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gcle2003 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 Aug 2009 at 05:18
This is a spin off from part of the 'Wheni will you be banned thread' in Q&A
 
It started with this:
Originally posted by Pashalimani Pashalimani wrote:

Quote As much as I know how much some people love to be the outside voice looking in, doling out righteous advice and the 'simple truth', you are in this regard completely misinformed Bey. Tell me what evidence you have for your assertions. How had Red performed well? How many people got involved in 'trickery, spamming, sock-puppeting...' ? How is the forum 'iron fisted'? Just because you see things from the other side, doesn't mean your perpective is any the clearer.
I was protesting against mod secrecy before you even joined this forum. From Feb 2006:

AE is ruled by a secretive self-appointed elite who hide behind walls and determine the fate of us poor serfs. 

I was against this idea of separate moderator forum back when it was introduced. I think the moderators should at least be subject to recall by popular vote, and what they write in their forum should be visible to all. I find it unacceptable that members are not able to read accusations on them and not allowed to defend themselves.

And mind you this was under Komnenos, whose leadership I valued more than others'. But now that secrecy caused this mess, yet the mods are trying to rise to the top like olive oil. So I got all the goddam right to say "I told you so", and descant on my own rightousness, and you Dolphin, will kindly STFU and listen. 

Second, in comparison to the behaviour of most .NET admins and mods (and of course to Cyrus) in this current debacle, Red behaved well. He doesn't deserve to be called names by the hypocrites. Like the .NET mods, he bans the people who he thinks are there to sabotage his forum, but he does it without calling you names or swearing at you despite ample provovation. Probably he would not have banned those of you who have behaved civilly if others hadn't behaved like total slimebags.

Ultimately, the important point is, what good will come out of this debacle? Will the mod class increase its power and previlages despite the mess they caused, or will the forum become a more open place? You Dolphin, are not even a mod. Why do you support the existence of a secret mod forum?

Quote It wasn't anyone at AE.net did that. The hosts, WebWiz, gave that information to the police in the UK when Cyrus stole their software (which they proved through the embedded code) to run AE.com. That's why Cyrus had to back off and use the free and less powerful version of their software, which requires him to put the WerbWiz logo on every page.
That's not what I'm talking about at all. I saw threats by .NET rulership about giving Cyruses real name to the Iranian police along with his political (anti-muslim etc.) messages. Cyrus is of course racist human scum (like a few others still in this forum despite the recent migration trend), and a traitor to Iran (I would not be surprised if he's actually on Israeli or American payroll), but outing him to the Iranian police because he stole 'your' so-called 'intellectual property'? That's really low. Even if money is involved, even if it is a few hundred bucks as Cyrus claims, how can you give his details to the Iranian police? I really hope for your sake that it was just a threat to scare him. Don't we criticise Google for cooperating with the oppressive Chinese government? At least they do it for billions of dollars...

As to 'intellectual property', when multi-national corporations sue people for sharing files, I support the people, not the corporations. I am also sure most people if not everyone here 'abuses' 'intellectual property' on the internet, from file sharing to youtube streaming, so your objections are extremely hypocritical. Some even wrote that they downloaded games/films without getting banned for 'stealing'. That said, I see your point about for someone earning their living from their intellectual output to AE this would be serious, but nobody does that here. Leave the internet alone, information wants to be free.

Finally let me clarify one thing, I don't think the mods and admins here are evil people, I am in good terms with most. If the right wing scumbags of the forum were the mods/admins, I would not be here anyway. The problem is, like Paul observes, the system/mod culture. A new CoC is needed, along with more openness, and curbs on mod/admin powers. In other words, Glasnost and Perestroika. You should practice more of what you preach. And the non-mod members would better stop sucking up to the mods and demand some rights. 


Edited by gcle2003 - 12 Aug 2009 at 05:20
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 2009 at 05:21
And continued with this:
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by Pashalimani Pashalimani wrote:

I was protesting against mod secrecy before you even joined this forum. From Feb 2006:

AE is ruled by a secretive self-appointed elite who hide behind walls and determine the fate of us poor serfs. 
 
If one ignores the hyperbole, that's true enough. However, what's the alternative to a self-appointed oligarchy? The essential problem distinguishing a web forum like this from â normal policital society is defining the membership. You can't, in practice, have one man, one vote, because you have no check on who the members are who are voting. I can easily arrange to pass myself off as a dozen or more different people simultaneously (at least every few minutes Smile - I don't have that many hands, all with different user names and different IP numbers.
 
And with the polling software available you can't tell which person voted for whom (which is generally desirable for privacy, but would give a useful check here.
 
So people with more web experience would have a significant advantage over others.
 
That doesn't of course mean that only moderators can vote, but it does indicate that some method is needed of limiting voting to 'trusted' people - i.e. people you know are real people. In which case of course what are you left with? A self-appointed oligarchy.
Quote
I was against this idea of separate moderator forum back when it was introduced. I think the moderators should at least be subject to recall by popular vote, and what they write in their forum should be visible to all. I find it unacceptable that members are not able to read accusations on them and not allowed to defend themselves.
That's one reason I suggested to Eaglecap that he use this particular forum, which is accessible to all. What you're suggesting would amount (in the case of a serious threat to the forum, as in the recent situation with Belisarius) to having some kind of 'pending forum', not open to guests, but open to members under a precautionary ban. Where a precautionary ban isn't necessary, people have a chance to defend themselves anyway.
 
Don't forget anyway that all the moderator threas to do with the reent departure of Cyrus were in fact opened to anyone who asked to see them.
Quote
...
Quote It wasn't anyone at AE.net did that. The hosts, WebWiz, gave that information to the police in the UK when Cyrus stole their software (which they proved through the embedded code) to run AE.com. That's why Cyrus had to back off and use the free and less powerful version of their software, which requires him to put the WerbWiz logo on every page.
That's not what I'm talking about at all. I saw threats by .NET rulership about giving Cyruses real name to the Iranian police along with his political (anti-muslim etc.) messages. Cyrus is of course racist human scum (like a few others still in this forum despite the recent migration trend), and a traitor to Iran (I would not be surprised if he's actually on Israeli or American payroll), but outing him to the Iranian police because he stole 'your' so-called 'intellectual property'? That's really low.
Agreed. In fact there was never a serious suggestion by anyone that that should be done.
Quote
...
As to 'intellectual property', when multi-national corporations sue people for sharing files, I support the people, not the corporations. I am also sure most people if not everyone here 'abuses' 'intellectual property' on the internet, from file sharing to youtube streaming, so your objections are extremely hypocritical.
The accusation of hypocrisy only holds if the same people were breaching copyright as were criticising Cyrus and the others for doing so. Personally I'm very careful about copyright rules, but agreed this largely is because I earned my living or part of it for so long through writing.
Quote
Some even wrote that they downloaded games/films without getting banned for 'stealing'. That said, I see your point about for someone earning their living from their intellectual output to AE this would be serious, but nobody does that here. Leave the internet alone, information wants to be free.
I don't think you can pick and choose whose copyrights should be protected and whose not. I do agree as it happens that corporate copyright rules (as opposed to personal ones) need substantial revision, and also that protection goes on for too long after death nowadays. But the principle is moral and correct. I'm as entitled to the ownership of an article I write as much as I am of a shed I build.
Quote
Finally let me clarify one thing, I don't think the mods and admins here are evil people, I am in good terms with most. If the right wing scumbags of the forum were the mods/admins, I would not be here anyway. The problem is, like Paul observes, the system/mod culture. A new CoC is needed, along with more openness, and curbs on mod/admin powers. In other words, Glasnost and Perestroika. You should practice more of what you preach. And the non-mod members would better stop sucking up to the mods and demand some rights. 
A further difficulty to the ones I mentioned above is that by the very nature of web sites and their hosts, administrators need to be appointed and to have powers that supercede everyone else. It is in fact absolutely necessary that the FTP passwords for accessing the site and the SQL passwords for manipulating the database are kept secret. Otherwise the whole thing could be easily disrupted in a manner that can't apply in a normal political community.
 
To the points about a 'fuzzy' society where you can't be sure who the members are, you have to add that it is a technocracy where technical powers have to be restricted to a few.
 
I was intending to open a thread on these issues because I agree with you these are serious matters that should be opnely discussed. This isn't really the place for it, so what I think I'll do is copy your and my posts to a new thread in intellectual discussions in the Theories of Society and Economcs forum.
 
It would be nice if answers to the posts went there, not here.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 2009 at 06:22
Well, as I responded to him in that topic, I'll say here. In my opinion, we can't just say that since democracy is the best thing in theory, we should apply it everywhere. No instance of democracy works well (except Switzerland).
 
And everything else we have on our poor Earth is as good as an oligarchy. So, if we see that democracy doesn't work where people are sure to be the people (by identity check and such), then it certainly won't work in an environment which by its very nature supports secrecy (hiding behind identities)...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 2009 at 07:58
I also posted on that thread but I will say just this: This is an internet forum and there are rules. I agreed to these rules when I joined and I continue to agree with them by remaining here. (Well, largely... I should probably work on my swearing and all round bombastic attitude) Either way, I vote with my feet. If I don't like the way things are run I'll do a Red Clay and storm off for a year like a crybaby. If I do, I'll stay. If I'm indifferent, I'm indifferent.

Personally I feel a secret mod forum is necessary in the same way that government cabinet meetings should be held in secret - because otherwise the major decisions will still be held in secret via PMs or Emails, just as in real life the cabinet will just meet in secret locations for the 'major' decisions. I'd rather not be pandered to with softly softly ideas of transparancy and just accept the system for the way it is.

I do agree that there is perhaps too much secrecy here among the modding class, especially over this whole Cyrus thing - none of us ordinary members had a clue about what was going on, and that wasn't right. But eitherway, there will be secrecy, and there is no way of preventing that. Its basic human nature and its the way any political construct works. I much prefer oligarchy to anarchy, were I forced to make a choice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 2009 at 08:19
Alright then, I logged in. Uskudar was running out of districts anyway.

Quote However, what's the alternative to a self-appointed oligarchy? The essential problem distinguishing a web forum like this from â normal policital society is defining the membership. You can't, in practice, have one man, one vote, because you have no check on who the members are who are voting. I can easily arrange to pass myself off as a dozen or more different people simultaneously (at least every few minutes Smile - I don't have that many hands, all with different user names and different IP numbers.


You raise some legitimate issues. However the issues apply to the current system as well. In what way is the current oligarchy protect against this?

Also, to pass as two different people, let alone many, is not as easy as it sounds. I would be very surprised indeed if I can't detect the fraud within 20 posts or so. I can make this estimate because it usually takes me half that long to catch a banned member returning, and I don't even have access to IP addresses. People have specific agendas, perspectives, interests and faults. They repeat themselves. Let me give you an example; recently I saw someone spamming in the .COM forum, who made a lot of spelling mistakes. I guessed he was Parnell. He wrote for a while before they banned him. I turned out to be right. I guessed it because he misspelt 'Jew' as 'Joo', which is apparently his idea of a stupid person spelling the word. I immediately remembered it because he wrote it before in response to one of my posts here... And that's just me. Fooling the whole community is near impossible, unless the perpetrator is really mad or extremely intelligent and dedicated, in which case probably deserves having multiple votes anyway. :) And I don't think anyone with that kind of drive to post would risk a ban by sock-puppeting. Never seen it happen, don't think I ever will.

Add to this IP checks, e-mails required for membership, and even facebook contacts, I don't think we'll have a serious sock-puppet problem in the forum.
 
Quote And with the polling software available you can't tell which person voted for whom (which is generally desirable for privacy, but would give a useful check here.
 
So people with more web experience would have a significant advantage over others.

If we really want we can make open voting (everyone posts their vote), or registy checks (everyone posts that they have voted and we compare the numberof votes to participants).
 
Quote That doesn't of course mean that only moderators can vote, but it does indicate that some method is needed of limiting voting to 'trusted' people - i.e. people you know are real people. In which case of course what are you left with? A self-appointed oligarchy.


I am not actually advocating direct democracy, if you want to split hairs. Call it an oligarchy if you like. It may indeed be unavoidable in a forum where most members are ghosts or potential sock-puppeteers. In that case the task is to make it as inclusive as possible. Not like now. Now the majority of real people have no power over anything.

Quote That's one reason I suggested to Eaglecap that he use this particular forum, which is accessible to all. What you're suggesting would amount (in the case of a serious threat to the forum, as in the recent situation with Belisarius) to having some kind of 'pending forum', not open to guests, but open to members under a precautionary ban. Where a precautionary ban isn't necessary, people have a chance to defend themselves anyway.


I re-posted the 2006 text to show to prove my point, it is not a well tought-out plan to run the forum. At the moment the mods can talk to each other in their forum and ban you without you knowing what is going on. It is very Kafkaesque. Or if you are lucky and don't get banned outright, they can warn you and discuss you case among themselves, while you are not allowed to complain about it, have no right to a lawyer, or to self-defence or even attend your own trial...

The mods can come to a thread and publicly threaten you, bully you, hide or change your texts (what happens then to 'intellectual property'? Shall I sue the mods who deleted my posts or modified them?) and if you complain about it you get warned because it is not allowed to question staff decisions publicly... That's fascism in action.
 
Quote Don't forget anyway that all the moderator threas to do with the reent departure of Cyrus were in fact opened to anyone who asked to see them.

Too little, too late. They should have been open all along and to everyone. If they were, this problem would not have arisen in the first place. Also, why would I your word that all threads are opened? Maybe they aren't. Paul is totally right about this. If have nothing to hide, you open the forums.

Quote Agreed. In fact there was never a serious suggestion by anyone that that should be done.

I certainly hope so. Yet as I mentioned before I don't trust you at all. Not you personally, but your system.

Quote The accusation of hypocrisy only holds if the same people were breaching copyright as were criticising Cyrus and the others for doing so. Personally I'm very careful about copyright rules, but agreed this largely is because I earned my living or part of it for so long through writing.

I am sure almost all the hypocrites are abusing copyright in one way or another here. In fact, it is almost impossible to avoid doing it if you spend a lot of time in the net.

Quote I don't think you can pick and choose whose copyrights should be protected and whose not. I do agree as it happens that corporate copyright rules (as opposed to personal ones) need substantial revision, and also that protection goes on for too long after death nowadays. But the principle is moral and correct. I'm as entitled to the ownership of an article I write as much as I am of a shed I build.

I have little respect for corporate copyright. What I ask is why ban Red Clay but not ban the members who wrote 'I downloaded this computer game'? Red Clay is not even responsible for Cyruses so-called 'crime' unlike the other person.

Quote A further difficulty to the ones I mentioned above is that by the very nature of web sites and their hosts, administrators need to be appointed and to have powers that supercede everyone else. It is in fact absolutely necessary that the FTP passwords for accessing the site and the SQL passwords for manipulating the database are kept secret. Otherwise the whole thing could be easily disrupted in a manner that can't apply in a normal political community.

This is correct and actually AE had this right in the past. The answer is separation of powers. Admins should be technical people without the authority to ban the members or run the forums, which should be done by the mods.

Quote To the points about a 'fuzzy' society where you can't be sure who the members are, you have to add that it is a technocracy where technical powers have to be restricted to a few.

Very well, have the admins as strictly technical people. It was like this before.

Quote I was intending to open a thread on these issues because I agree with you these are serious matters that should be opnely discussed.


As I have mentioned before, I think reforms are needed.

1. No secret forums. Maybe just one for voting, if necessary. There is no justification for having secret forums for the mods. AE functioned perfectly without them in the past. Posting in certain forums may be limited in order to encourage history posts, but that's it. Just implementing this will improve things greatly. Of course, the current mods will never agree to this because we will see all their dirty laundry, so make a compromise and keep the old secret forums locked.

2. Rewriting of the CoC with input from the forum. Some suggestions. Cancel the current 'crimes' of:
     a. 'nationalism': is unavoidable, and should not be a crime as long is it is limited to praising one's own nation (not race). Racism/hate mongering on a national or racial basis should be the crime. If you are a moron who wants to write 'Turkey is the bestest' fine, but no 'Greece sucks'.
     b. 'negative attitude': ridiculous tought crime.
     c. 'trolling': undefinable.
     d. 'posting witty remarks': this should be rewarded not punished.
     e. 'propaganda': undefinable. is not a crime as long as it is not spam, and it not off-topic. E.g. if a penis-head keeps writing about how horrible Lenin is in all threads regardless of the topic, he should be warned, but if he starts a topic about how horrible Lenin is, that is fine.
     f. 'Rude remarks': fine as long as they are not directed towards other members and constitute insults. The forum has a minimum age limit. Everyone should be able to call Bush or Reagan names.

3. Reorganisation of the power structure. The admins should be strictly technical. All members above a certain number of posts should have rights of some sort, e.g. access to all 'secret' forums, right to elect and recall mods and challenge decisions (I leave this vague on purpose, should be discussed in detail). No mod bullying, no secret trials, no post editing, no outright permanent bans. Mods who serve the community rather than who think they are shepherds.

Glasnost and Perestroika, that's what .NET needs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 2009 at 08:39
Rider, what you write is feeble-minded rhetoric (switzerland real democracy yadda yadda) not worth a response.

Parnell, Paul nailed you already: you are indeed the system's bitch. :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 2009 at 08:41
AE has always had secret forums (at least since the Proboards).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 2009 at 09:00
Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:



Parnell, Paul nailed you already: you are indeed the system's bitch. :)


I'd rather be the systems bitch than the daring highwayman, dear sir.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dolphin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 2009 at 20:38

Ok, I've STFU and listened. I actually have a job and life and try not to get wound up in this rhetorical jousting too much (do you even really care Bey, or do you just love arguing for the minority?), but I'll humour a few minutes.

Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:


1. No secret forums. Maybe just one for voting, if necessary. There is no justification for having secret forums for the mods. AE functioned perfectly without them in the past. Posting in certain forums may be limited in order to encourage history posts, but that's it. Just implementing this will improve things greatly. Of course, the current mods will never agree to this because we will see all their dirty laundry, so make a compromise and keep the old secret forums locked.
 
What dirty laundry? Merely supposition that doesn't mean anything. I personally have no problem with secret forums. They don't affect me. I, like yourself bey, am not a regular to the forum, I don't wake up every day and have to pay bills, organise webhosts, create the Library, consult others on upgrades and changes to the interface, regulate people's childish behaviour, I just pop in and out when I please with little or no emotional energy or attachment. Why should I have access to the mod forum? These people have different responsibilities, and If I really want to know what's going on, I'll just have to contribute more and hope to be selected. One possible compromise, is that users of a sufficient post count can view the mod forum 'minutes' after the fact, such as a month or so later, but a day to day access to mod goings on is impractical and offers to much power for spammers, messers, trolls and the likes. A new member would be just as able to see what the upper echelons of the forum management are talking about as the admins. That's no a bright idea imo.
 

Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:


2. Rewriting of the CoC with input from the forum. Some suggestions. Cancel the current 'crimes' of:
     a. 'nationalism': is unavoidable, and should not be a crime as long is it is limited to praising one's own nation (not race). Racism/hate mongering on a national or racial basis should be the crime. If you are a moron who wants to write 'Turkey is the bestest' fine, but no 'Greece sucks'.
     b. 'negative attitude': ridiculous tought crime.
     c. 'trolling': undefinable.
     d. 'posting witty remarks': this should be rewarded not punished.
     e. 'propaganda': undefinable. is not a crime as long as it is not spam, and it not off-topic. E.g. if a penis-head keeps writing about how horrible Lenin is in all threads regardless of the topic, he should be warned, but if he starts a topic about how horrible Lenin is, that is fine.
     f. 'Rude remarks': fine as long as they are not directed towards other members and constitute insults. The forum has a minimum age limit. Everyone should be able to call Bush or Reagan names.
 
I appreciate your list is not exhaustive.
a. Nationalism is fine outside of an online history forum. Online it turns the forum into one big flame war, and makes most serious discussion pointless and impossible. Surley you can see that making nationalism allowed under the CoC would be a terrible idea?
b. Kind of like the section 5 in Britain. Give the powers that be a greater control of troublesome, yet not entirely illegal behaviour. But, as I'm sure gcle2003 will point out, this would not be a bannable offence anyway.
c. Trolling may be undefinable, but the attempt must still be made to define it, and even mould it to the context of this particular forum. Trolling in 4chan would be quite different to trolling here. But the 'crime' still needs to be recognised. It almost goes without saying.
d. 'Posting witty remarks' is part of a phrase you have taken out of context. The act of posting witty remarks is not a crime in itself, but only when perpretrated with the express intention of diverting attention and energy away from a pre-existing argument. You i'm sure are aware of this.
e. I don't follow your logic. Warn a spammer? Of course someone can start a thread saying 'Lenin is a Gay Fairy', but if he doesn't back it up by evidence then it won't stay open for long, or others will shut him down with discussion. It's not ok to just post a thread full of lies and propoganda and expect it to stay. The forum would be flooded in no time.
f. 'Rude Remarks' refer to those remarks that others would legitimately find offensive. It's not our divine right to say what we want and expect everyone else to deal with it. This website has a decorum that many others don't, and if you want to substitute legitimate language with foulness to make a point, then maybe a different website is more suitable.
 
 
Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:


3. Reorganisation of the power structure. The admins should be strictly technical. All members above a certain number of posts should have rights of some sort, e.g. access to all 'secret' forums, right to elect and recall mods and challenge decisions (I leave this vague on purpose, should be discussed in detail). No mod bullying, no secret trials, no post editing, no outright permanent bans. Mods who serve the community rather than who think they are shepherds.

Glasnost and Perestroika, that's what .NET needs.
 
 
In some ways I agree with this. Members above a certain number of posts is quite a loose concept, there would almost need to be a vote amonst voters as to who gets further access to 'hidden' areas. Most mods don't Bully, but I do know of some who seem to enjoy the traffic warden/policeman/moral bastion position of barging in and patronising some members, but they (and by they I can think of two) ar ein the vast minority. The rest are level headed, fair, honest, intelligent, and make a genuine effort in the community. By secret trials you must mean the decision of mods to ban a member? What would you prefer, an open vote? "Barabus or Jesus, let the corwd decide!" I don't think so.
 
 
After all this, I still question if you really give a damn, or whether you just enjoy arguing vehemently against the powers that be. Maybe you can help me out and explain. You see, I welcome glasnost, I would never advocate such STFU leanings - or is that where glasnost ends up anyway?Embarrassed
 
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I should say that, overall I am disappointed by how little interest and how much animosity this thread generated. You may not like my ideas and suggestions, but I expected at least some recognition of the problems here and suggestions to improve the situation. However, except for Graham, all of those who replied did that to 'defend' the status quo, and failed to provide any assessment of the problems. 

Originally posted by rider rider wrote:

AE has always had secret forums (at least since the Proboards).

There were none in proboards when I joined. I objected when the admins decided to introduce them.

Originally posted by dolphin dolphin wrote:

I actually have a job and life and try not to get wound up in this rhetorical jousting too much (do you even really care Bey, or do you just love arguing for the minority?), but I'll humour a few minutes.

I think this issue is important and have logged in only because Graham showed a genuine interest in discussion. It is not my intention to troll or to stir up trouble. I won't write anything outside and will go away after this discussion is over.

Quote What dirty laundry? Merely supposition that doesn't mean anything. I personally have no problem with secret forums. They don't affect me.

Disgraceful... Dead

Quote I, like yourself bey, am not a regular to the forum, I don't wake up every day and have to pay bills, organise webhosts, create the Library, consult others on upgrades and changes to the interface, regulate people's childish behaviour, I just pop in and out when I please with little or no emotional energy or attachment. Why should I have access to the mod forum? These people have different responsibilities, and If I really want to know what's going on, I'll just have to contribute more and hope to be selected.

Sorry, but this is pathetic to the extent that you reduce my belief in mankind. 'The forum elders know the best for us sheep...' Dead You spend more time here than me, since Feb 2007 you have about 1750 posts with an average of 1.9 per day. I've been around since before Aug 2004, and have about 1360 posts (average of 0.74). So what is the difference between us? We have both contributed enough to this forum so that we should have official rights, even if without powers. You have contributed more than some mods in the past and maybe the present, so you have a right to be a mod as anyone, but instead of acknowledging your right, you talk about 'hoping to be selected'... That points to the problem nicely. Besides I am not even saying that everyone should be mods. I am saying that the mods should be accountable to the membership body.

Quote One possible compromise, is that users of a sufficient post count can view the mod forum 'minutes' after the fact, such as a month or so later, but a day to day access to mod goings on is impractical

Why 'impractical'?

Quote and offers to much power for spammers, messers, trolls and the likes.

Spamming is an offence. Trolling can be. Messer means 'knife' in German. They have nothing to do with access to information. If someone behaves wrongly they get warned, problem solved.

Quote A new member would be just as able to see what the upper echelons of the forum management are talking about as the admins. That's no a bright idea imo.

Why not? Why would the serfs should not see what your Lords and Masters are talking about? They may be talking about you, after all? Maybe they don't like you for personal reasons and slandering you and you have no idea about it?

After all this mess with Cyrus (when wrote those things before people like you were defending him as one of the benevolent admins) and Clay and everyone else, how can you, how can anyone still believe in the benevolence of the mod class? Have you not seen how many people became anti-Cyrus in the current debacle only after a while, because they came to see what's going on? Cyrus was able to start .com and attract members only thanks to mod-admin secrecy. 

Quote a. Nationalism is fine outside of an online history forum. Online it turns the forum into one big flame war, and makes most serious discussion pointless and impossible. Surley you can see that making nationalism allowed under the CoC would be a terrible idea?

Nationalism already exists here and is unavoidable in a history forum. It has to be regulated somehow, I suggested a way. You can suggest another way, I am listening. But you are just objecting to object, or because I am a commie or something. I am asking why don't you apply your CoC then and ban all the bellends who write about how US won the Vietnam war, and is the best country ever? Do you even read the bloody forum or just read the tavern?

Quote c. Trolling may be undefinable, but the attempt must still be made to define it, and even mould it to the context of this particular forum. Trolling in 4chan would be quite different to trolling here. But the 'crime' still needs to be recognised. It almost goes without saying.

The crime of spam is understandable, so are hate ('negative' nationalism, racism) crimes, so is off-topic posting, and of course personal insults. But what is trolling? If someone writes a witty remark to draw response form the community, so what? If you are smart you have a laugh, if you fall for it you respond and generate a response, which is the purpose of the forum in the first place.

Quote e. I don't follow your logic. Warn a spammer? Of course someone can start a thread saying 'Lenin is a Gay Fairy', but if he doesn't back it up by evidence then it won't stay open for long, or others will shut him down with discussion. It's not ok to just post a thread full of lies and propoganda and expect it to stay. The forum would be flooded in no time.

I posted a lot of propaganda here, and I've read even more. Yet I was never warned about that. CoC is therefore obviously broken. Spam is a crime, and should be punished, so should off-topic posting. There are however, thousands of threads full of lies and propaganda and they stay there perfectly well.

Quote f. 'Rude Remarks' refer to those remarks that others would legitimately find offensive. It's not our divine right to say what we want and expect everyone else to deal with it. This website has a decorum that many others don't, and if you want to substitute legitimate language with foulness to make a point, then maybe a different website is more suitable.

And who are those 'others' who decide what is offensive and what is not? If rude remarks are illegal how come I and others like Parnell get away with what we write? We don't need any conservative puritanism in this forum. Personal insults are a criminal offense, crime of rude remarks is fascist thought control.

Quote In some ways I agree with this. Members above a certain number of posts is quite a loose concept, there would almost need to be a vote amonst voters as to who gets further access to 'hidden' areas.

Maybe there is hope for you, after all. Yes I have not defined it on purpose, because if I did you would have written (say, 100 posts is too little/too much) and miss the point entirely. The point is there should be no arbitrary division between the self-serving mod class and the rest of the community.

Quote Most mods don't Bully, but I do know of some who seem to enjoy the traffic warden/policeman/moral bastion position of barging in and patronising some members, but they (and by they I can think of two) ar ein the vast minority.

There you go, even you admit that there are problems.

Quote The rest are level headed, fair, honest, intelligent, and make a genuine effort in the community.

There were also level-headed, fair, honest, intelligent and good slave-owners and fascist party members, that does not make slavery or fascism right.

Quote By secret trials you must mean the decision of mods to ban a member? What would you prefer, an open vote? "Barabus or Jesus, let the corwd decide!" I don't think so.

Why are you afraid of openness so much? Decision could stay with the mods, keep it if you'd fight to the death to defend your Masters' previlages, but at least tell me why the trial should not be open, or the accused given a chance to defend himself?
 
Quote After all this, I still question if you really give a damn, or whether you just enjoy arguing vehemently against the powers that be. Maybe you can help me out and explain. You see, I welcome glasnost, I would never advocate such STFU leanings - or is that where glasnost ends up anyway?

You don't welcome glasnost which means openness, you've been arguing for whole post against it, so cut the crap. You just wrote that so you can make a lame ad-hominem comment (glasnost ends up in STFU). I wrote you to STFU, because as I wrote earlier I had every right to say 'I told you so', but when I did that you, another system bitch, came up to write that I was self-rightous, and was there on a vanity trip, as if I haven't written all the warnings in the past years and been called names for it. As far as I am concerned, you fully deserved that STFU (which is, I believe, the only time I used that phrase here in 5 years). And now you should also be honest about your attitude towards glassnost or kindly STFU again, and leave the discussion to those who care about the issue. And above all things, don't dare calling me a hypocrite again because I argue for openness and told you to STFU: telling someone to STFU is different from banning them. I never banned anyone. I got angry and told you to STFU, you did not and I bash you some more, fine, say whatever you like in return.

As I have written above, I am writing all this because I believe this is what is needed here, not to stir up contraversy. Not that I haven't done that in the past, but not now. Now I am serious, and I expect you to not get stuck in personal comments but
a.recognise that the current system failed and
b.come up with some ideas to fix it
If you can't do that leave it to those like Graham who can, and don't bother coming to tell me how I am wrong and stupid and communism is bad or whatever, that's been done to death in the past.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2009 at 00:42
Quote However, except for Graham, all of those who replied did that to 'defend' the status quo, and failed to provide any assessment of the problems.


I've a lot of problems with this statement. Is it possible to disagree with you and not give a sh*t about the status quo? Really, come on. This is an internet forum. I do agree that there is too much secrecy but I won't loose sleep over it. I come here primarily to post about history - especially Irish history when a thread comes up about it (It made my year when Act of Oblivion posted 'Irish Nationalists in the British Army') Everything else is superficial and irrelevant. So long as I have the freedom to post whats on my mind then I'm happy. If I'm especially upset I can just leave, or indeed establish my own forum. I'm not unhappy or upset. Please do not give us the ignorant proletariat spiel, I know fine well how things work here. The important thing for you to remember is that I don't give a damn about having rights because I am here on a voluntary basis.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2009 at 00:59
I've got to say, I agree largerly with what Parnell and Dolphin have written. Thus there isn't much to add. Plus don't have the time currently.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mixcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2009 at 04:44
Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

Originally posted by rider rider wrote:

AE has always had secret forums (at least since the Proboards).
There were none in proboards when I joined. I objected when the admins decided to introduce them.

I was made a mod in 2004, in March or April I think, back then it existed already.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2009 at 05:49
Hello to you all
 
Well, Bey has raised excellent points that I agree with most except the mod forums.
 
I think mod forums are needed because of what Dolphin called dirty laundry, it is of no use opening them especially that it may contain personal info about banned members or members who are being watches.
 
 On the other hand I support a rewrite of the CoC because several members in the past were banned for what I saw (don't know about PMs) trivial offences.
 
Al-Jassas 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dawn- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2009 at 06:08
Originally posted by Mixcoatl Mixcoatl wrote:

Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

Originally posted by rider rider wrote:

AE has always had secret forums (at least since the Proboards).
There were none in proboards when I joined. I objected when the admins decided to introduce them.

I was made a mod in 2004, in March or April I think, back then it existed already.
 
on Oct 23, 2002 there was one and only 132 members


Edited by Dawn - 13 Aug 2009 at 06:09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2009 at 03:39
So it seems there is no willingness to admit that there are problems with .net and to improve. I have wasted my time then. Too bad.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2009 at 03:54
Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

So it seems there is no willingness to admit that there are problems with .net and to improve. I have wasted my time then. Too bad.


What an ego you have there Bey. A prophet not accepted in his own webforum and all that.
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Quote What an ego you have there Bey. A prophet not accepted in his own webforum and all that.


My ego is of course bigger than yours.

Anyway if you leave ad hominems aside and consider the posts I've been writing, you'll see that I obviously consider myself following Paul's lead in this, the proof is in my posts as a guest and here. I am not claiming to be a prophet or leading a revolution, I wrote because you ad-hominemd and ignored what Paul's been writing (and of course, what we've been writing about for years). 

Also, in case you haven't noticed, I haven't been writing anything here for a few months, because I am rather busy. I only came to write because some pretty big f**k up by any measure happened while I was away, and I was not happy with what happened, how it was handled, and how there was no sign of change here. So I spent a precious couple of hours writing here on this issue to see what the people think about the recent scandal and what they are planning to do to avoid such problems it in the future, and all response I get is ad hominems from some system-bitches and one-liners from mods...

So it comes down to what I've written, there is no willingness to tackle the problems, and I have wasted my precious time. So I'll go back to my work if you'll excuse me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2009 at 12:39
Sorry, I should've actually paid more attention to this thread, haven't read all of it yet, so I may be repeating stuff.

Bey, I think, has a very good point. And actually, we have been bringing in some of that stuff gradually, and have recently debated a good deal of this in the mods room too.
Originally posted by Bey Bey wrote:


3. Reorganisation of the power structure. The admins should be strictly technical. All members above a certain number of posts should have rights of some sort, e.g. access to all 'secret' forums, right to elect and recall mods and challenge decisions (I leave this vague on purpose, should be discussed in detail). No mod bullying, no secret trials, no post editing, no outright permanent bans. Mods who serve the community rather than who think they are shepherds.

Already done. That's what the Council is, it started on the new forum. Elections are every three months, the first elections was only mods, but we don't intend to keep it that way, North & I have been pushing hard to include regular members (although regular hasn't been defined yet, x posts, y activity or something. Call them a citizen), editors will be included next time IIRC. To do this we have to have a voting forum which we grant people access to. We'll keep you posted, any good ideas are welcome.
Quote 1. No secret forums. Maybe just one for voting, if necessary. There is no justification for having secret forums for the mods. AE functioned perfectly without them in the past. Posting in certain forums may be limited in order to encourage history posts, but that's it. Just implementing this will improve things greatly. Of course, the current mods will never agree to this because we will see all their dirty laundry, so make a compromise and keep the old secret forums locked.

Ideologically I agree, practically I don't know how we can do it. There are a number of general forum management threads that could be moved to say a Citizens forum (same forum as the voting one above), which is an idea I'd be strongly in favour of, but there are other threads that specifically discuss members which we can't really show. For example, some members who walk the Code finely get debated over again and again with no concensus reached. We can't show these threads to the members without causing more trouble on the forum.
Quote 2. Rewriting of the CoC with input from the forum. Some suggestions. Cancel the current 'crimes' of:
     a. 'nationalism': is unavoidable, and should not be a crime as long is it is limited to praising one's own nation (not race). Racism/hate mongering on a national or racial basis should be the crime. If you are a moron who wants to write 'Turkey is the bestest' fine, but no 'Greece sucks'.
     b. 'negative attitude': ridiculous tought crime.
     c. 'trolling': undefinable.
     d. 'posting witty remarks': this should be rewarded not punished.
     e. 'propaganda': undefinable. is not a crime as long as it is not spam, and it not off-topic. E.g. if a penis-head keeps writing about how horrible Lenin is in all threads regardless of the topic, he should be warned, but if he starts a topic about how horrible Lenin is, that is fine.
     f. 'Rude remarks': fine as long as they are not directed towards other members and constitute insults. The forum has a minimum age limit. Everyone should be able to call Bush or Reagan names.

In fact this is the most used section of the CoC, it's used extensively to prevent flame wars
Quote I should say that, overall I am disappointed by how little interest and how much animosity this thread generated. You may not like my ideas and suggestions, but I expected at least some recognition of the problems here and suggestions to improve the situation. However, except for Graham, all of those who replied did that to 'defend' the status quo, and failed to provide any assessment of the problems.

You are very far from the only member, staff member, or admin to think this way about forum management.
Originally posted by Bey Bey wrote:

We have both contributed enough to this forum so that we should have official rights, even if without powers.

I completely agree. Part of the problem is that 2-3 years ago we had a high mod turnover, meaning good members (& uncontroverstial) inevitably got hired, since then there have been less flamers, and less modding needed, so we haven't needed to hire anyone.
That's a large part of the reason I think we definitely need a new way of extending the Oligarchy to members exactly like you & Dolphin.
Quote
Why not? Why would the serfs should not see what your Lords and Masters are talking about? They may be talking about you, after all? Maybe they don't like you for personal reasons and slandering you and you have no idea about it?

After all this mess with Cyrus (when wrote those things before people like you were defending him as one of the benevolent admins) and Clay and everyone else, how can you, how can anyone still believe in the benevolence of the mod class? Have you not seen how many people became anti-Cyrus in the current debacle only after a while, because they came to see what's going on? Cyrus was able to start .com and attract members only thanks to mod-admin secrecy.

That's a very good point too. In fact, everyone who was involved in managing/modding over the last 2 years has no sympathy for Cyrus because they knew what was going on. Hmmm, I still think that some secrecy is needed though, I don't like the idea of discussing the case of member X, half the mods coming against, him half in favour, and then deciding not to do anything about him, when the whole forum can see what's written. To me it seems like it'd start flame wars, annoy member X no-end (he might leave because so-and-so doesn't like him, or the discussion took place at all.
Quote
Nationalism already exists here and is unavoidable in a history forum. It has to be regulated somehow, I suggested a way. You can suggest another way, I am listening. But you are just objecting to object, or because I am a commie or something. I am asking why don't you apply your CoC then and ban all the bellends who write about how US won the Vietnam war, and is the best country ever? Do you even read the bloody forum or just read the tavern?
...

I posted a lot of propaganda here, and I've read even more. Yet I was never warned about that. CoC is therefore obviously broken.

Ultimately the CoC is subject to interpretation of the mods. I suspect you are a bit worried about borderline cases on this. In which case I'm open to suggestions. That section of the code is for people like Digvijay & Tipu Sultan (look them up if you don't remember)
Quote
And who are those 'others' who decide what is offensive and what is not? If rude remarks are illegal how come I and others like Parnell get away with what we write? We don't need any conservative puritanism in this forum. Personal insults are a criminal offense, crime of rude remarks is fascist thought control.

Revealing a state secret that you probably already know, we get a few complaints about your remarks, particularly from new members who don't expect it, but what's rude is ultimately in the interpretation of the mods, which is more leinent than some and more strict than others (& varies from mod to mod)
Quote
Quote In some ways I agree with this. Members above a certain number of posts is quite a loose concept, there would almost need to be a vote amonst voters as to who gets further access to 'hidden' areas.
Maybe there is hope for you, after all. Yes I have not defined it on purpose, because if I did you would have written (say, 100 posts is too little/too much) and miss the point entirely. The point is there should be no arbitrary division between the self-serving mod class and the rest of the community.

Way ahead of you guys. I concur and have argued this point recently in our evil secret forum on the subject of council elections.
Quote Decision could stay with the mods, keep it if you'd fight to the death to defend your Masters' previlages, but at least tell me why the trial should not be open, or the accused given a chance to defend himself?

We could do this.... At least for older members. There's no point doing it for members who signup, only to post an ad for new sneakers (Commercial Spam).
hmmm....

Bey can you create a summary of your suggestions, focusing on practical application. As I said some have already been supported, pushed, or newly implemented by elements of the staff. I will post your summary verbaitum in the mods room (with a link to this thread recommending we discuss it here), and I expect agree with a large proportion of it.
However when you do post it, do it in a form that we can argue over specific points rather than accepting/rejecting the whole package.

Appreciate the help Bey,



Edited by Omar al Hashim - 15 Aug 2009 at 12:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2009 at 12:55
Quote And I don't think anyone with that kind of drive to post would risk a ban by sock-puppeting. Never seen it happen, don't think I ever will.

This has happened once. Although personally I wasn't convinced of it, and was quite uncomfortable with the arbitrary extremity of that mods actions. That mod is no longer with us (the forum), he had a emotion falling out over any slight criticism. But I'm sure he'll continue to serve ae.net very well in his new job.
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