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Re: Re: Reputation and Accountability (tye)

by chip (Curate)
on Jun 12, 2003 at 20:14 UTC ( #265476=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Reputation and Accountability (tye)
in thread Reputation and Accountability

Okay, let's get the irrelevancies out of the way: Yes, I was in a really bad mood; a couple monks complained about my language; I didn't respond well to those complaints; and my borging was, arguably, justified. When tye borged me, he may well have done it entirely without malice, and most of those present in the CB may have approved at the time.

NONE OF THAT MATTERS NOW. NONE OF IT IS RELEVANT TO THE ISSUE AT HAND.

The issue at hand is that borging is anonymous. No one should wield anonymous power over public conversation. When such power is available, abuses may occur without anyone realizing it. Nothing in tye's story moderates the danger of anonymous action to public conversation.

Furthermore, tye's lack of malice is entirely beside the point because it is a fact of human nature that the worst of abuses are often perpetrated by misguided would-be saints. I do not suggest that tye is, or is not, such a person; I point out only that it does not matter one whit whether he is or not. Such people exist.

In the end, what should matter to the Monastery is not one little incident with a crabby guy who used swear words in an online chat. What should matter to you is that the crabby guy was silenced by someone who did not have the courage to show his (virtual) face. Yes, tye has come forward now, after I wouldn't let it die. Would he have done so if I hadn't made a stink? More to the point, can we suppose that every Power User, ever, will own up to what he does? If so, what is the objection to removing the veil of anonymity on borging?

    -- Chip Salzenberg, Free-Floating Agent of Chaos


Comment on Re: Re: Reputation and Accountability (tye)
Re^3: Reputation and Accountability (cause/effect)
by tye (Cardinal) on Jun 12, 2003 at 20:35 UTC
    Yes, tye has come forward now, after I wouldn't let it die.

    I quote myself:

    I still intended to identify myself when it seemed appropriate. I had started that process in private messages before you posted this.

    It is not true that I came forward because you wouldn't let it die. You said "after" but I still read that as "because" (it doesn't make sense to say "after something didn't happen" and mean "after in time but not as a result of", that I can tell).

    If there is an abuse, there is a system for responding to it (one part of which is posting just like you did). A guarantee that the silenced one will immediately know who the culprit was is not part of that system. I think it would be a mistake to make that a part of the system.

                    - tye
      So, to summarize, you don't find my arguments compelling. But then, that's hardly surprising, is it? After all, you've found anonymity (even temporary anonymity) useful, so of course you're loathe to surrender it.

      I'm glad you've expressed your opinion, but I hope the Monastery will disregard it.

          -- Chip Salzenberg, Free-Floating Agent of Chaos

Re: Re: Re: Reputation and Accountability (tye)
by dws (Chancellor) on Jun 12, 2003 at 20:53 UTC
    The issue at hand is that borging is anonymous. No one should wield anonymous power over public conversation.

    I disagree. First, borging isn't completely anonymous. There's a relatively small number of "community elders" who have been vested with that power and who have been charged with the responsibility to use that power wisely. From what's been said here, it seems that there's no issue with responsibility in this particular case.

    Next, in any civil society, there needs to be some mechanism for enforcing a "time out" when things get out of hand. The benefit of that enforcement coming from "the system" is, as tye has said, that it's harder to pick a fight with the system. The fight gets defused. At most, it gets turned into a meta-argument (like this one). Meta arguments are healthy, if they're undertaken civilly.

    Perlmonks remains a remarkably civil place for several reasons, among them being feedback. When somebody comes in here and acts badly, they get feedback, ranging from negative votes, to replies pointing out the error of their behavior, to verbal (CB) reminders, to borging, to banning. Without those mechanisms--particularly without an escalation path that includes temporary CB silencing--I believe this place would be a mess.

      borging isn't completely anonymous

      It is--to mortals like me. That the members of some cabal (no, not that Cabal) are accountable to each other doesn't make them individually accountable to the rest of us. Individual visibility is precisely my point.

      And if you think I'm arguing against the borging feature, then you have not been paying the slightest bit of attention. Please read carefully what I have actually written, if you care to understand.

          -- Chip Salzenberg, Free-Floating Agent of Chaos

        It is--to mortals like me. That the members of some cabal (no, not that Cabal) are accountable to each other doesn't make them individually accountable to the rest of us. Individual visibility is precisely my point.

        Yes and no. Mostly no, actually. A quick glance at the intersection of other users and power users, for instance, will give you a pretty good idea who it could have been.

        You make a great deal of noise about the lack of accountability, but I'm curious who you think the Authority Figures™ should be accountable to... the stock answer is of course "The Community" , but The Community stopped answering my /msgs a while back, so who? If we assume that the other denizens of the chatterbox are reasonable proxies (as a group) for The Community, then it seems to me that they're perfectly capable, if they disagree with a borging, of saying so without having a specific person to yell at. The only person denied this privilege (albeit temporarily) is the borgee, and that is, in fact, the whole point.

        If borging were a non-public sanction, such that it was impossible to tell if some particular person were being unfairly targetted or if the borging rate had climbed beyond what was considered acceptable by the bystanders, then I could imagine some cause for fuss or even paranoia. Though it'd still be a pretty trivial power to be abusing, IMO. As it stands, I think you're overreaching drastically.



        If God had meant us to fly, he would *never* have given us the railroads.
            --Michael Flanders

Reputation and Accountability (tye)
by boo_radley (Parson) on Jun 12, 2003 at 23:44 UTC

    Mercy, chip, you're making a liar out of me. I told you I was through with you, and yet, here I am, replying to you again. This time, however, I will expend the energy to reply thoroughly to one of your petulant missives. I should also note that these messages from you appear at such a furious pace that some mechanism to assist you must surely be employed. Indeed, it could be no other way, for surely no reasonable man, no well-and-good man, no man of solid moral character would spend such time stewing in his juices over such a regrettable tempest-in-a-teapot that he would churn out screed after vehement screed upon the topic. I say these things simply as de facto evidence -- that persons giving such importance to the issue would not be fully mentally healthy -- and not to impugn on your character.

    The issue at hand is that borging is anonymous.
    I don't think it's much of an issue for anyone except you. I don't care what rights you'd like to assign yourself at perlmonks, you don't get to know who borgs you when it happens. All I see when you suggest this as a burning issue is Chip Salzenberg, Freefloating Agent of Chaos raising a stink; a stink over non-existent rights as a pretext for complaining about his anger at being silenced.

    No one should wield anonymous power over public conversation.
    The conversation may be freely available to read, but it's certainly not open to public participation. Chatterbox is not public, chatterbox is not democratic, ok? Let us say it again : The Chatterbox is Not Democratic. In light of this apparent revelation, what is your complaint? Perlmonks is not ruled by a shadow conspiracy, but it does have a set of administrative users. Any information system (a system made of computers as well as people) will have trusted users, sysops and administrators, because without them, the system breaks down. Your actions were taken as hostile to the perlmonks system and they were squelched. Maybe you think this was fair, maybe you think this was unfair. Who cares? When an agent decided that your actions needed to be addressed, they were addressed. Who was it that actually did the deed? Who cares? Borging is the most ephemeral, least serious punishment in the perlmonks world. Your suggestion that this slap on the wrist should be subject to such auditing is without merit at all.

    In the end, what should matter to the Monastery is not one little incident with a crabby guy who used swear words in an online chat. What should matter to you is that the crabby guy was silenced by someone who did not have the courage to show his (virtual) face.
    I disagree. Neither of these things matter, regardless of how many times you say it does.

    Would (tye) have done so if I hadn't made a stink?
    Who cares? It doesn't matter.

    (C)an we suppose that every Power User, ever, will own up to what he does?
    "owning up" to actions occur when those actions are bad. In this case, the action -- borging a user -- is a service. Your statement that power users owe a confession to people whom they borg is hyperbole.

    If so, what is the objection to removing the veil of anonymity on borging?
    Simply put : it doesn't need to be removed.

      A tip of the cap for a well-composed flame. Nothing in it seems to demand substantive reply, though: "You suck" is pretty much the end of reasoning, no matter how entertainingly expressed.

          -- Chip Salzenberg, Free-Floating Agent of Chaos

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