I was banned recently and I may get in trouble with Hub Pages for asking this question, but I am very confused and hope someone can help me understand policy. When I asked the moderators for an explanation, this is the response I received.
You have been banned from the forums for three days for personal attacks for this post:
I'm not including the link, because I'm not here to complain about the fact that I was banned. It might have been fair, but I'm a little confused as to the definition of 'personal attack'.
You were not the only person who was banned from the forums as a result of this thread. In the future, please flag a post or contact us if you feel as though someone is being abusive in the forums and let us ban them.
The problem I have with this is; it appears to me that the moderator is saying that they felt that I had stepped out of line while 'defending' myself from abuse and someone also got banned for comments made to me. I was not aware that anyone was being abusive in the exchange. I thought the conversation I was in was a joke and was laughing during the entire discussion. Who is in a position to make the call of 'personal attack' other than the person involved in the conversation? If you don't see it in that light, how is it an attack?
If the person I was talking to reported me, then I misread the conversation and I was out of line. I have no problem with that. If the moderators agreed then, to be fair, they probably were obligated to take a look at the conversation, in its entirety, and determine if it appeared that we had both been out of line. At which point, I think the only fair thing to do would be to ask if I felt that I had been abused also. My attitude is, if I've misread something; live and learn. Why would I cross ban someone because I had misjudged the exchange and subsequently made them upset?
If you think someone is being attacked, by all means join the conversation. It's a public forum. But still, the accusation of personal attack can only logically be made by the person that the post was intended for and/or targeting. I think it is insane, and unfairly limits discussions, for the moderators to allow others to come through and report something and call it a personal attack, without being the one in the discussion. Especially if they read one post in the middle of an ongoing dialogue. Many times they probably haven't taken the time to review what led up to, or came after, that one post.
I also think that if people can randomly make that accusation, it exacerbates the problems in the forums that are prone to devolve into emotional exchanges. How are you supposed to know who you have to tip toe around and who is mature enough to realize a disagreement isn't the end of the world? I already avoid discussions with hubbers I think might take the subject matter too personally, but come on. What is so difficult about giving people the benefit of the doubt? Is it so difficult to step back for a moment and attempt to see a lighter side to any exchange before we cry foul?
I realize that this is a public forum and miscommunications are bound to happen, but we are all adults. Aren't we? This wasn't really worded like I was interested in what anyone had to say, but I would appreciate it if someone could help me understand how the policy, as it stands, makes sense.
Hi Emile, I wouldn't be surprised if that was the thread we were engaged as I was banned too. You can go back and see who it was that rudely interrupted our discussion and reported. She even said she reported it.
Seems people like that have got nothing else better to do with their time than act like forum police. Strange though, I got attacked and insulted by other members who didn't get banned.
So much for the rules being consistent here.
Well, I notice no moderator has made an attempt to come into this thread and offer any clarification. A little disappointing.
Anyway, I hope you knew I wasn't running around with scissors. I was just joking. It was all in fun.
It doesn't really matter, all we know is that we were having a good discussion and someone else poked their nose in where it didn't belong.
If you haven't got a life, you wind up doing all kinds of petty things like that. Their actions shows more about them than us.
OK, but I don't know about a good discussion. I thought we were trying to find the end of each other's chains so we could more effectively jerk them. Neither of us was serious, so it couldn't be defined as a discussion.
Either way, glad to see you survived the incident and are back on the site.
A clarification of what exactly? I think I need the point of ambiguity... clarified.
The OP was not questioning why I was banned. It was questioning why the other hubber was banned. The moderator led me to believe that person was banned due to a personal attack on me.
I was the only person in the position to determine if it was an attack.I did not make that call. I would like to understand their reasoning for letting others arbitrarily decide what is a 'personal' attack. Only the person the post is directed at can make such a call.
If they want hubbers to make 'citizen arrests' that's fine. But when you are in a discussion you should only have to worry about not offending that person when you make comments that are clearly only directed at them.
That call isn't made by you or any other hubber. It is made by the moderator who evaluates the conversation. Baiting is also not allowed. So, if someone continues to push the conversation, then they will be banned, if the other people in the conversation were banned.
But, that's not how it works, as I explained before.
This is one of the problems Emile.
Forum decorum, would state that a person who posts to another person's post, then they are directly talking to that individual. If you(or them) do not respond to a specific post, then that person is actually talking to the OP or making a generalized statement in the thread.
This is not followed or understood by either moderators or hubbers.
I did read your explanation earlier. I do understand that this is the way the rules are enforced. My question was why? It makes no sense.
I've already given up though. Apparently, they like it that way. No moderator has bothered to weigh in. I assume allowing finger pointing is easier than actually taking the time to determine if the accusation is truly accurate.
Having reviewed the post in question, I believe that your forum ban was justified. If you would like to discuss the circumstances of your ban, such things are usually done privately via email.
Had anyone replied to my responding email, I wouldn't have been left confused. No one did. If one email was left unanswered, there seemed no reason to send more requests for explanation.
However, again, I wasn't complaining that I had been banned. I don't know, or care, who reported me. I was seeking clarification on the reasoning behind who gets to lodge specific complaints.
What is unclear about that? Every post has a button on it that any member can press to report it. So, any member can make that report.
I realize you don't understand the question. I am aware of the buttons.
I really am trying to work it out. Because I haven't seen any evidence that reports are treated differently based on who makes them. So if you know the post was against TOS, and you know anyone could have reported it, I struggle to see what needed calcification. Although having an email ignored is never nice regardless.
I have read the rules. I have no problem with the rules. I don't mind that I was banned, and I had never thought about it prior to the ban.
The question came up because what was a joke to me and I believe to the other hubber was interpreted as a personal attack by someone else. If I was not under attack, then to accuse the hubber of attacking me is wrong. There was no attack in my mind. If the other hubber thought I had attacked him and he reported me, then I should certainly have been banned. But he shouldn't have been banned because I never made that accusation.
Which follows through for anyone. Only the person in the conversation can determine what is a personal attack. Not you, or me. I was laughing before, during and after the comment that was made. Now, when I emailed, the only response I got was what I put in the OP. I sent three, maybe four emails total and never got anything more than that one canned response.
Whatever was done to me, I did not ask for clarification on and would never argue. But, in fairness I should have been the only one banned in that incident since I didn't report anyone; if the other hubber was banned solely for comments made that were directed at me.
I see no logic in allowing anyone and everyone to read a post and make an arbitrary judgement call of 'personal attack'.
You got bsnned, why do you have to whine about it? It has happened to many of us.
Did you bother to read the OP before you passsed judgment? I wasn't complaining that I was banned, I was asking for clarification; not attempting to start a complaining session.
Not to argue, but wouldn't clarification best be asked for from the people that actually banned you?
I agree. I didn't get a response.
I just think the policy is odd. Like I said, I don't care that I was banned. I feel a little bad that someone got banned for comments made to me.
Don't take it personally, Emile. Believe it or not, moderators here are merely human beings, and you know they are. I doubt seriously they have any experience whatsoever in determining the intent in posters minds.
Sure, sometimes a ban is called for and it is fairly obvious why it is given. Other times it makes no sense whatsoever if the thread is taken in its entirety. But there is also the "control" factor which some people cannot help but wield occasionally to reassure themselves and others they still have a certain amount of power.
Human beings, damn those uppity primates!
I don't see it as a power thing for the moderators. I think they are probably up to their gills with snippy little complaints.
I say, the only fair thing to do would be to let the accusation of a personal attack only be made by the person that can logically claim themselves under attack. If the hubber I was talking to reported me, I deserved to be banned. I did not report the other hubber, so that is where I find the confusion.
People get banned because some people can hand it out but can't take it when it comes back at them. I have to admit that some of the reasons people have been banned have been silly.
I would be shocked to find out the hubber I was conversing with was the one that cried foul. I honestly don't think that person was serious. The whole thing was a joke.
But it might have been just someone who read the thread and reported it.
That was the point of the OP. How does anyone other than you know if something is a personal attack or not? If you are talking to someone and you are out of line, they have every right to report you for it. But they are the only ones that can make that call.
I never made that call, so I don't get the explanation the moderators gave me and they wouldn't respond when I emailed back.
Take the advice given b more seasoned hubbers. Sometimes things don't seem to be fair or make sense, but be persistent in your queries to the staff. They may have had a good reason to impose the ban, but at least you can be satisfied with a more precise response. Give the moderation team some time as they are only a few of them and have to moderate thousands of posts per week.
Well i knew what i got banned for when i got a 3 day ban and who reported it because she said she did in the thread.
I see your frustration. I don't know what trnspired or what thread caused the ban. I have seen HP ban both parties because the conversation has been a little to heated. A 3 day ban is a cooling off period. Don't take it so hard, take it with a grain of salt. Many of us have been banned for one reason or another and the next time someone upsets you, just walk away like I do and go write for awhile.
By the way they will not ban you for expressing your thoughts and trying to gain understanding. So don't worry you will be fine.
I'm not taking it hard. I'm not upset, like I said I have no idea if I was out of line or if the ban was pointless.
I just think it makes no sense to think that anyone can make that judgment, other than the person involved. People take things too seriously at times and maybe they need help lightening up.
To be honest, the cost satisfaction ratio was acceptable. I fell out of my chair laughing at several comments during that discussion, so a three day ban seemed a small price to pay for that kind of entertainment.
I was just shocked when I found out it had come to that.
Wow.... so they actually told you why you were banned instead of just banning you multiple times with no explanation.
I emailed several times before they replied that I had been banned. They never responded when I questioned it. I just think you're screwed either way. Not only do you have to wonder if the person you're talking to has a sense of humor, but apparently every other person that wanders by.
Ban me. No problem. But I didn't like the fact that they implied they banned the other hubber for abusive remarks to me. I don't agree. If I didn't feel abused by the exchange how could they determine otherwise?
I have been banned once for 3 days then a month and just finished a 3 month stint.
If you were banned twice in a week then you must be a liberal.
They like liberals.
Not sure ,but someone said I was one ,so I can't wait to find out too
Gee I wonder if I'm one!
Being a liberal in Australia means being like a Republican in America, although the labour party has moved so far to the right it's hard to tell their policies apart.
Come on Earnest - you know that what makes an Ozzie liberal is being left of Aborigine hunting as a blood sport and right of drinking beer out of a glass instead of directly from the can !
With all due apologies to Aborigines who have not really been actually hunted for nearly 100 years now.
Oh ok,I thought it was Labour was more like Democrats, and National party like Republicans (thinkin NZ Politics) that is.
Just goes to show I know jack about Politics.
Can see I will have to start my own Maori Party here too
I am a political junky! I even ran for the state senate in 1984, I was more idealistic in those days!
Good to have ideals.
I thought my brother would slide into politics when he retired from the force (Det/Cop/Drug Squad),but as much as he's still interested, he took this job landscaping-mowing lil old ladys lawns and nothing gives him greater pleasure than listening to them complain about everyday trivia...like Harolds grandson, only 14 yrs old bought real cigarettes into the rest home last week!!-well I never!!
P.S Did you 'hub'about your time in the states?
No, but there are bits and pieces in my hubs about working in Vegas, Chico and NYC as I recall, and a bit about a few weeks I had there with my then wife on a driving holiday.
I have seen a fair bit of the States and Canada and love both countries. Have you been to San Francisco yet? I loved it!
Don't take it too hard. Sense of humor is in short supply around here... and not just from staff.
I have also discovered that there are members on here suffering from a bizarre personality disorder that makes them actually believe they are doing the world a favor by flagging anyone who steps outside the bounds of their grade-school hall monitor paradigm of a forum's function...
...which is apparently limited to arguing endlessly about religion and politics, bad-mouthing newbies, and teaching the world how to join link farms and drop steaming piles of spammy "articles" all over the net.
Heaven forbid anyone should break that moldy mould.
These typing monkeys are, however fantastic fodder for lampooning.
I'm embarrassed to admit, I find the religion and politics forums the most entertaining. Especially religion. How you develop a firm opinion on matters of speculation is an ongoing mystery I'm trying to solve.
But, I don't know anything about link farms or spam. So, it's probably only half a personality disorder at this point.
I have on occasions been really cheeky to people on here (and have felt quite embarrassed the next day when I sobered up) and not received a ban yet.
I think it is in the interpretation of a personal attack, which is the crime.
If your attack a person - "you are a bad person" the ban will kick in, but if you say " your idealism is bad", or "your theory is bad" or "I am coming round tomorrow with a big stick to beat the crap out of you" you may well avoid a forum ban. Actually, not sure about that last one. It's a potential personal attack and that involves criminal law, as opposed to HP rules.
You may have to buy a new monitor if you come back the next day with a big stick.
Bandwidth isn't easy to hit.
Yeh, I've said a few things I full well expected to experience repercussions from. This one broadsided me. I stopped taking conversations seriously on this site as soon as I realized it was happening.
Seriously, why get upset? It isn't like anyone's contradictory opinion is going to affect my world. If you can't have fun with it, why bother?
Exactly. Remember that the person you are arguing with is sort of human and not an android, chill out, relax, and realise that half the world needs their head examined, and just go with the flow
I dont know if it was the particular thread in which you were banned,but I do remember a discussion and it looked mostly between you and one other hubber.
(I did offer my 2cents ,most unusual for me )
Havent seen him about lately so hes either under another account or banned too
Anyway if that was the same thread ,I thought you handled yourself really well, and the other person came across to me as unreasonable and provocotive.
Anyway pleased ya back.
Thanks. I think were talking about the same thread, but I have no doubt the other hubber's posts were calculated to appear that way, tongue in cheek. I thought he was hilarious, up until the end of our discussion.
But, either way, I still think if he was banned for any of his posts directed my way it was unfair. There was no attack. If there was, it was a failed attempt. I never stopped laughing.
Good for you ,laughing that is.
Maybe we need a thread that's always open ,y'know like a 'soap box' rant room' 'dungeons and dragons' ,or a mole in a hole game
As someone else pointed out it is nto necessarily the other person who reported you, it can be someone completely different just being a b!t@h and the mod not really reading it to realise it is joking around. There are a few people here who seem to be at that game frequently, some even tell me on occasion that they have reported me for a 'personal attack' when I have simply been disagreeing with them - they are invariably born again morons, christian teachers, or other extremist type.
As others have also pointed out, it si no good complaining, enquiring or even mentioning your ban as nothing ever comes of it - except maybe the mod reads it and realises that they should have read it a bit more closely, little hope of that though I would think
You are right. There is no real point. I'm not really looking for clarification on my account. I did feel like a two year old in time out, but it was funny the more I thought about it.
My primary concern is actually centered around the fact that my actions appear to be directly responsible for the moderator's decision on banning someone else. I guess I need to adjust my behavior, but the way they interpreted the whole incident is off balance. I honestly think they need to step back and reevaluate this type of ban. As it stands, I can see how it directly contributes to the whole problem. If they are going to ban people without thought, that leaves it open for people to wander through and take advantage of the system; using it against anyone and everyone that doesn't agree with them.
Maybe we could have a set of traffic lights on our account or sign in page...and if the amber lights on ,we know to 'pause' (and not speed up,like my hubby does)
Green and ya good to go
I was banned for calling someone "clueless", which was taken out of context. My post was a response to someone calling me a "prejudiced bigot".
So, it's subjective really. Someone can report any post and call it a "personal attack", but if the moderator doesn't agree, then nothing will happen. If the moderator agrees, then it is something that you can get banned for.
I'll give you an example of something you can be banned for, but isn't an attack or even personal- call someone "ignorant".
Being called ignorant or calling someone ignorant is something that will get you banned, but moderators fail to understand that every human being on the planet IS ignorant in some capacity. However, pointing it out to the person, is considered a "personal attack".
Hmmm. Maybe I'd better be a bit more careful - I tend to use that word rather freely in the same sense you do. Mostly in reference to myself (I am ignorant in a great many areas) but occasionally in reference to someone else.
It's rather sad when someone gets so wound up from a silly forum that they actually work at taking offense when none is offered.
I don't take offense and no one on these thread can offend me. I've already accepted their actions and expect what they bring to the table.
It is pretty sad that many people are sensitive(too much) and must feel that they have to be offended. So much for those who do get offended learning tolerance or forgiveness, as many are supposedly taught to do.
I have no need for tolerance, since I have already accepted them and what they will do.
Forgiveness? The fact that forgiveness is preached throughout the religious of the world is part of the problem. It isn't about forgiveness of those who wrong you, but it is about forgiveness of self, for putting yourself in the position in the first place.
But, yes Wilderness, do try to be more careful.
That's crazy cagsil. Allowing this to be a subjective penalty across the board makes no sense. I can see if you are in the middle of a discussion and the person you are speaking to cries foul, that may be fair. You have a responsibility to listen and adjust your behavior to the personality you are interacting with, to some degree.
But, to leave the call open to anyone and everyone on this site limits the dialogue. There are some very touchy hubbers here. By that train of thought, we could all be banned for anything, as your example proves.
You're telling me? I know it, I've been banned several times for supposedly "insulting" others or "personal attacks".
The person who reports the attack, doesn't even have to be in the conversation. They could be sitting on the sidelines watching the conversations and if they deem something an attack, then they can report it. That's just how it is done.
The only people who should be allowed to cry foul is the people in the conversation. So, if you were having a one on one with me, and you found something as an attack, then you should be the only person who is allowed to report it.
This is human nature and it automatically done, within every person in existence. The problem is Ego. Many do not have the ability to see past their own, which is mostly why people get offended to begin with.
Quite a bit.
Yes there are. Then again, there are some who are not rational at all, but use irrationality as their basis for rationalizing their actions.
Yes, it could, depending on the moderator who is on at the time.
Don't worry, Emile. They have banned me for months on end... literally, the last one was like four months long... it just adds character to your profile is all.
I'm not worried. It's a right of passage, I guess. I would still like the moderators to weigh in and explain why this is so arbitrary. As I said, we are adults. We should be able to see when something is a joke, and even if we can't we should be able to accept some conflict.
No one should have to gauge what they think the reaction of every person on the site would be to every comment. I'll say a lot of things to you I wouldn't say to someone else. I know you well enough by now to know you'll shoot your opinion right back at me. Which is how it should be. And then we back off and say nice things to each other. Why should someone else be allowed to stroll by and take offense?
I try to ban people everyday... the way I see it the less of you on here means I make more money!!!!
Ja ja ja ja ja I'm kidding! lol. (orrrrr ..AM I? [no really I am])
But, seriously. Now I know who the culprit is. I'll get you for that, and your little dog too.
That was you!!
Spits marshmallows across the room in a fluffy kinda attacking manner
I try to be really careful as to what I say online. I get hurt feelings easily and I worry a lot about hurting others' feelings.
Usually when I write something that is not meant to be offensive, but could possibly be taken offensive, I add a smiley to it to kind of show that I mean it in the best possible way.
That said, I also worry that my smiley makes it look worse... like I AM meaning it in an offensive way and the smiley is just twisting the knife.
Sometimes those cute little smileys can look like a smug little jerk... definitely can make a man err woman mad when it's added to something rude and factual. You know?
The best thing to do, I guess, is realize that we're writing text... there's no in-person contact. I can't see the gleam in your eye when you say something sarcastically humorous. Ya' know? And there can be sooo many jerks online hiding behind a keyboard -- acting in ways they wouldn't in real life. That lack of being able to read a person's real-life reactions and the fact that there are trolls on the Internet, makes it a tough environment for us sarcastic folk.
To add to that, I want to say that I have been sarcastic in the past... I suppose "throwing it" and someone took me seriously and attacked me. This was me not being able to "take what I dish out." That said, I had dished out friendly sarcasm when a person took me seriously and bashed me. Who is at fault? Both of us. I didn't take into consideration that these are cold words on a page with no face to read. The other person misread what I'd meant and hurt my feelings. There is no real way to fix it other than clarification -- and then later, laughter about it.
I've learned that now I have to choose my words carefully, fait for me? Not really, but it does keep from accidentally hurting other people.
It sounds like a rough thing, but how I do it now is I read my stuff before posting it in a really hypersensitive way pretending I'm easily offended... then editing it to avoid any such offense.
Rambling, but I hope that kind of explains, I guess, how I deal with these kinds of situations.
mebel, the first 3 o 4 inches of your post (about the smileys) has me laughing. I think that smiley-face thing is a challenge for a lot of people. I don't use the smiling one as much as I lean toward: . That's one I feel pretty comfortable using, because I guess it's "where I'm often coming from". One I'm always torn about is: (the hideous, laughing, one). On the one hand, if I'm really thinking what I'm saying is funny to me, I want to add it (because a smiley isn't enough). On the other hand - really - no, I'm not laughing hideously to the extent that my use of that emoticon would suggest. ( ) (See what I mean? )
That whole no-tone-in-typing thing does make serious challenges sometimes. I've had times when I've done something like really try to post a thought out answer to someone's dilemma (trying to be helpful); or else when I've viewed a discussion as interesting and thought contributing substance to it was what people might enjoy - - only to have someone insinuate (or out-and-out say) that the motives behind the post were (basically) rotten or selfish ones. A lot of people do have a tendency to assume the worst of everyone but themselves. And, as you say, a sense of humor can get any number of people in trouble. (That's one of "mine" because I don't usually come across like a "wild and crazy" person.)
Most of the time I take none of what goes on here seriously at all (even if some of my posts, which I enjoy doing at the time the conversation is going on, would appear otherwise). If I'm in a bad mood I don't come here in the first place, so the only time I'm here is when I'm feeling pretty friendly towards the human race.
Everybody has his buttons that can be pushed, though. I have one; and although it's extremely, extremely, rare that someone on here (or anywhere) can effectively irk the heck out of me, it's when someone is rotten about people who haven't done anything to them and/or when someone understands so little about whoever it is he's being rotten about/aggressive toward, I think he needs some "enlightenment". The "defender of all people" and "mother instincts" come out in me, and that's when I'll get pushed into trying to "politely sit somewhere on his rear-end". As one of my close friends says, though, people don't like to be "enlightened" - and so I'm then left, after I've calmed down, embarrassed at not just ignoring something. (The worst part is, the only thing I'm ever drinking when I'm on here is coffee or else water. So, I can pretty well embarrass myself completely sober. ) The other side to that, though, is - really - if people are going to come on here and be rotten to/about others, they do have it coming.
Personally, I just think everyone who chooses to get involved in a public forum should know this stuff can go on from time to time, be a grown up and move on - and never mind banning or reporting stuff. (But, I suppose the people running a forum like this have their reasons for needing to ban. ) I've often thought people ought to have little icons to add to each post to indicate "where the post is coming from" (dry humor, anger, the naive belief that having a "serious" discussion is being friendly, hatred of all long posts, hatred of all short posts, "here just for fun", etc. etc.)
I think everyone involved in a privately owned forum should refrain from launching nasty personal attacks.
If you want to participate in open season forums instead there are plenty of them.
That didn't really have anything to do with the question, but good point anyway.
I have written to HubPages several times, they have never written back. I have been banned and would like to come back. I understand why I was banned, I accept that. I removed everything remotely offensive from my hubs. I would just like to know how long my punishment is for.
you don't have to be a member to cruise around HubPages or leave comments. Cannot get around a ban, not when they ban the IP number. They indicated that if I behave myself, I may get to come back. I guess I am impatient. (But I hope it is soon-lol)
I can read hubs, leave comments, I just can't publish anything right now.
Sausage ,ham ,mushroom cheese
No particular order
Oh. You just had to say mushroom. That means I'll have to buy two. I don't do fungi. I'll have to hit ATM up for part of this now. I was going to foot the bill, but I had no idea it was going to be so expensive when I volunteered.
What you all fail to understand is that HubPages is set up solely for the purpose of banning people from forums. Only two people from their staff of thousands actually work on promotion, quality, and profits, while the rest watch the forums like vultures waiting to pounce on and ban the helpless victims who unwittingly fall into the "personal attack" trap. Why set up an entire multinational organization whose main purpose is ruining the otherwise fruitful and productive lives of the Mensans who selflessly contribute to the collective brilliance displayed in the forums?
Nothin' else to do...
so can people practically just be on forums to chat?...
Sure, as long as you only type "yes, I agree with you". Otherwise you will inevitably fall into the personal attack trap and be banned (or worse).
Ever wonder about those posters who suddenly disappear?
I dunno. I am hardly a cherry sunshine cheerleader and I haven't managed to get banned yet.
But... they don't, they make the report, and the staff decides whether it looks like a personal attack to them.
I mean, it isn't about whether the person being directly addressed feels attacked, but how it is going to look to all the members and non-members viewing the forums. So I guess they go by what it would look like to the 'average viewer'.
Personal jokes don't always fly in semi-pubic forums.
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