posted on Oct, 16 2007 @ 07:08 PM
I think we can all understand how mod #1 might have a different take on an issue than mod #2. Hopefully that doesn't happen much because I suspect
most users of this board want to see fairness, i.e.: equal treatment in given circumstances. If a one-liner post costs you points and then you see a
one-liner nonsense post by a mod, the trust level goes down. I happen to think SOME one-liner posts are pithy and ought to be allowed. Indeed, I think
they often are for that reason. But I'll give you an example of a situation where I feel there was unequal treatment. It's way too late to find the
exact posts, but....
I posted on a thread that our friend Bocephus claims to have several implants from aliens and that he says everyone has at least one. This is a true
statement. Bocephus I'm sure would agree. I wasn't judging Bocephus at all, just stating matter of fact what he said, which was relevant to the
thread. I couldn't believe the reply I got from someone who called me names, suggested I was a member of the NWO and abusing others (Like my avatar
is real? Is yours?) and suggested very heatedly that I should be banned and prevented from posting. She used lots of 'flame' emoticons to illustrate
her point. Why? I didn't say anything wrong. I didn't criticize anyone. The whole attack was totally unjustified. I complained and asked, "What
should I do?" (You know what I WANTED to do, but I was attempting to restrain myself.) The powers wrote back suggesting I do nothing. Just let it go.
It was obvious I was right in context. Etc. Well, I did as suggested and ignored it. Did this person receive any warning? Nope. Did she lose 500
points? Nope. Had I said anything like she did I feel certain I would have been hammered, warned, and possibly banned. It was that bad. But she got
off scott free. I've seen 500 point deductions for WAY less than that post.
That's an example of uneven moderation. It's different than IGNORED moderation when a mod wasn't paying attention to a thread. All the evidence was
there. Now when you have a court appearance for, let's say, and anger management issue, beating up someone, or whatever, I think you'd be quite
justifiably angry of the guy ahead of you with the same issue exactly had his case dismissed, and you got a year of prison time. That's unequal
treatment under the law, and it's something you guys should think about.
Point Two: The demeanor of mods.
There's a thread with two sides. People are yammering back and forth. They have been for months. It gets a little heated, as it soemtimes does, but
is likely to simmer down on its own, as it has before. Let's say it's a typical Greer thread. You know how those go. No mods have been following it.
Then suddenly here comes a Moderator who is NOT LISTED as a moderator of the given forum, but appears to be just a roving deputy, shows up with an
intimidating avatar as big as a house, mean looking, and says in 20 point bold type: THIS STOPS NOW!! with similar threats about the coming warnings
if everyone doesn't just roll over and assume the position. I've seen this happen when someone made a mild joke in a thread that was supposed to be
ON TOPIC! PERIOD!
Wow. Forgive me for not being impressed. Moderators, I think, need to meditate a bit on the word "moderate." What does 'moderate' mean? Can you
possibly moderate in a moderate fashion? Can you possibly say something like, "Look, guys and gals. This is getting out of hand. I'm afraid if there
is any more name calling, it's going to involve sanctions on the guilty parties. This is your fair warning. No more, please. Be nice. Thanks."
Now that's a polite way to moderate. In my experience Springer usually uses this approach. Some moderators use the: THIS STOPS NOW OR THE BUTTS GET
KICKED!!!! approach along with the monster fist in the air gigantic 40 storey tall avatar. That's not polite. It's not nice. It's being a bully.
Those who moderate in this fashion need to stop doing it. Yelling at people is what you DON'T want people to do. Why do you think doing it yourself
is justified? Lead by example, if you will, by being moderate yourself. And by the way, where is our normal moderator? You're not on the list. In
fact, you're acting like a roving mercenary soldier of fortune intimidating anyone you please.
The point is that I don't think you treat your users very well. They are second class citizens subject to sanctions and, on occasion, pushed around
as per above. The users are providing 'user-generated-content,' giving ATS those page views and advertising revenue that will make it profitable and
pay off that venture capital funding.
Now, what I think the moderator crowd needs to do is get together and brain storm these issues and come up with a 'Moderator Code of Ethics' that
says how moderators ought to moderate. You are the guys in the midst of this, so you just go ahead and do that as you see fit. Post it. And your users
will be more happy.
Thank you for considering.