Closing of Styx Threads

CaissaCaissa Shipmate
I have no truck or trade with the political right being a socialist. That said, I think the closing of 5 Styx threads in the last week, Styx being the sole place to discuss the rulings of the Crew, is a bit heavy-handed.
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Comments

  • Multiple Styx threads by one OPer in a short space of time are disruptive and going to be closed, irrespective of the political stripe of the poster.

    As are threads that deteriorate into something less than an actual discussion, or that constitute Hell threads by proxy.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    Thanks for the Pm. Would you like to post this in my thread?
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    My apologies, I thought that was a PM. As much as that is the explanation I expected from the Crew, I think the Crew has a bit of a blinds pot as the coercive element of the Ship. It appears that many of the those who behave in a disruptive manner do so because they do not feel they are being heard when they make their point in a polite manner.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    Five in the last week, yes - moreover, three just yesterday in under an hour, which is honestly not what I wanted to be doing on a beautiful summer Saturday afternoon.

    The first of those threads did start as a discussion of a host's ruling, and discussion of that ruling was not closed off before the thread was finally closed. One was closed because the shipmate who started it was trying to direct other shipmates to Hell without actually taking the issue there himself. The other three of those threads were closed because of posts by someone now suspended while the admins look at repeated C6 violations.

    I know doesn't look good to have a bunch of closed threads at the top of the Styx, but they were all closed for good reasons that I am happy to discuss in more detail if you like.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    Caissa wrote: »
    As much as that is the explanation I expected from the Crew, I think the Crew has a bit of a blinds pot as the coercive element of the Ship. It appears that many of the those who behave in a disruptive manner do so because they do not feel they are being heard when they make their point in a polite manner.

    Sorry, cross-post.

    So we're really just talking about MrMandid here? Because Thatcheright was hardly polite.
  • There is an open thread for serious discussion on the direction of the Ship in Purgatory, which is currently on page 22, with over a thousand comments. That it exists, and shipmates have been posting on it together with crew-posting-as-shipmates is, I believe a good thing. It is hosted using the same rules as all Purg threads are.

    One of the Styx threads resulted from a dispute on a hostly ruling from that thread, which then (shall we say) expanding from its original remit. Another was a misplaced Hell call, which also then ran off the rails. Of the remaining three, one was hijacked, and the other two opened in retaliation when the poster was told to desist.

    While it might not look good, it has the merit of being transparent. Whatever decisions we make in public need to be able to be challenged in public.
  • Ruth wrote: »
    Five in the last week, yes - moreover, three just yesterday in under an hour, which is honestly not what I wanted to be doing on a beautiful summer Saturday afternoon.

    The first of those threads did start as a discussion of a host's ruling, and discussion of that ruling was not closed off before the thread was finally closed. One was closed because the shipmate who started it was trying to direct other shipmates to Hell without actually taking the issue there himself. The other three of those threads were closed because of posts by someone now suspended while the admins look at repeated C6 violations.

    I know doesn't look good to have a bunch of closed threads at the top of the Styx, but they were all closed for good reasons that I am happy to discuss in more detail if you like.

    No it doesn't look good at all. I'm with Caissa on this and in IMHO there seems to be a fair bit of goading going on which results in the poster (usually someone new) being removed as they pushed to limits. Closure is also beginning to feel a bit like the default but who gets to really decide ... the crew seemingly don't.

    It would be "very" interesting to see how the % of posts segregated by established/non established posters looks like over time. Equally how many new posters come and stay vs those who arrive and depart.

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Ruth wrote: »
    Five in the last week, yes - moreover, three just yesterday in under an hour, which is honestly not what I wanted to be doing on a beautiful summer Saturday afternoon.

    The first of those threads did start as a discussion of a host's ruling, and discussion of that ruling was not closed off before the thread was finally closed. One was closed because the shipmate who started it was trying to direct other shipmates to Hell without actually taking the issue there himself. The other three of those threads were closed because of posts by someone now suspended while the admins look at repeated C6 violations.

    I know doesn't look good to have a bunch of closed threads at the top of the Styx, but they were all closed for good reasons that I am happy to discuss in more detail if you like.

    No it doesn't look good at all. I'm with Caissa on this and in IMHO there seems to be a fair bit of goading going on which results in the poster (usually someone new)
    citation needed. MrMandid referenced the old ship so would not be new. Nor was he polite. We have posters who sit to the right of centre, at least on some issues, and manage to exist here without being planked. It is a select few who cannot manage the rules. And leftie shipmates have been cast overboard as well.
    Bias is always going to be a factor, but it doesn't always work the way people think. IMO, the right-wingers are given more leniency. We have at least two still posting that the reasonable interpretation of their posts is to stir shit up.

  • This is probably as good a place as any to report that after discussion, @MrMandid has chosen to leave of his own volition and wishes us well.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    It would be "very" interesting to see how the % of posts segregated by established/non established posters looks like over time.

    Because established posters have learned the rules and the culture and don't do that.
    Equally how many new posters come and stay vs those who arrive and depart.

    Then break that down into those who come bursting in being jerks and those who ease themselves in and work at not being assholes.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    The most memorable explosions have been established posters
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    The most memorable explosions have been established posters

    True. And I'll admit I'm not clear exactly what this means
    It would be "very" interesting to see how the % of posts segregated by established/non established posters looks like over time.It would be "very" interesting to see how the % of posts segregated by established/non established posters looks like over time."

    It seems to merely want a breakdown of posts over time by tenure.
  • AnnAnn Shipmate Posts: 18
    You'd also have to take into account the statistics from the old boards - I'm not sure whether I'd be considered an established poster even on the old boards, but I've not had much time to contribute to the new ones so a breakdown of posts here would mark me as the veriest newbie despite joining the ship within the first week of the last boards.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    The most memorable explosions have been established posters

    True. And I'll admit I'm not clear exactly what this means
    It would be "very" interesting to see how the % of posts segregated by established/non established posters looks like over time.It would be "very" interesting to see how the % of posts segregated by established/non established posters looks like over time."

    It seems to merely want a breakdown of posts over time by tenure.

    True - it may be one measure of how welcoming SoF may be to new people and new opinions. I stress "one" because there may be other measures of that.

    We can all reference the past but it doesn't mean much to those who have arrived since that past. It may be our experience but it isn't theirs and so they feel locked or left out when everyone talks about the lovely day we had when we went to Bangor.

    Like real life church it's often an opportunity for new joiners to bail on the basis they have little in common with the existing incumbents. All that leads to is stagnation.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    The most memorable explosions have been established posters

    True. And I'll admit I'm not clear exactly what this means
    It would be "very" interesting to see how the % of posts segregated by established/non established posters looks like over time.It would be "very" interesting to see how the % of posts segregated by established/non established posters looks like over time."

    It seems to merely want a breakdown of posts over time by tenure.

    True - it may be one measure of how welcoming SoF may be to new people and new opinions. I stress "one" because there may be other measures of that.
    IME, it is a variable thing. It seems to depend on what is going on when the person joins in and how they participate. Despite this being online, the norms of interaction still apply.
    And, whilst the bias here is towards the left, rightwards participants that engage with normal levels of politeness are not hounded from the Ship as has been posited.

  • Soror MagnaSoror Magna Shipmate
    Caissa wrote: »

    " ... the coercive element of the Ship ... "

    I do not think that word means what you think it means. (Unless you're currently locked in a dungeon belonging to a Host or Admin.)



  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    I probably should have written "coercive arm" ie. comparable to the coercive arm of a state. See Gramsci.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    We do have a coercive arm; i.e., the Admins have the ability to prevent someone from posting. I think Gramsci would say the Admin class has collectively spent 20 years promulgating norms and a certain social order, thus establishing a strong cultural hegemony. Shipmates by and large consent to those norms and that order, thus making it unnecessary for the Admins to exercise coercion all that often. Moreover, cultural hegemony is more successful than coercion in maintaining the status quo; coerce too many people too often and you rock the ship of state (or the state of the Ship) and risk revolt. Discussions in the Styx are far less disruptive, and when the Admins are able to incorporate suggestions put forward here, they're engaging in passive revolution, i.e., reforming the cultural hegemony in order to maintain their economic control ... well, there's where a Gramscian critique of the Ship breaks down, because there's no economy for the Admins to stay on top of. It's ideological turtles all the way down.

    I could be wrong, though -- I haven't read Gramsci in 30 years, and I was more familiar with Scritti Politti even back then. Feel free to post your own Gramscian critique.
  • Soror MagnaSoror Magna Shipmate
    co·er·cion

    /kōˈərZHən,kōˈərSHən/
    noun

    the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats


    That's not remotely the same thing as a penalty for violating the terms of a contract entered into voluntarily. Which we all did when we registered. I do wish we could discuss the rulings of the Hosts and Admins without making it sound like we're being waterboarded at Gitmo.


    I don't know from Gramsci, but the Ship is not a state. Neither is it an anarcho-syndicalist commune. It's an entertainment website created and maintained by Simon Jenkins and Stephen Goddard. The fact that volunteers are also involved in maintaining it and Shipmates provide content and funding doesn't change who is ultimately responsible for the Ship. If a Shipmate posts hate speech or violates copyright, the editors are the ones held responsible, not the Shipmate. If there's a state out there where the leaders are punished for the crimes of their citizens, I'd love to hear about it.
  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    Ruth wrote: »
    Feel free to post your own Gramscian critique.

    Gramsci is an excellent reference, in that his fundamental philosophical error is also the one on display here: the assertion that some nebulous negative outcomes are intentional rather than circumstantially emergent.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    You can see the violence inherent in the system. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeyhKWjQaKk
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    Ruth wrote: »
    Five in the last week, yes - moreover, three just yesterday in under an hour, which is honestly not what I wanted to be doing on a beautiful summer Saturday afternoon.

    The first of those threads did start as a discussion of a host's ruling, and discussion of that ruling was not closed off before the thread was finally closed. One was closed because the shipmate who started it was trying to direct other shipmates to Hell without actually taking the issue there himself. The other three of those threads were closed because of posts by someone now suspended while the admins look at repeated C6 violations.

    I know doesn't look good to have a bunch of closed threads at the top of the Styx, but they were all closed for good reasons that I am happy to discuss in more detail if you like.

    No it doesn't look good at all. I'm with Caissa on this and in IMHO there seems to be a fair bit of goading going on which results in the poster (usually someone new) being removed as they pushed to limits. Closure is also beginning to feel a bit like the default but who gets to really decide ... the crew seemingly don't.

    It would be "very" interesting to see how the % of posts segregated by established/non established posters looks like over time. Equally how many new posters come and stay vs those who arrive and depart.

    I've said a few times that I think the Ship is becoming a bit of an echo-chamber, but I think that's a Shipmate problem rather than a H&A problem -- I think blaming the hosts is a bit like 'Our church is too unfriendly, why doesn't the vicar do something?'
  • Ricardus wrote: »
    Ruth wrote: »
    Five in the last week, yes - moreover, three just yesterday in under an hour, which is honestly not what I wanted to be doing on a beautiful summer Saturday afternoon.

    The first of those threads did start as a discussion of a host's ruling, and discussion of that ruling was not closed off before the thread was finally closed. One was closed because the shipmate who started it was trying to direct other shipmates to Hell without actually taking the issue there himself. The other three of those threads were closed because of posts by someone now suspended while the admins look at repeated C6 violations.

    I know doesn't look good to have a bunch of closed threads at the top of the Styx, but they were all closed for good reasons that I am happy to discuss in more detail if you like.

    No it doesn't look good at all. I'm with Caissa on this and in IMHO there seems to be a fair bit of goading going on which results in the poster (usually someone new) being removed as they pushed to limits. Closure is also beginning to feel a bit like the default but who gets to really decide ... the crew seemingly don't.

    It would be "very" interesting to see how the % of posts segregated by established/non established posters looks like over time. Equally how many new posters come and stay vs those who arrive and depart.

    I've said a few times that I think the Ship is becoming a bit of an echo-chamber, but I think that's a Shipmate problem rather than a H&A problem -- I think blaming the hosts is a bit like 'Our church is too unfriendly, why doesn't the vicar do something?'

    On the nail!
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    Yet, it isn't the shipmates who are closing the threads and meeting out punishments.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    edited July 30
    Sure, but I'm not convinced right-wingers are being put off by hosting decisions (as opposed to the general culture of the boards). I think one would have to show they were being disproportionately targeted.
  • I didn't think it was being right wing that was the issue, but baiting, or "goading" on the part of the banned/suspended poster. In my limited experience, some on the right seem to enjoy this. It looks like suicide by mod, but I haven't a clue why anyone would do this. I suppose you can collect bans, and brag about it.
  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    Caissa wrote: »

    " ... the coercive element of the Ship ... "

    I do not think that word means what you think it means.

    Inconceivable!
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited July 30
    I didn't think it was being right wing that was the issue, but baiting, or "goading" on the part of the banned/suspended poster. In my limited experience, some on the right seem to enjoy this. It looks like suicide by mod, but I haven't a clue why anyone would do this. I suppose you can collect bans, and brag about it.

    I think some do. I imagine they bore people telling them how lefty snowflakes online can't cope with their robust expression of opinion.

    Like this guy: https://youtu.be/tAMHBlt_CQA
  • asherasher Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    I didn't think it was being right wing that was the issue, but baiting, or "goading" on the part of the banned/suspended poster. In my limited experience, some on the right seem to enjoy this. It looks like suicide by mod, but I haven't a clue why anyone would do this. I suppose you can collect bans, and brag about it.

    I think some do. I imagine they bore people telling them how lefty snowflakes online can't cope with their robust expression of opinion.

    Like this guy: https://youtu.be/tAMHBlt_CQA


    When I have found myself having negative imaginings about those I disagree with and /or dislike, I have sometimes found myself diminished.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited July 30
    asher wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    I didn't think it was being right wing that was the issue, but baiting, or "goading" on the part of the banned/suspended poster. In my limited experience, some on the right seem to enjoy this. It looks like suicide by mod, but I haven't a clue why anyone would do this. I suppose you can collect bans, and brag about it.

    I think some do. I imagine they bore people telling them how lefty snowflakes online can't cope with their robust expression of opinion.

    Like this guy: https://youtu.be/tAMHBlt_CQA


    When I have found myself having negative imaginings about those I disagree with and /or dislike, I have sometimes found myself diminished.

    And when I have had nice warm fuzzy thoughts about total pricks who clearly despise all I am and represent, I have found myself painfully disappointed, so I now take the view of f**k 'em; life's too short.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    I didn't think it was being right wing that was the issue, but baiting, or "goading" on the part of the banned/suspended poster. In my limited experience, some on the right seem to enjoy this. It looks like suicide by mod, but I haven't a clue why anyone would do this. I suppose you can collect bans, and brag about it.

    I think some do. I imagine they bore people telling them how lefty snowflakes online can't cope with their robust expression of opinion.

    Like this guy: https://youtu.be/tAMHBlt_CQA

    Bore people? They probably circle-jerk about it (without masks).
  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited July 31
    On the Where is the Ship going? thread, @ruth asked:
    Ruth wrote: »
    Eutychus wrote: »
    (ETA: "the leftists responding to low level baiting" often looks to me like "shooting fish in a barrel". I thought, generally, that leftists were smarter than that).

    Got an example? I'm interested in knowing what kind of comment from the right you think a lefty like me should just let go by without responding.

    To which I answered
    ...there's a difference between leaving a comment without a response and responding in kind.

    The two previous responses on this thread add nothing to the discussion here in the Styx, gratuitously raise the temperature in response to another post, and from where I'm sitting, offer plenty of material that could be used as evidence of anti-right-wing sentiment on the Ship.

    As such, they are evidence of what I described above as "shooting fish in a barrel".

    They are also a perfect example of why, as @Ricardus points out, Shipmates have as much responsibility as H&As in how welcoming (or otherwise) the Ship is, and how much of an echo-chamber it becomes.

    I'd love it if we could manage without posts like those above outside Hell, and I'm sure many others of all political colours would too.

    [ETA the YouTube link is also the perfect example of failing to raise one's game but instead jumping with both feet into the theatre that is the favourite preserve of populism. Way to go guys.]
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited July 31
    My post above was a response to Asher's which came across to me a sanctimonious. That is where *my* temperature got raised, at any rate. I really am quite fed up with being told to be nice to people who quite clearly hate the very air I breathe.

    And John Finnemore is IMV one of our best comedians, but my focus was on the first guy in the sketch who is exactly the sort of cretin whom my life is not long enough to suffer gladly.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    My post above was a response to Asher's which came across to me a sanctimonious.

    Even if it did, the Styx is not the place to retaliate. Hell is.

    And even if it did, and your temperature got raised, and you deem there to be due cause for it to be raised, you still have the option of not retaliating, or not retaliating in kind.

    Even assuming your impression is correct - which it might not be - I see nothing to be gained here in the long term by responding that way.

    Another way of looking at this is to compare the Ship, as is often done, to conversations in a pub. A lot of things get posted here that would not get said in a pub, or would involve the two people involved stepping outside to settle the matter - the real world equivalent of taking it to Hell.

    It's my observation from Shipmeets and PMs that outside the main forums and in real life, people are actually a lot more polite and a lot less performative. I think we should collectively work to restore the atmosphere on the forums outside Hell to something approaching what we might expect going to a pub. That applies to provocateurs and retaliators alike.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    Eutychus wrote: »
    It's my observation from Shipmeets and PMs that outside the main forums and in real life, people are actually a lot more polite and a lot less performative.

    You don't know me.
  • LeafLeaf Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »
    Another way of looking at this is to compare the Ship, as is often done, to conversations in a pub. A lot of things get posted here that would not get said in a pub, or would involve the two people involved stepping outside to settle the matter - the real world equivalent of taking it to Hell.

    Serious question: How welcome are marginalized people in a pub?

    I have frequently encountered the "pub" metaphor on the Ship, and IMO it is becoming less useful as a metaphor. I think it points to some enculturation that not all of us share. "Two people stepping outside to settle the matter": what if one of them is identified as female? Does that make a difference? What if one of them is in a wheelchair? How does that change expressions of conflict, and conflict resolution?

    What if a Shipmate has little or no experience with what is meant by the social experience of being in a pub? How does that translate across the Anglosphere, and between ages, genders, racialization, classes, exposure to military life or lack thereof?

    Maybe the tension between "like a pub" and "not like a pub" is part of this discussion. From my point of view, the Ship is not like a pub. A pub is like a real-life internet discussion board.

  • If the pub metaphor is outdated and too specific then I'll happily discard it. What I'm trying to say there is that whoever's doing it, upping the ante is generally an inappropriate response to perceived provocation, and that on the Ship, the place to do that if one feels the need is Hell.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    Which effectively means, it’s ok for people to sail along being a tosspot - and we are supposed to just suppress our annoyance unless we are enraged. Because your assumption is that this is an attention seeking behaviour.

    Sometimes it is, but by no means always.


  • Whether it's an attention-seeking behaviour or not, there's only ever been one place on the Ship to opine that another poster is being a tosspot: Hell.

    The other option outside Hell (and perhaps a good way to find out if the behaviour is attention-seeking) is to try de-escalation.
  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    Which effectively means, it’s ok for people to sail along being a tosspot - and we are supposed to just suppress our annoyance unless we are enraged. Because your assumption is that this is an attention seeking behaviour.

    I think Eutychus's the point, with which I agree, is that people are sometimes a little trigger-happy about going full thermonuclear in Purg (and elsewhere) in response to mild provocation.

    I've seen quite extreme responses to arguments in Purgatory that seemed to me reasonable, intelligent, and quite possibly correct. In some cases the response looked to me like a tactic to intimidate and shut down discussion. In any event it's bad behaviour, even if it's not technically a violation of any particular Commandment.



  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host
    I was recently in communication with a Shipmate who doesn't think that people use Hell often enough, and that the Ship overall is suffering as a result. (I agree, and not just because I get tired of spending my hosting hours idly toasting marshmallows on the point of my spear, as the infernal flames rage on with little else to roast save Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and Donald Trump.) Please, folks, don't violate the 10Cs - take it to Hell!
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    Eutychus wrote: »
    Whether it's an attention-seeking behaviour or not, there's only ever been one place on the Ship to opine that another poster is being a tosspot: Hell.

    The other option outside Hell (and perhaps a good way to find out if the behaviour is attention-seeking) is to try de-escalation.

    There are other things to do besides take it to Hell and trying de-escalation. There is asher's passive aggressive style, for instance. Talking about things that diminish people in terms of himself was a sly way to say that another person has done that, but it didn't fool anyone. We all know what he meant, bless his heart. Another thing one can do is call out bad behavior directly, which I just did.

    You want to de-escalate? Go right ahead. But it's not in the Ship's 10Cs, so it isn't required.
  • Ruth wrote: »
    You want to de-escalate? Go right ahead. But it's not in the Ship's 10Cs, so it isn't required.
    No, it's not. What is required by the 10Cs, though, is "if you must get personal, take it to Hell".

    Moreover, the OP references political diversity on the Ship.

    As posted upthread, I think the thread closures referenced by @Caissa were fully justified and nothing to do with politics. For the avoidance of doubt, I've no quibble with you or your decisions there (or mine: I closed one of them!).

    However, I also think that given the Ship's current political leanings, escalation of the kind I've referred in some of the subsequent posts here is likely to increase that leftward list, and that this is not a good thing. It's not going to attract moderates and may cause some to leave.
  • I'm not aware that the ship is short of moderates.
  • The prospect of losing them unnecessarily because of misplaced aggressiveness is, I believe, a very real one, though, and that bothers me. I personally have no desire to see the Ship end up looking like YouTube comments.
  • Eutychus wrote: »
    The prospect of losing them unnecessarily because of misplaced aggressiveness is, I believe, a very real one, though, and that bothers me. I personally have no desire to see the Ship end up looking like YouTube comments.

    My experience of YouTube comments is that the main problem is the far right being allowed to run riot.
  • If you look at the cartoon, you'll see that the problem is as much in the responses to the responses as anything else.
  • peasepease Tech Admin
    And don't forget to look at the mouseover...
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    IMO, at least one big reason that we don't have a strong contingent of conservatives* is that their political positions are inherent less caring. And that puts them in a defensive position from the start.

    The right is about the individual and the left is about the group. So in the things that matter to the bulk of the people on SOF, conservative participants will begin on the defensive. And that does not encourage participation.

    *Not saying individual conservatives don't care. Talking policy here.
  • My experience of YouTube comments is that the main problem is the far right being allowed to run riot.

    I think what is "the main problem" in YouTube comments depends on where you stand. In my view, 99.9% of youtube comments are of either zero value, or of negative value. The structure of youtube does not lend itself to comments that have value. There is certainly no shortage of racist / other-ist idiots, but they are by no means the only idiots.

    But I think the most fundamental problem with YouTube comments is a structural one. It's like thousands of people randomly yelling things in a field. The comments work OK for low-traffic niche videos, but fail miserably for anything popular.

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