Author Topic: Empowering the people ie Don't let the Teacher's Pets have all the fun  (Read 42564 times)

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Ehelldame

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Re: Empowering the people ie Don't let the Teacher's Pets have all the fun
« Reply #45 on: October 15, 2011, 09:16:19 AM »
What I'll sometimes do is report a post and in the comment box write something along the lines of, "I'm using this one post as an example, but I feel the entire thread has gone downhill." Precisely in order to not call out a specific poster, but a trend.

Yes!  Thank you, Maria.  You do a very good job alerting mods to downward trends so they can keep an eye on it.  The default is that mods will wait to see if the posters can work out the problem amongst themselves and get the thread back on track without moderator intervention.   And often people do work it out.  I think people need to realize that, being human, there will be rough spots in our communications with each other and people need to work through it to reach a mutual understanding.  That is what mature, civil-minded people do.  That's what we mean by self-moderating...take responsibility for your own behavior. 

Ehelldame

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Re: Empowering the people ie Don't let the Teacher's Pets have all the fun
« Reply #46 on: October 15, 2011, 09:55:12 AM »
I do have a question about proper behavior in threads though.  It seems like some posters like to "shout down" other posters by posting a lot in a thread.  It seems to go like this:

OP: I have a problem and its this....
Poster 1: You should try to do this and that.
Poster 2:No, OP should X.
Poster 3: I agree with Poster 1, you should try it.
Poster 2: No, you are wrong, she shouldn't because of blah, blah.
Poster 4: Have you tried Y?
Poster 2: Y won't work.  The only thing she can do it X.
Poster 3: I don't think X will work.
Poster 2: Yes it will.  You are all wrong.  Blah Blah.
Poster 5: What about Z?
Poster 2: Only X will work.

Is Poster 2 behaving properly?  It almost seems to be bully-like behavior to me.  There are some threads that I won't even bother posting in because I know I won't have the stamina (or the desire) to engage them...

I particularly agree that this isn't appropriate behavior. There have been several threads in the past few months that I have stopped reading or resisted posting in because previous posters have been trying to drown out others with "I'm right and it's the ONLY way!" over and over. I tend to walk away from threads in which people criticize a suggestion I've made based on their own individual experience without letting the OP weigh in. I'm not here to validate my personal experiences to strangers; your anecdote is not greater than mine.

When I read this example, I see various people with quite divergent opinions having a disagreement.    In  real life there is a broad diversity of personalities, opinions, customs, manners of speaking, etc.  An etiquette forum isn't going to make those differences go away and members will need to learn how to interact with people very different than themselves.   

If I were to get a report about a thread like exampled above, my first thought would be,  "Hmm, why haven't Posters 3,4, and 5 been able to present/argue their case more effectively?"  If someone comes better prepared than others to defend their position, why would that be worthy of moderating action?  Civil debate can be enormously fun and mentally stimulating but let's face it, it takes practice if you want to be good at it.  I'd go so far as to say that civil debate is like a game (think of high school and college debate teams that compete) and some people play it better than others.   

  The feeling of being bullied is perhaps nothing more than the feeling that you are losing to a better prepared person.   It seems to me the remedy is to become a better debater, learn to make cogent, well formed points, present evidence well and then relax knowing you made the best possible case you could and then let it go.   Readers are not stupid and they can weigh the positions and to be honest, people really do respect someone who can state their positions well. 

The Legend of Daisy

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Re: Empowering the people ie Don't let the Teacher's Pets have all the fun
« Reply #47 on: October 15, 2011, 10:20:35 AM »
I do have a question about proper behavior in threads though.  It seems like some posters like to "shout down" other posters by posting a lot in a thread.  It seems to go like this:

OP: I have a problem and its this....
Poster 1: You should try to do this and that.
Poster 2:No, OP should X.
Poster 3: I agree with Poster 1, you should try it.
Poster 2: No, you are wrong, she shouldn't because of blah, blah.
Poster 4: Have you tried Y?
Poster 2: Y won't work.  The only thing she can do it X.
Poster 3: I don't think X will work.
Poster 2: Yes it will.  You are all wrong.  Blah Blah.
Poster 5: What about Z?
Poster 2: Only X will work.

Is Poster 2 behaving properly?  It almost seems to be bully-like behavior to me.  There are some threads that I won't even bother posting in because I know I won't have the stamina (or the desire) to engage them...

I particularly agree that this isn't appropriate behavior. There have been several threads in the past few months that I have stopped reading or resisted posting in because previous posters have been trying to drown out others with "I'm right and it's the ONLY way!" over and over. I tend to walk away from threads in which people criticize a suggestion I've made based on their own individual experience without letting the OP weigh in. I'm not here to validate my personal experiences to strangers; your anecdote is not greater than mine.

When I read this example, I see various people with quite divergent opinions having a disagreement.    In  real life there is a broad diversity of personalities, opinions, customs, manners of speaking, etc.  An etiquette forum isn't going to make those differences go away and members will need to learn how to interact with people very different than themselves.   

If I were to get a report about a thread like exampled above, my first thought would be,  "Hmm, why haven't Posters 3,4, and 5 been able to present/argue their case more effectively?"  If someone comes better prepared than others to defend their position, why would that be worthy of moderating action?  Civil debate can be enormously fun and mentally stimulating but let's face it, it takes practice if you want to be good at it.  I'd go so far as to say that civil debate is like a game (think of high school and college debate teams that compete) and some people play it better than others.   

  The feeling of being bullied is perhaps nothing more than the feeling that you are losing to a better prepared person.   It seems to me the remedy is to become a better debater, learn to make cogent, well formed points, present evidence well and then relax knowing you made the best possible case you could and then let it go.   Readers are not stupid and they can weigh the positions and to be honest, people really do respect someone who can state their positions well.

No, I think the feeling of being bullied in these posts speaks to the comment of an earlier post. It's about stamina. Like the mods, I also have a life and I simply won't go back and forth repeating the same things over and over, however there are some posters here who seem to have unlimited time to respond to every post reiterating their theme. One would think that if 50% or 60% or more of posters disagree with the OP they would step back and say, hmmm maybe there is a different perspective? But that's not what happens with some posters, they dig in their heels. When I see that I think myself and a lot of other reasonable posters just walk away. We're not going to waste our time and the whole community loses where the 'dogs in the manger' refuse to let anyone else have a bit of hay.

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Re: Empowering the people ie Don't let the Teacher's Pets have all the fun
« Reply #48 on: October 15, 2011, 10:22:57 AM »
I do have a question about proper behavior in threads though.  It seems like some posters like to "shout down" other posters by posting a lot in a thread.  It seems to go like this:

OP: I have a problem and its this....
Poster 1: You should try to do this and that.
Poster 2:No, OP should X.
Poster 3: I agree with Poster 1, you should try it.
Poster 2: No, you are wrong, she shouldn't because of blah, blah.
Poster 4: Have you tried Y?
Poster 2: Y won't work.  The only thing she can do it X.
Poster 3: I don't think X will work.
Poster 2: Yes it will.  You are all wrong.  Blah Blah.
Poster 5: What about Z?
Poster 2: Only X will work.

Is Poster 2 behaving properly?  It almost seems to be bully-like behavior to me.  There are some threads that I won't even bother posting in because I know I won't have the stamina (or the desire) to engage them...

I particularly agree that this isn't appropriate behavior. There have been several threads in the past few months that I have stopped reading or resisted posting in because previous posters have been trying to drown out others with "I'm right and it's the ONLY way!" over and over. I tend to walk away from threads in which people criticize a suggestion I've made based on their own individual experience without letting the OP weigh in. I'm not here to validate my personal experiences to strangers; your anecdote is not greater than mine.

When I read this example, I see various people with quite divergent opinions having a disagreement.    In  real life there is a broad diversity of personalities, opinions, customs, manners of speaking, etc.  An etiquette forum isn't going to make those differences go away and members will need to learn how to interact with people very different than themselves.   

If I were to get a report about a thread like exampled above, my first thought would be,  "Hmm, why haven't Posters 3,4, and 5 been able to present/argue their case more effectively?"  If someone comes better prepared than others to defend their position, why would that be worthy of moderating action?  Civil debate can be enormously fun and mentally stimulating but let's face it, it takes practice if you want to be good at it.  I'd go so far as to say that civil debate is like a game (think of high school and college debate teams that compete) and some people play it better than others.   

  The feeling of being bullied is perhaps nothing more than the feeling that you are losing to a better prepared person.   It seems to me the remedy is to become a better debater, learn to make cogent, well formed points, present evidence well and then relax knowing you made the best possible case you could and then let it go.   Readers are not stupid and they can weigh the positions and to be honest, people really do respect someone who can state their positions well.

Restating the same opinion over and over is not really "debating" to my mind, but thank you for clearing up that this is acceptable behavior in this forum.

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Re: Empowering the people ie Don't let the Teacher's Pets have all the fun
« Reply #49 on: October 15, 2011, 11:06:15 AM »
Or they dive bomb threads where they haven't been participating because they caught someone missing a point in the OP and they simply must point it out.

I think that cane be a very important thing. I did that once - someone misunderstood the OP's answer to a question - they missed the NOT in the sentence and it seemed like everyone else was keying off that misunderstanding and giving advice that was based on behavior the OP had stated wasn't occurring.

Ehelldame

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Re: Empowering the people ie Don't let the Teacher's Pets have all the fun
« Reply #50 on: October 15, 2011, 11:38:23 AM »

Restating the same opinion over and over is not really "debating" to my mind, but thank you for clearing up that this is acceptable behavior in this forum.

If this is the best example you can give me, you are going to be disappointed with my answer.  I do not think stubbornness and tenacity rise to the level of being a gagging or ban worthy offense.    If stubbornness and tenacity is coupled with snotty comments, insults, uncivil behavior, *then* it is becomes a moderating issue. 

Ehelldame

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Re: Empowering the people ie Don't let the Teacher's Pets have all the fun
« Reply #51 on: October 15, 2011, 11:58:14 AM »
I do have a question about proper behavior in threads though.  It seems like some posters like to "shout down" other posters by posting a lot in a thread.  It seems to go like this:

OP: I have a problem and its this....
Poster 1: You should try to do this and that.
Poster 2:No, OP should X.
Poster 3: I agree with Poster 1, you should try it.
Poster 2: No, you are wrong, she shouldn't because of blah, blah.
Poster 4: Have you tried Y?
Poster 2: Y won't work.  The only thing she can do it X.
Poster 3: I don't think X will work.
Poster 2: Yes it will.  You are all wrong.  Blah Blah.
Poster 5: What about Z?
Poster 2: Only X will work.

Is Poster 2 behaving properly?  It almost seems to be bully-like behavior to me.  There are some threads that I won't even bother posting in because I know I won't have the stamina (or the desire) to engage them...

I particularly agree that this isn't appropriate behavior. There have been several threads in the past few months that I have stopped reading or resisted posting in because previous posters have been trying to drown out others with "I'm right and it's the ONLY way!" over and over. I tend to walk away from threads in which people criticize a suggestion I've made based on their own individual experience without letting the OP weigh in. I'm not here to validate my personal experiences to strangers; your anecdote is not greater than mine.

When I read this example, I see various people with quite divergent opinions having a disagreement.    In  real life there is a broad diversity of personalities, opinions, customs, manners of speaking, etc.  An etiquette forum isn't going to make those differences go away and members will need to learn how to interact with people very different than themselves.   

If I were to get a report about a thread like exampled above, my first thought would be,  "Hmm, why haven't Posters 3,4, and 5 been able to present/argue their case more effectively?"  If someone comes better prepared than others to defend their position, why would that be worthy of moderating action?  Civil debate can be enormously fun and mentally stimulating but let's face it, it takes practice if you want to be good at it.  I'd go so far as to say that civil debate is like a game (think of high school and college debate teams that compete) and some people play it better than others.   

  The feeling of being bullied is perhaps nothing more than the feeling that you are losing to a better prepared person.   It seems to me the remedy is to become a better debater, learn to make cogent, well formed points, present evidence well and then relax knowing you made the best possible case you could and then let it go.   Readers are not stupid and they can weigh the positions and to be honest, people really do respect someone who can state their positions well.

No, I think the feeling of being bullied in these posts speaks to the comment of an earlier post. It's about stamina. Like the mods, I also have a life and I simply won't go back and forth repeating the same things over and over, however there are some posters here who seem to have unlimited time to respond to every post reiterating their theme. One would think that if 50% or 60% or more of posters disagree with the OP they would step back and say, hmmm maybe there is a different perspective? But that's not what happens with some posters, they dig in their heels. When I see that I think myself and a lot of other reasonable posters just walk away. We're not going to waste our time and the whole community loses where the 'dogs in the manger' refuse to let anyone else have a bit of hay.

But isn't that how threads should die?  After the best points are made, often in the first three to four pages, the reasonable posters wander off to new threads leaving the thread to sputter out with the "dogs" fighting amongst themselves over rechewed details.  Many of the forum "pillars" are so good at expressing themselves that they only need one post to express their opinion.  I notice the exact moment there is an exodus of the forum heavyweights from a thread and I am sure I'm not the only one.   I would disagree that the community loses when the scrabbling continues over minor points.  They only lose if they keep going back to the thread and either entering into the fray or allow it to weigh them down.   

So, keep doing what you are doing, i.e. inputting into threads with an opinion, walking away when it is no longer productive and if necessary, contact a mod to report that a thread has devolved into circular argumentation and is no longer of any productive use.  (And note that this means the *thread* gets moderated, not individuals since it takes more than one person to have a never ending argument.)    And then relax in the knowledge that readers can figure out who are the people to trust and who just likes to gnaw on the bone over and over. 

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Re: Empowering the people ie Don't let the Teacher's Pets have all the fun
« Reply #52 on: October 15, 2011, 12:12:28 PM »

Restating the same opinion over and over is not really "debating" to my mind, but thank you for clearing up that this is acceptable behavior in this forum.

If this is the best example you can give me, you are going to be disappointed with my answer.  I do not think stubbornness and tenacity rise to the level of being a gagging or ban worthy offense.    If stubbornness and tenacity is coupled with snotty comments, insults, uncivil behavior, *then* it is becomes a moderating issue.

I am not dissapointed in anything.  Again, thank you for clearing it up. 

The Legend of Daisy

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Re: Empowering the people ie Don't let the Teacher's Pets have all the fun
« Reply #53 on: October 15, 2011, 12:38:45 PM »
But isn't that how threads should die?  After the best points are made, often in the first three to four pages, the reasonable posters wander off to new threads leaving the thread to sputter out with the "dogs" fighting amongst themselves over rechewed details.  Many of the forum "pillars" are so good at expressing themselves that they only need one post to express their opinion.  I notice the exact moment there is an exodus of the forum heavyweights from a thread and I am sure I'm not the only one.   I would disagree that the community loses when the scrabbling continues over minor points.  They only lose if they keep going back to the thread and either entering into the fray or allow it to weigh them down.   

So, keep doing what you are doing, i.e. inputting into threads with an opinion, walking away when it is no longer productive and if necessary, contact a mod to report that a thread has devolved into circular argumentation and is no longer of any productive use.  (And note that this means the *thread* gets moderated, not individuals since it takes more than one person to have a never ending argument.)    And then relax in the knowledge that readers can figure out who are the people to trust and who just likes to gnaw on the bone over and over.

That's quite an interesting viewpoint. I must say that doesn't seem like a satisfactory ending to a thread at all.

I do find it very helpful that you and the mods are openly communicating for the last few days, even when I don't agree with the answer. It's much better when questions are answered.

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Re: Empowering the people ie Don't let the Teacher's Pets have all the fun
« Reply #54 on: October 15, 2011, 12:43:18 PM »
Or they dive bomb threads where they haven't been participating because they caught someone missing a point in the OP and they simply must point it out.

I think that cane be a very important thing. I did that once - someone misunderstood the OP's answer to a question - they missed the NOT in the sentence and it seemed like everyone else was keying off that misunderstanding and giving advice that was based on behavior the OP had stated wasn't occurring.
Agreed. I wouldn't jump into a thread just to say something little like "Wolfie, you stuck an 'e' on the end of your 'can'. Mistaaaake!" (although I guess I just did as illustration :P) but I would absolutely jump in to say "Actually the OP said the coworker asked her ONE time, not four" if it is a bigger deal because I think it's the right thing to do. Especially if that mistake is leading to negative statements about someone.
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Bexx27

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Re: Empowering the people ie Don't let the Teacher's Pets have all the fun
« Reply #55 on: October 15, 2011, 12:48:24 PM »
What about posts that are not snarky and don't break forum rules, but express an opinion that is really outrageous? Particularly from posters who habitually post over the top things that seem designed to get a strong reaction? I'm thinking along the lines of, "In my family, we believe children are equal to adults and we don't control them or give them rules. They don't have to do anything they don't want to." I usually just roll my eyes at these sorts of posts and put the poster on my troll alert list. But today, with this thread in mind, I reported one. Is that the right thing to do, considering the post is perfectly polite and doesn't violate any forum rules? In the past I've only reported for actual rule violations or outright nastiness.
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Ehelldame

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Re: Empowering the people ie Don't let the Teacher's Pets have all the fun
« Reply #56 on: October 15, 2011, 12:51:50 PM »
But isn't that how threads should die?  After the best points are made, often in the first three to four pages, the reasonable posters wander off to new threads leaving the thread to sputter out with the "dogs" fighting amongst themselves over rechewed details.  Many of the forum "pillars" are so good at expressing themselves that they only need one post to express their opinion.  I notice the exact moment there is an exodus of the forum heavyweights from a thread and I am sure I'm not the only one.   I would disagree that the community loses when the scrabbling continues over minor points.  They only lose if they keep going back to the thread and either entering into the fray or allow it to weigh them down.   

So, keep doing what you are doing, i.e. inputting into threads with an opinion, walking away when it is no longer productive and if necessary, contact a mod to report that a thread has devolved into circular argumentation and is no longer of any productive use.  (And note that this means the *thread* gets moderated, not individuals since it takes more than one person to have a never ending argument.)    And then relax in the knowledge that readers can figure out who are the people to trust and who just likes to gnaw on the bone over and over.

That's quite an interesting viewpoint. I must say that doesn't seem like a satisfactory ending to a thread at all.

I do find it very helpful that you and the mods are openly communicating for the last few days, even when I don't agree with the answer. It's much better when questions are answered.

Disagreement is not rude but we have been getting a LOT more reports in recent months where people seem to believe that it is.  The mods unanimously do not respond to complaints citing the act of disagreeing as rude and the offender should be moderated.

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Re: Empowering the people ie Don't let the Teacher's Pets have all the fun
« Reply #57 on: October 15, 2011, 12:54:19 PM »
But isn't that how threads should die?  After the best points are made, often in the first three to four pages, the reasonable posters wander off to new threads leaving the thread to sputter out with the "dogs" fighting amongst themselves over rechewed details.  Many of the forum "pillars" are so good at expressing themselves that they only need one post to express their opinion.  I notice the exact moment there is an exodus of the forum heavyweights from a thread and I am sure I'm not the only one.   I would disagree that the community loses when the scrabbling continues over minor points.  They only lose if they keep going back to the thread and either entering into the fray or allow it to weigh them down.   

So, keep doing what you are doing, i.e. inputting into threads with an opinion, walking away when it is no longer productive and if necessary, contact a mod to report that a thread has devolved into circular argumentation and is no longer of any productive use.  (And note that this means the *thread* gets moderated, not individuals since it takes more than one person to have a never ending argument.)    And then relax in the knowledge that readers can figure out who are the people to trust and who just likes to gnaw on the bone over and over.

That's quite an interesting viewpoint. I must say that doesn't seem like a satisfactory ending to a thread at all.

I do find it very helpful that you and the mods are openly communicating for the last few days, even when I don't agree with the answer. It's much better when questions are answered.

My reason for letting threads die this way is that for most of them, there is no yes or no answer. In the first few pages, several suggestions are made and it is up to us to decide which seems to be the best for us. Even true etiquette questions often don't have one answer. It depends much on culture, microculture, individuals, and evolution of etiquette.

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Re: Empowering the people ie Don't let the Teacher's Pets have all the fun
« Reply #58 on: October 15, 2011, 01:21:54 PM »
What about posts that are not snarky and don't break forum rules, but express an opinion that is really outrageous? Particularly from posters who habitually post over the top things that seem designed to get a strong reaction? I'm thinking along the lines of, "In my family, we believe children are equal to adults and we don't control them or give them rules. They don't have to do anything they don't want to." I usually just roll my eyes at these sorts of posts and put the poster on my troll alert list. But today, with this thread in mind, I reported one. Is that the right thing to do, considering the post is perfectly polite and doesn't violate any forum rules? In the past I've only reported for actual rule violations or outright nastiness.

See this example I don't see as reportable - I think the difference lies when outrageous moves into offensive/bigoted. Particularly because it's couched as "in my family, we believe". This is a difference in attitude towards children's roles. Reportable to me would be:

"If you don't treat your children as equal to adults, you are abusive."

I'll admit there is a grey area, particularly on hot topics like religion, politics, etc.

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Re: Empowering the people ie Don't let the Teacher's Pets have all the fun
« Reply #59 on: October 15, 2011, 01:31:15 PM »
What about posts that are not snarky and don't break forum rules, but express an opinion that is really outrageous? Particularly from posters who habitually post over the top things that seem designed to get a strong reaction? I'm thinking along the lines of, "In my family, we believe children are equal to adults and we don't control them or give them rules. They don't have to do anything they don't want to." I usually just roll my eyes at these sorts of posts and put the poster on my troll alert list. But today, with this thread in mind, I reported one. Is that the right thing to do, considering the post is perfectly polite and doesn't violate any forum rules? In the past I've only reported for actual rule violations or outright nastiness.

That is interesting and I would like to know the answer to that as well.

That would certainly stop posters like myself, who run our families and have beliefs that are very different then the majority.