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paul wheaton
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We have a feature where instead of deleting a post, we have the ability to put it on probation.  The post is removed from public view and the author is given an opportunity to mend it.  The changes will be reviewed by staff and then it will be either published or deleted. 

This thread is for discussion of this feature.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Probation is for sound and worthwhile posts that have just a bit of something about them that a moderator feels doesn't meet the publishing standards.

Posts often get put on probation because they start out by saying something like "I disagree with XYZ because _______". That statement implies that someone else is less than perfect, and it invites a confrontation. Then the post continues with a discussion about the issues at hand. So the body of the post would often meet the publishing standards just fine, if it weren't for the introduction.

The other type of posts that I see getting put on probation are posts that are stating "The Truth". Quoting a scientific paper or an authority figure is a great way to get a post put on probation. Approaching a topic with evangelical zeal is another...

For example, saying "Science has definitely proven that meat causes cancer, diabetes, and heart disease!", would get a post put on probation, because it is telling "The Truth", However, the following statement would sail through moderation.  "I don't eat meat because I worry that it might cause cancer, diabetes, and heart disease". The first statement is "telling the truth". The second statement is describing someone's emotions. A person's emotions are always valid.

The publishing standards on permies are the result of years of refining a philosophy about operating on-line forums. be nice, write humble, and have a real sounding name, and a post that's on topic will rarely get put on probation. If the moderators ask you to change something, there isn't much point in arguing, or trying sneaky things to get around moderation. Permies is a private publication that invites contributions from guest authors that write in a manner that complies with the publishing standards.. Things that don't meet the publishing standards don't get published. On-topic posts get published if they  further the goal of providing a safe place for gentle souls to talk about permaculture.
 
Su Ba
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This is a policy that fits with my lifestyle. Oh, I've had some of my own posts put on probation, but I still totally like the concept. I see it as a gentle reminder to live a respectful, non-judgmental lifestyle. Every once in a awhile I need a gentle tap on my shoulder. Thanks for doing this!
 
Tyler Ludens
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

For example, saying "Science has definitely proven that meat causes cancer, diabetes, and heart disease!", would get a post put on probation, because it is telling "The Truth", However, the following statement would sail through moderation.  "I don't eat meat because I worry that it might cause cancer, diabetes, and heart disease". The first statement is "telling the truth". The second statement is describing someone's emotions. A person's emotions are always valid.


I think these examples are very helpful.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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Just had one of my posts put on probation and I think it is a very helpful feature. 

I don't understand all of the technical stuff but the purple mooseage I received was very helpful.
 
Roberto Barioso
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I still don't understand what is there that the moderator feels it is "offensive??" to someone?
Please help
 
r ranson
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Hi Roberto, welcome to permies.com

You've stumbled on a very special corner of the internet.  The conversation here is a lot different than you will find other places, but it works well for us and we work hard to keep things nice.

Looking at your history, here are a few threads that might help you understand what we look for in a post.
how permies.com works is an overview of just about anything and everything you would ever need to know about this site.
permies.com publishing standards (I think the moderator in question recommended you start here).
Be Nice.
a safe place for gentle souls to talk about permaculture.

If you have any questions once you've had a look through these, please feel free to ask.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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To the excelent list posted by R Ranson, I'd add: Did You Just "Should" On Me?
 
Eddie Conna
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I think this is a good feature, and have even had a post of mine "on probation", which I don't mind.

BUT, It is confusing because the post was put up, then I got an email the following day from the robot saying there was an issue.. except that issue was in the original post, so I'm lost as to why the delay with the "flag".  Shouldn't it have been flagged immediately?

So I updated it, only to later get another email saying their was a NEW issue, but the new issue was something in the original post.  In essence, the "bot" missed this issue the first time it notified me.

At one point, someone wrote me a note basically saying "thanks for fixing it, but there's some other stuff that would be good to fix." 

So I went back to try to fix the new issues, but couldn't find it.  I couldn't email the staff person who emailed me either... which would have been helpful.

Eventually, I tried to delete the post, but couldn't, so I reedited it basically removing everything because I thought that might just be easier....

So the process was confusing for me... not complaining, just saying.

Also, it seemed a little "word police-y" to the point of being as "PC" as possible.... which frankly, is exhausting.  Seriously.  I don't know how anyone does it but if you can, all the power to you.  Seriously.  I mean that.

Don't get me wrong, I think we should be respectful and tolerant, sensitive, and kind, etc.  But then I hear a story from a friend of mine  about how the other night was having dinner with his family at a nice restaurant and he said the words "....man hole cover..."  in the middle of a sentence, and someone at the next table over said, "....it's person hole cover now..."

I mean, seriously?  "man hole cover" is offensive because it's gender specific, so we now have to call it a "person hole cover"  This the stuff why i wanted to get away from people and homestead in the first place!!!

I mean, where does it go?  Do we change "Lady fingers" (you know, those tasty little cookies) to "person fingers"? 

Where does it end   Does anyone else feel this way?  Or is it just me?   

  




 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Human beings are reading the posts here on the forum, and deciding whether or not they meet the publishing standards of the forum. If someone gets a request asking that a post be edited, it was initiated by a human being, and often after collaborative discussion and consensus by a team of moderators.

Some web forums are free-for-all where anyone can post anything at any time, and they don't get moderated. Some web forums screen every post before publication. This forum is more nuanced. We have bots that moderate posts. We have a feedback system that allows readers to "report posts". We have active moderators that review posts. Some posts might appear nice at first publication, but they end up generating so much turmoil that the moderators take a second look at a thread, a post, an author, or a subject, and ask, "Why are things going to hell with this thread?"

Putting a post on probation is an attempt by staff to save a post or a thread. It's much easier to delete posts than it is to ask that something be modified. It's much easier to blow-off a user and delete their account than it is to try to inform them about the publishing standards here. So if someone is getting a "probation" notice from staff, it's because we value the person's contribution and think that it's worth the effort to have them become long-term contributing members of the forum.

Some ways of saying things inherently invite conflict. For example saying, "Every snowflake has 6 sides.", invites all sorts of contrary comments about other arrangements of snowflake geometry. Saying, "I saw a six sided snowflake." doesn't create the opportunity for conflict. Writing in absolutist terms: ALWAYS, NEVER, NOBODY, ALL, EVERY, etc often gets posts deleted or put on probation. They seem like fighting words that don't fit with the philosophy of this site.

This site is intended to be a safe place for gentle souls to discuss permaculture.
 
Eddie Conna
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Joseph, I get what your'e saying, and agree with, well, all of it in some ways...

The free for all sites, well, suck.

And I understood how posts get "flagged" i was confused by the "bot" because it seemed.. slow?  I thought that type of stuff was instantaneous, not away later.  That's what confused me there.

I see what your'e saying about posts that seem to invite conflict...  the funny thing is, when I see posts written that way, I simply assume the writer is voicing their opinion, and not necessarily "looking" for a fight.  Then again, I don't really "get" the entire purpose of "trolling" either when someone explained it to me.  Seems like a stupid waste of time.  I guess I'm saying I try to give someone the "benefit of doubt" when I see something that can be taken two ways, one negative, and one positive.  I think I've found that often times, if you give people the benefit, it turns out they didn't let you down. 
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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It seems to me, that many people acquired their "gentle" natures by surviving abusive relationships in which the ALWAYS/NEVER dynamic is common. So perhaps the people on this forum are more sensitive to the implications of using words like that.
 
David Livingston
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Robert
It is obvious to me that you have not understood those posts you where asked to read
Whilst you say " There is a difference between conflict and debate, and provoking conversation and debating I perceive as something very positive so we may iron-out each other's misperceptions." That is not the position of permies site as the links provided make obvious
You then go on to say" If it is about politics, and we agree to be a-political, then I should dismiss myself in my entirety."
I think you have recognised that you are not a good fit for Permies nor is Permies a good fit for you .
Thank you for your contribution I hope you can find somewhere more suited to your political stand point ;

Good bye

David
 
r ranson
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Gir Bot is staff activated.  We bring Gir out when we think there is a post that is mostly good but has a little thing or two that don't meet publishing standards.

There is great communication between the staff and sometimes it takes a while to decide on the best course of action.  For more difficult situations, we consult a higher power (aka, Paul or Burra) who have the final say on all things permies.com.    Because this takes time, there may be a delay between when you post and when you hear from Gir.  Taking time to observe and consider the situation before acting is one of our most valuable tools, not just for moderating, but for life in general.

Because we observe, we can see patterns developing.  For example, when the days get longer in the spring, things start to grow.  When someone writes a certain phrase or particular word, argument and conflict follow. 

It's not always easy to make decisions like this and we aren't going to make decisions that make everyone happy all the time.  But that's just the point. Permies.com isn't for everyone.  It's a very special place for people who like talking about a particular thing in a particular way.  What's important to know is that we seldom find a post that is worthy of probation.  If the post doesn't meet publishing standards, most of the time it will vanish without trace or explanation.  You few, have the privilege of a second chance.
 
Mick Fisch
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Don't sweat the petty stuff.  It's Paul's site, let him run it.  If you like it, stay, if you don't go and set up your own site.

When my wife and I got married we went through an 'adjustment' period where we learned that sometimes what the other one meant by a certain phrase wasn't what it meant to us.  We had to learn each others individual language.  We also learned there were areas we had basic differences of opinion and, after probing, we left them alone, they just led to needless arguments and heartache.  That is pretty much what is happening here with the 'probation' and removing of comments.  People trying to remove 'trigger' comments to keep the peace.  While I don't always agree with everything, I'm still here, so I must not mind the occasional blocking of a statement too much.

Over the years, the 'don't talk about' issues have pretty much disappeared between my wife and I as we have grown together.  On permies.com, that intense understanding of one another isn't required and isn't going to happen. Real differences of idealogical belief exist between readers on this site, (guns, hunting, eating meat to name a few) and that's ok.  We also have dramatic differences in our experience levels and practical knowledge, also ok.  We come from different places and have taken different paths to get where we are.  Since we don't really know each other or each others history, misunderstandings are unavoidable, hence the jackbooted (joke) monitoring of comments to avoid offense.

I've had a few posts of mine put on probation.  In some cases, further examination allowed me to see something in my post that needed modification.  In others, no matter how I looked at it, I couldn't see a problem.  In those cases, I just delete the questionable post.  It's not worth worrying about.  As much as I enjoy reading and commenting on permies, it's not where I live.   I don't need everyone to understand or agree with me, just as I don't need to try to force others to agree with me.  I've generally found that folks don't thank you for correcting them, especially if it's in a 'gray area' where the correct answer can't be seen clearly.

Communication consists of both transmitting and receiving of information.  What we receive is filtered through our own perceptions and may or may not resemble what the other person means.  I am only in control of (maybe) half of any communication.  When someone objects and I can't figure out why, I just assume either I am terminally insensitive and don't realize it (which happens occasionally), or the other person is either a little hypersensitive or, (based on their own worldview) inserting something in my comments that I never intended (which also happens occasionally).  Either way, let it go, not worth worrying about.
 
Mick Fisch
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I guess my point is that we can be respectful of a persons feelings while also having a healthy, respectful discussion of opposing viewpoints.  But it seems from the posts here that isn't welcomed.  But I could be wrong about that, which is ok too.  I've been wrong many times in my life, it doesn't bother me to learn something new that changes my viewpoint on a subject.   


I agree with Tyler.  The trick seems to leave room for others to have a different opinion.  Mostly not a problem as long as you leave people a little wiggle room and don't start declaring that you have the only truth.  Every once in a while I get hit, and it sometimes seems a little random, but just don't take it personal.
 
chip sanft
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Two quick thoughts: First, if someone is on here happens to be advocating, e.g., a flat earth position, that person is presumably aware of the standard view. As such, one is not likely to change that person's mind with a rebuttal post. If that person wants to know more or get alternate views, the info is out there. Similarly, if someone wants to debate that issue, those sites are out there, too. Second, one of the things I've come to think is that trying to confront someone directly about an error or perceived error isn't the best way to create a supportive learning environment. There are many ways to offer information without calling someone else wrong, including describing one's own experiences.
 
chip sanft
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I think the discussion here is more about how the purpose of Permies, as defined by its creator and owner Paul Wheaton, isn't the place to tell people they're wrong. There are sites like that out there, if that's what your looking for. Here it's more about a supportive environment for gentle souls who may have ideas that the general public holds to be wrong or not quite right or just goofy. I think it promotes a healthy attitude about internet discussion in general, too, but that's just me.

 
Eddie Conna
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chip sanft wrote:

I think the discussion here is more about how the purpose of Permies, as defined by its creator and owner Paul Wheaton, isn't the place to tell people they're wrong. There are sites like that out there, if that's what your looking for. Here it's more about a supportive environment for gentle souls who may have ideas that the general public holds to be wrong or not quite right or just goofy. I think it promotes a healthy attitude about internet discussion in general, too, but that's just me.



Chip,

I think you missed my point.  I'm all for a supportive environment.  But there is a difference between a supportive environment and one that caters to being as soft and as correct to the point where one has to walk on eggshells and be careful about every word they post for fear that somehow, somewhere, someone might find a way to be offended by it.   I simply don't find that healthy or realistic... 

The irony here is this:

Permaculture tends to appeal to those who are "bucking the norm" or those who wish to be "different" from the status quo, yet the rules seem to create a new status quo, that frankly, isn't all that healthy.  Perhaps I'm confused by the "intent" of the rules.  Are they to foster rational discussion where people can respectfully disagree?  If so, great.  Or are they to make sure no one, ever is able to be offended by what someone else thinks... 

Look, if you want to believe the world is flat, cool.  I respect that right.  I'd disagree, and wouldn't feel the need to even debate that point... until others decide to follow that thinking...
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Casie Becker
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One of the big things that is encouraged on this site is for people to post their personal experiences. To come up after someone has shared their experience and attempt to invalidate it because your personal experience (or what you have heard of others) was very different seems very insulting. On the other hand if you come up after them and say something about your own experience or what you've heard then you open up a line of discussion. Maybe together you'll discover why the experiences are different, or maybe you'll discover that you use language differently. After all, if space is a vacuum, then where's the place to plug it in.

I think most of the people on this site have enough experience to have seen how people can warp the statistics and studies that are used to determine 'facts'. I can think of several 'facts' that influence day to day life and it's length that have been completely overturned in my lifetime. Many of them are being exposed as highly funded hoaxes. I think most of us are happy hear "this is what they think now" so that we can think about it ourselves. Don't give us the conclusion, share with us the experiences which lead to your conclusions. If they're so incontrovertibly right, everyone will follow you line of reasoning to the same conclusion anyways.

edit: I will also point out that you've spent close to twenty four hours, at this point disagreeing with the rules of a privately owned and managed internet site. There are many public arenas for debate and expounding on the 'facts of the universe' Somehow this corner of the internet does a very good job of sharing information and encouraging people in educating themselves, while still sheltering people who have been a little battered by the constant flood of changing 'facts' 
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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Here is THANK YOU for the heavily moderated Permies Forum.  It takes a LOT of work to keep this place running the way it does.

Was just visiting cycling site that has some very interesting people and conversations, however……..there are the usual people who don’t mind calling other people idiots and other names, swearing at everyone, bashing everyone else’s opinion and contradicting every single word, etc. 

I found myself thinking “I’m going to head over to Permies where I can enjoy a ‘nice’ and dignified on-line conversation. 

Thank you moderators for all you do, and thank you to other Permies members who wish to treat everyone else with dignity and respect.
 
Marisol Dunham
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I just wanted to say thank you for the discussion and the links. Both were helpful as a new member to understand better how to be a good member on the board.
 
Jeremy Franklin
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I'm coming to understand the goals here better, and will do my best to adhere to them. In that vein, I'd like to share my experience with this feature.

I'm from the east coast, and in my experience, people here are more direct in their speech patterns. I've heard people from other areas call it rude or curt, but I think it's just being more to the point and succinct.  My personal opinion is that it is more respectful of to do so.  Honestly, if I'm talking to someone that I think is an idiot, which happens from time to time, I'm not going to argue with them or try to suggest an alternate way of viewing the situation.  In my mind, it's very unlikely that they're going to listen/understand, so why waste my time?  I'm just going to smile and nod and try to find a way out of the conversation.  On the other hand, if I'm disagreeing with you and saying so to your face, it is an implicit statement that I think you are both intelligent and intellectually honest enough to enter into adult discourse on the subject.  It means, I respect you.

Conversely, passive aggressively disagreeing with me by saying "well, my experience is totally different from yours," which by its very nature curtails any further discussion on the matter, comes across as much more disrespectful than being honest and saying, "I disagree."  By saying "I disagree with you", I'm not only saying, "I disagree", but 'I respect your right to have a different opinion, and I would enjoy hashing out the differences so I can learn from your perspective."

To me, some of these publishing rules, or more specifically the particular interpretation and enforcement thereof, down to the exact phrasing people are allowed to use, feels less like forcing people to be nice, and more like forcing people to conform to talking like people from a certain area of the country/world. I lived in the Midwest for 10 years, where they speak in a manner similar to what this site seems to be espousing. I had a terrible time fitting in, and many of the people I ran into felt I was being rude or abrasive just because I talked differently than they did, despite the fact that my own feelings or opinions were anything but. It was an onerous task just to effectively translate what I meant in 10-15 words into a precise dance around what I meant without actually saying it, that took 40-50 words and a lot more conscious effort, just so I could say something perfectly innocent without someone taking offense and getting the whole conversation off track.

It was exhausting.

After 10 years there, I was just barely starting to get the knack, before we moved back to New York where I could just be myself.

This site feels very much like that experience. I wonder if instead of regulating what phrasing people used, if instead, it might be more tolerant and inclusive to just use the moderators to judge whether or not someone is attacking the person, or just engaging in healthy conversation on a topic, with someone who has a different viewpoint.  This might reach a broader audience, alienate fewer genuine discussion enthusiasts, and get our world-saving message out farther and faster.

That's how it seems to me, anyway.

 
Burra Maluca
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Jeremy Franklin wrote:I wonder if instead of regulating what phrasing people used, if instead, it might be more tolerant and inclusive to just use the moderators to judge whether or not someone is attacking the person, or just engaging in healthy conversation on a topic, with someone who has a different viewpoint.


A healthy conversation won't make another member feel as though they are being attacked or drive away too many readers, regardless of the intent.  The moderators do have to judge - we have to judge whether what was written is likely to cause offense, based on thousands of previous similar conversations.  The rules, and the moderating decisions, are built on what we've been learning over the last decade or two of experience.  It may be more tolerant to allow people to express themselves how they see fit, but it is certainly not more inclusive if it drives half the readership away.

Permies actively encourages members to share their personal experiences, no matter how different they are from each other.  If you consider that to be passive aggressive and disrespectful, that's up to you.  But that is the formula we use here to keep ideas flowing.  We do not allow debate, and encourage you to find less hostile ways to learn from other members' perspectives.
 
chip sanft
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Jeremy Franklin wrote:
Conversely, passive aggressively disagreeing with me by saying "well, my experience is totally different from yours," which by its very nature curtails any further discussion on the matter, comes across as much more disrespectful than being honest and saying, "I disagree."  By saying "I disagree with you", I'm not only saying, "I disagree", but 'I respect your right to have a different opinion, and I would enjoy hashing out the differences so I can learn from your perspective."


I see what you're saying and have some thoughts.

First, under ideal circumstances it could, I think, be possible to have a respectful discussion that included frank disagreement. But my experience on the internet suggests that such discussion is nearly impossible in a forum. The usual result is a lot of insults and negative energy. The Permies.com rules about phrasing etc. seem to me -- after a number of years -- to work very well in fostering a healthy discourse and creating a particular kind of environment.

I think Paul established this site with a particular approach and goals. A main goal of the forum is to share experience and knowledge, not to alter other people's views unless they request it. You can always share your own experience or refer to things you've read. If you thrive on helping others by pointing out how they or their thinking might be improved in your estimation, you could also concentrate on those posts where people are requesting feedback.

I would also note that if a person feels like the way this forum works isn't a good fit, there are many many other forums on the internet. I'd bet $1 that a quick search would offer a place to discuss whatever one wishes to discuss in whatever manner a person cares to.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I think  I can have had a different experience from someone else without disagreeing with their experience.  For instance, if a person said "I rode the roller coaster and it was really fun!"  I don't think it would be accurate for me to say "I disagree, I rode the roller coaster and it was really scary!"  Even if it was scary for me and fun for them, I wouldn't feel like I was disagreeing with them to say I had a different experience of the roller coaster.   If I said "I disagree" it makes it seem like I'm saying to them "No, you didn't find it fun, it was scary!"  I think people expressing their different points of view makes for more of an actual discussion and less like a debate, personally.  Everyone can have and share a different experience of something without disagreeing and saying someone else's experience is "wrong."  At least, that's how I experience conversations here.

 
Jeremy Franklin
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Guys/gals,

I'm disinclined to argue or even discuss really what my personal experience was in this instance. As I was the only one in my head to observe my own thoughts and feelings, I really am the only one with a valid opinion on that one very specific topic.  That's one of the side effects of respecting other people's rights to believe whatever they want: that you don't really accept anyone else's attempts to squash yours.

Here's how this experience happened for me.

1) I'm a good, decent person who genuinely wants to help other people be happy.

2) I read the publishing rules like a good boy.

3) I obeyed the publishing rules like a good boy.

4) I apparently disobeyed one of a separate, unwritten set of rules that's, like, a best practices sort of list on how to obey the first set of rules? This set might maybe include certain phrases that you're not allowed to use, or have to use or something. I dunno.  I'm really unclear on this part.

5) I got my hand slapped.

6) Because I am one of the gentle souls this site talks about, I am naturally going to be more timid and reluctant to take part in conversations in the future.  Given that I don't know what I did or how to avoid it in the future, my first reaction is to recede.

I think I've been on permies for 3 years now (lurking before registering) and it's taken me this long to start feeling I might be welcome to join in or have something valuable to contribute.  Now I'm feeling push back like maybe I'm not as welcome as I thought.  Maybe that's intentional.  If so - if I'm the type of person you're trying to protect your corner of the internet from, then the day is won and you've done a good job.  I guess I'm assuming it was unintentional, though, and if so, someone somewhere might appreciate knowing how it looked from my end.  I'm not trying to argue my case. I'm not trying to change policy or demand rights or anything else. If you look, my first post in this thread had a small suggestion at the end, but by volume was mostly about describing my experience with the site.  I am offering this information freely with no expectation of return. I just thought it would be useful information.

Of course this is your site. Of course you get to run it however you want, and of course I don't get a vote. Totally understand that and totally agree. My only hesitancy from just leaving it alone is that the stated purpose of the site is to create a place where all viewpoints or people are welcome, and I distinctly felt the exact opposite.  That tells me maybe my experience is maybe not how it's supposed to go, so maybe I should tell someone so they can try to fix it if they want to.

But how?

I'd like to propose a thought experiment, if you're willing.  Scenario A) Let's say the moderators are being a bit lazy (not likely, but stick with me here.  It's just a fantasy) and not being as rigorous as maybe they could be.  In this scenario, things go bad in a hurry, right? We've all been on internet sites where the assholes have taken over. Clearly a bad thing, and it becomes pretty obvious pretty quickly that there's a problem and what the cause is. 

Now consider Scenario B) On the other end of the spectrum, maybe the moderators are being too rigorous and moderating out posts that are perfectly fine and normal human dialogue.  What's the warning sign here?  The false positives might get quietly swept away, and those offended, being in the vast minority, can easily be dismissed as "bad people" and "trolls" and clearly not the type we want around here.  In fact, my guess would be that most people falsely accused wouldn't even say anything, and would just quietly go away to somewhere else. Only a few like me, who suspect it's all a misunderstanding, would probably pipe up and say, "hey, I think I might have gotten false flagged here."

My point here is that the high visibility of a problem on one side and the very low visibility of a problem on the other can create a natural bias, even with good people who are perfect in every way, and make it lean more toward over-rigorous enforcement. The only way I can think of to counteract that, is to intentionally pay very close attention to the ones who do speak up, assuming that maybe (I'm shooting from the hip here in true Paul Wheaton style for every one who speaks up there might be 10?, 20? that just quietly slip away.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I am an anomaly.  Maybe I am an outlier that can just be dismissed as insignificant. Gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette, sort of thing.  But I don't feel like an outlier.  I don't think I'm that weird, at least not in this way.  In fact, I think I see several other people in this thread who are calm, rational, respectful, but who are also saying, "Hey, I'm not sure this is working as intended."

My opinion, (or even more of a guess, really) is that the problem may lie with this second set of rules where, for example, any post that starts out with, "I agree, but..." Is automatically disrespectful of other's opinions or experiences, or some such. Words, to my way of thinking, are like buckets for meaning.  Its the meaning that's important, not the specific set of words. If I say, "In my experience, you're an asshat." Those three words at the beginning don't magically make what I said ok.  Similarly, if I say "apples are a pretty sweet fruit." The lack of saying "in my experience" doesn't in any way suggest that I'm intolerant of other viewpoints. That type of statement is generally understood to be an opinion statement. It doesn't need to be explicitly stated every time....

...In my experience.


 
Tyler Ludens
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It took me literally years to learn how to converse here at permies, and I still mess up!

 
r ranson
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There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that most users never see.  For example, your example:

Let's say the moderators are ... not being as rigorous as maybe they could be.  In this scenario, things go bad in a hurry, right ...  Clearly a bad thing, and it becomes pretty obvious pretty quickly that there's a problem and what the cause is.  


The post you're referring to was allowed to stand while staff discussed it.  It triggered other post(s) which were promptly removed.  The trouble was traced back to one post, which was fairly good but the wording confrontational.  The choice was to remove the post altogether (what we usually do) or give you a chance to edit it.  We chose the latter option.

It's your choice if you want to edit it or not. 



I got my hand slapped.


It's too bad you feel that way.
Another way to view it is as a guiding hand rather than a slap.

I've had a few of my posts put on probation and I learned a lot from the suggestions the mods had.  At first, it stung (how could they object to what I wrote?  I think it's perfectly nice.), but then I re-wrote the posts and found that their suggestions made me a better writer.  Perhaps not technically better, but it helped me write in a way that is more inclusive of people from other cultures and viewpoints.   Now that I have a look behind the scenes, I understand why Paul chooses to moderate so heavily. 
 
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