Forum policy review 2018

This forum is for discussing the ongoing and future projects and resources of UniLang. Please post your comments, criticism and ideas here. We are always trying to expand on things members find useful, helpful, or fun! This is also the place to report errors in systems and resources on the UniLang site.

Moderator: Forum Administrators

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22399
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby linguoboy » 2018-02-20, 14:02

Aurinĭa wrote:I have split off a number of posts that can now be found in this thread. Please use this topic for actual discussion of the forum policy.

Why was my post on the "Unilang is a business" metaphor split off into "Historical grievances/specific cases"? It was neither. Is it simply because I was the author and I was responding to Johanna?

I understand the urge to skip all the groundwork and just get down to specific changes. But like I said, I've been through this sort of thing before (more than once, in fact) with a relatively small organisation (~200 employees) and it's a slow, time-consuming process--if you do it right, that is. If you just want to make a few cosmetic changes and not actually fix anything, it goes a lot quicker.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

User avatar
Luís
Forum Administrator
Posts: 7639
Joined: 2002-07-12, 22:44
Location: Lisboa
Country: PT Portugal (Portugal)

Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Luís » 2018-02-20, 14:37

Naava wrote:
Irusia wrote:A few minutes ago, banned users became visible in a separate list, but now it's gone.

Maybe it was a test? I saw them getting their own orange group for a moment, too. It would certainly make it easy to know that the reason why someone isn't answering your questions or quotes is not because they choose to be silent but because they're banned, but it's also really visible - it's like a constant reminder that this person has done something wrong, and I don't know if I like it.


I was doing some technical tests this morning in the Spam Forum (virtually all the threads we move there are by spammers / spambots that are banned, so it's the perfect place). I like using bright colors so that I can easily see if things are working as a change stuff around. If we were to implement this, I imagine we'd go with something a little less ugly... :lol:
Quot linguas calles, tot homines vales

User avatar
Aurinĭa
Forum Administrator
Posts: 3675
Joined: 2008-05-14, 21:18
Gender: female
Country: BE Belgium (België / Belgique)

Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Aurinĭa » 2018-02-20, 15:16

linguoboy wrote:
Aurinĭa wrote:I have split off a number of posts that can now be found in this thread. Please use this topic for actual discussion of the forum policy.

Why was my post on the "Unilang is a business" metaphor split off into "Historical grievances/specific cases"? It was neither. Is it simply because I was the author and I was responding to Johanna?

That post wasn't simply split off, it was copied to the other thread along with others so that the conversation following it would maintain its proper context and flow. If you or anyone has further thoughts on that metaphor, that conversation can be continued in this thread.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22399
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby linguoboy » 2018-02-20, 15:30

Aurinĭa wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Aurinĭa wrote:I have split off a number of posts that can now be found in this thread. Please use this topic for actual discussion of the forum policy.

Why was my post on the "Unilang is a business" metaphor split off into "Historical grievances/specific cases"? It was neither. Is it simply because I was the author and I was responding to Johanna?

That post wasn't simply split off, it was copied to the other thread along with others so that the conversation following it would maintain its proper context and flow. If you or anyone has further thoughts on that metaphor, that conversation can be continued in this thread.

My bad. Thanks for clarifying.

I'm quite interested in hearing what thoughts others have. It was something of a revelation to see that Johanna conceives of this board as a "business" and I'm very curious if that's a conception shared by the rest of the moderation team or not. (Still trying to figure out if I'm an "employee" in that analogy, a "customer", or something else altogether.)
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

User avatar
Car
Forum Administrator
Posts: 10358
Joined: 2002-06-21, 19:24
Real Name: Silvia
Gender: female
Country: DE Germany (Deutschland)
Contact:

Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Car » 2018-02-20, 16:54

I think it's more of a social group/ club than a business or a country. Isn't it basically the online equivalent of a group where people meet to talk about languages, cultures and other topics?
Please correct my mistakes!

User avatar
Luís
Forum Administrator
Posts: 7639
Joined: 2002-07-12, 22:44
Location: Lisboa
Country: PT Portugal (Portugal)

Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Luís » 2018-02-20, 16:59

Car wrote:I think it's more of a social group/ club than a business or a country. Isn't it basically the online equivalent of a group where people meet to talk about languages, cultures and other topics?


In the beginning maybe you could say it was more like a non-profit organization (the forum being just a part of the whole thing). But considering that nowadays there's not much besides the forum, I tend to agree with you.
Quot linguas calles, tot homines vales

User avatar
Car
Forum Administrator
Posts: 10358
Joined: 2002-06-21, 19:24
Real Name: Silvia
Gender: female
Country: DE Germany (Deutschland)
Contact:

Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Car » 2018-02-20, 17:14

I only had the forum in mind or did we ever have to take any action because of something that was done somewhere outside the forum? I can't remember anything.
Please correct my mistakes!

User avatar
Luís
Forum Administrator
Posts: 7639
Joined: 2002-07-12, 22:44
Location: Lisboa
Country: PT Portugal (Portugal)

Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Luís » 2018-02-20, 17:25

Well, in the past we had several official chatrooms, not to mention scrapbooks and personal logs. But I didn't have moderation in mind, I was talking about Unilang in general.
Quot linguas calles, tot homines vales

User avatar
Car
Forum Administrator
Posts: 10358
Joined: 2002-06-21, 19:24
Real Name: Silvia
Gender: female
Country: DE Germany (Deutschland)
Contact:

Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Car » 2018-02-20, 19:19

True, but since we're talking about the forum policy here, I think the comparison still makes sense. But yeah, I see what you mean. Social groups can comprise various activities, though.
Please correct my mistakes!

User avatar
Luís
Forum Administrator
Posts: 7639
Joined: 2002-07-12, 22:44
Location: Lisboa
Country: PT Portugal (Portugal)

Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Luís » 2018-02-20, 20:25

Luís wrote:I was doing some technical tests this morning in the Spam Forum (virtually all the threads we move there are by spammers / spambots that are banned, so it's the perfect place). I like using bright colors so that I can easily see if things are working as a change stuff around. If we were to implement this, I imagine we'd go with something a little less ugly... :lol:


Well, this didn't exactly go as expected... :para: In the meantime there's probably a more discrete way to disclosure this information. If you guys click on a user profile and that person is banned (this means "permanently banned") or suspended (this means "temporarily banned") the information will show up under the user group. This feature is now available for all users, so feel free to experiment. In case you can't find a person who is banned, I moved a thread from the Spam forum that contains two banned users so that you guys can see how it looks like.
Quot linguas calles, tot homines vales

User avatar
Luís
Forum Administrator
Posts: 7639
Joined: 2002-07-12, 22:44
Location: Lisboa
Country: PT Portugal (Portugal)

Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Luís » 2018-02-20, 21:10

I also did some "data mining" and compiled a list of all members that are currently banned and that have at least 50 posts (since 2006 - no data before that). I created an announcement with all the info, you can find it here.
Quot linguas calles, tot homines vales

User avatar
Yasna
Posts: 2029
Joined: 2011-09-12, 1:17
Gender: male
Location: Boston
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Yasna » 2018-02-20, 21:56

I'm sure there are some tweaks that could be made to the rules, but what I value most in a small operation like this are the moderation norms and that moderation is carried out in a spirit of fairness and with common sense (appreciating that these are subjective). As such, I pay a lot more attention to who is entrusted with or relieved of the power of moderation, rather than the details of forum rules.
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

User avatar
dEhiN
Forum Administrator
Posts: 6168
Joined: 2013-08-18, 2:51
Real Name: David
Gender: male
Location: Toronto
Country: CA Canada (Canada)
Contact:

Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby dEhiN » 2018-02-25, 19:57

For anyone following this thread but not the Historical grievances/specific cases [split] thread, nothing has been posted here in a while because discussion is actively going on in the other thread. Discussion that is relevant to forum policy. You're welcome to check out the other thread and add your thoughts if you'd like.
My TAC for 2018.

(en-ca) (ta-lk) (fr) (es) (en_old)

User avatar
Luís
Forum Administrator
Posts: 7639
Joined: 2002-07-12, 22:44
Location: Lisboa
Country: PT Portugal (Portugal)

Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Luís » 2018-02-28, 9:35

Since we've been talking about transparency, here's a very practical case:

Hidden Content
This board requires you to be registered and logged-in to view hidden content.


How do you suggest we deal with the issue?
Quot linguas calles, tot homines vales

User avatar
Naava
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 893
Joined: 2012-01-17, 20:24
Gender: female
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Naava » 2018-02-28, 16:10

Hidden Content
This board requires you to be registered and logged-in to view hidden content.

But what we can discuss is if the penalties for breaking the forum policy are ok or if we should change them. Before that, I'd like to know how the system works. I've tried to read the map on the forum policy thread but... does anyone else think the picture is confusing? I feel like there's arrows everywhere. :?

I have a few questions about the ban policy, too.

1st: Is there any time limit for how long afterwards you can give penalties? If someone found out now that I broke the rules ten years ago, would I be punished for it today? This is hypothetical, I didn't even know about Unilang in 2008. :P

2nd: "You may receive a number of PMs from administrators or global mods, or blanket reminders in threads, before an official reminder is given, depending on the infraction and severity."

Should there be some rules for this, too? Now it sounds like it's up to the mods whether they care to warn you that you're breaking the rules before giving the official warning. That "depending on the infraction and severity" doesn't tell much about when you'll get unofficial warnings and when you'll get the real warning.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22399
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby linguoboy » 2018-02-28, 16:28

Luís wrote:Since we've been talking about transparency, here's a very practical case:
Hidden Content
This board requires you to be registered and logged-in to view hidden content.

How do you suggest we deal with the issue?

I think it depends what you're trying to accomplish.

Is your primary goal (a) to modify the behaviour; (b) to shield other users from potentially offensive content; (c) to show responsiveness to member complaints; (d) to demonstrate consistency and firmness of enforcement; (e) something else entirely? In my experience of moderation here, the primary goal has always been (b).
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

User avatar
dEhiN
Forum Administrator
Posts: 6168
Joined: 2013-08-18, 2:51
Real Name: David
Gender: male
Location: Toronto
Country: CA Canada (Canada)
Contact:

Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby dEhiN » 2018-02-28, 17:57

linguoboy wrote:
Luís wrote:Since we've been talking about transparency, here's a very practical case:
Hidden Content
This board requires you to be registered and logged-in to view hidden content.

How do you suggest we deal with the issue?

I think it depends what you're trying to accomplish.

Is your primary goal (a) to modify the behaviour; (b) to shield other users from potentially offensive content; (c) to show responsiveness to member complaints; (d) to demonstrate consistency and firmness of enforcement; (e) something else entirely? In my experience of moderation here, the primary goal has always been (b).

I would agree with that; before I was a mod I thought the warning/ban policy was about (b), and I still see it that way now.
My TAC for 2018.

(en-ca) (ta-lk) (fr) (es) (en_old)

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22399
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby linguoboy » 2018-02-28, 17:59

dEhiN wrote:I would agree with that; before I was a mod I thought the warning/ban policy was about (b), and I still see it that way now.

Which might or might not have something do with Unilang's success at retaining and recruiting active posters.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

User avatar
dEhiN
Forum Administrator
Posts: 6168
Joined: 2013-08-18, 2:51
Real Name: David
Gender: male
Location: Toronto
Country: CA Canada (Canada)
Contact:

Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby dEhiN » 2018-02-28, 18:09

linguoboy wrote:
dEhiN wrote:I would agree with that; before I was a mod I thought the warning/ban policy was about (b), and I still see it that way now.

Which might or might not have something do with Unilang's success at retaining and recruiting active posters.

But is UniLang's success any worse or better than that of other forums? I've just chalked up the active participant turnover to the fact that online communities are like that: people come and people go. Even real-life social groups experience the same thing. I've been part of Meetup groups that had much higher turnover than on here.
My TAC for 2018.

(en-ca) (ta-lk) (fr) (es) (en_old)

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22399
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby linguoboy » 2018-02-28, 18:20

dEhiN wrote:But is UniLang's success any worse or better than that of other forums?

It's a good question, and there's no way to answer it close to definitively without the kind of empirical research we have neither time or resources to devote to it.

But lest we forget why this discussion is happening, it's because you had two of your most active contributors tell you that they do not make a habit of recommending the forum to others because of the moderating style. I'm also in communication with people who formerly were heavy contributors here and have been staying away at least in part due to the same reasons. Y'all seemed to take that input seriously enough to launch this discussion, but I guess you're still not convinced it's an important factor.

dEhiN wrote:I've just chalked up the active participant turnover to the fact that online communities are like that: people come and people go. Even real-life social groups experience the same thing. I've been part of Meetup groups that had much higher turnover than on here.

Did you ever try to have conversations with any of those people about why they left?

Sure, the membership of any community is in flux, but the rate of turnover varies wildly from one to another. It's not all Brownian motion; there are reasons why this is the case.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons


Return to “Unilang - Information, Input, and Questions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests