I don't think the no rules thing is working

Discussion in 'That's So Meta!' started by versi2, Oct 18, 2017.


are there rules?

  1. no

    5 vote(s)
  2. technically, no

    4 vote(s)
  3. yes

    9 vote(s)
  4. sort of, yes

    9 vote(s)
  5. I can't even tell

    16 vote(s)
  6. I mean, there's one, I guess, but it's very vague and unhelpful

    11 vote(s)
  1. cleverThylacine

    cleverThylacine cuddles for the weird and the fierce

    I can think of ways to say the same thing you just said that I would absolutely spoiler, but it wouldn't occur to me to spoiler that sentence because it could literally have come right out of a safer sex pamphlet or a health textbook.
  2. cleverThylacine

    cleverThylacine cuddles for the weird and the fierce

    ...uh, I can sort of see how you got to there but that's not what I did or what I wanted.

    I have not ever begged anyone to tell me who reported me. I did not say that.

    I was taking issue with the assertion that the reporting process is a method of assisting with conflict resolution.

    There are very valid reasons for reporting to be private; but that's because it's not a method of conflict resolution. For instance, in the situation you describe above, you are reporting the problem because you know that's not a conflict that is ever going to be resolved.
  3. palindromordnilap

    palindromordnilap Well-Known Member

    Have you considered that a sex ed textbook is not the same context as a thread that's not explicitly marked as NSFW, and that unspoilered discussion of explicit stuff is not okay in the latter?
    • Agree x 2
  4. Saro

    Saro Where is wizard hut

    Not necessarily a good metric for whether or not the behavior was inappropriate.
    • Agree x 4
  5. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator


    A "safer sex pamphlet" is a thing which is not safe for work, and which parents could legitimately object to someone showing to their children, and which children could reasonably find it extremely creepy for an adult to give them.

    That is exactly the point.
    • Agree x 10
  6. spockandawe

    spockandawe soft and woolen and writhing with curiosity

    (one potential minor understanding disconnect I wanted to bring up real fast, iirc, some people here work in the medical industry? I'm not sure where in it, but that's an environment where a sex ed pamphlet probably is probably fairly safe for work, but that won't apply in most work-ish environments. As always, not all work environments are created equal, and defining nsfw literally would make it change wildly across workplaces, etc. But I think in the majority of cases, a sex ed pamphlet would be regarded as inappropriate at work, especially if minors are interacting with not-sex-ed-teacher (or doctor/therapist/etc) adults. It would probably get me disciplinary action if I was caught with one. Not a universal experience, but I think that's a more common standard than them being acceptable.)
    • Informative x 5
    • Agree x 3
    • Like x 1
  7. Re Allyssa

    Re Allyssa Sylph of Heart

    I just want to point out that in that example, it's not the words used that are the problem, it's the image it generates. Even though the language is clinical, it's still more detail than what should be left unspoilered.
    • Agree x 9
  8. Verily

    Verily surprised Xue Yang peddler

    Okay, so from the impression I have, this has been a tension that has been building for a long time. It became a factor in the thread as people debated and brought their own ideas and concerns, and more as people inevitably noticed who was arguing for or against their side.

    Now we have a user who apparently has repeatedly violated boundaries. Over time this has upset many people. Finally it has reached a point where there's a big enough problem that it's been described in a longish post from a mod.

    This does not strike me as an auspicious place to leave this particular discussion. I'd hazard a guess that there's plenty happening all over the place behind the scenes, but from here it looks exactly the same as radio silence. From here it could be read as someone repeatedly breaking rules they didn't know about, drawing more and more ire until they finally upset enough people for an official telling off, and then nothing. To call back to the first post, everyone is now upset, and it's terrible.

    I'm sure it's possible to spend a very long time arguing over whether that story fits given this or that detail and this other circumstance. It might or might not be very illuminating.

    I think it's all unimportant compared to whether or not this is the end of the story.

    Maybe it is the end of this particular story, though I hope not. Maybe it isn't, but the details are too personal or messy or unresolved to be publicized now or ever. That would be understandable, but it doesn't make it any less of a frightening read if you fear you may live it someday. If all hope seems lost and you have no reason to believe otherwise because that's where you've always seen this story end.

    What do you do if you find yourself here?

    Will there be anybody there?
  9. Beldaran

    Beldaran 70% abuse and 30% ramen

    If people are scared of what you're describing happening to them, I think it's pretty easy to avoid. We put a lot of effort into communicating with people extensively in private, in the caring void, or wherever else they feel most comfortable. We're always trying to improve, and know there are ways we can do better, but if there is an ongoing problem it's incredibly unlikely we won't try to work with people who want to be worked with.
    • Useful x 1
  10. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    It is very definitely not the end of the story. I'm working on trying to write up a better thing explaining the underlying principles, and why they are that way, and also on some guidelines for moderation. These will be posted publically, and will be there so mods have some kind of common basis for what we think we're doing, although I'm definitely not expecting, or even wanting, a unified front on things. But a clearer sense of what mods are likely to do, and why, might help a lot.

    I think it's important to distinguish between the specific question about "what makes something NSFW", and the broader question of "what are rules, and do we or should we have any". We could have similar discussions about what constitutes flaming, or what constitutes harassment, or anything else. And we'd have similar issues, because people genuinely disagree on what exactly is or isn't harassment, or "insulting", or whether we need a rule against insulting, or whatever else. So there's a broader philosophical question, and a real concern that people don't necessarily know what other people expect, and they're not limited to just the NSFW case. Because other people don't necessarily all expect the same things. And yes, you can codify that... but then the people whose expectations or comfort zones don't match are going to feel like they're Objectively Wrong and have no right to assert a personal preference that isn't where someone said the "correct" line is.

    So at the end of the day: If you don't want to hurt people, you still have to deal with them as individuals and consider what they like and dislike. There is no way around that one. But we can make it easier to at least try to come up with reasonable first approximations, and also make it clearer that moderation is not about a moral judgment on posts or posters.
    • Like x 3
    • Useful x 2
  11. Maya

    Maya smug_anime_girl.jpg

    Indeed. Are we talking here some sort of statement on what mods may do to your posts, or talk to you about, and potential reasons this may happen? What I'm imagining is something like...

    "Mods may wiggle posts, ask you to spoiler, or talk to you in private about your posts if they breach consent, unfairly target or insult someone, etc."

    I can't words well so something to the affect of what this means would be fantastic!
    • Like x 3
    • Useful x 1
  12. Khan

    Khan why does anyone NOT hate her

    I am concerned that making a rule (pardon me, guideline) against anything that may be construed as insulting will result in passive-aggressive jabs cloaked in plausible deniability without encouraging productive conflict-resolution. Some amount of conflict and discomfort is absolutely necessary for change and growth, and people can not realistically be expected to always be polite to one another.

    I think the “play nice” guideline needs a lot of workshopping so as not to stifle dissent, not that “play nice” is a bad concept.
    • Agree x 5
  13. spockandawe

    spockandawe soft and woolen and writhing with curiosity

    I've seen a few conversations where the basic conclusion reached is 'well people are allowed to be assholes.' I know I've cleared posts that were angry or aggressive, because post mod isn't mean to be totally stifling, it's mainly meant to try to filter out the little bits and pieces that have the potential to cause significant harm. So in, say, a fight, I might clear a post that said 'what the fuck is wrong with you,' but I'd filter out a post that said 'kill urself'. An area I've been trying to pin down in my head is where the line is between insulting/annoying and actually harmful. If 'play nice' is the driving guideline, it's still not specifying the spot where mods will jump in to intervene.

    If I took things to like... a playground, for example. Maybe the strictest definition of playing nice would be to be friendly with everyone and share my toys, etc. But I'd still be allowed to ignore other kids, or refuse when they asked to see my toys, and so on. But if I punched another kid in the face to take their toy, that's a problem. Way oversimplified, of course, and the differences between the definitions of not-accommodating/neutral/cold/uncaring/mean/malicious are such a messy area. I'm stuck in gay baby jail a no-cell zone, so I can't check in directly with other mods, but my impression is that if people try to aim somewhere close to 'playing nice', they'll usually clear the 'significantly harmful' zone, but we also don't want to stifle all freedom of expression.

    In my head, my personal working definition of 'play nice' is something closer to 'play not-mean'. Or 'not-cruel'. That might not work for everyone, but it's easier for me to wrap my head around as something I can keep in mind as I participate. It defines an area I need to avoid, not an area where I need to make sure I land, and it leaves a space for negative emotion and expression to exist before I worry about it becoming a hazard.
    • Informative x 5
    • Like x 1
  14. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Things broadly in that direction, sure. I'd like to point out that there is probably no way we'd include "unfairly", because that's the wrong kind of judgment call for moderators, in my opinion. But some discussion of what mods might do, and at least some examples of decisions and the reasoning for them, would help a lot.

    And to clarify, it is absolutely not my intention to have any kind of general thing against insulting people. Some insults might result in moderator interventions. The consideration, however, isn't "is this fair or not" but "is this behavior liable to cause a breach of the peace". If people are escalating a conflict, that's more of a problem than if someone's sort of a jerk and it's not producing significant distress. If people call me names, I mostly don't care, and most people know I don't care, so we mostly just ignore it.

    And FWIW, that consideration is also going into what the guidelines are in the first place. Khan's point about passive-aggressive jabs is 100% accurate, and is why I don't want anything very close to a "no insults" rule. Sometimes, if you piss people off, they'll be sorta yelly. That is a thing. It is not an innately bad thing or a thing that needs to be prevented in general. It isn't even necessarily a reason that you should change your behavior; if you think what you're doing is important, and you are okay with some people being sorta mad and yelly, that's a valid decision to make. And it may be a valid decision for them to make to be sorta yelly about it. That's fine. I am not trying to create an environment where there can never be conflict, those get super toxic.
    • Like x 3
  15. Chiomi

    Chiomi Master of Disaster

    ^ is what the FAQ has now. The moderation guidelines thing is so far looking like it's going to be more comprehensive.
    • Like x 6
    • Informative x 3
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