The Purpose of the + in Thread Titles

HectorsNemesis

Explorer
Two echo chambers is twice as bad. A place where folks can have a reasoned debate is more valuable.

If it is the "reasoned" part you are worried about, that's what the report function is for, and further exactly why this board has two way ignore.

The + is not the right tool.
I think I agree.
 

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jgsugden

Legend
But the forum literally has a way to challenge a + thread... You can start your own thread!...
A separate thread in opposition gives you a separate discussion. It does not, however, prevent false conceptions about the degree of support a concept might have in the community for people that only see one of thr two (+) threads.

I do have concerns about false conceptions created by some (+) threads. I'm not saying things need to change, or that I have a better approach to offer - just that I have concerns. When you see a thread with 200 messages supporting a topic and no opposition to it, that creates a perception of unanimous support when - without the plus - there might have been 800 posts opposing the concept. When it comes to something as trivial as a game mechanic discussion, I don't think that is too big of a risk. However, my concerns arise when the issue under discussion has ramifications outside the game.

For example, if someone were to do a + thread with a title saying, "Wyrmwood is a high quality product and we should support them 100%! (+)" and a bunch of people who like Wyrmwood product posted their support for the quality of the products, their stories of use of products, Critical Role's use of their products, etc. ... but we didn't allow any posts that oppose Wyrmwood, including that that address recent news, we might create a false perception that there is no concern in the community for the accusations that have recently been in the news (involving firing someone for reporting a sexual assault, stealing IP, etc.) Potentially, it could even create a perception of support for Wyrmwood by Enworld. What would we think if that thread were used to show that 'a large number of people in the community' doesn't believe the accuser and supports Wyrmwood, and that there were dozens and dozens of posts in support of Wyrmwood without a single opposition posted in the thread?

Having a plus thread for a gaming mechanic doesn't seem terribly problematic to me. If someone wants to have a plus thread for talking about how Bards are the best class - more power to them. However, having a plus thread for a concept with ramifications outside the game has higher degrees of risk - and drawing a line to determine when different treatment would be appropriate would be difficult at times.

Would it be ok to do a (+) thread supporting the use of explicit images in RPG artwork? Or (+) for using historically accurate and detailed depictions of heinous acts of slavery, sexual assault, etc...? Or a (+) thread encouraging DMs to use questionably moral techniques to trick or manipulate their players to help the DM get paid to DM? How would we have felt about a (+) thread that supported the new TSR through the last couple of years?

Would a non-discussion based 'downvote' tool be a reasonable way for people to show an opposition to a + thread topic without 'trolling up' the discussion?
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
They actually did
No, they did not. We have several post from mods and Morrus which disagree about the point of and mod policy in regards to + threads. We also have posts where the mods disagree with Morrus. And where Morrus contradicts himself on + threads. Several contradictory responses does not an answer make.
they review posts and forum topics on a case by case basis.
“We know it when we see it” is the least useful response possible. Because, importantly, it doesn’t actually inform anyone of anything.
There is no hard line for folks to run right up to but not quite tip over. There is a lot less wiggle room.
These are contradictory statements. No hard line implies lots of wiggle room. Lack of wiggle room implies hard lines.
In this case if a + thread asks for everyone to not use argument X because it is disruptive and shuts the topic down, you are by definition NOT on topic if you post argument X in the thread. That is your cue to move on.
My original question, and the reason it was its own thread, was because it wasn’t about that. It was about people using the shield of a + thread to make false statements and not be challenged on them. Which still hasn’t been answered.

Again, I’m not interested in what the community thinks + threads are for. I’m interested in guidelines from the mod staff on how they mod + threads. Because they’re the one’s whose opinions count, re: red text, thread booting, and forum banning.
@overgeeked I hadn't seen that you pulled your question before I posted my answer. Is it alright to keep it up or would you rather I "never mind" my post as well.
Doesn’t matter.
 

I recently participated in a (+) thread regarding Amazon's Rings of Power, which I found worthwhile as it forced me to consider aspects of the show which I regarded in a positive light.

I later participated in an "all opinions welcome" thread on the same subject, where I could air ... other opinions.

I found both valuable and informative. The fact is that if you don't like a (+) thread with regard to a subject and find it encumbering, you're always free to start another without the prefix.
 

Saracenus

Always In School Gamer
A separate thread in opposition gives you a separate discussion. It does not, however, prevent false conceptions about the degree of support a concept might have in the community for people that only see one of thr two (+) threads.

I do have concerns about false conceptions created by some (+) threads. I'm not saying things need to change, or that I have a better approach to offer - just that I have concerns. When you see a thread with 200 messages supporting a topic and no opposition to it, that creates a perception of unanimous support when - without the plus - there might have been 800 posts opposing the concept. When it comes to something as trivial as a game mechanic discussion, I don't think that is too big of a risk. However, my concerns arise when the issue under discussion has ramifications outside the game.

For example, if someone were to do a + thread with a title saying, "Wyrmwood is a high quality product and we should support them 100%! (+)" and a bunch of people who like Wyrmwood product posted their support for the quality of the products, their stories of use of products, Critical Role's use of their products, etc. ... but we didn't allow any posts that oppose Wyrmwood, including that that address recent news, we might create a false perception that there is no concern in the community for the accusations that have recently been in the news (involving firing someone for reporting a sexual assault, stealing IP, etc.) Potentially, it could even create a perception of support for Wyrmwood by Enworld. What would we think if that thread were used to show that 'a large number of people in the community' doesn't believe the accuser and supports Wyrmwood, and that there were dozens and dozens of posts in support of Wyrmwood without a single opposition posted in the thread?
I am not getting this binary oppositional thing you are trotting out. First off, do you think there is a way to declare a winner on a topic by the number of people that take X side vs. Y side?

A +plus thread about Wyrmwood wouldn't be something about unconditionally supporting them and hey, all you haters jump off. It would be a topic about the quality of the product and pluses and minus of it.

A + thread does not remove all discussion but it does ask that people who want to come in hard say, "Wormwood is the suckiest of the suckiest companies out there and nothing else." to not come and play in this thread. Does a unbending no that shouts down a topic bring any value to the discussion? I have seen a lot of hot button threads end because a group swoops in and shouts everyone down. I personally don't see any value in it.

If you feel that strongly about it, start your own thread where you can go to town on Wormwood. Both threads are going to show up in a search and the rest of us will decide which one we think gives us the best info. You do not get to choose the winner, we do.

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that Wyrmwood has done something illegal or unethical. Let's pretend they get caught substituting cheaper wood materials and not the ones advertised. That would be its own thread and you would not dump it in the already existing + Wyrmwood thread. And there is nothing stopping you from doing just that. Where is the crisis?

Now if the members of the + Wyrmwood thread decides to take up the allegations on their thread and don't allow counter points you could take that to the Mod staff because their topic is drifting outside there own parameters. Trust me the scandal thread is going to bury the + thread anyway.

As for the rest of it, do you really believe the mod staff is not going to come down hard on a thread that is supporting illegal and unethical behavior? Why don't you try this (Actually don't, but this is an example), start a + Thread on NuTSR and the impending litigation with WotC and see what happens. I don't think the topic will last very long or be very popular.

Having a plus thread for a gaming mechanic doesn't seem terribly problematic to me. If someone wants to have a plus thread for talking about how Bards are the best class - more power to them. However, having a plus thread for a concept with ramifications outside the game has higher degrees of risk - and drawing a line to determine when different treatment would be appropriate would be difficult at times.
So you are asking for a comprehensive hard line from the mod staff on what is acceptable? You are expecting them to pre-game all types of + threads that are possible? Nobody has time for that and no one would read that beast of a document. The rules for + threads will evolve as the topics put under them grow and evolve. When something crosses a line or abuses the form, the mods can make a ruling and we all learn together. Right now your are buying trouble we do not own.
Would it be ok to do a (+) thread supporting the use of explicit images in RPG artwork? Or (+) for using historically accurate and detailed depictions of heinous acts of slavery, sexual assault, etc...? Or a (+) thread encouraging DMs to use questionably moral techniques to trick or manipulate their players to help the DM get paid to DM? How would we have felt about a (+) thread that supported the new TSR through the last couple of years?
Has anything like this happened yet? I haven't seen one these type of threads. This in my mind a purely hypothetical position, cue the "Think About the Children!" gif from the Simpsons. There is a simple solution since all of these examples pretty much violate EN World Rules you report it to the mods. The mods take a look and if it is violation of the site rules, down it goes.
Would a non-discussion based 'downvote' tool be a reasonable way for people to show an opposition to a + thread topic without 'trolling up' the discussion?
I am not getting the why you need to have a say in a + thread that you don't agree with or don't like. It is not for you. There are tons of threads I don't care about, don't agree with, and a few I have not liked... I didn't not feel diminished when I didn't comment on them; the world kept on spinning and EN World did not implode. A + thread is asking you to respect the OP and those interested in the topic. If you cannot, move along.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
For me I thunk weaponuzed plus threads are when it's an option stated as fact with a + on it.

Eg Star Wars is Better than Star Trek+

Vs

Hit Point Bloat in 5E is a Problem For me Help+

Yes one can start a bew thread but that might start getting silly.

Star Wars is Better Than Star Trek+
Star Trek Is Better Than Star Wars+

Etc
 

Saracenus

Always In School Gamer
No, they did not. We have several post from mods and Morrus which disagree about the point of and mod policy in regards to + threads. We also have posts where the mods disagree with Morrus. And where Morrus contradicts himself on + threads. Several contradictory responses does not an answer make.

“We know it when we see it” is the least useful response possible. Because, importantly, it doesn’t actually inform anyone of anything.
See @Morrus' post below. The owner of the site has stated what the intent of the + thread policy is and that they will take up corner cases and abuse on a case by case basis. The + threads are not going away and arguing against them is pointless and a non-starter with him.

These are contradictory statements. No hard line implies lots of wiggle room. Lack of wiggle room implies hard lines.
You misunderstand me, I apologize for not being clearer.
Not having bright line rules means, for me, that there is no wiggle room for those that like to run up to the edge of a bright line and then claim they technically didn't violate the rules. In essence they are technically correct but completely violate the spirit of the rules as intended.

I can't speak for EN World, but in the various social media forums I have run, that kind of behavior is discouraged because I publish the letter of the rules and the spirit of them, both apply at the same time. I do this because I am not going to make a new rule or sub-section of a rule just because someone decides to get cute with me. If you think you are on the borderline, step back and rethink it. The uncertainty you are feeling is a feature, not a bug.
My original question, and the reason it was its own thread, was because it wasn’t about that. It was about people using the shield of a + thread to make false statements and not be challenged on them. Which still hasn’t been answered.
Again, see Morrus' post below. If a + thread is being used in an abusive fashion or in violation of the rules, take it to the mods, it's their job to handle it, not yours or mine.
Again, I’m not interested in what the community thinks + threads are for. I’m interested in guidelines from the mod staff on how they mod + threads. Because they’re the one’s whose opinions count, re: red text, thread booting, and forum banning.
And that comes down to the following post from Morrus. He is saying this is the state of play for EN World. Now you got some choices to make. Is this the hill you want to die on is one of them. Good luck.
The idea of a + thread is to not derail the premise of the thread. It doesn't mean you can't disagree with or correct factual innacuracies. Let's not strawman the concept into 'not allowed to disagree with the thread starter about anything'.

If people are abusing the + policy, then report them and we'll take a look.

We're not going to post a manual of rules for people to rules-lawyer, as they already are doing in the multiple threads about this topic now. Like everything else, it will be a judgement call. You think they're misusing it? Ask us to take a look. That's what moderators are for. Also, to the wags out there who will try this, don't just report every + thread because you disagree with the very concept of them, because then it's you we'll be taking a look at instead.

Just... be nice. And it'll be fine. Try to game it, and it probably won't.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter

Huh. I honestly thought the point of the + thread was to not have disagreements or arguments over the premise.

"Turtles are awesome [+]"

poster jumps in and explains why turtles are terrible

mods step in and bounce the poster for arguing over the premise


So if that's not the point of them, then what is?

There are ways to do things.
+ thread on turtles being great.
"I think turtles are great! They are warm and fuzzy and cuddly!"
"Um, turtles are great, but... they're not mammals - they are cold blooded reptiles and have no fur."

Is not arguing over the premise, which is that turtles are great.

Mind you, one of the issues here is that what some people call "facts" aren't so factual as they think. They are often interpretations. So busting in to correct "facts" may not turn out as one thinks.
 


overgeeked

B/X Known World
See @Morrus' post below. The owner of the site has stated what the intent of the + thread policy is and that they will take up corner cases and abuse on a case by case basis. The + threads are not going away and arguing against them is pointless and a non-starter with him.
I’m not arguing against them. I just want some solid guidelines on how they work so I won’t get modded for engaging in them the wrong way. Hence why my question started as its own thread. It being yoinked and moved here changed the context and is giving you a different read on my post than they originally had.
Not having bright line rules means, for me, that there is no wiggle room for those that like to run up to the edge of a bright line and then claim they technically didn't violate the rules. In essence they are technically correct but completely violate the spirit of the rules as intended.
Sure. Trouble is that means the mods have to decide the contents of other people’s heads via the text they post. Basically guess at the intent. Then make decisions about red text, thread bans, and forum bands based on that guess. None of them are telepaths.

And there’s the question of the spirit. What is it? Morrus has said “no derailing and disagreements are fine” and “don’t post if you disagree”. Umbran has said tangents are fine. These statements are not in agreement with each other.

And this is the problem with assuming what’s in other people’s heads. You assume I’m arguing against + threads. I’m not. Morrus seems to think I want to know the rules so I can rules lawyer them. I don’t.

I saw someone make historically false statements as part of the premise of a plus thread and wanted clarification. That’s all. Instead I got this. And sorry, no, “case by case” is not clarification.
The uncertainty you are feeling is a feature, not a bug.
That seems backwards. Keeping people guessing about how rules will be enforced only causes anxiety and fear. That’s not how healthy communities work.
 
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