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Loosing faith in TMC - Closed thread.

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by wiztecy, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Interesting thread. As an outsider, I must say I have felt a certain amount of "Tesla bias" on TMC - and have noted it in my messages. The moderation itself seems fairly benign to me, though - there are lot worse places on the Internet.

    I wouldn't necessarily say the "Tesla bias" has been affecting moderation much, but there certainly seems to be a certain level of survivor mentality amongst some of the senior membership. It is evident in things like the "do not quote outside of TMC" signatures as well as some of the ways newcomers are put into their place, as well as how some potentially controversial discussion around Tesla is handled. There certainly is a lot of people, maybe some moderators included, that care and identify with Tesla the company a lot, and sometimes it feels the fear that talk on TMC might hurt Tesla gets a little in the way of free conversation, if nothing else than in self-moderation.

    It seems mostly a cultural thing, more so than moderation policy, but I would certainly advise being careful at not letting such culture turn into moderation decisions. Even in self-moderation, it can seem a little unhealthy to try to be somehow protective of Tesla. Personally I would advocate places like TMC to function as free of Tesla affiliations, official or unofficial.

    We don't need to protect Tesla. Attempts to do so could hamper a free and diverse community.
     
  2. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    This situation had nothing to do with 'protecting Tesla'. Wiztecy was a valued senior member. Nothing that happened had anything to do with what you're mentioning. I understand that's your viewpoint (you've shared it other places on the forum), but I fail to see how that might be relevant here.
     
  3. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    It was in reference to Ocelot bringing up "Tesla bias":

     
  4. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    My mistake. I thought it was as a result of reading the thread, as you noted. I didn't see you quote Ocelot's post.
     
  5. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    My bad as well, I should have quoted Ocelot originally to be clear. I didn't necessarily mean it just as a response to Ocelot's message but more overall musing on the topics of this thread in general, but quoting Ocelot in the first place would have avoided understandable confusion.

    Text is hard. :)
     
  6. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    These were all caused by one specific incident, where a reporter took a bunch of people's comments (including mine) out of context, without first contacting the individuals involved. My words were twisted to support a particular anti-Tesla point of view that was entirely unwarranted by the actual facts.

    For the record, the moderators do NOT appreciate that sort of thing.

    Also for the record, I have criticized Tesla myself on more than one occasion. I received no push-back from the forum members, probably because my comments were reasonable. On a couple of those occasions I have been able to get Tesla to change policies (related to service), to the benefit of the community. They don't always get it right the first time, but they really do try to do the right thing for their customers.

    Tesla is not perfect; like all organizations (and all people) they have their flaws. However, they are doing some amazing things that could have a major impact on the world, and I support them because of that.
     
  7. dm33

    dm33 Member

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    What happened to the thread, "Model X is certainly NOT an an eye opener!".

    I've noticed a trend where many or even most automotive forums seem to over moderate to make sure all commentary generally agrees with the topic of the forum, be it car model or brand or type of vehicle. I have never noticed this type of over moderation in general technology forums where someone has to be extremely rude in a thread to be even warned and banning or removing a thread seems rare.

    The thread above had a provocative title but otherwise seemed to state that the Model S is more suited to some than the X. Doesn't seem like such a egregious statement to make the thread disappear.
     
  8. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    It's only been a day since I've turned in my moderator badge - and I did most of the work over in the Model X area of the forum. Sorry, no posts or threads were removed there (unless in the last 24 hours) with the exception of times that either the OP requested it or I contacted the OP because there was a TOS violation (like publishing inappropriate contact information).

    There are plenty of discussions on the merits of the Model S vs. Model X. No reason that would have raised a flag.
     
  9. dm33

    dm33 Member

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    Hello.
    It is (was) a new thread from just today, just a few hours ago. Showed up in the RSS feed and when I went to look at it, its missing. Using the Google Search field on TMC shows the thread, but again clicking on it says its not found.
     
  10. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    That thread was started by someone who had been banned previously for trolling, and came back with a "sock puppet" account.
     
  11. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Could be as simple as an indexing problem with the software. Report the problem. If it's showing up in google search, it's around.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also note that the moderators try to always contact the author of a post or thread and let them know what happened, if we have to take action. I'm sure that there are times that piece of etiquette has been missed (it can get crazy on here behind the scenes), but overall I'd say everyone is pretty good about that.

    So I'd start with assuming good intent and just inquiring as to what the problem might be.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, oops ... sorry Doug!
     
  12. dm33

    dm33 Member

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    Pardon my ignorance, but what terms were violated by the post? I read over the terms of service and it seemed to disallow obviously insulting, attacking, illegal, spamming type of activity. I haven't found a section that disallows trolling or defines what trolling is. Trolling is such a vague term that can include anything that anyone disagrees with. I'm personally curious because I've seen a continued wave of banning people from automotive forums for what seems like nothing more than disagreeing with some premise which can sometimes be hard to discern. This has been a recent topic because John Voelcker over at Green Car Reports wrote a whole story about how to get banned from their site, including such egregious behavior as making broad statements such as "No one needs a pickup truck."
     
  13. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

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    Really? Terms of use must consider someone being banned then coming back under a new name and posting? Sheeesh.... Yes, officer, I don't have a driver's licence, since I did conduct that gave me a driving prohibition, but I was driving properly when you pulled me over. Why can't I keep driving?
     
  14. dm33

    dm33 Member

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    So by this analogy, once someone has a traffic ticket they're never allowed to drive again? Ever?
    I'm asking what caused the prohibition because its not obvious from the rules I've found so far.
     
  15. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    From the TOS:

     
  16. Grendal

    Grendal SpaceX Moderator

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    Troll (Internet) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    I think the definition is reasonably clear. If someone comes to the site to sow discord and just be a nuisance then they can be banned. There are plenty of people that regularly participate with opposing opinions. Invariably those people trolling have hidden motives and agendas for their trolling.
     
  17. dirkhh

    dirkhh Middle-aged Member

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    Even the best people at times do stupid things. I'm certainly guilty as charged - I have deleted posts in anger. Knowing that I suggested the compromise: there already is a mode where people can't edit posts but can add to them. So I repeat my suggestion: allow full edits (including full delete) for XX hours and after that fall back to "you can only add mode". That way no one can cause an utter mess, but people can go back and add "oops, mistake above, please see this post instead"...

    Can someone with vbulletin experience chime in if I'm missing something that would make this extremely hard?
     
  18. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your response Doug_G - and I must stress TMC, to me, seems like a great forum. I would not express my concern if I didn't think it was.

    I don't think there is anything wrong in being supportive of Tesla. I understand running a forum called TMC in itself is in some way support and that's all good. Many of us are supporting Tesla and their mission in various ways and that's one reason we gather here, obviously this should be a welcoming place for a Tesla supporter. That said, my concern is if that supports starts affecting the overall content of the forum itself, that would ultimately be bad for diversity as it would encourage people with other kinds of mindsets to perhaps leave - and one would be left with a supporters' group only, instead of a users' group, let alone a diverse EV community. In my experience, such overly protective groups may eventually also drive away more moderate supporters who long for a more open atmosphere, in the worst case leaving only a hardcore support group that is hard to approach. This is a much more common concern on brand-specific forums (like TMC), than it is in general technology interest groups, if the core of the forum starts identifying too heavily with the brand/focus of the forum.

    I understand there is history behind various attitudes and actions on TMC, I guess that is basically what one calls culture. Here the culture, to me, has a slight undertone of being actively protective of Tesla as well as suspicious of criticism of Tesla. I get it that it is the survivor mentality, and certainly Tesla has beaten a lot of odds and negative industry commentary - both ignorant and intentional - for sure over the years, but it also means there are a lot of people with quite strong preconceived notions of seemingly negative posts about Tesla and also a rather large seniority complex over things posted about Tesla. Sometimes that feeling has included moderators as well, in my experience. As said, I don't think this has resulted in moderating decisions much in my time here, and that's a good thing (I certainly have no major complaints), but I think many discussions have been derailed a little bit by strong personalities - some of them moderators - coming out in defense of Tesla, instead of in defense of a free flow of discussion. That, I think has some danger to diversity and that's why posts like Ocelot's about "Tesla bias" ringed a bell in my head enough to comment.

    I think this is a bit like the editing of old posts issue - just because a few abuse the privilege, doesn't necessarily mean the best response is to react as if everyone is a potential culprit. Most people come to places like TMC with perfectly innocent, although of course subjective, motives about Tesla. Meeting an atmosphere where their perhaps critical views don't feel welcome, just because some abuse the opportunity, would not be good for the overall community in my opinion. Eventually people may opt out and those who do stay may start self-moderating themselves, avoiding touchy subjects or circling around them, and you can end up with a place where most everyone is seemingly in agreement and controversial topics are padded with so much political correctness the talk itself goes numb, if the talk is had at all. There's a lot of nice talk, yet underneath things are boiling and/or the quality of the conversation itself suffers. For those of us in Europe, you basically end up with Sweden. ;) And for a discussion forum, that's not necessarily a good thing. Countries may have other priorities.
     
  19. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Yes, there is some truth to that. Certain individuals are highly protective of Tesla and sometimes go after people who, in their opinion, unjustly attack the company. They have the right to their opinion, of course, but the moderators do sometimes have to rein them in.

    We do allow vigorous discussion. The line is usually crossed when the personal attacks begin.

    Of course we also get people who join the forum, post a single highly inflammatory message, and are never seen again.

    We strive for balance... but of course, the moderators don't write most of the content... you guys do.

    Yes, it's a smaller number of people (NOT a few) who have abused the editing features, but the mayhem produced by a single individual can be significant. We've occasionally seen long-time members go off in a tiff and try to delete every post they ever made, including those that started a thread, resulting in a large number of utterly incomprehensible threads. We've also seen people go back in a thread and change posts in a way that makes people who responded look like idiots. The admins (not moderators) can unwind a mess made this way, but it takes hours of work.

    Doug has come up with a partial solution that should resolve FlasherZ's concerns. Stay tuned.
     
  20. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    One more idea:

    What if it wouldn't matter if someone decides to remove their old posts. They are a rare exception anyway. What if the moderators would just decide to let such cases be. Would the damage, really, in actual fact be that significant? That is something to ponder, always I think, about moderation and limitation. When is it really necessary. It may be unfortunate that some people go on a message deletion spree, but mostly people don't - and another way to look at it would be just let it go, and not limit things, because mostly people act responsibly. This goes for all other moderation situations as well, like thread deletions and moves to snippiness and whatnot.

    I think a welcoming approach would be to keep the moderation and limitation threshold quite high. Even in the case of infractions I'm not sure things like removing an entire thread are a good idea. One can ban a havoc-wrecking account if they must, but mostly people can sort out the discussion itself themselves - and often that seems like the best approach for reaching a diverse discussion culture. Forcing people's hands with moderation and limitation may backfire, either in action or in culture.

    Anyway, good luck with the balance! :)
     

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