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 3)
on Dec 09, 2006
Welcome back wyomoo - Marcie - as yourself.
on Dec 09, 2006
It is refreshing to see admin taking an interest in their bloggers and it is equally refreshing to find broad-minded advice on do's and dont's. I run three news blogs, a Cairo blog
and JU, and I find it difficult to comprehend (on one of the blog sites), that a site allows salacious material/ adult material--without warning/contentious material, without a modicum
of policing! Blogging should have a certain amount of freedom but no-one wants to read about a 15 year old's sexual adventures with older men. The mind boggles.

Freedom of speech runs only to "m" in freedom--not into kinky crap.
on Dec 09, 2006
Given Marcie is back, maybe Dabe or some others could be reinstated as well, then...
on Dec 09, 2006
Given Marcie is back, maybe Dabe or some others could be reinstated as well, then...


I think it's interesting that you've taken this so personally, Baker. Why are you so against this? Do I make your blogging experience that miserable?
on Dec 09, 2006
It's been a bit cold here in Florida these past couple of days, I decided to take a jacket to work last night since I work in a UPS warehouse and it always gets cold there. A friend from Puerto Rico gave me his army jacket that he had when he was in Iraq last year. I thought it was great, a nice way to show my support for my country and those who risk their lives for it. As I left the building at about 9:10 PM, one of the Supervisors was at the door and told me it was too early for me to leave (it was a joke of course) and I told him I was on my way to Iraq now (as a joke as well). He then told me "you know people have been beaten up for wearing those jackets". I looked at him and he told me he saw someone get his butt kicked by someone who was in the army claiming he did not deserve to wear the jacket because he did not go to fight in Iraq and was not a real soldier. I told him "well I would tell that guy let me give you a beat down and then you can tell me if I deserve this jacket or not". He laughed and said "hmmm, that's a good answer".

Sad how even those who are going or have been to Iraq are also feeling that somehow we who do not join the military somehow do not deserve a voice or deserve to wear military clothing. May I remind all those who think that my voice should be silenced and my wardrobe free of military designs that it is my hard work, which earns me a paycheck, which allows the Gov't to tax me, which allows the military to buy the equipment, machinery, weapons and clothing, etc, that allows them to have what they need in order to fight for those who give them what they need. If there is anyone who has a higher voice than those in the military, it is those who provide them with the money to get a paycheck and the necessary items to face the enemy. Without us non-military people, the US Armed Forces would not exist or would probably be the joke or the world.

BTW, welcome back Marcie. Not sure if you remember me, I went by the name DJBandit before.
on Dec 09, 2006

Reply By: DraginolPosted: Friday, December 08, 2006
I'll unban Marcie. Just have to find her account.

you are a forgiving man once you get over the pissies. thank you brad.

on Dec 09, 2006
"I think it's interesting that you've taken this so personally, Baker. Why are you so against this? Do I make your blogging experience that miserable?"

Doubt I'll see enough of you for it to have any effect, really. My opinion is the same characteristic that you say you've purged is the same one that keeps you nagging to come back. I think anyone with much self respect would have gone and not looked back months ago. And so the cycle begins again.

Anyhoo, I was just pointing out that maybe there's some who did the same or less than you that might offer perspectives that have been lacking around here. If we are going to offer reprieves, we might as well gain some talent.

on Dec 09, 2006
Anyhoo, I was just pointing out that maybe there's some who did the same or less than you that might offer perspectives that have been lacking around here. If we are going to offer reprieves, we might as well gain some talent.


Ouch Baker! Cut Marcie some slack will ya. She cared enough to stick around. She cared enough to ask to be back, and kept 'flogging a dead horse' so to speak, they didn't, let her be. Hopefully the past won't repeat itself. Everyone deserves a chance to prove themselves if they so desire. don't you think?!
on Dec 09, 2006
one chance, sure.
on Dec 09, 2006
I'd rather he just steered clear and left me alone. I really don't want anything to do with him.
on Dec 09, 2006
(Citizen)Marcie HelenDecember 9, 2006 20:30:35Reply


Welcome back Marcie. Glad to see you continued your efforts and didn't just give yourself a new name and new persona and expect us all to pretend like nothing happened.

I know that watching your interactions over the last few months that you will be just fine. I look forward to reading your posts.
on Dec 09, 2006
Welcome back Marcie. Glad to see you continued your efforts and didn't just give yourself a new name and new persona and expect us all to pretend like nothing happened.

I know that watching your interactions over the last few months that you will be just fine. I look forward to reading your posts.


Thanks, JJ. I'm excited to hear about those BABIES of yours. I'm so excited for you and your wife!
on Dec 09, 2006
Hey, welcome back Marcie. I hope you're planning on adding to the Writer's Club. We could always do with some more entries.
on Dec 09, 2006
Draginol: So you ARE the Admin.? -. Now i know why you have so many articles on JU home page -

Seriously though, it seems that the way this war is progressing (or regressing) is getting on its supporters' and its opponents' nerves. Whenever they can't answer an arguement they respond in a hostile way or call you names .....

Recently .... some one wanted me shot, other called me vile and banned me from his blog, another called me not bright, another said i must be very young (don't I wish - ) to understand ....etc. all in a very short period and all of that in response to arguments they couldn't answer in a logical way. Sometimes, reality and facts are very harsh for some people to take ... they feel that they are personally cornered and , like a wild animal, they respond in a very aggressive way. sometimes that response is violent or mean. Your advice to them is to cool down and take a breath and think a little before responding ..... very good advice. I hope they listen.



on Dec 09, 2006
"To put it bluntly, I know you prefer JU without my presence, in spite of your stated 'respect' for me, and I'm sure you feel the same about Marcie, but for different reasons."


You know good and damn well why in the past I have thought you should go. A tussle every now and then is a good thing, a fun thing, but the kind of wars of attrition you used to undertake was hard on the furniture.

You don't act like that much anymore. Even when you do it isn't like it used to be. Maybe Marcie will be the same. I didn't think you would be, I could be wrong now.

"other called me vile and banned me from his blog"


You called the people being murdered and beheaded in Iraq "traitors". When I said they were trying to peacefully rebuild their nation, you laughed it off. When challenged about it, you said you wouldn't be back to my blog.

If Brad (not just the admin, but the owner of the site and Stardock as a whole) wants to pay the dime for letting people say such things, it's his site. I don't have to allow my blog to be used to further such a terrorist point of view. I'm sure there are places where people like you sit around and cheer such things, but you won't do it on my blog, not by a fucking long shot.


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