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Should the moderators take more action against aggressive forum members?
Poll ended at Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:55 am
Yes 58%  58%  [ 11 ]
No 37%  37%  [ 7 ]
I don't know/I don't care 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 19
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 Post subject: Re: Poll: Moderating aggressive forum members
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2021 5:59 am 
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Perhaps you need to set up your own forum that is policed in the way that you see fit. I'm more than happy with the way that this forum is moderated.

Forums are not democracies - they reflect their owners. If the owners choose not to apply a heavy-handed approach to moderation then that's their privilege.

That's it from me. This is a silly discussion, IMO, and is, together with the other rather insulting thread from the OP, a lynch-mob attack on a particular poster. I have no desire to dignify it any further.


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 Post subject: Re: Poll: Moderating aggressive forum members
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2021 8:44 am 
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iansjack wrote:
But the problem is that a person's technical contribution is the root of the disagreement here.

Oh come on, that has never been the problem here. The problem has been his aggressive, condescending and demeaning replies to other people. Anyone has the right to argue for what they believe in, but no one has the right to attack other people because of these beliefs. One's freedom ends where another's person's freedom starts. There are limits. Society couldn't possibly function otherwise.

If someone acted like the offender in real life, he certainly could be ignored and social pressure would force him to change his behaviour (or he wouldn't be part of the group for long). But in a public forum hidden behind a screen, no such social pressure exists. If acting like that in a work environment he would quickly be taken aside for a serious discussion and if the behaviour didn't improve, he would be fired. It would not be tolerated.

Why should this community, which is a social construct, be any different?

Saying we are all adults and that you can take care of yourself doesn't mean it is true for everyone. Everyone's is different. There isn't a single reality that defines us all.

I agree with everything Korona has said on this thread so far. To me having this discussion is a huge step forward and what we need at this point. As a community we get to decide what is acceptable or not. That includes behaviour, that also includes whether or not we want some form of moderation. But it is my experience that if bad behaviour is called out systematically by the majority of the influential community members, it is usually enough to address the issue. It is certainly a first step. There is no need to raise the specter of censorship, not yet anyways.

But if in the end we do need moderation, it can be done in a proper way. Like you said yourself, this is not a democracy. Free speech doesn't apply here. It's up to the community to decide what it wants. The owner obviously can do whatever it wants, but so can the community.

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: Moderating aggressive forum members
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2021 8:54 am 
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kzinti wrote:
As a community we get to decide what is acceptable or not.
That's simply not true.

As a community we get to, individually, decide whether we want to take part or not. Nothing more. We don't pay the bills; we don't take the rap if anything goes wrong; we have no right to collectively bully an individual.

If you don't like that, start your own community.


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 Post subject: Re: Poll: Moderating aggressive forum members
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2021 9:01 am 
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Bringing forward tnis "anthropological" argument (= it has always been this way, leave if you don't like it) does not make sense here: historically, this was a well moderated forum; it only declined in moderation quality after all old moderators became inactive. It simply has not always been this way! AJ, Solar and Combuster used to actively moderate this forum. By this argument, the die-hard anti-censorship guys should be the ones to found their own community, not people who want to reinstate some kind of moderation.

You're painting the current state to be Chase's intention but unless Chase speaks up, it is not at all clear that this statement is true.

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: Moderating aggressive forum members
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:03 am 
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Well, if you are correct then the owners will make changes.

My belief is that they won't as they don't see this as an issue.

In the meantime, I have to see such obvious group bullying of an individual, outspoken though they may be at times.


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 Post subject: Re: Poll: Moderating aggressive forum members
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:05 am 
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iansjack wrote:
That's simply not true.

It is true. Human organizations have power. Being part of a community means that you bring yourself and your values and share them with other people. You bring your contribution with the expectations that you will get something back. People are stronger as a group then they are as a bunch of individuals. If this wasn't the case, none of us would bother coming back here and posting. This thread would not even exist. We are here because we care. We are here because we need each others. There is power in that.

iansjack wrote:
As a community we get to, individually, decide whether we want to take part or not. Nothing more. We don't pay the bills; we don't take the rap if anything goes wrong; we have no right to collectively bully an individual.

You are wrong. As a community, we get to decide what is acceptable and what is not. We do pay the bills: we spend our time and energy sharing our experience and knowledge with each others. This is what makes us a community. This web site and the ever-so-absent owner is not what is making this site special or interesting. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate what he is doing for us. But don't think for a second that he gets to define who we are as a group and what we believe in or want.

iansjack wrote:
If you don't like that, start your own community.

So this is it? My way or the high way?

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: Moderating aggressive forum members
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:09 am 
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kzinti wrote:
So this is it? My way or the high way?

That's a fairly accurate summary of the motives behind this thread.

In my world, if you visit my house you don't get to dictate the rules that apply within that house.


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 Post subject: Re: Poll: Moderating aggressive forum members
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:16 am 
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iansjack wrote:
That's a fairly accurate summary of the motives behind this thread.

This thread can look like bullying but I don't think the intention was to bully anyone. This thread didn't magically appear out of nowhere. It is a reaction to something that is/was happening. You can't take this thread out of context and say this is bullying. It's a reaction to the behaviour of a certain individual. If anything, he is the one bullying people left and right. I didn't start this thread, nor would have. But you can't fault the OP for starting it after everything the offender has been doing.

You said above that we were attacking him because we had a different technical point of view.. This is simply false. This suggests to me that maybe you haven't actually been following the threads closely and that perhaps you simply decided to ignore them or just glance over then. I assure you, my issues with the individual are not technical in nature. He has the right to dislike UEFI (and I hate it too), but if you start spreading lies and attack people, I will call you on it. If you misquote me and claim I have a certain position that is opposite of what I believe in, I will not ignore it and move on. I suspect you wouldn't accept that either.

iansjack wrote:
In my world, if you visit my house you don't get to dictate the rules that apply within that house.

I can agree with that. But no individual gets to decide what the rules of a community are. The community does.

Chase is hosting the community and I am grateful for that. But he doesn't own it. The community is not "his house".

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: Moderating aggressive forum members
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:40 am 
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I'm not disputing anyone's right to disagree with others. As you say, I am doing that here. But I am disputing the idea of saying that the referee isn't doing a good job because you don't win your argument. The moderators here do a great, unseen, job keeping the forums free of the tons of spam that attack any forum. But they don't apply a heavy hand to disputes.

Heavily moderated forums tend to stagnate.

And I have to strongly disagree with your assertion that those who contribute to these forums have some right to dictate to the owners, and the unpaid moderators, how they should do their jobs. If you have a problem then deal with it rather than appealing to authority.

By all means make private representations, via PMs, to the staff. But public washing of dirty linen never ends up well. The most effective way, in any discourse, of dealing with unruly people is to refrain from being drawn into arguments with them. That is the sort of community action that you have every right to do. If you cannot manage that then perhaps you are not quite the community that you imagine.


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 Post subject: Re: Poll: Moderating aggressive forum members
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:47 am 
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iansjack wrote:
But I am disputing the idea of saying that the referee isn't doing a good job because you don't win your argument.

It's not about winning an argument. It's about being respectful of other people. I am not sure why you think this has anything to do with winning an argument. Maybe that was this OP's motive, I don't know. I didn't create this thread. But I understand what prompted it.

iansjack wrote:
And I have to strongly disagree with your assertion that those who contribute to these forums have some right to dictate to the owners, and the unpaid moderators, how they should do their jobs.

I never asserted that. What I said is that a community gets to decide its own rules and who is part of the community or not. This is what defines a community. I can understand how what I said could be interpreted that way within the context of this thread.

It was never my intention to suggest or infer that we get to tell the owners or moderators what to do. They can do whatever they want.

I agree with almost everything you said in your last post. But I would like to nuance this bit:

iansjack wrote:
The most effective way, in any discourse, of dealing with unruly people is to refrain from being drawn into arguments with them.

I can see how this is often true. But when someone is actively attacking and denigrating other people, being silent is simply not acceptable.

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: Moderating aggressive forum members
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 2:14 am 
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iansjack wrote:
And I have to strongly disagree with your assertion that those who contribute to these forums have some right to dictate to the owners, and the unpaid moderators, how they should do their jobs. If you have a problem then deal with it rather than appealing to authority.

Oh of course we don't! Please. Nobody is claiming that we have a right to dictate. We have a right to speak up and complain, and that's what we're doing in this thread. If this right is taken from us, that's the worst form of censorship -- the inability to speak up against authority.

As you said, Chase has the right to dictate here, and he can either listen or ignore to people posting here. But if people do not complain, there will be no change, just like in real life.

About heavily moderated forums: heck, nobody is asking for moderators to micro-manage all aspects of the forum. Again, there are lots of actions that moderators can take before removing posts and banning people (I have covered this in my previous posts already, it's getting tiring). For example, when Combuster was still active, both me and bzt received a warning for getting into a heated argument. Did that make the forum stagnate? Is that form of moderation really problematic? Does it induce censorship? And do not make this only about bzt (even if the thread was likely created as a reaction to him). I was speaking up against moderation issues long before people complained about bzt. The issue is not that any particular individual is not banned fast enough, the issue is that post-Brendan, all moderators are too either inactive or too hesitant to speak up. Heavy moderation (= controlling the content of people's posts) is not desirable, but some form of moderation is needed. We probably do not need bans at all, if we have the right amount of "soft" measures.

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: Moderating aggressive forum members
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 3:53 am 
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I'm beginning to wonder if I have misunderstood the target of this thread. I'm presuming the trigger for it was the thread about the Rust ABI.

I've read through that thread again, to see if I missed anything, and I see some pretty robust arguments from both sides. Then it begins to kick off when someone accuses another poster of trolling because they disagree with their argument. and it deteriorates from there. So perhaps the target of this thread is the person who turned it personal with an accusation of trolling? It's ironic that they are one of the chief proponents here for tougher moderation.

If you are arguing that the moderators should take action against posters who resort to this sort of personal insult then I still disagree - it's something that civilised people should be able to deal with by themselves. But I'm bemused that the obvious culprit is arguing so strongly in favour of action. If you call someone a troll just because you disagree with what they say then don't be surprised if they react badly. Stick to the facts being argued rather than taking it personally.

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You hypocrite! First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.


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 Post subject: Re: Poll: Moderating aggressive forum members
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 5:18 am 
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If you think that my posts in this thread are meant to bash bzt, you're mistaken. Indeed, bzt has also often been the target of ad-hominem attacks! I think that rude ad-hominem attacks are not acceptable, regardless of the poster (they are neither acceptable if they happen as a reaction!). That also includes myself -- while I'm of course a bit upset that I got a warning for participating in a flame war a year ago or so (and at that time I was quite pissed about it), I totally understand the moderator's motive.

Now, I don't think that we should censor or outright ban offenders right away either (neither bzt nor anybody else) but I do think that a "Hey guys, tone it down or there will be a punishment at some point." remark is entirely appropriate and helps to keep the discussion civilized. And that is how it has been done in the past, too, so it's not a new thing either.

What I would like to see added compared to the past system, though, is a public record of moderation actions (which I already mentioned several times in this thread), such that moderators can be held accountable and no second Brendon can take over the forum.

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 Post subject: Re: Poll: Moderating aggressive forum members
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 5:25 am 
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I don't think it is a coincidence that this thread was started at the same time as one about dysfunctional people, immediately following an argument in the Rust thread.

I'd urge you to read that thread again. There is nothing in there that warrants any moderator action. Even calling another poster a troll, by more than one person, doesn't warrant any action IMO. But it is one of the less savoury insults that can be flung on a forum.

For goodness sake people, just put your own houses in order; don't expect an adult authority figure to do it for you.


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 Post subject: Re: Poll: Moderating aggressive forum members
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 5:59 am 
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When you say "adult authority", you're giving the impression that I want to be able to say "hey authority, person X has hurt me, please punish person X". That is not what I have been advocating for in this thread. For the record, I am not a fan of cancel culture; I think all members of this forum are capable of communicating in a civilized way. However, that does not mean that all members of the forum do communicate in a civilized way! And that is why I am advocating for moderation here. Not for hard bans and censorship (no single post that I have recently seen here warrants a ban). But to remind people that the discussion needs to be civilized. Let's take a concrete example. In the Rust thread (and I agree that it was likely the cause of this thread), the discussion degraded into a "bzt bad" fest. That's completely off-topic. I'd advocate for moderators to step in before topics degrade that way, and to remind all participants of a flame war that the posts are degrading into off-topic (and also the personal insults). That is exactly the role of a moderator in real life (e.g., in talk shows, in panel discussions, in popular scientific talks, in conferences, etc.), and it has nothing to do with "adult authority". I have the impression that many discussions simply would not get as heated if proper moderation was applied in this forum, even if we did not have to take additional hard measures (and the poll shows that the is also no community consensus for additional hard measures).

Bans are the last measure. If people keep posting Nazi propaganda - alright, ban them. But if they derail topics, remind them what this board is about and possibly warn them. Or split off the unproductive discussion into a separate post or even a separate "ramblings" forum.

(If the dysfunctional people thread was created as a reaction to the Rust thread, I am not sure what the poster wants to imply.)

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