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Post Info TOPIC: Code of Conduct Discussion Thread


Admin:Moderator + All Time Great + britishtennis.net correspondant

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Code of Conduct Discussion Thread


In light of the recent issues regarding offensive posts and personal attacks I have suggested to Sheddie that we need a very simple but clear code of conduct.

I hope to PM all the mods for feedback and then we will post something here.

We want to give people as much freedom to debate, object and express but also to protect the reputation we have worked hard to get over the last 4 years.

Please feel free to comment.

-- Edited by Drew on Friday 10th of April 2009 12:17:40 PM

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Satellite level

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RE: Code of Conduct


Yes, makes sense - particularly, as you allude to, given that we have a non-web presence - i.e. reporting from Davis Cup etc - for which we need a solid reputation.

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County player

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I guess you are referring to Shush?

Check out all of his posts and see whether you think he could be the father of one of the young lads playing at the Tipton $15K, who possibly trains at Nottingham or Loughborough.

it's not quite so much "fun" to offend when you are no longer anonymous.


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Tennis legend

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considering the now deleted comment he made to SG i'd be surprised if he was a father.

but he isnt the 1st, and he wont be the last. when you have a public forum its always at risk.

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Tennis legend

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I think it's ok to keep things in a forum a bit freer than what goes on the home page, but we do need to agree some guidelines, for sure.

My preference is to err on the side of allowing free speech but not hesitate to ban when the personal attacks become blatant. Thankfully that happens a lot less often than on some other forums.

The difficult issue comes with people who we're pretty convinced are just stirring but they're still talking about tennis and there's a tiny bit of doubt as to whether they are just stirring or are putting across genuine opinions - that's where we tend to err perhaps too much on the side of free speech, and while I'm not inclined to apologise for that, some guidelines agreed among the mods would help action to be taken faster when it's needed.

In case people are wondering, the ban today was for a comment that was vicious, libellous and really sick attack on another poster (which is why I'm not going to repeat it), which just confirmed what most of us had already guessed, i.e. that the bannee had only been trying to stir up trouble all along. It was more than clear-cut enough to not need any discussion.

Other borderline issues are ones like the 'fat' discussion, which is a fairly legitimate issue when we're talking about a sport like this as long as the comments are constructive but may still be going a bit too far - especially when we're talking about relative youngsters. Having said that, that particular discussion produced some interesting comments and clearly the main subject of it is more than capable of sticking up for himself. smile


-- Edited by steven on Friday 20th of March 2009 05:43:19 PM

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All-time great

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Thanks for raising this issue as I think it does need clearing up.

Normally I don't take to heart anything said about me on these or any other forums but I won't be subjective to any abuse where my family is concerned (lucky for him he did not say it to my face).

This is one of my favourite websites (dread to think how much time I spend on here at work!) and would be a real shame to be ruined by a couple of mindless idiots (and if that poster is a Father of a tennis player words fail me).

Keep up the good work guys and looking forward to all the friendly banter I've come to expect on here.






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Hey Wolf,

Its great to read your post match summary and good to hear how positive you remain. 

Jack Busby is a good junior who trains at the Loughborough academy along with Josh Poullet and George Morgan who were also in qualies. Dave O'leary also trains at Loughborough and has been given a MD wildcard.

Yes, this was indeed Shush. Jekyll & Hyde, anyone?

Plus there were some throwaway insults about the Welsh in connection with a reported conversation by Shush with the parents of James Hignett. And the most likely place for Shush to be talking to them would be at a tournament where James Hignett (dob 28/2/93), and presumably Shush's son, were playing.
   
Oh well I guess I'm next in line to be flamed. Sigh ...




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Admin:Moderator + Tennis Legend

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As usual, I managed to miss it all. . .

Yes, some guidelines would be good. I have been on the verge of deleting posts a few times but have only done it once (quite a long time ago) and it is sometimes very difficult to know just where to draw the line.

Sounds like the one I missed today was bad enough to be a clear case.

For minor offences I have usually found a quiet PM to the one concerned can work wonders. On the other hand it can sometimes just result in an insulting PM back. . .

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Tennis legend

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Maybe it was someone's father initially and then the player got hold of the login details ... or maybe the player's brother who hates everything to do with tennis - I hasten to add that I don't know who anyone might be guessing that is, so there might not be such a brother!

A bit of a mystery, but not one I'm going to spend much time thinking about. I think it was the intial couple of posts which lulled us into a false sense of security about him and hence made us take long to do anything.

-- Edited by steven on Friday 20th of March 2009 08:26:42 PM

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Tennis legend

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Personally I would prefer quicker action where there is any doubt about the motives of the poster, as apart from the board's credibility for gaining Davis Cup accreditation, there is a danger of losing posters who are contributing positively and alienating players and their relatives who provide valuable insight when they occasionally post.

Is it possible to place anyone whose posts are questionable on moderation from an early stage, as on some other boards, so that all their posts are scrutinised by a moderator until moderators are happy that the poster is posting in the spirit of the board?

If that is not possible I would hope that a dialogue would be opened with the poster asap, initially via PM as Madeline suggests, but with the poster stopped from posting quickly if necessary. It's not just posts which are offensive to individuals, as has occurred recently, but also repetitive posting of a point of view designed to wind up other posters by someone who rarely if ever contributes positively. That happened last summer when someone regularly posted every time a British woman lost from a winning position that they should have won, typical British etc. etc. - a perfectly valid point if posted in isolation but clearly just stirring when posted ad nauseam, with no counter-balancing compliments. The end result was a series of exchanges with various board members, which gave the poster and his point of view greater prominence, and I doubt whether players etc. visiting the board then would have been encouraged to return.

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Admin: Moderator+Tennis Legend

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I think the idea of a simple code of conduct is a good one, however it does need to be simple.

In a forum like this, which is actually very well behaved and has few problems, I do think it best to err on the side of free speech. Personal insults should definitely be moderated, as they are at present. Like Madeline, I tend to send a quiet PM rather than delete a post at first, though I do delete if/when I feel it is necessary.

When it comes to a heated debate about the tennis though it is more difficult to know what to do. The trouble with starting to delete posts more than we currently do in that situation is that it runs the risk of turning the forum into a place where only opinions which agree with the established members are tolerated. I have faith in our mods and don't believe we'd let it get to that stage, but it does mean I am more wary of deleting ciritcal posts even if they are written in more heated language than I would have used myself.

As for making rules to avoid upsetting players who may or may not read this forum, I'm afraid I disagree with that entirely. Yes, I would love more players to read/join/contribute but not at the expense of ever criticising them, or allowing debate about their performance/potential, even though we may not know all the facts.

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Tennis legend

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^^^^

Perfectly put. That's exactly what I would have said had I been able to write it that eloquently.



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Tennis legend

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Just to clarify I agree entirely that we don't want a forum where only views of established members are tolerated, and also that criticism of players is very much part of a lively forum with diversity of views. My main concern is that allowing people who seem to be posting primarily to antagonise others to continue to do so creates a dispiriting situation where members who contribute a lot to the board question their involvement, as happened this week with Seagull and last summer with me.

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Admin: Moderator+Tennis Legend

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I understand David, I was just trying to point out the difficulty we face as mods. Its all very well asking mods to deal with those who are intentionally antagonistic, and I agree they should be dealt with, but the problem its rarely as clear cut a poster coming on, immediately posting things that require deletion and obviously doing it all just to stir up trouble. In that case it's quite clear what we, as mods, need to do. But what usually happens is a poster begins engaging in a legitimate discussion and at some point crosses the line, and only after the line has been crossed does it become clear that was the intention all along, or that they need dealing with in a more heavy handed way than merely posting/pmming them. By that point it's too late and the board has been disrupted.

However, I do believe that is the right way of doing things, and if we tackle these posters before they've crossed said line, that's when we start becoming dictatorial mods and deleting/banning posts and members that are perfectly fine in their intent, just somewhat poorly phrased.

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Futures level

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what theres was offense and i was not involved,!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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