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Given a Warning

warnings terms of service rules violations

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#1 Euthymios

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 05:09 AM

Hi,

 

I am making this thread because I cannot find how to locate the administrators. There is no "Contact" link on this website.

 

Reason for the dispute:

 

When I asked the moderator who gave me a warning to prove I violated the terms of service by referencing the specific link, he never did. So all he has to do is make the claim, and that's it? He doesn't have to prove anything? I never read in the rules that curteous dialoge and debate were forbidden. You should not censor and penalize people and whole threads unless they curse, swear or harass other people, or poison the well (act like a troll by introducing non-relevant material).

 

I informed the moderator who gave the public warning that he should have first sent me a private message correcting me if he thought I violated a rule (since I am new), and then prove the violation by citing the relevent section in the TOS, and then publically warn me if I ignored his admonition. But he did it backwards. He publically "warned" me, ruining my reputation and giving people the impression that I violated a TOS, even though this was never established. I brought these things to his attention, but he did not respect me enough to explain anything.

 

Does this not sound reasonable? ;)

 

I did not know dialogue and free exchange of ideas were not allowed here. This concerns me.


Edited by Euthymios, 07 December 2014 - 05:11 AM.


#2 Euthymios

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 06:05 AM

Oh, I think it was Father Moser who ruined my reputation by giving me the public "warning."



#3 Anna Stickles

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 06:31 PM

There are lots of discussion forums out there that are for the purpose of "free debate" but this is not one of them. The community here has set itself up for certain purposes - ie the discussion of Orthodoxy in its Patristic, Liturgical, and Monastic heritage. I have been a member for quite a number of years, and almost universally debates that turn into inter-faith arguments are shut down because this is what the owner and current members prefer.  If you read the Terms of Use you will find that what is censored goes far beyond cursing or harassment.

 

Since it seems like you did not bother to read these first, here they are. It is not the moderators job to babysit everyone that comes in and make sure they actually read the terms of use.

(I.a) By 'not primarily an opinion forum', we mean that the Monachos.net Discussion Community is principally for discussion and discourse on the thought and heritage of Orthodoxy through its patristic and monastic traditions, and not primarily for the sharing of individual opinions about these themes. Personal opinions do, of course, come into play in any fruitful discussion; but this forum is principally for discerning and discussing the thought of these traditions, rather than debating individuals' personal thoughts about them.

 

(II) The Discussion Community is intended to be a place of positively toned, healthy and intense, critical discussion of themes relevant to its purview. It is not a place for invective or polemic, though opinions expressed (and historical realities discussed) will often be forceful and delimiting of alternative views. Issues addressed in the Community should be focussed on examining a given theme from the broad realm of patristic, monastic, ecclesiastic and liturgical perspectives, and not simply on expressing one’s own opinions or commenting on another’s.

(III) The Monachos.net Discussion Community is not an interfaith forum for discussions on Orthodoxy with respect to other Christian churches, denominations or religious faiths. This means that discussions on, e.g., ‘Orthodoxy vs. Protestantism’ are beyond the purview, and conversations which transform to such points of focus will be terminated; and the same holds true for inter-church discussions with respect to groups of common heritage, e.g. ‘Eastern Orthodoxy vs. Oriental Orthodoxy’. Such inter-church discussion is an important part of Christian life and thought, and as such it is better served in fora dedicated to it properly and carefully, of which there are several on the internet. The Monachos.net Discussion Community is meant to exist alongside these, in harmony with their aims, focussing on its own unique realm of address. As such, discussions that do not keep to this delineation will normally be closed and removed from the forum.

 

 

As a new member it is not your place to dictate what the rules of this forum should be.  

 

People are asked to read the Terms of Use available in the community handbook and agree to abide by these before they become a member.  Usually the moderators will let newcomers post a few things that are technically outside the scope of the forum as a courtesy, but also give a warning that they need to abide by the TOU.    If what you want is interfaith dialogue you can do this privately with members of the forum or find another forum, but as stated, it is not really your place to dictate what rules we should follow here.

 



 



#4 Rick H.

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 11:14 PM

There are lots of discussion forums out there that are for the purpose of "free debate" but this is not one of them. The community here has set itself up for certain purposes - ie the discussion of Orthodoxy in its Patristic, Liturgical, and Monastic heritage. I have been a member for quite a number of years, and almost universally debates that turn into inter-faith arguments are shut down because this is what the owner and current members prefer.  If you read the Terms of Use you will find that what is censored goes far beyond cursing or harassment.

 

Since it seems like you did not bother to read these first, here they are. It is not the moderators job to babysit everyone that comes in and make sure they actually read the terms of use.

 

As a new member it is not your place to dictate what the rules of this forum should be.  

 

People are asked to read the Terms of Use available in the community handbook and agree to abide by these before they become a member.  Usually the moderators will let newcomers post a few things that are technically outside the scope of the forum as a courtesy, but also give a warning that they need to abide by the TOU.    If what you want is interfaith dialogue you can do this privately with members of the forum or find another forum, but as stated, it is not really your place to dictate what rules we should follow here.

 



 

 

Perfect.

 

"We do not moderate here for content (unless it is completely inappropriate to the discussion forum). The goal of moderation on the Monachos discussion forum is simply to provide a forum for civil discourse around the theme of Orthodox Christianity in its Patristic, Liturgical and Monastic expression. We don't decide what is Orthodox and what is not - nor do we prevent members from expressing legitimate opinions on what they think about the Orthodox Faith. We don't even moderate to keep people from saying foolish things (everyone has a right to make himself look like an idiot here - we are equal opportunity about that you know). If you want a forum where everything is pure and true and without controversy, well I've got to tell you that there are plenty of them out there, but for the most part they are ignored, irrelevant and completely dead. This is a place to exchange thoughts, ideas and opinions about Orthodox topics and discuss them in a civil and polite manner. "

Fr David Moser


Edited by Rick H., 07 December 2014 - 11:16 PM.


#5 Olga

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 02:42 AM

This is part of a post made in late 2012 by Archimandrite Irenei, the forum's owner and administrator, which is directly relevant to the matter at hand, and which supplements what Anna Stickles has already eloquently expressed. I urge everyone to read it, and, just as importantly, heed what is being said:

 

Dear members and readers of the Discussion Community;

The Monachos.net Discussion Community has existed for twelve years on the belief that internet discussions, while always fraught with the inherent risks of  depersonalisation and technological disassociation, can nonetheless still be used for the good of the Church if they are held in a focused manner, consonant with the Church’s life and teaching.

We began in 2000, and we continue today, nearing the close of 2012, as an attempt to foster that type of productive, helpful discussion within the context of a specialised, focused forum community. Our very specific, exclusive aim is to promote the study of Orthodoxy in her patristic, monastic and ecclesiastical heritage; that is, to bring participants to abetter, more authentic and more articulate understanding of the  Orthodox Church, grounding this aim in the witness of the Fathers, Church life and practice, liturgical and conciliar testimony, etc. Our aim has always been to foster in-depth, constructive, critical discussion of these matters, always with the explicit aim of drawing out more clearly the Church’s teaching and witness.

This has meant that, from the very beginning, we have articulated a very specific scope to the Discussion Community, which in many ways sets it apart from other discussion environments. First and foremost, given the forum’s purpose, we have always explicitly and emphatically stated that the Discussion Community is not an opinion forum, and the free expression of one’s opinion (on Orthodox subjects or otherwise) is neither our purpose nor within the scope of conversations we seek to foster. Gathering together personal opinions and putting them in dialogue is not a way to draw participants towards the deeper life and testimony of the Church, but only to reinforce personal positions, stances, and the like. Instead, the Discussion Community seeks to use constructive, brotherly, critical dialogue to help bring people’s understandings out of the realm of ‘opinion’ and into concert with the mind and life of the Church.

Our specific aim also means other points of narrow, concise focus. The Discussion Community does not host conversations on ecclesiastical political matters; it does not host discussions on the political/social realm; it does not host discussions on ‘Orthodoxy vs. Protestantism’ or other faith traditions; it does not host discussions on what constitutes Orthodoxy or whether Orthodoxy is correct, true or authoritative. On this last point in particular, we operate from a clear definition of Orthodoxy as stated in the forum’s Terms of Use, and under the firm belief that this Orthodoxy is Christ’s Church and truth -- our discussions take this as a given starting point, not a matter to be argued towards or requiring to be proved.

 

As to other topics and realms of discussion: by limiting the focus of this forum we have never suggested that those issues are not important for Orthodox Christians or should not be carefully studied, discussed and engaged in; but they are outside the scope of this forum, which exists for other purposes. There are locations across the internet where other topics can be addressed carefully and with due focus (e.g. Church and politics, Orthodoxy and other faiths, etc.), and from the first day of our operation we have always encouraged members to be active on other sites that discuss such matters. The Discussion Community does not seek to be, nor pretend to be, the forum for the scope of all good and necessary Orthodox discussion; it seeks, instead, to be an environment for the good and necessary discussion of one realm of Orthodox study.

It should be noted that our specific focus and scope has always upset some people. Given that almost every other forum on the internet was in 2000 (and remains today) driven by the free-for-all exchange of opinions, a forum that worked on a different model is precisely that: different. People have at times been surprised to find ‘my perfectly reasonable opinion’ cited as off-topic; contributors desiring to raise interfaith issues or to question definitions of Orthodoxy and the Church have sometimes been affronted to have such conversations terminated as outside the scope of the forum -- but we have maintained our clear aims, focus and content precisely so that discussion here can be something unique, safe, comfortable yet critical, and ultimately that which draws one closer to the life of Orthodox Christianity.

How this focus is kept.

The first step in maintaining this unique environment is the existence of our Terms of Use: an extensive document outlining our scope, aims and focus, and clear terms of interaction for this Discussion Community. This is a document linked to on every page of the forum, and which every member must explicitly agree to abide by, as part of the account registration process. This document is more than just a collection of rules and policies: it outlines our aims, our focus, our scope, our intentions, etc. It also outlines several of the Community’s key customs and attributes, such as the necessity for politeness, dispassion, and the openness both to hearing others when they are wrong (rather than simply attacking or condemning them), so as to be able to offer correction; as well as the need to receive correction when it is given from the scope of the Church’s heritage.

In order to keep discussions within our scope, as defined by our Terms of Use, the Discussion Community is a more stringently moderated forum than many others. While posts are never censored or edited by moderators in any way (the only exception being if a post has severe formatting problems; a moderator might offer to edit the post to make it more easily readable), we do actively put a stop to conversations that are outside the forum’s scope. When this is possible through guiding and directing discussion as it takes place, this is our favoured approach; however, when necessary, threads are removed that are clearly off-topic, and posts within threads may be deleted if they are outside the forum’s scope, or violate our rules on polite, constructive Orthodox discussion.


When we have members routinely skirting the boundaries of appropriate interaction with the forum, we apply post-by-post moderation to help him or her learn the best way to interact with the Community, and we have a warning/infractions system that is similarly meant to help people see where conversations are leaning in a direction outside our scope, and bring things back to a finer order. Is this more moderation than might be found on other fora? Yes, indeed; but it is necessary to help us all overcome some of the temptations and pitfalls of internet interactions, and the forum is committed to this approach whole-heartedly.

In a sense, we have always envisaged the Discussion Community along the lines of an open conversation amongst students within an Orthodox ‘class’ on Church life, history and thought. In such conversations there is a certain flexibility to topics and approaches, as each ‘student’ (and we are all students) asks and approaches questions in a different way; but discussions which start to go beyond the focus of the ‘classroom’ are stopped. This has always been the role of our moderators: to ‘nudge’ conversations back to the work of the Community, which is to shape understandings by and to the heritage of the Church.


The complete post can be found here:

 

http://www.monachos....e-of-the-forum/



#6 Euthymios

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 05:12 AM

Thanks for the information. The terms are unclear, and even seem contradictory, and this may lead to confusion. A lot of Orthodox writings, and even the terms of service posted on this site lack precision. For example:

 

"we mean that the Monachos.net Discussion Community is
principally for discussion and discourse on the thought and heritage of
Orthodoxy through its patristic and monastic traditions, and not
primarily for the sharing of individual opinions about these themes.
Personal opinions do, of course, come into play in any fruitful
discussion; but this forum is principally for discerning and discussing
the thought of these traditions, rather than debating individuals'
personal thoughts about them."

 

If you look closely, the first sentences seems to contract the last sentences. To wit:

 

"...and not primarily for the sharing of individual opinions about these themes."

 

AND THEN

 

"Personal opinions do, of course, come into play in any fruitful discussion; but this forum is principally for discerning and discussing the thought of these traditions, rather than debating individuals' personal thoughts about them."

 

QUESTION: How can you "discern" without an opinion? And it is the TOS that defines "Personal opinions" as "fruitful discussion."  So, not having personal opinions = non-fruitful discussion?

 

Father David wrote: "nor do we prevent members from expressing legitimate opinions on what they think about the Orthodox Faith."

 

But that's exactly what you did to me. And then penalized me with a public warning (damaging my image) by exercising this right. This makes no sense to me. Your comment also contradicts the TOS clause: "...and not primarily for the sharing of individual opinions about these themes."

 

You should only publically penalyze a person for violating a warning. I was never privately warned by moderators prior to the public "warned."


Edited by Euthymios, 08 December 2014 - 05:13 AM.


#7 Euthymios

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 05:17 AM

Father David wrote: ""nor do we prevent members from expressing legitimate opinions on what they think about the Orthodox Faith."

 

Who decides what is legitimate? This is so subjective.



#8 Olga

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 05:38 AM

You should only publically penalyze a person for violating a warning. I was never privately warned by moderators prior to the public "warned."

 

This is not true, Euthymios.

 

Almost all forum members here keep to the rules and guidelines without trouble or complaint. You are expected to do the same.



#9 Father David Moser

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 04:43 PM

Euthymios,

Since you invoked my name, I suppose I should say something. The owner and therefore primary administrator of the website is Fr Archimandrite Irenei, however, the administrator of the forum would be me and so you have indeed contacted the administrator.

Warnings are more or less private - the only thing that appears publicly is a note on the "reputation" area of your profile section. None of the details, reasoning or duration of the warning are seen except by the person warned and the moderators. The only way that the wider public would know these things is if they were revealed by the person warned (which you yourself did - no one else, not me nor the other moderators - only you).

As for "fruitful discussion" the key word is "fruitful" - and we are referring here to "discussion" not debate or arguments. From your posts on this forum I have seen nothing that qualifies as either fruitful or discussion - but that's my opinion as you point out.

Now that you have damaged your own reputation by dragging out that which was relatively a private matter in front of the whole forum. I think that in order to preserve you from doing any more damage to yourself, the best thing is to end this discussion.

Fr David Moser





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