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Interesting point brought up by Riker

Old 10-09-01, 10:15 AM
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Interesting point brought up by Riker

Personally I found him annoying more than anything else, however I think he made an interesting point. I know the mods don't "owe" us anything when they close a thread but it would be nice to see who closed it and maybe a brief statement as to why (either quoting the relevant section of the rules or whatever). This might help clear up some of the confusion of why specific threads are closed, give people a better feel for what causes threads to be closed, and give anyone who has a grevience over a specific thread a person to go to to follow up with.

Just a thought...
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Old 10-09-01, 10:51 AM
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I concur....I didn't see the controversy unfold, but I've gone back and reread the posts by Riker and RikersRevenge. I don't see much out of line other than the emotional and irrational challenge to the mods. However, I would agree that when a thread is closed, there should be some explanation as to why. It would stem alot of the guessing as to who or why.

Furthermore, it has been mostly practiced by the mods to do so whether through common courtesy or forum rules. If it is not a formal rule to post the reason, I feel it should be.
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Old 10-09-01, 10:52 AM
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I was going to post the same thing. Okay, this is twice today where we've agreed on stuff, nemein. I want you to cut it out this minute.

It would be most beneficial to any user when a thread is closed to know who closed it and why. This way the user can contact the mod and discuss it with them. Threads have been reopened in the past, due to the closing being a misunderstanding.

Riker's comments can be most annoying, but in all fairness, I've read what he posted. It can be infuriating, obnoxious and even down-right arrogant, but he did not personally attack anyone. I think the mod should have posted a warning in the thread to perhaps tone the attitude down a bit, or it could be locked. Now, in one of the other threads he started after that, he was a little more aggressive, and though I don't agree with his tone, his sentiment was correct. He was not given any explanation as to why the thread was locked.

I was recently taken to task for aggressive posting in the TV Talk forum and I have seen other posters go on with just warnings for more personal attacks than what he said. I don't feel that he's been treated 100% fairly.

I do appreciate the mods and I would hope they know that from exchanges we've had both on line and off. I know from many mods posting that their jobs are VERY difficult and trying. However, I do think that the request is fair that when a thread is locked, a person is suspended and/or banned, they at least receive and explanation as to why.

I think that he should be given an official warning, if it is found he broke forum rules, that this should be pointed out to him, and that he should be given another chance. The same that would be done and has been done to any and all other members. Heck we have even let known troublemakers back to the boards after being banned. This is his first offense. Point out the bad behaviour and explain the where, when and whyfor. Then let's move on and forward.

Last edited by elektra; 10-09-01 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 10-09-01, 11:01 AM
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And now well known, old timers are allowed to troll like this and it's okay?

http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hreadid=147472
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Old 10-09-01, 11:19 AM
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Originally posted by elektra
Now, in one of the other threads he started after that, he was a little more aggressive, and though I don't agree with his tone, his sentiment was correct.
I think that's an understatement; it was clearly a personal attack at whichever mod closed the thread. Just because he didn't know the name doesn't make it any less so. Sure an explanation as to why the thread was closed would have been welcome, but that doesn't excuse his subsequent behavior. If he didn't read the forum rules, tough, but IMO his suspension is justified.
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Old 10-09-01, 11:32 AM
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As an outsider who was not involved in any of the relevant threads (but who has since read them), I don't see Riker's point. You are all assuming that the Afghanistan thread was closed because of Riker's comments - I think that there were others whose posts were getting too personal, and that this was the reason for the thread closure. I agree it would be more instructive for the mod who closed the thread to have included a final explanatory post, but think I understand the reason just by reading the thread.

Rikers/RikersRevenge's subsequent threads were out of line, especially for someone who claims to have such broad experience in "better" forums.

Just my opinion.
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Old 10-09-01, 11:38 AM
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And I have seen people post to these forum's time and time again, in a much more aggressive stances. This is a first time offense, with no warning at all. The person is obviously frustrated. Does that excuse the behaviour? No. But instead of just locking the threads and closing the accounts, how about an explanation to understand the particulars.

For the record, I was posting in the original thread that started this and although some of it was aggressive at times, there was no name calling or personal attacks. I personally think the thread should have been kept going. More intense ones have.

I do agree, some of the subsequent posts were over the top.
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Old 10-09-01, 11:45 AM
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Originally posted by elektra
This is a first time offense, with no warning at all. The person is obviously frustrated
I too am troubled by a suspension without prior warning or any explanation. Hopefully this has been taken up in email communcations between the mods and Riker, but it's not for us to speculate on it.
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Old 10-09-01, 11:55 AM
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Originally posted by Bandoman
As an outsider who was not involved in any of the relevant threads (but who has since read them), I don't see Riker's point. You are all assuming that the Afghanistan thread was closed because of Riker's comments - I think that there were others whose posts were getting too personal, and that this was the reason for the thread closure.
Ding! Quite right. I don't see why anyone is assuming that the first thread was closed because of anything Riker said. If anything, the last post was more of an attack ON Riker.

Let me address some issues on this below
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Old 10-09-01, 11:59 AM
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Originally posted by elektra
And now well known, old timers are allowed to troll like this and it's okay?

http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hreadid=147472
I don't see trolling. I have read over this thread a few times, and I still don't see it. I read you are referring to dek, but trolling by definition is the riling up of people to create a flame fest, typically by posting comments that most people will not agree with, or posting controversial statements.

He posted an image of the word BANNED, in reference to Riker, and I don't see that creating much controversy. At the time of Dek's posting, Riker was going to be banned.
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Old 10-09-01, 12:19 PM
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First point regarding a closed thread. Please understand that not all decisions made by mods are black and white and easy to do.

Typically, it is suggested that Mods reply to a thread to explain why it is being closed. I think most of us would agree that this is normal and something we have seen. Note, on some other forums, this is not normal, threads are just closed, people are just banned without explanation.

However, there are a few instances where I tend to not post a final message. One is if the thread in question *obviously* requires or deserves a lock. An example if a thread started by someone to attack someone else, or the thread has become offensive in some way. If I posted "closing thread", it would not really change anything, since everyone knows why it was closed, and that it was closed. The only difference is that you know which mod closed it.

The other time is if a thread is ugly, and I would just as soon it sunk away. Perhaps I got into the thread a little late and it was near the bottom of page one, or maybe even on page two. In reading the thread, I decided that not muhc good will come out of it *IF* someone reads it later and decides to reply, but I don't want to bump it up by replying myself. I will quietly lock it. You might be surprised at how often I do this, but most of those threads just continue to sink anyway. I just don't want to see someone reply a month later!

Now this thread in question, was locking it the right thing to do? Yes.

I had not read this thread, but in reading it, I would have locked it also. And it's not because of a personal attack. It's the within the mod's responsibility to make the judgement call that a thread is going to cause more hurt feelings and offended people, than it does prmote understand or good discourse. I keep a lot of threads open that some people do not like or want closed (like the recent ones with people advocating non-violence or appearing anti-American) because there is a value in seeing how other people think. But when the thread becomes more people attacking or being defensive about something that is very important to them, I look closer at the thread to see if it is heading over the line.

There is a long history of this. We tend to be alert to threads about homosexuality, religion, and abortion. Those things people feel strongly about. These quickly can become ugly.

Should this thread have had a closing statement on it?

Maybe. Would have been a little instructive I guess.

But so what? What if it didn't? To anyone but a newbie, it was probably obvious why it was locked. Only a newbie would leap to a conclusion about why it was locked. And I don't see why someone would ASSUME it was closed because of an attack THEY made, or because the mod involved disagreed.

The issue of the thread closing statement not being there, is a judgement call made by the mod. And with the new mods, there will be some judgement calls made. Like I said, it is not black and white here.

Now perhaps one person was more upset because they could not respond, as per this statement:
...and reopen the thread so we can continue our discussion and I can respond to a post about me

Main points:
The thread should have been locked
There was at least one person that was confused because it was locked without fully understanding why and was bothered that they could not reply.
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Old 10-09-01, 12:33 PM
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randyc - Okay, I understand your points. I am a bit slow in that I didn't think it needed closing, but it's not my decsion.

I also agree with when you close certain threads, that need it, such as this case, is there a way to not bump the thread up, but a way to still show who closed it? This way, if someone in the thread has a question, they can email the mod who closed it.

Understand on the TV Talk thread. I would reclassify as thread crapping as the post was making a point, but not one that pertained to the thread in question. Or do I have the definition of that incorrect here? PS: Not trying to be a dork, just understand.
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Old 10-09-01, 12:47 PM
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Originally posted by randyc

But so what? What if it didn't? To anyone but a newbie, it was probably obvious why it was locked. Only a newbie would leap to a conclusion about why it was locked. And I don't see why someone would ASSUME it was closed because of an attack THEY made, or because the mod involved disagreed.
I guess that's the main problem here, the person in question was a newbie. Personally while the language was getting strong I didn't think it was really anything we haven't seen before, esp in a thread of that nature. Actually I thought the thread was closed because of length, since usually 5-6 pages is all threads are allowed to go. The thing is though w/o that final statement as to why it was closed noone knows. I just think it would be helpful if not for the person who closes it to give an explaination, or atleast have some indication of who closed it. It just seems like the courteous thing to do but that's JMO. Also, this way we are all spared the likes of "Riker's Revenge"
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Old 10-09-01, 12:47 PM
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Now, if a poster is confused or unsure about why a mod did something, what should they do? Gee, email the mod? Email all the mods? Email Geoff? Any of these?

Right!

But riker did not. No, he did a couple of interesting things. He made some assumptions too.

Why was the thread "Buffalo area woman on trial in Afghanistann" closed???
And who closed it?? I demand an explanation. Least you could have done was post a message indicating who and why, or are you too unsure of yourself and are hiding????
This may be a good place to make some points. This is a private board owned and run by one person, with a staff of unpaid volunteers that he hand selected. Because of the amount of effort put forth by these volunteers for the site owner, and the potential for crap we have to put up with, the site owner has requested that people do not publicly question the mod's decisions or call us to task.

Some people get confused because this is a "public" board that they have some sort of rights about free speech. No. This is a private board.

Riker here, without knowing who the mod was, DEMANDS an explanation. And then makes a blanket accusation about the mod being unsure and hiding.

FWIW, another mod can always see who closed a thread. Riker could have emailed and asked for an explanation.

But if he emailed me and used words like DEMAND, frankly, I don't owe him anything. I volunteer to Geoff, not to Riker. He could take a flying leap. My clients, kids, and wifes and demand. Not some internet poster.

Second post by Riker:
Like I really care about some cluebie that would close a thread with no justification, no explanation, and no warning? Once I find out who did it I'm going to do all I can to get them disbarred. Unless they come clean, apologize, and reopen the thread so we can continue our discussion and I can respond to a post about me.
Interesting. Here is where I came into.

I read this thread and asked the other mods about it, and about the closed thread. See, we don't always operate as lone hired guns. Often, what is not seen is the backchannels of communication between mods and Geoff. In this case, I read this thread by riker and thought he was way out of line. I asked for other opinions about this from the mods.

After getting some feedback from other mods, I composed an email to riker explaining why he was being suspended for a week. Seems unilateral that we all decided he desrved a vacation from posting. I also suspended his account.

While composing the email to riker, I was taken off the computer by a family matter and had to put off finishing the letter until this morning.

In the time between, Riker registers again as "rikersrevenge". Revenge? And posts more threads demanding and assuming and accusing.
http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hreadid=148960

and again
http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hreadid=148972

At this point, riker has managed to take a closed thread that was not really close because of him, into a personal crusade. He managed to insult and question the mods, get suspended. And then he escalates it even further.

Riker creates a new user in spite of being suspended. Note, he NEVER emailed me or a mod asking for any explanation. Creating another user is a violation of DVDtalk rules.

He threatens to contact news agencies. I am sure they will set aside the stories about war to cover the happenings at DVDtalk . He also threatens to contact advertisers. Threats against DVDtalk?

And then this:
I will likely continue to participate in certain discussions, I have hundreds of email addresses I can use and create other aliases that they'll never know about
Another threat to blantantly violate the terms he registers under.

Strike anyone else as interesting that he quickly rises to DEMAND all the others follow protocol and do as he wishes, but he can willingly not follow the rules he registers under?

Because someone did not post a final closing message on one thread, he feels justified in breaking our rules?

Now, riker has managed to take a small issue that could have EASILY been handled by email, into a much larger issue.

It is apparent to me and to all the mods, that Riker is not willing to play by the rules that we all agree to. Because of this, riker is now banned. If he comes back as alternate users, they too will be banned.

That is my decision.
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Old 10-09-01, 12:54 PM
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Originally posted by randyc

He threatens to contact news agencies.
Yeah I thought that was pretty amusing/asinine too I'm not trying to defend what Riker did or how he did it. I just think he brought up an interesting point that w/o that final piece of information we don't really know who did what or why. It's up to Geoff & the mods to decide what level of information they give us. Personally I think a sign off message would be helpful but that's JMO...
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Old 10-09-01, 12:54 PM
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Old 10-09-01, 01:07 PM
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Originally posted by nemein


I just think he brought up an interesting point that w/o that final piece of information we don't really know who did what or why. It's up to Geoff & the mods to decide what level of information they give us. Personally I think a sign off message would be helpful but that's JMO...

This thread is good in that regard nemein. Often without informtation, people leap to conclusions or assumptions. Normally, I don't publicly discuss administrative actions, but in this case, Riker took his case public instead of email, so I am responding that way to clear the air.

I agree that a closing thread statement is *normally* the way to go, and it's helpful. That point was made to the mods this morning in the moderator's forum. But the lack of one does not give anyone license to go ballistic and make demands and violate rules. Unless maybe that is someone's normal temperment and they look for justification for being that way...
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Old 10-09-01, 01:13 PM
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Originally posted by elektra
randyc - Okay, I understand your points. I am a bit slow in that I didn't think it needed closing, but it's not my decsion.
Maybe not, but it was getting ugly, and approaching that line. I think the point I tried to make is that. Mods have to make that call. It's a judgement call. If they wait until people are calling each other a-holes, then nobody will question the thread being closed. But I think it's better to close the thread before that point. And yes, that means reasonable people will question if it should have been closed.

I also agree with when you close certain threads, that need it, such as this case, is there a way to not bump the thread up, but a way to still show who closed it? This way, if someone in the thread has a question, they can email the mod who closed it.
There is no way now to do that, but the simple answer is that the person should email the mods. It's not an infinite number of mods. Ask the Other mods why it was closed. One of us will answer, and if nothing else, you have brought the situation to the attention of all the mods.


Understand on the TV Talk thread. I would reclassify as thread crapping as the post was making a point, but not one that pertained to the thread in question. Or do I have the definition of that incorrect here? PS: Not trying to be a dork, just understand
The entire thread crapping issue probably deserves it's own thread. Suffice to say that being off topic is not thread crapping.

Being off topic, if it becomes habitual is a problem, and we have addressed that in the past and have banned people who keep doing it.
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Old 10-09-01, 01:25 PM
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randyc - thanks for taking the time to explain this stuff to me. I appreciate it.
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Old 10-09-01, 01:47 PM
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Since this was made public by me, I feel I must respond in public to answer some of the questions here and to explain my actions as best as I can.

When the thread was closed with no explanation or identification, I took it as a personal affront and felt I was wronged as a) I couldn't reply to a post about me (would have been civil I promise) and so someone else 'got the last word', and b) I had to assume, due to the lack of any explanation, that it was done because of the content of the postings and someone took religious offense and improperly exercised their 'powers' as a moderator to silince the discussion. (yes, I know what happens when you assume....) As others have stated, none of the posts seemed to be over the line and there seemed no other explanation for it. If someone felt that I was being 'attacked' as stated here, I'm a big boy, I can take it, and unless I were to click on the 'complain about this post' link, I dont think a mod should be trying to 'protect me'. I could see no other explanation as every other quality forum I use and even most of the threads here always have a post from the moderator as they close it, *especially* when there is no clear reason as in this case. Absent that I had to believe it was the 'attacks' on a mod's religion that prompted it, and that really set me off that a mod would abuse their authority to censor a discussion that they didn't agree with.

Now, as you can see from this thread:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hreadid=148652

I don't take being wronged lightly, and yes, I was quite harsh in my posting after that because, being brand new here, I had no idea who to contact since I had no idea who had done it as they failed to indicate such. That made me think they were purposefully hiding, in essence attacking me anonymously with no way for me to do anything about it. That was why I posted that public thread, especially since I didn't know this feedback forum even existed (heat of the moment doncha know...). I've been really on edge this past month for some reason and probably could have more tastefully responded to the issue, but from my perspective I was censored, without cause and without explanation, and I truly feel it's unamerican even in a privately owned forum to do that, especially if it's done by a bible-thumper as a bible-thumper (again, my possibly incorrect assumption). Once the human defensive program has kicked in, it's hard to control, and I felt the need to respond to the dozens of posts that directly and personally attacked me. The only way I could do that was to create a new account, and at that point I felt the entire populace and management was against me so I was fully prepared to do something about it.

No I was not talking about world news sites like CNN or MSNBC, they obviously have better things to report on. Even Condit got a free pass on this one I was referring to online communities that DO care about this kind of stuff, some sections of cnet, the onion, dozens of others. And, if it was truly a case of religious censorship, then I was seriously planning to contact each and every advertiser and inform them of what they were supporting. Sure the site is private but it relies on external funding so it's sort of, though not quite, like a public company supported by shareholders. Remove support of the shareholders and there goes the company. I was that upset by it all.

Now that I've explained my actions, had a few cups of coffee, and fixed all the crises that were occuring here this morning, I can take an objective step back and consider the fallout. Yes I was out of line in publicly confronting the unknown moderator. I didn't know where/what else to do, but I realize that ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it. I stand by all the points I made, though maybe not *how* they were made. You'd think someone who's been on the internet since it was born, has run a BBS, moderated lots of forums in the past, and has a mensa-qualifying IQ could better control their emotions. I guess in today's emotionally sensitive environment, what was perceived as an anti-American action (though I never ever said anything about freedom of speech, simply that my words were censored) triggered a homeland defense program within me that I didn't know was in there. Maybe it was a worm But as I still don't know who did it I don't have anyone to apologize to.

The takeaway from all of this is that ALL of this could have been prevented if the mod had followed standard practice, common sense, and common courtesy and posted a quick explanation. MOST of this could have been prevented if I had counted to 10 before reacting, or had received that unsent email from Randy. Maybe if this simply changes the practice of closing threads without reason/notice/identification it will have all been worth it. Unlikely, but maybe....

Cheers...

-=- Riker -=-
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Old 10-09-01, 02:45 PM
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Originally posted by randyc


There is no way now to do that, but the simple answer is that the person should email the mods. It's not an infinite number of mods. Ask the Other mods why it was closed. One of us will answer, and if nothing else, you have brought the situation to the attention of all the mods.

Mods can edit postings by other people, can't they? Couldn't you edit the last post and add something like MODERATOR NOTATION: CLOSING due to (whatever)?

An edit doesn't bump it up ...

Just a thought. Anyway, a to randyc and the Mods.
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Old 10-09-01, 03:20 PM
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Originally posted by KitchenSink


Mods can edit postings by other people, can't they? Couldn't you edit the last post and add something like MODERATOR NOTATION: CLOSING due to (whatever)?

An edit doesn't bump it up ...

Just a thought. Anyway, a to randyc and the Mods.
We had quite a large discussion about this between the mods this monring and came to that same conclusion. A very good idea that X came up with actually.

Keep in mind still I don't think it makes sense in all threads to go into explanations about why they are closed, but I do think the positive thing to come from this is that the point has been discussed by mods/admins and the point emphasized to try to tell people why you closed a thread, and if you don't want to bump the thread, to edit the last post to add some moderator words.
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Old 10-09-01, 03:27 PM
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Randyc,
I guess I'm amazed by the tolerance that some of the posters in the thread have shown Riker by their comments here. I 100% support the decision to close the thread, and consider his other threads on the issue juvenile to the point where we don't need him back.

As for his banning, I think he went way over the line as far as an attack on all Christians, including the ones posting here as part of this thread. The following quote is from one of his posts near the top of the last page: (I added the bold for emphasis)
After millions of years, trillions of people, and thousands of different religions that have come and gone, to think that YOURS is the only correct one and must be preached far and wide is pure ARROGANCE and I detest each and every one of them. Don't you think that in today's world of technology and transportation that every single human on the planet is aware of christianity?
I, as an agnostic, think this is entirely inapporpriate; I can only guess how it would make a Christian feel. Now the thread was heated and we were discussing whether Christians proselytize too much, but I think that post went way over the line and into personal attack space. His other comments weren't much better.

Once that was thrown in the punch bowl, the thread headed towards a "my religion (or lack thereof) is better than yours" that was headed for jihad/crusade/(whatever you call it when atheists attack) where the thread could never be saved and gotten back on topic.

I understand your point about not bumping it to the first page. If Kitchensink's idea works that wouldn't be a bad idea for the future, but in my book, you mods handled it fine.
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Old 10-09-01, 03:31 PM
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Originally posted by rekir
You'd think someone who's been on the internet since it was born, has run a BBS, moderated lots of forums in the past, and has a mensa-qualifying IQ could better control their emotions
-=- Riker -=-
Gee, is he going to join the FBI? Is his dad a doctor?

Riker/RikersRevenge/rekir - I know you're out there watching. You brought this on on yourself. I think Randy explained it quite well. If you are as experienced on the net as you claim to be (you state you have been a mod), you should have know better than to go overboard publicly like you did, you should have known that there was a way to contact the mods - you should have known better. As it turns out, the thread wasn't even closed because of your comments.

Last edited by Bandoman; 10-09-01 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 10-09-01, 03:37 PM
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Bandoman - basically what he's saying is that for a smart person, he did something fairly stupid. I take it you never have?

Old dude - I agree that he was harsh. Let me ask you this, how do you think others feel when a christian tells them that their entire faith and culture is wrong and they should follow christianity or they will burn in hell? Regardless of the fact that they have believed what they have believed for thousands of years?
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