Code of Conduct - Message forums
I run something similar to this board on a GLBT website. Two persons in particular are really annoying me and I would like to hear some advice with respect to running message board how such confrontations should be resolved to the advantage, perceived or real, of both parties. A short bkgrd is necessary.
The two have never gotten along, and for the sake of conversation I shall call them G and Z. G is a soon-to-be graduating law student while the other, Z, is a soon-to-be graduating science student. Over the years, the board has established itself as a lippy site where people normally cut each other off, teasing about stupid things one user has said, and I would go and say that there is great animosity between some users, but be that as it may, most people have respected each other's "real" identities as paramount. Z has in the past taken great pleasure in attacking G's ideas, categorically illustrating why G is a complete moron and usually in the mean time, make it so unbelievably funny that most other users simply laugh at the jokes and disregard G's remarks. G, in turn, gets angry and starts getting into more fights with Z, simply adding more fuel to fire. This has all been fine.
Recently, it's taken an uglier turn, G has started to name drop Z's real name during most posts and even refusing to stop the name dropping unless an apology is made. I am the administrator on the site and one of the mandate is that we protect the identities of individuals, whether it's because they are not out, or for whatever reason. Having taken great pains to edit all of G's posts to remove the names, he then sent me a message last night, demanding that I reprimand Z for his actions, and failure to do so will result in him filing a official complaint with the university student council. It's all very legal/lawyer like, I actually enjoyed reading it for its complete overkill, it's like a SWAT team surrounding a girl selling lemonade because she has a nailfile or something.
I have since written to him and told him that any such processes will be held in the strictest confidence and that no public announcement of action should not be construed as no action. I further went on to say that I will deal with complaints on a thread by thread basis and that any purported personal vendetta will not affect the decision of such complaints. I wanted to say more but I figured I should not look too much of a jerk.
So after all that, I wanted to know if there is anything that you can think of in addition that I should be doing?