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Expulsion
#1
Avete,

I understand that an ultimatum has been issued to a long-standing member to either apologize in private to a moderator or be kicked off the forum. It seems the member and moderator had a private argument which turned nasty. I'm not clear on all the facts but if a member is being compelled by the board of moderators to issue a private apology it suggests that it is in reference to something that was said in private and not openly on the forum.

Now as I understand the forum rules there are no explicit restrictions on private conversations. If there were restrictions on PMs I'm not sure I would be comfortable with it. In any event, being threatened with expulsion for something that isn't against the rules seems unfair and arbitrary no matter how many warnings are given. So what are grounds for expulsion? And please don't give a brusque answer like "breaking forum rules" because I just checked them and did not find anything regarding private messages.

I can understand recourse to suspension or expulsion may be in order if a member is constantly menacing one or more moderators in private messages. But what if it just turns out to be one squabble between two enemies? If that's all it is then compelling either party to apologize on pain of expulsion for offensive (non-threatening) language used in private seems disturbing. The old forum (v2 ?) had a nice feature which allowed you to "ignore" specific members' messages, IIRC. That's gone. Still, no one can force you to read someone else's PM. Any message can be deleted without having to open it. So, why would RAT need to ban grownups who mutually choose to engage in a private squabble? There's no disruption to forum discourse.

Anyway, I'm not interested in knowing what happened in private between the two members but I would appreciate some clarification to the rules regarding private conversations. It would be to everyone's benefit so that we know where the lines are drawn.

Gratias,
~Theo
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#2
Theo,

Whilst there were certainly some very strong pms, there were also various public posts that were quickly edited out. I have also tried personally to mediate this, sadly unsuccessfully.

This has been the subject of much discussion off line, and (if I may) I suggest that we should have a joint response from the moderator team on this issue? This will take a little time, so , a post will happen later on.
[Image: wip2_r1_c1-1-1.jpg] [Image: Comitatuslogo3.jpg]


aka Paul B, moderator
http://www.romanarmy.net/auxilia.htm
Moderation in all things
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#3
I support your reasoning Theo, and yes, it all depends on the seriousness on this matter, and a democratic vote of the moderators would be a good idea. I've always hated this saying but, "It takes two to argue" and it's pretty true. If there is disturbance in public, and it's obviously causing a problem, then measures are needed to be take.

This of course, and like the rest of you who will be "prosecuting" are opinions on the matter. So we must respect the majority of opinions that are the same, while trying to please everyone Smile

Good luck on this Caballo and any others,

Sam
Samuel J.
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#4
Being thankfully unaware of the protagonists and the rights and wrongs of the situation I would say that regardless of the rules and whether by post or PM we are all grown adults and if you are sending anything phrased in a manner that you would find upsetting or derogatory yourself should you be on the recieving end then don't send it.

I appreciate the above posts points and the reasons for the forum rules but we should be able to treat each other with courtesy and understanding. I hope that the issue can be dealt with to everyones satisfaction.
Marc Byrne
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#5
Well, I think WE (the users) shouldn't forget it's a public forum, maintained by volunteers. This means we're all guest to the board admin (Jasper and Matt). They are kindly supported by many volunteers to keep the board moderated and that cost a lot of their spare time. Wouldn't it be more than reasonably to just let the moderating team decide, and we as guest, have to accept that by posting on 'their board'?

Of course we all want this wouldn't be needed, and moderators are human as well, so can make some mistakes. But I guess an argument between member and moderator/staff will always be in the staff-members favour.
________________________________________
Jvrjenivs Peregrinvs Magnvs / FEBRVARIVS
A.K.A. Jurjen Draaisma
CORBVLO and Fectio
ALA I BATAVORUM
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#6
Very true, same as in Governing of a People. It's not like the people here can start a revolution, as they have no physical power, but it's still nice to let the people decide. As in some situations things would get embarrassing for everyone to see their ugly situation if unwillingly made public. If the defendant would like a people's opinion on the matter, then you could make it public.

Anyway, this is a privately run WEBSITE, not a judicial court house, and public for people. It is up to the host solely what to do with a "guest". Like in a game, if someone is an inconvenience..boot him or her. We all want to live in peace, and we leave this responsibility to the moderators of this site, if they are human ( Wink ), then to some point they should be able to handle such a matter fairly.

I don't really see more reason to discuss this topic, as I think we all understand each other pretty well, so if this person really is a pain in the gosh darn diddly bum, then by all means, we trust you oh your Lordship, to do what's necessary to this hoodlum!

Respectfully, Sam.
Samuel J.
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#7
Quote:This has been the subject of much discussion off line, and (if I may) I suggest that we should have a joint response from the moderator team on this issue? This will take a little time, so , a post will happen later on.
Thank you but I doubt that's necessary, Caballo, and I won't ask for such a response. I just wanted some reassurance that a member won't be punished for some perceived or explicit personal insult to a moderator in a non-public setting. If the board, maybe including the administrators, feels a member is being recalcitrant in noncompliance with forum rules then I will trust their collective judgement to make a decision to expel that member.

Quote:Well, I think WE (the users) shouldn't forget it's a public forum, maintained by volunteers. This means we're all guest to the board admin (Jasper and Matt).
So true. If the moderator happens to be an admin then that's a different matter.

Quote:They are kindly supported by many volunteers to keep the board moderated and that cost a lot of their spare time. Wouldn't it be more than reasonably to just let the moderating team decide, and we as guest, have to accept that by posting on 'their board'?
For now that might be more than reasonable. But I don't know what the current policy or procedure is regarding expulsion. Does the admin get the final say? The current crop of moderators may be trustworthy enough to make those decisions on their own but they won't be around forever. Future moderators may not be as objective.

I would hope that long-standing contributors are more carefully considered when making a decision. Some newbie or lurker who makes an nuissance of himself wouldn't warrant the same consideration, IMO.

Having said that I agree that moderators give a lot of their spare time to police the forum and that it is a thankless job. People would rather have fun interacting with fellow members in lively discussions rather than clamp down on infractions. So, I would thank all the moderators for their efforts in keeping RAT a civil and entertaining forum to visit.

~Theo
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#8
Quote: Does the admin get the final say?
Yes. Jasper is the only one with banning powers.
Quote:Having said that I agree that moderators give a lot of their spare time to police the forum and that it is a thankless job. People would rather have fun interacting with fellow members in lively discussions rather than clamp down on infractions. So, I would thank all the moderators for their efforts in keeping RAT a civil and entertaining forum to visit.
Thanks Theo, much appreciated.
_________________________________
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#9
Quote:but we should be able to treat each other with courtesy and understanding.
Should. Yes. But unfortunately...some do not. It's not that the moderators set themselves up to be all lordish or anything. Really, you'd have to be in on some of the long conversations to understand fully how much we try NOT to be bossy. But if you have a member who sends dozens of very aggressive messages to a moderator or two who said, "Sir, would you please self-edit your post [example] so that we don't have to edit it for you, as it violates rule number [whichever]", and in reply there is a twenty paragraph rant over freedom of speech and how the moderator staff is acting like the thought police, and how blah, blah you can't tell me what to do, I'm an adult, and so on for a week or two, well, what's a moderator for if not to moderate?

And that is not much of an exaggeration, as there have been many such cases. Sometimes it takes us long enough to make a decision that is reasonable, equitable, and not draconian that the situation defuses by itself. Other times it's necessary to take other action. It's not much fun, honest. As far as I know, there are no moderators presently on the staff who are bullies, or who enjoy telling the members to clean up their act. As was said above, we SHOULD all be able to conduct ourselves like ladies and gentlemen, but that's not always the way things go.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
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#10
Regarding the topic at hand, I’m not going to say anything. I don’t know what happened, and it’s not my place to make any ill-informed comments. It’s the moderators’ and administrators’ job to handle it.

But I did want to mention something about what Jurjen said:

Quote: This means we're all guest to the board admin (Jasper and Matt). Wouldn't it be more than reasonably to just let the moderating team decide, and we as guest, have to accept that by posting on 'their board'?

I wholeheartedly agree with the meaning behind what he says, but I’m going to argue a bit with his terminology. Wink

I don’t think it is a good idea for us regular guys to consider ourselves as “guests” to the board. I believe it would be better if we were guided as if we had an “ownership interest” in RAT.

What I mean is that what we do here has a bearing on the success or failure of the site. We should behave as if we were responsible for the success of RAT, because in a large sense we are. It is our discussions, our ideas, that make it such a great place. If we act as if it was simply a place to visit as guests we will treat it worse than if it were our own. We should take pride in what we do right and try to fix what we do wrong, and not sit back and expect the “owners” to do it alone.

Of course, we also have to recognise our role here, like I mentioned at the very beginning. The administrators are the Emperors, the moderators the Senate, and us regular guys the Citizens. We should act like we are part of the res publica, but not try to usurp positions that aren’t ours.
David J. Cord
http://www.davidcord.com
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#11
That is a very good point. We are all partners in the success of RAT.

Outside RAT (is there such a thing), I worked in a large partnership for four years, and the ethos was and is very important to the success overall. Occasionally, we had to ask a partner to resign the partnership- and it was always a painful process, and one that we agonised over.

I like the idea of us all being partners in RAT's success. To make it work, as in an orchestra, some of us have different roles , and we need a conductor. But we are not talking about a hierarchy here, but a partnership working towards a shared aim and interest.
[Image: wip2_r1_c1-1-1.jpg] [Image: Comitatuslogo3.jpg]


aka Paul B, moderator
http://www.romanarmy.net/auxilia.htm
Moderation in all things
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#12
Quote: This means we're all guest to the board admin (Jasper and Matt). Wouldn't it be more than reasonably to just let the moderating team decide, and we as guest, have to accept that by posting on 'their board'?
Quote:I wholeheartedly agree with the meaning behind what he says, but I’m going to argue a bit with his terminology. Wink
I don’t think it is a good idea for us regular guys to consider ourselves as “guests” to the board. I believe it would be better if we were guided as if we had an “ownership interest” in RAT.
I see your point, but it's a very difficult one at the same time. Other members expressed a wish that the longer one was on board, the more 'protected' they wished to be. Other members even expressed a strong feeling of having certain rights of free speech, denying the right of moderators to alter what they wrote. That's of course the hard part, and that's why I like the idea of everyone (mods included) being 'guests' (for want of a better word) on this forum, without any 'citizen rights' - in the end it's the admin who can decide anything.

But at the same time, the 'partnership' is also a main point. All of us make this forum what it is - perhaps better worded as 'civic duties'? We don't make the rules (but sometimes we can influence them), but by making it a working partnership, the whole forum benefits, and so do we.
_________________________________
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#13
Hy, i don't know what is the reason and who was the focus.
I wish all members, all people will be peacefull. I enjoy really to be here on the "Roman-forum" because the LH of the Romans is interesting and nice, too (i am doing the continetal Celts of the 1. cent. BC). I like to excgange the experiances, the knowledge, the infos with the other reenactors around the world, really like it.
But i was in the past in strange situation, i was in conflicts with some good members in some other forums, i don't know why, what was the reason but it was a big misstake. It was bad, really bad time, it wasn't be ok. The fact is, that at the beginning i can say for me, i was really beginner, really confused and "out" of the "LH-way, LH-rules." I was frustrated very much (i was beginner, that is only 2 or 3 years ago. 2008/9!). At the time now i am good friend with the same members, i like their LH-impressions, i like the LH. I don't know, what is the reason by this "confused members" of the RAT, why are they "agressive" .... but sure it is not ok to be agressive and bad to the others.
I agree - the admins and mods have hard job!
The internet forums are medias, everybody can to see and to read all textes. That's very important point! And another point is, that the LH is important point, too. We all are doing LH, are part of the "LH-familly," it is very good, that: the Roman, Greek, Thracian, Dacian, German, Celtic, Scythian, Persian, etc.... reenactors are in peace, can talk and write here on board. We all can teach us of eachother, can excange our impressions and experiances here.
So, please, be good and kind and enjoy the forum-topic!
It is very good to have forum-media, we can get this way much knowledge and to share it with the others around the world, we are better connected everywhere.
So gentlemens, please, be good person, take it easy, be good.

Joze
I like LH
______________
http://www.alauni.at/ (member)
http://www.kelten.biz/ (my HP on German)
http://www.kelti-living-history.com/ (my HP on Slovenian)
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#14
awww Joze!!! You just stirred up all the female members by leaving out Gentlewomen!!! Wink

I agree Joze, and I'm sure things with you were a misunderstanding. People who you were in contact with obviously weren't patient and helping as our members here as it seems, if I may say so.

Like it, live it, love it baby~~~ this is RAT territory!

Sam
Samuel J.
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#15
Being one of the long time members, I have been thinking of how best to characterize RAT, and what comes to mind is the similarity with the literary salons of Paris and similar semi-private gatherings of experts and those interested in learning. These seem to have been very civilized and driven by a code of conduct that tended to keep order. Some might prefer the old west saloon way of life with two fists keeping order, but I dont think that promotes anything beyond bullying and attempts at in your face intimidation. I prefer being a guest at a salon to duking it out to keep my barstool in a saloon.
Richard Campbell
Legio XX - Alexandria, Virginia
RAT member #6?
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