In Reply to: Re: Dear James, posted by Warned? on March 29, 2008 at 19:04:04:
That was the idea. It appears harsh, but there were reasons for it. The picture of what happened may not be so clear now since several of his posts were deleted, and we're not displaying his personal mails to us publicly. We often have access to a lot of information that we don't always share, due to our own scruples. Sometimes we know when someone is fooling around, but we still have to keep our own rules and respect the privacy of the offender.
For example, we allow the use of multiple handles, but we do at least expect people to be honest. So when someone posts pretending to be a number of entirely different persons with conflicting and mismatching background stories and taking a number of different positions on an issue, we do have cause for concern. But even then, we usually try to avoid confronting them in a way that outs them, revealing their different handles. But we do at least tell them we know what they're doing. The problem with this type of poster though, is they operate on such a level of dishonesty that when confronted, they play stupid. And of course they never foget to tell you it's just a conspiracy and you're trying to censor them or something to that effect. We do try to give people the benefit of the doubt about the multiple-conflicting identities thing, because sometimes things can seem a certain way but they really aren't. When it comes down to it though, it's not about the multiple identities, but what they are doing with them, like taking the opportunity to be abrasive or personal, etc, wearing out their welcome and then resurfacing as a new person with a clean slate and a whole different story just to start all over again.
Perhaps this will sound unfair, but after years of experience coordinating, there is a certain type of poster you begin to recognize. You watch them make one obtuse remark after another with concern, and you know you have to deal with them sooner or later. When they finally cross the line far enough and you point it out, they will typically disagree, which is fine -- we don't have to all agree since we're not in a cult anymore. But they refuse to respect the line you draw, and start playing lawyer with you -- they see nothing wrong with their behavior because everyone else is far, far worse. And when you try to explain it, they just turn it around on you: not only is everyone else but them at fault, it's actually a conspiracy against because you can't bear what they have to say -- everyone is ganging up on them; your entire site sets the bad standard to start with, etc. They don't get it no matter what lengths you go, and they start telling you how to do your job. Without fail, they clutter up the board very quickly with multiple posts made within no more than a minute in between, with mostly nonsensical and contradictory content, because they are just arguing for the sake of arguing, and they don't take the time to actually read what was written to them. As a coordinator, you try to do your job dispassionately, while they try their best to make it personal. What I find particularly annoying is they usually try to get "under their skin" of the coordinator, get "familiar," try to curry favor, go fishing for a way in. When they don't find any advantage in that, you can watch them change colors in the next post. When they finally get around to rereading (usually because they are given a time-out) what they wrote themselves and realize it doesn't look good, without fail, they'll demand you remove all their posts along with everyone else's too -- all the responses and exchanges that transpired -- "clean slate please, anything but consequences!" But it's too late by then.
Thank you for letting me vent. Maybe I'm far too impatient to be a coordinator, but I don't mess around, or waste my time beating around the bush anymore. I call it like I see it.