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Are moderators supposed to be neutral?

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posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 01:33 PM
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A question that i've wondered for a while, since occasionaly i've seen one or two cases where it seems a moderator can snip, edit, or completely remove a post at whim based upon personal feeling / reaction.

I understand certain rules must be kept in line, but it seems pettiness is rife even on ATS.

Yet in other threads far worse things are ignored and people get away with much more.

I speak only watching a thread unfold, i noticed the wrong guy got a 500 point deduction just for replying (with humour) to an obviously provocative response from another member.

The provocative member's post is still there, yet the original member has been given a deduction just for replying to him.

I further confirmed this by mentioning what i had seen in a follwoing reply and immediately my post had been removed.

When i noticed this, i u2u'd the moderator in question and was told no mistake had been made.

I always thought mods should remain neutral, so why pick and choose who to punish and who to not.

Why not punish them both, or neither....

Or do mods not make mistakes?

[edit on 11-8-2009 by mr-lizard]




posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 01:36 PM
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Well not all mods are moding every forum.

They have specific mods for the specific boards, and although I have seen things like what you are talking about, the Alert button is your friend.

Mods can't catch everything in the run of the day. I would assume that ATS guidelines would make them neutral, since they aren't allowed to mod a thread they participate in.

~Keeper



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 01:38 PM
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So opinion does come into play when moderating then?

I just think it's a tad unfair that some people get punished and other don't.

I love this site but don't like seeing abuse of power or one sidedness when dealing with issues.

As i say punish both or neither, not the guy defending himself.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 01:42 PM
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We are human, you know. Contrary to some opinions...

If you think we've goofed, alert it. Not one of us operates in a vacuum, we discuss actions before they're taken, except in the case of an especially bad post or thread.

We have a specific forum dedicated to just this sort of thing.

It may turn out that we won't agree with you, then again, we might. Usually it ends up somewhere in the middle.

To reiterate, use the alert function, or utilize the complaint/suggestion forum. We'll see it...guarenteed.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 01:46 PM
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Yes, mods are supposed to be Neutral when modding.

They are, however, members first, and moderators secondly. That is also why a moderator will never moderate a thread he/she posted in as a member because then objectivity will come into question.

Also - any action taken by a moderator is made available to all the other moderators for review. Most actions are discussed before they are taken. No action will be taken if there isn't consensus on it. If a staff member makes an error in judgement he/she will be hold accountable by the other mods, and the error corrected.

Remember that thousands of posts are posted each day. Mods cannot read every single post - but they do their best to do so. That is also why mods rely on alerts from members.

As for the specific action you are referring to I cannot comment as I don't know the details.

That said:
Mods are not gods.
Mods are people too (and they have opinions).

If you feel that something was over-looked or "misjudged", please feel free to ask about it using the Submit Suggestion tool in the Members Tools menu - and it will be reviewed.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 01:53 PM
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Well i'm not going to mention which particular thread or even which member or moderator it was, as it was actually just a petty discussion and i have too much respect to be naming names and pointing fingers.

But ultimately the wrong person got punished and i thought it was out of order. I've u2u'd the moderator and explained what i saw, the mod in question has replied to me, deleted my post and made me feel like an idiot really (just for sticking up or a member i don't really know).

Guess it pays to just be quiet and keep your opinions to yourself eh?

Anyway, i have a lot of respect for you all. So don't take this thread personally.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 01:54 PM
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Moderators take stances and post in Forums all the time. They are doing so just like any other member of ATS when they do such. However, unlike any other ATS member, they are held to higher standards in the manner in which they present their opinions, but they are certainly entitled them.

As far as the actual act of Moderating posts in a Thread, they shouldn't discriminate against a poster on philosophical grounds but on the grounds of the Terms of Service. If someone violates the Rules, they get a warning or their post removed, regardless of whether the Moderator philosophically agrees or disagree with the poster.

Some posts fall in that sticky grey area though where one person starts off being snide and not a particularly nice person, but doesn't entirely venture off into T.o.S. Violation-Land, barely walking that thin line. However, the next person might take their bait and bite, finding themselves barely over that line between ATS and T.o.S. Violation-Land. In all the cases I've seen where ATSers have gotten penalized by a Moderator, it falls into this scenario.

For every Forum there are more than one Moderator. If you feel if one Moderator was unfair, U2U one of the other Moderators...but most of the time, the Mods are just trying to keep the rest of us civil, whether they agree or disagree with our viewpoint doesn't matter.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 01:57 PM
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Thanks for all the replies.

I guess it's just that dangerous grey area that gets us all occasionaly.

Peace



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 02:01 PM
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reply to post by mr-lizard
 


Please feel free to send the thread and/or post to us via the Submit Suggestion tool and a description of the issue. We pride ourselves in being fair, and if a moderator wasn't fair it should be brought under our attention.

Please don't feel like you don't have a voice. You have every right to ask. Even if the answer isn't what you were hoping for.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 02:02 PM
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Originally posted by mr-lizard
Guess it pays to just be quiet and keep your opinions to yourself eh?



If that's what you're getting out of it then there's some miscommunication. As you are no doubt aware, we try to keep threads on topic. If a discussion pops up that isn't related to the thread topic, it's off topic and subject to deletion.

The place to discuss problems such as you're referring to isn't in the thread in which they occurred. Please take those issues to staff via u2u, Alert, or Suggestion. It serves to allow the original thread to remain on topic and not devolve into a side issue.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 02:05 PM
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reply to post by mr-lizard
 


That is an interesting question that you left for ATS'ers to postulate.

I find that while Moderator's try to be "neutral", at least in my interaction with them, they still have their own opinions, which I wholeheartedly respect.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 02:31 PM
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Hi

Flag because the button is there for any munkey to push, and I do like the topic.

Okay, first off mod's are just like any other person. They are given 'power' over other members, and I don't know if that's good for them, or bad. It could lead to either boot licking over petty power popularity issues by members, or to member's shying away/ignoring them.

I've wondered about how being a mod would have effected their enjoyment of the site; as many mods have signature's of t&c's, or other corporate ats how to's. To myself it looks to end as more of a chore with less enjoyment.

Personally, I'd never want to be a mod. It would ruin the site for me. I like having my opinion. The only thing that slows the expression down just a tad is having my posting abilities yanked from time to time due to using naughty words...........And that's okay. I understand there is a general code of conduct; which the mods must enforce.

Of note to any mods still reading this, I've had people u2u me that the same mod has continually written them warnings, fines, or bans. As though they are being cyber stocked by one mod who obviously didn't like what said member(s) had to say somewhere........at least that is the way I've heard it.

Any responses to that?? Really as the mods above have said very well, and very unbiased; ya' are only human. What is the 'safe gaurd' if any to abuses by a certain mod?


bet many a mod won't show their faces/opinions in

[edit on 11-8-2009 by sanchoearlyjones]



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 02:35 PM
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reply to post by mr-lizard
 


lol, know the feeling i think i am in the negative 2000's now. i find it is all about on what side of the arguement that you are on. and i have a track record to prove it.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 02:39 PM
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Originally posted by sanchoearlyjones
What is the 'safe gaurd' if any to abuses by a certain mod?


Follow the T&C. If you don't do anything against the site rules, there is no opportunity for action. Breaking the rules will mean you're subject to action up to and including a ban.

If you think you're being "persecuted" then submit a complaint/suggestion which will be read by all staff, admin, and owners.

None of us has either the time or inclination to follow anyone around and "abuse" them. Members conspicuous by repeated violations are handled via a consensus of opinion among the staff.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 02:47 PM
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The most unfair thing I've seen was when a thread was closed, not because of any behaviour by the OP, but because of the silly responses he got from some other members.

He replied quite cheerfully and hadn't said a wrong word.

I've seen other threads where there was far more abuse and all that happened was a few posts being censored and a warning to be civil being posted by a mod.

Would it be possible to have a policy that threads are never closed unless the offender is the OP him / herself?

If there are several unsavoury posts made by others and they all get the T & C Violation message other members would soon get the message.

Re. the thread that was closed - I sent a U2U to one of the relevant mods but got no reply.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 02:49 PM
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reply to post by yeahright
 


Hey, cool hand luke, cool.

Okay, I didn't say me, and it's not. I didn't use "persecuted", but now that you did I feel a tad bit more Holy.
I've had no advise to offer anyone, or suggested anything.

I'm not looking for any answers here, but to go more into detail; from what I've heard is some mods. seem to have a particular 'interest' in one person, or another. Did said member really do something bordering against the T&C's sure, but so did other people in said forum, or other forums at that time. Yet, the mod seemed to almost choose them everytime. The same mod.

Hearing that a few times from other people, and the mods mentioned being the same ones left me with the question; mentioned above. Absolutely the mod is doing their job, and it would be almost impossible to say anything. However, the practice seems to occur.

I'm not saying you, yeahright(note: I just noticed your name seems like I'm suggesting you, but I cannot help your name:lol
, and I'm not saying any particular mod, obviously, but as everyone else pointed out, you all are only human like the rest of us.


[edit on 11-8-2009 by sanchoearlyjones]



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 02:51 PM
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reply to post by sanchoearlyjones
 


If I may add:

With the exception of sending a U2U - no staff member can take any action on a member - being it something small like an edit, or something bigger like a Post Banning or even a Permanent Ban - without the action being logged somewhere.

Moderators are completely transparent towards each other with their actions. If there is even the slightest hint of foul play from a moderator it will be picked up by other moderators and addressed.

And trust me - moderators disagree with each other. For example I don't have time for that knowitall Super - yeahright. We all know he's intelligent - I don't know why he needs to rub it in our faces...




posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 02:55 PM
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reply to post by Gemwolf
 


Hey, thanks for clearing that up. I had no clue how it worked.

Transparency is good.

I do understand what ya'lls jobs entail. I don't mind when I get "docked" as I review what I did, and seems everytime I understand the reasoning behind why I was 'contacted'.


Now, I can tell the co-conspirators that ya'll have transparency.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 02:58 PM
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Originally posted by sanchoearlyjones
you all are only human like the rest of us.


That's a mighty big assumption there, Nacho.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 03:01 PM
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Originally posted by sanchoearlyjones
Of note to any mods still reading this, I've had people u2u me that the same mod has continually written them warnings, fines, or bans. As though they are being cyber stocked by one mod who obviously didn't like what said member(s) had to say somewhere........at least that is the way I've heard it.

Any responses to that??


Every Mod decision is peer reviewed, and seen, by each other. Vendetta's can't happen.

People never ever get actioned because of their opinions on subjects. They get actioned for breaking the T&C. Simple as that.



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