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February 19th, 2016, 12:33
Edit Myrthos: the following page and a half have been extracted from a thread in the P&R forum as it concerned a change to the moderating policies of RPGWatch.

Originally Posted by Uriziel View Post
I have thought long and hard about even responding to your post. Finally, I just had to speak up.

Myrthos as an admin etc. of the site it is your duty to remain objective and neutral. Allow debate, not take cheap shots at your users. Whether your comment was directed at me or not, it was totally out of line. As a long time member here, I am personally ashamed by your remarks.

While I would sincerely enjoy continuing a lively debate on this and other subjects, I will not participate in a biased forum.

Originally Posted by Eye View Post
Why on earth should Myrthos (try) to be objective and neutral in his words? Is this some governmental site and he a civil servant?

I'd like to add the following image that I saw earlier today, it seems quite appropriate.

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Last edited by Myrthos; February 22nd, 2016 at 17:33. Reason: Added intro text
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February 20th, 2016, 10:04
I'm always trying to explain that to various wingnuts and trolls. I never thought of trying to illustrate the point with stick man drawings, but this could be the way forward…
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February 20th, 2016, 10:32
Is being an asshole a ban-able offense?
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February 20th, 2016, 11:06
Unfortunately not, or I'd have to ban up to half the regular posters here!!!!
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February 20th, 2016, 11:11
It depends on what the asshole did/said.
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February 20th, 2016, 11:33
So it isnt because people are being an asshole but the fact that they crossed the TOS. Some forums are freer than other forums but it is the TOS that decides whether a person is banned or not. I dont know if what i say on these forums makes me an asshole thought i know i am a bit of a trolly. Like i tend to make questions or points with a bit of spice to them which gets people to respond. If that is unacceptable please say so.
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February 20th, 2016, 12:11
I doubt "trolls" get banned just for spicing up stuff, though I can't say for how much people are going to like people for doing so.

Personally, if people don't understand the fact that they are speaking with actual humans and take enjoyment in seeing others being miserable or ticked off I won't have much good to say about them.
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February 20th, 2016, 16:13
Originally Posted by Damian View Post
So it isnt because people are being an asshole but the fact that they crossed the TOS. Some forums are freer than other forums but it is the TOS that decides whether a person is banned or not. I dont know if what i say on these forums makes me an asshole thought i know i am a bit of a trolly. Like i tend to make questions or points with a bit of spice to them which gets people to respond. If that is unacceptable please say so.
Being an asshole and crossing the TOS are different things. Assholes are not missed when they are banned though.
It's not just the TOS that decides who gets banned. The law comes to mind, but also the site owner, the moderators and their whim. Getting banned for a wrong or petty reason… It isn't nice but what will you do? Sue them?

Democracy, or a discussion forum, should have rules, not to protect the strong but to protect the weak.
In a land where everything is allowed variety, diversity will suffer - soon there will be just one or two dominant colours: boring.

Interesting discussions are those where people respond to what others say and where the opponents treat each other with respect. Despite differences of opinion there is a team spirit. Interesting discussions are those that inspire to participate.

How to be a bore/asshole:
Do not react to others' replies but merely repeat your opinion - over and over again. Or: show/say (groups of) people are of lesser value (beneath you). Or: have no consideration whatsoever that others, yes real people, might be/will be hurt by your words. The attitude of 'I have the constitutional right to express my opinion so why not say whatever comes to mind whenever, wherever, and f*** the rest.'

Soon the atmosphere will become toxic.
The teamspirited people will be the first to quit. Alpha wannabees pushing down agressively and licking the bottom's top will stick around the longest. Definitely not an inspiring informative read, if you ask me.

I do not think freedom of expression is a bliss without certain limits.

The P & R & other controversies forum should and could be an interesting one.
Alas. Try to look at this forum with the eyes of new members.
I think many will think twice before posting here. Hello and goodbye. That's a loss. There you have a few blunt ones that claim to merely say what's on their mind.. at the cost of prolly more interesting ones that sense belittling, hostility or disrespect and turn their back.

Imho having a thread (or a forum for that matter) where both men and women participate is good and healthy for the atmosphere.
I think the title of this thread is demeaning towards women (not to mention part of the contents). Not very inviting to say the least.
Just spicing up' by being disrespectful? Since you brought it up: do not expect any nice label from me.
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February 20th, 2016, 18:20
I think the quandary of the P&R forum is that because the tolerance bar is set so high, the bullying and unconstructive people can run rampant. Then, one has a choice either to leave them to it and abandon the forum, or take them to task, and end up looking like their counterpart in a horrible argument.

If we wanted a better debate forum, the only way would be stiffer moderation (which is what they have at a proper debate), but that is a very unpopular idea. Failing that, P&R is just a dumping ground, to keep the nonsense off the main forum.
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February 20th, 2016, 23:18
While I tend to agree that stiffer moderation might be needed on the P&R forum, that is not site policy. I do not set site policy, I merely 'police' within its strictures. I am not allowed to ban someone for being a total AH, or for insulting various other posters, all I can do is issue warnings which I do regularly. If someone goes beyond what I am able to deal with, then I pass it along to the site admins who are able to ban.
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February 20th, 2016, 23:24
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
I think the quandary of the P&R forum is that because the tolerance bar is set so high, the bullying and unconstructive people can run rampant. Then, one has a choice either to leave them to it and abandon the forum, or take them to task, and end up looking like their counterpart in a horrible argument.

If we wanted a better debate forum, the only way would be stiffer moderation (which is what they have at a proper debate), but that is a very unpopular idea. Failing that, P&R is just a dumping ground, to keep the nonsense off the main forum.
A dumping ground, ha! , yes. Nicely put.
A debate forum… I sometimes wonder why certain people just don't start a blog of their own because they hardly seem to be interested in any kind of response, let alone debate.

Stiffer moderation, I suppose, is unpopular with the uncivilized who assume they are entitled to say anything anywhere to anyone; they obviously hate having to think about how to communicate more effectively.

But accepting P&R as a dumping ground… Does that mean that for instance Ku Klux Klan members, pickup artists, sektarians, salafists, terrorists etc. are free to advertise their opinions? Everything is fine as long as people don't personally attack another member or use strong language not suitable for work?
Take this thread. Replace the word women with blacks. Would blacks be stuck in the prehistoric age of technology if it wasn't for whites - acceptable for RPGWatch?

Tolerating people who aren't very tolerant themselves… in all sincerity: what difference is there between this site and the Codex?

Don't get me wrong, I know one might have to allow more freedom simply because one lacks the time or has few (good, intelligent and esteemed) moderators.

I am aware that in the past several people here have advocated a relaxed moderation because trolls tend to get tired of themselves when ignored and will shut up when not hunted down. 'Don't feed the troll', I fully agree.

That tactic may work against trolls, but against people who are not interested in a debate, who seem to be just interested in seeing themselves in black and white, in hearing their own voice, in getting their nasty smelly turd in the spotlight?

I am not proposing moderation should be so tight that it'll suffocate everybody but it would be nice if site policy changes so that moderators would ask participating members to stop having endless (venomous) monologues and would see to it that people do not generalize and push (groups of) people into second class. Imho women, blacks, christians, muslims, atheists, etc. should be treated with respect if one day you don't want to find yourself surrounded by people who only tolerate - or approve of - themselves.
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February 21st, 2016, 00:29
The P&R forum was never meant to be a dumping ground, it was meant to keep politics and religion discussion out of the other threads, but still endorse the debate. Because of the sometimes heated positions, the P&R forum had a policy of allowing more than in other forums of RPGWatch.

I believed that too strict moderation can kill debate and thus makes people leave. However the way we do it now makes people leave as well. I never meant for RPGWatch, or a part thereof, to be unfriendly to certain groups. Yet it has become that, especially towards women and LGBTs, but also to others.

Something has to change. RPGWatch is supposed to be a site that endorses debate and do so with respect to others, without discrimination, slander, defamation and insults.
Eye is right in what she says. Corwin is right as well in that I have set the rules, which leads us to where we are now. This will need to change. And it will do so on short notice by setting new rules for RPGWatch.
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February 21st, 2016, 00:34
Excellent news, IMO.
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February 21st, 2016, 02:13
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
I think the quandary of the P&R forum is that because the tolerance bar is set so high, the bullying and unconstructive people can run rampant. Then, one has a choice either to leave them to it and abandon the forum, or take them to task, and end up looking like their counterpart in a horrible argument.

If we wanted a better debate forum, the only way would be stiffer moderation (which is what they have at a proper debate), but that is a very unpopular idea. Failing that, P&R is just a dumping ground, to keep the nonsense off the main forum.
You can be that way too Ripper I noticed. Insults instead of arguing the topic at hand or getting baited out of the argument also seems to be common here.

And FYI i tend to push the straw man because i expect a good response from that can ignite a good debate. Most of this thread is people getting insulted or insulting other people. Next time I will try another tactic.
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February 21st, 2016, 09:26
Originally Posted by Damian View Post
You can be that way too Ripper I noticed. Insults instead of arguing the topic at hand or getting baited out of the argument also seems to be common here.
The thing is, Damian, I'm not saying I'm an angel - particularly not in the environment of the P&R forum. Since it's been the wild west, I've certainly fired a few shots of my own. And, indeed, if I'm asking for tougher rules and enforcement, I don't mind being the one told off if I've decided to have a go at someone. I think, for example, I've made a few responses at the expense of a poster, because what I've read is so fantastically stupid and obnoxious, that I don't think it deserved anything else. If I get sent to the naughty step for things like that, that's fine, but, hopefully, with tougher rules there'd be less such nonsense in the first place.

What I don't accept, is that I avoid the argument at hand by posting abuse instead - if decide to enter the debate, I don't do that, and I stick pretty rigidly to the facts and the logic of the arguments. And that's why I'm in favour of higher standards - if behavior is held to the standards of a proper debate, and only to the arguments at hand, then I'm delighted, because most of the people I find hateful can't form a cogent argument to save their lives, and would fare very badly if they were properly held to account.
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February 21st, 2016, 10:03
I apologize. I must have been thinking of someone else. I looked through a couple of pages of your posts to see i was wrong. So again I apologize.
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February 21st, 2016, 11:23
Thanks Damian.
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February 22nd, 2016, 11:32
Well, I am always worried that a change in rules would end up stopping the discussions. Several people here might have opinions which many of us consider completely unacceptable. But we also tend to forget that in most countries if you go just 10-20 years back in time their opinions are the norm, and in many countries there opinions are still the norm. By not allowing people who have those opinions to express them, we might also limit the possibility to widen their minds and learn about why people feel the way they do.

If a person is willing to have a discussion, perhaps with a few not too serious insults, and if they have a very "primitve" world view, I think that is not a problem. For example Damian posts threads with titles like these, but it usually leads to a discussion and he is willing to listen to arguments and might widen his views.
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February 22nd, 2016, 12:04
I agree that any topic should be up for debate. When I used to do debates IRL, some of the motions put forward were extremely controversial, and deliberately so. In principle, it's not the subjects that concern me, but the standards. In a proper debate, you can be told to answer the damn question, not to dissemble, and certainly not to use terms of abuse. What I would like to see is the moderator of the forum given a mandate to impose those kind of standards, to stop certain characters from trashing threads and creating a poisonous atmosphere.

The other problem we have here, is the sheer volume of one-note right-wing clickbait topics, dominated by a small group of posters. That creates an environment that is extremely unfriendly to, I would say, the great majority of members. Also, I think most of the bright members of the community just avoid it entirely, and fools like me that do enter the fray end up tarred with the same brush. I think things could be better than that.

As far as I'm concerned, it would be great if people with very different views than my own came in and argued intelligently on interesting questions. But, most of the provocative right-wing material on here is barely more than trolling, defended with bad noise.
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February 22nd, 2016, 12:16
On the one level you are right Ripper but the solution is very simple: don't reply to "one-note right-wing clickbait topics". In fact, I wonder why so many here are ready to post in those threads time and time and time again. It's pure trolling and yet so many swallow the bait over and over again!
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