Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)


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Barkeep

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Post Monday, 9th March 2015, 02:31

Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

Since it has come up in other threads and forums already, it seems appropriate (inevitable?) that we have a thread in S&C about posting standards.

Perhaps it is just that there are some relatively new and active members who are still getting used to the Tavern. However, concerns have been voiced about civility, groupthink, and piling on against unpopular views, and these concerns should have wider scope for discussion in an appropriate setting, so that (hopefully) they do not get pent up, and then explode in other threads.

Putting aside the question of who is/was right or wrong in a particular argument, there is the pragmatic issue of the community's standards, especially in terms of what is fair game when it comes to heated discussions. Not to sound corny, but the moderators do try to make the Tavern a good place for discussion about DCSS, and our role really is to maintain the standards (not the opinions!) that the community wants.

Personally, I think that involves not being too quick to delete posts, since there needs to be some room for (even adversarial) disagreement. However, when multiple discussions are spiraling off into flame-y territory, there seems to be a problem. I want to resolve that problem, but not in a way that simply shuts off potentially good discussions prematurely, nor in a way that enforces a tyranny of the majority. Hence the occasional soul-searching S&C thread.

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Post Monday, 9th March 2015, 03:06

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

For the record, I think it's totally okay for a forum moderator to shut down an unprovoked personal attack before it starts a fight even though there isn't a report for it yet. I realize that the moderators don't obsessively check every thread for infractions due to pure time constraints if nothing else, but it seems very strange to me that there would be an actual policy that they won't stop obviously not-okay stuff without another poster complaining about it first.

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Post Monday, 9th March 2015, 03:24

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

Of course, clear-cut terrible posts (including stuff like unprovoked personal attacks) get deleted, along with spam, etc., without reports. I'm talking about less black-and-white instances. In cases where someone posts something that *might* be offensive, I trust that people will click report if they actually do think it is a problem.

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Post Monday, 9th March 2015, 13:25

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

In the time I've been in Tavern, I've seen several posters come and go who frequently post about groupthink and the forum elite all reflexively backing each other up and picking on others. These posters often (but not always) begin their participation in their threads with open hostility, and as soon as they receive a response they begin turning the discussion entirely into an argument about what they said and who isn't being fair to them. Frequently rhetorical tricks like goalpost moving, strawmanning, and circular reasoning are used to keep the thread going and, I have to assume, keep attention on them.

I think this sort of posting is insulting, narcissistic, and even toxic, more so than outright insults, because the posts elevate who is receiving attention and positive reinforcement over advice or ideas. I know that when I see these sorts of posts, posts that use rhetoric to disguise their lack of substance or obvious logical flaws, it makes me frustrated and angry (perhaps excessively so). Sometimes I channel that into posting something productive, and sometimes I don't.

My experience is that when people post things that differ from the "common wisdom", forum regulars civilly disagree (though in some posters' cases, with considerable brusqueness) up to the point where the poster who differs starts standing on pride, starts insisting that they're right and everyone else is wrong, starts deploying rhetorical tricks to obfuscate the situation rather than bring clarity. At that point, I know I start feeling vicious, and I perceive that others do as well.

So, what's to be done about this type of posting? I'm not sure. I asked some other moderators the same question recently, and I got the sense that there's not a lot to be done. It's easy to get overzealous when the criteria for deleting a post or locking a thread is "use of problematic rhetoric", since interpretation can be subjective. I do think that we can all profit from taking a humble stance and reminding ourselves that maybe we have something to learn from others, even when they're rude to us -- and yes, I do include myself in that.

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Post Monday, 9th March 2015, 13:44

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

I suggest to stop discussing ("agree to disagree") when it's obvious that nobody is going to change their opinion. If we still need to have a common advice for new players, it can be something like "different players use different approach: [list them here], each of them has own pros and cons [list them here], try all of them and see what suits you best". I think this type of advice can be applied to most aspects of crawl and all players can agree on pros and cons, it's just importance of those pros and cons is what's causing the disagreement.

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Post Monday, 9th March 2015, 13:50

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

Kill the "Thank" system.
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Post Monday, 9th March 2015, 19:09

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

It seems to me that a party-neutral approach to avoiding such threads would be to formalize the advice oriented nature of that subforum (as I assume the lack of a general purpose gameplay discussion forum is by design). In an advice forum, you would expect to see people seeking advice asking questions and seeking clarification and people offering advice to such people primarily addressing those advice seekers. Comments in which one poster contradicts another's advice without offering an alternative or even stating a specific point of contention are not really in that spirit. Neither are long threads in which a number of posters try to get to the truth of various perceived points of contention via an adversarial process that does not produce specific advice. This is the genius of question and answer style sites: They enforce hard limits on this kind of posting. It doesn't have to be as rigid as stackexchange or whatever, but if you're looking for useful, civil discussion a good general guideline is not to directly address other advice except as an alternative view expressed as advice of your own.
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Post Monday, 9th March 2015, 19:18

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

How are new players expected to select among advices which recommend polar opposite things?
stackexchange has + and - buttons but adding a new "Unthank" button is worse than current situation for several reasons (I can list them if they are not obvious).

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Post Monday, 9th March 2015, 19:50

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

I don't think anyone is suggesting a negative thanks button...

How is a new player supposed to evaluate competing claims that arise in the debates that often occur in advice threads now? I don't think there's a satisfying answer to either question. The extent to which readers of advice forums accurately take advice offered there, discern its meaning, and so on is limited by a number of other factors and, frankly, the stakes with respect to how well advised they will be are pretty low. Generally, people will take advice that seems to ring true based on their own experience, even when that advice is wrong/bad and even when people who know better point out that it's bad/wrong.
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Post Monday, 9th March 2015, 20:23

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

Sandman25 wrote:stackexchange has + and - buttons


You can only use the - button by spending some of your own earned +, which is earned in a variety of ways; other than receiving thanks, there isn't a way to earn "+" on this site.
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Post Tuesday, 10th March 2015, 08:40

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

I would strongly advice you against introducing a "unthank" system. In my journeys through the internet, I came to the understanding that forums with a thumbs down option suffered from increased toxicity and it was often abused à la "I'm just going to downvote this person's post because I don't like that person's haircut".

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Post Tuesday, 10th March 2015, 08:54

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

I don't think thanks have any significant benefits either, though. I'd expect removing them to reduce sniping at other users and particularily posts which don't generate any discussion (if the only point of posting is to get people to reply to you, you'll be less motivated to make an effortless shitpost that would currently get more thanks than a longer one!). If the forum software allows removing thanks I'd be in favour of that. Of course it's nice to see that people agree with you, but it's most frequently used as an agreement button in heated discussions, which can be antagonising. Otherwise it's mostly to say "good joke", but since the people posting unfunny jokes don't seem to be discouraged by not getting thanks, that's not an important function.

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Barkeep

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Post Tuesday, 10th March 2015, 15:20

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

I agree that the thanks system does more harm than good. Might be worth bumping napkin to see if he'd take it out. <aside>And update phpbb.</aside>

I'm honestly in favor of shutting down (or calling out) rhetoric tricks sooner rather than later; it drowns out useful conversation, if nothing else.
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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 05:36

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

i only have like, a thousand thanks to go until i take the most-thanking spot. would you all mind holding off until then? TIA
take it easy

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Post Thursday, 12th March 2015, 15:04

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

OK, I think we have pretty much total consensus on removing thanks. Since even things like "I really need to pee, should I go pee?" generally spawn contentious arguments in Tavern, I'm gonna tell napkin to axe the Thanks when he has time.

FEAR THE AXE OF NAPKIN
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Sar

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Post Thursday, 12th March 2015, 15:16

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

what's even the point of posting if I don't get thanked

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Post Thursday, 12th March 2015, 16:44

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

Sar, I promise we will always love you here.
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Post Thursday, 12th March 2015, 20:25

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

njvack wrote:OK, I think we have pretty much total consensus on removing thanks.


A high number of thanks on a post doesn't mean the post is relevant.

Someone on this forum yelled at me about that once.

Also, how would we know which post to thank, and how do we thank it if the thank system is removed?

Thanks.
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Post Thursday, 12th March 2015, 20:29

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

Is it possible to hide thanks until the post gets 10 thanks? After that the post is shown to have 10 thanks but no thanks can be added. This approach would still emphasize good posts but without encouraging group thinking.

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Post Thursday, 12th March 2015, 20:50

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

Doesn't look like that's an option (not without editing the PHP); the only thing that would be a nice thanks improvement that isn't on, I think, would be the ability to undo your thanks.
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Post Thursday, 12th March 2015, 21:49

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

So long, and thanks for all the thanks.

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Post Thursday, 12th March 2015, 23:47

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

Indeed—the era of "thanks" is drawing to an end, and a new era is dawning.

There is still just enough time to get your last thanks in. You know, those thanks you thought you could put off 'til later? The thanks that got away? Now's your chance. Last call for thanks.

This hour marks the thanks Jubilee. And the next hour? The thankspocalypse.

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Post Thursday, 12th March 2015, 23:49

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

Sandman25 wrote:Is it possible to hide thanks until the post gets 10 thanks? After that the post is shown to have 10 thanks but no thanks can be added. This approach would still emphasize good posts but without encouraging group thinking.


No. But thank you for the suggestion

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Post Friday, 13th March 2015, 05:06

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

i stand atop the out-thanked corpse of sandman. only one more foe between me and my destiny
take it easy

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Post Friday, 13th March 2015, 05:14

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

i hoep this massive influx of thanks does not result in hyperthanksflation
take it easy

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Post Friday, 13th March 2015, 09:18

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

thanks for thanking old and really cringey posts of mine, asshole

edit: borderline suicidal after being reminded that i once posted "Gosh, this thread makes me want to play some brawny, brawly, violent Minotaurs". i bet the combination brawny + brawly made me feel really smart too

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Post Friday, 13th March 2015, 14:37

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

what's even worse is seeing the posts i decided to thank in the past. yeesh!
take it easy

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Post Friday, 13th March 2015, 16:49

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

For anyone who doesn't like thanks in the forums, I made an chrome extension to get rid of them:
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/deta ... i?hl=en-US
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Post Friday, 13th March 2015, 16:52

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

Here's the source if anyone wants to make it into a greasemonkey script or some such for non-chrome users:
  Code:
thanksnuker(document.body);
function thanksnuker(node)
{
   var buttons = document.getElementsByClassName("thanks-icon");
   while(buttons.length>0)
   {
      buttons[0].parentNode.removeChild(buttons[0]);
   }
   var thanksdisplay = document.getElementsByClassName("postbody small");
   while(thanksdisplay.length>0)
   {
      thanksdisplay[0].parentNode.removeChild(thanksdisplay[0]);
   }
}
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Post Friday, 13th March 2015, 17:40

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

Arrhythmia wrote:what's even worse is seeing the posts i decided to thank in the past. yeesh!


Ugh; my recent "thanks received" list is now all out of whack because of you. 2011?
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Post Friday, 13th March 2015, 18:43

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

Some quick looks at the thanks links suggest that either the lists are somehow out of sync with the counts or that I have no idea how thanks actually work.
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Post Friday, 13th March 2015, 18:55

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

njvack wrote:Some quick looks at the thanks links suggest that either the lists are somehow out of sync with the counts or that I have no idea how thanks actually work.


It (the list you get when you click the number after "Have Thanks") used to start with the oldest and go to the latest, which usually ended up with "newer" posts getting thanked more recently and showing up towards the end of the list, but because Arrhythmia went on a thanking spree, random "newly thanked" older posts are appearing towards the end.

I now welcome the thankpocalypse openly.

Thanks.
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Post Friday, 13th March 2015, 20:22

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

XuaXua wrote:
njvack wrote:Some quick looks at the thanks links suggest that either the lists are somehow out of sync with the counts or that I have no idea how thanks actually work.


It (the list you get when you click the number after "Have Thanks") used to start with the oldest and go to the latest, which usually ended up with "newer" posts getting thanked more recently and showing up towards the end of the list, but because Arrhythmia went on a thanking spree, random "newly thanked" older posts are appearing towards the end.

I now welcome the thankpocalypse openly.

Thanks.

im pretty sure the list is ordered by when things were thanked, not when posts were made. your welcome though!
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Post Friday, 13th March 2015, 21:02

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

It is now much more difficult to link to a particular post or to see when a post was written. Thanked posts don't include that info.

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Post Friday, 13th March 2015, 21:11

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

Arrhythmia wrote:im pretty sure the list is ordered by when things were thanked, not when posts were made.


That's what I wrote! Most recently thanked posts sort to the end of the list.
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Post Saturday, 14th March 2015, 00:34

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

realistically though the hardest part about this is that i'm having to thank a lot of really bad posts, and i'll be damned if it doesn't set my teeth on edge.

That's what I wrote! Most recently thanked posts sort to the end of the list.


sorry, thought you were asking "why are these sorting to the end?".
take it easy

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Post Saturday, 14th March 2015, 23:58

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

thank you all for making so many great posts to thank! i will miss this little button...
take it easy

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Post Sunday, 15th March 2015, 11:16

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

hey koboldlord, last chance to prove you're not a heartless robot

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Post Sunday, 15th March 2015, 14:11

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

I've never used that function here or anywhere else, and I'm not about to start now. If I don't have anything of substance to add to the conversation, I won't add to the conversation.

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Post Sunday, 15th March 2015, 17:31

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

KoboldLord wrote:I've never used that function here or anywhere else, and I'm not about to start now. If I don't have anything of substance to add to the conversation, I won't add to the conversation.


But thanks is considerable substance. That's why it's so great, you can add substance you don't have into any conversation, any time... it's like infinite bank account. How people can want to take this away, I can't understand.

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Post Sunday, 15th March 2015, 18:09

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

How the hell am I going to validate my self-worth now?
If you are offended by something I've posted, just PM me. It probably wasn't intentional.

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Post Monday, 16th March 2015, 08:17

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

Looking at the posts I thanked (or sometimes my posts that were thanked) was often a good way to find interesting things. One can even look at other users' depending on mutual tastes, and these are much better than the site search function. I don't see what's being accomplished with this removal.
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Post Monday, 16th March 2015, 15:41

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

rchandra wrote: I don't see what's being accomplished with this removal.


If it doesn't happen, it will totally screw with Arrhythmia.
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Post Monday, 16th March 2015, 21:54

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

Thanks-bait post made... just to let you all know, as has become apparent, I just threw the suggestion "out there". Y'all ran with it, and that's your choice.

I second rchandra in that I've found the "Thanks" system to be a way to identify posts of "true value", and I've also witnessed it being used to make the forum seem insular and semi-abusive (for example, when everyone thanks a diss).

Whatever happens to "thanks", I've used it more as a tool and a way to save from making non-necessary follow-up "go read so-and-so's post" and "thanks" posts.

A simple (not for development) solution might be to rename it to some sort of "recommended" post. So and so "recommends" this post. This might take a bit of the snark out of it from an interpretation standpoint. Then-again, it might not.

Double-edged sword.
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Post Tuesday, 17th March 2015, 01:01

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

To identify posts with true value you can just add all users to your ignore list except for mikee and crate

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Post Tuesday, 17th March 2015, 12:54

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

"Thank systems' work well in highly populated forums with high activity where you couldnt possibly read everything, allowing you to filter stuff based on what is considered relevant to other users (arguably works for reddit).

Here it doesn't really serve as filter, since you can feasibly keep up with stuff. It mostly makes people take sides in conversations in which they are not participating and alineate users that are new or have opinions different than the majority.

The good part about thanking systems is being able to acknowledge good posts or contributions (like if someone has made a good tile or implementation) even if you have nothing to add so that the author will know someone enjoyed it

Best of both worlds is keeping the thank system, but not making the thanking public. Only thanker and thanked should know.

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Post Tuesday, 17th March 2015, 14:40

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

XuaXua wrote:Thanks are a "Double-edged sword".


April is coming, devs...
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Post Tuesday, 17th March 2015, 22:14

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

A workable system for filtering advice posts in the current system would be to have 2 accounts, named "thanks good advice" and "thanks bad advice". These accounts would only be used for thanking posts with good advice and bad advice, respectively. The password for these accounts would be given out only to a trusted group of crawl haters to ensure accuracy. The only problem is if 10 people thank a post before either of these accounts.

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Post Wednesday, 18th March 2015, 17:13

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

Arrhythmia, please tell me you're using a script to thank every post and not doing it by hand.

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Post Wednesday, 18th March 2015, 19:21

Re: Posting/Civility Standards in Advice forum(s)

For whatever it's worth, I'm 99.99% certain that lack of civility in forum posts has approximately nothing to do with the thanks system.

FWIW even though I wrote a chrome plug in to block the thanks button, I don't think the thanks button has an impact one way or the other on forum civility.
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