Psycho-Babble Administration Thread 300134

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A different view of safety

Posted by mair on January 15, 2004, at 22:02:24

In reply to Re: people not wanting to post with me.. Dr Bob!! Dinah, posted by gabbix2 on January 15, 2004, at 17:31:46

I haven't been around to follow this thread much, but Scott hit on something that's been nagging me for the last several days. I started posting here under a different name in 2000; I don't ever remember Babble being the free for all judy and nikki do. Bob's been issuing PBCs going back at least that far, but to me the atmosphere here has gotten more suffocating as his enforcement has gotten more rigid. There's an awful lot of "safe" ground between a free for all and what we have here.

It's tough always couching this in terms of safety. No one can argue with safety. But I challenge the apparent supposition that more rigid interpretation and more stringent enforcement makes this place safer. My own experience is frankly just the opposite.

What's telling to me is the number of PBCs and blocks which emanate from the admin board. The worst firestorms here don't really arise because of blatant incivility - most of the emotional upheaval seems to arise from the margins - a questionable PBC leads to escalating discussions which invariably polarize the board. Ultimately some people get frustrated over not being heard or not being answered and ultimately say something that makes Bob target them. So the good guys can turn into bad guys pretty easily.

Sometimes I long for the days when there was no admin board to provide us with a forum to hash and rehash ad nauseum every one of Bob's decisions. That being said, I realize that having so many more posters has necessitated more vigilance. What I'm not as clear on is how we got to this stage where it sometimes seems almost impossible to say something that someone might construe as being unsupportive. There is little question in my mind that alot of what now gets sanctioned would at one time (when civility rules were also being enforeced) have been considered to be perfectly acceptable dialogue by everyone on the Board. And the stricter it gets, the more people seem to want Bob to get involved.

In my earliest days here I probably did get stung a little by something someone might have said, but whatever upset I felt from that pales in comparison to the agony of following the sometimes exhaustive arguments about civility and the anguish I feel when posters fall by the wayside (either temporarily or permanently and by choice or by block) who were otherwise nurturing sources of emotional support and who were once unabashed champions of this site.

Mair

 

Re: Dr. Bob - What is your goal? Karen_kay

Posted by socialdeviantjeff on January 16, 2004, at 1:33:57

In reply to Re: Dr. Bob - What is your goal? socialdeviantjeff, posted by Karen_kay on January 15, 2004, at 15:59:55

> I think your name has nothing to do with whether or not people chose to post to you. I know that personally I respond to as many posts as I can. And of course I do have favorite posts that I tend to keep returning to, as they are fun to keep going and adding to. Also, your forgiving attitude regarding the post in question shows your wonderful character. I applaud you. I wish I had that amount of self restraint. Could you teach me?

Thanks, Karen. I've always liked hearing from you. Your posts consistently make me feel better or at least make me think. as far as self restraint goes, it's all nicotine, baby! Besides, It's a lot easier to show restraint and eloquence in text. If I'm called out in person, it's quite different.

As far as the name, I think it's sardonically humorous. I am not very social and I dislike the status quo in general. That makes me a deviant according to "them". My first name is Jeff. Ergo, socialdeviantjeff ;)

 

Re: people not wanting to post with me.. Dr Bob!!

Posted by socialdeviantjeff on January 16, 2004, at 2:15:48

In reply to Re: people not wanting to post with me.. Dr Bob!! Dinah, posted by gabbix2 on January 15, 2004, at 17:31:46

Well... Thanks all. I didn't expect this much activity over my little rant. I really don't remember if I specifically asked for it to be deleted or not. I do recall saying that it would be nice. That aside, all of you people I've interacted with and watched are just great. I've gotten a pick me up when I feel bad. I've also been offered perspective on my issues that I never, ever would have had otherwise and I have been able to balance my outlook a little for that. In my opinion, no amount of money could buy that. I just hope to be able to pay it back or at least forward in the future.

Insofar as safety, I think the systen isn't perfect, (What is?) but it works for the most part. Especially in comparison to some other so-called "support groups".

Note to Dr. Bob:
I didn't think my alias would be a hindrance The way I see it, it's what works for me.

"As far as the name, I think it's sardonically humorous. I am not very social and I dislike the status quo in general. That makes me a deviant according to "them". My first name is Jeff. Ergo, socialdeviantjeff ;)"

Out of curiosity, why was the thread left unaltered? Please keep in mind that I am in no way any longer upset over the whole thing.

 

Re: A different view of safety

Posted by tabitha on January 16, 2004, at 2:23:30

In reply to A different view of safety, posted by mair on January 15, 2004, at 22:02:24

Good points Mair. Since I posted about liking the strict standards I've had second thoughts, and third thoughts. I like the standards in principle, but there sure seems to be an awful lot that isn't working so well in execution.

I'm probably feeling pro-civility lately since Bob invoked the standards to protect me from remarks that I did find hurtful. So I feel 'safe' when the standards seem to be working in my favor.. but I also remember not feeling safe when I was upset about things and needing to be heard yet afraid to speak for fear of getting blocked. I also don't feel safe when people who are part of my support network get blocked. I don't feel safe when it seems there's a revolving door effect from posters getting fed up and leaving, or just scaling back their posting to practically nothing.

I still think it would help a lot for Bob to work harder to educate people about his standards. I think I finally got it about not making accusations and subtle put-downs.. after reading admin and watching blocks for over a year.. and consulting with my therapist.. and researching and looking up outside sources. But maybe I don't really have it. Maybe the standards will change again. Regardless, should it really be so hard to figure out how we're supposed to word things here?

Finally.. I regret saying that people can see blocks and PBCs as a learning experience. Yes they can, in theory. But how many do? Honestly it took me weeks to get over my feelings about being PBC'd.. and I've not yet been blocked. It became a learning experience.. eventually, after a lot of pain and upset. Was that even healthy for me to endure? I don't know. There must be a better way. So many valuable posters have left with hurt feelings over blocks.. or at least that's my interpretation of why they've left. I'm just sorry if it sounded like I was minimizing anyone's feelings.

And about admin.. I said I enjoy the lively discussions. Well sometimes I do, when I'm not emotionally invested in a discussion. But it's still sort of a guilty pleasure, like ogling a car crash. Other times Bob's brief and cryptic replies to my posts drive me nuts. I've had to swear off coming here and posting at all. I earnestly write a post, thinking I'll really be heard and make a difference.. and I usually end up feeling shot down and ignored. Is that me expecting too much, or Bob giving too little? I don't know.

There. That's a more balanced picture.

 

Re: A different view of safety

Posted by gabbix2 on January 16, 2004, at 4:11:11

In reply to A different view of safety, posted by mair on January 15, 2004, at 22:02:24

> It's tough always couching this in terms of safety. No one can argue with safety. But I challenge the apparent supposition that more rigid interpretation and more stringent enforcement makes this place safer. My own experience is frankly just the opposite.

This also has been my experience.
By the time I recieved my third block (my second unfair one) my feelings of safety had vanished. This was compounded by the fact that the post for which I recieved a 9 week block, I'd actually worded in the format of a post written by someone who had not recieved a P.B.C
and who I knew knew the civility rules inside and out.

The post was important to me, I felt other's safety was at risk, however I didn't wish to be flippant or to be blocked. I was.

I don't have a therapist, I don't even have a phone, I couldn't afford it. This place was my support. Yes, we are reminded to have other means of support, and in a perfect world I would have had it. If it weren't for a group of people who got together to offer me other on-line support because of that incident its no exaggeration to say it could have been a dangerous situation.

When I hear people talk about feeling safer
because they are protected from certain words
or because things are somehow more civil even if its not always fair; I wonder how "fairness" can be tossed aside so casually along with the feelings of those people who've left because their feelings of safety were violated because of the inconsistancy.

I too wonder why it has to be an either/or situation.
I've heard reasonable people discuss things without name calling and without having
to refer to intricate ever-changing civility
rules before each post.


Yes my block was certainly a learning experience! Being left without support at one of the lowest points in my life because I misworded something (I'm not even sure that was it) taught me that I would never feel the same way about Babble or Dr. Bob

I'm lucky now, I have different support
and someone I can ask medication questions anytime I want. However I know there are others who are going to be in the same position I was in and I don't want it to happen to anyone else.

"I'm trying my best" just doesn't cut it anymore not when someone can be blocked for 6 months.

 

social jeff

Posted by justyourlaugh on January 16, 2004, at 16:32:03

In reply to Re: Dr. Bob - What is your goal? Karen_kay, posted by socialdeviantjeff on January 16, 2004, at 1:33:57

your name has never fazed me..and i would never concider "not posting "because of it...
my name is jyl
just your laugh..
there has been a few other jyls here aswell..
it is nice to meet you jeff
:)

 

Re: people not wanting to post with me

Posted by Dr. Bob on January 17, 2004, at 4:47:57

In reply to Re: people not wanting to post with me.. Dr Bob!!, posted by socialdeviantjeff on January 16, 2004, at 2:15:48

> I've gotten a pick me up when I feel bad. I've also been offered perspective on my issues that I never, ever would have had otherwise and I have been able to balance my outlook a little for that. In my opinion, no amount of money could buy that.

That sounds positive! :-)

> Out of curiosity, why was the thread left unaltered?

My explanation:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/admin/20031120/msgs/293111.html

Bob

 

Re: A different view of safety

Posted by Dr. Bob on January 17, 2004, at 5:04:32

In reply to Re: A different view of safety, posted by tabitha on January 16, 2004, at 2:23:30

> What's telling to me is the number of PBCs and blocks which emanate from the admin board... a questionable PBC leads to escalating discussions... Ultimately some people get frustrated over not being heard or not being answered and ultimately say something that makes Bob target them.

I think PBA is different. It's the only board that doesn't have support as a mission. It's also where I post the most myself. But I don't think that means things *have* to escalate... Madwand mentioned the Jungian Shadow:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/admin/20031120/msgs/282737.html

Maybe PBA is the Shadow of this site?

> to me the atmosphere here has gotten more suffocating as his enforcement has gotten more rigid.
>
> I realize that having so many more posters has necessitated more vigilance.

Shar said it's like this used to be a small town and now it's a big city:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/admin/20040112/msgs/300467.html

I agree and think "law enforcement" has had to adapt...

So maybe we should try boards limited in "population"?

> whatever upset I felt from that pales in comparison to ... the anguish I feel when posters fall by the wayside ... who were otherwise nurturing sources of emotional support and who were once unabashed champions of this site.
>
> Mair

That makes me sad, too, I wish there were a way to keep that from happening.

--

> I still think it would help a lot for Bob to work harder to educate people about his standards. I think I finally got it about not making accusations and subtle put-downs.. after reading admin and watching blocks for over a year.. and consulting with my therapist.. and researching and looking up outside sources.

I thought maybe I'd try reminding posters if I PBC them that they can post here to ask for more of an explanation or for suggestions on alternative ways to express themselves. Maybe then you could help "educate" them, too?

> I regret saying that people can see blocks and PBCs as a learning experience. Yes they can, in theory. But how many do? Honestly it took me weeks to get over my feelings about being PBC'd.. and I've not yet been blocked. It became a learning experience.. eventually, after a lot of pain and upset.
>
> tabitha

Some things take time to learn? Or to unlearn? Thanks for working so hard on it.

Bob

 

Re: A different view of safety Dr. Bob

Posted by tabitha on January 17, 2004, at 5:20:39

In reply to Re: A different view of safety, posted by Dr. Bob on January 17, 2004, at 5:04:32

> I thought maybe I'd try reminding posters if I PBC them that they can post here to ask for more of an explanation or for suggestions on alternative ways to express themselves.

Sounds like a useful hint.

> Maybe then you could help "educate" them, too?

Interesting idea...

 

Re: A different view of safety

Posted by Dinah on January 17, 2004, at 8:24:46

In reply to Re: A different view of safety, posted by Dr. Bob on January 17, 2004, at 5:04:32

>
> So maybe we should try boards limited in "population"?
>

You mean where you have to meet certain criteria to belong? How unpleasant and elitist! Blech.

 

Re: social jeff justyourlaugh

Posted by socialdeviantjeff on January 17, 2004, at 20:46:32

In reply to social jeff, posted by justyourlaugh on January 16, 2004, at 16:32:03

> your name has never fazed me..and i would never concider "not posting "because of it...
> my name is jyl
> just your laugh..
> there has been a few other jyls here aswell..
> it is nice to meet you jeff
> :)


Nice to meet you too.

 

Re: people not wanting to post with me Dr. Bob

Posted by socialdeviantjeff on January 17, 2004, at 20:48:47

In reply to Re: people not wanting to post with me, posted by Dr. Bob on January 17, 2004, at 4:47:57

Thanks Dr. Bob and keep up the good work.

 

Re: poster-initiated boards

Posted by Dr. Bob on January 18, 2004, at 1:21:56

In reply to Re: A different view of safety, posted by Dinah on January 17, 2004, at 8:24:46

> > So maybe we should try boards limited in "population"?
>
> You mean where you have to meet certain criteria to belong? How unpleasant and elitist! Blech.

What if people could start their own boards, assume deputy administrator responsibilities there, and invite others to join them? And those who were invited could then invite others?

I think if they were "invitation only" there might be less incivility -- and what incivility there is might be more tolerated. Invitations could even be treated like sponsorships: if someone's blocked, their "sponsor" could be, too.

Having designated deputy administrators might enable me to delegate more. And maybe only get involved if someone complains? And if there are too many complaints, I could just close the board.

There would of course need to be restrictions on who could start these boards. Maybe based on how long the poster's been around, how active they've been, whether they've been blocked, etc.

As with PB 2000, it might seem elitist, but it might also help those involved to feel more supported, which is the bottom line...

Bob

 

Re: poster-initiated boards Dr. Bob

Posted by Dinah on January 18, 2004, at 8:35:12

In reply to Re: poster-initiated boards, posted by Dr. Bob on January 18, 2004, at 1:21:56

Well, I think it would validate every accusation newcomers have made. Yech. But if that's what you want, I guess you'll have it.

Then we can just each decide if this is a place we want to be associated with.

 

Re: poster-initiated boards Dr. Bob

Posted by Dinah on January 18, 2004, at 8:56:18

In reply to Re: poster-initiated boards, posted by Dr. Bob on January 18, 2004, at 1:21:56

Besides, that's what email, instant messaging, and easy to set up Yahoo groups are for. And they can be done a lot more discreetly and with less hurt feelings.

Really, Dr. Bob!

 

Re: poster-initiated boards Dr. Bob

Posted by Racer on January 18, 2004, at 9:59:58

In reply to Re: poster-initiated boards, posted by Dr. Bob on January 18, 2004, at 1:21:56

> > > So maybe we should try boards limited in "population"?
> >
> > You mean where you have to meet certain criteria to belong? How unpleasant and elitist! Blech.
>
> What if people could start their own boards, assume deputy administrator responsibilities there, and invite others to join them? And those who were invited could then invite others?
>
> I think if they were "invitation only" there might be less incivility -- and what incivility there is might be more tolerated.

I used to run an invitation only board, which I started after Flame Wars on another board got too exhausting and a few other posters left. We might disagree on my board, but you're absolutely right: there wasn't much incivility, there were never character based attacks, and when disagreements got heated, we still managed to remain "friends". I think it might be worth a try.

>
> As with PB 2000, it might seem elitist, but it might also help those involved to feel more supported, which is the bottom line...
>
> Bob

And I've got to agree, I feel supported on PB2000, and it feels safe there, with a group I've read and interacted with for so long. I admit things there, in the relative privacy of an anonymous handle, that would be impossible in person, and it gives me a chance to get feedback and support at a time in my life when I am isolated from most all other sources of that. If that's an idea of what other mini-boards might provide, that idea has my vote.

 

Re: poster-initiated boards

Posted by gabbix2 on January 18, 2004, at 10:21:09

In reply to Re: poster-initiated boards Dr. Bob, posted by Racer on January 18, 2004, at 9:59:58

I agree that there certainly aren't the flame
wars on poster initiated boards, but I can't imagine anything causing more hurt feelings on Babble. Or hurt feelings period.
It reminds me of team picking in high school. YECH! is right Dinah. I don't know why someone's popularity or unpopularity would have
to be made semi-public when there are yahoo groups and e-mail conferences available.
And I think the people who may need the support the most would be the one's hurt the most.
It would be Anti-support.
And the equivalent of asking that someone not post to without previous interaction--- squared!

 

Re: poster-initiated boards Dr. Bob

Posted by shar on January 18, 2004, at 15:52:30

In reply to Re: poster-initiated boards, posted by Dr. Bob on January 18, 2004, at 1:21:56

Would the PIBs have topics, like the current boards do, or just be a subset of posters who want to be together in relative privacy and have more control over who interacts there?

Could any poster start a PIB?

It's too bad the PB year boards didn't take off for the 2001 group, because that's sort of a way to get people together who have something in common. I know of training programs that have groups that went through the training together, and use those to keep in touch.

And, I assume, if a PIB is created, there would be no reason newbies couldn't be added if they have a sponsor or the group votes 'yes.' But, I don't get the part about the sponsor getting blocked because their invitee does.

Shar

 

Re: poster-initiated boards

Posted by Dr. Bob on January 18, 2004, at 17:09:35

In reply to Re: poster-initiated boards Dr. Bob, posted by shar on January 18, 2004, at 15:52:30

> Well, I think it would validate every accusation newcomers have made. Yech.
>
> Dinah

> I can't imagine anything causing more hurt feelings on Babble. Or hurt feelings period.
> It reminds me of team picking in high school... I don't know why someone's popularity or unpopularity would have to be made semi-public
>
> gabbix2

The reality is, there's a difference between newcomers and old-timers. It's definitely an issue, how to help newcomers feel welcome. I think it would depend a lot on how people went about "picking teams".

Is it better if there are "teams" but they're just not made public?

Hmm, what about a board expressly for newcomers?

----

> Would the PIBs have topics, like the current boards do, or just be a subset of posters who want to be together in relative privacy and have more control over who interacts there?

I was thinking it could be either way. But if there's a lot of interest in a particular topic, maybe it would be nice to open it up?

> Could any poster start a PIB?

I think there would need to be restrictions on who could start these boards. See my previous post...

> It's too bad the PB year boards didn't take off for the 2001 group, because that's sort of a way to get people together who have something in common.

I'm not sure what happened with 2001. Maybe they didn't really feel like a cohort?

> And, I assume, if a PIB is created, there would be no reason newbies couldn't be added if they have a sponsor or the group votes 'yes.'

Right! But just to be clear, I was thinking a sponsor, rather than a vote...

> But, I don't get the part about the sponsor getting blocked because their invitee does.
>
> Shar

Now I'm not sure that's necessarily the way to go, but the idea is, the sponsor would think twice about whom to invite, and the invitee about what to post.

Bob

 

Re: poster-initiated boards Dr. Bob

Posted by Dinah on January 18, 2004, at 17:47:27

In reply to Re: poster-initiated boards, posted by Dr. Bob on January 18, 2004, at 17:09:35

That would be it for me. The 2000 board nearly did it, and the reason 2001 didn't kick off is because most 2001'ers didn't like the idea of an elite board. At least that's why it did nothing for me.

If this idea gets off the ground, I would lose all respect for Dr. Bob and leave. The very idea that he is floating the idea is making me lose enough respect for him to wonder if there is another way to get my social needs met. Certainly I would NEVER be part of an elitist organization.

I would be happy to keep in touch with the friends I've made through email and instant messages, and I would be very sorry to miss out on meeting the friends I have yet to make.

But the very idea of this makes me want to vomit. Just put me back in good old St. xxxxx and pour rancorous verbal acid on me. NO THANK YOU. I had done with that thirty years ago. I'm not going back.

 

Re: poster-initiated boards Dinah

Posted by Dinah on January 18, 2004, at 18:08:29

In reply to Re: poster-initiated boards Dr. Bob, posted by Dinah on January 18, 2004, at 17:47:27

Hey, Dr. Bob. Let's try it out. Why don't you start your own little elite company, and name right here and right now who'd you'd invite to belong and who you wouldn't. If you're going to have others choosing who they want to pal around with, why don't you start out and set a good example.

And maybe you could give those who like this idea permission to name their groups as well. Who would they invite. Who wouldn't they invite.

Now is that very civil, DR. BOB????

 

Re: poster-initiated boards

Posted by gabbix2 on January 18, 2004, at 18:19:11

In reply to Re: poster-initiated boards Dr. Bob, posted by Dinah on January 18, 2004, at 17:47:27

What the Deuce!????
I swear I'm not looking for another reason to criticize Bob but I can't fathom why you can't that a sponsored board with chosen members would hurt people.

I wasn't here for 2000 it probably wouldn't have bothered me so much, just because it was judging people by the year they arrived not by any other factor.. but selection and sponsorship?!
The unchosen: aren't enough mentally ill people already living that life?

All I'd have to do (If I still posted here more often) is make a vague reference to not liking someone and probably half the posters would think I was talking about them.

Self esteem ain't a strong point for most of us Bob.

You've picked the tiniest potential criticism out of a posters sentence and blocked them ostensibly to protect someone's feelings and just now volunteered the equivalent of an emotional sledgehammer.

Your rationale for decision making is an eternal
mystery to me.


 

Re: poster-initiated boards gabbix2

Posted by gabbix2 on January 18, 2004, at 18:38:51

In reply to Re: poster-initiated boards, posted by gabbix2 on January 18, 2004, at 18:19:11

I'm sorry to harp on this but,(no okay maybe I'm not)
Yes Dinah, right now I'd like you to make me a list of your favorite posters please? Who do you like interacting with the most? Please remember to keep it supportive though.

Okay I'm done.

 

Re: poster-initiated boards gabbix2

Posted by tealady on January 18, 2004, at 19:22:37

In reply to Re: poster-initiated boards, posted by gabbix2 on January 18, 2004, at 18:19:11


> I swear I'm not looking for another reason to criticize Bob but I can't fathom why you can't that a sponsored board with chosen members would hurt people.
>

I can't see that either..but I figure I'm just not capable of thinking in the same way or something..guess we're all different

> I wasn't here for 2000 it probably wouldn't have bothered me so much, just because it was judging people by the year they arrived not by any other factor.. but selection and sponsorship?!
> The unchosen: aren't enough mentally ill people already living that life?
>
> All I'd have to do (If I still posted here more often) is make a vague reference to not liking someone and probably half the posters would think I was talking about them.

You've made some good points IMO here about the civility rules..the vagueness keeps comments "civil"..and it does seem to happen frequently IMO, at least it does to me..one of the many many problems with the civil rules IMO.

>
> Self esteem ain't a strong point for most of us Bob.
>
> You've picked the tiniest potential criticism out of a posters sentence and blocked them ostensibly to protect someone's feelings and just now volunteered the equivalent of an emotional sledgehammer.

Yes it is an emotional sledgehammer IMO too..but then so are the blocks IMO

> right now I'd like you to make me a list of your favorite posters please? Who do you like interacting with the most? Please remember to keep it supportive though.

but the list would still be civil..I mean that IS supportive of the chosen few, right?

 

Re: poster-initiated boards

Posted by fallsfall on January 18, 2004, at 19:26:11

In reply to Re: poster-initiated boards gabbix2, posted by gabbix2 on January 18, 2004, at 18:38:51

I think that poster initiated boards would cause immense hard feelings. Hurt feelings are not supportive. Assuming these boards would be readable by anyone on the internet, it would be very clear who was "in" and who wasn't. Even those who were "popular" in grade school when they were picking kickball teams knew what the effect on the people was who were not picked early. Those of us who weren't picked early certainly know. I don't think that anyone on Babble wants to make people feel worse than they already do.

Dr. Bob, the subject of Poster Initiated Boards began with this comment from you:

Shar said it's like this used to be a small town and now it's a big city:
<http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/admin/20040112/msgs/300467.html>;
I agree and think "law enforcement" has had to adapt...
So maybe we should try boards limited in "population"?

Dr. Bob, you indicate that you are feeling that "law enforcement" needs to change, and one way to effect that is to limit populations. There are other options, too. Since this option has, in my opinion, some really detrimental side effects perhaps we should explore other options.

If we focus on the problem to be solved, rather than the first solution that came to mind, we might discover an more elegant solution. What are the aspects of "law enforcement" that you find inadequate now? The concepts of consistency of rule enforcement, fairness, length of block etc. have been discussed - these (in my opinion) are a RESULT of law enforcement difficulties - I would be interested in looking at this from a different angle. What, from YOUR point of view, made Babble easier to administrate when it was smaller? What are the NEW issues that you face now that it is bigger? We will come up with a better solution to the problem if we have a clearer idea of why the problem exists.


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