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[Pre-proposal] I would like input on a "Disengagement" proposal before I present it in /f/meta

Submitted by leftous in Decision_Making (edited )

Regardless of your opinion on the drama and subsequent exodus, one thing is clear: There needs to be a mechanism for disengagement between users.

I thought /f/mediation would be a good way to help heal interpersonal conflict, but so far it has been a failure. People feel targeted and attacked if anything gets posted there. Both users who we tried to initiate mediation with have left and felt hurt by it. Others have sought ways to try to circumvent the community's mechanisms instead of participate in mediation. Sometimes people just plain don't like eachother and mediation between them won't solve that.

So my proposal is to repeal the mediation forum as a first step. My new proposal is to suggest a policy that prioritizes disengagement between feuding parties. Basically this is a matter where if someone is feeling targeted or harassed by a particular user, we need to respect their wishes if they no longer want to interact with them. Moreover, if two parties are creating a toxic atmosphere for other users, the community should be allowed to vote that those parties disengage by no longer interacting publicly.

Obviously it would be preferable if we could enforce disengagement with a technical muting function (where users simply don't see eachother's posts). Since that isn't immediately possible, we would need admins/mods to enforce disengagement agreements e.g. we can say that the agreement suggests two users (the feuding parties) cannot reply to eachothers posts. Doing so will violate the disengagement agreement and be met with a temporary/cool-off ban (global or forum wide) if it was done intentionally and to provoke them.

The only way to remove the disengagement is to participate in /f/mediation, or we can make it timed where the agreement expires after users cool off.

I was wondering if people thought this was a good idea, how it could be improved, etc before I officially propose it (if at all).

Thanks for any input :)

EDIT

I wrote more formally what I would post in /f/meta here: https://pad.riseup.net/p/disengagement

If anyone has ideas/improvements, it would be great if you just add it directly to the document. Feel free to change or alter anything.

Comments

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

Hi all

I'm super low on capacity at the moment but feel its important to say what I can.

I'm pretty uncomfortable with this, in part because it seems to increase bureacracy and law-like behaviour, in part because it makes work for admins, and in part because that probably means it gives power to admins.

I'm just going to throw another idea into the mix, not sure if it's good: If we can try to find a way to make this work at the level of forums and moderators rather than site-wide - effectively creating spaces (forums) where certain individuals/approaches are not welcome, it could then be maintained by those people in those communities.

e.g. If some group is feuding with another - let's say particular marxists are feuding with ancoms, those marxists could be banned from relevant ancom-based forums, and the ancoms then are left to curate and manage their own space.

This doesn't preclude fighting in other spaces, but it does provide everyone with the opportunity to have spaces where they aren't going to deal with antagonism. I prefer also the idea that forums are largely autonomous so long as they aren't breaking the ToS.

Ok that's me for now :)

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ziq wrote (edited )

I think this makes a lot of sense.

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leftous wrote (edited )

I think you're right, this would create way too much work for admins and could produce other problems as /u/ziq mentioned. Letting forums/mods optionally adopt rules like this makes more sense.

So perhaps we should have a proposal where individual forums become more autonomous and can implement additional rules/procedures on top of the ToS?

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

So far as I've understood, individual forums have always been able to implement additional rules, and some have.

f/freeasinfreedom for example even has a whole wiki of its rules - w/freeasinfreedom/rules.

So perhaps what is involved is more encouraging people to act more autonomously with their spaces and do do more organising within them.

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leftous wrote

Thanks.

That's interesting because the Transhumanists could have just as easily passed their 'no trolling' policy in their forum, and this whole situation could have been avoided. lol

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ziq wrote (edited )

Really, involving admins at all in interpersonal politics shouldn't be happening. Just us voting on a proposal causes people to ragequit because we don't vote the way they want.

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red_pepper wrote

There's already a "block user" option in the toolbox if you go to another user's user page.

But, yeah, disengagement is still a good idea. The existing block feature clearly isn't good enough, and I don't know how a future one could address all the ways that fight played out. It doesn't stop someone from smearing you publicly or dragging you on other forums or spreading a fictionalized version of events to drag more people into the fight. In a different situation, where perhaps someone has decided to ruin another user's reputation, blocking would even be detrimental to defending yourself!

So, on top of not replying to each other's comments or posts, I'd make the disengagement more broad (maybe depending on the circumstances). No linking to each other's comments or posts. No baiting them in the comments section by talking about them with other users. No involvement in public votes about the other user. No making threads or memes ect about the other user. No roping other people into the conflict to fight on their behalf. No spreading rumors. Other things which may or may not apply in the given situation, depending on what the specific issues are and how many people are involved ect.

Basically, a social media restraining order. What do you think?

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leftous wrote

I think this is a great idea. In that case, it could actually work to the community's benefit to have the disengagement to be social and non-technical since there are many nuances like this that a blocking feature could not accommodate.

This should definitely be added to the proposal.

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ziq wrote (edited )

Yeah I saw that hal left, what a bummer.

I agree with your idea but you should stipulate that the disengagement agreement no longer applies if 1 of the 2 users is talking negatively about the other. We can't expect people not to defend themselves when under attack.

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

One problem here is that it likely devolves into an argument about whether someone else started it or not.

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ziq wrote (edited )

Maybe disengagement could include not talking about each other at all?

Idk how that would work if there were a proposal in meta about one of them tho.