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Moderation Statement
Discussion started by Grockle , 13 September, 2018 17:27
Moderation Statement
Grockle 13 September, 2018 17:27
A while ago during the Stokes trial a couple of posters, including one who is no friend of mine I would guess, asked me to keep a lid on the comments about the trial.

I saw that as a justified request and moderated the thread while the trial went on. I did use a one size fits all policy of not touching factual stuff but moderating opinion that wasn't based on the information from the trial.

I though we did a good job of it and followed and talked about it in a mature and sensible way. I ruffled a few feathers but with an explanation or 2 everyone seemed happy and I got a rare couple of PM commendations for the action. It meant moderating some people who rarely get moderated but all was done in an amicable and I thought low key way.

It is a policy we have followed for most of the life of the site - don't insult or slur players and officials using opinion based on personal views. Stick to facts and keep it clean where possible. A few lapses and one short ban in the two decades suggests we've worked it quite well.

Yesterday we had a report on the pitch for the Lancashire match and comment about it. During that comment a couple of posters possibly crossed a line on what was fact and what was opinion. In one case I made a request for a poster (again a poster who I would not class as a fan of mine) to clarify that he was not suggesting that the Somerset groundstaff had been involved in deliberate action to create a pitch giving unfair advantage to the home side. Without pause he came back and confirmed that nothing was further from his mind and was quite surprised I asked. Job done. I am grateful to him for that quick response Move on.

The other poster ChunkyinArgyll made a suggestion that could have been interpreted as saying the same thing. Somerset had 'gambled' on not getting caught, had underprepared the pitch and had been lucky not to get points docked. The probable reason suggested as to why that deduction had not happened was because the points deduction would have been pointless and Somerset were no longer in a position to win or be relegated. therefore the ECB were waiting for the next time it happened when the points deduction would be more painful.

Nothing in the report of the investigation gave this line of opinion any factual backup and comments of officials around the incident were specific in their comments about there being no conscious attempt to 'doctor' the pitch.

It seemed a perfectly valid moderation point to ask the poster to confirm that he was not suggesting that there was dishonesty within the club or that the points would have been docked had Somerset been in a position where they would have done damage. Chunky used the term 'probation' to identify what he believed Somerset's position to be even though this term was not used anywhere in the judgement.

Unlike the other poster Chunky seemed to want to debate this rather than just say 'of course not'. As this was an unsubstantiated opinion with no factual backup I therefore asked him to withdraw it on that basis. Again he wanted to debate the point. I therefore took the next step and required him to withdraw it and gave him a deadline to do so after which I would revoke his posting rights until this was done.

He refused again and then wanted to debate my moderation on the public forum - something we have been working to avoid for 5 years or more. He also wanted to discuss PM conversations on the main forum which has never been allowed. I refused to allow him to hijack the thread for this - he accused me of deleting his posts (I had hidden it and returned a full copy to him).

At this point he usually goes over my head to SN management and I said if he did this I would remove his posting rights until that had been sorted and that they might never be returned if the judgement went against him.

This now became a confused bunch of posts from him about libel, Graves and the ECB and personal accusations against me then stuff about his principles and emails to Dave Picken and so on.

I simply told him what I needed him to do and what would happen if he did not. I tried to get him to simply answer YES or NO to 2 simple questions and that is all that I required for the site. He prevaricated about these and then said he would do nothing until SN had been in touch and on and on. I therefore revoked his posting rights. Told him and you all online and went to bed to let it calm down.

This morning Dave contacted me and provided me with an email from Chunky which I assume he thought I would never see. It slightly slanted the activity of the night before but as SN see everything and it is all time stamped that seemed a pointless exercise. It had a couple of enlightening paragraphs about his view of some Grockle posters and Somerset as a club. The comments might surprise a few while being of no surprise to a few others - but they did shed a different light on the poster we know.

However I told Dave I would make one more attempt to clearly put the situation to the poster and I sent him a PM outlining the problem and the solution. He point blank refused to withdraw the assertions and I am therfore unabe to recind the moderation decision.

I have informed Chunky and deleted the posts hidden. I will sort out the 'Somerset thread' but I will leave it for a while if anyone wants to look at yesterday and see what all the fuss was about. The sad thing about all this is that Chunky has effectively withdrawn the asssertions in his email to SN but will not do it online.

So Chunky is presently unable to post on Grockles. He has had some supportive PM's from people - I have had none saying I misinterpreted what he was saying or that I have been unfair to him in my actions (well except from him where the accusation is 'bullying' and the usual double standards accusation of all those who are moderated). You will be glad to know that he is going to monitor my future actions and report to SN the next time I step out of line - so you can all sleep safe in your beds.

Sorry. I find this unfortunate.

I can't say I find Chunky a particularly likeable poster - on this subject at least. His opinion of Somerset has been pretty clear if you read between the lines yet he has claimed 'unfair treatment' and even 'abuse' whenever he has been taken to task for the views he holds. Eventually he has pretty clearly come out and confirmed what some posters suggested since the last game of last year. But it is only really on this subject that there is any conflict about his views.

He has allowed this to get into 'my principles are bigger than your principles' and moved it into the personal attacks on me - a person he hasn't liked since I took him on a few years ago now. I am ambivalent to his views but am loathed to take this step with any poster who can be 'saved'.

However there is a line that has been crossed here that others have accepted as a perfectly valid one. I can't moderate others and then not do the same for Chunky just because he wants to argue the case to the nth degree and thinks SN is a Supreme Court where he can get one over on that @#$%& moderator who is so nasty at his job.

He has made assertions that Simon Lee and his ground crew deliberately and therefore dishonestly under prepared the pitch for the Lancashire game and gambled on getting away with it. There is NO factual evidence for that view. He does not know Simon, he has been to the Taunton ground rarely if at all and seems to still think he has the right to say that on an open forum that those people or people who know them might read without consequence.

This is unacceptable and I have therefore taken moderation action.

Banning Chunky for life seems excessive but if the poster refuses to accept he has done anything wrong then please give me an alternative.

He may come around to see that he is being idiotically stupid over this but I highly doubt it.

If he can't get past his massive dislike of me then maybe this is for the best because I am not going to suddenly become shy and retiring or accept that this character assassination of a group of people who spend their working life standing in rain and providing surfaces for us to watch the game we love should be allowed to stand.

I'm sure some think I have been unfair though no-one seems to want to say it to me. If you know Chunky and discuss this with him you will hear or read that as being the case. If you have a compromise solution for this then please let me know what it is. Presently I wll not restore his posting rights until he withdraws his assertions about our club and that is where we stand. I have at no time asked for an apology. Just a withdrawal

Comments and discussions are welcome but not on the main site. Please PM me if you want to know anything else. Please get Chunky's side of this if you need to. Please read the interactions from last night. I'll leave them on for a while and then remove them and let that thread get back to normality. If you have suggestions concerning this then please provide them. It is your site.

Finally I would ask you during the Surrey game to look out at the guys keeping the wickets and ground ready for the cricket each day and ask yourself.

Do they deserve the suggestion of dishonesty to be applied to them by a visitor to a public website - not even a visitor to the ground - based on his own interpretation of a decision that at no time makes any suggestion of dishonesty being a consideration?

That is the principle I'll stick by against the seemingly over-inflated principles and misguided views of a poster who seems to have forgotten what is important.

Sorry this is long but it is hard to do it in less.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 18/09/2018 17:38 by Grockle.

Re: Moderation Statement
Grockle 18 September, 2018 17:37
Having now reviewed and cleaned up the Somerset thread I have decided to take the last post on it made by Chunky as a sort of statement that he had not intention of implying that anything dishonest had been done by the Somerset groundstaff.

This is partly because he said much the same thing in his email to Dave Picken but would not accept that when I suggested that is all he had to do to remove the restriction put on him.

As such that means I can restore his posting privileges and can be happier personally that the 'punishment' is more in line with the 'crime'.

I am afraid however that this will not be possible until I have moved to the new Bicknoller Beach Bar in Hamilton as all the kit gets packed up this evening for that move and I will be working via mobile (with out the same moderation access) until I have a wifi footprint in Bermuda.

This is not a change in the requirements of the moderation because a retraction has been provided although in a slightly ambiguous manner. I will contact Chunky and inform him when I can remove the restriction and this matter will then be closed as far as the site is concerned.

Chunky will be at his own liberty to decide whether he wishes to post or not from then on though any further discussion on site of this moderation decision on the public forum will not be part of that liberty.


This Thread has been closed
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