Community Policy
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29-08-2012, 02:36 PM
Community Policy
Ok, it's hard to have a community be all things to all people, but we can certainly try.

Most of you probably have read my rants about newbies being attacked and verbally abused by trolls or bullies.

Thing is, if that had happened to me when I first showed up, I would have shrugged my shoulders and left never to return. I got better things to do with my life than listen to someone calling me a cunt. Others may have left with a lot of really bad feelings, I am kinda stoic. You never know who is at the receiving end of verbal abuse in a forum, and what their baggage may be. So, this is just not right.

Plus - I really hate bullies blindsiding innocent people. You cant have a discussion with a bully. You have to point out their limits to them, they can't see them. Maybe intimidating bullies makes me a bully? If so, I can be. I can be downright scary to some.

On the other hand - some people here really enjoy a good "free for all" and there is nothing wrong with that.

Now, part of my agenda is to support atheism and the people who are just finding their way out of the labyrinth of religion. Having them chased away from here makes me cringe.

But freedom of speech is also dear to me. Without it, all of us would still be closeted and it is a very valuable freedom.

So, how do we do this? How do we reconcile this apparent conflict?

I am sure no one really wants budding atheists to be chased off, and no one wants limits set on the freedom to speak up.

One way to do it is to sit down and hammer out an additional rule that will allow banning of obvious bullies and trolls. But - that would spoil the fun for some of us.

Forums have many other ways of regulating interactions though.

For instance, the bully or troll can be given a platform that all regular members can choose to participate in - or not. That way newbies likely won't innocently walk into a trap. Everyone can still carry on however they please. We could even make it so that newbies don't even see the "free for all" forum until they have x number of posts and we can safely assume they are acclimated.

This would keep trolls and bullies from spamming serious threads where some of us have good discussions and thus it would actually remove a ban reason rather than add one. Most trolls and bullies end up being banned for spamming threads at this time.

That's one idea. I bet there could be a lot of options if we all thought about it a bit. Forum software allows a lot of flexibility, we can make use of that instead of making rules.

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29-08-2012, 02:45 PM
AW: Community Policy
I don't think that the problem is occuring frequently enough for it to cause such a "drastic" change. If we happen to stumble upon more peeps of Bishadi's kind, then there'd be a reason to change something.

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29-08-2012, 03:03 PM (This post was last modified: 29-08-2012 03:08 PM by Logica Humano.)
RE: AW: Community Policy
(29-08-2012 02:45 PM)Vosur Wrote:  I don't think that the problem is occuring frequently enough for it to cause such a "drastic" change. If we happen to stumble upon more peeps of Bishadi's kind, then there'd be a reason to change something.

This is inevitable with the sudden growth we have experienced.

Bishadi's attacks have been unwarranted, he has continuously insulted many members, and even the entire forum. Most of his debates devolve into petty pissing matches about who can come up with the best insult. I have attempted to defuse such situations with him, but he refuses to cease in any of his immature remarks, even if many ask him to stop. Evidently he is incapable of writing legibly and debating.

The problem is that he is obviously a troll. We all know that. Anyone who has read his posts should (who the hell cites Yahoo! Answers as a source?) know that he is purposely fucking around with people. I am sure if someone who has pretty colors as a name, or someone who actually does have power over him, could tell him to tone it down a notch. I see nothing wrong with doing so.

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29-08-2012, 03:22 PM
RE: Community Policy
The thing is that he makes it a sport of flaming forums and getting banned. It's his way of having fun. A slap on the wrist by a mod is what he wants, especially in a forum where that slap means nothing because he can just go about his merry way.

And several people came out and said they liked sparring with him. No reason to stop them from enjoying themselves.

On the other hand, there is at least one legitimately hurt party here - the "cunt". And we will never find out if she just shrugged her shoulder and left or if she walked thinking atheists are horrible people without morals and turned back to religion. Who knows. Maybe she would have been the best member in the forum had she been given a chance.

IMO throwing newbies at the feet of known bullies is just wrong. It hurts the cause and because of that it hurts every one of us.

Whats drastic about adding a forum, Vosur? Changing rules is a lot more drastic, banning him is drastic, adding new forums to message boards is not in the least drastic. It's done par for the course every day on hundreds of forums and I have seen a bunch springing up here in the few months I've been here.

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29-08-2012, 03:29 PM
RE: Community Policy
The only potential solution could be a separation of forums. Safe places and not so safe places ala reddit. My initial concern over that would be the amount of moderation required for something like that and the redesign p the rules which would be far more inclusive. More concerns pop up like size of the forum ( we are actually quite small with a small active user base ) and operating costs as the site would have to be larger to house a functioning sectioned forum.

Also I personally think the forum is far too small to warrant such a change. And I also believe that the troll problem is actually quite minor and has always been one or two at a time. The perception gets rattled because the trolls often carry very vile and loud personalities that seem overwhelming.

Think of Egor when he arrived. He wasn't as laid back as he is now and people got right upset about it. He was alone at the time. And turns out wasn't even a troll as some suspected and may still suspect. But people acted like he was a super villain. Some massive problem.
Just one dude being aggressive can really unsettle people. I think a forum of this size needs little to no moderation at all and can cope quite well that way.

I might be wrong. Meh.

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29-08-2012, 04:02 PM
RE: Community Policy
(29-08-2012 03:29 PM)lucradis Wrote:  The only potential solution could be a separation of forums. Safe places and not so safe places ala reddit. My initial concern over that would be the amount of moderation required for something like that and the redesign p the rules which would be far more inclusive. More concerns pop up like size of the forum ( we are actually quite small with a small active user base ) and operating costs as the site would have to be larger to house a functioning sectioned forum.

Also I personally think the forum is far too small to warrant such a change. And I also believe that the troll problem is actually quite minor and has always been one or two at a time. The perception gets rattled because the trolls often carry very vile and loud personalities that seem overwhelming.

Think of Egor when he arrived. He wasn't as laid back as he is now and people got right upset about it. He was alone at the time. And turns out wasn't even a troll as some suspected and may still suspect. But people acted like he was a super villain. Some massive problem.
Just one dude being aggressive can really unsettle people. I think a forum of this size needs little to no moderation at all and can cope quite well that way.

I might be wrong. Meh.

Well, there are no added costs to adding a forum at all and it takes 5 mins tops. This forum could be simply invisible to newbies with a post count under 20 or whatever. No cost or moderation there.

It's not a big deal. It only takes one person 5 minutes and done.

It's not about the general membership, we can all ignore whoever we want or not go to any thread we don't like. It's only about not sending newbies to hell.

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29-08-2012, 04:11 PM
RE: Community Policy
I am with Dom here, sorry.
I have a huge problem with troll-only people. I voiced my concern about it in the past, it was turned into an Egor-discussion back then. Dom voices her concern now, it is nearly being turned into a Bishadi-discussion.
That he is a dickhead, we all know that.
The userbase here is growing fast, and very noticable.
This forum is not as small as it seems. It is huge in it's userbase and it is growing. The active users are becoming more and more.
And trolls are a problem.
Not only for newbies in the forum who do not know who is really just making fun and who is a troll for example a newbie here might not make a difference between one of Erxomai's jerky posts and one of Bishadi's and just see both and leave because it seems like so many are just trolling. I find that quite sad.
I nearly left this forum at some point because it seemed like a really big problem for me, it still does and I pulled back from a lot of discussions by now, just for the reason that I know where the trolls post. But you can't expect that from newbies.
I think a well thought out trolling rule with clear guidelines for mods on how to enforce them would be a step, but when I expressed that in the past, and even explained in detail what it could be done like, it was argued away and never even given a thought about.

I think the trolling is my only problem with this forum. It is not like it was said in the past, which was along the lines of "we can't make a anti-trolling rule because we would have to ban half of you guys as well, same right for all..." No, wrong!
You are the ones to define the rule, so define it properly.
People who seriously contribute well to this forum, give it a good spirit etc and they give a jerk comment every now and then are not trolls. An asshole that does raise interesting discussions despite being an asshole is not a troll but simply stupid.
Someone who comes to this forum and trolls from post one and never does anything else but trolling is clearly a troll and not welcome... at least that is how I understand it.

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29-08-2012, 04:16 PM
RE: Community Policy
I have to disagree. I don't think we need anything. I think more or less trolls should be obvious on the internet, and if you can't handle it, considering they are the vast minority, then you shouldn't be on the internetz in the first place.

I welcome any troll, beause they only make a fool of themselves on here, and it should be quite apearent that these are the people(the trolls) shouldn't be taken seriously.

I am against buffering the newbies against trolls, or coddling them against insults.

They will have to face them eventually, rather from their family, like some of us, or on the internet.

That is just my two cents.

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29-08-2012, 04:24 PM
RE: Community Policy
I say the trolls are not the problem, but in the manner of the way they speak.

How about moderation of those who are known trolls?

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29-08-2012, 04:25 PM
RE: Community Policy
I will preface this with a quick word...
I am in this thread as a member of the forum. I am not wearing my admin hat. If I am speaking from the administrators position, I will make sure that is clear. Otherwise, I am giving my point of view, which holds no more clout than anyone else's. As the administrator, I will act, in conjunction with Erx, solely in the best interest of the forum as a whole. Even if that means something drastic like me vanishing forever. Not that I think it would come to that, but I'd go that far if it was what was best.

Ok....admin hat is on the rack for now.....

Here's my problem. If I stumbled upon this forum, but was sheltered from the posts that contained a potential for a newb to get offended or hurt or whatever, I wouldn't even bother to join. There is just no way I'd stick around and wait til I had twenty posts in threads I am completely uninterested in to see the interesting stuff.

The troll problem to me is virtually non existant, since I don't see trolls as a problem. I am not even in favor of adding a section that is moderated. At most, I think it may be beneficial to have a "be nice" rule in the intro section, and perhaps a note making it clear that once you leave the intro section, you are entering at your own risk.

Personally, I think that as a community, we can step in when someone is bullied and let that person know that we are not supportive of the bullies actions. If we all go back into the fray with that in mind, I think there's no more action nesessary.

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