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10-05-2017, 11:19   #31
dudara
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Originally Posted by KERSPLAT! View Post
So mods generally don't mod threads they are taking part in but at times if they see clear abuse, etc. they will. I'm saying you could look into making it a clear rule that if a mod is taking part in a thread, they will not perform any mod actions in that thread.
I agree with the sentiment, but I would urge caution in how specific we get. Otherwise, we may end up with a situation where no mod can mod a thread, or the only mod available that time cannot act. I know these are rare situations.

In short, I want to follow the spirit of the law, rather than the letter of the law, as this will not restrict mods in situations where action is required.
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10-05-2017, 11:51   #32
 
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10-05-2017, 14:49   #33
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Originally Posted by Leona Modern Sugarcoat View Post
Yes, without doubt, certain viewpoints are quicker to be shut down, and sanctioned than others, by mods of the opposite viewpoint.
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Any suggestions as to how that perception might be changed?
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10-05-2017, 15:29   #34
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It's not a perception, it's a reality, so my honest suggestion is to get the mods to stop moderating in that way.

I can't think of any other way to put that. I never said it was a perception.

You never asked if it was a perception either, to be fair, so you are moving the goalposts on the original question here.

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do posters believe that mods sanction people differently if they are of a different viewpoint to the poster being sanctioned?
My answer to that was, and remains, yes, I believe they do.

I don't think it's a perception, I think it is actually happening.
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10-05-2017, 15:50   #35
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Originally Posted by Leona Modern Sugarcoat View Post
It's not a perception, it's a reality, so my honest suggestion is to get the mods to stop moderating in that way.
Perception, by definition, is a way of interpreting something. You're entitled to your interpretation of events (opinion) that certain viewpoints are being oppressed by the moderators here, and I'm more than willing to take that opinion onboard, but please don't state as fact that it's a reality, when you have been asked time and time again in the past to back up that statement. As I stated in the beginning, I'm looking for constructive suggestions as to how to improve the Cafe, and I'm not going to have this thread derail into finger pointing like the feedback threads of the past.

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My answer to that was, and remains, yes, I believe they do.

I don't think it's a perception, I think it is actually happening.
As I said, you're entitled to that opinion. If you have any constructive feedback as to how that perception might be changed, I'm happy to hear it out.
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10-05-2017, 15:58   #36
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I received a PM from blanch152 earlier - as he's currently serving out a ban, he can't post directly here, but I thought the content of his PM worthy of adding to the thread here.


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One topic that keeps coming up is mod bias or more accurately, a perception that there is mod bias. I am reminded of the old saying that not only is it necessary that justice be done, but also that justice is seen to be done. Regardless of whether or not mod actions are correct, the perception that they are biased, wrong or inconsistent is as damaging to reputation as the actuality.

One way of addressing this in the Cafe would be to apply some objective tests. This could be done in relation to soapboxing for example. If you have a thread that has more than 100, 200 or 500 posts (pick a number yourself) and a single poster has more than a certain percentage of posts (10%, 20% 30%) or posts more than other posters (say 20% more) etc., that could be prima facie evidence of soapboxing and dominating a thread unfairly. You could design an automatic process yourself.

I think a lot of posters get highly attached to a discussion (and I fault myself for that as well) and that emotional involvement gets reinforced and it eventually descends into behaviour that can be perceived as trolling or abusive which is driven by the emotional commitment as much as (or more than) any intent to troll or insult. I believe that many of the posters who have been banned are genuine and are not typical internet trolls but get caught up in a debate. An early warning system that picked up that Poster X is dominating Thread Y (along the lines I outlined above) and generated an automatic warning to that poster that you are taking over the thread and you need to be considerate of others might cause them to pause and reflect before the thread descends into nightmare territory and would certainly justify strong action if they continued. If this could be done automatically, it would be even better, as then the mods wouldn't have to be around.

To give an example, look at the current Irish Water thread, where one poster has posted more than twice as much as any other, and any dissenting opinion has been silenced. It doesn't lead to healthy debate.

On the question you asked about mods been tougher on those who disagree with them, yes, there is a certain amount of that, but it isn't the biggest problem. The biggest problem is posters being harder on those who disagree with them, and only reporting posts that break the charter which are from the opposing viewpoint. So if you have someone with a minority viewpoint (and this is definitely me) and steps slightly over the line, you could get reported by several posters which brings you to the attention of the mods. At the same time, someone from the majority viewpoint could step way over the line and not be reported at all as there aren't as many posters subjecting their posts to the same scrutiny. There has to be some way to balance this out, otherwise minority viewpoints will be pushed out.
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10-05-2017, 16:59   #37
 
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There's a couple of issues there. We have rules for flip flopping or repetitive posting. I don't think restricting people to some kind of post limit per topic makes sense.

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The biggest problem is posters being harder on those who disagree with them, and only reporting posts that break the charter which are from the opposing viewpoint.
The amount of flags means little IMO. The post either breaches charter or it does not. If it's not flagged we may miss it and be later accused of bias due to inaction, which has happened.

And yes, it's ironic and I think important to note, that more often than not, posters reporting/flagging posts generally only do so on posts they disagree with but they don't report the exact same behaviour from those they agree with. This happens regularly from all sides, but again, it either breaches charter or it does not.

If a person has a reputation for trolling particular topics and breaching charter, chances are they'll be dealt with differently over a poster who can be given the benefit of the doubt. But that's based on ground previously covered with the poster; 1st warning, 2nd etc. Could it be perceived as bias? Sure, but the alternative is either coming down harshly on day one or constantly letting breaches slide. I can see issues rising from that but we've the PM's and Feedback to help us out.
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10-05-2017, 19:04   #38
 
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10-05-2017, 23:09   #39
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I'm going to start my long winded reply by saying that my really important points/questions are going to be in italics, and by saying [I]This post had been deleted.[/QUOTE]

I think this is covered by both the general soapboxing rule, and also by the repetitive posting rule that is in the pc charter. I have seen posters literally badger another repeatedly by making the same point and asking the same question just as I have seen posters make the same point regarding e.g. a politician they are opposed to in every single thread they believe they can bring it up in, both of which are soapboxing, and the first which is also repetitive posting.

So my question here is "should the mods crack down on soapboxing across multiple threads, and on repetitive posts where other users are badgered repeatedly to answer a question/prove a point?"

Quote:
I think a lot of posters get highly attached to a discussion (and I fault myself for that as well) and that emotional involvement gets reinforced and it eventually descends into behaviour that can be perceived as trolling or abusive which is driven by the emotional commitment as much as (or more than) any intent to troll or insult. I believe that many of the posters who have been banned are genuine and are not typical internet trolls but get caught up in a debate. An early warning system that picked up that Poster X is dominating Thread Y (along the lines I outlined above) and generated an automatic warning to that poster that you are taking over the thread and you need to be considerate of others might cause them to pause and reflect before the thread descends into nightmare territory and would certainly justify strong action if they continued. If this could be done automatically, it would be even better, as then the mods wouldn't have to be around.

To give an example, look at the current Irish Water thread, where one poster has posted more than twice as much as any other, and any dissenting opinion has been silenced. It doesn't lead to healthy debate.
My personal view on this is that posters get very entrenched in their views, and resort at times to personal insults/referring to other posters histories and that is unacceptable as the thread becomes an ongoing litany of referring to others history of posting which then leads to cards/bans.

Given that most posters here are adults, I think it's a shame that the need for an early warning system is being discussed, most mods in the cafe will post a warning in the thread, then intervene with yellow cards before moving on, so banned posters will have generated a fair history of yellows, reds and bans before being permanently banned.


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On the question you asked about mods been tougher on those who disagree with them, yes, there is a certain amount of that, but it isn't the biggest problem. The biggest problem is posters being harder on those who disagree with them, and only reporting posts that break the charter which are from the opposing viewpoint. So if you have someone with a minority viewpoint (and this is definitely me) and steps slightly over the line, you could get reported by several posters which brings you to the attention of the mods. At the same time, someone from the majority viewpoint could step way over the line and not be reported at all as there aren't as many posters subjecting their posts to the same scrutiny. There has to be some way to balance this out, otherwise minority viewpoints will be pushed out.
I feel a key issue here is lack of reporting posts by users, as a mod I've had users tell me they won't do so, as they will deal with it themselves, which results in cards and sanctions, others don't want to report their "own", and others don't want to be a "rat"

If people don't report posts, in a forum as busy as the cafe, then behaviour will continue.

Why are people not reporting posts?


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Originally Posted by Permabear View Post
I'd say you need to have a healthy degree of political diversity on the mod team, first and foremost. It's absolutely vital to have mods looking at discussions from different perspectives, because what one mod sees as "hate speech," another mod could see as legitimate criticism. It also helps if posters don't perceive the moderating deck as stacked against them from the outset.
The political views of the five mods currently modding the cafe vary wildly on most subjects to be honest. There is plenty of dicussion in the mods forum when action is being taken on particularly vocal topics, and there is usually a compromise reached.
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If a mod feels particularly strongly about a topic, whether it be abortion, Irish Water, Donald Trump's presidency, or something else, then that mod should have the good sense to recuse him- or herself from moderating threads on that topic. Also, if there's a history of personal animosity between a mod and a poster, the mod should again have the good sense not to take action against that poster, because it will only be perceived as retaliation.
This has been adopted in the past 4-6 weeks.

I wonder however if there should be a lead/primary mod for particularly contentious subjects, so e.g. for Irish Water, should I have no interest in it, and the mods agree, should it be posted that the lead mod is Stheno who will mod the thread and not post in it? This would be a very complex approach though

Overall, one thing I'd like to say that doesn't often get expressed, and isn't often acknowledged by posters, is that the mods in the cafe put a lot of time and effort in in guiding people who are falling afoul of the charter before actioning them, I know I've sent plenty of people messages asking them to heed a warning and consider a post made shortly after a warning, and to be fair to posters, the majority will take the advice on board.

Where that advice is ignored how do posters feel mods should proceed?

Should there be a graded system? e.g. three yellows = a red, three reds is a day off, then a week, then a month, then three, then a permaban? that's in total 11 chances before you are banned?

Last edited by Stheno; 11-05-2017 at 08:59.
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11-05-2017, 00:55   #40
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Delete existing charter. Replace with original Politics Cafe charter.

Charter - Keep it simple:
Be civil to one another.

Allow off-topic threads. Just like discussions in real-world cafe with friends. Want serious, on-topic discussion? Go to Politics, not Cafe.

Follow Terms of Use (with link). Don't repeat Terms in charter.
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11-05-2017, 07:32   #41
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Originally Posted by KERSPLAT! View Post
Maybe the posting of mods in a thread they are taking part in should be looked at. Make it a hard no?
Mods with a certain distinct leaning actively modding and expressing their opinions on contentious and controversial threads is akin to a referee scoring a goal for his favourite team.
It stifles free expression and the perception that the forum is an unbiased and free medium for everyone is badly damaged.
The recent immigrant thread was closed down by a mod with a certain leaning in the discussion. This looked very bad from a free speech perspective and took a farcical direction towards the end when mod petulance took over and everybody who even hinted at sarcasm at the direction the thread was taking was banned or yellow carded. Bottom line free discussion was being railroaded and stifled.
Just my 2c.
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11-05-2017, 07:40   #42
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Oh I forgot. The policy of requiring people post links for every statement they make is farcical too because it allows people to redirect and the focus is now on somebody having to provide proof rather than the discussion itself.
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11-05-2017, 08:55   #43
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Oh I forgot. The policy of requiring people post links for every statement they make is farcical too because it allows people to redirect and the focus is now on somebody having to provide proof rather than the discussion itself.
I don't think there is such a policy.

But I'm struggling to see why it is such a problem if someone makes a "statement of fact" and are then asked to back it up with proof how that in turn becomes "farcical".

If someone is allowed make any statement they want without proof or evidence then surely that will turn into farce quite quickly.
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11-05-2017, 09:25   #44
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I don't think there is such a policy.

But I'm struggling to see why it is such a problem if someone makes a "statement of fact" and are then asked to back it up with proof how that in turn becomes "farcical".

If someone is allowed make any statement they want without proof or evidence then surely that will turn into farce quite quickly.
it's when people start picking and choosing which "source" they are going to accept as being legit.

You won't accept Daily Mail links, for example, but a moderator of this forum saw fit to link to a 13 year old Indo report to rebut a point of mine before.

So...what's acceptable? Breitbart? SWP Pamphlets? Jim Corr's blog? The Daily Mirror? The Irish Times? The Guardian? The Telegraph? Denis O'Brien's media? Rupert?

How old can a piece be before it's relevance is in question? 5 years? a month? twenty years?
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11-05-2017, 09:38   #45
 
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Originally Posted by Leona Modern Sugarcoat View Post
it's when people start picking and choosing which "source" they are going to accept as being legit.

You won't accept Daily Mail links, for example, but a moderator of this forum saw fit to link to a 13 year old Indo report to rebut a point of mine before.

So...what's acceptable? Breitbart? SWP Pamphlets? Jim Corr's blog? The Daily Mirror? The Irish Times? The Guardian? The Telegraph? Denis O'Brien's media? Rupert?

How old can a piece be before it's relevance is in question? 5 years? a month? twenty years?
5 years......I brought up a news story from the Indo from 2012 in support of a point I was making and was carded for my troubles, so I'm assuming 5 years or less is the limit?
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