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Posting Policy / No Anonymous Guests

Joe Offer 08 Apr 08 - 04:01 PM
Joe Offer 21 Aug 08 - 12:27 PM
Joe Offer 27 Aug 08 - 02:55 PM
Joe Offer 15 Sep 08 - 11:44 AM
Joe Offer 21 Oct 08 - 04:09 PM
Joe Offer 04 Mar 09 - 08:07 PM
Big Mick 20 May 09 - 12:09 PM
Joe Offer 25 Aug 09 - 07:44 PM
Joe Offer 26 Sep 09 - 03:07 AM
Joe Offer 19 Nov 09 - 01:51 PM
Joe Offer 31 Dec 09 - 02:28 PM
Joe Offer 26 Jan 10 - 05:37 PM
Joe Offer 29 Apr 10 - 11:33 PM
Joe Offer 15 May 10 - 03:54 PM
Joe Offer 02 Jun 10 - 03:56 PM
Joe Offer 29 Jul 10 - 02:25 PM
Joe Offer 04 Mar 11 - 02:23 PM
Joe Offer 04 May 11 - 02:16 PM
Joe Offer 29 May 11 - 12:09 AM
Joe Offer 06 Jul 11 - 03:47 AM
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Subject: Guest,guest Posting
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 04:01 PM

Although membership is preferred, visitors are welcome to post as guests at Mudcat. However, we require that you use a consistent and distinctive name. The name Guest,guest (such as it is) is already in use. Please pick another name, and use it consistently. Janet Ryan, since the Guest,guest name has been compromised, I'm going to ask you to pick another name - and stick to it.

As always, civil behavior is expected of all participants at Mudcat. This holds particularly true for Guest posts, since the lack of a verified identity tends to cause uneasiness on the part of other participants. We've had a problem with Guest posts the last few days, so we will be deleting all Guest posts that show animosity or an attempt to provoke animosity.

All posts using the name Guest,guest after midnight tonight, will be deleted.

As always, it's best for regular participants to post as members.

If you would like to discuss this matter, please contact me by e-mail or personal message. I think a general discussion of this matter in the Forum wouldn't really do any good, but I'm always open to discussing things privately.

Thanks.
-Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-
joe@mudcat.org


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Subject: RE: Guest Posting Policy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Aug 08 - 12:27 PM

New Policy, July 30, 2008:



We have decided to prohibit GUESTs from starting BS threads. It seems that almost all Guest-initiated BS threads are posted by people who want nothing but to start a fight. Many are political fanatics who have no interest in music whatsoever, so one wonders why they should have space in a folk music forum. We have many folks/GUESTs that cruise in and ask music questions, so we wouldn't prohibit that. But rarely does a person of honest intent cruise in and start a BS thread. We think an appropriate rules change would be to require membership to start a BS thread (we can make an exception for members who aren't logged in).

We also have a number of Guests who always post in a tone that seems like they're looking for a fight. Henceforth, we will monitor all Guest posts and delete all that have any hint of combativeness. Regular members have to live with the consequences of their posts – Guests can hide behind anonymity, and that makes their aggressive behavior more threatening. Therefore, aggressive behavior from Guests will not be tolerated.

So, in short, this is our guest policy, effective immediately:

  • Prohibition of Guest-started non-music (BS) threads*
  • Stricter monitoring of Guest and new member posts
  • Continued requirement that all Guests use a consistent name
  • Aggressive behavior from Guests will not be tolerated
  • As always, guests who post regularly are encouraged to register as members - make sure you use a legitimate e-mail address on your registration.



And our policy continues, of prohibiting public forum discussion of Mudcat editing policy or editorial actions. If you have comments or suggestions or questions, contact me directly. If you're not satisfied with my answer, contact Max Spiegel, owner of Mudcat.

-Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-
joe@mudcat.org

*And if you register, be assured that you are expected to use a legitimate name and e-mail address on your registration, although your Member Name may be a pseudonym.


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Subject: Posting Policy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Aug 08 - 02:55 PM

In general, we've had to crack down on aggressive posting, from members and Guests alike. The Margaret Thatcher dementia thread is a good example of what shouldn't be happening here. The thread was closed and I removed the worst of the personal attacks, but removing them all would have made the discussion completely nonsensical.
And despite what our trolls contend, it isn't the issues that get threads closed - it's the personal attacks. When you go attacking individual posters, we have to take action.
If you have reason to complain about a personal attack or an individual who is causing a problem, don't start a thread about it. Contact me by personal message or e-mail, and give me the following specific information
  • name of the thread
  • name of the poster
  • date and time of the post
  • what's wrong with the post
I will say that our complainers often don't find satisfaction when they contact me. Oftentimes, when a person is the target of an attack, that person attacked first. Around here, we seem to have numberous instances of pots calling kettles black.
And our policy continues, of prohibiting public forum discussion of Mudcat editing policy. If you have comments or suggestions or questions, contact me, or Big Mick, directly.


-Joe Offer-
joe@mudcat.org


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Subject: RE: Posting Policy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 11:44 AM

refresh - as a reminder that Guest,guest is not an acceptable user name. Even if you post as a guest, you are expected to choose a distinctive user name and stick with it.
Also note that we do not allow guests to start non-music (BS) threads.
Thanks.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Posting Policy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Oct 08 - 04:09 PM

Please remember that the FAQ requests that you do not respond to trolls (people who post just to cause trouble or provoke a fight). I get all sorts of messages from people, outraged that Mudcat "allows" people to post racist or provocative messages. Time and time again I explain that Mudcat "allows" nothing of the sort - people do such things on their own initiative, taking advantage of the generally uncensored freedom of the Mudcat forum.

Yes, if messages are clearly racist or are outright personal attacks, they will eventually be deleted - usually within a matter a two or three hours. We review all Guest messages, so we rarely miss an objectionable message if it's from a Guest. It's much harder to delete such messages if there is a string of Mudcatter messages responding in outrage to the post.
Don't you people see that your outraged response is exactly what the trolls crave?
Please, do us all a favor and

Don't respond to troll messages.

Thanks.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Posting Policy / No Anonymous Guests
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 08:07 PM

Sometimes, I get angry messages, asking why Mudcat "allows" so-and-so to be so insulting, and demanding that the perpetrator be "banned" from Mudcat. Well, we don't "allow" personal attacks and racism - but because we do not have a universal pre-posting censorship policy, some nasty posts get posted. If they're likely to cause damage, we delete them - but we acknowledge no obligation to delete anything. We do our best to operate by common sense, not by rules, so don't expect to get a lot of sympathy if you complain that we "don't enforce the rules" equitably by deleting so-and-so's post. There are no rules that require us to delete anything. We delete for one reason - to keep the peace. We are a folk music forum, not a police agency or moral arbiter.

We ask people not to respond to troublesome posts. If you DO respond, don't be surprised if you are treated just as severely as the Evil Posters are. If Mudcatters could simply ignore the problem posters, we'd have a lot fewer problems here.

Also - please be aware that we don't ordinarily "ban" people here, despite what the BBC and other forums do. If you are upset by what somebody posts, don't respond.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Posting Policy / No Anonymous Guests
From: Big Mick
Date: 20 May 09 - 12:09 PM

One clarification. GUESTs are allowed to start music related threads. I have reinstated music threads that appeared to have been deleted simply because they were started by GUESTs. Good advice is to read the link in Jeri's post, which takes you to the policy statement from Joe.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Posting Policy / No Anonymous Guests
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 07:44 PM

You will notice that a couple of Guest-initiated threads questioning Mudcat editing policy were deleted today. They were deleted for two reasons:

  1. We don't allow non-members to initiate threads unless they are legitimate music threads
  2. We generally don't allow threads discussing Mudcat editing policy, because too often, an honest answer would require us to reveal information that we cannot discuss publicly. If you have a question about Mudcat editing, contact me or Max or Big Mick by personal message or e-mail.

-Joe Offer-
joe@mudcat.org


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Subject: RE: Posting Policy / No Anonymous Guests
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Sep 09 - 03:07 AM

    We've had way too many anonymous GUEST posts lately, so we've been deleting more of them. Please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name [in the 'from' box] when you post, or your messages risk being deleted. We sometimes let them go in the music section, but not always.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Posting Policy / No Anonymous Guests
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Nov 09 - 01:51 PM

You know, when you label a person a troll, you've accepted his challenge to engage in combat, and then we have a nasty exchange of multiple combative posts. If you ignore a troll, we don't have combat.
I see two examples of Mudcatters accepting troll bait today (a brawl in a Concertina thread????). We don't prohibit trolls here at Mudcat - we prohibit combat. If you engage a troll in combat, then we're forced to do something about it. And usually we eliminate the combat, not the one who allegedly provoked it. This may not seem fair to some people, but that't the way we do it. The lesson is:

Don't respond to trolls!

(You're asking for trouble if you label people "trolls" or announce "troll alerts.")

Thank you.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: Anonymous Posting Prohibited
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 02:28 PM

I keep getting complaints from people who wonder why their posts were deleted, while other posts that are nasty and crude are allowed to remain. Invariably, it turns out that the deleted post was anonymous, or was posted with a name other than the poster's usual posting name.

We find that most of the time, people who use consistent identities, post responsibly. If there's something wrong with what they've posted, people take them to task for it and the problem is handled without censorship. HOWEVER we have all sorts of problems with posts where the poster is not identified, so we now monitor all Guest posts. If your identity is established, you can post pretty much whatever you want to post - and face the consequences of community disapproval if you screw up. If you post anonymously, you have no rights here.

We fully realize that other forums don't do it this way - but this is the way we do it. We do our best to assure that posters are who they say they are - and if they're not, we delete their posts.

So, the policy remains: we do not allow anonymous posting. We do not delete ALL anonymous posts, but we do delete most of them.

If you have a legitimate reason for changing your posting identity, we'll try to accommodate you - but you must first get permission from Max, Big Mick, or Joe.

If you forget to put your name on a post, simply post the entire message again, including your name. We'll delete the nameless post, and everything will be hunky-dory. If you feel a post should not have been deleted, contact me directly and I'll look into it. I can often retrieve the lost text so you can post it again - with your name on the post.

Thanks.

-Joe Offer-
joe@mudcat.org


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Subject: RE: Posting Policy / No Anonymous Guests
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 05:37 PM

Allow me to repeat something from the first message of this thread (8 April 2008):
    As always, civil behavior is expected of all participants at Mudcat. This holds particularly true for Guest posts, since the lack of a verified identity tends to cause uneasiness on the part of other participants. We've had a problem with Guest posts the last few days, so we will be deleting all Guest posts that show animosity or an attempt to provoke animosity.

Also, please note that the list in the second message (30 July 2008) includes this:
  • Continued requirement that all Guests use a consistent name
This requirement also applies to members who are posting as Guests for some reason - they are expected to use their regular posting name. If you need to change your posting name for some reason, that can be arranged - but first clear it through Joe Offer, Big Mick, or Max.

At Mudcat, you are free to say pretty much what you like - as long as people know who you are. We review and control all Guest messages, but we generally do not review the content of messages posted by people with consistent identities. We do respond to specific complaints about personal attacks or outright racism, but we try to allow this community to regulate itself by nonaggressive self-policing. We figure that as long as people in this community are known by consistent identities, most people will behave in a civil manner - and those who do not behave will not earn the high regard of their fellow participants, and they may learn to behave in order to win that esteem. It also requires the community to learn to tolerate or ignore minor misbehavior, and not to allow it to ruin the train of discussion. It doesn't always work, and we do have to intervene at times; but in many ways, it works amazingly well.

We fully realize that this is not the way that most Internet forums work, but we rather like it this way. Monitoring the content of messages posted in this forum would be an arduous, tedious, arbitrary, and near-impossible task, so we focus our editing on ensuring the identity of posters.

As stated above, we do not usually allow Forum discussions of Mudcat policy; but we are happy to discuss policy matters by personal message or e-mail, because private communication allows us to give an honest response.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Posting Policy / No Anonymous Guests
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 11:33 PM

I've noticed a number of threads started by guests lately. Please remember that we do not allow Guests to start non-music threads, although we do let some slip by. Please consider becoming a registered member.
thanks.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Posting Policy / No Anonymous Guests
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 May 10 - 03:54 PM

As was stated above:
    Anonymous posts are routinely deleted, although we do let some get by in the music section. Even then, anonymous posts are grudgingly tolerated and are not welcomed.
I deleted a post today from somebody who gave his name as "not a fan." The person had never posted before under that name, and posted a message critical of a deceased musician. It's a sticky question, because perhaps the information posted was worthwhile. Still, I can see no value in allowing anonymous posts that are critical of anyone. If you can't sign your name to it, don't post it. We do make exceptions to this policy for legitimate reasons.

If you'd like to discuss this policy, contact me privately by personal message or e-mail. Note that you cannot use personal messages if you are not logged in as a member.

-Joe Offer joe@mudcat.org-


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Subject: RE: Posting Policy / No Anonymous Guests
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Jun 10 - 03:56 PM

Refresh.

Note that we do not allow unregistered Guests to start non-music threads.


Please don't post to threads started by Guests. there's no need to report such threads to us - we'll delete them on our usual "rounds."
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Posting Policy / No Anonymous Guests
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 02:25 PM

Refresh, because I've had to delete an upsurge of posts from unnamed people and posters with multiple identities. Anonymous posts are routinely deleted, although we do let some get by in the music section. Even then, anonymous posts are grudgingly tolerated and are not welcomed. Multiple-identity posters are viewed with particular disdain.
I am aware some members have cookie problems, or they're comfortable as Guests and just don't bother to sign in. Other people are aware of this, too, and they sometimes post under the names of people who regularly post as Guests. If we have any reason to suspect manipulation in the identity of a poster in a message, we're likely to delete that message - even if the message seems benign.
We review all Guest messages, and we expect all Guests to behave with impeccable manners.

If you think your post was unjustly deleted, contact me by e-mail or personal message (not in the Forum) and explain the circumstances.

-Joe Offer-
joe@mudcat.org


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Subject: RE: Posting Policy / No Anonymous Guests
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 02:23 PM

Refresh, as a reminder that we do not allow unregistered Guests to start non-music threads. If you'd like to start threads, please register and join our community. Yes, I realize that some people have cookie problems and can't log in - but if I can't find a registration from you, most likely your thread will be deleted.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Posting Policy / No Anonymous Guests
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 May 11 - 02:16 PM

Refresh, as a reminder that we do not allow Forum discussion of our moderation actions - because most times, we are not free to give an honest answer in public discussion so the discussion ends up one-sided. If you want to discuss such things, contact me directly so I can give you an honest answer. If you don't like my answer, contact Max.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Posting Policy / No Anonymous Guests
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 May 11 - 12:09 AM

Refresh.
Lately, we've had an increase in no-name Guest posts. We try to let such posts go by if it appears to be an honest mistake and if we can identify the poster, but please recall that nobody has a right to post anonymously. If you post without a consistent name, you risk having your messages deleted.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Posting Policy / No Anonymous Guests
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 03:47 AM

Refresh, because I've had to delete a number of innocuous messages from anonymous posters (Sorry 'bout that, Chief). If you wish to post here, please use a consistent name in the "from" box of every message you post here. Better yet, register as a member and the box will fill itself in automatically.

-Joe-


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