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So... moderation around here, what's up with that?

 
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So... moderation around here, what's up with that? - 9/9/2011 7:07:15 PM   
Nemo121


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I have a query and possibly an issue with moderation around here... I don't think it is terrible but I do wonder if stuff is slipping under the radar and causing harm to the forums without Matrix being aware of it.

I've recently had a situation where I've been given a warning for "psychoanalising" a poster and told that that is always bound to cause offence - which is something I can't agree with. Describing someone's unwillingness to engage with the reality of a post when that's what they've actually done is just, I think, calling a spade a spade. It has been admitted by Erik Rutins that I wasn't offensive and didn't break forum rules but for drawing a link between the behaviour I saw and a psychopathalogical phenomenon I have been given a warning. I should point out that I'm a psychiatrist and lecture in psychiatry in a university and so, to me, describing behaviour in psychopathological terms is simply the stuff of daily life.

Still I accept that people can differ and someone can find offensive something that others think is just fine.. My problem with this is as follows:
1. When I AAR games I often try to discern what the opponent is up to. Right now the way the warning is worded it appears I could get banned for just doing what I normally do in an AAR in order to explain to those following the AAR what I think the opponent will do and why. I think that's unfair.

2. I find it stigmatising as a mental health professional to equate describing behaviour in psychopathological terms as being, somehow, sure to cause offence. Why should people be offended by having an appropriate descriptive label ascribed to their behaviour? Having a behaviour described isn't the same as being labelled with a diagnosis and it certainly isn't insulting. It is just using the appropriate terminology to describe what is going on.

3. In my sig is a quote from another poster on that very same forum. I felt so aggrieved at what I felt was clear bigotry which broke forum rules that I contacted Matrix management to report this poster. I tried several times but never, once, got a reply.

I find it highly questionable that people get warned for doing something on the basis that it doesn't break forum rules but, somehow, psychoanalysis is offensive whilst others who are developers or linked to developers can seemingly say things which are bigoted and quite possibly racist without any punishment.

If you don't think it is racist just ask yourself how you would react to it if you replaced "Euro Nazis" with "African Americans" or "Jews" or "Americans". I think it is clearly offensive when you do that.


With all of that said... I've got a warning. I happen not to agree with it but I'm willing to take the warning. I am however concerned that:
a) normal AAR posting and opinions about others may now be deemed fair game for warnings and banning - since according to the warning all people would find such "psychoanalysing" offensive

b) the implication that using psychological terminology is somehow "sure" to cause offence - I think that's highly stigmatising for those with mental health issues and also detrimental to normal discourse where correctly identifying what's going on is just factual commentary.

c) there be some sort of explanation about why the bigoted and ( IMO ) racist post which is quoted in my sig hasn't resulted in any action. Maybe Matrix think it isn't offensive or in breach of forum rules. I wouldn't agree but at least it would be an answer. As it is there's no evidence they ever even looked at the PMs or emails.

I attempted to PM Erik Rutins ( who gave the warning ) but his inbox is full. I wished to handle this privately but since that option isn't open I'm posting here. Hopefully an explanation can be given here also.

Also I'd be interested as to how others find the Matrix Forums' moderation? A lot of people on the AE forum have fairly significant issues since there's a general perception that some people can bully others and say anything and get away with it with the result that a fair few people have left the forum recently. Maybe that's only a perception, maybe that's true but limited to a single forum, maybe that's more widespread? I don't know, I'm not in every forum there is.

I really amn't sure. I don't see the same stuff in the BoB, Eagles over the Reich or War in the East forums but Matrix has a lot of forums so that's a small sampling of the forums. I think things are out of hand on the AE forums though. I'm not trying to create hassle, I'm actually just asking for some reassurance re: normal AARs not being overly restricted, some understanding that just mentioning a psychological description shouldn't be viewed as something offensive ( that's very stigmatising ) and, hopefully, some action ( via increased moderator input into the AE forums ) on some of the abuse which occurs on the AE forums and which, IMO, merits labelling as bullying by one group of players of those whom they, for various reasons, dislike - a clear breach of the forum rules.

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Well, that's that settled then.
Post #: 1
RE: So... moderation around here, what's up with that? - 9/9/2011 7:21:10 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 32900
Joined: 3/28/2000
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Hi Nemo,

You can always reach me at erikr@matrixgames.com if you wish to discuss anything in private. Sorry, I should have put that in the post with the warning.

Regarding the warning, the point I was trying to make is that among most people I know, telling someone you don't know well that they may be delusional is generally considered insulting. It isn't possible to really figure people out or get to know them well only through internet posts, from what I've seen over the years. People can have very different in-person vs. online personas and different threshholds of what they feel are acceptable behavior. While I respect your experience as a professional, I think that the reality of internet forums is that if you tell people they may be crazy and that this is your professional opinion, they will still take it as an attack or an insult.

Psychoanalysis itself is not offensive. The point I'm making is that most people would find this kind of "remote" psychoanalysis through forum posts to be offensive and I think they'd have a point, especially when the conclusion isn't simply "you may want to speak to a therapist, as a professional I am somewhat concerned by your posts" but an actual diagnosis. Please note that to people who are not mental health professionals such as yourself, your comments read like a diagnosis.

Regarding the other post in your quote, I'm sorry you did not receive a reply. I'm certain that whatever happened there, it was just missed.

There is no question that we do not have enough moderators or time to read every thread and be familiar with every poster's history. For this reason alone, I understand that some of our actions may go too far in one direction or the other. Generally, when a post or a poster is reported to us, we read the entire thread and make a judgement based on that. In this case, the poster who made multiple attacking posts was the main problem, the other poster seemed to be the secondary problem, but as far as I could tell some of your posts played a role in making the thread more personal rather than keeping it on topic.

Regards,

- Erik



< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 9/9/2011 7:22:28 PM >


_____________________________

Erik Rutins
Director of Product Development


For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

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(in reply to Nemo121)
Post #: 2
RE: So... moderation around here, what's up with that? - 9/9/2011 7:37:56 PM   
Nemo121


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Erik,

MANY thanks for the reply. Sorry about not emailing, I honestly didn't know the email address or I would have used it. I only posted publicly because I was so frustrated at being pulled up and warned when far worse stuff happens every week in the AE forums. I'll drop you an email tonight or tomorrow, if you don't mind, about the Osterhaut post. I really do think it bears having some action, even this much later. I know several forum members who left when there was no moderator action about his post.

As to the diagnosis thing.... Understood. I don't necessarily agree but I can see where you are coming from. I'll try to bear that in mind in future. Honestly, to me, it was just another descriptive label - to be fair I had just given a lecture on descriptive psychopathology that day so that probably played into it. I don't think he is crazy or psychotic or even mentally ill. I just think his view of what I wrote and what I actually wrote bore no relation to eachother - one way to describe that is a delusional perception ( defined as someone having a real sensory input ( a written message ) but delusionally interpreting it ( in this case taking, " I did NOT say x" as being " I DO think x" ). I get what you are saying though, it certainly wasn't my intent to create that impression at all. I understand though that some people may not be aware of the mantra that "We're all allowed a psychotic episode or two" and so would conflate psychosis with "crazy". Honestly, we've probably all had a psychotic episode or two, its a normal part of the human experience.

Again, thanks for the reply, I really appreciate it and the fact that you dealt with the issues I raised fairly and openly. Kudos.




_____________________________

John Dillworth: "I had GreyJoy check my spelling and he said it was fine."
Well, that's that settled then.

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 3
RE: So... moderation around here, what's up with that? - 9/9/2011 7:41:11 PM   
mdiehl

 

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It isn't psychoanalyzing unless you have (1) a patient (I am not your patient), (2) alot more information than you had when you made the overtly defamatory proclamation that I may be "delusional" and (3) qualifications. I won't dispute the third. I do think that any qualified person in the field would not engage in such speculative, inflammatory discourse based on such a limited information base and in a public format. In the United States, you might even lose a license to practice in the field.

As Erik and OTHERS pointed out, speculating that a person may have a cognitive disorder is naturally offensive, especially when it seems like your purpose in doing so is to simply delegitimize another person's arguments by delegtimizing the person you're talking to. Whatever your INTENT, that is how you came across. I and two others have already noted that.

I too disagree with Erik's choice to send me a warning. In my view, I gave you a lot of room to back off what you were doing before I let you have it.

By the way, I also have a PhD. It's not a license to engage in defamatory speech. It's just a document that says you completed coursework and sufficient independent research in a field to be recognized as basically competent in that field.

_____________________________

Show me a fellow who rejects statistical analysis a priori and I'll show you a fellow who has no knowledge of statistics.

Didn't we have this conversation already?

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 4
RE: So... moderation around here, what's up with that? - 9/9/2011 8:01:17 PM   
Nemo121


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Joined: 2/6/2004
Status: offline
mdiehl,

Please leave me alone. I do not believe you to be sufficiently even keeled right now for me to associate with you safely. I have disengaged entirely from you and haven't replied to anything you've posted or even posted about me in days and would appreciate if you would refrain from ever contacting me again.

Given Erik's warning against any psychological commentary I can't go into details as to why but suffice it to say I've seen this sort of thing before and I don't feel safe with you following me to other threads and posting to me. I ask you to desist, please.

I won't reply to anything you write again. I just really would like you to leave me alone. Also I'd just say I NEVER diagnosed you. I described an error in your cognitive processing using correct terminology. I am sorry that you found that offensive. I'm happy to apologise if you felt offended, that wasn't my intent. I merely sought to describe what I was seeing accurately.

Irrespective of anything else - I wish you the best in the future. I do hope that that future won't involve posting anything to me though. I'd ask you to respect that.

< Message edited by Nemo121 -- 9/9/2011 8:04:25 PM >


_____________________________

John Dillworth: "I had GreyJoy check my spelling and he said it was fine."
Well, that's that settled then.

(in reply to mdiehl)
Post #: 5
RE: So... moderation around here, what's up with that? - 9/9/2011 8:08:50 PM   
mdiehl

 

Posts: 5998
Joined: 10/21/2000
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If you're going to start a thread in a separate forum in which you continue to speculate about me, by proxy, referring to our other thread, people will let me know about it. Your further attempt to defame (in this case, now suggesting that I might comprise some sort of threat to your safety), and your unwllingness to correct your own behavior on advise from people other than myself suggests, I think, that you need to shine that speculative spotlight that you like to wave around, upon yourself.

I'll green button you, then. You've certainly earned it, and it should be an acceptable action for both of us.

_____________________________

Show me a fellow who rejects statistical analysis a priori and I'll show you a fellow who has no knowledge of statistics.

Didn't we have this conversation already?

(in reply to Nemo121)
Post #: 6
RE: So... moderation around here, what's up with that? - 9/9/2011 8:34:10 PM   
Perturabo


Posts: 2262
Joined: 11/17/2007
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2/10 Way too obvious. Your avatar gave you away instantly.

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Without social solidarity manifested in the form of welfare state, people inhabiting one territory are a non-nation of mortal enemies engaged in competition for survival.

(in reply to mdiehl)
Post #: 7
RE: So... moderation around here, what's up with that? - 9/9/2011 8:59:30 PM   
carnifex


Posts: 1295
Joined: 7/1/2002
From: Latitude 40° 48' 43N Longtitude 74° 7' 29W
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nemo121

Please leave me alone.

associate with you safely.

refrain from ever contacting me again.

I don't feel safe with you following me to other threads and posting to me.

I just really would like you to leave me alone.

I do hope that that future won't involve posting anything to me though.


Hey bro, let me clue you in to something. YOU are the one that chose to make this whole spectacle public by starting a separate thread about your little psychodrama. If you have a beef with the moderation then send a PM to the moderators, and don't make new threads about it and certainly don't make a signature that questions the moderation of this forum.

No one cares about your professional degree or why you use the terms you use or whatever.

Lastly, replying to people's posts ISN'T associating with anyone and ISN'T contacting anyone. And as for "feeling safe", what are you, a drama queen? You actually feel in danger? Christ.

You know that green button that says IGNORE USER in the lower left corner of everybody's post? Why don't you give that a shot? All off a sudden this forum will be all warm and fuzzy for you, I guarantee it.

Man, I just love to interject myself into other people's arguments. I have a degree in that, you see.

lolz




(in reply to Nemo121)
Post #: 8
RE: So... moderation around here, what's up with that? - 9/9/2011 9:15:54 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 32900
Joined: 3/28/2000
From: Vermont, USA
Status: online
Hi mdiehl,

The original post did not mention you, link to the thread or otherwise defame you. It was a question on the decision I made as a moderator. I also find it to be notably poor internet etiquette to jump into this thread and try to continue the "debate" you were having on the original thread. While you did not exactly attack Nemo, I can understand why your behavior is making him uncomfortable. This forum is intended as a civil and friendly place to share our interest in this hobby, not a place for personal attacks or other juvenile behavior.

You are very, very close to getting some time off from the forum. Since you and Nemo seem to have agreed to ignore each other, I'm going to lock this thread and see if things can calm down.

Regards,

- Erik

_____________________________

Erik Rutins
Director of Product Development


For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.

(in reply to carnifex)
Post #: 9
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