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User Brim and the forums

Discussion in 'Forum rules and information' started by hornerjo, Oct 6, 2006.

  1. hornerjo

    hornerjo Senior Member

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    Yes, Brim was removed from posting to the forums visible to all at the boards request. If you have questions or comments with this action you can take it up with the HOA board at:

    Broadlands Association, Inc., 21907 Claiborne Parkway, Broadlands, VA 20148
    703-729-9704; Fax 703-729-9733

    Wesley Schroeder, General Manager, (703) 729-9711
    Maureen Burns, Asst Property Manager, (703) 729-9714

    The Homeowners Association (HOA) office, located within the Nature Center, is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

    [Edit - I thought we used to have a rule about not discussing moderation in the forums but to take it offline, but well - after reviewing our rules, past email and an offline discussion - we don't. To clarify, when a user breaks a rule (personal attack on another user, etc) we try take to that offline to email, no need to keep it in the forums. If someone wants to discuss our rules here, please feel free. Just remember the same rules apply, keep the post clean, no attacks on the HOA/Moderators/etc. Just be civil as in the other threads. Thanks!]
     
  2. DAD4

    DAD4 New Member

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    I actually enjoyed Brim's posts. I applaud his tactful approach, and for the most part, he was just saying most of the time what I was thinking, but would never post myself. (not that I agreed all of the time). I could also see his sense of humor. Brim, if you can still read this, I'll miss ya. Everyone needs a good laugh now and then.
     
  3. Homer Simpson

    Homer Simpson New Member

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    You mean you ban for whatever you feel like just like Bush. I got the story from Brim so if anyone wants it email me.
     
  4. afgm

    afgm Ashburn Farm Resident

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    I miss Brim. I rarely agreed with him, but I did think he fostered strong debate. Strong opinions help balance things out, and good conclusions develop. Even if the opinions stated are opposite of ones own.
     
  5. eam

    eam New Member

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    Agreed. In fact I rarely agree with most of the more interesting reads on this forum :)
     
  6. latka

    latka Member

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    Bring Brim back!!! Geez.... peeps need ta chill. I was wondering why things had become so boring around here.
     
  7. hornerjo

    hornerjo Senior Member

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    The rules are on the website, in this forum. It's pretty simple, follow them or get banned. You can also get the story from the HOA, simply show up at a board meeting.
     
  8. Homer Simpson

    Homer Simpson New Member

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    You just changed them today. You make it up as you go along. It's not right its not fair and I've already called wes about it. I urge everyone else to do also. FYI I've talked to about 10 people today about your policies. I expect some folks may just show up at the next meeting.

    Wait a minute. What did rule did you ban Boomer under then:

    [Edit - I thought we used to have a rule about not discussing moderation in the forums but to take it offline, but well - after reviewing our rules, past email and an offline discussion - we don't.

    If not discussing your policy publicly like is the habit in free democracies such as the United States?
     
  9. hornerjo

    hornerjo Senior Member

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    Good deal, I hear the HOA loves to hear as much feedback as possible at their meetings.

    The tech committee runs the forums, and yes we make up the rules. Just about every single rule we have was written because of something happening, so yes - we make it up as we go along. Thats how rules work. Don't like them? By all means, discuss them here. Without the rules, and rule enforcement, then forums will not exists.
     
  10. hornerjo

    hornerjo Senior Member

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    [Edit - I thought we used to have a rule about not discussing moderation in the forums but to take it offline, but well - after reviewing our rules, past email and an offline discussion - we don't.

    If not discussing your policy publicly like is the habit in free democracies such as the United States?
    ----

    This is an HOA run community board. It's not subject to the constitution or any other rule they made up. And like I said, if you want to discuss Brims ban - we have no rule against that.
     
  11. Homer Simpson

    Homer Simpson New Member

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    Yes, Mr. Tech Committee but you answer to us, the homeowners. I've heard alot of folks aren't happy with the way you arbitraily make stuff up to ban people you don't like.

    You banned Boomer for: 'discussion of user moderation by the admins is forbidden'.

    You are contradicting yourself. I'm just going to have to be a royal pain to the HOA now. Everyone who doesn't like what is going on needs to stand up and shout: "We are not taking this anymore".
     
  12. Homer Simpson

    Homer Simpson New Member

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    So how does the Tech Committee work? Dawne is the head honcho or does each member have equal say? Who does the TC defer to the Board Members? An if say me, Boomer and anyone else who wants a regime change join the committee would it make a difference or are you a dictatorship?
     
  13. hornerjo

    hornerjo Senior Member

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    Boomer was banned for blatently ignoring both email and private messages by the admins while spamming the forums. He was given 2 warnings, and continued to ignore them. If you want the exact specifics, along with every email and post send/posted feel free to ask for them at a board meeting. Everything is always sent to them when a ban occurs.

    We ban people for breaking the rules, not people we don't like. What exactly have we made up to 'ban people we don't like'?
     
  14. hornerjo

    hornerjo Senior Member

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    Dawne is the leader of the tech committee, yes.

    We have 3 members on the tech committee that run the forums. If anyone wants to join the tech committee they are of course free to do so. After 1 year of active participation in our tech committee events and meetings you would have full rights in helping to vote on rules.
     
  15. hornerjo

    hornerjo Senior Member

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    And by the way, in case anyone is wondering about rules made up on the fly so to speak I can address that as well.

    We used to not have a rule for POSTING MESSAGES IN ALL CAPS until it happened and started to clogg the forums, now we have a rule for it.

    We used to not have a rule for making an offensive username, until it happened and we had to create a rule for it.

    Same with foul language, using special characters to get around it, valid email address, one account per person - the list goes on.

    When we first started the forums, for those that remember, we basically only had one rule. Be kind to others.

    Things come up and we can and do make a rule for it, and the HOA fully supports this.
     
  16. Mr. Linux

    Mr. Linux Senior Member & Moderator Forum Staff

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    Sorry Homer, but we don't answer to you. We answer to the community as a whole, as well as the HOA which funds these forums. Access and use of these forums is a privilege, NOT a right. We're all volunteers here; if you want us to answer to you, then by all means, offer each member of the Tech Committee a job.

    As a quick note, we have 11 users currently with a lifetime ban. All 11 were banned because of 'spamming', such as users creating an account for the sole purpose of posting to the forums a set of links for folks to click on and getting slammed with banner ads. We currently have 1 active suspension of a user, which will be lifted on Monday around 9am, 3 days after the rules infraction. This user ignored multiple warnings from admins about continuously posting the same message to the forums, mocking how the forums were being run like our own little Communist Empire and was suspended for 3 days per our rules. Over the past 2 years, we have suspended about 3 other users for rules infractions. Those users are still active users here today and still visit the forums. So, if we ignore the 'spam' accounts, we're talking about 4, maybe 5 users that were suspended and reinstated within days, over the past 2 years. We currently have 1397 users on the forums. According to my math, we 'made up stuff to ban users we don't like" and suspended 5 users out of 1397, or 0.004% of our userbase. Yea, we took the time to make up rules to suspend 5 users and reinstate them after a short period of time, over a period of 2 years. You're right, we're definately exceeding our powers here...

    On multiple occaisons you have publically voiced your extreme dissatisfaction with the Technology Committee and what we do. Multiple times, we asked you to come discuss it at one of our meetings; it's been over 2 years now and you've never come down to talk with us. Yea, we know, you're extremely busy and can't find time to attend a 1 hour meeting planned months ahead of time... On multiple occaisons you have voiced your dissatisfaction with the HOA and some of its decisions. You were invited to come discuss them at a regular HOA meeting. I may be wrong, but I don't think you ever showed up to those meetings either.

    Homer, it's easy to point fingers and blame others for everything you feel is bad around here. You're getting your story from Brim and Boomer, which is fine. They of course will give you THEIR side of the story and how bad, mean and unfair the forum admins are, and how the Tech Committee is run by a bunch of idiots. I couldn't care less honestly. We have a policy in which we don't discuss actions taken against users publically. If you want the full story, then talk with the HOA. Until you get the full story, please don't post around here mocking us and accusing us of running these forums like our little playground.

    The Technology Committee created this website and created these forums as a service to the Broadlands community as a whole, over 3-4 years ago. We've been doing all this voluntarily and on our own time. In the past year, a core set of users have decided that these forums are their own personal soapbox and that they can do anything they want around here. As soon as we try to bring order back, the backlash from the same core set of users comes up, with the same accusations, etc.

    Honestly, and not speaking on behalf of the Tech Committee as a whole, I'm really fed up with all the crap we take day in, day out around. We're trying to run these forums in a civilized manner, with rules in place that help keep order. If everyone hates the rules so much, I'll be glad to just stop moderating at all, and let everyone just fight it out on their own. Without moderators enforcing rules, this place will be shut down within 90 days, in my opinion.

    As for rules that change, well yes, rules DO change. Just like rules in everything else in life. You think we can really have a clear-cut set of rules that will prevent all bad things from happening in the future? That's impossible; rules need to change over time to adapt to changing situations, etc. Just as Hornerjo mentioned earlier, we add/change rules as events happen and we determine that there's a 'gap' in our rules. At that point, we make a decision and modify our rules.

    Finally, I take offense to comments made by yourself as well as some others, accusing us of running these forums at our whim. We spend HOURS each week moderating here and making sure order is kept. I have far better things to do with my family and friends than to spend my days here "on a power-trip". We do this for the community as a whole, not for our egos. Feel free to disagree, but that's the truth.

    You've heard from a lot of folks about how unhappy they are with the way we run these forums? Have you or any of these people contacted the HOA about this? Why not? If I'm unhappy about something that I deem important, I take the time to bring the issue up with the people in charge and try to get the problem rectified. Sure, you've brought it up here, but you still seem to be unhappy with the way we're running things, so you need to move to the next level. I would STRONGLY urge you and all these 'other folks' to come to the next HOA Board meeting on Tuesday October 10, 5:30pm in the Nature Center Conference Room. Come voice your issues DIRECTLY with the Board and tell them why you are unhappy with us and how you believe the forums should really be run. In fact, I would propose that you and your group ask the HOA Board to remove the Tech Committee as the forum admins and that you Homer, become the lead forum admin, with your own team to run these forums. You indicate that you and the other folks you talk with have a better handle as to how to run these forums. Please, ask the HOA that you would like to take over; I will gladly give you the reins. I would rather someone else take over than have to spend hours each time we take an action to detail why such action was taken, how it was taken, who was part of the decision, etc, in order to satisfy you and the rest of your 'unhappy group of users'.

    Do you feel so strongly about the issue this time around that you are willing to put some time towards it and get involved? Then bring your team to the next HOA Board meeting please and ask to run these forums yourself and propose YOUR set of rules as to how these forums should be run.
     
  17. Homer Simpson

    Homer Simpson New Member

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    Yes, yes, yes. Because you serve you are valued more. We all know this. The response is always come to a meeting. Would it do any good? I doubt it. Maybe if those who contacted me want to start a coalition of change. One person against this system is fruitless.

    By your own rules, it takes 1 year to get a vote. Wow, what a way to keep out people.

    You guys do a good job keeping it running and your moderation has been fine up until now. I would like to see an oversight committee in place to review dubious bannings such as this.

    I know what happened, it's very similiar to what happened to me so it rings true. Someone complained about Brim. They said they would in a thread, so no surprise. Then a Board Member flexes his muscle and bamm!, no more Brim. I happen to agree with Brim on the point the person complained about. Censorship is not the answer.

    If being on the TC is such a hassle then quit. I personally don't want it, but I'm sure someone new would. There are plenty of new people in the neighborhood and maybe some high school kid would like the job experience.
     
  18. Mr. Linux

    Mr. Linux Senior Member & Moderator Forum Staff

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    That's BS. One person ALWAYS makes a difference, if they feel strongly about the issue. Thinking otherwise is simply a 'cop-out', and the same excuse you throw back each time someone asks you to come and discuss the issue in person. Don't feel that one person can make a difference? Then why are you and I discussing this issue here?

    That was put in place in order to protect the forums. If that rule wasn't there, and a user just walks into the meeting for the first time and says, "Ok, I want to moderate the forums, give me the passwords.", should we just give them full access? That's nonsense. Administrative access to these forums is gained over time and through some 'trust'. Don't agree? I would love to come over to your place next weekend and get the keys to your car for the next couple days. While I'm there, let me get the keys to your house too...

    As I mentioned previously, you're getting your facts only from one side and refuse to believe what we have to say. Either way, yes, we got complaints about a user. It wasn't from one user, it was from more than that. We don't take action on someone if ONE user complains. If that was the case, we would be suspending about 1-2 users a WEEK... Your friend is simply telling you what he wants you to hear, so that you take his side. If you want to base all your assumptions simply on what he's telling you, then go right ahead...

    It's only a hassle when we have to spend the bulk of our time fighting a firestorm from an enraged user who was banned from our forums and refuses to accept the actions taken and use the proper outlets/process to overturn the decision. It's a hassle when instead, the banned user dissemnates 'half the story' to his friends and has THEM do his dirty work, and then get suspended themselves. It's a hassle when I have to spend time posting here defending myself and the work of other volunteers who run these forums. It's a hassle when people complain about everything, but when asked to get involved, turn around and walk away...
     
  19. Homer Simpson

    Homer Simpson New Member

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    Is that even a rule? Yes you can change rules but when you do it at the same time you ban them for the rule, well you may as well send him to Gitmo.

    So what are metrics? How many people does it take? Do the complaints have to valid? Or simply I don't like Brim. Obviously you would have banned Brim earlier if his posts were out of bounds, therefore it was due to content that someone does not like. Censorship!

    You would not have angry flamewars if you would just have clarity in the system. Post why you banned him. You don't because you know it would inflame people. If you righteously banned him then why not disclose why, and the complaints sans complaintant name.
     
  20. Mr. Linux

    Mr. Linux Senior Member & Moderator Forum Staff

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    That's why we have as a policy that we don't discuss actions taken against users out in public. If the user affected wants to discuss the issue, we do it offline and/or at an HOA meeting. If we had to post why we made each decision taken publically here in the forums, we would end up in never-ending discussions about how unfair action x was or how unfair rule y is. We'll never be able to satisfy everyone and we would always have someone complaining about what we did; it's just human nature, as well as the occaisonal user who just wants to stir the pot. As soon as we would begin to post why user x was suspended, etc, we would then get a slew of complaints from that very user saying "How dare you discuss this out in the open without my consent!" If this were our full-time jobs, then yes. We do this on our spare time, and as such, I don't want to spend my weekends explaining every decision we make; my family deserves better of my time.

    So, we apply the rules and we move on. There's a process in place where the user affected can contact the HOA and request a review of the decision. Unfair? Probably to someone yes, but that's the way we decided to run these forums and that's the way the HOA Board agreed they should be run. Have issues with that? Go to a meeting, ask questions and get your needs met. Otherwise, we're just rehashing the same things over and over here...
     

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