Non-trolley category proposal


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    I've been thinking for a few weeks it might be nice to have a category for :trolleybus: garage-like topics, but without the :trolleybus:. A place for political, religious, economics, etc. discussions done in good faith. A safe space for discussion of contentious issues, as it were.

    Then this happened:

    @boomzilla said in Is it okay to punch Nazis?:

    If you don't want to talk about garage style stuff then don't talk about garage style stuff.
    I don't see how this could possibly live outside of the garage.

    @Yamikuronue said in Is it okay to punch Nazis?:

    @Lorne-Kates Don't start this shit in the main boards. Either don't talk politics, or talk about it in the garage. There's too much bad blood around here to start a politics thread on the main forums.

    And now I'm wondering if it's even possible on this forum. We've had occasional times where a person has requested a certain level of decorum in their thread, and it's been followed, so I don't think it's entirely impossible.

    So what do y'all think? Should we, could we, have that category and make good use of it?


    NB: not saying the linked topic would belong in the proposed category.



  • I propose the :fa_fire_extinguisher: category.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @Dreikin I think in theory, we could. In practice, it would be difficult to avoid the scenario where things start off on the right foot, but only last as long as it takes for one of a handful of certain people to come in and :fox: everything up, on every single thread. Because you know that's exactly what would happen.

    Come up with a good solution to that, and we'll talk. :)



  • @masonwheeler Yes, thank you for that nice example of what we shouldn't have in those threads.

    Namely using certain people's names as insults.



  • @Dreikin said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    And now I'm wondering if it's even possible on this forum.

    I think it's impossible on any forum.



  • @PleegWat Naw, it just needs a good set of moderators. But that will probably go against the "free speech" creed.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Rhywden said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @PleegWat Naw, it just needs a good set of moderators. But that will probably go against the "free speech" creed.

    It also requires them to do work, which I expect to be the biggest sticking point.



  • @Dreikin said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @Rhywden said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @PleegWat Naw, it just needs a good set of moderators. But that will probably go against the "free speech" creed.

    It also requires them to do work, which I expect to be the biggest sticking point.

    The phrase "herding cats" comes to mind. :)



  • @masonwheeler said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    Come up with a good solution to that, and we'll talk.

    More active moderation to move things back into the right place.

    Whether that's a general improvement or not here is an exercise for the reader.


  • SockDev

    @Rhywden said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @masonwheeler Yes, thank you for that nice example of what we shouldn't have in those threads.

    Namely using certain people's namesspecies as insults.

    FTFM


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @Rhywden said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    The phrase "herding cats" comes to mind. :)

    :smirk_cat: We hearrrd just fine; we simply do not carrre!


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Dreikin I have publicly suggested this twice, and both times I have been ignored. Good luck to you.



  • Well, since I have seen peaches with thicker skin than several of the people on this forum, no it can never happen.



  • @Dreikin said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    And now I'm wondering if it's even possible on this forum.

    Probably not.

    We've had occasional times where a person has requested a certain level of decorum in their thread, and it's been followed, so I don't think it's entirely impossible.

    Were those politics threads?

    So what do y'all think? Should we, could we, have that category and make good use of it?

    What purpose would this category serve, and what value would it add beyond what we already have?



  • @Groaner What "value" do the troll threads actually add?



  • @Rhywden Entertainment has a value.



  • @Dragoon said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @Rhywden Entertainment has a value.

    And a high one at that!



  • @Dragoon said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @Rhywden Entertainment has a value.

    Currently, the category rather resembles a verbal version of the Circus Maximus. If you find that kind of thing entertaining...


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Dreikin said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    A place for political, religious, economics, etc. discussions done in good faith.

    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:



  • @Rhywden If we were still on :duck: :horse: , I'm pretty sure drive-by :poop: -posting got me TL3. So there's that.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Groaner said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    Were those politics threads?

    Religion, but also backed by the poster being a mod IIRC.

    @Groaner said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    What purpose would this category serve, and what value would it add beyond what we already have?

    Discussing things like politics and economics without being trolled constantly and always having to wonder if a particular person is serious or not. It might need to be a bit more constrained than those broad topics ("Democrats are best!" "Nuh-uh, Republicans are!" "No, the Tories are!" isn't likely to survive in the category). More issue, policy, theory, etc. based than party/class/ideology cheerleading. Or exploring or asking for more information about certain topics that might interest a person, such as what another person believes and why.

    Basically the "Hold on, let's be mature adults about this" to the garage's "Food fight!" mentality.



  • @Dreikin said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    Basically the "Hold on, let's be mature adults about this" to the garage's "Food fight!" mentality.

    The only way to achieve this is in a private thread, or very heavy moderation.


  • mod

    @Rhywden said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @Dreikin said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @Rhywden said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @PleegWat Naw, it just needs a good set of moderators. But that will probably go against the "free speech" creed.

    It also requires them to do work, which I expect to be the biggest sticking point.

    The phrase "herding cats" comes to mind. :)

    I was thinking more along the lines of "filling a sieve with water"

    You can successfully herd cats, provided you have a sufficient supply of catnip, that is luring the cats where you want them to go. But to fill a sieve with water requires a different approach, specifically making sure the incoming flow exceeds the outgoing flow.

    Given the overall nature of this community, trying to maintain a category such as the one proposed would likely require more mods than we currently have, or that the existing mods spend more time on the site than we currently do. Even then, there would always be the risk that the staff would just get fed up and banish the new category to the garage wholesale. And don't forget that the garage was created specifically because we got sick of moderating these kind of topics, so it's likely that it wouldn't be long before we got sick of moderating a category like the one proposed.

    @Dragoon said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @Dreikin said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    Basically the "Hold on, let's be mature adults about this" to the garage's "Food fight!" mentality.

    The only way to achieve this is in a private thread, or very heavy moderation.

    Pretty much what I was getting at.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @abarker said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @Rhywden said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @Dreikin said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @Rhywden said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @PleegWat Naw, it just needs a good set of moderators. But that will probably go against the "free speech" creed.

    It also requires them to do work, which I expect to be the biggest sticking point.

    The phrase "herding cats" comes to mind. :)

    I was thinking more along the lines of "filling a sieve with water"

    You can successfully herd cats, provided you have a sufficient supply of catnip, that is luring the cats where you want them to go. But to fill a sieve with water requires a different approach, specifically making sure the incoming flow exceeds the outgoing flow.

    Given the overall nature of this community, trying to maintain a category such as the one proposed would likely require more mods than we currently have, or that the existing mods spend more time on the site than we currently do. Even then, there would always be the risk that the staff would just get fed up and banish the new category to the garage wholesale. And don't forget that the garage was created specifically because we got sick of moderating these kind of topics, so it's likely that it wouldn't be long before we got sick of moderating a category like the one proposed.

    @Dragoon said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @Dreikin said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    Basically the "Hold on, let's be mature adults about this" to the garage's "Food fight!" mentality.

    The only way to achieve this is in a private thread, or very heavy moderation.

    Pretty much what I was getting at.

    Is it possible to ban repeated bad actors from a category? "Bad" in this case meaning "having a notable tendency to be disruptive and/or require moderation-level events".



  • @abarker said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    I was thinking more along the lines of "filling a sieve with water"

    You can successfully herd cats, provided you have a sufficient supply of catnip, that is luring the cats where you want them to go. But to fill a sieve with water requires a different approach, specifically making sure the incoming flow exceeds the outgoing flow.

    Or by making sure that the water is in the solid phase.


    Filed under: Lateral thinking

  • area_can

    i think ideally a debate category would be nice

    but people here drag bullshit from other threads around with them so maybe not


  • area_deu

    @Dreikin IRC.



  • @aliceif That sounds like work though...


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Just remove the downvote option from the :trolleybus: and break out the :popcorn:



  • Silly question: is it possible to give users moderation abilities for just one thread?



  • @bb36e said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    i think ideally a debate category would be nice

    I'd only want a debate category as a novelty. As in two (or three, maybe) members pick a moderated topic, are the only ones who can answer, and need to follow standard rules of decorum. Person A states, Person B responds, etc.

    The :fa_fire_extinguisher: idea is "Here's a topic that, if it were in the Garbage, we'd ignore each other's points and shout names. However, we have all agreed that, to participate in this category, we won't do that. We'll either discuss in good faith, or not at all. If you can follow that, join in. If you can't, feel free to read. If you are shitty cunt butt, your posting ability to this category will be revoked."



  • @anonymous234 said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    Silly question: is it possible to give users moderation abilities for just one thread?

    Yes.

    Silly question: is it possible to give users moderation abilities for just one thread without breaking the entire forum somehow?

    No.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @Dreikin It's been proposed before. I'm game to participate, but I don't think I'd be good at moderating it.


  • area_can

    @dkf said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    Just remove the downvote option from the :trolleybus: and break out the :popcorn:

    or require people to reply and explain every downvote they make. poor explanations => some form of punishment



  • @Lorne-Kates said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @bb36e said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    i think ideally a debate category would be nice

    I'd only want a debate category as a novelty. As in two (or three, maybe) members pick a moderated topic, are the only ones who can answer, and need to follow standard rules of decorum. Person A states, Person B responds, etc.

    The :fa_fire_extinguisher: idea is "Here's a topic that, if it were in the Garbage, we'd ignore each other's points and shout names. However, we have all agreed that, to participate in this category, we won't do that. We'll either discuss in good faith, or not at all. If you can follow that, join in. If you can't, feel free to read. If you are shitty cunt butt, your posting ability to this category will be revoked."

    One concern I'd have about that is how to ensure that it doesn't turn into StackExchange-style passive aggressive nerd sniping, which is one outcome of forced decorum.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Groaner said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    One concern I'd have about that is how to ensure that it doesn't turn into StackExchange-style passive aggressive nerd sniping, which is one outcome of forced decorum.

    As opposed to simple aggressive nerd sniping?


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @dkf said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @Groaner said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    One concern I'd have about that is how to ensure that it doesn't turn into StackExchange-style passive aggressive nerd sniping, which is one outcome of forced decorum.

    As opposed to simple aggressive nerd sniping?

    Or, god-forbid, active aggressive nerd sniping


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    I'd be interested in a category like this too - I just don't know how we could successfully moderate it. If we can figure out a way though, I'd like to participate - I've had a few discussions in garage threads that were good, at least until the trolls all took over


  • mod

    @Dreikin said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    Is it possible to ban repeated bad actors from a category? "Bad" in this case meaning "having a notable tendency to be disruptive and/or require moderation-level events".

    Based on past discussions amongst the staff, NodeBB does not have a direct way to deny privileges. There is the indirect route of requiring membership in a specific group, a la The Lounge, but that's a whole different headache to manage. For example, how do we determine who gets access? Once someone is removed from having access, how do we determine if they deserve to have their access restored? Should there even be a way to restore access? If access to one restricted group is lost, should access to all restricted groups be revoked? And so on.

    @Lorne-Kates said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @anonymous234 said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    Silly question: is it possible to give users moderation abilities for just one thread?

    Yes.

    Silly question: is it possible to give users moderation abilities for just one thread without breaking the entire forum somehow?

    No.

    Wrong. NodeBB allows moderators to be designated for a specific category, but not for a specific thread. In fact, GMs for mafia games are regularly given moderation abilities for one category (and its sub-categories) without breaking the entire forum. Unfortunately, the current admin/mod model restricts their ability to operate by not letting them see things like flags, so the usefulness of such a thing is somewhat moot.



  • @Dreikin said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    I've been thinking for a few weeks it might be nice to have a category for :trolleybus: garage-like topics, but without the :trolleybus:. A place for political, religious, economics, etc. discussions done in good faith.
    ...
    Should we, could we, have that category and make good use of it?

    I tried something a bit like that, but it didn't go quite as well as I had hoped, though it did remain fairly calm and decent overall.
    I think some of the issues were that I did put it in the garage and that the idea was too broad for one thread, so the discussion about what to discuss pretty much took over and the topics just kinda meandered around from there.



  • @Yamikuronue said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @Dreikin It's been proposed before. I'm game to participate, but I don't think I'd be good at moderating it.

    Replying to you and Boomzilla but too lazy to quote both...

    Don't moderate it. At least not actively. Everyone knows the rules going in. Any participant in the discussion can:

    1. Issue a friendly reminder
    2. flag the post and ask for the member to be silenced.

    All the mod needs to do is shoot an alienclick a button or whatever for "silence". Maybe someone can plead their case afterwards, but I think we know the difference between friendly and not friendly people.


  • SockDev

    @Lorne-Kates Systems similar to that exist on most of the forums I've been active on in the past decade, and I'll say this for certain: They don't work. Things get out of control regardless, causing the mods to get heavy-handed, and all that does is breed resentment and create a division between the moderation staff and the regular users.

    I'll be honest, the light-touch moderation here is a much more preferable system, at least that's how I see it. Most of the time, the mods are on the same level as the rest of us, and the only time the distinction matters is when someone really oversteps the boundary. The rest of the time, you give as good as you get, and it actually works out pretty well. So long as everyone understands that, of course.

    I learned that the hard way.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Dreikin said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @Rhywden said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @PleegWat Naw, it just needs a good set of moderators. But that will probably go against the "free speech" creed.

    It also requires them to do work, which I expect to be the biggest sticking point.

    @RaceProUK said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @Lorne-Kates Systems similar to that exist on most of the forums I've been active on in the past decade, and I'll say this for certain: They don't work. Things get out of control regardless, causing the mods to get heavy-handed, and all that does is breed resentment and create a division between the moderation staff and the regular users.

    I'll be honest, the light-touch moderation here is a much more preferable system, at least that's how I see it. Most of the time, the mods are on the same level as the rest of us, and the only time the distinction matters is when someone really oversteps the boundary. The rest of the time, you give as good as you get, and it actually works out pretty well. So long as everyone understands that, of course.

    I learned that the hard way.

    @Lorne-Kates said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    The :fa_fire_extinguisher: idea is "Here's a topic that, if it were in the Garbage, we'd ignore each other's points and shout names. However, we have all agreed that, to participate in this category, we won't do that. We'll either discuss in good faith, or not at all. If you can follow that, join in. If you can't, feel free to read. If you are shitty cunt butt, your posting ability to this category will be revoked."

    Barring the ability to make some sort of thread- or category-specific banning, and given that no-one really wants to moderate that :poop:fest if people decide to misbehave (or act with good faith but in a manner so objectionable as to not be practically different), what about some sort of social signalling with light moderation? Riffing off @Lorne-Kates' :fa_fire_extinguisher: idea, and to minimize mod annoyance, what about something like this:

    • The category is made,
    • Topics in that category, and posts engaging with them in good faith, are signaled with :fa_fire_extinguisher:,
    • The topic maker sets rules in the initial post (we might want a post to reference for a set of standard rules),
    • Some amount of :poop:posting is allowed, but shouldn't use the :fa_fire_extinguisher: marker,
    • Long :trolleybus: chains (more than a few posts, or with substantial flagging) are Jeffed to the garage,
    • And otherwise things are Jeffed to the garage as usual.

    The idea behind these being:

    • Contain the seriously contentious stuff, just like we have been doing, except split into:
      • a presumptively good faith section, and
      • a presumptively bad faith / :troll: section,
    • Make it clear who's arguing in good faith and who's just :trollface:ing in the former section,
    • Allow for each thread to set its own expectations for what constitutes "good faith" behavior,
    • Accept that people are going to want to make one-off trolls and jokes even in the best of circumstances,
    • Work to minimize the derailment from the previous point by diverting distracting sub-threads to the appropriate circular filing cabinetcategory, as we already do.


  • @Dreikin Why not just do that in the existing categories then, like we already do?
    AIUI, threads are free, so there's nothing stopping anyone from starting a thread somewhere else on a potentially-contentious topic for the purpose of good-faith serious discussion. If no one can keep civil, then the thread or posts can be moved to the garage, as appropriate.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @djls45 said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @Dreikin Why not just do that in the existing categories then, like we already do?
    AIUI, threads are free, so there's nothing stopping anyone from starting a thread somewhere else on a potentially-contentious topic for the purpose of good-faith serious discussion. If no one can keep civil, then the thread or posts can be moved to the garage, as appropriate.

    Not everyone wants to see that type of stuff (not really the raison d'etre of the site, after all) so a category makes it easy for uninterested people to ignore it all.



  • @abarker What if there was a "ModBot" that ran with moderation abilities and whitelisted users could send it commands to do stuff on their behalf?

    Filed under: the bad ideas thread, :arrows:



  • @Rhywden said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    @PleegWat Naw, it just needs a good set of moderators. But that will probably go against the "free speech" creed.

    :rolleyes:



  • @loopback0 said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    More active moderation to move things back into the right place.

    The difficult thing about moderating nodebb is that to move a post from one thread to an existing thread, it must be done one at a time. We can fairly easily select a group of posts to fork into a new thread, but not move them around.



  • @abarker said in Non-trolley category proposal:

    Given the overall nature of this community, trying to maintain a category such as the one proposed would likely require more mods than we currently have

    Well, we have the ability to add moderators by category (see Mafia).


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @Dreikin If you start something in Look At Me and it goes well, it might be more convincing to make a category.

    I'd have done it already if I had the power, to be sure. If it all got set on fire it's easy enough to move everything to the garage and delete it.


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