PLEASE READ: re moderation and courtesy

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Chip, Apr 3, 2001.

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  1. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    Folks,

    There have been several threads within the past few days in which tempers have flared, various accusations have been made, and comments that, in my opinion, cross the line into personal attacks have been posted.

    The loosely-knit group that moderate this board do so out of love of the topic and a desire to make degreeinfo a useful resource. While we have some loose guidelines as to what is and isn't appropriate, each of the moderator/administrators is empowered to remove or edit a post if we believe that it is a violation of the degreeinfo terms of service.

    And while we try really hard, it's not always a perfect process... we attempt to err on the side of light, rather than heavy moderation, and for the most part, I think that it's been pretty successful.

    It is clear that there is a diversity of opinion here, and that is a good thing. I would like to encourage and foster the expression of that diversity, while at the same time encouraging people to focus on the topics[/s] rather than the people discussing them. If we do that, then I think that we can express disagreement with courtesy and respect for one another instead of denigrating each other.

    The moderators have been discussing how to divide the board into useful topic areas, now that it's grown to nearly 4,000 posts. I think this will happen pretty soon, and that, too, may help to keep topics from moving waaaaaay off topic (from face-to-face meetings to a discussion of MIGS, for example) and will give the moderators more flexibility to move discussions that have veered off topic into new threads that are more descriptive.

    So... in the meantime, if everyone will just make a small effort to think about what they are writing before pressing "submit", I think that the board can continue to be the high-quality discussion forum it has come to be in the very short time (2 months?) that it's been operational.

    Thanks... and, as always, any comments appreciated.
     
  2. Mohammed

    Mohammed New Member

    I second this motion. Personal attacks degrade professional/civil behavior and should not be tolerated!
    ==============

     
  3. DWCox

    DWCox member



    It was not my intent to attack anyone personally when I created the thread title exposing another poster as having multiple handles. I strongly believe that this behavior (multiple handles) is inexcuseable.
    This person got caught on About.com posting with more than one handle and agreeing with his Alas. Anyone who will engage in such behavior should not be allowed to participate in any forum. To me this is no different than a MD losing his/her license for unethical behavior in one state only to go set up practice in another state.

    Wes
     
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member



    Perhaps if you step in when it happens, rather than using a "shotgun" approach, then the folks who need to temper their personal attacks will get the idea
     
  5. tcnixon

    tcnixon Active Member

    The whole point of being lightly moderated is that we don't want to step in. You folks need to try to police yourselves. We want to be the last resort, not the first resort.

    BTW, I've seen no "shot-gun" approach. In the short history of degreeinfo.com we've deleted two threads for a total of 5 messages.

    Tom Nixon
     
  6. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Active Member

    I believe it is silly to compare having multiple handles to losing ones MD license. Even your example seemingly tries to smear H.Piper with unethical behavior. I use a number of handles myself when I'm posting from different places. It has absolutely nothing to do with unethical behavior. I seriously doubt if you have any real evidence of unethical behavior or I think you would have produced it.

    Either cough up a single shred of evidence or cut the nonsense because I'm not buying into your silly smear campaign. You've only smeared yourself in my book.
     
  7. DWCox

    DWCox member

    I shall Cut-and-Paste from the About.com NG whereby you will be able to read for yourself H.Piper, AKA DART12 and Jeff623. Having more than one handle is not unethical but creating a separate identity for the purpose of acting as a separate person so as to agree with your other handle is UNETHICAL!

    Why not just ask Kristin why she revoked the posting ability of this person?

    Wes
     
  8. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    This is just question. Don't anybody take it wrong or start a fight. It really is withour presumption. If you are so sure about his being all three of those handles, why did you not offer some definitive proof? How is it that you came to this conclusion?
     
  9. David

    David New Member

    Who CARES about multiple handles?
    Like we have nothing else to do?
    GROW UP!!!

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    David
     
  10. DWCox

    DWCox member

    Again for those of you who fail to understand my intent, [It] certainly is not personal. It is unethical to create another identity so as to have at least one other poster agreeing with your opinions. This person did just that and got caught and because he got caught he was forced to admit to his shortcoming. Anyone who will engage in such behavior is of questionable character.
     
  11. PaulC

    PaulC Member


    But why do you still not indicate how you are certain that HPiper is the same as teh other two you mention?
     
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Sorry, Tom, I should have explained what I meant by "shotgun." That is, a message broadcast to the entire group, rather than one pointed at the people involved (and pointing out the behavior). Yes, there has been a remarkable lack of deleting messages, due both to the moderate moderators and the excellent participants of this board.

    Rich Douglas
     
  13. Moderation is difficult -- often there are nuggets of useful information among insinuations and personal attacks. Or an angry and defensive message is posted in response to a message that contained both useful information and provocative speculation -- do you delete one? both? neither? I've been accused of being too quick to delete and too lax -- and a couple of people have left my forum after badgering about identities and qualifications.

    I suspect Tom & Chip find discussion of alleged bad behavior on the About Distance Learning forum to be an irritating distraction from discussion of distance learning issues -- as do I.

    For the record, I believe H Piper to be a different individual than an individual who provoked speculation and sniping on the About Distance Learning forum.

    Could we get back to talking about distance learning?

    You're welcome to drop into the About Distance Learning forum as well as this one. Use http://forums.about.com/ab-distanclearn/start/ and Enter as Guest if you just want to read messages. You don't have to register unless you want to post a message.



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    Kristin Evenson Hirst
    DistanceLearn.About.com
     
  14. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Active Member

    I agree that moderation is difficult and I for one think that the moderators of degreeInfo have done an excellent job keeping it lightly moderated.

    Krisitn I also thank you for responding to the silly H.Piper accusations and I hope you've laid that silliness to rest.
     
  15. DWCox

    DWCox member

    For the record, I believe H Piper to be a different individual than an individual who provoked speculation and sniping on the About Distance Learning forum.


    "Believe" is the key word. Proof lies in the I.P. information. The I.P. information is not available to general members of this group. Mr. Nixon and Ms. Hirst ability to determine this.

    In the better interest of this NG I will no post regarding this topic.

    Regards to all, Wes
     
  16. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    Thanks, all for bringing this to resolution without need for any moderation.

    I think I speak for all of the moderators when I say that (between us, at least) we pretty much read just about every post here and if there are accusations of multiple identities and such, we investigate that pretty quickly.

    I've been both busy (the past 10 days) and sick (the past two) so I haven't personally been keeping great track of things, but Tom, Tom, Bill, and the rest of the moderation team has been doing a great job.

    If anyone has any information about possible multiple aliases on degreeinfo, or if someone feels that they've been attacked/unfairly treated/improperly moderated or edited, I'd appreciate it if, rather than posting publically, you'd first email one of us rather than posting to the board. If we've blown it, we'll fix it pretty quickly. If we don't feel like we have, we'll tell you why. And generally, when any one of us makes any edit or removes a post, we email the other moderators... so we have a sort of consensus-creation process behind the scenes that helps make the moderation policy more consistent.

    So, by emailing the moderators instead of posting, you'll save the rest of the participants from being drawn into or having to read a flamefest. And save a little bandwidth in the process.

    Thanks!!

    Chip
     

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