This article is closed for discussion on the main forum, but is open for discussion in the Redbox Group.
I am called the Resident Advisor. It was a carefully chosen name; one to reflect that although I handle the day to day running of NT, that the site belongs to the group, the whole group, and that I just facilitate the day to day running of the site, pay the necessary fees and work with the members when issues arise on the site.
One of the hardest jobs I have is dealing with the various personalities that make up the site. I provide counseling, disputes resolution, problem solving, arbitration, and I hopefully a level of trust.
Occasionally, an issue arises, that has no simple answer and what I find myself dealing with is being between a rock and a hard place. All parties have legitimate concerns, and sometimes I have to take a step back to think about it. It has taken me most of the day to be able to get back on line and deal with the current issue of the RBR's. The reasons are many. As I read the various posts I realized that NT is used by different people for different reasons, which I already knew. There is a acknowledgment of the groups worth, which I found touching, since I work so hard to achieve that for the membership. What I didn't know was the level of distrust some members had for one another. I found that sad. For all of our differences here, I didn't think the membership had this undercurrent going on.
I read the legitimate concerns about how the RBR's will be used on a practical level. This I get, both from a member perspective and the moderators perspective. For these reasons, I needed to think long and hard. Right now the RBR's are a big unknown and most people are resistant to change, especially if that change means that it might do away with the enjoyment of the site, as perceived by some. I get that. I also get that some authors want more control over their discussions. And I get that the mods are very concern how it will impact on them. That is why, this is trial. To test the mechanics of how the RBRs will function and the impact on the enjoyment of the site.
Now onto what I have concluded from everything that I have read here.
The RBRs in practice will be a very self leveling device. Those who want them will use them. Those who feel that it is an infringement on free speech will not. No one forces you to join a RBR discussion, and you may find that each author handles them differently. This will all shake out as they are used.
What does the RBR's mean to the author?:Complete control over the discussion they want to have. The author must mark the article RBR in the title and put the rules in the first comment, so that they can't be changed.By using the RBR you are telling your participants,I maintain the right to delete any comment at my discretion. Obviously, that isn't what you are going to write up as your RBR's so take care in setting your RBR parameters, (BTW, the CoC is still in effect to both the participants and the authors. CoC violations will be removed and saved as they have been in the past). To remove a comment, you may contact a mod by chat, email or on the article. You may request after 3 RBR violations, to have the offender removed. The choice is yours.
What does the RBR mean to the moderators?: In aRBR article the author is stating that,I maintain the right to delete any comment at my discretion. Obviously, that isn't what the author is going to write up as their RBR's, but in practice for the moderating team, the moment we are called in to delete, that is what they are going to do. No record of the comment will be made, since it will make the job impossible to do, and so no chance at restoration, as with other CoC violations. (BTW, the CoC is still in effect with RBR to both the participants and the authors. CoC violations will be saved as they have been in the past).Since we are to act as a delete button, don't bother leaving your initials.
What does the RBR's it mean to the participants?: That is up to each of you to decide, and probably, this will vary from participant to participant and from author to author. Hence, it is one way that the RBR's become self leveling.
What does it mean to the rest of the NT family that doesn't want them?Almost nothing. You'll avoid the articles marked RBR (or maybe look at them to see if the request is just a simple one, like be civil or no cursing). You will not use them in your articles. The CoC will still protect you as will the mods and all comments are restorable. Again, in this way, it is self leveling.
I have given this issue a lot of time and a lot of thought. I care about each of the members experience here on NT, and I can't say that enough. Unlike other discussion groups, you are not a nameless entity to me. You are part of NT family and it's my duty to treat you all with care. I am always in contact with the membership and I am always easy to get hold of. That being said, there is no way to know if something is going to work or not, unless you try it. If it is a big fail, nothing here will have changed. If it isn't,thenit just another tool tomake NT a unique experience. But always remember, at the end of the day, you, the NT members will vote on it.
And lastly, for the members who feel that this is the death of NT as they know it, please give it a try. I will be watching very carefully during this period, and I won't let anything happen to NT. I have put too much of myself into this site, to let that happen.