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Author Topic: Re: An Open Call for Moderation  (Read 3966 times) Average Rating: 0
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GabrieltheCelt
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« on: July 14, 2007, 11:12:27 PM »


I think there is a much more insidious form of martyrdom going on today. Christianity (by which I mean, the real Christianity of the Church of Acts) is starting to be seen as "anti-social", "anti-progress", "counter-cultural", and even "treasonous". Anyone who lives the love for their enemies which the Gospel demands is labelled "traitor". Anyone who publicly proclaims that they believe God became Incarnated and entered human history is ridiculed as naive, a simpleton, a believer of fantasies and wives tales. And nowhere is safe from this. Only those who manage to die to the world and who value something greater than the world will be able to have their faith (and integrity) survive this onslaught. "Death to the World- The Last True Rebellion" is not just a catchy title, it's a reality.
Amen. Well said. In today's environment, believing in Christ as our Savior is definately an act of *social* martyrdom, to say the least. And I can see that in the near future, the word martyr will be much more relevant and in use than we in the West have been accustomed to. As for those posters here who continually, habitually, and antagonistically harass and defame Christ and His followers on this forum, I openly call for more moderation against them. As I see it, posters such as GreekisChristian are much more insidious and inflammatory than posters such as Fatman2010. Unfortunately, because GreekisChristian is a "site supporter", it seems as if we can buy our way out of being banned. I know that this is something that many of you are also thinking.
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2007, 11:29:45 PM »

Unfortunately, because GreekisChristian is a "site supporter", it seems as if we can buy our way out of being banned.
Actually, that is not true. TomS is a Site Supporter and has been banned. And GreekisChristian's current level is "Warned".
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2007, 11:48:18 PM »

Quote
I know that this is something that many of you are also thinking.

Yep. Though my thoughts are usually along the lines of "How have I escaped being warned/banned all this time?" Grin I think Anastasios has been pretty clear over the years that if this forum is biased, it is biased towards allowing as much unfettered discussion as possible, so long as things don't become an ad hominem circus. Just my 2 cents...
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2007, 12:12:33 AM »

I will try to monitor my medicinal liquid intake...

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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2007, 12:24:17 AM »

I will try to monitor my medicinal liquid intake...
I have a few Pythagoras Cups if you would like me to send you one.
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2007, 01:00:33 AM »

Actually, that is not true. TomS is a Site Supporter and has been banned. And GreekisChristian's current level is "Warned".
Out of curiosity, how many times can one be 'warned' before being 'banned'?

Though my thoughts are usually along the lines of "How have I escaped being warned/banned all this time?"
I once questioned why you, a self-described atheist, would choose to join a Christian forum, when it looks as if you have no intention of returning to Christianity. BUT, I've never thought you should be banned. Perhaps more moderated than the Christians  Wink, but not banned. GreekisChristian, on the other hand, is extremely hostile, antagonistic, and downright disrespectful to every single one of you who profess Christianity. He is argumentative for no other reason than because he dislikes Christians. He has even said that he finds most people as worthless. He talks about other religions as being less than swine and dogs, and on more than one occasion has insinuated that Muslims should be exterminated.

 And just for the record, I'm not necessarily calling for the banning of anyone, just more moderation. And the reason I'm calling for this is quite simple. If you were to walk into a building that had a sign saying Grocery Store and instead of groceries they were selling insurance, you would understandibly be confused. Likewise, a visitor to an Orthodox Christianity forum might expect to encounter Christians vigorously debating certain issues, but will understandably find it confusing to find members who are not only NOT Christians, but are openly hostile to Christians. And not only would they find that confusing, they would wonder why it is allowed to continue day after day. Huh

 OC.net is a safe haven for not only those who are Christians, but those who are sincerely seeking the Truth (or who are simply curious). One expects to encounter hostility and mockery in the 'real' world (and indeed, are asked to suffer for their beliefs), but not on a forum like this. And I submit that just because a person is a Christian does not mean they're supposed to accept constant bullying on a Christian forum. I don't enjoy being a pot-stirer, and I know that I'll be criticized for saying these things. I certainly don't want to tell our dear moderators how to do their jobs, but I think it's time that a little more action is considered.
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2007, 01:50:20 AM »

Jibrail,

Quote
I once questioned why you, a self-described atheist, would choose to join a Christian forum, when it looks as if you have no intention of returning to Christianity. BUT, I've never thought you should be banned. Perhaps more moderated than the Christians  , but not banned... OC.net is a safe haven for not only those who are Christians, but those who are sincerely seeking the Truth

Hey, that's a great vision for a forum! I'm not sure it's a good description of this forum, though. Wink There are email groups and forums specifically designed for new converts and others who don't want to see all the arguments, but OC.net has never struck me as being that type of forum. Fwiw, I've been here at OC.net for 4 1/2 years, was Orthodox when I joined, and was Orthodox for the majority of the time I've been here.
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2007, 01:54:49 AM »

Gabriel,
For the record, I actually think the concerns you raise about the nature of Christian forums in general are valid ones and deserve discussion, however, I think the method you used to raise the issue (that Site Supporters are a "protected species") is invalid, since it is demonstratively false. Be that as it may, what I am understanding your concerns to be are:

1) That an Orthodox Christian Forum presumes the Truth of the Orthodox Christian Faith.

2) That an Orthodox Christian Forum is a place where Orthodox Christians and inquirers into Orthodox Christianity can discuss the Orthodox Christian Faith.

3) That an Orthodox Christian forum is not the place to question the fundamental Truth of the Christian Faith.

4) That an Orthodox Christian forum is not a place for people to practice rhetoric, but a place to discuss as well as debate issues, rather than debating techniques. In other words, to try and win a debate by evoking an emotional/irrational response out of your opponent by deliberately flaming them rather than discussing the actual issue at hand is distracting on an Orthodox Christian Forum.

Is this a correct interpretation of your points?
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2007, 01:59:32 AM »

Hey, that's a great vision for a forum! I'm not sure it's a good description of this forum, though. Wink

Type "orthodoxchristianity.net" into Google and the first link says:
"OrthodoxChristianity.net: Your Home on the Internet For Orthodox Christianity!"
The meta data of the site clearly presumes something about it's content and makes a claim about what the site is. It clearly is closer to Gabriel's understanding than yours.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2007, 01:59:56 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2007, 02:01:10 AM »

Okie Dokie.
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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2007, 03:26:56 AM »

Actually, that is not true. TomS is a Site Supporter and has been banned. And GreekisChristian's current level is "Warned".

Poor TomS, he has always been one of my favourite posters, but then again, I'm a sucker for common sense...speaking of favourite posters, I wonder whatever happened to that SmoT guy, I quite liked him as well. Wink
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« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2007, 03:37:02 AM »

Since this topic deals with some very important questions about the nature of this site, I have split off some of the distracting posts into a new thread, and I will do so with any other distracting posts so that the fundamental questions and issues raised in this thread (which include the issue of bombastic, overbearing and distracting posts) can be addressed. 
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« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2007, 12:24:40 PM »

Oz

That this forum is for Orthodox Christians to discuss Orthodoxy is obvious. What I am more interested in are how the admins/mods would answer the following two questions: are people are allowed to critique Orthodox belief/practice? Also, are people allowed to post ideas that are different than what is believed to be the traditional/normative Orthodox position?

Could you ask the other mods/admins to chime in here, or perhaps discuss it in your private forum (I'm assuming that you have one) and get back to us?
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« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2007, 12:28:49 PM »

What I am more interested in are how the admins/mods would answer the following two questions: are people are allowed to critique Orthodox belief/practice? Also, are people allowed to post ideas that are different than what is believed to be the traditional/normative Orthodox position?
This came up four years ago:
Friends,

I hope you all know that my goal is to provide a free forum for the discussion of Orthodox Christianity, while also maintaining a place where people can ask questions, make friendly debates, and discuss the issues without fear of being blasted to shreads like on some of the Internet email lists (which tend to be nastier no matter what religion is doing the debating).

One of our best posters expressed his frustration that he thinks that anti-Orthodox opinions are being allowed to often here.

I don't want that to be the case: like I said, we allow friendly debate, but always in the context of the fact that this is an ORTHODOX board.

I am not going to open this thread to debate, since I have many times before asked for your opinions and we have had some lively discussions.  Instead, I ask you to private message me with your most sincere and firm concerns, objections, comments, etc., and I will forward them to the rest of the OC.NET team, to discern if there is something we need to do differently.

Please be aware that the last time I asked for feedback, I got about 3 posts publicily and 1 private message.  Now is your chance to be heard at this time (although you are always heard if you click on my name to send me a PM).

We try to be as populist as we can when running this board, so we want to hear from you if you have concerns.

Yours in Christ,

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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2007, 12:39:20 PM »

Yes, I already read that, as well as other posts made by Anastasios, Mor Ephrem, and others. I also logged out and read the registration statement, which said that you are not to make "profane" statements. Perhaps I have misunderstood what is and isn't supposed to be allowed here. I am asking for forthright answers to my questions; considering that I might have to leave, I hope you'll understand that I'd like to be sure about all of this.
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« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2007, 01:13:19 PM »

In my experience, a set of articulated rules only invite people to hold you to them when they violate the spirit but not the letter of the law.
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« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2007, 01:37:36 PM »

I have no idea what that means.
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« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2007, 02:02:25 PM »

I have no idea what that means.
Let's say a rule is articulated against plagiarism saying that you cannot cut-and-paste huge chunks of text without citation. A "challenging" poster then posts a huge chunk of cut-and-pasted text, and in a subsequent post, gives the citation. He has kept the "letter of the law" (by posting a citation) but has violated the "spirit of the law" which was actually meant to stop huge chunks of text being cut-and-pasted. And so you articulate a new rule which gives a maximum number of characters for each post; so the "challenging" poster will then then cut-and-paste another huge block of text and post it in a series of seven consecutive posts, each not exceeding the maximum character limit, and post a citation in an eighth post. Again, he has kept the "letter of the law" while violating the "spirit of the law". 
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« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2007, 02:11:28 PM »

Ahh, well that makes sense, and I think you've got a good point there. Well then, I'll keep on making a nuisance of myself here, and if you warn/ban me, then I can't say that I didn't see it coming.  Grin
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« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2007, 02:15:11 PM »

Well then, I'll keep on making a nuisance of myself here
Why?
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« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2007, 02:20:40 PM »

Why would I stay, or why would I make a nuisance of myself? As to the first part, I've tried to explain that no less than three times this year, I'm about all explained-out on that one. Regarding the second part, I was being sarcastic, since I must seem a nuisance to some others. My approach in the future will be the same as it has been since I joined this forum: seek accurate info, try to provide accurate info, share some personal opinions, and change my view whenever I am shown to be wrong on something (I can think of at least three major changes, and there are probably a dozen less important ones).
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« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2007, 02:35:22 PM »

FWIW I meant why would you want to make a nuisance of yourself.
Regarding the second part, I was being sarcastic, since I must seem a nuisance to some others.
Not really.

My approach in the future will be the same as it has been since I joined this forum: seek accurate info, try to provide accurate info, share some personal opinions, and change my view whenever I am shown to be wrong on something (I can think of at least three major changes, and there are probably a dozen less important ones).
I think we should all keep in mind, though, the difference between "personal opinions" and "accurate information". Sometimes the line gets blurred, and we are convinced we are providing "accurate information" when in reality it is just our "personal opinion" and may in fact be wrong. I know, because I've been guilty of it.
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« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2007, 11:50:40 PM »

Gabriel,
For the record, I actually think the concerns you raise about the nature of Christian forums in general are valid ones and deserve discussion, however, I think the method you used to raise the issue (that Site Supporters are a "protected species") is invalid, since it is demonstratively false. Be that as it may, what I am understanding your concerns to be are:

1) That an Orthodox Christian Forum presumes the Truth of the Orthodox Christian Faith.

2) That an Orthodox Christian Forum is a place where Orthodox Christians and inquirers into Orthodox Christianity can discuss the Orthodox Christian Faith.

3) That an Orthodox Christian forum is not the place to question the fundamental Truth of the Christian Faith.

4) That an Orthodox Christian forum is not a place for people to practice rhetoric, but a place to discuss as well as debate issues, rather than debating techniques. In other words, to try and win a debate by evoking an emotional/irrational response out of your opponent by deliberately flaming them rather than discussing the actual issue at hand is distracting on an Orthodox Christian Forum.

Is this a correct interpretation of your points?

Yes. You hit the nail right on the head. Unfortunately, I'm so sure that the OCnet measure's up.


 
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« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2007, 12:51:45 AM »

Yes. You hit the nail right on the head.
OK then, we now have a working document!

Unfortunately, I'm so sure that the OCnet measure's up.
I presume you meant to say "I'm not so sure".

Let's look at each one:

1) That an Orthodox Christian Forum presumes the Truth of the Orthodox Christian Faith.
I think this one is difficult to measure. The "forum" is not really an entity separate from the posts it contains. On a practical level, it either means that no post should be tolerated which does not reflect Orthodoxy, or that posts which state that the Orthodox Christian Faith is false should not be tolerated. I personally think it's the latter.

2) That an Orthodox Christian Forum is a place where Orthodox Christians and inquirers into Orthodox Christianity can discuss the Orthodox Christian Faith.

Hopefully this is true about OCnet, and I don't see any evidence to the contrary, but I could be missing it. People do seem to be able to come here and ask questions.

3) That an Orthodox Christian forum is not the place to question the fundamental Truth of the Christian Faith.

I think this one is another difficult onel. What say a non-Christian inquirer into Orthodoxy comes and asks a question about the Incarnation because they genuinely don't know that God became Man? Technically, they are "questioning a fundamental Truth of the Christian Faith". But this is vastly different to, say, coming on the forum and claiming that Orthodox Christianity is wrong in holding that Christ is the God-Man. I think this latter case would be covered by No. (1).

4) That an Orthodox Christian forum is not a place for people to practice rhetoric, but a place to discuss as well as debate issues, rather than debating techniques. In other words, to try and win a debate by evoking an emotional/irrational response out of your opponent by deliberately flaming them rather than discussing the actual issue at hand is distracting on an Orthodox Christian Forum.
In speaking privately and online with a few posters, I think this is the most common issue they have with OCnet. The fact is, we have a few excellent debaters and rhetoricians here. But the other fact is that not all threads are debates in which rhetorical techniques are employed. I actually think there is room for both. I also think that there are some clear "no go" areas for debating (such as the Prayer Forum). While I agree that some posters are merely deliberately trying to flame others with no interest in debating the issue (and are soon weeded out), I also think that others are using rhetoric as a way of calling on people to defend their dogmatic statements. I don't think that someone who says "I think that...." or "In my opinion...." should be called to defend their opinion, because they haven't imposed it on anyone. But when someone makes dogmatic statements along the lines of "This is how things are...." or "Orthodoxy believes this....", then, they should be called on to defend their statement.
The posters skilled in rhetorical techniques have, in the past, actually shared their rhetorical skills with others. Some of the most interesting threads on the forum have been where posters (and one in particular) have shared the secrets of their debating and rhetoric techniques.
So while I think flaming for the sake of flaming is stupid, and the act of a troll, flaming as a response to someone making sweeping claims as a means of calling on them to defend their claims and offering intelligent responses to their attempts to defend their claims is very different. This, of course, presumes that point No. (1) is kept in mind.
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« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2007, 01:15:54 AM »

Yes. You hit the nail right on the head. Unfortunately, I'm so sure that the OCnet measure's up.


 

I do appreciate your feedback on our forum and as you can see your comments are being considered. I want to always encourage people to let us know how we are doing and offer feedback.

I don't think our forum measures up either but the way I see it, no forum measures up for that matter given that human beings run forums and human beings participate in forums. It's impossible to satisfy everyone and we do our best to provide the most reasonable forum available, and from the feedback I have received over the past five years, even those who complain/comment about the site (which is fine, that's how we measure ourselves) will admit that this site does the best job of providing some sort of balance between a) reasonable free speech and discussion/debate and b) providing a safe haven for Orthodox to express themselves.

The problems I have always noticed are that if one tends towards option a then fundamental Orthodox concepts are challenged and that upsets some people seeking b; and if b is emphasized too much, no discussion occurs and the forum becomes pretty homogenous and boring.

My guiding principle when I set up this site with Robert and Philip was (and is), if the Orthodox Church is the true Church, our position will always win out in a free venue (which is what a "forum" is).  Now, when we see someone being consistently anti-Orthodox or who does not seem to be here for discussion or fellowship but is rather a troll, we take action. The problem is, it's hard to establish who fits that category sometimes, especially without attributing motives to others (which is something I personally find extremely vexing when it is done to me and so I try to avoid doing it to others).

On a personal note, and in the vein of the above, I was slightly bothered at your insinuation that GisC's monetary donation (which was extremely modest in comparison to other donors and which occurred in 2005) was in some way responsible for his not being banned.  No one owns me or any other member of our team.

I do agree with you that constant anti-Orthodox banter gets old and I don't like it when threads are hijacked repeatedly.

If you would like to help us make this site a better place, I am sure we can find an area for you to contribute. I for one am always looking for assistance in developing and editing content on the front page. We also need help in collecting photographs for posting. If you or anyone else is interested in improving the site, PM me.

Anastasios
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« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2007, 01:41:35 AM »

FWIW, I think OC.net has gotten alot better in the last year with regard to the type of posts it gets.

For a while there it was dominated by the sharp and edgy reply and clever put-down; overall, things seem more sincere the past half year or more.

That's just my 2 cents.
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« Reply #26 on: July 19, 2007, 01:05:22 AM »

I've been thinking, it'd be nice if there was a "year of grace" (didn't the Old Testament Jews have one of those every so often?), where people who had been banned could get another chance (unless it was something like a new member posting porn). Two top ten posters have been banned in the last year or so. I'm not going to argue that they shouldn't have been banned--that was for the mods/admins to decide--but as a poster I would enjoy reading their posts here again.
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« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2007, 01:17:04 AM »

All their posts are still here.
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« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2007, 01:21:34 AM »

I know (though they have been deleted from the members list). But they aren't here. According to the OT, God was willing to forgive the wickedness of thousands for the sake of a very few... I wouldn't think less of the mods/admins for thinking my idea silly, but couldn't they similarly look past whatever bad posting is in them for the sake of the good in them (at least on a trial basis)?
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« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2007, 01:24:56 AM »

I'll gladly PM you their email addresses and maybe even the forums they're about to be banned on now.
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« Reply #30 on: July 19, 2007, 01:32:34 AM »

That's ok.
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« Reply #31 on: July 19, 2007, 01:33:58 AM »

That's ok.

OK 'Yes' or OK 'NO'?
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« Reply #32 on: July 19, 2007, 01:38:53 AM »

Ok no. I didn't know that they were posting inflammatory stuff elsewhere.
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« Reply #33 on: July 20, 2007, 12:12:19 AM »

Do I sense bitterness?

If you think they should be censored for some reason fine, I, of course, disagree, but that's your choice. However, it's really not a good idea to get emotionally involved.
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