Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Silurian, Apr 13, 2013.
Let the free market handle it with public shaming.
Upgrade the forum to allow endorsements of posts.
How do you shame someone with upvotes? I thought people usually endorsed things they like? Not the other way around....
Oh, well. I'll just go with the flow then: I endorse your idea.
If people upvote the posts on one side of an argument and not those on another side...
The real problem is what Illram said -- too many people replying to the low hanging fruit. Can't moderate that out.
No you can't.
But you can make an moderation effort to decrease the number of low-hanging fruits. More so when you have the repetitive, recognisable ones we're all familiar with.
You can tell people not to bring a topic up over and over again. You can tell people to stop with their back-and-forths.
It would help if you expanded ignore to blot out quotes of the ignored person. I still end up seeing a lot of what people on my ignore list are saying because people quote them.
Upgrade the damn forum.
I don't know what a "conversation stopper" is and I don't think we could even agree on what they were out of some specific context. "Impeding discussion" is similar. Do JRs posts impede discussion? many think so. Does "Lincoln hate"? It certainly could. How about "Because it is in the bible"? That can too. So much depends upon how and where something is said that clear guidelines are very difficult.
Aims (goals) are very fine things. But to be useful they have to measurable. Wanting a "fun place with lively on topic discussions" is not very measurable. My aim is mostly about civility and being nice. I am pretty lenient and tend to step in when people are mean spirited, name call or cruel to other posters. Other (mods and posters) want harsher moderation for more things.
IIRC moderating OT prior to the split was very labor intensive and time consuming. I'm not sure it was any more successful. Prior to my becoming a mod, OT seemed different; less moderation and less rancor. I think that we are seeing more polarization of views, more incivility, more mean-spiritedness. I do not think we can wish ourselves back to 2006.
I completely agree.
When posters repeatedly fail to follow moderation requests/demands, they force staff into a corner: ban them for good or try to get marginal improvement. MNSHO says that permabanning is not a great solution. Clearly, it is not shared by many of our members.
Why is OT so much more trouble than, say, NESing? There are many of you who post in both? Is it the topics? The bad-boy posters? Is a lack of community?
Permaban that "many" and the forum would be great.
I appreciate you letting me use you as an example whipping boy.
I think my case represents the problem of a purge - I am sure I am on the "top 4 to purge" list for many, but considered positive entertainment by at least a couple of posters urging a purge.
Yes; a conundrum.
Question for those who were here and remember OT 2005-2009: How was moderating different? What was moderated and what was not? Have posters changed? Are people posting differently than back then?
Moderation seemed to let us get away with more than the 2010-2011 crackdown, though it was a bit firmer than the Tavern. There was a larger set of quality posters & good trollers and the really bad posters didn't stick out as much. Not as much of a Golden Age as say 2003 or so, but better than it is today.
Mobby-JR was moderated a bit tighter than Mobby-Forma or JR-Dommy is today, but it was some entertaining trolling - not quote warring or ill-advised engagement.
Oh - and bronies woud not have been a protected species.
Yes, this is largely the essence of what we're discussing in staff at the moment. I think illram's post really hits the nail on the head in terms of what the problem for us is; often it seems like people are simultaneously asking for the low-hanging fruit to be removed and yet replying to that low-hanging fruit themselves. There's only so much we can do if people are giving attention to the posts they decry, or are refusing to use the ignore list. The trick is in figuring out what exactly that 'so much' is, and whether it's worth it. None of us want OT to die, if that is actually what is happening, but then we don't want to go back to such an intensive scheme as we had before; a large point of the split was that staff has forever been spending a disproportionate amount of time on OT. And the split really was very successful there, in that OT is much easier to moderate nowadays, because we just don't deal with tricky stuff much at all.
All of the statistics on traffic are highly variable. The other week during the PAX East Civ5 stream we had 500+ viewing the BNW forum, and currently it's 106. Whenever a new wave of articles are released, activity goes up again.
I think OT has quite variable traffic as well. But I don't think any of us are going to contest the idea that OT traffic and membership is down. It is clear that a lot of posters who used to post here don't now, and there's hasn't been the same influx of new members to replace. The big question is what the reason for that is. It could just be that the bulk of OT posters from a few years ago (which was heavy in the 20-25 wdemographic) have moved on with their lives. It could be that the nature of internet forums has changed, such that we're email to Reddit's twitter. It could be that the numbers were really falling before the OT split, which might have either accelerated or arrested the decline. Or it could be that the quality of the Tavern has driven people away.
I don't think people are posting any differently.
I think the current problem with the Tavern is the 'jerk' line is still extremely ambiguous. Posters get more and more comfortable getting more and more snarky until the anvil drops from the sky and lands on them. And then the poster ends up thinking why did that happen 'cause me and everyone else has been posting like that for awhile now.
And even the rules were more established and rigid in 2005-2009 infractions were still contingent upon moderator perception and that blurred the line as well. Some mods were decidedly more tolerant of some posters than others, creating inconsistency. But then there were mods like FredLC and Ainwood that were incredibly balanced and open to explanation of a situation.
Mods are people too and just as subject to petty emotion and retributive feelings as anyone else. And sometimes that came out in their moderation. With the lesser moderation of the Tavern at least that factor has been greatly neutralized.
I've always been of the opinion only the most nasty and unabashedly nasty posters need be permabanned. If you have someone who just continually exhibits blatent racist hatred, attacks other posters (and maybe their families) personally in an extremely hateful manner simply because of their personal opinion, or exhibits other continuous unredeemable intolerance expressed in a very hateful manner, then get rid of them and be done with it.
But don't do it simply because someone dislikes someone else for their opinion/beliefs/political stance, etc. I think that's just giving into intolerance.
Well it was labor intensive because you had high level of moderation in a forum that didn't need it. If we merged it again, and kept the lower level of moderation (save for red diamond threads), then it wouldn't be as labor intensive, eh?
I strongly suspect the majority of the posts in reply to low-hanging fruit are attempts to make pearls: There's an irritant, and a protective coating of words is deposited around the irritant. This generally doesn't create anything shiny or valuable. It just turns a small irritant into a large one.
So I don't see any tension between posters replying to certain posts and moderators taking action against those posts.
This was discussed at least a bit when the split happened. It's pretty easy to talk about ignoring "rotten fruit" posts. It's not terribly difficult to ignore them. But it's pretty difficult for all the other posters to ignore every such post. Everybody's got their own pet peeves, buttons to be pushed, bad days, or periods of melancholy drunkenness.
Left to themselves, the forumites summoning the collective discipline to simply ignore posts that don't deserve a response is about as likely as... as the writer of one of those posts really learning something from a response. A smaller, more tightly-knit forum might, but I don't see it happening here. If the moderators won't do it we'll have to leave it to attrition. Eventually we'll get a small, self-manageable group. Or - heck - maybe the problem posters will get bored.
You can ignore all that and post anyway... but you're likely to be off-topic by page 2. Or if you have said something worth replying to - ie, you've made an error or said something objectionable - there are vastly "irritating" things for posters to reply to: Yeah - the low-hanging fruit again.
IME the exact mechanism was the *repetitiveness* of the rotten fruit, and the threads dominated by the stuff. There was way too much garbage to sort through to find the interesting discussions for reading to be worth it. There are quite a few threads that - by the title - seem like the sort of thing I'd very much enjoy discussing. But no... it's too often he same few posters saying more or less the same bloody things, with the same basic responses flooding back at them.
Hey: Here's an idea - Any poster generating far more responses than the average poster gets a temporary ban. Yes, this would eliminate not only the most irritating posters, but also any poster who continually says something so brilliant and fantastic that it generates a storm of supportive response. So: Theoretically you could wrongly-ban someone, but I don't see it happening if you take any care with the numbers. You could call it the "No faith in humanity." rule.
(Or post quality and repetitiveness: What's that Tolstoy quote? "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Threads aren't families. I think we need to go to Bloom County: "Failure, Mr. Jones, is hardly very original."
Teacher: Original ideas? There are no truly original ideas lift in science, Mr Jones.
OWJ: Au contraire! I myself have an original idea!
Teacher: Original Mr. Jones?
OWJ: 100% original! A first! Truly unique! Allow me to present my findings!
OWJ: The following formula shows conclusively how the entire world's energy needs can be fulfilled with only two porcupines, an exercise wheel, and six tons of "raisin bran". Truly ... an original notion.
OWJ: There! It all adds up!
Teacher: .. Except that porcupines are allergic to raisins.
Teacher: Failure, Mr Jones, is hardly very original. Sit down.
OWJ: The great tragedy of science -- the slaying of an original, beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.
Milo: Thomas Huxley said it first.
Seriously the low hanging fruits that at least some of us are talking about thrive off the attention and controversy that their posts generate. They're contrarian for contrarianism's sake. If you ignore them then they realise they can't get anything they want out of you and they go away. If you reply to them, argue with them, quote them, laugh at them, infract them, red mod-text them, or temp ban them then you're giving them the attention that they crave, positive or negative, and they'll just keep coming back for more. They like being disliked by an entire forum, because in their contrarian minds, that means they're winning. And, when you consider that the entire rest of the forum loses, maybe they're not wrong.
I'm torn. I find your posts entertaining but I suspect your purging would be too.
I was quite active in that period in OT. Honestly I can't tell much a difference between then and now in terms of moderation. The most significant change I notice is less activity in the forum(s).
The old days were better.
Is their reason for posting here any less legitimate than your own?
And fwiw, i'm not sure anyone here is disliked by the entire forum. That's a pretty high bar to reach.
Separate names with a comma.