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Bannings

tmottestmottes Veteran
edited September 2011 in NewBuddhist.com
In light of recent bannings, would it be possible to have a set of guidelines to which we can refer regarding inappropriate behaviour? Perhaps this already exists and I am simply ignorant of it.

Comments

  • This has been asked before. There are no official rules. The unspoken rules are be nice and polite to people. If you disagree with a post, disagree politely. Don't be a jerk, avoid troll-like behavior: making comments to deliberately offend or get a reaction from someone.

    We've been told in the past, that the admin doesn't like to post rules. If they wanted to, they'd have done it in response to recent bannings. So far, everyone's getting along.
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited September 2011
    Most people who are banned are repeat offenders. They've been warned about their behavior once or more (usually several times) and have not complied.

    There are also those who try to sneak back on after being banned, and are immediately banned again. That counts as the same ban, though it does add another offense to the list against the person (making it less likely they'll be un-banned in the future).
  • Instead of banning people overall (minus obvious verbal attacks), perhaps it is possible to have a personal "ignore" list. I am reminded of the story in which the buddha went for a walk in the forest and let his sangha sort things out themselves. Some code that tells the forum to not show posts from certain people (I offer my assistance in this)? I had thought about this before, but disregarded it as I tend learn something from even the most ridiculous posts.
  • Common sense stuff really. It shouldn't be too hard for folks to follow.
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited September 2011
    Yep, common sense. If you were having polite conversation in someone else's home, that's about what it's like here. We are to consider the forum as @Lincoln's living room, and we're all guests (even the moderators, who more than anyone are expected to know what's appropriate and what's not).

    It is refreshing for a forum to expect people to know the difference between right and wrong, instead of telling them, isn't it? If it's an obvious attack such as spamming, that's a no-brainer. If it's something more subtle, the moderators or one of the admins will warn a person and edit or delete inappropriate content, with more potent counter-actions such as bannings being only a last resort.

    There's plenty of opportunity for people who honestly want to be here and to contribute to correct their actions if they've mis-stepped. Those who come here only to cause trouble will not have so many opportunities, because they don't wish to adapt they only wish to wreck what we have, and they will be dealt with appropriately.
  • In light of recent bannings, would it be possible to have a set of guidelines to which we can refer regarding inappropriate behaviour? Perhaps this already exists and I am simply ignorant of it.
    It's like the aspects of the eight fold path... if you have to wonder if it's wrong, it's probably wrong.
  • tmottestmottes Veteran
    edited September 2011
    Well, I don't agree that common sense should be a prescription for anything, as it isn't very common at all. We all approach life from a very different perspective and what I think makes perfect sense and everybody should adhere to, isn't the same for everybody else.

    Your analogy of @Lincoln 's living room is more apt in my eyes.

    @Mountains I don't believe in right and wrong. Just skillful and unskillful toward liberation :)

    I must admit that when I join a forum of any kind, I don't think of it as owned by somebody as much as the community who uses it. People who are there to pester should be ignored and they will leave on their own accord. Just my own opinion on the matter: thanks for entertaining me.
  • why vicenzi is banned? anybody knows?
  • tmottestmottes Veteran
    edited September 2011
    @zen_world One of the moderators said why in a thread. I don't want to mis-quote them, so I will let them speak up for themselves, else I can try and find the thread if you wish.
  • I don't believe in right and wrong. Just skillful and unskillful toward liberation :)
    Well I think the vast majority of the world disagrees with you. Killing someone is wrong as well as being unskillful. In the same way, acting like an ass and belittling people and attacking them on a forum is not only unskillful, it's wrong, and there's no defending it.
  • After many years on many forums I have found that moderators do tend to give private warnings or public ones. I also appreciate being in a place where it is possible to ban bad behavior after warnings and guidance to change. When I have been places that had no way of moderating then anything you said could be attacked by anyone, in your living room you can ask someone to leave or not invite them back after all.
  • @zen_world One of the moderators said why in a thread. I don't want to mis-quote them, so I will let them speak up for themselves, else I can try and find the thread if you wish.
    Can you please find me that thread...I am really curious... thanks in advance.
  • The thread you're looking for is this one, @zen_world.
  • tmottestmottes Veteran
    edited September 2011
    @Aheerdt Why not leave that up to the people on the forum to "ignore" people? Why take away that personal judgement, unless it is not feasible code-wise/time to code-wise?

    @Mountains On a pragmatic level of course, but from a buddhist perspective right and wrong are judgements based on attachments to views, so to help me accept things as they are I try to not think in terms of right and wrong. I am not defending being inconsiderate to anybody and I am in support of some rules to ensure things don't get to a point where people aren't benefiting from the threads. By the way, using the majority as a defense for a position can be dangerous. I would say, obviously not in the case of murder, but then again people do go along with genocide because everybody else is. I prefer to think for myself and appreciate it when others offer me that same opportunity.

    @Cloud and @vixthenomad thanks for finding it for @zen_world.
  • @Cloud: synchronicity at work! :D
  • Thanks for the link folks.

    I felt bad for vincenzi. He was either speaking the truth or he needed some serious help. Hope he finds his way.
  • I do find it hard to totally ignore responses to my comments or threads. I think that is human. Many people say what they never would in person on forums. I have done some of that, ignoring some responses and replying to others but it is hard.

    In a recent situation the person i was ignoring contacted me privately to continue a discussion that had been stopped on the boards. He responded to me asking him to leave me alone so I didn't bring it up to anyone at the time.

    Moderating of course needs to be done in moderation. I get to know a board and see if I am comfortable with the reasons for bannings or requests for change and then I can choose to stay or leave. For the record I am comfortable with the level of moderation here and am comfortable.
  • tmottestmottes Veteran
    edited September 2011
    @zen_world I hope so too :). It seemed strange that he stopped posting in full sentences and was just posting one or two words in response to people.

    @Aheerdt I agree, the level of banning isn't bad at all. I am part of a philosophy forum and they ban you if you don't use grammar in a manner that can be clearly understood. I wasn't intending to criticize the work our moderators do, just looking for clarification and posting a suggestions for the site. Actually, I think we have some very reasonable moderators and for that I am grateful.
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited September 2011
    The moderation on here is minimal. After all, we have a relatively small staff (increased in recent months due to an increase in membership). That's all we need to keep the peace, because most members here are respectful of others.

    To boil it down, only what doesn't belong here is removed (including members). We only moderate what we have to moderate. Above all, we are members as well, and we're upholding the same level of civility for this forum that we have ourselves enjoyed during our time here.

    Of all the Buddhist forums I've visited, this is the most "congenial" and the least moderated. We all get along here, even when we don't see eye-to-eye, and that's all that we really expect... civility.

    If there's anything else, if anyone steps out of line, we let them know. They then choose whether they will end up banned or not, by choosing whether to take the directions of the staff. We don't ban people as much as people "get banned", by their own actions. Karma at work.
  • zidanguszidangus Veteran
    edited September 2011
    What about a kind of sin bin where people can be banned for a set period of time, say one week for a first warning, two weeks for second warning, etc etc, saying that this could be just to complicated to put into place ?

    Also is there a set number of complaints needed about a person before they are banned ?

    Lastly any chance to appeal a ban ? I mean could a ban be overturned if enough members objected to it ?


    sorry about all the questions :D
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited September 2011
    I've personally banned a couple of members for set times, like 1 week or 1 month... it's not usual though, because by the time someone gets banned they've usually committed any number of offenses previously.

    There's no set number of complaints, but the moderation escalates. Moderation can include warnings, editing content, deleting content, closing threads, and the like with bannings on the very end (out of a huge amount of members, we only have maybe 6 banned right now). It takes a good deal of minor things to cause a ban, or less if it's major offenses. Usually there's more than one instance of each type of action, such as multiple warnings or having to continually "clean up" after an offensive member.

    As for an appeal, I'd say that's up to @Lincoln. There'd have to be a good reason for it, but he's the head honcho. It has nothing to do with the members... this is more a "private forum open to the public" than anything, not a democracy. Usually it's flagging of content by members that initiates moderation, telling us there's something inappropriate (which we then look into).

    Ask away, I'm here all week. ;)
  • zenmystezenmyste Veteran
    edited September 2011
    I dont believe anyone on this site is ''MALICIOUS''
    They wouldnt be on a Buddhist site if they were BAD PEOPLE.

    So banning people could come across as pretty harsh. Because i bet alot of the time people have just got caught up in the moment and come across arrogant or ignorant, but come on They probably mean no harm. Wheres the compassion? We are all here to express our opinions and ask questions. None of us are BAD MEN/WOMEN..im pretty sure an evil person would have better things to do other than cause arguments on a buddhist site...Jeeez!!!! Oh well...

    Namaste people!!
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited September 2011
    No one said anyone was malicious, or bad people. What we deal with here are actions & consequences. In other words... choices. Karma. Wrong actions here lead to consequences; this forum is not separate from "real life", it is not a place where anyone can come and say anything, cause as much disruption as they like and not be held accountable. Moderation is a necessity to keep a place as nice as this one. If anyone doesn't think so, they're free to find an un-moderated Buddhist forum (some members here may like that, but the majority would not).

    No one is held here against their will. This is a place for people who want to be here, to learn and to help others. Anyone can come or go as they please, or may leave, and that's okay. We welcome all of it. We just don't welcome disruption to the forum, any more than the police welcome burglary or arson. In our world, the disruptions are smaller-scale and of a different nature, but they must be handled for this forum to continue to be a beneficial and positive experience for its memberbase.
  • LincLinc Community Instigator Detroit Moderator
    In light of recent bannings, would it be possible to have a set of guidelines to which we can refer regarding inappropriate behaviour? Perhaps this already exists and I am simply ignorant of it.
    No one gets banned by surprise. There are always warnings and dialogue first to clear up miscommunications. We don't ban on whims, and members get the benefit of doubts (I hope you'll give moderators the same benefit).

    When high-profile members get banned, I tend to make a closed announcement like the one linked above to clarify the situation. I understand it causes high anxiety to wonder about losing access to a place you've invested energy into. In short: if you're that worried, you care too much to ever be enough of a jerk to get banned. :)

    A member was banned earlier today, but it was someone who was previously banned and had illicitly re-registered. This happens from time to time, and we constantly work to get better at detecting them. Some people we ban are extremely persistent.

    If you ever have concerns about a particular situation, I encourage you to contact me via conversation here or email. I simply don't mention some bannings because I think it is distracting and useless, not because we operate particularly secretively or have a problem explaining.
  • zidanguszidangus Veteran
    edited September 2011
    @Cloud @Lincoln thanks for answering my questions, you've shed some light into the whole banning process. :)
  • LincLinc Community Instigator Detroit Moderator
    Quite welcome.

    I should also note that I have my email address posted at the top of the forum and yes, one of the reasons is as recourse for a banned member. We aren't infallible, and I've reversed bans more than once after an understanding was reached. One member at another site I run was banned as a teenager and emailed us 4+ years later to apologize and ask to come back. I met him in person for the first time in June and had a great time. :)
  • Personally I love the fact that there are no set rules here. Not because this = anything goes, but because it puts faith that the users here will know to behave themselves without having to be given a list of directions on how to do so. Adults shouldn't need to be told to act like adults.
  • Adults shouldn't need to be told to act like adults.
    Sadly, in every aspect of life, that's not the case however. Take a look at any newspaper or news web site for multiple examples on any given day. :)

  • Mods: You did just fine, it was pretty obvious who was insistent in their will to create dissent and be argumentative with anyone and everyone in order to prove that they and only they were right. Even the condescension was a bit much to stomach. I am human, and prey to emotions like anyone else, compassion notwithstanding, so I was not all that sad to see them go on a time out.

    Though I have been here only a short while there are some very intelligent folks that can teach us a lot as "New Buddhists" - I suspect that not all of us are new judging by the anecdotes, and I am grateful that they take the time to chip in some of their experiences and wisdom.

    Thank you Mods, and Namaste'
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    You're welcome.
    I should add at this point, that we are just as human, and just as subject to the variations of different mood swings and emotions as anyone else.










    We're just really good at hiding it.

    :D





    (That was a joke.....)
  • I don't know but I have noticed threads being closed because the moderater didn't care for the topic or was tired of hearing about it.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    name one.
  • MindGateMindGate United States Veteran
    edited September 2011
    I don't believe in right and wrong. Just skillful and unskillful toward liberation :)
    Well I think the vast majority of the world disagrees with you. Killing someone is wrong as well as being unskillful. In the same way, acting like an ass and belittling people and attacking them on a forum is not only unskillful, it's wrong, and there's no defending it.
    There is no such thing as right and wrong, since everything is conditioned. To say that things can be right and wrong morally (not something being a fact or a lie) would have to mean there are absolute truths: but I'm pretty sure Buddha taught against there being absolute moral truths - only skillful and unskillful actions.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    There is no such thing as right and wrong, since everything is conditioned. To say that things can be right and wrong morally (not something being a fact or a lie) would have to mean there are absolute truths: but I'm pretty sure Buddha taught against there being absolute moral truths - only skillful and unskillful actions.
    Well, I don't agree. I could think of situations where you could justify some "bad" things (such as killing someone). But I couldn't think of a justification for rape...as one example.

  • tmottestmottes Veteran
    edited September 2011
    Deleted... didn't want to post in this thread. We should create another thread if we wish to discuss if right and wrong exist.
  • LincLinc Community Instigator Detroit Moderator
    Yeah, time to move on.
This discussion has been closed.