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Quality complaint about moderator

Inexorable Username

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Classic example of someone being childish enough about wanting to get in the "last word", while making it look like they're willing to hear you out - when really, they're not, and they don't want anyone else listening to you either.

I don't have high standards. I just would have preferred a real conversation to "it's my way or the highway". This behavior does not seem becoming of a moderator. It also doesn't seem to be a very appropriate response to my concern that these forums are being censored.

Anyways, that was my last word. Thanks.

4940
 

Inexorable Username

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Oh. Nevermind. Misread it - he didn't want me to have a last word at all. The moderator just wanted it to sound that way when he was locking the thread. Even worse? Hard to tell. Clearly meant to antagonize and instigate, in my opinion. "Well and truly beyond any productive conversation"? That might have been the case if my argument had been read and responded to, rather than ignored. I hardly see how this was a conversation. This was more like demonstrating one's ability to have the privilege not to have to be bothered with participating in a conversation, or considering someone else's feelings or opinions.

So there - that's my correction to my "last word". Didn't want to let my mistake go uncommented on. Sorry about that.

In any case, I feel like it's pretty clear that this is not a community I'm welcome in. This moderator claims a whole bunch of other people who I don't know about are agreeing with him behind my back, and he seems to believe all of the other moderators will also agree with him. Which means this community obviously doesn't respect me, doesn't value justice (as this moderator claims not to), and doesn't give a damn about how I feel. Therefore, this is a poor place for me to voice my opinions, and I certainly don't feel welcome here.

I hope the behavior on behalf of the ruling class changes on this forum in the future. People who appreciate this forum and spend a lot of time engaging here should not be treated this way.
 

Serac

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I said it as a joke in the random thoughts thread, but still, just blatantly and persistently characterizing circumcision as "mutilation" ad-nauseam, isn't that promoting a negative view of literally billions of people out there?
 

redbaron

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maybe if you assume that circumcision is a male-only tradition that's carried out only in modern hospitals where risk and harm are minimised
 

Serac

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ah, I missed the part where you wrote that wishing mutilation on people is unacceptable when it's specifically female circumcision.

I also missed the part where you specified that it was the hazardous nature of the operation that was the issue

oh wait, you never mentioned any of that
 

redbaron

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angel's sex is not known

rusty scissors aren't a safe tool for operating on people

moreover, it was packaged with the implication that angel should be subject to this.
 

Serac

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Marbles actually referred to him as "he" and "him" before making the circumcision comment, so it's quite clear what kind of circumcision we are talking about (or at least what meaning was intended)
 

Serac

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I'm of the view that it's just a forum and not a big deal – if one doesn't like it one can simply close the tab. It's not like we're dealing with the government or something here. But one would think that if anyone gave a shit about this forum one would at least have mods who held themselves to the standards they apply to others. I mean I've been called "a fucking retard" by redbaron before. Now that's pretty offensive. Obviously I don't really care, but it means that only people who go full zen-style like me who remain here. redbaron gets tunnel-visioned about certain moral issues, that's all good. But... self-reflection is never a bad thing
 

EndogenousRebel

We're all trying our best. Aren't we?
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Despite @Kormak s downright sexual infatuation with Swain, I do think that closing the thread was not the right thing to do. It's natural that in the heat of the moment that people make regrettable decisions, but the cooler heads would prevail, and the conversation if the flames were allowed to die down, I'm sure would've been progressive. Pretty mad I didn't get a word in on time tbh.

I don't want to blame rb either because at the moment people are just doing what they think is right. Reactionary behavior gives birth to more reactionary behavior, and it don't really solve problems in the long run. So lets just think twice before suggesting that one deserves to be circumcised in an unpleasent way, as now we have two threads with toxic bad vibe discourse. No, looky nice. Serac is right, lets not take this too seriously, it would ruin the fun, however disallusioned we already are now.
 

redbaron

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the thread was closed so that people can cool off, because people clearly weren't going to as long as it remained open

to be clear:
  • kormak was not banned
  • kormak was not censored
the entire premise of the thread was an argument with imaginary phantoms, that somehow became hysteria over freedom of speech and censorship, when actually no one has been banned or censored since before the user's join dates

i only posted in the thread to point out these things to clear the information up, which somehow turned into me 'oppressing' people.

despite not a single user in that thread having ever been 'censored' either.

people are literally crying oppression over an invented problem that never actually happened.
 

Animekitty

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Self-censorship is the way to go.
Less of a bloody mess there'll be.

'tis true
I've kept my emotional equilibrium manageable.
Sometimes keeping quiet is just the right thing to do.
 

Inexorable Username

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So - I just kind of want to clarify why the temperature on the thread became what it did.

Point of the thread:
The issue at hand was concerns about Kormak’s account being messed with in some way by moderators. The concern was that censorship may have been involved. The purpose of the thread was to address this issue regarding Kormak, because I wasn’t the only person who felt uncomfortable about what happened with his account.

Why people care:
People care about the Kormak problem because a lot of us spend a lot of time on this forum bouncing our ideas and philosophies off of other people, or seeking self-growth. The thought that we might be penalized for our ideas by someone who can manipulate our accounts and then sweep the issue under the rug is a concerning one. When people invest a lot of time, thought, and energy on this thread, and when they become involved in other people’s lives, they inevitably become attached to the people and this experience. Even though we’re not meeting the bodies of other people in real life, we’re meeting their minds, which in some ways, is a deeper experience. It’s natural for people to want to feel like they have a degree of protection here from being manipulated or operated upon by some moderator holding a grudge. The fact that the moderators tend to seem particularly sensitive doesn’t set anyone’s mind at ease.
That was why Kormak’s situation was a problem for the community, and that is why it needed to be addressed. It made people feel uneasy. I felt like we had to clear the air, and IF there was a bad actor - a moderator who did something they shouldn’t have - I felt like that information should be exposed because that’s not the fault of the forum is it? That is the behavior of one person who shouldn’t be abusing their power.

Why things got heated:
Things started to escalate when the issue of censorship became a topic. Redbaron, so it seemed to me, was of the stance that if Kormak’s opinions might be offensive to someone, then he SHOULD be censored. It’s upsetting to hear from a moderator that someone should be censored for their philosophies. When I voiced my opinions regarding freedom of speech, I got trolled by Angel - someone I’ve never met and do not know, but who apparently had a grudge for me...which is unusual, because as to my knowledge so far, there was only one person on this forum that seemed to have an issue with something I said during my time here - another moderator.

So things started to become very suspicious. We had one moderator who seemed to say that people should be censored for voicing their beliefs, if those beliefs aren’t politically correct. We had a user from an apparently inactive account come out of no where to troll the concept of freedom of speech - and we had another user who I personally don’t really know who showed up to brush off the idea that people should have free speech.

So we had an issue where people were concerned about censorship, and we were trying to figure out what happened to Kormak, and it snowballed into this weird shit storm of random people showing up on this thread to basically advocate for the stance of censorship.

Rebis and I at least seemed to think this was just extremely weird and suspicious. We started wondering if, perhaps, some of these people were duplicate accounts - or if there was some conversation going on behind the scenes. It wasn’t a good situation. Here, I’d open this thread to address the possibly cheroot handling of another user - who is now gone and we will probably never get back, and who we miss here on the forum - and all of these sort of corrupt anti-free speech things start going down.

At this point, I’m seriously questioning my involvement on the forum - because if people really do want to censor me and they feel at liberty to manipulate my account or mess with me, without feeling like they should have to provide transparency for it - well this isn’t a place I want to entrust with my ideologies, or build relationships with other people - is it?

Then Redbaron, very wisely and maturely, returned to the issue at hand - Kormak. He said that to his knowledge, there’d been no foul play. I got the chance to ask him a useful question (whether a mod had physically deleted Kormak’s duplicate account), which I believe he answered honestly - and for me, that seemed to show that Redbaron at least probably wasn’t involved in the stuff that went down with Kormak, and that he was willing to discuss the issue with us. Which I really appreciated.

Marbles showed up and tried to offer a solution to cool things down. He was concerned that if Rebis and I left, we’d basically have no activity on this forum. Marbles is quite the peacekeeper really. He has this gift for making people see sense and laugh about stuff. So he really kind of diffused the situation. I think he’s good with Rebis too. They’re a good dynamic - those guys.

Anyways, the gang was kind of cooling off now and things were going well. We were having a progressive conversation about where to go from here - I felt. I also felt like Redbaron was still pretty upset...but it’s kind of to be expected because he’s gender fluid and the thread had turned into something of a debate about whether or not it’s okay to voice philosophies that can be hurtful to marginalized people. So I get it. Personal experiences, you know? It’s not easy to be anything but heterosexual. I have a lot of compassion for the LGBT+ struggle. I believe in freedom of speech, yeah, but also in freedom of expression. Both are important...

Anyways. We still had this issue because this random person Angel was still being a troll. It was annoying, because the conversation was taking a productive turn and we kind of all wanted to move on now. Marbles told him he should go away, essentially, and he quipped back, naturally, and Marbles dished out a comeback.

Here’s my perspective. This is pretty typical behavior - especially when dealing with a troll. People don’t like being mocked. I don’t like being mocked, and I don’t think Rebis does either. This user was doing quite a bit of mocking - and Rebis and I are potentially some of the more volatile users - and newer users to the forum. We also talk with Marbles a bit so we have this little gang going. Marbles is here trying to cool things off, and being successful about it, but this user Angel seems to want to keep the drama going.

Generally, trolls don’t get the five star treatment. When someone keeps antagonizing people and trying to troll up drama - people on the forum start saying harsher and harsher things to shut them up. Sometimes it works, sometimes it makes it worse. Anyways - this is what Marbles did. He made a remark to shut this person up. It was predictable behavior, that was a long time coming, and seemed perfectly normal within the context.

Everyone seemed to understand this situation, except for Redbaron. Even Angel seemed to understand this situation, and they made some kind of more easy going remark and said they were headed off - a wise move, given the tension. After Angel said he was leaving, it looked like things were pretty much settled down at that point.

But then - seemingly out of nowhere (according to my feelings on the subject), Redbaron decided to take issue with this remark. He took it out of the context of the situation, and seemed to decide to nail Marbles to the wall over it - for what literally appeared to be no reason. That’s what it seemed like to the rest of us.

I was shocked. I think other people were too. We don’t usually get moderators banning people or penalizing us for something we said. Usually, they seem to just randomly pop up from time to time to hate on people, and then disappear into the woodwork.

What really upset me was the seeming double standard of it. Here was this person trolling Rebis and I, and that was okay and acceptable. But one, simple sentence, was enough to get Marbles banned? When I tried to argue this case, and how judgement and justice are things that require context and exceptions, Redbaron voiced the opinion in the heat of the moment that he doesn’t care about justice. Tensions were high, admittedly, but based on his black and white attitude, it really did seem to be that he believes this philosophy - that justice doesn’t matter.

He banned Marbles, who was playing the peacekeeper, and at the time, none of us had any information on when Marbles would be coming back - if he would be coming back. Judging on Redbaron’s temperament, I actually thought he was permanently banned.

So we had a thread that was about seeking transparency for potential corruption, and justice for how Kormak’s account was handled, prior to his leaving this forum, and us, forever - which culminated in a moderator banning one of our most active members for saying something that the moderator, personally, felt was a comparatively unacceptable transgression.

We also had this climate whereby a whole bunch of other people were coming out off the woodwork I’d never really spoken to and barely new existed, to sort of get up in arms, seemingly against Rebis, Marbles, and I.

Redbaron made it sound like he was running around anonymously gathering agreement from these other people we don’t know and haven’t spoken to - like there was some behind the scenes judgement day going on against Marbles.

And as (I think Kuu?) mentioned later on in the discoed - yeah, this quickly devolved into an “us vs them”.

It appeared to me like Redbaron was on some kind of power trip and like he had it in for Marbles - because the other things that happened on the forum didn’t seem to matter to him. He was voicing fallacious reasoning (about how if I think mutilation is okay he cant help that...obviously no one thinks circumcision with rusty scissors is cool. Very, very obviously..) - and he was basically of the mentality that the way we, the users, feel doesn’t matter. That we have no power, and no right to discuss what is fair and what is not. That at any time, a moderator can randomly ban us for something that - yes, is potentially against the rules - but also is selectively enforced. That the opinions of people unseen and unknown are what matter, and the basic fundamental philosophy here was “if you don’t like it, you can leave”. He tied things off pretty childishly in my opinion, basically by saying “I’ve let you have the last word, but let me reiterate, you are powerless

So herein lies my problem....

Users here are subject to sensitive moderators with short fuses who have dictator-level authority over who is allowed to say what, when, based on their personal feelings.

The rules aren’t universal and they’re not objective. They seem to exist to be used against certain people.

What seems to be the underlying message here - ie: people should be censored, I don’t care about justice, freedom of speech doesn’t matter - is that if someone here has a philosophy that a moderator finds offensive, that person can will be banned the moment they slip up. And of course, they’re going to slip up - because nobody polices these forums in general, and saying things that are a bit extreme isn’t an uncommon thing. Nor has it ever really seemed to be an issue - at least since I’ve been here - because we’re all mature adults that are capable of handling a little bit of online unpleasantness.

That’s why this community isn’t really a safe place to be. It’s become something very similar to the extremist liberal culture

  • Rules are black and white but selectively applied to people we don’t like.
  • If you don’t agree with our philosophy, you shouldn’t be allowed to speak.
  • If you don’t submit to our doctrine, we’ll banish you from the community.

This is one of the main reasons the thread was opened to begin with. Some members believed that Kormak’s account was messed with in an effort to censor him. Here on this thread, we learned that Redbaron believes in censorship, does not believe in justice, and feels that authoritarian-style discipline is appropriate.

So rather than resolving the issue of Kormak, we, in a way, demonstrated in this thread that our concerns about his issue were actually very warranted. Even - that the problem is probably worse than we thought. After all, I had just suspected that there might be one bad actor who had it in for Kormak. According to Redbaron, there’s a whole team of people we don’t know that believe it’s okay to ban members without warning by selectively applying the rules, and that censorship is important to the forum, and that moderators can do whatever they want to users as they feel fit, and they don’t have to justify their actions.

That is why this got heated, and that is why I’m skeptical about returning.

Marbles should not have been banned. Kormak should not have felt like he had to leave because he wasn’t wanted here.

Moderators should value people in the community and treat them with respect. We come here because it’s a place where we can freely have a voice and exchange ideas without cultural oppression. If this thread is moderated oppressively, what’s the point?

Final Thoughts:
I didn’t think Redbaron should be banned because I don’t think people should be censored. I didn’t think Angel should be banned either, and as I said - I wasn’t “reporting” them. That was Redbaron putting words in my mouth and, I feel, throwing me under the bus for voicing a stance to contradict his beliefs.

I do not believe that Redbaron should be a moderator though. I don’t think it’s okay to ban members without warning, and if that’s how this forum operates, I want no part of it.

But I’ll say this - you seem to have issues keeping your attendance up. Look at the way people are treated though? Ignore Kormak’s problem - sure, people don’t have endless time to give to fix accounts, I get it. But then ban him for trying to make a new account? What? Then ban Marbles, who was trying to keep the peace? Then ban Angel despite the fact that, literally, the person he was trolling argued AGAINST the fact that he should be banned? Then blame me by saying it’s my fault for complaining about it?

No, this behavior is unacceptable and inexcusable, and it should not be the kind of response someone has if they are a moderator. If a person is hostile, sensitive, rash, and happy to dish out punishments selectively, and apparently to people they do not like - this kind of person is not suitable to be a moderator of a forum. I feel like that is painfully obvious.

All that was resolved here was that Marble’s ban was reduced. I don’t know what happened with Angel. Obviously, the board of authorities that is composed of people we do not know, doesn’t want to offend the moderator or step on toes. You guys have created some kind of weird micro-government here. It’s politics, control, and power plays. Not cool.

Redbaron shouldn’t be censored, but he shouldn’t be given the power to punish other members if he’s too sensitive to exercise appropriate judgement.

There should be policies in place to protect the interests of the users. People invest a good deal of themselves in this community. We spend hours upon hours here, and share a lot of our personal selves. That should be protected and respected.

Your goal in managing this forum should not be to ensure that drama never happens and that nobody ever gets their feelings hurt. That’s not the demographic you cater to. You cater to people who want a sanctuary away from the confines of culture where they can explore the world, themselves, and the truths of life. Those are the kinds of people here. We’re not 4chan people. We’re not people with short attention spans, no reasoning capabilities, and a thirst for drama and trolling.

You should value and appreciate the people you’ve attracted to this forum, and you should protect their rights. When in doubt - simply don’t act. Try that on for size. Yeah - okay, there will be drama, wars, and hurt feelings. If someone has an issue, let them report it, and then how about it you open up a thread about the problem and let the community talk it over? We’re not children, or unreasonable people.

Give people a voice and a sense that they are valued and their opinions count, and that we are a unified community who rationally tackles drama - and you will find, I think, that you have a lovely group of intellectuals who feel dire loyalty to this community.

Anyways, I know this isn’t going to happen. But at least maybe you might one day see why you have no activity here. Authoritarian rule has never worked when people have the free will to simply leave.
 

redbaron

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the temperature of the thread became what it did because you were, and still are, arguing with imaginary phantoms. nothing more, nothing less

everything else that needs to be said has been said.
 

Marbles

What would Feynman do?
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I believe Inex is voicing the opinion of a large part of this community. I'm happy to have had my ban lifted. I would also appreciate more civil behaviour from RB in the future. He does a lot of shitposting, and that's contagious, especially as he's a moderator. I'm happy to begin with a blank slate, and a reminder that snideness begets snideness. Irony is good in measure, but if all you do is shitpost, you're poisoning the community.
 

Rolling Cattle

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Inex isn't voicing my opinion, but I'm not an active member here.

From what I can tell, Kormak's internet problems don't have anything to do with the mods. Nobody is being politically censored. In reading the history of the forum, people have written extreme opinions, and nobody has been banned without being warned.

Plus we are on Ragnar's property, he makes the rules. He gave the mods their discretion. I'm personally not in favor of hate speech, but this place is what it is. I promise if I don't like being here, I'll just leave quietly.
 

Rebis

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Inex isn't voicing my opinion, but I'm not an active member here.

From what I can tell, Kormak's internet problems don't have anything to do with the mods. Nobody is being politically censored. In reading the history of the forum, people have written extreme opinions, and nobody has been banned without being warned.

Plus we are on Ragnar's property, he makes the rules. He gave the mods their discretion. I'm personally not in favor of hate speech, but this place is what it is. I promise if I don't like being here, I'll just leave quietly.
I don't see how you would ever convince someone to not speak their mind because "We are on Ragnar's property". How draconian.
 

Marbles

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I don't think Kormak was having internet problems because of the mods, either, but I think he might have been put in the doghouse with the spam filter for a while, and that there was something wrong with his account. We were just hoping he could get some tech support.

For the record, I was banned without warning by a moderator, but Im happy with how the staff subsequently handled that. No grudges towards the mod team because of it, but I would appreciate more civility from redbaron.

Anyway, Im done with the drama. I hope no one leaves. I think this community is great, but there is bound to be some conflict every now and then. We'll figure things out.
 

Marbles

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In the wise words of Dumbledore: Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you.
 

Polaris

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As someone who has been here for a long time, this is probably the first time I have actually experienced the forum as it was in its inception; a place where people could discuss somewhat unusual and controversial topics but with the right amount of respect for other people's sense of freedom. Even now, voicing my opinion here, I am worried about being attacked because this is how the forum used to be for a long time after the initial phase.

In other words; freedom of speech exercised in a way that push into the boundaries of other people's sense of freedom.

So I am quite dumbfounded by the recent blow-up, but perhaps I shouldn't be seeing that recent members are not aware of the forum's somewhat shady past. redbaron is probably one of the most people-smart, courageous and fair moderators we have ever had, and it is thanks to him and the current mod team that we have the forum we have now, and thus a relatively welcoming place that works hard not to alienate anyone interested in putting something back into the forum, rather than just take from it.

Yes, rb is not perfect and somewhat abrasive but I don't care because the forum is better than it has ever been.

But of course - the trolls and the people who don't understand or are indifferent to what empathy for people different to themselves constitutes, will continue to hate him. I know rb cares deeply for people and communities - more than anyone I have known.

I rarely get involved in the ban-forum moderation related threads, precisely because of the way the recent thread evolved. It's always the same. People over-reacting to some imaginary moderator "power-tripping" over the whole freedom of speech phenomenon.

But the problem seems that freedom of speech is taken to such a literal degree that it is now used as a very effective weapon in shutting so-called marginalised people down.

I have never, ever -- regarded myself as marginalised, but certain people have seemed very keen on wanting me there.

I encounter this attitude at work on an almost daily basis; people saying some degrading thing to me because I'm in an exposed position where I cannot defend myself due to fear of being accused of behaving inappropriately towards a customer, a position I cannot afford to put myself in, and which these sort of customers are very well aware of. I have friends of my boss coming in and "testing" my patience this way: they turn up just before closing time demanding all kinds of stuff, and then when I finally lock them out 20 minutes past closing time (which means I have missed my train) they drop the bomb that they are a friend of the boss and that they found my service "satisfactory".

I mean, these are the sort of people who run the country right now, and these were the sort of people who used to frequent this forum. They hung around just so they could pick on other people, and give them the "freedom of speech" lecture when people reacted back.

So these peole say something degrading to me, and before I even have a chance of even thinking they quickly fire the spiel that goes something like: "don't worry love, it's tongue-in-cheek - jeez, people can't say anything these days because political correctness", etc, etc...and thus rendering anything I would potentially want to say worthless.

These customers (always white males in their 50s) go on about how terrible it is for them that they cannot continue to talk to me in whatever fucking way they want. If I say something, they quickly accuse me of restricting their freedom of speech - if I don't say anything, they will interpret that as the same. So either way-- because I'm not reacting the way they want me to react, I am nevertheless the problem, and I should just put up with people talking to me like I'm a worthless piece of shit every day.

I became a mod during an unfortunate time when other mods were becoming worn down with a group of members who seemed to be conflating freedom of speech with borderline bullying and harassment of others members. They basically saw it as their right to talk about more marginalised groups on the forum as if they were experiments in a lab - and justifying this dismissive attitude as "freedom of speech" when in reality, it was very clear they were just under-handedly masking hatred or blatant disrespect under a veil of "civility", logic, science or whatever rationalisation they could pull out of their ass.

The mods were more or less paralyzed with a fear of intervention since intervetnion consistently resulted in what seemed to be endless, over-dramatised circular arguments, mostly fuelled by incessant caviling of members who were here to entertain themselves on other's behalf - some of these had clear anti-social traits. Every time someone made a ban, the ban justification became subject to these endless dramatic fights over nothing, and the mods - including myself sometimes - got sucked right in to these people's mindgames.

I hated modding for that reason and found myself withdrawing more and more as the other mods became increasingly distant, and I felt very alone as they wanted distance and I wanted change. But the justifications for keeping on members who were in my opinion, blatantly here to entertain themselves by other people's misery became increasingly complex and I had to step back to preserve my sanity.

In the end the forum just went to shit and I withdrew, feeling powerless and frustrated.

As through some sort of cleansing process we seemed to lose quite a few members, including those who contributed nothing but malice when the forum software was upgraded to the current version.

There were still some remaining and these members kept the embers somewhat half-assedly glowing but the forum was in need of fresh blood, something that didn't happen as the discussions became more and more marked by a dystopian outlook as well as a seeming self-indulgent behaviours.

It was basically a bunch of people talking to themselves, which funnily enough, resulted in me making my own thread, Polarish, in which I'm talking to myself in my own little echo-chamber. I was reflecting the general mood of the forum - people were not interested in talking to each other, so I followed suit and did he same thing, as a sort of resentful rebellion. The people who tried to engage me were rejected because I felt they only engaged through condescension and I fiercely resent condescension.

I think some of these members may have been somewhat misunderstood by me, but I was disillutioned at the time and just wanted to have voice without being belittled for a change. I was seeing indifferent, self-absorbed people everywhere and I wanted them to stay the hell away from me, semi-aware of the ironic fact I was becoming one of them.

But whatever. I think this forum has picked up in a very positive way, and I know why. The current mods have paved the way for the new members that are here now, enjoying this space.

I'm not going to elaborate on changes needed - I will leave that to the current exciting new members and excellent mod team.
 

Hadoblado

think again losers
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Today, 12:26
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Messages
5,520
Listen to Polaris for some much-needed context and perspective people.

The forum is better than it has been the entire time I've been here. The new members that are taking umbrage at the moderation are pretty good members, even if they're on the wrong side of this issue.

I was in Pols generation of moderators, and I'm one of the people that put Higs, RB, and adaire in as mods. RB, in particular, was a contentious pick because of the aforementioned abrasiveness. I also disagree with some of the shots he calls including Marble's ban, as well as how aggressive he can come across. But (sorry Marbles) that shit doesn't matter. Not in the bigger picture of this forum. Minor temp bans are more like "dundothat" signals than legit punishment. A lot of free speech absolutists create uproar, but mods aren't denying your right to speech, they're denying you the platform they are responsible for maintaining.

It has been better for this place to have mods that do their job, even if they seem shitty or abrasive or hypocritical or whatever else, than it was to have limp-wristed or largely absent mods like... basically every other mod until now.

This forum has been in a death spiral since before I became a mod, stayed in one the entire time I was a mod, and it's only since I left that I've heard anything good about it. I tried a lot of things, but ultimately my style is indecisive people-pleasing which allowed the culture here to regress.

Personally I think not signing off on mod actions was working, even though I was a proponent of transparency while I was mod. The people here are drama whores who latch onto every action as if it were life or death, which discourages mods from doing their job. People treat the mods like a government as if there was any real power in moderation, but it's just a group of people who got hassled into helping out. They're suckers, not despots, and this is wildly apparent to anyone who's ever done it.
 

Serac

A menacing post slithers
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this exact situation has been a theme since day 1 I've been a member here, so when people are talking about the good ol' days, apparently this must be wayyyyy back in the day. I wonder what members like QuickTwist would say about the moderation here, and he's been here almost as long as redbaron. But he's not posting here anymore, so....

I personally never bought redbaron's shtick. Where's the sense in saying "yeah he abuses, trolls, and acts aggressively to people on this forum as he sees fit, and he would have been banned 100 times over as a regular poster, but he's sooooo courageous and fair :inlove: "

If you protect the interests and feelings of people, that's well and good. But if this is done selectively and not applied uniformly, then it's worth nothing as far as morality goes.

but anyways, this is a cliché at this point. Things will remain the same.
 

Rebis

Blessed are the hearts that can bend
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Ireland
This debate has went through too many alterations that the substance of the argument has changed. The initial substance is trickling down into other pivots. I respect polaris so I've considered what they said.

I read about platos Republic a long time ago so sure, I'll give it a shot with this forum.

Although I'm going to take a break because I feel locked in this mindset because people keep commenting on it, I suggest others do the same unless you think you can address a point that significantly alters the argument.

If anyone has something to resolve personally consider private messages.

Stop being weirdos and subscribe to a social media's influencer's recent post: new year new me.

This drama shit makes me feel dull and irritable.

Sent from my VOG-L09 using Tapatalk
 

Inexorable Username

Well-Known Member
Local time
Yesterday, 21:56
Joined
Nov 14, 2019
Messages
572
I agree with Rebis. This drama has gotten very tired.

There's some underlying philosophical debates here that fuel a very redundant, circular argument that no one can "win" or "lose" due to the subjective nature of the concepts it is built on. There's also quite a lot of emotions and feelings involved, and subjective, emotional appeals based on personal experiences wear me down with a quickness and can get a little annoying, for me, which is not really a mindset I value having, and not one which is conducive to progressive discussion.

So, I pronounce my participation in the issue D.O.A, and I think I might like to come back to the INTP forums, but like Rebis, I might take a bit of a break. I think that's a good idea.
 

Polaris

Radioactive vision
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2,263
Here's my honest take on it since it seems a few people are still feeling left out in the dark about what actually caused the issue.

Around the time when Kormak noticed his account playing up, I was noticing the same with mine. It was painfully slow to load, and pretty much got so bad that I couldn't edit without everything crashing. I started getting somewhat paranoid because when I logged out, my browsing experience was fine. So it wasn't just Kormak.

So because I couldn't find a particular reason for why the moderation team would have any issues with me, I decided there had to be some sort of technical glitch affecting our accounts for whatever reason.

The issue with my account seems to have resolved itself, however, and I wonder if Kormak came back, that he would find the same with his account.

In my entire time here as a mod I never heard talk about, or saw any trace of censoring in the moderation logs, and I spent a lot of time perusing through moderation history because that's just the sort of person I am. I'm pretty sure that was one of Ragnar's core principles - no censorship, or you're out as a mod.

I therefore trust that the mods are telling the truth when reiterating that nothing was done to Kormak's account, and that the disappearance of one of his posts were due to some technical issue - but I have no idea because I no longer wish to be part of moderation.

In terms of subjective/emotional appeal, well it's not really the core message of my post, if one reads carefully. Both @Hadoblado and I have here provided our experience with the forum as it was for a long time: overrun with trolls and somewhat shady characters, which became such a big problem that moderators stopped getting involved. I was not a good moderator because I was prone to analysis paralysis, and therefore unable to make decisions. With the absence of other mods, it became too overwhelming.

I would like to invite other members to provide their experience, however, more data is never a bad thing.

Kormak is actually harmless compared to what we had here at times, and I never found him to be controversial to the point where I thought he should be banned. He was willing to take on new information and seemed to be generally empathetic, despite the fact that he ranted and raved somewhat. But I can see how some people would have found his posts provokative or offensive. However, reading between the lines, there was no malice in his posts. I would have liked to see him come back as well...if he reads this.

As far as my personal opinion in terms of the way Marbles was handled, I think it would have been sufficient if he received a warning. I must admit I can sometimes get pretty exasperated with RB's style as well, but I never did anything useful as a mod so who am I to criticise? It's easy to be a backseat driver.

However: I can understand the temp-ban in terms of what Hado explained; it's not about Marbles as a member, but about a type of behaviour the moderators want to discourage, and thus a message to other users that there is a limit somewhere.

If someone banned me temporarily for a comment like that, yes I would have probably initially got annoyed because my intention was misunderstood, but at he same time...it's not about me as a person, it's about my behaviour.

And while I hope I don't sound ungrateful, I'd rather people take in what I say because what I say has some merit - not because they respect me. I hope what I say makes some sense....

Anyway, I'm not going to drag this out any more. If someone wants to discuss further with me, feel free to PM.
 

Marbles

What would Feynman do?
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Today, 03:56
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Aug 31, 2019
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632
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Norðrvegr
It is confusing to read that old members I respect sympathize with redbaron. I understand that people are shell shocked from a time this forum was a battlefield, but if redbaron's style was once necessary, it seems anachronistic now.

It is frustrating to be told that we new members have been so good for this community, while at the same time being told that redbaron is to thank for that. Redbaron is exactly who we new members take issue with.

I will post this here, too, since the debate has split:

tl;dr and suggestions for a solution at the bottom

My ban was lifted, or shortened to the point that when I woke up - it was gone. Everyone can characterize that as a ban lift or ban shortening according to preference. Personally I'm done with the incident, and write it off as a misunderstanding due to little interaction between old members and new ones, which has resulted in us not knowing each other very well. I hope to stay around for a long time and demonstrate that I'm a tolerant guy with interest in exploring every part of the world, even the taboo ones. A stereotypical INTP, really. I try to always do this with respect, but sometimes I choose my words clumsily.

When it comes to the "conspiracy" of Kormak's connection issues and being consistently stopped by the spam filter... Well, I figured the connection problem was not caused by any moderator, but that the spam filter was probably Kormak being "put in the dog house". I just spoke to a programmer friend who used to run a XenoForo forum (like this one), spillegal.no, and he says it used to be possible to manipulate users connection, and that he often used this capability to troll disruptive members. From what I understood, it might require a plugin.

I suggest we regard this incident as a hiccough, and move on, preferably after having contacted Kormak and offered him a new account which functions properly. To me, this would be a great solution to this situation:

tl;dr:

1: We postpone discussion on censorship until more issues arise. For half a year, this has not been a problem. A discussion might not be necessary.
2: I think @Puffy and @Inexorable Username's suggestion of making 1+ of the new members a moderator is a good one. We would feel represented, and the moderators would be less burdened with aid from an active member. If the relatively low post count and short membership of the new members are cause for concern, I would personally feel represented by Serac if he were made a mod.
3: I would really appreciate a comment on whether Kormak was ddos'ed and censored with the spam filter. I understand that this stuff happens, but it would be good to get it out in the open and deal with it as a community. I think there are better ways to deal with potentially disruptive members in the future, which would result in less paranoia and bad blood.
4: If Kormak is not a persona non grata in anyone's eyes, I suggest we contact him and offer him a new, functioning account. He was an active member with a lot of insight, and personally I found him an energizing presence.


I therefore trust that the mods are telling the truth when reiterating that nothing was done to Kormak's account, and that the disappearance of one of his posts were due to some technical issue - but I have no idea because I no longer wish to be part of moderation.
I don't think they have commented on that. All I have seen is a statement that Kormak was not banned.
 

EndogenousRebel

We're all trying our best. Aren't we?
Local time
Yesterday, 20:56
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Jun 13, 2019
Messages
209
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Narnia
Just now really reading @Marbles latest post(s), and recognized it. This should only continue here because it's specifically about Kormak and the fallout from that situation. I hate to sound divisive but now, this outright just starting to piss me off. Not the people specifically, but what the people are allowing themselves to do. Especially since you're trying to aim the conversation IN TWO THREADS.

First Kormak complained about slow latency. Then he found a workaround which he most likely didn't know would be breaking the rules. Then he left, who knows why. Then Inex made a post about it based on speculation.(not saying a little paranoia isn't good, I think some good has come out of the conversation) Then people began extrapolating from that speculation allowing their own imagination to dictate where the conversation went, but undoubtedly challenging staffs judgment. Then a discussion starts, and (mentioning it because it IS a strange anomaly) an inactive user suddenly becomes active. Then tensions rise. Then (mentioning it because, on this forum, it IS an anomaly) an act of physical violence is suggested upon someone else. Then (debatably) staff did whatever it is they do on, based on years of doing it. Please do add if I'm incorrect or missing something.

I'm not a perfect or impartial judge here, but it just seems like nothing productive is going to happen here. Staff is going to see this as people blaming them for a problem the people themselves created. People will see the staff transgressing on them inappropriately (staff will see this as ironic.) The devil is in the details and getting that shit out in the open isn't going to be pretty. Just get on all 4s and suck their cocks and everything will be peaches.
 

Inexorable Username

Well-Known Member
Local time
Yesterday, 21:56
Joined
Nov 14, 2019
Messages
572
Okay, so I wrote this long post, but in the interests of being succinct for the mods (I know this crap can be monumental to try to paw through), I'm just going to list the highlights of what I've said here, and allow you to skim.

-------------
  • What was a potentially useless and unproductive conversation has become actionable.
  • Users share the same common concerns. We can fix that.
  • Fixing that will make moderating easier and limit future drama.
  • It seems by peoples' attitudes that the time to fix this issue has never been better. (Indeed, that attempting to do so will probably not yield the same results as historical attempts to address the same issues.)
  • To add to that, I've only spotted one troll on this forum since I came here, and they only became active when this event transpired.
  • The solution : Temporarily open two threads. One to discuss website security & moderator privileges, and one to discuss the website's stance on censorship.
  • The potential payoff : Moderating is easier, more people may become moderators and moderators may be less likely to burn out so fast, user attendance is likely to improve, the volume of posts is likely to improve, users and mods could be on the same page and thereby indoctrinate new members appropriately (in this way, active users may help to make the mod's jobs easier), less drama is caused in the future, more trusting community, happier people across the board.
--------------------------
Here's my actual post
--------------------------

Actually, based on these recent posts I've read - I do feel like some productive additions are being raised and that this is probably a worthwhile topic to entertain IF we can take a step back, and analyze this situation with objectivity and reason.

You know...tensions were a bit high, initially. That led to quite a bit of emo-posting on all sides, I think, myself included!

Maybe, though, as a community, we can take a look at this issue from an opportunistic perspective. An event occurred which resulted in a number of people sharing their thoughts and feelings, and that, itself, has raised a few great talking points that, if we can progressively address them, could really make a difference in things like keeping future drama to a minimum, increasing attendance, and improving faith and relations between the mods and the users.

Let me summarize some of the topics that I've been able to pick out from this whole episode :

Concern
I think many people are concerned that a bad actor might be able to manipulate a user's account, and that activity could fly under the radar. I don't think anyone here believes that the whole mod team is somehow corrupt or willing to abuse their power. I think the worry is that there could be a mod who is like that, and if there was, what kind of security/data analysis is in place that could catch that behavior?

Solution
The mods, the person who manages the server, and the community, potentially need to have a discussion about how the server is secured, and what abilities the moderators do, and don't have. It would be great if we could ask pointed, specific questions regarding computer security, and raise concerns like the one Marbles mentioned.

Concern
Freedom of speech verses censorship. Some people here (active people at that) are concerned about censorship. They're concerned with the community becoming a place where you have to walk on eggshells, strive to be politically correct constantly, and where you might get ostracized or alienated for voicing taboo opinions. It would seem like some of the moderators' philosophies on politically correct posting differ to the philosophies of some of the users.

Solution
Another post, where the INTPforum's stance on freedom of speech can be made abundantly clear. But, that would only be a solution if we were all willing to hear each other's arguments from an objective, unbiased standpoint. Topics that could also be discussed are the risks of taboo discussions, the implications censorship would have for future attendance or more drama, and similar.

In a Nutshell
It seems to me like what this problem really brings to light, is that users appear to feel mistrusting, disconnected, suspicious, and defensive towards the people who are moderating/managing the site. There's concerns about duplicate mod accounts, behind-the-scenes discussions, unfair punishments, censorship dished out by someone's subjective beliefs, and potential corruption with data/accounts.

Now, while some people may label me as a "conspiracy theorist", and brush the issues I've presented aside, or say that I somehow get off on the fight for freedom of speech and that my stance on that is childish and ridiculous...the point still stands that a number of members have leveled complaints that demonstrate that we have a lack of trust and understanding for the people who manage this website.

That's not that difficult to resolve, really. Open the doors and let people discuss it, comfortably. Honestly, the prevailing theory here seems to be that, somehow, discussion is "dangerous" and it might stir up more "drama" - but look at what the absence of discussion has yielded? I would say that striving to quiet down users and make things peaceful has potentially led to a climate where many people feel that they don't really know what the landscape is like on this forum and that their questions and concerns will go unanswered.

Final thoughts
I've listened to the fears that were voiced here and I understand the sentiment. I thought about everything that was said, and empathized.

What I will say though is that, at the moment at least, the only troll I've noticed lately has been Angel. Before the issue of Kormak came around, we didn't seem to have any trolls at all. If RedBaron is to thank for that, hats off to him - for real. Trolls are mean, malicious, and they suck, seriously.

But aside from that one member, I've not noticed trolling behaviors from the currently active audience on this website. So, with that in mind, perhaps the time is ripe for conversations that address sensitive subjects like censorship? Create these discussions now, and summarize the findings in the post's description at the top. Then use them as a reference in the future for when these problems arise.

The attitude, and sentiment, is ideal for this action right now, in this moment - I think. The reason for that is that members have clearly cooled off and people are trying hard to be reasonable, sensible (but also sensitive), and summarize what has happened and their feelings about it.

Capitalize on this emotion and create forums that help bridge the gap of knowledge and understanding between the moderators and the users. It will make life WAY easier for the moderators in the future, and potentially, it can even inspire a feeling of unity in the community, whereby we may all end up feeling and thinking a certain way. That would be useful for indoctrinating new members.
 

Inexorable Username

Well-Known Member
Local time
Yesterday, 21:56
Joined
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Messages
572
Apology to @redbaron

I hotly disagreed with your stance on censorship and justice, and your sentiments regarding my concerns - but I hope I never gave you the impression that I dislike you, as a person. If I did, I apologize. I also hope you realize that I do, in fact, empathize with the position that you were put in, and I know it's tough to stick to your guns when you have multiple people arguing against you at one time. I've been in situations like that before and it's a surefire way to get me a little more hotheaded than I typically like being. I also never agreed with the idea that you should be temp-banned, and I think your philosophies and beliefs should be just as welcomed as everyone else's. I appreciate the fact that you spend a lot of your time, life, and energy, trying to maintain this forum, and I think it would be petty for anyone to discount your commitment. Really, at the end of the day, none of my concerns have anything to do with you, personally. I see you as being something of a victim of the situation, because if the website was better organized to make your job easier and more straightforward, you never would have felt like everything was on your shoulders.

Furthermore, even though we disagree about censorship and things like freedom of speech, and what constitutes an aggressive insult - that doesn't mean I think I'm right and you're wrong. I'm wrong constantly in my life - I've come to expect it. I just generally air on the side of "this is my philosophy until someone makes it not make sense", so while I don't necessarily think I'm right, I don't know if I'm wrong until someone shows me why I am. Of course, I have to believe and respect the argument - I mean, it's got to make sense to me - but I change my mind on subjects a lot. So please don't think that I assume you're an idiot for having a different philosophy. I've heard the arguments in favor of censorship and I think they're valid, and generally the people I argue with have the same morals/end goals as I do, we just have a different belief as to what is the best way to get there.

Redbaron, I appreciate the effort you put into this platform. I really do. You don't seem to get a lot of support and the job you have is very subjective - and that's rough. I have a personal project I'm working on which I hope will help non-profits succeed, so I've been involved with a lot of NPOs. I always think it's admirable when someone donates their time to a good cause. There's been a lot of NPO volunteers I've worked with who aren't particularly jolly people on the whole - but that's the nature of the job. It's stressful, and it takes its toll on people.

What I would think would be really unfortunate is if this event caused you to feel like the world is against you, and like none of us appreciate the time you've freely given to make this forum a place where we can find our people and make amazing online friendships and connections. INTPs, I think...we're a bit weird, and it's a bit tough for us to find other people like us? This forum is great for that reason. It's here because some of it's members took it upon themselves to further the effort.

Honest to dog, I have absolutely no hard feelings towards you. Especially now. For a little while, I'll admit - I was a bit annoyed with our discussion, but I never thought you should be silenced or censored in anyway, and I've spent time and effort empathizing with your side of the situation and what the experience must have been like. I also just feel like it's really not your fault...it's more like the fault of upper management. You weren't given a fair shot at things, and as someone who is supposed to maintain order, I know why you had to make a fast decision regardless of public pressure. Having that kind of backbone is an excellent quality in a person. Even if hindsight has different suggestions, at least you're not afraid to take action when you really feel like it's necessary to do so.

Anyways...the point is - I don't really know you that well. I imagine though that I would not dislike you if I did. I think you have good motivations and probably good morals, and the stubbornness to uphold them. I really hope that my post didn't ruin your night, and cause you to feel like people out there think the worst of you after you've dedicated so much of your time trying to help them. How sucky would that be? I don't think the worst of you Red. It's true that I feel like I would rest easier if someone I feel like I know better, and identify with, was moderating - but that's not because I think you have a poor character or that you're not a good person. It's just that I feel like the active members - we all kind of know each other - and that helps when it comes to understanding the situation.

The original complaint was, essentially, that I felt like people should be given a warning if they're going to be banned, and I felt like our discussion should have been more peaceable than it was. I feel like, maybe, those complaints got blown out of proportion. If at all possible, please try not to take them personally - at least on my end. This forum should make people feel good. I don't like thinking that you feel like I've attacked you, or insulted you, or caused people to have a bad sentiment about you. If I did make you feel that way, that's wrong, and I apologize for it. Next time, what I will do is I will try to inject my perspective of what it must be like to be on the receiving end of the argument, and point out some valid perspectives from the other side, as well. That way, no one will feel like they're just being ruthlessly picked on. Hope this helps make things right between us.
 
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