ABUSE: Proposed new prefix (was g~u~n~s)

From: Harvey Newstrom (mail@HarveyNewstrom.com)
Date: Tue Jan 16 2001 - 07:44:17 MST

This list is having more problems with the g~u~n argument. The
problem is not really with the topic itself, but with the discussion
about about the discussion. This meta-discussion about whether the
discussion should even take place is definitely a change of subject
and not represented by whatever subject line is already in use.

I propose a new prefix called "ABUSE:" for this purpose. It should
be used to complain about off-topic posts. It should be used to
complain about someone else's abuse of the list. It should be used
to flame abusive posters, insult people's motives, and beg people to
more their discussion to another list.

I propose the term "ABUSE:" for a number of reasons. Some reports
will be of actual abuse and should be discussed under this prefix.
Other reports will be an overreaction or a form of harassment toward
one individual or group, and will itself be a form of abuse. The
discussion of whether something is abuse of the list or not
inevitably degenerates into insults, name-calling and never-ending
circular arguments, which are against the rules and are their own
form of list abuse. Most cases of abuse should be handled off-list,
and the insistence of complaining on-list is seen by some to be a
form of abuse. Any and all of these situations and their inevitable
follow-ups should be combined under this prefix.

Although most people would prefer not to see this topic at all, I
think labelling it with an identifiable prefix would help mitigate
the impact. By using the prefix it designates a change of topic from
the original discussion to a discussion about the discussion. It
keeps these discussions from occurring under unrelated subject lines.
It helps other people avoid these discussion if they wish. Even if
some of the original posts of this nature are not properly prefixed,
replies to those post could be. This might help migrate such
discussions into a thread with the prefix to help label it correctly.

Please comment and participate in this new idea if you think it is
worthwhile. Please use the "ABUSE:" prefix in your responses!

Harvey Newstrom <HarveyNewstrom.com>

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