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View Full Version : Are Lifetime bans too harsh? Might we be better off here scrapping them?



Messier Tidy Upper
2010-Apr-11, 11:41 AM
I'd guess that I'm probably not alone in sometimes saying (& posting) things I regret from time to time and having my bad days as well as my good ones.

I will confess I often post when over-tired & much more occassionally when I'm intoxicated. Plus I'll admit I can sometimes get carried away too.

Given this human fallibility & given that people change over time & their atitudes and understandings and ability to get along can improve (or sadly sometimes worsen) I was wondering if we would perhaps be well-advised to consider abandoning the idea of lifetime bans on posters who've done the wrong thingand consider instead allowing them to return after say five years or even three or two years instead?

This would perhaps allow time for sufficent H2O under whatever bridges and whatever personal issues banned posters have to be addressed so they could potentially return as better contributers rather than being permanently eliminated from any possibility of making positive contributions?

If a banned poster repeats their offence then maybe their sentence can be doubled or made permanent as need be but otherwise .. Well, call me a soft touch or whatever, but is this more merciful approach worth considering?

What do y'all think?

PS. For the record I myself have never been banned or suspended - & hope I never will be! (From memory - really don't think I was even in my older more combative incarnation here years ago) Nor am I am acting for any banned poster or case in particular, this issue just something that has bothered me about this forunm for a while. After all, even prisoners in jail for far worse offences generally get parole & released at some point. So lifetime bans here seem .. a bit too harsh for my preference.

tdvance
2010-Apr-11, 11:43 AM
I'm definitely in support of lifetime bans for spamming.

AndreasJ
2010-Apr-11, 11:51 AM
Few if any lifetime bans are handed out for one-off inconsiderate remarks; they're for spamming, sockpuppetry, or repetitious disruptiveness or maliciousness.

grapes
2010-Apr-11, 11:58 AM
I'm definitely in support of lifetime bans for spamming.There are very few criteria that result in immediate ban, but that's certainly one of them. Most are first time posters too.

Infractions age out, too.

Kaptain K
2010-Apr-11, 12:52 PM
I can think of two (and a possible third) off the top of my head that I think could be welcomed back without dire consequences.

Tensor
2010-Apr-11, 02:12 PM
IIRC, didn't we have someone who was just reinstated recently (I'm talking within the last year)?

ginnie
2010-Apr-11, 03:05 PM
Well, I think the forum owners can do anything they want - its not like this is a democracy or anything. I don't think anyone would bother coming back to BAUT after two, three years. There's just so many forums out there that in the meantime they would become established somewhere else.
I belong to other forums where I've posted thousands of times because they are a little "looser" in their restrictions. Here I have only a few hundred posts in three years or so. I think it has something to do with me tending to go off track too easily!

Tobin Dax
2010-Apr-11, 03:06 PM
IIRC, didn't we have someone who was just reinstated recently (I'm talking within the last year)?

Yes, though I can't recall who it is at the moment.

grapes
2010-Apr-11, 03:33 PM
I can think of two (and a possible third) off the top of my head that I think could be welcomed back without dire consequences.Kaptain K and I have discussed this in PM, and two of his suggestions have received reprieves from lifetime bans. One was banned again, the other is still a member, but not posting.

The poster that Tensor alludes to does exist, but regardless, without naming names, I can say we are open to petition.

antoniseb
2010-Apr-11, 04:31 PM
Yes, though I can't recall who it is at the moment.

That would be tommac (who proudly proclaims himself the only one).

For my part I don't care for the choices given here. None of them support the status quo. You either call for death to miscreants (not something I can support), or you support a maximum duration of one or a few years for banning. There are people who come here simply to make trouble, and not to contribute. They should be banned, but it would be inhumane to call for their deaths. Let them find happiness and purpose where they may... just not here.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Apr-11, 04:31 PM
I think only an insane person would for long contemplate letting Wayne Smith aka Project Orion in ever again.

Lifetime bans that are actually for life do have their purpose.

FarmMarsNow
2010-Apr-11, 05:10 PM
I think the most important rule about bans is to state the reason for the ban, which I'm sure this forum does. Even though it may seem obvious, you always tell the person what you think they did which caused you to ban them.

John Jaksich
2010-Apr-11, 05:50 PM
I did not like the choices presented in the poll---but a lifetime ban is probably warranted in most instances---from what I have seen...at least

Gillianren
2010-Apr-11, 06:56 PM
That would be tommac (who proudly proclaims himself the only one).

Incorrectly. As has been mentioned, at least one person has come back from a lifetime ban. And more to the point, it wasn't tommac, who was suspended and counts it as a ban in his sig. What's more, when the two boards were merged lo, these many years ago, there was a total amnesty. All bans were repealed. And probably half or better of the people who were granted the privilege of return and actually came back promptly got themselves banned again, generally using the exact same behaviour which had gotten them banned the first time. At least one of them also came back as a sock puppet a couple of times and didn't show signs of changing her undesirable behaviour then, either.


I think the most important rule about bans is to state the reason for the ban, which I'm sure this forum does. Even though it may seem obvious, you always tell the person what you think they did which caused you to ban them.

Yes; we've also quite recently had this called "showboating," so I guess it's true that you can't make everyone happy.

PetersCreek
2010-Apr-11, 07:00 PM
I will confess I often post when over-tired & much more occassionally when I'm intoxicated. Plus I'll admit I can sometimes get carried away too.

Obvious spammers excepted, bans for a single instance of bad behavior have been quite rare in my experience, especially since implementation of the infraction system. Unless the behavior is particularly egregious...such as threats of violence or legal action or other abusive behavior...members normally face a series of escalating suspensions before a permaban is handed down. So, normally, what we ban for are patterns of behavior. If multiple suspensions of 3, 7, and 14 days don't get through to a troublesome poster, this moderator holds little hope that longer suspensions will be any different.

My opinion has at least one supporting case that took place during my tenure. A member was suspended for 6 months and upon his return, reverted to the same misconduct, which eventually led to a permaban. On the other hand, there is also at least one example of reinstatement that continues to be a decision justified. It is cases like these that make the poll's altenatives unnecessary and undesirable. If a banned member comes to the admin/mod team with a compelling case for reinstatement, then it would be as if he or she was suspended for however long it took to learn the lesson, whether it's 1, 2, or 4.37 years. Lacking such reassurance of a change in behavior, I see little reason to automatically allow someone back after 1 or more years.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Apr-11, 07:32 PM
What about the poster named Lurker. I don't see where this individual did anything worth a lifetime ban. There are others, have they been reviewed also?

Glom
2010-Apr-11, 07:40 PM
In other old BABB, there was only banning. No suspensions. It is fortunate that we have evolved.

MessengerM104
2010-Apr-11, 08:15 PM
i fear the day when it should (will?!) be possible to ban a particular individual for life !!

to date (as i understand it), it is only a particular host that might get *dis-hosted* for good
and the average useful life span of a computer is woefully short these days

you enjoy a quite sensitive moderation on this site bytheby
(and detachment is a good thing after all :) )
((if Buddha is right that is))

also on the theme of liberation: today the world remembers the 65th. anniversary of the Buchenwald concentration camp's liberation by the US army
(((you knew that)))
as all times have their own particular dangers and pitfalls:
i think the epochal menace under which we live today
is the loss of informational self-determination...

(which has brought me back to my initial statement)
((and would make me innocent of deviation :) ))

50 Years after SETI we are fostering the gready silicon intelligence(r)s in our midst and of our very own creation...


(thanks :silenced:)

HenrikOlsen
2010-Apr-11, 08:30 PM
i fear the day when it should (will?!) be possible to ban a particular individual for life !!

to date (as i understand it), it is only a particular host that might get *dis-hosted* for good
and the average useful life span of a computer is woefully short these days
It is individuals who get suspended/banned, not computers.
The computer isn't the one behaving badly, the individual is.

Swift
2010-Apr-11, 09:10 PM
I think the most important rule about bans is to state the reason for the ban, which I'm sure this forum does. Even though it may seem obvious, you always tell the person what you think they did which caused you to ban them.
We note bans and suspensions in this thread (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/30979-BAUT-banned-suspended-posters-log), and reasons are given, though maybe not in immense detail. As has often been noted, not all aspects of moderation are considered appropriate for public viewing.

Swift
2010-Apr-11, 09:13 PM
<snip>
also on the theme of liberation: today the world remembers the 65th. anniversary of the Buchenwald concentration camp's liberation by the US army
(((you knew that)))
as all times have their own particular dangers and pitfalls:
i think the epochal menace under which we live today
is the loss of informational self-determination...


I really didn't quite follow your point, but I hope you are not comparing banning from BAUT to Buchenwald. :confused:

MessengerM104
2010-Apr-11, 09:39 PM
It is individuals who get suspended/banned, not computers.
The computer isn't the one behaving badly, the individual is.

but if that bad soul (:)) would be so bad as to revamp her system all-and-all...
(and would even go to the length to mask her premordial meanness)
wouldn't that offset any reasonable effort on your part to enforce that ban on said individual ?!

MessengerM104
2010-Apr-11, 09:49 PM
I really didn't quite follow your point, but I hope you are not comparing banning from BAUT to Buchenwald. :confused:

what ever, or who ever, i might be
i would not do lightly with a matter that serious...

but more to the point: nope
((i think i would rather compare it to a kind of... catharsis :) ))

slang
2010-Apr-11, 09:56 PM
but if that bad soul (:)) would be so bad as to revamp her system all-and-all...

Her? So, first gingers, and now men have no soul? :)


(and would even go to the length to mask her premordial meanness)
wouldn't that offset any reasonable effort on your part to enforce that ban on said individual ?!

I think you are asking about sock puppetry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sockpuppet_%28Internet%29). They can often be identified by other means than their hostname. Not always, perhaps some people get away with it.

MessengerM104
2010-Apr-11, 10:19 PM
I think you are asking about sock puppetry.

i think i thought of recycled souls
(this also being one Buddhist (rather Hindu) concept)


They can often be identified by other means than their hostname.



yeah...
i don't doubt that there are a lot of "means" ... *out-there*
coming to think on it: a really vaaast expaaanse to nourish one's paranoia :)
(bigger than even let's say... all of China)

((and yes, paranoia can be a funny thing :) ))

sorry, i must be excused for a while

HenrikOlsen
2010-Apr-12, 01:44 AM
i think i thought of recycled souls
(this also being one Buddhist (rather Hindu) concept)
I suspect that people won't get rebanned here automatically if they die, get reincarnated and try to come back.
On the other hand, if they learned nothing from the last try and continue the behavior that got them banned in the first place, they're get banned again this time.

The forum hasn't existed long enough for this situation to be relevant yet though.

mugaliens
2010-Apr-12, 03:43 AM
I belong to other forums where I've posted thousands of times because they are a little "looser" in their restrictions. Here I have only a few hundred posts in three years or so. I think it has something to do with me tending to go off track too easily!

Going off track is "rabbit-trailing." Sometimes it's a nuisance, others it's a pain in the backside. On still others, however, it's absolutely vital, as it's thinking outside the box, creatively, in an entrepreural fashion, without which the tide of history would be vastly different than it is today, where many of today's key scientific discoveries would never have taken place. So there's definately a time and place for it.

Certainly such activity should never result in a lifetime ban.

I'm not a fan of lifetime bans simply because people often change, either by getting over a difficult time in their lives in which the stress resulted in them acting differently than they otherwise normally would have, or because they simply grew up a little more. On the other hand, time should pass. How much? The day, three days, week, month, quarter, year time frame works, as each is approximately 3x the previous.

MessengerM104
2010-Apr-12, 06:43 PM
The forum hasn't existed long enough for this situation to be relevant yet though.

ad multos annos // live 100ng and pr:)sper

TrAI
2010-Apr-12, 07:14 PM
Well, I would think that after some time has passed, it may be possible to let someone back, but it probably is best to have a user request reinstatement of their account if they want to come back, and let the admins and mods handle the case.

I would at least think a person who requests it is more likely to be motivated to come back than someone who just finds themselves unbanned from a forum they may no-longer feel much ties to.

Argos
2010-Apr-12, 07:26 PM
Two years would be more than enough. Yeah, people change [and I really donīt believe the first option is serious in its morbid wording. Should have been "Beer!' instead].

Tobin Dax
2010-Apr-12, 08:06 PM
That would be tommac (who proudly proclaims himself the only one).
No, it's not. (See Gillian's post.) I'm pretty sure that grapes and I (and Tensor) are talking about the same poster. Even if I did remember who he was, I wouldn't want to mention his name, however, so I don't intend to continue discussing this publicly.

MessengerM104
2010-Apr-12, 08:16 PM
Two years would be more than enough. Yeah, people change [and I really donīt believe the first option is serious in its morbid wording. Should have been "Beer!' instead].

you are one easy-going Brazilian, Argos :)
(and a sensible fellow too!)

i for once would not have wanted to wield the sword against... say... Neverfly (who will fly no more now... )
even if he used to go about with an especially clumsy (and ungainly!) one himself

i can detest the American infatuation with the death penalty
(and probably even more the saucy jingo-lingo that's spun around it)

to utterly bannish a callous spammer is one thing
to desinherit a once *respected member*
(of the kilo-pi-order (gosh!!!))
((and an intricate/complicated/compromised(?) human at that))

F L A T

is a different thing entirely

no good can come from that, folks

R.A.F.
2010-Apr-12, 08:20 PM
That would be tommac (who proudly proclaims himself the only one).

If he proclaims himself the "only one", he would be in error...:)

slang
2010-Apr-12, 09:07 PM
i can detest the American infatuation with the death penalty

BAUT might be American owned (as in, North America). But, AFAIK there is no infatuation with the death penalty in Canada, and definitely no consensus on the death penalty in the USA. But how does that matter with respect to this thread? The worst ban given here is a life-long ban, the real-life equivalent of a life-long imprisonment.


to desinherit a once *respected member*
(of the kilo-pi-order (gosh!!!))
((and an intricate/complicated/compromised(?) human at that))

F L A T

is a different thing entirely

no good can come from that, folks

Only if there is no appeal process. And mods have already said that there is always the possibility of petitioning for another chance, after say a year or so. And the evidence supports it, since at least one "banned for life!!!111" member has come back. I don't understand why someone's post-count should be a decisive factor, the rules should apply to everyone equally, with maybe a little bit of "grey area" to deal with mitigating circumstances. Every board member is respected, high post-count or not. Until their behaviour gives reason otherwise, of course.

Argos
2010-Apr-12, 09:12 PM
@ MessengerM104

Thanks for the kind words, my friend. I was trying to find some compromise between a hard penalty and compassion. But I see people are more compassionate than me, since the one-year option is preferred by 1/5 of the members.

Swift
2010-Apr-12, 09:18 PM
i can detest the American infatuation with the death penalty
(and probably even more the saucy jingo-lingo that's spun around it)

Do not even go there. This is a very political issue, at least in the US, and it is not an allowed topic on BAUT. No further mention of it and no comments about it, or there will be infractions.

This is a serious warning.

PetersCreek
2010-Apr-12, 09:25 PM
i can detest the American infatuation with the death penalty...

And with that, you have strayed into the inflammatory area of politics/nationalism. Time to bring discussion of that inapt analogy to an end.

MessengerM104
2010-Apr-12, 09:44 PM
I don't understand why someone's post-count should be a decisive factor

welll..., i think you do:
with your stratospheric postcount, you are most assuredly deeper invested here than i (for example)
(which would highten your pain and hence the severity of penalty, if ever you should be unfortunate enough to earn yourself the ultimate punishment)
further, i guess you could rightly claim to have contributed to this forum
and it seems fair to assume that the worth of contribution of any particular member should progress proportional to her/his postcount (whatever might be the average worth of one single typical post :) )
accepting further as fair that the worth of this forum is at least dependent on the contributions brought to it by its members
one would have to conclude that the number of posts actually should be a factor of importance, if pondering a bannishment :)

Swift
2010-Apr-12, 09:56 PM
I would say, as a moderator, that post count is at most, a small secondary consideration. A member with a long history (and thus, probably a high post count, but not necessarily) of good behavior, is probably not going to be punished severely for the occasional slip. And if these slip-ups are not frequent, any infraction points they get will probably expire, before they accumulate to the point of getting banned (banning happens at 12 non-expired points).

A member with a consistent history of bad behavior over a short period of time (whether they've been here a long time or a short time), is going to very quickly accumulate a lot of infraction points, and risks getting themselves banned.

slang
2010-Apr-12, 10:00 PM
welll..., i think you do:
with your stratospheric postcount, you are most assuredly deeper invested here than i (for example)
(which would highten your pain and hence the severity of penalty, if ever you should be unfortunate enough to earn yourself the ultimate punishment)
further, i guess you could rightly claim to have contributed to this forum
and it seems fair to assume that the worth of contribution of any particular member should progress proportional to her/his postcount (whatever might be the average worth of one single typical post :) )

But what if most of my posts have been in Fun&Games, and most of my other posts in the serious forums were bad jokes? Who is to decide which amount of my posts have contributed anything of value, if any?

Of course, if someone has shown that he or she can stay within the rules for a long time, that might influence moderators. I asked whether it should be a decisive factor, not whether it might be an influencing factor. Then again, that's a subjective thing, hard to quantify. Perhaps we better let this discussion rest to avoid derailing.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Apr-12, 10:08 PM
Is there going to be any additional review of other posters who have in the past been permanently banned?

Van Rijn
2010-Apr-12, 10:10 PM
welll..., i think you do:
with your stratospheric postcount, you are most assuredly deeper invested here than i (for example)


Anyone who has been around long enough to get a high post count is probably going to be very familiar with the rules. There aren't many with high post counts that I've seen get permanently banned, but it usually works out as one of two things: Either (1) they've regularly been sitting at the edge of the rules, getting suspended occasionally, and finally have pushed the envelope too many times, or (2) their behavior changed radically - in this case, it might be due to something bad happening in their personal life, but, in my opinion, it should be up to them to ask for reconsideration, if they want it.

Moose
2010-Apr-12, 10:35 PM
Is there going to be any additional review of other posters who have in the past been permanently banned?

Are we going to spontaneously offer amnesties without any tangible investment or clear commitment on the part of these individuals towards reforming the behavior that got them banned in the first place? I wouldn't suggest anybody hold their breath waiting for something like that.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Apr-12, 10:49 PM
Are we going to spontaneously offer amnesties without any tangible investment or clear commitment on the part of these individuals towards reforming the behavior that got them banned in the first place? I wouldn't suggest anybody hold their breath waiting for something like that.
Hmmmm, i was looking at a poster named Lurker who seemed to be well behaved but got banned over a single post that is not visible. I don't see that this indicates a pattern of behavior that requires reform. It's possible that other banned posters fit into this category as well. I was just wondering.

Jim
2010-Apr-12, 10:50 PM
Just to add some emphasis, I don't see the Mod Squad "reviewing" banned members with an eye to offering reinstatement. However, if one asks to have their ban reconsidered, we will do (and have done) that.

Post count comes into play now and again. As mentioned, a "high count" member probably understands the Rules and will avoid bannable behaviour. A misstep by one of them is usually seen as an anomaly and may gain a lesser reaction based on their long (and low or no infraction?) history. Mods have discussed the appropriate response to a "high counter" on more than one occassion.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Apr-12, 11:00 PM
Just to add some emphasis, I don't see the Mod Squad "reviewing" banned members with an eye to offering reinstatement. However, if one asks to have their ban reconsidered, we will do (and have done) that.

Well, seeing as how some of the permanent bans have been in effect for several years and there would be no visible evidence for a banned poster to see that any such bans had ever been reversed, it's unlikely that any of these individual would ever know to even make such a request today.

Your call, but it seems pretty well stacked against someone who made one mistake and got a permanent ban before the infraction system. It does leave one wondering how such an individual would have fared under a system where there were several steps before capital punishment was imposed.

Jim
2010-Apr-12, 11:12 PM
Hmmmm, i was looking at a poster named Lurker who seemed to be well behaved but got banned over a single post that is not visible. I don't see that this indicates a pattern of behavior that requires reform. It's possible that other banned posters fit into this category as well. I was just wondering.

Lurker was banned for starting a PM argument with a Moderator over the Mod's actions in a thread and then publishing the contents of those PMs in that thread. In those posts, Lurker admitted that his actions would probably get him banned. As those posts revealed privileged information - in violation of BAUT Rules - they were removed.

slang
2010-Apr-12, 11:17 PM
Well, seeing as how some of the permanent bans have been in effect for several years and there would be no visible evidence for a banned poster to see that any such bans had ever been reversed, it's unlikely that any of these individual would ever know to even make such a request today.

A banned member can still read the forum, and can see threads like these, where evidence has been presented that longtime bans can, occasionally, if warrented, be reversed. What would you suggest to remedy the issue? A changed line in the forum rules? A mass email to everyone that has ever been banned? Something else? IMHO, anyone caring to return after a lengthy forced absence can be aware of the potential to petition for a return, or could be made aware of it by any current member they happen to be in contact with.

Jim
2010-Apr-12, 11:21 PM
... Your call, but it seems pretty well stacked against someone who made one mistake and got a permanent ban before the infraction system. It does leave one wondering how such an individual would have fared under a system where there were several steps before capital punishment was imposed.

It is usually not just one mistake.

If you look at - and recognize - my avatar, you will get a clue as to how I approach moderation. Interestingly, the other Mods approach it the same way.

We prefer to keep Members "in the match" by issuing warnings. If warnings don't work, we move to cautions... suspensions. Often, the suspensions escalate. If a Member exhibits a loss of control, a send off or permanent ban may be the only way to maintain the decorum of the Board. In some cases, that loss of control comes before any suspension or even warning has been issued.

This is the way it has been since before I became a Mod, and before the infraction system.

Banning Members is a last resort. No Moderator takes this lightly.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Apr-12, 11:23 PM
Lurker was banned for starting a PM argument with a Moderator over the Mod's actions in a thread and then publishing the contents of those PMs in that thread. In those posts, Lurker admitted that his actions would probably get him banned. As those posts revealed privileged information - in violation of BAUT Rules - they were removed.
Hence my question as to whether such posters might be granted amnesty since it appears to be a one time incident rather than a pattern of behavior.

01101001
2010-Apr-12, 11:31 PM
i for once would not have wanted to wield the sword against... say... Neverfly (who will fly no more now... )


Hmmmm, i was looking at a poster named Lurker who seemed to be well behaved but got banned over a single post that is not visible.

Eulogies for the departed may provoke balancing denunciations. I think neither pro nor con are in good taste.

PetersCreek
2010-Apr-12, 11:45 PM
Hence my question as to whether such posters might be granted amnesty since it appears to be a one time incident rather than a pattern of behavior.

In taking a quick look at posting history and reports, without getting into specifics, it does not seem to have been a one-time incident. Although the pattern did not span a glacier's age, it seems to have been a pattern all the same. Banning after a "last straw" event is not the same as banning for an isolated incident of serious misconduct.

Gillianren
2010-Apr-12, 11:46 PM
Banning Members is a last resort. No Moderator takes this lightly.

Except, of course, banning spammers.

I have one of the highest non-moderatorial post counts on the board. I consider a lot of the people here very good friends, and I talk to all of you a lot more often than I do most of my other friends. I have a lot invested here. And that, boys and girls, is why I obey the rules. (Not entirely true--I'm not generally rude if I can help it anyway, for starters.) People who have been banned know the rules. If they're a long-time poster, they have absolutely no excuse not to. If they have suffered a lengthy suspension for behaviour which does not then change upon the person's return, why would a longer suspension do the trick? Now, I happen to consider the poster whose name we're not mentioning even though he sort of outed himself a friend, but I also understand why he was banned in the first place and have sent him the odd warning to suggest he might want to breathe. People do change, but it takes a lot of effort and there's no real reason to assume they're going to unless they make an effort to show it.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Apr-13, 12:13 AM
In taking a quick look at posting history and reports, without getting into specifics, it does not seem to have been a one-time incident. Although the pattern did not span a glacier's age, it seems to have been a pattern all the same. Banning after a "last straw" event is not the same as banning for an isolated incident of serious misconduct.
Well as I said it your call, but I sure didn't see a pattern. I was just curious.

Swift
2010-Apr-13, 01:30 AM
Well, seeing as how some of the permanent bans have been in effect for several years and there would be no visible evidence for a banned poster to see that any such bans had ever been reversed, it's unlikely that any of these individual would ever know to even make such a request today.

During my time as moderator (about 15 months) I can recall at least one individual who had been banned for over a year, and who petitioned for reinstatement, and after much discussion, this was granted. So, somehow, at least a few people have figured out that they can ask.

But other than the existence of this thread, there is nothing special about this point of time that I can see, that would make such reinstatements any more or less likely than they have been in the past (nor do I see a reason why they should).

ShortS
2010-Apr-13, 01:46 AM
I voted 'not harsh enuff'

Jim
2010-Apr-13, 02:55 PM
Originally Posted by Jim
"Banning Members is a last resort. No Moderator takes this lightly."

Except, of course, banning spammers.

I can't speak for all the Mods, but I don't consider spammers to be Members. Members come here in good faith to actively participate according to the Rules; spammers do not. They are like ticks, barnacles or boils and should be plucked, scraped or lanced promptly to prevent permanent damage.

Arneb
2010-Apr-13, 05:30 PM
I voted 'not harsh enuff'

Oops, what (or who) was that noise?

Swift
2010-Apr-13, 05:46 PM
Oops, what (or who) was that noise?
It was a sockpuppet of a previously banned member, who has returned several times as a sockpuppet.

And no, we will not consider unbanning them.

MessengerM104
2010-Apr-13, 07:04 PM
Do not even go there. This is a very political issue, at least in the US, and it is not an allowed topic on BAUT. No further mention of it and no comments about it, or there will be infractions.

This is a serious warning.

Dear Swift,
you will be elated to learn that i fully accept your reprimand.

It is so much more fun to infract than to hold back.
And it can only be good to be minded,
when the own mind tries to leave one:

to lay bare one's heart to strangers is a silly (albeit human) thing;
to do so in the presence of all them spiders small and large
(which i can sense crawling after me...
day and night...day and night...)
must surely be considered foolish outright(!)

You must believe me that i am not here to stir up trouble.
So: a really G:):)D day to you, Argos... and all the others... (((G:shifty:glebot excepted)))

Buttercup
2010-Apr-13, 07:28 PM
I can think of one case in which it seems justified: A very disgruntled and unpleasant person, seemed only to return to play the victim (still doesn't like the rules, shouldn't have to abide by them [sense of entitlement]), re-harrass the Mods (as though on some sort of self-appointed crusade), make provocative statements to push others' buttons (then act "all surprised" that a response was actually elicited!) ... he seemed to me a very unhappy person who came here to take frustrations out on others. Continually and knowingly. And to top it off, he seemed to honestly believe this should be endlessly tolerated; as if we (particularly Mods/Admin) exist to be his emotional cyber punching bag.

Frankly I think it was all just a game to him; how many more times can I come back until they permanently sack me? Ha ha let's find out...

Who has endless time and energy for putting up with that sort of juvenile inanity? He had plenty of chances and continually kept blowing them. It's to Mod/Admin credit they did allow him a lot of opportunities. He was finally sacked, and well enough. Life is too short for this sort of baloney.

Gillianren
2010-Apr-13, 07:53 PM
It is so much more fun to infract than to hold back.

Only if you're not interested in building relationships with the people here. Dealing with other humans involves obeying certain social conventions, and here, they're codified. Making people angry for no good reason is a sign of poor social skills.

MessengerM104
2010-Apr-13, 08:12 PM
It is so much more fun to infract than to hold back.

Dear Gillanren,
you must please read this sentence as a categorical statement
and not as a declaration of intent!
i hope i didn't anger you
i can truly say that i have formed a high opinon of you over the years...
you must not continue to hold one admittedly uncircumspect uttering against me

Gillianren
2010-Apr-13, 09:15 PM
It's a categorical statement with which I disagree.

MessengerM104
2010-Apr-13, 09:42 PM
It's a categorical statement with which I disagree.

look, part of my regard for you stems from your known (to me) sense of nuances (in the linguistic realm au mois)
so i trust that, with good faith on your part, you will be quite able to discern that this (my controversial remark above) is just a variant of a very old (and yes even trite ) saying (in my cultural sphere at least)
so its veracity hinges on the good (or bad) sense of my *forefathers* :)
and i would not want to have it further discussed

i assure you, that in real life, i have no record for devastating puplic places
or somethin'
i even give my best to do justice to your vernacular (most time)
tru(e)ly!

Argos
2010-Apr-13, 10:08 PM
is just a variant of a very old (and yes even trite ) saying (in my cultural sphere at least)


Down here we say "lose a friend but never miss [the opportunity for] a joke" ;)

Chuck
2010-Apr-14, 12:48 AM
If someone dies on an operating table and is resurrected, is his lifetime ban over?

grapes
2010-Apr-14, 02:35 AM
If someone dies on an operating table and is resurrected, is his lifetime ban over?We'd need a death certificate, of course, and a couple of us want autographs. One said, "ask them about Elvis."

Tensor
2010-Apr-14, 02:59 AM
We'd need a death certificate, of course, and a couple of us want autographs. One said, "ask them about Elvis."

Every one knows that Elvis didn't die, he just went home.

Gillianren
2010-Apr-14, 03:01 AM
I DON'T CARE WHAT IT SAYS. I NEVER LAID A FINGER ON HIM.

(No, my caps lock key isn't stuck.)

01101001
2010-Apr-14, 03:16 AM
If someone dies on an operating table and is resurrected, is his lifetime ban over?

Oh. It's lifetime of the Universe. Not lifetime of the member.

Swift
2010-Apr-14, 01:11 PM
Oh. It's lifetime of the Universe. Not lifetime of the member.
Oh, well, in that case, I promise as moderator, that if the universe is cyclic, that for the next cycle, all bans will be lifted. ;)

jlhredshift
2010-Apr-14, 01:30 PM
Oh, well, in that case, I promise as moderator, that if the universe is cyclic, that for the next cycle, all bans will be lifted. ;)

That's very magnanimous of you.

Chuck
2010-Apr-14, 06:02 PM
Oh, well, in that case, I promise as moderator, that if the universe is cyclic, that for the next cycle, all bans will be lifted. ;)

Great! Now we'll get a lot of spam just before the big crunch.

Kaptain K
2010-Apr-14, 06:42 PM
Great! Now we'll get a lot of spam just before the big crunch.

Which will be erased in the singularity!

tdvance
2010-Apr-14, 07:44 PM
but...but...this IS the next cycle!

Swift
2010-Apr-14, 07:46 PM
but...but...this IS the next cycle!
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

Robert Tulip
2010-Apr-15, 04:01 AM
Unless the behavior is particularly egregious...such as threats of violence or legal action or other abusive behavior...members normally face a series of escalating suspensions before a permaban is handed down.One example in this legal threat category has been discussed at another site as an example of overly harsh approach by BAUT.

Van Rijn
2010-Apr-15, 04:19 AM
One example in this legal threat category has been discussed at another site as an example of overly harsh approach by BAUT.

Do you think it's too harsh to ban someone for making threats?

PetersCreek
2010-Apr-15, 04:35 AM
One example in this legal threat category has been discussed at another site as an example of overly harsh approach by BAUT.
My personal take on those complaints: yeah, if one wants to use the forum as a cheap and easy means of making legal threats with an audience, I suppose they would complain about being denied such a venue. Tough. When making 'harsh' threats of legal action, one should expect a 'harsh' response. If they want to make real, grown-up legal threats, they can assume the burdens of doing so...like lawyers, letters, and all the other traditional forms and customs...and they can address those efforts to the proper parties, through the proper channels.

pzkpfw
2010-Apr-15, 05:47 AM
One example in this legal threat category has been discussed at another site as an example of overly harsh approach by BAUT.

I hope you post on that other site that that conversaton has been referenced here as an example of actions at BAUT being discussed on another forum.

mugaliens
2010-Apr-15, 06:57 AM
Re: "Not harsh enuff - death instead!" I think there are some would-be John Wayners here who've never really had the privalage of delving into the very real lives of people which make up the dynamic system of an online forum. It's not just names - there are real people here. Some of us live, some of us die.

Please keep that in mind.

Thanks.

Mugs

mugaliens
2010-Apr-15, 07:02 AM
My personal take on those complaints: yeah, if one wants to use the forum as a cheap and easy means of making legal threats with an audience, I suppose they would complain about being denied such a venue. Tough. When making 'harsh' threats of legal action, one should expect a 'harsh' response. If they want to make real, grown-up legal threats, they can assume the burdens of doing so...like lawyers, letters, and all the other traditional forms and customs...and they can address those efforts to the proper parties, through the proper channels.

Exactly. Proper legal procedings would procede through proper legal channels - not online here at BAUT. Such action here is not proper, and is proper grounds for banning, as are any other threats.

antoniseb
2010-Apr-15, 10:41 AM
... It's not just names - there are real people here. ...
Thanks. Get's back to my point in post #10 above.

DonM435
2010-Apr-15, 04:00 PM
As it's so very easy to be an internet pest, harsh retaliation for offenses is required. Exceptional cases can be dealt with, but the common pests ought to be shipped out.

Robert Tulip
2010-Apr-15, 10:50 PM
Do you think it's too harsh to ban someone for making threats?If the threat resulting in the lifetime ban was "I say to you again "stop telling lies" or you find yourself in a court of law" and if the statements complained about were in fact lies, then it does seem rather harsh to ban some one for making a vigorous complaint about lies. The other side of this 'legal threat' ban rule is that people who are subjected to defamatory or untrue online comments seem to have limited recourse, especially if the person making the comment is anonymous. I think it is reasonable that if a person makes defamatory or false comments then they should be warned, although it would be preferably through moderators via private message.

slang
2010-Apr-15, 11:11 PM
If the threat resulting in the lifetime ban was "I say to you again "stop telling lies" or you find yourself in a court of law" and if the statements complained about were in fact lies, then it does seem rather harsh to ban some one for making a vigorous complaint about lies.

Does it? Even when the threat of legal action is especially prohibited in the rules? You may dislike the rules, but if they are applied as written then such a decision is not harsh, it's correct.


The other side of this 'legal threat' ban rule is that people who are subjected to defamatory or untrue online comments seem to have limited recourse, especially if the person making the comment is anonymous. I think it is reasonable that if a person makes defamatory or false comments then they should be warned, although it would be preferably through moderators via private message.

So the complaint is actually about a (perceived?) lack of response from admins where a response was wanted.. nothing to do with the OP, IMHO. There are other threads about such issues.

Van Rijn
2010-Apr-16, 01:25 AM
If the threat resulting in the lifetime ban was "I say to you again "stop telling lies" or you find yourself in a court of law" and if the statements complained about were in fact lies, then it does seem rather harsh to ban some one for making a vigorous complaint about lies.


A threat is different from a complaint.

Also, it would take fairly extraordinary statements before I would understand someone going off the handle that far. Far too often, I see a person claiming that someone else is lying when there is no evidence for it. And, even if they are lying, what kind of lies are they? If I say my skin is green, there is no reason to threaten legal action.



The other side of this 'legal threat' ban rule is that people who are subjected to defamatory or untrue online comments seem to have limited recourse, especially if the person making the comment is anonymous.


The first recourse here would be to report the offending posts.

Robert Tulip
2010-Apr-16, 05:53 AM
the threat of legal action is especially prohibited in the rulesLooking at the rules (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=564845) I did not find the specific mention of threats of legal action that I expected from your comment here. The rules do say that banning is a last resort though.

slang
2010-Apr-16, 06:12 AM
Looking at the rules (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=564845) I did not find the specific mention of threats of legal action that I expected from your comment here.

You're right! I could have sworn I'd read it there.. must have been in other posts by admins or moderators.

mugaliens
2010-Apr-16, 06:17 AM
Thanks. Get's back to my point in post #10 above.

Ok. I've included it below for logical progression of thought:


For my part I don't care for the choices given here. None of them support the status quo.

You're right - they bracket the status quo without actually offering it as one of the choices. A more appropriate revised list might read:

1. Ban for life.

2. Ban for 5 years.

3. Ban for 3 years.

4. Ban for 1 year.

5 Ban for 6 months or less.


You either call for death to miscreants (not something I can support)...

Neither can I, as evidenced by its absense in my revised list above.


There are people who come here simply to make trouble, and not to contribute. They should be banned, but it would be inhumane to call for their deaths. Let them find happiness and purpose where they may... just not here.

There are also people who come here initially simply to make trouble, but who might find this online community a rather nice place to be, and change their mind about why they're here. Since that change might occur after they're banned, I believe it would be inhumane to call for permabans, as that's akin to a lifetime sentence for crimes for which a convict on the outside would be up for parole in a couple of years. Keep in mind banning isn't like jail, with reciviticism rates above 80%. Banning doesn't turn soft criminals into hardened ones. Rather, most people who're banned simply grow up.

How long does it take for most of them to grow up? It might be five years, but it might also be a few months. Since we don't know, I feel a nice round figure like a year is an appropriate length of time for a max banning limit.

Except for obvious and incontrovertible spammers...

Spoons
2010-Apr-16, 07:12 AM
But what if most of my posts have been in Fun&Games, and most of my other posts in the serious forums were bad jokes? Who is to decide which amount of my posts have contributed anything of value, if any?
I was happily minding my own business, when I felt my ears burning. Then I found this post and it all makes sense.
________________

It sometimes seems that people try to use the veil of anonymity of the internet as an excuse to be rude to others. I don't think this is acceptable whatsoever. I try to abide by a rule of my own: don't say anything on the internet that you wouldn't say to a person holding a wrench. And a general suggestion I try to stick to: known when to cut your losses and bow out.

I can get rather emotional about things and maybe get carried away, I expect most people can, and I think people need to be aware of that and censor themselves accordingly.

I really can't think of any suspensions or bannings that were that difficult to understand. There may be the odd one that was the result of a misunderstanding, and it's not likely we'll ever stamp out all misunderstandings, but the current system should help to keep that from being a big issue. After all, how many of these little misunderstandings can occur when everyone remains civil and abides by the rules? Possibly suspended once or twice, I wouldn't expect enough to get banned.

Swift
2010-Apr-16, 01:16 PM
You're right! I could have sworn I'd read it there.. must have been in other posts by admins or moderators.
It isn't. It is not an explicit rule. It comes under civility and disruptive behavior. Threatening legal action over postings on an internet forum is disruptive and is very much attacking the person, not the idea.

Frankly, this is an exceedingly rare event (someone threatening legal action) and I don't really understand why there is so much concern about it.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Apr-16, 03:24 PM
A problem with this specific discussion (legal threats) is that the moderators, by necessity, can only discuss certain cases in very vague terms, so the discussion doesn't really have much relationship to the actual case that resulted in a ban.

Robert Tulip
2010-Apr-16, 05:40 PM
Frankly, this is an exceedingly rare event (someone threatening legal action) and I don't really understand why there is so much concern about it.I responded to Peters Creek's mention of legal action because I thought there was one case of banning for this reason that was excessively harsh. I have previously raised this by message report, and can do so again if moderators are open to further discussion on it.

Messier Tidy Upper
2010-May-07, 02:23 PM
@Antoniseb :


For my part I don't care for the choices given here. None of them support the status quo.

I'm open to other suggestions if you care to make them ..


You either call for death to miscreants (not something I can support),

Umm .. that was a joke. Sorry if the humour didn't translate. :(


or you support a maximum duration of one or a few years for banning.

Well five years which is quite a while still -and if they re-offend as soon as they come back then I've no problem with banning them once more for another five years.


There are people who come here simply to make trouble, and not to contribute. They should be banned, but it would be inhumane to call for their deaths. Let them find happiness and purpose where they may... just not here.

Agreed. No argument there.

Messier Tidy Upper
2010-May-07, 02:33 PM
Re: "Not harsh enuff - death instead!" I think there are some would-be John Wayners here who've never really had the privalage of delving into the very real lives of people which make up the dynamic system of an online forum. It's not just names - there are real people here. Some of us live, some of us die. Please keep that in mind. Thanks. Mugs.


Yes. Fair enough. Sorry. It was meant as a joke taken from a line of Monty Python's Life of Brian if you must know. I presumed everyone would understand - if not the exact reference then at least the fact that I was joking there.Sheesh.

Messier Tidy Upper
2010-May-07, 02:44 PM
@ The HalcyonYear : (Signature)


Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give that to them?
Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety.
Even the wise cannot see all ends.

Off topic but that would have to be my favourite Tolkein quote ever. :)