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Author Topic: Unsubscribing from threads  (Read 1783 times)

webny99

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Re: Unsubscribing from threads
« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2018, 08:09:02 PM »

I didn’t see the posts in question, but I have seen deleted posts and keeping the thread open about as often as I have seen a permanent lock. I don’t think I’ve seen a temp lock before.

As I assume you know, the thread in Off Topic about the fatal crash in Schoharie County was temp-locked. It's easy to forget now that it's back on the rails; not so much if it was still locked.
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jon daly

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Re: Unsubscribing from threads
« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2018, 09:09:14 PM »

I didn’t see the posts in question, but I have seen deleted posts and keeping the thread open about as often as I have seen a permanent lock. I don’t think I’ve seen a temp lock before.



As I assume you know, the thread in Off Topic about the fatal crash in Schoharie County was temp-locked. It's easy to forget now that it's back on the rails; not so much if it was still locked.

I've only read Abe's posts in there [the thread didn't interest me,  but if I find a poster interesting, I sometimes go to their profile to see if they said anything of interest that I may've missed. (You'd think that adding someone as a buddy would make this process more user friendly, but it doesn't.)]

But I did notice that the CONELRAD thread was temporarily locked.
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Scott5114

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Re: Unsubscribing from threads
« Reply #27 on: October 19, 2018, 03:39:24 AM »

While it would be nice to have this functionality built directly into the UI, I am increasingly coming to the view that anything that requires the moderators or board administrators to take action amounts to ceding control.

Our reluctance to implement new features like this is less to do with a desire to exercise control, or a management disagreement—I agree with you that the forum software has some puzzling omissions—and more with the technical inability to provide them. I don't think any of us know PHP well enough to be comfortable writing extensions for the forum from scratch. Even if we did, doing so creates a new maintenance liability (code has to remain compatible with the forum whenever new upstream updates are released, checked for security vulnerabilities, etc). The forum software is open source, so theoretically the code could be provided to the Simple Machines project to maintain, but that entails getting familiar with key personnel in that project, getting the code to pass whatever review process they have, etc.

Whenever you see a forum feature suggested and you see it quickly implemented, it means that either that was a feature available in the forum software, easily enabled by clicking a checkbox in the admin panel, or an out-of-the-box extension existed that was not too hard to install.

You, rickmastfan67, and Scott5114 seem to fix quotes and move threads to the correct location much more often than locking threads or warning/banning, although rickmastfan67 was involved in the webny99/Marf incident.

In my case, it's because I work a second-shift job and thus my "shift" here generally occurs during third-shift hours. (Note the timestamp on this post; it's 02:30 as I write this.) Since the forum is usually pretty dead when I'm posting, there usually aren't many behavioral problems that need to be addressed in real time, so I tend to execute more janitorial duties that I run across during my everyday reading of the forum. I do weigh in on moderator discussions when they take place, and I am often the one to enact a decision that has been made by the consensus of the mods.

I imagine many of the post hidings/deletions are so people coming across the thread later don't misinterpret those posts as an example of acceptable conduct.

While I understand that rationale, I think the underlying purpose is better served by leaving the posts in place with a clear signal that they attract sanction, such as a purple-text post indicating the thread is being locked temporarily or permanently and providing an explanation that tactfully but clearly delineates the unacceptable conduct.  Simply making the offending text disappear is too reminiscent of the vanishing commissar.

While I understand the concern of just vanishing text down the memory hole, the post removals are done both to facilitate a "don't feed the trolls" approach, as Valerie summarizes, and also as a form of content curation to improve signal-to-noise ratio. What is left behind theoretically should be more pleasant to read through without the removed posts present.


My understanding is that on this forum, one does not "run" for moderator positions as such.  One is simply tapped to serve and one's chances of being so chosen go down if one expresses any interest in the position.

It's even more ad hoc than that. We do not really have a set number of moderator slots that we expect to be filled at any given point in time. Instead, it fluctuates based on the needs of the moment. Moderators are chosen through informal consensus, both as to the creation of a slot ("You guys think we need a mod for the fictional highways section?" "Nah, not really") and as to filling it ("We need a new mod, how about X?" "I don't think X would make a good mod for this reason, how about Y?" "Yeah, sure, Y would work"). We don't disqualify people only because they've expressed they want to be a mod, as far as I've seen.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 03:55:25 AM by Scott5114 »
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hbelkins

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Re: Unsubscribing from threads
« Reply #28 on: October 19, 2018, 11:40:48 AM »

My understanding is that on this forum, one does not "run" for moderator positions as such.  One is simply tapped to serve and one's chances of being so chosen go down if one expresses any interest in the position.

It's even more ad hoc than that. We do not really have a set number of moderator slots that we expect to be filled at any given point in time. Instead, it fluctuates based on the needs of the moment. Moderators are chosen through informal consensus, both as to the creation of a slot ("You guys think we need a mod for the fictional highways section?" "Nah, not really") and as to filling it ("We need a new mod, how about X?" "I don't think X would make a good mod for this reason, how about Y?" "Yeah, sure, Y would work"). We don't disqualify people only because they've expressed they want to be a mod, as far as I've seen.

Mod A: "H.B. has said he wouldn't mind being a moderator. How about him for Ohio Valley? That's his home area."

Mods B, C, D and E: "Not only no, but hell no. He causes more heartburn than he's worth and he frequently complains about our decisions."

Mod A: "OK, scratch that. Next?"

I can imagine that conversation having happened several times when bringing on a new mod is discussed.  :bigass:
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J N Winkler

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Re: Unsubscribing from threads
« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2018, 11:50:06 AM »

While it would be nice to have this functionality built directly into the UI, I am increasingly coming to the view that anything that requires the moderators or board administrators to take action amounts to ceding control.

Our reluctance to implement new features like this is less to do with a desire to exercise control, or a management disagreement—I agree with you that the forum software has some puzzling omissions—and more with the technical inability to provide them. I don't think any of us know PHP well enough to be comfortable writing extensions for the forum from scratch. Even if we did, doing so creates a new maintenance liability (code has to remain compatible with the forum whenever new upstream updates are released, checked for security vulnerabilities, etc). The forum software is open source, so theoretically the code could be provided to the Simple Machines project to maintain, but that entails getting familiar with key personnel in that project, getting the code to pass whatever review process they have, etc.

Whenever you see a forum feature suggested and you see it quickly implemented, it means that either that was a feature available in the forum software, easily enabled by clicking a checkbox in the admin panel, or an out-of-the-box extension existed that was not too hard to install.

I am familiar with all of these issues from my own involvement in running SABRE.  My reference to "ceding control" was in relation to the alternative, usually but not always available, of the user writing a wget wrapper script to implement the desired functionality for himself or herself on his or her terminal, rather than leaving the initiative in the hands of management.  It takes time and know-how to code one's own workarounds--and for that matter, wget doesn't always work; often it is necessary to use curl for some server transactions that should work with wget but mysteriously fail--but often this is the only option when the administrators are unable or unwilling to make the desired change.

In my own case, I have not yet written any wget wrapper scripts for this forum, but I have for my public library account.  Our local public library uses a fairly vanilla implementation of the commercially available Polaris integrated library system, with the same issues associated with expanding functionality through bolt-on mods that are encountered with all of the major Web forum software packages.  We have low per-capita funding and a historically tight budget, so we have to be careful when we commit technical resource.

Some other public libraries automatically renew their customers' unreturned books on the days they fall due, unless there are pending holds for other customers; we don't.  The Cincinnati Public Library has a "Hot Authors" program where customers can sign up for automatic holds on new books written by one or more of 40 popular authors; we don't.  Both of these are extensions of existing functionality that conceptually can be implemented by adding a mod to an ILS.  (I think recent versions of Polaris may have auto-renewal baked in, but probably not "Hot Authors" because Cincinnati is piloting this program nationally and introduced it just a couple of years ago.)

The current version of my library script runs at 5 AM each day, checks for books that fall due that day, attempts to renew them, and generates an alert if any cannot be renewed, so that I have the entirety of the library's opening hours for that day to return them.  It also tells me if I have any holds on the shelf and if so, how much longer I have to pick them up (our library is unforgiving about late hold pickup and assesses a fine of IIRC $1.25 for each hold that is not picked up within a week).  I have not done it yet, but it would be conceptually simple for me to implement my own version of "Hot Authors" with a module that searches the catalogue automatically for each author and generates an alert when there is a change in search result count, and I would not necessarily be limited to ~40 popular authors like the users of Cincinnati's built-in functionality.

While I understand the concern of just vanishing text down the memory hole, the post removals are done both to facilitate a "don't feed the trolls" approach, as Valerie summarizes, and also as a form of content curation to improve signal-to-noise ratio. What is left behind theoretically should be more pleasant to read through without the removed posts present.

There are other ways to contain trolls.  Removing text that is considered to be problematic often gets in the way of justice being seen to be done and can feed a perception that insiders look after each other by covering up open displays of racial prejudice (or whatever).  (FWIW, I did see the posts in question before they were removed, and although I feel the phrasing was unfortunate, I regard them as statements of personal truth rather than as racism.)
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kphoger

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Re: Unsubscribing from threads
« Reply #30 on: October 19, 2018, 02:15:48 PM »

personal truth

{insert political or religious comment here}

[/troll]
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hbelkins

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Re: Unsubscribing from threads
« Reply #31 on: October 19, 2018, 03:59:26 PM »

(FWIW, I did see the posts in question before they were removed, and although I feel the phrasing was unfortunate, I regard them as statements of personal truth rather than as racism.)

personal truth

{insert political or religious comment here}

[/troll]

If this is in reference to David's comment about Asian hotel owners, the response by whomever it was, and then his "some, I assume, are good people," then it's painfully obvious that someone involved in the discussion does not know anything about his political beliefs. I can't see him quoting Donald Trump in defense of his own statement. And given his experience in the hotel business -- way back in the MTR days, he was giving me advice on lodging in the Bentonville/Fayetteville area because he had worked for a lodging establishment in the vicinity -- I'd defer to his personal experiences and advice over a whole lot of people simply because he has a background in it.
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abefroman329

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Re: Unsubscribing from threads
« Reply #32 on: October 19, 2018, 04:28:14 PM »

I didn’t see the posts in question, but I have seen deleted posts and keeping the thread open about as often as I have seen a permanent lock. I don’t think I’ve seen a temp lock before.
As I stated in a comment that was later deleted, I expected better than the remarks made by US 71 that were later deleted and, presumably, led to the removal of his mod powers (I had the same theory). Mods and admins should lead by example, and US 71 was not. I also see no need to summarize those comments here.

I suspect the temp lock was put in place while a decision was made about US 71’s future - I’ve never heard of such a thing, either, just open threads and perma-locked threads.
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abefroman329

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Re: Unsubscribing from threads
« Reply #33 on: October 19, 2018, 04:33:50 PM »

But I did notice that the CONELRAD thread was temporarily locked.
Hindsight being 20/20, I probably shouldn’t have taken it off topic. Mostly I wanted to troll H. Belkins and, well, it worked.
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jon daly

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Re: Unsubscribing from threads
« Reply #34 on: October 19, 2018, 04:49:07 PM »

I screwed up once, fanning the flames about the US Civil War in the thread about the South. I didn't intend to, but mistakes sometimes happen.
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jon daly

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Re: Unsubscribing from threads
« Reply #35 on: October 19, 2018, 04:50:56 PM »

What's odd is that abe and hb are like oil and water, but I consider them to be two of my more favorite posters.
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kphoger

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Re: Unsubscribing from threads
« Reply #36 on: October 19, 2018, 04:52:04 PM »

(FWIW, I did see the posts in question before they were removed, and although I feel the phrasing was unfortunate, I regard them as statements of personal truth rather than as racism.)

personal truth

{insert political or religious comment here}

[/troll]

If this is in reference to David's comment about Asian hotel owners, the response by whomever it was, and then his "some, I assume, are good people," then it's painfully obvious that someone involved in the discussion does not know anything about his political beliefs. I can't see him quoting Donald Trump in defense of his own statement. And given his experience in the hotel business -- way back in the MTR days, he was giving me advice on lodging in the Bentonville/Fayetteville area because he had worked for a lodging establishment in the vicinity -- I'd defer to his personal experiences and advice over a whole lot of people simply because he has a background in it.

Oh, sorry.  No, I never even saw the whole Asian thing on here.  I just don't happen to believe in such a thing as "personal truth."  But that would either be a religious or a political discussion, so I'd rather not troll in that way.
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abefroman329

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Re: Unsubscribing from threads
« Reply #37 on: October 19, 2018, 05:26:16 PM »

(FWIW, I did see the posts in question before they were removed, and although I feel the phrasing was unfortunate, I regard them as statements of personal truth rather than as racism.)

personal truth

{insert political or religious comment here}

[/troll]

If this is in reference to David's comment about Asian hotel owners, the response by whomever it was, and then his "some, I assume, are good people," then it's painfully obvious that someone involved in the discussion does not know anything about his political beliefs. I can't see him quoting Donald Trump in defense of his own statement. And given his experience in the hotel business -- way back in the MTR days, he was giving me advice on lodging in the Bentonville/Fayetteville area because he had worked for a lodging establishment in the vicinity -- I'd defer to his personal experiences and advice over a whole lot of people simply because he has a background in it.

Oh, sorry.  No, I never even saw the whole Asian thing on here.  I just don't happen to believe in such a thing as "personal truth."  But that would either be a religious or a political discussion, so I'd rather not troll in that way.
I believe in personal truths. I just believe that the plural of anecdote isn’t data, and the plural of personal truths isn’t data, either.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Unsubscribing from threads
« Reply #38 on: October 19, 2018, 06:57:49 PM »

The backdrop to what David was saying is that South Asians have become very well represented in the budget motel sector in this country, to the extent that an estimated 40% of properties are in Indian-American ownership.  This is a well-documented phenomenon (1, 2, 3, 4).  As an economic historian, I find it fascinating from a sociological and social-history perspective the more I look into it.

I normally travel solo and book lodging online with price as the primary criterion.  I am usually not aware of any particulars of an establishment's ownership before I show up to check in, nor do I typically make any effort to research it.  In the past I have also generally preferred to travel solo and have favored cheap motels, though in the absence of lodging search engines, price discovery was a more cumbersome process that resulted in a great deal of satisficing.  I travelled fairly extensively from 2000-2005 and generally found that motel front-desk personnel were Caucasian; South Asians were very much in the minority.  After a hiatus, I travelled widely again in 2016-2017 and found that front-desk personnel were usually South Asian.  It is difficult to avoid the impression that the budget sector has been almost completely vacated by all other ethnicities in the last decade or so, though it is possible my experience reflects sampling bias from actually having to drive up to the motel and check price and vacancy during the earlier period.
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jakeroot

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Re: Unsubscribing from threads
« Reply #39 on: October 19, 2018, 07:53:26 PM »

After a hiatus, I travelled widely again in 2016-2017 and found that front-desk personnel were usually South Asian.  It is difficult to avoid the impression that the budget sector has been almost completely vacated by all other ethnicities in the last decade or so, though it is possible my experience reflects sampling bias from actually having to drive up to the motel and check price and vacancy during the earlier period.

Speaking from experience as an employee at a Marriott in Tacoma between 2014 and 2018, the vast majority of the front-desk staff, and a sizeable amount behind the scenes, were Filipino (not just South Asian). Hell, three of the nine [steadily employed] valets were Filipino. I understand my area has a large number of Filipinos, but they are undoubtedly over-represented in terms of the hotel's racial makeup. I was personally one of only (at most) four valets who were white, of 11 total. That was reduced to two before I left, but has increased back to two since.

Part of me thinks this was because the main hiring manager was himself Filipino, but he can only hire who applies. So, evidently, a lot of Filipinos were applying. For the record, hotel ownership was Caucasian.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 07:55:41 PM by jakeroot »
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abefroman329

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Re: Unsubscribing from threads
« Reply #40 on: October 19, 2018, 08:49:51 PM »

FFS, “David” didn’t merely state that a significant number of hotels and motels are owned and/or operated by South Asians, he stated that the ones that are are managed horribly and unclean. Good luck spinning that one, guys.
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Re: Unsubscribing from threads
« Reply #41 on: October 19, 2018, 08:57:29 PM »

I still think he shouldn't have been desysopped. It wasn't an abuse of moderation powers, and in a normal situation (meaning this thread didn't exist to talk about the deleted content), it would simply have been forgotten in a few weeks. Everyone makes occasional blunders.

Keep in mind that I was one of the members to call him out on what he said, and I still don't think it's that important in the scope of the entire forum.
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Re: Unsubscribing from threads
« Reply #42 on: October 19, 2018, 10:25:52 PM »

This has gone OT to the point that we are discussing other members. That's enough.

 


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