Topic Locked due to Personal Issues

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Re: Topic Locked due to Personal Issues

Postby nadir » 2010-03-09 02:22

i will keep it short (and its difficult for me):
a) thanks for the plain and clear words (to both of you)

b)
Telemachus:
I hope that there isn't a large "amount of confusion and resentment among this forum's users." I'm somewhat surprised to hear that, frankly. I didn't think it was the case.

i can speak only for me: my expectations here are much higher than at any other board (the level of freedom, not of knowledge). somehow one might see this as a compliment. i hope. in my world i do.

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Re: Topic Locked due to Personal Issues

Postby ComputerBob » 2010-03-09 02:42

Telemachus wrote:...I agree that transparency is - in general - a good thing. However, I can see the sense in keeping some things private to the moderator forums. Not for nefarious reasons (I hope), but because sometimes the issues are delicate. That said, in many cases the discussions in the moderator forum involve us fumbling around deciding what to do and many of the topics are just boring as hell (how to stop the latest spam-bots, etc.). Basically, I'm admitting that I can't fully decide if everything should be open or not. As a general rule, I like open, but there are some things that are probably easier to talk about in private...

You have misunderstood me. I fully and 100% agree with you that it is very important for this forum's moderators to be able to have private discussions between themselves.

So my request for "open source moderation" was not about private communications betweeen moderators.

It was about the fact that it has been requested that USERS who question a moderator's public behavior (i.e., unexplained locking and then unlocking of a thread) should privately (AKA secretely) write to a moderator about their concerns, instead of bringing up the subject in the very same public forum where the moderator's confusing public behavior took place.

To me, that request makes it look a lot like this forums' moderators are trying to make themselves immune from public accountability for any unjustified/unexplained/confusing public moderation behaviors that they perform that affect the public on these forums. So, what I suggested is that, instead of requesting more secrecy, I think that if the moderators would embrace more transparency in the moderation process, it would go a long way to reduce the levels of frustration and resentment that have already been expressed in this thread.
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Re: Topic Locked due to Personal Issues

Postby Absent Minded » 2010-03-09 02:59

I would like to point out that i did not say to tell another "moderator" I said that an administrator should be contacted. All of the moderators are on equal ground, meaning for instance that I can not take action against another moderator. In order for anything to be done to resolve the problem an administrator must be contacted.
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Re: Topic Locked due to Personal Issues

Postby julian67 » 2010-03-09 03:05

Telemachus wrote:I hope that there isn't a large "amount of confusion and resentment among this forum's users." I'm somewhat surprised to hear that, frankly. I didn't think it was the case.


I don't think there is either. I just think moderation should be done for the benefit of the board (meaning its members as a whole) and not exercised to suit any one person, or out of some distinctly personal irritation. Generally it's done well. Very occasionally it isn't and while I know the admins think/insist that individual instances shouldn't be raised publicly it's hardly a realistic policy. Of course discussions between admins and moderators are conducted privately because often it's none of anyone else's business and nosiness isn't a compelling justification. But if someone has a tendency to use their moderation rights for personal reasons it is definitely going to get a public airing sooner or later, even if that's not supposed to be the right way to do it. I know such a policy is well intended and generally makes sense but it can produce a situation where someone 'moderates' in an extremely objectionable manner and then uses this policy to try to squash any objection. This has happened before, and not long ago either. I don't want to open an entire can of worms so I won't link it here, but the tendency exists. In theory any members who object should all be unaware of each other's objections and everything should be done ever so silently and privately via pm and email (all tip toeing around blindfolded pleading for wisdom/patience from those blessed with sight), with us regular board members being blissfully isolated, unaware and impotent. Or we can do what human beings actually do and say "excuse me, but I don't think that's right."
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Re: Topic Locked due to Personal Issues

Postby ComputerBob » 2010-03-09 03:14

Absent Minded wrote:I would like to point out that i did not say to tell another "moderator" I said that an administrator should be contacted. All of the moderators are on equal ground, meaning for instance that I can not take action against another moderator. In order for anything to be done to resolve the problem an administrator must be contacted.

Point taken. I understand.

But, again, I think it is both counterintuitive and counterproductive to request that individual users should individually contact an administrator privately if they have questions or concerns about a moderator's confusing public moderation behavior that has affected all of us publicly.

And you know, all of this discussion would have been unnecessary if the original locking of that thread -- and then the eventual unlocking of it -- had been explained at the time of the locking/unlocking.

But when a thread is locked without explanation or justification; and then it is later mysteriously unlocked without explanation or justification; and then users are asked to write privately to an administrator if they have any questions about that whole mysterious process... that just seems unnecessarily secretive instead of transparent -- which can easily result in confusion and resentment that could have been avoided with a little more moderating communication up-front.
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Re: Topic Locked due to Personal Issues

Postby Absent Minded » 2010-03-09 06:49

I try very hard to be community minded while making moderation decisions and i think others here do as well. To that end I have tried to be open and upfront of decisions i have made. As well as leaving things open for descusion in situations where i was encouraged to not allow further input. Unfortunantly this seems to backfire in my face so I am kind of seeing the wisdom in just closing topics that get out of hand. For me it is rare that i close a thread without conferring with another mod or an admin (although I have done it).
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Re: Topic Locked due to Personal Issues

Postby debil » 2010-03-09 10:45

Hmm, a classic example of Streisand effect. Strangely, I think I pretty much agree with all the posters in this thread. This sort of forum moderation surely doesn't look good from any point of view.

If the reasons for topic-locking were personal, so what? Everyone gets irked by something/somebody every now and then. Especially at web forums. The silence on behalf of the mod-in-question baffles me. What's so hard in giving a brief "why"? That would've spared the forum from yet another thread discussing moderator behavior.
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Re: Topic Locked due to Personal Issues

Postby Telemachus » 2010-03-09 12:26

@ComputerBob & @Julian67: There are two topics here now (at least). One is the details of this particular locking and unlocking. I have nothing new there. The second is how complaints should be handled. As far as that goes, I agree that in many cases an open discussion is better than a pm. This thread is a good example of that. It led to the other thread being unlocked and all of this being discussed. The discussion itself is sane and (so far) entirely reasonable.
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Re: Topic Locked due to Personal Issues

Postby drokmed » 2010-03-11 20:46

Is this thread still going? Somebody lock it :mrgreen:
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Re: Topic Locked due to Personal Issues

Postby mojoman » 2010-03-12 15:32

Absent Minded wrote:While i agree with your statment 100%. It has been requested by our forum admins that if there is a problem with a moderator that you contact one of the administrators directly.


I think that by now all the regulars on the forum is well aware of that.

It might even have been a good guideline if the forum members were made aware if the forum admins actually reacted when a moderator stepped out of line.

As it is now, a moderator can blow his top publicly and if a forum member has an opinion about it they are told to keep quiet, or rather to keep it private in a PM but that might as well be to keep quiet as the last word that is said on the subject - at least as far as most members/readers are concerned - is the moderator blowing his top and all criticism then being silenced.
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Re: Topic Locked due to Personal Issues

Postby Absent Minded » 2010-03-13 00:01

i would like to point out that no one has silenced this thread. Everyone is being allowed to speak their mind here. As for the mod in question, I don't know why he hasn't come forward to speak his peace. To the best of my knowledge no one has sent an administrator a complaint. At least i have not been informed of any.

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Re: Topic Locked due to Personal Issues

Postby smallchange » 2010-03-13 03:58

Personally, I am glad this sort of thing can be handled with out resorting to an admin.
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Re: Topic Locked due to Personal Issues

Postby mojoman » 2010-03-13 05:46

smallchange wrote:Personally, I am glad this sort of thing can be handled with out resorting to an admin.


I think most of us agree. I know I do.

Absent Minded wrote:i would like to point out that no one has silenced this thread. Everyone is being allowed to speak their mind here. As for the mod in question, I don't know why he hasn't come forward to speak his peace. To the best of my knowledge no one has sent an administrator a complaint. At least i have not been informed of any.

AM


I know that no one has been silenced and I think that is very positive.

As for not knowing if this has been raised with an administrator, that's the whole point. If forum members are actually publicly offended by a moderator or moderation is done in an obvious heavy-handed or unfounded manned and criticism is cut short but stating that "problems should be taken up in a PM" and the thread is locked, what will forum members see? As far as most people is concerned this will be the end of it as there is no feedback from moderators or administrators. I think it sends out a loud and clear message that this sort of behavior on part of moderators is acceptable, even though I'm positive that very few people on the forum (admins, mods or members) believe so.

My point is that if I act like an asshole or make a fool of myself in public (yes, it has happened and I'm sure it'll happen again) I apologize for it too.

Edited for typos
Last edited by mojoman on 2010-03-13 12:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Topic Locked due to Personal Issues

Postby Absent Minded » 2010-03-13 06:50

speaking for myself, i try to let everyone know why i have done something. I have made obvious mistakes and subsequently have also made public statements/apologies in regards to them. This is how i feel is best to handle things. Honest and open. In some areas i am restricted as to what i can say and have to respect the decisions made (whether i like them or not). As I have stated before as a mod, we are all equal and i cannot take action against another moderator. I either have to contact an administrator or let it go and hope that my viewpoint is worth something to them.
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Re: Topic Locked due to Personal Issues

Postby nadir » 2010-03-14 17:15

looks to me like craigevil stopped posting completely (on the other hand some people say they would have got a life, whatever it might be).
from what i see no one did harm you, besides the nut guy from sidux (btw: he came, posted his nonsense, and vanished again. after editing he got a very good answer from craigevil and didn't care about it. )
closing threads always ends with a bit of trouble, so, to make it short: no need to be affronted. everyone seems to be on your side (as far as possible, i for one disagree as kind of a reflex and come to think later).

btw: the rule: " send a mail to an admin..." is ridiculous. no serious person would do such a thing. it ain't to be found in the guidelines neither (something similar, but completely different if one thinks about it). even if it was there i wouldn't do it.
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