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Rule #2: Discussion of Moderation

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by Heyo, Feb 26, 2021.

  1. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    A week ago I asked the following question in a "site feedback" thread:

    Since I've got no answer yet, I suspect that the moderators aren't too delighted to see such an OP but also aren't opposed to it. Well, here it is. May it lead to an open debate about the value of secrecy in moderation or at least revive the discussion we had.

    My argument for opening moderation to more transparency is that
    1. people will have a better understanding of how the rules are interpreted. We learn from examples and there are simply too few examples when I only see when I get moderated. This understanding will eventually lead to fewer infractions of the rules and less work for the moderators.
    2. It reduces the feeling of being singled out and picked on. When my experience is others getting moderated vs I get moderated of about 0 : 12 the moderators may insure me that I'm not singled out but the evidence is still not in their favour. A more transparent moderation ensures that people can see the fairness of the moderators and don't have to believe in it. Which will lead to a higher acceptance of moderation and less discussion about it, ergo, less work for the moderators.
    3. It should be a principle that transparency is a good thing and there should be a good reason to be not transparent.

    What do you think about transparency in moderation?
     
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  2. Conscious thoughts

    Conscious thoughts Veteran Member

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    Personally i have a few interactions with the mods team :) and yes in the past i could get angry or frustrated with them for "punishing" me :confused:.....
    Then when i looked back at why they "singeled" me out, it turned out to be my own fault. So even i been a bit :mad: about the mods team, every time i realized i was actually the one who was wrong, and they were correct in correcting me.
     
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  3. The Hammer

    The Hammer White Wolf - kvite ulfh
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    Moderation is fine as is IMO, I've always lived by the adage that you "praise in public, criticize in private", this typically applies to the workplace, but can extend to other areas of life as well.
     
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  4. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    I'm not so sure that every time I got a warning it was justified but what I realized after speaking with others (off site) was that I seem to be a choir boy relative to them. But it would be nice if not everybody has to find that out all by themselves.
    Without violating the privacy of members who don't like their failures to be discussed in the open, a general statistic could help to ones own warnings into perspective.
     
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  5. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    I don't hold to that adage but even if you do (and I respect peoples privacy concerns that they don't like to be criticised publicly), it would help those who don't share that opinion, to be allowed to discuss their failures in an open "site feedback" OP.
    While you may prefer a private discussion with the mods, others may be intimidated by the fact that they are alone "against" all the mods with no support and not even the possibility to talk about it.
     
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  6. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    I think that it should be up to the individual being moderated whether their moderation issue should be made public or not. I don't see a reason for criticism to be made behind closed doors if the person being criticised wishes it to be made public.

    Having come from a group who "moderates" followers behind closed doors, and knowing the abuse of power that could potentially happen when the "moderators" aren't held to public account, I am very much pro-transparency of moderation.
     
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  7. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    On the other hand, there are the "right-fighters" among us that will obsessively object to any moderation of their contributions to the dialogue. Wasting huge amounts of everyone else's time and energy.

    So far this site seems to be very well managed. I feel no need to object to my being "scolded" on occasion regarding some silly rule or other. I appreciate the frustration people feel when such oversight is abused, but in the end, none of this is so important that we need to argue and debate endlessly about it. At least not to me.

    Let the sausages be made in the back room. I don't need to see it, or argue about it.
     
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  8. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    I see you present this as a transparency issue. However, what it seems to me it would do, in effect, is open moderation decisions to public argument.

    I have been in forums in which this occurs and my experience of it is negative. What too often happens is that it becomes a way for troublesome people to call moderators' stances into question or to use the moderation of individuals as a weapon against them for pursuing vendettas against either them or the moderators involved. Also, some people have difficulty accepting criticism and whine about moderation decisions interminably, thus making more work for the moderators.

    On the whole I think the way it works here is better. Sometimes I get moderated when I think I should not have been, but it doesn't happen enough for me to accumulate points to a level that has consequences, so I am content to run with a point or two against me which duly expires, making room for the next one;). I have never felt picked on, or that decisions of any moderator have been systematically perverse.

    I prefer to regard this forum as like a cricket match in the days before camera replays: the umpire's decision is final, so just accept it and get on with life.
     
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  9. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    A good idea that needs thinking about to ensure the privacy of those requiring it.
     
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  10. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    You raise a good point about people taking advantage of open moderation to suit their own agenda. Letting the inmates run the asylum leads to chaos in many cases.

    Something we also need to consider is whether we should take this site so seriously that public moderation is warranted. It isn't like it is government, in that the decisions made here are vital for our own well being. What we do here isn't vital to our lives I think. But also we should balance this with what could the affects possibly be if a moderator chooses to abuse their power, if that is even happening, and if what they could do could affect someone negatively.
     
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  11. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    I can't say that I have any real complaints against the staff or their ways of moderating the forum. More often than not, my complaint would be against other users who might be obnoxious or borderline abusive, yet when they get a response in kind, they get all upset and act as if they're the injured party. I wouldn't blame the moderators for that, though.
     
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  12. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes I do. But you are right that discussion about moderation should not take place within the OPs. Only if someone want to have an open discussion there should be the option to have an open "site feedback". Nobody needs to watch it or respond (even the mods when they don't want, open includes them being to stay away).
     
  13. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    ============================================
    I grok this thread to be about discussing moderation
    policies....not criticizing moderating that has occurred.
    If we keep the thread drama free, it could be useful
    ============================================

    Transparency is a spectrum. Let no one assume that
    this means only total exposure of private communications.
    It could include things as minimal as how staff deal with
    each other's violations. This would be "system transparency".

    By analogy, policing procedures throughout Ameristan are
    being opened up to civilian review. If this is progressive &
    useful then it's worth considering the same here.
     
    #13 Revoltingest, Feb 26, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
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  14. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    I might support a revision to rule two so that it prevents discussion of the specific instances of moderation, referring to x post, y person on z thread.

    A shift to more generalised discussion on areas where moderation could be improved would be very welcome. This could mean staff have some (informal/non-legal) measure of accountability to the community and that the level of moderation more accurately reflects the consensus opinion and/or needs of the membership.

    A slight liberalisation of the rules so members can air wider grievances may be better for everyone. There will obviously be some forms of abuse of any system of rules, but I increasingly feel the staffs failure to communicate what action has been taken or could be taken because of rule 2 is now the greater evil.
     
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  15. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist My baby niece

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    Transparency (I have a hard time understanding) as in the moderators have less moderation involvement in posts?
     
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  16. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist My baby niece

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    That makes sense. The only concern I'd see from the moderators side is knowing the difference between criticism of moderation and insulting moderation. Hence the rules regarding moderation talk on form. I understand there to be other reasons but that's a big one.

    (If this is what you mean in part in the OP?)
     
  17. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist My baby niece

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    I think there's another side to this, at least my experiences on this forum. Many people have very personal attachments to their religion, personal lives and stories, and things that's bothering them from sexual orientation to a computer printer that doesn't work (!). Anyway. So, I'd assume people would naturally take what they write seriously and other humans replies (just as in person). However, I do agree with the privacy comment. Maybe have both site feedback private and open discussion. That and/or allow members to talk with moderator(s) in private message (for example, group messaging) so that clarification of infractions and rules can be explained with active listening on both sides.
     
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  18. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    Notice of moderation could be improved.
    Currently, when the perp is informed of
    a violation, it typically comprises....
    - Notice of moderation of a post.
    - Copy of the rule violated.
    - Copy of the post.
    - An invitation to ask questions in Site Feedback.
    - Thanx for cooperating.

    Common problems with the notice.....
    - It doesn't state what part of the post violated the rule.
    - It doesn't explain how the rule was violated.

    With the goal of understanding & complying with
    the rules, one must start a thread in Site Feedback.
    But they already know what went wrong, so they
    could skip this step, & provide the explanation in
    the original notice.
    Site Feedback could be reserved for elaboration,
    questions, & objections...saving everyone's time.
     
    #18 Revoltingest, Feb 26, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
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  19. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    There's a semi-open option. When I see something that to me is a clear rule violation and report it, sometimes I see the post is gone and at other times "crickets".

    There could be a policy of a private mod reply to the one submitting the apparent rule violation saying, in effect, we reviewed your submission. We did not think it was egregious enough to take action in this case.

    I'm specifically thinking of proselytizing such as posting what looks to me like a sermon in a debate thread. Without some form of feedback or examples, I might be tempted to ask people sotto voce how they can possibly disagree with the utterly divine wisdom of the Great Green Arkleseizure as revealed in all his holy books.
     
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  20. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    Does life imitate art:

    [​IMG]
     
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