Discipline around low effort posts or poorly sourced posts


Mr T

Senior Member
The question I'm specifically asking and which I was hoping to get feedback on was whether the community, fellow moderators and the webmaster agreed with the thrust of my proposal in the opening post of this thread, specifically aiming to tighten moderation in the military specific subforums and formalizing rules that explicitly allows for warning and subsequently banning members for the below infarctions in the military subforums:

1. "Low effort" posts
2. "Irrelevant" posts
3. "Poorly sourced" posts
4. "Reposing articles/tweets/poor quality pictures only" posts

The specifics of which I described in the opening post of this thread and which of course would have clear guidelines as part of any revisio to forum rules as well.

Yes, I do agree with all of that. That covers quite a lot of things that may technically be within the current rules but still unhelpful. I see no concerns with any of those.

The only thing I can think of is that under point 3 the new rules could clarify that it's focused on items of news/developments rather than every comment so new users don't get scared that they need to have citations every time they make a post.
 

dankris

Junior Member
Registered Member
Personally, I think the most annoying lower-quality posts are the ones that go on a tangent and derail the thread as well as those that contain personal attacks. I suggest no tolerance for those posts, especially in the more technically oriented Flagship threads because I have a belief that people frequent those threads to learn, not to see the chaos. Either Delete/ Move to a more appropriate thread, not just left there after a mod intervenes to stop the chaos.

Also, gave the offending posters a warning for first-timer, at least a 1-month ban for those that have been warned before. The warnings and bans should be given to everyone that is involved in the chaos (except for the mods intervening, unless the mod themselves are participating...)

"low effort" and "poorly sourced" posts rule can be relaxed a bit for really new members that are sincere and wants to learn about Chinese Defense development (like under 2 digit posts when they posted the offending post), but for the rest a warning, then 1 week/ month ban for any further offenses. Just like Tangential/ personal attack posts, no tolerance for these types of posts in flagship threads for the same reason.

Also, how do we characterize 'low effort' posts? Do joking/ banter posts and posts that only have the poster's wishlist count as 'low effort'?
 

by78

Brigadier
The question I'm specifically asking and which I was hoping to get feedback on was whether the community, fellow moderators and the webmaster agreed with the thrust of my proposal in the opening post of this thread, specifically aiming to tighten moderation in the military specific subforums and formalizing rules that explicitly allows for warning and subsequently banning members for the below infarctions in the military subforums:
1. "Low effort" posts
2. "Irrelevant" posts
3. "Poorly sourced" posts
4. "Reposing articles/tweets/poor quality pictures only" posts

But if the community, fellow moderators and webmaster agree with the above, it would be beneficial for it to be formalized in the rules -- perhaps even as a separate rules thread stickied at the military subforums. Drafting such rules would be quite easy to do but I don't want to waste any time beginning to do so if the community, moderators and webmaster disagree with this idea.

I agree that your four points/categories cover the vast majority of undesirable posts in the flagship forums. As such, rules should be redrafted accordingly to discourage their occurrence. Furthermore, per your suggestion, redrafted rules should be stickied to each sub-forum for easy access.

You have my support.
 

by78

Brigadier
Also, how do we characterize 'low effort' posts? Do joking/ banter posts and posts that only have the poster's wishlist count as 'low effort'?

Disclaimer: What I express below apply to the flagship military forums only.

My observation and personal view on this is that low-effort posts and general banter posts frequently conflate. They are often short, tangential, or completely off-topic. They often come with certain expressions that include, but are not limited to "holy &*#$", "LOL", "ROFLOL", F-words, and so on. The tone or sentiments expressed are often flippant and irreverent, especially when compared to the seriousness of the topic at hand. Many of these posts are designed to elicit reactions or encourage off-topic banter.

Other low-effort examples include posts linking to daily Twitter updates on ship or plane movements. Do we really need to know where carrier Liaoning is every 12 to 24 hours?

Then there are posts that link to low-quality news articles, machine-translated articles, or blog posts without a commentary from the poster. SDF is not a news aggregation forum. If a poster wishes to share a news article, he or she should offer some thoughts or critique of its content, its significance, and/or how it relates to the topic at hand.

Some posts also make claims – sometimes outlandish ones – without providing sources or reasoning to support said claims. These are often chest-thumping in nature and often go along the lines of, "so-and-so now has a super-duper so-and-so that can do bad things to so-and-so whenever so-and-so chooses."

Some posts lackadaisically link to foreign-language sources without providing at least a summary in English, which is against forum rules. SDF is an English-language forum with an international membership. Members should go the extra mile to help disseminate information to as wide an audience as possible, when said information is in a language that is not understood by a significant portion of the SDF membership.

Finally, there are posts that link to Youtube slide shows or fanboy military channels of dubious quality. I've already talked about these in an earlier post.

The above are by no means a complete list, but most of what I regard as low-effort posts fall into one or more of these categories.
 
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Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
Okay it seems like there's some level of agreement wrt my prior proposals.
So, I'm going to lock this thread for a few days, and I'll begin writing a first draft of some proposed rules and post it up some time over the weekend and re-open the thread afterwards for community feedback, as well as feedback from the webmaster and other moderators.

Obviously the purpose of a first draft is to allow revisions until a finallized version of these rules is generally agreed upon.


==

Edit, I'll leave it unlocked at the request of some individuals that have further thoughts to add, but I will still begin a draft of the aforementioned rules.
 
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Klon

Junior Member
Registered Member
Because we had a member, Jura, who did nothing but post articles with no commentary, and did this on almost EVERY thread, in order to amass post count. We're talking about articles that show up on google and yahoo news. It ended up polluting the forum with a ton of junk.
That some dislike the posting style of one user doesn't make it illegitimate in all cases. Are things that "show up on google and yahoo news" too mainstream for SDF? Plus, if someone posts "a ton of junk", presumably that indicates there was something wrong other than the posts being devoid of commentary.
The whole reason why this thread was created was to allow the community, other moderators, and the webmaster to chip in their own thoughts.
If you have your own vision for what you would like this forum to be or if you have disagreements with proposals from myself or others, you are free to express them.
That was what I did in my comment. Thanks.
I literally ended in the opening post of this thread:


-- to see the reception of my concerns and ideas.
Whether that is defined as "consensus" or not to you I suppose depends on your own definition.


Mostly everything else that you described has already been mentioned in either subsequent replies from me, or from other people, in regards to the baseline level of "bias" and pro-China sentiment this forum has, the reason why simple posting of articles without commentary can be undesirable, and the fact that moderating decisions are often a matter of a moderator's own judgement and there won't always be consistency.
Unfortunately this seems like a major cop-out. Even if we accept the rest was already answered, I don't accept appeals to moderators' judgment for such a blatant case of failure to follow one's own rules. If the moderators can ignore previous warnings multiple times, the warnings are meaningless or more accurately, enforcement is arbitrary and based on something other than the rules.

As for seeking to enforce the rules in all sections of the forum, there are two primary issues I see:
1. Limited moderating power. This isn't just about the number of moderators that can be raised but also the quality of moderators that can be raised.
2. The geopoliticization of everything. PLA watchers are much more likely to be interested in China matters, and more likely to be pro-China as well. This has been stated on many an occasion already. Given the real world realities of geopolitics creeping into almost every domain from economy, industry, technology, pop culture and media, unless all of the other sections of the forum are closed down leaving only the key military sections, I don't see what other solution there is.


Now, I personally care more about keeping the most valuable parts of the forum (the key military sections) insulated from poorer quality discussion and off topic political discussions, than cleaning the entire forum of it because that is impossible.
That doesn't mean the back and forth arguments in other sections of the forum are desirable, nor does it mean there aren't also some lines that will result in punishment if they're crossed (spamming, outright personal attacks or threats to one another, gratuitous use of swear words and expletives etc), but it does mean I personally think they can be more hands off if it means more attention can be focused on maintaining the quality of the military sections.

If one has significantly different feelings about the above then one is free to convey it.


But in my experience there are many other military forums on the internet that operate similarly and there will always be varying degrees of bias towards the majority userbase of any given forum. As far as SDF goes, I think we are fairly tame. Even compared to CDF -- which is in many ways much of an informative club but also much, much more exclusive and certainly pro-China -- SDF has a much wider variety of backgrounds and different views.
If one is expecting this forum to not have a majority pro-China stance on many issues with forum's norms a reflection of that, then I think one has to realistically assess just what the rest of the other nation specific military forums on the internet are like. The latitude given to other pro-XYZ-other-nation/political-entity here is quite a bit larger, but it's not going to be evenly divided between all of the different political stances and backgrounds. That's just a reality of the userbase here.

However what can be achieved IMO is to make the most qualitatively valuable part of this forum more disciplined and to make the other sections of the forum still adherent to certain rules and red lines.
I again do not accept all your characterizations as a settled matter, specifically on the bias issue. You have presented it as some sort of fait accompli that the forum should have a pro-China bias because most users are pro-China, because that's how it works on (some) other forums, or because there's sino- in the name.

As far as I can see, SDF is an English-language international forum on Chinese military and related matters, not a Chinese forum. That's reflected both in its present and its past, its users, moderators and owners and most importantly, its rules. I just went over them again and thought it might be the right time for some quotes.

"INTRODUCTION:
The Sinodefence (SD) Forum, as it's name implies, is principally about Chinese Defence forces. It also however includes forums/topics for all the World's military forces, World News, a Member's Club Room, and other forums/topics established for the discussion of other activities as established by the Forum Management Team. The SD Forum maintains a professional attitude and prides itself on providing an atmosphere that allows both younger individuals, and seasoned professionals to visit and discuss military and other topics rationally and with good will.

We take pride in the forum we have established and the professionalism of it. If you haven't already done so, pleas read the first post about Biased posting and SD's direction concerning it here on SD.

The following Rules of Behavior have been established to maintain the decorum, professionalism, and reasoned atmosphere we expect at the SD Forum. All members, by accepting membership to the SD Forum, agree to be bound by these Rules of Behavior and are required to read and abide by them."
"There has been a lot of discussion about bias...and whether there is any, should be any, etc.

Let me make clear what I believe over the years the entire moderation team has tried to accomplish..

Of course there are biases. Everyone has them. Whether people have biases or not is not the issue.

The issue is how the acceptance of, or vocalization of the biases is handled on the forum.

SD is not meant to be a place where politics and these biases bare sway in any real fashion. I is a place where we want to try and discuss the technologies and the capabilities of various military and defense issues, their technology, their cost, their capabilities etc. It is also a place to be able to discuss certain countries and their beauty, pictures, and non-bias oriented cultural things...bu principally defense technologies.

Common sense will tell you that if people get the idea that one or the other bias is acceptable that people will come here and invite their friends who share and push those biases to come here...and then SD will no longer be a Military Defense Forum...it will become a political forum full of flame wars, attacks, insults, and degradation as the sides line up against each other. [prescient]

We have have attempted to keep that type of thing from happening and to stop such bias on both sides. I have tried to do all in my power in my time here and will continue to do so. It is what we must do if we want SD to remain the preeminent place on the web where people of all sorts come to discuss defense.

As long as people follow the rules and do not push their bias, or try and insult of others who may feel differently, then people from Pakistan and India, people from Saudi Arabia and Israel, people from China and the the US, or China and Japan, etc., etc. can coexist on this forum and get a lot of pleasure and a lot of goo information from one another.

So the rules are written to forbid politics, and insulting bias activity, etc. and we have policed the biases and will continue to do so.

It does not mean people do not have them...of course they do. We are asking people to be mature about them and not come here to express, push, or lift up such biases over other people.

SD IS NOT FOR THAT!

If that is what any poster wants to do...GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.

On the other hand, if you can pretty much leave such ideology and pushing it on others at the door, and want to discuss military technology without the bias and learn about it...and also maybe learn about other people without all the negativity, bias, insults, flame wars, etc...then SD is meant for you.

That is what SD is about and is the way we moderate and try and operate SD...and it is something that everyone should know when signing up to post here at SD."

Inasmuch as the rules are supposed to be binding for all, including the moderators, we might consider the matter settled. Unfortunately, I doubt the other side sees it the same way and this part of the rules might be on the chopping block with any coming changes, or simply ignored as it is now.
 

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
Unfortunately this seems like a major cop-out. Even if we accept the rest was already answered, I don't accept appeals to moderators' judgment for such a blatant case of failure to follow one's own rules. If the moderators can ignore previous warnings multiple times, the warnings are meaningless or more accurately, enforcement is arbitrary and based on something other than the rules.

I again do not accept all your characterizations as a settled matter, specifically on the bias issue. You have presented it as some sort of fait accompli that the forum should have a pro-China bias because most users are pro-China, because that's how it works on (some) other forums, or because there's sino- in the name.

As far as I can see, SDF is an English-language international forum on Chinese military and related matters, not a Chinese forum. That's reflected both in its present and its past, its users, moderators and owners and most importantly, its rules. I just went over them again and thought it might be the right time for some quotes.

"INTRODUCTION:
The Sinodefence (SD) Forum, as it's name implies, is principally about Chinese Defence forces. It also however includes forums/topics for all the World's military forces, World News, a Member's Club Room, and other forums/topics established for the discussion of other activities as established by the Forum Management Team. The SD Forum maintains a professional attitude and prides itself on providing an atmosphere that allows both younger individuals, and seasoned professionals to visit and discuss military and other topics rationally and with good will.

We take pride in the forum we have established and the professionalism of it. If you haven't already done so, pleas read the first post about Biased posting and SD's direction concerning it here on SD.

The following Rules of Behavior have been established to maintain the decorum, professionalism, and reasoned atmosphere we expect at the SD Forum. All members, by accepting membership to the SD Forum, agree to be bound by these Rules of Behavior and are required to read and abide by them."
"There has been a lot of discussion about bias...and whether there is any, should be any, etc.

Let me make clear what I believe over the years the entire moderation team has tried to accomplish..

Of course there are biases. Everyone has them. Whether people have biases or not is not the issue.

The issue is how the acceptance of, or vocalization of the biases is handled on the forum.

SD is not meant to be a place where politics and these biases bare sway in any real fashion. I is a place where we want to try and discuss the technologies and the capabilities of various military and defense issues, their technology, their cost, their capabilities etc. It is also a place to be able to discuss certain countries and their beauty, pictures, and non-bias oriented cultural things...bu principally defense technologies.

Common sense will tell you that if people get the idea that one or the other bias is acceptable that people will come here and invite their friends who share and push those biases to come here...and then SD will no longer be a Military Defense Forum...it will become a political forum full of flame wars, attacks, insults, and degradation as the sides line up against each other. [prescient]

We have have attempted to keep that type of thing from happening and to stop such bias on both sides. I have tried to do all in my power in my time here and will continue to do so. It is what we must do if we want SD to remain the preeminent place on the web where people of all sorts come to discuss defense.

As long as people follow the rules and do not push their bias, or try and insult of others who may feel differently, then people from Pakistan and India, people from Saudi Arabia and Israel, people from China and the the US, or China and Japan, etc., etc. can coexist on this forum and get a lot of pleasure and a lot of goo information from one another.

So the rules are written to forbid politics, and insulting bias activity, etc. and we have policed the biases and will continue to do so.

It does not mean people do not have them...of course they do. We are asking people to be mature about them and not come here to express, push, or lift up such biases over other people.

SD IS NOT FOR THAT!

If that is what any poster wants to do...GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.

On the other hand, if you can pretty much leave such ideology and pushing it on others at the door, and want to discuss military technology without the bias and learn about it...and also maybe learn about other people without all the negativity, bias, insults, flame wars, etc...then SD is meant for you.

That is what SD is about and is the way we moderate and try and operate SD...and it is something that everyone should know when signing up to post here at SD."

Inasmuch as the rules are supposed to be binding for all, including the moderators, we might consider the matter settled. Unfortunately, I doubt the other side sees it the same way and this part of the rules might be on the chopping block with any coming changes, or simply ignored as it is now.

If you do not accept that this forum is a forum with a pro-China basis and do not wish the normative interpretations of the rules to reflect that, then you are free to ask the community their wishes, as well as the moderator and the webmaster.

Ultimately the decision is of course down to the webmaster and if he wants to overhaul the rules such that it is merely an "international forum that discusses the Chinese military" rather than a "Chinese defense forum" then that is fine as well, but it also means the forum will not be what it has become, in context of the geopolitical realities of the world now and the userbase that this forum now predominantly has. There is also the issue of what this forum's "Overton window"/window of discourse is wrt various things which are "politically normal and/or not seem as political at all" versus what is. This will differ between forum to forum.
This is essentially the question of how important should the "Sino" part be in "Sinodefence Forum".

The purpose for me creating this thread however was not to address that question, as it is too big and strikes deeper to the very nature and intent of this forum and the userbase that it currently has.
The purpose of this thread that I began was specifically to create a set of additional rules of the military specific sections of the forum to improve the quality of the discussion there.


Your opinions on the matter of the degree of pro-China normative opinion here (aka where should the "Sino" part be in "Sinodefence Forum") is noted, but is also not something this thread was intended to tackle.
Feel free to create another thread in this same subforum if it is something you feel strongly about or if you are interested in sampling the webmaster's, moderators, and the community's opinions on that.


The issue which you are talking about is unrelated to the issue this thread was created to address.
 

Mr T

Senior Member
If you do not accept that this forum is a forum with a pro-China basis and do not wish the normative interpretations of the rules to reflect that, then you are free to ask the community their wishes, as well as the moderator and the webmaster.

I agree. It's not possible to expect SDF to not be pro-China in some way, just as a French defence forum couldn't not have a slant towards France and French needs.

What's "pro-China" is up for debate. So long as people aren't trolling and suggesting China should model itself on the Irish Defence Forces in terms of relative size and power, there's plenty of scope to argue how China should be spending its defence budget and what its geostrategic policies should be.

Also being pro-China does not mean losing respect for other nations even those that aren't allied to China. Modern defence policy in most countries is based on having a strong defence stance to avoid a war rather than start a future one.

Finally, even if we assume for a moment that someone is "anti"-China, there's nothing to stop them commenting objectively on technical aspects of China's military or add in contrasting views on future choices in a mature way. What I think we should be aiming for is letting all viewpoints be heard so long as they're constructive.
 

ILikeChina

Junior Member
Registered Member
I request making "members club forum" only visible for members. I don't like the fact that it is visible for guests also, and you can see posts there by searching on google by a certain phrase.
 

KYli

Captain
I request making "members club forum" only visible for members. I don't like the fact that it is visible for guests also, and you can see posts there by searching on google by a certain phrase.

This forum relies upon ad revenue to maintain. It isn't self-funded by a few enthusiasts like CDF.
 

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