Dealing with poor behaviour on babble

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Michelle
Dealing with poor behaviour on babble

Continued from this thread.

Here is my proposal from that thread:

Michelle wrote:

Well, my thoughts are as follows (and I have been talking about this with the other mods too).

I think Infosaturated is correct, that this place is intimidating to newcomers and, frankly, the amount of hostility and anger here lately is unhealthy.  babble culture has expanded to include nastiness, snarkiness, rudeness, hostility, anger, and I also agree that the mods (okay, I'll speak for myself - I, as one mod) have given a lot more leeway for this type of behaviour to some longer-term babblers than newbies or people who don't post as frequently.  It has resulted in a complete lack of self-control in some, and defensive reactions in others.

I also agree that long-term babblers who engage in this kind of behaviour get a free pass when it is seen by them, or some others, as "righteous anger".  All this "righteous anger" that gets a pass - and that even I as a mod engage in occasionally - is making babble a really scary place for all but the most outgoing, most thick-skinned newcomers and occasional posters.  Lately, there is so much fighting and anger.  Not pleasant.

I think that, even if people have a good reason to be angry with someone else, we should start really focusing on a "no personal attacks on other babblers" policy that really, really means "no personal attacks".

Not "no personal attacks on other babblers unless you get really mad at someone."

Not "no personal attacks on other babblers unless you do it in a really passive-aggressive, snide way."

Not "no personal attacks on other babblers unless you think someone said something really bad/non-progressive/against babble policy."

Because of the really unhealthy dynamic on babble lately, I think that it should be simply, "No personal attacks on other babblers, period."  No matter what.

How does it get enforced?  I would prefer to enforce it without any bannings or suspensions at all, except for obvious spammers and really, really nasty trolls.  Why no bannings or suspensions?  Because I think bannings and suspensions reinforce the culture of anger and temper tantrums on babble by regulars.  When the mods regularly use "the stick", people will feel they can engage in poor behaviour up to the point where the mods use "the stick".  I think it also encourages infantile behaviour - when you treat people like children with the whole "reward/punishment" thing, then they become conditioned to act like children.

I would say it gets enforced by the mods stepping in and naming the behaviour when we see it, and then, if we need to name it again for the same person several times in one thread, asking them to leave the thread (but not others) if the behaviour becomes extreme.

We would also, of course, step in and name it if we could see that someone was baiting people and hoping for a reaction so that the mods would come down on the people who react (and by that, I mean posting stuff against babble policy, as interpreted by the moderators).  But that would not absolve babblers of their responsibility to not respond with personal attacks.  We are all responsible for our own behaviour, and no one "makes" anyone insult people, no matter what they say "first".

It would also, of course, be the responsibility of the moderators to ensure that when we do step in, we don't take advantage of our privilege as mods to bend the rules and be snarky about it ourselves (something that I know I do on occasion).

Perhaps we could also have threads in rabble reactions that go back to basics when it comes to interpersonal skills - how to disagree without posting personal attacks, things to do other than a knee-jerk flame reaction to offensive posts, etc.

Would this work for people, at least for a while?  I know it will probably feel like a constraint, but I think it's possible to have passionate discussions without tearing each other down and intimidating all but the most thick-skinned of participants / potential participants.

Sven Sven's picture

I think suspensions can be good.

The problem with just "calling out" a babbler is that a babbler can shoot off a vicious personal attack knowing that the only "consequence" of doing so is being "called out" and asked not to participate in that thread.  But, at the end of the day, they get to shoot whatever zinger of a personal attack that they want...and from one thread to another.

Suspensions provide a real consequence to bad behavior: Loss of posting rights for some period of time.  From my observation, suspensions have a good cooling-off effect on most babblers.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Calling out is what is happening now and it is clearly not working for some of us.

Caissa

So what should the threshold be for imposing a suspension?

Sven Sven's picture

Caissa wrote:

So what should the threshold be for imposing a suspension?

It's obviously a subjective call by the mods.  But, let's say that a particular moderator's subjective standard is relatively low (i.e., a suspension is relatively easily triggered with that mod).  What's the worst thing that happens?  A babbler gets a short break from babble.

I think it would enhance civility here tremendously and, as Pogo pointed out, the current policy of "calling out" babblers is, IMHO, ineffective (as evidenced by the tenor of babble lately).

Caissa

Thanks, Sven. Do you think a spate of suspensions would possibly cause some vicarious learning on the part of other Babblers?

Michelle

I think the threat of suspension might actually be driving some of the hostility, though.  babblers play up to the line because the line is there.  Or perhaps in order to try to push other people over it.  And you wouldn't believe the number of requests we get to "ban so-and-so" or "give so-and-so a time-out".  It's like watching the emperor give the thumbs down in the colosseum, you know? :D

I think that if we realize that we're not going to get the satisfaction of seeing our babble enemies banned or suspended, and that we are going to be called on personal attacks every single time we make them, then there will be less incentive for us to keep it up.  I strongly believe that if we're treated as adults, we just might act like adults.  Moderators should be here to guide the discussion away from dead ends, and be more like editors rather than doling out spankings.

Michelle

Pogo, I disagree that calling out is what is happening now.  I think there are a number of babblers who are not called out by moderators on personal attacks every time they make them, because a culture has taken hold, of letting personal attacks go if the person making them is a "regular", or if they are perceived as "correct" or "baited" or "righteously angry".

I like to think that we babblers, as adults, will respond positively if moderators focus more on defusing and redirecting away from personal attacks rather than punishing and scolding.

And perhaps there should be a rabble reactions thread where moderators can be reminded of the same if we fall off the wagon and into snarkiness or personal attacks ourselves, since we're not immune!

HeywoodFloyd

There's an interesting issue in there Michelle, wrt the "ban so-and-so" emails. Perhaps one option would be to do an after-action review of a thread in which someone's actions have resulted in their banning or suspension. Everyone who contributed to that action by responding to their posts/escalating the tension/ really anything that lead to the banning (obvious trolling exculded) should be given a 24 hour ban.

This way the running to the line is stopped, as is all the in-the-rules provocations.

Snert Snert's picture

Perhaps, if the moderators want to apply some kind of penalty to misbehavers, they could play around with the babbler labels.

For example, who would want their name to have "Harper supporter" under it?  Or "Campbell in 2009!!" or "I_heart_Emay"?

Failing that, it could be kind of amusing if the mods just took it upon themselves, when threads become donnybrooks, to insert apologies and other conciliatory messages into posts.

"You're a running dog of the Capitalist overlord and you'll be first against the wall when the revolution comes" could be turned into "I'm inclined to disagree, though I'm sure we could find some common ground, and I'm sorry for calling you an Imperialist Stooge... hug?"

Caissa

FOFLMAO, Snert. This one needs to go in the babble hall of fame.

Michelle

Haha!  Great idea! :D

Life, the unive...

The fundamental problem is that certain long time posters get a pass based on longevity.  The double standard is obvious and it gives others a feeling of license to either pile on or to respond in kind.  The idea above is probably a better way to handle it then my preference- which is to ban- for some limited amount of time.  When our now adult kids fought it didn't matter who started it- they were all in trouble if they started hitting each other.  Starting it shouldn't matter.  If babblers - on either side decide to join in on a tit for tat then they should all suffer the consuequences of their actions.

Weltschmerz

Oooh, yes, let's build a "personal attack post cleanser" that the mods can apply to offending posts.  I'm with you Snert.  It could search for certain trigger phrases and replace them with care bear conflict-resolution.  The more offending the original post, the more marshmallow-y the filtered text.

Pogo Pogo's picture

I don't think longevity is the reason.  Rather as KenS points to a certain ability to walk close to the line, push back appropriately when challenged and dodge when necessary.  I can point to myself at times using this behaviour, though I am certainly not proud of it.  Longevity plays into it in that the if there is a mod/poster confrontation the mod knows that they are going to be challenged they think twice before getting into it with the poster.

Michelle

I agree with you that this has happened, Life, and continues to happen.  I also agree with you that it's offputting to new members and that it shouldn't be like that.

It's interesting, how many people seem to lean towards suspensions and bans. 

Here is the problem I see with "progressive suspensions".  Most lurkers (including right-wing troll types) get to know the regulars pretty well.  One thing we've seen on babble on occasion is the slow-to-explode right-wing troll type who skirts the rules for a while, staying just this side of the line, and getting the regulars all riled up.  So they watch the board for a while, and then go after someone who's had a few "strikes" and this time that person's going to be gone for a month (or whatever) if they screw up again.  So that's the person they focus on baiting, in order to try to get them to lose their cool.

And the mod might be onto that troll, but then once that troll is banned, they come back with a new account, slightly different personality, and start baiting certain babblers again. 

The other thing is, our regulars have a lot invested in coming to babble for years on end, but trolls have nothing invested.  So they start flame wars with the regulars (who shouldn't engage, but hey, we're human) and the troll doesn't care if they lose their account - heck, they can just open another account and keep going where they left off, baiting the same people until they lose that account.  But the people who have a lot invested in this community might bend under the pressure, and after the troll's gone through a few accounts, the regular has finally gotten themselves banned because they've given in to the trolling onslaught.

And I think it's a fair question, whether people who have devoted years of their time to building this community, even if the occasional person is abrasive, shouldn't get a bit more leeway than someone who is brand new and already acting like a jerk.

I'm not saying I have the answers to these questions.  I'm just saying that I don't think it's quite as simple as merely saying that everyone gets progressive suspensions until they're banned. 

Not to mention that the moderators would probably find it pretty difficult to remember which level of suspension each person on babble had last, if any.

Infosaturated

So basically nothings going to really change. The mods are going to play nanny and continue to favor insiders. Not banning and not giving suspensions reinforces the culture of anger and temper tantrums by regulars. It also tells newcomers that it's acceptable behavior. Why shouldn't I call someone a fuckwad if all you are going to do is come in and tell me it's rude. I know it's rude, that's why I'm saying it.  I won't even be kicked out of the thread so I can needle and insult people a few times before being kicked out... except that is only true for the real insiders. I certainly couldn't do it if my target was an insider.

Your thread title suggests you are dealing with children who haven't learned how to get along.  You still intend to molly-coddle regulars.  They will continue to model behavior that newcomers will assume is okay because at worst the mods will just tell posters they are being naughty a few times then tell them they can't post in that thread anymore. You think unionist doesn't know when he is insulting someone? You think it's going to bother him that he can only get a few shots in before he can't post in that thread anymore. He's already decided he isn't interested in engaging in discussion and he is amusing himself by taking potshots. You are saying he's allowed to do that and all you'll do is tell him he's being rude.

Deciding whether or not someone is baiting is not always a clear cut call but if someone's opinion might upset one of the regulars then labeled "baiting" even if it isn't.  You are policing views not actions. That is fine in clear cut cases where the individual is clearly right-wing but the problem isn't with trolls or right-wingers. In the thread on the proposed changes to custody laws the individual who came in to promote father's rights was shut down instantly.  Nobody bothered to engage or respond seriously to the poster because they were clearly educated on the issue and had made up their mind.

What if the poster had been someone who sincerely wasn't aware that misinformation was being promoted and was falling for those arguments but decided to post here to find out what the "other side" of the argument was.  Now that person would be engaged through being treated with derision and the mods would warn the OP that their views aren't welcome here and treat them like a troll an idiot or both. They would be driven out. Doesn't matter if they participated in every peace march ever held in North America for the past 40 years.

I agree that trolls can be sneaky and disrupt a board but the answer is not to allow attacks on anyone suspected of being a "mole" because they don't instantly agree with the most extremist views.  If they are a troll that will become obvious soon enough. If they are genuine but a more moderate leftist that too will become clear. 

In the professor who got arrested thread I never said anything racist. All I suggested was that the incident might not be one-sided. Facts came out that suggest there is some ambiguity.  The professor had trouble with the door because there was a recent attempted break-in at his very house.  In the previous few weeks there had been a flurry of daytime break-ins.  The woman reporting the incident didn't say a word about "black men". Nuns, real nuns, have been caught shop-lifting.  People dressed as nuns have smuggled drugs.  Babies and children have been used to smuggle drugs.  A flurry of daytime robberies means that somehow the robbers must appear as though they belong where they are.  A robber could use suitcases to carry out stolen goods.  Turns out the cop in question gave mouth to mouth resuscitation to a black man. But I was deemed out of line for suggesting that just maybe people were jumping to conclusions and this particular incident might not be an example of racism because we didn't have all the facts. That was not "racist" on my part.

Turns out the woman was lying in the Duke rape case yet at first I jumped on the bandwagon of condemning the Duke players.  They deserved to be condemned for their misogyny but not for raping that woman because they didn't do it.  How would someone who suggested things might not be what they seem, that the men might be innocent, be treated here?  As a baiter, a troll, and anti-feminist.

This part of policy "babble is NOT intended as a place where the basic and essential values of human rights, feminism, anti-racism, and labour rights are to be debated or refought." is being used as justification for preventing progressive people from disagreeing with the board insiders including mods. The insiders are allowed to fight amongst themselves but no one else is allowed to say anything that offends an insider.  Disagreeing with an insider is "baiting" because insiders can't be expected to control themselves when other people upset them by having an opposing opinion. Insiders, however, are free to bait people who admire the Dalai Lam or Mr. Moist and if they complain they are accused of being petty or unreasonable.

It goes well beyond some posters being allowed to be rude.  This is from the other thread:

On the issue of joint custody, I'm very lucky to have Michelle pretty much channelling my thoughts on that because I, G. Pie, would not dare to post further on that subject.  So while on one hand I'm grateful to Michelle for fighting the good fight, on the other I'm wondering why I, one of the riff-raff, am not allowed to post pretty much the same POV.

Even if G. Pie is wrong and could have participated in that thread the perception remains that posters will be judged by who they are not by what they say. 

Poster after poster, both old and new, lurkers, part-time participants, is agreeing that they don't know where the line is because it moves depending on who the poster is and what their viewpoint is. People don't post because they don't want to become the target of some insider They know the mods will side with their favorites no matter what.  Some people are saying they lurk and figure out who's who then avoid specific threads where they suspect they will be attacked. Others post a few times and give up stating that their reason is the way the board is moderated, or not moderated. These are just the ones that speak up. You don't even bother to hide the fact that you play favorites instead you justify it.

You seem to think the insiders will leave unless they are allowed to run roughshot over everyone else. Well if that's the case maybe they should leave so rabble can build a message board where progressives feel welcome to post instead of feeling like they are entering a hostile environment where they have to fella-tio the insiders if they want to participate.

Telling flamers they are rude is meaningless.  They know they are being rude.  They are being rude on purpose because they want to inflame their target. That's the whole point. 

You have explicitly granted permission to your favorites to be rude 2 or 3 times per thread that they want to trash.  

You have explicitly told your favored group of posters that they will not be held to the same standards as others because you don't want them to feel alienated.  (apparently it's fine to alienate everyone else)

My perception is that babble is run by a clique of which the mods appear to be members.  Neither mods nor insiders make any secret of it.  Some potential posters are so alienated by the blatant prejudice and favoritism that they refrain from participating or leave in disgust shortly after joining.

Life, the unive...

One thing that needs to happen is the stopping of 'I am ignoring you' posts.  This is just another way of launching a passive aggressive attack, and remincisent of something my grandkids would do, and the online equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling lalalalalala over and over.  It just adds to a climate of hostility, but it being allowed regularly.  The other fundamental thing that must change is that the double standard given to some select posters must stop, or you might as well just make rabble/babble a private club and quit pretending it is open to all progressives.  Because right now it is only open to progressives that 'happen to agree with us".

 

ETA - Michelle the problem is not with obvious trolls but long time posters who have now put themselves in opposite camps.  Say anything in any thread that might seem like you supported something that camp said then you can see yourself opened up to endless attacks too.  The problem is that some long time babblers understand the rules and are much sneaker than newbies or the more straightforward.  If babble is to become the place it wants to be, as uncomfortable as it might be, those people are going to have to be dealt with and sternly because they have shown themselve incapable of acting like adults.  It's a bit like the jackasses who heckle in the House of Commons.  Sure it can be entertaining, but does it really add anything to debate, or does it debase the whole place.  I would suspect the latter.

Unionist

Michelle wrote:

Because of the really unhealthy dynamic on babble lately, I think that it should be simply, "No personal attacks on other babblers, period."  No matter what.

How does it get enforced?  I would prefer to enforce it without any bannings or suspensions at all, except for obvious spammers and really, really nasty trolls.

Been thinking this over and reading the constructive posts, and with some trepidation, I agree. I've never called for the banning of any poster (except the obvious troll after a first post), and I've lobbied for the return of some - even though I understood the logic behind the sanction. What's the worst that can happen if we try your suggestion? If it breaks down, we'll call another meeting, review, and amend.

 

martin dufresne

Actually, since it was mentioned, I think the "Should shared parenting be forced?" thread is going remarkably well. No one could suspect Michelle and I of seeing eye to eye on most issues... but we have had, so far, a perfectly civil exchange, based on feelings, evidence, other people and organizations' assesments and... look Ma, no blood! Others have joined the discussion with differing POVs and still no fracas, despite the issue being such a flashpoint in society. I sincerely believe that cyniscm is not warranted and that anyone not indulging in personal attacks or no-holds-barred defensiveness of one's opinions would and will be respected in this thread and elsewhere.

 

Michelle

Well, not sure how to respond to that post, Infosaturated.  I guess all I can do is promise to try my best not to show favourtism and to make this work.  I think we have different outlooks when it comes to the intentions of the people who post here.  I think most people who post here do not intentionally set out to fight all the time - I think that it just takes some time to change unhealthy dynamics and people fall into old patterns easily.  I'd like to try and help change that with as little punitive action as possible, while also trying to correct the imbalance that you and Life have observed when it comes to favouring certain long-time babblers over others.

G. Muffin

Martin, it was an earlier thread on the same subject that I was referring to in Infosaturated's post. 

remind remind's picture

Life, do you really believe there is any sort of agreement between long time babblers, on most anything? The infighting going on here speaks otherwise to that notion, don't you think?

As one should be able to see, there isn't, there is a huge gap between, feminists, Libertarians, neo-Liberals, anarchists,  labour union people's, 3rd wayers, environmentalists, urban rural, and any other assorted grouping which belong to the forum.

Most often times we on the left, hear that type of description from the right wing crowd, who think we are some large homogenous group, that does group think.

As such,  it is my opinion, in this instance, you are mischaracterizing things a bit, in this respect.

 

 

 

 

Prophit

Infosaturated, you are expressing what I feel even though I am a recent poster. I have lurked for a while then tried to get into some of the conversations. Those pertaining to the Middle East have been the most challenging. I have been threatened twice by the mods with banning and I am still confused as to what rules I violated. Certainly in comparison to one longtime Babbler who consistently intimidates, name calls and bullies, I have never approached that level of parlance.

I'm not sure in the end if anything can be done. A Board like this thrives on its longtime posters and simply put you don't want to piss them off. Indeed, I have also been told in no uncertain terms that if I don't like it here I can leave. Not what I expect from a progressive board. The usual reason given is that some here disagree with my position on the Middle East even though I am consonant with many other Jewish progressive leftists like Jeff Rose and Phil Berger to name just a couple.
I look forward to seeing if any changes arise from this important thread.

 

 

Papal Bull

I dare you guys to try to outlaw fighting. You'll have cut out the heart and soul of the internet, we might as well be talking face to face or something weird like that.

 

However, dealing with the poor behaviour should be met with 'mutings'. I've been on boards that force certain posters to have 'cool down periods' where they are given a temp ban for 2-4 hours or something along those lines. You ban the two combatants, they can continue duking it out over PMs if they so choose, the thread can go on and those that oppose the moderators glorious and eternal moderate revolution can go and gripe in one of their babble counter-revolutionary reactionary threads. The rest of us will lead on to a shining and prosperous tomorrow (eventually getting rid of the hierarchal and oppressive monsters that we call mods (mod is dead - Nietzsche))

CMOT Dibbler

Great, now people are calling for the banning of regular posters. Guess what? All you lurkers and occassional posters will eventually become regulars too, and you will have some fighting moments with others, it's human nature. Then you're all banned for a new crop. Repeat the same all over again?

I came to this board when it was chock full of regulars debating and yes, getting peeved at each other, because that is how life works sometimes. If we all want some squeaky clean board where we all agree, and there are never, ever any words that may rile someone up, I think we're living in fairy tale land.

What we can do is attempty to control our behaviour. Period. I don't think calls for mass bannings of regulars is really the way to go, and it is quite a nasty thing to do.

 

 

OK,  Mass bannings are extreme,  but the  mods are  trying  hard  to come  up  with a  comprehensive strategy  to deal with  all  the sniping and  I  don't  think that  relying on board  members  to  control  themselves  has worked  very well.  There  is  something about  Internet  forums.  They  make  individuals  go MAD. 

Infosaturated

Michelle wrote:
One thing we've seen on babble on occasion is the slow-to-explode right-wing troll type who skirts the rules for a while, staying just this side of the line, and getting the regulars all riled up.  So they watch the board for a while, and then go after someone who's had a few "strikes" and this time that person's going to be gone for a month (or whatever) if they screw up again.  So that's the person they focus on baiting, in order to try to get them to lose their cool.

Then provide a permanent flaming thread so babblers can let loose there. Are these people not adults?

Michelle wrote:
The other thing is, our regulars have a lot invested in coming to babble for years on end, but trolls have nothing invested.  So they start flame wars with the regulars (who shouldn't engage, but hey, we're human) and the troll doesn't care if they lose their account - heck, they can just open another account and keep going where they left off, baiting the same people until they lose that account.  But the people who have a lot invested in this community might bend under the pressure, and after the troll's gone through a few accounts, the regular has finally gotten themselves banned because they've given in to the trolling onslaught.

And I think it's a fair question, whether people who have devoted years of their time to building this community, even if the occasional person is abrasive, shouldn't get a bit more leeway than someone who is brand new and already acting like a jerk.

On any other message board I have participated in it is the regulars that are supposed to set an example for newcomers. Why shouldn't a newcomer act like a jerk?  That is the example being set for them.  It's like you invite some kids over who see your kids writing on the wall with crayons. So, they pick up crayons and write on the wall.  Then you tell them off but not your kids.

No, I don't think it's fair for "regulars" to get to throw their weight around because they were here first.  You say they built a community.  I say they built a clique.  They aren't attacking trolls that baited them they are attacking anyone they please.

You set up this scenario where a troll lures some regular how exactly?  By having a viewpoint that enrages the regular? Do these trolls pretend to be sincere then suddenly pop out and say neener neener I really love Bush you suckers?

Michelle wrote:
And I think it's a fair question, whether people who have devoted years of their time to building this community, even if the occasional person is abrasive, shouldn't get a bit more leeway than someone who is brand new and already acting like a jerk.

I'm not saying I have the answers to these questions.  I'm just saying that I don't think it's quite as simple as merely saying that everyone gets progressive suspensions until they're banned. 

Not to mention that the moderators would probably find it pretty difficult to remember which level of suspension each person on babble had last, if any.

So don't make it progressive. If regulars are so devoted to this board then a 3 day suspension will help them to learn how to control themselves, a skill all adults should have.  Personally, I think most attacks are quite deliberate not due to a loss of control. The attacker may lose their temper but they feel free to indulge it rather than control it. If a global 3 day suspension policy doesn't work then make it a week. If they value the board so much they will learn to confine their flaming to the flame war thread.

It is not a case of an occasional poster getting abrasive.  It is a case of some posters being allow to bait and flame other posters because they have been here longer and the mods like them or agree with their views.  It's about allowing only a certain brand of progressives to post. It's not about some poor regular being baited by a troll for weeks or months and finally exploding. It's about regulars being allowed to insult and bait anyone they please while being protected by the mods.

Jaku

I am interested in why the odd regular poster gets to frankly misbehave in a pretty obnoxious manner. Frankly, I would love to post who I am thinking about but Im afraid it would get me banned.

Stargazer

You are using incredibly exclusive language. We "regulars" are reading these threads. Perhaps you can discuss these issues with that in mind. You know, that we are actual real people and not just "them". It would be nice if you actually engaged us in communication, instead of coming here and dictating what that should look like and speaking about us as if we are children.

 

We get a lot farther with kindness then bullying and innuendos.

 

Oh we cross posted Jaku. This comment wasn't meant for you.

Jaku

Stargazer how would you have us engage in the way you see would be helpful?

Prophit

Stargazer, I am not sure who you are referencing. Could you please clarify.

Stargazer

I think that a time out for a couple of hours is a good idea. But I think that time out has to come with an explanation that is fair to both parties, not just the one screaming the most. The problems I can see coming from short suspensions is the inability for others to figure out who is right or wrong. Actually forget who is right or wrong, maybe when two people or more are going at it in a really bad way, suspend both parties until they calm down.

Then perhaps we have a referee is need be. Someone who is impartial. The mods already do a good job of that.

Edited to add: I'm referencing Infosaturated's post. I don't think we need to be called "them" and treated like small children. I just find that language very exclusionary and alienating.

 

Pogo Pogo's picture

Perhaps part of the timeout process should include an acknowledgement of the wrongdoing to get reinstated.

CMOT Dibbler

But isn't it kind of difficult not to other people on message boards?

SG I know some stuff about you, but that's not the same as actually KNOWING you.   

Stargazer

It is really difficult CMOT. But look at the amount of information the majority of us have shared with each other. I think I have shared more with people here than I have with my "real life" friends. I think that this sharing gives us a human face to our onscreen moniker and it is probably also the reason why we tend to get on each other sometimes. I think we all just have to stop and ask ourselves, "Is it really that important to me for others to completely see things as I do?" The answer is no but hell, I still do it sometimes, despite common sense. :)

Bloody humans. We're a great lot aren't we?

 

 

 

Papal Bull

Pogo wrote:

Perhaps part of the timeout process should include an acknowledgement of the wrongdoing to get reinstated.

 

I doubt that in a lot of cases you'd get much recognition of someone's own wrongdoings. A quick 'you guys are gone for a few hours, see you soon!' would suffice in fairness. It isn't, by any means, a harsh measure - anyone who complains about being booted from a site for 2 or 4 hours really needs something better to complain about. They'll be right back at the board, the mods can make a comment explaining the action in the thread (and preempt our supreme babbler ability to shout at each other aimlessly by perhaps having a thread to discuss recent short-term bans, or at least give whatever extra 'splainin' they care to). I can't really see anyone having a problem with being told 'hey, shut up, you've made about 50 attacking posts in a thread of 112 posts prior to closing, and now you're starting the same trend in the thread pt. 2'. Such a method of divine moderator retribution would also encourage people to not hop right into the attacking pool, instead, isolating the pissy user, making them stand out, and iMbarassing them online - a dual use 'ha ha' to anyone who really feels it is necessary to, and I'm just making this as general as possible 'hey, x, fuck you. i disafuckinggree with your fucked position on political issue y. go fuck yourself, i have more slurs that won't be paraphrased by PB in this post'. Really, I have to stress that this will isolate fights, isolate the combatants and discourage some of the more creative dog pile alliances that have sprung up on here over the aeons of internetting that have ocurred.

CMOT Dibbler

 I think I have shared more with people here than I have with my "real life" friends. I think that this sharing gives us a human face to our onscreen moniker and it is probably also the reason why we tend to get on each other sometimes. I think we all just have to stop and ask ourselves, "Is it really that important to me for others to completely see things as I do?" The answer is no but hell, I still do it sometimes, despite common sense. :)

Alright, but I think that if I had met, for example, Martin(hugged his cat, gossiped with his grandma, commandeered his computer to play doom etc.) before meeting him online, I wouldn't be as willing to tear him apart in bouts of Web combat, and we wouldn't be standing on either side of a chasm created by Internet induced ignorance.

Unionist

oldgoat, posted in the other thread wrote:

In talking about mass banning of regulars which I believe was alluded to somewhere above, really, that's getting a bit ahead of things.  In a word, no.  The whole idea here is to use less suspensions and bannings, but it will require a buy in by all posters here.  This is something Michelle and I are suggesting, it's not really something we can do on our own.

 

Bannings and suspensions are still going to happen because we'll still get the usual trolls registering here, commercial spammers etc.

I agree, as I said before. I would go further, and suggest we try dispensing with bans and suspensions altogether (except for obvious trolls of course). That could be combined with the methods Michelle advocated (identifying abusive behaviour), with a collaborative effort by babblers to ignore attacks until the attacker gets tired, maybe even a call by the mods to ignore a babbler until further notice - but don't throw them out. I think it's worth a try. For one thing, it will avoid "wrongful convictions", and for another, it will give babblers better testing and training in self-restraint.

 

Quote:
Here's my concern though.  Politeness can be really passive aggressive.  In the hands of a clever person it can be intentionally galling and infuriating.  There is still room for abuse here.  Also, any set of rules structure or expectations can be gamed by skilled people who have an agenda, be it personal or part of an organized lobby.  Not pointing fingers, just sayin'.  Something we'll have to watch for and respond to as a community.

Unless you have a suggestion as to how to deal with this, why not just leave it alone, and use the same methods as above? Of course, "calling out" posters on such behaviour may be a little more difficult.

Finally, we could agree that only mods can comment on or criticize posting behaviour. Even reminding someone of the rules can be taken as (and sometimes amounts to) a personal attack. Use PM or email - and while waiting, use "ignore". Again, I think it's worth a try. Anything that helps reduce the use of the word "you" in posts can't hurt.

 

 

martin dufresne

Fortunately, the chasm isn't as wide or deep as it seems, CMOT. I have to say really like you and your input... and I agree things might have been easier if we had had the opportunity to meet.

Or not. Because, to address Stargazer's insight ("...I think that this sharing gives us a human face to our onscreen moniker and it is probably also the reason why we tend to get on each other sometimes...), the closer we become, the more expectations we have of each other and difficulty we have seeing others rally to or maintain positions that go totally against the grain of our own. I have experienced this after having had the chance to meet a few Babblers in person.

An interesting dialectic all around.

Infosaturated

Stargazer wrote:

You are using incredibly exclusive language. We "regulars" are reading these threads. Perhaps you can discuss these issues with that in mind. You know, that we are actual real people and not just "them". It would be nice if you actually engaged us in communication, instead of coming here and dictating what that should look like and speaking about us as if we are children.

We get a lot farther with kindness then bullying and innuendos.

Well I am not going to suck up to you just because you are an insider and being here a long time is not the only criteria for being one. All I have said is that posters should be treated as equals and all I am reading is that the insiders club needs special consideration because  secret nasty trolls torture them and force them to behave badly whereas new posters should know that only the insiders are protected.

Stargazer wrote:

REAL women of Canada do not speak for the majority. Nice to see the company the anti-prostitution crowd keeps.

Mods are tripping over themselves to justify the above as long as it's said by an insider.  If I were allowed to be equally rude I would be fine with it.  If threads didn't get closed because insiders are judged by the moderators to be incapable of self-control I'd just ignore the bickering, or maybe join in. 

The choices are not limited to ban all the insiders or give them preferencial treatment.  You could choose to treat everyone the same instead of creating a lower-class of posters that aren't entitled to defend themselves or express themselves like the privileged class.

Non-insiders should not be target practice for insiders.

 

oldgoat

Quote:
Well I am not going to suck up to you just because you are an insider and being here a long time is not the only criteria for being one.

.

Actually, this serves as a good teaching moment as the sort of sentiment which could either have been expressed in a less confrontative manner, or foregone entirely. It's unneccesarily confrontative and doesn't really serve a point.

Regarding the second quote, I scrolled up and couldn't find it. Assuming it's from somewhere else and I didn't just miss it, I'd like to say that bringing quotes from other contexts is extraordinarily unhelpful, and a lot of people do it. From a practical viewpoint it makes things really hard to moderate, and the fairness is questionable.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Unionist wrote:

Finally, we could agree that only mods can comment on or criticize posting behaviour. Even reminding someone of the rules can be taken as (and sometimes amounts to) a personal attack. Use PM or email - and while waiting, use "ignore". Again, I think it's worth a try.

That would make sense on a forum board that had full-time moderators. Because rabble.ca wrongly thinks it can run a 24/7 political discussion board with part-time moderators, regular members have to take up some of the slack. In my opinion, people should be reminded of the rules far more often and by far more people than is the case now.

Unionist

M. Spector wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Finally, we could agree that only mods can comment on or criticize posting behaviour. Even reminding someone of the rules can be taken as (and sometimes amounts to) a personal attack. Use PM or email - and while waiting, use "ignore". Again, I think it's worth a try.

That would make sense on a forum board that had full-time moderators. Because rabble.ca wrongly thinks it can run a 24/7 political discussion board with part-time moderators, regular members have to take up some of the slack. In my opinion, people should be reminded of the rules far more often and by far more people than is the case now.

I understand the risk in my suggestion, but yours carries the risk of discussions degenerating entirely into debates over who is following or interpreting the rules correctly - even if the discussion remains polite.

What did you think of my principal suggestion (no bans or suspensions except for blatant trolls, on a trial basis, with calls to ignore, etc.)?

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

oldgoat wrote:

Infosaturated wrote:
Well I am not going to suck up to you just because you are an insider and being here a long time is not the only criteria for being one.

Actually, this serves as a good teaching moment as the sort of sentiment which could either have been expressed in a less confrontative manner, or foregone entirely. It's unneccesarily confrontative and doesn't really serve a point.

At the risk of being seen as "unnecessarily confrontative," oldgoat, I will observe that your teaching moment actually serves to illustrate Infosaturated's point very nicely. 

Bookish Agrarian

I hope I can be forgiven for intruding here.

I have been spending a great deal of time with an older relative who is quite unwell.  Seeing as they are also farmers I have been spending a lot of time by myself doing chores on the combined 4 farms we own.  The only time recently I spent any time on babble was at work (ssshhh!) don't tell.  In that brief space of time a babbler I really like and respect and I seemed to be talking past each other and in retrospect we were really talking about two different issues around a similar theme.  (Sean I apologize for my part in that).  In the end we were talking past each other and I fear because of that I caused some upset.   Doing what I have been doing really puts things and real priorities into perspective.

My time alone doing work with my hands has given me a great deal of time to realize that some of us have very toxic personalities no matter how polite and cute we wrap it up in. (I am not excluding myself).  While babble can be a life-line for some of us- my recent experiences tell me in the end it really isn't nearly as important as our life outside this place.  I say that even though there are some babblers I know and like and would absolutely love to spend time with outside babble.  Those babblers I knew before babble or have since met are extrodinary people (and I mean truly amazing and inspiring)  I am enourmously thankful for the fact that babble got me in contact with them.  However, babble has become a truly toxic space (yet it is bizzarely addictive).  Yet some of us invest far too much of our emotions in the place and that causes the entrenchment some are speaking to in this and the other thread.

I know this won't be a popular sentiment (I guess I am one of those lifers being dissed) but I really feel some selective banning of two combatents is going to be necessary.   (I think I could have benefite from that over the years.)  Let's make it something where they have to report back to the mods something they did away from the computer - maybe it was read a book, or helped someone cross the street, or took a walk., before then can come back.  Something that takes them away from the computer.  In the end most of these fights are pointless - totally, utterly pointless.  If you had to desribe what you were fighting about to a friend or love one, would they really think it was worth all that energy, or might they just think to themselves that maybe you are just ever so slightly a little nuts.  (and I am not saying everything is pointless, but much of it when I read it over, including threads I have been involved with, reads about the same as overhearing a bunch of the bickering that goes on between kids, or drunken duffi in a bar)

I have resolved after the last few days of periodically thinking about babble as random thoughts went through my head to only check in on babble for the polling thread because it is a conveince to me.  No one will miss me, even though I will miss some of the really interesting posters.  Unfortunetly, because of that I won't be able to share the discoveries I made around celery and oil conversion, or that secret language I have been able to detrmine that chickens speak and how that relates to armageddon and 2012.  Such is life, or it will be up until 2012 anyway.

I also really don't like the active ignore suggestions - to me it sounds an awful lot like the shunning some of my female friends went through in grade and highschool.

Ze

OK, I actually am leaving babble like I posted yesterday (as did at least three others in threads I read, over issues of this place and certain posters being ever so hostile/confrontational). I don't flatter myself that this is any great loss, although I think the departure of ennir and Catchfire and Coyote are all losses. But back for one final post. Well, link. Not that it will alter the zOMG Cliques of the Internet or that everything written applies, but sometimes the classics are still great. 

[url=http://www.struggle.ws/hist_texts/structurelessness.html]The Tyranny of Structurelessness[/url]

remind remind's picture

I concur with you about the shunning, BA.

And wb, I have missed you. are you going to start a 2012 chicken thread?

Infosaturated

oldgoat wrote:

Quote:
Well I am not going to suck up to you just because you are an insider and being here a long time is not the only criteria for being one.

.

Actually, this serves as a good teaching moment as the sort of sentiment which could either have been expressed in a less confrontative manner, or foregone entirely. It's unneccesarily confrontative and doesn't really serve a point.

Regarding the second quote, I scrolled up and couldn't find it. Assuming it's from somewhere else and I didn't just miss it, I'd like to say that bringing quotes from other contexts is extraordinarily unhelpful, and a lot of people do it. From a practical viewpoint it makes things really hard to moderate, and the fairness is questionable.

Why didn't you point out that Stargazer's initial attack on me was out of line. Couldn't her sentiment have been expressed in a less confrontational manner?

The second quote is from somewhere else but can you think of any context in which it is acceptable to infer that people on the thread who are against the legalization of prostitution consort with or are associates of "REAL" Women. 

If I don't quote examples (which primarily come from other threads) to prove my point that there are two classes of posters then I can't illustrate my claim in one place. I may post a bit more but don't worry because I will leave again soon. I don't like being treated like a second-class citizen and I don't like seeing other posters that I respect being treated like second-class citizens. It's especially depressing to see it happening on a message board that presents itself as progressive.

Unionist

[url=Musical">http://bit.ly/l6VmX]Musical Interlude.[/url]

 

al-Qa'bong

Ze wrote:

OK, I actually am leaving babble like I posted yesterday (as did at least three others in threads I read, over issues of this place and certain posters being ever so hostile/confrontational). I don't flatter myself that this is any great loss, although I think the departure of ennir and Catchfire and Coyote are all losses.

 

Catchfire and Kiyoot are leaving?  I don't know ennir very well, but the other two, and Cueball, have been among the babblers whose words I most like reading, and from whom I've learned the most.

 

Damn.

wage zombie

Give some babblers the ability to flag another babbler for a time out for going overboard.  If someone gets x flags in y hours, then they get a short timeout.  Babblers who abuse this flagging ability would lose it soon enough.

All of this would be very easy to set up in drupal.

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