View Full Version : Moderation suggestion
07-30-2005, 12:56 AM
Recent issues had me thinking about the current moderation style, and I thought I'd offer a suggestion based on how I'm perceiving the current moderation situation.
The way the following two no-nos are handled:
· No Flaming
This one is pretty straightforward. We encourage discussion and healthy debate, and personal attacks are not warranted in either. If you cannot be respectful to others, then don't be surprised if those in charge are not respectful of your continued privelege to post.
· No Dirty Laundry
If you have an issue with another member of the message boards, please take it up with them via Private Messages. Calling someone out on the forums is not acceptable behaviour. We don't really want people to bicker or moan at each other (publicly at least) and "Dirty Laundry" is very close to slander.
And subsequently banning also, it's coming across very cold-war/J Edgar Hoover. Problem posts are deleted, problem people are banned, there is no explanation, questioning it gets the canned response of 'catch me on AIM', or 'PM me', followed by cleanup of questioning threads.
I don't have AIM, I used to have AIMster but that wasn't for chatting. I don't like AIM, it installs crap on my system I don't want.
As for PMs, half the time the mod PM boxes are full, especially during 'drama times'. Personally I think mods and admins should have unlimited messages, but meh.
But my issue here is the way this stuff is handled has a very dark regime quality to it.
My suggestion is, whenever possible, posts in question should be edited with explanation for all to see, and banishment should be explained following the action causing the banishment, and threads locked but not deleted.
I can understand the no dirty laundry rule as it applies to not telling everyone that you know so and so did such and such irl, but don't think it should apply so much as cause to cover up forum issues like the CIA covers up UFOs.
The truth shall set us free.
The opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the poster and in no way reflect the views and opinions of this forum. For a transcript of this post get a pen and paper and write down everything I just typed.
07-30-2005, 01:13 AM
Well, I can tell you exactly why there's no "follow up" thread when something gets deleted or modded... it's because said thread turns into a direct clone of whatever spawned it, now with "I hate (Insert Mod Name Here)" overtones.
Would it be nice to be able to discuss issues afterwards in a cool, responsible manner? Probably. But, thanks to the previous actions of a few bad eggs, that's just not the case. I can remember more than one instance where certain bits of drama had three of four threads under their sway.
07-30-2005, 11:19 AM
I assume you're referring to the recent BvS thread. All actions undertaken by moderators/admins in said thread were fully explained.
07-30-2005, 01:22 PM
I think the dirty laundry thing is not just RL related. As we were able to see more than once in the past, some community members just can't stand others. Some of them make a sport of just posting against their "victim". Someone posts "I don't like chocolate" and another replies with "Bah, you're a whiner and you never liked pancakes either, so you suck". That's dirty laundry to me.
Regarding the truth... generally I agree. But if everything was to be discussed in public, we wouldn't need a mod team. Or just embrace anarchy. There is a mod/admin team that tries its best to act well and neutral. I think the matter has been discussed.
Posts get deleted when they are unnecessarily rude or will surely cause trouble (of the bad kind). Threads get closed when the matter should be laid to rest. They get deleted when the mere fact they they still can be read, though closed, will cause more trouble.
One thing that I don't understand is why some prefer the mods to edit posts instead of deleting them. Do you want us to edit out the risky parts? We wouldn't even be able to catch up. The forum moves so quick sometimes, a post gets quoted 3 times before you edit it. The deletes you see are soft deletes, meaning that the posts can be brought back (same with threads) if necessary. Only hard deletes completely remove a post/thread.
I heard some people praise the time when Aura was mod, pre-beta. To be honest, I don't know where you people were back then. Yes, Aura did give warnings when you crossed the line. But do you seriously think you were seeing all the action? Do you know of the members that got silenced by her? Banned because she disliked them? I do. You are also aware that she had a mod forum, the one MacAllen, Geist and Jazz used before to talk about members and matters?
And about the warnings: I can only talk for myself, but I know I can send most people here a PM when I feel necessary and just say "Hey, just wanted to ask you to tone it down a bit/watch the topic/not post indecent pics/etc, thanks for understanding" and all is well. But I also know of some members who would yell "police state, nazi regime, surpression, you are not my father" or similar.
No, we're not your boss or superiors. But yes, we have the last word. And the fact that all important matters (forum direction, bans, etc) get discussed by at least 5 people should actually make sure that it's not a personal thing.
If someone wants an explanation about a forum matter, the mods and admins can be contacted. PMs, email, IMs, ingame... If you really want to contact, you can.
Regarding BvS, since that's obviously the main reason for posting: as faa topic on the mod forums for more than 2 months. He was actually defended by somer as I know, he had been warned before. His continous trolling/flaming/egging has been veteran community members, while others wanted him banned right away. Barbarian (yes, the one) stated he'd have BvS banned long ago, do I seriously need to look up the post?
I hate banning. I think it's terrible to exclude someone like that, especially if it's a longtime member. And I know it didn't use to happen in this joyful community. But accept it already: the community has changed. The people have changed. Attitude has changed. And the measures have to adapt.
07-30-2005, 04:25 PM
Inky: Try Trillain (http://www.ceruleanstudios.com/). It combines all the main communications software (AIM, IRC, MSN, ICQ & YAHOO) in a single package. It's what I use.
As for Moderation... Having moderated a forum in the past I know how difficult it can be to get the balance right. That said what usually happens is that all is fine and dandy while trolls wreek havoc; the Mods are given carte-blanche to do whatever is felt needed to deal with them. Once the Mods have done for the Trolls everyone is happy for a while but the Mods are still fending off their old adversaries (or new ones) behind the scenes. So after a while the members start to chafe under what the see as the heavy handedness of the mods (but is just them doing their jobs). If problem threads are just locked then they serve as a breeding ground for more of the same. Hence deletion.
What I'm trying to say is, if the you're having a problem with the mods it's because you're creating a problem. For goodness sakes it's not like these are the Mourning message boards.
07-30-2005, 07:36 PM
I didn't lock, clean up, nor delete anything in the BvS thread. I posted my explanation and was done with it.
I can't be accused of "CIA" type actions because I fully explained myself. The thread was then locked/deleted/removed by other mods/admins. I banned BvS, I didn't attempt to cover any of it up.
07-31-2005, 01:17 AM
BvS was the most recent, but there's been a couple of other banned folks and I go back and review their last posts and don't see the reasoning.
Charon did explain his reasonings in the thread prior deletion, I did catch that. But then it was deleted as opposed just let float to the bottom.
I realize it's not the easiest thing to do being mods, thus the reasons for Thresh/Yin stepping down. Sometimes I'm sure all of the mods consider at some point taking off the mod mask and becoming a regular citizen again.
Aura was also paid for her duties and I'm sure had a staff of paid folks to help her. That was also on official forums where there were more restrictions in what type of threads could be used. So the grass was greener comparison with the old pre-beta boards has some basis in fact.
The ability to recreate that utopia would probably require the same sort of environment, which I'm sure no one here wants the restriction, and the site runners can't afford to pay folks either.
I'm just saying what I'm sort of perceiving, that's all it is, my perception of things. The mods all know the truths of the situation far better as per the aforementioned mod forums, soft deleted threads, etc.
Possibly due to the rapid quotation issue, when a mod steps in they first do a lockdown then an edit, notifying folks that the thread is suspended pending review based on forum guideline #7 or something, all subsequent threads will be deleted kinda like on the official forums.
When there's a hot topic out Cuppa locks all threads pertaining to, makes an official discussion thread, and deletes any subsequent.
I'm just looking at how professionals(not saying the current mods aren't), run their boards.
Another suggestion, possibly going the other way, may be to make a 'mod' account. To protect their identities possibly mods use this account when having to step in and 'be the bad guy'.
This could keep personal feelings about the mods out of the picture, which could also be a source of conflict. But it could also make things worse, not sure on that one.
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