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Author Topic: Middle East forum rules
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 27 July 2004 04:48 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hi everyone,

There has been some concern expressed lately that I am not intervening enough when the insults and flames start to run high in the Middle East forum. And that's probably true, because lately I haven't been reading every post in the forum, particularly in threads where each post is 10 scrolled-down pages long. However, when I do notice the occasional "off" post, I mention it.

I've had complaints from both sides of the issue that I'm letting too much slide from this poster or that poster. I think what's been happening is this: the Middle East forum is a very contentious one because of the subject matter. And I found at first when I was moderating the forum, that I was admonishing people left, right, and centre. And then people started to get annoyed with all the interference, and saying that I was enforcing mealy-mouthed "politeness" on the forum, and that people should be able to be passionate.

So I loosened up somewhat and let it go here and there when posters who normally debated well and didn't regularly mudsling lost their temper and wrote some throw-away comment that wasn't quite within the bounds of civilized debate. And then, it got to the point where I was letting too much go, on both sides, and then both sides felt free to be insulting and abusive.

The result has been that the Middle East forum has turned into a free-for-all.

So from now on, I'm going to try to get back to enforcing babble policy in the Middle East forum - on BOTH sides, as evenly as I can. Here are some guidelines.

1. I will be the moderator. If you have a problem with someone's post, please let me know in a private message and I will deal with it. This goes for "the regulars", too. We don't need 5 or 10 people jumping all over someone who breaks the rules in the forum, or lecturing them on babble policy, or swearing at them. And I will do my best to enforce this on both sides of the debates, and with "established" posters as well as "newbies".

2. If you have a complaint about the moderation, either complain to Audra or me privately, or if you feel the need to do so publicly, start a thread in rabble reactions about it. Don't derail already-running threads with arguments about whether this decision or that decision was unfair, or about what kind of moderation you want to see. That's not what this forum is for. If you do so, I will simply direct you to take it to private mail, e-mail, or the rabble reactions forum. If you persist in the Middle East forum, I will consider that trolling, and you'll get a warning.

3. Calling people names and using ad hominem attacks are not acceptable, no matter what the provocation. If someone pisses you off and what they've done is against the rules, send me a private message with the link to the thread, the quote, and the name of the poster, and I will deal with the discipline end of it. If you want to tell them that what they've done is inappropriate and you don't like being treated that way, great. If you want to call them a fucking asshole who doesn't have the sense God gave a duck, please refrain. It makes it much more difficult for me to moderate if I have to wade through your insults on top of those of the instigator, and that way I don't have to deal with a bunch of kiddie-school playground "he did it first" "yeah, but he said this" "yeah, but then he said this" crap.

4. Baiting and trolling (e.g. "I'm posting this article, not that anyone here will give a damn about Israeli lives anyhow," or "Gee, I wonder what Macabee/Starbuck/whomever will have to say about this - aww, guess it doesn't matter since it's only Palestinians") is not allowed.

A final note: I'm not going to be able to catch everything that happens. So please don't get your knickers in a twist if you think I've admonished one person and let another person off. It's most likely because I didn't see what the other person said, and if you don't bring it to my attention, then please don't complain later.

Hopefully this will help things become more civil around here.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 27 July 2004 05:00 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
P.S. I can't believe I posted this in the wrong forum.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4881

posted 27 July 2004 06:42 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Looks good, Michelle. I am someone with a more than average political and personal interest in the Israel/Palestine conflict, and I have debated publicly on the issue in many forums (formal and not). I have never seen discussions get so derailed as they get here . . . and that is a knock at no one, because I am sure that I contribute as much as anyone to that.

I think there are so many good minds, with a wealth of resources both intellectual and simply "on the ground", on these forums that is a shame to see the conversations devolve into mud-slinging. I am most ashamed of how I treat a certain R. Louis who, though an abject troll, I gave absolutely no opportunity to.

I'd like to ask all of us, on all sides of this issue, to give Michelle a hand and prove our quality. I know, because I have done it as much as anyone, how satisfying it can be to get in a one-liner and make an 'opponent' look stupid; but the end result has been a severe decline in the level of discourse.

I hope we can all raise our bars, personal and collective.


From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Socrates
sock-puppet
Babbler # 6376

posted 27 July 2004 07:41 PM      Profile for Socrates   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Michelle, my apologies in advance if this is thread spamming, i just wanted to let people in this forum who might not get over to the Media section know that Daniel Pipes is at it again.

I've posted his latest racist diatribe (carried in most major papers today by the looks of it) which states that "we" are at war with muslims in a thread over in Media I just wanted to mention it over here since it obviously relates to the Middle East.

Please check it out and write letters to the editor, we need to counter this.

Please forgive me Michelle, if I've erred, I just wanted to let people here know.


From: Viva Sandinismo! | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 27 July 2004 08:32 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Probably the best thing to do, Socrates, is to post it either in Activism (if you want people to do something about it) or in the Middle East forum in an existing thread or in a new thread. I'd really like this thread not to degenerate into an argument about Daniel Pipes. Thanks!
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Polunatic
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3278

posted 28 July 2004 11:36 AM      Profile for Polunatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
If you want to call them a fucking asshole who doesn't have the sense God gave a duck, please refrain.
Fair enough. How about a goose?

From: middle of nowhere | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 28 July 2004 11:41 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
A gerbil?

Oh -- sorry. Wrong discussion board.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 28 July 2004 05:53 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Another thing:

If you want me to respond to your private messages, you'll have to make your babble settings so that you can receive private messages.

I've received a couple of private messages in the last couple of days from people without their private message feature turned on.

I prefer to communicate with people on babble that I don't know personally regarding moderating concerns through private messages, not by e-mail. I clear my private message inbox regularly, so it is available.

For the person who sent me his or her e-mail address today (since I can't respond to you by private mail), I cannot keep everyone's e-mail addresses on file. Therefore, if you want me to correspond with you regarding moderating concerns, you will have to go to your profile, and change your settings so that you can receive private mail.

Thanks,
Michelle


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 29 July 2004 08:51 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Another bump for the most recent person to send me a private message this evening - could you please turn on your private message function so I can respond to your message? You can do it by clicking on "My Profile", then "View/Update Profile", then at the bottom of that page, change "allow users to send you private messages" to "yes".

I'd really like to answer your message as I think it's important, but I can't do so if you're not accepting private messages. And I don't want to answer in the thread.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cart
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3154

posted 30 July 2004 06:03 PM      Profile for Cart     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
A gerbil?

Oh -- sorry. Wrong discussion board.



That forum.richardgere.com is really corrupting you, isn't it?

From: Camp X-ray | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 04 August 2004 05:20 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Confidential to SnowyPlover:

You have your settings set so that you cannot receive private messages. You can change that by clicking on "my profile" from the menu just below the "babble" logo, and then clicking on "View/Update Profile".


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SnowyPlover
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6431

posted 04 August 2004 05:22 PM      Profile for SnowyPlover     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
thanks for the heads up
From: Archipelago | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
SnowyPlover
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6431

posted 04 August 2004 05:24 PM      Profile for SnowyPlover     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
do i have to be logged on to recieve private messages?
From: Archipelago | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 04 August 2004 05:36 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, but if you can send private messages, then that means you're logged on, so you'll also be able to receive them as long as you have your receive private messages from users feature toggled correctly.

[ 04 August 2004: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
pogge
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2440

posted 04 August 2004 05:44 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by SnowyPlover:
do i have to be logged on to recieve private messages?

You can set your private messages to come to you by email, so you can receive them without being logged on.


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 04 August 2004 05:56 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yeah, but don't answer the private message by e-mail (e.g. by hitting "reply") because it will not reach the person you're sending it to. It's an automatic mailer that sends a copy of the private message to your e-mail address.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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