Sensationalism in CAaSS

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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby SandTea » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:27 am

How about titling news stories in casss similar to how the Cracked stories are to be titled? Directly quoting the headliner and, since there would be many different sources, a short "From X.com".

It still has the click bait and echo potential but would be quite easier for users to ignore "From X.com" if they think it is an untrustworthy or too biased site for more in depth discussion. That change might alleviate at least some titling worries.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby DamianaRaven » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:43 am

That's not a bad idea at all. I hereby pledge to title the CASS threads I create as closely as possible to the headline of whatever article I've linked. I further resolve to at least provide a quote from the story summarizing the issue, if I'm feeling too lazy to explain things in my own words. Speaking of my own words, those will remain pretty much the same. I expect the general understanding to be that someone who purposely titles herself a "Crazy Cunt" should probably not be taken all that seriously.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby Kate » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:33 am

So...hi...I've missed you guys! And apparently been away for awhile.

And I'm not posting as an admin because I literally got my new, not broken computer like an hour ago and my first thing I did after installing chrome and getting rid of IE and downloading Steam (priorities, guys) was come on TCS and this is the first place I ended up. Actually, it's inaccurate to say I'm not posting as an admin as I'm reading this response over; this is from the perspective of a staff member, but not an official staff position, if that makes sense.

So as a user with mod experience, we used to be a little more active as a whole as a moderation staff. It was pretty common for people to ignore the guidelines at first but after some gentle PM reminders, most people willingly changed their titles and wrote a small an relatively neutral blurb fort he first part of their posts.

Since that time we've gone from a staff of around ten active users to literally a few people who all work, have school, and/or have kids and can't be on top of guidelines as easily without direct feedback and notification from users who see it and are bothered by it. And it doesn't help that the few times we've gotten that recently, it has been in the form of explosive posts that come close to (or outright cross right into) violating the site rules. It is frustrating to be one of 2 active staff on a bad week, 5 on a particularly good week, trying to address everything. We really rely on user feedback to know what needs to be addressed and when that feedback comes in the form of an angry rant about how much some people suck and flaunt the rules and how we favor those people, it's difficult to parse fairly because we have a responsibility to every user. I'm not saying that about this thread, I don't think this thread falls into that category, but it's happened in several threads in the not too distant past. And I think this adds to the impression that we don't listen and just kind of deepens a cycle of distrust and frustration that seems to be going.

Gis, I'm just back. I have no dog in this fight. I like you a lot. My reaction to your first post was that it seemed like it was about one user, and that's before I read the other thread, and I think it's because you mentioned her by name and used her as the primary example when there are a handful of people I can think of who do the same thing. It felt targeted, even if that wasn't your intention. I think while Crimson was trying to help explain why you singled Damiana out, it just added to the impression that some users have a grudge. We do not favor Damiana, but we do want to be fair to Damiana. And everyone. Sometimes we'll probably screw it up. Sometimes we'll make decisions that people don't agree with. Like Lind, I certainly have the philosophy that we are a community of adults and a lighter hand is preferable because we should be able to have civil discourse where we can be outrageously opinionated with the understanding that anyone has the right to disagree just as strongly. I think Jim's first post was a good one; taking the specific user out of the equation bolsters your position and I do not think you are wrong that there has been a problem in CAaSS with threads that take a decidedly biased tone. And as both an admin and a user, I think this frustration is worth bringing up.

I'm really tired. I'm going to go sleep. I missed you guys.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby DoglovingJim » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:08 am

DamianaRaven wrote:
Everyone wrote:Damiana


My name is actually Jennifer, if anyone cares. Mrs. Trull is my formal designation and friends call me Jenna.

Of course we care, would you specifically prefer Mrs. Trull though or don't mind me using Damiana regardless?

I ask since I make a habit of focusing solely on usernames (I still imagine you guys looking like your profile pictures, yes I think Kate is a cat) and I'm not sure if I have a good enough memory to remember the real names of all you guys too, if you changed your title from "crazy" to Mrs. Trull though I'd certainly have a better chance if that's how you would like to be addressed.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby DamianaRaven » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:23 am

DoglovingJim wrote:Of course we care, would you specifically prefer Mrs. Trull though or don't mind me using Damiana regardless?


*smiles warmly* You may call me Damiana. I just brought up my actual name to remind everyone that there's a real person here - not some NPC in an interactive online game. I have something of a mild obsession with names. Nothing seems quite real to me until I've named it. Names imbue a spirit, even to the inanimate... or so my tendencies would have you believe.

Thanks for caring.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby Dr. Ambiguous » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:38 am

So I'm gonna focus on the general policy here and not this specific case (because really, it does feel super targeted, and I think this is a legitimate issue, and I know other users have done the same thing with thread titles). My personal opinion? Threads with inflammatory titles are just disasters waiting to happen. They set a hostile tone from the start, and debate on the topic either starts hostile, or quickly turns hostile. Threads are less productive, and things just tend to go to hell.

As the primary writer for the forum etiquette guidelines, I wrote guideline 3 about thread titles to avoid situations like these (and non-specific thread titles in general). It's happened a lot over the years. It's happened in a lot CAASS. It happened a lot in the Cracked sub-forum, especially whenever a lot of people get pissed at Cracked (I think we retitled all of those). I've bitched about thread titles like these for years. The "Trump is an ASSHOLE" thread, a lot of the recent cop threads, a lot of older Cracked article threads, and most rage-bait threads we have. None of these threads set a productive tone for the conversation, and the threads almost always go to hell, and rarely have or maintain a productive discussion without moderator intervention. I don't even bother clickling threads like that unless it's for mod purposes. I would actually like to enforce those guidelines more, but I'm the only mod who wants to (I'm more heavy handed in general with modding), and I don't mod according to only how I want things done (much as I want to).

That's not to say that we won't ever enforce those, and that we won't ever retitle threads. Just that it might not be to your exact liking. If you feel a thread or post violates a rule, or even a guideline, click the report post button. This flags it for ALL the mods to look at. We might not see it otherwise, many of us -maybe all of us- don't have time to read every thread, so we don't. If you report it, we will look at it. We will evaluate it. And if we decide appropriate then we will mod it in some way.

That out of the way, my general advice for everyone is to:

1).Title threads specifically and non-inflammatory.
2). Report posts/threads that you feel violate a rule.
3). Let the mods handle it. Mini-modding just makes things worse.

SandTea wrote:How about titling news stories in casss similar to how the Cracked stories are to be titled? Directly quoting the headliner and, since there would be many different sources, a short "From X.com".

It still has the click bait and echo potential but would be quite easier for users to ignore "From X.com" if they think it is an untrustworthy or too biased site for more in depth discussion. That change might alleviate at least some titling worries.

Titling the thread same or close to the article headline is fine in theory, and probably fine in practice. Obviously, if you source from a particularly biased source, then that might not be true. I don't think adding a "from X.com" is beneficial, since it then shifts the focus too much to that one site/article, and doesn't really set the tone for further discussion, other sources, and developing information. Titles of threads do a lot to set the tone. I could also see it leading to duplicate threads for a single topic by users posting one for each source, and that's not something we want happening.

And Lind, we say CAASS with two A's, because I was the first to call it that, and goddamnit, I want two A's. All Caps.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby gisambards » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:42 pm

Well I'm glad that, after however long, some staff actually responded to my complaint, even if the verdict is not in my favour. All I wanted when I raised a complaint in this forum, as specifically directed by an admin, was for the staff to actually respond to what I was asking. I now acknowledge that one can't expect the staff to do their jobs properly, and this was an unfair expectation on my part.
Perhaps my first post does feel targeted, although I only mentioned Damiana once because she was by far the clearest example of what I was complaining about, given her output. I didn't realise giving an example makes people think that's the only thing you're referring to.
And I refuse to believe there's not some bias here from at the very least individual staff members. I do find it pretty odd that the two up-to-this-point perfectly rational-seeming people who both happened to be the two staff members handling also seemed to be the only two people who either completely failed to recognise, or actively refused to acknowledge, the issue I was complaining about - particularly when this is not actually the first time this issue has come up and neither has displayed this sort of behaviour before, when it was other threads and thus other users central to the issue.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby Tesseracts » Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:07 pm

Gis, TCS is by far more receptive to feedback than any other forum I've been on. We have asked you repeatedly how exactly you expect us to do our jobs. And we are still waiting for suggestions on that. I tried to address your concerns about echo chambers and you blew it off.

Also, you keep insisting this isn't about one user, but even in your latest post you insist we give special treatment to one user. I can absolutely guarantee you nobody gets special treatment and we work hard to apply our standards fairly. I don't know what you expect from me when you say I have to be rational, but I'm not going to agree with your version of events. So if that's what I need to do in order to be rational I'm afraid you are going to continue to be disappointed by my insanity.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby DamianaRaven » Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:56 pm

If nothing else, I have personally pledged to be more careful about the way I title new threads in CASS. I should hope that counts for something before we write off this issue as a complete waste of everyone's time.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby gisambards » Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:34 pm

Tesseracts wrote:We have asked you repeatedly how exactly you expect us to do our jobs. And we are still waiting for suggestions on that.

I think this is a ridiculous attitude. I came on here, as I was told, to highlight behaviour that breaks guidelines. And that complaint was dismissed outright for stupid reasons. But the problem apparently is I wasn't offering enough solutions, after this?
And any suggestions for the staff's failings demonstrated on this thread are surely going to be ignored at this point, so why bother?
Tesseracts wrote:I tried to address your concerns about echo chambers and you blew it off.

Once again, total failure to engage with what I'm saying, and an attempt to shift the onus on me. I didn't "blow it off" - I pointed out that it demonstrated a double standard, which you have not responded to.
Tesseracts wrote:Also, you keep insisting this isn't about one user, but even in your latest post you insist we give special treatment to one user.

The original complaint is not about a single user. However, it has become obvious that the user I used as an example is not someone I'm allowed to criticise, and that has become a focal point.
Tesseracts wrote:I can absolutely guarantee you nobody gets special treatment and we work hard to apply our standards fairly.

Then you need to work infinitely harder. As I've pointed out and as you won't address, there are double standards here.
Tesseracts wrote:I don't know what you expect from me when you say I have to be rational, but I'm not going to agree with your version of events. So if that's what I need to do in order to be rational I'm afraid you are going to continue to be disappointed by my insanity.

You wouldn't even acknowledge the problem. You tried to pass it off as me disagreeing with certain people's opinions, and made up things I'd said about that. And now, you're trying to pass me off as someone who thinks rationality means agreeing with me - once again, attacking my character rather than making any effort to engage with what I've been saying. The way you and Marcuse tried to dismiss me is not an acceptable way for staff to respond to complaints, even if you do disagree with them.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby Kate » Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:39 pm

DamianaRaven wrote:If nothing else, I have personally pledged to be more careful about the way I title new threads in CASS. I should hope that counts for something before we write off this issue as a complete waste of everyone's time.

This isn't a waste of time as I see it. It's clear that there's a lot of displeasure about the way the guidelines are ignored sometimes, and while we have already discussed why it is difficult to monitor this independently, we're working on adding instructions for how to flag staff using the report function when you feel the guidelines have been violated to the point where they need to be addressed. We can't guarantee staff will always agree that the guidelines have been violated but we do promise we check every report.

And yes Jim, I'm a cat. But I like dogs too so hopefully that's okay!
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby DamianaRaven » Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:51 pm

gisambards wrote:However, it has become obvious that the user I used as an example is not someone I'm allowed to criticise...


That's a damnable lie! Didn't Dr. Ambiguous even change one of my post titles in response to your criticism? The only grief you've gotten for "criticizing" me is failing to answer the question of what you wanted done about the situation. Do you not actually know what you want done, or are you unable to think of a dignified and persuasive way to say "I just want everyone to be snide and hateful to anyone who violates my personal standards of journalistic veracity"?
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby Tesseracts » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:00 pm

Yeah Gis, I won't "address" the double standard because the double standard doesn't exist. Unless you have actual evidence with examples that it exists, but so far all it seems like you have is accusations. I don't think it's a good idea to make threads for the purpose of discussing the posting habits of particular users, no matter who the user is. This isn't some kind of reality TV show where we vote people off the island. I'm done talking about this unless anyone has anything new to add.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby gisambards » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:05 pm

Tesseracts wrote:Yeah Gis, I won't "address" the double standard because the double standard doesn't exist. Unless you have actual evidence with examples that it exists, but so far all it seems like you have is accusations.

Evidence:
Tesseracts wrote:This is kind of off topic but for a while I have considered locking the Trump thread, which has gone way off into echo chamber territory.

And yet your response to another, actually much more blatant example of echo chamber behaviour, has been to accuse me of just not liking the opinion those threads are intended to reinforce. That's a double standard.

I don't think it's a good idea to make threads for the purpose of discussing the posting habits of particular users, no matter who the user is. This isn't some kind of reality TV show where we vote people off the island.

This is a shitty excuse for ignoring the actual issue I've been trying to raise. I acknowledge my initial post might seem like a personal attack, however I stand by my assertion that Damiana's threads were the best example of the issue. By this logic, no-one should be able to report any questionable behaviour because it will be seen as a personal attack.
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Re: Sensationalism in CAaSS

Postby DamianaRaven » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:23 pm

gisambards wrote:...however I stand by my assertion that Damiana's threads were the best example of the issue.


Damiana's threads were the best


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