[GEN] Moderators and the distinction between personal opinion and reality.

Discussion in 'Communications' started by Dark Lady Mara, Jul 1, 2004.

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Moderators: JoinTheSchwarz, LAJ_FETT, Ramza
  1. Stale Vader Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 1998
    Sure, if he reworded it as, "I disagree with this site, personally."
    SV
  2. AmazingB Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2001
    star 7
    a) I thought it was trolling the way the thread was presented and I still do.

    It's not your forum. There are five perfectly capable JCC mods, why not let them deal with it?

    I know the rules on modding outside your own forum have been slackened somewhat (I still don't understand why), but on such a questionable call, you should definitely defer to the forum mods (is that "Attention Needed in the JCC" thread still in service in the MS?). And you've already argued that you don't think it was questionable, but given the size of this thread, I'd say it was.

    I've spent the better part of the last 2 weeks dealing with a lot of "innocuous" posts that instigate massive flame wars. Believe me, that one post there had enough in it to really make things go downhill quickly. I have to call things as I see them, and that one could easily have inflamed quite a few different situations, all of them bad. I've recently seen more "innocuous" posts do a lot more.

    Moderate at the post level, not the thread level. If people turn a thread into a flame war, deal with those people. Don't warn everyone before anything happens or lock a thread because of where it might go. Give the community a little credit.

    Amazing.
  3. Falcon Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2002
    star 8
    KK was comparing the Senate to the YJCC and to my knowledge there is a huge difference between the two communities. Theres no comparison, the YJCC is a lot more milder compared to the Senate.
  4. Vertical Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 1999
    star 6
    After re-reading this thread and a few PM's, I'm ... astounded that this action is still being defended. Let's have a look back at the things dp4m has said, shall we?

    2) Anyone who says that the planes were swapped and the towers fell due to any other reason other than planes full of fuel and people smashing into them is posting something knowingly false. That's against the TOS as well.
    3) It doesn't matter if the user is ignorant of actual facts; if it looks like a troll, it's likely to be dealt with as such. The example I posted in the thread is that if you start a thread stating "2 + 2 = 5" that regardless of your beliefs (and quasi-fuzzy math that can almost prove it) you're just going to look like an idiot and not a troll. If you post that the US Government switched planes and that people didn't die on them when it slammed into the WTC, then you're going to look like a troll.
    />

    />

    />

    />

    />
    once again confusing the poster of the link with the author of the webpage.


    It is NOT okay to state as a fact that the US government was behind the 9/11 attacks, nor that the planes were switched and they were "dummy" planes.
    />

    />
    />/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>
  5. comet1440 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2004
    star 4
    ^ :rolleyes: geez , can we leave dp alone ?

    its over , so over .
  6. Jobo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2000
    star 5
    Um, we might as well resolve the issue while we're trying. Just dropping it wouldn't solve this problem, especially not for future occur[r]ences.
    _jOBO
  7. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    The original poster did no such thing. Once again, we see that dp4m is confusing the poster and the author of the website, and it has been established that the poster DOES NOT AGREE with the website's claim.

    One of the common trolling techniques I have seen in the Senate (especially in religious threads) is to post a link to an inflammatory site and then add on the end "I don't agree, but I thought some of you might appreciate this."

    I have also seen the same sort of trolling on other message boards. Just because a person says that they disagree with something that they post does not automatically mean that it is a troll.

    However, regardless of whether you agree with his actions or not, remember that dp4m is still both a moderator and a user here, and deserves respect as such. Attacking his character will not be permitted.

    Kimball Kinnison
  8. Vertical Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 1999
    star 6
    I find the issue of mods threatening to ban people based on their beliefs to be a serious one. Clearly you do not. You are entitled to your opinion, and I will express mine because I don't wish to see another PreacherBoy running loose on the forums.

    [EDIT] "Attacking his character will not be permitted. " Am I not permitted to be disgusted by what I consider dishonesty?

    Vertical
  9. Jobo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2000
    star 5
    Yes, KK, and on the same level, just because someone posts a link to a theory often disagreed with it doesn't necessarily mean they're trolling. It goes both ways.
    _jOBO
  10. comet1440 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2004
    star 4
    why are people treating this as if it is a world ending crisis ? its really not that serious , even though I agree that dp shouldnt have took it that far , I disagree with people posting for several pages that he shouldnt be mod or putting him down mod or no mod he is a user and should treated as such .
  11. Jobo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2000
    star 5
    Many of the posts in this thread, Vertical's for example, have treated dp just the same as if a regular user were in the same position. The thing is, a regular user CAN'T be in the same position, so of course it seems like we're treating him differently.
    _jOBO
  12. Vertical Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 1999
    star 6
    I never suggested dp4m shouldn't be a mod. I only suggest that he use his powers more appropriately.

    True enough, this is not a 'world-ending' crisis. But in my experience, a mod who disregards the rules and threatens to ban people for their beliefs ranks pretty high on 'things that are really bad' in relation to the JC.

    My post may use hyperbole. Please use your own discretion to supply your own 'scale' in terms of its importance on a world-scale if you must.

    Vertical
  13. Darth Dark Helmet Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 1999
    star 6
    What Vert said. I don't think I can do a better sum up. You are allowed to have your opinions, your beliefs as a mod. You are allowed to think whatever you want to think about anything. BUT, the minute you allow those beliefs to affect the way you moderate, you have stepped into the area know as, wrong.

    As moderators, one of the most important things that you can be on these boards is impartial. It doesn't matter if you treat everyone who think 9/11 is a flashood the same. Your still treating that one group of people differently from the way you treat other people. Maybe the thread would have starteed a flame war, but maybe it wouldn't have. It wasn't blatant, obvious trolling, so it should have had the chance to prove itself.

    I'll say it again, things like this bring into question the credibilty of every decision you have made. How do we know that you haven't been giving your friends, or people who's opinions you agree with preferential treatment on the boards? How do we know? You can't say that you haven't done that and have me believe you. Not at all. You've shown with this issue, that you will let your personal feelings dictate the way you moderate the boards and that is not a good thing. Not at all.
  14. Katya Jade Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2002
    star 7
    its really not that serious

    Well, comet, it is in terms of how the mods behave and moderate their (and other) forums. How a mod behaves in a forum can have a serious impact on his/her moderating and can influence how other mods view their position here. DLM intended this to be a general discussion but, unfortunately, dp is in the middle here since it was the 9/11 thread that prompted her post.

    I would like to encourage people to stay on the general topic of how moderators should handle these situations rather than focusing on dp in particular. I understand that this is a unique situation and may be difficult to separate the issue, but with 4 pages already, I believe that it's been established that threatening to ban users based on personal opinion is not a good guide for moderating.
  15. Vertical Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 1999
    star 6
    "I believe that it's been established that threatening to ban users based on personal opinion is not a good guide for moderating."

    Unfortunately, this single point of contention hasn't been conceded by dp4m, which is why I'm harping on it.

    But you're right, it was only meant as an example, not the focus.

    Vertical
  16. Protege-of-Thrawn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2001
    star 6
    I rarely provide input to discussions around here but I feel deeply disturbed by the precedent that has seemingly been installed as concrete law. To treat someone stating an opinion or belief - no matter how ludicrous - or alternatively, pointing to ANOTHERS opinion or belief published off-site as trolling, dependant on a moderator's judgement on the relative worth of that opinion as weighed against his or her treatment of "fact"...it is more than inviting another "uneven moderation" issue, it's allowing idealogues within the MS to craft the universal rules to their own perspective. How can we expect a user to abide by rules set, if one moderator treats his supposition that "911 was a Conspiracy" as trolling whilst another more rightly treats it as the expression of a belief?

    If that user had posted this opinion multiple times in different circumstance or out of context and in a situation primarily meant to inflame a seperate debate, than perhaps we can safely look at the BEHAVIOUR as trolling and treat in accordance to current guidelines. But to moderate based on the content therein is akin to some crazed sunday school censorship that has no place in a community such as the JC.

    The MS needs to take a good hard look at this if they wish to pursue such a set of guidelines for moderation. Where does one draw the line? It has been suggested that anyone claiming that 911 was staged should be treated as a troll. Dangerous in of itself, but where shall we put the line? What about the many people who claim Bin Laden and his friends were trained directly by the CIA in many of the techniques they use to such great efficacy today? Some moderators I'm sure would have an open mind on this point whilst others would raise their pitch to shrill cries at such an "absurd lie". Do we treat such an opinion being provided as proof of a troll at work?

    What about the hot topic of Micheal Moore? Someone comes on, directing people to a site that lists 'examples' of misinformation in Moore's Movies. Pro-Moore individuals would be incensed and provoked to treat this as trolling. Anti-Moore individuals would perhaps go to lengths to see the thread and the information it links to being preserved.

    To get back to an example directly analagous to the 911 example, what if someone posts a thread with a link citing examples of the Holy Bible being a deliberate falsehood used to suppress Slave masses with the hope of eventual salvation beyond their current oppression?

    I can imagine many religious moderators would like to see this as trolling, should we draw a line here? What guideline should we normal posters follow to know when our opinion is to be treated as fact, when as our right to voice, and when as trolling?

    Let's use common sense. People can post whatever they like as long as it complies with the current censorship of foul language, spoilers etc. If someone's BEHAVIOUR warrants action, then take it. But by all that's holy don't start selectively banning people because they voice an opinion that runs contrary to your sensitivities, whatever they may be.

    The "knowingly false" clause I believe was never meant to allow individual members of the moderation team to enforce their personal beliefs upon the forum as a whole. World events such as 911 differ from say, scientific facts in that they often enjoy a rather thick slab of grey between the black and whites we expect to find in the world around us.

    Truly, what's next. Should our esteemed moderation team ban LiteraryGeniusIV for his current YJCC thread advocating allegience to the "space squid" because they being devout catholics and ardent "aliens do not exist" advocates see it as "knowingly false" and perhaps blasphemous?
  17. Falcon Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2002
    star 8
    I agree with Vertical, like I have said this many times over and over again. A mod should not let their personal feelings get in the way of better judgement. It just leads to bad decisions.

    KK, stop comparing the YJCC to the Senate everyone knows that both communities seem to react differently to situations presented on the board.

    lets look at what dp4m said


    1) Anyone who says that 9/11 was staged by the government of the United States can be considered trolling IMO. We ban trolls.
    2) Anyone who says that the planes were swapped and the towers fell due to any other reason other than planes full of fuel and people smashing into them is posting something knowingly false. That's against the TOS as well.
    3) It doesn't matter if the user is ignorant of actual facts; if it looks like a troll, it's likely to be dealt with as such. The example I posted in the thread is that if you start a thread stating "2 + 2 = 5" that regardless of your beliefs (and quasi-fuzzy math that can almost prove it) you're just going to look like an idiot and not a troll. If you post that the US Government switched planes and that people didn't die on them when it slammed into the WTC, then you're going to look like a troll.


    I could be wrong but somehow I'm not, isn't this considered an attempt at baiting someone into an arguement?
  18. LiteraryGeniusIV Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2003
    star 3
    Truly, what's next. Should our esteemed moderation team ban LiteraryGeniusIV for his current YJCC thread advocating allegience to the "space squid" because they being devout catholics and ardent "aliens do not exist" advocates see it as "knowingly false" and perhaps blasphemous?

    Two things:

    1. No
    2. My message is true.
  19. Protege-of-Thrawn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2001
    star 6
    Two things:

    1. No
    2. My message is true.


    Correct, because since a moderator has no way to categorical refute the latter supposition, he has no business attempting to argue against the former.

    The same goes for our many other examples. dp4m has no way to categorically deny the opinion provided by the user (however absurd we may believe it to be), thus he has no business taking action against that user. It's that simple.
  20. BobTheGoon Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2000
    star 6
    I for one welcome our new space squid overlords...

    ...and resolve never to lay the burden of proof on Vertical. He's even more thorough and tenacious than me :)

    Hmm, I've used "burden of proof" twice in 5 minutes...
  21. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Perhaps dp4m was out of line. I personally do not believe he was and in his position I would have done exactly the same thing. People DIED on September 11, and yes, it's a highly sensitive topic. Perhaps he overreacted. Perhaps he didn't. It's in the past and cannot be undone, and there's no point in belabouring what he did or did not do.

    The discussion here is what to do if a moderator is deemed too "close" to an issue. Tonight, I held back from moderating something because I was "too close", and I let other moderators handle it. But that was nothing as controversial as a website about September 11.

    Given the nature of September 11 and the impact it's had on people, I personally do not believe the subject should be discussed. Some people are going to find it very, very sensitive. And it does not matter if they are a moderator or not. Moderators are users, as well. You can either have approachable moderators or moderators who completely withdraw themselves from the structure of the community and act only as "policemen" when called upon. Now, do you want a moderator who's only here because it's a job, or do you want one who's here because he cares? You can't have both, so choose carefully.

    And Dark Lady Mara, any time you bring up any sort of specific example, regardless of whether or not you meant to incite "DRAMA!!!1" as you put it, you're going to.


    Dana
  22. Dingo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2001
    star 5
    However, regardless of whether you agree with his actions or not, remember that dp4m is still both a moderator and a user here, and deserves respect as such. Attacking his character will not be permitted.

    Personal opinion only here, and one that applies purely in the general, over-arching sense since I think that David knows what I think of him, but unless you are going to unilaterally enforce that regarding "attacks" at any user, by anyone of any user-status here, it's a double standard to expect as such purely because a person is a moderator or higher.

    Edit: Spelling
  23. BobTheGoon Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2000
    star 6
    People DIED on September 11, and yes, it's a highly sensitive topic.

    Given the nature of September 11 and the impact it's had on people, I personally do not believe the subject should be discussed.

    By that reasoning we should eliminate discussion on:

    - The Holocaust
    - The Atomic Bomb droppings on Hirsohima and Nagasaki
    - The Stalin Purges
    - The Chinese Communist Revolution
    - The Chinese Cultural Revolution
    - The Vietnam War
    - Japanese Internment Camps
    - The Isreali-Palestinian conflict
    - First World War
    - The Second World War
    - Russian Civil War
    - China: Warlord & Nationalist Era
    - Congo Free State
    - Korean War
    - Chinese Civil War
    - German Expulsions after WW2
    - Second Sudanese Civil War
    - Congolese Civil War
    - Cambodia: Khmer Rouge Regime
    - Afghanistan: Civil War
    - Ethiopian Civil Wars
    - Mexican Revolution
    - East Pakistan: Massacres
    - Iran-Iraq War
    - Nigeria: Biafran revolt
    - Mozambique: Civil War
    - Rwandan Massacres
    - French-Algerian War
    - First Indochina War
    - Angolan Civil War
    - Indonesia: Massacre of Communists
    - India-Pakistan Partition
    - First Sudanese Civil War
    - Decline of the Amazonian Indians
    - Spanish Civil War
    - Somalia
    - North Korea: Communist Regime
    - The War on Terror

    The list can be found here.

    Yes, 3,000 people died horribly on 9/11. The list above starts at 365,000 dead in the Spanish Civil War, the 30th most bloody event in the 20th Century.

    3,000 is a drop in the bucket compared to other things that go on that may have an adverse effect on people.

    When do we start regulating what people can say about the events listed above?
  24. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Perhaps dp4m was out of line. I personally do not believe he was and in his position I would have done exactly the same thing.

    Why?

    It's in the past and cannot be undone, and there's no point in belabouring what he did or did not do.


    Probably not. However, it's wise to understand what happened, why it happened and to prevent it from happening again.

    Given the nature of September 11 and the impact it's had on people, I personally do not believe the subject should be discussed.

    That's a hard position to understand. Most people have issues that are very sensitive to them, and yet we don't ban them (the subjects, that is). To my knowledge, there's no subject that's outright banned from discussion on the JC.

    You can either have approachable moderators or moderators who completely withdraw themselves from the structure of the community and act only as "policemen" when called upon.

    There are those who are able to be both approachable and objective, and you can find some of them in the current Mod Squad, as well as looking around at some of those who once were moderators.

    n. Now, do you want a moderator who's only here because it's a job, or do you want one who's here because he cares? You can't have both, so choose carefully.

    There have been numerous moderators (both past and present) who have both cared deeply about moderating and taken it seriously as a job.
  25. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Perhaps I should have clarified a bit more on that statement. I think it's too soon to really be discussing it with any objectivity. It's been a little less than three years, and it's still very sensitive. Let's say, rather, that not the subject itself, but the subject of whether or not it was a government conspiracy.

    KnightWriter - You seem to have singled me out as the moderator to question. I'd prefer it if you ceased this activity.

    Dana
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