Warnings


#1

I like the new system of issuing warnings. If properly and fairly administered, it should add a valuable new element to Segue.

However, moderators should not be allowed to abuse the warning system to pursue personal vendettas or vent private prejudices.

When a warning is issued, notice thereof should be attached to the offending post (perhaps an eye-catching capitalized warning at the top of the post announcing that “This post is the subject of a warning for …” or something to similar effect), together with a citation of the rule or condition of posting that has allegedly been breached. Let’s keep it fair and open, and let every member of the community know and judge the rights and wrongs of the matter. After all, if a warning is intended to carry a stigma, and as each warning is a step toward the ultimate sanction of a ban from the forum, it should only be used in a fair, open and reasonable manner, and should reflect the majority opinion of Segue members.

How about it, Gus?


#2

OK :wink:


#3

You still got 8 more to go.


#4

Hi Omni, I don’t disagree with the sentiments in your post, but there are technical limitations (on my part) that prevent us from implementing your ideas.

Now, if some one took the time to either (a) find the functionalities you describe in the form of a “phpBB mod” (search for it at www.phpbbhacks.com) or, even better: (b) create a phpBB mod that acts how you describe (I’ve posted the source files in the Tech forum, in the “share experience” thread), then I’m happy to look into it and maybe build it in

As much as I’d like the moderators’ decisions to reflect the “majority” of opinions on Segue, I am stumped at how we could practically conduct it. First question: um, how many people constitute a majority? A look at the stats page will show you that the vast majority have posted less than 3 times here, and conventional wisdom tells us that there are “up to” 8 to 10 times the number of lurkers as there are posters in a webforum. So, like, how do we ask them?

Becuase it seems “virtually impossible” (now there’s an appropriate turn of phrase) to determine a majority, I am quite happy to rely on the judgement of a few – the few who have shown a committment and responsibility that goes well beyond what many should expect.

I’m not trying to deify them, just trying to express my thanks that they are around to help. Now, the folks on the team@segue do not always get it right. I’m not THAT blind or presumptuous. But I feel we are growing (in number and thinking) and we are learning about the Segue community. Your comments and suggests in PMs, e-mail and in the Feedback and Blue Sneetches forums do help and inform us.


#5

Thanks for the reply, Gus (and those other replies as well, guys).

On the technical side of things, I can’t be much help as I’m very much a non-techie and the phpBB stuff is all a mysterious language to me.

On the majority opinion aspect, the simple answer would be that whenever a moderator proposes to warn or ban a poster, the poster should have the right to challenge that decision (a right of appeal to a neutral arbiter, which should always exist when anyone faces any kind of punishment or sanction), and if he/she chooses to do so, a poll can be put up with a link to the allegedly offending post, the moderator’s reason for taking exception to it, and the question “Should this poster be warned/banned [as appropriate] for this post?” with a choice of “Yes” or “No” for the response. The result of this poll would determine the outcome of the appeal. How about that?

Here it would probably be helpful if I explained the situation of the two warnings that have suddenly been attached to me, so that you and everyone else can understand clearly how this particular moderator is abusing the trust and authority that have been placed in her. This is how I explained it in a PM to a couple of other moderators who were wondering about the situation and PMed me to ask about it:

“[The moderator in question]… is Alien. I don’t know if you noticed, but a month or two back, after I posted something on a light-hearted thread (concerning late-night TV porn, if I remember correctly) about liking girls who are very thin, I was astounded to receive a virulently nasty reply from Alien accusing me of being a closet homosexual and much worse – the most unacceptably unpleasant and uncalled for personal attack that I’ve ever seen on Oriented or Segue (and, in my opinion, a banning offence, though I chose to just let it go by). Two or three other members who had been participating in that thread saw it before I did and took Alien to task for it, criticizing her in strong language. She realized that she had gone too far and quickly deleted the post - it wasn’t there when I went to have a look at the thread (I saw it in my e-mail notification of reply). Apparently, although I had never ever crossed swords with her before that (I make a point of not crossing swords with anyone if it can possibly be avoided), she now bears a grudge against me. Hence my further surprise when I am notified by none other than Alien that I have been selected as the first recipient of one of the new “warnings”, for a post which I consider was totally innocuous and not in any way in breach of the Segue rules and conditions for posting. I intend to respond to this in the Feedback forum and take up the matter of these warnings with Gus and the whole Segue community. The remark that you noted was my instant off-the-cuff response to this rather pathetic instance of Alien misusing her “powers” as a moderator to pursue her personal (and rather perplexing) vendetta against me.”

I then discovered that I’d received a second warning, and wrote again as follows:

“Oh-oh! I see she’s done it again. Evidently, she intends to fire off ten warnings in quick succession to get me banned from the forum. That is an abuse of her position if ever there was one! I certainly don’t intend to take the matter up with her directly – I would not even consider engaging in any sort of communication with a person like that. But I do think that Gus and the other moderators should take action to curb her excesses.”

And lastly, in a third PM, I added this:

"I’ve perused the rules and conditions (or whatever they’re called), and they are so widely worded that about 80% of all posts on the forum could arguably constitute grounds for a ban!

However, it is manifestly evident that Alien has singled me out for a taste of her vengeance, as my posts are certainly no more sexist or objectionable than many other comments on the thread and thousands of other comments on other threads. Indeed, I don’t think my comments can be interpreted as sexist or even objectionable in any way by a reasonable person – certainly, they were not intended to be so, and were written in a spirit of levity appropriate to the subject under discussion. If Alien is trying to impose her values on posters and implement a form of censorship, then she’ll do great harm to Segue and all it represents.


#6

This is in danger of turning into a slanging match. Not that I’m saying it will, but I would hope it doesn’t.

Omni, you have received a couple of warnings, that’s all they are. The moderators discussed the thread and there was a full spectrum of opinion. In the matter of any dispute you may have with one, the other 15 or so moderators are to all intents and purposes, neutral observers. Your overall contribution to Segue was pointed out and you were defended. The question of whether we wanted to stop your account and thereby deprive Segue of any future input from you was mooted, and the consensus was that we didn’t want to do that.

The Open Forum is moderated by Alien and Maoman, and they personally decide what level of anything-ism they are prepared to tolerate. The difference of opinion amongst moderators which has resulted in your receiving warnings from only one, is in my opinion a beneficial feature of the way Segue is moderated, and works in favour of posters who are not so undesirable that they turn all of the moderators against them: there will be moderators who will defend the poster in question. We’re not communists! Except in the case of posters who suddenly run amok deleting all their posts and thereby destroy the relevant threads, or those who for other reasons must be stopped immediately, no-one is banned without discussion amongst the moderators.

You say that one of the moderators has formed a negative opinion about you and judges your posts in that light. I feel this is human nature, I too have formed opinions about posters, as I’m sure they have about me. This does not amount to a vendetta. But we are all posting with the benefit of some form of anonimity, and the judgements are I hope, not personal, as I would like to think we can all divorce the persona from the real person, and not engage in ad hominem attacks. There is bound to be some clash of personalities on the board, and it seems that this is true in the instant case. However, I think it would be wrong to ask posters to abandon their personalities (even if they are only “virtual” personalities) when they become moderators. I have seen no evidence that there is an intention to ban you by stealth, and I believe that if such a plan became apparent to members of the moderating team, it would be hotly debated internally, and a resolution reached. It is not my place to consider complaints about other moderators, so I am deliberately not referring to some of the issues you raised. I only comment at all in respect of moderation policy as I am party to Segue Team internal discussions and in order to assure you and the rest of the members that there exists a healthy level of debate amongst moderators in relation to general moderation policies, and in the cases of individual posts, posters, or threads.


#7

[quote=“hexuan”] posters who suddenly run amok deleting all their posts and thereby destroy the relevant threads …(are) banned without discussion.

[/quote]

[quote=“Omni”] She realized that she had gone too far and quickly deleted the post - it wasn’t there when I went to have a look at the thread

[/quote]

Is it a banning for Alien - or is she going to be let off with a warning? :wink:


#8

I simply cannot believe that Omni has received a warning, let alone two. I’m shocked. Omni is one of my fave posters in this forum; i’ve never seen anything written by him that would warrant anything but a pat on the back, even if it’s just for his excellent taste in females (does this get me a warning?) and obvious ‘joie de vivre’.

Mark


#9

[quote=“Mark0938”]I simply cannot believe that Omni has received a warning, let alone two. I’m shocked. Omni is one of my fave posters in this forum; i’ve never seen anything written by him that would warrant anything but a pat on the back, even if it’s just for his excellent taste in females (does this get me a warning?) and obvious ‘joie de vivre’.

Mark[/quote]
I second all of that, it looks really strange that Omni has 2 warnings (I can only think one one other).

I think there are good points about the poll running. It would NOT be a lot of work by any standards to run a poll when someone was setup for a ban. I don’t think warnings should be polled for, but a post in the blue sneetch forum describing where it came from (or something to that effect) would be nice.


#10

Here’s an idea:

We could have a new forum called


#11

Deja vu! :unamused: Gus, isn’t this the time where you open your desk drawer, pull out that moist fish and give everyone a slap on the face with it? The fish, as I remember, has “Segue is not a democracy and never will be” written down its flank.


#12

Can’t the Blue Snitchers section be the Segue Court of Justice? I was testing it out and you can make a poll when you push the blue button.


#13

Hey, that’s my fish! :sunglasses: This is a dilemma in progress. I think we mods need to come to a concensus before we can go public with any kind of solution. We are engaging in a discussion right now in one of the moderators-only threads (one of the countless perqs invoilved in being a moderator.) Give us some time, please. :?


#14

“Even if all his life a fool associates with a wise man, he will not appreciate the truth, even as the spoon does not appreciate the flavor of the soup.”
The Buddha


#15

[quote=“Omniloquacious”]Whenever a mod wanted to take on the role of public prosecutor and issue a warning or ban, they would first have to give notice in the Court forum with a link to the offending post, explain their reasons for seeking the sanction (the case for the prosecution), and attach a poll like the one I suggested in my previous post here. Then everyone would be free to come in, express their views, and cast their votes


#16

Will we have to wear wigs ?


#17

Fair enough. But a couple of requests:

Try and make the process as transparent and clear as possible. Some of the problems seem to have been caused by (what seems from the outside) the randomness of the process.

Also, the ideal would be if posts are not deleted or amended by moderators -ok if the post is contravening laws by including pornographic images or making libelous statements about a named individual this would not be possible, but in the case of general misogynistic, racist, or sexually dubious posts etc. why not just shift them to the flame forum(while banning or warning the perpetrator if necessary). If you have sensibilities then you can just avoid this forum.


#18

Cross-dressing will be entirely optional. Gowns may be donned or undonned according to whim.


#19

I say first, ban all the lawyers… the forums would be a much nicer place… :slight_smile:

Very valid points and comments, on the warning and banning here at Segue. I think that the mods are doing a great job. One question I have though is how long is a warning valid for? I wonder if perhaps they should have a time limit… sort of like your juvenile record (after the age of 18, or if you can prove you have the mental faculties of an 18 year old) and you keep your nose clean without further warnings after a certain period of time… your record gets wiped clean…

Will allow those random acts of vitriol (that should in all aspects receive warnings) to be forgiven after a certain period of time expires (say 3- 6 months?)


#20

Thanks for the comments, Tigerman.

I agree with you that juries are a highly flawed institution. Having had ample first-hand experience of their exasperating inconsistencies and limited ability to understand much of the evidence and arguments on which they’re supposed to be basing their decisions, I’ve long been in favour of drastically reducing or even completely abolishing their role in the English criminal justice system. As our judges are men and women of the utmost integrity who can be depended on absolutely to deliver fair and impartial verdicts, I would rather that they and they alone be entrusted with deciding a defendant’s innocence or guilt in criminal proceedings. That would also save a great deal of time, money and resources, and greatly improve the speed and efficiency of bringing people to trial and administering justice.

However, in countries where the quality of judges and the wisdom and impartiality of their judgments fall well short of the extraordinarily high standards maintained in England and Wales (the only jurisdiction in which I have practiced and therefore the only one that I’m fully competent to assess), the juries can still have a vital role to play. They were certainly very necessary when they were first introduced into English courts, at a time when ordinary people had little reason to expect to receive a fair hearing from those on the bench – hence the great importance they assumed in the public consciousness. Though their original significance has long been overtaken by the times back home, that’s probably the exception rather than the rule elsewhere in the world.

Nevertheless, and despite your possibly well-founded fears about the grounds on which people might cast their votes, I still think it would be a good idea to have the kind of “jury system” I’ve suggested for Segue. Here it would be as much a matter of fun as anything else, while defusing the potential for conflict and division among Segue moderators and posters. No one can reasonably complain if they are warned or banned as the result of a majority decision by fellow posters (with everyone having the right to vote if they choose to exercise that right). After all, we’re not talking about anything so serious as a criminal trial here. At the end of the day, no one is going to suffer or get terribly upset even if they are completely banned from this forum, no matter how much we enjoy and appreciate posting here. While warning or banning a poster amounts to casting aspersions on his or her character, which creates potential for unpleasant conflict and detracts from the friendly atmosphere that most people would wish to maintain here (and the maintenance of which is presumably one of the main reasons for appointing people to moderate the threads), having an objective and transparent poll-based system to ensure that those decisions were as “just” as possible would, I suggest, defuse ill feelings, bolster community solidarity, and be best in keeping with the spirit of Segue and its founders’ highest aspirations for it.