case studies

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case studies

Postby III » Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:15 pm

for the discussion of potential (or eventually actual) application of the community guidelines.

my plan for this is to try to present an unbiased view of a particular situation, and the follow it up with my personal opinion of how it might have been handled. i hope that y'all feel free to present your own options for handling those situations, and present your own situations as well.
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Case Study #1

Postby III » Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:24 pm

hopefully this will be an easy one

in late october. someone created a user account with the name "willsmallpenisroger" and created a number of threads with varying degrees of personal attacks against varying llc members, including primarily larry harvey. even though there was the potential for valid debate in some of the topics, they were presented in such attacking fashion that no discussion actually ensued.

this was repeated in early december. each time, there were just under 10 threads created, mostly in the "experiences" section.
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Postby III » Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:31 pm

what trey thinks would have been appropriate to do for case #1:

- send mail to the registered email address of the account, explaining that account names which may be interpreted to belong to someone else are not allowed, and suggesting they choose a name not referring to any real person except possibly themselves.

- suspend the account.

- explain (possibly in a new thread created in this section) that the threads are all seen as personal attacks, which is a violation of the community guidelines, and because they were created in such volume that they are being frozen. (should probably actually contain links to the threads, and the fact that the acocunt has been suspended in accordance with the community guidelines, as well.)

- freeze the threads.
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Postby precipitate » Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:38 pm

I would add that the threads should be moved out of where they
were created to General Discussion, because regardless of whether they
got frozen, they don't belong in Theme or Experiences.
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Postby Booker » Wed Dec 10, 2003 12:07 pm

>>and the fact that the acocunt has been suspended in accordance with the community guidelines

Gonna disagree with this bit. The news of the suspended account should go to the registered email address, and that's it. I don't see value in making that public information. The explanation for freezing the threads is appropriate for those who might want to post there, but none of us have any stake in the status of one anothers' accounts, imo.
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Postby stuart » Wed Dec 10, 2003 12:48 pm

did I miss the shaming and humiliating part?
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Postby III » Wed Dec 10, 2003 1:00 pm

intentionally, yes.

there are conflicting interests between protecting the privacy of people who are subject to administrative action, and keeping the process transparent enough so that it can be monitored by the community.
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Postby SED » Sat Dec 13, 2003 1:23 am

I don't see any moral difference between blocking a malicious poster and giving a rude drunk at a party the bum's rush.

There's a certain amount of faith I have in humanity that keeps me from worrying about injustice in these situations. It's important to debate the issue, however. I just don't see how we're gonna make rules for everything.
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case study #2

Postby III » Sat Dec 13, 2003 9:30 am

tania turtle joins the bbs and posts identical promotional messages in over a dozen different locations.

before admins can react, the community condemns her, and a flame war escalates as she defends herself.
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Postby III » Sat Dec 13, 2003 9:33 am

trey's take on #2:

delete all the duplicate threads, and move the one remaining one to an appropriate section. (general discussion or regional events?)

issue a strike to taniaturtle. (includes sending her email explaining how she abused the community resource.)

maybe also send warnings to those who initiated the flamewar with her, though i'm not sure.
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Re: case study #2

Postby drowned_saved » Sat Dec 13, 2003 10:20 am

III wrote:tania turtle joins the bbs and posts identical promotional messages in over a dozen different locations.

before admins can react, the community condemns her, and a flame war escalates as she defends herself.


aww, c'mon...this could never really happen.

errr...wait.

oh.

glumly,
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my fantasy for case #1

Postby BlueBirdPoof » Tue Dec 16, 2003 6:21 pm

Just give him his own forum. All threads he creates get automatically posted on the wspr "reality" forum. Everyone ignores him.

Okay, I know that he invents a new name and starts all over again.

It's just that I'm sure I saw a "Ghettoize me" sign on his virtual back.
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Postby blyslv » Wed Dec 17, 2003 5:04 pm

stuart wrote:did I miss the shaming and humiliating part?


I always thought you had a puritian streak. Want to set up a dunking booth and pillory next year?
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Postby technopatra » Fri Dec 19, 2003 3:27 am

III wrote:trey's take on #2:

delete all the duplicate threads, and move the one remaining one to an appropriate section. (general discussion or regional events?)

issue a strike to taniaturtle. (includes sending her email explaining how she abused the community resource.)

maybe also send warnings to those who initiated the flamewar with her, though i'm not sure.


When I started getting complains to my inbox about De Facto, I contacted him by phone, (he'd given me his number at a meeting), and we had a very nice conversation. His behavior changed dramatically for the better, and he reduced the number of his posts, as he said he would.

When WSPR posted 12 topics in one day, I PM'd him, but received no response. The community replied to his posts wonderfullly, letting him know he wasn't fooling anyone with his trolling, and basically took his garbage threads and turned them into more thoughtful conversations.

I did email taniaturtle about the fact she was advertising for a discussion rather than having one here. She was gracious in accepting the criticiscm and said she wouldn't do it again. I did not see the multiple postings at the time. She'd already not only been flamed on the bbs, but sent unnecessarily puerile PM attacks. I asked her to forward them to me, but she'd deleted all but one. I sent a message to the sender of the offensive pm (and it was offensive) telling him that responding to spam with hate mail was not acceptable and asking him what he thought about it now that he calmed down. I just did it, with no response yet.

Just now, I responded within a thread to a conversation that had turned ugly. I was tired and a little cranky when I wrote it, so you can be the judge as to whether it'll work:

viewtopic.php?p=33231&highlight=#33231

In all of these situations, I'm trying to make communication my first response, rather than punitive action.

This isn't always going to be effective, and it might not be feasible in the future, but I'd rather take the time to check in with "offenders". It goes with my personal policy of talking to yahoos on the playa rather than ignoring them or setting fire to their camps. If we don't teach them, who will? Most people do not learn well by negative reinforcement.

Once the long-awaited guidelines/rules are in place, we will be able to more conscientiously, less arbitrarily, take action against bad behavior. But I still think it's worth reaching out before doing so.

my 2 cents for today.
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Postby III » Fri Dec 19, 2003 1:00 pm

>> still think it's worth reaching out before doing so.

smooch.

you rock.
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Postby III » Thu Feb 05, 2004 4:20 pm

scenario "stop burning man":

in the interest of maintaining a log of how difficult situations were and might have been handled

new poster creates a bunch of threads in different folders, some with varying tones but all referring to the same website.

the website makes negative claims about brc-llc. ensuing conversation involves a number of new posters with a moderate variety of styles and alignment defending the websites position against an onslaught of fairly hostile comentary from more established posters, involving a fair number of personal attacks. bbs traffic is overwhelmed by these threads.

(i may have missed some of the particulars of this because i was on hiatus at the time, but i think that's the general gist.)

so - what action was taken, was it appropriate, what are other options for what might have been done, and what would have been (or was) unacceptable, from an admionistrative standpoint?[/i]
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Postby III » Mon Mar 01, 2004 9:47 am

one for the terms of service:

viewtopic.php?p=39606#39606

newbie to burning man asks vert thinly veiled questions about drug use at burning man, in particular presence of undercover law enforcement, and ability to aquire illegal substances at the event.

does this violate the "no discussing illegal activities" rule? or is just asking okay, and it's the potential answers that might be in violation?
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Postby III » Mon Mar 01, 2004 9:48 am

>>vert

i meant "very".
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Postby Badger » Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:01 am

Really glad you asked that one Trey - especially with several follow ups that suggest what might even be 'available' in so far as what somone can expect in the way of drug selection.

I'm think this is actually a no-brainer.
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Postby III » Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:05 am

>>no-brainer

so do i, actually.

the purpose behind case studies, though, is to make sure that everyone is on the same page with the no brainers, which is surprisingly rare, in practice.
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Postby III » Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:08 am

btw, i'd still be interested in a post guideline proposal for the stop bm scenario.
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re: drugs thread

Postby admin » Mon Mar 01, 2004 4:55 pm

SYK, we (the admins) are not actively browsing the boards for actionable content .

A complaint was lodged against Aquariumgirl. Per the previously stated desire to talk first, act only if necessary, I've contacted her and await her response.
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Postby III » Mon Mar 01, 2004 6:24 pm

>>not actively browsing the boards for actionable content .

beware of the potential pitfalls of this - i suspect a large part of the regulars on the old eplaya being seen as exclusionary by members of the tech team had to do with situations such as this - where the initial questions were answered in a reasonable manner, and a series of inflammatgory responses provoked them into less than charitable behavior, which after a great deal of escalation was finally pointed out to the admins.

it behooves those who will play judge, jury, and executioner to actually be acqainted with the situations they are pledged to oversee.
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Postby stuart » Mon Mar 01, 2004 6:58 pm

come on y'all. would ya be this bent about the discussion if she had not stepped out of line and started a goofy flame war?

if so, please pardon the interruption
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Postby III » Mon Mar 01, 2004 7:10 pm

this has developed into two different issues - one is the t.o.s. and it's position on discussion of illegal activities. (i made the orginal post before any of the escalations)

the other is how to manage newcomers with more attitude than smarts, or how to manage the other members of this bbs in their presence. in the past, the older members of the community seem to have borne the brunt of the blame for those altercations, and it would be nice to know how to mitigate that in the future.
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Postby III » Mon Mar 01, 2004 7:14 pm

ammendment to the above -

i created this thread not as a place to bitch and whine, or to complain about admin actions. rather, it was created with the realization that they have a very difficult if not impossible line to walk, and that for every line in the community guidelines there are multipple possible interpretations by people with all sorts of agendas (including, of course, the admins). it was hoped that having a series of case studies (both theoretical and actual) would help clarify policy, both for the users, and eventually for new incoming admins so that board policy would not shift based on personal whimsey.
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Postby stuart » Mon Mar 01, 2004 7:32 pm

'k

so, regarding this case, I have some questions and observations.
Would the rather lively 'busted by the cops at burningman' discussion that ensued just after the event be deemed in violation of the TOS? I don't mean this as a rhetorical slap, I honestly don't know how the rules would be applied there.

this girl is a newb and she exhibited the typical pattern of assuming that she was on an equal footing with others not so newb and goofy. This board exhibited the typical response of being less than friendly in it's response. She reacted in an immature but perhaps understandable, if not justifiable, manner. In that response she made the huge faux pas of calling out P.. The boards response was swift and mercilous, as it often is.
Oh, and then K calls her a sock puppet for good measure.

is this the desired pattern?
am I reading this all wrong?
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Postby Tancorix » Mon Mar 01, 2004 7:37 pm

K who?

Maybe I was wrong but I called it as I saw it. I looked at the text, the grammatical goofs and smiley use and it looked interesting enough to make the call.

If she's really new then I made myself look like a horse's ass and an apology and explanation will be forthcoming.

But when you consider all the socks DF has created on here....I think my suspicious nature is kinda justifiable.
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Postby III » Mon Mar 01, 2004 7:57 pm

>>I honestly don't know how the rules would be applied there.

me niether - hence the question. i suspect that the question is allright, but any posts which seem to indicate that drug use is condoned, either by law enforcement or by the llc, would violate the t.o.s. but that's just my thoughts on it.

i thought the answers to her questions were pretty straightforward, if a bit on the blunt side. (i'm pretty sure i intended my initial response to be informative rather than antagonistic.) it wasn't until the accusations of the respondees being anti drug right wingers started happening that things escalated.
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Postby stuart » Mon Mar 01, 2004 8:18 pm

(c) if you don't care about what other people think, then don't expect theme to care about what you think either. it sounds like, rather than asking for information, your mind is made up, and you're just looking for validation. sorry bucko. you won't get what you're looking for.


this might be where things went off the tracks a bit. She got mega defensive after that. But in her defense, after this, she clearly stated what dialogue, in her thread, she was looking for. I found the request reasonable. It's a shame she mixed it in with some flames.

She's a college age girl who came here with honest intent. Within a page she's got a handful of folks telling her she don't get it and to look elsewhere. I don't want you to believe that I think she went about it in the most graceful of manners, although her OP was AOK, but what ensued was pretty typical, pretty predictable.
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