Backgrounds in moderation

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by GeoffP, Aug 19, 2011.

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  1. universaldistress Extravagantly Introverted ... Valued Senior Member

    Maybe the regular members should be the jury that vote in a poll when an exclusion is proposed by the mods. Maybe this type of development is what Geoff is being heckled to suggest?

    Moreover, a change to a more democratic forum where the mods are voted in and voted out of office by regular users and not themselves.

    Maybe we need to have a vote or petition or poll on these structural changes?
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
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  3. universaldistress Extravagantly Introverted ... Valued Senior Member

    It would be interesting to see the mods' responses to my suggestions. Then we will find out whether this is a democracy or a dictatorship.
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  5. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Eh, I don't want to single anybody out at this juncture. Would probably generate more heat than light. Although, I've already mentioned myself as one possibility (depending on the context, of course), and noted that certain of the mods themselves are among the worst serial offenders.
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  7. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    I've made this same suggestion before, and the answer was very clearly "dictatorship."

    I dunno - there would be a lot of problems with a straightforward member voting system. But I do think there should be more turn-over in moderation, one way or the other. Even if it's not to be an actual democracy, I think term limits and some mechanism for regularly bringing in fresh blood would help keep things moving in a positive direction. It's been quite some time since there was any real movement in those terms. It would break up some of these long-standing politicized stalemates, address the old "power corrupts" adage, etc. But there seems to be zero appetite to even consider anything like that - and much typical authoritarian response besides.
  8. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    And yet, I do. :shrug: I must conclude that it is the answers that are faulty. I would ask you - or any sincere member of SF - whether a simple organizational question was really worth a grande mal freakout.

    Still fixable, really.
  9. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    I'd like to bat this idea for a while.

    I initially like it. needs someone fairly adept in the chemistry subforum...for instance, it might go over my head if someone were putting up explosive-making instructions or chemical weapons-making directions.

    Maths forum? similar?

    Consider Quad's idea tentatively seconded.
  10. Gustav Banned Banned

    it amuses to see geoff and quad with their grand schemes to reform sci
  11. Varda The Bug Lady Valued Senior Member

    It's easier to criticise the question than to answer it.
  12. Gustav Banned Banned


    perhaps you can directly inform the admin of this forum why this is the case? help him think.

    do elaborate. who would be interested? someone who thinks it is technically not ok? who? cameron?
  13. Gustav Banned Banned


    i thought embarrassed foot shuffling
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Moderator note: Gustav has been banned from sciforums for 2 weeks for overriding a moderator edit, namely by reposting material that was previously deleted by a moderator (myself)

    Given that Gustav was previously banned for posting this material in the first place, reposting it is a particularly stupid thing to do, if I may say so. By rights, Gustav is overdue for a permanent ban from sciforums according to his infraction point count. Again, I have decided in this instance to be extremely lenient, in the hope that Gustav will eventually learn what is and is not acceptable here.
  15. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Gustav asked, and even though he can't reply, I will answer.
    I'm not a mod.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Not a Canadian either.
    I mentioned earlier in the thread that I think I'm too compost mentis right now to mod.
    I have good days.
    Other days where I can't think straight and do the zombie shuffle.
    Not good for a mod.

    Edited to add:
    I don't honestly know how this would boil out in Canada's free-speech laws. James almost certainly does not either...I don't think it's reasonable to expect mods to be legal experts.
    Again, a delete and pm explaining the reasoning...had I been wearing the hat.

    Do I think there would have been a real legal case? no.
    Know what a SLAPP is?

    Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Paticipation-a suit that gets dismissed, is frivolous, but whose defense can't be afforded by the sued.

    This is what I meant by iffy, that post could be used as a pretext for a SLAPP.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    No confidence

    Oh, give it up, James. If I applied your tight-assed standards of when to ban people, there would be nobody left.

    No, seriously.

    I'm sorry, man, but that's the truth. When someone gets under your skin, God help them because you're going to look for every damn excuse to send them on a trip. Fuck, man, if I tried to do that, you'd probably run crying to Plazma like you did in November, and you'd probably find yourself forced to lie in order to cover your ass, like you did in November.

    So my recommendation is just admit that you don't give a damn about rational consideration, and just permaban the poor bastard.
  17. Varda The Bug Lady Valued Senior Member

    Oh, wow, some frankness/honesty for once.

    I like it.

  18. Varda The Bug Lady Valued Senior Member

    I imagine that by now jamesr is telling tiassa on pm or in the mod forum how extremely innapropriate it was for him to question his authoritah over here, and demanding that his post gets taken down.
  19. Bells Staff Member

    ^^ This..

    I really like you chimpkin. But can I offer you some advice?

    If you keep going on about being one or not wanting to be one.. well it shows a bit too much eagerness.

    Unfortunately... you are banned..

    I have been busy. When I last glanced at the thread, Tiassa had pretty much given you the answer I was going to anyway. When you get back, I can speak to you about it then. Okay?

    Many many moons ago, the moderators at the time had implemented a sort of voting system and to say the results were a complete disaster would be underestimating it.
  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    As a moderator, you would be much better raising this in the Moderators forum. (Happy, Varda?) As you have chosen, inappropriately, to raise it here, I will reply.

    I previously banned Gustav for posting inappropriate material on sciforums. Having returned from his ban, he then posts exactly the same material again.

    Would it not be completely inconsistent and arbitrary to ban him the first time and not to ban him the second time for the same (repeated) offence?

    Moreover, he has actually added to his offence by breaking another rule - overriding a moderator edit of his post (in this case deletion of the original material) by reposting the material. It has long been our policy, as you well know, that overriding a moderator action (by reposting or re-editing to restore deleted material, reposting a closed thread topic, etc.) is worthy of a ban.

    Now, maybe you'd like to explain why you think these principles do not apply to Gustav, or not in this particular case.

    It occurs to me that your beef is not actually with this second ban, but with my original ban of Gustav. In other words, I suspect that you think I unfairly banned him in the first place, and by banning him again I am merely compounding a previous injustice. If that is the case, then I refer you to discussions in the Moderators forum, where the moderator group discussed the original ban. You were there for that, weren't you? Maybe you didn't agree with me at the time. As I recall, the majority of moderators who contributed to that discussion thought that the ban was reasonable.

    So, if I am "tight-assed" about this, I'm apparently not the only moderator with that disability.

    If I wanted to get rid of Gustav, I would be quite justified under the rules in banning him permanently. I have not done so.

    In this case, I draw your attention once again to the fact that this current ban is for a repeat of exactly the same thing that got him banned last time. If the first ban was appropriate, there can really be no argument about this one. If the first ban was wrong, then perhaps you should have argued as much more forcefully when the moderators discussed the matter. Either way, you should have done so in the Moderators forum and no in the public forums. The only reason I can see for doing it here is that you're hoping to rally some kind of anti-James R cheer squad.

    Your accusations that I lied to cover my arse are unsupported, unwelcome, completely inappropriate and irrelevant besides. Yes, you have a bug up your arse that you've had for about a year now (has it been that long?). You don't like me. So what? Ancient history. Move on. And, in particular, don't air your dirty laundry in the public forums.

    Refer above for rational considerations. You might like to consider them at some point.
  21. Varda The Bug Lady Valued Senior Member

    You only have a case of defining that material as illegal under a specific context.
    The text itself does not incite any illegal activity. It shows how a person who demostrated in favor of an opinion which is unpopular with the authorities how to avoid persecution.

    In the context of a person protesting human violations in china, the text is perfectly acceptable (unless you are the chinese government).
    Under the context of the london riots, not so much.

    Under the context of this thread, in which the text wasn't even meant to be advise for anyone, but merely evidence, I can't understand how it can be taken to be inciting criminal activity.
    If this was the case, any case of conspiracy being discussed in court would cause the attorneys to commit the same crime by merely quoting the offense.

    Does that make any sense to you? Oh, right. You don't know what sense is.
  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    It advises criminals on how to (try to) avoid prosecution - i.e. how to avoid due legal process for their crimes. On that basis, I made a judgment call that sciforums need not host such material. I realise that some people disagree with me. If it had been posted in a year or two, when some time has elapsed since the London riots and consequent criminal prosecutions, perhaps my decision would have been different.

    Which goes to show that context is often very important.

    There was no need to re-examine the material itself in the context of Gustav's latest ban. It was a simple matter of applying the standard that was applied the first time around. Anything else would be inconsistent.

    You can't prosecute somebody in a court without saying what their crime was, so I don't think that's a particularly good analogy. The fact is, of course, that courts do suppress certain evidence from the public. For example, if somebody is prosecuted for publishing a manual on how to make bombs, that manual will be presented in court, but it won't be published in the court record.

    Thanks for the personal snipe, Varda. Please join the queue behind Tiassa.
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    I'm tired of answering for you

    Well, since the rest of us have to take heat in public, from the community, for you, I think it's both fair and appropriate that the public might witness this disagreement.

    Hell, it wasn't too long ago that a member accused me of banning people for being Republicans. You know, because of their political views, in an attempt to suppress them. I actually found that laughable, considering how few people I suspend.

    However, the accusation does remind me of a some incidents we've seen.

    Like the time someone banned a member on the basis of an opponent's complaint; the authority in question had to sacrifice the English language in order to construe the appearance of a threat. Having received a certain amount of heat, the authority rescinded the three-day ban, and then, shortly after, contrived a stupid scheme to ban the member for thirty days.

    Or the time someone banned a member on the bigoted complaint that a Muslim used a word that wouldn't be offensive if the member wasn't a Muslim.

    Ringing a bell, James?

    None of us are perfect. This is reality. But it is not an excuse.

    There are a lot of conflicts moderators could resolve with members if they didn't have the additional weight of guilt by association; we are all tarnished by your idiotic interpretations of posts and rules, and your exploitation of your authority for personal ends. We all have to answer for you.

    And, frankly, I'm fucking sick of it.

    It's a convenient excuse for avoiding his inquiry. You know, he inquired as to what the problem was. He may not have agreed with my answer, but at least I answered him.

    The first ban was just a pathetic excuse for you to take it out on a member you don't like. When Her Majesty sees fit to charge the original distributors of that flyer with subversion, collusion, or whatever other crime her prosecutors might decide, the question of the flyer's illegality becomes much more important.

    By inquiring about what was wrong with it?

    I believe that is a deliberate and grotesque distortion of the policy. Had he simply reposted it for the sake of reposting it, then yes, you would have a point. But the precedent you have set with this means that an inquiry as to what the original problem was can be circumvented, since the material apparently cannot be reviewed at Sciforums after a moderator has deleted it according to his interpretation subject to a predisposition against the member.

    Because he wanted to know what, specifically, was wrong with it.

    I, at least, gave him an answer. But that's only as I see it. We have no real clue what your answer is, because you are either incapable or unwilling to answer the question.

    Oh, I actually agree with Chimpkin's assessment. You will also notice, however, that I let you have your way with that first suspension, and I have even explained to Gustav why that is. I've known since your little tantrum last year that there isn't really any point to arguing with you. You know, when you made your accusation, and then ignored the detailed assertions of fact—refusing to counterpoint them—and simply reiterating your inaccurate accusation. Remember how, once upon a time, we considered that intellectually dishonest?

    It's quite clear that the only reason you care what anyone thinks of your moderation is a matter of self love. You can't possibly be wrong, can you, James? I've recognized that about your attitude since at least September, 2009, when you accused a member of anti-American bigotry; when it was pointed out to you that the member wasn't saying anything that couldn't be found in the American political discourse, you ducked that point by accusing bias.

    You can't possibly be wrong, James. And the rest of us have to answer for it.

    Oh, and if your recollection of the majority of moderators contributing to that discussion is correct, would you be so kind as to point me to it? There is no entry in the suspension log; indeed, the only mention of it I've found is one moderator questioning the suspension in the internal memoranda. You did not see fit to respond to that memo, at least in view of any of the rest of us. Neither do I see that support for your action in the thread where the violation occurred.

    I mean, perhaps if that majority constitutes one out of one moderator who happened to comment in a post somewhere, I've simply missed it. But where else should I be looking? I even checked the warnings log. Where is this discussion that I apparently missed?

    Well, I will consider that point if you would so kindly point me to whatever discussion you were referring to. Really, I must be absolutely blind, since I don't see it in the expected places.

    I'm not sure you would be. Your perception and interpretation are questionable, to say the least.

    And I reiterate the convenience of that excuse to dodge his inquiry.

    The first suspension was an overreaction, and that's stating it kindly. It might be more accurate to suggest that it was a calculated overreaction.

    You're vicious when someone gets under your skin. We've seen it before. When you suspended S.A.M. for thirty days because you didn't like her opinion; when you lied about me; when you suspended EFoC on behalf of a bigoted standard of offense. You're looking for any excuse to get rid of Gustav. If we treat all of our members this way, we won't have any left.

    Point me to the discussion, please.

    No, James. I'm fucking sick and tired of having to answer for you.

    We will deal with that in the back room, since that is where the record is.

    Meanwhile, it is time for you to resign. Period. I will hold you to account for the above statement.

    And you've been off the rails for years.

    Your idea of rational consideration leaves much to be desired.
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