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Thu Dec 29, 2011, 03:32 PM

There doesn't seem to be much for a host of this group to do.

Statement of Purpose

Discuss conspiracy theories and other highly-speculative topics. Free-thinkers and skeptics are both welcome. When posting, please be mindful of the DU Terms of Service.

Hosts

Group Hosts are assigned either by the DU Administrators, or by other Hosts of that group. Group Hosts have the following abilities: 1) They can lock threads which they believe violate the group's stated purpose; 2) they can pin threads to the top of the group; 3) they may completely block out members whom they believe are not adhering to the group's purpose; 4) they may add other members as group Hosts; and 5) they may remove any Host that became a Host after they did (and who is listed below their name on the list below).


So the main substance of the host duty is to enforce the group's stated purpose by locking threads and/or completely blocking members that don't adhere to it. But the stated purpose is so broad that I don't see how this will come up that often.

Something can't apparently be deemed too far out or crazy to fit the stated purpose since it includes "to discuss ... highly-speculative topics" and "conspiracy theories".

So I guess a host could lock a thread or block a member for not being speculative enough or for being too grounded in the real world. Other than that, what is there for them to do?

Well, there is this: they can add and remove each other. So far is that the full sum of it?

35 replies, 3431 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 35 replies Author Time Post
Reply There doesn't seem to be much for a host of this group to do. (Original post)
eomer Dec 2011 OP
ret5hd Dec 2011 #1
ret5hd Dec 2011 #2
Grateful for Hope Dec 2011 #3
teddy51 Dec 2011 #4
Grateful for Hope Dec 2011 #5
teddy51 Dec 2011 #7
Bolo Boffin Dec 2011 #8
getdown Dec 2011 #6
Codeine Dec 2011 #29
zappaman Dec 2011 #30
Ohio Joe Dec 2011 #9
eomer Dec 2011 #10
Ohio Joe Dec 2011 #11
eomer Dec 2011 #12
Ohio Joe Dec 2011 #13
eomer Dec 2011 #14
Ohio Joe Dec 2011 #15
OnTheOtherHand Dec 2011 #16
Ohio Joe Dec 2011 #18
OnTheOtherHand Dec 2011 #23
eomer Dec 2011 #19
OnTheOtherHand Dec 2011 #22
eomer Dec 2011 #24
eomer Dec 2011 #17
Ohio Joe Dec 2011 #20
eomer Dec 2011 #21
Ohio Joe Dec 2011 #25
T S Justly Jan 2012 #33
Bolo Boffin Jan 2012 #34
eomer Jan 2012 #35
Grateful for Hope Dec 2011 #32
eomer Dec 2011 #26
OnTheOtherHand Dec 2011 #27
Ohio Joe Dec 2011 #28
eomer Dec 2011 #31

Response to eomer (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 03:51 PM

1. i wonder if the hosts will lock my next op.

(look for it)

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 04:11 PM

2. why yes. yes they did.

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Response to eomer (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 08:59 PM

3. They can't hide posts. Posts have to be reviewed by a jury if they are alerted on.

And, Yes, what you said is the "full sum of it". In short, hosts have a lot less power than mods did on DU2. This new way is in service of transparency and community participation on how DU should be as far as I understand it.



On edit: There are some topics that are not acceptable here. The TOS that the admins have laid out define this. Chemtrails is one topic, btw.

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Response to Grateful for Hope (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:29 PM

4. Why are Chemtrails a no, no on DU3? Sorry, I don't understand this! n/t

 

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Response to teddy51 (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:47 PM

5. This is an admin call.

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Response to Grateful for Hope (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 10:00 PM

7. Ok, I get that but what is the problem with that discussion, is what I am trying to

 

get at?

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Response to teddy51 (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 10:41 PM

8. Read the Terms of Service.

You'll find a link at the bottom of the page. It's what every person posting at DU agrees to before being able to register their account here at DU3.

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Response to teddy51 (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:52 PM

6. because not enough people look up?

 

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Response to teddy51 (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 12:58 PM

29. Because the whole topic is obvious bullshit.

It makes the entire site look idiotic. Same with moon-landing denial -- it's just too whackadoodle.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #29)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 01:13 PM

30. +1000! n/t

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Response to eomer (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 11:36 PM

9. An exerpt from something I recently posted in the Host Group

I think it sums up my thoughts about being a Host.

"I'll give an example. We had a thread in the Gaming Group (yeah, yeah, not a contentious Group) here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/121195

A non-traditional post for the Group but well within the SoP. In post #10, NuttyFluffers says:

"kinda sad this place became so tightly associated with video games, now that you come to mention it. but whatever, i go to other websites to get my geek on."

Instead of letting it pass, both myself and lazarus (the two Hosts of the Group) posted replies encouraging NuttyFluffers to get his geek on here.

THIS is what being a Host is about, not directing but encouraging participation in the Group. Forums are different but in Groups, I do not see our primary task as having anything to do with the "super powers" we have but rather our desire to have a fun and active Group and do what we can to foster that."

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Response to Ohio Joe (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 07:04 AM

10. That's great, Joe, but we are all called on to do that, not just hosts.

Our Community Standards

It is the responsibility of all DU members to participate on our discussion forums in a manner that promotes a positive atmosphere and encourages good discussions among a diverse community of people holding a broad range of center-to-left viewpoints. ...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=aboutus#communitystandards


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Response to eomer (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 01:59 PM

11. The intent of what I was saying was not clear then...

I see being a Host of a given Forum/Group as making a particular commitment to that Group not only to follow civility rules but to actively try to help it grow into a larger and better place.

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Response to Ohio Joe (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 04:52 PM

12. I think that is laudable...

but I also think that what all DU members are called on to do goes beyond just following civility rules.

It is the responsibility of all DU members to participate on our discussion forums in a manner that promotes a positive atmosphere and encourages good discussions among a diverse community of people holding a broad range of center-to-left viewpoints.


In other words, even though I am not a host of this or any group, I still feel I should post in a way that promotes good discussions. So whenever possible I should try to engage with others in a way that causes them to think and reply thoughtfully rather than to get angry and to lash out. I'm sure I fail many times but I do consider it my responsibility. And I do believe that goes beyond just following civility rules.

So, you know, carry on with what you described; I think it is good. I also think that I and my fellow members of the community should do pretty much the same.

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Response to eomer (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 05:16 PM

13. As you wish, ignore what is said

It is what will make being a Host in this Group a challenge.

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Response to Ohio Joe (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 05:23 PM

14. Not getting your meaning.

I think that all DU members are called on "not only to follow civility rules but to actively try to help it grow into a larger and better place". That seems to me to be a rough paraphrase of the section of the Community Standards that describes the responsibility of all DU community members. I'm honestly not seeing what you disagree with or why.

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Response to eomer (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 05:28 PM

15. Well...

I see nothing in what you keep re-posting about comitting to specifc Groups to grow them or make them better then they are, it simply is not a part of it. Thats fine though, you want your point to be that Hosts have no purpose here other then locking threads, you are free to believe that.

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Response to Ohio Joe (Reply #15)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 05:43 PM

16. maybe we can reframe this

Regardless of whether we all have a responsibility to help make groups work better, it makes sense to me that group hosts have a special responsibility to do that.

Do any of us have thoughts about how?

Perhaps the ideal role of hosts is not well defined by the formal powers of hosts. (Or conceivably hosts would benefit from additional formal powers.)

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Response to OnTheOtherHand (Reply #16)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 06:02 PM

18. "hosts have a special responsibility to do that" - Absolutly, yes

The CS Group is certainly one of the special challenge Groups. Pretty much everyone on both sides tends to automatically reject anything from the other... Not nessasarily in a rude or mean way (though that does happen) but it is the way of things here. So how does one grow an inherantly contentious Group... I've not figured out a viable way to do that yet but I am certainly open to any suggestions.

As for additional powers for Hosts... I think anything additional would make them too close to mods and I do not see that as the intent of having Hosts. There is some discussion in this regard though going on in the Host Group now but honestly, my gut feel is that the Admins are not going to expand them... At least not in any way that would effect this.

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Response to Ohio Joe (Reply #18)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 07:01 PM

23. I suppose that...

we should think about how to start threads that people from all sides might see some value in participating in. Honestly, growing CS is not a personal priority for me; I'm willing to continue investing some time in making CS a place where it's OK to disagree.

I have no idea what additional power(s) for hosts would even be desirable (and it seems to me that the ability to usher people to the exits when it's really necessary is a great one). I was only offering that as a logical possibility. I think it makes sense to start on the hospitality side.

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Response to OnTheOtherHand (Reply #16)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 06:14 PM

19. re: "Do any of us have thoughts about how?"

So "members have a responsibility" and "hosts have a special responsibility". Moving on.

I do have some thoughts about how. One way is for each of us who care to engage in the effort to try to set a good example. I feel safe in saying that while you and I tend to post a lot of substantive thoughts, we have both also resorted to ridicule at times. I can remember at least one specific conversation when I did so (not in a conversation with you but with another regular in the group). Perhaps we could both foster a better discussion community by trying to never do that and instead always stay patient and stick to substance. To be fair I think that you show a remarkable ability to do that a very large percentage of the time and only rarely have resorted to ridicule. So it's just a last little bit that I'm talking about.

I have some thoughts about things that others could do but maybe it's best to talk first about ourselves.

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Response to eomer (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 06:51 PM

22. I'm not sure what sort of pledge I would want to take, there

I won't defend ridiculing people who are trying their best or trying at all. I don't think everyone here always is. I'm not sure what the best way to deal with that is.

That said, I do consciously try to be a good citizen. And, while I may not be prepared right now to pledge never to resort to ridicule, I can pledge to count to 500 before doing it.

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Response to OnTheOtherHand (Reply #22)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 07:02 PM

24. I'm not sure either.

Those who are obvious in their not trying should eventually work themselves out of the system. But that can sometimes seem to take a very long time and a lot of damage can be done in the meantime. I don't see any solution to this except trying to engage in conversation in the midst of the prevailing noise. Sort of like a hurricane party.

But hopefully there are some who would want to do better if we make a case for the benefits of it.

On edit: There might have been an option for dealing with those who are clearly not trying: hosts can block members who are not keeping to the stated purpose of the group. But that brings me back to the point I was trying to make in my OP: the Statement of Purpose of this group is such that I'm not sure how it would exclude people who aren't trying. It says we are to discuss "highly speculative" topics and "conspiracy theories". I wonder if we could, by agreement or perhaps by appealing to the admins, rein that in a bit and clarify that it is not a place for crazy talk.

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Response to Ohio Joe (Reply #15)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 05:54 PM

17. Oh, I guess it's a historical perspective that makes me think that way.

During all of my time at DU I have tended to hang out mostly in a couple of forums. The first was the Election Reform forum. There were a number of regulars there who were obviously very dedicated not only to election reform but also to the discussion community they were participating in. They weren't hosts but they did the things you're saying hosts are called on to do. I was one of them.

I doubt you or other hosts can accomplish those stated goals without having most of the member participants actively engaged in the same. I don't know why you would want to try. The more the merrier, if you ask me, when the subject is getting people to take responsibility for making a community a better place. Who better than all the members? Isn't that a core progressive value?

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Response to eomer (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 06:25 PM

20. I would agree with that

"I doubt you or other hosts can accomplish those stated goals without having most of the member participants actively engaged in the same."

Certainly, it would be infinitly easier if everyone felt the same... In fact, there would probably be no reason for hosts if it were the case.

"I don't know why you would want to try."

I simply love a challenge

"The more the merrier, if you ask me, when the subject is getting people to take responsibility for making a community a better place. Who better than all the members? Isn't that a core progressive value?"

Agreed. I do though, feel the need to look at it as it is... This has traditionally been a wicked contentious Group and participants on both sides have not tried... even a little bit... To live up that. I don't think that makes anyone any less of a progressive on either side, I just think it was the nature of how this Group went at DU2 when it was 9/11. So... There are Hosts who are here to at least try and move the Group in that direction. I would encourage you to become one if Lithos is still taking more on.

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Response to Ohio Joe (Reply #20)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 06:39 PM

21. Yikes, we agree. (What do we do now?)

I would be willing to be a host. As I understand it you can add a host. If you want to add me I will accept.

I do think there are some 9/11 forum regulars who have tried, at least a little bit, to make the place better. There are surely others who haven't. Perhaps there are some who would make an effort if asked. We have a feeling of a fresh start with DU3. We've also lost a couple of regulars (including one new regular) who, in my opinion, weren't very helpful in fostering a functional discussion. Between those things we seem to have an opportunity to establish a better norm here, if we try.

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Response to eomer (Reply #21)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 07:16 PM

25. I sent a PM to Lithos

He is the primary Host for the Group and was assigned it by the Admins so I do not feel right doing anything without an OK there. I will let you know when I get a reply.

With the new ToS, there has definitly been changes and I have a feeling the impact is not done yet. I do agree though that it does give an opportunity for a fresh start.

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Response to eomer (Reply #21)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 03:33 AM

33. Reading your knowledgeable posts, and thinking you'd be a great choice as a group/forum host. (nt)

 

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Response to T S Justly (Reply #33)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 04:39 AM

34. I also think eomer would be a good choice for an group host here. n/t

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #34)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 06:10 AM

35. Lithos has added me as a host.

Thanks, Bolo, I think you're a good choice as well. Same to Ohio Joe and the others on the list, which now is:

1 Lithos
2 undergroundrailroad
3 maddezmom
4 Bolo Boffin
5 Ohio Joe
6 eomer

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Response to Ohio Joe (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 10:33 PM

32. Joe, compared to DU2 (mods)

a significant change here is that all hosts get to do in any group is to lock threads and ban members (from the group only). This seems to be very little responsibility, jmo.

The biggest change on DU3 is that any post in whatever forum is sent to a random jury. What this means is that this will insure a fair assessment of the alert.

On edit: And it means that the hosts do not have this power.

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Response to eomer (Original post)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 08:15 PM

26. A tentative proposal.

After further thought, it seems to me that this group's Statement of Purpose should be amended. I think the hosts of this group need something in the Statement that will let them lock threads that are too far out and especially let them block members who live consistently in a place that is too far out.

Granted that the new DU Terms of Service place limits on really far out topics and the Terms of Service apply in this group like everywhere else. But I expect we will see an inconsistent application of those rules if it is left to random juries who haven't focused on this kind of subject. If we could incorporate those same limits and, if I had my preference, even slightly tighter limits into the Statement of Purpose then hosts of this group would have the authority to enforce them. Those hosts would be much better equipped to do so than most DU members chosen at random.

I think the hosts will need such a tool in order to be effective stewards of this group.

Of course, I recognize the special challenge the admins have to deal with in this arena and will respect whatever judgments they make.

On edit: hang on maybe this can be construed to be what I was looking for -- the Statement of Purpose has the following sentence at the end: "When posting, please be mindful of the DU Terms of Service." Maybe that is enough. Thoughts? (Sorry that you're seeing my messy thinking-out-loud.)

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Response to eomer (Reply #26)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 08:49 PM

27. I don't think the TOS provide ideal guidance for the group

It's not for me to say, because I've never had much flair for creative speculation -- but an admonition not to stray too far into Crazyland doesn't seem to provide much indication of what the group is for. And that's fine, because I wouldn't expect the admins to be deeply invested in a purpose for this group. (I don't have any problem with the TOS as such.) But there may be a way of describing the purpose of this group that helps delineate what is and isn't appropriate.

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Response to eomer (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 11:29 AM

28. There is already an alert for this

After hitting alert, check the first box, "This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate" and another check box for ToS will appear. Check the ToS box and put in a comment, and send it off. The Admins are being VERY serious about ToS violations, see here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1014&pid=12674

The Jury decided not to hide the post... Which was probably a good verdict as it does not break civility rules but the ToS that went to the Admins was taken care of right away and the poster banned.

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Response to Ohio Joe (Reply #28)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 05:04 PM

31. OK, thanks, together with several other far out posters having privileges revoked recently...

... maybe my concerns were premature. My hope is that reining in the far out postings (effectively flamebait) will over time also rein in some of the name calling and ridicule and move us in the direction of mostly substantive discussions (which will be interesting to me).

Thanks for the info.

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