Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
A starter's guide
Published on December 8, 2006 By Draginol In Blogging

It's not often I have to ban people from JoeUser.com. The Terms of Service (linked below) spell out the definite no-no's.

But that doesn't stop some people from trying to play victim if they get banned. I'll be the first to admit that the rules are not universally enforced. That's mostly an issue of the administrators only being able to read a tiny % of the articles on the site. So statistically, what happens is that banning occurs in discussions in which an administrator is a participant.

The quickest way to get banned is to start personally attacking an administrator. So what exactly is a personal attack? Like "porn" most people know it when they see it.  One on-line person once put it "A personal attack on-line can be reocgnized as words that would get the speaker of those words punched in the nose in real life."

What won't get you banned:

  1. Having a different opinion on an issue than an adminstrator
  2. Having a different life philosophy or political philosophy than an administrator
  3. Vigorously defending your position with regards to an Admin
  4. Vigorously attacking the position of an Admin

Example:

Acceptable exhcange:

Admin: I think pulling out of Iraq immediately would be absolutely insane!

User: What's insane is thinking that staying the course is good. Your position will result in the deaths of more American soldiers!

Unacceptable exchange:

Admin: I think pulling out of Iraq immediately would be absolutely insane!

User: Anyone who thinks we should be in Iraq should sign up for the army right now. Admin, you're a chickenhawk. You are nothing that a pathetic coward.

Upon an unacceptable exchange, the admin will normally provide a warning:

Admin: Attack the message. Not the messenger. Do not personally attack users. If you do so again, you are history.

This is where one of two conclusions are reached:

Either:

(a) The user takes a deep breath and moves on.

or

( Accuses the admin of being unable to handle "the truth" and telling him to F Off. (and gets banned).

As a general common sense thing, it's just not a good idea to personally attack or insult anyone on-line. But it's particularly not a good idea to personally attack the admin of a given site.

Some people I think honestly can't make the distinction between the person in the debate and the issue they are debating. They personalize a given issue to the individual.  I freely admit that my real world views are not nearly as strident as what I post on JU.  I want to post thought provoking topics but my actual views on the topic are not nearly as passionate as what I write. Or put another way, I care about politics but I don't care care about it. 

But some people really get consumed by their opinions and so they don't make the distinction between the issue being discussed -- the issue they disagree with -- and the person writing the position they disagree with. I.e. the classic "shoot the messenger".

One person recently banned had just finished calling me a "weak minded pathetic coward" because I supported the Iraqi invasion but had not personally joined the military.  Personally attacking me does not move the discussion forward. And let's assume that I am a week minded, pathetic coward. Okay. Now what? Does that change the validity or non-validity of removing Saddam?  That is why malicious personal attacks are forbidden.

People do get frustrated. I certainly do. In the above exchange the poster had already called me "dumb" in about a half-dozen ways. He was frustrated that he couldn't convince me of his point of view. But he didn't get in trouble for it. There is a threshold of venom obviously.

The other behavior that I don't like on JU is the tendancy of people to create personal attack posts about other people on the site. I understand the rationale for them - user A gets black listed from user B's site and it's the only way they can respond. I still don't like it though even if we don't vigorously enforce it.

My advice is this: Life is short. Blogging is for fun. If you're getting upset, take a day off. Take a few days off and regain perspective. I have had to do that hundreds of times over the years. People piss me off too.  Just try to avoid targeting the person as an individual. No one's perfect. Everyone slips given enough time. And your body of contribution to the community does matter when deciding what to do about it (i.e. if most of your posts are just nasty hate-filled personal attacks you'll be treated differently than the person who posts thoughtful discussions but gets pissed off and name-calls).

 


Comments (Page 1)
on Dec 08, 2006
Actually I was impressed you let it go on that long.  Reading the exchange, I expected him to get bounced after the first "dummy" accusation.
on Dec 08, 2006

Rule one: never ever get on Brads last nerve.

rule two: see rule one.

on Dec 08, 2006
Hmm...who got banned?...*sigh* I missed it...probably one of the political threads, huh?....I don't frequent those too often.

~Zoo
on Dec 08, 2006
Mike's Daily Log for some comments over on Moderateman's blog.
on Dec 08, 2006

http://moderateman.joeuser.com/articleComments.asp?AID=137763

Starting on December 5th you can see the exchange and the deterioration.

on Dec 08, 2006
I missed it to as I generally stay out of the political threads. I have just read it now though (comments only. I found the remarks about joining the forces, coward, hypocrite etc highly offensive. If he said that to me my blood would have boiled and I would have spewed forth!   
on Dec 08, 2006
Darn it, I always seem to be busy and miss the fireworks.  And yes, don't piss-off or otherwise tread on the very gracious and generous hosts.  Not a smart move for longer term usage of the facilities.
on Dec 08, 2006
I adore those threads. Bannings make me happy (because I am a fascist most likely).
on Dec 08, 2006
So...how does one rejoin JU society after being banned? After taking the time off and growing up and apologizing to injured parties? Can one do that?
on Dec 08, 2006
Oh...sorry...I didn't mean to be such a coward myself. It's really marciehelen (duh?). I've been lurking the past few months, not-so-anonymously. I'm sorry for what's happened between you and I in the past, Brad, and Angela and myself, too. I'd really like it if you'd reconsider letting me back on JU. If not, though, that's okay, too, and I'll quit posting anonymously as well.
on Dec 08, 2006
Oh...sorry...I didn't mean to be such a coward myself. It's really marciehelen (duh?). I've been lurking the past few months, not-so-anonymously. I'm sorry for what's happened between you and I in the past, Brad, and Angela and myself, too. I'd really like it if you'd reconsider letting me back on JU. If not, though, that's okay, too, and I'll quit posting anonymously as well.
on Dec 08, 2006

After taking the time off and growing up and apologizing to injured parties? Can one do that?

 

It has been been done in the past. Usually personal correspondence with the parties offended has seemed to yield the best results.

on Dec 08, 2006
Greywar: I have doneso to Angela, but have received no response. I guess I figure Brad's too busy to read my crap so I haven't bothered, since most of the beef was with Angela anyway. They're not ignorant of what goes on here. They know I've been posting anonymously, and neither have said anything. But I would like to blog again, and not just make anonymous comments. If I can't blog, that's okay, too, but it would be nice to hear it from the horse's mouth.
on Dec 08, 2006

Reply By: MarcieHelen(Anonymous User)

Keep asking.  I would like to see you come back.

on Dec 08, 2006
DG...Thanks. I appreciate that bunches.