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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 6:02 am 
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Hint hint peoples.
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If you've been following what's going on, well, you know that today has been a day that will live in infamy. :P

Be that as it may, the mods here on HSD have been deliberating long and hard about specific policy proposals. We're considering how how to potentially restructure the Controversy Corner and/or other appropriate areas of the forum to best facilitate open, respectful discourse. And while VermontKing has been the catalyst for kickstarting a lot of this discussion, this is something that has been weighing on our hearts for some time.

Therefore, for the time being, we have decided to put a temporary freeze (note the word "temporary") on several of the recent topics that have drawn the most attention recently in CC. This action has been taken so that the team can better focus on debating and potentially implementing different proposals.

Thank you all for your understanding and patience as we seek to keep HSD a safe yet open environment for homeschool debaters and alumni alike. If you have any suggestions, questions, or comments, please share them in this thread if you'd like or private message (PM) any of the moderators.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 6:22 am 
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Evil Democrat
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Mods restricting muh freedoms! /s ;)

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 6:59 pm 
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I've been told to ask here for more information about what happened. So that's what I'm doing. I'm curious as to what exactly happened and why you locked the threads and what y'all are thinking about doing. I'd love to give input if y'all want it.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:02 pm 
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Back in my day, 'reform' meant 'ability to post on-topic one-liners without getting censored by fastidious fourteen-year-old mods'.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:25 pm 
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Masked Midnight wrote:
CalebAshley wrote:
I've been told to ask here for more information about what happened. So that's what I'm doing. I'm curious as to what exactly happened and why you locked the threads and what y'all are thinking about doing. I'd love to give input if y'all want it.
Long story short, the team is working on deciding what kind of discussion the forum should facilitate for its target demographic (homeschooled debaters) keeping with the interests of the students' parents. Content restrictions and mod-approval for CC access are examples of topics being discussed.


Okay thanks! What exactly caused this particular discourse to happen now? I wasn't really reading Vermont Kings posts.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:36 pm 
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I like the idea of mod approval for controversy corner. maybe it has changed, but when I signed up all accounts required admin approval.

I understand the need for some discretion in content due to the fact there are teenagers on the forum, but unless things have changed everyone has to be at least 14 with parental approval so there can be some expectation of maturity levels. I think CC can serve as a valuable forum for issues students may not be exposed to or feel comfortable discussing in other venues.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:37 pm 
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melancholy milkshakes. no straws.
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CalebAshley wrote:
Masked Midnight wrote:
CalebAshley wrote:
I've been told to ask here for more information about what happened. So that's what I'm doing. I'm curious as to what exactly happened and why you locked the threads and what y'all are thinking about doing. I'd love to give input if y'all want it.
Long story short, the team is working on deciding what kind of discussion the forum should facilitate for its target demographic (homeschooled debaters) keeping with the interests of the students' parents. Content restrictions and mod-approval for CC access are examples of topics being discussed.


Okay thanks! What exactly caused this particular discourse to happen now? I wasn't really reading Vermont Kings posts.

Some of the mods were concerned about the recent trend in CC toward increasingly mature topics, and were concerned that some of the discussion strayed from HSD's purpose and target demographic. But like Evan said, this is a temporary measure while the admins restructure things a bit.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:40 pm 
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Get off my lawn, young'ins!
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CalebAshley wrote:
Okay thanks! What exactly caused this particular discourse to happen now? I wasn't really reading Vermont Kings posts.
We had to do a lot of editing to keep some of the CC threads appropriate. VermontKing was a particular offender - making inappropriate and overly-explicit comments, demeaning other users, trying to circumvent the language filter, and just generally being a troll.

Our moderation team is fantastic, though, so most users never saw the worst of it.

A variety of factors are in play. The flurry of moderation activity, old trolls trying to come back, the nature of the threads... it's provoked a general discussion of the purpose of HSD and how we ought to handle more "edgy" content.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:25 pm 
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Is now cool
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Absolutely. :) thanks to the mod team, we know you all do a lot of work to keep HSD safe and troll-free for everyone. I know it's a difficult line to draw between 'edgy' and 'over the top', but we'll respect whatever boundaries are put up.

That said, I love the idea of age restrictions or mod approval for CC. Perhaps a thread just for alumni, but I know a large part of why I post on HSD is to interact with those who are still in the leagues.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:17 am 
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Masked Midnight wrote:
CalebAshley wrote:
I've been told to ask here for more information about what happened. So that's what I'm doing. I'm curious as to what exactly happened and why you locked the threads and what y'all are thinking about doing. I'd love to give input if y'all want it.
Long story short, the team is working on deciding what kind of discussion the forum should facilitate for its target demographic (homeschooled debaters) keeping with the interests of the students' parents.

Who does the forum primarily serve, homeschooled debaters or their parents? Do the mods represent the interest of these parents when they make judgment calls about what to (dis)allow? Just curious what the positioning is. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:25 am 
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I know not this "leverage" of which you speak.
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Quote:
[...] we don't want to dissuade students from Christianity or begin to question the tenets of God's Word.

Actually yes, yes I do want people to question. Questioning one's own beliefs is essential for growth.

A belief unquestioned is a house built on sand, but early exposure to opposing viewpoints is a powerful way to ensure that kids don't leave their faith. I would argue that truth should be the goal rather than belief preservation, but even if I disagree with your goal, I will still be happy if people begin to think critically about previously unquestioned assumptions.

As Evan said, I think moderators should be conduct police, not thought police. Objectively speaking, it's in the best interest of students to allow honest discussion from opposing viewpoints, even if the opposition is an atheist, communist or some other boogyman. If parents want to shield their children from respectful, honest dialogue about difficult issues, then so be it. That's their loss.

But if the dialogue is destructive and disrespectful, that's an entirely different story, and I think that's why we're having this discussion right now. VK's recent rampage shows that we might need to rethink our policies and structures to form a better space for dialog and growth.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:22 am 
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What Elijah said. When I was on hsd in high school, there were tons of discussions questioning Christianity and other deeply held beliefs. The discussions were curbed if tempers got too hot, but this is the perfect place to put ideas and beliefs to the test. imo

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:39 am 
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Here's a couple suggestions for change some of which have already been discussed:

1. Limit CC to users approved by mods. I think this makes a lot of sense and is probably the easiest and best reform idea out there.

2. Mark certain threads with an explicit label of some kind. Some topics naturally lead to more explicit content this doesn't mean we shouldn't discuss them just based on that. But adding a specific label or making them even harder to access might help things. Something else similar to this would be to have certain threads be only to be able to be accessed by users older than 18.

3. Moderate a users first 20/whatever number of posts. This is pretty simple moderators would have to approve a certain number of a users posts before they could post freely. This would deal with the occasional troll like Vermont King that pops up.

4. Find more conservative voices. This is the most hypothetical thing I'll mention. I think some of the current imbalance is because of the lack of conservative voices(though there are some great and persuasive ones like Razi and others) that are willing to speak up. Let's be honest most of the users on hsd are conservative but that isn't reflected in cc. I'm not sure how this is fixed, but the discussion would be better if the number of voices was more balanced.

5. More mod explanation. If a mod decides to delete or edit a post I think they should inform the user that posted that post. Quite often the problem may be that the user didn't know what the line was. The way to fix this is to let them know.

6. An appeal system. If a user's post is deleted or edited I think they should be able to appeal that decision. The point of this wouldn't be to make mods' jobs tougher, but to make sure that each user is treated fairly. A simple way to do this would be to have a 3 mod appeal panel or something of the like.

Thanks for listening!!!

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:07 am 
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I'm not sure what's meant by "Mod-approved access" to CC, but I think "opt-in" might be a better way of looking at it: users can choose to apply to access the CC, with the expectation that they'll be given access, but that the Mods will have the power to remove the access if they behave badly.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:22 am 
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Agreed. My goal is never to shut down conversations but to open them up. I'm not afraid of being honest when I think an argument/opinion is over the line, but I think even most people who disagree with me on here would say I am not unnecessarily confrontational (maybe not though :P). Stuff like Vermont king just ticks me off because it gives more users a reason to avoid engaging in debates.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:18 pm 
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CalebAshley wrote:
4. Find more conservative voices. This is the most hypothetical thing I'll mention. I think some of the current imbalance is because of the lack of conservative voices(though there are some great and persuasive ones like Razi and others) that are willing to speak up. Let's be honest most of the users on hsd are conservative but that isn't reflected in cc. I'm not sure how this is fixed, but the discussion would be better if the number of voices was more balanced.

Conservatives are never as vocal as liberals.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:54 am 
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Can we still post in the non-locked topics?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:00 am 
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thephfactor wrote:
Can we still post in the non-locked topics?
Go for it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:53 am 
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... Why was the feminist thread locked? :?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:49 am 
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Quote:
4. Find more conservative voices. This is the most hypothetical thing I'll mention. I think some of the current imbalance is because of the lack of conservative voices(though there are some great and persuasive ones like Razi and others) that are willing to speak up. Let's be honest most of the users on hsd are conservative but that isn't reflected in cc. I'm not sure how this is fixed, but the discussion would be better if the number of voices was more balanced.


:lol: This is definitely true. I'd love some more people to speak up besides me and Masked Midnight, rather than sending me PMs telling me I'm right. :P

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