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Old 10-18-2019, 05:22 PM
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Question about "junior modding"


I received a note (no warning) in this thread for this comment:
Quote:
Originally Posted by me
You know that thing about not being a jerk? You should try harder.
So I want to clarify, both my intention (which I realize doesn't change much) and how I might better have achieved my intention.

I wanted to point out to the poster that I thought that what he posted was a jerkish reaction, especially for the first post after the OP. I wasn't thinking about telling him what to do, I was thinking that he ought to think longer before blurting out the first thing that comes into his head. I wasn't even thinking that his post even rose to the level of mod interest (which is why reporting it didn't occur to me).

I realize that it didn't come across that way.

So my clarifying question is, am I allowed to express my own feelings about a post in a situation like that? As long as I am careful not to appear to be giving instructions?
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Old 10-18-2019, 05:44 PM
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You say you weren't telling him what to do, but telling him to think longer sounds exactly like you were telling him what to do.

I know you're looking for input from a mod, and I'm not a mod, of course, but I would have reported the post as jerkish and not responded to it.
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Old 10-18-2019, 06:00 PM
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Also not a mod but I would be careful about using language that mirrors forum rules, and “don’t be a jerk” is the first and arguably most important one.
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Old 10-19-2019, 12:45 PM
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I go along with the above two posts; but I read the thread in question not long after your post and know exactly why you reacted like that - I felt the same way. Completely understandable (and nicely expressed) but I can see why the mods don't like it. It's just to easy for something like that to escalate, apart from any other consideration.

j
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Old 10-19-2019, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Atamasama View Post
Also not a mod but I would be careful about using language that mirrors forum rules, and “don’t be a jerk” is the first and arguably most important one.
Yeah. Generally you can ASK people to stop a hijack. That has never gotten me Mod attention.

I have seen people get away with "threadshit", but....

But using the word "jerk" was a bad idea. "Troll" would have gotten a warning, methinks.
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Old 10-19-2019, 07:30 PM
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It comes too close to attacking the poster and not the post. In my experience something like "that post doesn't quite fly" may get by if you back it up but insinuating someone is a troll or jerk won't escape the radar very often.
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Old 10-19-2019, 07:51 PM
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To be fair, Gatopescado specifically drops his little one liners all over the place and as the first response in the thread it does seem to warrant an actual warning. Is he ever going to get called out from the mods for his unrelenting useless little posts?

Should we start reporting his one line posts? Are the mods not aware of the fact it is most of his posts?
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by What Exit? View Post
To be fair, Gatopescado specifically drops his little one liners all over the place and as the first response in the thread it does seem to warrant an actual warning. Is he ever going to get called out from the mods for his unrelenting useless little posts?

Should we start reporting his one line posts? Are the mods not aware of the fact it is most of his posts?
Yeah. I was going to say something like this, but you said it first and better than I would have.
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by What Exit? View Post
To be fair, Gatopescado specifically drops his little one liners all over the place and as the first response in the thread it does seem to warrant an actual warning. Is he ever going to get called out from the mods for his unrelenting useless little posts?

Should we start reporting his one line posts? Are the mods not aware of the fact it is most of his posts?
To be fair, the "no joke post as the first response" rule only seems to apply to General Questions. As far as I'm aware, it doesn't apply in MPSIMS.
  #10  
Old 10-19-2019, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roderick Femm View Post
So my clarifying question is, am I allowed to express my own feelings about a post in a situation like that? As long as I am careful not to appear to be giving instructions?
Generally, yes, you are free to express your feelings about a post in MPSIMS as long as you do not appear to be giving instructions.

There are some exceptions, of course. If someone is expressing feelings about the loss of a cat for example, and you hate cats, you probably should not post those particular feelings that you have, as that would come off as both threadshitting and jerkish.

Also, make sure you don't insult anyone. "I think that is a jerkish response" is probably ok (depending on the circumstances of course), where "I think you're a jerk" is an insult.

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Originally Posted by What Exit? View Post
To be fair, Gatopescado specifically drops his little one liners all over the place and as the first response in the thread it does seem to warrant an actual warning. Is he ever going to get called out from the mods for his unrelenting useless little posts?
The rule against jokes as a first response only applies to GQ.

This is from the General Questions Rules & FAQs:
Quote:
Originally Posted by General Questions Rules & FAQs
The purpose of General Questions is to get factual questions answered. In order to accomplish this we need the threads to stay on topic. We tolerate some joking, but that is generally acceptable only after the question has been answered.
This rule is GQ specific, and does not apply to other forums.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
"Troll" would have gotten a warning, methinks.
Most likely. You may only make accusations of trolling in the Pit.
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
Also, make sure you don't insult anyone. "I think that is a jerkish response" is probably ok (depending on the circumstances of course), where "I think you're a jerk" is an insult.
I'm always a bit puzzled by this literalist interpretation of what it means to insult or to attack the poster rather than the post. I mean, how about "that's the kind of think a jerk would say". To me, these are just circumlocutions that mean exactly the same thing as just saying "you're a jerk".

It seems to me that if something is to be construed as "attacking the post rather than the poster", it's should be a question of whether it addresses the actual content/context of the post in a substantive way, not just rephrasing a personal insult into a superficial form of words that only technically addresses the post.

Last edited by Riemann; 10-20-2019 at 12:32 AM.
  #12  
Old 10-20-2019, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by What Exit? View Post
To be fair, Gatopescado specifically drops his little one liners all over the place and as the first response in the thread it does seem to warrant an actual warning. Is he ever going to get called out from the mods for his unrelenting useless little posts?

Should we start reporting his one line posts?
I've reported some of his posts in the past. Nothing happened, so I don't bother doing that anymore.

He probably isn't even aware that he got a mod note for that post.
  #13  
Old 10-20-2019, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roderick Femm View Post
I received a note (no warning) in this thread for this comment:
So I want to clarify, both my intention (which I realize doesn't change much) and how I might better have achieved my intention.

I wanted to point out to the poster that I thought that what he posted was a jerkish reaction, especially for the first post after the OP. I wasn't thinking about telling him what to do, I was thinking that he ought to think longer before blurting out the first thing that comes into his head. I wasn't even thinking that his post even rose to the level of mod interest (which is why reporting it didn't occur to me).

I realize that it didn't come across that way.

So my clarifying question is, am I allowed to express my own feelings about a post in a situation like that? As long as I am careful not to appear to be giving instructions?
You called him a jerk, which is attacking the poster, not the post. If you had said, "you know, that post comes off as pretty jerkish", you would probably have been fine. Or, just report the poster for being a jerk if that's what you thought -- being a jerk is against the rules, and he got a mod note for it.

Rieman, saying "that's the kind of thing a jerk would say" would be noted as well, in my non-mod opinion. That's just calling the poster a jerk. However, saying the post itself was jerky is usually OK.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Riemann View Post
I'm always a bit puzzled by this literalist interpretation of what it means to insult or to attack the poster rather than the post. I mean, how about "that's the kind of think a jerk would say". To me, these are just circumlocutions that mean exactly the same thing as just saying "you're a jerk".

It seems to me that if something is to be construed as "attacking the post rather than the poster", it's should be a question of whether it addresses the actual content/context of the post in a substantive way, not just rephrasing a personal insult into a superficial form of words that only technically addresses the post.
They’re not the same though.

Let’s contrast these two things...

“Riemann, that post had some hurtful things in it and it was kind of jerkish.”

“Riemann, you always post hurtful things and your posts are always jerkish.”

The first statement is commenting on the post you made. The second post is commenting on you; labeling you as a jerk, because it generalizes all of your posting behavior.

Imagine you’re trying to talk to someone in-person and they’re upset, and they say something in anger. If you say to them, “I understand you are angry, please don’t take it out on me” they may calm down or at least leave you alone. If you say to them, “You are such an angry person all the time, don’t lash out at me” then it’s just more likely to escalate because you’re insulting their character rather than acknowledging a transitory emotion.

For that same reason, insulting a person does nothing to foster civility and/or encourage productive communication, which is essential to the successful operation of most of the forums on this board. The one exception being the Pit, of course, where productive communication is not the main goal and people just feel the need to vent and/or dispense with filters.
  #15  
Old 10-20-2019, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by erysichthon View Post
I've reported some of his posts in the past. Nothing happened, so I don't bother doing that anymore.

He probably isn't even aware that he got a mod note for that post.
That post in particular seemed pretty jerkish to me- it was a thread recounting a very emotional experience of seeing someone get hit by a truck. The OP was clearly shaken.
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Atamasama View Post
They’re not the same though.

Let’s contrast these two things...

[1] “Riemann, that post had some hurtful things in it and it was kind of jerkish.”

[2] “Riemann, you always post hurtful things and your posts are always jerkish.”

The first statement is commenting on the post you made. The second post is commenting on you; labeling you as a jerk, because it generalizes all of your posting behavior.
[my numbers added]

I think you're agreeing with me.

[1] adds some substantive commentary on the content of the specific post, pointing out that it's hurtful, and therefore falls into the category of attacking the post rather than making a generalization about the poster.

[2] makes explicit an inferred generalization about the poster's character. And to my mind the following also fall into category [2] of inappropriate generalization about the poster's character, notwithstanding the superficial form of words in (c):
(a) "You're a jerk"
(b) "You're a jerk for saying that"
(c) "That's a jerkish comment"
Calling a comment "jerkish" isn't substantive commentary on the content of the post, it's focusing on the character of the kind of person who would make such a post, and implicitly making just the kind of generalization you're talking about. Do you really think there should be a line drawn that there is some significant semantic difference between (a) and (b) or between (b) and (c)?

Last edited by Riemann; 10-20-2019 at 11:44 AM.
  #17  
Old 10-20-2019, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riemann View Post
(a) "You're a jerk"
(b) "You're a jerk for saying that"
(c) "That's a jerkish comment"
Calling a comment "jerkish" isn't substantive commentary on the content of the post, it's focusing on the character of the kind of person who would make such a post, and implicitly making just the kind of generalization you're talking about. Do you really think there should be a line drawn that there is some significant semantic difference between (a) and (b) or between (b) and (c)?
A and B are identical. Explaining why you’re insulting someone doesn’t make it less of an insult. C is different in that you’re attacking the comment.

On the other hand, I’m not entirely sure I’d call a comment explicitly jerkish either, not because I feel I’m violating the rule on insults, but it is too close to junior modding for my comfort, because you’re essentially calling someone out for acting like a jerk. I’d instead report the post.
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Atamasama View Post
C is different in that you’re attacking the comment.
I've explained why I think it's not, and you haven't responded to that. Do you really think there's a significant semantic difference (as opposed to a superficial grammatical difference) between:

You're a jerk for saying that
and
That's a jerkish comment

If you really think that's a meaningful line to draw, how about

That's the comment of a jerk

By your reasoning, if it depends on the technical grammatical structure rather than the underlying meaning, that's attacking the post.

Last edited by Riemann; 10-20-2019 at 01:17 PM.
  #19  
Old 10-20-2019, 02:47 PM
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Hi!


Quote:
Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
To be fair, the "no joke post as the first response" rule only seems to apply to General Questions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
The rule against jokes as a first response only applies to GQ.
It wasn't meant to be a joke. I mean it. I can't check my email or look for free stuff on craigslist with being bombarded with Mass shootings, Ecological disasters, Insane politics.... animal abuse, fires, floods, earthquakes! My point was, "Yeah, there is a world of shit out there, and it's damn depressing, I tell you". I've seen enough to know I've seen too much. Just wanted to clear that up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by erysichthon View Post
He probably isn't even aware that he got a mod note for that post.
I'm well aware. I'm just smart enough to stay away from threads were it's clear my participation is unwelcome/misunderstood.

So I probably won't post here again, either.

Last edited by Gatopescado; 10-20-2019 at 02:50 PM.
  #20  
Old 10-20-2019, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatopescado View Post
It wasn't meant to be a joke. I mean it. I can't check my email or look for free stuff on craigslist with being bombarded with Mass shootings, Ecological disasters, Insane politics.... animal abuse, fires, floods, earthquakes! My point was, "Yeah, there is a world of shit out there, and it's damn depressing, I tell you". I've seen enough to know I've seen too much. Just wanted to clear that up.



I'm well aware. I'm just smart enough to stay away from threads were it's clear my participation is unwelcome/misunderstood.

So I probably won't post here again, either.
To me, it didn't come across as sympathetic, or understanding, or a commentary on the depressing state of the world today. It read more like a comment on the more gross stuff on the web. Less mass shooting, and more goatse. Less "things i wish didn't happen" and more "things I wish I hadn't seen."

None of which was specifically referenced in the one liner in question, of course. That you intended it to reference things also found on the local or national news broadcasts did not come across in the post.
  #21  
Old 10-20-2019, 04:21 PM
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Also, if you're seeing animal abuse and mass shootings on Craigslist, you may be doing it wrong.

Last edited by raventhief; 10-20-2019 at 04:22 PM.
  #22  
Old 10-20-2019, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riemann View Post
I've explained why I think it's not, and you haven't responded to that. Do you really think there's a significant semantic difference (as opposed to a superficial grammatical difference) between:

You're a jerk for saying that
and
That's a jerkish comment

If you really think that's a meaningful line to draw, how about

That's the comment of a jerk

By your reasoning, if it depends on the technical grammatical structure rather than the underlying meaning, that's attacking the post.
Yes there’s a significant difference. A decent poster can make a lapse in judgment and post like a jerk. That doesn’t make that person a jerk. So I don’t see criticism of a single action as an insult.

Grammatical structures are important, because changing the structure of a statement can change the meaning and to me your example is doing that.
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Old 10-20-2019, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Atamasama View Post
Yes there’s a significant difference. A decent poster can make a lapse in judgment and post like a jerk. That doesn’t make that person a jerk. So I don’t see criticism of a single action as an insult.

Grammatical structures are important, because changing the structure of a statement can change the meaning and to me your example is doing that.
Well, these comments fit the grammatical pattern that you think is the deciding factor:

That's the comment of a jerk
That's the kind of thing only a jerk would say

You really think those are okay, on the basis that technically they are criticizing the specific post rather than the poster? And because they only imply that the poster is a jerk right now for making this particular comment, leaving open the possibility that he might change his ways?

Last edited by Riemann; 10-20-2019 at 04:46 PM.
  #24  
Old 10-20-2019, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Riemann View Post
Well, these comments fit the grammatical pattern that you think is the deciding factor:

That's the comment of a jerk
That's the kind of thing only a jerk would say

You really think those are okay, on the basis that technically they are criticizing the specific post rather than the poster? And because they only imply that the poster is a jerk right now for making this particular comment, leaving open the possibility that he might change his ways?
No. You’re missing my point. You are conflating labeling behavior with labeling a person.

Let’s put it this way... Justin Trudeau (Canada’s Prime Minister) is embroiled in a scandal because an 18-year-old picture of him surfaced showing him wearing blackface at a party. A couple of other instances of him wearing blackface around that time have come out. Trudeau has acknowledged the incidents and apologized.

I feel that wearing blackface is racially insensitive and is the behavior of a racist. And I find it shameful that it occurred. But at the same time, I don’t believe Trudeau himself is a racist based on his statements and actions in office. (I’m sure others may disagree with me.)

Going back to your hypothetical situation, I could say these things:

1) Trudeau is a racist.
2) Trudeau is a racist for wearing blackface.
3) Trudeau wearing blackface was racist behavior.

I only believe that the 3rd thing is true. I don’t believe his behavior at that time was intended to be racist, and he was clueless about how inappropriate it was, but it was still something a racist would do.

I’m hoping that example is clear enough. If not, I’m really not sure what else I can say, and we may just have to agree to disagree (which I am happy to do without rancor).

Last edited by Atamasama; 10-20-2019 at 05:52 PM.
  #25  
Old 10-20-2019, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Gatopescado View Post
It wasn't meant to be a joke. I mean it. I can't check my email or look for free stuff on craigslist with being bombarded with Mass shootings, Ecological disasters, Insane politics.... animal abuse, fires, floods, earthquakes! My point was, "Yeah, there is a world of shit out there, and it's damn depressing, I tell you". I've seen enough to know I've seen too much. Just wanted to clear that up.
Nice rhetorical judo!
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Old 10-20-2019, 07:04 PM
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No. You’re missing my point. You are conflating labeling behavior with labeling a person.
I do get your point, but board policy is not framed as labeling behavior vs labeling the person. Labeling behavior is still attacking the poster - "you're acting like a jerk" vs "you are a jerk".

Board policy is framed with the stronger distinction that you should attack the [content of the] post, not the poster.

In my opinion, all of the following are attacking the poster and should be disallowed:

You are a jerk.
You are a jerk for posting that.
You're acting like a jerk.
That's the kind of post a jerk would write.
That post is jerkish.


All are semantically synonymous, all are attacking the poster's character. Just changing the grammatical form so that "jerkish" is an adjective doesn't transform it into a substantive comment on the content of the post. As an adjective "jerkish" just means "something a jerk would do" - so it's still calling the poster a jerk, but doing it implicitly, which is no better than calling the poster a jerk explicitly. All are attacking the character of the poster, not the content of the post.

If you want to get away from attacking the poster, I think you need to address the content of the post in a substantive way, pointing out why it's a problem - change the semantics, not just the syntax. Get rid of any form of the word "jerk" altogether. This would be an example of attacking the post:

That trite dismissive attempt at humor trivializes a heartfelt OP from someone who's been through a traumatic experience.

Leave it to the reader to infer that the poster is a jerk; and, if you wish, report the jerkish behavior to a Mod.

Last edited by Riemann; 10-20-2019 at 07:07 PM.
  #27  
Old 10-20-2019, 07:12 PM
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ETA: I don't think your discussion of Trudeau's racism is an apt parallel to the discussion around the word jerk. Words or actions can be racist without the person being a racist, so using that adjective is not necessarily attacking the person. Use of the adjective racist can amount to substantive criticism of someone's words or actions, and may satisfy the "attack the post" dictum.

But words or actions can't be jerks, only people can.

Last edited by Riemann; 10-20-2019 at 07:13 PM.
  #28  
Old 10-20-2019, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Riemann View Post
ETA: I don't think your discussion of Trudeau's racism is an apt parallel to the discussion around the word jerk. Words or actions can be racist without the person being a racist, so using that adjective is not necessarily attacking the person. Use of the adjective racist can amount to substantive criticism of someone's words or actions, and may satisfy the "attack the post" dictum.

But words or actions can't be jerks, only people can.
Correct. And words or actions can’t be racists either.

Labeling behavior is labeling a post, because what other kind of behavior can you have on a message board? Pretty much all I can do on this board is read things, leave posts, or send private messages (which are just another type of post). All behavior is a post by definition. So there’s no difference between the two.

Again, I can say “that is a mean thing to post” which isn’t an insult, or “you are a mean person” which is. Or let’s contrast saying “what you wrote is inaccurate” which is not an insult (and may even be an attempt to help point out a simple typo) or saying “you never post anything accurate” which is calling someone stupid, sloppy, or dishonest, any of which are insulting.

I just feel like we’re both going in circles though and we’ve covered this before, and I think I might respectfully bow out with no ill will here.
  #29  
Old 10-20-2019, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riemann View Post
I do get your point, but board policy is not framed as labeling behavior vs labeling the person. Labeling behavior is still attacking the poster - "you're acting like a jerk" vs "you are a jerk".

Board policy is framed with the stronger distinction that you should attack the [content of the] post, not the poster.

In my opinion, all of the following are attacking the poster and should be disallowed:

You are a jerk.
You are a jerk for posting that.
You're acting like a jerk.
That's the kind of post a jerk would write.
That post is jerkish.


All are semantically synonymous, all are attacking the poster's character. Just changing the grammatical form so that "jerkish" is an adjective doesn't transform it into a substantive comment on the content of the post. As an adjective "jerkish" just means "something a jerk would do" - so it's still calling the poster a jerk, but doing it implicitly, which is no better than calling the poster a jerk explicitly. All are attacking the character of the poster, not the content of the post.

If you want to get away from attacking the poster, I think you need to address the content of the post in a substantive way, pointing out why it's a problem - change the semantics, not just the syntax. Get rid of any form of the word "jerk" altogether. This would be an example of attacking the post:

That trite dismissive attempt at humor trivializes a heartfelt OP from someone who's been through a traumatic experience.

Leave it to the reader to infer that the poster is a jerk; and, if you wish, report the jerkish behavior to a Mod.
I can only say I didn't want to write a dissertation that was longer than the post in question. I only wanted to point out to him that I thought it was insensitive and ill-thought-out (and I still do, even after his walk-back earlier in this thread). I wanted to do it in a snappy way, which was my undoing. I didn't want to be tedious, I wanted to get his attention.

Frankly, to me, you seem to be attempting to interpret for everyone this rule:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone
The general rule is to attack the other poster's arguments, rather than the other poster him- or herself.
in a way that (dare I say it?) should be left to the mods and/or the admin.
  #30  
Old 10-20-2019, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Roderick Femm View Post
Frankly, to me, you seem to be attempting to interpret for everyone this rule:

in a way that (dare I say it?) should be left to the mods and/or the admin.
I wasn't addressing your post specifically. I thought your original question was already answered officially by a mod, and I was stating my opinion on a more general modding issue that came up organically. Perhaps it would have been better to start a new thread, but I think the discussion has run its course anyway.
  #31  
Old 10-22-2019, 12:54 PM
Omar Little's Avatar
Omar Little is offline
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I've always thought the junior modding rule was kind of stupid. We should kind of self-police our environment. But I also see where some people can kind of take it too far and develop a sort of message board vigilantism.
  #32  
Old 10-25-2019, 11:16 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Have been a mod, am not one now, but FWIW here's my $.02.

Telling someone to try harder at not being a jerk can come across pretty close to directly calling them a jerk. So I do agree a line was crossed there, but I don't personally see it as junior modding. It was something else, though I'm not 100% sure what.

Anyway, welcome to the boards. I'm always happy to hear more tales from the big city.
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