About moderation - Feedback

Started Jun 24, 2013 | Discussions
Great Bustard
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Re: Spot on!
In reply to mehdrtr, Jun 28, 2013

mehdrtr wrote:

Biggs23 wrote:

Oftentimes there are trolls that frequent specific forums. Their actions individually do not rise to the level needed to take action but their collective posts, when you know their history, make it evident that action needs to be taken. A mod who is a regular reader of that forum would be able to view the poster's history rather than just a single complained about post.

Otherwise, we might be talking to a troll without even noticing it.

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AllMankind
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Re: About moderation - Feedback
In reply to Simon Joinson, Jun 28, 2013

Simon Joinson wrote:

actually this isn't true either. We reply to feedback emails using the email address you put in the feedback form. Which is why I get annoyed when i take the time to reply and discover I'm trying to send an email to 'dontbotherreplying@yousuck.con'

Ok, that's different.  If someone gives you an email address (as in feedback), then you have a valid complaint.

But, if you email a user over some issue and use the email they registered with, instead of a PM, then what I said is valid.  In this case, I think a PM is the better choice.

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Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
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I think that is a bad idea
In reply to AllMankind, Jun 28, 2013

AllMankind wrote:

In my opinion... (please NOTE I said 'IN MY OPINION')...

Also in my opinion, as a moderator for the Sigma forum and long time user of DPReview...

a: Moderators should NOT be allowed to post comments as regular USERS.

b: Every moderator should have TWO accounts. Their Moderator account, and a regular user account.

c: If logged in as a moderator, a moderator should MODERATE and not be allowed to post user comments. If a mod wants to post comments, he/she MUST login as a regular user.

d: When logged in as a USER a moderator would NOT have any moderator powers and would not even be identified as a moderator.

These I all see as a really bad idea.  You want to make it very clear that someone posting as a user is also a moderator, so that abuses of moderation are more clear if they occur.  You should not in any way hide who is a moderator.

Now I would say, perhaps it's better to remove the "Mod" next to the name on every post as that places undue emphasis on the poster being different.  The forum moderators are displayed at the top of the forum, that is probably enough.

e: No moderator should be allowed to moderate any thread in which he/she has posted as a user.

I kind of agree with sentiment behind this, but you cannot handcuff a moderator like that just because he wants to also participate in a discussion.   What if (this actually happened to me) some user posts a reply directly to the admin that is nothing but childish trolling, complete with personal attack?   Should the moderator really have no power to remove that just because they are a moderator posting?

f: No thread/post should be deleted unless agreed to by admin. In other words, no moderator should have the power to delete a thread or post without approval of DPR admin.

Simply not scalable, it removes the whole point of having community forum moderators.  The upper level admins should only have to review the appeals, not every moderator action.

g: No moderator should have the power to ban a user. Again, the banning of a user should require admin approval and NOT be the sole discression of a single moderator.

There has to be some way for moderators to stop a destructive poster from wrecking a forum without having to monitor the contents every second.  Bans can and should be reviewed when they occur, as they should be rare.

Unfortunately, DPR has become pablum for the masses, where only the lowest common denominator is acceptable.

I see the opposite, where the lowest common denominators are forced to go elsewhere because they cannot lower discussion here.

One point of moderation (here) is to elevate the level of discussion, by keeping communication as civil as possible.

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AllMankind
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Re: I think that is a bad idea
In reply to Kendall Helmstetter Gelner, Jun 28, 2013

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

AllMankind wrote:

In my opinion... (please NOTE I said 'IN MY OPINION')...

Also in my opinion, as a moderator for the Sigma forum and long time user of DPReview...

a: Moderators should NOT be allowed to post comments as regular USERS.

b: Every moderator should have TWO accounts. Their Moderator account, and a regular user account.

c: If logged in as a moderator, a moderator should MODERATE and not be allowed to post user comments. If a mod wants to post comments, he/she MUST login as a regular user.

d: When logged in as a USER a moderator would NOT have any moderator powers and would not even be identified as a moderator.

These I all see as a really bad idea. You want to make it very clear that someone posting as a user is also a moderator, so that abuses of moderation are more clear if they occur. You should not in any way hide who is a moderator.

Now I would say, perhaps it's better to remove the "Mod" next to the name on every post as that places undue emphasis on the poster being different. The forum moderators are displayed at the top of the forum, that is probably enough.

I give up.

e: No moderator should be allowed to moderate any thread in which he/she has posted as a user.

I kind of agree with sentiment behind this, but you cannot handcuff a moderator like that just because he wants to also participate in a discussion. What if (this actually happened to me) some user posts a reply directly to the admin that is nothing but childish trolling, complete with personal attack? Should the moderator really have no power to remove that just because they are a moderator posting?

f: No thread/post should be deleted unless agreed to by admin. In other words, no moderator should have the power to delete a thread or post without approval of DPR admin.

Simply not scalable, it removes the whole point of having community forum moderators. The upper level admins should only have to review the appeals, not every moderator action.

g: No moderator should have the power to ban a user. Again, the banning of a user should require admin approval and NOT be the sole discression of a single moderator.

There has to be some way for moderators to stop a destructive poster from wrecking a forum without having to monitor the contents every second. Bans can and should be reviewed when they occur, as they should be rare.

Unfortunately, DPR has become pablum for the masses, where only the lowest common denominator is acceptable.

I see the opposite, where the lowest common denominators are forced to go elsewhere because they cannot lower discussion here.

One point of moderation (here) is to elevate the level of discussion, by keeping communication as civil as possible.

Civil is fine.  Over moderated (as it current is) is not.

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Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
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Re: I think that is a bad idea
In reply to AllMankind, Jun 28, 2013

AllMankind wrote:

<..>

Civil is fine. Over moderated (as it current is) is not.

The problem is - you get to chose just one.  That's just the way the internet is.  Reduce the level of moderation and civility drops exponentially.

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Detail Man
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Reasonable Questions to Ask ...
In reply to quadrox, Jun 28, 2013

I myself am finding it rather hard to believe that so many people would evolve and express what (to me) seem like some rather convoluted logical arguments expressed in monotonic support of this "community moderation" system as it has come to exist merely on the basis of a sense of a personal emotional satisfaction gained in playing a part in the execution of actions of which they themselves often attest they possess little meaningful discretionary authority in, and as well often often portray as being essentially a "thankless" occupation where it comes to the sentiments of those affected. What is actually motivating these people to allegedly "work for free" ?

A DPReview Post Dated: September 30, 2011

Re: Who wants to be a moderator?

Simon Joinson wrote:

If you're interested in becoming a dpreview.com admin ...

... It's not paid, but we'll find a way to make it worth your while

Simon Joinson, Editor
dpreview.com

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/39477983

"Consideration" for services rendered does not have to be monetary in nature to establish a reciprocal relationship. "Consideration" can be represented by anything of tangible value provided to the "moderator/admin" in any form in return for their time and efforts invested.

What specifically is transferred by DPR to "moderator/admins" in order to make it "worth their while" ?

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Mako2011
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Not so sure
In reply to AllMankind, Jun 28, 2013

AllMankind wrote:

Simon Joinson wrote:

actually this isn't true either. We reply to feedback emails using the email address you put in the feedback form. Which is why I get annoyed when i take the time to reply and discover I'm trying to send an email to 'dontbotherreplying@yousuck.con'

Ok, that's different. If someone gives you an email address (as in feedback), then you have a valid complaint.

True

But, if you email a user over some issue and use the email they registered with, instead of a PM, then what I said is valid. In this case, I think a PM is the better choice.

Not so sure. The feedback form does not appear to be linked to ones member account. It seems to be like sending an anonymous E-mail and if you don't fill in the correct member name and E-mail then no way too contact you. There may not be a way to confirm the member name you put in the form is actually correct. If the admins see the feedback in a E-mail like program...seems more reasonable to respond with an E-mail then going over to the PM system and looking you up. Interesting.

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AllMankind
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Re: Not so sure
In reply to Mako2011, Jun 28, 2013

Mako2011 wrote:

But, if you email a user over some issue and use the email they registered with, instead of a PM, then what I said is valid. In this case, I think a PM is the better choice.

Not so sure. The feedback form does not appear to be linked to ones member account. It seems to be like sending an anonymous E-mail and if you don't fill in the correct member name and E-mail then no way too contact you. There may not be a way to confirm the member name you put in the form is actually correct. If the admins see the feedback in a E-mail like program...seems more reasonable to respond with an E-mail then going over to the PM system and looking you up. Interesting.

When I hit feedback, my username is already filled in.  Email address is not.  I have to enter the email address, so it is up to the user to ensure a functional email address is entered.

In any event, what I am refering to above (in green) is when a mod or dpr admin wants to contact a user directly, it would probably be best to use a PM and not a possibly old and no longer used email address.

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SigmaChrome
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Re: I think that is a bad idea
In reply to Kendall Helmstetter Gelner, Jun 28, 2013

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

AllMankind wrote:

<..>

Civil is fine. Over moderated (as it current is) is not.

The problem is - you get to chose just one. That's just the way the internet is. Reduce the level of moderation and civility drops exponentially.

It's not just the level of moderation, Kendall, it's quality of it too.

If moderation becomes over-zealous, lively discussion is suppressed. People need to feel that they can express themselves without their personality being policed -- censored. All this does, IMO, is to drive people away. Don't get me wrong; I'm not suggesting that aggressive personal attacks should be tolerated, but I do think a moderator should suggest that a poster should use a more civil tone -- before they get too abusive. Simply censoring a comment is not necessarily moderating -- sometimes it is just 'butting in'. I really think a moderator's job is analogous to that of a chairperson, not a policeman.

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lenshoarder
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Re: Not so sure
In reply to Mako2011, Jun 28, 2013

Mako2011 wrote:

AllMankind wrote:

Simon Joinson wrote:

actually this isn't true either. We reply to feedback emails using the email address you put in the feedback form. Which is why I get annoyed when i take the time to reply and discover I'm trying to send an email to 'dontbotherreplying@yousuck.con'

Ok, that's different. If someone gives you an email address (as in feedback), then you have a valid complaint.

True

But, if you email a user over some issue and use the email they registered with, instead of a PM, then what I said is valid. In this case, I think a PM is the better choice.

Not so sure. The feedback form does not appear to be linked to ones member account. It seems to be like sending an anonymous E-mail and if you don't fill in the correct member name and E-mail then no way too contact you. There may not be a way to confirm the member name you put in the form is actually correct. If the admins see the feedback in a E-mail like program...seems more reasonable to respond with an E-mail then going over to the PM system and looking you up. Interesting.

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

There is a way to correlate the name and/or email to an existing user.  It would be fairly simple for the feedback script to do.  But I suspect you are right that the admins get the feedback in their email so it's easier for them to respond to that feedback through email.

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Mako2011
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true
In reply to AllMankind, Jun 28, 2013

AllMankind wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

But, if you email a user over some issue and use the email they registered with, instead of a PM, then what I said is valid. In this case, I think a PM is the better choice.

Not so sure. The feedback form does not appear to be linked to ones member account. It seems to be like sending an anonymous E-mail and if you don't fill in the correct member name and E-mail then no way too contact you. There may not be a way to confirm the member name you put in the form is actually correct. If the admins see the feedback in a E-mail like program...seems more reasonable to respond with an E-mail then going over to the PM system and looking you up. Interesting.

When I hit feedback, my username is already filled in. Email address is not.

Yes and you can change the member name as well. That's why I do not think the Feedback "e-mail" is actully linked to a member account like PM's are

In any event, what I am refering to above (in green) is when a mod or dpr admin wants to contact a user directly, it would probably be best to use a PM and not a possibly old and no longer used email address.

Of course, unless the member gives an E-mail address on a form that they wish to be used. I personally would use the e-mail address as primary in that case...rather than look for the member name in another system.

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

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Biggs23
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Re: Reasonable Questions to Ask ...
In reply to Detail Man, Jun 28, 2013

Detail Man wrote:

... What is actually motivating these people to allegedly "work for free" ?

A DPReview Post Dated: September 30, 2011

Re: Who wants to be a moderator?

Simon Joinson wrote:

If you're interested in becoming a dpreview.com admin ...

... It's not paid, but we'll find a way to make it worth your while

Simon Joinson, Editor
dpreview.com

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/39477983

"Consideration" for services rendered does not have to be monetary in nature to establish a reciprocal relationship. "Consideration" can be represented by anything of tangible value provided to the "moderator/admin" in any form in return for their time and efforts invested.

What specifically is transferred by DPR to "moderator/admins" in order to make it "worth their while" ?

Ha, I forgot about that! So far there really has been nothing to make it worth our while save personal satisfaction for helping create higher quality forums. Maybe I should bring it up again and see if we can't get a free shirt out of it or something. Too funny!

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Any opinions I express are my own and do not represent DPReview. Have a good one and God bless!

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Joseph T Lewis III
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Re: Reasonable Questions to Ask ...
In reply to Biggs23, Jun 28, 2013

Biggs23 wrote:....

Ha, I forgot about that! So far there really has been nothing to make it worth our while save personal satisfaction for helping create higher quality forums. Maybe I should bring it up again and see if we can't get a free shirt out of it or something. Too funny!

The shirt could read "My folks bought an expensive DSLR from B&H, and all I got was this crummy T-shirt"!!!  

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Tom

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Biggs23
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Re: Reasonable Questions to Ask ...
In reply to Joseph T Lewis III, Jun 28, 2013

Joseph T Lewis III wrote:

Biggs23 wrote:....

Ha, I forgot about that! So far there really has been nothing to make it worth our while save personal satisfaction for helping create higher quality forums. Maybe I should bring it up again and see if we can't get a free shirt out of it or something. Too funny!

The shirt could read "My folks bought an expensive DSLR from B&H, and all I got was this crummy T-shirt"!!!

Nah, I think most of the mods tend to be older guys with too much time on their hands. Maybe, 'I spent $10,000 on gear and all I got was a moderator title'?

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mehdrtr
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Re: About moderation - Feedback
In reply to lenshoarder, Jun 28, 2013

lenshoarder wrote:

DonA2 wrote:

lenshoarder wrote:

DonA2 wrote:

lenshoarder wrote:

I cannot think of a single reason why a moderator should be excluded from commenting in a thread. They are every bit as interested and knowledgeable as any participant. I have not seen an instance where a mod has bullied anyone elses opinion and have often offered solid advice. Just how are they threatening your views? They are volunteers, give much of their free time and take some uncalled for abuse. A bit of respect is small payment.

Here's a couple of reasons. 1) Just having that "mod" symbol next to their name changes everything There's a concept of acting under the color of authority. 2) I have seen threads where the mod makes the last point and then declares the thread closed. 3) As you've said, they are volunteers. If they don't want to do it, then don't do it. It's a priviledge, not a burden.

My suggestion that mods only moderate forums they don't participate in solves these problems. They can participate in the forums they are passionate about. They can moderate in the forums they are inpartial about. What's the problem with that?

Let's just state that we agree to disagree. You obviously would prefer to keep discussions open and free of oversight. That only works in a perfect world. Well guess what? We don't live in that world. There is a small minority that feel burdened, even threatened, by rules, regulation and laws but the majority understand the need. That's democracy in action.

Democracy? There's nothing democratic about how forums are run, including DPR. They are dictactorships. Some are benign dictatorships like Singapore, others not so much. Those open discussions which you disdain would be the democracies. Since the majority would by definition rule through force of numbers. The only forum I can think of that is a democracy is CraigsList where most posts are taken down not by moderators, but by popular vote of the readers. In fact the admins/moderators are pretty much non existant there even when you do want one.

More importantly, most forums allow users to ignore other users. So if someone "trolls", simply ignore them and they can't troll you since you don't even see their posts.

I think you're wrong. First, you may ignore a troll but it doesn't make it go away. Moderators and ban will.

You could argue that out of sight, out of mind but, what happens if you don't know that someone is a troll and therefore you don't add him/her to your ignore list? You'd probably be trolled and not notice it.

That's why we need moderators. They protect us from potential aggravation and from reading things that are not good for us.

Some prefer to censor what others write. I think it's better that we simply censor what we choose to read.

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mehdrtr
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Re: About moderation - Feedback
In reply to DonA2, Jun 28, 2013

DonA2 wrote:

lenshoarder wrote:

DonA2 wrote:

lenshoarder wrote:

I cannot think of a single reason why a moderator should be excluded from commenting in a thread. They are every bit as interested and knowledgeable as any participant. I have not seen an instance where a mod has bullied anyone elses opinion and have often offered solid advice. Just how are they threatening your views? They are volunteers, give much of their free time and take some uncalled for abuse. A bit of respect is small payment.

Here's a couple of reasons. 1) Just having that "mod" symbol next to their name changes everything There's a concept of acting under the color of authority. 2) I have seen threads where the mod makes the last point and then declares the thread closed. 3) As you've said, they are volunteers. If they don't want to do it, then don't do it. It's a priviledge, not a burden.

My suggestion that mods only moderate forums they don't participate in solves these problems. They can participate in the forums they are passionate about. They can moderate in the forums they are inpartial about. What's the problem with that?

Let's just state that we agree to disagree. You obviously would prefer to keep discussions open and free of oversight. That only works in a perfect world. Well guess what? We don't live in that world. There is a small minority that feel burdened, even threatened, by rules, regulation and laws but the majority understand the need. That's democracy in action.

As for moderators being restricted from stating a view in a thread of interest I see that there are many on this thread challenging a mods statement. Were they cut off, banned or restricted? No.

Very true. In other forums deleting threads or banning posters is common practice. I see nothing of that here.

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Joseph T Lewis III
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Re: Reasonable Questions to Ask ...
In reply to Biggs23, Jun 28, 2013

Biggs23 wrote:

Joseph T Lewis III wrote:

Biggs23 wrote:....

Ha, I forgot about that! So far there really has been nothing to make it worth our while save personal satisfaction for helping create higher quality forums. Maybe I should bring it up again and see if we can't get a free shirt out of it or something. Too funny!

The shirt could read "My folks bought an expensive DSLR from B&H, and all I got was this crummy T-shirt"!!!

Nah, I think most of the mods tend to be older guys with too much time on their hands. Maybe, 'I spent $10,000 on gear and all I got was a moderator title'?

Biggs

As a 66 year old who's spent a lot of bucks on gear (albeit not $10,000), I have to agree that your post is more likely to be the case than mine!

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Ed B
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Re: About moderation - Feedback
In reply to Biggs23, Jun 28, 2013

Biggs23 wrote:

Removing spam but allowing rampant trolling, is that what you'd like to see?

-- hide signature --

Any opinions I express are my own and do not represent DPReview. Have a good one and God bless!

Don't get me wrong because I'm not trying to be a jerk but allowing some trolling is a good idea because that adds a certain amount of interest to the forums. Keeps them from becoming boring.

A troll who becomes "obnoxious" can easily be controlled through the complaint system.

A mod should not get involved unless there are complaints.

Some of the moderation has hurt DPR and these forums are quickly becoming less and less interesting.

Spam should always be removed, posts with bad language removed, some posts need to be moved to other forums, but a moderator shouldn't get involved with a thread unless there are complaints.

Just an opinion.

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Detail Man
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Relationship of Moderators to DPReview
In reply to quadrox, Jun 28, 2013

I find it interesting that DPReview members acting as "moderators" make statements in posts on DPReview forums that at times appear on their face to be statements regarding DPReview company policies - yet at the same time it is the case that they are in actuality only stating what amount to their own personal viewpoints and opinions.

This is made very clear in the "Digital Photography Review Conditions of Use", where one finds:

We do not assume or have any responsibility or any liability for the readers' comments or opinions, nor do we claim ownership or copyright that belongs to the original poster.

http://www.dpreview.com/misc/termsandconditions

While "DPReview.com Forums Rules" refers to "our moderators", it has also been stated by DPReview that "moderators" do not officially "speak for the site", and do not "speak for the business":

Simon Joinson wrote:

... I think you're trying to use our boilerplate T&C text to suggest we don't take responsibility for the actions of our moderators.

We do.

They have been given the authority to act (in a limited capacity) on our behalf in the forums. They do not, however officially speak for the site, nor would they profess to. But do not mistake 'not speaking for the business' for 'not acting with authority'.

Simon Joinson, Editor-in-chief
dpreview.com

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50546741

When a person "acts with" (any form of designated) "authority" (whether or not any form of consideration is provided in return for services rendered), then those designated persons, in doing so, are constructively "speaking for the business".

I believe that it is not possible to "have it both ways". Any and all "speaking" that such persons do within a venue where they possess an authoritative capacity constitutes a form of "speaking for the business". An active "player" in a game cannot be re-labelled a "spectator" merely when deemed convenient. Doing so is the epitome of what is meant by the phrase "cognitive dissonance" ...

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ck3
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Re: Excerpts From the DPReview Moderator Handbook
In reply to Detail Man, Jun 28, 2013

Detail Man wrote:

Simon Joinson wrote:

[...]

Not allowed: These are the kind of posts you should delete and potentially take action against the poster:

[...]

  • Thread stuffing
    Trying to close out a conversation by posting empty messages until the count hits 150

One probably should add the following:

"Note that the thread stuffing offence is only frowned upon if committed by hoi polloi. As a moderator you are free to dispose of your thread-locking powers to achieve the same result in a more elegant manner whenever you see fit. Throw in a justification like "thread devolved into pointless bickering" or "nothing more useful to be gained by this thread" and everything should be fine."

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