Alix is out, for now

Discussion in 'That's So Meta!' started by seebs, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. spockandawe

    spockandawe soft and woolen and writhing with curiosity

    I'm just going to slip in with a quick rephrasing of a point before I go to sleep. I could be reading this wrong, but this is something I'm hearing people say that might not quite be clicking with seebs?

    It's been a consistent point on the site since the beginning that Seebs wants this to be a place where people don't have to worry that struggling with control/explosions/etc will get them kicked out. And that's a point that Seebs is reiterating now, and it's a stance that I think lots of people on the site do support.

    But what I'm also hearing people say is that they feel like it's... the primary/only concern right now, being sure people don't worry about being kicked out.

    Again, I'm possibly reading this very wrong, work has been crazy and I'm so very tired, but I feel like Seebs might be hitting this point hard because bans don't happen often, and they're wanting to reinforce that bans are still going to be the exception rather than the rule.

    I think people are getting frustrated because that's not a point they're really worried about. I'm not going to say that nobody is worried about 'what if I'm next', but I don't think it's much of a concern for the people posting in this conversation. The people in here are asking about a different angle of the issue, but when Seebs goes back around to the 'what if I'm next', they feel ignored (and maybe like shades of when alix was hurting people and those people she hurt felt ignored/neglected)

    I don't think that the 'what if I'm next' is a bad point to reinforce, but I get the impression that people are feeling like... Seebs is talking about A, then people ask 'okay, now what about B', and Seebs responds with 'anyways, A'
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
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  2. paladinkit

    paladinkit brave little paladin

    I'm trying to think about that, but I want to give myself a minute to make a cup of tea and breathe, because the first post was definitely me reacting to the word "ludicrous" - like, we went past ludicrous a long fucking time ago on this particular user. If I don't answer this question in, like, an hour please do feel free to ping me again?
  3. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    So, I do hear it, and I think it's a valid concern. But if I absolutely have to pick, I'll usually pick "letting people stay that I dislike", for one simple reason: There are already a ton of places doing a pretty good job of providing a safe space where abusers aren't allowed at all. This isn't the only option for people who want a place where abusers aren't welcome.

    The people who would be thinking "shit I'm going to get banned there's no point in trying" and giving up or whatever don't have another place to go that will tell them that they're allowed to stay. The people who are afraid of them usually have lots of other options that might be better for them, and that will at the very least accept them.

    This doesn't mean I don't think it's important to do better, but when it comes right down to it, yes, I'm aware that this is not an approach which is to the net benefit of the most possible users. It's an approach which is specifically intended to provide support for a category of users who can't just casually go somewhere else. And that sometimes means it works really badly for people that I like, who are good people, who aren't doing anything wrong. And that sorta sucks, and I'm not happy about it... But I can't figure out a way to change it that doesn't break it for people who haven't got any other options.
  4. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    i’ll be asleep by then, so feel free to ponder it overnight.
  5. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    I don't disagree with this.
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  6. spockandawe

    spockandawe soft and woolen and writhing with curiosity

    (and to slip in with one last baby conversation-debugging post, I think that this is the thing that's frustrating people. They get that philosophy, and understand that's why you're making this your main priority. But within that existing framework, I think they're asking if you have ideas or a philosophy for mitigating harm that people who abuse the system (like alix) can do. Saying that you don't know or that it's something you're thinking about would be a legitimate answer to that question, but I think they don't feel like that question is being heard or acknowledged to begin with)
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  7. LumiLapin

    LumiLapin Bad Bad Bun

    I really don't think I would be on my third account here if I had other places to be
    • Agree x 2
  8. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    I don't have a coherent plan. Part of this is, I'm still viewing this, not in terms of "how bad Alix is", but in terms of whether or not I think there's any comprehensible way to communicate about progress, or evidence that she's trying to make progress. If it were possible for me to make a complaint about her behavior, and get confirmation that she understood the complaint, I'd be a lot more hesitant about this. I would quite possibly still be at least closing the door for the summer, though, given her specific and direct claims that she is doing fine everywhere but here and cannot change her behavior while she's in a bad environment.

    One of the things that really drove this home to me was that thing about the people in sneerclub "disagreeing" with me. She showed them responding to positions which are pretty much the opposite of my position. She appears to be completely incapable of considering the actual specific complaint I made, which isn't "they disagreed with me", or "they were hostile to me", but "the thing they were complaining about is not even a little like a thing I said". If they were saying that the things I actually said were stupid, whatever, that's fine, I can accept hostility from random internet strangers. But if they're complaining about things that are basically the opposite of what I said, that suggests strongly to me that Alix misrepresented something about the conversation. And she simply could not retain that distinction. Not for long enough to write a sentence or two in response to it. She edited what I said into something she wanted to argue with.

    Another example is the Dumbass Disability Post. There was this stupid tumblr post which said "if you're disabled, you can't get married without losing health coverage", and went on from there. And that's... Not really very accurate. If you're on SSI disability, and your partner isn't, and you get married, and this makes you too rich to qualify, you might lose the SSI health coverage, but you might also now have different health coverage. But most disabled people, even people who genuinely can't work, don't qualify for SSI. And Alix just completely fucking lost it on this one. This is the one over which she sent most of the death threats, and announced intent to try to get Cedar's SSI permanently taken away, and so on, and so forth. At one point, she responded to me pointing out the large number of disabled people who don't even get that much support with "we're not talking about autistics with six-figure incomes", which is pretty fucking stupid. And the thing is, we finally talked it through, I got definite direct answers from multiple people who are on SSI as to what actually happens when they hit $2,000 of savings, and so on, and Alix finally agreed that, just maybe, it was more complicated than she thought. SSI lets people have houses. And cars. And it lets them have money briefly and then spend it. Or have savings accounts, and so on. And... A bit later, she was completely back to where she was before. Still just as mad about it. Still just as convinced that she was acting perfectly reasonably in making death threats to try to get people to listen.

    It's not possible to get information to her and have her retain that information, if it's contrary to Being Mad. That's what moves this from merely "well gosh that sure is fucking awful behavior" to "there is no actual way to communicate here".
  9. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    i want to make something very clear

    i am skin crawlingly, "needs to take an hour long shower in boiling water and scrub off all my skin" uncomfortable if that is the only thing you got out of me saying
    i'm having trouble wordsing right now exactly what makes me so distressed and disturbed by this response, and i think there is a definite element of "A-B-anyway, about A" going on here so i'm willing to try and explain why this is so awful

    firstly - i am not arguing for extremes. i am not a proponent for writing people off. my line in the sand for when i think alix should have been banned was circa/immediately after her murder threats - which was not that long ago, and i hope emphasizes that i am on board with letting "bad actors" stay quite a bit longer than "writing people off" implies

    so if you are going to respond to things i say, do not immediately turn around and act as though the only alternative to the problem i outlined is the extreme opposite end. seriously. that at least pings as deliberately ignoring the things i am trying to convey

    if you were not intending to paint me as someone who thinks we should be writing people off, then do not take a problem i outlined, spin it so it's positive, and use it as a rhetorical prop for arguing against the extreme opposite end

    secondly - compassion burnout is a real and huge thing, and what you're doing here feels painfully dismissive of that, and bordering on actively trying to encourage it. it is not healthy for our community to pour ourselves and pour ourselves and pour ourselves into dead ends. kintsugi is not a singular entity, and tbh i think it actually encompasses at least three distinct communities (while sharing members freely between them) - but alix created a situation where, no matter what part of kintsugi you confined yourself to, she was there and she was hurting others and herself, and she was dragging everyone around her into the job of helping her

    i really think alix is an edge case. i'm not convinced we're super likely to have someone like her again. i still think that if this situation ever arises again, it needs to be dealt with well before we hit where we are now

    the problem i identified has nothing to do with "continuing long past the point where it's obviously futile," it's about continuing to do things when we are hurt and burned out that hurt and burned us out in the first place, and i think that conflating those two things is 1) actually p offensive and 2) more importantly, deliberately delegitimizes the second, and redirects the focus of the conversation to something i think is irrelevant here
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  10. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    oh, you know, i think i figured it out

    i've grown up being told repeatedly by people in authority over me that my setting boundaries and prioritizing my own health and well being is what's aggressive and abusive and bad. and if you're going to use my points to argue against things i'm not saying, then i think this comparison is well within bounds: this conversation constantly looping back to "we don't do punishment" when that's not what i'm asking for smacks a whole hell of a lot of "it's your boundaries that are the problem here"
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  11. LumiLapin

    LumiLapin Bad Bad Bun

    For a slightly less short response, there are, in fact, ppl who have enough meltdowns or argumentitiveness or splitting or just plain fear that it is extremely hard for them to be on any other kinda site/in any other kinda community, and yet who still don't suicide bait people routinely and make concerted efforts to get around boundries and bully and intimidate and gaslight people. From what I remember, a lot of the forum was usually pretty understanding of "sometimes people have rage spirals and/or other breakdowns and say terrible things in the heat of the moment," it was the shrugging off of responsibility and gaslighting and dismissiveness that people got riled up at.
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  12. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    It's certainly not deliberate, but I see your point, and it's a good point.

    I think it might make sense to have something closer to "we'll keep trying as long as anyone feels like keeping trying", but that has this worrying connotation that people who don't get good initial sympathy ratings will get pushed away quickly. But if you keep in mind how much many of the people involved tend to feel like keeping trying even if they maybe don't personally like a person, it's not a bad approximate guideline. If we are out of mods willing to put up with your shit, we are done moderating you. Since someone has to be able to moderate you for you to be present on the forum...

    And yeah, to clarify, you absolutely get to prioritize your own health and well being, and set your own boundaries. I'm not talking about a policy on when anyone else has to interact with an asshole.

    Hmm. I think, to clarify: The object-level atrocious behavior was not, I think, as big a problem as the aggressive boundry-violation-for-its-own-sake. I think I need to be a lot firmer on that one in the future, because the fact is, it's not a recurring problem. It's a single-user problem. None of the other problem users did that, and I think I'm gonna move significantly in the direction of "no, that's not optional, if you keep fucking around with this, we stop spending time on it".

    Because the biggest problem wasn't "Alix sends death threats", but "you can't just avoid Alix".

    So, vague sense of where I'm leaning: (1) If we run out of mods willing to put up with your shit, and you want to be around doing stuff, it had better be stuff that does not require mod interactions. (2) If you can't at least approximately follow boundaries within the approximate scope provided by stuff like post mod, that is beyond our power to fix.

    Basically: I'm not willing to kick people out just for being assholes. My conclusion, historically, was that since the boundary-violation stuff was Being An Asshole, kicking Alix out for it would be kicking her out for being an asshole. But I'm starting to think that, given that she is literally the only person in our history who has ever had that problem to anything like that extent, maybe the solution is to just say "sure, you can be an asshole, if you are not going around trampling boundaries just to prove that you can." It's not as though we have any shortage of people who are horrible assholes, but who can accept "this behavior is really fucking annoying so don't do it here" or "leave that person alone". And honestly, Alix has demonstrated adequately that she can, she just doesn't want to.
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  13. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    like if you want "anti banning credentials" here or w/e: i think the point you opted to ban alix on was dumb. she's been pulling this shit for over a year, and i get burn out and finally saying "yeah i'm done" (literally! what! i'm arguing for!!) but to be fucking honest, i don't think you should have actually banned her this time. i don't care about your excuses, and i'm calling them excuses deliberately here. nothing she did in the last 48 hours is comparable to the scale of shit she's done, and i'm honestly annoyed by it. i think banning people based on being "comprehensible" or not is a bad fucking standard, and i hated it when you used it to ban athol too
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  14. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    and i know you weren't asking me, but: "how can we accommodate this person? can we accommodate this person?"

    and i don't even think if the answer is "no" to the second question that that necessitates banning them, for the record

    (sorry for post spam, the points i'm making are disparate enough that it Feels Much Weird to string them all together)
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  15. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Think about it this way:

    This is a communications medium.

    If we can't communicate, there is no fucking point.

    To clarify: I wouldn't ban someone for that reason alone, because there'd be no reason to. But the reason we put up with shitty behavior from people is that we're trying to engage with them. That there is some hope that we are communicating with them, that we're able to exchange information with them, so they can improve their behavior. And if we can't communicate with them, that's gone.

    This isn't the only reason I'd ever think about it, but it's a very simple and streamlined decision tree. Is any kind of benefit from this interaction even conceptually possible? No. Is it very harmful? Yes. We're done.

    If there's some kind of reliable communication going on, then I want to talk about benefits and accommodations and stuff, but all of that can be discarded if there's no underlying possibility of reliable communication.
  16. paladinkit

    paladinkit brave little paladin

    Ideally, the person making final decisions on what "too much harm" is being someone who doesn't have superhuman standards for harm? I think that's where my strong emotional reaction is coming from, honestly. Even with calming down I'm not as interested in, like, dictating or even suggesting site policy as I am trying to point out when admin statements make Your Average User feel unheard & unsafe. Which, as I type it, doesn't feel particularly useful to this discussion, but I committed to answering so I'm answering.

    I hope you get good sleeps! I'd be willing to elaborate tomorrow if I'm not being clear enough now.

    To be not the first person to point this out - I don't think it's as easy to find an option as you might think. I don't want a "no abusers welcome" space because I myself have a lot of scrupulosity/panic about being abusive - between having actually manipulative traits that I'm actively training out & having been pretty thoroughly gaslit in multiple relationships, I regularly question whether or not I'm actually an abusive person, and it's incredibly comforting to know that even if it turned out that I was the evil person all along, I would still be allowed to be here and people would be patient with me stumbling while I tried to get better. I cannot get that kind of community in anything designed as an abuse-free space. It's not just people who have flaming meltdowns who have trouble fitting into recovery zones.

    THAT is something you really, really, really need to lead with more often to not come off as dismissive. Because you come off so incredibly dismissive that it made me willing to speak up, which is saying something given how confrontation-avoidant I am.

    Yes this. Thank you spock, you are using better words than I am on this.

    Also this.

    ...basically I am upset for a lot of the same reasons idiomie and LumiLapin are saying.
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  17. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    i want to point out that, since seebs maintains this position so that Your Average User won't feel like they're next on the chopping block (the conversation often focuses specifically on mentally ill/abused people who struggle to find communities, but a culture of fear like what she talks about harms everyone), it is useful and relevant to point out when her admin statements create a culture of fear in the opposite direction
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  18. paladinkit

    paladinkit brave little paladin

    That's fair. And yeah, as I stated above, people who you don't think of as needing a community like this do need a community like this, even when it isn't as visible on the surface. During the monthslong stretches where I left, I didn't have any equivalent communities - I'd just lurk at the edges of other spaces and not post anywhere, essentially.
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  19. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    I am absolutely not talking about the average user. I'm talking about the people who would almost certainly be banned basically anywhere else I've ever been.
  20. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    I'm tipping into time for bed pretty quickly, so I think I'm dropping out until I wake back up in 12 hours or so

    @seebs , you said several things I want to address, I'm just having trouble with the tired, and with post mod inserting these posts prior to things I said, and having trouble like. picking out all your posts? so that I can actually respond to what you're saying. so that needs to wait until I've slept

    words idk I'll probably be around a bit longer but ye I'm winding down for sleep, I'm not coming back here until I wake up tomorrow
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