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Baen Bar closed down.

For anyone who might want to have a side conversation...you're welcome here!
Re: Baen Bar closed down.
Post by The E   » Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:19 am

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Actually, Dilandu, do you have any experience whatsoever when it comes to moderating fora or chatrooms? Or, more generally speaking, community management?
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Re: Baen Bar closed down.
Post by Dilandu   » Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:51 am

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The E wrote:Actually, Dilandu, do you have any experience whatsoever when it comes to moderating fora or chatrooms? Or, more generally speaking, community management?


Yes, albeit limited. Moderated one Russian alternate history society for a few years, after "no modern politic" rule was implemented.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
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Re: Baen Bar closed down.
Post by Dilandu   » Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:06 am

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The E wrote:But that's not the point here: Yes, all of that is true, but the accusation isn't "Baen's Bar is full of white supremacists daydreaming about a civil war" - it's "white supremacists are daydreaming about a civil war on the bar and this is tolerated by the staff", which due to the factors pointed out above, is an issue that Baen should address.


Okay, lets assume that Baen's fire Ringo and Kratman (not particularly big loss for science fiction anyway), and start to moderate hard & remove every such political masturbation. Would it means that armchair militias became so ashamed of themselves, that they would immediately feel remorse, drop politic discussion and join the humanitarian organizations?

I raher suspect that not. They would just find new outlet for exchanging dreams about big, muscle-ripping tough militia warriors (kinda sexy, actually ;) ) slauhtering the ravaging liberal hordes. And even if you implement total blockade along the whole web, they would just go to darknet, to private networks, and become even more enthusiastic (since they are, well, presecuted).

So I rather fail to see what would be the results.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
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Re: Baen Bar closed down.
Post by Dilandu   » Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:10 am

Dilandu
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The E wrote:
I can absolutely tell the difference between a direct threat of imminent violence and people posting on a message board.
However: We live in an environment where "people posting on a message board" were creating an elaborate conspiracy theory from whole cloth where pizza parlors were secretly sites where kidnapped children were trafficked to the rich and powerful that at least one person took seriously enough to hold the employees of a pizza place at gunpoint. The risk that something like this happens is low, granted; it takes a lot of stuff to make things go that wrong. But if you're a community moderator, you have to ask yourself this: Knowing that the risk of someone daydreaming so hard that they shove their guns in people's faces exists, can you justify letting people do that without occasionally pumping the brakes or pouring some water over a discussion that goes beyond the boundaries of rhetorical hyperbole?


I know. And? How do you propose to solve the problem of peoples being idiots? Okay, you close the right-wing weird ideas; but would it made idiots even a bit smarter? No, they would just find other ideas to cling on.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
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Re: Baen Bar closed down.
Post by clancy688   » Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:16 am

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Dilandu wrote:So I rather fail to see what would be the results.


People always gonna steal, so what's the point in having a police?
People will always do drugs, so why have drug laws?
People will always evade taxes, so why tax laws?

The point is to make it as hard as possible for these people to do harm and especially to not enable and legitimize them. Ofc it's impossible to completely shut them off, but that's not the point. The point is to make clear that society at large doesn't approve of their dangerous ramblings.


Okay, lets assume that Baen's fire Ringo and Kratman


I don't think anyone called for that, at least not in this thread. This affair is only about moderation in the bar, nothing else.
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Re: Baen Bar closed down.
Post by The E   » Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:29 am

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Dilandu wrote:Yes, albeit limited. Moderated one Russian alternate history society for a few years, after "no modern politic" rule was implemented.


I was a community management person for a large-ish community (~100 to ~1000 active members) for 10 years, covering a forum, an IRC chat (when that was a thing) and a Discord server. In that time, our moderation policies changed a lot: We started off with a fairly hands-off stance; we allowed all manner of discourse to happen without banning or, for that matter, intervening much in discussions even as they turned toxic. What that resulted in, much as what we can observe in the bar, is that people who might have been interested in joining the community took a look at some of the discussions that were happening and then left without telling us about it: Without knowing it, the environment we thought was inclusive and open had turned closed-off and insular because people took a look at threads in which prominent community members were opining about the proper place for a woman in war to be at home making babies and decided not to enter.

When we changed some of those moderation policies after creating the Discord server so that we actually intervened earlier and more proactively, we saw an influx of new people who were enthusiastic about joining the community but who were turned off by what they saw on the forums, because now they felt safe to be female or be trans without having to defend their existence to some nerds.

The point here is that, without a Sanford of our own, who told us that there's a problem there that we need to take care of, we never would have changed. If we had reacted to criticism of our approach to moderation the same way that RFC and Flint had reacted to Sanford here, we wouldn't have changed a thing - and, as a consequence, we would have turned away people who are now valued community members because they would have never registered.

Dilandu wrote:Okay, lets assume that Baen's fire Ringo and Kratman (not particularly big loss for science fiction anyway), and start to moderate hard & remove every such political masturbation. Would it means that armchair militias became so ashamed of themselves, that they would immediately feel remorse, drop politic discussion and join the humanitarian organizations?


If I were to ban fascists from the bar I run, does that mean I have solved the fascism problem in the country? No, of course not. But I have made it clear that fascism carries with it certain consequences, in this case, that fascists don't get to eat the food I make or enjoy the company of the non-fascist regulars (note that this is hypothetical; I do not own a bar).
Some people, who got only on the fascism train because they heard about it at my bar however might turn back from that because they value being at the bar over being fascist.

The point here isn't to fix the problem completely. The point is to deprive people who might turn a community toxic of the fertile ground they need. The point is to position myself and my community in a way that is unmistakably one thing over the other, and make clear the values that define the community.

"Free Speech" isn't something you can build a community around. It's an environment in which communities can be built, but lines have to be drawn clearly to make clear what is and is not acceptable conduct for a member of the community to do.


For the community I helped run (I don't anymore because it was turning into a real unpaid job that I had to expend too much effort on to be sustainable), the question we arrived at was simply this: Can we afford to rebuke and censure (and thus potentially lose) members who have been around a long time and who had grown accustomed to being treated with a hands-off stance if not doing so means turning away people inadvertently? We decided that being open to new members and accommodating them by reigning in the bullshit was a better long-term decision than continuing as before.
Baen's Bar is facing a similar decision now, and I'm curious to see which way they'll swing.
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Re: Baen Bar closed down.
Post by Dilandu   » Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:31 am

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clancy688 wrote:People always gonna steal, so what's the point in having a police?
People will always do drugs, so why have drug laws?
People will always evade taxes, so why tax laws?

The point is to make it as hard as possible for these people to do harm and especially to not enable and legitimize them. Ofc it's impossible to completely shut them off, but that's not the point. The point is to make clear that society at large doesn't approve of their dangerous ramblings.


And your solution is "to stop stealing, we should forbade to talk about thieves"? Detective stories authors would probably not be pleased.

Again, society disapprove of many things. For quite a long time, society disapprove of mixed race marriages and homosexuality. And everything said in their defense could be considered "dangerous rambling".

The whole problem is, that there is no clearly visible Maxon-Dixon line that divided between freedom of speech and dangerous ramblingl

clancy688 wrote:I don't think anyone called for that, at least not in this thread. This affair is only about moderation in the bar, nothing else.


Of course it isn't. Mainly its about Sanford's ego. Secondly its about ensuring the "correct" ideology as only one legal & safe.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
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Re: Baen Bar closed down.
Post by Dilandu   » Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:40 am

Dilandu
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Location: Russia

The E wrote:
"Free Speech" isn't something you can build a community around. It's an environment in which communities can be built, but lines have to be drawn clearly to make clear what is and is not acceptable conduct for a member of the community to do.



Hm.

So essentially you are admitting that free speech is not some kind of basic right, but just a feature, not very important even for Western democracy. Safety is more important, so chosing between freedom and safety we should always chose safety: because there is always a probability, that some idiot might took an inspiration from some words.

Well, at least its a point of view. Not very well argumented, of course, but at least coherent. Of course, by sticking to that you also admitting that, say, China have every right to out their minorities into re-education camps for the public safety (after all, radical Muslim terrorism is a real problem, and China found pretty efficient solution)...
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
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Re: Baen Bar closed down.
Post by clancy688   » Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:44 am

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Regarding free speech:

I said it before, I say it again. Free speech ends where someone elses nose begin. Threatening people, proposing violence, is not covered by free speech.

Free speech allows me to say what I think. It doesn't allow me to threaten someone else or propose violence.

Wiki to the rescue:

The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the UDHR states that "everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference" and "everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice". The version of Article 19 in the ICCPR later amends this by stating that the exercise of these rights carries "special duties and responsibilities" and may "therefore be subject to certain restrictions" when necessary "for respect of the rights or reputation of others" or "for the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals".

Freedom of speech and expression, therefore, may not be recognized as being absolute, and common limitations or boundaries to freedom of speech relate to libel, slander, obscenity, pornography, sedition, incitement, fighting words, classified information, copyright violation, trade secrets, food labeling, non-disclosure agreements, the right to privacy, dignity, the right to be forgotten, public security, and perjury. Justifications for such include the harm principle, proposed by John Stuart Mill in On Liberty, which suggests that "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others."
Last edited by clancy688 on Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Baen Bar closed down.
Post by Dilandu   » Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:48 am

Dilandu
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clancy688 wrote:Regarding free speech:

I said it before, I say it again. Free speech ends where someone elses nose begin. Threatening people, proposing violence, is not covered by free speech.

Free speech allows me to say what I think. It doesn't allow me to threaten someone else or propose violence.


Okay, lets assume that there is notorious murderer N, and I say "N should be buried alive for all crimes he perpetuated". Is that covered by free speech, or not?

Let's get further, and somebody threatened "If I catch N, I would blow his murderous head off". Is he allowed to say so?
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
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