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Forum Philosophy





jeffryjon
Is it possible to construct a forum that creates the best possible outcome?

I'm led to this question 'by the nose'. It's not something where I came in with a preconceived answer based on YES and the way to do it is THIS.

Since joining Frihost, I've been enlightened to difficulties in the functionalities of forums. As a consequence of making a suggestion about a simple practical issue (the absence of the topic title and original post on the reply page), other issues began to come to my notice. In particular, in subjects which are both non-technical and rely on sharing ideas such as this forum.

Since some issues can be adequately solved in a multitude of ways, I'm wondering whether it's possible to develop a forum that creates the best possible outcome.

Forums are a way of communicating. though there are significant limitations in the way we can communicate what we're trying to put forward. There's no tone of voice, body language, and without a large collection of photos placed in the posts, we're very limited in the way we can convey emotions or feelings. Having said that, they do help to a point and sometimes enable us to lighten the conversation.

The issues that have come to me so far are as follows:

The length of a post. Too short and we leave ourselves wide open for misinterpretation - too long and we risk boring the other participants to the point where they withdraw.

Depth of argument. Too shallow and we barely brush the surface and are less likely to gain anything from participating. Too deep and things can get intense with the pressure building to a point where others feel stifled and withdraw.

Breadth of argument. Too narrowly focused and we risk leaving out relevant points, meaning to draw any conclusions would be unwise. Too broad and we risk the thread taking a whole new route which would be better placed in another thread.

Methods of moderating posts. No moderation and we're on a road to extremism. Too much moderation and valid debates may fail to occur.

Moderator participation in the role of a postee. No participation could deprive us of valuable input. It would also deprive the moderator of his or her rights as a member of the forum. On the other hand, allowing moderator participation may lead to others backing away as they perceive the moderator as pulling rank and abusing their role. (Just a note here. I'm NOT saying that any moderator IS abusing their role, just that it could be perceived as such, which could be just as harmful to the forum).

Emotional participation. None at all and we shy away from any debate that is potentially emotive. Too much and we risk getting too caught up in the debate and making others feel excluded.

As already stated, I have no preconceived idea about the answer to the question. I do have some opinions, based on my own streams of logic, though for this one, I'm intentionally sitting back for a while to see what comes up in the replies.

Before finishing this post I'd like to make something clear and then make one suggestion about any response. (Note the word 'suggestion').

The thing I want to make clear is that I am NOT a moderator on this forum. To date, I have no intention of attempting to become a moderator. For the foreseeable future, I cannot see any way that I could fulfil the role of a moderator. I'm writing this post as a question with the hope that we can develop a forum philosophy. Even if we do develop a philosophy, the most we could do is offer it as a suggestion to the site management - they're not obligated in any way to act upon those suggestions.

Now here's my suggestion. Write your posts without emotion. Feel free to talk about emotion, but present your post logically so we have the best chance of developing an improved idea. Please though, keep in mind, it will just be an idea - we have no right to make demands in this thread.

Long post huh!!!!
spinout
Methods of moderating posts... My only posting of value/deepness was pointed out as too shallow Smile

Extremism, what is wrong with that is it occours?? Nothing can't be dissmissed or cencured in philosophy and religion. Or in any other harmless discussion...

A forum can't exist if there is not a discussion worth talking of!!!
watersoul
jeffryjon wrote:
Now here's my suggestion. Write your posts without emotion. Feel free to talk about emotion, but present your post logically so we have the best chance of developing an improved idea. Please though, keep in mind, it will just be an idea - we have no right to make demands in this thread.


Interesting points, but as far as the above, I don't think I'd really like online discussions without emotions ever involved. We're human beings after all, filled with emotions that shape our opinions. I say long live emotional posting, as long as its reasoned, and an explanation is provided along side whichever emotion is being presented Smile
Bikerman
Well, I should comment on the moderator participation part directly since I tend to get involved in threads more than the other moderators - on this board at least.
Firstly I do say, though perhaps I should say it more often, that whenever I am contributing to a thread then I am just a poster. I do not want to be treated differently because I am a moderator and I can assure people that I do not 'use' my mod status, unless there is a real issue that requires moderator intervention according to the TOS - in which case I will withdraw from the thread and only contribute AS a moderator - in red. It is very rare for me to have to do that and I prefer not to have to at all. On the very rare occasions that I have had to do so, I post my action in the moderators forum - to check that other mods agree, and that I am not being unfair. I am certainly not going to use moderator status just because I don't like what someone has to say - even if they are attacking my postings. As long as the normal rules are observed - rules that apply to me just the same as to others - such as watching bad language, not being racist, sexist or otherwise intentionally offensive, and the other common sense stuff - then the red pen stays in the cupboard.

Now I can appreciate that some people see the 'moderator' and feel either inhibited or that they have to treat my postings with some extra respect. There is probably not much I can do about that other than to say that you shouldn't be afraid of saying what you want to say. My 'powers' as a moderator are not that great. I cannot (and would not) ban people - such things are only done after much consideration by the whole team, and for very serious reasons. I could theoretically change or censor people's postings - but if I ever DO change a posting then there will be a very good reason for it AND I will say that I have done so in red. The only other 'extra' power I have is that I can lock a thread if I consider it necessary. I would urge people to look through the forum and see if they can find any examples of me changing postings or locking threads. There may be one or two but I honestly can't remember any...Aside from that I am a poster like any other

It is reasonable to raise the issue, however, and it is an issue I have thought about quite a lot.
In the science forums then the issue is not open to question. I moderate those forums quite strictly to ensure that they ARE science, or science questions, and I will continue to do so. In this forum, however, my contributions are questionable and if there is a general feeling that people would prefer moderators not to post - including me - then I will certainly consider it seriously.
watersoul
Bikerman wrote:
...and if there is a general feeling that people would prefer moderators not to post - including me - then I will certainly consider it seriously.


Well, I for one will happily state that although I may disagree with Bikerman at times (or any other Mod), and perhaps even be provocative in my own responses, I always consider everyone as an individual poster, not a mod, during those particular discussions. As long as I follow the rules, the mod status (and any other persons) is not an issue, nor should it be.

Mods are totally needed on any public forum, and equally their work as a mod should not deprive them of the option to share an opinion as an individual, as long as they themselves follow the same rules.

As far as the perceived situation of other people being scared to disagree etc, I would suggest that's a confidence issue they perhaps really need to deal with themselves. If an individual fears defending their view in an anonymous internet forum, then I really dread to think how that lack of confidence must be affecting them in the "real" world.
Bluedoll
@jeffryjon
I think this post is fantastic (specially your breakdown put in bold - - super!) .
I will not accept your idea/suggestion to remain unemotional in my posts however and even more importantly my writing. Although I see an outcome developing from well thought out logical posts, I do not see this method as being the best outcome in a philosophy section, even less a religious one.
In my view, it is not fear that keeps me from posting in this section but lack of desire to collaborate. I used to post quiet frequently in this section but was told by sir moderator/poster(two different hats do not change the man - - - is that philosophy?) to “go post on another forum”, “try opening a blog”, “your posts are not contributing to this forum” and general statements like that was stupid etc - - will I be told I need to dig up posts?
In regards to the philosophy of posting, in general, mind you please, I said ‘posting’ not forum posting. I feel there maybe computer cultural norms around internet usage but in any case I will stick to my philosophy.
Aside from obvious no no’s (actually thinking here that I might thank someone for telling me I am writing something racist if that’s what I’ve written, I would offer up an apology) . . .
I will write what I want, in the way I want (emotionally if I feel the need) on topics where I wish to express my self. I will not be bullied nor pressured to feel required to prove my points or ideas (religious subjects can not always be proven but can be felt) nor engage in some argumentative debating style that I may not wish to participate in.

Did I express that logically but also with emotion? Yes, I think so.
Bikerman
Quote:
but was told by sir moderator/poster(two different hats do not change the man - - - is that philosophy?) to “go post on another forum”, “try opening a blog”, “your posts are not contributing to this forum” and general statements like that was stupid etc - - will I be told I need to dig up posts?

The post you refer to is HERE

You attempted a spot of back-seat moderation and I intervened to stop it. That is all there is to it and to paint it as some attempt to stop you posting is either paranoia or deliberate dishonesty.
What I actually said was that you may not instruct other posters not to post because of their viewpoint and I said that IF that was what you wanted to do then I would be happy to supply a list of places where that is the norm. This was simply pointing out the TOS. I then said
Quote:
By all means share your ideas on religion, but do not issue injunctions or requests to other users not to post - that is back-seat moderation.
- pretty much the opposite of your characterisation.
Readers can, of course, judge for themselves who is truthful and who is not.
Bluedoll
@bikerman the poster
I was not referring to just this one post there were many others – ok here is another then.

I do not agree with your tone nor of the way you interact with me in the Philosophy/Religion section. This is true. I do really take offense being called dishonest and a suggestion made about my personal health ie: paranoid! I think it is uncalled for, too much of a personal attack and unnecessary. I am learning more and more about forum boards (we all come from different backgrounds) and how they function and do find the board helpful in many ways however I do want to make it clear that I do not want your help, assistance, your personal suggestions or any kind of advice from you.

All I request is respect, something you can not get your head around and not turn my posts into some kind of opportunity for a popularity contest. “Readers can, of course, judge for themselves who is truthful and who is not.”
I don’t think readers need to be reminded about such a thing or even suggest that they are required to make this judgement.

You made your call as a moderator to flag the post fine. It is yesterdays news. We are here now on this day and I am telling you point blank as a poster – I would like to make quality posts and read good posts made by other members and not have to deal with someone that is attacking my integrity as a person because I simply have the courage to write what I believe is true. I have opinions and express them how and the way I want to express them. It does not make me a person who is dishonest.

When I made that post whether you believe it or not it was genuine. I was attempting to suggest to people that those that share the same beliefs join me. It was meant to be an invitation not to be intrusive. If the words I chose stepped on policy fine I have no choice but to concede and accept rulings.
It is not the admin part I have a problem with. It is you! It is that simple. Freedom of speech prove it! You say you do not personally attack in your posts, why do you not tell the truth? I always write with feelings and honesty. What about you Bikerman?
Bikerman
Bluedoll wrote:
@bikerman the poster
I was not referring to just this one post there were many others – ok here is another then.
Where?
Quote:
I do not agree with your tone nor of the way you interact with me in the Philosophy/Religion section. This is true. I do really take offense being called dishonest and a suggestion made about my personal health ie: paranoid! I think it is uncalled for, too much of a personal attack and unnecessary. I am learning more and more about forum boards (we all come from different backgrounds) and how they function and do find the board helpful in many ways however I do want to make it clear that I do not want your help, assistance, your personal suggestions or any kind of advice from you.
Unless you can show me where I told you to 'go post on another forum', 'try opening a blog' etc then what you wrote was not true. Another word for not true...?
Quote:
All I request is respect, something you can not get your head around and not turn my posts into some kind of opportunity for a popularity contest. “Readers can, of course, judge for themselves who is truthful and who is not.”
I can certainly understand that you want respect, what i do not understand is why you think it is due...
Quote:
I don’t think readers need to be reminded about such a thing or even suggest that they are required to make this judgement.
That is up to them.
Quote:
You made your call as a moderator to flag the post fine. It is yesterdays news. We are here now on this day and I am telling you point blank as a poster – I would like to make quality posts and read good posts made by other members and not have to deal with someone that is attacking my integrity as a person because I simply have the courage to write what I believe is true. I have opinions and express them how and the way I want to express them. It does not make me a person who is dishonest.
What makes people dishonest is making untrue statements. If this is yesterdays news then why did you raise it?
Quote:
When I made that post whether you believe it or not it was genuine. I was attempting to suggest to people that those that share the same beliefs join me. It was meant to be an invitation not to be intrusive. If the words I chose stepped on policy fine I have no choice but to concede and accept rulings.
It is not the admin part I have a problem with. It is you! It is that simple. Freedom of speech prove it! You say you do not personally attack in your posts, why do you not tell the truth? I always write with feelings and honesty. What about you Bikerman?
As I said, if you can find any dishonesty in my postings then point it out.
deanhills
First of all, thanks for starting this thread jeffryjon. Your OP was excellent. Also I admire Bluedoll for speaking freely. I'm certain that must have taken guts for her to do, as if ever a person has been abused in this Forum, that has been Bluedoll. I encourage you to study a thread where the Moderator and a pack of bullies basically all came down on her. But to make it much much worse, while Bikerman was tearing her to shreds, posting by posting, instead of locking the thread as a good Moderator should have done when it was obvious where it was going to lead, he was also debating and presenting his case to the Moderators unbeknownst to any one in that thread. So he was basically fighting her skillfully and successfully on two fronts. Publicly in the Forum and without her knowledge on the Moderator's Forum as well, and the way I know Bikerman, his case to the Moderators would have been very convincing.

And to understand why Bikerman forced that thread to play out (when it should have been locked before it started), there had been a thread before (ironically called Respect?), where Bikerman had completely lost his cool with Bluedoll. It is obvious that he went full throttle after that to "teach her a lesson". Read one of the last postings in the "thread of the first paragraph above" by another Moderator, who by the way does not post in the P&R forum as a rule, and that is the moment when I realized that Bikerman had been fighting his case on two fronts, publicly as a poster, and behind closed doors as a Moderator. How can a Moderator say that he is only posting as a poster, when he is debating his opponent in the Phil&Rel Forum and Moderator Forum simultaneously??????

@Bikerman. With regard to your first posting in this thread, how on earth can you say you are NOT a Moderator when you post. You ARE a MODERATOR. Period. The name that appears next to your posting says Bikerman, Moderator. Not Bikerman, Poster. Who fabricated that illusion? Is this what all the Moderators believe as well? Secondly, you were not truthful about your statement regarding separating your posting and moderating. There have been numerous occasions when you have put your Moderator hat on when you were flaming mad in a debate. You more than once locked a thread out of anger, rather than the real need to lock that thread. You have also threatened me on occasion, as you have jmi in the Politics forum. That is certainly not a very truthful statement.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
First of all, thanks for starting this thread jeffryjon. Your OP was excellent. Also I admire Bluedoll for speaking freely. I'm certain that must have taken guts for her to do, as if ever a person has been abused in this Forum, that has been Bluedoll. I encourage you to study a thread where the Moderator and a pack of bullies basically all came down on her. But to make it much much worse, while Bikerman was tearing her to shreds, posting by posting, instead of locking the thread as a good Moderator should have done when it was obvious where it was going to lead, he was also debating and presenting his case to the Moderators unbeknownst to any one in that thread. So he was basically fighting her skillfully and successfully on two fronts. Publicly in the Forum and without her knowledge on the Moderator's Forum as well, and the way I know Bikerman, his case to the Moderators would have been very convincing.
And do you know what I was presenting to the moderators? I was presenting a case for a separate religious board or blog so that she could post religious messages without interference from me and other posters. Oh how naughty of me that was.
Quote:
And to understand why Bikerman forced that thread to play out (when it should have been locked before it started), there had been a thread before (ironically called Respect?), where Bikerman had completely lost his cool with Bluedoll. It is obvious that he went full throttle after that to "teach her a lesson". Read one of the last postings in the "thread of the first paragraph above" by another Moderator, who by the way does not post in the P&R forum as a rule, and that is the moment when I realized that Bikerman had been fighting his case on two fronts, publicly as a poster, and behind closed doors as a Moderator. How can a Moderator say that he is only posting as a poster, when he is debating his opponent in the Phil&Rel Forum and Moderator Forum simultaneously??????
Once again you add two and two and make twenty. I'm not going to discuss what is posted in the moderators forum with you in detail because it is confidential, but I was not 'fighting' any case because I didn't have to make a case - I have authority as a moderator already. I was bringing the thread to the attention of the other moderators so they could give THEIR opinions. Peer review is what we call it. If I am unsure about a decision then I ask the other moderators to review it.
Quote:
@Bikerman. With regard to your first posting in this thread, how on earth can you say you are NOT a Moderator when you post. You ARE a MODERATOR. Period. The name that appears next to your posting says Bikerman, Moderator. Not Bikerman, Poster. Who fabricated that illusion? Is this what all the Moderators believe as well? Secondly, you were not truthful about your statement regarding separating your posting and moderating. There have been numerous occasions when you have put your Moderator hat on when you were flaming mad in a debate. You more than once locked a thread out of anger, rather than the real need to lock that thread. You have also threatened me on occasion, as you have jmi in the Politics forum. That is certainly not a very truthful statement.
So why not point out these numerous occasions then? The thread I locked by mistake was explained at the time - I thought that the site linked to contained a request for monies which we do not allow. I checked my decision with the other moderators (something I don't have to do) and we decided that since there was no actual contribution button that it could be allowed IF I DECIDED TO DO SO. I did the honourable thing and issued an explanation, an admission that I was wrong, and a re-instatement. You say I have done this more than once. Please provide links to other examples.
As regards threats - you have my permission to publish any pms containing such threats, and I will publish the other side of the conversation.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
And do you know what I was presenting to the moderators? I was presenting a case for a separate religious board or blog so that she could post religious messages without interference from me and other posters. Oh how naughty of me that was.
Was that what she wanted you to do? Did you ask her? Don't you think that was a trifle condescending and presumptuous of you? And was it really about her, or making yourself look good, as you are trying to do now as well?
Bikerman wrote:
Once again you add two and two and make twenty. I'm not going to discuss what is posted in the moderators forum with you in detail because it is confidential, but I was not 'fighting' any case because I didn't have to make a case - I have authority as a moderator already. I was bringing the thread to the attention of the other moderators so they could give THEIR opinions. Peer review is what we call it. If I am unsure about a decision then I ask the other moderators to review it.
You MISSED the point completely Bikerman. The reason why I brought that up was that you mentioned in your first posting that you only post as a poster, not as a moderator, and when there is a conflict you keep the Moderator Forum informed. I am arguing that when you do inform the Moderator Forum, without the person you are debating with having a chance to put her case as well, that you cannot claim that you are only posting as a poster. You can't separate the two. You are in conflict of interest.
Bikerman wrote:
So why not point out these numerous occasions then? The thread I locked by mistake was explained at the time - I thought that the site linked to contained a request for monies which we do not allow. I checked my decision with the other moderators (something I don't have to do) and we decided that since there was no actual contribution button that it could be allowed IF I DECIDED TO DO SO. I did the honourable thing and issued an explanation, an admission that I was wrong, and a re-instatement. You say I have done this more than once. Please provide links to other examples.
As regards threats - you have my permission to publish any pms containing such threats, and I will publish the other side of the conversation.
I was not even thinking about the thread that you mentioned. I did not want to make this a big hashing up of past spats, but if you like, since the weekend is almost upon us. Although I could probably use my time much better with more positive pursuits and posting, I will dedicate a day over the weekend to check through our previous postings so that I can list them here. If that is what you wish me to do.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
And do you know what I was presenting to the moderators? I was presenting a case for a separate religious board or blog so that she could post religious messages without interference from me and other posters. Oh how naughty of me that was.
Was that what she wanted you to do? Did you ask her? Don't you think that was a trifle condescending and presumptuous of you? And was it really about her, or making yourself look good, as you are trying to do now as well?
Yes it did seem to be what she wanted.
Bluedoll wrote:
I wanted to orderly arrange one post that would inspire a good topic (that is not going to happen now!) without disruptive intervention. I was politely asking for this in one tiny tinny little thread.
I was checking if it would be possible to allow her a 'blog thread' which would not need to be subject to the normal moderation and which she could control.
I don't try to make myself look good, but if that is what you believe then that's up to you.
Quote:
Bikerman wrote:
Once again you add two and two and make twenty. I'm not going to discuss what is posted in the moderators forum with you in detail because it is confidential, but I was not 'fighting' any case because I didn't have to make a case - I have authority as a moderator already. I was bringing the thread to the attention of the other moderators so they could give THEIR opinions. Peer review is what we call it. If I am unsure about a decision then I ask the other moderators to review it.
You MISSED the point completely Bikerman. The reason why I brought that up was that you mentioned in your first posting that you only post as a poster, not as a moderator, and when there is a conflict you keep the Moderator Forum informed. I am arguing that when you do inform the Moderator Forum, without the person you are debating with having a chance to put her case as well, that you cannot claim that you are only posting as a poster. You can't separate the two. You are in conflict of interest.
No YOU miss the point. I consult on the moderators forum when I have, or am about to, make a moderation decision - not when I am posting as a normal poster. In this case I had already issued a moderation judgement before I took it to the moderator forum for review. I can and do separate the two.
Quote:
I was not even thinking about the thread that you mentioned. I did not want to make this a big hashing up of past spats, but if you like, since the weekend is almost upon us. Although I could probably use my time much better with more positive pursuits and posting, I will dedicate a day over the weekend to check through our previous postings so that I can list them here. If that is what you wish me to do.
Do what you want Dean. Since you claim I have shut threads down in anger then I think you should provide evidence. I don't think I have ever done so but I'm open to evidence.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Since you claim I have shut threads down in anger then I think you should provide evidence. I don't think I have ever done so but I'm open to evidence.
I did not want to list this, but since you asked, here we go:

Obama's speech to students Kindergarten through 12
The thread started on 8 September 2009 and you closed it on the same day when it had barely started, and still had a long way to go. You went into tangents, threatened jmi with your "Mod Hat", jmi called you on it, and you then lost your cool and closed the thread:
Bikerman wrote:
You are getting ridiculous now. You have no real argument, and I don't 'cower' behind anything.

If you continue to make unsupported allegations of criminality/dishonesty then I will simply delete any such posting. END OF STORY

Thread Locked - Bikerman
Thread re-opened on 'appeal' - Bikerman

There is also the Laura Decker thread which you indicate you had been sincere about removing a link in my posting, but given that you had basically hijacked that thread, and tried to discredit me by calling me a liar not once but numerous times in the usual lengthy literature to hammer your points in, how can I believe you? The thread speaks for itself.

You tried to close the Laura Decker thread earlier on as well, at the stage when Laura Decker was still going to get a hearing. That posting was not in red. And there is definitely not the feeling of "just a poster" in that posting either.
Bikerman wrote:
Yes, if she was 16 then she could choose her course. Yes, I suspect this is to placate the authorities.

To be honest I think we have now exhausted this thread. Unless there are any new points to be made then I intend to close it.
Bluedoll
jeffryjon wrote:
Moderator participation in the role of a postee. No participation could deprive us of valuable input. It would also deprive the moderator of his or her rights as a member of the forum. On the other hand, allowing moderator participation may lead to others backing away as they perceive the moderator as pulling rank and abusing their role. (Just a note here. I'm NOT saying that any moderator IS abusing their role, just that it could be perceived as such, which could be just as harmful to the forum).
This was a good post and helpful! An opinion, mod/postee in the science section excels both as a poste’/ mod. From the perspective of a new person entering the forum for the first time and reading how the poste/moderator participates on these ‘hot’ topics -> new person heads for the door real quick. HARMFUL.
Bikerman
The thread with JMI was closed because it contained unsupported allegations of criminality which is against the TOS. I was giving JMI the opportunity to substantiate those claims before I closed it. Any postings which make libellous claims or allegations are removed as a matter of procedure - I was simply reiterating that policy so that JMI could be in no doubt. Since the allegations were not substantiated I closed the thread. JMI then contacted me via pm to say that he wished to substantiate the allegations - which is why I then re-opened it. It was not closed 'in anger' but in accord with the TOS and the fact that I reopened it is evidence enough that I did not close it out of some personal anger or other motivation - if that was true I would simply have left it closed.
It is also worth noting that this posting was in the Politics forum where there was a lot of abusive and personal comment being made. It was agreed in the moderators forum that we needed to take a tougher line on this. Unfortunately it didn't entirely solve the problem but it did help.

I have already dealt with the Laura Dekker thread. The earlier suggestion that I might close it was simply a wake-up call to posters - I simply said that if there was nothing more to add then the thread should be closed. That wasn't a threat or an angry response - just the opposite. The fact that more WAS added meant that I left it open.
The allegation that 'I tried to close' the thread is silly - If I wanted to close it I would simply have done so, I don't need to 'try'.
Quote:
and tried to discredit me by calling me a liar not once but numerous times in the usual lengthy literature to hammer your points in,
The thread is there to be read and I cannot see a single time that I called you a liar. Please point out where I did so or retract the allegation.

The only mistake that I can see is that I should have put the indication that I might close the thread in red to make it clear that I was speaking as moderator. To that extent I agree that I made a mistake.
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
The thread with JMI was closed because it contained unsupported allegations of criminality which is against the TOS. I was giving JMI the opportunity to substantiate those claims before I closed it. He did not do so, therefore I closed it. He then contacted me via pm to say that he wished to substantiate the allegations - which is why I then re-opened it. It was not closed 'in anger' but in accord with the TOS.
I have already dealt with the Laura Dekker thread. The earlier suggestion that I might close it was simply a wake-up call to posters - I was simply saying that if there was nothing more to add then the thread should be closed. The fact that more WAS added meant that I left it open. The allegation that 'I tried to close' the thread is silly - If I wanted to close it I would simply have done so.

The only mistake that I can see is that I should perhaps have put the indication that I might close the thread in red to make it clear that I was speaking as moderator. To that extent I agree that I made a mistake.


I usually don’t get involved in this forum, but since I have been brought up, I thought I should comment.

Bikerman’s simple characterization of the thread in question is a pretty good attempt to gloss over the way it really happened, but not quite the truth. Bikerman and I were debating back and forth, and when I rebuffed his arguments and called him out on his personal attacks he then closed the thread. It wasn’t until 10 posts after I pointed out that parents should have a right to protect their children from people they distrust (and in that post I cited the types of people Obama surrounds himself with) that Bikerman decided to shut down the thread. Out of those 10 posts, four were mine and four were his, and he seemed just fine arguing back and forth without mentioning my supposed TOS violation until his back was up against a wall. To Bikerman’s credit, once I let the situation cool off a bit and PMed him about the thread promising I would provide the specifics he demanded, he did reopen it. But it’s still my opinion that he closed the thread because he was POed rather than some TOS violation, which is being used as a scapegoat. In fact, I can’t find where the TOS cites “unsupported allegations of criminality,” and the fact that it was so easy to put a specific list together shows that my characterization was indeed accurate. But my aim here isn’t to reopen that debate but rather set the record straight as to how it went down.

In the Politics forum (as well as this forum) TOS violations seem to abound, and it appears most are ignored and/or justified by the mod if the violation happens to agree with the mod’s point of view or argument. I have also tried to report violations (as well as be more careful myself), and while I can say some have been respected and resolved, many have not and it continues.

With that in mind, I think it’s fair to say Bikerman does cross the line between poster and mod at times, and sometimes either uses the mod hat to bully or attack, and also uses it to get out of debates where he is going down a clearly losing path. Not always, but at times. That said, I think it’s just his nature, and I have just come to accept this part of posting on Frihost. I’m no saint myself, either, and I have made apologies when I have been in the wrong. But I think the claim that he is some neutral mod, just enforcing the TOS and posting here and there to keep things orderly is dishonest. Most mods here are pretty good, though, and overall Frihost is a pretty decent place to post.
Bikerman
jmi256 wrote:
I usually don’t get involved in this forum, but since I have been brought up, I thought I should comment.

Bikerman’s simple characterization of the thread in question is a pretty good attempt to gloss over the way it really happened, but not quite the truth. Bikerman and I were debating back and forth, and when I rebuffed his arguments and called him out on his personal attacks he then closed the thread. It wasn’t until 10 posts after I pointed out that parents should have a right to protect their children from people they distrust (and in that post I cited the types of people Obama surrounds himself with) that Bikerman decided to shut down the thread. Out of those 10 posts, four were mine and four were his, and he seemed just fine arguing back and forth without mentioning my supposed TOS violation until his back was up against a wall.
That is simply untrue. If you read back, my last but one posting before I closed the thread contains
Bikerman wrote:
I have given you ample chance to support this allegation. To date you have not. You have now repeated it. I'll give you one more chance to justify it, then the 'mod' hat comes on.

Which is to say that I gave you ample warning and then closed it exactly as I said I would.
Quote:
In the Politics forum (as well as this forum) TOS violations seem to abound, and it appears most are ignored and/or justified by the mod if the violation happens to agree with the mod’s point of view or argument. I have also tried to report violations (as well as be more careful myself), and while I can say some have been respected and resolved, many have not and it continues.
And I think you will find that the ones that HAVE been resolved have been mostly, if not entirely, resolved by me. The accusation that I only enforce TOS violations that fit in with some personal opinion is completely bogus, as is evidenced by the warnings that I have given out - though it does not surprise me to hear you repeat the accusation. The fact is that the other mods don't generally act on your posting reports but I do where I see there is some merit. You can take that to mean whatever you like.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
I have given you ample chance to support this allegation. To date you have not. You have now repeated it. I'll give you one more chance to justify it, then the 'mod' hat comes on.
Ample warning for breaking which TOS violation Bikerman? I hope that other posters who have not participated in the Obama's speech to students Kindergarten through 12 thread will go and read it before they make a judgment. Jmi was respectful and courteous right through that thread to you in spite of your abusive tone. You were the one who lost your cool.

AND, how does this gel with your claim that you post as a poster only? If you are really sincere about only posting as a poster, that is an excellent example of a conflict of interest situation.
Bikerman
The TOS in question is 1.c and it should be obvious that this includes libellous allegations.
I notice that you don't retract your allegation that I repeatedly called you a liar in the thread you mentioned....ho hum, plus ça change...simply ignore the allegation once proved false and move onto the next one eh?

The simple fact is that jmi was mistaken in his interpretation of events and I have corrected that misinterpretation. Once again there was no conflict of interest, only enforcement of the TOS.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
The TOS in question is 1.c and it should be obvious that this includes libellous allegations.
I've seen much worse than that Bikerman by many other posters in the Politics forums. You're not truthful about this you know! You DID loose your cool. And now you are trying to make it look like something it never was. And you did all of that while you were posting as a poster, and not a moderator?

Bikerman wrote:
I notice that you don't retract your allegation that I repeatedly called you a liar in the thread you mentioned....ho hum, plus ça change...simply ignore the allegation once proved false and move onto the next one eh?
I'm not so sure what you are talking about here, can you clarify please.

Bikerman wrote:
The simple fact is that jmi was mistaken in his interpretation of events and I have corrected that misinterpretation. Once again there was no conflict of interest, only enforcement of the TOS.
No Bikerman. You were in a debate with jmi. Then when it suited you, you put your Moderator hat on. A good example of my point that being an intense debater as you are and a Moderator at the same time is a conflict of interest. The facts speak for themselves.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
The TOS in question is 1.c and it should be obvious that this includes libellous allegations.
I've seen much worse than that Bikerman by many other posters in the Politics forums. You're not truthful about this you know! You DID loose your cool. And now you are trying to make it look like something it never was. And you did all of that while you were posting as a poster, and not a moderator?
I am completely truthful and the evidence is in the thread. I rarely loose my cool and I certainly didn't in the thread concerned. I was slightly irritated by certain claims, but that in no way influenced my actions.
The events are quite clear
1) Allegations of criminality were made
2) I asked that such allegations be justified.
3) No such justification or support was offered. The allegation was repeated.
4) I warned that unless support for the allegations WAS provided that I would have to step in as moderator.
5) No support was offered so I closed the thread.
6) JMI pm'd me saying he would now provide the support I had asked for.
7) I reopened the thread.
It is all there in black and white.
As for seeing worse in other threads - all I can say is that if I had seen any similar allegations then I would have acted on them.
Quote:
Bikerman wrote:
I notice that you don't retract your allegation that I repeatedly called you a liar in the thread you mentioned....ho hum, plus ça change...simply ignore the allegation once proved false and move onto the next one eh?
I'm not so sure what you are talking about here, can you clarify please.
Certainly
Deanhills wrote:
There is also the Laura Decker thread which you indicate you had been sincere about removing a link in my posting, but given that you had basically hijacked that thread, and tried to discredit me by calling me a liar not once but numerous times in the usual lengthy literature to hammer your points in, how can I believe you?
What I actually said was that I would not call you a liar. I then provided the factual evidence to show that you were wrong. I'm pretty sure I never accused you of being a liar anywhere in the thread, but if I am wrong then please point out where I did so.
Quote:
Bikerman wrote:
The simple fact is that jmi was mistaken in his interpretation of events and I have corrected that misinterpretation. Once again there was no conflict of interest, only enforcement of the TOS.
No Bikerman. You were in a debate with jmi. Then when it suited you, you put your Moderator hat on. A good example of my point that being an intense debater as you are and a Moderator at the same time is a conflict of interest. The facts speak for themselves.

Yes, the facts do speak for themselves - as anyone can read.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
As for seeing worse in other threads - all I can say is that if I had seen any similar allegations then I would have acted on them.
That is not true Bikerman, the accusations that have been made about Bush have never led to any demands for proof or sanction in that Forum. AND I notice you have conveniently ignored the fact that you were a poster at the time when you were moderating. Which IS a conflict of interest.

Bikerman wrote:
Deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
I notice that you don't retract your allegation that I repeatedly called you a liar in the thread you mentioned....ho hum, plus ça change...simply ignore the allegation once proved false and move onto the next one eh?
I'm not so sure what you are talking about here, can you clarify please.
Certainly
Deanhills wrote:
There is also the Laura Decker thread which you indicate you had been sincere about removing a link in my posting, but given that you had basically hijacked that thread, and tried to discredit me by calling me a liar not once but numerous times in the usual lengthy literature to hammer your points in, how can I believe you?
What I actually said was that I would not call you a liar. I then provided the factual evidence to show that you were wrong.
Any person who has watched you in debate with me over the last number of months has seen the word "liar" a few times, and all kinds of other derogatory statements in extreme negatives And now you work on the Laura Decker thread only? And of course that is twisting it. As the reason I used the Laura Decker thread was to illustrate how you lose your cool. Focusing on something different you are trying to deflect from that?

These are my two main points: (1) your very intense posting style where you tackle posters (2) and then moderating those postings at the same time equals conflict of interest. You claimed that when you post, you just post and that you separate the two. But you don't.
Bikerman
So in short your claim was bogus* and now that it is pointed out you simply move to the next allegation.
As I said plus ca change...

If you can provide any unsupported allegations of criminality regarding Bush then do so, otherwise it is just one more in a line of the above...

* You claimed that in the Laura Dekker thread I repeatedly called you a liar. I didn't. What does that make you?
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
So in short your claim was bogus* and now that it is pointed out you simply move to the next allegation.
As I said plus ca change...
Now what a fabrication of the truth that is Bikerman.
Bikerman wrote:
If you say so....I find it hard to see how anyone could form a balanced opinion about the girl or her parents from the cited article. I guess you must have researched it further before posting? You will have to forgive me if I don't necessarily accept that to be true, but I'm certainly not going to call you a liar.
That is NOT calling me a liar??????????????????

I am not going to argue with you any further Bikerman. You are doing a classic side-tracking trying to discredit the person you are debating with. Our discussion was started when you made this statement:
Quote:
Firstly I do say, though perhaps I should say it more often, that whenever I am contributing to a thread then I am just a poster.
The reason why I contributed the two references to jmi's thread and to the Laura Decker threads (at your request) was to illustrate situations where you had lost your cool during an intense debate, and where your moderator status was used to assert your position in the debates. In other words, you are NOT just a poster when you are posting. You ARE a moderator. And you ARE therefore in conflict of interest when you moderate the thread that you are posting in as well.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
So in short your claim was bogus* and now that it is pointed out you simply move to the next allegation.
As I said plus ca change...
Now what a fabrication of the truth that is Bikerman.
There is only one person fabricating here and it isn't me.
Quote:
Bikerman wrote:
If you say so....I find it hard to see how anyone could form a balanced opinion about the girl or her parents from the cited article. I guess you must have researched it further before posting? You will have to forgive me if I don't necessarily accept that to be true, but I'm certainly not going to call you a liar.
That is NOT calling me a liar??????????????????
Of course not - it says so explictly. The meaning is quite clear - I was saying that I didn't agree with you but was not saying that you lied. There are other possibilities - you might be genuinely mistaken or misinformed (which i believe you were, as the thread played out). If I wanted to call you a liar I would have said so - I would not have said the opposite.
Quote:
I am not going to argue with you any further Bikerman. You are doing a classic side-tracking trying to discredit the person you are debating with.
You do that yourself without my help.
Quote:
Our discussion was started when you made this statement:
Quote:
Firstly I do say, though perhaps I should say it more often, that whenever I am contributing to a thread then I am just a poster.[/size]
The reason why I contributed the two references to jmi's thread and to the Laura Decker threads (at your request) was to illustrate situations where you had lost your cool during an intense debate, and where your moderator status was used to assert your position in the debates. In other words, you are NOT just a poster when you are posting. You ARE a moderator. And you ARE therefore in conflict of interest when you moderate the thread that you are posting in as well.
In neither of the cases did I use moderator status to my own advantage. Both have been explained and in both cases I reopened the thread concerned - once because I made a genuine mistake - and admitted so quite openly and transparently - and the other because the information I required was supplied, allowing the thread to continue.
If I had wanted to use moderator status to my advantage I would have left both threads closed and got in a last 'swipe' at the other person as I did so. I would certainly not have admitted to a mistake, or re-opened the thread involving jmi.

The simple fact is that although this debate was about THIS board you have not been able to find a single occasion when I have closed a thread here, so you dug out two examples from other boards - both of which I explained at the time and have explained again here.

Your problem is that you dislike the fact that I frequently criticise your postings and because you are not able to defend them in normal debate you have to find other ways of attacking, such as implying dishonest use of moderator status, and making demonstrably false allegations about what I have posted.
jeffryjon
Wow, I was really hoping this thread would provide the possibility of a more constructive debate about how we approach a very wide set of subjects. As an observation from a postee, I unfortunately feel that this thread could go the same way as the ones that led to creating it.

Chris (bikerman) is a moderator in this forum and he is also a postee. The topics we post within the forum are often extremely interesting to pursue, but will also require extensive debate to lead to anything constructive. I for one, would be greatly disappointed to see Chris leave as a postee. I would also be disappointed if we ended up with a moderator who felt reluctant to post for fear of accusations of conflict of interests. I believe, that ANY moderator who also acts as a postee in this forum will have occasions where the two roles are in conflict and I can't see how that could not be the case - no matter who is moderating and no matter how hard they try.

Sometimes moderating forums requires a judgement call and it may be that certain judgements are made in error. Chris locks a thread and then reopens the same thread on appeal - both actions were right in his judgement at the time. Chris stands his ground well and argues strongly, though he is willing to admit when he's wrong, when it becomes sufficiently evident to him. Whether or not it's in the TOS, my personal opinion is if we are to make any progress in this forum, it's our responsibility as postees not only to stand our ground, but to provide clearer definitions, more examples etc to prove the fact that our case is stronger and this particular thread has allowed for that. It doesn't have to be the case that a thread has to be devalued by personal conflicts - there's a tickbox in reports for 'Flaming (A post trying to 'flame' up the discussion in unwanted/aggressive ways.)'.

Personally I believe reporting should be a last resort in situations like this, though I'd like to offer a suggestion. When someone reports something as 'flaming' it doesn't always have to mean that the postee was flaming, rather that it was interpreted that way. Coming from UK and in particular the north of UK, I can understand that someone would let a comment fly off the cuff such as 'I'm not saying you're lying' with their tongue in their cheek and really meaning 'I am saying that I can't believe what you just said'. Unfortunately the same comment could easily be interpreted in other environments as 'I am saying you're lying' - it's a cultural thing and since it can so easily be interpreted one way or the other it may be better to refrain from such comments on a globally accessible forum. I'd also like to put forward that although constant reporting can become tedious, we could use the 'flaming' report as a way of alerting the postee making the comment that what they just said could easily be interpreted in an inflammatory way.

Now in this very longwinded ramble, I'd also like to quote something bikerman said as an analogy.
Bikerman wrote:
Heat flows from hotter to cooler - that is a fact.

If that is the case (I believe it is based on my own observations), then we'd be more productive to tend toward the inevitable in our debating style. Point out flaws in argument, rather than suggesting flaws in the person. A comment to the effect of 'The statement quoted above is wrong, based on .........' is much less likely to further enflame the postee being quoted than 'You are wrong', especially in subjects which are highly debatable depending on perspective.

The comments made in this post are my observations and my opinions based on those observations - they are just that and no more. The post in itself could be a good example of where comments can be allowed to pass regardless of whether the reader agrees - and the reason for that is I'm not claiming anything beyond the statements being my observations and opinions. Debate to support or refute what I've said is (again in my opinion) unnecessary.
deanhills
jeffryjon wrote:
Wow, I was really hoping this thread would provide the possibility of a more constructive debate about how we approach a very wide set of subjects. As an observation from a postee, I unfortunately feel that this thread could go the same way as the ones that led to creating it.

Chris (bikerman) is a moderator in this forum and he is also a postee. The topics we post within the forum are often extremely interesting to pursue, but will also require extensive debate to lead to anything constructive. I for one, would be greatly disappointed to see Chris leave as a postee. I would also be disappointed if we ended up with a moderator who felt reluctant to post for fear of accusations of conflict of interests. I believe, that ANY moderator who also acts as a postee in this forum will have occasions where the two roles are in conflict and I can't see how that could not be the case - no matter who is moderating and no matter how hard they try.
With respect jeffryjon. If you are talking in general, then I will agree with you. But NONE of the other Moderators post to the extent that Bikerman posts. I wonder if some of them even get to 5% of his postings in one day. And NONE of the other Moderators are as passionately robust and intense in their postings as he is. Bikerman is an exception to the norm of Moderator on Frihost. Let's be clear here as well: I NEVER thought that Bikerman should leave at all. My point is that if he is passionately involved in a debate with another poster to the extent of "conflict", then he cannot moderate that discussion at the same time. Especially when he is in a conflict with the poster he is debating with. That I would have thought would have been a common sense rule.

NONE of the other Moderators in Frihost are in the situation you are describing above, i.e. conflicted when they make their rulings. This Forum in general is not that heavily moderated either. BUT if a poster does get intense like Bikerman tends to get, then there is some sort of objective arbritation necessary. I agree that if there is another Moderator, that it may have to be one who is completely external or NEW, as any of the existing Moderators would be backing Bikerman up 100% any way. But truthfully Jeffryjon, if you can be courteous in your postings, even when you do not like the other person, as you have shown to be in your postings with me, as well as everyone else as well, why can't Bikerman do the same? Isn't that what a Moderator has to do any way? Set an example of courteous behaviour? So what are we having here. Making an exception for someone who has a behaviour problem, creating it into something "cute" because they like him?

jeffryjon wrote:
Sometimes moderating forums requires a judgement call and it may be that certain judgements are made in error. Chris locks a thread and then reopens the same thread on appeal - both actions were right in his judgement at the time. Chris stands his ground well and argues strongly, though he is willing to admit when he's wrong, when it becomes sufficiently evident to him. Whether or not it's in the TOS, my personal opinion is if we are to make any progress in this forum, it's our responsibility as postees not only to stand our ground, but to provide clearer definitions, more examples etc to prove the fact that our case is stronger and this particular thread has allowed for that. It doesn't have to be the case that a thread has to be devalued by personal conflicts - there's a tickbox in reports for 'Flaming (A post trying to 'flame' up the discussion in unwanted/aggressive ways.)'.
You are right about Chris arguing his case well. He convinced you didn't he? But none of it is really true. He really did close those threads in anger. I have lived with him for a very long time, and I am speaking the truth. You have not debated with jmi yet. Maybe you should get to know him before you make a judgment call like this as well. He is an ex marine and a gentleman to a fault. He would never lie, does not take things personally, and dealt with Bikerman with great self-restraint and diplomacy.

jeffryjon wrote:
Personally I believe reporting should be a last resort in situations like this, though I'd like to offer a suggestion. When someone reports something as 'flaming' it doesn't always have to mean that the postee was flaming, rather that it was interpreted that way. Coming from UK and in particular the north of UK, I can understand that someone would let a comment fly off the cuff such as 'I'm not saying you're lying' with their tongue in their cheek and really meaning 'I am saying that I can't believe what you just said'. Unfortunately the same comment could easily be interpreted in other environments as 'I am saying you're lying' - it's a cultural thing and since it can so easily be interpreted one way or the other it may be better to refrain from such comments on a globally accessible forum. I'd also like to put forward that although constant reporting can become tedious, we could use the 'flaming' report as a way of alerting the postee making the comment that what they just said could easily be interpreted in an inflammatory way.
You know what jeffryjon, there is not that much flame in Frihost. Most of the problems are more along the lines of "passionate robustness". The part that irks me and most of those who complained are the public personal references, the sarcastic and condescending personal remarks that are repeated over and over again over a number of postings in the same thread. Imagine when the Bikerman Fan Club sees those repetitions? Some of it has to rub off on the poster doesn't it? Given at how skillful Bikerman is as well. If Deanhills defends himself, that also attaches to Deanhills? The fabricator of truth. There is no way you can condone that kind of degrading or discrediting of a person, and I have been through that numerous of times. That IS wrong! And coming from a Moderator, who is supposed to set an example of behaviour to everyone else, DOUBLY wrong.

jeffryjon wrote:
The comments made in this post are my observations and my opinions based on those observations - they are just that and no more. The post in itself could be a good example of where comments can be allowed to pass regardless of whether the reader agrees - and the reason for that is I'm not claiming anything beyond the statements being my observations and opinions. Debate to support or refute what I've said is (again in my opinion) unnecessary.
I have an understanding for where you are coming from jeffryjon. Not so sure you have an understanding for where I am coming from. But I am sure that is OK too. Bikerman is very persuasive and skillful in his presentation. But I appreciate your sincerity and honesty in presenting the facts as you see them.
Bikerman
So, now we have:
"as any of the existing Moderators would be backing Bikerman up 100% any way."
Which of course means that all existing moderators are corrupt (by definition since they would be acting in a predetermined way rather than judging complaints on merit).
Making an exception for someone who has a behaviour problem
So now I have a behaviour problem and am being made an exception for (presumably by the other moderators)?
But none of it is really true. He really did close those threads in anger. I have lived with him for a very long time, and I am speaking the truth.
So not only am I a liar, but Dean knows me well enough to tell when I am lying and tell what my actual motivations and emotions are at any point.
But truthfully Jeffryjon, if you can be courteous in your postings, even when you do not like the other person, as you have shown to be in your postings with me, as well as everyone else as well, why can't Bikerman do the same?

If you have to ask, after that, then I'm genuinely astonished. You really think you deserve respect and courtesy? Wow.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
So, now we have:
"as any of the existing Moderators would be backing Bikerman up 100% any way."
Which of course means that all existing moderators are corrupt (by definition since they would be acting in a predetermined way rather than judging complaints on merit).
That is GROSS and very DELIBERATE MISINTERPRETATION of what I said. But then good to see as all I can say is I REST MY CASE. This is how Bikerman tackles. There is no asking what it means. It is just a straight accusation of the worst case scenario. Way to go Bikerman!
Bikerman wrote:
Making an exception for someone who has a behaviour problem
So now I have a behaviour problem and am being made an exception for (presumably by the other moderators)?
You do Bikerman. Of all the Moderators you are the only one who is tackling others and making personal remarks about posters.
Bikerman wrote:
But none of it is really true. He really did close those threads in anger. I have lived with him for a very long time, and I am speaking the truth. [/b]
So not only am I a liar, but Dean knows me well enough to tell when I am lying and tell what my actual motivations and emotions are at any point.
You made me in a liar when you made that statement. So I have to take it when you call me a liar, but you can't be challenged as well?
Bikerman wrote:
But truthfully Jeffryjon, if you can be courteous in your postings, even when you do not like the other person, as you have shown to be in your postings with me, as well as everyone else as well, why can't Bikerman do the same? Isn't that what a Moderator has to do any way? Set an example of courteous behaviour?[/b]

If you have to ask, after that, then I'm genuinely astonished.
So am I for you being "genuinely" astonished.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
So, now we have:
"as any of the existing Moderators would be backing Bikerman up 100% any way."
Which of course means that all existing moderators are corrupt (by definition since they would be acting in a predetermined way rather than judging complaints on merit).
That is GROSS and very DELIBERATE MISINTERPRETATION of what I said. But then good to see as all I can say is I REST MY CASE? This is how Bikerman tackles. There is no asking what it means. It is just a straight accusation of the worst case scenario. Way to go Bikerman!
Not a misrepresentation at all. Either the other moderators do their job properly, consider each complaint on merit and rule accordingly, or they 'back me up 100% any way'. They are incompatible statements and if your statement is true then it follows that the moderators are behaving contrary to their stated position - ie dishonestly or corruptly - there is no other way of interpreting it - it is simple logic and there is no accusation involved, unless I am missing something here...and I can't think of another alternative way of reconciling the statement...honestly I can't....Maybe the word corrupt is too strong for you....I could substitute dishonest, but corrupt is more accurate since it indicates dishonesty in a specific duty or role, rather than simply personal dishonesty....

I wonder why I go to the trouble of reporting complaints in the mod forum and seeking advice from the other mods - I should just relax knowing that they will back me up whatever.....after all, Steve, Rvec and the rest are clearly all under my spell.....

Alternatively, it could just be that your complaints were dismissed because they were judged to have no merit....but that would be even more unbelievable eh?
Bluedoll
If I had a complaint to make it would be that you Bikerman are corrupting this very post. I thought it was a super post. A member jeffryjon posted in my opinion a ‘quality’ post you do not see exsisting in every forum out there.

To quote jeffrjon, “Since joining Frihost, I've been enlightened to difficulties in the functionalities of forums.”

“Breadth of argument. Too narrowly focused and we risk leaving out relevant points, meaning to draw any conclusions would be unwise. Too broad and we risk the thread taking a whole new route which would be better placed in another thread.” – jeffrjon

Can you see there is an issue with corruption in this post Bikerman and do you disagree that moderators should be emulated? – Bluedoll
If you have to ask, after that, then I'm genuinely astonished. You really think you deserve respect and courtesy? Wow.” – Bikerman

Define post corruption – Big mouth who thinks he knows it all!
jeffryjon
Deanhills I do have an understanding where you're coming from. It's apparent that your experience of bikerman runs over a longer period and probably far more posts in far more threads. I imagine though (and I don't have any proof - even for myself), that if participating in Frihost forums becomes more hassle than the benefits received by being a member, that people (including myself) will do some sort of profit/loss analysis of being a member and decide whether to remain a member or let the membership lapse based on that analysis. In principle, I like what frihost represents, but as expected it's not free in any realistic sense of the word. I regard my frihost membership as somewhat of a hobby, though if it starts unduly interfering with my work, I'll let it drop - for me that's a predetermined decision.
Bikerman
Bluedoll wrote:
If I had a complaint to make it would be that you Bikerman are corrupting this very post. I thought it was a super post. A member jeffryjon posted in my opinion a ‘quality’ post you do not see exsisting in every forum out there.
It wasn't bad.
Quote:

To quote jeffrjon, “Since joining Frihost, I've been enlightened to difficulties in the functionalities of forums.”

Quote:

“Breadth of argument. Too narrowly focused and we risk leaving out relevant points, meaning to draw any conclusions would be unwise. Too broad and we risk the thread taking a whole new route which would be better placed in another thread.” – jeffrjon

Can you see there is an issue with corruption in this post Bikerman and do you disagree that moderators should be emulated? – Bluedoll
Yes I do actually. I don't think posters should aim to emulate anyone. I think they should post, obviously within the TOS, in their own style rather than trying to emulate one or more of the moderators. That way they will be more 'natural' and hopefully express themselves without the risk of appearing forced or artificial.
Quote:
Define post corruption – Big mouth who thinks he knows it all!
And once again I am left to point out just who is making personal comments about whom.....
I have never and would never claim to know it all - or even most of it, and I certainly don't think that I do. I have tried to respond dispassionately and accurately to a barrage of attacks - some quite personal and some completely bogus. I have tried to be positive - I even agreed to relinquish the moderation role in any thread I am active in to show willing. I really don't know what else you can reasonably expect - I think I have been more than fair, freely granting this concession regardless of any personal dislikes or provocations, and I'm afraid that this is as far as I am willing to go.
Bluedoll
@bikermean

"It wasn't bad."- bikermean

I do have to admit that bikermean can switch hats more often than not and that bikermean has this unsociable quality that puts bikermean in the house of commoners as a member of the opposition where almost everything out of bikermean's mouth is a contradiction and finely devised horn of self-proclamation which bikemean is party too. Quite frankly old man, I am getting tried of hearing about you!
mOrpheuS
Bluedoll wrote:
@bikermean

"It wasn't bad."- bikermean

I do have to admit that bikermean can switch hats more often than not and that bikermean has this unsociable quality that puts bikermean in the house of commoners as a member of the opposition where almost everything out of bikermean's mouth is a contradiction and finely devised horn of self-proclamation which bikemean is party too. Quite frankly old man, I am getting tried of hearing about you!
@Bluedoll,
TOS applies to this thread as much as any other.
And if, with a post like that, you (or any other user) are expecting to provoke Bikerman into moderating you (thereby "validating" some point you've going on about) - be reminded that there are other staff members who're active and can clearly see what you're trying to do.

I've seen about enough trolling and personal attacks against Bikerman in this thread.
Let's have no more.



I'm not sure what's the source of dissatisfaction here.

Here's what I believe is very reasonable -

  • "Bikerman the user" is free to participate (debate) in any topic throughout the forum - as long as "Bikerman the user" complies with the TOS.

  • "Bikerman the moderator" is free to ensure all posts/users comply with the TOS - as long as "Bikerman the moderator" doesn't exercise his powers to give "Bikerman the user" an unfair advantage in a debate.


I hope we can all agree to the above. If not, let's hear why.


To narrow it down further -
"Bikerman the moderator" only has power over other users in that he can -
1. Edit/Remove posts.
2. Close an ongoing discussion.
3. Warn a user for certain behaviour (TOS violation in a particular post etc.)

If any user comes across "Bikerman the moderator" performing any of the above actions to retaliate/persecute/silence someone arguing against "Bikerman the user" - They can(should) always Report it, or PM Bondings directly if you don't want Bikerman to even know about your report.
Bluedoll
@morpheus
As for legal tos and who bikerman or isn’t . . Yes, I understand, Chris is a moderator here, yes, Chris can partipate like any one else should, I accept the way to address inadquiacies and I will desist the biker man.
I really do not know what trolling is , honestly, but I mayl search for a meaning after posting this. Personal attacks I am familiar with.
I do thank you, sincerely, for your attentiveness, for me, personally, this is has nothing to do with provoking, everything to do with posting. What I would like to do is post without conflict. What I am trying to do and I hope you can believe this is to make the forum a better place to post, to have my voice heard and to offer possible solutions to some of the concerns regarding forum philosophies.

My dissatisfaction is specifically with how I see posts evolving. I just wish they could be better. It is that simple. However, if in doing so, I have overstepped my limits, this can change.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Alternatively, it could just be that your complaints were dismissed because they were judged to have no merit....but that would be even more unbelievable eh?
No Bikerman. I believe it is much simpler than that. Perhaps they think it is OK to have a "forceful" poster on board. And when they come to interpret the rules, then that gives you a very wide latitude. I don't think it is OK to be "forceful", and I think it is even worse to call someone a liar or any such delimiting names, or to put someone else down. It is OK to challenge what they say provided it is on topic, but there is no need to do the challenge forcefully, make personal remarks about the character of the poster, or to make sarcastic and condescending remarks. If you look at the TOS that is against the rules as well:
Quote:
The following rules apply to Posting in the Forum as well as Private Messaging.

1. General Rules

Posts, avatars, signatures and usernames must not contain obscene/pornographic/offensive material nor links to web pages which contain such material.

Posts, avatars, signatures and usernames must not contain links to or ask for information on warez, crackz, etc. or re-print material without permission.

Posts, avatars, signatures and usernames must not degrade, insult or disrespect other users or groups of people.

Posts, avatars, signatures and usernames must not harass other users or groups of people.

Posts, avatars, signatures and usernames must not contain direct or indirect referral/affiliate links or links that you get credit for when people click on.

Posts, avatars, signatures and usernames must not contain flame bait or anything encouraging another user to break the rules.

Posts, avatars, signatures and usernames must not contain sites/links/scripts that are harmful to another user's computer.

Posts, avatars, signatures and usernames must not imply, in a derogatory or discriminatory manner, that your culture, religion, ethnicity, race, sexuality, country and/or language is superior to any other culture, religion, ethnicity, race, sexuality, country and/or language. (Note that opinions can be expressed in a positive manner for the sake of discussion)
Posts, avatars, signatures and usernames must not contain sites/links to or information about another webhost.

Members are only allowed to have one account. Registering multiple accounts is not allowed.

Abusing the points system will result in an immediate ban.

Posts advertising ad blockers (not popup blockers) are not allowed.

Any of the rules broken in this category may result in a warning or a ban
deanhills
mOrpheuS wrote:
[*]"Bikerman the moderator" is free to ensure all posts/users comply with the TOS - as long as "Bikerman the moderator" doesn't exercise his powers to give "Bikerman the user" an unfair advantage in a debate.[/list]

I hope we can all agree to the above. If not, let's hear why.

@mOrpheuS. In another thread you referred to Bikerman as a forceful poster. So without the Moderator hat on, that is already something of the formidable to deal with. Since Bikerman IS a Moderator, AND a forceful poster, that is already an unfair advantage even before moderating starts. Given that you and the other Moderators seem to condone this forcefulness, we don't stand a chance with even wanting to report or complain. His excesses are regarded as a part of a "forceful poster" and "forceful poster" we've learned is OK?
tingkagol
The way I see it... even if Bikerman totally relinquished his mod powers I doubt it would change anything, so... perhaps your troubles really lie on the way this message board is being run/policed? Not specifically Bikerman? Since his 'posting style' is tolerated? And so are other 'forceful' posters on the board?
truespeed
I am surprised this discussion is still going on,bikerman has agreed not to moderate in threads he participates in,so problem solved no?

If anyone feels any of his future postings break the TOS,like has been said, use the report button and another mod i am sure will deal with and respond to your reports.

It just seems the whole conversation is going in circles,not just in this thread but also the one in suggestions,time to wipe the slate clean so to speak and start again.
deanhills
truespeed wrote:
I am surprised this discussion is still going on,bikerman has agreed not to moderate in threads he participates in,so problem solved no?
I was unaware of this, especially after the last postings by mOrpheuS in this thread. I interpreted it as backing Bikerman up and maintaining the current status quo. Is it something you know and we are unaware off or did I miss a posting somewhere in the Forum?

If what you say is true that is a tremendous step. I will be most relieved not to pursue further discussion.
truespeed
It was discussed in the sugesstions thread and mentioned in particular in this post.

Bikerman wrote:
I will not moderate any thread in the phil&relig forum that I am active in. Since people know that up-front then they cannot accuse me of using or threatening to use mod status during any debate.

If, on the offchance, anything does need moderation then I'll invite one of the other mods to take a look and leave them to it .
Bikerman
Indeed. I intended it as a demonstration of good faith (since I still don't accept that I have ever used mod status for personal advantage in debate). I thought that this would remove any possibility of such accusations being levelled in future.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Indeed. I intended it as a demonstration of good faith (since I still don't accept that I have ever used mod status for personal advantage in debate). I thought that this would remove any possibility of such accusations being levelled in future.
Perhaps if you intended it as a demonstration of good faith, it would have helped if you had been more specific about what your intentions were at the time you made it. So does this also mean that you will not be reporting on the debate to the Moderator Forum, while the debate is in progress, such as you did while the "God is Good" and "Respect" threads were in progress? In other words, you will be just a Poster, as you initially said you always were when you were posting, and not a Moderator at the same time when you are in a thick of the debate with someone?
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Indeed. I intended it as a demonstration of good faith (since I still don't accept that I have ever used mod status for personal advantage in debate). I thought that this would remove any possibility of such accusations being levelled in future.
Perhaps if you intended it as a demonstration of good faith, it would have helped if you had been more specific about what your intentions were at the time you made it. So does this also mean that you will not be reporting on the debate to the Moderator Forum, while the debate is in progress, such as you did while the "God is Good" and "Respect" threads were in progress? In other words, you will be just a Poster, as you initially said you always were when you were posting, and not a Moderator?

I do not report on conversations in the moderators forum unless there is a moderation issue, as I have already said. Perhaps if you actually READ the postings you wouldn't require things explained more than once.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Indeed. I intended it as a demonstration of good faith (since I still don't accept that I have ever used mod status for personal advantage in debate). I thought that this would remove any possibility of such accusations being levelled in future.
Perhaps if you intended it as a demonstration of good faith, it would have helped if you had been more specific about what your intentions were at the time you made it. So does this also mean that you will not be reporting on the debate to the Moderator Forum, while the debate is in progress, such as you did while the "God is Good" and "Respect" threads were in progress? In other words, you will be just a Poster, as you initially said you always were when you were posting, and not a Moderator?

I do not report on conversations in the moderators forum unless there is a moderation issue, as I have already said. Perhaps if you actually READ the postings you wouldn't require things explained more than once.
That does not answer my question Bikerman. You appealed to everyone right at the start of all of these discussions that you ONLY post as a poster. They should not be afraid of you. So if you ONLY post as a poster, then that means that none of the discussion is discussed with other moderators while you are in the thick of that discussion. You are ONLY a poster. And if there is a moderator issue that you won't be the one to raise the alarm. As that would present you with an unfair advantage. What difference would there be in you putting your Moderating Hat on in the middle of a debate, or taking if off and putting it on someone else's head, which it basically what that would amount to.
Bikerman
I'm not here to answer your questions Dean. Who do you think you are?
I have said all I am going to say on this matter and if you don't like it then you know what you can do.
truespeed
deanhills wrote:
You are ONLY a poster. And if there is a moderator issue that you won't be the one to raise the alarm. As that would present you with an unfair advantage. What difference would there be in you putting your Moderating Hat on in the middle of a debate, or taking if off and putting it on someone else's head, which it basically what that would amount to.


As a poster he has as much right to report a post as anyone else,this topic seems to be taking over a few threads now,in this one and the one in suggestions it is on topic,but it seems to be coming up in other threads where it is off topic and detracting from the topic in hand.
tingkagol
truespeed wrote:
deanhills wrote:
You are ONLY a poster. And if there is a moderator issue that you won't be the one to raise the alarm. As that would present you with an unfair advantage. What difference would there be in you putting your Moderating Hat on in the middle of a debate, or taking if off and putting it on someone else's head, which it basically what that would amount to.


As a poster he has as much right to report a post as anyone else,this topic seems to be taking over a few threads now,in this one and the one in suggestions it is on topic,but it seems to be coming up in other threads where it is off topic and detracting from the topic in hand.

I share your sentiments truespeed, and I must say it is becoming much of an annoyance.
liljp617
What is a "forceful poster?" You don't even have to read someone's replies if you don't want to. You certainly don't have to respond to them even if you read them. There's nothing forceful going on here.

Obviously there are some members here who have no issue stepping on people's toes. They're not going to come to some arbitrary middle ground, because on most topics in this section of the forum, they probably don't believe in a beneficial middle ground. The middle ground on most topics here requires some apologetic view towards things they view as plainly incorrect.

It's been said a dozen times here: There are a lot of people who come onto message boards, say their piece, and sit back expecting others to agree with them in some pseudo-intellectual masturbatory manner. Then there are people who come onto message boards, say their piece, and sit back expecting what they say to be challenged -- in which case, they fire back, regardless of whether or not it steps on the opposition's toes.

If that demeanor is "forceful," so be it. That is kind of the initial purpose of a message board after all. If you have no desire to have your views or your approach to discussion/debate challenged, I can assure you that, regardless of what view you hold, there is a forum out there on the world wide web where you can post and have a dozen people put what you say on a pedestal of agreement. This isn't one of those forums obviously.
mOrpheuS
@liljp617, thanks for saying what I was going to say (probably in not such mild tone, though)

-locked-
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