Before the recent rule update, I was worried that the calls for more action from moderators was going to make it harder for people to speak their minds liberally on chainlink, and in my mind, this private message from Duppie confirms that my fear was justified:
I saw your posts in the Drive-thru thread. Name calling and personal attacks are not allowed. Please keep that in mind going forward.
So, Duppie, let's see what was said. Here is the post by Martin Hazard that I was replying to:
I love to go to the drive through at the Mcdonalds on Milwaukee just south of Diversey. They state that they dont serve walk up traffic, after the lobby is closed. Nothing more. I didn't walk my F-ing bike up to the window. I order a hamburger and wait for them to call the police. The police never show up for that type of call, and in the mean time they have countless drivers who already placed orders driving off without paying. When they finally capitulate, and they always do, I throw that burger out;-) F-them, it is up to the individual Mc-d's.
Here is my response:
Man, if I was the drive-thru manager, hell would of frozen over before I would of given you that hamburger, because I follow the principle of never give in to the demands of an entitled asshole.
Definitely, a sassy reply. But, technically, I didn't call him anything directly. I was simply trying to say that I thought it was asshole behavior. And, bottom line, my criticism is directed at the behavior, not the person. At least, I meant it that way. After that h' sarcastically replies:
Matin Hazard, the very personification of "entitlement."
To which, I sarcastically reply:
Oh is Martin a transgender albino native american asshole? Regardless, I still wouldn't of given him the hamburger.
That's sarcastic. And in question form. Again, it's sassy, but hardly a personal attack. And, bottom line, I'm going to continue to speak my mind. If you want to delete my posts go ahead.
And I want to voice my support for Lee Diamond's approach to moderation:
It is easy to say that there should be more moderation, or better moderation, or that certain language or topics or discussions have crossed the line, but in the end, this is just a place. The conversations that are had at this place are not condoned or endorsed by the Chainlink simply because we don't intervene. Does Facebook moderate your conversations? Does AT&T listen in on your calls and tell you how to talk or what you can and can't say? If you go to a bar or a restaurant or a mall to have a conversation, are there security guards escorting you out when you use a certain word, express a particular opinion or say something that even the owner of the mall, restaurant or bar objects to? In some cases the answer is yes, and those businesses can choose to run themselves that way. For the most part, the answer is that the place itself is just where that stuff happens. It has no ownership of the conversations held within its walls, be they physical or digital. Like a bar, we'll toss a patron when they get too rowdy. Like a bar, many of the patrons will feel we should have done that long ago, or shouldn't have done it at all, or should have let that person stay and tossed someone else instead. Such is life. And internet life too.
Replies are closed for this discussion.
I started to write a PM to you but decided, based on your posts, that you would prefer a public response. In contacting you I am in no way concerned with your behavior on the thread. You raised a point that was a good one and I felt compelled to respond. One of the tools we use is a private message before taking any action. The thought was to send Tristan a private message reminding him of where the line is as it was felt the thread was getting hot and that the thread was a post or two away from devolving into a flame war requiring us to take specific action. Alike the bureaucrats you may find in your life, we prefer to do nothing. Thus, Tristan was sent a gentle reminder. He was not punished, censured, suspended, chastised or terminated. I can see both sides of this - 1) a delicate reminder to head off a problem v. 2) a little too much big brother. He then chose to take it public. So be it.
Simon Phearson said:
Personally, I think the way to create a stronger sense of community is for moderators to step into threads and try to guide them in productive directions, when they're not productive, rather than to send warnings to discussion participants that no one else sees or learns from.
Tristan at least arguably called Martin an "entitled asshole" for standing at a drive-thru window, inconveniencing a bunch of workers and bystanders, and then ostentatiously wasting food in order to prove some point about being served at a drive-thru while riding a bike. Besides being a defensible characterization, that statement didn't seem to have prevented anyone else from participating in that discussion in their own ways, and it didn't seem to veer into a counter-productive slugfest.
So why was there any need to get involved?
I just don't know who these would-be participants are supposed to be. Here we have an active thread with participants who seem to be enjoying themselves; we're talking about coming down harder on some of them, so that people who aren't participating might?
This isn't the sort of, "no one's going to like being subjected to moderator action" situation you're referring to. This is an approach to moderation that's hard to make sense of. You can even see that here! Lots of people are openly attacking Tristan and chiding him for being rude. Well - when did that become against the rules?
This is unwinding in completely predictable fashion. People who complain about not wanting to participate in a community where they might occasionally be called names are not going to start participating, once they no longer feel that's a risk. There are plenty of threads where that never happens! This community isn't going to seem any more fun or welcoming to them once it's policed into order. Just deader and less interesting. And these mysteriously silent people are still not going to participate, no matter how they justify their inaction now.
Anne Alt said:
Moderation is always a judgment call. No matter what we do, someone will take exception to it.
There are many more people who would enjoy participating in Chainlink discussions if there were fewer personal attacks. I would be happy to see more of them join in.
I appreciate what Tom said above. Who else would like to join in creating a greater sense of community rather than an arena full of verbal slugfests?
Hi guys and gals-
A (re) reminder. I think the points have been covered and we hear you. Let's all use this as a lesson learned. Please no more finger pointing or name calling.
David Barish said:
I started to write a PM to you but decided, based on your posts, that you would prefer a public response.
Quite right. If you had PM'd me, I would have posted the response here.
One of the tools we use is a private message before taking any action. The thought was to send Tristan a private message reminding him of where the line is as it was felt the thread was getting hot and that the thread was a post or two away from devolving into a flame war requiring us to take specific action.
But again - "reminding him of where the line is" - just framing it that way implies several things. One, that the "line" articulated by the rule was already clear; two, that Tristan had either crossed or was getting close to crossing it; and three, that there was really no room for debate in the matter. This is not, in my view, a productive way of clarifying to Tristan the application of the rule against "personal attacks," which he has very aptly demonstrated here. It comes off as condescending and insulting. And given the case in which it was invoked, it's hard to predict exactly what could cross the line suggested by Duppie's response to Tristan.
The typical mod response to this line is to say, "Well, if it's that hard for you to follow the rule..." Is that where you're going to go next?
Alike the bureaucrats you may find in your life, we prefer to do nothing. Thus, Tristan was sent a gentle reminder. He was not punished, censured, suspended, chastised or terminated.
What Tristan received was a "gentle reminder," from a moderator, that his actions were "not allowed." This is moderator action, and it constituted a warning. The implicit sense is that, if it were not heeded, further moderator action (including something you'd acknowledge to be "punishment") would be taken. So let's not try to dress this up as taking a light hand or somehow not getting involved.
I have seen precisely this dynamic before - mods end up exercising their authority in order to go significantly off-script when "enforcing" the "rules." When it's pointed out that, hey, it's not actually against any rule to use the words "entitled asshole," when characterizing a set of behaviors someone admits to having engaged in, the moderator action is defended as just a "gentle reminder" or "polite note" - to do exactly what the moderator says.
He then chose to take it public. So be it.
I think anyone who feels they've been unfairly targeted should do so. I would prefer to know whether it's worth investing my time in this community, before I find that investment thrown out summarily because I can't convince a moderator that I've done nothing wrong.
Some of the posts in this thread seem to indicate a delusional perception of reality. I applaud the efforts to increase civility on the Chainlink in an effort to foster a more inclusive community.
Applied to 'moderating' this forum, it would look like this:
1) Presence. Just making a point to be visible, e.g. a post to a contentuous discussion: "hey folks, just a reminder to keep it civil, thanks :-) -mod"
2) Communication. What Duppie did here.
3) Physical control. Soft: 1:1 communication with clear limits and consequences. Harder: Closing a discussion. Hard: Removing content. Temporary ban.
4) Lethal force. Permanent ban.
It seems a step got skipped here.
That doesn't surprise me coming from a guy with this bio:
Tristan Jackson said:
In my mind, I wasn't me who set off those fights.
Tandemonium said:Amazing. The kid who sets off a series of fights leading to more moderation is now crying about the increase in moderation. -1 for you today.
Since my 2 requests that this thread be friendly were not listened to by all, I'm going to put this one on discussion hold. I understand there are hurt feelings, but I think we can try to remember we all share the road and, in turn, this forum. I love sarcasm as much as the next, but it feels like this thread shifted to hurtful.
If someone has concerns about this action, let me know. Perhaps we can meet up for a beer or ride to discuss it and think things through.