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Social Plumbing

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  • Social Plumbing

    In the past I referred to the site as a community, but that didn't quite nail it down. Then I realized nailing everything down may not be the best approach. Mike has used the word "mob" to describe many acting as one. But that doesn't quite get what we're doing here. I think "swarm" covers what's going on here, so if you see me using that word, maybe you'll know what I mean.

    The old system had some real social plumbing issues. It was left up to a "High Priest" and blessed "Priests" to cast "blasphemers" into "outer darkness", i.e. I had to ban people who I subjectively decided were bad for the publication. As described elsewhere, I disabled accounts and in extreme cases I banned the ISPs they were coming from.

    The solution to this subjective dictatorship is to put the power into the hands of the readers, but I couldn't do that with PHP-Nuke (the old site's software). I know that many people find it irresistable to read posts that are infalmmatory even when they know the history of a particular member or guest, and many are baited by these social hackers and culture jammers. I am in agreement that members should have the choice; that it should not fall to one person to decide on your behalf what you should or should not be exposed to. The new fora empower you in two ways to anonymously control what you read and see.

    Members can rate threads using the 1 to 5 stars measure. And now, finally, you can use the software to ignore another member. The ignore feature causes posts from the target member to disappear from the thread. You can even ignore my posts! With these three content control features in your hands, I am going to ratchet down my judge/jury activities so that you can control your exposure to unpleasant content.

    Since bringing the new version of multiverse.org online, I have preserved the IP bans and account deactivations. I am willing to reset everything if we can find a concensus. Here is a list of accounts that have been deactivated. Should we reactivate them? I am ready to do it. Remember, if you don't want to read their posts you can ignore them mentally or manually.

    Bill
    dlackey
    Kitsune
    krunky
    Moody
    Obstreperous
    Seebass
    tzunder

    A couple were deactivated due to threats of violence to one another, others for culture jamming, abusiveness and other anti-social nonsense. Maybe I was wrong. So I leave to the swarm to decide if we should reactivate these accounts.

    I'll even reactivate Cxxxx Oxxx's account (Corum). I've just replied to a mailing list message at BOC-L (that's the Blue Oester Cult & Hawkwind mailing list). I've gotten abused by many people, but this guy has really been rotten towards me:

    September 19, 2005 Cxxxx Oxxx wrote to this list:

    "I dont post all that often, but I felt I had to reply.
    Firstly, let me say this is MY reply and I dont pretend
    to speak for anyone else here, this is entirely my

    opinion. I posted for about 2 years on the Moorcock site
    then without warning my IP address and in fact most of
    British columbia suddenly got cut off from being able
    to visit the site altogether. No warnings or explanations

    or temporary bans no replies or technical help, nothing
    just total disconnection with no explanation or appeals.
    So be warned if you dont fit in with this persons
    very limited, narrow minded, intolerant, dictatorial

    views you will find yourselves permanently cut off from this
    list if it amalgamted.
    I would also add that I have been and remain a life long
    fan of Michael Moorcock's books, especially the 6 books of Corum.

    So you can imagine that this axxhxxx caused quite some distress,
    and it is well beyond my mental abilities to fathom his reasons
    considering what Mike Moorcock and his life long work
    has stood for.

    Cxxxx Oxxx"

    Cxxx never really explained to anyone why this might have happened and I'm ready to talk about it after several years of silence. I speak now, because I am concerned for the privacy of those would wander over the Cxxxx's forum. Cxxxx wrote multiple messages to Michael Moorcock at the old old version of multiverse.org (pre-2003), wherein one of those messages he wrote personal information. He later came to regret that and rudely demanded that it be removed. Then he began to hold me responsible for Google picking up his personal information and demanded in an even more rude manner that I expunge information from Google, something totally out of my control. He used harrassing public messages at multiverse.org, messages to my multiple email addresses and communication with Michael Moorock and communication with ISPs to pressure me into managing his public statements. As soon as he began freaking out, we expunged his personal statements from multiverse.org, but he continued to freak out and attempt to insinuate himself as a kind of social manager over me and others. I accidentally restored his message of interest and was subject to an even more vicious campaign of abuse, and I decided to expunge every single message and I was forced to deny his ISP from multiverse.org and he mounted a campaign to gain access. I was forced to deny access to an entire geographical region in Canada (a specific ISP) to protect myself and the site from Cxxxx Oxxx's wierd demands. I have filtered all of his various email addresses to my spam folder because of the abuse he was directing to me. He was invited to be a guest at the site under a single condition: I must never be able to discover his identity. This ensured that no other person could deduce who he was thusly protecting his personal information. Since that offer, he directed abuse to Michael and I, and I was able to detect his identity by his email address. I have no idea what this dude's damage is, and it is obvious that he has no concept of what it means to use The Internet with his real name.

    Now to address my immeadiate concern: he's hosting a site, but doesn't have any concept of how to preserve your private information or his own. I also fear that some of you would be subject to his wierd social manipulations should you have a falling out over his kindom of threads. He can see your IP addresses, but has no idea how to even protect himself from his own public messages. How could anyone be secure under his wing? I do not know who he really is and I have nothing personal against him. I actively protected his privacy during his abuse and those who frequent multiverse.org know that I have gone to my utmost to preserve privacy for everyone. I am transparent about how I operate the site and there was a falling out with a couple of our friends over the preservation of privacy.

    Can you say the same of Cxxxx Oxxx? Let my four years of not publicly addressing Cxxxx Oxxx in any forum be my bond. I have serious concerns for my friends here and at multiverse.org. I don't have time for an endless debate with Cxxxx, so please understand that I won't reply to anything he posts to this list. Furthermore, I will not debate this multiverse.org. There's been enough nastiness over this. I've finally defended myself and that is enough for me.

    Thanks,
    Berry

    On 4/18/06, Cxxxx Oxxx wrote:
    Just a little test to see if the email method works.
    The URL entry method seems to have stopped working for me in last 2 weeks.

    Anyways, any musicians out there want to discuss playing Hawkwind tribute
    music in greater detail, I just started a forum, come too think of it, it is probably a
    more suitable place than the band list:

    http://s3.phpbbforfree.com/forums/ether-post-3.html#3

    Cheers
    Cxxx
    I'll no longer converse about this guy. I just feel it's time to break my silence now that we all have a way to deal with negative members, each in our own way. Thanks to this new software, you don't need me to decide for you what posts are objectionable. I guess you never really did.

    The no porn/no hate rule stands. We'll ban accounts posting porn images and racial slurs. We have now localized the subjectiveness to you instead of me. I won't be breaking up fights or coaching people on their posts, rather, when I hear complaints, I'll point you to a document that tells you how to ignore your perceived offender.

    One last note: the LSN thing. When I gave the LSN account a moderator role, I did not realize that the LSN account could view IP addresses (the first step in compromising your privacy). I discovered that I could not hide your IP addresses from any moderator in PHP-Nuke. With the new software I can! Moderators will not be able to have that first hook into breaching privacy, so you will see more moderators in the future.

    I truly believe that we were all subject to the bad design of our previous site, even though it allowed us all to find a great deal of pleasure in it, it fostered a kind of authoritrianism that I felt fully uncomfortable with, and my lack of experience set me up for some serious failure. Now we are set up for some serious success and I hope one and all are ready to have some serious enjoyment.
    7
    reactive the accounts
    28.57%
    2
    maintain deactivation
    71.43%
    5

    The poll is expired.

    Last edited by Governor of Rowe Island; 09-23-2013, 10:23 AM.
    Infinite complexity according to simple rules.

  • #2
    a most understandable situation. -but I have no idea if we should re-activate bad accounts or not. I might be inclined to give the accounts a second chance, to show that we can forgive? we can alwas ignore as you say, but on the other hand, once disturbed, a person is disturbed and I see no reason to let someone in the door who we know will make us unhappy on purpose. How about, we give the amnesty for now while we are all on a natural high from the site being up and running and new and improved. One time Amnesty this summer, then eject the accounts if they want to disrespect the swarm! -how about it? thanks, -Lemec

    "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
    - Michael Moorcock

    Comment


    • #3
      My experience on other boards which have the facilities for ignoring posters, etc. which you mention is that nobody actually uses them. Flame wars are like car crashes: You don't want to look, but you can't help yourself. Next thing you know you're on the receiving end of a tirade of abuse...

      Furthemore, when these things really kick off everybody starts quoting everybody else so, unless you have ignores set for half your mates as well, you can't help but come across material written by the person on your ignore list.

      Perhaps a compromise would be not to restore the accounts, but lift the ISP bans. That way, the people in question could open new accounts if they wanted to and start here afresh without the majority of us being any the wiser. However, if people become abusive, I'm all for banning them.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by lemec
        a most understandable situation. -but I have no idea if we should re-activate bad accounts or not. I might be inclined to give the accounts a second chance, to show that we can forgive? we can alwas ignore as you say, but on the other hand, once disturbed, a person is disturbed and I see no reason to let someone in the door who we know will make us unhappy on purpose. How about, we give the amnesty for now while we are all on a natural high from the site being up and running and new and improved. One time Amnesty this summer, then eject the accounts if they want to disrespect the swarm! -how about it? thanks, -Lemec
        This sort of implies we have an authority structure, because we forgive and grant amnesty. The question becomes, do you want me to decide if someone is trying to make you unhappy on purpose, or would you like to decide for yourself?
        Infinite complexity according to simple rules.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by johneffay
          My experience on other boards which have the facilities for ignoring posters, etc. which you mention is that nobody actually uses them. Flame wars are like car crashes: You don't want to look, but you can't help yourself. Next thing you know you're on the receiving end of a tirade of abuse...

          Furthemore, when these things really kick off everybody starts quoting everybody else so, unless you have ignores set for half your mates as well, you can't help but come across material written by the person on your ignore list.

          Perhaps a compromise would be not to restore the accounts, but lift the ISP bans. That way, the people in question could open new accounts if they wanted to and start here afresh without the majority of us being any the wiser. However, if people become abusive, I'm all for banning them.
          If a member comes to me and says, "Ban so-and-so," I have the recourse of saying, use the ignore feature, but what you say is true. The flame wars will go on. Theocrat and others have made fine arguments about having these personalities in the open where their nonsense can be answered. For those of us who are easily baited, an ignore feature really lowers the volume on the flamewar, while others are capable of skipping over the nonsense or even consuming it an keeping their heads.

          I agree with your ISP bans being dropped.
          Last edited by Reinart der Fuchs; 06-17-2006, 07:49 PM.
          Infinite complexity according to simple rules.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Reinart der Fuchs
            This sort of implies we have an authority structure, because we forgive and grant amnesty. The question becomes, do you want me to decide if someone is trying to make you unhappy on purpose, or would you like to decide for yourself?
            I see the problem that it creates. Some of us are not on that often though to be part of a voting system or ratingsystem that will boot the offender. I guess it woud work if the offending member got a certain amount of bad rating then they are gone. like if 5 other members complain about the same person, they are gone. I see that as being the members doing the booting are the ones who happen to be on during the time of the offence. I am sorry I am not making sense. Being that you never failed us before, Reinart, would it really be so bad to make this a monarchy? (in that department,which should not happen too often) then the rest of us could act as the king's advisors and you can ask yea or nay?, weigh in our response-then mete out justice. of course, if Mike would happen to be involved with a member who might be banned, he would have top authority as host.(which probably would never be in that situation) just a thought. johneffay is right, I did not think of that, we all will see the offending words in our quotes. yes, this needs talked out for a few days I think before we can decide, we need more opinions. :)

            "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
            - Michael Moorcock

            Comment


            • #7
              that's a good start, drop the ISP bans. Is there a way to only keep flame war generators in the Reasoned Debate thread only?

              "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
              - Michael Moorcock

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by lemec
                that's a good start, drop the ISP bans. Is there a way to only keep flame war generators in the Reasoned Debate thread only?
                There's that whole authority thing again. Who has time? Who decides if a participant in a conversation regarding Hitler has gone over the line? Who will jail the user to that forum? Is it fair to quarantine a member from the Q&A because they have distasteful opinions?

                I argue that you are the best judge of objectionable content, and that it's in the swarm's best interest to isolate yourself from objectionable content.
                Infinite complexity according to simple rules.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm just saying that a chaos engineer,moderator, a king or whoever our elected official is, would be level-headed and have very good reason before somebody is exiled.
                  It's not like personal bias or abuse would occur.
                  Last edited by lemec; 06-17-2006, 12:22 PM. Reason: spelling error

                  "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                  - Michael Moorcock

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Reinart der Fuchs
                    There's that whole authority thing again. Who has time? Who decides if a participant in a conversation regarding Hitler has gone over the line? Who will jail the user to that forum? Is it fair to quarantine a member from the Q&A because they have distasteful opinions?

                    I argue that you are the best judge of objectionable content, and that it's in the swarm's best interest to isolate yourself from objectionable content.
                    oh, right. so members can just take it upon themselves to ignore who they do not like. OK, sounds good, then there is nothing to worry about then. If something get's too bad for personal taste, just walk away, if it gets too bad ignore the user. I can handle that.
                    disregard my previous posts.

                    "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                    - Michael Moorcock

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lemec
                      I guess it woud work if the offending member got a certain amount of bad rating then they are gone. like if 5 other members complain about the same person, they are gone.
                      I've seen this before as well. What happens is that perfectly inoffensive people suddenly find themselves inexplicably banned from the board because they have said the wrong thing to somebody who has then sent private messages to all his or her best board buddies suggesting they wreck the poor person's reputation and get him or her thrown off.

                      This used to happen all the time on a music forum I no longer frequent which shall remain nameless.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        yeah, that is bad. I did not see the big picture when I said that. I am sure things will be smooth now that it's sorted out. :)

                        "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                        - Michael Moorcock

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          I vote on the side of compassion, though I like to add that vigiliance is the price we pay for freedom. Lifting bans is essentially the same as throwing a rope. Its up to them whether they choose to climb it or hang themselves.
                          Yuki says, "Krimson used to be known as Kommando, but he rarely uses that name anymore. Sometimes he appears as Krimson Gray as well. Do not be confused, he still loves cats and bagels."

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
                            Surely the context should determine whether the account be reactivated or not.
                            The context has changed because the software has changed.

                            But johneffey has suggested the best course of action in my opinion. We halt the more agressive geographical bans to allow those former members to take new masques if they are able. Then we can evaluate the bahaviour in this new context.

                            I just wanted to be very transparent about my past decisions and future expectations before I lifted the more agressive bans. There is sure to be animosity.
                            Infinite complexity according to simple rules.

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