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Old 09-19-2019, 04:11 PM
Max S. is offline
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A proposed policy on the reasons for banning members


To the members of the board and the administration thereof,

I suggest the administration adopt an official policy of making the general reasons why a member is banned promptly available after such banning takes place. The rationale need not necessarily be listed in a new thread within this subforum; it could also be in a public response to the offending post, or in case of new members who have contributed little it could be a note on their profile page. Neither must the rationale give too much explicit detail for all bannable offenses: I do not need to know which member is a sock of, only that they were banned for being a sock.

Neither is any sort of rationale necessary for a member who has made absolutely no contribution to the board, nor a member whose only contributions have been removed pursuant to other rules and common sense.

I ask for such changes because as a relatively new member and a skeptical person in general, I would like to know why one of the people I debate with suddenly disappears, as with kirkpatrick. If he committed some sort of offense, I should hope to learn why so as to avoid the same fate; if he committed no offense, I should raise my own voice on his behalf and possibly leave the board if I fail; if he committed a silent offense such as socking, as was actually the case, I should hope to learn the same to quell my own conscience. Being a new member, and perhaps due to my own personality, I simply do not trust the administration to be fair without some form of public oversight as to its actions.

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 09-19-2019 at 04:12 PM.
  #2  
Old 09-19-2019, 04:17 PM
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If you don’t trust the mods, why would you trust their stated reasons?
  #3  
Old 09-19-2019, 04:24 PM
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If you donít trust the mods, why would you trust their stated reasons?
With the exception of socking, I should be able to assess their judgement myself.

Actually...

Maybe you have a point. That's disconcerting.

I can't currently articulate why, but I still would like to see the reason somewhere.

~Max
  #4  
Old 09-19-2019, 04:28 PM
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History shows us that a banning with no explanation is always of a sock, troll, or spammer. That's to prevent them from garnering any more attention or publicity. At least that's what the mods say. To my knowledge, there's never been a quiet banning of a member who wasn't one of these categories. If there had been then surely we would hear the screams, if only from the parasite boards that obsess over the Dope's behavior.

Would it satisfy members' curiosity to have a locked announcement that Dastardly Don was banned for being a sock? Undoubtedly. It's been asked for many times before, and the answer always was no. Maybe this time, in the new regime, that answer will change. I wouldn't place any money on it.
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
I suggest the administration adopt an official policy of making the general reasons why a member is banned promptly available after such banning takes place.
We already have that policy. The only exceptions are spammers, for obvious reasons, and socks. The sock exception is because we have a history of people who find this board, get banned, and go on to make (I am not exaggerating) thousands of sock accounts to try to get back in. Years back, it was decided that the best way to handle this was to disappear socks and not comment on them, in the hopes that their inability to make any sort of an impact on the boards, including an explanatory ATMB thread, would discourage them from continuing to try to post.

Last edited by Miller; 09-19-2019 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:43 PM
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History shows us that a banning with no explanation is always of a sock, troll, or spammer. That's to prevent them from garnering any more attention or publicity. At least that's what the mods say. To my knowledge, there's never been a quiet banning of a member who wasn't one of these categories. If there had been then surely we would hear the screams, if only from the parasite boards that obsess over the Dope's behavior.

Would it satisfy members' curiosity to have a locked announcement that Dastardly Don was banned for being a sock? Undoubtedly. It's been asked for many times before, and the answer always was no. Maybe this time, in the new regime, that answer will change. I wouldn't place any money on it.
How about just a note in their profile? Right at the top of the "About me" section, "BANNED FOR SOCKING ~[moderator name] 09/19/2019"

That wouldn't afford the banned member any more attention.

And being a relatively new member, I do not have the benefit of looking back at history to find an administrative policy. If there is an existing policy I ask that it be moved to the FAQ.

~Max
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:46 PM
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And being a relatively new member, I do not have the benefit of looking back at history to find an administrative policy. If there is an existing policy I ask that it be moved to the FAQ.
From the FAQ:

Quote:
Q: What happened to a particular thread or poster? They seem to be missing?
A: If you are curious about a particular thread or poster, please PM a moderator. In probably 95% of such cases, the thread or poster that vanished was an attention-seeker -- a spammer , sock, or troll. They're out for any attention, even negative attention, and we don't want to give it to them. They disappear, as do their posts. And as do posts about them. Please do not post a public inquiry.
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:46 PM
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We already have that policy. The only exceptions are spammers, for obvious reasons, and socks. The sock exception is because we have a history of people who find this board, get banned, and go on to make (I am not exaggerating) thousands of sock accounts to try to get back in. Years back, it was decided that the best way to handle this was to disappear socks and not comment on them, in the hopes that their inability to make any sort of an impact on the boards, including an explanatory ATMB thread, would discourage them from continuing to try to post.
That's reassuring.

I do ask that you move this somewhere into the FAQ. Being a relatively new member, I didn't realize that was how you do things until pointed out in this and the previous thread.

~Max
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:53 PM
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From the FAQ:
I remember reading that, but I didn't think it applied to banned posters (with still-visible posts and profiles). It didn't even come to my mind.

Sorry all.

~Max
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:59 PM
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The poster in question takes a slightly different fact pattern than what we usually see. Typically we'll just disappear the posts/threads or lock them. But in the most recent case, there were many, and they were getting active responses so we didn't think curtailing those conversations was necessary.
  #11  
Old 09-19-2019, 06:04 PM
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kirkpatrick was banned? When? I really liked that guy.
  #12  
Old 09-19-2019, 07:36 PM
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With the exception of socking, I should be able to assess their judgement myself.
Without wanting to sound too much like a bureaucrat, we have moderators for the purpose of watching over the boards, and issuing warnings and even bannings when appropriate. If TPTB wanted to make this board a democracy, I'm sure a minor adjustment in software would accomplish it.
  #13  
Old 09-19-2019, 07:50 PM
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kirkpatrick was banned? When? I really liked that guy.
kirkrapine? I'm confused about identities now.
  #14  
Old 09-19-2019, 07:50 PM
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kirkpatrick was banned? When? I really liked that guy.
  #15  
Old 09-19-2019, 08:21 PM
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Whoosh!

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Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
I ask for such changes because as a relatively new member and a skeptical person in general, I would like to know why one of the people I debate with suddenly disappears, as with kirkpatrick.

Last edited by cochrane; 09-19-2019 at 08:23 PM.
  #16  
Old 09-19-2019, 09:01 PM
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I'm not sure what history shows us; some of these moves are made almost Tonton Macoute disappeared. With most things here I can say what I think of the Mods (overall pretty good) but for these types of calls its harder for me to say. I like the idea of something on their profile page or a locked thread simply listing them as they go off to the corn field.
  #17  
Old 09-19-2019, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
History shows us that a banning with no explanation is always of a sock, troll, or spammer. That's to prevent them from garnering any more attention or publicity. At least that's what the mods say. To my knowledge, there's never been a quiet banning of a member who wasn't one of these categories. If there had been then surely we would hear the screams, if only from the parasite boards that obsess over the Dope's behavior.

Would it satisfy members' curiosity to have a locked announcement that Dastardly Don was banned for being a sock? Undoubtedly. It's been asked for many times before, and the answer always was no. Maybe this time, in the new regime, that answer will change. I wouldn't place any money on it.
We're talking about kirkrapine. He (or she if that was the case) wasn't a spammer.

Was he a troll? I didn't feel he was. He had opinions and some people disagreed with them. But I didn't see him post anything outrageous.

So was he a sock? I guess that's the likeliest explanation but I was surprised. Kirkrapine never seemed like a sock to me; he didn't seem to come here with any grudges and he didn't refer to old board issues. If he was a sock, he was really on top of his game.
  #18  
Old 09-19-2019, 10:16 PM
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So was he a sock? I guess that's the likeliest explanation but I was surprised. Kirkrapine never seemed like a sock to me; he didn't seem to come here with any grudges and he didn't refer to old board issues. If he was a sock, he was really on top of his game.
I see this has been confirmed in another thread.
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:24 PM
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Having had ban powers on other sites, I can say that a quiet banning has the powerful effect of denying a person the attention that spurred the behavior in the first place. It’s pretty much a mod version of Don’t Feed the Trolls.

A person who gets banned and sees their banning get announced is encouraged to do it again and again via socks. A person who is quietly banned without comment gets bored and finds something else to do eventually.

Last edited by Atamasama; 09-19-2019 at 10:25 PM.
  #20  
Old 09-20-2019, 12:09 AM
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kirkpatrick was banned? When? I really liked that guy.
Ack, mixed up the name with something from work.

~Max
  #21  
Old 09-20-2019, 12:11 AM
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If TPTB wanted to make this board a democracy...
Not my intention.

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  #22  
Old 09-20-2019, 01:15 AM
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Having had ban powers on other sites, I can say that a quiet banning has the powerful effect of denying a person the attention that spurred the behavior in the first place. Itís pretty much a mod version of Donít Feed the Trolls.

A person who gets banned and sees their banning get announced is encouraged to do it again and again via socks. A person who is quietly banned without comment gets bored and finds something else to do eventually.
I can see that as a general policy in cases where the sock is caught quickly. But if somebody manages to get several hundred posts out before they're banned, people are going to notice the banning and wonder.
  #23  
Old 09-20-2019, 01:20 AM
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For all the problems I have with the moderation of this board, not knowing if a silently banned person was a sock, or a troll, or a spammer is not one of them.

As to the motivation of the OP - if I were a mod, that would raise all kinds of flags - you need to know why some trock was banned so you don't fall afoul of the same modding? How about "follow the #1 rule, and you'll be just fine"? Basing your behaviour on not being quite as bad as banned posters isn't very encouraging.
  #24  
Old 09-20-2019, 01:22 AM
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I can see that as a general policy in cases where the sock is caught quickly. But if somebody manages to get several hundred posts out before they're banned, people are going to notice the banning and wonder.
How come lots of us didn't wonder at all, then?

It's because we know silent ban = sock or spammer, because that's what the mods always say if they make any comment. And that's what the FAQ says.
  #25  
Old 09-20-2019, 09:13 AM
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As to the motivation of the OP - if I were a mod, that would raise all kinds of flags - you need to know why some trock was banned so you don't fall afoul of the same modding? How about "follow the #1 rule, and you'll be just fine"? Basing your behaviour on not being quite as bad as banned posters isn't very encouraging.
That was the thing: it seemed that this recent member had followed the rules, yet was still banned.

I didn't realize that he or she was banned for being a sock.

~Max
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:14 AM
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How come lots of us didn't wonder at all, then?

It's because we know silent ban = sock or spammer, because that's what the mods always say if they make any comment.
Being new, I wouldn't know from history.

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And that's what the FAQ says.
That's on me.

~Max
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:35 AM
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2 years is not new.
  #28  
Old 09-20-2019, 09:40 AM
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On more than one occasion we have seen banned long time members comes back under new names, participate for weeks or even months then get caught/banned. In that case, absolutely **do** tell the reasons.
  #29  
Old 09-20-2019, 09:41 AM
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2 years is not new.
I've only been here since March.

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  #30  
Old 09-20-2019, 09:43 AM
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So was he a sock? I guess that's the likeliest explanation but I was surprised. Kirkrapine never seemed like a sock to me; he didn't seem to come here with any grudges and he didn't refer to old board issues. If he was a sock, he was really on top of his game.
Or you might be slightly off yours. He couldn't have been a more obvious sock if he'd called himself Hanes McCottoncrew and used a picture of Lamb Chop as his avatar.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:43 AM
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I've only been here since March.
"Join Date: Aug 2017"

Last edited by MrDibble; 09-20-2019 at 09:44 AM.
  #32  
Old 09-20-2019, 09:47 AM
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"Join Date: Aug 2017"
March 22, 2019:
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I would like to introduce myself to the board. My name is Max and for the past couple years I have been an infrequent reader of Cecil's columns. I sort of knew there was a message board, but until I read his parting note I never really took notice. It looks like I registered an account in '17 but forgot it existed.
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  #33  
Old 09-20-2019, 10:05 AM
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For all the problems I have with the moderation of this board, not knowing if a silently banned person was a sock, or a troll, or a spammer is not one of them.

As to the motivation of the OP - if I were a mod, that would raise all kinds of flags - you need to know why some trock was banned so you don't fall afoul of the same modding? How about "follow the #1 rule, and you'll be just fine"? Basing your behaviour on not being quite as bad as banned posters isn't very encouraging.
It's not a big deal to wonder about it. I think it's reasonable to wonder, and mods are glad to let folks know. Typically we request that this be done via PM for reasons already stated. We try to be pretty transparent in mod actions so in instances where we are less so it can stand out for relatively new posters. No harm, no foul.

Quote:
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On more than one occasion we have seen banned long time members comes back under new names, participate for weeks or even months then get caught/banned. In that case, absolutely **do** tell the reasons.
One reason why we don't is because there are a host of tools that we utilize and we don't want to reveal them because it could make them less useful in the future.
  #34  
Old 09-20-2019, 10:11 AM
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It's not a big deal to wonder about it. I think it's reasonable to wonder, and mods are glad to let folks know. Typically we request that this be done via PM for reasons already stated. We try to be pretty transparent in mod actions so in instances where we are less so it can stand out for relatively new posters. No harm, no foul.



One reason why we don't is because there are a host of tools that we utilize and we don't want to reveal them because it could make them less useful in the future.
Can you fit the word "banned" into the FAQ entry so it matches a text search?

~Max
  #35  
Old 09-20-2019, 10:12 AM
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If you donít trust the mods, why would you trust their stated reasons?
First off, I don't disagree with the policy. I'm not sure the policy of not revealing socks and trolls works, but it has a bit of logic to it, and the burden is small to have to ask if you actually care. And, even then, most of the time, it's fairly obvious why someone was banned by checking their posting history.

That said, I think this logic is backwards. The whole entire point of wanting those in authority to disclose their reasons is so you don't have to trust them. You can instead verify what they have said.

That's not to say that the people aren't trustworthy. Even the best people make mistakes, for one reason or another.

Again, I'm not arguing with the policy here, as I think it as worst a minor inconvenience. I'm arguing against the idea you've presented that it's pointless to hear reasons for decisions.
  #36  
Old 09-20-2019, 10:16 AM
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Can you fit the word "banned" into the FAQ entry so it matches a text search?

~Max
Sure, I updated question 21.
  #37  
Old 09-20-2019, 02:56 PM
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How come lots of us didn't wonder at all, then?
There's a big difference between believing something is true and knowing something is true. Unfortunately there are many people who don't understand that difference and act as if their beliefs are proven facts.
  #38  
Old 09-20-2019, 02:59 PM
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Or you might be slightly off yours. He couldn't have been a more obvious sock if he'd called himself Hanes McCottoncrew and used a picture of Lamb Chop as his avatar.
As I've said, I didn't see it. And I still don't know which former poster he is.

Any advice pointing to threads which would give me the evidence you saw would be appreciated.
  #39  
Old 09-20-2019, 03:11 PM
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There's a big difference between believing something is true and knowing something is true.
Not on the internet, there isn't.
Quote:
Unfortunately there are many people who don't understand that difference and act as if their beliefs are proven facts.
There's more meanings to "know" besides factual certainty.

"We know" = "we are familiar with the explanation".

Because it's the same explanation they give. Every. Fucking. Time. Someone starts a "Why, Oh why was Trocky McTrockface banned?" thread.

Last edited by MrDibble; 09-20-2019 at 03:15 PM.
  #40  
Old 09-20-2019, 05:08 PM
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Sure, I updated question 21.
Thanks! I hope that prevents the next person from making a fool of themselves as I have here.

I don't think it would hurt to silently put the reason on the member profile if a member has made significant contributions before being found out as a sock. But as everyone says this is unusual, I am also fine messaging the moderators in the future.

Thank you everyone,

~Max
  #41  
Old 09-21-2019, 02:58 PM
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So was he a sock? I guess that's the likeliest explanation but I was surprised. Kirkrapine never seemed like a sock to me; he didn't seem to come here with any grudges and he didn't refer to old board issues. If he was a sock, he was really on top of his game.
I wasn't the least bit surprised to see that he'd been wished to the cornfield. Just too familiar with the place, like he was settling back in after being away for a while.
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  #42  
Old 09-23-2019, 06:49 AM
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There is also just the matter or being respectful of the mods' time. Most socks and spammers are banned almost immediately. It's a lot to ask volunteers to type up a detailed explanation or create a custom title to explain things.Even if it's just five minutes a day . . .yet another five minutes is a real thing. They add up.
  #43  
Old 09-23-2019, 08:07 AM
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Or you might be slightly off yours. He couldn't have been a more obvious sock if he'd called himself Hanes McCottoncrew and used a picture of Lamb Chop as his avatar.
Since I didn't pay much attention to the guy (other than thinking he was another of those new posters who bugs me by starting a metric ton of threads before they've even posted in anyone else's threads), is it OK to ask what banned poster he was apparently a sock of?
  #44  
Old 09-23-2019, 08:30 AM
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All love, RT. I donít believe naming such is a good idea.
  #45  
Old 09-23-2019, 08:52 AM
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All love, RT. I donít believe naming such is a good idea.
I'll cheerfully defer to your judgment, then.
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