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Author Topic:   Changes at EvC Forum
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 429 days)
Posts: 9069
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.


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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:
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 429 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 27 of 191 (451016)
01-25-2008 4:25 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Admin
01-25-2008 3:33 PM


Re: Free For All Restored to Life
percy, i'm confused.

you've gone from a position of "don't talk about XYZ" to "have at, and as nasty as you want" in less than the span of two days.

the free-for-all may be a good experiment, lets see how that goes i guess. i suspect it will turn out a lot like the sandbox. and booting threads there instead of moderating them... i dunno. to be honest, i still believe the old style of moderation worked fine, and i'm not sure what all the fuss was about. i realize the last instance of "gay issues" erupted in massive fights in the moderation thread, but that's an issue that could have (and in my opinion, should have) been dealt with using proper, normal moderation.

i really think we still need a thread for discussion of moderation, regardless of how many or how few moderators there are, and a thread for announcing who is suspended/banned for how long, and why. the transparency and communication with the moderation is a neccessary step in creating fair and balanced moderation of the site. i do not see the shift from "democracy" to "totalitarian dictatorship" as a good thing. maybe you do -- but a lot of people are now afraid to post discussing this issue lest they be dragged out into the street and shot, so to speak. and those who aren't... well, board activity is way down.

and what is really going on with these seemingly random indefinite suspensions? i can't even figure what jar did, if anything. brenna got banned for showing concern for your wellbeing. i think everyone's upset about this. why are you banning old and formerly valued members of the community?


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Admin, posted 01-25-2008 3:33 PM Admin has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 429 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 32 of 191 (451045)
01-25-2008 7:16 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Admin
01-25-2008 6:48 PM


Re: Brief Answers
But the board will no longer be entertaining member/moderator discussion threads. The moderation threads are clear evidence that it rarely resolves anything, and it turns moderators into targets.

percy, you and i both know that it does resolve things, as long as discussion is kept civil. in this particular instance, it may have been a disaster, but i do not feel that this poisons the whole well. transparency in moderation and communications with the moderation are good steps towards ensuring the site is run fairly.

i regret that you feel it made the moderators targets. unfortunately, moderators will always be targets. it's the nature of the job -- and addressing those concerns openly and publicly is the best course of action. at worst, it turns into too much debate (which can be answered with suspensions). at best, it allows the public to see things from the moderators' perspectives.

Things are simpler now. I've removed those who I felt were the most divisive elements and also those who requested it.

this is a debate site, not an "everybody feel good about themselves" site. debate is divisive, by definition. you cannot have debate without divisions. i'll back you 100% banning the people who simply refuse to follow the rules, or appear incapable of understanding the rules. but i cannot fathom how we can ban people simple for being "divisive" on a debate forum. i cannot support these actions.

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.

the ironic thing is that all you have done is make yourself a target, and a rather easy one. banning people for no good reason just breeds contempt for the moderation -- you. i'm not trying to make you feel bad, i'm trying to convince you that this is not a good idea. whatever problems you saw with the board before, this is far far worse. it's pretty clear that everyone who has spoken about this so far rather strongly disagrees with what has taken place.

will your only course of action be to ban all of us?

I am resolved to stay the course I have chosen.

this is probably a poor choice of words. look how well "stay the course" has worked for the people that popularized the phrase.

I've done nothing to you, and the Internet is a big place with many other sites.

percy, you're killing a community that i enjoy being part of. it may not call me names or break my bones or pick my pocket, but it is a loss that i feel strongly about. you've banned people i enjoyed debating with (and against), and people who contributed a wealth of knowledge to this site. we are all lesser people for it.


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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 35 by Admin, posted 01-25-2008 7:32 PM arachnophilia has responded

arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 429 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 34 of 191 (451047)
01-25-2008 7:19 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by molbiogirl
01-25-2008 6:51 PM


Re: Brief Answers
and also those who requested it.

With the exception of Nem.

i don't want to see anyone banned, even those who request it out of frustration or desires for martyrdom. i can understand banning people for certain things, but this is not what i would consider reasonable.


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This message is a reply to:
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 429 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 36 of 191 (451051)
01-25-2008 7:48 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by Admin
01-25-2008 7:32 PM


Re: Brief Answers
what do you expect me to do? i see a good many members are banned, and i can see no good or justifiable reason for it. i have never known you to behave this way. at least with faith, there was some argument back and forth, some possible justification in sight. but this is completely uncharacteristic of you, and what this site represents. at least what i thought it did anyways.

my choices, it seems, are:

  1. sit down and shuttup and compromise my principles
  2. speak up and try to get things fixed at the risk of being banned myself
  3. martyr myself like ringo
  4. or leave.
what do suppose is the best course of action here? this is not a position i particularly enjoy, and i am supremely saddened by the losses this site has endured for reasons you have not adequately explained.

...just rethink those bans, percy. please?

Edited by arachnophilia, : No reason given.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by Admin, posted 01-25-2008 7:32 PM Admin has not yet responded

arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 429 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 39 of 191 (451076)
01-26-2008 12:02 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by Adminnemooseus
01-25-2008 10:31 PM


Re: I'll do the adminning comeback (and other comments)
Admin, in message 1 of "Report Problem Posts Here: No. 1", writes:

Please post here if you have a problem with any message posted to the board. All decisions final, no post-judgement discussion.

What I might suggest is a "Repost problem posts/Report moderation issues" topic. But get a better topic title INCLUDING the note "See message 1 for guidelines". Those guidelines would include such as:

  • Report problem posts here.
  • Report moderation issue problems here.
  • Post only one message per problem. No "I think so too" postings.
  • No member replies to messages. Admins may reply to messages as they see suitable, but no member replies to admin messages.
  • This topic is a report topic, NOT a debate/discussion topic. Any discussion of moderation issues should be by e-mailing the admin(s) in question.
  • Violations of the above guidelines are cause for suspension.

i agree. this sounds better -- i do think we need some ability to redress your government.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Adminnemooseus, posted 01-25-2008 10:31 PM Adminnemooseus has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by Adminnemooseus, posted 01-26-2008 1:54 AM arachnophilia has responded

arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 429 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 42 of 191 (451085)
01-26-2008 1:59 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by Adminnemooseus
01-26-2008 1:54 AM


Re: Problem post reports / Moderation actions questions
that sounds quite reasonable to me, at least as an experiment in progress.

i'm really, at the moment, more concerned with the seemingly random indefinate suspensions.


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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 429 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 55 of 191 (451149)
01-26-2008 2:32 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by molbiogirl
01-26-2008 2:13 PM


Re: Brief Answers
Especially considering that none of them had the opportunity to "recant", as Nem did. He had that opportunity only because GDR insisted on drawing him out.

Who knows who would have taken a similar opportunity given the chance?

i must say, i had considered forum-martyrdom as an option, purely out of frustration. i decided that staying and making noise (at the risk of martyrdom) was a more effective option. i'm sure that people like ringo would probably like to come back under the right circumstances.


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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 429 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 57 of 191 (451151)
01-26-2008 2:50 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by ICANT
01-26-2008 2:36 PM


Re: Re-Uproar
You are a bunch of the most ungrateful people I have ever seen in my entire 68 years of life.

on the contrary, we are all very grateful for the opportunity we've been given these last few years. that doesn't mean that we must all blindly agree with every action the owner of the site does. we want to see this site continue to be great.

Just so you know if I was in his position and I saw one more negative remark of any kind concerning the decisions that have been made I would shut this site down so fast your computers might crash because of it.

and that is precisely what makes EvC different than creationist-run boards: fair moderation specifically in the ability to debate moderation decisions with the moderators. to see this suddenly change, and many of our friends banned because they dared to continue this fundamental principle of forum life here... well, it's startling, to say the least. it runs contrary to everything we were grateful for. and many of us are left in an odd position. do we continue to say what we think in favor of justice? do we shut up out of fear or respect for percy? do we go home and forget about this place in disappointment?

This is the only place I have ever found that I can really express them and get somebody to make me question them and for that I am forever grateful.

but how can we truly express yourselves and feel secure in that expression if saying certain things, or debating certain topics result in bans without any good reason or even warning? you'll see some people above have already noted that they don't even feel like posting anymore -- this is why.

Edited by arachnophilia, : No reason given.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by ICANT, posted 01-26-2008 2:36 PM ICANT has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by ICANT, posted 01-26-2008 3:39 PM arachnophilia has responded

arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 429 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 60 of 191 (451156)
01-26-2008 3:04 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by Buzsaw
01-26-2008 2:59 PM


Re: Uproar
2. I'm glad Admin has more patience than you're advocating. Two of the biggies for Christians is longsuffering and patience.

indeed.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by Buzsaw, posted 01-26-2008 2:59 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 429 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 83 of 191 (451257)
01-26-2008 11:05 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by Buzsaw
01-26-2008 3:27 PM


Re: Brief Answers
3. Perhaps it behooves those who've gone and those of us who remain
to examine ourselves as to how we fit into Admins program. If one hopes to return, one might consider the possible need to adjust ones MO. If one hopes to remain one also might consider the possible need to adjust one's MO.

percy has said no one is coming back. frankly, the only difference between myself and those banned is that i held my tongue, probably more out of fear that wisdom. and even then, what was jar's crime? he held his tongue too.


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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 429 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 84 of 191 (451259)
01-26-2008 11:13 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by ICANT
01-26-2008 3:39 PM


Re: Re-Uproar
arach I ran a business for 40 years. Nobody told me in 40 years how to run my business. If it was an employee he was informed he was and employee and if he did not agree with the way I did things he could go elsewhere. The second time he told me how to run my business he was looking for a job.

indeed, everyone is welcome to go elsewhere if they do not like percy's way of doing things, including the random bans. but which would you prefer, a board where people fight for fairness in moderation, or a board with nobody on it?

granted, the outcome will be somewhere in the middle. but look at all we've lost. for the record, the company that does not listen to its lowest level of employees, the people on the floor, is bound for corporate suicide. they're the backbone, and the people in touch with the actual customers. maybe you hold the corporate mentality where new workers are easy to find and high turnover is a good thing. but i think you'll find that the company that treats its workers with respect tends to do better than the company that does not, simply on the merit of having people who are enthusiastic and enjoy their jobs. the last company i worked for that did not understand this very basic principle no longer has any stores in my state.

too bad you can't fire me.

No you do not have to agree with anything anyone does. But you don't go into a mans house and tell him how to run it.

if my friends and i go into a man's house, and the man shoots my friend, what claim do i have? should i just say, "oh, well, it's his house, he can do what he wants. i'll just leave."

Some have made some good suggestions. That is fine.
Some have made demands on Percy. Demands is telling him how to run his business.
That is unacceptable behaviour period.

i have begged percy, out of my concern for the board, to rethink his unilateral and unwarranted bans. is that wrong?

Many probably did not realize that what they were and are saying comes over as demands but go back and read them.

Nem demanded to be banned. All he had to do was delete the link on the desktop.

ringo asked for a ban too.


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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 429 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 85 of 191 (451261)
01-26-2008 11:18 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by anglagard
01-26-2008 4:15 PM


Re: Re-Uproar
As I already stated in regard to subordinates, I take all constructive suggestions seriously. Are you saying that a business should not listen to it's customers? If so, I think you have a lot more to learn despite any 63 years.

indeed. a business that does not meet the customer's needs will surely fail.


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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 429 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 86 of 191 (451263)
01-26-2008 11:30 PM
Reply to: Message 79 by randman
01-26-2008 7:05 PM


Re: suggesting considering this is debate site
randman! holy shit, welcome back.

My suggestion is quite simple but would greatly inflame, I suspect, many long-term evos here: namely let there be 2-3 moderators and one of them be as strongly opinionated on the creationist and ID side as percy and perhaps another admin are on the evo side(probably need at least 2 just for the time's sake).

one of the things i always appreciated was that we had admins on both sides of the issue. this has now been changed. my opinion on this is still out, but my suspicions are that it may be a bad thing at least for the reputation. remember, people such as yourself were always accusing the site of bias. the question, i suppose is, "benevolent dictator or democracy?" either way you run the risk of leadership by not-so-benevolent forces. and judging by the "pogrom" as people are calling it... well, i'm worried.

Opening up more equality with the moderation will create a backlash and anger, imo, from many evos,

this is startling to say, but i've actually agreed with most of your post until this line. 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.

Keep in mind that the vast majority of non-evos have stated they don't think the moderation of non-evos is fair, and it's evident that if not the vast majority, a great many evos, think the opposite, that non-evos are getting a pass.

remember randman, you're speaking to a forum that spoke out against your own banishment (and apparently effectively enough that you have regained some posting priveledges), as well as faith's. you'll notice that she's come up a few times in the discussion of this, too.


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Replies to this message:
 Message 88 by randman, posted 01-26-2008 11:58 PM arachnophilia has responded
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 429 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 95 of 191 (451276)
01-27-2008 12:37 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by randman
01-26-2008 11:58 PM


Re: suggesting considering this is debate site
"many evos" is not all evos, but you cannot deny whether it was me, buzz, Christianadmin (who reinstated me but was over-ruled in a matter of days) were frequently taken to task any time they dared cross evos here, the accusation being they were biased towards non-evos.

and vice versa.

Moreover, the sentiment has been loudly and frequently asserted, quite incorrectly imo, that non-evos were being given a pass and evos held to a greater standard. This, in fact, seemed to be a majority opinion among evos here whereas the non-evos held the exact opposite view of the matter, that evos were being given a pass for all sorts of rude behaviour, public insults of creationists, diverting topics, etc,...

personally, the "pass" i consistently argued for was one regarding the rule about evidence. sort of runs contrary to a position of faith. keeping the science fora separate from the faith fora wasn't a good step either, because rather obviously, we have a position of faith versus a position of science.

[editted, removed a point that was factually incorrect. creationists are indeed arguing for "evos"]

Edited by arachnophilia, : No reason given.


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