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Blocking - use and abuse

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Blocking - use and abuse
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Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3184Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Blocking - use and abuse

Greetings,

This is in relation to what's going on in the Best Atheist arguments you probably haven't heard before thread.

The OP, TJump, has blocked both Sparhafoc and myself for disagreeing with his definition of pantheism, which he equates to atheism.

Since then, both psikhrangur and SD have effectively agreed with our contention, with the result that both are heading towards being blocked themselves - indeed, SD has been threatened with such.

Akamia's attempts to mediate were rebuffed.

Given that this site was founded to address censorship on the internet, for someone to be using the "Foe" button to censor those who disagree with his views, so that he can avoid having them challenged, is ironic to say the least.

As TJump himself notes:

Blocking someone isn't an argument.

If so, what is it?

I'd contend that it is no different than Sye Ten Bruggencate's tactic:


Given the above, I have a question and a suggestion:

1) Is there a procedure to appeal being blocked?

2) When the "Foe" button is activated, would it be possible for TPTB to check its usage? If the blocker is protecting themselves from someone abusing them (trollish behaviour), then fair enough - however, if the blocker is simply using it to silence awkward questions (as I contend is being done by TJump), could TPTB over-ride such misuse of the "Foe" button?

In other words, in this case, could you unblock both myself and Sparhafoc in the relevant thread, please?

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:51 pm
*SD*User avatarPosts: 342Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Blocking - use and abuse

Good call.

I don't know if TJump has actually blocked me but he is clearly using the foe function inappropriately in a forum for open discussion. I've never understood why phpBB included it anyway, it's only ever used for censoring those who disagree with you. Of course, I understand that if someone is genuinely threatening you then it has its uses. But in those situations the person threatening should be perma-banned anyway.

I'm obviously not an admin, or moderator here but I have been both on other fora, and at one time hosted my own site (closed due to lack of traction, mostly due to lack of effort on my part) so I understand how phpBB fora work.

It is of little consequence that TJump has blocked several of us, it's clear to anyone reading that thread as to why he's done it. He can't handle disagreement. He's probably 12 and has heard a few buzz-words so now he's convinced he knows everything.

Blocking for the reasons he's done it is futile, in reality he's only censoring himself, as it's only he that can't see the replies of those he's blocked. Everyone else can.

If it were up to me I'd remove the function, but that may be contested for the genuine uses it can potentially serve.
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Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:30 pm
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he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3484Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Blocking - use and abuse

*SD* wrote:Blocking for the reasons he's done it is futile, in reality he's only censoring himself, as it's only he that can't see the replies of those he's blocked. Everyone else can.


I have to say this seems like a non-issue to me for the above reason. TJump blocking people is not stopping anyone else from viewing posts, thus can it really be called censorship? The only way that would be possible is if TJump is showing people this site with this account. TJump linking to this forum will lead anyone to see everything everyone else has posted and how he has failed to address anything. This should lead to TJump taking people off his block list or just leaving.
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Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:47 pm
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Master_Ghost_KnightContributorUser avatarPosts: 2748Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:57 pmLocation: Netherlands Gender: Male

Post Re: Blocking - use and abuse

It is not so much as censoring you as it is covering his own eyes and hears so as to not hear you.

If it blocked you then I would say that such is an indication it is a person that can not be argued with, not everyone can be helped, just let it go and move on.
I mean, it had to block you just so that their worldview wouldn't just come crumbling down, its sad really.
But unfortunately you can not force people to listen to you. That is not a right that you hold, it has the right to not have to pay attention to you.

And personally there are some spamy people that I would like to keep the block option on.

It is sad, it is pathetic, it is childish. But it has the right to be those things.
"I have an irrefutable argument for the existence of...." NO, STOP! You are already wrong!
Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:09 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3184Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Blocking - use and abuse

Greetings,

Firstly, regarding SD's point about the "Foe" button...

I agree that it's pointless - after all, if you wish to report someone, click on the triangle symbol at the bottom right of an offending post. That would alert Mods to an abusive post, and poster, whereupon they can take the appropriate action. Thus, the foe button is rendered pointless.

If one wishes to keep it, it can - should - only be used to protect oneself from trolls, not prevent others questioning your claims.

Secondly, re HWIN's point that he's only shooting himself in the foot...

The point of this site, as the About link shows, is that it was started to combat online censorship. If someone can effectively censor posters - if only so that they don't see their posts - then one is abusing the site's function, not to mention the open, and honest, debate of ideas. This is like the PC claims for "safe spaces" in universities so that beliefs can't be challenged - but the point of universities is to expose you to other ideas and allow you to defend your own.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:12 pm
psikhrangkurPosts: 124Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Blocking - use and abuse

Given that the blocking option only prevents them from seeing your comment as opposed to preventing you from making whatever point it is you wish to make, I don't see it as being proper censorship. Even if the blocking was undone, and TJump was put in a position where he was forced to listen to us, he could just ignore us the old fashioned way.

To be honest, I would be more concerned with setting precedent suggesting that the moderators have the right to determine who we do and do not wish to talk to.
Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:21 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3484Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Blocking - use and abuse

psikhrangkur wrote:To be honest, I would be more concerned with setting precedent suggesting that the moderators have the right to determine who we do and do not wish to talk to.


Exactly! This and Master_Ghost_Knight's post above are spot on.

I will give an example from myself. I stopped reading thenexttodie's posts years ago. I never blocked him, I just skip right over them whenever thenexttodie posts. I have done this for several users on this forum and never have I once used the block button. When I do that, am I effectively censoring posters? No. Why would anyone think that TJump is if he is digitally doing the same thing?

Just because you can speak does not mean someone has to listen. TJump is posting on this forum, people are responding. If TJump does not wish to engage with that, TJump is not going against the letter of the law of this forum (though perhaps the spirit of it). However, honestly, what can be done? If TJump does not wish to engage with your post, he does not have to. He can do that with or without the block feature.
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Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:42 pm
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Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3184Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Blocking - use and abuse

Greetings,

I take your points, MGK, psikhrangur, and HWIN, although I still feel where someone abuses its usage, they should be brought up on it - if only by the Mods.

If it's the case that he's just ignored us, rather than actually block us, I wonder does anyone who's actually blocked get notified of same?!

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:16 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3184Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Blocking - use and abuse

Greetings,

Speaking of which...

The mature response to being blocked on social media is compassion.

This appears to agree with your collective point.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:21 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3484Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Blocking - use and abuse

Dragan Glas wrote:If it's the case that he's just ignored us, rather than actually block us, I wonder does anyone who's actually blocked get notified of same?!


I do not know, but it appears TJump is now claiming to have done what I normally do (i.e. just ignoring posts), however, I have a sneaking suspicion that *SD* is correct.
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*SD*User avatarPosts: 342Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Blocking - use and abuse

he_who_is_nobody wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:If it's the case that he's just ignored us, rather than actually block us, I wonder does anyone who's actually blocked get notified of same?!


I do not know, but it appears TJump is now claiming to have done what I normally do (i.e. just ignoring posts), however, I have a sneaking suspicion that *SD* is correct.



Depends what you mean by 'notified' - if I'm understanding your question correctly, that is.

Let's use me as an example. If you block (Foe) me then my posts wont appear in any thread you view, my replies will be invisible to you. Not crossed out, not blurred, just not there. But everyone ELSE looking at that thread can see my replies, and therefore see that I have replied to you. It's only you to whom my posts are invisible. If you sign in from another account, or even as a guest - all my replies are still there and entirely visible in the exact format I posted them. If you want to try it out, Foe my ass :)

But remember to un-Foe me afterwards because I'm so cool and I'm so groovy.......when I go BOM BOM!

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Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:30 pm
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SparhafocPosts: 2507Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Blocking - use and abuse

It doesn't actually matter whether he used a button or not. He is, of course, not obliged to read or reply to any thread.

However, there does logically come a time when it goes too far, and should be treated as stonewalling.

So now he's on 3 or 4 people he's repeatedly called an idiot then blocked/ignored them.

That is trolling, regardless. First abuse, then repeatedly referring back to them as 'idiots', and refusing to engage with them.

3 or 4 - ok.

How about 10 or 15?

30 or 40?

At what point does it become 'too many' and it's not desirable to have someone use this forum as their personal fiefdom and platform to disseminate their ideas and not allow those ideas to be discussed?

Isn't that the remit of a blog, should someone so choose? Why would this website host that?

If it's justified to think of it as reaching a point where it's no longer acceptable, then it's justified considering what that point is.
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Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:41 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2507Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Blocking - use and abuse

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

Speaking of which...

The mature response to being blocked on social media is compassion.

This appears to agree with your collective point.

Kindest regards,

James



Or amusement. But that's how I deal with most things in life! ;)
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:43 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2507Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Blocking - use and abuse

he_who_is_nobody wrote:
*SD* wrote:Blocking for the reasons he's done it is futile, in reality he's only censoring himself, as it's only he that can't see the replies of those he's blocked. Everyone else can.


I have to say this seems like a non-issue to me for the above reason. TJump blocking people is not stopping anyone else from viewing posts, thus can it really be called censorship? The only way that would be possible is if TJump is showing people this site with this account. TJump linking to this forum will lead anyone to see everything everyone else has posted and how he has failed to address anything. This should lead to TJump taking people off his block list or just leaving.



Well, aside from the fact that he's used it to evade criticism of his ideas, then continued on as if his ideas weren't criticized which is dubious enough, the main problem is that he keeps referring back to people he says he's blocked and calling them 'idiots' again, so the 'self-censorship' doesn't seem to be so benign any more.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:47 pm
psikhrangkurPosts: 124Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Blocking - use and abuse

Sparhafoc wrote:It doesn't actually matter whether he used a button or not. He is, of course, not obliged to read or reply to any thread.

However, there does logically come a time when it goes too far, and should be treated as stonewalling.

So now he's on 3 or 4 people he's repeatedly called an idiot then blocked/ignored them.

That is trolling, regardless. First abuse, then repeatedly referring back to them as 'idiots', and refusing to engage with them.

3 or 4 - ok.

How about 10 or 15?

30 or 40?

At what point does it become 'too many' and it's not desirable to have someone use this forum as their personal fiefdom and platform to disseminate their ideas and not allow those ideas to be discussed?

Isn't that the remit of a blog, should someone so choose? Why would this website host that?

If it's justified to think of it as reaching a point where it's no longer acceptable, then it's justified considering what that point is.


To be honest, I think the problem would solve itself. Assuming that there are regular posters that they think they can have a conversation with, you might have a little echo chamber of sorts (that said, our current example is TJump the atheist and Leroy who I think is a creatonist? I doubt that love will last), and they chat away happily and leave the rest of us alone.
On the other hand, if they find absolutely no one to talk to, the only thing they'll accomplish is isolating themselves. First by blocking so many people that conversation becomes untenable, second by the forum users rejecting them in turn.
Worst case scenario, they start trolling, and moderation kicks into gear.
Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:51 pm
Gnug215ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 2682Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:31 pm

Post Re: Blocking - use and abuse

Ban?

Did someone say ban?

Do I ge... uh, need to ban someone?

I could really go for a ban right about now.



Seriously though. All good points. But I don't see how anyone can win anything by blocking.
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Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:09 pm
*SD*User avatarPosts: 342Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Blocking - use and abuse

Gnug215 wrote:Ban?

Did someone say ban?

Do I ge... uh, need to ban someone?

I could really go for a ban right about now.



Seriously though. All good points. But I don't see how anyone can win anything by blocking.


Me. Ban my ass you sexy fucker!
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Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:25 pm
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Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3184Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Blocking - use and abuse

Greetings,

@SD

I understand what happens regarding posts not being visible, etc.

I'm just not clear whether a blocked poster gets notified that they've been blocked by the relevant poster.

I've been a Mod on other sites but since these have been computer security websites to help people with computer issues - hardware, software, including cleaning their systems of rootkits/viruses/malware - I've never come across anyone being blocked before, so am not sure of the process re notification.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:41 pm
*SD*User avatarPosts: 342Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Blocking - use and abuse

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

@SD

I understand what happens regarding posts not being visible, etc.

I'm just not clear whether a blocked poster gets notified that they've been blocked by the relevant poster.

I've been a Mod on other sites but since these have been computer security websites to help people with computer issues - hardware, software, including cleaning their systems of rootkits/viruses/malware - I've never come across anyone being blocked before, so am not sure of the process re notification.

Kindest regards,

James


To my knowledge, James, they don't. I'm pretty confident this is accurate information. I can re-up my old forum, I can run it on a local machine and get the same result. I tested this quite hard before I launched my own forum, I'm fairly confident that what I'm saying is accurate, but I'm 100% open to being in error.
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Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:49 pm
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Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3184Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Blocking - use and abuse

Greetings,

Thanks, SD, I'll check with Gnug.

Gnug215 wrote:Ban?

Did someone say ban?

Do I ge... uh, need to ban someone?

I could really go for a ban right about now.

"Sniff, Mongo, sniff" (Blazing Saddles) :lol:

Gnug215 wrote:Seriously though. All good points. But I don't see how anyone can win anything by blocking.

Point of order: does a blocked poster get notified that they've been blocked by the blocker?

If not, why not?

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:08 pm
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