Important updates to Sections 2 & 4 of the Terms of Service

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Important updates to Sections 2 & 4 of the Terms of Service

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:27 am

Greetings,

Effective today, we are introducing a couple of changes to the Terms of Service, and we ask that members familiarise themselves with these changes. These changes are noted in red, below...
2. Speech

Any subject matter that may be off-topic or is intended to cause disruption or harm may be removed without notice. This includes, but is not restricted to:.
...
j. Pressuring members to engage, despite them having already explicitly declined such engagement in the current topic
This new provision exists to prevent members from trying to railroad other members into conversations that they're not interested in having. No one can force anyone else to engage with them, and since we "respect your intellectual and spiritual autonomy" (ToS4) we also respect your right to participate, or not participate in certain conversations, as you see fit. By putting this provision in the Terms Of Service, this right is extended, such that other members shall not hound you or attempt to violate your autonomy in such a way either. This new provision prohibits members from excessively pressuring one other to engage, but if you choose to engage, the responsibility remains yours to keep your responses in line with the Terms of Service.

As always, if you feel another member is breaching this or any other element of the Terms of Service, please use the Report Post function, rather than quarrel with them in-topic.
4. Mindfulness

At Dhamma Wheel, we respect your intellectual and spiritual autonomy. As such, the staff here will not enforce reverence to anyone or anything, nor censor speech gratuitously. In keeping with this respect for your autonomy, we expect you to be personally responsible for your own emotions and responses. If there are forum members you do not wish to engage with, please apply restraint and/or register them in the system as foes - do not publicly complain about them.

Speech and actions are moderated strictly and impartially according to the standards defined in the Terms of Service - not to the standard of Sutta, Vinaya, personal preference, nor any other code and/or standard of conduct. If you believe acts of moderation are not aligned with the Terms of Service, please engage the Dhamma Wheel complaints procedure.


Since you are not here alone, new topics should invite discussion via questions, suggestions, an introduction, or provide appropriate context.
Following from the introduction of ToS2j, which applies on a topic-by-topic basis, we're making explicit reference to the pre-existing "Foe" function, and encouraging you to use this board feature if there is a member you do not wish to engage with at all. If you follow the link in the ToS, it will take you to the Foe section of the User Control Panel, which describes the Foe functionality by saying "Foes are users which will be ignored by default. Posts by these users will not be fully visible. Personal messages from foes are still permitted. Please note that you cannot ignore moderators or administrators." "Foes" may be added or removed at any time, at your discretion.

Furthermore, we've added a section to clarify that Speech and Actions will be assessed by moderators against the Terms of Service only. (This was already the case, but we explicitly mention it now in the Terms of Service to remove any ambiguity). Importantly, no other criteria will be used... so in keeping with this, please do not try to force any other codes or expectations upon others - whether those standards are Buddhist or secular in nature. We each bring our own unique perspectives, backgrounds and views to discussions, and it is not the role of moderators or other members to force their own private standards upon the public discourse.

I will leave this topic open for the time being in case anyone would like to seek clarification on any of the new provisions or their implications.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Re: Important updates to Sections 2 & 4 of the Terms of Service

Post by SDC » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:26 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:27 am
We each bring our own unique perspectives, backgrounds and views to discussions, and it is not the role of moderators or other members to force their own private standards upon the public discourse.
This line right here is very important to the staff and I hope members can see as much value in it as we do.

Indeed there is an Ethical code in the practice of Buddhism, both for lay and monastic followers, but how that conduct is developed is a unique experience for each one of us. We come here to discuss these matters, and many others, as friends, collectively, in public, but ultimately develop them at our own pace, based on our individual circumstances. The last thing we want to do is structure the ToS and the community in a way precludes that opportunity from happening. Yes these terms do require members to behave in a certain way, but by no means do the require you think a certain way.

To add, please remember your tools as members. You can report posts that you feel violate the rules. You can register complaints when you feel your concerns are not being addressed. You can register those who you wish to avoid as "foes" and not have to see any of their posts. Please take a look at the above changes where we have made it clear that going forward, complaining publicly about how another member conducts themselves is not going to be tolerated.

Your feedback is welcome. Now is the time.

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Re: Important updates to Sections 2 & 4 of the Terms of Service

Post by Manopubbangama » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:16 am

So does this mean if we ask for a standard of criteria of which to reject and accept suttas and the user doesn't have a standard, that asking for said standard again results in a disciplinary action for the one trying to establish first principles in the name of spiritual autonomy?

If so, it seems this rule benefits those who wish to post in a guarilla-warfare style of constant attack against others' views without having to justify their own.

Seems like an intellectual tap-out to me meant to benefit the most intellectually lazy and logically inconsistent among us. If such a rule had been invented in the Academy of Plato we certainly would not have an Aristotle for posterity.

Example:

I"m an arahant.

Oh really? Do tell!

Meh, I don't want to talk about it.... I"m an arahant.

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Re: Important updates to Sections 2 & 4 of the Terms of Service

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:21 am

Greetings,
Manopubbangama wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:16 am
So does this mean if we ask for a standard of criteria of which to reject and accept suttas and the user doesn't have a standard, that asking for said standard again results in a disciplinary action
Potentially, it probably depends on how persistent and obnoxious the questioner is, whether they're sealioning, etc. Hopefully the questioner will simply be decent and civilized enough to cease the questioning in order to avoid hounding and harrassing other members, but you never know...

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Re: Important updates to Sections 2 & 4 of the Terms of Service

Post by Manopubbangama » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:37 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:21 am
Greetings,
Manopubbangama wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:16 am
So does this mean if we ask for a standard of criteria of which to reject and accept suttas and the user doesn't have a standard, that asking for said standard again results in a disciplinary action
Potentially, it probably depends on how persistent and obnoxious the questioner is, whether they're sealioning, etc. Hopefully the questioner will simply be decent and civilized enough to cease the questioning in order to avoid hounding and harrassing other members, but you never know...

Metta,
Paul. :)
Is there any standard to ensure that this "new way" of logic will be applied across the board evenly, so that it is not used as an indiscrimate method of a small group of individuals who know each other outside of the board to promote their views and stifle all others?

I have a suggestion - perhaps we can have a "tap out" button applied so when we want to tap out of a conversation we will know that this rule has been invoked?

Ex:

I'm an arahant.

Oh really? Do tell!

(tap out emoticon)


Because "persistent and obnoxious" is rather subjective: I'm 100% sure that Osho viewed the State of Oregon as persistent and obnoxious, for example, not to mention "indecent." Whereas, hypothetically, the State of Oregon would find such views to be passive-aggressive and logically inconsistent?

Do you see any potential for abuse of power here at all?

In the above hypothetical, the person questioning the self-crowned arahant has the burden to prove he is not "obnoxious" and "uncivilized."

Is the source of this rule found in Theravadan logic or is it brand new?

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Re: Important updates to Sections 2 & 4 of the Terms of Service

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:36 pm

Manopubbangama wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:37 am
Is there any standard to ensure that this "new way" of logic will be applied across the board evenly, so that it is not used as an indiscriminate method of a small group of individuals who know each other outside of the board to promote their views and stifle all others?
:goodpost:
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Re: Important updates to Sections 2 & 4 of the Terms of Service

Post by SDC » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:49 pm

Manopubbangama wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:37 am
Is there any standard to ensure that this "new way" of logic will be applied across the board evenly, so that it is not used as an indiscrimate method of a small group of individuals who know each other outside of the board to promote their views and stifle all others?
As members you can hold us and each other to that standard by pointing it out when it is happening.

We are well aware that multiple members are part of other social media groups and other forums. Some admittedly so, others have just been poor at hiding it as they have attempted to push various agendas across the forum. So your concerns are valid and we do have a bit of experience combating "small groups of individuals who know each other outside of the board" who come here to "promote their views and stifle others". If you see it let us know. If you think "it" is us, contact David.

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Re: Important updates to Sections 2 & 4 of the Terms of Service

Post by Manopubbangama » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:06 pm

SDC wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:49 pm
Manopubbangama wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:37 am
Is there any standard to ensure that this "new way" of logic will be applied across the board evenly, so that it is not used as an indiscrimate method of a small group of individuals who know each other outside of the board to promote their views and stifle all others?
As members you can hold us and each other to that standard by pointing it out when it is happening.

We are well aware that multiple members are part of other social media groups and other forums. Some admittedly so, others have just been poor at hiding it as they have attempted to push various agendas across the forum. So your concerns are valid and we do have a bit of experience combating "small groups of individuals who know each other outside of the board" who come here to "promote their views and stifle others". If you see it let us know. If you think "it" is us, contact David.
I've already been through that route. Felt like being a proletariat in a Soviet system.

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Re: Important updates to Sections 2 & 4 of the Terms of Service

Post by SDC » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:09 pm

Manopubbangama wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:06 pm
I've already been through that route.
Not that I have seen. I've been back for about a month after spending a very limited amount of time here the previous six months. If you have a case please put it together in a PM and we can discuss it.

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Re: Important updates to Sections 2 & 4 of the Terms of Service

Post by Manopubbangama » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:13 pm

SDC wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:09 pm
Manopubbangama wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:06 pm
I've already been through that route.
Not that I have seen. I've been back for about a month after spending a very limited amount of time here the previous six months. If you have a case please put it together in a PM and we can discuss it.
I may.

My general level of trust here is not that high, neither are my expectations.

Either way, I believe I summed up my feelings on the matter in my last conversation with you.

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Re: Important updates to Sections 2 & 4 of the Terms of Service

Post by SDC » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:16 pm

My inbox is always open.

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Re: Important updates to Sections 2 & 4 of the Terms of Service

Post by budo » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:25 pm

There is a technical bug, people on foes list still trigger a notification when they quote you.

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Re: Important updates to Sections 2 & 4 of the Terms of Service

Post by SDC » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:16 pm

Manopubbangama wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:16 am
So does this mean if we ask for a standard of criteria of which to reject and accept suttas and the user doesn't have a standard, that asking for said standard again results in a disciplinary action for the one trying to establish first principles in the name of spiritual autonomy?
With the addition of rule 2j, repeatedly harassing someone for anything will result in disciplinary action. However that does not imply that such a question cannot be asked, nor does this mean that you can not make a reasonable attempt to hold a member accountable for what they say or claim.

If someone wants to come on here an claim they are an arhat yet offers nothing to back up that claim and ignores requests to do so, that is damage to their reputation, not to the integrity of the board imo. Saying "I don't want to" or "I don't have to" in response to any request is their choice. While the wise may often decline such requests, it is often mark of a dishonest person who likely lacks the knowledge being asked of them. It is my hope that most members are wise enough to know that and I don't think we need a rule to prevent such dishonest claims from being made. Am I wearing rose colored glasses with that hope? I really *hope* not.

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Re: Important updates to Sections 2 & 4 of the Terms of Service

Post by JohnK » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:50 pm

Just a quick note of recognition and appreciation to moderators/administrators/owner for your time and effort in this matter (and in managing DW generally). It is clear that you gave this a lot of thought. I'm sure I am not alone in this appreciation.
Hoping for the best.
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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Re: Important updates to Sections 2 & 4 of the Terms of Service

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:27 pm

Greetings Manopubbangama,
Manopubbangama wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:37 am
Is there any standard to ensure that this "new way" of logic will be applied across the board evenly, so that it is not used as an indiscrimate method of a small group of individuals who know each other outside of the board to promote their views and stifle all others?
If you see something, say something... via the appropriate channels of course. As it is, your question seems quite hypothetical, and we'd possibly need to know the particulars, to make a determination. These new provisions are only a day old, and we will need to see how they operate in practice, and whether they need fine tuning, or achieve their intended outcomes.
Manopubbangama wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:37 am
I have a suggestion - perhaps we can have a "tap out" button applied so when we want to tap out of a conversation we will know that this rule has been invoked?
Nice idea, but I don't think it exists. That said, you're welcome to research what phpBB3 add-ons exist that might serve such a purpose and let us know what you find.

The main problem though is that you might just want to "tap out" of dealing with certain individuals within a certain topic. Let me give you a real example, one that I know is real because it's mine. :D

I often make posts and comments here on pretty weighty topics, and because my understandings are for the most part rooted in the sutta interpretations of Ven. Nanananda, and to a lesser degree Ven. Nanavira, people who are unfamiliar with or disagree with such perspectives, find much that is unfamiliar or disagreeable in my own writings. Thus, very often one post I make, is met with two or more replies. If I kept replying to every post, and the reply ratio was greater than 1:1, I'd be exponentially creating a backlog of posts to respond to, simply by responding to posts. For example, this morning I awoke to 6 Dhamma Wheel notifications that I really wish I didn't have. At one point in time, I simply gave up talking about paticcasamuppada at Dhamma Wheel, because I had no interest in the inane quibbling that certain others would raise in connection to it.

I don't begrudge giving answers to questions that people pose in good faith, but at some point enough is enough, especially given that there is a world and life outside of Dhamma Wheel. I have a wife, three sons (incl. 2 under 3yo) , two jobs, and when I'm here it's usually because I have a brief lull in duties. Even right now, I have a 9 month old boy sitting on my lap, who is eating vegemite toast for breakfast (very well, I might add). Thus, I'm not here to be at the beck and call of members, and this is especially so if people are engaging in bad faith and/or sealioning. No one has paid money to be here, and I owe them nothing.

Furthermore, certain people just keep asking the same shade of questions year after year, seemingly unable to understand what I have say on deeper matters on the Dhamma. Frankly, I'd rather they understand what I say - and can then decide for themselves whether they agree or disagree. Two long-time interlocutors have gone down this path yet again over the past week, and frankly I don't have the energy or interest to entertain their incessant questioning - which may or may not be in good faith. I am no one's teacher, and thus have no obligation to them. One of these two people is also fixated on the notion of "debate" and thinks that just because they are interested in "debate", that anyone they wish to debate with must automatically participate with them on that level. No, I simply come here for conversation and discussion, letting everyone express their perspectives, seek clarification from others (within reason), and move on. I have neither the time, nor interest in debate, nor do I have any interest in converting anyone to my way of thinking.

In light of the above, you can see why I'm unimpressed when someone asks a question, I give an answer as I see it, and then they keep complaining at me, repeating the same question over and over in different ways, simply because the answer to the original question didn't meet their satisfaction. Now, these ToS changes did not come about due to me being hounded, but if I feel that I am, or that I'm simply tired of engaging with a particular member on a particular topic, or in answering the questions of someone with a track record of being unable to comprehend them, then I will unambiguously (and politely, if they have been polite themselves) let them know. Interestingly, this new provision was made at the suggestion of another moderator, based on engagements they witnessed between members who were not me, so in that sense had little to do with me... although, like any other member, I may avail myself of the right to use it, if the appropriate circumstances arise (again). After all, this is a path of release, and feeling obliged to respond to a stream of never-ending questions is a long way from release.

:thanks:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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