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Old 05-19-2005, 09:35 PM   #1
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banned members?

Would it be possible to get a section of forum set up that deals with bans and suspensions; closed to public posting, but open to public viewing? That is to say, only mods and admins can make posts, but everyone (maybe not 'guests'/non-accounted lurkers?) can see what's going on. Have display details something like this: nature of the complaint made, important details and facts, links to thread in question (or copy of PM, etc), manner in which the problem was persued (warning message in thread, followed by warning through private message (and the reply, if any) or instant messanger conversation and/or email to ensure that the member understands what's going on, details of any following issues, mods/admins presiding over the final decision (in agreement or dissent, and in the case of banning) and then the resulting punishment and length of punishment?

Now, I only raise this question because I'm an irritating meddler. I think this is something lacking in a lot of public message boards, which could save them a lot of unnecessary hassle from belligerent members. There's documentation of all problems, and all problematic members, and any dispute or claims of 'ignorance' by these members would simply be unfounded given that they're being talked to after an incident and the incident history is recorded. Absolutely no excuse or chance for people to get off the hook if they continue being disruptive.

I bring no allegations against the mods or admins for unfair play, because I've been gone too long and have completely lost touch with what's going on and who's doing what; that's why I say I'm just being a meddler. I think it would be useful for people on the board to know what the rules of the game are. I know that the details are all in the faq, but I also know from my web-using experience that faqs often go unread, T.O.S. are forgotten about after registration, and the 'rules' are frequently applied in an uneven manner which can cause further conflicts. I understand that the burden is on members to a large extent to behave in an acceptable manner, but I also feel that the board should take every step it possibly can to ensure that the members know what will and will not be tolerated.

What I mean by uneven application is this: either person a (a forum vet) posts several 'ban-worthy' threads, and only after prolongued irritation ends up being banned while person b (a n00b) posts one and is banned immediately; and likewise in a similar situation, person a might post something unquestionably graphic and be banned, while person b posts something which is borderline questionable (ie, if they were 'older' to the forum, they might get away with it)and is immediately banned. Clearly there's inequity in these cases, and that would cause people to feel 'picked upon' or that others were 'getting off easy'.

I'm not saying that goes on here.

However, what I am saying is that you can place a strong emphasis on building an environment of trust by listing all the information out there for public consumption. They can get a feel for what is at stake; whether something will get them suspended for a week, whether any action (of any severity) will get them banned indefinitely (or permanently), or whether there's a level of tolerance and acceptance within the community in certain circumstances. People can feel assured that equal things are being treated equally, and that the rules are being applied in a generally 'proper' manner. There's no deception, misleading, or hiding of facts as data is available to all, there can be no complaints of only getting half-of-the-story (and I'm not saying there are now, but if people have any doubt whatsoever that they're not getting the full story, they'll be suspicious of everyone involved, including the mods/admins).

Now, I know the mods/admins are busy, and that this seems like 'extra work'; but if everything is consolidated into one place, everyone knows exactly where to go and look for it - nobody has to wait for others to get online to 'discuss it', it provides additional fluidity to the problem-management done by the administration team.

Likewise, because there's a team working on it, complaints and pleas from the public would be largely discouraged as it wouldnt be 'one person out to get someone' as there'd be a whole group of people supporting the same claim; and any mod (not just the one directly involved with the situation) could respond without having to dismiss the complaint for lack of information. The network of support would be right there, and it would be in the open. There'd be no big hoohaas about someone being mysteriously banned under outrageous circumstances, which would spawn many spam threads regarding their ban (which, I'm sure is an irritation). And since public complaints couldn't be posted anyway (as mentioned, admin/mod posting rights and public read-only) these complaints would therefore have to be emailed in if anything, but that would be pointless as there could be no dispute of fact because it's all listed anyway so discussion would be trivial at best. Plus nobody could argue that a punishment was inconsistant with past decisions, because all the past decisions are listed right there in the other 'ban info' threads.

Just something to think about, anyway...

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Old 05-19-2005, 09:56 PM   #2
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There is a thread in the "Inside Broadcast" forum with a list of banned members. When a member is banned a mod posts it in there along with a very brief listing of the reasons for the banning.

I'm a mod on another board and I know there that no one is banned on a whim. In nearly every case at least one mod will make attempts to privately calm the situation to avoid banning a member. And in most of the cases the mods put up with massive amounts of abuse (some of it can get extremely ugly -- I've been on the receiving end a couple of times) before finally deciding it's a lost cause.

I'm sure a similar routine happens here. That's good enough for me.

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Old 05-19-2005, 10:11 PM   #3
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Yep, indra's right.

This does already exist in Inside Broadcast--a list of banned members, along with reasons for bannings and steps taken to avoid bannings.
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:31 PM   #4
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We just started doing the public thing recently. However, we're not going to get all detailed by posting links. And posting pm's or emails is against the rules and I believe actually against the law. Those are private conversations. We do state the member and why they were banned. That's going to have to be good enough. Any further inquiries can also always be made to myself or Elvis in private.

Also please note that each member and situation is different. There are a lot of different cirucumstances/scenarios that may lead to a banning. It is rarely ever cut and dry. I also think the FAQs/Rules are pretty detailed on what you can and cannot do here.

What you're suggesting is entirely too time consuming in my opinion to spend on someone who is banned, to be perfectly honest. We have enough to deal with lol.
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