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Treating new members like...

So, whenever a new member shows up it doesn't take long until he/she is called a troll, snide remarks are made, fun is made of them...
I am not totally innocent myself, as I've also made the occasional joke, but I think that this sort of behavior creates an atmosphere that will quickly send new members back to where they came from. That's a shame. This needs to change.

I would hope that new members, no matter how inexperienced or uninformed (remember that everyone is ignorant about something), were welcomed with a more friendly and helpful attitude.


Some suggestions I'd have are:
- Give direct, helpful answers. Try not to answer with a counter question, especially not a patronizing rhetorical one or gotchas.
- Expand on those answers if you think that the person asking needs that extra information.
- Don't assume that the person is a troll from the beginning. Assume the person is genuinely seeking help.
  (A troll is not a person who doesn't get something or who is biased. A troll is "a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.")
"I hear it when I see it."

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #1
For me this came because many trolls were feeded way to long before.
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #2
Agree.

It's understandable that the same nonsense keeps coming back and that this makes you quietly facepalm, but that just means you have to breathe before posting, not that you should post impatiently and defensively.

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #3
So, whenever a new member shows up it doesn't take long until he/she is called a troll, snide remarks are made, fun is made of them...
I am not totally innocent myself, as I've also made the occasional joke, but I think that this sort of behavior creates an atmosphere that will quickly send new members back to where they came from. That's a shame. This needs to change.

I would hope that new members, no matter how inexperienced or uninformed (remember that everyone is ignorant about something), were welcomed with a more friendly and helpful attitude.


Some suggestions I'd have are:
- Give direct, helpful answers. Try not to answer with a counter question, especially not a patronizing rhetorical one or gotchas.
- Expand on those answers if you think that the person asking needs that extra information.
- Don't assume that the person is a troll from the beginning. Assume the person is genuinely seeking help.
  (A troll is not a person who doesn't get something or who is biased. A troll is "a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.")


Well said!!

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #4
I've definitely have noticed this a lot as of late.  Especially the hostility of some members towards others either through name calling or impolite responses.

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #5
Also if an obviously trolling member makes claims violating our TOS and is not interested to discuss in public but asks for PM more than 1 time i find it a sign of under-moderation.

Edit: this topic really must be trolls gold :)
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #6
I am not saying there are no trolls, or deluded audiophiles (some of which can actually be helped ;) ) ... but we shouldn't start with that as an assumption.
Unfamiliarity with terms, technology, theory etc. also can lead to posts that some here would falsely interpret as trolling. Also, not everyone immediately gets it. We need more patience. If you don't have it then you don't have to unload that in a reply...
So I think the replies should seek to clarify and clear up the situation instead of turning into a toxic back and forth.

I'm not saying you cannot hit back hard if the other person knowingly asks for it. But try to do it with facts and to make it short and painless.


Violations of the ToS should be handled by the moderators, but I would never swing the ban hammer on new members unless it's a severe case. Give them a chance.
"I hear it when I see it."

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #7
For me this came because many trolls were fed way too long before.
Poe's law, also some people like to see what a troll comes up with next, and the responses can have entertainment value. Nobody is forcing you to reply or read such discussions, which may end up in the bin anyway.

But still, even if you feel the need to communicate that you could always write something like "I cannot take you serious for reasons x, y, z.." and be done with it or wait for a potentially clarifying response. (I do have a feeling that some people are too quick to judge and dismiss new members.)

Edit: this topic really must be trolls gold :)
You understand why that made me sigh, right? :D
"I hear it when I see it."

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #8
Perhaps people should recall Hanlon’s Razor every now and then.

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #9
Sure, but calling or assuming that other people are stupid is the opposite of what I want.

How about just not assuming bad intentions and stopping there?
"I hear it when I see it."

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #10
Quite often I am left with the choice between believing that somebody is a troll, or that s/he is stupid. Other options don't seem plausible. What should I choose then?

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #11
I read a lot more on HA than I post, and some members' social skills are certainly lacking. It can get a bit "Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons" almost immediately. There are plenty of people on the internet who are genuinely seeking information, so rudeness and high-handed sneering isn't going to spread the word very effectively.

Why not keep it civil 'til you know someone's being deliberately provocative? Then you can put the boot in with a clean conscience and a good run-up.

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #12
Quite often I am left with the choice between believing that somebody is a troll, or that s/he is stupid. Other options don't seem plausible. What should I choose then?
Just because someone doesn't know what you (think you) know doesn't make them stupid.  Behaving like a jerk is unlikely to educate anyone and just perpetuates the widespread bad opinions about HA.

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #13
Much of this community has existed since before Hydrogenaudio. The reason for this site's existence was conflict between Dibrom and another developer. Many of the old-timers have migrated here from Usenet. This site's very existence is controversial: subjectivism is philosophically (though not scientifically, IMO) valid.

The single most effective introduction strategy is blunt and without guile or tact. That will ensure that the user does not get the wrong impression. Attempting to "soften" the blow may lead the new user to believe that there might be flex where there really is none.

I'm not saying to be a jerk, just that things are how they are because of how they were. We've developed effective strategies for coping with new users and continue to be an effective community. I see no need for significant change.

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #14
The single most effective introduction strategy is blunt and without guile or tact. That will ensure that the user does not get the wrong impression.
I'm a new user myself - I registered a couple years ago, but only started reading regularly in the last few months. I agree with the above. Posters here are direct and forceful, but I've found them extremely helpful. There's so much anti-science out there in the audio community that I see no point in drawing things out. I've read quite a number of threads here and I don't think I've seen any one of those long newbie threads where the new user suddenly "gets it" 2 or 3 pages in. Either they can pull themselves away from wishful thinking relatively quickly, or they just won't ever do so. Going round and round with them only pisses the person off further, causes them to dig in, and probably gives casual browsers a sense that this place is more antagonistic than it actually is.

To that end, perhaps mods could lock threads a bit more aggressively? I don't usually favor aggressive locking policies on forums, but I think it's reasonable in this situation. The purpose of a forum is discussion, but once the wishful thinkers dig in their heels and responses get sharper, there really isn't any discussion happening anymore.

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #15
Hahaha! Oh, God, don't let greynol see that comment!

Yeah, no, there's a fine line to walk here, and we're all paranoid we're overly hard. Occasionally, people do come to their senses, and the discussions enable the participants to work out the errors in their own positions.

I know that for myself, this is very much true. It took me half a dozen pages to work through one of my own idiocies once. These threads are good for teaching the community how to deal with these arguments elsewhere, too.

Thanks for the vote of confidence, though. It really means a lot. Like I said, we're all paranoid that we're being too hardnosed in dealing with stuff like that.

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #16
To that end, perhaps mods could lock threads a bit more aggressively? I don't usually favor aggressive locking policies on forums, but I think it's reasonable in this situation. The purpose of a forum is discussion, but once the wishful thinkers dig in their heels and responses get sharper, there really isn't any discussion happening anymore.
Personally, I think locking threads, or any other forms of censorship, tends to be counterproductive for the simple reason that refusal to discuss the issues is seen as being unable to respond to the issues. Free speech isn't always quick or easy, sometimes it takes time to visibly exhaust an issue. As well, to me, it seems if the HA community cannot always openly defend its positions, that only adds fuel to those who would deny its conclusions.

Besides, who is so infallible as to be always able to say when an argument is truly and completely specious? 
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  ;~)

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #17
I would like to helpfully point out that one of our recently banned pair of "newbies" were both duplicate accounts belonging to an existing member, and all of their accounts have been banned for violation of the multiple accounts rule, which mostly applies to use of multiple accounts to impersonate multiple users.

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #18
Personally, I think locking threads, or any other forms of censorship, tends to be counterproductive for the simple reason that refusal to discuss the issues is seen as being unable to respond to the issues. Free speech isn't always quick or easy, sometimes it takes time to visibly exhaust an issue.

This is a privately-run website, there is no such thing here as free speech or censorship, it's all 100% down to the whims of the moderators and admins :-)

 

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #19
I think that xnor's point is valid.

There are two main issues, and it is the community as a whole the one that has to help on it, rather than the moderators alone.

First point: The opening of a seemingly controversial thread.
When a thread starts suggesting something that can cause controversy (oppinions with lack of support, contradiction with established knowledge, not appropiate for this forum and so on), what we, as a community, should do is to direct this person to post following the forum standards.
This is NOT meant to just point to TOS violation, nor to simply say that we don't want those types of posts. It is meant to interpellate the subject if he is willing to contribute in a way accepted by the forums or not.  That is, the poster has to understand what he did wrong, and what should have done instead.
The important part is that the conversation should not continue if this is not accepted. I.e. other members should put on the fence or clarify why this is asked and not continue debating when the rules of the conversation are not yet established.

Second point: Never lasting threads.
This point is meant to prevent topics that somewhat repeat themselves, or that keep adding tangential information while avoiding to resolve the main point.
This type of post could be a bit difficult to differentiate from legit discussion, but in such cases, a moderation advice could be given to indicate that the topic is not behaving like it should.
I think that in these cases, what is needed is to reduce the amount of people participating actively. I.e. try not to open more points from multiple previous replies.
The outcome of this is to reduce the amount of open points, with the premise that some points are more important than others and those should be resolved first.

What this means in essence is that the forum is not a chat group, and discussions should happen on the premise that they offer information and can be contrasted.

Many of the old-timers have migrated here from Usenet.
Actually I came from remix.net :P

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #20
Yeah, just pointing members to the rules probably makes them feel like in a dictatorship. But there are very good reasons for the rules. As crazy as it sounds, some people do not understand what anecdotal vs scientific or objective evidence is, and that they need to provide the latter to support their claims.

They probably come from places where everyone's opinion is valid and each person has its own valid "reality" and there is no accountability for the claims made... like most audiophile forums.


@Canar That sounds a bit like "shoot first, ask questions later". I'm not saying ToS violations should be overlooked for new members, but there are different ways one can clarify what is to be expected of new members, or what they did wrong.

@KozmoNaut I like to think that this place is better than that and that the mods are not censoring on a whim, like I've been in other audiophile forums...

@[JAZ] Full ack.
"I hear it when I see it."

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #21
Second point: Never lasting threads.

Ouch! I meant "Never ending threads". I mixed it up with "thread where the last post is never the last".

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #22
@KozmoNaut I like to think that this place is better than that and that the mods are not censoring on a whim, like I've been in other audiophile forums...

That's my point, it's all up to the mods and admins, and thankfully they run a site where people are giving a significant amount of leeway before the banhammer comes down.

But if they wanted to, they could just censor and ban indiscriminately, and there would be nothing we could do about it, other than leave for some other site.

So when people start to pipe up about free speech and censorship and what not, they really don't have any ground to stand on, other than what the mods and admins allow them. Hydrogenaudio does not have any obligation to give them a platform for spreading their unsubstantiated audiophile ramblings.

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #23
So when people start to pipe up about free speech and censorship and what not, they really don't have any ground to stand on, other than what the mods and admins allow them. Hydrogenaudio does not have any obligation to give them a platform for spreading their unsubstantiated audiophile ramblings.

Sorry, but if people here want respect, shouldn't they be prepared to respectfully listen to everyone who follows the rules? In my opinion, dismissively labeling all "audiophiles" isn't being either open, or objective and is completely lost on outsiders who don't share your negative slant on this word. As well, don't some people here come across a little to strong to be seen as presenting a dispassionate argument? Aren't you doing yourselves a disservice by attacking the arguer and not their argument?
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  ;~)

Re: Treating new members like...

Reply #24
Sorry, but if people here want respect, shouldn't they be prepared to respectfully listen to everyone who follows the rules? In my opinion, dismissively labeling all "audiophiles" isn't being either open, or objective and is completely lost on outsiders who don't share your negative slant on this word. As well, don't some people here come across a little to strong to be seen as presenting a dispassionate argument? Aren't you doing yourselves a disservice by attacking the arguer and not their argument?

When people register here and start spewing audiophile nonsense in their very first posts, I would say that's quite disrespectful of the rules and users on this site. Is it any wonder they're not met with outstretched arms?

 
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