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Proz-bashing on FB and elsewhere
Thread poster: neilmac

Jacques DP  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 19:57
Member (2003)
English to French
Topics Apr 27, 2015

Charlie Bavington wrote:
(This appears to mean I share Jacques' opinion on this point, which is a novelty as far as this thread is concerned!)


Oh, you mean you disagreed with me in your previous post? I thought you were just interested in considering some logical issue...

For the record, I was contrasting ProZ and society at large, while you are conflating them in your answer, so we don't agree after all, you can stop worrying...

Even Enrique doesn't agree with me and corrects me every time I say something in this thread...

PS: spaces before smileys should be preserved, it's too ugly otherwise

[Edited at 2015-04-27 13:04 GMT]


 

Enrique Cavalitto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 15:57
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
Focus on issues Apr 27, 2015

Tim Drayton wrote:
So why was this thread itself permitted, given that it constituted a gratuitous and clearly unfounded attack on the German tax authorities?


The thread was about taxes and contained information that could be useful to translators. The thread starter was unhappy with the level of transparency he perceived in the tax authorities, but other contributions to the thread made it clear that the information was available online. The issue here was taxes and its application, not the tax authorities per se.

Regards,
Enrique


 

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 20:57
Turkish to English
+ ...
What was the title of the thread Apr 27, 2015

Enrique Cavalitto wrote:

Tim Drayton wrote:
So why was this thread itself permitted, given that it constituted a gratuitous and clearly unfounded attack on the German tax authorities?


The thread was about taxes and contained information that could be useful to translators. The thread starter was unhappy with the level of transparency he perceived in the tax authorities, but other contributions to the thread made it clear that the information was available online. The issue here was taxes and its application, not the tax authorities per se.

Regards,
Enrique


Please remind me what the title of the thread was, all in block capitals.


 

Enrique Cavalitto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 15:57
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
Title was edited Apr 27, 2015

Tim Drayton wrote:

Enrique Cavalitto wrote:

Tim Drayton wrote:
So why was this thread itself permitted, given that it constituted a gratuitous and clearly unfounded attack on the German tax authorities?


The thread was about taxes and contained information that could be useful to translators. The thread starter was unhappy with the level of transparency he perceived in the tax authorities, but other contributions to the thread made it clear that the information was available online. The issue here was taxes and its application, not the tax authorities per se.

Regards,
Enrique


Please remind me what the title of the thread was, all in block capitals.


The title was edited by staff, and besides it should not be shared here, as it would help identify the target of your comment.

Regards,
Enrique


 

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 20:57
Turkish to English
+ ...
How convenient Apr 27, 2015

Enrique Cavalitto wrote:

Tim Drayton wrote:

Enrique Cavalitto wrote:

Tim Drayton wrote:
So why was this thread itself permitted, given that it constituted a gratuitous and clearly unfounded attack on the German tax authorities?


The thread was about taxes and contained information that could be useful to translators. The thread starter was unhappy with the level of transparency he perceived in the tax authorities, but other contributions to the thread made it clear that the information was available online. The issue here was taxes and its application, not the tax authorities per se.

Regards,
Enrique


Please remind me what the title of the thread was, all in block capitals.


The title was edited by staff, and besides it should not be shared here, as it would help identify the target of your comment.

Regards,
Enrique


How convenient. What, you don't want people to access that clearly paranoid and inflammatory thread and decide that, perhaps, my comment was not too out of place in that context?


 

Jacques DP  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 19:57
Member (2003)
English to French
@Samuel Apr 27, 2015

Sorry for delay.

OK, so you would like to have a sub-forum in which moderation acts would be disclosed and could be discussed. It's a bit odd, but taking it seriously here are some thoughts.

If ProZ suppresses a message (through moderators enforcing the rules), it's usually because they don't want ProZ to be used at all to convey this message (be it an insult, an ad for the competition, allegations on a particular agency, etc.). Therefore they probably don't want to pub
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Sorry for delay.

OK, so you would like to have a sub-forum in which moderation acts would be disclosed and could be discussed. It's a bit odd, but taking it seriously here are some thoughts.

If ProZ suppresses a message (through moderators enforcing the rules), it's usually because they don't want ProZ to be used at all to convey this message (be it an insult, an ad for the competition, allegations on a particular agency, etc.). Therefore they probably don't want to publish it elsewhere, for the same reasons.

Also, I don't think it would really answer a need. You feel very strongly about this, but if you were to make a poll about it, most people might not even understand the question. Also it would take time to manage (just reading it, and possibly responding as well, it would be a bit strange for staff to ignore it completely). Also it would nurture dissent, and drag moderation problems for ages.

I'm struggling to see how these specific replies of mine could be sophistical.


Let's see (for the interest of logic...).

You said the only reason was to protect moderator's feelings. I provided what I think are the real reasons, having in mind the in-thread, normal case. You said they are not the real reasons because the prohibition extends to the sub-forum concept you have devised, and that presumably you submitted to staff and was rejected. This is sophistical because it relies on the wrong hidden assumption that there can't be two different sets of reasons for the two cases.

Children may be prevented to play football in the street because it's dangerous with all the cars, and then prevented to play in the no-car zone as well because they might break things or frighten or annoy people. They will certainly think it's unfair, but it doesn't mean the only reason is to annoy them.

Note by the way that the main reason mentioned above applies to both cases. It's impossible to discuss a moderation act without mentioning the offending comment. If the goal of moderation was to avoid conveying the comment, that defeats the goal.

ProZ.com's continued existence does not prove good management decisions


I think it does. It doesn't prove that all decisions are good, but that's not implied by my argument (that's also why there is no "logical failure" in it contrary to what Charlie claimed).

But I agree that disallowing the public display of discontent is a potentially efficient and often largely successful means of maintaining a system.


It's interesting that you would say that, because this suggests that your inspiration is of a general, political nature. You would like ProZ to be more democratic and transparent. In democratic societies there are in fact such institutions: appeal, which is public; and generally freedom of speech.

But this is different. It's a chosen community, that you can enter and exit. In fact it's a company, running a business platform which has community aspects. Real society is a given, you are born into, and individual liberties are much more important. Also you are the owner there, not here.

And I like it that way personally, because I think it does a good job.

I'm a very strong supporter of the direct democracy in my own country. But I don't expect this same functioning everywhere. Every social structure has its particular history, purpose and functioning.
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Enrique Cavalitto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 15:57
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
Ad-hominem and inappropriate Apr 27, 2015

Tim Drayton wrote:
How convenient. What, you don't want people to access that clearly paranoid and inflammatory thread and decide that, perhaps, my comment was not too out of place in that context?


Your comment would be ad-hominem and inappropriate in any context.

Regards,
Enrique


 

Charlie Bavington (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:57
French to English
Not bad enough for it to fail Apr 27, 2015

Jacques DP wrote:

ProZ.com's continued existence does not prove good management decisions


I think it does. It doesn't prove that all decisions are good, but that's not implied by my argument (that's also why there is no "logical failure" in it contrary to what Charlie claimed).


Surely all we can state with certainty is that the decisions were good enough not to cause the site to fail? Which is all I meant earlier. Different decisions = different status of existence, including non-existence if the decisions were poor enough. Different decisions could have made the site "better", subjective though "better" undoubtedly is.


But this is different. It's a chosen community, that you can enter and exit.

FWIW, I agree entirely with your comments around this aspect too.

I also accept your points about the difficulties discussing moderation decisions on the forum itself. The problem is that, in my experience, no off-site recourse exists. You can't edit hidden comments (or couldn't last time my comments were felt unacceptable) to make them more palatable, and that's always assuming you could get guidance from the moderator on the issue to be resolved (which I couldn't last time my comments were felt unacceptable). If I understand your analogy correctly, kids need to be able to play somewhere. The site therefore should either allow limited discussion of its reasoning on the thread in question, or engage in some way with users off-site so posts can be corrected to its satisfaction (probably the latter). Otherwise criticism in other places is likely to continue.

[Edited at 2015-04-27 13:48 GMT]


 

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 20:57
Turkish to English
+ ...
You are now breaking the rules Apr 27, 2015

"The thread was about taxes and contained information that could be useful to translators."

My interpretation of the thread was that it was a rant by a person whose annual turnover had exceeded the VAT threshold in Germany, and had been fined as a result, and was claiming that the German tax authorities were operating a conspiracy of silence so that people would unwittingly fall foul of the limit. The title of the thread, now conveniently censored, in my opinion made it abundantly c
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"The thread was about taxes and contained information that could be useful to translators."

My interpretation of the thread was that it was a rant by a person whose annual turnover had exceeded the VAT threshold in Germany, and had been fined as a result, and was claiming that the German tax authorities were operating a conspiracy of silence so that people would unwittingly fall foul of the limit. The title of the thread, now conveniently censored, in my opinion made it abundantly clear that this was the main thrust. Either my interpretation was wrong, or you, dear Enrique, in stating that this thread could be useful to translators, believe that it is true that the German tax authorities engage in fraudulent practice and it is useful to translators to 'know' this and thus you, yourself, are breaking the rules in implicitly attacking the German tax authorities (please note that the German tax authorities constitute a 'group' and the site rules prohibit you from attacking a group).
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Enrique Cavalitto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 15:57
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
Interpretations Apr 27, 2015

Tim Drayton wrote:

"The thread was about taxes and contained information that could be useful to translators."

My interpretation of the thread was that it was a rant by a person whose annual turnover had exceeded the VAT threshold in Germany, and had been fined as a result, and was claiming that the German tax authorities were operating a conspiracy of silence so that people would unwittingly fall foul of the limit. The title of the thread, now conveniently censored, in my opinion made it abundantly clear that this was the main thrust. Either my interpretation was wrong, or you, dear Enrique, in stating that this thread could be useful to translators, believe that it is true that the German tax authorities engage in fraudulent practice and it is useful to translators to 'know' this and thus you, yourself, are breaking the rules in implicitly attacking the German tax authorities (please note that the German tax authorities constitute a 'group' and the site rules prohibit you from attacking a group).


I believe that the discussion in that thread provided enough information to let readers form their own opinion on the issue of taxes, probably not in line with the original post. Of course, you are entitled to have your own interpretation.

Regards,
Enrique


 

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 20:57
Turkish to English
+ ...
Was I right or wrong? Apr 27, 2015

Last week I was waiting for a bus at the bus station in our town centre. A bus pulled out and somebody ran towards it, unable to board as it sped off. The person then went to an inspector and accused the driver of not stopping at all at the stand and just driving straight through without picking anybody up. As I was sitting on a bench right next to the stand in question, and saw the driver stop his bus at the stand, open the doors and pick up some people, I intervened and explained what I had se... See more
Last week I was waiting for a bus at the bus station in our town centre. A bus pulled out and somebody ran towards it, unable to board as it sped off. The person then went to an inspector and accused the driver of not stopping at all at the stand and just driving straight through without picking anybody up. As I was sitting on a bench right next to the stand in question, and saw the driver stop his bus at the stand, open the doors and pick up some people, I intervened and explained what I had seen. Yes, I was accusing the man who missed his bus of lying. So, was this an ad-hominen comment, too? Should I have kept quiet an perhaps the driver would have been disciplined for something he didn't do.Collapse


 

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 20:57
Turkish to English
+ ...
Never mind - this is obviously the worng community for me Apr 27, 2015

Enrique Cavalitto wrote:

Tim Drayton wrote:

"The thread was about taxes and contained information that could be useful to translators."

My interpretation of the thread was that it was a rant by a person whose annual turnover had exceeded the VAT threshold in Germany, and had been fined as a result, and was claiming that the German tax authorities were operating a conspiracy of silence so that people would unwittingly fall foul of the limit. The title of the thread, now conveniently censored, in my opinion made it abundantly clear that this was the main thrust. Either my interpretation was wrong, or you, dear Enrique, in stating that this thread could be useful to translators, believe that it is true that the German tax authorities engage in fraudulent practice and it is useful to translators to 'know' this and thus you, yourself, are breaking the rules in implicitly attacking the German tax authorities (please note that the German tax authorities constitute a 'group' and the site rules prohibit you from attacking a group).


I believe that the discussion in that thread provided enough information to let readers form their own opinion on the issue of taxes, probably not in line with the original post. Of course, you are entitled to have your own interpretation.

Regards,
Enrique


That's the problem, I found the whole thread to be totally outrageous and unacceptable and to constitute a gratuitous attack - and it is curious that you don't want people to go there and make up their own mind about it. In my opinion, if anything should have been censored it was the entire defamatory and blatantly untrue thread, not just my post.

Anyway, the fact that absolutely nobody criticised the thread starter in that post but everybody instead turned on me, and that absolutely nobody is supporting me here shows that this is the wrong community for me to get involved in. I just can't make sense of your values.


 

XXXphxxx (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:57
Portuguese to English
+ ...
If it makes you feel better, you're not alone Apr 27, 2015

Tim Drayton wrote:

Anyway, the fact that absolutely nobody criticised the thread starter in that post but everybody instead turned on me, and that absolutely nobody is supporting me here shows that this is the wrong community for me to get involved in. I just can't make sense of your values.


Tim, I don't know you and I haven't seen the thread in question. However, from what I've read here I cannot see why a moderator felt it necessary to delete your post. Fact is, the site does not tolerate questioning stupidity. Someone can post 6000+ questions in Kudoz, many answers for which are already in the glossary or could be found in two ticks by googling the term, but you're not allowed to point this out.

Just because people don't come out in open support doesn't mean they don't agree with you. We've just given up trying to change the site. Site staff have never shown any willingness to revisit rules.


 

Jacques DP  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 19:57
Member (2003)
English to French
Values Apr 27, 2015

I personally like the fact that you wanted to defend the German government against the apparently ridiculous claims. Often the anti-moderation attitudes are of the anarchist type, so this is refreshingly different.

For a reason that I don't understand, you find it very difficult to accept that this particular place has particular rules. Maybe if you create or manage something like this yourself you will understand the challenge better.

By the way I don't think you shoul
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I personally like the fact that you wanted to defend the German government against the apparently ridiculous claims. Often the anti-moderation attitudes are of the anarchist type, so this is refreshingly different.

For a reason that I don't understand, you find it very difficult to accept that this particular place has particular rules. Maybe if you create or manage something like this yourself you will understand the challenge better.

By the way I don't think you should assume that all participants here have the same "values". We're just cooperating on business-related matters. It's not a community in the strong sense of the word.
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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:57
German to English
probably not moderator's fault Apr 27, 2015

Tim,

I think that most people here are normal people and only read bizarre threads like this to break up what is a sometimes monotonous day of work.

I have certainly engaged in and been subjected to more or less thinly veiled (both justified and unjustified) insults here and read many more, so I think that moderators are usually pretty lax about this kind of thing ... until someone complains.

I certainly do not want to insinuate anything about the characte
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Tim,

I think that most people here are normal people and only read bizarre threads like this to break up what is a sometimes monotonous day of work.

I have certainly engaged in and been subjected to more or less thinly veiled (both justified and unjustified) insults here and read many more, so I think that moderators are usually pretty lax about this kind of thing ... until someone complains.

I certainly do not want to insinuate anything about the character of the person being discussed here, but their behavior and reaction in dealing with tax law and the tax office - and particularly their use of the caps-lock key - might make it reasonable to suppose that they might also react in what some people might consider an excessive manner to your criticism.

It's a shame that the Prule doesn't contain a clause about justified insults, but it doesn't. I still enjoy the site, though.
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