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Author Topic: Forum moderation & locked threads  (Read 15469 times)

Christopher Sanderson

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Forum moderation & locked threads
« on: August 20, 2015, 03:39:56 pm »

I recently locked one of those too-common threads which had dissolved into puerile name-calling.

I received this considered response by PM:


"The same people derail and disrupt discussions in the same way over and over again (for sake of argument, let's say that I'm one of them).

Locking the thread obviously does not influence their behaviour -- they just do the same thing in a different thread

Locking the thread does prevent the people who are not disruptive from continuing their discussion.

Locking the thread punishes the ones who aren't disruptive and enables the disruptive to save face.

My guess is that the people derailing and disrupting discussions actually do wish to be allowed to post on LuLa discussion forums.

My guess is that being prevented from posting for 2-3 weeks would help them remember to show some consideration to other forum users, and put an end to this repeated behaviour."


Let's see if there can be an equally well-considered discussion about this topic. I am looking for guidance. This forum is essentially self-moderating and the lock thread tool is used infrequently and only when I consider the dialogue within a topic to have become a total waste of everyone's time - particularly mine when having to read and judge the content.

Should short-term bans be used instead?

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Forum moderation & locked threads
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2015, 03:51:00 pm »

... Should short-term bans be used instead?

Only if you wish to suck the life out of LuLa and turn it into an accountants book club, or worse, PC police daily briefing.  ;)

digitaldog

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Re: Forum moderation & locked threads
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2015, 04:00:17 pm »

Only if you wish to suck the life out of LuLa and turn it into an accountants book club, or worse, PC police daily briefing.  ;)
Agreed! One of the best attributes of LuLa's forums is the lack of sever moderation.
It ain't broken, don't try to fix it.
Want to change anything, disallow people from signing up with an alias, at least allow their full names to be shown when clicking on their info. An alias can get banned, then just sign up as some other alias which is pointless. 
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AreBee

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Re: Forum moderation & locked threads
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2015, 04:19:58 pm »

Chris,

Quote
I recently locked one of those too-common threads...

Quote
...the lock thread tool is used infrequently...

With all due respect, "too-common" and "infrequently" are contradictory.

When one considers how many threads are started on LuLa compared to the number that are locked it is clear that "infrequently" is correct, and on which a decision should be based.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 05:33:47 pm by Rob B. »
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Christopher Sanderson

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Re: Forum moderation & locked threads
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2015, 04:24:43 pm »

...it is clear that "infrequently" is correct, and on which a decision should be based.

Are you offering any suggestion as to the decision?

Isaac

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Re: Forum moderation & locked threads
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2015, 04:55:38 pm »

I messaged Chris because I was surprised to see a discussion had been locked yet again.


It ain't broken, don't try to fix it.

When the moderator shows up again and again to lock "threads which had dissolved into puerile name-calling" -- it is broken.
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Christopher Sanderson

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Re: Forum moderation & locked threads
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2015, 05:00:24 pm »

...shows up again and again to lock "threads which had dissolved into puerile name-calling" -- it is broken.

It is only once every week or so. But sufficient to try my patience (and clearly that of others).

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Forum moderation & locked threads
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2015, 05:10:45 pm »

I messaged Chris because I was surprised to see a discussion had been locked yet again.

When the moderator shows up again and again to lock "threads which had dissolved into puerile name-calling" -- it is broken.

If you were "surprised" to see it locked, perhaps it shouldn't have? In which case it isn't broken?

BJL

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Re: Forum moderation & locked threads
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2015, 05:30:42 pm »

I recently locked one of those too-common threads which had dissolved into puerile name-calling.

I received this considered response by PM:


"The same people derail and disrupt discussions in the same way over and over again (for sake of argument, let's say that I'm one of them).

Locking the thread obviously does not influence their behaviour -- they just do the same thing in a different thread

Locking the thread does prevent the people who are not disruptive from continuing their discussion.

Locking the thread punishes the ones who aren't disruptive and enables the disruptive to save face.
I am a bit more optimistic about the effect of locking threads, so would avoid any escalation of admin responses:
- the problem with threads that go off-track is that there can start out worthwhile before going onto a "side discussion", and some people would like to continue the original discussion without the diversions.
- if any of the off-track ones respond to a lock by starting a new thread on the "side topic", people interested in the original topic else can easily ignore that new thread, and maybe start their own to continue th original discussion.
- in my experience, a new thread to salvage the original topic does not degenerate, at least not quickly: the "off track" people go elsewhere if they want to continue.
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Colorado David

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Re: Forum moderation & locked threads
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2015, 05:32:56 pm »

When a topic deteriorates to name calling I don't click on it anymore. I'm dubious about using the quote function to maintain reliable sourcing of others' comments when the same function that allows us to edit a quote to the salient points can also be used to change what people say. I can't say I've ever seen it done here, but on other forums I've seen "fify" or fixed it for you where a poster will quote and change the meaning to suit their sense of humor. It is a childish practice I am thankful to have not witnessed here. I'm more and more content to read and post only when I have something important to add. I'm happy to learn from other members and share when I can. I think there is the right measure of moderating now.  Thanks Chris.

Christopher Sanderson

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Re: Forum moderation & locked threads
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2015, 05:36:01 pm »

...disallow people from signing up with an alias..
That is not going to happen: too cumbersome to moderate. But I do boot more readily those who use aliases.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 05:40:46 pm by Chris Sanderson »
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Christopher Sanderson

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Re: Forum moderation & locked threads
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2015, 05:40:03 pm »

I am a bit more optimistic about the effect of locking threads, so would avoid any escalation of admin responses:
- the problem with threads that go off-track is that there can start out worthwhile before going onto a "side discussion", and some people would like to continue the original discussion without the diversions.
- if any of the off-track ones respond to a lock by starting a new thread on the "side topic", people interested in the original topic else can easily ignore that new thread, and maybe start their own to continue th original discussion.
- in my experience, a new thread to salvage the original topic does not degenerate, at least not quickly: the "off track" people go elsewhere if they want to continue.

Thanks for this.

+1 - unless I see some really good argument otherwise

digitaldog

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Re: Forum moderation & locked threads
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2015, 05:40:48 pm »

That is not going to happen: too cumbersome to moderate. But I do boot those who use aliases more readily.
I can understand it's nearly impossible to detect if someone uses a fake name. I'm not suggesting you vet each person either. But I'd suspect that if a "real name" and email address were necessary to register, instead of just an aliases, you'd get far more 'honest' registrations. Nothing can stop someone who's banned from adding another fake name and email but I suspect it would make it less likely.
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Chairman Bill

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Re: Forum moderation & locked threads
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2015, 05:52:21 pm »

OK, my two pennies worth.

I think a good rule of thumb for civilised discourse, is 'play the ball, not the man'. Bad ideas exist to be destroyed (through rational argument, evidence etc.), but people are due some respect.

"That's a bad idea, and here's why ..." is fine. "You're an idiot" is not.

There are a number of logical fallacies that are occasionally produced, in order to undermine someone's argument. Some people could do with familiarising themselves with them, and avoiding their use in future. There's plenty of resources on the internet.

Where we're dealing with subjectives, or a topic where definitions are lacking or otherwise unclear, expressing a different opinion doesn't make you wrong. Some people could maybe do with a reminder from time to time.

Generally though, LuLa is pretty tolerant & grown up. Far more so than some places i can think of. Soft-touch moderation seems appropriate in the main.

Isaac

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Re: Forum moderation & locked threads
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2015, 06:05:08 pm »

Generally though, LuLa is pretty tolerant & grown up.

Sometimes though, LuLa degenerates into kindergarten -- "Here we go again...running to hide behind mommy's skirt."
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Christopher Sanderson

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Re: Forum moderation & locked threads
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2015, 06:08:02 pm »

Sometimes though, LuLa degenerates into kindergarten -- "Here we go again...running to hide behind mommy's skirt."
And thus the thread was locked. We know there are children. Do we tolerate their squabbling?

Isaac

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Re: Forum moderation & locked threads
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2015, 06:14:32 pm »

Do we allow their squabbling to be disruptive?

BJL places the burden on others to work around the squabbling and disruption -- that's what we keep having to do.

Those squabbling (mea culpa) have no incentive not to squabble.
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Christopher Sanderson

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Re: Forum moderation & locked threads
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2015, 06:20:41 pm »

...Those squabbling (mea culpa) have no incentive not to squabble.

And this is a Forum - for better or worse.

I keep reminding myself of the Roman Forum or Hyde Park Corner or Canada's Parliament (& political discourse).

We are free to come or go...to listen or not... free to shoot off at the mouth or make a reasoned plea.

Some really do like that soapbox though don't they?  ;D

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Forum moderation & locked threads
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2015, 06:26:01 pm »

Sometimes though, LuLa degenerates into kindergarten -- "Here we go again...running to hide behind mommy's skirt."

If you want me banned, Isaac, fine... grow out of that kindergarten, be a man and say so.

Christopher Sanderson

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Re: Forum moderation & locked threads
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2015, 06:29:25 pm »

...I keep reminding myself of the Roman Forum or Hyde Park Corner...
Of course those fora have a natural feature that likely moderates the overall noise level: they are outside and under any weather.

Maybe we should simply suggest that some get outside more often and away from their keyboards  ::)

PS I'm taking my own advice and will leave you to natter on until I review this tomorrow.

Chris
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 06:34:02 pm by Chris Sanderson »
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