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Tl;DR Help, I'm being repressed!
Sorry, I think you've mistaken us for the United States Congress. The first amendment reads as follows: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." All of that to say, if you want to make an argument for why you should be allowed to say something... and I'm sure there are plenty of good arguments... please don't use "Free speech", because it doesn't apply here. OpenStudy is a privately owned and operated site. We set rules that we feel are appropriate for our user base and our goal. Our goal is to create a community of online tutoring. That goal is not facilitated by allowing questions to devolve into unrelated discussion. If you want to have a discussion about "whatever" - then I invite you to... in the chat. That's what they're there for: social interaction. Questions are designed to be focused around one particular topic, I believe our moderation to that extent results in the conversation being more coherent to individuals who come along and read it later, and I fully believe that the moderation we do towards that goal is well within acceptable parameters without inhibiting the social aspects of the site. As always, thanks for your suggestions. I'm glad we have members of the community who care enough to bring this to our attention, but I suspect we're going to be at an impasse on this issue for now unless you present us with a compelling argument we haven't heard before. Cheers.
Granted, you're not congress. I'm not trying to say you have any OBLIGATION to promote free speech. That would not be a tenable argument. However, the argument that free speech is good for the community is easy to make. Observation of history would do the trick.
And to say that socialization should be limited to chat isn't really tenable. There is no interaction that is not social in some degree.
I'm sorry, but we disagree. There's a difference between the fact that interaction is social and an interaction whose primary objective is to be social. Additionally, it would be a fallacy to attempt to apply maco-level societal principles to a specialty community universally. There are differences, on multiple levels, between a country and a group designed strictly for tutoring. I strongly suspect if you walked into a tutoring hall at a major university and spent your entire time trying to chat up the tutors while they were actively trying to help a student, you would be asked to leave. Our moderation is a direct corollary to that.
So in your analogy, I'm randomly walking into a tutoring hall. I don't belong there. I'm not contributing. I'm merely distracting people. Okay, yes. You got me. They would kick me out. However, this is a straw man argument. A better analogy would be one in which I am a tutor in the hall. I belong there, and I spend most of my time actively helping students in math. In addition, I have discussions with the faculty of the university on the best way to run the tutoring hall. Now, instead of purely discussing math, I do socially interact with the people I'm tutoring. I develop relationships, and I fit into the community in more complex ways than simply being a teacher. I don't think that any staff at the university would view that social interaction as detrimental to productivity. I don't think they would ask me to leave, nor to stop socializing. And I don't think that they would stop me from saying what I wanted to say, that is, as long as it was not inappropriate, and it did not harm the overall goal of learning.
The problem with that argument is that by being off-topic in a question you are, by definition, harming the overall goal of learning.
The fundamental problem with your analogy is that what you've been reprimanded for has nothing to do with your analogy. One had to do with being disrespectful to the leadership of the community (by being condescending to us, though being disrespectful of/condescending to learners wouldn't be any better). The other had to do with inappropriate content first, and then with, once again, a disrespectful attitude. The inappropriate portion, you covered. We were apparently in the right according to you. The disrespectful part, you also covered, because disrespectful content is considered inappropriate, thus falling under your umbrella statement about inappropriateness. Therefore explain to us again what the problem was with our actions, and we can discuss it further.
Shadow, I'd rather have a general discussion than consider specific incidences. I know you believe you made the correct decisions in those instances. You are the one who made them.
Sorry, I also think he made the correct decision in those cases.
You are the same person though.
Lol. That's a pretty entertaining accusation. Anyway, your description of how a tutoring hall would work is exactly how our general system works. Your issue is with specific actions. So we have to discuss specifics. You've already agreed with our general principles by describing them precisely in your description of an ideal scenario.
I mean, all I'm saying is that I'd rather talk about general principals. If we can agree as a general principal that a post should never be deleted unless it is inappropriate or harmful to learning, then we have made progress. Sure, we're still stuck trying to interpret what is inappropriate and what is harmful to learning, but at least we know what the criteria for deletion is, rather than just deleting whichever posts we feel like deleting.
We haven't made progress by agreeing to that as a general principle because *it is already the general principle* :p By “agreeing”, we are exactly where we began.
That said, I agree that that's the general principle.
The other benefit of arguing general principals rather than specific cases is that it removes some of passion you may feel about the specific situation, and it makes it less tempting to make ad hominem.
Haha, if you agree, then why did you begin your reply to this thread as an argument against me? You should have said, "I agree."
ad hominem arguments* You know, things like, "You're just a negative nancy. You're condescending. You're not nice."
This is the kind of conversation which would be a lot more pleasant over some beer and cigars.
Farmdawgnation's opening response can be better read as a reply to your TL;DR rather than your opening reply rather than your original post. I'll gladly quote myself with regards to ad hominem: “Your previous question was, as pointed out there, closed because of your condescending attitude.” Note that the condescending attitude is restricted to the question, not to you in general. “I have consistently shown little patience for condescension and bad attitude, no matter whose post I'm dealing with.” Note the clear removal from ad hominem by pointing out the general opposition to condescension, as opposed to calling you out as being somehow unique in this respect. “Being condescending is a one-way ticket to us ignoring you. Next time try being polite, constructive, and respectful. You know, like explaining what you see as actually being wrong with medals as a metric, and presenting alternatives up front instead of waiting for someone to react to your vitriol.” Once again, this was an attack on the *content of your post* rather than on your person. It even featured suggestions on how you could improve said content in the future, the implication being that we believe you to be perfectly capable of constructive and respectful criticism if you choose to go that path. As for beer and cigars, sadly I don't much like either. I'd go for a nice scotch, though. And Farmdawg I'm sure would be glad for the beer :p
Dear diary, Today OP argued pointless topics and OpenStudy was ruined for everyone for all time. The end.
^Lol best part of this whole post.
+1 to beer.
``` We set rules that we feel are appropriate for our user base and our goal. Our goal is to create a community of online tutoring. ``` Applause. Was having the youth in the chats blabbering about nonsense also included in your goal, if I may ask?
Blabbering about nonsense? The chats are designed to be one of the social elements of the site. It's there so that people *can* talk about things other than just their homework while waiting on an answer, or just interact with the community.
"so i was like with my boyfriend in this room and...[censored]" I'm talking about this. A live example is the music chat.
They hit each other on chats now, compared to the peaceful environment I saw six months back when I joined.
The chats are fine. They're a mess. It's hard to discuss anything worthwhile there, but they do their job. They are fine.