Discussion in 'The Undercity' started by seebs, Mar 8, 2017.
Kintsugi Hallmark Movie about the inspirational story of the bird who types when
tbh (non-shitposting) subbacounts give me a similar anxiety (like, instead of multiple-people-are-one-person, it's one-person-is-multiple-people) like who is who and what is real? screm
Your husband has pointed out this exact problem only without the surrounding framework that you've just realized existed.
Sometimes, in arguments, things become about Facts and Forum Policy so Diplomatic Princess Seebs vanishes and your friends and family are like
I wasn't looking for "do people notice that it's not me". I was looking for "do people notice anything at all". There's a significant set of people who consistently interpret things I say in what are, to me, surprisingly negative ways. So I'll post something that seems to me to be fairly innocuous, and they'll react with strong negativity to what seem to me to be highly surprising readings. And one interpretation is that I'm just super bad at writing, or actually that malicious. And another is that they're hostile readers who are predisposed to seek negative interpretations from any text that has my name over it.
So the question is: If people I know to be significantly different from me and to not have corresponding problems with being misunderstood write words, and those words go out under my name, do people still interpret them negatively, or do they say "gosh that is completely different seebs has changed"? And the answer is, no one seems to notice anything or think anything of it. Which, to me, suggests a significant probability that the problem isn't that I'm genuinely malicious and some people just see through my facade, or that I'm uniformly bad at communicating; it's that some people are persistently providing uncharitable readings of my posts. (Amplified by the thing where someone says "wait, is seebs taking a jab at me?" and someone else says "yes, that's what's happening", and sometimes they're pretty much completely wrong, but the person gets hurt anyway.)
I think in general this is because humans are pretty scaredy, kind of stupid animals sometimes. We have the same urges that most social animals have. So if you consider that for example crows have been shown to carry one hell of a grudge about people hurting them (even by accident) and that they pass this grudge on to other crows by warning them, it makes sense that humans would behave similarly in some situations.
So if someone has been hurt by someone several times this will color their reading of this someone, likely for a long time. And they will probably warn others of what they think is what is happening. This is the mechanism reputation operates on and why callout posts are something people do. Humans have an urge to share their opinions of others with their social groups and compare and contrast, to fine tune herd reactions for maximum safety and comfort. It is a useful instinct insome regards and annoying and stupid in others, but it's there and it won't e not there anytme soon, so it has to be taken into account.
I have no idea how to actually work with this, but it is a fact that because hurt was caused in recent memory via the account "seebs", the reputation of this account has tanked more than a little and people who have been hurt, or whose friends have been hurt, will now be distrustful and cautious when reading words from the account "seebs", or that are associated with it, and will likely read the words uncharitably due to their past experiences and the experiences of their social circle informing their expectations. People don't just forget they were hurt, just because someone says they didn't do it on purpose and apologized, emotional memory doesn't work that way.
It's unfortunate, but it's still a thing.
What Ivy said is kinda part of the reason I suggested admin subaccounts; even though people will know it's the same person, it will help them compartmentalize the two roles this person engages in, and will help to change the context of seebs posts. Sometimes part of the problem people have with seebs posts seems to be their perception of unspoken authority, as was discussed in one or another previous thread.
Considering a lot of our community have a) bad experience with authority figures abusing their power, b) bad experience with people whose words and intended meaning are not the same, c) difficulty parsing social cues, d) all of the above and more - taking steps to make it consistently easy for users to contextualize seebs words could make a dramatic difference over time.
(I've also reconsidered the seebs moderation and realized it might be useful for mods to suggest that maybe a post should come from admin voice rather than regular voice, so...)
Anyway, I don't mean to be hard-selling this idea, it's just continuing to develop in my mind, and I very much want to contribute constructively to the forum. I really want kintsugi to be the best version of itself it can be, and I want it to be something seebs all of us can enjoy and be proud of.
Honestly, what really bugs me isn't the interpretation thing, so much as the fact that several people have told me that there is absolutely not any kind of bias, that there is no hostile reading, there is no uncharitable reading, it's actually me being that bad and making excuses for it.
I do the "i have been burned a few times and now tend to read your words negatively" thing sometimes. When people call me on it, I admit that this is a thing which happens, and I apologize, and I accept their statement as to what they meant. That, to me, seems like a completely reasonable expectation to have.
And... You know, I think I'm pretty much convinced by Xitaqa's argument here. What I'm not as sure about is how to even define the boundary between admin seebs and personal seebs in this forum's context. The forum is "my personal attempt to make a thing I needed".
This doesn't apply to this specific situation, but here's a piece of anecdata: the PPC Board has a "Nameless Admin" that does all the adminny stuff. It's pretty much an open secret that the admin account is shared by several known active members but there's no way to know which one is responsible for each of NA's actions. Now, whether that's a good thing is a question that's still very much up for debate.
It is a reasonable thing to expect a seebs to be able to do, but as with so many things it is important to recognize that different people will have different degrees of ability to do things. Separating past emotional weight from present intellectual consideration is likely to be more difficult for some folks, either because of just how their brains are wired from birth or because personal history, such as trauma, has tended to emphasize emotional weight in their psychological survival techniques. (I'm probably a little weird in that I will hold an emotional grudge and dislike a person and maybe read them unkindly, but if someone calls me on it I will get more stubborn about it; whereas if nobody calls me on it and I keep seeing posts or having interactions that don't push my buttons outside of my negative filter I will do an emotional 180 and find that person quite pleasant) (eta: I'm trying to think of an example from this forum but if I did go through this cycle of feelings toward anybody, I don't seem to remember it)
Anyway, it seems to me that most of the time you wouldn't need to touch the admin account t outside of posting on That's So Meta. Maybe if someone seemed to be violating The One Rule you might put on your admin hat to point it out to them, and maybe if a meltdown/blowup happened you might put on your admin hat to tell people who were hurt that you see what they're going through, that you are taking steps to address the event, and encourage them to take care of themselves/check in with one of our crisis care volunteers, or whatever we end up calling them.
I guess one of the benefits of using moderation would be that you can probably count on the mods to suggest when you should switch hats, since they may have an easier time seeing when that ill-defined boundary is being crossed.
Yeah. So thanks, good idea.
Basically, I'm aware that people were justifiably freaked out by my fairly extreme reactions, and I've known me long enough not to worry, because I know I calm down and take things seriously and try to mitigate harm... But not everyone will, so. I'm working to make sure that the things actually get addressed, not just with handwaving "sure that'll get better" but actual concrete actions to address raised concerns.
I think Xitaqa already said somethign very similar, but I'm also not sure bc headache-y but. Y'know sometimes people can be absolutely convinced they don't have a bias or aren't reading your stuff more uncharitable than they should be, even though they totally are, because emotions are really really difficult to untangle.
Heck half the time I have no fucking idea what I am feeling, nevermind how that might influence my perception of other people. This kind of stuff is super hard! And that doesn't even touch on people who might reflexively deny holding a grudge or reading something uncharitably due to their personal history. Because I can totally see "Oh, you're just reading this uncharitably!" as being an argument that abusers could spam to make someone feel ashamed for their emotions, just as an example for why people might dislike that particular argument. I am not sure this is happening, or and I am fairly positive that if it is, it's likely not the only thing, but it would make sense as to why some people react really really badly to that line of argumentation.
Thank you a lot for this.
Not involved in the drama at all, but I love @Xitaqa s idea of sub accounts. People are (understandably) wary of mods/people in power being anything but clear headed and responsible at all times, but that level of care in every communication sounds stressful as heck.
Random, tangentially related observation:
I've always thought it was interesting that people seem to equate "I trust x person" with "I trust x person to make decisions I always agree with". Like, to me, if a person consistently makes decisions in a way I can predict, I trust that person a heck of a lot more than one who could go in a couple directions on a thing (even if the only difference is "person 2 is occasionally much nicer than usual").
(please note I haven't slept in a while, fingers crossed that this reads coherently!)
I'm worried about accountability with a shared mod account.
How so, AV?
A nameless modly janitorial account is a fun idea, but if an account is shared, then there's no way to be certain (at least with the resources I've got) who did what with it.
it looks to me like they're not doing a shared mod account. instead, it seems like each one will have an account for normal posting and an subaccount for modposting. like, seebs created @the_admin_seebs and if the other mods creates subaccounts for solely modly stuff, they will have similar names and be only used by the mod that created them.
Are you me? There's a bunch of people around who I've gotten mad at for reasons I barely remember, but I bided through without pressure to make nice and interact, saw good content from them that didn't rile me back up, and gotten to positively regard them.
honestly i get grudges ridiculously quickly but i tend to get over them equally quickly if im forced to interact further
I am not sure we really need that for other people. It's a big issue with me because I'm actually defining policy when I talk as Admin, and I'm just chatting when I talk as seebs. Mods are not in the same position of Dangerous Power. Also I'm not going to pick mods I think are as likely to fly off the handle as I am.
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