The Flat Earth Society

The Flat Earth Society => Suggestions & Concerns => Topic started by: Roundy on September 18, 2020, 01:40:49 PM

Title: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Roundy on September 18, 2020, 01:40:49 PM
https://forum.tfes.org/index.php?topic=16926.msg220585#msg220585

RonJ was banned for harassment for making a derogatory post about Tom in AR. As I point out in the thread, this is wrong for several reasons. Tom never specifically asked him to stop abusing him, meaning the ban was unwarranted. RonJ never got a warning specifically about this offense, and the rule regarding harassment stipulates that one be given before a ban.

I understand he's a repeat offender but a 2 week ban without warning for something he said in AR is positively draconian.

#postingintheproperplace
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Pete Svarrior on September 18, 2020, 01:47:14 PM
I should clarify that the ban we're discussing is a 5-week one, not 2. This is his 5th ban in rapid succession, so the time stacked up pretty high.

I should also point out that he made his post immediately below me asking that these posts stop. He even quoted that request, so it seems reasonable to assume he read and understood it. To claim that he wasn't warned is disingenuous, in my view, and we have never previously required for warnings to take the format of a logged PM. If you feel this should change, that's worth discussing, but it shouldn't apply retroactively.

I view the AR point as moot, because the rule Ron broke applies in all boards. AR does not get special treatment with rule 2.

That's pretty much all I have to say about the matter. Over to staff.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Dr David Thork on September 18, 2020, 01:57:40 PM
I should also point out that he made his post immediately below me asking that these posts stop. To claim that he wasn't warned is disingenuous, in my view, and we have never previously required for warnings to take the format of a logged PM. If you feel this should change, that's worth discussing, but it shouldn't apply retroactively.

I view the AR point as moot, because the rule Ron broke applies in all boards. AR does not get special treatment with rule 2.

That's pretty much all I have to say about the matter. Over to staff.
Not sure why Pete keeps going on about rule 2. This was not a campaign of continued harassment towards Tom Bishop. It was a Personal Attack in AR. And of course rule one protects Ronj stipulating "The exception to this rule is in Complete Nonsense and Angry Ranting, where personal attacks are par for the course." I cannot imagine what is going through Pete's mind to give someone a 5 week ban for a post in AR.

Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Pete Svarrior on September 18, 2020, 02:00:02 PM
Not sure why Pete keeps going on about rule 2.
Because that's the rule RonJ was banned for breaking. I continue to dislike the consensus we've reached on how that rule works, but it is what's currently in place.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Dr David Thork on September 18, 2020, 02:01:43 PM
Well you can ban him for disrespecting the Queen if you like, but he didn't do that either. Just because you say he broke rule 2, doesn't mean he broke rule 2. He did not break rule 2. He's very comfortably protected by rule 1.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Pete Svarrior on September 18, 2020, 02:06:41 PM
I'm sorry to hear you feel that way. He was told that Tom is not comfortable with that behaviour, and I recently reminded him of this. He doubled down. That follows every step of rule 2. Honestly, that's all there is to it.

I also question the merit of trying to unban someone who will just come back to do more EJ crap, and who will likely get re-banned within days. It doesn't help make the forum better, and I can't help but suspect that you're just trying to make this a bit of a personal skirmish.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Dr David Thork on September 18, 2020, 02:19:08 PM
I'm sorry to hear you feel that way.
No you aren't. Why do you keep making insincere statements in serious threads? That isn't likely to increase your credibility. 

He was told that Tom is not comfortable with that behaviour,
A legal fiction that you made up ... Tom has actually had nothing to do with this whatsoever. He hasn't even commented.

and I recently reminded him of this. He doubled down. That follows every step of rule 2. Honestly, that's all there is to it.
No, it doesn't. Someone not taking you seriously because frankly you are a meme of a moderator at this point, is hardly breaking rule 2. It is an example of you losing control because you aren't respected because you act like a fool most of the time.

I also question the merit of trying to unban someone who will just come back to do more EJ crap, and who will likely get re-banned within days. It doesn't help make the forum better, and I can't help but suspect that you're just trying to make this a bit of a personal skirmish.
Because you are making up new rules, not respecting the current rules and you'll be using Tom's Law on the rest of us in no time. We want a line in the sand so that you respect the forum rules.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Pete Svarrior on September 18, 2020, 02:21:48 PM
[...] Someone not taking you seriously because frankly you are a meme of a moderator at this point, is hardly breaking rule 2. It is an example of you losing control because you aren't respected because you act like a fool most of the time.

I also question the merit of trying to unban someone who will just come back to do more EJ crap, and who will likely get re-banned within days. It doesn't help make the forum better, and I can't help but suspect that you're just trying to make this a bit of a personal skirmish.
Because you are making up new rules, not respecting the current rules and you'll be using Tom's Law on the rest of us in no time. We want a line in the sand so that you respect the forum rules.
Oh, so it is a personal skirmish. Very well. I hope that's taken into account when staff review the suggestion.

I think I've said everything that I have to say on this subject. I'll back off and let you guys work it out between yourselves, unless anything that requires my comment comes up.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Roundy on September 18, 2020, 02:22:43 PM
Thork is right about this though. You can't call a single transgression harassment, that's not what harassment is, it implies a pattern of behavior.

And Rule 2 clearly stipulates that the offender should have been asked by the person being harassed to stop. So the fact that Tom has whined about how everyone makes fun of him in the past should be moot. Unless Tom specifically asked RonJ to stop I don't see how a ban is fair per the very verbiage of the rule in question.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Dr David Thork on September 18, 2020, 02:31:26 PM
Oh, so it is a personal skirmish. Very well. I hope that's taken into account when staff review the suggestion.

I'm sure you do hope that, but hopefully they'll also take into account that you trying to assign intent to a scenario to trivialise it, is just another deflection to excuse your poor lack of judgement.

I'm rather hoping that they wonder why the hell you banned someone for 5 weeks for a personal attack in AR, when there is no PM from Tom, no moderator report from Tom, no request in the thread for a cease to hostilities from Tom and no participation from Tom in the thread at all. I'm hoping they wonder where is the request from Tom? Where is the evidence of this pattern of behaviour and why is Pete handing out 5 week bans for people making personal attacks in AR when the very first forum rule states "The exception to this rule is in Complete Nonsense and Angry Ranting, where personal attacks are par for the course".

If we are going to examine Personal Skirmish, maybe we should look at how Pete interacts with Ronj and uses his forum privileges on someone he actively dislikes?
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Pete Svarrior on September 18, 2020, 02:38:38 PM
Thork is right about this though. You can't call a single transgression harassment, that's not what harassment is, it implies a pattern of behavior.
It's not a single transgression, that's the crux of the issue.

We've had an entire thread harassing Tom, which specifically featured RonJ as one of the most prolific contributors. Tom asked people to stop. They didn't stop. The thread got locked, and everyone involved was told to cool it. Yeah, junker didn't slap everyone with an individual PM warning - I don't think he should need to. Nonetheless, I don't think anyone had any doubts about the situation.

Fast-forward a few months, a handful of people try to resume this behaviour. I point out that we'd agreed this would stop. Most people stop. RonJ immediately chooses to double down. How many more times should we have to ask him before we can conclude that he was blatantly not interested in behaving?

And Rule 2 clearly stipulates that the offender should have been asked by the person being harassed to stop. So the fact that Tom has whined about how everyone makes fun of him in the past should be moot. Unless Tom specifically asked RonJ to stop I don't see how a ban is fair per the very verbiage of the rule in question.
The consensus we reached previously is that the rule can be applied to groups of people, and they were all asked to stop before. I didn't want to immediately start throwing bans around, which is why I repeated the request for people to stop, and only acted when RonJ openly chose to test me. The exact letter of the rule is important, but it is not the be-all-end-all - the spirit of the rule in this case is to prefer hate mobs like the original Tom thread from forming again. Ron was perfectly aware of the fact that Tom doesn't wish to be harassed in this form (he was informed of that before, and reminded moments before he chose to lash out) - that should be all that matters here.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Roundy on September 18, 2020, 03:12:02 PM
Ok. Well I disagree. If you feel the rule in question doesn't accurately reflect how it's carried out, you should change the wording of the rule. The rule as it's written clearly states when behavior is considered harassment, and it isn't what you've laid out here. Change the wording of the rule to reflect how you implement it if that's the issue.

I maintain that unless RonJ was specifically asked by Tom to stop abusing him and he continued to do so anyway, the ban is unjust.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Pete Svarrior on September 18, 2020, 03:14:51 PM
Ok. Well I disagree. If you feel the rule in question doesn't accurately reflect how it's carried out, you should change the wording of the rule. The rule as it's written clearly states when behavior is considered harassment, and it isn't what you've laid out here. Change the wording of the rule to reflect how you implement it if that's the issue.
I appreciate that point. I don't think it currently doesn't accurately reflect it, but you clearly disagree, and the rules should be as clear to all as possible. In the case that the ban is upheld, I'd be curious if you could make specific suggestions to change the phrasing. I will also try to come up with some suggestions of my own.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Dr David Thork on September 18, 2020, 03:18:35 PM
Why does anything need to change? Why can't you just admit when you are wrong? You could have done this yesterday before this even left AR and it would all be over. But no. You want to dig your heels in and make a huge drama out of it. Maybe the rules need rewriting, maybe AR needs destroying, maybe Ronj should go into purgatory ... you are prepared to entertain literally any suggestion, other than the common consensus that you got this one wrong. 🙄
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Rushy on September 18, 2020, 06:52:46 PM
Why can't you just admit when you are wrong?

Why don't you tell us, considering your copious experience on the subject of denial and being wrong.

I don't see anything wrong with Pete's decision. The poster was banned for ignoring previous warnings from a mod and AR doesn't give you the freedom to harass specific users repeatedly. It's a temporary ban... the poster isn't being executed by firing squad; I've never quite understood the need for these ban-drama threads.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: xasop on September 18, 2020, 07:08:46 PM
As has been stated numerous times in the past, bans are issued for patterns of behaviour, not isolated incidents. RonJ can either demonstrate good faith by improving his behaviour, or he can continue doing what he just did and keep getting banned for it. The choice is his.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: garygreen on September 18, 2020, 07:23:26 PM
fwiw tbh imo if a mod asks you not to do something, then you probably shouldn't just immediately do that thing, even if that thing is not actually against the rules. make a post in S&C like "hey a mod told me not to do this thing but i think it's not against the rules actually." act like an adult.

or whatever just keep making mountains of molehills, i guess.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Dr David Thork on September 18, 2020, 07:25:33 PM
Well I did not see this verdict coming. 😱

Literally no one agrees with you. Not one person has posted in your defence.
Meanwhile, if anyone actually thinks I fucked up, you have every right to escalate it.
There is no point. The escalation process is broken. The moderation team do not reverse decisions.

There's no voting system or any balance to this forum. If you make a decision, all the other mods will back you no matter how dumb the decision was because they want backing when they f up, and that's it. Once a mod digs their heels in, it never gets changed.
If you will excuse me, during this moment of hyper lucidity I'm just going to the shop to put my lottery numbers on. It seems against all odds, I can predict just about anything right now. 


[/thread]
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: junker on September 18, 2020, 07:28:11 PM
Well I did not see this verdict coming. 😱

Literally no one agrees with you. Not one person has posted in your defence.
Meanwhile, if anyone actually thinks I fucked up, you have every right to escalate it.
There is no point. The escalation process is broken. The moderation team do not reverse decisions.

There's no voting system or any balance to this forum. If you make a decision, all the other mods will back you no matter how dumb the decision was because they want backing when they f up, and that's it. Once a mod digs their heels in, it never gets changed.
If you will excuse me, during this moment of hyper lucidity I'm just going to the shop to put my lottery numbers on. It seems against all odds, I can predict just about anything right now. 


[/thread]

Please refrain from posting in S&C threads if you aren't going to contribute to the discussion. Stroking your own ego can be done in your rant down in AR.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Particle Person on September 18, 2020, 07:57:19 PM
Well I did not see this verdict coming. 😱

Literally no one agrees with you. Not one person has posted in your defence.
Meanwhile, if anyone actually thinks I fucked up, you have every right to escalate it.
There is no point. The escalation process is broken. The moderation team do not reverse decisions.

There's no voting system or any balance to this forum. If you make a decision, all the other mods will back you no matter how dumb the decision was because they want backing when they f up, and that's it. Once a mod digs their heels in, it never gets changed.
If you will excuse me, during this moment of hyper lucidity I'm just going to the shop to put my lottery numbers on. It seems against all odds, I can predict just about anything right now. 


[/thread]

Thork, nobody is going to be impressed by your ability to predict that people will disagree with you when you pretty much only ever act disagreeable. RonJ is not worth all of this trouble, frankly I'm kind of surprised he hasn't been permabanned yet. He's being afforded a lot of leeway.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Dr David Thork on September 18, 2020, 08:19:55 PM
Thork, nobody is going to be impressed by your ability to predict that people will disagree with you when you pretty much only ever act disagreeable. RonJ is not worth all of this trouble, frankly I'm kind of surprised he hasn't been permabanned yet. He's being afforded a lot of leeway.



I don't even know who Ronj is.

But when someone gets banned for 5 weeks for a personal attack in AR, that's not right. However, this transcends right and wrong.

The community have said 'we are not happy with this decision'. I mean read the thread. Not one forum user thought it was a fair ban. Then all the mods disagreed as one. So what we really have is a power struggle. The community want the site to be run one way, and the mods a different way. And it begs the question ... who shapes the future of The Flat Earth Society? The mods or its userbase? When the userbase demand a course of action and the mods refuse, the mods are exerting power and using it in an unpopular way.

This won't be the end of this. A simple end would have been Pete saying 2 days ago "yeah ok, maybe I had too much to drink, I had an itchy mouse finger and I blew Ronj away. I made his ban one day, he served that ... lets move on". That's the simple smart way to have dealt with it. No one else would have a dog in the race. But now it's the mods vs the users in a battle of will as to who this site is for. And that's a blister that will get popped another day.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: garygreen on September 18, 2020, 08:29:42 PM
The community have said 'we are not happy with this decision'. I mean read the thread. Not one forum user thought it was a fair ban.

your sample is biased. it disproportionately draws from users who are a) upset about the decision, and b) upset enough to post about it. it absolutely does not represent "the community."

most users — like myself — don't give a shit either way. i think it's a fair ban, i just don't care enough to add anything to that thread. assuming that i must agree with your position because i am silent is silly.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Roundy on September 18, 2020, 08:46:17 PM
I really wasn't upset about it, I would just prefer if the rules were applied equally and fairly. I don't think they were here. I'm sorry, but the letter of the law is important, it's why they tend to be so exacting. If a rule specifically says something must happen for it to be broken, you shouldn't ban someone if that thing didn't happen.

Tom never asked RonJ to stop being mean to him. So if you want to apply it that broadly take out the part that says a complaint must be made by the person harassed to the offended party, and make it clear that a mod can define harassment however he wishes. It's still draconian but at least you'd be making the way you seem to be implementing the rule clearer.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Dr David Thork on September 18, 2020, 08:49:06 PM
So if you want to apply it that broadly take out the part that says a complaint must be made by the person harassed to the offended party, and make it clear that a mod can define harassment however he wishes. It's still draconian but at least you'd be making the way you implement the rule clearer.
Why do they get to decide how the rules are interpreted? Again, is this site run for the pleasure of its mods ... or its userbase? How do the people who use the site wish to be moderated? We made that clear already. We don't want to be banned for 5 weeks for taking a pop at Tom Bishop in AR.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Roundy on September 18, 2020, 08:53:17 PM
So if you want to apply it that broadly take out the part that says a complaint must be made by the person harassed to the offended party, and make it clear that a mod can define harassment however he wishes. It's still draconian but at least you'd be making the way you implement the rule clearer.
Why do they get to decide how the rules are interpreted? Again, is this site run for the pleasure of its mods ... or its userbase? How do the people who use the site wish to be moderated? We made that clear already. We don't want to be banned for 5 weeks for taking a pop at Tom Bishop in AR.

What are you gonna do, Thork, go on strike?  ::)
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: AllAroundTheWorld on September 18, 2020, 10:05:01 PM
We've had an entire thread harassing Tom, which specifically featured RonJ as one of the most prolific contributors.

Right, hang on. You’re talking about the thread about things Tom doesn’t understand, right?
So I had a look through it just now and RonJ was indeed posting in it plenty in its first couple of pages. After that, not so much.
His last post in the thread that I could see (unless he has an alt?) was on page 10, his post was in May 2019. Tom’s post about how we were all being meanies wasn’t till May 2020. Not long after that, and after a few more posts, none by RonJ, the thread got locked.

So using that thread as part of a basis for banning RonJ is pretty spurious.

If you feel there’s been a more recent pattern of behaviour from him then you may be on to something but Tom’s complaint about the thread came a year after RonJ’s last post in the thread (again, unless he was posting with a different account), so you can’t sensibly claim Tom’s complaint about how horrid we all were included RonJ.

So yeah, RonJ broke Rule 1 which doesn’t apply in AR, so a ban was unwarranted.

All that said, I do buy the argument that he’d probably have got banned for something else soon anyway so is he really worth defending. But we are getting a bit “Minority Report” if we are going to ban someone for something they’re probably going to do.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Rushy on September 19, 2020, 01:56:55 AM
I really wasn't upset about it, I would just prefer if the rules were applied equally and fairly. I don't think they were here. I'm sorry, but the letter of the law is important, it's why they tend to be so exacting. If a rule specifically says something must happen for it to be broken, you shouldn't ban someone if that thing didn't happen.

Tom never asked RonJ to stop being mean to him. So if you want to apply it that broadly take out the part that says a complaint must be made by the person harassed to the offended party, and make it clear that a mod can define harassment however he wishes. It's still draconian but at least you'd be making the way you seem to be implementing the rule clearer.

The rules aren't, and shouldn't be, read like they're legal rights in a court of law.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Dr David Thork on September 19, 2020, 07:31:18 AM
The rules aren't, and shouldn't be, read like they're legal rights in a court of law.
Interesting. How should they be read?
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Rama Set on September 19, 2020, 12:08:59 PM
The rules aren't, and shouldn't be, read like they're legal rights in a court of law.
Interesting. How should they be read?

Like they are rules on an Internet forum moderated by the finest minds of this subnet.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Rushy on September 19, 2020, 01:51:14 PM
The rules aren't, and shouldn't be, read like they're legal rights in a court of law.
Interesting. How should they be read?

As typical guidelines for behavior subject to the interpretation of moderators and admins. Just because something isn't mentioned expressly in the rules doesn't mean it can't happen, likewise, just because strict wording of the rules might protect certain behavior doesn't mean a moderator can't just remove bad actors anyway. Ultimately this is a totalitarian dictatorship and we mods are police that are mad with power.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Dr David Thork on September 19, 2020, 03:59:02 PM
In other words, despite moderators frequently asking users to familiarise themselves with the rules, that's actually a waste of time because they interpret, or one might say make them up on the fly, as they feel like on any given day. In fact, there isn't even any point in the rules because

something isn't mentioned expressly in the rules doesn't mean it can't happen, likewise, just because strict wording of the rules might protect certain behavior doesn't mean a moderator can't just remove bad actors anyway.

so rules are added and ignored by whoever feels like being a dick to the other users on the site. So this begs a new question ... if there aren't any rules ... why do we have mods? We'd be better off without you.


Now, I'd like to direct you to item 4 of the manifesto
Quote from: manifesto item 4
In all decisions, you shall defer to the rules as written rather than relying on your personal judgment.

Which is the exact opposite of
As typical guidelines for behavior subject to the interpretation of moderators and admins.

So you are supposed to use the rules and not your god awful personal judgement. And if you don't like that, please have a read of item 2 of the manifesto.
Quote from: manifesto item 2
At any time, you may revoke your agreement to this or any other version of the manifesto by resigning your position on the forum.

Follow the rules or resign. You can choose.  >:(


Now we know you are supposed to use the rules, back to Ronj ....
As has been stated numerous times in the past, bans are issued for patterns of behaviour, not isolated incidents. RonJ can either demonstrate good faith by improving his behaviour, or he can continue doing what he just did and keep getting banned for it. The choice is his.

Which is the exact opposite of
Quote from: manifesto item 5
You shall apply the same rules equivalently to all members on the forum, without invoking your personal opinion of a member, their posting history or any factor other than the rules and their behaviour in the situation at hand.


Unban Ronj. Your justifications have all been in contradiction to the manifesto which was put in place to prevent the mod team terrorising the user base via
a totalitarian dictatorship and we mods are police that are mad with power.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Pete Svarrior on September 19, 2020, 04:26:36 PM
Now, I'd like to direct you to item 4 of the manifesto
Quote from: manifesto item 4
In all decisions, you shall defer to the rules as written rather than relying on your personal judgment.
You might want continue reading.

Thork, last night you openly admitted that this is nothing but another one of your trolling stunts. Deleting the post doesn't change that. Please take a break to clean up your underwear and come back when you're done dealing with whatever personal crap sent you on this mission.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Dr David Thork on September 19, 2020, 04:29:06 PM
Fix the mess you made with Ronj. You gave him a 5 week ban because you and the mod team don't respect the rules of the forum or the manifesto.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Pete Svarrior on September 19, 2020, 04:30:14 PM
I'm sorry to hear you feel that way. Of course, I know you actually don't. How you actually feel is something you already described for all of us.

Now, please stop trolling S&C.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Dr David Thork on September 19, 2020, 04:33:06 PM
Stop derailing the thread with your nonsense about trolling. Deal with the subject matter. Your application of rule 2 when a user was well within their rights subject to rule 1. We've already established that the rules are more important that your useless personal judgement. That's why we have rules. Rules first, judgement second. Rules FIRST.
Title: Re: #justiceforRonJ
Post by: Pete Svarrior on September 19, 2020, 04:36:31 PM
Deal with the subject matter.
The subject matter has been dealt with. Every member of staff reviewed the issue individually, and the agreement reached was that the rules were executed properly, within a reasonable use of moderator discretion. You are perfectly entitled to dislike this, but ultimately, the site is run by its owners, not by you.

You claim to represent "the community" - I'll defer you to garygreen's comment in this thread. You represent nobody but yourself, and nobody is buying your holier-than-thou attitude. Roundy has made some interesting points about the letter vs. spirit of the rules, and I'll see if we can tighten the phrasing in some occasions. In the meantime, your "do as I say or else I'll keep shitting all over the forum" attitude has run its course.

You made yourself perfectly clear yesterday. You don't give a damn about this site or its users. What you care about is starting trouble and "winning", even if it comes at the cost of wrecking the place. We are not going to waste any more time on you or your concern-trolling.

Thread locked.