Proposed wording for Forum warning [was: 'Onepence?']

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Baha'i Warrior
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Proposed wording for Forum warning [was: 'Onepence?']

Postby Baha'i Warrior » Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:00 pm

Onepence:

Where are your news topics man? There is a void left in this forum without your posts...

Hope you're doing well.

Take care,

Warrior

Jonah
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Postby Jonah » Wed Sep 27, 2006 3:16 pm

I don't think Onepence has returned since expressing his disappointment on finding out that some people who post to this forum are non-Baha'is or ex-Baha'is and that I was not willing to attempt to verify membership status or post warnings (see http://bahai-library.com/forum2/viewtopic.php?p=4946 ), other than what it says on the main page and elsewhere,
Managed by <a href="/?file=personal_jonah_winters">Jonah Winters</a> and <a href="/?file=personal_pages">a team of contributors</a>. This site is not endorsed<br>by any Bahá'í institution and is not affiliated with the <a href="http://library.bahai.org">International Bahá'í Library</a>.

-Jonah

Zazaban
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Postby Zazaban » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:05 pm

It's a shame really, The Baha'i faith teaches that all people are equal, yet Oncepence seemed to have some sort of problem with the presence of non-baha'is here.
Justice and equity are twin Guardians that watch over men. From them are revealed such blessed and perspicuous words as are the cause of the well-being of the world and the protection of the nations.
~ Bahá'u'lláh

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:01 pm

I think it isn't ex-Baha'is per se, it's the ones that come here to try to "prove" Baha'is wrong and fight with them. If they disenroll, or get kicked out, they should keep to themselves, not come to Baha'i forums and start controversy.

Onepence will be missed if he did leave permanently, at least by me if not anyone else...and I think he did have legitimate concerns.

—Warrior

Zazaban
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Postby Zazaban » Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:06 pm

Baha'i Warrior wrote:I think it isn't ex-Baha'is per say, it's the ones that come here to try to "prove" Baha'is wrong and fight with them. If they disenroll, or get kicked out, they should keep to themselves, not come to Baha'i forums and start controversy.

No, what he was complaining about was specifically non-Baha'is.
Justice and equity are twin Guardians that watch over men. From them are revealed such blessed and perspicuous words as are the cause of the well-being of the world and the protection of the nations.

~ Bahá'u'lláh

onepence
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Postby onepence » Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:38 pm

Zazaban wrote:
No, what he was complaining about was specifically non-Baha'is.


No ... what i was complaining about was two fold ... first, the lack of leadership in understanding the purpose and role of moderators

second ... the inablity of this site to "mature" ...

but hey ... you guys go ahead and do what you gotta do ...

If you wanna bad mouth me behind my back ... saying I was complaining
"about was specifically non-Baha'is" ... go ahead ... you guys are only hurting yourselves with immature attitudes like that ...

I've moved on ...

a person of oneness, the apostle dean

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:42 am

Onepence:

Did you read my posts? I didn't "bad mouth" you, I don't know if you were referring to me because you said "you guys." If you read my posts clearly you'd have seen I was on your side.

Well if you think my post was intended for any reason other than to encourage you to keep posting on this forum, then I'm sorry you think that.

—Warrior

P.S.

I think your concerns are legitimate and I agree with them.

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Postby Jonah » Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:08 pm

I think your concerns are legitimate and I agree with them.

BW, what do you suggest? Do you think I should put a warning note at the top of each page of the forum, and if so, what do you propose that it say? Or what other corrections/changes do you suggest?

I'm happy to solicit *specific* suggestions from members of this community, which we can then present as a poll for voting, and I'll implement whatever the majority of users agree on.

-Jonah

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Postby Zazaban » Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:59 pm

onepence wrote:No ... what i was complaining about was two fold ... first, the lack of leadership in understanding the purpose and role of moderators
second ... the inablity of this site to "mature" ...
but hey ... you guys go ahead and do what you gotta do ...

Don't take it personal. That's what I thought you said.
Justice and equity are twin Guardians that watch over men. From them are revealed such blessed and perspicuous words as are the cause of the well-being of the world and the protection of the nations.

~ Bahá'u'lláh

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:16 am

Jonah,

No, not on the top of each page obviously. But somewhere that everyone posting will see the message. So, posting such a warning (maybe warning is too strong of a word, perhaps notice) at the top of the page at http://bahai-library.com/forum2/ would be ideal since everyone accesses this page before they go into a specific forum.

As to what the notice should say, perhaps that could be consulted on. But something to the effect of,

"The views expressed by the members of this forum (especially those who claim to be Baha'is) do not necessarily reflect the teachings/principles of the Baha'i faith."

And along with that I also suggest more aggressive censoring. If someone (say an ex-Baha'i or Baha'i) starts attacking members on the forum, individual Baha'is, the Baha'i community, the administrative order, or Baha'i principles, his posts should be deleted, he should be issued a warning, and if he persists he will get his I.P. banned.

I heard a member of this forum (forget who—maybe Onepense) suggest that there be a list of Baha'i members of good standing provided on this forum. The user names of those on the forum who seem to be in good standing could be listed, but if they later prove otherwise, their user names can easily be deleted off the list.

Anyway, this is only one man's opinion...

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Postby Jonah » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:26 pm

The views expressed by the members of this forum (especially those who claim to be Baha'is) do not necessarily reflect the teachings/principles of the Baha'i faith.

OK, but I think it's misleading to limit that to this forum (which is certainly no less accurate than some "Baha'i" listservers I've been on), or to any forum, or even to the internet in general. Regarding members in good standing, I'm willing to provide a list that people can add their names to, but there would be no way to check its accuracy. Even at Feasts there is no vetting as to who is a Baha'i (the only Baha'i activity where "membership in good standing" is verified is voting).

So to be accurate, the wording would have to say something like:

The views expressed by any individual, whether on the internet (forums, email, listservers) or in person, may not necessarily reflect the teachings of the Baha'i Faith. Only the "authorized Writings" are guaranteed to be correct.

What do you think? -Jonah

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:33 pm

The views expressed by any individual, whether on the internet (forums, email, listservers) or in person, may not necessarily reflect the teachings of the Baha'i Faith. Only the "authorized Writings" are guaranteed to be correct.


Sounds like a plan, Jonah. Let's go for it. :)

—Warrior

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Postby Jonah » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:42 pm

Let's go for it

Let's wait for more suggestions. Thus far we have two options to vote on:

1) My wording above
2) No change at all (which is my preference, since the warning I wrote above seems to me somewhat useless)

Please, folks, chime in here. In, say, 1 week I'll present the options as a poll for voting, and I promise to implement whatever the majority agree on.

-Jonah

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Postby brettz9 » Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:28 pm

Hello all,

Let me first say that my own "moderating" role here is only, as Jonah stated before, a sometimes moderator. I have very limited energy and time, and as may be apparent, I do not consistently contribute to the board, much less read everybody's posts to moderate. Besides that, my original role as "moderator" was simply to delete spam, and then expanded to some cases where Jonah and I had discussed the issue in question.

Now that I have finally gotten around to replying to this thread, I would like to say,

1) Zazaban and others, please be wary about speaking ill of others behind their back. This is a huge no-no in our Faith, and is something we are supposed to heed, even if we believe what we are saying to be factual. We need to try to cover the sins of others, even while we may need to intervene in some specific cases (this is Jonah's site, so we are under his ground rules).
2) Onepence, it is not helpful to make sweeping statements about "you guys", though maybe if no one was speaking up for you (besides BW), I can see why your feelings were hurt.
3) I agree very much with BW's points in this forum: http://bahai-library.com/forum2/viewtopic.php?t=1125 and, if Jonah is amenable to it, I also believe it would be advisable to ban people (rather than only their offending remarks) who claim to be Baha'is and consistently post things contrary to the Faith. I believe extra leniency encourages them to stir up trouble at a later date, even if they contribute some other harmless or even helpful content in the interim. I think this should also go for those who post links to other websites at which they also post such material.
4) Despite the above, I really hope that moderators will also be careful in not going to the other extreme and limiting discussion on issues which may not be contrary to the Faith, but only to that person's understanding of the Faith. Often, it is more the tone of some posts or individuals that is obnoxious (and worth censoring) rather than necessarily the idea. I would hope that people who have serious doubts about the Faith or the way they see some people practicing it (here or elsewhere) can fully express themselves (and enlighten us with their perspectives), but in a manner which is productive and truth-seeking, rather than confrontational (and hope that Baha'is here will respond in the same manner and better).

That being said, it does take energy and persistence to moderate, especially if one wishes to be fair and consistent. I think there are a few others here who would be quite qualified (and seem to have the time) to work as moderators here, but in such a consideration, I think that courtesy and fidelity need to be qualities cultivated by the moderators here. As Baha'u'llah puts it for us, "the heaven of true understanding shineth resplendent with the light of two luminaries: tolerance and righteousness. " (Tablets of Baha'u'llah, 169-170)

best wishes,
Brett

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:29 pm

Should this maybe be moved to the general forum so more people can see it and vote on it?

BTW, Jonah, you wrote:

the warning I wrote above seems to me somewhat useless


Why do you say that? Don't certain publications with multiple authors say something to the effect of, the views expressed by the contributors (authors) doesn't necessarily reflect the views of the publisher (newspapers do this for example)? I've seen certain other forums (non-Baha'i ones) prefaced this same way. (Even Starbucks coffee cups have a "do not necessarily reflect the views of Starbucks" quote on them I believe.) I think what such a warning does is get the seeker in the mindset that not every post by supposed Baha'is will be in harmony with the Baha'i writings. Professionally, people should already be cautious in this respect. But this cautionary note will be reinforced in the event that someone says something contrary to the teachings, and he is proven wrong by knowledgeable Baha'is. There will be much less confusion I think.

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:35 pm

brettz9 wrote:if Jonah is amenable to it, I also believe it would be advisable to ban people (rather than only their offending remarks) who claim to be Baha'is and consistently post things contrary to the Faith. I believe extra leniency encourages them to stir up trouble at a later date, even if they contribute some other harmless or even helpful content in the interim. I think this should also go for those who post links to other websites at which they also post such material.


I'd say that's a vote. Thanks, Brett.

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Postby Jonah » Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:38 pm

I also believe it would be advisable to ban people (rather than only their offending remarks) who claim to be Baha'is and consistently post things contrary to the Faith

Very well. We are only discussing one individual, after all, and we have deleted all of his offensive posts (usually as soon as he posts them), and I also believe that in some places he's claimed not to be a Baha'i anyway. But I'm willing to ban him outright henceforth, rather than just deleting his posts, if that's the majority request. (Brett, BW, and Zazaban know whom we're talking about.)

Thanks, -Jonah

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:01 pm

Currently it's one individual, yes. But in the past there have also been certain people (i.e. ex-Baha'is) of whom you deleted posts and locked their threads because they were constantly attacking the Faith. The "Discussion" forum is intended for "All research or scholarship questions," so attacks on the Baha'i Faith by embittered ex-Baha'is and the like obviously have no place there. While currently, at the moment there may seem to be no problem, we have to be vigilant of their posts I believe.

There are problems with not banning them. (1) More work for you to delete/censor their posts and lock their threads; (2) Sometimes, especially when there are many active topics, such posts by these people may remain undeleted for some time (or unnoticed by mods), and is read, consequently, by many people; and (3) This may excite an endless cycle of counter-attacks which is not only a waste of time for the people responding but also a bad reflection on the Baha'i Faith.

But like I suggested, after a certain number of incendiaries post inflammatory or disruptive posts (which are deleted), they should (at least this is my suggestion) receive a warning that the next one will get them banned.

Being nice is one thing, being too nice is another. But, again, before banning the I.P., perhaps a warning could be sent to the person, explaining to him that if he mutinously disregards the policy one more time, his next post will be deleted and he will be banned.

(Perhaps I give the impression of being dour, which I hope I'm not. But such action I believe is in the best interests of the Faith. And others have also expressed such concern.)

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Postby Jonah » Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:23 pm

OK. He's not posted recently, though, so let me wait until he next posts something inflammatory, then I'll give him a warning (he doesn't even know we've been discussing him), and then if he breaks that, then I'll ban him promptly. Email or pm me if you see anything that I might have missed.

-Jonah

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Postby Zazaban » Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:17 pm

brettz9 wrote:please be wary about speaking ill of others behind their back.

I was just saying what I thought he said.
Justice and equity are twin Guardians that watch over men. From them are revealed such blessed and perspicuous words as are the cause of the well-being of the world and the protection of the nations.

~ Bahá'u'lláh

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:51 pm

Zazaban,

What you said isn't necessarily strange in today's society, as much harsher backbitting happens all the time. It's just that the Baha'i standards are very high, especially compared to the rotten morals of today's society—to paraphrase Shoghi Effendi. So it is okay, but since you are considering becoming a Baha'i it might be a good thing to keep that mind, the importance Baha'u'llah places on not speaking ill of others, even if they are, for the sake of argument, wrong.

Take care.


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