Global Warming: Are Sea Levels Rising?

Discussion in 'Critical Discussions Among Proponents and Skeptics' started by Alex, Jan 19, 2017.

  1. Laird

    Laird Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,355
    Thank you, Alex. I have unbanned @james_robertson and PMed him to let him know that he has been unbanned and can resume posting.
     
    Trancestate, Ian Gordon and oleo like this.
  2. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,676
    In that spirit, Laird, for the purpose of general discussion about moderation policy (and not about moderation specifics here about which I've had my say already - although I think they validate the concerns of those who've made grievances against an authoritarian style), let me suggest reading these little articles by people who are knowledgeable in the field (and also the comments from forum runners below). From Community Spark: Building Online Communities:
    The real purpose of forum moderators revealed
    Always avoid repressing your members
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
    Steve, Trancestate and Laird like this.
  3. Alex

    Alex New

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,585
    we kinda did that during a recent conversation that you were a part of. we hashed out the difficulties of moderation and even discussed specifics. at that time you decided that moderation was for you
    pls start a private conversation with Laird on this. you can include me in after you hash it out.

    pls move this post to a private conversation.

    also... if you guys discuss this privately... and seek input from David and I... and then decide that you want it to be public, that's fine too... but first try and resolve privately.
     
  4. Laird

    Laird Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,355
    I'm kind of unsure what you're referring to by "that", Alex. I think you mean we discussed whether to consult with the forum community on moderation principles? Yes, I floated that idea, and nobody got behind it, but I don't remember that we reached any definitive conclusions on it. Happy to be proved wrong if you have quotes to the contrary (and yes, you have my permission to quote anything I've said in those private moderation discussions publicly, so long as you grant me the same privilege - I don't think any of us has said anything that we'd be embarrassed or ashamed to have made public, it was all very civilised).

    And yes, several times in our private conversations I wondered whether I was a bad fit for the moderation team, and whether I should stand down, since all I did was advocate for principles that nobody else supported. In hindsight, I kind of think it was so inevitable that we would part ways that I ought not to have joined the team in the first place! Oh well, we live and learn, and hopefully part ways with mutual respect.

    I'm not sure what the point of a private conversation would be other than to exchange a perfunctory:

    "You agree with this article?"
    "Yep".
    "Me too! You think the Skeptiko moderation team should take its perspective to heart?"
    "Yep!"
    "Me too".

    Perhaps, though, Ian has some more imaginative ideas for a conversation! I welcome his PM!
     
  5. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    4,344
    You may be surprised how few people bother to use that button - I expect most don't realise it is even there. Someone complained in fairly strong terms that I hadn't done anything about the discussion about intergenerational sex (as though in some way I approved!) - where in reality I hadn't seen it.

    How can anyone expect me to see everything on the forum - I do rely on people reporting stuff that needs attention!

    David
     
  6. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    4,344
    The real problem is that every case is different!

    Sometimes the action required is obvious, other times it is on a knife edge.

    You have to balance how rude someone is to other posters, whether they say anything interesting, whether they just repeat themselves, whether they seem to respond to others, whether they are disruptive, whether they wish to discuss intergenerational sex, how long they have been on the forum, how many, if any people have complained......... You also have to bear in mind that moderators have other things to do - this can't end up as their full-time job!

    Creating a policy like that would end up saying say everything and nothing. You simply have to let someone do the job, and then replace them if they don't seem to be doing it correctly. If you imagine me checking to see if rule 7 (paragraph C) would apply, and whether where it says "take whatever action is appropriate", what that could be taken to imply......, you haven't read all the disparaging things I have written about (classical) AI!

    David
     
  7. Laird

    Laird Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,355
    And this is precisely why relatively precise policy can help. In the "obvious" case, the policy will agree with common sense ("obviousness"). In the "knife edge" case, it will make for a relatively ready, repeatable and predictable decision - saving you decision-making time, which, I gather, is one of your priorities, as well as giving posters foreknowledge as to when and why they will be banned if they do this or that - rather than the current situation, which is that people aren't quite sure what will get them banned, especially in the light of recent temp-bannings by Alex (in particular that of Malf), which have been, to many of us, inexplicably rash and intemperate.

    Now you're talking specifics. Nice! Granted, there will always - as with any behavioural code interpreted by humans - be room for judgement, but, despite that, these separate points that you raise could be developed into a coherent and reliable policy, and it needn't be terribly verbose. The point of it would be for people to be able to predict when a moderator will take an action, and why. If (when) deficiencies are found, they could be corrected.

    Those (knowing when and why moderation action would be taken) are not so unreasonable a couple of criteria to be provided, surely, and we needn't begrudge forum members and potential forum members that clarity on fear of turning ourselves into artificially intelligent automatons, surely?
     
    oleo likes this.
  8. Laird

    Laird Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,355
    So many words in my last response! Here's something terser - what I should have said in response to the above:

    Either you can provide some sort of balancing function for the specific criteria you list there - in which case, great, we have our moderation policy - or you don't have a single balancing function, and use a different one each time - in which case, your moderation is inconsistent. Doesn't it have to be one or the other?
     
  9. Alex

    Alex New

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,585
    David is right... too many variables. If you don't like a specific moderation action work thru David thru PM and then to me thru PM if needed.

    If you don't have any pressing issues right now, let's move on.
     
  10. Laird

    Laird Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,355
    Sure, I've said my piece. Would be very keen for Andrew9 to rejoin this thread and share his expertise.
     
  11. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    4,344
    He and I are having a very interesting discussion.

    David
     
  12. Typoz

    Typoz Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2013
    Messages:
    2,407
    But still, is there anything of a such an intimate or personal nature that it can't be shared with the rest of us?
     
    Brian_the_bard likes this.
  13. Typoz

    Typoz Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2013
    Messages:
    2,407
    ... and not to give a running commentary
    "hey guys, we're having a great time in our private conversation"
    as it proceeds.
     
  14. Brian_the_bard

    Brian_the_bard Lost Pilgrim Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2017
    Messages:
    552
    Perhaps the deniers don't want Andrew9's views to be public? ;)
     
  15. Typoz

    Typoz Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2013
    Messages:
    2,407
    Interesting and serious question raised there.
     
    oleo likes this.
  16. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    4,344
    That is not my aim, and we are having a very interesting discussion, trying to hammer out a few issues. In the meantime, Andrew9 is completely free to state his views publicly if he so wishes.

    I wanted a private discussion precisely because I have had several public discussions on this issue, and have never emerged any the wiser - there is just too much heat generated :)

    David
     
  17. malf

    malf Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    4,036
    Anything you feel more enlightened about? Any shift in your position?
     
  18. Bart V

    Bart V straw materialist Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    605
    You can lead a horse to water...
     
    oleo likes this.
  19. Andrew9

    Andrew9 Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2017
    Messages:
    27
    I was late reading much of the above but I can say we seem at least to have a better understanding of each others point of view... :)
     
  20. malf

    malf Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    4,036
    Stephen Wright likes this.

Share This Page