Was there another way to handle Chippewa in Michigan?

I’m linking to to the thread that Rico linked to in several of the closings as reference.

I understand that the shotgun, multi-thread approach is irritating in the extreme, but, considering that it took less than 15 minutes for a Doper to start baiting a noob with racially charged language (classy move, that) wouldn’t a suspension have made a little more sense?

Obviously, Chippewa in Michigan had some anger management issues, but just as obviously e had some message board etiquette issues. There were several aspects of eir posting style that set off the TROLL-dar, but the questions were serious and seemed to be based on genuine outrage.

Wouldn’t the benefit of the doubt approach have made more sense?

I think if Chippewa in Michigan had started off being more rational in her(?) first post, despite opening multiple threads, things would have probably gone much better. Frothing at the mouth, lunatic rage through multiple threads certainly pushed things to the brink. Opening another thread after being told not to was asking for it. My personal opinion was **CinM **was looking to be outraged and would not have lasted anyway.

I’ll send Rico a heads up about this thread so he can comment. Here’s a link to the last of Chippewa in Michigan’s seven threads for context.

Not only were we in communication on the boards, but also in email.

I will not cut and paste her emails to me, but I will state that she had called me out on “censoring her” by not leaving all posts open, said she didn’t know what a “thread” or a “mod” was, and stated there might be a racial connotation to my closings.

At this point there were 5 threads open and 4 closed (all closed threads had a link to the active thread posted so there was no mistaking which thread would be open). I responded in email:

After that email was sent, two more threads were opened and closed.

To say that this all happened in “15 minutes” is disingenuous, to say the least. Time stamp (MST) on all OPs were: 1822, 1826, 1830, 1835, 1839, 1925, 2018. That’s almost two hours. After I was notified, sent her an email and closed four threads and left one open, I went off for several minutes to take care of some things away from the computer (Mods have lives? SHOCK!). When I returned, two more threads were open. It was then I put a merciful end to it.

If you feel there was a better way to handle this, I’d like to hear about it. CinM seemed to have no clue how message boards worked. The vitriol that seemed to drip from the posts was unwarranted and not welcome here.

Suspension? That might have been possible. In fact, an email I received this morning was forwarded to admin with that suggestion. I have not heard back regarding that. When it comes down to the nitty gritty, however, the posting style and new threads finally convinced me to take the action I did. Constructive comments are always welcome.

Why do you hate people in Michigan?

I did read all the threads I found started by CiM, but obviously I could not be aware of the e-mail outside of the reference you made.

I did not say it all happened in fifteen minutes.

Emphasis mine

I consider the benefit of the doubt in this case – and it would be a sizable benefit – to be that CiM may not have known how to voice their feelings. A suspension could have given an opportunity to evaluate whether or not that was the case.

I mean the question from the OP. Maybe there wasn’t another way. It just seemed that WITHIN fifteen minutes, CiM was confronted with some pretty ignorant shit. If for that reason alone I think we should cut Chip some slack.

I think it was handled about as well as it could have been. This was someone who was either posting out of an uncontrolled rage, pathological obsession or was a troll bigger than the one in the first Harry Potter movie. Or she had a 2-ton chip on her shoulder. What makes this board enjoyable is that this kind of posting is not tolerated, but only after attempts at getting the poster to think reasonably first.


As a creative and very likely unrealistic idea, what if this person had been put on a one thread per day limit? Post as much as you want within that thread and within the usual confines of the boards.

Maybe that’s not realistic, but I’m not convinced that CiM was a troll. There are others here who post out of uncontrolled emotions and there is plenty of pathological obsession for everyone.

I think it’s clear that CiM doesn’t understand how message boards work or that Cecil Adams isn’t a real person. I think she should be reinstated if she has interest in being a member of this community. None of the eight posts posts I read indicated that she was interested in that. If she is, she should ask the mods to be reinstated now that she (presumably) understands that she can’t open twenty million threads.

Frankly, on any other message board, she would be banned without a second thought.

I don’t think that we have the technology to restrict someone to one thread, and I don’t think that this person would have voluntarily restricted herself to just one thread.

I was not involved in the decision making for this particular person. However, I think that the right decision was made. I don’t know if she was a troll or just someone who is really ignorant of how message boards work. Either way, she didn’t seem to understand that she MUST follow moderators’ warnings and instructions. If someone refuses to follow instructions and warnings, then that person must be suspended or banned.

I think it was handled with more than enough tact. I would have banned them much sooner for their behavior. Rico had much more patience than I.

Emphasis mine. I come into this issue late. I read all the threads. While I can support Rico’s ultimate decision, this place is about fighting ignorance. CiM certainly has issues with respect to board rules, most certainly exacerbated by Cecil’s topic. Yet, I still wonder if a suspension would have been in order and not a ban. At least a suspension allows for a cooling off period and a reassessment by all concerned. A chance to fight ignorance on all sides and issues.

I think it’s clear that there is a question of CiM’s clarity on board etiquette. What might not be clear is that I am not attacking the mods or **Rico.

**If we are talking about someone who’s ignorance amounts to starting a new thread every time they want to post, I think that *could *be handled differently than a case where someone is trying to bait people and cause trouble.

It seems that we have an environment where people can be acerbic, nasty, rude, obstructionist jerks so long as they know how to use teh internest, but if someone is justifiably angry and uses the wrong smiley they’re out on their isp.

Perhaps Rico was overly patient? A quick suspension after the third?? (fourth??) thread… I recognize that is speculative.

Isn’t there a way to “turn-off” someones permission to start new threads?
I appreciated that Rico linked to the thread he had left open when closing the new threads.

This could be unrealistic as well, but wht if that one thread was left open and CiM’s thread starting permission was suspended?

Since Rico’s posted here now - I would’ve done the same thing he did. He seems to have been very reasonable. He locked the threads and explained how it works here, he sent emails in private which were ignored. When somebody shows up, gives posters and mods the finger and doesn’t make any effort to listen, all while posting that way, you ban them. A suspension is probably too subtle for somebody like that.

I’d like to say that I’m not implying that Rico was harsh or otherwise unprofessional.

I also think a little subtlety could have gone a long way.

In this case, I see no reason to think it would’ve. Rico asked Chippewa several times to wait for a reply. Chippewa made it clear he/she was going to keep starting threads and making demands until he/she got the right answer. Chippewa ignored Rico and the other posters who were responding about the column and about the board, and was being a dick about it. Some people aren’t cut out for a message board, or this message board.

This post seems to indicate that the poster in question may not have even realized that they were posting to a message board.

I got the impression that they may have thought they were “e-mailing” Cecil directly.

Taken together with the fact that the inflammatory poster chose to self-censor to the point of keybleeping the word “dick” makes me think that CiM was not trying to inflame a message board community.

They may not have been cut out for a message board or for this message board, but I’m not sure their ability to cut it was adequately evaluated.

You may be right, but a lot of people who are commenting on Straight Dope columns write their posts that way. In any case, six emails to Cecil over the course of two hours would have been just as belligerent as six threads on this board. That would still not excuse the hostility, and the way the poster ignored Rico’s posts and emails, along with the suggestions from other posters.

You’re the only one who suggested “inflaming” (or trolling) was a concern here. That was apparently not the issue for Rico.

How totally beyond all help does one have to be to not understand that after they sign up for a Guest account on a message board and create a new thread on a message board that they are in fact posting on a message board? Seriously, “fighting ignorance” only goes so far. I’m positive that their ability to “cut it” here was more than sufficiently evaluated by failing to pass the exceedingly low bar of “figure out where the hell you are posting something on the internet.”

And they are still always free to mail Cecil, after all. Not one thing is stopping them from doing that.

Oh, I dunno. We’ve had people who seemed to think this was a chat room. They’d post one-liner questions and seem to be waiting for responses in real time.

Then again, maybe they were trolling.