Recently there have been a couple of incidents which have led me to think about GB as an entity, and about the way it is governed. I do not want to go into the specific things which have made me think about it,( though many people will know about them as they were all public), but I did realise I know very little about the mechanisms. The rules are there, but of course the way rules are actually implemented is at least as important as their content, generally. In most social settings there are checks and balances because even in the dominoes club power tends to corrupt. Some principles are well established and work well in different contexts. I do not know if they are in place at GB, but I hope that they are.
I start with extracts from a PM I sent to a mod. I did not get a reply, but I am interested enough to bring the general points to the board for comment and information. I prefaced my pm with an acknowledgment that I have not been here that long and I am not a member of any other forum. My inexperience may lead me to saying some daft things, but I expect that people will be tolerant of that, as folk usually are here.
On the one hand you tell me that people can get offended by things which are not immediately obvious; on the other you say you personally do not find the other posts mentioned on an equal level with religious belief. Forgive me but this seems to be inherently contradictory. What you find personally offensive is small guide. Dearly held beliefs are often roughed up at GB without any consequence. To some extent this is because certain groups are less vocal than others, either here or in the wider world, and therefore their views are less well known and have fewer privileges. That does not mean they are less important or that criticism is less felt.
More generally, I do not really know what the system is at GB, and I do not know what safeguards are in place for members. I would like to think that the basics are there since banning is a very serious sanction for a lot of us. In particular I would like to be sure that no action of any formal kind is taken, unless and until a complaint is received. There is always a danger of people having too many different roles in this kind of situation, and none of us is immune to personal prejudice or to accumulated irritation ( especially if someone is causing extra work). It is vital that the roles of victim, prosecutor and judge are separate, for obvious reasons.
Secondly, I have not seen anything like this before and therefore have had no opportunity to comment as I have today. It may well be that problems in the past happened on other forums I do not visit, and that they were of a very different character to what we are discussing now. But I would like to be certain of that. As it stands I have to wonder whether some of those problems were like those today; and whether any countervailing views like mine were heard at all? If the matter was dealt with privately it is possible only the complainant was heard, and that would not be ideal, IMO.
Now that is not the most concise or well thought out statement in the world, I grant. But I have thought more about it and I do think the basic points are both important and relevant. GB is not a democracy, as has been pointed out many times, and it need not be. But there are basic rights which are usually in place in any system, and they derive from a variety of sources such as judicial process and constitutions. The ordinary person needs safeguards from abuse of power and mechanisms have to be in place to ensure that:
A list of such safeguards would include:
Separation of powers so that the complainant cannot also be the judge. That is really what I am getting at in saying I hope that no action can be taken unless a complaint is received
The necessity to hear both sides
Open proceedings so that the arguments and the conclusion can be seen to be fair
That is far from exhaustive and I am sure many people can think of other equally important factors.
I am aware that this is a gaming board and adopting this kind of approach might seem a little over the top. However the ultimate sanction of banning would matter very much to me and I suspect it would to others too. So there is reason to ask the question what safeguards are their for members who are under threat of punishment. And I am asking