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-   -   Please, take a breath. (https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f32/please-take-a-breath-36526.html)

Martha 06-19-2008 06:40 PM

Please, take a breath.
 
Over the last several days the worst has come out in some of the posters and other posters have tired of the bad behavior. We have participants who do not want to post on a certain topic because it will be derailed by another poster who repeatedly posts variations of the same post on the issue. We have posters leaving. We have insults posted on goodbye threads. We have posters frustrated with what they perceive as uninformed posts but instead of addressing the issue, they react with personal attacks. We have posters who are good posters but when receiving an infraction refuse to change their behavior and either leave or do more of the same. Odds are it is due in part to the political season and the political posts tend to be the most problematic.

We can continue to issue infractions and some of you will get mad and leave. You don't have to do that. Maybe take a break for a few days. Put the Soapbox on ignore. Report problematic posts to the moderators for us to deal with.

brewer12345 06-19-2008 06:56 PM

Suggestion: get rid of the soapbox toxic waste board.

Cattusbabe 06-19-2008 07:08 PM

Thank you for this Martha.
This group here has shown that with discipline one can not only get ones financial house in order but can FIRE. These skills are very much needed these days by more and more people. People who will come here seeking advice and information about how that is done.

As for me, I feel that this country has some challenging times ahead and this is not a time to be at each others throat. A house divided........ need I complete that thought? Regardless of whom is elected or where we stand on the issues we all will have to roll up our sleeves to get the job done to meet those challenges. Last time I looked this was the United States of America and we should never forget that.

bssc 06-19-2008 07:15 PM

To second Martha's post. Everyone relax and take a break before posting something inflammatory. Yesterday was the full moon so today everyone will calm down, right?

DRiP Guy 06-19-2008 07:18 PM

Wow.

I know I hardly ever poke my head in here any longer, but I always think of you guys as the core -- I'd hate to hear of long term posters leaving, but I also know that you have to moderate firmly and without bias, or you get chaos...

I have not dug into any threads to see what the ruckus is about, but I would just appeal for rationality, and for what Martha suggests -- don't say something you can't take back, or storm out in a snit -- just take some time away.

I spend a lot of time on Bogleheads, and there is NO O/t and NO politics there, and that's fine, but frankly a little bland, so I liked the idea that there was still an 'old school board' that could tie it all together, including politics, personal struggles, ribbing type humor, etc.


Don't lose it guys. Hang in there. You have too much history, too much culture, and too many miles passed together to let a fracture develop that could have been mended.

Khan 06-19-2008 07:23 PM

I am truly amazed at what will set people off.

Notmuchlonger 06-19-2008 07:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Khan (Post 671932)
I am truly amazed at what will set people off.


This thread is making me go off

retire@40 06-19-2008 07:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brewer12345 (Post 671916)
Suggestion: get rid of the soapbox toxic waste board.

No, that is the E-R Forum fly trap.

I would rather have all the degenerate lowlifes spend their time there because every second they spend there is one less second they spend on the good forums.

Besides, now that we can ignore that entire combat zone, the critters that occupy that place bother me as much as a group of Chinese bakers yelling obscenities at me in Mandarin while floating in a paddle boat in the Yangtze River on a cloudy Thursday in June.

73ss454 06-19-2008 07:55 PM

I'm with Brewer, it's all opinions and everyones got one. Just doesn't make for a good out come. I like to stay on the threads with facts not opinions.

cute fuzzy bunny 06-19-2008 08:06 PM

I have a solution. Anyone feeling testy or annoyed with other people on an internet forum just go do a bunch of major renovations on your house... ;)

Martha 06-19-2008 08:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brewer12345 (Post 671916)
Suggestion: get rid of the soapbox toxic waste board.

We could keep it and those who don't want to be involved can ignore it.

Otherwise, if we remove the soapbox then I think we would need to say no more political posts unless they directly relate to ER or at least R.

73ss454 06-19-2008 08:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Martha (Post 671966)
Ignore it!

Martha, for some that's easy but for some they can't help themselves. Then they get involved and the problems start.

Sort of like putting cheese in front of a mouse.

Dawg52 06-19-2008 08:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bssc (Post 671929)
Yesterday was the full moon so today everyone will calm down, right?

I was wondering why my beard and finger nails grew several inches yesterday. :-\ BTW, I didn't realize we had a problem until Dex departed. Of course I stay out of the Soap Box too.

Cattusbabe 06-19-2008 08:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Martha (Post 671966)
We could keep it and those who don't want to be involved can ignore it.

Otherwise, if we remove the soapbox then I think we would need to say no more political posts unless they directly relate to ER or at least R.

This gets my vote. There are tons of places on the net to have political food fights. No need for that here IMO.

bright eyed 06-19-2008 08:59 PM

I have enjoyed some of the long, sometimes intense discussions on this board and I have learned a lot from those who don't hold the same view as myself. However, I have been pretty preoccupied lately with personal stuff (work, life etc) but have also been a bit astounded at the tone and content of posts and have even felt it wasn't worth my time contributing (shock!) and have mostly thanked those who have tried to make an effort.

I hope we don't let the sour grapes ruin the bunch? or is it some other fruit?

Thanks for the OP Martha, I admire the patience and diligence of our moderators!

73ss454 06-19-2008 09:01 PM

That's the deal Martha, let these folks go to a news forum with this stuff.

Politics and news don't need to be here. There are plenty of other places they can go if they want to discuss that venue.

REWahoo 06-19-2008 09:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Martha (Post 671966)
Otherwise, if we remove the soapbox then I think we would need to say no more political posts unless they directly relate to ER or at least R.

The problem is, where do you draw the line between the "purely political" and the "political but related to ER/R"? Anything related to taxes, finance, health insurance, the budget deficit, deficit spending, SS, Medicare would be open season, right? What about immigration (hey, I need a job to save for retirement!), the war (hey, we're going into huge debt to finance that mess, what about my future taxes!), and on and on.

I'd love to see political threads eliminated from the forum. I just don't see how ER/R and politics can be separated in a manner that would make sense.

Not to mention all the heavy handed censorship you Naz...uh, not to mention how difficult it would be for the mods to manage. ;)

73ss454 06-19-2008 09:04 PM

REW, you have my vote to be in charge of policing this effort.

Ed_The_Gypsy 06-19-2008 09:06 PM

Quote:

Suggestion: get rid of the soapbox toxic waste board.
I second Brewer

REWahoo 06-19-2008 09:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 73ss454 (Post 671985)
REW, you have my vote to be in charge of policing this effort.

I'm amazed that this thread, which began with an appeal for reason and civility, has degenerated so quickly. Have you no shame?

bbbamI 06-19-2008 09:13 PM

Just look to the disco ball for answers.....

Rustic23 06-19-2008 09:15 PM

I ignore most of the 'Soap Box'. I try to refrain from post there ever, but if I do, I try to comment in a non political way. Sometimes a Soap Box thread can have some insights. Example "How will Bush be judged by history'. If you can weed through the political ranker, there were some thoughtful comments on how history and when history places judgment on a person. For me it is the insulting/condescending post in other sections of the board that I find more objectionable. I expect view points I strongly disagree with in the 'Soap Box', and while personal attacks should not be tolerated, I understand why people are passionate.

I do believe that if you stop the Soap Box, it will spread over to the main board. I am for banning political post. However, I agree with RW that this is not really practical.

Martha 06-19-2008 09:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 73ss454 (Post 671969)
Martha, for some that's easy but for some they can't help themselves. Then they get involved and the problems start.

Sort of like putting cheese in front of a mouse.

Ha! You quoted me before I deleted what I said and rewrote it. Yes, I understand because sometimes I can't help myself either.

shiny 06-19-2008 09:20 PM

It's a challenge, wanting to participate yet wanting to be able to stay calm. I don't know how the Dalai Lama does it. (Not that I think he is a forum member :))

73ss454 06-19-2008 09:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by REWahoo (Post 671988)
I'm amazed that this thread, which began with an appeal for reason and civility, has degenerated so quickly. Have you no shame?


Off to the soap box with you.;D

CuppaJoe 06-19-2008 09:40 PM

I will briefly ignore the soap box comments on this thread and veer back to post #1. Over the weekend I carefully read many of the threads, much more thoroughly than I usually do on weekends. One poster gave us his deepest feelings about Father's Day. Several others others made nasty posts that I took as reflections of being down on a major holiday. At least one of them has since returned to normal posts. So I would vote to overlook a lot of recent negative stuff.

BTW, Someone posted that the Thank You thumbs up can be used as ironic or sarcastic thanks. If you received a thumbs up from me, it was sincere! >:D

Nords 06-19-2008 09:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DRiP Guy (Post 671930)
Wow.
I know I hardly ever poke my head in here any longer, but I always think of you guys as the core -- I'd hate to hear of long term posters leaving, but I also know that you have to moderate firmly and without bias, or you get chaos...
Don't lose it guys. Hang in there.

It's OK, Drip, the departing posters are all heading over to Raddr's board...

yakers 06-19-2008 10:30 PM

IIMHO, & if this ever comes to a vote, I would keep the soapbox but mark it XXX/poison and leave a notice that ideas discussed screemed at should not be taken to any other part of the board.

I don't think I have posted to the board and rarely even read it. But 'maybe' its a good outlet. There used to be an uncontrolled shooting area in the nearby national park. The area looked like a blight on the environment but it was an outlet and now that it is closed there is less but more random shooting in the park.

Marquette 06-19-2008 10:39 PM

If you ignore a forum, threads from it don't even show up on the portal page! It's amazing. I have no idea what this soapbox thing is you all are referring to... I ignore travel too, is that where all of this is going down?

CalTex 06-19-2008 11:28 PM

Hi everyone. I've been a lurker for over a year now and probably would have stayed that way. I'll give a proper introduction in the appropriate place, but this thread has prompted me to register and chime in with my two cents.

I've always been impressed by the high quality and general good humor of the discourse here. I too, have noticed the wheels coming off in the last few days. I don't want this group falling apart before I even get started! After Dex resigned, I took my first (and probably last) look at the Soap Box. I saw a side of many posters that surprised me and it gave a whole new (unpleasant) flavor to the forum.

Bottom Line: this forum is something special, there are many other places to vent political steam. I'm with Brewer - loose the Soap Box.

Notmuchlonger 06-19-2008 11:36 PM

Best function ever. Ignore thread ;D

donheff 06-20-2008 06:29 AM

I think the soap box has reduced the political element in other forums. I agree with REWhahoo that you can't separate politics entirely from ER topics. But it seems like the worst of the rants are confined to the Soap Box.

brewer12345 06-20-2008 06:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Martha (Post 671966)
Otherwise, if we remove the soapbox then I think we would need to say no more political posts unless they directly relate to ER or at least R.

Fine with me. I put soap box on ignore last night, so we will see if that makes things better.

I think the soap box was a bad idea from the get go. If you set up a nuclear waste dump next to your house, you should not be surprised when the dog grows three extra tails and the cockroaches get to 8 feet long.

REWahoo 06-20-2008 06:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brewer12345 (Post 672068)
Fine with me. I put soap box on ignore last night, so we will see if that makes things better.

Good. I think you'll find the much reduced noise level a pleasant experience.

Quote:

Originally Posted by brewer12345 (Post 672068)
If you set up a nuclear waste dump next to your house, you should not be surprised when the dog grows three extra tails and the cockroaches get to 8 feet long.

Prior to consolidating in one spot, the nuclear waste was sprinkled through every room in the house. Not only were dogs and cockroaches mutating, but so were the wife and kids! ;)

HFWR 06-20-2008 07:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by REWahoo (Post 671988)
I'm amazed that this thread, which began with an appeal for reason and civility, has degenerated so quickly. Have you no shame?


You have to ask? :angel:

Rich_by_the_Bay 06-20-2008 02:54 PM

I understand the mixed reaction to the Soapbox/Headline forum. I've gotten many more thank-you's on that than I have complaints. Mostly for the reasons in Retire@40s analogy of fly paper.

Two observations: many get inflamed by it but refuse to ignore it. That's a choice.

Second, because it was intended to carve out a big chunk of posts that most didn't want to read, I think the mods got a little lax in letting things go too far in some of those threads, partly because the thread was "safely" tucked away in that forum. Erred on the side of allowing too much stuff in violation of the board rules.

So I'd lean toward keeping the soap box, advising those who don't like it to ignore it, and having us mods apply the same rules and the same threshholds to Soapbox as we do to other forums.

I'm also OK simply not allowing political threads, but don't think its practical, and it makes mods really seem like even worse authoritatian censors than we already are ;).

Kronk 06-20-2008 03:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by donheff (Post 672067)
I think the soap box has reduced the political element in other forums. I agree with REWhahoo that you can't separate politics entirely from ER topics. But it seems like the worst of the rants are confined to the Soap Box.

I agree. Putting the Soap Box on Ignore has proven to me to be much better than the board was prior to the creation of the Soap Box. It gives an outlet for posts that would otherwise find their way into things I actually want to read about.

Brat 06-20-2008 04:38 PM

My old lady gut is telling me that people who pay attention to the financial world are under a lot of stress and getting testy. I don't think there is a perfect solution but maybe, sometimes, a poster should be told the internet equivalent of "Take a deep breath, close your eyes for five minutes, then take a 30 minute walk to consider the blessings in your life. Now you can see how unimportant that other idiot is and ignore the SOB." Others can construct the message with more tact and finesse than I.

My $0.02.

Walt34 06-20-2008 04:54 PM

I'll admit to being somewhat puzzled at how upset some can be at what is posted on this or any other forum. It' just typewritten words for Pete's sake! Remember the old New Yorker cartoon:

"On the Internet nobody knows you're a dog."

I think the Soapbox serves a purpose and agree with donheff - it draws the "worst" of it to a place where those who it bothers can ignore.

But then, I'm used to an environment where people sometimes threw rocks at me. Not just the rhetorical ones, real ones, so it takes more than words on a screen to annoy me.

Rich_by_the_Bay 06-20-2008 05:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brat (Post 672367)
My old lady gut is telling me that people who pay attention to the financial world are under a lot of stress and getting testy. I don't think there is a perfect solution but maybe, sometimes, a poster should be told the internet equivalent of "Take a deep breath, close your eyes for five minutes, then take a 30 minute walk to consider the blessings in your life. Now you can see how unimportant that other idiot is and ignore the SOB." Others can construct the message with more tact and finesse than I.

My $0.02.

Nice, Brat. Good observations.

Leonidas 06-20-2008 06:19 PM

I prefer the combination of the Soap Box as flypaper and my ability to put it on ignore. Efforts by the mods to keep the Soap Box stuff in the Soap Box area will get my applause.

Nords 06-20-2008 06:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa (Post 672340)
... I think the mods got a little lax in letting things go too far in some of those threads, partly because the thread was "safely" tucked away in that forum. Erred on the side of allowing too much stuff in violation of the board rules.

I think the mods do a fine job of balancing "Wet toxic spill on aisle four, cleanup crew to the decontamination facility" with all the piteously despairing cries of excessive jack-booted censorship.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Those Soapbox fans not understanding the concept of excessive moderation should put up a few posts at the Bogleheads forum... if you can get past the posting rules.

And for those who prefer minimal moderation, there's just about every forum on Morningstar as well as the entire wonderful world of Yahoo! Finance.

Rustic23 06-20-2008 06:51 PM

I put the Soap Box on ignore. GREAT!!!

As I am all far limiting political post, this does it for me.

Thanks.

Zoocat 06-20-2008 08:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Martha (Post 671966)
Otherwise, if we remove the soapbox then I think we would need to say no more political posts unless they directly relate to ER or at least R.

I don't think that the forum loses anything by eliminating the soapbox. Dumping it would strengthen the forum, IMHO.

clifp 06-20-2008 08:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oldbabe (Post 672482)
I don't think that the forum loses anything by eliminating the soapbox. Dumping it would strengthen the forum, IMHO.


I disagree. It is a few months before an election, many of us have the time and/or inclination to watch and comment on the election. The government does effect our retirement any many ways and so it can be difficult to separate politics from health care/money retirement discussions. In fact, I've yet to see a retirement discussion forum not contain a lot of political threads, exhibit A is the Motley Fool Early retirement forum.

The soapbox is a way to mostly contain discussions to one area and the folks who don't want to read or participate can easily ignore them.

Frankly, I find the problem to be far less the topic as the attitude of some of the long time posters. I think simply reflecting (or as Martha says take a deep breath) on how the person at the other end of your post may react to your post will do a lot for increasing the civility of the forum.

It really is NOT hard to disagree with someone without resorting to personal attacks. The vast majority of people on this forum a quite intelligent and capable of posting cogent arguments without reverting to Jr. High behavior. The original golden rule applies to the virtual world just as well as does to the real world.

cute fuzzy bunny 06-20-2008 10:30 PM

Eh, inflamatory political/religion/sex threads are pretty easy to spot. You know one when you see one.

I've said it before a few times. All boards that grow hit this 'crap ceiling' and all of the ones that kept growing just put a warning in the rules that threads started or drifting too seriously into such areas will be closed/deleted.

People get the point after a bit. Its not about censorship. Its about not raising or tilting towards areas where people will become sharply polarized, actual 'learning' rarely occurs, and opinions are frequently unchanged.

Oh yeah, and theres that stuff about pissing people off and having the grumpiness carry over into other threads. Mad people stay mad for a while, but they dont stop posting.

So I'm kinda of the opinion that if you think it should be posted in the 'soap box', keep it to yourself. People who only come up with stuff that should be posted in the 'soap box' oughta fnd another place to post.

Polarization and giving people really interesting things to talk about that allow someone to sit back and watch the fireworks does not make a happy discussion group.

I want to talk about early retirement, investing, our lives, interesting bits of this and that, etc. I'm not remotely interested in why Bush sucks, what is actually Clintons fault, why liberals are idiots, why conservatives are jackasses, etc.

If I want that, I'll go looking for www.pissyourselfoffandeveroneelse.com

Zoocat 06-21-2008 08:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clifp (Post 672493)
I disagree. It is a few months before an election, many of us have the time and/or inclination to watch and comment on the election. The government does effect our retirement any many ways and so it can be difficult to separate politics from health care/money retirement discussions. In fact, I've yet to see a retirement discussion forum not contain a lot of political threads, exhibit A is the Motley Fool Early retirement forum.

All true. But I've brought up issues related to the national deficit and really there has been no thoughtful discussion that has resulted. Mostly just knee jerk reactions based upon preconceived political opinions. I've yet to read a political thread on this board that brought out any new and thoughtful observations. Sorry, guys. :rolleyes: I think that's just the nature of the beast.

On the other hand, I have learned much of great value by being a member of this board and basking in the intelligence of the other members on topics related to personal finance, life matters, health, etc.

My point was that focusing the board upon what it does best would strengthen it, while allowing peripheral sections, like soapbox, diffuse the purpose of the board.

But I'm not invested in the outcome of this and, soapbox or not, will continue to read and post here.

ERD50 06-21-2008 08:22 AM

The forum title just BEGS for problems
 
I agree with clifp a few posts above. I would like to point out a few things that I thing are contributing to some of the issues:

1) The TITLE 'Soap Box' is just wrong, IMO. This is supposed to be (I think?) a discussion forum, and the term Soap Box is generally used to describe someone that is just talking with no regard or desire for feedback or debate. You don't 'stand on a Soap Box' to discuss something face-to-face, you stand on a Soap box to make pronouncements. So why be surprised when some people do this? The title is asking for it.

2) Also in the Title: 'Headline News'? Don't we already have plenty of sources for news? Again, it seems to be asking people to just regurgitate headline news, w/o any thought behind discussion/debate, or 'what can we learn from this'.

Maybe the forum 'Other Topics' just needs to be split - 'General Topics not related to ER' And 'Political and Current Topics not Related to ER', or 'Hot Button Topics not related to ER' ( to help people who wish to totally ignore the 'hot button' topics), or something. What's in a name? Sometimes a lot.

3) FEEDBACK! I'm not sure I know what threads anyone is talking about. What threads caused trouble, where, which posts were OK, which are viewed as inflammatory? I'm sure many won't even bother to try to figure it out, so we don't get feedback on what is right/wrong. I am also confused about the infraction system here, because there is no feedback. How does anyone learn what is right/wrong when it is all secret?

As an example, after this '3 infractions and measures will be taken' was set up, I saw a thread where a long time poster engaged in very direct, obscene, degrading personal attacks, attacks on the OP, not the subject matter - it must have been four or five separate posts in that thread from him like that - yet, did anything happen? It appears not, he kept posting. All we saw was 'moderator edit' on the worst of it.

That thread was so bad, I would have been embarrassed if anyone looked over my shoulder - it would have been 'what the heck are you reading!!??'. It sends the message that personal, obscene, degrading attacks ARE OK, no problem, the mods will just edit the worst of it, have a nice day.

I'm not thrilled with the practice of shutting down threads because *some* poster/s push the rules. Sometimes, that means they 'win', and the rest of us who actually wanted to discuss the topic respectfully are left out. Punish the 'offenders', not everybody in the same thread.

Suggestions:

1) Mods should LABEL any posts that resulted in infractions - we will all see what is considered trouble. Maybe even show a count of how many times that post was reported as a problem (whether it resulted in infraction or not - at least we would know if the mods were made aware of the problem).

2) I'm sure this will be controversial, but think about it: It sounds like the mods have a little spreadsheet they share, so they can track the '3 violations in 120 days' rule. I say make it public. No, not to humiliate any specific posters, but so that we can see what is being tolerated, what is not, and also - maybe some of us will report offensive, disruptive posts that don't appear on that list. That should help clean the place up.

-ERD50

REWahoo 06-21-2008 08:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ERD50 (Post 672598)
How does anyone learn what is right/wrong when it is all secret?

Secret?

Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community - Community Rules

brewer12345 06-21-2008 11:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clifp (Post 672493)
In fact, I've yet to see a retirement discussion forum not contain a lot of political threads, exhibit A is the Motley Fool Early retirement forum.

I came here in the first place to get away from the toxic waste dump that place became. If this forum ends up like that one, I will be looking elsewhere.

ERD50 06-21-2008 12:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by REWahoo (Post 672604)

I didn't mean to say that the rules are secret, I meant to say that the enforcement of the rules seems to be secret. And I don't mean that in a 'conspiracy theory' sort of way, just that they are not made public (AFAIK).

People tend to respond to what they see/know to be enforced. If everyone is doing 65 in a 55 zone, and no one ever seems to get pulled over, people will keep doing 65.

Likewise, if someone says in a single thread over a short period of time:

Screw you and the piglet horse you rode in on.
Yeah, you're a ****ing saint, aren't you?
If you right wingers want [moderator edit] in public,

and the poster keeps on posting, it makes one wonder what the real 'rules' are. Those comments are personal attacks and offensive.

Is that a single infraction, or three infractions?

Again, if people see rules being broken, and no enforcement, it will encourage others to break/bend/test the rules. Things tend to work that way.

And I'm not trying to pick on the mods here - it's a tough job and they are probably doing an exemplary job. I'm really trying to help by saying that some public info might help make their job easier - people will see examples of rules being broken, enforcement, and 'click' - the light bulb will come on (for some).

-ERD50

ziggy29 06-21-2008 12:24 PM

Getting rid of the Soap Box is tempting. But given the political climate and in a political election year, it at least allows the mods to isolate the toxic political sludge into one place. I fear that if it were removed, the politics and the insults and disrespect it brings would bleed back into other forums. At least with this setup, those wishing to avoid it completely have a solution: avoid the Soap Box.

Plus, as already mentioned, there can sometimes be a fine line between political issues and how they can affect the quest for FIRE and engaging in full-contact politics for its own sake. It's hard to discuss the future of health care, Social Security or other economic issues impacting that quest without at least some reference to it.

The real shame is that some people can't look at political disagreement without assuming the people on the other side must be either stupid, malevolent or both. And it's that attitude that tends to turn political discussion into a sewer.

Having said all that, I don't understand the mindset of some people to have to drag politics into everything and everywhere. There are plenty of sites devoted to political debate. Why feel the need to drag that crap into places where it doesn't belong?

Rich_by_the_Bay 06-21-2008 12:34 PM

It is true that the threshholds for enforcement of existing rules (and their interpretation) are not always clear cut.

Just as real-world cops might give you a break on a speeding ticket, or judges might disagree on a verdict, our rules are subject to things such as past history of offenses, longevity of the user (2 posts with a vulgarity over 1500 posts might be viewed differently from 2 over 4 posts for a new user). There are countless unique factors that go into any serious moderator action. Complaints and private messages add another layer. And some times it's "just because" that's the way the mods want to handle something.

What I can clarify is that we discuss virtually all non-trivial actions amongst ourselves, we consider a lot of factors, and we generally shy away from doing anything restrictive unless we really feel the need.

Not a perfect system, and we have all seen what happens if things get too nasty for too long (or if things get over-policed). We're doing our best. I can assure everyone that if you have even a vague notion of civility and the community rules, your chances of ever running into a mod action are next to zero. You almost have to try to get moderated around here compared to lots of other boards.

I hope that helps give you a sense of the usual MO.

haha 06-21-2008 12:50 PM

All over the world people are killing one another over politics. I believe that for the most part, this is because politics are important, and not just because these people have not yet been introduced to correct thinking. Political decisions affect every one of us. So far perhaps less so in the USA than elsewhere, but that is not guaranteed to persist forever.

I don't understand adults who have no interest in politics- whether it be the near range infighting in a company, zoning and land use decisions in a town, or tax and "income redistribution" policies nationally, or foreign policy and war internationally.

At worst, political discussions on this board can give us a laboratory to gauge how people who we already know quite a bit about just by reading their thoughts over a period of time will view national political issues. People have complained that political discussions are uninformative. IMO that is an oxymoron. A broad minded person can learn many things from what might at first glance appear to nothing more than a shouting contest. S/he might observe what is said and how it is said. S/he can infer why it is said, and make other inferences from who it is said to.

I believe I have said before, this board is a valuable laboratory. And of course that fact cannot be destroyed - even if everything but Bogle-isms were to become unspeak, that alone would be useful knowledge to some people.

Ha

ziggy29 06-21-2008 12:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by haha (Post 672731)
I don't understand adults who have no interest in politics- whether it be the near range infighting in a company, zoning and land use decisions in a town, or tax and "income redistribution" policies nationally.

Is it a complete disinterest in politics or is it seeking a refuge from it when we're bombarded with it everywhere else?

The fact that some people don't want politics discussed here doesn't mean they have no interest in it. They may have no interest in seeing it HERE, even if some might be interested in it elsewhere. One of the best ways to balkanize a mostly harmonious online community is to start injecting politics in it. You start seeing people who used to like and respect each other start disliking each other. I can't count the number of times I've seen that elsewhere.

So in the end, I guess I'd say there's enough other places to get riled up over politics, and I don't see why it's so darned critical to argue them *everywhere* and in all places. I enjoy a good and reasonably civil political discussion, but sometimes I want to go to a place where I can GET AWAY from it when I start feeling 'politics fatigue.'

I can already get my fill of Bush sucks/Obama sucks or whatever else in any number of other places. I for one like the idea of a 'politics free zone.' If I ever decide I want to engage in some political discussion, I can turn to one of dozens, if not hundreds, of other sites online.

Texas Proud 06-21-2008 01:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ERD50 (Post 672598)

1) The TITLE 'Soap Box' is just wrong, IMO. This is supposed to be (I think?) a discussion forum, and the term Soap Box is generally used to describe someone that is just talking with no regard or desire for feedback or debate. You don't 'stand on a Soap Box' to discuss something face-to-face, you stand on a Soap box to make pronouncements. So why be surprised when some people do this? The title is asking for it.

Just a note.... I guess you have not been to Hyde Park in London on a Sunday morning... where they DO have the real soap boxes.... I used to go visit just to see what people wanted to 'pronounce'.... well, it was a discussion more than a pronouncement.... well, except for some who were just talking in the air.... if they made a statement that was not in the norm, someone in the crowd would challenge what was said and it was a back and forth with some 'yeas' and 'nays' from others.... you could tell who had the better argument and when someone made a good point or someone else was being unreasonable... sometimes they got heated... but the people all knew what it was for and would walk away if they did not like how things were going.... why can this not happen HERE?


As an aside... I found one of the most interesting was a Muslim guy who blamed every bad thing in the Middle East on America.. .and this Communist was 'arguing' with him... after about 15 minutes it kind of petered out... I went up to the Communist (I did not know at the time he was one) and asked him about his beliefs.... well, to my surprise he then told me he was a Communist but that the Muslim was just spouting such stupid things he wanted to see what he would say... so funny.....

Texas Proud 06-21-2008 01:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ERD50 (Post 672718)

Likewise, if someone says in a single thread over a short period of time:

Screw you and the piglet horse you rode in on.
Yeah, you're a ****ing saint, aren't you?
If you right wingers want [moderator edit] in public,

and the poster keeps on posting, it makes one wonder what the real 'rules' are. Those comments are personal attacks and offensive.

I have to agree with this.... as I have said, some of the long time posters can 'dismiss' someone they do not agree with with a very snide comment like the above and move on... they got their panties in a knot (yes, inflammatory :bat:) and did not want to continue the discussion.... but wanted to get in their last 'hit'....

To me... this is just background noise... it makes me wonder about the person for a minute or two... but then I move on and forget it...

I recommend this to others...

haha 06-21-2008 01:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ziggy29 (Post 672736)
So in the end, I guess I'd say there's enough other places to get riled up over politics, and I don't see why it's so darned critical to argue them *everywhere* and in all places. I enjoy a good and reasonably civil political discussion, but sometimes I want to go to a place where I can GET AWAY from it when I start feeling 'politicsfatigue.'

Well, of course you use inflammatory speech "get riled up over politics"; "so darned critical", etc.

Really it is all OK to me, you just contributed to my data gathering.

And by the way, if putting the soapbox on ignore doesn't do it for you, perhaps you might enjoy reading about self control, self determination, and the roots of democratic societies. :)

Respectfully yours,

Ha

ziggy29 06-21-2008 01:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by haha (Post 672742)
And by the way, if putting the soapbox on ignore doesn't do it for you, perhaps you might enjoy reading about self control, self determination, and the roots of democratic societies. :)

Hey, I'm cool with having the Soap Box around as a "containment field" when I don't want to be riled up over politics. I'm just saying that even people who are interested in politics may not *always* be in the mood to debate it or wade through all the incendiary discussion, and that having a desire to not see political stuff here doesn't necessarily mean they are apolitical.

In reality, as long as the Soap Box keeps the other forums politics-free, that's good enough for me. I may even go in there from time to time if I'm in the mood. :angel:

Wags 06-21-2008 01:35 PM

Enough of the whining and complaining.

You asked for the ignore features (it was granted to you)and now those are not enough. Again it is plain and simple if you do not want to read it then don't.

If I may borrow a post from the GREAT Haha on thread Ground Rules

There used to be a group called The Legion of Decency. They wanted the abolition of pornography, which by their definition included most anything that showed a man and a women in any situation other than praying.

Why did they want this? It wasn't that pornography ran out and held a gun to their heads and made them look at it.

I was because to them it was sexually appealing, but morally challenging. And they couldn't handle the dissonance this produced.

I would think that people who are all heated up over more and more ways to hide threads or posters or life itself from their daintly eyes suffer from the same problem. They are attracted to these topics, or these types of expression, but at the same time they are distressed by this.

Isn't that something that can be best handled by self restraint? Or self knowledge? Or by compassion for oneself and for others?

What would the Buddha say?

Ha

End of HaHa's post.

With that being said I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.;)

God Bless Us All:angel:

VaCollector 06-21-2008 01:36 PM

Before reading this post I didn't even KNOW there WAS a Soap Box :-\ .....but I DID know what day it was!!....uhhh, but that was yesterday....or was it the day before??

REWahoo 06-21-2008 01:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wags (Post 672757)
Enough of the whining and complaining.

Physician, heal thyself.

Edit: Ooops, I forgot the :)

Danny 06-21-2008 01:52 PM

Lets take a collective deep breath and do our part to make the forum a better more mellow place - Deep Breathing exercise

More Breathing exercises that help to keep mental diseases away

ERD50 06-21-2008 03:09 PM

Ahhhhh.

I'm taking a breath before posting again to this thread.

Hmmmmmm.

Feels good.


-ERD50

Gumby 06-21-2008 03:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ERD50 (Post 672598)
I agree with clifp a few posts above. I would like to point out a few things that I thing are contributing to some of the issues:

1) The TITLE 'Soap Box' is just wrong, IMO. This is supposed to be (I think?) a discussion forum, and the term Soap Box is generally used to describe someone that is just talking with no regard or desire for feedback or debate. You don't 'stand on a Soap Box' to discuss something face-to-face, you stand on a Soap box to make pronouncements. So why be surprised when some people do this? The title is asking for it.

2) Also in the Title: 'Headline News'? Don't we already have plenty of sources for news? Again, it seems to be asking people to just regurgitate headline news, w/o any thought behind discussion/debate, or 'what can we learn from this'.

Maybe the forum 'Other Topics' just needs to be split - 'General Topics not related to ER' And 'Political and Current Topics not Related to ER', or 'Hot Button Topics not related to ER' ( to help people who wish to totally ignore the 'hot button' topics), or something. What's in a name? Sometimes a lot.

3) FEEDBACK! I'm not sure I know what threads anyone is talking about. What threads caused trouble, where, which posts were OK, which are viewed as inflammatory? I'm sure many won't even bother to try to figure it out, so we don't get feedback on what is right/wrong. I am also confused about the infraction system here, because there is no feedback. How does anyone learn what is right/wrong when it is all secret?

As an example, after this '3 infractions and measures will be taken' was set up, I saw a thread where a long time poster engaged in very direct, obscene, degrading personal attacks, attacks on the OP, not the subject matter - it must have been four or five separate posts in that thread from him like that - yet, did anything happen? It appears not, he kept posting. All we saw was 'moderator edit' on the worst of it.

That thread was so bad, I would have been embarrassed if anyone looked over my shoulder - it would have been 'what the heck are you reading!!??'. It sends the message that personal, obscene, degrading attacks ARE OK, no problem, the mods will just edit the worst of it, have a nice day.

I'm not thrilled with the practice of shutting down threads because *some* poster/s push the rules. Sometimes, that means they 'win', and the rest of us who actually wanted to discuss the topic respectfully are left out. Punish the 'offenders', not everybody in the same thread.

Suggestions:

1) Mods should LABEL any posts that resulted in infractions - we will all see what is considered trouble. Maybe even show a count of how many times that post was reported as a problem (whether it resulted in infraction or not - at least we would know if the mods were made aware of the problem).

2) I'm sure this will be controversial, but think about it: It sounds like the mods have a little spreadsheet they share, so they can track the '3 violations in 120 days' rule. I say make it public. No, not to humiliate any specific posters, but so that we can see what is being tolerated, what is not, and also - maybe some of us will report offensive, disruptive posts that don't appear on that list. That should help clean the place up.

-ERD50

I am reminded by your comment of the charming short novel Candide, in which Voltaire commented on the case of British admiral John Byng -- executed for failure to fight the French with the utmost vigor -- thusly: "in this country, it is found requisite, now and then, to put an admiral to death, in order to encourage the others". (Trans. Smollet)

As Rich notes, moderation is inherently subjective. There is a fine line to walk between policing behavior and squelching discussion. We do our best, but you will never find the mathematical precision you seek between offense and outcome.

ladelfina 06-21-2008 04:22 PM

If there were no economic issues there would be no politics. I've been thinking about some challenging things that I would like to post here, but I know I will get rotten tomatoes from a certain quarter. Should I post it or not? Should I post it on the Soap Box, which it seems half the people have tuned out? It's not strictly a retirement argument, but purely economics, and it affects FIRE quite a bit. There's no one else I can discuss these ideas with.

I wish people would not be so sensitive, on the one hand, and so aggressively juvenile on the other. I used to appreciate the board for its breadth and tolerance; it was quite like a real conversation with people kicking thoughts around. I guess its growth means more cops and hall monitors, and I do appreciate their efforts. I just wish they weren't necessary.

If you get rid of the Soap Box, you're not going to get rid of the issues, but some people like the ability to tune it out. I'm torn as to whether "separate but equal" is the way to go.

I've seen other blogs where comments can be individually rated both positively and negatively. If people unanimously love a post it might get a +10; if they unanimously hate it, a -10; if there's a mixed reaction, zero out of 10 votes. I don't know if that's a possibility for the ER forum or not, but it could be a way for the offended to register disdain without resorting to name-calling, and would also give collective feedback to posters, as well as people viewing posts, in a more immediate and spontaneous way than the current private "thanks" and the thread star ratings.

retire@40 06-21-2008 04:43 PM

I see the cancer has spread to this thread.

This is why we need to keep the soapbox. It will help contain the cancer so it doesn't spread to other locations. If it happens to spread, then it may just require a surgical ignore here or there.

This is why I pushed so hard for the "ignore thread" and "ignore forum" feature. I'm very glad we have this new ignore weapon against the cancer. The cancer can be ignored as if it doesn't even exist, unless it tries to infect other areas.

Time to put this thread on ignore now.

Over and out.

clifp 06-21-2008 04:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ERD50 (Post 672598)

1) The TITLE 'Soap Box' is just wrong, IMO. This is supposed to be (I think?) a discussion forum, and the term Soap Box is generally used to describe someone that is just talking with no regard or desire for feedback or debate. You don't 'stand on a Soap Box' to discuss something face-to-face, you stand on a Soap box to make pronouncements. So why be surprised when some people do this? The title is asking for it.

3) FEEDBACK! I'm not sure I know what threads anyone is talking about. What threads caused trouble, where, which posts were OK, which are viewed as inflammatory? I'm sure many won't even bother to try to figure it out, so we don't get feedback on what is right/wrong. I am also confused about the infraction system here, because there is no feedback. How does anyone learn what is right/wrong when it is all secret?

I'm not thrilled with the practice of shutting down threads because *some* poster/s push the rules. Sometimes, that means they 'win', and the rest of us who actually wanted to discuss the topic respectfully are left out. Punish the 'offenders', not everybody in the same thread.

Suggestions:

1) Mods should LABEL any posts that resulted in infractions - we will all see what is considered trouble. Maybe even show a count of how many times that post was reported as a problem (whether it resulted in infraction or not - at least we would know if the mods were made aware of the problem).

2) I'm sure this will be controversial, but think about it: It sounds like the mods have a little spreadsheet they share, so they can track the '3 violations in 120 days' rule. I say make it public. No, not to humiliate any specific posters, but so that we can see what is being tolerated, what is not, and also - maybe some of us will report offensive, disruptive posts that don't appear on that list. That should help clean the place up.

-ERD50

I agree with everything in ERD (edited) post. I especially echo his suggestion to make the moderation more visible. While I agree that long-time active contributors get and deserve more latitude than say drop in annuity saleman, the perception is that they can post damn near anything they want.

I've learned that through discussion with current and past moderators that isn't the case. However, because much of the moderation is done behind the scenes it looks non-existent. Lets keep the level of moderation where it is but make the enforcement more visible.

I also appreciate the work that moderators do to make this my favorite discussion forum on the net. A big mahalo. I hope Andy is increasing your pay at a least double the rate of inflation ;D

P.S. I now fully appreciate the wisdom of the moderator emeritus guys!

Rich_by_the_Bay 06-21-2008 04:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ladelfina (Post 672795)
II've been thinking about some challenging things that I would like to post here, but I know I will get rotten tomatoes from a certain quarter. Should I post it or not?

Have you considered that the noise filtering and virtual ignore features apply in two directions? You could post, anticipate lots of good replies and likely some not so good ones. At your end, why not just ignore the noise, almost as if it didn't exist. Don't dignify them by reacting to them.

In my view, most of the habitual trolls, antagonistic posters, and weirdos are basically seeking attention and little more. Remove the attention (good or bad) and they don't get their rewards.

You know the kinds of replies you were hoping for. Assume the others are invisible. Just another way to look at this.

ERD50 06-21-2008 04:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gumby (Post 672788)
As Rich notes, moderation is inherently subjective. There is a fine line to walk between policing behavior and squelching discussion. We do our best, but you will never find the mathematical precision you seek between offense and outcome.

I agree, and I think my point is not coming across.

Moderation will be subjective - I am not expecting precision. And it's not about seeing someone hung out to dry as an example (other than to learn from), what I suggested was, a feedback mechanism so that people can at least observe what posts were considered infractions, and which were not. A way for people to understand how the rules are being administered - it's all hidden from view now. If someone stops posting, is it because the mods shut them down for a while, or did they just go away for a while? We can't know. So we never know if a certain post triggered action, or not.

I will also say that I think the idea of giving long time posters more leniency is exactly backwards. The early poster maybe just needs a bit of 'counseling' to learn the lay of the land. The seasoned poster here should know how to interact. Everyone can make a mistake and slip, but I thought that was what the ' 3 infractions in 120 days' rule was about?


Quote:

Originally Posted by ladelfina (Post 672795)
I've seen other blogs where comments can be individually rated both positively and negatively. If people unanimously love a post it might get a +10; if they unanimously hate it, a -10; if there's a mixed reaction, zero out of 10 votes.

I've seen that on some other forums, and personally, I don't really like it. You never know what the '+' was for, especially if several comments were made in the same post. And it can turn into a popularity contest - detracting from the value of the content.

But as I mentioned, I think a count of 'This post has been reported for violation of the rules of conduct' could be valuable. If 20 people all reported a post, I think that would mean something. It has nothing to do with whether you agree or disagree with the content, just a matter of whether they appeared to violate the guidelines.

And a follow up note on the post, something like: 'This post was rated in violation by the mods' would give people feedback about how the mods are viewing things. We could learn.

-ERD50

haha 06-21-2008 05:00 PM

I think my Catholic grade school was less rule bound than what many would apparently like to see here.

As for ratings- why would anyone expect a post that got more yeahs to be better in any way other than most popular? What raings would Galileo have gotten? Oh yes, we know don't we?

Ha

Wags 06-21-2008 05:20 PM

Dr. Laura Says: Stop the Whining!

YouTube - Dr. Laura Says: Stop the Whining!

It appears that this forum has turned into The Legion of Decency.


But guess what I am not taking my basketball and leaving.:p

Folks, It's time to quit with the whining and continue with the posting.

God Bless Us All:angel:

Purron 06-21-2008 05:38 PM

Hey Everyone,
I've been active here since I made the decision to retire early last November. I guess this makes me pretty much a "newbie". This has been a great place for me to get advice and have some of the social interaction I lost when I quit working.

Even though I'm new here, I have noticed some negativity of late. Really, it's no different than some of the negative waves that flowed through my office when I was working. Usually, this situation came about due to uncertainty or stress. At least in my office it was. Be it a merger or a new manager, when things were unsettled and uncertain, people tended to go off on each other more. Given what's happening in the economy and political arena, I can understand why folks here are touchy.

I find this a good place to communicate with others and get advice on so many topics. Frankly, I have not been troubled by the political stuff because I don't choose to read much of it or get into arguments. I do care about politics but choose not to air my opinions here. Others do and that's OK.

Anyway, I hope this passes. I do like this place and look forward to sharing more with folks here.

ladelfina 06-21-2008 05:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa (Post 672805)
Have you considered that the noise filtering and virtual ignore features apply in two directions? You could post, anticipate lots of good replies and likely some not so good ones. At your end, why not just ignore the noise, almost as if it didn't exist. Don't dignify them by reacting to them.

In my view, most of the habitual trolls, antagonistic posters, and weirdos are basically seeking attention and little more. Remove the attention (good or bad) and they don't get their rewards.

You know the kinds of replies you were hoping for. Assume the others are invisible. Just another way to look at this.

Rich, you are right on, and that's what I had been doing. But it's not pleasant feeling like a target either. Whether it's the crappy economy or the phase of the moon or whatever, there seems to be more crankiness and piling on, and the aggression is creeping into the longtime, 'rational' posters. Look at retire@40's post just after my previous one here. Who is "the cancer" and why would anyone even call someone "a cancer"? Why expend the negative energy on it?

I don't remember how much I agreed or disagreed with R@40 in the past, but somehow something has brought out a new level of nastiness in him and in others that's just freaky. I know for sure that I have appreciated some of R@40's posts in the pasts, so to ignore him because of his recent post here is cutting off my nose to spite my face. I doubt he is referring to me, but that is not the point. The more people put threads and posters on "ignore" then the less possibility there is to exchange ideas and the more limited the board becomes as more people throw the baby out with the bathwater.. that's just IMHO. How hard is it really to just gloss over what you don't agree with, or what doesn't interest you? Surely there are more narrow forums about [I was going to list insultingly banal topics here] where people could browse "risk"-free. The interesting thing to me about the ER forums has been the level of challenge. If that went away, it would be like losing a friend.

Everyone's got their own problems, their own prejudices, and their own schtick, and similar to what Haha said (perhaps elsewhere?), I tend to prefer to celebrate all of it. The tide on the board seems to have recently turned against that philosophy!

outtarentals 06-22-2008 12:38 AM

I hope we keep the Soapbox since some of the potentially flammable subjects discussed are so important to er's that they will probably come up anyway in other threads. This way people can take it or leave it.

I find the Soapbox easier to take than watching some of the "news" channels. There are some very quick wits here and it's quite entertaining at times even though at times it seems like a dysfunctional family - there are a few that you'd rather not invite to Thanksgiving Dinner - but they come anyway and start an argument :bat: right in the middle of everything.
The moderators deserve gold stars. :angel:

Sarah in SC 06-22-2008 05:56 AM

And then there's the heightened sensitivity and thinking that negative comments are directed at them personally that comes from having these kind of discussions....Ladelfina, I got nothing from Retire@40s post that was directed at you. Retire@40 didn't say anyone was a cancer, he said the whole kit and caboodle of political postings has spread to this thread and that it is a cancer. I really don't think retire@40 had one person in mind.

As a new moderator, I see how posts that I wouldn't have given much thought to, except, wow, so-and-so needs less coffee or something like that, now require a great deal of consideration: is that a personal attack, is he/she warming up for a big throwdown, etc.

I do remember this phase on the board in past election seasons, and I guess there are people who just must post about political topics, and I think the Soapbox is a great place for that, so that all of us that don't want to read about it (except your new moderator here, who now has to wade through it daily) aren't obligated.

DangerMouse 06-22-2008 12:14 PM

I have been a member of this community for 18 months, but only consider myself a fringe dweller rather than a fully fledged member. Truthfully over this time I have seen things go in cycle of niceness to nastiness and I am sure the cycle will see it revert.

I think there is a place for the Soap Box. We are all adults and each of us has the choice whether or not to enter that area, knowing full well what we can expect. I rarely go there as I have no interest in those type of threads whether or not they degenerate into abuse. I am actually relieved that they are no longer in Other Topics clogging up that board.

However there does seem to be people who enjoy attacking others. I see long timers get away with it yet if a newbie does it they are labelled troll. I believe I have been innocuous in my time here and have not offended anyway, yet some responses I have received I could have interpreted to be personal attacks. I have taken the line that say what you want in response to something I post and I am not going to enter into an argument which is entirely different to a fact based debate. I try and respond the same as I would in real life. My job in life is not to cause unnecessary pain nor is it to blindly agree with something that I believe to be wrong.

Like Ladelfina I often hesitate to post because I know what reactions I will get from certain quarters.

I don't think there is any real answer to be found. Much of what goes on perhaps goes over my head perhaps being partly due to cultural differences me being a non-american and not really understanding why people carry on as they do.

Nords 06-22-2008 12:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oldbabe (Post 672482)
I don't think that the forum loses anything by eliminating the soapbox. Dumping it would strengthen the forum, IMHO.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ziggy29 (Post 672720)
Getting rid of the Soap Box is tempting. But given the political climate and in a political election year, it at least allows the mods to isolate the toxic political sludge into one place. I fear that if it were removed, the politics and the insults and disrespect it brings would bleed back into other forums. At least with this setup, those wishing to avoid it completely have a solution: avoid the Soap Box.

Ding ding ding. If there was an easy answer to this situation it would've been implemented during the 2004 election. And thank goodness the major elections are on a two-year cycle!

Moderators have essentially three choices: to edit/delete posts, to ban posters, or to relocate the posts to a more appropriate SandSoapbox. The Soapbox offers the "better" alternative because too many posters are too quick to confuse the first with excessive censorship.

Quote:

Originally Posted by clifp (Post 672804)
I agree with everything in ERD (edited) post. I especially echo his suggestion to make the moderation more visible. While I agree that long-time active contributors get and deserve more latitude than say drop in annuity saleman, the perception is that they can post damn near anything they want.
I've learned that through discussion with current and past moderators that isn't the case. However, because much of the moderation is done behind the scenes it looks non-existent. Lets keep the level of moderation where it is but make the enforcement more visible.
I also appreciate the work that moderators do to make this my favorite discussion forum on the net. A big mahalo. I hope Andy is increasing your pay at a least double the rate of inflation ;D

It's a function of getting what you pay for. The posting volume on this board has grown far beyond the capacity of all but the most obsessed dedicated moderators. Thoughtfully moderating the offending posts while educating the one or two percent of the offenders is a waste of time. Those who can't figure out the issues that resulted in a "[moderator edit]" will not be educated by a more in-depth explanation.

Moderators have learned another, more practical tool. The 1-2% who don't get it, and who refuse to get it, will be moderated until they either change their behavior, volunteer to leave on their own, or are banned. This is a far more effective means of training than justifying explaining a moderator's actions to the whole populace.

There's a whole panoply of "praise in public, criticize in private" happening via PMs & e-mails. If it doesn't happen to you then you can probably stop worrying about it. If it has happened to you then review the three choices for the 1-2% in the last paragraph. It ain't rocket science, folks.

Quote:

Originally Posted by clifp (Post 672804)
P.S. I now fully appreciate the wisdom of the moderator emeritus guys!

Absolutely!


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