Squawk box

I sense a disturbance in the force.

This thread is for people to tell me what they think is going on, going wrong, and what they think we should do about it.  I’m listening.

Lizzie

[Edit added 18.40 pm CET 20/08/2018 by Alan Fox]

As the comments have ballooned, Lizzie would very much like members to summarize their thoughts and suggestions into one statement and there is now a dedicated thread, “Summaries”, where they can be posted. Please just post one summary and please do not add other comments. You are welcome to comment on other people’s summaries in this thread. The idea of the “Summaries” thread is to make it easier for Lizzie to get your input. Comments judged by admins not to be summaries will move to guano.

Members who would rather keep their thoughts confidential are invited to use the private messaging system. Lizzie’s address is Elizabeth.

1,218 thoughts on “Squawk box

  1. Mung: N.B. What I did not dois try to circumvent the moderation action by emailing my cronies.

    This, above all else, is probably why [and this is just my opinion] Elizabeth has done nothing to change the keiths situation. Word to keiths.

    The fact she has remained silent about keiths’ punishment can only be interpreted reasonably as approval. She was silent even before the puppet show started.

  2. newton: The fact she has remained silent about keiths’ punishment can only be interpreted reasonably as approval. She was silent even before the puppet show started.

    Couple of quibbles. The suspension was intended to halt an unprecedented situation that was deteriorating. The suspension is reversible and if keiths would acknowledge that publishing personal attacks at a website that is not his own is not acceptable and that he will endeavour, in future, to keep to TSZ rules and aims, then I would lift the suspension immediately.

    And I don’t think we should second-guess Lizzie regarding her current absence. I believe she’s taking a break hill walking. Everyone deserves a break, don’t they?

  3. I tried to communicate a subtlety of meaning to keiths.
    I know, I know. :/
    I will try to explain. What keiths did, launching a repeated personal attack on another TSZ commentator while using their real name, does NOT meet MY definition of doxxing (since keiths did not reveal any otherwise-hard-to-find personal info).
    [Entertaining aside: even under no-guano rules, we would still have moderation arguments over the definition of ‘doxxing’, ‘porn’, and maybe even ‘malware’. Heh.]
    So, trying to communicate this idea, I coined the term “quasi-doxxing”, while quoting from the Rules page, where Lizzie describes her motivation for her “no outing” rule. And Lizzie’s motivation is

    I don’t want such personal attacks here to come up in a google search of that person’s RL name

    Not even keiths can dispute that he launched a personal attack using an IRL name.
    As Patrick wrote: Elizabeth’s site, Elizabeth’s rules.

  4. Patrick: *Strictly a hypothetical. I don’t actually think J-Mac would do such a thing.

    No, I could do it…If I knew keiths address I could actually post it here…It’s easy to find it out by the way… It would take my kids few minutes to do it…

    I could even post my own address here…though I’m worried that some people will figure out who I am and show at my doorstep demanding free wine, such as Alan Fox…I don’t mind him flying in all the way from France provided he brings his better part with him…she is seems like a great chef that is not afraid to cook with butter…
    Some of my friends would have a heart attack just thinking about it… 😉

  5. Alan Fox:

    What you failed to do was document any instance of him breaking the rules of the site.

    Not a failure. The OP was a clear breach of the aims of TSZ in making unfounded and (still) unsupported allegations of lying against a TSZ member. That there was no specific rule covering this eventuality is that no-one thought it was needed.

    Alan,

    You recognize there is no rule prohibiting what keiths wrote, yet you still chose to suspend his account, which the rules do not say the admins are allowed to do. The only action permitted is moving comments to Guano. Can you at least see how this looks like abuse of admin privileges? Do you recognize that at least one of the admins broke the explicit rule against editing or deleting comments?

    I agree with you that keiths’ communication style can be abrasive. I agree that he could have de-escalated the situation. However, the rules, as written, do not require him to do so. If you think that is a problem with the rules, the appropriate response would be to raise it with Elizabeth and get them changed.

    I suggest that you and your fellow admins could also have tried harder to de-escalate. A private message or even a calm public discussion that invited his participation rather than judging his behavior could have made more progress and earned more trust than what happened. When acting in your admin capacity, being the change you want to see is important.

    The loss of trust is compounded by your continued refusal to lift his suspension, at least for the duration of this discussion. TSZ doesn’t get Elizabeth’s attention often now — by preventing keiths from participating, you are giving the distinct impression that you are trying to control the narrative. That gives further credence to the idea that the admins’ reaction is due, at least in part, to their personal dislike of keiths. Admin decisions should be made, and be seen to be made, without regard to personalities.

    I don’t speak for keiths and I haven’t discussed this with him, but I suspect he would make the argument that he did support his allegations. If I weren’t willing to copy-and-paste his comments in this thread, we’d never know. That doesn’t strike me as aligned with Elizabeth’s goals for the site.

    Finally, I don’t agree that you, Neil, or Jock have made the case that this is some kind of unprecedented situation. Every element of keiths’ OP has been present in others that were not treated in this way.

    If you can’t see that you and the other admins overreacted and made the situation worse, I hope you can at least realize that denying keiths the opportunity to participate fully in this thread simply isn’t reasonable or fair. Further, it gives the impression that the admins have something to hide, which is definitely not conducive to rebuilding trust. At the very least, you should allow him to share his perspective and make his case in this thread.

  6. Mung:

    They are assuming power they have not been granted and are giving every indication of doing so because of personal animus towards keiths.

    It certainly appears to me that they have been granted this power.

    They have the ability, as part of their admin privs. Nothing in the rules allows them to suspend anyone. In my first comment in this thread, I noted that this was part of control-creep. I regret my part in that.

    And keiths is spotless and pure in all this?

    Oh hell no. He’s more than capable of pissing off the Dalai Lama. The issue isn’t that he can’t be abrasive, it’s that nothing he did is against the rules and the admins broke the rules (and exceeded their authority) when responding to him.

  7. Mung:
    Elizabeth:

    In most venues, one view dominates, and there is a kind of “resident prior” about the integrity, intelligence and motivation of those who differ from the majority view.

    Elizabeth doesn’t want TSZ to be like that. Yet people are lobbying to have the “freedom” to express their resident priors about the integrity, intelligence and motivation of those who differ.

    I’m lobbying to allow how people behave at TSZ to be noted without breaking the rules. My suggested change is “Assume other members of the community are participating in good faith, until evidence shows that assumption to be untenable. Be ready to re-extend the assumption when the person’s behavior has changed.”

    The current rules protect members who aren’t aligned with Elizabeth’s goals too much.

  8. newton: The fact she has remained silent about keiths’ punishment can only be interpreted reasonably as approval.

    That’s one possible reason. Another is that she didn’t want to publicly disagree with her admins and cause more meta-discussion. Another is that she simply didn’t have time to review it all.

    I do think that her request for input on this thread should be taken to include keiths’ perspective.

  9. DNA_Jock:

    I will try to explain. What keiths did, launching a repeated personal attack on another TSZ commentator while using their real name, does NOT meet MY definition of doxxing (since keiths did not reveal any otherwise-hard-to-find personal info).

    That makes sense. I would add that he was talking about a participant at another site, so the context does not fall within the TSZ rules.

    I don’t want such personal attacks here to come up in a google search of that person’s RL name

    Not even keiths can dispute that he launched a personal attack using an IRL name.

    I suspect that keiths might construe his actions differently. It would be useful, and aligned both with the site goals and Elizabeth’s OP, to allow him to participate fully here.

    The person in question uses his real name online and keiths’ other interactions with him are searchable. I don’t see any additional harm of the type that Elizabeth mentions in this case.

    [Entertaining aside: even under no-guano rules, we would still have moderation arguments over the definition of ‘doxxing’, ‘porn’, and maybe even ‘malware’. Heh.]

    Certainly. That’s why my proposed rule changes use “NSFW” (not safe for work) instead of “porn”. No one should need to go through another discussion with Frankie about what constitutes porn. *shudder*

  10. Alan Fox:
    Patrick,

    My email is alanfox@free.fr.

    I know. And you have mine.

    It’s important that this discussion be public. There’s already too much secrecy to be aligned with TSZ’s goals. If the admins can’t make their case convincingly in public, maybe there’s a reason for that.

    I’ll tone down the accusations about your ego. In return, I hope you’ll consider compromising to the extent of letting keiths participate on this thread.

  11. The following is a copy of a private email from keiths, posted with his permission. I am sharing it because I believe it is pertinent to this thread and nothing in the Rules prohibits doing so.

    keiths:

    What do others think of a site-wide no-guano trial?

    Mung:

    It’s not going to happen. That’s what I think. My honest assessment.

    That’s not very interesting or helpful. Instead, why not tell us whether you think a site-wide no-guano trial is a good idea, and give your reasons pro and con?

    Lizzie created this thread so that we could discuss questions like that.

  12. The following is a copy of a private email from keiths, posted with his permission. I am sharing it because I believe it is pertinent to this thread and nothing in the Rules prohibits doing so.

    Alan:

    As far as I am concerned, I acted as I thought I had to in the circumstances and nothing anyone has written so far in this thread or elsewhere has yet convinced me that my action was wrong, unfair or otherwise unjustified. I stand by it.

    Yet here we have your reason for the suspension, in your very own words:

    The suspension was intended to stop the unwarranted abuse Neil and DNA-Jock were getting from Keiths for their efforts in trying to solve the problem of the arguably libellous OP.

    All of us, including you, know that Lizzie wants the moderators and their actions to be subject to criticism. She went out of her way to provide ‘Moderation Issues’ as a place where such complaints and challenges could be lodged and addressed.

    You confirmed, in your own words, that your intent in suspending me was to stop my criticism of your fellow moderators. That’s an abuse of power, and it goes directly against Lizzie’s stated wishes.

    Yet you’re telling us

    I stand by it.

    Even your fellow moderator DNA_Jock knows that your rationale — “criticism of moderators must be stopped!” — is ridiculous. That’s why he’s been trying to come up with different rationales for the suspension, including the “libel” and “quasi-doxxing” rationales, both of which have failed.

    You are still standing by your original rationale, despite the fact that it’s obviously bogus and has been shown to be so. Patrick has your number:

    You abused your admin privileges, violated the site rules, and treated another member unfairly and unreasonably. You refused to allow that member to provide his point of view in this thread, where Elizabeth requested such input. Standing by your decisions at this point isn’t admirable, it’s just egotistical.

    [Emphasis added]

  13. The following is a copy of a private email from keiths, posted with his permission. I am sharing it because I believe it is pertinent to this thread and nothing in the Rules prohibits doing so.

    Alan,

    The suspension was intended to stop the unwarranted abuse Neil and DNA-Jock were getting from Keiths for their efforts in trying to solve the problem of the arguably libellous OP.

    You somehow managed to get from “he’s criticizing the moderators!” to “he must be suspended for 30 days!” Yet we all know that it’s perfectly within the rules for commenters to criticize the moderators. And by doubling down and saying that you stand by your reasoning and your decision, you’re making a fool of yourself.

    Let me repeat:

    Not a single one of the moderators has been able to connect the dots, starting with what I did and making a rational argument ending with the appropriateness of a 30-day suspension.

    The grudge came first, then the 30-day suspension, and now an increasingly pitiful attempt to find an after-the-fact rationalization for the 30-day suspension.

  14. The following is a copy of a private email from keiths, posted with his permission. I am sharing it because I believe it is pertinent to this thread and nothing in the Rules prohibits doing so.

    Jock,

    Your desperation is showing.

    Nothing I wrote, in the OP or the comments, links Joshua Swamidass of Peaceful Science to commenter ‘swamidass’ at TSZ. You are now painfully aware of that fact.

    There was no “doxxing” in any shape or form, nor was there “quasi-doxxing”, your creative attempts at interpretation notwithstanding.

    None of the three moderators — you, Alan, or Neil — has justified a 30-day suspension. Each of you knows that he cannot justify it. Yet each of you is refusing to lift it, despite knowing that he cannot justify it. You are refusing to correct an egregious moderation mistake, and in the process you are harming TSZ and deliberately acting against Lizzie’s interests.

    Thanks to Patrick’s willingness to stand up alongside me, these abuses are all being aired quite publicly. That’s good for TSZ and it’s good for Lizzie. It’s bad for you and the other moderators, obviously, which is why you’re abusing your privileges in an effort to stop it.

    You’re censoring me based on personal animus, knowing full well that you cannot justify the censorship.

    You have indeed become little Arringtons.

  15. The following is a copy of a private email from keiths, posted with his permission. I am sharing it because I believe it is pertinent to this thread and nothing in the Rules prohibits doing so.

    Jock,

    Regarding this “quasi-doxxing” nonsense, consider the following scenario.

    John Smith comments at TSZ under the blog name ‘smith’. He also has his own blog, Pinhole Photography. At both places he identifies himself as “John Smith”.

    Bob Jones publishes an OP criticizing Smith for false statements made by Smith at the Pinhole Photography blog. Nothing Bob says links John Smith of Pinhole Photography to commenter ‘smith’ at TSZ.

    Are you actually accusing Lizzie of being stupid enough to consider that a bannable offense?

    What possible thought process could justify that?

  16. The following is a copy of a private email from keiths, posted with his permission. I am sharing it because I believe it is pertinent to this thread and nothing in the Rules prohibits doing so.

    keiths, to Bruce:

    If J-Mac posts your home address*, and an atheist moderator initiates the banning process, do you really think a Christian moderator is going to step in and say “I disagree. J-Mac didn’t post the address he posted”?

    *Strictly a hypothetical. I don’t actually think J-Mac would do such a thing.

    J-Mac:

    No, I could do it…If I knew keiths address I could actually post it here…It’s easy to find it out by the way… It would take my kids few minutes to do it…

    It’s a question of whether you would, not whether you could. Most of us would have the decency not to take advantage of our access to such information.

    I exclude Alan from that group based on his sleazy abuse of moderator privileges during the ALurker affair, in which he combed through the private IP address records of commenters in a failed attempt at outing ALurker as a sock puppet of Patrick. Something which wouldn’t have been a rule violation even if it had turned out to be true.

    It’s hard to overstate what a bottom feeder Alan is. He simply cannot be trusted not to abuse his moderator privileges.

  17. Looks like Patrick has become a mouthpiece of keiths… all of the sudden and out of nowhere…
    I’m really happy for you boys ..ever since keiths got banned here, Patrick has become ….whatever…

  18. Patrick,
    I appreciate the change in tone. My view is that OPs are subject to the same rules as comments. I have no doubt Lizzie takes this view too. We haven’t, in seven years, needed to make this explicit.

    But let me repeat, if Keiths wants to return to TSZ immediately, I’m prepared to consider it and will consult with our other admins. All I’ll be looking for is some kind of assurance that he will comply with TSZ aims and rules in future. I’ve no reason to think other admins will wish to set a higher bar. Otherwise he will have to wait for Lizzie to rule on it.

  19. Patrick: It’s hard to overstate what a bottom feeder Alan is.

    Personally, I think calling someone a bottom feeder violates the rules of the site. And keiths does so repeatedly. I’m a bottom feeder. Salvador is a bottom feeder. I’m thinking it doesn’t take much to get on that list of his.

  20. Patrick: …in which he combed through the private IP address records of commenters in a failed attempt at outing ALurker as a sock puppet of Patrick.

    That’s not against the rules.

  21. Patrick: You’re censoring me based on personal animus, knowing full well that you cannot justify the censorship.

    That’s not against the rules.

  22. Patrick: Yet each of you is refusing to lift it, despite knowing that he cannot justify it. You are refusing to correct an egregious moderation mistake, and in the process you are harming TSZ and deliberately acting against Lizzie’s interests.

    But you have to admit, it’s not against the rules.

    Turns out that the “it’s not against the rules” defense may have some holes in it.

  23. So Patrick, while we’re having a drink together, if I look at you and suddenly burst out laughing, it’s probably because I am thinking of something you wrote here.

    🙂

  24. You know, sometimes we get blinded by our (self-)righteous indignation and just need to step back and reassess.

  25. Patrick, you are saying that you are not breaking any rules, and that keiths did not break any rules, but I want to know what keiths says.

    Does he think he broke any TSZ rule by calling JS a liar?

    And isn’t it clear that he broke your own rule that he must retract? You appear partisan. 😉

  26. Finally, the words of J. Warner Wallace (2013; cf. Crossley 2011, 49-75; Levine 2007, 78; Lüdemann 2005/ 6, 35), a Christian apologist, bear thought:

    The question is not whether or not we have ideas, opinions, or preexisting points of view; the question is whether or not we will allow these perspectives to prevent us from examining the evidence objectively. It’s possible to have a prior opinion yet leave this presupposition at the door in order to examine the evidence fairly. We ask jurors to do this all the time. In the state of California, jurors are repeatedly instructed to ‘keep an open mind throughout the trial’ and not to “let bias, sympathy, prejudice, or public opinion influence your decision.” The courts assume that people have biases, hold sympathies and prejudices, and are aware of public opinion. In spite of this, jurors are required to “keep an open mind.” Jurors have to enter the courtroom with empty hands; they must leave all their baggage in the hall. Everyone begins with a collection of biases. We must (to the best of our ability) resist the temptation to allow our biases to eliminate certain forms of evidence (and therefore certain conclusions) before we even begin the investigation.

    Alter, Michael J.. The Resurrection: a Critical Inquiry (Kindle Locations 1634-1643). Xlibris US. Kindle Edition.

  27. J-Mac:
    Looks like Patrick has become a mouthpiece of keiths… all of the sudden and out of nowhere…
    I’m really happy for you boys ..ever since keiths got banned here, Patrick has become ….whatever…

    I’m the change I want to see. keiths’ suspension is the result of the admins not following the rules. His inability to comment in this thread where Elizabeth has requested comments about his treatment by the admins is unreasonable and unfair. I don’t have to agree with everything he says to want to do the right thing in this situation.

  28. Alan Fox:
    Patrick,
    I appreciate the change in tone. My view is that OPs are subject to the same rules as comments. I have no doubt Lizzie takes this view too.We haven’t, in seven years, needed to make this explicit.

    But let me repeat, if Keiths wants to return to TSZ immediately, I’m prepared to consider it and will consult with our other admins. All I’ll be looking for is some kind of assurance that he will comply with TSZ aims and rules in future.I’ve no reason to think other admins will wish to set a higher bar. Otherwise he will have to wait for Lizzie to rule on it.

    Alan,

    You are not actually listening. It is clear from your comment that the idea that you might be mistaken is not one you are considering seriously.

    Specifically, you have not addressed a number of the issues raised, including:

    1) Neither you nor any other admin has been able to point to any rule that keiths violated.

    2) There is no rule that allows admins to suspend any member of TSZ.

    3) There is a rule against editing or deleting comments. At least one admin broke that rule.

    4) Elizabeth has explicitly asked for information about the situation that you and the other admins created, in this thread. You are not allowing keiths to answer Elizabeth’s questions.

    You need to take a step back and look at this from a point of view other than your own. It is only reasonable and fair that you allow keiths to participate fully in this discussion. An apology for the admins breaking the rules would be appropriate, but probably too much to ask for with tensions this high.

    If you can’t think of any way you could have de-escalated, you’re not trying hard enough. If you’re just going to repeat what you said above without actually thinking about what you’re doing, save yourself the typing effort.

  29. Mung:

    Yet each of you is refusing to lift it, despite knowing that he cannot justify it. You are refusing to correct an egregious moderation mistake, and in the process you are harming TSZ and deliberately acting against Lizzie’s interests.

    But you have to admit, it’s not against the rules.

    The behavior of the admins in this situation is not allowed by the rules. What is not explicitly granted to them is prohibited. Otherwise there are no limits to what they can do, which is certainly not aligned with Elizabeth’s goals for the site.

  30. Mung:
    Patrick, you are saying that you are not breaking any rules, and that keiths did not break any rules, but I want to know what keiths says.

    Does he think he broke any TSZ rule by calling JS a liar?

    Ask him.

    And isn’t it clear that he broke your own rule that he must retract? You appear partisan.

    From what I saw, keiths attempted to support his claim. If we can get a resolution to the admin abuses, we can discuss that further.

  31. The following is a copy of a private email from keiths, posted with his permission. I am sharing it because I believe it is pertinent to this thread and nothing in the Rules prohibits doing so.

    Mung:

    And keiths is spotless and pure in all this?

    Patrick:

    Oh hell no. He’s more than capable of pissing off the Dalai Lama.

    Heh.

    The issue isn’t that he can’t be abrasive, it’s that nothing he did is against the rules and the admins broke the rules (and exceeded their authority) when responding to him.

    Exactly.

  32. The following is a copy of a private email from keiths, posted with his permission. I am sharing it because I believe it is pertinent to this thread and nothing in the Rules prohibits doing so.

    Alan:

    My email is alanfox@free.fr.

    Patrick:

    I know. And you have mine.

    It’s important that this discussion be public. There’s already too much secrecy to be aligned with TSZ’s goals. If the admins can’t make their case convincingly in public, maybe there’s a reason for that.

    Alan’s determination to censor and to sweep things under the rug is quite revealing.

    And it’s a chronic problem. A recent example:

    After his disgrace in the ALurker affair, he went so far as to close the Moderation Issues 4 thread, right in the middle of vigorous ongoing discussions. It was a blatant attempt to get his humiliation out of the spotlight. An abuse of moderation privileges for his personal benefit.

  33. The following is a copy of a private email from keiths, posted with his permission. I am sharing it because I believe it is pertinent to this thread and nothing in the Rules prohibits doing so.

    Alan:

    But let me repeat, if Keiths wants to return to TSZ immediately, I’m prepared to consider it and will consult with our other admins. All I’ll be looking for is some kind of assurance that he will comply with TSZ aims and rules in future. I’ve no reason to think other admins will wish to set a higher bar. Otherwise he will have to wait for Lizzie to rule on it.

    You are in no position to make demands, Alan.

    As Patrick noted:

    You abused your admin privileges, violated the site rules, and treated another member unfairly and unreasonably. You refused to allow that member to provide his point of view in this thread, where Elizabeth requested such input. Standing by your decisions at this point isn’t admirable, it’s just egotistical.

    The abuses are yours and your fellow moderators’. It is your responsibility to end them immediately. Your obligation is to correct your egregious errors, not to make demands.

  34. Patrick: keiths’ suspension is the result of the admins not following the rules.

    I am not aware of any rules that define what the admins can or cannot do. Perhaps you will post those rules. But I doubt it.

  35. Patrick: The following is a copy of a private email from keiths, posted with his permission.

    Please post the actual email. I don’t believe that keiths gave you permission to post his email. You’ve certainly provided NO EVIDENCE to support your claim.

    You would agree, wouldn’t you, that your claims have no support? So you should retract them. Right?

    cheers

  36. Patrick: Ask him.

    Oh please. I did ask him.

    You’re his mouthpiece. Pretending to speak for him. So if I ask you I am asking him.

    Or does your ability to act as an amanuensis only work one way?

  37. Mung: I am not aware of any rules that define what the admins can or cannot do.

    There aren’t any.

    Well, that’s not quite right. The WordPress software has rules about what one can or cannot do. But, beyond the limitations of the software, there are no rules for administrators.

    I consider myself to be under a moral obligation to attempt to keep the site running in the way that Elizabeth would want, based only on my understanding of what that amounts to.

  38. So while it is true that the admins have broken no rules, it is not true that keiths has broken no rules, and whether or not Patrick has broken the rules is questionable.

    In my opinion, the admins are being quite lenient.

  39. Neil Rickert: There aren’t any.

    Well, that’s not quite right.The WordPress software has rules about what one can or cannot do.But, beyond the limitations of the software, there are no rules for administrators.

    I consider myself to be under a moral obligation to attempt to keep the site running in the way that Elizabeth would want, based only on my understanding of what that amounts to.

    That’s my “Golden Rule” too. I ask myself “what would Lizzie do?”.

    I’ve mentioned my appointment to admin before, much to the derision of keiths. Early on in the life of TSZ, I noticed I had far more access to the dashboard than I thought good for me. I then got an email from Lizzie saying she’d changed my status to admin and was very much hoping that I’d help out. No vetting, no rules, no contracts, no promises, just that simple request. I found that to be an astonishing level of trust and have always tried to live up to that trust.

  40. @ Patrick

    You were an admin here once, before you left TSZ remarking “It no longer serves me”.

    Do you recall the circumstances of your appointment? Were you vetted? Did you have to agree to a set of rules?

  41. Patrick: You are not actually listening.

    I believe I am, though not exclusively to you.

    Patrick: If you can’t think of any way you could have de-escalated, you’re not trying hard enough.

    Takes two to dance that tango! From your relayed texts, I see little chance that will happen. My offer to negotiate stands. It will have to be via email. Otherwise keiths will have to wait a minimum of thirty days or for Lizzie to rescind the suspension if she so decides.

  42. Alan Fox: Couple of quibbles. The suspension was intended to halt an unprecedented situation that was deteriorating. The suspension is reversible and if keiths would acknowledge that publishing personal attacks at a website that is not his own is not acceptable and that he will endeavour, in future, to keep to TSZ rules and aims, then I would lift the suspension immediately.

    That was my understanding as well, it was keiths response that resulted in the suspension.

    And I don’t think we should second-guess Lizzie regarding her current absence. I believe she’s taking a break hill walking. Everyone deserves a break, don’t they?

    That was not my intent. My point was she had the opportunity at the beginning of this thread to lift the suspension , she choose to take no action and leave the suspension in place.

    This lack of action does not support and seems to refute the charge that the suspension was a gross violation of her goals.

    I am ready to find some elevation and cool air myself.

  43. Alan Fox:
    @ Patrick

    You were an admin here once, before you left TSZ remarking “It no longer serves me”.

    Do you recall the circumstances of your appointment? Were you vetted? Did you have to agree to a set of rules?

    See Patrick, what you should have done was say you were quitting as a moderator, but then not really quit as a moderator. That way you could just come back anytime you wanted to and just do whatever you wanted, and ban whoever you like.

    You know, like Alan.

    Sucker.

  44. Patrick (to Alan): If you can’t think of any way you could have de-escalated, you’re not trying hard enough. If you’re just going to repeat what you said above without actually thinking about what you’re doing, save yourself the typing effort.

    Well, some of the missives that you chose to relay were singularly unhelpful in that regard. You are responsible for what you post here, regardless of who wrote it.

  45. Mung:

    keiths’ suspension is the result of the admins not following the rules.

    I am not aware of any rules that define what the admins can or cannot do. Perhaps you will post those rules. But I doubt it.

    The rules are very clear that comments will not be edited or hidden. At least one of the admins did both. Do you agree that this violated the rules?

    The rules of what will get a member banned are pretty clear. No admin has made the case that keiths violated those, so they have no justification to take that action.

    The rules on what results in a comment being moved to Guano are fuzzy, but the only option provided to the admins in those cases are to move the comment, not edit, delete, or hide it. Alan mentioned above that he treats posts similarly, so the only action allowed by the rules is for admins to move them to Guano.

    There are no rules that have a suspension as punishment, so the admins are acting outside their authority when imposing that.

    Admins are not supposed to be all-powerful here. They’re supposed to be just regular members with some janitorial duties. Their overreaction to keiths is not supported by the rules and not aligned with the site goals.

  46. Neil Rickert: I consider myself to be under a moral obligation to attempt to keep the site running in the way that Elizabeth would want, based only on my understanding of what that amounts to.

    Alan has said something similar. If either of you think that Elizabeth would have overreacted in the way you did, that she would have edited a post Arrington-style, or that she would have denied a TSZ member the ability to defend himself in an attempt to control the narrative on a thread dedicated to that issue, then you really need to revisit how she conducted herself at UD and here. You have strayed far from the path she blazed.

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