Topic: Code of conduct  (Read 4584 times)
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« on: March 05, 2009, 11:48:45 pm »

How many moderators decide what is liable, disrespectful  etc. Who interprets  if it is against the code of conduct. A forum is a place to learn,  give respectful opinions and allow  for some fun  humour.  Sort of feel like big  brother is watching. Please explain that  i am missing  something. Thanks polarbear
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2009, 02:07:22 am »

It's not that "big brother" is watching, but rather that hundreds of other people are watching including the eBay sellers and auctioneers that have regrettably come under far too much fire from inappropriate and unacceptable posts made on these forums. This forum absolutely will not tolerate this sort of anonymous sounding-board behaviour anymore.

For too long, this problem has been allowed to grow and become "acceptable" due to a lack of sufficient moderation. All societies require rules to properly function, but too many rules is also a problem. This was the main reason why I formed the Code of Conduct Committee, of which you were a member. This committee, including yourself, had well over eight months to discuss, deliberate, review, revise and finalize the Code of Conduct that has been unanimously approved by all members of the Committee who voted. The final version, as approved by a selection of volunteer members of this website, is the end result of this eight month process. It addresses a number of key problems that we have been facing and provides general guidelines otherwise. The Code of Conduct is not excessive in that it does not have too many rules. In my initial comments to the Code of Conduct Committee, I asked them to focus on some of the worse problems facing this website. I am very proud of the work that they have done, and they should be too.

This forum was founded upon the principles of sharing knowledge amongst a community of like-minded collectors. While this was never intended to be a comedy club, a little light humour never hurts. You're right, this is a place to give respectful opinions, but many people were not doing this. Ideally, I would prefer that we not have any need for a Code of Conduct because everyone will respect each other and conduct themselves in a professional manner. Unfortunately, we're all human and utopia is just a dream. Even what seems to some like a simple joke can get twisted around and become a fiasco. More often than I care to count, I have received complaints to which my initial response (on the inside) was "You have got to be joking!" On the outside, I took each complaint seriously and took appropriate actions. Problems need to be addressed before they become serious situations, and the Code of Conduct is designed to help everyone understand what is acceptable and what is not. Until everyone does understand that, it may seem like there are a lot of posts being edited or removed, etc. We're moving from a point of very lax moderation to some much stronger definitions of what is not acceptable. Some people might take some time to adjust.

Think about it... Do you want people making up insert ranges and saying they were confirmed by you? I don't think so. Do you want people publicly criticizing you and your attempts to earn a few bucks on eBay? I doubt it. Do you want people posting huge images in a thread that take half an hour to download on dialup? Polarbear, you in particular know very well how annoying that is.

To address your specific question about who interprets the rules, it is completely at the discretion of a moderator. If a moderator deems a post to be libelous, or otherwise inappropriate, it is entirely within their discretion, and indeed within their responsibilities to take appropriate actions. As this is not a democracy, and since doing so would waste time when time is very often of the essence, there is no requirement for multiple moderators to discuss and agree on any course of action. Swift and decisive action on the part of moderators is encouraged so that problems are properly addressed before getting out of hand. Discussion after the fact frequently does occur, and on rare occasions decisions have been modified as a result. It is believed that the costs associated with requiring a multi-person consensus, especially with the small size of this forum, would be a far bigger hindrance to us than to have to backpedal on a decision in rare circumstances.

While I am happy to discuss the new Code of Conduct with members to help them understand anything that may not be clear, it is for the most part not going to change. Everyone was given an opportunity to provide input into its creation, and I am very grateful to those who took up the challenge. Those who chose not to participate did so of their own free will, under the knowledge that the Code of Conduct would be determined without their input. Extensive efforts have been made to get us to where we are today, and I think it is a much better position than we were in before.

To be brutally blunt, if someone doesn't like being respectful, or doesn't want to conduct themselves in a polite and professional manner, nobody is forcing them to be here. Anyone is free to leave at any time. Those who do choose to be civilized towards others and enjoy themselves and others in a mutually respectful way will find that the situation here will improve over time as the problems get addressed even before they start.

If you have any further questions polarbear, please send me a PM. Thank you.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 02:14:48 am by BWJM »

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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2009, 06:59:02 am »

Some people might take some time to adjust.
I know  that I am one that will need time to adjust, I just hope I can do it before I kick the bucket.  Maybe spending more time on shrinking heads than on the forum will keep me out of hot water.... ;D

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