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The Computer Audiophile

Forum Decorum | Feedback Please

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23 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

When I dread reading my own AS emails in the morning and feel a sense of ease reading the Album of the Evening notifications in my inbox, things have gone off the rails. I know that if I'm fed up with arguments and incivility, the members of the community must be well beyond this. Something must change. 

 

Over the last week or so, I've exchanged emails with several members of the AS community about how to curtail undesirable discussions. The feedback has been excellent and from all sides of the issue. With this post, I'm asking for feedback from the community about proposed rule / feature changes to the site. 

 

The goal of these changes is to increase people's enjoyment of this wonderful HiFi hobby. To do this the changes should curtail incivility, encourage lurkers to post, stop "thread-crapping", and separate discussions that generate unwanted comments and arguments. I wish I could just ask everyone to be a decent human being, but that just doesn't seem to work. We all have different definitions of decency. 

 

I want to stop subjective threads from receiving unwanted comments. 

I want to stop objective threads from receiving unwanted comments. 

I want to encourage people to post both types of comments in threads where this is wanted. 

I want to stop posts that are made for the sport of online arguing.

 


Here are some proposals. Please provide feedback.

 

1. Be polite. I could literally stop here and 99% of the people on AS would have no problem following the rule.

2. Avoid defamatory statements, personal attacks, name-calling, insults, trolling, thread crapping, and thread-derailing topics. It's often not what you say, but how you say it.

3a. If what you want to post includes words/phrases like "placebo," "expectation bias," "ABX," "blind testing," "snake oil" etc., please post it in the XXXXXXXXXXXX forum (a to-be created sub-forum). 

3b. If there's an existing forum thread in which you'd like to discuss that mentioned above in 3a, you must start your own thread about the subject in forum XXXXXXXXXXXX. Optionally you can post a link to your newly started thread, in the existing thread where your comments aren't allowed. This insures all points of view have space here on Audiophile Style. Separating these topics also enables more focused discussions and enables members of the community to read each point of view if they so chose. 

The above is probably the most controversial proposed rule change. It presupposed all threads are subjective, given our overwhelming majority of subjective leaning members. This proposed rule is used on Head-Fi, but may need massaging here on AS.

4. A daily cap on the number of posts by each member.

5. Make it clearer that OPs can have moderation rights to their threads. This includes removing posts and asking other members to stop posting in the threads. 

6. Enable the site feature that blocks members from specific threads. This is only a reactive method and would require a PM to the moderator. 

7. Bring back the down vote feature for comments.

8. Anonymize the up/down vote feature. This will resolve the sophomoric issue we've had in the past of down vote retaliation. 

9. Consequences for not following the rules will include bans from topics, temporary and permanent bans from the site. 

 

 

Again, these are proposals. All rules / features have unintended consequences. Please provide feedback and any other proposals you see fit. 

I like your proposals...   A few suggested modifications --

 

1) I like your 'be polite' comment.  But beyond politeness, kindness is something good to remember.  It is possible and desirable to be kind to people who might even be disagreeable, but also have fallen on hard times.   Polite is critical though...  It might be a good idea to 'pull back' instead of 'respond with excessive candor' or 'respond with rudeness'.

3a)  I am not offended by those terms, unless they are accusatory or rude.  I believe that 'snake-oil' in a general sense is not rude, but saying 'XXX' is spouting snake-oil, then that might be rude.  Of course, I can imagine someone taking offense to any generic criticism, but how much is needed to product peoples 'feelings'?  You own the forum, so obviously the rules are yours.  We aren't talking government control here, so the owner is ultimately responsible for shaping the character of the forum, WHEN NEEDED or DESIRED.  Hopefully, shaping isn't really needed... It just sometimes might be needed here.

4)  It would be nice if the daily cap was large.  I mean, not 3-4, but maybe 10-20?   I cannot imagine myself creating more than 20 thoughtful comments -- maybe less...   I can blather 20 times though.  (I blather anyway, but that isn't intended on being rude :-))  3-4 is only a moderate contribution.   By stating a KNOWN limit, it might help people to be more thoughtful rather than just thowing away their quota on some emtional outbursts?

 

8 ) It is helpful for me to see the up-vote owners because it gives me a sense of a correspondents/readers attitude -- for constructive purposes. I agree that the down-vote might create bad feelings, even when a down vote might only be a 'i think you are out-of-bounds' on the comment...  *EDIT:  there are people who I really trust, and knowing up or down vote is sometimes helpful.  Of course, I understand that it also can be used as a weapon -- I havne't thought about that, but I guess i understand the issue.

 

The new proposed rules do point in the right direction.  Maybe reminder on each forum page about being polite or kind,  perhaps without the implied idea that sometimes rudeness has been a problem?

 

Sounds like no matter what, I agree with your general attitude..  The question is?  How much to actually implement, and how much to 'threaten'?

 

John

 

 

 

 

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In the spirit of what you are saying as I understand it,

and on the grounds that it's a win for everyone that participation can be as broad as possible,

and that all folks can feel comfortable "being themselves" here without being ridiculed whether overtly or sneakily,

what about some kind of anonymous "personal conduct" (or such) button instead of the anonymous downvote.

I suggest it as a way that the community can self-govern - and democratically at that.

If I get any significant number of such verdicts I shall disappear in a heartbeat.

Those who persist will have earned their ban ... to re-iterate - in a self-governing democratic community.

Those who like it can stay. Those who dislike it can leave.

It's consistent with the idea that we are all responsible for our own behaviour.

 


Disclaimer! I have not in the past, I do not now, and I am not likely ever to stream music from the internet.

System: here

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I especially like points 3a, 3b and 4.

 

Why #4?  There are some very prolific posters who contribute comments to virtually every topic, and those trivial comments are generally content-free and detract from the conversation even if they don't violate any of the other rules.  I've proposed this several times in the past.  It also restrains users who post essentially the same message over and over ad nauseum in many different topics.

 

I've been encouraged lately by a few threads that have attracted a lot of participation from my ignored users.  I like this pattern because it means those guys are engaged in a discussion amongst themselves rather than crapping in threads I care about.  Points 3a and 3b formalize this.  I can then simply use the 'ignore this topic' button.

 

In combination, these proposals would eliminate scrolling through a ton of posts that say 'You've chosen to ignore content by userxxx'.  I think this will make everyone's time on AS more productive.   I hate needing to constantly add users and topics to my ignore list.

 

Re point #8, I don't see any reason to anonymize upvotes or likes.  I think down votes should also have a daily limit or count toward the daily post limit so they don't get abused as a way to circumvent the other rules.


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I am in favor of all of the proposed rules.

 

 


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2 hours ago, firedog said:

There's no reason  a person who asks about the sound of a cable needs to be lectured at by people who say it can't make a difference - he's assuming it does and isn't interested in being told he's clueless.

 

And the same is true for someone who  posts measurements showing some device does nothing - he doesn't need to be told "I can hear what it does" or "we don't know how to measure everything".

 

I agree with this but would point out that he motivation of the person in these hypothetical examples is quite different, maybe even opposite!


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Chris,

 

Managing a public community makes herding cats seem like something you can do anytime you want.  Your proposals are sound and I think they will help.   I help run a couple of very small forums using DiscourseHub and that software seems to help with the calming effect. 

 

Bob Fairbairn

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

what sets this site apart is that engineers and scientists post here

 

there are lots and lots of sites where crazy notions are posted with the veneer of science slapped over them - if CC wants to sanitize his site form science and make it safe for any sort of irrational claim he can, but IMO it would lose its value

 

the problem lies with people who so badly want a free fire zone for those types of claims (maybe because no one in the real world will listen to them)

There is no current proposal to sanitize the site. 


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

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2 minutes ago, Richard Dale said:

Under Chris's proposals you can post you views to forum XXXXXXXXXXXX, and if people find the discussions there more helpful and interesting than the more subjective discussion in the other forums, then forum XXXXXXXXXXXX will expand.

Yes, this is my free market type of approach. Separate the discussions that lead to bickering and problems. Both discussions can succeed this way and they should thrive if there's interest. 


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

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9 minutes ago, austinpop said:

The current AS platform allows topic moderators to both DELETE and HIDE posts. The former appears permanent (I don't know what the code actually does), while the latter is reversible, subject to appeal. In the spirit of checks and balances, OP moderators should perhaps only be allowed to HIDE posts, leaving DELETE decisions to Chris.

 

HIDE still serves the purpose of removing the post from view, but does preserve the content.

Delete puts the posts in a 30 day trash before removing them. I have to go through the trash to retrieve them rather than a moderator. hide is much better. 


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

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5 hours ago, austinpop said:

100% agree with @The Computer Audiophile’s proposal.


+1


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