Staff Guidelines

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Re: Staff Guidelines

Postby aviel » Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:11 am

I am going to propose a few amendments to the Staff Guidelines. Recent events have indicated that the existence of these amendments would provide transparency and reassurance to users who aren't entirely clear on how moderators make their decisions.

Amendment I:
Section 1: Moderators will not be allowed indefinite time to prosecute an offense. The statute of limitations for an offense must be proportionate to its severity.

Section 2: Moderators shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Amendment II:
Section 1: Moderator action cannot be issued more than once for the same offense.

Section 2: If a moderator decides no action is necessary to prosecute an offense, no further action can be taken.

Section 3: Moderators shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Amendment III:
Section 1: Moderators cannot prosecute a user for violating a rule that did not exist when a violation occurred.

Section 2: There are to be no ex post facto rules.

Section 3: Moderators shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
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Re: Staff Guidelines

Postby Reux » Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:12 am

I motion to vote
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Re: Staff Guidelines

Postby aviel » Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:17 am

All in favor, thumbs up. All opposed, ssssshhhhh!
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Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

Click for a Limerick
OrangeEyebrows wrote:There once was a guy, Aviel,
whose arguments no one could quell.
He tested with Turing,
his circuits fried during,
and now we'll have peace for a spell.
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Re: Staff Guidelines

Postby FaceTheCitizen » Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:40 am

Aviel, we will take that under advisement, as we will take any other feedback into advisement. We just wanted to state here for the record that we have been working on a better procedure, and do plan to bring it to site suggestions for users to review before we implement it.
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Re: Staff Guidelines

Postby aviel » Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:35 am

I actually want to propose one more amendment. As I understand that some factors going into moderator decisions cannot be disclosed, I think it would make users feel more comfortable if they knew what kinds of things were and were not being disclosed.

Ammendment IV:
Section 1: Moderators are not required to disclose the contents of private conversations.

Section 2: Moderators may not disclose the contents of private conversations without the permission of all users involved.

Section 3: Moderators are not required to disclose specific links, images, videos, or other web content banned on the forum. Moderators may disclose the nature of the content.

Section 4: Moderators are not required to disclose specific terms of vulgar or profane language subject to moderation, though they may disclose the existence and intent of the vulgarity of profanity.

Section 5: Moderators are required to disclose all other information relevant to moderator action, including, without limitation, the user name of the offender, the rule violated, and the time the violation occurred.

Sections three and four are a little weird, so I'll explain a bit more what I mean by them. Section 3 says that moderators don't have to disclose specific banned content, but can discuss its nature. For example, if a user links a pornographic image, the moderator does not have to show the specific pornographic image, but can say that a pornographic image was linked.

Section 4 says that moderators don't have to disclose specific vulgarity, but can discuss its nature and intent. For example, if user A spews profane insults at user B, the moderator is not required to repeat the specific insults, but can instead just say that user A insulted user B.
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Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

Click for a Limerick
OrangeEyebrows wrote:There once was a guy, Aviel,
whose arguments no one could quell.
He tested with Turing,
his circuits fried during,
and now we'll have peace for a spell.
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Re: Staff Guidelines

Postby Cordslash » Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:54 am

Avi has some good suggestions and it would be wise to implement some, if not all of them.

FaceTheCitizen wrote:Aviel, we will take that under advisement, as we will take any other feedback into advisement. We just wanted to state here for the record that we have been working on a better procedure, and do plan to bring it to site suggestions for users to review before we implement it.


Thanks Gash, I hope you do that. Frankly recent events have left a bad taste in my mouth. Now I don't know if somewhere there's a little book with my name on it, counting strikes against me. Maybe I said something wrong back in December, or June 2013. There may be 3 or 4 or 5 strikes against me without my knowledge and as soon as I step over some arbitrary line again boom! One month ban for you Vimes.

I consider most, if not all, of the mods to be my friends. That doesn't make this process any easier to digest. In fact it makes it worse.
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Re: Staff Guidelines

Postby Tesseracts » Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:27 pm

CmdrVimes wrote:Avi has some good suggestions and it would be wise to implement some, if not all of them.

FaceTheCitizen wrote:Aviel, we will take that under advisement, as we will take any other feedback into advisement. We just wanted to state here for the record that we have been working on a better procedure, and do plan to bring it to site suggestions for users to review before we implement it.


Thanks Gash, I hope you do that. Frankly recent events have left a bad taste in my mouth. Now I don't know if somewhere there's a little book with my name on it, counting strikes against me. Maybe I said something wrong back in December, or June 2013. There may be 3 or 4 or 5 strikes against me without my knowledge and as soon as I step over some arbitrary line again boom! One month ban for you Vimes.

I consider most, if not all, of the mods to be my friends. That doesn't make this process any easier to digest. In fact it makes it worse.

We try pretty hard to make sure people know when they are breaking the rules. If you haven't received any warnings and have not been moderated, you haven't been crossing the line.
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Re: Staff Guidelines

Postby Kate » Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:40 pm

CmdrVimes wrote:
Thanks Gash, I hope you do that. Frankly recent events have left a bad taste in my mouth. Now I don't know if somewhere there's a little book with my name on it, counting strikes against me. Maybe I said something wrong back in December, or June 2013. There may be 3 or 4 or 5 strikes against me without my knowledge and as soon as I step over some arbitrary line again boom! One month ban for you Vimes.

I consider most, if not all, of the mods to be my friends. That doesn't make this process any easier to digest. In fact it makes it worse.
I know Tess addressed this, but I wanted to add something.

In this case, the record was examined specifically to establish that we didn't need more than a one month ban. We do keep track of things as they happen so that we can easily reference them; otherwise, when making decisions, we'd have to go based on how we feel about people and how we remember things happening, instead of based on how they actually acted in plain black and white text. We keep track to hold ourselves accountable, not to keep a record to use to punish people. By examining what was actually said and done, we had a better handle on how to fairly address this.

It's not arbitrary, and you pretty much know if we have discussed anything about you because it's only there if we've pulled out some colored text or sent a PM to talk to you about something, as Tess said.
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Re: Staff Guidelines

Postby JamishT » Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:15 am

Tesseracts wrote:We try pretty hard to make sure people know when they are breaking the rules. If you haven't received any warnings and have not been moderated, you haven't been crossing the line.


I'm safe! *whew*
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Re: Staff Guidelines

Postby Jack Road » Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:21 am

In all things Forum, more important than guidelines is a healthy environment, where people feel welcome to discuss whatever they want to talk about within obvious boundaries. That requires:

Clear Communication
Clear Rules Posted Publicly
Clear Penalties for Breaking Those Rules
An Understood Chain of Command
An Appeal Process
Preservation of Dignity (i.e. Correct Privately/Praise Publicly)

We do a great job of all of those here, much better than many other forums. Though we can't allow ourselves to be sated by the idea of our superiority over other forums. I also don't want us to dissolve into this corrupted idea of us and them, mods and posters. We are a collection of individuals working together to promote harmonious discourse. *Please vomit in the special dogma doggie bags I gave you on your arrival.* The idea of power struggles, or any notion of favoritism, inconsistency, delayed response, or whimsy should not enter into it.

I think we all know that though. After almost a year here, I have a lot of trust in us as a website. As long as we maintain the understanding that we are here to have fun and talk, even if we disagree, we will be good.

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Re: Staff Guidelines

Postby aviel » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:13 pm

Jack Road wrote:Clear Communication
Clear Rules Posted Publicly
Clear Penalties for Breaking Those Rules
An Understood Chain of Command
An Appeal Process
Preservation of Dignity (i.e. Correct Privately/Praise Publicly)

We generally do a good job of these things, with the exception of there being clear penalties for breaking the rules. This latest incident indicates that it can sometimes hit people by surprise when a punishment of a given severity is handed down. I'm not totally sure what the solution is. Moderators should have some discretion to hand out more lenient punishments, but we don't want the instances when they do that to be unpredictable. Maybe we can define more clearly what does and does not constitute a mitigating factor in an offense.
  • 0

Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

Click for a Limerick
OrangeEyebrows wrote:There once was a guy, Aviel,
whose arguments no one could quell.
He tested with Turing,
his circuits fried during,
and now we'll have peace for a spell.
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Re: Staff Guidelines

Postby sunglasses » Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:37 pm

Spoiler: show
Image

Can we all just take a day and give this thread a break?

I feel like there's a lot of back and forth going on between multiple threads and that we're all getting frustrated, and getting nowhere fast.
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Re: Staff Guidelines

Postby aviel » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:33 pm

I do not feel frustrated. Actually the opposite, I ethusiastically enjoy the process of crafting sensible procedure and guidelines.
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Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

Click for a Limerick
OrangeEyebrows wrote:There once was a guy, Aviel,
whose arguments no one could quell.
He tested with Turing,
his circuits fried during,
and now we'll have peace for a spell.
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Re: Staff Guidelines

Postby D-LOGAN » Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:05 am

Well I DO feel frustrated by it! And I unenthusiastically detest the the process of crafting sensible procedure and guidelines! So I guess I cancel your take on this out. Pfffft, where's your precious democracy now?
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