How Does a Guy... Well, You Know, Have a Conversation

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Fanboi

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Hey, so I'm going to stir the pot, kick the hornets' nest, and etcetera. Please note that from the start, I'm not here to make the troublez. Seriously, I do not want a fight because I don't want bad blood between myself and anyone, nor do I want to have to open a new account because of this. We're all (mostly) adults here (there may be some young'uns).

So I posted something and sort of slipped 90 degrees off course into politics (without thinking). Anyway, within minutes, I realized what I'd just posted publicly and I took the initiative and I redacted all the political stuff. All I left behind was philosophy and economics which I thought were acceptable subjects given that I was told by a moderator recently how "lenient" this forum is regarding someone spamming. I admit those subjects intersect with politics, but so does climate change. Nonethless my post's wording still probably had a political tone, which is why I was going to review and edit it at my PC (so I could see what I was typing) just to smooth out the language and writing style to reflect it not being political (I may have even redacted more). This is irrelevant, but I'm adding it because I wasn't given chance to clarify anything privately (explanation to follow). Anyway, I still respect the decision to delete my comment 100% because I'm the guest. What I don't respect is being told I can PM the staff member in question when they used an anonymous method to delete my post (as per screen shot). I mean don't tell me "we can talk" when you go out of your way to ensure we can't. See screenshot:

zzzzz.png


That's not how a moderator should act. With power comes responsibility. Actually, I have always believed it was the other way around: with responsibility comes power. I would have liked to discuss this matter it for no other reason than to straighten things up and clarify any misunderstandings, not to refute anything because while I 100% do not agree with deleting the post instead of just hiding it and requesting an edit or delete from me, I 100% respect other people's rights to have their own rules in their own spaces. The "Right of Admission Reserved" sign is still legal AFAIK. But when someone behaves disrespectfully, that is something I'm going to take up. Sadly I cannot do it privately via PM, since I don't know who to PM, even if clicking on the profile image worked. So, in advance, I apologize and admit that I am wrong in posting this here, but you are far more wrong for saying that communications were open when, as I explained and the picture shows, they were not.

If you're going to commit an action which is not open to discussion, then just say, "I don't like what you said, I'm in charge, this is not open to debate." (although I wouldn't have tried to debate about it, I'd have discussed it civilly to clear things up and gotten to exactly what the nuances were in that decision so that I had a better idea moving forward and so that I could hopefully explain to the other party the context, lest I be marked as a potential troublemaker, which I indubitably will be now).
Really, this post would not be happening if you'd been upfront (although I think channels of communication are essential, myself, I respect others may not share my opinion). While I'm rather insulted and exceedingly disappointed by this behaviour, I'm willing to forgive and once this post is deleted (and it will be or locked), I'll consider this all water under the bridge (just don't insult my intelligence). Nobody is perfect and even moderators make mistakes, I've been around long enough to see this in action. But just like how users are accountable for their mistakes, so should staff be.

On the off chance that I did miss something I could have clicked or a system I'm unaware of, I'm sorry. I apologize profusely. Then this is obviously ignorance and not malice. Misunderstandings happen and I take responsibility for being an asshat and ask that you don't ban me.

Thank you for your time and patience. I look forward to your response and shall consider any criticism a material for growth, given that this time the doors for communication will be open, or at least ajar.

Kind Regards.
 


wizardfromoz

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Mate if you are online for a little while, I will come back to this. I am marshalling my thoughts on the subject, and I have to go read the deleted material, before I respond.

It wasn't me who deleted it.

Wiz
 

Fanboi

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I was just headed to bed, but sure, I'll probably be wake up at some insane hour and just take a gander and the forums from my phone. Thanks XD.
 

wizardfromoz

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No that's cool, go catch your zzzz's and read on a fresh start over your rice crispies or whatever.

It may take some time, but expect a response next 24 hours.

Cheers

Chris

ADMINISTRATOR'S NOTE:

Members (other than Staff) please refrain from adding to this Thread until I have responded.

TIA
 

KGIII

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With power comes responsibility.
Your post was not even remotely salvageable. We have a strict no-politics policy and wrapping it in spoiler tags doesn't suddenly make politics acceptable. I also gave you a long time to amend your post yourself. I'm not going to leave that sort of content up indefinitely, 'cause people are gonna see it and want to comment on it. Then I'm stuck with a mess.

Now, here's the thing...

I *too* think it makes it REALLY hard to discuss some things. When it makes it too difficult to discuss, then that's when you realize Linux.org is not the place for it.

I had no say in making the rules, but I'm pretty grateful they're there. Linux.org doesn't need to be a place for all things. There are countless alternative sites to discuss politics, the politics surrounding Linux, regular politics, the politics of your favorite (or least favorite) projects, etc...

You're not being picked on. You're not being prosecuted. You're having your content removed because it violated the rules. It didn't even come with a formal warning, it came with an explanation.

What you SHOULD be is grateful.
 

wizardfromoz

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I'll try a little arbitration and conciliation here, and if it is considered TL ; DR so be it.

@Rob - is our Senior Administrator, he is the Boss
@KGIII - is David G. , Super Moderator
@wizardfromoz - is me, Chris Turner, Administrator

I have been an Administrator now for 11 days only, by virtue of opening my big mouth and saying that I would like to take a look at the XenForo software that powers the site, and see what could be done to improve it, and that required Administrator privileges.

Other than that, David and I are to all effect equals.

The three of us, despite what it says for Staff under Members, are the only active staff of a moderating variety.

A short response on the legitimate issue you had as depicted in your screenshot is that we should either append our names/userids to such Alerts, or find a way to have XenForo do it for us. This is on my priority list, but don't hold your breath waiting - learning the XenForo will be a big job for me, triaged with my other duties and responsibilities.

So you can stop reading here, or continue on.

In the 4 years and 4 months I have been here, I have seen this linux.org community grow from 4,600 members to in excess of 47,000 - do the maths, and whatever you find, that is one heck of an exponential increase.

If anyone thinks it is an easy job to execute, being a Mod, they should try it for a couple of years. It might change their minds. I was approached by Rob to be a Mod. David was approached by me to be a Mod. We agreed to take it on, because we have a passion for this site and its community.

I put in probably 50 hours a week, unpaid, here, and David can speak for himself.

I am going to sign off on this for a short while, but will be back.

Cheers

Wizard
 

Fanboi

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Hi @KGIII. Thank you for replying. I appreciate your feelings on the matter, but I feel you are missing the point...
You've focused on the content in that post rather than the actual talking point in this thread, which is the manner things were handled.
I have already conceded that I had not sufficiently edited it by the time of deletion (good intentions to do so aside). In fact, if you re-read my OP, you will notice that I very categorically stated that I am not here to dispute the deletion of my post, regardless of how I personally feel:
Fanboi said:
Anyway, I still respect the decision to delete my comment 100% because I'm the guest.
As you can see, I respect that decision because I don't make the rules and I am not a staff member, so I have no say in them. What I do have a say in, is practices within the scope of the ToS. As a user of a service, free or otherwise, I have a right to criticize that service and its representatives have the responsibility to address my issue sans whataboutism.

So please, reread my OP now that some time has passed and everyone has had a chance to cool off. I'm not criticizing my post's deletion in this thread. That's something to discuss in private. And that is the point here. You did not make any attempt to keep communication channels open, as you stated in my notifications, because the post was deleted non-transparently. That is my only issue: not being able to have any discussion about something where discussion was offered. While it would not have been less unethical, it would have been truthful to simply state the truth: "Your post was deleted due to violation of our ToS. The moderator does not wish to be identified because this topic is not open to discussion." At least that would have been honest. You should not tell the user one thing and do the opposite, that is bad practice. That is my complaint.

A secondary complaint, I do not appreciate this tone:
KGIII said:
What you SHOULD be is grateful.
I have not shown the slightest aggression, nor have I done anything to antagonize you or anyone else, so I do not believe I elicited this response.

I appreciate your feelings. I am fully aware of the difficulties in running forums.
I do not appreciate lack of transparency. If you delete a post, delete it with your own name, not an anonymous one.
I do not appreciate being told, "If you have any questions, send me a PM." when the account is anonymous, since it was inaccessible to PM and, being anonymous, left me unable to simply look for you profile and PM you through your regular account.

In closing:

Strange as it may sound, I agree fully that politics does not belong in this space. That is why I immediately took action and planned on further doing so once I had access to my PC and could compose things better (checking my logs, I see I could have redacted more in the interim on my phone, but circumstances were not in my favour).

It may surprise you to learn that I am actually grateful that my post was deleted. It saved me a lot of editing. You have clearly misunderstood both my motives and myself in this regard. Accusing my of using spoiler tags "[to circumvent]" policy is one of many examples. Look at my post history: I often use spoiler tags to go off-topic or post lengthy ouputs in, as I have encouraged my fellow users to do.

Honestly, all I would have done, all I intended to do, had I been able to, was contact you (that is whoever deleted my post) via PM and explain what happened. I wished only to ensure that there would be no feelings of ill and no bad blood. Yes, my concern was mainly my reputation, because I honestly feel that I did start to sound like a crazy person. All I wanted to do, aside from apologize, was to explain was that there were extenuating circumstances leading to my lack of discretion...
1. I had just been put on new epilepsy medication.
2. I was up most of the night playing on my phone to kill time due to anxiety-driven insomnia, likely as a result of the new meds -- my GP warned me after changing them.
3. My judgement was impaired due to the medicine change. My GP warned me I would have mood swings while adjusting, and I am aware of this and usually can mitigate it with 10mg diazepam during that period, but sadly my tame pharmacist has been sick and I do not have a script.
...and that is all I wanted to really do. Just explain things. Would I have expressed my feelings on what course of action should have been taken in my opinion? If it had come up. Would I have refuted the decision to remove my post? No, as I have already stated countless times. I don't cry over spilled milk when I'm the one who spilled it. If the cat knocked it down, though, then yes, I generally have a lot to say.

As I said, I am more disappointed than anything else. I do feel I am owed an apology. Again to be clear, not for deleting my post, but for the conduct involved. We are all human: service providers, staff and end-users alike. Accepting one's mistakes and learning from them is the only way to avoid repeating them (in my case, not visiting forums in the aforementioned state).
Obviously apologizing publicly to me would be harmful to the authority of any staff member, so a simple PM would do. Obviously, this thread is also harmful to the authority of staff, which is why I accept that it will be deleted. Yes, the status quo needs to be maintained, otherwise this very peaceful forum may quickly deteriorate as I have seen many others do. I do not want to upset the balance of power here because that will cause anarchy. So I will end it here. If necessary, by all means make an example of me. I understand how things works and the balance between the lesser of two evils, the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few, etcetera.

All that said, whether I receive an apology or not, as far as I am concerned, this is now water under the bridge. I have expressed all that is needed. I thank the staff for their time and patience and I once again apologize for causes any unease or disruption.

Regards.
 

Fanboi

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I'll try a little arbitration and conciliation here, and if it is considered TL t; DR so be it.
[...]
Thank you for that. As I explained in somewhat lengthy post above, I consider this matter all water under the bridge. As far as I'm concerned, everyone's stated their feelings, so the matter's closed on my end. Cheers: to a constructive future and safe space.
 

wizardfromoz

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I appreciate that

A short response on the legitimate issue you had as depicted in your screenshot is that we should either append our names/userids to such Alerts, or find a way to have XenForo do it for us. This is on my priority list, but don't hold your breath waiting - learning the XenForo will be a big job for me, triaged with my other duties and responsibilities.
I agree with you there.


I'm not criticizing my post's deletion in this thread. That's something to discuss in private.
That's not likely to happen, unless it is open to a 4-way between Rob, David, you and me.

Transparency, IMO, allows this to be dealt with here, and so ensures Members in general know where they stand.

You won't be persecuted, here, nor pilloried, no reprisals - we don't work that way here.

I have a few more paragraphs for here, but none do I think will antagonise nor offend, but I will leave that to you.

I have work to do on my 67 or so Distros, with updates and Timeshifting, but I will be back asap.

Chris
 

Fanboi

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Thanks, but honestly, I'm fine if everyone else is. I really feel no ill will. All is good my side and you seem busy. I really don't want to be a pain anymore than I have been. Y'all can delete this thread or whatevs. I know no malice was meant now, and I really appreciate the effort you've put into my complaint.
Peace.
 

KGIII

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I do feel I am owed an apology. Again to be clear, not for deleting my post, but for the conduct involved. We are all human: service providers, staff and end-users alike. Accepting one's mistakes and learning from them is the only way to avoid repeating them (in my case, not visiting forums in the aforementioned state).
Obviously apologizing publicly to me would be harmful to the authority of any staff member, so a simple PM would do.
*sighs*

I removed your post with friendliness and in a very informative manner. The usual comment when removing something is no more than a few words. I seldom remove anything, by the way. I was even nice about it. I was even friendly in my removal comment.

I'd apologize but I am not even a wee bit sorry. Like I said, what you should be is grateful. You should be glad that I took the time to be as informative as I was when I removed the content. You should be glad that I'm so lighthearted that I didn't see any reason to make it anything formal. You should be grateful that I assumed good faith and figured you just weren't aware that politics are strictly off limits.

As for the rest...

There's no 'upsetting the balance' kinda thing going on here. If I were actually sorry for what I did, I'd have no problem saying so. I'm very willing to admit when I make mistakes. In this case, I made no mistakes. You don't like it, but that's not up to you.

Before you further get your panties in a knot, I have few other things to add.

It's not up to me, really. I didn't make the rule, I only ensure we follow the rules.
To date, I've removed like three things (other than spam). I don't like removing content.
I'm a janitor. Nothing more, nothing less.

Finally, and most important, there's zero hard feelings on my end. I give zero poops that you had political content that I had to remove. To me, it's just cleaning house. If I figured you did it with malice, then I'd be less than happy.

Finally, that's it. Get back out there and have fun. Keep the politics off the site and we'll never have to think of this matter again.
 

Fanboi

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Dude, what part of...
"Thanks, but honestly, I'm fine if everyone else is." and
"I still respect the decision to delete my comment 100%" and
"I am not here to dispute the deletion of my post" and
"I am actually grateful that my post was deleted."
...did ya miss? Really, you don't have to defend yourself on that score, I agreed with you wholeheartedly.
My complaint with you turned out to be caused by a software issue, so that's cool now too. No need to get so defensive, you're not on trial and I'm sorry I made you feel like that... You know, I really would like to leave things, and would, if you hadn't just said "there's no upsetting the balance kinda thing going on here", but since you just opened the floor up, well, I'd like to offer you some constructive criticism:
* I know your job is demanding and busy, but you really should read a post thoroughly in context, even if it is long-winded like mine was. I don't know how many other ways to say, "I agree with you deleting my post, thank you." but you seem stuck on an issue that doesn't exist. I'm suggesting this to help you out because there are people in this world who don't understand that and will get belligerent with you.
* I think you really need to work on your people skills. I have shown no hostility (unless you take this post out of context), yet you have repeatedly acted sarcastic and ironic towards me in this thread. I mean, remarks like "Before you further get you your panties in a knot" are uncalled for, considering I've done nothing to warrant it.
* I understand not liking to be called out. But that is a fact of life. Just as I called myself out on many posts I have made on many forums. You were called out by mistake, because of a software issue (not because you deleted a post). That software issue made it look like you'd done something you hadn't. I apologized for the misunderstanding. Yet here you are, reaffirming your stance against...nobody. I used to be like that, then I realized I was just being insecure.

The above is purely meant to be constructive, as I said. I've lived a long life in a third-world country full of hardships. I grew up with a slew of problems, including a total lack of people skills and communication skills (probably my environment), so I think I have a vague idea where you're coming from, but after about 35+ years of being obstinate and losing people I cared about, I decided to go and see someone. It wasn't easy accepting that the world wasn't against me or that I didn't have to defend myself "just in case some people thought X" but after a year of intensive training and introspection, my life improved dramatically for the years that followed and I have rebuilt many bridges I burned. I'll never be perfect and even all these years later, I consult a counselor now and then to brush up my people skills. But this is a small price to pay for a much better coexistence with others.

I really hope that you take this to heart. I'm talking to you person to person, not user to staff member, so I'm not trying to undermine you, even if you may feel that way, and I totally understand if you need to vent at me for this post. So don't feel ashamed if you do because I would've too if I hadn't gone through a year of development followed up by regular maintenance. There are still no hard feelings on my end, in fact I now empathize with you realizing "We're not so different, you and I". Anyway, I'm out now, so you're free to vent a little if it makes you feel better, I won't reply again unless you actually want me to (explicitly ask me, that it). I mean this is the internet and it is better to take our crap out here than at home or work.

All the best and keep up the good work. This is a pretty darn good forum and sorry for polluting it with politics, I assure you it's the last time it will happen. Peace out.
- James
 

wizardfromoz

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This is a pretty darn good forum
Wizard's Rant continues (oh, no, they groan)

James, you have only been with the forum for coming up on 5 months, I am hoping after 2 years and 5 months you will think even more highly of it.

Right from the get go, you jumped in and started to help people, and that is something I enjoy seeing, so much. :) I look forward to that continuing.

BUT


(Wizard's but is usually following just behind him)

Geez Louise, I just revisited your Member Intro and started reading the Spoiler at #6 (will continue to absorb soon) - you could work on trimming down the spoiler usage, except where long Linux logs or output ate concerned? Please?

In that intro, you and David even had back-to-back Posts together, so it is my hope the pair of you can be on the same page again, soon.

I said to David earlier in my today, to Staff

No argument with David on the content being inappropriate.
But I also said

Rob may already know solution to this question, but I ran a test with Brian @Condobloke which you can reference in Closed Reports.

I had him report my prior post in that long 3-way he and Stan & I share, and then I actioned the report (resolved) and sent an alert notice to him on the status.

I then had him copy and paste the alert content back to me, and learned that when we do same, it does not append our userid or otherwise indicate the identity of the staffer handling the report.

This directly relates to the content of Fanboi's Thread at Assistance.

For transparency purposes, a Member is entitled to know the identity of who handled the deletion of his Thread, or in particular, who issued the alert notice (in which, in this instance, David invited Fanboi to converse with him if needed).

I hope you can see the dilemma here.

I am going, soon to undertake that exploration of XenForo, and I may find something we can use, and/or join XenForo forum, and ask questions if necessary. But if Rob has a solution for this already, I am open ears to save reinventing the wheel.

I will respond further to Fanboi at Forum Assistance on my tomorrow.
I realised later that I was confusing Reporting with Moderator's alerts, but in the end, the same deficiency applies to both.

Brian obliged me with allowing me to delete one of his in-forum Posts (later reinstated) and pasting the text of the alert to me, so that I could see too that it lacked an identification. I wasn't aware of that, and perhaps David was not, too.

It will be addressed.

On just how good this site can be, if you have not read it, take a gander (look) at

https://www.linux.org/threads/a-meeting-of-like-minds.35082/

Outside of my wife (who has better curves), Brian has become my best friend. But I could list a dozen people here, from around the globe, that if we were unrestricted in travel, I could happily visit and meet and have a steak and a beer, and them likewise if they travelled DownUnder.

Too, the knowledge you can learn here fills my head like a sponge until I am sure some must leak out. But I know where to come to to get it back.

On your anxiety, you could take a read of where I outed myself, here

https://www.linux.org/threads/mental-well-being-and-coping-strategies.29492/

and see if it can be of any benefit to you.

Darren and Nelson - I know I deleted your posts earlier, when I thought they were premature, given what I said here

Members (other than Staff) please refrain from adding to this Thread until I have responded.

TIA
It is my plan to lock this Thread but not delete it, although either of Rob or David can do either. It's not a democracy within Staff - Rob is the Boss, but he is an easy-going boss, IMO.

If you wish to post something relevant, converse with me and I can open and close it again.

Same with you, James. :)

Live long and prosper, enjoy your Linux and stay safe

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 
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