Let Us Have A Conversation

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Huntn, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. Huntn macrumors Pentium

    Huntn

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    #1
    Guys, I don't mean to preach and this is not pointed at anyone in particular. If you want to have a good talk/debate in these forums, you're going to have to stop reporting each other. My suggestion is to report only when the individual has gotten really inflammatory or personally insulting by name calling or personal attacks.

    Don't report because you disagree with what they are saying or because you don't think what they have said is factually correct whether accidentally or an outright lie or they are skipping around the subject. I would also be hesitant to report based on so called trolling, unless it is a most flagrant example. Because of reporting, what I consider to be a promising thread (The Constitution Thread) has been cut off. :(
     
  2. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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  3. MacDawg macrumors Core

    MacDawg

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    #3
    You are welcome to restart a Constitution Thread if you like, with the understanding it needs to remain civil and on topic. Healthy discussion and dialog is encouraged.
     
  4. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #4
    The threads that were shut down yesterday were full of personal attacks and name-calling. The reporting was proper, the behavior was not. What needs to stop is name-calling and insults. Get to the root of the problem.
     
  5. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #5
    And to think, in times past the moderators actually encouraged us to report more posts in the name of keeping things sane.
     
  6. Huntn thread starter macrumors Pentium

    Huntn

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    #6
    :p

    Thanks. It was not my thread, although I'm ready to jump back into one with my Constitution Research info if the original author or someone wants to restart one.

    Just my attempt at being helpful. :) Name calling is pretty easy to avoid ("******", "pinhead) because they are obvious. I don't know if this happened exactly, but a phrase like "I don't think you know what you are talking about" - I don't consider this an attack and would not be worthy of reporting. Even if a post is considered totally skewed one way, or completely ludicrous and unfactual, I would suggest not reporting. Because the end result will be a shut-down thread.

    I'm curious to find out what the moderator thinks. I acknowledge this can be a tricky landscape. I do think that calling someone "ignorant" is an attack. It would be better to tell them they are confused or misinformed and in no way, even if you think they are stupid, should that be said or implied. I think heavy sarcasm is a great tool as long as it is directed at the subject being discussed, but not at the individual making the post.
     
  7. MacDawg macrumors Core

    MacDawg

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    #7
    Reporting posts is still encouraged as the most effective way to deal with problematic posts and users. However, when a wildfire breaks out and posters are baiting each other and reporting each other over and over, it becomes a food fight. Abuse of the reporting system as a way to mask someone's own culpability is not encouraged.
     
  8. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #8

    You know, it's been a commonly-held and often publicly-expressed view amongst the team for many years that there were not enough post reports coming from this forum, without which it was difficult to action certain matters.

    I don't support yesterday's moderator's actions and the framing of the wording of their thread closures... and hope that other ways of dealing with things that used to work in the past get a second look, or if a similar situation arises, that other means are adopted that do not broadly affect everyone.

    Precisely.

    I'm not sure that sending a basic message that post reporting was a bad thing was the best way it could have been handled, as shown by the framing of this thread's premise, where the post reports are put as the main problem. To do so, in my view, puts moderator's needs over and above community needs... and they're not always the same thing.
     
  9. Huntn thread starter macrumors Pentium

    Huntn

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    #9
    I have noticed a tendency in posts in this forum where when someone thought someone else was completely self serving, condescending, one way and/or outright lieing that the suggestion was made to report the individual. I'm not suggesting that reports should never be made. I'm saying that self control on both sides will keep the conversation going. Participants need to learn how to not let these conversations get under their skin and use their intellect to counter, not report.
     
  10. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #10
    You Americans and your politics. You take it all far too seriously. :p
     
  11. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #11
    No, we don't. If we did, we would not be so screwed up.
     
  12. renewed macrumors 68040

    renewed

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    #12
    Exactly. Politics, Religion and Social Issues are the makeup of who a person is. Therefore when someone else disagrees for whatever reason a lot of people get offended when in reality they should A. Discuss it with them, voice their opinion or belief and move on, B. Ignore it entirely or C. Stay out of these forums.

    Some people could argue I get flammed because of my religious beliefs but I would argue that we all have differing opinions and it shows. I'm not going to report someone for arguing that I am blindly following a religion based on nonsense instead of Science because that is their opinion. If they call me a freaking idiot then I probably still wouldn't report them (though I guess I should) because at the end of the day I am who I am and someone on the internet (or in person) calling me a bad name is not going to change that.

    This isn't Kindergarten.
     
  13. samiwas macrumors 68000

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    Atlanta, GA
    #13
    I thought the same thing yesterday when these threads were closed.

    Some people seem to interpret something as a personal attack when to me (not being the one who said it), it's not even close.

    For instance, one poster said to another "How do you look at yourself in the mirror?" The receiver of said comment responded that he was attacked personally by insinuating that his face was not worth looking at. That's really stretching "personal attacks" to the far limits. The same poster also somehow construed that he was told he wasn't worth being alive (nothing like that was said) and later that he was a murderer, again stretching words as far as he could.

    I'm not saying that there weren't a few things said in those threads which should not have been, but a lot was said AFTER the above. And a lot was not NEARLY as bad as some were raving about.

    While sometimes things are said that shouldn't be said, it's indeed true that some people here are WAY too sensitive about what is said. Even the slightest nudge gets turned into a perceived personal attack, when that's the furthest from the truth.

    Just my opinion.

    edit: I agree with renewed above (which I usually don't...so take that!). I don't think I've ever reported anyone for calling me a name or suggesting that I don't know what I'm talking about. Unless it gets really nasty, I don't think I would. Like he said, this isn't Kindergarten.
     
  14. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #14

    First of all, no-one except the mods know who's reporting what, no forum member involved in the thread can tell whether too much reporting is going on or not, so people shouldn't be blamed for doing what they see is the right thing, so I don't like the idea that you or anyone else is unhappy that a thread was closed because of the unwitting actions of others.

    Briefly, I'll broadly cover my perceptions of how moderating this forum has evolved since my time here:

    When I was made a moderator, I watched others doing their thing, picked up some habits that seemed to work. Not all of these processes met universal approval, but they kept a lid on things and many seemed to like a more direct hand, there was a lot of positive personal feedback... however, being one of the mods that played extremely close attention to this forum, it lead to problems of its own. Since that time, and this is going back a while, adjustments were made and a heavier emphasis on post reporting was stressed so that moderators had cause to act, but now that's obviously created problems of its own... bit like Whac-A-Mole.

    Without further clarification and detail from the moderating team, I would believe it's safe to assume that reporting posts that break the main forum rules, specifically in regards to insults, is OK and shouldn't be discouraged... and I would urge participants to avoid creating situations in the first place, instead of solely expecting people to just generally let stuff roll off their backs, because while you can tell individuals that perhaps they're over-reacting to incident A and to ease back, you can't control a group of hundreds of people to react in the same way each time, all the time.

    And I think there has to be an acceptance amongst the moderators that no solution is going to be perfect, that you can't please all the people all the time, that accusations of unfairness and bias are always going to take place... so if you're going to be accused of these things no matter what you do, then striving for rigidly, impeccable time-consuming rationales for fair and balanced decisions in regards to this forum is perhaps not quite as important as retaining a broad and certain level of harmony in the forum as a whole, which is difficult enough when things get a little contentious.
     
  15. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #15
    I have never reported anybody.

    Posts are just words.

    I can take it... and dish it out when the occasion warrants.

    But overall, yeah... we don't need to report posts, you just need to out debate them.
     
  16. Rt&Dzine, Dec 16, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010

    Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

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    #16
    I think you should report posts that are direct personal insults. That's what attracted me to this forum. Unlike some of the loosely moderated forums out there you can criticize public figures, groups, or philosophies; but can't directly get called an ******. Well . . . you can and I have, but their post will be deleted or edited.


    .
     
  17. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #17
    I absolutely agree that name calling and insults are inappropriate. If reasonable people are going to have adult discussions about hard topics, then we are giong to have to be able to be able to say things without those things being twisted into an unintended and unsaid insult.

    When discussing policies like the original Arizona immigration bill, or requiring English proficiency before you can vote, it is important to be able to discuss the race aspects of the policies without the discussion being treated as an accusation of racism against anyone who supports the policy.
     
  18. 0007776 Suspended

    0007776

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    #18
    I'm curious about one thing, it seems like there are people on both sides of debates that like to insult people in here. I usually try to report the posts if I see them, and if I report a post it usually gets edited or deleted so I'd assume that whichever mod looked at it agrees with me that it broke the rules. So my question is why do the forum rules say that insults are an instantly bannable offense but people only get their posts edited to remove the insults?

    It seems like the mods should either enforce that or remove it from the instantly bannable offenses list.
     
  19. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #19
    Perhaps editing posts is a more effective way of encouraging an open dialogue. More so than deleting the accounts of people who may have just lost their tempers.

    What's your reason for trying to get people banned?
     
  20. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    #20
    The word "can" in
    "These can be one-time bannable offenses for which you will not get a warning."​
    is there for a reason. It gives leeway for moderators to make necessary judgment calls. If they think that no action they can take will lead to future compliance with the rule then it may indeed produce an instant ban. If they think a warning or temporary forum suspension is likely to be sufficient, they use the lesser form of discipline. That prevents someone who went over the line once, or in the heat of the moment, from automatically losing their membership. Admittedly, it lets some users stay around longer than they should, which we always know in hindsight.
     
  21. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #21
    Just to clarify one point... The threads were not closed yesterday because we were receiving too many post reports; they were closed because the threads were no longer conducive to civil debate. The post reports simply indicated to us that members wanted us to intervene, and the closure note was meant to highlight that no single member was responsible. It wasn't closed out of punishment.

    We still encourage post reports. We really do. And we will post reminders and/or remove posts that break the rules when possible; however, in some instances a conversation will have gotten too far off-track for cleanup. And that's what happened yesterday.

    As MacDawg said, you're more than welcome to start the threads anew, but please keep the debate fact-based and respectful.
     
  22. MacDawg macrumors Core

    MacDawg

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    #22
    Lets not start a chain reaction here
    We need to stay on topic and focus
     
  23. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #23
    The basic message was that "this thread has been closed because it no longer promotes fact-based debate and mutual respect for participants." which was highlighted by the fact that everyone was reporting everyone. It most certainly was not the message that post reports were the problem.

    We have always actively encouraged post reports and still do.


    From the rules

    This gives the moderators scope to ban people solely for insults yes but does not mean that every offense will result in a ban.

    Insults are treated severely but like all the rules there are a number of surrounding issuses that need to be looked at when deciding how to deal with the rule break. It is extremely rare that a first time personal insult will warrant a straight out permanent ban.

    It is important to note that not all moderation is visible to the on-looker as we try and take the approach that will lead to productive forum members rather than just trying to get rid of people who may have simply stepped over the line once or twice.

    edit: Beaten to it by lots of others :eek::)
     
  24. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    Jul 11, 2003
    #24
    If I may make a suggestion to my fellow PRSI participants…

    Stop whining and reporting stuff and get the mods out of here.

    As you were.
     
  25. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #25
    Heh. Love the live demonstration of how things can get a little derailed. :D

    I've sometimes thought that if you couldn't implement forum-specific timeouts with vBulletin, then perhaps imposing 'voluntary' timeouts just for this forum through a PMed and confirmed 'signed' agreement to not post in here for a set period could work quite well on occasion.

    When things ran a little hot, I used to like doing temporary thread closures for 30-90 mins in order for everyone to take a break and chill out. Often, some people wouldn't return or the thread would take a much better turn after that, because while there was a mod intervention (deleted after thread reopening) which signalled that the thread was a problem, it didn't feel as draconian as shutting the conversation down entirely.


    By the evidence of this thread's first post and comments by others, that's how it was inadvertently perceived by a number of people. Perhaps the logical flow of the statement could have been a little better, because it went like this:

    This thread was brought to our attention through numerous post reports from various members directed at various members. Essentially, you're all reporting each other. As such, ... etc.

    Perhaps also the language could have been a little less formal, which can occasionally help with clarity and goodwill all round.
     

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