Should Topics Be Locked?

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Postby Geno Munari » 01/31/03 07:34 PM

A forum is defined as: 1. place to express yourself: a medium, for example, a magazine or newspaper, in which the public may debate an issue or express opinions.

In the light of free speech without flaming anyone, should the topics be locked?
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Postby Brian Morton » 01/31/03 07:35 PM

Geno,

I've already voted on this question ("Yes"), and I'm writing to tell you why, inasmuch as the answer is moot.

This is the GENII Forum. It's Richard's board.

If I acted up in his living room, he'd have the right to toss me.

If I went to his office and acted up, he'd have the right to toss me.

Try handing out tracts or propaganda in a shopping mall. They'll toss you. Why? Because it's their turf. They can.

It's not about free speech. It's not about censorship. It's about the man who creates the forum has the right to set the rules. ("Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one.")

You may disagree with the times and manner than Richard shuts down a thread. But it's his right.

If I ran it, I'd do the same. Simple enough. No flames. End of comment.

brian :cool:
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Postby Geno Munari » 01/31/03 07:37 PM

Thank you for your opinion.
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Postby John LeBlanc » 01/31/03 07:56 PM

Originally posted by Geno Munari:
A forum is defined as: 1. place to express yourself: a medium, for example, a magazine or newspaper, in which the public may debate an issue or express opinions.

In the light of free speech without flaming anyone, should the topics be locked?
For the very same reasons Brian laid out, I also voted yes, topics should be locked.

Do I shake my head when it happens? Often. But my opinion doesn't matter; I'm not the owner of the forum. My choice is to participate according to the rules or not.

John LeBlanc
Houston, TX
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Postby Geno Munari » 01/31/03 08:07 PM

Thank you for your opinion.
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Postby Brad Jeffers » 01/31/03 08:13 PM

The question is whether or not topics should be locked, not whether or not Richard has the right to lock them, because he wants to. Of course he can, but he shouldn't. I vote no.
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Postby Lance Pierce » 01/31/03 08:26 PM

Discourse is always muddied when we bring in words like "should." However, there are times when conversation in a topic drifts or crosses certain lines of protocol (or far exceeds the boundaries of what the board exists for). Many times this takes place hand in hand with heated emotion and hard feelings. In those cases, it's often better for the topic to be locked and the conversation shut down, since it was heading in no beneficial -- and possibly a quite harmful -- direction anyway. The moderators here have shown wisdom more often than not in making these decisions. The board has been kept a happier and healthier place. It's not an affront to freedom of speech, and it's not censorship...it's usually just good common sense.

Cheers,

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Postby Jeff Eline » 01/31/03 08:50 PM

One of the things I really like about this forum is its quality of postings. Have you been to alt.magic or any of the other newgroups??

Topics are rarely locked and I think it helps move things along. For crying out loud, we had five pages of three fly conversation. Now that should have been locked! ;)
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Postby Guest » 01/31/03 10:07 PM

Of course Mr Kaufman CAN lock a thread at anytime but SHOULD he?

I believe he should delete and edit rude any offensive posts but stopping a conversation short because it is off the topic is kind of pointless.

Why bother?
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 01/31/03 11:23 PM

This topic continues to be debated wherever speech is aired or tracts are written. My impulse to "lock down" and "lock up" is generally based on how rowdy and off track a given thread becomes. Since I spent a lot of time in "mean streets" and in "hard leg environments," I tend to be more tolerant. Even the most vociferous dog fights fizzle and end after enough fur has flown and blood shed. Perhaps we may create a special Arena (not Forum) for flame-outs and cat fights? There are a few that enjoy such blood sport. The rest prefer a more stable, civil environment...or so it seems?

Remember: the General Forum here involves a large number of participants and lurkers who prefer that the confluence of messages stick to the topics of magic...making it a narrow-casters delight.

BTW, RK is not the only person who "locks" topics. Dustin and I also slam on the padlock from time to time.

Meanwhile, I'd like to see everyone cast a vote in the poll begun by Geno M. Let us know which way the vagrant winds are blowing.

Onward...
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Postby Guest » 02/01/03 12:03 AM

I like Jon's idea. I think there should be a separate category in the forum exclusively devoted to personal attacks that way maybe the rest of us can have some productive discourse. LOL.
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Postby Pete Biro » 02/01/03 12:08 AM

Listen you JERK... :) personal attacks should be mano a mano -- or email? :confused:
Stay tooned.
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Postby Jeff Eline » 02/01/03 08:42 AM

Well, first of all, I think Genii may be in some liablity if they facilitate an area for name calling.. and we already have this place. It's called alt.magic

What's the ratio of locked topics to unlocked ones? My guess is that it's pretty small.
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Postby Guest » 02/01/03 10:45 AM

I voted yes, because some threads become so ill or lame that the only humane thing to do is euthanize them.

This is different from saying that I agree with all decisions to lock a thread. Just this morning, some kid (I presume) asked whether Uri Geller is for real. The thread was locked down, with a statement that the person who posted it obviously didn't belong on this board.

I'm not so sure; maybe it was a troll or maybe just a kid with some knowledge of magic (he could cite Banachek and Barry Richardson) with a notion in need of some gentle disabusing. Was there any basis to the kid's statement that Barry Richardson has vouched for Geller's authenticity? What if the thread -- once begun -- veered into a more productive discussion, e.g., of whether magicians should ever have anything to do with Geller? Interesting threads sometimes have humble beginnings.

IMHO

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Postby Bill Duncan » 02/01/03 11:14 AM

I voted a general YES in response to JR's request. There are certainly times when closing a thread is the best option.

I have a question: can threads be "Unlocked"?

In those rare events when it's necessary to close a topic I suspect it would usually be better to close it for (say) 24 hours that to close it forever.
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Postby David Alexander » 02/01/03 11:24 AM

Moderators should have the power to lock topics.

In all human interaction done face to face there is the moderating influence of the possibility of physical reaction. This unsaid but real possibility almost always moderates the exchange to acceptable levels.

This moderating factor is completely absent on line. We do not see the faces of the people we are "talking" with, we do not see any body language. We have nothing but electronic words.

Sad to say, but there are people who are not well socialized and have little sense of proportion when discussing something passionately or otherwise. Reasonableness in discussion is a learned skill, not always well practiced.

That said, I will also restate the fact that this is a private discussion group, open to those who behave by the rules common courtesy, rational discourse, and general "reasonableness." The few topics I've seen closed and the few people tossed off follow much in the vein of people you wouldn't spend time with at a convention because you recognize them for what they are.

Consequently, the need for trusted moderators to supply the factors that are missing, otherwise this place would degenerate to the level of alt.magic.
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Postby Brad Jeffers » 02/01/03 02:55 PM

... this is a private discussion group, open to those who behave by the rules of common courtesy, rational discourse and general reasonableness.
True, but the problem with locking down a thread because someone is either uncourteous, irrational, or unreasonable, is that all of us who are not, are locked out as well - and the discussion ends there. Just lock out the individuals who are causing the problem and let the discussion continue. As it stands, if someone other than the moderators wants to shut down a particular thread, I guess all they have to do is make a few asinine posts or veer the discussion off topic and this will result in the locking down of that particular thread. So who's in controll here afterall? Occasionally a thread will be locked down on the grounds that it has "run it's course". This also seems unnecessary. By definition, if it has indeed run it's course, then there is little left to say and the topic will die out on it's on. But mabey someone will come along with an original thought, that will spark the thread back to life. I say let each individual be his own moderator, and in effect lock down those threads that no longer interest him, by simply not continuing to follow them. Anyway, when one of the moderators locks down a particular thread - those who are intent on keeping it alive, always seem to resurrect it somehow.
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 02/01/03 03:14 PM

Originally posted by Brad Jeffers:
True, but the problem with locking down a thread because someone is either uncourteous, irrational, or unreasonable, is that all of us who are not, are locked out as well - and the discussion ends there.
[QB]
Er, when that happens, just open up a new (and hopefully more on topic) thread. With a new thread, the conversation can be continued quite readily.
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Postby Geno Munari » 02/01/03 03:32 PM

Remember, you can vote without leaving a message or reveal how you voted.
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Postby Guest » 02/01/03 04:45 PM

posted February 01, 2003 02:32 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Remember, you can vote without leaving a message or reveal how you voted.

Can we post our vote under a fake name?

Mike
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Postby Geno Munari » 02/01/03 04:49 PM

On this forum you can. But usually when a person casts a vote it is private. Whats your pleasure?
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Postby Brad Jeffers » 02/01/03 06:23 PM

Wert, That is exactly the point I made when I said that closed threads just get resurrected. They are just started again, where they left off. As you said "with a new thread, the conversation can be continued quite readily". Exactly! Therefore, what's the point in locking them down in the first place. The "new" thread is simply a continuance of the thread that was locked - it concerns the same subject matter and involves the same participants. What's going to be different? At least with one continuous (unbroken) thread, you are able to conviently view what is currently being said, in the context of what was previously posted. But having said all this, I would also note, that I personally have no problem with the way the moderators choose to run this forum. It's the best one around, so they must be doing something right! :)
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/01/03 08:49 PM

Considering the number of threads that have appeared on the Genii Forum, we have had to lock and/or delete relatively few.
Even more amazing, considering that we have over 2300 people actually registered (out of the 6,000 who regularly look at the Forum), is how few people we've actually had to boot off. Less than 20! That speaks very highly of those who post on a regular basis, and we are indebted to all of you for this.
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Postby Geno Munari » 02/01/03 09:19 PM

Another one hit the dust.
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Postby John LeBlanc » 02/01/03 09:22 PM

Originally posted by Geno Munari:
Remember, you can vote without leaving a message or reveal how you voted.
I know, but I like the idea of an exit poll. "What" is rarely as interesting as "why".

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Postby Geno Munari » 02/01/03 09:27 PM

True.
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Postby John LeBlanc » 02/01/03 09:41 PM

Originally posted by Jon Racherbaumer:
Onward...
I just realized something, Jon -- you are Number 6!

Of course, lots of us really know you are not a number; you are a free man... (insert mocking laughter.)

John LeBlanc
Houston, TX

P.S. It was a fine day when A&E released The Prisoner in a DVD box set. A fine day indeed.
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 02/01/03 09:41 PM

Originally posted by Brad Jeffers: What's going to be different? At least with one continuous (unbroken) thread, you are able to conviently view what is currently being said, in the context of what was previously posted.
We quite agree.

But, sometimes a thread gets so polluted, that it's actually a relief when it gets closed and can get started anew.

If the old thread is simply locked, I'm sure it could be easily found via "search" if someone wants to bring up points from the old thread in the "resurrected thread".

I have no problem with closing threads at all.

The way it's being done now suits me right down to the ground. :)
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Postby Guest » 02/02/03 07:43 AM

I voted "yes" for a couple of reasons.

First, free speech is not an absolute (but this isn't really a free-speech issue, anyway).

And second, remember the Golden Rule: He who has the gold, makes the rules.

In this case, we aren't paying for the board, we are here at the sufferance of Richard, et al. If we actually paid a membership fee, there might -- just might -- be an argument against locking threads.

As it is, though, there is NONE.

cheers,
Peter Marucci
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Postby Frank Tougas » 02/23/03 02:50 PM

I very strongly vote yes on this. This isn't free speech issue or censorship, both of which have to do with the government. This is a fourm for people, who I feel, are a bit fed up with the shenanagans that go on constantly with the other magic fourms. Things like frequent posters who use a fourm to have private conversations via the fourm with other frequent posters, People who get into pointless flame wars, and just plain off topic comments and subjects. I like the idea that things like this are watched for and prevented.

Oh by the way, the Shenanagans used to live next door in me old neighborhood, I'm actually a Hooligan - on me mithers side.

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Postby mrgoat » 02/27/03 01:38 PM

Originally posted by Brian Wendell Morton:
If I acted up in his living room, he'd have the right to toss me.

If I went to his office and acted up, he'd have the right to toss me.

Try handing out tracts or propaganda in a shopping mall. They'll toss you.
This has a very different meaning in the UK. Just let me say, often some tissues are involved. ;)

Just incase you ever visit, and offer to toss someone.

:)
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/27/03 02:59 PM

tissues? Please enlighten me.
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Postby Guest » 02/27/03 03:49 PM

Posted by Richard Kaugman
tissues? Please enlighten me.

As I am bilingual -- speaking both American and English, I look forward to seeing mrgoat's attempt to enlighten Mr. K while staying within the bounds of good taste and propriety.
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Postby Dave Egleston » 02/27/03 05:38 PM

Is that the "Toss my salad" guy? :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:
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Postby Guest » 02/27/03 06:03 PM

A different term for tossing would be "beating the bishop" if that is clean enough for you.

If you are a Star Wars fan, think of it as being called "Hand Solo".
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 02/27/03 06:30 PM

As in Rosie DePalma and her five assistants.

Carlin has a great hunk where he lists a couple dozen descriptive phrases for this...ahem...activity.

Old Joke:

A magician walks into a bar and orders two shots. He drinks one and pours the other over his hand.

He orders two more shots; drinks one and pours the other over his hand.

He orders two more shots, but the bartender asks, "What's with pouring the other shot over your hand?"

The magician says, "I'm getting my date drunk."
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Postby Guest » 02/27/03 07:19 PM

Do you think that's how Senor Wences got started? Imagine if your hand could talk dirty to you while... nevermind. Sorry.
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Postby Guest » 02/27/03 07:35 PM

Locking THIS topic isn't a bad idea.
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Postby Guest » 02/27/03 09:17 PM

I think magicians should be able to handle this. My dad always told me "A man has to know how to take care of himself."
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Postby Guest » 02/27/03 10:11 PM

Originally posted by Asrah:
Do you think that's how Senor Wences got started? Imagine if your hand could talk dirty to you while... nevermind. Sorry.
Of course, Senor Wences is the only guy who could give himself a h**djob and a b**wjob at the same time. While smoking a c**arette and having a dr*nk.

Ok, that oughta get this one locked.

Best,

Geoff
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