Quality Versus Quantity
I've been following this process closely, both as a member and as a Councilor. In particular, I have been following warns, bannings and the
associated complaints, and am a witness to much of what has been going on.
Despite the fact that I support the recent crackdown on baiting, sniping and political trollery, it's still my job to represent member interests to
the staff. So far, I have found the staff to be very
fair about warns and bannings.
Perfect? No, but reasonable to an almost uncanny degree.
Some members prefer to beat their chests and distort what's going on for dramatic effect. Whatever. If you really feel put upon, it's more your own
interpretation than any official policy.
If you're having a lot of heartburn over this, my opinion is that it's not exactly fair to blame the staff for your own desire to quibble.
Are post counts going down? Is board activity slowing? Maybe. I'm not really paying close attention.
But my sense is that all of the Three Amigos would rather see fewer posts of higher quality than more posts of lower quality. If there's a decrease,
it's a decrease in cut-and-pastes, trolling threads, one-liners and flame wars.
The senior staff are apparently willing to exchange quantity for quality, and if that's “suicide”, then sign me up.
On a related note, some members have expressed concern about moderators not practicing what they preach and taking liberties in threads that members
cannot take. I have been all over that issue, I can assure you, and there has been some candid discussion of this behind the scenes.
My report to the members is that the staff is sensitive about this issue just as I am, and are keen to avoid giving so much as an impression that they
are being bullies.
That said, some members have filed complaints that have caused me concern as well (mods are people too). The staff sees them, we discuss them
case-by-case, and they do
From the other side of things, I ask my fellow members to bear in mind that mods deal with the worst behavior members have to offer, and it's a
grueling job. After a hard day of seeing the same people doing the same irritating (read “boneheaded”) things, mods can sometimes come off as
brusque in the threads. You can only sugarcoat warnings and corrections so many times before you get diabetes.
The mods know about this phenomenon and are mindful of it. If you see moderator behavior that you think is wrong, I encourage you to submit a
If your complaint is bogus, it will tend to be ignored. Don't expect to hear back if you're just venting or (horrors!) disagree with a mod on some
topic or another.
But if your complaint is valid, action will be taken -- though it is rarely publicized to avoid unneeded drama. Behind the scenes, however, mods keep
an eye on each other, and when someone makes a bad call, other mods aren't shy about saying so. It's not exactly a brutal environment, but they
don't tend to mince words about it, either.
The admins, supermods, mods and Council staff all look at complaints, and most members would probably be surprised at how much discussion each one
gets. I know I was quite surprised when I first started following the complaint forum.
The staff and Councilors do listen, and we do care.
We also read the forums, and we see what goes on in them.
We act accordingly.
P.S. Speaking as an obviously major fan of ATS PODcasting, I am very excited about the feature, and plan to spam my contributions to it as long as my
muse commands. But PODcasting is not
a substitute for the discussion forums. As much as I love the bully POD pulpit, I still come to ATS for
the discussion, and I still see that
as the foundation of ATS's future.