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Proposed Manual of Style for forum posts Have your say

#21 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 04:36 PM

View PostBam, on 15 August 2012 - 11:21 PM, said:

The abbreviation LNP as registered by the Australian Electoral Commission means the Liberal-National Party, a Queensland-based conservative party that is a part of the Coalition.

I must make a correction here. The correct spelling of the party name does not include a hyphen: Liberal National Party.
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#22 User is offline   longweekend58 

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 07:08 PM

Well the biggest problem I see in this proposed Manual of Style is that it will kill the forum itself - as if that needed any more help. Requiring citations for EVERy statistic? style demands? Get real. If you want that kind of think you will end up talking to yourself and no one else. I write non-fiction books and I am fully aware of citations and the Manual of Style. But guess what... first drafts are not so. They are written with content and message as the priority and editing and so on to fine tune it.

Thats not how I wish to write posts. And it is not the way i WILL write posts. You can expect a higher standard than many other forums but if I claim that the ALP is 10 points down on the Coalition in the polls I do not expect to be required to supply a link or citation.

It is a daft idea. The site needs more posters - not more authors.
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#23 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 08:05 PM

View Postlongweekend58, on 16 September 2012 - 07:08 PM, said:

Well the biggest problem I see in this proposed Manual of Style is that it will kill the forum itself - as if that needed any more help.

I think you're missing the point a bit here. The purpose of the manual of style is to provide guidelines, not strict rules. The presence of a manual of style also gives guidelines to moderators who may need to edit a post that is fundamentally flawed in presentation.

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Requiring citations for EVERy statistic?

People who throw out statistics without citation and without checking for accuracy cannot expect others to accept them at face value. Numbers without proof do not add any weight to a post. Numbers without citation can be dismissed without citation.

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style demands? Get real.

I am getting real. Too many people abuse the BBcode or do not know how to us it properly, with a lot of posts littered with malformed BBcode, missing tags and the like that cause problems for formatting. Having some guidelines is helpful so that everyone's on the same page and to reduce the workload for the moderators who sometimes have to clean up the mess when someone stuffs up the formatting.

The reason why this is even under discussion is because some posters were abusing QUOTE tags. One was using it for made-up stuff, and another poster was including their responses within the quote tags and it was not very clear what was going on. Having a style manual is mostly for documentation. Posters do not need to follow it but they choose to ignore it at their own risk.

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If you want that kind of think you will end up talking to yourself and no one else. I write non-fiction books and I am fully aware of citations and the Manual of Style. But guess what... first drafts are not so. They are written with content and message as the priority and editing and so on to fine tune it.

Thats not how I wish to write posts. And it is not the way i WILL write posts. You can expect a higher standard than many other forums but if I claim that the ALP is 10 points down on the Coalition in the polls I do not expect to be required to supply a link or citation.

Anyone that posts numbers would be expected to pony up a citation if they are asked to provide it. It's simply to keep posters honest - by preventing them from misleading others by negligence or intent. It has happened before.

Quote

It is a daft idea. The site needs more posters - not more authors.

It's not a "daft" idea to expect posters to check facts or refrain from lying.

People are entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts.
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#24 User is offline   longweekend58 

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 06:27 PM

View PostBam, on 16 September 2012 - 08:05 PM, said:

I think you're missing the point a bit here. The purpose of the manual of style is to provide guidelines, not strict rules. The presence of a manual of style also gives guidelines to moderators who may need to edit a post that is fundamentally flawed in presentation.


People who throw out statistics without citation and without checking for accuracy cannot expect others to accept them at face value. Numbers without proof do not add any weight to a post. Numbers without citation can be dismissed without citation.


I am getting real. Too many people abuse the BBcode or do not know how to us it properly, with a lot of posts littered with malformed BBcode, missing tags and the like that cause problems for formatting. Having some guidelines is helpful so that everyone's on the same page and to reduce the workload for the moderators who sometimes have to clean up the mess when someone stuffs up the formatting.

The reason why this is even under discussion is because some posters were abusing QUOTE tags. One was using it for made-up stuff, and another poster was including their responses within the quote tags and it was not very clear what was going on. Having a style manual is mostly for documentation. Posters do not need to follow it but they choose to ignore it at their own risk.


Anyone that posts numbers would be expected to pony up a citation if they are asked to provide it. It's simply to keep posters honest - by preventing them from misleading others by negligence or intent. It has happened before.


It's not a "daft" idea to expect posters to check facts or refrain from lying.

People are entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts.


The moment you wrote of moderators editing someones post you lost me. Delete it, criticise it if you have to, but you will win no friends by editing someone else's words - even if they are idiocy. Frankly, your right to edit someone's post exists purely from a technical capacity that grants it - not an ethical or even legal one. You are entitled to delete but may in fact be breaching the law to edit someones work without their permission. But despite that rather hevavy-handed interpretation, it is still silly to consider doing so.

'refrain from lying' is a very easy thing to say but if enforced could easily be abused. The inability to provide a link to prove something does not prove it is false nor does it impute intention to lie. If you are making an affidavit or submitting your PhD thesis then sure, but this is a FORUM. Much of what is written here is nothing but opinion - whichis why we are here, is it not?
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#25 User is offline   NotFrogman 

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 06:33 PM

View Postlongweekend58, on 17 September 2012 - 06:27 PM, said:

Much of what is written here is nothing but opinion


And thats fine. Noone is going to change anything if you state that something is your opinion.

Its when you state something as fact, and refuse to back it up with a source. Thats the issue. If you argue for something in the positive, its up to you to prove your case. Some people on here dont.
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#26 User is offline   longweekend58 

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:06 PM

View PostNotFrogman, on 17 September 2012 - 06:33 PM, said:

And thats fine. Noone is going to change anything if you state that something is your opinion.

Its when you state something as fact, and refuse to back it up with a source. Thats the issue. If you argue for something in the positive, its up to you to prove your case. Some people on here dont.


Be careful what you wish for.
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#27 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 01:02 PM

View Postlongweekend58, on 17 September 2012 - 06:27 PM, said:

The moment you wrote of moderators editing someones post you lost me. Delete it, criticise it if you have to, but you will win no friends by editing someone else's words - even if they are idiocy.

I did not make myself sufficiently clear here and I apologise for this.

Here is what I said (emphasis added):

View PostBam, on 16 September 2012 - 08:05 PM, said:

I think you're missing the point a bit here. The purpose of the manual of style is to provide guidelines, not strict rules. The presence of a manual of style also gives guidelines to moderators who may need to edit a post that is fundamentally flawed in presentation.

What I mean by "presentation" here is insufficiently clear. My intent was the formatting of the post - fonts, colours, use of BBcode and other markup and the like.

I said as much in my original post here (emphasis added)

View PostBam, on 04 August 2012 - 11:13 AM, said:

Moderators reserve the right to copyedit nonconforming posts so that they conform to the Manual of Style. This sort of editing corrects form but not content. For example, if BBCode is used incorrectly, it may cause rendering issues. Correcting the BBCode is necessary to fix these issues.

So I want to make sure that my intent is very clear here. Content is the text that someone writes. Form is everything that is not text that formats those words.

In this paragraph, the content is what you are reading, and the form is the markup - bold and italic here - that determines how those words are presented to the reader.

I must stress that I do not intend this to mean moderators will be changing what someone has said - that is, the content or text. However, posters sometimes use markup incorrectly and moderators will need to correct this if it causes problems. This happens quite often and is the sort of edit that is unlikely to be noticed.

Moderators do not edit what someone has said except if a gross breach of the rules has occurred. This happens rarely. Moderators do reserve the right to edit posts at any time but it is not a right that is exercised without cause.

We will delete whole posts from time to time. These posts generally come under three categories: (1) spam; (2) duplicate posts; (3) at the request of the poster, most commonly for reason (2).

I also want you to remember that moderators here do not assert the right to censor whole posts for no other reason than disagreement with them. In other places that I can name, no post is ever seen without a moderator's approval, so moderators pick and choose what readers are allowed to see. In such places, dissenting opinions are not permitted.

And one more thing - if you don't like the fact that moderators will assert their rights, don't make remarks about "going elsewhere". You may as well take your computer and modem and chuck them in your wheelie bin because you're wasting your time if you want to look for a forum where moderators do not assert their rights as they see fit. Moderators everywhere do this, some with a light touch, as here, or are much quicker with bans for breaches, as on BigFooty, or don't even allow dissenting opinions under any circumstances, as on Bolt's blog.

BAM
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#28 User is offline   icey 

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 02:00 PM

View PostBam, on 18 September 2012 - 01:02 PM, said:

Moderators everywhere do this, some with a light touch, as here, or are much quicker with bans for breaches, as on BigFooty, or don't even allow dissenting opinions under any circumstances, as on Bolt's blog.

BAM


Well at least you've excluded yourself as one of the regular trolls on Bolt's blog, though it's equally obvious you never read it.

Took about thirty seconds to pull up one from today:

Quote

haha got to love your way of thinking Bolt, Gillard and Labor look like they might give Abbott a run for his money now afterall, so lets subtedly built support for Rudd so that perhaps he has another shot then you can say what a mess Labor is again! I will hand it to you, your politically very smart.


Or even better and to the point of censorship/moderation (from yesterday):



Talal of Adelaide (apparently disgusted) said:

whats enough is that you talk about freedom of speech, then deny the right to people to respond.

Your hypocrisy is disgusting
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#29 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 06:39 PM

View Posticey, on 18 September 2012 - 02:00 PM, said:

Well at least you've excluded yourself as one of the regular trolls on Bolt's blog, though it's equally obvious you never read it.

I tried once, years ago, but didn't bother returning once I found that dissenting views were censored.

However, this digression is off-topic. Please don't deviate from the topic of a pinned topic. Feel free to create a thread to discuss Bolt's blog elsewhere.
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#30 User is offline   Senexx 

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 12:24 PM

This is new!

View PostBam, on 15 August 2012 - 12:54 PM, said:


Examples of low-quality sources:
  • Anything from a blog.



It depends whose blog. What if you were quoting from an academic blog such as Brad DeLong's?

In short when considered as a whole, it will make these forums a debate forum and ignore the discussion part as much as possible.
Overall good reasoning but it has flaws such as only encouraging one type of discussant which can only slow the posting flow.
That will be great for moderators and lousy for encouraging activity from newcomers and existing members alike.

As an additional remark, one would have to be wary of editing posts with complex content as a mistaken edit that could be overlooked by some, including the OP, could change the intent.
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#31 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 12:39 PM

View PostSenexx, on 19 September 2012 - 12:24 PM, said:

It depends whose blog.

Yes, I think this was discussed before. It was pointed out to general agreement that some blogs are much better than others.

Any final draft will not mention blogs specifically. Instead, it will be likely to have a more general mention of unreferenced and unreliable material from the Internet.
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#32 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 09:34 AM

Some technical support material on image hosting has been moved to the thread "Image Hosting" in the Technical Support section of the forum.

BAM
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