Rules Discussion

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Re: Rules Discussion

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:01 pm

Very solid points. I guess my instinct to love and tolerate gets the better of me too often.

But either way, we're starting to drift from the topic of chad's departure from moderation (he'll still do design and development!) and the rules in general and wander on to a specific case. I'd rather not go over old drama in public, it's not fair to those involved. Feel free to PM me or any of the moderators if you want to let us know more or give us additional feedback, it's great to hear all perspectives.

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Re: Rules Discussion

Post  A1C Bronymous on Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:10 pm

Nah, my talking points have run dry. But discussing enforcement of rules still counts as discussion of rules, I think.
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Re: Rules Discussion

Post  thematthew on Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:36 pm

Personally, as I can understand the desire to tiptoe around the possibility of hurt feelings, I think the constant push to get away from discussion of specific problems people have had is an exercise that borders on fascist ideological destruction of dissenting opinions.  If the moment people begin to 'bring up past drama' in a discussion about the rules, and the possible mismanagement thereof, they get told to keep that behind PMs and then get warned/banned for continuing because they justifiably feel that if you start a discussion via PM about something with a moderator they may just stop talking in order to prevent having to admit the situation or topic being discussed is one the moderator was wrong with then the system is activly discouraging the discussion of real problems while creating a system to increase the ability of the moderators to punish these same people as a 'solution' to 'problems'.  ((By the way, these are not actual solutions to made up problems that we are being told might happen in the future instead of dealing with the ones that are here.))

That's one of the warning signs for the generation of a regime on the same level of of Nazi Germany, or Soviet Russia.  It's not just kind of Dictator-ish, it's actual historical ideas that have been used to cement the rule of real dictators.

I also don't get where this idea that leniency is a problem comes from.  Leniency is the idea that prevents me from running people off the road for cutting me off just the same as it prevents people from getting banned for having a bad week.  Fact is, I didn't post much this past week because I'm a responsible human being, much like most of this community, and realized that since my week un until now had made me so furious I couldn't see straight I shouldn't put too much into forum arguments.

Oh, and then I noticed that my friend was banned for "dredging up past drama" and it made me angry when I got to see such statements to him as:
Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:As for Ramsus, while your view of history is always interesting to hear, your doubtless well-intentioned dredging up of various perceived offenses you've suffered isn't helpful.
Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:Actually Ramsus, you're the one that brought up the thing in the first place. You're right though that it'd cause a long discussion that no one wants or needs to hear about. That's called drama. Stop creating it.
I don't care if you think this kind of behavior is right, it's trolling and you know it.  Especially when that second quote was in response to:
Ramsus wrote:I'm not going to respond to that second paragraph, it's just bait (and it would be long long discussion with bad decisions on both sides that I don't think anyone actually wants to hear the whole of even if it wasn't).
Which was him inviting a chance to end that specific drama moment prior to it exploding completely.
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Re: Rules Discussion

Post  A1C Bronymous on Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:42 pm

Leniency is a problem when its the job of someone to enforce the rules, and they do not do that job because they don't want to seem harsh or mean. If it keeps you from running someone off the road, then that's fine, because running someone off the road is not and enforcement of rules, nor is it your job.

Unnecessary continuation of bad conversation, my apologies to the staff.:
Ramsus continued that conversation far past it should have gone, even after he himself said they should just drop it, and after several attempts of several mods to end the conversation. And considering the topic of the post was "hey, we're changing the warning thing, just a heads up", he STARTED the conversation by trolling, being a jerk, and bringing up stuff that doesn't pertain to anything current just to make it clear that he thought the rules and everyone who made them are dumb. The mods tried in succession to not "troll", and do it by the book. They gave him too many chances, as it was, to let it lie. He was deliberate in his attempts to not be reasonable. The mods cannot be faulted for that. And he wasn't banned for bringing up past things- he was banned for being a dick about it, constantly and unfalteringly. And as several people have pointed out, all the rules can be boiled down to "Don't be a dick".

Sorry to keep it going, but things need to be said.
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Re: Rules Discussion

Post  thematthew on Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:50 pm

Brony, you do realize the running people off the road statement was an absurdist remark in response to people claiming the problem was that people are too lenient, instead of people are highly inconsistant with their rule enforcement. It's one thing to be lenient, a good thing actually it's an admirable quality in the same way that being a dick is not. It's a bad thing to be inconsistent and play favorites.
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Re: Rules Discussion

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:51 pm

Matthew, it's difficult to take you seriously when you compare a 24 hour ban and a general rule to keep moderation matters private - under the same logic that's leading us to consider getting away with what's been called the 'public humiliation bar' (and additional reasons, such as not turning forum moderation into a popularity contest that benefits the established posters at the expense of new members) - to Nazi Germany and other mass-murdering governments.

I know that it makes you upset that I told Ramsus that blatantly misrepresenting a months-old moderation sanction and bringing the whole drama spiral up again (Ramsus himself called the original argument he referenced a drama spiral) isn't okay. However, that doesn't give you license to compare us to Hitler and Stalin. It's not only an insult to the moderators, it's an insult to people and families that *actually* suffered at the hands of such historical monsters. This is absolutely unacceptable behavior.


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Re: Rules Discussion

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:04 pm

Alright, warnings to those that need them have been sent out and this marks the *official* end of the conversation. Any further posts on the Ramsus issue in a public thread will immediately receive moderation. None previously have because, oddly, there's no hard and fast *rule* right now that requires threads to be on-topic or to listen to moderators when they make those calls. There *is* a rule about keeping disputes to PMs, but it's phrased in a way that makes it clear it's part of the whole 'don't make threads attacking other people' rule. We really should clarify this.

Feel free to discuss whether we *should* keep communication about moderation matters private, as we currently do, or not. That's fair game. But it's currently the rules that we do and disagreeing with the rules isn't license to break them - for anyone (including staff).

One thing we should probably start with is working out rules that do make it clear that derailing threads, especially official threads, and keeping it up when staff corrects you isn't okay.

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Re: Rules Discussion

Post  AProcrastinatingWriter on Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:28 pm

One reason I don't think communication between moderators should be private is that it provides the whole story of a situation without needing to go through all this "he said, she said" nonsense. Another is that it provides a level of transparency, a record of considerations and thoughts made by moderators, and a potential avenue for those who disagree with a ruling to pursue that disagreement to a reasonable level without being further punished for getting things "offtopic".

I am aware that currently there is an avenue to do that re:PMs, but again I must insist on general transparency amongst the moderators - it leaves less room for false accusation and drama and infighting when the entire process can be seen for what it is in the first place, rather than a guessing game of what a person's motivations are and what they might have said in a given situation.
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Re: Rules Discussion

Post  Ramsus on Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:38 am

It might clarify things in the future if you specified that a ban counts as a "warning" when you mention "second warnings".

Also, I might be wrong here (in fact I certainly am because I'm wrong about all things at all times) but, it seems as if you have a rules discussion thread where you've declared it against the rules to discuss the rules?

Edit: To be clear, not trying to pick a fight. I'm just really really confused about what we're supposed to be doing with this thread now.
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Re: Rules Discussion

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:52 am

It's against the rules to discus private moderation in public. It's also against the rules to make inflammatory and insulting statements to other members. It's not at all against the rules to disagree and explain reasonably and calmly - like APW demonstrates.

AProcrastinatingWriter wrote:One reason I don't think communication between moderators should be private is that it provides the whole story of a situation without needing to go through all this "he said, she said" nonsense. Another is that it provides a level of transparency, a record of considerations and thoughts made by moderators, and a potential avenue for those who disagree with a ruling to pursue that disagreement to a reasonable level without being further punished for getting things "offtopic".

I am aware that currently there is an avenue to do that re:PMs, but again I must insist on general transparency amongst the moderators - it leaves less room for false accusation and drama and infighting when the entire process can be seen for what it is in the first place, rather than a guessing game of what a person's motivations are and what they might have said in a given situation.

I'm definitely torn on this, and it would sure make our lives as moderators easier if we could quote the PMs we sent in recent disputes more easily and publicly. However, having the moderation process be entirely open also has some worries attached. I wrote a response to Tyger's question about it a little while ago. I can repost that here.

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:I'm not sure whether having such a thread [regarding a thread for public moderation and arguing about it] will just inflame conflicts beyond the necessary and be a foundation for drama regarding even routine rules citations. I'm also concerned that if a moderator does make a genuine mistake but before it can be corrected people shout about it in a forum thread - then it'll create the illusion that rules violations can be removed via popular demand. Also, as many of these issues are private, attempting to discuss them in the public space can be difficult or add to humiliation.

The advantage of a discussion thread is so that people can make their voices heard so they can dispute decisions. However, checking rules violations probably shouldn't turn into a popularity contest. People with a large network of friends would have a huge advantage over newcomers and inviting one form of bias to counter perceived bias probably isn't a good idea.

My initial reaction is to make such a thread in off-topic, but keep strict rules in the thread to be civil and disagree respectfully - to set an example in polite discourse and not use such a thread as a soap box... But if such a thread complaining about administrative action were to result in even more warnings - with moderators having to correct people constantly about how they're speaking... That sounds like it might snowball pretty quickly.

Frankly, we are probably better just sticking to PMs. Feel free to PM every member of the moderator and administrative staff if you have an issue. You can speak more freely and not worry about the reactions of crowds. If we have an issue or disagreement, let's try to resolve it and move on as quickly as possible. The last time someone complained about administration in a public forum, it turned into an extraordinary affair that spilled onto the comments of friendship is dragons. Things like that just make it harder to resolve conflicts.

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Re: Rules Discussion

Post  Ramsus on Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:24 am

Honestly, you're screwed any way you do it with public, semi-public, or not at all public handling with this fashion of rules and enforcement. If it's all public, you'll get more drama around the disputes but, you'll likely get more fair results with less worries from the member-base about bias and favoritism (unless there is bias and favoritism in which case at least they'll be able to factor that in) which leads to less drama in the long run. Semi-public allows a bit of information to those who care/are worried about what's going on and allows staff to post PMs and such in responses to questions, the downside that you'll still have some drama around those and the members won't be able to tell what information you are keeping from them that they might feel is relevant. Completely private involves the least drama.... until you reach a tipping point of people not trusting you, at which point the forum just completely explodes. Meanwhile or even if that doesn't occur, the member-base is left with absolutely no idea what is going through the minds of the staff and are pretty validated in worrying that any kind of shifty behavior or even just a lack of thorough discussion is happening before decisions are being made.

These are really only issues with these kinds of punishment over understanding and compassion systems though. In the kind of system I suggested, it's as public or private as is the most comfortable for the people involved and there's very little cause for concern about bias or irresponsible behavior as the worst that can result is people aren't getting punished as much as the member-base feels they should be... at which point they can just say so. If they're right or wrong, it then gets handled appropriately.

If you stick with the current system's style, you're going to produce the least drama picking the disclosure method that causes the least continuing problems with the majority of the people who are those that cause initial problems. The way you handle the rules doesn't matter for people who don't break them (or to those who have immunity due to favoritism) after-all.

A major drama producer of the ways that things have been handled so far is that, as far as I can tell, you've been doing more or less a semi-public style (leans more towards private) but, handling a lot of the stuff that should be deal with privately in public and the stuff that should be dealt with in public in private.
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