Discussion in 'Communications' started by ObiWan506, Nov 9, 2010.
Why not both?
On behalf of the JC Admin team and Mod Squad, here are the results of the decision reached after considering Strilo's proposal of letting him back into Mod Squad and setting up a mediation process in order to work out differences between himself and the JC admins.
First, let me be absolutely clear that this decision was taken very seriously by both the admins and by Mod Squad, and we took into account the posts made in this thread, PMs sent to us from both users and from former mods and admins, and incidents shared by many of the current mods. Additionally, evidence used in the previous admin decision regarding Strilo's history was shared and clarified in Mod Squad. After discussing this in Mod Squad over the last week and having most of the mods weigh in with their own opinions on the matter, we feel confident that the decision we have made is both in the best interests of the boards and for Mod Squad. I truly feel confident in saying that this is the opinion of not just the JC Admins, but Mod Squad as a whole.
There is no question that this demotion should have been handled much better than it was. I should have had a statement prepared to announce in Comms before this thread was started, and it also would have been easier for the mods if I had given them a heads-up prior to action being taken. We botched this up from a PR standpoint and I do sincerely apologize for that. In order to make sure nothing like this happens again, we have already begun discussing putting some policies in place that will make these situations run smoother (more on this below).
With that being said, both the admins and Mod Squad feel that Strilo should not return to MS. In regards to setting up a neutral site for mediation, we also feel that this is unnecessary in this situation. The primary reason for this is that the most recent issues regarding Strilo are not the main problem. The main problem has been Strilo's history of aggressive, hostile, and unprofessional conduct toward fellow moderators in Mod Squad, and his failure to change his behavior after multiple requests and warnings, which demonstrates to us a continuing bad attitude and inability or unwillingness to improve. It is because of this history that the mods overwhelmingly agree that mediation would fail to resolve the core issues that resulted in Strilo's demotion.
While Strilo was effectively moderating his forum, we simply could no longer tolerate the continued unacceptable behavior that we were seeing from him behind the scenes. Again, this decision was reached taking both Strilo's recent actions and prior history into account, as well as the suggestions and points brought up in this thread. We do thank Strilo for his time and effort here and hope he will continue to be a part of the community.
On the topic of what can be done to handle these situations better, Mod Squad is already discussing making updates to the [link=http://boards.theforce.net/rules_announcements/b10719/27141387/p1/]Moderator Complaint Resolution Process[/link], Moderator Expectations from the [link=http://boards.theforce.net/rules_announcements/b10719/27141421/p1/]Rules of the JC[/link], and creating a brand new Moderator Dispute Mediation Process. Details of these changes will be announced in Comms once they are finalized.
So in short, we know this was not handled well and the admins do apologize, we as an MS team share a broad consensus that, despite the problems in the execution, the decision made was the right one and Strilo should not return, and we are currently working on how to improve both the way disputes are handled internally, and the way demotions are handled.
First and foremost, I wanted to say thank you to all the people who stood up for me in here. In addition to them, I want to thank the people who told it like it is, whether they agreed with my situation and position or not. Your honesty and directness is always appreciated, even if it disagrees with where I stand. There are a lot of users who care about the forums and the community here and that's great.
Second, I wanted to say that the admins handled this thing so poorly it was like some sort of bad joke, acting with complete disregard for my feelings or for the seven years of work I've put into this site. This apology, in addition to being clearly under duress and thus meaningless, is also hollow words. You apologized for this being a PR nightmare, not for how you treated me. This whole thing is too little too late. Your actions over the last weeks, and indeed the way you have run MS in the last year, show a complete disregard for anyone who disagrees with you and how you run things. Actions speak louder than words and your actions show pretty clearly how you really feel. It's clear that other people told you to apologize and you caved to pressure. I have no doubts that left to your own devices, you would have smugly sat back and sat firm in your belief that this was all the totally right decision for the totally right reasons.
Lastly, you admins have forced out a valuable member of the community, an active mod and user in such a shoddy and unforgivable way that they won't be back. I know you probably don't actually care one way or the other, but I do. I won't stick around a place administrated by people who treat anyone so poorly, and then try to congratulate themselves on learning from the situation and moving forward. This will happen again because of who you admins are as people. So enjoy what you are turning this place into, because all that will be left are people who agree with you.
Sorry to see you go Tim, you deserved a lot better. You were the last mod still online from my first year of posting.
Strilo, I know your angry, upset and hurt at the moment. Take a while and see how you feel before leaving the community altogther. It would be a real shame and loss to the Boards if you no longer posted as a regular member.
To Grimby and all the members of MS, thanks for your time and effort in resolving this the best way you thought possible. It'll be interesting to see what proposals come out of the ongoing discussion into the improvement of mod to mod communication and admin to mod communication, because if one thing has come out of all this it does seem that communcation could be better.
Yes, from a PR standpoint this situation was handled badly, and the items you list here would be helpful toward improving that. However, I also think it would be very helpful if in the future actions like this were not handled unilaterally by the admin team but were instead discussed openly in Mod Squad before the admin team comes to a decision. Doing so can lead to the generation of better ideas for handling a situation and can help you avoid situations like this in the first place.
Regarding Strilo's demotion - if the majority of the MS feels that Strilo's presence is disruptive and that he needed to go, then perhaps this is ultimately for the best. However, that seems like a bad sign to me. I would personally rather see the Mod Squad full of opinionated, passionate people like Strilo who occasionally let themselves get carried away than see the Mod Squad full of apathetic yes-men that are afraid to express their opinions for fear of stepping on someone's toes. And if moderators are unwilling to express their opinions due to fear of retaliation from the admin team, that is an entirely unacceptable situation in my opinion.
I'm sorry folks - I still believe that Tim's demotion is going to be noted as one of the pettiest, tackiest events in the history of the TF.N forms since "Wisegate".
You (Collective of the MS past and present) have worked with Tim for YEARS - her's been one of the 'rock steady' old timers of our community, and a moderator for a good damn chunk of it - a volunteer who's put more time and energy into this place longer than many of the current andmins have been about.
This whole situation makes me so very sad, for all concerned.
Edit: I can Speel
I've been back and forth on this situation. At first I was 100% against the admins' choices. Then once they explained themselves I sided with them. Then I started thinking.
When you're a part of a team, and there's that really obnoxious member of your team that no one can stand - not a single person - you don't kick that person off the team. That's unprofessional and not thought out well. You don't bully them, or move them out of the way. You suck it up, smile, and continue with your job. If you're incapable of doing that, you're a poor team member and simply lack the skills to interact with others on a socially acceptable level that is expected of adults. You do not whine, you do not try to convince others of why you can't stand them, because then you're only stooping yourself to that person's level. I think my point on that is clear.
Admins - although I did sympathize with your opinions, I realized that in the end, that's all you had on your side. Opinions. Strilo did not break an actual concrete rule. And not only that, you handled this unprofessionally, and you continued to until the end. I've read your explanations. He simply offended too many people, made people feel uncomfortable. See my above paragraph. I would much rather have a teammate who I personally can't stand, who does an amazing job, than a teammate who puts up a false act of niceness and is incompetent at their job.
But, in the end, this is the internet.
edit: By the way tim, I apologize for the comparison I had to use. I don't actually think you're obnoxious.
I entirely agree. I think you know me well enough to have faith that I'm not one to sit by and blindly agree with things going on out of fear. There are also a number of mods I've seen that are forthright and honest in how they feel and I do believe we can improve communication and MS relations in the future.
I'm sorry for the way things were handled and that Tim's feelings were hurt as badly as they were. It is my hope that with more open and direct discussions in the MS, we can have an atmosphere where everyone feels their opinions and input matter even if they disagree. I'm sorry to see you go, Tim, although I hope you will change your mind and come back.
IF this is true:
The main problem has been Strilo's history of aggressive, hostile, and unprofessional conduct toward fellow moderators in Mod Squad, and his failure to change his behavior after multiple requests and warnings, which demonstrates to us a continuing bad attitude and inability or unwillingness to improve.
Then no amount of "doing an amazing" job excuses it.
One can be opinionated without being consistently aggressive or rude about it. Tim, you did a great job, but you also have a pattern of trouble dating back before I stepped down the first time. I hope there isn't some kind of false dichotomy created wherein Strilo represents all opinionated, vocal people and everyone else is relegated to some kind of "silent" position. A great many moderators (like Kate) have been opinionated in a respectful yet direct way. I had several negative encounters with Tim while I was a moderator, which of course happened many years ago, but then again, that's part of the overall point.
Certainly I have also had positive interaction with Tim, mainly revolving around politics and the arts, and I am glad to have had them. I think those are both areas where Tim is knowledgeable and his contributions are both important and needed. I hope you stick around, Tim. I wish you had left the Mod Squad under better circumstances, but as I've said before, that opportunity was there day after day, month after month and year after year. You've got to know when to say when. I like to think I made a good choice as to when I said that for myself, and looking back, I can't imagine having stuck around any longer than I did.
I think things certainly were handled poorly, and it doesn't help the Mod Squad that the best two people by far in handling this sort of thing are simply part of the group, rather than leading it (Kate and Matt). I don't necessarily think things should have been broadly discussed in the Mod Squad, however, because that almost inevitably leads to in-group protectionism. Sometimes, leaders need to lead. I wish it had been handled better, but in this case, the overall end result was correct.
At any rate, best of luck, Tim. I imagine I'll see you around here in one form or another .
Well, if I were Strilo, I'd imagine that after this whole situation I would feel like I just got screwed with my pants on. This has already been beaten over your heads, but yeah, this was handled badly. And every time you had a chance to make it better, it?s like you were purposefully making it worse. You were trying to make a drinking glass out of paper until you final realized that no amount of trying will fix a situation that starts off with such a bad concept.
Anyway, I liken this to my obese neighbor who loves to read his newspaper in his driveway with his shirt off: I don't agree with it and there's certainly nothing about it that's pretty, but it's his decision. This is your decision, but I just want to close with a few things and then I'll shut up.
There was an article in a newspaper today with a thought-provoking headline. Doesn?t matter what the story was about but the headline went along the lines of ?Long on words but short on guidance?. I hope the administrators can learn from this and realize that no amount of novel-making is sufficient when you lack the actions and leadership required. After this situation, I hope you do learn for the better. I hope you do make more conscious decisions in the future and be more open. I hope you do learn to be less ambiguous with your communication, which was the biggest problem with this situation from the beginning. Honestly, and without being sarcastic for a moment, that really would be awesome if you took this and made yourselves better. Someone said it?s not that you won?t make mistakes, but rather how you stay humble after them and learn for the better. That's totally cheesy, but you know it's true.
I?m not going to really belabor the point much longer on this subject, but Sith Lord Gunray is right. You hung Strilo on the first, razor-thin, letter-of-the-law rule you could find and you ousted him. You took away the guy?s right to even say goodbye the way he wanted to. Someone who?s been here before you were even administrators. In fact, I?m willing to bet all the money in my pockets that he?s been a mod since before the current majority of mods? registration date, and he didn't get to say goodbye the way he wanted to. And I know, it?s not your job to be responsible for all that and I would say that too if the person actually did something to deserve the treatment they got. It?s sucks, I know and there really are no winners in something like this.
And guys, you shouldn't think we were arguing in this thread just because we're friends with Strilo or we do his evil bidding. That's Glenn Beck-type conspiracy thinking. It's possible for someone to disagree and it not be part of a global coup to discredit your power. We're independent thinkers, honest. Speaking for myself, I saw something I didn't like or understand, and I certainly wasn't alone. Thats all it was. You should think about that before labeling someone ?a friend of Strilo? or whatever name you would use to discredit someone to justify yourself and your viewpoints. It's labeling and it's used to justify - or discredit - another's argument. I feel like that's what was done here, which is probably why this was bungled for so long: you either weren?t listening to us or weren?t comprehending it.
So that?s my bitch. Doesn?t change anything, I know that. In the end, thanks for at least listening and talking about it some more.
Wow, antagonistic moderators and yjcc social groups invading communications rushing to their defense... Blast from the past! How does one do a bad job moderating a Prequel-based subforum in these times? For several years?
You hung Strilo on the first, razor-thin, letter-of-the-law rule you could find and you ousted him. You took away the guy?s right to even say goodbye the way he wanted to. Someone who?s been here before you were even administrators
Matt will pick more holes in this one that would seem humanly possible, but that just isn't so. We've had administrators here a long while, certainly before Tim came along. More to the point, just as I said before, when you've been around that long, you have a chance to leave on your terms every day you're there. When you have a certain style of interacting with people that has a way of coming across as antagonistic and you know you've had issues in the past, it makes even more sense to say, "you know, I think I've done this long enough. I'm moving on," or something like that. Staying in the Mod Squad for over seven consecutive years lends itself to making some enemies, and this is only more so when you have an aggressive and sometimes antagonistic personality. Tim is a very nice guy most of the time. Unfortunately, there have been some times where he hasn't been so nice (this goes for me too, by the way, so don't think I'm somehow above my own words).
Just to emphasize, Tim had a pattern of antagonism dating back to an entirely different group of moderators. The only common denominator (aside from GandyRaven) was Tim himself. This talk about essentially waiting to kick Tim out on the first sign of trouble is ridiculous, mainly because these issues go back at least as far as 2004.
To restate something else I've said: You take everywhere you've been and everything you've done everywhere you go. In short, you pile up baggage (some of us more than others) and have to live with the things you've said and done to and with others. I certainly do, and no doubt tomorrow I'll get an up close look at this and be on the other side of this statement. That's usually how it works.
Shows the importance of being able to disagree without being disagreeable.
Let's see, a tough, "unpopular" decision was made based on evidence, history, and much discussion of differing viewpoints. You're right, that is Glenn Beck-type thinking.
Sorry all this happened, Tim. You were always a great mod for the prequel board, especially back in the heyday of Episode III. Then during my time in the MS I never really got the sense that you were antagonistic or hostile, just that you had strong opinions. Sometimes I would agree with you, sometimes I wouldn't. Them's the breaks. I do think that there are a few aspects of the JC board where people could use a thicker skin, and I hope, at the very least, that this can help with that.
I also hope that the MS is discussing what I'm about to say, but, if not, a word of advice: if you don't think you're being treated well by someone, particularly another mod, manager, or admin, remember that the best thing you can do is to talk to that person before all else. Odds are it's going to wind up as having been a misunderstanding. If the poor treatment continues in that and further conversations, THAT is when you should go to a higher up with your problem. Going to someone else immediately cuts out the possibility of the person being able to work on the way they talk to people.
I think you misunderstood what Chris meant. He was saying that assuming anyone who was defending Tim because they're friends with him is Glenn Beck style conspiracy thinking, not that the decision to remove Tim itself was Glenn Beck style conspiracy thinking.
I'd like to reemphasize that this was very much a team decision. The initial decision was made by all three admins in agreement, and this time it was reviewed and discussed heavily by MS as a whole. I won't say it was unanimous, because it wasn't - but there was a very clear consensus, and it was not forced in any way by the admins. Everything available was taken into consideration - everything posted in this thread, various PMs from regular users, ex-mods and ex-admins, and all the comments shared by current mods, some in this thread and many more in MS, along with what we admins were looking at when we made the initial decision.
This apology, in addition to being clearly under duress and thus meaningless, is also hollow words.
I promise you that it was not made under duress. Nobody told Grimby (or myself, for that matter) that we needed to apologize. We both recognized that early on, and we do mean it sincerely. You may choose not to accept our apologies, and that is your right, but that doesn't mean we don't mean it sincerely.
I would personally rather see the Mod Squad full of opinionated, passionate people like Strilo who occasionally let themselves get carried away than see the Mod Squad full of apathetic yes-men that are afraid to express their opinions for fear of stepping on someone's toes. And if moderators are unwilling to express their opinions due to fear of retaliation from the admin team, that is an entirely unacceptable situation in my opinion.
How about a MS full of opinionated, passionate people who are not afraid to disagree but can do it without forcing others out of the discussion? That's what we're aiming for. As I said before, a MS full of yes-men would be boring as heck and pretty pointless. That is absolutely not what we want.
You hung Strilo on the first, razor-thin, letter-of-the-law rule you could find and you ousted him. You took away the guy?s right to even say goodbye the way he wanted to.
This is so far from the truth I'm not even sure where to begin. However, as I'm short on time and I've already explained it in this thread, I won't go into it again.
Shows the importance of being able to disagree without being disagreeable.
Something that indeed is very important.
So in the SIX YEARS Tim has been Tim...
Tim was promoted in October of 2003.
It's a shame what has happened here, but it appears that it (the decision by the MS, and Tim's subsequent decision to leave this community) won't change, so it what it is. Nobody on this planet is perfect, no matter who you are. If Tim's behavior has been such a "problem" over the years, you're demoting now? Really? We are a community, a great one (despite all of our ills). Any problem with behavior that isn't part of something much more troubling/sickening (such as sexual harassment) should be dealt with in a matter that recognizes the reality here: this is the internet. Not an office environment or an Instock team at Wally World. People have various emotions, ways of expressing themselves & different opinions of how to do things or implement/take away things. Users make mistakes, and act/post in ways that others may not like, but who here would think so negatively of a user (and their ability to be a mod, etc) based on that alone? Actions do matter, and Tim's solid history as a mod/admin (even with his boldness in dealings with fellow mods/admins) should have accounted for something. I hate to see something like this occur, especially to someone whom I had known around here since 2001, and despite our personal disagreements/"battles" in the past, have great respect for. Tim did what horrible thing exactly that deserved this? There's nobody involved here that I don't like/have measures of respect for, so this whole situation has been difficult to follow/really, really stinks.
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Did anyone really think that they would change their minds? That would mean they would have to admit that they were wrong or made a mistake. No one in authority ever wants to admit that they were wrong or made a mistake so they tell the people that they have power over that they will "review it" and then come back a short time later saying that they still agree that the proper decision was made.
OK - Seven years...
PS - Tunick, I you.
There's a point where people that feel like thy've been "Forced out of conversations" need to take accountibility for allowing themselvs to be forced out. It's like some others have said, if his behaviour has been going on for 6 plus years, and three previous adminitrations, why is this happening now?
How is it that hard to think that this looks a lot like a personal grudge on the part of some people, especially when it's been admitted several times that Strilo has done a more than exceptional job as a moderator, which is his first, and foremost, most important duty to the userbase and the community as a whole?
Regardless, I personally disagree wholeheartedly with this overall desicion, an know that many others do as well. Th current administration has not painted itself in a particularly good light at all in this sitution, and empty promises about how "It's gonna be all better now" aren't making you look much better.
On top of that, not only have you forced out one of your best mods, but you've alienated and driven away one of your best users.