On the Neutral Zone

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Christian, Aug 27, 2000.

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  1. Christian

    Christian Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 1999
    Location:
    On a sidewalk in Amsterdam
    If you visit the Neutral Zone, you will notice that the following disclaimer has now appeared at the top of the category listing and all the threads in the forum:

    In addition, I've removed my own user ID as moderator for that forum. TNZ was never intended to be moderated, and to be certain someone wouldn't be tempted to still act as moderator there, I added my own name to that. Recently people have interpreted that as meaning there is actually a TNZ moderator, and so now no mod is listed for the forum.

    Both things were done in order to shift legal responsibility away from the BBS. Similar to Usenet carriers or chat box providers, we are now providing the Neutral Zone as a forum for the more sensitive issues, but the BBS has no awareness of what actually goes on there. Us administrators might still post there, but as BBS we'll no longer have any official knowledge of what goes on there, or need to have that.

    The disclaimer is also intended to once again reiterate why the Neutral Zone exists. It's there to provide a less restricted atmosphere for the discussion of sensitive issues, and not (or in some cases not purely) for flaming, 'Crush'/sexual threads or similar things. However, we're aware that because of this it might sometimes not be possible to read or post in all the threads, and as we're not able to take the laws all over the world into account, this becomes more your own responsibility. If you live in China or Afhanistan, posting about the downsides of your government might not be the most advisable move. Similarly, as another example, you should also not post pictures of a pornographic nature, both because that could get you in trouble with your local authorities and because that could get your fellow members who see the pics.

    Fortunately, the forum has again proven over the past weeks that it is capable very well of moderating itself. Though pictures were posted in one thread which went beyond these guidelines, pressure from the other participants in the forum led to them being voluntarily removed by the posters. There's recently been a large amount of threads on a sexual nature, but undoubtedly that's just a phase that will be over soon - previously, we've had periods when all the threads dealt with homosexuality, or with heavy political issues.
     
  2. Christian

    Christian Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 1999
    Location:
    On a sidewalk in Amsterdam
    Oh, and as for the reason I'm only posting about this issue now - well, I wasn't actually aware of it before. As you may have read on TrekToday, I was without good net access for much of the week, and I'm still working on catching up.
     
  3. DEAverification

    DEAverification Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 1999
    Location:
    western North Carolina, US
    And that's the final and full decision on the matter. [​IMG]

    I'm glad your back Christian, in full force.. [​IMG]

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    Warum Taille eine gute Idee auf einem kleinen Verstand? :P

    DEAverification :P
     
  4. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Switzerland
    Couldn't you get rid of your responsabilities with a shorter text?
     
  5. Holdfast

    Holdfast Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    I welcome that the Neutral Zone is unmoderated. Most people are polite enough to lend itself to self-regulation.

    One question. Given this unique status on the board, would it be fair to then assume that one cannot be banned for anything done or said on that section? Since it's outside the "official" sight of moderators and administrators, I mean.

    If true, isn't the section I quote below totally unenforceable?

    I approve of the self-moderation you've granted to TNZ, but given that case I fail to see the benefit of this section. Nothing done here would be punishable and BBS policy theoretically doesn't even apply since it's outside your official view?

    Just wishing clarification.

    EDIT: Of course the illegal bit still applies, but the enforceability of the rest of that section is what needs clarification.

    [This message has been edited by Holdfast (edited August 27, 2000).]
     
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    This is satisfactory.
     
  7. Teelie

    Teelie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 1, 1999
    I was about to post the exact same thing, Holdfast. How do you enforce rules without any form of enforcement? Self moderating means we can all go around editing or deleting the material that is not allowed then? For instance, I could go and post a huge amount of spam on various illegal things then get away with it.
     
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    It's like asking someone nicely not to step on your toes without having anyway to enforce it. I'll admit there are some posters in TNZ that will voluntarily follow the rules, but what about blatant offenders that could care less about policy? This is just inviting them to run amuck. And do we really think these types will listen to the members that speak up against them? Can you say flame wars?

    The question is, shouldn't there be a fail-safe clause to keep this from happening.

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    "I can write better than anybody who can write faster, and I can write faster than anybody who can write better. "
    - A. J. Liebling (1904-1963)
     
  9. Dan

    Dan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
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    Location:
    University of Delaware, Newark, DE USA
    Well, I must say that I welcome this. I agree that in general, a "self-moderated" TNZ will allow more interesting and involved discussions.

    But at the same time, I must voice my concerns (as others have) on the issue of enforcability. Don't take this personally, Christian, but it seems like willful denial of what goes on in the forum to claim that the adminstration will take no action if a problem (like the recent images in 'that' thread) crops up -- for instance, what if the poster refused to take the images down? What then?

    But overall, I like it. It's a clear warning as to what goes on in the forum without being exclusive to minors or anyone else.

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    You know, you really should keep a personal log. Why bore others needlessly?
    The Gigantic Collection of Star Trek Minutiae
     
  10. T'Bonz

    T'Bonz Romulan Curmudgeon Administrator

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Across the Neutral Zone
    Actually, TNZ is quite unnecessary. Isn't this a Star Trek board? Why have the controversial unmoderated (equals "do what you want, we've covered our $#@) place that really has nothing to do with Trek.

    I know it doesn't matter, but it strikes me as strange. I come here for Star Trek, not to debate homosexuality, sexuality, politics, pick your controversial thing. The strength of this board is Star Trek.

    Why go to a gas station for banana splits? Better to go to Baskin-Robbins!

    P.S. Just my opinion. I rarely go to TNZ, mostly I'm here for Star Trek. But since TNZ seems to generate trouble, why bother, when it doesn't relate to the main purpose of the board anyhow?

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    T'Bonz of Borg: "Resistance is illogical!"
     
  11. Seven of eleven

    Seven of eleven Vice Admiral Admiral

    Questions:

    Do the new rules mean you can:

    1) Insult someone from the other parts of the BBS?

    2) Use the most varied and exotic and local forms of cursing in threads?

    3) Post racist, sexist, or [the word for people who hate certain types of religions. I don't know the word and I'm tired so nuts] comments?

    4) Post URL to questionnable web sites?

    5) Post many frivilous messages ie: SPAM?



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    I am an individual; just like everyone else.
     
  12. Admiral

    Admiral Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2000
    Location:
    Seattle, Wa., USA
    Some time ago I was going to suggest that there be two Neutral Zone boards, so that those who were banned from A board could post on the B board. It would eliminate much of the flaming while still allowing everyone to have their say. It was only because I am new here that I didn't suggest it because I assumed everyone has had the same problem with it. As for getting rid of it altogether, the three non Trek boards, not counting Suggestions are where most people build a community. Discussing Trek, or anything with strangers has no merit because there is little point discussing something if it is not the opinion of the person putting forward the proposition. If we agree, we can simply agree that we agree.

    As far as clarifying things, it is for the court to interpret the law, and a simple case which sets a precedent will be used by the courts to establish what individual rights are. As soon as I qualify, I'm going to the private forum (Forum).
     
  13. Rob Hal

    Rob Hal Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Location:
    London, ON
    From now on, when I want to discuss a sensitive issue, I'm going to post a thread in Misc., because I do not want to flamed and insulted by anyone who disagrees with my opinion.

    I am very disappointed with this administrative action. This simply protects the TrekBBS, and in now way protects the members.
     
  14. Cirrus

    Cirrus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 1999
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    this seems like a pretty short sighted action

    seems to be we are admitting defeat... and saying "to hell with it, TNZ is a flame board"

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    Blonde Borgs have the same fun.
     
  15. Guest

    Guest Guest

    LMAO! Hey guys I think we choose the wrong name for TNZ. Perhaps Section 31, or Area 51 would have been more appropriate.

    "They don't confirm its existance.... but they don't deny it either"

    originally posted by Cirrus:
    Well it will depend. This will now test the maturity of trek BBS members. Very soon we will see if TNZ users try and get the forum up outta the crap and use the forum to discuss real issues. Or will users now take advantage of this now 'no holds barred' forum. Where it seems that there will be no enforcement of any rules. The best we have got is a 'request' that users don't use it to flame. But if they do, well nothing will happen.

    To be honest I'm going to bet on the later. More immature users will take full advantage of the place. And I'm sure it will be a very inviting target for the average spammer/flammer that happens to pass it by.

    Shessh I can't wait.
     
  16. aussie_voy_fan

    aussie_voy_fan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 1999
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    So, if no-one is taking any notice of what occurs there... does that mean that we (the mods and admins) can do whatever we want to as well??

    *evil grin*

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    Read the Kate Mulgrew and Robbie McNeill Convention Reports
     
  17. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Location:
    Tatoinne
    Before the TNZ, these sorts of OT debates were always impinging on the other areas of the board, to the annoyance of many. I thought TNZ's purpose is to distract people who want to have those debates so they won't bother the other forums any more.

    I have noticed some increase in civility overall, so let's keep TNZ the way it is. If it's unmoderated, the troublemakers will stay in their sandbox and leave the Trek-related areas of the BBS alone. Suits me.

    If ya don't like TNZ, have a polite OT discussion in Misc instead.

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    Temis the Vorta

    "Our two chief weapons are fear, surprise and an almost fanatical devotion to the Founders!"

    -Dominion motto

    [This message has been edited by Temis the Vorta (edited August 28, 2000).]
     
  18. T'Bonz

    T'Bonz Romulan Curmudgeon Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Location:
    Across the Neutral Zone
    I don't consider it a problem. I can handle any discussion thrown my way. But given that it seems to be causing nothing but dissension and possibly trouble, I just question the logic of having it, that's all. Personally, I don't care if it stays or goes.



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    T'Bonz of Borg: "Resistance is illogical!"
     
  19. Zun

    Zun Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 1999
    Location:
    The only kingdom where everything can happen...
    There's a few painful mistakes that have already been said by other members above;

    1) SPAM. If there's no moderator, there's no one who can stop members from posting 'many frivolous messages in order to get their rank up quickly'. Furthermore, let's all just post our chain letters and advertisements in TNZ, since there's no one complaining, well, at least no one with any power.

    2) We all know what happens to non-moderated forums, message boards, and the like. Anybody here who likes to post on alt.startrek or its ilk? If my point isn't clear, direct your Outlook to one of these newsgroups. You'll run away screaming real soon.

    3) You have just tolerated flaming.

    I'm sorry. I used to read TNZ on a daily basis, but I don't think I want to anymore. I'll wait and see for a few weeks, but my views are pessimistic.

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    Thirteen days until "The Voyager Conspiracy" airs!!
     
  20. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Christian has every right to protect his ass. As long as there are buttheads willing to break international laws in his nams, he has every right to protect himself legally.

    The TNZ *is* self moderating. The so-called 'crisis' that happened has been effectively diffused by the members. Ultimately, kids, it doesn't f***ing matter anyway - it's just a Web board. Would you be willing to get sued over that? No, I didn't think so...
     
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