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 4)
on Dec 09, 2006
P.S. as for my status, I never asked to be given it. I've been around for a while; my Stardock ID is 217, and the count is well over a million now. I really don't think I even earn my status here, but I'm an old timer I guess.

I've said, many, many more times than once that there's good reason they don't offer me admin status, so no argument there. Brad and I both understand that there's just not room for two people like us to swing elbows on a site like this. If he thinks I'm of enough value to grant me that status, though, it is flattering, but I won't go storming out if he drops me back to whatever he feels I merit.
on Dec 10, 2006
Don't feel so bad. I often write replies and they go unnoticed. I'm use to it. I get more responses from the resident troll than from most people on this site. Hell, it takes a lot to get more than a few people to post on any of my articles. Still, JU is fun to be in and I like being around here, being ignored is common in my life anyways. LOL.
on Dec 10, 2006
You didn't beg incessantly to come back, whip. I don't remember you asking at all. It isn't the returning that bugs me and makes me question the person's self respect, it is the months of whining and questioning the "fairness" of it all that proceeds the return.

But like I say, I could be wrong. We'll see.
on Dec 10, 2006
I don't remember you asking at all. It isn't the returning that bugs me and makes me question the person's self respect, it is the months of whining and questioning the "fairness" of it all that proceeds the return.


Ummm...I don't remember months of "whining" and questioning the fairness of it all. I deserved to be gone. I think you're making things up because you want them to be that way. You do that quite a bit.

At any rate, I'm glad to be back. And I'm enjoying it.

on Dec 10, 2006


I've said, many, many more times than once that there's good reason they don't offer me admin status, so no argument there. Brad and I both understand that there's just not room for two people like us to swing elbows on a site like this. If he thinks I'm of enough value to grant me that status, though, it is flattering, but I won't go storming out if he drops me back to whatever he feels I merit.

I'm sure there's some opinion you have that I dn't have the same opinion about but I can't easily think of one off hand.

As for the rest of the bickering between people -- LIFE IS SHORT PEOPLE. WHY BICKER ON-LINE WITH STRANGERS?  Sheesh.  Marcie - do yourself a favor and just don't back out of such discussions. There's nothing to be gained.

on Dec 10, 2006
Marcie - do yourself a favor and just don't back out of such discussions. There's nothing to be gained.


As usual...I don't get it. lol
on Dec 11, 2006

Correction: Do yourself a favor and just back out of such discussions.  There's nothing to be gained. 

Why sit around and bicker.You'll never convince her nor she you. You just have opposing philosophies. There's no point in arguing with each other.

on Dec 11, 2006
Personally I have the opinion that though this site essentiall sits on the Right of the political spectrum, it has an extremely good record of not only permitting dissent but treating differing opinions with respect. I do most of my blogging on JoeUser and can say with conviction that this site is an example of free exchange of views and opinions.
on Dec 11, 2006
I'm with Bahu. I can count the number of times I've agreed with Draginol on one hand, and yet have always felt reasonably welcome to say what I like.
on Dec 11, 2006

As for the rest of the bickering between people -- LIFE IS SHORT PEOPLE. WHY BICKER ON-LINE WITH STRANGERS? Sheesh. Marcie - do yourself a favor and just don't back out of such discussions. There's nothing to be gained.

This is why I've become much more liberal on my blacklist over the years. If I'm pissed off, I'm not likely to drop it on my thread. It's MUCH safer for me to just BL someone temporarily and give myself time to get over it...because some folks are as bad at throwing gasoline on the fire as I am.

on Dec 11, 2006
"spoken in old geezer voice*

Makes me remember my old banned days, imprisoned behind the immovable bars of account restrictions.

Seems to me that the Dragon has gotten a little more tolerant since my day. Slow to anger he is not, but kudos for the grace to give second chances.

-Buddha (No longer in exile)
on Dec 14, 2006
Why such a hard crack down on Illegals.

I do not understand why we are tryind to ride our country of the people who are willing to do the jobs that Americans refuse to do, Most Americans find working in orchards or on dairy farms and other such jobs degrading and beneath them. The Illegals are more than willing to do the work and do so for very little compensation, yet we are willing to allow are econmy to go bust so that we can boot them out. Our Government do'es not seem to see what will happen if the farmers and ranchers can not complet thier Harvest, they do not seem to understand the effect this will have on our economy. If they did they would see that helping would be better than harming these people. My understanding growing up was that this country was for the people by the people, but it is not that way this country is for the very weathy and not the common citezens. We are trying to get our message across loud and clear, only to puched to the back burner of our congress, We will contiue to try and be heard no matter how you try and stop us. If you really think about it we are all illegals in this country, the only true americans are the Indians as we came here from europe and stole this land from the ones who were here before us. what gives our government the right to say who should stay and who should be thrown out like trash.

Sincerely,

Carolyn Heath
on Dec 14, 2006
being ignored is common in my life anyways. LOL.


SmileyCentral.com
on Dec 14, 2006
(Anonymous)Carolyn HeathDecember 14, 2006 15:46:01


SmileyCentral.com

what you on about?
on Dec 15, 2006
Brad,

I know your article is addressing banning issues but within it you mention some decorum that you claim to follow. You profess an etiquette for focusing on the message not the messenger and the avoidance of name calling. Yet it seems to me that I've read many comments you've made where you've resorted to demeaning the messenger rather than the message.

Furthermore, I don't seem to remember your mentioning of any change of heart on your part. All I am hearing, in this article, is a call to others to rein themselves in without recognition of your own shortcomings in that respect.