1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

onejayhawk vs Arakhor

Discussion in 'Infraction Review' started by Bootstoots, May 25, 2019.

  1. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Deity Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Messages:
    9,437
    Location:
    Mid-Illinois
    Onejayhawk is appealing an infraction he received from Arakhor for trolling. This is the post in question. It is quoted below for convenience, including Arakhor's modtext.


    Onejayhawk contends that the infraction he received for this post is unwarranted, as his statement was a reference to actual events. He states:

    Arakhor provides the following reasoning in support of his infraction:

    There was a brief exchange between Arakhor and onejayhawk following the infraction. It is quoted below, starting with the infraction message.

     
  2. leif erikson

    leif erikson Game of the Month Fanatic Administrator Supporter GOTM Staff

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2003
    Messages:
    26,576
    Location:
    Plymouth, MA
    Staff are asked to do two basic things at CFC. The first is to maintain civility of discussions and the second is to keep discussions on topic. Staff are not arbiters of truth. In today's world, anyone can "shop" for whatever truth they seek from the opinions and spin of news sources, cable outlets or social media sites.

    Site members, particularly in OT, are pretty familiar with their fellow member's political and social beliefs. They know what buttons to push to create a negative reaction. Site Rules discuss this topic under trolling and set as trolling anything that is said with the intent of creating a negative reaction. In this case, believe that onejayhawk's post, while he may see it as his factual truth, was made with just such an intention and thus would uphold the infraction by Arakhor.
     
  3. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    27,223
    Location:
    Sydney
    I agree with leif.

    The defence of "yes, but it's true" is entirely beside the point - the post isn't being infracted on the basis of an assessment of its truth, it's being infracted because a reasonable observer would see this post and think that its purpose is simply to provoke a negative reaction, not to genuinely engage in a debate.

    In Arakhor's explanation provided for the purpose of this review, he notes that because it is somewhat difficult in the circumstances to believe that onejayhawk genuinely holds the opinion which he is expressing, it is somewhat easier to reach the determination that the intention behind the post is insincere.

    It's true that the more outlandish an opinion is, the easier it will be for a reasonable observer to think that the post is just aimed to spark discord. If you open up a thread about lunar exploration and post "the moon is made of cheese", it's going to be fairly easy for a moderator to reach the conclusion that you're making that post for the purpose of instigating a derailment, rather than for the purpose of participating in the discussion.

    But the question remains the objectively determined intention behind the post, not whether the post is correct (and it is clear that's the reason behind Arakhor's decision).

    Context is vital to the determination of that operative question. Here, this post taken in isolation might seem fairly innocuous, and posted in other contexts would no doubt be within the rules. However, the post exists in the context of widespread discussion over a number of different threads on the topic of the Mueller report, from which it would be abundantly clear to onejayhawk that describing the report as a "hoax" is a controversial opinion that will elicit a strong response. Pausing there, that in itself does not make it rule-breaking for onejayhawk to repeat his opinion - the fact that others strongly disagree does not mean that onejayhawk is faced with the choice of either changing his mind or keeping quiet.

    What shifts the post into rule-breaking territory is the determination that the reason why the post has been made (or the reason why the statement within the post has been made) is to needle or provoke, rather than to engage in a proper discussion. That determination arises from the tone in which the post has been made, given the pre-existing context. That is, despite onejayhawk knowing that he is presenting a hotly contested opinion, he is essentially saying, "oh, did you miss that your opinion has already been definitively proven to be wrong?" Phrased in such a way, how would a reasonable observer interpret the post as anything other than the deliberate waving of a red flag in front of a bull? How could a reasonable observer see this post as a genuine attempt to engage in a debate with Estebonrober?

    The point of the infraction, then, is not to protect any delicate sensibilities who are just outraged that someone could express the opinion which onejayhawk is expressing, but to signal the forum's interest in preventing a clearly foreseeable trainwreck and promoting genuine debate instead of mudslinging.
     
    hobbsyoyo likes this.
  4. Rob (R8XFT)

    Rob (R8XFT) Ancient Briton Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2002
    Messages:
    10,869
    Location:
    Leeds (UK)
    I agree with Leif's comments - my vote is to uphold.
     
  5. Petek

    Petek Alpha Centaurian Administrator Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Messages:
    3,647
    Location:
    Berkeley, Calif., USA
    Agree with leif and vote to uphold. Also, I think the first part of leif's post should be added where it will be more visible (either OT moderating guidelines or The Moderator Handbook).
     
  6. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Deity Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Messages:
    9,437
    Location:
    Mid-Illinois
    My apologies to everyone, especially onejayhawk and Arakhor, for forgetting all about this. The standard excuses apply: life got busy and I've barely logged in for the past month and a half.

    The assertion that the Mueller investigation revealed the "Russiagate" accusations to be a hoax is a common talking point in the right-wing sources that onejayhawk likely frequents. I initially leaned toward overturning this infraction as a simple expression of a political view that is unpopular on this forum but which a member is certainly allowed to express. I believe having a diversity of viewpoints is an asset for a forum that is driven largely by political discussion, and moderation should be as unbiased with respect to political ideology as possible.

    However, I find Camikaze's reasoning persuasive. This post does not read as a genuine attempt to have a discussion, but rather to simply rile up the other side in a manner known to provoke an equally hostile response. While this sort of behavior is unfortunately common among posters of all opinions, onejayhawk's pattern of posting is particularly heavy on making short, snappy comments that serve to provoke a hostile response, without adding much that is conducive to real discussion. Each individual post is not trollish enough to provoke moderator action, but viewed as a whole, it is hard not to consider this pattern trolling.

    These sorts of patterns of behavior - where individual posts are not actionable but the overall pattern of the poster's behavior serves to reliably drag discussions downhill - are especially difficult to handle, and it is important that we do a better job of responding. At some point, a line really should be drawn, and the point at which this happens may seem arbitrary.

    Although I still have some reservations, I vote to uphold.
     
  7. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Deity Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Messages:
    9,437
    Location:
    Mid-Illinois
    Somehow I never put this in the public appeal forum. I guess I assumed someone else did that, and missed or forgot about leif's post to the contrary asking me to do it. I'll put it there now. Obviously the infraction was upheld.

    I apologize to @onejayhawk for this - it should have been up half a year ago.
     

Share This Page