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Re: [OT] Re: Banned on NANOG

  • From: Daniel Golding
  • Date: Sat Dec 04 21:59:46 2004

The complaints concerning list moderation certainly have merit (no pun
intended). There are wildly inconsistent moderation standards along with a
growing fear of being banned from a wide variety of folks. The least
possible moderation should be the goal here. We are all professionals, not
children. Professionals who drift off-topic may require a gentle reminder
(i.e. "please refrain from political discussion, we prefer to keep this list
more operational in tenor") rather than a tersely worded and frequently
erroneous notice of suspension or worse.

The "if you don't like it, start your own" suggestion is not a bad idea.
However, many folks in the community have an investment in NANOG, and, as
such, want to try and improve things. Personally, I've never been banned or
suspended, but I take umbrage to these things happening to some of the most
productive contributors to this list and to the NANOG conferences. I have
full confidence that the community and Merit can work together to hammer
things out, restoring mutual respect and an atmosphere of collegiality.

- Dan

On 12/4/04 9:10 PM, "Bill Nash" <[email protected]> wrote:

> On Sat, 4 Dec 2004, Stephen Sprunk wrote:
>> I think Paul's idea is a good start: each message needs to have more signal
>> than noise, but we can all tolerate (or even enjoy) a small percentage of
>> noise so long as it's spread thin.  I'd much rather the moderator(s) focus
>> their efforts tracking/blocking folks with a consistently low S:N (e.g. Bandy
>> Rush, Jim Fleming, etc.) and just send a reminder email or short suspension
>> to folks who historically have a high S:N but slip up when the caffeine is
>> running low.
> A suspension for a slip is a bit much, I think. Again, most of us are not
> automata with strict logic rules. I do agree, though, more signal than
> noise should be the basic measuring stick for posts and threads.
>> suspended, whether others posting to a given thread are getting warned, why
>> some apparently off-topic threads never die, etc.  This robs us of the
>> ability to tweak the AUP in real time or to verify the moderator(s)'
>> good-faith interpretations match ours.
>> I'm not suggesting that individuals be warned in public, but if more than X
>> people reply to an off-topic thread, it seems that an on-list reminder of the
>> AUP is more effective at preventing future replies than going after
>> individual posters afterwards.  X probably varies depending on how clearly
>> off-topic something is and how often it appears.
> A note tacked onto an OT thread that has no apparant end in sight is easy
> enough to do. It's easy enough to get wrapped up in a discussion and start
> pursuing tangents. The moderator's job should be to keep things in tune,
> not punt the oscillators. This function can be performed by
> annoyed list members just as easily as a moderator.
> As for public visibility into the application of sanctions, I do think
> there needs to be some mechanism for accountibility. I think any activity
> warranting an actual suspension will be sufficiently obvious enough to
> everyone on the list that a notification to the list when a suspension is
> made isn't inappropriate. In most cases, a public response to the
> offending user would be more than sufficient to encourage self-policing,
> through something as simple as public awareness. The list of offenses I
> see documented that actually warrant suspension are clear enough that
> simple reminders would go a long way towards maintaining a healthy forum
> without denuding the tree of fruit.
> One thing that does bear comment on, is the political aspect of posts.
> Political rhetoric, in it's purest, may not be fodder for the list, but
> discussion of it's effects on our particular profession and work
> environment should not be out of place, especially in the face of pending
> and new legislation that will affect how our networks and services will
> interact, either by policy based decisions (FCC regulations, for example)
> or actual legislation (ala new and pending spam bills). A simple note in
> threads like these to remind people to stick to the effects and not their
> personal, or party, political agendas should be plenty to keep them on
> track.
> The charter isn't set in stone. Susan? Can we get it ratified to reflect a
> more visible interaction for adjusting off topic threads, and begin using
> it that way?
> - billn

Daniel Golding
Network and Telecommunications Strategies
Burton Group