View Full Version : Holy Moderation

Team GAK
02-02-2003, 08:28
I do not appreciate the subject matter of some of the posts lately.

Hammock Hanger
02-02-2003, 09:46
It is very disheartening. HH

02-02-2003, 10:32
Unfortunately, maybe the time has come for the forum moderators to prescreen the posts. Maybe WF was driven to his method by what we are seeing here. So much for free speech.:(

02-02-2003, 11:04
Im sure sgt rock will take the time to say something to the offender(s) when he has a chance. In the mean time please just ignore the threads.

SGT Rock
02-02-2003, 12:36
You can ignore any users that constantly post stuff you don't like, that is always an option.

I don't want to dance around the subject, I'm sure you mean Dave/Easy. I talk to him about it and he stops for a time, but occasionally he hits a mood where it humors him to poke people in their sensitive spots on the net.

I could ban him, but since he strarted this site and sacrificed his copyrights and licenses to give the site to the community, I feel it would be in bad form to ban him. Besides, I consider him a friend and couldn't do him like that.

On the other hand, you will run into people on the trail that occasionally piss you off. Easy is that hiker on this board.

02-02-2003, 12:43
Sgt. Rock wrote:

I feel it would be in bad form to ban him.

I agree Sgt. In addition, it really serves NO purpose to ban anyone. They can simply re-register under a different user name, using a different e-mail address and they can be posting again in minutes. I feel the best way to deal with any posts that are viewed as material "in bad taste" is to simply ignore them. Without adding any fuel to the fire they will die out.

Just my 2 cents.

02-02-2003, 14:17

I agree with you 100%...ignore them.


02-02-2003, 15:01
I am confused as to the best way to respond. Ignoring such crap is probably the best way to make it go away fastest in a forum like this, but at the same time I feel a need to denounce it, and the people behind such bile.

We'd all do that in our every day lives, right? In real life we wouldn't just ignore such comments and move on, right?

Perhaps its good to be reminded that the Trail is not immune to the ugly side of human nature. I just read "On the Beaten Path" and was similarly disgusted by Ryming Worm's recount of hiking with an otherwise OK hiker who puntuated his constant banter with vile racist comments. So, I gues what I am saying is that while it may be tactically appropriate to ignore such comments here, it wouldn't be appropriate to ignore them most anywhere else.

Rick B

02-02-2003, 15:52
Originally posted by SGT Rock
I could ban him, but since he strarted this site and sacrificed his copyrights and licenses to give the site to the community, I feel it would be in bad form to ban him. Besides, I consider him a friend and couldn't do him like that.

The last time Easy posted a racist diatribe, I responded with a posting that said that I could do without A-holes like him. I found my posting privledges revoked as a result. This was after Easy/Dave was no longer Admin for the site.

So.... it seems to me that what's occuring here is more than just tolerating Easy/Dave because of his generosity to the "Community". Seems as if he is being encouraged. Yet, people still rail against Wingfoot for moderating and censuring some posts. Here, the racist is not censured, but the person complaining about an off-topic, rude, offensive and immature posting IS.

Why aren't most of Easy/Daves posts from yesterday deleted? What does the **** Pushers thread have to do with the AT. Does the curent Administration of this site agree with the sentiments expressed in that posting?

Betcha I'm banned again for having the audacity to speak the truth.

02-02-2003, 16:10
You could atleast delete the racist/homophobic posts.

Everyone should be free to post what they want, but they should also be free from racist/sexual persecution. Just as we have the freedom of speech in America, we also uphold the rights of equality and freedom to live without fear.

When a newb comes here and sees the topic "White is Right", I'm personally ashamed of having my name in the members list. A doctor who has done wonderful things for people does not have a license to kill due to his good-deeds.

Lone Wolf
02-02-2003, 16:16
When one registers to use this site one agrees not to use profanity and sexual themes if I remember correctly.

02-02-2003, 16:28
As a "newb" here, I was a little taken back at the comments Easy made and the number of comments on the site. I do see where some of them are deleted. Thank you! This site was HIGHLY recommend to a large group of prospective thruhikers to go and get great information and was toted as a genuine "warm campfire".

I am a bit shocked that what we are told is to ignor the comments. Sgt Rock, you KNOW this is wrong and you KNOW that the mantle that you hang many of your career accomplishments on as well as what you claim to be part of your trail name would not tolerate these comments for 1 micro second. To ignor it is not solving the problem, but by igoring it we as a GROUP, not idividuals, are encouraging the problem and letting it go unchecked and out of control.

Stepping off my soap box... ( shaking my head )


SGT Rock
02-02-2003, 18:18
Well, I neve have banned anyone, and I don't think Troll ever has, so I don't know how TNJED got banned. What was your old ID? If it is the same as what you use now, then it's been fixed I can look into it. And no, I wouldn't bann you for having any audacity :D

Also, I don't remember any site rules about sexual or racist comments. I tried to make a list once called the 10 general rules about posting, but it was decided by the community at the time that we didn't need rules. They were pretty plain and simple.

I wasn't on to see the comments by dave/easy - there are a lot of y--z left where there was once text, apparently they have been edited out by the owner. I honestly don't read every post because I don't have time, especially when I'm out of the net so to speak. I personally feel that self editing is the best policy, but I gusess adding some new words to the filter could be done. When we first started this site, the few of us around decided that we could ban or edit, or censor posts, and run the risk of being just like HMNBN, or just letting them stand to allow the poster to make himself or herself known as to what they truely believe of think. We decided to go very lightly on the editing/censor/ban buttons.

I do not condone racist comments at all. I have a number of black NCOs and officers I work with, and have had several roll models as I have been progressing along on my career, I can think of several black officers and NCOS and a few of other ethnic backgrounds. One of my best role modles is currently the Sergeant Major of the University of Nebraska Army ROTC program, and he is a black man.

About Easy/Dave. I feel extra uncomfortable since he did create this site and without any coersion give it freely to the community. I don't agree with a lot of what he posts, but on the other hand I don't want to be a heavy about it. I still consider him a friend. I've talked to him about stuff similar to this before and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

I really like the fact that the community rails against things that makes them uncomfortable or makes them very pissed off. On the trail the same thing happens to hikers that make themselves unwanted.

So I guess my point is I can become the guy that has to read and approve all posts, y'all can use the ignore button, or we can continue the way we are going. I personally don't want to end up censoring stuff, because we get to the point where someone gets edited and complains that someone else said something similar without editing and I'm forced to defend every decision, or I end up like HMNBN and start deleting anything I feel I need to without any explination and we stifle conversation.

Balls back in y'alls court.

02-02-2003, 18:58
Originally posted by SGT Rock
Well, I neve have banned anyone, and I don't think Troll ever has, so I don't know how TNJED got banned. What was your old ID?

Thanks Sarge. Old ID was MOWGLI16. Trail Name = Little Bear.
Check it out please.

Just curious, why don't you want to clean up Easy's nonsense postings? There's one stating that there will be a relo around GSMNP next year, and a bunch of others that are waaaaaaaaaay off topic, and actually pretty wacky. I understand its your call. This reflects poorly on the site IMO.

FYI, he logged on this morning and edited all his wacky postings. I guess he realized what a jerk he made of himself.

SGT Rock
02-02-2003, 19:12
I found a MOWGLI16 that has never completed registration and the e-mail isn't a valid address. The e-mail has to be responded to for the account to be activated. My guess was you were never truly banned, but I can't say for sure. Looks more like someone changed your access then monkeyed with your e-mail so you couldn't re-activate it since that ID also has 38 posts. I didn't see any posts that you would have got banned over, but that could have been deleted by whoever messed with your account. I supposed al this happened around the site temporary meltdown.

SGT Rock
02-02-2003, 19:16
Oh, and about the site. I am super reluctant to edit anyones posts. I think it is better if people say how full of crap someone is LOL. A few months ago one of the e-mail lists I belong to had a discourse about such wierd actions from a member that was obviously lying about a great many of things and very deragatory to many people, they decided the best method to deal with him was to allow himself to show his own ass (so to speak) and let others decide what to think of him.

I'm seriously thinking about bringing up those 10 rules.

02-02-2003, 19:23
Steve the Hiker Staated "If you disagree, why not follow the old maxim taht the best way to combat a bad thought is with a good thought. Censorship is the way of cowards and tyrants." in a topic simular to what we discussed here.

To be honest, after reading in and reflecting upon it... I believe Steve has a point. Censorship is the way of cowards and tyrants. So I have rethought my position and I agree that censorship is not the way to handle this... Why the change?

1) Well, to be honest, we now know EXACTLY where Dave/Easy stands on some issues. We would not have known the multitudes of facts that Dave/Easy wanted to share with us last night...
2) I think that the way the posters were upset and took time to post shows that is the way to handle it. I think enough voiced out, like I think we would on the trail, that maybe Dave/Easy might rethink his positions. ( A take off of Sgt Rock's Post )
Sarge, I did not see the logic until I read Steve the Hiker and read your post about three times.


02-02-2003, 19:28
LOL... Yup, Sarge... some people just want to show it to world...


02-03-2003, 07:52
At least a few of us appreciate the position easy has put you in,which is to say difficult at best. Im sure more then a few here have done things which we later came to regret as I am sure easy does. While Easy should probably make a public appology for a few of his posts, I am glad you refrained from banning him as he mostly does contribute to the site in a positive way. I have always hated having to disicpline people when I have moderated and feel you are handling this well.

just my .02, hope I made .01

02-03-2003, 10:20
My, my, what a little bit of excitement we've had here since I've been away. Already a ton of replies. I don't think that posts should get edited or people banned for what they post, even if it concerns subjects not usually brought up in polite conversation. Easy likes getting liquored up (who doesn't) and then spews forth whatever happens to be on his mind at the time. Don't like it? Don't read it and move on. I think that Sgt. Rock is doing just fine.

SGT Rock
02-03-2003, 10:35
I got up this morning and had an e-mail from easy. He has asked me to delete his posts and delete his account as well as his pic under the name easyhiker. He said he realized how out of it he was and has asked me not to feel obligated just because he started the site. So unless ATTroll beats me to it, I'll try to get to that later tonight.

Again I want to state my position about censorship and editing posts:

1. Slow to edit or deltete. It is better to let someone do their own stuff if they realize they are wrong.

2. The community should be willing to speak out against whatever they feel is wrong. I will not ban someone from speaking up (TNJED your account is back active).

3. I won't ever ban someone right off, but I will (if needed) change someones permissions to where I (or Troll) must approve all posts they make until they prove they can control themselves. I figure this is better than an all out ban.

4. Some new words have been added to the filters.

5. Instead of deleting posts I don't agree with, or editing out material - I will normally let the community tell someone what they think. My opinion of what is offensive to me is pretty different from what my wife thinks is offensive to her. I don't pretend to speak for everyone.

6. For the most part, the discussions on this site are very tame. I would like to keep it that way. Lone Wolf was right - when I looked back at the sign up. There is a default set that comes with the software that is a part of the copywrite protection of the site license. To allow obscene material we would have to set up COPAA stuff. A pain in the butt.

7. My kids are getting into hiking 17 and 13. I would appriciate it if they could read the forum without a lot of explaining.

8. In the end I think it is better to let someone show their own ass and how they think than for me to edit or delete than explain why.

9. Use ignore for people that continuously offend you.

10. Let bad threads die on their own.

I think that covers it.

The Weasel
02-03-2003, 10:44
First of all, I support Rock and the other moderators here; I don't have to agree with them to know they care about this forum, and that they realize that the best solution for those who are troublemakers is to let their ignorance be seen in public.

Second, no one has to "quit" this Forum, and posturing and posing like that is simply hypocrisy. If you don't agree with the forum's philosophy, stay away. Delete messages. No one minds that you no longer play a part, if you're offended.

Last of all, to those who play the "military card", i.e., "I fought in the Mexican-American War of 1842 and I am a true American and all you heathens who don't act like I've decided you should must be commies or whatever replaced them," I have little use for you. Those who serve, or have served, our Country deserve respect and admiration for the sacrifices they make every day, including the risk of death, as this past weekend so clearly shows. But being willing to defend our rights doesn't give anyone more rights, and one of the things I admire about Ern Engman so much is that he believes so strongly in the core principles of democracy, including the right to speak one's mind. Anyone who has to say, in their messages, "I served in the military....and I think others should shut up" never really learned the point of having armed forces in a democratic nation.

Easy may not understand Ben Franklin's maxim of, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and confirm it," but he can say what he thinks here. Others will tell him whether he is a fool or not. But NO ONE should be banned. Not even Team GAK.

The Weasel

Jack Tarlin
02-03-2003, 16:24
I see that other folks are finally starting to comment about the appropriateness of certain posts here; I had mentioned this issue several times in the past few weeks, and almost nobody had anything to say on the subject; for awhile I thought I was the only person who was troubled by this.

A few quick comments: The Internet is a great tool and a great resource; for folks interested in specific subjects, such as planning an A.T. thru-hike, it's an extraordinary way of exchanging information and discovering new things.

There are, of course, drawbacks, especially on an "open" interactive site and one of them is that every now and again, material will appear that has no place here---or anywhere else, for that matter.

It seems evident that out adminstrator wants to keep monitoring and "censoring" action to a minimum, and while I tend to support this, I'm also troubled that the offensive material is not only occurring more often than it used to, but it's also getting much worse. And the fact that much of it comes from someone instrumental in creating this site is, in my opinion, irrelevant. Nobody has the right to treat this site and its members with such callous dis-respect; nobody, whatever their contribution or seniority with the site has an inherent right to abuse this address and the people who visit here.

A few suggestions: When a post is truly out-of-line, either due to content, tone, or language, it should be removed forthwith, and with no fanfare, debate, or explanation. The offensive posts not removed should be, as I suggested before, totally ignored. These posts are made solely to provoke argument and get attention; when they are simply ignored, hopefully they'll stop.

Lastly, to anyone who insists on continuing this nonsense, either by sending along obviously inappropriate material, or by contributing to on-going valueless threads, I say again: Your comments do no good service to this site, and they only lessen YOU in the eyes of your contemporaries in the hiking community.

And finally, to those folks who are really upset with this whole thing, I hope it doesn't inspire anyone else to leave the site---on a public, open, Interactive site, this will always be a problem; the only solution is a rigid system of monitoring and strict administrative control, and we've seen on other Trail-related sites, this too, creates more problems than it solves and turns a lot of folks off.

If a post upsets you, ignore it. If a post is truly horrible, then I hope Whiteblaze administation wisely and judiciously uses their authority to remove it. And most of all, I hope people start getting more respect for this site and for themselves, and use a little more consideration, thought, and maturity in their posts.

Jack Tarlin
02-03-2003, 16:27
It should be obvious that my post was written BEFORE I saw or read Rock's above post; just want to thank him for addressing this, as well as thank him for his continued efforts to improve this site.

SGT Rock
02-03-2003, 16:40
Weasle, Jack, and the others that have sent your message of support (including the PMs and E-mails) for the way we have delt with this, thank you. I can't please everyone all the time. Maybe it isn't the way everyone would deal with this, but you have to make a strategy and stick with it to see if it works. On the whole I would say that except for one or two individuals, the majority of members have been very civil, even in disagreement.

In the end it isn't as easy as you might think to deal with crap like this. I think we are getting back on track now.

02-03-2003, 19:37
I suggest we lay down some ground rules, if any post violates them it will get deleted. I pulled these off a site that seems to work:

Golden Rule -- All Flame Wars between people will be deleted. I don't want to read it and I'm sure most others don't either. Arguments about a topic are fine as long as person A argues the issues and doesn’t call Person B a dumbass for his views.

Content --

No pornography.

No Racism or Discrimination

Foul Language is allowed as long as it's not directed at an individual. Lack of parenting is beyond our control.

Signatures should be reasonable. This means we are recommending no larger than 150x600 pixels and 50k in size. This rules has been in discussion for a while and while we are not current forcing the limit signatures that grossly violate the recommendation will be removed and the owner asked to change the image. An acceptable bending of the rule would be a 200x200pixel images with the text to the right of it but a 400x50 sig with text below would be asked to change.

Posts should be made only in their intended catagories.

steve hiker
02-03-2003, 19:52
I think Sarge's guidelines are excellent just the way they are. No topic should be off limits per se, even though this is a backpacking site and I'd like to spend most of my time discussing the AT and backpacking.

Perhaps the best suggestion is to let the community call someone down if we feel they are out of line. Or if someone is particularly offensive to you, use the "ignore" button.

Also, I'll say that I personally have not been offended by anything that Easy posted. Some was silly, some was vague and practically meaningless, but nothing was particularly offensive.

SGT Rock
02-03-2003, 20:32
I personally am hardly ever (to the point of never) by sexual references, but racism offends me. Other people think other ways. I feel the problem is if we all make a list of what offends us we will be left to the point where we cant say black, journal, cell phone, dog, gun, butt, etc. Does that sound like another site? Again, I have a 13 year old son, and a 17 year old daughter whom I wouldn't mind reading at WhiteBlaze, but some subjects I would prefer not having to explain to them.

But, being a realist, I know from talking to them they hear a lot worse in school now, so I'm not protecting them from much on this site.

What I would prefer is to show them that adults can cut up, but still act like adults. I have enough examples with 18-21 year old soldiers, and sometimes their wives being supposed "adults" but acting like teenage gangsters, punk kids, or just general imature teenagers.

I still thin personal moderation is the way to go. I can't remember the 10 rules for posting on WhiteBlaze I came up with, and that post is long gone, but it went something like this:

1. This is a site about hiking. Think about it.

2. If you are going to post something but you wouldn't want your 13 year old daughter to read it, maybe you shouldn't post it.

3. Your hiking style isn't always someone else hiking style. Don't cut people for style.

4. Hike your own hike isn't an excuse for general misbehavior.

5. Don't attack each other. Play nice.

6. When in doubt, ask others.

7. Try to keep threads on topic. Some thread degradation is OK, but not too much.

8. We don't need racism or sexism on the board just like we don't need it on the trail. Note: I may not have had this one in the original, but maybe it should be here?

9. Be slow to edit and even slower to delete. It is better for someone to show his own ass than for you to point it out. Let bad threads die on their own. (Mostly for moderators)

10. You are only a moderator, not a god. (this was for moderators)

Again, I could be wrong on the content (some of the old moderators may differ on their recallection). That was a long time agao and it was decided rules weren't needed at the time.

02-03-2003, 21:03

if i remmember correctly, the original discusion about the rules ended with a descision that it was not necessary and that people would take it upon themselves to ensure that this site remain appropriate. it is aparent to me that that has not completely happened. and unfortunately it may be time that we need those rules posted somwhere, not plasterd on every page, but just somwhere so that people will see them and hopefuly follow them. ofcourse i dont believe that these rules should become strict law, just guidlines. (we could always put it on a popup... im kidding)

while it is true that your children are exposed to all sorts of foul language at school, they hear it from people their own age, which has a different affect than hearing it from their elders. from my own experiance i was exposed to profanity much more outside of school, (on the internet, television, movies, adults) than in school itself. that may not be true for everyone, but i feel that if it is possible to do anything to prevent other children from being exposed, those measures should be taken. this is ofcourse my own opinion, and i am sure that others on this site have their own, which they are entitled to.

SGT Rock
02-03-2003, 21:12
I just did some admin stuff. It includes deleting some of the offensive posts and threads that I didn't see any value in, and renaming a thread (hopefully y'all get the humor). I have also removed some of the words from the filter that upon reflection were silly to include.

So, if you find a post that offends you, bring it up to me or early riser and we will at least look at it.

On the other hand, my wife specifically asked me to leave some posts in where she first reccomended using the ignore selection for those you don't want to hear from. there are some others of qquestion that maybe I should have deleted, but I don't want to be doing that all night long if no one really cares about them.

Lone Wolf
02-03-2003, 21:13
The dead horse has been beaten enough already. let it rest.

06-11-2006, 12:40
Why not create a forum titled say White Blazing or Whote Hot or White Flaming into which all censor candidate posts from all forums would be placed thus keeping the original forum posts focused. This MO would create such a wastebasket of cross threaded junk that it would cause the flaming responses to die out from its user unfriendliness. Might consider making it impossible for a poster to delete or edit their post once it gets into this forum - idea here would be that this tact might make people think again about flaming insofar as their posts become a permanent record of their behavior.

SGT Rock
06-11-2006, 12:54
Too much work. Might as well turn the site into the stifiling sites that others come here to get away from in the first place. The thing is, the site is like life. Sometimes you hear things you don't want to, and in some conversations the topic sifts. I don't see any point in trying to force the issue nor would I want to. Sometimes you can decide if a person has good advice in the first place based on some of this content.

Now, that said, we do have a place for the worst of the worse.

06-11-2006, 17:39
Yeah, I understand. Then again if needed might consider rather than the forum names suggested one called "Sniveling". Assuming you are referring to this forum as the place for the worst of the worse.

06-11-2006, 19:09
Yeah, I understand. Then again if needed might consider rather than the forum names suggested one called "Sniveling". Assuming you are referring to this forum as the place for the worst of the worse.
Nope, I would not even consider a for fomr that reason. If we did then that would be encouraging it.

06-11-2006, 20:55
A blast from the past! What were the original threads about? ;)