Author Topic: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion  (Read 4620 times)

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Offline Axem

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Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
To the HLP Community,

We understand recent events involving a locked and deleted thread and the actions of the staff have been frustrating and difficult for everyone.  We want to thank you for your patience while the administrators and global moderators resolved this issue.  Moderating staff have the obligation to act impartially in their duties and to bring in other staff when they cannot.  Clearly this rule was violated in the recently deleted thread in Political Discussions, and this has understandably led to hard feelings.  This is not a situation where platitudes are appropriate, and we are announcing the following measures and changes, effective immediately:

1.  All active staff have reaffirmed the commitment that they will not moderate disputes they are involved in, period.
2.  Staff, like all members of the community will be expected to use the Report Post function to handle disputes with other members or moderation of issues in which they are directly involved.  As we have a relatively small number of staff and - in Political Discussions in particular - we can often have many actively in a discussion, staff will be permitted to temporarily lock threads until other impartial moderators can respond to reports.  ALL staff have committed to the principle that their influence should be to de-escalate disputes.
3.  Future community moderation in General Discussion and Political Discussion will be undertaken by a minimum of two staff working together in agreement.  This may result in more temporary locks as cool-down periods on highly charged issues while staff can respond.  No single person will have final say or act unilaterally.
4.  Staff are developing a more comprehensive guidance on what constitutes a personal attack.  This can be subjective, and that can clearly lead to issues.  More information on this measure will follow.
5.  With regard to the deleted thread, selected posts from the thread relevant to the original topic and subsequent discussion will be restored and the thread will be reopened for discussion.  A group of three staff not otherwise involved as participants in the thread will determine which posts are to be restored.  Due to personal schedules of the three staff involved, this may take a few days.
6.  Goober5000 will be separately posting an apology to the community regarding his actions in particular.
7.  Goober5000 will no longer be engaged in moderation duties in General Discussion and Political Discussion until otherwise specified.

Also we all apologize for the amount of time this has taken to get resolved.  What happened was a very serious issue and it was only right to not rush it or be done by just a few people.  We reached out to as many other staff members as we could to get their input and insight, and unfortunately everyone isn't as active or around as they used to be.  Having a clear consensus from the staff was very important to get this resolved.

Thank you.

 

Offline Mobius

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
I'm glad you've come to a balanced resolution to the issue by splitting it into a number of sub-issues and finding a detailed workaround for each one of them. No major revolutions involved in the process, and no more drama.

I'm also glad we have all finally realized how intrinsically "dangerous" GD/PD boards are on a forum trying to keep a 20 years old game alive.

 :yes:
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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
Sounds good to me :yes:

 
Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
This is an enormous effort for a single purpose: protecting Goober’s pride and status. None of the other moderators have ever abused their powers this grievously, and none of these measures are necessary for any but Goober. None of this effort was expended to retain Rian, to retain Scotty, to retain anyone who may have silently left the community because of Goober’s openly misogynistic, white nationalist views being aired all over the place and defended by endless rules lawyering. None of this effort was expended to keep me sweet any of the several times I acted out, sometimes in laughably trivial ways*, and got punished for it; and I never asked for or expected it. No regular user would ever get such favourable treatment after such aggressively toxic behaviour.

There is exactly one solution here with any integrity, and you know what it is. It is not too late to take it.

*Goober once banned me from GenDisc for making a frank but accurate summary of a well-known Latin poem in a discussion. HLP: where discussing Catullus gets cracked down harder than making baseless legal threats at other members.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2020, 07:30:28 pm by Phantom Hoover »
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 
Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
You have spent two weeks drawing up a convoluted seven point plan to solve something that isn’t a technical policy issue; it’s a personal issue, and that person is Goober. The admin team less Goober could do everything it needs to do without him and none of these drafted changes would be necessary because none of the other admins feel a desperate need to keep white nationalism from being defamed on this site. Goober’s actions have disqualified him from a leadership role, your response shows that other admins realise he is not worthy of leadership here, and yet you will bend over backwards to let him keep a badge.
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 

Offline qazwsx

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
This is an insane degree of favouritism and the outcome of is exactly what I was concerned would happen. An *admin* whose previous actions have caused multiple users to leave the site and who threatened to sue several site members cannot reasonably expect to remain in that position, and yet here we are.

Absolutely none of these other other measures would be necessary if the one and only person to abuse their power was removed from their position.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2020, 07:46:57 pm by qazwsx »
<Achillion> I mean, it's not like he's shoving the brain-goo in a usb slot and praying to kurzweil to bring the singularity

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Offline JSRNerdo

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
None of this effort was expended to retain Rian, to retain Scotty, to retain anyone who may have silently left the community because of Goober’s openly misogynistic, white nationalist views being aired all over the place and defended by endless rules lawyering.

If misogynistic, white nationalist views are being aired all over the place then that should absolutely be punished swiftly and harshly. The thing is though, as someone who doesn't enter the political discussion board I haven't really ever seen any, either on discord or in any of the FS2 modding related boards that I frequent.

Goober will be apologizing and will no longer be moderating any political discussions in the future. Whether an apology is enough for the act of making legal threats against other members of a 20 year old video game modding community over being called names in a political discussion, I can't say. Personally, I'd like to think that people can grow, change, and learn from their mistakes.
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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
They're perfectly capable of doing that without admin status. When leaders wantonly abuse their privileges the first lesson they need to learn is that this disqualifies them from leadership.
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 

Offline JSRNerdo

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
That is true. I guess the question becomes whether Goober retaining admin powers is required for HLP functioning. I don't know whether HLP have been down forever or not after the HDD crash if he wasn't. What I do know is that I would never have managed to work on Inferno without him abusing his power to give me all power over the Inferno boards and usergroups and making a testing board and usergroup, something I'm not sure anyone else would have done or even been active enough to be able to do at the time. And just today he was the only admin who was both online and knew how to activate a newly registering user. So unfortunately, I think for now I'm going to have to say yes. All I can do is hope he never makes these mistakes again.
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Offline Aesaar

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
I agree with Phantom Hoover, and he's said almost everything that I feel needs to be said, except for this, which I restate from the other thread:

As an administrator, Goober is one of the faces of HLP.  The status and title is an implicit endorsement of what he does and how he acts.  If his abuses of power and legal threats aren't enough to lose that status, what is? 

Is there any action he could plausibly take or any opinion he could have that would make the apparently only people whose opinions count decide that he isn't fit to be a member of the admin staff anymore?

The decision has been made, so whatever, but maybe this is a question you guys ought to be asking yourselves.  From where I'm standing, it really looks like that admin title makes you much less accountable.  Historically, Phantom Hoover got bans from Gendisc/PolDisc for a lot less.

 
Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
There has absolutely been a theme in this process of non-administrator, non-moderator users being treated as second class citizens. The people who were wronged by Goober, who were threatened with legal action and then censored by him against site policy, were told to shut up and sit tight while the people whose opinions mattered decided what to do behind closed doors, and we've now been handed down a verdict that we got no say in whatsoever which takes almost comical pains to avoid judgement or consequence for the person directly and solely responsible for this incident. When the little users act up we get told we're in violation of such and such a rule and slapped with a ban and a snarky comment. When an admin tramples all over basic rules of how this site is supposedly administered and slinging legal threats, the admins produce something that reads like an air crash investigation, assiduously avoiding actually blaming anyone in favour of neutral suggestions of systematic change.

It's not good enough.
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 

Offline JSRNerdo

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
Goober's apologizing and will no longer be moderating any political discussions. That's not taking comical pains to not blame anyone and avoid consequences for him, even if you think it's not enough (which I do too, personally)
AKA [`_`]
Inferno: It's the I in Inferno / It's the beam spam delight / Risin' up to a shock jump arrivaaaaaal
Between The Ashes: Look just a really cool and neat thing, OK?
Dimesional Eclipse: High speed anime girlies blowing **** up gets me excited
The Last Stand: A very episodic capship command mini-campaign
Breakthrough: A pretty standard but not really capship command mission

 
Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
As an administrator, Goober is one of the faces of HLP.  The status and title is an implicit endorsement of what he does and how he acts.  If his abuses of power and legal threats aren't enough to lose that status, what is? 

"Faces of HLP" - well that drama happened in a locked section so it's not relevant.

Quote
Historically, Phantom Hoover got bans from Gendisc/PolDisc for a lot less.

From what I recall PH was doing stuff over and over again, if you do that the level for the next ban is lower than if it's your first thing.

There has absolutely been a theme in this process of non-administrator, non-moderator users being treated as second class citizens.

Well there are more like 3 classes - Staff (obv), contributors and bystanders. If all you do yelling at other people in GD or PD the number of people who will care about is low. If a number of major contributors would threaten to quit over it, the decision might have went elseway.

 
Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
This is the **** I had to go through once to have a one week ban lifted after the week was up. And the ban was for pointing out that admins aren't allowed to ban people they're arguing with, funnily enough. I don't bring this up to get restitution for some six year old grudge, but because most of the leadership group is the same, the moderation culture is essentially the same, and the double standard is painfully, infuriatingly apparent. I was practically expected to beg for an unban after I was rude to an admin; Goober has violated the trust of his position about as badly as imaginable, mass censorship of criticism of his political views, and the reaction of the administrators is "say sorry and don't do it again".

It's not good enough.
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 

Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
Against all of the manifestations of drama and hysteria around, I refuse to acknowledge that this situation is anything more then typical, political quarrel which happens all the time.

The infamous thread that's being discussed containted nothing, but pitiful accusations against Goob without anykind of hard evidence. Despite the fact, that he refused to acknowledge support for anykind of "white suprematism", more nonsense accusations emerged. The most concerning thing about it, is the fact that some memebers of moderation crew took part of this, despite the fact, that in such situations their responsibility is to remain impartial and objective.

Do you know what's cool about Axem? I have no bloody idea about his political beliefs. His moderation style is so subtle and impartial, that nobody is ever aggrieved. That's how moderation should work. Too bad that not everybody acknowledge this style of moderation.

Sorry guys, but somebody's support for this or another political option does not mean acceptance or support for everything that this particular political option proclaim. In my life I voted lots of options, from far-right to social-democrat. Sometimes you agree with part of postulates of one option, sometimes you just vote against somebody. I think it's rare kind of privilege to support a political option we completely agree with.

To be fair: I do not support anykind of far-right beliefs, being on the liberal side. I do not support any possible legal threats from Goob against any members of the community, but also I don't support anykind of unfounded accusations against Goob with little to no evidence supporting those accusations.

Goober is supportive admin and welcoming member of the community. I certainly do disagree with him regarding certain topics, but I also disagree with other admins and moderators. It doesn't mean that contradicting beliefs implicate anykind of hate towards anybody. Nothing Goober display renders him unappropiate for his function and none of his personal beliefs renders him violating anykind of law nor rules of the HLP.

There will always be people you disagree with. Exaggerating will not change a thing. I strongly suggest to both sides to reconsider their statements, and rethink if opposing political beliefs are more important, then obvious respect to other human being.
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Offline Androgeos Exeunt

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
Since you've taken the time to post something akin to a formal statement on a forum that has no recognition by any country as an organisation (and just to be clear, this is directed at Axem, which by extension means the HLP administration, not anyone else), let me offer my understanding on this whole issue.

The purpose of a moderator is to ensure that things do not get out of hand, and that everyone complies with a set of clear rules regarding how they should conduct themselves.

If you, as a moderator, attempt to intervene in a dispute that involves another moderator, with the intention to resolve it, but you find yourself getting bogged down in the contexts with which the dispute is placed, then you are no longer a moderator in this situation; you are unfit, as far as the current situation goes, to moderate. You should defer judgement to another moderator.

This entire forum thread is akin to a failure state on multiple fronts, ranging from the moderators who had attempted to intervene but ended up getting caught up in the discussion but still attempted to moderate anyway, to the regular members who are too thick-headed to swallow their pride or understand that understanding the viewpoints of others is not the same as having to accept them as the "truth", to members like myself, who have chosen not to get involved in anything but decide this is a good place as any to respond to problems that they are not a part of.

This sort of formal statement belongs to corporations, not communities. There has to be another solution.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2020, 11:02:34 pm by Androgeos Exeunt »
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Quote: Thursday, 24 September 2020, 0008hrs UTC, #hlp-squad
Goober5000
Yeah, if anyone notices an error like this, please let us know.
According to the log, about five people tried to upload attachments unsuccessfully.  You're the first person to mention it

[`_`]
I think 4 of them were me lol

 

Offline Su-tehp

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
Sorry guys, but somebody's support for this or another political option does not mean acceptance or support for everything that this particular political option proclaim.
 

Supporting a white supremacist makes you a supporter of white supremacy.  I don't give a flying **** if someone supported Hitler because they liked his infrastructure policy, it still makes them a Nazi.

This. 1000x this. White supremacists, racists and misogynists are unworthy of any respect precisely because they refuse to grant women and people of color any right to equality or fairness simply because of who they are rather than anything those women and people of color did. That makes the values of white supremacists, racists and misogynists utterly inferior at best and outright evil at worst. That is why they deserve no respect and only deserve scorn and ridicule. The only proper response when a bully threatens you is to kick him in the nuts.

If someone feels threatened by the notion of equality, then that someone needs to check his privilege.
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Offline Aesaar

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
Nyctaeus: I really must congratulate you for managing to miss the point so completely.

If this was just a case of political disagreement like any other, it wouldn't have become an issue any more than any other thread in that forum.  It didn't become an issue because of Goober's ****ty opinions, it became an issue because of how he reacted to being called out on those opinions.

Su-tehp:  Sorry, deleted my post because actually discussing the politics involved isn't the point of this thread.

  
Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
Against all of the manifestations of drama and hysteria around, I refuse to acknowledge that this situation is anything more then typical, political quarrel which happens all the time.

You could definitely argue if Trump (and by proxy, his supporters) followed white supremacist policies, that's something you'd discuss in a political discussion forum. That would be a common political quarrel. Just look at the US's southern border and the discussion of that.

At no time in HLP history has anyone, let alone an admin, threatened to take people to court over what they said in a discussion. This was Goober's first action in the thread. Everything else in that thread, and everything you see here in this thread, is the result of Goober taking extreme measures to escalate the situation.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 02:14:30 am by -Joshua- »

 
Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
I don't get the point behind calling Goober a "white supremacist" as I have never seen Goober post something racist; people in the US have been voting Trump for a number of reasons; black people voted him, latinos voted him and if they didn't his chances of ever becoming president would've been 0. It's surprising me that there are still people here haven't figrured that out by now.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 03:06:29 am by Nightmare »