Fraggle Rocker, slander and inappropriate comments

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by S.A.M., May 31, 2011.

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  1. The Esotericist Getting the message to Garcia Valued Senior Member

    It's a combined event, sort of like the decathlon. You have to be really quite mentally agile.
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  3. Enmos Valued Senior Member

    Right now, that's mainly because moderators are at each others throats in public.
    Yes, irony..
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  5. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    soapforums!!!!! becaws we wikes dwama!!!!
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  7. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Yeah, I always thought Signal was a guy too. Odd that, Sig seems so uncharacteristically split from any emotions...thought for sure Signal was male, that's much more of a guy thing in western society...

    FWIW, I think calling SAM a fundamentalist is very incorrect.
    She's a pretty mellow Muslim.

    I imagine she just generally gets way different news coverage than we do over here, so her perspective is very different than most of us.

    We get the pro-Israel slant on our news(Well, yours, the TV moved away from me), she gets the pro-Palestine slant broadcasted...

    But then again, I'm pretty pro-Palestine myself, certainly think they need a lot of taken territory back to be a coherent state.

    SAM also gendered me as S/He.... which will probably earn her a soft spot forevermore in my heart...edited to add: she rescues kitties too...

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    And I think that both Fraggle and Bork's comments were disrespectful
    SAM has her perspective, she usually backs it up reasonably well and articulates it; she's a smart cookie. She deserves to be treated as an equal, even if you don't like her.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Surprisingly, this thread has actually turned into a very useful discussion, with many thoughtful and insightful comments. Not at all what I expected. Well done, everybody!

    (/end patronising (I am serious though.))

    Comments to posts in the order they were posted (because I'm too lazy to sort them by poster):

    I think that if Fraggle was not a moderator, the post would have gone largely unnoticed and unremarked upon. I think that given that he is a moderator, it was a bit out of line, for reasons I have given above.

    Sorry, but I haven't really looked at those remarks, since I've been spending time trying to hose down the Fraggle thing. I don't believe SAM has complained about those comments, though, whereas she did complain about Fraggle.

    I think I dealt with this distortion earlier.

    I don't think so.

    As a general rule, I'm a little averse to jumping down people's throats with the ban stick for every potentially-insulting comment, especially when nobody has hit the "report" button or otherwise complained about it. To do so seems heavy-handed and nanny-state-ish to me. People can generally look after themselves. Having said that, I am of course willing to step in where a member hits the "report" button and registers a formal complaints in line with the site rules.

    I really don't think anybody would really like it much if every time I saw something that might be perceived as an insult I deleted the post or gave the poster an official warning or banned them. You may disagree.

    Both michael and spidergoat have been banned for anti-Muslim comments, as far as I can remember. So I'm not sure what you think they are getting away with.

    Ah, the golden days of sciforums, back in the mythic past where every cloud had a silver lining and people were kind to small children and bunnies! How I wish we could go back in time. The grass was greener. The trees sang. The wind whistled through the birds.

    It tells me that the thread was mentioned in the Moderators forum, Fraggle popped in for look and decided to comment. He has given his own explanation of his motivations above. Accept or reject that as you wish.

    I think CptBork has also given his explanation above. I can't speak for him any more than I can speak for Fraggle.

    What is going on there pretty much mirrors what is going on here right now. In my opinion, we don't really need two threads for this. It could all be done here.

    When moderators are doing something in their official capacities, I think we almost universally post a big banner or red text or something that says "**** Note from moderator ****", or something along those lines. If that isn't there, then it's usually safe to assume moderators are expressing personal opinions, I think. The only real exception is in responses in the Site Feedback and Open Government forums, where direct questions or issues are sometimes addressed to moderators or admin regarding moderation-related matters.

    Fraggle is a moderator. As such, he is fully entitled to access any "backroom discussion" (i.e. the Moderators' forum) that he wants to. In fact, I hope that all moderators keep up with all backroom discussions.

    Carrying stuff from there into the public forums (as in revealing details of private discussions there among the moderators) is mostly not a very good look for moderators. That forum is not visible to the general membership for a reason.

    quadraphonics makes some good points on this:

    Not sure about "y'all". Certain moderators tend to leak more than others. And some tend to leak a lot when they have a disagreement there, which is never particularly edifying to see.

    What I really don't like is when backroom discussions are brought out into the public forums as an attack mechanism by one moderator on another. That is certainly a problem.

    In general, I agree with this.

    Most of the content of the moderators' forum is not a big secret. It's not hard to guess at the kinds of the discussions that are had there. The reason it is not visible is that moderators need to be able to discuss general site issues and particular posters in a full and frank manner. They would not be willing to do so if the forum was visible to the general membership, for what I hope are obvious reasons.

    That's a perceptive point.

    I wonder who'd be first against the wall if quadraphonics ran the show. Would it be me, by any chance? Nothing personal, of course.

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    In principle it would be great to have some kind of rule against intellectual dishonesty. But there are problems even with defining the term, and certainly in defining it so that it can be clearly recognised in individual posts and subjected to moderation. I think that it's over-idealistic to imagine that such a rule could ever really be consistently policed by a diverse group of moderators.

    What I think is that rather than moderators acting as arbiters of intellectual honesty, it should be the members in general who play that role. If you can catch somebody out and show them up for being dishonest or not using the scientific method (if there is indeed just one of those), then post all about it to your heart's content!

    This is a thorny issue, and I really can't address it in proper depth here.

    These examples are fairly clear-cut, I think. But I also think they are caught by our current "no trolling" rule.

    And yes, I agree that debunked threads or arguments re-posted months later are annoying as hell. But they are spotted, and the moderators do tend to catch up with people who use that ploy too often.

    Apparently, we have a by-now thoroughly public disagreement among certain members of the moderator group either as to what amounts to intellectual dishonesty, or whether particular posters are guilty of same, or both.

    Please be careful, though, of talking about "the moderators" as if it's Fraggle vs. the rest. Out of the moderator group, I think we have in the current discussion one or two moderators who are out for your blood, one or two or three who think this whole thing is a little overblown, and a whole bunch more who haven't weighed in with an opinion at all.

    This disagreement would have been much better had in the Moderators' forum. But here we are.

    A few points here. First, moderators here are volunteers. They come here as much to post as members as they do to moderate. Moderating is a time-consuming and largely thankless task, and unpaid volunteers would be unlikely to do it if they were to be restricted from posting as members as a result.

    Second, it is unavoidable that moderators will have opinions on the content of posts. And they cannot apply some of the rules we have without interpreting posts to some extent. That's what makes a moderator's job difficult sometimes. Does the content of a particular post amount to a personal insult to another member? Does a post, or more usually a string of posts by a single member, amount to trolling? Is something hate speech or not? A moderator is often required to form an opinion on such things, and such opinions must be based on content.

    sciforums is not like a scientific conference full of experts in a particular restricted field of study. Some (perhaps many) of our members find it difficult to separate their arguments from their self-image. As you say, many are not trained to think critically, which means they are often unwilling to look at an issue from different angles. Instead, they are more likely to prefer posts that reinforce their prior conceptions, while disliking posts that challenge them. They are often unused to and uncomfortable with sitting on the fence, which is the classic academic stance (though not always adopted in practice). Lastly, academics at conferences generally expect to see each other and interact later on - even to work together perhaps. So, even heated disagreements are usually conducted with some restraint and with a certain level of civility. Internet forums populated by people who think they are anonymous and who have no obligation to interact with anybody any more than they wish are quite different beasts.
  9. sniffy Banned Banned

    Why you lot are behaving as though this here forum is some kind of democracy.

    I mean one thing for the public and another for private.

    Next thing you'll be introducing voting and establishing a fifadom.

    Oh ah....

    Bow to their law!

    Aren't all the honeys around here craaaaazy after all?

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    Discredit 'em, I say.

    Seriously can't we all just get along?


    Let's get ready to ruuuumbbba.
  10. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Well, yanno, selection bias.
    Simple fact is, those with brain cooties get out of the house less...due to the disruptive effects of said brain cooties. Also makes it harder to keep friends.

    Herding brain cooties is a lonely enterprise, my friends...
    Much like riding herd out on the range in West Texas, with just the snakes, the coyotes and the javelina for company.
    So the internet is overpopulated with crazy people.
    *bows* Like yours truly.

    *Adjusts ten gallon hat, swings up onto rangy roan mare, trots off into the sunrise.*

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  11. Anti-Flag Pun intended Registered Senior Member

    That rather poses a problem. As none of us were there it all becomes a bit of a playgroundesque "he said, she said" argument, one which (from our perspective) does not fit with your statements. As far as I can tell some kind or prejudice based on race, sex, or beliefs doesn't really come into the equation, certainly not for the vast majority of other users - It just comes down to SAMs history.
    Then again we're not privy to the private information you're using to publicly attack another mod. :shrug:

    I wanted to make sure the mods felt comfortable with me.
  12. sniffy Banned Banned

    Well that's what the 'sane' ones would have us believe.
    Best let them keep thinking that, eh?
  13. CptBork Valued Senior Member

    I have to say, I didn't pick up any sexual context whatsoever in what Fraggle posted. When I read it I thought he was just saying "welcome to the Wiserhood" like in those beer commercials, minus the masculinity. Like "welcome to the club" of people who think S.A.M. brings an overwhelming bias to her mideast political debates. I didn't think he was referring to the community of mods as overwhelmingly agreeing, to me it looked like he was talking about a large contingent of Sciforums members, including both mods and ordinary members, who have come to know S.A.M. over time and feel the same way about her.

    It looked to me like the reason Fraggle replied to the topic was because I sarcastically asked "how come no one uses big words to defend me?" My comment was just a sarcastic jibe at a certain other mod who often stretches the bounds of reason to defend certain things S.A.M. says (and, I have to say, that particular mod takes way, way, way too many personal shots at the people he's supposedly trying to discipline for taking personal shots). Fraggle's reply, as I saw it, was "sorry, no point in getting involved, we (meaning a large faction) all know there's no use to debating S.A.M. and expecting an objective argument or concession from her."

    So unless I'm missing something from the backrooms, it seems this dispute is getting way out of hand because the accusations are completely disproportionate to the transgressions. Maybe Fraggle was out of line for coming in and saying something unflattering about S.A.M., but I saw nothing sexual about it, nor did I see him as speaking from the throne, and as far as I can tell, he stepped into the thread specifically because I made a sarcastic comment about the moderation. And for my part too- men, women and children, hear me out- I made a mistake, I overstepped the line and made a personal criticism of S.A.M.'s religious outlook/bias which was incorrect, insensitive, unnecessary, and unwarranted. That said, I feel it's also unfair and totally unnecessary to portray me like I'm auditioning for the Ku Klux Klan. A few PM's, warnings, apologies and clarifications would have sorted this mess ages ago and avoided these awful unscientific personality clashes. Maybe someone should just lock this thread so everyone can cool off and stop blowing this up into a personality clash that never needed to happen.
  14. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    I think the major problem is that we are all looking at it from a different perspective. It would seem that Fraggle's post in the thread was a response to backroom posts. The problem is that those who are privy to those backroom posts can only provide opinions because by their very nature those discussions are confidential. So its a he said, she said situation. But the problem here is that when mods use back room discussions as a basis for argument, there is very little recourse for members. I have asked Fraggle directly for evidence and he sidestepped it by referring to two or three year old posts. Why does he need to go back so far? If there is so much of a problem with my discourse, how about something from today, yesterday, last week, last month even?

    From my perspective, it always seems to be that if you put forward a perspective that is not western it is considered biased or dishonest or prejudiced. I've been asked to consider the other side of apartheid and justifications for racism and genocide. Even in the IP debate standing up for secular values is considered an extreme position. I find it completely bizarre to tell you the truth
  15. sniffy Banned Banned

    Doesn't everyone brings an overwhelming bias to a debate? In debates one employs rhetoric, tricks, schemes, insults, baiting et al because the whole purpose of debating is winning. Of course, polarisation is often the result of winning but that's politics all over, isn't it? I mean it isn't as if an American of a certain political bent would bring something so nashty as an overwhelming bias into anything, is it?

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    So what was the issue again? Erring, bias or hypocrisy?

    Btw I adore the comment about 'feeling the same way about her'. Not that feelings would cloud anyone's judgement or anything.

    I mean we're all scientists here, right?

    Not being a hypo meself or anything. Just sayin'.

    Oops I already left.
  16. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater Registered Senior Member

    Moderator moderates a quaderator squatter rating.
    Quag aerator bogs a moderate blogger rating.
    Moderator spots a pod of corroborating collaborators
    ovulating postulating copulating muslim hating codgers raving

    you get my drift.

    No. du'matter.

    As you were.
  17. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member


    You perhaps noted that I cited her use of propaganda rather than Nazism?

    Update your outrage.

    Now, while we're on the subject, how about your injecting racism into the discussion? Is that, too, a bannable offense?
  18. CptBork Valued Senior Member

    I see your point, I think we all change and develop over time, and we shouldn't be held to our behaviours from aeons ago. I know you've had more than your share of discipline since I signed up, and it sounds like even further back you were skewered at least a few times for completely bogus reasons. I sometimes refer to old posts too if I recall something particularly interesting about them, like I did with the DiamondHearts thing, but I should try to avoid that when discussing someone else's present stance.

    Yeah, no doubt there's going to be a western bias here, most of the members and infrastructure are from the west as far as I can tell, and nearly all the rest are living a western lifestyle in once sense or another. I don't pretend I'm not part of it too. Makes me kinda think though, it ought to be perfectly possible to live an enlightened 21st century lifestyle and not see it as a western imposition. People like what they like, and our lifestyles today inherit from a pretty huge array of cultures and traditions.

    On the subject of apartheid, racism and genocide... I guess it's like they say, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. I don't know what scope you're personally referring to, but I do think there's some justifications for certain acts that any reasonable person would find despicable. It wouldn't be fair to expect you not to have strong opinions and to speak like a UN Secretary General, and the users will obviously decide for themselves whether your opinions come from an open mind or a closed heart.

    And lastly, about this IP debate, I don't know what the acronym refers to, but I'm interested.

    Winning is for Charlie Sheen. I just want to find a consistent and honest position which doesn't willfully ignore the truth. I'd also like to find some way of coming to rational consensus and agreement at least on some level, because this is how I'd like things to play out on a much larger scale where lives and livelihoods are at stake.

    I never said they didn't. But hey, I also feel that when I step outside, there's going to be a breathable atmosphere. Some assumptions might be more well-founded than others, sure.

    Not everyone here is trained in the dark arts. In any case, scientists have opinions and emotions just like anyone else, and they can be just as wrong as anyone else.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  19. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Lies! Anti-sceantist! J'accuse.
  20. CptBork Valued Senior Member

    Tu accuse, eh? Uh oh, I'd better have my apology ready for broadcast on the CBC first thing tonight!

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  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I appreciate your civility. I'm not sure I can answer your questions about chronology. If it appears to you that I didn't perform acts in the sequence in which I said I did, then you're probably right. My short-term memory has been legendary since... well I can't quite remember when.
    As I've remarked a couple of times, that was a big mistake and I'm sorry I did it.
    This was not a reference to the particular thread. I was sharing my well-documented observations of Sam's transgressions with a new member, to let him know that he was not alone in being her target. If this software had a better indexing subroutine I could scroll up at least three inline responses to Sam's posts in which I detail the acts of disingenuity and/or intellectual dishonesty, to which she never responded in defense. On her behalf I must add that they are at least two years old, since she now tends to stay out of my way.
    I appreciate your kind remarks. I will attempt to do a better job of living up to them.
  22. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Okay, now I absolutely must insist on these well documented observations being shared. Just give me a gist of your best recollections.
    Do I? I don't recall staying out of your way nor do I recall getting in your way particularly. Could you give me some instances when you felt that I had been avoiding you? If necessary, I will make a point of challenging you for the next 12 months on every post you make to prove it.

    And I am not saying that to be difficult. But if you go through all my posts you will find, besides the points you are searching for, that I make every attempt to back up any statement or opinion I express. And I do not have to avoid people, because unless I am convinced about a POV, I do not state it. And I stand by my opinions and my principles. Relentlessly.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Since the last time I called you on disingenuity and posted my accusation inline in the thread in question, you have very carefully avoided doing anything wrong while I'm watching. Your posts in Linguistics and Arts & Culture have been models of science and scholarship and I've had no reason to complain. You occasionally revert to your old habit of diverting a discussion into the topic of the Israel-Palestine conflict. But as I have told everyone, that is one area in which you and I do not disagree so I generally stay out of those unless you get carried away and simply derail the original discussion--a textbook definition of trolling.

    Even though I post in the other subforums we don't often cross paths there; perhaps we just have different interests. I see just enough of the old Sam to be certain that you have not reformed, but not enough to jump into another moderator's bailiwick. As we have seen, injecting criticism into a thread which one has not read in its entirety is very risky.

    If you want an example, I'll make a point of noting the next one.
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