Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-factory (1324 mails)

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[opensuse-factory] Re: [Leap 42.1] Found a .doc document that LilbreOffice fails to render correctly. From the administration.
  • From: Jim Henderson <hendersj@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2015 18:18:59 +0000 (UTC)
  • Message-id: <n0dtmj$fa9$>
On Fri, 23 Oct 2015 18:12:03 +0200, Richard Brown wrote:

I'm afraid I don't have the forum posts to hand which also fit this
including arguments with their Forum administrators - I understand the
Forum team may have tidied up a lot of those posts.

That is correct, Richard.

It is standard practice in the forums to deal with threads where fighting
occurs (whether it's between members or between members and forum
staff). Our audience in the forums tends to run more towards end-users,
so we tend to enforce a community standard that's less like the rough-and-
tumble of development mailing lists and more like a user-to-user support
forum. Being friendly to new users who don't come from a technology
background is a primary goal there - and the directness that some (or
even many) technical people use in their written communications comes
across as being mean or overly blunt.

As such, specific forum examples are tricky to locate, because they would
need to walk that line between being problematic enough to mention, but
not problematic enough to have been deleted.

I personally end up dealing with a fair number of the forum issues where
Carlos is one of the participants, and often, the result of my dealing
with those issues is direct interaction with Carlos.

Richard's observation of Carlos' frequent "content-free" responses is
something the forums staff are very familiar with. I can't even begin to
list the number of times I've seen Carlos reply to threads with responses
that had all the appearances of being simply intended to drive a post
counter up. Replies that add substantially no new information to an
ongoing discussion, duplicate points already made, and so on - sometimes
hours after the point's already been made.

Another frequent distraction that he brings to help threads is nit-
picking rare edge cases of general statements made by participants in the
thread. Sometimes, it is useful to bring those up, but not nearly as
frequently as happens. We've had forum members often express their
frustration (by reporting posts) with Carlos' derailing of threads with
unimportant trivia.

To be fair, the number of times that we've had to deal with Carlos'
behavior in the forums has put some of the staff on something of a hair
trigger with anything he says. As a forum administrator, I see it as
part of my job to make sure those discussions stay grounded and ask the
question "if this was anyone else, would we be having this discussion?" -
and I take that responsibility very seriously.

Sometimes the answer is "no, we wouldn't". Sometimes the answer is "yes,
we would". Sometimes the answer is "it depends on if we'd had problems
like this with the user before". We take banning users very seriously,
and other than spammers (who earn an instant permanent ban), we've only
had occasion to apply a permanent ban on two occasions that I can think
of - and then, only after very long and careful deliberation that it's
the right course of action, along with a proviso that if the users in
question agree to follow the rules (knowing that we'll be watching
closely), they can come back; so even then, "permanent" doesn't have to

Temporary bans are more frequent (maybe one every 2-3 months) - usually
for a period of two weeks as a "cooling off" period. Sometimes longer if
it's a repeat offense, or shorter if the user is really new and is just
not responding to the usual guidance we provide for them to be a
productive contributor.

We don't always handle it perfectly (we are human, after all), but we do
our best to try to make the forums a welcoming place for everyone who is
serious about participating. The challenge for any moderation team is
finding the right balance when a user becomes problematic, and usually,
that kind of situation leads to the potential for people on the sidelines
feeling the need to engage in "rules lawyering" and second-guessing those
who have stepped up to manage the community and ensure the standards of
the community are being followed.

Jim Henderson
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