Laissez-faire moderating

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SeekingAPolitic...

Can the individuals who denounced Unionist in private can me named.  This whole banning and suspension to me has the feeling of voting people off the island.  If you cross to many people you will be voted off the the island. 

Personally I am curious if anyone has denounced me in secret?  If you have, please PM me if not you comfortable to admitting it in public. 

 

Edzell Edzell's picture

I see that the question "You agree or disagree with my statement?" may have been intended as part of a private conversation with MegB, so maybe I shouldn't have answered it (but why then was it posted?)

My truncation of Unionist's post was intentional because I was expressing disagreement that "posting of a rumour" "constitutes spreading of Islamophobia." I did not read his statement/question as referring only to that one particular rumour. If that makes me seem confused so be it. In any case I think I would still disagree; so be it.

SeekingAPolitic...

Honesty I did not post anyone specific.  But we are potentially banning people I am not sure the "crime" is consistent with punishment.  I have a personally interest here because I have made people angry. And I could be on my way to banning in the future.  

Pondering

Edzell wrote:

My truncation of Unionist's post was intentional because I was expressing disagreement that "posting of a rumour" "constitutes spreading of Islamophobia." I did not read his statement/question as referring only to that one particular rumour. If that makes me seem confused so be it. In any case I think I would still disagree; so be it.

Well he was obviously referring to that specific rumour on this board not rumours in general. I'm pretty sure Unionist would not consider the rumour " Meg is really a team of people" islamophobic.

I think the speculation was entertained innocently but it is that kind of speculation that feeds violence against Muslims. There was absolutely no indication that it was a Muslim on Muslim crime. Why not speculate that it might have been a revival of the FLQ? Or alt-right Christians? Or revenge gone wrong?

As far as I know there have been zero incidents of Shiite/Sunni violence in North America. There is just no reason other than thoughtless speculation and/or racism.

Edzell Edzell's picture

I want everyone here to understand that I have no intention of spreading speculation, or anything else, that feeds violence against Muslims, or against anyone who is not already involved in violence and needs to be stopped somehow. Anyone who interprets me otherwise is mistaken. My ideal world would be one of universal, peaceful tolerance and cooperation among all peoples.

I'm not holding my breath, even here.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I mostly agree with most of the above, but at the same time I kind of feel like if some anonymous "witness" had claimed, in the first few hours of this story, that s/he heard the gunman say "this is for all the 'Old-stock Canadians'" someone might have posted that and we might have talked about that and if it were shown to have no merit, we probably wouldn't feel bad about having done so.

Paladin1

Mr. Magoo wrote:

if some anonymous "witness" had claimed, in the first few hours of this story, that s/he heard the gunman say "this is for all the 'Old-stock Canadians'" someone might have posted that and we might have talked about that and if it were shown to have no merit, we probably wouldn't feel bad about having done so.

Yup.

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I mostly agree with most of the above, but at the same time I kind of feel like if some anonymous "witness" had claimed, in the first few hours of this story, that s/he heard the gunman say "this is for all the 'Old-stock Canadians'" someone might have posted that and we might have talked about that and if it were shown to have no merit, we probably wouldn't feel bad about having done so.

How about if someone heard a rumour that it was a Jew? Would that be okay? Who originated the rumour and on what basis? Repeating a rumour that targets a group known to be discriminated against promotes prejudice against that group regardless of the intentions of the poster.

"Old stock Canadians" are not discriminated against and are not as a group threatened by mass violence. Jews are. Muslims are. Women are. It behooves us to not feed into stereotypes against people who are already stigmatized. If we have no support for the "rumour" then we shouldn't be repeating it.

I think if someone had posted that the gunman had said "this is for all the old-stock Canadians" we would immediately ask for the source and expect something more credible than "I read it on Twitter".  I would immediately google the phrase which would surely be trending if there were any basis to the claim.

 

NDPP

Unionist wrote:

By the way, MegB. You said "suspensions were handed out" to ikosmos. I asked you to confirm whether that was true, because I don't recall any. Can you remind us of when suspensions were handed out to ikosmos, please?

I too am curious as to when these 'suspensions were handed out'. I also don't recall them. If not then the banning is doubly out of order and should be rescinded. I was also alarmed at your bizarre interpretation of a very straightforward and understandable attempt by a concerned babbler to point out the incendiary dangers of hearsay/rumour of 'Islamic terrorism'. I see little laissez faire moderating in either case.  

Also, can we  agree to have the suggestion of amnesty declared so that activist posters like Slumberjack, Fidel, M Spector  etc, run off the board can be notified and perhaps return?

Caissa

I think one can spread false news without malicious intent. The news in question was false and could fire the flames of Islamophobia. I am not sure if the concerns that Unionist posted concerning this were at all out of line given the gravity of the situation.

sherpa-finn

NDPP wrote: Also, can we  agree to have the suggestion of amnesty declared so that activist posters like Slumberjack, Fidel, M Spector  etc, run off the board can be notified and perhaps return?

Sorry - there is a typo in that post... let me quickly correct it.

"Also, can we  agree to have the suggestion of amnesty declared so that personally abusive, rule breaking, policy and moderator ignoring posters like Slumberjack, Fidel, M Spector  etc, run off the board can be notified and perhaps return?" 

There. Fixed that. Carry on. 

Unionist

Pondering wrote:

How about if someone heard a rumour that it was a Jew? Would that be okay? Who originated the rumour and on what basis? Repeating a rumour that targets a group known to be discriminated against promotes prejudice against that group regardless of the intentions of the poster.

Careful, Pondering. That's exactly the analogy that earned me a warning from Meg and the injunction to "just stop".

In the event that she's still reading this thread (which, let's recall, she opened in order to get feedback about her so-called "laissez-faire" moderation), I would very much appreciate if she re-read my message that nameless babblers allegedly complained about - and fully retracted her warning. Whether, instead, she warns Webgear about his offensive rumour-mongering is entirely up to her.

Edzell Edzell's picture

Caissa wrote:
I think one can spread false news without malicious intent.

This quite neatly expresses part of the reason for my disagreement with the censure (maybe the wrong word) of Webgear.

Quote:
Pondering wrote: Repeating a rumour that targets a group known to be discriminated against promotes prejudice.

I disagree with this in the current context because it is based on what I see as a false premise: I do not view the rumour as "targetting." Also I think it will only "promote" prejudice in those already prejudiced.

I make these statements not in search of personalised argument but simply to put my opinion out for information and/or civilised discussion; bearing in mind that in this issue we are dealing not with facts but peoples' thoughts and interpretations of others' posts.

Sean in Ottawa

Edzell wrote:

I disagree with this in the current context because it is based on what I see as a false premise: I do not view the rumour as "targetting." Also I think it will only "promote" prejudice in those already prejudiced.

This is an interesting question and I don't suggest I have a completed answer on it. The idea is that speaking about a prejudice enforces it.

Not long ago there were conclusions about the rise of hate speach in Canada used by a polling firm to conclude that Canadians were becoming less tolerent. The methodology was to count how often people used certain terms. This included "Muslim ban."

I do think there is a rise of intolerence but I also think it is wrong to say speaking about a problem means you are part of it. Every person reporting or disagreeing with the "Muslim ban" was counted by this polling company as being a part of the rise of intolerence.

This is a big international story and Canadians are speaking about it.

The reason I think this is relevant is that I do not agree that just speaking about something necessarily implies a position on it.

Again, I also do not want to get into the specific personal issues here but to say that reporting on a rumour is not agreement -- in some cases it is a warnign or a discussion abut the fact that it is a rumour. Context is very important and cannot be read in a simplistic way as the poll suggested.

Paladin1

Unionist wrote:

Pondering wrote:

How about if someone heard a rumour that it was a Jew? Would that be okay? Who originated the rumour and on what basis? Repeating a rumour that targets a group known to be discriminated against promotes prejudice against that group regardless of the intentions of the poster.

Careful, Pondering. That's exactly the analogy that earned me a warning from Meg and the injunction to "just stop".

In the event that she's still reading this thread (which, let's recall, she opened in order to get feedback about her so-called "laissez-faire" moderation), I would very much appreciate if she re-read my message that nameless babblers allegedly complained about - and fully retracted her warning. Whether, instead, she warns Webgear about his offensive rumour-mongering is entirely up to her.

 

Holy smokes you're being petulant about this whole thing. It's like she bruised your ego or something, just let it go. Meg has no power over you. If she bans you you'll "return under anonymous names and wreak havok on the board" so I don't see what the big sulking parade is about.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

MegB wrote:

NDPP wrote:

Predictable. Critical,  Left voices will continue to be discouraged or eliminated and rightist ones will continue to consolidate their ascendancy. The suggestion made was to contact earlier casualties of this ongoing process, eg Slumberjack, M Spector, Fidel etc and invite them back. Is this still on?

That's a false dichotomy. People who are banned are forced to leave because of an ongoing unwillingness to disagree respectfully, not because of their politics. Everyone has bad moments, times when they lose it because they are passionately involved in a discussion, and for the most part a warning or brief cooling off period suffices. If this were not the case you, NDPP, would have been banned long ago, along with many others.

Whether you recognize it or not, babble remains a space where a diversity of respectful thought and opinion flourish and are encouraged. Those who are banned become so by repeatedly violating babble policy over a long period of time. Serial abusers and flaunters of babble policy will, after repeated warnings, susensions, etc., be banned and not invited back. 

Meg, I've been of the opinion for some time that a lot of the opinions that you seem to believe derserve to be encouraged, actually violate babble's policy, because they force us to rehash anti-oppression 101 discussions. I believe I am not alone in this belief.

There are many threads on topics on which I have a keen interest on which I find some of the opinions that are allowed here to be too toxic, so i stay out. While I won't excuse any personal attacks made by others, I can certainly understand those that arise out of frustration with the toxic stew of opinions that are encouraged around here.

Pondering

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Edzell wrote:

I disagree with this in the current context because it is based on what I see as a false premise: I do not view the rumour as "targetting." Also I think it will only "promote" prejudice in those already prejudiced.

This is an interesting question and I don't suggest I have a completed answer on it. The idea is that speaking about a prejudice enforces it.

Not long ago there were conclusions about the rise of hate speach in Canada used by a polling firm to conclude that Canadians were becoming less tolerent. The methodology was to count how often people used certain terms. This included "Muslim ban."

I do think there is a rise of intolerence but I also think it is wrong to say speaking about a problem means you are part of it. Every person reporting or disagreeing with the "Muslim ban" was counted by this polling company as being a part of the rise of intolerence.

This is a big international story and Canadians are speaking about it.

The reason I think this is relevant is that I do not agree that just speaking about something necessarily implies a position on it.

Again, I also do not want to get into the specific personal issues here but to say that reporting on a rumour is not agreement -- in some cases it is a warnign or a discussion abut the fact that it is a rumour. Context is very important and cannot be read in a simplistic way as the poll suggested.

Repeating the rumour that the Quebec shooting was a Shiite/Sunni attack is not just speaking about prejudice even if it is pointed out that the rumour is unsubstanciated. Context does matter. Part of that context is the progressive nature of this board. To a large extent we are expected to know better. We are expected to check our sources especially if a disadvantaged group is the target.

Concerning Meg. I don't think the problem is Laissez-faire moderating I think it is skimming and assuming.

When Ruth Ellen Brosseau was accidently elbowed by Trudeau I was annoyed that it was being made into a feminist issue with the focus on female MPs being endangered in the house which was ridiculous. The inference was that Brosseau was distraught and crying because it was her breast that was hit as opposed to her foot being stepped on. I said the problem was not that her breast was touched, and went on to say she cried because of physical pain.

Meg "warned me" saying Brosseau had been physically hurt not just "touched" which is exactly what I was saying in my post. Obviously Meg did not read my post and just assumed I was defending Trudeau rather than objecting to the use of feminism in this context when the issue had nothing to do with Brosseau being female. It detracted from the real issue which was that Trudeau should never have left his seat and intervened physically.

I contemplated messaging Meg and explaining her error but eventually decided it wouldn't make any difference.

I see this issue the same way. Meg has a opinion about how Unionist interacts with Webgear or whomever it was and assumed Unionist was being inappropriate without trying to understand the conversation. I guess because she doesn't have the time for it.

6079_Smith_W

I think we have all seen calls which we think missed something, or are wrong (usually when they concern us, or those who share our views)

Part of making this place work is not picking apart or challenging every decision.

As for the range of opinion, in the real world most of us manage to agree to disagree with people who have far wider ranges of opinion than those here. And for that matter there are people here who manage to do it on some issues.

 

quizzical

Ken Burch wrote:
There is nothing wrong with what Unionist posted there, and I hope all of us will support his right to have posted it.  Islamophobic rumors(rumors which were later shown to be despicable lies) have NO legitimate place in the discourse of this board.

i agree with unionist an Ken. when I  read webgers post it made me feel sick to see someone would post a rumour here i'd normally see on fb.

Pondering

Paladin1 wrote:

Holy smokes you're being petulant about this whole thing. It's like she bruised your ego or something, just let it go. Meg has no power over you. If she bans you you'll "return under anonymous names and wreak havok on the board" so I don't see what the big sulking parade is about.

It isn't sulking it's objecting to being chastised inappropriately for trying to explain why repeating rumors that target a community already struggling with prejudice against them is wrong.

Reputation here does matter. Meg made assumptions based on her perception of Unionist's past behavior and made a decision based on it rather than this particular incident.

In my opinion longstanding members of this board have contributed to the problem. Many think they are entitled to bait and flame posters they think don't belong here or don't hold the right views.

Another problem is allowing people to break policy as long as someone else did it first.

For example, say someone here calls me a bitch for having supported Trudeau and for thinking an NDP win would have been disastrous both for Canada and the party. I turn around and call them a sexist jerk. On any other board we would both be banned for breaking policy. That someone called me a bitch would not justify my calling them a sexist jerk. The proper response would be to report and shut-up not retaliate. On this board until a mod shows up it's a free for all. There is no attempt to figure out who started it. The person most reported will be assumed to be in the wrong.

There seems to be a policy or attitude that if a right-winger comes on site and says offensive things then other posters have the right to attack because they have been "trolled".

On other sites it doesn't matter if someone was trolling. It doesn't entitle anyone else to break policy in response. That makes moderating much easier. It doesn't matter if you are the troll or the trollee. Nobody can say fuck off or everyone can say fuck off.

Rules are applied more strictly not less strictly to longstanding members because they should be expected to know better while new members may not be as attuned to board rules. Here it is the opposite. Longstanding members are given leeway and they know it.

It seems to me that many members have been banned because they were allowed to get away with aggressive behavior for a long time and they eventually went overboard.

 

Unionist

Pondering wrote:
Meg made assumptions based on her perception of Unionist's past behavior and made a decision based on it rather than this particular incident.

Wrong. She made assumptions (and obviously didn't even carefully read my "offending" post) because she got complaints from anonymous babblers. At least, that's what she said - and I believe her.

PS: Thanks for understanding my original post, which Meg didn't. I'll try to use less irony in the future. And by the way, I reserve the right to continue condemning, mocking, ridiculing the "innocent" posting of rumours, MSM stories, and opinions which target oppressed and marginalized people. The moment we allow toxic waste like that on our discussion board, it must be shut down and replaced by something healthy. But I'm confident babblers will never remain silent in the face of such "mainstream" xenophobia.

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Part of making this place work is not picking apart or challenging every decision.

Agreed. But wrong decisions (based on misapprehension of the factual contexts) need to be corrected. That's part of making this place work. And a moderator needs to be able to say: "Oh sorry, I got that wrong, thanks!" on occasion. A good indication of such an occasion is when many babblers question the decision.

Also, not sure if you recall Meg's post with which she opened this thread. She wants feedback on moderating style. I and others praised her general style. I still do. But feedback includes pointing out occasional lapses, and differences of opinion among babblers. Surely the opinions and wishes of the community need to be taken into account. We neither have, nor want, an artificial-intelligence app which reads posts, mechanically applies rules, and spits out a "decision". Not in a living, breathing, democratic, community-based forum. Not anywhere, in fact.

6079_Smith_W

Yup. I remember the general question at the top of the thread. 

I also remember times my job performance has wound up hashed out by committee rather than through an HR supervisor. Annoying as that was, at least it was usually in camera.Valid as these concerns may be, they could be as well.

For that matter, I just came from a water polo game and heard all about the fouls missed, and miscalled. There is a reason why reviews aren't decided by a vote from the stands 

ygtbk

So MegB may not make perfect decisions every time, but:

1) She shows more forbearance than some previous mods;

2) I think she is trying to be consciously fair, although different people may annoy her to different extents.

Um. I might have annoyed MegB in the past.

So not a vote, at most an observation.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Also, can we  agree to have the suggestion of amnesty declared so that activist posters like Slumberjack, Fidel, M Spector  etc, run off the board can be notified and perhaps return?

Just the "activist" ones?

That's kind of interesting.  You seem to feel that ikosmos' ban was for "political" reasons, but when it comes to inviting banned babblers to return, you forgo principle for politics.  What of Jeff House?  Martin Dufresne?  RDP?  Where's their invitation?

NDPP

I only spoke of the ones I knew that would re-balance what is supposed to be a 'progressive' site. You are obviously free to seek the return of your own as well. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
You are obviously free to seek the return of your own as well.

My "own"?

Sorry... I didn't know that this was a team sport.

NDPP

Perhaps for you more of a blood sport..

quizzical

pick me pick me.......;)

Sean in Ottawa

In the past there was an overall impression of bias from moderators. I think what we have seen from Meg has been a significant effort to demonstrate responsiveness and balance, listening and applying patience. People will always not like certain decisions but I think the desire to be balanced and moderate has come through strongly.

We can debate what we want and disagree but this context is very different than it was in the past.

I also find that the tone of the mod interventions has been better. Interventions do not appear to be personal or mean spirited as I felt they used to be at times. We have all benefited from this.

I like the concept of amnesty, second chances and my position on banning is clear. But I think we have this discussion in a context where teh moderation has earned considerable respect this last while.

Mistakes can happen and they can be challenged but this well-earned respect is a very important development for the community.

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