Engineer_comp_geek needs to brush up on his moderating skills

engineer_comp_geek closed my “Reptilian eyes” thread, and–the part that I am complaining about–gave me a warning for trolling.

I’ve got news for you–contrary to what you evidently think, you can’t read minds. In addition, you need to re-review some of the key definitions involved. The general FAQ thread defines trolling thusly: “Posting inflammatory remarks in order to provoke an angry response.”

And Point #2 of that section says, in relevant part, “Stubborn defenders of unpopular positions are often denounced as trolls, in many cases unfairly. They’re not primarily trying to provoke, they’re just being obstinate.”

We’ve had some threads recently about conspiracy theories in general, such as this one.

I wanted to provide a real-life example of WHY some people feel that CT’s explain certain things better than mundane explanations–as I mentioned in my thread–something that I feel is a sensible thing to do, so that other posters here can understand the allure better. In other words, I was trying to fight ignorance! And I got ridiculed and slandered for my pains.

You might want to reread why you were Warned. It was for this statement:

That’s an admission you were deliberately trying to get a reaction, rather than asking the question in good faith. You weren’t asking to get answers. You wanted to bait people into responding in a certain way so you could use them as an example.

I also note that moderation for trolling usually involves checking with other moderators. It’s unlikely ecg is the only mod who saw your post as trolling.

Any sufficiently advanced foolishness is indistinguishable from trolling.

What counts as “sufficiently advanced” might be in question, but “This video shows a woman with vertical pupils, therefore I’m thinking maybe there are reptilian aliens among us” is way past that line.

For what it’s worth, I was lurking that thread, if only because it seemed . . . out of place. It was interesting to look at other posters trying to consider scenarios that cause the effect, and were giving it a good faith review. While I am not a mod, when I first read the line that was quoted above, and included in your warning, I reached the same conclusion ECG appears to have.

Your OP was clearly disingenuous, as your later post makes clear. You were clearly engaged in game-playing, looking for reactions.

I don’t think e_c_g needs to “brush up on his moderating skills”, which have always been just fine. I think you need to brush up on your posting skills. Learn your lesson and move on.

It looks to me like e_c_g’s moderating skills are just fine.

You don’t have to read minds to read posts. You confessed to trolling in the thread, very explicitly.

I’m sure you could get into the philosophical argument into whether trolling is trolling, when you say you’re trolling but don’t really mean it, sort of like a form of recursive trolling, but that’s irrelevant.

If you say that you post to intentionally get a rise out of people (in this case, you said you posted in order to make people argue and contradict each other and you weren’t looking for a sincere debate) that is the definition of trolling.

As in many of these threads, I think the pertinent question is, does the OP make this message board a better place?

I suspect my view on the subject is clear.

As a sincere believer in reptile people (as you claimed to be in that thread you totally insist you weren’t trolling in, right?)… how do you know? I mean, can’t reptile people read minds?

Are you saying ECG is a reptilian?

-Faints dead away-

Did you ever read the rules for posting here? The first one, the most important one, is “Don’t be a jerk.”

Whatever you may have thought you were doing, I expect that most of the posters who learned that you were playing what was in essence a practical joke for your entertainment perceive this as acting like a jerk. I’ve seen people banned for that, although your “practical joke” wasn’t as bad as theirs. (For reference, I’m thinking of squirrelcub’s banning. Oldtimers like me may also remember that incident.)

But the fact that you were posting specifically to get a reaction (and “succeeded beautifully”) makes your current protest ring a bit hollow.

I think that all of us can use improvement and that includes ecg. None of us are perfect and we all fall short and make mistakes. When those mistakes are made, I hope that he listens, understands and tries to be better.

But I’m going off on a tangent. Closing that thread was a good call.

Well, to be totally honest, I was never sure if he was reptilian or just had shifty eyes. Jury is still out.

You know that’s never going to happen if he really is reptilian. He will just keep the cover up going so we will never find the truth!

That being said, I think the modding was spot on. Kind of hard to wiggle out of something when you have admitted to doing it already.

This place has become a real circle jerk when it comes to poor modding.

This is what the FAQ says about trolling

“Trolling is posting solely for the purpose of riling others up”

The OP has said that (and frankly reading the whole thread it’s obvious that) the OP’s intention was to post some stupid conspiracy theory nonsense to show how immediately various competing explanations for the nonsense arise. His thread wasn’t to rile people up. And his “admission” was not an admission of riling people up. It was a statement that he had successfully shown that numerous competing explanations immediately arose.

Look at the shit some of you are coming up to justify the warning - he posted to “get a reaction”. He was “gameplaying”. His post was a “practical joke”? None of these things are a problem around here, as such, last I checked. Further, they run directly counter to what the OP actually said -

"THIS sort of situation is precisely why some people turn to conspiracy theories for answers, because the “debunkers” trip all over themselves and each other, and the only thing that they end up doing is to create a messy welter of – at best – semi-convincing explanations, with no good explanation of why one pet debunker theory is better than another.

I was hoping to create a real-time example of such a situation, and I succeeded beautifully."

Not a prank. Not to rile people up. Not to play games. Not a joke. His thread was to make a point in debate. [don’t get me wrong it’s not a very good point, but it has a grain of truth, and there’s no signs it’s not genuinely made]

I have to ask myself, was anyone actually upset or offended or riled up by the OP’s closed thread? I don’t believe so*. Why is it necessary to issue an actual warning - a step towards banning - that (a) simply does not offend the trolling rule as worded and (b) if it falls under the catch-all of “being a jerk” is so mild no one could reasonably be upset or “riled up”?

Is that how much of walled garden for milksops this place has become?

*And if someone was genuinely riled up or offended, they need to toughen up, princess. Seriously. Does this board really want to hamstring itself by dumbing down to the level of the offenderati to that degree?

You couldn’t be more wrong.

I don’t know the answer to this question. But, I think the main problem is that people were posting in good faith to an OP that was not in good faith. If the OP wanted to explore how conspiracy theories get started, he should have started with something like:

There is this silly conspiracy theory that this newscaster is an actual lizard person. The evidence is this video, which seems to show her with lizard eyes. I think it would be interesting to explore why the video might show this, and it would also be fun to try and respond in a way that a CTer would respond. I’ll play the part of the CTer and you all debunk this “theory”.

People get frustrated if they respond in good faith to a question not posed in good faith. I think it’s fine to have a thread like that, if there’s disclosure upfront. If Bootb started a thread about 9/11 CTs (which I think is not even allowed anymore, but anyway…) and later came in and said, “Ha! Just kidding, I don’t really believe that crap. I just wanted to see how this would play out,” that seems like obvious trolling to me. This thread was pretty close to that.

Interesting position. Might one not just as plausibly (or more so) direct this accusation/question to the OP? I mean, if the OP gets riled up or offended over a little warning… we certainly don’t want the board to be hamstrung by what upsets this one poster, do we?

This moderation is not without precedent. I believe you’ve been here long enough to remember the other poster who decided to use Dopers as social experiment guinea pigs without bothering to tell anyone they were being used as guinea pigs until after the thread had run its course.

No, I don’t know how to find that social experiment.

Yeah this is the issue. The OP was not made in good faith. This is especially true for the GD forum, where the rules state that a thread should be a debate on a topic “clear and specific”. This thread was by the OP’s admission a bait-and-switch. That is in addition to trolling behavior (which wouldn’t be okay anywhere).