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Avatar: 150029 2009-09-15 13:35:36 -0400


Level 35 Hacker

Verbose and long-winded as always

Sergeant Cid Posted:

Regardless of whether I can provide an example or not

I’m sorry, Sarge. But, from the lawyer’s perspective, (I read your subsequent post where you said it might be a useful exercise to approach this from a ‘legal perspective’ ) this is a CRITICAL point. Moreover, it was the point I was waiting on from you.

And this is why. Precedent. The previous application (and AS importantly, the previous NON-application) of the ‘law’ is very much key.

There are countless instances of charges being overturned by courts when it was determined that certain conduct, though being restricted by statute, had not been enforced in practice. Such charges were frequently overturned so as to combat selective enforcement. One of the best illustrations is the New Jersey “Tenafly” case.

In fact, precedent often carries greater legal weight than statutory text.

Here, I was able to refer to past precedent where continuously questioning a mod was NOT penalized. As right it shouldn’t. And in that instance… the “questioning” lasted far longer and contained a far greater degree of vulgarity than the instance from last night.

Moreover… users on forumwarz are ALWAYS arguing with moderators. I’m quite sure I’ve heard you express yourself that you were sometimes amazed at how… “whiny ****y” they could be (not your words). And in those instances… they WERE very vulgar.

And yet… nothing happened. Nor should have. One of the cornerstones of Forumwarz (for better or worse) is being able to blab off at the mouth at will.

Which is what I was doing (albeit, non-vulgarly).

Moreover, when you cited those rules, you cited them as if to say that mods have a “blank check” (or close to a blank check) for imposing bans etc. Leaving aside the merits of having a rule allowing the mods to have “blank check” abilities…

I’m afraid the nature of the ‘citations’ you provided do not amount to a fully convincing case that mods have a “blank check” (or close to a blank check) for imposing bans etc.

The particular-rules you cited could be interpreted in at LEAST two reasonable lights:

(1)that the mods do have “blank check” abilities (or close to a blank check) for imposing bans etc. (the interpretation you invoked)


(2)that in those instances where the rules almost-but-do-not-quite apply to a specific situation, then the mods are allowed to exercise additional discretion to address it — particularly when doing so would prevent an absurd outcome.

Drawing from the legal perspective, since statutory and/or contractual text is to be interpreted AGAINST the drafter (see Uniform Commercial Code, generally), under the legal perspective, the second interpretation would prevail so long as both interpretations might be deemed reasonable even if at odds (i.e., a reasonable doubt exists as to how the rules ought be interpreted).

Similarly with the “two sentences” you cited… while I can “understand” how they could be interpreted as two separate statements, it seems as reasonable (if not more reasonable) to interpret them to mean that the first sentence need apply before the second sentence kick in. After all, the drafter of the statutory/contractual text could have more openly put in the two statements as separate — their current positioning do seem to lend the appearance that they work in tandem.

And besides… I wasn’t even doing anything that bad.

I was disputing with a guy whether he should have banned the other guy or not. It wasn’t swearing off at the mouth with the n-word or “fabulous person” or “****tard”. It wasn’t cramping up the chat-interface with so much text that people couldn’t read what was typed before or afterward. The wording wasn’t terribly rude; a bit long-winded in terms of word-choice, sure, but that was just a way to try to keep the tone civil and better ensure it wouldn’t degrade into ‘f— yer mom’ which it didn’t. And I don’t think we were even talking that long. Maybe a few rounds of incit at the most. The “precedent” I was talking about went on for 45minutes.

Sarge, this is all academic. Which is precisely the point. It’s a useful thought exercise that helps us reflect deeper on our own perspectives and what we believe; the better that we might gain from it (arguably a rarity on the Flamebate RP forums).

Even so, I’m still prepared and would even LIKE to apologize for my actions if you could provide past instances like I requested in my previous post (i.e., cite precedent).

That said, I’m very appreciative that you took time to take me seriously on the underlying matters.

Thanks Sarge. : )

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