Ooh, where to start.
- Tone policing is not cool. I disagree with that strongly, and I find it to be a chilling effect. (All the more chilling, because tone is policed so mightily inconsistently.) It shouldn’t be hoovering up protests about policy, as just befell John Gragson. It shouldn’t be hoovering up friendly banter between people in comments (which is quite obviously friendly banter), just because it will somehow Bring The Tone Down. Like Rick Klugman saying a mere “I hate you!” to someone teasing him. FFS.
- And if you’re going to do Tone Policing, do it to everybody, starting with Quora Superstars. If Rick Klugman isn’t allowed to swear, Dan Holliday shouldn’t be either. Otherwise, you just make Quora look like it’s playing favourites.
- Allied with that: public figures, and regimes, should be fair game.
- BNBR should be about interactions between peers on this site, not about whether you say that Trump or Hillary, or the Pope or Richard Dawkins, or Lenin or Hitler, are arseholes.
- I’ve read Tatiana’s recent defence of this, and I still find it untenable, and a trap for the unwary.
- It shouldn’t be targeting you for saying that there’s a direct line between Wahhabi panic over idolatry and demolishing Palmyra, or calling your ex-Prime Minister an idiot for saying Islam needed a Reformation, when in fact Wahhabism was its Reformation. (Yeah, that was one of mine. Successfully appealed, and I have no idea which of the two was its trigger. Especially when it wasn’t even noted as BNBR, but as Spam?!)
- The main problem with BNBR, as Garrett Murphy said, is the implementation. The outrageous opacity. The perfunctory form letters from Devin the Quora Intern. The lack of any confirmation that your appeal has been unsuccessful. The refusal to say what the hell it was in your 6 paragraph answer that triggered the BNBR to begin with, and the only intermittent quotation of the comment that triggered it. The lack of feedback on how you’re tracking towards an edit-block, meaning you feel like there’s a sword hanging over you at all times. (Habib Fanny is waiting from day to day to be banned. Habib! The Hermes of Quora! Of all people!)
- The use of BNBR to justify opacity in any discussion of moderation actions, I continue to believe, is counterproductive.
- Yes, I have read Tatiana’s latest on that too: Tatiana Estévez’s answer to Why does Quora delete all questions pertaining to the ban of Quora users?
I have, after some dragging of my feet, come to conclude that BNBR is a good thing. It has helped me step back from the brink more than once, and it’s allowed me to keep respect for my peers on Quora who I may have disagreed with.
I have less respect for the implementation of this policy. But those that follow me know that already.