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report confidentiality (split from another thread)

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

  1. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    It's a true and correct copy.
     
  2. Kathy

    Kathy Well-Known Member

    I passed it on. It's fallen pretty flat because you kept mocking her, telling people not to trust her, and only apologized well after the fact and when called on it.

    You and I have had our differences before, and I tried to explain to you a number of times that your tendency to throw cruel barbs in when talking about stuff was the opposite of helpful. That remains true whether or not you're a mod. Legit dude, I think you need to like. Think, before posting? Because there's a difference between Managing Others Feelings and just being a cruel dick and you repeatedly lean way into the latter any time you wade in on something fraught. Also the repeated label usage of Staff is dehumanizing. You're reducing them to Figureheads who aren't allowed to have thoughts and feelings.

    I agree with you, 100% that mockery of greallan is not helpful or okay but you have to see how utterly flat that will fall from you when you're doing the same thing to others that you appear to have deemed acceptable targets. At best it makes you look like a massive hypocrite, at worst actively malicious.

    I get that you want to help but you keep. Doing the thing. And the insults being wrapped up in intellectual references doesn't actually make them any less insulting than if you just called someone a bitch. Maybe take a breather?
     
    • Agree x 8
  3. prismaticvoid

    prismaticvoid Too Too Abstract

    Damn, just call me a bully to my face instead of involving Beldaran next time.
     
  4. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    This thread isn't going to be about confidentiality/privacy any longer, is it?
     
  5. Kathy

    Kathy Well-Known Member

    Shrugs. That was just in response to the other thing, 'cause it's important too. Beldaran doesn't want to have the conversation based around her right now. The more general considerations of privacy and confidentiality have already been addressed, it's up to what you have to say on the matter I think? But can you please try to leave personal attacks out of it?
     
  6. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Okay, with that on the record:

    I think I accept the characterization that this reads as a personal message to a specific person, not as a general report. In particular, I want to point out the singular; "You should be ashamed of yourself." (Emphasis mine.)

    That's a comment directed to a single person. It is not addressed to multiple people, it is addressed to a specific person, and I think that makes it at least reasonable to treat it the way one would treat a personal message.

    I do think that, in general, there is a reasonable expectation that the contents of reports will not be passed on to the people reported or commented on; however, in this specific case, it really seems clear that the writer intended the person commented on to be reading it; second-person singular pronouns are pretty clear in my view. And at that point, it seems unreasonable to me to expect the report to be treated as confidential. The primary relevance of confidentiality of reports is that the people reported won't be told, and that is only marginally relevant when the topic of the report is a mod's behavior, but it's especially not when the writing seems to clearly indicate that intent is to call it to the attention of that specific mod.

    More generally, though: You guys misread each other a lot. You've been in conflict often enough that every new engagement carries the baggage of all the previous engagements and distrust, and the net result is that you read each other's actions and words horribly uncharitably, and it's really fucking annoying from over here where I've known both of you a while and it's usually pretty obvious to me that these interpretations are uncharitable and frankly implausible.

    I do think there is some merit to the general observation that Greallan could quite reasonably, at this point, feel sorta dogpiled. However, I'm not sure that there's much to do about that without imposing unreasonable demands on people.
     
    • Agree x 3
    • Like x 1
  7. shmeed

    shmeed plant me

    seebs wtf
    from where im sitting i see jack shit thats been interpreted uncharitably
    rigs has been a creepy douche to beldaran for (edit: not months but years, apparently). net baggage doesnt factor here. he used the report feature to be a dick in private, then neener-neenered about privacy and the lawlessness and untrustworthiness of Staff when she dared to talk about it. if anything, net baggage makes his actions grosser.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
    • Agree x 13
  8. Alaspooralice

    Alaspooralice An actual trash fire

    I cannot see how Rigs specifically trying to shame Sam could possibly be read as anything other than him being an ass. I also think it's pretty tactless for you to say Sam is annoying you when she is already upset and triggered. How is that helpful? I think you should drop this subject, tbh. I doubt Sam wants to discuss this VERY different subject of whether she and Rigs are just misreading each other while she's in a bad mental state.
     
    • Agree x 5
  9. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    I can't recall if you've ever worked in an open report environment. I have and it's a real pain in the ass for moderators and it tends to move discussions from the substantive end of the forum to the meta end. It makes forums kind of suck. This is a warrant for closed/confidential/private reports that does not depend on the need to keep those reported from discovering the reports.

    In addition, reports are kept closed/confidential/private to prevent people from being scared of reporting. There was a dispute/discussion like a year ago about people being encouraged to use the report function. If people know their reports could become the subject of public discussion, they can be discouraged from actually reporting things and letting mods work the problem. Again, this is a warrant for closed/confidential/private reports that does not depend on the need to protect the subject of the report.

    I think you are unintentionally justifying a system where reports on mods or other authorities may be made public at the discretion of mods. I think that is probably a bad system.
     
    • Agree x 1
  10. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    B and I have grated on each other for . . . shit, like two years. We just seem to bring out the worst in each other. Maybe someday we'll get it resolved, but not today.

    Until then, I'll avoid interacting with her to at least minimize harm.

    Somebody please give me a nudge if I start to get pissy with her again.
     
    • Like x 1
    • Useful x 1
  11. seychel

    seychel stubbornly

    I think most people can understand that their expectation of closed/confidential/private reports ends where harassment, bully, or general attacks in private begins
     
    • Agree x 7
  12. seychel

    seychel stubbornly

    speaking as someone with moderator experience, the people who fight to keep their 'tough discussions' and 'hard criticism' confidential are the ones my teams try to keep the closest eyes on, because they are the ones who will use that privacy to manipulate or harass others
     
    • Agree x 5
  13. Gyro Zeppeli

    Gyro Zeppeli Pseudo Anti Cult Leader

    I'd much rather risk a chilling effect on reports and the potentiality of my own reports to be made public than have potentially important community information and abuse be hidden in backchannel communication
     
    • Agree x 2
  14. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    Oh no doubt about it. Finding systems and methods that work is very hard. And just about any system can be manipulated to bad ends.
     
  15. Kathy

    Kathy Well-Known Member

    It's been since 2015. She made an offhand snarky comment about white guy philosophers. You seemed to take it really badly and have been snarking and being casually cruel in phrasing too her since. If you don't mind me doing it, I'll nudge you. 'Cause it's clear you don't seem to notice when you're doing the thing? I don't want to fight with you anymore, and can just concisely tell you why and how what you said is hurtful.
     
  16. turtleDove

    turtleDove Well-Known Member

    Seconded. It'd been mentioned by other people already, but if a report contained important community info or was abusive, I would really hope that it wouldn't be hidden from the forum.

    I mean, sure, you can say "any system can be manipulated to bad ends" and that's true, but that doesn't mean the system is bad. That means the people deliberately abusing the system are assholes. And honestly, Rigs, it feels really, really weird that you're trying to argue that reports should stay confidential when this started because you got called out for harassing a mod via the reporting system. The consensus seems to be that yes, in 99.99% of cases, reports and void posts would stay confidential, but that most of us don't expect the mods to just sit there and be punching bags if someone's using those systems to be abusive to them. I don't feel like you get to complain about confidentiality expectations when your report fell into the 0.01% group. Or rather, you can complain, but I don't feel like you should reasonably expect the rest of us to do anything but eye-roll at you for complaining.

    I will note that it seems like it's gotten worse since Rigs was removed from the mod staff? Or at least, that's when I started noticing a more sort of...hm. Words. A more "white knight" type of behaviour, aimed at 'protecting' the rest of the users from Nefarious Staff Activity. And Beldaran is, I feel like, one of the more visibly active mods? Or at least one of the mods I notice more.
     
    • Agree x 4
  17. LumiLapin

    LumiLapin Bad Bad Bun

    Of course thats’s it.
    Iirc the reason he was on the staff in the first place is because he was bitching about the staff for some reason and seebs was like “kay you’re staff now les see how you do.” It was probably less overtly passive aggressive but at the very least “then how about you pick up the slack if the mods are so terrible.” Idk
    On a seperate note I kinda dislike using the word staff for people who are unpaid and not a part of any specific organization here. Like I understand how the terminology came about but it does make it easier to paint oneself as “speaking truth to power” and not “volunteers trying to stop a fire while currently aflame.”
     
    • Agree x 7
  18. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    I see your point, but I also think that, in this case, the message in question was fundamentally a personal message directed to someone who happened to be a mod, not actually a "report" on the "mods or other authorities". Second-person singular.

    If the report text had been "This post seems like mockery, and the presence of a positive rating from staff makes it seem like staff is endorsing this, which could contribute to G's paranoia." or something to that effect: (1) I don't think it would have gotten this response, (2) I wouldn't think there was a good case for making it public.

    I have in fact worked in open-report environments. That's why we aren't generally-open. But we're also not big on strict rules and dogmatism, and in this case, I think the interpretation of it as pursuing a fight into the wrong channel is more compelling than the interpretation of it as a report.

    That said: I also think that there is an assumption that staff are innately Professional Authorities which does not fit the way our culture tries to stay. And I specifically don't want to promote the view that staff are necessarily expected to behave all that much differently from other people when they are not Doing Their Thing, because I have consistently seen that work really badly and strengthen the already-annoying social boundaries. So you're used to forums where that boundary is stronger, and you use language reflecting that -- which then contributes to that perception, and I think that causes problems. I think it's probably intended as shorthand for stuff that we could reasonably infer given prior history; "Staff endorsing this mocking" works better if treated as shorthand for "a person who has the implicit social authority of being a moderator is expressing some amount of direct approval for a hostile or mocking post". But I think that the shorthand *itself* is exacerbating problems, because it lends strength to a common social model forums may gravitate towards if it isn't consciously opposed.

    I value the attempts to watch out for risks of us falling into the obvious power patterns, but I would point out that extra care in how you phrase the concern may also be worthwhile since some of our defenses against those failure modes rely on our rejection of those patterns.
     
    • Like x 2
  19. palindromordnilap

    palindromordnilap Well-Known Member

    Okay, I'll be honest here. Rigs is being a dick, but I had an understanding that reports were private, and most importantly (though this was probably an error on my behalf), the last discussion on encouraging people to use reports led me to believe that they were anonymous.

    I know I won't be the only one who will, from now on, be scared every time they report something, because "what if I sound too uncharitable? What if the mods decide it's bullying?" Personally, I will probably make another alt account for reporting posts, to avoid at least part of the breach of privacy, and I recommend other people do that as well.
     
  20. context-free anon

    context-free anon Well-Known Member

    while any system can be manipulated to bad ends, this one is especially susceptible to being abused because because you won't fucking ban the people who abuse it
     
    • Agree x 2
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