Thursday, October 26, 2006

CC mourns the "listening policy"

For the entire existence of the Chaliceblog, I had what I thought of as a “listening policy” here. Whatever people said, I listened. I kicked spam posts, discouraged namecalling, but otherwise let people post what they wanted, even anonymously. (As much as I mock anonymous posters who post insults, I can recall at least one anonymous post detailing the poster’s experience getting an abortion. That alone was worth all the insulting anonymous people who have ever posted here.)

Even when people were obnoxious, I listened.

In bar terms, you could hear a guy ranting and raving down the bar and say to yourself, “Wow. If they let Phil hang out here, then I really CAN say what I want without worrying about getting kicked out.” (Of course anyone who isn't self-employed who posts with their real name has something to fear from the internet but at least nobody had anything to fear from me.)

We’ve had some nasty fights, but hey, those can be interesting and instructive. Some threads here have run 60 comments or so long. I've read them all. I listened. You'd be amazed how thoughtful people get toward the end of a thread that starts out with harsh debate and then calms down. Or maybe you wouldn't. Maybe you were there, too.

I won’t lie to you, my favorite part of it was the principle of the thing. I really liked being able to say “I don’t edit comments that aren’t my own and I don’t close off comment threads. End of story.”

And twelve hours into the ban existing (because I made the decision last night,) I really hate it.




Joel Monka said...

Random thoughts...

It's a high tribute to your Chalicesseurs (and by implication to you, as the attention of the horse depends on the quality of the carrot) that it has taken this long for the problem to appear. Many forums have flamewars necessitating deletions within their first thirty days.

I wonder if some of your mourning is for the stain on chalicesseurdom, just as one mourns the very first scratch on a beloved car? I also wonder if your dislike of editing is related to your dislike of editors? :)

As much as you dislike it, you should take pride in doing it. The ability to make a tough decision and act on it is a rare and prized quality. Too many people are paralyzed by fear of making a mistake, not realizing that more harm is done to the world by the failure to act than by incorrect action.

Did you tell Phil, or will he find out by trying to post and having it reject him? Just wondering in case you need to give me a timeout someday.

Chalicechick said...

Quoth one of the most reasonable posters I have:

Just wondering in case you need to give me a timeout someday.

That already felt he had to ask captures so perfectly why I hate this.


UUpdater said...

That's why clearer guidelines can be helpful. Repeatedly hijacking conversations for your own purposes, repeatedly posting nearly identical comments after the blog owner has asked you to "cut it out" with specific items not to include, etc.

I think Phil has probably crossed some lines that others of us could be assured we have not. If your criteria is truly nothing beyond "his comments hurt a friend's feelings" then yeah, it's something more people might need to worry about. Can you more clearly define the behavior than warranted the ban?

Chalicechick said...

I'm not going to give the exact causes heat or light here, but shoot me an email and I'll tell you.


Joel Monka said...

CC, I asked because I am in fact banned from some sites- not everyone finds my opinions as reasonable as you do, and it's always possible my outre sense of humor could legitimately earn 30 days. Heck, my very first post on beliefnet was called trolling, and I had to be vouched for by Oversoul if you recall.

But I also asked because I am considering a preemptive ban. Not understanding what lay behind your thought experiment, I've spent the day searching Google archives, etc., and not liking what I saw. Phil has few defenders as consistent as I've been, but to my moral sense, lines have been crossed- I now have to decide between conflicting principles. I know you understand how hard the decision is. But I've already decided that if I decide a preemptive ban is called for, I would be morally bound to email Phil first and explain why, hence my question to you.

Chalicechick said...

Heh. I don't specifically recall your arrival, Joel. I do know that my first B-net post, Gail accused me of being someone named MamaKate and said I was afraid of the Challenge and Critique threads.

And Robin told me his story and I pointed out that he was using the seven principles as a creed.

THAT was a good bar.

Ah well.

indrax said...

A long while ago I got the idea that the concept of blame should be shifted away from people and onto policies themselves.

If a cop shoots an innocent man, it's a sign of a major problem in police department policies, and probably the law. At the least it indicates a need for better training.

Even if investigation reveals that the cop did it intentionally, punishing him is a secondary issue to figuring out why he was allowed to become a cop in the first place, and why he would think he could get away with it, among other things.
Punishment can be part of a policy, But it's the change in policy that will lead to a change in outcome.

You probably wouldn't be happy with anything like a 'policy of punishment' long term.

When Nasa finds a bug in the software for the shuttle, they look at what parts of the development process led to the bug happening, and how that might lead to other bugs. It is very very reliable software.