Current Events Forum Changes

Discussion in 'Site Announcements' started by Mieriana Souvra, Jun 7, 2020.

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  1. Mieriana Souvra

    Mieriana Souvra Keeper of the Chronicles Keeper of the Chronicles Aes Sedai

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    We view this space as a place for friends to talk with each other about topics that are important to them. Sometimes those conversations become uncomfortable or even heated. This community is so diverse in terms of race, religion, nationality, political stance, socioeconomic background, gender identity, etc. that everyone is able to bring their own unique perspectives and experiences to the topics of the day. For some members, this is the only place they can have these conversations. For some members, this is the only exposure they have to experiences that are significantly different from their own.

    We do not believe there is any set of rules that can force this forum into what it is intended to be - an open exchange of ideas. We will move to a limited moderation model for this space going forward. That means we will not be actively moderating the content of this forum. To be very clear, this is not an open license for people to say whatever they want. The code of conduct still applies, and we absolutely will not tolerate hate speech, threats, etc.

    The Current Events forum as it is will be archived, though the posts will remain viewable for a period of time so that authors may review/save content. We will then launch two forums in its place - News & Politics and Spirituality & Religion. These forums will be hidden from view unless you request access. The presence of these boards will be shared within the Discussion Halls. Any member who wants to request access to the new forums will need to submit a request for each forum individually. By requesting access, you agree to a specific set of rules.

    New Rules:
    TarValon.Net offers ideological discussion forums (i.e. News & Politics, Spirituality & Religion) as a place for an open exchange of ideas and personal perspectives. Participation in these forums is optional. They are intended to provide a place to learn from each other and our individual experiences, and help us connect to the personal impact of the world around us in a way that news sources cannot. As our individual perceptions are unique and each member has the right to their own beliefs and outlooks, these forums will not be moderated for content. The code of conduct still applies and statements that express hate or encourage violence towards a person or group based on something such as race, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation will not be tolerated. We hope that you find these forums engaging and that they provide a place where you can learn from the diverse members of our community.

    • You must be 18 years of age or over to access these forums as many conversations include mature content.
    • You may opt out the same way you have opted in, by filling out the form.
    • Trigger Warnings & spoiler tags are recommended for hot topics, but are not required.
    • These discussions will not spill into other areas of TarValon.Net.
      • If you want to have a private discussion with someone, you need to ask them if they are open to it.
      • You should not be pulling these conversations into the other forums or official TarValon.Net chat areas.
    • Your opinions and beliefs will not be considered when you are evaluated for potential raising, but the way you conduct yourself here absolutely can be.
      • For example: If you are trolling people, people will consider you a troll, and people may call you out as a troll. Consider the consequences of your actions before you post.
    • Be aware that if you express an opinion that offends someone else, they very well may call you out.
      • For example: If you make a statement that is an example of systemic racism, another member may point out that this is considered a racist statement.
    • You are agreeing to conduct yourself as an adult amongst friends. The only posts that should be reported are those which egregiously violate the code of conduct or threaten violence.
    These forums are OPTIONAL. You do not have to participate if you do not feel comfortable with the experience we have designed for this space.

    Rollout Plan:
    • The Current Events forum will become view-only on Monday, June 8th.
      • There will be no Current Events forum available to post in for approx 2 days while we take the steps necessary to change permissions.
    • A form has been created here where you can opt in to the News & Politics forum and the Spirituality & Religion forum separately.
    • These two new forums will be created & permission will be granted to those who opted in during the 2 day window. If you fill out the form later, you will be granted access to the forums following receipt of your request.
    • These two new forums will be opened for posting Wednesday, June 10th.
    • The News & Politics forum will effectively replace the Current Events forum. The content will not be moved over, but you will have visibility into the Current Events forum for 2 months to reference any content you want before we archive it.
    • The Current Events forum will become Archived, not deleted. The content will not be visible long term, but it will exist. Officers & Execs will be able to reference/retrieve this content as needed.
    • There will be notes for new members to let them know these new forums exist, the Opt Out form will be stickied in these forums, and the Opt In form will be stickied somewhere so you can easily find it for future opt ins.
     
  2. Kitan Tataru

    Kitan Tataru Aes Sedai Forum Moderator

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    The opt in form is only accessible when using an @tarvalon.net email account. Thought I'd let you know :)
     
  3. Ty al'Djinn

    Ty al'Djinn Mod for Life Gaidin Forum Moderator

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    Very cool. Thanks!
     
  4. Alenya Al'Roran

    Alenya Al'Roran Aes Sedai Director of Marketing Forum Moderator

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    Fixed now
     
  5. Kelgan al'Moranwin

    Kelgan al'Moranwin Aes Sedai

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    I have three questions about this:

    1. How will the code of conduct be effectively enforced if these spaces are effectively unmoderated?

    2. Could you elaborate a bit on the experience you've designed for these forums?

    3. When you say that "These discussions will not spill into other areas of TarValon.Net" and "You should not be pulling these conversations into the other forums or official TarValon.Net chat areas", does this mean that discussions of religion and politics should not be had outside these forums?
     
  6. Sa'areah Britthorn

    Sa'areah Britthorn Aes Sedai Director of Membership

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    1. For that, we rely on judgement. If you (general you) feels that the code of conduct is being breached, you can absolutely report it, and it will be looked into, much as it is now.

    3. This is solely referring to confidentiality. Conversations in that forum stay in there, and aren't used in other areas.. You're free to have other discussions elsewhere, but not to reference those conversations, especially as they may reference other members in areas they cannot see.
     
  7. Arisaema Draconis

    Arisaema Draconis Aes Sedai

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    The titles of the 2 new forums appear to me to be shortsighted.
    Life Experiences for instance falls under neither of these. If it isn’t about spirituality or religion, nor about the news and politics, where should the discussions be held?
     
  8. Elanda Tonil

    Elanda Tonil Aes Sedai Survey Project Manager Forum Moderator

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    I appreciate the thought & effort you all have put into this as well as the other changes I expect are coming after the Exec meeting. I am looking forward to seeing how this plays out.

    I love having an opt in/out form rather than an email.
     
  9. Mieriana Souvra

    Mieriana Souvra Keeper of the Chronicles Keeper of the Chronicles Aes Sedai

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    Can you elaborate a little by sharing an example of a life experience that you would share in Current Events that wouldn't fall under these topics? If you would like to share an example privately, you are welcome to PM me or email me.
     
  10. Ninya Evoneigh

    Ninya Evoneigh Super Cool Kid Aes Sedai

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    I'm uncertain how I feel about this. On the one hand y'all know, or you SHOULD know, my extremely negative opinion of how hyper moderated this community is. I'm glad there will now be a space for people to let their hair down, so to speak, without getting reamed for calling out hateful behavior as has happened in the past.

    On the other...all I can think of is that this silos discussion of global issues that people need to be confronted with in order for change to occur...AND I'm not sure how erecting a wall of confidentiality honors or respects vulnerable people who consider the Tower their safe space to be themselves. If anything, it seems to protect the untrustworthy/dangerous ones even more than they were before.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2020
  11. Mieriana Souvra

    Mieriana Souvra Keeper of the Chronicles Keeper of the Chronicles Aes Sedai

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    I can build a little more on what Sa shared.

    1) The Code of Conduct will be enforced the same way it is now- it applies to the entire community in all forums/chat venues. If someone is breaking it, you are reporting them at a level that means their entire membership is in jeopardy. It's the same deal as reporting a violation of this code in any forum- you report someone for breaking the Code of Conduct and the site leadership will decide whether they agree it's a breach and if so, bring it before The Hall to vote on what actions should be taken. This is a very rare occurrence and we expect it to continue to be rare.

    2) The purpose of this new experience is for members to discuss these more sensitive topics in a constructive way.
    If this helps- we are looking for more conversations like this:
    "This is why what you're saying doesn't make sense to me" or "I don't agree with how that is being handled- this is what would make it better."

    "Did you see that thing on the news? It's so crazy, I can't believe it!" "Oh, I can believe it- this is what I've experienced that makes this no surprise to me." "Oh I hadn't considered that/didn't realize that."

    "I love this new policy!" "I don't- it's totally discriminatory against x group" "It doesn't have anything to do with that group!" "Yes it does, and here's why."

    "I have this belief because this has been my experience" "Oh, that's totally different from my life- tell me more about your point of view, and maybe it will help me understand where you are coming from."

    It won't always be as polite as I've written it, especially regarding heated topics, but that's the spirit of what we're looking for. Learning from each other and trying to consider different perspectives.

    3) Don't pull your discussions into other discussions elsewhere on the forum.
    Example: You're having an argument with someone on a topic in News & Politics- you go into General chat, and there's a perfect example of the point you've been trying to make. You should not continue your argument in that General chat thread.
     
  12. Bruce al'Kay

    Bruce al'Kay Novice Social Marketing Manager

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    Assuming you're not attacking anyone, would it then be appropriate to bring that example into the original thread with the discussion?

    Another attempt to get at what I'm asking for the high-level view: are these new forums meant to exist totally separately from the rest of the site (which would mean you don't grab examples like I'm saying above and bring them into sensitive discussions), or is the intent more to keep the difficult discussions in that opt-in place (which would suggest you can take examples in from other places on the site)?
     
  13. Mieriana Souvra

    Mieriana Souvra Keeper of the Chronicles Keeper of the Chronicles Aes Sedai

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    Yes, that would be fine, Bruce.

    It's the latter- the intent is to "keep the difficult discussions in an opt-in place". You can bring examples from other places on the site into these new forums, but the expected level of confidentiality would apply to wherever you're bringing it from. To be clear: If you're in the Hall, you can't take stuff out of there because it's confidential. If you're in your private member group board or a Departmental board that you have access to but is not available to everyone, then you can't take stuff out of there because it's meant to be confidential.

    What we're really going for here is we don't want people arguing all over the boards/chat because they started arguing about something in these forums.
     
  14. Arisaema Draconis

    Arisaema Draconis Aes Sedai

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    "I have this belief because this has been my experience" "Oh, that's totally different from my life- tell me more about your point of view, and maybe it will help me understand where you are coming from."

    This is from your post above and serves as an example of a conversation type often posted under Current Events that could easily be neither spiritual or news/politics.

    example: I have friends who discuss their life experiences simply to air their frustrations or to educate others regarding life that many have little contact with. It isn’t featured on the news. It isn’t a part of current politics. From the posters point of view it isn’t about spirits.

    Where do these posts now belong?

    also posted above:
    It's the latter- the intent is to "keep the difficult discussions in an opt-in place". You can bring examples from other places on the site into these new forums, but the expected level of confidentiality would apply to wherever you're bringing it from. To be clear: If you're in the Hall, you can't take stuff out of there because it's confidential. If you're in your private member group board or a Departmental board that you have access to but is not available to everyone, then you can't take stuff out of there because it's meant to be confidential.

    This is why I’m asking.

    It isn’t always news and politics or spirits.
     
  15. Stephen Lightheart

    Stephen Lightheart Aes Sedai

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    Isn't that just General, though? Bonus points for it actually not being The Purge covered by some legalese crap hiding behind the incorporation of our community, too. :lol
     
  16. Lenore Carvoe

    Lenore Carvoe Aes Sedai

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    I couldn't agree more.
     
  17. Kelgan al'Moranwin

    Kelgan al'Moranwin Aes Sedai

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    It also exposes them to membership penalties far more directly than was possible before, so I don't know that it protects anyone in the way you're worried about (at least, not more than the old system did).
     
  18. Kitan Tataru

    Kitan Tataru Aes Sedai Forum Moderator

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    Regardless of how rare reporting someone is supposed to be, when people get upset at others in a political forum a lot of them are going to report in anger. They either won't be objective enough to realize that reporting that person puts their membership in jeopardy, or they may be aware of that and just not care.

    It seems that this will create a large amount of reports that the Keeper has to sort through, in addition to her other duties, and could result in a lot of people being put before the Hall for banning.
     
  19. Erin al'Denael

    Erin al'Denael Ban Hammer, Scourge of Spambots Everywhere Aes Sedai Director of Community Outreach

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    Being put before the Hall would only be if what is reported is actually in violation of the Code of Conduct. I can see the Keeper's workload increasing as people get heated and report, but I'm also sure she'll explain why the report isn't valid if it's not rather than immediately putting that person up in the Hall.
     
  20. Deoan Kakarot

    Deoan Kakarot Director of Technology Gaidin

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    The Current Events Forum has now been closed and locked.
     
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