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Quote:When the thread contains personal attacks.

This needs to be defined otherwise it will be abused.  People like Eric (and a few others) confuse ad hominum arguments and insults on a daily basis.

There is a difference between someone posting the following: "You are wrong because of X, Y, and Z.  Also you are an idiot.", and someone posting "You are an idiot and are therefore wrong."

I would consider that the concept of personal attacks be strictly limited to libelous speech.

Quote:When the thread has drifted from the original topic, this can happen without anyone doing anything wrong conversation naturally drifts, however thread drift makes it difficult for readers to follow the discussion, when there a posts in thread on a different topic the thread can be split.

Again this needs to be defined.  A discussion of say Musician A turning into a conversation of Musician B probably should not be split if there is a clear indication of when the discussion shifted.  A discussion on the theoretical implications of the rise of nationalism would obviously need to have a split--or perhaps even a post deletion when someone starts bringing up the Holocaust as part of their argumentation that nationalism is evil/immoral/etc.

In both examples we can see that the progression of one is natural and remains on topic.  In the other it only serves to derail the conversation.

Quote:When a thread is posted in the wrong forum, mistakes happen and they can be corrected in about 30 seconds.

Not a problem, but this assumes that there will be more than one moderator with the authority to move threads to the proper forums.  I would also suggest that descriptions be added to the main forums to prevent unnecessary reporting.  Thread reports can get tiresome as I know from experience.

Finally...

Quote:I plan on moderating this forum a bit more than the old forum was moderated, as the lack of moderation was turning people off.

The total lack of any moderation except in the most extreme cases was a problem with the old forum.  Moderation ideally should tackle those extreme cases before they get out of hand.  At the same time over moderation will turn off far more people, and turn the forum into an echo chamber.  In truth the lack of moderation on the old forum was both a weakness and a strength.

As I've said in other posts here, I think that we should maintain a policy of absolute free speech excepting in cases where said speech is clearly illegal (and using US law here) or is libelous.

Overall the moderation team, which this forum will eventually need should permit all expression excepting those which promote criminal activity, or are themselves criminal actions.  As such community guidelines should be clearly and explicitly written.  An echo chamber turns more people off than the chaos of the old forum ever could.
I apologize for doing this to your post, my intent way to have a locked post up, not a discussion thread. I do want to address your concerns, my bad.

Quote:This needs to be defined otherwise it will be abused. People like Eric (and a few others) confuse ad hominum arguments and insults on a daily basis.

There is a difference between someone posting the following: "You are wrong because of X, Y, and Z. Also you are an idiot.", and someone posting "You are an idiot and are therefore wrong."

While the former the clearly preferable to the latter neither adds anything of substance to the discussion; saying “your wrong because of X, Y and Z” says the same thing while keeping the tone civil.

Quote:Again this needs to be defined. A discussion of say Musician A turning into a conversation of Musician B probably should not be split if there is a clear indication of when the discussion shifted.

Splitting the thread allows people who interested in Musician B but not Musician A to know that there is a thread that they are interested in, while allowing people who like Musician A to talk about him without having to sift through posts talking about Musician B.

Quote:Not a problem, but this assumes that there will be more than one moderator with the authority to move threads to the proper forums. I would also suggest that descriptions be added to the main forums to prevent unnecessary reporting. Thread reports can get tiresome as I know from experience.

I do plan on adding descriptions and I plan on bringing on moderators at some point to ease the workload, I had to get these forums up and running on short notice so I haven’t has time to do it yet.


Quote:The total lack of any moderation except in the most extreme cases was a problem with the old forum. Moderation ideally should tackle those extreme cases before they get out of hand. At the same time over moderation will turn off far more people, and turn the forum into an echo chamber. In truth the lack of moderation on the old forum was both a weakness and a strength.

As I've said in other posts here, I think that we should maintain a policy of absolute free speech excepting in cases where said speech is clearly illegal (and using US law here) or is libelous.

Overall the moderation team, which this forum will eventually need should permit all expression excepting those which promote criminal activity, or are themselves criminal actions. As such community guidelines should be clearly and explicitly written. An echo chamber turns more people off than the chaos of the old forum ever could.

I’ve seen forums turn into echo chambers and I think your concerns are valid, at the same time I know that a large number of people left the cold forum because the debate wasn’t civil and there were too many petty insults. When I add moderators I will ideally have at least one to my right and one to my left politically. I have absolutely no intention I’ve engaging in viewpoint discrimination, I enjoy reading everything from alt-right to Marxism and everything in between. For what it’s I don’t recall reading a post of yours that I think crossed the line.
(05-06-2016, 02:17 PM)Webmaster Wrote: [ -> ]I apologize for doing this to your post, my intent way to have a locked post up, not a discussion thread.  I do want to address your concerns, my bad.

Not a problem.  Locked threads are locked for a reason, that is because the topic in them is not a matter of discussion, either because discussing it will cause problems or because it concerns a rule and the rules themselves are not under discussion in locked "stickies threads" posting the rules but might be (some would argue should be) under discussion elsewhere.

Quote:While the former the clearly preferable to the latter neither adds anything of substance to the discussion; saying “your wrong because of X, Y and Z” says the same thing while keeping the tone civil.

In general I have no problem in attempting to keep the tone civil.  At the same time, I'm not in favor of censoring insults.  If that were to occur I would expect a dramatic decrease in traffic in general, and from certain known actors in particular who are likely to come here as well.  

As much as I think persons like Eric (for example) are distillations of everything wrong with society (their generation or whatever else) attempting to moderate their being insulting and being insulted will result in a lot of busy work for the moderation team.  While attempting to do so might (and I want to stress the might part here) keep the tone more civil it will certainly add to the moderation team's work.

Quote:Splitting the thread allows people who interested in Musician B but not Musician A to know that there is a thread that they are interested in, while allowing people who like Musician A to talk about him without having to sift through posts talking about Musician B.

I would say that over all yes, you would be correct on that matter.  I would also say that any such splits should be made with care so as to not disrupt the continuity of both threads.

Using the example I gave a thread about Musician A where there are loads of posts about him, and someone says well "Song X reminds me of Song Y by Musician B" probably does not warrant a split.


Quote:I do plan on adding descriptions and I plan on bringing on moderators at some point to ease the workload, I had to get these forums up and running on short notice so I haven’t has time to do it yet.

Excellent.  I think we're on the same page in this regard.  I think a few people have experience moderating forums here.  I do myself.

Quote:I’ve seen forums turn into echo chambers and I think your concerns are valid, at the same time I know that a large number of people left the cold forum because the debate wasn’t civil and there were too many petty insults.  When I add moderators I will ideally have at least one to my right and one to my left politically.  I have absolutely no intention I’ve engaging in viewpoint discrimination, I enjoy reading everything from alt-right to Marxism and everything in between.  For what it’s I don’t recall reading a post of yours that I think crossed the line.

I don't think the problem will come from a left or a right dynamic but rather from an authoritarian and libertarian dynamic.  I'm very much a creature of the Left (Odin's protests to the contrary not withstanding--personally I think he's confusing my natural tendency toward social conservatism as being both authoritarian and rightist of course that could be due to him being so far to the left that he flirts with anarchism), and yet I have a natural inclination toward liberatianism (sometimes called classical liberalism) on matters of speech, culture and so on. (Which in an American context are conservative.) 

Indeed a comrade of mine once said (in a Party Congress no less) "Comrade Kinser has a certain natural proclivity toward social conservatism and behavioral libertarianism, this can lead him to rightist deviations on the line; conversely, Comrade [Redacted] has a certain natural proclivity toward social liberalism and behavioral authoritarianism and this can lead him to leftist deviations on the line.  Both need the correction of the Party, and the Party needs both to perfect its line."

It is conceivable that should moderators be of an authoritarian bent that they would indeed censor views contrary to their own, be that person of the left or the right.
kinser clearly has been abusive toward me, and sometimes others. He takes the approach that I am to be assumed to be someone not to dialogue with, but merely to insult. He is on my ignore list because it's clear that a civil dialogue with him is impossible, and quite quickly consists of nothing but insults. Such a dialogue does not interest me. It should also be noted that his strongest disagreements with me are not political, but philosophical.

I don't know if people should be banned if they call someone an idiot, but there's no way that any post can be called "civil" in which you call the other person in the conversation "an idiot."

By the way, thanks a lot for your efforts (I assume that's you, Dan).
Eric, you are abusive toward everyone. And everyone knows it. That said keep me on ignore. I have very little but insults for you as you've proven yourself incapable of learning anything.
(05-07-2016, 06:28 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: [ -> ]kinser clearly has been abusive toward me, and sometimes others. He takes the approach that I am to be assumed to be someone not to dialogue with, but merely to insult. He is on my ignore list because it's clear that a civil dialogue with him is impossible, and quite quickly consists of nothing but insults. Such a dialogue does not interest me. It should also be noted that his strongest disagreements with me are not political, but philosophical.

I don't know if people should be banned if they call someone an idiot, but there's no way that any post can be called "civil" in which you call the other person in the conversation "an idiot."

By the way, thanks a lot for your efforts (I assume that's you, Dan).

It’s me I have to different usernames so I can post about site policy with an official voice but engage in conversation without “pulling rank”, granted right now everyone knows it’s me but that will change.
(05-07-2016, 06:28 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: [ -> ]kinser clearly has been abusive toward me, and sometimes others. He takes the approach that I am to be assumed to be someone not to dialogue with, but merely to insult. He is on my ignore list because it's clear that a civil dialogue with him is impossible, and quite quickly consists of nothing but insults. Such a dialogue does not interest me. It should also be noted that his strongest disagreements with me are not political, but philosophical.

I don't know if people should be banned if they call someone an idiot, but there's no way that any post can be called "civil" in which you call the other person in the conversation "an idiot."

This might be an example of how a thread can get diverted into ad-hominum fairly quickly.  If people get going like this, at what point should they be invited to create their own thread rather than clutter up a meaningful discussion?  If a bad actor constantly gets such invitations, should further action be taken?  Can one talk about the issue without attacking the individual?  Where does one draw the line?  I'd suggest that when the focus is on insults and folks are going after each other by name, one is close to if not over the line.

In this case we might have two people proclaiming no interest in ad-hominum while practicing it?  (Scratch head.)  If one constantly dishes it out, how much space should one be spending on the board whining about having to take it?
At risk of going off topic...

I don't see that this forum attracts many unintelligent people.  It does attract people with strong and often unusual values systems.  It is tempting to say that if somebody doesn't agree with one, that somebody must be unintelligent, or otherwise worthy of strong personal attacks.  I try not to perceive it that way.  It is not easy at all for individuals to change their values.  I try to assume that if someone disagrees with me, it is because he has strong conflicting values.

At what point in history did the other guy's values system get created?  What problems existed in that time and that place which these values were intended to solve?  Did these values work for a time, have success?  One would assume yes.  Value systems generally don't become widely spread unless they worked for a time.  Are they still succeeding in some places?  Did the other forum contributor grow up in or still live in a culture and environment where it is easy to perceive of his values being quite functional?  Maybe yes, maybe no.  If one grows up truly believing, it is hard to see the flaws in what one believes in.

How does this fit with The Theory?  A crisis is a time where new values are created to solve obvious problems.  It follows that if someone is advocating a common perspective or set of values, there was some crisis in the past which presented a problem that was solved with said values.

Thus, if a communist should wander in, I have no trouble understanding why Marx wrote as he did or how Lenin and Mao gathered enough followers to gain power.  There were obvious problems with the culture of the times, and they had plausible sounding solutions.  This doesn't mean I haven't noticed that the plausible seeming solutions were not perfect.  Let's discuss what went wrong, how it might be fixed, and whether starting from Jefferson's perspective rather than Marx's might be better.  Still, let's talk about communism rather than the personality traits of the communist.  Yes, the communist will be a firm and inflexible believer.  Aren't we all firm and inflexible believers in something or another?  I kinda like Newton and Jefferson, myself.

Similarly, if a gun prohibitionist gets going, I'll talk about how and why our gun culture developed, and about how many people believe the gun culture is still working, perhaps with good cause.  I see this as much more constructive on a history and politics forum than focusing on the personalities and character flaws of the forum contributors.

As someone who wants to explore how history shapes cultures and values, I am displeased by how rapidly our discussion gets diverted into insults and squabbling.  This doesn't mean I'm exactly sure where to draw the line.  Still, if two people are going at each other by name, and the points they are making have nothing to do with history, politics or the purpose of the thread, I'm dubious.  If people enjoy a good verbal brawl -- and, yes, what I do could also be understood as having a good verbal brawl -- let them brawl.  Just let them do it in a designated ad-hominum zone rather than everywhere and constantly.
Guys could you try and keep this tread to discussion of moderation policy.
It might be a good rule of thumb that if someone thinks your post has been uncivil toward him or her, it probably is. It might be wise to reconsider or modify your words appropriately. You might consider, Bob, that I found some of your posts uncivil toward me; quite deliberately so in some cases. I agree with your suggestion, though, about threads that become insults. The moderator can certainly step in if (s)he wishes and let people involved know that this is happening, and to take it elsewhere.
locking
(05-08-2016, 12:03 PM)Webmaster Wrote: [ -> ]locking

A few suggestions and thoughts.

All forum members should try to talk issues, avoid discussions of other contributor’s flaws.  Don’t name folk by name and follow up with insult or character assassination.

If a thread does have to be locked, some indication of why might be nice.  I’d minimize the personal blame putting, or keep it to private messages, but at the same time make available lessons learned so others can avoid the problematic behavior.

Locking a thread because of the misbehavior of a few might be discouraging and problematic.  Something more targeted and specific might be nice.

If one individual is repeatedly problematic on multiple threads, you’d might want to go after the individual responsible rather than all the threads the individual contributes to.

Also, you might want to check the lock?
(05-08-2016, 06:07 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-08-2016, 12:03 PM)Webmaster Wrote: [ -> ]locking

A few suggestions and thoughts.

All forum members should try to talk issues, avoid discussions of other contributor’s flaws.  Don’t name folk by name and follow up with insult or character assassination.

Those are good suggestions.

Quote:If a thread does have to be locked, some indication of why might be nice.  I’d minimize the personal blame putting, or keep it to private messages, but at the same time make available lessons learned so others can avoid the problematic behavior.

Locking a thread because of the misbehavior of a few might be discouraging and problematic.  Something more targeted and specific might be nice.


If one individual is repeatedly problematic on multiple threads, you’d might want to go after the individual responsible rather than all the threads the individual contributes to.

Generally I’ll look a thread when it has broken down and the new posts are predominantly personal attacks. I attempted to lock this thread because it was going downhill. The forum software contains a warning system that I intended to use once I have come up with a consistent policy for using it.



Quote:Also, you might want to check the lock?

That’s the second time I messed up the in thread moderation, I’ll get the hang of it.
Many boards have a 'time out' feature, where a user can be blocked temporarily from posting for a given number of days.  This might be used when verbal warnings aren't sufficient.  The other board I'm active on pairs time outs with a thread that announces who has been timed out and why, often with a link to the problematic post.

Just something to consider...
(05-07-2016, 06:48 PM)Kinser79 Wrote: [ -> ]Eric, you are abusive toward everyone.  And everyone knows it.  That said keep me on ignore.  I have very little but insults for you as you've proven yourself incapable of learning anything.

You underestimate Eric. He can learn a few things.

People just don't change their value systems. In 2008 I went to the local Republican headquarters and asked about local politicians, as I usually split my ticket. I can vote for a Republican for sheriff or for a judge. I said that I had made up my mind on Barack Obama, and I found myself in an effort to brainwash me. "He's a Muslim". "He hates America". "He will sympathize with terrorists".

Being a Muslim? It wasn't even true, but if it were, as Colin Powell put it, "Who cares?" Islam is a moral view of the world, and even as a secularist I recognize that I have more in common with religious people who believe in something than with secularists who believe in nothing but Self. So I dislike drugs, drunkenness, sex-centered life, and the idea that everyone can be out for himself alone. So do Muslims and fundamentalist Christians. That he hates America? There are ways to express profound hate in America -- like the New Black Panther Party. He was as mainstream as anyone gets.  Sympathy with terrorists? He has proved himself on that. He needs not make fanatical statements on the topic; he has only had them killed.

The next day I went to Democratic headquarters and volunteered.

At our celebration of the election of Barack Obama and many other Democratic wins, I explained why I had become an active volunteer.

"See these wrinkles? See this graying, thinning hair? Do I look like the sort of person who is going to change values that I have held for thirty years so easily and without compelling cause?"

Can I change some values? Sure -- when I see a need for change. Having been threatened with gay-bashing, I saw the problem not in being insufficiently macho (I am about average on the sissy-to-brute continuum, and I believe that the right place to be), but instead that people think it acceptable to beat homosexuals for being homosexual. If I can never accept homosexual molestation of children (heterosexual molestation is no better), I can at least do my share to create a safer climate for people who might be gay-bashed. I quit telling "gay jokes" or ridiculing apparent gays for their tastes. I started to accept the inclusive attitudes toward homosexuality. If they want marriage and children and they are hostile to sexual abuse of children, then I can adapt.

It is a good thing that people show some ideological rigidity if they are not extremists. Values allow one to have some moral compass.
(05-15-2016, 06:43 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: [ -> ]You underestimate Eric.

No one has ever gone broke underestimating Eric.

Quote: He can learn a few things.

I will require evidence for that.

Quote:People just don't change their value systems.

On the contrary, people do. However, they only do so when their current values system is not working. So long as it does there is no reason to change it.

[deleted reference to the 08 election as it is irrelevant]

Quote:Can I change some values? Sure -- when I see a need for change.

Yes, and the only person's values you can change is your own. Typically people don't change their values because other people want them to. It has to come from that "within" Eric talks about but I think he thinks there is more there there than is actually there.

Quote: Having been threatened with gay-bashing,

As a gay, I must say I don't believe you. I've been out since I was 16 and was told I'd have to deal with homophobia this and homophobia that. The worst that has happened is some people I really don't want to talk to have decided they don't want to talk to me too because of it.

And yes, I've lived in the rural mid-west. I got more shit for being black than being a fag.