Reported posts

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by Sarkus, Jun 19, 2023.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,401
    I'd like to raise two matters on this subject, if I may:

    The first is whether a response to a reported post should include which moderators have reviewed the report/post and which of them is responding.
    The second is whether a moderator should be allowed to respond, and subsequently close, a report raised about one of their own posts, or whether it should deliberately be left to one of the others.

    So, for example, imagine I report one of Tiassa's posts for, say, using obscene language. I would then hopefully get a response back to say the matter has been reviewed, what action, if any, taken, and thus closure of the report. But at the moment there is nothing to say that it was not Tiassa himself who reviewed that report of his own post, decided unsurprisingly that the language was suitable, and then closed the report.

    Should the reviewing moderator not be made clear in the response, even just to avoid any suggestion of conflict of interest? And following that, should it not be obvious that no moderator ought to be the one to review a report raised about their own posts, however trivial the report, that they not be the one to determine if and what resolving action there need be, and then subsequently close it, should that be currently happening?

    Just some thoughts.
     
    Magical Realist and wegs like this.
  2. Guest Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,254
    On another forum I’ve been a member of, the moderation team responds to “reports” via private message, letting members know if an issue has been resolved and if relevant, the resolution.

    I find it helpful because at least you know your “complaint” has been handled. Even if the mods disagree with the complaint, they’ll share why.

    I’ve only reported a few posts on here, and haven’t received any responses. It should be something private between the member who submitted the report and mods, as opposed to discussing in the open forum. For obvious reasons.
     
  4. Guest Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,874
    I think there's several things going on, none of which are probably surprising.

    There is the idea that if one doesn't agree with the moderation of this site, one can leave. This isn't particularly helpful but it is what it is.

    Related to the above is that moderation can be applied in a biased and inconsistent way. Something that a moderator does or says can result in anyone else receiving a warning/ban for. This is largely due to the broad, all encompassing way that "trolling" is defined. Again, it is what it is.

    The "Don Quixote effect" may also be at play in certain circumstances.

    It's probably best to just post on subjects that we find interesting and to ignore the rest. This may not be an entirely satisfying way to look at it but it's probably the most accurate way to look at it.
     
  6. Guest Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    37,892
    Inasmuch as I have said, before, that everything is in its way ad hoc, I would take the moment to point out the basic idea that the question at hand is even necessary. Is the question viable or not, because if it's a viable question, we might also wonder how or why.

    By general circumstance, the question is almost inevitably viable. And it is not the pricking of my thumbs or an aching in my bones; the discussion is complicated because there is a lot that goes into our present and particular moment.
     
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    Sarkus:

    I don't think it is necessary. The moderators are a team who act to implement the policies of the site. As such, they should be on the same page most of the time when it comes to moderator actions taken. Since, ideally, all moderators will handle reports the same way, there's no particular need for members to know which moderator handled which report.

    In practice, any reports that result in official warnings come with a private message from the moderator who issued the warning, so if you receive an official warning it will always be clear who you received it from.

    It is true that, from time to time, moderator do disagree on what action to take in response to an issue. But those kinds of disagreements can be discussed behind the scenes by moderators, until a consensus position is reached. Only the final outcome needs to be notified to any affected members.
    Ideal practice, as I noted elsewhere, would be for a different moderator to handle such a report. However, we are currently rather short-staffed in the moderator department, so it's not always practical to wait for somebody else when action needs to be taken promptly.

    wegs:
    Here, whenever warnings are issued, members who are warned are notified by private message.

    Notifications that reports have been handled are typically sent out and should appear in your notifications list. It is my practice - and I assume also the practice of other moderators - to briefly explain how the report was handled, in the notification. Sometimes, if it is relevant, I even "sign" those notifications, to let the person who reported a post know that I handled it.
    Check your notifications. It is quite easy to miss a moderator response in among the notifications of new replies, likes etc.

    Seattle:
    That's true for every forum and social media platform on the internet. Nobody is chained up and forced to stay somewhere they don't want to be.

    We do have a set of alternative options if you disagree with a moderator's decision. One is to send a private message to the moderator concerned (if you know who it is). Another is to post something in Site Feedback or Open Government - obviously posts made there are public.

    Surely you didn't think that leaving was your only option?
    That sounds like a separate discussion. If you disagree with our definition of trolling, or you think that there's a problem with how trolling is handled here, the Site Feedback and Open Government forums both provide places where the issue can be discussed and addressed.
    Do you mean tilting at windmills?
    Why would you want to post on subjects you don't find interesting? I'm curious.
     
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,874
    I wrote "It's probably best to just post on subjects that we find interesting and to ignore the rest." and what you got out of it was that I'm suggesting that one posts on subjects that one finds uninteresting?

    My suggestion has nothing to do with what to post but rather with what to ignore by not reading.
     
  10. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    Seattle:
    To take the time to advise people that it's probably best to just post on subjects they find interesting strikes me as strange, that's all. It implies that you think that people don't, as a matter of course, just post on subjects they find interesting. It implies that, for some reason, they post on subjects they don't find interesting (as well). I asked you what you think the reason might be that they would do that. That's all.

    Possibly, you read the general "you" in my question as something directed at you, personally. It is clear from what you have written that you, personally, will only post on subjects you find interesting. That's right, isn't it?
    You started with "It's probably best to post ...".

    Look, it's not very important. Don't let it bother you. *shrug*
     
  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,874
    It doesn't bother me, it's just an odd reading of what I wrote. The longer version would be to post on subjects that you find interesting and to not bother to read the "upseting" threads if they bother you. Nothing about it suggested anything about posting on subjects that you aren't interested in. That doesn't make sense, which is why (presumable) you wrote it. Therefore, if it doesn't make sense, that's probably not the meaning implied.
     
  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    It bothered you enough to want to make an issue of it.

    If you're no longer bothered, that's good. We can get back to the thread topic. That's if anybody has anything else they want to say about it.
     
  13. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,874
    No need to make everything an issue of aggression, wouldn't you agree? Maybe we can all just chill out a little?
     
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    Sounds like a good idea. Some people have been a bit tense and overwrought lately.
     
  15. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,401
    In most cases I accept that, as most cases are not reports about what one of the moderators has posted. In most cases, therefore, it is sufficient that one of the moderators, any of them, handles the report, and it should not matter which one as there would be no conflict of interest. But in the instances where it is a moderator’s post that has been reported, the “team” aspect becomes moot, as there would be, I’d have thought it should be obvious to all, a clear conflict of interest should the one whose post has been reported be the one to then “resolve” the report.

    A policy of adding their name to the response to such a report (of a moderator’s post) would serve two purposes: 1, it would encourage moderators not to review reports raised about their own posts, to avoid the obvious conflict of interest, and encourage them to be fair in their resolution when there is such a conflict. And 2, it ensures that the person receiving that response knows either the person responding was not the moderator whose post had been reported, that there has been no conflict of interest, or that there has been a conflict of interest should the resolution not be to the complainants satisfaction - i.e. that conflict becomes reasonable grounds for escalation.

    And if adding the responding moderator’s name to those reports (of moderators' posts) helps achieve that, then adding their name to the response on any report can surely be done just as easily and as a matter of policy. It is just a name, which doesn’t take long to type, yet the benefits should be quite obvious. Maybe only add it in the instance that the post reported was written by a moderator, if your concern is that it is otherwise unwarranted.
    Note that the person raising the report does not see any private message by the one issuing a warning to the one issued with the warning. They simply see “Your post has been resolved…“ with an explanation of the resolution (or non-resolution as might be the case). No indication of the moderator who has actually responded.

    Again, on the whole, there is not really an issue with this as most reports are not about the behaviour of one of the moderators. But since adding the moderator’s name would help identify conflicts of interest in such instances, or help reduce such instances, adding that name would I thought have been an easy win for the site to adopt as a policy. Why the reluctance?
    Sure, but if the one responding is the one whose post has been reported, there is nothing to assure the members that such a discussion has taken place, that it is not just the moderator trying to sweep away their own reported behaviour, for example. A simple matter of adding the mod's name to the response will help assure the members that their report into the post of a moderator has been noted and addressed by another, and that there is no conflict of interest in the "resolution", or provides reasonable grounds for escalation of an unsatisfactory "resolution", should there be conflict of interest. And if adding it to responses of those reports, why not all.
    You’re not that short-staffed to warrant their being such obvious and easily-addressed conflicts of interest. While you may well be short-staffed for the general running of the site, and resolving all reports etc, you only have 3 mods, so there should be commensurately few reports raised about those mods’ posts. I.e. the fewer the mods, the fewer the reports will be raised about them.

    Furthermore, being prompt does not trump an obvious conflict of interest. Members will, I’m sure, be willing to wait for their report to be resolved if they know that the one reviewing and responding is not the same person whose post they have reported. How difficult would it be, hypothetically, for Tiassa to see that one of his posts has been reported, and to then leave that ticket number, or whatever system you have, to either you or Bells to review and address? How difficult would it be for Bells, or for you, to do likewise for reports about your own posts? The answer, I’m sure, is that it would be easy.

    Given your claimed moral standards about disclosure of vested interests, James, I would have expected far better from you than to just excuse such obvious conflicts of interest as being discussed here, especially ones that speak to the moral integrity of the moderators, and to this site as a whole. It is bad enough that such conflicts of interest might already be happening, and the willingness to excuse not addressing this begs its own questions.
     
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    Sarkus:

    The sticking point here seems to be that you want to know which moderator handles a report when the report in question concerns a moderator's post(s).

    It sounds like a reasonable request. I will put this to the other moderators and see what they think. I would be happy to add my name to any response I make to a report about a moderator's post (mine or somebody else's).

    I don't think I need to respond line-by-line to your entire post on this. I will just make a few comments.
    Actually, handling reports in the report queue can take quite a while. Just typing a name lots of times might sound like a low-effort thing to do in addition to handling the reports and keeping appropriate records, but it does add to the workload.
    That seems fair.
    Some discussions among moderators happen after the fact rather than before it. That such a discussion hasn't yet taken place does not necessarily mean that a discussion won't take place some time in the future - especially if one moderator takes issue with something another one did.
    Sometimes it becomes important to act promptly to shut down a discussion and/or issue a warning, to prevent further escalation of a flame war, further posting of unacceptable material, or for other reasons. Especially when people are angry, things can escalate rapidly. If prompt action isn't taken, the fallout and the cleanup becomes much more difficult later on.
    It already happens.
    Don't jump the gun with your criticisms.

    I have responded to your suggestion with a plan for action. I have not ignored you or dismissed your idea.

    I'd say it's a bit early to start complaining about my "willingness to excuse not addressing" etc., wouldn't you?

    I take it you're posting in good faith here, and not trying to prosecute some kind of grudge you have. Because that would reflect poorly on you, wouldn't it?
     
  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,401
    That's one.
    The other is that no moderator should action a report raised about their own posts. It is a clear conflict of interest. That sticking point remains.
    I'm not talking about closing threads down, or issuing warnings, as moderators can't be warned. I'm simply talking about how a report made of a moderator's post is handled, and whether it should ever be handled by the same moderator who has been reported about. None of what you have said here addresses that. The only time I can think of where prompt action is justified over conflict of interest is where the moderator whose post has been reported actually agrees with the report, agrees their behaviour needed reporting, and they apologise etc. In such an instance the conflict of interest is effectively removed by the outcome. But other than this, no, prompt action does not overcome conflict of interest.
    James, your entire previous response to the issue was one excuse after another for why it doesn't happen, and for one of the two issues you're still doing that. That you are now not simply excusing, well, at least one of the suggestions, is encouraging. Thank you. But you are still making excuses regarding the issue of conflict of interest in dealing with reports of moderators' posts. That sticking point remains. And that continues to beg the question of why.
    Why not raise the matter with the other moderators and see what they think, as you propose with the suggestion of adding your name?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    There you go again trying to cast aspersions on people with such insinuations. Do you not see how antagonistic that comes across as? How petty? How pathetic? Can you not stop yourself?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  18. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,254
    Thanks, James - I’d “reported” a post a few months back, and didn’t receive any notification or PM as to how it was handled. There was no response at all.
     
  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    Sarkus:

    You appear to be getting angry again. Try to settle down. Control yourself.
    I addressed that point directly, at least twice.
    Yes. And unless and until we have a larger moderator team, it will probably continue to happen - very rarely - just like it does now.
    They can all read this thread. Either they have not yet read it, or they don't want to comment at this time.

    Nevertheless, I will raise it in the moderators' subforum.
    Here's what I think. I think the main reason you started this thread was to be antagonistic. I also don't think you're being successful in fooling readers with your mock outrage.

    Nevertheless, that doesn't change the fact that you've made some reasonable suggestions. I will rise above the fact that it was you who posted them, in your usual acerbic style.
     
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    37,892
    Given the amount you're acting in self-interest, of late, maybe you're not striking the right tone.

    Your handling of reports #6121-6122, for instance, is clearly self-interested, and inconsistent to the point of hypocrisy.

    †​

    Here, James, a tale of three zingers. Are you ready?

    1) Weariness and exhaustion might contribute to error and omission.

    2) Psychological dysfunction is the reason someone is unsatisfactory.

    3) Neurological disease is the only explanation for this person's disagreement.​

    Guess which one of those is an offense? Oh, right, you already know.

    Given that you held utterance of the first against someone¹, uttered the second, yourself², and endorsed someone else's utterance of the third³, your post at #3715986/17 ("What is the furthest …?")↗ is inconsistent with your prior assessment of other people's behavior, but does reflect how you wish to treat other people. It's one thing if I leave the report for you to comment on, but closing it as you did was not the best of decisions, especially considering your reasoning. As much as you don't like being criticized, you've managed to put on quite a performance. And remember, James, we already know from history that you will not tolerate being spoken to the same way.

    †​

    History, James, and I'll try to be brief: One of the reasons our policies seem so ad hoc is that you wanted it this way. That is, it is for you that we have no unified policy standard. And there is a record on this point. And the reason we might take the moment to recall this is how our present moment reflects its boundaries: First, the attitudes and circumstance you find yourself confronting are a product of an environment in which this is actually how it's gone for quite a while; i.e., sure, Sciforums is what its members make of it, but that statement does not account for what we encourage or discourage, so inasmuch as we have shaped the environment for them, it's unclear what you might expect of what our policy outlook has cultivated, but inasmuch as the knives-out malaise around here is hardly new, your increased sensitivity is a question only you can answer.

    And this leads to the next point: You are behaving in a manner that you previously sought to forestall. That is, when we go back and check the record⁴, part of the reason we don't have a unified standard is that you don't trust the staff, and worry they will behave abusively, and you are now fulfilling a role you pretended to guard against.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    ¹ Internal Memoranda #3481

    ² "Entities and Attributes in science", #9↗, #69↗, #71↗

    ³ Report #6063

    e.g., Internal Memoranda #2791 (2016), #3032 (2017), and #3175 (2018), for instance; the record is, of course, considerably larger.
     
    Baldeee likes this.
  21. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,401

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Sure. I was simply reminding you what the issue was that you were replying to, as that particular reply had no bearing on it. You were going on about thread closures, issuing of warnings, etc, when they have no bearing on the reporting of a moderator's post, and whether a response to such should have the responding mod's name, or whether the reported mod should be allowed to respond to that report. Nothing more, nothing less.
    How do we know it happens "very rarely"? And if you're excusing it such that it be allowed to happen "very rarely", what is the escalation process?
    They could read the thread for the first suggestion, yet you explicitly said that you would raise it with them. You didn't do so with this second suggestion, hence my suggestion that you do so.
    Thank you.
    So despite being told that casting aspersions, to make such insinuations (via guessing at motive etc) is antagonistic, petty, and pathetic, you decide to double-down? What are we to make of that? That antagonistic behaviour is acceptable? Or should we simply ignore such hypocrisy and dishonesty from a moderator? I'm left confused by this. Perhaps you could explain, please?
    Thank you.
    Oh, such magnanimity of you.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
    Baldeee likes this.
  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    Tiassa is a hateful little man who has refused to apologise for three previous hateful, false allegations he made about me. I will have nothing to do with this man until he apologises publically for making those false accusations.

    In his most recent post, above, Tiassa has posted a number of further allegations. Readers will note that he cites references to conversations that took place in the private Moderators' subforum. Readers of this thread have no access to those conversations, and hence no ability to read the material in question or to consider the context in which material was written there.

    Tiassa's new allegations put a false spin on certain things I wrote. They tell straight up lies about certain other things that he references. This man is on the record as being an unrepentent serial liar. Really, adding more lies to the mix doesn't change anything significantly. This man's reputation is already at rock bottom.

    Tiassa has also spun a false tale about policies and reasons, around his many lies.

    The fact that he has chosen to tell more lies in this way - deliberately so that other members cannot evaluate the relevant material for themselves - is despicable and, again, entirely inappropriate.
     
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    Sarkus:

    Don't you start telling lies about things you can have no knowledge about.

    Here is what I posted in the Moderator's forum, about your suggestions:

    Sarkus has started a thread in Open Government. [Link]
    ....

    He has suggested:
    1. Responses to filed reports that involve a moderator post should be accompanied by the name of the moderator who handled the report in question.
    2. Filed reports regarding a moderator ought to be handled by a different moderator.
    I have no problem with suggestion (1). I am happy to take responsibility for the reports I handle. In fact, I already add my name to some responses.

    As for suggestion (2), I think that, in principle, it is a good idea. In practice, though, with only 3 active moderators, and often only one mod online here at a time, I think its problematic. It would mean inevitable delays in handling complaints about a moderator, and those mostly come when there's an emotionally heated debate or effectively a flame war going on.

    I said that I would bring this up in the Moderators' forum, so I'm bringing it up. Please feel free to respond here, in the public thread, or both. Let me know what you think.​

    The rest of your post is just the usual noise from you.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page