I made a thread about the rules, and I want to give people a place to at least talk about them.

KGIII

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Here's the thread:


Again, the rules are up for debate. But, I thought I'd start this just so people can at least complain. Complaining won't help, but you can!

None of those rules are new. They've been the rules since long before I joined. I didn't make any of the rules.

That said, I understand the reasons and agree with them completely.

But, if you want to kvetch a little - be reasonable please, I've decided to open this thread.

If things get too unruly (and they shouldn't) we may have to close said thread.
 


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KGIII

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Obviously, the other thread is locked. I made the decision to open this one. I'm optimistic!
 

f33dm3bits

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I think it would be useful if you linked to this topic for replies in the locked topic in Site Announcements. Just one question, ever since I have been active on this site I have seen several times where moderators had to intervene. How come some people get warnings first and others accounts are terminated/banned immediately after one incident instead a warning or temporary suspension of the account?
 
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KGIII

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*puts on moderator hat*

Thanks for asking and thanks for your suggestion. I have acted on your suggestion and will attemp tto answer your questions below.

For me, it's a matter of severity and intent. I prefer a happy-go-lucky first attempt to get them to stop. I then mention that I hate doing my job. I then do my job - be it a warning or a ban.

If you don't know better or appear to just be having fun, I'll warn. (I pretty much never ban anyone.)

In fact, other than spammers, I'm not sure I've ever banned anyone?

Now, if you're deliberately causing harm and have had a few interactions with me as a mod in the past, I'm willing to ban someone.

I also prefer to lock rather than delete, but I'll delete when it's too disruptive or gross violations of the rules. I'll sometimes lock until I know they've had time to see the post and then remove it.

While we moderators and admins do interact and behave similarly, we are all different people. The policies don't change, but we may vary a bit in how we deal with them. I'm pretty patient while Wiz seems (generally) more sympathetic - which turns into patience, or at least tolerance.

There was a recent event where Wiz gave ample time hoping for a behavioral change. In that instance, I'd have probably banned them sooner than he did. The reason I did not is because he was clearly dealing with the problem and I don't interfere in another mod's activities.

I hope that makes it more clear.

Edit: Wait, no... I banned someone who kept posting messages like f-you and a bunch of other stuff.

I will not tolerate anyone abusing our helpers.
 

Brickwizard

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Edit: Wait, no... I banned someone who kept posting messages like f-you and a bunch of other stuff.
If it's the one I'm thinking of, he was only a teenager, [but that did not negate his language]
I think we all push the envelope at times unintentionally, but the post that has bought this forward, I agree, was a Blanton disregard for both the rules and the moderators decision.
 
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KGIII

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*wearing mod hat still*

To be transparent and to ensure clarity:

The last 'incident' ended when the user requested an account deletion, which was acted on by an administrator. I simply cleaned up the remaining comments that then had nothing to do with the thread's subject.

Those comments were 'deleted' but not permanently deleted. Moderators could see and recover any of those comments. As near as I can tell, that's the most comments I've ever removed - ever. I've moderated some pretty large forums in the past and on this occasion I removed 23 comments.

It did not help that some of those comments were encouraging them to post more of that type of content.

When rabble-rouses rabble-rouse, please don't be rabble and rouse with them. It is not helpful behavior.

That user was in no way banned.

To be clear, that's 'cause I was not yet online. They requested an account deletion before I got to 'em. I'd have definitely warned them (effectively a temporary ban) had I been there on time. After that, if their antics had continued it would have been a permanent ban - perhaps with an IP block (which is less effective with all the VPNs around, so I may have not bothered with that.)

Another relative point is that we're just people. We have other stuff to do besides babysitting. We're not always here, so it can take some time for issues to be resolved. We can't possibly be here at all times. But, we are mostly in different time zones and we'll get there eventually.

Instead of encouraging this type of person, in the future you could use the "Report" button, bringing it to our attention and making it a priority. That'd be pretty awesome if you did!
 

gvisoc

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I wanted to open a conversation about defining "political" in the discussion. Beyond partisan, and domestic or international politics, don't get me wrong.

To my understanding, and after having used its software, and followed the Free Software movement for a couple of decades now,... Free Software is something that sends a very strong message. By just reading the free software manifesto and the position of their founders about what is wrong and what is right (e.g.: proprietary software is evil is something that we can read there --and listen to, in talks-- almost to the letter), phrasing things as "rights", etc., it is clear to me that it is a movement that sets something very close to a political message, if not a political message plainly speaking.

Are we supposed to understand that we must limit our discussions to the pure technical aspects of the software?

I'm not disputing anything; I'm more than happy to do so. What I'm just pointing out, is that the line is quite thin in this case.
 

wizardfromoz

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Simple answers from me, while David is catching some well-earned zzz's.

Are we supposed to understand that we must limit our discussions to the pure technical aspects of the software?

Nope

What I'm just pointing out, is that the line is quite thin in this case.

Yep, depending on your perspective.

More detail.

On this subject, view free and open source software (hereafter referred to as FOSS) as being a philosophy. Think of it also as being, of itself, a philanthropic tool to make education available at all levels of society, in all nations that will permit that.

Examples of this possibly started with Ubuntu with its programs in Africa. Currently, Emmabuntus, a French Distro, also has a presence in Africa, making its product work with refurbished, low spec computers.

The applications for tools such as the Raspberry Pi to encourage programming skills from the youngest level beggar my imagination.

(e.g.: proprietary software is evil is something that we can read there --and listen to,

"Evil" raises religious connotations, so that opens another can of worms on the FOSS debate.

My perspective is to see FOSS as a philosophy that can be fun, useful, productive and available in ways other systems cannot compete with or do not choose to utilise.

I leave it at that. I hope everybody here can, too. :)

And remember that there is only one letter difference between analyse and analise (even if you are American and replace the s's with z's).

Cheers

Chris
 

Brickwizard

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(even if you are American and replace the s's with z's).
Tell me about it, it's only recently I found a decent UK English spell checker, whenever I did anything in office writer [with auto spell check on] I then had to waste time going back through everything changing the F's back to Ph and the z's back to S's
 

Brickwizard

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in the future you could use the "Report" button
I have on occasions, but, I sometimes feel I am stepping on admin's collective toes
 
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KGIII

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I wanted to open a conversation about defining "political" in the discussion.

*still wearing mod hat*

I want to add something to make it a little more clear. I, at least, recognize the difficulties involved in certain discussions with these rules.

Under no circumstances am I gonna ban or do anything formal for an innocent mistake. In fact, I'll be fairly jovial while letting you know that you're crossing a line or getting really close to it. Assuming you're not obstinate, we'll even be able to have a discussion about how to better approach the subject.
 
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KGIII

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I have on occasions, but, I sometimes feel I am stepping on admin's collective toes

We have limited time and attention. Think of it as a "Hey, you need to see this. It's a priority."

Even if I don't act on it, I still appreciate the reports. Well, some new folks will use the report button in some strange ways. One of you once reported me to me for telling them that they needed to make the question more clear. Needless to say, I did not ban myself.

We have to prioritize our time and the report feature helps us do that. You're not stepping on our toes, you're just making us aware of a potential problem.

My big concern with the latest 'incident' was that not only did nobody report it (one user pinged myself and wiz) but multiple people egged them on. That's not even a little helpful. In fact, it's none helpful. None!
 

wizardfromoz

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As Maarten said

The "Report" button is there for a reason.

We (staff) are from disparate time zones - USA x 2, UK and Australia.

When I wake up in the morning and begin the 4 coffees to help make myself something resembling human, the first thing I do is go through Alert Notifications - Approvals, Reports and Conversations.

If you are not sure whether something should constitute the subject of a Report, sure you can PM one of us, but Reporting allows all of us to see it at once if need be, and to act on it.

Don't ever think that there will be any retribution on you, associated with Reporting. We believe your intentions to be good, unless proven otherwise.

And our toes are pretty tough.

Chris
 

Nik-Ken-Bah

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[with auto spell check on]
I use it a lot me self but don't use auto spell check as I find it a pain in the derriere. But I do understand your frustrations

I personally bite my tongue on this site as there are times I could reply very political or religiously but this is not what this site is for; it is for discussing the problems associated with the Linux OS's to find solutions to those problems as well as just general talk relating to the computer world and the general banter that occurs with friends with a common interest in life. As for using wharfie language on any discussion site is not need nor required to make your point, it only degrades you.
It is all about tolerance and control of yourself. Should you be frustrated take time out -- calm yourself down. Anger only hurts you no-one else and adds to your frustration even more as Anger does not rid you of what is causing the frustration.
But should I inadvertently cross a boundary then I would not be surprised nor angered by the mods letting me know I stepped out of line and where I crossed it then I would go and rework my work or delete it since it was my Boo-Boo and i learn from it.
 
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KGIII

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wharfie language

I might have to add that to my lexicon.

But should I inadvertently cross a boundary then I would not be surprised nor angered by the mods letting me know I stepped out of line and where I crossed it then I would go and rework my work or delete it since it was my Boo-Boo and i learn from it.

Of course we would. We're even nice and polite about it. Well, I'm polite about it. I even try to be lighthearted when nudging folks away from the ban line.

For example, I know how hard it is to discuss the liberties of FOSS without discussing the politics involved.

Is it political to say, "I wish everyone knew of the freedoms Linux offers?"

Probably not.

It is political to say, "I think governments should only use FOSS!" It's even more political if you say, "My government should only use FOSS!"

Is it also political to then say, "Governments should adhere to open standards on things like websites because then the site is accessible to people with disabilities."?

Probably... I think we'd be more inclined to let that slide than if the person added "... and was free of proprietary codecs and obfuscated JavaScript. Else they should be overthrown!"

Side note: It took me way too long to remember the word 'obfuscated'.
 

MatsuShimizu

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It is political to say, "I think governments should only use FOSS!" It's even more political if you say, "My government should only use FOSS!"
How about this news? A government is involved, so it is somewhat politic.
 
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KGIII

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How about this news? A government is involved, so it is somewhat politic.

Someone actually posted that recently and it went un-removed. It's a fine and subjective line, I suppose. To me, it's generally a question of, "Is this line of discussion going to be fruitful." And, with most political content, the answer is no... No, it's not. No opinions are going to change, nobody will mature, and people will just end up with their feelings hurt/ego damaged, and double down.

So, it's okay mentioning that a government has kicked MS to the curb. Discussing it, on the other hand, can be problematic. As mentioned above, it's REALLY hard to discuss some topics - and that's okay. There are other sites to discuss those things.
 

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Hi everyone, I just jumped in to sincerely congratulate linux.org and @KGIII for the clarification of the rules in the post being discussed here. In my "other job" I've been moderating and administering a very large and active forum for over 10 years about a non-tech related hobby. Over the years, I have made many reminder posts that are uncannily similar to the recent one @KGIII made. I especially commend him for the policy on occasionally banning users for being "jerks", as well as the zero-tolerance policy against discussion of controversial topics. None of us are one-track-minded automatons, and we all have strong feelings on many topics unrelated to tech, but even so, it is so incredibly futile and unproductive to be arguing and fighting over those issues on a Linux forum or a tulip growers' forum or whatever the case may be. Moderating such fights is a thankless task that wastes huge amounts of the moderators' time, and can even result in the loss of valuable forum members that wouldn't have left or been banned if it weren't for some members crossing the boundaries into toxic and controversial topics. There's absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose with that sort of vitriol. Masochistic users that enjoy suffering through angry protracted discussions about those issues and who want to subject themselves to any number of vicious insults and slurs need look no farther than the top page of Reddit, or if you prefer more human interaction consider going out to throw eggs at your local motorcycle gang and enjoy the friendly banter that will ensue... And for all other sane individuals that simply need some friendly help or tips, look to a sensibly moderated forum like this one and do your part to maintain the peace and help the mods do the same.
 
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KGIII

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None of us are one-track-minded automatons, and we all have strong feelings on many topics unrelated to tech, but even so, it is so incredibly futile and unproductive to be arguing and fighting over those issues on a Linux forum or a tulip growers' forum or whatever the case may be.

I can't "like" this enough.

A big consideration for me would be, "Is this line of discussion going to be productive? Will it benefit anyone?" I also recognize how difficult it is to discuss some subjects within the constraints of the rules. That's by design and this just means that this isn't the site to discuss those topics.

There's absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose with that sort of vitriol.

I dislike banning and deleting, but when we have users flagrantly violating the few rules we have - getting multiple warnings in the process, it doesn't bother me at all. It bothers me even less when they request an account removal.

Obviously, we had a reason to make these two posts at this time. We didn't just post this out of thin air. It was definitely time for a reminder.

And, for the people who think we have too many rules, I'd suggest visiting the mentioned Reddit and looking at how many rules a single sub will have - on top of Reddit's rules.

As much as I may love free speech, this is not the place for that. I also suspect we ban far fewer members than those sites that allow our forbidden content. For the most part, there's a whole lot less drama.
 
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