Author Topic: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion  (Read 7470 times)

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Offline JSRNerdo

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
None of this is about what Goober's views are or who he supports.

All of this is about Goober making legal threats against active HLP modders and contributors, then deleting the entire thread when called out on it. I have no doubt that if I threatened to sue everyone who left a negative review for Inferno and then deleted their threads, I would be removed from HLP.
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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.

Gee that sure sounds like something you could discuss in a political discussion :P

 

Offline Rhymes

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
Frankly, I find that this "solution" is wholly inadequate. What you're telling us, Axem, is that Goober will remain an admin, with all of the associated privileges on the forum, including the ability to moderate GenDisc and PolDisc. He's just not "allowed" to do it.

In other words, you're telling us that an admin who's already demonstrated a willingness to ignore the rules of the forum and the responsibilities of his role to get his way isn't going to do it again because . . . he's going to follow some new rules?

Why should we believe that? What guarantee do we have that he's not just going to ignore those too? Or that he's not going to break some other rules the next time someone says something mean about him? Hard to feel like this issue has been satisfactorily resolved when the offending individual is completely free to reoffend, and with no indications that his behavior is actually going to change (unless you expect us to believe that Goober has had a complete change of heart in the span of, what, a week?)

e: And no, my problem here is not that I find Goober's views repugnant (although I do), it's that he threatened a bull**** legal action against people who disagreed with him and then abused his admin powers to win the argument.

Also, as a side note, I believe other individuals that have threatened legal action against folks on HLP have eaten at least a temp ban. But then, they weren't admins, so apparently they don't count.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 05:23:14 am by Rhymes »
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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
Could someone please explain to me what happened? What did he say and do that was so bad?
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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
There was a political topic where he participated, got called a white supremacist and similar phrases multiple times, responded with a threat of legal action, and then some time later deleted the topic in its entirety.

The problem isn't anyone's political opinions - or people headbutting in political topics either. The problem is that Goober tossed threats of legal action against users because of being called names in some Internet forum (that supposedly would've been responded to with moderator action in the case of a normal user, but I do not know of any other such events taking place here), and that he directly used his admin powers to delete a functional topic without any discussion with other parts of the staff (and please correct me if I'm wrong).

The fact of a staff member moderating the discussion they've been recently actively participating in is also one place vulnerable for abuse, even if not intentional one, and I'm definitely happy that this has been mentioned and a solution to this exists, even if in a very basic form at the moment.
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Offline Lorric

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Re: 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.
As always with anything the people with power around here say, I'll believe it when I see it. I mostly trust you, and 100% trust MP-Ryan, but the rest, to widely varying degrees, I don't trust. There are some I think will probably abide by the new rules but wouldn't bet on it, and others who will do their own thing as soon as it suits them, as they always have done for all the time I've been here, rendering everything that's ever been said here as empty words.

But at least this is more concrete than the usual stuff that comes out. And I approve, if it's implemented, particularly the end to unilateral moderation. I'm sure some people will abuse the locking threads part, but that's still an improvement.

About Goober, I approve. He was wrong, and so has been stripped of his power in the area he was wrong. Presumably there will be consequences if he breaches the conditions. There's no need to de-admin him, nothing ever happens outside the discussion forums, so unless I'm missing something, he's lost all the "sexy" power, and what he's left with is for putting in work, not having power over others. Afaik, he didn't drop the hammer on anyone, so I don't think we need to drop the hammer on him. Those who attacked him should be thankful they've gone unpunished.

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.

Because it's Goober and they hate him. It's gaslighting, hitting him with the most uncharitable possible interpretation. It may even have been intentionally trying to bait him into using his power. People around here have been trying to get rid of him for years and years. If they can get him stripped to the ranks, then they can drive him out like the rest of the people they've driven out.

Could someone please explain to me what happened? What did he say and do that was so bad?

He got accused of being a white supremacist because he supports Trump by multiple people. He threatened legal action on those people if they didn't retract the statements, and when they didn't, he retracted them for them by deleting most of the thread. (I'm guessing he didn't actually delete it but split it away into the hidden mod / admin forums if we're going to get the thread back.) I don't necessarily think the legal action part was wrong, as in actionable here. He's not abusing his admin position doing that, anyone could do that.

 

Online qazwsx

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
The fundamental issue is that an *administrator* threatened legal action and abused his moderation powers. Goober has shown that he is unable to hold himself to the higher standards associated with his position and shouldn't be allowed to remain in it. Promising not to moderate a couple of forums has no weight behind it and can't be enforced. Goober has already shown he has no issue with breaking rules, why would he obey new ones that apply to only him?
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 07:11:05 am by qazwsx »
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Offline MatthTheGeek

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
I think the important part here is, Goober is a grown up, he's been here for a long time, and therefore he should know as well as everyone here that power carries responsibility and that actions have consequences.

When you have "Administrator" written next to each of your post, what you say carries a weight and influence, and affects the image of the community in a way that any random user does not, and therefore what you may say and the actions you take have to be held to a higher standard.

If you cannot meet that standard, then you should relinquish the responsibilities that come with it. Especially when, in this case, it's been a long time pattern and not just a first strike.

« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 07:13:53 am by MatthTheGeek »
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Offline Lorric

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
The fundamental issue is that an *administrator* threatened legal action and abused his moderation powers. Goober has shown that he is unable to hold himself to the higher standards associated with his position and shouldn't be allowed to remain in it.
You're right in principle. The problem is the people in power here have always been able to do what they want with impunity. Goober's is just the latest, and pretty tame in comparison to what others have done in the past, and with mitigating circumstances. By itself, it's not enough to warrant taking his admin away imo. To be morally correct in getting Goober out of the staff, then all others who have abused their position would have to go too.

We could really use some robust controls going forward to curb staff power abuse. But they never police themselves, even for the most egregious violations. They don't even follow their own rules.


 

Offline TopAce

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
Since I've been asbsent from the community apart from FotG and missed it all, I have only one question: Where is he? I see a lot of perspectives here, except for Goober's.
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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
Quote
He got accused of being a white supremacist because he supports Trump by multiple people.

Just a nuance, Goober being accused of being a white supremacist directly only happened after he claimed Mixael's statement was defamation and subject to legal action (the rest of the forum having a "I'm spartacus" moment). Ofc. nuances like this wouldn't need to be explained if the posts involved hadn't been deleted.

Quote
It's gaslighting, hitting him with the most uncharitable possible interpretation.

That's not what those words mean, let's not go full into accusing people of mental abuse.

 

Offline Fineus

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
Where is he? I see a lot of perspectives here, except for Goober's.

We've asked Goober to get a statement of apology together (but since none of us live on here including him, that's taking a little time to get together).

In the meantime while I understand the frustrations posted above, we're doing what feels like the best thing to do in the situation. I've been made aware of the details previously and since it's clear Goober's activity in certain subs has caused friction, the most sensible move is to curtail that specific activity.

I'm something of a believer in second chances (I appreciate some are not) but would hope this moment will prove a wake up call and an end to these issues. (If) further issues arise then we'll have this moment to look back upon - this is "that chance".

In reference to political discussions on this sub... I've felt before that HLP had no place for real world politics but have had it pointed out to me that it can be cathartic and topical to be able to discuss them. For that reason I am not tabling a reduction of political chat / places to chat. HOWEVER I do hope what goes on in those subs can be held separately to this communities primary reason for being here: HLP / FreeSpace / gaming itself.

This is a gaming community first and foremost. Always has been.

 

Online qazwsx

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
You're right in principle. The problem is the people in power here have always been able to do what they want with impunity. Goober's is just the latest, and pretty tame in comparison to what others have done in the past, and with mitigating circumstances. By itself, it's not enough to warrant taking his admin away imo. To be morally correct in getting Goober out of the staff, then all others who have abused their position would have to go too.
Oh I'm all for it, who is it and what did they do that's worse than threatening legal action and then unilaterally deleting a thread when people didn't back down?
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Offline Lorric

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
You're right in principle. The problem is the people in power here have always been able to do what they want with impunity. Goober's is just the latest, and pretty tame in comparison to what others have done in the past, and with mitigating circumstances. By itself, it's not enough to warrant taking his admin away imo. To be morally correct in getting Goober out of the staff, then all others who have abused their position would have to go too.
Oh I'm all for it, who is it and what did they do that's worse than threatening legal action and then unilaterally deleting a thread when people didn't back down?

Big can of worms, makes my head hurt just thinking about unpacking it. But me unloading on like half the staff with absolutely no reason to believe anything will happen to them while something may very well happen to me instead is not something I wish to do at this time.

 
Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
This is your chance though, whilst people who are otherwise detached from the website and are capable of judging things neutrally are here.

  

Offline Lorric

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
This is your chance though, whilst people who are otherwise detached from the website and are capable of judging things neutrally are here.
Hmmm... alright. But I'm not going to go crazy. I'll throw a stone into the stagnant waters and see what happens.

How about casual confidentiality breaches?


 

Offline Aesaar

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
I have no idea what would make you think reports are confidential.  I also still have no idea why you'd think this post was worthy of a report.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 09:17:50 am by Aesaar »

 

Offline Lorric

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
I have no idea what would make you think reports are confidential.  I also still have no idea why you'd think this post was worthy of a report.
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Offline The E

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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
You know, fun thing about that snippet that you kept around for 6 years.

After you sent that to Black Wolf, we had an internal discussion about that. The consensus that emerged then was that yes, I was wrong to share that, and I agreed not to do it again ... but also, that there was never a formal rule in place that said that moderation reports were confidential.
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Re: Regarding Goober5000 & Moderation in Political Discussion
I don't see how these things from 6 years ago apply to the current discussion.