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Public Moderation Notices, Possible Solution?
Davion
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#61 id:30772 Posted Aug 3, 2009, 7:49 pm

About this system on the moderator side of things. How much of what they do should be publicized. Like, should everything they do link back to them, like "ChrisMuhaily has issued a warning for X post" or "You have been issued a warning for X post". Basically to what extent should it show a moderators actions?
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Tonitrus
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#62 id:30773 Posted Aug 3, 2009, 7:54 pm

David Haley said:
Hanaisse said:
That said, good luck with finding an unbiased, respected member(s) of this community to take on this role. I emphasize respected otherwise these same soap opera dramas will just continue unresolved as the focus shifts from the admins to the moderators as the new enemy.

You imply one of the following:
(a) nobody is respected and unbiased at the same time
(b) everybody who is unbiased is disrespected
(c) everybody who is respected is biased

I think that all of these claims are a little far-fetched...?


I think it's a bit of a jump from her original statement to your implications.  I read her statement to imply that respect is a thing rarely given, and rarer still to find an individual who is respected by a  majority, much less all.  Someone not respected by all opens the way for more whining.  It is also unlikely to find individuals who are unbiased.  These two rare combinations occuring simultaneously is even more unlikely, especially considering that an entire group of individuals with these qualities is sought after.  Naturally I agree with all of the above, and probably just read what I wanted into it (see also: bias), but I still think your assessment is a bit of a leap.

I think this idea is a good one, but if everyone were going to get along, there'd be no need for moderators, and everyone isn't going to get along suddenly just because there are moderators, transparency, or anything else.
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#63 id:30778 Posted Aug 3, 2009, 8:22 pm

Nobody will be respected by everybody and nobody will be completely, absolutely unbiased. I don't think we need to worry too much about those aspects of the human condition, and instead try our best to do what we can. There's not much point in saying that we won't find completely perfect people: that's basically a truism.

Now, if you also think that we won't even find adequate people, then I point you to (a), (b) and (c) above. :smile:
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#64 id:30780 Posted Aug 3, 2009, 8:33 pm

I have to agree oh DH on this. We have a few members that will do the job well, that is what we should focus on.
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#65 id:30786 Posted Aug 3, 2009, 9:29 pm

Davion said:
About this system on the moderator side of things. How much of what they do should be publicized. Like, should everything they do link back to them, like "ChrisMuhaily has issued a warning for X post" or "You have been issued a warning for X post". Basically to what extent should it show a moderators actions?


Well since part of the issue people have is the lack of transparency even for warnings, I'd say issue those in public as well. Issue the warning (Nexus strikes) and reference the post that caused it.

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#66 id:30788 Posted Aug 3, 2009, 9:38 pm

I nominate Icculus
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#67 id:30789 Posted Aug 3, 2009, 9:43 pm

Rofl @ Tyche
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#68 id:30793 Posted Aug 3, 2009, 10:04 pm

Can we just let Tyche write some mod bots and be done with it?

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#69 id:30794 Posted Aug 3, 2009, 10:14 pm

So are we to assume that since things are drifting off focus that the issue has been as discussed as people would like?

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#70 id:30797 Posted Aug 3, 2009, 10:38 pm

Davion said:
About this system on the moderator side of things. How much of what they do should be publicized. Like, should everything they do link back to them, like "ChrisMuhaily has issued a warning for X post" or "You have been issued a warning for X post". Basically to what extent should it show a moderators actions?

It should be entirely transparent. Any time an action is taken by a moderator, be it a strike, or issuing a suspension, there should be a post in the Moderator section visible to all stating the name, the reason the stirke or what have you was issued, and a link to the offense if applicable. In addition to the public post, a PM should be sent to the individual being given the strike or what have you that explains what went on, and why the punishment was issued. It should also detail the appeal procedure.

On the topic of discussion of punishments, this probably should be done on a board only visible to Mods and Admins. Because the two should appear as a united front. And if one mod disagrees with a situation, and it's plainly visible, the naysayers, and anti-punishment folks will climb all over it like white on rice. So Moderator discussion should be private, but the punishments themselves should be public. I.. Hmm.. maybe that doesn't make sense. Oh well, cold medicine will do that.


Samson said:
So are we to assume that since things are drifting off focus that the issue has been as discussed as people would like?

Drift is inevitable, the real task is in keeping the discussion going, despite drift.
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#71 id:30798 Posted Aug 3, 2009, 11:10 pm

Quote:
Samson said:
So are we to assume that since things are drifting off focus that the issue has been as discussed as people would like?

Drift is inevitable, the real task is in keeping the discussion going, despite drift.


Drift is bad.  It means that someone's eye is starting to twitch.  (As well as the old faithful thread-lock trigger-finger.)

Last edited Aug 3, 2009, 11:10 pm by Runter
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#72 id:30799 Posted Aug 3, 2009, 11:26 pm

Runter said:
Drift is bad.  It means that someone's eye is starting to twitch.


Could be that, might be people have lost focus, or perhaps they've simply said all they wanted to say. Likely we'll know which after a couple more days or so.

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#73 id:30800 Posted Aug 4, 2009, 12:40 am

Ok I would like to propose an anonymous moderation system similar to slashdot.

For those not familiar with the slashdot model, here's a simplified list of things might happen in a mudbytes version:

  * choice of moderator is done at random, from a list of most likely mods.
  * If you post a lot, you are more likely to be asked to moderate a list of new posts.
  * Moderation is done in secret, no one knows who moderated not even the admins.
  * Mods will receive a list of posts to moderate, and do not have to moderate them all
  * Posts to be moderated have links to the posts context, so if the mod is unsure if it is a joke or not, they can check the thread.
  * You cannot moderate in a discussion that you have participated in.
  * Rather than moderating the post up or down in interest like slashdot, a mod would just be flagging them if they were offensive or trolls.
  * Trolls can be flagged as trolls as warnings to others to avoid responding
  * If a post is flagged offensive, the admins are informed, with a comment from the mod and the post in question linked. The admins can then make an informed decision  based on mod comments and the post in context. Formal proceedings against the poster(s) can ensue from this point, in whatever form is deemed best*

I don't think this would be too hard to implement, either.

Any thoughts?

[EDIT - I think I actually agree with Kayle on these mechanisms. Reasons why should be reported. Basically, WHY explains a lot to newbies, and can be used as guidelines for admins and mods when making decisions.]
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Last edited Aug 4, 2009, 12:44 am by flumpy
Kayle
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#74 id:30804 Posted Aug 4, 2009, 1:09 am

Flumpy, I'm sorry. But a slashdot system won't work here. We don't have millions of people posting. We don't need an anonymous person selected to Moderate things.

That aside, I'll tackle the points you posted.

Quote:
* choice of moderator is done at random, from a list of most likely mods.

No, Just No. Why would you even consider playing russian roulette with moderators? Suppose a mod is having a bad day, and gets selected to Mod. Well, That doesn't beg for level-headedness, that begs for prejudice.

Quote:
* If you post a lot, you are more likely to be asked to moderate a list of new posts.

Post count should absolutely NOT determine whether a person is a moderator or not. This should be based upon their level-headedness and ability to separate work from play. If they can't leave personal grudges on the side and moderate fairly, they don't need to be a Mod. And  just because they have 4K+ posts doesn't mean they're necessarily suited to be a Mod. That just means they like to post and help people/debate things. (Sorry, DH, didn't mean to single you out, you just have a very recognizable post count. :P)

Quote:
* Moderation is done in secret, no one knows who moderated not even the admins.

No. Moderation is not done in secret. Moderation is done in public, and discussed in private. Between Mods and Admins. This begs for a dictatorship. Dictatorship is what the proposal was brought up to avoid.

Quote:
* Mods will receive a list of posts to moderate, and do not have to moderate them all
* Posts to be moderated have links to the posts context, so if the mod is unsure if it is a joke or not, they can check the thread.

Moderating a post out of context is stupid. That would be like taking one post out of the infamous tazer thread, and moderating based on that single post, instead of the entire thread. Moderation isn't something that should be determined by some system in the code. It's something that should be handled by a group of level-headed individuals with the site's best interests in mind.

Quote:
* You cannot moderate in a discussion that you have participated in.

Why not? If you're involved, you actually have an understanding of the conversation going on. You'll *know* when something doesn't fit. And You'll be able to respond accordingly. Or you should, if you're capable of acting like an adult and are capable of keeping work and play separate. I believe the term is compartmentalized.

Quote:
* Rather than moderating the post up or down in interest like slashdot, a mod would just be flagging them if they were offensive or trolls.

Pointless. An individual post is not the issue. The context is the issue. Looking at individual posts gets you know where. Yes, it may look like trolling if you have no context, but then what if the context shines the light in a different way? Hmm?

Quote:
* Trolls can be flagged as trolls as warnings to others to avoid responding

Or they can be given a strike, and documented in the public executions board. Or, if that's three strikes: Executed. (Yeah, I like that phrase.)

Quote:
* If a post is flagged offensive, the admins are informed, with a comment from the mod and the post in question linked. The admins can then make an informed decision  based on mod comments and the post in context. Formal proceedings against the poster(s) can ensue from this point, in whatever form is deemed best*

I was under the assumption that moderation was a way to handle situations without requiring administrative assistance. If I'm wrong, I'm open to correction.
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#75 id:30806 Posted Aug 4, 2009, 1:11 am

I'm sorry to have to make this quite so viciously personal, but it seems to me that most of the moderation problems we have on this site are actually not procedural in nature, but to do with the personality of the moderator. Being a successful moderator requires a quite rare combination of attributes: you have to be patient, tolerant, altruistic, lacking in ego, consistent, logical, reasonable, and eager to broker satisfactory compromises. The reason we have a problem on here is that Samson, in particular, falls down on all 8 of those requirements. Whenever he starts getting heavy with thread-locking, I can't get the image of Eric Cartman out of my head. ("Respect mah authoritah!" - whack!) His attitude simply reeks of "you will do what I say because I am telling you to - that's all the reason you need", and he seems to lock threads not because there is anything objectionable about their content, but simply because he feels his authority (or his ego) is being challenged.

It's conceivable that Samson is actually a really pleasant, reasonable person; but, if so, he has enough of a PR problem (enough of a problem getting that across) that this, in itself makes him unsuitable for moderation duties and reflects badly on the site. So, in principle I don't particularly care whether moderation is done by moderators or admins; but in practice, any change which means Samson isn't a moderator any more has to be a major improvement.

As far as making moderation/disciplinary situations public, yes, I'm all in favour of that, if only because it will stop Cratylus from creating more threads on TMC complaining about the lack of transparency. On top of that, there is actually a useful principle at stake, which is: if there's nothing to hide, why are you trying to hide it? People are always going to be happier if they can see that the rules are being applied consistently and reasonably. Secrecy makes it look as if there is something sinister going on even when there isn't.
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