Current mess and addition of new forum under current events

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6079_Smith_W

iyraste1313 wrote:

This site could easily be where "a site for discussing real alternatives for building peoples political social cultural movements"

The People had spoken, and no one would move til Congress negotiated the demands!

A bit of thread drift.

I know it's a romantic image (and deceptively simple) after all, that's why these guys lap it up:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/17/us-usa-ranchers-nevada-militia...

But do you really think that it should all come down to whoever has the most muscle can override everything else? Personally I oppose that tactic when I see it being done by the rich and powerful. As for those who might want to use it to change the system, that little incident in Nevada is a reminder that you might not be the only one.

At best, it is a last resort, and one that never, by itself, effects lasting change.

 

 

 

iyraste1313

There is a fundamental difference between the power of non violence vs. violence...I suggest that the fundamental flaw of Canadian movements is their reliance on symbolism and theatre, appeals to the rich and powerful to relent...

Pondering

iyraste1313 wrote:
There is a fundamental difference between the power of non violence vs. violence...I suggest that the fundamental flaw of Canadian movements is their reliance on symbolism and theatre, appeals to the rich and powerful to relent...

You have offered interesting quotes in multiple places but they don't seem to have links attached. It would be helpful so that we could read the rest of the article or story if we find your quote interesting. There is also the question of attribution to news sources.

Sean in Ottawa

Moving this here upon request:

MegB wrote:

"I try very hard to avoid personalization but I'm human. I make mistakes. If babble were a perfect place, what would we talk about? No, it's diverse and scrappy and a whole lot of other stuff."

 

Good this was said -- it's productive.

At times, knowing mistakes can be made, it would be a better mod practice to come into a thread with a tone of calm reason rather than as angry parent raising the temperature. I think there is often a mod practice of remembering some calmer intervention from a different time and place and using that previous more reasoned intervention as a rationale for coming in hot in the current thread.

It should be policy that there is a progressive approach to moderation. The first intervention in ANY thread should be without swearwords, as much as possible without taking a side, and certainly without slamming whole categories of people. It should be represented as calmer than the rest of the thread not even more aggressive. Leadership includes the examples you offer. This allows people who disagree to respond also in a calm way. If you come in hot and heavy there is no calm response available and the site has not been moderated -- it has only had another belligerent added to it. You may think a moderate first intervention is a waste of time but it actually is the source of any credibility you claim to have and the only rationale possible for a stronger response later. And of course it offers the ability to step away if a mistake is in fact being made. I don't think the moderators have any more right to humiliate people they disagree with than anyone else.

I wrote a reply earlier that was harsher than this but because the tone has backed off somewhat this more calm approach is now possible. There is a lesson there. The moderators do have a role in setting the tone of the site not just in taking sides when they think that is what they want to do.

I also think that moderators could encourage people to provide more analysis than partisan cheering. This is a direction that can be given to all sides of the obvious divisions here as contrary to popular belief there are people who only post partisan material on both sides without analysis. This leads to fights as there is no middle ground in cheering for your team and it leads to a sense that this place is nothing more than a model Question Period where the show and bravado is more important than the substance. If anything, this place should respect more the committees where there is constructive discussion, cooperation adn less open aggressive partisanship.

For others, the tone over time of posts matters. If you want to come here just to slag the other team please use Twitter. You will reach more people and that is not really what this place was intended for. As a rule I suggest that if you won't look critically at your own team and admit some criticism of it, then you are just cheerleading and your posts including all those lauding your team are devalued. As well this place works best when people come from different political ideas and discuss honestly issues and ideas without the posturing. Unfortunately that almost never happens any more. I am not saying perspectives and biases are to be hidden -- it is just that they should not take over completely and so emotionally that the other perspective cannot be appreciated.

iyraste1313

 .....quotes in multiple places but they don't seem to have links attached¨ ¨

 

My most recent statements comes from the front lines...into day 2 of the national shutdown, being downplayed by the media of course....but the politicians are running scared...my friends here with the help of all the national campesina organizations have shut down two main highways, here.....all is quiet...while the negotiations are ongoing in Congress....

whatever may come out of this pressure, the politicians are now clear....a vote in support of any of the laws and Free Trade Agreement means a loss of job!

onlinediscountanvils

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
I wrote a reply earlier that was harsher than this but because the tone has backed off somewhat this more calm approach is now possible. There is a lesson there.

Only you are responsible for what you write. A "calm approach" was always possible.

Sean in Ottawa

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
I wrote a reply earlier that was harsher than this but because the tone has backed off somewhat this more calm approach is now possible. There is a lesson there.

Only you are responsible for what you write. A "calm approach" was always possible.

And I do start there. But when the moderators turn an already difficult situation into heated swearing they lead the way and the initial approach is replaced by a defence or counter of some sort.

The role of a moderator is different than a commentator

Slumberjack

What I appreciated about the 'ban all of your asses' remark was the collective intent that it implied.  I felt it was a refreshing approach, rather than selecting this person or another for special attention, which I tend to be less appreciative of, especially when it happens to me.

Sean in Ottawa

Is there nothing that can come first before ban your ass or ban all your asses? I think there are other choices for the first foray by a moderator into a thread that has been going sideways for a while.

A peacemaker does not have to always be judge and jury.

6079_Smith_W

Sean, I'm actually responding to your most recent comment in the other thread.

Having been on the receiving end of a few rulings myself, I try not to overanalyze or second-guess moderation. None of us likes being in that place; particularly in cases where we think it is unfair. But while we can comment on what we think is appropriate here, ultimately it's not our responsibility

I don't want to revive this dispute, but since you are talking about the appropriateness of tone, I'll just say that if what MegB said was harsh, I saw it as entirely appropriate considering the level of what was going on. And if anything, the reaction to that moderations (and yes, the personal expression just like the rest of us are free to do) makes me wonder if a "pretty please" would have even gotten notice.

As for swearing, I get angry and say "fuck" too. So what?

I don't want to argue about it. I respect your opinion, and I appreciate that some feel unfairly slighted, and that part of what is going on here is a philosophical difference. I'm just telling you that my take on it is different. And I'm not on with some "graduated scale" or protocol of response. As has been said, the people moderating are human beings, not robots. That doesn't just mean that they are fallible like the rest of us, but that they have the intelligence to repond appropriately to what is happening.

 

 

 

Sean in Ottawa

I guess we will disagree. I think the tone of the moderation is the tone you would expect the site to have. It was not just the swear words but the attacks on the personal characters of a large number of un-named people who only had one thing in common -- people who have been here a while who expressed concerns about the site. And it is not the first time this negative tone has been used.

I am a parent and I understand that this tone does not work with children either.

I don't think that tone and language is leadership or helpful. I don't see the moderators understanding the impact of the style of moderation on the direction people take in how to behave. If this is the way the site is moderated I find it difficult to see how the moderators can respond to behaviour from others that is no different than their own.

A moderator must have the skills and judgment to respond to behaviour alone without smearing people and they should have the self-control to show that so others can see the difference and follow it. This responsibility is different for moderators than commentators who could hardly expect to be held to a higher standard than the moderators.

A moderator should be able to speak to what people have done or are doing without speaking in negative tones about who they are as people. When they can't do that, the result is an exercise in hypocrisy and a loss of respect for the board and a complete loss of control over the tone of the board. That is what we are seeing. The moderators have a responsibility to be part of the solution rather than indulging in the problem.

 

6079_Smith_W

Yes, we do disagree.

You know, after reading where this is going with your last two posts - the one here, and in the other thread - I felt it was important as a reminder to go back and see how it relates to what was actually said, and to whom it was directed.

Without getting into your feelings about the comment, or about how moderators should do their jobs (given where we are now I have no interest in getting into that can of worms), I will say again that I feel the comment was entirely in order under the circumstances. On a second reading I have no problem with it at all.

And that is not an invitation to reprint it here for dissection. I have no desire for that, just as I have no desire to challenge or question your feelings. I am simply saying that we are not all of one mind on this.

 

 

 

Paladin1

6079_Smith_W wrote:

 I will say again that I feel the comment was entirely in order under the circumstances. On a second reading I have no problem with it at all.

And that is not an invitation to reprint it here for dissection. I have no desire for that, just as I have no desire to challenge or question your feelings. I am simply saying that we are not all of one mind on this.

We've disagreed about a few things lately but I agree with you 100% on this.

 

 

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I'll just say that that was a pretty shitty pile on on Meg in the other thread that I am just seeing now. oldgoat, the most beloved of all moderators, would regularly -- regularly! -- comment that his job as working with troubled teenagers prepared him for moderating babble. Everyone gave oldgoat a good guffaw, that irreverent old chap. Meg makes an innoucuous and humour comment about the tenor of the debate and earns herself a swarm of angry rebukes, including -- with a straight face -- an accusation of the "worst comment of all time."

Oh man. If sexism weren't so despicable, this would be hilarious.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

It's obvious, isn't it? oldgoat and Meg made similar jokes about babblers, but oldgoat -- whose joke was arguably harder on babblers -- got hearty laughs and Meg got a pile-on -- including a "worst post ever" (!) admonition. It's not rocket science.

Sean in Ottawa

What exactly was sexist?

More specifically what was said that would not have been said to a man or would have been said in a different way to a man? What about any of this was gendered?

ETA--

OK just saw a post that I think is problematic.

Surely we should be able to criticize without that. I agree there is no room for sexist comments and there is one I just saw that I do agree is sexist. But I don't accept that I should be tarred with that brush just because I was involved in what was a significant criticism. I hope the person will see it and think better and remove it so I will refrain from quoting that.

But here is the post that kicked it off for me. It was addressed widely to anyone criticizing the site then makes generalizations about people's "views" rather than what they actually said. I don't think that a place that talks about democracy among other things ought to have moderators address a general post towards critics without naming names and threatens to ban them. Nor should it address thought. Go after what is said not presumptions of thought.

It also came in a context where it was not just so called veterans engaging in attacks but newer people as well so it was selective, one sided and coming in taking one side without justification in a heated argument. The post would have been fine if it had been leveled against "all those personally attacking others" rather than critics who are "veterans" on the site.

This should not have to be so hard to explain.

The original post below:

***

To all of you who believe babble is going to the dogs:

You are never going to see the kind of lockstep narrow dogmatism that precisely mirrors your views uniformly and consistently "enforced" on babble. That's because this is a space that encourages diversity of opinion. There are boundaries, of course, because this is a progressive site, but be advised that your veteran status does not allow you to decide what is and isn't acceptable.

Your narrow rigid views go against the tolerance and diversity that rabble and babble always seek to promote. That, in and of itself, violates babble policy and if y'all don't stop personally attacking those whose views differ from yours, I'll fucking ban your sorry asses without regret.

Grow up and get along fer chrissakes.

 

Sean in Ottawa

I don't know what you are talking about from Old Goat so I don't know if it is the same post that I have issues with upon review.

Perhaps you are missing the objection which I edited my above post to clarify.

Nothing I said had anything to do with gender and I do not think that Meg's post was a joke. More like a threat.

 

 

Perhaps it is better to be clear-- the post I have trouble with can be interpretted as saying being a single Mom represents an uninteresting life although I don't think that was what it was meant to say.

The retort probably should have said that it was irrelevant to the discussion. I doubt that this was the intended meaning - uninteresting in the context or to the topic at hand as opposed to uninteresting in general. Like saying details about someone's work in rocket science, however important, could be said to be uninteresting to the conversation at hand.

Despicable is a strong word and I suggest there was an accidental statement more than an intent to be sexist. But of course pointing things out can sensitize people and that is always essential.

 

6079_Smith_W

Jesus.

As if what has happened already is not bad enough, having someone's work thrown open to a committee of the whole to be picked apart adds insult to injury. I expected people to read it; That it should be revisited for debate doesn't seem a very fair way to treat someone who is working for us.

But speaking of Jesus, one of my favourite comments on hubris is from the bad book... the part where he reminds some people that if they thought they were so special god was fully capable of raising up stones to serve as children of Abraham.

There, as here, taking that rhetorical point as a serious threat is a pretty wooden reading. A sharp reminder is hardly a threat of a purge, and if that was the motive, do you think there would be a second chance? Or that the abuse that has happened since woudl be tolerated without any wielding of moderatorial power at all?

(edit)

On second-guessing the mods, I am trying to find the words, but this seems to me a totally inappropriate place to deal with it. Do it in a PM, complain to the board. But how can you expect to them to work for us, if it all comes down to assumption of power struggle, and mistrust? It begs the quesiton of why we are here and what we are doing at all?

 

Webgear

Catchfire wrote:

It's obvious, isn't it? oldgoat and Meg made similar jokes about babblers, but oldgoat -- whose joke was arguably harder on babblers -- got hearty laughs and Meg got a pile-on -- including a "worst post ever" (!) admonition. It's not rocket science.

Yep, verbally abusing children with threats are funny. Thats the difference between Oldgoat and Meg.

6079_Smith_W

If you want to get technical Webgear, the only one who mentioned throwing their kids out the window was me.That one slipped by unnoticed.

I guess we're allowed the luxury of hyperbolae, unlike our worker bees.

 

 

Webgear

6079_Smith_W wrote:

If you want to get technical Webgear, the only one who mentioned throwing their kids out the window was me.That one slipped by unnoticed.

I guess we're allowed the luxury of hyperbolae, unlike our worker bees.

I was refering to this qoute.

MegB wrote:

When my best friend and I were young parents, she was raising three boys and I one girl. Once they were all in bed, we'd flop exhausted on the couch and watch a movie, just hang for a while.

Inevitably, the noise level from upstairs would start to rise, there'd be banging and yelling, crying and snivelling. Too tired to move, my friend would yell, "don't make me come up there!" We get a good laugh out of that now, more than 20 years later.

To those of you who simply cannot or will not respectfully agree to disagree: DON'T MAKE ME COME UP THERE!!!!!!!

 

Paladin1

Children call each other names then run to a parent screaming "I'm telling!".  That's never happened here? Not that my opinion goes far 'round here but come on. There's been some very childish behavior from everyone. (myself included)

 

Meg said "your veteran status does not allow you to decide what is and isn't acceptable." That's exactly what some people have tried to do. Members telling other members what is acceptable matter of factly and at times even try and run them off the board like they're the progressive-police.

maybe it's just where I'm sitting but it looks like there's a big double standard. Members get upset and tell mods to fuck off and nothing gets said but when a mod uses the same kind of language it's a whole different story.

 

Some of you said this place is going to the dogs (or comments to that effect). I've seen more new names (old members who I haven't seen post before) comment in the last two weeks than I have in the last year. That seems like a good thing to me.

Sean in Ottawa

I am not taking back what I said as I think it was well intended from my point of view and fair comment from someone who also is invested here.

BUT

Let's not forget to notice this:

In the middle of all of this Meg opened a thread on Diversifying babble. A very important discussion and certainly a great initiative at the moment. Hopefully any of the criticisms and responses to them can stay here so as not to muck up that thread. But also hopefully there can be good ideas. Let's consider the message sent by this new thread as well and how positive and important it is.

I cannot help but feel that if babble were more diverse that would also help improve the tone here. If more of the conversations were not on partisan tribalism there would be more links across groups of people who may maintain differences in some areas but find agreement in others. The problems here become a spiral-- the less tolerant the less diverse, the less diverse the less tolerant. The more limited the more limiting the conversation.

As for the big fights today-- I am not sorry for saying what I felt must be said but I do not want to stay there either. Perhaps we can enter the conversation which is more positive opened in that new thread by Meg to consider the next thoughts on what woud improve this place.

Paladin1

Great post and great ideas Sean.

6079_Smith_W

Yes, Webgear. I know what you were refering to.

I think the last time I gave a verbal warning to one of our kids that they had crossed a line, and if they continued there would be consequences was two nights ago. Equating that with child abuse? Come on.

And @ Sean

Yes, good idea. Thanks.

Have I agreed with everything a moderator has done in here? Of course not. I can think of things I considered completely out to lunch.

But if we want that kind of a good space the first step is to accept that despite those differences they have the best interests of this place at heart just as we do, and that they are not the enemy.

 

 

 

onlinediscountanvils

Webgear wrote:

Catchfire wrote:

It's obvious, isn't it? oldgoat and Meg made similar jokes about babblers, but oldgoat -- whose joke was arguably harder on babblers -- got hearty laughs and Meg got a pile-on -- including a "worst post ever" (!) admonition. It's not rocket science.

Yep, verbally abusing children with threats are funny. Thats the difference between Oldgoat and Meg.

 

This is ridiculous. There was no "verbal abuse of children".

By the time I read the pile-on, MegB had already responded, and I had hoped put the issue to rest. But since some are sticking to their guns, I must say that I agree with Catchfire's assessment.

Sean in Ottawa

Answer to Pondering in the Diversifying Babble thread -- I don't want to add more to that thread that is off topic.

Pondering why are you doing this? Here, we have a thread with over 100 posts on this battle. The Diversifying Babble thread did not have it and could be used as a more unifying discussion as laid out by Meg. You see Meg did not bring that here and I respected that becuase it could be a positive thing.

Seemed Meg was trying to show a way forward but you yanked it back to the fight while burying the discussion Meg started when that might be the most important discussion currently on Babble.

Do you have to bring that battle there?

It is like you want to bring the fight everywhere in order to make sure you obtain an absolute surrender.

Would you consider moving your desire to fight from there back over here if you absolutely must keep it going?

The desire to make every fight take every thread squeezes out all other conversations and drives divisions where they did not need to be.

There was no conflict between me and Meg in that thread but seems you wanted to instigate one. And ironically that is the kind of shit that inspired this whole thing in the beginning. Because you are not a "veteran" you think you are not part of the problem -- you are. And there is a way forward. Respect that thread for ideas to diversify Babble and keep that battle out of it.

Otherwise it will be taken as an attempt to drive people either out of that thread or into battle.

pookie

Catchfire wrote:

I'll just say that that was a pretty shitty pile on on Meg in the other thread that I am just seeing now. oldgoat, the most beloved of all moderators, would regularly -- regularly! -- comment that his job as working with troubled teenagers prepared him for moderating babble. Everyone gave oldgoat a good guffaw, that irreverent old chap. Meg makes an innoucuous and humour comment about the tenor of the debate and earns herself a swarm of angry rebukes, including -- with a straight face -- an accusation of the "worst comment of all time."

Oh man. If sexism weren't so despicable, this would be hilarious.

 

x1000

That people can't see the sexism in the treatment of Meg in that thread does not surprise me one iota, btw.  And it has fucking NOTHING to do with a crack about being a single mother.

Christ on a pony.

pookie

Webgear wrote:

Catchfire wrote:

It's obvious, isn't it? oldgoat and Meg made similar jokes about babblers, but oldgoat -- whose joke was arguably harder on babblers -- got hearty laughs and Meg got a pile-on -- including a "worst post ever" (!) admonition. It's not rocket science.

Yep, verbally abusing children with threats are funny. Thats the difference between Oldgoat and Meg.

When you are in a hole, keep digging buddy.

It is to laugh.

Slumberjack

Actually, in relation to this latest controversy, and prior to it being mentioned, the Oldgoat comparison came to mind and I thought, what if it were him that said 'don't make me come up there' or the banning of asses remark.  I thought that maybe even the chirping birds outside my window would have fallen silent.  Style has alot to do with it, but the perceived authority that comes across within the style has to be taken into consideration as well.  OG might have tried a collective approach as well in order to calm the waters, but when it came down to it and an individual assessment was required, it was not likely to be second guessed a whole lot when it came.

None of that says certain decisions should always be immune from criticism in all situations, its just that in this instance I don't see that the criticism is on the firmest ground.

Ken Burch

Paladin1 wrote:

Holy shit, not a gun advocate! Can you PM me his or her name? I'll get the pitch fork.

Holy shit, not a pitchfork advocate!

Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
 I will say again that I feel the comment was entirely in order under the circumstances. On a second reading I have no problem with it at all.

I think from the perspective of one babbler to another its really subjective as to whether there was a need for an intervention.  Personally, I lean mostly toward non-intervention unless an exceptional circumstance warrants attention as it sometimes does, but that really isn't the issue here.

Slumberjack

Ken Burch wrote:
Holy shit, not a pitchfork advocate!

For some, even a regular kitchen fork will do in a pinch.

MegB

Might I remind y'all:

Consitency is the hobgoblin of small minds and the last refuge of the unimaginative. We are in many ways autodidacts so it stands to reason that we will change our minds, be flexible in some areas, less so in others. That's cool. What isn't cool is wasting space on babble by making hostile pointless exchanges a team sport. It's unbelievably tedious. And before anyone cries hurt feelings, this is a generalized statement, not some passive aggressive swipe at any individual.

Meg the Mod

 

Slumberjack

Quote:
And before anyone cries hurt feelings, this is a generalized statement, not some passive aggressive swipe at any individual.

I'm feeling relieved already that you cleared that up.

Sean in Ottawa

Is it unreasonable to ask a person not to directly reference or interpret or respond to your posts for a time?

This does not stop that person from presenting an opinion on a topic they are interested in or thinking about. Opinions can be framed not to be personal and any idea can be presented without being crafted as a reply. But it takes out the retorts, hostile interpretations and animus of a current fight. The person could still add to the flow of the argument adding a fact or opinion devoid of specific responses -- not referencing, quoting or characterizing. They can add a fact without saying you said  x and you are wrong or you are z because of y.

This small limitation could be the only way a person would be able to stay on the board. Being chased around the board by a hostile person TRYING to misrepresent your posts after you asked for no more engagement is enough to want to leave.The only response -- so long as the board tolerates it -- is to withdraw entirely.

A request to not engage should not be to numbers of people -- it would not be okay to demand that nobody can respond and it should not be arbitrary. But it is a way of getting a cool down with one other person without driving someone off the board.

It does not need to be permanent -- asking a person to back off even for a couple weeks allows both to participate on the board while not directly coming in conflict with every post – for a time.

I can't see why this request for stopping direct responses from an individual you have had a conflict with is that unreasonable in a place that is not supposed to support bullying -- especially when it does not limit any ideas or content – just stops a fight cold.

In the past, I have seen people here request non-engagement and most of the time it seems to be respected when there has been a problem. I fail to see the advantage in demanding and forcing engagement from a person trying to avoid it.

I don't see how it is helpful for everyone else have to work around two people who hate each other responding to their posts. At the same time if you are directly referenced either by quoting or the reply is clearly targetting what you saiud it is only reasonable to expect you to reply.

This request for nonengagement would limit fights to only those who BOTH want to be fighting as either side could shut it down and the other would also have to stop the engagement. I think far from limiting the board it would make it a better, more peaceful, tolerant and welcoming place.

Pondering

This is one situation in which a specific example is highly educative:

Sean is trying to depersonalize and intellectualize his objection to my responding to his posts so he can defend his behavior from a supposedly objective perspective.

The threads in which I am being asked not to respond to Sean include the thread on diversity, an ironic choice, and the thread Trudeau Campaign 2015, which I created and which makes an excellent illustrative example:

This is a relatively short interchange that just began so is easy to dissect:

http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/justin-trudeau-campaign-2015?page=10

Read posts 102 to 111.

I ask you, babblers, how should I react to this behavior? Should I report it as harassment? Go running to the mods for them to act as referee? Ignore it and let them all trash the thread because they can’t stand allowing a thread on Trudeau’s campaign to stand?

Go back and read from post 91.

If you go all the way back to post # 9 the first accusation was that I created the thread to avoid talking about the NDP.  I wasn’t at that time but I this point I am avoiding the NDP threads not because I don’t want to talk about the NDP, but because I don’t want to antagonize the people in those threads. I am staying out of the Harper with a smile thread too so Trudeau can be freely trashed there as well.

Sean, you keep threatening to leave the board due to my presence. I am participating in less than a handful of threads. Avoid those or ignore my responses to your comments. Don’t try to lay responsibility for your behavior on me not to mention trying to drum up resentment against me to keep the battle going if you leave.

If anyone is insisting on continuing being antagonistic it is you Sean. You can’t control who responds to your posts. Insisting that I not respond to comments in a thread I started on Trudeau's campaign is ridiculous.

There are many accusations of trolling and baiting on the site suggesting that the posters who “get personal” are driven to it by new(er) posters who can rightfully be suspected as being agent provocateurs of some sort.

The opposite is occurring. A few posters still believe it is their right to control the viewpoints that get expressed on babble.

"This request for nonengagement would limit fights to only those who BOTH want to be fighting as either side could shut it down and the other would also have to stop the engagement. I think far from limiting the board it would make it a better, more peaceful, tolerant and welcoming place."

There is no reason for fighting at all. Just stay on topic and don't get personal. If you don't want to converse with someone stop responding to them. Just because they respond to you doesn't mean you have to answer back. If the response is personal, or baiting, report it. Or if you think it's a cumulative problem then collect a few examples then report. If that doesn't work accept the verdict.

 

Sean in Ottawa

"Sean is trying to depersonalize and intellectualize his objection to my responding to his posts so he can defend his behavior from a supposedly objective perspective."

-- I am guilty by making it not personal so that it could be personal because I am guilty ....

"The threads in which I am being asked not to respond to Sean include the thread on diversity, an ironic choice"

-- Because you want to make this about gender?

"This is a relatively short interchange that just began so is easy to dissect:

http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/justin-trudeau-campaign-2015?page=10... Read posts 102 to 111… I ask you, babblers, how should I react to this behavior? Should I report it as harassment?"

Hey babblers shall we have a lynching -- did what I said in post 102 justify this?

"Sean, you keep threatening to leave the board due to my presence."

No, your behaviour and the blessing that behaviour is getting from the mods. Happy to ignore you if you will return the favour. No more limiting for you than it would be for me.

"There are many accusations of trolling and baiting on the site suggesting that the posters who “get personal” are driven to it by new(er) posters who can rightfully be suspected as being agent provocateurs of some sort."

I never got personal with you. Ever.

"Just stay on topic and don't get personal"

And accept to be moderated by Pondering who decides what is personal (anything that disagrees with her) and what is on topic (any post she agrees with). You accused me of being off topic when I was speaking to the same thing that the previous 7/10 posts covered and was introduced to the thread by you. But off topic = what Pondering does not agree with.

"If the response is personal, or baiting, report it."

I don't expect impartiality from the mods. Neither do you which is why you continue this.

***

I hear the demands from you:

- limit myself to threads you are not interested in or accept you will respond with nastiness to any post I put up even when it has nothing to do with you

- accept that you will decide what is on topic and what is not

- accept that you will define any disagreement as a personal attack including defining a depersonalization and avoidance of personal attack as a personal attack and then spread widely the accusation

- accept that you will misrepresent whatever you please and it is my fault for responding to correct it

- accept that you will accuse me of bad behaviour all around the board without explaining how it is a violation (like your example of my post 102 presented here as my bad behaviour -- maybe even “harassment” along with any defence I put up to your attack on it.)

***

I was just criticized in the other active reactions thread for having reconsidered leaving.

While Pondering can attack me for a post that has nothing to do with her, it is my fault for responding. That if I truly want to not engage I should just accept to be attacked constantly and unfairly and just ignore it - or make good on any thoughts of leaving. Call it a flaw but I find it hard to ignore an attack I think is unfair following something I put effort into.

I have left here before for several months at a time and I admit it is a difficult decision. There are people I really like here. I appreciate the support from some of them -- the mutual appreciation of the exchanges with them are what attracts me to come here...

There is no way this can continue. I could keep writing posts to get them unfairly trashed by someone who wants to target and misrepresent them in a place where any mod involvement will be on the other side. I could do that, but is it rewarding/worth it?

I admit this is a personal flaw. I do find it hard to put effort into something and then leave a misrepresentation of it as the last word. Wanting to defend oneself may be instinct. The same desire to fight for fairness in the world makes me want to seek it for myself. I don’t like to shut up when I am unfairly treated.

I hate to leave as I have interacted with some of these people for years. I don't mean or want to be dramatic or to change my mind. I hate being indecisive about this. It is not to get attention. It is because it is a hard thing to do.

It was hard last year when I was not here to not explore issues with some of the people here. It certainly will be hard with an election coming perhaps in a few months.

Enmasse is nice. The moderation there is good and the community is good but you can go ages between any exchanges. I wish there were more people there. Twitter is brief -- no space to build a complicated idea.

I apologize for the indecision and back tracking. I don’t want to hurt people by being indecisive. I guess there are things about this place that I like, so it is very hard.

It is agonizing but I'll make a decision, shut up about it and just do it.

And you are right there should be no turning back from whatever decision.

Bacchus

Im not saying leave Sean, or even thats the decision Im talking about. Im talking about not engaging in any way. If you post in a way that invites a response, even if you state you dont want one, you will still get one.  Thats what Im talking about

Pondering

Sean, your motivation in presenting this idea of having a rule in which people are not permitted to engage someone that has a problem with them is designed to give you a means of stopping me from responding to the contents of your posts. You very carefully constructed a theoretical argument to deal with a concrete argument you are currently embroiled in.

The thread on diversity is about attracting new members with a wider variety of views and the tolerance necessary for that to happen and how all the arguing is interfering with the ability to grow. For you to object to my commenting on the contents of your post in that thread is an expression of intolerance therefore ironic.

You have made it abundantly clear that you believe I am instigating problems, harassing you by insisting on responding to your posts, virtually chasing you about, even blaming me for upsetting you so greatly that you must consider leaving.

If I am so guilty then you shouldn’t have a problem using real examples.

http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/justin-trudeau-campaign-2015?p...

The problem starts in post 104. I suggested starting at 102 so people could see what you were objecting to in order to be fair to you. Post 104 is offensive.

The off topic post I was referring to was 104. Which comments are personal isn’t a matter of interpretation. If you are referring to the poster, it’s personal and it’s off topic.

My post 103 which you objected to doesn’t quote your post or reference it directly in any way although I reserve the right to. There is nothing hostile in it. There is no misrepresentation of anything. So why not invite impartial judgement if you are so certain I am in the wrong? I am the one being accused. It's not unreasonable for me to defend myself.

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
I don't expect impartiality from the mods. Neither do you which is why you continue this

I think the Mods favor vets like you and allowed you to get away with crap for so many years you think it is your right to pass judgement over other posters. I think they favor the legitimization of prostitution and that pisses me off. I don’t think they protect the feminist forum enough. I have been mad enough to take breaks twice.

I go away and cool off then come back. There has been action on the prostitution file in the senate hearings, Terri Jean Bradford getting kicked out of the hearings, but I did not reopen the topic and I don’t intend to because the mods would be unfair again and that would piss me off. I just accept that the mods are human so they are going to be wrong sometimes and I will just have to suck it up until I get to rule the world.

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
- limit myself to threads you are not interested in or accept you will respond with nastiness to any post I put up even when it has nothing to do with you

I think here is where we differ on what a personal attack is. I do not respond with nastiness. You are constantly insulting me and expecting me to just take it. I've never said anything like that about you. Quite the contrary. I've expressed respect for you on multiple occasions. You have never returned the favor that I can recall.

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
While Pondering can attack me for a post that has nothing to do with her, it is my fault for responding. That if I truly want to not engage I should just accept to be attacked constantly and unfairly and just ignore it - or make good on any thoughts of leaving. Call it a flaw but I find it hard to ignore an attack I think is unfair following something I put effort into.

The thing is I don’t attack you Sean. I both agree and disagree with your comments and I respond to the contents of your posts without passing judgement over you or your motivations unless you are attacking me personally and even then I have responded with restraint. Disagreeing with an argument you are presenting is not attacking you.

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
I admit this is a personal flaw. I do find it hard to put effort into something and then leave a misrepresentation of it as the last word. Wanting to defend oneself may be instinct. The same desire to fight for fairness in the world makes me want to seek it for myself. I don’t like to shut up when I am unfairly treated.

Me too Sean, and you are treating me unfairly. You do not have to make a momentous decision to stay or go. You can take a break. You can ignore me. You can send your responses to one of your buddies to post so it doesn’t look like you are replying to me. You could just avoid the few threads I am participating in. You could give up this grudge and just answer me like you would anyone else.

You are creating a showdown situation in which you will be “forced” to leave and it will be my and the mods fault for not understanding that I shouldn’t be allowed to respond to your posts. I don’t know of a single message board that supports the arrangement you deem necessary in order to remain.

You may want to consider that you are not immune from the human faults you assign to the mods and  me. I do not know why you are so upset over the Nov. 2005 Layton/Martin events. Maybe I hit a nerve, we all have them, but I don't deserve this over it.

Just because the message board can't be what you want to be be doesn't mean you can't enjoy it on another level.

Sean in Ottawa

Fuck off Pondering: Here is your personal attack and the opinion of you I have withheld but you have been begging for: you are manipulative, dishonest, aggressive and ever persistently unavoidable. I am not interested in the details of your shit anymore. Find another hobby. Take the last word- I don't think I'll bother even reading it. Whine to the mods-- I am sure they will be there for you. I don't give that much of a fuck what they do. Being banned from this place would hardly be a mark of shame after all the shit that has gone on here.

And you know damn well that I enjoy no good relations with the moderators here so you can stick that remark where the sun don't shine.

pookie

Unreal.  Both of you.

Pondering

pookie wrote:

Unreal.  Both of you.

Aha! A peace ambassador, sort of. I will withdraw from these conversations for a few days and restrict myself to the gun control topic, the Trudeau Campaign and maybe the general federal election 2015 topic.

MegB

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Fuck off Pondering: Here is your personal attack and the opinion of you I have withheld but you have been begging for: you are manipulative, dishonest, aggressive and ever persistently unavoidable. I am not interested in the details of your shit anymore. Find another hobby. Take the last word- I don't think I'll bother even reading it. Whine to the mods-- I am sure they will be there for you. I don't give that much of a fuck what they do. Being banned from this place would hardly be a mark of shame after all the shit that has gone on here.

And you know damn well that I enjoy no good relations with the moderators here so you can stick that remark where the sun don't shine.

Sean, I don't really care at this point whether you stay or go, but if you tell Pondering or anyone else to fuck off again the choice will no longer be yours. Pondering, I like your reasonable tone, but please stop poking the hornet's nest so much. You aren't responsible for others' bad behavior but for the sake of reasoned discussion, try to recognize when continuing to provoke a particular adversary is pointless.

Webgear, wow, joking about abusing children. That must've taken a lot of imagination and fabrication to turn a joke that all parents of unruly kids would get in a heartbeat into child abuse. Beyond ridiculous.

Sean, the sexism is in the fact that women moderators are treated differently than the men who have moderated. You've made your personal bias against me quite clear from the getgo, even though my moderating style isn't much different from Catchfire's. The only fundamental difference between myself and Catchfire, as far as moderating goes, is gender. Well, admittedly Catchfire's grammar and spelling are better, and he's funnier than I am, but you get the drift. Or not.

No one likes being called on their biases, but to take that and turn it around on the person against whom you are biased is despicable. Yes Sean, your constant bullying of me and blaming me for your bad behavior is despicable. Webgear, you aren't far behind.

All anyone has to do is talk to the women who have moderated babble in the past. They will tell you all about how difficult it is to work in such a sexist environment, an environment that is indicative of the gender binary white male-dominated culture of babble. I wish I could say it is confined to this particular online culture, but it's throughout progressive movements. Women and people of colour have to insist on having a voice in order to be heard. That's an observable fact. And insisting gets you blowback. Not very equitable, but there it is.

 

Slumberjack

To insist is to merely post something, to which people can insist on their own by responding.  Its not like an in-person conversation where everyone is shouting to be heard and voices get drowned out.  Here, the next voice to be heard is the very next post.  That's pretty much the extent of it for the purposes of this board. No one is preventing anyone from doing so.  Sean is suggesting that he doesn't want to anymore because of Pondering and the Mods.  Nonsense to that as well. As for the ideal, welcoming climate, where is this mythical fantasy land and how do we get there?  I've never been totally convinced by the argument that on a discussion board someone is being prevented from commenting because of someone else. For one thing, such a charge conveys too much power to the individual supposedly preventing speech from occurring.  In society, rights are exercised through acts of confrontation in opposition to ideas, actions, inaction, and established control structures.

Sean in Ottawa

Also worth noting that you are responding to a post that I wrote two days ago in absolute frustration. I  did not post for a day after that and avoided the fight with Pondering since.The fight with pondering is still going on-- Pondering is so "reasonable" that she is in fights with at least three other people right now over the same long time argument. But I am not one of them as I left it alone.

I am curious now-- if I had not self-identified as male would you have been able to dismiss everything I said so easily?

Now you stir up a fight that calmed down for two days. To make it better somehow?

You would think moderation should be to make things better not worse.

If you ban me I will not conclude it is becuase you think it is about gender. I will not conclude it is becuase you think that one time I said fuck off after being baited for days with false accusations of a personal attack justifies that response.

I will just conclude you are getting rid of someone who disagreed with you. Stiffling dissent. This looks more like that than anything to do with gender.

 

ygtbk

This thread has kind of wandered, for sure. A few ideas for renewal:

1) Blanket amnesty.

2) [Idealistic] A little less personal animosity, even towards people that you know harbour the worst ideas in the world.

3) [Concession to real world] An unmoderated part of the forum where people can go to town on each other, since it seems to fulfill a deep-seated need.

Sean, I agree that moderation here can be frustrating. Even extremely frustrating. I've been using the term "asymmetric moderation" to describe that.

Having said that, if you start from the assumption that the mods will only ever intervene against you, you may be pleasantly surprised from time to time. 

swallow swallow's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

 I've never been totally convinced by the argument that on a discussion board someone is being prevented from commenting because of someone else. For one thing, such a charge conveys too much power to the individual supposedly preventing speech from occurring.  In society, rights are exercised through acts of confrontation in opposition to ideas, actions, inaction, and established control structures.

Again with respect, and I thjink this has been said before in other words -- that argument ignores the very real existence of power and the society in which we all happen to live. No, women are not prevented physically from commenting in some threads. And yet, many women and many marginalized groups don't often comment in them. (Malaysia plane crash, many of the political team sports threads, etc.) It's worth asking why, rather than simply putting the onus on those who don't comment to do so. Saying that everyone should dare to be more confrontational, I think, is not the most feminist response possible. It's just possible that more can be done. (On the other hand, I may have misunderstood your point; if so, apologies and please do elaborate!)

So anyways, add me to those who think an online anti-oppression workshop is a good idea. Sean had some good ideas too back when this was all brought up. 

Meg, I thought bringing up this topic was a great initiative and was intersted to read that you and Catchfire decided to change moderation style -- I'm hoping a bit more moderator-poster interaction will help build a bit more of a community feeling, which sounds like somehting most would welcome. 

6079_Smith_W

I have to say I'm also scratching my head at this "general amnesty" idea. 

In the first place, what does it have to do the topic at hand? Secondly, who do we imagine are the sad exiles pining to be let back in the gates, and prevented from doing so by evil moderators? The last big incident I know of was by mutual agreement, and the door is open, as far as I know. And thirdly, do you realize such an amnesty would  include not just political allies, but a number of genuine trolls and people that some blame for the alleged sad state of affairs here?

We have actually had a few threads on the specific topic of banning, time outs and moderator powers.

Also, I had to smile at the mention of one specific name. I think it was over in the other place, but just a few months ago I was accused of being that very poster, come back from the dead to troll under an alias.

Another reason why I think this whole idea of questioning people - their motives and understanding - rather than talking about the issues, is so absurd it would be laughable, if it weren't so damaging.

 

 

Sean in Ottawa

MegB wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Fuck off Pondering: Here is your personal attack and the opinion of you I have withheld but you have been begging for: you are manipulative, dishonest, aggressive and ever persistently unavoidable. I am not interested in the details of your shit anymore. Find another hobby. Take the last word- I don't think I'll bother even reading it. Whine to the mods-- I am sure they will be there for you. I don't give that much of a fuck what they do. Being banned from this place would hardly be a mark of shame after all the shit that has gone on here.

And you know damn well that I enjoy no good relations with the moderators here so you can stick that remark where the sun don't shine.

Sean, I don't really care at this point whether you stay or go, but if you tell Pondering or anyone else to fuck off again the choice will no longer be yours. Pondering, I like your reasonable tone, but please stop poking the hornet's nest so much. You aren't responsible for others' bad behavior but for the sake of reasoned discussion, try to recognize when continuing to provoke a particular adversary is pointless.

Webgear, wow, joking about abusing children. That must've taken a lot of imagination and fabrication to turn a joke that all parents of unruly kids would get in a heartbeat into child abuse. Beyond ridiculous.

Sean, the sexism is in the fact that women moderators are treated differently than the men who have moderated. You've made your personal bias against me quite clear from the getgo, even though my moderating style isn't much different from Catchfire's. The only fundamental difference between myself and Catchfire, as far as moderating goes, is gender. Well, admittedly Catchfire's grammar and spelling are better, and he's funnier than I am, but you get the drift. Or not.

No one likes being called on their biases, but to take that and turn it around on the person against whom you are biased is despicable. Yes Sean, your constant bullying of me and blaming me for your bad behavior is despicable. Webgear, you aren't far behind.

All anyone has to do is talk to the women who have moderated babble in the past. They will tell you all about how difficult it is to work in such a sexist environment, an environment that is indicative of the gender binary white male-dominated culture of babble. I wish I could say it is confined to this particular online culture, but it's throughout progressive movements. Women and people of colour have to insist on having a voice in order to be heard. That's an observable fact. And insisting gets you blowback. Not very equitable, but there it is.

 

You should be ashamed of that post. I have had clashes with Catchfire when he has been unreasonable as well. If anything they were worse. You can look at the history. I left this place for several months after one of them.

You really should not be trying to make this into something that it is not --  especially given how very serious those issues are. My response was nothing to do with gender and everything to do with what you said. You could take responsibility for your side of that without doing this.

You can ignore that when you opened the thread on diversifying babble I put in the first response entirely positive and constructive in spite of a conflict with you that had just happened. You can ignore that even when that fight first came there from Pondering I tried to move it out of that thread. beacuse you are so biased you can ignore all that.

Others may not have the context of history but you do. You know very well that I have never treated you and catchfire differently. Your accusation is not only compeltely wrong and unfair, I think it serves to undermine the important point that it pretends to respond to. The truth is there is a lot of sexism here but this is NOT an example of it. And I refuse to treat you differently and not hold you accountable for what you say becuase THAT would be sexism.

As for Pondering -- she went around the site begging for this. At the time I wrote to say Fuck off I did not care less. If you ban me then I won't care at all. The ONLY reason I did this was that she persistently accused my of a personal attack for days to the point that it was harassment. You ignored all that and now say she was being reasonable. Eventually I did that one post to show the difference between what I had been doing and what she was accusing me of and then of course you got involved. Showed your bias clearly -- AGAIN. All the while she attacked me saying she was victim of a personal attack when there never was a basis for it you did nothing. Even when she said that the fact that I avoided getting personal itself was a personal attack you still said nothing. You call her reasonable while she is the common person in a pile of fights across this forum. How can one person be so right and everyone else be so wrong? But you could have dialled her back before and could have spoken for balance before. In fact when others were unfair to her previously I was the one to speak out for her becuase the moderators did nothing.

I think your moderating style stinks and it has nothing to do with gender. It is one thing to say that you missed things but another to say that you will leave a thread till it gets totally toxic and then jump in taking sides and that is your idea of good moderation.

I have the same opinion of Catchfire and would have said the same thing if he had entered into that thread like a bully. However I have not run into him recently.Maybe he has done unreasonable things-- maybe not but I have not seen a display like you did last week from him recently but I would not have hesitated to respond just because he was a man.

There is absolutely no question that I would have said the same thing had it been him.The history is there to prove it. The two of you have done a lot of damage by moderating so often coming in without warning on one side in an extreme and unnecessary escalation after ignoring what could have been handled more easily. I am not unique in feeling that you are extremely biased. There is long history here. I do feel that I have seen less aggression from Catchfire over the last several months since I came back here. I did not do a study so can't say if that experience is universal. I don't think that is up to me. My response to you was directly related to a rude and biased intervention in a thread I was involved in that I took as aggressive to me as well as all so called veterans. You calling it sexism denies what I was saying and that is revolting.

You don't have to do nothing ignoring  things and then come in on one side swearing. But I said all that and you have ignored all that.

You can ignore the context if you want. You can ignore the history that lead to that post. You can ignore the fact that there are several other people in the same position with the same person. You can even ban me for that one post where I crossed a line just to show where it was because you would not do so. You can ignore the fact that I have a history even in conflict of avoiding getting personal and only did so after being accused of it for so many days -- I said here this is what it looks like.

You have the power to do all that but it won't be right.

 

NOTE: I HAVE EDITED THIS TO CLARIFY AND TO FIX TYPOS 12:35 PM Eastern Time September 22.

 

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