[GEN] Moderators and the distinction between personal opinion and reality.

Discussion in 'Communications' started by Dark Lady Mara, Jul 1, 2004.

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Moderators: JoinTheSchwarz, LAJ_FETT, Ramza
  1. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    You can voice your own opinions. But you must do so as a regular user;

    Actually, we can't even do that in some cases.
  2. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 9
    No, because some mods will threaten to ban you, eh?
  3. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    No, because some mods will threaten to ban you, eh?

    No, nothing like that.

    Being a moderator means I'm not able to to insult users the way that you all are. I'm not able to criticize the administration like you all are.

    My posting habits are more curtailed than the regular user.
  4. Jobo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2000
    star 5
    Uh, you're plenty able to criticize the administration. I've seen plenty of mods criticize the system, and in fact, it's better when they do, because they can get something done about it.
    _jOBO
  5. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    Uh, you're plenty able to criticize the administration. I've seen plenty of mods criticize the system, and in fact, it's better when they do, because they can get something done about it.

    Perhaps. Maybe I misstated the intent there.

    If something's brought up in Comms (say, perhaps, an icon policy change?) we're free to blast away as if we were regular users, as it was brought up for discussion in Comms.

    If something's brought up in the Mod Squad and the staff debates it and we decide on a course of action (usually via majority rule or the occasional owner fiat), whatever the policy ends up being, we MUST support it publicly. And, I might add, that's the way it should be; I'm not lamenting that situation. I'm merely pointing out that sometimes Mods don't have the posting flexibility that y'all do.
  6. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 9
    > whatever the policy ends up being, we MUST support it publicly.

    Boy. Things sure have changed in the 3 or 4 months since I stepped down.

  7. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    Boy. Things sure have changed in the 3 or 4 months since I stepped down.

    They were always that way as far as I know, even when you were here.
  8. Vertical Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 1999
    star 6
    I seem to recall plenty of mods not verbally supporting certain policies, but agreeing to enforce them.
  9. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 9
  10. Wald Balfed Your Mother Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2000
    star 3
    I have nothing to add to this discussion. If I do at some later point then I'll address it then. Until that time, carry on.
  11. Falcon Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2002
    star 8
    oh? thats interesting, I think Mods should have a right to voice their opinions on a topic, but threatening to ban for an opinion is not right. Now if the thread gets derailed and it gets heated in there then warnings can come into play but, the mod has to keep a clear head so the innocient doesn't accidentally get banned.

    Edit: last time I checked I seen mods give personal opinions but they didn't threaten ban users for an opinion they didn't agree with
  12. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    Vert: I seem to recall plenty of mods not verbally supporting certain policies, but agreeing to enforce them.
    jp: Yup.

    I'd just like to add my thoughts to this.

    Yes.

    The job of a moderator is to enforce the rules. It is not to like the rules, and it is not to pretend to like the rules. Obviously, if a person's going to moderate this site I'd hope they would agree with the majority of rules we have and the general sentiments of the TOS. They would be a huge hypocrite if they didn't. But if anything, I would say it's the job of a moderator to concentrate on all the ways they don't like the rules and don't think they make sense, because then these sticking points can be brought up in public and private. Often, there'll be plenty of other people who have similar feelings, and if that's the case it means the rules might need to be modified.
  13. Darth_Dagsy Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2000
    star 6
    Oh God, I shudder at the thought of the day where the MS decides something, and I have to hide my opinion on it. I'll enforce it, but I wont for a second hide my distate for it.

    I can kinda see both sides of the story, so anything I have to say will be decidedly wishywashy.

    I think that on dp4ms side, there is the notion that posting something knowingly false *is* against the rules. Even if you say that you dont believe it, the posting of definitive falsehoods is still against the rules. So I can see his position.

    However its also a rule that really isnt enforced too strongly. We dont ban people left, right, and centre for posting porkies. Usually we'd either let it go (if its minor), or edit the comment and warn the user, if its a little more major. Often we'll even leave knowingly false comments around, because they generate discussion, and can result in education of readers via the rebuttals. Its rare that we out and out ban members for posting things that are knowingly false.

    Instead, we'll concentrate on how they post things. Are they ignoring the facts and rebuttals provided by other members? Are they just posting their message ad nauseum and inciting other members to respond in an anti-TOS manner?

    September 11 was tragic. There is no doubt it affected hundreds of millions around the world. There is no doubt that those in NY really felt the brunt of it. So I do feel for dp4ms position on the matter.

    But lets not just give a blanket ban on stating contrary positions, unless the person is repetetively posting the comments, ignoring all good reason, and generally trolling. Lets use those contrary position to stimulate discussion, and let the actual facts speak for themselves. Unless the member is acting in a contrary manner with their posting habits, lets not censor their opinion. Let them talk, and let them be shown how wrong they are.
  14. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Oh God, I shudder at the thought of the day where the MS decides something, and I have to hide my opinion on it. I'll enforce it, but I wont for a second hide my distate for it.

    Personally, I have to disagree strongly with that sort of attitude.

    There have been many policies and actions that I've disagreed with by the administration as a whole, however, I've promised the entire MS that, once a policy is adopted, I will publicly defend it and keep my disagreements with it to MS and PMs.

    As the Comms admin, it's not my job to tell other mods how to run their forums, unless something actually violates the TOS. My job is to help keep order in Comms and to explain the rules and policies. I can't be selective over which ones I'll defend or not.

    I'm not going to sit here in Comms and do things to undermine any of my fellow mods when they make decisions for their forums, even if I think that their decision is wrong. That's why we have a private forum for moderator discussions.

    Kimball Kinnison
  15. HawkNC Former RSA: Oceania

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2001
    star 6
    Pfft, "unified front" is so 2 years ago.
  16. Falcon Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2002
    star 8

    I'm not going to sit here in Comms and do things to undermine any of my fellow mods when they make decisions for their forums, even if I think that their decision is wrong. That's why we have a private forum for moderator discussions.


    yeah but last time I checked dp4m isn't a mod on that board :confused:

    but I can aslo see where your coming from, I would rather do it in pms to save further embarrasement most of the time. Unless I really get into the topic though I should know better then to do it out in public

  17. Csillan_girl Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 6, 2003
    star 5
    What I still don't understand is: on the one hand, you say that your taking action by threatening people with a ban was justified because the intention of the thread was trolling, posting knowingly false things etc. On the other hand, you say that you didn't ban anyone because there was no breach of the TOS. Would you please decide for one line of argumentation?
    You asked someone here if he had a problem with someone enforcing the TOS. So by saying that, you imply that the TOS were really broken. Why did you not ban anyone then, if that was the case??

    I think what happened is: you simply overreacted, and now you try everything so that you don't have to admit it. No problem, such a thing can happen, but it won't help the situation if you try to deny it.

    You know, sometimes it doesn't hurt if a mod accepts and admits that he made a mistake. We're all not perfect here, so there's no need to pretend that you are. Always holding up the "we're perfect and you are not, so don't even try to argue with us" attitude may make people respect your power and keep them in line (ruling through fear is effective, no doubt about that), but it doesn't promote understanding between the regular user and the mods. Or do you think you don't need that??
  18. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    I think what happened is: you simply overreacted, and now you try everything so that you don't have to admit it. No problem, such a thing can happen, but it won't help the situation if you try to deny it.

    Not so. I gave my reasons in the thread and haven't changed my tune in here.

    You know, sometimes it doesn't hurt if a mod accepts and admits that he made a mistake.

    I think I'm probably one of the most forthcoming in admitting my mistakes publicly to provide transparancy in the processes.

    I don't believe I was wrong in this case.

    Came on too strong? Possibly
    Wrong to warn people about posting 9/11 falsehoods? No.
  19. Csillan_girl Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 6, 2003
    star 5
    You gave two explanations, and two that contradict each other. You conveniently ignored the first part of my post. ;)

    Anyway, how will such things be handled in the future?? No topics that could become heated at all? Just asking for clarification.
  20. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Not so. I gave my reasons in the thread and haven't changed my tune in here.

    You listed one of your reasons as "trolling", which has been shown to be untrue for that thread.

    Wrong to warn people about posting 9/11 falsehoods? No.

    So why have so many people disagreed with you? People with years of service as administrators, moderators and members have all stated positions contrary to yours, and pretty much no one has agreed with you.
  21. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    So why have so many people disagreed with you? People with years of service as administrators, moderators and members have all stated positions contrary to yours, and pretty much no one has agreed with you.

    Ummmm... I hate to break it to you, but 144 replies from multiple users != "so many people" on a messageboard this size. Sorry, dude...

    Also, considering some of the PMs I've gotten, I'd daresay there are those out there who agree with me in full, if not in part...
  22. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Ummmm... I hate to break it to you, but 144 replies from multiple users != "so many people" on a messageboard this size. Sorry, dude...

    Consider the people, David. Dashy, Hawk, jp, Dark Lady Mara, Vertical, Kaya_Jade, Darth Dark Helmet and AmazingB have all disagreed with you in one form or another, and almost no one of note has agreed with the actions you've taken. These are all noteworthy people, people who've spent a lot of time on the JC. There hasn't been anyone of their stature who's agreed with you.

    If there are people who agreed with what you did (a scary thought), why don't they post here?

    Again, I state that you listed one of the primary reasons for taking the action you did to be trolling, a reason that has been clearly shown to be without basis. I don't believe you've admitted yourself to be incorrect there, and you still haven't admitted that allowing your personal biases and feelings to influence your moderating to be inappropriate and unbecoming of a moderator.

    If you believe both those things are fine, there's a serious problem here.
  23. Csillan_girl Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 6, 2003
    star 5
    I'm sure that there are a lot of people wo would agree that some things should not be discussed here because they are somehow "inappropriate" or contradictory to their beliefs. Someone will always scream:"I don't like that!!"

    So what should we do?? If we forbid every single one of the topics people might have objections about, there won't be anything left to discuss.

    People are offended by the mere mention of homosexuality?? Ban the topic!!
    People don't like the EU?? Ban EU discussion!!
    People are offended by the theory of evolution? Ban its discussion!!

    See where that leads to??
  24. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    Again, I state that you listed one of the primary reasons for taking the action you did to be trolling, a reason that has been clearly shown to be without basis. I don't believe you've admitted yourself to be incorrect there, and you still haven't admitted that allowing your personal biases and feelings to influence your moderating to be inappropriate and unbecoming of a moderator.

    a) I thought it was trolling the way the thread was presented and I still do.
    b) All moderators are expected to judge intent in posts and that requires "feelings" to come into play.

    What's to apologize for there?
  25. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    David, please provide your definition of trolling, and match it against this post:

    "The site is entitled "Lets Roll 911", and focuses on how the Towers were brought down by controlled detonations in part of a huge insurance scam. It also focuses on the planes that were hijacked, and how they were switched with other planes which had missle pods that fired at the Towers. It doesn't quite explain the whole "terrorist" aspect of the situation, but maybe someone can find something on the site that does. Now I don't believe one word of this, even though they claim to have, and present some numerous amounts of proof, most of which I feel is blasphemy. Anywho I thought it would be interesting to see other people's reactions to this site. Here you go: [link provided]"


    Does the part in bold (or anything in the post, really, but especially those words) look like the mark of trolling?

    b) All moderators are expected to judge intent in posts and that requires "feelings" to come into play.

    According to who?

    And you should do your best to set aside your personal feelings when moderating, as so many others have said.
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