No one associated with this matter are fooled by this hypothetical "dilemma", Nanny Og. None of the mods, me, the people who reported the problem, you, most of the people in this thread are fooled at all and it's time for the rest of the story.
Due to recent deaths and being out of state handling estate legal matters, I was pretty much out of the loop on moderating issues with the forum until about a month ago when I was alerted to problems on the forum as well as in PMs which indicated there was was a secret Facebook forum that was getting out of control and spilling onto the Ehell forum. I'm not revealing the names of persons who reported this because the nature of the Facebook group has declined to the extent that they fear retribution. I have, however, been given permission by Scuba_dog to present the PM she received attempting to recruit her for the "super secret" Facebook group:Quote from: Wry Exchange on October 05, 2011, 06:50:09 PM
Hi, I heard you were asking about a chat group or friends group? Can you tell me a bit about yourself, and the ehell names of 3 or 4 posters you agree with, and 3 or 4 posters you disagree with , a few that you think they're not too stable, and a few you admire.
Quote from: Wry Exchange on October 05, 2011, 08:01:16 PM
Well, You have over 3,000 posts. No one stands out that you agree with, or that you shake your head at? There is a group, but it's not an etiquette group at all. We'd just like to get a sense of who you are, and if you'd fit in.
The private messaging resources of Ehell were being used to recruit members to a secret group whose membership requirement was based solely on who one liked or disliked and whether one "fit in". While the original intention of the group may have had its roots in discussing how to handle members one disliked , it rapidly spiraled down into catty, ugly, witchy rants about other members who were excluded from the group. In some cases this translated into deliberate attempts to provoke people on Ehell so that they would get moderated. There are vigilante bullies intent on a witchhunt to out people they believed to be trolls and became that which they claimed to despise. (And btw, if you also received a PM from a member either posing as a moderator or demanding you prove you are not a troll, please PM me. There is a "Report PM" feature on PMs to report such harassment.)
Around June 30th, there was a thread in the super secret Facebook group basically placing bets on which member of the super secret group would get banned next on Ehell. Most of those ban worthy posts were made in Ehell threads critical of forum rules and moderation. It is especially significant to note that more than 85% of those people publicly griping about the forum and moderators had not used the "Report To Moderator" link to report problems with people or threads. Or they flat out lied that their reports were being ignored when none had been submitted at all. Or their reports were so ludicrously stupid that all the mods dismissed them. So, what we have are people creating drama on the forum who have had absolutely no vested interest in working through established avenues to help the moderators do their job while publicly criticizing them and egging each on privately. Troublemakers from the super secret Facebook group bringing trouble to the Ehell forum.
One individual did warn the super secret FB members that dead pool threads have gotten people banned from the forum before. This individual was subsequently banned from the FB group.
The reality is that some people on this super secret facebook group are not as loyal as one would believe. Anytime the pack mentality take over a group, people begin to understand that they may be next or an attack was unjustly vicious or the tone wasn't what they bargained for when they joined. I really pity some members of that group because they have now exposed their real identities to people that aren't truly trustworthy, safe or all that kind.
So, there are big changes afoot and Nanny Og knows it. First was the implementation of the warning system. The mods will not tell you how many warnings one can receive before automatic gagging/banning but be assured the software now objectively tracks "watched" members who have been warned. Life is simply too pleasant and short to be dealing with all the drama, liars, vigilantes, bullies and trolls who think they have some kind of entitled ownership of the forum to behave in any disruptive manner they choose. So on the advice of my lawyer, husband, and mods, there will be a lot of bans and "let God sort out the rest". I'm sure some people will be stunned at who goes missing but if you ask for the return of the forum to the way it was and discussion of etiquette, you will get our wish in a way you may not have anticipated.
Dire predictions of the downfall of the forum after the removal of numerous troublemakers are nothing more than idle dreams of those who have an inflated view of their value to the forum, as if removing them is like removing a crucial piece of a Jenga puzzle which comes crashing down. The forum has been in existence in some form for 13 years with at least 2 previous major bans. The historical evidence is that after a severe pruning of the deadwood, the forum flourishes even better. The fact I am quite willing to execute significant moderation on groups of troublemakers means I really have no vested interest in popularity, being the biggest forum, or care what others outside of the forum think.
One member, a longstanding personality within the club, created a invite-only, very secret, Facebook group for a few close friends that she'd made through the club (maybe 15% of the club?). No other club members know about the group, and they don't mention it to other people. The leader was not Invited to be in the group, because they didn't want her to feel obligated to make the group official- it's just a load of friends with one common hobby, and really very benign.
When the club Sensei found out about the group (through some fairly dedicated snooping), she lost it and started asking various people for information.
You have a hole in your story. If the group is super secret, no one else knows of it and they aren't telling anyone else, how would the sensei know of its existence? My apologies, I cleared that omission up earlier. I think it is fair to say that the senseis means of discovering any information was fairly underhanded
Perhaps the loyalty of the super secret group isn't as strong as its members would like to believe it is. And what would compel individuals to question their own loyalty and abandon their oath of super secrecy to their private, super secret group to alert the sensei to a problem? I'm not sure what you are talking aboutDid they have a hazing ritual for potential members that some found offensive and similar to junior high immaturity? Again, I'm not sure what you are on about Or perhaps some members got far too catty and ugly about the other members of the club who were excluded or kicked out of the super secret group which left a sour taste in the more sensible members? Of course, there are always personality clashes in groups. I believe that "no flouncing" was one of the rules...The latter would create a terrible dilemma for some people who perhaps joined thinking it was just another fun offshoot of the original club but found they were caught up in a hateful pack mentality which, if they said anything, exposed them to ridicule or banishment. Did the behavior of the super secret group spill over into the main club in any way?No more than it may have formalised thoughts that a lot of the members were already having
Why would the sensei asking a few questions to verify that the stories are indeed accurate be considered a bad thing?Because it's none of her business what the club members do online. The USA/UK are not under totalitarian governments, and we both have freedom of speech. If the super secret group has done nothing to wrong others in the main club, why does the sensei's attempt to get to the truth distress them? Because they didn't want her in the club I'd think they would want to exonerate themselves and make sure sensei knew they had been maligned with a false report by disgruntled "friends" out to make trouble for them.
The sensei has the right to protect his/her own club or business from both outside and inside interests that affect the cohesion of the team. If there is no contractual agreement or exchange of money for services, I don't see where the sensei is obligated to keep any person on a team whose activities outside the club have a negative impact on the operation of the club she created and manages. You're absolutely right, and I imagine the sensei will be utilising that right very shortly
And it's simply folly to believe that what one does in spare time will have absolutely no effect on other areas of life. What you do in your spare time can most definitely affect your career, for example. News articles abound warning that employers do google prospective employees to see how they behave online and there are stories aplenty of people losing jobs because of a lack of discretion in what they publish online. Pole dance at night and you'll probably lose your job as an elementary school teacher. Write pron on the side and you won't be welcome here at all no matter how polite you appear. The first examples are total straw man arguments and you know it. A social club and Facebook are wildly different things to employment and lack of discretion. The final one is a reiteration of the senseis disappointing behaviour when it comes to running her show. Again, I'd describe it as pissing in ones own sandbox. It might be your sandbox, you might make the rules, but do it long enough and no one is going to want to play in it.