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Troublesome Rules
misha tia
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Post: #1
Troublesome Rules
I’m opening this topic to reroute from a topic I have inadvertently highjacked. I’m posting here (Feedback) because of the basic reasons I started the diversion on the other topic, which are two fold.

The first is my primary concern. As most of the long-term members have notice in the first few months here was an increase in rule breaking (since this seemed to have been one of the roots of an explosive situation that has since cool). Fortunately, the trend has plateau out. However punishment and repercussions for misdemeanors seem infrequent. I realized that at times the administrators and moderators have been over whelmed by these infractions, and being not only a human but small staff there are limits to what can be done. Yet we are now in a calm and relaxed period (which I would like to see continue), and with the drop in rule breaking there also seems to be less enforcement. Also mod.’s and admin.’s, who are supposed to be the example, are some of the one breaking rule. Please try not to see that statement of incompetents or anything else so harsh. For the most part, they have been driven, caring leaders. But as I have said they are human and mistakes will be made. I say this in hopes to point out an area for improvement. I feel that with repercussions and more focused leaders that the members (and board in whole) will be come more conscience of their activities. For my part I intend to not just be more conscience but help point out things that I feel are infractions and the reasons why. If I get out of line I expected to be corrected assuming I have not already caught myself.

In a way, that brings me to the second concern, the ambiguity of the rules. My interpretation will vary from someone else’s. I would love to here other interpretations and perhaps addendums be added for future clarity. I realize this will not be an easy thing to do but I felt at a fairly board friendly period like this was going to be the best time for it.

My hope for this topic this that it can be productive. Also do not intend to victimize anyone, but for that their post can be used as example to achieve better understanding and compliance.

With all that said, I show the example that got this started. Archer was in one way targeted. She just happened to be someone I recent said something about the complaint I start with to. Conveniently, I believe she is someone that can had get this kind of attention and defend herself well. (There are some posts left out but they seemed irrelevant to this point. To read the entire discussion please see <!-- l --><a class="postlink-local" href="http://otherkinphenomena.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=528&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=10">viewtopic.php?f=25&t=528&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=10</a><!-- l -->)
Archer Wrote:New York is teh pwn.
misha tia Wrote:Archer please refrain for using abbreviations.
Deros Wrote:That wasn't abbreviations. "Teh pwn" is game-speak, or as I like to call it: "idiot". (honestly, it's a lot easier to type "New York owns"; be lazy like a gamer should be and spare your typing energy)

^Not specifically directed at Archer, btw
^That wasn't abbr. either. Acronym
^That was abbreviated
Archer Wrote:
misha tia Wrote:
Archer Wrote:New York is teh pwn.
Archer please refrain for using abbreviations.

1) No.

2) I love it when completely random people hit me with non sequiteurs!
misha tia Wrote:The rules.
kahoku Wrote:Rules

2. Language shall remain professional at all times, excessive vulgarities or slang which will include slurs and chat language is prohibited. We are a PG/PG13 board.
As an administrator you should know better.
momo Wrote:That refers to 'excessive' language, like chatspeak in every one of your posts or profanity in every sentence. The very occasional bit we let slip, because the user isn't doing it all of the time.
Archer Wrote:
misha tia Wrote:The rules.
kahoku Wrote:Rules

2. Language shall remain professional at all times, excessive vulgarities or slang which will include slurs and chat language is prohibited. We are a PG/PG13 board.

How is "teh pwn", which is closest to slang (not chat language any more, as it is part of the verbalisations of the educated middle classes in real life (easily shown by a look through some modern corpora if you want to check it out)) out of the above, excessive?

Quote:As an administrator you should know better.

I'm a moderator, but thanks anyway <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->

So if you’ve read this far, kudos (said sincerely) and I like you reiterate my point before responding to Archer. I believe more enforcement and clearer rules are needed.

Archer/Momo: The point of this rule to my understanding was created to make communication easier for the community. If you remember the last time I made this request I brought up the point of non-native speakers. I see no reason why they should not only have a window open for translating unknown words but one for chat/slang/any other shortened reference. The first window can’t be helped, but the need for the second seems inconsiderate.

Archer, sorry for mixing up your title. I’ll admit that was clearly a mistake on my part, but if mistakes have to be made at least make it flattering <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink -->.

"If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called Research." -A. Einstein
2008-05-21 22:48
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Archer
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Post: #2
Re: Troublesome Rules
misha tia Wrote:Conveniently, I believe she is someone that can had get this kind of attention and defend herself well.

Alas, I can hardly type right now but will do my best!

As I see it, there are two points re the specific "teh pwn" post.

First of all - is it acceptable? Second of all - was it raised in an acceptable manner? (There is also a wider issue regarding rules in general.)

Taking the second point first, while I believe there was no intent to annoy anyone, I do think it is inappropriate for a standard member to tell any other member "you have broken a rule, don't" in a public thread. Discussing the matter in private is appropriate, alterting a member or members of the staff team is appropriate, discussing it here as an issue to be looked at is appropriate - but IMO a member telling another member "this is against the rules, don't do it" is completely inappropriate.

This forum is "owned" by a few people who picked mods of wildly differing opinions and backgrounds to help enforce the rules. That - and discussion between us - is a far cry from one individual deciding on their own what is not acceptable behaviour. So that's the second point.

Back to the first point - is "teh pwn" even acceptable? The rule specifically states that excessive use of slang terms and chat speak is wrong. I don't see how one use of a slang term (even if it is such) can possibly be excessive. IMO (in my opinion - and IMO acceptable because IMO is as rooted in internet communication as "rofl" is) there is a massive difference between someone whose posts are full of typos, chatspeak, and lack of grammar and someone who usually posts near-perfect spelling and grammar using the term "teh pwn". Is it excessive if some idiot who can't make himself understood through all the acronyms uses it? Maybe. Is it excessive if someone with nearr-perfect grammar and spelling uses it once, for effect, in a specific context which makes perfect sense? I don't think so.

If you take the "meaning of the law" approach on the other hand, that this rule is to aid communication - I still don't think there is a problem. If a person who is not fluent in English does not understand the term, copy/pasting and asking Google will immediately yield very useful results. Unlike SMS-style abreviations, I simply do not see how use of a well known and used term as "teh pwn" would in any way harm the understanding of someone speaking a second language.

This leaves the issue of the rules themselves.

I have heard more than one person say that the OKP rules themselves are flawed or too vague. Personally I am in favour of more vague rules (IMO it lessens abuse as there are fewer, if any, loopholes) but what gets me is this . . . despite talk from people of standards falling etc, no-one actually contacts the staff to give examples. I can't speak for everyone else but I will not bite - worst I will do is make the other staff aware that a poster might be being inappropriate. Without actually letting the staff know of problems, it could be we don't notice the post or it could be we've reviewed it and discussed it and decided it was okay (or that someone has given a warning).

Saying "I don't like the rules" doesn't help. Saying "People keep breaking these" doesn't help. What would help is contacting the staff member of your choice and alerting them to a specific comment and that you have a problem with it. Every time the membership has been asked to do this, they haven't bothered. If it really is a problem for some people though, then the staff are easy to find.

Thanks for your time.

Archer

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2008-05-21 23:27
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misha tia
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Post: #3
Re: Troublesome Rules
Thank you very much for that post Archer. Unfortunately, I think you've assumed I never contacted staff, but on occasion I have with little to no effect. I will for now refrain from my request until I hear more opinion from the staff. I also hope that other member that have complaints about the rules will express their suggestions here (and no where else on the public boards) so that there can be more clarity and less fighting. *sigh* But we will see.

"If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called Research." -A. Einstein
2008-05-22 0:12
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Post: #4
Re: Troublesome Rules
misha tia Wrote:Thank you very much for that post Archer. Unfortunately, I think you've assumed I never contacted staff, but on occasion I have with little to no effect.

I can say for certain that (barring one complaint that was discussed and considered spurious) I have never received any message from any user stating "post X by user Y breaks the rules, take a look" - but I have seen posts from users saying "people break the rules, do something!" without any specificity.

Quote:I will for now refrain from my request until I hear more opinion from the staff.

Don't think they're online right now, but will contribute as soon as possible.

Quote:more clarity and less fighting. *sigh* But we will see.

Bah! Fighting is good <!-- sTongue --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- sTongue -->

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2008-05-22 0:22
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Post: #5
Re: Troublesome Rules
Misha Tia, I am going to say this as kindly as possible, but considering I've just woken up I may slip here and there. If I do, don't take it personally.

I think you are overreacting. I think you are also underestimating the administration team's efforts. We are part of a team and we have a job to do here, that job being to watch the boards for violations. I can't speak for everyone, but the majority of us do that job and do it well. When a member contacts any one moderator or administrator about violations, it is standard practice for our staff to meet and decided on appropriate action. We investigate into every claim handed to us, IF it is indeed a claim and not a cryptic message of "SOMEONE is breaking the rules, stop them!". If, as you say, "nothing is done", it is because we agreed that nothing should be done. If at any time you feel our decision is wrong, you are free to contact us and state your concerns. I am not fond of your current approach, however, which seems to be to assume that we are lazy and attempt to take matters into your own hands. Quite frankly, you are not a moderator. Going around and publicly pointing out violations is what is known as "policing" the board, and it is typically seen as very poor form. As Archer stated, if you have a problem, feel free to contact the staff member of your choice. Remember to include specific examples and state why you feel it was a violation of the rules.

Moving on, the rules. Yes, they are somewhat vague, but they are simple to understand and don't allow for many loopholes. In my opinion this is preferable to a lengthy and hard-to-understand list of rules and sub-rules which no newbie would care to read. To be honest, Misha Tia, I think you are the one who fails to understand the rules you attempt to enforce. For instance, when you cited Rule #2, you failed to take into account the language used it said rule:

Quote:2. Language shall remain professional at all times, excessive vulgarities or slang which will include slurs and chat language is prohibited. We are a PG/PG13 board.


Focus on "excessive" and "slang which will include slurs". It does not say "slang" specifically. Archer used "teh pwn", which in modern times can, for the most part, be considered slang since it has spread around the internet and has become a commonly-used term. Foreign-speaking members could easily find out the phrase's meaning by using Google or asking another member. She also used it very briefly, and no other words in her post (or any of her last 10 posts at least) were abbreviations or slang terms. Therefore, her post is hardly a violation in my opinion, and quite frankly I find this entire debate over it silly. You are making mountains out of molehills.

That's all I have to say on this.
2008-05-22 7:38
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misha tia
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Post: #6
Re: Troublesome Rules
Thank you Kayako for your post. I am more than willing to that instance, now that I've seen further explanation and see that my interpretation is in the minority and thereby not useful. But that does not wave my concerns. However I will admit that my concerns are put to rest, because I heard (off the board) other concerns and I hope this will solve those as well. I also want to apologize for saying "with little to no effect". After reading it today it makes it sound like the mod.'s and admin.'s never even discussed them. That I do not believe and hope that no one honestly believe. I should have been more specific and indicated on the public form. This was My over site, not theirs.

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2008-05-22 15:53
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Post: #7
Re: Troublesome Rules
I don't see it as a big problem, teh pwn is a small internet meme, yes it is mis-spelled and incorrect grammar, but I don't think it is that big a deal, and I think the question here got blown out of proportion by turns of events. As Archer said, there are complaints about rules yet few and far between are the people with specific examples, I thank you, Misha Tia, for coming up with a specific example that you think is in breach. I don't think it was a breach, but nonetheless it is something to think about for the future.

So to clarify, the rule does refer to excessive use of improper spelling and grammar in an intentional manner. The rules are written slightly ambiguously so as to cover a wide range and reduce the number of loopholes that can be abused.

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2008-05-22 18:42
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Post: #8
Re: Troublesome Rules
Misha has contacted me before about various times members and staff have both used some forum of slang or chat speak in their posts. Each instance (to me) seemed too miniscule to really call out and attention to since it was only one or two phrase in an entire post. So when I went over it all it didn’t seem overly excessive or get in the way of understanding the overall meaning of that post, so I let it slide.

I guess one slide followed by another soon lead to quite the pile and I apologies for not keeping up on any of them. Coming out now at least is a public reminder to be aware of such things.

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2008-05-23 9:22
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Post: #9
Re: Troublesome Rules
Terro Wrote:I don't see it as a big problem, teh pwn is a small internet meme, yes it is mis-spelled and incorrect grammar,

That would be true if it was an error of "the own", but it isn't. "Teh pwn", while it may have originated from other words, is widely used, has it's own grammatical properties different from "the own", and is in fact a perfect spelling of itself. I would suggest that "the pwn" is far mrore of a spelling error than "teh pwn" is.

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2008-05-23 10:26
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Post: #10
Re: Troublesome Rules
The way I see it...
If you report a post to the administrative team and they come to the conclusion that nothing needs to be done about the post and the poster doesn't even need to be reprimanded or warned, then no rules have been broken.
It is the administrative team's role to judge whether or not rules have been broken, we can only try and draw their attention to things that which we think might be breaking of the rules or things that go on our nerves or offend us. As such I think it's innately wrong for anyone to state that rules are being, or have been, broken unless that person is, in fact, a member of the administrative team.
If what you want is clearer rules, then that should be the point of this topic, not "people are/have been breaking the rules".

That being said, the rule has the word "excessive" in it for a reason, because people aren't infallible and sometimes will use a slang term for emphasis. Even Archer, who's an admin and as such is able to say whether or not the use of a single slang term a month is excessive.

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2008-05-23 17:04
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