Posting etiquette


#1

Being trolled is annoying, but can we stay clear of personal attacks, please?[/quote]

True dat.

Adam, I apologise for the personal attack.

So what is the best way to say to someone online that their behaviour is inappropriate? I’m getting less and less tolerant of consistent bad behaviour by anyone. And I’m going to be saying something about it. The 5 geek social fallacies ( plausiblydeniable.com/opinion/gsf.html ) cause many problems in geek circles. And there must be ways of making the point. Because silence is no help to anyone. And I expect the same to be said to me. As Ryan correctly did.


#2

I’ve split this discussion into a new thread Norman, hope you don’t mind. I didn’t want to divert Bryn’s excellent thread about learnings from UK larp.

I think the answer to your question about making complaints is to do so politely, and to describe the specific behaviour you’re not happy about.

If objectionable behaviours and complaints about them continue, then as a community we could look at making policies against those behaviours on this forum. So you’re not complaining into a void, action can occur as a result.

I think the behaviour you’re having a problem with can be best described as “trolling”. That’s posting things you don’t really believe, or in an exaggerated fashion, in order to get emotional reactions from people who think you’re serious.

Right now we don’t have a specific policy against trolling. In the Welcome to Diatribe post we have policies against personal insults and sexist/racist/homophobic language. We also ask posters to respect the decisions of the administrators, and to try to be constructive. It could reasonably be argued that trolling is not constructive, but as a community we could consider a more explicit policy against trolling.


#3

Dealing with objectionable behaviour is always going to be tricky, but I do have one suggestion for people who want to give feedback about something they don’t like: make the comment once, and move on.

I’ve seen a number of conversations (I’m as guilty as any, I think) where someone said or did something, inadvertently or otherwise, that pissed off multiple people, and the outcome was many lengthy posts about how upset they were, leaving the offender feeling victimised, angry, and inclined to give more offence because they didn’t like being picked on. With complete respect for people’s feelings and all, that kind of post barrage just puts energy into the issue, when what’s best for the community is to lance the boil and let it heal. I suspect that if the group as a whole got into the habit of one or two (at most) mildly phrased comments about bad behaviour, people who meant well but expressed themselves poorly can say so without losing face, and repeat offenders will start to notice the pattern without a big uproar everytime they say something. Just a thought, anyway.


#4

Totally agree with you there Stephanie!

Repeatedly poking a sore is going to make be infected and not heal cleanly!


#5

Not a problem. After I posted I thought, Hmmm, this isn’t really the place to start another thread type thing.

I haven’t really encountered trolling much I guess. It seems that I react badly to people being baited…

Ah well, moving on.


#6

[quote=“Stephanie”]Dealing with objectionable behaviour is always going to be tricky, but I do have one suggestion for people who want to give feedback about something they don’t like: make the comment once, and move on.

I’ve seen a number of conversations (I’m as guilty as any, I think) where someone said or did something, inadvertently or otherwise, that pissed off multiple people, and the outcome was many lengthy posts about how upset they were, leaving the offender feeling victimised, angry, and inclined to give more offence because they didn’t like being picked on. With complete respect for people’s feelings and all, that kind of post barrage just puts energy into the issue, when what’s best for the community is to lance the boil and let it heal. I suspect that if the group as a whole got into the habit of one or two (at most) mildly phrased comments about bad behaviour, people who meant well but expressed themselves poorly can say so without losing face, and repeat offenders will start to notice the pattern without a big uproar everytime they say something. Just a thought, anyway.[/quote]

And then we can rename “Diatribe” into “Pleasant Conversation” 8)

I have learned from experience here that if I’m not happy with something my best option is shut up and crawl away, otherwise if I dare say my opinion it would be seen as evil and people will misunderstand me. Can’t be bothered going through all that trouble, I’d rather abandon the conversation, and if I really need to bitch out my opinion to someone I do it outside of Diatribe.


#7

I belong to a forum Etiquette Hell. They have a thread about forum etiquette:
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=55709.0

The best piece of advice the have is:

The Coke Rule:

  1. If a post annoys me, count to ten before replying.
  2. If a post angers me, count to a hundred.
  3. If a post infuriates me, shut down the computer and drink Coke.
    And btw, the Coke Rule was originally meant to be applied quietly to oneself, without announcing your reaction that you’ll soon be imbibing.

#8

In theory we have a “complain” button.

[attachment=0]thecomplainbutton.png[/attachment]

Don’t really know exactly what it does…

Also, you can mark people who consistently piss you off as “foes” and then you never see any of their posts (except where people quote them).


#9

In theory we have a “complain” button.

Don’t really know exactly what it does…

Also, you can mark people who consistently piss you off as “foes” and then you never see any of their posts (except where people quote them).[/quote]
Y’know, I completely didn’t notice that before. It takes you to or a form where you can put in the reason and send your complaint to the moderators.


#10

I like all the advice that’s been given. I agree that the first steps are doing things that will allow you to cool down and not react (or over-react) to a highly charged post.

However, I really do think that it should be backed up by a policy/process for dealing with people who routinely make a point of deliberately attacking others, because otherwise it’d feel to me like we’re allowing that sort of behaviour and not giving support to victims.

Not saying that’s happened here yet. I do understand the difference between trolling (trying to get a rise out of people because you find it funny/amusing) and attacking. But since this is a general topic about etiquette I thought it appropriate to bring it up here.

When I moderated forums for TradeMe and its sister companies we had warning systems such as this:

  • First offense: bring the issue to the attention of the person who has made the offensive post as they may not be aware their post was innapropriate/has hurt someone

  • Second offense: a temporary ban from posting, the length of which ranged from one week to a month depending on the severity of the offense.

  • Third offense: permanent ban.

Sometimes we’d give multiple temporary bans before a permanent ban, depending on the circumstances. Amusingly, some routine trollers would often call in requesting their OWN ban when they realised they were getting too worked up and needed time to cool off.


#11

It’s interesting, because I’ve found that what I react the most to is people being mean to my friends. Being mean to me, I can take and defend or reply or whatever in a reasonable manner.

But if someone does it to someone else, I start to see red…

And call me a relic of a bygone age, but I’ve realised it happens more when it’s my female friends being “picked on”.

Make of that what you will.

The things you learn about yourself.


#12

[quote=“Derek”]In theory we have a “complain” button.

Don’t really know exactly what it does…[/quote]

Moderators can view the complaints. If you log in as DiatribeAdmin, you can see all the reports by clicking on the [Moderator Control Panel] link. We could set the forum up so you could also view these using your normal login.

There are about 4 complaints logged, spread over the last year or so. One of these complaints was about the comment by Norman that spawned this thread. I didn’t see that report, because I seldom look at the moderator panel. One was a person reporting themself, in a “have I gone too far?” style.

The reports may be useful to users who want to make a complaint but don’t want to post publically. However, given the small, manageable size of this forum I’d suggest an even better approach is to send a PM to Derek. That way your complaint will get noticed immediately, and Derek can give you a response. Sometimes that response will probably be “I don’t think you have a point, here’s why.” Other times it will be “I agree, I’ll do something about this”.


#13

[quote=“joker”]It’s interesting, because I’ve found that what I react the most to is people being mean to my friends. Being mean to me, I can take and defend or reply or whatever in a reasonable manner.

But if someone does it to someone else, I start to see red…

And call me a relic of a bygone age, but I’ve realised it happens more when it’s my female friends being “picked on”.

Make of that what you will.

The things you learn about yourself.[/quote]

Bless you, Duncan. :wink: <3


#14

I have a mantra for when something bothers me:

“In a year, will I care?”

If the answer is no, then it’s not worth getting upset over. So my rational brain tells my emotional brain to go have a cup of tea and a lie down, there’s a good monkey.


#15

Well, a few times is generally not a problem. People make mistakes. But the cumulative effect to the “straw, camel” point is the problem.

How much is to much?

I have no desire to see anything policed by the politeness police. Political correctness gets up my nose.

But I also expect that if someone dishes it out, that they be able to take it as well…


#16

You are a relic of a bygone age and an inspiration to gentlemen everywhere.

If anyone feels people are stepping over the line, I (as one of the moderators) would prefer someone complained about it.

I don’t read every post and I have a quirky sense of humor, so I find different things offensive to other people (for example I thought the “elves are ghay” comment last year was funny, whereas other people were upset). I also step over the line from time to time so feel free to give me some slap down if I do.