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Old Jan 4, 2013, 04:06 AM   #76
adildacoolset
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Originally Posted by dukebound85 View Post
It's arn's site so if that is what he says, abide or frequent other forums. Doesn't matter if it is listed explicitly in the rules. You were notified by the mods about arn's desires....so adapt or move on essentially
But he should not have people warn others for violating a forum rule that doesn't exist
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 04:40 AM   #77
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I think the template for warnings might should be reworded for 'conventions', a la the 'violation' that occurred with the OP. Instead of 'rule', you could really just tell them clearly that you don't want this to happen and why. Regulars will get it, some people won't realise that it hurts, and may even, shock/horror, whitelist you.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 07:44 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by LostSoul80 View Post
Just out of curiosity, are any of you happy with the result? Now you have that rule clearly stated.
I think it came out pretty clear that the problem wasn't entirely that this specific offense wasn't listed in the rules, but rather that the member received a very harsh form warning stating that he'd broken the rules. It's already been said that if the warning had been more specific, and especially if it had been more personalized, this issue would have never come up. If the moderators learn something from this about how members, especially long-term members expect to be treated, then yes, I think a lot of us will be happy.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 09:39 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by WildCowboy View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildCowboy View Post
I hate our list of rules
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildCowboy View Post
I hate our list of rules.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildCowboy View Post
I hate our list of rules.
I see the OP's point, and I also see your point too, WildCowboy. if I remember rightly, you were MR's first employee, just after Arn gave up his physician job.

MR became what it is through the strength of yours and Arn's character and identity. Hmm. Oldtimer here. Let's go back to being personal and authentic. Let's have a bonfire of formalism.

You could rewrite the rule book to cover more or less the same as it does now but in a more informal and personable way - reflect your and Arn's character. Arn is particularly skilled at putting over a personal message in a very few words.

As you said, the rule 'tome' looks more like the instruction manual for a 1980s desktop RPG. Who (apart from a very few) reads them now?

http://guides.macrumors.com/Help:Forum_Rules

Much of it could be boiled down to 'don't be a dick' with a list of examples of dickery. Google and a very few other large companies are able to communicate like this.

Hope that's an idea for you and Arn.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 09:43 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zhenya View Post
I think it came out pretty clear that the problem wasn't entirely that this specific offense wasn't listed in the rules, but rather that the member received a very harsh form warning stating that he'd broken the rules. It's already been said that if the warning had been more specific, and especially if it had been more personalized, this issue would have never come up. If the moderators learn something from this about how members, especially long-term members expect to be treated, then yes, I think a lot of us will be happy.
It wasn't a "very harsh form warning", it was a reminder which was personalised with a line asking the member "Please do not make posts explaining ways of blocking ads."

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Old Jan 4, 2013, 10:41 AM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zhenya View Post
I think it came out pretty clear that the problem wasn't entirely that this specific offense wasn't listed in the rules, but rather that the member received a very harsh form warning stating that he'd broken the rules. It's already been said that if the warning had been more specific, and especially if it had been more personalized, this issue would have never come up. If the moderators learn something from this about how members, especially long-term members expect to be treated, then yes, I think a lot of us will be happy.
very harsh? what in the world are you talking about?
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 10:44 AM   #82
GoCubsGo
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If people had more turkey sandwiches none of this would have happened.
I'm just sayin'.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 10:51 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTomato View Post
MR became what it is through the strength of yours and Arn's character and identity. Hmm. Oldtimer here. Let's go back to being personal and authentic. Let's have a bonfire of formalism.

You could rewrite the rule book to cover more or less the same as it does now but in a more informal and personable way - reflect your and Arn's character. Arn is particularly skilled at putting over a personal message in a very few words.

As you said, the rule 'tome' looks more like the instruction manual for a 1980s desktop RPG. Who (apart from a very few) reads them now?

http://guides.macrumors.com/Help:Forum_Rules

Much of it could be boiled down to 'don't be a dick' with a list of examples of dickery. Google and a very few other large companies are able to communicate like this.
I've been around a while as well and I concur that your memory is correct. Things were more personable in the past. Not too long after joining MR I broke some rules. Doctor Q sent me a very personal and elegant response reminding me of the rules and issuing me a short TO. I'm not going to say I was an angel after that but it did show me that MR was a community and not just a free-for-all forum.

Unfortunately, MR has grown exponentially since then. There are too many members and too many reports to give personal messages to everyone, especially for minor issues. As things get more serous, we tend to get more personal and have dialogues with members. But bumps, minor insults, off-topic posts, etc, are all too frequent to personalize everything. Many of these are so impersonal because they happen all the time, we click a few buttons, a boilerplate template is automatically filled out, we may add a specific sentence or two, the PM is sent, and then we move on to the next report.

As for the bloated rule book, it's mostly that way because of members feeling the rules are not clear. Much of it is "don't be a dick" but then members challenge what constitutes being a dick whenever they get a rule reminder. Then we end up having to spell out the specific circumstance so next time there is no room to argue and the rule become more cut-and-dry.

To an extent both of your concerns can be attributed to MR being a victim of it's own success.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jessica. View Post
If people had more turkey sandwiches none of this would have happened.
I'm just sayin'.
It depends if it's on sliced bread or a roll. The roll would fix everything. Sliced bread, not so much.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 11:11 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yg17 View Post
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.
Oh, I see. I'll comment here on the earlier time-out you were referring to. The moderators judged your "Benghazi" post in November (a reference to the controversy over President Obama's handling of the attack in Libya) to be an attempt to derail a thread about the presidential candidates' contrasting views on marriage equality. At least 8 moderators had a lively discussion about how to handle a received complaint about your post, which included looking for similar cases to make sure they were handled consistently. That's why the time-out wasn't immediate. A more clear-cut case would be handled more promptly.

You contacted us saying
The Benghazi thing was a joke that started a few days ago, I was bringing lighthearted humor to the forums, not trolling. My post was not intended to offend anybody or start a flame war, it was just a brief moment of levity in PRSI. My post, and several others were around for a couple days before I was timed out. Posts like mine were around even before that. How was I supposed to know it was trolling? No one warned me, no one told me to stop it, no one said anything to me. Instead of warning me, you give me a week long time out for something that in someone's vague interpretation of the rules is trolling? In my opinion, that is excessive, and I would like an explanation on how my post is trolling, and how a week long suspension is justified.
Another administrator reviewed it and decided not to overrule the moderators. (Administrators don't automatically side with the moderators; they re-evaluate the posts and user history as well as the moderator actions.)

You got this reply:
The Benghazi comment, was off topic and unnecessary. The post was about a letter written by Obama, not about what happened in Libya. The comment was sarcastic and meant to anger other users. It was an obvious comment directed towards those upset by the Benghazi situation.

You've been a member since 2004 and have received plenty of warnings for off topic posts and trolling over the years. That's why you were not sent a warning. If you're not aware of the rules, then please reread them. As is states in the rules "Do not post in order to anger other members or intentionally cause negative reactions."
The moderators had to judge your intent, which obviously can't be done in any foolproof way, but that's their job and they use all the clues they have. I appreciate humor as much as the next forum user, and so do the moderators, but we all have to use humor carefully. One user's "joke", especially sarcasm, can bring out the worst in other users, especially in PRSI. Complaints we receive are the first clue that this is the case, which is what started the review of that thread. If you really intended only humor you're not the first one to have it taken seriously by other users.

I'd consider the Benghazi post to be less of a problem than the case I commented on above; it was only because of a previous 4-day time-out for trolling that it produced a longer time-out. If it had been a first offense it would probably have been only a warning. For the same reason, the December time-out might have been longer than a week, but the moderators would rather encourage a change in behavior than simply continue escalating the lengths of time-outs. The goal is to discourage users from causing problems for other users, not to inflict punishment for the sake of punishment. Since marriage equality is a hot-button issue, it's especially important that users not troll in threads about the topic, and we've heard from plenty of users who are concerned about PRSI trolling.

Perhaps the reaction to your post might have been less harsh if you'd used a wink in your post to show that you were joking, but I can't really tell after the fact. But since I've now done this second review of this case, I've updated our records to show my conclusion, that the December post that was deemed trolling was a clearer and more serious case than the November post I talked about in the post above. But the number of black marks on your record is less important than the goal: to prevent forum problems caused by posts that unnecessarily anger other users, and if you keep that in mind you might never come to the moderators' attention at all.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 11:53 AM   #85
theSeb
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Originally Posted by LostSoul80 View Post
Just out of curiosity, are any of you happy with the result? Now you have that rule clearly stated.
Yes, I am happy with the outcome. The rule is now clear. Zhenya has already taken the words out of my mouth. There is no need to roll our eyes.

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Old Jan 4, 2013, 04:40 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTomato View Post
Much of it could be boiled down to 'don't be a dick' with a list of examples of dickery. Google and a very few other large companies are able to communicate like this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by grapes911 View Post
As for the bloated rule book, it's mostly that way because of members feeling the rules are not clear. Much of it is "don't be a dick" but then members challenge what constitutes being a dick whenever they get a rule reminder. Then we end up having to spell out the specific circumstance so next time there is no room to argue and the rule become more cut-and-dry.
If anything, this thread shows that some people can't accept "Don't be a dick"-style rules. They want it spelled out.

arn
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 04:43 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by arn View Post
If anything, this thread shows that some people can't accept "Don't be a dick"-style rules. They want it spelled out.

arn
Only problem is some dicks don't know they are dicks and thus are at a loss for the don't be a dick rule.

Ha !



[edit] Yes. I realize the irony. [/edit]

Last edited by Peace; Jan 4, 2013 at 04:50 PM.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 04:53 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by Peace View Post
Only problem is some dicks don't know they are dicks and thus are at a loss for the don't be a dick rule.
I think you just like saying that word!
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 05:00 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by arn View Post
If anything, this thread shows that some people can't accept "Don't be a dick"-style rules. They want it spelled out.

arn
I love this post because I love irony and sarcasm.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 09:58 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by arn View Post
If anything, this thread shows that some people can't accept "Don't be a dick"-style rules. They want it spelled out.

arn
If don't be a dick was a rule, the iphone forums would not exist.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 11:36 PM   #91
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