How do we deal with driver names?

How do we deal with driver names?

  • Allow all names no matter how offensive; e.g. Loony, Shamilton, Banana Face

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    28

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Recently there has been some discussion over the forum rules with regards to driver names.

Specifically this section:
Please do not use insulting nicknames or derogatory terms for drivers, other team members, teams, or anyone in the public eye.
Either use their given name or inoffensive nicknames such as Schumi, Hammy, Nando, etc.
Essentially, if you wouldn't like a driver who you support being referred to in this manner then don't do it.
However, what some people may claim is a friendly or inoffensive nickname, may not be seen that way by others.

We all know what the offensive nicknames are, things like "Shamilton", "Aloser", "Buffoon", etc.
But what about names like "El Gonzo", "The Chin", "Messy Massa", etc?

So, over to you.
How should we deal with this issue?

Do we just have a blanket ban on all nicknames?
Or do we expect members to use their own common sense about what is and isn't allowed?

The reason for the rule is simple; we're trying to avoid the silly name calling and bickering that occurs on a lot of other sites but getting the balance right is going to be tricky.

Please give us your input so we can resolve what is usually the biggest cause of arguments on motorsport forums.

Thanks.
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
My tuppence worth (for which I expect change ;)), is that any name which may provoke an argument with another fan should not be used.
 

RickD

Pole Sitter
I would say we either use their proper given names or we forego the rule entirely and expect members to have thicker skins than some seem to have currently.

I think you are creating a minefield by banning certain names, yet allowing others, Messy in respect to Massa being a prime example. Messy is not a derogatory name and can be used with affection (and also describes his style), but it can be seen by some to be derogatory.

I support Button and have had to put up for years with all the snipes and name calling, it doesn't bother me and never has, but it seems as soon as I use Loony for Alonso (as with Massa, it describes him perfectly as I see it even if it is simply his mental state), people throw a wobbly and start getting upset.

So, for what its worth, I would say we either go the whole hog or leave things as they were, no half measures are going to work and will just get Bro and the moderators blood up..
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
For what it's worth, I think it would be an extremely austere forum if we banned all nicknames, including things like Nando, Hammy, Schumi, Jens, etc.

Similarly, removing the rule altogether would just see the forum descending into the kind of comments seen on most other forums.

Additionally, I expect the Mod's would spend all their time editing every other post.
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
Don't misunderstand me, I see no reason why we shouldn't stick with proper names either. Do we have any examples of the sort of nicknames used in the press? e.g. Hammy for Hamilton.
 

Enja

isn't dead.
Valued Member
I don't actually agree that nicknames are the biggest cause of arguments on forums such as these. The biggest cause is inherent and unavoidable - it's that on a public forum dedicated to a range of views, there will always be clashes between people based on pure fandom and that given the emotional connection many fans feel towards their preferred driver or team, many people will not admit a lost cause amicably.

This is the internet and people believe there are no repercussions in airing their privately held views in public. Face to face, the connection between humans is stronger and is expressed in myriad of ways in gestures, posture, facial expressions, eye contact, etc, and so the willingness to cede an argument on the basis that the person you are arguing with might actually be right is much more natural than a discussion with an anonymous username and avatar. That, I believe, is why there tend to be more arguments on forums and websites where a subjective 'item' is involved, such as music videos on YouTube, discussions about films, or on sport forums.

Everybody is entitled to their opinion and the internet exacerbates this feeling of importance, the idea that on the internet, we are all experts and can all offer what we believe to be an honest assessment of ideas that are completely subjective. The truth is we can't, and in public society, we are less happy to be seen beating our chest for the cause of one argument's sake, and we forget that the internet is merely a medium or alternative form of society in the modern world.

Sorry for the essay.. It's an interesting topic. :thinking:

Going back to the nicknames, I do agree that there does need to be a limit, it's quite clear that anything blatantly insulting is not really acceptable, even if it might be down your local with your mates over a pint or two.

I think also though that we can't - or rather, shouldn't - completely discourage the use of any nicknames whatsoever. As you say, the shortened names such as 'Hammy' and 'Nando' are fine in my view, they are actually quite affectionate and not threatening at all. The problem comes when you have nicknames like 'The Chin' - I don't actually know who this is referring to but I assume David Coulthard or Fernando Alonso. I don't actually like nicknames like this, they have potential for offense and some people can take them the wrong way.

Personally I think what's best is something like the swear filter, I love the fact that it changes bullshit to well.. bullshit. The first time I saw it, it actually made me laugh and lightened me up a bit. Perhaps something similar is in order? Of course you can never be sure what nicknames people will come up with but a list of naughty nicknames could be expanded over time to fit certain needs. Then the changes could be made so that they turn into something more affectionate or indeed, just their proper name.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Thanks Enja, some useful stuff there.

As far as I'm aware, "The Chin" is a nickname for Schumacher :dunno:
But like you say it could equally apply to DC.

I want to avoid using the swear filter at all costs for several reasons.

1. It would be a lot of work to continually add to it for every possible name that is used.
2. Substituting e.g. "loony" for "Alonso" would make other sentences legitimately using that word make no sense.
3. Members will see their word has been changed and then substitute it for something else which takes us back to 1.

The swear filter is fine for swearing as everyone is clear on what is and isn't a swear word.
As long as the word is typed correctly then it will be replaced. If someone deliberately misspells a word then that is a breach of the rules which are quite clear.
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
To some extent, I'm with Rick D on this - nicknames should be allowed and people should be a little less precious. Offence is not really a 50:50 thing - it can be given, but it doesn't always have to be taken - a bit like love really!

Having said that, those who are quite blatantly trying to create aggro should be pulled up.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
jenov2003 said:
Having said that, those who are quite blatantly trying to create aggro should be pulled up.
And therein lies the problem jen.

What some consider acceptable, others don't.
 

Enja

isn't dead.
Valued Member
Bullfrog said:
I'd say keep the current rule, that's the only way you're going to eliminate even a part of the name calling.

Agreed.

Right now nicknames don't seem to me to be a particularly bad problem so it may be something that Brogan, you may need to change at a later date.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Unfortunately it already is a problem as members are confused as to what is and what isn't permitted, hence this thread.

We just want to give everyone the chance to have their say and then come to a decision on how to implement the rules going forward.
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
I would disagree, Enja. We've had several uses of Wet Towel instead of Vettel, for example. So far we've been editing these out and reminding users of the rules.
 

Enja

isn't dead.
Valued Member
fat_jez said:
I would disagree, Enja. We've had several uses of Wet Towel instead of Vettel, for example. So far we've been editing these out and reminding users of the rules.

I haven't seen them. Not my fault if I don't check every thread ;)
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
Brogan said:
jenov2003 said:
Having said that, those who are quite blatantly trying to create aggro should be pulled up.
And therein lies the problem jen.

What some consider acceptable, other's don't.

I do see the problem, Bro. I just feel that by sanitizing too much a little of the personality of the individual will be lost which would, in turn, lead to a loss of lively debate.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
jenov2003 said:
I just feel that by sanitizing too much a little of the personality of the individual will be lost which would, in turn, lead to a loss of lively debate.
Agreed.

But as can be seen on this small thread, everyone has a different idea on how to approach it and no idea is the perfect solution so it will be a compromise.

We don't want a sterile environment but at the same time we don't want a hostile environment.
As this is a UK-centric forum, it was in danger of becoming fairly hostile towards Alonso and Vettel, which is why we want to put a stop to it before it gains traction (see what I did there?).
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
I've remained out of this thread to give people a chance to put their views in without it seeming like a Mods V the rest sort of thing.

I'd just like to remind everyone that you never can tell who is reading this board and just how much trouble what you write could get you in if you are not careful.

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=715&start=10

This was a post started by a member which was pretty inflammatory towards former England Rugby international and journalist Brian Moore. The member bcm666 is actually Brian Moore (confirmed and verified) responding to that post and lets make no bones about it, he's was pretty un-happy. Some of the more inflammatory comments such as, if I remember correctly, Mr Moore was described as an idiot in one of the earlier posts, were edited out.

It, among other things, highlighted the need for forum moderation on here in the first place.

I think there has been too many incidents of what I call "poking the lion" with people trying to push the limit and find out how far they can go. I think it's fairly simple to be honest. If it seems like a derogatory name then we are going to have to edit it out. I don't think there is anything else we can do. Mickey Shoemaker which was one of the recent issues highlighted is no different to many years ago when we used to call Stefan Johansen, Steve Johnson. It's the Anglicised version of his name and can't be seen as being derogatory. If anyone has a problem with an edit then please contact the mod. The other thing I've seen a fair bit of recently is people commenting on moderation issues directly in posts. I don't think that helps anyone and only serves to a) make the moderator seem even more draconian b) undermines any moderating decision and c) had the potential to blow issues out of all proportion.

As I was warned when I took this roll on. No one likes a moderator and we can never get everything right to everyone's satisfaction. Like I say, if you have any issues with decisions we make then pm us and we can discuss it.

That's my
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
cider_and_toast said:
The other thing I've seen a fair bit of recently is people commenting on moderation issues directly in posts.
That has subsequently been addressed in the site rules, with members advised to contact a moderator by PM to discuss any such issues.
As you say, discussing it on the thread just causes more issues and can derail the original thread.

I'd like to think our rules are balanced but fair, even if they are still evolving.
On some sites, questioning a moderator will result in an instant official warning, infraction or even a ban!

I now return you to the thread in progress :D
 

Enja

isn't dead.
Valued Member
cider_and_toast said:
I'd just like to remind everyone that you never can tell who is reading this board and just how much trouble what you write could get you in if you are not careful.

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=715&start=10

This was a post started by a member which was pretty inflammatory towards former England Rugby international and journalist Brian Moore. The member bcm666 is actually Brian Moore (confirmed and verified) responding to that post and lets make no bones about it, he's was pretty un-happy. Some of the more inflammatory comments such as, if I remember correctly, Mr Moore was described as an idiot in one of the earlier posts, were edited out.

Hadn't seen this before, I signed up a while after. While undoubtedly some of the insults needed removing, I'm actually more taken aback by the tone of "Brian Moore" than the ravings of an angry fan. It's fair to say that some things about his attitude surprised me. As did one or two other things.

cider_and_toast said:
The other thing I've seen a fair bit of recently is people commenting on moderation issues directly in posts. I don't think that helps anyone and only serves to a) make the moderator seem even more draconian b) undermines any moderating decision and c) had the potential to blow issues out of all proportion.

I'm not entirely sure I agree with the latter points. Autosport BB runs a similar policy and it drives me nuts. I can understand not wanting to derail a thread, but keeping it behind closed doors covers up how, what, or why a decision has been made. If you want to play it like that, personally, and this is just my own opinion, it should be the moderator's duty to explain why a decision was taken, both in a private message, and informing the rest of the thread. It shouldn't just be left up to the "offender" to query a decision, it just leaves them in the dark, deflated and not particularly keen to carry on a debate. Just my view.


Back to the names. I'm really not sure how you deal with it. I don't think the motorsport forums here would be too damaged by a blanket ban, if I'm honest. They're already quite "austere", and in a way, that's why I think they're really good, because they are for mostly serious debate and discussion.

None of my ideas are being taken too well today but I'll plug on, how about a blanket ban in, say, the 'Circuit' and 'Race Control' forums, with 'Paddock' as a place where generally not much discussion about F1 will happen, but if it does, trust people to not take those sections of the forum quite as seriously. :dunno:

Preparing to be shot down...
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Enja said:
I can understand not wanting to derail a thread, but keeping it behind closed doors covers up how, what, or why a decision has been made. If you want to play it like that, personally, and this is just my own opinion, it should be the moderator's duty to explain why a decision was taken, both in a private message, and informing the rest of the thread. It shouldn't just be left up to the "offender" to query a decision, it just leaves them in the dark, deflated and not particularly keen to carry on a debate. Just my view.
Threads are only ever moderated if they breach the rules and the reason is always given on the thread so I don't think anyone is ever left in the dark as to why action was taken or the issue is being dealt with behind closed doors :dunno:

The option to query a moderator via PM is always available if a member wants further information.

If it subsequently turns out that the moderator was incorrect then a re-edit will be made so once again it is publicly visible.
 
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