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Thread: What's happened with moderators since my last 2007 presence here?

  1. #1

    What's happened with moderators since my last 2007 presence here?

    I've been away for a few years and just now logged back in. So I've been poking around to see what I've been missing for all these years. While most is still good old same, I came across this thread

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...n-Effect/page1

    which ultimately I have found disturbing. Perhaps that's been the case of recent, but the attitude shown by some (moderators not excluded) during this thread was quite contrary to thread's intent.

    Let me first say, that I have always appreciated the existence of the LF forum , the huge financial and personal effort that's been needed daily to support it, and all the personal compromises moderators have to endure to do their job. And I have no issue with what the first post stated in the thread. However, what I question is some resposnses, including from moderators themselves, that to me verge on calling for a ban. Here is why:

    Kevin Kolosky made a remark at one point, that forum may not be all it could be given the strict adherence to forum guidelines, which is decided upon by the few volunteering moderators, and that alone could stiffen discussions. He further went to state that, if the forum is not all one expects, then there are technologies these days to start their own. This was quite immediately struck by several replies from Sal Santamaura, which ultimately ended with

    "I respect your right to, within the rules and in a civil manner, post about what you think. In this case, I have no respect for what you think on the subject. I've posted my disagreement with what you think in a civil manner that's within the rules"

    Being contradictory within a single sentence is one thing, but when one openly DISRESPECTS another's right to state what they think, it isn't civil at all. In fact, it may well inflame a discussion without further warnings. Do we need to wait for such to develop further before a ban is called for? Or is it too much policing from my end?

    The thread itself was an announcement and the most unfortunate part of it was the last post by Ken Lee:

    "The moderators don't want to spend the time worrying about the 0.1 % of members who can't or won't abide by the guidelines.

    The tiny fraction of members who can't grasp the intention of the guidelines - or object to them as a matter of principle - will be (and have recently been) escorted out.

    This thread is now closed, for the same reason that it was created: to save moderator time. Now, back to... Large Format Photography.

    Warning: If you start another thread on this topic, you will be banned."


    The last (warning) part I find disrespectful to everyone who pitched in (or who may have come across this thread later on) and it suggests to me that Mr. Lee failed to comply with his own original statement. Unless, of course, we are actually being faced with the new moderation style, one that simply goes: I'm the boss because I can "escort you out".

    Now, am I being banned for bringing it up again? Is this what we want to agree with as calling a civil way of making everyone feeling at home and free to state their views? It isn't an issue for me to have politics and religions removed from the site, it most certainly is a right call in my view. But we all need to be careful with what and how we state it. The timing of our posts could prove critical too.

    I have been on many forums over the years, photography or not, but I have NEVER seen a moderator go to such an extent to show his true colors in the end. Or was it a misstep not exactly thought through before posting? Same as some who had misspoken, only later having to apologize?
    Witold
    simplest solutions are usually the most difficult ...

  2. #2
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: What's happened with moderators since my last 2007 presence here?

    You are taking this thread completely isolated from the context in which it was created. You would need to read all previous threads for about a year or two previous to really understand the genesis of it.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  3. #3

    Re: What's happened with moderators since my last 2007 presence here?

    Kirk,

    I've always appreciated how you ran moderation. I did read MOST of the thread, granted not all. However, the way it was ended by Ken is absolutely appalling. Forum's behavioral guidelines are part of taking the opinionated culture of diverse minds into a respectful direction. It CANNOT be done by suggesting that a thread on such topic can no longer be started started under the penalty of being expelled. When such statement comes from a moderator, it makes it that much worse.

    It has just been suggested to me, through PM, that I delete this thread because of, well ... the threat that ended it. I've had a few of my own mishaps while posting replies, but I usually had the guts to make it right. However, we all have opinions and when they are just that, we all need be able to see it as such and nothing more. I felt that Kevin had a valid point and came across nobody taking his side (I don't believe I'm the only one in agreement). If anything, he came under attacks, after which he tried to re-state his thoughts in somewhat different ways. But in the end, up until the end, it was about a few taking up a thread that, I also agree, should have been a locked announcement. However, it was likely to start a thread on the same topic anyways.

    In the end, I made this thread ONLY because of how it was ended. It had no place to be. As you know more than anyone, moderating a forum, especially a frequented one, takes a lot. But it is not possible to moderate effectively, if a threatening statement is made of the mentioned kind. And THAT is the actual topic I wished to bring about.
    Witold
    simplest solutions are usually the most difficult ...

  4. #4

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    Re: What's happened with moderators since my last 2007 presence here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Witold Grabiec View Post
    It has just been suggested to me, through PM, that I delete this thread ...
    You should. Most of us are tired of this topic and really don't welcome a re-discussion of something that has been discussed to death. You appear to have missed a lot over the years. Welcome back, but enjoy the forum for what it is not what you remember it to be (or wish it was).

    p.s. I got a 5-day ban for writing something that really didn't violate the rules... but I may have incited it by stating that it was "on the line". That experience did a good thing for me, which was to better understand how the slightest hint to "trolling" can escalate and cause grief to those kind enough to moderate this fine forum.

  5. #5

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    Re: What's happened with moderators since my last 2007 presence here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Witold Grabiec View Post
    ...several replies from Sal Santamaura, which ultimately ended with

    "I respect your right to, within the rules and in a civil manner, post about what you think. In this case, I have no respect for what you think on the subject. I've posted my disagreement with what you think in a civil manner that's within the rules"

    Being contradictory within a single sentence is one thing, but when one openly DISRESPECTS another's right to state what they think, it isn't civil at all...
    I suspect you fail to understand the subtle nuances of language in my post.

    Here's what it said to Kevin Kolosky, broken down into individual thoughts:

    • I respect your right to post your opinion in the thread.
    • I disagree with and have no respect for the specific opinion you've posted about actions the moderators are taking concerning the thread's subject.


    It's very important that I used bold italics for "what" and you quoted me making the larger phrase bold italics. My construction, in a very civil manner that didn't attack Kevin personally, communicated that I have no respect for and disagree with the opinion he presented about the moderators' decision. That's a very different thing than saying I don't respect him or his right to post that opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Witold Grabiec View Post
    ...I felt that Kevin had a valid point and came across nobody taking his side...
    The reason nobody came to Kevin's defense is because he insistently posted that the forum should change to be what he wants it to be, not what the owner and moderators want it to be. This forum is a private venue, where there is no freedom of speech, whether you, Kevin or anyone else thinks otherwise. If the moderators determine that certain things violate the rules and posting them will lead to being "escorted out the door," they're perfectly correct and within their rights to do that escorting. Kevin's persistent failure to accept the rules is disrespectful behavior. It was his lack of respect for the forum community and the rules that prompted me to keep posting. I stand by everything I wrote in that thread -- if Kevin, you or anyone else feels so strongly that the anarchy of an unmoderated forum is preferable, feel free to go start one of your own.

  6. #6

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    Re: What's happened with moderators since my last 2007 presence here?

    ... see what I meant?

  7. #7

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    Re: What's happened with moderators since my last 2007 presence here?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    ... see what I meant?
    No, please explain.

  8. #8

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    Re: What's happened with moderators since my last 2007 presence here?

    Not directed at you, Sal. Just refering to my generic comment that we've already been through this discussion and re-discussing it is fruitless. Or, at least, that's what I meant to imply.

  9. #9

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    Re: What's happened with moderators since my last 2007 presence here?

    p.s. It's a beutiful day up here in Northern LA... I'll be taking camera out this afternoon (probabl a speed graphic) with hopes of actually using it. Sometimes timesharing photography with baseball practice is more challenging than I can handle.

  10. #10

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    Re: What's happened with moderators since my last 2007 presence here?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    Not directed at you, Sal. Just refering to my generic comment that we've already been through this discussion and re-discussing it is fruitless. Or, at least, that's what I meant to imply.
    OK, thanks. I tried hard to step away from the keyboard. In fact, I'm the one who suggested to Witold via PM that he delete the thread. I even made that same suggestion to the moderators. But, when Kirk replied in the thread, it seemed necessary to not let Witold's misinterpretation of my posts go unanswered.

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