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Old 10-16-2019, 10:10 PM
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There is a better way to moderate than this.


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Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
That'll earn you a warning, running coach. You should know better than such.

EVERYONE: One more issue in this thread and it's closed and I won't let you open another one for several days. If you can't control yourself, take ti to the Pit.
It is not reasonable to respond to a few folks breaking the rules by saying, "I won't let you open a thread" on one of the most important topics in our country. Moderate the folks breaking the rules, but leave this thread open for discussion.

And please pay attention to folks both who break the rules outright, and who sealion.
  #2  
Old 10-16-2019, 10:28 PM
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Wut?
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:31 PM
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Without even seeing a link I can already say I don't like this new fad in modding around here where the mods determine what is and is not worthy of its own thread for discussion, when did this place become so draconian?
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:05 PM
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And please pay attention to folks both who break the rules outright, and who sealion.
And those who are doing both.
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:40 PM
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Wut?
If you're asking about sealioning, try the Sealion thread. You can't tell the animals without a scorecard.
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:53 PM
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LHOD, it's a bit hard to click the blue arrow in the quote box when you're on a phone. As a courtesy tip other posters, I pasted a link to the post.

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...postcount=2857
  #7  
Old 10-17-2019, 02:44 AM
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Sealioning is not a thing. Itís a manufactured Ďoffenceí designed to shut down debate.
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Old 10-17-2019, 03:44 AM
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Sealioning is a a real thing, and is itself a technique designed to stifle debate.

I am, however, going to start using the made-up term "lighthousing", which is when someone is clearly projecting so hard, you can expect to see it from several miles away.
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Old 10-17-2019, 08:21 AM
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There is a better way to moderate than this.


Damn. I thought this was going to be about robots.
  #10  
Old 10-17-2019, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
It is not reasonable to respond to a few folks breaking the rules by saying, "I won't let you open a thread" on one of the most important topics in our country. Moderate the folks breaking the rules, but leave this thread open for discussion.

And please pay attention to folks both who break the rules outright, and who sealion.
Sealionification of a thread is a thing now? Lol. Who knew moderation via referencing meme comics would be desirable?

You know the better way is? Not abusing other posters.
  #11  
Old 10-17-2019, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
It is not reasonable to respond to a few folks breaking the rules by saying, "I won't let you open a thread" on one of the most important topics in our country. Moderate the folks breaking the rules, but leave this thread open for discussion.

And please pay attention to folks both who break the rules outright, and who sealion.
I agree this was unreasonable moderation. There is a poster in this thread whose sole purpose is to deflect from the actual debate in question. They are posting deliberately obtuse and willfully blind garbage in order to move the debate away from a topic that is very uncomfortable for them. They are baiting others.

And when someone responds to the bait?

Then the moderator threatens to shut down the debate, thus given the person EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT.

Great. All this will do is encourage others to do exactly the same thing to shut down debate. In fact, here are some of them now, vigorously defending this shitty tactic.
  #12  
Old 10-17-2019, 11:14 AM
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My main request isn't about sea-lioning. It's about moderating people who are actually breaking rules (sealioning or otherwise), not threatening the whole class with silent lunch because of a couple of yahoos.
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Old 10-17-2019, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Euphonious Polemic View Post
I agree this was unreasonable moderation. There is a poster in this thread whose sole purpose is to deflect from the actual debate in question. They are posting deliberately obtuse and willfully blind garbage in order to move the debate away from a topic that is very uncomfortable for them. They are baiting others.

And when someone responds to the bait?

Then the moderator threatens to shut down the debate, thus given the person EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT.

Great. All this will do is encourage others to do exactly the same thing to shut down debate. In fact, here are some of them now, vigorously defending this shitty tactic.
Agree 100%.
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Old 10-17-2019, 11:32 AM
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Sealioning is not a thing. Itís a manufactured Ďoffenceí designed to shut down debate.
What do you mean, ďmanufactured?Ē Who made it up?
  #15  
Old 10-17-2019, 01:45 PM
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What do you mean, ďmanufactured?Ē Who made it up?
Iím unsure, specifically. Could you please explain why this would be relevant?
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Old 10-17-2019, 01:50 PM
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Sealioning is a thing. There's a poster here who has been told by a mod not to do it. So, it's totally, you know, a thing.
  #17  
Old 10-17-2019, 02:05 PM
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Iím unsure, specifically. Could you please explain why this would be relevant?
You claimed that it was manufactured, therefore you made it relevant...or your claim was irrelevant.
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Old 10-17-2019, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unreconstructed Man View Post
Sealioning is not a thing. Itís a manufactured Ďoffenceí designed to shut down debate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
What do you mean, ďmanufactured?Ē Who made it up?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unreconstructed Man View Post
Iím unsure, specifically. Could you please explain why this would be relevant?
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
You claimed that it was manufactured, therefore you made it relevant...or your claim was irrelevant.
Yes, I would also like to see proof that sealioning is a made-up thing. Thatís quite a claim.
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Old 10-17-2019, 02:29 PM
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Before I do this, could you please explain the relevance of the question? Iím not sure I see it.
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Old 10-17-2019, 02:29 PM
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Wait, is that irony? Am I whooshed? I never can tell anymore.
(ie: was that sarcastic sealioning?)

Last edited by bobot; 10-17-2019 at 02:30 PM.
  #21  
Old 10-17-2019, 02:31 PM
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Before I do this, could you please explain the relevance of the question? Iím not sure I see it.
You are not sure if the claim you made is relevant? There is an easy solution to this conundrum: Withdraw the claim.
  #22  
Old 10-17-2019, 02:31 PM
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Before I do this, could you please explain the relevance of the question? Iím not sure I see it.
If you're compelled to say that something is manufactured, then surely you thought your comment was relevant. Is there a problem with you saying who, exactly, manufactured the thing?
  #23  
Old 10-17-2019, 02:31 PM
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Before I do this, could you please explain the relevance of the question? Iím not sure I see it.
Dude, you just checkmated yourself.
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Old 10-17-2019, 02:31 PM
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I agree this was unreasonable moderation. There is a poster in this thread whose sole purpose is to deflect from the actual debate in question. They are posting deliberately obtuse and willfully blind garbage in order to move the debate away from a topic that is very uncomfortable for them. They are baiting others.

And when someone responds to the bait?

Then the moderator threatens to shut down the debate, thus given the person EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT.

Great. All this will do is encourage others to do exactly the same thing to shut down debate. In fact, here are some of them now, vigorously defending this shitty tactic.
What is this kindergarten? Nobody here lacks agency. Nobody here is obligated to answer any question or provide a cite or engage with someone they donít want to. Itís really that simple.

Complaining about politeness, cite requests, and pedantry is not the real concern. The real concern is that people are frustrated that they canít get rid of certain posters that they donít like.
  #25  
Old 10-17-2019, 02:32 PM
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Did I just hear a five-part whoosh?
  #26  
Old 10-17-2019, 02:33 PM
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If you're compelled to say that something is manufactured, then surely you thought your comment was relevant. Is there a problem with you saying who, exactly, manufactured the thing?
As I said earlier, Iím unsure of the identity of the person or persons who manufactured Sealioning. Do you think that the fact I canít name them means the claim is unfounded. If so, why?
  #27  
Old 10-17-2019, 02:43 PM
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The real concern is that people are frustrated that they can’t get rid of certain posters that they don’t like.
No, the real concern is that one moderator is doing jack shit about someone clearly flouting another moderator's instructions. Moderators are supposed to be on the same page, FFS.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 10-17-2019 at 02:45 PM.
  #28  
Old 10-17-2019, 02:52 PM
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No, the real concern is that one moderator is doing jack shit about someone clearly flouting another moderator's instructions. Moderators are supposed to be on the same page, FFS.
Maybe such a poorly used and undefined word has different meanings to different people. Maybe there is no bright sealioning line to cross. Thatís a feature.
  #29  
Old 10-17-2019, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Unreconstructed Man View Post
As I said earlier, Iím unsure of the identity of the person or persons who manufactured Sealioning. Do you think that the fact I canít name them means the claim is unfounded. If so, why?
How can something be "manufactured" and not real at the same time?
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Old 10-17-2019, 03:02 PM
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As I said earlier, Iím unsure of the identity of the person or persons who manufactured Sealioning. Do you think that the fact I canít name them means the claim is unfounded. If so, why?
No, earlier you said:

Quote:
Sealioning is not a thing. Itís a manufactured Ďoffenceí designed to shut down debate.
It's right there for us to see.

You did not mention that you were "unsure of the identity of the persons". This is a new thing. That you just stated now. Not anything you "said earlier". And now you're accusing someone that they think that "the fact I can't name them means the claim is unfounded". Which is just a silly thing to claim on your part.

What you're doing here is obvious.
  #31  
Old 10-17-2019, 03:07 PM
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Maybe such a poorly used and undefined word has different meanings to different people. Maybe there is no bright sealioning line to cross. Thatís a feature.
Moderators not being on the same page is a bug.
  #32  
Old 10-17-2019, 03:12 PM
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What is this kindergarten? Nobody here lacks agency. Nobody here is obligated to answer any question or provide a cite or engage with someone they donít want to. Itís really that simple.

Complaining about politeness, cite requests, and pedantry is not the real concern. The real concern is that people are frustrated that they canít get rid of certain posters that they donít like.
It's a message board with rules. If you want anarchy, go somewhere else. If you want to complain about how poorly you're treated, I will email you a tissue.

Certain people like to push the rules here to the breaking point. They actively employ tactics designed to shift debate. They actively try to goad others. They do not debate in good faith. They ignore or deliberately misinterpret other posters. They destroy any value in discussion.

And your comment is that we should simply ignore them? And maybe the asshole will go away? Don't point out the asshole behaviour, because... reasons.

No.

Assholes will continue to be assholes as long as good people do nothing.

And this thread is pointing out the need for moderators to ..... do their jobs properly.

Again, if you want anarchy where anything goes - this is not the place for you. I'm sure there are places on the net where this is the case. They must be paradise.
  #33  
Old 10-17-2019, 03:28 PM
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It's a message board with rules. If you want anarchy, go somewhere else. If you want to complain about how poorly you're treated, I will email you a tissue.

Certain people like to push the rules here to the breaking point. They actively employ tactics designed to shift debate. They actively try to goad others. They do not debate in good faith. They ignore or deliberately misinterpret other posters. They destroy any value in discussion.

And your comment is that we should simply ignore them? And maybe the asshole will go away? Don't point out the asshole behaviour, because... reasons.

No.

Assholes will continue to be assholes as long as good people do nothing.

And this thread is pointing out the need for moderators to ..... do their jobs properly.

Again, if you want anarchy where anything goes - this is not the place for you. I'm sure there are places on the net where this is the case. They must be paradise.
Why the excluded middle fallacy? I disagree with one particular, subjective, poorly defined, and selectively applied ‘rule’ therefore I desire anarchy? Oh, c’mon now.

Last edited by octopus; 10-17-2019 at 03:29 PM.
  #34  
Old 10-17-2019, 03:30 PM
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I'm going to go cry in a corner now. I'm like 10% concerned about whether sealioning is being moderated, and 90% concerned that moderators shouldn't be threatening to shut down entire conversations because of a few people breaking rules. Can we maybe wind down the infinite sealion recursion, and get a reassurance that whole-class detention is not on the table?
  #35  
Old 10-17-2019, 03:32 PM
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If it helps, I've decided to take a break from the impeachment inquiry thread. I'll try to avoid posting there for a while. Maybe things will cool off a bit.
  #36  
Old 10-17-2019, 03:34 PM
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The real concern is that people are frustrated that they canít get rid of certain posters that they donít like.
Well, that's a tautology. People are complaining about a small number of people because of the dishonest debate tactics that they are using.
  #37  
Old 10-17-2019, 03:37 PM
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N/m

Last edited by JohnT; 10-17-2019 at 03:39 PM.
  #38  
Old 10-17-2019, 04:35 PM
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The term "sealioning" has been quite popular recently, overused a bit and I think that's partly because of previous instruction I gave. Can't change that.

All the moderators communicate about actions they take, and if there are new things, general directives, we communicate about that too. Of course, being different people we are not in perfect agreement on all things, but we directionaly align on virtually everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
I'm going to go cry in a corner now. I'm like 10% concerned about whether sealioning is being moderated, and 90% concerned that moderators shouldn't be threatening to shut down entire conversations because of a few people breaking rules. Can we maybe wind down the infinite sealion recursion, and get a reassurance that whole-class detention is not on the table?
It's almost a given that one of the most important issues of the day will be discussed on the boards, and all over the boards. I don't think you have a lot to worry about not having that avenue for discussion.
  #39  
Old 10-17-2019, 04:38 PM
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The term "sealioning" has been quite popular recently, overused a bit and I think that's partly because of previous instruction I gave. Can't change that.

All the moderators communicate about actions they take, and if there are new things, general directives, we communicate about that too. Of course, being different people we are not in perfect agreement on all things, but we directionaly align on virtually everything.


It's almost a given that one of the most important issues of the day will be discussed on the boards, and all over the boards. I don't think you have a lot to worry about not having that avenue for discussion.
The piece of the direction that's especially concerning--coming across as vindictive and petty--is the "I won't let you open another one for several days." Am I to take it that that piece carries no weight?
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:40 PM
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Sealioning is a a real thing, and is itself a technique designed to stifle debate.
Is it the same as Harbor Sealing? I spent the night in the San Francisco jail over that.
  #41  
Old 10-17-2019, 04:43 PM
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The piece of the direction that's especially concerning--coming across as vindictive and petty--is the "I won't let you open another one for several days." Am I to take it that that piece carries no weight?
JC can address that. I generally take the view that addressing specific issues is better than blanket approaches unless the thread is a total trainwreck. Collective punishment is not a great tool, though sometimes a brief hiatus can have a calming effect. I'm being vague on purpose.

One thing I want to mention is that we often get asked variants of, "why aren't you doing X?" I wrote in a different thread, but it applies here:
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I'm not opposed to putting the kibosh on JAQing off, and quickly curtailing pointless focus on minutiae so if those things are reported, then we can take a look. There have been multiple times where I've interceded for JAQing, and put on guide rails to avoid getting hung up on minutiae. Both of these things present challenges for moderation though. If a person asks questions and people respond, that looks a lot like actual discussion even if it may not be the highest caliber. If a person points out some minutiae and people respond, that can be organic flow of a discussion even if it may not be very interesting or relevant. If a person does this repeatedly and no one responds, I'm much more likely to intercede than if the conversation is naturally flowing that way. It seems counter intuitive so I'm not sure if that's the best approach, but that's how I've thought about it thus far.
This is typically my process.

Last edited by Bone; 10-17-2019 at 04:50 PM.
  #42  
Old 10-17-2019, 05:06 PM
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JC can address that. I generally take the view that addressing specific issues is better than blanket approaches unless the thread is a total trainwreck. Collective punishment is not a great tool, though sometimes a brief hiatus can have a calming effect. I'm being vague on purpose.
Thanks. I'd appreciate it if JC would approach this. It may be that he was moderating under stress and didn't really mean it; if that's the case, it'd be good to get his clarification.

In the case of this thread, it's full of a lot of really good information, and I'm checking it both to find the latest information, and to share what I'm learning. It's also helpful to see some counter-arguments about the impeachment inquiry. It's really far from a train-wreck, even if there are some people who are individually either going off the rails or trying to hijack the train.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 10-17-2019 at 05:06 PM.
  #43  
Old 10-17-2019, 05:31 PM
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Just raising my hand as another person who finds the thread very useful and informative, even if I have to wade through some . . . less useful stuff at times. It does not seem to me that the vast majority of the posting is problematic, so it seems overly (and strangely) harsh to me as well to threaten to close the thread and not allow a new one for days.
  #44  
Old 10-17-2019, 05:42 PM
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This is yet another example of a troubling trend I've noted. One poster will troll or sealion or otherwise disrupt a thread without providing any posts of value and the moderators do nothing, even though it has been reported. To the contrary, they do, unfortunately, moderate the comments of valuable posters understandably put on edge by the repeated rules violations. This gets the mods exactly the opposite result from what they profess to want.

It is not pure political outrage that a majority of posters can see for themselves that trolling, etc. is happening. It is obvious to all, especially those doing the trolling. They will get banned later, if not sooner, and when that happens everyone will look at the boards and wonder why they were allowed to continue their nonsense for so long. As we already do, all too often.
  #45  
Old 10-17-2019, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
It is not reasonable to respond to a few folks breaking the rules by saying, "I won't let you open a thread" on one of the most important topics in our country. Moderate the folks breaking the rules, but leave this thread open for discussion.
Seconded.

Bueno:
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
That'll earn you a warning, running coach. You should know better than such.
No bueno:
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
EVERYONE: One more issue in this thread and it's closed and I won't let you open another one for several days. If you can't control yourself, take ti to the Pit.
Please don't kick me or others out of the thread because of a few bad apples, I've actually put some effort into research to build arguments that I plan on posting.

~Max
  #46  
Old 10-17-2019, 09:51 PM
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Thanks. I'd appreciate it if JC would approach this. It may be that he was moderating under stress and didn't really mean it; if that's the case, it'd be good to get his clarification.
No, I absolutely meant it. I reserve the right to close threads and to declare a 'no fly' list for a day or so. Done it before and may do it again.

It's not something I bring up lightly. It mostly comes when I receive multiple reports on a thread from both sides, look at things and realize the thread has broken down in such a way that neither side is listening to each other.

A problem we have, with such a small group of passionate posters, is that things tend to calcify. Just the presence of some posters in a thread increases the tendency of things going off the rails.

Let me clue you in here, the above paragraph is being read by people on both sides of the issues and both are thinking some variant of 'That's crazy, MY side is behaving fine. It's the OTHER guy who's being a dick.'

The proper response to sea-lioning is absolutely to ignore it. Don't respond to the question that you feel is being asked in bad faith. All you are doing - when you're compelled to engage with such - is provide validation if your debate opponent is genuinely in bad faith. You empower such people when you respond and you, yourself, derail the thread. The power, the agency, of doing so is yours and no one elses.

A few takeaways, then:

1. We read every report. No worries there.
2. If we do now respond to your report, that generally means none of the three of us agree with you that it was somehow actionable. Remember, you only have to make your case to one of us to get a response. If you're 0 for 3 it's a good sign we don't agree with your analysis.
3. Even if we don't agree it was actionable we may note a pattern of reports. All about one post, all about one poster or a thread which - as described above - generates a ton of posts in a hurry about many different posters. Such patterns are often discussed among either the three of us or, if we feel it warrants it, the mod loop as a whole.
4. People disagreeing with your position does not make them trolls nor other bad actors. Far too many people who make reports see to take this as gospel truth.
5. The ignore function is there for a reason. If you truly think another poster is only here to troll, by all means use it. It'll make your life less stressful.
  #47  
Old 10-17-2019, 09:57 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness's Avatar
Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
Let me clue you in here, the above paragraph is being read by people on both sides of the issues and both are thinking some variant of 'That's crazy, MY side is behaving fine. It's the OTHER guy who's being a dick.'
Thanks for the clue, but you'll note that other people reported both sides, because they were annoyed at people on both sides misbehaving. Right? You did catch that?

Because what I'm looking for is not for you to pull the "TIME OUT FOR MY WHOLE CLASS" maneuver. I'm looking for mods to encourage moderation.

Quote:
You empower such people when you respond and you, yourself, derail the thread. The power, the agency, of doing so is yours and no one elses.
This is exactly the opposite of the problem. When you threaten to close the thread down because of the responses of other people, even when I'm not responding to the sea lions, the fate of the thread is removed from the control of responsible posters and placed--by you and your threat--in the hands of the irresponsible posters. The power, the agency, is theirs (and yours) and no one else's.

Sure, you reserve the right to close it down. Nobody is doubting your moderator rights. I'm questioning not your rights but your wisdom in making the threat.

Please moderate with your finger outside the trigger guard.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 10-17-2019 at 09:59 PM.
  #48  
Old 10-17-2019, 10:53 PM
Max S. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
A problem we have, with such a small group of passionate posters, is that things tend to calcify. Just the presence of some posters in a thread increases the tendency of things going off the rails.

Let me clue you in here, the above paragraph is being read by people on both sides of the issues and both are thinking some variant of 'That's crazy, MY side is behaving fine. It's the OTHER guy who's being a dick.'
It's not about sides. If I'm trying to have a productive debate with at least one other person, it's crazy to give some less numerous third-party the power to derail our discussion to the point of shutting it down and placing a moratorium on the topic. But it would appear to me that this is effectively what you are saying, one more issue in this thread and it's closed and [nobody can] open another one for several days. You have empowered any one poster to ruin everyone's fun by creating an issue. It's entirely out of my hands. That's your right as moderator, but it's not fair.

It's not like each "side" in the discussion is an organized hierarchy - as if there are sides in that thread. octopus can't take away my internet privileges if I start shouting profanities at Left Hand of Dorkness (I would never do that, by the way). If you condition octopus's participation in that thread based on my actions, that's unfair to octopus. Substitute every individual participant for octopus, because it is actually unfair to every other participant if you shut down the thread based on my actions.

~Max
  #49  
Old 10-18-2019, 08:41 AM
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We certainly have our share of "armchair quarterbacks" who, ironically, would probably be horrible moderators themselves if given the job.

The fact is that the job of moderating can't just involve a list of rules, it has to include subjective judgment based on many variables that can't be included in hard wired rules. Many of these moderators have been doing this job for a long time and have seen many different kinds of posters and situations. I choose to trust in and go with their decisions because of that knowing that no process is perfect.

As the old saying goes, I enjoy fine wine, not a fine whine.
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  #50  
Old 10-18-2019, 09:03 AM
mhendo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
The proper response to sea-lioning is absolutely to ignore it. Don't respond to the question that you feel is being asked in bad faith. All you are doing - when you're compelled to engage with such - is provide validation if your debate opponent is genuinely in bad faith. You empower such people when you respond and you, yourself, derail the thread. The power, the agency, of doing so is yours and no one elses.
No, you know who's empowering them? The mod who's too lazy to do his damn job and actually admonish the people who are getting out of line, and instead threatens a blanket punishment for everyone, including the people who are following the rules and are just trying to have a civilized discussion.
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