The last weeks I've had very limited time for the forum, and one of the lessons learnt from the clashes involved in the posts above is that, when I have limited time, I find it hard to add context and my communication often sounds snappy, so I refrained from intervening for a while. Now I have more time, so...
I am not sure that getting into a he said - she said match is the correct thing to do, but certainly feeling like the target in a shooting practice gallery is not nice either, so here goes some of my side of the story.
Also, I think some of these things are good to explain in public for everyone.
First of all, a lot of people seem to take exception to the tone of my messages. I'll take that as constructive criticism, probably there is some room for improvement there, and one can never try too hard to hit that just right tone.
Second, regarding post deletions: it is a mod's job to sometimes delete posts. As few as possible, but not too few. Like a referee in a football game, whistling too much is bad. But then, so is whistling too little. But how to get it right? The only way to ensure never deleting too much is sometimes deleting too little, and the only way to not delete too little is risking deleting too much. Well, we try, but please accept that it is sometimes borderline or gray, and almost always open to interpretation. A mod that has to walk on egg shells is not a very effective mod.
With that out, I'd like to address a few personally:
That's not what happened, those are not my words that are being addressed and those were not the reasons for past bans and warnings (I am including the deleted post).
So, now you have said your part in public, and I have said mine. Continue by PM if you wish, but not here, please.
As a general forum rule since like forever: Sharing PMs in public is not welcome in general, and sharing them to make someone look bad is normally not tolerated. Doing that is a sure way to get your post deleted. The P in PM stands for Private. Obviously there are contexts where sharing one, with good intentions and to help communication is OK. It is never OK as part of a personal feud.
First, thanks for keeping it polite, it helps with having a conversation.
Then, a bit for everyone for this part: it gets a bit frustrating to be selectively quoted, with a few lines picked out of context. It is very easy to make anyone look bad with "C and G were said!". If in reality A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H were said... well, context often matters.
So: "Just moments before the Zandvoort GP started, the King of the Netherlands was interviewed on the grid for the F1 broadcast, with the Queen and his daughters in the background. I posted a photo of that. "
Yeah, not really. I mean, yes, but this particular clash started well before that, on the sunday before the Dutch GP, with this post from you:
The Dutch King Willem Alexander and the King of kickboxers Rico Verhoeven attended the qualification.
I removed that post, and I also felt like explaining why, so I quickly fired this PM:
Way too local, way too off topic.
That's all I wrote, I actually forgot to say that I was deleting the post. I was on holidays, with extremely little time for the forum (but I wanted to read the race thread, it was bad enough that I had to miss the race), and on my phone, with little time, I fired that message, quick and short. As said above, maybe writing in a hurry is not the best idea.
You then replied with this:
Why is this off topic? It is a great honour that the King attends the qualification.
This was just a funny picture of him. I could not find a serious one of him. He laughed at every picture.
Is this one allowed? The King with his family before the race on the grid?
Fair enough, but frankly, it went downhill from there, the daughter of the king came later, so please, don't paint me like an oger that hates the dutch royal family and deleted that post out of the blue (that said I would likely have found that picture off topic, most likely, depends on context and accompanying text).
I'll take the liberty to share my PM reply too (still on a phone with limited time) after the post with the king being interviewed :
hollus wrote: ↑
Sun Aug 27, 2023 11:12 pm
I was just providing feedback.
“Is that allowed”?
Well, is that of interest to anyone not dutch?
Likely to be removed as off topic? Yes.
Again, maybe too short, too direct. But actually, I stand by the content. We do not see pictures of the royals of any given country before the race, as a general thing. If it is off topic is of course a matter of interpretation, and that was my interpretation.
Now, it got a bit bizarre, and I'll stop sharing details (PMs are private). But you openend with "You have again deleted my picture of the Dutch king...". To which I have to say, that no, I did not delete any second picture, there was no "again". I can also not find any trail of any other pic deletions in that thread. I did say in a PM that I was likely to delete it, but I did not delete any other than the one with the wrestler! I also had no time to explain, holidays and phone and that.
Anyways, you seemed to get a bit more agitated and to take exception to this pic being allowed after the race:
First of all, it was ages before I saw that pic. Second, yes, really, Max in a picture after the race is more on topic on a race thread. Max is part of the race.
Then in a separate PM pics of the royal family at the race, with race people (Horner, etc) were used as an example of other media and FOM live feed being OK with it... yes, I get the point, but what other media is interested on and what this forum is about are two different things.
anyways... I reply in another PM with some explanation of why I found some off topic and others less so (this time in 7 lines), and as a reply I get 2 PMs which I interpreted as ignoring my explanations and being accused of being biased against the dutch royal family (I am reading into the context of the PMs here).
To that, I replied:
"Misinterpret all you want."
And well, that was the wrong tone from me, I should not have written that and I apologize. It is possible that I misinterpreted. The tone is wrong in any case, I should have taken the time to explain.
...because I received several very unjustified warning in the past.
You've received exactly two warnings in the past. Long ago and 9 months apart. And both included an explanation of why. You are welcome to disagree on them, but justifications were included.
Found similar the other week…. Which led to a length discussion with the mod team - whether those views ended up being collective or sole opinion I don’t know.
...and it essentially boiled down to not having a native language of English and one does all the ‘heavy work’ and takes no bull in the posts.
I mean, that is saying that H was said when ABCDEFGHIJKL was said. Fished out the most irrelevant part of several messages.
My warning did contain 8 lines of explanation and an itemized list; after a reply from you, I added 7 more lines of feedback by PM. You reply ignoring many of my points, and I added and 3 more lines of feedback in yet another PM.
You disagreed and PM's me and other mods (totally right thing to do, actually I suggested it).
Then one of those mods replies to you in long detail, 42 lines of text.
Once more, most points go ignored and now you pick out that simple side point above?
It feels a bit futile to take time to explain things in that is the reaction.
In summary, it is bloody hard to hit the right level of feedback as a mod. Too little or none, some people get annoyed. Too much, some people get offended. The right tone and detail level would be different for everyone, but it is very hard to guess the correct ones. We try nonetheless and inevitably, we'll get it wrong sometimes.
I am one of the most active mods here. For years I tried a very soft stance (someone else was carrying the bad cop badge). With time, I concluded that it was too soft and I am trying a bit more direct and harsh now. Too much? Possibly, I am only trying my best. Finding the right level is always work in progress. Lots of people find us too soft, so...
From that side and to some, it looks like I am bring aggressive.
From this side and with many, it feels like well intentioned feedback is being ignored and then taken as adversarial.
C'est la vie!
Constructive criticism is welcome and can be used to improve. But, please, bashing, not so welcome, not so nice, and not leading to anything good.
Rivals, not enemies.