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Response to "Forum Rule Update: moderators actions"
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QtheC
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:37 pm    Post subject: Response to "Forum Rule Update: moderators actions" Reply with quote

Quote:
We have amended the Forum Etiquette, Rules, and Policies (with The Creators' approval) to add the section about moderators. From this point on, public discussion of moderator actions or moderator policies will not be allowed on the forum, and such posts will be removed.

Why are we updating these rules? Because being a moderator is not an easy job, and moderators are all volunteers. Sometimes the moderator has to be a bad guy, and a user may not like their actions. However, all too often public posts result in users piling on without understanding the issues which may not be appropriate to share with the entire forum. This not only diminishes respect for the moderator but reduces their power on the forum.

Moderators are fans, and often a moderator posts as a fan. But moderator actions such as splitting or merging a topic, deleting or editing posts, warning users, etc. are taken with the best interests of the forum in mind. Some users may not always agree with these actions, but that doesn't mean the actions where inappropriate.

We are also adding a new title: Moderator Manager. Trainer101 will serve as the Moderator Manager at this time. The Moderator Manager is a moderator with no additional powers on the forum; however, he will act as the first level of escalation for concerns about moderator actions. If you have a concern about a moderator, contact the Moderator Manager. He will review the action, compare it against the guidelines, consult with the forum administrator, and respond to the user. If the issue requires another escalation, it will go to the forum administrator, and if the administrator requires another ruling, he will take the issue to The Creators.

Note that this is not a unique rule. In fact, most other major forums have a policy against posting publicly about moderator actions. On LG15, the moderators are encouraged to post a message explaining why a thread is moved or locked, and even this is rare on other forums. Large forums with a significant number of users require that moderators' actions be appropriate and quick, without fear or public dissent.

If you have any questions or concerns about this, please feel free to contact me.


I quoted http://www.lonelygirl15.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11713 above since that thread was locked, and I would like to reply to it and invite others to discuss as they wish on this thread.


This rule, as stated, goes further than what I have seen on other successful and large forums. It seems to be a reaction to dissent, and though intended (I think) to make the job of the moderators easier and more efficient while defining a hierachy for resolution of issues (that part is good), it goes a bit too far in eliminating healthy communication when there are misunderstandings and different viewpoints. That part is counter to fostering the desired respect between the moderators and the moderated, I think.


The primary example I have in mind is the LOST TV show forum "The Fuselage" which is strictly moderated, has an entire hierarchy of moderators, and is much larger and more active than this forum. It also compares well to this site because it has a "Linear board" (similar to the comments page here) and a "Threaded board" (like the forums here).

Sometimes the Fuselage moderators do step on toes there acting a bit too quickly in enforcing the site rules, forgetting to leave a reason why something was removed, but usually they do a good job, and there is a dedicated place to ask questions. If you follow the link to the Threaded board, and page down, the last section under "Speak to the Pilot" is "Questions for the Admins and Mods." This section deals with technical as well as moderation issues.

Here is an example (from May 2006) on The Fuselage where something I posted was removed by a moderator, I asked about it in the "Questions for the Admins and Mods" section, and it was explained and resolved amicably: http://www.thefuselage.com/Threaded/showthread.php?t=47027

The point here is that this set-up provides a respectful means of resolution where there are questions. I am not encouraging endless back and forth debates about moderation choices within threads - detracting from their original topic. That is not fair to other users. It is easy enough to post a question in the "Questions" section with a link back to the thread or post that was moderated.

The Fuselage also has an elaborate points system for repeat rules offenders (which would probably be overkill for this forum), but I point it out just because it provides a concrete list of things that merit moderation. Having clearly stated rules and guidelines is a big help, as moderators can point to it, and users can see what is okay and what is out of bounds.

If a single post is removed or edited (e.g. adding spoiler font), the moderators on The Fuselage usually leave a short note with a reason (and their userid) - this helps if you want to PM them with a question. If a thread is moved to trash (usually because it is redundant, but there are various reasons), it is not as obvious to the user why it was removed. If a moderator gives you "points" (usually this only happens for serious violations or if you ignore previous warnings) there is a reason visible on your profile that you and moderators can access for future reference. Too many points results in suspension or banning.

I'm not against moderation, done right, but having a place to raise questions and get answers (that others can refer to, users and moderators alike), would be a good addition.

As far as bashing moderators? No, that should not be allowed, but the policy towards conduct should be the same for any user, whether one with moderator status or not.
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QtheC
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

from http://lonelygirl15.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4841
Forum Etiquette, Rules, and Policies (updated)
Quote:
Moderators
Moderators are chosen based on their loyalty to the show and the forum, their neutrality and open-mindedness, and their eagerness to contribute. All moderators are approved by The Creators, and they are all volunteers. Remember, a moderator is also a fan!

Public posts about moderator actions will not be tolerated and will be deleted. This is to preserve the respect and authority of a moderator. If you have a concern about a moderator's actions, please contact the Moderator Manager. He or she will review the moderator's actions against the moderator guidelines, consult with the forum administrator, and respond to the issue. If the issue is not handled satisfactorily, you may contact the forum administrator. If the forum administrator requires another ruling, he or she will contact The Creators.


This section mentions "moderator actions" but does not mention discussion of "moderator policies" as you have above. I think extending the rule to general discussions of moderator policies probably goes beyond the original intention of the rule change, but this point needs clarification.

Also, it would be helpful if the new section of the rules posting included links where it says "contact the Moderator Manager" and "consult with the forum administrator" ... otherwise, it is not obvious to users who these people are or how to reach them. A link to "moderator guidelines" would also be helpful. There's really no reason why such guidelines and their application should not be subject to open discussion - in a forum section for that purpose.
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ApotheosisAZ
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Response to "Forum Rule Update: moderators actions& Reply with quote

QtheC wrote:
I quoted http://www.lonelygirl15.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11713 above since that thread was locked, and I would like to reply to it and invite others to discuss as they wish on this thread.


This rule, as stated, goes further than what I have seen on other successful and large forums. It seems to be a reaction to dissent, and though intended (I think) to make the job of the moderators easier and more efficient while defining a hierachy for resolution of issues (that part is good), it goes a bit too far in eliminating healthy communication when there are misunderstandings and different viewpoints. That part is counter to fostering the desired respect between the moderators and the moderated, I think.


I completely disagree. This rule is actually neccessary here at this forum, and it also includes a new position for members who wish to complain about mod action. The Forum Administrator is allowing a second individual to review the few complaints that the site receives. It should be a welcome change.

QtheC wrote:
I'm not against moderation, done right, but having a place to raise questions and get answers (that others can refer to, users and moderators alike), would be a good addition.


That place is presently trainer101's personal message button. I know everyone will find him to be responsive to their concerns.

QtheC wrote:
As far as bashing moderators? No, that should not be allowed, but the policy towards conduct should be the same for any user, whether one with moderator status or not.


I concur.

Apo
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Renegade
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, how come they---

oh wait, I'm not allowed to question moderative actions Rolling Eyes
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QtheC
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Response to "Forum Rule Update: moderators actions& Reply with quote

ApotheosisAZ wrote:
QtheC wrote:
I quoted http://www.lonelygirl15.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11713 above since that thread was locked, and I would like to reply to it and invite others to discuss as they wish on this thread.


This rule, as stated, goes further than what I have seen on other successful and large forums. It seems to be a reaction to dissent, and though intended (I think) to make the job of the moderators easier and more efficient while defining a hierachy for resolution of issues (that part is good), it goes a bit too far in eliminating healthy communication when there are misunderstandings and different viewpoints. That part is counter to fostering the desired respect between the moderators and the moderated, I think.


I completely disagree. This rule is actually neccessary here at this forum, and it also includes a new position for members who wish to complain about mod action. The Forum Administrator is allowing a second individual to review the few complaints that the site receives. It should be a welcome change.

Apo


What do you think about distinguishing between discussion of specific instances of "moderator action" vs. general discussion of "moderator policy" ? (because you just violated the latter Shocked Wink )
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milowent
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trying to post before lockdown occurs ....

is this whole new policy due to some recent instances of complaining about mod actions? can we all say "big whoop" to most of those complaints and move on?

i have very limited forum experience pre lg15, but i've never heard of these eloborate hierarchies before. if someone becomes too much of a pain in the ass, ban them. we all seem to live on.
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Last edited by milowent on Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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ApotheosisAZ
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Response to "Forum Rule Update: moderators actions& Reply with quote

QtheC wrote:
What do you think about distinguishing between discussion of specific instances of "moderator action" vs. general discussion of "moderator policy" ? (because you just violated the latter Shocked Wink )


I think you might be trying to make this a discussion about me, and not the policy.

It was a mistake for me to come back on here and try to defend it.
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TOSG
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that Trainer is a great guy, and will do an awesome job as moderator manager.

Other than that, I think that this policy is disgusting.

But, wait...I'm probably not allowed to say that.
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QtheC
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Response to "Forum Rule Update: moderators actions& Reply with quote

ApotheosisAZ wrote:
QtheC wrote:
What do you think about distinguishing between discussion of specific instances of "moderator action" vs. general discussion of "moderator policy" ? (because you just violated the latter Shocked Wink )


I think you might be trying to make this a discussion about me, and not the policy.

It was a mistake for me to come back on here and try to defend it.
Sorry to give that impression - that was not my intention.

I think it is an important difference, discussing a specific "moderator action" excessively vs. holding an open discussion about "moderator policy" in general. I just added the quip with the smilies because of the irony, and the wink was meant to soften that, not mock.
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modelmotion
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:40 pm    Post subject: GOOD Reply with quote

I am glad to see that the issues is now being openly discussed.
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Flautapantera
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From my understanding, this new elevated system of procedure to report any soi-disant moderator wrong-doings has been set in place to fend off the usual pile on of antagonistic agreement without corresponding argument while preserving the moderator's integrity. I know this new set-up doesn't sit well with many and I admit it does have its downfalls. But, then again, it's only customary and anticipated that a - to some - minor change to the forum will call for a poster uproar.

I don't think this new [Moderator Manager - absence of moderator offenses] posting in public has much of anything to do with silencing the citizens of the forum and all that censorship implies. It doesn't necessarily protect the moderators from any criticism or complaint; this is now taken to the Moderator Manager and handled between the small circle of people involved, rather than involving whomever outside the issue choosing to voice their opinion.

I don't think it's fair to call any singular person out with a thread in public, moderator or otherwise. The rule has always been if you have a problem with someone, speak to them directly.

It's also common history / behavior that everytime we hit a trough in the plotline or there's a video drought, certain issues seem to come to the surface that weren't so credible and worthwhile in pursuing in the past. That may seem like the ignorant answer, but it's true: we get bored. And when we're bored, we find some way to fancy ourselves.

I can vouch for the moderators in saying that they really do the best they can. Sometimes I think they care too much in creating a safe and energetic environment for discussing the show and forming a community. I also admit that we make mistakes at times and will move a thread to another area without an explanation in the thread itself (whether or not the thread-starter was PMed). Mistakes like these are inevitable, and I apologize for the countless I'm sure I've already made. I've probably committed several forum faux-pas with this silly post but I'm none the wiser to them.

As for the Moderator Guidelines, I believe those are to remain between the moderators, admin, and Creators. I don't know what I can tell you there.

The Moderator Manager position and private mod criticism is entirely new. I think it'd be worthwhile to try this system of reporting moderator complaints for now and see how it flies in the longrun. I think that, with everyone's cooperation, this could be a great way to manage feedback between members of the forum in an airy, quiet way. I do see your points, everyone, and there are those I find valid. I don't make final decisions either way. I'm just the help, one of many.
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milowent
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

flauta, why do you have go and be so rational!!!

jonas' vid tonight did not satisfy the natives. we need excitement and we need it bad!


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Samara
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only problem I have with this policy is that not everyone like to privately complain to a specific person. In fact, in the customer service arena the statistics/estimates say that 24 out of 25 consumers will not give feedback because they don't want to be bothered or they feel as if it won't make a difference. This is especially true when you take away the visibility of the complaint process. It doesn't mean they don't feel a problem exists, it just means that they don't want to bother because they don't think it will get fixed. The problem still exists, and it's a shame because if people aren't allowed to voice their concerns, you'll never know there's a problem...and if people are only allowed to send some private message to as ssingle person...it can easily be ignored or turned away. There's just not a lot of trust....if you already have a problem with a moderator, why complain to a fellow mod? No offense, Trainer, but a lot of people simply think it's useless.

Obviously, you guys know this...so that's why it appears that you're trying to shut people up. Easier to ignore a PM or two than a big thread full of upset people.

Also, public discussion and complaint at these forums and on the site as a whole have been responsible for some of the biggest positive changes, too. Sometimes, people are bothered by something but won't pipe up unless they can see that there are others who feel the same...just because they don't want to make waves.

It's a stifling policy and I'm disappointed that the mods/admins/creators feel as if this is okay.

Why can't we have a specific locale to bring up complaints, and keep it open for a specific period of time to allow others to be aware of the situation before a mod the closes it to make a decision? Then reopen the thread once a decision is made, post the decision...leave it open for a specific amount of time to allow response and evaluate it from there. It's only fair. If there's no reaction...then it's a closed issue. If it's still bothering people, then that's a sign that something still needs to be done.


Last edited by Samara on Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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Samara
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't think it's fair to call any singular person out with a thread in public, moderator or otherwise. The rule has always been if you have a problem with someone, speak to them directly.



I completely disagree with this. Moderators may be volunteers, but they're volunteers who agreed to take on the task. They are responsible for their actions as they are representatives of the forum and, indirectly, LG15 as a whole. Because of that, they are accountable to everyone. If the actions are public, then so the complaints should be, too.
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modelmotion
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:01 am    Post subject: visibility of the complaint process Reply with quote

"visibility of the complaint process"

Visibility is vital to the integrity of any feedback mechanism. If i had not accidentally found a post in the trash bin I would have been totally unaware of the new policy.
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