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Old 11-21-2017, 07:05 AM
Budget Player Cadet Budget Player Cadet is offline
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Moderators, please stop calling people trolls if you're not going to actually call them trolls

I'd really appreciate it if moderators here stopped doing one of the following things:

1. Calling a poster a troll, repeatedly.

2. Allowing posters they've called a troll to keep posting.

This sends bizarre mixed messages, yanno? On one hand, we've got a moderator making a point of calling out certain posters as trolls at every given opportunity (and, let's be honest, probably being right). But don't we ban trolls? Shouldn't we? I mean, I get it's not an "official mod pronouncement". But that doesn't necessarily make it better. It just means we have a moderator saying, "You're clearly and obviously breaking the rules and deserve to be banned, in my personal opinion, but we're not going to do anything about it anyways." That's kind of a bad and confusing message to send, IMHO.
  #2  
Old 11-21-2017, 07:17 AM
Sparky812 Sparky812 is offline
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I'd support your position but "We" also require links to specific examples...just saying.

Last edited by Sparky812; 11-21-2017 at 07:18 AM.
  #3  
Old 11-21-2017, 07:26 AM
Superdude Superdude is online now
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Here's one
  #4  
Old 11-21-2017, 07:57 AM
splatterpunk splatterpunk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
I mean, I get it's not an "official mod pronouncement".
There's your answer. A mod believes a poster is a troll, and expresses that opinion as another poster. He's expressing his and only his opinion. Why should that not be allowed?

Why isn't the target banned as a troll? Probably because there is no consensus among the mods.

If I can call someone a troll in the Pit, I don't see why anyone else shouldn't be able to as well. Including mods.
  #5  
Old 11-21-2017, 08:28 AM
Fotheringay-Phipps Fotheringay-Phipps is offline
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I've seen that done a lot (in at least two occasions that I remember, directed at me personally )

I suspect that there are disagreements amongst the staff about these judgments, for which reason such people are not banned. Presumably some sort of consensus is needed before posters are banned for trolling, and without that level of support the individual moderators are left to their own opinions.
  #6  
Old 11-21-2017, 08:38 AM
John DiFool John DiFool is offline
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Hear hear. I still keep thinking back to how Handsome Harry (he of virtually no warnings or prior suspensions) got ran out of here so quickly, while other trolls remain for years, lowering the quality of discourse on this site.
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  #7  
Old 11-21-2017, 09:05 AM
Paranoid Randroid Paranoid Randroid is offline
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The fact that handsomeharry was a self-described Nazi likely had something to do with that.
  #8  
Old 11-21-2017, 09:25 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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I think rescinding the rule against calling other posters trolls, even in the Pit, was a mistake. In the case of mods, because it leads to this kind of confusion.

If an accusation of trolling from a mod, posting as a poster, means the mods just haven't reached consensus, then that starts to verge on revealing what the mods are thinking. And that means that accusations of trolling often don't mean anything more than "one mod doesn't like you". Certain mods have also accused me of trolling, and the accusation was no more justified than meaning "I will insult you because I don't like you" and therefore being banned wouldn't mean anything more than "the mods don't like you".
Quote:
The fact that handsomeharry was a self-described Nazi likely had something to do with that.
It did, but as I recall the mods were fairly insistent that he wasn't banned for announcing he was a Nazi - he was banned for trolling, because announcing you are a Nazi is trolling. Which is a distinction whose relevance escapes me.

I believe mods are discouraged from Pitting posters. Not forbidden, discouraged. Thus it might be equally good an idea to discourage them from accusations of trolling for the same reasons.

Regards,
Shodan
  #9  
Old 11-21-2017, 10:05 AM
gnoitall gnoitall is online now
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
...but as I recall the mods were fairly insistent that he wasn't banned for announcing he was a Nazi - he was banned for trolling, because announcing you are a Nazi is trolling. Which is a distinction whose relevance escapes me.
"Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a Nazi troll than to open your mouth and prove it."
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I believe mods are discouraged from Pitting posters. Not forbidden, discouraged. Thus it might be equally good an idea to discourage them from accusations of trolling for the same reasons.
You didn't provide any example, so we're forced to either read your mind (no thanks) or use Superdude's example. Which is in the Pit. And I know you know the rules are different there. Explicit accusations of trolling are kosher (and fun) there, and any poster posting such an allowed insult is completely within rights.

You are overworried about how to distinguish between a moderator posting as a poster or posting ex-cathedra? There's a damn fine protocol for this, one you've seen over and over. And if you think the lack of normal signaling means "Moderator moderating poorly" when it actually means "Moderator posting as a poster", that's on you. I defy you to find one other person who has this problem.

We all recognize a posting marked "Moderating", and if a moderator thinks a poster is actionably trolling, the best indicator is that the poster is banned. There is no possible confusion in this.

Moderators are first and foremost member posters. It's like you expect them to cloister themselves behind walls and vows of poverty and chastity or something.

Last edited by gnoitall; 11-21-2017 at 10:05 AM.
  #10  
Old 11-21-2017, 11:05 AM
gnoitall gnoitall is online now
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Originally Posted by gnoitall View Post
You are overworried about how to distinguish between a moderator posting as a poster or posting ex-cathedra? There's a damn fine protocol for this, one you've seen over and over. And if you think the lack of normal signaling means "Moderator moderating poorly" when it actually means "Moderator posting as a poster", that's on you. I defy you to find one other person who has this problem.

We all recognize a posting marked "Moderating", and if a moderator thinks a poster is actionably trolling, the best indicator is that the poster is banned. There is no possible confusion in this.
Too late to edit... but this is a lot more aggressive than I meant, so I apologize for the antagonistic tone. My opinion basically stands, however: the mods are pretty reliable about speaking as moderators when making statements of moderation. If a poster who is known to be a moderator posts just like any other poster, they're just a poster. I don't know the origin of your discomfort with this, but you have to overlook a lot of unmistakable markers to confuse normal posting with moderation.
  #11  
Old 11-21-2017, 11:07 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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I'm not particularly worried about it. If a mod is saying "you are a troll and the only thing that is stopping me from putting on my mod hat and banning you is that the other mods don't think you are", then the mod in question is revealing something both about the mod deliberations, and what at least one mod things constitutes trolling. If it is just a generic insult, and the mod doesn't mean it, well, that kind of thing is allowed in the Pit. But I think it is a bad idea, for the same reason that mods are discouraged from Pitting a poster.

Regards,
Shodan
  #12  
Old 11-21-2017, 11:24 AM
Fotheringay-Phipps Fotheringay-Phipps is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
If an accusation of trolling from a mod, posting as a poster, means the mods just haven't reached consensus, then that starts to verge on revealing what the mods are thinking. And that means that accusations of trolling often don't mean anything more than "one mod doesn't like you".
I don't see why "revealing what the mods are thinking" is a bad thing.
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Originally Posted by gnoitall View Post
"You are overworried about how to distinguish between a moderator posting as a poster or posting ex-cathedra? There's a damn fine protocol for this, one you've seen over and over. And if you think the lack of normal signaling means "Moderator moderating poorly" when it actually means "Moderator posting as a poster", that's on you.
I don't think anyone raised an issue with distinguishing between mods posting as mods vs posting as posters. But if a mod says "so-and-so is a troll", then even if they clearly say it as a poster it also has implications for their role as moderators. Either the poster is a troll or not.

Quote:
We all recognize a posting marked "Moderating", and if a moderator thinks a poster is actionably trolling, the best indicator is that the poster is banned. There is no possible confusion in this.
Of course there is. As I and others have noted, it's possible that other moderators disagree with the one making the accusation. From your use of the word "actionably" it sounds like you're suggesting that when moderators use the term "troll" when posting as posters they might not mean something which technically qualifies as trolling under the SDMB rules. But even if so, it's not at all clear that such is the case, even where the guy doesn't get banned.

FTR, despite all this commentary I don't think any of this is a big deal at all. I think certain moderators are petty bullies who enjoy smacking people down as posters, relying on their mod status to intimidate their targets or potential allies. But that's not a big deal either. That's how things go.
  #13  
Old 11-22-2017, 04:06 AM
Budget Player Cadet Budget Player Cadet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnoitall View Post
You are overworried about how to distinguish between a moderator posting as a poster or posting ex-cathedra? There's a damn fine protocol for this, one you've seen over and over. And if you think the lack of normal signaling means "Moderator moderating poorly" when it actually means "Moderator posting as a poster", that's on you. I defy you to find one other person who has this problem.

We all recognize a posting marked "Moderating", and if a moderator thinks a poster is actionably trolling, the best indicator is that the poster is banned. There is no possible confusion in this.

Moderators are first and foremost member posters. It's like you expect them to cloister themselves behind walls and vows of poverty and chastity or something.
So what happens if, say, Ivory_Denizen comes into a thread, and, without the moderating tag, says, "Dude, stop flaming. Cut it out." Maybe it's not a thread in their subforum. What we would have is a mod saying, "You are behaving in a way I consider worthy of warning/banning", and then not doing anything about it. It'd probably be even worse if it was in response to a post that was pretty clearly skirting, if not over the line.

In the specific instance I'm thinking of (not naming names for a reason here), at least one moderator accused a poster of being a troll (among various other insults from various other moderators). The thing that makes this worse is that a huge portion of the board actually does believe that that the poster in question is a troll and that the board would be better without them. I'm pretty sure that, had a new member pulled a stunt like that, they'd be on the fast track to a ban.

As said, it sends mixed messages.
  #14  
Old 11-22-2017, 07:43 AM
HMS Irruncible HMS Irruncible is offline
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Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
I'd really appreciate it if moderators here stopped doing one of the following things:

1. Calling a poster a troll, repeatedly.

2. Allowing posters they've called a troll to keep posting.
I think it has something to do with the distinction between:

1. Engaging in occasional trolling behavior.
2. Operating a dedicated troll account (could be a sock, could be someone who just wandered into this board looking for a place to take a shit).

The latter -- IMO -- is a pretty egregious violation that shouldn't be thrown around lightly. It should be reported privately to mods or posted into the pit.

The former is a lot more nuanced and common... from time to time, many regulars use language or style that looks like it's intended purely to annoy people or generate attention. This could take the form of drive-bys, threadshits, recreational provocation, annoying signoffs, etc. Intent is hard to infer, but those are every bit as trolly as what troll accounts do, and I wish we could call these out at the time/place they occur. But the cost is that the real trolls would cheerfully drag every thread down to the level of 'NO TROLL YOU'RE THE TROLL'. Which, obviously no good for overall board tone, and it would be harder to separate real trolls from temporary jerks or triggered snowflakes.

So I have no problem with mods casually calling out judgments of one-off trolling behavior, and I wish these would accumulate as warnings as well. These folks do eventually seem to flame out, except in regards to certain specimens who've so exhaustively rules-lawyered the process that they've apparently achieved permanent immunity.
  #15  
Old 11-22-2017, 09:12 AM
aldiboronti aldiboronti is offline
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Originally Posted by splatterpunk View Post
There's your answer. A mod believes a poster is a troll, and expresses that opinion as another poster. He's expressing his and only his opinion. Why should that not be allowed?

Why isn't the target banned as a troll? Probably because there is no consensus among the mods.

If I can call someone a troll in the Pit, I don't see why anyone else shouldn't be able to as well. Including mods.
Nitpick: Colibri accused the guy of trolling, he didn't call him a troll. There's a huge difference. An ordinary poster will sometimes cross the line into trolling, a troll lives on the other side of that line. His sole purpose in being here is to troll. In my opinion those are the ones that the mods ban, not the ordinary poster unless they start to continually troll and thus turn into a troll.

Last edited by aldiboronti; 11-22-2017 at 09:13 AM.
  #16  
Old 11-22-2017, 10:33 AM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is online now
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Clothahump's raison d'etre is to piss off liberals. Pretty much said so himself. Seems to me that at least makes him a jerk.
  #17  
Old 11-22-2017, 12:25 PM
octopus octopus is offline
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Originally Posted by Skywatcher View Post
Clothahump's raison d'etre is to piss off liberals. Pretty much said so himself. Seems to me that at least makes him a jerk.
If the standard for being a jerk and then banned is pissing off or offending a member of a different political ideology this would be an empty board.
  #18  
Old 11-22-2017, 01:15 PM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is online now
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If the standard for being a jerk and then banned is pissing off or offending a member of a different political ideology this would be an empty board.
Missing the point, as usual.
  #19  
Old 11-22-2017, 01:25 PM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is online now
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HINT: the vast majority of the board has, AFAICT, not explicitly stated that they're here for the primary purpose of taking potshots at the other side of the aisle. Just him.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 11-22-2017 at 01:30 PM.
  #20  
Old 11-22-2017, 04:24 PM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skywatcher View Post
Clothahump's raison d'etre is to piss off liberals. Pretty much said so himself. Seems to me that at least makes him a jerk.
Specific accusations of trolling are only permitted in the Pit.

If you have a particular issue that was not moderated or was moderated in a way that you disagree with, you may of course discuss it here, but let's not use this topic as an excuse to otherwise make accusations of trolling against specific users in ATMB.
  #21  
Old 11-22-2017, 04:30 PM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is online now
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Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
So what happens if, say, Ivory_Denizen comes into a thread, and, without the moderating tag, says, "Dude, stop flaming. Cut it out." Maybe it's not a thread in their subforum. What we would have is a mod saying, "You are behaving in a way I consider worthy of warning/banning", and then not doing anything about it. It'd probably be even worse if it was in response to a post that was pretty clearly skirting, if not over the line.

[snip]

As said, it sends mixed messages.
One very important thing to keep in mind was that the issue in the OP was in the Pit, and Colibri was not speaking as a mod, but just as another ordinary user. The Pit has significantly different rules than the rest of the SDMB.

If ITD or any other mod came into a thread that is not in their forum to moderate, and they don't use any tags or otherwise indicate that they are speaking as a moderator, then assume that they are only speaking as a user and not as a moderator. If we feel that something rises to the level of needing action, we report posts to the mods of other forums, just like you can do. I received a post report from another mod earlier today, as a matter of fact. That's how we do things.

I personally think your mixed messages issue is only in the Pit, and that forum is a special case. If you believe that the issue exists elsewhere on the SDMB, please feel free to provide some examples of it.

Last edited by engineer_comp_geek; 11-22-2017 at 04:31 PM. Reason: typo
  #22  
Old 11-22-2017, 04:31 PM
octopus octopus is offline
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Originally Posted by Skywatcher View Post
Your opinions are just that.
  #23  
Old 11-22-2017, 05:09 PM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is online now
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Moderator Note



Specific accusations of trolling are only permitted in the Pit.
"Jerk" != "troll".
  #24  
Old 11-22-2017, 05:16 PM
D'Anconia D'Anconia is online now
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"Jerk" != "troll".
Maybe not, but "don't be a jerk" is the primary rule here. And it's not your place to publically point out rules violations, since you're not a mod.
  #25  
Old 11-22-2017, 05:41 PM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skywatcher View Post
"Jerk" != "troll".
Accusing someone of intentionally posting just to piss off another group is another way of saying trolling. I'm not going to argue semantics with you. Knock off the specific name mentions in this forum. If you want to call someone out by name, the appropriate forum to do that in is The Pit, not ATMB.
  #26  
Old 11-22-2017, 06:34 PM
DCTrekkie DCTrekkie is offline
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Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
Maybe not, but "don't be a jerk" is the primary rule here.
It's rather brave of you to point that out
  #27  
Old 11-22-2017, 09:44 PM
D'Anconia D'Anconia is online now
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It's rather brave of you to point that out
And you are???
  #28  
Old 11-23-2017, 12:54 AM
Superdude Superdude is online now
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Does it matter who he is?
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  #29  
Old 11-23-2017, 07:14 AM
bobot bobot is offline
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It's DCTrekkie.
  #30  
Old 11-23-2017, 07:19 AM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is online now
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Moderator Note

A lot of folks in this thread are being brave, considering that posts in ATMB are expected to be reasonably civil towards other board members.

Budget Player Cadet has brought up a valid point for discussion. Let's focus on that. Let's all dial back the snippy attitudes and snarkiness and focus on the issue at hand.
  #31  
Old 11-23-2017, 07:43 AM
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I am, against all expectations, inclined to agree with Shodan in that moderators should be discouraged (but not prohibited) from referring to other posters as trolls even when posting without their mod hats on. And while I take the point that there is a difference between accusing a person of a specific instance of "trolling" and accusing someone of being a troll, and that one may troll on occasion (sometimes even inadvertently) without that being the primary purpose of one's tenure here, if a mod posting as a non-mod is announcing that another poster is breaking the board rules (even only in passing), how should the rest of us take that? Aren't the mods the ultimate arbiters of who is following the rules? Should the mod report the incident to themselves?
  #32  
Old 11-23-2017, 08:32 AM
DCTrekkie DCTrekkie is offline
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And you are???
DCTrekkie, the clue's in the username.
  #33  
Old 11-23-2017, 08:34 AM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
So what happens if, say, Ivory_Denizen comes into a thread, and, without the moderating tag, says, "Dude, stop flaming. Cut it out." Maybe it's not a thread in their subforum. What we would have is a mod saying, "You are behaving in a way I consider worthy of warning/banning", and then not doing anything about it. It'd probably be even worse if it was in response to a post that was pretty clearly skirting, if not over the line.
Considering how many times over the years I've heard a mod say "I didn't put my mod hat on, that was just me speaking" or ISTM, that in your example that would be Jr Modding.
  #34  
Old 11-23-2017, 12:23 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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I wouldn't want to see a rule against it, because there might be some instances where it would be appropriate, but I've long thought it would be a good idea for the mods to voluntarily refrain from engaging in Pit threads that involve posters on this MB. It's not something I'm overly concerned about, but I think it would improve things a bit.

On the particular issue of the OP, as others have said, I don't see it as a big deal. It's, like, one mod's opinion. I certainly hope that posters here aren't banned based on one mod's opinion. And, someone can troll at times and not be a full-time troll.

Last edited by John Mace; 11-23-2017 at 12:27 PM.
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