VEX Forum Moderation - help them help us

For the last month there have been a series of posts that have bordered on bullying. The moderators were on top and kept things cleaned up. There were warning bans and permanent bans.

Moderation is a thankless task, it takes time, and when posts have to be deleted it’s super annoying. It’s also a huge soul destroyer to need to wade through these posts thinking “what would possess people to think this, much less write this on a public forum”.

The forum is currently on full moderation. Which is even more work for the mods. My hope (yea, Foster, Hope is never a strategy) that we would be on moderation for some short period of time. The denied posts would drop to near zero, showing that roboteers could control themselves and stick to robotics over here on the forum.

But then I read this post, by someone that I though was pretty reasonable

This makes me sad, having people out to deliberately sink the VEX forum. I’d like to think that the mods will quickly decide to just issue a short ban to help clear out the backlog.

Not sure why anyone would want to abuse people you don’t know that have taken on a thankless task. Frankly there are 1000’s of other forums that juvenile behavior like this is allowed. Go there.

To be honest, VEX has other issues to solve, it’s a short step to just close the forum down.

Which brings me to Chief Delphi, the FIRST forum. Many VEX roboteers have ended up there. The number one rule in FIRST is gracious professionalism. That means that people are treated with respect and professional behavior at all times. That forum is manned by volunteers. They are also overwhelmed by the posts, many are being attributed to new VEX roboteers on CD.

I get the impression that VEX roboteers are wearing out their welcome. While there have been lots of great posts on how to move from being a VEX team to an FTC / FRC team, I’m getting signals that there is a wonderment on what is going on with us. Lots of post are anything but gracious or professional.

TL;DR - Cut it out. We have a good thing here. Act responsibly or you are going to be another reason of “and that’s why we can’t have nice things”.

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Vex Forum is an absolute asset to the robotics community. I know our teams have benefitted immensely from all of the contributions in the VRC and IQ forums, and great contributors such as James Pearman. After the events over the past few weeks, I think it’s in everyone’s best interest in making sure it thrives and stays online. Thanks for the post @Foster.

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Thank you for this post, it opens up an important dialog. However, I believe you are mistaken on the content of most of the denied posts. I agree that there are some people acting up and I do not condone this behavior; people tend to respond very negatively when it comes to drastic conformity in allowed speech and ideas. I think as a community there is a lot of healing that needs to be done and this is a process that needs time and open discussions.

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It’s hard to convey tone in written format, so read this as a thoughtful, concerned, caring, etc comment from someone that’s put considerable time/resources into the vex community and knows what it’s like to volunteer moderate a web forum (different site, not vex).

If we will continue to use the VF as it was designed/intended, then perhaps it will survive the current situation, which is an outcome we all appear to want.

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Please say some more about this. You said

and I agree, there have been many people that have been wronged, their voices need to be heard.

I support open discussion, but I have a line at the trolls.

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I really want to see all members of the forum be associated with a currently or previously registered team, such that the owner of that team has to add their username to a list on Robotevents.

Otherwise users without a team association can post, but it requires mod approval, as is the current case.

When a registered user gets flagged, the org gets flagged, and everyone in the org gets a notification of a strike against a member of their org.

Enough strikes and the org is moved to a state of mod-approved posting, as is the current state.

I think this brings back much of what there was to love, and removes lots of the issues.

Also, regarding minors, they could only allow DMs between members of a team, and make them reviewable by the owner of the org.

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So you would deny EPs, team-less volunteers, educators, etc.? Or at least heavily sanction them via mod approval?

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All DM’s are in the database, so at any time they are viewable. I never have a roboteer email me, the DM entry is both of our protection. Remember, the delete is just a flag in the database, the messages stay forever.

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Personally, verification has an associated cost, so I am not sure if it would be cheaper to just verify them, or to spend the mod time to approve their messages. Would need to run the numbers for that one.

Just a point of information - EPs are in the forum database to access super secret society of EPs. Also, we have to be in RobotEvent database with a background check before we are allowed to host events. oh, and we agree to Commitment to Event Excellence before an event can be approved. Lots of checks done for EPs.

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Oh, so many finger prints from so many school district and so many background checks and so much amusement that my credit score drops every other year because these checks happen.

My state costs are $85 which is painful, but some of the places are $7 to do. (Fun fact in Delaware, they want new fingerprints for each district. Last time I stacked all the requests from 4 districts, went to the ID place and they then took 4 sets of prints. ) YMMV.

(( Oh wait, I do Scouts, both Boy and Girl, so those are added))

But to cycle back, having team relationships would be a first step. I’m a problem since I help many teams, but I’d just register with team 23. It’s not a big deal to say what team you are with (well until you do stupid stuff)

<< Hey mods, you rock, I appreciate you!! >>

I would like to point out that much of the frustration comes from the fact that vex is heavily censoring the forum from relevant discussion. It can feel that vex is taking these actions more to protect themselves than the community, at the cost of a more effective forum.

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Remember the Golden Rule: He who has the gold, makes the rules.

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Hey, I think I know you, but VEX is a company. Posts by a minor against another minor invoked lawyers. Harassment, Tony, other harassment and lawyers have made it worse. So I assume

I have a lawyer (and all of you should also have one because stuff happens). Her #1 rule is to SHUT UP. Rule #2 is ask for a bathroom, because. #Rule 3 is to SHUT UP.

So I’ll guess my lawyer is their lawyer.

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Super secret Head ref society when
jk you EP’s are great and eventually ima become one just to get into that super secret society

Pretty much everyone here is in some way traced or linked back to themselves, a team or organization. One of the fields in the vex account is team and if your a ref/EP thats on your vex account

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Not sure what this is referring too. Most of the posts that caused trouble were from former IFI employees against current IFI employees.

I’ll give you an analogy. One of the volunteers under you who helps run your VIQC teams is accused of misconduct. The student brings it up to you. You tell them that, “no, there isn’t any misconduct”. Other students then begin to complain about you volunteers, so you decide to shut down your entire VIQC program. Boom, problem solved. No more complaints.

While vex may have “shut up” and not given an official statement, they have made one through their actions.

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I’ll give you an analogy. One of the volunteers under you who helps run your VIQC teams is accused of misconduct. The student brings it up to you.

I listen those issues act on it. May be one or more students let go. Who is my internal monitor (HR0) they come with their findings

Other students then begin to complain about you volunteers, so you decide to shut down your entire VIQC program. Boom, problem solved. No more complaints. No, we look at the issues an go from there

Never white / gray wash a sexual harassment issue.

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It is incredibly important that anyone and everyone has a way to report misconduct in a manner that will be taken seriously, and dealt with properly.

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Agree that a method/avenue/process to report concerns, allegations, actions, etc is vital for everyone.

For reference, unpaid overtime is typically handled by your state’s wage/hour division. And they do take it seriously. I once received a check ~2 years after leaving a job because another person filed a complaint, which was investigated and paid out (we worked through lunch usually).

For harassment… there’s always the company’s HR dept, or, better yet, get an attorney.

For underage stuff, get an attorney and they w/ probably contact law enforcement.

Any of this (either current or down the road) is serious stuff. If allegations are true, you don’t want to lose your rights by proceeding the incorrect way. If they are false/unprovable, you don’t want to expose yourself to liability (read: lawsuit).

In short, start w/ an attorney.

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Howdy, my name is Connor and I am a Computer Science student at Texas A&M University

As I am growing and maturing I am realizing the mistakes I made and they are scars that I know cannot be fixed. I have hurt people and I have been misled to say things I shouldn’t have several times, and as I go through life I try my best to apologize and try to re-establish bridges that were broken. One of the many dangers is the permanency of the internet. There will always be a server, a personal computer, or automated server that records the data of another. When you post here or anywhere on the internet, as long as information continuously gets passed back and forth by computers that are continually running, data will forever exist indefinitely as long as we exist as people. That being said, I feel like it is important that people on VEXForum start practicing better ways to act more maturely because… Even if VEXForum is down, all things discussed here on this website can and will be recorded for the rest of yours and this company’s existence.

It may be possible that in the future, all of the information said on the internet can be parsed and evaluated quicker than the blinking of an eye due to the rapid growth of technological advancements. This may also imply whatever you say on the internet can and will be used against you. So I would suggest playing things safe, but don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

Those are some heavy words I am saying, and I feel like the younger audience fails to grasp the importance of starting to act more mature in high school. It will pay dividends for their forthcoming future, as they won’t have to worry about colleges or jobs rejecting them because of rumors or information passed on the internet. In the end, it is everyone’s life to choose how they wish to live it. I’m just passing to baton of knowledge to those who are continuing robotics. Play it safe, as I know of quite a lot of people who got kicked out of the college for things they said in high school. You don’t realize what you say until you become older, and have regrets for thinking that way. But, we all are human so don’t think it’s the end of the world if you screw up. Stick your head tall, shake it off, and keep pushing. That’s life :slight_smile:

Good luck in your robotics careers,

  • Connor W.
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