Chat rules

Discussion in 'The Undercity' started by hoarmurath, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    I sort of like the idea of a general agreement that people will try to move a discussion that's triggery when asked. Not sure the formalization of a "safe word" changes it much, and given the communications issues (making sure people know it, whatever), it seems like relying on "hey that's sort of upsetting to me" would probably be enough maybe?

    But I sort of like the idea of a general understanding that people will try to handle triggery topics politely and gracefully.

    The meltdown thing is sort of separate from that, I think. And I'm not really sure what to do apart from "hey guys everyone here is vulnerable please be careful".
    • Like x 1
  2. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    The advantage of one agreed word is that it cannot be misconstrued. Since I was invovled in a meltdown cascade resulting from someones stating of boundaries not being understood, I´m in favour of it.

    In the group chat I´m in that has a safeword, that safeword grew organically out of someone triggered insistently changing the topic to kittens. Thus, KITTENS! became the safeword.
  3. albedo

    albedo metasperg

    • Like x 1
  4. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    That is a very cool picture.
    (Although I suspect the effect we´re talking about is more in the nature of a chain reaction)
  5. albedo

    albedo metasperg

    (Yup, agreed. I just thought the wordplay was entertaining, and was trying to lighten the mood slightly.)
    • Like x 1
  6. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    (Sorry, I was being pedantic.)
    • Like x 1
  7. Mala

    Mala Well-Known Member

    "Safe word" or "I'm calling safe word" seem pretty self explanatory or at least easy to explain. It's harder to misunderstand as anything other than "no stop now" and doesn't demand further from the person being triggered.

    Unfortunately Skype doesn't really have the tools that would be helpful with meltdowns. It kinda falls on individuals to recognize that they need to step away which is less than ideal.

    It'd be nice to have a stickied thread with a list of chats, who to ask for invites and guidelines that's kept up to date
    • Like x 4
  8. albedo

    albedo metasperg

    That sounds like a really good idea. The chats keep multiplying!
    • Like x 1
  9. hoarmurath

    hoarmurath Thor's Hammer

    So basically there is not nor will there be a proper solution to the meltdown cascade thing as it is?

    I am not okay with that. I will not be capable of taking part if there is no proper rules for what will be done when that is happening. I am not capable of being kind and understanding in such a situation, and reading such happening afterwards will just fill me with more contempt and anger, which is not healthy for me.

    I don't want to look at meltdown cascades. I don't want to see them. I don't want to experience them (second hand since I am not the one melting). I personally think the best way to hold such off would be tempbanning from chat, but that is clearly not something seebs as the Person In Charge will agree with due to their general ideology of not excluding people (and Skype does not allow for it anyway!). But at this point, for me the chat environment seems to be harming some people more than it's helping. And I did not get into chat to do therapy for other users, I got into there because discussing interesting stuff in a more live setting is fun. ymmv, of course.

    There are so many people in chat right now, and it's impossible to know what will set them off. Some of what seems benign to me will distress another person extremely to a point where others need to work to calm them down. And it is work. Unpaid, untrained work, and I am not fine with doing that. If you are, that's great! I am not. I find it upsetting and angrymaking.

    And therefore I will bow out of the skype chats. I think that's for the best.

    If anyone else also wants a different chat environment, one that obviously is not forum-sanctioned and has different rules about current issues, they're welcome to PM me. I have ideas for an IRC chat. This way is best, since I see no point in imposing my own problems on anyone. Repeating, not forum-sanctioned.
  10. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    I don't know whether there will be a solution. I like the idea of trying to address meltdown cascades, but I don't know how to address them.

    So, my view of the sort of fundamentally-intractable problem:

    If two people are having meltdowns and setting each other off, and they don't want to listen to people telling them "hey, cool it", what can we do? We don't have the power to remove them from the chat, so far as I know.

    If they are willing to listen, obviously we're set: Just tell them they're setting each other off and they can drop it or open a new chat for that discussion or take a break or something. But if they aren't, then what?
    • Like x 1
  11. Void

    Void on discord. Void#4020

    Yeah pretty much you're trying to say we should moderate something that well, isn't going to be possible. You're welcome to start your own chat, but I started the Skype chat and I am not going to be telling people to leave, nor am I going to temp ban or kick anyone.

    Edit: so yeah, I see no solution to your problem. It sucks. I recommend making your own chat with your own rules then.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
    • Like x 3
  12. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    *trying to figure out how a skype chat is "forum-sanctioned"*

    • Like x 1
  13. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    ^I think they meant operating on the same attitude towards rules and acceptable behaviour as this forum.
  14. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    At least from my point of view, the suggested rules/changes are meant to make it less likely for meltdowns, and thus meltdown cascades to happen. I don´t think there´s anything else that can be.
    And if you need to be away from even the possibility, then yes it would be best if you left the chats, because there just is no way that can ever be guaranteed.
  15. hoarmurath

    hoarmurath Thor's Hammer


    I just did. I literally said I will leave because that's for the best. It's in that previous post I wrote.

    Of course it's not pleasant to have a meltdown. It can be true that it sucks and it's upsetting to have a meltdown because why else are they called that, and it can also be true that other people can be upset by that meltdown. And yes, some feelings make me uncomfortable. People being constantly broken in front of me in a certain environment gives me cruel ideations, and I don't want to have those ideations. I am fixing the problem of such by leaving the environment that gives me the ideations. You can take it as a value judgement if you want, I won't stop you.

    But you can't ignore the fact that comforting/soothing meltdowns is a job. It's work. It's emotional work, and if it makes me a jerk that I don't want to do that/witness it, well, then I am happily a jerk.

    And I know what I was asking for. I also know after having thought about it a little that it is impossible to achieve with the environment you guys want to have.

    This is an ideological difference and I am fine with that.

    Therefore, the solution!


    I totally think it could be moderated in IRC. It's just that the forum majority does not agree with the concept of banning meltdowns and other disruptive behavior. Which is fine. Like I have said several times.


    What Cody said. And while the current approach works for me in the forums, it does not work for me in chat. And it's possible it might not work for some other people as well. Even with that, I am still a minority in this and therefore it's better to leave.


    Yup. I already have left the skype chats. I hope this option works out for everyone.

    PS. I don't need anyone to like me or to agree with me. All I need you to do is to accept that what might be good, therapeutic and helpful for you, is not sometimes helpful for other people. Like me. I could have silently flounced off without saying anything, but I think it's important to have measured dissent and other options. And people not agreeing. Because that is how life works. Not everyone can get along in every environment and not everyone agrees on stuff or ideology or other things.

    I feel silly even posting about this so much, but again, I feel it needs to be recorded for posterity.
  16. Beldaran

    Beldaran 70% abuse and 30% ramen

    As someone who has no plans to be in any of the chats, I don't really have a stake in this, but it's an interesting problem to try and solve.

    I would recommend that people having meltdowns in the chat be gently taken aside to talk to one or two people who are either personally invested in their continued well-being or by a designated volunteer who's decided to be "chat therapist" for the moment.

    Really, a lot of the issues you seem to be running into strike me as classroom management type issues, which can be dealt with by the group as a whole without a designated leader, but there has to be consensus.
    • Like x 1
  17. blue

    blue hightown funk you up

    if saying that someone acting a certain way makes you angry - involuntarily angry, as hoarmurath has said - is a value judgement, so is.. being triggered... any other emotional response even if the person knows it is counterproductive.. which hm clearly knows it is, as they are leaving.

    and being friends with people who have meltdowns isn't a job. *talking people down from them,* like Kathy and Beldaran and various other people are good at doing in the chat, is 1) stressful 2) spoon-devouring 3) something that real people really get paid to do as their employment.

    not being able to be around people talking about how you want them to kill themself is not a value judgement, it is a statement of your own boundaries.

    edit: ninja'd by Beldaran; this was directed at Kiji.
    • Like x 3
  18. Allenna

    Allenna I am not a Dragon. Or a Robot. Really.

    im sorrry i opened my mouth
  19. albedo

    albedo metasperg

    @Kijikun I think you're reading into what @hoarmurath is saying, some. She's not saying that talking to people with issues or emotions is a job. She's saying that talking people through meltdowns and giving good advice and analysis is a job. By which she means, it takes energy, it is something that is difficult.

    And I think that's accurate. I am very much exhausted and burned out - not because any of y'all are bad or because I don't like you or because I mind giving advice. You know I love you guys. But there's been so much of it lately that I'm exhausted, and I'm feeling really guilty about it.

    @Beldaran I think folks have been trying to do that. The problem is that in mid-meltdown, folks don't always listen to 'hey, please stop, let's talk about this elsewhere', or 'hey, come talk to me, stop engaging with each other'. I believe there have been attempts, but there's no way to enforce it.

    I'm also worried about have a "chat therapist" because... well, I've been trying to mediate when I can, and it's really burning me out. I don't want anyone to feel obligated to take care of everyone, at the expense of their own mental health and energy.

    And yeah, agreed. It very much feels like the issues you'd get with any group of people this big, exacerbated by the brainweirds that many of us have, which can ramp up the emotional intensity. It's a size issue more than anything, I think - any time you get enough people all trying to communicate, you're going to have some tension.

    ETA: Heh, and ninja'd by bluefox.
  20. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    I'm not. I really valued the insight, because I think you got at one of the things that is making this a hard problem; it's really easy for people to feel judged or pushed away, and I noticed also that even though I don't think it was intended that way, the posts you were responding to sort of came across that way to me. Like, there's a certain amount of "gah why can't people be calm and rational, this is frustrating" as an undertone, and well, yeah, it can be pretty frustrating sometimes! But that's also part of what happens when you try to build a community for people who need healing, so I'm not sure what to do. I don't want to kick people out, or even leave them feeling like they should go away and Stop Taking Up Space, because the people most likely to feel like they're taking up extra space and being trouble for everyone else are sort of the reason the forum exists. But I also don't want people to feel like they can't be here because it's too stressful.

    So I got nothin'.
    • Like x 1
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice