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 Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process

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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 12:41 pm

Quote :
Hmm...so, say:

1. you PM the other poster
2. if the other poster does not respond, or tells you to stick it, you PM a moderator
3. moderator comes and has a look
4. at the moderator's discretion, the offending parts of the post are removed.

Appeals?

1. pm the poster (and a mod if you think it's worth having the event recorded. Quote the post too).
2. as you say
3. mod has a look - and makes contact with the original poster too, if possible
4. offending parts removed or basketed without prejudice until mediated on

Appeals? If 1-4 are done effectively and to the satisfaction of all concerned, an appeal shouldn't be necessary but the facility should be available and the process clear.
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:20 pm

It might be an idea also to make it policy and part of the written terms and conditions, that third parties, refrain from taking part in or commenting on ad hominem comments (in the thread at least) that will crop up every now and then.

A fire that's contained is easier to put out.
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:24 pm

Yes Hermes - that's a solid idea too. It's deciding when a dispute has crossed some line though - we really don't want to go killing good arguments.

boards seems more and more to make sense when you're at the writing end of it...
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:39 pm

It might also be an idea to have a mission statement printed on each page, possibly under the site title, that includes something akin to the following: Machine Nation is a community that embraces each member's right to have and to express differing opinions, without ever losing sight of the fact that our peer oriented community does not allow differences in opinion to be used as reason to inflict insult or belittlement on its members. We play the ball, not the (wo)man.


Last edited by Hermes on Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:44 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : forgot the women)
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:47 pm

As a mission statement, that sums us up pretty well, Hermes. Nice one.
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:47 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Yes Hermes - that's a solid idea too. It's deciding when a dispute has crossed some line though - we really don't want to go killing good arguments.

boards seems more and more to make sense when you're at the writing end of it...

The main problem with boards seems to be the bias in its politics section - and the complete slamming down on any mention of p.ie!

One of their other rules is that a moderator cannot moderate a poster he/she is debating with - which seems sensible.

Hermes wrote:
Machine Nation is a community that embraces each member's right to have
and to express differing opinions, without ever losing sight of the
fact that our peer oriented community does not allow differences in
opinion to be used as reason to inflict insult or belittlement on its
members. We play the ball, not the (wo)man.

Unless we're prepared to classify an acceptable range of negative comments about the contents of people's posts, I think it's probably better to draw the line between comments on content and comments on the poster - you can say my comments are idiotic, but not that I am an idiot, if you see what I mean.
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:51 pm

[/quote]Unless we're prepared to classify an acceptable range of negative comments about the contents of people's posts, I think it's probably better to draw the line between comments on content and comments on the poster - you can say my comments are idiotic, but not that I am an idiot, if you see what I mean.[quote]

Are we prepared to do that? Classification is very prescriptive - and stifling perhaps. The alternative is better - to criticise the content and not its author.

Cherish the poster and criticise the content... How far should that go?
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:59 pm

Kate P wrote:
Quote :
Unless we're prepared to classify an acceptable range of negative comments about the contents of people's posts, I think it's probably better to draw the line between comments on content and comments on the poster - you can say my comments are idiotic, but not that I am an idiot, if you see what I mean.

Are we prepared to do that? Classification is very prescriptive - and stifling perhaps. The alternative is better - to criticise the content and not its author.

Cherish the poster and criticise the content... How far should that go?

Well, Hermes was very much as mildly offended by my calling his post 'nonsense' as I was by his suggestion that I lead a sheltered life (and we have each apologised).

It therefore seems absolutely appalling for me to claim that what offended him should be OK, and what offended me shouldn't be - but I am arguing for exactly that.

The exchange illustrates the problem with drawing a line, or attempting to draw a line, around what is, or is not acceptable in describing someone else's comment. 'Nonsense' is a relatively mild description, but still offensive - calling someone else's post a 'steaming heap of mendacity' on the other hand is not mild, but is probably not offensive.

As I say, I argue for the right to call a post whatever you like, but for it to be unacceptable to make personal comments about the poster.
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:02 pm

Ibis wrote:
Unless we're prepared to classify an acceptable range of negative
comments about the contents of people's posts, I think it's probably
better to draw the line between comments on content and comments on the
poster - you can say my comments are idiotic, but not that I am an idiot, if you see what I mean.

I can't disagree completely with this, though I do think it is a 'slippery slope' type of argument that might be used in increasingly obvious ways by posters to get around the no insult rules. So, whilst I agree with and see where Ibis is coming from, I think any such comment should be accompanied with a full qualification. (an indemnity clause as it were).
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:05 pm

I would love if all criticism of the other posters was banned. You would have to criticise the statement or the argument rather than the poster. Ban phrases such as "You are wrong", "You are pathetic", "Your ignorance...", "Your motive...", "You eejit", "Well done bright spark...", "lick my left one", "..when you grow up.." etc.

I would also prefer if expressions of dislike for all individuals were banned, e.g. you could say "Cowen is aggressive and I think that may turn people off" rather that "I hate that aggressive bol_ox".

I also think there should be alimit on how many threads you can open in a day (3 to begin with) unless you are a super-user or a Mod signs off on any threads beyond that. Additional threads could be submitted but would only be visible if a mod allowed them. You could of course ask other users to open threads for you in the meantime. Trolls would need co-operation which hopefully they would not get. "I'd love to open that thread for you PJ but the fact is I can feel a good thread of my own coming on".
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:11 pm

ibis wrote:
Kate P wrote:
Quote :
Unless we're prepared to classify an acceptable range of negative comments about the contents of people's posts, I think it's probably better to draw the line between comments on content and comments on the poster - you can say my comments are idiotic, but not that I am an idiot, if you see what I mean.

Are we prepared to do that? Classification is very prescriptive - and stifling perhaps. The alternative is better - to criticise the content and not its author.

Cherish the poster and criticise the content... How far should that go?

Well, Hermes was very much as mildly offended by my calling his post 'nonsense' as I was by his suggestion that I lead a sheltered life (and we have each apologised).

It therefore seems absolutely appalling for me to claim that what offended him should be OK, and what offended me shouldn't be - but I am arguing for exactly that.

The exchange illustrates the problem with drawing a line, or attempting to draw a line, around what is, or is not acceptable in describing someone else's comment. 'Nonsense' is a relatively mild description, but still offensive - calling someone else's post a 'steaming heap of mendacity' on the other hand is not mild, but is probably not offensive.

As I say, I argue for the right to call a post whatever you like, but for it to be unacceptable to make personal comments about the poster.

Effectively drawing a line in criticising a comment involves legislating for standards in the critical faculties of posters and whether it's desirable or not, it's certainly not possible - or is it?

Sometimes it takes me ten minutes to get over the most objective critique of a view I hold, especially if I value the opinion and knowledge of the poster who is clearly better informed or more knowledgeable than I am. Our opinions and ideas, are afterall, facets of ourselves.

I tend not to get het up about comments from posters whom I personally consider to be either narky by nature or whose opinions I value less. For instance, it has always been easy to dismiss the comments of certain p.ie trolls because they didn't matter. So already there's a dichotomy there - in that the same words uttered by different posters about my content would have very different impacts.

Ponder, ponder.
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:23 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote
Quote :
Trolls would need co-operation which hopefully they would not get. "I'd love to open that thread for you PJ but the fact is I can feel a good thread of my own coming on".

I think the phrase 'don't feed the trolls' is a lesson for life, not just the interweb!

Trolls can only be dealt with effectively if they are ignored. The problem is that some posters don't recognise trolls and some still want the thrill of the argument, such as it is.

It requires major stamina however, not to rise to some of the bait.
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:05 pm

Quote :
Sometimes it takes me ten minutes to get over the most objective
critique of a view I hold, especially if I value the opinion and
knowledge of the poster who is clearly better informed or more
knowledgeable than I am. Our opinions and ideas, are afterall, facets
of ourselves

That's where my reasoning comes from. I think one can easily be offended by a criticism of one's post, even if that criticism is polite and objective.

However, one shouldn't. You've put it up on the podium for judging, and you're not going to complain if someone praises it - so you have no right to complain if someone criticises it. What you have not put up on the podium for judging is yourself and your life, and so you have every right to object to those being remarked on in any way.
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:06 pm

Kate P wrote:
Zhou_Enlai wrote
Quote :
Trolls would need co-operation which hopefully they would not get. "I'd love to open that thread for you PJ but the fact is I can feel a good thread of my own coming on".

I think the phrase 'don't feed the trolls' is a lesson for life, not just the interweb!

Trolls can only be dealt with effectively if they are ignored. The problem is that some posters don't recognise trolls and some still want the thrill of the argument, such as it is.

It requires major stamina however, not to rise to some of the bait.

Which suggests a global ignore option?
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:53 pm

I agree with an ignore option I have to say. I used it for one poster on p.ie and it did me the world of good.
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:33 pm

ibis wrote:
Quote :
Sometimes it takes me ten minutes to get over the most objective
critique of a view I hold, especially if I value the opinion and
knowledge of the poster who is clearly better informed or more
knowledgeable than I am. Our opinions and ideas, are afterall, facets
of ourselves

That's where my reasoning comes from. I think one can easily be offended by a criticism of one's post, even if that criticism is polite and objective.

However, one shouldn't. You've put it up on the podium for judging, and you're not going to complain if someone praises it - so you have no right to complain if someone criticises it. What you have not put up on the podium for judging is yourself and your life, and so you have every right to object to those being remarked on in any way.

I didn't say I was offended - just that it takes me time to regroup sometimes when I've been proven wrong.

As to how a poster should feel, no one is in a position to prescribe; however, we can have expectations of how they should act.

There is a kind of poster whose content is very closely bound up his/her sense of self. We can all be that poster sometimes.

There was a thread on p.ie that I was very engaged in at the time about blood and organ donations. One person who posted on it was terminally ill and another had just lost a baby - and the topic of organ donation in particular was bound inextricably with their sense of self.
I know that's an extreme situation but in that context being vitriolic about content can be as offensive as a personal remark. The same thing can happen on threads about homosexuality, abortion and even less contentious issues.

So while personal comments are obviously out, I'm not sure that that necessarily allows carte blanche to pour the acid on the content.


Last edited by Kate P on Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:18 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Wrote 'been' instead of 'being.' Strunk and White, where are you?)
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:10 pm

Kate P wrote:
ibis wrote:
Quote :
Sometimes it takes me ten minutes to get over the most objective
critique of a view I hold, especially if I value the opinion and
knowledge of the poster who is clearly better informed or more
knowledgeable than I am. Our opinions and ideas, are afterall, facets
of ourselves

That's where my reasoning comes from. I think one can easily be offended by a criticism of one's post, even if that criticism is polite and objective.

However, one shouldn't. You've put it up on the podium for judging, and you're not going to complain if someone praises it - so you have no right to complain if someone criticises it. What you have not put up on the podium for judging is yourself and your life, and so you have every right to object to those being remarked on in any way.

I didn't say I was offended - just that it takes me time to regroup sometimes when I've been proven wrong.

Indeed - but had you not been you, you might have responded by insulting the other poster.

Kate P wrote:
As to how a poster should feel, no one is in a position to prescribe; however, we can have expectations of how they should act.

There is a kind of poster whose content is very closely bound up his/her sense of self. We can all be that poster sometimes.

There was a thread on p.ie that I was very engaged in at the time about blood and organ donations. One person who posted on it was terminally ill and another had just lost a baby - and the topic of organ donation in particular was bound inextricably with their sense of self.
I know that's an extreme situation but in that context been vitriolic about content can be as offensive as a personal remark. The same thing can happen on threads about homosexuality, abortion and even less contentious issues.

So while personal comments are obviously out, I'm not sure that that necessarily allows carte blanche to pour the acid on the content.

I agree in principle, but suspect in practice that we cannot draw up any rules. If someone is offended, they should complain - and moderators will have to use their discretion.
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:29 pm

ibis wrote:
Kate P wrote:
So while personal comments are obviously out, I'm not sure that that necessarily allows carte blanche to pour the acid on the content.
I agree in principle, but suspect in practice that we cannot draw up any rules. If someone is offended, they should complain - and moderators will have to use their discretion.
A lot of forums invoke courtesy or decorum as a basis for treating other posters but not really their posts.. As Kate says, a lot of posts are considered personal so yeah, criticism of them might be taken personally, especially if people are expressing their opinion which is more a part of them than if they are putting a case forward with stats, graphs and maps.

I suppose we're sort of working out how the moderators should approach situations where the above problems are encountered. Because we really do want people to express themselves as fully as possible without treading too much on the toes of others and we want to create the situation where people should feel able to stick their necks out and at the same time not be too upset if there is criticism.
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:36 pm

...which is why I think the site should be self-moderating by pm as far as possible.

I like the idea that rights bring responsibilities too and that posters are as responsible for one as they are entitled to the other.

It's useful to discuss these things from every angle though...
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:39 pm

Kate P wrote:
...which is why I think the site should be self-moderating by pm as far as possible.

I like the idea that rights bring responsibilities too and that posters are as responsible for one as they are entitled to the other.

It's useful to discuss these things from every angle though...

How about we make an example of an abusive poster(if one ever arose) by reacting in the strongest possible terms to how they were carrying on? Shock anyone else out of thinking that insulting personally was OK and bringing discipline and decorum to debate. A surgical strike can work wonders some times.
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:51 pm

What do you mean, A-T?
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:00 pm

Stone someone in public at rush hour is what he means.
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:04 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Stone someone in public at rush hour is what he means.

Something like that. I have a zero tolerance policy towards trolls. They should be vanquished every time they appear.
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:08 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
Stone someone in public at rush hour is what he means.

Something like that. I have a zero tolerance policy towards trolls. They should be vanquished every time they appear.

One man's troll is another man's...... bom
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PostSubject: Re: Towards a Charter and a Moderation Process   Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:13 am

johnfás wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
Stone someone in public at rush hour is what he means.

Something like that. I have a zero tolerance policy towards trolls. They should be vanquished every time they appear.

One man's troll is another man's...... bom

Yeah, well one man has powers to lock, move, merge, split and re-name threads. The other doesn't!
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