Author Topic: Questions/Comments for the moderators  (Read 16924 times)

peter_speckhard

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Questions/Comments for the moderators
« on: December 09, 2007, 12:27:51 AM »
Lately I have received a greatly increased number of requests for the moderator to do something about the postings here. I think one of the big strengths of this forum is, to a certain degree, the lack of control. It encourages people from across the theological spectrum to read and maybe to post. However, at some point the lack of control becomes a liability. So, this thread is devoted to comments about what you appreciate or don't appreciate about this forum and the way it is run.

jrubyaz

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Re: Questions/Comments for the moderators
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2007, 12:39:17 AM »
Peter,

I have been on this forum a while but only became active recently . Being a part of two other forums,  where there was a wide diversity of views, but the moderators did little to control the ad hominem comments. When they did, the board was better and healthier. I recently left one forum because two or three people consistently reduced the level of the forum to ad hominem attacks.

I am not talking about deep, even very divisive disagreements. But when people began question the veracity of clergy or lay ministry in terms of personal comments, or name calling, I find that too far. You  very quickly see how a thread becomes a p****** match and it simply detoriates.  In  one case on the other forum, someone more conservative was removed, as he should have been, for ad hominem attacks, but several others from other spectrums have never been dealt with, and the forum has gone done in postings and is a very unhealthy place.

I want this forum to remain healthy, and to do that, the mods need to be strong.

So, my two cents is that ACROSS the board, regardless of viewpoints (one of the other issues is the moderators own bias, and sometimes favoring one side or another), I would excercise strong control, but only among ad hominem attacks, not issues per see. I think if you don't , this forum will go the way of some others.

I think after one warning a second warning is issued that any further ad hominem attacks and one will be removed. Basically, three strikes and you are out. Obviously, there are rare situations which call for immediate expulsion.

Jeff Ruby


 
Lately I have received a greatly increased number of requests for the moderator to do something about the postings here. I think one of the big strengths of this forum is, to a certain degree, the lack of control. It encourages people from across the theological spectrum to read and maybe to post. However, at some point the lack of control becomes a liability. So, this thread is devoted to comments about what you appreciate or don't appreciate about this forum and the way it is run.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2007, 12:41:13 AM by jrubyaz »

Charles_Austin

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Re: Questions/Comments for the moderators
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2007, 05:24:33 AM »
Esteemed moderators, you already know my concerns. No anonymous postings, which allow people to cast brickbats from behind a wall. No advertising of the products of one's employer. Acceptance of other people as fellow members of the body of Christ, even if we disagree with on issues of fellowship, morality, and whether that great fish actually had a prophet dinner (apparently without chewing.) A willingness to accept some harsh language - all strong criticism is not the dread ad hominem rhetoric - but an agreement that we not write each other out of the kingdom.
And how about some promotion of the ALPB forum in circles that will give the crowd here a bit more diversity?

anonymous

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Re: Questions/Comments for the moderators
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2007, 06:32:33 AM »
Being an anonymous person, I would like to address the "throwing brickbrats thing." Of course it allows it. Simply registering here allows one to throw anything. What stops one from throwing something is character. There are, of course many other things that influence the way one communicates, but I think if a person has character they resist attacking people.

Second, I think clear rules help a little bit, but unprincipled people, immature people and people unaware of their obssesions and idealogies are not going to held competely in check by rules.

In the end, everyone has to exercise self-constraint.

Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: Questions/Comments for the moderators
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2007, 06:40:52 AM »
Moderators, I too have written you about my concerns over the past year or so...
Anonymity... I understand fear, I have my irrational phobias... but if a contest is undertaken, no one should be allowed the body armor of anonymity... if fear gives them a vulnerability, let them confront it or sit in the stands and cheer without posting...
Those who cloak themselves with anonymity or pseudonyms are not participants who ask a few questions and add an innocent line or two to the topic; they are big time pugilists deep into the fray!  One of the cheapest things about the internet is the fact that people think that they can surf and post with impunity, a freedom some tout… maybe but maybe not such a noble thing.  While today we face the real possibility of having our identities stolen we must also fess up to the fact that identities are also established and defended and that there is no real hiding from the assault that will practically work.

Advertising products that are for sale/profit must be curbed with zero tolerance for those who in any way profit from the sales in terms of some job/position they have in employment, with the exception of course that ALPB is free to do that since it is their site and sponsorship...

and somehow members themselves must exercise a MODERATION themselves... instigating several new topics per day is somehow over the top... locking topics is not to be a regular practice... new folks should think about listening for a while before entering the discussion...

This recent topic concerning a favorite Advent hymn is a study in itself...  I was suckered into believing that the originator was just talking about a favorite hymn, then I was informed by writers who must have had access to his thinking, that he had ulterior motives for the bending of that hymn to nefarious purposes...  now come on....  He was not anonymous, tho to me his name did not ring any bells... if he had in any way started to use the hymn as a venting of something less than a preparation of Advent, I think alarms would have been raised... but since he did not... why on earth was he outed as deceptive, certainly why in this instance?  

to me the numb of our Largest Issue here is precisely this:  how on earth do we deal with brothers and sisters who are pretty straight on Gospel and Salvation and most things Lutheran and yet on this one blasted issue are so wrong!  If I leave the ELCA or end up in some state of confessional protest... this is where I will always hurt deeply and that is why I still hang on to what we call "discussion" or maybe better the term with a secondary theological meaning—“posting.”    Harvey Mozolak
Harvey S. Mozolak
my poetry blog is listed below:

http://lineandletterlettuce.blogspot.com

Shrimp

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Re: Questions/Comments for the moderators
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2007, 07:39:54 AM »
Dear Harvey;

Not all pseudonyms are created the same. Me, I am a pugilist, puny that I may be, and that is why I say very little here. But I think you are deep in error if you think either all cloaked characters are here ot swing away OR that we are the only ones swinging! Your characterization is an upercut itself is it not!

And, dear harvey, you have to know, you have to know, that this is not about ONE THING.

I post for your enlightenment: http://saveelca.blogspot.com/2007/12/one-more-time-its-not-about-sex.html

Oh, and if this seems like a shameless self-promotion of sorts, it's really more of an invitation to clear the decks ;)

Shrimp

Charles_Austin

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Re: Questions/Comments for the moderators
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2007, 08:27:07 AM »
Topic creep already! Amazing!
Harvey lists six or seven concerns.
The psuedo-named "Shrimp" touches one, and then references a site that has nothing to do with the subject of how we conduct ourselves here, but seems to focus on the errors and apostasy of a church body.
Topic creep already! In less than five posts we are back to bashing the ELCA. Amazing!
« Last Edit: December 09, 2007, 08:37:37 AM by Charles_Austin »

Richard Kidd, STS

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Re: Questions/Comments for the moderators
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2007, 08:38:47 AM »
Well I'm not going to bash my ELCA or LCMS. We are simultaneous saint and sinner here are we not?  ;D

Dadoo

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Re: Questions/Comments for the moderators
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2007, 09:07:18 AM »
Richard, Peter,

You are pastors.  I wonder whether this might not benefit from a pastoral approach.  There seem to be unresolved "gripes" that eventually infect virtually every thread.  Is it better to "oil the squeaky Wheel" or is it better to tell the griper that it is time to get over it?  Griping has been the bane of my congregations for a generation and has led it into dire places again and again.  It must be handled even St. Benedict knows of it and suggests harsh response.  I hope you can figure out how to do something wise here.

Fidelity, or better lack of fidelity,  to the subject of the thread is another problem I find infuriating.  All threads these day seem to eventually descend into a discussion on sexuality in the ELCA.  Unlike Harvey, I think a heavy hand might not be  a bad idea when controlling this.

Products: I have enjoyed finding news about newly published resources on this site.  Often I have looked and shrugged the product off, a few times I found something useful.  If it does not get out of hand I would hope that it does not get forbidden. 

I know you assume that everyone here can act with tact.  But I seem to see personal rivalries developing here that seem to demand that one person will in  a knee jerk reaction write a contrary note to whatever some specific other person has posted.  I have no wisdom on how to control this but I pray that it might be discovered.  Since it is usually always the same topics on which disagreement is displayed maybe we need to see you adopt Nancy Curtis' (of Lutherlink fame) approach and sometimes intervene and say: "You lost that argument already upstream: Drop it!"  A poor substitute for peer review but it might help.

Peter Kruse

Diversity and tolerance are very complex concepts. Rigid conformity is needed to ensure their full realization. - Mike Adams

Scott5

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Re: Questions/Comments for the moderators
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2007, 09:20:59 AM »
I think that there are enough rules here, Peter, that can be used to make sure this is a productive board. 

I say simply: enforce them.

Not everyone is going to agree with you, but that's just life.  You've got a good head on your shoulders to do it.

And most importantly, you're the donkey with the hat.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2007, 09:22:49 AM by Sc ott Yak imow »

ptmccain

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Re: Questions/Comments for the moderators
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2007, 09:32:48 AM »
Peter, I've sent you my thoughts privately; but I will say simply that I agree 100% with Scott.

When you lay down a directive and people continue, flagrantly, to ignore it: ban them. Enforce the rules. Prohibit trolling.

I think we will see a remarkable improvement here when you do.

Thanks for your efforts.

PTM


Team Hesse

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Re: Questions/Comments for the moderators
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2007, 10:32:45 AM »
And how about some promotion of the ALPB forum in circles that will give the crowd here a bit more diversity?

Not wanting to read more into it than you meant -- What exactly do you mean by "more diversity"?

There are currently 959 registered members here.  That only 20-30 ever post anything (under a name or pseudonym) means the rest have lost interest or are just sitting back and watching what happens while the rest of us duke it out.

I have no interest in that (see my other thread) but want education and information.  When we know who we are upfront, we get prejudiced polarization before we ever read a post.  That picked up this summer for some reason;  I have a theory on that but don't wish to share it now.

Debbie

Charles_Austin

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Re: Questions/Comments for the moderators
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2007, 01:03:15 PM »
TEam Hesse writes:
What exactly do you mean by "more diversity"?

I comment:
Well, it seems that only Brian Stoffregen and I believe that the present and future ELCA are worth our loyalty and committment, so a few more folks like us would be nice.

Pr. Jerry

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Re: Questions/Comments for the moderators
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2007, 01:08:13 PM »
TEam Hesse writes:
What exactly do you mean by "more diversity"?

I comment:
Well, it seems that only Brian Stoffregen and I believe that the present and future ELCA are worth our loyalty and committment, so a few more folks like us would be nice.

Whatever!

You know nothing about me if you think that somehow the "present and future ELCA" are not worth my "loyalty and committment."  But then again, arguing with you is not worth the time nor the effort.  Which would be my feedback on the state of this forum, though I don't think that the moderators can do anything about that.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Dona Nobis

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Re: Questions/Comments for the moderators
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2007, 01:21:17 PM »
Esteemed moderators, you already know my concerns. No anonymous postings, which allow people to cast brickbats from behind a wall. No advertising of the products of one's employer. Acceptance of other people as fellow members of the body of Christ, even if we disagree with on issues of fellowship, morality, and whether that great fish actually had a prophet dinner (apparently without chewing.) A willingness to accept some harsh language - all strong criticism is not the dread ad hominem rhetoric - but an agreement that we not write each other out of the kingdom.
And how about some promotion of the ALPB forum in circles that will give the crowd here a bit more diversity?

As an psuedonym poster, I have not cast "brickbats".  I have my reasons for anonymity.  Perhaps the greatest reason is that as a psuedonym poster I find that the responses I get are far less "nasty" than those who post under real names here.  (Sometimes I get no response at all, frustrating but far better than the attacks I have seen some here endure.)  I haven't been here long but just in reading a few threads it seems clear that some on this forum will attack anyone who offers a differing opinion than their own.  I think some restraint on all sides is the best way to improve this forum.  Perhaps when I see the nastiness die down I will reveal my true identity.  Until then...