About moderation - Feedback

Started Jun 24, 2013 | Discussions thread
bosjohn21 Forum Pro • Posts: 20,506
Re: Time to take a break

TrapperJohn wrote:

The moderation here is very light, and I don't envy the mods for doing it-has to be babysitting adults at times.

I haven't seen a locked or edited thread where it wasn't overdue, and frankly the ban feature could stand more liberal use. Almost all posts in question have long since departed any semblance of discourse, and that's being very generous.

Its just a camera, not a religion.

I have quite the opposit experience as you and find far more moderation here then the other forums  in which I participate. There is also far more criticism of moderators here than I encounter elsewhere.

by far the most comon form of moderator action on the other forums I am familiar with is moving posts to more appropriate areas.

Here I see mostly locked threads and eliminated threads, In the first instance that is locked threads I can think of very few good reasons to lock a thread as there is a onehundred and fifty post limit in any event. In my experience in forums is all threads have a life time and will all die out eventually. Unless band width is an issue then the only real reason for locking a thread is if is perceived as being abusive or otherwise harmful. Being boring does not raise to the level of being harmful in my opinion.

While the rules are written to be as objective as possible. the moderation is subjective and is always a judgment call.  As judgment calls they will be exerciesed differently by different moderators and even differently by the same moderator on different days or even in the same day. It is not possible to be totally objective as a moderator which then means that over all less moderation is the best policy because it has the least amount of subjectivity in rendering actions.  Inaction should not be considered approval but only of tolarence.

one of the hallmarks of good moderation is the ability of the moderators to realize that rules are guidlines and not chissled in stone and that one rule almost never fits all situations. being more tolerant, will in the long run allow for freeer discorse and the forums will become largly self governing.

like so many other endevors the moderators roll is frought with conflicting interests and subjective feelings. We can fight our inclinations to be harsher on those with whom we disagree than those with whom we agree but  in the end not possible because rendering a descision whether based on the bias or on the recognition of the bias is still controled by the bias. a, This is inescapable and part of being human. It is I believe also a strong indication that less rather than more moderation is better in the long haul.

I guess it all boild down to how much tolerance we form members and users are able to live with and that level should be reflected in the moderation. So I think its very important to have these thread which can I hope increase moderators awareness of the dynamics of moderation as opposed to the details of decisions which can and are discussed in their private forum

I would recomend the following most of which I think is available now.

All decisions to lock or delete a thread should be accompanied by a statement in a pm to the poster as to why the action is taken. I think the poster should be allowed to share this statement with the group at his discression.

All decisions to ban or kick forum members should also be stated to the member being banned or kicked and again the forum member should be given a chance to post the reasons to the forum.

This will I think help both to be more precise in why and action is taken and no action should be taken except with the understanding that it is possible that the action will be made public.

I think there should be a timely and transparent appeal process that will be available to those affected by ban decisions.

I think moderators at first blush will not like having the reasons for their decisions made public at the discression of the affected person but in the long run will I think make for far better understanding both of the moderator and we users as to what the tolerance levels are and give the moderators more feed back so as to better make a more unified approach to thier duties and be less arbitrary.

again though bottom line in the art of moderation less is more.

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John aka bosjohn21

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