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StrictlyLogical

Moderator deleted posts: Policy

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Transparency would allow everyone to know what you are doing, and what you have done in the past, as a mod. By recording your actions, and publishing that record, thusly:

I'm not necessarily opposed to this. But, it would be work to implement.

 

For one, the software is not set up in a way that all moderating history could be copied at once into a publicly viewable area. Invision has gone out of its way to separate moderating activity from other forum activity. No one has time to go through every single thread and find every "hidden" post (as I mentioned earlier), for example, and turn them into "deleted" posts and move them into a newly-created, public "Trash Can" forum (or whatever). Then, a different set of "deleted" posts (left over from moderating under old versions of Invision) would need to be restored one-by-one, and also moved one-by-one into the "Trash Can" forum.

 

So, old moderated content can be considered "lost" to the public, even if we were to try to implement transparency. But, again I wonder what benefit this would give us? We have a small team of reasoned individuals who try to maintain a (sometimes vague -- again, the forum rules might need updating) set of standards. Even after striving to make all moderation publicly viewable, it will still be that same team which decides whether something stays moderated or not, using the same (or similar) methods as we use currently.

 

So, I view it as a bunch of extra time-consuming moderating tasks for virtually no benefit.

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The Objectivist position against socialism-for capitalism is explicitly and proudly a moral one. Socialism is a species of philosophy and as such within the genus of cognitive content. In other words it is mind dependent. That means that there is no socialism without socialist and that means moral agents.

How do you propose to apply the Objectivist view-argument on socialism without evaluating it morally?

 

I don't believe I quite understand what it means "to apply the Objectivist view-argument on socialism without evaluating it morally," though if this serves to clarify, I'm not saying that in the context of a discussion on socialism, it would be inappropriate to argue that socialism is irrational, is immoral, is evil.  Neither am I saying that a person should refrain from making such judgements (as was clearly stated in the first paragraph of the post to which you're responding).  We should all be judging, and you can trust that I am, and do.

 

Instead, this is what I had written, and what you had quoted:

 

If we were discussing socialism, for instance, it would not particularly matter whether I thought you a decent person or a rotter, smart or stupid, or etc. What would matter are my arguments regarding socialism, and my ability to critically evaluate the arguments that you put forward in return.

 

This is as I mean it.  If you were arguing pro-socialism, I don't need to evaluate Plasmatic as being decent or smart or otherwise in order to evaluate your arguments.  I can read what you have to say and ask myself "is this true or not?  why or why not?" regardless of whatever other conclusion I might come to about your character.

 

If I choose to respond to your arguments re: socialism, I can do so without including any particular evaluation of your character.  And for the purpose(s) of a forum such as this, I think it is better that I stick to discussing the topic at hand (e.g. socialism) than telling you what I think about you, which is off-topic at best and potentially disruptive to the kinds of reasonable and intelligent conversation this board means to foster.

 

Incidentally, you found my choice of socialism "interesting," but I don't see why you should -- it was provided as a placeholder topic that people on this board might find themselves discussing.  We could use anything else just as well.

 

 

Edit:

This sounds alot like making civility, intelligence and reason something opposite Objectivism. A theory-practice dichotomy. Could you explain more what your intend by this?

 

What I mean is that Objectivism is a philosophy, and it speaks to fundamentals in Metaphysics, Epistemology, etc.  While special sciences such as physics rely upon philosophy, there is no such thing as "Objectivist Physics," per se, and neither is there "Objectivist Art," and so on.  Similarly, there are not "Objectivist Rules for Running a Discussion Board."

 

If we mean to run a discussion board for the purpose of having intelligent and reasonable discussions on Objectivism (or any other topic), then we must seek out, test and implement the best means of doing that, just as a physicist must ascertain the best means of building a bridge or an artist must experiment with color values in order to discover what hue he needs in order to convey his intentions.  Accordingly, we must make efforts to determine the best means of achieving the ends of fostering intelligent and reasonable discussion, and I believe that I have identified "civility" as one key component, for the reasons I have given, here and elsewhere.

 

Don, what do you think of this quote as relates to your comments on fiction?

 

 

I'm at a loss to respond to this, because in the first place I'm not sure that I meant to comment on "fiction."  Instead, I related my experiences with the organization of a fiction-writing workshop -- one that is apparently successful in achieving what it means to achieve.  I think that it provides a model which is perhaps instructive for our purposes, via analogy.

 

I take it that you disagree on some point, and that this quote carries your meaning?  But without your further elaboration as to what you intend, I don't trust myself to infer it correctly.

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I'm opposed to having people regularly stating moral evaluations of other participants in our forum threads. One's evaluation of somebody's character up to this point is not relevant or productive to the kinds of philosophic discussion that this forum is for. People can come to their own moral conclusions anyway just reading the facts and one need not fear people will think one supports things just because one hasn't made outright statements saying one condemns it in a particular discussion. It can serve several logical fallacy purposes also to make such statements in threads, things to try to sabotage arguments with, which I contend are bad to leave open unnecessarily. 1) Red herring. Bringing up your moral evaluation of somebody in such discussions is counter productive in that it may derail the discussion. We could go from discussing socialism (since that example was used earlier) to 10 other topics that were discussed elsewhere already all over again when people start arguing the validity of the moral conclusion about somebody that was stated and what else that conclusion was formed upon. We may take a long time then, if ever, on resuming the socialism discussion where we left off. 2) Ad hominem/poisoning the well. Even very corrupt people can be correct at times, so it's still not helpful to get arguments potentially dismissed based on the arguer even if that arguer is definitely not a great person. 3) Guilt by association/argument from intimidation. These moral evaluations may serve as threats against the self-esteem of somebody debating or somebody reading the debate, trying to get them to capitulate out of fear rather than actually being rationally convinced and possibly keeping others from seeing how the rest of the logical trains in the discussion would have played out. Additionally, saying bad things about people tends to be counterproductive to convincing them often anyway. It gets them to see you as an adversary looking to harm them, so they throw up their defenses and become less receptive to what you have to say. Either way, getting somebody to give in to your arguments from fear or resist your arguments from fear, it's bad. It's not helping spread rationality and thusly improving lives, that's for sure.

 

Have your moral evaluations, act on them, just pick some place/context to state them where they aren't going to gum up the works like this.

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I'm not necessarily opposed to this. But, it would be work to implement.

 

For one, the software is not set up in a way that all moderating history could be copied at once into a publicly viewable area. Invision has gone out of its way to separate moderating activity from other forum activity. No one has time to go through every single thread and find every "hidden" post (as I mentioned earlier), for example, and turn them into "deleted" posts and move them into a newly-created, public "Trash Can" forum (or whatever). Then, a different set of "deleted" posts (left over from moderating under old versions of Invision) would need to be restored one-by-one, and also moved one-by-one into the "Trash Can" forum.

 

So, old moderated content can be considered "lost" to the public, even if we were to try to implement transparency. But, again I wonder what benefit this would give us? We have a small team of reasoned individuals who try to maintain a (sometimes vague -- again, the forum rules might need updating) set of standards. Even after striving to make all moderation publicly viewable, it will still be that same team which decides whether something stays moderated or not, using the same (or similar) methods as we use currently.

 

So, I view it as a bunch of extra time-consuming moderating tasks for virtually no benefit.

I never suggested you should restore old moderated content. Just a change in policy, from now on, from absolute secrecy (there is literally no record, anywhere on the forum, of anything mods ever did) to some level of transparency.

And I disagree it would be time consuming. You probably spend more time addressing complaints and questions, by baffled users, about posts disappearing without explanation, than you would by copy/pasting posts into a trash thread, and posting who you are and why you removed the post.

Edited by Nicky

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And I disagree it would be time consuming. You probably spend more time addressing complaints and questions, by baffled users, about posts disappearing without explanation, than you would by copy/pasting posts into a trash thread, and posting who you are and why you removed the post.

As was noted earlier, we spend very little time moderating users at all. Most users understand how this forum operates just fine after hanging around for a while. A few select users can't or won't, for whatever reason. I don't see the need to change the forum moderation for those users.

But again, what benefit do you see in these changes? Making the record public will not change how the forum is moderated. So, why do it? When a user is moderated, he winds up knowing why, even if it was (unintentionally) ambiguous (which is not common -- usually at minimum a message is sent).

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Since I've joined Facebook, I've become a liking son-of-a-gun. I just used up my quota of likes for this day on this intelligent thread. I appreciate the discussion by all participants, and I'd like to add one more like, which is on #28.

 

A friend and co-worker once posed a bright question to me. "Why is freedom of speech not a value and policy in a private business?" That point has stayed with me as example of differences in the status of being an employee as opposed to being a citizen. The setting and purposes of the private business and the role of the employee in it is different than the background legal system and the citizens.

 

Smaller businesses I worked in had less in the way of formal written policies than the larger businesses I worked in. That makes sense to me as a matter of efficiency for the smaller business. An extreme example would be the absolute and just-me jurisdiction I held over my philosophy journal Objectivity. Only about one-fifth of the manuscripts submitted were both initially accepted and worked into a form to be finally accepted for publication. I had put about as rules for potential authors a few guidelines by stating broadly the range of subjects right for and wrong for the journal, but further specific decisions had to emerge case by case---decisions about topic and quality of information, reasoning, and presentation---without me trying to guess in advance what all might come up and writing up advance-notice rules about it. I communicated to authors whose work was rejected why so and to authors whose draft had possibilities what possible directions for development might lead to the right sort of paper. But everything was private, and my say-so was it. I needed that efficiency to accomplish the project at all given my time constraints. The results were pretty satisfying to me and to many subscribers. One subscriber, a stranger, wrote to me: "I hope you live forever."

 

Hoping this thread-drift will be repaid by this bit of connection.

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I propose the Forum Policy include a clause about moderators, said clause including holding them to a high standard of conduct, given their prestige, their additional powers, and the perception that the fact they, by and in every action committed thereby are acting on behalf of and being associated with ObjectivismOnline itself.  i.e. their every word reflects on the standards, integrity, intelligence, of ObjectiveOnline, its community, and its owner, officers and directors.

 

I move that: heckling, badgering, and/or harassment by Moderators be forbidden based upon and in keeping with what is stated above..

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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I propose the Forum Policy include a clause about moderators

That's fine, but that's already the case. Isn't that common belief about moderators on any site, that they ought to be held to a higher standard? But it's no harm to state it in the policy page.

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