Here at Gaians United, we are committed to creating a space for discussion on some of Gaia's most contentious topics. The user formerly known as Cerulean Shimora reached out with some PMs between former administrator, Xya and himself. We are releasing this private conversation at his consent.

Xya:

feel free to make a new thread ^^

CS:

I like to think that you've created the toxic culture almost entirely alone.

Xya:

I'm sorry that you feel that way. However, the rules are there for everyone. The intent to discuss subjects with the community, and only discuss, does not belong in Site Feedback.

As stated, if you want to out-right discuss things with the community then please use the appropriate forums to do so.

Thank you!

CS:

I just want to quickly diagnose this, even if you're reading what I'm telling a separate mod off-site because I think you deserve to know my thought process.

  1. I went neutral 'discussion-based' with my OP so that the burn rate on toxic commentary condemning the discussion entirely would be slower. I figured that at 4AM, a thread like this would get some attention and I'd be able to adequately gauge how strongly SF users felt.
  1. Despite genuinely being neutral about the thread, users knew that I was taking a side simply because topics like this NEVER happen in SF. And because the implication was that I made a discussion that introduced a position they didn't agree with, they downvoted it. The implication here is that users knew the presence of the thread alone was for feedback even if it didn't explicitly say "this thread is an indictment on how poorly administrators make items that praise the very behavior they take 'oh so' seriously".
  1. It's pretty clear that the goal of SF is to promote polarization. If that's not the goal, then I'm sorry that you seem willfully ignorant that polarization is what's occurring here. If every thread that mentions warnings, bans, etc. in any context is locked, moved, deleted or results in a penalty for the user who brought up the discussion... the community is missing a vital opinion from users who deserve a platform for critical thought. It's a slippery slope for administration to make SF become a "safe space". The cumulative effect of months of that while Schofield was in control was "Let's blame Schofield". The cumulative effect of months of that while lanzer is in control will be "Gaia's a trash can and has lost its core identity".
  1. I feel that me getting doxxed has only empowered administrators to tighten up control rather than loosen it. The doxxer is a monster, loser, self-obsessed egomaniac. That's what it is. If we find him/her, we press charges. But just because there were off-site implications, doesn't make it any less crucial for Gaia to abandon awareness of its surroundings.
  1. If the argument is, "god you're overinflating this again. Your thread was moved because it's not explicit feedback", here's my response:

It was implicit feedback that the users in the thread understood. In fact, not one user even brought up the "This should be in GCD" card.

The item I was "against" explicitly says "Troll Harder". Administrators are asking users to be explicit in their messaging and yet create items that have an implicit meaning that escapes the "explicit" nature in a grey area of 'internet culture'.

If you don't let users escape in the same way your items do, you're institutionally hypocritical.

Xya:

Not everyone is going to publicly correct you when you do something incorrectly.

At this point, the explanation is in the name of the forum:
Gaia Community Discussion
Site Feedback

If you want to offer feedback about Gaia then you need to talk as if Gaia itself is your reader. Your thread was specifically asking for the opinions of the community, which is not what SF is for.

Aside from the above, if you are being DDoS'd then there is nothing we can do about that. Unless you mean something else, but I am guessing based on "doxxing" since that is what we know that term as.

I hope this helps!

CS:

Well in this case, no one's going to publically correct me because up until the point where you moved my thread to the Chatterbox, no one thought I had done something incorrectly. They may have disagreed with the feedback I posed as devil's advocate. But I was willing to let the implicit feedback feed itself to discussion so that it wouldn't be as toxic.

Speaking of the Chatterbox. It was nice for you to move it there where it could be effectively buried. Especially if you thought it belonged in the Gaia Community Discussion forum. But that's really the least of my concerns.

Your interpretation of Site Feedback enforcement is literally encouraging users to take swings at one another. When people see threads that try to see both sides disappear, what you're left with is polarization. But unlike real life, where you have two sides like Republican and Democrats, you have built a community of people perfectly adapted to confirm your biases. Everyone else is left out.

Site Feedback is essentially North Korea. I know that's not what you want to hear. But that's the reality evidenced by my posts and others being shut down.

What's worse is that it's been that way for almost 4 years. So if you guys ever decide that was a bad idea to enforce rules the way you did... it's going to be a total mess.

And then there's DDoSing and doxxing. Doxxing is to "search for and publish private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent". So that's what happened to me in the Site Feedback forum. A situation that administrators said they would investigate (until you just said it's something you can't do anything about).

But I'll forgive you because you clearly didn't know what doxxing was. DDoS refers to a type of DOS attack where multiple compromised systems, which are often infected with a Trojan, are used to target a single system causing a Denial of Service (DoS) attack.

I'm not even sure it's possible for someone to "DDoS" me... but I suppose they could run up my aws charges by doing some sort of coordinated traffic attack. But unlike 'damages' which probably couldn't be readily defined by a user who anonymously doxxed me, a DDoS attack would be a federal offense that could land some serious jail time and heavy fines due to the damages incurred. And that would be traceable by the FBI. Unlike a doxxing attempt which, may or may not garner law enforcement's attention depending on the severity of the damages.

At the point that you don't know what these terms mean though as an admin, I'm pretty concerned.

Xya:

At this point, there is nothing else to discuss, but here is our stance on quite a few of your points:

We also discourage posting in misplaced threads even if the post is on-topic, and that also happened. It's not the public's decision on what threads comply with the rules. Your reasoning is not justification to leave your thread in a forum where it does not belong. Unless you have actual feedback to offer Gaia then you need to find a different forum for your non-feedback threads, or we will consider it deliberate Spamming.

Whatever is going on in your real life does not have any effect on how we moderate. If you are being harassed off-site with personal information then you should go to your local authorities since we can't help you. We only moderate Gaia. However, I would recommend that you refrain from spreading your personal information on the internet. If you are going to give out your real name and phone number to anyone then Gaia cannot be held responsible if someone uses that information off-site.

This will be the last message that you will recieve involving the move of your thread. You have been adequately informed that your threads need to comply with the type of forum and rules that are in that forum, and we will consider it a deliberate action to break the rules from here on out, which will lead to penalties for violating the Terms of Service.

CS:

Do you realize how condescending your wording is? Like, it's a play on sounding professional but just comes off as dogmatic and demeaning.

Let me help you out. First off, instead of adding the adjective 'deliberate', you should just say "we consider it spamming". Deliberate implies that I had a malicious interest in posting that thread which is your inflation of the events that transpired.

Secondly, I didn't post personal information on Gaia outside of [omit]. Someone from Gaia used that bit of information to look up information on other social networks in order to contact [omit]. If you were doing the professional thing here, despite being a new admin, I would've brought this e-mail to Gaia safety's attention and worked out the conflict from there. That isn't enabling me to "play a card". That's doing the professional thing. Adding your two cents is honestly creating room for theories that could land Gaia's organization in trouble if you unknowingly helped confirm. At the very least, you should've ignored me after warning me entirely. That's still more professional than implying I didn't do enough to protect myself from an illegal attack conducted by one of SF's administrative sympathizers.

Lastly, I'd like to think there is a degree of closure that happened when my sister was finally unbanned. I'm not here to fight you or make enemies. My critical opinions don't aim to degrade your character or the underlying motivation behind why you moderate. I don't feel that it's my goal to unfairly target you or deliberately violate your interpretation of Gaia's Terms of Service. My goal is to improve Gaia. We fundamentally disagree on many of the points necessary to do so. However, I have rarely, if ever, been invited to the discussion. And I don't think I have ever had an opinion presented where I was welcome to a fair and equal playing field with those who oppose my point of view.

I want to respectfully engage with you as I do with members of your mod team. And I won't hold the grudge about Kendansa, all the bans you've leveraged against me over the years, or even past events. But if every morning after I engage with this community, I wake up to penalties based on the most condemning, strict interpretation of events... I am not solely responsible for the hostility that follows.

Have a good day.

Xya:

You are responsible for your own actions. We can't stop you if you are willingly violating the ToS and pushing the limits of our rules. Further, my responses to our interactions are 100% policy explanation. If you find it condescending then no one can change how you interpret tone.

Maybe you are unaware of this, it's really difficult to talk to you in any capacity. The personal stabs and awkward parallels to real life that you make do not go unnoticed, and comes off as provoking and baiting. Then there is the matter of attempting to pressure me into calling you via phone over a matter that I am not a part of. These actions are not going to be overlooked by anyone on the team.

It's great that you want to improve Gaia. It's wonderful to know that our members care. Though, how you are coming across to the team has impacted your reputation and how your intentions are interpreted.

If you wanted to be part of any sort of discussion about rules then you would have to be part of the Moderation Team, which we have very specific standards that a candidate has to hit before being accepted into training. Simply, by going about it in the way that you have been since January has created a rift. While we take critical feedback in good faith and adjust where it is necessary, we do not respond well to antagonizing ridicule, and will view it as trolling since our members will likely not respond well, either.

Maybe knowing how we view your actions will help. Or not- I am not sure. While I am fairly sure that this will not change your mind, but I would rather you be informed of what your transgressions specifically against the Moderation Team have had.

Good luck.