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Ajidica vs Vincour

Discussion in 'Infraction Review' started by Bootstoots, Aug 9, 2017.

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  1. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Warlord Super Moderator

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    Ajidica is appealing a PDMA infraction given by Vincour for this post, in the white identity politics thread.

    This post is closely related to two other infractions that he received just before this one, and the infraction involved his PM replies to those infractions, so I have requested and received the PM chains for all infractions from both Vincour and Ajidica. Ajidica has already consented to making these public.

    Ajidica is not appealing the first two infractions, which are for violating the modtext rules that Vincour stipulated when the thread was opened. He is only appealing the PDMA one. However, they are relevant to this appeal. In chronological order, the infracted posts are as follows.

    Not being appealed, but relevant:
    This is the infraction that is being appealed:

    Here is the PM chain for the relevant, but not appealed, first of the two infractions for ignoring moderator instructions. The second one is for continuing to ignore the thread rules and does not appear to have a PM chain of its own besides the infraction message itself.

    This is the PM chain for the related PDMA infraction that Ajidica is appealing:
    Ajidica's reasoning for appealing this PDMA infraction is given in his appeal PM to me.

    Vincour then gave me his reasoning behind this infraction, which is this. It starts by pointing out that Ajidica remarked in the PM chain that discussions of the BNP used to be forbidden because they turn into trainwrecks just like the thread in question did. He then made the same comment three minutes later in the public thread. The bolding is Vincour's:

     
  2. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Warlord Super Moderator

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    My vote is to overturn this infraction.

    It is true that Ajidica repeated the same comment in private conversation with Vincour and in public. Still, I don't think this matters because no actual reference to Vincour's actions is made in the public thread.

    I do not believe it is against PDMA rules to say the same thing in a private PM chain related to an infraction and in a public thread, again provided no actual reference to any specific moderator action is made in public. It is also allowed to post comments about previous or current rules, as long as no specific moderator action is commented upon.

    Ajidica's post is a comment that there used to be a policy of not allowing threads on the BNP, because this type of thread always turns into a disaster with labels like "Nazi" or "racist" being thrown about. He does indicate that he thinks these labels are correct in his opinion, but this isn't a complaint about his being infracted for using terms like this against civver_764.

    He does say that labels like "Nazi" or "racist" are "all-too-accurate", but he does not seem to be complaining that calling other members racists or Nazis should be allowed in this thread, or that his two infractions for doing this are illegitimate. Nor does he seem to be commenting on any other action Vincour took in this thread.

    Certainly, this remark was inspired by the string of infractions (including the two to Ajidica himself) that Vincour issued as a result of the thread going downhill quickly. But overall it does not appear to me that the PDMA rules were breached.

    (edit: rearranged paragraphs, minor additions)
     
  3. leif erikson

    leif erikson Game of the Month Fanatic Administrator Supporter GOTM Staff

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    The purpose of PDMA rules are to prevent threads from becoming discussions about site policies or moderator actions instead of about the subject of the thread. I think it is clear that Ajidica wants to discuss whether the thread is allowed or not instead of the topic of the thread. He should have sent a PM (conversation) to Bootstoots, Ori or an Admin questioning why the OT moderators were allowing such a thread after he asked Vincour about it. Vincour offered to him that he may contact Plotinus if he wished to know why the discussion of the British National Party ban was implemented, that is what he should have done instead of then going ahead and posting about it publicly. If nothing else it was off topic and could have derailed the thread.

    What is said in a private message belongs in a private message, it shouldn't be for public consumption nor spread around to others. However, Ajidica did not say anything about the contents of the private message and I do not think he breached that confidence. I can understand how Vincour may have felt about it, however I do not think anyone on the public side knew anything about the messages between Ajidica and Vincour.

    This walks a very thin line because it skirts PDMA, questioning whether the thread should be allowed, instead of being on topic. I would vote to uphold but reduce the points to 1 or even make it a zero point warning. But I could be convinced to change to overturn this if someone makes a good argument.
     
  4. Rob (R8XFT)

    Rob (R8XFT) Ancient Briton Super Moderator

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    No-one would have linked the comment to a pm to Vincour - though I can understand him being quite frustrated at this stage; we're all human after all. It's easy to look at things in retrospect and perhaps a pm to Ajidica stating that he was disappointed that something from their private messages had reached the forum would have been the way forward. I vote to overturn the infraction.
     
  5. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    I think focusing on the PM distracts from whether the post is designed to do anything other than comment on the moderator action initially posted in post #76, and then followed up through a series of infractions. How is the post at all relevant to the discussion, other than a means of saying, "I don't like the way this thread has been moderated - if this sort of thread is to be allowed to stay open, we should be able to call people Nazis"? That seems to me to be the case regardless of what he was saying to Vincour via PM, although the fact that it was the same thing helpfully serves to confirm that the post was intended to be a comment on Vincour's moderator action(s).

    I vote to uphold.
     
  6. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    I'm also inclined to uphold, for reasons similar to Cami's. Putting aside for a moment the poster's PM exchange, his post is clearly intended as a public comment on what he apparently believes to be moderator inconsistency. The poster is pointing to moderator actions over a decade ago to close BNP-related threads (like this, this and this) as a basis for his objection to how this thread has been moderated. In my view, whether he's commenting on Vincour's current actions or other moderators' decade-old actions, it's still PDMA.

    The fact that he raised his concerns in PMs before popping off in the public thread also indicates that he knows the proper way to question moderator actions, so I think the points are also appropriate.
     
  7. ori

    ori Repair Guy Super Moderator

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    There have been numerous instances in which people pointed to the BNP ban - which we rightfully I think did not ding as PDMA, mostly as it was more site policy than any moderator action being pointed to and this should be open to being mentioned at the very least and actually open to discussion in my view (similiarly stating that nudity is being moderated and that we did have threads in the past in which this general rule was relaxed should not in itself be regarded as PDMA).
    As for this specific post:
    It can be construed as commenting on the moderator action in #76, it can also reasonably be construed as a general call for closing the thread. It is not directly discussing a moderator action the poster was subject of and while it is trolling for an adverse reaction by Vincour in that it drags a private discussion into the public realm (withou actually giving any indication of doing so in itself), As such i feel it is not PDMA and should not have been infracted as such. On the other hand I believe it is quite directly designed to hamper any good faith discussion with the acting moderator and feel that Vincour should have asked another moderator to look into this specific post (my personal reaction would have been to issue a temporary ban for this). In conclusion I believe that this action should be overturned on the grounds of it being the wrong type of action, even though the correct type of action in my book should have been more severe than mere points.
     
  8. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    While I agree that discussing the BNP ban is not PDMA, as it's a matter of policy, not individual moderator action, I don't think construing it as a comment on the lack of thread closure or the moderation of the thread in general makes it any less PDMA, than if it's construed to specifically be about moderator action towards Ajidica. PDMA isn't limited to discussion of moderator actions to which the poster engaging in the public discussion has been personally subjected. It's true that Vincour may have misidentified the basis upon which it's PDMA, but it's not an instance where the type of infraction that has been landed on is incorrect, which I think might be a valid basis upon which to overturn an infraction.
     
  9. ori

    ori Repair Guy Super Moderator

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    in this vein we would need to label as pdma any post that states the thread should be closed after a moderator did anything else but close it in the thread. I strongly believe this is casting too wide a net on this rule.
     
  10. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    That's possibly true. I'm not sure I agree, though, that there isn't a line between this post, and any post that calls for a thread to be closed when a moderator has overtly not done so. This post comes on the back of a string of relevant moderator action, and carries what to me seems a clear sub-text; that the decision to infract people for 'calling out' Nazis is wrong, when there's a clear precedent for closing the thread instead. It's not just an idle observation that the thread could do with closing and that happens to have not happened yet; it's a direct challenge to specific moderator action.

    That's all of course a matter of interpretation, and I can see how not everyone would necessarily interpret the post that way. But I think on my interpretation at least, there's still room for letting go basic "this thread should be closed" posts.
     
  11. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Warlord Super Moderator

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    So far, we have 3 upholds and 3 overturns if I'm reading this right. My opinion hasn't really changed; although I certainly do see the other side of it, I don't think that this really falls on the wrong side of the PDMA line.

    What do we do now? How does a split decision go, and should we solicit other opinions?
     
  12. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    There are probably two options:
    1. A majority is required to overturn the infraction, the benefit of the doubt going to the moderator;
    2. A majority is required to affirm the infraction, the benefit of the doubt going to the poster.
    Putting aside what the result would be in this case, I think the former would be more consistent with our approach to infractions - we're looking at whether the moderator has done anything incorrect, rather than re-exercising the moderator's original discretion. That would be consistent with this being an appeal. I suppose it could also be thought of in terms of the original moderator having a vote as well.

    A third option would be that the presiding moderator's vote carries the day, as they've probably looked at the matter in most detail.

    This might just be dragging the matter out further, but it's probably worth discussing and/or deciding which of those approaches we should generally take.
     
  13. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Warlord Super Moderator

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    I don't know if I quite agree with a split decision going in the issuing moderator's favor. I can see the reasoning behind it - a moderator made a decision and there was no consensus on whether the infraction was warranted, so it reverts to the original decision. Still, it would make us look bad to award a tied decision to the moderator.

    A possible compromise would be to use leif's suggestion of upholding but with a reduction to 0 or 1 points. Or perhaps we can get someone to show up and break the tie one way or another. Lefty was active in a different contemporaneous appeal thread; maybe we could bug him and get him to give his opinion? Or any other supermods and admins, for that matter.

    Tied decisions are rare enough that I'm not sure we need to hash out a formal plan to deal with them. Just getting someone else to participate, or upholding but going with the most lenient "uphold" opinion (leif in this case), would seem to work fine.
     
  14. Petek

    Petek Alpha Centaurian Administrator Supporter

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    My vision has improved sufficiently to read this thread. I'll break the tie and vote to reverse the infraction. Rationale: Since a group of experienced staff members can't agree on whether the post (or posts) was PDMA, we can't expect Ajidica to do so.
     
  15. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Warlord Super Moderator

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    So is that it then? Should I tell them both that it was overturned on a 4-3 split and ask for PM publication consent?
     
  16. leif erikson

    leif erikson Game of the Month Fanatic Administrator Supporter GOTM Staff

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  17. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Warlord Super Moderator

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    Both have consented to PM publication, and Vincour has reversed the infraction. I'll go ahead and publish the thread.
     
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