report confidentiality (split from another thread)

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

  1. TheMockingCrows

    TheMockingCrows Resident POTSie potato.

    i mean im p sure "actively individually harassing a mod" and "oops wrong tone" are separate things that'd be hard to do on accident
    • Agree x 22
  2. rigel

    rigel youve got teeth for a reason, dont you?

    yeah like, the difference here is like... context? rigs has been harassing beldaran for years now, it wasnt some one-time thing, it was pretty targeted.
    • Agree x 6
  3. keltka

    keltka the green and brown one

    so one key difference here is when you're reporting someone's post, that someone doesn't see the report
    the mod who handles it, and any other mods around, will probably see the report

    so say you get the wrong tone when you submit a report and it comes off as bullying, I don't think the mods are gonna go knock down that person's door to tell them. this is speculation! I will admit that. BUT from what I've seen, the mods are more likely to hit you up first and be like "dude that's not chill"
    ETA: that said I have no idea if they'd even do that?? speculation again, it's a theory

    HOWEVER say you're submitting a report that comes off as bullying/attacking/deliberately cruel towards a mod, who will have to see it, and deal with it—either they leave it private, which allows an avenue for them to be attacked, or they take it public, which results in...well, this.

    what I've been getting from everything happening so far is "the only people who have to worry about their reports not being constantly 100% forever private are the ones using that privacy to attack and harass people in a way they cannot defend themselves from (given that they can't really choose not to see the reports)"
    • Agree x 11
  4. Kathy

    Kathy Well-Known Member

    I understand your concern Alix but agree with TMC here, context is everything.

    And Beldaran had every right to talk about it, because being expected to keep personal attacks and abuse toward them secret is a toxic thing to ask of paid workers, let alone volunteer moderators on a forum. Nobody has to put up with that. A psych can refuse to take a patient anymore, a doctor can refuse to see patients. I was told when I signed on with my new therapist that if there was a chance I was going to hurt myself or other people, including my therapist, my right to confidentiality ended. That's what I expect, and want.

    If paid positions with expectations of confidentiality provide a framework for the people providing a service to report and deal with abusive behaviour toward them, then I honestly do not see why this should be a setting in which anyone on the mod team just has to Shut Up And Take It.

    eta: if using a sub makes you or anyone else feel more confident using the report feature though, by all means go for it! Maybe double check to ensure that any post-mod needs you have are also applied to that one though, in case of anything causing an upset for you? Meant entirely earnestly and not as a passive aggressive thing.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
    • Agree x 12
  5. palindromordnilap

    palindromordnilap Well-Known Member

    While I roughly agree with this, I should point out a thing regarding the therapist analogy, which is that a thing I keep hearing from ND/mental health activists is "What we need is a space with an absolute right to confidentiality, like some kind of secular confessional". Because "if I admit to having that specific sort of bad thoughts, I'm getting institutionalized" is not always a good environment for recovery for some people.
    • Agree x 1
  6. Verily

    Verily a very ineffective hitman

    I would be upset if I reported something and the mods told the other party I had an issue with them without running it by me.

    I don’t think that’s at all the same situation as if I told the other party directly that I had an issue with them and they told other people. That’s a disclosure by an involved party, not disclosure by a neutral third party. If I feel betrayed, it’s a personal betrayal, not one of misuse of authority.

    Misuse of authority could be using a privileged position to publicize private information that you would not otherwise have access to because it’s not about you and doesn’t directly involve you. If the information is about you and does directly involve you, it’s your information. You’re an owner, not a privileged third party who has access to something belonging to other people.

    If someone uses a privileged line of communication to gain access to people for the purpose personal communication, then there’s a legitimate decision to be made about policy, for everyone’s safety.
    • Agree x 10
  7. Kathy

    Kathy Well-Known Member

    I believe that should still have limits. If someone were to tell me that once they were done talking to me, they were going to walk outside and step in front of a bus? If I couldn't say anything? That'd fuck me up hardcore as well as being tragic for the person on their way out the door. Saying "I've been feeling like killing myself" is different from "I'm going to go do that now." Ditto for "sometimes I have violent thoughts about other people" and "I'm going to go scalp my neighbor tomorrow."
    Prevention of harm should take priority and situations with absolute confidentiality are abuseable as hell.
    • Agree x 7
  8. spockandawe

    spockandawe soft and woolen and writhing with curiosity

    There is another sort of report that isn't necessarily used in all spaces with reports, but which I do make a point of mentioning to people on here when I'm explaining how we use the tool, and that's for people to draw mod attention to something without it necessarily being actionable, or being something they want addressed in any concrete way, or even being """wrong""" in any definable sense. And that is a situation that doesn't necessarily crop up in other places where I can understand confidentiality being especially important to people, and where they might feel extra anxious now about 'is this an attack? is this bullying? is this harassment?'

    I don't have concrete definitions for what behavior would cross a line, but I do want to repeat that situations where it would even be a question are incredibly uncommon. And we're not asking people to do a polite, deferential dance and be good little complainers, or watch out. People are still allowed to have negative emotions and express them in the reports without that being an automatic qualifier for inappropriate behavior. Demanding a perfectly polite performance in reports would be awful for everyone, including us :p People are still very much allowed to express that they're upset and frustrated, and that includes being upset and frustrated with mods.

    I probably have more to say, but it's slipping away from me. I can't ramble too-too hard when I'm on mobile, all my text scrolls out of view :pppp
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
    • Like x 2
  9. Artemis

    Artemis i, an asexual moron

    FWIW I have been plenty cranky at times in the caring void and not received any flak for it, and do not think I am any particular favourite of any of the mod team. I am not overly (or even underly) concerned about being tone-policed re: complaints/reports/whatever.
    • Agree x 3
  10. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    We have in the past gotten reports that were pretty much completely pointless, and we... don't do anything with them. Since the people whose posts are reported don't see the things, there's no impact.
  11. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    How can "we won't tell you who reported you" possibly imply that reports are anonymous? If reports were anonymous, the claim would be "it's physically impossible for us to tell you who reported you".

    Yeah. But that's frankly silly. If you are not using the report system specifically to poke a moderator, how could it possibly be bullying? We get uncharitable or ridiculous reports sometimes. We also get reports that we totally agree with but where there's not really a solid justification for taking action. They get treated exactly the same: "There's nothing we can usefully do here."

    I would really prefer that people didn't. All this does is result in reports being more likely to be disregarded, because context is part of reporting, and an alt account I don't recognize that reports posts is going to be giving bad context signals pretty much by definition.
    • Informative x 4
    • Agree x 3
  12. Elaienar

    Elaienar "sorta spooky"

    I know this is kind of off-topic from the current discussion of policy concerning reports and privacy, but I'd like to ask for clarification.

    @rigorist, when you sent the report, was your intent to:

    1) Send a personal message to Beldaran using the report system.
    2) Report a post you considered reportable, and incidentally use the "Report Reason" box to criticise a moderator's response to the post.
    3) Other (please explain).

    I realise that intent doesn't change the effect your actions had on Beldaran, but I'm curious on this point and if you explained already I didn't see it. Feel free to ignore this if you don't want to discuss your motives in sending a message that was not intended to be publicly circulated.
  13. shmeed

    shmeed plant me

    can we not implore darvo mcfuck to make damage control excuses for trying to get the site to shame beldaran for daring to disclose that he was using private channels to harass her
    • Agree x 9
  14. Athol Magarac

    Athol Magarac I prefer reading posts without a lot of topics.

    If I might chime in a bit... I would like to see a loose "code of conduct" for people to be able to read. And maybe more of a preferred policy on how things are usually handled if they're not a special case.

    I PM'd a bit with @rigorist and I think there is only one thing that shouldn't be shared if he would like to repeat what was said.

    Edit: One thing that I wouldn't like shared. (He can use his judgement on the rest.)
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2018
  15. latitans

    latitans fake fan

    What happened here seems to me to be functionally equivalent to someone sharing a DM/PM in which someone was being aggressive or hurtful to them. Does that seem right?

    Even though PMs are per se private, a blanket ban on sharing the content of PMs in any circumstance would be an obviously bad idea. I don’t really see how this proposed ban on mods sharing the contents of reports that are addressed to them is any different.
    • Agree x 10
  16. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    PMs are "private" in that other people can't see them unless you choose to display them. We have never had a policy against talking about PMs, in general. In some cases someone might say "I would prefer that this remain confidential" or whatever, but the implicit privacy is "only the people in the conversation can see it".
  17. Re Allyssa

    Re Allyssa Sylph of Heart

    See, 99% of the time, I'm not going to tell people who reported a post. Sometimes, I'll tell people why I'm taking action ("someone asked that this be moved because it was distressing them") but I'm not going to tell you who the someone was, even if it's just that you wanted to make an apology.

    This situation has actually happened before, and it was like, of course I'm not going to tell you.

    To use some programming terms - This situation with Rigs isn't even an edge case. It's undefined behavior. Edge cases imply valid input. Harassing Mods is not valid input and thus results in undefined behavior (in programming, this means "anything can happen").

    I can't really define Harassing, but generally there needs to be multiple instances. One badly worded report will not put you in that category. Multiple ones probably won't either, honestly, because that kind of thing is recognizable.

    I'm sure that there have been reports that someone made because they were mad at someone else or something. If it's not actionable, we don't act on it, so that's most likely what happened in those cases. Most people are never even told that reports happen, much less who made them.

    I don't see why Sam talking about a message she got that made her feel shitty is being talked about like forum members are in danger of having their reports made public. It's not even in the same category.

    edit - changed a word because i have had a Day
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
    • Agree x 11
    • Like x 4
    • Informative x 1
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