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"Infractions" system introduced!

Discussion in 'Site Help & FAQs' started by Induslady, May 2, 2007.

  1. Induslady

    Induslady Administrator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Members,
    In an effort to keep our forum user friendly and clean, we are introducing the “Infractions” system. It’s a system to monitor and manage members and posts that are not following the forum etiquette.

    Here is how the system will operate. For every transgression of the forum etiquette, members will receive penalization points. As they accumulate a certain amount of penalization points, their forum privileges will be progressively removed, as below.
    • 20 points – member can’t access private messages
    • 30 points – member can’t access private messages and can’t post messages in the forum.
    • 50 points – member will loose all privileges and will not be able to access the forum.
    Below is the list of transgressions that will be penalized through the infraction system. The numbers in parenthesis indicate the number of penalization points and how long the penalty will be in effect.

    For the first four transgressions, we will send a friendly reminder when it happens the first time. From the second time onwards, we will start applying the infraction points.
    • Incorrect / Incomplete Thread Title (5 pts, 10 days)
    • Starting a thread in wrong forum (5 pts, 10 days)
    • Contact details posted in forum (5 pts, 10 days)
    • Quoting posts when not necessary (5 pts, 10 days)
    • Starting duplicate threads (5 pts, 10 days)
    • Insulted Other Member(s) (15 pts, 30 days)
    • Inappropriate Language (15 pts, 30 days)
    • Posting competitor site info (15 pts, 30 days)
    • Spammed Advertisements (30 pts, 30 days)
    • Soliciting Friendship (30 pts, 30 days)
    • Sexually Offensive Post (50 pts, never)
    Please let us know if there are any questions. We look forward to not using this system much!
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2008
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  2. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Friends,
    I just want to add one more point, to explain "incomplete title":
    Do not start a thread with just "hi", "doubts", "suggestions", "problems", "need help" etc.
    You title should convey or describe what your post is about.
    This is very imortant.
    Love,
    Chithra.
     
  3. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear IL Team,
    Even before the celebrations for the finest posts started, comes this Infraction post.

    I congratulate you on you alertness. It is essential that we reward the good; and it is even more essential that we punish the bad. As our Lord says in Gita, first "parithranaaya sadhoonam" (for protecting the good) and then in the same breath, "vinaasaya cha dushkritham" (to destroy the evil doers), so have you done your job. Great work. Congratulations.

    The penalty suggested is proportional to the offence committed thus the principles of natural justice are met.

    I have one suggestion, though. The penalty points for incorrect/incomplete thread, starting it in the wrong forum, and duplicate threads appear to be a little harsh. (Correct me if I am wrong.)

    For example there is a rush to wish people on their birthdays, on their achievements. For instance when I touched platinum two of my friends simultaneously started a thread in my honour, out of love and affection for me.
    The threads were started almost simulatenously. In that case how would infraction work? Should both the thread starters be penalised or should we take the help of powerful gadgets as to who posted a few micro seconds before the other and the punish the late poster?

    Similarly for duplicate threads. Especially in the Forwarded Messages Forum. There are innumerable messages and it is next to impossible to find out whether a thread has been posted earlier.

    I would suggest that in these cases the team should either be lenient or use their discretion. Or may be just give a friendly warning to the offender.

    I would love to listen to what the other ILites think on this.

    regards,
    sridhar
     
  4. sunitha

    sunitha Gold IL'ite

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    I second Sridhar in his opinions.I feel that the first three reasons and the fifth one are too harsh too. Many are new members,they will not know whether a point has been discussed earlier or not.Yes,they have to search first before posting,but giving infractions points is not the best way to ensure that they do it. I have also seen countless similar queries getting repeated on any particular subject-for example-pregnancy. But in that case,is it not the moderator's duty to link those posts/threads together? Correct me if I am wrong.

    Also,I have not seen many threads getting closed after we have completed our discussions. When a thread is left open,new members see it,say after a year of the last post and then post some new comment on it,which is unnecessary.There are not aware that it is an old thread.Shouldn't such threads be closed? Once it gets closed,nobody can post something new there and that will solve the problem.

    Malathy,to be very frank,I think this will drive away members from our forum.
     
  5. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear IL Team,

    Believe me, somehow this infraction issue never left my mind for the whole day. As I close the day I am afraid (please tell me if I am wrong) that this system may either discourage members from active participation or be a very complex system of points and effects.

    We have an old legislation in India called the Factories Act, 1948. A well-intentioned legislation but because of its numerous provisions which became so difficult to enforce the law lost its teeth. I dont want the same thing to happen to this well-meaning step.

    My suggestion in this matter is this. Let's list out some serious offences. Which in my mind are:
    • Insulted Other Member(s) (15 pts, 30 days)
    • Inappropriate, abusive, offensive Language (15 pts, 30 days)
    • Spammed Advertisements (30 pts, 30 days)
    • Soliciting Friendship (30 pts, 30 days)
    • Sexually Offensive Post (50 pts, never)
    When a member does any of the above we should seek an explanation from her and if that is not satisfactory, either give a warning, or expel her or him. The decision would rest solely with the moderators.

    For the other offences the moderators immediately removing such posts, merging them, moving them will be the best corrective action. May be we can warn the members if they are shown to be particularly rash or negligent.

    The criminal law has an excellent principle of justice. A thousand guilty men can escape punishment but not a single innocent be punished. I think wrong thread, wrong name are all "innocent mistakes" and do not merit such harsh punishment.

    Regards,
    sridhar
     
  6. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear IL team
    You already have an effective system of your ever vigilant moderators editing or deleting offensive posts or passages instantly! When a contributor observes that his/her thread has been 'cut to size', he/she will understand that a breach has been committed. All these penalisation methods will only create acrimony among the members. Further, such laws over a period of time will start getting implemented subjectively rather than objectively.

    Keeping IL is a commitment of every member. Everyone has to play a role here, not just the moderators. While some of the items listed as offences are quite in tune with this policy, others are too ordinary to have any impact on the quality of IL. like duplicate posts, Incomplete titles et al.

    Let us avoid being too rigid on minor offences that might scare away aspiring members. We are in a highly competitive line and our paramount objective is growth. I would suggest that the existing machinery of vigil be made more effective and wider powers be vested in them. They are doing a fine job and nothing more appears necessary at this stage.

    Instead concentrate on better reward schemes to activate our membership drive. We need to grow fast and let us not get bogged down with Infractions now! There is yet time for it. We are already vigilant enough to show the door to the errant members. Just leave it at that!
    sri
     
  7. cheer

    cheer Silver IL'ite

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    I do agree with U sridhar
     
  8. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Sridhar, Cheeniya and Sunitha,

    Your thoughts are very welcome. The infraction system is tool just to get some discipline into the forums . I think we moderators will use our discretion as when to issue an infraction or not.

    regarding the categories itself, a few clarifications:
    1. Sridhar, by duplicate posts or thread: we mean, one member starting the same thread in multiple forums.
    Like for example: if i were to start a thread for buying kids clothes in chennai in the Chennai subforum, then start the same thread in Parenting and kids and the Indian Fashion forum, then i must be penalised.
    2. Regarding the Incomplete titles: as we grow bigger and get the SEO compliance, it makes abig difference as to what the title says. if it is just a Hi or doubt or Help please, it just does not look good. We moderators have gone and changed the title everytime this happens. I think the members should take responsibility for coming up with a good title. May be we will show lenience for new members, but the experienced members should know . same goes for starting a thread in the wrong subforum.
    3. With regard to contact details: daily we spend a lot of time cleaning up posts that members have made with their contact information. We can give a warning first but if it continues by the member, then we will issue an infraction.
    4. Sunitha, the old threads are not closed, as we have observed that a lot of people join new, with similar questions and problems and so if new suggestions are posted in the old thread, it just serves to revive the thread, and benefits a lot of members who will otherwise not take the time to go through and read all the posts in IL. ( the most recent example is the Potty training discussion . I think the first post in the thread was started in 2005, and then died down till some one revived it most recently. since that time, we have many new mothers join , who would like the tips given there and give their own tips as well).
    5. Sri, we are growing fast. and the need for the infractions is there since we have quite a lot of male members join in , who are here in this forum not for a healthy discussion (unlike you and Sridhar and a few others), but for other motives.. We have been using the infractions for them and it has worked well in keeping them away.
    Finally we made it known to the members that there is such a system, Not to keep members away but to make them aware of their responsibilities as members of IL . Am sure that the moderators will show lenience to new members, but the experienced people need to have some resposibility as well in maintaining IL . Please do not think of this as a punishment being meted out. This is just a security blanket for IL to keep it from turning into a say C grade web site. I think all of us in IL are being rewarded by the rich and varied information and knowledge that we gain here from all members.
    Hope this clarifies some of your questions and doubts. .

    Vandhana
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2007
  9. mythili

    mythili Senior IL'ite

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    I do agree with Varalotti Sir that some of these seems bit harsh.

    Starting posts in wrong forum is most likely due to the fact the user's ignorance.
    Quoting posts when not necessary - What seems necessary to the original poster may not seem necessary to another -- isnt it a relative thing?

    Also, are we not allowed to talk about sexual issues in this forum?
     
  10. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Vandhana!

    Dear Vandhana,

    Thanks Vandhana for the clarifications. That kind of a duplicate post requires to be dealt with severely.

    But still, Vandhana, because of the great love I have for this site and its members, I am not able to digest the punishment for wrong posts and wrong titles.

    No doubt the Infraction system just gives minor penalty points and only when they accumulate the member loses her privileges. But still a new member getting penalty points right in the beginning will make her feel uncomfortable.

    All said and done, the words infraction penalty etc.will play on the members mind and may prevent their active participation.

    I do agree with you regarding the requirements of SEO. But I still think Moderators correcting it immediately will have a deterrent effect without causing unpleasantness.


    Now that our site has become bigger we can double the number of moderators. Let each forum have two moderators one in the US time zone and another in the Asian Time Zone so that a round the clock vigil is possible.

    But with reference to salacious posts, soliciting friendship, insulting members, abusive language, I am fully with you, Vandhana, and the entire IL team. I am for making the punishments even harsher in such cases.

    (This is just to introduce some humour in the discussion. Hitherto we have been receiving complaints from women as to men soliciting their friendship which led to the formulation of "Zero Tolerance Policy". Suppose a woman soliciits the friendship of a male member (of course, who is going to complain - but if at all the man complains) will she incur the same infraction? ha ha ha)

    The IL team has been quite good in dealing with Indrabolts, Vaidehis and even that guy who posted about his website. Let us just redouble the efforts without hurting small-time "offenders"

    Dear Mythili,

    there have been threads in the marriage/relationships forum about sex. Like marriage without sex, the problems and all. When someone discusses their genuine real life problems there, it wont incur an infraction. But posting an A joke or a salacious forward will.

    Regards,
    sridhar
     

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