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Bullcrap

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March 2, 2006 11:47:47 AM

This is a load of bull!

Quote:
I closing this thread now since I am going to bed and I don't want to wake up to a huge number of posts.
Thank you ever so much for not discussing the issue, and then locking the thread. I clearly see now just how fair the system is. You couldn't have expressed this better if you'd tried.

And I suppose you'll lock this thread too.

Or maybe just edit it, or delete it.

Because god forbid anyone talk about the issues seriously and openly.

Oh no. It's quite clear that minds are closed here.

More about : bullcrap

March 2, 2006 11:56:07 AM

Give some examples then. Not just rumour and second hand gossip, but actual examples where you feel that it's unfair. Let's hear it.
March 2, 2006 3:53:33 PM

Not discussing the issue? You voiced your opinion and I have replied to your post and I replied to the others as well.
Related resources
March 2, 2006 5:09:55 PM

Quote:
Not discussing the issue? You voiced your opinion and I have replied to your post and I replied to the others as well.
And then you locked it before I even had a chance to respond. Not to mention preventing anyone else from commenting later as well. As if no one else could possibly have an opinion. How is blocking people from discussing something considered to be discussing the issue to you? I mean, I just don't even begin to understand your argument here. We're talking about complete opposites.

Further, what possible reason was there for locking the thread? There were no breaches of ToS involved. It wasn't even a heated argument. All that I can see there is yet another example of an abuse of power, instead of anything even remotely assuaging my fears.

Well congratulations on giving substance to issues that I was trying so hard to be fair about and not take sides on.

Further, yet again, something was decided behind the scenes where regular users have no say and no recourse should anyone disagree with the decision. You're doing an ever so wonderful job of proving my point.

And since you've locked my thread I'm just going to continue it here.

Quote:
When was this place ever democratic? This is a forum run by TG Publishing and the rules are laid down in the TOS. These rules are enforced by the moderators.
Yes, but there are three problems that I see here:

1) The ToS was never even so much as remotely enforced until just recently. Until now there was virtually no goveernance, period. In extreme rare cases if the right people complained to you, you might do something about it. And the rest of the time we were left to just do our own things. So while it was never democratic (and I never claimed that it was, just that it would be nice if it moved into something more that way) the method of governance has certainly changed recently.

2) Even if we assume that from now on all of the most current ToS will be adhered to by the letter (which most definately isn't the case) the actual decisions of how to enforce the ToS do not seem to be applied fairly and equally. At least that's from what I can see. If public access were made to see the course of such discussions it would likely reduce the fear of abuse as well as to document a standard of guidelines for equal handling of related situations. Further, if public opinion were even allowed to be expressed, that would go even further to waylay these fears.

3) There is no system in place for anyone to disagree with the enforcement of the rules, and certainly no accountability for abuse. At least from a regular user's standpoint.

Now I'm not saying that TG has to do anything about any of this. It's your forum. Do as you will. But I am not impressed. And I'm not the only one.

Quote:
People can always PM me if there's trouble, but if you do I don't want to receive baseless accusations or hearsay without any proof. I need links to messages or quotes that can be verified. I have yet to receive anything like this.
Certainly not from me, because 1) I'm trying to remain neutral and address the flaws in the system of governance, and not dispute the actual decisions made. That would be an entirely different discussion. And 2) What possible access would someone like me have to private messages between other persons? Or to the moderator's private section of the forumz to discuss things? Can any regular user look there to quote them in a complaint to you? No. Because it's private, done in secret. What a nice circular argument you've made. We can only complain if we have proof, but we're not allowed access to any proof. All that we have is hearsay because of your ever so wonderful system.

But while you've brought up the topic of particular cases of abuse to report, here's a case of abuse for you to verify. Your own in locking my thread for no good reason.

So who, exactly, do we complain to when you're abusing things, hmm?

Quote:
As far as I am concerned there's is no such thing as secret discussions. Moderators and I discuss cases on a regularly basis. A permanent ban is done on my final decision only.
Oh, congratulations, you consider any conversation that you hold in private as not being a secret discussion because you're a part of it. But are we, the regular users, able to see or even take part in said discussion? No. Because it said discussion is a secret from all regular users. Hence secret discussions.

I've been trying to be nice, but you're not exactly making that easy, Fredi. Nor is Jake being insulting in PMs doing any better of a job of it. I've been trying to not take sides on any particular matter. I've been trying to simply keep this about concerns for the welfare of the community because of a potentially oppressive system of governance having no system in place, at all to protect the average Joe user. And instead of waylaying any fears about such a potential becoming a reality, you and your moderators have so far just proved my fears as being valid ones.

Congratulations.
March 2, 2006 5:31:42 PM

Quote:
Give some examples then. Not just rumour and second hand gossip, but actual examples where you feel that it's unfair. Let's hear it.
I had been trying to keep this about theoretical potential and assuring that potential does not become a reality. I had been trying to keep this about the issue of governance in general, not about particular issues.

Just because your chummy-chummy clique of moderators happen to have hot topics doesn't mean I've been debating them. Too bad you're all so opinionated that you have to make it about that instead of addressing my actual (and clearly at this point legitimate) concerns.

Further, as stated, what possible evidence can I provide to any situation that I am not myself 'guilty' of, as I have no access to private information to link to, hmm? All that any concerned third party can produce is second-hand information.

And, in fact, I believe that even the ToS themselves specifically state not to reproduce PMs. So I couldn't even report an abusive PM without breaching the ToS. What a fair system.

But, if you want an example, how about Fredi locking a thread that didn't breach the ToS and didn't get hostile, simply because no one wants to address the actual issue or admit that even in theory there might be a problem?

I could further report what I feel is an abusive insulting PM from Jake, but again, I'm not giving anyone any excuses by breaching the ToS at this particular time. But do know that this PM is recorded offsite as well, so even if it mysterously gets edited or removed, it is not gone. Information is everlasting. It cannot be destroyed so easily.

So, thanks to the way in which the illustrious leaders have handled just my completely innocent and constructive post alone, it has quite thoroughly proven that the system is flawed. And, as usual, the flaw itself is the human factor. To err is human.

So if I can't trust the supposed two most important people to take my concerns to, because they've both abused their positions, then how am I even remotely supposed to trust any other position of power here? Please do answer that. I'd love to hear anyone try to answer that at this point. :lol:  Go on. Just try.
March 2, 2006 7:34:28 PM

First, I simply closed the thread to continue the discussion today. You beat me to the punch and making a big deal out of it. I gave the reason why, nothing secretive about it.

1) It has been made clear months ago that there's a TOS and moderators will enforce it. Things change, deal with it.

2) OK, your opinion is that it's not applied fairly and equally. Why do you say public opinion is not allowed? That's clearly not the case. In this case however we're talking about accusations and they need to be proven. In order for me to investigate I need examples. You need to backup your opinion.

3) People have posted messages in the past when they disagreed. I have answered to those posts.

3/1) So, you have no bad experience yourself, but you claim unfairness.

3/2) I look in the moderator discussion regularly. It's private but not secret. Again, the cases users contacted me have been solved by me directly. In case the moderators where unsure about what action to take I have made the final decisions after investigating.
Moderators keep telling people they can go to me and I believe they also give express permission that their PMs can be quoted to me.

I don't see closing the other thread with giving an explanation as an abuse. I simply didn’t want to get it blown out of proportion over night.

I consider a conversation with the user in question no secret. Why should I involve the public while I deal directly with specific individuals?

The moderation discussions are just that, they are discussions. So it comes down to that you have a problem with me as the highest authority. As you can see in the other thread, if I am asked direct questions to why certain decisions have been made you'll get a direct answer. Always has been that way, always will. If I get a PM that documents unacceptable behavior by anybody else I'll investigate. In the past I have not publicity discussed my dealings with individuals so I won't in the future.
March 2, 2006 7:57:40 PM

Quote:
And, in fact, I believe that even the ToS themselves specifically state not to reproduce PMs. So I couldn't even report an abusive PM without breaching the ToS. What a fair system.


It doesn't. It's a courtesy not to post private communication between individuals without the permission of all parties involved. If I receive quotes from private communication I assure everybody there won't be any consequences. I keep saying I need links to messages or quotes that can be verified. It almost seems like you're implying I am trying to trick people into trouble.

I wish people would read the TOS. Then they wouldn't be surprised if it's actually is enforced.
March 3, 2006 6:21:06 AM

Hello Fredi
I'm sorry to be taking more of your time on this issue.
I would like to say that your easy going , firm but fair method of moderation was one of the keys to this forum being a second home to many.
Thankyou for that.
The transition to the new mods has at times been disconcerting.
The departure of my friend Mozz has made it worrisome.
He alluded to some jackbooted, rightwing plan to control the forums.
The primary presence of (apparently) flagwaving republican mods did little to sooth that mood .
For Ned, I am sure that, when told by the mods that he could not keep the signature he had used for a long time, he felt the mods were bullying him.
I don't understand how a signature could be so important, but I do see how a question of principals could escalate to this.
For two years now, Ned has been a helpfull, valued member of our forum.
We can not truly afford to loose such people.
I ask that you reconsider his fate. I hope that he would be big enough to apologize for any and all pain he has caused you, and accept the conditions you impose.
March 3, 2006 6:53:58 AM

If it comes down to enforcing the TOS we can not make a difference. I probably wouldn't have given so many chances to a newbie.
March 3, 2006 7:03:51 AM

Quote:
Give some examples then. Not just rumour and second hand gossip, but actual examples where you feel that it's unfair. Let's hear it.
I had been trying to keep this about theoretical potential and assuring that potential does not become a reality. I had been trying to keep this about the issue of governance in general, not about particular issues.

Just because your chummy-chummy clique of moderators happen to have hot topics doesn't mean I've been debating them. Too bad you're all so opinionated that you have to make it about that instead of addressing my actual (and clearly at this point legitimate) concerns.

Further, as stated, what possible evidence can I provide to any situation that I am not myself 'guilty' of, as I have no access to private information to link to, hmm? All that any concerned third party can produce is second-hand information.

And, in fact, I believe that even the ToS themselves specifically state not to reproduce PMs. So I couldn't even report an abusive PM without breaching the ToS. What a fair system.

But, if you want an example, how about Fredi locking a thread that didn't breach the ToS and didn't get hostile, simply because no one wants to address the actual issue or admit that even in theory there might be a problem?

I could further report what I feel is an abusive insulting PM from Jake, but again, I'm not giving anyone any excuses by breaching the ToS at this particular time. But do know that this PM is recorded offsite as well, so even if it mysterously gets edited or removed, it is not gone. Information is everlasting. It cannot be destroyed so easily.

So, thanks to the way in which the illustrious leaders have handled just my completely innocent and constructive post alone, it has quite thoroughly proven that the system is flawed. And, as usual, the flaw itself is the human factor. To err is human.

So if I can't trust the supposed two most important people to take my concerns to, because they've both abused their positions, then how am I even remotely supposed to trust any other position of power here? Please do answer that. I'd love to hear anyone try to answer that at this point. :lol:  Go on. Just try.

1. There is no chummy chummy clique of mods, as you describe. The mods talks about stuff, of course they do. We share opinions about issues. We ask each other advice. Moderating is new to all of us, so we ask each other for advice. We post questions. We seek guidance. It's about making sure we get it right and that everyone in the group is informed as to what and why we've done it. We need a place to ask questions. Contrary to certain beliefs, it's not a launchpad for forum domination. It's a place where we can discuss and make decisions to ensure that this place moves forward within the rules laid down in the ToS.

2. You alluded to having seen, or have examples of moderation that you consider to be heavy handed, or wrong, or, well, something or other... I'm asking you to share that, tell me and I'll give you an honest answer to your question. I'm not interested in rumours, there are way too many of those floating round. I daresay you've encountered them.

3. You can report an abusive PM. You don't need to send or show the PM, just give an account of what was said and the person who sent it will be spoken to.

4. Fredi locked that thread because certain people were jumping on the bandwagon and looking for an opportunity to subvert it for their own agenda. Had it been a simple conversation between you and Fredi, I'm certain it would have remained open. Fredi, quite rightly, didn't want a hundred replies all saying the same thing.

5. We all mod via PM differently. Jake is to the point with no messing around. due to the fact that Jake hasd been the subject of more abuse and plotting than the rest of us put together, and then some, then maybe his post could be miscontrued. He'll certainly be blunt! I'm not defending Jake and sure he wouldn't want me to. I'm just trying to give my take on how Jake operates. I'm different, RC is, so is BigMac, so is Riser. I don't know what else I can say.

6 & 7. I think it would have been better for you to address this to Fredi via PM, rather than airing this in public. In doing so, it enabled this to descend into a mud slinging match that fits with how some people want to operate. It's sad that people do that, as, as you rightly said, it was addressed constructively. Which is why I'm (hopefully) responding in kind. I hope some of this answers your questions.
March 3, 2006 7:18:00 AM

Quote:
Hello Fredi
I'm sorry to be taking more of your time on this issue.
I would like to say that your easy going , firm but fair method of moderation was one of the keys to this forum being a second home to many.
Thankyou for that.
The transition to the new mods has at times been disconcerting.
The departure of my friend Mozz has made it worrisome.
He alluded to some jackbooted, rightwing plan to control the forums.
The primary presence of (apparently) flagwaving republican mods did little to sooth that mood .
For Ned, I am sure that, when told by the mods that he could not keep the signature he had used for a long time, he felt the mods were bullying him.
I don't understand how a signature could be so important, but I do see how a question of principals could escalate to this.
For two years now, Ned has been a helpfull, valued member of our forum.
We can not truly afford to loose such people.
I ask that you reconsider his fate. I hope that he would be big enough to apologize for any and all pain he has caused you, and accept the conditions you impose.


Mozz has his reasons for why he left (temporarily). He's back, although he doesn't spend as much time on here. I'm not going to give any credence to the "jackbooted rightwing agenda" unless you've got cold hard facts. The "flagwaving republican" ditto.

Ned. There was no bullying. You don't have all the facts, and you've been fed some rubbish. What you don't know is how many time I spoke to Ned privately trying to avert some of this. Ned was given more chances than most would have, as Fredi indicated.
March 3, 2006 12:44:33 PM

I parallel many of your same sentiments and assure all I have no hidden agenda.
Fredi, tho I do not know him personally, I too have formed an image of a fun loving guy who moderated with a fair but firm hand in the past which indeed was an attraction to many and enabled them to transition from BBS and other lower key sites to a forum where other cool guys could chat and share ideas and info. Since it was a unique and comfortable audience, many things are said and virtually any could be considered offensive to many even when that usually was not the intent. Fredi understood this and the ones who really intended hateful things eventually proved themselves this time and time again.
Ned is not one of those types, and I think we all know this.
And BTW, is Ned the first permanently banned member ever?
This does concern me deeply, that I can not fathom the reason for the severity of the punishment for the crime that was in his Sig. How many people actually complained it was offensive? 2 or was it 3 members claiming offense...
I understand how being told you must modify your Sig can be construed to bullying or singling out one and in retaliation to your feelings, you resist. But if reasonable, in a few days rationality would sink in to all but the most extreme cases.
I too would like it to be reconsidered.
Rich
March 3, 2006 2:25:53 PM

ahh fredi before you close this thread i wanna ask you how many people have been banned on these forumz already?
March 3, 2006 2:58:38 PM

Make no mistake about it. People are not blind and do know what's going on. They simply aren't happy about it.
March 3, 2006 3:02:16 PM

No, you're right. People aren't blind. And some people can see exactly what's going on.
March 3, 2006 3:33:11 PM

there are 4 or so usernames in the ban list right now. All but one are from spammers. Those are perm bans. However there may be more.

In the old forum I banned about 90 usernames. And some of the old folks may remember names like Fudder, Spud.
March 4, 2006 2:39:56 AM

Are you familiar with George Carlin's skit on the 7 words you can not say on television?
It is true, there are only seven words that you can not say on television.
Are we to be held to a higher standard than that?
I would accept that those seven words might offend somebody. Did Ned use one or more of those words? No.
Have "others" here used phonetic spelling or miss- spelling of those words, to convey the concept? Yes.
I am not asking that the mods be fair. Fare is what you pay, when you get on the bus. I would however like to see a little consistancy.
I would also suggest that this is a bad time for the mods to be throwing thier weight arround.

To RobD Are you aware of Jake bringing up the issue at hand, before?
Was it a group code value then,that the word was not offensive?
What changed?
March 4, 2006 3:09:38 AM

Quote:
To RobD Are you aware of Jake bringing up the issue at hand, before?
Was it a group code value then,that the word was not offensive?
What changed?

Man, where the hell do you get your information. I'm Jake. And I have discussed many issues about many people in private with other moderators and Fredi.

When you make reference to "Jake" ... why don't you just ask Jake?

That vulgar word, in a signiture, was offensive to many people, including me. See Fredi's comments. And it was on the web, not hidden in the Other Forum.

George Carlin will not set the standard for propriety around here. That standard will be set by TG Publishing. You did agree to their Terms of Service when you posted here.

When you make a hearsay reference to "Jake" - please address it to me!
March 4, 2006 5:44:52 AM

Same question. Was there an earlier mods discusion about "the word"
Was the result a GCV that "the word" was not offensive? Should I consider WTF offensive.
Should you, a mod, show the type of decorum in PMs that you expect in the forum?
March 4, 2006 5:49:55 AM

If anyone felt my earlier message accussed them of being a republican, when they are not, I apologize.
If anyone who is actually trying to take over the forum is offended because it seems I called them "jackbooted rightwinged" well tough, this forum is the property of THG, so if you are trying to take it over, you deserve much worse than namecalling.
March 4, 2006 6:05:48 AM

George Carlin did not set that standard, he mocked it. Perhaps you should try to listen to it some day, It's quite funny.
The Standard was set by the body that oversees TV standards for viewing material, in the U.S., circa 1970.
It is a clear list of words that were considered offensive, at that time, and so were not to be used.
That seems a good measuring stick, to gauge what is acceptable language. If you are more easily offended than that, I would suggest you stay away from "the other" forum.
If your time in the other forum has rattled your concept of what society considers offensive, that list may help.
March 4, 2006 7:14:44 AM

There is no conspiracy within the moderator group to take over this forum. There is a consiracy going on, you're just looking in the wrong direction. and please stop with the name calling. It's childish and pathetic.
March 4, 2006 7:16:34 AM

Quote:
Your questions have already been answered. I actually answered them several times.

Your anwsers have no logic reasoning in relation to the ToS.

Why don't you post Ned's signature here so we can discuss if it violates ToS or not?
Without that, any reasonings you make are invalid.

You know full well what Ned's sig said, so that's a non-starter. He violated the ToS, end of.
March 4, 2006 7:59:39 AM

Quote:
If you search my post/activity history, I was away during the period when Ned's posted signature and removal+banning occured.


What is your point, Fredi and others warned and cautioned him. Told him to change it - he refused, and now he has lost his posting privileges. Ned can still read this forum like any other person. He refused to adhere to the rules and now has lost the privilege to participate.

It remains a privilege to post here - not a right.
March 4, 2006 9:19:27 AM

Quote:
There is no conspiracy within the moderator group to take over this forum

It was not my intention to imply that there was. What I was trying to convey, was the trepidation expressed during the early transition to the new format. It was I think key to the problems that Ned and Jake had with each other.
I have no desire to insult you, or cause you any hurt. If you have taken anything I put here, as an insult, I apologize.
March 4, 2006 9:23:58 AM

From the ToS:

Quote:
TGP is the final arbiter of what IS and IS NOT allowed on our site. Further, TGP reserves the right to modify or remove anything submitted to TGP, and to cancel any membership, at any time for any reason without prior notice. TGP is not obliged to maintain back-ups copies of any material submitted or posted on our site. Actions or activities that may cause termination of your membership and/or removal of your page(s) include, but are not limited to:

posting or providing links to any content which violates our Terms of Service:
violating the TGP Terms of Service. Please read and familiarize yourself with the TGP Terms of Service.
March 4, 2006 10:51:12 AM

This post not directed to RobD's post.. I just used it to post something here..

There is somehing wrong here ... the Other is boring like hell... I don't think we need another politically correct place. There is enough ...

I remember when everyone was free to say everything.... And how old users where there to put those that were going to far at their place. While not official moderation, it was rather efficient.. Much more than current official moderation (no offences to mods here thou..) Why? Because there was actually a discussion between members about the offences.. And then, most of the time, apologize were done and things corrected. IMHO, this is a way more democratic way to than the current report and modifying thing ...

Yes, sometime we had some trashy discussion.. I'm perfectly fine with word like fuck or shit when used in good context. Now I'm sure that they are going to be edited. Who, in real life, never had used these word in some context??

My point is, no one is ever forced to read anyhing here.. They do it on their full conscent. I'd rather see a warning like thaere is at the beginning of some movie that goes like" This forum contain language, sexual and mature subject matter. Readers discretion advised"

Put that warning on, take moderation out and bring back the old forum spirit.

I'm rather busy right now.. and to be honest, I don't feel the need to post or read all the politically correct BS posted here.. There is tv show and newspaper for that..
March 4, 2006 12:20:38 PM

I think I can answer some of your points here Pat, and the constructive nature of your post warrants a reply.

The Other. I spent 3 years running amok with Wingy down there. We all enjoyed it, it was no-holds barred fun. Occassionaly someone upset the apple cart with, usually, racist bile. Just about the only thing we wouldn't accept. So, we'd all jump on him, someone would report it to Fredi and he was kicked. Self regulating, and it worked well.

Then we moved to this new place. As you can see by the amount of people coming in here now, it's a hell of a lot more popular. You can view pages through search engines. Before, we used to get a few noobs wandering down to the basement, now we get loads. Admitedly, the topics up for discussion aren't as topical or intruiging as before, but I think, slowly but surely, it's coming round. I don't think we'll ever get the old Other back, 100% as it was.

With regard to the moderation, I came along a couple of months after the new place was launched. I hold my hands up here, I thought with the mods, I'd soon be slung out the door. I curse like no tomorrow, everyone knows that, and I genuinely thought I'd be done for. Yet it wasn't the case. While you can't curse up in Hardware (if someone does it gets modded), you can still curse in the Other, as free as you used to. If I can, so can you. That was one of the reasons most of the mods were Other residents, we knew how the place was and how it still should be.

There has been some moderation in there, but very very few instances. It's still pretty much anything goes. However, rather than before when everyone ganged up on an offender to try and force him to amend his post, now, one of us can. To this date, I haven't modded in the Other, and like I said, when there has, it's been few and far between. I have no desire to see the Other become a watered down version of what it once was. What it was was unique, a place that I'd never encountered before anywhere, which is why I suppose we all used to frequent it. It still is a place like that, and it can be for as long as we want it to be.

What I'd say is this. Post in there as you did before, goverened by your own set of principles. You know whether something is OTT or not, that's the best way to do it. Aside from the current few malcontents, everyone is pretty much getting on as normal. You can still be yourself in there, I will too. I hope you will trust our judgement if and when we have to moderate in there. I don't want to spoil any of the fun in there, hell, I've been a part of it, no way I want it to change.

I do like the disclaimer bit though. That might have some mileage. A good suggestion.

Hope this has answered some of your questions Pat.
March 4, 2006 2:39:24 PM

Quote:
My point is, no one is ever forced to read anyhing here.. They do it on their full conscent. I'd rather see a warning like thaere is at the beginning of some movie that goes like" This forum contain language, sexual and mature subject matter. Readers discretion advised"


Using G**D*** in the body of a post in the Other was harmless IMHO. When someone uses what is considered by many to be vulgar language in a signiture, with the new forum software, it instantly appears in all 8,000 + posts everywhere. That word is no longer contained in one or just a few posts in the somewhat-hidden Other section. Every post in Hardware, Software, etc. instantly displays that questionable sig. That was the issue, not single useage in a few Other posts.

The Other is "hidden" from search engines, all the other Categories/forums are searchable and very visable now. The old software was not visable at all. It's about "exposure" now, where that wasn't a problem before.
March 4, 2006 3:32:03 PM

Why didn't you say that to me then?
Jake, if you'd have said that, I could have at least seen a logical reason to alter the signature, besides 'just because a moderator has told me so'.
Although I still don't agree my signature was overly offensive, I'd have been so much more co-operative if you would have worded your first PM like the reply above.
Not once, in ANY of your PM's, did you mention this fact. Not once.

Maybe you didn't think that it was a important piece of information? But Look at it from my point of view for just a second.

In the first PM you sent you said:
Quote:
This is a Moderator caution, and warning.


Fine, that it may be, but why make such a big deal about it? So, you've asked me to alter my signature, why is it suddenly a caution and a warning? Can't it just be a request?

Other quotes in later messages:

Quote:
Last warning


Quote:
Insure your sig is changed by the next time you post.

Last Moderator warning.


You've already noticed a lot of resistance towards you as a moderator - It's not because it is you, but rather your tone of 'voice' which leads to the problems.
But this is all beside the point.

Back on topic:

Please can someone take the time to answer these questions:

1) RichPLS's signature was altered against his will by WebDog after he refused to change it himself. Why was this action not taken with me?

2) How come I got a straight permban? In the grandscheme of things my 'violation' was far less severe than Rasist / Bigot remarks which have resulted in permbans before. I could see the logic in a 24h/72hr or even a week ban, but a permban (including IP range block) seems way over the top. What is the reasoning behind this - I'm not big of a threat am I :wink: ?


Ned.
March 4, 2006 4:31:01 PM

1) We have once in the past changed a user's signature but that wasn't very well received. After we changed the signature the user just went back and put the original back. So we now reason with the user.

2) I am not as patient like the moderators are.
March 4, 2006 5:04:14 PM

Walton you brought up a good point about the way the message/warning is delivered in making a compliance to the request accepted or rejected.
There are ways to incline the other party to come onboard and comply (usually including the real reason and suggestion of corrective action), while there are ways to give same message with overtones of empowerment (Just do it or else, I dare you not to) which tend to create a resistance.
This is what makes successful managers rise to the top, and weeds out the poorer ones in the real business world.
This also seems to come naturally and is built upon with experience in the best.
March 5, 2006 6:44:04 PM

Well, just to allevate some of your fears, I've just been informed that signatures are not Googleable.

Have a go: try
tomshardware+"a signature"
and you won't get any matches.

At the moment, if you google
tomshardware+"godamn" you will get matches to posts (you may want to delete these)

Perhaps add the word "goddamn" to the language filter too.

So really, why can't Ned_Flanders be unbanned?
You said getting a moderator to edit a signature wasn't greeted well? I don't think banning the user has been greeted better, infact, it seems to have been greeted a lot worse?
March 5, 2006 7:58:06 PM

Quote:
Well, just to allevate some of your fears, I've just been informed that signatures are not Googleable.

Have a go: try
tomshardware+"a signature"
and you won't get any matches.


this makes no sense


"Welcome to my Shed of Pleasure" forumz

Quote:

At the moment, if you google
tomshardware+"godamn" you will get matches to posts (you may want to delete these)


tomshardware+"godamn" zero matches
tomshardware +"godamn" zero matches for any of our URLs
tomshardware +"goddamn" only 2 matches for our URLs, not 8000...
March 5, 2006 8:58:14 PM

Ok, I'll try and explain this better.

Some feature of PHPbb boards stops google from allowing signatures to be googled (or perhaps it is part of google code?).
Regardless, the net-effect of this is that no signature on these boards is available to google.

The exception to this, are posts which have been transferred from the old forums. Those posts have the signature added to the body (message part) of the post. That's why your example, "Welcome to my shed of plesure" worked.

For example:

If I were to google:
'tomshardware + "surrender moment to moment to moment"'
(Pike's sig)

I would get 0 matches

Same with:
Jake Barnes' sig
_ww_'s sig
Pickxx's sig


I can't remember my banned signature, but if you were to google that - There also would be no matches.


Fredi, please could you un-do my IP range ban as it makes trying to reply pretty hard and slow. I'm not trying to be cheeky, it is a genuine request (at least until we've discussed this).
March 5, 2006 9:42:14 PM

To my knowledge there is no such feature. One would have to mask text through script.

Just because you can not find certain strings searching google doesn't mean it doesn't index it. Google usually needs 30 - sometimes less sometimes more - days between indexing and using that index for the search results.

You are banned for not complying with my requests.
March 6, 2006 11:01:47 AM

Quote:
I do like the disclaimer bit though. That might have some mileage. A good suggestion.

Hope this has answered some of your questions Pat.


The disclaimer should be used INSTEAD OF moderation in the other. I didn't see Ned's sig. But I don't feel shocked by that. Looks like the muslim that went creazy about the drawing ...



Quote:

It's about "exposure" now, where that wasn't a problem before.


That I don't like... It sound like " guys, can you be correct, we want to have more people here in order to make more money now" to me. Sprry, my word are not for sale .. I offer them for free.. like in freedom of speech..

Just th fact to hav my word turned in greenies for someone to make money out of my free advise make me unconfortable. I rather block them..

Quote:
2) I am not as patient like the moderators are.


If you don't have enough patience to do that job, leave it to someone else. decisions should not be taken with emotion, but with fact. Can you imagine a judge saying:" well, I'm tired, I've heard enough, you seems guilty.. "
March 6, 2006 3:39:40 PM

We are going in circles here.

I neither like nor dislike the user. The fact is that I ask a user to comply to avoid damage to us. The request is absolutely reasonable. A number of PMs were exchanged. He had plenty of time to follow suit.

The issue itself is secondary and we can discuss it to death somewhere else, but frankly we already have. The above fact still stands.

We turned off the mean greenies completely didn't we? I hate them just as much...
March 6, 2006 3:53:07 PM

Quote:
First, I simply closed the thread to continue the discussion today. You beat me to the punch and making a big deal out of it. I gave the reason why, nothing secretive about it.
1) It's still a grevious abuse of power IMHO.
2) Did you discuss the prospect of locking it with me or any other of the general populace first? No. So you made the decision to lock it in secret. Just because you gave your reasoning post-decision doesn't make that decision itself held in any less secrecy.

Quote:
1) It has been made clear months ago that there's a TOS and moderators will enforce it. Things change, deal with it.
It's debatable whether that was ever made clear. But I'm not arguing that as a point at all. I'm questioning the fairness of the system, not the policies themselves. So you might as well not bother trying to debate with me that a ToS is being upheld, because I have no interest in arguing that. I don't disagree with it. My qualm is something entirely different.

Nor do I think that it is appropriate for someone in a position of power to be so distructively confrontational as to say something like, "Things change, deal with it."

Quote:
2) OK, your opinion is that it's not applied fairly and equally. Why do you say public opinion is not allowed? That's clearly not the case.
How do you figure?
1) If the public doesn't even know what is going on, then how can the public possibly give an opinion?
2) When those in power are being so argumentative, confrontational, and insulting, and worse yet, abusive of their power, then what possible belief could any sane person have that they can give an opinion, or the gods forbid debate the issue, without a grave fear of repercussion?

Quote:
In this case however we're talking about accusations and they need to be proven.
No, you are. I never was. I was talking about a concern for a theoretically possible failing in the current system and trying to address that in a manner that didn't propose any accusations. It is your own guilt which makes you so adamant about seeing accusations where I have not made any.

Quote:
3/1) So, you have no bad experience yourself, but you claim unfairness.
No, I had no bad examples myself until you and Jake responded to my concern of a theoretical problem in the system and how it could be fairly addressed, a concern that was expressed explicitly without making any claims of actual unfairness.

Quote:
3/2) I look in the moderator discussion regularly. It's private but not secret.
You don't get it, do you? If there is information withheld from the general populace, that is a secret. That is the definition of a secret: information withheld. So saying that you have access to these private secret discussions is not making them any less secret to anyone else.

Quote:
I don't see closing the other thread with giving an explanation as an abuse. I simply didn’t want to get it blown out of proportion over night.
**ROFLMAO** Do you have any idea how that sounds? "Oh, it wasn't abuse of my power because I just didn't feel like letting people actually use a completely justified thread that was following the ToS. It's okay simply because I said so." You locked a thread just becuase you didn't want to see it grow. Right. No abuse of your power there. :roll:

Quote:
I consider a conversation with the user in question no secret. Why should I involve the public while I deal directly with specific individuals?
Now, I'm going to take this back to the general despite your attempt to make this about any particular issue. As I already said, why involve the public? 1) To ensure that the user in question is given fair treatment.
2) To ensure that future administrative actions are handled in similar ways so that punishment is consistent, and so that the punishment actually fits the crime.
3) To ensure that the ToS and the system of moderation is in place for the purposes of bettering the forumz

Without a system of checks and balances the system can be used as a means to abuse people that moderators just don't like. It can be used to be unfair to people when a moderator is simply just having a bad day. It can be abused by the moderators to gang up together to further their own ends. Etc. And again, I am not making any claims of abuse. I am simply listing theoretical abuses which cannot be prevented by the current system in an attempt to show valid reason why a better system would be beneficial.

Quote:
So it comes down to that you have a problem with me as the highest authority.
In a word: YES. Though until you started replying to this, that was in no way personal. I have a problem with any one individual being a highest authority. And more specifically, I especially have a problem with any system that has no checks and balances.

But now that you have shown how closed minded you are, how readily you allow your own personal guilt to affect completely unrelated issues, how easily you'll abuse your powers on a whim, and how you won't carry yourself with the grace of your position, I now have a qualm with you personally being that highest authority, because you have proven yourself unworthy of that position in my eyes. There are soooooooo many ways in which you could have carried yourself better, but chose not to. You have proven yourself to be simply no better than the rest of us. I, for one, would certainly not trust someone like me with that kind of power. If you're going to behave no better, then why should I trust you with that power? Do you see my concern here? Without a system to prevent an abuse of power, the only means of waylaying fear of abuse is to prove that those in power are without flaw. And thanks to the responsive actions of those in power to a completely innocent attempt to better a theoretically problemed situation, I can no longer in good conscience pretend that those in power are without flaws.

And Jake, don't think you're off that hook either. You've shown yourself to be even less deserving of such a position of authority IMHO.

Which is why I stress now more than ever my opinion that so long as humans are fallible, and especially so long as the humans in positions of power are showing themselves to be so, some sort of system of checks and balances that involves public opinion to prevent abuse in the system of governance is of the utmost importance for the protection of the governed.
March 6, 2006 4:33:03 PM

Quote:
Using G**D*** in the body of a post in the Other was harmless IMHO. When someone uses what is considered by many to be vulgar language in a signiture, with the new forum software, it instantly appears in all 8,000 + posts everywhere. That word is no longer contained in one or just a few posts in the somewhat-hidden Other section. Every post in Hardware, Software, etc. instantly displays that questionable sig. That was the issue, not single useage in a few Other posts.
Now, I've been intentionally not bringing up my personal opinions on just this matter because I did not desire my issue to be clouded by this particular case.

However, since it now has been, and since I do have an opinion, I might as well give it.

Here are my concerns in order from least to most concerning to me:
1) Godamn (and you'll note the intentional mispelling by exclusion of a 'd') is not considered vulgar by many. It is rather tame. And, in fact, I contend that it could be quite debated which way a majority would even decide, if given the choice.

2) Since the actual level of intent of vulgarity is so highly questionable, it makes the justification in the way in which the situation was handled equally questionable.

3) It also strongly brings into question whether religious beliefs are being allowed to be pushed as an agenda. The only real people who could possibly object to the Lord's name being taken in vain would be Jews and Christians (and derivatives thereof). So is the contention that it is vulgar due to the word 'god' or the word 'damn'? Had the word been 'puddingdamn', would there have been any objection? Are following the religous tennant of the ten commandments requisite to posting here? Or are we to somehow believe (HA!) that had the word 'damn' simply been used, it would have been handled no differently?

4) What most concerns me is that this also brings into question the logic being used to determine vulgarity. Because spelling variations of very highly vulgar terms that allow with the use of phonetics the clear and obvious meaning to come through quite strongly are not being considered as vulgar. By the logic portrayed through the choices made in moderation, were I to have in my sig the phrase "You're all muther phukking wankorz!", or worse, the user name "UraPhukker" I would have no reasonable expectation to an objection from the moderation. Which I, and no doubt many others, would consider to be extremely stupid, because it in no way detracts from the clear and present intent to be vulgar.
March 7, 2006 1:17:48 AM

Just to make this clear. I am feeling no guilt about anything. Hmm well, may be letting that girl friend go 10 years ago when sysdoc was more important to me.

Quote:
Did you discuss the prospect of locking it with me or any other of the general populace first? No. So you made the decision to lock it in secret. Just because you gave your reasoning post-decision doesn't make that decision itself held in any less secrecy.

I didn't discuss it with anybody. You weren't around. I happily discuss with you, but the thread was being high jagged My very own thought process is my secret, yes. But the conclusion of it I stated clearly.

Quote:
If the public doesn't even know what is going on, then how can the public possibly give an opinion?

This is a far cry from public opinion is not allowed.
Apparently however, whatever is going on makes it into the public anyways.

Quote:
When those in power are being so argumentative, confrontational, and insulting, and worse yet, abusive of their power, then what possible belief could any sane person have that they can give an opinion, or the gods forbid debate the issue, without a grave fear of repercussion?

Please let me know at what points I was argumentative, confrontational, and insulting. I am usually brief and my mother language is German, so I might come across like the first 2 at times, granted. But insulting? I never threatened you with repercussions so why do you fear them?

Quote:
I have a problem with any one individual being a highest authority.

Actually, me to. In real life. However, again, this is not a democracy. This is a commercial forum after all, so there will be some one at the top at any given time doing the final decisions. And since they'll be always human the problems you see won’t go away.

You once said you don’t know the solution and I guess nobody has the perfect solution, but one thing is for certain: we have a number of moderators in place and the plan is to have even more moderators. They all have the same weight in the decisions.

There are circumstances that need immediate action. There's simply not the time to discuss them at length. If needed that can be done afterwards. We actually did that. That's good, right?

Quote:
why should I trust you with that power?

I don't ask you to trust me. You either chose to or not to.
I am human so I'll make errors. I'll make decisions you may disagree with. I am open to reasonable arguments. I'll change my opinion if convinced by arguments. I've been known to do that.

Quote:
You have proven yourself to be simply no better than the rest of us

I never claimed to be. I wouldn’t even dream of claiming that. Believe me; I am old enough to know my flaws and admit to them.

I am simply the guy who runs the forums since ever Tom and I decided we wanted forums.
March 7, 2006 4:22:42 PM

I don't know why I was removed. I can tell you that a few things happened though.

1. The other mods made big deals out of small things. For example, I unstickied the wingy warning thread since he doesn't post here anymore and that was percieved as tearing the walls of this institution down. Wingy's gone. The mods can't handle that.

2. I disagreed with the way the mods handled the sod-rob avatar threads. I think it was highly inappropriate for 4 mods to go in and attack/taunt sod without even giving a proper explaination for what rob's avatar actually meant. I find it completely wrong for those in power to gang up on others and start name calling etc. Sod should have been banned for his final attacks but I don't find a user questioning a person's avatar, when it had clear links to the Nazi's, wrong. You'll notice that rob removed his avatar after that debacle. Worse yet was how I was treated in the moderator section. I was attacked for not editing sod's posts or deleting them. I didn't feel that was justified. I think Sod had a valid right to question why a user had a former Nazi symbol on the helmet in his avatar. Now it turns out that it's used by the current german military but unless you speak german, good luck finding that with google.

3. I disagreed with the way the mods were treating other users. There were clear abuses of power with moderators telling users to "STFU" or calling them idiots and childish. Some of the moderators had problems with several users and they were completely unable to deal with them. People skills were lacking and there was no desire for the moderators to change. As far as they're concerned they could do whatever they wanted and say whatever they wanted. In PM's moderators were being abbrasisive and rude and no matter how many times I said that "it's not what you say, it's what people hear" it went in one ear and out the other.

4. When I signed up to be a moderator I wanted the other section to remain the same and I recall specifically objecting to a proposed moderator who was planning on editing any posts that he didn't like or critisized him. I felt that was wrong. Now we have the moderators doing just that. To make matters worse you have a moderator who literally feels threatened far too often and actually feels like people are "maliciously" attacking him. Completely ridiculous. So now we have him deleting posts and even locking threads the second he feels threatened which is generally not justified.

5. I stood up and complained when I started getting PM's or MSN messages from users complaining that their posts were being deleted or edited. What was happening was that a moderator was changing his status to invisible, going in and editing or deleting, and then coming back as visible. Being that I was always visible I was getting called on the moderation which I didn't do. Of course this was denied but what the moderator in question forgot was that he had already admitted to it.

6. Hypocracy. There was a clear mission on the part of the moderators to get rid of some people. They kept complaining about the other section and wanting users like Auburn and Wingy back. They're willing to get rid of other long term members to do so. I had a problem once I realized that there was basically a virtual list of people that weren't liked. I don't think you can moderate effectively if you don't like a bunch of people that are here all the time. It's one thing to not like a person or maybe even two but when you start getting over half a dozen you need to seriously wonder about that person. I have been here for 5 years and have seen the forum go through phases. New people come and old people go. I simply don't understand why the mods can't accept that. It's not their job to make this forum their playground with only their friends. It's not their job to define the level of maturity that they like and only accept those people.

7. There was a copyright enforcement war being waged by a moderator. He went so far as to try to enforce non-copyrighted material. I questioned it and thought it was ridiculous since nobody has ever been prosecuted on a forum for a copyright violation. An admin supported that. The moderator still does it.

I could go on. Either way it was not a good experience and when I offered to talk it out with Fredi over Skype I was removed from the team without an explaination. As a boss though I don't expect an explaination from Fredi since he's not accountable to anyone. I just thought it would have been nice to know since the main line of communication to him was the moderator who I was having 99% of the problems with.
March 7, 2006 5:23:14 PM

Quote:
2. I disagreed with the way the mods handled the sod-rob avatar threads. I think it was highly inappropriate for 4 mods to go in and attack/taunt sod without even giving a proper explaination for what rob's avatar actually meant. I find it completely wrong for those in power to gang up on others and start name calling etc. Sod should have been banned for his final attacks but I don't find a user questioning a person's avatar, when it had clear links to the Nazi's, wrong. You'll notice that rob removed his avatar after that debacle. Worse yet was how I was treated in the moderator section. I was attacked for not editing sod's posts or deleting them. I didn't feel that was justified. I think Sod had a valid right to question why a user had a former Nazi symbol on the helmet in his avatar. Now it turns out that it's used by the current german military but unless you speak german, good luck finding that with google.


Nice. If you'd go back to those threads where he libelled me, and that's what it was, then you'll find that several people pointed out, and linked the German Iron Cross. Here's an example of how difficult it is to find it. So hard....

1. Go to Google.

2. Search for, ooh, maybe.. German Iron Cross, highly cryptic that.

3. Third entry down, Wikipedia.

Only difficult if you have intention on finding out the truth. Which you don't.

As for the avatar, don;t paint it that I changed it immediately. I only changed it a couple of weeks ago, since when I've changed it again. I can choose when I change my avatar or not.
March 7, 2006 5:43:52 PM

You could have avoided all this by simply coming in and making your first post an explaination about how you used it on your paintball team and it was a modern symbol. You chose not to. I guess the sod thread has been deleted since I can't find it.
March 7, 2006 5:50:29 PM

Because as I told you, and others (multiple) can verify, I'd already explained it at great length to him. About both the paintball and the band. I'm not about to justify myself, yet again.

Oh, and the thread is still there. No one has deleted it. Why would we?
March 7, 2006 5:51:10 PM

Because as I told you, and others (multiple) can verify, I'd already explained it at great length to him. About both the paintball and the band. I'm not about to justify myself, yet again.

Oh, and the thread is still there. No one has deleted it. Why would we?
March 7, 2006 5:56:49 PM

Quote:
Because as I told you, and others (multiple) can verify, I'd already explained it at great length to him. About both the paintball and the band. I'm not about to justify myself, yet again.

Oh, and the thread is still there. No one has deleted it. Why would we?


I don't know and I don't care. I can't find it. Whatever. I doubt you would have deleted it anyways.

Point still stands though. You're a moderator and it seems to me that moderators shouldn't be attacking and taunting members while they're moderating them. And to have 4 mods climb up Sod's ass without an explaination....not cool.
March 7, 2006 6:01:07 PM

Found it. I searched for "aboot"

Quote:
Open your eyes prick. Do some research if you bear to remove your head from up your arse for more than a minute. I think the fresh air from packing in smoking has obviously addled your already miniscule brain. Arsehole.


Moderation or attack?
March 7, 2006 6:03:23 PM

Quote:
Because as I told you, and others (multiple) can verify, I'd already explained it at great length to him. About both the paintball and the band. I'm not about to justify myself, yet again.

Oh, and the thread is still there. No one has deleted it. Why would we?


I don't know and I don't care. I can't find it. Whatever. I doubt you would have deleted it anyways.

Point still stands though. You're a moderator and it seems to me that moderators shouldn't be attacking and taunting members while they're moderating them. And to have 4 mods climb up Sod's ass without an explaination....not cool.

He was given plenty chances to stop his poisonous rantings. Everyone tried to get him to stop. You know that. And when someone attacks not only my integrity, but that of generations of my family, then I think I have the right to reply. And this isn't the point at all, you're moving the goalposts again.
!