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Complaints Desk

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Purpose

This thread is for airing ( and hopefully resolving ) any grievances you may have in an open and constructive way. It is given some greater latitude for expression than regular threads when it comes to contentious or provocative language, but there is a limit to what will be tolerated, and failure to abide by the warnings of the forum admin will result in the complaint being dismissed.

Complaint Desk Process
  • All formal complaints must go through the Complaints Desk Process.
  • All complaints, particularly those about a member's character are to be framed objectively and constructively.
    To be considered valid, a complaint must:
    • Include the facts and an explanation of how the the content in question breaks the Forum Rules & Guidelines
    • Include specific examples with supporting links.
  • Proposing a constructive solution to the situation can give your complaint more credibility.
  • If the issue is not covered under the Forum Rules & Guidelines, you can make the case that it should be.
  • Complaints based on unsubstantiated opinion, assumption, or mere proclamation, will be dismissed.
  • Multiple complaints based on unsubstantiated opinion, assumption, or mere proclamation will be considered flaming or trolling.
  • Flaming or trolling will result in the offender being banned from the forum without any opportunity for an appeal.
  • Appeals can be made, but only after the Complaints Desk process has been completed.
  • Bypassing the Complaints Desk process will be considered an act of bad faith.
  • The final judgement on appeals rests with Gene Steinberg.
 
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Pharoah

Paranormal Adept
How about posting some commentary on what you think about the content itself rather than posting unconstructive criticism about mine. Or, if you decide to comment on my posts, then address the content of the post rather than drawing offhanded conclusions about my intent. If you keep ignoring these suggestions, I'll just start deleting the offensive posts. After that, if you continue to be unreasonable, you'll be left with no choice other than to take your abrasive attitude someplace else. Notice I am now using the word "unreasonable" because you've clearly crossed the line.
@Randall that is uncalled for—to threaten to use your editorial privileges to silence someone.
I find you intellectually abrasive... it is simply difficult to respond to. That is not necessarily a bad thing: Everyone has their own style and that is one of the good aspects to the forum... if we can learn to live with it and learn from it together.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
@Randall that is uncalled for—to threaten to use your editorial privileges to silence someone.
I prefer to call it a warning rather than a "threat", but either way, part of having editorial privilege is having the right to remove content, and if deemed necessary, ban users. Having this responsibility doesn't give participants the right to treat me ( or any admin ) with less respect than anyone else, and although I'm very tolerant compared to many forum admins, I have a limit to the amount of abrasiveness and attitude that is directed at me personally.

If you review the recent history of my exchange with @Constance, you will see I've made every attempt to be as accommodating as possible, yet that approach has failed, and she instead chose to level more unconstructive criticism at me personally.
I find you intellectually abrasive... it is simply difficult to respond to.
Please provide an example.

Recently I offered Constance more than one opportunity to discuss the paper she posted in whatever way she felt most comfortable. See this example: Consciousness and the Paranormal — Part 13

Instead, she continued her unconstructive criticism about my participation, including unsubstantiated assumptions about my intent. There's a point when most people get fed-up with that approach, and trust me, this forum is far more tolerant of it than any other I've encountered.
That is not necessarily a bad thing: Everyone has their own style and that is one of the good aspects to the forum... if we can learn to live with it and learn from it together.
Yes. But everyone has a limit to what they can "live with", and like everyone else, I have mine. As a matter of habit, I will often let it go well beyond what others will tolerate. But I won't let it go on forever. Eventually I will issue a warning. I don't have to do that. In this case I could have simply bypassed that step, but didn't.

Yet instead of being reasonable, or offering any apology, Constance chose to leave the conversation. This is common behavior when someone realizes they can no longer continue flaming someone without facing the consequences.
 
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Pharoah

Paranormal Adept
I prefer to call it a warning rather than a "threat", but either way, part of having editorial privilege is having the right to remove content, and if deemed necessary, ban users. Having this responsibility doesn't give participants the right to treat me ( or any admin ) with less respect than anyone else, and although I'm very tolerant compared to many forum admins, I have a limit to the amount of abrasiveness and attitude that is directed at me personally.

If you review the recent history of my exchange with @Constance, you will see I've made every attempt to be as accommodating as possible, yet that approach has failed, and she instead chose to level more unconstructive criticism at me personally.

Please provide an example.

Recently I offered Constance more than one opportunity to discuss the paper she posted in whatever way she felt most comfortable. See this example: Consciousness and the Paranormal — Part 13

Instead, she continued her unconstructive criticism about my participation, including unsubstantiated assumptions about my intent. There's a point when most people get fed-up with that approach, and trust me, this forum is far more tolerant of it than any other I've encountered.

Yes. But everyone has a limit to what they can "live with", and like everyone else, I have mine. As a matter of habit, I will often let it go well beyond what others will tolerate. But I won't let it go on forever. Eventually I will issue a warning. I don't have to do that. In this case I could have simply bypassed that step, but didn't.

Yet instead of being reasonable, or offering any apology, Constance chose to leave the conversation. This is common behavior when someone realizes they can no longer continue flaming someone without facing the consequences.
Not impressed. If you are actively engaged in posting content to a forum you should forgo your editorial privileges. Alternatively you should deny yourself from contributing to the content.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Not impressed. If you are actively engaged in posting content to a forum you should forgo your editorial privileges. Alternatively you should deny yourself from contributing to the content.
First, I noticed that you failed to provide an example of, or an explanation for, how your accusation that I am "intellectually abrasive" breaks the forum rules or guidelines. Until you do, that complaint is not considered valid. My apologies if you find that "abrasive", but as per the Guidelines above, unsubstantiated opinions, assumptions, and mere proclamations are not considered valid complaints.

On The Issue of Editorial Privilege

This thread isn't meant for debating the limits of what an admin can and cannot do here. If you want the privilege of making the rules for admins, then I suggest you start your own discussion forum. Of course by your logic, then you couldn't participate in your own forum without recusing yourself from the responsibility for making decisions about it. See the problem?

Admins have the right to approve, change, or delete the content of a discussion forum, just like any other publishing editor, because somebody has to be willing to take on the responsibility. Simply because this publication is interactive rather than static doesn't change the reasoning for that. In fact, it makes it even more important. Apart from that, I don't know of any publication that allows its content providers to trash or flame its editors.

Nevertheless, if you think I'm being unfair, you can make your case here, and if that fails, you can appeal to @Gene Steinberg. However, I think it rather unlikely that he would exclude admins from forum discussions. Also, you might want to consider that if I were to recuse myself from my admin position so as to be able to contribute content, I would then have to appeal to another admin about my concerns. So I would be careful what you wish for.

I haven't met another forum admin anywhere who is as tolerant as I am, or would go so far as to provide an open thread for resolving conflicts. FWIW, I believe I am capable of holding myself to the same ( or higher ) standards as anyone else here. If you believe otherwise, then you will need to follow the Guidelines in the OP for future complaints. I am fine with being proven wrong, and will adapt accordingly if that turns out to be the case.
 
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Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
Not impressed. If you are actively engaged in posting content to a forum you should forgo your editorial privileges. Alternatively you should deny yourself from contributing to the content.
This practice has been normal in this forum from the very first day it debuted in 2006. The admins have always posted their own opinions, and, at the same time, engaged in editorial functions.

I also know that we are more tolerant than other forums. I know Randall can cite some examples. In one case of a forum designed strictly for personal attacks that doesn't deserve mention, his attempt to engage in a balanced dialog resulted in being banned from said forum.
 

Pharoah

Paranormal Adept
This practice has been normal in this forum from the very first day it debuted in 2006. The admins have always posted their own opinions, and, at the same time, engaged in editorial functions.

I also know that we are more tolerant than other forums. I know Randall can cite some examples. In one case of a forum designed strictly for personal attacks that doesn't deserve mention, his attempt to engage in a balanced dialog resulted in being banned from said forum.
First, I noticed that you failed to provide an example of, or an explanation for, how your accusation that I am "intellectually abrasive" breaks the forum rules or guidelines. Until you do, that complaint is not considered valid. My apologies if you find that "abrasive", but as per the Guidelines above, unsubstantiated opinions, assumptions, and mere proclamations are not considered valid complaints.
@Randall I didn't complain that you were intellectually abrasive...
@Gene Steinberg If you can't see why it might be problematic for someone with editorial privilege to ban someone while being a contributor, then... I don't have further comment in this regard..
This thread isn't meant for debating the limits of what an admin can and cannot do here.
It isn't a debate @Randall. And I don't want to debate it either.
Also, you might want to consider that if I were to recuse myself from my admin position so as to be able to contribute content, I would then have to appeal to another admin about my concerns.
That is exactly what you should have to do... just like any other contributor who deems content inappropriate or abusive or what have you.
I haven't met another forum admin anywhere who is as tolerant as I am
You may be the most tolerant administrator in existence, but that is irrelevant. @Randall The reason why you come across as abrasive to me (and for a second time of saying it, I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing) is because you are very defensive and, consequently, hit back as hard as you get hit. I have the same disposition myself—I recognise it in myself as being both a strength and a weakness.

I know I have been offensive on the forum in the past and that I have also felt very strongly about things people have said. In fact, I am concerned that Steve left the forum on my account, and I am very sad about that and wish that I could repair the damage. But in general terms, I have moved in the direction of @Constance's way of thinking over the years, not because she made a case or presented a persuasive argument, but because she is genuine and heartfelt (both of my published papers in Biosemiotics are evidence to this shift in perspective). And I value highly different styles of discourse.

An open forum does well to facilitate and be patient with them all if possible. Sometimes contributions snowball with intensity of feeling and views diverge exponentially... and other times they realign where common ground is found. It is very difficult to keep personalities out of the mix in the heat of the exchanges. So please, try not to press the eject button... put the gun back in the holster and give each other a hug instead.
 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
It isn't a debate @Randall. And I don't want to debate it either.
Okay
That is exactly what you should have to do... just like any other contributor who deems content inappropriate or abusive or what have you.
I thought you said you don't want to debate the issue. But since you bring it up ( again ) I've already explained the reasoning for my position. Valid counterpoint requires that you deal with that reasoning and explain why it is either faulty or inappropriate. Simply repeating your initial opinion doesn't move the discussion any closer to a resolution.
You may be the most tolerant administrator in existence, but that is irrelevant. @Randall The reason why you come across as abrasive to me (and for a second time of saying it, I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing) is because you are very defensive and, consequently, hit back as hard as you get hit.
Actually, I have a very long fuse. You just happen to be seeing the end of it.
I have the same disposition myself—I recognise it in myself as being both a strength and a weakness. I know I have been offensive on the forum in the past and that I have also felt very strongly about things people have said. In fact, I am concerned that Steve left the forum on my account, and I am very sad about that and wish that I could repair the damage.
Maybe try sending him a private message explaining that. It might be that he has just had complications in his life that have steered him in another direction.
But in general terms, I have moved in the direction of @Constance's way of thinking over the years, not because she made a case or presented a persuasive argument, but because she is genuine and heartfelt (both of my published papers in Biosemiotics are evidence to this shift in perspective). And I value highly different styles of discourse.
Glad to hear that.
An open forum does well to facilitate and be patient with them all if possible.
No forum participant ( including our admins ) should be expected to tolerate character attacks, flames, thread bombing, derailing, or any other trolling or troll-like behavior ( intentional or otherwise ).
Sometimes contributions snowball with intensity of feeling and views diverge exponentially... and other times they realign where common ground is found. It is very difficult to keep personalities out of the mix in the heat of the exchanges. So please, try not to press the eject button... put the gun back in the holster and give each other a hug instead.
I appreciate your sentiment there, and if it were just that simple, I'd be the first one onboard. However when things don't go that way, and content starts pushing the boundaries of the forum Rules and Guidelines, then moderation is to be expected.
 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Guidelines For Complaints Updated December 15, 2020
 

marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
How is being ‘intellectually abrasive’ a complaint, exactly?

”Separating the signal from noise” used to be the tagline here. Hard to do that without being intellectually abrasive at times...

At any rate Randall, I think you’re extremely even handed. More than I’d be, that’s for sure. And Gene, thanks again for providing this forum in the first place.
 

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