What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?
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07-04-2012, 09:03 PM (This post was last modified: 07-04-2012 10:06 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?
Ok, thanks for showing me the rules. Here they are, just so we all know them.


#1 New members must have their first post approved by a team member. I just want to assure you that this is NOT a way of us weeding out "undesirables". It is just to help us spot bots and spam before it makes it onto the boards. If you are a real person, you will be approved, no matter what your beliefs, attitude, or whatever. To have your account approved, post ONCE in the introduction forum. You WILL NOT see your post, since it won't show up until a staff member approves it. Posting multiple times before your account is approved is a great way to piss off staff. Don't do it. It creates more work for us. Just be patient, and once your account is approved you can post all you like.

#2 EVERYONE is welcome to post on this forum. That includes atheists, agnostics, theists, martians, or whatever else you call yourself. Just because we have "atheist" in the name of the website, doesn't mean the forum is exclusive to atheists.

#3 SPAM of any kind WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. No three strikes. If you SPAM the forums, your account will be permanently deleted.

Should you need assistance, or have an issue you would like to discuss, you can message myself, or one of the moderators. Alternatively, you can post a message in The Forum Management Team section where your posts can ONLY be viewed by you and the team (Admin, Moderators and Veteran Users). This will help you in cases where discussion is warranted, but you prefer the discussion to remain private. Please feel free to use the suggestions section if you have any ideas on how to improve this forum. We'll do our best to accomidate. Remember, it's OUR forum. Lets make it work for US.



It seems to me that "the rules" have some deficiencies.

There is no mention of the definition of "a threat," yet people are saying that someone can be banned for threatening talk. Who decides when someone has made a "threat?" I assume it is a moderator or a consensus amongst the moderators ( which I guess is fair enough). Um....btw....who are the moderators, or is their identity a secret? I've worked out 3 people. Are there any others? Just asking!

There is no definition of "spam," yet it is bannable offence. When it was hinted I was a spammer, I had to go to my dictionary to find out what exactly it was. The dictionary says
"irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent on the Internet to a large number of recipients."


It seems to me there is a problem here because the definition involves a subjective judgement. Someone has to decide what is irrelevant or inappropriate.

I don't know what the answer to that dilemma is. Someone might get 10 "likes" for a comment, yet be considered a spammer by someone else, and get banned.




The word "troll" is often bandied about as well. My dictionary says it is someone who posts a provocative post with the intention of inciting an angry response. There is nothing in the rules about this. It seems to me that "troll" and "spam" are more or less the same thing, so being a troll is a bannable offence too.




ps... I guess I'm asking the same sort of questions I asked in my opening post here. At what point do we say
"fuck you mate...you can't say that and get away with it?" or "I'm giving myself the right to criticise you...not just your argument."

Also, I guess, moderators (who I'm not criticising btw), and us (members), need to define clearly what is spam/trolling, as well as who is going to make the decision as to whether someone is guilty of it. It seems to me that if that decision is left to one person, that might be unfair on the victim.

Also, as spamming is a bannable offence, the "victim" has a right to know if someone who is accusing him or her of it has the authority to ban them. For example, there is a certain prominent person who has been accused of being a spammer/troll on numerous occasions by numerous people. If one of those people is a moderator who ?has the authority to ban him then E ...um...I mean...he... should be warned he is on shaky ground. That would only be fair to him.
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07-04-2012, 10:00 PM (This post was last modified: 08-04-2012 01:26 PM by Humakt.)
RE: What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?
Don't know the man, but know his type. Ive only read the first post and my pennies worth is that if there is any pretence at this being an open forum for discussion then, any kind of censoring is right out. Freedom of speech is a difficult thing, it not only means allowing others the right to speak, but it places on everyone how holds it as sacred the duty to defend it. Even to the point of defending, the indefensible, I dont have to agree or even like what someone says to absolutly defend the right for them to speak. As to taking offence, the clues in the term, you take offence thats on you, taking offence is an active step taken by the offended party. It is of course true that the other party maybe trying to be offensive, but that in no way absolves us of taking responsabilty for the action of accepting it.

On the whole the OP, summed this up well enough and offered really the only reasonable course of action, where as I'll defend your right to say what you want no matter how rude, ignorant or down right abbhorant what your saying may be, I'm equally happy to exercise my right to freely tell you to "Go fuck yourself".

Incidentally the personal pronouns arent intended to be addressed at any idividual and are meant in the general sence.

Lastly, Ive seen this issue on other forums and in RL for that matter. In every case where censorship is used, it has led to the destruction of the fora. One act of censorship poisons the well for everyone. Let them speak, let them shout, let them expose the ugliness of there views and refute them. Or as I've already said if you can't be bothered refuting tell them to go fuck themselves.

Legal Disclaimer: I am right, I reserve the right to be wrong without notice, opinions may change, your statutory rights are not affected, opinions expressed are not my own and are an approximation for the sake of communication.
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07-04-2012, 10:07 PM
RE: What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?
The staff are no secret. Our names are in different colours Big Grin.

Spam refers to advertising or if someone literally overran the forum with constant threads that had little or no point (imagine the entire first page of atheism/theism being practically identical threads made by the same person). There has only ever been one person banned for that.

The threat thing was decided upon after the rules were written. We had a problem with a member threatening violence and it was decided that, after repeated warnings, enough was enough.

The difference between trolling and spam is volume. You can spout shit just as long as you don't clog the entire forum with it.

Best and worst of Ferdinand .....
Best
Ferdinand: We don't really say 'theist' in Alabama. Here, you're either a Christian, or you're from Afghanistan and we fucking hate you.
Worst
Ferdinand: Everyone from British is so, like, fucking retarded.
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07-04-2012, 10:12 PM
RE: What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?
You're not new to the Internet Mark.
You know what spamming is. You know what a troll is. You know what a threat is and what we consider a threat as we've been through it in this very thread.
Not only that but the rules are there for everyone to see and the list of moderators is in the introductions area.
It's no secret you just haven't looked.

And whether you think it's fair or not the end decision of who gets banned is up to one person in the end. Me.
I take advice from everyone not just the mods. No one person is always right.
But if we left all of the decisions up to the entire forum nothing would get done. No decision would ever get made.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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07-04-2012, 10:35 PM
RE: What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?
(07-04-2012 10:07 PM)Hughsie Wrote:  The staff are no secret. Our names are in different colours Big Grin.

Spam refers to advertising or if someone literally overran the forum with constant threads that had little or no point (imagine the entire first page of atheism/theism being practically identical threads made by the same person). There has only ever been one person banned for that.

The threat thing was decided upon after the rules were written. We had a problem with a member threatening violence and it was decided that, after repeated warnings, enough was enough.

The difference between trolling and spam is volume. You can spout shit just as long as you don't clog the entire forum with it.
Thanks for filling me in on who is staff. I'm sure I'm not the only one who didn't know. Lots of good names there.

Re spam. My dictionary says nothing about advertising being spam, which demonstrates the point that the definition of these words should be in the rules. Your definition of spam is quite different to what the dictionary says (quite apart from the advertising issue).

I assume you mean a troll is someone who spouts shit and a spammer is someone who spouts lots of shit. Sounds fair enough to me. That needs to go in the rules too, don't you think?




Re "threat" Ok....if it is a rule it should be in the rules, and it should be made as clear as possible what is meant by the term. For example, I may say "go fuck yourself". Is that a threat? Someone may say "I feel like smashing your face in!" Is that a threat? Obviously you can't legislate for every scenario. Perhaps you could say that a vote will be taken amongst staff as to whether someone has made a threat? I think formal warnings are a great idea.
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07-04-2012, 10:37 PM
RE: What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?
(07-04-2012 10:35 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Re "threat" Ok....if it is a rule it should be in the rules, and it should be made as clear as possible what is meant by the term. For example, I may say "go fuck yourself". Is that a threat? Someone may say "I feel like smashing your face in!" Is that a threat? Obviously you can't legislate for every scenario. Perhaps you could say that a vote will be taken amongst staff as to whether someone has made a threat? I think formal warnings are a great idea.
I'm not the final authority on such matters but I would think that the first one is definitely fine. The second one would probably just scrape through depending on context. If someone said 'I'm gonna smash your face in' then they would face the wrath of Lucradis.

Best and worst of Ferdinand .....
Best
Ferdinand: We don't really say 'theist' in Alabama. Here, you're either a Christian, or you're from Afghanistan and we fucking hate you.
Worst
Ferdinand: Everyone from British is so, like, fucking retarded.
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07-04-2012, 10:45 PM (This post was last modified: 07-04-2012 10:55 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?
(07-04-2012 10:12 PM)lucradis Wrote:  You're not new to the Internet Mark.
You know what spamming is. You know what a troll is. You know what a threat is and what we consider a threat as we've been through it in this very thread.
Not only that but the rules are there for everyone to see and the list of moderators is in the introductions area.
It's no secret you just haven't looked.

And whether you think it's fair or not the end decision of who gets banned is up to one person in the end. Me.
I take advice from everyone not just the mods. No one person is always right.
But if we left all of the decisions up to the entire forum nothing would get done. No decision would ever get made.
Hey Lucradis, you sound a little patronising and antagonistic towards me. I'm not questioning your authority, I'm just trying to help make things fair and transparent for everyone. These terms (spam, threat, troll) are not well defined.

Well...I did look....not well enough obviously.

Ok re your authority. At least anyone who has read this knows how the system works now. Its good to know there is a team of good people you will consult before you ban anyone. For what its worth you are doing a good job.

PS Just went back to the "Introductions" area. There is a little section called "meet the crew" which has some of the names you have called "staff" in it. The list is incomplete, and the people's status and roles are not described. I may be looking in the wrong section (if so mea culpa), but possibly other people have the same problem?
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07-04-2012, 11:45 PM
RE: What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?
The only person missing from the list is Hughsie. Who just recently got upped to moderator status.
You're right in some things Mark. One of them being that we haven't listed what each person does. Who cares?
Another one being my patronizing and antagonistic tone towards you, glad that comes through type as well as I would like.

You're irritating. I don't believe for a second you had no ill intent when you created this thread. I wanted to stick up for you man, I really did. But I get this really deceitful vibe off of you. I'm typically an excellent judge of character. However I'm better at it in person so I usually give a certain amount of leeway for forum users.
I have this funny feeling you think you're really good at playing people. I might be wrong and I hope I am, but I don't think so.

It doesn't matter what I think though, because luckily our little forum doesn't believe in censorship or banning based off people saying things we don't like.

I don't play games, and I don't like people who do. Theists aren't the only people guilty of this wonderful character flaw.

The rules are written as they are. The rules are ours to make. Ours to uphold. And the forum is yours to enjoy for it. Wonderful isn't it?

Nothing is hidden, somethings may not be updated right away but it's not an emergency. You aren't paying to be here and we aren't paid to keep it here. It's a pretty open casual system, which is the way we like it, and the way it was meant to be.
I was at the atheistforums.com site earlier and I was looking through some of their threads and couldn't help but notice the large number of crossed out names with banned underneath. I'm glad that's not here. We have members who are no longer here, a good number of them actually and I can say that all but two left of their own volition. People come and go when they are bored or just need a change of scenery. Or if they get mad. But they almost never leave because they were forced.

I'm proud to have the vast majority of members we have here, it's such an eclectic and ever changing bunch of people who don't have to self censor or worry about having posts erased. Sure there are maybe one or two people who if they vanished tomorrow, it wouldn't exactly break my heart, but that doesn't mean I want them to feel like they have to go. that doesn't mean I open up threads about them in a further attempt to alienate them. I just let them be. Except when I can't, or don't feel like it.

Whatever we don't have to agree, that's the beauty of it, we don't even have to like each other. I don't even have to like you to say that I value your vast amount of research and think you're website is really well put together and professional. Good for you. I don't have to like you to see the great amount of value you add to the forum. thanks for that. It's a great system, I love it.

I've ranted a bit here, oops. Don't take it to heart Mark, it's just the internet. It's just a forum. It's just people you don't know and have never nor will likely ever meet in real life.

Now I've got to go hide Easter eggs all over my house so my little girl can wake up and find them.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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08-04-2012, 01:30 AM (This post was last modified: 08-04-2012 01:40 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?
(07-04-2012 11:45 PM)lucradis Wrote:  The only person missing from the list is Hughsie. Who just recently got upped to moderator status.
You're right in some things Mark. One of them being that we haven't listed what each person does. Who cares?
Another one being my patronizing and antagonistic tone towards you, glad that comes through type as well as I would like.

You're irritating. I don't believe for a second you had no ill intent when you created this thread. I wanted to stick up for you man, I really did. But I get this really deceitful vibe off of you. I'm typically an excellent judge of character. However I'm better at it in person so I usually give a certain amount of leeway for forum users.
I have this funny feeling you think you're really good at playing people. I might be wrong and I hope I am, but I don't think so.

It doesn't matter what I think though, because luckily our little forum doesn't believe in censorship or banning based off people saying things we don't like.

I don't play games, and I don't like people who do. Theists aren't the only people guilty of this wonderful character flaw.

The rules are written as they are. The rules are ours to make. Ours to uphold. And the forum is yours to enjoy for it. Wonderful isn't it?

Nothing is hidden, somethings may not be updated right away but it's not an emergency. You aren't paying to be here and we aren't paid to keep it here. It's a pretty open casual system, which is the way we like it, and the way it was meant to be.
I was at the atheistforums.com site earlier and I was looking through some of their threads and couldn't help but notice the large number of crossed out names with banned underneath. I'm glad that's not here. We have members who are no longer here, a good number of them actually and I can say that all but two left of their own volition. People come and go when they are bored or just need a change of scenery. Or if they get mad. But they almost never leave because they were forced.

I'm proud to have the vast majority of members we have here, it's such an eclectic and ever changing bunch of people who don't have to self censor or worry about having posts erased. Sure there are maybe one or two people who if they vanished tomorrow, it wouldn't exactly break my heart, but that doesn't mean I want them to feel like they have to go. that doesn't mean I open up threads about them in a further attempt to alienate them. I just let them be. Except when I can't, or don't feel like it.

Whatever we don't have to agree, that's the beauty of it, we don't even have to like each other. I don't even have to like you to say that I value your vast amount of research and think you're website is really well put together and professional. Good for you. I don't have to like you to see the great amount of value you add to the forum. thanks for that. It's a great system, I love it.

I've ranted a bit here, oops. Don't take it to heart Mark, it's just the internet. It's just a forum. It's just people you don't know and have never nor will likely ever meet in real life.

Now I've got to go hide Easter eggs all over my house so my little girl can wake up and find them.
Hi Lucradis. The list is not that important. I was just making a small point.

Re "You're irritating. I don't believe for a second you had no ill intent when you created this thread." You've said this before. I honestly, truly, really, have no idea what you mean by that or why you think it. It seems Buddy Christ thinks that of me too, so somehow people have got the wrong impression. Maybe some time you could pm me and tell me why. I have no hidden agenda. I'm not "playing" anybody. ( Although I did try to trick E. into thinking he may be Jesus...that was pretty obvious I would have thought...and it would have disempowered him and exposed his true agenda). You obviously know something about me that I don't. All I was trying to do on this post was find some solution to the anguish of multiple people who were exposed to Egor. Maybe I was sticking my nose in... but to me their pain and their retractions into silence were palpable. I don't have ill intent to anyone (not even Egor, believe it or not-my ridiculing of him was not because I hate his guts, but to try to get him to stop being so offensive). I just wanted to stop him hurting people.

I'm not sure who you think my "ill intent" is directed at. Egor? You? I don't know.

I think this forum is excellent, and you are doing a good job. It was only when I was (half) threatened with being banned that I started to wonder who was in charge, who the moderators are, what does "spam" mean, what is a "threat" etc etc. My recent comments about rules etc are only to try to make things more transparent and defined, so that everyone knows the rules. They are not intended as a criticism of anyone in particular.

Please note I never put any pressure on you or anyone else to do something about Egor (other people bought that topic up). If you harbour that misconception please reread the opening paragraphs of this post. It just wasn't even on my radar that there was such an entity as a moderator when I first started getting into Egor...I just thought that this was an issue people as individuals needed to come to terms with. It just occurred to me that maybe you think I was indirectly trying to tell you how to do your job. Fuck...that's a light bulb moment for me if its true.

Re liking each other. Well I hear it that you don't like me, but I hope you can tell me why, because I would prefer to be liked. Obviously I've rubbed you up the wrong way. You'll have to tell me about this deceitful vibe. I can't possibly clear the air if I'm guessing what you mean, and its possible you can tell me something about me I don't realise.

I don't dislike you. No reason to. I'm not upset either (although was a bit shocked when I was accused of being a spammer). I'm a little disappointed I'm not liked, but my attitude to that is "lets sort it....if I'm honest with him, I can't do more, so I have to let it go." I don't beat myself up over things, I try to sort them out.

Thanks for the nice things you've said about my contributions. I've "liked" your intelligent comments scores of times too.

Hey, friend, have a nice Easter. It must be fabulous to have a little girl in your house who gets excited over Easter eggs. That's much nicer and more fun than dealing with Egor and Fulton
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08-04-2012, 02:09 AM
RE: What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?
no! no no no!
I am sorry... no!!!

This forum is getting popular and tons of Egors will come here and destroy the fun for others.

I find it very ignorant of a forum-team to just say "free speech".
EVERY forum has a proper ruleset that allows to kick the Egors of the internet BECAUSE the Egors of the internet are the people who can destroy a forum like this.
This forum, as I said before, was great when I joined.

Do not hide behind "free speech" you are not limiting free speech by having a rule set that allows you to ban someone who only spreads hate and discomfort.
Let's see, it is ot ok in to walk over to someone in public and start shouting at him and being very rude.
Why would it be ok to do that online? Just because we have a fucking ignore button? I said it before, I say it again, the ignore function is not a solution for the problem, but only for the individual.

I still care about this place and I would really like to help with this problem.

@lucradis I reached out to you specifically, because you are the administrator here. No reaction but "free speech". Man, do you care about this forum or not?
Yes, the forum is what it is because blabla. I read it. Do you see how people get pissed off? Do you want to lose the "good posters" the once who might have a tough discussion but who are reasonable enough to grow on it and to learn. Those who are keeping this forum alive WITHOUT forcing their opinions on others?
Did you miss that there are people leaving this forum highly official because they are pissed of enough by now? Wanna lose more? Or are you of the opinion "Ah well, we still have enough members". Well if all the reasonable members leave you are left with a forum full of trolls. Have fun with that.

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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