49. thanks for that little background detail. it does leave food for thought, and I'm not entirely sure how to respond to that. I think I have to wait till others respond and or the rules are edited further. thanks for the little insider information again, it's certainly interesting to keep this in mind.
Here's the other thing. None of the admin have as yet said that the draft is bad or problematic. There has been a little confusion, and I've immediately either edited or tried to explain things. This is, in other words, us publicly working together as staff for all the world to see. This is transparency at its finest. This is exactly what you called for, in a way, when you said you wanted to see more of what we're up to. I had encouragement from admin to post these rules, so I did. They must have figured that if there were any things that needed clarification, they'd get it publicly. And of course, that's totally accurate, because I'm not just going to fail to field things. this means everyone is part of the vetting process. I should think this is a good thing, not a bad thing.
The only thing I ask myself when reading the new rules and comparing them to the old rules is if the new rules would of prevented what has happened in the past. They are the same rules only with more words. If change for the better was the goal then this isn't reaching that goal.
1) The Forum is public. By submitting information on the forum, you know that this information can be read by everyone.
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5) Use a title that describes the content of your post.
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*end old rules*
Old rule eight, and new rule eight are the same exact thing. The extra words are just that, the spirit is identical.
New rule 10 is a super catch all for conduct on and off the forums which I'm not a fan of at all. User Billy could run a podcast where he spends an hour talking mad shit about the mods on here. then it could very easily be decided by all mods he is more harm to the community than good. Hell someone could write a blog post and be accused of the same exact thing. Rule 10 is also saying if you do something that is outside the rules but determined to be bad then you can be banned because it is bad. This logically doesn't make sense to me, only as a catch all to allow for mods/admins to use their abilities to take action against whoever they want. This is also where I should say the above doesn't mean I am talking about any present moderators.
As I said at the beginning. If the goal of new rules was to prevent issues in the future, these new rules aren't accomplishing anything. They are the old rules made to look more pretty with the addition of new rule 10 which just expands on old rule eight even more.
I agree that the new rules are similar to the old ones, but they also lend clarity and transparency where there was none before. Especially where mod conduct is concerned.
I'm sorry, but if you were expecting every rule to be vastly different, I'm 1. not sure where you got that impression and 2. not sure how that will actually help the forum. Most of the old rules are there right now, even still, with good reason. The way they're worded now means it's harder to use them to weasel around or do ugly things. Old rule 8 and new rule 8, for instance. world of difference there. Old rule 8 was a blanket rule which, as has rightly been pointed out, meant a mod could technically ask you to do anything at any time and you'd either have to do it or would be in breach of the rule. New rule 8 basically says that only in extenuating circumstances will this happen, and even then the requests made of you will be related (i.e., asking you not to talk about something/shutting a topic down when it's become toxic). Because yes, that sometimes does happen here, and yes, we do need a way to enforce that. This is what rule 8 covers for.
And rule 10? As has been stated numerous times before, most communities have this sort of thing. But I'll put a really fine point on it. No one, absolutely no one, is going to get ambushed by the community failure clause. If anyone ever gets caught by this one, three things are just about guaranteed:
1. Their behaviour will have been ongoing for some time, and
2. They will have pretty good knowledge of what they were up to, and
3. there will be more than just a couple of mods who think their actions are out of line
Want me to put it another way? If you have a genuine desire to be helpful toward this community, and a willingness to examine your own actions and adapt in the event that you stumble from time to time, you are almost certain never to fall afoul of the community failure clause. The only people who are going to find themselves in hot water with this one are the sort of people who know damn well that they're treading on thin ice.
This is not a threat, not a warning, not anything of the sort...but seriously, the vast majority of users will never have to deal with a community failure clause. it's there to protect against a worst-case scenario, not there so that we can persecute whosoever doesn't fall in line.
For the record guys, I suggested to Jade that he should post this draft of rules publicly. I understand that trust is low right now, but we don't have shady talks off the forum about how to abuse power. Again, this is a draft, things change. It's clear that rules 8 and 10 are causing the most concerns. Personally, i required no clarification before this draft was posted. I'm attempting to be as transparent as possible, if you guys have questions just ask.
I for one think there needs to be a separation of rules and guidelines. Rules are hard and fast standards that everyone must follow. Break a rule, and unless there are extenuating circumstances, you will receive appropriate punishment as set forth in the rules.
Guidelines are things you should do, but are not as rigidly enforced as rules. Fail to follow a guideline, and what will most likely happen is that any corrective action will be taken as appropriate, and you will not be punished unless you make a habit of it.
In my view, "Put topics in the right room" should be a guideline, along with one other that I didn't see listed, "Give topics meaningful subject lines." To me, there's little more annoying than finding a new topic called "Hello!" or "I have a question" or "Need some help," where you have absolutely no idea what the topic is about, and if it's of any interest to you, until you click on it and read a message or two.
@@Jayde Um...I Never said I was, as I already said. Not just me but I believe quite a bit of people were thinking the new rules would be changed/adapted to prevent the past from repeating. Wasn't this the whole reason this all got started?
How the mods are planning on using the rules for bettering the community is good, no one is debating that. The issue comes when this motive has to be known, then used to view the new rules document. I feel the rules should say this on their own with no explanation needed afterwards telling everyone how to view them and what they mean.
This is the point of the rules. Concrete rules anyone can read to easily realize what is okay and what is not okay. the new rules still leave a whole bunch of gray areas which won't help prevent what has happened in the past. If people have all these questions that need to be explained, then the rules aren't doing their job. If this is something that all new and old users are going to agree to abide by then shouldn't the rules explain themselves?
I honestly don't understand the pushback, just by people not understanding what rules mean shows the issue by itself.
Okay so I had a different ending on this post but it turns out I didn't read to the bottom of the new rules document. Thankfully I did read the entire document before submitting my post.
Yes as I said before I thought the new rules would be to prevent the past from repeating, but not through the current means being used. Not going to lie when I read the rest of this rules document I actually loled.
"You're power-hungry/you get your kicks from shutting people up" - this is an indictment of one's character without definite proof, and can be interpreted as a personal attack; it is subject to individual interpretation"
This is a direct response to what has recently happened. However instead of saying that isn't a personal attack which I don't know how it can be seen as one, it is now just simply not allowed because someone could see it as a personal attack. Got it.
Character assassination is defined as the slandering of a person or group of people with intent to destroy or seriously undermine confidence in that person or group without adequate reason. This falls under the rules, but will be explained here in more detail.
Yeah that sort of makes sense, but the adequate reason bit is a bit vague and completely up to individual interpretation. But then the real kicker.
The simplest way to look at it is this. If you have a good reason to question someone or to call out their behaviour, keep to the facts. If you blow facts out of proportion, or make one example look like a pattern, or try and speak as if you know exactly what the person is thinking instead of just telling us what they're doing, that is probably going to count as character assassination.
Any instance where this is deemed to have taken place will be investigated by at least two staff members, and hopefully more, to ensure that personal bias is playing as small a role as possible. Serious examples of character assassination will fall under both rule 3 and rule 10, so please consider before you post.
If any of that looks familiar that's because it is. This is really close to the exact objections Jayde had personally before being a mod with the BSG Blog post. In deed the past can't repeat because if anyone tried they would be warned/banned.
This is really the rules? This isn't some sort of joke? Instead of trying to fix the problems the new plan is to shut someone down if they try to point out issues, not pretend issues which are made up, but real issues which were and still are on the forums. This will do the job, I can't argue with that, but completely in favor of the moderators and at the cost of the users. I am honestly in shock this got past review at all before being posted, and all the mods were/are okay with it. It speaks volumes on a lot of things for me.
I'm reminding you once again, that 1, this is a draft, and 2, we want the comunity's say as well, not just staff.
SMoke j, if the rules detailed exactly what was and wasn't legal then we would probably want to hire a lawyer to ensure that there were absolutely no loopholes. And even then, the moderators are only judges, and perhaps you may disagree with their judgment as to what falls within the rules or not no matter how detailed they are. In ethics and philosophy we talk about a concept called line drawing, where we attempt to home in on the point at which something is unethical or wrong. I think this is what you are attempting to say but everyone has their own judgment for what is right and wrong, and they're all a little different. It's simply impossible to meet your request I think.
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Righto, so let's clear something up.
"Jayde closed a topic and then started tossing warnings around. That's a really bad way to start his admin career. I don't know if I can trust him after this."
this is not a personal attack, and it's not a character assassination. It's a summary of the facts. There is a bit of an opinion tossed in here - the word "bad" is subjective - but it's not particularly harsh. It's fairly justified, given the situation.
No one is going to be warned, much less banned, for stuff like this.
"Jayde closed a topic, then started tossing bans around. He's clearly power-hungry, and since he's always warning people and closing topics it's clear he's going to be a terrible mod because he doesn't care what the people want and what they think. All he wants to do is rule with an iron fist."
This could arguably count as a character assassination. It does not stick to facts alone. The writer is presuming to know what I think and intend. The writer does so at the expense of my credibility and the good points I bring to the table. The writer is showing their bias in a very obvious way. This would probably be flagged for character assassination. Multiple mods/admin would have to agree to do something about it, however.
A few things of note:
1. We're not going to comb through old posts and threads looking for instances of character assassination, so even if these rules go into effect, it's not as if the user base is going to be inundated by a flood of new warnings and bans from old behaviour.
2. If you can't put your point across in a reasonably objective fashion, and if you can't avoid smear campaigns in favour of stating observable evidence (this goes for everyone, by the way, and it doesn't matter who the target is), then I daresay something might have to be done about that. Nobody, absolutely nobody, deserves to be the victim of character assassination. There are far better ways to express your displeasure with a person or their deeds.
3. The rules protect everyone from everyone else. this means that mods are not going to start up with character assassination either. We are not going to be able to dance around our own rules, and frankly we don't want to. We want them in place so that everyone is respected and feels safe and as equal as it's possible to feel.
I feel like either there's something I'm very obviously missing, or that a couple of people who have commented herein are in that position instead.
#62 (edited by flackers 2018-11-07 03:50:02)
More harm than good was the phrase used to justify closing Smoke J's BSG Blog thread. The very thing that set the ball rolling for Dark's no longer being head admin. Under this clause, he could have been silenced altogether before his revelation gathered momentum. Just promising you wont abuse it doesn't do anything to change its nature. All it takes is a dominant head admin surrounded by weaker yes men for the checks and balances to be rendered useless. I understand why voting on admins is problematic, but how about a vote on whether or not clause 10 should stand. After all, it's a clause the forum has done without for over 10 years. So it obviously isn't a vital ingredient to make the place run smoothly. I mean, has anyone actually ever done any of the behaviour it's supposed to prevent? That is, have you had someone who hung around for years behaving in a destructive way that the concrete rules couldn't deal with?
#63 (edited by Jayde 2018-11-07 04:05:47)
you know that person who pushes boundaries, and pushes, and pushes, but dances just within the scope of the rules and gets more than their fair share of chances? Not naming names here, as I'm actually not thinking of a specific person.
That is the sort of person or behaviour that rule 10 is meant to stop. It is meant to provide us a rule-based recourse if and when someone decides they're going to start trying to worm their way around the things we've put in place.
You ask whether we need this sort of clause when we've lived without it for ten years. I say yes, we absolutely do.
1. discipline protocols need to be more cleanly stated than they ever were.
2. What does and does not constitute a breach of rules needs to be stated more cleanly.
3. When those things are done, there is going to be wiggle room where people can, if they're clever or want to raise a little hell, start doing so.
4. I practically guarantee that if this happens and there is no community failure clause, someone is going to get very upset if we go above and beyond in punishing someone for repeated/cumulative behaviour and bend the punishment protocol, no matter how good our reasons might appear. Someone's going to cry foul on the mods. Someone's going to claim we're abusing power, showing favouritism, etc. Guess what? I've already seen this several times in my time here.
5. You want us to be more accountable. A community failure clause does that. If you are genuinely interested in being a productive member of this community, it's something you'll never have to fear or even worry about.
If this was such a rare occurrence that the likelihood was only a few thousandths of a percent higher than Pluto hitting Neptune, then okay. You'd have me there. But it isn't. I have already seen what happens when protocols aren't cleanly defined and people get punished. they get outraged, and people get outraged on their behalf. Community failure clause gives everyone a point of reference.
Here is what I envision.
A mod makes a post in the closed topic regarding punishments:
JimDoe: warned on November 11, 2018, by Mod1, for encouraging two users to share cracks (no specific links or methods provided)
Warned on November 22, 2018, by Mod1, for issuing personal attacks
Warned on December 3, 2018, by Mod2, for personal attacks
Warned on December 14, 2018, by Mod3, for character assassination (validated by Mod1, Mod4)
Community failure clause invoked on January 8, 2019, by consensus of Mod1, Mod2, Mod3, Mod4; although JimDoe's warnings have been more than one week apart, his actions suggest repeated patterns of behaviour which merit a ban; JimDoe has been personally contacted with regard to his behaviour and it is hoped that he will learn from this experience.
So everything about the process of invoking rule 10 would be transparent. You'd see who, and what, and when, and even why. And past a certain point, it's that trust word again. We're not going to wail on people with it.
61. I think one thing to keep in mind is that in the heat of the moment, someone may say something that would later regret. I feel like the best thing to do is to give a caution. If it's a repeated offense for example let's say I call smoke a doo doo head several times, then I can see a warning being given. Most of us are adults here, but we are all human. Humans are imperfect. I mean except for me of course.
62. We unfortunately will not know if we can trust the mod team to make sure this doesn't happens until something like this comes up. I do hope that we eventually pick up more mods, especially those who will not be afraid to speak up when something is wrong. This is not a dig at anyone in particular, but is just an important thing to be concerned with so that no single person wields the power.
I am in favor of keeping the community clause or as I call it the holy crap we didn't plan for this what do we do raaaarg Clause. The clause does need to be worded in such away to state that the clause will only be invoked when all other options fail, and can only be invoked by a majority vote amongst mods.
Liam, I agree with you about just giving a caution, or what amounts to a bit of a nudge, if it's not particularly ugly. Just sort of "Hey, watch it", and then see if that does anything. I do not intend to wade into every topic that has any sort of emotion and start handing out warnings left and right. Despite how the weekend might've looked, that is not my preferred style.
One other thing I was sort of surprised not to see is a rule or part of a rule, probably rule 3 on personal attacks, talking about discrimination. E.G. you not only aren't allowed to personally attack specific people (You suck/Your game is stupid), but this also applies to discrimination/attacks based on the criteria many of us have heard over and over again, race, religion, sex, income status, sexual preferences or lack thereof, political views or lack thereof, etc. Also, respect everyone else's right to have their own opinions, even if those opinions are not to your liking, etc. I know this is common sense to most of us, but there's always somebody who will try to break the rules in any way they can. All of this should also apply to things specific to this forum. E.G. "Screen Reader X sucks!" is a perfectly valid opinion. "Anyone who uses Screen Reader X is obviously too stupid to…" in my opinion would be a personal attack against a group of people.
Yeah. I was surprised that wasn't there either.
It's because Jayde wants to control us all and become a dictator.
#68 (edited by flackers 2018-11-07 04:41:36)
You know that person who dances around the rules. No I don't, that's the trouble. I know exactly how I could behave the way you mean if I were a self indulgent pratt, but I haven't seen anyone behave like that on here over a prolonged period. I know a few argumentative people who blow their top now and again, but that's the web. If they cross the line into abuse, the proper rules will deal with them. I'm sure the archives are filled with examples of people who've been banned for breaking all the concrete rules, but you don't seem to be able to provide a single example of anyone who's ever behaved in the way you describe. Rules normally get drawn up to prevent actual existing problems not fantasy scenarios.
#69 (edited by Ethin 2018-11-07 04:44:07)
I haven't posted, but I gotta agree with 68 here. In a rules document, you don't attempt to create a rule for every possible scenario at the beginning; you ad rules as they are needed. I equate it to patching security vulnerabilities in computer programs: try to patch them all in the beginning and your work was probably for naught. Patch them when they've been found, and your program will be far more secure. If you attempt to plan for all possible scenarios to start with, you will miss something obvious. So, to me, rule 10 is superfluous and has no actual point other than Jade wanting it to be there.
68 and 69. I'm curious and want opinions from both of you.
Wouldn't the mod team look much worse if they went. Hey. The rules are done but now we're adding this rule and adding this rule and that rule.
I feel like the clause handles this by saying. If it's not covered here then here's how we deal with it?
#71 (edited by flackers 2018-11-07 05:22:05)
This rule and that rule are just more placeholders for things that don't yet exist though. It's just another imaginary scenario. If someone were to behave in a way that the existing hard and fast rules can't cope with, sure, you need to have a rethink, but if it hasn't happened in all the time the forum has been here, then what's the point of having a clause that covers a non-existent problem. And I know you find it unlikely to ever happen, and you may be right, , but it's one that has a massive loophole for potential abuse. Remember it was just the other day that Aprone was effectively accused of causing more harm than good for telling the truth. And bear in mind, on the whole, I've been supportive of Dark, so I have no axe to grind in that department.
Aprone would not have been prosecuted under the community failure clause. While his post and his style definitely ruffled some feathers, that's just...not going to fly. Please, please, please read what is written, so you get an idea of exactly how this works if and when it needs to be invoked.
This is precisely the sort of rule we hope we never -have to invoke. The reason it's here is so that we have it in case we need it. Ever heard that old expression which goes "it's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it"? Applies here.
And I am totally -not going to go back and drag out names for whom the community failure clause might have potentially applied. Know why? Because I'm not in the habit of pointing fingers. It's a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't scenario. If I don't do it, you'll claim it's not necessary. If I do it, you'll claim i'm coming down too hard on someone/playing favourites/enacting a vendetta, despite copious evidence to the contrary. Nope. Not going there.
Yes, it can be abused. So can any rule. That's the nature of rules in general. But if it is, we cross that bridge as we come to it.
The reason that the clause about discrimination isn't there (though it could be) is because I lumped it in by default with the "don't abuse other players" bit. If you guys want it in there for clarification though, that's fine. I was just trying to boil things down; the document is wordy enough in other areas that I thought saving a little here would be advantageous.
#73 (edited by flackers 2018-11-07 06:07:44)
I have read it, and I have explained why it's flawed. You admit it could be abused. The difference between it and the other rules is that they're not so easy to abuse, and unlike the others, it exists to protect against a non-existent scenario you won't provide any evidence for, and one I've never witnessed in 18 months of being on here almost every day.
While yes, these rules could easily be taken advantage of by a fire-blooded moderator, they can also prove to be extremely valuable. Rule 10 is a good example of this because it can be useful in cases such as...
@flackers Remember when you asked if there was a person responsible for destructive behavior that the rules in place couldn't deal with? Well, I have a question for you, and I usually don't like pointing fingers but I'm doing this to show an example. Do you remember Orco? Every topic he posted in, he always picked a fight with someone for anything he could think of. Sure, the behavior wasn't destructive and it wasn't technically breaking any rules, but it was annoying and pretty much all of the community hated him for it. This rule could be used to hold users hostage to the mods, but it can also stop people from constantly harassing the community. I say we should see how things turn out with these rules and just go with the flow. If it turns out good, great! If it doesn't, well if enough people are pissed about it they can come back and complain.
#75 (edited by flackers 2018-11-07 06:16:34)
Orko was too aggressive in the way he argued his points sometimes, but there are other people like that on here. How you perceive these people is pretty dependent on whether or not you agree with their fundamental point. If they're really aggressive and you agree with them, they tend not to appear to be such a problem. Orko was just at odds with most people that's all. He wasn't deliberatley trying to disrupt the forum. He rarely even attracted a settle down reminder from Dark. If you read all his posts, I bet most would be just normal non-aggressive comments.