Originally Posted by Tame
Wow, you put a lot of thought into something that doesn't apply.
1.) Someone choosing to close their own thread, particualrly with no reason, has never been a reason to close that topic to additional discussion. out your lawyerly mind to work and think "precedent."
I dunno, when you're dealing with a codification that isn't expressly limited in scope, it pretty much always applies, and external sources are only relevant to the extent they interpret or supplement the statutory language. The guidelines (well, them and Michael's whim) are our codified source of authority. They are new rules which are expressly intended to replace old rules, and they don't say anywhere "unless otherwise provided by prior forum practice," so it always applies and whatever was done in the past on the board can't trump it. But since our code is silent as to the propriety of immediately starting new threads on subjects that have just been closed, if you'd like to point me to an archived thread where this precise issue was addressed before, I'll be happy to take it into consideration in my reasoning. But I can say that if I were a mod, in the spirit of Michael's admonition to use common sense, I would never allow a new thread on the same subject to be started immediately after the closure of old thread for cause, but that's just common sense to me.
"Common sense" is another one of those horribly subjective terms.
2.) The thread I started was not on the exact same subject. Skylark's thread was about her personal experience. The thread I started was an extension of the path IAJ were starting down, which was about how it is determined what is offensive to different groups. By requesting that the two posts be copied forward I was actually doing what is encouraged - continuing off-topic discussions in different threads.
I dunno, if I saw a new thread titled "X continued" that was started right after a thread that appears to be on subject X was closed, I would think that's pretty suggestive that the new thread was intended as a continutation of the same subject.
3.) As every poster is responsible for what topics they choose to view, the existence of a thread on a topic they don't like can in no way be construed as an attempt to "discourage them from posting." No matter how much you torture the logic, it simply won't confess to that one.
I dunno, I think it could be construed fairly easily, although it's not entirely clear to me what it means to discourage someone from posting. Does one have to literally threaten, "If you post, I'll do [insert bad action here]?" Or would merely causing someone to feel harrassed and/or intimidated be sufficient? I think the first is an awfully stilted and narrow interpretation, and the second is probably a more natural one, but that's just me. Do you think it's too liberal? And if so, what do you think would be required to "discourage someone from posting?" Anyway, using my interpretation for the sake of discussion, if, IF
mind you, person B was doing something in the original thread that made person A feel harrassed and/or intimidated enough that person A didn't want to post anymore, that would arguably be a violation of the guidelines. So when person A closes the thread, and person B immediately starts a new thread on the same subject (I'm just inferring from the 'continued' title here), it seems to me the conditions are ripe for concluding that someone wants to continue whatever was going on before. I don't think it's beyond reach to reason that harrassment which violates the guidelines is still a violation of the guidelines if it continues to go on after the original victim has attempted to stop it by closing the thread. It merely means that closing the thread was unsuccessful at stoppping it.
4.) Disruptive posting? Please. Had I mentioned Skylark or even tried to continue a discussion regarding her personal situation, you could make a bad argument for that point, if you ignored the fact she made no mention of why she was closing the thread. Considering I did not, and in fact the conversation I was continuing was different than hers and mentioned her in know way, then again you are incorrect and no part of the TOS was violated.
Calm down, I'm not accusing you of actually violating the guidelines in any way, although I can't speak for what other people might be accusing you of. Let me remind you that I have no idea what was said or not said in the original thread, since I could see it was trouble waiting to happen from the start and stopped reading after the first post. The point I'm making isn't about what you or any other specific VB
member may have said in that thread, but about how certain mod actions could potentially fit into the scheme of rules we have to work with. I think I referred to it as "playing devil's advocate." But we do seem to agree that "disruptive posting" doesn't mean much. The danger of it is that because it doesn't mean much, it could mean almost anything. Anyway, if I were you, I wouldn't worry too much about defending yourself against accusations of disruptive posting, since it doesn't seem to be an applicable rule anymore.
5.) Insulting? The discussion of what causes offense to minority groups and why is something that is "insulting" to Skylark, so it should not be allowed? So threads that don't mention a member in any way are an attack? Is that an interpretation of the TOS you would consider reasonable?
Again, let me remind you that I have no idea what was or wasn't said, and I'm not attempting to claim that any specific thing was an insult. I'm saying if, IF there was an insult in the original thread, that would be a violation of the guideines, and I think immediately starting a new thread styled as a continuation of the old thread could be pretty easily construed as an attempt to continue a pattern of insulting posts.
Let's also review why the original thread was allegedly closed - because it was felt by some to be "too heated." Yet many reasonable members reviewing the thread could not see any reason for that statement. Even if that were the case, why would what appears to be the start of a polite discussion on a somewhat related topic be closed? The person who felt the original thread was "heated" could close her thread, and then simply walk away, considering her personal situation was not any part of the new thread.
There seems to be disagreement about whether the subject was too heated, and possibly there's also disagreement as to whether "too heated" is a valid reason for closing a thread, but if it was in fact "too heated," that seems likely to go beyond one particular member's personal situation. As to why the new thread would be closed, I dunno, maybe it's because the new thread-- and I do harp on here-- was expressly styled as a continuation of the old thread, which was allegedly too heated.
I also want to add that in my replies to Skylark in her thread, I made it abundantly clear that 1.) if she did offend anyone, it would have been by accident because by her nature she tends not to intentionally attack others, and 2.) that I believe the other person did overreact. She asked a question directly to me related to those issues, and I don't believe my answer could have been any clearer.
She posted a thread in the Heap related to a controversial issue, so I have no idea why she should have been surprised that some viewed the matter differently than her. However, she was never, ever attacked.
What this comes down to is that a couple of moderators over stepped their bounds to protect one of their group, and unfairly used their powers to stifle discussion. When given the opportunity to address the matter or answer questions, they ignored the situation, which simply made it worse.
In the past, I had been critical of certain mods, but in a recent thread I noted I thought some of the same ones I had been critical of were making a better effort to act without bias. It is becoming evident now that I was wrong (happens twice a year - take note!), and that nothing had changed. When they felt threatened, for whatever reason, the clique reacted as they had in the past.
I'm not so sure I agree, not necessarily. Although I admit it doesn't look great, there appears to be a probably conflict of interest, and your answer appears right now to be the most likely answer, I can still allow for the possibility that it was done out of principle, because closing the new thread is exactly what I would have done as a mod, because as I mentioned above, it's common sense to me that you don't permit a new thread to be immediately started on the same subject when the previous one has gone south.