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Old 03-28-2013, 06:49 PM   #76
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Default Re: Change of banning rules debate

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Originally Posted by The Bulldog View Post
Discretion is a great tool, but it has to be used wisely and only when the time calls for it.

The thing is, if the idea of much stricter moderation was proposed, I think it would be rejected by the majorly, which proves my point. A lot of people come here, primarily to cause trouble, secondarily to talk about tennis. That shouldn't be the way things work. The only way forward is to filter out these people who contribute nothing constructive to the forum AND do little other than insult people. I'm not suggesting that you should be zapped if you insult someone else straight away, but it would be reasonable to me to permanently ban someone who uses discriminatory remarks more than once. I can accept that it could happen once, 'in the heat of the moment'. If it happens twice, then they person hasn't learned their lesson and they deserve to be dismissed for good.

It comes back to my point about discretion though, if somebody is on the forum and not really doing anything apart from trolling, let's not hang around and wait until they accumulate enough infraction points. Make it known to them immediately that this isn't the place to come and cause that sort of trouble, and people will stop doing it.

For me, permanent bans are handed out too sparingly, and often too late to act as an effective deterrent, because long-standing members still think that insults and discriminatory remarks aren't out of place on here. I suggest the moderators shouldn't be scared to stand up and take more severe action sometimes. I know this rather opposes what many others say, but it's truly what I believe the forum needs.
I completely agree with this.

Making the moderation less strict and removing permabans would, IMO, be going in the wrong direction.

I think that other than being lenient, the mods are doing a good job. Of course, they are humans too and mistakes are understandable. There should be a little more transparency. Also, users should get a chance to explain themselves if they believe their post has been interpreted in the wrong way and if needed infractions/bans should have the chance to be lifted if this explanation is good enough.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:57 PM   #77
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Default Re: Change of banning rules debate

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Originally Posted by Johnny Groove View Post
Permabans should be only used in extreme cases.

Any poster who is being considered for a permaban, it should be done in full view, with a public trial where all can post their comments.

I mean, if someone commits a crime, they don't just automatically get sentenced to life in jail. They are held on trial, where everyone can see and make their comments.

As it is now, it is like the KGB in Cold War Russia, or the Haitian Secret Police. You wake up one day, and a poster is "missing" and you know you will never see them again, and no explanation is ever given, if anything, a vague explanation.
Lol, that way nothing would ever get done here. "Trials" would mean just endless discussions, besides, this a forum with an owner, not a court. If you go to a night club and make a mess, start a fight, then the security will come and kick your a** to the street, they are not going to hold a trial with all the guests chiming in
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:36 PM   #78
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Default Re: Change of banning rules debate

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Originally Posted by SloKid View Post
That's not the problem. Problem is that majority of posters simply don't respect the moderators and have their own agendas they follow. There's a massive uproar for the smallest of things. People online are much more vocal and much less civilised, when voicing their displeasure than in real life, so whatever the approach is there is a massive vocal group that disagrees with what you do and argues about it ad nauseam, because they are for most part protected by the anonimity they get by being online. The extremes online are so much more pronounced, the middle round is near impossible to find, so there's a lot of meandering, which brings little result.

It's easy to express what you think the problem is like you did, but I guarantee you, that it would change little. However I'm willing to quit right here right now, if that would make any sort of change for the better.
Well, when you moderate a big forum like MTF with so many members, the first thing you have to accept is that not everyone will agree with your way of doing things. However, the general lack of respect stems from the mods' lack of empathy and poor transparency. If you start taking big decisions (like permabans or very lengthy bans) in a more sensible manner, analysing each case by its own merits, maybe even opening up discussion on the forum and letting the offender defend itself, etc... you'll see that respect will immediately increase. I know it's a lot more work, but that's what real moderation is.

Tell me why exactly you expect people to respect moderators when decisons that like 80% disagree with (not just bans, but stuff like ending the ACC) are taking unilaterally without even letting the forum members give their views on it, without any dialogue? You might think moderators are unfairly villified, but you deserve every bit of it and then some due to complete lack of tact. I don't like Corey Feldman and won't miss him at all, but the only right way to deal with a case like his - especially with him being a poster with almost 100k posts, posting for 10 years, with a lot of friends here - would have been to subject his permaban to public discussion and open dialogue, with CF himself having a chance to defend himself. The advantages would be: much more transparency in the decision making, much more respect towards the moderating staff (yes, taking controversial decisions unilaterally will not earn anyone any respect), even if he did end up getting permabanned backlash from his defenders would be lesser since they'd have had the time to talk to him and find ways to keep in contact with him outside of MTF, which is impossible with the ban being so sudden.

Disrespect isn't inevitable; I have been in a position of authority over a group of people (granted not as a big as MTF's members) a few times online and in real life and never had such problems in any way whatsoever. Disrespect is only inevitable when you abuse your power and/or take decisions that displease most of the forum unilaterally. Moderating a forum with as many members at MTF is not an easy job and not everyone is cut out to do it, it takes a level of patience, common sense and empathy that not everyone is capable of, but that is no excuse to turn the moderator position into a purely figurehead position where mods are suppose to act like bots detecing infractions and punishing them automatically at all.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:37 PM   #79
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Default Re: Change of banning rules debate

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Originally Posted by Pratik View Post
I completely agree with this.

Making the moderation less strict and removing permabans would, IMO, be going in the wrong direction.

I think that other than being lenient, the mods are doing a good job. Of course, they are humans too and mistakes are understandable. There should be a little more transparency. Also, users should get a chance to explain themselves if they believe their post has been interpreted in the wrong way and if needed infractions/bans should have the chance to be lifted if this explanation is good enough.
I Challenged the mod who banned me for doping allegation if he can spell out which part of my post that alleged doping.

He can't. He basically only said "you know what you really mean". Is this good enough?

I explained myself, and yet none of that is taken into account just because the mod FELT that I broke the rules and deserved a ban.

The mods always say they apply the rules consistently and fairly, but what I see is they apply the rules arbitrarily and randomly.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:41 PM   #80
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Default Re: Change of banning rules debate

Let me be the first to point out that empathy is something that a moderator most certainly doesn't need.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:45 PM   #81
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Default Re: Change of banning rules debate

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Originally Posted by The Bulldog View Post
Let me be the first to point out that empathy is something that a moderator most certainly doesn't need.
It's the #1 thing that anyone in a position of power over a large group of people needs to do it effectively. Without it, apart from not doing a good job, you'll never garner the respect from said group of people, ever.

The fact that the moderating staff seem to be genuinely surprised that they are not respected after some of the decisions they take and the way they are taken shows said complete lack of emphathy, which ironically is the reason they do garner the respect of the community in the first place.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:51 PM   #82
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Default Re: Change of banning rules debate

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Originally Posted by Mark Lenders View Post
It's the #1 thing that anyone in a position of power over a large group of people needs to do it effectively. Without it, apart from not doing a good job, you'll never garner the respect from said group of people, ever.
Funnily enough, it's often the one thing that prevents you from doing a good job. When you consider external factors like how long a certain poster has been around, how funny they are, or how insightful they are, it makes you often forget what their actual crime is. You moderate for the good of the forum, not for the good of certain individuals. I also think for somewhere like MTF, this idea of leaving key decisions to the membership is awful. The majority of posters don't know what makes a forum tick.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:55 PM   #83
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Default Re: Change of banning rules debate

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Originally Posted by Lee View Post
The point is you don't know the poster you are throwing your "joke" has Asperger or not. Or the person is suffering from something else that make them vulnerable.

Also, do you understand and has researched on Asperger before your reply? Because I have doubt from your first statement I quote.
This is crazy - oops sorry. This is an opinion I regretfully must disagree with - or with which I respectfully must disagree ( must avoid offending the language purists.)
Seems to me that if every possibility of upsetting someone has to be considered, there would be no room to say anything.
Like the Canadian woman who wanted all the trees around her daughter's school cut down because her daughter had an allergy to some nuts and had a right to go to school in an environment where the possibility of eating something off the ground that would harm her is eliminated. Seems this woman had not considered teaching her daughter not to eat stuff off the ground in the first place.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:00 PM   #84
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Default Re: Change of banning rules debate

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Originally Posted by The Bulldog View Post
Funnily enough, it's often the one thing that prevents you from doing a good job. When you consider external factors like how long a certain poster has been around, how funny they are, or how insightful they are, it makes you often forget what their actual crime is. You moderate for the good of the forum, not for the good of certain individuals. I also think for somewhere like MTF, this idea of leaving key decisions to the membership is awful. The majority of posters don't know what makes a forum tick.
Bingo. Except this is good, not bad. Taking everything into consideration before making a decision is the very definition of good moderation. We don't need moderators to blindly apply the rules without taking the circumstances of each case into account, you can get an automatic software to do that. As it stands, moderators on MTF are pretty much redundant. Also, how exactly are decisions that most disagree with for the good of the forum?

Who said anything about leaving decisions to the members? Ideally, moderators will decide but they will listen to the members' arguments first and take them into account when making their decision. This should be standard procedure whenever big decisions are concerned (like permabanning a very active poster or ending the ACC).
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:13 PM   #85
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Default Re: Change of banning rules debate

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Originally Posted by Mark Lenders View Post
Well, when you moderate a big forum like MTF with so many members, the first thing you have to accept is that not everyone will agree with your way of doing things. However, the general lack of respect stems from the mods' lack of empathy and poor transparency. If you start taking big decisions (like permabans or very lengthy bans) in a more sensible manner, analysing each case by its own merits, maybe even opening up discussion on the forum and letting the offender defend itself, etc... you'll see that respect will immediately increase. I know it's a lot more work, but that's what real moderation is.

Tell me why exactly you expect people to respect moderators when decisons that like 80% disagree with (not just bans, but stuff like ending the ACC) are taking unilaterally without even letting the forum members give their views on it, without any dialogue? You might think moderators are unfairly villified, but you deserve every bit of it and then some due to complete lack of tact. I don't like Corey Feldman and won't miss him at all, but the only right way to deal with a case like his - especially with him being a poster with almost 100k posts, posting for 10 years, with a lot of friends here - would have been to subject his permaban to public discussion and open dialogue, with CF himself having a chance to defend himself. The advantages would be: much more transparency in the decision making, much more respect towards the moderating staff (yes, taking controversial decisions unilaterally will not earn anyone any respect), even if he did end up getting permabanned backlash from his defenders would be lesser since they'd have had the time to talk to him and find ways to keep in contact with him outside of MTF, which is impossible with the ban being so sudden.

Disrespect isn't inevitable; I have been in a position of authority over a group of people (granted not as a big as MTF's members) a few times online and in real life and never had such problems in any way whatsoever. Disrespect is only inevitable when you abuse your power and/or take decisions that displease most of the forum unilaterally. Moderating a forum with as many members at MTF is not an easy job and not everyone is cut out to do it, it takes a level of patience, common sense and empathy that not everyone is capable of, but that is no excuse to turn the moderator position into a purely figurehead position where mods are suppose to act like bots detecing infractions and punishing them automatically at all.
First off each case gets reviewed individually, particularly when it's a permaban. In Mikey's case there was a discussion and a vote. I know that it's only after a ban, but the posters do have the ability to email us with their thoughts and reasoning, it may not always been in place, but it is there now.

I don't really know how you expect a discussion to work on this forum to be honest. MTF is very cliquey as it is and I don't believe the discussion would result in anything even resembling something constructive. Posters will support their (always unjustly) banned favourites, while some will claim the person is a troll anyway and deserved what he was getting.

ACC has always been a highly controversial subject, always causing a lot of problems, people arguing, insults being thrown around, posts reported, people asking for it to be cancelled. And over the years we first tried to be stricter in enforcing the rules during the contest, but when not much progress was made, we decided it was for the best to remove it as a whole. I can guarantee that the contest does not have the support of 80% of the posters and that's also not the case with a lot of the objections. It's an impression you can get, cause of the nature of the protests, but that's misleading I believe. We get people PMing or repping us in support, when they don't feel like posting their support in public in order not to get attacked by the people against the decisions. That's just how it is.

Look, I've said it before and it has been established that if anything the longer the poster is here, the more it takes for him to get a permaban. What would've a discussion about Mikey changed, when he's been banned and warned tons of times and knew that he was on his final warning, which he has stated himself. I think his total suspensions have been of more than 2 years, I mean how long should mods keep turning a blind eye just cause someone has been here for so long and has so many friends, when the person themselves don't accept responsibility and don't change their approach.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Lenders View Post
Bingo. Except this is good, not bad. Taking everything into consideration before making a decision is the very definition of good moderation. We don't need moderators to blindly apply the rules without taking the circumstances of each case into account, you can get an automatic software to do that. As it stands, moderators on MTF are pretty much redundant. Also, how exactly are decisions that most disagree with for the good of the forum?

Who said anything about leaving decisions to the members? Ideally, moderators will decide but they will listen to the members' arguments first and take them into account when making their decision. This should be standard procedure whenever big decisions are concerned (like permabanning a very active poster or ending the ACC).
Why is it good? I think you're missing the point. In large part when it comes to bans, people don't disagree with the ban reason, but with the banning of their friend. It's like I don't care what he did or said to someone else and how they took it, I like him, he's been here for ages, you can't ban him. How's that fair and good for the forum? That's the wrong kind of democracy.

Only rules that applied blindly are rules that don't leave any doubt, like starting result threads before the match is over. Otherwise I don't think that's really the case.

I have no problem with hearing arguments, but they are few and far between and drowned out by all the bashing of a decision just because it happened to someone or something you like.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:20 PM   #86
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Default Re: Change of banning rules debate

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Originally Posted by Mark Lenders View Post
Bingo. Except this is good, not bad. Taking everything into consideration before making a decision is the very definition of good moderation. We don't need moderators to blindly apply the rules without taking the circumstances of each case into account, you can get an automatic software to do that. As it stands, moderators on MTF are pretty much redundant. Also, how exactly are decisions that most disagree with for the good of the forum?

Who said anything about leaving decisions to the members? Ideally, moderators will decide but they will listen to the members' arguments first and take them into account when making their decision. This should be standard procedure whenever big decisions are concerned (like permabanning a very active poster or ending the ACC).
No "dura lex sed lex" ? It's very redundant to take everything into consideration.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:35 PM   #87
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Default Re: Change of banning rules debate

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Originally Posted by Johnny Groove View Post
As it is now, it is like the KGB in Cold War Russia, or the Haitian Secret Police. You wake up one day, and a poster is "missing" and you know you will never see them again, and no explanation is ever given, if anything, a vague explanation.
Yes, because a disappearance in Cold War USSR compares with a permaban on MTF.

Bit dramatic, Johhny.
MTF is just one forum on the worldwide web. If one poster is permabanned here, they can go to other forums, there's facebook, there's twitter, msn, email to get into contact with that person. You can easily contact most people if you wanted to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Lenders View Post
Well, when you moderate a big forum like MTF with so many members, the first thing you have to accept is that not everyone will agree with your way of doing things. However, the general lack of respect stems from the mods' lack of empathy and poor transparency.
I'd agree with you in theory but having been on MTF for quite a few years, I don't believe moderators using increased empathy would work because quite a few posters in my opinion will revolt against authority or react against rules, whatever those rules are.
In other words, they'd react against rules and moderators no matter what the rules are and who the moderators are.

And how are you going to take everything into consideration on a forum with so many contrasting opinions; with people often disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing. You will always find people protesting against moderating rules. Plus, the moderators - who do this in their own free time, voluntarily - would spend a lot of time explaining every decision and talking to people who disagree with them.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:51 PM   #88
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Default Re: Change of banning rules debate

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Originally Posted by Mark Lenders View Post
Bingo. Except this is good, not bad. Taking everything into consideration before making a decision is the very definition of good moderation. We don't need moderators to blindly apply the rules without taking the circumstances of each case into account, you can get an automatic software to do that. As it stands, moderators on MTF are pretty much redundant. Also, how exactly are decisions that most disagree with for the good of the forum?

Who said anything about leaving decisions to the members? Ideally, moderators will decide but they will listen to the members' arguments first and take them into account when making their decision. This should be standard procedure whenever big decisions are concerned (like permabanning a very active poster or ending the ACC).
That is not how moderation works, unfortunately for you. The objective is to make the forum experience pleasant for as many as possible, trying to do it in an objective way as possible. To achieve this, they remove posts that could be deemed offensive by a number of posters. When a poster is deemed to have offered a certain number of these offensive posts or actions, they are banned. The one thing that should not be done is being lenient on a certain member because they are liked by everyone, or anything similar to that. This isn't a democracy.

Let me make it simple though. You commit an offence, you are punished appropriately. There are no ifs and buts because if a certain poster's social standing, to an extent.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:05 PM   #89
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Default Re: Change of banning rules debate

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This is crazy - oops sorry. This is an opinion I regretfully must disagree with - or with which I respectfully must disagree ( must avoid offending the language purists.)
Seems to me this if every possibility of upsetting someone has to be considered, there would be no room to say anything.
Like the Canadian woman who wanted all the trees around her daughter's school cut down because her daughter had an allergy to some nuts and had a right to go to school in an environment where the possibility of eating something off the ground that would harm her is eliminated. Seems this woman had not considered teaching her daughter not to eat stuff off the ground in the first place.
Please point out which part of my post demand Jonathan to stop. Otherwise, how can you draw the parallel between my post and your example?

I pointed out to Jonathan why some people can't grow a thick skin as other people demanded/expected. Hope he understands it and with that, more consideration when people joked about things which they believe are harmless but may be perceived differently by others. Thick skin or not.

also, you showed in your post that even you strongly disagree with my opinion and actually, quite disgust with it (even you seriously misunderstood my intent) and has a very low opinion of me, you can still maintain a civilized way to express it. So, it's not that hard!
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:11 PM   #90
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Default Re: Change of banning rules debate

I think this is a "Rules changing thread", and that's exactly what some people are asking for.
Permabans have shown that the forums are losing something big. This forum without some of it's big users is losing so much.

Rules can be changed, every country and civilization does once in a while. As you can see, some people aren't exactly happy with the old rules.
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