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Preemptively closed threads

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JonA

Semi-retired Mod
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Matt David T. said:
I would disagree, as there was still talk headed in response to CMD as of the very last post made by the mod who closed it, as well as other individuals who were posting with 4 or 5 posts of the closure, including Nixon Brain's post.
We may have to disagree on that call. The intent of the thread from CMD's point of view was fine. Goodbye threads (for whatever reasons) are perfectly fine. I think the issue more comes down to that thread being used to make a larger point specifically to RPGnet and Tangency really isn't the arena for that.

Also, is "unnecessary" a good reason to close a thread?
Not often but it can be if other factors contribute.
 

Old Geezer

Active member
Banned
Threads are not being closed preemptively.

I've been meaning for about a week to post a thread called "What the fuck is WRONG with everybody?"

Normally sane posters are screaming like rabid weasels, obviously humorous remarks are being flamed, etc, etc - it's on all fora and all users.

It's like everybody on RPG.net has gone batshit crazy.

If I was the admins I'd have just said "Fuck it" and banned everybody including myself.

(Okay, I LIKED Gottedamerung.)
 

Matt David T.

Retired User
JonA said:
We may have to disagree on that call. The intent of the thread from CMD's point of view was fine. Goodbye threads (for whatever reasons) are perfectly fine. I think the issue more comes down to that thread being used to make a larger point specifically to RPGnet and Tangency really isn't the arena for that.
Sure. Thanks for discussing it.
 

Killfalcon

Reasonably Phosphorous
Staff member
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Matt David T. said:
Ok, I'm just trying to understand why. Is linking to Penny Arcade against the rules? Because they're a comic that is also often inflammatory or specifically makes group attacks against religions?
Since this one was my closing, I'll say a few words on it.
First word: Context.
Penny Arcade, usualy, does not attack religion. In fact, PA is usualy amazingly level headed about such things. This site was a dedicated piss-taking site, the poster had pointed out that it contained offensive stuff, and the previous few weeks had seen some long and tense discussions/arguments on how religion is often regarded badly around here. It was pretty much inviting a flamewar (unintentionally, most likely, but still), so I closed it.

Like I say all the time (I should probably sig it), context is vitally important when dealing with PAs, GAs and the like.
 

Oddsod Blok'ed

Revolution In Apt 29.
Validated User
There's this one: http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=249709

Which I wrote in response to a PM that was used to give me a warning and that said this, among other things: If you want to discuss whether theory has a place on RPGnet, I suggest starting a thread in Trouble Tickets.

It's hardly discussion when two of the three responders are moderators and then someone closes the thread. The impression I get is "The mods have made their decision. This decision will never be changed. Period." This would be fine if it was writ large, but it's not. This doesn't affect me that much, but this seemed like the thread to say it in. Plus I had a feeling that my original post was more of a token protest anyway.
 

Daydreamweaver

just passing through
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Oddsod Blok'ed said:
There's this one: http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=249709

Which I wrote in response to a PM that was used to give me a warning and that said this, among other things: If you want to discuss whether theory has a place on RPGnet, I suggest starting a thread in Trouble Tickets.
Then you have my apologies; I didn't realise you'd been told to start a thread in TT.
 

Jim Bob

New member
Banned
Curt said:
J ... I honestly don't understand where the anger is coming from. There is nothing combative about asking somebody to show us the problem so we can see if it IS a problem from our collective point of view.
The difficulty is that when a poster responds with actual examples, about half the time they get a positive or at least "meh" response, and the other half the time they get threatened with banning.

And no, I will not provide specific examples. That's not a coin I want to flip. It's like some Gygaxian dungeon. "Through one door is one million GP. Through the other door is INSTANT FLAMING DEATH. Choose!"

Whereas JonA's comment below is less of a Gygaxian Choice, and more of a Grimtooth's trap. "Ah, you disarmed the trap... but you didn't disarm the trap on the trap! Haha!"
JonA said:
If I didn't know better I'd say we're not trusted to run this place.
There's absolutely no possible response to this, other than "oh no we trust you! We won't ever criticise again!" no possible response that isn't "backtalking the mods" and would get the poster banned. I know you didn't put it out there deliberately as a trap, there's no conspiracy or anything stupid like that - but that's what it is anyway, a trap. There's nothing we can say to it, really.

The same goes for this,
JonA said:
Why not try and work with us rather than fighting against us which is how it really does appear at times. You'll get a lot further.
Nothing we can say.

This is a more general comment, really. On pre-emptively closing threads, I dunno. But it seems to me that criticism is sure as shit not welcome.

"We have done wrong? Give us examples." If the person doesn't give examples, then, "well since you have no examples, we must always be doing right." If the person does give examples, then, "well you are just a troublemaker, watch out, we'll apply the rules very harshly to you." Of course, sometimes people labelled as "troublemakers" get banned, but other times "troublemakers who want to improve the forum" get made moderators, so we cannot really say that all criticism is unwelcome.

Then I think of the recent closing of the Cesspool. I think that we can safely say that Cessna's single most controversial decision as Admin has been making Curt a moderator. To take a person who's had multiple bannings, including a "perma"ban, and make him a mod - that's controversial, and you might expect that posters would have a lot to say to it. Whether it was a good decision or bad is neither here nor there; the fact is that it was controversial. I think it's no coincidence that at the same time it was announced, the Cesspool was closed. The message was clear. Quite obviously, Cessna didn't want to hear any criticism of his making Curt a mod; he expected a shitstorm in the Cesspool, and so just closed it. And to be honest, I don't blame him;)

JonA said:
But again I cover the reasoning behind this in my post earlier in that as a volunteer it can be rather disheartening when you have to second guess yourself and have every single call of substance discussed at length backstage and torn apart in TT.
Then don't volunteer.

If a poster says, "threads on X offend me," and the mods can respond, "then don't read them," then it's just as fair that if you say, "as a volunteer, it's disheartening to have every call questioned," we can respond, "then don't volunteer."

I think that the mods have to understand human nature a bit better. We've got some funny decisions recently. Like, not being able to mention Ron Edwards "brain-damage" post - apparently, quoting someone can be a personal attack. Or like, Caudex getting suspended for a day because he mentioned that being inflammatory with the aim of improving the site might get you suspended, but in at least one case it got someone made a moderator; mentioning facts is "backtalking the mods."

So, these decisions create an air of, "watch out, you piss us off, we might smack you over." And the natural human response to aggression is defensiveness. So, people start nitpicking decisions. If you make a couple of dodgy decisions, and people aren't allowed to discuss those, then what you'll find is that people nitpick your other decisions - as in this thread.

It's human nature. Lose one battle, start ten more battles.

It's impossible not to make dodgy decisions from time to time - they'll always be dodgy in someone's eyes, with 50,000 registered posters here. They key thing is how you respond to that criticism. The response is, "give us examples," and if the person won't, "okay then you're obviously wrong," and if they will, "okay so you're a troublemaker." Why not just cut it short and say, "we don't want criticism?" Or, you know, not volunteer. Just be another poor poster subject to t3h 3vil oppressionzzz:D

In general, the mod decisions are good. I think the modding of Curt was a dubious decision, but has come out okay; Curt has been a fair mod, though possibly a little quick in closing threads - but fuck, so what, we can always start another some other time when the flamey posters have drifted off to other threads and other forums.

But it's plain that criticism is pretty much not welcome; and there are one or two mods who are so unkeen on it they bring out the banstick. Overall, it's not important. We could have a hundred people banned unfairly, and rpg.net would go on without a bump, being a good and productive and amusing place for rpg discussion. But still... it's a bit rough.
 

Cidra

In Mourning
I'm sorry I haven't been able to respond, I've been out all day. I appreciate all the consideration, and thank Jim Bob for some great points. I like this place. Or at least I used to. Lately I've been feeling fairly offended, and the mods have been too, I suspect.

Instead of closing threads, I'd prefer that mods bite the bullet and pull out the warning and banstick. Keep it civil, grow a thicker skin, or face a topic ban or suspension. Them's the rules.

And not making snarky or inflammatory comments when closing a thread would be helpful too. The mods already have the last word - they close the thread. A parting shot isn't really fair when there's no chance to respond.

I don't want to pull out specific examples, because as said above, it's a double-edged sword. Mods are people, and people get defensive when their decisions are questioned.

It's just seemed very hostile of late, and I don't like where the forum seems to be heading.
 

LeoCrusher

Rude, Dismissive
Validated User
LeeMajors said:
If people want to be argumentative past any warnings you feel are necessary, let them flame out. Don't short out discussion, warn/suspend as necessary and let others continue to discuss. Having a thread closed because a mod feels the discussion is going nowhere is no reason to shut down a thread.
Yeah... If a thread has run its course then it will fall down the pages and never be seen again... If its not excessively flamey then I fail to see why its deserving of being closed just because a mod cant see any point in letting it continue...
 

Cidra

In Mourning
I forgot to ask a question. Would it be possible to mention if it's okay to start another thread on the same topic when one heads in another direction? Or perhaps have a list of topics that aren't allowed to be discussed? If I check in every few days then sometimes I don't catch when one topic's been tossed.
 
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