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  #1  
Old 2007-10-21, 17:33
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A modest proposal

I was typing this post in the "Anakin -- ban lifted" thread but I thought it'd be better to create a new thread instead. Here it goes:

It seems to me that there are two main groups of users in this forum.

There is the group of users who prefer ontopic discussions, and would rather not leave that spectrum;
And there is the group of users who enjoy offtopic discussions, and are comfortable with adult themes.
Of course both groups overlap eventually. Both groups have newbie and veteran members in them.

For the first group of users, Anakin's actions are absurd and offending, and Anakin should clearly be punished. For the second group, Anakin is a valuable member of the community who fuels the debates they participate in, and his loss would be felt. The things he did which offended the first group seem almost natural for the second.

Thus, the question arises: how should the moderators act, in order to be fair to both groups at the same time? If they punish Anakin in accordance to the first group's precepts, they are not contemplating the second group's existence; if they do not punish Anakin, which would be the just thing to do in accordance to the second group's precepts, they are ignoring the first group.

What actually happens in this community?

Moderators tend to look at both sides, and usually pick the side that will bitch more in the occasion. Some moderators tend to the ontopic side, like morshem, and some to the offtopic side, like Gustav, but of course each moderator isn't that simple and takes other things into account and etc.

El, the administrator, basically scorns the second group though he's mostly unactive and doesn't do much about it, except for randomly popping up now and then.

Well, the two groups have dissonant views, and they frequently crash into each other. Censoring the second group is a tricky thing to do, because many veterans - people who have contributed a lot to this community, for the first group also - are part of it. It would be sensible to ban the second group into oblivion, but I don't think it'd be a nice thing to do.

I believe establishing a general set of rules that should be followed by both groups is hardly possible. It certainly hasn't worked so far.

I mean, I don't find sex related discussions or imagery offending, and I'm sure most people in the second group don't, and I find it absolutely retarded that Anakin should be treated the way he's being treated. But of course, the official view is that "MBN is an all age forum": the many NOT all age discussions we've been having for years are solely products of our imagination. Despite the fact those discussions are extremely interesting, and brought together many members who, thanks in partly to them, have become real friends.

I am sorry but I don't believe morshem when he claims he's just following the rules. I think there are other things behind his actions. The same goes for Lightwing. And I think this is rather obvious.

Ok, I'm sort of lost. What I wanted to say is, I don't think the way the forum is currently organised is very realistic - I think it's setup in a way that discriminates some of its most active members. And moderation, in fact, and I'm sorry to say this, is pretty shitty indeed.

What I propose is the following. The MBN is an all-age forum, alright, but the presence of adult members who want to discuss adult themes can no longer be ignored. We grew up, people, this game is old.

I propose a ghetto should be created. Yeah. A subforum in the offtopic section. This is not uncommon at all, many online communities have done so - 4chan's /b/, GameFAQ's LUE, SomethingAwful's (insert name here, I dunno), etc. I'm not saying we should have an anarchist subforum, but I think we should have a subforum where rules are a bit lighter and there's a higher degree of toleration. Where Anakin wouldn't have been banned for 30 days for posting that picture. Of course there would be limits - perhaps even porn would be a limit - but those would be in accordance to that subforum's visitors' opinion. The creation of this subforum would have many benefits. There are already offtopic threads which have warnings in their titles; those could be moved to this new section. Etc. Also, the creation of this new subforum would require little to no changes in the moderation proccess.

So, in short, I propose the creation of a new subforum in the offtopic section - "Delirium" or whatever. Tell me what you think of it.
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  #2  
Old 2007-10-21, 17:41
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Oh, and I just wanted to make some things clearer. I'm not saying we should have /b/ here, but just some place where we could relax a bit. And when I said "porn could be a limit" I meant it like porn should not be allowed, not the contrary.
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  #3  
Old 2007-10-21, 17:43
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Well put. Doesn't sound like a very bad idea to me.
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  #4  
Old 2007-10-21, 17:43
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Oh and also, I'm aware the two groups division is an over simplification of things. It was just a concept I came up with to explain myself better, and I think it is an useful concept to understand the forum's dynamics.
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  #5  
Old 2007-10-21, 17:45
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I agree
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  #6  
Old 2007-10-21, 17:49
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Or create your own forum, both ideas is considerable IMO.
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  #7  
Old 2007-10-21, 17:50
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First off, to add to that dichotomy of groups, I'd like to think that there are some people who are in the middle when it comes to such matters...namely, myself. I see both sides of the argument - yes, Anakin broke the rules of the forum and should face his consequences; but he is also a long-time active member of this community which arguably deserves consideration - so, I don't think the solution is as black and white.

With regards to separating these two issues, or finding a happy medium, it is why I suggested the addition of a democratic, rotating moderator. You say that we have Morshem the on-topic, and Gustav the off-topic. Now, perhaps, we could have Mod_X the impartial.

With respect to your proposal about a sandbox (maybe the wrong word?) forum where just about anything goes, I'm not sure that it is necessary or even desirable. Keep in mind that questions like the ones surrounding Anakin - that is, a member posting the X-Rated image - are few and far between. I think I've already mentioned in another thread how the queer threads started by Axx and I were intent as defusers, and we ultimately treated as such by the community.

That being said, I do think that even an off-topic forum has to hold some sort of responsibility to keep decorum, and not just be completely off the wall. If there was this "ghetto" or, as I prefer, "sandbox" forum, there should be guidelines regarding what goes on there. Yes, there can be more *adult* discussions or threads featuring such content. Those who wish to partake in those discussions can do so at their own discretion, while those who do not can take the high road and simply ignore that forum.

To that end, I propose a little modification to your suggestion, Medurator (). First, if this sandbox forum is instituted, it should be noted then that the current Off-Topic forum should now be relegated to a truly all-age forum, with restrictions on any sort of discussion of sexual and/or other *adult* themes (which we probably need to define to avoid a slippery slope).

This sandbox forum - so that there is no complaining later - should have its own sort of ToS or agreement that every member who wishes to discuss must sign/accept. This could possibly be done by adding a sandbox "group membership." It would be open to anyone who wants to view the sandbox forum. However, this comes with a catch. If anything truly goes in the sandbox forum, there can be no complaints from anyone who signed/accepted the agreement (unless of course for obvious flaming or attacks).

Frankly, I think Medur has come up with an interesting idea here. Although I'd rather not see a "ghetto" forum where anything and everything goes, I would support a Sandbox forum where more *adult* discussions can be held without fear of offending anyone OR without violating the idea that this is an all-age forum.
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  #8  
Old 2007-10-21, 17:51
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Originally Posted by LBAWinOwns View Post
Or create your own forum, both ideas is considerable IMO.
We're all MBN members, we love the MBN, it wouldn't be the same.
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  #9  
Old 2007-10-21, 17:53
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well.. I guess it would be a good idea to add an extra offtopic subforum where more adult and offensive material is allowed and leave the offtopic with clean offtopic topics.

but I'm not going to loosen certain rules like posting graphic pornography.
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  #10  
Old 2007-10-21, 17:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Medur View Post
We're all MBN members, we love the MBN, it wouldn't be the same.
Yes, I think it is just something depending on how far you will go. The more non all-age material the post, the more speaks for a whole separate forum, but I think if this new sub-forum wouldn't contain extremist/illegal/too pornographic/flame material, it can be here.

That is said from an objective point of view, I don't care too much what happens, I'm not really the one who is responsible.
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  #11  
Old 2007-10-21, 18:10
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Seriously LWO, you cant just say "make your own forum" like that, alot of people have bonded and like to be a bit unserious and make som threads that might be seen as "offensive threads". It doesnt mean that we dont respect the other members, fankly its mostly the other way around, if the forum would be totally clean and everyone is puking hearts and balloons on each other, it wouldnt be very fun, would it?

Say that we theoreticly "get our own forum", what would happen to the MBN if it splits in two? It would probably die. The best way is to compromise.
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  #12  
Old 2007-10-21, 18:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Muerte View Post
well.. I guess it would be a good idea to add an extra offtopic subforum where more adult and offensive material is allowed and leave the offtopic with clean offtopic topics.

but I'm not going to loosen certain rules like posting graphic pornography.
Agreed wholeheartedly. Do you think it would be beneficial/possible then to add the group membership/agreement idea to the Sandbox forum in order to keep the off-topic forum separate and prevent any problems when it comes to the all-age idea?
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  #13  
Old 2007-10-21, 18:22
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Depends, I don't think I can tolerate anything, but you are probably right, it won't be necessary most likely, but I can't really say "Sure, have a seperate subforum with Hitler heilings".

I don't like the rule on that specific subforum to be whatever the visitors like, even if I maybe will never be there, the reason is the same as I won't feel comfortable with any neighbor.

But most likely this subforum are not going that far enough for me to dislike it.
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  #14  
Old 2007-10-21, 18:33
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Well guys, as I said, I don't think we should have something completely devoid of rules, but rather a place that's just a bit more relaxed. I agree graphic pornography and the like shouldn't be tolerated. I also agree some sort of age verification scheme would be appropriate.

Ah, Double-J, the ontopic/offtopic social dichotomy is purely illustrative of course, and the word 'ghetto' was a mannerism used with the intention of expliciting the honesty of my proposal; certainly 'sandbox' is a better term.

Oh:

Quote:
* SolidFlam ponders Medur's proposal
<SolidFlam> If there is one, I demand it being called The Ruffles Den
<SolidFlam> *will be
<SolidFlam> Or rather Roofles
I am of the firm belief my dear Lenny should be heard. :> But I suppose - if the subforum is to be created - a poll would be mandatory.
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  #15  
Old 2007-10-21, 19:11
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Originally Posted by Medur View Post
Well guys, as I said, I don't think we should have something completely devoid of rules, but rather a place that's just a bit more relaxed. I agree graphic pornography and the like shouldn't be tolerated. I also agree some sort of age verification scheme would be appropriate.
Agreed 100%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Medur View Post
Ah, Double-J, the ontopic/offtopic social dichotomy is purely illustrative of course, and the word 'ghetto' was a mannerism used with the intention of expliciting the honesty of my proposal; certainly 'sandbox' is a better term.
Oh, of course, and my post wasn't meant to argue that. I simply wanted to point out that I think that there are also some (arguably, I would think, most) who probably lie somewhere in the center of the spectrum on these moderator issues.
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  #16  
Old 2007-10-21, 19:34
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Quote:
There is the group of users who prefer ontopic discussions, and would rather not leave that spectrum;
And there is the group of users who enjoy offtopic discussions, and are comfortable with adult themes.
Of course both groups overlap eventually. Both groups have newbie and veteran members in them.
I am definitely not sure it is this black and white. Like JJ says - I fall into the middle. I enjoy offtopic and think that non-LBA discussions keep the forum going, however, posts by Dregd (Anakin) were really beyond the pail for acceptable contributions. Anakin in his sock puppet guise was taking things beyond the point where I would see the discussion as either productive, humorous or even appropriate. Rather than a sub forum we really need better guides on poor posting, bad thread titles and n00bs wading in attacking people left right and centre!
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  #17  
Old 2007-10-21, 19:42
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Yes, I've said about 30 times now it's not that b&w.
I don't think "better guides" will do anything because this sort of thing - this sort of confusion - always comes up. I mean, we have precedents.
Also, I don't see what's so terrible about Anakin's posts. I think they could very well evolve into something interesting. And I sort of appreciate his humour. If you don't, fine, we're different, but I think your opinion is as valuable as mine.

(I may be wrong, of course, and a new subforum might not be necessary - I'm actually still pondering it myself. But I find it very disturbing the way Anakin got banned for nothing and I wouldn't like to see that again)
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  #18  
Old 2007-10-21, 19:53
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Originally Posted by Medur View Post
Also, I don't see what's so terrible about Anakin's posts. I think they could very well evolve into something interesting. And I sort of appreciate his humour. If you don't, fine, we're different, but I think your opinion is as valuable as mine.
This is probably better suited for the ongoing Anakin thread, but I don't think that anyone has a problem with the content of the posts per se. I think obviously the initial act - posting of the graphic images - warranted some sort of action (whether or not the original punishment was correct is debatable). But I do think that the idea of him sockpuppeting while he was banned is probably, in my opinion, the more problematic of the issues, because whether or not the original ban was just, it was in place nonetheless, and his circumvention of that ban was in and of itself a violation of forum rules.

A tough issue, no doubt, and we can carry on in the Anakin thread if you'd like so that I don't derail your thread. I hope we carry on with the Sandbox idea here.
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  #19  
Old 2007-10-21, 20:37
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This is a really good idea.
Just as a thought-in-progress, I believe there are some more obvious people that should not allowed in the forum. For example, brand new members shouldn't be allowed straight into the group, and people that show they obviously can't deal with this sort of thing maybe shouldn't be allowed.
I do feel I fall somewhere in the middle of the groups, but as there is barely anything left to discuss ontopic I guess I'm going more offtopic.
And I don't have a problem with the whole more "explicit content" thing, so yeah, I think there is a good call for this new forum.
Perhaps there could be a new moderator (or two) just for this forum, who also can decide if someone shouldn't be allowed access.
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  #20  
Old 2007-10-21, 20:43
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I think that's why the special group membership, which you could gain by accepting the agreement to enter the Sandbox forum, makes sense. If you sign that agreement, and start spamming or violating the rules of the Sandbox, you're banned from the Sandbox, given that the rules will be quite explicit.

Perhaps there could even be a post requirement to avoid new members, like you said, from jumping in. Maybe 100 posts and 1 month of membership before that person can enter the forum? This way, it would keep spambots and such out, but it will also keep people from just registering and going in there and posting crap. Instead, they would be forced to stick around for more than a month, and make 100 (hopefully meaningful) posts, much longer than I suspect the average troublemaker would be willing to commit to an internet forum.

Boredom doesn't last very long with troublemakers, I suspect they'd find a new target before long.
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  #21  
Old 2007-10-21, 20:57
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Incidentally, upon noting the title of your thread, Medurator, I can't help but notice that it shares the same name as the satirical essay by Swift about eating children in Ireland.

Coincidence?
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  #22  
Old 2007-10-21, 22:16
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On one hand, I like the idea, on the other I think it might be confusing. Two off-topic sub-forums?

I really wish to avoid having a "spam-like" subforum that many websites have.


Having said all that, it would appear that considering the persistance of spam-like threads, giving members a place to post them without harming the rest of the community who want to participate in normal off-topic discussions, seems like the best solution.
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  #23  
Old 2007-10-21, 22:43
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spam threads don't have a place on the MBN not even in the offtopic forums, I just think it's a good idea to clean up the base offtopic forum to be overal more friendly, and have all probably unfriendly/unsuitable content in the offtopic backyard.

by entering the offtopic backyard you waive some rights to object to certain content as being offensive (e.g. political, religious, sexual, etc). Of course this does not imply a privilege to flame, spam, personally attack people.
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  #24  
Old 2007-10-21, 22:46
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Certainly not. Personal attacks should NEVER be accepted in the forum.
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  #25  
Old 2007-10-21, 23:06
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I think I like the idea, but I'd like to clear a few things.

First of all people seem to think that it's going to be an anarchistic forum, it should be something mature content and sure we like to be silly now and then but we're not retarded and I don't think it will mean 30 new threads a day consisting of CS2x-style posts. On the other hand if things heat up I doubt Medur or Anakin or anybody like that would take it too hard if I called them, say..."McFaggot", so no need to warm up the mod pod and awake the beast.

Second...well I don't really have that much to say, HA! But anyway it might be good, there are many times I wanted to say something that would be suitable in #lba but the appropriate people weren't present and the MBN wasn't really the right place for that, and then I would forget to share my brilliant ideas with the world.

Oh wait I do have something else to say. There should be a local mod that would be someone from the target audience of the sub forum, because I don't think morshem or Lightwing can always be sure what's right and wrong in such a sub forum.

And about the name, I think The Roofles Den is a classic, but I suppose a poll would be the right think to do.
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