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Kirk Gittings
26-Jun-2008, 12:10
All,

It only took two days as a moderator before I received my first abusive, foul mouthed email that contained a personal threat. It is fine to argue your case strongly but abusive language and threats cross the line. As a result of this incident, and after consulting with my fellow moderators, I have decided on a 0 tolerance policy for threats, whether made on or off the forum. Now, I understand that anger can cause one to make poor choices in the moment, so in this case the ban will be only for 30 days. Similar behavior in the future, on or off the forum will incur more severe responses. Be warned all.

This job does not compensate me well enough to put up with such nonsense.

Thanks all,

Vick Vickery
26-Jun-2008, 12:34
Only two days? Somehow, with the mostly laid-back attitude of most of the participants of this forum, I'm supprised it happened so fast! I have found most of the folks around here to be pretty nice most of the time (with one or two exceptions like guys threatening to sue over their supposed inventions :) ) and almost almost helpful in a non-abusive way.

I think 30 days suspention for a threat is a very soft response.

domenico Foschi
26-Jun-2008, 12:49
Threats should be dealt with absolute ban.
Someone called and insulted me sometime ago over the phone, but of course he never revealed his identity, in line with his disturbed behavior.
I know he is a forum member, but I could never find out exactly who he was,... only a suspicion.
Well, Kirk, sometime not being liked is a badge of honor.:)

Anupam
26-Jun-2008, 12:52
How depressing does one's life have to be to get caught up this much in an online photo forum?

Ole Tjugen
26-Jun-2008, 12:55
You are too kind Kirk, 30 days suspension is far too kind! ;)

Mike Boden
26-Jun-2008, 12:57
I don't understand why anyone would threaten you. For what? Being a moderator? What could you possibly have said or done to warrant this? It's absolutely ridiculous. My vote is for a total ban.

David A. Goldfarb
26-Jun-2008, 13:01
One attraction of moderating an international internet forum is that you sometimes learn interesting multicultural curses.

BarryS
26-Jun-2008, 13:10
As a moderator on a very large forum, I would strongly recommend unceremoniously bouncing anyone making a personal threat--immediately and permanently. To do otherwise is only encouraging bad behavior.

lenser
26-Jun-2008, 13:31
Perhaps this would be a good reason to require more details on personal information. I would love to see at least the member's state as a requirement on the Public Profile, if not the city (just so we can know whether we are close enough to pick up an offered item or to participate in a workshop).

For membership, perhaps detailed contact information (which would be held in total confidentiality) of both street address and phone numbers that would be verified before allowing total membership, would be a deterrent to this kind of non-sense.

Even on Ebay, by going through a simple search process, you can find out all of this information on a member.

There is no excuse for this kind of behavior. To allow it to exist because the jerk can hide behind his anonymity is asking for more. If such a threat seems real, having that info could allow it to be reported and dealt with. It's unfortunate to have to deal with this kind of thing (and I'm as socially liberal as they come and hate to see it required), but six people died in a Kentucky factory yesterday because of one pissed off idiot and his girl friend who didn't report the threat to the police.

Just my two cents, but maybe its one thing to think about.

Tim

Jim Galli
26-Jun-2008, 13:35
wow, bummer. Seems idiotic. 30 days is very modest.

Frank Petronio
26-Jun-2008, 13:54
I'd kill anyone who would threaten you Kirk!

Ehh I know I have "out of step" politics, enjoy a good debate, and sometimes egg people on, but outside of the Lounge it's been mostly civil here, far better than other photo forums I've seen. It wasn't the case a few years ago with the Underground Leica Forum I did (Ralph B. remembers) -- after six months I shut it down because crazies were calling on the phone and sending nasty messages.

vann webb
26-Jun-2008, 14:00
No reason to get so worked up as to threaten anyone. Fry 'em like bacon.

John Kasaian
26-Jun-2008, 14:04
What disgraceful and cowardly behavior! I'm surprised there is anyone like that here. I support you 100% Kirk!

Ron Marshall
26-Jun-2008, 14:21
Anyone can have a bad day and a meltdown, but nothing excuses personal threats.

The vast majority of members appreciate what a wonderful resource this site is and more importantly they appreciate the dedication of the moderators.

ASRafferty
26-Jun-2008, 14:48
Kirk, though these occasions are always unfortunate, I'm glad to see all the support coming your way on this one. It's impossible to dismiss a threat of any kind as "impulsive" or "careless" -- you have to take it seriously. You can't really tell what someone online is capable or incapable of doing. And if you should happen to know the individual well enough to know that he/she needs to be stopped, more power to you and the more justified your decision is -- it may spare someone else from becoming the next target.

Too many have been hurt or worse by dismissing or underestimating any variety of madness... you've done the right thing, and the wholehearted support here says it all. Hang in there.

cyrus
26-Jun-2008, 14:52
Man, some people take life FAR too seriously...as to threaten someone?
Sheez!

Kino
26-Jun-2008, 14:56
How ridiculous! :mad:

I'd ban them immediately and permanently. If someone can't express themselves without resorting to threats of violence, I don't want associate with them.

Life is too short.

My 2 cents.

David Karp
26-Jun-2008, 14:57
I think you were extremely generous with the short suspension. Without researching, the perpetrator likely violated one or more laws in making the threat, and is lucky that you do not seek some sort of prosecution.

A permanent ban would have been reasonable.

windpointphoto
26-Jun-2008, 15:31
First, I've met Kirk out in N.M. and while I'm fat, mean and ugly I wouldn't mess with him. Second, even after some heated discussion and political differences there isn't anyone on this exchange I wouldn't be thrilled to spend time with picture taking. Esp Kirk. What nonsence. After all this is only a big camera club. Good grief!

Harley Goldman
26-Jun-2008, 15:37
Kirk, you are being kind with only 30 days. An outright ban would be appropriate if you chose to take that route. No need to put up with that kind of s**t from anyone, forum or otherwise.

Eric Biggerstaff
26-Jun-2008, 15:51
Kirk,

Good call but any threat is serious and I think you were too kind!

Man, this is only photography, it ain't worth getting so wrapped up in.

jnanian
26-Jun-2008, 16:28
kirk

you should kick them out first offense
it isn't worth a second ..

john

Merg Ross
26-Jun-2008, 16:32
I am with you on this one Kirk, although 30 years might be more appropriate. Thanks for taking on the job of moderator, and may this be the last ugly incident.

I have noticed, as have others, that anonymity somtimes leads to outrageous behavior on the part of some participants of this forum. I know that you have voiced your opinion on the use of pseudonyms in the past.

BrianShaw
26-Jun-2008, 17:40
Oy veh... and all this time I thought we were all adults!

John Voss
26-Jun-2008, 17:49
When we who were asked to serve on the APUG membership council were made known to all, there were some who decried us personally before any council action had ever been taken or even contemplated. I wonder if those who have issues with even the slightest whiff of what they perceive as "authority" just can't restrain themselves.

You've shown remarkable restraint. I hope your future acts of moderation are entirely without incident.

David A. Goldfarb
26-Jun-2008, 17:51
Anonymity sometimes leads to outrageous behavior, indeed, and I have always opposed it, but I can assure you that some individuals are quite capable of outrageous behavior even without the veil of anonymity.

darr
26-Jun-2008, 18:09
Automatic permanent suspension should be the action given IMO.

No moderator or volunteer should ever have to put up with threats. Threats are an exhibit of antisocial behavior*. They do not contribute to the community at large and suck the kindness out of the very volunteers that make this forum one of the best on the net. PURGE THEM ALL!


*Antisocial behavior can be generally characterized as an overall lack of adherence to the social mores and standards that allow members of a society to coexist peaceably. According to some studies, individuals with antisocial behavior disorders are responsible for about half of all crimes committed, though they make up only about five percent of the population. (wisegeek.com)

Bobf
26-Jun-2008, 19:14
Thing is, this kind of unacceptable behaviour is exactly WHY some of us prefer not to use our full names. It would be very difficult for this kind of nutcase to find my 'phone number and address as I am careful not to supply my surname, but with my full name and city location someone could easily find both.

I agree with everyone else, no 1-month ban: bounce him off permanently.

Bob.

Greg Lockrey
26-Jun-2008, 19:32
You ought to put a large red B for "banned" next to their names. I know that things can get heated in the Lounge but to get personal is way out there.

Greg Lockrey
26-Jun-2008, 19:33
You ought to put a large red B for "banned" next to their names. I know that things can get heated in the Lounge but to get personal is way out there. And I'm with Frank, I'll gut 'em for ya.

domenico Foschi
26-Jun-2008, 19:40
You ought to put a large red B for "banned" next to their names. I know that things can get heated in the Lounge but to get personal is way out there. And I'm with Frank, I'll gut 'em for ya.

Yeah, to separate the good guys from the bad ones.

Oh, please...

Greg Lockrey
26-Jun-2008, 20:08
Yeah, to separate the good guys from the bad ones.

Oh, please...

It was a joke, Domenico. :eek:

Marko
26-Jun-2008, 20:17
A name does not a man make. It is rather the other way around.

Kirk, you were too kind. You should have put his name in public, along with all the colorful details. And for two reasons: to make everybody aware of his behaviour and to serve as an example.

Colin Graham
26-Jun-2008, 20:22
What nonsense. A public pillory might do the trick. Anyone who behaves so abominably in private should be outed.

Frank Bagbey
26-Jun-2008, 20:23
Kirk, I cannot believe you would run into a problem like this, especially right off the bat. I have had several people in the forum advise me not to get so riled up over the left wing oral masturbators in the Lizard Lounge. They may be right, ignoring them might be the best course to take. Not knowing the depth of the threats, I would just ignore them unless they are persistent. Hang in there, Kirk. Everyone I have talked to is glad you have taken on the job as moderator.

Merg Ross
26-Jun-2008, 20:27
And so it goes. A pseudonym, with very few posts, implicating two individuals. I rest my case.

clay harmon
26-Jun-2008, 20:27
It is incredible that after only a few days, you get hit with your first venomous email. I had no idea that being a moderator rated combat pay. I think your response is the right one, and if anything, somewhat measured. Keep up the good work, and let's hope this is an outlier.

russyoung
26-Jun-2008, 20:46
One of the defining points of the last several decades of American life has been the loss of simple civility between people. In the past, one was civil even with the staunchest opponent in any arena. No more. Worse yet, it has become generally accepted.

Kirk, I applaud your decision to ban the offender. Your restraint in making it only a 30 day ban is even more praiseworthy; like many others, I think it should be much longer and additionally, conditioned on a [I]sincere[I] public apology.

regards,
Russ

domenico Foschi
26-Jun-2008, 21:47
It was a joke, Domenico. :eek:

I do not, I absolutely do not believe you.:)

If it keeps going like this it will turn out that you and Frank are two progressive professors of political science in Berkeley who unleash their dark side in this forum.
Frank more than you, granted....

kev curry
27-Jun-2008, 00:24
You ought to put a large red B for "banned" next to their names. I know that things can get heated in the Lounge but to get personal is way out there. And I'm with Frank, I'll gut 'em for ya.

Greg, you make regular practice of indulging in petty ''personal'' attacks, its what you do best. You have the unimpressively long back catalog to prove it. The big red B may return to haunt you.

Greg Lockrey
27-Jun-2008, 00:38
Greg, you make regular practice of indulging in petty ''personal'' attacks, its what you do best. You have the unimpressively long back catalog to prove it. The big red B may return to haunt you.

Kev, just how is this a personal attack? This was a satirical use of the "The Scarlet Letter" a novel we Americans had to read in high school. (In my case it was still on the Best Sellers List.) It was a joke that apparently gets lost on you Europeans.

Brian K
27-Jun-2008, 04:33
Kirk what do you expect? You know tempers flare when the discussion of green versus red chilies comes up. (a little new mexico humor there) Personally I would have banned that jerk and barred him from Frank P's soft porn site as well (that'll really hurt him).

Dave Parker
27-Jun-2008, 09:50
Kirk,

As a person that owns several large online forums myself, I would, based on experience ban him permanently and I would also report to your local law enforcement, I know over the years, I have had several threats of a very violent nature, and two individuals are currently serving time due to their behavior and online threats..as well as phone calls...this is nothing to sluff off, it can become very serious, especially with the public persona you have..you just never know what the nut on the other end of the computer or phone line is actually going to do..

I know, some say I over react when things of this nature happen, but after years of experience, I would rather over react than have the converse happen.

Be careful, you are being far to generous to this person.

Dave

Kirk Gittings
27-Jun-2008, 14:34
John, Domenico, Rw, Anupam, Colin, Frank, funny stuff

I have been guilty many times of this too.....so yeah, I'm a hypocrite here but.....

This thread is deadly serious to me, do you mind if I delete your posts to keep the focus on topic?

Ole Tjugen
27-Jun-2008, 14:42
This thread is deadly serious to me, do you mind if I delete your posts to keep the focus on topic?

Personally, I don't mind at all.

But I would like to remark that unbridled levity is a common reaction to "deadly serious", and I have found it to be time-saving in my moderatorial function: If people are laughing, they're not coming after you with guns (HA! Try to smuggle a gun into Norway, and I'll greet you with a smuggled in RPG).

You are the moderator here and I am not. Do whatever you feel best, and let noone criticise you for that.

E. von Hoegh
27-Jun-2008, 17:37
Threats?? I don't get it Mr. Gittings. I think this site is a very valuable resource, and I support wholeheartedly those that make it possible.

Why would someone threaten you??????? Maybe because they can. I agree that they should be banned permanently. Too bad there isn't a virus that would make their 'puter explode.

Anyway, I support you wholeheartedly Mr. Gittings. This site is a wonderful resource.

Bill_1856
27-Jun-2008, 17:48
Gosh, Kirk, I didn't realize that you'd take my kidding so seriously. I mean the death threats left on your answering machine weren't really real (how did you find out it was me -- do you have caller ID?), and the envelope with white powder under your front door was probably delivered to your house by mistake.
And if it's all the same to you, I'd appreciate not being banned from this forum, but could you please ban me from photo.net, as it has really gotten to suck for some time, but I don't seem to be able to wean myself off of it.
Oh yeah, and your mother wears army boots (but then so does mine).
Love and kisses,

Merg Ross
27-Jun-2008, 20:22
Why not delete the whole thread? The point has been made.

Mark Sawyer
27-Jun-2008, 20:28
I'd leave up the initial post, or a shortened version thereof, as notice of the policy, then lock the thread. There's not much more to add.

It's Kirk's call. But I predict in the next response, Merg will say "Good thought, Mark." I have special powers that way...

Merg Ross
27-Jun-2008, 20:31
Good thought, Mark. That is actually what I had in mind; "lock", not "delete".
Thanks,
Merg

David A. Goldfarb
27-Jun-2008, 20:36
Why not delete the whole thread? The point has been made.

Well, the longer the thread runs, the more colorful the punishments that may be imagined. I rather like the punishment of Damiens the Regicide quoted in the opening to Foucault's Discipline and Punish--


On 1 March 1757 Damiens the regicide was condemned "to make the amende honorable before the main door of the Church of Paris", where he was to be "taken and conveyed in a cart, wearing nothing but a shirt, holding a torch of burning wax weighing two pounds"; then, "in the said cart, to the Place de Grève, where, on a scaffold that will be erected there, the flesh will be torn from his breasts, arms, thighs and claves with red-hot pincers, his right hand, holding the knife with which he committed the said parricide, burnt with sulphur, and, on those places where the flesh will be torn away, poured molten lead, boiling oil, burning resin, wax and sulphur melted together and then his body drawn and quartered by four horses and his limbs and body consumed by fire, reduced to ashes and his ashes thrown to the winds"

Frank Petronio
27-Jun-2008, 20:44
Thank you David!

It may be that if threats escalate, Kirk may want to use threads like these to establish the background and history....

Merg Ross
27-Jun-2008, 20:45
David, very good!

Perhaps that could appear on the LF Home Page.

Cheers,
Merg

Kirk Gittings
27-Jun-2008, 21:44
Good thought, Mark. That is actually what I had in mind; "lock", not "delete".
Thanks,
Merg

Thanks guys, that is the conclusion I came to too. Point made. I'll do it tomorrow.

rwyoung
27-Jun-2008, 22:43
Delete as you see fit. And if you do feel there is some aspect of the originating threat that should be taken seriously, then do so. Better safe than sorry.

Nighty-night and don't let the threat-bugs bite.

Once
28-Jun-2008, 03:25
All,
snip
As a result of this incident, and after consulting with my fellow moderators, I have decided on a 0 tolerance policy for threats, whether made on or off the forum.
snip
Similar behavior in the future, on or off the forum will incur more severe responses. Be warned all.

This job does not compensate me well enough to put up with such nonsense.

Thanks all,

Well, I see it a little bit differently, Kirk. Here you go, threatening "all" of us that if threatened, you'll retaliate.
Well. Thanks for your threat. It didn't take you long time as a moderator to come with threats to "all", did it? I simply think, that you should take care of your private emails with others privately and not to take it on us all. Simply because I have nothing to do with you private emails and your reactions to them. Please, keep them private! That's my view of your threat. Once

Dan Fromm
28-Jun-2008, 04:53
Once, Kirk didn't threaten you. He stated board policy.

I don't see how you can interpret setting the limits of acceptable behavior as a threat.

Once
28-Jun-2008, 05:29
snip
I don't see how you can interpret setting the limits of acceptable behavior as a threat.

That's not my fault.

Brian K
28-Jun-2008, 07:59
Well, the longer the thread runs, the more colorful the punishments that may be imagined. I rather like the punishment of Damiens the Regicide quoted in the opening to Foucault's Discipline and Punish--

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel Foucault
On 1 March 1757 Damiens the regicide was condemned "to make the amende honorable before the main door of the Church of Paris", where he was to be "taken and conveyed in a cart, wearing nothing but a shirt, holding a torch of burning wax weighing two pounds"; then, "in the said cart, to the Place de Grève, where, on a scaffold that will be erected there, the flesh will be torn from his breasts, arms, thighs and claves with red-hot pincers, his right hand, holding the knife with which he committed the said parricide, burnt with sulphur, and, on those places where the flesh will be torn away, poured molten lead, boiling oil, burning resin, wax and sulphur melted together and then his body drawn and quartered by four horses and his limbs and body consumed by fire, reduced to ashes and his ashes thrown to the winds"

Sounds like routine procedure down at Gitmo........


Seriously though, making threats, or even getting abusive in pm's or emails should have zero tolerance for everyone. If someone is so disturbed as to wish harm, especially physical harm to anyone here, then they simply don't belong here.

jetcode
28-Jun-2008, 08:08
some snakes have more than one head ...

Robbie Shymanski
28-Jun-2008, 08:18
The idea of a 30 day ban sounds more reasonable than a permanent one. I think everyone on this forum falls into artistic/creative type, and we tend to be passionate. Sometimes we take too far and become jerks who can cross the line. We all have our bad moments. 30 days is a decent penance. Anyone who returns with their head held low should understand to watch their mouth. Perhaps a two or three strikes rule? But then some people are just jerks to begin with.

Marko
28-Jun-2008, 09:17
Seriously though, making threats, or even getting abusive in pm's or emails should have zero tolerance for everyone. If someone is so disturbed as to wish harm, especially physical harm to anyone here, then they simply don't belong here.

Absolutely.

Throwing a temper tantrum or falling into the heat of the moment in a discussion is one thing and 30-day cool-off is a good measure for washing a dirty mouth.

Making deliberate threats is something else entirely. This is a discussion forum, for Heaven's sake, not WWF! Those unwilling or incapable of noticing the difference should be shown the door.

darr
28-Jun-2008, 11:33
I think everyone on this forum falls into artistic/creative type, and we tend to be passionate.

I agree with you Robbie that we are probably a passionate bunch, but I also feel we are probably more intelligent than the average artistic type that I knew in art school. I think threats should equal termination. :eek:

While I have not always agreed with Kirk on everything, the thought of loosing him from our resource bank would make me cry. :(

Dave Wooten
28-Jun-2008, 11:54
zero tolerance

kev curry
28-Jun-2008, 12:01
In the interests of deepening the discussion and maximizing participation in a matter as serious as this, would the Moderating team consider asking the membership to take part in a Vote to decide the appropriate coarse of action to be taken with this sort of behavior in the future?

sincerely

kev

Kirk Gittings
28-Jun-2008, 19:01
I simply think, that you should take care of your private emails with others privately and not to take it on us all.

When someone tries to pressure changes in forum business by intimidation from outside of the forum. IMO it becomes forum business.

Good place to end this. The points made. I appreciate everyones thoughts pro and con. Lets look forward.