Noble Realms

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Noble Realms Forum is now closed. It will remain online as a searchable archive of posts spanning 3/25/04 to 2/22/08. Members may still log in to use email functions, but there will be no further posting activity. Thank you to everyone who has contributed over the years. - Tom/montalk

#1 2006-05-19 05:44:01

Hkelukka
Member
Registered: 2005-11-01

Moderation in moderation

Well. I've noticed a fair amount of topics simply vanishing these days when there is a fight or an argument going. I believe that is not really constructive and would like to make a point about why it isnt.

While it is true that by removing all signs of arguments that get heated on the forums it does give this particular forum a higher vibration on the surface and probably a bit on the deeper levels as well because people dont fight, but it does not remove the causes of the fight. So while it does indeed serve a purpose i think you want it to serve, in keeping this forum civil, i would also like to point out that by destroying the entire post in its entirety you often destroy the points made along with the fighting. And while it is truly wise at the moment for ending fights, it isnt long term smart, so what it causes is people to completely shun away from topics that they feel might get the deletion as there is no point in talking in depth as the posts themselfs will be deleted along side with any valid arguments.

So it gets people to shun away from topics which they feel might be reguired to air disagreements if one person starts trolling.

There are 2 examples of where i got involved in a fairly argumentative post with a actual point outside of argumenting at it gets deleted alongside with all the rest.

So one, as an admin, is left with 2 choices, delete or dont delete. But if you dont delete then you have to either lock or move the topic to a "ring" so that people can still argue but to keep it outside of the main discussions. But if one moves the entire topic then one also moves the original message which might not have been argumentative or "fighting oriented" at all. So either way one does some damage. What i would suggest is to copy the topic as it was originally and move it to a "underside" of the forum. Incase in such a case as mine, one wants to go and get a snippet of the actual points made for something else. In my specific case i would have liked to, had i known the post would be deleted, to take the arguments i made and post another topic on that note (Why would the higher levels be anymore real than this level and why do we believe that the illusion and trickery of the "bad guys" behind the curtain end at 3rd or 4th. But that possibly this illusion and powerseeking extends all the way of this belief system, to the highest levels).

So while i do agree that moderation is something that needs to be done, i have grown to think that at the moment, the moderation has been going a tad bit overboard.

Discussion?

-Aki

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#2 2006-05-19 17:42:00

tenetnosce
Another You
From: The Singularity
Registered: 2005-09-23

Re: Moderation in moderation

I'm not going to make a comment on what I think should or shouldn't be done with anybody else's posts since:

1.  This is not my forum.

2.  They are not my posts.

However, I will make a comment about myself.

I've gotten in several debates and arguments with people on this forum since I started posting seven months ago, and not once have I encountered a situation where moderation was necessary, or even asked for, with regard to my own posts.

At the risk of sticking my nose out to trolls (and I'm not saying that Hkelukka is one), let me also say that I have never been targeted for an attack.

I say what's on my mind.  I have forceful opinions.  I get into heated debates.

I don't engage in language that is inflammatory.  I don't take it to heart when somebody disagrees with me.  And I never, ever, make personal attacks on somebody who I am arguing with.

NR is the only forum on which I currently post, and the reason is because I truly feel that I can express myself here, and I find that, for the most part, the ideas represented here are of a very high caliber.

What is more, NR is one of the few places where I can get into a discussion on these subjects, and actually encounter intelligent ideas and opinions that I haven't heard before. 
I believe that Montalk does an excellent job of moderation here.  I believe that he thinks very deeply about the choices he makes regarding the use of moderation, and that his primary goal is to preserve the integrity of this site.

I do not believe that Montalk plays favorites.

But the bottom line is this.  If, for some reason, I decide that I don't like this site, I will leave.  And so should anybody else who's got a major problem with the way things are run here.


It is not for us to understand love, but simply to make space for it.

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#3 2006-05-19 22:51:32

montalk
forum-keeper-upper
Registered: 2004-03-25
Website

Re: Moderation in moderation

I think "a fair amount of topics simply vanishing these days" is an exaggeration. There have been very few, and some of those at the request of the person who started the thread. My reasons for deleting these are not as simplistic as you might think. Be happy you are just a poster without the responsibility of making these decisions. What I do is delete the offending posts, email the necessary individuals off the forum to settle things, and keep a backup of anything deleted in case the poster requests it back. This takes care of the situation without disturbing the rest of the forum.

The reasons for this are as follows. If in the middle of a thread there erupts some off-topic arguing and someone writes a sensible response to an irrational provocation, deleting the latter will leave the first out of place and still off-topic. To spare people the embarrassment of looking like they are talking to the air, I delete that out-of-place post. I leave it up long enough for those involved to read each others' replies, but not so long that it continues being a festering sore for everyone else. If the off-topic arguing concerns actual debate of topics instead of the venting of personal matters, then yes I let it go on or move the posts to their own thread.

We already discussed the option of having a "back alley" or "battle arena" where threads or posts that have degenerated into bickering can continue. The conclusion was that making room for such activity invites it, and the nurtured hostility would not stay isolated to that special area of the forum. Also, keep in mind that email is better suited for resolving personal matters off the forum.

I experimented with moving troublesome posts to their own thread, in the theory that making room for this would accommodate the freewill of the participants to work things out amongst themselves. The end result was a runaway chain reaction that far from resolving matters only made them worse. I received complaints about why I allowed such energy wasting to continue, why I provided a space for it in the first place as though condoning and encouraging something that serves the forum no purpose and actually lowers its integrity. Trouble that starts on irrational grounds rarely have a rational resolution. Remember this.

There is another important thing to consider, which is that fights between two people are pretty straightforward as happens in email exchanges. It's like a game of ping pong, back and forth. On a forum, however, fights rarely stay between just two people. Like a monkey jumping onto the ping pong table and swatting at the exchange, a naive third party can enter the fight and picks on some secondary detail not even related to the original argument to complicate things. By that point it degenerates into useless personal bickering, emotionalism, exaggerations, things distortedly brought up from the past, and so on, which has no purpose staying up permanently if it concerns only a few and could be resolved off the forum.

Also, I know the difference between tense incidents that arise out of mere differences of opinion or misunderstanding (which should be allowed to reach their conclusion) and incidents that are orchestrated, remote viewed, and catalyzed by mischievous forces intending solely to screw things up (which should be nipped in the bud). The latter count on the "monkey on the ping pong table" principle to create a chain reaction, and this has happened too many times in the past because orchestrated incidents were not stymied soon enough. The longer these go on, the more damage they cause. This is what experience has shown. Someone will complain regardless of whether I let such drama continue or whether I clean it up sooner, therefore I have chosen not to sacrifice the forum integrity by giving the predator within tapped members the absolute freedom it desires, and so I understand and accept its protests.

Last edited by montalk (2006-05-19 23:30:17)


Acquiring fringe knowledge is like digging for diamonds in a mine field.

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#4 2006-05-20 13:59:20

Lemniscate
Unfolding
Registered: 2006-01-13

Re: Moderation in moderation

The only way to win a war is to not grant the enemy battle.


Magis Amica Veritas

I would rather control myself, than someone else.

en courage (heart)
in spire (spirit)
en thuse (theos)

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#5 2006-05-21 17:58:40

Hkelukka
Member
Registered: 2005-11-01

Re: Moderation in moderation

Interesting points all around. I just got back from a funeral so i didnt have a chance to post earlier.

You make a convincing argument. I see that you probably wont be convinced to change this and you have thought about it more than the normal admin does with the "its the way i say it is and thats final". So i wont pursue you to change the rules any further than that but i would like to point out a few things.

1, there have been 2 threads that i have participated in that have been dealth with by the hand of the administration. And i have not kept an eye on the entire forum and have only read it from time to time. I could be unlucky in that both the vanishing topics/posts were made in topics i participated in and then my argument would be invalid, invalid in saying that "a fair amount".  The reason i noticed it is that most forums where i post, posts arnt deleted but they are locked so the vanishing of posts creates something of a bizzare feeling in that there then is no sign of ever having posted anything.

2, True that i have no responsibility in maintaining this forum. And as such these are merely conversation points and such.

And as one last thing i must point out that saying:

Someone will complain regardless of whether I let such drama continue or whether I clean it up sooner, therefore I have chosen not to sacrifice the forum integrity by giving the predator within tapped members the absolute freedom it desires, and so I understand and accept its protests.

Is, in my eyes, a draconian way of labeling counter arguments, or arguments for "more freedom" as coming from "the predator within tapped members" is a convinient way of labeling critisism. I do not believe that you or i or anyone else, on or off these forums, has the ability to see and accurately enough label counter arguments as to what motivates a opposite point of view.

It would be the same thing as me saying that you deleted the argument because of personal bias to the argumenting parties, as opposed to preferance to keep the forum in an orderly fashion. Since i do not personally believe that you deleted it because of personal opinions of the parties involved, me making such a statement on fairly flimsy grounds would be a "straw man" argument.

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#6 2006-05-21 23:14:05

lyra
Naked Emperor Pointer Outer
From: my own private idaho
Registered: 2004-03-25
Website

Re: Moderation in moderation

Hkelukka wrote:

Is, in my eyes, a draconian way of labeling counter arguments, or arguments for "more freedom" as coming from "the predator within tapped members" is a convinient way of labeling critisism. I do not believe that you or i or anyone else, on or off these forums, has the ability to see and accurately enough label counter arguments as to what motivates a opposite point of view.

Not to speak "on behalf of Montalk" but I couldn't help but notice how you misunderstood what he meant when he was talking about "drama."  He wasn't talking merely about differing viewpoints and "criticism."  He was talking about people who fly off the handle and resort to nasty, personal attacks.  In the thread you're specifically referencing Hkelukka, the person in question, Troy Dungeon, started going off, attacking both montalk and I and our relationship, making snide and nasty comments about us on a *personal level* which had absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand.   Montalk wanted that deleted, that's his prerogative.

You make it sound like the stuff being deleted was merely alternate viewpoints, "counter arguments" as you said........instead of the vindicative attacks that they were which had nothing to do with the topics at hand.  Let's get the facts straight here.   There was another thread that was recently deleted as well that was nothing BUT side fighting, and which disintegrated into some really nasty, nasty stuff.   Some saw it.  Many may not have.  But it was ugly.  And had you seen it, you probably wouldn't keep trying to hammer away at this.  You're either clearly misunderstanding what's gone on, or are lacking the full story.  And again, I'm not speaking on behalf of anybody, but I was involved in the thread that you're referencing, so I know what went on, so that's why I'm jumping in.  Had somebody else been involved, but I witnessed it, then I'd still be jumping in here to correct the misunderstanding.

Last edited by lyra (2006-05-21 23:34:11)


"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "Holy shit ... what a ride!"  - Anonymous
-----
"I get by with a little help from my (higher density) friends."
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#7 2006-05-21 23:44:49

Hkelukka
Member
Registered: 2005-11-01

Re: Moderation in moderation

No, i didnt misunderstand what he meant, you, indeed, misunderstood what i meant. I have no problem with curbing the exsess drama from the forums. But with the risk of curbing points that the drama might bring up, true that drama might bring it up in lesser amounts than civil conversations. I however advocate the locking of topics as opposed to the deletion of topics because of the ability to start threads in different areas if the argument itself breaks up. I recently posted in the aliens in media, and that conversation has ranged from 2005-2006 and has had a change from talking about car insurance to talking bout super models. If now the conversation would get into a personal argument and bickering, if one deletes all expect the car insurances and those immidiatly following then one would lose alot.

If one would however lock it then the parts of interest could be saved by users, limiting the work montalk has to do with each topic as users could themselfs find material that they wanted and start a new thread. And it would also serve as a memory to get a hold of old material and see previous political standpoints and developements of ideas with different people.

I have no interest in personal fightings, i did post on the same topic and if you remeber i did stand up for you and montalk in saying that while the argument that he made is, somewhat, valid, the way he makes it is overly offencive and inappropriate.

But as i made my comments to the administration (montalk) and i already said in my previous post that i have no beef with the administrative decicions as they are his to make and i am a quest in his forum and behave as such. So when montalk illustrated why he made the choice to keep the forums as such i was satisfied in that his point does stick, it is opposite to what i believe but it is hist position to make and i ho no argument with him on this.

However, what i did point out is that to call my critisim as:

Someone will complain regardless of whether I let such drama continue or whether I clean it up sooner, therefore I have chosen not to sacrifice the forum integrity by giving the predator within tapped members the absolute freedom it desires, and so I understand and accept its protests.

If i misunderstood what that means then montalk has my sincere apology. The way i understand that is quite simple, "if i let go of my rules all hell breaks loose" "only the predators in tapped members complain" And that as i see it, labels dissent as coming from the predator within the members in question, instead of a simple disagreeance, and that is what i wanted to point out, not the drama involved. As the thought of all wishes for absolute freedom comes from the predator is something i find noteworthy of pointing out. Montalk dosnt have to change, you dont have to change, i dont have to change, but as long as i am a member of this forum i consider it my duty to get involved in debates about how it should run. As long as, atleast, this section of the forum has the text "suggestions" in it.



So, in closing, i'd like to state one last time that i understand the decicions that montalk makes and i have no problem with them, i do have a problem with laveling dissent so flimsily in such harsh terms. But as that is a personal issue as opposed to the point of this topic i'll leave it at that.

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#8 2006-05-22 01:44:04

montalk
forum-keeper-upper
Registered: 2004-03-25
Website

Re: Moderation in moderation

Glad we got things clarified. Locking a thread is not always the best idea, especially when a good thread is interrupted by a pointless exchange of personal attacks that are better deleted so the thread may resume, otherwise one could easily sabotage any thread merely by provoking a fight and getting the thread locked. Experience has shown that the technique of "not granting the enemy battle" is more stabilizing, efficient, and responsible than other methods. There is a difference between voicing a disagreement, as you have done, and intentionally wanting to screw with people or letting yourself become a puppet of forces that do. It is not about dissent as one might naively conclude, but about irresponsibility. I don't care if people disagree with me, but I do care if they are irresponsible and irrational. Notice that disagreements and debates are healthy and we have plenty of those, while intentional disruption is not okay. While I will not tolerate the latter, I will be more delicate in deciding what to delete and what to preserve.

Last edited by montalk (2006-05-22 03:51:57)


Acquiring fringe knowledge is like digging for diamonds in a mine field.

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