Woodruff wrote:thegreekdog wrote:(1) Someone being "intentionally annoying" is subjective. Some posters may find a user to be intentionally annoying, while others may not.
Certainly true, and I believe that this particular "guideline" would only apply to the most egregious of circumstances for exactly that reason. For instance, pimpdave's incessant "Tea Party Death Squad" threads...is there really ANY question he wasn't just trying to be intentionally annoying?
I agree with you that it should be applied only in egregious circumstances, but if it doesn't fall under trolling, baiting, flaming, I don't think it should then fall under intentionally annoying. Those three cover the intentionally annoying class.
Woodruff wrote:thegreekdog wrote:(2) Bigotry should not be subjective and there should be concrete rules on what is not acceptable. However, bigotry is subjective. Someone said this in another thread: an American may not find the word "Paki" to be objectionable. But it is to a whole lot of people. I also don't want to chill any speech on race, religion, etc. So, bigotry is going to be subjective.
What you say is true. And yet, intent and context do explain most instances where real bigotry is being displayed. If there is a question about it, then it shouldn't be handled as a punishment...but far too often, there really isn't a question about it but the term used "just wasn't on the list"...that kind of crap really has to stop.
I'm not certain I agree that determinations are made because the word wasn't on the list. As I stated, bigotry is subjective and words may be bigoted to some and not bigoted to others. I think having a list of words would make things simpler, but the intent of the post has to be shown. Calling someone a retard isn't bigoted (in my opinion, many others disagree). Posting something about how all mentally disabled people should be killed is bigoted.
Woodruff wrote:thegreekdog wrote:(3) Flaming is also very subjective. I believe that flaming happens when someone is truly bothered by what someone else posts about them. For example, you might tell me to f*ck off. That doesn't bother me. If it truly bothers someone else, I think that's flaming. Total subjectivity.
I tend to think that flaming ISN'T particularly subjective, to be honest. Being insulting isn't flaming. What I engaged in toward pimpdave in the thread about my cadets...that was flaming. The real problem on this subject is the massive lack of consistency involved...when someone has a target on their backs, simple insults are marked as flaming whereas far worse statements being made about someone by a moderator-friendly individual are completely overlooked.
I think this is more a personal issue than a generally applicable issue. Maybe instead of saying flaming is subjective, I should have said flaming is in the eye of the beholder. If we take a very harsh definition of flaming, any insult becomes a punishable flame. How many insults are flung about in the off topics forum? When I was not a moderator and after flame wars was extinguished, I purposefully would bandy insults that didn't look like flames (no "bad" words, no violence, no anger) to avoid a potential ban. That's something that is arguably a flame. Anyway, I digress - if a user follows another one around constantly belittling the person without using any substance, that constitutes flaming.
Woodruff wrote:thegreekdog wrote:I think that people complain about moderation because it's easy to complain about.
Perhaps in many cases what you say is true, but it is not with me. I used to be a hardened supporter of the moderators on this site. I am now amongst the most critical. I'm far from the only one, as I could point to a number of high-ranked and high-visibility users who feel the same way I do about the moderation on this site. If many of the vocal and ardent supporters have been turned against the moderation team, then I would suggest to you that there is more fire than smoke involved.
From what I understand, moderation has become better in the last few years (after someone named Twill or something, I don't know all the details). I would urge you to get the high ranked (which is irrelevant to me frankly) and highly visible (much more relevant) users to post in this thread so I could get a sense of what their criticisms are. From my perspective, only a handful have complained about moderating. With maybe a couple of exceptions, most of the complaining has to do with consistency between 2012 moderating and 2008/2009 moderating or taking too long to come down with disciplinary action.
Woodruff wrote:thegreekdog wrote:For example (and as I've argued before), if I were to make a very strict interpretation of trolling as being intentionally annoying and applied it with consistency to all users, we would have little participation in the forum because everyone would be on three months bans.
I disagree completely. I am absolutely of the opinion that such a thing wouldn't happen at all and I believe you are completely off-base. I have BECOME a sarcastic, biting annoying bitch of a poster BECAUSE I am so frustrated at the lack of action taken against those who troll so blatantly. Look at the first two years of my posts...see the difference. I was CREATED by the lack of action. (Note that I am not meaning to blame the site and not myself for my inflammatory statements, trolling, or otherwise over-the-borderline statements, merely making a point of some culpability by the site.)
Frankly, I am and have been on other fora who do take that strong stance and they manage quite well.
I've collected more than a few examples during my short tenure as a moderator of how enforcing the rules in a certain way would end up killing a lot of stuff in the forum. I will refrain from posting them because they are specific examples. Put let me provide a fake example:
On Day One, User #1 creates a thread talking about some political issue. The premise involves a ridiculous assertion with tenuous evidence (User #1 does not agree with that observation, however). A discussion ensues.
On Day Two, User #2 creates a thread talking about a different political issue. The premise also involves a ridiculous assertion with tenuous evidence (User #2 does not agree with that observation, however). A discussion ensues.
On Day Three, User #1 reports User #2's thread as trolling or baiting because the premise involves a ridiculous assertion with tenuous evidence.
Is User #2 guilty of trolling? If so, and we ban him or her, does User #2 rightfully accuse us of inconsistency because we did not also ban User #1 for posting a thread with a ridiculous assertion based on tenuos evidence? And if we do ban both users, are people going to be less likely to post political threads (ignoring that a lot of users don't like political threads)?
This is one completely fake example. My concerns, as you may know, are that (1) we will be inconsistent and (2) we will stop participation on the forums. These issues are more concerning to me than whether User #1 doesn't happen to like User #2's thread which he is not forced to read or respond to.