Mods-Bad Eggs

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by cluelusshusbund, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. quinnsong Valued Senior Member


    Stop lobbying Balerion. Are you saying you speak for everyone here at Sciforums or just the people you deem that matter?
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Slicing Away the Something-Something

    Sure, in theory. But consider one scenario that is all too common around here:

    Member A doesn't like the mods, and is on a perpetual campaign.

    Member B commits an offense, and is suspended or outright banned.

    Member A, despite having previously expressed sentiments that Member B ought to be banned for far lesser offenses, decides to complain about this, as well.

    Members C-Z jump on the bandwagon.

    Moderators disdain the complaint, which they consider irrational, inconsistent, and picked for the excuse of picking a fight per custom of Member A.

    Members C-Z are mortally offended because the moderators apparently think they are irrational and belligerent.​

    In that process, we always pick up a new "Member A".

    It's hardly the only process, but the thing about the backlash is that we also have to figure how much of this is a real issue, and how much of it is just excrement. From our perspective, there are times when the just doesn't seem to matter to the wagon-jumpers.

    We had a case recently in which the best defense anyone could offer on behalf of the banned member's conduct was that he really was such a moron that there is no way he could have known what he was doing wrong.

    And, yet, for the sake of grudges, perhaps, knives out.

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  5. Balerion Banned Banned

    Feel free to add something of substance to the discussion, quinn.
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  7. Balerion Banned Banned

    Consider another:

    Member B committed no offense. Member B was railroaded by Moderators A and B because, well, Moderators A and B are the bad eggs members A-Z are talking about.

    Given your expertise with excrement, one would think this would come easy to you. Then again, it seems that you differentiate legitimate from illegitimate complaints merely by what is in your personal interests. Shame to waste a B.S. in BS, is all.
  8. quinnsong Valued Senior Member

    South Park addresses the danger of self-reporting.

    View attachment 7061
  9. Balerion Banned Banned

    Please don't make insinuations about my penis size, quinn. You'll only be disappointed.

  10. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Sciforums bosses reminds me of parents who have bratty children an jus cant figer it out... lol... but ther first clue woud be to look in the mirror.!!!

    In general... Mods train the problem posters to continue to behave the way they do.!!!

    If the rules are good... enforce 'em (an not jus when the mood strikes)... enforce 'em ever time they are observed broken.!!!

    O... an sinse its come up... are mods subject to the same rules... an shoud they receive moderation if they brake a rule.???

    Yes or no... pick 1 or the other an make it clear thats the way its gonna be.!!!
  11. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Obviously there are exceptions (abusive speech, slander/libel, hate speech, speech that could incite undue panic/riot, etc), though the breadth and implications of these exceptions are still being heavily debated in courts (which is why groups like the WBC are able to spread their ilk)
  12. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    I dont know who you'r talkin about... but ther is a mod that comes to mind that doesnt know how... or jus dont want to deescalate heated situations... an tends to actualy makes 'em worser.!!!

    However... i dont thank any mod "needs-to-go" if they enforce the rules consistantly... abide by the rules--an if not... receive moderation... an preform all mod duties wit-out even a hent of snideness.!!!

    This may crimp some mods style for a while... but soon enuff i thank all mods an posters woud have a beter experience at Sciforums.!!!
  13. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    It's been registered in Canada since the sites first inception and still there even after the change of hands.

  14. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    I stand corrected then. So, shall we abolish free speech? (Joking!)
  15. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    I will coment on my queston... *an speekin for all posters here... we all want mods to obey the rules an receive moderation when they dont.!!!

    *Please speek up if you thank mods shoudnt be required to foller the rules.!!!
  16. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Who shall issue these moderator infractions?
  17. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    How about... Administraters issue to super mods... an super mods issue to regular mods.???
  18. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    The administrators are very rarely actually here, and the super mods are Stryder and Tiassa... ironically enough two of the ones some members like to gripe about the most. I doubt such a system would placate those members.
  19. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Ok... forget the administraters... an the curent method of placatin members is as useless as a dog chaisin its tail.!!!

    Sombody needs to be in charge an that will be Stryder an Tiassa... an they will issue infractions to mods who brake the rules.!!!

    All moderation needs to be consistent an preformed wit-out snide remarks... an over all that will earn respect leadin to a beter experience for all.!!!

    If Stryder an Tiassa get on bord an simplfy by not continuously tryin to create the "perfect respect earnin rules"... Sciforums will prosper... if they drop the ball... then Sciforums will continue to create an maintain "Bad-Egge-Posters" an be just as disgruntled as ever.!!!
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Crosstown Traffic and Other Notes

    To the one, take a look around at our membership.

    People really don't want me enforcing my idea of what Sciforums should be. And that includes the Administration.

    The reason, quite simply, is that while we on staff often fondly recall the expectation of "Intelligent Community"—a site motto removed around 2005-6—the reality is that our decisions must also account for a vague, unspecified site traffic consideration. And no, the onsite staff don't actually know what that consideration is; it just sticks its head up from time to time when we have a major issue to resolve.

    It can create perverse juxtapositions. To the one, we had to consider the issue in a recent staff realignment, and it came down to unspecified parameters generally orbiting the proposition of what is the traffic hit for doing the right thing. To the other, historically, at least, a Cleveland Steamer of a topic post I dropped in religion could, under this amorphous traffic consideration, achieve merit; I can only justify the thread by its subsequent discussions, but in theory, one could suggest the heated tempers and such can be justified by the traffic that thread has generated.

    I did say perverse, right?

    The larger back and forth about insults has always been a question of suppression.

    Once upon a time, we slung viciously because that's what people wanted.

    We started tightening and formalizing the rules because people started complaining. There has never been a time, however, when those complaints did not include players who were taking part in the vice.

    We tinkered with shades of gray in order to avoid the inevitable bloodletting.

    And perhaps this was a mistake.

    The underlying device is simply a diverse set of perspectives attempting to parse what aren't especially fine hairs, but apparently cause many people some cognitive ache. To wit, we have always been more sympathetic toward rudeness resulting from observable and appropriate exasperation compared to tit-for-tat rudeness in lieu of any actual argument. Was a time when that sort of difference didn't seem too hard to grasp, but in a setting such as this there are many complicating factors to account for.

    Nonetheless, whether it's this member's self-acknowledged blindness to written sarcasm, or that member's self-proclaimed Asperger's, or maybe just another member's right to free speech and fuck all else, there is always a reason to go easy on Member A for the occasional violation.


    There are always mitigating circumstances. Even if that circumstance is asserted to be, "Well, come on, he really is that stupid."

    No, really. I actually had a row with a colleague recently over that point; the offense was the offense was the blatant offense, and the defense was simply that the member really was so stupid that he could not possibly have understood the problem.

    Part of the reason the staff receives certain criticism poorly is that our most consistent and vocal complaints derive from a perspective of "mitigating circumstances for me, but not for thee".

    Meanwhile, the constant complaints generate traffic; there is always that.

    To illustrate generally from a couple of sharply defined issues at Sciforums:

    Atheism/Theism: At its core, there is a rational assertion—the inability to affirmatively and objectively test these anthropomorphic divinities—versus an irrational belief that can, to a reasonable degree, be descibed as symptomatic of how our brains work, and therefore within the realm of individual intellectual and psychological reconciliation and resolution. It is true, we are much more sympathetic to rudeness born of legitimate exasperation at irrationality than we are toward irrational, tit-for-tat mudslinging. But this does not mean blanket license to insult. There is a difference.

    Abortion: Recent threads on the subject have been especially ugly, but here's the problem: In our sympathies toward rational exasperation, we must also account for what happens if we act accordingly. A recent thread would have seen the anti-abortion voice at Sciforums devastated were we as pedantic about the rules as some of these complaints would have us be. And, yes, we do consider suppression. Specifically, we wish to avoid even the appearance of such broad suppression. And this is always a gutter ballet on a flypaper stage.​

    With the abortion issue, it's a complicated negotiation of expectations according to both idyll and reality. To wit: Is there a rational case to be made for the anti-abortion argument that personhood begins at fertilization that does not begin in aesthetic fallacy? Okay, now that argument is perfectly welcome here. That it does not come? Look, in the forty-one years since Roe, the American debate over abortion access has never featured, cast, or merely stuck in the background as an extra, that hypothetical rational case for the personhood argument. And until it does come, suppressing the irrational, emotionally- and aesthetically-driven theo- and phallo-cratic voices in the anti-abortion crowd means suppressing that entire crowd.

    To what degree does any of this matter to our members?

    None, apparently.

    Well, unless they think it's somehow their turn for a trip to the Star.

    So give me what power you want; I will either wisely not use it, or else inevitably piss everybody else off—it's an inevitability in a community like this.

    I mean, just imagine this:

    To: All Moderators

    In the best interests of Sciforums, it is time to adopt strict observance and enforcement of section F.5 of the site rules:

    5. Where you reproduce part of a work in a post, you must include a link to the original source, along with appropriate acknowledgement – at a minimum the author’s name and the name of the original publishing source, but consider also supplying the original date of publication and other relevant information (e.g. ‘US shares fall further’ by A.Writer, New York Times, 11 September 2015.)

    Quite simply, at the end of the post, we need Author, Title, Source, Date. If there is a corresponding hyperlink, that is expected somewhere in the post as well. I prefer embedded links, but this is not a specific demand; some posting circumstances make embedding an unreasonable obligation.

    I do not expect people to follow my specific format, adapted from an old MLA style sheet. Even still, though, something like—

    Randall Munroe. "Free Speech". xkcd. April, 2014.

    —doesn't seem especially burdensome.

    We might also wish to check with the Administration and site ownership regarding Fair Use notice and standards.

    (Do you have any idea how weird it is to credit authorship of the Bible to a person? No, really: Weigle, Luther A., et al. The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version. Second edition. New York: Thomas Nelson, 1971.)

    At any rate, we can give people some time with gentle reminders before starting to throw flags, but also make sure to observe citation rules, yourselves.

    There will, of course, be plenty of questions; we'll take them as they come.

    Thank you,

    I would have done that years ago. I also know why I wouldn't.

    It would probably take care of the troll problem; or, at the very least, clearly define it. But it would also destroy this community. Seriously, while it would define the difference between "facts of legend" and actual facts—the difference between, "I heard somewhere", and, "As Goldman argued ...."—it is quite clear already that such a standard with such enforcement would simply drive people away.

    In more practical terms, perhaps there are times when I might have taken one or another of my colleagues aside and said, "Look, I get it, but ...." Here's the tricky part: The range of discussion that is as inherently insulting as such criticism of the person instead of the idea on those occasions is larger than most realize. And, yes, that includes me. But if I'm going to pick a nit over whether the idea or the mind expressing it is what is retarded, then, well, we should probably stop allowing retarded arguments.

    Once upon a time we said, Attack the argument, not the person. Sound advice that has almost no use in this community, as there are only a few who show apparent comprehension of the difference.

    We've tried letting people take what they dish, but someone inevitably loses an eye, or bawls that they have.

    The one thing we haven't done is a specific pogrom. If we truly want any semblance of intelligent community we must behave intelligently. But there are always mitigating circumstances. Always reasons to excuse random and, even occasionally, systematic insurgencies of stupidity.

    We have no use for those who would accuse irrational argument against others while holding no obligation to rational argument for themselves. Well, except, maybe, for traffic.

    And in truth, since the staff doesn't actually know what that traffic standard is, it's best to play safe and continue to wrestle with how we handle failures of intellect.

    The thing about restoring the idea of intelligent community is that said community is also, generally speaking, smaller. And for site traffic, that is what it is. But we can certainly start with reviving standards we've generally lost to practical democracy; reasonable source citation, no more drive-by article reposts to open topics, and for fuck-all sake we ought to start flagging members for abuse of the post reporting system. A number of people who might believe we simply ignore complaint reports might also need to understand that when we're asked to do this about that because, well, hurt feelings, what are we supposed to do about the other, over there, with the complaining member's name on it, that is part of the specific exchange leading to the accused offense? In consideration of the volume of such harsh exchanges, the number of members who take part in such discourse, is this really what any such complaining member wants? We tend to leave those ones alone unless there is an exceptional reason to intervene; no matter how much people enjoy hurling stones at one another and crying foul when they get hit by the return salvo, we must draw the line somewhere between there and Molotov cocktails.

    And look at how much of this is about people. 'Tis an easier recreation than, say, conducting nuanced and educated discussions of compelling issues in the world.

    As long as this is about egos instead of reality, the simple fact of such precedence is also part of the equation. In order to eliminate the effect of such a factor, the factor itself must be eliminated.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
  21. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Cool... Thanks... the way Sciforums is run makes much more sinse now;;; under the above circumstances Sciforums bosses have been doin a bang-up job :bravo:

    Cary on :xctd:
  22. quinnsong Valued Senior Member

    Speaking for myself, I like a little levity and sarcastic wit intertwined in a discussion, however, I get so frustrated when a thread is taken over by egos and the subject matter is lost. No matter how one tries to bring the discussion back to the subject at hand, one is ignored and pushed aside, so the offending parties can continue to rant about how wronged they were. I have a proposal that I think might be doable , not really sure, this proposal could eliminate some of the banning's and infractions, as well. Here goes, you know how people use pillow fights to relieve frustration, why not create an ongoing thread (TBA) that can be used to send offending members (only those members/mods and no one else) to resolve their disputes. We could call it The Penalty Box and for first offense you get an hour in the box, second two hours and thereafter, the infraction/ban system takes effect.

    Even though I am only commenting on this wee bit of your post, I want to thank you for taking the time to write your very informative post regarding moderation here at sciforums.
  23. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Unfortunately, I don't know if the forum software is able to manage something like that... at the very least, it would require setting up a new usergroup and moving any such members into that group. The other issue being that we would have to restrict them (as you say) to just that thread... but then we would need to ensure someone is available/online to reinstate them to the normal members group.

    That, and if someone cannot work through their differences in the course of normal conversation, I highly doubt locking them in a single thread/sub forum with the person they have a problem with is going to resolve it

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    Some people refuse to see reason in favor of their own bias/opinion/preconceived notions.

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