Clarification re: rules & the forums / infraction system

Discussion in 'Forum Announcements and Feedback' started by Daniel Mosquin, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    There seems to be some confusion lately about how this forum is administered, and what is acceptable / unacceptable.

    The first point I'd like to make is that I am resistant to creating a huge set of rules.

    What do additional rules mean?

    On a small scale: Increased barrier to participation (on your part). Increased amount of time spent enforcing them (on my part). Increased amount of time trying to interpret rules (on our part). Increased amount of time refining rules (on my part when someone decides that a rule exists to be bent).

    On a broader scale: An admission that there is a segment of the population that will abuse freedoms, thereby ruining it for others who understand the need to not abuse freedoms; everyone must necessarily be restricted when restrictions are put in place due to the freedom-abusers.

    The second point I'd like to make very clearly is that these forums are different from many gardening & other forums in that they are supported by public funds. Public funds exist for these forums because I and my colleagues can argue that they serve an educational need for the purposes of appreciating the diversity of life on Earth, interpreting the natural world and aiding people to improve local environments and communities. If the day comes that I and my colleagues can no longer -- or are no longer willing to -- assert and prove that these forums serve an educational need is the day that this experiment fails.

    A corollary to that last statement is that it is overwhelmingly important that I be satisfied with the general direction and demeanor on the forums. To put it succinctly, I am interested in wheat, not chaff; signal, not noise.

    All that being said, it seems like I am now finally obligated to use the forum's infraction system. When I have to step in and delete posts, edit posts due to objectionable content, deal with unwanted political content or pseudoscience and so on, you will either receive a warning (not a big deal, just avoid doing that again) or receive infraction points. These will be delivered via a private message. You may indeed receive an infraction point for a first-time incident, though, depending on the severity.

    Accumulate enough infraction points, and you will be placed on moderation (if not having already been outright banned due to some other reason).

    Other administrators can see the infractions and reasoning for them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2010
  2. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Thank you, Daniel, for this clarification. Rules are necessary, and the only way for them to perform their function is if they are clearly and openly stated.
    Long live the Forum!
     
  3. Katalina25

    Katalina25 New Member

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    I am just so sorry this had to come about,

    It seems a fair way forward for the forums.

    Thanks Daniel!
     
  4. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Knowledge when shared, is welcomed... lack of self control is not...

    Thanks Daniel for your diligence, and allowing this forum to become what it was meant to become.... shared and
    worth sharing with other like minded plant enthusiasts!
     
  5. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Ditto.

    Thank you Daniel for all you hard work. Much appreciated.
     
  6. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Updated Feb 27,2009:

    Removed notes re: infraction system.

    Of the 4 members receiving warnings since it's been instituted, 2 have never logged in again. Not worth losing forum members over.
     
  7. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    i disagree. it is a worthy system - and one that most forums employ.

    the fact that someone (or more than one) hasn't logged in again after receiving notice that they've acted against posted rules for the forum says that they're most probably what's known as 'trolls' and aren't worth having as a member anyway. good riddance to bad rubbish.

    the fact that someone receives notice of infraction and continues to log in and post would, hopefully, indicate that they understand the rules and are going to comply.

    i somehow missed this thread back in october. if i'd seen it then, i'd have commended the institution of an infraction system. it is something that i've seen work extremely well on the various forums i'm a member of - whether just a member, a mod or an admin on said forum.
     
  8. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The people who haven't logged in again were actually fairly long-time members (~10-50 posts) -- definitely not trolls.

    So, it worked too well for some (and the corollary).
     
  9. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    10-50 posts? that's not a lot at all; certainly enough not to be considered a 'long-term' member. that amount of postings would fall within the definition of troll if the majority of the posts were close to or at disregarding the posted rules. which they most probably were.

    in the past 8 months or so i can think of 4-5 people who had less than 30 posts that were clearly argumentative towards others - at least 2 of them had been members for about a year and at least 1 purposely joined to harrass one particular member (as evidenced by the fact that almost all his posts were in reply to that one member and all the posts were derogatory). longevity, or lack thereof, has nothing to do with being a troll or acting in a troll-like manner.

    it's the quality of the posts and whether the forum rules are being adhered to that should be the factors considered when implementing 'infraction notices'. longevity of membership is just not a factor that should be considered and certainly not a valid reason to discontinue the system; nor is the fact that they haven't logged in - doesn't mean they're not still here and doesn't mean they won't log in again at some point in the future.
     
  10. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Duly noted, joclyn. Perhaps with a bit better wording from the default infraction private messages (so they don't seem like such a hammer), it should be revived.
     

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