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 Post subject: Moderation on the PGETC Leela cheating case thread
Post #1 Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:47 am 
Tengen

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From viewtopic.php?p=232232#p232232

daal wrote:
Joaz Banbeck wrote:
[admin]

For the year 2018, this thread has generated more reports and complaints than all other posts on the site put together.
If this continues, we will lock it.

[/admin]

It seems to be a fairly important topic to the community. What is the nature of the complaints?


Last edited by Uberdude on Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: “Decision: case of using computer assistance in League A
Post #2 Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:08 am 
Oza

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I would like you to consider the possibility that heavy-handed adminning has been a factor in the decline of L19.

I've seen nothing objectionable on this thread, and I would point out that reporting and complaining are often actually weapons used more aggressively than any of the words here.

Not to mention the highly hypocritical anonymity of the complainers. If they are so convinced what they are reading is in some way wrong, they should make their case, then we can all judge. There was an instance here of someone accusing someone else of cheating. He was countered in a way that made the accuser look rather silly, in my view. That's a reasonable way for the system to work, so long as we are not breaking any laws.

I don't want to see L19 become a bear pit, but I think a vicar's tea party is possibly more pernicious. The middle road is just to tell the complainers to make their case here.


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 Post subject: Re: “Decision: case of using computer assistance in League A
Post #3 Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:32 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
Not to mention the highly hypocritical anonymity of the complainers. If they are so convinced what they are reading is in some way wrong, they should make their case, then we can all judge.
I am wary of further derailing what already is clearly a contentious thread, but reporting posts/comments to the moderators with a note alerting them that the community guidelines are being broken, rather than getting into a big public debate over those guidelines or how precisely they have been violated, is exactly the approved practice on these forums (and many others). I am reluctant to accuse people who are expressly following the forums' rules of hypocritical anonymity. Of course we could have a separate conversation about whether it would be preferable to have all those discussions out in the open (in my experience, it is not generally productive, but reasonable people may disagree).

(I have not reported anything on this thread to the moderators, though I have done so in the past with other threads. Also, I am sure many of the people on this thread who are acting uncivilly towards one another would be friends if they met in real life and discussed other topics, and wish that they would interact with this in mind.)

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If you have a problem with another member, or if you disagree with something that a mod or an admin has done, please do not air your grievances on the forum. That disrupts other member's enjoyment of the forum. Instead, send a PM to an admin. ( We're the ones with our names in red )

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 Post subject: Re: “Decision: case of using computer assistance in League A
Post #4 Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:27 pm 
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If you have a problem with another member, or if you disagree with something that a mod or an admin has done...


I can quite see that, if you have a problem with another person's behaviour (e.g. racism, trolling, advertising, posting too often etc), contacting an admin may be the most sensible course, but disagreeing with content (i.e. the thing said, not the person) should be separate from disliking a member's behaviour. How else do you get them to see your point of view if you don't talk to them?

This thread has fruitfully opened up ways of thinking about cheating that clearly didn't occur to others. It has led to suggestions for either keeping cheating in perspective or detecting or banning it. Most important of all, it has led to reversal of an unsound ban (and thus similar future unfair bans) through a statistical discussion - kudos to Bill Spight et al. - that was above my head but enjoyably instructive.

I don't believe any of that would have happened had censorship brakes been applied.

And at the end of it all, what harm has been done? A ban proven to be unfair ban has been reversed, so a referee somewhere has a bit of egg on face (rightly) and a couple of jealous rivals have had their noses tweaked out of joint.

Against that, free speech and justice have been maintained, eyes have been opened, lessons have been learned and fresh thoughts have been stimulated. Admittedly, we still don't know whether cheating really did occur (and we must keep in mind the Lance Armstrong saga), but standards of a higher calibre have been strengthened BY DISCUSSION.


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 Post subject: Re: “Decision: case of using computer assistance in League A
Post #5 Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:36 pm 
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I thought that what was causing the comments in question to be reported was their tone, not their content, but I guess not knowing for sure is one of the downsides of the behind-the-scenes reporting mechanism.

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 Post subject: Re: “Decision: case of using computer assistance in League A
Post #6 Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:56 pm 
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Joaz Banbeck wrote:
[admin]

For the year 2018, this thread has generated more reports and complaints than all other posts on the site put together.
If this continues, we will lock it.

[/admin]


As the OP of this thread I must speak out.

I posted this here because …

  • The topic is of great relevance to the international Go community.

  • I didn't like that it was being discussed on Facebook only, a closed platform.

  • Such things should be discussed openly, accessible to the whole Go community.

Please, if there are comments that violate the forum rules, delete just those comments, if you must, but don't close the whole thread


Currently, L19 is THE international Go forum. Stifle this discussion only if you want to change that fact.

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 Post subject: Re: “Decision: case of using computer assistance in League A
Post #7 Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:18 pm 
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Sorry, have been summoned to bed, will answer in morning...

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 Post subject: Re: “Decision: case of using computer assistance in League A
Post #8 Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:22 pm 
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dfan wrote:
I am reluctant to accuse people who are expressly following the forums' rules of hypocritical anonymity. Of course we could have a separate conversation about whether it would be preferable to have all those discussions out in the open (in my experience, it is not generally productive, but reasonable people may disagree).


Back in the 80s I was a member of what might now be called a super forum. It was not officially moderated (although there was some moderation behind the scenes, of which I was unaware at the time of this story), but a member who started a forum could moderate it, and squabbles were quite common. Two of the most frequent posts were these:
Quote:
You didn't read what I wrote!

and
Quote:
You forgot to take your meds today.


One afternoon I got the bright idea to start my own forum for such squabbles, with the idea of taking them out of the forums in which they had started, to give some relief there, and with the idea that having them out in the open might be beneficial. A psychiatrist sent me a private message applauding me for starting that forum. In practice it was a disaster. Shining a light on the squabbles served mainly to intensify them. Some people got mad at me for bringing their nastiness out into the open, but they were not shamed into moderating it. Sunlight was not an antiseptic. After a few months I shut the forum down.

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 Post subject: Re: “Decision: case of using computer assistance in League A
Post #9 Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:57 pm 
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Uberdude wrote:
Sorry, have been summoned to bed, will answer in morning...

Your fighting spirit is weak.
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 Post subject: Re: “Decision: case of using computer assistance in League A
Post #10 Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:31 pm 
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Problem with this case is that it is first, and it is difficult to find approach.
Statistical method is not so clear to everyone, and this approach is not so good.
You can have very large similarities to Leelas play in joseki and opening, which can be learnt. Also in fighting, which is forced.
But, if you in live game dont have any similarities in middle game moves that are not forced, and in internet games almost every move is Leela's top choice, then case is very clear. Most of the top playerscan see it.

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 Post subject: Re: Moderation on the PGETC Leela cheating case thread
Post #11 Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:34 am 
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I wonder if this is a good idea, given Bill's post and my poor experience of trying to extract out djhbrown's arguing to a dedicated thread, but in the interests of openness here are some of the moderation actions on the thread:

- viewtopic.php?p=230811#p230811 This post by a user called "carlozero" was reported for something like impersonation/trolling. I didn't delete it and evidently no-one else did.
- viewtopic.php?p=232070#p232070 A new user gave a negative character witness of Carlo. It was reported (as personal attack / harassment) and pending approval I asked the author to identify themselves given the nature of the claims, they didn't wish to, so I disapproved it.
- viewtopic.php?p=232036#p232036 Lukan posted a screenshot of the above post from its brief visible period, reported, image not deleted.
So I don't think we have been particularly heavy-handed in this case.

As a moderator I have received messages (in confidence) from other users with additional information about some of these posts, and whether or not they can be trusted (and of course need to decide how much to trust those messages too). Is it better to allow these posts to remain and the public to make their own conclusion about their veracity (in which believing them if they are false has a big negative impact on Carlo's reputation) when I have additional information? Is it negligent of me as a moderator to be laissez-faire?

Just yesterday there was a post from a new user called "CarloCheating" pending approval, anonymously claiming to be Carlo's teammate, with a confession of cheating and details of its nature in his most recent game. This was also posted on reddit, where myself and others questioned the veracity and someone pointed out the style of broken English was not normal for an Italian. So in the absence of any corroboration and given that a discussion was also taking place elsewhere I (and another mod) thought it best to not approve it for now. Is that bad censorship, should we let people make up their own mind if this is true or a troll?

John's advocation for free speech and openness here makes me compare it with his position on the thread reporting the (now clearly but initially not) rape allegation against Kim Seongryong. Why the difference, is it because rape is a far more serious crime than cheating with Leela? Or because of inaccuracies in the reporting? But could not this character witness also be inaccurate? Or we fear L19 being sued for libel by Kim (but why not by Carlo)?

I appreciate feedback and constructive criticism, particularly from those with moderator experience.


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 Post subject: Re: Moderation on the PGETC Leela cheating case thread
Post #12 Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:08 am 
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Here is my advice to moderators:

1. Moderating a forum is a time-consuming and not very rewarding task, so don't spend an inconsiderate amount of time on it.

2. Remove or edit posts that violate the forum rules. When in doubt, discuss with other moderators.

3. If some users are dissatisfied with #2, don't argue. Whatever you do, there will always be complaints in one direction or another.

4. When moderating a particular thread becomes too tedious, you may want to lock it (temporarily or permanently).

5. Don't feel compelled to follow other people's advice, including this one.


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 Post subject: Re: Moderation on the PGETC Leela cheating case thread
Post #13 Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:08 am 
Oza

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Quote:
John's advocation for free speech and openness here makes me compare it with his position on the thread reporting the (now clearly but initially not) rape allegation against Kim Seongryong. Why the difference, is it because rape is a far more serious crime than cheating with Leela? Or because of inaccuracies in the reporting? But could not this character witness also be inaccurate? Or we fear L19 being sued for libel by Kim (but why not by Carlo)?


There are quite a few differences to my mind. Perhaps the biggest difference is that the sexual assault story was a muddled rehash of a story elsewhere that (as rehashed) did not pass the test of source checking and legal caveats such as "alleged". It was second-hand gossip. No evidence was provided. If the story had been presented differently and more precisely (as it was later), it is fine to repeat it here and to discuss it. After all, justice has to be seen to be done, which means some exposure to the public. (I say "fine" but personally I wouldn't have been one to post it first here, but mainly because I don't think it has enough true go content.)

The cheating story here was, in contrast, a first-hand accusation backed up by putative evidence which could be (and was) scrutinised. It is also strongly relevant to all go players.

It's a fine and subjectively moving line. FWIW, while I prefer free speech and openness, I think it's important to concede there are higher constraints and maybe the most relevant one here is what the owner of the forum wants to see here. If he doesn't want salacious stories, we should respect that. It is not banning free speech so long as the speakers can speak freely elsewhere.

In my journalistic days there were times when higher constraints such as D-notices from the security services stopped me from using stories, but an important point was that the reasons were explained in detail and so I found it easy to accept.

But here, admin decisions seem arbitrary and vague ("too many reports and complaints" - what does that tell us?) The general anonymity also irritates me intensely, but that's more personal.

In the real world, at least before the rise of social media, these stories would have been dealt with not by the mob, as here and elsewhere on the internet, but (if at all) by journalists who tried to speak to all the parties concerned and sift the evidence. They would have to keep notebooks and tape recordings and they, their editors and publishers (all named) could all be held to account in courts.

We now have a different (virtual) playing field and new standards are emerging. The law is lagging behind. I concede admins have tough job in that evolution. Even though I accuse some of heavy handedness, I repeat: I know it's tough, and I do gratefully remember you are volunteers. While ubderdude's highly commendable approach of asking for opinions is one I approve of strongly, other admins have solicited opinions in the past, but seem to me to have given, without proper explanation, too much weight to the complainers. (I would not have banned brown of Swift fame, even though irritated me. But if the explanation from an admin is that he was just too-high maintenance for a volunteer to deal with, I suppose I would accept that as a "proper explanation" - or at least an honest one.)

So I have given part of my opinion here, as a non-complainer. I think it combines some of the old journalistic rigour while allowing some ranting. To repeat, where scrutinisable evidence is provided and it is relevant to go players, reasonably robust discussion should be allowed. Ideally, I'd also like to see a requirement that accusations against named persons should not be anonymous, but I'm not optimistic about that.

However, what about requiring that complaints/reports be made public on the forum, even under anonymous names? Or, perhaps more rationally, a statement published that a complaint has been made from xyz and is being considered and other opinions are solicited? Which, in effect though without naming (non-)names, seems to be what uberdude is doing in the cheating thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Moderation on the PGETC Leela cheating case thread
Post #14 Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:07 am 
Judan

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Uberdude wrote:
I wonder if this is a good idea, given Bill's post and my poor experience of trying to extract out djhbrown's arguing to a dedicated thread, but in the interests of openness here are some of the moderation actions on the thread:

{snip}

So I don't think we have been particularly heavy-handed in this case.


A year or two after the experience I related I became an admin for that service. So I can sympathize. :) Since this is a moderated forum, I am inclined to give the moderators pretty much carte blanche.

Quote:
As a moderator I have received messages (in confidence) from other users with additional information about some of these posts, and whether or not they can be trusted (and of course need to decide how much to trust those messages too). Is it better to allow these posts to remain and the public to make their own conclusion about their veracity (in which believing them if they are false has a big negative impact on Carlo's reputation) when I have additional information? Is it negligent of me as a moderator to be laissez-faire?

Just yesterday there was a post from a new user called "CarloCheating" pending approval, anonymously claiming to be Carlo's teammate, with a confession of cheating and details of its nature in his most recent game. This was also posted on reddit, where myself and others questioned the veracity and someone pointed out the style of broken English was not normal for an Italian. So in the absence of any corroboration and given that a discussion was also taking place elsewhere I (and another mod) thought it best to not approve it for now. Is that bad censorship, should we let people make up their own mind if this is true or a troll?

John's advocation for free speech and openness here makes me compare it with his position on the thread reporting the (now clearly but initially not) rape allegation against Kim Seongryong. Why the difference, is it because rape is a far more serious crime than cheating with Leela? Or because of inaccuracies in the reporting? But could not this character witness also be inaccurate? Or we fear L19 being sued for libel by Kim (but why not by Carlo)?

I appreciate feedback and constructive criticism, particularly from those with moderator experience.

(Emphasis mine.)

Let me say that I think that the threat of a lawsuit is a real concern. In the U.S. in the 80s courts eventually ruled that online bulletin boards were not considered publishers of the content posted by their users, and so were immune from lawsuits that newspapers and other publishers might face. That reflected the reality that a bulletin board might be set up by a single individual who had neither the time to deal with the volume of postings nor the financial resources to withstand a lawsuit. That is one reason, perhaps, that the forum service I was involved with left moderation up to its users. By comparison to today, the internet was the Wild Wild West. Twitter excepted, I guess. ;)

When I became an admin I was shocked to find that about half of the admin's time was spent discussing one individual, out of a user base of between 1500 and 2000. Eventually he was banned, but this was after several years of contention. This person, I suspected, had a paranoid personality disorder, but, OC, I cannot say. Anyway, he had a gift for pissing people off without attacking them directly. He got into many squabbles, and lamented, "Why is everybody always picking on me?" (Quote from song, "Charlie Brown".) As a user I did or said something that got his goat, and, since I was an admin at the time, he threatened to sue me. :( At one point I had a box almost 2' deep of computer printouts of our behind the scenes interactions just in case he did.

One thing we learned through experience in those day is that users do not like a Wild West atmosphere. They like moderation. :) But then the legal question arises whether moderation runs the risk of lawsuits? I don't know the answer to that.

In this case and the possible rape case the question of personal attacks on non-users comes up. Reporting what has been published elsewhere may not be a problem, but copying a Reddit post or being the original site for a possibly libelous post may well be risky. Just the threat of a lawsuit, aside from the personal concerns of our admins, could shut this site down. Caution is advised.

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 Post subject: Re: Moderation on the PGETC Leela cheating case thread
Post #15 Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:29 am 
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I don't think accusing people of cheating is abiding by the terms of service. Then again, there is no smoke without fire. If Carlo weighs the same as a duck, I say we burn the mods.

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 Post subject: Re: Moderation on the PGETC Leela cheating case thread
Post #16 Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:16 am 
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Uberdude wrote:
I wonder if this is a good idea, ..., but in the interests of openness here are some of the moderation actions on the thread:


Personally, I'd like to thank you for your efforts to moderate these discussions and for your extensive and well-considered arguments that you contributed to them. Judged against the standards of the Internet, I think that the debate, here, has been erudite and remarkably constrained and mature, however many complaints it may have precipitated.

Please keep to actions against individual posts, however, and resist the temptation to lock the whole thread.

I fear what would happen if the thread were locked. To where would the discussions move? To a service such as Facebook or Twitter, the likes of which many of us refuse to use for good reasons unrelated to Go? To the unmoderatable wild-west: Reddit?

Locking the thread would certainly not be the end of the story. I think that the topic is too important to Go players to exile it.

I acknowledge the effort and work-load involved in moderating the thread but, although I am no moderator and do not expend this effort, personally, I think that that cost is worth paying if it keeps the debate here, at home.

If history had taken a different course, we might now be debating how cheating should be detected and how cheaters should be sentenced without the confusion caused by having a named accused. Many of the arguments raised would be relevant and many of the statistical discussions would have merit but the whole discussion would be a lot less heated and a lot less controversial.

Sadly, we must play the hand that we were dealt.

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 Post subject: Re: Moderation on the PGETC Leela cheating case thread
Post #17 Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:27 am 
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Bill Spight wrote:
In this case and the possible rape case the question of personal attacks on non-users comes up. Reporting what has been published elsewhere may not be a problem, but copying a Reddit post or being the original site for a possibly libelous post may well be risky. Just the threat of a lawsuit, aside from the personal concerns of our admins, could shut this site down. Caution is advised.


What I posted on the rape case was accurate. It lacked some of the details that were revealed later, but what I reported I had read at the time. The article I linked wasn't the only article I had read, and I just picked one as one of the sources - other articles had some additional information. I used the word "alleged". There was some quibble over "sexual assault" vs. "rape" and what precisely happened (which, by the way, is somewhat chauvinistic in my opinion), but based on the impression I got from various sources, "rape" was an appropriate definition. Later, more detailed reports confirmed this.

I don't intend to personally attack anyone, but I like sharing news I read on news sites from time to time. I'm not a journalist, and I don't always site my sources in a professional manner. But I don't write things that I know to be untrue.

Yeah, here I don't site all of my sources. That doesn't mean that I don't have other sources. You can complain about the post if it turns out to be untrue. In this case, it wasn't.

If the same situation comes up again with the same amount of information, I would report again in the same way. If someone sues us, you can direct them to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Moderation on the PGETC Leela cheating case thread
Post #18 Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:02 pm 
Oza
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From my not-a-lawyer perspective, it seems implausible that someone would or could sue a forum website for giving people the chance to discuss public information. The accusations were not originally raised here, and the potential damage to the reputation of the person being discussed does not stem from here either. If anything, providing a forum for an open discussion probably provides one of the few opportunities for the reputation of an accused person to be salvaged. Much better for the accused than a rumor windmill. Furthermore, unless someone is purposefully lying, stating one's opinion based on one's interpretation of the publicly available evidence hardly constitutes slander.

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 Post subject: Re: Moderation on the PGETC Leela cheating case thread
Post #19 Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:33 pm 
Judan

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daal wrote:
From my not-a-lawyer perspective, it seems implausible that someone would or could sue a forum website for giving people the chance to discuss public information.


Uberdude wrote:
Just yesterday there was a post from a new user called "CarloCheating" pending approval, anonymously claiming to be Carlo's teammate, with a confession of cheating and details of its nature in his most recent game. This was also posted on reddit, where myself and others questioned the veracity and someone pointed out the style of broken English was not normal for an Italian. So in the absence of any corroboration and given that a discussion was also taking place elsewhere I (and another mod) thought it best to not approve it for now. Is that bad censorship, should we let people make up their own mind if this is true or a troll?


IMO, Uberdude did the right thing by not approving an uncorroborated accusation from an unknown source.

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 Post subject: Re: Moderation on the PGETC Leela cheating case thread
Post #20 Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:13 pm 
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Bill Spight wrote:

IMO, Uberdude did the right thing by not approving an uncorroborated accusation from an unknown source.


For which read an obvious troll

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