I know it's politic to be vague, but I'll come out and say I'm gonna miss Charles, Hans and Raife's contributions. I grok why Tom closed their accounts. Still sucks.
Otherwise, I'm unconcerned about a chilling effect. Despite all the hand-wringing and the dramatic assertions, a majority of the folks who have been banned have been unable to pull back on the reigns and agree to disagree. Tom has on occasion let a chip on his shoulder exacerbate a difference of opinion to unfortunate conclusions, but I'm overall quite happy w/ his sensibilities. I would've been far less reasonable about nuking people who antagonized me ad-infinitum. Moreover, I'm grateful for the forum he hosts and the tone he prefers to set.
So, thanks Tom. Welcome back, and see you in the movie threads... eventually.
I kinda liked the forums when they were opened up rather than moderated. It's a shame you've decided to quell a good deal of popular people who posted and brought a good deal of traffic here. I'm sure they will do quite well posting those types of things elsewhere, because it's very certain that they won't be doing it here any longer, regardless of their state of banishment.
Kind of a shame, really. I have always liked Qt3's forums even though I'm not a frequent participant, mostly because of the quite no-holds-barred availability of expression around here. Sure, people will give others shit for it and at times there are folks who go over the line, but by and far, the people here (I don't really like to use "community", and we're not all friends, and I don't view this as your (Tom Chick's) living room/whatever) self-police themselves and figure out pretty quickly who they do and do not want to see that sort of crap from.
So count me as someone who is against this 'change back'. I can't really see any reason why it would be a change for the better. Maybe you'll come to that realization some time down the road, but from what I'm seeing I'm somewhat doubting it. We won't be fooled again.
Maybe high school is the better metaphor, considering all the temper tantrums that are going on, and all the bellyaching over the break-up of a clique.
For all the complaints about Tom being obstinate or hot-headed, here's how I see it: a few months ago, he responded to a pile-on by saying, "Maybe the problem is me," and he left his own forum open to the people who kept dogpiling him and criticizing him. While still maintaining all the hassle of running a message board -- you couldn't pay me to run a message board considering how the internet churns out drama queens at such a ridiculous rate -- while not getting to enjoy it.
And in the time since, did any of the offenders once stop and say, "You know, maybe we did take it a too far." Or "We should step away and calm down a bit." Or "I also acted badly in the situation." Hell no. They started threads and laughed and made jokes and posted pithy animated GIFs. And kept nursing all their old petty grudges to have at the ready for whenever Tom came back, like in this thread.
I agree 100% with what robsam said:
If anybody thinks the bannings are arbitrary, then that must mean they honestly can't tell the difference between a civil, respectful disagreement over the moderation of the forum; and a hostile, condescending attack.Originally Posted by robsam
I'm actually impressed by the restraint -- I too would've given a lot of people the "fuck you, there's the door" a lot sooner and a lot more angrily. It sounds like a lot of people need to grow up and get some perspective.
It's disappointing how this turned out, I don't think anyone wins.
I never thought I'd prefer infractions here, but this summary banning stuff really needs to stop. In EU terms, it's like we're sitting at -3 stab with comets winging on by.
It's one thing to remove users when there's a community consensus that they've been disruptive. Dawn Falcon claims to use a bot for posts. Brettmcd derails most threads he enters -- I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I'm definitely in the minority on that one. Octonoo is, well, Octonoo. I'm not asking for them to be banned, but I can't imagine shedding a tear if they were.
It's another thing entirely to take out people in a thread that, at this point, almost seems intended to act as a honeypot. Especially when the appearance is that of spur of the moment bans. I've never much cared for Anax -- nor do I think he gave two shits about me -- but I don't think he was saying something that would have appeared out of place in P&R.
edit: I'm not contesting the right of an admin to ban anyone they damn well please, it's just this unrestrained exercise of that power is unnerving.
Last edited by Aeon221; 01-03-2012 at 07:14 PM.
What I mean is that you're doing a bunch of what you spent several paragraphs complaining about. You sound like you're pompously trying to score points, and as you say, it's sort of hard to imagine your post spoken in person.
I just think you could benefit from a bit of the self-reflection and foot-in-mouth-avoidance you're preaching for others.
If you don't think that's the case, fine.
Personally, I can see where privacy concerns etc are an issue, but I feel like when you're dealing with something as final (sounding, at least) as a ban, maximum transparency is the best policy. I absolutely love the "Rap Sheet" system on SomethingAwful, for example. (I don't expect to see it here, for a number of reasons including differences of policy and philosophy, SomethingAwful's vastly larger userbase and moderation team, and the no doubt significant coding investment it would require.) I suspect there's at least a little of the village stockade to it in motivation, but it's also tremendously helpful in understanding moderation decisions when I can simply click through to the reason someone was probated or banned and a direct link to the offending post. "Oh," I say, as I discover that that person who seemed polite, knowledgeable and enthusiastic in a Games forum thread was in fact banned for being horrifically racist or creepy in some other subforum I never enter.
I can't say as I've understood almost any of the bannings here (when I even noticed that they had occurred), conversely. This isn't to say that they were unjustified (I have no idea) or arbitrary or any of that. Just that I haven't had any context for most of them.
I would like to be assured that before anyone is permabanned they would be given at least one infraction first with the warning that if the behavior continued then they would get permabanned.
I understand that sometimes that may not happen because the infraction was too over the top (such as someone soliciting children for sex or something) but I would hope that people could disagree in a way that you don't like and still be given a chance to make good.
I understand the overall problem is that only you see the issues. I don't go into Movies or Books etc so if people act like an ass there but act nice everywhere else, I'd be perplexed as well. But I know only too well that some of the people who have been banned have been overly nasty to you and to me and to others.
And that's the thing. Eventually people are just going to have to either trust your moderation or not and leave. Now as long as people are given an opportunity to correct issues, then I'm certainly on board with trusting your moderation.
Lastly at my previous job, if I would have been seen with the bouncing breasts on my screen, I would have been given a final warning. My job had a zero tolerance of porn and related stuff. So I absolutely support the ban on NSFW stuff, much appreciated.
Might be worth relenting just a bit, without essentially demanding people come groveling back with their pride in their hat.
Based on what I'm reading in this thread, Tom is banning people for being really ineffective at argument. "So this guy wants this forum to be his living room, huh? I'll show him how wrong he is -- with aggressive italics!" What's the angle there? Maybe some excitement about speaking truth to power, I guess, but a ban button's even more convenient than a headsman. And then Athryn lit herself on fire to protest an entirely conjectural sellout which stusser later debunked, and there was that guy comparing this to a junta or a dictatorship or whatever.
Just a weird thread.
But to answer the familiar sounding honeypot charge, I prefer to think of this thread as a testbed. If you want to level a screed at me, have at it. But don't be surprised when you discover you've run afoul of exactly what I posted at the top of the thread about what I expect on this forum.
Lorini and malk, the infraction system will hopefully provide exactly the transparency you're asking for.
Be right back. Out of popcorn.
Pretty sure the gamut of opinions has been expressed in one way or the other at this point. I'm not one for squelching discussion, but I'm really not seeing much potential for constructive discussion going forward.
This sucks, because I can completely see why Tom felt it has come to this. Having been around here for a decade, I will miss some of the folks who are gone. But that's because this is a community to some of us. Unfortunately, for some others it seems to be a playground, an ARG, or an argument clinic.
I can't see much point in continuing to hash it out. If you feel Tom is wrong, I don't think you're going to change his mind. If you are angry and vehemently disagree, probably the best thing to do is walk away for a while and see where the forum goes. Escalating the drama's not really going to accomplish anything productive.
In the meantime, who has the white cheddar popcorn salt?
So basically it's not that I don't like the rules, it's that I don't really understand what the rules are or how they are being enforced.
Tom, I think this is poorly thought out and overly strong-handed. I highly doubt I'll post on qt3 anymore.
I'll agree that it's a bit draconian, but this isn't the time or place to continue complaining about it. It really sucks that we're losing all these established community members, but I hope the rest of you can just learn to accept that this is the way it's going to be and move on. If you're not sure where the line is, you're best off avoiding it completely or taking it to PMs.
Please don't ban me, again. I'll just stay in the League of Legends thread.
I dunno, maybe I'm just picking at a semantic issue, in which case I apologize. But if there's one thing I got clarity on over the last three months, it's that I resist the idea of this being a wide-open public place.
As I wrote in the post at the top of this thread:
And as I wrote in the reworked rules post at the top of the forum....if you're unhappy with how I run the forum, there are plenty of other communities available to you. You have no right to be here. You furthermore have no right to use this forum to frequently air your disagreements. If you can't get along with everyone -- and that includes getting along with me -- then you're not welcome here. And there is therefore no reason you can't go to Facebook, IRC, Google Plus, Neogaf, or some other place. Those are all fine places, and many of them will offer what you want. But here, on the Quarter to Three forum, you get the community I want. Not the community you want. You can do that somewhere else.
Do those help? I'm not trying to be flip with you, but I hope those paragraphs a bit more about what's going on this thread.Don't drag in your baggage from another thread. This can be a tough balancing act, because how we interact is often related to what we know about each other. But dragging down a discussion with an argument you're hashing out elsewhere or that you had six months ago isn't welcome. If you're going to hold grudges, learn to have a polite discussion with someone you might dislike. See the previous rule.
At least, that's how it's supposed to work. Uh, stand by?