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Nicole

Administrator
Jul 22, 2013
11,088
29,437
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Arlington, VA
After much observation, contemplation, and deliberation the Admins are ready to reveal the new Staff structure and an improved enforcement plan for our rules.  Please read everything below, as all of it will affect you.

1. As most of you know, we currently only have three Admins.  There are no Park Managers or Moderators, although we have retained the positions of photographer, editor, and artist.  We have decided to formalize that structure.  After testing the system for a few months, we have determined that we currently have the time and ability to manage the site without a large staff.  We hope the moderating will continue to be more consistent than in the past with fewer people making unilateral decisions.

We do, however, need assistance in reporting important park events, activities, rumors, and changes.  So, we would like forum members to start contributing articles on the BGW and KD main pages.  You may have already noticed that Matthew has started publishing articles for BGW, and we hope to see contributions from Joe on the KD side as well soon.  If you have any ideas, please just contact one or more of the Admins and we will happily discuss your concepts with you.  

So, going forward we will have three permanent Admins with moderator privileges, and a stable of freelance writers, similar to the existing editor and photographer positions.

2. Recently, there have been some concerning accusations on the Forum of some kind of Facebook-based cabal, running the site. Unfortunately, we cannot disprove the rumor. What we can do, however, is bring more transparency to the decision-making process. To that end, we would like to create an Advisory Panel to provide the Admins input before we finalize major decisions, like changes in the rules.

We have started a thread, where anyone can nominate candidates for the panel. No one may nominate him or herself.  Additionally, anyone caught campaigning will be immediately disqualified.  Once we have completed nominations, the forum membership will vote anonymously to select the panel.  The intent is to find the five people whom the community sees as best qualified to advise the Admins.  We will hold new elections each January, to give as many people as possible an opportunity to participate.

Once established the Advisory Panel will deliberate in a read-only thread, so that the rest of the forum members can see what is being discussed and how decisions have been reached.  Any objections or concerns can be submitted to whichever panel member or Admin you feel most comfortable approaching.  I, personally, am hoping we select representatives from cross-section of forum sub-groups.

I do need to highlight that the panel is an advisory body.  The Admins will still have the final say in all decisions.

3. I believe one of the most contentious issues recently on our forum is the question of enforcement of our rules.  The system seems to have devolved into a series of private and public verbal warnings, followed by a single sanction.  We have decided to try to establish a more systematic and democratic approach.

Each time someone breaks a Forum Rule (not the Guidelines), he or she will receive a 20% Warning.  Each individual warning will expire in six months.

If (s)he receives five warnings (100%) in six months, (s)he will automatically be banned for one week.

If (s)he receives another two warnings within a six-month period, the forum membership will be asked to vote anonymously to decide if the person should be banned for life.  If the community decides against a life-ban, the person will receive an automatic two-week ban.  The same will result if there are another two violations.

So, if a member receives five warnings within six months, (s)he will be banned for a week.  In July the January warnings will expire. If there are another two violations within a six-month period after that first week-long ban, the community will be asked to vote, regardless of when they occur.

A member who has been banned for life, may submit a letter appealing the community decision to the Admins and Advisory Panel. We will consider each appeal on a case-by-case basis.  If we believe the petition has merit, it will be put to a forum-wide vote.

We will reset everyone's Warning Level to 0% this weekend.

I hope the new structure and system make sense.  Please feel free to provide your thoughts below.
 
Aug 31, 2013
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Gainesville, FL
So what exactly is a warning point? Are they accumulated through offensive behavior or just based on admin's discretion?

Also, how are candidates judged for the election for admin status?
 

Zachary

Administrator
Sep 23, 2009
15,929
46,532
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Virginia
The forum uses a warning system to keep track of rule violations. When we determine a rule has been violated, 20% will be added to a member's warning level. Warnings expire in six months. Below is the list of premade warnings we've set up for each of the current rules:

ePnnnNZ.png

As for your second question, I'm not sure what you're talking about. This is for an advisory panel, this has nothing to do with the administrator position...
 
Aug 31, 2013
496
264
160
Gainesville, FL
Zachary said:
The forum uses a warning system to keep track of rule violations. When we determine a rule has been violated, 20% will be added to a member's warning level. Warnings expire in six months. Below is the list of premade warnings we've set up for each of the current rules:

ePnnnNZ.png

As for your second question, I'm not sure what you're talking about. This is for an advisory panel, this has nothing to do with the administrator position...

Thank you.

I'm sorry, I read "Admin positions" for some reason. What are the requirements for being on the advisory panel?
 
Dec 23, 2011
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From experience, if you have no warning you won't see anything. However, if you do have any warnings you would see it on your Preferences page.

If you want to make sure you have none, go to your profile page and you will see it listed. But only you will be able to see it, and I assume the admins can see it as well. Regular forum members can't see another person's warning.
 
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Zimmy

Nessie is lonely.
Silver Donor
Sep 28, 2013
5,875
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Virginia Beach
Just a reminder about our rule against advocating illegal activity. This discussion is getting close to a gray area.

(For reference this was brought up in reference to the discussion of Presidential candidate smoking pot before a debate.)

What do we do in the case where state laws are in opposition to federal laws. The tenth amendment addresses this at a legal level, but that as has been established elsewhere in these rules does not necessarily imply a rule here.

So if a person writes a thing while physically located in a state where recreational drug use is legal, does that mean he has not broken a rule here? Personally I think we should follow the federal law, but I may be thinking to concretely.

Thoughts?
 

Jonesta6

Glumble
Feb 14, 2019
4,500
4,434
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Not weighing in so much as to provide extra food for thought:

The criminalization of marijuana was part of a federal program targeting blacks and the general counter-culture antiwar movements: https://www.businessinsider.com/nixon-adviser-ehrlichman-anti-left-anti-black-war-on-drugs-2019-7

About 50ish years later, there's still a massive racist divide and while heroin has become a major mainstream problem that's had top law enforcement agencies scrambling to address (not always treating it like the medical/psychological issue that it is), marijuana has not produced the same death rates as alcohol which is legal https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2722956/ (granted this study was looking at intoxicated driving crash rates, YMMV), yet our alcohol production and service industries are doing well.

So take that as you will - it was hard finding links for supporting evidence because there were many to choose from, which indicates to me that there is less of a problem with suggesting civil disobedience than not... But also, I don't make not enforce the rules here either.
 
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Nicole

Administrator
Jul 22, 2013
11,088
29,437
260
Arlington, VA
As I am not on the Supreme Court it is not within my writ to interpret whether state or federal law should be preeminent on any issue, especially one as fraught and dynamic as drug use. As I am not a member on Congress, I do not have the authority to judge the continued validity of any federal law, regardless of its history.

All I can do is ascertain whether a post advocates violating any relevant law — federal or local — currently on the books.

Once again, in this case I never said that anyone advocated illegal activity. I merely stepped in to head off a conversation that seemed to be going in a bad direction.
 
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