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who should be banned?
Old 08-12-2013   #1
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who should be banned?

lots of comments, open & honest and snide ones as well recently about good members being banned.
i ask you...who should be banned?

we have had folks that blatantly did not follow the rules set forth by the forum owner (both old & new)...BUT they were funny...or very knowledeable...or did a kindness here & there for a few other members.

and we have had fairly nondescript members that were banned and no one blinked an eye.

and we have had rude, racist, sexist members that were banned and there were cheers from the membership.

it's not so easy turning away folks we like even when they break the rules...it's also not very popular!

i spend alot of time on this forum and i have a pretty fair idea of who is doing what and how they are doing it...but even with all that time there are so many things that i miss and need to have pointed out to me...thanks, btw, to those who point those things out...
and yet i hear from folks who drop by once or twice a day (some even less) who are outraged that someone they like has been banned or just plain left on their own, and they have not a clue as to what brought it about...doesn't stop them from going on about it though.
there are a few who have had the decency to at least ask what happened...

there are always 2 sides to a story but so often no one is interested in the mods version...or even worse...it is assumed that the staffer is just wrong or not as important as the 'celebrity' who left.

i'm not looking for an argument here...but i am looking to shed some light on how things happen around here from my point of view.
 

Old 08-12-2013   #2
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I must have missed the whole kerfuffle. Joe, you have a thankless task... so thanks for doing it!
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Old 08-12-2013   #3
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I've always had the impression that there was a self-selection policy: candidates identify themselves, and work hard to qualify!
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Old 08-12-2013   #4
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Ideally nobody. I prefer temporary bans to permanent bans, but I have been in the situation where people just don't get the message and have had to leave permanently. It sucks, but sometimes it it is the only practical resolution. However the only people I would permanently ban without first giving a temporary ban are spammers and bots, who have no interest or ability to positively contribute to a forum. Just my 2 cents.
 

Old 08-12-2013   #5
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Quote:
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I must have missed the whole kerfuffle.
not a kerfuffle...just a build up of sorts...
 

Old 08-12-2013   #6
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Ideally nobody. I prefer temporary bans to permanent bans, but I have been in the situation where people just don't get the message and have had to leave permanently. It sucks, but sometimes it it is the only practical resolution. However the only people I would permanently ban without first giving a temporary ban are spammers and bots, who have no interest or ability to positively contribute to a forum. Just my 2 cents.
unless it's an extreme behaviour most bans are temporary at first.
 

Old 08-12-2013   #7
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The people we've been talking about lately, Roger and Dave, left on their own, not banned, right? I wasn't around for either of the fights that led to them leaving, and I think that is why people get upset if someone leaves or gets banned. If they didn't see the person's bad behaviour, they don't understand why the person was banned or chose to leave.

As for who to ban, there aren't many, but there are a few people here I think are basically dishonest people who contribute nothing to the forum or its good members.
 

Old 08-12-2013   #8
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Old 08-12-2013   #9
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i suppose I will be 'Banned' next
for showing my Panties...lol
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Old 08-12-2013   #10
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I DEMAND that you ban me NOW!
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Old 08-12-2013   #11
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i suppose I woll be 'Banned' next
for showing my Panties...lol
I missed it. Why do I always miss things like this??
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Old 08-12-2013   #12
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There were a lot of real jerks who somehow reminded me very much of myself who have been banned. I found them to be a repulsive, unpleasant bunch. Good riddance to them.
 

Old 08-12-2013   #13
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I always appreciate the job mods do in any forum, even if at times it must be a very thankless task. I can't answer the question of who should be banned or not, or in what circumstances, but do know one thing, the best mods in any forum are like the best referees in any sporting contest.

In my mind, the best refs are not rigid rules lawyers, but rather almost father like figures who monitor the ebb and flow of the game, knowing when a quiet word in the ear is needed to pre-empt anything later, or when a stern warning, or even a card is necessary. Such refs exercise excellent judgement, and do their best to enable the best possible game to be played out, doing their best to keep the best players on the pitch if at all possible, while maintaining the delicate balance of control over the game and its participants. Sometimes players need to go too, and the best refs don't hesitate for a moment when that time comes too.

So, for me, its quite a delicate balance, and if anyone watched international soccer in the past, Pierluigi Collina, would have been the embodiment of all I prized in a referee in any sport, before he retired some years ago.

I generally try to avoid commenting on moderation policy here, but if brought up, as it has been in this thread, my thoughts would be that mods here can be a bit abrasive sometimes, and while I personally have a thick skin for these things, that bit of abrasiveness may sometimes be the litmus paper for inflaming something rather than cooling it.

In any event, one of the the acid tests for me when it comes to referees in sport, is whether most of the best players have ended up on the pitch, or off it, at the end of a game. If the latter, I would tend to ask myself, did the ref do the best job they could have, and sometimes here when I see the forum haemhorrage some good posters, I tend to ask myself could the moderation here be a little better sometimes.

Thats my opinion, straight from the gut, with no desire to antagonise or belittle the moderators or moderation here in any way, but rather provide feedback as solicited.
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Old 08-12-2013   #14
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As someone who copped a brief ban a while ago I feel qualified to add to this discussion:

It actually made me see the forum in a slightly different light and made me realise how important the conduct of established members is in keeping things calm around here. I was a little miffed at the time but looking back I did cross a line and was given a fair explanation of why my behaviour was not acceptable. Whether I agreed with that reasoning or not isn't all that important because the rules aren't made with my approval in mind and when a line is drawn in the sand I need to be aware of that and accept that crossing it has certain risks.

I'm quite happy here at RFF now, it's a brilliant place with some amazing people on board. Generally the moderation is astute and fair and over all we are very lucky to have such a resource at our fingertips. A short ban is actually quite educational because it makes you spend time in other parts of the internet and you soon realise that RFF is a pretty good spot to settle.

Let's just appreciate what we have here and not get too angsty about it all ... and let's not forget that it is only the internet. There's a real world only a few steps away from the computer.
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Old 08-12-2013   #15
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Moderation is difficult and important. Good article by Cory Doctorow: http://www.informationweek.com/how-t...g-ov/199600005
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Old 08-12-2013   #16
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I DEMAND that you ban me NOW!
I miss these cartoons...
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Old 08-12-2013   #17
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i suppose I will be 'Banned' next
for showing my Panties...lol
pictures?
(short)
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Old 08-12-2013   #18
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There are rules here?

Jokes of course...
nine times out of 10 people (including management) take things far too seriously. Yes, of course there are rules but the problem with this form of communication is you are missing a couple important features in communicating:
1) Inflection in the voice - thereby you impart your own inflection (and emotion for that matter) to plain text. This is not the fault of the poster and not necessarily the fault of the reader - this is just how the system operates.
2) Facial expressions or gesticulations of the limbs - hand gestures, facial expressions all can add to communication. Without them though, we're left to impart what we THINK is going on behind the keyboard. The smileys help but they are no replacement for the real thing

Without these - text can be as cold or heated as you the reader make it out to be. Keep that in mind the next time some sort of argument flares up.

Peace out,
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Old 08-12-2013   #19
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FWIW there are over 27,000 registered members who have not logged in since 1/1/12. So perhaps its best not to get too worked up over who hasn't been here lately.
That is who should be banned - all 27,000 plus of them!!
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Old 08-12-2013   #20
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Ignore those that are offensive and they will leave.
 

Old 08-12-2013   #21
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Thanks go to the moderators who do excellent work here, often without appreciation. Sometimes it's hard (I'm a moderator on a different site).

I will say that being able to ban people is necessary if a site is to be excellent. Ban repeat offenders and egregious first offenders.
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Old 08-12-2013   #22
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by helenhill View Post
i suppose I will be 'Banned' next
for showing my Panties...lol
In a club in Georgia, definately. An artistic pic on RFF? Not so much...
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Old 08-12-2013   #23
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For the fun of it, let's have once a year a Moderators Banning Event Poll in which RFF members have a chance to "ban" moderators for one day. A list of all moderators is given in this poll.

Is such a suggestion sufficient to get banned for, or is airing panties here more acceptable?
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Old 08-12-2013   #24
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boxers or briefs?
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Old 08-12-2013   #25
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online communities often do a better job of self policing since they are self-selected groups.

in a mixed population, people are substantially different enough that differences in interpretation, socially acceptable behavior and general mood need moderation to keep feelings from being overly frayed.

but to be truthful, most lightly moderated places, and I mean legitimately lightly moderated ala something awful or /b/ a few years ago or 2ch, do a better job than I feel rff mods do.
 

Old 08-12-2013   #26
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If this is a call for volunteers I'm guessing posting anything in the panties thread should probably be considered a raised hand

Jokes aside.
Banning is not an easy thing to do unless it is.
I think it is blatantly obvious when it's necessary and very difficult to do when it is not!

Be guided by how much labor goes into the decision. Simple as that.

There are not many subtle crimes someone can commit via an online forum post.
It's either out of bounds or it's in.
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Old 08-12-2013   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murchu View Post
I always appreciate the job mods do in any forum, even if at times it must be a very thankless task. I can't answer the question of who should be banned or not, or in what circumstances, but do know one thing, the best mods in any forum are like the best referees in any sporting contest.

In my mind, the best refs are not rigid rules lawyers, but rather almost father like figures who monitor the ebb and flow of the game, knowing when a quiet word in the ear is needed to pre-empt anything later, or when a stern warning, or even a card is necessary. Such refs exercise excellent judgement, and do their best to enable the best possible game to be played out, doing their best to keep the best players on the pitch if at all possible, while maintaining the delicate balance of control over the game and its participants. Sometimes players need to go too, and the best refs don't hesitate for a moment when that time comes too.

So, for me, its quite a delicate balance, and if anyone watched international soccer in the past, Pierluigi Collina, would have been the embodiment of all I prized in a referee in any sport, before he retired some years ago.

I generally try to avoid commenting on moderation policy here, but if brought up, as it has been in this thread, my thoughts would be that mods here can be a bit abrasive sometimes, and while I personally have a thick skin for these things, that bit of abrasiveness may sometimes be the litmus paper for inflaming something rather than cooling it.

In any event, one of the the acid tests for me when it comes to referees in sport, is whether most of the best players have ended up on the pitch, or off it, at the end of a game. If the latter, I would tend to ask myself, did the ref do the best job they could have, and sometimes here when I see the forum haemhorrage some good posters, I tend to ask myself could the moderation here be a little better sometimes.

Thats my opinion, straight from the gut, with no desire to antagonise or belittle the moderators or moderation here in any way, but rather provide feedback as solicited.
I agree with this posting -- the mods can make situations worse sometimes. But I should stress that there are only a very small percentage of threads that get contentious.

Happy to discuss further if anyone's interested.
 

Old 08-12-2013   #28
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I've noticed that every now and then we have a new arrival who instantly and constantly peppers threads with sarcasm and derogatory comments ... often aimed at established members and mods.

These types need to be banned permanently and quickly IMO ... I find them the most objectionable of the objectionable.
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Old 08-12-2013   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
As someone who copped a brief ban a while ago I feel qualified to add to this discussion:

It actually made me see the forum in a slightly different light and made me realise how important the conduct of established members is in keeping things calm around here. I was a little miffed at the time but looking back I did cross a line and was given a fair explanation of why my behaviour was not acceptable. Whether I agreed with that reasoning or not isn't all that important because the rules aren't made with my approval in mind and when a line is drawn in the sand I need to be aware of that and accept that crossing it has certain risks.

I'm quite happy here at RFF now, it's a brilliant place with some amazing people on board. Generally the moderation is astute and fair and over all we are very lucky to have such a resource at our fingertips. A short ban is actually quite educational because it makes you spend time in other parts of the internet and you soon realise that RFF is a pretty good spot to settle.

Let's just appreciate what we have here and not get too angsty about it all ... and let's not forget that it is only the internet. There's a real world only a few steps away from the computer.
Pretty hard to go past this advice. Good of you to offer this perspective.
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Old 08-12-2013   #30
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Quote:
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I've noticed that every now and then we have a new arrival who instantly and constantly peppers threads with sarcasm and derogatory comments ... often aimed at established members and mods.

These types need to be banned permanently and quickly IMO ... I find them the most objectionable of the objectionable.
Some forums implement a "waiting period" for new members to spend time to lurk and learn the forum culture in an effort to curtail this. It also can eliminate a lot of spammers. I don't see why we can't do the same. Seems "netiquette" and reading the FAQ, which was so prevalent back in the nntp day has gone by the way-side.

As for the older members... I'd just let them duke it out - civilly of course!
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Old 08-12-2013   #31
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Quote:
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I've noticed that every now and then we have a new arrival who instantly and constantly peppers threads with sarcasm and derogatory comments ... often aimed at established members and mods.

These types need to be banned permanently and quickly IMO ... I find them the most objectionable of the objectionable.
if you let the community police itself these people get crushed more effectively than the mods can do it.

people stop multi-accounting when they get ignored, not when they get banned.

and the words "get the **** out" are more effective when 30 people say it then when 1 mod does.

I also think people around here can have skin that is a bit too thin and conflate legitimate criticism with malice because of how hard the mods can come down on the former when it's not expressed particularly articulately.

just what Ive seen from a lot of forums.
 

Old 08-12-2013   #32
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I'm with Keith on sarcasm and derogatory statements from newbs. These people bounce from forum to forum causing the same problems on those forums also.
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Old 08-12-2013   #33
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I had no idea that people were being banned on this site.

But I will say this.

My experience that "tight" consistent and careful moderation of forums is important.

Some years ago I used to contribute to the foums over at photo.net. There were trolls who frequented the Leica forum on that site - who loved taking the p#ss out of Leica owners. They often went beyond that and also were often abusive and rude -deliberately "winding up" people to get them angry. And yet they were never banned. This taught me that it is very easy for one or two members who are behaving badly to drag a whole community down. So, assuming appropriate warnings and safeguards etc my veiw now is that there should be a zero tolerance of aggression, anger rudeness and incivility.

Those trolls contributed nothing to the forum but did basically succeed in destroying it (at least for a time) . The moderation on the site was not good as it could have pulled those people up. For this reason I largely stopped posting there and I noticed on the few occasions that I checked that for the next several years so did many other people. The site became more or less moribund during that time. However the forum eventually picked up somewhat but even now I see that it is not so active as it used to be.

Lesson - trolls can destroy a forum.

Moderation that ensures they do not is crucial to the long life and health of a forum. But so can bad modreation. What I did not mention above is that I did try to go back onto the site a few years ago after the trolls had drifted away to find new victims.

I made the mistake of posting a link in athread on that site, to Ken Rockwells site.

Photo.net told me this was not allowed (they apparently do not like Rockwell over there). I then wrote a further post complaining that this was an abuse of moderators powers and they banned ME!!!!!

Hmmm I thought. A site that will not ban trolls for being abusive - but will ban other members for being critical of the the moderators. Not a site I wish to belong to.

In short this stuff matters. It is the people - the contributors who make the forums and forum moderators have to walk a fine line. That means being balanced , consistent and setting high standards.
 

Old 08-12-2013   #34
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I think Keith's comments most closely reflect my thoughts. If each of us take some personal ownership in maintaining the integrity of this site all will benefit.
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Old 08-12-2013   #35
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So far I only have 2 members in my ignore list because they tend to be verbally abusive not only to me but to others.

We can disagree which is normal but should do so in a civil way. But too many recently have instead gotten abusive..

When people get abusive they should be given a short term ban but if that doesn't change their attitude then a permanant ban should be in order..
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Old 08-12-2013   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
i spend alot of time on this forum and i have a pretty fair idea of who is doing what and how they are doing it...but even with all that time there are so many things that i miss and need to have pointed out to me...thanks, btw, to those who point those things out...
and yet i hear from folks who drop by once or twice a day (some even less) who are outraged that someone they like has been banned or just plain left on their own, and they have not a clue as to what brought it about...doesn't stop them from going on about it though.
there are a few who have had the decency to at least ask what happened...

there are always 2 sides to a story but so often no one is interested in the mods version...or even worse...it is assumed that the staffer is just wrong or not as important as the 'celebrity' who left.

i'm not looking for an argument here...but i am looking to shed some light on how things happen around here from my point of view.
I'm surprised that this information would be disclosed. I think there's a fair number of members who would like to know exactly what happened when a favorite contributor disappears or a thread gets shut down. In the end, however, it borders on morbid curiosity so I find it more tactful not to ask, thought it does not mean I don't care.
 

Old 08-12-2013   #37
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and the words "get the **** out" are more effective when 30 people say it then when 1 mod does.
Sorry but 30 ppl speaking is not as effective as one person (mod) doing...

I've been banned. Twice I think-- I've lost track. If you are not entirely an idiot, you can work your way back in. I'm pathetic.
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Old 08-12-2013   #38
Keith
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The trouble is that as soon as you disclose information about a particular fracas resulting in a leaving or banning you're inviting people to take sides ... which can start a whole new debacle.

Forum politics would be good fodder for a PHD on internet behaviour IMO ... and why some usually civilised individuals turn into a-holes when you give them an internet connection, a keyboard and a level of anonimity.
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Old 08-12-2013   #39
charjohncarter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helenhill View Post
i suppose I will be 'Banned' next
for showing my Panties...lol
I didn't see that, darn.

But don't put the legs avatar up again, it will cause trouble.
 

Old 08-12-2013   #40
Brian Legge
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This reminds me of layoffs or people leaving at a moderately large company.

Rumors travel instantly if the management doesn't acknowledge what happened. Talking publicly about the details or an individuals problems in public can only backfire unless the infraction was severe enough for it to be a legal issue. Both sides need the ability to protect their interests. Problems should be dealt with privately, potentially with probation. All individuals react differently. People find out over time.

On big difference is that individuals generally talk about issues in private. Here, the board is the only method of communication. In addition, there is no boss to potentially filter news of act as a point of private upwards feedback. Relatively few have personal relationships with the mods.

To that end, a few thoughts -

- Be up front about high profile departures. Details about why they left should remain private but acknowledge departures before rumors spread.
- Periodically reiterate rules people commonly break (without naming people). As much as possible keep individual criticism private.
- Give public feedback to people who get threads back on track or who self police/admit wrong doing.
- Keep the roster up to date. If someone named in the sidebar leaves or takes a hiatus, close or rename it to avoid confusion.
- Give people dealing with a loss of someone valued here some time to talk about it before closing a thread about a departure and helping everyone move on.
- Accept that not everyone will be happy analogy decisions or understand what went on behind the scenes but trust that the value brought to the community by this self policing improves it in the long run.
- As a community we need to remember to express out gratitude to though volunteering there time to help make this a great place to hang out.
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