Ban notification anarchy

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by Q-reeus, Jul 24, 2021.

  1. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    4,690
    Something that has puzzled and annoyed for years. Neatly displayed on the one page:
    http://www.sciforums.com/threads/the-scientific-method-is-useless.106991/page-7

    p7 #124 - Pincho Paxton - two visible ban notifications on public display - one with red highlighted banner.

    p7 #127 - Dennis Tate - zero public notification shown of any life ban. Yet Life ban confirmed as of June 21 2021 in Banned Users thread listing. Only knowable after a member log in.

    And this situation is repeated many times in reference to many ex-members going back quite a few years, although I can't recall when the prominent red banner first came into vogue.

    So what gives? A free for all with mods free to choose at whim whether to keep Ban notification publicly hidden or prominently displayed? Are there degrees of 'permanent' bans implied?
    Like for instance Dennis Tate is in a special category where he could be quietly readmitted sometime down the track? Whereas Pincho is really really life banned? Or just organized chaos?
     
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  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    If one has been banned and the digits in their name add up to 10 (or greater) then the ban will be displayed in red.
    If one has been banned and the digits in their name is less than 10 then the red flag is not displayed unless they had 50 warning points prior to the ban, within a 6 month period, and were not able to avail themselves of a dispensation and if they were unwilling to say 10 Hail Marys.

    The exception to this rule would be if they were given a warning but not a stern warning then there is some leeway for the moderator. When in doubt the square root of the number of warning points is used as the basis for a temporarily ban rather than a permanent.

    I hope that is clear enough.
     
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  5. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    Abundantly. The front runner theory so far

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    . We mere plebs don't have a lot to go on. And on past performance here at SF, that may continue indefinitely. Need to know basis seems to be it in general.
    Plebs don't need to know.
    Positive spin - every forum needs some distinctive to make it stand out from the rest. SF has one right here!

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    (Must not forget emoticons! Confusion might reign supreme.

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    )
     
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, forums need to be distinctive. SF's motto can be "Do you need a good talking to, a lecture, a warning, a little moderating? Make SF your home!"

    Or, "Are you SF material? We've kept our membership small, exclusive, do you have what it takes?"
     
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  8. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    Right. Such a distinctive policy could explain a lot re participation levels and a tendency towards shall we say, standardized attitudes.

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    Gawd - let's hope this impertinent banter hasn't ruined any chance of a useful disclosure event. Crossed fingers.

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  9. WillNever Valued Senior Member

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    In the past, many bans that were done in this forum were due to personal vendettas by specific moderators who directly engaged with normal users in pages-long debates about controversial topics. As is common on the internet, both individuals were unwilling to change their minds on the matter in question. Therefore, the debate would intensify without resolution until the point at which emotions boiled over.

    This created an inherently unfair situation due to the power differential. Even though the moderator had varying degrees of culpability too, they were an authority figure with unilateral power to end the discussion and ban the user. And they often did so while making a dramatic display of it within the thread. Sometimes they would even give "time limits" in which the other user would be required to publicly apologize and admit they were wrong within 12 hours or be banned... LOL. I used to work 12-hour shifts, so that idea always seemed ridiculous to me.

    There is a hilarious conversation in my PM box from an incident in which a moderator gave me a public warning after a different moderator was rude to me in the thread, and I ask the moderator why I'm the one who is getting publicly scolded, and he actually states it is due to "professional courtesy." For those who do not know, "professional courtesy" is the practice in which police don't arrest each other for various crimes they witness each other committing -- most notably driving under the influence of alcohol. Instead, they arrest everybody else. Meanwhile, the drunk off-duty police officer gets off scot-free and receives a free ride home from one of his badge wearing buddies.

    Going over the ban list, I recognize a lot of longtime users who I am very surprised to see have been banned over the last several years. It almost appears as if being permanently banned is an eventuality on the board, at least for some people, and it may help explain why there there is a current shortage in active users.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
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  10. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    And it's not just the mods with their ability to ban on at times rather thin pretexts.
    An example imo illustrating an unhealthy climate at SF in general, browse down this sub-forum and check out a thread titled 'Divide and Confuse - Backfires!' (Currently 6th entry p2).

    As an aside, imo the majority of cops in first world countries do their best to be impartial upholders of the law when dealing with the general public. There will always be a fraction who are inherently bigoted or maybe through burnout or simple greed become corrupt. Inevitably the intentionally encouraged, to promote morale, watch-each-other's-backs brotherhood culture will lead to usually minor 'professional discretion' cop dealing with e.g. drunk off duty cop situations. When it gets to excusing/lying about serious misconduct is where one hopes internal investigation units do their job to clean things up. Human nature being what it is, this is a never ending cycle. Reflected in the world at large. Utopian dream would be a humans as robots nightmare.
     
  11. WillNever Valued Senior Member

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    Offtopic point: The problem with free passes for minor offenses (DUIs are not that minor) is that they pave the way for free passes for the serious misconduct you mention. When an officer gives you a ride home in the front of his car instead of arresting you for a legit DUI, you will feel indebted. You may have lost your job if it weren't for him, etc. There is a good chance you will be inclined and perhaps even be pressured into turning a blind eye when he does something more serious -- like monkeying around with evidence. That's how it works. Also, when it comes to policing, "internal investigations" is almost a contradiction and they are inherently flawed. They should almost all be external.

    On a lighter note: below is the hilarious conversation I mentioned... LOL. Normally, I would never publicly disclose even a very old PM to others, but I notice this moderator is, as of four years ago, no longer even on sciforums. Therefore, just for the sake of levity, I feel comfortable posting this very humorous exchange from 2009.

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    That bald guy, who looks like a liquid cleaner mascot, had a HUGE chip on his shoulder, often crassly bragging about his annual income -- LOL. He was also well-known for losing his temper and "going rogue." After a thread goes awry, most moderators just lock the thread while leaving the offending posts intact, but not in his case. Since my exchange with his fellow moderator painted him in bad light, Mr. Clean up there "scrubbed" it from the thread so no one could see it, lol.

    Anyway that's old news... but it's humorous to look back on, and I'm just posting it to give people a laugh. I don't know if that sort of a thing still goes on, but that sort of behavior used to be rampant.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
  12. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    Can't recall bumping into that mod in my time here so I guess it goes back quite some years. But yeah it's pretty typical for mods to denigrate a complainant as 'immature' and various words to that effect. I'm tempted to say they watch each others backs cop style, but no doubt you are aware of the multi-page flaming wars between mods that erupt here from time to time.
    Nice dysfunctional 'family atmosphere' here at SF. But it can be entertaining, even informative and educational on rare occasions.
    Lurking is the safest option obviously, but some of us aren't reticent to stick our necks out knowing the likelihood to cop flak.
     
  13. Bells Staff Member

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    24,030
    I've noticed it that as well.. I think it's something to do with the software and how the ban came to be. Some spammers have the pink/red banner, others do not.

    Same with members.

    I don't remember or know of Pincho's ban (it was back in 2013 or something).. But a look at his profile sees a lot of infractions for trolling and flaming, so it's possible his ban came about by the nature of the system at the time.

    I posted a public post when Dennis was banned, as well as a post in the moderator's forum.

    You can find the public one here: http://www.sciforums.com/threads/wh...e-using-rna-vs-dna.164336/page-8#post-3678064

    Sometimes we post a public notification, particularly if the person has been posting in an active thread, such as with Dennis and with Jan Ardena recently (who was at the end of his ban cycle (another temporary ban would have resulted in his being system permanently banned) and was on a temporary ban and decided to create a sockpuppet to try to bypass that temporary ban - which will usually result in a permanent ban).

    And sometimes we do not post such public notifications because the situation does not warrant it.

    We do have a moderator's sub-forum where permanent bans are often discussed prior to their happening in many instances and where temporary and permanent bans of members are posted, along with links, and reasons for bans. We also have threads where we post any warnings we may issue, along with links, how many points and how long those points remain active.
     
  14. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks for the courteous point by point reply. Which though seems to confirm my thesis - there is no unified, consistent ban notice policy.
    I have no issue with banishing without public notice drive-by spammers whether human or bots. That situation is self-explanatory to anyone.
    Public notifications you refer to re ex-members seem to all be of the kind shown in #1616 here:
    http://www.sciforums.com/threads/religion-and-women.163938/page-81
    Which if that were the extent of 'public notification' is fine for those members following the thread or accustomed to trawling through all forum topics for the latest.
    What I mean by public notification is as per #1614 that prominent red banner banned notice automatically displayed on every single post he/she has ever made here at SF.
    Some recent such banned notices are without the red banner but nevertheless still displayed on every relevant post.

    Then we have the situation with say Dennis Tate. No ban notice posting equivalent to that for Jan Ardena in his last posted to thread. Nor anything corresponding to Jan Ardena's automatically displayed red banner notice two posts earlier there.
    Both have precisely the same profile 'Never, Permanent,' etc. crosses against their names in the logged in members only available Banned Users thread.

    Hence my query as to 'degrees of permanent banning'. Whether 'permanent' doesn't always mean 'permanent', but more of 'indefinite exile with chance of pardon and return in time'.

    The main 'practical' consequence of permanent bans that aren't automatically displayed on all ex-member posts is imo that especially newbies will often innocently try and respond to posts of interest by said banned folks and be left wondering why there is the cold shoulder treatment. Which actually isn't. Such frustration surely can be fairly easily remedied! Just double checked to make sure one can respond to a banned users posts without any warning message showing.
    Maybe the thinking is some other poster in the relevant thread will clarify for the newbie or whoever who mistakenly replied. But experience here suggests that will be a very hit and miss thing.
     
  15. Bells Staff Member

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    24,030
    A permanent ban is a permanent ban.

    As such, they cannot post on this site on those accounts again, unless those bans are lifted.

    If they create a sockpuppet, the usual policy is to ban them.

    If people become a pest, then we look at doing an IP ban. If people keep coming back over and over again on other accounts, we ban those too.

    The red banner thing is just a software thing. We don't really have any control over that, I'm afraid.
     
  16. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

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    11,341
    This is a boring whiny thread, but I was happy to see this:
    'Bout time...
     
  17. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    4,690
    OK thanks. A certain 'flexibility' exists as suspected. Good to know.
    A pity but that's life I guess.
     
  18. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    Bitching about 'whining'. How sweet.
     
  19. WillNever Valued Senior Member

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    I think it's a funny thread.
     
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    The thing is that the Pincho case occured under a different software framework.

    My first thought was that Pincho Paxton was banned through accrued infraction points, which would trigger a permanent ban, but Dennis Tate was banned directly, by a switch available to directly assign sufficient points; it is a separate software subroutine or pathway that might have simply not activated the red banner. This, however appears to be incorrect; I just checked a 2020 ban through accrued points, and there is no red banner.

    So my present suggestion is that the red banner is activated along a pathway that exists in the current software (XenForo), that was activated when we folded in our database from the prior (JelSoft), but is not used by our infraction system at this time.

    I have not surveyed the intervening years, so, no, I can't promise that's the actual answer.
     
  21. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    4,690
    Thanks to all the folks contributing useful content. Clearly not a simple situation but it all makes more sense now than at first sight.
     
  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    What kind of grudge are you carrying that you feel the need to slag off about something somebody did back in 2009 - to insult the guy and take him to task when he isn't even here to respond to your venom?

    Get a grip.
     
  23. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    When in doubt, you can always look at the “banned users” at the top of the page. That will always be updated. I know you know that, but if the banner isn’t consistent...
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2021

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