# The most absurd moderation in Sci history

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by Norsefire, Aug 5, 2010.

1. ### BellsStaff Member

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22,834
Hmmm... You mean you took it upon yourself to decide it was off-topic in the biology forum. You mean you actually moderated as you saw fit within the scope of the rules.. You mean, you decided which direction the discussions should go..

My.. how novel. You did not tell him he could have posted it in S & S, did you? You just deleted and red-carded. Again.. the glass houses analogy...

You had your detractors when you moderated Sam and I have mine for how I moderate. Hell, here you are, my detractor. And frankly, this discussion is going around in circles. You disagree with how I acted and find me unethical. Then report me to Plazma or even other moderators that you trust on this forum and have them take it to Plazma. That is an option you have. Use it if you feel so offended with how I moderate.

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oh
i am officially filing a freedom of information act request. turn over all documents (posts/threads) that pertain to me. heres my $20 Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! 4. ### GuestGuest Advertisement to hide all adverts. 5. ### S.A.M.uniquely dreadfulValued Senior Member Messages: 72,822 Now we are delving into the realm of the incredulous. Yes, I was moderator of Biology. And I took it upon myself to keep the thread on topic. Not because I wanted to restrict or ban someone's opinion but because I wanted to keep the thread on topic. If I had demanded that Nutter provide evidence for a snarky comment or allowed the debate to devolve into the usual theist-atheist debate the point of the thread would be lost You are usually more articulate than this Bells, I should not need to explain to you the difference between moderating a post for content and moderating a post for opinion. Although, I am not even concerned so much about moderating a post for opinion as much as the increasing tendency which has sprung up in mods to tell everyone what they should think, to set clocks and threaten bans over opinions and to ban people for refusing to respond. Its just not kosher. 6. ### GuestGuest Advertisement to hide all adverts. 7. ### BellsStaff Member Messages: 22,834 You'd be surprised. Who was I bias to? Was I biased to what you have deemed Western thought in regards to Jews? The funny thing there is that I am deemed an anti-semite by several 'lovely and charming individuals' on this forum, at least one of whom has had a tendency to abuse me in ways that I can't even repeat for my apparent anti-semitism. I have even had some accuse me of anti-semitism and bias for having allowed Norse to substantiate his claims. As I said, win some and lose some. There will always be at least one person who will claim bias.. This time it's you. I moderated as I saw fit, just as you moderated as you saw fit. 8. ### GustavBannedBanned Messages: 12,575 indeed goddamn fascist mod trigger happy nazi shame on you sam in this case we all won we got rid of that lowlife scum, norse for a while 9. ### S.A.M.uniquely dreadfulValued Senior Member Messages: 72,822 Personally I am not interested in the intricacies of the argument. It is the method that I consider inappropriate. What do you think? Am I being overzealous? Is it a glass house analogy? I am no fan of norse, he's mostly ridiculous. That does not mean he should be banned for an opinion or forced to respond to posts. Its easy to agree about freedom of expression when its people you agree with, its when you accept that even people you disagree with have a right to it, that you can claim you believe in it. Last edited: Aug 10, 2010 10. ### BellsStaff Member Messages: 22,834 Here is the thing Sam. I gave him the chance to provide content for his opinion. He abjectly refused. I can't tell him how to think. But it is within my rights to request that he substantiate his opinions. Not tell me that 'history doesn't have to be correct'. He did respond. He refused openly and repeatedly to provide any evidence. So I waited to see if he would. I let it go over 12 hours. Had he asked for an extension in time, I'd have given it to him. But he refused.. So I acted. You disagree? That's fine. You think I acted above my station or was unethical? Again. That is fine. But I beg you.. If you think I or any other moderator is being unethical, then seek a review from other moderators you trust or from Plazma. 11. ### BellsStaff Member Messages: 22,834 Dude, I just work here. You'll have to ask the owners for that. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! 12. ### BellsStaff Member Messages: 22,834 And now, I bid you all goodnight. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! It is very late in my part of the world and my pain meds have started to kick in. So before I start to type my letters backwards, I am going to bed. Till next time. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! 13. ### S.A.M.uniquely dreadfulValued Senior Member Messages: 72,822 Here is the thing Bells, you should not have banned him for refusing to comply, or set a clock on your request. And it should have been a request. Not as a mod, because you should not bias discussion, but as a poster. And if he did not comply, you should respect his right to do so. Goodnight. 14. ### BellsStaff Member Messages: 22,834 I beg to differ. And I still stand by my decision and how I acted in taking that decision. I believe I was fair in giving him the time to substantiate his claims. I could have just deleted it and warned/banned him for it. But I did not. I gave him time. He refused. I acted within my authority in banning him. You disagree? Again, the options you have in that disagreement are available to you. It is up to you whether you feel strongly enough to report it or seek a review. I would urge you to do so if you felt I had acted in a manner that was unethical. But you have thus far refused. I can't force you to do it. It is up to you. I am not going to argue with you anymore about this. I still feel you weren't that different in some decisions you made when you moderated, hence the glass houses thing. But again.. we are going around in circles. Now I am going to bed. Night.. I shall respond to anything else when I am next on. 15. ### hypewadersSave ChangesRegistered Senior Member Messages: 12,061 Your$20 is hereby refunded. I believe that your rather hyperactive curiousity was piqued when I was a bit forward in mentioning via PM that I had quoted you in a thread by your name in the Mod Forum. Although our humint library is confidential, I'll offer in vain hope of satisfying your curiousity that there are many threads with the names of many members down through the many years of discussions about gadflies and goobers. As you know (or can see if you review my PM) I posted positive feedback about you there, along with thanking you for diffusing an argument. I'm sorry to have mentioned talking you up in the staffroom.

Your dossier is rather obscure and dusty, and not very thick in comparison with many others. It would be improper and counterproductive (and would also void my security clearance) if I were to to set any compromising precedent by describing with any detail or specificity any of the files, photos, prints, locks of hair, fingernail clippings, items from your dustbin, and other evidence there contained.

Rest assured that if anything is afoot in your case- you'll promptly be apprised through official public channels. So please relax and be satisfied with your need to know, Comrade. The Committee for SciSecurity is a thorough, but responsible, ethical, and watertight agency.

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Also (on review of your interrogation of Bells) I will not confirm nor deny the existence of a moderator "watch list".

That is all.

17. ### parmaleeperipatetic artisanValued Senior Member

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however, time and again, Norse has been asked to back up many of his ludicrous claims--and i cannot think of a single instance in which he has done so.

in fact, Norse isn't much of one for sources in general, and when he does cite, it's invariably the tertiary variety.

do you recall that thread in which he was going on about how no one ever discusses the good which came from nazi germany, and such info is apparently rather well-guarded or concealed (or some such thing)? and then he provided some examples. his source? freakin' wikipedia! not all that esoteric if you can find this shit on wikipedia.

point being: he doesn't really "play fair" and he doesn't strike me as especially amenable to... er, reason. in most nearly all of his posts, one can identify numerous logical fallacies.

is that a bannable offense? fuck if i know, i've not read the terms and condition.

18. ### sifreak21Valued Senior Member

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if its that big of a deal if he presents proof and the ula maybe try to go the legal route and sue the owner of sciform for an unfair bias perma ban but i wouldnt have any idea how that would work but it would be amazing to see a mod go down in flames because some of the bans are very questionable

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We're working on that presently. Such behavior is colloquially but somewhat indistinctly categorized as "trolling". There is long but not unwavering precedent in curtailing such behavior, and the staff is in discussion about how to refine rules and enforcement in that regard. Member feedback is welcome, especially from those here who value SciForums enough to have familiarized themselves with the Forum Rules.

That's not a very composed nor egalitarian perspective. All who contribute here are members, and we are all moderators of 1 or more memberships. The spectacle of anyone going down in "flames" does not advance this community. Schadenfreude and vindictiveness are not helpful in matters of moderation. But alternatively, constructive feedback is most helpful to all of us who volunteer our time and imperfect attention for the encouragement and promotion of higher quality of content here at SciForums.

Last edited: Aug 10, 2010
20. ### parmaleeperipatetic artisanValued Senior Member

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i was being (somewhat) facetious regarding the forum rules--i skimmed over them at one point. but i think most of us--who manage not to get banned... repeatedly--really operate on a tacit understanding of "the rules": will saying such-and-such, and in such a way, get me thrown out of someone's living room? if the answer be "yes," then i probably oughtn't say it.

Norse's previous ban--rather, the one prior the previous one--was for referring to obama as a monkey. now, i'll give him the benefit of the doubt for that one as perhaps, being from syria, he was unfamiliar with that racist trope. but in the very next post he claims obama only got into uni because he was black--the basis for this contention? well, we never got to find out as he was banned soon thereafter. but i am confident that he would have made no effort to back that up.

would i throw Norse out of my living room? hell yeah. perhaps not after the first or second time he exhibited such behavior, but after the dozenth...

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I believe that those of us possessing a reasonable amount of tact and awareness of the perceptions of others rarely run afoul of the rules and enforcement here- Behaving as in polite, respectful, and occasionally playful company is sufficient. I think that much of the difficulties experienced in the exercise of forum moderating is that too many people fail to apply a basic customary (real) world standard of civilized discourse in their online activities. Those who are aware that SciForums is (at its best) a real-life interaction between real people consistently enhance this community. Those who forget or are incapable of posting in good faith detract from our community. Those who interfere with a mostly respectful and thoughtful culture here get in trouble with the staff.

When the moderating staff stumble in misinterpreting the rules and means of enforcement, it is fitting to remember that we are unpaid volunteers, and that none of us are immune to valid and cogent criticism of our actions from fellow members and moderators. It is also appropriate to keep in mind that we have the benefit of a representative spectrum of the valued membership on staff, which means that we do not always agree, but all of the staff is committed to improving the quality of content here.

As for public discussions by the general membership about the behaviors of particular members, it is more conducive to good order for offensive or sub-standard posting to be reported using the button at top right of each post. If it were to happen that in threads such as this that we engage in group criticism of particular members, it would not be conducive to good order. It is never constructive in my opinion for us to have public discussions about the shortcomings of any particular member, because there is a higher probability of acrimony than understanding.

That said, if one abstain from focusing on the transgressions of a single member, it would still be (this is only my own opinion) constructive to cite examples of sub-standard posts without piling on over any one individual. Singling out any member for a public trial in a thread like this is entirely inappropriate. If I had moderator privileges in this thread I would sanction that.

Please report offensive posts to the moderators.

Please report offensive moderators to the Administrators using the directory in the Forum Rules.

Please do contribute any constructive ideas you may have about how we generally police these forums here in Open Government, Site Feedback, or personally to any moderators and administrators that you would like to make any constructive appeals to.

Last edited: Aug 10, 2010
22. ### parmaleeperipatetic artisanValued Senior Member

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defining "civilized discourse" is no easy task though. i've lived and traveled about three continents and countless countries, and i've learned that i can "get away" with talking in a certain manner amongst certain east coast americans, northern europeans (especially scandinavians), indigenous americans, south asians, jews, etc., BUT, should i do the same amongst certain others--southern and west coast americans and southern europeans in particular--i tend not to fare so well. IOW i've been forcibly extricated on many an occasion.

personally, i found Gendanken's recent bannings objectionable. i was brought up to believe that when a person is behaving like an idiot... well, they get what's coming to them. i think will oldham sums up my feelings on this best:

Swinging back from one chord to another
Try to focus I'd learned from my mother
Who'd also taught me to take care of others
When I could if I could like if they were my brothers
But I never found it much in me to care
If god give someone their absolute share
Of the good that they deserve if they choose not to
Recognize value in the things that they do
I've seen people crumble and fall by the way
And humble themselves like it's their due to pay
But I ask myself why not act harshly
Why keep awful thoughts and feelings inside of thee
Why not mete them out ever so generously

("antagonism")

but, apparently some folks don't consider such behavior "civilized."

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Agreed. That is why your input and those of anyone interested is valued here.

I humbly suggest that if you apply the higher standards that you have experienced you will have no trouble anywhere.

The most difficult cases in my opinion are are most intelligent and eccentric members. But as I have been gaining experience as a moderator, I am becoming more agreeable to the notion of making sacrifices, including (in extreme cases) the banishment of unique people who have made me think, and laugh, and smile in the past. I do miss some people who have departed under unhappy terms, and no doubt I will again. That's the often difficult trade-off in maintaining a superior forum.

Thanks for the Will Oldham link. Very nice. :bawl:

Last edited: Aug 10, 2010