To All Dear Mods, Admins, etc

Have something to say about forums.debian.net itself?

Re: To All Dear Mods, Admins, etc

Postby MALsPa » 2011-02-08 18:28

Maybe there's no problem with "the style of moderation" if you simply don't post things that make the mods feel they need to take action.

Aargh, why do I even let myself get sucked into these conversations? Again:

traveler wrote:Image


Have fun, folks.
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Re: To All Dear Mods, Admins, etc

Postby Mez » 2011-02-08 22:13

AMLJ wrote:Hello... I know you are all doing your best... But there are really some problems in what you are doing...
First of all, I ask you not to lock this thread, or ban me just because I want to discuss this matter.


Firstly, had there been something wrong with this thread, you'd have been warned first :)

Secondly, you've addressed this in a sensible manner, I see no reason to lock the thread as it currently stands

AMLJ wrote:Many experienced users are leaving, and some like me are just really upset... I assume you don't care about that very much, but please, if you care about the forums, could you please consider making a change? Even a little one...


I can understand that some are upset, however, the amount of complaints from users regarding the atmosphere of the forums, before I recently stepped in (just under a week ago) - meant that something needed to be done about it. Hence the current process of change that's happening.

AMLJ wrote:Is it possible to have a change in the rules, or even a change in the staff? Maybe a vote?


Please feel free to suggest something for the rules. If you want to discuss specific staff changes, please contact admin@forums.debian.net - if they're generalised suggestions, please feel free to post them here, and the suggestion will be taken on board. A few staff changes are planned for the near future, to address what seems to be a lack of staff in timezones other than US timezones, as well as to boost the numbers of the (currently waning) Staff:User ratio.

AMLJ wrote:As I mentioned, I'm really asking you guys not to lock this thread... Let's have a normal discussion, after a very long time...

It'd be also nice to see what other users think about this... Please don't say things which you know will cause in this thread being locked... Let's keep this one clean..


Good sentiments, and I'm happy to have a frank and open discussion. Should it go the way of personal attacks, or flamewars, or trolling (or anything other than an adult, sensible conversation) - basically, if the thread gets out of hand, then of course, like any other thread, it'll be locked.
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Re: To All Dear Mods, Admins, etc

Postby Mez » 2011-02-08 22:23

oOarthurOo wrote:I haven't noticed any problems, and the little I've looked into the recent nonsense just looks to me like a lot of emotion and anger over very little of substance.

That being said , it wouldn't be a bad idea to have the disciplinary stuff laid out more clearly, if for no other reason than transparancy. Currently Lavene's post on the Guidelines is all that exists, so maybe we could add a point thirteen under:

<snip>

Something like:

13. Disciplinary Actions
- Administrators and Mods have the authority to take more severe actions in certain situations, from temporary account suspensions to permanent bans of users who violate the above rules.
- Users subject to disciplinary actions should try discuss the matter with the Administrator / Mod who dealt with the issue if they disagree with the decsion or feel that they are being treated unfairly.
- All permanent bans must be agreed to by two Administrators / Moderators. You cannot appeal a permanent ban, as by this point you will likely have had a number of opportunities to correct your forum behaviour.



First point sounds like a good addition, or at least a better clarification

I think the second point you have here might need a little further clarification. It's a good start, but I think there should be a little more to it (if they can't come to an agreement with the person, to contact admin@ , etc)

I'm a little wary over the third item. From my POV, Admins should be the last port of call for stuff like this. They shouldn't really have to step in. I feel that Admins should have the ability to perma-ban someone should they see the need to. I've only ever placed perma-bans on Ban Evaders alternative accounts, or Obvious spam bots. Admins should have proven themselves to be worthy of this ability, and the powers they posess. I agree however, that moderators should discuss permanent bans before they place them, and already actively encourage this. We have a staff area where bans that are placed are discussed (and currently, it actually seems to be all bans, rather than just Perma-bans, which while I don't feel the need to have this done, is a nice bonus, and shows that the Mod team are taking initiative). I'm also a little wary about the whole appealing bit. I'd say that a permanent ban can be appealed, but at that point, if a quorum of the team feel that it shouldn't be lifted, then that might be best. Also, as part of the "2 mods agreeing" bit - I'd allow the mods to place an "emergency action" ban of a month, pending discussion of a permanent ban, to be reviewed by another mod/admin, and removed/reduced if the agreement for a permanent ban didn't go through.

Just off the top of the head, feel free to modify / improve / disregard.

Oh and one thing I admire about the Ubuntuforums, is that they have discussions between users and mods in the open, which I think contributes to a sense of fairness and transparancy. PM's might not be the best approach to dealing with disciplinary actions, unless both the user and mod agree to use it. In any event, a subform dedicated to appeals decisions might be a good idea.


I'm a little bit wary of that, as it could cause a fair amount of flaimbait. I'll have a think about it though.
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Re: To All Dear Mods, Admins, etc

Postby Mez » 2011-02-08 22:24

traveler wrote:
MALsPa wrote:
AMLJ wrote:Many experienced users are leaving

Maybe that's a good thing.

Maybe we can get the bean system once all the gurus leave. That would be super.


Not too sure about how the bean system works, but I'm thinking of a reputation/karma addon.
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Re: To All Dear Mods, Admins, etc

Postby oOarthurOo » 2011-02-08 22:33

Mez wrote:
oOarthurOo wrote:13. Disciplinary Actions<snip>

First point sounds like a good addition, or at least a better clarification

I think the second point you have here might need a little further clarification. It's a good start, but I think there should be a little more to it (if they can't come to an agreement with the person, to contact admin@ , etc)

I'm a little wary over the third item. From my POV, Admins should be the last port of call for stuff like this. They shouldn't really have to step in. I feel that Admins should have the ability to perma-ban someone should they see the need to. I've only ever placed perma-bans on Ban Evaders alternative accounts, or Obvious spam bots. Admins should have proven themselves to be worthy of this ability, and the powers they posess. I agree however, that moderators should discuss permanent bans before they place them, and already actively encourage this. We have a staff area where bans that are placed are discussed (and currently, it actually seems to be all bans, rather than just Perma-bans, which while I don't feel the need to have this done, is a nice bonus, and shows that the Mod team are taking initiative). I'm also a little wary about the whole appealing bit. I'd say that a permanent ban can be appealed, but at that point, if a quorum of the team feel that it shouldn't be lifted, then that might be best. Also, as part of the "2 mods agreeing" bit - I'd allow the mods to place an "emergency action" ban of a month, pending discussion of a permanent ban, to be reviewed by another mod/admin, and removed/reduced if the agreement for a permanent ban didn't go through.


Those are useful comments that should probably be noted somewhere more prominent, so users understand that there is a process in place and that admin/mods don't just capriciously take actions without any consultations or review.

Mez wrote:
oOarthurOo wrote:Oh and one thing I admire about the Ubuntuforums, is that they have discussions between users and mods in the open, which I think contributes to a sense of fairness and transparancy. PM's might not be the best approach to dealing with disciplinary actions, unless both the user and mod agree to use it. In any event, a subform dedicated to appeals decisions might be a good idea.


I'm a little bit wary of that, as it could cause a fair amount of flaimbait. I'll have a think about it though.

This one thread doesn't have to be the final say on the matter. Adding a subforum for appeals can be considered a *big* step. Clarifying forum guidelines and procedures is a *small* step. There's nothing wrong with making the smaller easier changes and seeing how it goes for a while, before deciding whether more significant changes are required.

Thanks for the comments.
Last edited by Mez on 2011-02-08 22:38, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Fixing quote nesting
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Re: To All Dear Mods, Admins, etc

Postby hkoster1 » 2011-02-08 22:42

I've kept myself far from all the stuff that's been going on here, preferring to ignore many posts rather
than react to them. I believe that one of the problems here is the enormous amount of "chat" going on
outside the Offtopic section. Look for example at participants racking up thousands of posts in just a
single year -- no need to mention names here, they know who they are. At least 80% of such posts are
just idle chat, I don't know why so many people think this forum is the place for that. I'm with the late
RickH who used to say "I don't do chat".

So, my suggestion for improvement: less chat, and then only in Offtopic.

Thank you for listening.
Real Debian users don't do chat...
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Re: To All Dear Mods, Admins, etc

Postby Mez » 2011-02-08 22:47

hkoster1 wrote:I've kept myself far from all the stuff that's been going on here, preferring to ignore many posts rather
than react to them. I believe that one of the problems here is the enormous amount of "chat" going on
outside the Offtopic section. Look for example at participants racking up thousands of posts in just a
single year -- no need to mention names here, they know who they are. At least 80% of such posts are
just idle chat, I don't know why so many people think this forum is the place for that. I'm with the late
RickH who used to say "I don't do chat".

So, my suggestion for improvement: less chat, and then only in Offtopic.

Thank you for listening.


If a topic doesn't seem relevant to the section it's in, or peters out into idle chit-chat, feel free to "Report" the topic, then, it can either be moved to the relevant place, or the conversation parts can be split out and moved to a new thread in off-topic.
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Re: To All Dear Mods, Admins, etc

Postby JohnDeere630 » 2011-02-08 23:25

If I may make a suggestion...it appears to me that one of the factors exacerbating the latest furor is ambiguity; it appeared to us regular members like warnings and bans were handed out willy-nilly. I know that there were a lot of PMs & other stuff going on that most of us didn't know about, and that by itself is fine; what is said in private conversations is just that. However, when it comes to public sanctions, I think that rather than have a bunch of subforums and extra work for the mods, why not have the relevant mod insert a couple of lines right into the post in question: For example in this post, Saulgood could just add something like: "administrative board warning issued for profanity and personal attack". That way anyone that was interested could see immediately cause and effect, and those who are not interested won't have to deal with it at all.

@hkoster1...I understand your comment about some people making thousands of irrelevant posts a year, and I agree somewhat, although to be honest, I have contributed a few myself :oops: However, speaking only for myself, if this forum's rules change to disallow any but strictly technical content, it would be insufferably boring....as I said before, for better or worse, this is a community of very disparate personalities. If we were all strict conformists, we wouldn't be here anyway. Just my 2 cents..
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Re: To All Dear Mods, Admins, etc

Postby oOarthurOo » 2011-02-08 23:35

JohnDeere630 wrote:If I may make a suggestion...it appears to me that one of the factors exacerbating the latest furor is ambiguity; it appeared to us regular members like warnings and bans were handed out willy-nilly. I know that there were a lot of PMs & other stuff going on that most of us didn't know about, and that by itself is fine; what is said in private conversations is just that. However, when it comes to public sanctions, I think that rather than have a bunch of subforums and extra work for the mods, why not have the relevant mod insert a couple of lines right into the post in question: For example in this post, Saulgood could just add something like: "administrative board warning issued for profanity and personal attack". That way anyone that was interested could see immediately cause and effect, and those who are not interested won't have to deal with it at all.


+1. Much simpler than creating separate forums, and contibutes towards increased transparancy without compromising privacy or drastically increasing mod/admin workload and/or liklihood of flamebaiting.
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Re: To All Dear Mods, Admins, etc

Postby JohnDeere630 » 2011-02-08 23:50

oOarthurOo wrote:
JohnDeere630 wrote:If I may make a suggestion...it appears to me that one of the factors exacerbating the latest furor is ambiguity; it appeared to us regular members like warnings and bans were handed out willy-nilly. I know that there were a lot of PMs & other stuff going on that most of us didn't know about, and that by itself is fine; what is said in private conversations is just that. However, when it comes to public sanctions, I think that rather than have a bunch of subforums and extra work for the mods, why not have the relevant mod insert a couple of lines right into the post in question: For example in this post, Saulgood could just add something like: "administrative board warning issued for profanity and personal attack". That way anyone that was interested could see immediately cause and effect, and those who are not interested won't have to deal with it at all.


+1. Much simpler than creating separate forums, and contibutes towards increased transparancy without compromising privacy or drastically increasing mod/admin workload and/or liklihood of flamebaiting.


@0OarthurOo: thanks!

I also wanted to mention mods editing/deleting posts...I doubt anyone would have a problem with a mod editing out really bad cuss words and religious blasphemies, but I do not agree with anyone other than the originator of a post deleting it. Having a bunch of "missing" posts really obfuscates things, and really fuels the conspiracy theorists.
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Re: To All Dear Mods, Admins, etc

Postby mdevour » 2011-02-09 00:09

Mez,

First off, thanks for keeping the lights on.

It would be best to make very clear what the admins/mods want the members to do. Saulgoode's observation that only one member ever reported nomko's behavior before people started piling on illustrates the need for this.

Unless I misread things, part of what we're dealing with is the desire of some members to discipline or criticize other members, whether newbies or trolls, and it is the staff's desire that dealing with such issues be reserved to it. Is this right?

If so, that needs to be stated very clearly: It's the members' job to report misbehavior and disruptive attitudes, and the staff's job to deal with them, behind the scenes if possible, or with clear administrative comments within the offending messages.

There is nothing wrong with this approach, if that's really what you're trying to achieve. Most of the best forums I've encountered run that way.

Gaining the cooperation and understanding of the members can only help. Not all will choose to understand or cooperate, but I believe most will, if the intention is clear and consistently applied.

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Re: To All Dear Mods, Admins, etc

Postby JohnDeere630 » 2011-02-09 00:18

mdevour wrote:If so, that needs to be stated very clearly: It's the members' job to report misbehavior and disruptive attitudes, and the staff's job to deal with them, behind the scenes if possible, or with clear administrative comments within the offending messages.

Gaining the cooperation and understanding of the members can only help. Not all will choose to understand or cooperate, but I believe most will, if the intention is clear and consistently applied.

Mike D.


+1....Clear, concise, and to the point :D
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Re: To All Dear Mods, Admins, etc

Postby edbarx » 2011-02-09 14:23

I repeat my thanks to all members who abused me!

Thanks for toughening up my character.
Debian == { > 30, 000 packages }; Debian != systemd
The worst infection of all, is a false sense of security!
It is hard to get away from CLI tools.
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Re: To All Dear Mods, Admins, etc

Postby llivv » 2011-02-09 15:30

hkoster1 wrote:I've kept myself far from all the stuff that's been going on here, preferring to ignore many posts rather
than react to them. I believe that one of the problems here is the enormous amount of "chat" going on
outside the Offtopic section. Look for example at participants racking up thousands of posts in just a
single year -- no need to mention names here, they know who they are. At least 80% of such posts are
just idle chat, I don't know why so many people think this forum is the place for that. I'm with the late
RickH who used to say "I don't do chat".

So, my suggestion for improvement: less chat, and then only in Offtopic.

Thank you for listening.

Rickh said a lot of things, didn't he....
Rickh was passionate about issues that were important to him, and he voiced those opinions often in this forum..
Rickh also liked running a mixed testing/unstable box....
Other memories of the man are surely welcome here, but only if they are important to you too.
In memory of Ian Ashley Murdock (1973 - 2015) founder of the Debian project.
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Re: To All Dear Mods, Admins, etc

Postby Mez » 2011-02-09 17:39

llivv wrote:Other memories of the man are surely welcome here, but only if they are important to you too.


Might be worth sticking in a new thread though.
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