Fatality Policy review

 
  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne
Hiya folks,

We've finally pushed out a more sensible Fatality Policy.

Please remember this when posting in or creating a thread regarding a railway fatality.

[rules]Fatality Policy
When a rail accident with a fatality is reported, Railpage staff will start a new sticky thread inside the relevant forum. If a thread longer than 25 informative posts without needing excessive moderation exists on the incident, it will be cleaned up as per the rules of this policy and adopted as the official discussion thread on the incident. There will only be one thread per incident.

By posting in the thread, users will automatically agree to the rules of the Fatality Policy, which will be inserted in the first post of the thread.
Only informative discussion related to the incident will be allowed. The following types of posts will be deleted:

  • Condolences posts

  • Unsubstantiated accusations ("finger-pointing")

  • Reminding others of the rules - we have moderators for that!


If a message is posted where the main topic of the post is in the above list, it will be deleted by Railpage staff, and the author warned.

Any misbehavior in a fatality thread carries a heavier warning. Warning levels will be issued at the staff member’s discretion.

The Fatality Policy carries a three-strike clause with it. If a flame-war or anything remotely resembling one breaks out three times in that thread, it will be locked for three days. After that, it'll be unlocked and the flame-war counter reset to zero. Users involved will be warned accordingly. The strike count will be included in the threadstarter.

Discussion may be terminated without warning at the choosing of RP Management at any time.

If a post in the incident thread that breaks the rules outlined here - or in other RP policies - is deleted, Railpage reserves the right to delete or edit posts referring to any deleted posts in order to avoid disjointed discussion. There is no obligation of RP staff to inform the author of the post that their post has been deleted.[/rules]

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  KEG Junior Train Controller

it's good to see that these threads can now remain open - there is room for sensible discussion on topics like these, i think.

perhaps there's something i haven't realised, but why would you ban condolence posts?
  wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
perhaps there's something i haven't realised, but why would you ban condolence posts?
"KEG"

They don't add anything ot the discussion and end up becoming a 'stacks on' because everyone makes one?
  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle
They also encourage unsympathetic khunts like myself to make posts saying how the car driver deserved it, and so on. Wink
  alstom_888m Chief Commissioner

Location:
perhaps there's something i haven't realised, but why would you ban condolence posts?
"KEG"

Postwhoring.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Condolence posts might seem like a good and empathetic way to show how much we feel but they can actually (and without intent to do so) upset those affected.

I note the new rules but wonder if they are not over-complex and if they are actually workable.

First it is not always known when a thread is opened that an incident has resulted in a fatality.  Thus a new thread might legitimately be started by any member along the lines of "collision at Location X" and which is then commented upon before any announcement is made of casualties.

The staff team care of course able to add the appropriate "sticky" thread at any time and move the original comments up there but it seems like a lot of work.  

Given that many of the fatal incidents which occur on our railways are recorded in here this also has the potential to create a lot of sticky threads clogging up the first page of certain forums.

I also wonder whether the "three strikes" rule is actually workable in practise or whether this is again simply "over-regulation" and something which, because of the voluntary nature of staffing will simply prove to be too cumbersome.

Time will tell.  Other boards manage perfectly well without extensive policies ("House Rules" are all that is normally necessary) so I shall reserve judgement on this move and await developments.

In an ideal World of course there would be no need to discuss fatalities as none would occur but that sadly is not the World we live in.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
At least we are trying something new. Users and mods both wonder the same questions here and hope the first "real" one goes well. Mind you it would be nice if we never have to try it !!!

Regards,
David Head
  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton
Back in the days when I was doing debriefings (Fire/Ambo/SES/Heavy Industry and sometimes, train crew) I learned a lot about how the human works in these situations. It ain't pretty.  It has to be managed, and managed well with multiple strategies. Ongoing support where needed.  I won't say any more as confidentiality is involved. I will bring to your attention that no two minds are the same, and no one can predict and at times, even detect how minds respond to trauma.

Yet, there is coverage in the public domain by way of media, and where the media have response and comments under the article, immediate responses tend to be reactions more so than considered, thoughtful and detached observations.

If I cast my mind back to some of the long term locked fatalities here on RP, then I can think of a few where our readership, and quite possibly, our members have been directly involved - certainly Benalla and Trawalla come to the fore here.

Kerang was horrid, with multiple loss of life, serious injuries, and missing passengers.

I did, some time ago, perhaps a month or so, send a note to a mod with a link to a scan with regard to the Kerang accident. All the local newspapers in the region carried reports and photographs, and TV clips and so forth about the driver on multiple charges with regard to Kerang. It also made the Melbourne media as well.  I had asked for the Kerang thread to be opened, the link posted and the thread to be locked.  Nothing happened, and there was no courtesy reply.

In my experience, fatalities, trauma and young minds do not mix well. I say from considerable experience with apprentices that strong leadership and direction is needed. I say from experience with emergency services personnel that guidance and multiple strategies for effective mind management are good, needful and necessary.

I put it to you that young minds need management and direction, and strong leadership. I think our existing policy is good where young minds and exposure is concerned. Prima facie, a very high percentage of our membership is under 25. Do they have the skills to manage themselves and their responses to fatality, trauma, and the like, in a sensible, thoughtful and detached manner? I think not.

The proposed policy is cumbersome and top heavy with management intervention, and demanding nearly continuous coverage in the event of major incidents. I think in situations where emotions fly high, responses come thick and fast without thinking, that to handle things in such a manner is opening Pandora's Box.
  sthyer Deputy Commissioner

On condolance posts. Often you see people posting condolance posts regarding people they never met, had no real connection with or were never likely to know. Possibly they do that out of a feeling of respect but just as likely to be seen to be doing the 'right thing' or simply postwhoring. conversely, people within the industry often have a sense of camaraderie for their colleagues and would like to post their sympathies.

I'm sure that, if in the highly unfortunate event a railpager is killed on the job (whether that be driving, fettling or gunzelling), the moderators may consider how best to deal with the issue at the time. But like the rest of us, we'd simply prefer it didn't happen.
  KEG Junior Train Controller

I put it to you that young minds need management and direction, and strong leadership. I think our existing policy is good where young minds and exposure is concerned. Prima facie, a very high percentage of our membership is under 25. Do they have the skills to manage themselves and their responses to fatality, trauma, and the like, in a sensible, thoughtful and detached manner? I think not.
"574M"
I find it a bit offensive and condescending of you to post a generalisation with such certainty. I'm under 25 - not by much, but nonetheless. I've dealt with some fairly traumatic situations before (of which I won't elaborate on here), and know that I personally have the experience and maturity to handle them on a forum - especially when they're not related to me. This is not to say I wouldn't care, but obviously it would be easier to handle someone you didn't know dying in a accident, than it would be to handle a close friend/loved one dying - and I'd certainly care enough to treat the issue with the sensitivity it would deserve.

Don't put all us under-25s in the same basket now Wink
  rhino Chief Commissioner

Location: Oakbonk SA
While I accept the reasons for not allowing condolence posts (with some reservations as noted by Sthyer above), I don't see why it is acceptable to post insulting and distasteful remarkes, such as those in this thread: http://www.railpage.com.au/f-p1138597.htm#1138597 on the very day of someone's death, just because "it's their opinion". Granted, the death was not a rail fatality, however, as has been pointed out further down in the thread, the comments are very easily accessed, simply by googling, by the relatives and friends of the deceased.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
One man's opinion of someone is not going to change the course of history, it was my opinion and my opinion alone, I am entitled to that opinion. I should have stated it better however, now that I see that a simple statement has caused so much uproar. I simply stated what I felt, no hard feelings to anyone, especially his rellies. I like to be frank and if that causes concern, for that I apologize!

Worse things have been said about some ex NSW politicians etc and they are still with us! 8)
  Alag66 Banned

Location: Banned
Hi,
I am new to this site please let me know more about this.

=============================
Alag
SPAMSPAMSPAM LINK removed
  alstom_888m Chief Commissioner

Location:
Read the rules then: http://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11307417.htm
  Johnmc Moderator

Location: Cloncurry, Queensland
Don't feed the spammers. Smile   (Hint, if your first post contains a link to a suspect site, then you will be treated with great suspicion...)
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Sadly I had to exercise our new policy today

North Melbourne Incident - Monday 17th November 2008  
http://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11345351-s0.htm


As I said in the thread  it is a example what not to do under the new rules, and being a kind person I am, I have not warned or deleted the posts, or removed the thread. It's locked with a new thread to continue  the sensible discussion.
  robbiemc Station Master

Location: mornington
574M is spot on in saying that under 25's do not have the maturity or sensitivity to say the right thing regarding accidents. To the few that have the maturity good on you! My friend died in the accident at tyabb and wasnt to happy with attitudes of the younger Railpage members.

[edit="2001"]

I've edited out most of your post which was mere baiting.

Stick to the thread topic. This is not the platform to air your grievances about the blogs of other RP users. [/edit]
  alstom_888m Chief Commissioner

Location:
I don't think it's due to relative maturity. It would have to do with the fact that fewer people under 25 posting here would have lost a friend in an accident or otherwise. They'd be the people being insensitive. It's not about having "personal skills" or anything similar, possibly "life experience" would be a better term.
  robbiemc Station Master

Location: mornington
Trouble follows me everywhere.......... Just saying, even though it is the internet and it gives a voice to certain individuals who gain a bit of bravado behind a keyboard, be careful at what you say in certain circumstances because if you manage to p@#s off the wrong person they may indeed find out who you are. SO be careful at what you say!
I agree with what alstom_888m is saying but lets hope that the young ppl  dont find things out the hard way!
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
The school of hard knocks can be a painful teacher at the best of times! But everyone has to find it out for themselves!
  subhornblendic Beginner

The topic seems to me to be delicate, but one treats it tactfully here
  dw54 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Devonport, Tas
Condolence posts might seem like a good and empathetic way to show how much we feel but they can actually (and without intent to do so) upset those affected.

.
"Gwiwer"


On the question of condolences, at the point where the Moderator(s) set up the "sticky", perhaps also could be set up some sort of condolence list, where any Member who wishes, may add their "tag" but no message body (ie no text hence no comment).

David

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