My house, my rules. (RHJunior no longer mod)

My house, my rules. (RHJunior no longer mod)

Postby STrRedWolf on Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:44 pm

I've just gotten another complaint about behavior unbecoming a moderator against RHJunior... and I've reviewed various posts.

Given that I've warned RHJunior before, another abuse complaint that is investigated and proven true forces me to remove him from moderatorship.

Congrats, RHJ, you offically abused your power. You claim to "own" this forum. Sorry, you rent it like you rent an apartment; you get to pay to repair any damage that I see, and you really screwed it up this time.

You are banned from moderatorship on all three of your forums. Any attempt to work around this will be met by a general ban from the forums. Any new forums created will also ban you from the forums. Any further abuse after you have been banned will cause me to take your comics and delete them.

Nominations for new forum mods will happen early next year. For right now, if there's a flame war going on, PM me, Kisai, or Mercury Hat.
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Postby StrangeWulf13 on Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:25 pm

As much as Ralph may or may not have earned this dishonor, I feel rather troubled at this turn of events.

The fact is, Ralph has pointed out to me that many of the comics picked for the top spot (it was Keenspot once; not sure what it is now) all lean to the left on matters of politics and beliefs. I haven't verified this for myself, but I trust Ralph... and I don't think I could stand wading through all of them to do so.

Also, you, Mr. STrRedWolf, have displayed liberal values in the past. One can only imagine how many of the other mods share similar values.

Frankly, how can we trust you? The comics we all love are hanging by a thread now. Yes, Ralph probably took things too far, yet he locked the threads for a reason. And in a way, you've proven his point: Christians face hostility in this country. Even if that's not part of why you demodded him, people will talk. They will start to wonder if you're truly unbiased and just. Some will most certainly see this as hostility towards Christians, and towards Ralph in particular.

I want to know the comics are going to be okay. But frankly, I don't trust you. Not one damn bit.
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Postby Solarfox on Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:28 pm

I don't always agree with Ralph's politics, and I think he does have a tendancy to be, by turns, unnecessaril abrasive and/or overly stubborn on various points -- but be that as it may, I'm afraid I have to agree with StrangeWulf13.

First off, this whole thing smacks of partisanship, and looks more like a coordinated effort by certain individuals to repeatedly provoke Mr. Hayes on these forums and then running for the nearest Admin to complain about how they're being picked on.

Second -- given your own demonstrated political leanings, STrRedWolf, your motives in this action are somewhat questionable, to say the least.
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Postby MikeVanPelt on Wed Dec 13, 2006 11:45 pm

I agree with Solarfox -- It's my impression that a few individuals have been deliberately baiting Ralph. I have my own disagreements with Ralph on various issues, but I don't feel the compulsion to hammer on those differences, day after day, week after week. I think if you were to look at those exchanges with anything like an open mind, you'd see that the people complaining were hardly completely innocent victims.
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Postby Jace on Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:10 am

Wow, people really love this whole anti-Christian propaganda conspiracy idea. Even when he acts abrasive, as already admitted here, it gets turned around to "Is it because he is CHRISTIAN?!?!?!"

Look, Ralph didn't have to be a jerk when locking or deleting threads. And he didn't HAVE to make a fuss with his 'HEY WANDERWULF' thread.

And I don't know about anyone else, but I commented on threads when I felt I had something I wanted to say. Many a time I DIDN'T comment because, while wanting to speak, I didn't have the words or the skill to contribute. So while I can't speak for everyone, I can say that I enjoyed chipping in when a subject I felt strongly came up... and I wouldn't be surprised if some people felt strongly enough about an issue that Ralph's arbitrary lockdowns (and the associated snark he made sure to leave behind) only made them that more determined to get their point across.

One could say that he was baiting back.

EDIT: Ok, I do have to admit I'm a post and run kinda guy, so I haven't seen EVERY interaction. What I did see was people making opposing arguments and Ralph locking threads rather than deal with it. You know, if you feel that any of that was out of line on the part of the other side and should be considered as contributing factors, perhaps you might feel helpful and point the moderator to the posts you're referring to. Burden of proof and all that.
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Re: My house, my rules. (RHJunior no longer mod)

Postby Csadn on Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:57 am

[quote="STrRedWolf"]
[b]You are banned from moderatorship on all three of your forums.[/b] [/quote]

And this is why I stay as far away as possible from threads involving
Religion*, Politics**, or any other issue beyond the subject matter in the
actual [comic|book|movie|thing being discussed]. Like restrictor-plate
racing, it's not a question of *if* catastrophe will result -- it's a question
of *when*. (It doesn't help that most people do not seem to be aware of
a single simple fact concerning Online Fora: This Isn't A Democracy, This
Isn't A Republic, This Sure-As-My-Butt-Points-Backwards Isn't Burger King;
You Don't Get It Your Way.)

QED.

[*: Not least because: No One Who Really Matters Cares What You Think.]
[**: Not least because: No One Who Really Matters Cares What You Think.
Would you like to try for ***?]
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Postby Kisai on Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:01 am

I'm going to only a say bit because I have neither read the forums, nor read the complains, or was even aware what was going on till others told me StrRedWolf was doing something and getting flack for it again.

1) The forums, the server they are on, and likewise all the data that is submitted to the server is property of KeenSPOT entertainment and/or Licensed for use by KeenSPOT/ComicGenesis in order to run the forums. If we asked that data not be deleted, data is not to be deleted.
2) Using the forum on ComicGenesis is a privilage, not a right. Likewise moderator, or admin rights is a privilage not a right.
3) The policy on moderating has been more or less
i) Spam or unwanted messages are to be moved to the trashbin forum
ii) Messages are not to be *deleted because it drags down phpBB to delete/edit posts. (This is a database issue only, nothing else.)
iii) Users that post SPAM or any unwanted message, report it to an admin and we can ban them. However posting controversial posts is not grounds for a ban.
iv) Split and/or lock threads that have detrailed into flames.

4) Actions by admins or moderators are their own discretion, and not in any way representative of the opinions of KeenSPOT entertainment. Whoever moderates a forum has the free descretion to lock what doesn't fit the content guidelines of the forum. That's it. I don't know the story, and I'm not going to do a single thing about it unless I hear the entire story.

However from what I've heard, posts were *deleted, and since they were deleted, there goes the proof. So I don't know what the issue is.

Take a minute and think please.

If people were coming in the forum just to pick a fight, go elsewhere. This is stupid and I quite honestly, don't know what the big deal is that required Admin intervention.

*PHPBB2 has to lock all the tables to edit or delete. When you try to delete a message it has to lock three tables and delete each word one at a time for the search table. The result is that deleteing entire threads locks people out of the forum as a whole for minutes... resulting in double posts for some... and further delete attempts, etc. The only reason to delete a post is in the event of a double post.
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Postby Jace on Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:22 am

Yeah, I know, if he's deleted threads then they can't be used as proof. I just figure, if people are gonna say "Mr Mod-person, I don't think you know the whole story", they should be willing to at least point in the right direction. I know it'll make more work for the mods, but much less than it would if a mod conceded and then personally trawled through every thread.
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Postby RHJunior on Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:01 pm

First off, I hardly attribute Str's choice to de-mod me to "religious persecution." There may be bias or favoritism involved, I could not say, but I don't know Stredwolf's motivations so I won't hazard any guesses.

Second, I AM "abrasive" as another person put it rather generously.

Quite some time ago I grew sick of arguing with various agitators, pests and trolls. I decided I didn't have the time to spare for episode #2,425 of "are not-am too" and took to simply locking threads. This has been taken by some as an invitation to promptly open a NEW thread, trumpeting about their moral superiority because Evil Oppressor Ralph had to lock/delete My Thread to "win the argument."
Resulting in another locked thread.

This peaked recently when I posted three... Note, not thirty, not thirteen, three... filler strips labeled "hard onions". My contention, in the third strip, that modern American society had become hostile towards Christianity was met with long diatribes, breaking down to:

1) So what! Christians in the past did bad things! so that means Christians aren't being persecuted!

2) So what! Blacks were slaves! so that means Christians aren't being persecuted!

3) So what! Gays can't marry! so that means Christians aren't being persecuted!

4)So what! There are more Christians than anyone else in America, so that means Christians aren't being persecuted!

5) Get rid of these strips, they're spoiling my comics!

6) Well you just apparently don't WANT to be a success (followed by a great deal of unsolicited, snide, "helpful advice" by complete strangers and insults about my current financial status.)

Setting aside the fact that this all probably wins the Irony Award in the "Proving the point by not getting it" category, I decided I'd had my fill and began exercising my mod privileges with a free hand--- including deleting entire threads, something I had never done or had to do before--- and made a post making it clear that I was NOT interested in being "fair," especially to people who considered that an open invitation to annoy and provoke me.

Then, after a leave of absence due to frustrations with my wireless internet (it's fixed, don't ask me how,) I return to find that STRedwolf has decided to swing the big stick.

.... well, as he made clear in his explanatory post, it's his ball, he can take it and go home any time he likes. He is quite within his rights to do so. (No, I was not aware of the taboo on deleting threads or posts, or of the alleged problems it causes. I apparently skimmed over that portion of the user's agreement. May I suggest that if deletion of threads causes so much trouble, perhaps the admins would be better off disabling that feature for mere mods?)

I was under the mistaken impression that I was given "lock" and "delete" privileges so as to deal with minor pestiferousness such as this without pestering the admins every five minutes.

So desu. In the future, any further difficulties and conflicts will be forwarded immediately to STRedwulf or another admin's inbox for their consideration. (Not as if I have much choice in the matter, really--- I'm no longer a mod after all.) Likewise, if anyone on the forums has any problems, take them to STRedwulf yourselves. He has demonstrated he is quite willing to listen to anyone, so I'm sure it will be no problem.
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Postby The JAM on Thu Dec 14, 2006 8:47 pm

Well, I'm glad to see SOME advances are being made.
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Postby Wanderwolf on Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:15 am

<sigh> In hopes that, now that you don't have to bother with mod duties, you'll actually read what I write:

I didn't "trumpet my moral superiority", Ralph. I complained at you that you were locking threads rather than answering questions. After complaining at you on the matter four times previously, yes, I got a bit snarky; you're a smart person, an excellent writer, and an accomplished artist. You're too intelligent to need thread-lock to replace thought.

As for the "Christians are being persecuted" responses:

1) That's not what I said. I simply stated that, having done bad things before, Christians are going to catch some flak. Same reason Southern Baptists get flak over their "wife shall cleave to the husband" ruling, among others. If you develop a reputation, being treated in accordance with it shouldn't come as a shock. That's not denying the existence of persecution; that's pointing out that we're going to catch it once in a while.

2) Could you point me at this one? Because the way you've pre-digested it here makes no sense.

3) Actually, we branched off into a different topic there. Sorry, it happens. The discussion of gay marriage was coupled to the original topic only by the Christian groups coming out against it; it was otherwise unrelated.

4) The observation was that Christians were not being oppressed, as a majority cannot be effectively oppressed. Oppression is distinct from persecution, as far as I know.

5) <shrug> Hard Onions, like regular onions, aren't to everyone's taste. In addition, there was some misunderstanding of your phrasing when you said you were going to post the HO strips "alongside" your regular comics. "Alongside" was misinterpreted as "in addition to" by quite a few of us, me included.

6) That's not what The J.A.M. said, you know. He's not trying to be snide; he just doesn't have English as his first language. If suggestions are unhelpful, say so; if you'd rather not have any "outside help", there's no reason to explode over it. But when people are sincerely offering help and advice, biting their heads off tends to produce bad feelings for obvious reasons.

(Ironic side note: The "artwork" you noted in the last HO, with the plastic crucifix in a cup of urine? It was cited favorably, by a nun who's an art critic, as "expressive of the modern attitude toward Christ and His values".)

Want to know the weird thing, Ralph?

I actually agree with you on several points.

Christianity is currently getting the short end of the stick. Being the biggest religion at the moment, it's now the biggest target as well. That lousy "artwork" never bothered with Jewish, Islamic or Hindu symbols; it went straight to Christianity and stopped. (He'd made a previous photo using a plastic Virgin Mary in the urine. Didn't get as much press.) It's gotten more than slightly ridiculous, what with the "Happy Holidays", "X-Mas", and such that became the "politically correct" version of Cromwell's Christmas ban.

Worse, it's nothing new. I was raised Presbyterian, Ralph, and Mother pulled me and my sister out of our first church, St. Mark's, for just this problem. (1977) I was instructed not to read ahead in the Bible, as though it was just some textbook; my sister learned more about Hanukkah than about Christ. The church had wine and cheese tasting parties; it was more of a social circle than a house of worship.

Where you and I seem to differ most is in the fact-checking: Much of the third HO was either distorted (the photographer wasn't paid government money to make the art, but won a contest; the boys expelled for carrying a Bible were in Africa) or outright wrong (the memorial has not been, and will not be, torn down; also, it's to Korean War vets).

I understand you don't have much time to devote to investigating these things; you're a busy artist, after all. But before you fire the big guns, it's best to verify your target.

Yours truly,

The vilified,

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Postby Mutant for Hire on Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:51 am

To those who claim that there may be partisanship here, I would feel much more comfortable about such accusations if one could show cases of left-of-center webcomic creators who locked down threads becaue people posted comments that said creators disagreed with.
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Postby Jace on Fri Dec 15, 2006 3:17 am

I'd also just like to clarify that any issue I had with the thread locking was based mostly on the rather ugly comments left by Junior right before he locked them, instead of just saying "I don't care for this to be discussed further". Which seemed to me, as much as anything, to be trumpeting his own little 'you're wrong and stupid and stinky and now you can't say anything back!' kind of 'moral victory'. Just my impression, and maybe it's skewed a little, but not much. That kind of behaviour does not paint an appealing picture of the person doing it, nor does it cast a favourable light on any arguments he tries to make.

As for number 6, anything I said along those lines was based solely on the fact that I have lost any desire I might have had to make financial contribution in any way, or to feel sympathy next time the artist begs for money to help with taxes, moving, etc. A drop in the ocean, I know, but I don't have the hubris to believe myself a unique and fragile snowflake.
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Postby Spacewolfomega on Fri Dec 15, 2006 5:10 am

Well, I was shocked and surprised to read this and I must say I'm disappointed with the decision. Ralph has been abrasive, rude, and sometimes unfair, I believe, but in my opinion no one is forced to be here. If they don't like the way Ralph runs the forum then they can leave.

I believe Ralph has done some things that have isolated a number of fans and have been severely bad moves on his part. However, this heavy-handed decision to strip him of his moderator status seems asinine. No one is forced to be here and if Ralph loses a lot of readership due to his actions, then let him pay the consequences on his own. If there's enough die-hard fans who can handle his abrasive nature and are fine with it... let 'em.
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Postby Mutant for Hire on Fri Dec 15, 2006 1:32 pm

Problem: This isn't Ralph's forum.

It's owned and maintained by someone else and fact that these people are ultimately responsible for who is a moderator means that the actions of the moderators reflect on them. If you give someone authority and later on you find they're using that authority in ways you don't like, not to revoke their authority means that on some level you approve of their actions or say that they are acceptable.

In the end, that's why the admins intervened. They don't want to appear to be accepting of Ralph's behavior by leaving him as moderator after all of these complaints.
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Postby Jace on Fri Dec 15, 2006 3:38 pm

And considering that the first reaction was to politically question the moderator's actions, despite Ralph's own show of class and tact in accepting it... really, damned if you do, damned if you don't.
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Postby STrRedWolf on Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:39 pm

Alot of folks have debated the intentions, and as usual, you've all been wonderful. Even folks over at General Discussion and the IRC channel. I can't really say much more than what everyone's said.

I will say is that, yes, I do tend to lean liberal from moderate politically. I also believe religion has little to no place in government -- look at Iran for instance! I believe that gays should be allowed to marry, so the government can get the marriage penalty taxes off of them (Win-Win). I believe in looking at laws in a legal standpoint and not a religious standpoint. I believe a healthy debate on Christianity is highly overdue. And I believe O'Reilly's a pompus ass for (among other things) covering the "War on Christmas" again -- come on, Bill, it's a dead horse. Stop beating it. But I try to keep an open mind about things.

Ralph has several good comics, yes. I read UTLT: Goblin Hollow myself and check into it from time to time. At times, it makes me want to say "Ralph, you're pushing your religion again," but he returns back to "the funny." If it's a stressful time for him, then I apologize for that ignorance as I had a report from a forum goer, and that I had to deal with him before over the same issue.

So, what's the next step? Well, right now the main admin group (Kisai, Mercury Hat, and myself) are the people you can contact if a flame war erupts and someone evokes Godwin. I belive Mercury Hat's a bit more responsive than me or Kisai, but PM'ing us on the forums will be effective. My AIM and Yahoo! IM are also listed here, and if you need to email me privately, my address is on the CG Homepage -- I try to read that weekly at the very least.

After the New Years celebrations, I'll be calling for nominations for moderators. To be fair, I'd like to have at least two moderators for each of the forums Ralph had moderated. Ralph is disqualified, everyone, so no voting him back in. I really think Ralph has built a good fanbase over the years and I'd like to "exploit" that by giving the mod powers to them.

During this time, though, I have an idea for everyone. Ralph said (ether here or another forum) that he has a tendency to lock threads with repeated arguments. This reminded me of the ever popular FAQ, or Frequently Asked Questions. How about a Frequently Argued Statements list? That way, folks can say "Oh, that's #4. Didn't you read the FAS?" Put it in another thread, and I'll have no problem making it sticky for everyone on the three forums.
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Postby BoKiana on Fri Dec 15, 2006 9:58 pm

STrRedWolf wrote:After the New Years celebrations, I'll be calling for nominations for moderators.


That may be something I'd take a whack at. I'll be sure to sign up when the time comes.

STrRedWolf wrote:During this time, though, I have an idea for everyone. Ralph said (ether here or another forum) that he has a tendency to lock threads with repeated arguments. This reminded me of the ever popular FAQ, or Frequently Asked Questions. How about a Frequently Argued Statements list? That way, folks can say "Oh, that's #4. Didn't you read the FAS?" Put it in another thread, and I'll have no problem making it sticky for everyone on the three forums.


That may get a little lengthy/difficult to find and write out all the arguments that Mr. Hayes has dealt with over time, but that may make a good thread to let people know "Here's your answer, plain as day, no arguing over it, thank you very much".

If/when such a thread is made and stickied, will a mod be able to edit it for extensions and clarifications? Or will that require a PM or e-mail to an Admin? I'm pretty sure that such a FAS would be best 'locked' to keep it from becoming its own flame-bait, and I am unsure on how locked threads are dealt with with this software.
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Postby StrangeWulf13 on Fri Dec 15, 2006 10:24 pm

I think a FAQ is doable. I know Ralph has acquired a few "Answers to Idiot Talking Points" over the years. :roll: What was Answer #17 again?

Anyway, sorry if I got a little dramatic. I'm a bit of a fanboy when it comes to Ralph's comics, and I'm always worried they might get pulled or something will happen. When I heard about this, I didn't take it so well. It's not fun to have your favorite comics hanging by a thread!

I apologize for any unreasonable things I stated. Chalk it up to paranoia and panic...
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Postby Narnian on Sat Dec 16, 2006 8:28 am

Wanderwolf wrote:... I was raised Presbyterian ....

So there is hope for you yet! :wink:
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