Forum Guidelines

Author: TheRealNihilist ,

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  • TheRealNihilist
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    This is specifically to Virutoso and bsh1. Everyone else can comment but don't expect me to respond because you don't really have the power to change the way it is done.

    As of right now Forums:
    • Have discussions where people waste time not specifically addressing what was asked in the opening comment
    What I want in the Forums:
    • To have the power to remove remove comments or you know have the moderators moderate in forums. I am sick and tired of people adding nothing of importance to the forums I have created to specifically address something. This can be seen with the likes of Mopac and Greyparrot. 
    • To have rules in the forums which make sure bad faith actors or people who do not care about the topic at hand have their comment removed per the rules. 
    If Virtuoso, bsh1 or Ramshutu do not want to help in making the forums be more centered around thoughtful discussions instead of bad faith actors then I'll happily put my hat in to make rules, monitor flaggings and keep up-to-date with what users would like out of the forums. 

    TL;DR
    The Forums are bad and I want to make them good. 

    This is brief and I can be more detail on certain topics if you want. 

  • Ramshutu
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    From a position of being a forum user - rather than as moderator - the issue is the determination of “bad faith actor”.

    Just because someone is stupid, ignorant or deluded does not make them a bad faith actor. Being deliberately dishonest, evasive or otherwise frustrating reasonable discussion doesn’t make them a bad faith actor either.

    There are intentionally intellectually dishonest individuals on this forum, who will evade, dodge, duck: troll and otherwise misrepresent everything to the point it is not practically possible to have an intelligent or meaningful discussion with them on most topics.

    I’m sure they’d say the same about me.

    And that's the problem.

    While hard trolling, personal attacks, doxxing and abuse are objectively measurable - being a dick, being obtuse or dishonest is much more of a subjective determination.


    Worse, there is nothing more boring than having a forum without anyone being intelliectually dishonest, distorting facts or generally being an idiot.

  • RationalMadman
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    Be the change you want to see in the world or be the reason others change.

    Gandhi should have added that ending to explain the alternative route to take when leading by example doesn't do much.

    What do I do to ensure such trolls don't do that stuff to me? I block and starve them of my attention. Additionally, I actively engage with others around them. People have done the same to me, it's how I learned of how powerful this method is to the user you target.

    It's a clean way, completely abiding by the rules, to handle such users.

    So, you may ask, why do I engage my enemies at all? Much like Ramshutu believes he takes flack by being the most courageous voter, I have a similar ethos in how I am the most avid non-mod handler of trolls. You can call me delusional but unlike Ramshutu, I have a consistent way I determine who I need to just starve of attention and who is worth engaging with, so as to prevent them snowballing their aggression by preying on more vulnerable members. This part requires experience, toughness and intelligence which are both nature and nurture for me to have so high. Anyone can use the ignore and redirect method, so stick to that if you are not willing to risk your enjoyment of the site.


  • TheRealNihilist
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    --> @Ramshutu
    What does make someone a bad faith actor?

    I rather have a forum page dedicated to thoughtful conversation not trash comments which can be summed up as bottom of the barrel jokes. Are you for this wild west of anything goes forum page instead of thoughtful conversations if so why?

    And that's the problem.
    If someone says the Earth is flat and I say it isn't. Is his problem of me not believing him carry the same weight my problems with his argument? If not then why don't you see the same difference in weight when it comes to a Christian calling someone else irrational and an atheist calling them irrational?

    If I drop bad faith actor would you be opposed to what I said? 
  • TheRealNihilist
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    @RationalMadman

    Be the change you want to see in the world or be the reason others change.
    Inspirational quotes didn't work for me even back when I had the feels when I watched a Youtube video about it. The reality is I am not capable enough to do said change. I don't have the power.
    What do I do to ensure such trolls don't do that stuff to me? I block and starve them of my attention. Additionally, I actively engage with others around them. People have done the same to me, it's how I learned of how powerful this method is to the user you target.

    It's a clean way, completely abiding by the rules, to handle such users.
    Not going to work if they simply get over you and go to someone else and picker them. It only helps you whereas someone else might be impacted by trolls. Yes we all are selfish but if someone in our vicinity is being impacted then we would either feel bad or at the very least be distracted by what is going on. Instead of feeling bad or being distracted we can do something about it and fix the problem. I am not going to take a laissez-faire attitude to trolls who only ruin what can be learnt with many different voices. When I am too busy arguing with a troll a much more intelligent person could have been there to give their insight. That could have given me a new way of looking things. That possibility is better than the reality of waste of time trolls.
    Anyone can use the ignore and redirect method, so stick to that if you are not willing to risk your enjoyment of the site. 
    I'd rather learn something new then play with filth that are the trolls. It gets boring and I can't see them triggered through the internet so my long-term enjoyment is reduced. It might work in short bursts but then if I resort to that then others will think the forums is a cesspool of garbage. I rather it not. 
  • RationalMadman
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    Worry less about calling others names and branding them as 'trolls' and worry more about being consistent with your own depiction of an ideal user.

    You come here violating CoC with this callout thread where you name Mopac and GreyParrot. You then proceed to call them 'filth' who ironically you don't want to spend time with because you want to learn new things and yet you completely deny me advising you to just that.

    You need to learn patience, Omar, or you will become the very thing you hate: A forum troll. Don't think you're special or unique in this regard, we are all prone to become that which we hate because like love, hate makes you start to pick up characteristics as you obsess over it more and more. Don't hate, outplay and outsmart. 

    I'd say 'don't hate the player, hate the game' but I prefer the wording 'don't hate, outplay and outsmart' instead. This helped me so much in understanding not just poker and how to handle irritatingly loose-aggressive players but also life in general. I didn't have the easiest childhood, nor was it the hardest especially given how smart and charming I can be. I learned the hard way what happens when you try to be a 'direct fighter' to absolutely anyone or anything in life; they fight back and know how to. Sure, some people are naive and passive enough to defeat with an aggro style that has very little patience but most will put you in your place, we are the dominant species on the planet for a reason so even the lower end of our genepool is still very adaptive once you reveal yourself as a threat to them in an obvious manner.

    You don't need to fight trolls in any direct 'get rid of them' manner, you need to focus on making their presence unnecessary even to themselves (because they profit from attention, as opposed to other motives for using the website). As long as you're doing all you can to starve them of their income, they'll either subside or indeed thrive by preying on others. There is always the fine line between the right and wrong time to begin engaging a troll who is that severe and as I said previously, that's finesse and requires a lot of observation and trial-and-error.
  • RationalMadman
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    --> @bsh1 @David
    This is a callout thread as he didn't just allude to them but named some of the users he's calling filth AKA trolls (interchangeable to Omar, it seems). 
  • Ramshutu
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    --> @TheRealNihilist
    The problem is that you can’t moderate based on the validity of someone’s arguments. If someone is simply an idiot and doesnt realise it, is unable to convey their point of view, or is deliberately dishonest - there’s no objective test that isn’t down to the moderators subjective personal opinion.

    If the moderator were, say, Trump supporting conservatives - they could probably say the same about either you or I.


  • TheRealNihilist
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    @RationalMadman

    Worry less about calling others names and branding them as 'trolls' and worry more about being consistent with your own depiction of an ideal user.
    Which is why I want forum guidelines.
    You come here violating CoC with this callout thread where you name Mopac and GreyParrot. You then proceed to call them 'filth' who ironically you don't want to spend time with because you want to learn new things and yet you completely deny me advising you to just that.
    There is a difference between good and bad advice. I have already had your advice and already saw how useless it is to me. If lets say it was specifically about the forum post at hand I couldn't care less. 
    You need to learn patience, Omar, or you will become the very thing you hate: A forum troll. Don't think you're special or unique in this regard, we are all prone to become that which we hate because like love, hate makes you start to pick up characteristics as you obsess over it more and more. Don't hate, outplay and outsmart. 
    I am nothing special. I know that. 
    There is always the fine line between the right and wrong time to begin engaging a troll who is that severe and as I said previously, that's finesse and requires a lot of observation and trial-and-error.
    Agreed. I just find having rules better then dealing with trolls. It is like with other examples instead of asking people to simply not murder. It wouldn't work if there isn't punishment or authority which makes sure that isn't accepted. In other scenarios as in having a Laissez-faire stance to X I wouldn't agree with and in this context I don't agree with it either. 
    This is a callout thread as he didn't just allude to them but named some of the users he's calling filth AKA trolls (interchangeable to Omar, it seems). 
    Whatever they decide. I will just simply make this again removing what was deemed a callout and expect a reply if they don't reply here that is. 
  • TheRealNihilist
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    --> @Ramshutu
    I didn't get an answer to this question:
    What does make someone a bad faith actor?

    The problem is that you can’t moderate based on the validity of someone’s arguments. If someone is simply an idiot and doesnt realise it, is unable to convey their point of view, or is deliberately dishonest - there’s no objective test that isn’t down to the moderators subjective personal opinion.
    This is under the assumption I will be judging people on what they have done after they have specifically addressed the forum topic at hand. That is not the case. I at this moment only care about people speaking about the topic at hand and if idiots are a problem then I can think of a way to deal with them but as of now the rules would not be against idiots more so against people who are not speaking about the topic at hand.
    If the moderator were, say, Trump supporting conservatives - they could probably say the same about either you or I.
    This is already the case. If you haven't realized already ethang5 has slagged offf bsh1 and Virutoso as gay left wingers who are authoritative on DDO. Are you supposed to appeal to the lowest of the low like ethang5 or do you realize there is a reasonable place you can have disagreements?  You have yet to outline a reasonable place where this can fall flat unless of course you support wild west forums just because a not reasonable reason is given which is why it is bad.

    I don't know why you don't target my points directly. It is annoying to see my provide good arguments for my side only for you to simply ignore it like the one about the flat earther. If you didn't think it was a good point do tell. 
  • Ramshutu
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    --> @TheRealNihilist
    Firstly, I’d recommend removing the links to an external thread that doxes members...

  • TheRealNihilist
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    Done
  • Ramshutu
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    --> @TheRealNihilist
    So there’s a couple of things here. 

    Save for extreme abuse; the moderators are generally immune from the personal attack clause of the CoC. It’s important that members feel free to openly criticize moderation. That’s why you see bsh, virt and myself being openly attacked by individuals in some threads, posts, debates, etc, and those threads don’t get locked.

    This behaviour is not normally allowed against regular members -  hence why multiple
    threads and debates personally attacking other members are removed.


  • bsh1
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    --> @TheRealNihilist
    Ultimately, your request is both too subjective and too great an infringement of free speech to implement, though I sympathize with your frustration. Threads are conversations, and conversations naturally shift focus as people debate, interject, ebb, and flow. IRL, you might start out talking to a friend about animal rights, and wind up talking about nuclear disarmament. This kind of refocusing is normal, organic, and largely unavoidable. It is not moderation's job to keep conversations narrowly focused to the OP topic like some Nazi schoolteacher. 

    While I do appreciate that random comments and interjections are problematic for someone seeking a narrowly-focused discourse, they're something all people have to deal with in any social setting. If someone is deliberately trying to derail a thread with incessant, non-topical posts, then that could be spam, and spam is something moderation can take action to stop. But, unless the content qualifies as spam, it would not seem wise to me to impose topicality requirements on forum discussions, or to give OPs power to police their own threads, essentially making all users mini-moderators (diluting actual moderation authority and making exact standards of behavior in the forums unclear).
  • Mopac
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    Why would I want to reason with someone when they discount my viewpoint because of my religion when it isn't relevant to the topic?

    Besides that, the OP is incapable of speaking to someone he disagrees with without insulting their intelligence or rationality.


    The OP is immature, which is also why he wants to censor anyone that is obnoxious to his sensibilities.

    A little patience and charity would go a long way for the OP if he wants better engagement. No one cares if you think you are the smartest person in the room. Grow up and treat people with respect. It'll make you look less like an idiot.

    My interactions with the OP are pretty minimal,  but look at how he talks to others. 

  • Swagnarok
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    So that there is no confusion as to why this thread was created:

    The OP had a discussion with me. He accused me of being "dishonest", of arguing in bad faith, of being evasive, of using logical fallacies, of being brainwashed and incapable of reason, etc.
    I have not had extensive dealings with this user. Furthermore, nothing that he said to me particularly offended me. But he apparently was very offended by the fact that I expressed the opinions which I did. So here we are.

    If anything is bad faith, it's trying to physically shut down speech you don't like. This thread should not be afforded the dignity of a mod response nor to be the place for any lengthy conversation. It should simply be ignored, and hopefully the OP will cool off soon enough and realize how silly he's been.

    That is all.
  • bsh1
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    --> @TheRealNihilist
    Are you for this wild west of anything goes forum page instead of thoughtful conversations if so why?
    This is certainly not the Wild West where anything goes. Most bans are spurred by conduct that has occurred in the forums, and there are clear limitations on what users can and cannot do in the forums. That moderation is not as restrictive as you might want them to be is not the same as "anything goes."
  • TheRealNihilist
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    --> @bsh1
    Ultimately, your request is both too subjective 
    No it isn't. If we have a standard for saying a flat earther is wrong we can also have a standard for what can be deemed as useful to the topic at hand. What is so complicated about that? 
    and too great an infringement of free speech to implement
    You already infringe on freedom of speech by taking a stance against doxxing. Why do you infringe on that basis but not on the basis of making sure people stay on topic?
    It is not moderation's job to keep conversations narrowly focused to the OP topic like some Nazi schoolteacher. 
    So it is not the moderator's job to moderate? I am simply adding in rules for moderators to moderate under. It would be the moderator's job if you had a rule change so that argument doesn't work. 
    While I do appreciate that random comments and interjections are problematic for someone seeking a narrowly-focused discourse, they're something all people have to deal with in any social setting.
    Lets apply this in a different context. Black should realize racism is something they have to deal with in a social setting. Since that is your argument in a different context you are against any form of change which improves the social setting to make it more about conversations rather then people who would like to get a kick out of it at the expense of how good the conversation can be. 
    If someone is deliberately trying to derail a thread with incessant, non-topical posts, then that could be spam, and spam is something moderation can take action to stop. But, unless the content qualifies as spam, it would not seem wise to me to impose topicality requirements on forum discussions, or to give OPs power to police their own threads, essentially making all users mini-moderators (diluting actual moderation authority and making exact standards of behavior in the forums unclear).
    Where is the line of subjectivity? You are not for imposing standards upon forums but you are for removing spam. You haven't stated why you allow this subjective idea of spam but not the subjective idea of my rules.

    Ultimately, your request is both too subjective 
    I copied this here again just to make sure you understand my grievance with what you said. With this you imply that we have a standard that is less subjective. I am stating that is not the case. It is based on what you value and how you would like to get to what you value. If I value rational thought and helpful discourse and I would like to do this as well as I can. I will allow people to take down non-sequitur comments so that helpful discourse is maintained. If I was a troll. I wouldn't value that. Subjectivity is a non-issue because the opposite as in objectivity can never be achieved which is my problem and I found annoying why you didn't provide a distinction between what you consider too subjective compared to a right amount of subjective. 

    On to the subjectivity generally. Nothing in this world can be proven to be objective. Science makes assumptions about the world in order to derive observable evidence from it. We require those assumptions to have even a say in the world. If lets say I didn't assume I can trust my senses and I am capable of rational thought then I wouldn't be able to have this conversation. With this in mind you are arguing over two subjective viewpoints. A wild west forum and an ordered forum. I value helpful discourse but you value anything apart from doxxing. I am simply asking why is my ask more too much for you to handle?
  • TheRealNihilist
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    --> @Ramshutu
    So there’s a couple of things here. 

    Save for extreme abuse; the moderators are generally immune from the personal attack clause of the CoC. It’s important that members feel free to openly criticize moderation. That’s why you see bsh, virt and myself being openly attacked by individuals in some threads, posts, debates, etc, and those threads don’t get locked.

    This behaviour is not normally allowed against regular members -  hence why multiple
    threads and debates personally attacking other members are removed.
    You addressed my doxxing but not my actual arguments. I am under the suspicion either Virtuoso or bsh1 told you to be quiet. I don't see you trying to rebut my claims like what bsh1 did so I am left to assume that you are not allowed to speak about certain topics. This would justify your responses to me. 

    Is it true? 
  • bsh1
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    --> @TheRealNihilist
    Ramshutu was given no such directive.
  • TheRealNihilist
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    --> @bsh1
    Ramshutu was given no such directive.
    Then why the hell is he not rebutting my claims?
    I am perfectly fine with him saying he does not want to but he has yet to say he doesn't want to discourse instead from the conversation we had it is heavily implied that he doesn't really want to argue against my core ideas instead speak about certain issues he has. When it is addressed or asked for clarification he doesn't answer back.

    Take for instance when I asked him about what is a bad faith actor and in another comment I address what he didn't address and in another comment he just talked about doxxing. So basically none of what he said actually helps me understand the problems with what I am asking. I didn't give a definition for bad faith actor so Ramshutu can feel free to give his own. I apologize for doxxing but my points go unchallenged by him. 
  • bsh1
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    --> @TheRealNihilist
    If we have a standard for saying a flat earther is wrong we can also have a standard for what can be deemed as useful to the topic at hand...You already infringe on freedom of speech by taking a stance against doxxing. Why do you infringe on that basis but not on the basis of making sure people stay on topic?

    Of course site rules impinge on free speech. The problem, as I said, is that your policy would be "too great an infringement of free speech to implement." The issue here is one of degree, and your argument treats it as some sort of absolute. 

    At its core, this site is about conversation and debate. Interference in the natural flow of conversation and debate should be kept the barest minimum, and not present at all if possible. The barest minimum in this sense is to protect users from harm. Doxxing is a pretty substantial harm. You being annoyed that a flat earther is making some idiotic argument or tangential point is not a substantial harm.

    And, importantly, it's not my job as a moderator to pronounce certain views right or wrong--esp. on a debate site. Their are going to be genuine flat earthers out there, and they, like any other user, have the right to debate and discuss those opinions. If they choose to stubbornly defend those positions in the face of superior counterarguments, then you face a choice: engage or walk away. That choice is yours, but the fact that you face that choice or that it annoys you that you do is not nearly sufficient justification for me to take away their right to engage on this site. 90% of the time, even on here, arguments don't change people's opinions, and probably 90% of the users on here, myself included, have made stupid arguments or back-peddled in order to salvage our views from argumentative salvos.

    Ultimately, then, my job as a moderator is to keep the peace, it's not to evaluate the merits of users beliefs. Anything else would cause me to encroach too much on the free speech here. I can intervene to prevent abusive speech, but I am not going to intervene to prevent dumb or stubborn or annoying speech.

    Black should realize racism is something they have to deal with in a social setting.
    Talk about a false equivalency and strawman...

    This again comes down to issues of abuse vs. annoyance, and it's pretty clear that an interjection is nowhere near racism on anyone's scale of social acceptability.

    You are not for imposing standards upon forums but you are for removing spam
    Organic conversation shifts and changes. There may be deliberate attempts to redirect organic conversation, but those attempts do not necessarily preclude the conversation from going where it shall. Spam is an artificial attempt to redirect that organic conversation, and it is so severe or frequent that it prevents the natural flow of the conversation from taking place, or prevents any conversation taking place.

    We've debated the whole subjectivity thing before, and we did so quite thoroughly. I am not keen on rehashing it atm.
  • bsh1
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    --> @TheRealNihilist
    I am not going to speak for Ram or, in this case, about him. You need to talk to him about his responses.

  • bsh1
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    And, to be really clear, I do not believe I have ever issued an official warning to anyone *just* for spamming. Those very few people with whom I've raised the issue of spamming in an official warning have had it raised as an aggravating or ancillary factor. So, unless someone went really crazy, I doubt I'd do much about spamming, either.
  • TheRealNihilist
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    The issue here is one of degree, and your argument treats it as some sort of absolute. 
    What if I remove bad faith actors and simply add a rule of addressing the topic at hand?
    At its core, this site is about conversation and debate. Interference in the natural flow of conversation and debate should be kept the barest minimum, and not present at all if possible. The barest minimum in this sense is to protect users from harm. Doxxing is a pretty substantial harm. You being annoyed that a flat earther is making some idiotic argument or tangential point is not a substantial harm.
    You haven't defined harm I await for you to do so.
    And, importantly, it's not my job as a moderator to pronounce certain views right or wrong--esp. on a debate site. Their are going to be genuine flat earthers out there, and they, like any other user, have the right to debate and discuss those opinions.
    What if it leads to harm? What if I can demonstrate it under your definition of harm?
    If they choose to stubbornly defend those positions in the face of superior counterarguments, then you face a choice: engage or walk away. That choice is yours, but the fact that you face that choice or that it annoys you that you do is not nearly sufficient justification for me to take away their right to engage on this site. 
    Not what I want. Said bad faith actors and allowed it to be defined by someone else. If they don't want to I will. I am okay with removing that if there is a rule that is added that makes sure conversations are specifically about the conversation at hand.
    90% of the time, even on here, arguments don't change people's opinions, and probably 90% of the users on here, myself included, have made stupid arguments or back-peddled in order to salvage our views from argumentative salvos.
    So we should ought to keep it like this as in allow people to go off topic in order for them to weasel out of a conversation they are losing? 
    Ultimately, then, my job as a moderator is to keep the peace, it's not to evaluate the merits of users beliefs. Anything else would cause me to encroach too much on the free speech here. I can intervene to prevent abusive speech, but I am not going to intervene to prevent dumb or stubborn or annoying speech.
    Where did I say I will evaluate the merits of users beliefs? Bad faith actors is outside merits beliefs. It is about deliberately being dishonest and specifically addressing the topic at hand is not even in the same ball park. I find this a straw man. I don't want to police speech. I want rules added before speech occurs in order to make speech directed in being helpful.
    Talk about a false equivalency and strawman...
    I applied your argument to a different context. You said "they're something all people have to deal with in any social setting.". I simply changed the context of that and now you don't agree with it? That is not my problem you don't agree with the very same reason that can be used in other contexts. It isn't a straw man more so showing the failure of your reasoning behind what you value. Not my fault you didn't give a good enough reason.
    This again comes down to issues of abuse vs. annoyance, and it's pretty clear that an interjection is nowhere near racism on anyone's scale of social acceptability.
    A white supremacist? Are you going to curb their free speech? how about people who think race and IQ are linked? 
    If so why?
    Organic conversation shifts and changes.
    What do you mean by organic conversation? Isn't that subjective?
    Spam is an artificial attempt to redirect that organic conversation, and it is so severe or frequent that it prevents the natural flow of the conversation from taking place, or prevents any conversation taking place.
    What if the spammer doesn't feel the same way? Why are you infringing on their right to speech just because you don't like what is said?
    Can you prove spam is an artificial attempt to redirect organic conversation?
    We've debated the whole subjectivity thing before, and we did so quite thoroughly. I am not keen on rehashing it atm.
    Either you are lying or it actually did happen. I will take the second position. I would like to respond to my subjectivity criticisms again because if your arguments were good enough I would have changed my mind but I did not. The way our conversations go is that I get tired of a brick wall offering little to no criticism of my position which can be summed up as no which is why I call the conversation off. 

    So if it wasn't clear what questions I would like you to address then I will post them here:

    Where is the line of subjectivity?
    asked again here:
    I found annoying why you didn't provide a distinction between what you consider too subjective compared to a right amount of subjective. 

    A wild west forum and an ordered forum. I value helpful discourse but you value anything apart from doxxing. I am simply asking why is my ask more too much for you to handle?