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Suggestion: Welcome courtesy rule with new members

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by AnxietyRanger, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    As we've just had the umpteenth thread of a new member being welcomed my posts questioning their motives, may I suggest a discussion about making it simply against the rules.

    Call it welcome courtesy. My suggestion would be to make a welcome courtesy rule.

    You know the drill: small replies being snippy at a new poster more than replying to the message, referring to their low post count (perhaps in a backhanded way), mentioning the word "short" or suggesting working for a Tesla competitor, etc... sometimes they are direct allegations, at other times "knowing" winks at existing members. It is basically bullying a new member. It IMO happens almost every time there is a negative new poster. Less so with positive posters, but sometimes there as well - IMO a welcome courtesy would include requiring leaving out curt negative responses to positive newcomers as well.

    In my experience, almost never are these concerns validated over time. Almost never does the poster turn out to be fake or short or whatever to any degree of confidence. You all remember Eds and his leaks, he of course is a notorious example of someone who was the real deal getting a hard time. While there are a few contrary cases in the history of TMC, the reality in I'd say over 90% of the cases is that this is a genuine problem for a genuine new member that comes with a message that is perceived as critical of Tesla or otherwise disingenious or ignorant (latter includes some non-critical posters as well).

    If it was simply made against the rules to question the motives of an early time poster, or to otherwise give them a hard time about their low post count or low experience, so to give time for them to become known on the forum, this could be solved. Mind you, I don't mind questioning the motives of long-time posters (that you can affect through your own posting history), just those of new posters that aren't known yet and it naturally takes time for them to become known - first posts are almost always misleading anyway, because humans are humans.

    This is made worse by the fact that new posters are behind moderation and have limited access to forum functionality, so their responses may get delayed while a thread blows up making all sorts of accusations against them - and because this is the first impression they get of the place, it can be especially offputting. Old-timers can be expected to be able to handle themselves, new posters not so much.

    If a poster member has a low post count (say, under 20), we'd be expected a different behavior towards them. Genuine welcoming messages, genuine questions and analysis about their concerns etc. fine. But stuff seeking to discredit them not fine, not fine referring to their new status in a backhanded way, not fine calling them shorts or working for GM etc...

    If you feel a thread is dishonest, it can be reported to moderators silently anyway and action taken once it seems that way as it evolves. This policy would not stop that.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. Tiger

    Tiger Member

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    +1 Very good point. It's stupid that one would have to prove themselves. Or that one would not be allowed to post here if they have "other motivations" than being certain level of fanboy. Freedom of speech for everyone.
     
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  3. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

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    Not a bad idea :cool:
     
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  4. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    One thing that is very hard for a new poster is facing doubt about even the most basic things like "are they a Tesla owner". There is no way to prove that you are, and new posters that try ultimately fail because the reception is so critical they will make some mistake to cause further doubts... and such discrediting doubt is so easily thrown around and it completely sucks to be a recipient of.

    I think we should consider simply assuming - as a courtesy, in our written response - for every new poster that everyone who says they are a Tesla owner etc. that they are, until enough time has passed to really see what they are all and on about. If we have real reason to doubt them, flag the post silently for moderators to watch. Or you can ignore such threads if you don't feel like taking part. If over time they turn out to be fake, it will become evident over time too.

    As it stands, currently the doubts about motives and ownership of cars and stocks IMO 90+% of the time is falsely directed at completely innocent posters. This is the problem. Most of the time it is not aimed at trolls or shorts or fakers of any kind, but most of the time it is aimed at completely innocent newcomers. It is the knee-jerk reactions towards new posters based on too limited information that IMO are the problem a welcome courtesy rule could solve.

    As a bonus, it would also help with new members getting a better first impression of the forum.
     
  5. Tiger

    Tiger Member

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    All in all, any critique to Tesla should be taken proactively, with a common goal of kicking the tires to make it all better for the future.
     
  6. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    And to make this truly a welcome courtesy, I would also extend this to new members who come on board gushing about how happy they are. I.e. the positive posters.

    Shooting them down is just as unnecessary, even if they were ignorant while doing so (many critics are ignorant too, of course). We can welcome them with a bit of celebration and taking them at face value for a moment and then gently steer into discussing the topics.

    The doubt and the ridicule, that's just so unnecessary and so often misleading with a new member - and a new member doesn't have the tools to respond to it properly, they don't know they forum culture, they don't have all the features (maybe in moderation queue etc.)... and most importantly we don't know the new poster yet! Our initial instincts and reactions may thus be and often are wrong! Starting with taking the new member at face value and in a nice way is a good tool in avoiding hurtful mistakes.

    Failing at the welcome courtesy just makes for a bitter start and TMC loses a chance to develop a nice relationship with this new member. After and during the welcome courtesy, we could still discuss the actual topics nicely and steer the conversation along in a productive manner. Just leave out the controversy.
     
  7. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    I agree that this is a very real problem, but it's a very subjective target. I think it would be hard to write a real rule that covers everything you're talking about without some false-positives being caught in the fire.

    "Snippiness" is a pretty easy bar to set a rule and filter posts, but what you're proposing is a much, much greyer line which would take much more time for the mods to really read through each suspect thread to find culprit posts that might fit this new "soft" rule. And when people/posts to get filtered, there's the potential for the private dialog between the mods and the poster defending their posts, which just adds to the moderation load.

    I think this is something better accomplished by community enforcement rather than asking the mods to get involved. if anyone sees this practice happening (which I'll admit I've done once or twice), we, the community call them out and point them to this thread. It might be tough at first, but after a while, I think 'the regulars' will get the idea and hopefully change their ways.
     
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  8. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Understood.

    I'd be perfectly OK with this being a sort of community enforced rule as well. Those who know me, know I am not looking for anyone to get in trouble (I very rarely press Report, certainly not for months). I much rather reply (and sometimes PM) people and let the discussion stand on its own merits. I just think even that might be easier if people knew there was such a rule, even if actual enforcement would come as a last resort.

    If it just cut the "are you a short / first post and negative, ha! / I don't believe this poster / you'll soon learn different" types on quips at new posters that would already be plenty. If some more nuanced responses still remained passive aggressive, we can't get them all, but that would already be a lot. Just people knowing those types of responses are not OK.

    At the moment this is, of course, just a suggestion but personally I intend to try to live by it. Be it a positive newcomer, negative newcomer or anyone new. They deserve a chance to be heard, to be acquainted in peace.
     
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  9. kort677

    kort677 Banned

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    the newbies that bug me are the ones who don't own the car never even driven one and they're making complaints or commenting on things that they haven't any sort of clue about. on many other forums newbies have restricted posting privileges and are encouraged to lurk before jumping into the fray.
     
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