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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:02 am 
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Hi,

A friend of mine, Stian, was banned some time ago and has some questions. He posted them here.

If you could comment on that blog or answer the questions here, I would appreciate it.

Thank you for your time.

Mark

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:53 pm 
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Hi Mark,

I appreciate your concern for your friend. However, if Stian would like to discuss his ban with the People site admins and work towards any kind of resolution then making the effort to contact them himself would be a good place to start.

He is not banned from the forums so I'm not sure why he couldn't post here (instead of you) or PM the People site admins directly.

Thank you.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:42 pm 
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Hi Wendy,

Thank you for responding to my question.

I don't know why Stian didn't post his question here; maybe it just didn't occur to him to.
I posted here because I am personally interested in knowing what the general policy on banning is.

Based on your response, I take it that:
1.) Bans are not automatically permanent and
2.) banned users may request re-admittance, with their requests being evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Would those assumptions be correct?

Thanks

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:33 pm 
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Hi Mark

The guidelines are pretty clear on that as well as how to address this type of issue. I am unclear where the confusion lies. http://people.joomla.org/guidelines.html

* Those who do not follow the guidelines as stated above may be warned: three (3) Warnings are given before the repeat offenders receive a permanent ban.
* Users with offensive usernames or avatars will be blocked without warning - if you need to change your username, please post a request on viewforum.php?f=576.
* User Names should be a person's name, not a company name.
* Content not following the guidelines may be deleted or edited without warning.
* Spam will not be tolerated and will result in an immediate ban.
* We reserve the right to adjust these guidelines as is deemed necessary.
* We also reserve the right to adjust the consequences to fit the case.


I think it clear enough to say it is at the discretion of the JPeople admins.

Thank you
Sandra

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:38 am 
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Hi Sandra,

Thank you for responding.

The fact that I posted this question means the guidelines are not clear enough.

Maybe the guidelines need a further point... something along the lines of:
* If you've been banned and would like to contest your banning, request re-admittance, or if you have any other questions, you may contact the admins via the J! forums.


Also, online permanent bans are quite ridiculous, even more so in a community project where admins/moderators/rules are always changing or subject to change. Perhaps bans should be given a fixed period eg:
* Those who do not follow the guidelines as stated above may be warned: three (3) Warnings are given before the repeat offenders receive a minimum 2 month ban. Users may request re-admittance via the J! forums after that period.

Thoughts?

Cheers,
Mark

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:50 am 
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VERY few people are likely to ever get put through this process and the ones that do are well aware of how to contact the relevant people, they just choose not to.

Follow the guidelines and you aren't likely to have any problems on JPeople. We have had 1 issue since the site launched. That doesn't sound to me like a huge policy issue to me.

Thanks for the suggestions

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:22 am 
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Hi Sandra,

How many people are put through this process is irrelevant to the need for clearly defined responses to abuse.

We (the users of people.joomla.org, including you) need protections against tyranny. Take a moment to realize that you won't always be an admin, and this would protect you as well.

A clearly defined penalty would be ideal. It would apply across the board and everyone would know what they're in for if they breach the rules.

Back to the current scenario, there is no way of knowing if Stian will ever be allowed back.

Imagine if the law IRL said the penalty for any crime was imprisonment with no defined term. It could be for a day or life... it's up to the judge.

TBH I'm quite surprised by your stance on this. One would think it was I who is living in the freedom of the US and you under military dictatorship in Fiji.

In any case, I've made my point, and that will be all.

Thank you for listening. Have a good week :)

Cheers,
mark

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:24 am 
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mark_up wrote:
Back to the current scenario, there is no way of knowing if Stian will ever be allowed back.

Of course there is..
Wendy wrote:
However, if Stian would like to discuss his ban with the People site admins and work towards any kind of resolution then making the effort to contact them himself would be a good place to start.
If you are so gravely concerned that your friend has been given a rough deal, why not ask your friend to contact one of the JPeople admins. While you at it, perhaps help him to see why the way he behaved was such a breach of the rules he agreed to.

mark_up wrote:
We (the users of people.joomla.org, including you) need protections against tyranny.

The only tyranny I'd be worried about, is the tyranny a few poorly behaved people put others through, and then those who add to that by showing their support for poor behaviour.
The admins of this forum and the JPeople site have a long history of NOT abusing their role, and tolerating (perhaps to the detriment of the well behaved majority) far more bad behaviour than other open source projects might. Think about it.. they have given you far more reasons to trust them, than people like your friend have given. They have a long track record of being polite and reasonable.

If you really know what tyranny is, then you'll know there is none of that around here. I respectfully urge you to think twice before ever using that word to refer to any of our Joomla Volunteers past, present or future. If you're just using words like that to inject drama, elicit a reaction etc.. then.. don't.


Some tips:
Perhaps you would benefit from some of these points for your future postings: http://www.gnomeontherun.com/index.php? ... y&Itemid=7

Let me quote some so it's clear:
Quote:
Negative overtones or undertones

Resolution: I shall think before I write or speak or act, and ensure that I review my comments to make sure they properly reflect my meaning without additional negative overtones. When prudent, I will try to have someone review my comments so I don't sound like a jerk.


and:

Quote:
Thinking negatively towards others in the community

Resolution: I will try my best to look at all members of the community as equal and remember that we all have the same goals. I may disagree with them or their actions, but I will respect them as a fellow community member. This includes those on leadership, those active in the community, and new members.


You can do better than this Mark.. try to side with good behaviour, and perhaps before you know it, you'll find yourself having a share in making a difference for good.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:31 am 
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I forgot to add:

Mark I'd be happy to call you to discuss any of these issues further, simply let me know your phone number in a private email and a suitable time. We've not that far from each other when it comes to timezones either.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:14 am 
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Hi Brad,

Thank you, I appreciate your response.

Wendy wrote:
if Stian would like to discuss his ban with the People site admins and work towards any kind of resolution then making the effort to contact them himself would be a good place to start.

I agree with this, and have passed on that information to him. If he wants to, I'm sure he will contact you directly or post a new thread here.

brad wrote:
... While you at it, perhaps help him to see why the way he behaved was such a breach of the rules he agreed to.

See here's the thing. As far as I am aware, Stian did not deserve banning. While he may have breached the rules as the moderators interpreted them, he didn't get the three strikes that are required to trigger a ban.
In any case, I really don't want to discuss his specific case any further as I don't speak for him and like you said, it would be best if he contacted the admins here himself.


Aside from Stian's specific case, I am actually advocating that re-admission after a suitable "time-out" period be the default for banning, without the need for any other formalities. If I'm banned due to a disagreement (or three) with a moderator, I really shouldn't have to come here and beg that same moderator to let me back in. I've served my time, it's been x months, everyone's moved on from that topic, just let me back in so I can continue to be a member of the community.

brad wrote:
If you really know what tyranny is, then you'll know there is none of that around here. I respectfully urge you to think twice before ever using that word to refer to any of our Joomla Volunteers past, present or future.

Tyranny was too strong a word, I agree, and I apologise for using it.


brad wrote:
Some tips:
Perhaps you would benefit from some of these points for your future postings: http://www.gnomeontherun.com/index.php? ... y&Itemid=7

Let me quote some so it's clear:
Quote:
Negative overtones or undertones
Resolution: I shall think before I write or speak or act, and ensure that I review my comments to make sure they properly reflect my meaning without additional negative overtones. When prudent, I will try to have someone review my comments so I don't sound like a jerk.


and:

Quote:
Thinking negatively towards others in the community
Resolution: I will try my best to look at all members of the community as equal and remember that we all have the same goals. I may disagree with them or their actions, but I will respect them as a fellow community member. This includes those on leadership, those active in the community, and new members.

.

Thank you for reminding me of Jeremy's post. A good read. In fact, I have just gone back and removed a paragraph from this post that was perhaps a little inflammatory.

BTW I'd like to share something that I think complements Jeremy's post. Please share it with your team.
http://www.eflorenzano.com/blog/post/object-lesson-how-respond-criticism/
Here's a snippet (emphasis mine):
Quote:
Why do I think this is so important? Because a community which welcomes constructive criticism is one in which people feel they can make a difference. And it's because they can make a difference. It's a community that's never satisfied with the status quo. It's a community that can grow and change and adapt, when the world around it changes. It's a community that we can be proud of.




brad wrote:
Mark I'd be happy to call you to discuss any of these issues further, simply let me know your phone number in a private email and a suitable time. We've not that far from each other when it comes to timezones either.

Thanks Brad, I appreciate the offer. However, I don't really want to take this any further. I don't expect any changes as a result of my suggestion WRT banning policy. All I wanted was to be heard, and Wendy, Sandra, and yourself have allowed that here and have taken the time to respond to my post. Thank you.

Mark

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:54 am 
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Hi,

The reason why I didn't post here is because I'm really just not aware of how this works.
Which is why I'm asking for information.

The guidelines are very clear on what gets you banned, I wont disagree on that.
But it's not providing sufficient guidelines for what happens afterwards?

I also understand that the rules may be changed depending on the case. But I would appreciate if it were possible to provide more information when those cases happen to the person involved.

Oh and one more thing, I'm by no means confused at all why I'm banned.
At the end of that discussion I forgot the most important thing about any discussion, that you're talking to a person, not just a nick name.

So I apologize to Sandra, Brad and Andrew for my disrespectful personal attacks.
And I'm not just saying that to try and lift my ban. I'm not trying to do that.

I just want to know where I can find more information on what's expected of me when I'm banned.

That's all. Any information you could give on that would be very much appreciated.

Thanks,
Stian


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:47 pm 
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@Stian I appreciate your apology. In the future please be respectful of those whom you agree with and do not agree with.

I will remove your ban tomorrow.

Thank you
Sandra

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:49 pm 
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Hi Sandra,

Stian tried to change the email address of his forum account so that he could get notifications on this thread, but I believe it sent a verification email to his currently listed email address. Unfortunately he no longer has access to that email account (old, expired domain) and so can't verify his request to change the address.

Effectively, he is locked out of this forum and cannot respond here.

Could you please activate his account.

Thanks,
Mark

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:09 pm 
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I've looked into this.. his email address has been changed, but he doesn't appeared to have followed the directions and activated the change.

In any case, I'm manually activated his account for him. Stian, please email me to confirm your real email address ASAP.
Thanks.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:35 pm 
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Thanks Sandra! :D

Thanks Mark and Brad for helping me out on that email screwup^^

Cheers,
-Stian


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:34 pm 
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mark_up wrote:
Hi Sandra,

Thank you for responding.

The fact that I posted this question means the guidelines are not clear enough.

Maybe the guidelines need a further point... something along the lines of:
* If you've been banned and would like to contest your banning, request re-admittance, or if you have any other questions, you may contact the admins via the J! forums.


Also, online permanent bans are quite ridiculous, even more so in a community project where admins/moderators/rules are always changing or subject to change. Perhaps bans should be given a fixed period eg:
* Those who do not follow the guidelines as stated above may be warned: three (3) Warnings are given before the repeat offenders receive a minimum 2 month ban. Users may request re-admittance via the J! forums after that period.

Thoughts?

Cheers,
Mark


The guidelines are clearly not clear enough with respect to an appeal process. I can understand why your friend didn't think to post here or anywhere else relating to moderation issues on people.joomla.org.

magnoliaweb wrote:
Hi Mark

The guidelines are pretty clear on that as well as how to address this type of issue. I am unclear where the confusion lies. http://people.joomla.org/guidelines.html

* Those who do not follow the guidelines as stated above may be warned: three (3) Warnings are given before the repeat offenders receive a permanent ban.
* Users with offensive usernames or avatars will be blocked without warning - if you need to change your username, please post a request on viewforum.php?f=576.
* User Names should be a person's name, not a company name.
* Content not following the guidelines may be deleted or edited without warning.
* Spam will not be tolerated and will result in an immediate ban.
* We reserve the right to adjust these guidelines as is deemed necessary.
* We also reserve the right to adjust the consequences to fit the case.


I think it clear enough to say it is at the discretion of the JPeople admins.

Thank you
Sandra


If things are so clear why has it just taken me 30 minutes looking for an appeals process? Answer there is none!

Ominous: 'discretion of Jpeople admins'

@no one in particular

Why do Joomla.org sites use the term guidelines when clearly they are deemed to be rules?

My account appears to have been banned with no notification! The only conclusion I can draw from that is that my user name was considered offensive, at the discretion of someone with access to the ban button.

* Users with offensive usernames or avatars will be blocked without warning - if you need to change your username, please post a request on viewforum.php?f=576.
* User Names should be a person's name, not a company name

My avatar was of an alligator not offensive. When I opened my account the rules were different as the reference to username wasn't applicable, at that time Last Updated (Tuesday, 25 May 2010 06:55) Tuesday, 11 May 2010. I have a copy of the rules if clarification is required. I received a pm from a moderator telling me my name was not a personal name shortly after joining. I replied and said I valued my privacy and that they were free to delete my account. They didn't delete my account, so one would assume my privacy was being respected and that there was no breach of the rules at that time.

I posted no abusive or offensive comments and to my knowledge haven't breached any guidelines! The only posts I made were to offer help where I felt I had something to offer. Other than that I read which would make it hard to breach any rules.

I joined the people forum as a member of the Joomla community not to make friends and influence people. I have no interest in self promotion or to seek any professional gain. My use of joomla is a hobby. I use it for pleasure and to help community groups, friends and family create sites rather that watching TV.

The draconian policies imposed on various groups within the community makes it rather hard to see exactly where the community spirit has gone/is going.

From my observations, the leadership of the J project/s are becoming divorced from the community and their views on a wide range of issues.

For anyone interested my user name was jperson, if I had used Joe Blogs as the user name no doubt it would have been acceptable - even though it has the same relevance to me as a private individual, who values their privacy on the WWW.

The treatment I have received with regards to this issue demonstrates a lack of values and fair treatment, which makes a mockery of the word community!

There was no warning or notification at the sign in page. There is no clear official appeal procedure in a prominent place on the site or within the guidelines (RULES). The only route that seemed appropriate was the link to this forum, after assuming the reasoning that lay behind the ban.


Not Impressed of Tunbridge Wells


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:56 pm 
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Quote:
I replied and said I valued my privacy and that they were free to delete my account.
They just took their time doing it then.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:52 am 
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mailm wrote:
Quote:
I replied and said I valued my privacy and that they were free to delete my account.
They just took their time doing it then.


Strange place for a newbie to turn in their first post! How many other accounts do you have?

These are the RULES as they were written at the time I joined...

Moderation

Those who do not follow the guidelines as stated above may be warned: three (3) Warnings are given before the repeat offenders receive a permanent ban.

Users with offensive usernames or avatars will be blocked without warning - if you need to change your username, please post a request on viewforum.php?f=576.

Content not following the guidelines may be deleted or edited without warning.

Spam will not be tolerated and will result in an immediate ban.

We reserve the right to adjust these guidelines as is deemed necessary.

We also reserve the right to adjust the consequences to fit the case.

I joined in July and then it takes the moderating team until November to ban my account with no warning or valid reason. Unless retrospective banning is considered good practice in a community channel. There was no such rule at the time the account was created, and there has been no breach on my part. Unless of course there is some other reason unknown to me. In the absence of any formal appeal process, how exactly does a member of the community make an enquiry about a faceless and unjustified moderating decision?

'First they came...' Pastor Martin Niemöller


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:53 pm 
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13 Days and no response to a simple question from the moderating team, or is it simply a matter of ignoring the community?

I would like to know where to access the information which explains the complaints procedure? If there is no formal procedure in place, I would like to know who is responsible for dealing with issues regarding moderation?

Where does the buck stop?

Thanks in advance,


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:22 am 
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Please review the new guidelines that have been up for about a week now http://people.joomla.org/guidelines.html

and if you would care to discuss them, you may do so here http://people.joomla.org/groups/viewdis ... ?groupid=7

Thank you
Sandra

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:38 am 
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This is kind of off-topic, but kind of not - maybe it will help in some ways...

In a recent CLT meeting, a better user management system (for all the joomla.org sites) was discussed and detailed and then shortly after, voted on and approved. This is mostly an item with the upcoming new Ticket System.

We have similar issues in the JED where we have a need to ban an account (for whatever assigned reason or whatever assigned time period) but the management of this "ban", be it permanent or temporary, is very difficult.

I believe that this new system (coming into place early 2011) will help sort out a lot of these issues related to user management that we have faced for quite a few years.

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