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  1. #1
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Default Forum Moderation Refinements

    Hi everyone.

    To put things most basically here, this is a typology forum, with the aim of creating a place where members can discuss personality types and the psychology behind that. We want to have the type of community where members feel welcome to explore themselves and others... how typology works, where they fit in and how they and their types relate to others... a place where members can feel safe in opening up about themselves without opening themselves up to attack.

    Having said that, feedback from the membership in various forms has led us to the conclusion that we need to make some revisions to the way our moderation policies are being applied. Hostile interactions, insults, and overly prejudiced language have been the source of almost all member complaints about the forum atmosphere within the past year. We've focused too much on letting members say whatever they want and not enough to support a welcoming atmosphere for learning about typology and where our members feel safe in opening up. We have rules in place that prohibit certain types of behavior... behavior like causing unrest or prejudices against members based on characteristics which they cannot control. We've been too lenient in enforcing these rules. We have a competent staff and we have members who are willing to voice their concerns and report problematic posts and give us a heads up when things are going wrong. We're going to leverage those strengths to support TypologyCentral being the type of website that it was created for and that our introduction promises.

    What does this mean? It means we are going to be more strictly enforcing the rules on hostile interactions and on prejudiced language (defined as language that demeans or stereotypes people on attributes that they cannot control). One of the biggest complaints from our membership was that we didn't act fast enough in these situations that the membership saw as obviously problematic. That's what we are going to change. For the vast majority of our members, this change will mean nothing except for a more pleasant forum experience. A small number of members will not like this and if you are one of those members it is time to take a look at your own behavior. Are you helping create an atmosphere where members can feel comfortable opening up and learning about typology? Is your behavior supportive and welcoming towards new members? If not, you may wish to reconsider your behavior. This does not mean we are going to be censoring ideas nor does it mean we want to turn this forum into a haven of political correctness. This is a privately owned website dedicated toward a specific mission and there is one condition for participation - that the published rules are followed.

    We want to make this the typology site that you deserve, and this is us putting our feet on that path. We'll need your help to see everything that's happening on the forum, as we always have and we appreciate the feedback that you have given us up to this point to make us reconsider how things have been going.

    Thank you and carry on

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  2. #2
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    I know why this is here and since I feel like I am at the center of this "policy shift" I would like to say something to you that you may, or may not consider relevant. I will be playing the devil's advocate role to prove to you why I think that this isn't the solution. And why I think that as it is, some of the members of the moderator team are double agents, when it comes to "defending what's right".

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    a place where members can feel safe in opening up about themselves without opening themselves up to attack.
    I would start to ask you, what is it with the obsession of "safety" when it comes to online? Safety from what? Somebody saying something mean? It isn't your duty as moderators to protect feelings. Nobody can hurt your own feelings unless you let them. Because you are the only one in charge of your own feelings. Before you label me as a "monster" or "troll", I find it to be pretty insulting to people that someone one else has to look after their own feelings, as if the people aren't able to do that themselves. It sort of speaks down to the regular Joe. Now I'm not talking about allowing insults like "nigger, jew, eat shit and die, fuck you, your momma is so fat". I haven't done this and I don't think most people have ever seen that way before or even after I joined. But calling someone's idea stupid, or telling them that they are too "fragile" isn't an insult. Ideas are ideas, when you tell someone that they have a stupid idea, you're attacking the idea, not the person. I think very few people can actually make the distinction, and sadly, I have seen that some of your mods cannot. My guess is that they are too sensitive and lack the nuance in distinguishing what is attack on a person and attack on an idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Having said that, feedback from the membership in various forms has led us to the conclusion that we need to make some revisions to the way our moderation policies are being applied.
    I just think that the whole deal started with that stupid dear men thread. Look, we've been over this, the OP said something stupid and other users (including myself) called the OP out on her bullshit. She had poor advice to give to men about how to act and people didn't eat the cookie she was baking. This wasn't part of a scheme to destroy the OP. Nobody gives a single shit about who hides behind a username. Ideas are public. And are public to debate. Even on this "private forum". The searches from this forum appear on Google. Proof: dear men - Căutare Google

    So, if somebody is going to make some claims that become public, I don't see why people can't respond to expose the stupidity of the claim. And if this forum is so private, it may opt out of the Google search results and then it would truly be private. As long as the forum exposes it's ideas to the public web, the servers are private, the information on it IS NOT.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    We've focused too much on letting members say whatever they want and not enough to support a welcoming atmosphere for learning about typology and where our members feel safe in opening up. We have rules in place that prohibit certain types of behavior... behavior like causing unrest or prejudices against members based on characteristics which they cannot control.
    Again, the "safe" and "feel" words appear. Why so much focus on arbitrarily protecting "fragile little minds"? And what is wrong with people say whatever they want? Are these people saying any of the insulting words that I mentioned previously? Did anybody say, "shut up bitch"? No, they did not. They did, however, call people on their bullshit.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    What does this mean? It means we are going to be more strictly enforcing the rules on hostile interactions and on prejudiced language (defined as language that demeans or stereotypes people on attributes that they cannot control). One of the biggest complaints from our membership was that we didn't act fast enough in these situations that the membership saw as obviously problematic. That's what we are going to change. For the vast majority of our members, this change will mean nothing except for a more pleasant forum experience.
    Stereotypes always have a seed of truth in them. You can run from that, you can hide and lock yourself in an echo chamber, but the fact is that stereotypes do come from a grain of truth. I wouldn't rush in to throw garbage at the idea of stereotypes.

    Actually, my biggest complaint about the quality of moderation isn't related to "response times". It's not related to that at all. It's related to the fact that moderation is done selectively and highly discretionary. Some posts get away with exactly the same kind of content that another user gets punished for. Why? Well, I guess subjectivity. Which does not mix well with the kind of objective morality that you are trying to implement in the rules. Take this as a criticism to the fact that if you go down the censorship or selective punishment, you basically live by the sword and die by the sword. I don't have a problem with you as a person, but I do have a problem with your way of looking at this. Which is why I am even bothering to white this long ass train of thought to you why what you are trying to do is in the end only cause more problems than it claims to solve. You gain the peace of mind of "special snowflakes" but you've killed meaningful debate which is often controversial. Do you think that is worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    A small number of members will not like this and if you are one of those members it is time to take a look at your own behavior. Are you helping create an atmosphere where members can feel comfortable opening up and learning about typology? Is your behavior supportive and welcoming towards new members? If not, you may wish to reconsider your behavior.
    I would actually go the other way. I think that if you are offended for someone being abrasive and telling you your ideas are bad, you should consider what kind of person you are. Why are you putting the way you feel on the shoulders of another person? Feelings are your own responsibility. Nobody is responsible for your own feelings but you. Why the will to take away personal responsibility from the user and move it to the responsibility of some arbitrary 3rd party like a moderator? What if on a religious thread you have a religious moderator that is biased? I've seen this before, and I am sure that I can search for examples here too, not just of religious discussion. This is why you shouldn't concern yourself with "support" and "welcoming", but as a place of ideas, you should be concerned with ideas being heard and challenged. Policing thought and expression is going to stifle those debates. People like a hot debate. Arguments and debate make things interesting. If everybody logs in just to see what the latest stuff being talked about is some perpetual hand holding and group hugs, I would question if these people have anything interesting to say in their mind, if they care at all for learning new stuff. What's the purpose of such a forum? To feed the narcissistic needs of such nameless and faceless users that will never be able to learn something about the world? Isn't that what kindergarten and social media sites do anyways?

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    This does not mean we are going to be censoring ideas nor does it mean we want to turn this forum into a haven of political correctness.
    Is it not, though? When you ban users from specific discussions and give delayed arbitrary "generic" descriptions for the reason why someone has been banned from that particular thread, is it not censorship? Because with a motive like "you've been bad and we don't like it" I'm not sure you're going to win any votes from the people that want to believe you're being transparent. As pointed out by @PeaceBaby too. Because you have definitely NOT have been transparent. And the fact that some posts that can be considered just as "incendiary" have been left behind, while others have been removed, it isn't looking very good. At most, this is virtue signaling, which is just another form of "political correctness" which you so adamantly claim that it isn't your goal.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    This is a privately owned website dedicated toward a specific mission and there is one condition for participation - that the published rules are followed.
    It is, and then it isn't. To be truly private, the ideas contained within must also be private. You can't have your cake and eat it at the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    We want to make this the typology site that you deserve, and this is us putting our feet on that path. We'll need your help to see everything that's happening on the forum, as we always have and we appreciate the feedback that you have given us up to this point to make us reconsider how things have been going.
    How can you know what someone deserves? You're a creature of Ni, so you should be able to fully explain how you can decide what someone deserves. I am genuinely asking you a philosophical question.

    Actually, I would like to give you some feedback, if you don't mind. I will point to a good article that speaks of safe spaces, in college campuses, but please feel free to spot for your self the blatant similarities. Please let me know if you see the connections:

    A "Safe space" is a dangerous idea. by James A. Lindsay Source: A "Safe space" is a dangerous idea.

    Originally employed by the women's and the LGBT movement that followed, safe spaces were intended to be something like a closed forum in which individuals can come to relax or express themselves "without the fear of being made uncomfortable, unwelcome, or challenged" on account of personal identity, meaning characteristics including sex, gender, race, sexual orientation, and so on
    [...]
    Of course, safe support groups for marginalized and oppressed young people seemed like a pretty good idea, especially since they struggle to occur naturally. The notion arose not because there were no spaces on campus for LGBT youth to congregate, but because keeping them free from judgment proved difficult. Hecklers, usually religiously motivated ones, often took advantage of the inclusiveness of such centers and the forums they hosted in order to bring into their one group sanctuary exactly the condemnatory attitudes from which they sought respite.
    [...]
    The problem was remedied by partially closing doors to those who were abusing the space, and the formal notion of a safe space was born and extended to other identity groups. To speak broadly, while the name may be troublesome, safe spaces, understood in this formal sense, are almost unquestionably a good idea. I say so unreservedly - they are almost unquestionably a good idea - and I say that wholeheartedly recognizing that good ideas, too, should be questioned.
    [...]
    It isn't entirely clear that it's a good idea to create such a "safe space" at all. It may not be, given that by their very definition they intentionally exclude certain points of view, or worse, race, gender, nationality and creed. Explicitly setting up and enforcing such a space, and training students to rely upon them when they wish to vent feelings or express thoughts unchallenged, may have its own problems. It may, for example, foster echo chambers in which ideas can spin away from reality, prevent students from learning to engage with disagreement or even offensive ideas, or encourage them to, as Judith Shulevitz put it, hide from scary ideas. On the other hand, it seems desperately difficult to make a case that a forum that is explicitly set aside for young people to engage with matters of great personal vulnerability shouldn't be kept as free from harassment as possible. This is the debate about safe spaces that we should be having. It isn't, though.
    [...]
    calling those spaces in which a person's experience, sense of identity, or (increasingly) ideology, cannot be challenged, "safe" spaces immediately implies that other spaces aren't safe, by comparison and because they do allow such challenges. On that implication the safe-space concept expands because because of the simple, well-intentioned goal of making "dangerous" spaces safer. In that way, an apparently good idea, like forums in which people can express themselves without fear of reprisal, metastasizes. The conceptual force behind the safe space ceases to be that of a retreat into a voluntarily speech-limited zone and becomes instead an attempt to control speech.
    [...]
    There is no other way for the safe space to be generated than by restricting speech. In a closed, voluntary environment, the restriction of speech is one thing; but as it widens its scope, it becomes increasingly Orwellian.
    Food for thought. I know I won't win any popularity contests here and that there's a 99% chance you can't be bothered to read all that I have wrote here. In a way, I guess that would be another form of a "safe space" that you could create around your own self, which I you are free to have but would severely limit your credibility when it comes to "knowing what's the right thing to do", would you not agree? Then again, feel free to disagree, I like it when people disagree. We learn much more that way.

    CC-ing in here relevant mods too that have responded previously in this thread or in private: @Bush Did 9/11 and @fidelia

  3. #3
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    If this were a place, like law school, or debate club, where it's merely ideas only, no personal experiences, then yeah, emotions shouldn't really play a part in that.

    But it's not that.

    People are taking a risk and opening up and sharing personal info. That is part of talking about typology. It's difficult to separate ideas from personal experiences. And a person's ideas are a part of them too. They come from your mind and your heart and are informed by the life you have lived.

    So if others are harsh or say your ideas are "stupid", that makes people less willing to want to open up, which is part of the point of the forum. But if somebody explains why they disagree, if they are kind in pointing out a different way of looking at, it still helps a person feel "okay" to share their personal experiences.
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  4. #4
    Google "chemtrails" Bush Did 9/11's Avatar
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    What @gromit said, basically.

    Quote Originally Posted by mystik_INFJ View Post
    I know why this is here and since I feel like I am at the center of this "policy shift"
    You're definitely not. This didn't start with the "dear men" thread, and it didn't culminate with you.

    Unless you've had 40 or so sock accounts over the past several years, you're giving yourself way too much credit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    People are taking a risk and opening up and sharing personal info. That is part of talking about typology. It's difficult to separate ideas from personal experiences. And a person's ideas are a part of them too. They come from your mind and your heart and are informed by the life you have lived.
    What risk? Who is putting these people and to what risk? What is there so risky about typology? I'm an INFJ, you may be something else, what exactly is the risk? I really don't follow what you're saying. To me, it just looks like you want to hype a non-issue, in the hopes of it becoming a real issue so that the discussion can be safely derailed in your comfort zone. Next you're going to talk to me about how people have feelings. As if that should prevent us from having debates.

    Oi, look at it this way, what's more interesting? Watching someone coloring mandala crap or someone having a heated debate about something relevant to our daily lives? If you answered the mandala crap, then maybe you're not in the right place?

    Interesting note that you may want to consider @highlander, I did review the replies in this thread and I already found inconsistencies between what the users said (same users that thought so highly about themselves, but ended up being of the same composition as the "despicable" mystik_INFJ) and the rules you enforce and they claim to support:

    Quote Originally Posted by ceecee View Post
    What I'm noticing is that these are all new members have the identical anger for the identical reasons and don't have anything but that anger agenda to advertise. I'm only curious why they would come here to do so when there are many other forums that cater to people like them. Any ideas that they have worth sharing are entirely lost in the delivery so, what's the point? Plus, they're all e6's (admitted or not) - this is the only thing I find interesting.
    Quote Originally Posted by MDP2525 View Post
    Right. Ha! They are all e6's. It's why I have a soft spot because I want them to think about/defend their POV rather than react.

    They don't know how to do that yet. It's not about POV but engagement. If you can be open and vulnerable with why you think the way you do, and you want to be able to defend it? You HAVE TO be willing to be wrong. End. Of. Story.

    it's just not that controversial and if explained...comes down to a very human perspective.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    I wasn't going to say anything cause I don't want it to lead to stereotypes or people thinking ill of a type, but yeah I have definitely noticed this pattern. I do like @MDP2525 's prospective on it.
    Quote Originally Posted by labyrinthine View Post
    Absolutely. Hits nail on the head.
    I've been noticing an influx of raging n00bs too!
    What do I want to prove with these replies? That these users, although seen as "good" examples of the community (but mostly by the users themselves), have broken the rules that the community speaks so highly of.

    I just mentioned in my initial post that there is no problem with stereotypes. Yet, that is against the rules. What I want to say, is more like an adaptation of the saying:

    There are no atheists in foxholes' isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes.

    To which I would say, this isn't an argument against the users that resorted to stereotype reference, but an argument against the rules that enforce this limit. Like I said. More damage is done than prevented.

  6. #6
    Rainy Day Member Ingrid in grids's Avatar
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    FWIW, discussions that resulted in this change in approach did not involve you whatsoever. Rather, it was the culmination of a lot of feedback we had received from our membership over the course of the last year. These issues have very much preceded you.

    Please also observe the following clause in our code of conduct:

    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Rules
    Common Sense
    Members should stick to the same rules of social intercourse as in a social setting. Screaming or starting fights will not be allowed. The mods and admins will use their best judgment to enforce the rules on a case by case basis.
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    Guess I'll have to modify my behavior.
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    It takes them like 569 years to change a policy and its never because of one person. Ps this in house fly years and and not human years.
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  9. #9
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    I'd like to add too that a lot of thought and debate went into this announcement. The ideas you've introduced in this thread aren't new to us at all. The most recent discussion thread in the Modbox on this topic was 14 pages.

    Basically we've noticed a significant cultural change here over the past few years. We've received a lot of feedback from the membership that they are unhappy with this cultural change, which we frankly can no longer ignore. We've tried to examine why this cultural change has occurred and what we can do to set the forum on a better course.

    We are taking a back-to-basics approach, and focusing on what the site's primary purpose... as a Personality forum. The source of most of the complaints, trolling, and division on the forums has been relating to topics quite unrelated to this (and a relating to a very narrow range of topics too).
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  10. #10

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    I see this as a well intentioned, well thought policy change, ON PAPER. I can already see how it won't work as well as intended.

    As much as it would suck to see happen, I think the solution might be a straight, across the board ban on any non type related discussions. This is a niche forum, so treat it as such. Controversial topics and speech, as others have noted, have venues on a number of other forums and social media subgroups dedicated to those non-type niche subjects..
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