Good Posting Practices

INT21

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...Yes, and that includes racial and sexual slurs--but there probably ought to be a good reason to post them....

And the reason would be ?

Maybe the search for the lowest common denominator.

And, of course, it isn't true.

I do recall what happened when I made what was considered 'offensive' reference to various homo descriptives. I think the word was 'mincing'.

New rule, Ban swearing.

No. it will never work.

INT21
 
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Yithian

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...Yes, and that includes racial and sexual slurs--but there probably ought to be a good reason to post them....

And the reason would be ?
It's completely context dependent, so this will not be an exhaustive list, but some examples that come to mind are:

1) A legal case that hinged on the precise words spoken by offender/victim.

2) Describing racial/sexual insults that were used against you personally.

3) As part of a discussion of the subject of profanity itself (see posts made above--although this isn't really the best place for it).

4) On a thread concerning Coprolalia.

5) Quoting lyrics, literature and poetry. They Fuck You Up, Your Mum And Dad (in a current thread title)

6) Making a serious point graphically. Woman is the nigger of the world.

Moving back to swearing on the board in general:

To be clear, if a member just comes out with a gout of expletives halfway through a calm discussion on a non-Chat thread, a moderator will likely take action, and if they insult other members using swear-words, they will certainly be warned. In the non-virtual world, however, there are places that one is entitled to swear with impunity if one wishes (one's home, a pub--a 'locker room' for Americans). Once again, there is no compunction on anybody to swear if they don't wish to, but I see the CHAT section as one of those places.

Personally, and I've posted this before, I have grown irritated by discussions that I (non-rhetorically) cannot follow because I am not sure who is using the slur 'nigger' and who is saying the euphemism 'the n-word'. Similarly, social media now has a host of these euphemisms that I and many others cannot even identify. We all know 'the n-word', 'the c-word' and 'the f-word' (although this one tripped me up at first), but how about 'the k-word', 'the b-word' 'the t-word' and 'the y-word'?

This is no way to run a language, let alone a message-board. I'm afraid that for all my personal admiration for the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, I see no place on this board for U.S. political puritanism (which is fast outgrowing the U.S.). Forteans should speak their minds.

Perhaps Stu and EnolaGaia feel differently, but in my view enforced politeness is not politeness, it's a speech code. Tone and manners are context-dependent and socially enforced. Adult posters here have a responsibility to read the tone of the discussion to which they plan to contribute and write appropriately. Failure to do so will in the first place make you look stupid and in the second cause you to receive a warning--not for swearing per se, but for spoiling a reasonable discussion.

We treat you like adults here, not school kids.

I'm afraid I don't recall the specifics of your 'homo-descriptive'.
 

EnolaGaia

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It's completely context dependent, so this will not be an exhaustive list, but some examples that come to mind are:

1) A legal case that hinged on the precise words spoken by offender/victim.
2) Describing racial/sexual insults that were used against you personally.
3) As part of a discussion of subject of profanity itself (see posts made above--although this isn't really the best place for it).
4) On a thread concerning Coprolalia.
5) Quoting lyrics, literature and poetry. They Fuck You Up, Your Mum And Dad (in a current thread title)
6) Making a serious point graphically. Woman is the nigger of the world.
I generally agree ...

A blanket prohibition on uttering 'bad words' is as ultimately counterproductive to mitigating the underlying problem(s) they represent as deliberately ignoring symptoms in the course of dealing with an illness.

You can't state a general position - much less express a specific opinion - on acceptability of certain words without drawing attention to them, and you can't highlight them as slurs without citing them.

Beyond that, and as Yith's list of examples illustrates, there are situations or contexts where a meaning, impact, or ramification can't be reasonably expressed without mentioning a 'bad word'.

I also agree with Yith that context is everything in evaluating whether an instance of swearing is an actionable offense. Invoking 'bad words' to make a point or as a colorful stylistic gloss doesn't bother me. If you express such slurs in apparently serious reference to an individual or group, I'll be on you like ugly on an ape.
 

stu neville

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I think Yith and EnolaGaia have it covered, pretty much. We've never needed to ban profanity because the membership does by and large regulate itself in that respect. You'll see it here and there, but as Yith said it's entirely context-driven. If any one does go properly OTT we act, and obviously always do so if it's lurched into an ad hominem attack. Flaming and trolling will remain prohibited.

It's not difficult.
 

INT21

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A general point.

Why is anyone allowed to post as a guest ?

Isn't the ability to post what differentiates between member and guest ?

INT21.
 

EnolaGaia

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... Why is anyone allowed to post as a guest ?
Isn't the ability to post what differentiates between member and guest ?
Currently - and for an indeterminate time past (perhaps since the very beginning) ...

Guests are not allowed to post threads or posts - full stop.

There are two ways I've seen in which there are posts or even threads whose sources are annotated as 'Guest':

(1) The rarely used route of an unregistered guest contacting the staff and being allowed (under moderator / admin control) to submit a post. In effect this represents an unregistered outsider being permitted to hand over a post that accretes to the forum through the staff. Such posts are typically flagged (to us staffers) as 'moderated'. I've run across a couple of ancient examples of such moderated posts, but I don't know that this procedure has been used anytime lately.

There was a post-migration incident in which someone approached us to post a message, but we agreed to stay out of it and advised the contact to register and post the message himself.

(2) If a user account goes MIA (e.g., lost to the bit bucket during a forum migration) the forum software automatically labels the orphaned / damaged account with the default name 'Anonymous' and a default user title of 'Guest'. There are many examples of this default renaming strewn throughout the forums. There is no single 'Anonymous' - it's really just a placeholder or catch-all default label for any of the multiple users whose account records have disappeared, become corrupted, or been lost over the years.

This default renaming does not apply to accounts that are merged (e.g., merging a user's pre-migration account with a new one he / she has presumptively started at the new site). Account mergers re-allocate all postings to the username under which the accounts are merged.
 

INT21

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So when a half dozen posters are 'Anonymous, Guest' there is no way knowing if a series of posts in a thread is by the same person or not ? Except, of course, by the style and context.

Would it be worthy of consideration that such posters be required to finish their post as 'previously AKA (the old name).

It would only require a quick copy/past to add it to each post.

INT21.
 

EnolaGaia

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So when a half dozen posters are 'Anonymous, Guest' there is no way knowing if a series of posts in a thread is by the same person or not ? Except, of course, by the style and context.
Correct.

I can assure you it's only a minority of cases in which the anonymized / merged user's identity can be reasonably ascertained. Determining 'this Anonymous' is different from 'that Anonymous' is most often a futile exercise.


Would it be worthy of consideration that such posters be required to finish their post as 'previously AKA (the old name).
No. Such posters are long gone (or at least their accounts are disabled / locked). They can't be asked to access, much less extend or annotate, their posts.


It would only require a quick copy/past to add it to each post.
True, but ... As mentioned above, the vast majority of Anonymous-labeled users are 'past tense' (gone; MIA). This means such notation would be left to the staff. As the staff member arguably most active in salvaging / repairing old threads, I can assure you it would be too little too late and a huge waste of time.

The only reasonable solution would be to enforce "one account per member", and that's what we're trying to do in this new incarnation of the forums. We now screen new registrants for evidence of commonality with extant members, and we (pointedly) offer to merge old and new accounts whenever a new member turns out to be an old member reborn.

Because IP logs and other member data have been purged for accounts thrown into 'Anonymous' status, we don't really have a reliable way to associate such accounts with current ones.

Above and beyond this last point, it's clear to me a certain proportion of past member account data failed to be carried over during one or more of the prior forum rebuilds / migrations.
 

Yithian

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For the love of God, if you have any of the following issues:
  • A technical problem with how the board is performing or being unable to post what you want.
  • A request for a merge, a split, a new thread or you are searching for a suitable thread.
  • A disagreement with some administrative or disciplinary judgment.
  • A complaint about the content posted by other members.
Please let's address it by PM or choose one of the many threads in WEBSITE ISSUES.

Doing otherwise is just making an awful mess of discussion threads, which dissuades participation.

this-isnt-nam-there-are-rules.jpg
 

Yithian

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The same story was posted by four members on three threads this morning.

Choose the most distinctive key word in the story--one that is more uncommon but cannot be sensibly omitted (place names are good) and search before posting, please.
 

Lb8535

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This is a thank you to the moderators. The reason I return to this group is that adult coversation is pretty much guaranteed. This takes a lot of time and intestinal fortitude and I hank you all for the time put in and the firm compassion with which you deal with malefactors.
 

Yithian

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If you happen to come across any old threads that have been locked ('Not Open For Further Replies'), please post links to them here.

There aren't all that many really, but now we (the board) are our own dog, so to speak, we're able to call the shots and may be able to re-open them.
 

Yithian

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Over the last year or so (but especially of late) there have been a lot of links to mainstream news sites that don't lead directly to the target article.

Most of the offending links are links to a Google search result that auto-loads the desired page in a Google frame.

These aren't good as a) The links are very long and unsightly and b) some browsers do not auto-load them.

We'd be very grateul if you could strip the preliminary Google prefix and copy only the part that points to the page itself.
 

Yithian

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Members are going to have to decide very soon whether they would prefer to have either a board where they may adorn any thread with snippy one-liners about social justice warriors, feminists, transexuals, vegans, climate activists and (even) bloody cyclists or a board with a larger and more varied membership and an active staff to support it.

We see what you don't. Trust us when we say that the former is seriously jeopardising the latter.

If you feel that this might be aimed at you, then it probably is. Think before you post.

Those who fail to do so can just jog on.
 

INT21

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Maybe the problem is that the subject matter of the site is so thin on the ground that we fill the gaps with chatter.

Not much else to do.

UFO dedicated sites are having the same problem.

If we didn't bicker then we would all be sat in front of the tv.

INT21.
 

stu neville

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If we didn't bicker then we would all be sat in front of the tv.
Then maybe sit in front of the damn TV, then.

Yithian is entirely right. Our traditional line of peacekeeping has always been between those that fervently believe, and those that fervently do not believe in weird things. We are getting sick and tired of having to wade into what are, in effect, bar-room banter fests that nine times out of ten feature the same people making the same oh-so-clever remarks with a tinge of deniability (know how many times I've been told "Oh well that's up to them if they take it like that." ?)

We're fed up with it, Grow up. Nobody forces you on here, we don't charge you money, some of us have devoted thousands of hours of our own time to keep this place running as it does, fought for it, put up with troll wars, flame fests, schisms, personal abuse and tons of other crap to keep this place alive. If you don't like it, fucking tough.
 

GNC

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There's plenty Fortean to talk about that has no need to be linked in with whatever reactionary cause you care to mention - they fill the magazine with it every month. It's more that problem with social media where everyone thinks it's their personal broadcast medium and intolerance arises more from being aware others want to have their say who might drown you out. I'd hate to see this place go the same way as Twitter, it's a pretty tolerant place when individuals are concerned, less so when perceived groups are brought into it.

Edit: I see Stu has replied in more robust terms.
 
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