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Use of mods' OT powers
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Languorous Lass
The Order of Denderah


Joined: 24 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:14 pm    Post subject: Use of mods' OT powers Reply with quote

I raised this issue in a side comment in the thread entitled "A shipper section." That thread isn't really an appropriate place for the discussion, so I'm starting a new thread here. I think I've raised this issue in the past, but it continues to be a concern.

Over in the other thread, I said the following in a response:

Quote:
I will point out that the mods do seem to manage to find any and all posts -- other than shipper posts, of course -- that they deem vaguely Off-Topic, and to move them to the Rubbish Bin. (That, to my surprise, was where I found my original discussion with Garnet about shipper posts.) I would like to see the mods exercising that power for good for a change, rather than in ways that seem to me to be random at best, and at worst suppressive of genuine discourse.


A couple of current and former mods challenged my assertion -- one privately, one publicly. To the private comment, I wrote the following response:

Sorry, but I genuinely think the mods are using the OT power inappropriately.

Take this "How Old Are You?" thread, for instance. I'm the one who pointed out in the thread that a separate "How Old Is Everyone?" poll already existed. And I have no objection to the thread having been locked after the original poster said he was trying to kill the thread. But I see absolutely no reason to have moved the entire thread into the Rubbish Bin. There were several posts in which people told how old they were; those posts were entirely on-topic. And Lester and I exchanged a couple of posts about my Sinfest avatars. But I don't see those posts as any more OT, or any more objectionable, than the "Daniel/Jonas is hott" posts in other threads.

The same for the thread entitled "J." I can see why the thread was locked, but it was explicitly stated when the thread was locked that it would be left in place. Instead, it was moved to the Rubbish Bin, where it will be of no help to anyone else who might happen to come across the administrative page and think that "J" might be a clue.

The "Mental Health Talk" thread contains some inflammatory language, but it also contains some genuinely helpful discussion.

Finally, everyone has her/his own opinion about what material is "unsuitable." I happen to get really sick of shipper discussions, and to think that they need their own section of the forum. A number of people agree with me, as the responses to my original post in that thread make clear. It seems to me that those of us who can't stand the puerile shipper posts are being forced to suffer through them simply because they're considered to be innocuous.

Are all topics containing inflammatory messages, by contrast, going to be sent to the Rubbish Bin? If so, I think we're going to be missing out on plenty of valuable information, for the very reason that the topics that are most significant are also the most likely to raise temperatures and temper levels.

That's why I object to the way the mods are currently using the OT power.

Thoughts, anyone?
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Broken Kid
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've given you information about those particular instances in private. I think your exaggerations are inflammatory and unproductive, not to mention off topic in your own topic. I'd rather discuss this with you in private, as we have been.

Moderators have guidelines to follow when deleting a thread or moving it to the Rubbish Bin. I'll review these particular instances, but I don't think any moderator was not following the guidelines.
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Languorous Lass
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry, BK, but I must disagree with you re: discussing this topic solely in PM.

I edited my comment in the other thread to delete the unfair exaggeration that you pointed out to me, and to keep the comment from detracting from the discussion of my original subject.

But I think it's essential to discuss this topic publicly to find out whether other Forumites believe, as I do, that the mods are using their powers inappropriately.

If I find that most people disagree with me, I'll rethink my position. (I hope you will acknowledge that I'm almost always willing to listen to opposing opinions and reconsider my own.) But if most forumites agree, I think the mods should reconsider the way they are using the powers.
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Broken Kid
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Languorous Lass wrote:
But I think it's essential to discuss this topic publicly to find out whether other Forumites believe, as I do, that the mods are using their powers inappropriately.

If I find that most people disagree with me, I'll rethink my position. (I hope you will acknowledge that I'm almost always willing to listen to opposing opinions and reconsider my own.) But if most forumites agree, I think the mods should reconsider the way they are using the powers.


Rather, you are opening up the moderators to flaming without all parties understanding the issues involved (why the person did what they did, etc.). This happened once before, and people jumped on quite viciously. It's easy to say "yeah, I agree!" and harder to delve into the particular instances in any detail.

I have asked that if anyone has a problem with how a moderator handles an issue, they raise it to me privately. Again, the moderators have guidelines, and while those actions may not always be popular, they follow them for the benefit of the forum.

ETA: Perhaps my concern is in the choice of language taken in these types of complaints. It always seems to be "mods are abusing their powers", which implies some malicious intent, rather than "should a mod have done this?" or "a mod made a mistake". We're all human! Smile
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TOSG
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with LL pretty much completely on this one. I don't think that any of the mods have any sort of malice intent, but I do think that they're a bit too eager to sanitize potentially inflammatory discussion. This is a widespread general trend, so dealing with it instance-by-instance like BK suggested may not be as productive as addressing the issue as a whole.

I like LL's idea about starting a forum for "shipper" posts (we could throw all of the posts fawning over particular characters in there, too) - they place a fair amount of clutter in the other forums.

Here's an idea - every time a mod moves or deletes a thread (besides blatant spam), they should send a PM to the poster in question. This would be very helpful in showing people what kind of posts are and are not acceptable (I know that I've had a couple of posts moved to the Rubbish Bin that seemed pretty inexplicable to me), and might discourage arbitrary deleting/sanitizing of threads.
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Broken Kid
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TOSG wrote:
Here's an idea - every time a mod moves or deletes a thread (besides blatant spam), they should send a PM to the poster in question. This would be very helpful in showing people what kind of posts are and are not acceptable (I know that I've had a couple of posts moved to the Rubbish Bin that seemed pretty inexplicable to me), and might discourage arbitrary deleting/sanitizing of threads.


Indeed, moderators are instructed to either post a message before locking or moving a thread or contacting the original poster!
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TOSG
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Broken Kid wrote:
TOSG wrote:
Here's an idea - every time a mod moves or deletes a thread (besides blatant spam), they should send a PM to the poster in question. This would be very helpful in showing people what kind of posts are and are not acceptable (I know that I've had a couple of posts moved to the Rubbish Bin that seemed pretty inexplicable to me), and might discourage arbitrary deleting/sanitizing of threads.


Indeed, moderators are instructed to either post a message before locking or moving a thread or contacting the original poster!


Haha, glad that somebody beat me to the rule-making punch. Someone must have slipped up a couple of times. No biggie.
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Killthesmiley
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Broken Kid wrote:
TOSG wrote:
Here's an idea - every time a mod moves or deletes a thread (besides blatant spam), they should send a PM to the poster in question. This would be very helpful in showing people what kind of posts are and are not acceptable (I know that I've had a couple of posts moved to the Rubbish Bin that seemed pretty inexplicable to me), and might discourage arbitrary deleting/sanitizing of threads.


Indeed, moderators are instructed to either post a message before locking or moving a thread or contacting the original poster!


surprising. I don't see that very often.
I admit I know a lot of mods who do that, but there are a lot of instances where that doesn't happen.

I'm not bitching. I'm just...pointing it out as a fact.
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TJ Marsh
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BK, not to say anything.

But killthesmiley is right.

Edit: The Mod's actions lately have been rather odd lately.
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curiousGeorge
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, so I'm bored and decided to butt into a thread I care nothing about.

But...

I have seen all the Buakanators on parade, as well as most of the mods. Most of the Bukantators and Mods have left due to the shoddy nature of the production, but BK hangs on. A glutton for punishment that one, we share a kindred spirit on that front.

And...

Despite our having grossly different viewpoints on almost all thing LG, I respect his judgment on all things Bukanator. Well, maybe except for the ongoing "Taig Issue", but that is indeed an extreme case requiring the utmost of diplomacy and mad dog handling skillz. Other than that rather problematic issue, I think that BK and the mods here are extremely professional and fair. (this part I am being serious about)

Furthermore...

Lighten up. Go outside. Get some fresh air. If you feel you must post, then dissect the joke of a plot. What. Ever. Just leave BK alone. He has much bigger fish to fry than the likes of your silly little complaints.
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trainer101
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Killthesmiley wrote:
surprising. I don't see that very often.
I admit I know a lot of mods who do that, but there are a lot of instances where that doesn't happen.
Contradictory Statements - but that's beside the point. I've clicked on each of the shadow topics in the forum and in virtually every instance there is an explanation as to why it was moved. In other cases, the poster has been notified by PM. Only the poster would know whether he/she received the PM so how can anyone claim there are a lot of instances where it doesn't happen?
...........................................................................................................

Broken Kid wrote:
It's easy to say "yeah, I agree!" and harder to delve into the particular instances in any detail.
Is followed by:
TJ Marsh wrote:
BK, not to say anything.

But killthesmiley is right.

Edit: The Mod's actions lately have been rather odd lately.
This is a perfect example of what BK is talking about - right in the thread where he brings it up!
..........................................................................................................

curiousGeorge wrote:
Lighten up. Go outside. Get some fresh air.
Best advice I've heard all day.
...........................................................................................................

Sorry folks, but even mods gotta vent sometimes. I, like my fellow moderators, am just a fan and forumite like you are. I take my responsibilities to my fellow forum members very seriously, as I'm sure the other mods do also. Again, please remember, we are "Mods not Gods".

For the record: IMO BK does an amazing job with this forum, I'm voting for him in the next Presidential election.

Trainer
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TJ Marsh
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Broken kid does a amazzzzzzzzing job.
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rupaZer0
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my experience, talking about it with the moderator politely through pm is very effective. I think the policy works fine, as long as you acknowledge that having your posts moved or deleted is always going to leave your feathers ruffled a bit. Just because you're peeved doesn't mean the moderator is on a power trip.
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sack36
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my experience talking about it in PM is totally ineffective. But I suspect it's because we just have world views that differ drastically. As for the items Lass brought up, I not only see the reasons for the actions, I'm appalled that the age thing wasn't deleted outright! Just what we need in this forum are pedophiles trolling for victims!
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TOSG
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sack36 wrote:
I'm appalled that the age thing wasn't deleted outright! Just what we need in this forum are pedophiles trolling for victims!


Oh, come on. That sort of thing is perfectly natural conversation. I think that pretty much everyone - child and adult - knows better than to give away too much revealing information online, and it should be their responsibility to use appropriate discretion. While predators are definitely real and awful, their mere existance isn't a justification for putting into place a forum police-state.
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