case studies

We're doing it wrong...we know

Postby precipitate » Tue Feb 15, 2005 9:05 pm

> but unused it never will

I'm not sure what's been enabled here. When last I looked, very few mods
had been installed. This was mostly due to inadequate manpower to
install and test things. It was mostly a matter of, "You got time? Great!
Come do this!"

In any case, please don't assume that because a certain tool hasn't been
used that it's out of some kind of administrative negligence.
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Postby Don Muerto » Tue Feb 15, 2005 9:15 pm

It's actually a default feature of this version of phpBB, and I am making no assumptions.

However, I do think that anybody taking on the mantle of enforcer of the rules has some obligation to also investigate supposed violations of them before acting.

It's not a clear line, and it's not an easy job, but were I in the admins' shoes, I would have a desire for the truth as well as for any tools that can help excavate it.
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.
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Postby rodent » Wed Feb 16, 2005 12:30 am

Ranger Genius wrote:But that raving lunatic shouting CHIRP makes it really fucking hard to play a game of chess, or to sit down and discuss a book or the news with some friends. I don't come to the Eplaya to pass through and get something I need. I'm not on an errand. I want to be able to enjoy conversations with the diverse group of people who hang out here.
Idiotic and anti-social behaviour seriously hinders one's ability to do so on this board on occasion. Your analogy doesn't hold.


True... but you don't go to a rock concert to play chess... you don't hang at Thunderdome and expect a frigging cuddle fest. On the playa, the marauding agressive clown brigade, rampaging down the espinade, fucking with whomever is within their general proximity, may not be your cup'o'tea, but you aren't required to interact with them for more than a few seconds. You can turn 30 degrees to your left and slowly, quickly, or at a full fucking RUN, escape the experience and find a situation more to your liking... but you can't say that they can't exercise their "radical self expression", however much you might detest their philosophy.

One of the most heated and interesting debates facing cities recently has been finding the middle ground between agressive panhanders and citizens' first ammendent rights of freedom of expresson.

It's about filters... personal filters. Ignoring things that aren't important to you, your immediate gratification, or what you think is "right".

Sometimes, interactions that stretch your social norms are healthy. They help to define your boundaries and limitations by stepping over them.

AND most importantly.. beyond the discussion of what is right, worthwhile, usefull, substinative and/or proper to disccss on this silly BBS...

...It's only a fucking week in the desert!!!

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Postby III » Wed Feb 16, 2005 3:12 am

i think rodent hits on two critical differences here:

(1) on the playa, you *can* move one. on the eplaya, it's as if everyone were jammed into first camp, with no options except to mentally ignore what you don't like - you can't get away from it. this is where the calls for a better subscription model come from - you'd like to be able to go to thunderdome if that's what you want, or the nearest chill dome, without everyone spilling over. not having that ability to choose your experience makes other people intrusive actions all the more disruptive.

(2) burning man is a week. anyone can live with annoyances for a week. hell, they might even seem fun for a week. translating that to a year round experience is not so feasible. stuff that's between tolerable and amusing for a couple of days becomes teeth grindingly annoying after a couple of weeks or months. so even if the eplaya was more like the playa, as per (1), you still couldn't rely on the same social dynamics to get you through.
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Postby DVD Burner » Wed Feb 16, 2005 3:18 am

Maybe it's time to break out the Usergroups function.
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Postby jimbobby » Wed Feb 16, 2005 12:23 pm

I know for a Fact that it wont


have you tested it in a parallel universe mr. super genius?

I know for a FACT that I and several others would spend more time here if we could ignore you. Chew on that Sci-Fi boy.
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Postby precipitate » Wed Feb 16, 2005 11:06 pm

> 1: Trey, it is a verifiable fact that I helped with the formation of the
> eplaya TOS and CG's. I was on the very first conference call and so
> was Precip...she ended up having to leave a little after 8 pm my time as
> the call went on

Yeah, because I have a life. And I believe defucktard was on that call too,
with as little contribution as you made.

In my recollection, and this may not be the whole story if you emailed with
others on the ETF, you had a number of Me Too! posts but no substantive
contribution to the terms of service and community guidelines. I recall
seeing a lot of "I'm helping!" posts, but no output therefrom.

I'm not claiming substantive contribution -- I created a text-only skin and
realized that (1) it wasn't maintainable with the current state of phpBB,
and (2) I didn't want to perform a community service for a community of
fucktards. Therefore it wasn't delivered, and won't be unless one of the
new volunteers really needs it.

But don't claim contributions you didn't make. You're pathetic enough.
Why up the ante?
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Postby Sensei » Thu Feb 17, 2005 3:59 am

Okay, here's one: am I violating the TOS by saying that VD, I'm sorry, DVD, threatened "little girls" when the young lady in question is in her 20's? Early 20's? 'Cause to me, that's little. And she's like 100 pounds... I'm sayin' she's little. What do you guys think?

Ya' know what I think? I think I logged on here tonight to get kicked off. It would give me an easy excuse to leave; which is what I plan on doing anyway. When Stuart left, I felt it was a real wake-up, and I see he's re-emerged on 3playa. Hell, even A.G. posts more there (by a looong shot) than here.

Then there's the local scene... Hey, have you guys seen what Mr. Peterman and Co. have done with BurningManSeattle.com lately? Quite nice.

What I'm getting at here is that this board has served it's purpose for me, and it's time to go. I've got the local (Portland-Seattle-Vancouver) connections goin' on, and I just don't need this place the way I used to.

Emily, I'm going to save you the trouble of listening to VD's whining and just surrender my account. Suspend it, delete it, spindle or mutilate, I don't care. For what it's worth, I think you're doing an outstanding job and wouldn't trade jobs with you for a million. Well, maybe a million.

I'll miss nearly every single one of you. Come to Seattle and hang with us on a Monday night sometime, you'll be glad you did. Ask anyone whose been through it!
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Postby III » Thu Feb 17, 2005 5:46 am

re: the "who likes tony" thread.

appears to be started as a sincere attempt to evaluate the effects of one particular poster on the nature of this board. degenerates into two separate flame fests, between two pairs of people.

first glance would indicate that 7e has been violated by all of them.

however, was spun off from a discussion in the "what do you hate about burning man" thread (in the nature of burning man section).

one of the participants engages in a fairly common troll technique - accusing other of actions he himself is engaging in (in this case, non-constructive posts in the case studies thread). he then predicts an ugly flame war, indicating his intention to escalate whatever ensuing discussion into something disruptive to the entire community. finally, he violates 7b by making use of multiple identities to fuel an argument that might have otherwise just died out.

(i'll break with my original format of offering separate presentations and analysis, since i'm not sure they're actually all that separate in my head.)

this is ugly. and the recent spate of banning people for minor offenses would indicate that all four be banned for some period of time, with maybe a greater penalty for the person who instigated the original comment, multiple violations, and a previous history of acted on violations.

however, it seems that the bans, especially in this case, have done little to improve the tenor of the board. i'm not sure what other administrative actions are available, but it seems that the current set of actions/responses are not providing the results desired.

in particular, it seems that managing the small details of peoples actions has ignored the greater impact of how they influence the tenor of the board, and that the attempts at fairness are actually feeding the behaviors that eventually need to be addressed in a more strict manner. i don't have details on this, but it seems that the current administrative approach lacks a certain holisticness (holisticnicity?) that probably contributes to chaos and disruption going on here.
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Postby DVD Burner » Thu Feb 17, 2005 5:49 am

Post links please and be very acurate.
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Postby DVD Burner » Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:12 am

III wrote:re: the "who likes tony" thread.

DVD wrote:It's "Who finds Tony amusing"


appears to be started as a sincere attempt to evaluate the effects of one particular poster on the nature of this board. degenerates into two separate flame fests, between two pairs of people.

DVD wrote:Please state where it attempts to be sincere.


first glance would indicate that 7e has been violated by all of them.

however, was spun off from a discussion in the "what do you hate about burning man" thread (in the nature of burning man section).

DVD wrote:First things first I guess. Wrong again, the thread you speak of is

What do you hate most about..... which is not "what do you hate about burning man".
Big...no....HUGE difference. Just to set the record straight it goes this way;

"What do you hate most about.....people bitching incessantly about inane shit?" It had nothing to do with hating Burningman. That in itself is slanderous and can be taken in the wrong way.


one of the participants engages in a fairly common troll technique - accusing other of actions he himself is engaging in (in this case, non-constructive posts in the case studies thread). he then predicts an ugly flame war, indicating his intention to escalate whatever ensuing discussion into something disruptive to the entire community.

DVD wrote:Wrong again. I had a nice exchange with some fellow eplayans before the participant you speak decided to post a negative statement about me. I made a statement with a humorthat III found not to be as such. To each their own.


finally, he violates 7b by making use of multiple identities to fuel an argument that might have otherwise just died out.

DVD wrote:You really need to post a link/quote. It's missing or is just not clear what you are referring to.


(i'll break with my original format of offering separate presentations and analysis, since i'm not sure they're actually all that separate in my head.)

this is ugly. and the recent spate of banning people for minor offenses would indicate that all four be banned for some period of time, with maybe a greater penalty for the person who instigated the original comment, multiple violations, and a previous history of acted on violations.



however, it seems that the bans, especially in this case, have done little to improve the tenor of the board. i'm not sure what other administrative actions are available, but it seems that the current set of actions/responses are not providing the results desired.

DVD wrote:Wrong again. The one who is suspended is not banned, they are suspended.


in particular, it seems that managing the small details of peoples actions has ignored the greater impact of how they influence the tenor of the board, and that the attempts at fairness are actually feeding the behaviors that eventually need to be addressed in a more strict manner. i don't have details on this, but it seems that the current administrative approach lacks a certain holisticness (holisticnicity?) that probably contributes to chaos and disruption going on here.


DVD wrote:If you don’t have details why are you posting here as though you do? The disruption seems to be misplaced. Try again to at least get what you want to achieve correct in the first place and maybe something positive can come of it.
there was absolutely no reason why the person in question, had to
1.) make the statement that they did when what was said on the thread first stated in your post here, was not intended for her.
2.) there was no reason to make a thread as hurtful and slanderous as the one she made that created a bigger flame war.
I really think you ought to try again to get your facts straight.
So far, all I see is a very vindictive individual that has a difference of opinion that is not worthy of being posted in this "case studies" thread.


Also your spelling in this post is horrendous. I left that part in tact.
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Postby Lark » Thu Feb 17, 2005 9:06 am

I'm trying to figure out what that post better illustrates:

A) What's wrong with the eplaya

B) What's wrong with Tony
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Postby Bob » Thu Feb 17, 2005 11:06 am

Why does letting this guy in on an eplaya volunteer team sound a lot like putting the Capitalist Pigs or Lush Camp on the theme camp crew? I mean, who the fuck do you have to blow to make something like that happen? Can someone point me to a list of who else is on the team? I can think of at least one other baby-genius troll artist who purported to have interest and some sort of programming ability.
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Postby Isotopia » Fri Feb 18, 2005 7:31 pm

In another thread Actiongrl wrote:
Your friendly neighborhood Polly-fucking-anna over here would like to point out that I had a dream last night that the only way to cease this whole melee of increasingly disrespectful, pointless, and very non-Burning Man related vitriol that this board has become was to pull the plug on the whole thing for a while and continue messing around under the hood while everyone cools out.


AG, I'm sure you're not the first person for whom this idea has been visited upon lately. There’s a part of me that believes it might be something worth doing for the time being. The messing around under the hood thing being a decent analogy seeing as its pretty obvious that something here ain’t working which means something’s probably broke...

The incremental stultification of the board by [our resident] Alpha Shithat, really has taken things to a lower level of pre-school, poo flinging, depravity than even I would have expected from our little sociopathic golem. In some ways I see it as analogous to the project’s mantra of radical inclusion. It sounds great on paper and makes for great word play with those seeking a tasty sound bite when quacking about ‘inclusion’, ‘acceptance’, and other lofty egalitarian ideals but the reality is something quite different and sometimes quite ugly.

A case in point: for the last 5 years or so BRC has had a ‘participant’ who goes by the name of Special Agent 9. This is a fellow who makes it out to BRC from the east coast each year for the event and has the singular distinction of being the only person that ANYONE within the Rangers can think of that has been kicked out of BRC almost as many times as he’s been there (five at last count). For many of us who’ve had to suffer this fool, his routine is as predictable as either the sunrise or an injury at Thunderdome. Once inside Black Rock City he begins his shtick by walking into a randomly chosen camp, heads for the nearest cooler or food or whatever suits his fancy. Opens it up and takes what he wants all the while ignoring the challenges of camp members. When pressed he uses the challenge as a means – a reason – to assail the folks with insults, threats and screaming tantrums. Eventually he leaves after he’s made his ‘point’ – whatever the hell the ‘point’ is. No one but him seems to understand his ‘point’ (sound familiar?) He then continues about BRC repeating his very calculated routine. Eventually, after he’s made his circuit he’ll come back to a camp and escalate things a bit further - usually by hurling insults, calling women ‘bitch/slut/whore’, etc. After a few days it gets to the point where he physically threatens or in one case actually pushed a volunteer partially off of the pyramid scaffolding 20-30 off of the ground back in 2003. It was at his point that the Rangers made a decision that the guy needed to be evicted from BRC. Again. Now in a perfect Black Rock City the participants whose experience was being negatively impacted would have handled (i.e. ‘rangered’) the situation in a way that would have insured that no further escalation of Special Agent 9’s sociopathic, passive/aggressive behavior escalated any higher if they’d had the tools. If they’d been empowered (or decided to empower themselves) in such a way as to insure it didn’t happen again. And I’m not talking about kicking the guy’s ass either – although that seemed to be high on the list of options that some were contemplating.


What I’m suggesting is that had they the means to avoid contact with the guy they’d probably have exercised it. ‘Plonked’ him if you will. Maybe not a perfect way of remedying the situation but certainly a far cry better than the options they believe were available to them at the time which seemed to a collective mindset of suffering the fool. The village idiot. More than ever I think the option of not suffering the fool(s) need to be made available to the e-playa. Perhaps a stop gap measure would be to moderate all threads until such a time as changes can be made available for people to choose the tools to interact in a way that they see fit for them (editing, plonking, ability to retract or erase posts, etc.) Maybe shutting the board down until certain questions are resolved is not such a bad idea. Maybe everyone here – including yours truly – should look at what their participation in this debacle has been. Still, shining the Diogenes’ light on the cynics here will only go so far if those who carry the lamp fail to cast the light upon themselves as well. I say this because of the fact that at this writing a post is allowed to stand in which one of the posters here was castigated by our little troll.

Now I fully expect some folks here to take exception with my post. I realize that there are those who find it easy to skim past or ignore or just forget the trespasses of others (including myself) and I’m won’t disagree or dispute that. But there are those who are choosing to walk because certain options aren’t available to them or because those options aren’t available to all or because the lack of options (and lack of a mission) may contribute in a indirect way to the acrimony which seems to permeate the current incarnation of the e-playa. I don’t know. What I do know is that this place is hemorrhaging badly. I just hope the tech team is up to the thankless task of fixing the patient. In the meantime if the board does go down there are other options available. A place that is pretty welcoming despite the sometimes intimidating level of discourse taking place is the 3playa (3playa.cultureshark.net). Have a look. Come over and play. There’s even a plonk button if you get tired of reading me.

Sorry for the hack Emily. I just needed to say it.
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post removed pending admin consideration

Postby admin » Fri Feb 18, 2005 9:32 pm

The thread "Who finds Tony amusing?" has been removed and admin action is being determined.

Isotopia has been re-suspended. Badger, your "hack" apology is not accepted by this admin. I will be revisiting your suspension with the administration team.

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Postby Don Muerto » Fri Feb 18, 2005 10:53 pm

I assume the "Tony...Amusing" thread was violated 7e again?

I have some questions about how this stuff works, and would appreciate a cool-headed and reasonable admin response.

*Is the idea here that if the thread targets a particular person it is an issue?
*What if it someone were singled out for positive attention that was unwanted?
*What if that person is not an eplaya poster such as the asshat in the Oval Office?
*Does it take a complaint to get a removal started, or would simple discovery of a violation be enough?
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Postby Bob » Fri Feb 18, 2005 11:10 pm

I have no complaints about the thread deletion, other than I wonder if the action was given special precedence because the subject of the thread is apparently on the eplaya janitorial staff. Still waiting for an answer re: whom one has to blow, etc.
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Postby geekster » Fri Feb 18, 2005 11:33 pm

This exact same problem came to a head almost exactly one year ago and from what I can tell by reading the thread, was never resolved. Most of the same people were involved then too. That this burst forth with so much vigor is probably a manifestation of frustration that has been simmering unresolved for a long time. Deleting the thread isn't going to eliminate the problem or resolve the frustration and it is going to burst forth again, I fear, until something is settled.

I am talking about the Trolls in hiding thread. Someone brought it up in another forum and I went and read the entire thread start to finish. It doesn't appear that anything was resolved and what has been happened recently was someone opening an old wound.

There really needs to be a way to ignore someone. But I suppose the problem is complicated by the sock puppet problem. If a significant number of people have user A ignored, user A's sock puppet can simply quote his post. Then it is just a game of cat and mouse with people ignoring users as fast as someone else can create new ones.
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Postby precipitate » Sat Feb 19, 2005 1:26 am

> other than I wonder if the action was given special precedence because
> the subject of the thread is apparently on the eplaya janitorial staff.

Well, technically I am too, though I'm not even purporting to be a
contributing member at the moment.

While I understand that deleting an inflammatory thread may be perceived
to be a productive action, I'd be disappointed if all the evidence that the
person at whom the thread was directed is not, in fact, a particularly
useful member of the eplaya community were lost.

But that's just me.
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Postby spectabillis » Sat Feb 19, 2005 4:47 am

precipitate wrote: While I understand that deleting an inflammatory thread may be perceived to be a productive action, I'd be disappointed if all the evidence that the person at whom the thread was directed is not, in fact, a particularly useful member of the eplaya community were lost.


I agree with that concern.

But thats not going to be a problem, despite its obvious troubles this board has and will survive. It may be sick - but dont call it terminal just yet, it might give birth to something greater.

May sound cliche, but even when the man burns it returns another year.

Thanks for helping bring the thread drift back to its original intention.
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Postby Don Muerto » Sat Feb 19, 2005 11:21 am

Another question:

Does it take a complaint from the object of ridicule/scorn/whatever or could a third party complain and have it removed and the poster sanctioned?
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Postby Rian Jackson » Mon Feb 21, 2005 8:55 am

I'm especially concerned about this thread deletion because it provides a lot of evidence. A certain user has threatened legal action upon several of us already on this board. Said user has no case regardless, but what if you had deleted a thread that contained 'evidence' in someone's defence?

As I said, I'm not worried about this particular one. But blue light special deleting, if it is continued in this way, could have ramifications that you can't foresee.

Besides, I kind of wanted to see what names I was being called while I was gone for the weekend.
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Postby spectabillis » Mon Feb 21, 2005 10:09 am

Rian Jackson wrote: A certain user has threatened legal action upon several of us already on this board. Said user has no case regardless, but what if you had deleted a thread that contained 'evidence' in someone's defence?


automatic routine backups, probably still there - but if its to be used in court you will probably have to provide substantial reason for the request. legally its a good defensive tactic to remove the content in question for the bmorg to protect itself from liability, shows the court they made a reasonable attempt to adress the issue (thats arguable grey-area) and avoid litigation. but i know that does not help you out.

on the other hand, i dont think its anything you have to worry about and there is ample defense if you really need it. are you worried? if so you should probably email them and avoid posting it on the boards, or pm an admin for suggestions.
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Postby Rian Jackson » Mon Feb 21, 2005 10:22 am

As I said, I'm not worried


No, I'm speaking in a general sense. This isn't the first time when things like this have happened on this board, and I'm sure it won't be the last.
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Postby DVD Burner » Mon Feb 21, 2005 10:57 am

Rian Jackson wrote:I'm especially concerned about this thread deletion because it provides a lot of evidence. A certain user has threatened legal action upon several of us already on this board. Said user has no case regardless, but what if you had deleted a thread that contained 'evidence' in someone's defence?

As I said, I'm not worried about this particular one. But blue light special deleting, if it is continued in this way, could have ramifications that you can't foresee.

Besides, I kind of wanted to see what names I was being called while I was gone for the weekend.


I will give Miss Jackson one last chance to clear herself. If she needs proof that I threatened her I can post anywhere, the PM in question.
If anyone does'nt understand what I or she is talking about I offer this post she made awhile back since this is what she is talking about.

viewtopic.php?t=2537&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=450


Rian Jackson wrote:i'm not sure how good of a gaugue 'feeling threatened' is.

the message DVD sent to me set off some alarm bells. but it certainly didn't scare me enough to worry. but then, i'm really sensitive - and really kind of a hard ass - about violence and threats.

i'm sure if i read it over again now i'd blow it off as nothing. i'm really cursing myself for erasing it, but at the time i thought it better just to forget about the whole thing.

there's pretty clear language for explicit threats. and it's usually clear enough when there's a history of good natured joking behind it - or not.

i have to restrain myself sometimes from saying something i don't really mean. but then again, sometimes self restraint is good for all of us.



Like I said, Say the word and I will post the message. I have nothing to hide. The burdon of proof is on Miss Jacson, and on Miss Jackson Now. I really want to clear this up.
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Postby III » Mon Feb 21, 2005 11:07 am

"the case studies thread is not a welcome place for thread drift, uncontributory remarks or bickering."
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Postby DVD Burner » Mon Feb 21, 2005 11:10 am

III wrote:"the case studies thread is not a welcome place for thread drift, uncontributory remarks or bickering."


This is not a bicker, this is very serious and will clear some air on this board if everyone were to find out the truth before legal action is taken any further.
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Postby III » Mon Feb 21, 2005 11:23 am

this is for discussion of general board policy, not microlawyering of disputes between two individuals.

i think. i'd have to ask the o.p. to make sure...
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Postby DVD Burner » Mon Feb 21, 2005 11:27 am

III wrote:this is for discussion of general board policy, not microlawyering of disputes between two individuals.

i think. i'd have to ask the o.p. to make sure...


This is a topic that comes across general board policy. How you think slander is not is beyond me but that's niether here nor there. The fact is it is.
So lets get together and clear this small matter up A.S.A.P. so we can all move on to bigger and better things.
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Postby III » Mon Feb 21, 2005 11:47 am

you are still off topic.

please stop.
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