About the Operators and Moderation of #philosophical


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Moderation Policy

Ideally #philosophical should be self-moderating with no requirement for ops to intervene.  Unfortunately, we live in a real world rather than an ideal one, so from time to time #philosophical operators will be required to act.  This policy is here to both allow regulars and visitors know on what basis operators moderate the channel and as a handy reference for the operators.  The policy is not set in stone.

Policy 1:    All policy is developed and updated in consultation with all operators.  While the final say as to what policy is set falls to operators, regulars are welcome to provide input, make suggestions and criticise.  Visitors are not excluded from this process either, but it should be noted that an objective of #philosophical is to foster a community where philosophical discussion thrives.  So, while a good suggestion from a visitor will certainly be taken into consideration, little effort will be wasted on unreasonable demands to turn the channel into something it is not.

Policy 2:    Operators are almost without exception people who have had the duties of operator thrust upon them.  They didn't ask to become operators and due to an inherent bias against power seekers on the part of some of the channel founders, it is extremely unlikely that operator rights will be assigned to people who do ask for them.  So, how do we intend to grow new operators?  Fundamentally, if you are a regular, and you contribute to discussions, and contribute philosophically, and assist in moderating the channel as a community member in a philosophical way, and we feel need an operator in your time-zone, then chances are you will be asked if you are willing to become an operator on a provisional basis.  Once you prove yourself to be balanced, reasonable and interested in assisting discussion rather than flaunting new powers, you will be made a full operator.

Policy 3:     Founding members were set when the channel was registered.  Being a founding member accords people no extra privileges other than the recognition of their support to the channel in its formative stages.  What the channel is today is largely due to their efforts and their input.

Policy 4:     Regular members, as their designation indicates, are people who return to the channel regularly.  To become a regular member, turn up regularly and contribute to discussions philosophically.  You may find that your name appears by magic on this site, otherwise you might need to ask web site maintainer to add you (use the email address below).  As a regular you are a recognised member of the community and your say carries a little more weight than other visitors when modification or application of policy is being discussed.

Policy 5:     In accordance with the concept of self-moderation, it is preferable that we ban rarely and when we do ban we do so openly.  Unless the situation involves a blatant incendiary chatter, one who has no intention other than cause others to respond with anger, a ban will normally follow consultation with the community in the channel at the time.  Because banning is considered such an extreme measure, when a ban does happen it is normally permanent.  Therefore, operators will not ban for trivial reasons and kicking is used to remind an individual that the channel is for philosophical discussion

                     There are sometimes moments during a philosophical discussion where a person becomes too distressed to discuss a particular topic in a fruitful manner.  We all have our hobby horses for instance, issues about which we are passionate and have very strong views.  Although people are welcome and indeed encouraged to discuss philosophical topics they have a personal interest in, it is sometimes wise to remove yourself from a discussion if you find are getting too worked up.

                     Over time, a community will start to recognise each individual's range of hobby horses.  A community with such awareness can help maintain philosophical discussion by pointing out that a member might no longer be fully in control of their passions with regard to a particular topic and instead is being dragged along by them.  Channel self-moderation like this should be handled respectfully.  If anyone in the channel respectfully expresses concern about your current state of mind and ability to continue in rational discussion, please see it at an opportunity to take a moment to reflect, take a deep breath or two and maybe take time to regain composure by sitting out for a while.  Acting with such poise and maturity prevents things escalating to the point where an operator is forced to act.

                      If a person is persistently annoying, intimidating or offensive, but doesn't quite warrant a permanent ban (or has only temporarily lost composure), the channel may be set to "invite only" for a short period.  Therefore, if you find that you are unable to join the channel you should type /who #philosophical, identify an operator and msg them for an invitation.  The operator who sets the channel to "invite only" is reminded to remain set as operator until return the channel to its original settings.

                      An incendiary chatter will be banned immediately when an operator notices, if operators are connected but not active, they should be msg:d (all of them if necessary) to gain their attention.  The first to msg an operator is requested to advise the channel that they have done so (this will limit the number of windows popping up on the operator's screen).

                      Flooders will be banned automatically by one of the support bots.

                      A person who is shown to be abusive or sexually suggestive in pm but silent in the channel may be banned.

                      With the exception of an incendiary chatter, a ban should progress like this:

There is evidence of disruption in the channel or abuse in pm.

A request that an individual be moderated is made in the channel.  (Skipped if an operator initiates the action.)

Operator asks channel for opinions, while stating his or her own, something like: "imannoyed has asked for trollbait to be moved on, I concur, does anyone have objections?" or "imannoyed has asked for disagreeable to be moved on, I disagree with what disagreeable is saying but don't think it warrants moving on.  Who concurs with imannoyed?"

Operator makes a decision based both on consensus and his or her own judgment.  While an operator will weigh up general opinion before making a decision, giving precedence to regulars, no operator is obliged to go with consensus.  Operators are chosen for their dedication to the principles of philosophical discussion and their judgment will be tested by this open method of executing their responsibilities.  If they chose to go against the consensus, it is probably for a very good reason.  Those reasons should be explained immediately if time allows.

The operator may choose to set the channel to "invite only" for a set period of time and kick the offending individual.  This is less than a ban, but gives the offender time for calming down or contemplation.  The operator will tell the channel how long the channel will be set to "invite only" and then enforce the kick.  Once the channel is return to its normal setting, the offender can return.  In order to allow others to join, at least one operator should remain in the @ position during the period that the channel is set to "invite only".

If the operator decides to ban an individual, the ban will include a succinct, serious explanation of the reasons for the ban.  If necessary, a short explanation of why an operator went against the consensus of regulars will appear on this site (so far it has not been necessary).  Philosophical discussion of those reasons are welcomed, endless ranting against their apparent unfairness is not.

As operators are not perfect, there may come a time when an error is made.  When this happens, a ban may be overturned.  Overturning a ban will result from a consensus of operators and usually only after the banning operator realises or accepts that an error was made.  Note that not even a banning operator can unilaterally overturn a ban, so there is no point badgering a single banning operator - badgering more than one will certainly not help.

Policy 6:       Enjoy your time in the channel.

2005 Philosophical Channel (neopolitan)

Last update 2005-07-27