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Abusive postings etc
Old 10-10-2004, 06:37 AM   #1
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Abusive postings etc

First, sorry I have been absent so much lately. I'll save that discussion for later though.

I have had a number of private messages asking me to ban a poster on these boards, or at least implement an "ignore user" feature.

I have not found a feasible way to implement the "ignore" feature on the software running this board, and haven't seen it on a half dozen or so other software packages I have checked.

Banning a user is something something we haven't done before, and is something that I see as a last resort to prevent problems that threaten to destroy the benefit that people find on the forum.

For what it's worth, here is our "official" rule about the forum:

Quote:
Rather than a bunch of rules, we go by the "reasonable person" principle. *

Please be reasonable and courteous.

There's not much else to say about it!
"Reasonable" is, in this context, defined by Webster's as "not extreme or excessive", which seems to me to call for a consensus judgment rather than an arbitrary decision by an individual moderator.

I'm posting this to seek input from other members of this group.

Your thoughts?

Feel free to post here or send me a private message.

Dory36
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Re: Abusive postings etc
Old 10-10-2004, 06:43 AM   #2
 
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Re: Abusive postings etc

Hi Dory! I'm opposed to banning. I suppose I could imagine a situation where something would have to be done. We are not there IMHO.

John Galt
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Re: Abusive postings etc
Old 10-10-2004, 06:53 AM   #3
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Re: Abusive postings etc

Dory,

Banning someone from posting is an extreme step and IMHO should be done only as an absolute last resort.

Everyone should have the right to express his/her opinion, no matter how wrong, stupid, ignorant, irritating, or self-serving .

EDIT: However, should the opinions of said poster be of such a nature and such frequency that they disrupt the good order and discipline of the forum, we should blow thier sorry ass away ban them.

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Re: Abusive postings etc
Old 10-10-2004, 07:28 AM   #4
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Re: Abusive postings etc

As a newcomer to the board I wanted to see everyones thoughts. I think all of us are intelligent enough to sort through the chaff to find the kernel.

That being said I do not think there is a place for postings that are disguised advertising except for the 'get rich quick' area.

I have found some reactions to some posts to be excessive to the point of being irritated. These reflect poorly on the person who posted them not matter what the provocation.

I come down against banning except in extreem circumstances and we are certainly not there yet.

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Re: Abusive postings etc
Old 10-10-2004, 07:29 AM   #5
 
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Re: Abusive postings etc

Wouldn't banning a member also require elimination of "guest" posting?
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Re: Abusive postings etc
Old 10-10-2004, 09:54 AM   #6
 
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Re: Abusive postings etc

I already have an ignore feature on my system.

When I see a poster's name that has basically said the same things a few hundred times, I don't bother to read or respond to it. Works great!
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Re: Abusive postings etcy.
Old 10-10-2004, 10:11 AM   #7
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Re: Abusive postings etcy.

The cause of the smear campaign against me is that I have posted what I honestly believe about SWRs. I believe that the methodology used in the study published at RetireEarlyHomePage.com is analytically invalid. I did not come to this conclusion without significant cause. I began researching SWRs in 1995 and have studied the question in great depth in the nine years since. My viewpoint on the core question in dispute is shared by at least six of the most respected stock analysts in the world. JWR1945 began studying the SWR question when I brought up this matter at the Motley Fool board. He has been studying it on a full-time basis for over two years now. He supports me on every statement that I have put forward re SWRs.

It is extremely unhealthy for a discussion board community to follow a practice of banning posters solely because the content of their posts makes some other poster or group of posters uncomfortable. Controversy is not at all a bad thing on a discussion board so long as the different viewpoints are expressed in reasonable ways. I have always expressed my viewpoint in reasonable ways and I pledge to this community that I always will. If the majority is wrong in what it says re SWRs, the possible effect is that many of our retirements are going to go bust. It should be possible for community members to hear both sides of the story on SWRs and on any other topic brought to the attention of the board.
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Re: Abusive postings etc
Old 10-10-2004, 10:11 AM   #8
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Re: Abusive postings etc

Too much bigbrotherism can be involved in banning anyone. I like Cut-Throat's idea. I guess that is how I do it also. Seems efficient and easy to self-administer to me. :P
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Re: Abusive postings etc
Old 10-10-2004, 10:25 AM   #9
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Re: Abusive postings etc

I used to consider ***** as a street-corner preacher: somebody extremely loud and obnoxious, but easily ignored.

But now I see him more as a disturbed person who wanders into a restaurant and sits down at my table while I'm trying to have a meal and simple conversation. Extremely disruptive to an otherwise nice meal.

He casts a pall over the entire site. If this were a real community, we'd give him busfare and send him to another state.
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It's not the poster, it's the behavior.
Old 10-10-2004, 11:00 AM   #10
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It's not the poster, it's the behavior.

From Roy Weitz' FundAlarm discussion board: "Commercial, off-topic, repetitive, or offensive postings will be ruthlessly deleted." Pretty straightforward, no? But then he has full-time moderators who check the board multiple times each day.

I object to *****' continuing presence on the board because he:
1. Recycles old posts. If you're going to continue to post your "best of", then ask Dory for your own section of the board to do so. That way the rest of us can ignore it without thinking that we're reading something new.

2. He trolls, and I don't mean personality or appearance-- I mean behavior. From one of a number of places with this definition, http://members.aol.com/intwg/trolls.htm#WIAT,

"An Internet "troll" is a person who delights in sowing discord on the Internet. He (and it is usually he) tries to start arguments and upset people.
Trolls see Internet communications services as convenient venues for their bizarre game. For some reason, they don't "get" that they are hurting real people. To them, other Internet users are not quite human but are a kind of digital abstraction. As a result, they feel no sorrow whatsoever for the pain they inflict. Indeed, the greater the suffering they cause, the greater their 'achievement' (as they see it). At the moment, the relative anonymity of the net allows trolls to flourish.
Trolls are utterly impervious to criticism (constructive or otherwise). You cannot negotiate with them; you cannot cause them to feel shame or compassion; you cannot reason with them. They cannot be made to feel remorse. For some reason, trolls do not feel they are bound by the rules of courtesy or social responsibility.
Perhaps this sounds inconceivable. You may think, 'Surely there is something I can write that will change them.' But a true troll can not be changed by mere words."

3. He doesn't play fair. When awarded his own moderator position, he abused it. I don't care what your opinion is-- if you can't defend it by the same rules that guide the rest of us in our discourse, then you aren't entitled to express it.

4. He doesn't answer seemingly reasonable questions about his statements/ideas-- especially when the rest of us are capable of answering those same questions directed at our own posts/ideas.

Note that I'm not directing this post at *****. I've decided that from now on I'm doing what we should all be doing-- ignoring him. He's had his chances to change his behavior and to engage in productive interaction and he's wasted them. Further "reasoning" isn't worth the typing effort. Instead, I'm trying to reach those of you who haven't (yet) been subjected to the disillusionment & disgust experienced by myself & th (and perhaps others).

For those of you who object to banning on principle ("What if they turn on me next?!?"), I'd suggest reviewing th's experience with *****. No one is banned from a discussion board without having gone to extraordinary lengths to achieve & deserve it. There's only one person that really trips John Greaney's trigger, and there's a reason for that.

For guest posts, it doesn't take long to determine that ***** is the actual poster. He doesn't try very hard to disguise his behavior.

Reading a *****-free ER board is like a breath of fresh air after being trapped in a dark underground hole. Try http://www.raddr-pages.com/forums/ .

In summary, it's not personal. I've asked for ***** to be banned because he's not here to post about this board's topics. He's here to be a troll (see #2 again). I'd ask the same of any poster who couldn't avoid these behaviors.

Dory, I'm sorry to see that you can't implement "Ignore". Thanks for looking into it. I don't know how M* does it but it's certainly a feature that Xnull should consider in their next YABB update. I'll give them some user feedback. IMO that is an effective long-term solution far better than the method suggested by Cut-Throat et al.

BTW, I read this board because it inspires my creativity and helps clarify my thinking. I learn a lot from the rest of you and I appreciate your sharing your ER experiences so that I can reap their benefits (without necessarily repeating them!). I enjoy posting here because I know that overinflated ideas will immediately have sharp pins poked in them to see how survivable they really are. I want to continue the exchange & critique of ideas or read about ER lifestyle issues. I don't want to engage in manipulative roundabouts instead of collaborative discussion.

Thanks all, I feel that I've been heard. I also feel pretty strongly that I'm correct in my evaluation of the situation and the action required to improve it, but I'm going to back off and let the problem make itself even more apparent so that you can all revisit it when it's developed (degraded?) further. Hopefully it won't turn this board into the tumbleweed-choked ghost town over at Greaneyville.

I'm done with this subject, but of course you'll send a PM if you have something to say.
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Re: Abusive postings etc
Old 10-10-2004, 11:41 AM   #11
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Re: Abusive postings etc

I agree 100% with Nords.

I also do not like the idea of a ban, and agree it would not be 100% effective, but it sends a message. And I think that message needs to be sent.

He's not expressing an opinion...I thought like that once too, but have now had a full taste of the troll experience at my own expense.

So far he's:

- Excessively hijacked threads
- Brought up topics people have asked to no longer be brought up
- Continued to participate at boards after he's been asked to leave
- Posted under multiple aliases to bolster his trolling
- Caused posters contributing 90%+ of the daily posts to leave and start their own board because of his reinstatement
- When given moderator status has removed reasonable posts that conflicted with his ideas
- Actively campaigned to have another member banned for simply disagreeing with him

I think any of the first four create reasonable cause for a ban, and the latter two show his true colors.

Cant think of a better candidate to be shown the door.
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Re: Abusive postings etc
Old 10-10-2004, 02:11 PM   #12
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Re: Abusive postings etc

While I have only been active on this board for a few months, I just don't understand why TH and NORDS have so much difficulty ignoring posts by certain individuals. I have already noticed that some posters and some topics hold little interest for me, so I ignore them. If I stumble across a posting that is offensive, uninformative, annoying or plain stupid I take note of who the poster was and ignore future posts by that person.

What's the big deal?

It almost seems like those who can't resist being drawn into unproductive exchanges have their own "issues" that are just as annoying to the rest of us as the posters who they want to ban.

BTW, if any of you are offended by what I have just said, don't bother posting a reply (get it?, that's the best approach for posting you don't like).


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Re: Abusive postings etc
Old 10-10-2004, 02:36 PM   #13
 
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Re: Abusive postings etc

Obviously Grumpy is not Dopey.

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Re: Abusive postings etc
Old 10-10-2004, 03:06 PM   #14
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Re: Abusive postings etc

Welcome back, Dory36. You have been missed.

I have backed away from posting during your absence because of the intense hostility directed at *****. You have not tolerated such hostility in the past and I doubt that you will in the future.

You will recognize the fallacy built into the complaint about *****'s recycled posts. Those were highly recommended when they were posted at the Motley Fool. ***** has the legal ability to put those posts here. Others do not.

I like your reasonable person rule. I do not like the idea of banning posters. Many who favor banning are the ones that I consider unreasonable.

Have fun.

John R.
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Re: Abusive postings etc
Old 10-10-2004, 04:46 PM   #15
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Re: Abusive postings etc

Hey Grumpy...wait until every single post on any topic gets a 5000 page post on safe withdrawal rates, *****'s "new tool" that doesnt exist, his "methodology" that doesnt work, and how everyone is trying to kill him for what he posts.

Or you could try the couple of knock down drag out 10 page posts he started under an alias and then continued under several aliases.

I went with the "just ignore it" routine too. I just dont think we should have to wade through a bunch of crap to have a reasonable discourse.

In fact, ***** has just demonstrated his ability to post under multiple aliases/identities in support of himself in this very thread.

In further fact, this very thread is exactly what he wants. Attention, disagreement and disruption.

The guys already been banned from a bunch of sites. When he was reinstated at another board everyone of consequence left. He's had the same behavior consistently. You have a collection of very reasonable people here who wish him to be locked out.

What are the odds that he's just a nice fella that has always gotten the short end of the stick in error? :
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Re: Abusive postings etc
Old 10-10-2004, 05:31 PM   #16
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Re: Abusive postings etc

I suppose that I hardly need to reiterate my opinion, but I really think that h**** should be banned. Frankly, I never cared enough about what he has to say to bother disagreeing with him. Rather, I find his relentless attempts to attract (mostly negative) attention and disrupt otherwise reasonable discussions to be odious. I particularly find troll posts and recycled garbage on boards that have nothing to do with the material posted to be very obnoxious.

I have enjoyed participating here because there are some interesting viewpoints and engaging personalities. I am sorry to say that as the signal-to-h**** ratio has risen, much of the attraction of the boards has diminished.
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Re: Abusive postings etc
Old 10-10-2004, 05:38 PM   #17
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Re: Abusive postings etc

TH,
If you say about ***** is true (I don't pay enough attention to notice) he/she is leading a sad life that he/she has to behave in such a mannor.
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Re: Abusive postings etc
Old 10-10-2004, 05:52 PM   #18
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Re: Abusive postings etc

Quote:
... just demonstrated his ability to post under multiple aliases/identities in support of himself in this very thread.
FWIW, in each message I see the IP address the poster posts from, where you see the word "logged". So it is easy for me to spot someone posting under different names. No such activity in this thread. (I haven't noticed it elsewhere, but haven't looked hard.)

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Re: Abusive postings etc
Old 10-10-2004, 05:56 PM   #19
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Re: Abusive postings etc

***** has offered in a private message to tone things down in both content and frequency.

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Re: Abusive postings etc
Old 10-10-2004, 09:07 PM   #20
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Re: Abusive postings etc

Dory -

I can post here under 5 different names under 5 different IP addresses in 30 seconds. The IP logging doesnt mean much.

If you change the MAC address in your local router, your ISP will give you a new and different address. Entering an anonymous, open or public proxy address in your browser gives you a new address. There are free websites that list these proxy addresses. Its far from rocket science.

Of course ***** has offered to tone it down. He'll lie low for a bit and he'll be back, or just keep posting under different names. The whole point is to be as annoying as possible while staying in the game.

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