Banned members

Discussion in 'The Water Cooler' started by Howard Walker, Mar 28, 2012.

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  1. Howard Walker

    Howard Walker Honorable Member

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    I recently received a long letter from the administrators explaining why they had banned a member from the forums. I agree with the reasons for banning him, as the forums should not be used for political reasons.

    On the other hand, the administrators did display a biased and one sided opinion which is what people living in the world at large have come to expect over the years from people living west of the pond.

    I am an Englishman with 70 years of experience in what goes on in the world. One important thing that I have learnt is that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. The converse also applies. A political group considered by one country to be a terrorist organisation is often a legally and democratically recognised organisation on its own patch.

    Take the IRA for instance. The UK considered it a terrorist organisation, yet the USA supported it financially and politically for many years, until it became in the interests of the USA to change its policy in exchange for assistance from the UK on other matters.

    If an American was to ask the average Englishman "which is the biggest terrorist country in the world", he may well find that the answer would be a lot nearer to home than he had thought. Of course it would depend on which average Englishman he was to ask.

    It was not neccessary to write a whole page explaining why one guy was expelled from the forum. All that was needed was to do it and keep quiet about it. Forums should not be political items from either side of the keyboard.
     
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  2. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    Fully agree with all you say. Another excellent example is that of Nelson Mandela who spent a large part of his life condemned as a terrorist, imprisoned for many years and eventuallyly elected president and hailed as a champion of human rights. Freedom of speech is a precious right which has been purchased at great price and it must always be defended, like democracy it can be an expensive commodity but the alternatives command an even higher price. It's a question of where we "draw the line". We also need to bear in mind that the primary purpose of these forums is to be offer support and exchange of knowledge in matters relating to pc's and that there are many more appropriate online platforms for making political statements.
     
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  3. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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  4. whs

    whs Extraordinary Member

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    This discussion is not going to go anywhere because different people have different value systems. I think we should accept that the forum banned these people because it did not fit into the value system of the forum owners. And that is alright with me.

    Let me tell you 2 little stories that really happened and you will see the difficulty to make a correct judgement.

    1. About the time when the Iraq war started, a young Palestinian boy was throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers. He was shot in the process. The Isreali army then arrested the father, drove the mother and the younger brother out of their house and bulldozed the house.

    Following that the younger brother got himself a bomb and strapped it on his body. He went into a cafe and detonated the bomb. He was killed and also 3 Isrealis that happend to be in this cafe. Is this boy a terrorist?

    2. At about the same time, a Navy officer launched a cruise missile from a submarine stationed in the Mediterranean sea. That cruise missile landed 1000 miles away in a marketplace in Bagdad and killed 300 people that happened to be there. When that sub returned to it's base, the crew was praised as heros. Was this officer a hero?

    I think it is very difficult to judge in both cases - all depends on your value system.
     
  5. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    I understand your thinking in this regard. I am a pacifist at heart, but it has nothing to do with the decision making. Andrea's constant trolling of the site was one thing - it barely skirted the line of acceptability on the site, and we ended up amending our policies because of these types of argumentative rants that she was starting. (Not flame wars, per se, but simply re-iterating the same talking points just to get everyone fighting over nonsense).

    I believe that the situation in the Middle East is a pure tragedy. However, our servers are based in the United States, as the owner of this website; I am a United States citizen. Our admin team is comprised of a British national and another American. We have a worldwide moderator team. We are not against any nationality - we do not restrict access. I have actually been sad to look at our online user map and never see a single connection from North Korea. We want to engage with the people of the world.

    However, any member of the site that is found to run websites that are sympathetic to, and promote the plight of, organizations listed on the United States Department of State Foreign Terrorist Organizations list at Foreign Terrorist Organizations may find themselves removed from this website. This is also to protect our servers under U.S. law concerning the harboring or concealing of terrorist sympathizers and enemies of the United States government. I do believe Andrea was somewhat innocuous, but my belief is not enough. She runs multiple Hezbollah related websites and this crosses the line until the government our website is hosted in (and that we live in) removes them from this list.

    (And yes, I do read and watch Chomsky all the time and know it is very often argued the list is political and arbitrary - but we are not taking risks when it comes to individuals who identify themselves with paramilitary organizations that have targeted civilians in the past to such a degree that her favorite organization did).

    Again, I have no interest in debating the politics with you. We have made a decision that we believe was right for the viewers of our website, given the negative nature of her messages, as well as her affiliations with these potentially dangerous groups. I hope you will understand. Even discussing it upsets me, because it was a difficult call to make, but one I knew that we had to after so many negative rants - and so much really insane commentary from her about this group. Whether or not she even knew them is something we have talked about... but if it leads to someone getting hurt, we don't want it on our site.
     
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  6. whs

    whs Extraordinary Member

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    Mike, there is really no need to explain. You are doing the right thing. You have to play by the rules to stay in business.

    My point was a bit different. Life is sometimes more subtle than the cookie stamp views that we are being told. That's all.
     
  7. Pauli

    Pauli Extraordinary Member
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    I'll agree with that. I was a moderator in UESP.NET for two years, we rarely and hardly banned anyone, but every time it was a controversy. To be honest, with my style, I'm quite astonished I haven't been banned anywhere... I was attacked twice by Denial of Service while active in YouTube, by some nasty members, that was all, people to decide seem to have understood the certain class and dignity I represent.

    Discipline is difficult. But sometimes it has to be applied. May be nasty, but needed. And I do believe, understanding will be found when once want is understood to be asked for.
     
  8. Highwayman

    Highwayman Extraordinary Member

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    I don't see a problem in banning folk with or without a public posted reason, unless they happened to be financially supporting the site. Free members shouldn't really expect anything more than acceptance of the T&Cs, which did happen to me by accident last year. As for Andrea... about time she got banned, she became a "Meme" of herself very quickly due to her utter bogus arguements and statements which never held a drop of truth or fact in regards to PC software or hardware.
     
    #8 Highwayman, Sep 3, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012
  9. Pauli

    Pauli Extraordinary Member
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    I admit, hands up, who is right? Not a very easy question, is it? :confused:
     
  10. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
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    And here's me thinking it was a forum about computers using Microsoft operating systems.
     
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  11. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    I know you would agree that we must, more often than not, make difficult decisions to remain one. :(
     
  12. bassfisher6522

    bassfisher6522 Essential Member

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    who to agree and to remain what....I'm so confused...let's talk shop? The man in the car - red shoe in the corner - 124....translate.
     
  13. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    Well, keeping the forums operational, as Ross pointed out in his retort about this being a Windows 7 site, sometimes involves difficult decisions to make about members, policies, and procedures at a team, administrative, and sometimes even community level. In other words, in order to prevent people from going off-topic onto subjects that just end in disaster after disaster, with no end in sight, and only to enrage a group of people to gain satisfaction from it, we must be ready to consider enforcing our Terms of Service, and, even, at times, amending it, to prevent such unpredictable human behavior from taking place.

    At the end of the day, the website must be about technology, and in off-topic areas, of course, anything else. But to constantly allow a single member or group of members to annoy 90% of the rest of the viewers on the site, almost as a form of attention seeking or trolling, is something that cannot be allowed. In the case of long standing members who start off great, a decision to ban them is often very difficult to make, and involves long conversations about what to do. In my mind, this can be a good thing.

    If we did not think before we act, we would cease to care about our users, where the discussions go, or what happens to the site.
     
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  14. Pauli

    Pauli Extraordinary Member
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    I'm quite sure, I hope, that we all agree that the greatest quality of man is not having the right to express his own opinion but to give that other man the right to express his opinion. Being a technical Forum doesn't make this place invulnerable for disputes or differences of meaning. I've had a few minor ones myself, even if I haven't been here for very long. It doesn't really take more than two persons to start a war, be they peasants or kings - in case they want to make war.

    Differences of opinion are one thing, like are the difficulties in giving the good and right advice to people. I remember when I had a MSI Mobo, got into trouble, found a topic very similar with my problems; there was a dozen answers, from some who had 25,000 posts, and ALL advice were different. And that was the official Forum of MSI. Not an easy task to solve problems, eh?

    Quite another matter is spamming, trolling, intentional harassment, hate mongering... whatever there may be in that class of behavior. Like I've told people when they get their computer jammed by malware: not all sites are friendly - you need to take care. A bit like cat stevens Wild World - YouTube

    It actually took one man to start WWII. In the 90's a computer guru was asked how many persons he would need to control the data traffic in the world, and he answered TWO persons.

    I find this Forum very safe. Let's not get paranoid, but alertness is, or may be, a virtue.
     
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  15. Adamsappleone

    Adamsappleone U.S.Navy D.A.V.

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    As Mike had mentioned and I feel the bottom line;
    There are entirely too many people that join and do not read these rules; these are put into place for our safety and protection as well as the member joining, yet some feel they just don't apply to them as in the case of Andrea, she was banned from a few forums for talking about being banned from another forum and that was against those forums TOS and she even admitted to not reading the rules when she joined, well duh!!
    We, as moderators, are hired on voluntarily to enforce these rules and "keep the peace" as they say, I've seen all too many times where members have gone totally off topic, harassed, made personal attacks, etc: and much of the time it's ignored for whatever reason, instead of making the correction right then to prevent it from escalating or just to make the point, "Hey, this is against our TOS and will not be tolerated." It's not a hard decision to make, what's wrong is wrong, period!

    FWIW
    Don
     
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  16. Andrea Borman

    Andrea Borman Honorable Member

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    Yes on Neowin forums it is against their TOS to talk about being banned from other forums. And when I posted about my ban from Seven Forums,the moderators changed my thread from public view to private view. Meaning it was not visible on the web and could only be seen by the other forum members. I got a few replies but then a moderator came along and locked the thread. Saying it was against the TOS to talk about other forums.

    But what is so shocking about my story about my being wrongly banned from Seven Forums for doing absolutely nothing wrong? That would make a moderator change my thread from public view to private view?And then they locked the thread anyway.

    And I was banned from Expert Law forums for posting about my ban from Seven Forums. But they did not like me anyway on Expert Law forums. And the members on there were horrible to me. But the members on that forum like to wind other people up and upset them. It's their thing.

    And a lot of people have been banned from Seven Forums not just me. So I am not the only one.

    I have had my threads locked and deleted on some other forums. And a lot of forums lock threads or delete them for no real reason. And some forums forbid you to use use your real name or give names of places. I read a post on the web about one person who was treated badly in a department store. But because she named the store,she was banned from the forum. And they deleted her thread.

    But she only named the store and the city,New York.She did not name the staff who were rude to her.So where is that identifying anyone?

    Some forums are just stupid. But I have noticed on this forum and on your other one,Windows 8 Forums. You never lock a thread unless you have to. And you never delete threads unless you have to. And that is a good policy. Andrea Borman.
     
  17. Pauli

    Pauli Extraordinary Member
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    I was a moderator on another Forum for two and a half years, I gave a couple of warnings and two temporary bans. I can assure it's not an easy matter to decide, warnings and bans. Unless you're a psycho, thus knowing precisely right and wrong. Editing replies or deleting them, or interfering with topics even harshly, is like rowing a boat in comparison with Normandy.

    Quite generally, I think most disputes are unnecessary, and could be avoided through communication, and by using the sapiens part of our species' name more often and more strictly. Unfortunately all history and experience clearly prove that [wo]men like to fight.

    Go figure? John Lennon - Imagine (official video) - YouTube
     
    #17 Pauli, Sep 26, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  18. Drew

    Drew Banned

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    Heard a nasty rumour, what's sad & shocking is to see it's true. Geeeesh! @ least there are other forums. OMG! WOW!
     
  19. Andrea Borman

    Andrea Borman Honorable Member

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    Well on some forums it's not the moderator who bans the person,it is the admin. But it depends on the forum. I got banned from Seven Forums for doing nothing. What happened was that a member posted my You Tube video on a thread that was about Windows Movie Maker 6 on Windows 7.

    And he commented on the same thread that he liked my video. And I replied back to him on the same thread thanking him.But he was off topic for commenting on my video on the thread and so was I. But he was not banned, but I was banned.

    But not only did Seven Forums ban me,they deleted all of my posts. And every time I log in I get this horrible ban message.

    I looked it up on Wikipedia,and persona non grata means,person not welcome.
    If that's not being nasty I don't know what is.And I have been banned for life from Seven Forums.

    But the video that that member posted on the thread on Seven Forums was one I made a few months before.About how I got treated badly on Linux Mint forums. And how they threatened to ban me.

    But I can only guess the reason why Seven Forums banned me as they never respond to my emails. And my guess is that it could have been my video more than anything that might have upset them.

    After all if they see a video with me talking about my ban from another forum and also pointing out how stupid some forum rules are. That could put some forums off and so Seven Forums thought I was going to be a problem on their forum. And that could be why they banned me.

    But I never posted the video on the forum,that member did. And I did not tell him to post it.But on some forums that does not make any difference. Because some forums do not allow anyone who has been banned from another forum on their forum.

    So the fact that I post under my real name-Andrea Borman, and my username is in fact my real name. And the name I use on my websites and on You Tube does not help. Because forums see my posts and videos about my ban from other forums.And I also point out how stupid some of their rules are.

    So I am not surprised that some forums don't like it and ban me from that forum as well.If I used a different name or username from my real name on my websites and video channels.Other forums would not know anything about my ban or being treated badly on other forums.

    But I don't see why I should hide my identity when I have not done anything wrong. And I was banned because of the forums ignorance or stupidity. I am talking about some forums not all. That is I have never insulted anybody or posted offensive content. I was banned for a stupid reason,for doing nothing. As was the case of Seven Forums and the other forums I had problems with.

    But other people have been banned from Seven Forums not just me. And I recently took part in a thread on Techspot forums. Where a long time member of Seven Forums,who had written some really good tutorials,was very upset. Because he had just been banned for life from Seven Forums for doing nothings. And they even banned his IP address.
    See here-Banned by administrator from Windows 7 & 8 forums - TechSpot Forums

    And there is another thread I took part in over at Sysnative Forums here-Banned from z3r010's sites

    Where several members have been banned for life from Seven Forums just for being members of Sysnative Forums.

    And that's the story.

    As for my ban from this forum and Windows 8 Forums,which is part of this forum,that was the only time I may have deserved it. To be honest I was banned from here because I was being stupid in my posts about Windows 8. A joke is a joke, but it went to far.And upset some other members and it turned into an argument. And 3 other members were banned along with me. But one of them has been reinstated on the forum,but the other 2 are still banned. But I have learned my lesson about that.Andrea Borman.
     
    #19 Andrea Borman, Sep 28, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
  20. Pauli

    Pauli Extraordinary Member
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    I don't know the whole story, but I don't really think it's all that wise to make it a public laundry. I think communicating with moderators and administrators would be the best solution. In these cases, publicity may be more bad than good. Simply because members reading the posts don't really know all facts. Eh?

    There's always a difficulty when civilians use authority and power; the problem is, they are all equal. To mention, I'm a Captain and Battalion Commander in the Finnish Army, and we don't have these problems because "the more metal you have in your collars", the more you have to say, and the less you need to ask.

    The structure of an organization may not be perfect, nor the persons running or guiding or leading it BUT: I respect those persons, and I'm quite certain they act for the best of that organization / Forum. There are times when one has to keep one's tail between one's legs. Not selling one's values, I've never done that, but accepting a bit of flexibility.

    I hate this kind of dispute. No value, only ache.
     
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