Are "Trigger Warnings" Now Required?

Discussion in 'The Cesspool' started by Bowser, Jan 10, 2017.

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  1. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member


    Well, I'm one of those "next" people. The only reference to "red pill" I've heard of in relation to feminism is that new documentary entitled "The Red Pill". I haven't seen it yet, but apparently it's ruffled some feathers. We are not asking for members to get a "new slate" with every thread they post. We are asking that you wait until someone actually breaks the rules of the board before you take moderation action. There's a big difference.

    Even if you are very aware of a member's posting history, not everyone who reads this forum is. When you start actioning a member's posts before they break the rules, many people aren't going to understand it. They are going to view it as a power-hungry, tyrannical mod imposing their will on the board, rather than just enforcing the rules. I don't think this forum wants that.
    Russ_Watters and Yazata like this.
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  3. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Problem is, if we utterly ignore a members post history, then our only recourse for a "problem member" is to, in effect, summarily dismiss them upon further infraction, rather than trying to at least attempt to hold them to rational discussion.
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  5. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

    Again, I didn't ask you to ignore their posting history. I asked that you wait until someone actually breaks the rules of the board before you moderate a post or thread. It's that simple.
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  7. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    The only way it could be seen as being anything else is if something darker and more obscure is being read into it.

    It makes it difficult for normal (sane) people to post here on Sciforums if even the most innocuous phrase (such as a Matrix reference) can elicit angry over-the-top responses from the moderators because those moderators project their own cultural-political obsessions into whatever other people say.
    Dr_Toad and MacGyver1968 like this.
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

    He is, unfortunately, demonstrating that his "red pill" comment was not as innocuous as he claimed it was.
    James R, rpenner and Bells like this.
  9. Truck Captain Stumpy The Right Honourable Reverend Truck Captain Valued Senior Member

    bloody great idea... it's so time consuming to build a bot and collect all the delusional regurgitation from various threads so it would greatly speed up the process
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    The functional problem is―

    ―you're essentially asking us to wait "until someone actually breaks the rules" to your satisfaction before acting.

    One of the effects is simply enough demonstrated by asking, "Why you?"

    Because the next person can say, "Why Mac? Why not me? I'm still not satisfied!"

    And here's the thing: At the point you check in↑, there are multiple explanations from moderators in this thread. Having read through those responses, you check in to agree with Billvon, which is what it is and not by any means objectionable. But now you lament, "When you start actioning a member's posts before they break the rules, many people aren't going to understand it. They are going to view it as a power-hungry, tyrannical mod imposing their will on the board, rather than just enforcing the rules." This is inconsistent:

    (1) Bowser posts thread that is removed to Cesspool.

    (2) Bowser complains to Site Feedback.

    (3) [There is no point three.]

    (4) Explanations are posted.

    (4) Counterpoint is posted, including link to Cesspool thread.

    (5) [Wait, why scratch (4) above?]

    ↳ Because your argument ignores it; see (6) below.​

    (6) Having read the topic post complaint, explanations, and counterpoint, you presuppose the counterpoint, ignore the explanation, and complain that doing so will confuse people. You are correct; they will confuse themselves when they ignore the explanation in order to posture confusion. Still, it just seems to come back to the line about who falls for it and who is part of it.​

    In a broader context, of course, what you worry about is certainly possible. One of the results of your formulation, however, is the protection of known trolling behavior. That is to say, once we have demonstrated someone's offense to your satisfaction that we should enforce the rules, whose permission would you recommend we seek next?

    It's kind of like the old bit about Nixon; I can believe that nobody Yazata knows will admit to knowing a thing about politically conservative subcultures―e.g., "alt-right", as it is called of late, among other overlapping political identities―that occasionally write the script for them. And that's a more complicated discussion of the evolution of American political discourse over recent decades, but history makes clear that few know where the whole of their team's partisan arguments come from. So while Yazata's ninety-nine percent is a bit silly, it's also kind of like the old bit about not knowing anyone who voted for Nixon↱. I can believe that "ninety-nine percent" of Yazata's "us" would be capable of associating the term with a movie, and even the implication that they wouldn't acknowledge knowing the powerful misogynistic version coursing through their politics.

    Would you be so kind as to imagine ... a guy on a particularly bizarre bender in which he asks about some idea as if he is ignorant of it, ignores what people tell him, and begins posting pointed propaganda. In this case, yes, the theme is misogynistic, but just like you've at least heard of the documentary, what if ...? What if in the middle of the bender he pauses to praise a particular YouTuber, whose catalogue of long, rambling videos he is exploring ... around the same time said video blogger is ranting about that particular documentary you mentioned?

    When one posts material from the known literary corpus, behaves according to the widely observed modus operandi of such advocates, and it just happens to, you know, completely accidentally coincide with his own widely observed behavior, it's kind of obvious. Furthermore, his pretense of ignorance is nearly impossible.

    (Once upon a time two moderators were fighting over a particular ban for particular conduct and after any number of other potential excuses, plausible or otherwise, had been spent, fell upon the possibility of a "stupid standard", acknowledging that one certainly was behaving as such except diminishing culpability because that person is somehow legitimately so stupid as to not comprehend what they were doing wrong, at which point they sort of had to face the horror of such a proposition and its necessary implications. That is to say, it is possible to believe―or, at least, suspend disbelief that―one can swim in corrosively toxic waters without noticing, but, you know, come on, and say what we will about our own credulity but at some point it would seem an even greater insult to suggest one is simply that freaking stupid.)​

    Beyond that, though, so far everything is right on schedule, including the tabula rasa objections. On this occasion, manipulating people is the point of Bowser's complaint. Which is how your argument can come to protect known trolling behavior. Between waiting for the endorsement of those aren't necessarily familiar with the literature and methodology, and trying to account for willing dupes, it can be very, very easy to help facilitate these trolls.
  11. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    Unfortunately Mac, I don't think most of the staff give a fuck what the ordinary members think.
    MacGyver1968 and Yazata like this.
  12. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member


    Looks that way. Now they are even trying to put words in my mouth. Forget's not worth it.
  13. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    Call them out. Or maybe this is the wrong thread.
  14. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    This thread and the cross arguing/debating between otherwise reputable members and mods[you know who you are] will see the real trolls, quacks and cranks, that do infest this forum, rubbing their little fat hands in glee.
    And you lot know who you are too.

    The forum science cheerleader.
  15. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    I don't see it quite that way - it would seem more effective to argue that "I don't think most of the staff give a fuck what the procedure is". Or should be...

    In other words, I think Bowser is guilty as hell but I can't advocate throwing him in the hoosegow based on suspicion. Maybe the pragmatic course would have been Mac's - you know, wait for the perp to actually perpetrate the crime... And he would have. Not the most elegant solution but it's not like lives are at stake here.

    So, while not a pure tabular rasa, I guess I'm for some version thereof - like in the "real" world. The American criminal justice system may be the worst there is, but - all the others.
    Ophiolite and MacGyver1968 like this.
  16. Bells Staff Member

    Actually, we were adhering to procedure.

    What happened with Bowser is that it was picked up by a member of staff immediately. The thread was closed and sent to the Cesspool and a note was made in the moderator's forum, where what is essentially a review of the action occurred.

    We discussed the context of the "red pill", we discussed the manner in which Bowser left that discussion open and the manner in which he asked the epiphany question, we discussed whether there was any chance that he meant it differently. In other words, we discussed the context of the thread he started and his history in regards to these vague threads and we recognised and saw the pattern there.. A member of staff contacted Bowser for more information. In short, we aren't just closing threads willynilly because of a 'maybe'. There is a distinct pattern of behaviour. We knew where this was headed. When all the information we sought was gathered, we all agreed that closing the thread was the correct course of action and that based on all the evidence we had, that we are correct to not allow it to be re-opened.

    I can tell you now, we are 100% correct in the action that was taken and in the decision that was made to not allow the thread to be re-opened. Whether members here believe me or not, that is entirely up to all of you. But everyone who has posted here knows how the staff are often at odds with each other about issues on this site, we all have different opinions about things and when we discuss things, it can end up in a knockdown, 'I'm going to start clawing eyes out' form of discussion, and what I will say is that there is a reason why we all agreed that the thread was correctly closed and should remain closed.

    We often close threads right from the start and review said mod action. I will cite you an example.. When people who are known to be white supremacists, for example they have a history of white supremacism, start a thread about IQ levels, we know where this is heading. Sure, the OP might be innocent enough because they are just asking why IQ levels are so different in any given population.

    If taken on its own, it would be innocent and there should be no reason to close it down. But when we go back and look at this person's posting history and see that he has a known history on this site of arguing that blacks and minorities (ie anyone brown) are less intelligent than white people because of the colour of their skin, we know where this is going. We know where it is headed.

    More often than not, ironically enough, members posting in this thread questioning our action against Bowser's thread, are usually the first to hit report if staff are not online at the time, immediately after they notice the OP of said white supremacist member and request the thread be closed right away, because it is obvious that this is another racist thread, because all the others this member has started in a similar and innocent looking fashion, has ended up exactly the same as the others.

    What happened in Bowser's instance is that staff were online when the thread went up and noticed it quickly enough and shut it down and then it went for review. Just as if staff are online if a known white supremacist with a history of arguing that brown skinned people have lower IQ's than white skinned people and that it's all down to the inferiority of anyone who is not white, starts a thread about why IQ levels are different and leaves that OP and question open and vague enough, we will shut it down right away and review the mod action. It's interesting that no one complains about when we do that in those cases, but in this case, we are being accused of not giving a fuck about what the procedure is.

    In the review process, information was sought from Bowser. As I said, there is a reason as to why the thread remains closed and the staff remain steadfast in saying that it should remain closed and the closure of the thread was a necessary course of action. If you want further proof of that, just look at Bowser's pepe avatar. He's pretty much just advertised why we were correct to shut his thread down and leaving it closed.

    Certainly, lives are not at stake here. But what would it make us, as staff, and members for that matter, to knowingly sit there and allow someone to break the site's rules just so that we can issue them with an infraction? Ghoulish? Something something about self serving and conflict of interest goes here.

    Bowser only had a thread closed because we all knew where it was headed and in that time while the review was taking place, our certainty about where it was headed has pretty much been justified.. ie, we know the action we took in this instance was correct and we are correct to not reopen the thread.

    In effect, we stopped a known troll from further trolling. He did not receive an infraction. All he had was one thread closed. While discussion about what to do about him will need to occur once more, I will say that it is unfair to accuse staff of not giving a fuck about what the procedure is.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  17. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    Then the procedure is faulty.*

    That's an opinion, not a fact.

    That's an opinion and not a fact.

    I don't think that is an accurate reflection of the complaint.*

    Apparently you don't understand the difference between circumstantial evidence and proof. (Out of interest, I'd be amused to see why you think my avatar was chosen.)

    And two points remain:
    1. You are assuming that he would break the rules. Just a thought, but the police don't arrest a known thief because he is seen looking into a jeweler's shop window.
    2. If he is as much of a known problem as described why are you even tolerating him here?

    Another opinion, and not a fact.*

    I don't think that is what we are complaining about.*

    Note: All comments of mine marked with an asterisk are opinions, not facts. (That's just for your convenience. It may save you a post.)
    MacGyver1968 likes this.
  18. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    The language is a bit harsh, perhaps. I was mainly taking poetic license with Ophiolite's post.

    Substantively I agree with you and thought I implied that with the "guilty as hell" quip. Despite this logic it smacks of Minority Report. "we stopped a known troll from further trolling" is the fundamental rationale behind the Future Crimes division...

    OTOH, you did stop a known bigoted, sexist troll from further bigoted, sexist trolling - no argument there.
  19. Bells Staff Member

    Have you considered that the staff have more information than you do on this matter?

    Again, you are assuming that we do not have any evidence and we kept the thread closed just on a 'ummm maybe'. When problematic threads of this nature are closed in this fashion, we do review it and we seek information from all sources involved. When we finished reviewing it, all agreed it should remain closed because of the evidence that we had.

    As for your avatar.. You like to play pool? You like the colour yellow? You think you are number 1? You like round objects? You chose it at random? The general gist of my response at this point is that I don't particularly care.

    If, on the other hand, you started threads on a particular topic with the specific intent to troll this site and then went out and got an avatar to match said trolling of this site, then we would notice it.

    No, but they would detain a known thief if they saw him making a mold of the key to get through the door of the store.

    They would question why he was making the mold of the lock and key and they would then gather evidence to determine his true intent. Bowser was seen making the proverbial mold and he was prevented from doing so. Evidence was then gathered as to the reason behind his making said proverbial mold of the key to the store.. The result is that the action of stopping him from making the mold of the key and lock was not unreasonable.

    Who says that we want to?

    Something about conflict of interest applies here. Sure, we could have allowed the known troll to troll and watched it immediately go down the route we know it would have, with the knowledge that we are doing so just so that we can issue him with an infraction and get rid of him sooner. The hope is that he stops the behaviour.

    We have, in the past, been accused of allowing members to, pardon the French, fuck up just so that we can issue an infraction, when we do not close down threads immediately. We have now been accused of doing something bad and not following procedure when we prevented a known troll from trolling. I can assure you, had we re-opened the problematic thread with the full knowledge that this was going to be what we knew it would be, just so that we could then ping Bowser with an infraction that would have to follow within a few posts, what would that make us? Ghoulish, comes to mind.

    In a way it is.

    Mostly, people seem to be complaining that we did not allow a known troll to troll after we had gathered enough information to confirm the intention to troll and then act on said trolling.

    That we acted on what many seem to believe is a hunch or an opinion when the problematic thread was closed, reviewed and then not re-opened. It wasn't on a hunch. Had we found any evidence to suggest that closing the thread was premature, the thread would have been reopened immediately. This is a standard course of action in problematic threads or threads we suspect are troll attempts or are in breach of this site's rules. We close, review and then reopen it if any evidence suggests that we are wrong.

    Of course it does. And this is something we were all aware of and discussed at length. But we wanted to make sure we were correct and we waited until everything we needed to make a decision came through. The thread was flagged and closed as being problematic for reasons already cited, all staff reviewed the thread, gathered information and we determined that the only and best and most reasonable course of action was for the thread to remain closed. Had there been even a hint that we were wrong, that what we knew was not his intent, the thread would have been re-opened.
  20. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

    Well...I reopened the thread based on what I thought the meaning of the original OP was based on. Let's see how the mods interpret this as.
    Ophiolite likes this.
  21. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Although your timing there was lousy, that, and the particular subject, were together not enough to kill your new thread.

    What killed it was your added personal commentary on the administration and moderators. Just so you know.
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    They can have it back; it's just that every now and then it would be useful if the people who go out of their way to dare us could actually make a reasonable point while they do. In the meantime, the two additional complaint threads probably slowed détente; I need to wrap up a couple other things before getting around to restoring the otherwise useful portions of the thread, so I'll try to remember to get 'round to it; that way the other contributing posts can survive, too.
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