linkspam_mod: A metal chain (Default)
[personal profile] linkspam_mod posting in [community profile] linkspam
We really appreciate all the feedback that you've offered on the warnings issue, both positive and negative. It's good to hear when we get things right and it helps us even more when we get suggestions as to how we can do better.

One important point that the discussion seems to reinforce is the idea that offering warnings is an inherently subjective enterprise. A post that is viewed by one person as enlightening and important can be viewed by another as marginalizing and hateful. Subjectivity comes not just from the commenter(s) but from the fact that people will inevitably respond to texts in different ways. Even warnings themselves can be read in different ways: as commentary, as reading tools, as educational tools, as activism, as value judgment, as a means of bringing problematic content to light. And, yes, also as criticism, attack, or proof of undesired bias. In all of this discussion, the mod team has attempted to pay particular attention to those who find warnings a necessary tool for reading and participating in anti-oppression discussions.

In general the message we've taken away from your comments is that warnings are useful for many (if not all) people for a whole host of reasons, even given their inherent subjectivity. It seems that they would be more helpful if we could improve their specificity and come up with a set of guidelines that would improve both consistency and transparency. (Particularly when it comes to tricky intersectional and intragroup issues.) Ideally we would like our warnings to function as a means of illuminating and improving the discussion rather than shutting it down.

So... we as the [personal profile] linkspam_mod team will now be going away and trying to put together a coherent set of guidelines on warnings. This may take some time, but hopefully not too long. Naturally the guidelines will be for your use as well as ours, and once we've drawn them up we will present them in [community profile] linkspam so that we can hear your thoughts.

If you have further feedback right now we're still eager to hear it. You can comment on this post, the previous one, or get in touch with us by PM. (As per usual, comments are screened by default but will be unscreened unless they are derailing, abusive or off-topic. If you want your comment to stay screened, please say so.)

One final note: thank you to everyone who expressed concern about burn-out on the part of the mods! For the time being we feel that we have our workload under control, but we'll certainly be looking at our warning policy with an eye towards keeping it that way.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-31 09:53 pm (UTC)
lian: Klavier Gavin, golden boy (Default)
From: [personal profile] lian
You do good and valuable work, all. <3 Thanks.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-01 12:23 am (UTC)
dharma_slut: They call me Mister CottonTail (Default)
From: [personal profile] dharma_slut
Thank you for your responsiveness.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-01 04:29 am (UTC)
originalpuck: Crystal Renn, fat woman submerged to hips in water, running her hands through it. Exposing cleavage. Morgan on it. (Default)
From: [personal profile] originalpuck
Thanks so much for this. ^^

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-01 12:40 pm (UTC)
princessofgeeks: (Default)
From: [personal profile] princessofgeeks
late to the party, but here's my data point: i don't need warnings. i figure if you've foregrounded the post, it's important and interesting and contributes to the debate.

i figure the stuff you highlight for us to investigate is not pure wank, because this is not a "mock the wank" kind of comm.

the only kind of warning i could conceivably imagine needing is some kind of graphic violence warning; something that might be triggery for a rape survivor or an abuse survivor. but even then, i dunno.

in short, i don't see the need for warnings, and they don't really make any difference to how I read the comm.

i'm probably an outlier, but that's my data point for you.

thanks again for doing this.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-01 04:17 pm (UTC)
lavendertook: woman smiling down at lavender dahlias (pressie)
From: [personal profile] lavendertook
Thank you for all the work you do here!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-02 04:18 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Thank you for all your hard work. I find Linkspam much more useful than other compiling-type comms because you link to posts dealing with all aspects of a topic. Sometimes that requires warnings, but here I get a wider, deeper picture of the discussion. Sometimes the problematic nature of some sides of an issue have required warnings. You point out privilege, which helps those who don't see it know to look for it, and you warn about possibly dangerous situations. I appreciate that very much.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-02 02:41 pm (UTC)
acrimonyastraea: Donna showing attitude (Donna with attitude)
From: [personal profile] acrimonyastraea
Thanks so much for all of your hard work!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-03 05:37 pm (UTC)
dharma_slut: They call me Mister CottonTail (Default)
From: [personal profile] dharma_slut
I just read merricat's post on this subject, in which sha says that you warned for derailing;

It felt like the whole reason for linking to my post was to tell people not to listen to me.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-03 06:11 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Yes, exactly.

Linking a post and tagging it as "derailing" is inappropriate.

The thing is, this community isn't just tracking and recording the conversation as disinterested bystanders; in large part, you are guiding the conversation by steering people toward significant posts. If many people are reading a post but the post doesn't further the thread of conversation you're pursuing, the right thing to do is not to link it.

After all, what would you do if one of the major contributors to the discussion posted an entry saying "Man, I am burned out on social justice today. Here are 100 pictures of kittens instead!"? You would ignore it as not relevant.

If a post is popular and spinning off from the main thread, and you think it merits consideration despite being somewhat off-topic, the right thing to do is to tag it with a neutral tag like "diverging" or "tangential" or "new topic emerging", or something like that.

"Derailing" is condemnatory and indicates that the post does not merit consideration. There are an infinite number of posts that fall into that category. Why would you link to one of them, unless it was to direct negative attention toward the author?

(Note: comments are a separate matter; warning that there's a lot of attempted derailing in the comments is not unreasonable, in part because the warning doesn't single out any particular comment for dogpiling, but merely keeps the reader from being surprised if and when it does pop up.)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-03 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Different anon, but: "Derailing" is condemnatory and indicates that the post does not merit consideration.

So very much this. There is nothing about "derailing" as a word, in the context of the purpose of this journal, that is not condemnatory. It is in no way neutral or descriptive: it is critical and very much a value-judgement. As ~dharma-slut says, it is linking a post and then holding it up as an example of "this contributes nothing to the conversation and is an example of how not to do it."

Now, if you're going to do that, that's your call: you are fairly clear that you're never unbiased. But recognize that this is what you're doing and pony up to it. Anything else is incredibly disingenuous.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-03 06:38 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Suggestion: Perhaps it would be useful to distinguish between posts that you're linking because they further the discussion, and posts that don't further the discussion (they're derailing, or bigoted, or whatever) but are useful for context because some of the other things you're linking to are reacting to them.

This would make it more apparent whether someone is clicking on a link to a post likely to contain valuable thoughts, or something likely to be reaction-provoking. It also gives you a clearer guideline for whether or not to include posts that don't follow the central conversational thread in the roundup: if some of the links are reacting to it, include it under 'context'. Otherwise, leave it out.

[Same anon as the reply to dharma_slut]

(And, for some context of my own: I think warnings are useful, and I read linkspam because I think these discussions are valuable and important. But I also worry that if the comm's focus drifts to pointing out bad behavior, rather than helping people find good discussion, it will do more harm than good.)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-04 07:16 pm (UTC)
inalasahl: (abhearth)
From: [personal profile] inalasahl
You might want to consider just using a boilerplate warning such as "one or more compilers believes this post needs a warning" without trying to nail down the why or for what reason. Otherwise, you'll just end up spending more of your time and mental energy on potential-warn posts than non-potential warn ones: debating whether it needs a warning, deciding to warn, deciding what to warn for, explaining the warning when someone asks, and so on.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-05 11:35 am (UTC)
sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
From: [personal profile] sqbr
Something I've been pondering after reading the recent posts about derailing on metafandom(*): I realise that linking to derailing posts lets people see the full scope/trend of the discussion discussion, but by linking them do you not also vastly increase their audience and thus the effect of their derail? Labelling them as derailing may help stop people uncritically considering them a continuation of the same discussion, but several people have argued that labelling ones own derailing post as a derail doesn't counteract it's derailingness and afaict the same principle would apply here.

I'm not sure there's any way to completely balance these issues, but thought it was worth bringing up.

With regards to the specific topic of this post (lol, I am derailing aren't I? Crap) I am ambivalent and will probably be happy enough with whatever you decide.

(*)In which linkspam's policy's come up a fair bit! Though many of the references are, imo, derailing. It all get a bit circular...


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