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Request for un-banning re: SHARK.

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Stephen Tannhauser:
I should begin by noting that I appreciate the value of the "stick to topic or banned" rule and think in most cases it is usefully enforced. Having done a quick scan back through the thread in question, though, I think in SHARK's case his error is likely to have been only a sincere lapse in memory: the "do not post in this thread again" group warning about the brouhaha going on in the "TTRPG Guide to Woke Companies" thread was posted on May 9, nearly three months ago, and SHARK's offending post was made on July 24. It seems very likely to me that SHARK simply saw something that struck his curiosity in the thread and posted a question about it without remembering the threadban -- the fact that there is no permanent public infractions record at this side probably contributed to that.

As somebody who normally has a great deal of useful input on many RPG-related topics, and can usually be counted on to heed warnings (another point that makes me think his offense in this case was sheer forgetfulness), I think SHARK has generally contributed more value to this site than he has detracted. If there must be a ban to encourage people not to take warnings lightly or forget their own infractions, I think it could probably suffice to be temporary in this case and still make its point. I would like to request that SHARK be reconsidered for membership as soon as is felt appropriate.

SHARK is old and understandably forgetful about something which would have happened back in May. I hope you cut the old coot some slack.

The real problem is that SHARK has added many valuable threads and discussions to this board, and his signal to noise ratio is high, but he gets banned for something trivial.  Trolls like Tudesock haven't contributed much of anything but disruption, but because they can skirt the line effectively, they remain.  The policy is missing the forest for the trees...

Visitor Q:
I'm relatively new to this site, and I appreciate the way Pundit enforces the rules with (an admittedly harsh) integrity.

However I would say there are a lot of threads in the general Pen and Paper rpg sub forum which are basically complaining about woke culture. That's cool, but SHARK was one of the few thread creators in the last few months actually prompting discussion about rpg design and play.

The reason for the ban was clear and it's a good example of taking the rules seriously. But I would appeal to Pundit's sense of purpose for the forum in considering unbanning a valuable contributor.

While I usually disagree with SHARK when we talk about politics, his posts about RPGs are among the best on this site (interestingly enough, in his games SHARK does seem to explore ideas very far from his political leaning - even in Hearts of Iron IV he is playing the Russians!)

I checked that thread. The Pundit issued a threadban and a warning to a list of people who were posting off topic. Some of them immediately posted off topic again and were banned. No qualms about that. SHARK too posted after the warning but deleted both his posts at once (as the time stamps prove). Maybe he posted something before checking the thread, then he saw the warning and complied. Since The Pundit didn't ban him for this, I think that we can all agree that SHARK's actions proved his good faith.

Three months later he posted something extremely minor, basically a clarification. I can only agree that it was a memory lapse: it wasn't the kind of inflammatory OT that caused the warning, it happened three months after the warning and, as we saw, back then SHARK promptly complied.

I also kind of understand The Pundit's worrying (to be clear, only The Pundit knows what is in Pundit's head). Let's say that you establish "zero tolerance - out of ten". Then someone commits a level-one infraction. Everybody says "Come on! It was a minor infraction! Let's try to be flexible!" OK. But now you have a "one tolerance" policy, and this opens the door to "Come on, in was a two tolerance infraction! Let's try to be flexible!" And so on. When your policy is successfully debated once, it can be debated forever.

If SHARK is pardoned, what about Pat? And if this leads to Pat's pardon too, what about the next one in line? Where is, now, the cut off?

If this was my site, I would have said to SHARK: "Listen, it is clear that you fu**ed up in good faith, because you proved your good faith. PAY ATTENTION. Last warning." And, no, I never argued pro-Pat, and never will, as I agree with The Pundit in that case (and all the others). But this is not my site. I can only appellate to The Pundit's conscience regarding SHARK's specific case, while accepting what his final decision will be. His site, his rules.


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