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#41 Plasmocat

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 06:48 AM

my rights to post on a public forum


This is a commonly misunderstood concept that differs (in some instances greatly) depending on where you are located in the world. Stepping aside from the "rights" allowed or not in individual countries or internationally as a whole, let me just point something out from the US perspective.

In the US the 1st amendment guarantees that the government will establish no law abridging anyone's right to speak, assemble, or petition the government for grievances. As this is applicable to an open forum sponsored by the government, anything funded by taxpayer funds cannot abridge the opinions of those who would be heard as long as they're not falsely crying fire or something equally damaging and unlawful. As this applies to the public, this means that the government cannot make a law stating that one person or party is not allowed to express their beliefs.

However, private institutions or publishing entities *can* decide who it wants to publish and who it does not. If that wasn't true, then Random House would have to publish every item submitted to them. But they don't have to, do they? As long as there exists a means by which a person's opinions can be expressed, there is no onus on any one publishing entity that is not supported in any way by public funds to publish what they don't want to publish.

A privately held message board is basically the equivalent of a privately held publishing entity. Who and what is published is at the discretion of the person(s) footing the bill and running the site. There's no law that says they have to be fair or that they have to allow any Joe-Blow to post, even if the only reason they don't want Joe-Blow to post is simply that he gets on their nerves.

If this site were hosted by taxpayer money, in the US you'd have a right to complain about having your rights violated. However, I'm not aware of any such governmental contract on our part ... so basically whether you like it or not, and whether *I* like it or not, the running of this site is completely at the discretion of the owners/administrators.

Be happy they are letting you complain about the unfairness rather than deciding to ban you again just because they can. Maybe it would be Draconian, but it would also be wholly within their rights and privileges.

On another note:

I'm interested to see so many ppl wanting to see a public punishment over this issue. It's interesting to see how many ppl have more faith in the voice of one dude over the voice of several staff members, even when no concrete evidence of anything done wrong or anything corrected or not has been provided.

From my perspective, all things being equal, if I saw I dude I didn't have anything against making demands for a public hanging over an event we're supposed to take on his word and then the administrators of a site I thought was good enough to hang out at said they had taken measures and had quietly resolved the issue ... maybe I'd keep my eye on the admins to see if the dude had a point in the long run, but for at least the moment I'd want to give weight to the greater amount of witnesses amongst ppl I liked saying things were working out. I'd especially bear this in mind on a new site still in the midst of organizing itself, finding kinks that need to be worked out, and in the process of finding its "voice."

But that's just me.

Then again, I'm a person who believes that individuals who have problems between them that affect the board need their mediation to be done in private. I don't see any reason why personal conflicts *have* to be aired or resolved in front of the rest of the community.

JC, are you saying you requested mediation and didn't get it? Or are you saying that you're unsatisfied because this issue wasn't handled in the way you wanted to see it handled? If you and Dorotea truly have personal issues between you, how do we know that your desire to see Dorotea publicly disciplined is any more virtuous than Dorotea's (allegedly) arbitrary deletions? Because nobody likes a board with Draconian mods? Well, of course that's true. But the administrators don't come across as Draconian or as necessarily even approving of Dorotea's alleged actions should they be true. They come across as not wanting to air private issues in a public forum. But, should that be necessary in every situation?

Speaking as a neutral party ... why do I have to see this argument carried out in public, and how do I know that one "side" has any more validity than the other without evidence?

I can't speak for anyone else, but my own opinion that this should have been handled privately derives from the fact that the public has no way to make any kind of informed judgement about this issue other than to rest on he said/she said testimony. Under the circumstances and considering the histories of all involved (plaintiff, defendant, and the board itself), it's too easy for this to come across as pot stirring and an attempt to cause controversy rather than as a petition for justice.

I favor open discourse and the freedom to express one's opinions whether good or bad. But no issue exists outside of some context, and in the context of this discussion, these are the impressions I come away with.

Edited by Plasmocat, 26 September 2005 - 07:04 AM.

All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. -- Albert Camus

#42 NiGHTMARE

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 06:52 AM

I'm sure this couldn't have been phrased better. Henceforth we must all make a point of ignoring threads of persons we don't like, and not replying to their threads, nor facing them in their forums...

View Post


I never said you should ignore and not reply to threads created by people you don't like, and not just because that would have been extremely hypocritical of me.

You seem to have missed (ignored? :P) the part about it not being a good example of common sense to post in the forums of mods you don't like. If you think about it, most community members seem to abide by this, even if they've never given it much conscious thought.

From what little I know, but of course it might all have been JC's lies, is that this is not the first time


That would be news to me. This certainly hasn't been mentioned in this or the other thread if it's true.

Edited by NiGHTMARE, 26 September 2005 - 07:07 AM.


#43 Zyraen

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:04 AM

Plasmocat :
this should have been handled privately derives from the fact that the public has no way to make any kind of informed judgement about this issue

Totally agree :( such stuff should not have been aired, and should have been addressed quietly.
Still, maybe the Following might be the reasons why it was made Public.

Again, JC could have simply been a lying ratbastard, with his messed up track record and all. Ghrey may also have been lying or been misled by the nefarious JCompton.

JCompton :
Actually, it was the eight of you declining to overrule the blanket warning that all of my posts would be deleted, and SC admitting when pressed that he didn't really know what had been said to her, which clued me in that perhaps... nothing, in fact, was being done.

JCompton :
I have repeatedly challenged SC to tell me that Dorotea's blanket threat to delete all of my posts is unacceptable and will not be enforced. He has repeatedly declined to do so.

Ghrey :
Jason followed the regular channels to lodge a complaint, and nothing apparent was done.

Of course, if they are lying, then the Staff should be able to quickly step forward and say that he never lodged a regular complaint.

I imagined if even a single moderator (out of all 8 that presumably, had received the complaint) or Sconrad (which if JC's earlier comments on this thread are to be believed, had been contacted personally many times over before this thread had been created) had replied to the complaint saying something along the lines of "We will address the problem regarding such matters / such conduct." or "We will let her know that such behaviour is not very acceptable.", or even just a "We will do something about it." it would not have been made public at all.

Of course, such reasons are just reasons, they are not necessarily adequate in themselves to say that this problem MUST have been made public.

Nightmare :
That would be news to me. This certainly hasn't been mentioned in this or the other thread if it's true.

Thanks, remind me not to trust him again :( Such scum! He lied and abused my trust and my gullibility and... ah heck, that's a different issue altogether... just pass me off as a low-IQ guy ;) after all, I am exhibiting lack of common sense commenting on an issue that does not concern me in any way, and in which I have absolutely no certain source of information, especially since your shocking disclosure that JC has not been entirely honest... Such betrayal!

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#44 Zyraen

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:06 AM

Nightmare :
that you should ignore and not reply to threads created by people you don't like

Ah my bad. It should have been "people who don't like you." in my earlier note.

Nightmare :
You seem to have missed (ignored :P) ...

Don't be so antagonistic :) More likely it is that I agree, yes? Heh. Hmm, but if I agreed with the both statements you made, but only posted on the first one, why did I leave out the second? I leave that to your imagination. ;)

=========

So, is Studios going to make a public stance saying that

"Posts should not be deleted for no other reason than that the one who deletes them hates the one who posted them"

Or maybe we can just, by faith, hope that this is largely implemented in the background? :)

Edited by Zyraen, 26 September 2005 - 07:10 AM.

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#45 NiGHTMARE

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:09 AM

Disclaimer: I never said the claim this has happened multiple times wasn't true, just that it's the first time I've heard about it.

#46 Zyraen

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:12 AM

Nightmare :
Disclaimer: I never said the claim this has happened multiple times wasn't true, just that it's the first time I've heard about it.

I must have forgot about that possibility. So maybe JC wasn't lying about it after all. Maybe, of course, just maybe. Probability is there, but it's not 100%.

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#47 Plasmocat

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:16 AM

Don't feel bad, Nightmare. I'd never heard of it either.

I'm not saying that I thought the old board was run perfectly, because I've been known to point out a thing or two myself--always with respect, I'd like to think. Like I said, evey issue comes with a context ... Not every person making a complaint has to be right about their complaint. Or, rather I should say, we don't all have to assume that the person making a complaint is making their complaint the right way & for the right reasons.
All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. -- Albert Camus

#48 Zyraen

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:22 AM

Plasmocat :
Or, rather I should say, we don't all have to assume that the person making a complaint is making their complaint the right way & for the right reasons.

Yep, agreed. Maybe he just wants Dorotea bitchslapped which isn't very nice at all. But I think for most of us, all we (well maybe it's just me) would like to know is -

Does Studio Staff condone deleting of posts for no reason other than that the one who deletes the post hates the poster?

A simple collective Yes, No from the Staff, or any other collective statement, would suffice nicely. As for various individuals' bruised ego... I don't think that's the issue here. If that's the case, they should start a thread called "Coddle me until I forgot that my posts have been deleted" or something, lol.

Edited by Zyraen, 26 September 2005 - 07:24 AM.

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#49 jcompton

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:28 AM

my rights to post on a public forum


This is a commonly misunderstood concept that differs (in some instances greatly) depending on where you are located in the world.


(snip improvised lecture on natural law)

There's no law that says they have to be fair or that they have to allow any Joe-Blow to post, even if the only reason they don't want Joe-Blow to post is simply that he gets on their nerves. 


I agree. They have the legal right to run their forum poorly. Just... maybe they shouldn't. Maybe, as the largest IE modding forum going, they should feel motivated to err on the side of allowing discussion about mods, rather than backing decisions based on personal hatred and intolerance.

Be happy they are letting you complain about the unfairness rather than deciding to ban you again just because they can.


Yes, I've been getting this vibe a lot that I should be happy and thankful not to be banned on principle. I find the concept amusing, but since it seems to be so important around here, I exhort my fellow ~5000 Studios users to send regular "Thanks For Not Banning Me" messages to the esteemed staff, and to all of the modders whose boards they post on for not arbitrarily removing their statements.

I'm interested to see so many ppl wanting to see a public punishment over this issue.


The "call for public punishment" is a straw man if ever there was one.

I'd especially bear this in mind on a new site still in the midst of organizing itself, finding kinks that need to be worked out, and in the process of finding its "voice."


Let's not kid ourselves.

JC, are you saying you requested mediation and didn't get it?  Or are you saying that you're unsatisfied because this issue wasn't handled in the way you wanted to see it handled?


Both, I suppose. (which, coincidentally, is also my answer to Eddie Van Halen up there.)

If you and Dorotea truly have personal issues between you, how do we know that your desire to see Dorotea publicly disciplined


I have no such desire.

Because nobody likes a board with Draconian mods?  Well, of course that's true.


Some people seem to be grooving on it.

#50 NiGHTMARE

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:29 AM

Incidentally, I'm not sure if it's possible in this particular forum software (Invision Power Board), but some forum software allows any user to delete a thread which he started, regardless of the number of replies its received.

I've seen this happen quite a few times in various forums over the years, yet rarely have there been many complaints about it.

Edited by NiGHTMARE, 26 September 2005 - 07:34 AM.


#51 jcompton

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:31 AM

Incidentally, I'm not sure if it's possible in this particular forum software (Invision Power Board), but some forum software allows any user to delete a thread which he started, regardless of the number of replies its received. 


It's generally a setting available to the administrator, whether an individual user can kill his/her own threads (and all the included discussion.)

I've seen this happen quite a few times in various forums over the years, yet rarely have there been many complaints about it.

View Post


It doesn't happen too often, but you bet it's caused irritation. There have been famous cases of someone wiping out valuable technical discussion that hadn't been fully archived elsewhere just because the thread starter had a bad day.

And it also has nothing at all to do with the problem at hand.

#52 NiGHTMARE

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:35 AM

The post was partially do with the subject at hand, in that it reminds us that hosted modders and staff members may not be the only ones who are capable of committing this particular offence - so it may be wise to focus our attention on all users in this instance (depending on the software, and as you pointed out the settings).

The fact the post wan't entirely to do with your complaint is the reason it began with the word "incidentally".

Edited by NiGHTMARE, 26 September 2005 - 07:43 AM.


#53 Zyraen

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:37 AM

Does Spellhold Studios, as one of the largest IE Communities, condone deleting of posts for no reason other than that the one who deletes the post hates the poster?

If the answer is not a straightforward Yes or No, escape clauses can be included.

Or perhaps, as Nightmare suggested with the Invision Board problem, the answer might be "Whenever we can prevent it from happening, we will. And we will tell our hosted modders to try not to do so."

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#54 Shed

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:38 AM

I imagined if even a single moderator (out of all 8 that presumably, had received the complaint) or Sconrad (which if JC's earlier comments on this thread are to be believed, had been contacted personally many times over before this thread had been created) had replied to the complaint saying something along the lines of "We will address the problem regarding such matters / such conduct." or "We will let her know that such behaviour is not very acceptable.", or even just a "We will do something about it." it would not have been made public at all.

JC received a response to his eight individual complaints. Those who had received the complaint disagreed with JC that his case was valid. A hundred posts or so later, here we are -_-.

Btw, are you deliberately choosing not to use the quote function?

As for various individuals' bruised ego... I don't think that's the issue here.

Oh, I do disagree. We are both replying in the thread you mention.

Does Spellhold Studios, as one of the largest IE Communities, condone deleting of posts for no reason other than that the one who deletes the post hates the poster?
...
"Whenever we can prevent it from happening, we will. And we will tell our hosted modders to try not to do so."

View Post

This certainly sounds reasonable to me.

Edited by Shed, 26 September 2005 - 07:41 AM.


#55 Zyraen

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:54 AM

Yep, I'm deliberately choosing not to use the quote function. I find it easier this way, hope you don't mind.


"Does Spellhold Studios, as one of the largest IE Communities, condone deleting of posts for no reason other than that the one who deletes the post hates the poster?"
"Whenever we can prevent it from happening, we will. And we will tell our hosted modders to try not to do so."

I think this is reasonable as well. As Staff, you do not have complete control over all the actions of the Modders that you host. Furthermore, from what Nightmare said, there's only so much control the Software lends you guys, so it's a "best-effort" thing.

So all that is left is to make a collective Staff statement as supporting this stance, and it will be well :)

Zyraen :
As for various individuals' bruised ego... I don't think that's the issue here.
Shed :
Oh, I do disagree. We are both replying in the thread you mention.

Actually, that's the whole idea :) Once the Staff make a public, definitive stand on not condoning such behaviour (referring to deleting posts just because you hate a person), the person who initiated this thread, if he chooses to continue this thread, will SHOW that his interests is no longer in the "Betterment" of Studios, but rather in his own ego and in trying to get Dorotea whipped.

Either way, a definitive stand on the issue is beneficial :) A collective Staff stance, rather than an individual view, would be welcome. Of course, some time might be spent to confirm this note with others.

Edited by Zyraen, 26 September 2005 - 07:55 AM.

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#56 Plasmocat

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 08:05 AM

The "call for public punishment" is a straw man if ever there was one.


If that's not what you want, then what do you want?

We've had members of the staff say that if Dorotea removed the posts arbitrarily that it wasn't cool. Are you upset that they aren't stating unequivocably that the deletions were arbitary? Maybe that's because we no longer have evidence of the problem in question and aren't considering her guilty by virtue of accusation? Wouldn't that be just another variation on the Draconian theme? You were answered in the fullest measure that could be answered under the circumstances.

So ... that would have to beg the question: If you don't want Dorotea publicly censured (ie. public punishment), and having the staff agree that on general principle arbitrary deletions aren't cool and being informed that Dorotea was indeed privately dealt with isn't enough, then what do you want?

You want ppl to assume you were completely in the right and Dorotea was completely in the wrong simply because a general principle of moderating says one shouldn't use personal bias when dealing with posters. The thing is, no one has disagreed with that general principle. The only thing in question involves depending on a he said/she said basis of evidence for one particular incident.

What if the truth is more that neither of you were completely right and neither of you were completely wrong? *That* is the gist I'm getting from the staff. I understand you would be upset at not having the matter handled the way you would want, but that doesn't make the staff wrong for not handling it your way.
All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. -- Albert Camus

#57 Shed

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 08:20 AM

Yep, I'm deliberately choosing not to use the quote function. I find it easier this way, hope you don't mind.

I can't see how it's easier (IPB is good software, after all), but I don't mind as long as your quotes are accurate ;).

Either way, a definitive stand on the issue is beneficial :) A collective Staff stance, rather than an individual view, would be welcome. Of course, some time might be spent to confirm this note with others.

View Post

"The person who initiated this thread" (He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named :P?) has had one of those already. It (allegedly? I can't see sense behind it, myself) caused this, as well as other complaint and protest threads. You can infer from that what you wish.

Every individual staff stance has been much the same, though, which leads me to wonder what it is that you hope to get from another statement of staff position :unsure: ?

#58 jcompton

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 08:49 AM

The "call for public punishment" is a straw man if ever there was one.


If that's not what you want, then what do you want?


As I said in the very post you replied to with your legal musings:

"I have repeatedly challenged SC to tell me that Dorotea's blanket threat to delete all of my posts is unacceptable and will not be enforced."

#59 Plasmocat

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 10:05 AM

So, what you're saying JC is that this is not an issue between you and Dorortea. You're saying this is an issue between you and SC. As much as you might want to protest this conclusion and carry on about the good of SHS, yadda yadda, the fact is that 3 of the 4 SHS administrators have told you on this thread that the issue with Dorotea was handled and in so many words have indicated that arbitrary deletions are not cool. As a matter of fact you've had the mods of this very forum tell you much the same thing.

But what you're saying appears to be that you are wanting to provoke a particular response from a particular person, a particular person who does not have the *only* authority necessary to answer your "challenge." That's where it ceases to be about the welfare of this board and all about how much control you do or don't have.

First, it was "Dorotea deleted me! I'm so damaged!" Then, as it was reservedly disclosed that something was done even if no one had any intention of making what happened public business, it was "I need the staff to verify this can't happen again!" Now that it's pointed out that no one was disputing the general principle of your claim and that no one really intended that kind of activity to become commonplace you're saying, "I gotta hear it from SC!"

You could have let your mind be put at rest two pages ago if all you wanted was to know that personal bias was not going to be considered reason for deletions or banning. After the point that the board's position became clear from the perspective of several staff members and 3/4 of the admins and you refused to allow that to be enough, it became more about how much attention you were getting and whether ppl were sympathizing with you or not.

*eta* ... And maybe a little about whether you were getting a rise out of SC or not.

Edited by Plasmocat, 26 September 2005 - 10:13 AM.

All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. -- Albert Camus

#60 Jyzabyl

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 10:25 AM

Bravo Plasmacat!!! nuff said.
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