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6:00 AM
Now, maybe you didn't have any idea the way people saw things, but it was still a huge problem regardless.
 
@doppelgreener It never occurred to us that that was even a thing that made sense to be confused about, because they were the rules under which recs were allowed at all. Which is what the meta linked in all those banners said.
 
@SevenSidedDie Not to the rest of us! When's the last time tool-recs got a banner pointing to the game rec rules? It didn't even have a banner. Heck, I referred to the game-rec rules out of convenience in like one meta and you took that as implication "well, now this is a type of game-rec" or something.
 
@doppelgreener <-- Basically what I'm saying is that this was a mistake, and a foreseeable one. That it wasn't foreseen is a problem; that the attitude seems to have been and to be that it was unforeseeable is another problem.
 
@doppelgreener Point of order for that last sentence: the causal event goes the other way.
 
@SevenSidedDie See, this makes a lot of sense. But "tagging is a folksonomy" and other rules bend and change a lot. So it also makes sense to not be confident such an old meta was still the unmodified law of the land.
 
6:02 AM
@BESW Right, but we're being asked to avoid making a mistake that was, at the time, nigh impossible to even know was possible to make. It's not much of a learning opportunity, put that way, right?
 
@BESW (That, and I suspect a lot of people had read the meta at some time in the past but had not remembered that particular point.)
 
All of this was a huge thing where the mods were seeing "game recommendation" and reading "all recommendations", and many users were seeing "game recommendation" and reading "", and then things got really bad when the mods were insisting at users "hey, you said this thing about all recommendations, what's the problem here"
@SevenSidedDie You can stop and listen to your freakin' users when they're yelling at you something's wrong, instead of telling them over and over to shut it.
[allows frustration out in that message]
 
@doppelgreener ... which I guess brings up another point that's a lot easier to foresee: if you're telling people what it is they said, and they disagree, stop immediately and reorient things. That's a pretty simple process to follow.
 
And dismissing them. I have legitimately never had a worse experience on here than in that meta. I can see why now, you had no idea what I was even trying to communicate to you could have been a thing.
@NathanTuggy Yes! This!
 
@SevenSidedDie Oh, I have no interest in supporting the "don't make mistakes the first time" thing. I'm a firm believer that almost all endeavours should follow the cycle of "research, plan, act, reflect, research and plan again." I will say that it was super frustrating to be--what Greener just said. This whole "you can always make a meta about a problem" thing is harder to swallow at face value because of that recent history.
 
6:05 AM
@doppelgreener Not when it's buried under layers and effectively invisible. What we encountered, and responded to, was an assertion that something was fact. We responded in kind, correcting the point of fact. Then it went weird, because "something is wrong" was buried under that, layers down.
 
@BESW Well, it's definitely an iterative process. Mistakes will be made, but just kind of skipping to "oh well we got this fixed this time coincidentally" was disconcerting.
 
We field a lot of misunderstanding on meta. Which ones have landmines buried under them and which are exactly what they look like is not in our ability to predict.
 
@BESW Yeah, pretty much. Mxyzplk was complaining above that everyone's talking about there being issues but not saying what they were. We're not saying what they are because all recent historical signals are that it's not like the mods will do anything but dismiss it.
 
@doppelgreener ... that, and a lot of the complaints are nothing more than "don't dismiss things".
 
And, you know, amalgamate is into a crowd of people who just feel like being grouchy.
 
6:08 AM
@doppelgreener There's a difference between "dismiss" and "we don't accept that we could have known otherwise at the time." We're not real interested in accepting blame.
Basically, blame is a terrible way to start a discussion with someone you want anything from.
 
@SevenSidedDie It's OK to be wrong!
 
@SevenSidedDie Man, I don't even know how to begin to respond to that.
 
It's less OK to stay wrong, though.
and it's awkward when it looks like you're staying wrong but you've privately resolved not to.
 
I'm not blaming you. But when you banned every recommendation over a discussion many people misunderstood, and backed that up with your diamond mod powers, if you interpret me saying "you shouldn't have done it like that", if you want to interpret that as blame, go right ahead.
 
So yes, please do admit blame and we'll try to be decent human beings and not crucify you for it. You're human. Mistakes can be forgiven and moved on from.
 
6:10 AM
@NathanTuggy This is where it gets confusing though. We were right. We stayed the course, and the course was correct.
 
@SevenSidedDie You were right for the wrong reasons. You asserted things that weren't true (that everyone had, in fact, agreed on this; they only agreed later), and that's not cool.
 
What? Right about what? Wrong about what?
What course? What correctness? How?
 
@NathanTuggy We asserted… No, I asserted, that everyone had agreed that the rules didn't work. That was correct. We acted on that, based on the structural role of those rules in the site, and the result of their removal. That was also right, and then ratified as right later.
 
Being completely certain that you were right and don't need to take responsibility, in this and many other circumstances, is one of the major impediments to this discussion ever being productive.
2
 
@Pixie Yes this.
 
6:13 AM
@SevenSidedDie When someone isn't informed (for whatever reason) of what they're agreeing to, that's wrong.
 
@Pixie Unpack the responsibility thing? Because acting on certainty and knowledge of how the site's rules work was using the responsibility of a mod.
 
@SevenSidedDie And handing someone a large sheaf of papers and telling them to sign at the bottom is a fairly decent way to avoid truly informed consent. "Oh it's all there in the EULA you agreed to"
 
@SevenSidedDie The mod team was right about the tag. The mod team handled its interaction with the community over implementing that decision very poorly.
 
It's not easy to summarize all the things you think should be obvious... but it is possible.
 
@BESW This. Absolutely this.
 
6:15 AM
@BESW Yes.
And given how that unfolded, there wasn't really a way to respond otherwise, given what information we had.
 
@BESW It was also not right about the way it extended its interpretation of the discussion and banned everything without having a discussion about that the rest of the community could participate in and understand on the same level. (Remembering that we don't all agree "game recs" means "all recs".) That is no level of "right" unless you want to self-justify.
That is not something you knew about until afterwards. It doesn't make it not a problem that it happened.
It's certainly a problem for all of us.
 
That's what this is about for me: The mod team repeatedly insisted that the citizens had knowingly made a decision and the mods were enacting it, citing posts made by citizens who were right there saying they felt otherwise. When the mods were called out on this, the sarcasm and condescension came into play.
2
 
@doppelgreener No, I won't accept that that was in error. The rules that were eliminated were the only reason recs existed. That was a historical fact, and one that was clear to us. That it wasn't clear to others came as a shock.
 
@SevenSidedDie You're still trying to say "we didn't do anything wrong", but it's OK to admit that you made a mistake based on misunderstandings.
 
@SevenSidedDie Well then. [gestures] Here's where part of the problem is.
@BESW Agreed.
 
6:18 AM
Now the line seems to be "sometimes we take action when there's no clear plan that comes out of meta" but that's... not what was being said at the time.
 
@doppelgreener I'm not going to sign onto a historical revision.
 
I would have been quite content if the mods had simply said "Based on your input, we've made this choice."
Instead, the mods insisted we'd made the choice.
 
@BESW I think you may be in the minority there.
 
@SevenSidedDie I'm used to that.
 
@BESW The community did choose to eliminate the rules permitting recs though.
 
6:20 AM
I could foresee things going really well in an alternate timeline where the mods say: "Based on your input, we're deciding do to this. Is that OK?" To which we can say "Uh, that's not what we asked for, so no" or "That's not what we asked for, but sure, that's fine."
@SevenSidedDie That's the thing: there's an implication there a lot of us never understood, that these were the rules "permitting recs", when they appear to be the rules "permitting game recs".
 
@doppelgreener And this seems to be a case of fine print.
 
@doppelgreener Neither of which would have been sensible moderation. "These rules that don't work, are you OK with us eliminating them wholesale, or should we let them stay around, broken, for other things?" Assuming we were aware others were making that distinction, of course.
 
@SevenSidedDie And here we go in circles again. You misinterpreted the wishes of the community and responded poorly when it told you this. "But you decided this" will not help you.
 
@SevenSidedDie I'm not really sure I agree with that. What was decided was that the rules weren't being followed.
Please note, when it's RAW where we agree the rules of the tag aren't being followed, the response isn't "BURN IT WITH FIRE!"
The response is "Huh. That needs to change, what can we do?"
 
@SevenSidedDie So, when we say "yes, remove game-recs" and you take that and say "well, we'll remove them, but they're also the rules for all recs, so we'll remove all of those too," it's not reasonable to go back to us and say "okay, you voluntarily and knowingly told us to put all recs off topic." Yes, we removed the rules that support all recs. We didn't remove them knowing it was the rules that permitted all recs.
 
6:23 AM
@Pixie We responded poorly when we were told that tool recs were still on topic. Our experience of that: this assertion of fact is patently wrong, uh, weird. Let's just say that's wrong?
 
There's a certain twisting of words and intentions necessary to move from "yes, game recs aren't working, remove them" to "the community wanted all recs gone and told us so".
 
@BESW The RAW tag doesn't have rules. That's part of the problem: that some people think it has rules.
 
@SevenSidedDie Oh, but it does. It has the rules all tags follow, and that includes needing to be used within a certain narrowness which it's not getting right now.
 
@doppelgreener Again, never occurred to us. Was always crystal-clear that all recs were subsets game recs (recommendations of or for use with games), and the tagging was just being non-redundant.
 
@SevenSidedDie That came later. First came wait, I'm confused and let's look at this again.
 
6:25 AM
@BESW Oh, yes, absolutely. It doesn't have special rules, I should have said.
@doppelgreener Now that's an unfair attribution of motives.
If our motives were to twist things, we wouldn't be having this conversation where I try to explain why each step we took was reasonable from the information we had.
 
@SevenSidedDie Okay. You're still forgetting the part where you misinterpreted the wishes of the community and responded badly when it told you that. You didn't realize at the time. That's fine. But you were always crystal-clear..? I have to disagree. You are putting the ball entirely in the community's court without stopping to consider whether you effectively communicated what you needed to.
 
@SevenSidedDie I'm not insinuating malevolence. I'm not sure how to clarify here, except to say "don't take twisting to mean evil, take twisting to mean profoundly poor cognitive processing of the issue"
meaning not knowing better, misunderstanding, whatever you want, I can't find the words right now.
@SevenSidedDie No, you were not crystal clear about that. And the tagging, see: folksonomy. There's no hierarchy.
 
@Pixie Sorry, by crystal-clear, I mean in our understanding of the aegis under which all recs were permitted. I didn't meant to imply crystal-clear in communicating that, since we didn't, since we thought that was well-known. It's really hard to notice when a community loses institutional knowledge.
 
@SevenSidedDie Right. Yes. Crystal clear understanding, but not the understanding a lot of the rest of the community had.
We had a very different crystal clear understanding.
Possibly several different crystal clear understandings.
 
6:30 AM
@doppelgreener Yes. It was well-known when the policy was made. How were we to know that suddenly, the community didn't know what it used to know, about something so integral to the issue at hand?
 
I know the poster of this question has a history of histrionics, but that doesn't make his well-upvoted question any more dismissible by attacking his actions. This is the kind of thing that makes us distrust the sincerity of saying "you can post in meta if you have a problem."
 
By... listening more.
 
@SevenSidedDie The observation that new users, present and future, do not gain institutional knowledge by magic, but by linking to explanations as needed would, I think, have done the job.
 
@SevenSidedDie I don't know, but it sure could've been handled better after the fact, by, say, going "whoops, sorry" or "okay, let's back up and have this discussion again", or both or just in general not responding to everything with "welp, you decided this, what's your problem" and then never saying anything further. You never completed the issue with us, you never re-addressed it, you just swept aside and hoped it'd never rear its head again. That's what happens when you do that.
"You" here can mean you personally or the mod team or both.
 
@doppelgreener This, too.
 
6:33 AM
@NathanTuggy I'm not sure how we could have linked more; the game-rec policy was the most widely linked policy at the time.
@doppelgreener I keep coming back to this question when you say "this was never finished": Did the rules work?
 
@SevenSidedDie @NathanTuggy I think this was not an issue that needed more links to anything. It was an issue that someone at some point needed to have said "also by the way when we mean game-recs we mean all of the recs."
@SevenSidedDie You do realise we're talking about a bigger issue than "oh no, game recs are off topic" right?
 
Hmm, yeah, really more summarizing would have been more effective I guess.
 
@doppelgreener No.
 
Please, please, please realize that, then.
It's been said more than once.
 
@Pixie Somebody needs to say it, isntead of "you did this thing wrong". Because yeah, I'm going to respond to that instead.
 
6:35 AM
@SevenSidedDie This is about nothing short of how do we policy. Yes it is that general.
 
@SevenSidedDie We're talking about "there was a big policy event in which the moderators dismissed all of our concerns and handled the whole thing pretty badly and none of it has ever been resolved very well and we're still having trouble being listened to and not dismissed just like that time."
@NathanTuggy Or, like, talk to the mods about anything to do with site concerns really.
 
Generally applicable, that is; there are a lot of specific points, but that's the scope.
 
@NathanTuggy We do policy by talking about it on meta. I know you didn't like that answer before, so I'm sorry I'm restating it. But that's the alpha and omega.
@doppelgreener Okay, again: how was it not resolved? Did the rules work?
 
@SevenSidedDie That's not the resolution he means.
 
@SevenSidedDie And if "talking on meta" is literally the entirety of the process... yeah, I'm asking for more. I'd like more checklists, or more reading of books, or whatever.
 
6:37 AM
@SevenSidedDie So, do you see how answers like this make this a ridiculous statement? Sure, sometimes there's discussions on meta. And sometimes the mods do that.
 
@SevenSidedDie .......... the game rec rules is not the issue that was not resolved. The moderator's entire interpersonal interaction with the community and their entire handling and communication and the effects it had on the community is not resolved.
 
@Miniman Clearly, but he keeps bringing up our mistake in applying the results of "no, the rules do not work."
 
@SevenSidedDie Because the mistake was not the rules.
 
@NathanTuggy Okay. You're welcome to propose something on meta about that.
I don't mean that sarcastically or passive-aggressively either. Please do, if you have something to offer, bring it to the site. It's not going to happen by yelling at us for not doing whatever you're picturing.
 
@doppelgreener And there's only so many times we can express this before I have to conclude that we're still not being listened to. How do you communicate to someone that you'd like them to listen when it still seems like they're not listening? I've been trying to figure that out for over an hour now. That isn't passive-aggressive, either. I am really at a loss. I do not know what to do.
 
6:42 AM
@SevenSidedDie So, in the future, the mods will make a greater effort to not be passive-aggressive or sarcastic, or use ad hominem attacks, or simply say the same thing over and over instead of trying to figure out why it's not connecting, or say there's a cutoff point for the number of people with a concern below which it's not important?
 
@Pixie I couldn't care less about a single tag either, I would say the bigger problem is that a disagreement over a single tag has most obviously either created or exposed a bigger issue
 
@doppelgreener Yes, the communication went poorly. I've asked what you wanted to be done about that, either in the fixed past or the changeable future, but didn't get much other than being more diplomatic. If that didn't resolve it, what's left to resolve wasn't expressed.
 
@SevenSidedDie Ok, so, to be more specific, the resolution he (and others) is looking for is some sort of acknowledgment or admission that the whole issue was not perfectly handled. Personally, I find it vanishingly difficult to care about recs, and was ecstatic to see them go, but even I have to admit that I had no idea that all recs were going rather than just game-recs.
 
Without a reassurance of that effort... [shrug] "propose it on meta" is currently roughly equivalent to "go sit on a sharp stick."
 
@Miniman No, it wasn't perfectly handled. Perfect isn't possible. We did our best.
 
6:45 AM
@BESW With that said, I think it would be hypocritical of me to ask the mods to do something (accept blame) that they expect based on some past experience to be poorly received if I'm not willing to do something similarly likely to be futile (post several ideas on meta for policy process improvements).
So, I'll see if I can write that up tomorrow or the next day.
 
@BESW I'm sorry, but if people want to completely throw out their confidence in even the possibility that the infrastructure of the site is worth even trying to use, they've already given up and we're not going to go chasing after them.
 
... incidentally, yes, "accept blame" is going to be one of the points.
@SevenSidedDie Uh, and the recent unanimous mod refusal to engage with meta conflict resolution...?
 
@SevenSidedDie You did do your best. When my best causes tremendous damage, and I recognise what the damage is, I apologise for it to the people who it's hurt and acknowledge the damage I did, and offer a way for it to not happen again, and listen out for them to say what they have to say.
 
@NathanTuggy Only blame, no. We're doing a practical job here. We want pragmatic, actionable things. "Feel bad" is not a request we have spoons to honour.
 
@SevenSidedDie I know that. I'm not taking sides here, and I haven't joined in on this discussion much at all for a whole host of reasons. Just trying to facilitate communication where I see things that clearly aren't being communicated.
 
6:47 AM
@SevenSidedDie We have confidence in the infrastructure. We have little confidence the infrastructure is worth using to communicate certain issues to the mod team.
 
@SevenSidedDie It's not about feeling bad; it's about openly stating things that you agree with people about, even if those make you feel bad.
But hey, more elaboration in the post(s)
 
@doppelgreener On that note, given that everyone seems to agree that recs should be off-topic, I suspect SSD is likely to want to know exactly what damage was caused.
 
@NathanTuggy Wait. How does "we don't think this will be effective, and we're not interested in throwing mud ourselves, so we won't" equate to us deciding to ignore all metas forever?
 
@SevenSidedDie I dunno about "all metas forever", but that specific attempt at low-emotion, productive resolution, yes.
 
@Miniman Yes.
 
6:50 AM
@SevenSidedDie Okay, that's what I just told you.
 
You may have reasonably thought it would come to nothing. But if that sincere post from previously unheard users trying to pour oil on troubled waters was going to come to nothing, why would any other possible meta do the job?
 
@NathanTuggy Do you think our principled "We're not comfortable throwing mud, and not sure what else this will result in" is objectionable?
 
I don't "want" to lose confidence in the mods' listening to meta proposals.
But the damage from the game-recs thing and other dramas is exactly that.
The mods respond to questions, challenges, and proposals erratically and often (not always, not even the majority of the time, but enough that it's confidence-shaking) inappropriately.
 
@BESW We've learned that if we come to the mod team with sincere concerns, they will be entirely not listened to, and this and this and this will happen.
 
@SevenSidedDie Yes; that's not open communication. Being unable to discuss public faults publicly is a very serious problem.
 
6:52 AM
We'll be treated like crap and our concerns will be wholly ignored.
 
@BESW If we'd made the wrong decision, I would understand how the game-recs thing did damage better. Yes, we ignore and dismissed objections to us implementing a principled outcome of a meta.
 
@SevenSidedDie Have you seen the stuff I've been linking?
Personal attacks?
Dismissing things not because of their content but because there's too few people worried, or because one person misbehaved?
If the mods behaved as you describe, I'd be happier and more confident. Unfortunately...
 
@BESW In particular, apparently assuming that everyone with the same concern will descend to the lowest denominator is wrong, and rather insulting.
 
@NathanTuggy Or letting one person's tantrum spoil the chances for a rational discussion, I'm not always sure which it is.
 
@NathanTuggy If someone is descended somewhere unfortunate, they're not a good spokesperson for bringing an issue to the mods, no. Is that odd?
 
6:55 AM
@SevenSidedDie ...what does that have to do with tarring others with the same brush?
 
@BESW And these are things that have been said more than once by now.
 
@BESW We have to respond to the actual person though.
 
@SevenSidedDie The fear expressed by mods in the "Use our words" meta was that, because some users had previously said things badly, all future attempts on meta to discuss these things would descend into terrible behavior.
 
@SevenSidedDie Great, sure. But at the cost of ignoring the concern which is obviously shared by others?
 
@NathanTuggy What? No.
 
6:56 AM
@SevenSidedDie You don't have to respond to them by undermining the valid concern though!
 
@SevenSidedDie Whether you meant "the problem user(s) will of course post again and get upvoted", or whether you meant "everyone will say things the way they do" was not at all clear.
 
Sorry, that was out of line.
 
@BESW Wait, how is that odd? If everyone rallies behind a poorly-spoken, critical fumble of a diplomatic envoy, we're supposed to do… what?
 
4 hours ago, by Pixie
It needs to be acknowledged that we're not just upset about nothing, even in the face of users with bones to pick. They exist, and not letting the conversation devolve into petty bone-picking is important. It makes everything that much harder. But that doesn't mean there are no valid concerns. It's all too easy to point at one person being unreasonable and conclude that everyone is. Even those being unreasonable got to that point in a specific context.
 
Tbh, having watched something similar play out on Puzzling, I suspect the only way in which this will be resolved is if a higher power descends - we need someone everyone will listen to.
 
6:58 AM
Either way, you expressed that nothing good would come of it and you were already determined to avoid the discussion, because of previous actions.
 
@SevenSidedDie Uh, listen to his message for what it's worth, not for what the person saying it is worth.
 
@SevenSidedDie Ah, so we'll just clutter up the meta with duplicates so the conversation is fragmented, yes?
 
@doppelgreener Meta is where we deal with issues, brought up by individuals. We can't separate them.
 
@BESW Well, that already happened.
 
@Miniman I try not to help.
 
7:00 AM
@SevenSidedDie A post and the individual who posted it are, on SE, always treated differently.
 
@BESW Sigh. You're oddly unreasonable suddenly. Yes. Do that. If someone is being unspeakably terrible, don't hitch your wagon to them if you want to be heard. Yes.
 
@SevenSidedDie Yes you can. When Tritium21 comes to you with an issue that gets heftily upvoted (by people who are not Tritium21), you can go "Hey, maybe we think this Tritium21 person can't be taken seriously, but other people seem to agree with what he has to say." Specifically, +11/-1 on that question he raised by last count.
 
@SevenSidedDie If someone agrees with most of what someone says (but not necessarily the entire context of everything that individual has ever said and done), they upvote that post.
 
@NathanTuggy Yes. "This question is useful." I've downvoted my fair share of Tritium's posts, but when I upvote one, that's my way of showing I share that concern. I don't go raising a second question mentioning the same thing: we respond to that by closing as duplicate, and it's discouraged, so I upvote.
 
@NathanTuggy People bring context. Someone who was being unconstructively snippy in comments, continuing to do so in a meta question, is context.
 
7:01 AM
So, is the snippiness apparent to any onlooker, or only those who are aware of the subtext?
 
Obviously mods can act like this when responding to poor emissaries, so it'd be nice to see it without doing this first.
 
If the latter, assume the community is largely responding to the text, not the subtext.
 
@BESW Same link both times.
@BESW I really don't think that previous edit was out of line. This really does sound like a matter of "If the messenger is someone we'd ignore, the whole message is ignored, even if it happens to come with a lot of apparent support by people who aren't the messenger."
 
@SevenSidedDie Put another way, trust the community to vote on posts, not people, yes, even on meta.
 
And apparently other people need to post the same message for it to be heard, unless they're also people who'd be ignored, until we find the right messenger, but that's not the done thing here because that's post duplication and we'd all respond to it as such.
Ignoring a supported message on meta because of who posted it, rather than the core of the message itself, is not appropriate.
 
7:05 AM
@doppelgreener Ignore? No. If the messenger is bringing "I have an unconstructive gripe, that you have heard before in comments" we're going to respond to that. We don't know why others are voting. They should maybe say.
@doppelgreener It wouldn't be the same message.
 
@SevenSidedDie Ummm. It feels like you're reading some alternate-universe version of the question.
 
@SevenSidedDie We do say. You know how we talk about vote tooltips all the time, how we don't comment on a downvote because the downvote already says "this isn't useful" and a comment isn't needed? Same thing here.
 
@BESW This is uncharitable, because I'm pretty sure you don't mean this, but I'm thoroughly confused because I can't figure out what else you mean, so to illustrate: you want us to speak with our own voice, but you don't want us to speak with our own voices?
 
(This is the question presently being discussed, to keep people in the loop. It was raised by Tritium21 who has, well, a good way to put it is a history of histrionics‌​.)
 
@SevenSidedDie I believe he means "answer the question square on, politely and thoroughly, even if the asker is not necessarily reliable."
 
7:08 AM
@SevenSidedDie You answered the question. Mxy said that the person who asked it was a jerk and thus didn't deserve an answer.
While that might be 'speaking with your own voice' on both counts, what I'm focused on is the bit where you, personally, are clearly able to deal with a reasonable question from an unreasonable person--which you are now in chat saying should not be expected of you.
I'm not saying anything about "your own voice." That'd be changing the subject.
 
@BESW Mxyzplk said that their contribution was limited to unconstructive comments instead of doing something constructive. Where is the "you're a jerk" part?
 
> Now, your participation was limited to unconstructive sarcastic comments instead of offering your point of view or any constructive ways we might save game-recs, but I tend to think that's more on you than "how the question was."
 
I guess I read "unconstructive sarcastic comments instead of offering your point of view or any constructive [ideas]" as "you behaved like a troll."
 
That's saying "you were a jerk", yeah.
 
At any rate, the gist is "You behaved poorly and so I shan't give an answer to the other people who also want to hear it either." Based on this chat the subtext is "They need to find someone who wasn't naughty and have him ask again."
 
7:14 AM
@BESW I believe what I was responding to earlier was a general "you should have listened, despite the messenger". I objected that we're not going to separate the asker from their problem with their use of the site. I didn't say I had to be unreasonable to them.
 
@SevenSidedDie No, but you said you wouldn't answer their question. That's more extreme than "not separating the asker from their problem" and seems actively obstructionist, especially for a site based on the idea that answers are for posterity at least as much as for the querent.
 
@BESW For clarity, it's normally OK on the main site to silently refuse to answer a question by someone you don't think is acting in good faith. It's not cool to call them out on that, generally. It's still less cool on meta, when there's a question that can only really be answered by one of the mods, for one of said mods to specifically say that they're not going to answer.
 
For disclosure, I'm suddenly typing less because I'm staring at these lines, suddenly realising that we're very much not talking about the same thing, but I'm unsure where the divergence happened.
 
@SevenSidedDie This has happened before in this chat and we've worked through it. Mostly.
 
@SevenSidedDie I'm pleased to see that recognition, thank you.
That is progress.
 
7:18 AM
Not really. It's actually quite alarming.
Suddenly your responses to my messages are having to be completely re-evaluated.
 
@SevenSidedDie PROGRESS! :)
 
@SevenSidedDie It is progress. That reevaluation is necessary.
 
But seriously, that really is good to hit that point where realization is striking.
 
@NathanTuggy Yeah, mainsite is totally cool with unanswered or unanswerable questions.
 
This is part of what I mean when I say I do not feel like we're being listened to. There were many points during this conversation that I could have simply linked something we already said, sometimes twice, and answered the question posed just as well. And I don't think that's because you're trying not to listen, but we are trying very, very hard to get through, and it isn't working, and we're being told that we need to say what we already said.
 
7:22 AM
No, really, alarming. I'm scrolling pages and pages back, trying to find the genesis of this thread to find out where to stop recontextualising it, and I'm truly alarmed. All these pages of ink because you misremembered mxyzplk as calling Tritium a jerk?
 
...no.
 
... what?
 
All these pages of ink because you seem to feel that it's okay to refuse to answer a reasonably-worded question that multiple people are interested in, if the querent has a history of misbehaviour with the subject matter.
 
@SevenSidedDie That's not been the centerpiece of most of what I've said, for what it's worth, but no, I don't think it's a misremembering or misrepresentation to peg that answer as "calling him a jerk" or, for that matter, "dismissing him".
 
@BESW Exactly why I'm alarmed: if that's what you understood from all this, I despair for communication being possible.
 
7:24 AM
@SevenSidedDie Then give me a few minutes to dig into the bits where I read you saying that.
Maybe you can clarify what you really meant.
 
Please, yes. I don't know where that idea came from.
 
Because for me right now, this is about the mods saying "You can take it to meta" but then turning around and saying in the same conversation "But we'll ignore the problem until the right person asks it, just keep trying."
 
@SevenSidedDie I've been despairing for communication being possible for a while now. I still am.
 
@BESW Please do find the thing you read. That message is not constructive.
 
This is going to take several posts. [opens a text file]
Here I made an overly sarcastic remark which stated that if the messenger is wrong the message will be ignored.
Here you responded by saying "How is that odd?"
In turn I asked if that meant others should make additional questions differentiated from the original only by the identity of the querent (duplicates).
You said "Yes" and clarified that a reasonable concern posted by someone with a poor character should be ignored and duplicated by someone with a better character.
 
7:37 AM
Okay, I see where I contributed to that misunderstanding now. And the rest of the conversation going off the rails makes sense.
 
Since the context was already clear from my multiple linkings to Tritium's question (which wasn't even "a poorly-spoken, critical fumble of a diplomatic envoy" except in context of his behaviour) and Mxy's ad hominem non-answer of a response, I'm unsure how it could have been possibly unclear what I was asking or what you meant in response.
 
@BESW How the tables have turned?
 
Ironically, your last link is to the wrong message I think, but is a message that more accurately reflects my position.
 
@SevenSidedDie Oops, I think I meant this one.
 
@BESW That makes more sense. And I should have known at the time: you're quite reasonable, and my sense that something had suddenly gone weird there should have been a flag that signals had suddenly got badly crossed.
 
7:40 AM
If you weren't responding in the context of Tritium's question, please consider how ironic that is in light of the game-rec miscommunication.
To be fair, I've stopped feeling particularly reasonable about this whole debacle about a day ago. I've even said [snip].
 
@BESW I was responding in context to Tritium's question. But I was also reacting too strongly to the sarcastic comment, which you deleted. I had not taken it literally, but for the cry of frustration that it was.
My response was similarly non-literal: a general sense of "yeah, if someone's being pointedly difficult, we're not going to take that well." Whereas you took it, fairly, as a literal "yes we're going to ignore."
No, we're not going to generally ignore people on meta. That would be terrible policy, or even ad-hoc responses.
 
@SevenSidedDie In the context of Mxy's non-answer, and the fact that Tritium had obviously calmed down, and the subsequent pushback from the mods on the game-rec topic? Yeah, I'm going to be inclined to read it that way.
'cause here's the thing.
 
@BESW I think we're going to disagree on that, hopefully understanding that we have different perspectives. I think it's fair to say "you dithered while the discussion was had, and now you're unhappy with it… is something you only really have yourself to thank for."
 
I was feeling pretty unreasonable right about then myself, though luckily I managed to (mostly) hold my tongue. A cry of frustration is exactly right. Please understand that this whole thing has been incredibly frustrating. I know it has for you, too. Nobody's having fun right now.
 
You expected people to have familiarised themselves with old meta posts. Frequently linked ones, yes, but old meta posts that retained value for posterity for years.
And that's reasonable, it's the way the site works.
So when we respond to new meta posts, we should be making them not just for the immediate querent. We should be making them for the folks in the wings who didn't have the [snip] to speak up but want to know, and we should especially be making them for posterity to reference.
 
7:48 AM
@SevenSidedDie It would be, if the question was "why did this turn out in a way I don't like", but if it's "this doesn't seem to make sense given what we knew at the time", complaining about a lack of comments for something that wasn't obvious at the time is strange.
 
But there are still a lot of our concerns that are unaddressed despite numerous attempts at getting through. When you're desperately trying to believe that communication is possible, and someone you don't think has yet really listened (or at least understood) tells you that they don't think it's possible...
 
So in regards to Trit's behaviour on another post, I'm having a hard time saying "Yeah, that means it's okay to throw his question out." It's bigger than him.
 
@NathanTuggy I don't think we're looking at the same post?
 
@SevenSidedDie Sorry, are we talking about the game rec re-evaluation?
 
@doppelgreener Tritium's post, right?
 
7:51 AM
No, the game rec re-evaluation.
 
@SevenSidedDie Tritium's question is complaining about being caught off guard by the results, based on initial posts.
 
@doppelgreener That's not on the table right now.
 
Or is that a quote from something?
@BESW OK.
 
@doppelgreener Yes, it's a quote from Mxy on Trit's Q.
 
@BESW Thanks for clarifying.
 
7:52 AM
@NathanTuggy Yes. Which is different from how you summarised it in the previous message.
 
And it's fair to say to Trit. But to then use that as a reason not to take the time to respond for the sake of others.... [sigh]
 
@BESW But… it was answered?
 
@SevenSidedDie How so? Complaining about being caught off guard by how things were interpreted is the same as complaining about the implementation of a question's resolution not making sense, right?
 
@NathanTuggy That summary is different again. It sounds like you're saying that Tritium's meta Q was saying something about the result being different than what the accepted answer says. That's not what that Q is about. It's objecting that the accepted answer was more consequential than the initial Q would have suggested.
 
@SevenSidedDie Yup. By another mod. Though... [pokes time stamps] I'm sorry, I thought Mxy answered first.
 
7:56 AM
@SevenSidedDie "This also applies to XY and Z that you did not expect" is the same as "this is a different result than you expected".
A result that differs, even in scope, is a different result.
 
@BESW I'm not sure that order would matter though. Would it?
@NathanTuggy No, I do think you're conflating that meta Q with a different one.
 
Oh, it would. Because now instead of "Mxy took the time to dress him down rather than give anyone an answer, with a post that made it sound like no answer would be forthcoming, and then SSD came in later to answer it," we've got "SSD answered the question and then Mxy showed up to chastise the querent for misbehaviour in another part of the site."
 
@NathanTuggy Tritium's objection was not about the scope of "game-rec now off topic", it was an objection that a meta Q asking how game-recs are doing could result in their removal.
 
@SevenSidedDie Hmm. I think you're right. I kept checking back and looking at that and seeing "this isn't what we expected based on what we were reading".
Which is still basically the same, but I was wandering a bit onto the other very similar objection to the other side of things.
 
@BESW I do think "you had plenty of opportunity to get involved, chose not to, and now you don't like that the top answer is being acted on" is a fair response though.
 
8:00 AM
(That is probably a good sign that I need to wrap things up pretty soon....)
 
@SevenSidedDie It's a true response. I'm not sure it's useful or Nice.
If Doppelgreener had said it, would you feel the same?
 
@BESW Possibly not nice. I still don't think it's calling him a jerk or troll, but shades of meaning are going to be received differently by us, and I can't claim to know better what mxyzplk intended to convey.
 
Or would you think it should be flagged as non-constructive?
[sigh] At this point it's all rhetorical.
 
@BESW Eh, asking about flagging would just muddy the issue. Flags on meta aren't accepted as readily, so whether it was delete-worthy isn't the thing to ask me. But taking your meaning instead: if someone else had written it, I still would have thought it a fair cop.
 
Thank you.
 
8:04 AM
I mean, if someone has dug their own hole and jumped in it, it's fair to point out that they don't get to complain about the dirt at the bottom. It can be done nicer or less nice.
 
@SevenSidedDie What mxyzplk intended to convey is less important than what he actually did convey. That's not to say intent doesn't matter at all, but this is one point I think we keep getting caught on. People are responsible for the results of their words and actions, regardless whether they line up with their intentions.
2
 
Ironically, if Doppelgreener had written it, I'd be even less concerned about it's appropriateness, because he's even-tempered enough that I would read it as saying exactly what it says, no chance of implied meaning.
 
If what mxy had said wasn't bad, it wouldn't matter if he really wanted to be super mean. If what he said was really bad, it wouldn't matter if he thought he was being totally reasonable.
 
@Pixie Yeah, and it got the downvotes it earned. I guess… that's not enough?
 
I need to head out. I'll just say: I'm glad the mod team is thinking about how to improve its relations with the site, and I'm hopeful. But I'm also concerned that there's an attitude it's the rules results which determine the success of mod actions, and the community's failing cohesion and health and trust can blamed on citizens but moderators seem reluctant use it as another gauge for their own effectiveness.
2
 
8:08 AM
Take care, BESW
 
> As a moderator, your actions now represent the community, so you will be held to a higher standard of behavior. You are an ambassador of trust, with the same sorts of rights that the official development team and community coordinators have. (source)
@NathanTuggy ttfn. Thanks for participating.
 
@Pixie No, I know. If it was bad in its text, it would have been bad regardless. I think the text is unnecessarily harsh in its delivery but fair in its content.
It was said up-chat that it carried other meanings that I don't agree are there, but that's even more reason for me to look at the text, as a mod.
 
@SevenSidedDie It's not enough when it's part of a larger pattern of moderation behavior that just doesn't feel like it's being addressed. "Unnecessarily harsh" is not an okay thing for mods to project toward users. It's not good for the site. That, there, is bad, even if you think it was fair in content. And that is one of the problems we keep running into.
 
@BESW It's not that the rulings outcome determines success of mod action. It's that when the community objects, but it turns out that the principles we followed were for very good reasons, we'd hope that the community would notice that we shouldn't have been swayed by objections from enacting those principles.
 
But my initial point was about your not knowing what Mxy had intended. That doesn't have much bearing on the quality and effect of the answer.
 
8:15 AM
@Pixie Ah. That was me implying that I didn't have any special grasp on the truth of what BESW and I were disagreeing was in that post. I might've made that too subtle.
 
Ah, okay.
 
@Pixie I want to personally fully admit that this happens to me almost semi regularly
at least online here
when I speaking to someone face to face they can usually tell I am joking or being sarcastic
 
It happens to everyone. We all say stuff that didn't come out the way we wanted it to.
It's what we do after that that matters.
 
yeah exactly
I was going to say, whenever that does happen, I try to explain and or appologize
depending on what exactly is warranted, or seems to be warranted.
 
@Pixie I did use "unnecessarily" mindfully there, though. There's such a mess around feedback for mxyzplk's communication that it's not something I can reasonably wade into much more. I hope it's finally turning productive, whatever avenues it takes, instead of whatever adjective fits what had been happening.
 
8:21 AM
The practical, actionable advice I'm giving the moderation team is to think more about the way they interact with the community and the effect that their words can have (and have had), even when unintended, keeping this in mind. I also advise you to acknowledge that things have been mishandled, not simply to say "we're not perfect" but to say, and mean, that you're going to work to keep it from happening again.
5
And sometimes it might happen again anyway. There will be misunderstandings. But what you need to be doing now is trying to shore up communication across the board in order to reestablish faith that there is communication, and that our concerns have some chance of being heard.
 
@SevenSidedDie If we're all voting on something, and then 1) the result (informational to action) and scope ([game-recs] to game-recs) are not clearly understood until after the vote has been counted and implemented, being "swayed" from doing that would not be such a bad thing. Relying only on certain principles, but not on others that are highly valued in the community (like a vote actually meaning a straightforward, understandable vote) is not good.
But I, too, really need to sign off now. Take care all!
 
@Pixie And taken seriously in the process of being heard, and responded to and acted on.
 
Yes.
 
@Pixie My trouble now is that past things that have been mishandled have been communicated. So I experience significant cognitive dissonance when given the advice, again, that we need to communicate and need to acknowledge that things have gone wrong. It makes me wonder what I'm missing.
 
"Heard" we've got plenty of, "dismissed and ignored" tends to come with it.
 
I'm a bit flabbergasted by the discussion above....
 
@doppelgreener ??
@Ahriman Okay. Not helpful though.
 
English is not y mothertongue, so taht may complicate things
 
@SevenSidedDie I am not sure to what extent that got acted on, it appeared to change very little afterwards.
 
From the discussion above I have the distinct feeling that the mod team operates in another plane of existence compared to the community
 
8:32 AM
@doppelgreener How? I'm not a mind-reader.
@Ahriman That's really quite true in a lot of ways, having experienced the transition of perspective myself semi-recently.
 
perhaps
 
@SevenSidedDie You've acknowledged it, from memory, a couple of times here and there in comments, and now here in chat. The mod team most recently did so in this one, and while I'm thankful that response happened, it's buried deep in a comment thread lots of people won't be digging through.
 
@doppelgreener Okay? But where have we failed?
 
It's often said apologies need to be made at the same scale of the thing you're apologising for. To take something that isn't analogous: if I embarrassed someone in front of an entire group of people, I should apologise and clear things up in front of that same group. The same wisdom would suggest you should be addressing the community, acnkowledging our issues, apologising for the fallout in a meta question. That's what I'd advise.
Because, this does involve the whole community, so the thing that is "to the whole community" is the appropriate way to acknowledge it.
 
Maybe I should have used the ivory tower symbol. I don't think the mod team understands the community over which it presides
 
8:36 AM
@doppelgreener Ah. Okay, that's much more clear and concrete.
 
@SevenSidedDie This was a good step, sure, but it's only part of it. Problems were around before then, and they've persisted since. The effort seems disproportional to the problem, and its effects have not been felt by the community. Even now, during this conversation, the problems persist. And comments like this continue to happen. The community is not solely responsible for painting the mods into this corner.
 
Combined with a helping of not really caring either
 
@doppelgreener Yes, I agree with this.
 
@Pixie Okay, that's twice that message has been linked, I think by two different people. Can you explain what's the issue I'm supposed to intuit from these links? What's wrong with that message?
 
@SevenSidedDie Also, because we're talking apologies and the sentiment "I'm sorry you felt that way" has come from a certain mod in the past, I will forewarn that language is not a form of apology. In that, there is no being apologetic for one's own actions.
 
8:40 AM
@doppelgreener No, I know that one. The politician's apology isn't.
 
ooh passive-aggressive crap
 
@SevenSidedDie Thanks. I am glad you recognise it for what it is(n't).
 
@SevenSidedDie It reads as if we, the community, are the ones responsible for putting you into this situation you can't get out of, rather than acknowledging that you helped yourself get there.
 
@Pixie Oh goodness, no.
 
Well, that's how the message often comes through, so that's something to be aware of.
 
8:41 AM
Combined with follow the process (post on meta), where we'll only look at it if we like the poster
 
@Ahriman Huh?
@Pixie That painted corner is entirely and specifically the ridiculous catch-22 that KRyan has (I think, to be fair, entirely unconsciously) constructed for us.
 
@SevenSidedDie The "Just use the process" bit?
 
@Pixie Also, we can get out of it fine. The question is how to do so gracefully, in a way that is best for the site.
 
@SevenSidedDie I am going to ping @BESW, in case he would later like to explain what he intended you to glean from his linking to that message himself (BESW, SevenSidedDie is referring to this one)
 
@Ahriman Instead of avoiding the process designed for such complaints, and continuing to snipe and fight in comments scattered across the main site, to its detriment? Yes, yes use the process designed for such issues.
I don't know where you get the "if we like the poster" bit though.
 
8:54 AM
Mxy stabbity stab response from meta.rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/5753/…
 
@Ahriman Sorry, what?
 

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