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Re: MODERATOR: `flamethrowing' on first posts

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  • Stephen E. Jones
    Group I received a first post from a new member (while he is automatically on moderation), which launched straight into a charge that IDers are attempting to
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 1, 2003
      Group

      I received a first post from a new member (while he is
      automatically on moderation), which launched straight
      into a charge that "IDers are attempting to perpetuate a
      scientific lie".

      I do not regard this sort of `flamethrowing* as acceptable in
      a first post to CED, and I rejected his post as follows:

      ==================================================
      XXX

      [...]

      >XXX: Because IDers are attempting to perpetuate a
      >scientific lie ...

      This is not acceptable as a first post. See ruling on new
      members:

      --------------------------------------------------
      http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/cedrlngs.html
      CreationEvolutionDesign: Additional information: Rulings
      and policies [...] new members: on probation to see if accept
      CED's aims & rules (#4458); first posts should introduce
      themselves & not be highly contentious (#4458);
      automatically on moderation until clear from posts they
      accept rules (#803). [...]
      --------------------------------------------------

      Please read *carefully* the aims and rules of CED at:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign/
      again, and if you don't accept them *unreservedly*, please
      unsubscribe.

      Stephen E. Jones
      MODERATOR
      ==================================================

      In fact I don't regard branding *all* "IDers" (or *all*
      evolutionists) as liars as acceptable even in a long-standing
      member.

      Generally a claim that an individual or group has lied is not
      permitted on CED under rule #4's provision against personal
      attacks:

      ------------------------------------------------
      http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/cedrlngs.html
      CreationEvolutionDesign: Additional information: Rulings
      and policies [...] lie, liar, lying, lied: (see ad hominem & rule
      4 - personal attack). not permitted (#3782, 2808, 2750,
      1261, 1757, 889); unless on the basis of evidence, not as a
      substitute for argument: (#4099); 1. can be supported in
      every particular, 2) in the public interest, and 3) not with
      malice (#4231, 3217); lie, two elements of: 1) what is said is
      wrong; and 2) person saying it knows it is wrong (#2305, 1118)
      ------------------------------------------------

      However, a claim can be made that an individual or group
      has lied, i.e. said or wrote "something known or believed ...
      to be untrue with intent to deceive"
      (http://m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=lie),
      as long as it is backed up by *evidence*.

      Having said that, a claim that a large group or class has lied
      (e.g. "IDers", "creationists", "evolutionists") would be
      effectively impossible to support by evidence, since one
      would have to show that *all* members of that group or class
      has lied.

      However, it may be possible to provide evidence that a
      small, well-defined group has lied, so I won't rule that claims
      a group or class have lied, are automatically not permitted
      on CED.

      Stephen E. Jones
      MODERATOR
    • william r wald
      SEJ: Over the last half dozen years I have participated in a dozen or so similar lists created for various purposes and this is the only one of them that was
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 1, 2003
        SEJ:

        Over the last half dozen years I have participated in a dozen or so
        similar lists created for various purposes and this is the only one of
        them that was intensly concerned about publishing rules and enforcing
        rules. A study of the evolution of lists and forums might find a parallel
        between lists and authortarianism in other areas of human activity.


        billwald@...
      • Cliff Lundberg
        ... This study might find that concern with rules is a survival factor for lists that are intended to discuss controversial matters. But I m sure Steve s
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 1, 2003
          william r wald wrote:

          >Over the last half dozen years I have participated in a dozen or so
          >similar lists created for various purposes and this is the only one of
          >them that was intensly concerned about publishing rules and enforcing
          >rules. A study of the evolution of lists and forums might find a parallel
          >between lists and authortarianism in other areas of human activity.

          This study might find that concern with rules is a survival factor
          for lists that are intended to discuss controversial matters. But I'm
          sure Steve's detailed and diligent moderation is a shock to new
          participants. On most lists the moderators lean toward being as
          invisible as possible. I suggest that more moderation be done
          through private e-mail, notwithstanding the loss of the edification
          of list members through their reading these frequent reminders of
          the rules.

          Cliff
        • Stephen E. Jones
          Group From: william r wald Date: Wed Apr 2, 2003 1:14 am Subject: Re: MODERATOR: `flamethrowing on first posts [...] BW Over the last
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 1, 2003
            Group

            From: william r wald <billwald@...>
            Date: Wed Apr 2, 2003 1:14 am
            Subject: Re: MODERATOR: `flamethrowing' on first posts

            [...]

            BW>Over the last half dozen years I have participated in a dozen or so
            >similar lists created for various purposes and this is the only one
            of
            >them that was intensly concerned about publishing rules and enforcing
            >rules.

            [...]

            *** Moderator: I am "concerned about publishing rules" in
            order that members are aware in advance what the rules of
            CED and my interpretations of them are. My rulings & policy
            page was actually a request by a new member which I was
            initially reluctant to do because "they would become written
            rules in their own right, which would be too many"
            (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign/message/4330),
            but in the end I felt that it was only fair for new members to
            know up front what my interpretations of the rules have been
            in the past.

            And I am "concerned about ... enforcing rules" because my
            experience on another C/E list and the subsequent
            experience of all C/E lists that I am aware of, is that there
            need to be rules and for them to be enforced, if the list is to
            be viable.

            Here are front pages from three other C/E lists which
            vindicate my assumption that if CED was to be "a list open
            to all, where debate on the issues would be maximised and
            personal attacks minimised", then "This required a fair set of
            rules which are enforced"
            (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign/):

            ---------------------------------------------------------------
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDebate/
            CreationEvolutionDebate [...]
            Most debates on this subject end up being personal attacks
            and outright rudeness. So this list was started to be a
            friendly atmosphere where members are free to share their
            knowledge but without fear of being attacked. Personal
            attacks, profanity, vulgarity, teasing, harrassing and the like
            will simply not be tolerated. This list is co-moderated by a
            Christian and an atheist both of whom are evolutionists.
            Members are normally free to post, however, if a member
            violates the rules of the list their posts will be moderated.
            Extreme violations will result in disqualification from the list.
            [...]
            ---------------------------------------------------------------

            ---------------------------------------------------------------
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TrueOrigin/ TrueOrigin [...]
            This list's sole purpose is to give a forum in which to
            discuss/debate the content on the trueorgin.org web site, among
            other related issues concerning the creation/evolution debate.
            The only requirements for this list is that you be courteous to
            others and *respect their views*. In other words, check the ad
            hominems at the door. If you can't seem to be able to do this
            then you will simply cease to be a member of this list. [...]
            ---------------------------------------------------------------

            ---------------------------------------------------------------
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OriginsTalk/ OriginsTalk [...]
            The OriginsTalk listserv was established as a service of the
            Creation Science Resource website in June 2001. The objective
            is to provide a civil forum for discussion of news and issues
            relevant to the origin and evolution of life. Membership and
            archives are open to the public, however posts are moderated
            specifically to prevent the derogatory personal comments which
            so often frequent this topic. You are required to behave in a
            polite and respectful manner to the members of this list.

            Rules for OriginsTalk: Posting privileges will be suspended for
            30 days following violation. Users will be permanently banned
            upon their 3rd removal or for excessively abusive behavior.

            * Degrogatory comments or insults of list members or persons
            abroad are forbidden
            * Posts must remain on-topic (Creation Science, Evolution &;
            Intelligent Design)
            * Posts must contain content - Do not submit only Amen, I
            Agree, or Thank You posts.
            * Posts Limit of 2 per day
            * Attachments are limited to 50KB
            * Profanity or expletives are forbidden
            * Public Responses to moderations are forbidde[n]
            ---------------------------------------------------------------

            BW>A study of the evolution of lists and forums might find a parallel
            >between lists and authortarianism in other areas of human activity.

            I regard this as Bill attempting to undermine the Moderator's
            position by implying the Moderator is "authoritarian", and
            therefore a breach of rule 1:

            ---------------------------------------------------------------
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign/ [...]
            1. The aims of CED must be supported. The Moderator's rulings are
            final. Undermining the Moderator's position is incompatible with
            membership. [...]
            ---------------------------------------------------------------

            I hereby issue Moderator's warning #1 to Bill.

            If Bill (or any other member) finds the rules of CED, which
            are simply "the ordinary standards of courteous communication
            in civilised society", "The way we all talk everyday with our
            friends, neighbours and workmates," and "are meant to free
            discussion of the issues not restrict it":

            ---------------------------------------------------------------
            http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/cedindex.html#rules
            CreationEvolutionDesign: Additional information [...]
            The rules of the CreationEvolutionDesign List are as per its
            home page.

            These rules should only be interpreted to mean nothing
            more or less than the ordinary standards of courteous
            communication in civilised society. The way we all talk
            everyday with our friends, neighbours and workmates. They
            are meant to free discussion of the issues not restrict it.
            [...]
            ---------------------------------------------------------------

            as too restrictive for their liking, then the answer is simple -
            find another list! ***

            Stephen E. Jones
            MODERATOR
          • Stephen E. Jones
            Group From: Cliff Lundberg Date: Wed Apr 2, 2003 5:47 am Subject: Re: MODERATOR: `flamethrowing on first posts [...] ... so
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 1, 2003
              Group

              From: Cliff Lundberg <cliff_lundberg@...>
              Date: Wed Apr 2, 2003 5:47 am
              Subject: Re: MODERATOR: `flamethrowing' on first posts

              [...]

              >BW>Over the last half dozen years I have participated in a dozen or
              so
              >>similar lists created for various purposes and this is the only one
              of
              >>them that was intensly concerned about publishing rules and
              enforcing
              >>rules. A study of the evolution of lists and forums might find a
              parallel
              >>between lists and authortarianism in other areas of human activity.

              CL>This study might find that concern with rules is a survival factor
              >for lists that are intended to discuss controversial matters.

              *** Moderator: Indeed it is "a survival factor"! ***

              CL>But I'm
              >sure Steve's detailed and diligent moderation is a shock to new
              >participants. On most lists the moderators lean toward being as
              >invisible as possible.

              *** Moderator: I would prefer that "the moderator" was "as
              invisible as possible". If members just stuck to discussing the
              issues within the framework of the rules, the Moderator would be
              "invisible". ***

              CL>I suggest that more moderation be done
              >through private e-mail, notwithstanding the loss of the edification
              >of list members through their reading these frequent reminders of
              >the rules.

              *** Moderator: Thanks to Cliff for his suggestion, which I
              have considered.

              But I believe that "justice must not only be done; it must be
              *seen* to be done". If I transacted Moderator business in
              private, then the charge could always be made that I play
              favourites.

              Already some disgruntled former members have complained about
              my moderation on other lists, but the fact that it was always
              public enables me to defend myself by reference to CED's
              webbed archives. If moderation was in private they could
              say what they like about me and I could not defend myself
              without breaching their confidentiality.

              Also, what if the member being moderated privately argued
              back privately against his/her moderation? An escalation could
              ensue where the member's posting privileges were suspended,
              with other members being unware of what happened and why.

              It is normal on C/E lists for moderation to be public, and by
              me transacting all CED Moderator business publicly, hopefully
              it should help prevent other members needing moderation. ***

              Stephen E. Jones
              MODERATOR
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