Moderation Issues (3)

Please use this thread for alerting admins to moderation issues and for discussion or complaints arising from particular decisions.

2,995 thoughts on “Moderation Issues (3)”

  1. keithskeiths

    phoodoo,

    He [KN] is not your pimp.

    Find your own playmates.

    That’s what he was trying to do until Mung rejected him. Mung, of all people. Ouch.

    P.S. The whipped cream/Trump doll bit was lame, but the pimp thing wasn’t bad. You’re improving. 🙂

  2. PatrickPatrick

    Tom English writes, in another thread:

    It is ridiculous to have the arguments proceed in two threads. Vincent Torley is having a hard time adapting to the loss of his niche at Uncommon Descent. You will help him along by making your comments in the thread initiated by Jonathan Bartlett.

    That’s an excellent point. We should consider a rule about not opening up a new thread to comment on one that is already open.

    Thoughts?

  3. Erik

    Patrick:
    Tom English writes, in another thread:

    That’s an excellent point.We should consider a rule about not opening up a new thread to comment on one that is already open.

    Thoughts?

    Quite suspicious coming from an admin who openly rebels against rules he’s supposed to be enforcing.

    The apparent idea of the suggestion is of course to handcuff Vincent who likes to take a former blog post and respond to it in a blog post of his own, but how about taking someone’s comments in a thread and making a new blog post about them? Many, including Patrick, have done this.

    So the rule would need fine-tuning or otherwise it would be a matter of interpretation. But, all the same, Patrick’s interpretation of the rules permits outright rejection of some current rules, which makes the entire exercise of making new rules and fine-tuning them pointless.

    Yes, Vincent’s habit of starting his own blog post to respond to another recently opened blog post is kinda wild, but the only netiquette sin it commits is wordiness. He is so wordy that his response would not fit into one comment. The suggestion would effectively prevent him from responding to matters of his own interest. This is what the suggestion effectively would end up doing.

    I have a different suggestion. Learn to skim past non-essentials and if you need to reply in multiple threads at the same time, keep multiple browser tabs open.

  4. Alan FoxAlan Fox Post author

    Patrick: We should consider a rule about not opening up a new thread to comment on one that is already open.

    Seems a reasonable guideline to suggest keeping discussion on a current topic to one thread. But as Erik points out, more than one OP on a subject has happened many times before. Vincent’s reasons for writing an OP rather than a comment are fair enough, in my view. I don’t think we need a rule (yet anyway).

  5. PatrickPatrick

    fifthmonarchyman writes (elsewhere):

    Alan Fox: Don’t tell others what their views really are in the face of their express statements to the contrary.

    Again I’m not commenting on what other’s views are. I’m speaking about what everyone knows.

    You directly contradicted John Harshman’s statement of his own views.

    Anyone who can have a coherent discussion knows that the law-on contradiction is valid. This is true no mater what their views are.

    If someone was to claim that they did not know that the law of non-contridiction was valid while engaging in a coherent discussion. I would hope that this forum would allow me to point out the truth that they do actually know that the law of non-contridiction was valid.

    In fact to not share a truth like that would not be fair or edifying for my discussion partner.

    What you have written has nothing to do with your rudeness to John and the fact that such rudeness is against the rules.

    IMO If a forum prohibits the expression of obvious relevant truths like that is not conducive to the free exchange of ideas.

    You presented no “obvious relevant truths”, you basically just accused John of dishonesty.

    Alan Fox: And this is straying into moderation territory.

    You are the moderator you will do what you feel is right.

    Alan Fox: If you want to argue whether the rules are wrong or unfair, raise it in the moderation issues thread.

    I would not presume to intrude on your domain.

    The Moderation Issues thread is for everyone to discuss moderation issues, to keep the interruption of other threads to a minimum.

    Thank you once again for the privilege of posting here for the time being.
    If and when you feel you must ban or censor me I will happily resign myself to that fate and chalk it up to cost of following my convictions.

    The only allowed response to comments like those you made to John is to move them to Guano. Alan is, quite kindly and nicely in my opinion, explaining the rules to you and asking you to abide by them. Please do so.

  6. Erik

    When I close the browser/computer with TSZ and then reopen, no matter if in the same or a different browser/computer, I cannot edit my comments. I can only edit them by keeping the same browser session open. (To be clear, I have set my browsers to purge cookies when I close them.)

    This problem does not occur on any other website/forum for me, just here, but the inconvenience is so small that I have never mentioned it. Maybe this is what happened to Gregory too.

  7. dazzdazz

    Erik:
    When I close the browser/computer with TSZ and then reopen, no matter if in the same or a different browser/computer, I cannot edit my comments. I can only edit them by keeping the same browser session open. (To be clear, I have set my browsers to purge cookies when I close them.)

    This problem does not occur on any other website/forum for me, just here, but the inconvenience is so small that I have never mentioned it. Maybe this is what happened to Gregory too.

    Yep, noticed that too. Not sure if a bug or a feature, but it’s soooo dehumanizing…

  8. keithskeiths

    Typically poor judgment on Neil’s part. Moving those comments did nothing to make TSZ a better place.

  9. Alan FoxAlan Fox Post author

    Neil Rickert: He quoted most of a guano-worthy post.He can repost without those quotes.

    Indeed, it’s unfortunate if someone quotes a rule-breaking comment before an admin moves it. Logic demands the quote moves too. And the option is available for any member to repost minus rule-breaking content.

  10. MungMung

    Patrick’s a self-blinded hypocrite. But are Neil and Alan fighting a losing battle anyways?

  11. PatrickPatrick

    Mung:
    Patrick’s a self-blinded hypocrite. But are Neil and Alan fighting a losing battle anyways?

    If you have any evidence for your claims I would like to see it.

  12. waltowalto

    …so I could shit on it in my robotic fashion. After all, as a non-authoritarian I am uniquely capable of assessing claims regarding my own shortcomings.

  13. Alan FoxAlan Fox Post author

    Following up on Popohummel’s query

    Why did it take two weeks for J-Mac’s post to be approved?

    Apart from admins, there are three other categories of registered members: authors, new authors and contributors. We don’t use “editor” or “subscriber”.

    Authors can publish posts and edit them. They are also technically able to delete and edit comments in those threads. They are trusted not to use the edit/delete facility except to post edit their opening posts. This category is available to regular members on request.

    New authors can publish posts but do not have the post-edit option. This category is available to contributors on request.

    Contributors can compose posts but need an admin to publish for them. This is the default status for new members.

    There are currently four five admins. They are the blog owner, Dr Elizabeth Liddle (currently absent), Alan Fox (in caretaker mode until Dr Liddle returns), Neil Rickert and Patrick. And also johnnyb who has yet to take an active part as an admin.

    Any contributor who has composed a post should alert an admin that they’d like it published. The surest way to do that is by using the message system as the messagee sees an alert when they log in.

    I’d also point out that the admins reserve the right to editorial control. Lizzie set out her reasoning here.

    ETA johnnyb (thanks Patrick)

  14. PatrickPatrick

    Alan Fox:

    There are currently four admins. They are the blog owner, Dr Elizabeth Liddle (currently absent), Alan Fox (in caretaker mode until Dr Liddle returns), Neil Rickert and Patrick.

    You left out johnnyb!

  15. PatrickPatrick

    Alan Fox wrote (elsewhere) about the quality of original posts:

    Yes, there should be some bar to clear, low enough to avoid the charge of censorship but high enough to avoid the charge of idiocy.

    I’m not sure that’s definable and it’s certainly likely to result in more meta-discussion about censorship.

    It’s the first step on the road to a much more heavily curated site. It would certainly be possible to change TSZ’s rules to require well reasoned and evidentially well supported original posts. We’d either have to accept the increased volume in Moderation Issues or add a rule that admins’ decisions are final. The next obvious step would be curation of comments. Repeating refuted or unsupported claims would be disallowed.

    A site like that might have interesting discussions but the overhead would be high even if you could find enough admins who shared a consistent perspective on how to curate.

    Free speech is easier.

  16. Alan FoxAlan Fox Post author

    Patrick:

    Yes, I’ll modify that to:

    Perhaps there should be some bar to clear, low enough to avoid the charge of censorship but high enough to avoid the charge of idiocy.

    But I’m only echoing Lizzie here:

    …not all OPs should be automatically published…

    There are two reasons for this: one is that I am ultimately responsible for what appears on this site, and there are some things I am simply not prepared to host, just as a publisher (and I can see Kos’s point here) is not obliged to publish anything, and by being selective is not denying free speech. I am a free speech advocate, but I remain of the view that there is a fairly clear line between regimes that ban publication and publications that select what they will publish.

  17. waltowalto

    Alan Fox: There are two reasons for this: one is that I am ultimately responsible for what appears on this site, and there are some things I am simply not prepared to host, just as a publisher (and I can see Kos’s point here) is not obliged to publish anything, and by being selective is not denying free speech. I am a free speech advocate, but I remain of the view that there is a fairly clear line between regimes that ban publication and publications that select what they will publish.

    Right on, Lizzie. (Suck it, Patrick.)

  18. keithskeiths

    Alan,

    This comment does not violate any rules and should not have been guanoed:

    The guanoed comment, which is entirely accurate, can be found here.

    As I pointed out in the original thread:

    I wasn’t raising a moderation issue. I was pointing out that the guanoed comment was entirely accurate, as incentive for people to click on the link.

    I realize that you’re feeling grumpy about the silly and embarrassing mistake you made in the “Enjoy your eternity in hell” thread, but that’s no excuse for hair-trigger moderation.

    At least try to restrain yourself. TSZ deserves better.

  19. PatrickPatrick

    A couple of weeks ago I informed Lizzie that I would take my leave of The Skeptical Zone at the end of the month. I’ve spent the last few days at a meditation retreat and realized that there is no reason to wait. I wish Lizzie well with her experiment here, although as I noted in “TSZ Is Broken” I think that some changes need to be made to align the rules with her goals.

    I’m leaving not because of that slight difference of opinion but because participating here no longer serves me. Initially it was a good way to keep track of what the intelligent design creationists were doing to be prepared for when their ignorant nonsense popped up in school boards or state legislatures. However, there hasn’t been anything new for years. IDC is moribund. Unfortunately it won’t die as long as fundamentalists have political power.

    I’ll particularly miss the contributions by working scientists like Joe Felsenstein, John Harshman, Tom English, and Rumraket (who’s comments here should be collected for the IDC equivalent of the Talk Origins FAQ). I’ll be following the blogs of those who have them. What I won’t miss is the feces flinging from those who can’t and won’t understand what’s being said, who value their religious beliefs more than their intellectual integrity, and who are unlikely in the extreme to ever change their minds. I no longer see any value in engaging with them.

    We’re in a profoundly weird political environment here in the U.S. Amid the disarray there is opportunity for change, particularly at the local and state level. That’s where I’ll be focusing my intellectual and emotional energy now (along with improving my ISPA ranking). The odds of affecting real political change might be low, but they’re better than the essentially zero percent chance of any change in the views of the intelligent design proponents and other creationists here.

    If anyone wants to get in touch for any reason, the message system here will send an alert to my email. Other than that I have just two pieces of housekeeping:

    1) Joe Gallien — If you want your block lifted you’ll have to deal with Neal Rickert from now on.

    2) Mung — I’ll be in Seattle the second week of July. You know how to find me.

    Thanks again, Lizzie, it’s been fun.

  20. Alan FoxAlan Fox Post author

    keiths: This comment does not violate any rules and should not have been guanoed:

    The guanoed comment, which is entirely accurate, can be found here.

    I interpret the phrase, which is entirely accurate, as a criticism of the decision to guano your previous comment. If you want to claim that the comment, calling a fellow member “a bottom feeder” is within the rules because it is accurate you should do it in this thread. Mind you, I don’t think that can be an accurate description of any member here, so you need to have a good case.

    As Patrick has already pointed out, the Moderation Issues thread is for everyone to discuss moderation issues, to keep the interruption of other threads to a minimum.

    PS And why do you think our members need two links to the same guano’d comment?

  21. Alan FoxAlan Fox Post author

    Patrick: We’re in a profoundly weird political environment here in the U.S. Amid the disarray there is opportunity for change, particularly at the local and state level. That’s where I’ll be focusing my intellectual and emotional energy now.

    Best of luck. And, as I said privately, it doesn’t have to be irrevocable. Habits can be hard to break!

  22. keithskeiths

    Alan,

    I interpret the phrase, which is entirely accurate, as a criticism of the decision to guano your previous comment.

    Of course you do. You want it to be a criticism so you’ll have an excuse for guanoing it. That’s pitiful.

    I added that phrase as an incentive for people to follow the link and read the earlier comment, despite the fact that it was guanoed. It was not a moderation complaint, though this comment certainly is. You were motivated to jump to an inaccurate conclusion, and so you did. You screwed up again, Alan.

    Lizzie has made it clear that she wants moderators to err on the side of lighter moderation. Once again, you’ve done the opposite. Instead of doing your job, you’re undermining her vision, trying to turn this blog into The Alan Zone (TAZ) or Alan’s Safe Space (with its corresponding and very appropriate acronym).

    I’ve noticed that this behavior of yours ramps up when you’re stinging from a self-inflicted humiliation, like the one you suffered recently in the “eternity in hell” thread. Why? Your mistakes are not my responsibility, and they don’t entitle you to abuse your moderator privileges.

    This is not your blog, Alan. Stop acting as if it were.

  23. phoodoo

    Patrick: What I won’t miss is the feces flinging

    I am sure there will be plenty of more opportunities for you to fling feces at your political rallies. I doubt you will be able to give it up cold turkey, seeing as how much you have always loved it.

  24. keithskeiths

    phoodoo, to Patrick:

    I am sure there will be plenty of more opportunities for you to fling feces at your political rallies.

    Says phoodoo, who knows a thing or two about phlinging pheces.

  25. Alan FoxAlan Fox Post author

    keiths,

    Rather than respond to your infantile rewrite of history, let me make a positive suggestion.

    Try to avoid including rule-breaking content in your comments and that will have the added benefit of saving you the trouble of complaining about them being moved (and also save me the inconvenience of moving them).

    It’s a win – win!

  26. keithskeiths

    Alan,

    Rather than respond to your infantile rewrite of history…

    You have no hope of responding, because what I say about you is true, as we both know. How could you possibly defeat the truth? The evidence is preserved, and it consistently refutes you.

    You fucked up yet again, by guanoing a comment that violated no rules. It demonstrates the same lack of self-control that has characterized your entire tenure as moderator.

  27. MungMung

    Alan Fox: Try to avoid including rule-breaking content in your comments…

    I still think a temporary, perhaps even permanent, ban is in order. He shows no interest in abiding by the rules. They are obviously for other people.

  28. keithskeiths

    If that were the criterion, you would have been banned long ago.

    Give it up, Mung.

  29. stcordova

    Well, now that Patrick is no longer moderator, I feel a little more welcome to dialogue here.

    I’m not interested too many shouting matches and talking about vague generalization about ID and creationism. My discussion about nylonase and Larry Moran’s treatment of the 2nd law in his textbook is a little more productive as it deals with specific issues of what is being taught in universities. These topics are relevant to ID, but are topics that don’t have to involve ID, they are good topics in and of themselves.

    I’m also very interested in discussing the views of Jordan Peterson. He’s made philosophy and psychology actually interesting to me again. I don’t know much about Nietzsche, Kant, Piaget, Jung, Solzhenitsyn whom Peterson quotes often. I would be nice opportunity to learn about them through discussion.

    I only learned about Peterson this year, and his views resonate very much with me.

  30. Robert Byers

    I sent a new thread through the system i hope people find interesting. So powers that be please publish after review.

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