Bob wrote:So what's wrong with disclosure by admins that the data either will or won't be used? I don't have an absolute opinion either way -- if a convincing case could be made for making it part of actively moderating the board, or establishing a rating system, maybe I'd go for it. Not likely, but maybe. If it's not going to be used, what's wrong with just saying so?
No problem. I can't think of a single way that the data would be used, and you've provided me with no feasible examples. So I'll say that it won't be used. If, for some reason that I can not currently fathom, that changes, everyone will be notified.
side note: we would not ban someone from the boards for being plonked a number of times. We would only do so if they break some major rules. Being continually annoying is not grounds for banishment.
Bob wrote:I've intimated nothing about how the data may be used by admins -- more a concern that greater controversy might result from having the feature than not having it, mostly among users.
Your concerns were heard and well addressed. As previously stated and clearly outlined earlier in this thread, everyone would have a chance to weigh in before this feature would be implemented.
Bob wrote:How about drafting an FAQ entry for plonking? I'd like to see how somebody in favor of it is going to explain it, especially to novice users, "in the spirit of Burning Man".
If we decide to go with the plonking feature, that will be provided. And I do apologize for the delays in getting the Community Guidelines done. It will go a long way to addressing folks concerns, when done.
Bob wrote:And I'm still waiting for good examples of a plonk feature in use on an existing web-based bbs.
This feature would be an experiment based on the users vocalizing a need for it. It's been requested, and we are doing due diligence to explore it. As much as I would like to, we have neither time nor resources to embark on a research project to validate the use of this feature outside the context of this bbs.
Bob wrote:I could be wrong, but I think those who already display the tendency to parade every random thought on the eplaya are likely to be extremely vocal either about using the feature to filter out others, or accusatory about those they suspect of using it to filter their posts. I'm not talking only about the usual suspects, btw.
Your arguments are definitely provoking me into doing some deeper thinking about the plonk. There are different perspectives to consider:
a) the potential plonker
b) the potential plonkee
c) the overal health of the boards
I still believe that this is empowering folks to manage their own experience. When you come across a camp on the playa that you don't like, you can communicate this in several ways:
a) be a total dick
b) tell the folks there that you flat out don't like their camp and why
c) make nice suggestions for improving their camp
d) give it a chance as is and see if it grows on you
e) walk away and don't come back
If we consider a thread to be on par with a camp, and the user as the party we are trying to appease, the plonk feature (is from what I understand of the user requests), a way of improving their experience by avoiding people who consistently choose a) as their preferred method of communication.
On the other hand, when we are looking at the worst-case scenarios, we take a different tack. Say someone is pissed when they find out they are plonked. Their options are to :
a) leave the bbs altogether
b) consider why they have been plonked, and try to show better behavior
c) ignore the plonking and go along as normal (since they weren't plonked by everyone
d) create another account
e) start spamming suspected plonkers or perform other
A would provide relief for some (many?) at the expense of one.
B requires a level of introspection a plonkee may not have acquired. Also, they are not given the opportunity to show the folks who plonked them that they have grown, since they are no longer visible to those that they offend. They would have to rely on word of mouth, or contact folks privately to be unplonked.
C everyone is happy - the plonker is relieved, the plonker is unaware or doesn't care that they've been plonked
D could indicate that the plonkee has reformed and is starting anew, or it could mean that they are just doing a same stuff under a new name, which renders the plonking useless.
E is the action of an irrational person and can probably not be prevented. If not plonking, someone who is apt to react this way will have some other trigger.
There may be more use cases to consider, as well, and we should all think about these consequences before we move forward. But the fact is, there are at least a dozen folks begging me for the plonk, one person vociferously fighting it, and a couple of people who kind of don't want want it.
I encourage you to continue this debate with them, as that is where the decision to include it or not is going to lie.