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Author Topic:   Changes at EvC Forum
Admin
Director
Posts: 12528
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002


Message 1 of 191 (450879)
01-24-2008 2:50 PM


I've been anguishing for some time over what EvC Forum had become, and contemplating how it could evolve from where it was to where I wanted it to be. Yet another fracas over gay issues in the General Discussion Of Moderation Procedures 14.0 thread, including abuse of moderators, convinced me that only sudden action would work. If I had more free time perhaps over options could have been considered, but I don't.

EvC Forum is rather long in the tooth for an Internet site, and we had become a site dominated by old-timers constantly in battle with old protagonists. In addition, the confusion in creationist ranks since the Dover decision seems to have reduced the competency levels of creationists as measured by those who join here. A desire for democratic decision-making among moderators in the face of insufficient time and the absence of formal processes were stumbling blocks, and animosities, especially among those seemingly in agreement on many issues and stemming from who knows what, provided further inertia preventing action, at least by me since I feared offending anyone or not giving people a voice.

But a lightbulb went on when I realized that it apparently didn't matter whether I did anything or not, some were going to be offended anyway, and then they would feel justified in acting in any way they considered appropriate to the offense. Other moderators were suffering similar fates. I finally just couldn't let it go on anymore.

Everyone's moderator status but my own has been removed, so I am the sole remaining moderator. It isn't reasonable to have just one moderator, and I think one or two more are required. If Moose (Minnemooseus) is willing and interested I'd like him to return as moderator.

I'd like to keep things simpler as we move on. This discussion board is focused on the creation/evolution debate. Other topics are fine in the appropriate forums, even gay issues I guess, but policing them will not be a moderator priority.

Please keep discussion focused and on-topic. A moderator request is not an invitation to begin negotiations, and disagreement with a moderator decision is certainly not permission to begin abusing the moderator. A moderator's responsibility is simple, to keep discussion moving forward productively. Please make it easy for moderators to do their job. I don't see any reason to entertain nonsense here, either behaviorally or in discussion. There's no crime in being wrong, but rational discourse has certain minimum requirements. Those who can't or won't figure out how to contribute constructively to discussion will be suspended, for short periods the first time or three, then indefinitely. I never envisioned this as a site for fools, obscurantists or opposers of those with responsibilities, though I do apologize for letting this get to the point where I took sudden action.

Whenever you encounter messages that appear to require moderator action, please post to Windsor castle.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by RAZD, posted 01-24-2008 4:47 PM Admin has not yet responded
 Message 3 by Coragyps, posted 01-24-2008 5:09 PM Admin has not yet responded
 Message 4 by Hyroglyphx, posted 01-24-2008 5:16 PM Admin has not yet responded
 Message 5 by Wounded King, posted 01-24-2008 6:16 PM Admin has not yet responded
 Message 10 by arachnophilia, posted 01-25-2008 12:57 AM Admin has not yet responded
 Message 37 by Adminnemooseus, posted 01-25-2008 10:31 PM Admin has not yet responded
 Message 130 by Dan Carroll, posted 01-28-2008 4:04 PM Admin has responded
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 18966
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 2 of 191 (450892)
01-24-2008 4:47 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Admin
01-24-2008 2:50 PM


more suggestions (ducks)
We feel your pain ...

I'd like to keep things simpler as we move on.

I'm wondering how this will affect new posts (it's always about me you know :D), as you just are not going to be able to moderate and read a pile of new posts and suggest modifications.

Perhaps a form that guides posters in the construction of a thread?

Note: all fields must be filled out:

TITLE:

. . . (limit 40 characters) . . . . . . .
Keep it simple and related to the purpose of the thread.

FORUM:

. . . (pull down menu) . . . . . . .
Choose the forum for the thread to appear in.

PURPOSE:

. . . (limit 200 characters) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.
NOTE: this will be posted above the reply windows to remind everyone of the topic when posting. Example:
The purpose of this thread is to discuss the mechanisms of evolution that cause diversity within populations.

THE ARGUMENT:

. . . (limit 8000 characters) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.
.
.
.
.
.
Hint: use a word processor or text writing program to compose your message. Check for spelling, grammar and paragraph before submitting.

I would be sweet if you had a moderator approval button that on approval would move the thread to the forum selected, and have several buttons for reasons for rejection.

You could also just close down new posts for a week or two.

This discussion board is focused on the creation/evolution debate. Other topics are fine in the appropriate forums, even gay issues I guess, but policing them will not be a moderator priority.

It's a matter of where you want to spend your energy.

You may want to look at having two basic areas, (1) Evolution and Creationism topics and (2) Social Issues. Perhaps trim back some of the forums that don't focus on the creation/evolution debate.

I look at "Social and Religious Issues" forums

  • Bible Study
  • Comparative Religions
  • Education and Creation/Evolution
  • Faith and Belief
  • Social Issues and Creation/Evolution
  • Theological Creationism and ID

    And only see three that could be moved up to a "Evolution, ID, Science and Creationism Forums" (monitored) as could

  • Creation/Evolution In The News

    while moving

  • The Bible: Accuracy and Inerrancy

    Down to "Social Issue Forums" -- which you could then leave unmonitored.

    You may even want to add some "Social Issue Forums"

  • Abortion
  • Stem Cell Research
  • Human Rights
  • Politics
  • Morality

    And just let anarchy rein on those threads. No moderation, no complaints.

    That should last you all weekend ... :D

    Enjoy.

    ps - I really like this site and think it is one of the best around.


    Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

    we are limited in our ability to understand
    by our ability to understand
    RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
    ... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
    to share.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by Admin, posted 01-24-2008 2:50 PM Admin has not yet responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 7 by Taz, posted 01-24-2008 9:08 PM RAZD has responded

  • Coragyps
    Member
    Posts: 5288
    From: Snyder, Texas, USA
    Joined: 11-12-2002


    Message 3 of 191 (450894)
    01-24-2008 5:09 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Admin
    01-24-2008 2:50 PM


    Hey, Percy! I like this place, and I'll try to not make messes here!
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by Admin, posted 01-24-2008 2:50 PM Admin has not yet responded

      
    Hyroglyphx
    Member (Idle past 21 days)
    Posts: 5512
    From: Austin, TX
    Joined: 05-03-2006


    Message 4 of 191 (450895)
    01-24-2008 5:16 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Admin
    01-24-2008 2:50 PM


    Changes
    It isn't reasonable to have just one moderator, and I think one or two more are required.

    I'm not really sure of what has transpired that prompted you to make such a radical decision. Regardless, I'll support you in your decision.

    This works out to my favor since I have found out the hard way that moderating is not a fun thing -- necessary, but not fun. I guess Jar was right all along.

    However, you are going to need help though. There is no way you are going to be able to do this on your own. I would suggest yourself, AdminMoose, AdminPD, and AdminModulous, if they are willing to accept.


    “There is something which unites magic and applied science while separating both from the 'wisdom' of earlier ages. For the wise men of old the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to objective reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue. For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men: the solution is a technique; and both, in the practice of this technique, are ready to do things hitherto regarded as disgusting and impious" -C.S. Lewis
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by Admin, posted 01-24-2008 2:50 PM Admin has not yet responded

      
    Wounded King
    Member (Idle past 1625 days)
    Posts: 4149
    From: Edinburgh, Scotland
    Joined: 04-09-2003


    Message 5 of 191 (450898)
    01-24-2008 6:16 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Admin
    01-24-2008 2:50 PM


    Here's hoping
    I hope this restructuring helps. I've certainly not been around as much as I once was for many of the reasons you cite, especially the lack of actual evolutionary topics and the endless arguments over moderator behaviour.

    I look forward to seeing how this turns out.

    TTFN,

    WK


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by Admin, posted 01-24-2008 2:50 PM Admin has not yet responded

      
    Cold Foreign Object 
    Suspended Member (Idle past 578 days)
    Posts: 3417
    Joined: 11-21-2003


    Message 6 of 191 (450910)
    01-24-2008 7:48 PM


    I would think that if Percy desires Moderator help he would retain, as far as I am aware, the three original Moderators, Asgara, Ned and Moose.

    Just let them all be evolutionists so when we creationists get banned we can comfort ourselves. And I think Percy is right when he suggests that no moderation is necessary in social or political issue topics. These topics should be grouped in a resurrected "Free For All" Forum located at the bottom of the site or eliminated all together. The only thing that matters is the Creation-Evolution debate.

    Ray


    Replies to this message:
     Message 8 by Taz, posted 01-24-2008 9:13 PM Cold Foreign Object has not yet responded

      
    Taz
    Member (Idle past 822 days)
    Posts: 5069
    From: Zerus
    Joined: 07-18-2006


    Message 7 of 191 (450919)
    01-24-2008 9:08 PM
    Reply to: Message 2 by RAZD
    01-24-2008 4:47 PM


    Re: more suggestions (ducks)
    RAZD, you are nortorious for making monster posts as PNT, and now you're suggesting a limit to the size of PNTs? The rapture must be coming anytime now.
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 2 by RAZD, posted 01-24-2008 4:47 PM RAZD has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 9 by RAZD, posted 01-24-2008 9:14 PM Taz has not yet responded

    Taz
    Member (Idle past 822 days)
    Posts: 5069
    From: Zerus
    Joined: 07-18-2006


    Message 8 of 191 (450920)
    01-24-2008 9:13 PM
    Reply to: Message 6 by Cold Foreign Object
    01-24-2008 7:48 PM


    quote:
    Just let them all be evolutionists so when we creationists get banned we can comfort ourselves.

    If you haven't noticed, all those who have been banned in this period of transition have been on the evolution side. Nemesis Jug is the only one from the other side so far who has requested to be hosed and he's still alive with us right now.

    PS - This post is not meant as a request for the permanent suspension of Nem Jug. I am simply pointing out a self persecuted complex by someone here. Personally, I'd like to see god (aka percy) resurrect all those struck down by his holy buttons.

    Edited by Taz, : No reason given.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 6 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 01-24-2008 7:48 PM Cold Foreign Object has not yet responded

    RAZD
    Member
    Posts: 18966
    From: the other end of the sidewalk
    Joined: 03-14-2004
    Member Rating: 3.7


    Message 9 of 191 (450921)
    01-24-2008 9:14 PM
    Reply to: Message 7 by Taz
    01-24-2008 9:08 PM


    Re: more suggestions (ducks)
    Yep. Change comes from within.

    and now you're suggesting a limit to the size of PNTs?

    I'm just incorporating the impression I have gotten from several recent PNT's that are not promoted. I can complain or comply, and one is realistic.

    I will now go edit my last PNT to see if it can be done ... :D oops - looks like it's not just suspensions ...
    (and now that it was reopened it has been edited and promoted)

    Enjoy.

    Edited by RAZD, : oops

    Edited by RAZD, : update


    Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

    we are limited in our ability to understand
    by our ability to understand
    RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
    ... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
    to share.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 7 by Taz, posted 01-24-2008 9:08 PM Taz has not yet responded

    Replies to this message:
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    arachnophilia
    Member (Idle past 263 days)
    Posts: 9068
    From: god's waiting room
    Joined: 05-21-2004


    Message 10 of 191 (450940)
    01-25-2008 12:57 AM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Admin
    01-24-2008 2:50 PM


    percy,

    i've thought long and hard about this. i avoided raising any public objections in first day or so, to not simply post out of knee-jerk reactions. this is perhaps the greatest internet forum i've ever been a part of, thanks mostly to the supremely even-handed moderation on the part of yourself and the (former) moderation staff. as scared as i was that this was the death of EvC, i'm giving you the benefit of the doubt. i understand and respect your change in the moderation.

    but frankly, i'm still scared that this is the end. the change is simply too great -- the single greatest thing about EvC was the ability to petition the moderation. it meant that the system would always be fair, and you would frequently see petitions that crossed the evolution/creation party lines. as you know, i frequently argued in favor of faith and randman and the likes, people i would vehemently argue against in debate. this system meant that any charge of bias in the system (such as those tossed about by ray) could effectively be shrugged off: almost everyone was interested in a fair debate under fair rules, and would defend that principle, even in spite of a few argumentative pricks who just didn't get the rules.

    it's sad that abuse of this system by those few has caused you to abandon the whole idea entirely. yes, some people will always be offended -- but you will also always have trolls and argumentative pricks that just don't understand the rules. i feel the proper course of action is, and always will be careful moderation. abusing the discussion of moderation thread should grant suspensions, regardless of who's saying what. you can't really protect people from being offended, no, but this is the major difficulty of any system that allows freedom of expression.

    the initial action made it seem like some topics would be banned from discussion entirely. which is both entirely impossible to effectively police (even with a full staff of moderators), and completely against the spirit of the site. like it or not, social topics are inherently tied to creationism, and will always be an offshoot from the discussion. but i see you're making up your mind on this still?

    i agree that it isn't reasonable, let alone practical, to have only moderator. you've got to have a life outside of here, and there are just too many members and posts here. the reporting thread is a good step, and one that probably should have been implemented long ago. part of what i'm worried about with such a small moderation staff, only one or two people, is exactly what you called it, "a singular vision." EvC is your site, and you may do with it what you please -- but the vision has really grown beyond any single individual. EvC is a community, and it's all of our visions. and the diversity of the population made it fair. with one singular vision, there are risks that you run. and the accusation of bias is a huge one among them.

    indeed, banning the people who object is the surest way to get brought down to the level of uncommon descent, or any other creationist-run board were the bias is literally in the forum rules. further, it's a fast and effective way to destroy the community that many of the as-yet-unbanned people used to know and love. i can't speak of others, but i know my desire to post has gone way down. maybe the forum will eventually recover; maybe not. but it sure won't be the same without people like omni, side, nwr, ringo... all those old-timers you spoke of that form the backbone of the community here. yeah, it's always the same old fight -- but it has been for the last 150 years. it always will be.

    percy, if you choose to ban me for speaking my mind, i can't stop you. you've banned almost everyone else who did, the people that normally ensured fair moderation. the new system, i'll get over it. but i can't just stand by while all the valued members of the this forum either leave on their own or are forced to leave by you. i'm concerned for the well-being of the site and the community, and i am sincerely disappointed and worried by the absences left by people you have indefinitely suspended for reasons that run counter to everything this place used to stand for. i don't know what will become of EvC, but this is, in my humblest of opinions, not a good first foot forward. you've always listened to reason in past, percy, something i have greatly respected. please don't stop now.


    אָרַח

    This message is a reply to:
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    Hyroglyphx
    Member (Idle past 21 days)
    Posts: 5512
    From: Austin, TX
    Joined: 05-03-2006


    Message 11 of 191 (450942)
    01-25-2008 1:28 AM
    Reply to: Message 10 by arachnophilia
    01-25-2008 12:57 AM


    Great post
    Well, that pretty much says it all...

    You know, this may just be another internet forum. But EvC really is the best forum I have ever seen. I have tried to find other forums that match the format, the layout, the administration, the members, the intellect, etc, etc, etc... I can't find one comparable anywhere.

    It would be a real shame to see it go. And make no mistake, the writing is on the wall. It is dying. In keeping with the spirit of the forum, if we don't evolve right now, this place will die.


    “There is something which unites magic and applied science while separating both from the 'wisdom' of earlier ages. For the wise men of old the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to objective reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue. For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men: the solution is a technique; and both, in the practice of this technique, are ready to do things hitherto regarded as disgusting and impious" -C.S. Lewis
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 10 by arachnophilia, posted 01-25-2008 12:57 AM arachnophilia has not yet responded

      
    TrueCreation
    Inactive Member


    Message 12 of 191 (450946)
    01-25-2008 2:40 AM
    Reply to: Message 10 by arachnophilia
    01-25-2008 12:57 AM


    Moderation methods and psychology have evolved significantly over the years in this forum. Hear hear.

    Edited by TrueCreation, : No reason given.

    Edited by TrueCreation, : spelling, meh.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 10 by arachnophilia, posted 01-25-2008 12:57 AM arachnophilia has not yet responded

    RickJB
    Member (Idle past 2520 days)
    Posts: 917
    From: London, UK
    Joined: 04-14-2006


    Message 13 of 191 (450957)
    01-25-2008 7:08 AM
    Reply to: Message 10 by arachnophilia
    01-25-2008 12:57 AM


    **Pops out of lurker mode**

    Have to agree with Arach on this. By taking a role as sole moderator you are going to be wide open to accusations of bias. If EvC's ultimate aim is to serve as a community then it should be strong enough to deal with internal conflicts, petty rivalries and persistent troublemakers.

    The site HAS become far less dynamic of late, and I trace this back to Faith's ban. I believe that this was a error of judgement that diminished the spirit of openness that characterizes this site. Troublemaker or not, she was a highly active member of the community.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 10 by arachnophilia, posted 01-25-2008 12:57 AM arachnophilia has not yet responded

    Admin
    Director
    Posts: 12528
    From: EvC Forum
    Joined: 06-14-2002


    Message 14 of 191 (450966)
    01-25-2008 8:55 AM


    AdminNosy Returns
    NosyNed has graciously agreed to resume his AdminNosy moderator role. I'm sure this is welcome news to all.


    --Percy
    EvC Forum Director

    Replies to this message:
     Message 15 by Larni, posted 01-25-2008 9:05 AM Admin has not yet responded

      
    Larni
    Member
    Posts: 3949
    From: Liverpool
    Joined: 09-16-2005


    Message 15 of 191 (450967)
    01-25-2008 9:05 AM
    Reply to: Message 14 by Admin
    01-25-2008 8:55 AM


    Re: AdminNosy Returns
    Well done! A good decision :)
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 14 by Admin, posted 01-25-2008 8:55 AM Admin has not yet responded

      
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