A little guidance... (1 Viewer)

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Andrus

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The Moderators will be able to issue infractions on the common boards where warranted. Admins will then review. We do have checks and balances here concerning moderation.

Where the Affiliated boards are concerned, those boards are moderated by their peers. We don't expect too much in the way of problems within those boards, so moderators will be given much more latitude on their respective boards. However, on the common boards, in the interest of maintaining a sense of fair moderation to our membership, unless it is due to something particularly egregious that has to be addressed immediately, the Admins will discuss and decide common board bans.

There has been very little moderating on this MCB board other than a few deletions, etc. thus far. We are still in the testing phase. That will ramp up significantly leading up to the official launch. Prior to launching some of the threads and posts will be removed from this board. Perhaps some members too, depending on how they behave between now and said official launch.

Regarding that, as well as in response to some of the comments that I have seen...

Myself, and our select Admins will manage this site using our own common sense and better judgement. Consistency is important. Being fair and impartial is important. Backroom politics cannot interfere with fair moderation. We have a plan and we cannot stray from it.

Personally, I've lost friends and staffers due to their not being able to sway me from what in the end I considered to be right. That is how SR was built. That doesn't mean that I don't seek the advice of the people that I respect. I often do. I don't know everything and am not always right, so when I am uncertain about an issue I seek advice and also listen. I am sometimes slow to to react because I like to read what others have to say on an issue, then analyze and reach either the conclusion or solution that I think is best.

A jerk is a jerk! Nuance doesn't factor into that. Don't be one and you should be fine. Use your heads when posting on this board. We really have to wrap our heads around the fact that the rude, insulting, antagonistic, or badgering behavior that anyone may have gotten away with over on the PDB will be tolerated here on this MCB board. You can display your hyper-partisanship to your peers on the affiliated boards to your hearts desire, but here on the Main Community Board as well as the Debate Arena (once that cranks up) we will require civil discussion.

Everyone has a clean slate here, but that doesn't mean that there will be a lot of patience shown to either past or present problem members from any side of the political spectrum. Be aware that unlike the PDB where I was hands off, here I will be hands on. There are a couple of members that got away with a great deal of significantly less than desirable behavior on the PDB that I thought should have landed them on the banned list a long time ago, yet are still there. They won't last long here unless the can observe the rules.

My politics? Doesn't matter! It isn't far from center, and I am determined to put any political bias I may have aside in the interest of remaining fair and impartial, which I see as paramount to the success of this site. In-fact, the four admins that we will have here are all moderates. Two lean slightly left, two that lean slightly right. Two of the admins here never moderated and rarely ever participated on the PDB. I am one of the four admins and I find the other three to be quite intuitive, intelligent, and reasonable.

The bottom line here is that we cannot make this work without the help of our core PDB members, and I certainly do not take any of you for granted. At the same time while most of you are not of concern behaviorally speaking, there is a small element of that core that have not shown that they can play nice on a consistent basis. I am simply attempting to get a message across to them regarding future behavior.

We are fully aware that this is going to be a challenge... but we are up to it.
 
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Andrus

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Good members...

First, I want to thank you all for helping get things started here. I am truly grateful that so many have already registered and joined into the discussions, as well as in identifying and reporting glitches and other issues. There are some issues that have to do with custom addons that I cannot fix, so I am awaiting the coder to respond to my email and address them. Once addressed we will then be able to officially launch. The coder is a busy man, and sometimes it takes him a while to get to my issues.

I've been busy fixing and tweaking what I can around the site otherwise, and haven't done much reading at all, but I've read through a few threads today, and while in the beginning they were tame for the most part, I did read a few where the discourse became far less than optimal with both sides at fault, so I wanted to be sure that everyone understands what we are trying to accomplish here on this particular Main Community board (MCB).

I realize the rules that I copied over from SR will need some tweaking to accommodate the mission here. What the Main Community board is about is narrowing the discourse to those that can remain civil, meaning those that have a habit of tossing in condescending jabs, trolling and attacking one another will be removed from having the permission to post on this particular board. That is a part of the reason that we have the Conservative/Moderate/Liberal boards, which among other reasons is to give members that are booted from the Main Community Board (MCB) a place to retreat to.

The hope is that we can get a core group of members posting on this board that can keep their heads, resulting in having at least one politically diverse board on the internet where constructive and meaningful discussion is not only required, but is the norm. I mean, wouldn't that be great? It may be a pipe dream, however, until we start listening to one-another with an open mind and stop attacking one-another the current political climate, as bad as it is, will simply continue to devolve. Meaningful discourse between partisans has to start somewhere. At the heart of that is understanding how we got to where we are now politically. Discuss that! Then perhaps we can find some common ground and expand upon it.

I realize that It's nearly impossible to have partisans from across the political spectrum have civil discussion, much less maintain it, but we are sure going to do our best to make that happen on this board. If you cannot resist the urge to break the rules of this board, then take it to the Mud Pit where the rules are relaxed, or if your opponent doesn't want to jopin you there, to direct messaging (conversations). A lot of you may be surprised at how little will be tolerated on the MCB once we go live officially and there will be heavy moderation. Please accept it as guidance. It's pretty simple... The Main Community board - Keep it Civil! The Mud Pit - not so much! Also, when coming here from the Mud Pit, check your Mud Pit personas at the door. There will be no carry over regarding discourse from that board to this one. Thinking out loud, perhaps we need a common board that lands between the two. Something to ponder.

We all have to avoid getting personal on the MCB. Using the latest party specific acronyms intended to dismiss or insult, mocking one another, being condescendingly dismissive of the opposition, and any inferences of stupidity is not conducive to constructive discussion or debate. Leave anything personal out of the exchanges. All of the rude/discourteous jabs inevitably lead to discussions devolving into insult laden exchanges. Stick to the topics. Report posts that are over the line. No trolling! No game play aimed at owning the opposition! Don't come in hot expecting or looking for a fight on this particular board.

This will be a new standalone site and not just an extension or spin-off from SR. I see that already members are referencing posting patterns/posting histories of one another from SR. Not good! Let's leave such out of the conversations. Actually, in hindsight, I should have asked you all to choose new usernames. Some of you did, and that was a good idea. You can do so even now by going to your account details in your profiles, which will go into a moderation queue that I will then have to approve.

I want to add, and this will be added to the rules if they aren't there already, Political memes meant to mock or insult are not allowed on this particular board. They are, however, allowed on the Mud Pit board! The same goes for political emojis.

I realize completely that not everyone is going to like this particular boards policies and mission. That's ok! However, I very much welcome and appreciate those of you that will give this a shot.

So let's have fun, but moving forward, please don't make me have work too hard cleaning up threads here prior to the official launch. I've fgot to get back to work, however I will start cleaning threads up tomorrow evening.

-Andrus
 

LA - L.A.

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Good members...

First, I want to thank you all for helping get things started here. I am truly grateful that so many have already registered and joined into the discussions, as well as in identifying and reporting glitches and other issues. There are some issues that have to do with custom addons that I cannot fix, so I am awaiting the coder to respond to my email and address them. Once addressed we will then be able to officially launch. The coder is a busy man, and sometimes it takes him a while to get to my issues.

I've been busy fixing and tweaking what I can around the site otherwise, and haven't done much reading at all, but I've read through a few threads today, and while in the beginning they were tame for the most part, I did read a few where the discourse became far less than optimal with both sides at fault, so I wanted to be sure that everyone understands what we are trying to accomplish here on this particular Main Community board (MCB).

I realize the rules that I copied over from SR will need some tweaking to accommodate the mission here. What the Main Community board is about is narrowing the discourse to those that can remain civil, meaning those that have a habit of tossing in condescending jabs, trolling and attacking one another will be removed from having the permission to post on this particular board. That is a part of the reason that we have the Conservative/Moderate/Liberal boards, which among other reasons is to give members that are booted from the Main Community Board (MCB) a place to retreat to.

The hope is that we can get a core group of members posting on this board that can keep their heads, resulting in having at least one politically diverse board on the internet where constructive and meaningful discussion is not only required, but is the norm. I mean, wouldn't that be great? It may be a pipe dream, however, until we start listening to one-another with an open mind and stop attacking one-another the current political climate, as bad as it is, will simply continue to devolve. Meaningful discourse between partisans has to start somewhere. At the heart of that is understanding how we got to where we are now politically. Discuss that! Then perhaps we can find some common ground and expand upon it.

I realize that It's nearly impossible to have partisans from across the political spectrum have civil discussion, much less maintain it, but we are sure going to do our best to make that happen on this board. If you cannot resist the urge to break the rules of this board, then take it to the Mud Pit where the rules are relaxed, or if your opponent doesn't want to jopin you there, to direct messaging (conversations). A lot of you may be surprised at how little will be tolerated on the MCB once we go live officially and there will be heavy moderation. Please accept it as guidance. It's pretty simple... The Main Community board - Keep it Civil! The Mud Pit - not so much! Also, when coming here from the Mud Pit, check your Mud Pit personas at the door. There will be no carry over regarding discourse from that board to this one. Thinking out loud, perhaps we need a common board that lands between the two. Something to ponder.

We all have to avoid getting personal on the MCB. Using the latest party specific acronyms intended to dismiss or insult, mocking one another, being condescendingly dismissive of the opposition, and any inferences of stupidity is not conducive to constructive discussion or debate. Leave anything personal out of the exchanges. All of the rude/discourteous jabs inevitably lead to discussions devolving into insult laden exchanges. Stick to the topics. Report posts that are over the line. Don't come in hot expecting or looking for a fight on this particular board.

This will be a new standalone site and not just an extension or spin-off from SR. I see that already members are referencing posting patterns/posting histories of one another from SR. Not good! Let's leave such out of the conversations. Actually, in hindsight, I should have asked you all to choose new usernames. Some of you did, and that was a good idea. You can do so even now by going to your account details in your profiles, which will go into a moderation queue that I will then have to approve.

I want to add, and this will be added to the rules if they aren't there already, Political memes meant to mock or insult are not allowed on this particular board. They are, however, allowed on the Mud Pit board! The same goes for political emojis.

I realize completely that not everyone is going to like this particular boards policies and mission. That's ok! However, I very much welcome and appreciate those of you that will give this a shot.

So let's have fun, but moving forward, please don't make me have work too hard cleaning up threads here prior to the official launch. I've fgot to get back to work, however I will start cleaning threads up tomorrow evening.

-Andrus
I look forward to this direction for the MCB.
 

Beach Friends

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Thanks Andrus.

Personally, I think a rough moment may have been predictable.

I, for one, think that the liberal and conservative boards may serve a very useful purpose in that posters can flesh out their thoughts "in peace" and not feel like they have to get their battle gear on every time they sign on. In turn, that may bleed over on to the MCB.

Really appreciate the effort you have made to make this a vanguard of civil discussion.
 

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In a strange way, it may even be desirable so we can clarify what we want to be here and what is expected.
A good coach, or executive loves a small 'crisis' to spring board off of.

Also, compare and contrast is one of the most effective ways of communicating your goals and intentions.
 

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I would add, as the board and mods/admins figure out a "groove" of operation, we shouldn't be surprised to see threads moved around, posts deleted or edited.

Purely my opinion here, from a place of experience....

The old PDB had an aversion to direct moderation (warnings, points, site removal), since it was an aside to the main focus; football. Hate to lose access to a whole site because politics makes someone crazy. It wont be the case here, but a lot of that more hands on approach will likely remain. Especially as the site finds its self.
 

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Agreed. Since the MCB is intended to be heavily moderated, my expectation is that anything that crushes civil discussion should be nipped in the bud. People have to understand that the bar for conduct is set much higher there. When people visit this site from the outside, we want them to see a place where people of differing viewpoints can discuss an issue without it getting personal. If we allow anyone, even those we know and like, any leeway in calling people names and using backhanded insults, we will not achieve what we want. So this initial trial run is very instructive to us as well.
 

GMRfellowtraveller

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Andrus, obviously your (great) site, your rules - -and i plan to abide by the rules and/or take my medicine if i slip up

but it does bring up a rhetorical question - why is civility prized more than good faith discussion?
i know the answer (i think, which is why 'rhetorical') bc it's much easier to police/prove incivility than bad or deceitful argument
BUT
i would add that it seems most incivility stems from frustration over bad arguments - posters continually asking another poster to prove an assertion or to agree on clear facts or to just answer questions instead of repeating the same strawman conjecture

i'm not asking to stop seeking civility (or punishing incivility) but to hold bad faith 'arguments' to the same standard

also, since y'all are talking about this being more moderated, will infractions be handed out by a panel or will single moderators retain the power to punish as they see fit (that probably sounds more awkward than i mean it to be)
 

wardorican

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Andrus, obviously your (great) site, your rules - -and i plan to abide by the rules and/or take my medicine if i slip up

but it does bring up a rhetorical question - why is civility prized more than good faith discussion?
i know the answer (i think, which is why 'rhetorical') bc it's much easier to police/prove incivility than bad or deceitful argument
BUT
i would add that it seems most incivility stems from frustration over bad arguments - posters continually asking another poster to prove an assertion or to agree on clear facts or to just answer questions instead of repeating the same strawman conjecture

i'm not asking to stop seeking civility (or punishing incivility) but to hold bad faith 'arguments' to the same standard

also, since y'all are talking about this being more moderated, will infractions be handed out by a panel or will single moderators retain the power to punish as they see fit (that probably sounds more awkward than i mean it to be)
Some forms of "bad faith" are built on assumptions. They're just not as clear.

But various forms are easy to see, and they do get dealt with. Trolling is one example. Stirring the pot is another. The problem is that different people see the same situation differently. The mods/admins do their best to use their judgement on what falls outside of the expectations / rules of the joint.
 

MT15

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I certainly can’t speak for Andrus, but “bad faith” is pretty squishy and in the eye of the beholder, no?. I was accused of it myself just recently. I know I can have opinions but I cannot truly see into someone else’s heart and mind to judge their intentions. It’s hard to moderate a board like this. Judging people’s intentions makes it almost impossible.

Now, beating a dead horse, or repeating false information can be detected and moderated.
 

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Andrus, obviously your (great) site, your rules - -and i plan to abide by the rules and/or take my medicine if i slip up

but it does bring up a rhetorical question - why is civility prized more than good faith discussion?
i know the answer (i think, which is why 'rhetorical') bc it's much easier to police/prove incivility than bad or deceitful argument
BUT
i would add that it seems most incivility stems from frustration over bad arguments - posters continually asking another poster to prove an assertion or to agree on clear facts or to just answer questions instead of repeating the same strawman conjecture

i'm not asking to stop seeking civility (or punishing incivility) but to hold bad faith 'arguments' to the same standard

also, since y'all are talking about this being more moderated, will infractions be handed out by a panel or will single moderators retain the power to punish as they see fit (that probably sounds more awkward than i mean it to be)
All good questions and you hit the nail on the head on some of it. A lack of civility stifles discussion and encourages people to react defensively. Insults, accusations, etc. puts the participants at odds and doesn't allow for the "good faith" arguing you speak of. Also, whether someone is discussing a topic in good faith is opinion. You have to give someone the benefit of the doubt that they are making an attempt to discuss the topic in "good faith." They may not be doing a good job of articulating their points, may fall back on clichés or have difficulty expressing what they mean. So IMO, charging someone with not arguing in good faith shuts down discussion with that person as much as other forms of dismissive statements. That said, a moderator can approach someone about arguing in bad faith by pointing out drive by posts, failure to support statements, etc. and members can make moderators aware of those instances by hitting the Report This Post button.

We don't have paid full time staff at this time to handle 24 hour moderation. Infractions will be discussed after the fact and if Andrus or the admins feel like the infraction was given improperly or too hastily, then we will make an adjustment. Ultimately, it's better to help people have better discussions than it is to pass out infractions.
 

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If posters immerse themselves in websites that use derogatory terms about a politician, candidate or segment of the electorate, those words will inevitably creep into the discussions here, out of sheer habit if nothing else.

Wink-and-nod nicknames, labels and slang can become so deeply ingrained that it may not initially register that the wording is offensive to those who do not share the same political leanings.

For example, I was very dismayed one day to hear guests on Anderson Cooper's show openly discussing "flyover country" without batting an eye.
I was disappointed that Cooper, who did such service to inform the public about the Gulf Coast's plight after Katrina, never corrected them. Not once.

Gee, Anderson, why don't you just stamp "Deplorable" on my forehead and call me a dumb redneck hick from the sticks?
I understand, he's a Vanderbilt, as much East Coast elitist, wealthy, liberal intellectual as a person can be.
Still, I used to enjoy his work. Now, I don't watch his shows anymore.
 

Hatakikomi

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In a strange way, it may even be desirable so we can clarify what we want to be here and what is expected.
Yeah - start strong, then moderate the moderation. It's a lot harder to go the other way.

It's like riding a horse, if you don't show him who's in charge in the first few minutes - he is, and good luck changing that.
 

GMRfellowtraveller

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I certainly can’t speak for Andrus, but “bad faith” is pretty squishy and in the eye of the beholder, no?. I was accused of it myself just recently. I know I can have opinions but I cannot truly see into someone else’s heart and mind to judge their intentions. It’s hard to moderate a board like this. Judging people’s intentions makes it almost impossible.

Now, beating a dead horse, or repeating false information can be detected and moderated.
while squishy, it's also something that can be demonstrated or not
i think it would be difficult for someone to take your posting history and demonstrate bad faith arguments - you almost always back up your assertions with logically consistent arguments
 

Lazybones

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while squishy, it's also something that can be demonstrated or not
i think it would be difficult for someone to take your posting history and demonstrate bad faith arguments - you almost always back up your assertions with logically consistent arguments
Not trying to play semantics, however, one can very well back up a bad faith argument.
 

Ayo

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Wink-and-nod nicknames, labels and slang can become so deeply ingrained that it may not initially register that the wording is offensive to those who do not share the same political leanings.

Gee, Anderson, why don't you just stamp "Deplorable" on my forehead and call me a dumb redneck hick from the sticks?
I understand, he's a Vanderbilt, as much East Coast elitist, wealthy, liberal intellectual as a person can be.
Still, I used to enjoy his work. Now, I don't watch his shows anymore.
what about the wink-and-nod nicknames, labels, and slang like "a Vanderbilt" and "East Coast elitist" and "wealthy" and "liberal intellectual" which is all followed up by your admission that "despite" all of these things, you "used to enjoy his work"

I definitely agree that "If posters immerse themselves in websites that use derogatory terms about a politician, candidate or segment of the electorate, those words will inevitably creep into the discussions here, out of sheer habit if nothing else" but there's also an element of this operating in a way that maybe we aren't even aware when it happens.
 

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