Why Was This Person Banned? Part 2

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skeiseid

huh?

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

I knew you would say that.

skeiseid

Really?

You could only know that if you were intentionally obfuscating. Or...

I don't understand what you're on about. I don't think you understood me either.

Care to try again?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Makwa wrote:

Perhaps I was absent.  Please feel very free to email me personally should you feel that another poster has been unfair or outside the bounds of fair comment.  I would be very pleased to examine it personally, and respond openly.  You are free to use the babble email which is [email protected] or email me personally, at my email which is in my profile.  Thank you for your comment.

I already complained about the personal attacks by flagging a particularly egregious example. There has been no reply and no action taken. Thank you for your comment.

RosaL

I think it might be a good idea to have non-participant moderators. And, with all respect to the current moderators (because I'm quite fond of some of them Smile and I certainly appreciate the time they give to this and their commitment to the project), some rotation. The longer the same group works together, the closer they become (in terms of perspective and loyalties) - what happens is that you don't have the kind of diversity of perspective that's desirable in a 'moderating team'. 

Sven Sven's picture

I still don't understand why a poster's claimed identity is even relevant to the question of whether or not a poster should be banned for something written here. 

If someone writes something that violates babble policy, then shouldn't that be, by itself, determinative?  Or, does a violation of babble policy magically not become a violation of babble policy based on a poster's claimed identity?  If so, what twisted Alice-in-Wonderland logic accomplishes that?

And, relevancy is only the first of two issues regarding claimed identity.

The second issue is that given the nature of this medium, a poster's claimed identity is just that: It's "claimed".  All we can do is accept a poster's claimed identity at face value or subjectively speculate that the poster's claimed identity is false.

So, why would a poster be banned (or not) based on a factor of questionable relevance and based on speculation?

Sven Sven's picture

[Double Post]

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

skeiseid wrote:

Really?

You could only know that if you were intentionally obfuscating. Or...

I don't understand what you're on about. I don't think you understood me either.

Care to try again?

I don't think there is anything at all unclear about what I said. But perhaps I did misunderstand your comment which read, to me, as an unwarrented crticism of the board, its policies, and moderation.

To be clear, I don't necessarily disagree with some of your observations but you are,  as far as I can see, presenting them without context or background which is unfair.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Sven wrote:

I still don't understand why a poster's claimed identity is even relevant to the question of whether or not a poster should be banned for something written here. 

If someone writes something that violates babble policy, then shouldn't that be, by itself, determinative?  Or, does a violation of babble policy magically not become a violation of babble policy based on a poster's claimed identity?  If so, what twisted Alice-in-Wonderland logic accomplishes that?

And, relevancy is only the first of two issues regarding claimed identity.

The second issue is that given the nature of this medium, a poster's claimed identity is just that: It's "claimed".  All we can do is accept a poster's claimed identity at face value or subjectively speculate that the poster's claimed identity is false.

So, why would a poster be banned (or not) based on a factor of questionable relevance and based on speculation?

What does it matter that the rock thrower is a cop, Sven? Because the role of an agent provacateur is to damage the perception of peaceful protestors and to provide the pretext for a violent police assualt. If someone claims to represent an identity for the purpose of creating stereotypes and generating hate, then that matters. It is not as though they are pretending to be an academic, philosopher, or architect. I don't think it is that difficult to figure out.

HeywoodFloyd

Sven wrote:

I still don't understand why a poster's claimed identity is even relevant to the question of whether or not a poster should be banned for something written here. 

If someone writes something that violates babble policy, then shouldn't that be, by itself, determinative?  Or, does a violation of babble policy magically not become a violation of babble policy based on a poster's claimed identity

As has been shown by our own resident Drs Higgins, that is exactly the case.

skeiseid

Interesting idea, RosaL.

I'm not sure that would work, though, for several reasons.

First of all I expect the moderators wouldn't really want to be mute -- they often have valuable non-moderatory input. What torture it would be to be reading threads and have to sit on their hands!

Moderator continuity throughout the life of a discussion is important because the conversational dynamic is important to follow and be congnizant of when (gently) nudging posters to be more civil. Also, moderators could be better agents for shepherding discussion towards a consunsus or mutual understanding. As things are discussions tend to "flail". I realize this might be seen as too paternalistic. Regardless, revolving moderators would hamper both of these objectives.

Breadth of perspective is a good thing along with open minds.

Sven Sven's picture

Here's what appears to be the infamous and "offensive" quote that has gotten so many people riled up:

Quote:
i have a lot of family that talk about killing and hating ..only words... and too much full of hate.  i just ignore them and make a joke about something to change the subject...cause i cant talk about hating others all the time

Let's say the person writing those words claimed to be a member of non-Muslim Religion X.  How would that claimed identity make those words any more or less "offensive"?

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Who says they wouldn't? What is relevant is who he did claim to be. The basic truth is that there are many who would like to stereotype all Islamic people as prone to violence and who view life cheaply even the historical record puts the lie to that.

skeiseid

Frustrated Mess wrote:

skeiseid wrote:

Really?

You could only know that if you were intentionally obfuscating. Or...

I don't understand what you're on about. I don't think you understood me either.

Care to try again?

I don't think there is anything at all unclear about what I said. But perhaps I did misunderstand your comment which read, to me, as an unwarrented crticism of the board, its policies, and moderation.

To be clear, I don't necessarily disagree with some of your observations but you are,  as far as I can see, presenting them without context or background which is unfair.

A thread on the topic of babble policy and action -- the banning of a poster -- is exactly where one might be reasonably expected to ask these questions... so I did. The context is, therefore, clear and background.. do you mean what side of tracks I was born on or that I haven't been on babble long enough or... what?

Sven Sven's picture

Frustrated Mess wrote:

Who says they wouldn't?

If that is, indeed, the case, then that should be the end of the matter, no?

Sven Sven's picture

Besides, where in the babble policy does it say that posting X by someone of one claimed identity is cause for banning but posting the very same X by someone of another claimed identity is not cause for banning?

RosaL

skeiseid wrote:

Interesting idea, RosaL.

I'm not sure that would work, though, for several reasons.

First of all I expect the moderators wouldn't really want to be mute -- they often have valuable non-moderatory input. What torture it would be to be reading threads and have to sit on their hands!

Yes, it would be difficult. Yet many of us have to do this anyway, to a considerable extent. And that same difficulty points to some of the dangers in having "participant moderators". That said, this is the point I'd be most willing to cede. 

Quote:

Moderator continuity throughout the life of a discussion is important because the conversational dynamic is important to follow and be congnizant of when (gently) nudging posters to be more civil. Also, moderators could be better agents for shepherding discussion towards a consunsus or mutual understanding. As things are discussions tend to "flail". I realize this might be seen as too paternalistic. Regardless, revolving moderators would hamper both of these objectives.

I was thinking of a rotation every two years or something like that - and they wouldn't all rotate at once but on a rotating (heh) basis. 

Quote:
Breadth of perspective is a good thing along with open minds.

Yep Smile

skeiseid

RosaL wrote:

Yes, it would be difficult. Yet many of us have to do this anyway, to a considerable extent.

This statement is worth exploring.

I would hope that one of the attractions of a venue dedicated to discussing "progressive" topics is that we could safely (and only metaphorically) let our hair down and indulge in plain speaking without fear of recriminations because we all have respect for each other and are truly interested in developing our individual and collective understanding of the world. If we have to censor ourselves "to a considerable extent" then the implication is that there is not a free and open exchange of ideas occurring.

That said, there are certain topics that I would not bother discussing here because of the evident bias of the site -- there woulldn't be any point. So, if that's where you're coming from, perhaps I agree with you.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
If someone claims to represent an identity for the purpose of creating stereotypes and generating hate, then that matters.

 

I think this assumes that it's possible to know one way or the other. If it were determined objectively that 'mahmoud' is really an Irish guy named Mike, pretending to be Muslim, there would be no debate whatsoever.

 

When we've got a way of objectively determining whether or not anonymous participants on the internet really are who they say they are, let's get out the banning stick! But until then, it's kind of ominous to see something like this happening as the result of a hunch, or worse yet the assumption that no real Muslim could possibly hold the same opinions as mahmoud.

 

 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Sven wrote:

Frustrated Mess wrote:

Who says they wouldn't?

If that is, indeed, the case, then that should be the end of the matter, no?

Perhaps it would be. I don't know. I am certain whatever reply anyone offers, you will have another scenario in response.

Quote:

A thread on the topic of babble policy and action -- the banning of a poster -- is exactly where one might be reasonably expected to ask these questions... so I did. The context is, therefore, clear and background.. do you mean what side of tracks I was born on or that I haven't been on babble long enough or... what?

I'm saying your post contained implied jusgements.

Snert wrote:

Quote:
If someone claims to represent an identity for the purpose of creating stereotypes and generating hate, then that matters.

 

I think this assumes that it's possible to know one way or the other. If it were determined objectively that 'mahmoud' is really an Irish guy named Mike, pretending to be Muslim, there would be no debate whatsoever.

 

When we've got a way of objectively determining whether or not anonymous participants on the internet really are who they say they are, let's get out the banning stick! But until then, it's kind of ominous to see something like this happening as the result of a hunch, or worse yet the assumption that no real Muslim could possibly hold the same opinions as mahmoud.

My post had nothing at all to do with mahmoud or any other poster. It was a specific response to a specific question asked by Sven.

remind remind's picture

 

M. Spector wrote:
Makwa wrote:
M. Spector wrote:
Your bullshit gets awfully tiring after a while.

This is an unneccessary personal attack, please refrain from doing so further.  An apology would be appropriate.

I'm not allowed to characterize another poster's words as bullshit? Even when they are an attack on me?

Where were you when I was being personally attacked in the previous thread-chunk?

Makwa wrote:

I agree that it is good policy in most cases, but I also believe that when the babble community is being attacked, a swift unequivocal response is appropriate.

Nahmoud was not attacking the babble community. Even if he were, it would have been easy enough for the moderators to give that as a reason for banning him. They didn't.

Even swift unequivocal responses should be justifiable. A lack of transparency and consistency is the surest way to undermine respect for, and confidence in, the fairness of the moderating function.

What are you talking about mspector, I never freakin attacked you in the other thread, nor in this one?

skeiseid

Just wandering around the site I encountered this (bold italics, mine):

But it's our readers who make rabble thrive. Just check out our vibrant discussion forum - babble - to see what we mean. babble is an interactive space where rabble-rousers mix, mingle and mix it up, whether it's to comment on an article, post your own version of events, to follow breaking news or join in rule-breaking discussion.

Ironic?

Sven Sven's picture

skeiseid wrote:

But it's our readers who make rabble thrive. Just check out our vibrant discussion forum - babble - to see what we mean. babble is an interactive space where rabble-rousers mix, mingle and mix it up, whether it's to comment on an article, post your own version of events, to follow breaking news or join in rule-breaking discussion.

Ironic?

Not our rules, silly.  That's a reference to breaking other people's rules!!  Tongue out

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

I don't think it is ironic at all. I can't recall where I read it, but it was said the BBC represents to the British public, through its reporting, the consensus of the British parliament. I think it can be said that Canada's MSM plays much the same role here. A discussion board such as this can then break the rules by engaging in subjects and ideas the MSM won't entertain. But that is a far cry from an anything goes forum where discussion becomes impossible as it can't rise above the din of inanities.

The best debates are always moderated debates with rules.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Sven wrote:

skeiseid wrote:

But it's our readers who make rabble thrive. Just check out our vibrant discussion forum - babble - to see what we mean. babble is an interactive space where rabble-rousers mix, mingle and mix it up, whether it's to comment on an article, post your own version of events, to follow breaking news or join in rule-breaking discussion.

Ironic?

Not our rules, silly.  That's a reference to breaking other people's rules!!  Tongue out

Funny, Sven, I seem to recall you, our resident Libertarian and current free speech at all costs advocate, championing "free speech zones" (translates loosely into state identification and ready repression zones) not all that long ago. It is no wonder I afford you little in the way of credibility.

Sven Sven's picture

Frustrated Mess wrote:

...you, our resident Libertarian and current free speech at all costs advocate...

Well, I've never advocated anarchy and I've never said I'm a free-speech absolutist.

martin dufresne

I have often thought that when someone subscribes to a forum like this one, s/he should give a phone number. It would remain confidential but could be used by a mod to call up that person in the rare cases where a situation approaches banning level. It wouldn't solve all ambiguities but would give mods a much better chance to assess what's really going on.

 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Sven wrote:

Frustrated Mess wrote:

...you, our resident Libertarian and current free speech at all costs advocate...

Well, I've never advocated anarchy and I've never said I'm a free-speech absolutist.

Uh, so peaceful protest is anarchy. That explains a lot.  I've always known you're not a free speech absolutist, Sven. That's what defines hyprocrisy, though, when you demand it from others.

skeiseid

Well it seems that the set of rules that babblers are encouraged and actually supposed to break are not clearly defined but actually do define rabble in some significant way -- or why mention it?

One larger issue of this discussion is a certain lack of transparency. Perhaps the "membership" might shed new light and provide some clarity??

SparkyOne

Snert wrote:

Quote:
If someone claims to represent an identity for the purpose of creating stereotypes and generating hate, then that matters.

 

I think this assumes that it's possible to know one way or the other. If it were determined objectively that 'mahmoud' is really an Irish guy named Mike, pretending to be Muslim, there would be no debate whatsoever.

 

When we've got a way of objectively determining whether or not anonymous participants on the internet really are who they say they are, let's get out the banning stick! But until then, it's kind of ominous to see something like this happening as the result of a hunch, or worse yet the assumption that no real Muslim could possibly hold the same opinions as mahmoud.

 

 

Excellent point. I've already been subtley accused of not being a woman or African American.

 

Long time posters may not notice it but the atmosphere is quite combative here.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quote:

Well it seems that the set of rules that babblers are encouraged and actually supposed to break are not clearly defined

Why should they be? What ought and needs to be defined are the rules by which babblers relate to each other while here and I think they have been. The reason we keep having these endless discussions is because babblers don't want the responsibility of policing behaviour but they also want to question every action of those charged with that policing. Sort of having and eating the proverbial cake.

Sven Sven's picture

Frustrated Mess wrote:

Uh, so peaceful protest is anarchy. That explains a lot.  I've always known you're not a free speech absolutist, Sven. That's what defines hyprocrisy, though, when you demand it from others.

Look, FM, I'm not demanding free speech absolutism from anyone.  And, more pertinently, in the context of this specific thread, I've long said "free speech" isn't even relevant with regard to what rabble.ca allows or doesn't allow.  Rabble.ca can publish or not publish (including posters' writings) whatever rabble.ca decides to publish or not publish.

It's not even a "free speech" issue.

Given that, I have no idea why you are dreaming up "free speech" as an issue here.

skeiseid

Well that's exactly why a warning is essential.

If the line you can't cross is unmarked and fuzzy then the call needs justification.

Logically, if you set up a site to have open "question everything" (or perhaps most things) discussions that break or bend rules you are, pretty much by definition, operating at the edge. This doesn't work if participants are walking on eggshells all the time. But it can be productive if "advanced" edgy discussions are prosecuted with respect for each other, good faith and tolerance. Carefully literate and informed posts will minimize hurt feelings. Moderators are the discretionary "line judges".

Again, I'm really just going by what rabble/babble says on the site to try to generate a broader context for the subject discussion.

FM: you wanted context. You never got back to me on that "background: thing...

jacki-mo

Talk about  hypocrites: Babblers often say we should attack what a poster says, not the poster. Lots of attacks on the posters here. Can't we be more civil?

martin dufresne

Hmmm... are you trying to illustrate the problem with your own example? Undecided

jacki-mo

Martin: I am criticising the whole group. Not a particular poster you son of a ..whoops! almost did it myself.

martin dufresne

Have you all noticed that it has been eight months since a mod accused someone of "shadow moderating"? "Metadebates" are no longer put down either... Since then, we seem to have all gradually climbed on at that soapbox/bandwagon. Epistemology is such fun. Reminds me of an old joke about a physicist, a biologist, and an epistemologist being asked to name the most impressive invention or scientific advance of modern times. The physicist does not hesitate-"It is quantum theory. It has completely transformed the way we understand matter." The biologist says "No. It is the discovery of DNA-it has completely transformed the way we understand life." The epistemologist looks at them both and says "I think it's the thermos." The thermos? Why on earth the thermos? "Well," the epistemologist explains patiently, "If you put something cold in it, it will keep it cold. And if you put something hot in it, it will keep it hot." Yeah, so what?, everyone asks. "Aha!" the epistemologist raises a triumphant finger "How does it know?"

 

 

martin dufresne

So your way of "attacking not the poster" is to attack all the posters, eh? Neat.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

SparkyOne wrote:

Long time posters may not notice it but the atmosphere is quite combative here.

Long time posters recall a time when there was a troll under every rock, and a freeforall atmosphere where the community more-or-less self-policed. You have no idea how much more civilized it is these days.

That said, there's been some recent deterioration - but I think the mods have a good handle on it.

skeiseid

ahhh... you used to be disgusted...

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

SparkyOne wrote:

Long time posters may not notice it but the atmosphere is quite combative here.

I've been around on and off for a few years now, and I am well aware of the current toxic atmosphere. I have to pick and choose my topics and battles much more carefully than before.

Part of the reason for this is to be found in the political situation in the real world. The Canadian left is in disarray and is demoralized. It chafes under the yoke of a neo-conservative federal government. It gets no leadership from the NDP, which seeks to look more like the Liberals every day. Its hope for meaningful change after the Bush years has been dashed under the George W. Obama administration. The capacity of the capitalist system to provide employment and social security for the working class is in serious doubt. Our country is deeply involved in an imperialist project for perpetual war. The planet itself is threatened by the depredations of capitalism, and it's becoming increasingly apparent that the opportunity to rescue the biosphere from capitalism has passed.

The Canadian left is bitter, fractious, resentful, and suspicious.

And this is where they come to chat.

Unionist

martin dufresne wrote:

...we didn't have to look over our shoulders all the time to see whose clammy palms were groping and prodding our posts...

Don't put down clams, Al-Qa'bong, they are your ancestors...

 

And palms are our distant cousins.

 

martin dufresne

SmileTrue, true...

martin dufresne

...we didn't have to look over our shoulders all the time to see whose clammy palms were groping and prodding our posts...

Don't put down clams, Al-Qa'bong, they are your ancestors...

 

Bubbles

4807,

 I tend to agree with you. Babble has changed over the years. To me it seemed more free flowing in the past. Like a mountain brook it progressed quickly downwards, bouncing over and around any obstruction in its path. It is slower now, silt and debry obscuring its original clarity. And as 9273 points out it is becoming undrinkable. (toxic)

It always saddens me somewhat to see anyone being denied the pleasure to relieving themselfs in this Alphabet Soup. Maybe it would be better if those, that are afraid/ alergic to be rained on, remove themselfs.

SparkyOne

al-Qa'bong wrote:

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

SparkyOne wrote:

Long time posters may not notice it but the atmosphere is quite combative here.

Long time posters recall a time when there was a troll under every rock, and a freeforall atmosphere where the community more-or-less self-policed. You have no idea how much more civilized it is these days.

 

I like it better how it used to be.  The conversations were more open and there was a greater sense of freedom here.  babble was fun back before inquisitors decided what was proper to say, and we didn't have to look over our shoulders all the time to see whose clammy palms were groping and prodding our posts, looking for evidence with which to denounce us to the moderators.

 

I guess that's the price of civilization.

 

The feeling I get is that if I disagree with the common norm then I will be singled out, picked apart and banned for god knows what.

 

To me , progressive means to move forward.

How can you move forward while constantly watching your back?

 

al-Qa'bong

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

SparkyOne wrote:

Long time posters may not notice it but the atmosphere is quite combative here.

Long time posters recall a time when there was a troll under every rock, and a freeforall atmosphere where the community more-or-less self-policed. You have no idea how much more civilized it is these days.

 

 

Troll schmoll.  Think of them as trawlers, hoping to hook the eager young salmon into an argument, while the old fish ignore the bait. They don't matter if nobody bites

 

I liked babble better the way it used to be.  The conversations were more open and there was a greater sense of freedom here.  babble was fun back before inquisitors decided what was proper to say, and we didn't have to look over our shoulders all the time to see whose clammy palms were groping and prodding our posts, looking for evidence with which to denounce us to the moderators.

 

I guess that's the price of civilization.

al-Qa'bong

editing error

martin dufresne

Damn school marms spoiling the Old West for us tough guise...

Erik Redburn

jacki-mo wrote:

Talk about  hypocrites: Babblers often say we should attack what a poster says, not the poster. Lots of attacks on the posters here. Can't we be more civil?

 

Practice what you preach rightwinger.  But you lot have been ignoring that common-sense injunction since Cain.

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