Moderation. What's okay and what's not?

stilllearning,
We seem to have cross posted above. My comment was not in reply to your post.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.

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How is it that in my reading your posts seem to have evolved from disagreeing with a single thread to attacking people who have been long time posters by saying they are snarky or minions to the snarky and while maintaining that the new posters are the kind and sympathetic ones.

Any group, be it face to face or online, develops it's own culture of what is acceptable. My preference is helpful with enough sarcasm thrown in to keep things interesting.

In any group, people won't always agree on everything, but showing up on the playground demanding things get changed to the way you like them won't work. Calling people names for not immediately agreeing with you is another.

I think we should be kind and respectful to each other, but not to the point that we are so PC that all the fun gets sucked out of the room.
dspeakes Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I appear to be a posse of one because others who
> agree with me will PM me their support but don't
> want to become targets by agreeing with me
> publicly.


I don't believe you.

I'm seeing PMs from many forum members, both newbies and long-timers, who are afraid to express an opinion because they fear being attacked by you. I can't blame them, based on the ugly attacks in your recent posts. It's sad when one very vocal, very abusive poster runs roughshod over a whole forum.
I've never attacked anyone who had not first attacked (or been rude to) myself or someone else. Some of you think it's funny to be snarky and sarcastic. I don't think it's funny when someone comes here with a serious question and gets jokes and sarcasm in return, or gets accused of lying. (Gee, seems someone just called me a liar.)

I was viciously attacked on the first post I ever made here. The FIRST POST. Chewed up and spit out for having the audacity to try to correct some errors that still exist on the "tax" thread in the New Shopper forum. Tried to be helpful. Tried to make a contribution to the forum. Tried to keep people from making major errors on their tax returns. And shredded like yesterday's bank statements by walesmaven, LisaSTL, and a few other long-time members. How dare I try to correct someone who had been here longer than myself! (All those posts were purged when the tax thread was stripped of all but Flash's posts and then locked so nobody else can respond on it any more, regardless of the fact that Flash never held herself out as a tax preparer or tax expert of any kind, and I have been a professional tax preparer for over 20 years.)

So if you think you can find a thread where I threw the first punch, post the links. I don't start the fights but I will defend myself and I will stand up for others.

Time to build a bigger bridge.
In other words, it is your intent to police the forum and pursue your vindictive attacks on forum members until they all are beaten into submission, to right the perceived wrong committed against you over two years ago?

============================================================
"We are all worms. But I believe that I am a glow-worm."

- Winston Churchill

“Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon.”

- Paul Brandt
AustinMom Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I don't believe you.


And yet we're supposed to believe you? It's far more believable that people who feel (or have felt) picked on would PM DSpeakes... since she so vehemently and exhaustingly argues on behalf of those she feels have been slighted. Why would so many people who claim to be afraid of DSpeakes specifically pick you to PM, over any of a handful of other people?

It's asinine for anyone to expect that joking around, snarking, teasing, sarcasm, and other random foolishness should be verboten, or even considered inappropriate. It's asinine for people to think that openly stating dislike or disagreement, or saying something is ridiculous, or someone is wrong about something, is somehow out of line.

It's asinine that the words "attack", "hateful", "abusive", and "bullying" are so overused that they've become nearly meaningless. Sometimes they do fit... but most of the time they're just hyperbole. It's kinda funny how, often, the people throwing those words around fit the description.

It's asinine for anyone to be 'afraid' to post on a public forum, because of what someone else might say in return. Why would anyone give a flying @#$%&? They shouldn't.

Some people seem like they go through life with a cactus stuck where the sun don't shine. Others seem like they need to grow a pair.

Speaking of ridiculous, that's what this discussion has devolved to. The same people making the same points with slightly different verbiage over and over and over.


PS: I vaguely remember the incident Dspeakes related up there, and when that happened, it was also asinine. Especially that her posts were removed from the tax advice thread.

Happiness is merely life's way of keeping you off-balance.
I agree with most of what you are saying, StormCloud. "Bullying" is tremendously overused. You are on target with this:

"It's asinine for anyone to expect that joking around, snarking, teasing, sarcasm, and other random foolishness should be verboten, or even considered inappropriate. It's asinine for people to think that openly stating dislike or disagreement, or saying something is ridiculous, or someone is wrong about something, is somehow out of line.

It's asinine that the words "attack", "hateful", "abusive", and "bullying" are so overused that they've become nearly meaningless. Sometimes they do fit... but most of the time they're just hyperbole. It's kinda funny how, often, the people throwing those words around fit the description. "

As for why should anyone believe what they read on an internet forum, you are right again. They should not. On an internet forum, we are anonymous posters. We can post anything we choose to post. What we post may be true. It may not be true. After reading the posts of individuals on the forum, each forum member begins to "trust" or "not trust" the posts of other posters. Some things we may believe and other things we may not believe, and we are free to have an opinion, and express that opinion, about what we believe or do not believe.

As far as receiving PMs from people afraid to post, yes, I have received those PMs. I have no belief that I am the only forum member who is receiving them. I know of two forum members who have PM'd me of their fear who have also PM'd at least two other forum members. So the posters who are expressing fear to me have not just selected me out of all the other posters on the forum to confide in me, they are selecting several posters and telling their story. But I do not plan to post any PMs, so there is no reason whatsoever for anyone to believe what I am saying, and they are free to comment that they do not believe it. I freely comment when I do not believe something. Having an opinion is every poster's right.

Again - you are right that "It's asinine for anyone to be 'afraid' to post on a public forum, because of what someone else might say in return. Why would anyone give a flying @#$%&? They shouldn't. " Well said.

And I think that's what this thread has become: an argument about whether one forum member is justified in posting personal attacks on other forum members because it is her perception that rudeness has taken place.
Not all those posts were purged and you have simply rewritten history with this one. Some people questioned, some people disagreed and now you claim it to be much more than it actually was. You were not told you shouldn't question anything. You were told Flash had included links and quoted specific IRS regulations which contradicted your posts. When asked to provide information to support your assertions, you said you were going to research some items.

"Tried to keep people from making major errors on their tax returns. And shredded like yesterday's bank statements by walesmaven, LisaSTL, and a few other long-time members. How dare I try to correct someone who had been here longer than myself! (All those posts were purged when the tax thread was stripped of all but Flash's posts and then locked so nobody else can respond on it any more, regardless of the fact that Flash never held herself out as a tax preparer or tax expert of any kind, and I have been a professional tax preparer for over 20 years.)"

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
Several folks who have decided not to post here any more, and others who seldom post, have confided to me that they had MPed Austin Mom when they were distressed by the nasty remarks made to/about them on the forums. I have also met some of them in person at shopper conferences and/or spoken with them on the phone.

WHY would they rely on AM? Becasue she is the gentle voice of reason who can be relied upon to be level headed. However, don't count on her to be all sweetness when you spit in her face! She is a Texan not to be messed with in that manner! I spent quite a lot of time in AM's company at a recent conference and everything that I heard and observed supports her veracity and reliability.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
I have Zero doubt that people have PMed both dspeaks and Austinmom. Some of these threads have gotten ugly all the way around. Much of what is posted here is someone's opinion and when you gather any group of people together people are going to disagree. It is just a fact of life.

If you disagree, fine state your opinion. But when you you demand everyone shares your opinion, trouble will ensue. I would think that anyone who feels like they have been in the middle of a bunch of prolonged arguments may need to look at their posting style. If you want to be a voice of change somewhere you are going to get a heck of a lot further by just inserting a comment and calming stating, " hey has anyone one thought about this possibility?" than you will ever get with starting or extending an argument all the time.

I work in an elementary school and the "he started it" excuse does not work there. Just because someone started it by saying something you did not like, you don't have free reign to continue beating the dead horse. Digging your heels in and refusing to believe that your way is the only possible way to go is not helpful at all.

This place is about business, but is also a place to kick back and enjoy some stories and relax a bit. In the break room at work the stories that get the biggest laughs consistently have a bit of sarcasm thrown in. It isn't going anywhere.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/06/2014 11:20PM by Shelly.
Getting back to the original post, what should or should not be moderated -

Perhaps we would need less moderation if we policed ourselves. Those reading this, here in the meta forum, are mostly regular posters, or at least regular lurkers and occasional posters. So by what guidelines should we police ourselves? What I've pulled from this thread so far is:

We don't want personal attacks.

What constitutes a personal attack? I believe it would be any comment that is directed at a person's character, which includes name-calling either directly or indirectly. As an example, if I think someone's comment was rude or hurtful and I really felt the need to let them know that, instead of a direct label such as, "You are rude and disrespectful," it would be better to say, "That comment came off as disrespectful and sounded hurtful and rude to me." Best would be to just ignore the comment in the first place as often it will just blow over and not sound so bad the next time you read it.

As an example of indirect name-calling or attack on someone's character would be saying something like "I don't believe you." (Sorry, I don't mean to call anyone specific out on this but it's the only example I can think of right now and I'm sure there have been other incidences of this besides this thread.) Saying something like that is basically saying "you're a liar". That's name-calling in an indirect way and while the attempt is to make it sound nice, it isn't; it's mean.

We don't want to be afraid - or cause others to be afraid - to speak our minds.

Let's break that down too. What are we afraid of? Harsh words from others, being labeled or called names and the ever-dreaded "dog pile". If we can police ourselves in that respect too, we won't need moderation. If we want to make a comment, especially one that is calling someone out on a post, and notice that someone else already said it, let's just remove our hands from the keyboard and move along. Dog piles can really crush a person. I've personally been at the bottom of one, and I can tell you it hurts, especially when you weren't trying to be unkind or start anything to begin with.

We want to be free to express our opinions without being told what to post or not post.

Now, there's a tough one. We see a lot of "you shouldn't say that" and "why would you post that". I can only imagine the amount of reported posts the moderators see. I find it ironic that at person would post something like: "You shouldn't post something telling someone what to post or not to post." Am I the only one who sees the irony in that? Again, I believe that disagreeing with the point of their post is appropriate, but chastising them for will only turn the thread ugly.

So, there are some jumping off points for starters. I am going to make a personal commitment to trying to be better at what I post. Do you agree with the above? Disagree? What other things can we do to police ourselves and lead by example?

I'll leave you with this story - the Triple Filter Test by Socrates:

One day, a student ran up to him excitedly and said, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about Diogenes?"
"Wait a moment," Socrates replied, "Before you tell me, I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."
'Triple filter?" asked the student.
"That's right," Socrates continued, "Before you talk to me about Diogenes, let's take a moment to filter what you're going to say.

The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?" "No," the man said, "actually, I just heard about it."
"All right," said Socrates, "so you don't really know if it's true or not.

Now let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about Diogenes something good?"
"No, on the contrary..."
"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something about Diogenes that may be bad, even though you're not certain it's true?"
The student shrugged, a little embarrassed.

Socrates continued, "You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter, the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about Diogenes going to be useful to me?"
"No, not really."
"Well," concluded Socrates, "If what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me or anyone at all?"

The student stared down at his sandals feeling ashamed. This is an example of why Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.

It also explains why Socrates never found out that Diogenes was shagging his wife

There are two types of people in this world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.
LJ, poor Socrates, but "ignorance is bliss". I'm guilty of agitating people who offend me and doubt I can change my response this late in life but I'm going to take a shot at being more cordial. I doubt it will make a difference, as the insulting and offending seldom recognize or respond to courtesy.

Consider this: If offensive posters are not checked, how rampant will the abuse become? Can we control the rude and aggressive by asking the conservative to become even more docile?

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
MDavisnowell Wrote:

>
> Consider this: If offensive posters are not
> checked, how rampant will the abuse become? Can
> we control the rude and aggressive by asking the
> conservative to become even more docile?


That is a very valid point. Okay, so how do we check the behavior without being guilty of the same offense? I agree, becoming more docile will do nothing to correct the problem. So, can we calmly and professionally check it? It isn't easy. When someone attacks me, I fight back - no holds barred. That's where I think I can check myself. I can learn to object without offending. If we all do it, it becomes the norm, doesn't it?

There are two types of people in this world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.
Having been at the bottom of a dogpile or two or three myself, I can attest to to how much it hurts and how it goes on hurting long afterwards. (For me, it's the unnecessary sarcasm that hurts the most and is the hardest to let go of.)

If we all police ourselves and learn how to object without offending, it will at least be a giant positive step forward. Going forward, I will commit to it. Now, how do we do that again, LJ? smiling smiley

(heart)

I intend to live forever. So far, so good.
Heck, don't ask me, Still. I'm very good at rhetoric I still have to figure out how to put my ideas into positive action.

There are two types of people in this world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.
Okay then, I'm going to commit to doing what I can to not make any situation worse. Whatever that means.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
LOL - I think we all need to be committed. spinning smiley sticking its tongue out

There are two types of people in this world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.
MDavisnowell Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Okay then, I'm going to commit to doing what I can
> to not make any situation worse. Whatever that
> means.

Perfect, you will be my role model, MDavisnowell. You lead and I shall follow in your footsteps. smiling smiley

(heart)

I intend to live forever. So far, so good.
LJ Wrote:
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> LOL - I think we all need to be committed. spinning smiley sticking its tongue out

I object and disagree (and something else, but I'm not sure what) smiling smiley

(heart)

I intend to live forever. So far, so good.
LisaSTL Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Not all those posts were purged and you have
> simply rewritten history with this one. Some
> people questioned, some people disagreed and now
> you claim it to be much more than it actually was.
> You were not told you shouldn't question anything.
> You were told Flash had included links and quoted
> specific IRS regulations which contradicted your
> posts. When asked to provide information to
> support your assertions, you said you were going
> to research some items.
>


No, I'm not the one who rewrote history. You're rewriting it now. Go look at that thread. Every single post I made two years ago is gone. Flash's incorrect information stands unchallenged, and uncorrectable, at this point, because the thread is now locked. When I discovered that, I sent Jacob a letter detailing all of the inaccurate or outdated information in that thread and he made no response to my email and has let the thread stand. There were 22 corrections needed. Some of that information is 5 or 6 years old. Things have changed. That thread has not.

Flash did not include links to her source of information, at least not to the particular information I said was incorrect. In the original thread, I copied information right from the IRS website, but that wasn't good enough for you and wales. All you wanted to do was defend Flash, and cite some unnamed CPA who talked at one MS conference who told people what they wanted to hear, even though there was no reference to any IRS publication to back up what was said, and who was contradicted on that point by eight other CPA's another shopper questioned on the matter (her post was also purged from the thread).

The thing I said I was going to research I did research and the only IRS statement I found on the matter supported my position. I quoted that and you continued to argue with me. ("You" collectively, I don't remember who specifically was involved in that particular dogpile.)

Anyone who wants to know what in that thread is incorrect can PM me and I will send them what I wrote to Jacob and the details of all the errors I found in that thread -- a couple of which are repeated in several places.

(Flash, if you read this, it has never been my intention to criticize you for what you wrote. You never held yourself out as a tax expert; you were passing on information you believed was correct, and you hedged a lot of your comments with "I believe this is the case" and other comments indicating you were not claiming expertise. But while some of your advice was good, particularly about record keeping, a lot of it is either not true, not true any more, or true only under some circumstances. The tax code is very complex; there are numerous exceptions, and things change every year. Things that were advisable for you under your situation may be bad advice or even illegal for others. Things that were true in 2008 or 2009 are not true in 2014. Things you said cannot be done sometimes can be done.)

But you, Lisa, are ignoring my point: that I was viciously attacked and ridiculed on my first arrival here, just because I knew some things that the "old timers" didn't know, and they didn't like what I had to tell them. My point was about the ATTACK. Nobody even questioned whether maybe I was right and knew what I was talking about. One of your own was disagreed with, and you all ATTACKED.

Just like the attack that was launched on newcomer Tony Lorenzini, all because someone decided, in the total and complete absence of any proof whatsoever, that he was lying to us. Even after it was proven that he was not lying, the attackers continued to defend themselves, blaming Tony for not being more clear about his situation.

I stood up for Tony. I stood up for Erika. I have stood up for others who were ridiculed, called names, or called a liar here. (And thank you, Storm Cloud, for seeing that.) But because I have stood up for them against the "old guard" or whatever term we want to use for the early arrivers who now think they own the forum, I get attacked over and over again.


The reason I stand up for the attacked is because I know what that feels like, to come into this new place, excited about connecting with fellow shoppers, and the first words out of our mouth we're being called names and run out of town on a rail. Because that's what happened to me.


I read the preceding several posts with interest. I really think if everyone (myself included; I let some of you push my buttons too easily) makes a concerted effort to consider the hurtfulness of what they are inclined to dish out, and maybe consider that very few people actually post here with nefarious or malicious intentions and consider that maybe a request for clarification of what they meant might be better than ripping them a new one for what you think they meant, maybe some of this nastiness can finally stop.

It appears some of us want peace and harmony here. Joking around is one thing. Name calling and accusations of lying are quite another. Let's add a smiley face to the jokes so it is clear when we are joking. Let's stop calling people liars.

And please, let's be gentler with the newbies. All of them. Even the ones who dare to give us advice in their first post. They just might know what they're talking about.

Time to build a bigger bridge.
D, can we start right here and try for peace?

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
Absolutely! I would love to put all this behind us and start trying for peace in the forum!

Time to build a bigger bridge.
Good news for everyone! Thank you.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
Nope, I don't have to rewrite history. The dog with a bone behavior you exhibit today has been evident throughout your entire time on this forum regardless of what name you choose to call yourself today. At least some of us have the cajones to maintain the same alias throughout our time here and own everything we say while others try to bury bad behavior by creating a new persona. That would only work if a leopard were truly able to change their spots.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
Not everyone can have the last word. Will one of you please take the high road and let this conversation move on to working toward positive changes?

There are two types of people in this world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.
I believe dspeakes did exactly that and I applaud her!

(heart)

I intend to live forever. So far, so good.
DSpeakes,

Let's try to break down your assertions of maltreatment beginning with the "VERY" first post you ever made on the forum. You yourself, explain that you were a newbie on the forum. You yourself, assert that your first post was put forth to explain tax information as it pertains to mystery shopping. You yourself, acknowledge that the forum has a long standing member of 20 years that has been trusted by the forum owner to offer information to members of the forum related to tax questions. The trust in that individual has been longstanding, and Jacob has endorsed that persons knowledge on the subject to the degree that the thread has been made a sticky in the new member section.

Then along comes a new poster who has never contributed to the forum, offered an opinion, asked a question, made a comment. There is no forum knowledge of this person's experience as a mystery shopper or a tax expert, other than what is held out by the poster as their own resume. Why do you think it is appropriate for forum members to not comment on this post, especially when the new forum member is offering advice that is opposed to the personal experience of forum members who have been successfully filing their taxes for years as well as disagreement with the forum member that has been offering advice on the topic for years and is sanctioned by the forum owner?? Do you understand or give thought to the idea that anyone could come on this forum, claim to be anyone, and offer correct or erroneous information that could adversely effect thousands of people that might read a post and accept that information, right or wrong?? So I understand that you feel you were treated poorly when you corrected Flash and held yourself out as an authority. Why do you think that everyone else is wrong for not just blindly accepting what you had to say?? If someone came on a public forum that you had never interacted with before and claimed to be a doctor would you blindly follow whatever advice they dispensed to you?? So you may be correct in your information, I don't know what you posted and whether or not it was accurate. But I thank all of the forum members that care enough about this forum and it's members to question any information offered up as accurate that emanates from an unknown source.

============================================================
"We are all worms. But I believe that I am a glow-worm."

- Winston Churchill

“Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon.”

- Paul Brandt
LJ Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Not everyone can have the last word. Will one of
> you please take the high road and let this
> conversation move on to working toward positive
> changes?

smiling smiley

(heart)

I intend to live forever. So far, so good.
I also applaud D for taking the first step forward.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
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