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Ban Offenders from.....a Topic!

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 9,331 ✭✭✭ snoopsheep


    Folks

    Threadbans are a sticking plaster that do a job but not very well.

    Threads come and go.

    You don't want to take the bigger step, maybe the poster is ok generally but has a bugbear that they just cannot behave reasonably on.

    Time to add another tool to your kit- ye should be able to ban users from discussing a particular topic once theyve egregiously crossed the line.

    Travellers
    Sexism
    Public sector
    Trans rights
    Religion
    FG
    SF
    Greta
    Boards feedback :)


    Its a sensible measure that would properly force the repeaters to toe the line on the items they simply wait for a new thread on to disgrace themselves again.


Comments



  • Hi snoopsheep,

    it's an idea I bounced around in my head not too long ago actually - both the idea of a "tired topics" list - topics that have been done to death and repeated threads on the topic accomplish little new or noteworthy and therefore no new threads can be started by anybody unless they can first convince a mod that they are bringing something new to the table, and topic bans for posters where posters who constantly cross the line when discussing certain topics (e.g. travellers) are banned from any future threads discussing that topic.

    The main issue at the moment is that once we go below yellow cards on the hierarchy of infractions, nothing is automated and all record keeping becomes manual overhead for the CA mod team. At the moment all threadbans are recorded manually in the CA mod forum, and topic bans would add yet another level of administration to a team that is already burning the candle at both ends.

    I do like the idea of a topic ban for repeat offenders, though if they are repeat offenders then one can also ask why they haven't simply been forum banned. The reality is it would only really apply to a very small subset of posters who for whatever reason, can't contain themselves when it comes to particular topics, but can be rational with respect to most others. It does feel somewhat like the mods are doing the heavy lifting though here when at the end of the day, it's not the mods responsibility to keep posters on the straight and narrow; personal responsibility for one's actions has to kick in at some point.

    It's something we can bring to the CA mods forum though.




  • Thanks Tokyo, the admin would def have to be manual but if its a case of a note to the effect discussed then id have guessed that it was the type of thing that would have been built in to a mod reviewing any escalation anyway, but im speaking from a position of sheer blather obviously.

    Course, actual designation of threads as belonging to topic x or y would just become the battlefront.....




  • This is analogous to banning whole topics of discussion, tbh (not just individual posters).

    Take for example, MMT (for almost a decade, I would have been the only poster supportive of it) - this was effectively banned off of Boards years ago, and all discussion of macroeconomics that could be tied to MMT would lead to sanction (mods/admins of the time insist differently, but this is effectively what happened from my point of view) - yet today the Overton Window has shifted, and it is has effectively become mainstream macroeconomics, so it's finally possible to discuss it without sanction now.

    A whole-topic ban back then, would have killed discussion of it outright, permanently.

    The one thing Boards is least criticized for is its lack of rules. The site has all of the rules it needs, it has the lack of automated moderation tools (e.g. auto-enforcement of threadbans) needed to enforce them without being hamfisted about it.




  • Its in no way analogous to banning a topic

    Its banning posters who consistently get thread banned while spoiling threads on a given topic but start scot-free when the topic is raised again

    If you feel that this suggestion might have affected you in the past if applied i can only imagine you haven't differentiated between yr chosen position and yr behaviour in discussing that position, tbh




  • There's an inherent bias to "both-side-ism" in moderation, where when a topic goes to shit, 'both sides' are treated as if they are equally bad - and in addition, when there is a pile-on or browbeating, the minority is usually treated as the 'common denominator' i.e. troublemaker for their 'behaviour' (for bringing up a perfectly valid topic, that is frequently brow-beaten) - leading to minority views being easy to harass off of Boards.

    This absolutely is a suggestion to create a tool that would end up banning whole minority-led topics. It requires completely ignoring the way that posters/groups who try to control the narrative on Boards, co-opt and try to trigger moderation in their favour, to say otherwise.

    A whole group of posters (often reregs/trolls for example), who successfully trigger whole-topic-bans on opponents of theirs who are a minority - while being completely unscathed themselves, either through numbers or through reregs - are going to completely dominate discussion and dominate the whole narrative.


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  • I dont see a lot of mod actions against topics and i dont tbh see a lot of mod action against both sides for the sake of it. maybe im not looking hard enough, maybe you are seeing it where it isnt- in a solipsistic universe its an impossible dilemma to resolve, non?

    I do see a lot of threads wrecked by hobbyhorse posters who *behave in a way* that gets them thread-ejected, eventually, but usually after the damage has been done to the thread

    But nowhere have i suggested that anyone by mere dint of holding a minority opinion should be implied to be behaving in any particular way.

    Your post, as far as i can tell, is steadfastly refusing to differentiate between behaving in a way that attracts mod action *while holding a minority opinion* and merely holding a minority opinion

    Nothing in my suggestion would seek that mods differentiate between any actual position held, its a thought about posters who constantly get modded on the same topic but are still free to come in fresh and ready to roll again the next time they see their chance on that same topic

    Not to suggest that you could start your own thread on why holding a minority opinion should mean mods treat your behaviour any differently to any other poster (though to be perfectly frank that does seem to be a route to a crank's charter), but:

    i) you could start that thread, if you so wished, like

    ii) im not sure that "we need to encourage the cranks a bit more, lads" would necessarily achieve the required quorum at the next mods roundtable




  • I am precisely saying that the way moderation is implemented, makes it easy for controversial minority views to be drawn into disproportionate mod action, by opposing posters/groups trying to control the narrative - and that this rule you propose, is like handing the ultimate narrative-control weapon to such groups.

    That this would be the effective end-result of this rule, is the problem I have with it - not the intentions behind the rule.




  • That seems like a rather large projection/prediction on your part, I have to be honest.

    I figure I've been quite clear on the intent and reasoning and the request, and I feel that you are in fact just stating that you disagree with historic mod actions and that therefore mods shouldn't employ any new methods as they might continue to use them in a way you disagree with.

    I don't see the relevance, as I'm explicitly not asking mods to consider a new way to mod- I'm pointing out that modding a poster from thread-to-thread when it is entirely predictable that they will do damage in a given type of thread is allowing a lot of leeway that seems to be delivering a negative result.

    I was glad it had occurred to Tokyo, tbh, though I'd share the doubts about whether the approach is implementable.

    I'm sure you can see where what I'm saying isn't really what you seem to be picking up on, from my point of view?

    In order for your points to make any sense in the context of this thread, your contention would seem to be that it's not actually a problem that posters get to wreck multiple threads on a topic before being modded each time.

    Your contention would seem to be that its a problem that posters get modded at all for wrecking threads on a topic.

    Sincere apologies if that's not the thrust of your argument but its the only logical path back to objecting to my suggestion that I can see




  • There's nothing more to say on it - I couldn't have been more clear that I'm criticizing the proposed rule and not the intent behind it - and that I view the rule as being easily abused by (non-moderator) posters/groups trying to control the narrative on certain discussions/topics - if you feel that was unclear, then I think discussing it more with you would muddy it rather than clarify it.




  • KyussB wrote: »
    Take for example, MMT (for almost a decade, I would have been the only poster supportive of it) - this was effectively banned off of Boards years ago, and all discussion of macroeconomics that could be tied to MMT would lead to sanction (mods/admins of the time insist differently, but this is effectively what happened from my point of view) - yet today the Overton Window has shifted, and it is has effectively become mainstream macroeconomics, so it's finally possible to discuss it without sanction now.

    A whole-topic ban back then, would have killed discussion of it outright, permanently.

    As a mod of the forum where most of this went on, let me correct the record on this one. Discussion of MMT wasn't banned. You were banned for soapboxing, namely trying to shoehorn the topic into multiple threads and then aggressively shouting down anyone who disagreed with you.


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  • I think this is dodgy ground. Snoop your idea isn't to ban a topic but those who become irate and worked up every time a particular topic appears? In a way I suppose it's the same as a thread ban. If you cause trouble on a thread then off you must go.

    It's a bit more wide reaching though. It's saying "as long as you are on this site you must stay away from x topic".

    Also I'm surprised Tokyo that you've considered not allowing discussions to take place just because they have been done to death. Who is to say that the road has finished? I don't like censorship in any form and this feels like that.




  • Good intentions but seems like it would be unworkable in practice. For instance how to decide what is the banned topic: a user who regularly gets threadbanned from Trump threads are they banned from discussing US politics on site and if so are they banned from discussing current affairs from the US like police killings which are inherently political. And the whole forum is boilerplate political so where is the demarcation line for such a sanction in actual practice. Then you will have community reports that reflect that, all over the place saying “so and so is banned from topics on sexism and the Greta thread is getting pretty sexist” etc. and there’s a topic there with politics and sexism and science denialism - where to start with possible things to gag the user for.

    Unpractical and keeping that degree of manual tabs on all users is going to be so broad as to be unworkable or a small set of characters will be targeted under this system, which in practice will mean minority opinions will most often face the brunt of such systems as banning large fleets of users who all share the same lightning-rod views and exhibit problematic behaviors that would get any individual sticking their neck out to act in such ways would normally get more serious action. And, since this system is not traceable by the user in any meaningful way they have impractical means to adhere to it. Just as important: zero method to audit. Seems like it would become more of a “mod enemies list” than a proper system.




  • . If you cause trouble on a thread then off you must go.

    It's a bit more wide reaching though. It's saying "as long as you are on this site you must stay away from x topic".

    I mean, essentially, yeah

    I think there are loads of examples of posters who are ok until x or comes up and then they are thread wreckers and head wreckers and as it stands you have to let the inevitable play out until they get far enough in any new thread again to get a threadban

    The repetition, and the inevitable, and the grind in each thread where this behaviour is observable, might be avoidable if we look at it a little differently is the idea




  • I think this would just turn into an attempt to shut down opposing opinions.

    It would inevitably lead to posters reporting posts in an attempt to get another user/s banned from topics and, as Overheal mentioned, many topics overlap.

    No system will ever be perfect, but blanket topic bans is covert censorship. Debate topics, ignore some users if you wish, but don't force an echo chamber.




  • As a mod of the forum where most of this went on, let me correct the record on this one. Discussion of MMT wasn't banned. You were banned for soapboxing, namely trying to shoehorn the topic into multiple threads and then aggressively shouting down anyone who disagreed with you.
    MMT is just macroeconomics - so basically, discussing macroeconomics in Politics discussions about macroeconomics was labelled 'soapboxing'.

    You can't "shoehorn" macroeconomics, into a discussion about macroeconomics. You guys tried to get away with this by labeling it as 'theory' - well it's not and it wasn't, it's mainstream macroeconomics now.

    At times you guys even sanctioned me when other posters labelled my posts as MMT, even when stuff I was posting was well accepted by all economists, and I made no link to MMT.

    Not for this thread, though (so don't want to say anything more on it) - but it's the perfect example of what would have been suppressed, by the rule the OP proposes - which is why it was relevant earlier.




  • if someone was banned from discussing x,what happens if a thread they are part of veers into talking about x??


    Easily falls into being unworkable and sock-puppeting being rife to get around bans




  • Some good arguments against

    Im not sure i buy the ones that tend towards "mods would misuse this", i think thats a reach

    Unworkability- yeah ill admit this

    The question about when a thread on eg politics veers into trump, and a poster is on a "warning" re the latter, id say that poster knows theyre on a warning

    The argument that its in itself biased against minority opinion needs to actually be made, not just stated. I havent seen the former to my understanding

    Would anyone against the concept admit that its an issue that one or two posters can so easily essentially perform a schtick that clogs threads on a given topic but never quite run into more than threadband, despite the same names becoming synonymous with threadbans for the same behaviour but always available and welcome to the next thread where the topic can be shoehorned in




  • Snoop, in a recent thread we argued against the implementation of strict rules designed to stifle debate and exclude differing opinions.

    Your proposal would do exactly that by simply excluding some posters, rather than limiting what they can say.




  • snoopsheep wrote: »
    Some good arguments against

    Im not sure i buy the ones that tend towards "mods would misuse this", i think thats a reach

    Unworkability- yeah ill admit this

    The question about when a thread on eg politics veers into trump, and a poster is on a "warning" re the latter, id say that poster knows theyre on a warning

    The argument that its in itself biased against minority opinion needs to actually be made, not just stated. I havent seen the former to my understanding

    Would anyone against the concept admit that its an issue that one or two posters can so easily essentially perform a schtick that clogs threads on a given topic but never quite run into more than threadband, despite the same names becoming synonymous with threadbans for the same behaviour but always available and welcome to the next thread where the topic can be shoehorned in

    Misuse of moderation is not a foreign happenstance not that any such misuse is inherently deliberate or not paved with good intentions.




  • snoopsheep wrote: »
    The argument that its in itself biased against minority opinion needs to actually be made, not just stated. I havent seen the former to my understanding

    Would anyone against the concept admit that its an issue that one or two posters can so easily essentially perform a schtick that clogs threads on a given topic but never quite run into more than threadband, despite the same names becoming synonymous with threadbans for the same behaviour but always available and welcome to the next thread where the topic can be shoehorned in

    Would the thing that its biased againest minority view not be intertwined with the latter in one/two others clogging up threads??

    In that there would be a certain incentive to provoke/antagnoise minority views and these would pick up cululative bans/warnings etc leading to subject ban....while the matching warnings/bans would be spread across a larger number in majority view and thus posters of majority view never subject banned??





    Like i do agree with the idea,theres several subjects i steer well clear of for reasons outlined .....but the outcome of such action is obvious to me anyway,


    I hate to offer a problem to every solution without suggesting something better,(feel its an inherently loser mentality),........but i dont think shadowbanning can be done here or is particularly nice way to solve it


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  • snoopsheep wrote: »
    I mean, essentially, yeah

    I think there are loads of examples of posters who are ok until x or comes up and then they are thread wreckers and head wreckers and as it stands you have to let the inevitable play out until they get far enough in any new thread again to get a threadban

    The repetition, and the inevitable, and the grind in each thread where this behaviour is observable, might be avoidable if we look at it a little differently is the idea

    What makes the poster a headwreck? There are less than a handful who annoy me but I don't want them silenced. Every time there is a particular topic x poster appears with their sensitivities. The thing is though that's what I perceive, that they are easily offended. For me that's not a reason to have them banned from the discussion.
    I'm curious as to why you can't tolerate posters who push it, do you feel that putting them on ignore isn't sufficient? How would stricter moderation benefit you?




  • Not on the phone, that ive found!

    Id only again draw attention to the fact that im looking for a solution to behaviours that already see posters *threadbanned*

    Otherwise look, good responses and obviously ive jumped the gun here on this one based on the fair engagement im seeing back




  • I personally think it's unworkable. How can we define what "category" any particular thread sits in?

    If posters are regularly getting threadbans, they are more than likely also getting cards. Cards mount up, bans occur and ultimately a poster gets permanently banned form a forum and/or the site. I think, given the technology we have available to assist with moderation, there is not much more we can do without creating a lot more hassle for mods and probably users as well, as they try and work out if it's a topic they can post in

    Just to add, this site is not just CA, AH, Politics and the like. The procedures we have in place at a site level apply equally to hundreds of forums. What happens if someone gets "banned" from a topic in say AH or CA, but then starts discussing it in Politics, or a regional forum? That becomes nigh on impossible to police as mods only actively see what's happening in their own forums




  • Blaaz_ wrote: »
    Would the thing that its biased againest minority view not be intertwined with the latter in one/two others clogging up threads??

    In that there would be a certain incentive to provoke/antagnoise minority views and these would pick up cululative bans/warnings etc leading to subject ban....while the matching warnings/bans would be spread across a larger number in majority view and thus posters of majority view never subject banned??
    Exactly. A rule like this doesn't require any mod misuse, it just requires a larger groups of posters who want to control the narrative, antagonizing and triggering mutual 'tit for tat' mod action with a minority they are opposed to - and then by sheer numbers the minority gets suppressed, and the larger groups views will dominate.

    This type of dynamic exists to an extent even for existing rules/mod-actions, just the proposal in this thread would make it far worse.

    The above is a good reason to have an 'expiry date' for past mod actions (different to card expiry) - where after 'x' number of years, mod actions (including bans etc.) are not just wiped, but are not able to be referred to by admins/mods either, in justifying further mod action or the severity of further mod actions.




  • KyussB wrote: »
    The above is a good reason to have an 'expiry date' for past mod actions (different to card expiry) - where after 'x' number of years, mod actions (including bans etc.) are not just wiped, but are not able to be referred to by admins/mods either, in justifying further mod action or the severity of further mod actions.

    Oh, yes please.

    Users who take the approach of a revolving door with their accounts are in more cases than fewer never tied together in a way that would give moderator nearly the same degree of continuity as reviewing a user that keeps a single account, and even in cases where there might be a link made, it's again not always immediately retrievable in the same way to a mod when they are reviewing to take actions. tldr users with older accounts are disadvantaged by the rapt sheet that never purges and the whole enterprise benefits users to just keep re-regging at the drop of a hat




  • snoopsheep wrote: »
    Some good arguments against

    Im not sure i buy the ones that tend towards "mods would misuse this", i think thats a reach

    Unworkability- yeah ill admit this

    The question about when a thread on eg politics veers into trump, and a poster is on a "warning" re the latter, id say that poster knows theyre on a warning

    The argument that its in itself biased against minority opinion needs to actually be made, not just stated. I havent seen the former to my understanding

    Would anyone against the concept admit that its an issue that one or two posters can so easily essentially perform a schtick that clogs threads on a given topic but never quite run into more than threadband, despite the same names becoming synonymous with threadbans for the same behaviour but always available and welcome to the next thread where the topic can be shoehorned in

    Probably a better and more workable arrangement would be a technical fix whereby a poster could not post on a thread where they have posted more than 5% of the posts. That would derail those who tend to dominate threads and exclude other opinions, which is the key problem.




  • blanch152 wrote: »
    Probably a better and more workable arrangement would be a technical fix whereby a poster could not post on a thread where they have posted more than 5% of the posts. That would derail those who tend to dominate threads and exclude other opinions, which is the key problem.

    So then you could never have a thread without 20 contributing users at a bare minimum?


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