Discussion in 'That's So Meta!' started by rigorist, Apr 9, 2017.
Theoretically, it's possible for us to move posts without letting people know. In practice we try to be good about contacting people. Like, if I move stuff to the pear wiggler, I'm pretty much gonna send you a PM about it so you know.
...so theoretically a mod could fuck with someone's perception of reality if they were mad enough?
I pretty much trust yall as mods to be pretty level headed but humans aren't infallible. I could be overreacting though, I'm not in the best mental place right now
This is one of the reasons it's so very much not a thing that people would be discouraged from asking mods or talking about what they saw or remembered or whatever. I've been places that try to do the memory hole thing and it's horrible.
We'll see how long this lasts.
... Why would it change? I've been pretty committed to this belief about forum governance for pretty much as long as I can remember.
I do not see any reason for which it would change. No one's yet convinced me that encouraging people to talk about their concerns about a forum is bad for a forum.
I think I get that some of what you're doing, Rigs, is stress-testing moderator willingness to entertain public criticism. Which is fair! I would like to make a request, though -
Spoiler: gifs - please more 'queen of putrescence' and less 'you're going to kill us all'
Please more and less
Since, uh, a lot of people here are already in a situation where Worst Possible Outcome translates really easily into intrusive thoughts. And, while some of the stuff you're bringing up is probably good to have hashed out before it ever becomes relevant, it's also making people nervous without any obvious payoff that I can see.
Damn. I didn't expect Staff to be so obvious about it.
The reasoning final paragraph will be used to justify all sorts of censorious behavior. And that behavior, while it will be defended on the basis of "protecting the mental health of members" will in reality be to defend the feelings and dignity of Staff.
That's how this shit works. That's how this shit always works.
You will have to hold the line. That will be hard. Already Staff is working to craft arguments about why people should not talk about their concerns.
I don't think we need to try to stop chicken little from shouting about the sky falling as long as we behave in ways that encourage people to think and ask about the state of the sky for themselves.
let me know if we ever require staff to hold a conch to designate they're talking, i will search far and wide for a picture of an extremely badass wizard staff
I've already told you that I think what you're doing here is gonna fuck people up for no benefit. Because you're thinking in Lawyer terms, not Mental Health terms.
I know someone who has serious paranoia rising to the level of an anxiety disorder that they will accidentally violate a law and somehow someone will find out and they will be arrested. I would not spend a lot of time talking to them about the proliferation of ridiculous laws, because while in general I think the topic is hilarious, in that context, I think it'd be harmful.
This is a forum full of people who have been raised in unambiguously abusive environments, who are specifically primed to think that all authority figures are always actively manipulating them and lying about everything, and when you come along and say that this is always how authority figures behave, and this is always what happens, you are reinforcing their fears. Which fucks them up.
I am all for calling people out for shit they actually did, but preemptively calling them out for shit you think authority figures usually do is not usually helpful, and in the presence of a lot of people with mental health problems and abuse histories, it can be actively harmful.
This is one of the cases where there's an obvious reason to be extra careful about the "go ahead and speak freely" angle. Doesn't mean it's actually accomplishing anything that couldn't be accomplished without telling all the traumatized people that they should absolutely be trusting their trauma instincts and never, ever, trust anyone with anything.
Well I mean-
This may sound weird or counterintuitive or whatever but ime the absolute single only way to soothe this kind of distrust of authority and work through it is a policy of radical transparency about as much as you can possibly disclose, and ideally disclosing it up front, not only after asking. I know that this is problematic from the angle of competing access needs and people being easily hurt by what is perceived as public shaming if, for example there is a visible note about their post being moved to the pear wiggler for violating The Rules, even if we do not actually have rules, but I think I have to agree with Rigs' discomfort wrt lack of predictability from the side of the mod team. Right now I feel... a little off balance because I have no way to predict mod response wrt anything, and I have perceived tensions resulting from this. Yes, the mods are human too, obviously, but they still have a position of authority over the user base, and all we have to go on that you won't abuse this authority right now is your word, which as pointed out before... many people do not trust the word of authority figures. I think what may help would be public Moderator Guidelines and a process of checks and balances that can actually be referred to when it comes to the pear wiggling stuff at least?
Now rigorist's argument is going to be that seebs is using the idea of protecting abused and anxious users to get rigs to stop talking and obfuscate her True Motives, which are forum fascism I suppose
I have been places with complicated Guidelines And Checks And Balances, and... they were actually usually worse, because the more words you have, the more words you can hide behind.
Yes, we're sorta unpredictable. Part of this is this is mostly unexplored territory. It's pretty well understood how to make things like bans "work" as well as they're going to. What we're doing here isn't really well-studied territory, and it's a bit of a crapshoot. A lot of the time, the guideline is "fuck, i don't know, try something and if it turns out to be a bad idea, apologize and try something different next time".
Seriously, we don't have any organized policies here. We've got a gazillion one-off special cases for known access needs. User A specifically wants to be "threatened" (their words) with post moderation before being placed on post moderation. User B would like us to discuss the thing with them. User C would like us to use our judgment since they know they can't trust theirs when they're melting down. And... We try to work with that, but really, we don't have any clear notion of how this should work.
The guidance we have in moderation is pretty much the Forum Principle. Not as a thing we "enforce", but as a thing that tells us how to approach moderation. Nothing any user could say or do would make it okay to treat them like trash. Unfortunately, most forum administration guidelines and policies out there consist entirely of "and here is when it's okay to treat users like trash". So, unexplored territory.
Yeah, slippery slope is a legitimate concern.
On the other hand, it would also help a lot to articulate what the perceived benefit is, because "without any benefit I can see" admits a response of "this benefit over here. look, it is wearing a hat and waving at you."
Well, no. I'm thinking in terms of the history of how governments and quasi-governments like forums work and have worked.
Nice use of Scare Capitals to make your points Very Important.
This conveniently provides you the perfect shield to manipulate and lie. You can do it because you Care So Much! You'll even forego discussing a topic you think is hilarious because you Care So Much. What sacrifices you make! How wonderful!
Also, it's pretty fucking convenient for Staff that even a discussion of policy and the implications of policy has to end because the discussion itself might cause harm. Who benefits from this?
So instead they should trust Dear Leader Seebs in all things. Only Seebs and his Staff will save them from the Bad Man.
You're better than this. Or at least you used to be.
That is a quality prediction!
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