Yet Another Long-Winded But Heartfelt Monologue On Courtesy (And Timely Thread Bump)
You know, it's kind of funny.
In the Slug-Fest
forum, I experimented with relaxing the rules about personal attacks because
hey, it's Slug-Fest, right?
members rejected the idea and insisted that -- even in Slug-Fest -- the staff enforce the rules against personal attacks.
Nevertheless, when it comes to everyday discussion, personal attacks are increasingly popular these days, it seems. And with them, we get complaints.
Lots of complaints about personal attacks. We get complaints when we do something about them, and we get complaints when we don't.
'Tis a puzzlement.
As usual, I'm going to ask that we avoid personal commentary about each other, and I really do hope we can. But a request repeated too often will
tend to lose its novelty and be overlooked.
Such is human nature.
We all do it, and I'm not pointing fingers at anyone in particular -- especially since the majority of our members are, to be blunt,
courteous. Admirably so, in fact, and I'll gladly stack our membership up against anyone else's, because we rock.
Still, we ain't perfect. All board cultures have their ebbs and flows, and we all have our bad hair days, sometimes more often than others.
The staff can't change the way people think or post, nor should we be able to or want to, but we can enforce the rules against inappropriate
In fact, it is our duty to do so.
So I'll put it this way: we usually ask nicely first and try to keep the peace without hitting skittles any more than necessary, but if any member
gets hit with a warning flag "out of the blue", it isn't really "out of the blue".
It's spelled out clearly in the T&C
and there is certainly no shortage of
public reminders about ATS standards for courtesy, including this thread.
If you post any
kind of insult against any
member for any
reason (yes, even if they started it), you can be warned. And not just
once, but multiple times at the sole discretion of the staff.
You can also be post-banned and even permanently banned for just one nasty post, also at the sole discretion of the staff.
So the only way to guarantee not to suffer such woeful consequences is to avoid posting personal attacks.
For those who receive a warning and respond by complaining about some other member not receiving a warning, please be reminded that we issue warnings
at our sole discretion, and are usually aware of circumstances other members might not be aware of.
Often we'll try U2Us instead of warning flags to see if we can bring a member around without punitive action. We also consider things such as post
history, prior offenses, time on the board (new members sometimes need time to adjust to our ways), the circumstances in the thread and yes, even the
"gut instincts" of the moderator in question, because we actively encourage our mods to follow their hearts when dealing with fellow members.
If you receive a warning, please don't berate us for trying to avoid
giving out warnings to others. I don't think most members would like it
if we hit the warning skittle for every T&C
violation without exception.
We'd be doing that a lot
and there wouldn't be many of us left.
More to the point, misconduct on the part of one member does not excuse misconduct on the part of another member. If you earn a warning and receive
one, remember: you earned it.
By way of example, the next time a traffic cop pulls you over to give you a speeding ticket, try pointing out the fact that other people were speeding
but he didn't pull all of them over, too. See what that gets you.
We get "moderator ____ warned me but not ____" complaints fairly often. Such complaints are usually politely ignored, though we reserve the right to
ridicule them mercilessly behind your back.
Mods need to blow off steam too, you know.
I think we go out of our way to avoid giving warnings without, well... fair warning,
and I'm personally a big fan of cutting members as much
slack as possible in that department, because we're only human.
However, at some point being too lax about enforcing our courtesy standards becomes dereliction of duty on our part, and here's the kicker: when that
let us know.
Based on what I'm seeing in the forums lately, including the Complaints forum, you're letting us know.
So I hope I can be forgiven for posting such a long diatribe yet again to this thread, but I want you to know: we're listening.
We don't like handing out warnings, but the feedback from the community -- you -- is overwhelming.
So please, be courteous, and if you should slip up and get a warning flag under your avatar, please accept it graciously.
As always, if you think you were warned in error, don't hesitate to submit a
and let us know. We'll look into it, and if we screwed
up, we'll try to make things right. That hasn't changed and will never change.
But if you were warned for insulting another member for any
reason and you really did, don't bother.
It may be painful, but it's for our own good.
Edit: Fixed an inadvertent double title.
[edit on 3/5/2007 by Majic]