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Why Me?

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posted on Jul, 18 2009 @ 02:40 AM
So you just got dinged by a mod. Maybe it was a big quote notice, or a warning for being rude to another member, or a post was removed for being off-topic, or you've been post banned for some reason.

And somehow, with so many members breaking the rules all the time, you have been singled out.

Why you? It's not fair! Everyone else does it, so why pick on you? It's discrimination! Bias! Persecution! Harassment! Oppression! It's a conspiracy!

Umm, no.

For some reason, and I suppose it's human nature, the most common reaction we get from members who break the rules isn't polite contrition, but accusations that we've done something wrong by enforcing the terms & conditions.

Usually at the heart of the argument is the claim that because we didn't take action against Member X, we have no cause for taking action against Member Y, either.

Wrong Versus Right

The argument, though common, is fallacious, tedious and irrelevant:

1. Two wrongs don't make a right. Yes, we know other members break the rules. That's why we're doing something about it. Arguing that you should be allowed to break them because others do strongly implies you really don't care if they're actually enforced, making the argument a...

2. Red herring. When your behavior is being discussed, we're not talking about Member X, nor does anything Member X may do justify your breaking the rules. You are responsible for your own behavior. Trying to change the subject just wastes time and achieves nothing.

The truth of the matter is that no one on ATS is entitled to break the rules, including staff members. The terms and conditions are binding upon everyone who is a member, and complying with them is not optional.

Arguing that because we cannot act on every single violation we must therefore act on none of them is inherently wrong and won't excuse bad behavior, so please don't bother.

Right From Wrong

So what's the right way to respond when a mod takes action?

Well, for starters, please carefully consider whether the action is justified. Did you break the rules? If so, there's your answer. Study the rules and try not to break them, and you'll be fine.

If you're not sure you've done something wrong or think you're the victim of bias or a mistake, send a U2U (private message) and say so. The mod in question should be able to explain the reason for taking action and help you understand the problem.

If you still think the mod acted improperly, you can ask more staff members to review the matter by submitting a complaint. Sometimes mods do make mistakes, and if that turns out to be the case, the staff will seek to make things right.

However, if a mod has acted in accordance with the T&C, then he or she has not acted improperly, and there's no basis for a complaint. In other words, if you did break the rules, you don't have a leg to stand on.

Finally, if you do notice violations of the rules by other members, the right thing to do is ALERT us (it's an option in the "Member" menu located beneath each avatar) to them and help us get a handle on things.

Enforcing the rules is rarely a pleasant task, but it is absolutely necessary for the well-being of our community.

Please help us out by honoring the Terms And Conditions Of Use and understanding why we do what we do.

See Also:

Perfect solution fallacy

edit on 10/15/2011 by Majic because: (no reason given)


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