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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Banned Folks (A Question For The Forum) (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Banned Folks (A Question For The Forum)
JanitorBlade
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I've gotten enough queries that I feel this warrants a discussion. Is it necessary for there to be a mechanism whereby the board is informed when a poster is banned?

Currently people when they are ultimately banned are simply blocked from posting again, and I mention they are banned if somebody asks. Otherwise, I don't talk about it here. I recognize this basically keeps the forum in the dark until somebody starts wondering where a poster is. Not the most elegant solution, but when I consider alternatives they don't strike me as very useful. Maybe it isn't necessary to do things differently.

What do you folks think, and do you think this matter should be handled differently? Perhaps a thread where if somebody is banned, I merely add a post with the posters name would work?

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SteveRogers
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I personally think it'd lead to more controversy than anyone really wants.
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:

Currently people when they are ultimately banned are simply blocked from posting again, and I mention they are banned if somebody asks. Otherwise, I don't talk about it here.

That sounds like a great policy.

quote:
Is it necessary for there to be a mechanism whereby the board is informed when a poster is banned?

No. That's a terrible idea.

quote:
Perhaps a thread where if somebody is banned, I merely add a post with the posters name would work?
You could mail them a scarlet "B" as well. [Razz]
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SteveRogers
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I just want to point out how hard it was for me to resist the urge to make a new username called The Scarlet B and post in this thread, but I resisted it.
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Icarus
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Hey whatever happened to Baldar?
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mr_porteiro_head
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He changed his name to Noemon.
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Strider
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I'm sort've indifferent to whether anything special is done to notify the community about banned posters.

Though I did think of something that might be useful and wouldn't be that hard to do at all, though it would necessitate mucking around in the ubb backend. The idea I had was to add a little designation that you as the moderator could check off whenever someone is banned, and next to their name on any of their posts still present on the site it would display a little "banned" icon.

That way anybody reading old threads would immediately know the poster was banned, and it might even conceivably save people the effort of responding to banned posters either immediately after they're banned, or well after on the occasions that old threads are bumped.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
it would necessitate mucking around in the ubb backend.
I don't see anything requiring this realistically happening on this board.
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Strider
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Yeah, I know. It's an incredibly simple modification, but I understand why it'd be unlikely to happen.

edit - that is not a comment directed to you as moderator BB. I just know hatrack isn't the type of forum to engage in those types of modifications.

[ May 03, 2012, 08:19 PM: Message edited by: Strider ]

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T:man
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I like the way it's currently handled.

You're a great mod BB.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
I've gotten enough queries that I feel this warrants a discussion. Is it necessary for there to be a mechanism whereby the board is informed when a poster is banned?

Absolutely not. I say that not to make any sort of demand or even imply that I could, but only to indicate that I think it's definitely not necessary or even desirable.

You're one of the only people who actually knows how often the question comes up, but as for what (probably, unless there are many emails to you about this) brought this topic up now, it was entirely due to a thread started by someone lying about how much they missed Lisa, 'mourning' her absence. So it would seem the need for this knowledge isn't really out there.

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Stephan
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Leave things as they are. But if someone wants to make a Hatrack banned member wiki on the site, it could be fun.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
Currently people when they are ultimately banned are simply blocked from posting again, and I mention they are banned if somebody asks. Otherwise, I don't talk about it here.
That sounds like a great policy.

quote:
Is it necessary for there to be a mechanism whereby the board is informed when a poster is banned?

No. That's a terrible idea.

Completely agree with Porter on this.

quote:
Originally posted by Stephan:
But if someone wants to make a Hatrack banned member wiki on the site, it could be fun.

Almost as much fun as yanking out my fingernails with hot pliers!
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SteveRogers
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Almost as much fun as yanking out my fingernails with hot pliers!

Sounds like a really great Friday night. [Razz]
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Lyrhawn
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The only reason I'd suggest informing people is that it might be instructional for people to know specifically what someone did to get them tossed. Helps to set boundaries.

But honestly I don't care. People get banned so rarely that most of us always have a pretty good idea why someone would get banned when they do. If there were more people here, I'd be on board with a change.

Keep doing what you're doing BB.

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ElJay
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I actually wish there was a way to let people know, because I don't like the uncertainty of a formerly active poster just disappearing. But I can't think of a good way to do it, so... *shrug*
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by SteveRogers:
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Almost as much fun as yanking out my fingernails with hot pliers!

Sounds like a really great Friday night. [Razz]
You're no longer allowed to visit.

At least not on Fridays.

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ElJay
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Actually I guess I don't know what the difference is between saying something when it happens and saying something when people ask. I wouldn't keep a separate thread for it and bump it, but maybe put a post in the last thread they were posting in?
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SteveRogers
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Oh, rivka. You just don't want me to know that's what you do on Fridays, do you? [Big Grin]
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rivka
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Turn my fingers into bloody stumps for Shabbos?

Wrong religion, for sure.

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SteveRogers
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I'll make sure to visit on Tuesdays instead.
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Armoth
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Does anyone feel like our sweeping things under the rug makes it feel less like a community of posters?
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by SteveRogers:
I'll make sure to visit on Tuesdays instead.

I'll pencil you in, once I stop the bleeding.
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SteveRogers
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I'll bring the gauze. [Cool]
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Originally posted by Armoth:
Does anyone feel like our sweeping things under the rug makes it feel less like a community of posters?

I don't feel like we're sweeping things under the rug.

I think it's more that we're trying to avoid picking at a scab.

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Armoth
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I didn't even know there was a scab. and Lisa up and disappeared.
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SteveRogers
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I suppose some would be more aware of the scab than others depending on what threads they were frequenting around the time of the initial wounds.
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Armoth
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Which is kinda my point. Of course you don't want it announced if you already know...
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advice for robots
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I don't think people get banned lightly here. If they're banned, then there's a good chance they've irritated a significant amount of people and refuse to modify their behavior. Other posters have probably decided en masse to stop talking to them already. Unless you're an infrequent visitor here, it's pretty easy to tell when someone's gone over the edge and been banned. BB's policy of telling us if we ask is sufficient, IMO. Sounding an air horn every time it happens smacks of a less mature, more ban-happy community where bad behavior is more the norm.
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rivka
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Well said, afr.
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advice for robots
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Thanks, rivka. Of course, it would be freaking awesome if BB could announce every ban in full Hunger Games style. I might just change my mind. [Smile]
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Jeorge
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quote:
Originally posted by ElJay:
Actually I guess I don't know what the difference is between saying something when it happens and saying something when people ask. I wouldn't keep a separate thread for it and bump it, but maybe put a post in the last thread they were posting in?

I'm enough of a lurker that my opinion probably shouldn't count for much, but I thought the same thing as ElJay. I wouldn't want to have a thread for bannings (like hanging their photos on the wall of shame), but at the moment that they cross the line in a thread somewhere, I don't think it's unreasonable or inappropriate for the mod to post a comment in that thread stating that the member has been banned.
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TheHumanTarget
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I can't help but feel that I started this with my tongue in cheek request for a list of banned members in the "I Miss Lisa" thread...

To clarify; I don't think it's necessary or warranted to publish a list of banned posters.

People come and go, and their lack of involvement on the board could be attributed to any number of things, including the Almighty Ban-Hammer (blessed be thy name).

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TomDavidson
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I think all bans should be made public. I don't think a list needs to be maintained, but the decision to ban someone should absolutely be exposed.
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twinky
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I think something as simple as editing "User was banned for this post" into the relevant post would be fine. That way, the thread doesn't get bumped, but if someone wonders "what happened to X?" and goes looking, one of the most recent posts they find will indicate that X was banned.
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ElJay
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If the frequency of bannings didn't change, I don't see how telling people it happened would make the community ban-happy.

Even for people reading the thread where the kerfluffle goes down, if someone stops posting there's no way to know if they've been banned or just got fed up and left, or were hit by a truck. A simple post saying "So-and-so has been banned from posting at Hatrack" isn't sounding an airhorn or announcing it from the rooftops, it's no different than answering "S/he was banned" when someone notices they haven't been posting and asks where they are.

Not saying it definitely feels like sweeping it under the rug to me. It's like the person has broken the rules often enough and caused enough trouble, so the moderator just quietly gets rid of them. (No offense intended, BB. I know the practice has been in place since well before you took the role.)

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by twinky:
I think something as simple as editing "User was banned for this post" into the relevant post would be fine. That way, the thread doesn't get bumped, but if someone wonders "what happened to X?" and goes looking, one of the most recent posts they find will indicate that X was banned.

An interesting compromise.
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mr_porteiro_head
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It seems reasonable to me.
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AchillesHeel
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Agreed, I'm ambivalent as to whether or not we drag our banned through the streets for all to gawk rather than quietly not deal with them anymore.

Twinky's suggestion seems to be the most conservative while while still being transparent.

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Samprimary
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*busts through wall*

IT LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE DISCUSSING BANNING POLICY, WOULD YOU LIKE SOME HELP DETERMINING HOW TO PILLORY FORMER USERS IN A PUBLIC FORMAT?

In truth, I can offer a very sincere position from experience. Going with a 'silent ban' policy, where you try to go without an announcement* about someone's ban (more importantly: WHY they were banned) works until it does not.

We made a serious go of it, myself working under the very same logic I see in this thread ('we don't need the immaturity of a wall of shame,' 'its something we would rather be quiet about, it's nobody else's place to judge' etc).

You can skirt by with the low population and rarity of bans here. Assuming nothing else changes, why not, who cares, keep trying to make a go of it, you don't have to do anything at all. There is really sincerely no necessity for change at this point, nor do I think hatrack's host would provide even the barest handful of assistance you would need to keep ground rules and B&lists tacit but easily accessible to logged-in users.

But like I've said before: all it takes is a threshold of population and the resulting requisite frequency of moderator action, followed by two or three high-profile "X WAS BANNED? WTF?" brouhahas or a certain threshold of widespread ban confusion before you start realizing that the drama or 'scab picking' of ban announcements pales in comparison to the dramatics it tends to head off at the pass, in terms of providing complacency about 'moderation transparency.'

This is not that threshold, by the way. Not even close. This is nothing. No change is necessary at this time, it just might be nice and proactive.

Yet: if for whatever reason (a hypothetical flood of users and activity from the EG movie, for instance) it ever looks like hatrack's gone and crossed that threshold, this will all start to ring familiar, and you'll begin to truly understand my position, and the naivete of the scab-picking analogy will finally seem clear.

That's all.

*note: not like a literal announcement-tagged thread left to rot on the top of the forum. That is bad. Do not use those to announce a userban.

*reverses time, unbusts back out wall in a surrealist Braid-like fashion*

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advice for robots
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Hatrack, at least in my experience, has always been a place where people are given every chance by the community to settle down and become productive members even after starting out trollishly. The degree to which we've been able to self-moderate in this fashion has been the hallmark of the forum, IMO.

I don't think anyone's trying to pretend that the ban-hammer doesn't exist. But uncovering it lessens that feeling of responsibility the members might have for reaching out first and doing what they can to help someone stick around before they go off the deep end. When the ban is looming, we start hanging back more and just waiting for the mod to do something.

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SteveRogers
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Very well spoken.
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Occasional
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I just want to know how you can get banned from this place. Every time I turn around someone gets banned for something while another gets praised and protected for the same thing. Just more proof of the sorry state of this place and all those who post here.
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King of Men
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Most other forums I frequent (which tend to have software that's been updated since 2008...) will show a banned member's name in strikeout on their old posts, or list their status as "Banned Member" instead of "Member", or some such method.
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BlackBlade
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The only problem with updating a post to show a poster was banned is that they are not always banned because of something the specifically said in a post. Lisa and Malanthrop were banned based on interactions I had with them outside the board.

Still, I'm mulling around the idea of just attaching an addendum to a poster's last post if they were subsequently banned.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
I don't think anyone's trying to pretend that the ban-hammer doesn't exist. But uncovering it lessens that feeling of responsibility the members might have for reaching out first and doing what they can to help someone stick around before they go off the deep end. When the ban is looming, we start hanging back more and just waiting for the mod to do something.

Eh. Looming bans here represent a condition in which idealized community correction has fallen flat for quite a bit.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Occasional:
I just want to know how you can get banned from this place.

I've often wondered how you've managed to avoid it.
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Occasional
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Because I am not constantly here I think and therefore mostly leave the place alone. But, I am wondering if I should just try because I don't actually feel like contributing even meagerly and yet still want to communicate what I think of what Hatrack has become over the years.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Occasional:
I don't actually feel like contributing even meagerly and yet still want to communicate what I think of what Hatrack has become over the years.

Charming. Unmaking at its finest.
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ElJay
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Still, I'm mulling around the idea of just attaching an addendum to a poster's last post if they were subsequently banned.

I do like this idea, because generally when one wonders what became of a poster one of the first things you do is go see when they last posted. Bingo, question answered.
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