The Xenforo "Discourage" Feature

Discussion in 'That's So Meta!' started by palindromordnilap, May 14, 2018.

  1. TheMockingCrows

    TheMockingCrows Resident Bisexual Lich

    question: would the temp ban be an ip ban or an account ban if this ever happens? because I'm concerned for spiral socks.

    edit: i know there's way to get around ip bans as well, but it'd take even more work/effort and if it happened it'd be an even bigger sign something wouldn't work. so big difference.
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
    • Agree x 2
  2. palindromordnilap

    palindromordnilap Well-Known Member

    IP banning wouldn't work, but just banning this account would probably work well enough since my subaccounts don't have passwords. Spiral socks aren't as much of a concern because AFAIK accounts still have to be manually accepted and that generally tends to be paused when drama happens.

    BTW, I'd like if you permabanned my alt, the owner of the subaccount I posted the Witness Me thing in, as I don't plan to use it for anything anymore because I said some extremely personal stuff on it (in part precisely to force myself not to meltdown on it). If deleting or moving said alt's vent thread somewhere it can't be seen is also an option, that would be nice too, if that's not too much trouble. I'm sorry if this is too generally inconvenient.
    • Witnessed x 1
  3. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Account. We just don't approve new accounts during events, usually.
    • Informative x 1
  4. Exohedron

    Exohedron Doesn't like words

    I really do think that temp bans are the only real option in this case, since it's quite clear that Palin noticed that something was up via subaccounts and that's going to be a possibility for a lot of other people. Unless you can do things to entire ips then trying to be secretive about it isn't robust at all, and then when someone files a "bug report" everyone else is going to panic because that's what we do best around here.
    Since Xenforo is apparently bad at sneak, you're going to have to be upfront about it. Otherwise you get accused of playing mindgames. An accusation that would be true, to be clear, but one with bad PR, at least in this place.
    Unfortunately, being upfront about it sounds like sending a message of "It is official Mod opinion that you should take some time off" and then hoping that works rather than reinforcing whatever the issue is. There is no Good way to make someone leave if they don't want to unless you're willing to devote much more time and energy than I think the mod team has to offer, and so we must look into the dark abyss of Expediency.

    So, questions about the ability to ban people:
    What kind of resolution, time-wise, do the temp bans have? Can you ban someone for half an hour? Half a day? Do they affect the entire subaccount tree or just the individual account? How difficult would it be to ban someone from everything but the Mad Science section of the forums?
    • Agree x 3
  5. IvyLB

    IvyLB Hardcore Vigilante Gay Chicken Facilitator

    Yeah, I think the real problem here is that the subaccount feature makes it really difficult to effectively shut someone down in the middle of a spiral if they don't want to be shut down. Does the mod team have a list of all of @palindromordnilap 's subaccounts/alternates and are Slow Down actions going to be applied to all of them unilaterally in the future?
    • Agree x 1
  6. Chiomi

    Chiomi Master of Disaster

    yes, I think we've all arrived at temp bans as a thing to do science on, with them probably being context-dependent since that's pretty much how we work. I've muted Alix on Discord for like 5 minutes and she super chilled out and was fine, and then there are also multi-day meltdowns, and solutions have to be responsive to that.

    Like, obviously as not-an-admin my opinions are anything but binding, and I understand that people like assurances, but



    when have unilateral and rigid guidelines ever been a thing here?

    Anyway: are there any other new points or are we done with 'discourage is probably a bad idea going forward, other solutions will be tried, current fire appears to be out'?
    • Informative x 2
  7. Petra

    Petra space case

    I mean, yeah. Might as well try the thing and see if it works. If it does work, wonderful! If it doesn't, idk if the mod team is really in a worse place.
    • Agree x 1
  8. IvyLB

    IvyLB Hardcore Vigilante Gay Chicken Facilitator

    Does the moderation team currently have a list of all subaccounts/alt accounts associated with Palin, or is there going to be one, going forward, so moderation action can be applied to all of them equally so as to prevent further spiralling? Alix has said that she has used the subaccounts to check that only the main account was targeted by the Discourage feature previously, and this possibility remaining open seems like it would defeat the whole point of a Temp Ban
    • Agree x 1
  9. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    We can do pretty arbitrary lengths of ban. Temp bans aren't a new thing, or a controversial thing; the only weird part would be doing them not-by-request. I don't think I was aware that anyone had asked preemptively to be temp-banned under other circumstances, I don't think it's ever come up. This doesn't mean it wasn't mentioned, just that I didn't remember it.

    Bans at least sort of propagate to sub-accounts; you can't log in on the subs while banned on the main, because they don't have passwords so the only way in is through the main account, I think? But also it's a lot of effort, which is why I sort of hate subaccounts. Sadly, it's not possible to do much about the subaccounts after-the-fact without breaking the db, so.
    • Informative x 2
  10. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    Back when dinosaurs ruled the earth, the forum software ran on a Commodore Amiga, and I was a lot more active, I spoke in favor of the "no-bans" rule because it would force Staff to think creatively about other ways to manage the forum. Bans are a very attractive solution to lots of problems. And having an attractive solution to lots of problems tends to make one pass up other possible solutions.

    In this instance, a possible non-ban solution was tried and it was a shitty solution. That does not necessarily mean all other non-ban solutions are shitty solutions. I encourage Staff to continue to explore other non-ban solutions.
    • Like x 1
    • Agree x 1
    • Informative x 1
  11. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    I continue to have exactly zero interest in permanent bans, and not much more interest in longer-term than a day or so bans, except as a thing users can directly and explicitly request.

    I'm basically happy with the state of things as they are now in terms of forum admin options. That a sleepy seebs confronted with an apparently ongoing explosion which came after a day or so of murder threats made a poor call does not actually strike me as innately a problem with our forum options.
    • Agree x 6
    • Informative x 1
  12. Exohedron

    Exohedron Doesn't like words

    I feel like you made two mistakes here, not one. The first in believing that the bad behavior was happening here on the forum, and the second in picking a particularly bad response. Had you been correct in believing that the bad stuff was happening on the forum, would the current toolkit have been sufficient? History, and your first post in this thread, suggests that maybe not.
    So research continues. Maybe the true solution is one of words and not software; I think generally we all hope that is the case.
    I would just like to note that if you're sticking to principles, then you need more people who can do something. Maybe not mods, but at least users who are capable of intervening effectively and are willing and available to do so. The software tools you put aside need to be compensated for with human effort, and that's always been a problem for this forum.

    [Edit] To clarify, since it seems the post as written doesn't quite say what I wanted it to:
    I definitely think that the best short-term solution is technical intervention by a mod without the explicit consent of the user in question, due to effectiveness constraints.
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
    • Informative x 1
  13. rigel

    rigel in a line of late afternoon sun

    the thing is, like. while this could have been a viable solution, she'd been asked for days to stop. seebs had told her both on-forum, and in the discord chat that threats like that were not tolerated, or appropriate. multiple people backed them on it and argued with her and tried to talk her down from the threats. she was asked to stop repeatedly, long before seebs took any outside action. perhaps more discussions could have been had, but for days, palin refused to budge, or listen to other people's concerns and other people asking her to stop. she was not interested in having any sort of conversation regarding this, beyond how much she wanted to kill seebs.

    seebs certainly made a few mistakes in handling this, but if anything, it's sparked more of a meaningful discussion, including palin actually admitting what she was doing was wrong, compared to days upon days of people asking palin to stop and being ignored.

    what im trying to say here is like. human intervention can only go so far. if someone decides they dont want to consider what other people are saying, there's very little anyone can do to mitigate it other than take more severe action, especially if multiple people are being threatened.
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
    • Agree x 9
    • Informative x 2
  14. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    I've been trying to find words that make Alix knock it the fuck off when she's Doing The Thing for, what, three years now? And it just doesn't seem to be a thing. She'll absolutely concur at the time that she is aware that she's behaving abusively. But it's so absolutely vital that she successfully win the fight right this moment that she must take the most decisive action possible, even if she's completely aware that it cannot possibly lead to winning the fight, actually hurts her case, and contradicts all her moral and ethical beliefs.

    ... Trivia point: I know a lot of people who get that kind of Sense Of Urgency about things. In every case I am aware of, it is a 100% reliable indicator for "things you actually shouldn't do at all". It's basically a reliable marker that your brain has realized that it's in a hole and the only solution is to dig faster.

    But I assure you, we've tried a lot of words. And even words which seem persuasive when Alix is not melting down just... don't work at all when she is.

    But do keep in mind that this stuff happened after more than a day of murder threats and such. It's not as though people hadn't already spent quite a while trying to address this with words.

    The problem here isn't amount of effort. It's that this particular state does not respond usefully/reliably to anything we know of, other than "wait it out and pick through the rubble". And we've been trying for a long time. Overall, as a long-term trend, I think it's been becoming a less-frequent problem, but there are still bad patches.
    • Informative x 2
  15. thegrimsqueaker

    thegrimsqueaker 28 Moribunding Mouse Aggravates the Angry Assholes

    or if they consider what others are saying, and still think the current course is necessary or otherwise disregard them. I'm fairly sure that Alix was listening when ppl told her to chill, but chilling was at the time considered less important than getting her point across any way she could.

    that's the thing about meltdowns. when a person is in the middle of one, chilling tf out often seems like the least helpful thing to the person melting down. or they think they can't chill until the situation or problem that sparked the meltdown is fixed.
    • Agree x 4
  16. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    @thegrimsqueaker alix said in one of the transcripts that you were considering making her a mod. were you?
  17. palindromordnilap

    palindromordnilap Well-Known Member

    Grim isn't a mod and that was a joke, but they did say I was more qualified to support people than the currently available Discord mod team.
  18. thegrimsqueaker

    thegrimsqueaker 28 Moribunding Mouse Aggravates the Angry Assholes

    I joked about it, w/ the implication that it was a terrible idea
    • Informative x 3
  19. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    good. the way alix talked about it in the transcripts, it sounded like you were seriously considering it.
  20. thegrimsqueaker

    thegrimsqueaker 28 Moribunding Mouse Aggravates the Angry Assholes

    nope. but also, I don't have the authority to make her a mod anywhere besides the knitsugi server, and that's low traffic enough that we're good w/ the two mods we have
    • Agree x 1
    • Informative x 1
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