The Chainlink

So after the amazing shit show that was Gabe and Michelle crapping all over the message board here I think it is a good time to ask this question.

 

What happened here is ridiculous, two people were allowed to run wild like a couple of monkeys flinging shit everywhere.  Regardless of who you want to see as wrong or right there the fact remains that they were allowed to carry on completely unchecked.

 

Why?  Light moderation is one thing but why should two defective people be allowed to run wild like that?  Especially when others have been kicked off for doing the same?

 

Didn’t we kick off Beezodog for hijacking threads and not letting an argument die?

 

Of course that leads to another thing; we have some loose rules but they never seem to be enforced, why?



So what is it, do we have an enforce rules or can people just do whatever they like?  Because it mostly looks like people can just act however they want…

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It would be good to have some moderation here again. Too many shit shows lately.

Thanx for restarting this discussion Doug.  Never EVER IMAGINED I'D SAY THIS, but compared to some of the monsters here Beezodog seems positively civilized.

I've had this same discussion time and time again for years with Julie.  There are of course the rules, but they're clearly ignored.  Simply actually following them would be a huge step forward.  Instead, the only instances of moderation ever that I'm aware of struck me as capricious abuses of power.

Somethings got to change.  Personally, I'd say it needs a woman's touch.

After deleting over 200 e-mails because I was foolhardy enough to post to that thread I certainly understand Doug's concern.  However, I thought that the bullies etc thread was the perfect repository for this kind of nonsense. Leave the threads about cycling etc and use the bullies thread for the launching of excrement. I was about to stop following the thread and let it fly with no concern to me. Of course, it was sort of a shame the thread went  that direction as Nikul had good intentions when he opened the thread. I hope this well intentioned thread does not devolve in the same way. 

Without inviting ANY  of yesterday's discourse, this may be a good place for us to toss around the balance between unfettered free speech and moderation. If moderation are we looking to take a bucket and mop when things like the bullies thread happen or are we looking, as argued by one of the slingers, to regulate what is said? What would the purpose of moderation be? 

I'll start- short of yelling fire in a crowded theater or direct ugly personal attacks such as, "That David Barish is a Jew asshole who killed Christ, has a tail, raped his mother and dates [insert racial cultural or sexual slur here]" I would not do anything. This would mean many of the alleged sins that made my inbox look like a litterbox would still occur. However, once a thread turns seriously off course, I would consider taking all the posts about the diverted route to a new thread specifically for the posting of numero dos.  This pretty much happened when Nikul started the alt thread that allowed the missed connection thread to return to its original purpose. 

Although I would not moderate or enforce courtesy I would openly preach it. 

My $.02

Hey guys,

We are working on adding additional moderators to make sure the content on the site is consistent with the community we seek to continue fostering and growing. In the meantime let's respect each other and post information that is relevant to our bike community. 

Your Christ Killing Tail Growing Mother Raping Ferengi Dating nature aside David, I agree.
Of all threads, why was that one closed?  It was doing its job.  Hate was contained, and fresh new pissed off banned users weren't created.  Seriously, I think we need an explanation.

Looking for moderators?  I've offered for years, so I'll take that assertion with a grain of salt.

Ad-hominems being a strike would be a good start.

As would just... doing... ANYTHING... as opposed to nothing.  This is YOUR sandbox Julie.  You have a right to say NO!  Bad troll!  Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

I gave up after researching and sharing the following last spring:

Wikipedia's moderator / admin procedures Extremely comprehensive, including detailed sections on dispute resolution, but very content oriented.

The Admin Zone A standard set of online forum / listserv admin / mod procedures and rules.

Pro Boards Another standard set of online forum / listserv admin / mod procedures and rules.

In my experience, too-heavy moderation tends to kill communities, not sustain them. 

The dynamic I've typically seen begins with rule-creation and rule-enforcement. Inevitably disputes over the interpretations of the rules arise, and - since most of us have better things to do than to parse legalistically over a list of internet-rules - moderation via rules becomes a matter of moderator fiat. Stated rationales become increasingly ad hoc, or nonexistent. Users become frustrated.

When you add to that mix a large team of moderators - in my experience a team beyond maybe three or so tends to introduce this issue - you start to get a strange politics between moderators and the community they oversee. Moderator policy becomes opaque, or a matter of whoever's got the time to clean up the day's messes. Moderators held unaccountable to a community start to earn the community's distrust.

And so what happens is - people give up. In the worst cases, people hesitate to say anything lest they be punished under rules that are never explained to them, their defenses waved away as irrelevant, their application never really clear. Michelle, for instance, volunteered herself to implement a robust system where she would administer rules and dole out strikes. That would have shut this community down awfully quickly.

I think that a community like this needs to be as free as we can make it, and its moderation needs to come in the form not of rules and enforcement but in a more individualized responsibility and commitment to one another. Michelle, unfortunately, was deaf to my appeals to think more about the community she joined and was attempting to reform, as a community of which she was a part, so she was indifferent to the possibility that her actions were more destructive than helpful (including with respect to her crusade against "slurs"). But most people here, I think - including the two people who recently set Michelle off - are more susceptible to those kinds of considerations, even if they might act immaturely on them. I really think the whole thing with Vilda would have tapered off if the rest of us didn't pile on trying to convince Michelle that she was being a jerk.

I guess my point is - I think the only people, the only dynamic we need to worry about here are the kinds of people and dynamics that reject that kind of community responsibility. A chaotic off-topic thread isn't really the end of this community. But over-zealous enforcement of rules that bar off-topic discussions in larger (for instance) will tend to undermine the casual and kind of chaotic conversations in which friendships develop. 

I think everyone will agree that this community should be welcoming and safe. We should achieve that by being welcoming and responsible. Not by putting up a sign that says, "THIS SITE IS DECLARED WELCOMING AND SAFE."

I've heard that before here and wonder how long it is going to take you to actually follow through and do something.

I mean how long ago was it that you collected money to update the site which still looks EXACTLY the same?

Julie Hochstadter said:

Hey guys,

We are working on adding additional moderators to make sure the content on the site is consistent with the community we seek to continue fostering and growing. In the meantime let's respect each other and post information that is relevant to our bike community. 

Just found this:  http://www.thechainlink.org/page/new-website-updates

Looks like it's coming along. Can't wait to get some better features, but also aware that this website isn't paying anybody's yacht habit, so I'm not too worried.

As for moderation--again, nobody's drawing a paycheck here. I sure haven't got time to comb for offense, but I tend to shrug shit off pretty easily so maybe I'm not the best one to chime in.

notoriousDUG said:

I've heard that before here and wonder how long it is going to take you to actually follow through and do something.

I mean how long ago was it that you collected money to update the site which still looks EXACTLY the same?

Julie Hochstadter said:

Hey guys,

We are working on adding additional moderators to make sure the content on the site is consistent with the community we seek to continue fostering and growing. In the meantime let's respect each other and post information that is relevant to our bike community. 

I do not want to moderate or enforce courtesy; I would be banned in minutes of that policy.

I would just like to see some moderation for the three things I think are the only places you should really moderate a message board.

1. People running off topic on a personal crusade to the point of madness.  When you get a single person beating the proverbial dead horse to the point it is ruling the board you need to put a leash on it.  Michelle really should have, at some point the other day, been told she needed to give it a rest; her personal battle was making a mess for others.  If she was unable to let it go she needed to be removed from the discussion.

2. People being threatening or purposefully offensive need to be censored. Racial or any other slurs, threats of violence or overtly sexual content has no place here, or in any other public forum.  That said trying to censor for offensiveness is difficult, we all have different limits; a word or expression I find OK but others may find offensive.  I do think there are things we can all agree are not right to say and it is perfectly OK to moderate their use.  Related to that purposefully using language, even if it is not something all people consider inappropriate, in order to upset a single person is pretty fucked up and should not be tolerated.  Free speech is one thing but when you have somebody purposefully being offensive like Gabe was it's time to tell them to tone it down or take a hike.

I am not advocating that we employ the thought police, but I would like to see things like what happened between Gabe and Michelle stopped before becoming the shit-show we all saw the other day.

I would also like it if the rules were fair, evenly applied and enforced quickly.  I think there is a serious issue here with rules not being evenly applied across the membership.  I think if somebody other than Gabe had acted like that they would have been stopped much earlier.


David Barish said:

After deleting over 200 e-mails because I was foolhardy enough to post to that thread I certainly understand Doug's concern.  However, I thought that the bullies etc thread was the perfect repository for this kind of nonsense. Leave the threads about cycling etc and use the bullies thread for the launching of excrement. I was about to stop following the thread and let it fly with no concern to me. Of course, it was sort of a shame the thread went  that direction as Nikul had good intentions when he opened the thread. I hope this well intentioned thread does not devolve in the same way. 

Without inviting ANY  of yesterday's discourse, this may be a good place for us to toss around the balance between unfettered free speech and moderation. If moderation are we looking to take a bucket and mop when things like the bullies thread happen or are we looking, as argued by one of the slingers, to regulate what is said? What would the purpose of moderation be? 

I'll start- short of yelling fire in a crowded theater or direct ugly personal attacks such as, "That David Barish is a Jew asshole who killed Christ, has a tail, raped his mother and dates [insert racial cultural or sexual slur here]" I would not do anything. This would mean many of the alleged sins that made my inbox look like a litterbox would still occur. However, once a thread turns seriously off course, I would consider taking all the posts about the diverted route to a new thread specifically for the posting of numero dos.  This pretty much happened when Nikul started the alt thread that allowed the missed connection thread to return to its original purpose. 

Although I would not moderate or enforce courtesy I would openly preach it. 

My $.02

I agree 100% with Dave, and would also offer--- anyone who would volunteer or ask to be a moderator should be firmly disqualified-- that's the last person you want for the job.
 
David Barish said:

After deleting over 200 e-mails because I was foolhardy enough to post to that thread I certainly understand Doug's concern.  However, I thought that the bullies etc thread was the perfect repository for this kind of nonsense. Leave the threads about cycling etc and use the bullies thread for the launching of excrement. I was about to stop following the thread and let it fly with no concern to me. Of course, it was sort of a shame the thread went  that direction as Nikul had good intentions when he opened the thread. I hope this well intentioned thread does not devolve in the same way. 

Without inviting ANY  of yesterday's discourse, this may be a good place for us to toss around the balance between unfettered free speech and moderation. If moderation are we looking to take a bucket and mop when things like the bullies thread happen or are we looking, as argued by one of the slingers, to regulate what is said? What would the purpose of moderation be? 

I'll start- short of yelling fire in a crowded theater or direct ugly personal attacks such as, "That David Barish is a Jew asshole who killed Christ, has a tail, raped his mother and dates [insert racial cultural or sexual slur here]" I would not do anything. This would mean many of the alleged sins that made my inbox look like a litterbox would still occur. However, once a thread turns seriously off course, I would consider taking all the posts about the diverted route to a new thread specifically for the posting of numero dos.  This pretty much happened when Nikul started the alt thread that allowed the missed connection thread to return to its original purpose. 

Although I would not moderate or enforce courtesy I would openly preach it. 

My $.02

So this thread is about you feeling like you have been dealt with unfairly?


 
notoriousDUG said:

I do not want to moderate or enforce courtesy; I would be banned in minutes of that policy.

I would just like to see some moderation for the three things I think are the only places you should really moderate a message board.

1. People running off topic on a personal crusade to the point of madness.  When you get a single person beating the proverbial dead horse to the point it is ruling the board you need to put a leash on it.  Michelle really should have, at some point the other day, been told she needed to give it a rest; her personal battle was making a mess for others.  If she was unable to let it go she needed to be removed from the discussion.

2. People being threatening or purposefully offensive need to be censored. Racial or any other slurs, threats of violence or overtly sexual content has no place here, or in any other public forum.  That said trying to censor for offensiveness is difficult, we all have different limits; a word or expression I find OK but others may find offensive.  I do think there are things we can all agree are not right to say and it is perfectly OK to moderate their use.  Related to that purposefully using language, even if it is not something all people consider inappropriate, in order to upset a single person is pretty fucked up and should not be tolerated.  Free speech is one thing but when you have somebody purposefully being offensive like Gabe was it's time to tell them to tone it down or take a hike.

I am not advocating that we employ the thought police, but I would like to see things like what happened between Gabe and Michelle stopped before becoming the shit-show we all saw the other day.

I would also like it if the rules were fair, evenly applied and enforced quickly.  I think there is a serious issue here with rules not being evenly applied across the membership.  I think if somebody other than Gabe had acted like that they would have been stopped much earlier.


David Barish said:

After deleting over 200 e-mails because I was foolhardy enough to post to that thread I certainly understand Doug's concern.  However, I thought that the bullies etc thread was the perfect repository for this kind of nonsense. Leave the threads about cycling etc and use the bullies thread for the launching of excrement. I was about to stop following the thread and let it fly with no concern to me. Of course, it was sort of a shame the thread went  that direction as Nikul had good intentions when he opened the thread. I hope this well intentioned thread does not devolve in the same way. 

Without inviting ANY  of yesterday's discourse, this may be a good place for us to toss around the balance between unfettered free speech and moderation. If moderation are we looking to take a bucket and mop when things like the bullies thread happen or are we looking, as argued by one of the slingers, to regulate what is said? What would the purpose of moderation be? 

I'll start- short of yelling fire in a crowded theater or direct ugly personal attacks such as, "That David Barish is a Jew asshole who killed Christ, has a tail, raped his mother and dates [insert racial cultural or sexual slur here]" I would not do anything. This would mean many of the alleged sins that made my inbox look like a litterbox would still occur. However, once a thread turns seriously off course, I would consider taking all the posts about the diverted route to a new thread specifically for the posting of numero dos.  This pretty much happened when Nikul started the alt thread that allowed the missed connection thread to return to its original purpose. 

Although I would not moderate or enforce courtesy I would openly preach it. 

My $.02

That is a silly statement.  If you've never moderated a forum before the LAST thing you want is people who don't know how to handle things to take the reins.  Or have a friend that abuses power and the admins don't stop the abuse.  I have seen more forums go under because the admin appointed friends and when complaints came up nothing was done.

If you have a good framework for mods to work in, why not have some with experience?  I'd volunteer but then I'd be suspect (for whatever reason) as be the last person who should get the job, despite having moderated before.

h' 1.0 said:

I agree 100% with Dave, and would also offer--- anyone who would volunteer or ask to be a moderator should be firmly disqualified-- that's the last person you want for the job.

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