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Author Topic: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy  (Read 6107 times)

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Offline Peter Staley

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,337
  • Founder & Advisory Editor, AIDSmeds.com
    • AIDSmeds.com
New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« on: December 10, 2006, 01:42:16 PM »
So, after many weeks of work, along with the input of many members in this forum, we have come up with a slightly revised Time Out and Banning Policy.  We're going to try this policy for a long while before considering any changes.  However, feel free to comment on the new policy in this thread.

One explanation...  As we looked at this issue more and more, it became apparent that trying to define the exact circumstances of when or if warnings should be issued was almost impossible.  Therefore, this policy includes a great deal of flexibility for the moderators on whether or not to issue warnings before TOs or permanent bans.  Everyone is just going to have to live with the fact that we won't use "warnings" on a consistent basis.

That said, the new policy is otherwise very clear.  We hope this will help everyone going forward in making these forums a civil place to discuss our lives.

Here it is...


Time Out Policy

Sometimes discussions in the AIDSmeds forums get heated. While we encourage a free exchange of ideas and debate, we cannot allow discussions to become heated to the point where they become abusive. The AIDSmeds Time Out (TO) policy will be implemented when members need some time to cool off. This policy will be acted upon at the moderators’ discretion.

The Am I Infected forum has its own Time Out policy which does not apply to the rest of the forums. However, the Time Out policy outlined here will also apply to any member of the AIDSmeds forums posting in the Am I Infected forum, or any other forum at AIDSmeds.

A warning will be issued publicly in the thread, to a member or members, where there is a problem. In the case of severe abuse, the moderators reserve the right to go straight to a TO. Posting grossly offensive comments or content may also result in an immediate, complete ban.

Only one warning will be issued before a TO is given; a TO will be given if the warning is ignored.

In the case of a previous warning being given with a time elapse between offences, the moderators reserve the right to issue another warning or give a TO, depending on the circumstances, at their discretion.

While the moderators may be more flexible where warnings are concerned, a TO will always stand on record. For example, if you have had one TO, your next TO will be counted as your second, no matter how much time has elapsed between the two. You may accumulate several warnings over time.

Being Timed Out means that you will not be able to log into your AIDSmeds forum account. This means you cannot post messages in threads or access your Private Messages. You will only be able to read the forums as a guest. Creating a new account to get around a TO will result in an immediate and permanent ban.

A first TO will result in not being able to log in for one week (7 days).

A second TO will result in not being able to log in for 30 days.

A third offence will result in a permanent ban from the AIDSmeds forums. 

Time outs that were given before the modified policy was published are still valid and will count toward those members’ overall TO record. 

Offences that may result in a warning, TO, or ban include abusive language, personal attacks, threats, and starting threads or posting comments that are designed to provoke an angry response - a practice known as flame-baiting (see a definition at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flamebait). If you find yourself wondering if you will be warned/TOd over a comment, it’s probably best to not make the comment. You will not be warned/TOd over stating your opinion in a respectful manner, without personal attacks.

Actions that may result in an immediate and permanent ban include posting denialist (aka HIV dissident) content or website links, commercial spam and the previously mentioned grossly offensive content. These bans will be enacted at the moderators’ discretion.

Posting unacceptable comments, as outlined above, and editing them out later (to avoid being warned or TOd) will be noticed by the moderators and will not be tolerated.

Moderator decisions to time-out or ban a member of these forums are joint decisions and are thoroughly discussed beforehand. We sincerely hope that warnings, TOs and bans will be exceptional, rare occurrences. We do not want to exclude people from these forums but at the same time, we need to keep this place safe for all.

We would like to remind everyone at this time to use the “Report to moderator” link rather than respond to inappropriate behaviour yourself. If you choose to send a moderator report, please know that the reports are strictly confidential and only seen by the moderators. If you wish to have feedback on any report you send, please say so in the report.

You also have the Ignore button, located below a member's name to the left of their posts, at your disposal. Silence often speaks much louder than words. If you choose to put someone on ignore, you can always un-ignore them later by going into your profile and taking them off the ignore list.

Thank you for your cooperation,

The AIDSmeds Forum Moderator Team

Offline poet

  • Member
  • Posts: 934
  • Poet living and working in Central Maine
Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2006, 06:54:15 PM »
Hi Peter.  Since this new policy makes clear the authority and responsiblity of the moderators within the forums, might I ask or be directed toward (being new here) the explanation of the moderators' posts within threads?  This has bothered the fascilitator in me because a post by any moderator, as moderator, cannot be read equally to the post of any other poster and I wonder if certain voices are less likely to post because the forums, in the voice of the moderators, seems to be leaning in a certain direction.  Taking it back to moderators as fascilitators, the trick is to pull out more voices without disclosing one's own personal slant: moderating.   Were moderators present as both moderators, with that description attached and as forum members, without that description attached, on the other hand, a post from them as the latter would be just that: a post from person X.  Hopefully this alone may get a discussion going.  Best, Win
Winthrop Smith has published three collections of poetry: Ghetto: From The First Five; The Weigh-In: Collected Poems; Skin Check: New York Poems.  The last was published in December 2006.  He has a work-in-progress underway titled Starting Positions.

Offline David_CA

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,245
  • Joined: March 2006
Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2006, 10:28:39 PM »

A first TO will result in not being able to log in for one week (7 days).

A second TO will result in not being able to log in for 30 days.

A third offence will result in a permanent ban from the AIDSmeds forums. 


Feeling free to comment on the new policy, I think I will.  One week for a first TO is a bit extreme, to me.  A second TO of 30 days is definitely extreme, but I'm just a member who's not had any warnings or TO's so what would I know about any of this.  I'd just hate to think of a person truly in need of support not being able to get it because of a policy such as this.  Perhaps limited TO's (limited to PM's but not posting) would still enable support for those who may really benefit from other users individually.

David
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline allopathicholistic

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,258
Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2006, 10:34:05 PM »
You also have the Ignore button, located below a member's name to the left of their posts, at your disposal. Silence often speaks much louder than words. If you choose to put someone on ignore, you can always un-ignore them later by going into your profile and taking them off the ignore list. [/color]

Oh - Didn't know you had to go through all that, I thought "ignore/unignore" is a toggle

Offline cubbybear

  • Member
  • Posts: 510
  • Joined August 2005.
Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2006, 04:40:16 AM »
I also believe the 7 day/30 day TO's are too extreme.  This policy is a good way to make people permanently stay away from these forums and it would be a shame to lose some of the people here that have done a lot of good on these forums, especially those who have been here for a long while.  It is a shame you feel the need to rule these forums with such an iron fist.  It does not encourage people to post, in fear of reprisal and loss of a lifeline which this forum is for many people.  I know if people like Mark, Alan, Tim, Jan (and others) etc for what ever reason were given TO's or Banned, I for one would stop coming here if valuable people like them were ever affected by these rules.  Sorry, but just how I feel.  Many forums die when they become staunch and iron fisted...  I guess that's why communism isn't that popular in the world today.

Just my 2cents.

« Last Edit: December 11, 2006, 04:43:30 AM by cubbybear »
There's a bear in there!
Positive since 2000
Diagnosed 17/9/2005 CD4 35 VL 293,000
Meds 23/9/2005 Sustiva/Truvada
Currently CD4 232 VL Undetectable

Offline DanielMark

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,475
Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2006, 05:34:47 AM »
Quote
Only one warning will be issued before a TO is given; a TO will be given if the warning is ignored.

I think that's fair.

I'm in favor of anything that keeps a message forum a comfortable place for everyone. If a person won't self-monitor how they behave, then so be it.

I belong to another message board community and the same sort of policy exists there. While it is somewhat a shame that anyone must be warned about behaving badly, sometimes extreme circumstances call for extreme solutions.

My 2 nickels.

Daniel
MEDS: REYATAZ & KIVEXA (SINCE AUG 2008)

MAY 2000 LAB RESULTS: CD4 678
VL STILL UNDETECTABLE

DIAGNOSED IN 1988

Offline Dachshund

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,941
Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2006, 08:21:59 AM »
In the final hour, all decisions are at the discretion of the moderators. It appears obvious that the use of time outs and banning has already changed the group dynamic. Evidenced by the large number of members who no longer post.

That being said, I do find the 7/30 rule to be rather harsh. I believe it would be a magnanimous gesture by the moderators to start out all members with a clean slate. With the new time out policy in place, it seems only fair that all members start out as equals.

Thanks,
Hal


Offline joemutt

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,039
Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2006, 08:24:55 AM »
I think this policy is fine, just fine.

Offline Ann

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 28,140
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2006, 08:27:46 AM »
Win, You raise some interesting points, but I'm not quite ready just yet to respond to the subject. It's something I've given a lot of thought to, over the years as a moderator, and I need to distill those thoughts into something concise.

David, Matt and Hal, The 7/30 time-frame was suggested in the Time Out thread  (reply #40) by a forum member. Three replies supported this idea and only one didn't - but even that was only an indirect disagreement (reply #63).

Please understand that we do not want to give time outs to anyone. We would rather that people treated each other with respect without intervention from us. We do not relish the babysitter role and we certainly don't TO people for kicks. We hope the possibility of being given a TO will act as sufficient deterrent to bad behaviour - and we hope we don't have to use it very often, if at all.

These TOs will not be given without prior warning. Someone who has been warned would be more likely to carry on regardless if they thought they would only be faced with a two day TO. People who ignore warnings will know what they are getting themselves into. 

Alex, If you've put someone on ignore, you cannot see them. You cannot see their ignore button to toggle it, so you must manually remove their name from the list that appears in your profile pages.

Daniel and Joemutt, Thank you for your input.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline David_CA

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,245
  • Joined: March 2006
Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2006, 10:57:47 AM »
David, Matt and Hal, The 7/30 time-frame was suggested in the Time Out thread  (reply #40) by a forum member. Three replies supported this idea and only one didn't - but even that was only an indirect disagreement (reply #63).


That's fine, Ann.  I don't respond to every post, suggestion, or idea I read on this forum.  That was a suggestion by ONE member in a previous post and already there are THREE members who are in direct disagreement in the current post.  Please don't be so quick to discount our dissenting opinions, while at the same time thanking those who are in agreement, as we were invited to comment on this policy by Peter.

David
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Joe K

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 3,495
Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2006, 11:07:18 AM »
Deleted.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2006, 09:16:51 AM by killfoile »

Offline ACinKC

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,994
  • Bring it VIRUS! #2 Ranked In-crowd Member!
Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2006, 11:07:48 AM »
So you're saying... Dont be a dick?  Right?  Dont be a dick and you have no problems... IM GOOD WITH THAT!!!

Thank you for making this clear cut and concise!
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline ACinKC

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,994
  • Bring it VIRUS! #2 Ranked In-crowd Member!
Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2006, 11:11:31 AM »
As I said before, you expect me to come here and share my most personal thoughts, but now I must use a filter or all of this can be taken from me with the mere click of a mouse.  Not much of an incentive to stay at all.

I think they are saying, you CAN share your thoughts and how you feel.  And of ALL the websites/forums I have been on these are probably one of the most laid back and anything goes kind of site I have ever seen.

I dont think the filter you use is going to filter out TOO much.  At least from my experience its not neccessary.
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline Dachshund

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,941
Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2006, 11:27:55 AM »
Wow, three out of 3,930 that makes it unanimous. Sorry I raised the topic of time outs and banning in the first place. My original intent in starting the thread was to try and open a honest dialogue. At this stage any point I make is moot.

As I said before, it all begins and ends with the discretion of the moderators. That is fine with me.

Thank you.

Offline Teresa

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,753
Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2006, 11:32:45 AM »
I agree that the 7/30 rule seems too harsh, and that since this is a new TO policy that everyone should start with a clean slate.

Teresa
Hubby HIV+ 5/5/06
CD4:320
  %: 26.7
 VL: <20
Atripla (started it 8/24/06)
 

Offline ACinKC

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,994
  • Bring it VIRUS! #2 Ranked In-crowd Member!
Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2006, 11:38:00 AM »
on another website i am on I received a TO for a joke I would post HERE with no problem and it was 7 days long.  Just know the rules and dont break them, I dont see how this is that hard.

Mom and Dad pay the rent in our little "house" and Mom and Dad make the rules of this house.  You abide by those rules (which ALL the other kids say we have the COOLEST parents EVER!!!) or you go out into the world and get your OWN place, where YOU can make the rules!!

I just love analogies!
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline Ann

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 28,140
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2006, 11:57:21 AM »
Please don't be so quick to discount our dissenting opinions, while at the same time thanking those who are in agreement, as we were invited to comment on this policy by Peter.

David

David,

I'm sorry that you thought I was trying to discount what you said - I wasn't. I was only pointing out that the TO time-frame had been discussed previously and there were no serious objections to it at that time.

The rest of my comments directed at you were simply me trying to shed some light on why we decided on the time-frame we did.

Also, I did not thank anyone for their agreement, I thanked them for their INPUT.

 
Wow, three out of 3,930 that makes it unanimous. Sorry I raised the topic of time outs and banning in the first place. My original intent in starting the thread was to try and open a honest dialogue. At this stage any point I make is moot.

As I said before, it all begins and ends with the discretion of the moderators. That is fine with me.

Thank you.

Hal,

Where, exactly, did I say it was an unanimous decision? And by the way, we were happy you raised the subject in that thread. How does that make whatever you say moot? Isn't an open and honest dialogue a two way street? Or does it mean that I am not allowed to put forward my thoughts?



As for the clean slate thing, the TO policy hasn't really changed other than the time-frame of the TOs. The basic policy is the same and this new wording is a clarification.

Ann
« Last Edit: December 11, 2006, 11:59:04 AM by Ann »
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline skeebo1969

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,699
Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2006, 12:13:40 PM »
Almost every time I have been guilty of posting something  I shouldn't have, I was aware that I was walking that thin line.    Whether replying in heated discussion or to an asshole who attacks me (I've been the asshole), it is ultimately up to me.   Allot of the personal attacks would not fly in the real world.  Let's face it someone would either get punched or shot for some of the comments made to others here.    So if it wouldn't be cool in person...  I don't think it should be here either, but hey it still happens.   Self control is a motherfucker when your heated about something and stepping away is a hard thing to do sometimes... almost like admitting defeat in some people's minds.


    I agree with the TO policy, but only to a degree.   I personally think something like a permanent ban should be left up to the entire forum, not just the moderators.    Racial slurs, comments on sexuality, and direct threats are the only circumstances I can think of that should constitute permanent banning, but hey that is my opinion.

   Call it grammar school mentality, but why can't the moderators put two heated participants on a spread action sort of speak.   I only assume because the ignore feature is there that it can be implemented by the moderators if a person won't use it...

   Not taking sides and not that Joe needs my support, but I have to say it does bother me to think that his next offense brings a 30 day timeout.   I may have missed a post, but he has never just blatantly come out of the woodwork and attacked someone.   I'm sorry but the TO policy does not apply to every situation correctly.  

   I just want to add that my opinion is subjective, that I do know.  So if I am talking out of my ass here my apologies!   Don't attack me because you might just get a warning  ;D

   Now I am going to practice some of the self control I have learned here in the last two weeks and call my case worker and lovingly put my foot in his rear...  just as motivation ya know!

  Thomas
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline Dachshund

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,941
Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2006, 12:16:47 PM »
By moot I mean the policy has been set so there really is no need for me to discuss it. I am totally cool with that...totally cool with anyone putting forth their own thoughts. I was under no illusion that my opinion would change anything. I still think 7/30 is harsh and I still think previous time outs should not count towards the new policy. I just thought it would be a nice gesture if everyone started out on a sorta equal footing.

Offline water duck

  • Member
  • Posts: 397
Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2006, 12:46:32 PM »
The quotation on my dining table says :

This House is clean enough to be healthy
    BUT dirty enough to be happy

What makes this site unique is that it is cater for people living with HIV.
In their battles, they suffered not only physical pains but also psychological ones or both. In their desperation and solitude, they have come here, their ' safe ' harbour, so that their cry of HURT and ANGER, can be heard and understood (very healthy i should say, worth ten trips to the psychiatrist) now they are being threaten with TO.

Your job as moderators is not an easy one. When considering TO may understanding and compassion be your guides. What about the alternative of locking that particular troublesome thread ??

Siang

Offline RAB

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,895
  • Joined March 2003
Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2006, 01:01:51 PM »
I must confess reading how long the new time outs are going to be literally took my breath away.  Perhaps that was the intended purpose to get everyone's attention.

So here's my two bucks worth:

1.  I feel the 7/30 policy is harsh.  Too harsh.  I'm not sure where I would exactly draw the line, if 2 days (for a first TO) wasn't effective enough, perhaps there's a half way point you might consider instead of the 7 days you have now put in place. 

The 30 day (for a 2nd TO) is also extreme in my opinion. 


2.  If previous time outs will remain in place, I am curious if there has been a mechanism in place to accurately track who, when, and for what members have been given time outs.  If there hasn't been, then I would argue that it isn't fair to not allow members to start over with a clean slate.

Moving forward it's my hope that no one is hurt by these policies, and it's also my hope that the moderators (whom I respect completely) might reconsider this decision. 

RAB

(Modified cause my darn computer locked up!   >:(  Does that count as a TO?   ;)  Kidding guys!)
« Last Edit: December 11, 2006, 01:08:57 PM by RAB »

Offline Longislander

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,486
Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2006, 01:19:43 PM »
I'm ok with the rules.
I would have thought maybe 2/7/30, but it is what it is. I have seen very little behavior that warranted warnings, but it's been here. I have seen behavior (words) that in my opinion should have banned a member immediately.
That being said, we can't all be happy with everythiing. It is what it is, now let's behave ourselves! ;D
infected 10/05 diagnosed 12-05
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8/06   349/9500 25%              11/07 515/68000/24     2/10 845/U/38%
9/06   507/16,000 30% !          2/08  516/116k/22%    7/10 906/80/39%
12/06 398/29000 26%             Start Atripla 3/08
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Offline Ann

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Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2006, 01:23:20 PM »
2.  If previous time outs will remain in place, I am curious if there has been a mechanism in place to accurately track who, when, and for what members have been given time outs.  If there hasn't been, then I would argue that it isn't fair to not allow members to start over with a clean slate.


Rab,

Yes, we do have a list.

I have to admit that I'm a bit mystified why anyone is surprised that previous time outs still count. After all, the only change is the time-frame of the TOs. The activities that might get you warned and/or TOd remain exactly the same.

Everyone will be warned before being given a time out - so really speaking, there should be no reason to ever time someone out. All any of you have to do is heed a warning.

Ann
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HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline David_CA

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Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2006, 01:32:05 PM »
David,

I'm sorry that you thought I was trying to discount what you said - I wasn't. I was only pointing out that the TO time-frame had been discussed previously and there were no serious objections to it at that time.

The rest of my comments directed at you were simply me trying to shed some light on why we decided on the time-frame we did.

Also, I did not thank anyone for their agreement, I thanked them for their INPUT.

Yeah, Ann, I know you didn't intend for it to sound like you were thanking anybody in particular, but it just so happened that the two who you thanked were the two who DID agree.  I'm sure you didn't mean anything by it; in fact, you generally try to address all members who reply to a post like this.  I guess this is still a sensitive subject, what with no 'clean slate' for folks.  Hell, maybe it's the Sustiva in the Atripla getting to me.  ;)   Again, I didn't mean to imply you were thanking those who agreed, but it just came across like that to me.

David
« Last Edit: December 11, 2006, 03:32:51 PM by David_NC »
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Offline woodshere

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Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2006, 02:00:17 PM »
Let's not forget that before someone receives a TO, they are given a warning.  It's there choice if they want to continue the behavior that caused them to get a warning.  I haven't been here long, but what I have seen on several threads is that they go on entirely too long before they are closed.  Perhaps closing threads that one can tell are going to become hurtful and vindictive toward other members would lower tempers and result in someone not getting a TO.

The fact of the matter is when there are rules some people are not going to like them, which is fine.  But, like them or not we have to play by the rules or be sent to the corner for a TO.
Just my 2 cents worth,
Woods
"Let us give pubicity to HV/AIDS and not hide it..." "One of the things destroying people with AIDS is the stigma we attach to it."   Nelson Mandela

Offline DancerBoy

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Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #25 on: December 11, 2006, 02:05:02 PM »
Rab,

Yes, we do have a list.

I have to admit that I'm a bit mystified why anyone is surprised that previous time outs still count. After all, the only change is the time-frame of the TOs.


Well, it's simply this:  I have had two times outs one 2 day and one 7 day.  Now if I were to get another one, would that be a 30 day or a permanent ban.

Not that I'm saying this  because of my own history I would like to have the slate cleared as there was a recent group that a moderator had a diva fit and timed everyone out. In that particular instance Joe shouldn't have been timed out and neither should Lis.  It may or not have been warrented for me. I don't really remember. I remember that Ann sent me a personal message with a warning, but I let the topic I was warned for drop... But in that instance everyone was timed out for one week.  So will another offense from Joe or I get us banned?

-D
« Last Edit: December 11, 2006, 02:08:51 PM by DancerBoy »
Boys are Stupid

Offline DancerBoy

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Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2006, 02:06:55 PM »
Let's not forget that before someone receives a TO, they are given a warning. 
Woods

Not always. I recall the last main incident when a moderator timed a whole group of people out.

-D
Boys are Stupid

Offline ademas

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Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2006, 02:17:49 PM »
Hasn't this already been discussed at length?
I don't know what the point of feedback is at this juncture.
If the decision has been made, and it's going to be implemented for a good amount of time, why revisit all of this? 
Lock and Sticky the damn thread and let it be.

Offline DanielMark

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Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #28 on: December 11, 2006, 02:26:02 PM »
So you're saying... Dont be a dick?  Right?  Dont be a dick and you have no problems...



Can't make it much simpler than that I suppose.

Daniel
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Offline poet

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Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #29 on: December 11, 2006, 04:39:22 PM »
Quite honestly, I don't understand why this is so difficult.  If you don't like a post which someone has made, ignore it or, if you 'have' to reply, do so sideways, by which I mean state how you see things differently without directing your comment/reply at someone, as in 'I can't believe that you think....'  Try it as 'from my perspective....'  Yes, we are, in the eyes of many here, a family and like any family, we don't have to all agree some or even most of the time.  As a family, we do have to 'live' together here in the forums and that means that anyone at any point should know that he or she can in fact post whatever he or she feels.  He or she needs to feel that he or she is 'safe' to post.  If a comment works for you, you can support the comment.  If it doesn't, see above.  I am more and more pleased with the forums when I see someone posting for the very first time, especially if this person has 'lurked' (in his or her words) for some time before doing so.  Every old voice here is a familiar voice.  Every new voice here is just that: a new voice to learn from and about.  Win
Winthrop Smith has published three collections of poetry: Ghetto: From The First Five; The Weigh-In: Collected Poems; Skin Check: New York Poems.  The last was published in December 2006.  He has a work-in-progress underway titled Starting Positions.

Offline Eldon

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Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2006, 09:18:03 PM »
There is a reason these rules were constructed in the manner in which they appear. It is a direct effort to minimize the stated above.

If we abide by the rules then we shall not be subjected to its terms.


Happy Holidays!

Offline Jeff64

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Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #31 on: December 11, 2006, 10:19:17 PM »
Plain old childness is what this policy is.
We are all adults and can put up with random breakdowns of random freaks. Everyone has a moment now and then.
I feel the time out and banning policy is chilldlike and wrong.

Not that it matters, but this is my humble opinion.

Jeff


Offline RAB

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Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2006, 10:40:55 AM »
Rab,

Yes, we do have a list.

I have to admit that I'm a bit mystified why anyone is surprised that previous time outs still count. After all, the only change is the time-frame of the TOs. The activities that might get you warned and/or TOd remain exactly the same.

Everyone will be warned before being given a time out - so really speaking, there should be no reason to ever time someone out. All any of you have to do is heed a warning.

Ann


Ann

Thanks for the clarification.

To all 4 moderators,

I agree with what many have said, that the solution to this problem is simply to not cross the line, and if you receive a warning then have the good sense to back off.  In an ideal world that would always be the outcome.  The moderators also must have the ability to take necessary steps to maintain order and the safety of these forums so that they can function for everyone.

I have 3 points that I'd like to offer regarding the possibility of allowing everyone to start over with a clean slate.  I'm not trying to aggravate any of you (HONESTLY  ;D), I know how much work all of you put into this, and how difficult it was, so I am offering these with respect first, and a desire to possibly convince all 4 of you to reconsider.

1.  The only real change, as Ann mentioned, is in the length of time out, so therefore the previous time outs should stand.  That is true.  The previous time lengths meant that members faced a serious consequence if they broke the rule. 

These news TOs however, have taken that to an entirely different level.  Going from 2 to 7 and from 7 to 30 is a dramatic change.  Those who are sitting on previous TO's are now facing an entirely different consequence if they are given another. 

In light of the new (hugely different) severity, maybe they should be given the opportunity to start with a clean slate.

2.  As has been admitted, the reason for these news clearly stated rules, was that previously there was sometimes a lack of consistency in the previous policy. 

Well, if there was sometimes a lack of consistency, then it is also possible that some members have been treated differently then others.

That might be another reason to consider allowing everyone to start over with a clean slate.

3.  Giving everyone an amnesty over their previous time outs, in conjunction with implementing this new clearly stated policy, provides a unique opportunity to allow for some much needed healing.  I believe strongly that potential should at least be considered.

I admire, appreciate, and respect the job all 4 of you do, the evidence of your commitment and efforts can be seen in these forums everyday.

RAB

(I have no dog in this fight personally, because I haven't received a TO, I am just expressing my thoughts.)

Offline Joe K

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Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2006, 02:23:50 PM »
I had removed my previous comments because I was angry at this new policy and the fact that I will be one of the few to possibly feel the full brunt of this new policy.  While I believe that my confronting posters who spew venom and hatred as being necessary, I will agree that given my mental state at the time, I became over-bearing in my posts and was appropriately warned, even though I had already left the thread in question. 

Regardless, I will agree that I deserved a TO under the old policy that indicated a two-day TO as a first offense.  However, I did not receive a 2-day, but rather a 7-day TO so that all the TOs given at that time would be “consistent.”  Through email, I pointed out that I should have gotten a 2-day TO and was told that was correct, but because I was angry and threatened to leave the forums, the 7-day TO was left in place.

I cannot tell you how awful those 7 days were, especially because I was adjusting my depression medications and I really needed the support that this forum provides me.  But none of that mattered and I believe that my 7-day TO came from a place of anger, which was termed as “consistency,” when fairness should have defined my punishment.  So now we have a new TO policy in place and I have one TO against me and you expect me to stay here and risk being banned???

Because according to my history with TOs, there is nothing to prevent my next TO from skipping over the stated 30-day next step and going directly to being banned.  Just look at my history.  It happened once and there is nothing to prevent it from happening again.  It is not the policy that I fear, but its administration.

What incentive is there for me to remain here if my entire experience with this forum can be ended by the mere click of a mouse?
« Last Edit: December 12, 2006, 02:29:37 PM by killfoile »

Offline Grinch

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Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2006, 03:13:50 PM »
I believe 7 and 30 days is extreme. I also have little doubt that the playing field will not be level.
Land on the wrong side of the topic du'jure and I suspect you'll get that warning a lot faster than the folks on the "right" side of the discussion. Argue your point again  *poof* off to the sin bin.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2006, 03:15:43 PM by Grinch »

Offline Tim Horn

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Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #35 on: December 12, 2006, 03:32:47 PM »
Hi gang...

Let me come right out and say that Peter, Ann, Andy, and I talked long and hard about the "clean slate" idea and decided against it. Everyone here raises excellent points as to why a clean slate is suitable, but the thing is that we have some members of the Forums -- none of whom have participated in this thread -- who are consistently and frequently disruptive, have been given one or two time-outs in the past, and have been warned that they are in serious risk of being banned permanently from the Forums due to their behavior.  

Because of these few people, we are uncomfortable giving everyone a clean slate.  Yes, we could give some people a clean slate... but this really gives way to uneven administration of a policy.

Because the severity of the time outs has changed, please believe me when I say that Ann, Andy, Peter, and I will be much more forthcoming with warnings -- via PM -- before issuing TOs, especially when we're dealing with members who aren't usually disruptive in the Forums and simply may have lost their cool given a particular exchange.  

In no way are we asking people to stop expressing themselves or revealing personal things about themselves.  In fact, we've issued warning in the past, when members have maliciously used another member's personal situation against him or her down the line.  Just as there are rules and regulations in face-to-face support groups, to keep the environment safe and nurturing, there absolutely must be rules and regulations here to permit members to speak honestly and openly about what they're going through without fear of recrimination from other members. 

We're not cleaning slates -- or laying down rules of mandatory warnings every step of the way -- because there are some members (both now and in the past) who are incredibly toxic to the Forums and the less mandatory steps we have in place, the easier it is for us to quickly deal with the situation.  But for those of you who don't fall into this classification -- and that goes for the overwhelming majority of Forums members, including everyone who has participated in this thread -- PMs from the moderators will now be the first priority.  

Yes, I guess you can say that Peter, Ann, Andy, and I aren't being even-handed in this policy.  Some decisions -- which, by the way, are made by all four of us, not just one of us -- are easier than others, some requiring much greater attention to individual situations than others, and some requiring more drastic immediate steps than others (warning first or straight to TO).  

We do hold ourselves responsible for mis-steps that were taken in the past in terms of warning and TO administration.  At the same time, we are asking members to hold themselves accountable too.  A lot of comments in this thread argue how unjust this new policy is... but what about the behavior -- the flame baiting and the personal attacks -- that has rendered this policy necessary?  This isn't about WHAT can be discussed in the Forums, it's about HOW it is discussed. 

Tim Horn
« Last Edit: December 12, 2006, 03:41:55 PM by Tim Horn »

Offline ACinKC

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Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #36 on: December 12, 2006, 04:17:15 PM »
Nicely put!

LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline StrongGuy

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Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #37 on: December 12, 2006, 04:36:47 PM »
I thought I had a grasp of the policy up until Tim's post.

It sounds as though he's saying that everyone who posted in this thread was not on the extra naughty list, which is a separate toxic group that may or may not be defined by how many TOs they have received. And these individuals may or may not receive warnings prior to TOs. He understands this isn't being "even-handed."

So why are guidelines even being posted?

While I am a receiver of one TO, and admittedly deserved it (and have apologized via PM to a select few for some of the tactics I used to express a well-needed viewpoint), the whole concept (IMHO) should have just been made simple: new TOs will be handed out to anyone (stress anyone) who does not heed the prior "warning" that will always (stress always) be issued.

No matter how you cut it, TOs will always be based on the moderator's viewpoint and how they feel about certain people. It's human nature. One person's toxic is another person's friend. I do applaud their effort to make the policy more clear-cut, though I do believe some muddy-ing of the water has occurred.

I post infrequently, choosing more to soak in the diverse viewpoints and learbn from others, but I thought I'd add my two cents since I fall in to the "receiver of one TO" category and may or may not be part of the "extra toxic group who may or may not receive a warning." Either way makes little difference to me what category I get put in, it's just the moderator's viewpoint.

Be respectful and move on...

Mikey :)


« Last Edit: December 12, 2006, 04:54:55 PM by StrongGuy »
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Offline Andy Velez

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Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #38 on: December 12, 2006, 06:53:05 PM »
Dear All,

No policy will ever meet with universal approval. As Tim has indicated, we have had weeks of heartsearching discussion about it before the current policy was arrived at.

If anything, in the past we tended to err on the side of restraint in terms of giving time outs and certainly with regard to banning. Our goal has always been to balance open  expression by members along with keeping this safe for all.

We also care for all of you, including some who have been seriously pains in the butt at times. That caring may have made us more reluctant to time out or ban someone at times, when it would have been well deserved.

Please remember our goal here remains to encourage expression while keeping this place safe. I ask that you give this only slightly altered policy some time to see how it works (or doesn't). It will become apparent if there are any problematic aspects to it and if that happens, then I know we will take another look at how to improve it.

Those who have been around for a while know just how ugly stuff got to be here at times. There's been a happy absence of that of late and I don't think it's merely coincidental that has happened since we began setting some boundaries about what is not acceptable.

I'm reminded of John & Yoko's "give peace a chance," because that's just what I see us doing with this policy.

Cheers, A
Andy Velez

Offline Just John

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Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #39 on: December 12, 2006, 07:04:17 PM »
I have no problem with the new rules as they are written, any site such as this needs them and the simple fact is, don't break them and you'll have nothing to worry about.

I agree that perhaps a 2/7/30 day TO would probably be fairer but; along with the Moderators' stated reasons for not wiping the slate clean, I accept that they have discussed this issue at some length before coming up with these timings.

The simple fact is that they would have been damned whichever way they went on this one and I for one have enough faith in the integrity of the Moderators to take each separate incident and set of circumstances into account and apply the guidelines fairly, rather than have rigid rules which allow there to be no discretion.

Can't we just suck it and see??

Edited to say that Andy Velez can obviously type faster than me :D
« Last Edit: December 12, 2006, 07:06:54 PM by Just John »
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Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #40 on: December 12, 2006, 07:18:58 PM »
3 cheers for pragmatic decisiveness! Make it 4 cheers, 1 for each Moderator


Offline RAB

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Re: New TIME OUT and BANNING Policy
« Reply #41 on: December 12, 2006, 07:21:17 PM »
To all 4,

Tim wrote:

Quote
but the thing is that we have some members of the Forums . . . .  who are consistently and frequently disruptive,

Because of these few people, we are uncomfortable giving everyone a clean slate. 


I see your point and accept it.

Quote
At the same time, we are asking members to hold themselves accountable too.  A lot of comments in this thread argue how unjust this new policy is... but what about the behavior -- the flame baiting and the personal attacks -- that has rendered this policy necessary?

My feelings on the "behavior" that brought us to this point are embarrassment, anger, and a whole lot of pain.  Deep, gut wrenching pain that has impacted me more than I could ever express.  It's like a vile taste in my mouth that I have yet been able to get rid of.

You said at one point how very sad the events were making you, I understood that completely.  That's why I was hoping the "healing" could somehow receive a bit of a goosing (so to speak).

But you're absolutely right, it does come down to each member accepting personal accountability.


Andy wrote:
Quote
I ask that you give this only slightly altered policy some time to see how it works (or doesn't). It will become apparent if there are any problematic aspects to it and if that happens, then I know we will take another look at how to improve it.

Those who have been around for a while know just how ugly stuff got to be here at times. There's been a happy absence of that of late and I don't think it's merely coincidental that has happened since we began setting some boundaries about what is not acceptable.

I agree something had to change, and as much as I loathe where this has gone,  hopefully everyone will be willing to give it some time, let go of the baggage, and let's see what happens.


So to all of you I say thank you for giving all of us the opportunity to express our thoughts.

RAB



 


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