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zbaird
PostPosted: Feb 15, 2012 - 06:25 AM
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Smiley asked a question that never got answered in a thread that was subsequently locked:
Quote:
I'm missing something. This thread leads me to believe that there is a post somewhere delimiting what is okay and what isn't other than the no insults allowed post. If so, where is it?

I think it's a very good question and deserves an explicit answer.

It seems to me like recent [implied] directives have come upon us with a little more heavy handedness than is really necessary. I certainly appreciate the desire to clean up both types of hostilities that have been mentioned, those aimed at novice forum users and those aimed at each other when certain topics come up. The first got what I thought was a pretty reasonable treatment in Cliff's "be nice" thread, and the second sort of goose stepped in without really identifying itself.

I don't expect "free speech" (whatever that is) here; it's certainly Atmel's and the moderators' call IMHO. But blanket banning of certain topic areas without even identifying them seems like an unnecessarily short sighted solution, just symptomatic rather than systemic relief. As I think has been subtly (well, not so subtly) pointed out, almost anything can be political, religious, and loaded (like a gun, yuk yuk), even BBQ.

The first, being nice to newbies and the uninitiated, is pretty easy and seems to have fairly broad agreement. We'll just need to be reminded from time to time, and hopefully both moderation and self policing can clean this up immediately.

But broad off limit topics, as has been mentioned, severely limits some of the really valuable interchanges of this odd world wide and disparate collection of geeks who come together here. I've certainly broadened my understanding of other countries, customs, language barriers, and a host of other topics since joining the forum. To me the real value here is the community, the sense of honestly trying to help each other in a myriad of ways, some of which happen to be technical. This place is like a virtual family, complete with annoying siblings and crazy relatives. I think being too heavy handed too fast in this whirlwind attempt to clean things up is going to destroy or seriously impair that community.

So why not just let things be? Leave the changes in the OT title, but drop the implied (and not so implied at times) threats that have evolved. The moderators aren't helpless - they can step in and stop things that are escalating far sooner than they have in the past. I've usually really appreciated the hands-off approach they've taken, although at times I've wished for a bit more aggressive policing.

And I do appreciate all the hard work of the moderators. They're an exceptionally fine bunch of people doing a totally thankless job. Almost thankless, anyway. Here's one "thanks" - put it in the book. ["Thank You Mask Man" - Lenny Bruce 1968. Google it]

Anyway, my two cents. The manager's summary: be explicit in your expectations, don't be so draconian, and encourage cooperative self policing, not a rigid dictatorship.

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Last edited by zbaird on Feb 15, 2012 - 06:41 AM; edited 1 time in total
 
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meslomp
PostPosted: Feb 15, 2012 - 06:41 AM
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Chuck,

I have not seen a post like that.

Quote:
And I do appreciate all the hard work of the moderators. They're an exceptionally fine bunch of people doing a totally thankless job. Almost, anyway. Here's one "thanks" - put it in the book. ["Thank You Mask Man" - Lenny Bruce. Google it]

I agree, so my signature can be added to that. ( make a new topic? : "everybody who wants to thank the moderators say thanks here:" )

I also think that sometimes the moderators could have intervened a bit sooner, but on the other hand. I used to work with americans and britains, and although they more or less speak the same language even there I have seen small interpretation differences explode inside a discussion, so I can imagine that it is hard for moderators to decide when to intervene and when to let the discussion go. Thus not even mentioning a chineese member that uses google translate to get his or her posts translated into english. (for instance our famous indonesian expert Jackson) Getting totally mis understood by everybody and thus feels offended and we indicating his posts being offending and reacting as such.

Just thinking perhaps it is time for a board called "school projects" there students can put their questions on their school projects then if people are totally not interested they can leave that board alone and if people want to help they can help there.

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js
PostPosted: Feb 15, 2012 - 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Smiley asked a question that never got answered in a thread that was subsequently locked:
Chuck as you can see from the last post on that thread the decision to lock the thread was put to the vote by me, voted by me, and as I was in the majority the thread was locked. Very democratic I must say. Evil or Very Mad

As with many other threads it just drifts off into the sunset, 4 pages for a question which was answered correctly in the first reply and a little more added in the next few replies, the rest adds nothing to the OP but it started to go into the usual nothingness and some people start to take offence to something someone says at it may go against their religious\political\electronics\programming beliefs.

As to where the "rules" are written there isn't much more that the post Cliff made about being nice to each other, age of aquarius I believe or something like that. The moderators had some "robust" discussion about our roles, at the end of the day we don't have hard and fast rules on the subject, so we have to use our "gut feel" (I have a largish gut) as to whether the thread continues or ends.

It is possible to get it wrong, not by me of course....if anyone wants a thread reopened they can ask the moderator(s) to reopen it, we know where you live anyway. Laughing

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clawson
PostPosted: Feb 15, 2012 - 09:41 AM
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Quote:

But broad off limit topics, as has been mentioned, severely limits some of the really valuable interchanges of this odd world wide and disparate collection of geeks who come together here

The point is that if you want to argue politics, religion, gun control (which I guess may actually just be a branch of politics) then there are any number of sites on the net to do this.

Eric had an interesting point. With something like Arduinos attracting (hopefully) young lads (and lasses?) to get interested in programming micros, if they visited a web site seemingly dedicated to micro programming would you be happy for your 12 year old son or daughter to see some of the language and (supposedly) adult behaviour exhibited here from time to time? The aim therefore is to remove anything that might lead to such behaviour/language so they don't have to.

Don't forget that this board is owned/run by someone and that someone can say what they will and will not tolerate being discussed. As I say there are plenty of other discussion boards for those who don't like this.
Quote:

I've certainly broadened my understanding of other countries, customs, language barriers, and a host of other topics since joining the forum.

And long may that continue - but it's not the case that learning about other cultures only comes from having polarised arguments about their politics or religion.

Anyway since this change of tack there simply has not been any thread created about a contentious religious or political issue (like where Obama was born or whatever) so the whole thing would appear to be self-policing anyway. Similarly since the sticky announcement in AVR Freaks I personally have only deleted 3 posts which added nothing to the topic of discussion (and PMd the authors to say it was deleted and to point them to that sticky announcement as I guess their only crime was they hadn't spotted it), so again, that aspect seems to be self policing too.

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John_A_Brown
PostPosted: Feb 15, 2012 - 11:41 AM
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Quote:
would you be happy for your 12 year old son or daughter to see some of the language and (supposedly) adult behaviour

If I had a 12 year old son or daughter, and the worst they could find was in this forum, then I suggest they haven't learnt to use the internet properly yet.
Just sayin'
 
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Someguy22
PostPosted: Feb 15, 2012 - 01:07 PM
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zbaird wrote:
Smiley asked a question that never got answered in a thread that was subsequently locked:
Quote:
I'm missing something. This thread leads me to believe that there is a post somewhere delimiting what is okay and what isn't other than the no insults allowed post. If so, where is it?

I think it's a very good question and deserves an explicit answer.

I seriously think it's a telling question posted by someone, who in the past has explicitly and freely posted vulgarities and people's personal information in this forum, someone who has openly posted that people are idiots and bitches. It is interesting to see which adults are now so concerned when people limit what they can post on a private forum. Why do people even have to ask?
 
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clawson
PostPosted: Feb 15, 2012 - 01:13 PM
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Quote:

I seriously think it's a telling question posted by someone, who in the past has explicitly and freely posted vulgarities and people's personal information in this forum, someone who has openly posted that people are idiots and bitches. It is interesting to see which adults are now so concerned when people limit what they can post on a private forum

And this post rather proves why this place needs clearing up. If people have an axe to grind then could I suggest you now bury the hatchet(*) and we all try to start with a clean sheet?

(*) though as my wife says "I know where it's buried" Wink

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Someguy22
PostPosted: Feb 15, 2012 - 01:35 PM
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clawson wrote:
Quote:

I seriously think it's a telling question posted by someone, who in the past has explicitly and freely posted vulgarities and people's personal information in this forum, someone who has openly posted that people are idiots and bitches. It is interesting to see which adults are now so concerned when people limit what they can post on a private forum

And this post rather proves why this place needs clearing up. If people have an axe to grind then could I suggest you now bury the hatchet(*) and we all try to start with a clean sheet?

(*) though as my wife says "I know where it's buried" Wink

All I try to do is tell the truth, at least when I see it. Sometimes, people don't like when you do that.
 
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clawson
PostPosted: Feb 15, 2012 - 01:42 PM
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Quote:

Sometimes, people don't like when you do that.

Including Atmel who don't want their message board polluted with personal vendettas and so on Wink

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Plons
PostPosted: Feb 15, 2012 - 02:01 PM
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....

History shows that members asking for more respect for eachother's opinion and asking to keep the thread decent, got replies like "This is the OffTopic etc.", "There is freedom of speech etc." up to "If you can't stand the heat, stay away" This shows that self-steering is not an option.
I haven't learned from threads about politics, religion etc. Mostly because I stayed away from those threads Wink The unpleasant, respectless tone being the major reason. They all end in extremes (polarized), say poofff, and leave their toxic smell behind. Making the OffTopic an unattractive place to hang out.
Something needed to be done. And yes, we had a robust discussion in the moderator forum. And willingness to understand eachother, so REALLY listening, leads to true understanding.

Every decision of a moderator is debatable: there is no clear line between acceptable and un-acceptable. So like John says: it's a gut-thing. Guidelines are helpfull (therefor the modified OffTopic forum description), for the rest it's upto (human) moderators.

It's a good thing you started this thread, Chuck.

cheers

Nard

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Torby
PostPosted: Feb 15, 2012 - 02:53 PM
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Quote:
would you be happy for your 12 year old son or daughter to see some of the language and (supposedly) adult behaviour


Sometimes those 12-year-olds are more mature

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LDEVRIES
PostPosted: Feb 15, 2012 - 09:50 PM
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Some of the recent behavior, was far from adult behavior, but was actually more typical of schoolyard behavior with which a 12 year old would be well versed.

The Forum should be largely self policing, with cases where the post are in-appropriate, an an administrator after consultation with two other administrators, could send a warning (using an anonymous account if required). Three strikes gets one week suspension of account. Further strikes gets permanent suspension of account.
This would be easy to implement/fix, unlike some of the other broken bits on this Forum. The existing fuzzie rules are bullshit!

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Plons
PostPosted: Feb 15, 2012 - 10:04 PM
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Lee wrote:
Quote:
The existing fuzzie rules are bullshit!
Why ? And do you have a suggestion for non-fuzzie rules ?

And
Quote:
The Forum should be largely self policing, with cases where the post are in-appropriate, an an administrator after consultation with two other administrators, could send a warning (using an anonymous account if required). Three strikes gets one week suspension of account. Further strikes gets permanent suspension of account.
Unworkable IMO.

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js
PostPosted: Feb 15, 2012 - 10:05 PM
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Lee (or anyone else) you are welcomed to ask Eivind to become a moderator if you have more experience than the existing moderators with this kind of thing.

My moderatorship was\is a temporary thing in order to have someone in this side of the world zapping spam while Dean was away last year. Anyone is welcome to it.

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LDEVRIES
PostPosted: Feb 15, 2012 - 10:33 PM
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@Nard
Quote:
Why ? And do you have a suggestion for non-fuzzie rules ?

The current words express "what is permitted", but gives no idea of "what is "undesirable".
There should be a clear statement of what what is undesirable and by any thing not falling under that umbrella is acceptable. Some "set theory" should apply here!

Quote:
Unworkable IMO.

Why? Wink

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cpluscon
PostPosted: Feb 15, 2012 - 10:58 PM
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IMO someone is making a mountain out of a mole hill. That someone must have too much time on his hands. I can't imagine any disadvantage to the long tradition of hands off treatment in this board's off topic forum.
 
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LDEVRIES
PostPosted: Feb 15, 2012 - 11:30 PM
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As far as I am aware there is no direct correlation between
- making mountains out of mole hills &
- having too much time on one's hand.
Paranoia, grandstanding etc. etc. all come into play.

I reckon that ATMEL have a right (nay obligation) to keep the Forum "kosher/halal" and therefore the topic is very valid for discussion.

As far as time is concerned, if your boss tell's you, you will find the time, if you are retired you make of your time what you will.

As I have mentioned before, amateur radio has had this issue for nearly 90 years and it is dealt with by avoiding certain taboo subjects & material. The rare infringements are dealt with, by short term suspensions and in a few cases total cancellation. Nothing new!
It is in fact easier with a Forum because unlike radio where what is said just disappears out into the ether, whereas on the Forum it is all stored along with IP address.

Personally, I would rather be advised that I am walking close to the edge than be forbidden never to walk near the river!

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Last edited by LDEVRIES on Feb 15, 2012 - 11:34 PM; edited 1 time in total
 
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Plons
PostPosted: Feb 15, 2012 - 11:33 PM
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@Lee: okay, I will think about that. And about my "unworkable" response: putting that procedure to work would take even more time than I spend now on the moderatorship.

@cpluscon: apparently you missed (or ignore) recent developments. For us it's not a mole hill. Quite funny that you say:
Quote:
That someone must have too much time on his hands
Au contraire.

Quote:
I can't imagine any disadvantage to the long tradition of hands off treatment in this board's off topic forum.
There are other people than you who clearly see the disadvantages. And those have decided to change course. I think you will have to find another forum to satisfy your (apparent) need for debate.

(edited)

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cpluscon
PostPosted: Feb 16, 2012 - 01:21 AM
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Quote:
apparently you missed (or ignore) recent developments
Maybe. Care to elaborate?
Quote:
There are other people than you who clearly see the disadvantages.
The cynic in me can only imagine Atmel is threatened by retribution from authorities that are painted in a bad light by some of the more colorful posters.
 
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LDEVRIES
PostPosted: Feb 16, 2012 - 01:28 AM
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Quote:
Atmel is threatened by retribution from authorities that are painted in a bad light by some of the more colorful posters.

That can be read in two or three different ways (too many ideas in one sentence & insufficient punctuation). Care to elaborate!
I think Eric's reference to the twelve year old coming across AVRFreaks, expresses his concerns. It is no different to the concern that we have in Amateur radio when a 12 year old comes accross a conversation that could be over the edge.
I don't know who the Authorities are you refer to, or what retribution means, but surely you don't mean Microchip with gunship's & hellfire missiles. Wink

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