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Bob
12th January 2005, 10:13 AM
What happened to Quartz? Doesn't seem to have posted for weeks. Having a long holiday? Found a new diversion?

calliope
12th January 2005, 08:48 PM
Are you referring obliquely to the curious case of the recumbent chicken,the vegetarian,and the disappearing post.?:)

I don't think I'm imagining that more posts have been removed of late,and if so,I do wonder if it's really necessary,because it can make some comments and threads difficult to understand.(For instance,Numlock's apparent insistence that certain words had been used,when there is no evidence in the thread to support the claim.)

If a post is discourteous to the models,the AW team,or other members,then removal is quite appropriate;but as someone commented recently,we are incredibly courteous and civil,and consequently that reason seems to be valid only very rarely.Beyond the courtesy aspect,I would have thought that more or less anything would constitute fair comment.That's not a criticism of the administrators and moderator,just a question as to whether the 'moderating factor' that's being applied is at the appropriate level.

The people who write or read the comments here aren't children,and don't need protection from alternative views,indeed,as others have noted,part of the interest and charm is reading those views,and the way they may trigger some resonance,dissonance,or lateral thought pattern in other readers.Quartz,in particular,I thought,was very adept a coming up with an alternative take on topics,with courtesy,humour,and intellectual rigour,and the very fact that a post of his was removed,might suggest that the balance could be in need of adjusting,although I would stress that I didn't see the post.:)

In respect of posts that the admins/moderator might consider inappropriate on grounds other than discourtesy,one way of checking,from time to time,would be for a 'problem' post to be marked up in some way,and see how readers react.Alternatively,could they be removed from the thread,to another area,to allow some feedback on suitability,before being deleted or reinstated.?

A good one to start with would be Quartz' deleted post on vegetarianism,if it can be retrieved.If not,perhaps Quartz could repost his comments.:)

On the other hand,as you suppose,he might have discovered the delights of knitting.:)

Vid Dude
12th January 2005, 10:38 PM
We don't remove posts to protect our members delicate sensibilities. We remove them because they're waaaaaay off-topic, because they're completely unsuitable for anyone to bother with, because they're written by trolls and troublemakers, or at our personal whim because of our own reasons.

Oh, and we delete doubleposts sometimes.

We have to consider that these boards are publicly viewable, and as such the content reflects on our site. We run them, so we have the last say. There are many things here I would personally prefer to delete or restrict, but I haven't done so, so the things that we do remove really do affect us badly enough to warrant it.

I don't mind a rant about vegetarianism in a thread about vegetarianism, but Quartz's post was much more than that, and in my opinion was too extreme for these boards. In that particular case the thread was not about vegetarianism at that time, but then Luxman renamed the thread so that it became about vegetarianism, probably only a few seconds after my deletion, which wasn't my intention but was probably a good idea, really.

Luxman
12th January 2005, 10:50 PM
...but then Luxman renamed the thread so that it became about vegetarianism,...
Yeah, that was no luck this time.

Lxm

calliope
12th January 2005, 11:55 PM
We have to consider that these boards are publicly viewable, and as such the content reflects on our site.

I don't mind a rant about vegetarianism in a thread about vegetarianism, but Quartz's post was much more than that, and in my opinion was too extreme for these boards.

That's very true,and it's the people who come here and participate who help to create part of the impression that some visitors may form about the site.As keeps being said,it's an impression of tolerance,good humour,courtesy and civility,and I felt Quartz was always a good ambassador for AW.com in all those areas,as well as being a staunch defender of it on occasion.

Whilst fully understanding the points you make,could I ask in relation to the deleted post,was Quartz in any way discourteous to the models,the AW team,or other members.?

Vid Dude
13th January 2005, 12:14 AM
No he wasn't. And we discussed it in PMs afterward and I feel that though he was bothered by the deletion, I wouldn't have thought he'd abandon the boards because of it. For all I know he's on vacation or something.

The thread wasn't actually about vegetarianism at all, it was about pregnancy and giving birth and Roops had provided a weird and amusing picture of a raw chicken giving birth to an egg. He mentioned, in passing, 'this may offend vegetarians' and then Quartz posted something so extreme in regards to vegetarianism that it offended ME, it was off-topic and quite upsetting, so I removed it.

Luxman
13th January 2005, 12:39 AM
We should also say that all that happened on the day before the eve of Christmas, where normally most people enjoy a good dinner. The text, as well as the pictures, were very aggressive and offending (I would say quite disgusting) for everyone who likes to eat meat.

If I remember well, I've renamed the thread from "Pregnant" to "Vegetarianism & Pregnancy..." and moved it to Mundane Chatter. I didn't remove the post but I wasn't very happy with it.
Finally it was censored (initially not deleted) by Vid Dude to remove the unlucky text. A good decision in my eyes.

I'm sorry that Quartz left cos of this unimportant incident (I think it was an overreaction) and I hope he'll be back soon.

Lxm

calliope
13th January 2005, 12:46 AM
..... then Quartz posted something so extreme in regards to vegetarianism that it offended ME, it was off-topic and quite upsetting, so I removed it.

Ah....so it's YOUR delicate sensibilities that are the bugaboo.:)

There are a couple of other brief points I'd like to make,but I'll leave them until tomorrow.In the meantime,if anyone else happened to see Quartz' post before it was removed,perhaps they might like comment on whether they found it offensive and upsetting.

Luxman
13th January 2005, 12:55 AM
To be honest, I was apelled and offended by it too.

Lxm

Bob
13th January 2005, 08:21 AM
Are you referring obliquely to the curious case of the recumbent chicken,the vegetarian,and the disappearing post.?:)

Well no, actually I wasn't - I just wondered where he had gone. I wasn't trying to stir up past disputes - I don't think I was aware of this one.

Bob
(vegetarian)

Quartz
13th January 2005, 10:33 AM
Right. Well. When I left the boards on December 24th, I had no intention of returning. But since I'm still a member of the main site, I couldn't help noticing my name (Quartz) in the Discourse box, indicating that a thread had been opened about me. Human nature being what it is, I decided to at least take a look. The way this thread has evolved forces me to at least tell my side once.

The basic conclusion in here is right: I left because I did not appreciate what was done to my post, and I certainly did not appreciate the way it was communicated to me. To me, that was a classic demonstration of double standards and flawed logic, and I don't like either of those. But since I'm an easygoing kind of guy, I felt it was in everybody's best interest to just leave quietly and never look back (my favourite kind of decision). But with the double standards displayed here, not to mention the sheer and endless exaggeration, I have to respond at least once, so you can decide for yourself who is overreacting.

My original post contained three additional elements, of which only one can be deemed somewhat confrontational (the chicken pic was confrontational and unpleasant to me anyway). The body of the post (right in the middle of that skimpy skeleton that was left after Vid Dude's meatball surgery) consisted of the lyrics of a song by one of Britain's most praised bands, The Smiths (hardly obscure or threatening world peace now, are they?), and one of their most appreciated songs too, Meat is Murder (http://www.lyricsfreak.com/s/smiths,-the/126800.html). This is actually the song that introduced me to vegetarianism, and anyone who's heard the song or at least its intro can probably understand why.

The second element (first attachment) was simply the album cover (http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/140/144567.jpg) ... featuring a combat soldier with a helmet, with 'Meat is Murder' written on it. Yes, something to lose sleep over, no doubt (No Doubt? now there's a travesty .. anyway). I posted the cover because I did not want to spoil the lay-out of the post itself, lyrics nicely in the middle with that "enjoy your dinner" as the punch line - but I did want to make it clear that these were song lyrics, hence the album cover ..

The third element (second attachment) was a direct response to Roops' chicken picture: one (smaller) picture of a goose being force-fed (http://www.pmaf.org/images/campagnes/gavage/g8.gif) in the foie gras industry. Which is a booming industry around Christmas, Luxman. You may not want to hear that, but it's true. Frankly, I cannot believe how you can make a statement like "all that happened on the day before the eve of Christmas, where normally most people enjoy a good dinner" - a good dinner! - did you really miss the point by a mile, or to put it in the form of a movie reference (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119360/): "IS EVERYBODY GAY?!?!?!" Those who saw the movie will appreciate this ...

That was all there was: some lyrics ("the unlucky text"), an album cover, and one picture of a living bird (yes, not even a decapitated dead one put in a 'humorous context'). Or, as Vid Dude stated in this thread: "something so extreme in regards to vegetarianism that it offended ME, it was off-topic and quite upsetting" - with Luxman chiming in as the loyal foot soldier: "I was apalled and offended by it too" and "the text, as well as the pictures, were very aggressive and offending (I would say quite disgusting) for everyone who likes to eat meat" ------- woosh, right over his head ...

You can make up your own mind now - or as Luxman valued "this unimportant incident" earlier: "(I think it was an overreaction)".

I didn't insult anyone. I don't think Roops was insulted, and I wasn't insulted by Roops' post - but I did dislike the chicken picture and the comment on people who made a decision to avoid that kind of cruelty. Now, I'm not a humourless git, and I'm sure most of you know that quite well. And in a strictly logical sense, a dead chicken with an egg in a thread called 'Pregnancy' can be apreciated as a wry form of humour. But there's a but(t) to every joke, and I felt compelled to at least state an opposite, less funny view. Lyrics, album cover, bird with a steel pipe down its throat: "That's the but(t) of your joke - think". That was it, and that's all it was. Or so I thought.

Within an hour, I received a PM from Vid Dude, accusing me of having 'some agenda', and telling me 'not to do it again', or else. My post was all but obliterated, and the 'have a nice Christmas dinner' line now meant the exact opposite - binge, don't think... The double standard emerged in full splendour. So I wrote back, explaining that my post was a direct response to Roops' comment on vegetarians and the accompanying chicken pic (which I found in rather bad taste, but I'm obviously not allowed to feel that way - it being Christmas and all ..), nothing more, nothing less. Statement, counter-statement. "Eat whatever you want, but maybe think about it a bit more" ... Hardly hardcore-Messianic, right? Anyway, I told Vid Dude that if he felt my post was inappropriate, he should consider Roops' post just as inappropriate - butcher my post, butcher his. Simple as that. Not to attack Roops in any way, of course, just as a matter of logic, equality, equal measures, and what have you.

But then I got a PM that really offended me. Vid Dude told me that he initially thought that my post was about abortion, or anti-abortion to be precise, because it was posted in a thread called 'Pregnancy'. How anyone can mistake me for an anti-abortion zealot is totally beyond me, but shit happens, I guess. I do believe that a moderator should not take a hatchet to work without at least telling himself to read and assess things carefully before chopping away.

Now, if he had left it at that ("oops, sorry dude, wrong call, won't happen again, but can you please not post that scary pic again?") I would have left it at that - I would have made a small comment about the guilt-free joys of vegetarianism, maybe I would have quoted the line ' the flesh you so fancifully fry Is not succulent, tasty or kind' as an outtake, maybe I would have linked to that goose pic instead of posting it - I am a reasonable character most of the time. But no. To add insult to inury, Vid Dude then presented me with a piece of flawed logic and a two-wrongs-do-make-a-right kind of after-the-fact-justification that sent me right over the edge.

The additional information that my post was simply a response to Roops' triggered comments consisting of something like this (paraphrased): "I thought Roops' post was funny, yours was bleak and gruesome, Roops' pic appealed to my sense of humour ("weird and amusing" it says now), yours did not, and your lyrics were offensive and I decided to edit your post to prevent people from complaining about it later". Mrs Roops will appreciate that thought police remark she made after that even more now. Right on the money, honey (respectfully).

Well, excusez-moi, a song condemning cruelty to animals in the meat industry, what the hell do you expect? Anyway, it became clear to me that Vid Dude was simply pulling rank, preventing the board members from making up their own minds, and introducing double standards to justify his choice - which was initially wrong, but which was 'corrected' by making a wrong statement 'justifying' it later. In my book, that's two negatives added, not multiplied. Side note: I am glad Vid Duee considers the picture of the naked beheaded chicken not "too extreme for these boards" and that "the content reflects on our site". If everybody shaves their pubes off, you may be right.

So, as a matter of principle, personal hygiene and insulted intelligence, I have decided to leave for brighter pastures (other moderated boards that I've been a member of for years without a glitch). This is Vid Dude's and Luxman's playground, not mine. Their arbitrary and personal rules, and someone's loss, I guess.

Bye all. Enjoyed it while it lasted.

--
"Yeah, that was no luck this time"

Abby
13th January 2005, 12:29 PM
As I don't sub to the mundane chatter group, I was not aware of any of this until VidDude pointed it out to me just now.

It seems that VidDude (and Luxman) made an error in judgement in editing / deleting Quartz's posts the way he did. In their defense, they frequently move posts and threads, and occasionally delete or edit them, and they don't have problems. The problem was alsom compounded by VidDude and Luxman - on opposite sides of the world - made changes at almost the same time, one of which may have been enough.

Their job is to keep these boards neat and tidy, and it's not always clear cut issues with right and wrong answers. We don't shy away from hearty discussions, calliope, and I am a little disappointed you're suggesting we do that. You trust us to shoot spunky models, you have to trust us to run our boards as well! We're not without fault, and VidDude knows he went a little too far on this instance. But there are a hundred other instances where he's done an exceelt job, and saved you from a lot of boring work dealing with trolls (for one example).

But I also think Quartz made an error in judgement posting stuff that can incite strong feelings. I made a similar mistake a while back, commenting on american politics with a view I assumed was more widespread than it actually was. We lost a heck of a lot of members that day, and the fallout lasted for a month or more!

I am most concerned about what a model might think if she chooses to look at a thread with the word "pregnant", and sees a pic like the ones described. While I know I might be initially offended until I read the text closer, plenty of models are going to see the picture, and make up their mind based on that.

They are not going to appreciate the subtlities of quoted lyrics (or know who the The Smiths are - these models are 18 years old for heavens' sake!), they are just going to see the context: pregnancy, violent images, erotic website they are considering being involved with.

To a lesser extent but n the same way, potential members might see this thread and not look at all the details as closely as necessary - Quartz himself admits that there are subtlities involved - and make a decision based on that.

I don't like to make black and white rules, I do think we should encourage eachother to not post stuff that other might consider inciteful. And if we do find a post offensive, we'll try to deal with it nicely. Fuzzy words, to describe a fuzzy concept, the best i can do, sorry.

Quartz, you are a valuable member of our community, and I will be sad to see you go. I understand how you feel and why you want to leave. I hope you'll reconsider. You're welcome now, or any time later to post on our boards.

Awwww. Group hug?

Please don't post tot his thread unless you already have, or you're one of the people directly involved - I think that's only fair?

Abby

calliope
13th January 2005, 09:48 PM
We don't shy away from hearty discussions, calliope, and I am a little disappointed you're suggesting we do that.
Not sure what you mean by hearty,(and your closing comment,excluding contributions from others,does tend to undermine your claim),but I do think that there appears to have been an increase in deletions,comments about thread police etc,which are signs of a 'narrowing' of expression.Please don't think me facetious or sarcastic,but obviously if you don't look at this part of the boards very often,then you might not pick up on it,until there's some sort of minor catharsis such as this.(There are echos of what happened last year with the videos,when again there seemed to be an initial reluctance to accept there was any problem).

Having said that,I do think that this 'narrowing of expression',or confusion on what,or how thoughts can be expressed,is only a reflection of what is happening far more widely,where all sorts of people who ought to know better are getting themselves,and the rest of us,into very dangerous territory.

The basic premise is very simple.Someone can believe that the moon is made of green cheese,and they have every right not to be persecuted for that belief.They have every right to try to explain their belief to anyone who wants to listen.What they don't have is the right to impose that view on others,or to have that view insulated from any form of critical analysis,or denunciation.The more courteously that can be accomplished,the better.

I know this will sound patronising,but it is something which has to be continually defended.Wars are fought,and people die when it's ignored,and we are living at a time when it needs to be strengthened,not eroded by anyone.

Quartz,to his eternal credit,is one of those people who defends it daily,and I salute him for it.

If an internet media site wished to defend it daily,it might consider having a banner stating unequivocal support for free speech.





But I also think Quartz made an error in judgement posting stuff that can incite strong feelings.

Neither Quartz,nor anyone else,is responsible for another person's feelings,or reactions.The person concerned is responsible for how they react.It's called self control.

As far as I can see,Quartz did nothing more than post a courteous and proportionate response,setting out an alternative view,exactly as I thought he would have done.Vid Dude didn't maintain objectivity and balance,but we all make mistakes,especially around Christmas time.Hopefully we learn from them,and I don't think for one moment that Quartz has any animosity about this.I would award him a scholarship at the AW university.

Vid Dude
13th January 2005, 10:46 PM
As much as freedom of speech is a noble and important part of a democratic life, this messageboard does not participate in this ideal. And I think you'll find, neither do most privately run business models. Not because we don't believe in it, but because legally and officially it doesn't apply to private messageboards. We make the rules here. We have the power to delete anything we want at our own discretion, if we deem it offensive or potentially problematic.

I did not make a mistake in deleting the post. If I made any mistakes at all, it was how I handled it with Quartz afterward.

calliope
14th January 2005, 12:31 AM
In the second paragraph,do you mean you were right to delete Quartz' post,and leave Roops' post in the thread.? Presented with the same situation now,would you still do the same.?

Vid Dude
14th January 2005, 12:45 AM
Yes.

To me, there's nothing obviously offensive in having a chicken and egg picture, intended as a joke about giving birth, even with Roops's offhand comment towards vegetarians. I shouldn't have to protect the extremely over-sensitive.

But there's plenty that is offensive in graphic text and imagery extolling the notion that meat is unequivocally murder. I don't believe it's over-sensitive to be offended by things such as that.

What I should've done, apparently, is not act so quickly, not do it without considerate explanation to the parties concerned, and not delete it outright in case the need for it to be restored came about.

Aladin
14th January 2005, 01:08 AM
I beg to differ Vid Dude. Deleting this post was a mistake in my opinion. Leaning too heavily towards a " business logic " can only lead to an emasculated board system and loss of attraction for this fine site. Roops post from what I read was indeed funny but Quartz had every right to express his views even strongly about vegetarism,an important issue of our times .He was not direspectfull of anyone.Young kids are submitted to much more potentially traumatic images every night on TV. Therefore I claim that contrary to what Abby says young girls of 18 with all their brains should and are able to make up their own mind about this and other sensitive issues.
I was very much attracted to this site chiefly because of the lovely models but also for the wonderful atmosphere of honesty and freedom.
I know your job is quite difficult.Please forgive my bad command of english.It's not my mother tongue.
Long live AW !!

Vid Dude
14th January 2005, 01:51 AM
You misunderstand. I have no problem with anyone's views on vegetarianism or anything. It was his methods that were the problem - the graphic text and imagery with no proper context, coupled with its off-topic nature (in a thread overwhelmingly about pregnancy, he took Roops's aside as an excuse to display inappropriate and easily misread extreme imagery about a different subject entirely that I misinterpreted at first, and undoubtedly others would misinterpret just as easily).

If people want to start a vegetarianism or abortion or child abuse or Iraq war thread in Mundane Chatter and discuss it, even argue it from extreme positions, then I will not stop them. All views can be expressed from all sides - but as long as it stays civil, stays in context, and doesn't get "out of hand" (which is an admittedly abritrary factor deemed by we mod and admins). I encourage people to talk about all things. Occasionally Abby or I will say "okay, that's too far, lets stop now" and that will be that.

Once again, there is no freedom of speech on these boards in any legal sense - there's our own rules and our decisions are final. There are restrictions, but you aren't often likely to hit those barriers. This is one of those rare times, and again I reiterate it was context and off-topicness that was at fault.

Quartz
14th January 2005, 04:50 AM
Right. I've been watching this thread for a few hours now. I've been contacted by Abby and Vid Dude and a few members privately, and I think it's time to reach some kind of conclusion. I'm not unwilling to return to the boards, but I do feel the need to speak my mind, just like the people participating in this thread did.

First, let me say a few things about moderating in general, and the moderators in particular. Vid Dude will probably recognise a few statements, because I made some of them to him shortly after Luxman became co-moderator and they obviously had some communication/co-ordination breakdowns.

I've moderated a fair amount of bulletin boards (web/mail/news) over the past ten years, alone and in a team (usually spread all over the world), until my work monopolised my CPU, so to speak. Moderating can be a pretty thankless or even downright shitty job, and even more so when you do not create and state some clear guidelines - about moderating policy and about co-ordination between fellow moderators. You have to create a united front, and you have to know what to shoot at, and when.

In my first week of moderating, I made some classical mistakes: "I don't like this post (or poster) - so I'll just delete this". Now, Australian boards may be polite and easy-going, European boards are way less polite, and American boards are in a semi-permanent state of turmoil and civil war most of the time. I made my classical mistakes on an American board and in a political forum - and boy, did I get hammered! I made a judgment call based on my personal preferences, and I got cornholed. Rightly so, very much so. I know that now.

I learned that there are a few things a moderator or a team of moderators must do: create and publish a clear policy (that's what a 'Sticky' is for) - and stick to it (but that's not why it's called 'Sticky'). Such a policy should be as value-free as possible, and it should be possible to enforce that policy in an objective manner: "You violated article 2b, so you're banned" - so not "I didn't like your post, so I deleted it". Never, ever. If you want to allow or delete stuff based on your own preferences, sense of humour, or beliefs: operate a weblog or a guestbook, not a forum!

When moderating as a team, create some guidelines outlining what to do to a post under certain circumstances. For example: if a moderator edits a post, make sure the post shows that is has been edited by a moderator and why. If a moderator deletes a post, either remove it completely, or replace it with a placeholder showing an explanation. Always notify the poster by PM or email, stating the exact and objective reason for editing/deleting, and point out how that post violated the publicly accessible rules. Moderators must be as objective as possible, and they must be able to put their personal preferences aside. You're moderating for the public good, not private satisfaction. Needless to say, but still: the 'on a personal whim' thing should be minimised, approaching zero. And if that personal whim is something structural, it might as well be objectified and placed in the public rulebook.

Okay, that was some general stuff about moderating. Now some stuff discussed in this thread, and relating to the particular decision to 'adapt' my post, and the way that was handled. Note that I have more to say about the process (the way it was handled) than about the fact of moderating per se.

Vid Dude sent me a personal email with an apology for the way he handled this matter ('the process'). I appreciate and accept that gesture. Indeed, I do not feel 'animosity' towards anyone and I do appreciate the work of the moderators - been there, it's a shitty and thankless job. I think Vid Dude and I have a lot of things in common, and he usually makes the kind of decisions and judgment calls I would have made, and I always enjoy his write-ups on the main site. We've exchanged a number of PMs in the last few weeks about technical problems and other site-related issues, and these exchanges were pleasant and not without humour. We know each other's first names, but we're not holding hands anytime soon.

But.

Vid Dude's contributions to this thread show a character trait that I recognise very well, because it's one of my character traits as well: if I believe I've done the right thing, I will fight for it 'til I die. I'm outspoken and strongheaded. So is Vid Dude. Strongheadedness is not always an easy affliction to live with. Strongheaded people tend to do the wrong thing when trapped in quicksand: instead of taking it easy and slowly crawling out, they start acting like a windmill and dig in deeper. In a way, Vid Dude and I are in different patches of quicksand, trying to kick and scream our way out, spending a lot of energy without getting anywhere. This is my way of taking it easy and crawling my way out of this mess, I guess. Some may perceive this as a windmill, but it isn't intended that way. I'm just speaking my mind, not because I despise this community and its people, but because I value them.

So, it's time to raise a few issues. A few quotes to begin with:

"I shouldn't have to protect the extremely over-sensitive" versus "I don't believe it's over-sensitive to be offended by things such as that" - something about a cake being eaten springs to mind here. Even if you are a moderator, making your own personal sensitivities more important than those of the board members is walking into a patch of quicksand. You are denying me the right to have sensitivities about a post depicting a dead chicken, and you are asserting and exercising your right to have sensibilites about my response. Several people have stated (here and in private) that my response was not over-sensitive and that my post was not inappropriate. Several people have stated that they do not think my post should have been deleted and that your decision was inappropriate. I'm not going to discuss who is right about what, and I'm certainly not going off on a tangent about the cultural divide between vegetarians and meat eaters that manifests itself here :) - I am pointing out that making a decision based on personal preferences or a personal whim is likely to cause serious trouble sooner or later.

Like I said before: this is about process, not about fact or outcome. I would have altered or watered down my post had it been asked of me in an objective and pleasant way. I would have accepted a statement like 'this is a public site, tone it down a little' - I will not accept a blunt 'I don't like it, so I deleted it'. I barely managed to keep it out of the realm of being personally insulted (after all, I have invested a lot of time and energy in these boards, helping people out, defending AW against callous outsiders, defending shy models being judged like porn stars, etc.) - I did feel for a while that I didn't deserve to be lectured like that - but I got over that pretty quickly. I did not manage to get over the personal background of it all, which is why I posted that long rant earlier.

Another point, another quote:

"I did not make a mistake in deleting the post" - actually, it would have been better if you HAD deleted my post. But you edited it in two ways I didn't like. You edited it without leaving a trace (I actually put in ' the actual content of this message was censored because it was deemed 'inappropriate' ') and you edited it in a way that turned the meaning around 180 degrees. You simply cannot do that! Side note: something weird happened. I actually deleted two of my posts in that thread, the edited one, and the comment about it later on. Both posts showed up as 'deleted' and with a comment about why I'd done that in my browser, but they're still there like nothing happened today. No idea why.

Like I said, this is about process. If Vid Dude had dropped me a PM asking me to turn down the volume a notch or two, I would probably have done that. The way it was handled hit me the wrong way, and the personal motivation behind it struck me as not becoming of a moderator. This is based on my view of moderation, of course, but it is a widely accepted view: a moderator enforces the board's rules, not his personal set of beliefs and sensitivities. You cannot tell me that I'm not allowed to be over-sensitive when something triggers an issue I hold dear, whereas you can be over-sensitive simply because you are the moderator, period. It's actually the other way around: board members can talk about things they have feelings and sensitivities about, a moderator should only have one set of sensitivities: the board rules. If you want to get a personal point across: participate in the discussion like a member and make your point as a member. You could (and probably should, since it was a personal call) have waited to see how my post was received.

When I posted the lyrics and picture, I knew that I was reaching the outer limits of AW. It wouldn't have caused a ripple on most of the boards I'm on (mostly inflammable ones), but I know what kind of board this is. I wasn't looking for a flame war or a heated discussion. I wan't even looking for a follow-up or trying to kill a fly with a bomb. All I wanted to do was respond to Roops' post, level the score, restore some balance, show the other side of the medallion de veau. I feel it was done in good faith, and I'm obviously not alone in that. I don't feel I overreacted; I made a clear, concise, unequivocal statement. A bit raw, but no more raw than that chicken was to me.

Okay, some quick points to wrap it up as far as Vid Dude's concerned:

"We make the rules here" - state them, post them, enforce them, and make them as objective as possible.

"We have the power to delete anything we want at our own discretion" - exercise that discretion with the greatest possible care, and as objectively as possible.

"If we deem it offensive or potentially problematic" - post some clear rules about what you deem offensive or problematic before you act on those criteria. And once more: what's offensive or problematic to you personally should not count, and it certainly should not be part of a motivation.

"To me, there's nothing obviously offensive in having a chicken and egg picture" - with all due respect: this is not, and should not be, about you. It should not be personal to you. If you want to make a personal point, post a response to the boards and tell me how you feel.

And finally: "As long as it stays civil, stays in context, and doesn't get "out of hand" (which is an admittedly abritrary factor deemed by we mod and admins). I encourage people to talk about all things. Occasionally Abby or I will say "okay, that's too far, lets stop now" and that will be that." - as long as you are very aware of the arbitrary nature of certain calls, that's progress. As long as you're willing to invest a little bit extra in steering a discussion instead of mutilating it, that's progress. Even better: if you're about to make an arbitrary call (i.e. a call that is not based on clear board rules, but on a hunch or a gut feeling), consult your fellow moderators and/or Abby and decide on a course of action involving some communication with, or feedback from, the poster ("we're not happy with that, can you change it or delete it?"). After all, like you said: this is not going to happen very often, so why not invest a little time and effort when it does?

This is not rocket science or brain surgery, these are really basic moderator skills, and widely accepted moderating policies. I'm going for the US Cheese Championships with this one: "There's no 'I' in 'moderator'. Oh, I don't eat cheese, by the way.

There's a growing amount of uneasiness on these boards about recent moderation policy - use that to your advantage, lashing out and digging in are only going to make things worse.

Next.

Luxman. You chose to get in on this discussion and post some exaggerated (and clumsy) statements, so I feel free to consider you fair game and speak my mind as well. I certainly do believe you are an 'all-round nice guy', and that you mean well, but I do believe you should reconsider being a moderator. Moderators should not be the most visible people on a forum. In fact, a moderator usually takes a few steps back and stays out of heated discussions, let alone value judgments. On some days, 50% of the new posts were yours, and most of them added little or nothing (only to your post count, which you appear to be enjoying). In fact, once you became a moderator, your number of posts skyrocketed and you even said we when you actually meant paid AW staff. Which is why I posted a comment a few weeks ago, stating that I felt you had changed. You show up in almost every thread, preferably more than once. As much as I believe you enjoy welcoming new members, it is getting a bit old. I don't believe these boards need someone at the door slapping people's backs all of the time. No bouncer will do that and be respected after that. You seem to be annoyed when someone else actually manages to welcome a new member first; you will certainly not miss an opportunity to chime in and do it all over again. I'm probably the only one who feels that way (that happens sometimes), but I don't think this is an unfair comment based on my experience as a moderator: be less visible and more 'aloof'. If you want to be all over the place every single day of the week, that's fine by me. Any member can do that, and any member can post value judgments about me or my posts anytime. A moderator should be a lot more careful with stuff like that. Choose.

It's hard enough having two carnivorous moderators getting queasy over a goose pic, you know ... :p

So, if you still want me back in here after all that, now's the time to let me know ;) - I'm not usually this annoying or verbose, really.

Oh, and a final suggestion: why not delete the 'Pregnancy and Vegetarianism' thread (a sore thumb sticking out, really) that caused all this and this thread (containing nothing but fall-out and testosterone) completely, once the dust has settled? Clean slate, no hard feelings, no harm done (or at least: no harm archived). I can get over my personal peeves and sensibilities and act normal and grown-up. Can you? You can also tell me to fuck off. I did that already. It's not that hard.

Q.

elfie
14th January 2005, 05:17 AM
WOW

this is a clean pristine board amidst a site that many say is porn (in a very respectful way)

i can't ask a model about a blow job (ok, and after all the model talks about blow jobs in her vid)

now i am thinking about breakfast tomorrow (just bought a green pepper and may put it in an omelett with onions and mozz cheese)

i would type more but my shoulders really hurt when i type (its very frustrating)

now i am am going to watch a recorded show from a dvd (dvd recorders are awesome)

i lead a simple life

hope Pam does more stuff really soon

Abby
14th January 2005, 07:05 AM
Hm. I dunno if I like all this at all.

You seem to be missing the point of why VidDude deleted the posts entirely.

a

Quartz
14th January 2005, 07:38 AM
No, I don't.

It is obvious that I don't agree with the deletion, and it is obvious why I don't agree by now. But that's not the point at all. We can go on and on about appropriate, inappropriate, good pic, bad pic, good boy, bad boy ... because there's no framework for good or bad. Both sides feel they have done nothing wrong ... and never the twain shall meet.

It should be obvious that I wanted to focus on the process of moderating (including communication and co-ordination), not the deletion itself, moving away from this actual specific case (me) towards a wider policy and general set of rules (the board). I want to prevent future discussions like these as much as possible by requesting a clear set of rules for the members and ruling out arbitrary decision-making by the moderators. After all, you have put a lot of time and effort into streamlining and professionalising the main site - why leave the boards behind? In fact, it should be what you should be wanting, really.

Abby
14th January 2005, 07:44 AM
ok, we'll work on that. Thanks for the tips. I guess it's naive of me to assume that boards could self-moderate.

a

Quartz
14th January 2005, 07:50 AM
Oh, and in case I didn't make this abundantly clear: Vid Dude and Luxman, this has nothing to do with you personally. I like you both. This has to with your moderator roles, nothing more, nothing less. It is constructive criticism. A professional courtesy, if you like.

Quartz
14th January 2005, 07:59 AM
I guess it's naive of me to assume that boards could self-moderate.
Ooh, I prefer pleasantly positive but slightly unrealistic. Or to put it another way: "When we finally achieve anarchy and the rednecks run the neighborhood, who will fix the sewers?". Every society will create and impose laws sooner or later, and then people to enforce them. And this place is turning into a society with every new site member being added to the boards automatically and wandering in here sooner or later. That's a whole new ballgame (try that without umpires and rules of play ..).

Bob
14th January 2005, 08:39 AM
Quartz,

Thank you for your comments. You've certainly started me thinking about my own role here. This is the first board I've ever been active on, and on reflection I think quite a few of my posts have been motivated by little more than a desire to see my name in print. So, thank you. I shall be a little slower to the keyboard henceforth.

I started this thread because I missed your incisive comments. Although I did see the goose post I hadn't noticed it had gone and hadn't associated this with your silence. That I found it entirely appropriate and timely may have had something to do with the fact that vegetarian me and carnivorous partner had been planning a mutually acceptable holiday meal not long before.

Now of course I'm not going to argue against free speech but, when all is said and done, this is not a publicly owned forum. It is part of a commercial site. If the owners judge that a post is likely to be offensive to many of their models or their customers then they must have the right to remove it, whether or not they have previously anticipated the particular behaviour or subject in a set of rules. The issue seems to be how they go about that. I could say "remove the post temporarily and contact the poster to discuss" - initial suspension rather than deletion - but even that would take judgement, or the moderator could take forever trading messages with loonies! For example bronze, as I think you saw him.

Anyway, thank you for explaning. I do hope that you continue posting.

Hey, isn't that Sylvia (http://www.abbywinters.com/main.php?page=profile&model=656) an attractive looking young lady?

Regards,

Bob

Quartz
14th January 2005, 08:54 AM
Bob, you appear to have omitted a reference to "marketing", which means I will be unable to comment on your post ;)

bifman
14th January 2005, 08:56 AM
whee!!!

I guess I must agree with Quartz on his description of boards in general
..... Australian boards may be polite and easy-going, European boards are way less polite, and American boards are in a semi-permanent state of turmoil and civil war most of the time. This is the first I've spent any time viewing a forum of any kind and I was struck how 'nice' it was. I really didn't expect that in the adult site jonra. Not that everybody was throwing similes around like rice at a wedding, but that everyone said what they meant well - Like Quartz and VivDude above - even if it wasn't a 'nice' opinion. Perhaps I am a bit naive in not knowing how many 'troll posts' are chucked for every one I see - but I get the feeling that people spend some time thinking before they post (for our good or bad) and it makes for some great reading and stimulating discourse. The forums were as big a part in my decision to renew, as were Abby's great photos.

I saw the offending chicken pic & post (I'm afraid it didn't let the image load all the way as they take so long here - no nakkid girls then blip) and moved on as it didn't interest me at the time. I would like to think I have a choice in what I read & see (I do) and I respect that this is a private business forum that clears up some troll goo for me. So far I've been quite happy with it all and also quite pleased to read Quartz tome on censure, forums and shaved chickens (of course, I do listen to a lot of Marilyn Manson so I may be alone in this…). I realize now I should say thanks for leaving it all here.... Thanks


-bif


PS Abby, truly sorry about the folks that left over the political views uttered on the boards. I’d like to think all my fellow Americans would be above all that, but alas only half it seems.

Abby
14th January 2005, 10:48 AM
Sometimes, moderation requires a pre-emptive strike.

I don't think that's out of context (http://www.abbywinters.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=23964#post23964) either, Quartz old buddy. :p

a

Quartz
15th January 2005, 04:13 AM
I never post out of context, Abs ... ;)

Luxman
15th January 2005, 08:52 PM
I post this to 2 threads cos I reply to both.

My dear Quartz (this is not meant ironically),

I know you had no doubt that I'll reply to your thoughts, so after a short waiting period to let the dust and the mud settle down, here we are.

First of all, let me thank you for all the positive work and help you have provided to all of us, Abby, Vid Dude, the team and me. I'm always open to constructive criticism, I'm happy to be able to learn and I accept the views of other, maybe more experienced people.

I'll not go back to December 23rd when the "catastrophe" started. I didn't edit or remove the post, so leave me out of that discussion.

Shortly after my "nomination" we had a PM exchange about some errors I did in English and you told me how to behave as a moderator. I'm always thankful for help and I try to get the best out of it, especially with the language issues I've learned a lot over the time. Thanks again.

Your advice, what a moderator does and what he shouldn't do, was welcome too, and I accept all you wrote, but it's MY very own choice to adopt it or not. It's not on you to impose your opinion or your wishes.

You're right, it's not so easy to run and moderate a public forum. But, hey, this is not a public forum. The (write) access to this forum is for members only, not for everyone. For paying members, it's like a private club. This forum is owned by Abby Winters, and she alone decides how to run and to moderate it. She tells me if I'm doing well or wrong, and nobody else has to jump in here, well except Vid Dude. In my eyes the rules of moderation here may be different to what you know.

About my visibility and post frequency.
You say a moderator should step back and stay in the background. Your opinion. On all the boards I read frequently, the moderators are ultra-present, perhaps the boards you run or moderate are different.

You're bothered by the frequency of my posts? Your problem! You think my posts add little or nothing? Don't read them! I consider these posts as what we call "small talk". Not too much sense, but important for the relationship between human beings and their communication, real or virtual. I'm sure, if there was more small talk in the world, there were less trouble and wars everywhere. I understand now why you don't like marketing people, cos finally they produce small talk to sell. I don't mind my post count (anymore, at the beginning of my membership it was a thrill to get it up) and you should do the same.

About the "we"
Yes, I say "we" when I speak about AW staff, and I MEAN IT. Ok I'm not paid, not with money, but I'm so free to count me to the team, and it's not at you to be upset about that. I'm asking myself if it could be that you're a bit envious.

About the welcome
Yes I enjoy welcoming new members, and I don't think at all that it's old. The personal welcome creates a mood of confidence for the "starter" and makes him (or her) feel comfortable. The reactions of those people show clearly that it is appreciated. BTW: I did this long time before I became a moderator and as far as I know it was one of the reasons why I was asked to be a moderator.

I don't think that slapping people's backs undermines my authority. You know, I'm running a medium size business since 15 years now (wow such a long time), and beside other tasks I manage what's called "human resources" (I hate that term). I hire and I fire. And can assure you, every new employee gets his slapping and a warm "welcome on board", but when there are troubles coming up, I can be pretty unaccommodating and authoritarian. Be sure, until now I have fired more people than you'll ever hire, and all were personally welcomed by me.

I don't need hugs from anybody (well, perhaps from Abby and Vid Dude) and to discourage me there has more to come, a lot more. Of course I'll continue the way I did until now, as long as Abby & Vid Dude are ok with it. Perhaps the majority of boards are Darwinistic, but here we are at Abby's boards and as well as her site is different to the majority, her boards are different too.

Ok, maybe I'm nice (Omygod, I have tears in my eyes when I think at Abby's comments on the news page last week) but I'm surely not too nice. Being very visible is unusual for a moderator? Hey I'm an unusual guy who helps moderating unusual boards, capice?

A "nice moderator" is ultimately a contradiction in terms. It's like "aesthetic porn", a contradiction in terms, but Abby shows us every single day that it's real and that it works.

I don't think Vid Dude and me are a good cop/bad cop team (well I'm the good cop anyway), it's rather a good cop/good cop system. Even good cops do throw people into jail as far as I know. Perhaps with a bit more style. That's what WE try to do here.

Conclusion:

You are not happy with the moderation of the boards?
Fact is: These are Abby's boards, she's the boss, and she decides how to run the site.

You think I'm posting too much and my posts bother you?
Fact is: I don't think so. Simple solution for you: just don't read them (and avoid to look at my counter).

You think I should stop welcome new members?
Fact is: The over all reactions are positive, so I don't see what's bad here.

You think I should be more in the background and moderate differently.
Fact is: I'm the moderator, not you. I decide how I behave and what I do.

I think all is said what I had to say, so the chapter is over for me and I'll not continue any discussion of this in public.

Very last thing: I assure you, I don't want you to leave. Still friends?

Lxm

Questa1
15th January 2005, 11:41 PM
These boards are not the place for distressing images, in my view.