or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Welcome to Mothering! › Site Help › Could we move the Israeli War threads into Politics?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Could we move the Israeli War threads into Politics? - Page 9

post #161 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by abimommy View Post
IMO Politics is personal.
I don't think that it has to be. I think that anyone who is going to engage in a political discussion needs to be adult enough to be able to separate the personal aspect from it - and that goes both ways.
post #162 of 240
That's so convenient when you are part of the majority. And clearly people weren't following the UA, which is why their were so many thread closures and the forum has been closed more than once before this, plus we went without a politics forum for 2 years here.
post #163 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdinaL View Post
... Our job is not to recruit even amounts of people from both sides of every issue to have a conversation. The bottom line is that if people are posting within the UA, they are free to post, and people are free to refute, respond and discuss right back.
Adina,
I think we can agree that only rarely were obvious and outrageous UAVs the problem. It was the sheer depth, breadth and width of the huge volume of comments that skirted on the edge of violating the UA.

Anyone in the minority had to think long and hard about reporting them for a number of reasons. Partly because there just wasn't enough time to report them all and partly because you didn't want to be perceived as a complainer and partly because of the knowledge that there were, at most, maybe one or two other people that might have reported those comments. And to the extent that perception is reality, it should be obvious that a disproportionate amount of "grey area" UAVs will be disciplined if enough people are offended enough to report them. So the members of the minority become discouraged and stop posting.

There is weakness in small numbers and strength in large numbers. Proactive moderating has the potential to level the playing field somewhat.

Pointing to those hypothetical MDC members that lurked but never posted, or posted a few times until they allowed themselves to be crowded off the board, essentially blames the potential "victim", so to speak.

~Cath
post #164 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleaugustbaby View Post
I don't think that it has to be. I think that anyone who is going to engage in a political discussion needs to be adult enough to be able to separate the personal aspect from it - and that goes both ways.
I think that is an important distinction. People often took it personally because they were being personally insulted.

We don't really run the boards with the premise that people "shouldn't take it personally" sincere people should be able to post about their views without being bullied. We wouldn't tolerate bullying in children, it isn't ok in adults either.

Also, cyberbullying is illegal in some states.

http://www.mothering.com/sections/ne...tober2006.html

http://www.mothering.com/articles/gr...n/bullies.html
post #165 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
That's so convenient when you are part of the majority. And clearly people weren't following the UA, which is why their were so many thread closures and the forum has been closed more than once before this, plus we went without a politics forum for 2 years here.
I remember that well. But I don't see anything 'convenient' about it, I just see it as using basic good manners and being an adult and engaging in adult discussion. Nobody can help the fact that this place is politically left-leaning, it just is. And while I think that people need to not engage in attacks, I also think that if someone is going to be so sensitive to something that they feel every opposing viewpoint is a personal attack, then maybe it's not the place for them. There's a reason that I don't post at places like Free Republic, yk?

I remember there being a lot more conservative posters 4 years ago when we were allowed to have the support threads for the Dem and Republican parties. I'd like to see something like those brought back so that people on all sides, including 3rd parties, would be more likely to participate and find support, with strict rules about non-supporters not being allowed to post in the threads.

cathmac, the UA here is pretty specific and covers a lot of bases. I have to say that if you're complaining that there were a ton of things that hurt your feelings but still skirted the edge of violating the UA, that you might have been taking a lot of things way too personally. When you come into a discussion where you don't hold the majority opinion, especially on a heated topic, I'm not really sure what you're expecting. It shouldn't be a surprise that people are going to disagree with you.
post #166 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by abimommy View Post
Cath are you talking about *formal* debate?


Do you want me to add that to the list?

The problem with formal debate is we would have to find a way to only let a limited number of people respond to "their" threads, otherwise there may be a lot of party crashers.

I am not saying it would be impossible but we would need to figure it out.
Abi,
I used the word "debate" loosely. I have revised it to read "discussion".

IMHO, on a board as lopsided and passionate as the Politics board there will never be room for dissenters without enough moderators that they have more time and energy to review the threads proactively, rather than having to rely on member reports.

~Cath
post #167 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by CathMac View Post
Abi,
I used the word "debate" loosely. I have revised it to read "discussion".

IMHO, on a board as lopsided and passionate as the Politics board there will never be room for dissenters without enough moderators that they have more time and energy to review the threads proactively, rather than having to rely on member reports.

~Cath
I don't know what else you mean by "proactive" moderation. What would that entail precisely?
post #168 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
basically yep to all of that. I have a lot of respect for the people that had the stamina to go in there on a regular basis and post views that were not part of the majority. That took some ovaries.
I do as well, if they post in a non-adversarial manner, but it felt like there was a lot of deconstructing to do to get to the heart of the matter. As an Obama supporter, I could read something that a McCain or Nader supporter said, and agree with it, and I did at times and said as much; but then I have no idea how my words were interpreted. Maybe it was so divisive that people were thinking I was being sarcastic, or something. I like to have actual real, true, open discussion, but I did feel like it was hard to do that at times, with many viewpoints, even the ones with which I mostly agreed. What am I trying to say, exactly...I think that I don't want people to assume I'm trying to score a point or have some agenda, yet I felt like that so much of what we were saying or could have said might be immediately suspect, depending on who was saying it and who was reading it, so sometimes it felt futile.
post #169 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola View Post
I do as well, if they post in a non-adversarial manner, but it felt like there was a lot of deconstructing to do to get to the heart of the matter. As an Obama supporter, I could read something that a McCain or Nader supporter said, and agree with it, and I did at times and said as much; but then I have no idea how my words were interpreted. Maybe it was so divisive that people were thinking I was being sarcastic, or something. I like to have actual real, true, open discussion, but I did feel like it was hard to do that at times, with many viewpoints, even the ones with which I mostly agreed. What am I trying to say, exactly...I think that I don't want people to assume I'm trying to score a point or have some agenda, yet I felt like that so much of what we were saying or could have said might be immediately suspect, depending on who was saying it and who was reading it, so sometimes it felt futile.
It's pretty obvious when someone is trying to score a point, I'll just leave it at that in deference to the UA. I don't think anyone would make that mistaken assumption about you.

Quote:
I like to have actual real, true, open discussion, but I did feel like it was hard to do that at times, with many viewpoints, even the ones with which I mostly agreed.
I know just what you mean here.
post #170 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola View Post
I like to have actual real, true, open discussion, but I did feel like it was hard to do that at times, with many viewpoints, even the ones with which I mostly agreed..
Yep...Yep yep yep yep.....very true!
post #171 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by fek&fuzz View Post
I don't think MDC was meant to be all things to all people, and honestly when I would see the NC&E posts in new threads about "Mom drowns baby in well after putting it in the microwave **may be disturbing**" I wondered why such sensational things had to be discussed over and over. It started to look like a tabloid magazine cover.
No kidding! Glad to know I'm not the only one who thought these articles were grim, creepy and unnecessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abimommy View Post
It was those threads that were causing the issues.
Seriously?? And I despise those threads! Can they be banned, instead of the whole sheebang? As you said (I think it was you) elsewhere, the Politics forum was settling down.

Ruthla suggested that the threads could be checked before they're posted, like in TAO.
post #172 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleaugustbaby View Post
...

cathmac, the UA here is pretty specific and covers a lot of bases. ... When you come into a discussion where you don't hold the majority opinion, especially on a heated topic, I'm not really sure what you're expecting. It shouldn't be a surprise that people are going to disagree with you.
littleaugustbaby,
NAK.

Frequently the subject was a mundane opinion on what should have been a pretty tame topic, not a hot button issue.

And regarding the MDC UA, as you know it is supplemented on some boards by "Guidelines" specific to those boards. A little history on the Politics guidelines might be helpful here.

First and foremost please note that I am not in any way questioning or debating the UA, or the Politics guidelines. Nor am I questioning how they were applied. I am merely describing them as I understand them

For the sake of clarity and brevity I have referenced and quoted further below the relevant Politics' "stickies" and "Guidelines" that are still available.

Going into the first moratorium in Aug/08, Jacque posted a notice warning members against "agenda" driven posting. She further advised that "we (Mods/Admins) will be more pro-active and quick to warn anyone for such behavior."

If memory serves correctly, the Politics Guidelines that were actually implemented upon the board re-opening removed the reference to "Agenda" posting (probably due to ambiguity and enforceability issues). And they specifically stated that MDC did not endorse any particular candidate(s).

Upon the second re-opening in late October another new set of guidelines was posted and they specifically noted that while MDC does not host "support" threads, that any posts within those threads need to be respectful and in compliance with the overarching MDC UA. Which is, of course the type of reminder that is so redundant and obvious that it should not have been necessary.

However, it was very necessary. Without belaboring the point I will briefly say that you wouldn't want to have been the OP --or one of the exceedingly rare supportive fellow posters-- on one of those threads . Ridicule, derision, scorn, mocking and pointed satire only begin to describe some of the posts that prompted this clarification of the guidelines. Posts which were not at all deterred by the more proactive moderating contemplated by Jacque back in August.

It is worth noting that while this example is extreme, that it wasn't unusual. And it was symptomatic of the phenomenon I euphemistically described earlier as "group think".


Quote:
8/7/08
Three day moratorium for N&CE/Politics
http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...ght=guidelines
Jacque
... members will be expected to demonstrate and maintain their community participation and not an agenda-focused manner of posting. ...

... Please respect each other and refrain from statements that are condescending, hurtful, judgmental or belittling. This issue has reached an extreme, and we will be more pro-active and quick to warn anyone for such behavior, which could ultimately lead to your loss of posting privileges here in N&CE.

Quote:
10/27/08
ATTENTION MEMBERS: New Guidelines!
A message from The Administrative Team:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=989387

Aoife -- POST # 1
...
It is correct that this is not a support-only zone. However, although we do not host support-only threads, posts still need to remain respectful. Posting only to bash a candidate or their supporters is inappropriate and not the best way to keep discourse moving.
...


Aoife -- Post # 3

FYI:

ALL posts which cheer for one's candidate have been deemed within the UA by Jacque Savageau, the board administrator. They are not UA Violations.
~Cath
post #173 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by abimommy View Post
I don't know what else you mean by "proactive" moderation. What would that entail precisely?
Abi,
I'll quote Jacque here:

Quote:
8/7/08
Three day moratorium for N&CE/Politics
http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...ght=guidelines

... Please respect each other and refrain from statements that are condescending, hurtful, judgmental or belittling. This issue has reached an extreme, and we will be more pro-active and quick to warn anyone for such behavior, which could ultimately lead to your loss of posting privileges here in N&CE.
I took that to mean that the Mods would review the threads a little more carefully and take action even if there were few or no complaints on a possible UAV.

Which would mean that those in the minority wouldn't effectively be dependent upon those like-minded lurkers that were too intimidated to post.

Using the bullying analogy mentioned by a PP, you wouldn't tell a 90 lb weakling that they might not be so lonely if other 90 lb weaklings found the nerve to enter the fray on the playground, and that the playground monitors can't make other 90 lb weaklings get out there. And you certainly wouldn't rely on the group of kids as a whole to report any bullying. I hope you would actively be looking for it so you could nip it in the bud.

~Cath
post #174 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleaugustbaby View Post
I think that stuff like this is the huge problem...if a messageboard gets to you so badly that you describe it as "lonely, isolating, and demoralizing" then I think it's time to take a step back and stop going.
Which is exactly why the minority was so small it was virtually non-existent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by littleaugustbaby View Post
I have to question the motives of anyone who would repeatedly put themselves in a situation that they felt compelled to use such strong language to describe.
Have to?

In any case, how do you reconcile that with this sentiment, straight from the Mod’s mouth:

Quote:
Originally Posted by aoife View Post
... We can't make members represent themselves. Members have to choose to post. ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by littleaugustbaby View Post
I realize that politics is a hot issue, but when people start taking everything so personally, I think that is where the most drama is created.
“Everything”? That’s a pretty sweeping glittering generality.

Please see my post # 172. The mere fact that the behavior I am referring to precipitated two sets of revisions to the Politics guidelines and three closings, the last one final, really speaks for itself.

~Cath
post #175 of 240
What I'm seeing at this point is a lot of finger pointing and attempts to blame minority opinion posters for the closing, when the real problem was peoples refusal to follow the UA and as a result causing huge problems and headaches for the admis and mods.
post #176 of 240
FWIW, here is my overview of what I saw happening in the politics forum, particularly during the peak of the election last spring. There seemed to be one or more sort of ad hoc groups of like-minded members who managed to work the system in such a way that threads counter to their views were routinely the subject of intentional UAVs as a means of getting those threads to disappear.

That, combined with the power of accumulated, combined reporting of posts they didn't agree with resulted in minority views standing very little chance of being 'heard' for more than a few hours in many cases.

This ability to work the system is one reason why I agree with the statement "less moderation, not more". It is no fault of the mods, who were overwhelmed and frustrated and simply trying to keep peace on the board. I admire the heck out of every one of them for putting up with it all.

Which is, again, a good reason to reduce the mod responsibilities for those boards, rather than increase them. Mods will be happier, and members will be held accountable for their own posts, rather than running to tattle whenever something rubs them the wrong way. Studies have shown that online communities can and will regulate themselves if given the chance, and members who routinely post offensive or insulting things will eventually be ostracized by the community.
post #177 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by CathMac View Post
Abi,

Using the bullying analogy mentioned by a PP, you wouldn't tell a 90 lb weakling that they might not be so lonely if other 90 lb weaklings found the nerve to enter the fray on the playground, and that the playground monitors can't make other 90 lb weaklings get out there. And you certainly wouldn't rely on the group of kids as a whole to report any bullying. I hope you would actively be looking for it so you could nip it in the bud.

~Cath
In this analogy, you seem to be missing the point that you aren't a bunch of children and we aren't your teachers or your mommies. It's not in our "job description," so to speak, to smooth out the way and make everyone's paths straight, level, and strewn with roses. At some point, the members need to step up and take some ownership as well.

But to extend your analogy in my teaching experience, adding more teachers doesn't make the "bullying" end. It makes people more passive aggressive and sneaky. Instead of the 90-pound weakling getting beat up on the playground, they get a swirly in the girls' room toilet.

I am as upset as the next person. Maybe even moreso. But I think it does a grave disservice to the time and energy and passion Adina, Joss, and Bethany have put into the forums to point the finger at them and say they weren't proactive enough or strict enough or didn't work hard enough.
post #178 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
when the real problem was peoples refusal to follow the UA
This seems to be the core problem to me.
post #179 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonconformnmom View Post
FWIW, here is my overview of what I saw happening in the politics forum, particularly during the peak of the election last spring. There seemed to be one or more sort of ad hoc groups of like-minded members who managed to work the system in such a way that threads counter to their views were routinely the subject of intentional UAVs as a means of getting those threads to disappear.
It certainly felt that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nonconformnmom View Post
That, combined with the power of accumulated, combined reporting of posts they didn't agree with resulted in minority views standing very little chance of being 'heard' for more than a few hours in many cases.
Exactly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nonconformnmom View Post
This ability to work the system is one reason why I agree with the statement "less moderation, not more". It is no fault of the mods, who were overwhelmed and frustrated and simply trying to keep peace on the board. I admire the heck out of every one of them for putting up with it all.
I would respectfully suggest there are many pathways to peace; and that peace achieved at any price isn't a meaningful one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nonconformnmom View Post
Which is, again, a good reason to reduce the mod responsibilities for those boards, rather than increase them. Mods will be happier, and members will be held accountable for their own posts, rather than running to tattle whenever something rubs them the wrong way. Studies have shown that online communities can and will regulate themselves if given the chance, and members who routinely post offensive or insulting things will eventually be ostracized by the community.
WADR, I think you are confusing the official, stated policies of an online community (more specifically the MDC UA) with the unofficial ones that evolve organically over time (e.g. the informal rules on the Politics Board). And they may contrast sharply on some points. Or they may have a deceptive, superficial similarity. In either case, even the unofficial rules were enforced unevenly. Take for instance the insistence that posts be "positive"; on its face a worthwhile goal and not obviously inconsistent with any part of the UA. In practice, however, minority "support" threads --which clearly and obviously were "positive" in nature-- were decimated early and often.

Which brings me to my key point, the unofficial policies on the Politics Board were enforced pretty darned effectively, by sheer force of numbers. The only way to counter that with such a small, non-cohesive minority, is with a stronger, more effective, proactive Mod presence to make sure that the minority is not silenced.

Posting restrictions (one new thread per day; three posts per day) and unappealable infractions could not offset the category 5, tsunami posting power of the majority since, at the end of the day, most Infractions / Alerts are triggered by member reporting. Not to mention that the unappealability would have a disproportionate effect (whether Deterrent/before the fact or Punitive/after the fact) on the minority as a whole.

JMO,
~Cath
post #180 of 240
What you are talking about sounds a lot like affirmative action for conservatives. I can't imagine what that would look like. Can you give some examples of the kind of proactive moderation you are talking about, Cathmac?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Site Help
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Welcome to Mothering! › Site Help › Could we move the Israeli War threads into Politics?