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Bad behavior in KudoZ - how much is too much? (Staff: 'when rules are broken')
Thread poster: Sormane Fitzgerald Gomes

Sormane Fitzgerald Gomes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:48
Member (2004)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Feb 2, 2005

I am writing this because I am just sick and tired of how a few members and visitors have behaved in my language pairs. They have been warned by the moderators (yes, I’ve sent them emails) for their language and tone on their ‘disagrees.’ One even turned against the moderator after he had a problem with another member and the moderator called him on it. You might say “well if you’re saying they are just a few”…but you all know the saying… one bad apple can spoil a basket full of them.

I started a thread in the Portuguese Forum expressing my concern hoping that people would participate, blow some steam off and even throw in an idea or two on how to solve this problem. Only a handful had something to say. It seems that people are quick to post their insults but can’t make the time to seriously discuss the matter or even justify their behavior in the Forum.

It’s getting to the point that I don’t even feel like suggesting or participating anymore. Who needs the aggravation? I think the whole point here is to make friends and help colleagues, not have your suggestions ridiculed or publicly insulted. It hasn’t happened to me yet, I should add, but I see it happening to a lot of people. I never intervened because it’s not directed to me, but now I think it’s getting way out of hand.

The point I’m trying to make is that these people do not stop even after being told not to do so anymore. They still continue to insult everyone.

So how much is too much before we pull the you’re-not-welcome-here-anymore card?


[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2005-02-02 21:59]

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2005-02-03 09:49]


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Todd Field  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:48
Member (2003)
Portuguese to English
Agree... and moderator intervention would be welcomed Feb 2, 2005

Thanks for bringing it up, Sormane.

I too have been shocked with what I have seen in some PT>EN KudoZ discussions. Some people defend their answers with the tenacity of a wild cornered animal, being so competitive as to blindly disagree with every other suggestion given, even when those suggestions are clearly more accurate and better substantiated. Other folks seem to be just plain mean, with the anonymity of the Internet bringing out the worst in them.

In my opinion, KudoZ should be a dynamic, unhurried, selfless, thoughtful and meaningful exchange of ideas between professional linguists... not a brutal, egotistical competitive arena.

If this is indeed the goal, I think the moderators should be HIGHLY ASSERTIVE in barring participants who demonstrate abusive behavior. Plain and simple.

It will be interesting to see what others have to say on this subject!

Todd

[Edited at 2005-02-02 20:42]


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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:48
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Just enough to break the proz.com camel's back! Feb 2, 2005

I'm sorry to read this but not surprised.
It is a reality that 99% of us are peace-loving, law-abiding individuals, whose main concern is to work professionally and develop our skills.
This site was conceived as a support for language professionals who no longer want to sit in isolation and prefer to communicate (after all, words are our business, right?) but as in all communities, there are those who just don't get it.
As we (at proz.com) attempt to be democratic and broad-minded, appreciating that all of us can have off-days or hit the send key too quickly, so site management tends to give people several chances, but when there is a consensus that contributions are more negative than positive, the offender is warned and may be barred if the upset continues.
Happily, lots of people improve after a warning as they just don't realise how they come across. Others refuse to review their attitude and we have to wave goodbye to them. Then some simply pop in to provoke but get bored and leave of their own accord or stick around and give some excellent contributions.
In any case, if any of you are offended or concerned, don't take things into your own hands, contact a moderator and explain what has upset you and something will be done.
Ciao
Angela

Sormane Gomes wrote:

So how much is too much before we pull the you’re-not-welcome-here-anymore card?


[Edited at 2005-02-03 11:12]


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Jane Lamb-Ruiz  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Subject of Attack Feb 2, 2005

Sormane

I have been the subject of attack in the Portuguese forum. I held my tongue until I just couldn't take it anymore and then made a comment in my own defense after direct and nasty personal comments. You have seen the comments and you know what I am talking about. I didn't report it because reporting people is not one of penchants. I prefer to say something to the person, which I did and it wasn't too harsh. But it did tell this person to stop harassing me. Anyone who checks the Portuguese answers in the past weeks will see them. They are stupid, direct attacks.

Also, I have recently been given a yellow card for a series of alleged and actual violations. I don't want to get into the details here but suffice it to say that if carefully scrutinized, my comments refer to the linguistic content in the answers given and not to the person. It seems even a nice, positive remark of praise to a person from me was misinterpreted to mean I was making a personal comment. That left me aghast. Is praise not allowed?

I have been cutting at times in my remarks on answers but I don't attack people as persons. I say: no..this is not X, it is Y. And some people don't like that. I admit that at times I can be obnoxious in this way but never personal. It is a criticism of the production not the person.

I would like to see proz institute a self-rating system whereby each translator can say he or she is expert, senior, junior or beginner. After all, if this is a profession, there should be a way of making it professional.

I want to play with my peers not with beginning translators who are using proz to practice their language skills. That way I can make a comment to a peer who I have seen has the same or better level than I do. This seems a reasonable enough matter. This is supposed to be a professional site for professional people not beginning translators or translators whose language level does not cut the mustard.

I just want to take this opportunity to say that I have three language pairs and that probably I am being referred to in this thread. And I have no trouble saying publicly that there are many people who don't like me. Frankly, I don't care. Not everybody will like one. I have given a lot of time to people on proz and helped many through difficult texts. Have I been harsh at times? Yes, I have. But only on the language: I repeat not the person(s). Also, when has proz thanked me for all the help I have given people? Hm?

And just one point here. Why should someone who is at the top of her game - like many but not all of her colleagues - have to constantly see a flood of answers that are just guesses? Why can't there be a slightly more even playing field here? Would a lawyer's office allow a paralegal to represent a client in court? Would a surgeon allow a resident to do open-heart surgery on his or her own? Would a CPA & auditor allow a bookkeeper to sign off on the financial statements of a multinational?

Again, are we professional translators comparable to these other professionals? If you feel the answer is yes, you might understand my annoyance when I see the level of answers on kudoz here at times.

The other point I have been criticized for is using caps. As we can't HTML code in the answers, I try to use caps selectively to emphasize my answers, that's all usually. Had there been underlining, all my caps would have been underlines. And I admit, I wasn't aware it was completely verboten...

Anyway, Sormane, these are some of my concerns and feelings about this issue you brought up. I just wanted to publicly say that I have always liked seeing your answers and that we did clear up a misunderstanding - probably emanating from me - we initially had. That means something is working right...I commend you for your mature attitude, a trait which I perhaps have not always displayed here on this site because of my impatience with the non-response by Proz to the question of level of professional competence.

Thank you for being so nice.

Jane Lamb-Ruiz



[Edited at 2005-02-03 00:08]

[Edited at 2005-02-03 02:07]


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:48
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dear Jane Feb 3, 2005

Jane Lamb-Ruiz wrote:

I prefer to say something to the person, which I did and it wasn't too harsh.


I personally would prefer if you said things in public, clearly and on the record, because sometimes when you write in off, your addressees might feel coerced. I did. And I would have preferred to keep that private, but as they say, "ya puestos..."

Also, I have recently been given a yellow card for a series of alleged and actual violations. I don't want to get into the details here but suffice it to say that if carefully scrutinized, my comments refer to the linguistic content in the answers given and not to the person.


I'm also curious as to why you give disagrees when in the end you "come around" to thinking along the lines of the persons you disagreed with? Nothing personal, just curiousity.

I want to play with my peers not with beginning translators who are using proz to practice their language skills. That way I can make a comment to a peer who I have seen has the same or better level than I do. This seems a reasonable enough matter. This is supposed to be a professional site for professional people not beginning translators or translators whose language level does not cut the mustard.


Need you presume then that a person who has to ask a question does not understand his own problem?

As I understand the system, ProZ.com is here to help. Us. All. And if sometimes we get calls to attention, it is in the intention to help. Us. All.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 04:48
SITE FOUNDER
All members are expected to follow the KudoZ rules Feb 3, 2005

There are rules governing the use of the site, and all members are expected to follow those rules as a condition of remaining members.

When you see violations, we ask that you bring those violations to the attention of a moderator. It is ok to work out a problem privately by communicating with other members... but when a member takes matters into his/her own hands, and violates rules in doing so, the rules still apply. And the moderators and staff of this site will enforce them.

For those who use KudoZ but have not read the rules recently, they are here: http://proz.com/kudozrules

Thanks for using the site. I am locking this thread.


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Bad behavior in KudoZ - how much is too much? (Staff: 'when rules are broken')

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