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Thread: Collective Punishment

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Collective Punishment

    Despite calls from experienced message forum mods and admins throughout the Internet community for more than two decades, we still see threads being closed because of the actions of one or two unsavory individuals.

    Take this thread, for example, wherein Grapeshot remarked, "...there is someone amongst us that cannot follow the polite rules of civil discourse and who with regularity employees misdirection, red herrings, and false flags, then celebrates non-existent victory - his point would seem to be to provoke rather than an exchange of ideas. I have very little patience for such.

    Two pages of painfully sorry, same old beating of the dead horse. Locking it."

    This post isn't a cheap shot against Grapeshot. In fact, a large number of mods handle squabbles by closing the thread. Instead of punishing the one or two offending members, locking the thread punishes all members of the thread.

    As a mod/admin of multiple forums for 27 years, I'm well aware it's an easy fix, and have used it myself on occasion. It is not, however, the correct solution.

    Collective punishment is the punishment of a group of people as a result of the behavior of one or more other individuals or groups. The punished group may often have no direct association with the other individuals or groups, or direct control over their actions. In fact, collective punishment is so great an offense to society that it "is a violation of the laws of war and the Geneva Conventions."

    Here's why it doesn't work:

    1.) The offenders, often driven by some level of narcissistic personality disorder, are rarely affected. They just happily skip to another thread or forum and carry on in the same disruptive manner.

    2.) The majority of participants who were busy carrying on decent, civil conversations find themselves slammed in the face with the message forum equivalent of a 2x4.

    No, seriously. That's exactly how it feels when you're a polite participant in a viable thread and a mod or admin unceremoniously pulls the rug.

    The end result is there's little or no punishment for the offenders, and significant punishment for the rule-abiding denizens of your forums.

    Put another way, it's exactly like a local government outlawing open carry for all 65,000 citizens because one knucklehead who was OC-ing decided to brandish one afternoon.

    I seriously thought this forum had matured beyond that, especially given the nature of what we're trying to accomplish.

    The far more appropriate solution is to punish the few rabble-rousers and leave the rest free to carry on their decent, polite conversations. Give the offenders three days off to consider the error of their ways. If they haven't gotten it by then, give them a week. Then a month. Then forever.

    By all means, don't suffer fools. But whatever you do, please don't make those who're abiding by the rules suffer because of the fools who break them.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by since9; 06-10-2014 at 05:46 AM.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

  2. #2
    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    well said
    ipse
    I'm only human; I do what I can; I'm just a man; I do what I can; Don't put the blame on me; Don't put your blame on me ~ Rag'n'Bone Man.

    Please do not get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am ~ my attitude depends on who you are and how you act.

    Remember always, do not judge someone because they sin differently than you do!

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Trying to decide if this thread is worthy of being locked. ;)

    Anyway. Valid point, and I continue to hold slight bruising from the occasional "message forum equivalent of a 2x4" that you mentioned. But, all bruises eventually fade away.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Regular Member Griz's Avatar
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    I agree there are some incongruities in rules application.

    On the main forum page, just under the purpose of the Social Forum, is this gem, "Really want to talk about your new car or the movie you saw last night? This is where such topics should go."

    How many threads have been locked for being off topic in this area?

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    Despite calls from experienced message forum mods and admins throughout the Internet community for more than two decades, we still see threads being closed because of the actions of one or two unsavory individuals.

    Take this thread, for example...
    I understand where you're coming from and agree that collective punishment is not the way to go.

    However, I disagree that the thread you cited was an example of a "...decent, polite conversation(s)". Once various posters succumbed to the troll bait, the thread quickly became, as one poster put it, "like as bunch of second graders arguing". I blame the posters for taking the bait, and I don't see how the moderator could have saved the thread at that point.

    On the other hand, I've found the moderator to be reasonable to communicate with, and I think that you should PM him about what you feel is the wrong approach to such matters. If that hasn't produced a satisfactory response, write to John, Mike, or both of them.

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    Thanks for the in depth analysis Dr. Phil .. I don't see a link to carry though.

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    Regular Member Logan 5's Avatar
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    +1 @ Since9
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    Regular Member The Truth's Avatar
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    The thread you cited was in the midst of g21sfpistol's reign of worst troll ever. That was kinda different. Pretty sure de facto martial law had been declared in defense of his trolling.
    Sic semper evello mortem tyrannis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator
    So in actuality you have no evidence that anything wrong took place, you only believe that it could be spun to appear wrong. But it hasn't been. The truth has a funny way of coming out with persistence, even if it was spun negatively the truth would find its way because these people will not accept less.
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    The truth causes some people so much pain they can only respond with impotent laughable insults. Life must be rough for those people.

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    Regular Member HPmatt's Avatar
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    Some threads seem to get in a rut and go on & on between a few posters bring personal squabbles from previous threads.
    Typically I'll just drop off watching the thread for a while, then check in and see if the brothers are still rolling around in the grass pulling hair.
    Repeat for a while and if hell is still hot, eventually will let that thread sink beneath the rough waters of a squall that never ends...
    “Men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them"
    -Thomas Hobbes 1651

  11. #11
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Simple solution~~start your own board. While I do not always agree with mods I respect them, and their decisions. Don't like them, then PM them, if that does not work~well then there is no sense in spinning your wheels.
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    Despite calls from experienced message forum mods and admins throughout the Internet community for more than two decades, we still see threads being closed because of the actions of one or two unsavory individuals.

    Take this thread, for example, wherein Grapeshot remarked, "...there is someone amongst us that cannot follow the polite rules of civil discourse and who with regularity employees misdirection, red herrings, and false flags, then celebrates non-existent victory - his point would seem to be to provoke rather than an exchange of ideas. I have very little patience for such.

    Two pages of painfully sorry, same old beating of the dead horse. Locking it."

    This post isn't a cheap shot against Grapeshot. In fact, a large number of mods handle squabbles by closing the thread. Instead of punishing the one or two offending members, locking the thread punishes all members of the thread.

    As a mod/admin of multiple forums for 27 years, I'm well aware it's an easy fix, and have used it myself on occasion. It is not, however, the correct solution.

    Collective punishment is the punishment of a group of people as a result of the behavior of one or more other individuals or groups. The punished group may often have no direct association with the other individuals or groups, or direct control over their actions. In fact, collective punishment is so great an offense to society that it "is a violation of the laws of war and the Geneva Conventions."

    Here's why it doesn't work:

    1.) The offenders, often driven by some level of narcissistic personality disorder, are rarely affected. They just happily skip to another thread or forum and carry on in the same disruptive manner.

    2.) The majority of participants who were busy carrying on decent, civil conversations find themselves slammed in the face with the message forum equivalent of a 2x4.

    No, seriously. That's exactly how it feels when you're a polite participant in a viable thread and a mod or admin unceremoniously pulls the rug.

    The end result is there's little or no punishment for the offenders, and significant punishment for the rule-abiding denizens of your forums.

    Put another way, it's exactly like a local government outlawing open carry for all 65,000 citizens because one knucklehead who was OC-ing decided to brandish one afternoon.

    I seriously thought this forum had matured beyond that, especially given the nature of what we're trying to accomplish.

    The far more appropriate solution is to punish the few rabble-rousers and leave the rest free to carry on their decent, polite conversations. Give the offenders three days off to consider the error of their ways. If they haven't gotten it by then, give them a week. Then a month. Then forever.

    By all means, don't suffer fools. But whatever you do, please don't make those who're abiding by the rules suffer because of the fools who break them.

    Thanks.
    Oh my! This is my second post and already I am responding to a squabble. It is my opinion if a person is on this site already he had separated himself from the sheep of society. We are talking about the Constitution written by men who when they told England to go crap in their hats, effectively were on notice that if they were captured they would be hung from the nearest tree! They put their fortunes on the line to build a new country. Their meetings were a firestorm, of arguments, difference of opinions, passions and loads of debate. While we are NOT trying to build a new country here, we are talking about very controversial subjects where passions run deep.

    I read the forum rules and almost decided NOT to debate anything for fear of ******* the Moderators off. Then again, I see the profound difficulty of them trying to keep us from ripping out each-others heads off. These are serious times and passions run deep especially for those of us who feel we are being picked on. I think Grapeshot is tremendous as are others. we have some intellectuals on here who I really want to talk to. They are the reason I am here! Let them speak, argue, and even get pissed That's what I signed up for. I have NO TIME for people who are like a KAMAKAZI PILOT after his 17th, mission!! NO COMMITTMENT!

    Let me leave you with this, " Though all had suffered the man was alone, waiting. He would NOT back down, he would do the right thing .Not because his success was guaranteed, because the lonely man would not submit. He would NOT live whatever was left of his life on his knees!" Does this sound like any of you???

  13. #13
    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John adams View Post
    Oh my! This is my second post snipp...

    and you have already responded to a thread that is almost a year olde...

    welcome tho...

    ipse
    I'm only human; I do what I can; I'm just a man; I do what I can; Don't put the blame on me; Don't put your blame on me ~ Rag'n'Bone Man.

    Please do not get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am ~ my attitude depends on who you are and how you act.

    Remember always, do not judge someone because they sin differently than you do!

    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

  14. #14
    Regular Member Logan 5's Avatar
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    Necro-posting, almost like necrophaelia, but not as steenky.

    One thing I feel should be added is when there are mods or admin that have this impression that they and only they know how hard it is to be a moderator or forum admin, when some of their members either do or have done the same job. It's a dirty, filthy and thankless job, all that can be done is make it easier for them. In some cases they are paid. BTDT. And in others, it's volunteer. Again, BTDT.

    When you have a troublesome individual, you do not close a thread because of them unless the thread has no value. But then, value to who? Well, to the forum's mission statement, of course.

    Sometimes you have to separate the wheat from the chaff, which means moderating (an older term & skill, not sure if it's available for the newer programs or not) the posts from the member. That is a real headache, it really is. Then you can also do temp-bans, but those don't always work. Sometimes you have no alternative but to do a permanent ban. But make sure you allow some form of recourse, such as an appeal option. But then, it's completely up to the mods, then sysops, then owner.

    Some may think that it's up to the member. It is, in a sense. There are some people that come to groups like OC to cause disruption because they, the members in question, are part of a movement opposite of the the group they are harassing. Case in point- OpenCarry.org and the Brady Bunch. Not saying it's only the Brady Bunch that do it, because it's also members of the pro-2nd Amendment community that invade the anti-gunner's sites and do the very same thing. Just that the Brady Bunch is often more strict on their rules. Step out of line and you'll get a warning. Step out of line again (or bad enough the first time) and they don't care how much money you gave when you joined, you're gone and they'll keep your money. But you might be lucky and get a thank you card from them. Folks like g21sfpistol would have been ax'd early in the game.

    The key I see here is the sincerity of the subject and the true intent of the players at hand. How serious are the members in the Second Amendment fight? Or are they here to chew the fat and whine about the newer laws that are imposed against our rights? We know how serious the Brady bunch are in their fight.

    In closing- in this fight for the Second Amendment and the right to open carry, one thing that has bothered me is how "the other side" has so much luck in their fight, and when I bring up "we need to look at what they are doing, when and how and adapt the tactics they are using for our side of the fight", I soon tire of being called a traitor, trouble maker agent provocateur, and communist. More names, of course, but those are the most common. All because people are not bright enough to understand that tactics have no political view or position- they work the same way for anyone willing to use them.

    Which is why I no longer come here.
    Enuff said.
    Lifetime member, Gun Owners of America (http://gunowners.org/)
    Lifetime member, Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership (http://jpfo.org/)
    Member, Fraternal Order of Eagles since 8/02 (http://www.foe.com/)

    Registering gun owners to prevent crime, is like registering Jews to prevent a HOLOCAUST.

    I am not a lawyer in real life, or in play life. So anything I say is for debate and discussion only.

  15. #15
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Griz View Post
    I agree there are some incongruities in rules application.

    On the main forum page, just under the purpose of the Social Forum, is this gem, "Really want to talk about your new car or the movie you saw last night? This is where such topics should go."

    How many threads have been locked for being off topic in this area?
    Hmm... Indeed!
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

  16. #16
    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    Hmm... Indeed!
    nice, you went back over two years to reiterate the slam against forum mgmt...

    ipse
    I'm only human; I do what I can; I'm just a man; I do what I can; Don't put the blame on me; Don't put your blame on me ~ Rag'n'Bone Man.

    Please do not get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am ~ my attitude depends on who you are and how you act.

    Remember always, do not judge someone because they sin differently than you do!

    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

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