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-   -   Is banning users helpful? (http://forums.macnn.com/61/feedback/357139/is-banning-users-helpful/)

 
wallinbl Dec 19, 2007 09:08 AM
Is banning users helpful?
I understand why there are bans and what the intent is, but I question whether it is really useful. The users that are getting banned seem to just come right back, and in many cases, they are users that otherwise participate in some useful manner to discussions. The banning, in these cases, only seems to serve the purpose of causing other users to have to learn a new nickname for the person that was banned. Personally, I come in and out of the site depending on my schedule and the shuffling of nicknames is somewhat annoying.

So, my question is, if a ban on a regular member is really only a temp ban because they're going to register again with a new nick, why effect a permanent ban against a regular? Perm banning a spammer is one thing, but if we all know (and some seem to want) the person will continue posting, then why do a perm ban?

(I'm not trying to stir up controversy with this, it's just an observation by someone that comes and goes and gets confused having to mentally rejigger the names for people after coming back. I'm not as hardcore about posting here as many of the others, so I don't keep up with all the names well.)
 
besson3c Dec 19, 2007 09:30 AM
Why don't we just out the people that do this? The only person I know of that does this is Rob...

If truth be told however, I'm not sure I agree with the premise of banning for any other purpose than security or behavior that is destructive to business. I think that trying to remove the community which attracts this individual by denouncing him/her openly is a better idea. With no incentive to be here, this (in theory) eliminates the urge to continue this behavior.
 
Person Man Dec 19, 2007 09:46 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by wallinbl (Post 3558387)
(I'm not trying to stir up controversy with this, it's just an observation by someone that comes and goes and gets confused having to mentally rejigger the names for people after coming back. I'm not as hardcore about posting here as many of the others, so I don't keep up with all the names well.)
One of the other things to realize is that there are a lot of people who change their nicks without getting banned (i.e. gorickey, Cody Dawg, Dakar, and others).
 
imitchellg5 Dec 19, 2007 09:48 AM
I think that in most cases it's helpful. Sadly, there are those who will never follow the rules. Banning them is all that MacNN can really do. A good number of people do seem to honor their bans however. I remember when I was banned it was the most boring month of my life ;)
 
wallinbl Dec 19, 2007 09:49 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Person Man (Post 3558408)
One of the other things to realize is that there are a lot of people who change their nicks without getting banned (i.e. gorickey, Cody Dawg, Dakar, and others).
Not much of a fan of that, either. Regardless, I'm not sure that the mods need to further the problem by perm banning.
 
wallinbl Dec 19, 2007 09:52 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 3558399)
Why don't we just out the people that do this? The only person I know of that does this is Rob...
He's not the only one - there are others that are less obvious because their cycles are longer. I'm not really here to name names and point fingers at those that get banned, so I'd rather that we left individuals out of the discussion.
 
Mastrap Dec 19, 2007 10:03 AM
So why start this discussion at all?
 
MacosNerd Dec 19, 2007 10:27 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by wallinbl (Post 3558410)
Not much of a fan of that, either. Regardless, I'm not sure that the mods need to further the problem by perm banning.
So what do you recommend they do. You get a few folks who refuse to follow the rules and/or become very disruptive? I'm not sure I'm seeing the issue of having a perma band furthering the problem.
 
subego Dec 19, 2007 10:29 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Person Man (Post 3558408)
Cody Dawg

Who's Cody now?


OT: does this have anything to do with Kevin and RR getting whacked yesterday?
 
Cold Warrior Dec 19, 2007 10:33 AM
Like someone said above, it's helpful in most cases. Some people won't be deterred no matter what happens.
 
Dakar the Fourth Dec 19, 2007 10:36 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 3558444)
Who's Cody now?
*sounds of Laminar coming running to this thread to listen for an answer*

 
besson3c Dec 19, 2007 10:36 AM
Cody Dawg = abe
 
Dork. Dec 19, 2007 10:37 AM
As you've observed, banning someone only goes so far as a form of discipline. A permanent ban is basically MacNN's way of saying "You're not welcome here anymore, because we have rules in place which you have violated". But someone who is persistent enough can get around that easily. So, it's basically just a social punishment. Some people insist on sticking around even when they have been told, under no uncertain terms, that they are not wanted. You knew a few of these folks in High School. (As an aside, as I get older, I realize how High School was just training you to handle the wackos you will find as an adult. Is is because for many people, that is the apex of their maturity?)

A physical place of business or social club has more options for dealing with this, such as physically not letting the person on premises and, if the violations are egregious enough, getting a restraining order and letting the law take its course. Online, you have no such option. Being proactive jsut makes more work for Moderators, identifying banned users and re-banning them when they re-register. The best thing to do is what you did in High School: just ignore the person who continues to persist in spite of a clear indication that they're not wanted, and hope they eventually get bored and go somewhere else.
 
besson3c Dec 19, 2007 10:46 AM
Dork.,

I actually like the infartations if we are to have rules - it is MacNN's way of saying "not cool" without banning, which has a much different connotation. I guess a temp ban/suspension is somewhere in between this.

I empathize with what you are saying about people that evade permabans though, it's really quite bizarre. I don't know anybody in real life that crash in on people that don't want him/her there above the age of 15 or so - it's so much easier to simply avoid that person/group in real life. Don't get me started on why Rob feels entitled to post here, this is even more bizarre.

I must say I also find it bizarre that some members refuse to ignore each other. Certain people just don't mix well together, and I'm sure many have a great idea as to who doesn't mix well with me. However, I'm obviously not the only one that is a part of these sort of oil and water personality mixes though. If this place were mine, I'd strongly urge people to make a concerted effort to ignore people like this. Ignoring only really works when both people ignore and both people are good about restraining themselves. However, if there was a way to do this in a hypothetical world, there would be much less banning. People generally seem to become banned when they are pushed by other members.

Just my two cents...
 
besson3c Dec 19, 2007 10:49 AM
I must admit, I rather enjoy dissecting forum culture like this, it's actually really quite interesting to me. I think it's also important to remember that this can be done in a very broad and removed manner as opposed to bitching and complaining about the specifics of he said this she said that, and all of the other details involving specific interactions here.
 
MacosNerd Dec 19, 2007 11:20 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 3558453)
Cody Dawg = abe
Really wow I had not made the connection.
 
MacosNerd Dec 19, 2007 11:24 AM
Is it wrong for me to ask what happed to Kevin and RR?

I just noticed (thanks to this thread) that Kevin is banninated and RR banned
 
lpkmckenna Dec 19, 2007 11:24 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 3558444)
OT: does this have anything to do with Kevin and RR getting whacked yesterday?
Why'd they get banned?
 
Laminar Dec 19, 2007 11:24 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Dakar the Fourth (Post 3558451)
*sounds of Laminar coming running to this thread to listen for an answer*

You would.

I thiiiink I have an idea who it was. I remember having that inkling a long time ago but for some reason I decided it wasn't her.
 
besson3c Dec 19, 2007 11:25 AM
Are being banninated and being banned the same thing? I'm always the last to pick up on new lingo :)
 
Cold Warrior Dec 19, 2007 11:27 AM
When did Kevin get banned? Why? I must have missed something between forum visits.

Sorry to post off-topic. Just curious.
 
badidea Dec 19, 2007 11:31 AM
Since it's Kevin and RR I can just guess that they couldn't stop de-railing the railroad thread....and since the railraod thread has been cleaned up those posts are not visible anymore...

Too bad when a user name is quite similar to a topic that wants to be discussed!
 
MacosNerd Dec 19, 2007 11:31 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 3558511)
Are being banninated and being banned the same thing? I'm always the last to pick up on new lingo :)
I have the same question

maybe banned is for a specific forum and banninated is for the whole enchilada
 
Cold Warrior Dec 19, 2007 11:35 AM
I've only seen 'banninated' in the context of a full-forum perma-ban, whereas a section-specific ban doesn't show the locks.
 
Lateralus Dec 19, 2007 11:35 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by badidea (Post 3558519)
Since it's Kevin and RR I can just guess that they couldn't stop de-railing the railroad thread....and since the railraod thread has been cleaned up those posts are not visible anymore...
Among other things, yes, that thread was partly responsible for the bans.

RR will be back in a month. But since Kevin decided to go nuclear over the ban, he is now gone permanently.
 
besson3c Dec 19, 2007 12:14 PM
I just hope nobody creates a thread called "the Besson 3C thread" all about French Bessons and 3C mouthpieces, or I may end up going postal too!
 
MacosNerd Dec 19, 2007 12:43 PM
hmmm interesting idea


:p
 
subego Dec 19, 2007 12:58 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 3558453)
Cody Dawg = abe

Quit pullin' my mojo.
 
subego Dec 19, 2007 01:19 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by lpkmckenna (Post 3558508)
Why'd they get banned?
Quote, Originally Posted by Cold Warrior (Post 3558513)
When did Kevin get banned? Why? I must have missed something between forum visits.

Sorry to post off-topic. Just curious.

I'd like a moderator call on whether this can be discussed publicly.

I've been given the impression this would be severely frowned upon.
 
Dakar the Fourth Dec 19, 2007 01:21 PM
We already got a satisfactory answer though.
 
besson3c Dec 19, 2007 01:25 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by MacosNerd (Post 3558579)
hmmm interesting idea


:p

Call it "The official Besson 3C thread" and watch the fireworks!
 
subego Dec 19, 2007 01:31 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Dakar the Fourth (Post 3558613)
We already got a satisfactory answer though.

Well, I can't say it really satisfied me, but I've been on the record as wanting bans to be reported in Feedback.

With justifications and links.
 
Tiresias Dec 19, 2007 01:32 PM
A perm-ban for Kevin is way harsh.
 
Dakar the Fourth Dec 19, 2007 01:33 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 3558627)
Well, I can't say it really satisfied me, but I've been on the record as wanting bans to be reported in Feedback.

With justifications and links.
It's more than we usually get, and without the usual chiding that they don't have to justify anything.

I support your wanting a record of everything, but I think just the extra work it creates makes it unfeasible. I don't even want to think of all the harassment that would occur if members thought it wasn't updated in a timely enough manner.
 
Tiresias Dec 19, 2007 01:37 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Lateralus (Post 3558523)
Among other things, yes, that thread was partly responsible for the bans.

RR will be back in a month. But since Kevin decided to go nuclear over the ban, he is now gone permanently.
Quote, Originally Posted by Dakar the Fourth (Post 3558613)
We already got a satisfactory answer though.
Go nuclear ≠ Satisfactory answer.
 
Dakar the Fourth Dec 19, 2007 01:39 PM
Satisfactory answer or satisfactory reason? There is a difference.
 
besson3c Dec 19, 2007 01:44 PM
Why should the mods provide a satisfactory anything? The are working on behalf of a business that has its own interests at heart and its own interests may not match up with your own - they don't have to, MacNN is under no obligation to ensure that they do. If they don't and you are upset enough you can find another forum.
 
subego Dec 19, 2007 01:51 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Dakar the Fourth (Post 3558632)
I support your wanting a record of everything, but I think just the extra work it creates makes it unfeasible.

I don't buy it. I'm not talking about spammers. No one cares if they get reported.

I would hope that enough thought goes into the non-spam bans around here that a 10 word post entails a minimal increase in the total amount of effort.


Quote, Originally Posted by Dakar the Fourth (Post 3558632)
I don't even want to think of all the harassment that would occur if members thought it wasn't updated in a timely enough manner.

I don't buy this either. Publicly harassing a mod should get you an instant vacation as it stands now. If this (totally fair) position is taken, it won't take long until the majority of public challenges to moderator calls are polite.

Not to mention that even the most reasoned and polite challenge can be permanently shut-up by invoking the "mods can do whatever the hell they want" rule.

What you say above seems equivalent to the statement "the mods are incapable of shutting down a discussion".
 
Dakar the Fourth Dec 19, 2007 01:59 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 3558649)
I don't buy this either. Publicly harassing a mod should get you an instant vacation as it stands now.
Yeah, there is something I don't want to see.

Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 3558649)
What you say above seems equivalent to the statement "the mods are incapable of shutting down a discussion".
Oh they're completely capable. I'm just saying you're trading one kind of unrest for another, and I like the second even less.

But perhaps this is a problem more rooted in perspective. I honestly have trouble remembering any Admin or moderating decisions I have real issue with.

I'm all for transparency in the process, but by the same token, I have no issue if a free forum I attend says, "No thanks, our volunteers are busy enough."
 
paul w Dec 19, 2007 02:38 PM
I don't understand on what basis anyone here has a right to demand transparency from the adminitration and moderating bodies, on banning or otherwise.

Obviously many of us are curious as to why Kevin was permabanned, as it goes without saying that whatever infractions or controversy he may have been involved in, he's been a substantial participant to this forum for many years. And so his absence will be noticed, to a much greater degree than that of the average upstart troublemaker.

I'll refrain from commenting further, since I think his banning is a subject a lot of members have an opinion on, other than to say I hope he manages to put this in the proper perspective - that a largely anonymous internet forum lounge is hardly worth going nuclear over....

But in the event that someone wants to inform us - mods, people in charge for the record - what happened exactly there?
 
reader50 Dec 19, 2007 02:42 PM
People do change their handles from time to time. We have discussed a rule against multiple handles, but it would be difficult to enforce, and would be ignored by the people it was most intended for: ban returns. Multiple handles appear to be relatively harmless for members in general. To date, we haven't agreed about such a rule, so the forum rules have not been updated. I do not know if we'll end up with such a rule or not.

Bans of regular members get handed out for cause. Sometimes, the cause is good enough that it had to be deleted from the threads in question. The deletions are of the soft variety, staff can still load them, and they could be made visible again if needed.

Permabans are meant to be permanent. If they sneak back and we miss them, it's because there were not enough staff members watching. We're trying to do something about the low staff levels. Hopefully, we'll be quicker to catch the returns in the future.

Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 3558511)
Are being banninated and being banned the same thing? I'm always the last to pick up on new lingo :)
They are the same from a practical perspective. The "Baninated" group has the custom lock icons, but all the other settings are identical. Personally, I hand out:
- Spammer handle (has posted): Baninated
- Spammer handle (not yet used): Banned
- Member temp ban: Banned
- Member permaban: Baninated
I haven't noticed if the rest of the staff uses the same convention.

Regarding Kevin and Railroader, Lateralus's description is accurate. Kevin and Railroader were both given 1-month vacations for cause, mostly in the train thread. They continued to derail, post oversized images, and argue with the ongoing moderation attempts. Then carried much the same stuff over to the 2nd thread after the first was closed. I ended up having to clean it all up to make the thread readable again.

Kevin subsequently came back under a new handle and posted a thread so bad it had to be deleted immediately. His ban was upgraded to permanent. It would not be proper to discuss what he posted, but I would ask everyone to take my word that his permaban was earned. Railroader remains scheduled to return in a month.
 
besson3c Dec 19, 2007 02:46 PM
What a retarded way to get yourself banned! Why were they getting so upset about the image/Railroad thread thing? It's all rather bizarre...
 
besson3c Dec 19, 2007 02:53 PM
For those that care, I don't know of any recent forum threads on Wombat where BPR was even bitching about Railroader, let alone plotting anything... Whatever was found I'm sure was quite old. Besides, as is stated pretty clearly in one of the stickies on the board, Wombat is an anarchy. There was/is no collective Wombat plot or anything like that - it should not be assumed that anybody was in on any ploy because BPR posted a thread there bitching about RR.

I honestly have no idea whether the creation of the original Railroad thread was intended to annoy Railroader, but I honestly don't see how it could have... The subject matter in the thread had nothing to do with him, and there was really no evidence that I could see of any connection.

Bizarre...
 
Laminar Dec 19, 2007 03:05 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 3558687)
I honestly have no idea whether the creation of the original Railroad thread was intended to annoy Railroader, but I honestly don't see how it could have... The subject matter in the thread had nothing to do with him, and there was really no evidence that I could see of any connection.
bpr made it obvious he was not fond of RR. The original title of the thread included the actual word "Railroader," and it's QUITE clear that bpr couldn't have written that without thinking of the connection to the actual username. It was an interesting topic, and the thread turned out nicely (minus the bickering), but I'd equate what bpr did to Rob's "Kilby" thread.

But what's done is done, bans have been handed out, and people have left. I guess there's not much sense in arguing any more. I'm happy not being banned right now.
 
besson3c Dec 19, 2007 03:08 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Laminar (Post 3558693)
bpr made it obvious he was not fond of RR. The original title of the thread included the actual word "Railroader," and it's QUITE clear that bpr couldn't have written that without thinking of the connection to the actual username. It was an interesting topic, and the thread turned out nicely (minus the bickering), but I'd equate what bpr did to Rob's "Kilby" thread.

But what's done is done, bans have been handed out, and people have left. I guess there's not much sense in arguing any more. I'm happy not being banned right now.
Like I said, I have no idea what BPR intended, but I just didn't see anything remotely offensive in the thread, so I'm not sure I understand how this would have been a dig at him even if it was intended to be one.
 
subego Dec 19, 2007 03:14 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Dakar the Fourth (Post 3558650)
Oh they're completely capable. I'm just saying you're trading one kind of unrest for another, and I like the second even less.

Seems to me that one of two things has to be true for your above statement also to be true.

The first is that the mods are acting out of line all the time, and knowledge of this would make the users angry. Neither of us think this is true, so we can eliminate that as a possibility.

The other possibility is the majority of users are going to have a problem with moderator calls. As we have accepted the mods aren't making bad calls (in general), the only conclusion one can reach from this is that the majority of users are going to be irrational about said calls.

The inescapable implication to the above is that MacNN considers the average user to be a schmoe. What bothers me about this is that I don't think MacNN feels this way, that's one of the reasons I'm here.

Seeing as how MacNN isn't guilty of thinking we're schmoes, I think it's destructive for standard procedure to reflect the implication we are.

Of course there will be a minority of people who are irrational and impolite, or just impolite. As I said (and I believe you agree), they should be ganked for it.

Isn't it basic human psychology that leaving something to the imagination is pretty similar to leaving someone to imagine the worst?

Honest to Betsy, I think what we have now causes way more unrest.


Quote, Originally Posted by Dakar the Fourth (Post 3558650)
But perhaps this is a problem more rooted in perspective. I honestly have trouble remembering any Admin or moderating decisions I have real issue with.

I've had a few minor ones. Never one aimed at me FWIW.

I have to point out however, that neither of us really have any idea.
 
subego Dec 19, 2007 03:19 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 3558611)
I'd like a moderator call on whether this can be discussed publicly.

I've been given the impression this would be severely frowned upon.
Quote, Originally Posted by reader50 (Post 3558680)
It would not be proper to discuss what he posted

Noted.

Edit: reader50 PMed me to clear this up. He was speaking for himself, not directing others to do as such.
 
Dakar the Fourth Dec 19, 2007 03:24 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 3558700)
Seems to me that one of two things has to be true for your above statement also to be true.

The first is that the mods are acting out of line all the time, and knowledge of this would make the users angry. Neither of us think this is true, so we can eliminate that as a possibility.

The other possibility is the majority of users are going to have a problem with moderator calls. As we have accepted the mods aren't making bad calls, the only conclusion one can reach from this is that the majority of users are going to be irrational about said calls.

The inescapable implication to the above is that MacNN considers the average user to be a schmoe. What bothers me about this is that I don't think MacNN feels this way, that's one of the reasons I'm here.

Seeing as how MacNN isn't guilty of thinking we're schmoes, I think it's destructive for standard procedure to reflect the implication we are.

Of course there will be a minority of people who are irrational and impolite, or just impolite. As I said (and I believe you agree), they should be ganked for it.

Isn't it basic human psychology that leaving something to the imagination is pretty similar to leaving someone to imagine the worst?
All I'll say is it may give leave to the vocal minority to be more vocal. Its very easy to be a nuisance on the internet. See: cash
(And with regards to cash what happens? He's given second chances, and sometimes he's given some rope before a ban,much to the chagrin of many)

Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 3558700)
Honest to Betsy, I think what we have now causes way more unrest.
...and You may very well be right.

Honestly, subego, I don't oppose your idea... but I don't support it either. Whatever happens, I'm probably fine with.
 
Tiresias Dec 19, 2007 03:31 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by reader50 (Post 3558680)
It would not be proper to discuss what he posted, but I would ask everyone to take my word that his permaban was earned.
Now I'm curious.
 
Dakar the Fourth Dec 19, 2007 03:33 PM
No kidding. Sounds like it dwarfs PacHead's contribution a few weeks ago.
 
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