About moderation - Feedback

Started Jun 24, 2013 | Discussions
Doug J
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+1 for moderation
In reply to quadrox, Jun 29, 2013

I’m pleased with the overall moderation I’ve seen and experienced in the forums I routinely visit and participate in. It may not be perfect, but it’s a lot better than the chaos and virtual anarchy that prevailed prior to implementing the current system.

Considering the other photography forums I participate in, DPR today has the least heavy-handed approach to moderation, recognizing the scope of this site and its forums.

I’ve been a mod elsewhere; it’s not an easy job. We would parse posts/threads into a logical composite, nuke a few, and some members would argue minute details on why they are right, and everyone else is wrong, sometimes quoting specifics & details from rules & regulations.

DPR is a private business, not subject to various freedom of speech laws, regulations, or what someone thinks or wants it to be. Input from members is encouraged and considered, as it has been from the beginning of DPR in my 10+ years here. Moderation has some downsides in that some recipients may not agree with the outcome.

Deal with it, send suggestions to feedback at DPR. Ask questions, contribute input, this is what DPR is all about, not extracts from the rules/posts and questioning some minute detail should or should not apply.

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Sir Corey of Deane
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Re: About moderation - Feedback
In reply to AllMankind, Jun 29, 2013

AllMankind wrote:

Mods should not be trolling the forums looking for people to chastise, or posts/threads to delete.

The mods should be waiting for the users to complain, and then looking to see if the complaint is valid, taking action only when necessary.

I must think that the above two statements are all that matters in this War of the Words thread.

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John Siward
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Re: Reasonable Questions to Ask ...
In reply to Detail Man, Jun 29, 2013

Detail Man wrote:

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" ?

Why do people take on jobs like forum moderator? Some no doubt honestly and genuinely want to make the forums a better, kinder place; but others, like certain kids who nominate themselves as prefects in high school, just want to wear the shiny badge and have the power. Polishing the badge and pushing little kids around in and of itself is reward enough for them.

They'll all tell you they are the first kind, but it's kinda easy to spot the other type...

JS

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Doug J
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Re: Reasonable Questions to Ask ...
In reply to John Siward, Jun 29, 2013

John Siward wrote:

Detail Man wrote:

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" ?

Why do people take on jobs like forum moderator? Some no doubt honestly and genuinely want to make the forums a better, kinder place; but others, like certain kids who nominate themselves as prefects in high school, just want to wear the shiny badge and have the power. Polishing the badge and pushing little kids around in and of itself is reward enough for them.

They'll all tell you they are the first kind, but it's kinda easy to spot the other type...

JS

DPR encourages user feedback directly to the admins, this is a bit more advanced than your experience with shiny badges in high school.

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Ed B
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Re: About moderation - Feedback
In reply to AllMankind, Jun 29, 2013

AllMankind wrote:

Ed B wrote:

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.

Exactly. In fact, dealing with the trolls can be entertaining. As long as the troll (or anyone else) doesn't go off the tracks and starts being abusive, then what is the harm?

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

A mod should not get involved unless there are complaints.

And even then the mod needs to look closely at the thread to see if it has in fact become derailed, rather than someone just complaining for the sake of complaining.

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

Considerably less.

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.

And this is pretty much what real moderation is about.

Mods should not be trolling the forums looking for people to chastise, or posts/threads to delete.

The mods should be waiting for the users to complain, and then looking to see if the complaint is valid, taking action only when necessary.

The preemptive strike strategy does not work. It alienates your friends and allies, in this case, DPR users.

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Oppose Tyranny in all its forms.

Agree 100% but I doubt anything will change.

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Deleted1929
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We don't have that kind of time
In reply to Ed B, Jun 29, 2013

Those of you under the impression that volunteer moderators are scanning through all the posts to find something to pounce on are quite wrong.  We simply don't have that kind of time on our hands.

This is why we encourage people to use the complaints system.  This is something we can see flagged on our screens.

What you're asking for is basically what we do already.  We watch for complaints and deal with them in as common sense a way as we can.  Yes, we do investigate context where time allows ( again - volunteers ! ).

As your common sense will tell you we will often monitor threads that are either controversial or which have had previous trouble in them.  But monitoring all the posts would be a task I'd have no interest in attempting unless someone started paying me ( even then I'm sure the work would be tedious at best ).

Trolling is of interest to some of you as a spectator sport.  Too bad.  It's a nuisance for ordinary members whose threads are disrupted and taken over by attention seeking egomaniacs.  Moderators have absolutely ZERO sympathy for people who get bored without a fight to watch.

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StephenG

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DonA2
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Re: +1 for moderation
In reply to Doug J, Jun 29, 2013

Very well stated Doug.  The silent majority has been ---- well, silent for too long.

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bobn2
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Re: +1 for moderation
In reply to DonA2, Jun 29, 2013

DonA2 wrote:

Very well stated Doug. The silent majority has been ---- well, silent for too long.

If its silent, how do you know it's a majority?

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Bob

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DonA2
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Re: +1 for moderation
In reply to bobn2, Jun 29, 2013

Bobn2 wrote:

DonA2 wrote:

Very well stated Doug. The silent majority has been ---- well, silent for too long.

If its silent, how do you know it's a majority?

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Bob

Well Bob, it's a well known theory that the loud, aggressive, and belligerent people speak up. Some elections go that way when people become complacent.  It all comes down to "surely common sense will prevail".  We can see how well that works.

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Ed B
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Re: We don't have that kind of time
In reply to Deleted1929, Jun 29, 2013

sjgcit wrote:


Moderators have absolutely ZERO sympathy for people who get bored without a fight to watch.

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StephenG

I wouldn't want "sympathy" from anyone but do ask myself, and DPR, how this site managed to become the world's largest before specific moderators where assigned.

Simon does an outstanding job running this place but like any good manager he may need to step back and reevaluate some of the direction he's given to his moderators.

Naturally, as you've said, the site belongs to DPR (Amazon) and this is not a democracy.

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Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
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Re: We don't have that kind of time
In reply to Ed B, Jun 29, 2013

Ed B wrote:

sjgcit wrote:

Moderators have absolutely ZERO sympathy for people who get bored without a fight to watch.

-- hide signature --

StephenG

I wouldn't want "sympathy" from anyone but do ask myself, and DPR, how this site managed to become the world's largest before specific moderators where assigned.

Because before it was so popular they could handle moderation themselves.

Past a certain point that was no longer possible, and over time we saw the rise of posters that were expert in skirting the rules so that any one post might not seem on the face of it to be trolling, but if you had read everything they had wrote over months were obviously manipulative trolls.  Since the staff cannot be constantly reading every thread, there was no way to identify those people and flagging posts did not help since any individual post seemed on the edge of OK.

Simon does an outstanding job running this place but like any good manager he may need to step back and reevaluate some of the direction he's given to his moderators.

A really good manager also knows how to delegate, which is what they have done.

I think the directions they have given are really excellent.  Basically the whole set of rules could be boiled down to "be civil to each other" which is perfectly reasonable and makes for a much more vibrant forum.  It's way, way to easy to think of someone you disagree with on the internet as an inhuman monster, when in fact if you were both sitting at a bar you'd probably get along really well enjoying an argument over a beer.

Think of moderators as being virtual bartenders, helping to smooth out disagreements but occasionally having to take a really rowdy drunk outside.

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onlooker
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Re: DPR is misguided
In reply to Biggs23, Jun 29, 2013

Biggs23 wrote:

AllMankind wrote:

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

Thus doubling the amount of work required for basic moderation tasks. To have such a requirement would severely decrease the ability of moderators to enjoy forums.

I think a moderator of an Internet forum should know how to use two browsers.

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Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
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Re: Kendall's declared "even more reasonable questions"
In reply to Detail Man, Jun 29, 2013

Detail Man wrote:

<...>

As opposed to responding to my question with questions, I would be more interested in knowing how you see yourself (which is in fact the only person that you can reliably speak for) in your intended role, and how you envision specific ways in which your organizational position as an unpaid volunteer representing DPReview may, or may not, in actual practice facilitate that personal vision.

I will attempt to answer at least in part...

I'd be happy to speak to my intended role as a moderator. I am a simple gardener, subservient to the goal of having a heathy and vibrant garden (forum). Often that means sacrifice on my part in some way, in order to improve the whole.

I can't quite parse the last part of your question looking for "specific ways in which your organizational position as an unpaid volunteer representing DPReview may, or may not, in actual practice facilitate that personal vision"  You are dancing around with flowery language asking for some specific piece of information you desire, but you've made it hard to comprehend what that specific is.  My role is a gardner, but what do you want to know in relation to that being my vision for moderation?

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edispics
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Re: +1 for moderation
In reply to bobn2, Jun 29, 2013

I was curious so I just started a poll on how much moderation people want in this forum. Just started, but so far 75% say just leave it alone.

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bobn2
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Re: +1 for moderation
In reply to edispics, Jun 29, 2013

edispics wrote:

I was curious so I just started a poll on how much moderation people want in this forum. Just started, but so far 75% say just leave it alone.

I would wonder whether people know how much moderation they are getting.

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Bob

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bobn2
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Re: +1 for moderation
In reply to DonA2, Jun 29, 2013

DonA2 wrote:

Bobn2 wrote:

DonA2 wrote:

Very well stated Doug. The silent majority has been ---- well, silent for too long.

If its silent, how do you know it's a majority?

-- hide signature --

Bob

Well Bob, it's a well known theory that the loud, aggressive, and belligerent people speak up. Some elections go that way when people become complacent. It all comes down to "surely common sense will prevail". We can see how well that works.

Not an answer.

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Bob

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Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
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Clarity
In reply to bobn2, Jun 29, 2013

Bobn2 wrote:

<...>

The argument that you put forward is the argument that censors put forward everywhere - that censorship is necessary to protect the great unwashed from being exposed to content they might find objectionable.

Moderation is not about hiding things.  It is about letting good things become visible that are otherwise obscured behind muck.

If a forum is full of fighting and nagativity (a word I made up) why would most users take the time to wade through the garbage to get to a few good bits of information?  They would not.  Again you are showing a lack of concern for the vast majority of people actually reading any given forum.

Good moderation helps pen in the fighting so some people can enjoy the spectacle and effort, but also makes sure that it does not overwhelm the purpose for the forum existing to begin with - which is here to provide helpful information to users of specific camera systems.  It is way to easy to forget  that people come to a forum in the first place because they have a camera and simply want to know more about how to use it well.

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bobn2
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Re: Kendall's declared "even more reasonable questions"
In reply to Kendall Helmstetter Gelner, Jun 29, 2013

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

Detail Man wrote:

<...>

As opposed to responding to my question with questions, I would be more interested in knowing how you see yourself (which is in fact the only person that you can reliably speak for) in your intended role, and how you envision specific ways in which your organizational position as an unpaid volunteer representing DPReview may, or may not, in actual practice facilitate that personal vision.

I will attempt to answer at least in part...

I'd be happy to speak to my intended role as a moderator. I am a simple gardener, subservient to the goal of having a heathy and vibrant garden (forum).

Good metaphor, it gives an impression of someone obsessive about grubbing out the weeds, just leaving the blooms. The only question is, why you would want to treat conversation as weeds and blooms, and who decides who's opinions are 'weeds' and who's are 'blooms'.

Often that means sacrifice on my part in some way, in order to improve the whole.

It's interesting, isn't it? Clearly you see yourself as someone sacrificing themselves for the common good, yet you and the other moderators here are quick to point out that this is not a democracy and it is the proprietor's right to determine any rules that they like. So, you are sacrificing yourself to be an unpaid agent of a huge international corporation which makes huge profits. Why would you do that? Or do you see yourself serving the 'community', and if so why do you think that this corporation has absolute rights over the 'community'?

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Bob

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Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
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Re: On Excitement
In reply to bosjohn21, Jun 29, 2013

bosjohn21 wrote:

but I what I think I am hearing is the general concensus is for less moderation rather than more I could be wrong I often am

You are not wrong, that is what you are hearing...

From the subset of people who are annoyed enough with moderation to come to Open Talk, "Home of the Argumentative"

It may come as little surprise that a fair number of people who like to argue support the idea of unlimited arguing.

But that does not mean it's what the readers of the average camera forum would enjoy.  There's a reason why the names of forums are along the lines of "Nikon SLR talk" and not "Nikon Flavored Bickering".

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bobn2
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Re: Clarity
In reply to Kendall Helmstetter Gelner, Jun 29, 2013

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

Bobn2 wrote:

<...>

The argument that you put forward is the argument that censors put forward everywhere - that censorship is necessary to protect the great unwashed from being exposed to content they might find objectionable.

Moderation is not about hiding things. It is about letting good things become visible that are otherwise obscured behind muck.

You continue to use the arguments censors always use. You take it on yourself to decide what are 'good things' and what is 'muck'. Why do you think that you are in a better position to do that than the rest of us? And why do you think the 'muck' obscures anything - it does not remove the valuable posts, whilst your action frequently does.

If a forum is full of fighting and nagativity (a word I made up) why would most users take the time to wade through the garbage to get to a few good bits of information? They would not. Again you are showing a lack of concern for the vast majority of people actually reading any given forum.

You are talking it on yourself to decide what is garbage, and in the meantime much 'good information' is routinely excised by you and your ilk simply to appease those who would prefer false information because it better suits their world view.

Good moderation helps pen in the fighting so some people can enjoy the spectacle and effort, but also makes sure that it does not overwhelm the purpose for the forum existing to begin with - which is here to provide helpful information to users of specific camera systems. It is way to easy to forget that people come to a forum in the first place because they have a camera and simply want to know more about how to use it well.

It's interesting to apply your arguments to more general society. It would mean that we would have state censors, deciding which publications were 'muck' and which were 'good information'. The ones they consider 'muck' would be prevented from publishing, removed from the newsstands and the authors denied the right to publish. We have all heard of states that operate that way. I wonder if you are hones enough to say that you support the media policies of the world's authoritarian regimes, or whether you prefer the following:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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Bob

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