Moderation Issues (3)

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

4,124 thoughts on “Moderation Issues (3)

  1. Kantian Naturalist: On what grounds? He hasn’t broken any rules of TSZ. He hasn’t attacked any TSZ personally, he hasn’t outed anyone, and he hasn’t posted any porn. How can you justify putting him in moderation if he hasn’t broken any rules of TSZ?

    Just to be clear, my concern is whether hosting that comment by Byers exposes TSZ to legal action. Holding his comments for approval at least demonstrates that concern.

  2. Alan Fox: Yes. I hadn’t noticed the comment myself.

    Even so, you’d probably have to see what started it all off, which was, iirc, in the Sandbox thread.

  3. Alan Fox: Just to be clear, my concern is whether hosting that comment by Byers exposes TSZ to legal action. Holding his comments for approval at least demonstrates that concern.

    I wonder if he might get in trouble as a Canadian citizen.

    Unless they just give him a pass as being “special.”

    Glen Davidson

  4. Regarding the general issue as to whether and how TSZ continues as a site, perhaps a dedicated thread might be best.

    Agreed. Do you want to start it or me or someone else?

  5. Mung,
    Context is everything. I was astonished by phoodoo’s comment in isolation. Read in context, as sarcasm, it puts it in a very different light. I’ll reinstate the comment. Apologies to phoodoo.

  6. GlenDavidson: I wonder if he might get in trouble as a Canadian citizen.

    Why not report him for child abuse? Where’s Patrick when we need him? Can we make Glen an admin? The “I’m a complete asshole” spot is still open, right?

  7. Oh, you blocked Byers because he’s racist? Definitely looks like a new rule. Or same old admin whim.

    Of course you don’t need my personal opinion, but here it is anyway: It’s okay to instantly block for indefinite time any member due to concerns that their behavior might be crossing some legal boundary. Byers didn’t quite get that far. Or is he indeed inviting to destroy (current) inferior races to ensure his own superiority?

  8. Erik:
    Oh, you blocked Byers because he’s racist? Definitely looks like a new rule. Or same old admin whim.

    New situation. Do you think TSZ should host racist comments? Do you think we shouldn’t hold further comments in moderation in case they infringe the law?

  9. Alan Fox,

    AFAIK, proclaiming one’s own superiority and others people’s inferiority is within most Western law. Calling to annihilate the (currently living) inferior races crosses the line.

  10. stcordova: I just created the following website

    I’m not sure I want to be part of that, considering your track record of editing other people’s posts at UD

  11. Neil Rickert: I took phoodoo’s post to be extreme sarcasm.

    I have no problem apologizing to phoodoo if I misinterpreted him. Am I missing some context here or what?

  12. I’m not sure I want to be part of that, considering your track record of editing other people’s posts at UD

    I didn’t have quano or banning at my disposal, and Mung was warned ahead of time, and that was my counter measure against Mung. Gregory was the other. I think deleted posts by Douglas and DaveScott. So, it wasn’t Darwinists I took actions against.

    Ok, so I’ll cross post.

  13. Alan,

    Independent of LIzzie, I will post regarding TSZ-2 because TSZ-2 has some relation to this site.

    I hope we can work some sort of gentleman’s understanding about how best to conduct the two sites.

    I’m doing this in hopes it can serve our mutual interest. It will make sense when I write about it.

  14. John Harshman: First, if that’s the problem, Byers is the wrong person to be annoyed with. He isn’t trolling, and he doesn’t post that often. The problem would consist of those who post hundreds of pointless one-liners that clog up the feed. I presume you know who that is. The “ignore” function mitigates but does not eliminate the problem. Not sure I see a solution.

    I agree.
    I have modified my assessment of Byers, such that it now reads “Mostly harmless.”
    But it appears that his racist comment has generated a stronger and more immediate reaction than other, higher volume, more disruptive, commenters.
    My reason for defending his right to make utterly despicable comments is the ‘slippery slope’ argument. Sal demonstrated my point with a comment about gender that would, on a number of message boards, cause utter fury. Should Sal’s musings on gender be banned? NO THEY SHOULD NOT. But the problem becomes drawing a bright line between content that is allowed vs. not-allowed.
    My personal views on ‘protected speech’ used to match those of the US Supreme Court (in its pre Citizens United incarnation, of course). This I am re-assessing in light of the events in Charlotesville on Friday and Saturday. I now recognize that there exists speech that is neither a direct incitement to violence, nor merely reckless as to immediate public safety (the classic “Fire” in a crowded theatre), but which nevertheless should still be curtailed. No idea how to draw the line, I’m afraid.
    There’s also the legal issue which Alan Fox alluded to. Despite what Erik might think, “proclaiming one’s own superiority and others people’s inferiority”, could easily run afoul of the law in various jurisdictions, not just Germany. AIUI, if your Holocaust Denial can be viewed on a browser in Germany, then you could go to jail, and (recently) the platform on which you published could be heavily fined.
    So there’s that.

  15. Alan Fox,

    Yes, I read that earlier today. While Trump may be too narcissistic to function, he’s let some very unpleasant foxes into the hen-house. See also the “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity”.
    Chilling.

  16. dazz: I have no problem apologizing to phoodoo if I misinterpreted him. Am I missing some context here or what?

    Having now looked at the context myself, it seems quite plausible that phoodoo was being sarcastic.

  17. stcordova: I didn’t have quano or banning at my disposal, and Mung was warned ahead of time, and that was my counter measure against Mung. Gregory was the other. I think deleted posts by Douglas and DaveScott. So, it wasn’t Darwinists I took actions against.

    I am beginning to think you are the only “Darwinist” around here.

  18. Alan Fox: Having now looked at the context myself, it seems quite plausible that phoodoo was being sarcastic.

    If that’s the case, my sincere apologies to phoodoo and to you too.

  19. dazz: Am I missing some context here or what?

    Sal made a post that I though troubling, about how he objected to taxes because of how they were used. I think it was in Sandbox. I took phoodoo to be ridiculing that position of Sal.

  20. DNA_Jock: I have modified my assessment of Byers, such that it now reads “Mostly harmless.”

    I think Byers is mostly honest. In this case he was honestly present his own racist views, without trying to tone them down.

    The problem for the site, though, is whether the hosting provider will see it as a problem. I’m doubting that an isolated post would be a problem, but if there were many such posts it very likely could become a problem.

  21. Alan:

    You’re a free agent, Sal.

    Thanks Alan.

    After some thought I reframed the discussion. It has some relevance to questions about how and why TSZ should continue.

    I wanted to articulate the reasons I support TSZ and start a dialogue about how I can be of service to you all to our mutual benefit:

    http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/?p=55503&preview=true

  22. Alan Fox:
    @ phoodoo.

    Do you really not understand what I found objectionable about the comment of yours I guano’d?

    I didn’t ask you what you found objectionable, I asked you what rule was broken.

    Do you really not know the difference between what you find objectionable, and the rules?

  23. Neil Rickert: Sal made a post that I though troubling, about how he objected to taxes because of how they were used.I think it was in Sandbox.I took phoodoo to be ridiculing that position of Sal.

    Alan doesn’t understand ridicule as a form of shining light.

    I feel no need to explain posts to Alan.

  24. Erik:

    Oh, you blocked Byers because he’s racist? Definitely looks like a new rule. Or same old admin whim.

    Alan:

    New situation.

    No, it isn’t. He’s been saying racist, sexist, bigoted stuff for years, including at TSZ.

    You created two moderation brouhahas today, Alan. Each could easily have been avoided if you had simply done your job and heeded the rules you’ve been given. Instead you’ve once again tried to turn TSZ into Alan’s Safe Space by inventing your own rules.

    This happens over and over. You simply don’t have the maturity or the minimal restraint required of a moderator.

  25. phoodoo, to Alan:

    I didn’t ask you what you found objectionable, I asked you what rule was broken.

    Do you really not know the difference between what you find objectionable, and the rules?

    Even phoodoo gets it. Alan. Why can’t you?

  26. Alan Fox:
    I’d rather the site didn’t come close to such a line!

    It’s a character call. Byers is deeply racist, but he “means well” and it would take a further mental snap for him to begin advocating genocide or such. If it gets that far, you would of course co-operate with the appropriate authorities and save the site and the rest of us heroically.

    As it is, looks like blocking him was a bit of an overreaction, but in character given what you are.

  27. keiths: He’s been saying racist, sexist, bigoted stuff for years,

    That is beyond the control and responsibility of this site.

    …including at TSZ.

    I’ve not seen such an egregiously racist comment from Byers prior to that one.

  28. Erik,
    Well, if the rules don’t make it clear that hate speech will not be hosted here, then we need to make it clearer.

    Anyway, Lizzie has responded saying she will look in and I’m sure she’ll clarify her view on whether she will allow racist comments on her blog.

  29. Alan,

    Stop making excuses. When you took the job, you implicitly agreed to be bound by the rules. (Your excuse that you aren’t bound by the rules because you “gave no specific undertakings” is beyond pitiful.) Heed the rules you’ve been given. Stop inventing your own.

    This is Lizzie’s blog, not yours.

  30. Alan Fox: Well, if the rules don’t make it clear that hate speech will not be hosted here, then we need to make it clearer.

    “Hate speech”? You are way over to the ideological side here.

    If by “hate speech” you mean something like, “I hate you, you filthy (a)theist” or “(a)theists are rapists and pedophiles”, then this has been the normal dialogue here all along. But if you mean “(a)theists should be killed off”, then we all know how wrong it is and we are carefully watching for the other side to say it so we get further confirmation to spurn the other side. Seriously, what special did Byers say or do? Sorry I have not been paying attention to the poor guy much.

  31. Alan Fox,

    I’ll just comment that there is a Byers post awaiting moderation.

    There were two. I approved one. But the remaining one falls a bit close to the post that put him in moderation. So I’m leaving that one for Alan to act on.

  32. Neil Rickert,

    Thanks, Neil!
    Lizzie responded quickly to my headsup saying she will look in and I’m sure she will clarify how we should react to the posting of racist comments. With that hope in mind, perhaps we can wait for her response.

  33. Alan, quoting me:

    This is Lizzie’s blog, not yours.

    Print that out, tape it to your monitor, and reflect on it the next time you get the urge to concoct a new rule

  34. I would hope to hear Elizabeth say that this is our blog to make of it what we want it to be and that she trusts Alan and Neil.

  35. Thanks to Alan for letting me know about this.

    I do not want racist material on this site. Like porn, it should be deleted immediately (not moved to Guano).

    The poster should be warned, and if there is ONE further violation, then the poster should be banned.

    Having said that – hi everyone! I have been utterly overwhelmed over the last few months, but I think, finally, the end of the tunnel is approaching.

    I’m about to take a couple of weeks annual leave (for the first time for a long time!) and I’ll take a look through this thread tomorrow, for details. But that is my policy. There is a very short list of things that I simply do not want, and will not have on this site, and racist material is one of them.

    See you all again shortly!

  36. keiths:
    Alan, quoting me:

    Print that out, tape it to your monitor, and reflect on it the next time you get the urge to concoct a new rule

    It seems Alan choose wisely

Comments are closed.