report confidentiality (split from another thread)

Discussion in 'That's So Meta!' started by spockandawe, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. Beldaran

    Beldaran 70% abuse and 30% ramen

    I don't want this to be happening and can't engage with it due to being emotionally compromised right now. I don't want my post to be the OP and I don't want to talk about if I'm allowed to "tattle" on people who are going out of their way to harass me.

    I don't want this.
    • Witnessed x 14
  2. spockandawe

    spockandawe soft and woolen and writhing with curiosity

    I do want to say that we've presented the report tool as a way to reach out to mods, with... I don't think it was ever explicitly labeled as a confidential tool, but there's at least some implication of privacy. If people were down for totally public contact, there's always the option of tagging a mod into the thread, and this is by nature more discreet than that.

    I can't see any reason to disclose reporter identity a good 99% of the time, and can't think of any other reports off the top of my head where it would have been an issue. And I think that leaning towards a general policy of keeping reporter identities private is probably a good plan. But I also think that boxing ourselves into a strict policy is a less good idea, especially since it is possible to play silly buggers with the tool.

    Defining silly buggers is the tricky thing, and there is never ever going to be a single rock-solid metric for determining how much personal attack is too much, or too aggressive, or whatever. By its nature, that has to be a judgment call. But we've already had a couple of incidents where people felt very strongly that mods also shouldn't be obligated to sit back and be a happy punching bag for whoever wants to take swings at them.

    I think that making it a little more explicit that the void is the MOST-most private way to reach out to mods would be a decent idea, but i also think there's hardly any time when disclosing reporter identities will be relevant like it was in this case. Like I said, i think generally aiming towards report privacy is a good idea, but I also think it's more damaging to insist that it always, ALWAYS has to stay private, no matter what the circumstances are.
    • Agree x 2
  3. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Yeah. For the record, I'm aware, and I think this sucks, but I can't convince myself that this is a trivial question that I can just ignore. Not saying that it's okay, just that I can't think of a better solution. (But we can at least make it not have you as OP.)
    • Like x 1
  4. Gyro Zeppeli

    Gyro Zeppeli Pseudo Anti Cult Leader

    I'm just gonna go out and say that I don't support any hard and fast "private stuff must remain private" sort of thing. Like the example I said above, if there's some kind of shitty or abusive behavior going on behind the scenes, I'd actually kind of like it to be something I can know about, because it's relevant to me picking who I interact with and how I do it.

    I've been to a fair amount of places where a lot of pretty absolutely awful things went on in backchannels (ie adults soliciting literal children, people sending death threats, stuff like that) with people at large not knowing that said person was dangerous bc they insisted on taking care of it in private. If I know Placeholder John has been secretly reprimanded for sexting minors, I'm going to treat him differently than if I didn't know, and I consider that pretty important.

    As a member of the community, I kinda have a vested interest in knowing when shit like that is going down, so the idea that there are some situations where it is totally cool to disclose info about ostensibly private communication is something I support.

    Not to mention that the specific phenonmenon of "I can accuse mods of saying things they didn't say in private and if they correct me I can whine about them disclosing the thing I chose to disclose first" is just straight bullshit.
    • Agree x 8
  5. spockandawe

    spockandawe soft and woolen and writhing with curiosity

    (that all being said, I think it's also not a bad idea to shelve this conversation for a future date. Serbs is busy and Seebs too probably and this is the kind of complicated theory/philosophy question that goes more smoothly when they have more availability to focus in on the conversation)
    • Agree x 1
  6. TheMockingCrows

    TheMockingCrows Resident Bisexual Lich

    i don't wanna ping because they're distressed and this is the last place I want them to be while upset, but I'm leaving a "be safe, beldaran. you didn't deserve having this happen at you and i hope you feel better soon." in case they wind up sweeping near this again.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
    • Agree x 15
  7. Kathy

    Kathy Well-Known Member

    Hey Rigs? Leave Sam alone. Like full stop, leave her alone. You'd been aggressing against her, specifically, while you were a mod for a long time in plenty of public spaces. You are not being a hero here, you're being a bully. Like the other day that ganymede comparison to someone who is open about being a CSA survivor? That was really fucked up! Stop it!

    Like, leave her alone! Please!

    Imo she's allowed to talk about this because she's been receiving pretty sustained harassment from you. You belittle her, put her down, and idk if you think there's some witty back and forth going on here but you've seriously hurt my friend and I'd like you to please stop and apologize.

    Also I'm just gonna say that in my doctor and therapy offices, confidentiality stops if there's a chance I'm going to hurt myself or others, and if anyone is using the report feature or the void or any other confidential medium to hurt people I don't think that should be subject to confidentiality because it just provides a free abuse zone.
    • Agree x 16
  8. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Further thoughts: I can't figure out a way to have a productive conversation about the specific case without being able to point to (1) what was reported, (2) what was said about it.

    This is a case where I can frame-switch it very easily anywhere from "why would you ever think it was okay to state publically that this was said" to "that seems pretty clearly like a message that would not normally enjoy an expectation of confidentiality", and the context is pretty significant for that.
  9. LumiLapin

    LumiLapin Bad Bad Bun

    As far as I know nowhere in the process of becoming a kinstugi mod does one sign a confidentiality agreement.
    • Agree x 3
  10. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Well, no, but I am not picking people that I think would need to sign such an agreement to respect a reasonable expectation of confidentiality.

    The problem is figuring out what that reasonable expectation is.
  11. Chiomi

    Chiomi Master of Disaster

    I know I try to respect people's privacy as much as possible in general on here. But the 'playing silly buggers' exception is a solid one, and the report in question was directed at a staff member: it wasn't about the post, really, it was far more private communication sent using a forum feature other than private messages.
    • Agree x 1
  12. Kathy

    Kathy Well-Known Member

    Bullying. Causing harm to people who are rendered unable to respond to it in public due to the nature of the communication. It creates, by nature, an actual missing stair situation. You can't directly acknowledge it due to the rule you're bound up in but you know it's there so you just have to watch yourself more and be careful.

    I've said before that I am deeply uncomfortable with the idea that reports, the void, and other private communications are a thing that Must Be Confidential Always because it can lead to zones where mods can be freely abused. It's extra fucked up when the person on the receiving end of the harassment, bullying or abuse has to keep quiet about it or else they get more heaped on them. If I ever snap and decide to go on a harassment campaign using those features, I expect and hope confidentiality would have a limit.
    • Agree x 9
  13. LumiLapin

    LumiLapin Bad Bad Bun

    To expand: On kinstugi, the only real punitive measures are “go on post mod” and “people think you’re a dick”, and maybe for mods “your modhood is revoked.” No matter the type of hurt, these are the results- and I’m not here to argue about whether or not that is a good thing. But in a case like this, where the is an expectation of privacy but no actual guarantee, then it is purely up to the community to decide who is being a dick, and to what degree. If it is evident that the mod is the one acting inappropriately, then we can all think they are a dick and they may or may not lose modhood, I really don’t know where you stand on that. But in this case, Beldaran is very obviously not the dick. So she has broken no real rule, other then the vague expectation of privacy that rigorist seemed to hope would keep her silent about cruelty. So we all agree that He’s The Dick, and if in the future there arises a situation where a mod reveals information from reports or the Void in a dickish way, then we decide that That Mod’s A Dick.
    • Agree x 8
  14. spockandawe

    spockandawe soft and woolen and writhing with curiosity

    The tricky part is where we want people to feel like they're able to reach out to the mods without getting punished for it, whether that punishment is something concrete, like a ban, or something more nebulous, like 'hey, everyone, look what THIS person said, AMIRIGHT?'

    I'll definitely argue that my own words have at least had the implication that reports are a semi-confidential way to communicate with mods, whether or not that's the implication I should have been communicating. I still think that it's better to have a general policy of not-sharing with sharing as an option when justified. But "justified" is very vague, and that sort of vagueness has caused some users anxiety in the past, because now there are rules I'm supposed to follow, except nobody will tell me what they are.

    I don't think this was a case where I'd question the decision to make things public, but I'm also not sure what I'd do for something more borderline. I think working out at least a few examples of what sorts of behavior would be an issue would be a good plan, to give people at least some rough guidelines to calibrate on. But that's also the kind of discussion I'd be wary about trying to have with Seebs when Seebs has limited resources to spare for it :p

    Like I said, this doesn't come up often at ALL, so I don't think it's a very urgent problem to discuss, but I can see the value in drilling down into the issue a bit and defining things with some more detail.
    • Agree x 3
  15. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    FWIW, while I do not particularly like B or agree with her very often, I do not want to cause her harm. I apologize for doing that. I didn't know that particular phrase was triggering and if I had known, I would not have used it and I will do my best not to do so in the future.

    (deliberately not tagging her. if she wants to look or someone else wants to forward, that's fine with me)
    • Like x 4
    • Informative x 1
  16. Kathy

    Kathy Well-Known Member

    My take on it is that reaching out is fine, and that individual incidents can be forgiven. Like, context is everything. If it's someone lashing out once because they are in a bad place, then unless it involves something like a suicide or death threat it can probably stand to remain confidential.

    Using private spaces to yell at, vent frustration on, bully or abuse moderators though? That's where it ends for me. Full stop flat out. Ya'll have lives. You're allowed to have opinions. You don't have to be emotionless automatons. Reminders for self care are great! But expectations that none of you will ever get upset at or voice upset at content on this site are impossible ones.
    • Agree x 3
  17. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    A problem in this discussion: only Staff has access to the report itself. Everyone else is relying on Staff's characterization of it. I didn't save a copy and only have a vague recollection of the actual wording. I doubt it was very "nice", since I was pretty angry about the dogpiling on G that was starting up again and my opinion that Staff is being a bit hypocritical about what insults are allowed in-thread.
  18. Chiomi

    Chiomi Master of Disaster

    Also posted in modchat, but since I think you should also have input: do you think it would be useful/appropriate to post a screenshot or exact text of the report?
  19. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

  20. Chiomi

    Chiomi Master of Disaster

    Screen Shot 2018-10-15 at 7.04.33 PM.png
    • Informative x 2
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