Announcement: New Infraction System and Revised Rules

Discussion in 'Announcements & Community Discussions' started by Dark Star, Jul 20, 2013.

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  1. Dorkay Winthra

    Dorkay Winthra New Member

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    What is a pseudo-Parkeresque witticism?

    Differentiating by saying attacks on political belief systems could be considered personal and attacks on innate personal characteristics will not. I don't understand why the separation was made.
     
  2. Mr. Swedish Guy

    Mr. Swedish Guy New Member

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    It's called free speech. As long as they are within the rules, its okay. This is a debate forum, what would be the point if we didn't allow people from all over the spectrum? It would go against the mission of it all. But it is probably scaring away more lefty people, which is a shame. But if they simply don't like to hear everyone's opinion I guess there's nothing we could do about it. All one need to do is ignore them if its so terrible to discuss with them.
     
  3. Dark Star

    Dark Star Senior Admin Staff Member Donor

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    That'd just be silly. You're not going to have to worry about that nonsense here.

    The rule of thumb is "common sense." How would a reasonable person interpret that particular remark in this particular context? And, once that determination is made, what would be a reasonable response to that interpretation? An example such as the one you cite wouldn't even make it halfway through the first of those two filters, because none of our mods are unreasonable enough to assign such an incredibly creative interpretation to that harmless remark.

    I like to think of moderating in baseball terms, because in a sense, we're umpires. The posters are the ones playing the game, and we're just here to make sure they play it within the rules; but, without interfering with the flow of the game any more than necessary. The purpose of moderation is not to catch people doing something wrong and punish them; it's to help them understand what they're supposed to do right the next time.

    One of my favorite rules of thumb is that "the tie goes to the runner" - that is, when there's some ambiguity about the poster's intent, try to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they meant well. If we're wrong, and we give someone a freebie they didn't deserve, one of two things will happen. If it's a good poster who never breaks the rules, he got away with one, but there's no real harm done because he's not likely to ever do it again. And if it's someone who causes a lot of problems, we'll catch up with them again sooner or later, and this time they're not as likely to get the benefit of the doubt. For the most part, we want to err on the side of giving people as much space as possible, and letting the discussions go wherever they will.
     
  4. Dark Star

    Dark Star Senior Admin Staff Member Donor

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    I hope you change your mind, but if you do go, I hope you'll take another look down the road and see if it's more to your liking. I think the last week or so has been a bit of an aberration, because of World War Zimmerman. That's going to cool down really soon here, and we can begin to settle into something a little more normal. The objective is going to be leaving posts up and threads open, not deleting or closing unless there's just no other choice.
     
  5. Bluesguy

    Bluesguy Well-Known Member Donor

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    Hear...hear!!

    I look for civil discourse and find some of the personal attacks and ad hominems were getting out of hand. This will weed out those who are here only to flamebait and troll. Time to contribute again!
     
  6. Shiva_TD

    Shiva_TD Progressive Libertarian Past Donor

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    As a member I want to provide a critique of this proposal item by item were I see serious concerns that warrant a response and possible reconsideration.

    In reviewing the "points system" proposed there are two inherent problems each of which I will address.

    1. It assumes that all posts are reviewed and that infractions are issued for every violation of the Forum Rules. If this does not occur then one member may post significantly more violations of the Forum Rules but "not be caught as often" as another member with fewer "violations" that ends up being subjected to temporary or permanent banning.

    2. Because much of the actions by the staff are predicated upon "Reported Posts" by member it introduces member bias in the enforcement of the Forum Rules that will result in more of the "minority" membership being subjected to adverse actions such as temporary or permanent banning. To represent this let's assume the 2/3rds of Political Forum hold Political Opinion "A" and only 1/2rd hold Political Opinion "B" and each Reports the same number of posts by opposing opinion holders. That would result in Opinion "A" reporting twice as many "violations" by members of Opinion "B" because there are twice as many Opinion "A's" than "B's" but this also results in Opinion "B's" receiving a total of four times as many "infractions" than Opinion "A's" because there's only 1/2 as many of them. That will result, based upon a Point System, in four times as many of the members with Opinion "B" receiving temporary or permanent bans.

    The only way the "points system" isn't biased is if every single post is reviewed by the staff for compliance and that isn't going to happen.
     
    JP5 and (deleted member) like this.
  7. Dark Star

    Dark Star Senior Admin Staff Member Donor

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    Dribble is going to be discouraged, but we have to accept that one person's idea of dribble is often someone else's idea of an interesting discussion. Some threads are just not going to be as interesting or as well-assembled as others, but we still have to be available for those posters, as well.

    The rule on thread creation is almost identical to the old rule; there's been very little editing on that one. It will probably be more consistently enforced, but it may take a while for people to get used to that. We understand that, and we'll work with them. A lot of people will need time to ease into things, and we'll do what we can to help them find their comfort zone in most areas.

    As far as the thread as a whole is concerned, there won't be as much of a grace period. We'll give people a certain amount of latitude, and probably issue a lot of warnings at first, but the "neener neener that's what you are what am I" crap is going to have a very short shelf life. Nobody should need reminders that that's not acceptable.
     
  8. Dark Star

    Dark Star Senior Admin Staff Member Donor

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    Sigh....
     
  9. Dark Star

    Dark Star Senior Admin Staff Member Donor

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    Sorry. That was an obscure reference to Dorothy Parker, the early 20th Century writer who was famous for scathingly witty insults.
     
  10. Dark Star

    Dark Star Senior Admin Staff Member Donor

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    Yes, thank you. That's exactly it. Racial issues are critically important; you can not separate race from politics in the United States, or many other countries for that matter. If you're going to have a message board that's dedicated to political discussion, you can not prohibit discussion about racial issues, and if you have a message board that's dedicated to the principle of free speech, you can not prevent the expression of opinions that will sometimes be offensive.

    You can, however, prohibit insults and racial slurs. Most people in today's society have no apparent difficulty discussing racial issues without insulting one another or resorting to racial slurs, so it's not as though it's inherently difficult. There are, however, some people who can not make that differentiation. The rules and the infraction system will sort them out in due time.
     
  11. Mr. Swedish Guy

    Mr. Swedish Guy New Member

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    Indeed. And the people who are bothered by the stormfront types should just inspect their posts very carefully and report every breach of rules they find. We need more active reporting I'd say, and then the troll problems and all that will soon go away.
     
  12. Shiva_TD

    Shiva_TD Progressive Libertarian Past Donor

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    Is the staff now assuming the role of the Truth Police? There are serious problems with this proposition.

    1. First of all is that it forces a member to respond to a challenge by another member as opposed to the other member being required to provide legitimate rebuttal. Many members live in denial and instead of providing a rebuttal to a fact presented by a member they will merely resort to demanding documentation that has probably been provided repeatedly over time on Political Forum.

    For example last year a scientifically conducted study established that 32% of Democrats and 78% of Republican expressed explicit anti-black racial prejudice. The link to this study has been posted repeatedly and there has never been any scientific study that disputes the facts of this study. It is beyond any dispute at this point in time and yet it is repeatedly presented as a "fact" (because it's undisputed based upon scientific studies). Every time that this "fact" is presented it will be challenged.

    In short this will lead to an evasion of respectful discussion and debate because the member challenging the "fact" is simply refusing to provide rebuttal to the argument presented based upon established facts.

    2. The "challenge" is one-sided in that it only benefits the member making the challenge and not the member being challenged. If the "fact" is established then what benefit is there for the member challenged? Is the member making the "challenge" going to be required to admit that it is a "Fact" established by creditable sources?

    3. How will the staff determine if the citation used to support a fact a creditable or non-creditable source? Adding to this problem is that even the most "non-creditable" source can sometimes present factual information.

    4. As we know from the history of "propaganda" the best propaganda is based upon half-truths" that are factually incorrect when the "whole truth" is addressed. There is an old saying that "figures never lie but liars figure" which is specifically true when we address propaganda. How is the staff going to actually know if the "fact" isn't true because it's based upon a half-truth as opposed to the full truth? A factually inaccurate statement can appear to be factual if it's based upon a half-truth.

    5. An even more pragmatic problem exists because it assumes that a member reads all posts in a thread or that they read all replies to their posts where a challenge could be made. This doesn't happen. Assuming this doesn't happen, because it doesn't happen, how much staff time is going to be wasted on trying to play the role of the Truth Police on Political Forum?

    It appears that this attempts to place the problem at the feet of those making factual statements where there is no benefit to them by repeatedly having to document their sources that they've probably already done in the past.

    The staff is incapable of determining the "truth" anyway so why make this a responsibility of the staff to begin with?

    I do understand the problem which is thread derailment. Why not simply deal with the issue from a "thread derailment" standpoint as opposed to this process which cannot pragmatically implemented or enforced anyway? It's the thread derailment that is the issue and not whether the post is the truth or not.
     
  13. slashbeast

    slashbeast Banned

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    In other words you want to silence the opposition.

    I elect myself for that position, I'll clean house in no time, starting with you.
     
  14. slashbeast

    slashbeast Banned

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    Fair enough.

    One question: Am I still allowed to refer to liberals both here an in general as degenerates?
     
  15. Windigo

    Windigo Banned

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    Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't a point infraction system that included expiration what our infraction system was always supposed to be? I believe that the reason the system didn't work is that moderation decided to totally ignore it. What guarantee is there that moderation simply wont ignore this one as well?

    I also agree with others that while insistence on false facts and absolute obstinance is probably the most common form of trolling we have on the forum, it shouldn't be the place of moderation to be the truth police.
     
  16. JP5

    JP5 Former Moderator Past Donor

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    Studies are just that...."studies." They are NOT FACT. There are many, many studies that are very one-sided and where the procedures are far less than objective. They are done every day for political purposes.....and liberal colleges are notorious for doing them so they have something to base their bogus claim on.
     
  17. Ctrl

    Ctrl Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Ouch.

    I... am not likely to understand or be able to adhere to that, because I don't understand it. That is an open question about swaths of people. What kind of person supports abolishing age of consent laws?

    That is something I can see myself, and am, saying. The integrity of groups absolutely has to be fair game imho. People should be ashamed to support groups with grotesque goals.

    If you are a member of the KKK, in my description of my experience with members of the KKK, I am pretty much guaranteed to convey offense to the member. I don't care if I offend you. I don't care if I offend huge groups of people. A lot of people on this planet suck. We are all going to be offended by someone. We are all here to commiserate to a large degree about things we take offensively in the larger issues of the world politic.

    We can be civil, and offensive.

    If Winston Churchill would be banned from this site, I don't wanna be here.

    .02


    *Oh... everything else is brilliant. Thanks for all you do.
     
  18. sec

    sec Well-Known Member

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    please clarify which subsections where certain rules will not be enforced, such as rule #2 will not be enforced in subsection x, y or z

    My personal experience is that rule #2 is enforced upon only 1 political spectrum in a particular subforum. If we're updating the rules then let's clarify where they are not enforced

    thx
     
  19. Pennywise

    Pennywise Banned

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    No kidding. I wondered why there have been numerous bans of people I know here, and whom I have never seen break the rules. I guess this insanity of convoluted hair-splitting explains it. Can I say that?
     
  20. Mr. Swedish Guy

    Mr. Swedish Guy New Member

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    No, and neither can you refer to other races as such. And regarding any other questions you might have, ask a moderator if you're unsure, and if you don't want to ask the be on the safe side and don't post it.
     
  21. Dorkay Winthra

    Dorkay Winthra New Member

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    If you can't separate race from politics in the United States and you are going to consider "all" attacks on political groups personal, then you should consider the same kind of attacks on race as well as religion, gender etc personal.

    but because it isn't, it looks like the same religions, gender and race can be insulted like before but when it happens to others, it will be going to far. So still protecting the social conservative angle here.

    And then the Dorothy Parker reference. Scathing witty insults of political parties won't be allowed? I wonder which political party that would be.:hmm:

    Well I know I can't tolerate a discussion environment where the rules of speech are in tilted in the favor of the people I would have a disagreement with. I think that leaves Music threads for me here if anything.

    Thanks for the replies.
     
  22. Shiva_TD

    Shiva_TD Progressive Libertarian Past Donor

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    This is an ignorant statement. Undisputed scientific studies establish "facts" to the best of our knowledge. They are subject to peer review and open to conflicting studies that could invalidate them. They are based upon the scientific method where the very goal of science is to determine the "facts" related to what we know.

    There is some truth to the belief that many Republicans reject science but that doesn't imply that science isn't accurate in establishing fact. The "opinion" that scientific studies don't present facts is nothing but an opinion based upon an ignorance of the scientific method which includes the collection of information, a summary based upon that information, and the openness to peer review that could dispute the conclusions.

    For example, I've presented the results of the study done last year that established that 32% of Democrats and 78% of Republicans expressed explicit anti-black racial prejudice based upon a scientific study done last year while at the same time offering a challenge to anyone to present different percentages that would conflict with the conclusions of this study. If 32% of Democrats don't express anti-black racial prejudice then what percentage do and based upon which scientific study? To date there is no conflicting study so we must "assume" that the study from 2012 is accurate because there isn't a scientific dispute with it.

    To argue with the scientific method is to deny that the "sun rises in the East" because that "fact" is established by the scientific method.

    The scientific method establishes "scientific facts" while "opinion" is often used by ignorant people to dispute the facts established by scientific method.
     
  23. Dark Star

    Dark Star Senior Admin Staff Member Donor

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    We'll suspend Rule 10 in the Conspiracies forum, because otherwise there'd be no point in having the forum. Other than that, the rules will apply in every forum on the board.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Not many people can, but I'm not sure what you're suggesting.
     
  24. Dark Star

    Dark Star Senior Admin Staff Member Donor

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    Nope. Sorry!
     
  25. Shiva_TD

    Shiva_TD Progressive Libertarian Past Donor

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    This is a very interesting proposal where I'd like some clarification.

    For example is calling homosexuals perverts or sinners going to be considered a slur against homosexuals?
    Will stereotyping of African-Americans as being ignorant or criminals going to be considered a racial slur?
    Will claiming that "illegal Hispanic aliens" are here for welfare benefits be considered an ethnic slur?

    What criteria is going to be used in determining if a statement is a slur or not?
     
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