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Author Topic:   Changes at EvC Forum
PaulK
Member
Posts: 13226
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 106 of 191 (451300)
01-27-2008 4:16 AM
Reply to: Message 105 by randman
01-27-2008 3:53 AM


Re: suggesting considering this is debate site
quote:

So is the goal here to try for genuine objectivity in moderation or just to create a mere appearance of objectivity? Your comments come off as saying, hey, the whole point was just to try to discourage the appearance of bias, not actually make the site less biased.

Both are important. However in terms of running the site a small bias that is not perceived will be less disruptive than a perception of bias - even if that perception is false. And since I do not believe that appointing creationist moderators will reduce actual bias (nor that there is a significant problem of bias that needs to be reduced) there is no need to appoint creationist moderators on that basis.

quote:

Maybe so, but at the same time, having more and overwhelmingly more evos moderating also creates a perception of bias if not bias in reality as well. Moreover, when the purpose of having creationist moderators is seen as just to keep creationists in line and so forth, it really comes off as if the view that this site is our site, meaning for evos, instead of a sense that the site is for both sides equally to make their arguments. The whole tone of your comments suggests that. Creationists are the visitors and we own this place, eh?

PERCY owns this site and all the rest of us are just visitors.

And I don't see why encouraging creationists to do their own policing implies that they have any lesser status here.

quote:

It also seems patronizing to say the whole point of creationist moderators is to moderate creationists, as if no bias exists within the evo camp. Isn't it at least possible if not likely, in your assessment of human experience, that a site dominated by moderators from one side will moderate in a biased fashion even if unconsciously?

How does having creationists moderate creationists imply that there is no bias in the evolutionist camp ? And why introduce the question of one side "dominating" the site ? It has no bearing on the question we are discussing.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by randman, posted 01-27-2008 3:53 AM randman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 107 by randman, posted 01-27-2008 4:34 AM PaulK has responded

  
randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2455 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 107 of 191 (451301)
01-27-2008 4:34 AM
Reply to: Message 106 by PaulK
01-27-2008 4:16 AM


getting back to the site's stated purpose
And since I do not believe that appointing creationist moderators will reduce actual bias (nor that there is a significant problem of bias that needs to be reduced) there is no need to appoint creationist moderators on that basis

You may believe that, but non-evos believe the opposite. Assuming your concern for an appearance of non-bias is to attract non-evos to post here (?), the question is how do you do that, and you are not going to do that having a token creationist moderator that is there "to moderate creationists" as you suggest. Unless there is genuinely equal weight given to creationist/IDer/saltationist's perception and opinion on moderation, you cannot create an appearance of a lack of bias because, frankly, there probably is bias.

In fact, just dismissing their (our) views of the matter is in itself a bias against one side and claiming that side's perception of fairness and so forth is wrong. It's patronizing. Moreover, even if that is one's opinion or even if correct, if you are going to have an evenhanded debate free of the appearance of bias, you are going to have give equal weight to the perception of reality from the other side, and you cannot do that having one side passionately debating the other and also in charge of interpreting when an argument is reasonable, factual, civil, etc,....

A good example of what I am talking is to consider the many thread titles with stuff like the Christian Cult of Ignorance or about the lunacy of IDers and creationists which is allowed with nary a thought it is offensive or wrong. Now, compare those to thread titles with the same things stated about evos?

You won't find the same things allowed for evos because it's considered against the rules to suggest the motive or thought processes of evos are corrupted. Let's imagine what would happen if someone states similar things such as, say, evos cannot think objectively and critically about their beliefs because they have been brainwashed by ideology, the way they were taught or that they aren't being honest, that they are faith-based just not based in traditional faith, or any number of things that are entirely permissible and seem reasonable for evos to say about creationists, but if creationists or IDers think the same things towards evos, and sincerely believe them, those beliefs will still be considered rules-breaking.

So what you have is the perception of how the rules apply is weighted by the views held by one side. If one side dominates the moderation, it is unlikely and probably unreasonable to think the site isn't biased. People aren't as stupid as we all seem. Having a token or 2 creationist moderators, kept on a leash, isn't going to erase the perception of bias because the bias is probably real.

Make the site evenly moderated between the 2 sides and then you create an impartially moderated site, as much as possible at least.

Edit to add: let me put it this way? What are you afraid of? Why not make the site completely evenly moderated between non-evos and evos?

Edited by randman, : No reason given.

Edited by randman, : No reason given.

Edited by randman, : earlier edits to correct typos and adding one more comment for this edit


This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by PaulK, posted 01-27-2008 4:16 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 108 by PaulK, posted 01-27-2008 4:59 AM randman has responded
 Message 112 by RAZD, posted 01-27-2008 10:52 AM randman has not yet responded

PaulK
Member
Posts: 13226
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 108 of 191 (451302)
01-27-2008 4:59 AM
Reply to: Message 107 by randman
01-27-2008 4:34 AM


Re: getting back to the site's stated purpose
quote:

You may believe that, but non-evos believe the opposite.

So the problem is a perception of bias.

quote:

...you are not going to do that having a token creationist moderator that is there "to moderate creationists" as you suggest

I am not suggesting that creationist moderators should be "tokens" in any way.

quote:

Unless there is genuinely equal weight given to creationist/IDer/saltationist's perception and opinion on moderation, you cannot create an appearance of a lack of bias because, frankly, there probably is bias.

Since I am not suggesting that creationist moderators should have any lower status than any other moderator (excepting Percy as site owner) this simply has no bearing on my point. The issue is the division of labour. I suggest that creationist moderators should take primary responsibility for moderating creationists. You think that they should largely ignore creationists in favour of taking action against evolutionists.

Perhaps you should try discussing that rather than trying to misrepresent my point as reducing creationist moderators to "tokens" or having some sort of lesser status - neither of which I have suggested.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by randman, posted 01-27-2008 4:34 AM randman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 119 by randman, posted 01-27-2008 3:45 PM PaulK has responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 2198 days)
Posts: 12961
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 109 of 191 (451310)
01-27-2008 8:13 AM
Reply to: Message 86 by arachnophilia
01-26-2008 11:30 PM


Re: suggesting considering this is debate site
quote:
equality in moderation would not anger me in the slightest. i think it was a good thing, and would be a good thing, and it's something i've argued for in the past. i think many "evos" here would agree, too. it's the only real way to ensure fairness in moderation. so long as the moderators follow the rules themselves and don't go, you know, randomly banning people they disagree with.

Yes, precisely.

That's why AdminBuz is worth his weight in gold around here.

He's a good moderator and could certainly teach Percy a thing or two right about now.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by arachnophilia, posted 01-26-2008 11:30 PM arachnophilia has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19074
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 110 of 191 (451335)
01-27-2008 10:02 AM
Reply to: Message 99 by randman
01-27-2008 1:04 AM


Suggestions, considering that this is a debate site
I was banned and then allowed to post on Showcase.
Not too many wanted to debate on Showcase,

I didn't post on showcase intentionally. I thought showcase was (1) rather insulting and (2) problematic with getting approvals.

Welcome back. You've been missed ...

Enjoy.


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 99 by randman, posted 01-27-2008 1:04 AM randman has responded

Replies to this message:
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Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 111 of 191 (451337)
01-27-2008 10:41 AM
Reply to: Message 102 by PaulK
01-27-2008 3:15 AM


Re: suggesting considering this is debate site
The point of having creationist moderators was to have them moderate the creationists. That's the only way to avoid the accusations of bias. But they were not doing a good job of that at all. If creationist admins are to be appointed that will have to change.

No, that's not how I understood it. How would that balance out ideology in admin? My understanding was that we were there also to call on some things the other side were getting by with and not being called on for. That's where the imbalance existed relative to moderating imo. Creationists were being suspended on violation sometimes which the other side were sliding by on. I was involved with some of that discussion especially behind the scene in PAF where much of my involvement as admin occurred.

For example in PAF I cited members who were practicing conduct which was not being tolerated by admins when people like Randman and others violated in similar manner. I often had to operate in PAF rather than being proactive on the floor because it would have been improper to moderate violations involving threads I was active in, me and NJ being two of the few more active ID type Biblicalists in the forums. That limited forum moderation for both of us.

Being a sole business proprietor and having numerous other responsibilities I just didn't have the time to put into the required reading necessary to moderate effectively. Mostly what I saw was threads I was interested or active in.


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 102 by PaulK, posted 01-27-2008 3:15 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 113 by PaulK, posted 01-27-2008 11:25 AM Buzsaw has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 19074
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 112 of 191 (451340)
01-27-2008 10:52 AM
Reply to: Message 107 by randman
01-27-2008 4:34 AM


Moderating from within
What would you think about this:

Minimum number of administrators, that concentrate on the site operation issues (topic promotion, banning spammers, suspending people that cannot play in the sandbox without throwing sand on everyone).

Thread monitoring and moderation by the originator of the thread - to keep it on topic and bounce out people that are continually off-topic or abusive (with a report to admin to keep them honest). I monitor my threads, you monitor yours.

This would work best with a "track changes" method that would keep previous versions of any edit, so that past versions could be viewed by anyone interested (possibly auto-linked to the edit message for example), or the way changes are detailed on wikipedia.

Or it could be a very simple system - the thread monitor gets an additional button like the edit button that shows up for your own posts, and it (1) automatically hides the whole post (what you would likely want to do for off-topic or abusive posts), (2) has radio-buttons to pick to record a brief message for the reason ("off topic" "abusive" "other"), and (3) reports the operation to admin (who moderated, what thread, who was moderated, the reason).

Less work for admin, less all one-sided moderation.

You were a moderator (briefly), what do you think?

Enjoy.


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 107 by randman, posted 01-27-2008 4:34 AM randman has not yet responded

PaulK
Member
Posts: 13226
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 113 of 191 (451344)
01-27-2008 11:25 AM
Reply to: Message 111 by Buzsaw
01-27-2008 10:41 AM


Re: suggesting considering this is debate site
quote:

No, that's not how I understood it. How would that balance out ideology in admin?

I don't remember anyone else saying that "balancing out ideology" was a requirement.

quote:

My understanding was that we were there also to call on some things the other side were getting by with and not being called on for. That's where the imbalance existed relative to moderating imo. Creationists were being suspended on violation sometimes which the other side were sliding by on. I was involved with some of that discussion especially behind the scene in PAF where much of my involvement as admin occurred.

It's pretty easy to find cases where creationists were getting away with it, too. And you know that there were complaints about that happening. I've seen no evidence of any systematic imbalance favouring evolutionists.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 111 by Buzsaw, posted 01-27-2008 10:41 AM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 114 by Buzsaw, posted 01-27-2008 12:06 PM PaulK has responded

  
Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 114 of 191 (451352)
01-27-2008 12:06 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by PaulK
01-27-2008 11:25 AM


Re: suggesting considering this is debate site
Paul writes:

I don't remember anyone else saying that "balancing out ideology" was a requirement.

I didn't say requirement. It was for fairness and balance. Ideology factors in. Likeminded members have a natural tendency to favor their own kind. That's a known logical given which was my point. Randman weighed in on that as well. If you can't understand that you're not thinking objectively.

I do think Percy and Moose will be quite objective and fair. I'm not so sure about NosyNed, but hopefully he will as well. He's no-nonsense, efficient and effective so long as he will moderate his own ideological kind equally as stringently as he does the other kind.


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by PaulK, posted 01-27-2008 11:25 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 115 by PaulK, posted 01-27-2008 12:20 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 13226
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 115 of 191 (451354)
01-27-2008 12:20 PM
Reply to: Message 114 by Buzsaw
01-27-2008 12:06 PM


Re: suggesting considering this is debate site
quote:

I didn't say requirement. It was for fairness and balance. Ideology factors in.

In other word's it's just your opinion that you were appointed for "ideological balance".

quote:

Likeminded members have a natural tendency to favor their own kind. That's a known logical given which was my point.

So having creationists handle their own moderation should tend to produce more lenient moderation towards creationists. Is that a problem ?

quote:

Randman weighed in on that as well. If you can't understand that you're not thinking objectively.

I understand what you are saying. The question is where is the conflict ? Why is your idea of "ideological balance" at odds with the idea that creationists should moderate creationists ?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 114 by Buzsaw, posted 01-27-2008 12:06 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 127 by johnfolton, posted 01-27-2008 5:22 PM PaulK has not yet responded

  
Admin
Director
Posts: 12533
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 116 of 191 (451383)
01-27-2008 2:30 PM
Reply to: Message 89 by randman
01-27-2008 12:01 AM


Re: suggesting considering this is debate site
randman writes:

One note: I have not regained some posting privileges to my knowledge.

Your forum permissions were structured for Showcase, which we're not using anymore, so I restored them to normal.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by randman, posted 01-27-2008 12:01 AM randman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 121 by randman, posted 01-27-2008 3:52 PM Admin has not yet responded

  
Admin
Director
Posts: 12533
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 117 of 191 (451390)
01-27-2008 3:17 PM


Some Observations
Anyone recognize the word "lesnerize"? It's from a classic science fiction story by Robert Sheckley (the whole story is on-line, it's very short and well worth a read, see Protection).

Those familiar with the story will understand why I mention it in the context of moderation problems here at EvC. The more moderators we had, the more we needed. The more explanations moderators offered, the more explanations were required. The more help moderators offered, the worse the problems became.

I've often said that just like bad money pushes out good money (think inflation), bad debate pushes out good debate. The more threads become bogged down in endless haggling over side-issues, the less the forum hosts quality discussions and the less it draws quality participants.

I've also argued many times that people don't change. Problem members, no matter what the specifics, will almost always remain problem members. Whether it's an inability to stay on topic or make sense, or an incredible negative view of those in disagreement with them, or something else, these qualities just don't change.

AdminNosy, Adminnemooseus and myself still have details to work out regarding moderation, but there is one point upon which I've reversed my opinion completely. I used to believe that balanced moderation could best be achieved with a moderator team of both creationists and evolutionists, but in the end this caused polarization among moderators with resulting paralysis and chaos. But history actually indicate that quality moderation with a clear and consistent direction and a single final voice has always brought better results.

EvC Forum exists to provide a venue for productive discussion between evolutionists and creationists through moderated discussion threads. Those who make this difficult will not be permitted to remain here. I don't think it is asking too much for members to embrace the raison d'être of EvC Forum and not hinder achievement of our primary goal of allowing the two sides to better understand one another through communication in a dispassionate environment.

Any gathering of people develops a sense of community, and this turns out to be as true of the virtual communities of the on-line world as anywhere real. It's always sad when a community loses someone, so since we'll no longer be discussing moderator actions and anguishing endlessly about suspensions, when you see moderators giving a lot of attention to someone you would be sad to see go, don't appeal to the moderators, appeal to your friend to follow moderator requests.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

Replies to this message:
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Hyroglyphx
Member (Idle past 47 days)
Posts: 5512
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 118 of 191 (451393)
01-27-2008 3:27 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Admin
01-25-2008 6:48 PM


Re: Brief Answers
EDIT to add: I guess we were typing simultaneously. It appears you are answering my question before I even asked. But I need to finish reading it.

For those of you for whom the changes and suspensions are truly unendurable then there are other alternative than just excoriating me, which won't do anything except make me feel bad. I am resolved to stay the course I have chosen. I've done nothing to you, and the Internet is a big place with many other sites.

I have addressed you directly a number of times now. I would really appreciate a reply this time because we are all in limbo awaiting some final verdict.

Or is this post your final verdict? It has a temporary ring to it, but I can't make heads or tails of it.

I just want to say that though you don't have any moral obligation to allow people to stay on the basis of their desires, simply saying that the internet is a big place and they can find a home elsewhere is minimizing one big thing.

While the internet is a sea of information, with an unending supply of forums, try to appreciate for a moment the fact that most of these people have invested a lot of time in to the forum and have fostered significant relationships, albeit, digitally.

This is home for many, many people, particularly the old timers -- some of which helped bring this place to its fruition. Collectively, they are partially responsible for making EvC what it is. Lets not loose sight of that.

I just need to know one thing, and I will leave you alone:

Is there any chance that you might reconsider? Or are you dead set on your decision?

Supposing you did allow them back, couldn't they be on a tight leash? A probationary period? Some may refuse to come back, but then, that's their decision. Could we at least try and see if they are willing to accept some of the new changes? If they aren't, then too bad. But if so, shouldn't we allow the chance to reconcile?

Please allow me the courtesy of a response.

Edited by Nemesis Juggernaut, : No reason given.


“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 30 by Admin, posted 01-25-2008 6:48 PM Admin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 122 by Admin, posted 01-27-2008 3:53 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

  
randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2455 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 119 of 191 (451397)
01-27-2008 3:45 PM
Reply to: Message 108 by PaulK
01-27-2008 4:59 AM


maybe it's not clear to you?
You think that they should largely ignore creationists in favour of taking action against evolutionists.

Never said, nor implied that. You are the one that stated creationist moderators were there to moderate creationists to avoid an appearance of bias.

My points should be clear but apparently are not. I will try to make them clearer.

1. What is the goal here? It's to attract and keep posters of different persuasions discussing the topic, right?

2. What is a major problem? Creationists and IDers leave. Their number one reason for doing so is either they are banned or they say the moderation is uneven and so the site doesn't live up to it's billing.

3. I, of course, and as everyone here knows, believe that the site is tilted badly in moderation towards evos. However, let's assume your perception is correct for sake of argument and having a site dominated by evo moderators has not led to bias in moderation. Either way, the point remains the same. Whether it's the perception of bias or it's real bias, the bottom line is you guys are losing the sorts of people you want to attract on the non-evo side and will continue to do so.

4. My suggestion is to genuinely share power so to speak and appoint as many creationists and IDers as you do evos, and to give them wide latitude. In other words, when they moderate in a manner you disagree with, which is going to happen at times, their rule stands equally.

5. I also pointed out that there is a serious problem of perception of what is rules-breaking or not. For example, there is disagreement over what is civil. It's considered civil debate to suggest creationists are stupid, ignorant, illogical, refusing to look at the facts, etc, etc,....Evos think they are not breaking any rules but just presenting what they think are facts.

However, a creationist that suggests evos are brainwashed, ignoring the facts, ignorant, illogical or any of the exact same accusations the evos level, the creationist or IDer is somehow breaking the rules.

So what you will do if you allow equal wieght to non-evo's perception of the rules and behaviour is that you would indeed make the site less biased and appear less biased, and there would be more creationists and IDers posting here, and isn't that the goal here? Of course, it will come with a price because many times evos are going to be ticked off and think the actions of the creationist or IDer mod are unreasonable. They are going to genuinely think that for the reasons stated above; my example being a good one.

But why not give equal weight to both sides' perception of things here? Is it that important to protect the evo perception of what is fair to the exclusion of the other sides of the debate you want to attract?

Edit to add: looks percy has made up his mind anyway on these things so that's that.

Edited by randman, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by PaulK, posted 01-27-2008 4:59 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 124 by PaulK, posted 01-27-2008 4:00 PM randman has not yet responded

randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2455 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 120 of 191 (451399)
01-27-2008 3:48 PM
Reply to: Message 110 by RAZD
01-27-2008 10:02 AM


Re: Suggestions, considering that this is a debate site
thanks razd....

Would love to talk about whale fossils again sometime, though maybe it's been a little over-done. There are still issues that have not been resolved though.

Edited by randman, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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