Why is this thread Locked?

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by Neverfly, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. Neverfly Banned Banned

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    http://www.sciforums.com/showthread...st-Earth-Thursday-night&p=2995954#post2995954

    So first, Gustav gets a warning that was frankly, pushing the envelope which elicited a reaction from others. Then the thread was locked after other members reacted to the infraction.

    This doesn't sit right with me at all. Hell, the joke made was about a cover up yet that's exactly how these actions taste now, like a cover up.
     
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  3. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    Now I'm curious. I always thought Sciforums to be a conductor of open dialogue.
     
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  5. prometheus viva voce! Registered Senior Member

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    If I was trying to cover things up, wouldn't I just ban you at this point and get this thread closed?
     
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  7. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    Yeah, that warning and ban was bullshit. I don't come here very often because of the appalling moderation, and when I do come back for a look, all I see is more appalling moderation. I know Gustav has rather painted a target on his own back, but that's no excuse for him being singled out.
     
  8. Balerion Banned Banned

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    I agree that Gus is a troll, but unless there were posts of his deleted from that thread, I don't see what he did deserving a ban.

    My guess is that there's more to it than what was in the thread.
     
  9. Neverfly Banned Banned

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    True- and the irony is that the thread made it into the moderation queue. (No, I am not suggesting that is part of some cover up).
    But it does strike me as unethical.
    As Balerion pointed out, maybe there's more to it.
    But, Prometheus, are you willing to review it? Understand, right off the bat, that most folks also know what a thankless bitch of a job being Moderator can be. But it does come with its perks, as well...
    Gustav brings something to the forum as a contributor. Not everyone is going to like him nor be expected to. But brutal honesty is still refreshing. So is humor, at times.
    This moderator action has a heavy swing of being undeserved and yes, mistakes happen.
    Are you willing to review it? Willing to make it right?
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
  10. prometheus viva voce! Registered Senior Member

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    Of course we can review it. I don't think I would have don't anything differently in hindsight. Gustav basically derailed the thread, authored a post containing no content other than a "request" directed at another member containing a class 1 expletive, and has prior history as a troll. He got a warning first followed by a ban that could have been 4 times as long based on his infraction point total.
     
  11. Neverfly Banned Banned

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    See, I cannot logically refute anything you just said. And therein lies the problem.
    Take a look above and notice the reactions of not just myself but many people. Whether Gustav has a history of being a "troll" or not is irrelevant. It is frankly, far too often folks around here accuse others of "trolling." It's like a popular buzz word.

    What I'm asking about is this one incident. We all go off topic sometimes. That's the flow of discussion. We also police ourselves and each other to some degree. To get the tangent wrapped up and back on topic. The thread had only just started. It hadn't had much of a chance to "go off topic" yet. Members like to engage in a bit of humor sometimes. The warning was a bit extreme. It just wasn't that big of a deal and was in line with other things said in that thread. And for this, Gustav, being Gustav, didn't just take it like many people would. He rejected it.
    Class 1 expletive? Really? A member I won't name here used that same "class" in another physics thread you've participated in with the use of the words "Fuck all." I had said the word, "Ass" in a similarly useless post. Class 2 expletive.
    So it's ok then and there, but not when protesting what appears to be an over-reaction.
    Derailed the thread? It was like the third reply. The thread had not even started, yet. And then the thread was Locked. Didn't really get saved from derailment, then, did it?
    Yes, you can justify it- but is it really justified?

    It looks personal, to me. He looks singled out. Granted, you could then infract myself, Captain Kremmen and anyone else. You can then, try to be more fervent in finding examples in others of what you accuse Gustav of now- but it seems easier to just say, "Given the history, I may have been on edge and reacted strongly."

    Lastly, followed by a ban that could have been four times as long... Well, again, this looks decent. But it smacks of, "He should be glad of what I done give 'im."
    As if to say a ban that is questionable is less questionable if it could have been longer.
    The ban was for protesting the infraction- which we've covered above as similarly over-reactive.
    Was the infraction really worth it? Was the ban? Or could that have been handled differently?

    I appreciate you're taking the time to review- I know the spammers are driving you guys insane. I know it's not fun having your actions as moderator openly and publicly questioned.
     
  12. prometheus viva voce! Registered Senior Member

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    There are two issues that I think are having an effect here. My comments about Gustav's history was not intended to be "Gustav likes to troll." It was "I have never seen Gustav contribute anything meaningful to any thread." I don't have anything personal against Gustav but I of course will form an opinion of him based on the behaviour that I see - granted I'm not going to claim that I read every subforum. If someone who actually helps to improve the discussions on sciforums throws in an expletive occasionally and then just for emphasis, then moderation is more likely to be lenient rather than strictly applying the rules. People like Gustav do this, and they direct that expletive at another member, then they can hardly complain about a ban when it comes and they have agreed to abide by the forum rules.

    That leads on to issue number 2: the moderation of this forum is very relaxed compared to other forums that serve the same demographic. For example, you take a look at just about any thread in physics and maths and try and imagine how long that would last for on physicsforums.

    The thread locking is a different issue to Gustav being banned, and happened because the thread had become a complain about the moderator thread. You all must know that complaining about the moderators in that way is not allowed on here (and actually this thread is also against the forum rules, if applied strictly). If anyone reading this wants to start another thread on the same topic go for it, but if it goes down the same road as the last one then it will be getting locked, and I make no apology for that.
     
  13. Neverfly Banned Banned

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    Prometheus, I'm going to swap 1 and 2 for the sake of clarity:
    Or Cosmoquest/BAUT. Yeah... good luck...
    I agree that it is more relaxed than other forums. Quite a bit so. While this, at times, can be frustrating, I usually find it refreshing. The strongest point I could ever make is that this forum allows us to publicly question Moderator actions- hash it out and confront- it must be annoying as hell to the Moderators, but is the single greatest thing I could ever see on a place like this.
    Now, this relaxed nature accepted as an axiom...
    Ok, well put.
    Think of perceptions.
    Considering the relaxed nature of these forums, as we've both agreed above- how does it look when in the case of Gustav it looked very not relaxed? It looked sudden, uncalled for and harsh. You explained your side above. But not everyone sees Gustavs posts as "meaningless."
    I see your point about Gustavs posting style.
    Allow me to defend the devil:
    It took a while for me to get used to Gustav. A man of very few words, he most often speaks volumes by saying as little as he can. I do not know the man (Or woman... pretty sure it's a 'he,' though) personally, and have no opinion as to the personality involved. He doesn't give enough information to work with. But what Gustav often brings is a sudden slam of clarity and brutal honesty. Oftentimes it looks like trolling... But I learned to never take a post from Gustav at face value. Maybe sometimes he gets lucky and hits the nail on the head and has no idea he had said something profound- I have no idea.
    I've never seen Gustav post anything scientific or described mathematics. He has a different way... of contributing... I have no idea of what his motives or intentions are, but the posts themselves are more likely to make me halt and examine myself before proceeding.
    Sometimes he just posts crap. Nothing more.
    I see your perception- I understand it.
    We're giving ours.
    Now I gotta be fair: (Sorry Gustav). He could have handled it better. He could have asked in a better way about the infraction. But bear in mind his perceptions, he just watched me post crap in that thread, too. He handled it by instantly getting angry. He can justify that reaction as easily as you can justify yours given that as above, it appeared to single him out, be heavy-handed and unfair.
    And it's this part that I think is the most important. The perceptions of each side. It escalated quickly to a ban. Some, self included, wonder if that was necessary.
    Prometheus, I posted a garbage post in that thread and I need an infraction, same as Gustav. Yes, it's absurd, but I would feel better about it if you even it out.
    Understood. You've given the questioning of your decision respect and I appreciate that- I wish it was something Moderators would do a lot more often. I'm more likely now, to trust your input and moderation than if I had been brushed off when I protested the action. You did not have to stop and explain yourself. Although I might easily argue you should... You chose to confront it.
    Gustav is probably feeling something different than a brush off about it, now.
    Accountability is something members fear when it comes to a Moderator that may abuse that position. It could seem like a paranoia, unless you've witnessed Moderators doing it again and again. I have. And am embroiled in battle with one on another science forum currently.
    Accounting for yourself restores that trust. If you'll give me an infraction for that thread, I'll call this confrontation even.
     
  14. Kittamaru Never cruel nor cowardly... Staff Member

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    Just to throw my two cents in... I rarely have to deal with Gustav, but I'm surprised he hasn't been given a permanent vacation given how many complaints there are about him overall, even just since I became a moderator...
     
  15. Balerion Banned Banned

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    I agree. You will notice, however, that all of his bans are of the 3 or 7 day variety, with the moderator in question invariably commenting on how it could have been longer. Yet somehow, it never actually gets longer. I'm curious as to why. Well, actually, I have a pretty good idea why, but I'm not getting into that here.

    Neverfly, you made your points. I suggest letting it go. All things considered, Gus is earning his infractions and bans. You requesting martyrdom isn't helping anything, and in fact is making it harder to moderate. Just leave it be. This isn't some great injustice, it's just words on an internet forum. Dude is awful to deal with, has a history of harassing other members and derailing threads. This moderator perceived an action by him as a precursor to further, escalated action, and nipped it in the bud. That's enough of an explanation for me.
     
  16. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    And if SciForums moderation had established a reputation for consistently acting against such behavior, you'd have a point.

    But you guys let far more egregious stuff than that go unchecked all the time.

    If anyone derailed that thread, it was you. Gustav just tossed off a quick joke - the sort of minor thing that passes without incident all the time even in heavily moderated fora, or in real life. It was your overzealous reaction to such that made the thread about your overzealous reaction. The spectacle of moderators abusing their power to target individuals they bear grudges against simply for tossing off an innocuous jest is far more disruptive to discourse here than anything Gustav did in that thread - which is why that thread immediately became all about your bullshit power trip.

    So the upshot is that you've damaged your credibility as a mod, pissed off a bunch of members and likely ensured that you are going to have an even harder time dealing with Gustav in the future. And for what? A few back-room high-fives from the other mods who harbor grudges against him, maybe?

    1/4 the injustice is still too much injustice. You are the problem here, not Gustav.

    Gustav contributed a reasonably funny joke to that thread, and you jumped down his throat over it. Your warning was totally unjustified, and you are a fool if you imagined that Gustav would respond to such in any other way.

    Meanwhile, plenty of people who do nothing more than threadshit all over the place are tolerated indefinitely, without sanction. So spare us your pretenses about interest in "meaning" or "contributions." It is insulting. You're just looking out for your own personal authority. Stick to deleting spam messages and don't try to push members around - it will backfire like this.

    The "forum rules" in this sense are enforced in an entirely capricious manner. Various moderators routinely violate them with no visible consequences whatsoever. These rules do not exist, as such. All we have is the empowerment of the whims of moderators like yourself, who display no consistency in that sense and simply invoke the rules as ex post facto pretenses to justify whatever it was they wanted to do. The upshot being that you guys have no credibility when you point to the rules. This is the bed you fools have made for yourselves, and you need to understand that you are not fooling anybody with pretenses to the contrary.

    That is because you fucked up, egregiously and visibly. It is time for you to own up to that and attempt to make it right. Neither Gustav nor the rest of us should be the ones paying the price for your incompetence and caprice. Gustav's jest was the kind of thing that you could have easily laughed off, building goodwill in the process. If you can't deal with the odd joke popping up in a thread without reaching for the ban hammer, then you should not be moderating.

    And you all must know that such a rule is a craven authoritarian shield, and so has never commanded the slightest respect from anyone with a backbone. If you think that acting like dictators of some banana republic is going to make your jobs easier, or earn you respect, or even just not backfire horribly, then you are fools who richly deserve all of the headaches you are creating for yourselves.
     
  17. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    Exactly. As I recall, Gustav's previous ban some months back was also for a "joke" (and it contained no "class 1 expletives"); rather, it was more a parody of a post in which a member had explicitly stated that in following orders blindly and unquestioningly, he was somehow "serving" his country--a notion which I find both odious and offensive, as I'm sure do many others. Seriously?

    And yet, we have members who routinely spam the forum with their pet obsessions, posting the same detritus willy-nilly in threads completely unrelated, and effectively derailing any topical conversation which may have been taking place. Somehow they remain immune from moderation.
     
  18. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Quad makes some really good points. As much as I dislike Gus, and know that what he does is often disruptive, I can't agree with the ban.

    I've also noticed that any mod who makes a questionable decision is defended, either by themselves or others, as having exercised "their discretion," which has become code for "making the rules up as they go."

    This, at least it seems to me, is a reflection upon the administrators.

    I still don't think this is some great injustice, but it is an example of an itchy trigger finger, and a lack of accountability.
     
  19. Neverfly Banned Banned

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    Mazulu's wave function/gravity drive.
    Lightgigantics shrugs...

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Pretty much anything I post...
    GreatestIAm's God Morality threads...
    Chock full of examples... Wow, and I was wondering if I'd go off on some anti-mod rant. Instead, I tried to give a lot of reasonable doubt despite suspicions. Quadraphonics made me look like a lightweight.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  20. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Few are Quad's equal when it comes to righteou indignation.
     
  21. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    The infraction and warning system is clearly explained [thread=107046]here[/thread]

    Infraction points expire after 4 months. That's why.

    Sorry, but whatever conspiracy theory you've come up with is wrong.
     
  22. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Except I've been told by you and other mods that post/ban history can be taken into account. But I see now that it's convenient we're going to pretend that the warning system is set in stone and not merely a set of guidelines from which mods and admins are free to deviate from at their discretion.

    Not my conspiracy theory.
     
  23. Kittamaru Never cruel nor cowardly... Staff Member

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    For particularly offensive or studious repeat offenders, the infraction system can be put "on the back burner" and the issue at hand dealt with more severely... though if possible I know I prefer not to do so.
     

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