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 Moderation Discussion

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PostSubject: Moderation Discussion   Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:13 pm

In the light of you-know-what over on p.ie, a few of us have come to the conclusion that we need a moderation policy here to help us avoid the kind of thing which would give any site owners and some posters the creeps and potentially worse.

I for one certainly don't want to stifle debate or hinder information presentation with too-strict a moderation policy - I just want to stay within the bounds of the law and moreso, stay within the bounds of good taste.

The only other criteria for moderation might be that here we (ok, I) want to ultimately focus on machines, science, engineering and technology and their effect on society, economics and politics as the principle thrust of the site but as we have all seen, almost anything goes here and almost anything is tolerated and moreso welcomed (as long as it's in general good taste and legal).

So this thread is a blank slate/sheet - a tabula rasa - for you to write on. Anyone who knows anything about moderation policy or has opinions on it are welcome to contribute. When something definite takes shape we will chop this thread up and stick it up as a guide to moderation in the OpenSource tradition.

The reason I'm laboring this point is that if we allow ourselves the proper scope and put in some proper procedures then we can potentially talk about a lot more than we think.
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Mon Mar 31, 2008 5:53 pm

I wana be like those in Boards.ie, and ban people for not being able to distinguish between cos maide and cos mhaide
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:33 pm

I hate machines. Machines have been screwing me all day and, frankly, I want to cry.

And my Irish is crap.

Might as well just leave now. Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:38 pm

Kate P wrote:
I hate machines. Machines have been screwing me all day and, frankly, I want to cry.

And my Irish is crap.

Might as well just leave now. Sad
And abandon our fledgling food thread? Stay Kate P, we need to keep the tea flowing.

Regarding the opening topic, can we still curse? And I mean properly, not stupid little substitutes like sh*te or sh1te.
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:44 pm

Kate P wrote:
I hate machines. Machines have been screwing me all day and, frankly, I want to cry.

And my Irish is crap.

Might as well just leave now. Sad
Kate you're off topic - go down and vent this bile in the Valve Laughing

(where you can seriously tell us what's up)
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:49 pm

905 - good question - cussing: I like it myself but does it signify anger and when is it distasteful? Using bad bad words is also both expressive and terse as in "F* the f*ing f*ers" but when should we use it and so on?

There are many levels I think - when it's used in out and out anger against another human being here or elsewhere I'd caution against it.
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:32 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
905 - good question - cussing: I like it myself but does it signify anger and when is it distasteful? Using bad bad words is also both expressive and terse as in "F* the f*ing f*ers" but when should we use it and so on?

There are many levels I think - when it's used in out and out anger against another human being here or elsewhere I'd caution against it.

I think there's a lot to be said for being able to curse properly, and I think we all know when the bounds of dacency are o'erstepped.

On the more general question - do not make allegations of fact, against solicitors anyway (this is important) - or statements that they are bent, or attempting to gag free speech, or acting on behalf of FF to do so. You can actually say more or less what you want about Bertie and FF, but do not allege that solicitors, lawyers, judges, other legal specialists, or non-politicians are acting improperly, committing perjury, concealing evidence, obstructing the tribunals, etc. Bertie would have a very hard time arguing that our comments lowered his reputation, but that does not go for third parties involved in the tribunals.
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:10 am

Swearing on paper/screen is so anti-climactic though, isn't it?

If it's not done venomously and loudly through the windscreen at the inept driver who may be slow but is in front of you (as his bumper sticker no doubt reminds you...), then it misses the point completely.

Re libel and defamation: There's a huge distinction between critique and nastiness. My Granny used to say that if you haven't something nice to say, say nothing.

She didn't drive, but it's still a good rule of thumb.
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Tue Apr 01, 2008 4:15 pm

Kate P wrote:
Machines have been screwing me all day and, frankly, I want to cry. Sad

How many inches????? Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:08 pm

Kate P wrote:
Swearing on paper/screen is so anti-climactic though, isn't it?
.

I dunno, my screed against the pox-ridden jackals in Yahoo! "UK & Ireland" on P.ie was quite purgative and left me in a better mood than before.
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:48 am

I suppose these kind of fellas fall under moderation too?

However it's defined ...

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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:50 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
I suppose these kind of fellas fall under moderation too?

However it's defined ...


Don't be so soft. Obliteration is the only thing for them!
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:03 am

You are a man of resolution - good... goood


But how do you recognise one in order to obliterate it?
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:11 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
You are a man of resolution - good... goood


But how do you recognise one in order to obliterate it?

Laughing

I have my ways. The Force runs strong within me.
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:51 am

bounce

With the Site Charter up and running and being translated into Irish, moderation policy and practice is next item of business.
If you have any comments or suggestions or want to discuss your thoughts on moderation please would you post them here.
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:33 pm

cactus flower wrote:
bounce

With the Site Charter up and running and being translated into Irish, moderation policy and practice is next item of business.
If you have any comments or suggestions or want to discuss your thoughts on moderation please would you post them here.

Moderation policy should have a clauses setting out limits on how Moderators can treat other users' posts.

We must have the right of each user to free speech at the front of our minds when framing this policy.
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:15 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
bounce

With the Site Charter up and running and being translated into Irish, moderation policy and practice is next item of business.
If you have any comments or suggestions or want to discuss your thoughts on moderation please would you post them here.

Moderation policy should have a clauses setting out limits on how Moderators can treat other users' posts.

We must have the right of each user to free speech at the front of our minds when framing this policy.

Completely agree - moderation on another Irish political site that I won't name (ahem) was outrageous at times. Eg if a poster argued a moderator into a corner on a factual basis, some of them would censor the whole thread without explanation.
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:48 pm

Does that really happen on sites?

Which goes to the problem of moderators on threads they are (emotionally) involved in ... any suggestions as to what should happen in those circumstances? The idea is to have debate between parties on an equal basis as much as is practicable and a moderator obviously has a gun under the table or could be seen to have.

I think once a Charter with sound principles is known to apply to everyone then members should feel they are able to raise it with other members/mods if they feel aggrieved in this kind of situation. Maybe we will get into a culture here of de-modding a mod while they have their teeth in a particular issue ...
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:27 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Does that really happen on sites?

Which goes to the problem of moderators on threads they are (emotionally) involved in ... any suggestions as to what should happen in those circumstances? The idea is to have debate between parties on an equal basis as much as is practicable and a moderator obviously has a gun under the table or could be seen to have.

I think once a Charter with sound principles is known to apply to everyone then members should feel they are able to raise it with other members/mods if they feel aggrieved in this kind of situation. Maybe we will get into a culture here of de-modding a mod while they have their teeth in a particular issue ...

I think there should be a straightforward and firm rule that mods don't mod discussions they are involved with - if anything comes up they should have to mod another mod, just as if they were not a mod.

If they were very worried, and no other mod available they could ask the other poster by pm to do a temporary self mod until another mod comes. Only in an extreme situation they would have the option of temporarily hiding the thread ( I don't know how to do that, or if I can do that)
I would be most comfortable with that.

I think that other mods should be prepared to step in and mod when a mod is in discussion and they think modding is required and the above rule would allow that to happen. What a Face

The above would mean getting a bit more patient and relaxed about removing potentially dodgy posts - there are usually mods around every hour or so, and waiting that long is not likely to do any harm.

I don't think it would be realistic to ask mods not to debate.

I don't think I've seen problems with mods imposing their personal views by modding on MN - when I've got into trouble I've been in general agreement with the poster but worried about possible defamation.
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:56 pm

You need an efficient and effective way of dealing with trolls. That is easily the most important thing in maintaining viability with growth. All rules should be examined from a point of view of "could a troll exploit this rule to waste moderator time?"
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:59 pm

How do you define troll though Chekov? One man's troll is another man's tonys you know. Tonys is far from a troll but if you were in severe disagreement with the Bertie malarky then he would look very trollish.

I think it's a very important question.
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:06 pm

chekov wrote:
You need an efficient and effective way of dealing with trolls. That is easily the most important thing in maintaining viability with growth. All rules should be examined from a point of view of "could a troll exploit this rule to waste moderator time?"

In fairness the only and easiest solution to that kind of behaviour is that the moderators are the ultimate arbiters of everything related to moderating. Once a decision is made then that's it. Make it more like the rugby than the GAA.
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:18 pm

chekov wrote:
You need an efficient and effective way of dealing with trolls. That is easily the most important thing in maintaining viability with growth. All rules should be examined from a point of view of "could a troll exploit this rule to waste moderator time?"

It's not a question of a troll playing with the code. Myself and the other Mods would be able to differentiate between weighty and valuable contributors, reasonably good contributors, middling, poor and down-right trollish. We can spot them and recommend to the Admins who should be banned. I'm of the view that trolls should be quickly and summarily banned. Zero tolerance is essential to ensure that an(as of yet) non-existent problem remains so.

In any case, the rules ibis came up with are pretty water/airtight. We can nail those trolls with them.
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:36 pm

cactus flower wrote:


I think there should be a straightforward and firm rule that mods don't mod discussions they are involved with - if anything comes up they should have to mod another mod, just as if they were not a mod.

What should happen is that Mods, participating in a debate should be limited to simply fixing links, sorting out spelling and ensuring that the thread title is correct.

What Mods shouldn't do is interfere in other users' posts to the extent that the essential meaning of what they are saying is changed. That would be an erosion of free speech and a form of censorship.
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PostSubject: Re: Moderation Discussion   Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:41 pm

We put a lot of work into the Site Charter and Rules and I think they are good enough to catch in their net any trolls too big to get through tiny holes.

What I need personally if I'm to mod is a set of firm rules for mods and also the basic technical competence (for example, if threads are to be temporily hidden by mods, how to do that).
A lot of members here have been posting for a long time and/or are experienced mods. Others, including myself, are not. We need an agreed procedure and etiquette for mods so that modding is consistent, fair and reasonable. At this stage I think that we need to agree an modding modus operandi.

Should mods always first pm the poster and ask them to self mod ?

Should mods act unilaterally on deleting posts or hide them and consult Ed Team?

Should mods always give a reason for their modding ?

Should mods always sign/initial any modding they do ?

and so on and so forth...

Any suggestions ?
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