Dealing With Offensive Posts: No Longer a Joke

There’s a big problem here. Flaggings are simply rarely happening. This is the responsibility of every poster. Over the course of the blogging history the flagging system has been underutilized, sometimes more, sometimes less, right now critically.

To compound the problem the flagged posts are not being deleted promptly enough at times, but especially not today. Yesterday was a very critical day for this site. I’m going to be frank. .I don’t think it’s humanly possible for any one person alone to handle all aspects of moderation at all times. The thread in question was crucial and it was in many ways lost. Worse than lost. Demoralizing. The grievers did not have the space to grieve properly and the people who were sceptical or bitter about the exclusive focus of that grief were unable to be heard. They had some valid points but they were too angry. And things exploded. And deteriorated into a sideshow.  And it did not have to be.

It was everyone’s responsibility and failure. I made mistakes.  I said a couple of things which, in retrospect, I would’ve preferred not to have, in terms of “civil discourse”. I started flagging but not really enough or promptly enough. And I didn’t remind others to do so. So that one I’m doing now. There was a similar situation on the Gaza threads. with chaos and abuse. But yesterday there were all these “f” words staying there for hours.  This can’t be.

And the other thing is that it’s not only the crises, you know, going from Gaza to Delara to whatever comes next. And it will. The problem is also that once the procedures for flagging, deleting and combing threads by the moderation team become too lax, the failuree of “civil discourse’  can start to spill over onto the entire website discourse, and even after the particular crisis subsides. And many of us remember the “Wild Wild West”.

Well I highly doubt there’ll be death threats again, but there are plenty of other ways of killing with words. Look, first that girl was killed. And then we killed her thread. . And for the whole world to see. For the general readers who pitched in on the dampaign..there are silent people who read the threads. For our kids to see.  

Poor girl. Not even cold in her grave. What a pity. Opportunity for unity and dialogue lost. What a disgrace. I believe some others on that thread agree..But it’s okay. As long as we learn from it to all share responsibilty for the discourse on the site, it’ll have been worth it.



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