[07-SEP-2011] The admin's explanation of the Agenthex fiasco handling

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[07-SEP-2011] The admin's explanation of the Agenthex fiasco handling

Hello everybody,

A few words are in order to explain the handling of the recent conflict between Agenthex and ReverendJim and the resulting attempts to defuse it.


First of all, I would like to set straight that this is not a public witch hunt.
The only member in jeopardy at this moment is agenthex. And the only user here who has authority to create a ban poll is myself. Although I am sure that this is not an enjoyable experience for him either, unfortunately it must be recognized that lack of self control and abusive speech in public will ruin one's reputation in a very short period of time. There is simply no way to protect Agenthex or resolve the issue in a way that will not to some extent humiliate him. Humiliation is by no means the intent of the ban poll, but it is an unavoidable consequence.


Second, the banning decision must be ratified by informed members.
It is true that I as administrator must enforce the rules. I frequently do so via the PM system, requesting users to clean up a post or avoid certain offensive topics altogether. In fact, I have done so in the case of Agenthex. However, the #1 "rule" around here is actually not a rule. The phrase "Please don't be a rude" is actually a guiding principle or code of ethics. It can not be violated in a clearly defined way, and each user will interpret "rudeness" based on his own perception of right and wrong. Agenthex has not personally offended me, so I can not arbitrarily make the decision of banning him for personally being "rude" to me. Even if he did offend me personally, it would be wrong for me to ban for a personal offense. However, if the majority of the users around here do feel that he is being rude and offensive, then action must be taken after a fair trial period. For this reason, I added the clause "informed opinion" to the poll. I really wasn't sure if we were dealing with a storm in a teacup, or a vicious tornado that is wreaking havoc on a wide scale. If a user doesn't really know who agenthex is, then he can not make an intelligent vote on agenthex's member status. On the other hand, if a user has personally perceived agenthex's attitude as rude, or to the contrary if he has been personally helped by agenthex, then his vote has weight. Please keep in mind that the majority of our users come from other forums that are characterized by arbitrary, heavy-handed moderators that act on personal whims and not based on the overall opinion of the community. We do not want to foment an environment of fear that dissidence or disagreement with some member could possibly result in a sudden administrator ban. BLF can not and will not make that same mistake.


A few other thoughts...
That being said, this matter could have been handled better, and I think we have all learned from the experience.

Firstly, I have received quite a few suggestions that a temporary ban period should be instated. This sounds reasonable to me, something like a 7 day ban for problem users after a warning PM, a public warning, and a majority vote. I should have specified the time period in the poll.

Second, a user created a public post to ask about the purpose of the poll. I soon after went to bed, and it quickly spiraled out of control in that lapse of time. It turned into a long argument about our handling of the issue and was basically a disorganized cacophony of disparate opinions. I had disabled comments on the actual poll to avoid exactly this sort of situation. But it was a mistake to permit the secondary thread.


Resolution of the agenthex situation
The agenthex ban poll has now ended, with a slight majority of users preferring not to ban him. So we will proceed as follows:

  1. Everyone, including Agenthex, FlashPilot, and ReverendJim must respect the order to cease and desist all further comments on this volatile issue in the battery sales thread. Further comments there by any member about this issue are strictly prohibited.
  2. I will delete any comments on the battery sales thread relating to this issue, with the exception of one post where agenthex clearly states why he disapproves of it. Please copy and save your comments to your personal computer if you want to keep them. ReverendJim can make one rebuttal in his thread if he wants to. Any other comments there about this issue are strictly prohibited. Please use said thread only for product or shipping questions.
  3. I will delete the auxiliary opinion thread that came up about the issue. Please copy and save your comments to your personal computer if you want to keep them.
  4. The same Site Rules still apply. If Agenthex or any other member violates them after repeated warnings, his membership will be subjected to question. I will soon create a separate post outlining the warning and discipline procedure here based on the feedback you have given me.


Sincere thanks to everybody who has tried to help to resolve this difficult situation. I always appreciate your counsel and suggestions. Take care, best regards!

Edit: Please feel free to PM me about this issue. I am going to heed a user's suggestion of locking this thread to avoid further flareups of smoldering tempers.

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Edited by: sb56637 on 09/09/2011 - 00:24