mod decided to send a note to the poster as a courtesy (and in the interest of greater communication and transparency) to let them know why their post was deleted and to make them aware that it's something we prefer not to see discussed in relation to our ads.

The note was sent through our Reminder system, which as we've noted several times in the past is the simplest and most efficient way to send notes to members. Admittedly, the "Forum Rules Violation" subject is too harsh for this sort of situation, as it was designed as a catch-all option among our list of possible issues we might send notes about.

But the spirit of the Reminder is just that...a heads-up about why a post was deleted. It's not a punishment or even a warning.

We know our Reminder/Warning system isn't perfect. We've tweaked what we easily can in order to make Reminders seem less like punishment, but anything more would require significant changes to the forum code, and we're always hesitant to do that for fear of breaking things down the road.

And as for this issue in particular, we certainly can add an explicit rule about it, as long as we all recognize that it contributes to further bloating of the rules. We have a goal of streamlining the rules to make them less overwhelming, but I'm not sure that's going to be possible if every single potential issue requires an explicit mention.
If you want a streamlined set of rules and aim for transparency, as has been mentioned before, then it is only right to include this as a specific rule. The ad in question that brought this up is clearly from a disreputable website that is not shy of false advertising. Annoying adverts are happily removed whenever a user complains so why the fuss around this? I was suggesting a way to switch that off, even though I think the majority of internet users are familiar with browser extensions like ad-block. Trying to stop people talking about it is like trying hold back a dam.

It's a simply matter. You want me to follow the rules. That is what accepted when I registered. If you want me to follow the rules, then state the rules that I should follow.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:03 PM   #54
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This whole thread could have been avoided if the attitude was, "Oh! I didn't know that! I'll keep that in mind in the future! Thanks for the heads-up!" rather than, "You didn't specifically mention this in the rules, so I don't have to abide by it and you have no right to correct me about it!" One attitude supports the spirit of helping the forum succeed, while the other is combative, disruptive and antagonistic.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:04 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by theSeb View Post
It's a simply matter. You want me to follow the rules. That is what accepted when I registered. If you want me to follow the rules, then state the rules that I should follow.
it is not a potential issue, as some people have called this, if there is an ongoing argument about it. it is an issue, and it is being addressed.

i will follow rules that are stated but will not abide to anything that is implied through common sense. yes, i have "common sense," but sadly the average person doesn't anymore.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:09 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
This whole thread could have been avoided if the attitude was, "Oh! I didn't know that! I'll keep that in mind in the future! Thanks for the heads-up!" rather than, "You didn't specifically mention this in the rules, so I don't have to abide by it and you have no right to correct me about it!" One attitude supports the spirit of helping the forum succeed, while the other is combative, disruptive and antagonistic.
The other side of that coin is had the PM sent not had a bunch of BOLD words perhaps it wouldn't have been seen as some sort of authoritarian notice from N. Korea.

At least that's how the OP saw it apparently. I think.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:14 PM   #57
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The other side of that coin is had the PM sent not had a bunch of BOLD words perhaps it wouldn't have been seen as some sort of authoritarian notice from N. Korea.
That's true. I wonder, however, if the OP sought first to get clarification from the mods via the Contact Form before resorting to complaining about it in a thread. It still goes back to the spirit of being supportive of the forum or railing against any moderation action that you don't understand or agree with. We're all different, but I would have elected to first seek clarification privately, rather than blast the moderation in an open thread.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:16 PM   #58
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Why the need to harass this poster who has attempted to bring up a potential issue with the rules in an extremely courteous manner? All this postulating about what is and what isn't is not helpful in getting the issue resolved, and honestly is indicative of the kind of community this board is devolving into.

Excellent post.

Perhaps if there are other hidden rules, we should stop referring to it as a community and choose a more apt description.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:38 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
This whole thread could have been avoided if the attitude was, "Oh! I didn't know that! I'll keep that in mind in the future! Thanks for the heads-up!" rather than, "You didn't specifically mention this in the rules, so I don't have to abide by it and you have no right to correct me about it!" One attitude supports the spirit of helping the forum succeed, while the other is combative, disruptive and antagonistic.
If I didn't know, then most other people would not be aware of it either, apart from you. This is the reason why I chose this to be open. I believe that open is far better than back room discussions behind closed doors. It makes for a much better place and community and I am sorry that you disagree with that. There isn't much that we can do to see eye to eye on this one.

You feel that I doing this to be disruptive? If I was 12, then maybe I could understand, but that is a silly and scary point of view.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:40 PM   #60
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What's the point of this rule in the first place? That the forum has ads so talking about blocking them is banned? That just seems petty to me. Google's an advertising company and they let me install ad blocking apps from their own app store on their own OS. Or is pointing that out against the secret unlisted rules?
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:43 PM   #61
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OP, you are STILL bickering about this?

Wild cowboy gave an explanation about it. Time to move on. It is such a minor issue, though I suppose some enjoy making mountains out of molehills.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:44 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
That's true. I wonder, however, if the OP sought first to get clarification from the mods via the Contact Form before resorting to complaining about it in a thread. It still goes back to the spirit of being supportive of the forum or railing against any moderation action that you don't understand or agree with. We're all different, but I would have elected to first seek clarification privately, rather than blast the moderation in an open thread.
I almost certainly would've done the same thing as you...and quite likely no "official" changes would've come from it, meaning this might've come up at some point later on anyway.

We've yet to see if any such changes come from this but that's not to say there is no value in expressing an opinion about this issue publicly, which I know isn't what you were saying.

I agree that it's perhaps not the most tactful approach (certainly not the most discreet though one could argue that it is "supportive") but sometimes that's what it takes to get something done (or perhaps more specifically, to get a point across).

As I mentioned earlier, I consider it a valid point and one that should be addressed, whether by modifying the rules to include something directly related to ad blocking or by adding a more general subject to those that are available in the mods' Reminder/Warning system (e.g. "Miscellaneous").

I personally find complaints about the rules being bloated to be "user error" and not the fault of the mods or admins; it isn't that long of a read, relatively speaking, and isn't exceptionally unique, meaning that much of what is contained in the rules is common sense. What isn't common sense, in my opinion, are the rules that aren't in the rules.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:48 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by dukebound85 View Post
OP, you are STILL bickering about this?

Wild cowboy gave an explanation about it. Time to move on. It is such a minor issue, though I suppose some enjoy making mountains out of molehills.
Who is bickering? You and I obviously have very different dictionaries in front of us and different understanding of the words "bickering" and "explanation". That's ok.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:54 PM   #64
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It's a simply matter. You want me to follow the rules. That is what accepted when I registered. If you want me to follow the rules, then state the rules that I should follow.
It's not really that simple. We can't possibly enumerate every single thing that we don't want to see in the forums. To some degree we have to involve common sense (which we directly address in the rules). And as we have long noted in the registration agreement:
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The owners of MacRumors reserve the right to:

- remove, edit, move, or close any discussion or message for any reason.
- close memberships that are detrimental to the forum community.
- make changes to the forum rules without notice.
This is really a minor issue that has cropped up here and there for as long as this forum has been active. It's not something we want to make a big deal out of, and nobody ever has before. Which is why we have always just quietly deleted such posts and in some cases given the posters a heads-up about why the posts were removed.

I agree that the Reminder system can appear too harsh for this sort of issue, despite our efforts to tone it down. If you had received a personalized PM explaining why the posts were removed, would that have been acceptable?

We try to use the Reminder system to make it easier to send notes to our members and to keep our own records of what we're doing so that other mods can see what's going on. But in some cases a personal PM is likely to be more well-received and may be worth the additional time and effort it takes to craft and document one. The difficulty is determining and agreeing on where that line should be.

-----------

Some personal thoughts, not necessarily indicative of the views of the site and in some ways only tangentially related to this direct issue:

We have many long-time posters who have expressed a yearning for the "good old days" when the environment was more collegial and less combative. I (and I'm sure many of the other mods) would like to see this too.

Oh so long ago the rules were much simpler and mods simply acted in accordance with common sense much of the time. But as the years have gone on we've been challenged more and more frequently, and the result is the tome of forum rules you now see.

I hate our list of rules. I wish we could rely on users' common sense and a willingness to take a vested interest in this place as their community. We're all in this together, and things would run a whole lot smoother if people could and would assume good intent rather than bad. I know...I'm expecting too much of an internet forum where trolling and sniping is all part of the game.

It shouldn't be members vs. staff, but after years of being backed into corners, we've had to develop a laundry list of rules and become more and more robotic about how each case is handled.

But I don't know what people expect...we hear such conflicting desires: Our rules are too limiting, or they're not explicit enough, or they're too long, or there's not enough consistency, or there's too much consistency and not enough flexibility and freedom of expression.

So we are where we are, and if we have to list each and every explicit rule, then that's something we can consider. Or we can accept that sometimes a post is something we'd rather not have in the forums even if there isn't an explicit rule about it, and we can deal with those on a case-by-case basis to have a little flexibility in handling the ever-evolving forums.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:59 PM   #65
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Perhaps in the future when one of the "common sense" rules that isn't in the actual rulebook comes up there should be a nice PM from a mod instead of one of the more formal rules violation messages.

Just an idea.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 04:37 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by WildCowboy View Post
It's not really that simple. We can't possibly enumerate every single thing that we don't want to see in the forums. To some degree we have to involve common sense (which we directly address in the rules). And as we have long noted in the registration agreement:
The problem with common sense is that it's not so common and we all have our own version of it. It's common sense for me to use adblock and flash block. I have never clicked on a single advert on the internet and never will. That's also common sense to me knowing how the back end works.

Quote:
This is really a minor issue that has cropped up here and there for as long as this forum has been active. It's not something we want to make a big deal out of, and nobody ever has before. Which is why we have always just quietly deleted such posts and in some cases given the posters a heads-up about why the posts were removed.

I agree that the Reminder system can appear too harsh for this sort of issue, despite our efforts to tone it down. If you had received a personalized PM explaining why the posts were removed, would that have been acceptable?
Yes, I think it would have been. The problem is that the PM was pretty clear. It was reminding me about a rule that I had broken, yet the isssue is that there is no such rule. If I received a PM from a mod saying, "Hey, listen mate, please don't post those things. That's how we make money", then that would have been a lot better. As I said before, all of these things are a two street. If you want to make it official, then I have to be pedantic about the rules and point out that there is no such rule so how I can be told I am breaking a rule, which does not exist. This is very much in-line with what "Peace" just said.

Quote:
We try to use the Reminder system to make it easier to send notes to our members and to keep our own records of what we're doing so that other mods can see what's going on. But in some cases a personal PM is likely to be more well-received and may be worth the additional time and effort it takes to craft and document one. The difficulty is determining and agreeing on where that line should be.

-----------

Some personal thoughts, not necessarily indicative of the views of the site and in some ways only tangentially related to this direct issue:

We have many long-time posters who have expressed a yearning for the "good old days" when the environment was more collegial and less combative. I (and I'm sure many of the other mods) would like to see this too.

Oh so long ago the rules were much simpler and mods simply acted in accordance with common sense much of the time. But as the years have gone on we've been challenged more and more frequently, and the result is the tome of forum rules you now see.

I hate our list of rules. I wish we could rely on users' common sense and a willingness to take a vested interest in this place as their community. We're all in this together, and things would run a whole lot smoother if people could and would assume good intent rather than bad. I know...I'm expecting too much of an internet forum where trolling and sniping is all part of the game.

It shouldn't be members vs. staff, but after years of being backed into corners, we've had to develop a laundry list of rules and become more and more robotic about how each case is handled.

But I don't know what people expect...we hear such conflicting desires: Our rules are too limiting, or they're not explicit enough, or they're too long, or there's not enough consistency, or there's too much consistency and not enough flexibility and freedom of expression.

So we are where we are, and if we have to list each and every explicit rule, then that's something we can consider. Or we can accept that sometimes a post is something we'd rather not have in the forums even if there isn't an explicit rule about it, and we can deal with those on a case-by-case basis to have a little flexibility in handling the ever-evolving forums.
I can't disagree with you here. As I said, a friendlier note would have been a better way to handle this. I am a simply a 33 year old guy trying to get on with life and I happen to enjoy posting on here. I am not trying to cause problems or issues for anybody, but if you throw the rulebook at me, then I feel compelled to point out that it has been done unfairly, as per the rule book. As I said, what may seem like common sense to one person is not necessarily common sense to another.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 04:44 PM   #67
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Couldn't give a toss about the specific issue, but once again, what seems germane is how moderators communicate with forum members.

I've seen it happen so many times: you give certain types of people an amount of responsibility and all of a sudden, they start or slowly evolve into people that, when writing to other forum members, seem to have a stick thrust deep up their arse.

And then what happens, is that when people take affront to the tone of such heavy-handed officalese for relatively petty demeanours, you end up having to explain yourselves, either in public or private, making more work for yourselves and most importantly of all, having to rebuild a reservoir of initial goodwill with members who could and should be allies in keeping the place as everyone wants it in the first place. Building relationships using dialogue rather than handing out traffic tickets, winning hearts and minds, walk soflty and carry a big stick, honey better than vinegar for flies, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WildCowboy View Post
Some personal thoughts...
Finally. Someone in the corporate box who can relate to, express doubt, write and explain things like a living, breathing and fallible human being to other forum members. That aside, so much truth in this post that even I, scourge and all-round mod troll, have to tip my hat for a reminder on how things have become this way.


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Originally Posted by Peace View Post
Perhaps in the future when one of the "common sense" rules that isn't in the actual rulebook comes up there should be a nice PM from a mod instead of one of the more formal rules violation messages.
Well, yeah. A quick note, saying something like 'Hi there, would you please mind not doing x or y, thanks' is a better place to start from in most cases. If 'we're all in this together' as WildCowboy states, then try communicating as if that were the case. Save the heavy pseudo-legalese until third or fourth warning or later, because as mods, you'll always have the balance of power in your hands, anyway.

And perhaps I don't know how things have changed and how busy you supposedly all are, as I've been patronisingly told before. And some things I wasn't that good with, but some things I managed to do a hell of a lot better than some of the shower of jokers you've had through here in the past. The principle still stands: appeal to people's self-interest by appearing inclusive.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 06:45 PM   #68
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This is an absurdly long thread. Yes, please don't promote blocking ads on this site because the site exists because of ads.

Oh, and in case it hasn't been explicitly stated. Don't talk about how to hack our servers, either.

I added the ad thing to the rules, so it's there. It wasn't there before because it happened to be a common-sense items that we don't list, and it doesn't happen that often.

There are many other things you could do on this site that will get you warned and/or banned, but most don't happen with any regularity, so we don't explicitly add them all in the rule-list.

arn

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Old Jan 3, 2013, 07:18 PM   #69
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Karma's a PITA eh ?

Now you can get an idea on how Apple feels about people hacking the iPhone .

If you have discussions on iPhone hacking you're going to attract that kind of person. And that will lead to things like this topic.

It's all Steve Jobs fault for allowing windows on the Mac .

No disrespect meant arn.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 07:22 PM   #70
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This is an absurdly long thread. Yes, please don't promote blocking ads on this site because the site exists because of ads.

Oh, and in case it hasn't been explicitly stated. Don't talk about how to hack our servers, either.

I added the ad thing to the rules, so it's there. It wasn't there before because it happened to be a common-sense items that we don't list, and it doesn't happen that often.

There are many other things you could do on this site that will get you warned and/or banned, but most don't happen with any regularity, so we don't explicitly add them all in the rule-list.

arn
So how are we supposed to know what not to do? Don't tell me it's common sense - I got TOed for a week in November for something I said in PRSI that I doubt any of the usual PRSI participants would consider trolling or against the rules. Moderators should not be making up rules on the fly or be so quick to consider something trolling - which is an extremely broad brush.

And yes, I waive all rights to privacy or whatever.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 07:27 PM   #71
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So how are we supposed to know what not to do?
I guess you'll just have to live a little dangerously

arn
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 08:12 PM   #72
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So how are we supposed to know what not to do?
Follow the rules. If there's no rule there's no negative consequence, with the only exceptions being extremely obvious, like arn's example of hacking servers.

We do send messages to users if there's an issue we want to alert them to (we've often asked people not to tell other users how to block MacRumors ads), but nobody has ever been punished for that and nobody will ever get a time-out for something other than what's stated in the rules.

Quote:
I got TOed for a week in November for something I said in PRSI that I doubt any of the usual PRSI participants would consider trolling or against the rules. Moderators should not be making up rules on the fly or be so quick to consider something trolling - which is an extremely broad brush.
I checked the facts and I'm glad to explain.

The rule against trolling says "Do not post in order to anger other members or intentionally cause negative reactions."

You made a post referring to people who think guns are necessary for certain reasons as "inbred rednecks with small penises". The moderators discussed it and decided that it was trolling. If you'd made the same point with the word "militia" then they wouldn't have considered it trolling. They did not make up rules on the fly and they were not quick to consider it trolling. The post was removed while they discussed it but the time-out wasn't assigned until the discussion was complete, many hours later. The time-out wouldn't have been a time-out at all, or as long as it was, if it was the first time you'd broken the rules, but the records showed that it was the 9th infraction or time-out since 2010, including multiple cases of trolling.

There were also 9 cases where your posts were reported for rules violations and the moderators decided no action was warranted after a discussion.

The moderators' judgments can always be reviewed by request. If we conclude that the moderators' decisions weren't ideal, we'll change it, which was the case when you were banned in June 2007 for trolling in the iPhone forum, you appealed, and your request for reinstatement was approved after a moderator discussion.

It seems to me that they followed procedures properly in the case you've brought up. If you don't agree we can get another administrator to review my review.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 09:20 PM   #73
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Follow the rules. If there's no rule there's no negative consequence, with the only exceptions being extremely obvious, like arn's example of hacking servers.

We do send messages to users if there's an issue we want to alert them to (we've often asked people not to tell other users how to block MacRumors ads), but nobody has ever been punished for that and nobody will ever get a time-out for something other than what's stated in the rules.


I checked the facts and I'm glad to explain.

The rule against trolling says "Do not post in order to anger other members or intentionally cause negative reactions."

You made a post referring to people who think guns are necessary for certain reasons as "inbred rednecks with small penises". The moderators discussed it and decided that it was trolling. If you'd made the same point with the word "militia" then they wouldn't have considered it trolling. They did not make up rules on the fly and they were not quick to consider it trolling. The post was removed while they discussed it but the time-out wasn't assigned until the discussion was complete, many hours later. The time-out wouldn't have been a time-out at all, or as long as it was, if it was the first time you'd broken the rules, but the records showed that it was the 9th infraction or time-out since 2010, including multiple cases of trolling.

There were also 9 cases where your posts were reported for rules violations and the moderators decided no action was warranted after a discussion.

The moderators' judgments can always be reviewed by request. If we conclude that the moderators' decisions weren't ideal, we'll change it, which was the case when you were banned in June 2007 for trolling in the iPhone forum, you appealed, and your request for reinstatement was approved after a moderator discussion.

It seems to me that they followed procedures properly in the case you've brought up. If you don't agree we can get another administrator to review my review.
That wasn't the incident. I screwed up on that one. It was the Benghazi thing which I thought was ridiculous. I never did get a satisfactory reasoning on that (although I admit I didn't pursue one much - just sent an e-mail when I got TOed and got the standard boilerplate response). Anyways, I hate to hijack the thread, if you want to PM me more details and delete my posts in this thread, that's fine.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 03:09 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by arn View Post
This is an absurdly long thread. Yes, please don't promote blocking ads on this site because the site exists because of ads.

Oh, and in case it hasn't been explicitly stated. Don't talk about how to hack our servers, either.

I added the ad thing to the rules, so it's there. It wasn't there before because it happened to be a common-sense items that we don't list, and it doesn't happen that often.

There are many other things you could do on this site that will get you warned and/or banned, but most don't happen with any regularity, so we don't explicitly add them all in the rule-list.

arn
What is common sense for one person is not common sense for another. It is a fallacy. Anyway, thank you for updating the rules.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 03:18 AM   #75
LostSoul80
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Just out of curiosity, are any of you happy with the result? Now you have that rule clearly stated.
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