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Deltango Vale

AR-griefing, auto-veto and moderation

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I wish to begin with a post I made in an earlier thread concerning community feedback:

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@ Amanda

Manual quote:

"Hey all, I wanted to address the "General Discussion" Forum question that has come up. Our goal with the Forums is to keep them as focused and constructive as possible. Although General Discussion no longer exists, we're always happy to create new Forums when the need comes up. That's where the Forum Feedback section is critical. We'll be watching it closely and adding new topic-specific Forums over time."

Reply:

The General Discussion forum acted as a focal point for the community, like a clubhouse. By removing the clubhouse, the community is fragmented into a wide variety of sub-fora. There is no center, no heart. Admittedly, there were two problems with the old GD Forum:

1) AR-griefing, such that everyone had the power to AR-Veto anyone else.

2) Overzealous moderation by Linden Lab.

These problems can easily be overcome by eliminating the AR button and hiring experienced forum moderators. As for the kooks, preachers, sore thumbs and tin hats, the community tends to 'self-moderate' them through peer pressure. I therefore suggest Linden Lab take this opportunity to create a functional GD Forum.

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While I am delighted with a general discussion area, the two problems that plagued the old forum persist.

1) Many posts (some of which were innocuous) have been AR-griefed and auto-vetoed without notification or explanation.

2) Off-Topic threads have been closed for drifting "off topic", which will likely become the new textbook definition or irony.

Unless these problems are nipped in the bud, the effectiveness of this new resident community communication system will be greatly diminished. The current format, while slick and professional is certainly less convivial, which, coupled with the learning curve of the new software, tends to discourage participation. If, on top of that, we are back to AR-griefing and poor moderation, I believe those who have the most to offer will be the first to leave. In other words, bad drives out good - a classic organizational management and customer relations problem.

------------------

Edit: By 'clubhouse', I mean lounge, foyer, agora, cafe, community center or neighborhood pub/bar. A public space open to all that acts as a meeting place.

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I think the moderation has been a mixed bag, really.  The moderation in posts where the language or images may have violated the Community Guidelines had been generally consistent even if some of the decisions may appear ridiculous (i.e., you cannot write the 'V' world for women but you can write '**bleep**')

Like you, I do not 'get' Off Topic treads closed for going off topic.  And, that bit does have a danger of stifling things.  I have a sense that Lexi and her team are reading our posts closely here and they take our feedback to heart.  I attended last Thursday's Community Tools User Group meeting where at least four  Lindens were on hand to listen to feedback, positives and negatives.  The entire text of the session can be found here.

I would encourage other interested residents to attend if youhave feedback.

 

ETA:  /me laughs loud.  The bleep in the first paragraph was originally written as the word for the male rooster but in the posting process was automatically bleeped out.  OK, so you USED to be able to write that word.  These are things that should be acceptable in an adult forum area.

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The General Discussion forum acted as a focal point for the community, like a clubhouse.

Bingo. THAT is the problem. There isn't one community. There are many. *edited for possible harassment*

Yes, it was EXACTLY like a clubhouse. And it shouldn't be -- because SL is not just for a handful of people who have time to bond with each other over their shared perspective and harangue others. It has to be an open platform for a huge variety of users. Cliquishness drives people away from the forums.

*edited for possible harassment*

P.S. I haven't gotten any rares in ages. Why do you think that is?

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In general, I like the new forums. I enjoyed reading the sometimes rambling discussions in the last forum because they showed humor, creativity & a sense of community. However, those threads sometimes overshadowed ones in which residents were looking for serious answers to problems they were having.  I'm also very happy to see the old spam monsters are missing from these forums.

On the downside, I think both residents (customers) & moderators (employees?) are experiencing a learning curve as to how to use & control these forums to maximum benefit for all. We residents are still figuring out which areas are best for our posts & what is considered unacceptable to post. The moderators are also perhaps still figuring out where our posts really belong & what words & ideas should be censored. I can't see any other reason why the word "gay" is allowed, but "les.bi.an" is not. This word is not profanity. It is frequently printed in newspapers & spoken on network television. It is also the least offensive, most politcally correct word used to refer to a fairly large number of women who are romantically & sexually attracted to other women.

We all know SL is first & formost an adult playground, where adults can express themselves in a wide variety of ways. One of these ways is in romantic encounters, of which - if we believe statistics -10% are same-sex relationships. Assuming 5% of romantic relationships in SL are male-male and 5% are female-female, it makes little sense to exclude 5% of the people using & putting money into Second Life by forbidding references to them with a non-offensive word.

Similarly, many people who use SL sell, buy & use adult products & services. I understand & agree that discussions of such things should not be done in front of minors, but these discussions still need to be made. I think we should thus have an age-verified area in these forums, where we can have such discussions responsibly.

Finally, these forums provide 4 major services that I can see. 1.) They provide a place where LL can explain changes in products & policy to its customers.  2.) They provide a place where residents (customers) can voice concerns to Linden Labs. 3.) They provide a place where residents can get advice from other residents about how to better enjoy their experience of Second Life. 4.) They provide a place where residents can form friendships & a sense of community.

This last function mostly took place in the old forums in the GD area & now seems headed for the  "Off- Topic" area.  Friendly banter may sometimes seem stupid & senseless to those who are not part of the group doing it , but it serves an important social function of making those within the group feel connected to each other. (This is true in RL as well as in any virtual forum.) If moderators feel they have to regulate such banter to the point of locking threads that go "off-topic", they'll end up stifling the free expression & commeraderie that such banter normally fosters. The environment becomes rather like a workplace in which coworkers are used to bantering playfully with each other while they work. Then an over-aggressive supevisor, in an effort to increase productivity, tells them they can't talk to each while they're working. Resentment toward the supervisor bulids, moral & cooperation between employees goes down, until eventually employees hate their job & higher turn-over rates become a problem. 

The differences here are that in a workplace there can only be a limited number of employees & the promise of a paycheck will keep the ranks filled even with higher turn-over rates. With Second Life, on the other hand, anoying customers by telling them they can't speak with each other about some subjects or in certain ways can only result in a loss of customers & revenue. Segregate discussions that might not look good to parents & corporations if you must, but don't ban these discussions completely from our forums.

 

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Prokofy Neva wrote:

...Yes, it was EXACTLY like a clubhouse
...

The General Discussions forum went quite a bit beyond a clubhouse.  That wasn't just a club.  Vicious very public attacks and harassment in violation of community standards and Second Life terms of service were on-topic in General Discussions and could go on for days. 

I was surprised to discover out of the blue one day that  I had been selected as the subject of such a thread in General Discussions. A virtual lynch mob used Linden Labs public forum to attack me and my business, posted my legal name and address in the public Linden Lab forum, accused me of breaking the law, then went on to encourage others to harrass me and my clients, and this went on for more than two days.  I didn't read much of what was posted there, but I would bet I am not the only one who suffered that type of treatment in the General Discussions 'club house'.

Linden Lab does not need to provide a venue where that kind of abuse is on topic.

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There's a big difference between this forum and the previous incarnations, and it's this: It's not about us. This time, LL is trying to make the forum that LL wants. The choice of software fits exactly to this purpose, which is social engineering.

LL doesn't want a free-wheeling forum. They are not interested in "community" in the same sense that many of us mean it.

They are looking to construct a place that is -- quite purposefully -- dull, somewhat sterile, predictable, unoffensive... as PC/PG/PR as they can possibly make it.

If that means low traffic, I don't think they will mind.

It's very controlled. It's meant to be. If you can post in the way they like, you can stay.  If you can't, you probably won't be able to stay or won't want to stay.

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Translation: "Some days I ran the clubhouse, other days I didn't".

@Nany Yes, that's the problem with clubhouses. Sometimes you run them; other days people get fed up with your posts and AR you or even go further because you've done that to them.

That's why I avioded the forums and only posted when there seemed a critical issue.

Yes, the forums have been lobotomized now and are under ridiculously tight management.

But that's what happens when users themselves cannot arrange self-governance fairly, and only end up encouraging vigilantism or worse.

These forums can still be useful in a limited sort of way if the mods really work hard to get in early and often now and move or delete all those topics that certain cliques are posting merely as a means to mindshare and then of course marketshare. They've always done this with impunity; it's good to see that they can't now. Unless, of course, they continue to pester mods and bully other residents and the mods give up, as they have before, or unless these customers are so important to the Lindens because of the revenue their businesses bring in that they become arbitrary and selective in how they moderate (a problem in the past).

I believe strongly in not having conversations about a virtual world moderated in this way because I think the only way to address the bad phenomena in any "country" is to have a free press that can cover crime, corruption, unfair privileging, incompetence, etc.

But because that's not possible here, I run my own blog. And others have their own forums to go to and should use them for that purpose until such time as the system here changes.

In the meantime, if the Lindens want to make the forums a bulletin board, in a sense, for very narrowly-defined topics and a very strict culture of presentation, that's fine for what it is, then I want them to police it fairly.

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Prok wrote: "I haven't gotten any rares in ages. Why do you think that is?" which might be an easier question to answer if we knew what "rares" were.

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Cato Badger wrote:

Prok wrote: "I haven't gotten any rares in ages. Why do you think that is?" which might be an easier question to answer if we knew what "rares" were.

Maybe that does answer the question.  I looked up "rare" in the urban dictionary and got many laughs but no light.

 

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Interesting topic Del.

I can only speak for what I have experienced here so far.

The hate and goading and trolling of the old GD was beyond adult comprehension and surely drove prospective posters away be it from fear of someone making a fool of them or in disgust because of its state. It was in that state because of a lack of moderation with any persistence. I do wonder how it would have looked with the mods as they now present 24/7.

We all are going through a learning curve right now including the mods who really don't have a view of the past history of what GD was and it's tempo. It might come out alright after everyone relaxes a bit or there just might not be anyone left.

I came to the old forums to the GD fist and then would look around; one must remember not all OP's in the old GD were bad. If that interest the old GD held isn't there then what would bring people in other than to post questions. Who will come to answer them?

I continue to get a real kick out of those that throw around the "clubhouse" card. The old GD was many things but not a clubhouse there was never a restriction on posting unless self-imposed. That the climate was not always receptive goes without saying but it never stopped a lot of good interesting posts.

This "clubhouse" concept to me is more of the reaction from people that felt they were not liked, there are other reasons. and maybe their posts were the problem.

Gaming the system by calling on your cronies in other media to come and get posts one doesn't like moved or rejected is a real problem. Certain people actually openly gloat over their success or achievement at this ability to stifle free speech. I am sure they will receive their dues with time.

I’m giving this place a month before I decide whether there is any value to the community.

 :)

 

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@DQ

"the "clubhouse" card"

One thing I tend to forget - but it's always a big factor in text-based dialog - is different meanings ascribed to words and phrases. Here is what I meant:

Clubhouse = lounge, foyer, agora, cafe, community center or neighborhood pub/bar. A public space open to all that acts as a meeting place. I'll go back to the OP and add a note :smileyhappy:

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Del: It wasn't you I was referring to here it was other posts, I knew how you meant it and agree with that context. It was the others that jumped on the wagon referring to the "Clubhouse" as if it was restricted membership. Which is delusional on their part only.

It's like they will take this post I am making as meaning I am supporting your comment only because we are such great buddies in SL. Which could well happen but hasn't yet.

36_3_11.gif

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Deltango Vale wrote:

@DQ

"the "clubhouse" card"

One thing I tend to forget - but it's always a big factor in text-based dialog - is different meanings ascribed to words and phrases. Here is what I meant:

Clubhouse = lounge, foyer, agora, cafe,
community center or neighborhood pub/bar
. A public space open to all that acts as a meeting place. I'll go back to the OP and add a note :smileyhappy:


And that is how I thought (and I think Dee also if I read her post corrrectly) of the GD Forum. I saw it spelled out as such in a number of posts by different people. The percentage of residents who post on the forums AT ALL is very small--less then 10%? Less than 5%? I didn't take the time to look before I started this but it's a small number. And on the last version of the Forums there was just the one GD; everything else had to do with serious or relatively serious SL stuff. So the GD forum was a subset of a small subset of residents. A clubhouse. A coffeeshop/bar/bookstore where you know a lot of the regulars. If I go in to my 'clubhouse' and find that people I don't particularly get along with are there, maybe I just have a cup of tea (okay that's a flat out lie: a pint of Bass) and smile on my way out the door. Doesn't mean I'm scratching the 'clubhouse' off my list.

I really don't see any other reason than the one Dee proposed for some people not liking that idea. And I really don't care if they don't like it. I don't even care if they make a point of sticking their heads in the door and telling me they don't like it. But when the sort of things happen that you talked about in your OP, Del, action is required and I do hope some is taken.

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Deltango Vale wrote:

Edit: By 'clubhouse', I mean
lounge, foyer, agora, cafe,
community center or neighborhood pub/bar
. A public space open to all that acts as a meeting place.

 

This is exactly what I had hoped the Off Topic forum would be. A public space for exchanging ideas and shooting the breeze, where anyone is welcome to participate or not at their leisure.

It's a given that not every topic will appeal to every poster, and that's okay. As I've said elsewhere, it's diversity of thought, opinions, personalities, and interests that makes this world (both RL and SL) a truly special place. I'd like to think that there's room for such diversity in this forum. But it's hard to believe that is possible when positive, relevant threads fall victim to AR griefing. All it takes is one or two people to target a thread, and the entire thread is punished with a lock. This rewards the griefers and demotivates the rule-abiding people who post to such threads.

That's a shame, since such conversations are the incentive for many people to frequent the forums at all. Without that incentive, the presence of many regular and valuable contributors here is certain to become sporadic at best.

And yes, it is the ultimate irony that threads in the Off Topic forum are being locked for becoming "off topic." I'm still trying to understand that one.

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I would like to add that SL sells, prides, explains itsself as a community and not just that but a social community. I find the social aspect attractive to me and I can see as well as I know a lot of posters here do.

Having said that, what attracts people to a social environment, well of course a place that is social. Pretty easy so far. Now on the grid where can someone reach out and find people that reflect their own thoughts, ideas, comforts and ideals. Well there are a lot of places and it takes a lot of time because of the numbers one can deal with in a given space or time.

But you can reach the greatest number in one shot here in the OT forums. Start a topic involving your interests and those that reply are game or not but you can't argue that there isn't social interaction.

There will always be positive and negative sides to any post, but to post for the sake of disruption, malice or ill will just because a topic doesn't suit one is a slide back to the old GD standard. It serves no purpose to the community to be anti-social it only serves the misgivings of the person posting.

Some rather weak minded individuals took great pleasure in getting Hippiestock and Strengthening the SL Community moved from Make Friends To Off Topic. That in itself just proved how ill willed and self serving the posters were and what lengths they would go to. What better two examples of social and community spirit resulting in many friendship were there. They have yet to be match.

So if we can't reach the SL community with ideas for methods to meet or stories to relate through the forums how the heck to we tap that environment.

I myself have not given up yet on those two articles being moved back into there rightful place and I plan to remain here in spite of all if the need be to rejuvenate this articles and post more like them. I will not allowed selfserving weak people ruin my day.

/Rant over

and look no smilies

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It is somewhat amusing that those who wail endlessly about self imagined cliques, groups and profiteering, now espouse  carpetbombing the new fora and all and sundry for those same reasons tenfold. How does that work? It is quite hilarious!

Never mind the fact that remote, *mysterious ar'ing, profane language, disgraceful insults and blatant hypocrisy were the reasons for the larger community shunning these types in the first place. If it isn't surprising the same old things are happening again.

Who would have thought those deemed outcasts and unfit for general civil communications by a majority would find a friend. Amazing! I do wonder though how long this will last.

eg: I dont know what I mean, I didn't write that! see it isn't there any more! I have forgotten, I am not aware of what I am referring to... sound familiar? :smileyvery-happy:

 

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@Dillon yes that is correct in fact Del, you and I are seeing it in the same way. :)

I like the idea you mentioned about "them even sticking their head in the door". but don't you admit at times one is tempted to close the door while they are doing that.36.gif


Dillon Levenque wrote:


Deltango Vale wrote:

@DQ

"the "clubhouse" card"

One thing I tend to forget - but it's always a big factor in text-based dialog - is different meanings ascribed to words and phrases. Here is what I meant:

Clubhouse = lounge, foyer, agora, cafe,
community center or neighborhood pub/bar
. A public space open to all that acts as a meeting place. I'll go back to the OP and add a note :smileyhappy:


 And I really don't care if they don't like it. I don't even care if they make a point of sticking their heads in the door and telling me they don't like it. But when the sort of things happen that you talked about in your OP, Del, action is required and I do hope some is taken.

 

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@ Maryanne amusing and also frustrating. I will bring up the group the "Forum Cartel" as a prime example. This is an in world group open to all. Like all other groups people meet to party, dance and just chat, in fact the other night there were at least four noobs in there being helped. It is an open group for all with one basic rule "what happens on the forums is not discussed". I only mention that group because it was targeted as a "clique" in the past.

The fact some chose not to join and maybe meet the forum poster they have seen, is their own personal choice, or reluctance based on their conduct elsewhere.


Maryanne Solo wrote:

It is somewhat amusing that those who wail endlessly about self imagined cliques, groups and profiteering, now espouse  carpetbombing the new fora and all and sundry for those same reasons tenfold. How does that work? It is quite hilarious! 

Agreed, This is an attempt, by some to "game the system" using the new mods "referees" so to speak. The mods are new and aren't aware of the history, they can't be faulted. I welcome their somewhat heavy hand as a means to clean up the "chaff" that was present in the old GD. In fact it would be welcomed even more so if it would eliminate the "smart a$$" single line remarks made to people that start topics looking for help.  The fact also stands that a history of "AR's" will be developed now and related to specific posters.


Maryanne Solo wrote:

Never mind the fact that remote, *mysterious ar'ing, profane language, disgraceful insults and blatant hypocrisy were the reasons for the larger community shunning these types in the first place. If it isn't surprising the same old things are happening again. 

As you stated below their perception of things is in fact a self inflected wound.


Maryanne Solo wrote:

Who would have thought those deemed outcasts and unfit for general civil communications by a majority would find a friend. Amazing! I do wonder though how long this will last.

eg: I dont know what I mean, I didn't write that! see it isn't there any more! I have forgotten, I am not aware of what I am referring to... sound familiar? :smileyvery-happy: 

8_9_23.gif

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DQ Darwin wrote:

I would like to add that SL sells, prides, explains itsself as a community and not just that but a social community. I find the social aspect attractive to me and I can see as well as I know a lot of posters here do.

Having said that, what attracts people to a social environment, well of course a place that is social. Pretty easy so far. Now on the grid where can someone reach out and find people that reflect their own thoughts, ideas, comforts and ideals. Well there are a lot of places and it takes a lot of time because of the numbers one can deal with in a given space or time.

But you can reach the greatest number in one shot here in the OT forums. Start a topic involving your interests and those that reply are game or not but you can't argue that there isn't social interaction.

There will always be positive and negative sides to any post, but to post for the sake of disruption, malice or ill will just because a topic doesn't suit one is a slide back to the old GD standard. It serves no purpose to the community to be anti-social it only serves the misgivings of the person posting.

Some rather weak minded individuals took great pleasure in getting Hippiestock and Strengthening the SL Community moved from Make Friends To Off Topic. That in itself just proved how ill willed and self serving the posters were and what lengths they would go to. What better two examples of social and community spirit resulting in many friendship were there. They have yet to be match.

So if we can't reach the SL community with ideas for methods to meet or stories to relate through the forums how the heck to we tap that environment.

I myself have not given up yet on those two articles being moved back into there rightful place and I plan to remain here in spite of all if the need be to rejuvenate this articles and post more like them. I will not allowed selfserving weak people ruin my day.

/Rant over

and look no smilies

I was going to pick some lines to comment about particularly, but I can't decide which part I'd delete. So I'll just quote the whole thing. That was a cogent and well thought out rant, Dee. Rant on.

:smileyhappy: There's  your smiley.

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DQ Darwin wrote:

@Dillon yes that is correct in fact Del, you and I are seeing it in the same way.
:)

I like the idea you mentioned about "them even sticking their head in the door". but don't you admit at times one is tempted to close the door while they are doing that.
36.gif

 

Ms. Levenque can neither confirm nor deny said impulse.

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I'm in :)


Maryanne Solo wrote:

Can't we be a clique of three? Then we can call ourselves the castanettes. 8^)

(such items made up of three pieces).

 

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WooT! *strikes a Flamenco dancers pose...

Wouldn't it be awesome if the virtuoso flamenco guitarist Armik was inworld! We could don beautiful spanish flamenco dancers dresses and clicketty clack all over SL!

Ole'! :smileyvery-happy:

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@Dee: I really don't want to fight about it, but with a degree of inside knowledge I disagree with your perception that it was malice that got Quinn's Strengthening the Community thread moved from Friends to Off Topic. My understanding was that initially Quinn wanted to restart the thread in the then non-existent GD, and put it in the Friends subforum as the next best place. I will take responsibility for mentioning this to Lexie as well as my opinion that I thought that some of the public and personal disclosures would be better made out of the eye of the general public, once the "for registered members only" Off Topic subforum was opened by Lexie for us. If you think that was meddling, then I won't complain, as you would be right, but please don't think that the suggestion was made to Lexie with anything but the best of intentions - and of course, Lexie need not have acted upon it if she had not agreed. Cato

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