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Galendir
January 13th, 2005, 06:01 PM
Someone's membership on this forum was just recently suspended for seven days.
The first reason given to justify this suspension was:


1)Posting statements, with absolutely NO support. This is at first simply bad debating. However, you have done this continually, after repeated requests and warnings from staff members.
I have just read the rules page, twice. Nowhere does it hint that this is an offense meriting suspension. The other reasons listed for suspending this member's posting privileges seem justified, but that is beside the point.

It seems to me unfair, unprofessional and poor form to penalize someone in this fashion (even only partially) for actions not prohibited by the official rules of the site.

Is it, or is it not the case that repeated failure to offer support for one's claims is an offense meriting suspension of posting privileges?
If so, this clearly ought to be stated in the rules.
If not, how can it be offered as reasonable grounds for enacting such a suspension of privileges?


(I can think of one moderator of this site who repeatedly makes unsupported claims.)

Dionysus
January 13th, 2005, 06:22 PM
While I clearly see your point, I feel that I must point out that this user wasn't suspended for not supporting his argument, it was him resorting to flaming other posters instead of addressing the problem with his initial argument which, of course, is forbidden. In the thread that started all this (moved to a forum users cannot see) I personally deleted no less than six posts containing blatant misconducts such as name calling, challenging moderators, belittling etc. These are the things that led to the suspension, NOT failing to support that argument. For those occasions where he simply re-stated what was already said, it qualified as spam since he had been asked numerous times to support his claim and simply chose to repeat himself. In those types of instances we can do one of two things:

1. Ask for support only to have it denied forever
2. Delete the post and issue a warning.

I obviously chose the latter.

But I agree that there should be some clarification as to what qualifies as spam outside of where it is mentioned in the "Posting Links" section. Mostly it is left to the judgment of ODN staff, although some definitions may be necessary as you have pointed out. Thank you for bringing this up.

Quest9
January 13th, 2005, 06:24 PM
Hello Galendir

It wasn't me though it could have been considering all the "prove it" silliness. I decided to be inactive because this policy takes the joy and creativity out of the exploration of ideas. Some things just have to remain unprovable from our own sensory limitations and be respected as open questions. I was reading an article earlier called the "Universe as a Hologram". Nothing could be proven so what is there to debate? These speculations can only be shared and discussed. Yet I enjoy such speculations. To each their own but I would never want to abandon this freedom of speculation.

http://www.crystalinks.com/holographic.html

KevinBrowning
January 13th, 2005, 06:42 PM
Is it, or is it not the case that repeated failure to offer support for one's claims is an offense meriting suspension of posting privileges?

It's not the case. It was that combined with his repeated flaming and disregard of moderator instructions.


If so, this clearly ought to be stated in the rules.

Agreed.



(I can think of one moderator of this site who repeatedly makes unsupported claims.)

I wonder who you're referring to.

Apokalupsis
January 13th, 2005, 08:09 PM
I have just read the rules page, twice. Nowhere does it hint that this is an offense meriting suspension. The other reasons listed for suspending this member's posting privileges seem justified, but that is beside the point.

It seems to me unfair, unprofessional and poor form to penalize someone in this fashion (even only partially) for actions not prohibited by the official rules of the site.
I believe this has been answered already.

However, for reading the Rules page twice...you certainly missed:

Public challenging of the rules and procedures in the forums is not acceptable. We ask that if the complication cannot be resolved with the specific staff member, that you contact Apokalupsis personally.
;)

However, the issue of Spamming and Trolling has been brought up before and I'm working on adding them into the Rules page due to the seeming confusion about these 2 issues.

Apokalupsis
January 13th, 2005, 08:34 PM
Rules Page (http://www.onlinedebate.net/index.php?page=rules) now updated with the following:


No "Trolling"
Deliberately posting an offensive or contentious message with the specific intent of provoking flames or causing an annoyance to the community is not tolerated here. "Trolls" will be warned then suspended if it continues.

No "Spamming"
Posting irrelevant or meaningless posts or statements in a thread or as a thread is not allowed. The purpose of the discussion boards are to allow for intelligent discourse and debate. Wasting time/posts by spamming (creating meaningless statements or posts) is counter-productive. While a lessor-offense than "trolling", it is still an offense. Please refrain from doing so.

What about "Free Speech"?
While we may have the right to say whatever we want, we do not have the right to say it wherever we want. You may really despise the junker parked in front of your neighbor's driveway, but you do not have the right to chew him out about it in his own living room. Likewise, if ODN suspends or bans a member for violation of any rules, that member has no "right" to remain. This community is the private property of Apokalupsis. ODN's members are guests.

Galendir
January 17th, 2005, 06:26 PM
I believe this has been answered already.Well, the two moderators who answered said that it was NOT an offense meriting suspension, and that the poster was NOT in fact suspended for posting unsupported statements (despite this originally being given as a reason) but rather for the other offenses committed. This is as I suspected, and am gratified that such correction was forthcoming.






However, for reading the Rules page twice...you certainly missed:
Public challenging of the rules and procedures in the forums is not acceptable. We ask that if the complication cannot be resolved with the specific staff member, that you contact Apokalupsis personally.No, I did not miss that statement.

IF "Posting statements, with absolutely NO support." is not prohibited in the rules, then how does it constitute a "Public challenging of the rules and procedures"?
Or are you implying that because "you have done this continually, after repeated requests and warnings from staff members." such statements were tantamount to a "Public challenging of the rules and procedures"? Are "requests and warnings" equivalent to "rules and procedures"? If not, it seems that the portion of the rules you have just quoted is irrelevant to the present concern. If so, it would seem your rules page is in need of further amendment.

Dionysus
January 17th, 2005, 07:02 PM
IF "Posting statements, with absolutely NO support." is not prohibited in the rules, then how does it constitute a "Public challenging of the rules and procedures"?
Or are you implying that because "you have done this continually, after repeated requests and warnings from staff members." such statements were tantamount to a "Public challenging of the rules and procedures"? Are "requests and warnings" equivalent to "rules and procedures"? If not, it seems that the portion of the rules you have just quoted is irrelevant to the present concern. If so, it would seem your rules page is in need of further amendment.

With all due respect, I believe that this has in fact been addressed:


No "Spamming"
Posting irrelevant or meaningless posts or statements in a thread or as a thread is not allowed. The purpose of the discussion boards are to allow for intelligent discourse and debate. Wasting time/posts by spamming (creating meaningless statements or posts) is counter-productive. While a lessor-offense than "trolling", it is still an offense. Please refrain from doing so.

Simply posting the same unsupported arguments, especially after a staff member has requested a different course of action, is spam. This has always been the case although spam has not had much definition until now. Granted, it is still somewhat subjective but if a staff member defines such a thing both in a thread AND in numerous PMs to the offender, it demands at least some degree of compliance from the offender. One must apply a bit of common sense with sort of thing, I would think. This compliance and application of common sense simply did not happen in the moved thread that inspired this one.

Apokalupsis
January 17th, 2005, 08:16 PM
IF "Posting statements, with absolutely NO support." is not prohibited in the rules, then how does it constitute a "[color=#00008b]Public challenging of the rules and procedures"?
I'm referring to YOU breaking said rule by publicly challenging the rules and decisions of ODN staff by using the forum as your chosen means to do so, despite it being clearly stated that the use of the pm system is what should be used.

Challenging of the rules in a public manner is not dependent on a reason given by a mod for a decision they made.

(fyi: This thread is allowed to proceed despite it violate that particular policy, merely because I don't see it as a great offense...that...and I'm bored. ;) )

Apokalupsis
January 17th, 2005, 08:22 PM
Simply posting the same unsupported arguments, especially after a staff member has requested a different course of action, is spam. This has always been the case although spam has not had much definition until now. Granted, it is still somewhat subjective but if a staff member defines such a thing both in a thread AND in numerous PMs to the offender, it demands at least some degree of compliance from the offender. One must apply a bit of common sense with sort of thing, I would think. This compliance and application of common sense simply did not happen in the moved thread that inspired this one.
Yes...but his original complaint or objection was prior to the amendment you speak of. I believe he is merely providing a reason for the original objection here (unless I misread something).

Meng Bomin
January 17th, 2005, 08:56 PM
As a non-staff observer (at the time) I found it a bit disturbing that there was no rule against spamming or trolling, though those where arisce's cheif offences. However, he did resort to flaming, so I think that would qualify him to have his account suspended. So, I'm glad that the rules were edited, since that will make it more clear that trolling and spamming aren't premissible, rather than keeping it as an unwritten rule.

RTShatto
January 17th, 2005, 09:02 PM
Well he wasnt banned initialy for spamming, his thread was taken away because it was considered spam (due to lack of evidence + repeaded request's for support, Arisce refused this, so his thread was moved). The next day he went off flaming the ODN staff about this.

To me, it was the flaming that constituted a temp ban, the spamming was just an annoyance, but now it is against the rules.

Dionysus
January 17th, 2005, 09:03 PM
Yes...but his original complaint or objection was prior to the amendment you speak of. I believe he is merely providing a reason for the original objection here (unless I misread something).

I agree. But I maintain that our reason was and still is valid. But it was also confusing due to the lack of definition regarding spam. Posting the same argument over and over without support in my mind IS spam -- as are many other things -- and this was one of the cases with Arisce. The only thing the rules page lacked was this specific definition, which until now, had been -- at still is with regard to the undefined "other things" referred to above -- determined solely by the staff.

Bearing in mind the the Rules page has always said *"is considered spam and will be deleted", Iluvatar was correct in listing "repeatedly posting unsupported arguments" as one of the reasons in this case; he just didn't call it spam.


*The implication being of course, that spam is not tolerated and will be deleted as we see fit.

Galendir
January 18th, 2005, 12:42 PM
I'm referring to YOU breaking said rule by publicly challenging the rules and decisions of ODN staff by using the forum as your chosen means to do so, despite it being clearly stated that the use of the pm system is what should be used.A charge oft repeated but never supported.


Challenging of the rules in a public manner is not dependent on a reason given by a mod for a decision they made.Poorly worded. If you mean that a moderator is under no obligation to post a reason for taking punitive actions against someone blatantly and publicly violating site rules, I agree, but it would be in poor form to not do so. If you mean something else, perhaps you could rephrase.


(fyi: This thread is allowed to proceed despite it violate that particular policy, merely because I don't see it as a great offense...that...and I'm bored. ;) )You shouldn't see it as any offense at all. This is the Site Feedback Forum. I am offering feedback with the aim of improving this site. Once again you publicly accuse me of violating the rules. Please read carefully everything I have posted. I did not challenge the decision to suspend the subject individual's posting privileges nor have I voiced any disagreement with the official rules and policies of this site. I was raising a legitimate question as to whether the official reason offered was in fact in conformance with the official rules as of the time such a decision was rendered. This isn't about arcise, this isn't about me, this isn't about you. It's about clarity and consistency in policy over ambiguity and caprice. It's about raising the bar, helping administration and membership stay on the same page, building a better site. It is just such feedback as this that acts as a catalyst to revision and improvement. If the rules page was satisfactory you would not have amended it. The only prior mention of spam was in the context of posting links to other sites with no argumentation offered. This is not the same as making an unsupported assertion. If you thought the connection was so obvious and applicable you no doubt would have quoted that portion of the rules in your earlier reply. The rules have now been amended to clarify what constitutes spam. Although "meaningless/irrelevant" is hardly the same as "unsupported", kudos anyway.
How about showing a little graciousness, granting the benefit of the doubt, and receiving feedback in a positive light rather than using it as an excuse to advance your personal vendetta?

Apokalupsis
January 18th, 2005, 06:44 PM
A charge oft repeated but never supported.
Tiz has been supported every time my friend. Merely because you do not believe you have not broken any rules, doth not mean thou hath not. Rule violation admittedly, may be subjective at times. And has been stated many times before, that ultimately lies with the moderator or administrator to determine. While you may not agree, frankly...it is irrelevant. This IS Apok's house, and in Apok's house, Apok's rules WILL be followed as HE determines and interprets. If you don't like, start www.galendir.com. Simple.

SPECIFICALLY: Public challenging of the rules and procedures in the forums is not acceptable. To which, you are indeed guilty of. You are an ODN vet, by now you are expected know the procedures and our policies well. See below for details..



Poorly worded. If you mean that a moderator is under no obligation to post a reason for taking punitive actions against someone blatantly and publicly violating site rules, I agree, but it would be in poor form to not do so. If you mean something else, perhaps you could rephrase.
I thought the statement was pretty clear cut. But, to attempt to simplify even more...it means that merely because a mod has not left a reason or what you believe to be a poor reason for a decision, it is not an excuse nor reason for you to publicly challenge that decision. THEIR providing of an answer, valid or not, has no bearing on you not being allowed to use up forum space to challenge that decision. Use the pm system. That's what it's for.



You shouldn't see it as any offense at all. This is the Site Feedback Forum. I am offering feedback with the aim of improving this site.
Riiight. I know just how you care for ODN so much Galendir. Pull this leg, it plays Jingle Bells. lol


Once again you publicly accuse me of violating the rules.
No, I charge you with it. It would be in your best interest to cease doing so.


Please read carefully everything I have posted.
I've read it numerous times.


I did not challenge the decision to suspend the subject individual's posting privileges nor have I voiced any disagreement with the official rules and policies of this site. I was raising a legitimate question as to whether the official reason offered was in fact in conformance with the official rules as of the time such a decision was rendered.
Galendir: It seems to me unfair, unprofessional and poor form to penalize someone in this fashion (even only partially) for actions not prohibited by the official rules of the site.

I see that as a challenge to the decision that was made. Your entire post was not a "please clarify', or "I don't understand". It was an aggressive post directed towards the staff of ODN over the decision to suspend another member, the reasons for which were many.


It is just such feedback as this that acts as a catalyst to revision and improvement.
There is an appropriate way to provide feedback.


How about showing a little graciousness, granting the benefit of the doubt, and receiving feedback in a positive light rather than using it as an excuse to advance your personal vendetta?
Cute, but no dice. I'm not your babysitter. Nor is there a "vendetta". I certainly do not have to have an excuse to suspend or ban your account. If I wanted you gone, you would be. You seem to believe there is something there between you and me for some reason, and that is simply not the case. Let it go. The more you believe that, the more you will act on it. That's not very wise if you truly desire to remain a member here.

I understand that you would do things quite differently if you had the authority to implement and enforce your own ideas and beliefs. I know many would. Problem is, I run ODN the way I like. I try to be as fair as possible in all situations. But as a site admin and community founder with over 6-7 yrs experience, I know that I can't make everyone happy. Some leave on their own accord, some are forced for leave. So be it. ODN has done well for its first year, and it will continue to do so. It has done so BECAUSE of my seemingly "arbitrary" and subjective decisions and policies. It will be around for a while, and how I run it will not change. The only thing that will change, is the member activity of those who disagree with the site owner's way of doing things. I'm fine with that.